Sara Flounders, the co-director of the International Action Center from New York, made the remarks in a Tuesday edition of Press TV’s Spotlight program while commenting on the developments following the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban militant group and the full withdrawal of US troops from the country.
The last American soldiers departed Afghanistan on Monday, ending a war that had begun when the United States invaded Afghanistan and toppled a Taliban-run government in 2001. The US alleged at the time that the Taliban were harboring al-Qaeda, which had claimed responsibility for the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York.
The Taliban militants intensified their offensives and rapidly overran major cities in recent weeks as the United States started what was seen as a hasty withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan.
The Taliban took control of Afghanistan on August 15, setting in motion the evacuation of thousands of Afghan and foreign civilians via the Kabul airport.
United Nations officials have warned that Afghanistan faces a humanitarian catastrophe following decades of conflict, with large parts of the country suffering from extreme drought conditions.
“From the very beginning, it was a complete lie; there was absolutely no interest in democracy, no interest in the liberation of women,” Flounders told Press TV’s Spotlight on Tuesday.
“What they have put in place are sanctions that would deliberately create a famine, hyper-inflation, they froze all of Afghanistan’s money— outright theft — they froze IMF, World Bank, European Union and every conceivable penny going into Afghanistan,” she added.
Asked about the US legacy in Afghanistan after a two-decades-long invasion, Flounders said, “In terms of the US goal of having a strategic base in the region from which to threaten Iran and China and small countries surrounding Russia to have a position with hundreds of base and forces in the regions, it’s utter, complete failure, a disaster, there is no other way to put it.”
The New York-base political expert, however, said the US achieved the goal of endless profit to private military contractors and to military and oil industries.
Moreover, Flounders pointed to the Taliban’s way of dealing with Afghanistan’s neighbors in the future and whether the group had changed course in comparison with the past.
“From what the Taliban has said, they want to normalize relations within Afghanistan and with the surrounding countries, and they well know that they desperately need peace and reconciliation. We do know that the US wants to destabilize and do everything they can that they failed in this effort; and that what drone attacks, hyperinflation and shortages mean,” Flounders said.
“The terror force in Afghanistan, no matter how you look at it, was the US military occupation. That really was spreading terror, imprisonment, disappearance and enormous corruption,” she added.
Mick Wallace, a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from South Ireland, was the other panelist invited to the Spotlight, who said the US invaded Afghanistan on the pretext of war on terror and taking vengeance on those behind the September 11 attacks while there were no Afghans involved in the terrorist incident.
Wallace said 16 Saudis were among those involved in the 9/11 attacks, but the US “did not bomb Saudi Arabia because they were friends.”
Asked whether the end of US military presence in Afghanistan meant the end of its interference in Afghanistan’s affairs, Wallace expressed doubt and said, “I would not believe that for a second as the bases have not disappeared and the Americans will use them again… and have boots on the grounds around the cities and countryside of Afghanistan. If you think that Afghanistan has seen the last of America, I don’t agree.”
Pointing to the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan over the years of US occupation , Wallace said, “They couldn’t care less about the people of Afghanistan. There are twice as many people in poverty in Afghanistan as there was in 2001. They have decimated the place.”
The Irish MEP stressed that the US would be held accountable for its crimes in the war-torn country as the Americans have no respect for the international law.
Meanwhile, Wallace underlined that Afghanistan’s main concerns will be getting on with its neighbors, saying, “Getting on with Iran, Russia and China will be crucial if Afghanistan is going to start a recovery of any form.”
Two bomb attacks were carried out near the Kabul airport on Thursday as scores of people, trying to leave Afghanistan, had crowded around one of the airport’s main access gates.
The attacks, claimed by Daesh, killed as many as 170 people.
The US military said a day after the deadly attack that it had carried out a drone strike against Daesh in Nangarhar Province, east of Kabul and bordering Pakistan, killing two members of the Takfiri terrorist group.
The Taliban censured the US drone strike as a “clear attack on Afghan territory” and said two women and a child were wounded in the assault.
More than 122,000 people have reportedly been evacuated from Kabul since August 14, the day before the Taliban took control of the country.
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted a resolution on Monday that presses the Taliban to honor a commitment to letting people freely leave Afghanistan in the days ahead. It urged the group to grant access to the UN and other aid agencies as well.
The UNSC, however, did not agree to the creation of a “safe zone” in Kabul, which was proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron.