'All we've done is replaced the Taliban with the Taliban': caller clashes with Shelagh Fogarty

18 August 2021, 16:11 | Updated: 18 August 2021, 17:07

'All we've done is replaced the Taliban with the Taliban': caller clashes with Shelagh Fogarty
'All we've done is replaced the Taliban with the Taliban': caller clashes with Shelagh Fogarty. Picture: Alamy

By Seán Hickey

Shelagh Fogarty took on this caller who dismissed the Afghanistan crisis as 'hot air' and 'it doesn't mean anything.'

Shan phoned in from Ilford to share his views on the developing crisis in Afghanistan. He explained to Shelagh Fogarty that he was sceptical the Western effort in the country.

Read More: 'It's all over for us': Pregnant woman blinded by Taliban fears for Afghan women

"What comes to my mind is this: it’s taken four presidents – American presidents – 20 years, millions of dollars, many many lives lost, and all we’ve done over this period is replaced Taliban with Taliban."

"What it tells me is that Taliban can never be defeated – that’s the kind of army every country should have," he said, adding that "whoever goes in there will never be able to defeat the Afghan people."

Read More: Rory Stewart: UK's Afghanistan withdrawal 'biggest betrayal since WWII'

Shelagh confronted the caller, noting that NATO "weren’t trying to defeat the Afghan people, were they?”

Chief of Defence Staff on Afghanistan: "My heart bleeds every time"

"The west went in there with the view to try to stop the Taliban," the caller clarified.

Read More: Tory MP: Biden pulled out of Afghanistan 'because it sounded good'

"That’s not the Afghan people, is it? The two aren’t interchangeable phrases, it’s important."

The caller dismissed Shelagh, arguing that her point was "maybe semantics."

Read More: UK resettlement scheme could give up to 20,000 Afghans refugee status

"It’s more than semantics," she insisted.

"If it was only semantics there wouldn’t be thousands of people desperately hanging onto the wheels of aeroplanes."

Man tortured by Taliban says Afghans need help now

The caller moved on, suggesting that the West should find a way to move on and deal with the Taliban.

Read More: Head of UK armed forces says too straight forward to paint Taliban as 'bad guys'

"We need to get in there and see if we can communicate with them, if we can cooperate with them," he said, with Shelagh responding "we’ve been communicating with them for some years now, haven’t we?"

"Well in that case all of this is hot air, everything is pointless," the caller said.

"This discussion, this parliament debate, all of that is pure hot air because it doesn’t mean anything."

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