Biden ghosted Johnson? Is that any way to treat a friend?
Not only did Presidentish Joe Biden leave UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the dark over “how it planned to withdraw [and] the pace of its withdrawal” from Afghanistan, Biden basically ghosted Johnson for 36 hours as the crisis unfolded in Kabul.
As Taliban forces swept through Kabul, threatening the lives of Americans and British subjects alike, Johnson tried frantically to reach Biden, but had to wait a day and a half for the notorious lid-taker to answer the call.
“Johnson tried to reach Biden on Monday morning, UK time, but wasn’t able to get him on the phone until 10 p.m. Tuesday (5 p.m. Washington time),” repeated BizNewsPost from a Daily Telegraph story (subscription required).
The White House has not responded to requests for comments on the report, nor much else, despite the ongoing chaos.
No, it’s not getting better — —>Military personnel use tear gas as thousands of Afghans try to gain access to airport – The Wall Street Journal https://t.co/PQa0ziW0aW
— Susan Crabtree Hennebury (@susancrabtree) August 20, 2021
Biden left the Brits in the lurch, too, as the Telegraph reports:
With the Taliban now in charge of Afghanistan, the immediate priority of the British government is to evacuate the 4,000 or so UK citizens still in Afghanistan and the thousands of Afghans who have helped the UK over the past 20 years.
However, UK Defense Minister James Heappey admitted early on Friday that his country’s “air bridge” out of Kabul could be forced to close as soon as two days from now, stranding untold numbers of Brits and their Afghan allies.
The Times (UK) quotes Heappey saying, “It keeps absolutely everyone here at the Ministry of Defence awake at night — that reality that we won’t get absolutely everybody out.”
Maybe they could have been gotten out, if Biden had been honest with Johnson, PM of America’s strongest ally.
The official snub may have — as my friend and colleague Bryan Preston put it to me — destabilized the Johnson government.
Naturally, Johnson is taking heat in Parliament from opposition Labour MPs, but he’s also getting roasted by his fellow Tories.
Former Tory PM Theresa May blasted Johnson earlier this week, saying “The politicians must be responsible for the consequences.” There’s even some talk about ditching Johnson in favor of May, who was replaced by Johnson two years ago.
British politics are weird.
To sum up, Biden’s bungled bugout from Afghanistan has — so far — managed to:
- Strengthen the Taliban
- Embolden China
- Humiliate ourselves and our staunchest ally
- Weaken NATO
- Cost untold numbers of lives, especially going forward
And, really, the fallout is just beginning. We’re only at the start of a long and ugly road.
Biden is reportedly resting up at his Delaware beach house, having cleared his calendar of any public events “indefinitely.”