Afghanistan is on the cusp of morphing from a mere national humiliation that will constrain US foreign policy for the next generation into a military catastrophe that could compare to the fate of the British Army during its 1842 retreat from Afghanistan if we continue on our current course.
Despite the abject and total failure of every component of the US government to carry out its mission, and more than ample evidence to demonstrate that our elites and government are incompetent beyond belief, a campaign is now starting to gaslight us into believing that this is a stroke of genius by the Dementia Popsicle in the White House. Yes, those voices are saying there are a few glitches in the evacuation (like the 10,000 or so Americans who may be left behind in Kabul, once the deadline for US withdrawal passes on August 31), but the resolve and vision of President (so-called) Joe Biden are just what the nation needs.
This is, naturally, from the Daily Beast — only because Vox.com was busily covering how great Joe Biden is. I’m using this particular tweet for two reasons. First, the author has blocked me. I don’t know why, but I’m sure I deserved it. Second, Josh Landis has been an energetic fellatisto of Syrian President Assad for about 20 years and can gaslight with the best of them. The fact that he is retweeting this approvingly shows how bad the idea is for America.
The article is Biden Insiders: Our Afghanistan Exit Is a Part of a Much Bigger Reset. The author is one of that breed of grifters that has parlayed little talent and a journalism degree into being credentialed as a “foreign policy” expert. This shows how incredibly low the bar is to achieve that status. He’s never been a diplomat. He’s never served in the State Department. But he is a registered lobbyist for the UAE. So I guess that counts as foreign policy experience. A full flavor of his intellect can be found in one tweet:
The Taliban, all of them together, plus every Al Qaeda fighter in the world, do not pose the threat to the United States that Trump or Trumpist extremists do. Let's maintain our perspective.
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) August 20, 2021
Now hang on for a wild ride.
In fact, with perspective, we may well come to see their exit from Afghanistan as part of a major, generational, foreign policy reset. In fact, if events unfold consistent with the president’s vision, this moment will be seen as a watershed in a return to American global leadership after two decades of misguided, erratic, damaging foreign policy in the wake of 9/11.
In other words, we are likely to come to see the events of the past week not only very differently but in the opposite light of that depicted by many commentators who, understandably but at the expense of the long view, were reacting to the horror of what we all saw happen in the streets of Kabul.
What would that leadership look like in a world where we are viewed as weak, feckless, and unreliable? We don’t know. We are never told how a humiliating national defeat brings the mantle of leadership with it, mostly because it doesn’t.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken described the administration’s reasoning to me as follows: “The investment we made in Afghanistan over the course of 20 years was enormous. Two decades, one trillion dollars, 2,300 lives lost, thousands more with visible and invisible wounds. It’s no secret that our strategic competitors would like nothing more than for America to be bogged down in conflict for another two years—or two decades. The only element that rivaled the cost of this conflict was the opportunity cost. The president concluded it was time for us to end this war.”
A senior White House aide put it this way: “The president firmly believes that leaving Afghanistan improves our ability to be a stronger world leader, more engaged with allies, and more effective internationally.” The aide went on to echo Blinken, thus underscoring the centrality of the idea of returning our focus to great power competition for Biden and his team, saying, “As the president has said repeatedly, there is nothing that Russia or China would like to see more than the U.S. tied down in an endless war in Afghanistan. This is especially true as the terrorist threat grows in other places, and the geopolitical challenges elsewhere mount.”
This just in, Joe Biden actually said that in his just-finished clown-car presser.
While taking questions from reporters, President Biden suggested that China and Russia would have preferred the US to stay in Afghanistan and be "bogged down."
He then stated, "I think that history is going to record this was the logical, rational and right decision to make." pic.twitter.com/4MKYXAOzsS
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) August 22, 2021
Again, we were not “bogged down” in Afghanistan, any more than we were bogged down in West Germany for 50 years. And the Russians and Chinese are much more excited about the United States as a geopolitical eunuch than they are about keeping 10,000 or so troops in Afghanistan. Today, right now, South Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, and Taiwan are all wondering if the United States is a useful partner in resisting China asserting influence and generally throwing its weight around in the Western Pacific (SPOILER ALERT: they know we can’t be counted on).
