Joe Biden Finally Gets Some Tough Questions and Things Go Badly

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Joe Biden held a press conference Thursday to discuss the pull-out from Afghanistan, with the military mission set to end August 31st. In the process, perhaps because it wasn’t the normal, fawning press corps asking him questions (these were mostly reporters from the national security beat), the president finally got some tough questions thrown at him.

Let’s just say that he didn’t handle it very well, but to start, here’s a clip of Biden blanking out, something that is basically a given anytime he speaks in public.

If you can’t watch the clip, what you’ll see is Biden lose his train of thought, pause for a full six seconds, have his eyes go nuts like he’s having a seizure, and then finally remember the word “bring” at the end before giggling about killing Osama Bin Laden. Putting aside that at this point it’s apparent this is a man with serious health deficiencies, it’s worth noting that Biden opposed the raid to kill Bin Laden. That makes his tough-guy bravado at the end ring very hollow, but that’s to be expected. After all, this is a politician who has been wrong about every major foreign policy decision of the last 40 years, but he wears aviators so it’s all good.

But it was after Biden started to take questions that things really started to go badly. When pressed on whether he trusts the Taliban, an entity his own administration has been negotiating with, he loses his temper, seemingly unable to control his anger impulses.

The exchange goes on for over 30 seconds, with Biden snapping and asking if it’s a serious question. When the reporter reiterates, Biden calls it a “silly question” before launching into a loud tirade about how he doesn’t trust the Taliban but trusts the Afghan military.

Here’s the thing. I’m all for leaving Afghanistan, and I frankly don’t think anything the Taliban does is without our purview anymore. We can not be the world police, and the national security mission ended there long ago. On the merits, I’m not against Biden setting a withdrawal date and following through, which isn’t a given yet. But if you are going to negotiate with the Taliban, then don’t turn around and act grossly offended when you are asked if you trust the very people you made a deal with.

Secondly, the Afghan military is a joke. Everyone knows it, and it’s why the Taliban are running over them as we speak, accepting mass surrenders and seizing weapons and materials. At the end of the day, you aren’t going to stop Afghanistan from being a backward, fundamentalist country stuck in the dark ages. Without its own people willing to actually fight for a more liberal, free way of life, the Taliban retaking control was always a foregone conclusion. When Biden tries to deflect to the Afghan military, it comes across as a complete joke. Just be honest with the American people about what’s happening and accept the consequences.

But I digress, Biden got angry again when asked about corruption in Afghanistan.

It has failed, and that’s not a military failure. Rather, it’s a failure of know-nothing politicians, Joe Biden chief among them, not understanding how to set actual parameters for success and giving commanders the tools to win. The listless, meandering mission in Afghanistan always lacked an end game. Meanwhile, restrictive, often political rules of engagement made matters on the ground even worse.

Regardless, while Biden’s penchant for snapping at reporters is hardly new, but his outbursts are becoming more frequent. Just last month, he belittled a CNN reporter for questioning him about Putin. While the media covered for him, it’s clear he has anger issues. The smart money is on that being connected to his mental decline.