Glenn K. Beaton is a writer and columnist living near Aspen. He has been a contributor to The Wall Street Journal, RealClearPolitics, Powerline, Instapundit, American Thinker and numerous other print, radio and television outlets.
Scathing criticisms of Joe Biden’s disastrous cut-and-run in Afghanistan have been issued by even his media cheerleaders at CNN, NPR and the New York Times. Career diplomats including former Obama officials have publicly excoriated his administration for incompetence. Foreign leaders are baffled.
Only the Taliban is happy.
A withdrawal from Afghanistan may have been necessary, but it didn’t have to happen this way. Only 2,500 soldiers were there anyway – about the same as in Iraq. As in Iraq, this small number kept relative peace. The last American soldier killed in Afghanistan was a year and a half ago. That’s one more dead soldier than I’d like, but it’s a violent world and soldiers keeping the peace have a dangerous job.
Biden assured us just a month ago that this wouldn’t happen. He said the Afghan soldiers far outnumbered the Taliban, and there would be no “Saigon” moment where American embassy staff are helicoptered from the roof of the embassy as the barbarians bang down the gate.
But here we are, only a month later, and that’s roughly what is happening. It’s in part because Biden discontinued nearly all the air support that was key to the Afghan government’s military. The Taliban now own the entire country, and are threatening even the chaotic Kabul airport where Afghans are clinging to the outside of airplanes trying to take off. Hundreds or perhaps thousands of Americans may be trapped.
Joe Biden told a half-empty town hall meeting sponsored by CNN this week that if you get the vaccine then you won’t get COVID, that he plans to ban both handguns and rifles, and that a small restaurant owner struggling to hire workers who would rather be paid COVID dollars not to work should simply increase the wages he pays.
These lies and absurdities are of course not the first, and are only one facet of a man who is weirdly and wildly declining – from an already low base. He’s been a serial plagiarist since college days. Back in 2006 he said, “You cannot go to a 7-Eleven or Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.” In 2007 he congratulated Barak Obama for being “articulate and bright and clean.”
In his most recent presidential campaign, a young woman asked him about his weak showing in the Iowa caucus. His answer was to ask her if she’d ever been to a caucus. She said she had. He then called her “a lying dog-faced pony soldier.”
Biden called a man at a campaign stop last year “full of shit” for contending that he wanted to take away guns – which is exactly what he promised to do in this week’s CNN townhall meeting.
He scolded a black radio interviewer that “you ain’t black” for being undecided whether to vote for him or Donald Trump. He warned blacks that Mitt Romney planned to “put y’all back in chains.”
He called a questioner at another town meeting “fat” and a “damned liar” and then challenged the man to a pushup contest or an IQ test.
Which brings us to Biden’s recent physical and mental stumbles. He has repeatedly referred to his vice president as “President.” He referred to his Secretary of Defense as “senator” and later that same week forgot his name entirely. He hemmed and hawed and finally was reduced to calling him, “the guy who runs the outfit over there.” He gestured as if in the direction of the Pentagon while actually gesturing in a different direction.