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Douglas Andrews / August 25, 2021

Biden Caves to the Taliban

Our commander-in-chief is committed to getting out of Afghanistan by August 31, just like the Taliban insists.

Well, at least now we know who’s boss: The Taliban. Joe Biden has confirmed as much.

It seems odd, even other-worldly, to say it, but an American president is abiding by terms that have been dictated to him by a bunch of scruffy-bearded stone-agers. They’re tough men, sure, but they’re no match for our military — not unless we keep our guys on a leash. And yet Scranton Joe Biden, even with thousands of Americans and friendly Afghans still in grave danger, has confirmed that we’ll be out of Afghanistan by August 31. This follows a meeting in Kabul between Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and CIA Director William Burns, after which a Taliban spokesman said there’ll be “no extensions” to the August 31 deadline.

As the Wall Street Journal editorial board put it: “Unless you’re Nancy Pelosi or a media partisan, there’s no sugarcoating what this means. Mr. Biden is bowing to Taliban demands, reiterated on Tuesday, not to extend the deadline. He is rejecting the advice of such G-7 leaders as Britain’s Boris Johnson and Emmanuel Macron of France to stay longer to get more people out of the country safely. And he is abandoning thousands of Afghans who fought with the U.S. and NATO to the Taliban’s brand of retribution.”

Not all of the doomed Afghans are fighters, either. Some were simply translators. Others are guilty of being women, like this 24-year-old journalist who’s changing her location daily, trying to stay a step ahead of the murdering dogs who want to do her in. (It’s not clear how many folks won’t make it out of Afghanistan by the 31st, but U.S. officials say our military has already begun reducing its troop presence there.)

Yesterday, after discussing important matters such as his Build Back Better agenda and his American Rescue Plan, Biden said a few words about rescue efforts in Afghanistan:

First, on evacuation, we agreed that we will continue to close — our close cooperation to get people out as efficiently and safely as possible. We are currently on a pace to finish by August the 31st. The sooner we can finish, the better. Each day of operations brings added risk to our troops.

But the completion by August 31st depends upon the Taliban continuing to cooperate and allow access to the airport for those who were transport — we’re transporting out and no disruptions to our operations.

In addition, I’ve asked the Pentagon and the State Department for contingency plans to adjust the timetable should that become necessary.

Careful, Joe. The Taliban said there’d be no extensions — and you wouldn’t want to make them mad. After all, you’re not Donald Trump, and they know it. And so does China’s Xi Jinping, who’s ready to step in and build “friendly and cooperative relations with the Taliban” as soon as we’re out the door. So Chairman Xi is tickled, even as our G7 allies are disgusted.

Folks here are disgusted, too. Texas Congressman and former Navy Seal Dan Crenshaw lost his right eye in Afghanistan, so he’s more than earned the right to share his thoughts on the Taliban’s deadline: “The only proper response from America to these dirty savage terrorists should be: Go f*** yourself.”

As for Donald Trump: “Biden surrendered Afghanistan to terrorists and left thousands of Americans for dead by pulling out the Military before our citizens,” he said. “Now we are learning that out of the 26,000 people who have been evacuated, only 4,000 are Americans. You can be sure the Taliban, who are now in complete control, didn’t allow the best and brightest to board these evacuation flights. … How many terrorists will Joe Biden bring to America? We don’t know!”

Our current commander-in-chief, though, is clearly grateful to his Taliban hosts, who’ve been so gracious to us for 20 years now. And to show our appreciation, we’re leaving behind some lovely parting gifts: 75,000 vehicles, 600,000 weapons, and 208 fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, according to a watchdog group called Open the Books. Oh, and we’re leaving them a really slick air base in Bagram.

As the watchdog group points out, we’ve spent some $83 billion since 2001 to train and equip the Afghan security forces. And now, thanks to Joe Biden’s generosity, the Taliban has 20,000 Humvees, about 1,000 mine-resistant vehicles, and some 150 armored personnel carriers. And with 600,000 American weapons now in their hands, the Taliban can either go into the arms business, or they can flood the streets of Kabul and other Afghan cities with some of the best “assault” weapons on the market.

Of course, as soon as Joe Biden can put all this Afghanistan stuff behind him, he’ll get back to the important business of snatching rifles with pistol grips from law-abiding American citizens.

Seven months down. Only 41 more to go.

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