For the last several days those of us who have been following the debacle in Afghanistan have been sickened by what has been occurring. We have seen the most disturbing, humiliating, and embarrassing images most of us have ever seen on the tv news. It is like a Steven Spielberg movie. This cannot be real, we say. But, alas, it is. It is very real. For example, we have seen (1) people running after airplanes that are about to take off, (2) people clinging onto said planes ignoring the obvious dangers, (3) people falling off airplanes that are in the air, (4) people so desperate to save their children that they are attempting to pass them, by hand, or even toss them over barbed wire barriers to strangers on the other side, and (5) indiscriminate maiming and murdering of innocent civilians.
Simply put, we have been witnessing the destruction of a country and a way of life right before our very eyes. I remember the scene during the fall of Saigon of desperate people gathered on the roof of the American embassy fighting to get on the last helicopter out of the city, clinging to the skids. I never thought I would witness something like that again. But, here we are.
And America, which is supposed to be the most powerful country in the world, is standing by impotently, powerless to stop it. There have been reports that State Department officials are actually pleading with Taliban leaders to grant safe passage. Pleading! America pleading? Are you kidding me? Can you imagine President Trump or any other previous president, for that matter, actually pleading with terrorists to stand down? I can’t. Make no mistake about it. Our allies and our enemies are watching and taking note. This will have repercussions far beyond Afghanistan.
The stark comparison between Biden and Trump has never been more obvious. We have abandoned thousands of Afghanis who have been working with us to a fate of torture and death. These are people to whom we promised safety in exchange for their help. Many of them are already being hunted down and brutally murdered, as will their families as punishment. Already an untold number of women and young girls are being brutalized in ways we, as a civilized nation, cannot even imagine. But, we have abandoned more than people. We have also abandoned billions of dollars worth of the most advanced war materials. We can expect the Taliban to be returning that material to us in battle and terror attacks.
Even worse, various news outlets have reported there are tens of thousands of Americans who are trapped in the country with no viable plan for exfil. Incredibly, we don’t even know how many there are. There are news reports that they are being advised to make their own way to the airport – through Taliban territory. Good luck with that. Their fate is anybody’s guess. In contrast, former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows reported on Fox News that President Trump’s evacuation plan had included a dire warning to the Taliban that if they hurt even one American or violated even one part of the evacuation agreement he would “destroy” them “immediately.” And, they knew he meant it, and they believed he would follow through. On the other hand, they know Biden is weak and would do no such thing.
We have created the largest hostage situation and propaganda victory in history. Don’t be surprised if some of them turn up on Al Jazeera being tortured and beheaded. Our political and military leaders have failed us and our Afghani allies miserably.
Let me be clear. I am not expressing an opinion as to whether or not we should have been in Afghanistan in the first place. Generally, I am not an advocate of “nation building.” But, that is a separate issue from the inept way we have been trying to extricate ourselves. (For the record, however, I would like to remind everyone that in its entire history Afghanistan has never been conquered, not by Alexander the Great and the Greeks, not by the Romans, who otherwise conquered the “known world,” not by Genghis Kahn and his Chinese hordes, not by the British, not by the Russians, and now, not by us. They are a fierce and independent people, and the terrain is extremely inhospitable to would-be conquerors. Our various leaders have ignored history and therefore were doomed to repeat it.)
Biden has been blaming President Trump and other previous Administrations. We can argue culpability, but that is separate and distinct from the current situation. We are not debating whether or not we should have been in Afghanistan and the manner in which the war was prosecuted. We are focusing on the manner in which the exit is being mishandled. Our leaders totally misread the strength of the Taliban. Exfil should have begun months ago. Where were our intelligence-gathering people? Where were our military leaders? Where were Biden and his senior advisors? Who was formulating an exit strategy? What was it? Why was it not employed months ago when it became apparent that a Taliban takeover was inevitable?
In summary, the problem as I see it is not the leaving. It is the execution of the leaving.
We need to know what went wrong. We need a thorough independent investigation. We need the media to do its job for once. We need Congressional hearings. People are dying and will continue to die. American people. But, I won’t hold my breath.
Some people have been calling for Biden to resign. Yes, he is incompetent. Yes, he is cognitively-challenged. We knew that before all this happened. I agree he should not be president, but the alternative, VP Kamala Harris, would likely be worse. She has repeatedly demonstrated that she is in no way suitable for the job. For example, what has she done to resolve the border crisis? Where has she been this week?
Besides Biden, personally, there is plenty of blame to go around. Where have the generals in charge of our troops been? Why haven’t the Dem leaders such as Chuck and Nancy, Congressmen, various self-righteous women’s groups and Hollywood elites weighed in? Are the 70+ million Biden voters happy with their choice now? We are in the midst of a serious crisis, perhaps an existential one, and our leaders have failed us. I hate to say “I told you so,” but I told you so.