We have witnessed the collapse of U.S, political and moral will to continue in Afghanistan and pretty much anywhere else in the world. As we bear the humiliation of President Joe Biden's surrender, remember: the United States has the power to affect whatever it wishes.... It is only a question of political will. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
"America is back!" President Joe Biden declared, in February 2021.
If so, what happened?
The last eight months have been a rolling U.S. disaster domestically and internationally. We have witnessed the collapse of U.S, political and moral will to continue in Afghanistan and pretty much anywhere else in the world. Given the daily headlines of the last two weeks, what is the Biden administration's message for Israel, Taiwan, Ukraine, and South Korea? Not to mention, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico?
The most disturbing part is that apparently SOMEONE in the US government -- or someone whose hands are on the levers of the organs of the state -- wants it exactly this way. It is not random, an accident, or a mistake. "They" want a return to the "managed decline" that served as the hallmark of the Obama administration's eight-year-long "fundamental transformation" of America. Given President Biden's apparent decline in mental acuity, we are compelled to conclude that whoever is REALLY in power in the United States is not Biden. This is a planned, coherent (NOT BIDEN) strategy. Biden is weak.
As we bear the humiliation of Biden's surrender, remember: the United States has the power to affect whatever it wishes. Truly it does. It is only a question of political will. Deadlines, such as the artificial August 31st withdrawal from Afghanistan, mean absolutely nothing if we do not wish it. The US could financially squeeze Pakistan -- the country that has harbored and funded the Taliban for two decades -- and change the entire operating environment in Afghanistan. Overnight, the circumstances could have be reversed 180 degrees at 100 mph -- yet, for this administration, it seemed not "desirable."
None of the disastrous Afghan developments was a surprise for the Biden administration. While leaders from the Pentagon and Intelligence Community lied to Congress this spring and summer about the viability and sustainability of the Afghan government against the Taliban, the very same U.S. intelligence and defense agencies watched the entire Taliban resurgent progression and saga unfold – for months and months – and in some instances accurately warned the Biden administration of a rapid collapse. Nothing was "missed." One should openly laugh at people making that preposterous claim. Similar deceit and double-talk have surrounded Biden's crisis and national security disaster at our southern border.
Are we to expect to be lied to, placated, deceived, or misdirected by our administration? Let us ponder how the Biden administration explains and communicates the unpleasant facts about the Afghan collapse. Biden himself publicly admits that he is not in charge of when and where he can take questions from the news media. Historically, Biden's public statements and performances remind us of FDR in the last 18-months of his presidency. Lapses, confusion, rambling incoherence. FDR had Harry Hopkins, Admiral William Leahy and Alger Hiss to manage his decline and the consequences of Yalta. So who manages Biden?
Unfortunately Afghanistan is not an isolated case. There is an American historical litany of betrayal -- wherein US allies and dependencies have been traded-away, forgotten, dismissed and neglected -- stretching back to FDR's weak, pathetic performance at Yalta. WWII was predicated on an unconditional "war guarantee" by France and Britain to defend Poland, should any country attack Poland. Nazi Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union invaded Poland. At the end of WWII, who got Poland as a war prize? Stalin. Thanks, FDR. Twenty years of combat following the Taliban/al Qaeda attacks of 9/11, and to whom does Biden surrender Afghanistan? The Taliban. Thanks, Joe.
President Jimmy Carter gave a speech back in 1979 about America's psyche that describes the threat of "managed decline" to our country today. It was called the "National Malaise" speech. Carter said:
"The threat is nearly invisible in ordinary ways. It is a crisis of confidence. It is a crisis that strikes at the very heart and soul and spirit of our national will. We can see this crisis in the growing doubt about the meaning of our own lives and in the loss of a unity of purpose for our Nation. The erosion of our confidence in the future is threatening to destroy the social and the political fabric of America...."
We are slouching towards another national malaise. It is the Anti-MAGA Era.
How could the disasters of the past eight months have happened? Who made the decisions? Who failed? And where is their accountability?
Why does everyone, supposedly "in-charge," walk away with double-talk, pathetic excuses, retirement payments and appointments to corporate boards? Can the betrayal of the principles of our country be reduced to partisan lies and soundbites of feigned outrage?
These injustices make ordinary, tax-paying Americans frustrated and angry. They are watching their country come apart at the seams -- domestically and internationally -- and they abhor it.
Chris Farrell is Director of Investigations at Judicial Watch and Distinguished Senior Fellow at Gatestone Institute.
Shea Bradley-Farrell, Ph.D. is President of Counterpoint Institute for Policy, Research, and Education (CIPRE) and Affiliated Faculty and Policy Fellow at George Mason University's Schar School of Policy and Government.