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Everyone’s Fault But His Own: Biden’s Afghanistan Shame

Posted on Monday, August 16, 2021
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AMAC Exclusive By: Daniel Roman

Biden

At 11 a.m. Eastern Time, Sunday, August 15, 2021, John Kirby, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs took to a podium to announce that “Kabul is not, right now, in an imminent threat environment.” The exact timing of this statement is important, both because at the moment he made it, Taliban fighters were already driving through the streets of Kabul – images which found their way into the replies to Kirby’s tweet – and because by the time this article is published, Kabul in all probability, will no longer be in an imminent threat environment. As of 5PM on August 15, a few hours after Kirby’s statement, Taliban fighters were already gleefully sharing images of themselves within the Afghan Presidential palace.

Secretary of State Blinken at least admitted that the speed of the Taliban advance “surprised” the administration. But he then proceeded to deny the administration had any responsibility for the disaster—not for the decision the leave Afghanistan, which he blamed on the preceding Administration, not for the bungled way in which the withdrawal was handled, and not for the failure to evacuate more than 10% of the 19,000 Afghans granted special visas for assisting US forces.

In fact, Blinken repeated a familiar line. The Afghan withdrawal was a decision of the previous administration, and that the way the withdrawal occurred was a consequence of the decision of the Trump Administration to sign a deal with the Taliban. Had the Biden Administration not withdrawn on schedule, the Taliban might have resumed the war. (Exactly what the Taliban been doing the last few weeks if not war may be a question beyond Blinken or Kirby’s competences, though to be fair, a war usually is less one-sided than what seems to have been going on.)

It is worth taking on Blinken’s accusations (or justifications?) directly because they appear to be a narrative that will become the administration’s defense of the greatest military and logistical fiasco in US history. Though the administration is right when they say Kabul is not Saigon (though Blinken perhaps would have been better advised to not have repeated that line 11 times in 7 minutes during a Sunday interview), the fact is the South Vietnamese army put up far more of a fight, and the evacuation was, at least in contrast, a well-executed operation involving airlifts to US Navy ships off the coast.

First there is the issue of withdrawal. It is true that Donald Trump ran on promising a withdrawal and worked to carry it out. But a withdrawal did not have to end with a collapse of the Afghan government, and a Taliban takeover did not have to involve a total failure to properly evacuate Americans or allies. Donald Trump made clear what his terms for withdrawal were, and most importantly made them clear to the Taliban. Throughout 2020 the Taliban did not take a single city, and Donald Trump made clear where his redlines were.

Furthermore, the entire basis of any cease-fire or peace agreement is that war will be resumed if one side violates its terms. The attitude Blinken revealed, ie. fear that if the US did not withdraw ahead of the deadline the Taliban would resume the war, indicated that the Taliban did not need the deal, or any deal with the United States to get a US withdrawal. All they had to do was threaten to advance, or as things turned out, actually advance. By justifying the timeline for withdrawal not on the basis of the deal, but on the basis of fear of the Taliban, Blinken and Biden informed the Taliban that the US feared them, and therefore all but told them they were under no obligation to keep the deal or any terms within it. The administration failed the test of negotiation 101.

This is in marked contrast to the Trump Administration, which made clear that the US did not fear inflicting massive damage on the Taliban if the Taliban acted in a way which changed the cost-benefit-analysis. Trump was withdrawing not because he feared the Taliban, but because he had made a promise to the American people and believed it was in America’s interests to leave Afghanistan. Because Trump justified the withdrawal on the basis of America’s interests, it was clear to the Taliban that if they acted in a way which made a continued US presence in Afghanistan more beneficial to US interests than a withdrawal in the eyes of Donald Trump, the US would not leave. Hence, they had every incentive to behave in a way which convinced the previous administration that a withdrawal was compatible with US interests.

