During his speech yesterday, Joe Biden angrily blamed everyone else for the collapse in Afghanistan, including his predecessor, President Donald Trump, saying that he had to comply with the deal Trump had worked out, despite the fact that the Taliban had breached the agreement and despite the fact that Biden himself had tossed aside so many other deals that Trump had worked out.
But Politico has a great story that completely blows all this apart. The story basically indicates that this debacle was intentional — that Biden always intended withdrawal, nothing to do with Trump, and to heck with our allies.
They noted on the Afghanistan pullout, for example, Biden overruled his top military advisers and ignored the near-unanimous view of the Washington foreign policy establishment.
It wasn’t a new position. While Biden championed nation building in Afghanistan in the early years of the war, he had turned against it long ago, as George Packer reported in The Atlantic earlier this year:
“By the time Biden became vice president in 2009, the disastrous war in Iraq, the endemic corruption of the Afghan government, and the return of the Taliban had made him a deep skeptic of the American commitment. He became the Obama administration’s strongest voice for getting out of Afghanistan. In 2010, he told RICHARD HOLBROOKE, Obama’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, that the U.S. had to leave Afghanistan regardless of the consequences for women or anyone else. According to Holbrooke’s diary, when he asked about American obligations to Afghans like the girl in the Kabul school, Biden replied with a history lesson from the final U.S. withdrawal from Southeast Asia in 1973: ‘Fuck that, we don’t have to worry about that. We did it in Vietnam, Nixon and Kissinger got away with it.’”
Incredible. So he wanted to get out for years, and he believed he would be able to just pull out in a blind withdrawal without reckoning for the allies. Just as, in fact, he did, in the disaster we’ve been witnessing. He just thought he could get away with it, as he says there, because, in his opinion, others had in the past. Now, it makes sense why he ignored Afghan pleas for months, why he left any real actions to the last minute. Because he just couldn’t give a darn and it was always in his calculus to leave them high and dry.
This is not just Joe Biden incompetent. This is Joe Biden evil. He wasn’t avoiding Vietnam comparisons, he was using a Vietnam comparison to think that he could do what he did and get away with it. He pulled out without a real plan because he never had a plan. The plan was to just pull out and abandon them.
Now he’s mad that he was wrong yet again, mad that we actually care and are demanding answers, mad that he does in fact have to account for people.