Thomas Gallatin / August 19, 2021

Biden on Afghanistan: ‘I Don’t Know How That Happened’

The bigger problem is not the failed exit strategy but his dangerous ineptitude.

Back in the White House after having cut short his vacation, ostensibly to deal with the fall of Afghanistan into Taliban hands and the thousands of Americans now caught behind enemy lines, Joe Biden decided to address the nation about … the plan to provide a COVID vaccine booster shot. It was an obvious attempt to deflect from the continuing fallout from one of the worst foreign policy disasters in U.S. history. Biden, totally out of his depth and suffering from serious cognitive decline, is somehow accomplishing the feat of making Jimmy Carter look competent.

But the absurd deflection stunt hasn’t worked, as Americans are still demanding answers. To make matters worse, excerpts released from a soon-to-air interview with ABC talkinghead and former Clintonista George Stephanopoulos show that Biden unintentionally exposes the reality that is now dawning on more Americans: He is the problem.

Stephanopoulos: “You don’t think this could have been handled — this exit could have been handled better in any way, no mistakes?”

Biden: “No, I don’t think it could have been handled in a way that, we’re gonna go back in hindsight and look — but the idea that somehow, there’s a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don’t know how that happens.”

Stephanopoulos: “So, for you, that was always priced into the decision?”

Biden: “Yes. … Now exactly what happened, I’ve not priced in. I’ve not priced in. But I knew that they’re going to have an enormous — look, one of the things we didn’t know is what the Taliban would do in terms of trying to keep people from getting out. What they would do. What are they doing now? They’re cooperating, letting American citizens get out, American personnel get out, embassies get out, et cetera, but they’re having — we’re having some more difficulty having those who helped us when we were in there.”

Just over a month ago, on July 8, Biden expressed the exact opposite sentiment: “The likelihood the Taliban is going to be overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely.” So, was Biden lying then, or is he lying now? Or does he even remember what he said in July?

Furthermore, the assertion that the CIA, DIA, and NSA all “missed” this surge is either absurd or mortifying.

When asked if our military would stay until all Americans are out, and if that could be done by his August 31 deadline, Biden deflected: “We’re going to do everything in our power to get all Americans out and our allies out. … [We’re] going to try to get it done.” However, Stephanopoulos pressed again about troops staying beyond that deadline, and Biden insisted, “If there’s American citizens left, we’re going to stay until we get them all out.”

Well, Biden better get Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Gen. Mark Milley on the phone after their presser yesterday. The pair stated that they cannot guarantee the safety of Americans caught in Afghanistan, and they were coy on whether the deadline for troops would be extended. Who’s in charge here? Again, all this happened after Biden’s failed diversionary COVID booster shot press conference.

The debate has been about Biden’s failed strategy, but the real focus should be Biden himself. Biden is the problem. Getting out of Afghanistan and how it was handled are in some ways secondary to this bigger issue. Mark Alexander, who extensively covered this debacle yesterday, put it this way: “All the focus in the coming weeks will be on Biden’s failed American retreat strategy and his effort to deflect blame, but the problem was not his plan, it is the man. The Taliban have no fear of Joe Biden, which is why they seized Afghanistan in just days. And they have confirmed that the world’s tyrants need have no fear of Biden. The consequences of Biden’s now-obvious failure as an American commander-in-chief have immediate and dire implications for our national security that extend far beyond the borders of Afghanistan.”

As the situation devolves, members of his administration are running for cover and pointing fingers of blame at each other. No one is offering consistency, least of all Biden. He appears absolutely inept as he attempts to navigate a geopolitical disaster with a mind befuddled with 50 years of Washington swampthink and old age. And it’s the rest of us who will have to pick up the pieces.

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