If you thought Biden would fumble and stumble in delivering a speech on the situation in Afghanistan, you thought wrong.
I have had no praise for Biden for anything until now. But his delivery today was a grand slam smash hit that all but perpetual war mongers should stand up and salute.
Here is a link to the Full Transcript of Biden's address to the nation on Afghanistan.
I recommend reading it in entirety.
Better yet, watch the video and see for yourself one of the best written and delivered political speeches ever.
Eighteen Key Highlights
- Our mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to have been nation building. It was never supposed to be creating a unified, centralized democracy.
- That’s why I opposed the surge when it was proposed in 2009 when I was Vice President. And that’s why, as President, I am adamant that we focus on the threats we face today in 2021 — not yesterday’s threats.
- When I came into office, I inherited a deal that President Trump negotiated with the Taliban. Under his agreement, U.S. forces would be out of Afghanistan by May 1, 2021 — just a little over three months after I took office.
- U.S. forces had already drawn down during the Trump administration from roughly 15,500 American forces to 2,500 troops in country, and the Taliban was at its strongest militarily since 2001.
- The choice I had to make, as your President, was either to follow through on that agreement or be prepared to go back to fighting the Taliban in the middle of the spring fighting season.
- I stand squarely behind my decision. After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces.
- But I always promised the American people that I will be straight with you. The truth is: This did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated.
- So what’s happened? Afghanistan political leaders gave up and fled the country. The Afghan military collapsed, sometimes without trying to fight.
- If anything, the developments of the past week reinforced that ending U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision.
- American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves.
- We spent over a trillion dollars. We trained and equipped an Afghan military force of some 300,000 strong — incredibly well equipped — a force larger in size than the militaries of many of our NATO allies.
- We gave them every chance to determine their own future. What we could not provide them was the will to fight for that future.
- And here’s what I believe to my core: It is wrong to order American troops to step up when Afghanistan’s own armed forces would not.
- So I’m left again to ask of those who argue that we should stay: How many more generations of America’s daughters and sons would you have me send to fight Afghans — Afghanistan’s civil war when Afghan troops will not? How many more lives — American lives — is it worth? How many endless rows of headstones at Arlington National Cemetery?
- And once we have completed this mission, we will conclude our military withdrawal. We will end America’s longest war after 20 long years of bloodshed.
- I will not mislead the American people by claiming that just a little more time in Afghanistan will make all the difference. Nor will I shrink from my share of responsibility for where we are today and how we must move forward from here. I am President of the United States of America, and the buck stops with me.
- I know my decision will be criticized, but I would rather take all that criticism than pass this decision on to another President of the United States — yet another one — a fifth one.
- So, thank you. May God protect our troops, our diplomats, and all of the brave Americans serving in harm’s way.
Brilliant and Accurate
Not only did Biden have amazingly good text. he delivered his message far better than anyone might have expected.
Let the Trump apologists and warmongers disagree, but it was Trump who left Biden with 2,500 troops, down from 15,500. And that was 2,500 troops too many.
Give credit where credit is due.
Forget about the messy exit. What's important is Biden ended the longest war in US history.
And he gave all the right reasons for doing so. Any rational person should agree with those 18 points. But don't expect warmongers or Trump apologists (who would have cheered if Trump gave that same speech) to agree.
Finally, Biden made a promise and kept it. Trump and Obama didn't.
Nation Building Fantasies
A Word About Trump
We should all be grateful a 20-year boondoggle is over.
Instead, and as expected, people blame the person who got us out instead of Bush who put us there, or Obama and Trump who both pledged to get us out and failed miserably!
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