by Gary Fouse
Every time Joe Biden steps in front of a camera, it just gets more pathetic. This week's episode, where he announced the final withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, was classic Joe Biden. In the face of this unmitigated disaster, Biden actually bragged about the withdrawal, calling it an "extraordinary success"! He rattled off the numbers of people evacuated. He defended his actions and pointed the finger of blame at Trump. This was classic Biden. It's what he has done for 50 years in Washington. This man has never admitted he was wrong about anything. No, Joe Biden is always the smartest guy in the room. In reality, he has spent five decades being wrong about everything. In truth, he is an empty-suit blowhard.
If you want to characterize the performance of our troops at Kabul airport along with the State Department people on the ground in getting 120,000 people onto planes and out of Afghanistan as extraordinary, that part I will agree with. They did a phenomenal job, especially given the circumstances they were given to work with by their leaders in Washington- at the White House and the Pentagon.
What was not an extraordinary success was how our leaders brought this evacuation about. The scenes of tens of thousands of desperate people outside the gates of the airport trying to pass through Taliban roadblocks was not an extraordinary success. Having 13 US troops and almost 200 Afghan civilians killed by a suicide bomber is not an extraordinary success. People falling to their deaths from the wheel wells of departing planes was not an extraordinary success. Leaving our allies in the lurch and unprepared to evacuate their own personnel and Afghan allies was not an extraordinary success. Leaving American citizens behind in order to adhere to the August 31 deadline was not an extraordinary success. Leaving behind some 80 billion dollars in military vehicles, weapons and other equipment is not an extraordinary success.
I do not blame the troops on the ground and the diplomats who stayed to the last for the above. All this would have been avoided had our leaders properly planned and organized this withdrawal. They put those on the ground at Kabul in an impossible situation, and the latter performed heroically under the circumstances.
But there was Biden defending his actions while avoiding the main point. Very few Americans are outraged because he decided (as did Trump) that it was time to end our fighting in Afghanistan and let the Afghans defend their own country. Yes, once we took care of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and once Usama bin Laden was dead, we should have gotten out. Establishing a Jeffersonian democracy in Afghanistan should never have been a consideration. Yes, it would be great if Afghan women and girls had equal rights and go to school, etc (let alone not be executed in soccer stadiums), but it is not for American soldiers to die to bring that about. Sorry, it just isn't.
No, Mr Biden; it's not that you ended our military involvement in Afghanistan. It is the bungling, incompetent manner that you and your top advisors and military leaders (Secretary of Defense Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Milley) organized the withdrawal.
In the coming days and weeks, we will hear about one Taliban atrocity after another, likely some committed against American citizens left behind. That will not help Biden's standing. In addition-and I want to say this carefully- we don't know as yet just who these 100,000+ Afghans who were evacuated are. We are told they are interpreters, embassy workers, those who worked with our forces, and Afghans with dual citizenship. If so, I have no issue with that. We have a moral duty to save all of those people.
But how many will turn out to be people who don't fall into those categories? There are already reports coming out that the US and European countries are discovering people who got out who are Taliban members (France) or those on terror watch lists. Countries like Sweden, Germany, and Austria are dealing with a massive crime problem with young Afghan men who have arrived unaccompanied in the past few years. Aside from the Afghans in the categories I mentioned, we need to be very cautious before we open the floodgates to massive Afghan immigration. There is no valid reason why neighboring countries or other Muslim countries should not accept these people. Let them all live happily under Sharia law.
As for Biden, in just 8 months, he has surpassed any and all previous presidents who history has regarded as failed presidents. That is an extraordinary achievement. But it is not an extraordinary success.