August 17, 2021
The Biden Administration now has a humiliating, tragic, international disaster on its watch that will go down in history (if we still have any honest historians) alongside the Bay of Pigs, the fall of Saigon and the siege in Benghazi. If any book is written about Biden’s handling of this latest and most tragic of his string of disasters, it could easily be named “Profiles in Fecklessness.” Biden has ordered 5,000 US troops in to help evacuate people, and there are reports of attacks by US bombers, but not on the Taliban. They're blowing up our own military planes and other weapons that the Afghan forces abandoned before the Taliban can seize them.
Biden was on vacation at Camp David when Afghanistan began to fall apart, and his silence was deafening (even his spokesperson, Jen Psaki, is gone for the week.) Filling the void were replays of his now-notorious July 8th press conference in which he assured us his Afghanistan pullout would be orderly and it was unlikely the Taliban would come back. Other high Administration officials also assured us that a Taliban takeover could be repelled because it wasn’t the type of thing that could happen between a Frida and a Monday --- which is precisely what happened.
Biden is facing heavy criticism from across the political spectrum in the US and internationally.
Former President Trump called on Biden “to resign in disgrace for what he has allowed to happen to Afghanistan, along with the tremendous surge in COVID, the Border catastrophe, the destruction of energy independence, and our crippled economy.” There have also been calls for the resignations of Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley for bungling Afghanistan while focusing on wokeness in the military, Trump’s nonexistent “coup” plot and Tucker Carlson. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken was reduced to imploring the Taliban to act civilized, which is like begging a charging rhinoceros to behave itself and not trample you.
In return, Biden tried to blame Trump for sticking him with the Afghanistan pullout decision, which I guess was the only Trump policy he thought was not reversible.
But while it would be easy and politically expedient (and not unfair) to blame Biden for this catastrophe, the truth is that the real failure here is of our “intelligence” agencies and the current military leadership. Trump also planned to remove troops from Afghanistan, and his plans also relied on the “intelligence” he was receiving about the relative strength of the Taliban (although I assume that unlike Biden, he would have paid attention to military leaders who’d actually been there.)
Those agencies were completely blindsided by the Taliban’s swift advance and by news that they already had shadow governments set up in various cities and were paying off officials to surrender. Any President’s decisions are only as sound as the “intelligence” he’s given, and both Trump and Biden were assured that the Afghan government was strong enough to hold and any assault would take months and could be repelled. They were devastatingly wrong on every count, and a lot of people should lose their jobs over it, not that anyone is ever held to account anymore.
Biden’s not responsible for the failure of intelligence, but he is responsible for being caught flatfooted and freezing when things began to spiral out of control.
Countless lives will be lost and innocent people tortured, raped and enslaved, and other nations will hesitate to trust us again, because our CIA and top military brass failed miserably. Maybe they were too preoccupied with trying to frame the last President and his associates, or focusing on the “real” threat to America (white supremacists), and couldn’t be bothered to notice what was happening in Afghanistan. In a better world, they’d be going to prison, but let’s hope and pray that the next Republican President – in 2024 – will at the very least issue a blizzard of pink slips to the FBI, CIA, NSA and Pentagon, and have these deadly incompetents and useless political operatives forcibly escorted off the premises.