Remarks by President Biden
On Thursday, President Biden gave an East Room Speech on the Drawdown of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan (emphasis mine)
When I announced our drawdown in April, I said we would be out by September, and we’re on track to meet that target.
As I said in April, the United States did what we went to do in Afghanistan: to get the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11 and to deliver justice to Osama Bin Laden, and to degrade the terrorist threat to keep Afghanistan from becoming a base from which attacks could be continued against the United States. We achieved those objectives. That’s why we went.
We did not go to Afghanistan to nation-build. And it’s the right and the responsibility of the Afghan people alone to decide their future and how they want to run their country.
Q&A Following the Speech
Q: Is a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan now inevitable?
Biden: No, it is not.
Biden: Because you — the Afghan troops have 300,000 well-equipped — as well-equipped as any army in the world — and an air force against something like 75,000 Taliban. It is not inevitable.
Q: Mr. President, thank you very much. Your own intelligence community has assessed that the Afghan government will likely collapse.
Biden: That is not true.
Q: Is it — can you please clarify what they have told you about whether that will happen or not?
Biden: That is not true. They did not — they didn’t — did not reach that conclusion.
Q: So what is the level of confidence that they have that it will not collapse?
Biden: The Afghan government and leadership has to come together. They clearly have the capacity to sustain the government in place. The question is: Will they generate the kind of cohesion to do it? It’s not a question of whether they have the capacity. They have the capacity. They have the forces. They have the equipment. The question is: Will they do it? And I want to make clear what I made clear to Ghani: that we are not going just sus- — walk away and not sustain their ability to maintain that force. We are. We’re going to also work to make sure we help them in terms of everything from food necessities and other things in — in the region. But — but, there’s not a conclusion that, in fact, they cannot defeat the Taliban.
Biden's speech was very long. Too long. And so was the Q&A period.
He should have stopped his speech right here: "We did not go to Afghanistan to nation-build. And it’s the right and the responsibility of the Afghan people alone to decide their future and how they want to run their country," followed by "Questions?"
Instead he went on and on and on. Then the Q&A was arguably a disaster but with some high points and a hugely missed opportunity.
Military analysis is indeed that Afghanistan will fall, much like Saigaon fell after the Vietnam war.
Rather than denying that, Biden should have answered the question just as he did in the a Q&A I listed above.
"They have the capacity. They have the forces. They have the equipment. The question is: Will they do it?"
That was a near perfect answer. To which Biden then should have reiterated something like 'We did not go to Afghanistan to nation-build. We have been there three decades and spent many trillions of dollars. Two former presidents pledged to get out and failed. I am keeping my pledge. It is now up to the Afghan nation. Thank you and God bless.'
Instead, like the speech the Q&A went on and on.
Biden made some excellent point but failed to stay on target.
Yet, he did get his primary message across clearly: We are "On track to leave by September".
Fox News Says Disgraceful, Badly Fumbling says NY Post
- Biden strategy to withdraw troops from Afghanistan is 'Disgraceful' according to former State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus.
- NY Post columnist says Biden is badly fumbling the US pullout from Afghanistan.
No Win Decision
Warmongers did not like Obama's announcements, quietly balked at Trump's failed plans, and are out in force once again now that Biden is on the verge of success.
Of course, Right wing news media would have criticized Biden no matter what he did.
It's the warmongers, Right and Left who are most displeased. The editorial board of the Wall Street Journal (warmongers to the hilt) provide the perfect example of what I mean.
The Journal board says "Biden and Trump will own the bloody result of America’s withdrawal."
Had Trump pulled out, the perennial Warmongers would have gone after him, but the party faithful would have either been silent or given praise.
But don't expect the Trump faithful who would have been OK with Trump pulling to be kind to Biden. And what about the Left?
No Mainstream Media Praise Anywhere
I spent an hour seeking mainstream media praise of the withdrawal.
Guess what? I found none.
You can find coverage of the speech, but it is either coverage without comment or a blistering attack similar to the examples above.
The US Failed
It's time we admit failure, lots of them.
The US tried to nation build Iraq and failed, nation build Afghanistan and failed, and lost the Vietnam war.
The warmongers at the Journal would keep US troops in Afghanistan for as long as it takes, which translates to forever.
Anyone with an ounce of common sense should be able to see these failures. But warmongers are not known for common sense and the Left wing media, willing to take a stand on complete BS issues, is suddenly silent.
In Praise of Biden
Biden gave a speech with some good ideas and one excellent one (that being leaving) but his delivery fell far short.
It's time we leave, but someone needs to say we never should have been there or been there as long in the first place.
Regardless, Biden is on the cusp of doing what Obama and Trump said they would do and indeed should have done.
That's the best we could have hoped for and worthy of praise. Yet all we have is silence on the Left and attacks from the Right.
Please understand that the Left supports warmongering too. The difference is the Left often accomplishes the goal via complicit silence.
Lesson Not Learned