Over the past two weeks, the Biden administration has faced unprecedented criticism from all sides for its disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. While the decision to withdraw was consensual, the execution of the operation has been marked by serious mistakes for which President Biden and his team must be held accountable.
First, the rigidity of the timetable. By setting the symbolic date of September 11 to mark the twentieth anniversary of the New York attacks rather than tying the withdrawal to a series of conditions to be met by the Afghans, Joe Biden forced the US military to organize the withdrawal at the height of the fighting time of year, which favors the Taliban.
Second, the sequencing of operations. The hardly understandable decision to evacuate the military before the civilians proved catastrophic when Kabul fell to the Taliban and forced the Pentagon to rush 6000 troops back to hold the airport.
Third, the lack of consultation with the European allies involved in the NATO operation. Finally, the misjudgment of the speed of the Taliban advance and the ability of the Afghan army to contain it. This army, built, trained and equipped by the United States at a two-decade cost to American taxpayers of some $85 billion, collapsed and surrendered without fighting in only a few hours. Thus, thanks to Biden’s rookie mistakes, the ultimate beneficiary of the American investment turned out to be the Taliban.
The humiliation inflicted on the world’s leading military power and the enormous assessment and operational errors made by the Biden administration in such a short period of time legitimately raise fundamental geopolitical interrogations about the current and future role of the United States in the world.
Even the greatest supporters of Sleepy Joe, CNN, the Washington Post and the New York Times, loudly voiced their mounting concerns regarding the demonstrated debacle in front of the entire world of the U.S. Commander in Chief. Nevertheless, it is absolutely amazing to hear the negative comments by the Democratic establishment and to read the reports of the left-wing media on this fiasco. As if they all, suddenly, discovered that Joe Biden is unfit for the office of President. Hypocrites. Political charlatans who all knew the truth in advance, and who still decided to remain silent throughout Joe’s bid for the presidency of the United States.
All the warnings and evidence about Joe Biden’s cognitive decline were dismissed with disdain by the same bunch of storytellers who were criminally neglectful in overprotecting the senile frontrunner. Trump was the man to take down no matter what the cost to the country and the world of electing Biden. Well, they got him elected. And now what, they play the surprise card? No one can ever believe it.
Is this the first time the United States has left a country after wasting time, money and the lives of its soldiers? Certainly not. Will it be the last time? Most probably not. But it is certainly the first time in the American history that a President with an obviously deteriorating mental state, the oldest of all those elected before him, has stood and will stand for some time behind the Resolute desk in the Oval Office.
Some political pundits have compared the Afghanistan fiasco to Vietnam. Yet they seem to forget that there is a more recent example, when a Democratic President, Bill Clinton, hastily withdrew American troops from Somalia.
The story of this failure begins in January 1991, when Siyad Barré left power in Somalia. With the end of his regime, the population suffered civil war, massacres and looting. In April 1992, the Security Council created the first UN mission in Somalia, but it failed to meet its objectives. In December, the Security Council decided to send a 38,000-strong force, UNITAF, including 25,426 Americans, all under U.S. central command, to establish a secure environment for the delivery of humanitarian aid. The UNITAF-led operation has been dubbed “Restore Hope.” Twenty countries contributed troops to the $600 million operation. The United States covered 75 percent of the costs.
In March 1993, UNITAF gave way to UNOSOM II forces. It appeared that the UNOSOM II engagement had changed in character and turned into a partisan fight against one of the Somali leaders, General Aïdid. In August 1993, the U.S. Secretary of Defense took the fight against Aïdid a step further and decided to deploy a special force, Task Force Ranger, to capture Aïdid and his lieutenants.
On the afternoon of October 3, elite U.S. troops targeted the Olympia Hotel in Mogadishu, where the leaders of the Somali National Alliance, a movement led by Aïdid, were supposed to meet. This episode would later be called the “Battle of Mogadishu. As the intervention was about to end after the arrest of 24 Somalis, an MH-60 Black Hawk helicopter was shot down and crashed a little further away.
A rescue operation was immediately launched to recover the helicopter crew, but a second helicopter was hit by a projectile and crashed. During the night, a larger operation was mounted to try to recover the survivors and the dead. The next day, newspapers headlined: “A vision of horror yesterday in Mogadishu: the body of a dead American soldier was dragged through the streets amid the singing and dancing of the Somalis.”
The United States was deeply shocked by the images of the dead American soldier being dragged through the streets of the capital and then the helicopter pilot taken hostage, his face swollen and frightened. Moreover, these 18 dead and 73 wounded contradicted the “zero death” doctrine developed during the 1991 war against Iraq.
After the battle of Mogadishu, Clinton declared that it was a mistake for the United States to play the role of policeman in Somalia, and on October 6, 1993, he announced his decision to immediately withdraw U.S. troops from Somalia and hastily left the “restoration of hope” business unfinished.
