She’s really building quite a legacy, isn’t she? The vice president’s issue portfolio entails immigration (an unmitigated and worsening disaster), “voting rights,” on which Democrats vastly overreached and failed, and COVID vaccinations – which she undermined with pre-election comments, in advance of her administration missing a key target, thanks in part to a serious lag among some core Democratic constituent groups. And as her communications team tries to convince reporters not to believe their lying eyes on immigration, she is actively working to ensure that journalists give her “credit” for playing a key role in the unfolding national humiliation and humanitarian catastrophe in Afghanistan. Politico reports:
Vice President Kamala Harris confirmed Sunday that she was the last person in the room before President Joe Biden made the decision to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan. In an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union,” Harris was asked about being the last person in the room regarding major decisions, something that Biden has said is important to him in his working relationship with the vice president. Harris confirmed that was the case regarding the move to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by Sept. 11…“This is a president who has an extraordinary amount of courage,” she said, regarding the decision. “He is someone, who I have seen over and over again, make decisions based on what he truly believes … is the right thing to do.”
Whether one agrees with it or not, it’s simply true that most Americans have grown weary of America’s military presence in Afghanistan, which has spanned nearly two full decades. Some of that skepticism is likely reinforced by the astonishing fragility of the country’s government in the absence of US support. Political leaders in both parties have campaigned and won on a message of disengagement for years now. Those who’ve argued in favor of an ongoing commitment – even if very limited in scope and aimed at buttressing stability – have by and large lost the argument. But I suspect that even many of those who agree that a US withdrawal was necessary, or long overdue, are appalled by the way the policy has been implemented by the Biden-Harris administration. In an interview last week, I asked retired four-star General Jack Keane about the situation on the ground, which only deteriorated further, extremely quickly, following our conversation:
Keane is firmly of the opinion that an ongoing, limited, low-casualty US presence in Afghanistan was the correct strategic policy, with the medium-to-long term goal of keeping international jihadist organizations at bay and preventing mass-casualty attacks against Americans. But the die was cast to pull US troops out of Afghanistan, and Keane is exasperated over the astoundingly reckless manner in which that decision has been carried out. He says the administration “most definitely” could have gone about the draw-down in a way that significantly mitigated the rapid spiral we’ve witnessed. For instance, he says the US could have been far more subtle about our timeline and movements, as opposed to publicly announcing deadlines and engagement limitations that have allowed the enemy to simply plan accordingly. Beyond that, he explains, US officials could have scheduled a non-announced exit for after prime fighting season, after the weather turns and Taliban forces largely recede into Pakistan. Others have made similar points. But other choices were made, and the result has been an astounding collapse of the Afghan forces and government, along with scenes and developments like this:
Staff being evacuated from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul overnight. pic.twitter.com/Q652sWFSkN
— Phillip Walter Wellman (@pwwellman) August 15, 2021
New: US officials now appealing to the Taliban to wait for the completion of the U.S. evacuation saying that doing so would increase "the likelihood that both the international community and Afghans will accept the Taliban’s entry into the capital." https://t.co/Di2An31uf8
— John Hudson (@John_Hudson) August 14, 2021
Taliban fighters on Sunday took over the Afghan capital as President Ashraf Ghani fled abroad, triggering a massive effort to airlift Western diplomats, civilians and Afghans likely to be targeted by the country’s new rulers. https://t.co/e83xFB09uS
— WSJ Politics (@WSJPolitics) August 15, 2021
The American government has been reduced to begging a terrorist group not to kill US personnel as they actively flee in desperation, leaving untold “collaborators” behind to be slaughtered. Even some observers who broadly favor the US departure from Afghanistan are downright aghast over Team Biden’s execution of the withdrawal:
Even among lawmakers who are broadly supportive of #Afghanistan withdrawal, or at least accepting of it, many are furious at the way it’s being done.
From a senior congressional staffer: pic.twitter.com/M6BYJ5gXZ9
— Ruffini (@EenaRuffini) August 14, 2021
And the notion that the Biden administration was somehow bound by Trump-era timetables (previous administrations sometimes set deadlines, then shifted them, based on intelligence and other on-ground realities) is laughable. This White House has reflexively discarded all sorts of Trump-era policies, including successful ones. So this talking point is not remotely credible:
The messaging today from Biden folks is both:
Pulling out was the right thing to do. The war had to end
But also Trump gave us no choice.
Blinken: “we inherited a deadline, negotiated by the previous administration. That deadline was May 1st.”
— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) August 15, 2021
“Did Biden also keep Keystone intact and stay out of the Paris Climate Accords?” asks a Republican leadership aide, puncturing Blinken’s ridiculous claim. Biden Democrats view themselves as the adults in the room, yet they’re pretending their own policy consequences aren’t really theirs to own on this, and acting as if their rhetoric and predictions simply don’t matter. People are noticing:
Axios: “Rarely has an American president's predictions been so wrong, so fast, so convincingly as President Biden on Afghanistan.
Usually military operations and diplomacy are long; the outcomes, foggy. Not here.”https://t.co/478u1sTzV1
— Josh Kraushaar (@HotlineJosh) August 15, 2021
— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahDispatch) August 15, 2021
I’ll leave you with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi echoing the same, embarrassing schlock we recently heard from the White House Press Secretary:
Pelosi: The Taliban must know that the world is watching its actions. We are deeply concerned about reports regarding the Taliban’s brutal treatment of all Afghans, especially women and girls.
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) August 15, 2021
How clueless does one need to be to try an appeal to the Taliban’s collective conscience? They are mercilessly murdering their enemies, and kidnapping young girls to be used as child brides. They don’t care about anyone’s sense of being on the right side of history,” or whatever. They know the “world is watching,” and they’re engaged in enthusiastic murder and rape. They’re the Taliban, for God’s sake. Finger-wagging is worse than useless. It’s an advertisement of ignorant impotence. And, amazingly, Kamala Harris wants everyone to know she was the last person in the room, counseling the president as he made this decision. It’s turned into an avoidable, disgraceful, bloody fiasco. The American president is effectively in hiding (which may somehow be preferable to possibly blowing CIA officers’ identities in rushed, pointless White House photo ops), and his top spokesperson is on vacation.
Author : Guy Benson