The 20th anniversary of the death of 2,977 Americans, killed in a devastating attack by fundamentalist Islamic conspirators in the name of Allah, is not a time for politicization. This post is not about that.
It is about our ignominious and humiliating withdrawal from Afghanistan, which our President intended to use as a political prop.
That war is paused. It is not over.
A pall hangs cynically over the day.
Maybe it would have gone better if we’d waited to abandon the Afghanis until October 7th; the 20th anniversary of our first attacks on the Taliban for refusing to extradite the man who financed and planned the 9/11 attack.
We will see if 20 years – there are Afghanis who never before experienced Taliban rule, and have been exposed to American troops – makes an historical difference. I think exposure to American troops is our best bet for a good outcome.
Whether 20 years from now it has made a difference is irrelevant to the reverence we should feel for the people who died in the Pentagon, the Twin Towers, or flight 93. But that’s harder now, with the President’s thumb in our eyes.
Twenty years, or 200, makes no difference to the gratitude we should feel for the Americans who served in Afghanistan. They are all heroes, especially those who gave their lives.
But now the living have to be wondering if it was worth it. To those true to duty, honor, country, I say this: It was. We did not experience another terror attack in those 20 years, and in 2001 we were expecting many. That you served honorably stands apart from the machinations of a senile and petulant old man occupying the White House. Maybe all the Afghan teenagers who experienced a different view of the world will undermine the totalitarians. Especially young women.
We didn’t have to leave this way. Our leaders chose it. Many of those who made and implemented the policies we followed for 2 decades should be held accountable for their lies and corruption. Those responsible for this “ending” should be removed.
First among them is President Joseph Robinette Biden, who betrayed his trust in exchange for a photo op planned for today. That opportunity has vanished in shame and embarrassment. The President cannot not say a single word about sacrifice, unity, or honor that would not be seen as rank hypocrisy. His date certain, unconditional bug out was a cynical political stunt, the cost of which will still be with us 120 years hence. Biden’s quest for political advantage exceeded his fading grasp.
Biden sought to trumpet an end to the 9/11 war so he could make a political ad. Those who didn’t resign in the face of this venal fantasy are also culpable – because how could they not know the intent simply from reading the insane orders?
The President’s remarks will be now delivered prerecorded. He can’t speak clearly, and he can only answer scripted questions. I’ll not be listening, but I am grateful he won’t be on public display.
Here is a truncated, partial timeline of Biden’s perfidy:
On July 1st, Bagram Air Base was abandoned. Our forces slipped away in the night without notifying the Afghan Armed Forces. Biden apparently thought the Afghans wouldn’t take this amiss.
But, President Biden knew the Afghan government was shaky. On July 23rd he urged the President of Afghanistan in a phone conversation to cover it up.
“I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things are not going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban,” Biden said. “And there is a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.”
I think the picture was quite different for the Afghan President. Especially after we snuck away from Bagram, and left a huge cache of materiel to be looted.
I generally find “whataboutism” objectionable, but Trump was impeached for a more innocent phone call.
By August 15th, Afghan troops gave Bagram up and the Taliban took control. One could certainly predict this would erode the Afghan Armed Forces will to fight. It was also August 15th when people were climbing into helicopters from our embassy’s roof. Possession of Bagram would have been helpful in an evacuation, but the President had adamantly refused to authorize the troops needed to secure it. In any case, by August, we’d have had to seize it from the new Taliban owners.
As recently as September 1st the President’s press secretary is still obfuscating this phone call:
“”I’m not going to get into private diplomatic conversations or leaked transcripts of phone calls,” the press secretary told reporters Wednesday.
“The content of the reporting is consistent with what we have said many times publicly,” she added.”
That much, at least is true. That matters if you think anything they say is forthright. Here’s the President on July 8,
“There’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of a [sic] embassy in the—of the United States from Afghanistan. It is not at all comparable.”
Even the failure of that prediction did not prompt a reconsideration of methods or timing for extracting Americans from Kabul. Bagram, by then, being a moot point.
Maybe the President should at least have waited for the October 7th anniversary. We might have seen a better execution of the withdrawal and he could still have had his photo op.
As the helicopters left from the roof of our embassy the President retired to Camp David for a week; incommunicado with the American people.
The Taliban have now formed a provisional government including Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is currently wanted by the FBI to the tune of a $10 million reward; no women (Our State Department is disappointed: “We have made clear our expectation that the Afghan people deserve an inclusive government.”), and
I can’t help but think about what former President Obama said about president Biden:
“Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to fuck things up.”
…in this case Barry, he had help