By: Ronna McDaniel, RNC
Joe Biden’s disastrous failure in Afghanistan has become his administration’s Saigon moment. With a jaw-dropping disregard for the consequences of his decisions, Biden initiated a chaotic, dangerous withdrawal from the country.
The result? A total calamity: the world has seen heartbreaking footage of abandoned Afghans clinging to American planes, piles of American weapons falling into Taliban hands, and the American flag unceremoniously taken down from our own embassy.
Where was Joe Biden as this crisis raged?
He was on vacation at Camp David. And when reporters understandably reached out to White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Aug. 15 to get information, they received an out-of-office auto-response advising them to direct questions to her deputies.
That’s right: at the start of America’s biggest foreign policy crisis in decades, both Biden and his spokesperson were enjoying some not-so-well deserved time off.
Biden did briefly leave Camp David on Aug. 16 to give a speech, bravely making the arduous commute to Washington for a masterclass in finger-pointing and blame-shifting.
His short remarks only underscored what Americans can plainly see: Biden was totally blindsided by the scale of the crisis in Afghanistan and flatly refuses to take any responsibility for creating it. It took him just a couple of minutes to blame President Trump for the disaster.
He then pivoted to blaming Afghanistan’s president — who had to flee the country for his life — and the Afghan people themselves for the crisis, even as those Afghans come to terms with a future of subjugation and executions under Taliban rule.
Biden also justified his horrific decision-making by stating his opposition to sending more troops to Afghanistan. This was on the same day that he’d just sent an additional 7,000 troops to try to stop the bleeding in Kabul, significantly more than the 2,500 troops stationed in Afghanistan before Biden created this crisis.
Biden then headed back to Camp David without taking a single question from the press. Since then, he’s returned to DC, only to give a handful of short remarks refusing to take responsibility for his Afghanistan withdrawal. How is this acceptable?
It bears mentioning that more than 10,000 Americans are still in Afghanistan trying to get to safety. American citizens are trapped in a country now controlled by ruthless America-hating terrorists. Biden’s White House sent a communication to those stranded Americans telling them to go to Hamid Karzai airport in Kabul for a chance at evacuation — with the chilling disclaimer that “the United States Government cannot guarantee your security as you make this trip.”
That is unacceptable. When Joe Biden became president, he took an oath to protect the safety of the American people. He has fallen short in living up to that promise, and he doesn’t even have the decency to own up to his failure and attempt to solve it. He is hiding from the consequences of his actions. Remember, this is the man who ran a presidential campaign from the safety of his basement, hiding from reporters and prompting media outlets to question his lack of accessibility to press. In the context of Biden’s past actions throughout his half-century in public office, his behavior now isn’t totally surprising. But that doesn’t make this abdication of leadership any less disappointing.
Biden’s disaster and subsequent behavior is extremely disrespectful to the brave servicemen and women who fought, bled and too often died in Afghanistan on our behalf. Our military men and women deserve our highest praise and gratitude, today and every day.
To see Biden undermine their sacrifices with a series of mind-bogglingly bad decisions should offend every American. We can never fully repay the debt we owe our brave servicemembers and veterans, but we can start by acknowledging the depths of their sacrifice in Afghanistan — even if Biden won’t.
Meanwhile, Chuck Schumer is dancing with Stephen Colbert, Nancy Pelosi is holding lavish fundraisers in Napa Valley and Kamala Harris is on the other side of the globe in Southeast Asia. Our “leaders” are nowhere to be found.
What must the rest of the world think? America abandoned Afghanistan to a future of terrorist rule, can’t protect its own people on the ground in the country, and our president and other Democrats are failing to lead. Our allies are questioning our reliability and our enemies are salivating at our weakness.
Given the scale of his failure, that unfortunately comes as no surprise: Biden has no answers for the world’s many questions. He is a weak leader too afraid to face the consequences of his actions. Americans deserve so much better.
Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) has served as chair of the Republican National Committee since 2017.
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