In this installment of their weekly Sunday Six conversation, PF Whalen and Parker Beauregard of The Blue State Conservative examine the six most troubling consequences resulting from the disastrous decision by President Joe Biden to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan.
#6: The humanitarian impact for the Afghan people is truly heartbreaking.
PF: Before we get to the sickening ramifications of Biden’s fiasco, it’s worth asking the question: Why? Why did he make this decision? It’s all about politics. Biden bailed on Afghanistan to satisfy his far-left base, and nothing more. We haven’t had a single combat death in over eighteen months, and the $40 billion annually we’ve been spending there is a drop in the bucket for free-spending Joe. The status quo we had established in Afghanistan up until a few weeks ago was both sustainable and reasonable. This is one of the worst unforced errors by an American president that we’ve ever witnessed.
We’ve all seen the pictures and videos of Afghans hanging for dear life, quite literally, from American military planes departing from the airport in Kabul. But the images of some of those same people falling to their deaths in midair from thousands of feet have been less publicized, and rightfully so. They’re utterly horrifying.
I’m old enough to remember our 1975 evacuation of personnel from Saigon, with desperate Vietnamese civilians clinging to our helicopters on the Embassy rooftop. Biden has insisted that the current situation in Kabul doesn’t compare to Saigon, and he’s correct. What’s happening in Kabul is worse; much worse.
What’s even more troubling than what we’ve seen in images such as these is what we’re not seeing. Any Afghan citizen who has been anti-Taliban, or simply pro-liberty, and is unable to make it out of the country is doomed, which is why we’re seeing them choose to take their chances clutching to landing gear as aircraft take off rather than face what awaits them.
Considering the atrocities by the Taliban which have already been committed, as well as those to come, gives me the chills. Women, young girls, and even young boys are being raped in the name of their twisted religious ideology. Political opponents and anyone not up to par with extreme Sharia Law are being executed in public beheadings. And women are once again being treated like property instead of human beings, with the Taliban shutting down their rights to education, voting, or even dressing as they would like. For a group that claims to support women’s rights and traditional liberal values, Biden and the Democrats have no trouble cozying up to animals like the Taliban.
#5 We didn’t save any blood or treasure…but the clumsy withdrawal cost us plenty of both.
Parker: You and I both saw the enormous upside to staying in Afghanistan and maintaining the status quo. Likewise for Obama and Trump did as well. Despite their natural inclinations to remove troops from overseas conflicts, both former presidents recognized that the cost of leaving was predictably higher – again, in terms of both blood and treasure – than the cost of staying. For one, like you said, $40 billion for regional peace, stability, and influence is hardly worth complaining about. Perhaps best of all, we should all have been celebrating the monthly deaths – zero American soldiers for longer than Covid has afflicted our society. I wonder how the general American populace would have reconsidered their position on our long-term presence in the country if they knew how little it exacted from us.
Instead of these two known sums – again, both easily absorbed – Joe Biden set us on a path that makes matters worse on all sides. The embassy cost $700 million in taxpayer money that has simply evaporated. The same goes for Bagram Air Base, whose price tag is easily higher. There is then the unknown amount of equipment that was purchased and subsequently bequeathed to stone-age barbarians. All of the infrastructure throughout the entire country is just gone. Worst of all, the savings that Biden and others like him are touting disappear pretty fast when one considers the economic reality of going back in for damage control. Rumor has it the Biden administration is even charging $2,000 per rescued adult. Geesh.
Of course, no sum is greater than the tally of lost lives that continue adding up in the void of American firepower. Desperate Afghanis took their chances on clinging onto airplanes or throwing their babies over walls in the hopes that someone might catch them on the other side. If some tweets and reports are to believed, the magnitude of rape, torture, and human depravity knows no bounds. While we might imagine the horrors, I don’t even think naive, innocent Americans can truly grasp the extent to which the Taliban inflict suffering. Every rape, every torture, every murder is the result of Joe Biden sneaking out overnight.