What changed under Biden was that the US stopped negotiating. A negotiation involves asking for things in exchange for concessions. But the Taliban could have been forgiven if they had no idea what the Biden administration wanted from them. By Blinken’s own testimony on August 15th, the US asked for nothing from the Taliban. So the Taliban did not even know how they could behave in a manner which would make the US see a withdrawal as in American interests even if they wanted.

That is a critical concession. It is likely the Taliban wanted the US out of Afghanistan as quickly as possible and if the US had asked for the right to not just withdraw unmolested, but also to evacuate 70-100,000 Afghans who had worked with US forces, the Taliban would have agreed. It is not as if the Taliban would have been harmed from doing so. It would have allowed them to take power in a transitional government as they are now, but also it would have avoided opening their rule with bloodshed.

Missed by the Biden Administration officials, so obsessed with denying the reality of their situation that they refused to act to mitigate it, was that the Afghans who worked with America pose a problem for the Taliban. Left alive and remaining in Afghanistan, they have military training and close links which could make them the core of any future resistance. If they are slaughtered, however, the Taliban will open their rule in front of the world media with the mass murder of Afghans who are the focus of international attention. Allowing them to leave for the West is actually the most convenient option for the Taliban – if only the Biden administration could have coordinated a successful evacuation effort.

Negotiations are not about merely talking, which is what it appears is all that occurred in Doha between the Taliban and United States under the Biden administration. They involve looking at the reality of the situation and coming to arrangements which would be beneficial to both sides. Biden is correct that a deal with the Taliban probably could not have saved the Afghan government. That is because the Afghan government would have needed to be able to save itself. If the US was not going to save it, and it could not save itself, then of course the Taliban were not going to concede power. But the Afghan government was not a party to the talks by the choice of the Biden administration. The United States and Taliban could have come to a mutually agreeable deal to allow for an organized US withdrawal, permit the safe emigration of Pro-Western Afghans, and allow the Taliban to avoid a bloodbath at the start of their rule. Biden offered everything and asked for nothing, not even the things the Taliban wanted to give him.

Here lies the true crime of the Biden Afghanistan policy. If defeat truly was inevitable and a Taliban takeover was unstoppable, then the correct course was not to bury one’s head in the sand but to mitigate the harms as best as possible. But the Biden administration seemed determined to deny reality as long as possible. At a July 8th Press Conference Biden insisted that “the Taliban is not the South — the North Vietnamese army. They’re not — they’re not remotely comparable in terms of capability. There’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of a embassy in the — of the United States from Afghanistan. It is not at all comparable.”

The Biden Administration was so scared of being blamed for a collapse they believed was inevitable that acknowledging it publicly – either by planning for it, actually evacuating Afghans, or negotiation with the Taliban on the basis of a takeover, was unthinkable. As a result, the administration did not evacuate, did not negotiate with the Taliban even on things the Taliban would have wanted to concede, and lied to both the Afghans and American people. When the Afghans saw they had been lied to, they defected, with the Afghan Army melting away. We have yet to see how the American people will feel about an administration which lied to them.

This lying – to the world, to the American people, even to themselves, stands as an appalling act of moral cowardice. To be defeated in Afghanistan is a tragedy, and one which has multiple authors, not least Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Dick Cheney, whose daughter is currently busy serving as Democratic window dressing on the January 6th commission. But the catastrophe which accompanied this withdrawal is entirely on Biden and his team and no one else. They will have the lives of tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands on their hands. It was not inevitable. It would not even have cost them or the United States anything of substance. The Taliban might well have given them our Afghan allies and an orderly withdrawal if they had but asked. All they had was their ego and image, and they traded maintaining both for an extra few weeks for countless lives. They should hang their heads in shame.

Daniel Roman is the pen name of a frequent commentator and lecturer on foreign policy and political affairs, both nationally and internationally. He holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics.

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Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
2 years ago

Dems had No plan day 1 since Saigon 1975 to date

Steve
Steve
2 years ago

The blame game has become so prominent with the left. Every situation becomes someone else’s fault even if it is a bold lie. Biden’s a master at this

Rhonda M Holub
Rhonda M Holub
2 years ago

Seven months to world disaster with America at the center has to be a new world record! Way to go Democratic Regime, you be the team to beat!

