Douglas Andrews / August 27, 2021

A Massacre We Saw Coming

But because of Joe Biden’s failed leadership, our troops were sitting ducks.

If ever there was a slow-moving train of an attack, this was it. Everyone who watched the news on Wednesday knew it was coming. Our intelligence services told us so, and our embassy sent emergency communications to the Americans in Kabul to stay away from the entry points to Hamid Karzai International Airport.

We knew it was coming, and yet we couldn’t stop it.

The “it” was actually a “they” — twin coordinated blasts delivered by the favored means of this awful strain of humanity known as radical Islam, an evil strain that glorifies the targeting and the cold-blooded murder of the innocent.

The telegraphed attack finally happened Thursday at around 6 p.m. local time, when two jihadist suicide bombers detonated themselves at Abbey Gate, a main entrance to the airport, and at the nearby Baron Hotel. Among the 13 dead were 10 U.S. Marines, two Army soldiers, and one Navy Corpsman, making this the deadliest day for American forces in Afghanistan in more than a decade. Indeed, there hadn’t been a single U.S. combat casualty in Afghanistan since February 8, 2020, due to an agreement hammered out by then-President Donald Trump and his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo. Clearly, Joe Biden and his secretary of state, Antony Blinken, don’t strike the same fear into the black hearts of these murdering dogs that their predecessors did.

At least 90 Afghans were also killed, and untold dozens more were wounded. A Taliban splinter group called ISIS-K claimed responsibility. They were likely helped by the fact that we’d trusted the Taliban to help provide security there.

The Wall Street Journal reports, “President Biden spoke for the country Thursday in his expression of empathy and loss, but he can’t duck responsibility for the failure to provide enough force to execute a safe evacuation.”

Biden did speak Thursday, finally, and weakly. “I’ve been engaged all day and in constant contact with the military commanders here in Washington, the Pentagon, as well as in Afghanistan and Doha,” he began. “And my commanders here in Washington and in the field have been on this with great detail, and you’ve had a chance to speak to some, so far. The situation on the ground is still evolving, and I’m constantly being updated.”

The commander-in-chief was clearly trying to convey a sense that he was in charge, that he was on top of things. But it was all for show. Then, in a tone-deaf effort to connect with the families of those fallen warriors, Biden invoked the memory of his son Beau, a former soldier and Iraq war veteran who died of brain cancer in 2015.

Biden also vowed revenge: “To those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes America harm, know this: We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay. I will defend our interests and our people with every measure at my command.” It seemed hollow, forced, fake. And it got worse.

In a deeply disgraceful and wholly unsettling moment just prior to taking questions, Biden said, “Ladies and gentlemen, they gave me a list here. The first person I was instructed to call on was Kelly O'Donnell from NBC.”

I was instructed? Just who on earth is in charge at the White House? On a day marked by the raw courage of our warriors in the face of an attack they knew was coming, our commander-in-chief couldn’t simply look out to the assembled press and say, “You. What’s your question?” Then, “You. What’s yours?” and so on. Instead, his handlers made sure it was choreographed, so he’d have time to rehearse his answers.

Toward the end, Biden took a few unscripted questions, one of which was about whether his administration had, inexplicably, shared a list of U.S. citizens, green card holders, and Afghan allies with the Taliban. (He didn’t deny it. Which means they did. And which makes the Taliban’s job easier when it comes to figuring out who to execute after the Americans leave.)

To his credit, Biden then closed by calling on Fox News’s Peter Doocy.

“Mr. President,” Doocy began, “there had not been a U.S. service member killed in combat in Afghanistan since February of 2020. You set a deadline. You pulled troops out. You sent troops back in. And now [13 Americans] are dead. You said the buck stops with you. Do you bear any responsibility for the way that things have unfolded in the last two weeks?”

Biden responded, “I bear responsibility for, fundamentally, all that’s happened of late.”

Except then he tried to pin it on Donald Trump. “But here’s the deal: You know — I wish you’d one day say these things — you know as well as I do that the former president made a deal with the Taliban…”

Yeah, yeah, we know, Joe. We know. And it was working. Remember: not a single combat death since February of last year.

“Do not be confused by the spin from Team Biden and their Leftmedia propagandists about who’s responsible for this attack,” writes our Mark Alexander. “Right on cue, Biden has blamed ISIS, attempting to draw a distinction between the Taliban and ISIS and vowing to retaliate. That is a distinction without a difference.”

Alexander continued: “There is NO degree of separation between the so-called ‘Taliban government’ thugs and their surrogate terrorist groups. The Taliban is not a ‘government’ but an amalgam of Islamists, and there is every indication that their murderous al-Qa'ida and ISIS surrogates have risen again under its protectorate.”

Finally, as Alexander made clear earlier this week, the catastrophic failure of Biden’s Afghan exfil was not due to the plan, but the man.

“I am president of the United States of America,” Joe Biden said just over a week ago, “and the buck stops with me.” But if that’s really the case, and if he really is the commander-in-chief, then where are the resignations? Why haven’t Lloyd Austin and Mark Milley cleaned out their damned desks yet?

Either Joe Biden will own this catastrophe, or he won’t. But history won’t be kind. He and his team have failed the American people. And more than that, they’ve failed our warriors.

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