Trump-Era ‘Resisters’ Spin To Defend Biden’s Afghanistan Disaster


Many of the people who role-played during the Trump administration as fearless defenders of truth, goodness, and the American way have shown themselves these past few weeks to be little more than obsequious lickspittles to the Democratic Party.

The Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, which was retaken in about a week by the Taliban, was an unmitigated disaster. There was a right way and a wrong way to do it, and the Biden administration chose the wrong way.

But the way the Trump-era “resisters” tell it, the president, who is largely avoiding the press, did an amazing job, especially with regard to evacuating American civilians and Afghan allies.

“This is the best run evacuation from a war America lost,” MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell declared on Aug. 25. “Vietnam was much worse, including the killing of American soldiers who were helping the evacuation and whose bodies were left behind in a Saigon hospital.”

On Monday, after the last U.S. soldier left Afghanistan, the Pentagon revealed it had left as many as 200 U.S. nationals behind.

Earlier, at the Washington Post, columnist Paul Waldman absolved the president of his disastrous mismanagement by blaming — you guessed it — Republicans: “Joe Biden is a Democratic president. Which means: 1. He has to clean up a Republican’s mess 2. He wants govt to do complex things 3. He gets held to standards no Republican has to meet.”

Elsewhere, in response to the White House’s assertion it had airlifted more than 80,000 people from Afghanistan, where the Taliban have taken control, MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan bragged, “A lot of ‘hot takes’ turned out to be not so hot. Credit to Biden and his team. This is a pretty huge number.”

Explosions rocked Kabul last week, one of which killed 13 U.S. service members and at least 79 Afghan civilians. In response, the U.S. launched droned strikes on what it claimed were high-risk targets. It also reportedly droned an Afghan family, killing several children, including a 2-year-old girl.

But the “resisters” told us the Biden withdrawal was going swimmingly.

“[Biden] has done an extremely good job in this situation,” CNN regular Matthew Dowd boasted on Aug. 24. “I actually think the president, for what he was dealt and what he has done over the course of the last week, should be congratulated on the way this was done. … I think the president’s done unbelievable yeoman’s work.”

He added, prematurely, “The press has a tendency to judge things by anecdotes, but data for the last week shows Joe Biden has basically gotten 30,000 people out of Afghanistan without a single loss of an American life.”

CNN White House correspondent John Harwood also bragged on Aug. 24, “still no reported US casualties.”

Again, premature. Also, what about the Afghan civilians executed recently by Taliban forces? They apparently don’t matter anymore?

Earlier this month, after Biden delivered an address in which he blamed the fall of Afghanistan on the Afghan people, of which some 60,000 police and soldiers have died since 2001 fighting the Taliban, PBS Newshour’s Yamiche Alcindor praised the president’s supposed courage.

“I think it’s been very clear to me in talking to White House officials that they understood the gravity,” she said. “This is a 20-year war spanning multiple presidencies. And President Biden didn’t take this decision lightly. It’s why, in the speech, he said, ‘The buck stops with me.’ He’s not running away from the responsibility.”

At MSNBC, anchor Brian Williams called the president’s address a “consequential speech,” claiming Biden “didn’t run from it. He owned it. He owned his decision. He owned the fact that, as he put it, the buck stops with him.”

At a White House event last week, NBC News’s Peter Alexander asked the president what he would do if Americans are still in Afghanistan after the Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline.

Biden’s response, “You’ll be the first person I call.”

The president took no additional questions.

Speaking of stranded Americans, the White House has adopted the position that it’s your own fault if you’re stranded after the last troops leave Afghanistan.

“With respect to American citizens in Kabul, we began messaging them months ago, telling them that the situation was deteriorating and that they should leave the country,” White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said this week. “We explained to them that if they didn’t have the financial resources to be able to leave the country, those resources would be provided to them. Many chose to stay right till the end. And that, of course, was their choice.”

Ross Wilson, the acting U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, maintained elsewhere, “People chose not to leave. That’s their business.”

Someone should tell the Trump-era “resisters” that not even the White House believed all Americans would get out of Afghanistan before the U.S. military left.