And how does Joe respond? I don’t catch a hint of remorse or guilt; instead, he reads off the script. Blame Trump. Say what you will about Donald, but he would never abandon other human beings to be left for slaughter. Joe Biden killed people for indefensible reasons.
#4: America’s credibility amongst our Allies has been destroyed.
PF: Biden’s decision is so calamitous, even most members of his own party are distancing themselves from him on the domestic front, which is a remarkable development. But it’s the damage Biden has done to his credibility (and thereby to the credibility of our entire country) on the international stage that is the most distressing. Once a relationship is broken to the level we’re currently seeing, mending those fences will be a tall order, and perhaps unattainable.
After nearly 3,000 Americans died on 9/11, President George W. Bush rightfully targeted the Taliban in Afghanistan for enabling Al Qaeda. Bush then formed a solid coalition of allied forces before beginning combat operations, and that coalition was responsible for winning the war. And that’s not a typo: the war was indeed won. As mentioned, we hadn’t had a combat death in Afghanistan since before the COVID pandemic hit. The status quo was working fine. The Taliban were in check, and America and its allies were safer as a result. Now Biden has unilaterally surrendered for no understandable reason, and those same allies who fought by our sides, and lost soldiers of their own, feel abandoned. And it’s difficult to disagree with them.
Latvia’s Defense Minister observed, “This kind of troop withdrawal caused chaos. Chaos causes additional suffering.” Britain’s Defense Secretary had tears in his eyes when he explained, “some [of our troops and citizens] would not get back,” and called Biden’s actions “a mistake” for which the West would “pay the consequences.” And German candidate for Chancellor Armen Laschet called the situation, “the greatest debacle that NATO has experienced since its foundation.” Our allies are pissed at Biden, and they’re pissed at us, and I can’t blame them.
All this animosity and pushback leads to two significant questions: What type of long-term harm has Biden inflicted on our relationship with NATO and other allies? And, what will those allies do when – not ‘if’ – we need their support in the future? Consider the likely answers to those questions, and the magnitude of this catastrophe becomes much clearer.
#3: While the United States loses influence in the region, China continues to ascend.
Parker: I have two comments to make on China. One is the standard recognition that our withdrawal leaves an obvious opening on which Xi will indubitably capitalize. The other is tinfoil hat stuff, but at this point everything is on the table. In short, did Joe abandon Afghanistan on purpose?
As to the first point, our exit from Afghanistan is about more than just ostenbily saving troops’ lives and a few dollars. Even if we did, God forbid, lose a few troops each year, that price is still balanced against a larger geopolitical backdrop. Namely, American boots on the ground in Kabul kept us involved in the business of the entire Middle East. Due to its proximity to Pakistan, India, and other major players, we could leverage demands with the threat of force or retaliation. Equally important, it meant that if we were there, China could at best compete with us. Now, China has a monopoly. Hardcore libertarians and anti-international crusade folks need to wake up to some obvuoius facts. Their isolationist philosophy depends entirely on world peace. They are spoiled to live in this country. As proof, just ask a local Afghan pacifist how that’s going right now. Is the Taliban honoring their anti-war stance? Doubtful. Like it or not, the minor commitment we had to make served more than just American interests; it served the interests of freedom-loving people in the entire area. With China unimpeded to spend and control, there is no telling how billions of people will, bne impacted in the years to come.
With the boilerplate Chinese remarks done, I want to quickly turn to a question that has been gnawing at me. Why did Joe do it? I think his dementia provides some cover; ahh, Joe is just senile. But then where were his commanders to push back? Joe’s line of reasoning to the press was that he was beholden to Trump’s previous deal. Say what? As Trump and others have said, there were certain conditions to be met before any of that happened, and again, since when does Joe care about other Trump-era policies. So that’s bogus, too. The way I see it, either Joe is literally the dumbest person in the room (which, to be fair, is super possible) or he is super compromised. Since even Barack backed off a campaign promise to abandon the region during his tenure, I just can’t believe anything on that front has changed. Ergo, what really motivated him? What information or black-mail material does China have on Joe? I absolutely believe Joe would sell out his countrymen and our allies to save face, so yes, this entire premise lines up for.
