Our choices… and America

Ahmad al-Sarraf

Published: Updated:

The clear confusion that marked the US pullout from Afghanistan gave its enemies – some of whom are among us – a green light to explain the withdrawal, with scorn and mockery, as a victory for the Taliban. What these thrilled enemies failed to realize is that the real losers here are Afghanistan and its people, who will, unfortunately, remain crippled with backwardness, poverty, and ignorance forever, while America counts its profits and saves the lives of its soldiers.

It was rather deplorable to see those with destructive agendas, like our very own “Cancun hero” (former Kuwaiti deputy Walid al-Tabatabaie who survived a drowning incident in Cancun) and our unofficial ambassador to Afghanistan, rush to express their joy at the “defeat” of the US and congratulate the Taliban on their great victory over the biggest global power, unaware of the repercussions of this fatal victory!

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Other “political pundits” also rushed to quote Arab leaders who stated in their final days of leadership that those who take cover “under the Americans will be left naked.” However, and despite the right of every nation to change its choices whenever it deems such a change to be in its national interest, many incidents have proven this statement to be untrue. In Kuwait, our national interest lies in “keeping” our bet on the US; not due to our infatuation with it, but rather because our national security and interest require so.

We must pay no mind to those urging us to rely on another state, such as striking an alliance with Turkey instead of the US. Such demands are foolish and not worth considering. Breaking our bond with the US would be disadvantageous to our interests. In fact, we have special relations with the US that guarantee the feeling of reassurance we currently bask in.

It is not surprising that most of those calling for breaking off our ties with Washington are loyal or belonging to failed states. For all their loud denunciations of US and Western values and thoughts, these states do not refuse subjection to the western world. In fact, they would kill to have the crumbs of the western world’s bread. These states are hypocrites, as their actions do not align with their words. To listen to their hubbub would be foolish.

It is widely known that Kuwait owes the US for its role in liberating the country from Iraqi occupation in 1991. However, this never meant compromising our entire sovereignty: until this very day, Kuwait refuses to acknowledge the state of Israel or establish relation with it, despite the importance of such a move to Washington. It is also not a matter of denial. Israel did Kuwait an indirect favor when it refused to fall for Saddam Hussein’s trap and declare war against him during the Liberation War after he fired his stupid missiles in its direction. Instead, Tel Aviv chose not to respond to his provocations, thus preventing further chaos and wars in the region.

Relations between states are governed by interests. The US has interests in our region, and we have major interests in its presence here. Neither we nor Washington will accept any prejudice to these interests, and this requires both parties to reinforce and protect them. When interests are gone, so is protection; and in that case, we will be the biggest losers.

This article was originally published in, and translated from, Kuwaiti newspaper al-Qabas.

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