Many Americans are probably becoming more aware of the rapidly diminishing confidence in Joe Biden’s competence as President of the United States.
Images and videos emanating from Afghanistan show a catastrophic failure to carry out a withdrawal from a troubled country, and indicate severe failures in intelligence and planning that have occurred at the highest levels of the US government.
Even many of Biden’s supporters in media and politics are picking up on and criticizing his leadership amid one of the worst foreign policy fiascos in US history. Perhaps some feel that Biden’s failures betray his message that he would take the “adults” back to Washington.
What we’ve seen so far, in the short time since Biden took office, is a series of catastrophes as the administration struggles to push its progressive agenda in Congress. On the world stage, the situation is much worse.
On issues that fall more directly to the executive branch, such as protecting borders and conducting foreign and military policies, the government has fallen into a series of unquestionable failures.
This, despite the Biden administration being replete with what the media celebrated as one of the most “diverse” and “experienced” teams of advisers and secretaries of all time. It seems that this is not taken into account.
The Biden government pushed progressivism in the first place; now he promotes “fragility” inside and outside the US. His response to the disaster that unfolded in Afghanistan was essentially to blame his predecessors, the Afghan president and all, while clumsily and unconvincingly saying that “the responsibility to choose is mine.”
How different was that from President John F. Kennedy who, after the failed Bay of Pigs operation in Cuba, said that he alone had the responsibility to the country.
In his speech after a weekend of chaos in Afghanistan, Biden was essentially an anti-Kennedy.
Biden gave a speech he should have given months ago about why the US shouldn’t be building a nation in Afghanistan and why it was important to leave. President Donald Trump conveyed the same message, which is why he initiated the withdrawal.
But Biden completely dodged the most important question of the moment: why the withdrawal operation was an absolute disaster.
He then evaded the reporters’ questions and immediately returned to Camp David to continue his vacation. He only appeared in public again this Wednesday (18) to give a speech about Covid-19. He lashed out at Republican governors over mandating masks in schools and then left the stage without answering questions.
Does he expect the story to just get old and the country move on to another news cycle? This is a great insult to the intelligence of the American people, if that is the case.
In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Biden was asked whether the situation could have been better handled. The US president basically said “no”.
To make matters worse, when asked about videos of the Afghan people falling from planes, Biden replied, “That was four days ago, five days ago.”
It was two days ago, but what a difference it makes, right?
Some have compared Biden to former President Jimmy Carter in the way he is handling the situation in Afghanistan. But this comparison is unfair to Carter. In the Iranian hostage crisis, Carter personally took charge of the rescue operation to retrieve the Americans from the US embassy. The mission ended in failure.
In a message to the country, after aborting the mission, Carter, like Kennedy, completely and unequivocally assumed responsibility.
“It was my decision to try the rescue operation. I decided to cancel it when problems arose in positioning our team for a future rescue operation. The responsibility is entirely mine,” he said in a White House statement.
That wasn’t all. Carter assured the United States that the effort to bring its citizens back home would not diminish:
As president, I know the entire nation feels the deep gratitude I feel for the brave men who prepared to rescue their fellow Americans from captivity. And as president, I also know that the nation shares not only my disappointment that the rescue effort could not have gone ahead because of mechanical difficulties, but also my determination to persevere and bring all our hostages to freedom.
There has certainly been a crisis of confidence in Carter’s leadership skills, which is why the US ended up with Ronald Reagan in the White House after a single term of his predecessor. Even so, Carter has not deserted or been unwilling to face the consequences of his decisions. In any case, he was just an ineffective micromanager.
At this point, Biden’s failure is much deeper.
“History will not look down on the Biden Presidency for this,” said Bill Roggio, senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and editor of the Long War Journal, in an interview with Fred Lucas of The Daily Signal.
“That makes any of Jimmy Carter’s flaws child’s play. Carter handled a hostage situation poorly,” said Roggio. “Biden took steps that led to the collapse of an ally in which we had invested enormous amounts of blood and money. This is a defeat for the US and a defeat for the Afghan government.”
US presidents must be active when US citizens are in extreme danger abroad. But while Biden is apparently on vacation, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan hasn’t even commented on whether the troops will withdraw before all the Americans are out of Afghanistan.
When asked about US citizens imprisoned in the country, Sullivan said at a news conference: “I will not comment on hypotheses.”
How comforting! For the Americans trapped there, that doesn’t look good.
Even when the US was a much weaker country, mistreatment of US citizens abroad was often a cause for decisive action by presidents and the federal government.
The US entered the War of 1812 over the British expropriation of American sailors, even though the country was highly unprepared to face a world superpower.
Great countries do not leave their citizens to the mercy of others without a fight.
Now there are no answers and a president who has not only failed to take decisive action but is failing to act. Comparisons with Carter are unfair to Carter.
Perhaps it’s best to draw a comparison between Biden and another Pennsylvania-born president, Abraham Lincoln’s predecessor James Buchanan: the seasoned Washington man crushed by the historic moment, who hesitated and slept as the country disintegrated.
THE United States crisis to be continued.
Jarrett Stepman is a contributor to The Daily Signal and co-host of The Right Side of History podcast.