By William Hallowell | Editor
It is clear that Biden either doesn’t quite recognise the repercussions of the Afghanistan withdrawal – or he wilfully neglected the possible consequences and doesn’t care.
An “extraordinary success”. That is how President Biden described America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan on 31 August, the last day of the evacuation mission. This is disgraceful.
It is insulting to the Americans who have lost their lives, not only the thirteen Marines killed last Thursday, but in the last twenty years, fighting an evil, tyrannical ideology and regime – and all others who fought.
It is insulting to the families – the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives – of the men and women killed and wounded who still suffer as a result of the war today, be it physically or mentally. It is insulting to America’s allies, particularly the United Kingdom, for it is Biden who has cast doubt over our supposed ‘special relationship’ with our friends across the Atlantic.
It is also heavily insulting to the Afghans that America and its allies promised freedom and democracy to, and especially insulting to those we left to their mortal fates of the Taliban, collectively, who worked for us under the guise of friendship. The withdrawal from Afghanistan cannot, in any context or considering any number of factors, be considered a “success”. It has been totally humiliating from a selfish point of view – catastrophic for an international one. For this American President to declare the withdrawal a “success” by any measure is shameful and delusional – let alone it being “extraordinary”.
President Biden is either incapable of understanding the drastic, stomach-wrenching repercussions of his disastrous actions, unwilling to accept this from the perspective of trying to remain popular, or he genuinely couldn’t care for – what was a totally inconceivable landscape several months ago – the desperate legacy of Afghanistan and its people, which he is single-handedly responsible for creating.
This decision was partly motivated by a naïve, glorified idealism: ending the war, bringing the troops home, restoring the peace in Afghanistan – and then world peace. He may have brought home the troops, excluding the thirteen Marines who needlessly died… but the rest is a blatant failure. The “man” couldn’t even pay heartfelt, honest respects those who were killed last Thursday – he checked his watch, as they were being transported off the plane in Delaware, having been repatriated. Some accuse Donald Trump of being “unstatesmanlike”, and perhaps this is true; but there is nothing less stateman-like than a US President who cannot give condolences to the men that were killed as a result of his own actions. It is utterly shameful.
It is unthinkable that President Biden could have the nerve to tell the nation, and the rest of the world, that this was an “extraordinary success”. One wonders how the Afghans, especially the women and girls, would respond if he were to tell them the same thing – it is unlikely they would agree.
Taking the withdrawal at face-value, it would seem that the winners are the Taliban – they haven’t even had to do anything to claim governance of Afghanistan. They have, quite literally, been handed their victory: both politically through America and NATO’s departure and with Biden’s kind donations of American equipment, uniforms, weapons, Humvees, Blackhawks and more… what was once a weak, laughable, incoherent group of insurgents, now looks like a professional army, with thanks to President Biden’s charity.
However, as many are suggesting, perhaps the real “winners” of this withdrawal are the Chinese or the Russians. A huge vacuum has been created by America’s departure and both states stand to gain tremendously – but that’s a separate discussion.
Biden’s legacy has been determined by this chaotic turmoil. His whole political career will be defined, and rightly so, by these totally shambolic circumstances and his inconceivable decision to leave – and as for re-election, that is surely off the table.
Perhaps he is merely an idealist, so blinded by the naivety in the decision to leave Afghanistan that the realistic effects and consequences as a result of departing were neglected. Or perhaps, and it is seeming increasingly likely that this is true, he considered, then wilfully ignored, the possible repercussions of his arrogant idealism of America finishing the “forever war” and him taking the glory.
Image credit: Biden For President