Twice this week, as catastrophe unfolds in Afghanistan, Joe Biden has delivered remarks to the American people and the world, followed by him walking away from the podium without taking any questions.
At a time when the world needs the leadership he promised to provide, Joe Biden walks away. This is the indelible image of his administration now: walking away.
He walked away from Afghanistan. He walked away from the border. He walked away from U.S. strength through energy independence. He walked away from Americans struggling with the inflation he has created and made worse through irresponsible, profligate spending with no end in sight.
Joe Biden creates catastrophe. And then Joe Biden walks away.
After walking away from his COVID speech Wednesday, a speech that was laced with partisan jibes, the networks began to play selected clips of the remarks Biden gave to ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. Understand, Biden took that interview because Stephanopoulos is friendly to his party and administration. He’s a Democrat operative with a byline who worked in the Clinton White House.
Biden couldn’t handle even this softball match that his own White House set up for him without bristling at the questions and behaving as though it’s all an imposition on him.
None of Biden’s answers clarify or offer any reassurance to Americans at home or abroad. In fact, Biden’s answers suggest dishonesty and pathological stubbornness.
Stephanopoulos asks him, “When you look at what’s happened over the past week, was it a failure of intelligence, planning, execution, or judgment?”
Biden answers “Look, it was a simple choice, George. When you had the government of Afghanistan, the leader of that government get in a plane and taking off and going to another country, when you saw the significant collapse of the Afghan troops we had trained—up to 300,000 of them—just leaving their equipment and taking off, that was, you know, I’m not—that’s what happened. That’s simply what happened.”
Yes, that’s what happened — after Biden unilaterally declared the military would leave back in April, after the military chose to abandon Bagram Air Base in the dead of night in July, during the Afghan fighting season, and abandon the Afghan military, all on Biden’s orders. All of the events Biden describes occurred as consequences of Biden’s choices to blind and ground the Afghan military, not as drivers of his choices. Is he confused as to what happened, when, and why?
He’s likely not confused, but he is trying to confuse the world. Joe Biden is gaslighting rather than leading.
Stephanopoulos asks Biden what he thought when he first saw the images of Afghans falling to their deaths because they clung onto departing U.S. military aircraft. These were acts of desperation. Biden interrupts with this: “That was four days ago, five days ago.”
Why does he interrupt with this? Why does he think this matters? The world saw those images on Monday, two days before Biden’s interview, not four or five days, but why does he think that matters? Those people fell to their deaths because of decisions Joe Biden made. Why does he angrily interrupt to quibble about the day it happened?
Stephanopolous presses, “What did you think when you first saw those pictures?”
Biden answers with no evident compassion or thought for the dead or what drove them to cling to those aircraft.
“What I thought was, we have to gain control of this. We have to move on this more quickly. We have to move in a way in which we can take control of that airport. And we did.”
He never thought about the lives lost. He never thought about their awful last moments. That’s his own admission.
It’s not the first time. When the United States abandoned Saigon in 1975, Joe Biden was in office. At the time, with a refugee crisis building and communists on the march murdering our allies and everyone who opposed them, then-Sen. Joe Biden opposed rescuing or taking in any of them. He had no compassion for any Vietnamese who faced being hunted down, imprisoned in gulags, tortured, and murdered. Joe Biden was alone in taking this stance.
Joe Biden similarly demonstrates no compassion for the stranded Americans or our allies in Afghanistan now. He impatiently quibbles over irrelevant details while getting the big picture backward and inside-out. He discusses not handing off Afghanistan to a fifth president, but he did hand it off to terrorists, and he did so when it was most advantageous to them — during the fighting season, and weeks ahead of the 20th anniversary of 9-11. Joe Biden has handed terrorists a country, billions worth of modern U.S. military gear, a massive propaganda coup, and trillions of dollars in minerals the Taliban and our enemies can and will exploit.
None of Joe Biden’s decisions have helped the United States, and most if not all of his decisions have gravely damaged the United States.
As Joe Biden has repeatedly said, he does not regret his decision—or, evidently, the dire and ghastly consequences for the United States, for Afghanistan, for our allies, and for the world.