“This is case closed for me,” MSNBC’s Joy Reid said. “We are where we are in Afghanistan because of Trump’s surrender to the Taliban and his administration’s venal attitude toward Muslims and really all nonwhite immigrants.”

She added, “The choices Biden faced this summer are twofold: Put in more troops in the futile hopes of turning an usustainable [sic] situation into a sustainable one, or get out. Like it or not, he chose ‘get out.’”

CNN contributor and former Clinton aide Paul Begala had similar praise for Biden, saying, “I love second-guessing – aka learning from mistakes. But I don’t expect my president to second-guess in the middle of an operation. Adapt to changing circumstances, yes. But Biden is getting static because he won’t succumb to the paralysis of analysis. He is Trumanesque, IMHO.”

Taliban forces are executing “detained soldiers, police, and civilians with alleged ties to the Afghan government,” according to Human Rights Watch .

Members of the terrorist organization are also reportedly going door-to-door in search of “traitors” who collaborated with NATO forces or the now-fallen Afghan government. Taliban hunters are also threatening the family members of suspected “traitors.”

“It is in writing that, unless they give themselves in,” said the Norwegian Center for Global Analyses’s Christian Nellemann, “the Taliban will arrest and prosecute, interrogate, and punish family members on behalf of those individuals.”

Taliban fighters brutally dispersed a pro-liberty demonstration a few weeks ago in Jalalabad, killing one and injuring several others after demonstrators removed the terrorist group’s flag and replaced it with the flag of Afghanistan.

This didn’t need to happen. The Biden administration didn’t need to do it this way. It didn’t need to evacuate U.S. military personnel before American civilians and Afghan allies. It didn’t need to shutter the strategically situated Bagram Air Base. It didn’t need to designate Hamid Karzai International Airport, which is located in a dense urban area, as the sole evacuation point.

But it did, and people died. Many more will likely die.

But, hey, did you hear how many people were airlifted from the White House-created humanitarian disaster? Hooray for Biden, say the principled “resisters.”

“Since we’ve brought out 42,000 people – overwhelmingly Afghans maybe the line about abandoning our friends needs some refinement,” the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin said on Aug. 23.

Lincoln Project co-founder George Conway also said, “The win is that we are getting out, and getting people out, and by getting out freeing ourselves to defend our national interests in a manner where the means match the ends, and the ends match our interests.”

He added, “And the rush for the exits would have happened then, along with the collapse of the government, and folks would have been screaming that a precipitous withdrawal caused the collapse. Idyllic alternative.”

Like many Biden sycophants, including Reid, Alcindor, and others, Conway is purposely conflating opposition to leaving Afghanistan with opposition to how the Biden administration went about doing it.

“I feel like the initial coverage of BIDEN’S WORLD HISTORIC INCOMPENTENCE [sic] may have missed some of the nuance of what’s actually going on in Afghanistan,” said Vox’s Ian Millhiser.

Before the last U.S. troops withdrew Monday from Afghanistan, the Taliban had surrounded Hamid Karzai, setting up strategic checkpoints along the roads to the airport. This means those who wished to reach rendezvous point were entirely at the mercy of the Taliban, which reportedly barred Americans from reaching the airport.

Evacuation flights organized by good Samaritans were also sent back empty. Thousands of firearms, hundreds of vehicles, and even aircraft left behind by the U.S. military have been captured by the Taliban.

Last Thursday, after Kabul was hit by a bombing attacking, killing more than a dozen U.S. Marines and a Navy medic, MSNBC goon and supposed counterterrorism expert Malcolm Nance said, “FYI there have been terrorist suicide bombers killing civilians nearly daily in Afghanistan. This ain’t new. It’s why we are leaving.”

He added the hashtag, “#DealWithIt.”

A simple question for all the Biden toadies in the press who pretended to give a damn when a Republican was president: If the Afghanistan withdrawal wasn’t a failure, then what is?

T. Becket AdamsT. Becket Adams
Senior commentary Washington Examiner. Former “S.E. Cupp Unfiltered” contributor. Bylines in RealClearPolitics, Business Insider, And another thing Subscribe

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal

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