Just 72 hours remain in America’s 20-year war in Afghanistan but administration spokesmen are hard to find on this morning’s Sunday shows. Go figure. Withdrawal was supposed to be a political victory for Biden, the fulfillment of a popular campaign promise. Instead the past few weeks have been a horror show, culminating in the bombing outside Kabul airport that killed 13 American servicemen. The lone Biden official who’s booked as of Saturday morning is Tony Blinken, who’ll speak to “Meet the Press” about the threat of further attacks in the final hours of the evacuation and the White House’s plans to convince the Taliban to let Afghan friendlies depart for the U.S. after we’re gone. He’ll also be asked about the prospect of ongoing diplomacy with the new regime. Is there any chance that we’ll reopen our embassy in Taliban-ruled Kabul in exchange for certain considerations, like counterterror help?
The most noteworthy guests today are Reps. Seth Moulton and Peter Meijer, who made a secret trip to Kabul earlier this week to observe the evacuation firsthand. Democrats have howled about that for days, claiming that the presence of congressmen at the airport distracted troops on the ground from their mission. Moulton and Meijer countered that they were performing oversight and that Dems are just angry that their illusion of an orderly, timely evacuation was exposed. Moulton is a Democrat himself but has been unsparing in interviews about the state of play:
“The thing that everybody needs to understand, even if you completely agree with the Biden administration’s decision to withdraw, the way they have handled this has been a total f***ing disaster,” said Moulton, who traveled to the country with Representative Peter Meijer, a Republican from Michigan. “It will be measured in bodies, because a lot of people are dying because they can’t get out.”…
“Refugees are going to start dying today if we don’t get them help in places like Qatar. Thousands will get slaughtered by the Taliban if we don’t somehow devise a plan to get them out before we leave,” Moulton said. “These are all things that the administration has failed to do, and I know that because the people on the ground are telling me.”
Moulton and Meijer will be on “State of the Union” to describe what they saw and expand on their dim view of how Team Biden handled the withdrawal process.
Infrastructure is also on the menu, with Mitch McConnell and Mitt Romney chatting with “Fox News Sunday” and “State of the Union,” respectively, about the chances that Dems will pass the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill that progressives desperately want. They’ll also answer hard questions about the GOP’s fickle stance on whether troops should remain in Afghanistan. Finally, Anthony Fauci will talk with “Meet the Press” and “State of the Union” about the shifting timetable for booster shots and the growing probability that the pandemic will get much, much worse before it gets better. The full line-up is at Politico.