Just about every American Presidency has a singular, “defining moment.” It may be a prolonged affair such as the thirteen days of mettle which made up The Cuban Missile Crisis for the gutsy John F. Kennedy, or the 444 days of utter ineptitude and indecisiveness by the pusillanimous Jimmy Carter. Contrarily, a defining moment may come in the form of a single decision and its precise implementation as we saw with Harry S. Truman opting to bomb Hiroshima, or perhaps with a quote followed by world-changing events as witnessed by Ronald Reagan’s, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
No matter the president, and no matter their efforts to oppose or promote otherwise, history, by way of facts and reality, ultimately selects one specific and remarkable circumstance for each presidential office holder and declares that episode as the crowning achievement, or fiasco, of that individual’s tenure. Joe Biden, the 46th president of these United States, is in the midst of his own defining moment in Afghanistan, and it’s not a good one.
As disturbing as the imagery may be of the goings-on we’ve seen thus far from Afghanistan, we can have no doubt that the actual situation on the ground is much worse. According to NPR over the weekend, “the atrocities on the battlefield are ‘horrific’ and include bodies being mutilated and other things the journalist wouldn’t go into on air.” Additionally, and predictably, the Taliban – which, make no mistake, is nothing more than a group of vicious, primitive terrorists – have closed schools for girls, have told women not to leave their homes unless accompanied by a male relative, and are rounding up unmarried women to be provided to Taliban fighters. But as brutal as this barbarism is, it is not the worst aspect of Biden’s defining moment.
Our allies around the world are perplexed by Biden’s cowardice while he vacationed at Camp David and listened to his record player. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated, “it’s fair to say the U.S. decision to pull out has accelerated things” as he tries to lead the West’s attempt to reacquire a backbone. Other such leaders are too heavily invested in Biden having a positive image on the world stage to actually criticize Biden’s failures, so they simply lament the current conditions of the Afghan people and their own “heartbreak” over the predicament. Yet each of those allies has witnessed the lack of fortitude by Biden (and by proxy all of us in the United States), to stand by the Afghan people who have put their lives on the line, only to be abandoned. But again, the absolute devastation to America’s international reputation is not the most injurious facet of Biden’s defining moment.
We invaded Afghanistan in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans on September 11, 2001. Usama Bin Laden had launched his terror assault on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon from underneath the security blanket provided by the very same Taliban, in the very same Afghan locales, to which President Biden has now willingly flung open the doors and lain down a “Welcome” mat. And this development is, by far, the most distressing feature of Biden’s disastrous choice to throw in the towel in Afghanistan.
Are we to expect that the same animals who were thoroughly thrashed by American and coalition troops twenty years ago – and have been quite literally living in caves ever since as they plot their revenge – are suddenly going to shake our hands and play nice? Or should we expect them to reestablish their terrorist infrastructure as they plan for another, far worse 9/11?
President George W. Bush, despite all his missteps, along with the thousands of brave men and women who acted on his orders, made America safer due to their actions in Afghanistan during the early days of the war. Presidents Barack Obama and Donald J. Trump, despite their campaign promises to shut down all operations in Afghanistan, recognized the reality of the situation once in office as detailed in their security briefings, and reversed course by choosing to keep our presence there intact, and they kept America safe as a result.
Now, less than seven months into an administration that had already been a complete debacle, President Joe Biden has committed one of the most glaring unforced errors by an American president in generations, and for what?
Many have pointed to the financial cost of the war, citing the near $2 trillion price tag that hangs from it. This point is downright laughable. Indeed we have spent $2 trillion on the Afghanistan War, but that amount has been spread out over twenty years, with the cost heavily frontloaded towards the first few years of the war.
In recent years we’ve been spending approximately $40 billion annually to fund our Afghanistan operations. Meanwhile, the Biden Administration is proposing trillions of dollars in new spending on a seemingly weekly basis, the most recent of which includes $21 billion for “clean energy demonstrations,” and another $1 billion for “The Appalachian Region Commission.” Even though most of us likely have no idea what either of those pet projects constitutes, is there any doubt they are less important than ensuring the safety of all Americans in preventing another catastrophic terrorist attack?
Another justification we hear for the Afghanistan pullout is to stop the deaths of our brave military heroes, but this argument doesn’t hold water either. We haven’t had a single combat death in Afghanistan since February 2020, over 18 months ago; zero. And for several years prior to that most recent death, a bad year for combat deaths in Afghanistan was comparable to a good weekend on the streets of Chicago as far as the number of Americans being killed by violence. Until Biden’s recent decision, the situation in Afghanistan was essentially a stalemate, with our troops operating relatively unmolested, though certainly in danger, and the Afghan citizenry continuing to adjust to life in a budding democracy.
Joe Biden has now totally squandered the twenty years of blood, toil, and treasure we have spent in Afghanistan for one reason. Not to save $40 billion annually so he can turn around and spend an equal amount on windmills. He hasn’t done it to stop the shedding of our soldiers’ blood, something that hasn’t happened since the idea of COVID lockdowns and mask mandates would have been chuckled at. Indeed, Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan, subject the Afghan people to unspeakable war crimes, totally destroy our national credibility among friends and foe alike, and to put all Americans at an exponentially higher risk of a terrorist attack has been implemented for a much more cynical purpose: politics.
Biden pulled the trigger on pulling out of Afghanistan to satisfy his idiotic, tree-hugging, peaceful rioting, CRT-embracing, leftist base. It’s that simple. Biden’s rightful reward for this moronic course of action and the calamity which is sure to ensue will be the irreparable damage to an already dreadful legacy. Joe Biden owns the demise of Afghanistan and its tragic implications to our national security. And this will be President Joseph R. Biden’s defining moment.
P.F. Whalen is a conservative blogger at TheBlueStateConservative.com. His work has appeared in multiple publications, including Human Events, the Western Journal, and American Thinker. Follow him on Parler @PFWhalen.