My American Spectator column this morning talks about the fact, in the wake of yesterday’s ISIS bombings at and near the Kabul airport, that giving up the Bagram air base is a direct cause of the current disaster unfolding in Afghanistan.
The most obvious, painful takeaway of all of this was that Bagram Air Base, a massive and secure facility 40 miles outside of Kabul, would not have been so vulnerable to such attacks and should have been the site of an air evacuation. That’s what the military’s book would have said. Helicopter flights could have shuttled people from all over Afghanistan into Bagram and then, by plane, they could have been flown out to safety.
But Bagram was abandoned in the middle of the night in early July, and 5,000 jihadist terrorists held in a prison on the property were then let go. Included in those 5,000 were Al Qaeda and ISIS terrorists; it would be a surprise if the suicide bombers who snuffed out so many lives on Thursday didn’t come from that population of bloodthirsty villains.
Abandoning Bagram was an act so evil in its incompetence that one is left wondering if it’s incompetence at all rather than something else.
The press conference yesterday at which Joe Biden, the doddering simpleton who Mr. Magoo’ed his way into the White House by whatever unusual means last year, without staging a real presidential campaign or being much vetted by the corporate legacy media, attempted to dodge blame for what happened really brought this into focus.
Biden claimed that giving up Bagram was the advice of the military brass. He said he was advised that focusing on Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul was more practicable.
“They concluded — the military — that Bagram was not much value added, that it was much wiser to focus on Kabul,” said Biden. “And so, I followed that recommendation.”
This isn’t just clearly false, it’s absolutely implausible. It has to be a lie.
It’s important to find out who “the military” is in this context. Who are these people who supposedly advised Biden that giving up an air base from which one of the most persistent, frenetic air operations in world history has been mounted for two decades, set off 40 miles from Kabul in a secure location at an elevation of 6,000 feet and therefore almost completely defensible from the Taliban or ISIS terrorists, in order to set up an evacuation from the Kabul airport and its one runway in a nearly indefensible situation in the middle of a city of five million people who are bound to mob the place, was a good idea?
The obvious conclusion is nobody in the military – not even the gross incompetents Mark Milley or Lloyd Austin – gave Biden that advice. He got it from the Obama “b” team holdovers like Susan Rice or Ron Klain who are actually running the country right now.
What’s behind this dereliction of duty isn’t a thoroughly semantic line of inquiry. Fundamentally it doesn’t matter whether Joe Biden and his administration are shot through with a level of incompetence so profound as to produce this result through good-faith effort, or that this happened on purpose.
At least, not to the question of whether Biden should be impeached. But beyond that question, exactly what we’re dealing with does matter. And that’s why we need the impeachment process to go forward.
Impeaching Biden is now a matter of political hygiene. He has to be impeached because what he and the people who handle him have done has put America’s status as a superpower in jeopardy, and the only way to safeguard that, the only way to reassure our allies and rethreaten our enemies and remain king of the hill upon which we sit, is to signal that we have standards we require our leaders to meet and there are consequences not to meet them.
But more than that, an impeachment trial will get to the bottom of why the Afghanistan pullout has been practiced in the way it’s been practiced. Whether this really was just a tragedy of errors due to gross incompetence, or whether there was more.
There is a theory afoot that the pullout has been this chaotic and horrific as a means of sandbagging it and building public support for reclaiming the mission in Afghanistan and giving the military industrial complex another $2 trillion honey pot to eat from.
We’re not swayed by that one. If that was truly the case, these guys would have found a less damaging way to accomplish their ruse. This has shattered public confidence in our military leadership and done damage to the public’s willingness to support further action, not shore it up. You don’t have to believe the purveyors of endless wars are any good at what they do to recognize they’re not quite this foolish.
Rather, this appears to be evidence of worse – and very rude questions at an impeachment trial need to be posed in an effort to smoke it out.
Are the people in charge of our government actively trying to damage us on the world stage?
That sounds ludicrous. It’s the stuff of tinfoil hat conspiracy theories.
The problem is, given the events of the last few years the tinfoil hat crowd are coming off as more sane than the country’s political establishment.
Eric Swalwell is caught having an affair with a Chinese spy while contemplating a presidential run, and he isn’t even removed from the House Intelligence Committee. From that simple fact can flow quite credible speculation of all kinds of horrors.
Joe Biden is bound and determined to yoke the U.S. economy to the Paris climate accords despite the fact that our carbon emissions performance exceeds them without the harmful bureaucracy that agreement prescribes. Biden’s first action as president was to cripple the domestic oil and gas industry, and then, when the price of gasoline doubled as a more or less direct result, he went begging to OPEC to sell us more oil rather than reverse his policies.
Now he’s handed the Taliban the world’s largest hostage crisis for the taking, while prioritizing Afghan refugees over Americans we’re quite clearly going to abandon in Kabul when Tuesday’s deadline comes and goes.
There are lots of other examples.
So what’s the sane explanation? That these are all accidents? That people capable of engineering a victory – by whatever means – in a presidential election are simply having an unbroken rough string of luck over the last seven months?
Or that it’s intentional?
Either way, the articles of impeachment need to be filed and the public campaign to pressure those Democrats willing to abandon the sinking Biden ship into joining must begin.
Seven months of this hell, no matter what’s driving it, are enough. Another three and a half years will break this country.