Catharine Noel-Repetski
Catharine Noel-Repetski
2 years ago

Get rid of Biden and Harris. Bring back Trump, he is the true President!

Jerry Lessardd
Jerry Lessardd
2 years ago

Nobody can say Biden is going or gone back into his childhood,He never grew up. He started out as a dirty coward as a kid.He stayed that way

liam coh
liam coh
2 years ago

Seems that China wins this round, setting US up for a knockout.

Tom Baldwin
Tom Baldwin
2 years ago

hang all TRAITORS!

Tim J
Tim J
2 years ago

If America wasn’t able to defeat that little, rag-tag “army” of Afghan sheep-herders, nomads, and poppy growers then the “shame” is on every U.S. President of more than 20 years. Repubs AND Dems. Afghanistan isn’t now nor has it ever been a threat to America. But while America played Global Police Force there … she ignored the much greater threat — Communist China!!! The only reason the USA and her CIA masters were in Afghanistan in the first place is to feed Big Pharma with opiates gathered in that region. In other words … America was an active member of the drug trade. We should have pulled out of Afghanistan years and years ago. Who cares if the Taliban (Afghanistan’s version of right wing patriots) want their country back. I’d want America back if she was occupied for 20 years by foreign invaders too. Far more dangerous to America than the Taliban is the Marxist Democrat Party and their allies in the Republican Party. That’s a fact — Jack!!

Glenn
Glenn
2 years ago

Maybe Blinken should have had his 2 mythical brothers (“Winken” & “Nod”) to help him with the news from Afghanistan !!

Paul W
Paul W
2 years ago

Everything…EVERY SINGLE THING that this nitwit and his overlords that run this treasonous regime have done since Jan. 20 has put this nations security in extreme peril while benefitting our enemies. This buffoon is a sellout and a traitor…period!

Sonia Yearwood
Sonia Yearwood
2 years ago

We need TRUMP NOw!

John Bonds
John Bonds
2 years ago

Yep, all Trump’s fault, just like the fiasco on our border, double gas prices, runaway inflation, etc.,etc…..in fact, Trump probably killed JFK.

Sheila
Sheila
2 years ago

How about signing a national petition to impeached the
Biden Administration.

par
par
2 years ago

What a debacle. Now the Democratic higher Archy pointing fingers at each other.

John Karkalis
John Karkalis
2 years ago

Mr Biden owns this and like his butt, it will follow him wherever he goes.
Antony Blinken said, “It’s not the same as Saigon 1975”.
As Mother said, “It looks like deja vu all over again.” (Yogi Berra stole that from Mother).
Those of us who remember and served in Vietnam will never forget the image of the last helicopter taking off from the roof of the embassy in Saigon.
My politically astute tabby cat, Louie, sees it this way:
One of the houses will flip in 2022. If the House, then Devin Nunes will take over the chair of the Intelligence committee. If the Senate flips, Mario Rubio will chair the Senate Intelligence committee.
Either way an investigation will be held to expose the woeful incompetence of the administration.
Donald Trump, his advisors and his supporters will not let this blunder be forgotten until November 2024.
A lot of Amac members believe the administration unraveled on January 21. The fall of Kabul could be the bullet that finished it off.

curtis
curtis
2 years ago

I think its a disgrace. Should had left advisors there like we did in Korea, Germany. and other countries. The world is getting to a point that countries we pledge to stand by them will not believe us. Again, another Vietnam. I really believe Biden doesn’t really know what he’s doing! Hes driving this country into the ground!

Greta
Greta
2 years ago

Kirby is an obuma holdover and he is a n ignorant lefty. The entire group in charge, especially milley are a disgrace to real Americans.

