By Selwyn Duke
“War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength” 1984 informed us — and the botched Afghanistan withdrawal is an “extraordinary success.” That’s the world according to Joe Biden, who thus characterized the military exit in his Tuesday night speech. He also “blamed the victims,” as commentator Monica Showalter put it, claiming that his people had repeatedly warned the Americans stranded in Afghanistan to leave, but they decided to stay.
But one could ask: Had they warned the $83 billion in military equipment they left behind to leave, too?
Did this hardware, which makes the Taliban one of the world’s best armed fighting forces, also insist on staying?
According to Showalter, Biden (or his handlers) rushed the withdrawal because he was determined to give a speech on August 31. He did, too, and it “was a bizarre speech, complete with lies, unseemly aggression, and internal contradictions,” writes Showalter. “The worst thing, though, was his insistence that those Americans left behind were responsible for the situation in which they find themselves.”
As Biden put it: “Since March, we reached out 19 times to Americans in Afghanistan, with multiple warnings and offers to help them leave Afghanistan — all the way back as far as March. After we started the evacuation 17 days ago, we did initial outreach and analysis and identified around 5,000 Americans who had decided earlier to stay in Afghanistan but now wanted to leave.”
Whether or not these hapless people received such notices, it wouldn’t be surprising if they’d wanted to stay and only later changed their minds. Remember that on July 8, Biden reassured the world at a White House press conference that the Taliban wasn’t a serious threat (as presented by Showalter):
Q Is a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan now inevitable?
THE PRESIDENT: No, it is not.
THE PRESIDENT: Because you — the Afghan troops have 300,000 well-equipped — as well-equipped as any army in the world — and an air force against something like 75,000 Taliban. It is not inevitable.
Q Mr. President, some Vietnamese veterans see echoes of their experience in this withdrawal in Afghanistan. Do you see any parallels between this withdrawal and what happened in Vietnam, with some people feeling —
THE PRESIDENT: None whatsoever. Zero. What you had is — you had entire brigades breaking through the gates of our embassy — six, if I’m not mistaken.
The Taliban is not the south — the North Vietnamese army. They’re not — they’re not remotely comparable in terms of capability. There’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of a embassy in the — of the United States from Afghanistan. It is not at all comparable.
Well, their capability certainly isn’t comparable now because the North Vietnamese never had a larger helicopter fleet than every NATO country but the United States — and that’s what the Taliban now possess courtesy of the Bidenites.
Note that Biden also wasn’t the only administration figure singing this confident tune. For example, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said at a July 21 press conference that the “Afghan Security Forces have the capacity to sufficiently fight and defend their country, and we will continue to support the Afghan Security Forces where necessary in accordance with the guidance from the president and the secretary of defense.” (Mere weeks later, on August 15, the Taliban swept into Kabul.)
Should the Americans in Afghanistan have been less confident than the commander in chief and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff?
(Actually, yes, but these people likely don’t read The New American!)
Showalter mentions that Biden (or his handlers) knew his July 8 assessment would “haunt” him and attempted damage control during his speech. “The assumption was that more than 300,000 Afghan National Security Forces that we had trained over the past two decades and equipped would be a strong adversary in their civil wars with the Taliban,” he said.
“That assumption — that the Afghan government would be able to hold on for a period of time beyond military drawdown — turned out not to be accurate.”
Yet if Biden (or his handlers) didn’t know the above earlier, they surely knew it on July 23 — and withheld the truth. This is certain now that someone leaked to Reuters a transcript of perhaps the final phone call, a July 23 conversation, between Biden and Afghanistan’s erstwhile president, Ashraf Ghani.
As Reuters reports: “‘We are facing a full-scale invasion, composed of Taliban, full Pakistani planning and logistical support, and at least 10-15,000 international terrorists, predominantly Pakistanis thrown into this,’ Ghani said. Afghan government officials, and U.S. experts, have consistently pointed to Pakistani support for the Taliban as key to the group’s resurgence.”
Biden reassured Ghani — partially by telling him to focus on “optics” and participate in administration dissembling.
“In much of the call, Biden focused on what he called the Afghan government’s ‘perception’ problem,” Reuters also relates. “‘I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things are not going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban,’ Biden said. “‘And there is a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.’”
“‘I’m not a military guy, so I’m not telling you what a plan should precisely look like, you’re going to get not only more help, but you’re going to get a perception that is going to change…,’ Biden said [to Ghani],” the site further related.
A day later, Milley, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, and U.S. Central Command commander General Frank McKenzie also gave Ghani a victory-narrative pep talk. Yet this “magical thinking,” as Showalter puts it, is par for the course.
What “they did is typical for leftists, who are ‘word people,’” she writes rather insightfully. “To them, saying something makes it real — and they’ve certainly had a lot of success in America with Critical Race Theory. Changing attitudes through indoctrination, however, doesn’t work in a war, when the only reality that matters is who’s shooting and who’s running. By the end of July, it was clear who was doing what, yet Biden never escalated the threat level for those Americans in Afghanistan.”
Showalter’s point shouldn’t be dismissed. The “eye altering alters all,” wrote poet William Blake. And I’ve said before and will again as many times as necessary because it illustrates the matter perfectly, image-is-reality types who believe a boy can become a girl just by willing it can believe anything.
If one takes them at their word, these pseudo-elites have never learned, apparently, what I began saying in my teens: “Life is not a movie.” (I discovered decades later that actress Gene Tierney said it long before.) No, you can’t just focus your mind and do whatever you wish, grasshopper; and, no, Luke, you can’t just turn off your equipment and use the “Force” to destroy the Death Star. Only God is without limitation, and reality is a tough taskmaster.
And Ghani, an ex-college professor who fled Afghanistan and has received much criticism, surely knew that he couldn’t “perceive” his way to not being tortured and hanged by the Taliban. Unlike Biden & Co., he had his own skin in the game and might have concluded his American “guarantors” were loony tunes. On other other hand, as the U.S. withdrawal fiasco unfolded, he might have wondered instead if his “guarantors” were really that loony — or if their deceptions and actions were motivated by something more Machiavellian and malevolent.