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Biden Commits a Grave Injustice Against the Afghan People
This is theft on a massive scale, and it is being done at a time when Afghanistan desperately needs an infusion of funds.
The Biden administration is going to rob the people of Afghanistan of billions of dollars of their own money:
President Biden is starting to clear a legal path for relatives of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to pursue $3.5 billion that Afghanistan’s central bank had deposited in New York before the Taliban takeover, while also seeking to steer a roughly equal amount toward spending to aid the Afghan people.
Beginning that process, Mr. Biden issued an executive order Friday morning invoking emergency powers to consolidate and freeze all $7 billion of the total assets the Afghan central bank kept in New York. The administration said it would ask a judge for permission to move $3.5 billion to a trust fund it would set up to support the needs of the Afghan people, like for humanitarian relief.
The U.S. is committing a grave injustice against the Afghan people, and the money that will be diverted to an aid fund will do nothing to address the liquidity crisis that has led to the country’s economic implosion. Instead of releasing funds to Afghanistan’s central bank and allowing some level of normal economic activity to resume, the administration has managed to find an indefensible way to release the funds. The humanitarian trust fund is an attempt to set up a mechanism outside of Afghanistan’s institutions to funnel aid into the country, but the aid is going to be a trickle compared to what the Afghan people need to survive and recover. Emerson Brooking commented earlier today:
This is not just “frozen assets,” it is the entire reserve of the Afghan central bank. This act will destroy whatever remained of the formal Afghan economy. It will make Afghanistan entirely reliant on small rations of foreign aid.
The decision to divide the money and keep half for the families of 9/11 victims is outrageous and it is difficult to see how the U.S. has any legal authority to use the funds in this way. The U.S. is simply taking the money because no one can stop it from doing so. The U.S. is supposed to be keeping that money in trust on behalf of Afghanistan’s government. There is no good reason why money that belongs to the people of Afghanistan should be handed over to the victims of a crime committed by non-Afghans decades ago. This is theft on a massive scale, and it is being done at a time when Afghanistan desperately needs an infusion of funds.
The Biden administration may think that it is staving off criticism from hawks by keeping the money for the victims’ families, but it is so cynical and morally bankrupt that it is rightly provoking a much bigger backlash than a simple unfreezing of assets ever would have. Nick Brumfield reacted to the news this way:
What the actual hell. Not only is @POTUS not listening to the people screaming at the insane humanitarian crisis freezing those assets is causing, he's stealing from starving people to, what, play Mr. Patriot amid declining ratings?
Murtaza Hussain adds:
If Trump had done this it would’ve been the most outrageous and vicious foreign policy thing he did during his entire presidency by far. Almost incomprehensible.
The U.S. is choosing to rob starving people in the middle of a humanitarian crisis created by our government’s own policies. It is one more example of how the U.S. punishes innocent people around the world for the crimes of others. If this is the Biden administration’s idea of a solution to mass starvation in Afghanistan, I shudder to think of what they will do to Yemen.