Rick
Rick
2 years ago

This shame full mess showcases the incompetence of Biden, Austin and Milley.
Sec. of Defense Austin and Head of the joint chiefs Gen, Milley should have spent more
time reading intell reports and less time trying to indoctrinate the troops in Critical Race Theory,
Both of these incompetent butt holes should be fired….. and the demented old fart we call
a president should resign.
GOD HELP US WE WE HAVE TO FACE THE CHINESE !!!

Ron
Ron
2 years ago

Back in the 1990s I worked with a man who knew Joe and his dad personally. He always said Joe’s dad was a smart guy and good statesman. He considered Joe to be a putz. Guess nothing has changed.

BAE
BAE
2 years ago

Joe Biden is a coward and a fool and he is our president. The president from Hell out to destroy the United States of America. With the media on his side and people like Pelosi and Schumer. Small hate groups taking over, CRT, mask mandates. GOD help us.

Chuck
Chuck
2 years ago

If Biden had any sense of dignity or character, he would take ownership of this debacle. If he did, he might recoup some respect he so desperately needs. Being in true Biden form he will deny all responsibility, blame President Trump, dig a bigger hole and attempt to move on. It’s time for legitimate impeachment or invoke the 25th amendment. This one incident is not why impeachment or removal by physical incapacitation is being suggested. It’s the whole culmination of behavior by Biden since taking office that these actions should be considered regardless of the party in power. The country’s future is in need of it.

Ruth Pierce
Ruth Pierce
2 years ago

We don’t have a president–we have a sniveling coward as Commander-in-Chief. That’s nothing but detrimental to the U.S. citizens. I’m not convinced that he was LEGALLY elected last year (2020). It’s just deja-vu (the 2000 presidential election)! Remember the “hanging chads” that caused delays in 2020 in determining who would be president–Al Gore or George W. Bush. Fortunately it turned out well. Joe Biden has to go–whether by impeachment or other means–I don’t much care what method is used! I want the United States to remain a republic; not a communist nation!!

Joan
Joan
2 years ago

We can’t wait for 2024 to get this administration out of office. Look what has been done
since January 2021 in destroying our Country. Now Korea wants to get together with China
to take down the US. Demented Biden blames Pres. Trump for everything that goes wrong
with his Administration. It is about time Americans awakened to what is going on in this Country.
President Trump had peace agreements signed and everything was quiet while he was in office.
it is such a shame that our Military fought so hard over in the big “A” and so many lives lost. I
feel so sorry for the families that lost loved ones. Old man Biden should go back to his basement
in Delaware and stay there.

Burt Prater
Burt Prater
2 years ago

An excellent summary of the current situation!

Joe M
Joe M
2 years ago

Providing we have a future……Biden will go down in history as the worst president ever !! He has taken first place from Woodrow Wilson and/or Jimmy Carter.

Ruth A Lance
Ruth A Lance
2 years ago

Wow, what a blame game it has been for 7 months. Stupidity and cowardice take over our country.

Tom C
Tom C
2 years ago

So let me get this straight, President Biden reversed a slew of Trump’s policies on his first days in office but this one he couldn’t touch? Even though the intelligence department, as I understand it, predicted exactly this current scenario albeit with a slower time line. Come on man!

Kathy West
Kathy West
2 years ago

Apparently, Biden & his administration, Senate & House are geared for ONE thing…One World Order. Their attitude is ‘Who Cares’. Do people realize THEY are using Our Tax Dollars to END the USA as we know it. They do NOT care if people are or have been killed. They forget that if we DON’T work, there are NO TAXES. OOPS!! If we don’t elect some DECENT PEOPLE into office & oust the bloodsuckers we ARE to blame. I don’t want a Socialist/Communist government. I want my America back. God Help and Protect the people of Afghanistan from the ravages of the taliban. Biden and his ilk are incompetent, murderous, hateful and hypocritical. (Trump is NOT at fault, it is Biden) MYPOV

John C D'Amico
John C D'Amico
2 years ago

In addition to shutting the Pipeline, allowing the Southern border to be over run, supporting the Russian Pipeline, Green New Deal and now has sealed his legacy with his actions in Afghanistan. I will call it: Biden’s Dunkirk!!