President Biden, recognizing all this, is seeking to systematically, comprehensively, and irreversibly undo that damage and to strengthen America, preparing us to lead in the decades ahead. As much as it means ending America’s longest war, it also means shifting the trillions spent on fighting to investing in ourselves, our infrastructure, our schools, and our health care system. Build Back Better is not simply a big domestic program in the eyes of the administration. It is, as was the interstate highway system to Dwight Eisenhower, an investment in our security and our competitiveness. Proposed major initiatives in cyber security, power grid resiliency, expanding broadband, and combating climate change make that crystal clear.
The effort also turns on efforts to undo the damage to our international standing done by unilateralism, contempt for the rule of law, attacks on democracy here at home, and the rise of domestic violent extremists who today pose a greater risk than overseas terror cells. Elements of the effort have included re-entering the Paris Climate Accords and rejoining the WHO, leading the way on vaccine diplomacy, recommitting ourselves to strengthening international institutions and our alliances, seeking to negotiate a re-entry of the U.S. into the Iran nuclear deal, and, perhaps above all else, preparing for the challenges and opportunities of the rest of the 21st Century. A shift in our focus and the deployment of our resources from the Greater Middle East to the Asia-Pacific region is another key part of that.
So the plan is that by spending more money that we don’t have on will-o’-the-wisp projects that do nothing to help the economy, we will achieve unparalleled something or another.
This is the problem with his entire thesis. There is not a single case in history where a humiliating and tragic defeat that brought a war to an end has made the loser stronger. Had Biden been anything but a lackwit and managed a smooth exit, this story might be plausible when viewed in dim lighting, but that isn’t the case.
Eisenhower ended an unpopular war in Korea, which he campaigned on ending at status quo ante and with a US ally firmly in control of South Korea. But under Eisenhower, the first US advisors were also deployed to Vietnam, so it isn’t like winding down the Korean War kept us out of new military operations. Eisenhower did not engage in a binge of deficit spending. US primacy in the Western world was unquestioned to the extent that he undercut two US allies during the Suez Crisis, and yet our leadership was not in question.
Instead, today we have the British prime minister referring, correctly, to Joe Biden as an imbecile (Tony Blair, Boris Johnson Have Choice Words for ‘Sleepy Joe’s’ ‘Imbecilic’ Afghanistan Actions).
What is more important is that even were this mendacious bullsh** reasonable (it isn’t), there is no universe in which the debacle in Kabul helps Joe Biden. Biden has been revealed to anyone who didn’t already know it as a flaming idiot so out of touch with what is happening that his Secretary of Defense complains to members of Congress about the Taliban beating up Americans trying to make their way to the Kabul airport, at the same time Biden is telling the nation just the opposite (Ths State Department Tells US Citizens to Leave Kabul Airport and Go Home, and Other Horror Stories From Our Impending Kabul Catastrophe). Biden’s response to this challenge has been cowardly and odious. Congress has noticed it, and no one in Congress wants the stench of this failure attached to him.
The American people have noticed, and Biden’s plummeting poll numbers will only get worse. As pictures of atrocities start leaking out, as Americans are held hostage, as our former allies are executed without any semblance of due process, those poll numbers will worsen.
Warning: Strong graphics ⛔️
Executions & brutalities of #TerroristsTaleban are in full swing. The reports of freedom shown on western & Pakistani media are fake. Haji Mullah, Police chief of Badghis province gunned down publicly by invaders.#Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/eSsENoRXSt
— Ihtesham Afghan (@IhteshamAfghan) August 19, 2021
Right now, the Senate is evenly split. If those House districts that voted for Donald Trump which Democrats now hold go Republican in 2022, Nancy Pelosi will not be Speaker in the next Congress. There is no way Biden forces a spank-worthy spending bill through a Republican Congress or even a Congress in which the GOP controls one chamber.
This is a dishonest and despicable spin that no one, not even the author, believes. It is partisan hackery, it is stupid. But that, in a nutshell, describes our “foreign policy experts.”