What happens when a 78-year-old who’s not razor sharp even on his best days goes a few weeks under immense pressure, without getting much sleep? This happens:
Joe Biden: "They gave me a list here. The first person I was instructed to call on…” pic.twitter.com/1BHTRXyvSa
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) August 26, 2021
He came alive briefly for the inevitable moment when he swore vengeance against the perpetrators of today’s bloodbath, which killed 12 Americans and more than 90 Afghans at last count. But the logic is strained by the circumstances. Targeting jihadis to avenge fallen Americans is how we ended up in Afghanistan in the first place. And ISIS-K will have more freedom to maneuver with us out of the country than it would have had with us still there. “JSOC has been hunting ISIS-K for years, killing one top leader after another and helping government troops and the Taliban drive them out of most of their rural territory, leaving urban cells, mainly—hard to find and strike from ‘over the horizon,’ esp. without harming civilians,” reporter Wesley Morgan commented.
So we’re leaving Afghanistan but we now have some unfinished business there. We’re out but we’re in, sort of. “Biden’s position is that this sort of thing was always going to happen, which is why it caught us by surprise, which underscores why we’re leaving, and that’s why we need to strike back, so the mission will go on,” tweeted Charles Cooke, summarizing the absurdity.
President Biden warns those behind the Kabul airport attack: “To those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes America harm, know this: We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay” https://t.co/jBlNxmAlhz pic.twitter.com/VRnLEbh6J4
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) August 26, 2021
“What assets will he use to hunt ISKP?” wondered Bill Roggio. “The @NDSAfghanistan is not more. The ANA is no more. What Afghan in his right mind would help the US now, after they were abandoned?
Speaking of unfinished business, he admitted that some Americans might still be on the ground after the last U.S. soldier has departed. The remainder of our mission to extricate every American from the country will be carried out by the Taliban. Which means the president is all but acknowledging that this will soon be a hostage crisis.
Joe Biden admits that the military will withdraw from before all Americans are evacuated out of Afghanistan. pic.twitter.com/wsrsGXVkNn
— MRCTV (@mrctv) August 26, 2021
Reporter: “What do you say to the Afghans who helped troops who may not be able to get out by August 31st?”
Biden: “I say we’re gonna continue to try to get you out.” pic.twitter.com/gCFHiC8h3E
— The Recount (@therecount) August 26, 2021
Roggio was aghast:
– Who opened the prisons to let out the Islamic State fighters? It was the Taliban. The same Taliban that @POTUS trusts to ensure the security of American citizens.
— Bill Roggio (@billroggio) August 26, 2021
Don’t worry, we’re going to bribe them to the gills to secure the release of those Americans. The Taliban will be swimming in dough it needs to carry out reprisals against our abandoned Afghan allies courtesy of Uncle Sam. We’ll be paying for their executions, essentially.
The presser wound down with a tone-deaf exchange with Fox’s Peter Doocy in which Biden once again blamed Trump for forcing a withdrawal deadline on him which, he claimed, left him with the choice of either to pull out or face a Taliban onslaught that would have required reinserting thousands more American troops. But would it have?
.@pdoocy: "Do you bear any responsibility for the way that things have unfolded in the last two weeks?"
President Biden: "I bear responsibility for, fundamentally, all that's happened of late. But here's the deal…the former president made a deal with the Taliban." pic.twitter.com/dtQjmyRByI
— CSPAN (@cspan) August 26, 2021
Biden’s always fancied himself a foreign policy maven, absurdly. Well, if so, we have lots of financial leverage with the Taliban’s sponsor, Pakistan, and some financial leverage over the group itself. Since we’re going to end up bribing them anyway now to let Americans leave, we could have done a little creative diplomacy behind the scenes earlier this year to extend the withdrawal deadline to this coming winter, after “fighting season” was over, so that we could evacuate without haste.
The punchline to Biden claiming his hands were tied is that he already did flout Trump’s May 1 deadline, pushing it to September 11 because he wanted to be able to give a big speech congratulating himself for having Americans out of Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of the attacks. He could have insisted on a New Year’s deadline instead, when the climate would have held off the Taliban. Why didn’t he?
At least he mourned the dead. Pelosi spoke earlier today and didn’t bother.