Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and before the Senate on Tuesday, brings Afghanistan back into focus.
The Biden administration would like this to be otherwise.
Blinken’s testimony comes at the same time that The New York Times, and other media outlets, are reporting that the drone strike in which Biden’s team allegedly killed an ISIS terrorist, actually killed an innocent Afghanistan aid worker and his family members.
This horrible and tragic incident was an exclamation point on a botched Afghanistan withdrawal that has created anger and outrage across party lines.
It’s understandable that many Americans feel this way: Our country was humiliated on the world stage, as the so-called planned withdrawal cost American lives, left allies behind and looked more like a chaotic retreat of a defeated nation.
Our enemies seized on the moment and openly taunted us.
China threatened Taiwan, warning them that we will abandon them just as we did Afghanistan. The editor-in-chief of the Russian Times tweeted, “Don’t help the Stars and Stripes ... they’ll just hump you and dump you.” Meanwhile, the Taliban held mock funeral processions through the streets of Kabul with coffins draped with American flags.
Biden and his White House made the situation worse by showing hubris and defiance throughout the crisis. The president stubbornly clung to the August 31st deadline, an arbitrary date in spite of being told it was not possible.
To add insult to injury, Biden’s failure to notify our allies of our rapid withdrawal prompted international rebuke, including a former British politician going so far as to suggest that the U.K. might not participate in U.S military operations while Biden remains president.
And as our rapid departure left a power vacuum in Afghanistan, it was quickly filled by not only the Taliban but al Qaeda and ISIS-K.
Not surprisingly, many in our nation now feel less safe.
A Trafalgar group poll released two days before the 9/11 anniversary showed more than half of Americans believe that Biden’s botched Afghanistan withdrawal is more likely to bring about another large-scale terrorist attack.
It’s no surprise that some Americans are now feeling pessimistic about the future of our country and are saying our best days are behind us, but that viewpoint is actually short-sighted.
Part of this pessimism could simply come from the demographics of our country.
The Brookings Institute study of census data showed that half of Americans are millennials—born after 1980. That means half of our country has no personal memory of the Jimmy Carter era.
President Jimmy Carter’s handling of the Iran hostage crisis humiliated our country on a global scale. We watched as his administration seemed helpless to find any coherent response, made worse by a botched rescue attempt that killed American military servicemen.
This lack of leadership was reflected in the mindset of Americans, with a Gallup poll in 1979 finding 69% of Americans saying they were dissatisfied with how things were going in America.
But this wasn’t the first time a failed presidency had plagued the country.
Andrew Johnson’s heavy-handed response after the Civil War led to his impeachment.
Warren Harding’s term is known for its rampant government corruption and scandals.
Only a few short years before Carter’s term, President Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace after the Watergate scandal.
And, while now looked at with indifference, President Clinton’s sexual escapades in the White House shocked the country.
In short, we’ve been here before, America is not a stranger to failed leadership.
But to paraphrase the late, great Charlie Daniels in a song he penned during the Carter presidency -- this lady may have stumbled, but she ain’t ever fell.
Because it’s "We the People" that have made and continue to make this country great.
And the anniversary we marked this month is a reminder of that. Before September 11, 2001, we were a nation deeply divided.
A closely contested campaign between Al Gore and George W. Bush had sharply divided the nation, as the Supreme Court ultimately had to decide who would sit in the Oval Office.
But, after both the north and south towers of the World Trade Center fell, Americans unified in a way not seen in generations.
The terrorists' hopes of crippling and demoralizing America failed miserably.
Instead, it instilled in our nation a patriotism that hadn’t been since World War II.
That resurgence didn’t happen because of who sat in the White House at the time; it happened because Americans decided to make it happen.
The same can be true now. There is no place for abandoning hope for our nation or selling ourselves short; America’s best days are ahead, not behind.
The greatness of our country comes from the people of this nation, not any government agency or politician.
It’s the American people that have sweat, bled and died to build this nation into not only the most successful nation in the world, but the greatest force for good around the world.
We’ve had eight months of bad political leadership and will likely see more to come over the next three years.
But, the American spirit has always been larger and stronger than whoever currently sits in the White House. This time is no different.
Charles Mizrahi is Editor of Alpha Investor and Host of "The Charles Mizrahi Show." Read His Reports — Here.
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