Ok, and since I am already going down the rabbit hole, let me also proffer this: In the past week, Arizona was set to release its recount results and the FBI quietly released a report stating that the events of January 6th were neither an insurrection nor incited by Donald Trump. Let me say that again: The events of January 6th were not an insurrection or a result of anything Trump did or said. Is this, and should this be, a bombshell? You tell me. There was a second impeachment in the house, hundreds of Americans are denied basic human rights, and an entire narrative was scripted around this now-acknowledged falsehood. With Afghanistan sucking all of the air out of the room, it’s convenient, to say the least.
#2: The likelihood of another 9/11-style terrorist attack has increased exponentially.
PF: Everyone has their own story about September 11, 2001, and perhaps someday I’ll go into detail on my own. From a high-level, let me just say that for three hours that day, I was almost certain that I had lost multiple family members. By the Grace of God, they were spared. Needless to say, I view the attacks of 9/11 through a very personal lens. Usama Bin Laden didn’t just attack my country on 9/11, he attacked my family. I’m eternally grateful to the men and women who successfully fought in Afghanistan to prevent further attacks, and the fact that twenty years later we have not seen a repeat of 9/11 is testament to their triumph. But what happens now?
Bin Laden planned and coordinated his assault on 9/11 under the protection and assistance of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Today, Usama Bin Laden may be gone, but Al Qaeda is not, and neither is their bloodlust for American lives. With the Taliban back in power, Al Qaeda is sure to be revitalized. Their ability to recruit new members will increase by orders of magnitude, and they will undoubtedly resume hostilities towards the West. The only question regarding such a reformation will be the level of success they achieve.
Last November after it became clear that Biden would ultimately be our next president, you and I talked extensively about our worries for a Biden Administration. I stated at the time that my biggest concern regarding his presidency was his foreign policy approach. Missteps with funding for our National Parks or lousy strategies for improving high school test scores are problematic but manageable. Missteps with foreign policy can be both deadly and irreversible, and I fear that is the situation in which we now find ourselves. I pray for Biden’s success as our Commander-in-Chief, just like I did for Donald Trump and every president before him, and my prayers focus on him succeeding with matters of foreign affairs and national security. Based on what’s happened in Afghanistan, it looks like my prayers have gone unanswered.
#1: The reality that voters won’t care.
Parker: Polls from the day of the event to now indicate that, at minimum, 40% of Americans supported the pullout regardless of the murder and mayhem by the Taliban. Those numbers decrease slightly each day, but what’s asylum-level scary is that fully half of the nation supported what happened even as reports broke of rape, torture, revenge, murder, and bedlam. Somehow Biden still has half of the nation’s support despite this, Covid, the border, inflation, race division, and everything else.
I get it, without hoping for a better future then what’s the point of blogging, this website, or happiness? We need to fight, but more importantly, we need to believe our fighting matters and will make a difference. Still, numbers like this are beyond depressing. What else has to happen to, if not red pill, at least just make people ask if they’re on the right team? I’m at a loss for how people rationalize their Biden vote or Democrat support at this point. Ignorance goes a long way toward explaining it, but it’s deeper. I think TDS was real and the constant media barrage and social pressure to hate him for no real reason served its purpose.
I am disappointed in my fellow Americans. What happened in Afghanistan was 100% avoidable and unnecessary. It serves no obvious political advantage, insofar as I can tell. Did he appease his small, far-left base? Sure, but I can‘t see how this won over middle-of-the-road swing voters. How are more people not pissed off? We left good human beings to die. Daughters, sons, and wives will get raped to death by Taliban animals. That’s ok?
Even if some Democrats are bothered right now, by 2022 and 2024 they’ll simply forget, though. Americans are idiots like that.
Featured photo is a screengrab from MSNBC broadcast.