Philip Hammersley
Philip Hammersley
2 years ago

If DIMMs had any sense of SHAME (they don’t), Woke Milley. Blinken, and Biden would all RESIGN! How will any country (Taiwan, Ukraine, S. Korea) have ANY confidence in the US under these incompetent GOOBERS?

GKP
GKP
2 years ago

This scuz ball biden should be impeached as well as the maid kamala harris//This has got to resonate with the media and every liberal tv channel/Just think in 6 months what has happened=Afghanistan disaster/southern border out of control/vaccine and masks and zero true help from cdc or this regime in the white house/next the kids going back to school and CRT which biden promotes/ China and Russia laughing at this moron/and the price of gas because he shut down our pipelines from Alaska/THESE PROBLEMS DID NOT EXIST JUST 6 MONTHS AGO AND A MAN NAMED TRUMP WAS IN CHARGE/WAKE UP AMERICA AND GET THIS IDIOT OUT OF OFFICE///////////////////////////////

Tish
Tish
2 years ago

Ya can’t go much lower than the current bunch of lying crooks, but they can still surprise me with a new low coming soon. These fools have had held us hostage for months, and why we aren’t all storming the gates is beyond me. They’ll still be blaming Trump in 2024 when Trump’s reelected, and I’ll be dancing in the street when he is.

CoNMTX
CoNMTX
2 years ago

He can’t count that high. He would run out of fingers.

Mike B.
Mike B.
2 years ago

The Biden administration’s handling of this withdrawal has been calculated to further weaken America’s standing on the world stage. It was just another way to slap America in the face and erode our belief in America’s superiority. It will have to come to civil war 2.0, be it at the polls or in our streets, to get rid of these freedom hating individuals known as Democrats. As we come out of these endless pandemic restrictions, we are seeing higher inflation in fuel, food, housing and most other commodities, reducing our national wealth in order to break the backs of middle class Americans.

Ralph S
Ralph S
2 years ago

It sure looks like the entire Biden Administration and the Joint Chiefs are smoking some of Hunter’s Parmesan!

Bob L.
Bob L.
2 years ago

The only way I can view the current regime in Washington is with this description – FUBAR, in all ways from the day they assumed power.
At least, so far, our embassy there has not come under attack as the consulate in Benghazi suffered.

Old Silk
Old Silk
2 years ago

We really should not have to partake of the dysfunction of the people in this administration and those they have chosen to surround themselves with in the military. But that is how they have always lived. Look at the family.

Edit: “have” chosen to.

Gloria Griggs
Gloria Griggs
2 years ago

Heartbreaking.

Ralph S
Ralph S
2 years ago

Thanks to the Biden Administration The “BUCK’ doesn’t stop Here with the President anymore.
It’s not even worth a wooden nickel thanks to inflation!

Jeff
Jeff
2 years ago

This incompetent President and Administration wl ne er take responsibility for anything and will continue to get a free pass by Democrats,rinos and the MSM. Hold on to your hats as the ride is going to careen out of control a great deal faster

Susan
Susan
2 years ago

If you get rid of Joe, then we have Harris. Get rid of Harris and the Presidency falls to Pelosi !!!!

Old Vet
Old Vet
2 years ago

SCOTUS chose not to hear Texas and other states’ challenges to the PA vote count. The U.S. Constitution clearly gives the legislature of each state the power to establish that state’s voting process. The PA supreme court ignored the PA legislature and allowed votes to count that violated the legislature’s design. Those illegal votes negated the votes of those in other states. Had SCOTUS heard the case and ruled in favor of the constitution, Biden would not be president; and tens of thousands of Afghans would not suffer the rape, torture and murder going on now and that will continue into the future. The Biden administration set the conditions that unleashed the brutality now claiming innocents in Afghanistan. The SCOTUS owns part of the responsibility for the near biblical suffering that is just beginning.

