Attention readers: David Harsanyi is off this week. Please enjoy the following column by Erick Erickson.
For four years, Democrats and much of the media demanded former President Donald Trump resign or the 25th Amendment be deployed to remove him from office. The complaints largely stemmed from grievance over the 2016 election but magnified as Trump’s behavior got more combative and mean while in office. Now, having defeated Trump, President Joe Biden has reached a point where those who demanded Trump’s resignation should be calling for Biden’s, unless it was all just partisan bellyaching.
Months ago, Biden said he intended to withdraw Americans from Afghanistan. It is one of the only issues on which he chose not to reverse Trump. He just dragged out the timeline. According to press reports and now leaks from inside the Biden administration, Biden was so insistent on having the symbolism of 9/11 coincide with the departure he ignored everyone’s advice.
Afghanistan has a fighting season. In late autumn, the Taliban go to the fields and oversee harvesting poppies for the opium drug trade. In winter, they retreat through mountain passes into northern Pakistan. The winters in Afghanistan are rough and frigid. In the early spring, after the snow melts, the Taliban return to Afghanistan and plant poppies. Then they fight. This is a well-known and well-documented cycle.
When Trump announced a withdrawal, he insisted on withdrawing while the Taliban were in the fields planting poppies. They would be preoccupied and unable to sweep down into the cities. For 18 months, with only 2,500 troops, Trump’s military held the nation of Afghanistan together with zero American casualties.
Biden, so insistent on having 9/11 as a symbol, overrode his military commanders and diplomats and insisted on a withdrawal in the middle of the fighting season. Six weeks ago, Biden assured the American public and international community that there would be no fall of Afghanistan, the Taliban would not sweep in and there would be no rooftop embassy evacuations like what happened in Vietnam.
Just six weeks later, the withdrawal is a disastrous evacuation. The world was shocked to see men falling from the sky, having lost the strength to hang on to the exterior of airplanes. Women and children scrambled to flee the Taliban only to be caught and beaten. Americans are stranded and the American military is under orders not to even try to rescue them. Instead, the military is held to the whim of the Taliban.
Biden went into hiding as the Taliban swept back into power. Only international and press outrage forced him out of hiding and to a microphone. There, he made matters worse by claiming to accept responsibility but then blaming everyone else from Trump to the Afghans. But Biden, in ordering America out of Afghanistan, took from the Afghan army their intelligence and air support and even the mechanics to fix their helicopters. An army designed to fight alongside us was, by design, incapable of continuing a fight without us. Biden ensured their collapse.
Instead of admitting his mistakes, he doubled down pridefully, blamed others, then retreated back to Camp David. A few days later, he returned to the White House, attacked Republicans for COVID-19, and again refused questions except from George Stephanopoulos. His interview was a disaster.
When asked about the men falling from the sky trying to escape the Taliban, Biden claimed it was four days earlier, when it was more recent than that. He had no answers and no empathy. The man the press assured us was full of empathy showed no concern at all for the dead falling from the sky and barely any concern for Americans stranded due to his botched plans.
Our military publicly is defending their commander in chief, but in the background tells the world he ignored them and that this was all avoidable and foreseeable. Thousands of Americans are stuck in Afghanistan, the Taliban has captured our armaments and our air base and Biden has gone on an extended vacation in Delaware for rest.
The president should resign. If Trump were president, the Democrats and press would demand no less. They should not lower their standards for the man who surrendered America to the Taliban on the eve of 9/11.
To find out more about Erick Erickson and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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