Joe Biden channeled his inner Jimmy Carter on Afghanistan

The utterly nauseating and unnecessary abandonment of Afghanistan to its fate recalls a similar humiliation at the hands of Islamist radicals in the Jimmy Carter administration. 

President Biden’s profligate spending policies are unleashing inflation that is sparking voter distrust so noticeable that even NPR is sounding the alarm. He is begging OPEC to come up with more oil while interfering with U.S. production. He announced barely a month ago, with great confidence, “The Taliban is not the south — the North Vietnamese army. They’re not — they’re not remotely comparable in terms of capability. There’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of a embassy in the — of the United States from Afghanistan. It is not at all comparable.”

Our president comes across as weak, meek, ineffectual, incompetent and confused. (Momentarily confusing South and North Vietnam doesn’t even make the list of the top 100 senior moments we’ve seen this year from this near-octogenarian, despite the fact that his staff is keeping him hidden to a degree with little if any precedent in the past half-century.) 

Biden is embarrassing the United States in real time, and I await with eagerness his version of the blame-shifting Malaise Speech. Biden’s version, of course, will be the This Is All Trump’s Fault speech.

Those who are defending the debacle in Afghanistan seem to believe that there is only one important question to ask here: Namely, should the United States have withdrawn per se? In reality, though there are two questions. The first: should the United States have withdrawn per se? The second: how should the United States have withdrawn?

This afternoon, I read that “the U.S. is racing to airlift diplomats and citizens out of Afghanistan after the Taliban overran most of the country and entered the capital early Sunday.”


Surely, it must be possible to believe that the United States should have got out of Afghanistan — indeed, to believe that the United States should have left the country completely — without believing that it was a good idea to do it in this order? Why on earth did the United States pull its military personnel before its citizens were all out? Before the diplomats were out? Before we had extracted every civilian we wanted to come back to the United States with us? Before we’d removed any military hardware that might fall into the Taliban’s hands? Before we had shredded any sensitive documents? Before we let the thousands of the dangerous prisoners we’ve spent the last twenty years rounding up join right back up with their friends?

Just as he should be, Joe Biden is in charge of this details in this area of American foreign policy. And, as the papers have made abundantly clear, this plan was his call and his responsibility. That he has botched it this disgracefully should appall everyone in equal measure, irrespective of their broader views of whether — and when — we should have left.

Who deserves ultimate blame for President Biden’s mistake? The answer, surely, should be obvious.

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