I mean, you’ve got to be kidding me. In the friendliest of settings, Joe Biden still just doesn’t get it. An interview with former Clinton operative George Stephanopoulos shows a president who simply cannot take responsibility for his screw-up. We have at least 10,000 Americans trapped in Afghanistan. There seems to be no solid plan to get them out safely other than entrusting the Taliban, a terrorist group, not to attack them as some undoubtedly are trying to make their way to the airport in Kabul. Then again, our government said that they cannot guarantee their safety. This is what happens when you ignore the intelligence reports and don’t plan for every scenario. The Biden administration tosses out the phrase contingency plans. They had none. NONE. The airport at Kabul is awash with desperate Afghans seeking to flee the Taliban’s grip. Some have been seen clinging onto US Air Force planes taking off, and yes—there are horrific images of them falling to their deaths.
Our intelligence agencies didn’t know the Taliban were paying off Afghan army commanders. The failure here is top to bottom. The fish rots from the head. Biden reportedly had reports that the situation on the ground was not what he was telling the American people. At some level, we knew throughout the summer that Afghanistan could collapse. Biden insisted otherwise. In April, he said this withdrawal will not be hasty or chaotic.
"We will not conduct a hasty rush to the exit. We’ll do it — we’ll do it responsibly, deliberately, and safely." - @JoeBiden, White House, Apr. 14, 2021— Joel Pollak (@joelpollak) August 18, 2021
Biden says he did not see a way to withdraw from Afghanistan without "chaos ensuing" - @ABC News today https://t.co/aVS4a3YCfH
The disturbing aspect here is the abject lack of planning. Even former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta suggested that Biden apparently was not engaged on this issue, that he was just crossing his fingers and hoped chaos wouldn’t ensue. Bad bet.
And when Stephanopoulos asked about the images of Afghans falling from planes, Biden, who was clearly not happy with the question, dismissed it, saying that was four or five days ago.
Joe Biden dismisses concerns over images and videos of Afghans falling thousands of feet to their deaths trying to escape Taliban rule in Afghanistan:— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) August 18, 2021
“That was four days ago, five days ago.” pic.twitter.com/AIDFvGZMb4
BIDEN: "The idea that somehow, there's a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing…I don't know how that happens." pic.twitter.com/AIDFvGZMb4— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) August 18, 2021
Biden also bristles in ABC interview at mention of chaos and death at Kabul airport.— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) August 18, 2021
"That was four days ago, five days ago!" he says.
(It was two days ago.)
JUST IN: Biden tells @ABC that Taliban is "cooperating," allowing Americans to leave Afghanistan.— Steven Portnoy (@stevenportnoy) August 18, 2021
But, he allows, "we're having some more difficulty having those who helped us when we were in there."
In other words, ‘screw it,’ which seems to be the ethos behind this shambolic exit.
The president also said that there was no way there could have been an exit without chaos. Really? He seemed confident that a) the Afghan government wouldn’t collapse, b) this wouldn’t be like Saigon 1975, and c) the 300,000-strong Afghan army could handle the situation. They have an air force, which Biden played a hand in grounding. All of that was shredded within weeks.
Biden insists that more troops would have been needed to sustain conditions on the ground for an orderly exit which he was not going to do because he didn’t want to expand the cemetery at Arlington. Good line, but that’s just another way of saying he thought this would be too hard, or he just didn’t know how bad things were since he didn’t really take the intelligence seriously. It’s Monday Morning QB time at the White House, which is exemplified in Biden blaming everyone but himself for the mayhem in Kabul.
Was there ever a plan to locate and get the 10,000 Americans in Afghanistan to safely as we left? And please, stop blaming Trump—not even the liberal media can go with that because it’s too pathetic, even for them.
The Biden administration is defending its actions on the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, insisting their hands were tied by the previous administration. @jonkarl reports. https://t.co/lKJdhI8QL5 pic.twitter.com/zSC59hdkzh— ABC News (@ABC) August 16, 2021
“I won’t blame others” pic.twitter.com/TT70VAreof— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) August 16, 2021
It's also interesting to say you're forced to abide by Trump's deadline even when you're over 100 days past that deadline. https://t.co/0gtSF61VJI— Noam Blum (@neontaster) August 15, 2021
"If you withdraw 2,500 troops, and then you have to send 6,000 back, that's not planned. That's on its face an example of failure." - @jaketapper— Matt Lewis (@mattklewis) August 16, 2021
Here are the WH Afghanistan talking points Pelosi's office just sent around. They are not good:— Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) August 16, 2021
"The Administration knew that there was a distinct possibility that Kabul would fall to the Taliban. It was not an inevitability. It was a possibility." #facepalm pic.twitter.com/aE8lbCnw1z
The good news is that Biden agreed that American troops will remain in Afghanistan until every American is out. This gives some clarity on the August 31 deadline this administration decided to toss out there. We’re staying past that if need be—that’s some welcoming news, but what’s the plan. Will the Taliban hold their fire until then? That’s an entirely different matter.
Today, Biden did address the nation but on COVID, which no one cares about right now. Americans are still trapped, and he gave a speech that attacked GOP governors and made the case for vaccinations and masks. He took no questions. It was tone-deaf. It was a ‘wag the dog’ attempt for sure. And once again, we’re being shown how the man cannot do the job. There is no way 80+ million Americans voted for this drooling vegetable.
Who cares about Afghans falling from planes? We have no plans to evacuate Americans. But don’t forget your mask. That was the Biden White House today. Just an absolute disaster.
"The debacle of the US defeat and chaotic retreat in Afghanistan is a political disaster for Joe Biden, whose failure to orchestrate an urgent and orderly exit will further rock a presidency plagued by crises and stain his legacy." Analysis by @StCollinson https://t.co/olIFZh2bn7— CNN (@CNN) August 16, 2021
And it was no better over at the Pentagon:
Defense Secretary Austin looks completely stunned when a reporter asks "It sounds like you're saying this depends on diplomacy with the Taliban. That's it."— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) August 18, 2021
General Milley interrupts, noting that the State Department has sent messages urging people to go to the airport. pic.twitter.com/xXs4zSipcl