Biblical and Constitutional Politics
Afghanistan Debacle Revisited
By Gary F. Zeolla
This article is a follow-up to the article Worst Foreign Policy Debacle in USA History.
Before US troops pulled out of Afghanistan, on August 16, 2021, Biden promised, “If there’s American citizens left, we’re gonna stay to get them all out.” Then after the pullout on August 31, he admitted, “[W]e believe that about 100 to 200 Americans remain in Afghanistan with some intention to leave.”
The first lie was bad enough, but in mid-December, it was revealed that the number of left behind Americans was more like 500 and that some of them are still in Afghanistan.
The Biden administration on Monday [12/13/21] said it has evacuated nearly 500 U.S. citizens from Afghanistan since the U.S.’s chaotic withdrawal on Aug. 31 while fewer than a dozen U.S. citizens who want to leave are still stuck there (Fox News. Biden admin admits).
Since August 31, the United States has directly assisted 479 American Citizens and 450 lawful permanent residents [in addition to their immediate families] to depart Afghanistan and relocate to the United States. The State Department is currently in touch with fewer than a dozen U.S. citizens who want to leave Afghanistan, are prepared to depart, and have the necessary travel documents.
Additionally, through Operation Allies Welcome, the State Department continues to relocate our Afghan allies who worked with us and their families. These include more than 2,200 Afghans, many of whom are special immigrant visa holders, as well as SIV applicants who have Chief of Mission (COM) approval, a step required by the Afghan Allies Protection Act of 2009 (State.gov. Afghanistan).
The latter block quote is from a press release by the State Department. The second paragraph admits it is working with private agencies in this evacuation effort. However, I have heard and seen representatives of those agencies on conservative podcasts, like Sean Hannity’s show, and on Newsmax and Fox News say they are in fact the ones who are executing the evacuation, while if anything the State Department is getting in their way, not assisting. Thus, those who to have gotten out since the botched withdrawal were not really evacuated by the US government but by private forces.
Be that as it may, the White House is trying to spin the discrepancy in the numbers.
Psaki told reporters Tuesday [12/14/21] that the disparity between the amount of stranded citizens mentioned in August versus the much higher amount of people already rescued was due to Americans in Afghanistan changing their mind after the original breakdown of the country….
A source familiar with the matter told Fox News that previous estimates of U.S. citizens still residing in Afghanistan grew because not everyone who was eligible to leave had registered with the embassy. In many cases, people wanted to stay because of family or deep cultural roots but later changed their minds (Fox News. Psaki).
This might be true. But the reason they now want to leave is life in Afghanistan has become intolerable under the Taliban, especially for women, just as I predicted in my article “Worst Foreign Policy Debacle in USA History.
Biden is also making up new lies about Afghanistan:
Asked whether he was “willing to lose his presidency” by “sticking with” his plan to withdraw, Biden said he had opposed the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan “from the beginning.”
However, as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, then-Sen. Biden voted to approve the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, which authorized the war, and continued to advocate for further commitments in the years after.
Biden continued to push for U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, arguing in 2002 that “history will judge us harshly if we allow the hope of a liberated Afghanistan to evaporate because we failed to stay the course.”
“Whatever it takes, we should do it,” Biden said at the time.
It wasn’t until 2009 that Biden’s position appeared to shift and he opposed sending additional troops into Afghanistan under former President Barack Obama (Washington Examiner. Biden defends).
Biden’s claim to have opposed the war “from the very beginning” echoed remarks he made in a 2019 interview with the editorial board of New Hampshire’s Seacoast Media Group.
“I’m the guy that – as has been pointed out repeatedly – that thought we should not be going into Afghanistan,” he said at the time.
Biden did not oppose the invasion of Afghanistan, however. Then a senator from Delaware, he joined his colleagues in a unanimous vote in support of the 2001 authorization of military force against “nations, organizations, or persons” that then-President George W. Bush determined to have helped perpetrate the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Biden has repeatedly touted his opposition to then-President Barack Obama’s “surge” of additional troops into Afghanistan when Biden was vice president in 2009. That opposition, however, does not amount to Biden having been “against that war … from the very beginning” (Fox News. Biden dismisses).
