That time John McCain was right about Tony Blinken in 2014

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

The surrender to the Taliban by the Biden administration has been so mind-blowingly awful that a voice has risen from the grave that says, “See, I told you so.” That voice is John McCain’s and he was right about the dangerous incompetence of the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken. Too bad Democrats didn’t listen to his warning in 2014.

Yes, Senator John McCain was the most enthusiastic hawk in the Senate when it came to the U.S. military and its involvement overseas during his time in office. His opinions can be debated. If you are more of an anti-interventionist, you likely were at odds with McCain when it came to foreign policy. However, sometimes he unequivocally got it right, in hindsight, and now is one of those times. He strongly opposed the nomination of Antony Blinken as deputy secretary of state during the Obama administration.

Withdrawing from Afghanistan was being discussed then, as it has been for years, and McCain was arguing in favor of leaving a small number of troops in place to prevent the Taliban from overrunning the country. McCain was drawing parallels with the U.S. involvement in Iraq and the failures suffered there. Blinken was in favor of Obama’s original timeline put forward in 2014.

“This individual has actually been dangerous to America and to the young men and women who are fighting [for] and serving it.” McCain said of Blinken, slamming his policies as “at worst anti-strategic.”

“Mr. Blinken said, ‘We’ve been very clear. We’ve been consistent. The war will be concluded by the end of 2014. we have a timetable and that timetable will not change.’ This is why I’m so worried about him being in the position that he’s in. Because if they stick to that timetable, I’m telling my colleagues that we will see the replay of Iraq all over again. We must leave a stabilizing force behind of a few thousand troops.”

McCain was referring to the Islamic State terror group overrunning much of Iraq after US troops withdrew in 2011 and arguing that the Taliban would see similar success in Afghanistan.

As it turned out, Blinken received the votes he needed in the Senate and he was confirmed as deputy secretary of state in 2015. As it also turned out, Blinken was wrong about Obama’s plans in Afghanistan. Obama didn’t carry through with his timeline and the war was not “concluded” at the end of 2014. The timetable did change. Blinken was as wrong then as he is now. McCain was right – Blinken is dangerously wrong.

We can agree it was time to leave Afghanistan while also agreeing that leaving some troops in place was a good idea. Instead of an orderly and efficient military operation that safely evacuated Americans and Afghan helpers in the country, we see the humanitarian crisis happening now. The U.S. military isn’t going and getting Americans out of harm’s way, as the Brits are, for example. They are in Kabul trying to get Americans and Afghans on planes. Tony Blinken is in hiding, as are Biden, Kamala, and others like the Secretary of Defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs. They briefly emerge when absolutely necessary. Blinken made a couple of television appearances on Sunday morning political shows. He held the position that the administration was prepared for all contingencies and went into it with eyes wide open. We’ve since learned that’s all malarkey. Biden and Blinken ignored the advice of state department officers and the defense department. People on the ground in Afghanistan warned against Biden’s plan. Fumbling, bumbling Joe decided to go it alone, without consulting NATO allies, and we see the results.

The White House is in a bunker mentality and Joe’s hiding at Camp David or in one of his homes in Delaware. He stops in occasionally at the White House if he is going before a camera but doesn’t take questions from the White House press corps. Yesterday during an interview with FNC’s Bret Baier, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby couldn’t even say that the Taliban is our enemy. It’s just hard to wrap our heads around the level of the ineptness of the people who are supposed to be in charge. These were supposed to be the experts, the people who know how to run a government, the people with experience. Instead what we got was Joe Biden and his merry band of foolish progressives who can’t do anything right. Joe Biden has been historically wrong on foreign policy his entire political career. He hasn’t changed that record.

Why do Blinken, General Austin, or Mark Milley still have jobs in this administration? I can see not wanting to make major personnel changes in the middle of a crisis but these guys need to step aside. The disastrous interview Biden did with George Stephanopoulos proves he is not up to the job. I’d say we should start talking about impeaching Biden over dereliction of duty, as his pal Lindsey Graham said this morning on FNC if he doesn’t carry through with getting all the Americans and Afghan helpers out of Afghanistan, but then we’d be stuck with Kamala. That is certainly not a step up from where we are now.

I’ll end with this thought – where’s Cindy McCain? She’s been silent throughout this whole fiasco. Her’s is a military family. She’s an old friend of Biden. He nominated her to be the US ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture, elevating her on the world stage. She endorsed Biden in 2020 and is now being rewarded for that support. Shame on her for moving forward with that, if she does. Here’s a tweet from her daughter that points out the hypocrisy of liberal women who are silent now. She raises a good point.