The failure of the U.S. intervention in Somalia has generated a lot of criticism, but much less than the unanimous condemnation of grandpa Joe Biden’s fiasco in Afghanistan. Yet there are some similarities. In both cases, it was a Democratic President who was responsible for the poor planning of the operation and the withdrawal. Likewise, the result is once again a failure that will scar the hearts of the American people and facilitate the emergence of new terrorist movements in Afghanistan and surrounding countries.
That much for the comparative analysis, and yet Bill Clinton was never suspected of having a decaying brain, which would have disqualified him for the highest American office right away.
Returning to the great dance of hypocrites, what is actually most surprising about the commentary on the Afghanistan disaster is the exaggerated astonishment expressed vehemently by all those who knew from the start that President Biden is simply incapable of performing the presidential function properly. This factual observation is not meant to be mean-spirited, nor is it meant to play on the partisan string to justify that Trump’s re-election was a better option (which, by the way, it certainly was!).
What is at issue here is that all of those who planned and organized grandpa Joe’s presidential bid, those who ran his campaign, those who defended his candidacy on TV screens, radio, newspapers and social media, those who went door-to-door handing out flyers printed with his smiling face, the Democratic Party leaders, Congressmen and Senators who lobbied relentlessly for his election, all bear the heavy responsibility for the current situation and the for the monumental loss of credibility of the United States worldwide.
The anger and bewilderment reflected by Biden’s former cheerleaders in the American left-wing media are false. It is just another effort to avoid taking responsibility for their past unreserved support. They now claim to be unable to hide their disappointment in the President and his administration, but they have all been forewarned and no longer have the right to pretend that they did not know what a disastrous storm was coming to Washington.
What is more, throughout his decades of public service, grandpa Joe has earned a reputation for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, and President Obama’s former defense secretary, Robert Gates, wrote in his memoirs that Biden ‘has been wrong on nearly every foreign policy and national security issue over the last four decades’. After the debacle in Kabul, another decade can be added.
Doctors say the regular flubs of grandpa Joe – which occur at nearly every press conference – are further evidence of Biden’s severe and irreversible cognitive decline. In recent weeks, the 78-year-old President – let’s emphasize again – the oldest man ever elected to the highest office in the United States – has made a series of contradictory statements that were denied by the State Department and the Defense Department moments later in each case.
The President has previously suffered two brain aneurysms and a heart condition, which makes the muscle beat too fast and causes dizziness and confusion. Biden also suffers from a well-documented stammer. But anytime Biden has been asked if he’s physically able to carry out such a demanding position, he been quick to knock any notion that he can’t. The master of disaster is definitely enthusiastic to keep his position as long as possible. But a recent poll of American voters concluded that 52 percent said they are not confident Biden is up to the most powerful job in the world while more than a third – 41 percent – said they are ‘not confident at all.’
President Trump’s former medical doctor, Ronny Jackson, has led calls for Biden to undergo the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, a 30-point test that helps evaluate memory impairment. In an interview on Fox News in July, Mr Jackson said there was clearly something “concerning” happening with the President. “I think he’s demonstrating every single day that there is something going on,” he said. You don’t need to be a physician to look at this behavior and see there’s something concerning happening.” He added: “You can go back – there’s 40 years of tape of this man – he’s always made gaffes and stuff but these are different, he’s confused, he’s disoriented. “He’s just not ageing gracefully at this point.”
The blame game for the Afghanistan debacle has already begun and it has increasingly shifted to a key voice in the President’s ear, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, who is normally tasked with warning the President of the consequences of such decisions. But make no mistake. The people to blame are described above. Not isolated individuals on the Biden team. Not the generals. Not the military. Joe Biden is the root of the disaster.
The dancing hypocrites will never admit their mistake to support his election. They will yell and wiggle, in a desperate attempt to divert attention from their historical responsibility. But there is no escaping reality. The world today is far less safe than it was before grandpa Joe was elected and took office eight months ago.
Even more, as the Taliban return Afghanistan to barbarism and welcome back their old terrorist mates to their safe haven, the world became suddenly a lot more dangerous than it was even three weeks ago. A flood of refugees will soon be heading to the United States and to Europe. In the meantime, the Taliban is now dictating terms. And the U.S. is obeying politely. The CIA Director is paying a visit to the new rulers. What could be more humiliating for the world’s greatest superpower?
After the Afghanistan debacle, it is also no longer about containing Russian or Chinese influence. That part of the deal has clearly failed so far to their advantage. It’s about preventing the dismantling of the world order as it has been known since World War I, with America’s central role in it. Unfortunately, with Biden at the helm, America’s leadership is largely compromised.
The truth is that by weaking America, Biden is undermining the building blocks of our civilization. Despite this earthquake-scale threat, the hypocrites will most likely continue to praise Biden’s ongoing legacy. For the rest of us, this is only the beginning of the four-year long nightmare of unpredictable consequences for the U.S. and for the world.