Worse than this new lie is Biden still truly seems to think his Afghan withdrawal went as smoothly as it could have gone.
President Joe Biden defended his withdrawal from Afghanistan, arguing that the deaths of 13 service members in the final days of the U.S. exit were inevitable under the circumstances.
“Everybody says, ‘You could’ve gotten out without anybody being hurt.’ No one’s come up with a way to ever indicate to me how that happens,” Biden said in an interview with CBS Sunday Morning during a brief appearance in a profile of first lady Jill Biden. An August suicide attack outside the Kabul airport killed 13 U.S. service members and some 170 Afghans (Washington Examiner. Biden defends).
I would think those 13 Gold Star families would think differently than Biden about the inevitability of their loved ones’ deaths.
Meanwhile, Biden had said we could monitor Afghanistan from a distance to know if terrorist cells are forming again. But one of his generals says otherwise:
Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, said in an interview with The Associated Press that the departure of U.S. military and intelligence assets from Afghanistan has made it much harder to track al Qaeda and other extremist groups inside Afghanistan.
“We’re probably at about 1 or 2% of the capabilities we once had to look into Afghanistan,” he said, adding that this makes it “very hard, not impossible” to ensure that neither al Qaeda nor the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate can pose a threat to the United States (Fox News. General).
In addition, the botched withdrawal was due in part to a failure by Biden’s intelligence agencies:
The nearly two dozen intelligence assessments from four different agencies haven’t been previously reported. The assessments charted Taliban advances from spring 2020 through this July, forecasting that the group would continue to gain ground and that the U.S.-backed government in Kabul was unlikely to survive absent U.S. support.
The analyses, however, differed over how long the Afghan government and military could hold on, the summaries show, with none foreseeing the group’s lightning sweep into the Afghan capital by Aug. 15 while U.S. forces remained on the ground….
Assumptions that the Afghan security forces and government could hold out for some time were central to the administration’s withdrawal plans. Those called for the U.S. military to draw down rapidly while the embassy remained well-staffed to provide visas and other support to Afghan allies weeks and months after American troops left.
When the Afghan government cratered, the U.S. military — much of which had left the country by August — reversed course, sending thousands of troops to evacuate the embassy and Afghans. In the ensuing rush, a suicide bombing and other violence killed scores more Afghans and 13 U.S. service members. Tens of thousands of Afghan allies and about 200 Americans were left behind (Fox News. Intelligence).
Again, that last number is more like 500. But whatever the case there, in every possible way, the Afghan withdrawal was a debacle for the Biden administration.
Fox News. Biden admin admits it left hundreds more US citizens behind in Afghanistan after chaotic withdrawal.
Fox News. Biden dismisses criticism of Afghanistan withdrawal.
Fox News. General: US at ‘1 or 2%’ of capability it previously had to track al Qaeda in Afghanistan.
Fox News. Intelligence agencies did not predict the Taliban’s quick takeover of Afghanistan.
Fox News. Psaki grilled on American citizens still left in Afghanistan.
State.gov. Afghanistan Relocation and Resettlement Update.
Washington Examiner. Biden defends Afghanistan withdrawal, says he opposed invasion ‘from the beginning.’’
Afghanistan Debacle Revisited. Copyright © 2021 by Gary F. Zeolla (www.Zeolla.org).
Alleged Corruption, Bias, and Fraud: Allegations of the Corruption of Joe Biden, Bias of the Media and Big Tech, and Fraud in the 2020 Election
This book covers events from October 2020 to New Year’s Day 2021 that are directly related to the 2020 presidential election. Those events include revelations about the alleged corruption of Joseph R. Biden via his son Hunter Biden. However, the mainstream media (MSM) and Big Tech did their best to hide that potential corruption from the American public, so that Biden could win the election. That worked, or so it was said. But allegations of voter fraud and anomalies abounded.
The above article was posted on this website on December 15, 2021.
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