Kabul conference is surreal theatre featuring the defeated Western allies in competitive denial

We are watching history in the making in Afghanistan; but it is history of a certain stamp – the slow-motion unraveling of a disaster. The international conference meeting in a palatial hall in Kabul has all the unreality of similar doomed assemblies in the past. Think of the States General of France in 1789, the Duma in Russia in 1905 – you get the picture. Here we have high-ranking international diplomats and foreign ministers, the supposed "movers and shakers" of the world, but they have encountered the immovable and the unshakeable: the victorious Taliban and the treacherous warlords of Afghanistan.

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