First, let us be very clear about a few things. If this was a war, then our action was not a withdrawal, it was an unconditional surrender to the Taliban. That should be obvious because our enemy in that war is now in charge of the entire country, and we are fleeing like a routed army.
The Taliban now controls the national treasury, the infrastructure, the natural resources, the military equipment and advanced weaponry (mostly American), the technology and intellectual assets, and the law-making apparatus. For the first time, the Taliban has an air force. They have the spoils of war that always fall to the victor.
They also have the enhanced influence and power that comes with victory. They have made America look weak and feckless. They have beaten a nation that brags about having the most powerful military on earth. Our international adversaries can now be more emboldened in their activities that are not in line with American interests and security. Our allies are now even less trustful of American leadership AND moral commitment.
The Biden administration has put its spin on the events, but it is blabber that seems totally disconnected to the realities we see on the ground. It is double-talk. Understandably, Biden’s defensive narratives are falling flat because his decision to surrender in Afghanistan is devoid of any redeeming value.
In his pathetic address to the nation, Biden said that he does not regret his decision. He would not change it even if he foresaw the epic human tragedy that is occurring in Afghanistan. He took full responsibility by confirming that the buck stops at his desk. That is especially true since he rejected the advice of his military and intelligence advisors.
Yet, in an example of political double-talk, Biden whined that he had no choice because of President Trump’s earlier agreement. That is a big lie. Of course, he had all options open to him – including reject any informal agreement the Trump administration might have entered into with the Taliban. Ironically, Biden was placing the blame on Trump for doing what Biden intended to do all along – what he would have done even if Trump had not started the process. Even without Trump’s ill-advised decision to pull out of Afghanistan, Biden was on record of doing just that. If Biden is so sure he did the right thing, why does he need Trump to blame?
The man who claimed the buck stopped at his desk also spent a lot of his national speech blaming the Afghan government, the military and even the people for walking away from the fight. More double-talk because Biden – and Trump – were the first to walk away from the fight.
Biden pulled a series of double-crosses in his unilateral decision to precipitously retreat from Afghanistan. America, through Biden, joined his predecessors in assuring the Afghan people that America would not abandon them. He lied when he told the world that he believed the Afghan government was now strong enough to wage a winning war against the Taliban. Even as he ordered the removal of all American military – excluding those who protect our embassies – his advisors were predicting the Taliban takeover.
Biden, his Secretary of State Antony Blinken, his Foreign Policy Advisor Jake Sullivan and Defense Department Spokesperson John Kirby all said the same thing. “We did not expect the Taliban to take over so quickly.” That clearly suggests that even as the Biden administration was giving Afghan leaders and the world a rose-colored-glasses optimistic view, they knew that the Afghan government would fall to the Taliban in the near future – just not so quickly.
That means that Biden was lying again when he announced to the world that he believed the Afghan government had the ability to resist the Taliban. That may have been the cruelest double-cross of all. They appear to have been hoping that the fall of Afghanistan would not be so directly connected to Biden’s decision. Was the Taliban takeover expected or not expected? More double-talk.
Biden and his various spokespersons all alluded to a “plan” that covered all contingencies. Sullivan underscored that bit of bogus butt-covering by excusing the chaotic and deadly aftermath as what normally happens when wars are concluded. But this was not the conclusion of a war, it was a surrender.
And even as they said such chaos is normal, they rejected anything that suggested a Saigon-like departure. They must be too busy to watch television. The only difference between Kabul and Saigon is that the situation on the ground in Kabul is far worse than what we saw in Saigon – and the likely long-term aftermath will be worse than Vietnam for the people of Afghanistan and the future security of the United States. More double-talk.
Despite their best efforts, Biden and his spokespersons are learning that no amount of spin or double-talk can conceal the reality of this humongous foreign policy disaster – and it is not over yet.
So, there ‘tis.