On July 23, Joe Biden spoke by telephone with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. The Taliban was making swift advances across the country and U.S. intelligence was projecting a dire future.
But all was not lost — at least for Joe Biden. The president dangled the prospect of U.S. aid for Ghani if he would lie to his people and the world about the Afghan military’s ability to resist the Taliban.
Biden’s concern at the time was not that Afghanistan was going to fall, but that it should fall within the timetable he established.
In much of the call, Biden focused on what he called the Afghan government’s “perception” problem. “I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things are not going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban,” Biden said. “And there is a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.”
Biden told Ghani that if Afghanistan’s prominent political figures were to give a press conference together, backing a new military strategy, “that will change perception, and that will change an awful lot I think.”
“Whether it is true or not” is hardly something a president should be urging from a beleaguered ally. Other than that, the president can certainly be accused of holding a myopic outlook about the near future. The Taliban would be dancing in the streets of Kabul a month later.
Biden wanted the Afghan president to create a false narrative: all is well, the situation is serious but under control. That was, at best, wishful thinking; and at worst, a deliberate effort to obscure the truth. In exchange for his lies, Biden offered to continue using U.S. air power to keep the Taliban at bay.
But the near-criminal ignorance of Joe Biden in believing that the Afghan military was up to any challenge, much less resisting the Taliban, doomed any effort Ghani would have made to buck up his countrymen.
Miranda Devine of the New York Post thinks the call with Ghani was impeachable — at least, as impeachable as Trump’s call to Ukraine’s president.
“Was the president in any way pushing a false narrative in that call?” a reporter asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki Wednesday after the Reuters story broke.
“I am not going to go into the details of a private conversation,” she replied.
Hah! That sure wasn’t the Democrats’ standard when they impeached Donald Trump last year over a leaked phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. That was when Trump was accused of pressuring Ukraine to investigate credible allegations that Biden had pressured Ukraine to fire the prosecutor investigating a company that had paid Joe’s son Hunter $4 million.
Biden’s call with Ghani was just as self-serving and more harmful to US interests, but don’t expect Congress to pursue it.
Congress has better things to do than investigate Biden for anything. They have to carry on with their January 6 hunt for the missing strawberries and uncover the conspiracy, led by Donald Trump, to take over the government.
While they’re at it, maybe they could look for some flying unicorns too.