Well, what did we expect Joe Biden to say to this question? Maybe getting “Afghanistan” correct on the first try rather than the third, I’ll grant you, but Biden doesn’t do introspection in public. In another clip from the upcoming Super Bowl interview on NBC, Lester Holt asks Biden to address the Army report that accuses him and other administrative officials of ignoring months of warnings about the potential for an immediate collapse in Afghanistan if the US retreated rapidly.
Biden told Holt that he’s “rejecting” the conclusions of the report, although didn’t call them “not true” either:
On NBC, Biden repeatedly dismisses the Army's report about the disastrous U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan —
Holt: "Are you rejecting the conclusions or the accounts…in this Army report?"
Biden: "Yes, I am."
Holt: "So they're not true?"
Biden: "I'm rejecting them." pic.twitter.com/AInRMQbMw6
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) February 11, 2022
This is a no-win answer for Biden, and probably the best he can do politically under the circumstances. If he admits that the Pentagon warned him about the collapse, then Biden has to explain why he ordered such a bad plan in contradiction to those warnings. Presidents need to slough off accountability at times, although this one’s a monumental task, especially because Biden immediately took a victory lap after getting out and crowed about ending the war.
Unfortunately, the alternative is just as bad. Given the fact that Afghanistan did collapse immediately and that US forces took losses while abandoning thousands of Americans, what does that say about the collective competence of Biden’s advisers? It makes it look like Biden has surrounded himself with idiots who can’t see past the first move on a chess board. Who’s responsible for that, if not the president himself?
Success has a thousand fathers, an old adage instructs, while failure is an orphan. One corollary to that is that the actual father of failures wants a lot of people around to take paternity tests after the fact. That’s what Biden’s trying to do with
Ukraine Iraq Afghanistan here, too.
Speaking of the abandoned Americans, did Holt raise that issue with Biden at all? It hasn’t come up in the clips I’ve seen. Perhaps it will in the full interview that airs Sunday, but … I’m not holding my breath. Too bad, too, because there’s a lot of news to report on that issue for media outlets interested in actual accountability.
Imagine being an American Citizen and given this horrific choice by @SecBlinken & his state dept:
Pick which of your family members fleeing Afghanistan to save, and which to be murdered by the Taliban.
Meet the Heroes Ep. 2 – Mike Brewer
— John Ondrasik (@johnondrasik) February 8, 2022