Steven Meisels
Steven Meisels
2 years ago

Very simple. Biden has betrayed this country and all of of our allies.

Daniel Garwood
Daniel Garwood
2 years ago

The incompetence of the leadership of the military and intelligence agencies is breath taking. I want resignations now! That also goes for politicians, both republican and democrat. Incompetence and malfeasance must have negative consequences!

JudyG46
JudyG46
2 years ago

Having lived in Afghanistan for 12 years, both in Kandahar and Kabul, back in the day when there was a King, the women were Doctors, Nurses, Lawyers,Teachers, etc., went to college, children went to school, there were record stores, ‘sock hops’, people dressed in ‘westernized’ clothing with skirts, dresses, men with suit and tie and life was ‘good’. After the Taliban came in we were evacuated. Husbands, brothers, fathers who fought against the Taliban were killed. Women were left to fend for themselves and their families no longer “allowed” to practice their professions and were forced to beg on the streets and wear chador (equivalent to burka). It was quite a nice experience at the time and I learned a lot about Islam, the local Muslim peoples (who, I might add, we just average people much like us and were terrified of the radical, Islamist Terrorists who control by fear).

So, Mr. Biden, what you have done over there is a travesty. Subjecting innocent, uneducated people with families to a life of abject poverty, fear and terrorism. Shame on YOU.

earl siegfried
earl siegfried
2 years ago

Simple- Birdbrain Biden has got to go

John Karkalis
John Karkalis
2 years ago

A small pebble can bring an engine to a halt. A very small man can bring a nation to its knees.

Frances O'Toole
Frances O'Toole
2 years ago

I am truly sickened by the Biden administration. What incompetent people. Playing with the lives of our dedicated men and women but also betraying anyone who has helped us during this time. How can you not have a plan in place to make sure all the American citizens and Afghanistan translators and their families were safely out of the country. What kind of Generals do you have running this debacle? Biden and Harris and that entire administration should be removed from office now. Too many people have been killed or maimed to allow this incompetency to go on one more day! Such betrayal to our military and citizens!

Art
Art
2 years ago

I BELIEVE THAT YOU ALL COVERED THINGS WELL. BIDEN,LLOYD AUSTIN, AND SEVERAL OTHERS ARE JUST GARBAGE AND SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE. EVERYTHING IS A SURPRISE TO THESE DOLTS. AS THIS GOES DOWN THE TOILET,MANY WHO SERVED WILL BE DEAD,WOUNDED OR JUST FORGOTTEN. INCLUDING OUR WARRIORS ,OUR NATO PARTNERS AND THE AFGHANS WHO ACTUALLY FOUGHT.

JOEY I DON’T WANT TO HEAR THAT IT WAS TRUMP’S FAULT. YOU AND YOUR MILITARY AND INTELLIGENCE STAFFS ARE INCOMPETENT.

HIDE IN YOUR NEW CELLAR AT CAMP DAVID. EVEN YOUR STAFF IS HIDING. NICE JOB JOEY!

THIS WILL PRODUCE MANY DEATHS PLUS YOU ARE PROPOSING TO MOVE OUR AFGHAN FRIENDS TO MILITARY BASES ALREADY FILLED UP WITH THE SOUTHERN INVASION FORCE.

Gunny Joe
Gunny Joe
2 years ago

Our Nation must learn that there is no such thing as a limited war! Look through our history of armed conflict, with the exception of 5 or 6 that was all out war, the rest was go in with some form of a plan and then get out with a loss of people, money and most important a loss of National Dignity. Folks having served 20 years +, three tours in Viet Nam. I understand there is no such thing as a police action, or limited war, with rules of engagement safe zones or what have you. Nor is it run from the OVAL OFFICE. If you are going to fight fight to win, which is not something that will look good on the 6 pm news. To fight a war you must brake thing and kill, on a level that the American Public very seldom accepts.

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