Jordan Candler / September 1, 2021

Wednesday Short Cuts

Notable quotables from Dennis Prager, Richard Engel, Ben Sasse, and more.

Insight: “The real rulers in Washington are invisible and exercise power from behind the scenes.” —Justice Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965)

“Talk about a catastrophic success. The Biden administration wants credit for the Afghanistan evacuation as measured by the sheer number of people it flew out amid a security and humanitarian crisis of its own making. This is the arsonist bragging about how many fires he has put out. … That the U.S flew out more than 115,000 people out of Kabul is a testament to the awesome capabilities of the United States military. It is not in any way a vindication of President Biden’s exit.” —Rich Lowry

“It’s hard to imagine any prior American president, perhaps with the exception of Jimmy Carter, abandoning Americans behind enemy lines. Theodore Roosevelt mustered the naval might of the United States to save one American who had been kidnapped in Morocco in 1904. Barack Obama traded five Guantanamo detainees for Bowe Bergdahl in 2014. Even Biden felt the impulse to get every last American out. He pledged to do it in his interview with George Stephanopoulos. In order to keep his promise to the Taliban to get out by August 31, though, he broke his promise to his countrymen.” —Rich Lowry

“At a time when the U.S. needed a strong president, we got a weak and inept politician. At a time when the U.S. needed courageous leadership, we got a bumbling coward. At a time when we needed a truth-teller in the White House, we got a habitual liar. As a result, American military families are grieving, and the blood of their loved ones is on Biden’s hands. … [The president] has negotiated with the Taliban from a position of weakness, on his knees, with their gun held to his head. Not only does the Taliban not fear Biden — they laugh at him. He couldn’t frighten a puppy.” —Oliver North & David Goetsch

“There are many bad people and many bad countries in the world, and only a fear of good countries prevents them from conquering other countries. There is less fear of good countries in the world today than at any time since World War II. And that is especially so because the good countries are preoccupied with their own alleged evils rather than with the world’s real evils.” —Dennis Prager

“My reason for submitting a letter of resignation: A lack of trust and confidence in your ability to lead.” —final line of Marine Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller’s resignation letter

Friendly fire: “Many people I’m speaking to say we are far worse off than we were from the beginning because within a few weeks of launching this war, the Taliban were overthrown, al-Qaeda was scattered. Now, the U.S. is leaving after 20 years with the Taliban in power and the United States having been driven out. It’s a tremendous legacy. … Some have described it as the worst capitulation of Western values in our lifetimes.” —NBC News’s Richard Engel

The BIG Lie: “We have Americans that get stranded in countries all the time.” —Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby

Grand delusions I: “We have considerable leverage over the Taliban.” —National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan

Grand delusions II: “We have enormous leverage over the Taliban.” —White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki 

Non compos mentis I: “The U.S. … has our own far religious right dreaming of a theocracy that would impose a particular brand of Christianity, drive women from the workforce and solely into childbirth, and control all politics.” —MSNBC’s Joy Reid

Non compos mentis II: “Always funny to me when [Christians] pretend their religion is somehow less oppressive of women than Islam.” —freelance journalist Michelle Taylor, a.k.a. Feminista Jones

Non compos mentis III: “The Taliban allow no liberty of conscience. They are like #ChristianNationalists and other American Christian fundamentalists.” —Duke University theology professor Curtis Freeman

Non compos mentis IV: “Make no mistake; Christian evangelicals are America’s #taliban and weld [sic] as much power too in their society.” —author John Smith

Non compos mentis V: “The Taliban are as fanatical about their beliefs and culture as the millions of people right here in the U.S. who believe in religion, conspiracy theories, and alternate reality.” —actor Tim Russ

And last… “The President made the decision to trust the Taliban. The President made the decision to set an arbitrary August 31st deadline. The President made the decision to abandon Bagram Air Base. The President made the decision not to expand the perimeter around Karzai International Airport. The President made the decision to undermine our NATO allies. The President made the decision to break our word to our Afghan partners. The President made the decision to tell one lie after another as the crisis unfolded. The President made the morally indefensible decision to leave Americans behind. Dishonor was the President’s choice. May history never forget this cowardice.” —Senator Ben Sasse

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