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The incoming. It’s coming fast and furious for (at) Joe Biden.
So much so that as I begin this article, the suddenly embattled president is about the speak to the nation, having cut short his Camp David “vacation” solely because his administration is at least “smart” enough to finally recognize they better do their damnedest to attempt to stop the bleeding — ASAP.
They — he — will not succeed.
It’s not just conservatives who continue to skewer the ever-loving crap out of the hapless Biden for his disastrous decision to withdraw American forces from Afghanistan — not because he withdrew them, but because of how he did it.
When even CNN’s Jake Tapper decides to “journalism” for a minute and takes a top Biden official — equally-pathetic Secretary of State Antony Blinken — to task over “Biden’s Saigon”?
Yeah, Houston, “we” have a problem.
This is a damning image for the Biden administration, and underscores the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis on the ground. It is unconscionable that the United States president is nowhere to be found.
Mr. President – Do your job and address the nation. pic.twitter.com/tTreEIgL3Y
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) August 16, 2021
The editorial boards of America’s major newspapers got into the act on Monday, blistering Biden in a scathing editorial after scathing editorial, none more so than the editors of The Wall Street Journal.
Before we continue, this:
I am listening to Biden’s pathetic address to the nation, as I write. My God. He honestly doesn’t get it. Setting aside the disgust that he just once again blamed “my predecessor,” he continues to ignore the very simple difference between leaving Afghanistan and how we leave Afghanistan. He just ended his pathetic comments — in which he said zero about the men, women, and children, principally, young girls, of Afghanistan. He was defensive. And he sucked.
Yes, Biden really spent over a minute and a half blaming Trump for his Afghanistan disaster in his first public address on his massive failure.
Biden then doubles down: "I stand squarely behind my decision." pic.twitter.com/Nx3t6czYaC
— Danny De Urbina (@dannydeurbina) August 16, 2021
Anyway, as I was saying, the Wall Street Journal was particularly brutal — and spot-on — in its blistering of Biden in its editorial, Biden’s Surrender of Afghanistan — The President Tries to Duck a Calamitous Withdrawal, which is exactly what he did — again —in his address that ended minutes ago, as I write.
Excerpts from the WSJ editorial:
President Biden’s statement on Saturday washing his hands of Afghanistan deserves to go down as one of the most shameful in history by a Commander in Chief at such a moment of American retreat.
As the Taliban closed in on Kabul, Mr. Biden sent a confirmation of U.S. abandonment that absolved himself of responsibility, deflected blame to his predecessor, and more or less invited the Taliban to take over the country.
With that statement of capitulation, the Afghan military’s last resistance collapsed. Taliban fighters captured Kabul, and President Ashraf Ghani fled the country while the U.S. frantically tried to evacuate Americans.
The jihadists the U.S. toppled 20 years ago for sheltering Osama bin Laden will now fly their flag over the U.S. Embassy building on the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
Mr. Biden’s Saturday self-justification exemplifies his righteous dishonesty. [Again, exactly what he did just moments ago.]
“One more year, or five more years, of U.S. military presence would not have made a difference if the Afghan military cannot or will not hold its own country,” Mr. Biden said.
But the Afghans were willing to fight and take casualties with the support of the U.S. and its NATO allies, especially airpower. A few thousand troops and contractors could have done the job and prevented this rout.
Worse? Biden’s continuing efforts to blame Donald Trump.
Worse is his attempt to blame his decisions on Mr. Trump: “When I came to office, I inherited a deal cut by my predecessor—which he invited the Taliban to discuss at Camp David on the eve of 9/11 of 2019 — that left the Taliban in the strongest position militarily since 2001 and imposed a May 1, 2021 deadline on U.S. forces. Shortly before he left office, he also drew U.S. forces down to a bare minimum of 2,500.
“Therefore, when I became President, I faced a choice—follow through on the deal, with a brief extension to get our forces and our allies’ forces out safely, or ramp up our presence and send more American troops to fight once again in another country’s civil conflict.”
Nonsense, as I’ve previously written, elsewhere. Biden sure had no problem with “deals cut” by his “predecessor” about the enforcement of immigration laws and border security, did he? Or decisions Trump made throughout the COVID pandemic. Sorry Joe, that duck don’t hunt, as they say, whoever “they” are.
The WSJ also noted that Biden has been more critical of Donald Trump than he is of the “Tollybahn.”
And what does the board think Biden could have done differently?
Mr. Biden could have maintained the modest presence his military and foreign-policy advisers suggested. He could have decided to withdraw but done so based on conditions on the ground while preparing the Afghans with a plan for transition and air support.
Instead, he ordered a rapid and total withdrawal at the onset of the annual fighting season in time for the symbolic target date of 9/11. Most of the American press at the time hailed his decision as courageous.
The result a mere four months later is the worst U.S. humiliation since the fall of Saigon in 1975.
The Taliban is saying it wants a “peaceful transfer of power” in Kabul, but the scenes are still redolent of U.S. defeat. The scramble to destroy classified documents. The helicopters evacuating U.S. diplomats. The abandonment into Taliban hands of valuable U.S. military equipment.
“Worst of all,” the editors wrote, “is the plight of the Afghans who assisted the U.S. over two decades.”
“Around the league,” to borrow a bit of sports lingo, here are a few editorial excerpts from a few other major newspapers, today.
The New York Times:
What’s happening is “unutterably tragic,” wrote the editors. After “more than $2 trillion and at least 2,448 American service members’ lives lost in Afghanistan, it is difficult to see what of lasting significance has been achieved. There was no need for it to end in such chaos, with so little forethought for all those who sacrificed so much in the hopes of a better Afghanistan.”
The Washington Post:
The Post hasn’t weighed in with an editorial since Kabul fell, but last week the editorial board noted that the US “was stalemated, not defeated” in its 20-year war. “There’s a difference—and how big a difference may soon become tragically apparent.” […] “Afghan lives ruined or lost will belong to Mr. Biden’s legacy just as surely as any US dollars and lives his decision may save.”
In April, [Biden] “could have conditioned any further drawdown on good faith efforts by the Taliban to reach a peaceful settlement with Kabul,” but instead he set a firm September deadline for withdrawal. […]
“[H]e may wind up with the blood of U.S. friends and freedom activists on his hands, not only because of his decision to so rapidly exit but because of his ensuing failure to carry out that mission before the Taliban aggression he unwittingly unleashed changed everything.”
So where do we (Biden) find ourselves (himself)?
The reprisals will be horrific — despite the Taliban’s (sorry, Joe: “Tollybahn’s”) protestations to the contrary. First, innocent men, women, and children deemed by the Islamists to have cooperated with the United States will face unspeakable atrocities. Worse, the population, in general, will face atrocities, as well, as the Taliban works methodically to teach the population to never do it again.
Meanwhile, spineless Joe Biden continues to blame Donald Trump, ignore the simple reality that leaving and how we left were always separate issues, and remind us that he has no regrets, and would do it all again — not one time suggesting that perhaps he should have done it with a systematic plan, including not in the middle of the fighting season.
It didn’t have to be this way.