Jordan Candler / August 30, 2021

Monday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from David Harsanyi, Armstrong Williams, Jake Tapper, and more.

Insight: “Attack another’s rights and you destroy your own.” —John Jay Chapman (1862-1933)

Re: The Left: “Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates wasn’t kidding when he noted that Biden has ‘been wrong on nearly every major foreign-policy and national-security issue over the past four decades.’ … It’s surreal that a person so uncannily incompetent, so tenaciously wrong on foreign policy, could rise to the presidency, but here we are.” —David Harsanyi

For the record I: “The most saddening part about all this is that many U.S. citizens are not even in possession of their passports. Prior to initial departure, many citizens sent their passports to the embassy, hoping for an exit visa, but when the embassy evacuated, they burned everything inside — including the passports. That means that thousands of American citizens no longer have any proof that they are even American. Now, the Taliban controls the embassy, so there is no way to even get anything processed.” —Armstrong Williams

For the record II: “We all witnessed the horrors of the Vietnam withdrawal, but those on the ground in Afghanistan say this is much worse. In Vietnam, we were able to get everyone out. In Afghanistan, images and videos will be broadcasted around the world of American citizens and Afghans who assisted our military being slaughtered in the streets like they are animals. It will be a sickening sight and a travesty on behalf of the Biden administration. It is sad that our leadership is nonexistent today. Instead of taking any material steps to remedy the situation and save our citizens, the Biden administration is only focused on the political aspects of the move. They are stuck focused on the potential fallout the administration is facing as opposed to saving American lives — what Biden is sworn to do. I have covered seven presidents, and never before has there been anything as tragic as what is happening in Afghanistan today.” —Armstrong Williams

Firsthand experience: “We cannot trust [the Taliban]. Their actions are unforgivable for all Afghans. … My heart goes out for all the women in Afghanistan. They won’t have the opportunity to go to school, to go to college, and to have a right to work or just leave their house without a male. It’s devastating. It’s heartbreaking.” —former Afghan journalist Rukhar Azamee

Friendly fire I: “The state of our union is watching a tragic foreign policy disaster unfold before our eyes. … The rapid crumbling of [Afghanistan] has caught the Biden White House flat-footed.. .. It seems shocking that President Biden could’ve been so wrong.” —CNN’s Jake Tapper

Friendly fire II: “The U.S. embassy is shuttered, and we’re told the American flag has been lowered and removed. It will likely be replaced with a Taliban banner in the coming days — a humiliating symbol of two decades of American and coalition sacrifice that now appear to have been in vain.” —CNN’s Jim Acosta

Friendly fire III: “The scenes are terrible for America’s image. They’re terrible for Biden’s image. Did Biden have a plan to get our allies out, to rescue those who risked their lives, for American troops? Why didn’t his plan call for leaving a small force to keep the peace, to ward off any terrorist development? Doesn’t not doing that invalidate the sacrifice of so much and so many?” —CNN’s Chris Cuomo

Friendly fire IV: “The president can say that he planned for every contingency, but he knows that’s not true, the White House knows that’s not true, and the American people know that’s not true. And that’s how a 75% proposition has devolved into a political disaster for this White House.” —MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough

Friendly fire V: “This betrayal will live in infamy. The burden of shame falls on President Joe Biden.” —The Atlantic’s George Packer

Friendly fire VI: “You cannot defend the execution here. This has been a disaster. … It is heartbreaking, it is depressing, and it’s a failure. And he needs to own that failure.” —former Obama adviser David Axelrod

Friendly fire VII: “It’s really disheartening … to hear President Biden and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan now say, ‘Well, the Afghans didn’t stand in and fight.’ Sixty-six thousand Afghan soldiers and policemen have died in the past 20 years. Sixty-six thousand have died fighting the Taliban. It is dishonorable to claim that they didn’t do their part. That is — to give you context, that is 20 times the American casualties in Afghanistan. These people have fought, fought bravely, fought to the best of their abilities.” —Bloomberg op-ed board member Bobby Ghosh

Friendly fire VIII: “There is another generation … of Islamists who are willing to do harm to the rest of the world. Are they going to find a home in the Taliban-controlled Afghanistan? That is the great challenge. And if that occurs, this is the Saigon moment for President Biden and … this will be a legacy, an albatross around his neck for the rest of time.” —Tim Naftali, former director of the Nixon Presidential Library

The BIG Lie: “Over the last week, the media has hammered Joe Biden with relentlessly critical coverage of his pullout from Afghanistan, resulting in noticeable drops in his approval ratings. Put aside for a moment whether this reflects failures by Biden or biases by the media. One conclusion we can draw is that this sort of dynamic is a regular feature of Democratic presidencies, and — as the Trump administration showed — a near impossibility during Republican ones.” —New York magazine columnist Jonathan Chait

Non compos mentis: “Have you noticed how strikingly similar both the mindsets and actions are between the suicide bombers at Kabul’s airport, and the anti-mask and anti-vax people here? They both blow themselves up, inflict harm on those around them, and are convinced they are fighting for freedom.” —former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

And last… “We have not seen a president this incompetent. We haven’t seen a president surrender to an enemy in the way that Joe Biden has. And he’s allowed a seventh-century tribal group to defeat the most powerful country in the 21st century. It’s an astonishing outcome.” —former House Speaker Newt Gingrich

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