After Americans Depart, Will Kabul Become The New Saigon?
A retired major general recently called into my local talk show and, among other sentient points, compared the U.S. withdrawal in Kabul to the Fall of Saigon in 1975. President Joe Biden, however, disagreed during his appalling Thursday presser on the sensitive topic. “None whatsoever. Zero,” Biden shot back at a reporter who made a similar comparison. “There’s going to be no circumstance where you’re going to see people being lifted off the roof of a embassy.” Well, maybe it's not exactly the same traumatic experience, but it's an apt analogy. Biden was in the Senate 46 years ago during Operation Frequent Wind; the Communists took over shortly after and began committing mass murder. U.S. intelligence community estimates the Kabul government could fall within six months.
On the positive, Biden finally agreed to aid Afghan interpreters who risked their lives for Americans. They'll be airlifted to a third country — likely Guam, Qatar or the UAE — while they await visas, emphasizing how dangerous our allies' situation will be once the Taliban captures more territory.
The president also echoed the decade-old cliché that the war’s mission was to "bring justice to Osama bin Laden." That’s absurd. That was a great moment, but mostly symbolic since OBL had long been out of the global Jihad leadership picture.
Whether Sens. Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders like it or not, American soldiers in Afghanistan are also fighting for the self-determination of local people. We are an exceptional nation because we sacrifice to advance not only our interests, but also our values. Biden also said we’ll continue to provide humanitarian and security assistance after American forces leave Aug. 31.That’s not enough, since the Afghan Army simply cannot handle the Taliban. Since Biden announced the surrender plan fewer than three months ago, the Taliban has seized nearly half of Afghanistan’s 421 districts. If this trend continues, these irredentist savages will impose a regime that negates people’s rights, to put it mildly. My call followed the general's. I mentioned I agreed with his analogy and reminded the “endless war” crowd that our combat role ended way back in 2014. There have been no American combat deaths in 17 months. A couple thousand troops are supporting the Afghans fighting for us against our enemies. It's not a bad deal. We are also not “nation building” in Afghanistan, as isolationists on cable news decry. Our goal is to make certain their government doesn't wake up each day thinking of how to attack America and the West. Perhaps more importantly, we do not want the country to become a safe haven for terrorists who attacked us on 9/11. We fight in Kandahar so we don’t fight in Kansas City, as the saying goes. And by that standard, our deployment in Afghanistan has been an overall success, since it accomplished both goals. Like in Iraq before Barack Obama relinquished our gains for political reasons, Afghanistan has an imperfect, fragile government that's an ally. Al Qaeda is not currently in a position to use Afghanistan as a launching pad for terror attacks, but after this unwise withdrawal, the Taliban will return in power. And when they do, Al Qaeda's also coming back. The people who attacked us will again have Afghanistan as a safe haven to butcher little girls and prepare attacks against the United States. Do anti-war radicals want that on their conscience? Sen. Lindsey Graham claimed Thursday that Biden “does not understand conditions are developing in Afghanistan for a reemergence of al-Qaeda and ISIS which will directly threaten the American homeland and our allies.” The venerable South Carolinian wants the president to provide airpower support for the Afghan National Security Forces to ensure a flying advantage against the Taliban. "If we do not do this, I fear that al Qaeda and ISIS will reemerge from the ashes of a civil war that's brewing in Afghanistan 20 years after 9/11,” he concluded.
Graham, a long-time foreign policy expert, is probably correct. Biden, who’s been wrong on every foreign policy issue the last half-century, is naive and mistaken.