The Taliban is now re-surging. The world of radical Islamic terrorists is rejoicing.
Everybody saw this coming, except President Joe Biden. And I do mean everybody.
In his speech to the nation Monday during a short break from his vacation, Biden blamed everything Americans are seeing in Kabul on not only his predecessor, former President Trump, but he effectively lumped in former Presidents Obama and Bush as well. Everyone was to blame but . . . Joe Biden. Who is in charge.
In fact, even as Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “This is manifestly not Saigon,” he was quickly undercut. The memorable 1975 images of U.S. helicopters fleeing surging North Vietnamese forces from the top of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, with desperate South Vietnamese literally clinging to the helicopter skids, were instantly matched in spades with Monday’s vivid images of thousands of terrified Afghans trying to board a U.S. military jet. One picture showed an American soldier sitting in a helicopter leaving Kabul with the embassy’s large American flag folded in his arms.
A Saigon-style disaster is in fact flooding Afghanistan, in direct and vivid contradiction to Biden’s assurances that this would not happen.
“I stand squarely behind my decision,” Biden said in his speech. Hardly anyone else does.
This was such a disaster that Fox News was running this headline: “Mainstream media crushes Biden for ‘flat-footed,’ ‘humiliating’ betrayal of Afghans as Taliban takes control.”
And former Obama CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta compared Biden’s decision to JFK’s disaster at the Bay of Pigs.
From CNN’s Jake Tapper to NBC’s Chuck Todd, more heads were shaking in disbelief at Biden’s decision and its instant disastrous results. In the New York Times, columnist Bret Stephens headlined it this way: “Disaster in Afghanistan Will Follow Us Home.”
What on earth was Joe Biden thinking — if, that is, he was thinking?
On July 8, the president defended his decision to withdraw all remaining U.S. forces from Afghanistan. After assuring Americans that “the drawdown is proceeding in a secure and orderly way” and that “U.S. support for the people of Afghanistan will endure,” he took some questions. Here are excerpts from the White House transcript.
Q: Is a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan now inevitable?
The president: No, it is not.
The president: Because you — the Afghan troops have 300,000 well-equipped — as well equipped as any army in the world — and an air force against something like 75,000 Taliban. It is not inevitable.
Q: Do you see any parallels between this withdrawal and what happened in Vietnam, with some people feeling —
The president: None whatsoever. Zero. . . . The Taliban is not the South — the North Vietnamese Army. They’re not — they’re not remotely comparable in terms of capability. There’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of an embassy. . . .
Biden’s heedlessness, on the cusp of a sweeping Taliban blitzkrieg that on Sunday saw them enter Kabul, will define his administration’s first great fiasco. . . .
America’s enemies, great and small, will draw conclusions from our needless surrender, just as they will about the frighteningly oblivious president who brought it about.
America’s enemies will indeed “draw conclusions” about Joe Biden and his leadership. He is going to be seen as weak, feckless, and not very bright. Watching what Biden has done and the results it has quickly started to produce recalls that famous statement of Winston Churchill when Neville Chamberlain thought he could make deals with Hitler: “You were given the choice between war and dishonour. You chose dishonour, and you will have war.”
It is no small matter, to name just one potential hot spot, that the Chinese will be looking at moving on Taiwan — precisely because they predict that any Biden response to their aggression will be weak and ineffectual. Former President Reagan once joked of the American policy that supported detente with the Soviet Union: “Detente? Isn’t that what a farmer has with his turkey — until Thanksgiving Day?” Even when using humor, Reagan was always making a sharp observation.
After Biden’s speech, Trump put out a short and to the point statement: “It’s not that we left Afghanistan. It’s the grossly incompetent way we left!”
That was shortly followed by this Trumpian call:
It is time for Joe 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.
And right on cue following Biden’s decision, there was this headline in The New York Post: “Taliban parade two men through streets with blackened faces and nooses around necks.”
And so, it has begun. For once, there are all manner of Americans across the board who agree that what Joe Biden has done is an open invitation to disaster. There are few Americans who relish staying in Afghanistan — but it is safe to say there are more than a few Americans who see the way Biden chose to do it as chaotic, incompetent, and botched.
And they are right.