Michael Goodwin: Biden will be competing with the Taliban as 9/11 approaches

Biden’s ‘haphazard’ Afghanistan exit put Americans at risk: Hoffman

Fox News contributor reacts to the State Department taking credit for rescuing Americans on ‘America Reports’

How anyone could ever think it was a good idea is mind-boggling, but Americans should never forget that President Joe Biden wanted to celebrate the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan on September 11th. Whether he’s addled or just arrogant, Biden believed the 20th anniversary of a day of infamy could be turned into a feel-good event — and no doubt give him a political booster shot.

Wiser heads prevailed, but only up to a point. The withdrawal date was moved up to Aug. 31, but Biden remained fixated on getting all the troops out before 9/11, damn the consequences. 

Now the consequences are damning the president, the latest evidence being the six charter jets stuck for days on the ground in Afghanistan, their passengers, reportedly including American citizens, not sure if they will be allowed to fly to safety or be executed by the Taliban. 

Whatever the outcome, the key point has already been made. The Taliban hold the power and America is reduced to supplicant.

Yet it is a measure of the Biden administration’s duplicity that Secretary of State Antony Blinken denied that the trapped passengers were hostages — even as he admitted the US was looking at this and other departure restraints to decide whether to lift sanctions on Taliban officials, restart financial aid and normalize relations.

Promising benefits, including cash, in exchange for those who want to leave certainly sounds like a hostage negotiation. But apparently hostages are not hostages unless the government says so.

Indeed, Blinken sounded like a shill for the terrorist group by describing the plane delay as a matter of routine paperwork. He said the Taliban promised to allow American citizens or others to leave on charter flights if they have proper documents, but claimed the delay was because some passengers don’t have the documents.

“Because all of these people are grouped together, that’s meant that flights have not been allowed to go,” Blinken said. 

His doubletalk is proof there is no limit to how low the White House will sink to portray the chaotic, bloody withdrawal as a great success. Its defense of the Taliban’s misconduct is a defense of its own misconduct.

The boneheaded evacuation plan cost the lives of 13 brave servicemen and -women and left behind hundreds of our citizens and thousands of Afghan allies we repeatedly promised to get out. The broken promises amount to a death sentence for some.

The disastrous events guarantee that this anniversary of 9/11 will be unlike any other. The heroism of that awful day and the ultimate sacrifices of almost 2,500 troops in Afghanistan are stained by the shameful actions of Biden, Blinken and the military leaders who told the president they could successfully carry out his foolish withdrawal orders.

Biden is planning to visit all three 9/11 sites — the Pentagon, New York and the Flight 93 ­Memorial in Shanksville, Pa. The ceremonies are always somber remembrances, and it would be way off key in any year to turn the day into a political victory party and especially inappropriate this year.

Then, too, the president will have to compete with the Taliban for attention. The terrorists are certain to mark the day now that they have driven out the world’s mightiest military. Flush with American uniforms and equipment, they’ve already mocked the famous flag-raising on Iwo Jima.

And as former Ambassador Ryan Crocker wrote, their victory “has given a huge boost to militant Islam everywhere.”

Crocker also said the outcome allows the Taliban to portray themselves as the faithful believers who, “clad in the armor of the one true faith, have vanquished the infidels.”

With his public approval falling rapidly, Biden just wants to get past Afghanistan, and his media Praetorian Guards are ready to help him change the subject. 

The Boston Globe did its duty with a Tuesday story that began this way: “The collapse of the Afghan government, a surge of COVID-19 cases caused by the Delta variant, devastating weather events, a disappointing jobs report. After a torrent of crises, President Biden is hoping to turn the page on an unrelenting summer and refocus his presidency this fall around his core economic agenda.” 

In other words, the bumbling, failing president is an innocent victim of events beyond his control. We’re to believe the Afghan government collapse was unrelated to Biden’s decision to close Bagram Air Base and pull all our troops out, just as the disappointing jobs report was unrelated to his policies.

As for the president’s plan to refocus, what exactly is his “core economic agenda” other than shoveling trillions of borrowed dollars out the door in the hope that it will buy votes for him and congressional Dems? 

The New York Times did its part in image rehabbing in its favorite way — through anonymous sources. 

The paper reports that White House staffers quietly cheered a Supreme Court border ruling that, on its face, was a stinging defeat for Biden and a victory for former President Donald Trump. 

The case involved Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, which required asylum seekers to wait south of the border while their claims were decided. Although the Mexican government was a partner to the deal, Biden called it “inhumane” and ended it on his first day in office.

That helped fuel the unprecedented surge that has seen more than 1 million illegal crossers apprehended this year. Although the administration tried to get migrants to stay home, nothing worked and the surge continues.

Thus, as the Times says, it came as a “relief” to the White House that the Supremes let stand a lower-court ruling that said the “Remain in Mexico” policy had to be reinstated.

Presto — disaster at the border and blame for Biden are changed into victory. As the Times spins it, the court ruling gives the White House a chance to “come up with a more humane version” of Trump’s policy. 

Propaganda doesn’t get any more cynical than that.

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