Joe Biden’s Jimmy Carter Moment
Never in my life have I witnessed American soldiers die the way 13 Marines and service members did last Thursday. Throughout the day we heard that an attack was coming. American intelligence was warning it. British intelligence was warning it. So what was President Biden doing leading our soldiers like lambs to the slaughter?
Oh, you say. But he agreed with the Taliban to secure the airport, a claim that would be laughable if it weren’t so tragic. Yes, President Biden left our Marines’ security in the hands of those who have been hell-bent on murdering them for 30 years.
There are so many things the most powerful man on earth could have done to keep our Marines and service members alive. Knowing that the threat was very credible, he could have simply halted all airlifts until the ISIS terrorists had been identified, and found and delayed the American pullout a few more days to compensate for lost time. He could have sent more troops to secure the airport. Above all else, he could have held on to Bagram Air Base, which was substantially more secure than the airport, and conducted the refugee airlift from there.
BUT BIDEN BETRAYED HIS ROLE AS COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF BY MAKING AN ARBITRARY PULL-OUT DEADLINE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE LIVES OF THE TROOPS UNDER HIS COMMAND.
But Biden betrayed his role as Commander-in-Chief by making an arbitrary pull-out deadline more important than the lives of the troops under his command. And the irresponsibility of having closed Bagram is nearly unforgivable.
It bothers me so much to see that the needless deaths of these 11 men and two women, nearly all of whom were in their twenties, made it only to a single news cycle. By Friday we were already talking about Biden’s “retaliation,” a single drone strike that killed two ISIS-K terrorists who may or may not have been involved in planning the attack.
Prior to the Afghanistan debacle, I actually thought President Biden was doing a decent job as President. Yes, he was spending way more money than America could reasonably afford, and yes, his economic giveaways were making it hard for employers to find workers given that government subsidies were at times more than people would make in decent paying jobs. But for all that, Biden came across as a decent man, committed to his family and the American people, who was dedicated to bringing America back from the pandemic and making sure that Americans got vaccinated so we could fully re-open the economy.
But it’s hard to see how his Presidency recovers from the Afghanistan debacle. It’s also hard to see how the military will ever again trust his judgment.
WEAKNESS IS FATAL IN A LEADER, ESPECIALLY WHEN CONFRONTING TERRORISTS.
Weakness is fatal in a leader, especially when confronting terrorists. Even Ariel Sharon, widely acknowledged to be Israel’s greatest ever fighter, never recovered from his Gaza fiasco when he turned over the strip to the Hamas terrorists who have been firing rockets at Israeli cities ever since. Even before Sharon had his catastrophic and tragic stroke while he was in office, his reputation lay in tatters.
And it has never recovered.
The same is true, of course, of Jimmy Carter, whom America first embraced as the civil antidote to the insanity of the Nixon and Watergate years only to watch him crumble in the face of the Iranian Mullah onslaught. A bunch of terrorists took our embassy and its employees hostage and guessed correctly that the hapless Carter would be paralyzed as a result. Yes, he launched a military operation to free them, but it seemed doomed from the start and led to the deaths of another eight American military heroes.
Every summer I try to take my children to Revolutionary and Civil war battlefields. This year we went to Gettysburg, Richmond, and Yorktown. The great heroes of both wars were those who demonstrated unshakable resolve in the face of unsurmountable obstacles. George Washington led a freezing, shoeless army against the world’s greatest superpower, and he cornered British General Charles Cornwallis in Yorktown and accepted his surrender on October 19, 1781.
Abraham Lincoln, our greatest President, showed steely resolve to defeat the Confederacy and emancipate the slaves against the backdrop of years of Union defeats at the hands of Robert E. Lee, who even today should be rightly regarded as a traitor to the United States and his legacy treated accordingly. And General Ulysses S. Grant, who was dismissed as a drunkard and a failed businessman, hammered away at Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia until Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House in April, 1865.
As for the northern Generals like George McClellan who hemmed and hawed, halted and pondered and found endless reasons not to fight, their reputations have been consigned to the dustbin of military history. Lincoln himself said of McClellan, “he has the slows.”
It appears that Biden too has the slows. Yes, I know, I know. Trump negotiated the peace agreement with the Taliban terrorists. But ask yourself if the Taliban would ever have attempted to break the peace agreement and take over the entire country, including all of America’s military equipment, if Trump had still been President?
I suspect that even Trump’s worst detractors would concede that the Taliban would have regarded Trump as crazy enough to do something drastic.
But not Biden who seems incapable of bold and ferocious action.
America’s warriors under Biden have been reduced to what British ITV Senior International Correspondent John Irvine accurately described as “seething humiliation.” His words, written right after his departure from Kabul, bear repeating: “The dividing line between Taliban-held Kabul and the American-held part of the airport was a roll of concertina wire. At that divide stood a line of armed Taliban now wearing Western army combat fatigues. Just feet from them were soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division, one of the US Army’s most storied units. The look on the Americans’ faces was one I hadn’t seen before. It was seething humiliation.”
It’s quite an accomplishment to take the strongest nation on earth and reduce us to begging women-beating terrorists to protect our vaunted soldiers while we try to rescue terrified civilians. It is an altogether different accomplishment to reduce the warriors themselves to a group of humiliated, and then murdered, targets.
I shudder from my country when I watch this abasement. I shudder for our troops when I consider how they have been treated as cannon fodder. And I shudder for the world when I consider the implications of how America has been brought so low.