As Liberty Nation foretold, the noose has closed. President of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani beat President Biden’s date for withdrawal by fleeing his people, capital, and responsibilities. Few are surprised. When the Biden administration started its precipitous withdrawal from Afghanistan – now named the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan – many predicted the country was doomed to fall.
As you might expect, there is no shortage of media commentary on the United States’ ignominious retreat from supporting the fledgling Afghan government and its security forces. The Biden administration’s rapid and forceful response was to lower the U.S. flag at the nation’s embassy and move what remains of its operations to the Kabul airport. The next move, according to Fox News sources, is that “government and aid organizations are scrambling to get a slew of citizens – including diplomats, dual nationals, aid workers and others – out of the country.”
The U.S. move to beat feet out is not a one-off. France also moved operations from its embassy to the airport as it attempted to evacuate citizens out of Afghanistan to Abu Dhabi. The Taliban has now occupied the presidential palace and raised its flag, declaring the establishment of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA).
Dispatches from Reuters reported, “Taliban officials told Reuters on Sunday there would be no transitional government in Afghanistan and that the group expects a complete handover of power.” This announcement is contrary to the statement made by Abdul Sattar Mirzakawal, the former government’s acting interior minister, the last man standing apparently. He had said, “power would be handed over to a transitional administration.” However, it doesn’t take a stroke of brilliance to ask why the Taliban would agree to a transitional government. It doesn’t have to make any concessions.
The latest from the former Afghan president, now in exile in Tajikistan, comes to us by way of a Facebook post, where he said, “on Sunday [August 15, 2021] he left the country in order to avoid bloodshed, as the Taliban entered the presidential palace in Kabul,” the wire service revealed.
The Fourth Estate Reacts
Where are the Biden foreign policy wonks in all this? Mainstream news media reported in an uncharacteristically critical way: “President Joe Biden and his administration struggled on Sunday [August 15, 2021] to project order amid a race by American and other foreign personnel to evacuate Afghanistan as Taliban fighters entered Kabul.” As CNN confessed, “Now, officials are frankly admitting they miscalculated.” The media outlet went on to quote the Secretary of State Antony Blinken, saying, “The fact of the matter is we’ve seen that that force has been unable to defend the country … And that has happened more quickly than we anticipated.”
So, despite frequent and continuous pronouncements by the Pentagon, the president, and U.S. national security to the contrary, they really did expect Kabul to fall. When the staggering amount of evidence pointed to the eventual outcome in Afghanistan, even the usual Biden administration apologist Jake Tapper pressed Blinken on his responses in an interview. Tapper asked:
“The idea that President Biden ordered 25-hundred service members out, and now is sending up to 5,000 service members back in, does that not on its face show that the exit was ineptly planned? And again, look, you told me a few months ago on this program that you thought it was entirely likely the Taliban would be taking over the country. But President Biden just last month, quote, ‘the likelihood of the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely,’ unquote. He was wrong.”
Such is just the beginning as the long knives are out for Biden and his administration. On Fox News, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told host Chris Wallace:
“It looks like the Biden administration has just failed in its execution of its own plan. It looks like they are trying to get their folks out. It reminds me of when we’ve seen previous administrations allow our embassies to be overrun. It starts to feel that way … We should put pressure on them. We should inflict costs and pain on them.”
He said that the Taliban becoming “aggressive” and “fearless” is a result of the Biden administration not putting “effective deterrence measures in place.”
Talking Points Abound
Left-leaning news outlets are beginning to see the truth. Politico, in an article headlined, “POLITICO Playbook: How the White House wants to spin the fall of Kabul,” lays out the predictable talking points. For example, in “Talking Point 1: ‘This is not Saigon,’” the outlet points out that even Democrats are proving unconvinced regarding the administration’s claim that the current situation is not a repeat of Vietnam.
On July 8, President Biden asserted, “The Taliban is not … the North Vietnamese army … 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.”
Reality, as described by Politico: “Today, the fall of Kabul appears imminent. In Kabul, ‘helicopters buzzed overhead to evacuate personnel from the US Embassy, while smoke rose near the compound as staff destroyed important documents,’ the AP reports from the ground.”
The article goes on to tear down each of the remaining four talking points with credible responses. Talking point number four was entirely predictable: “This is all Trump’s fault.” However, the authors point out accurately, “Biden is the one who decided to pull out US forces by the upcoming 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. That was his call, not Trump’s.” For President Biden, the demonstrated, undeniable bungling of the Afghanistan surrender will have legs in the press for some time. Again, from Politico:
“House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy exploded in anger over President Joe Biden’s handling of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan during a private briefing with senior administration officials on Sunday, calling it an ’embarrassment that will reverberate for decades.’”
In truth, the Republicans would probably be satisfied if the Biden administration wore its “embarrassment” with a tattooed scarlet IEA through the mid-term elections and through 2024. But, when it comes to the twenty-year trial for the U.S. in Afghanistan, as one official put it, “That’s it. It’s over.”
The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliation.