The President was dishonest in framing the U.S. mission merely as fighting in another country’s “civil war.” The U.S. didn’t remain in Afghanistan for 20 years to send women to school or to “nation build.”The core mission was to prevent the country from again becoming a terrorist safe haven. The Taliban’s victory will now attract thousands of young jihadists from around the world, and they will have Americans and the U.S. homeland in their sights. …
Mr. Biden was also dishonest in framing his Afghan decision as a false choice between total withdrawal and sending tens of thousands of troops again. He knows his own advisers, military and civilian, believed they could support the Afghan military with no more than a few thousand troops to supply air power and intelligence.
He also knows the U.S. hasn’t had a single casualty in more than a year in Afghanistan. Even if Mr. Biden was set on withdrawal, he could have done it based on conditions that would have given the Taliban more incentive to negotiate with the government. …
We had hoped that Mr. Biden would accept some responsibility and explain how he would fix this mess. He did none of that, making it clear that he himself is the main architect of this needless American surrender. It does not bode well for the rest of his Presidency.
I predict the word “Carteresque” will now come into vogue.
Still a chance for hostages in Kabul. Steve Sailer:
There are several thousand American citizens in Afghanistan right now. It’s possible that the Taliban, who have so far been trying to behave like a more mature, prudent organization than the puerile extremists who ran Afghanistan two decades ago, will oversee an organized evacuation that brings them credit in the eyes of the world.
Yet, it’s also possible that a hotheaded faction among the victors might carry out reprisals, rather like how in neighboring Iran in 1979, student radicals organized the taking of the U.S. Embassy staff hostage without first informing the Ayatollah Khomeini, who, upon seeing how popular it was, then endorsed it.
The Americans were always the invaders. Sure, the Taliban were criminally negligent accessories to 9/11 by hosting Osama bin Laden (although no evidence has since emerged that they knew of this specific enormity ahead of time). So, the U.S. had every right to engage in a butcher-and-bolt punitive expedition to overthrow the Kabul regime, which we succeeded in doing in a couple of months.
But then we hung around for twenty years trying to make ourselves popular. Of course, in a country teeming with young men (Afghanistan has the highest birth rate outside of sub-Saharan Africa), being an outsider roaring around on their home turf in our Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles is no way to make us loved. So, among the youth of the dominant Pashtun tribe, the Taliban tended to recruit the patriots while we wound up with the parasites. …
But why didn’t self-interested Afghans at least want to be on our side in the long run? Because the Afghans knew we always had our own, much nicer country that we will eventually go home to, leaving them to the Taliban. As a rebel commander told an American in 2006, “You have all the clocks, but we have all the time.”