Optics on the 20th anniversary of the deadly terrorist attacks against the twin towers of the World Trade Center and Pentagon that killed nearly 3,000 people will have turned out tragically different than President Joe Biden had in mind.
Old Glory, along with the BLM and LGBTQ flags that so recently flew at America’s swanky new billion-dollar Kabul Embassy are gone — since replaced by one provided by the Taliban.
That same Taliban flag may once again flutter over the soccer stadium where the sport will feature stonings of those who helped the Americans, as well as members of rainbow gay rights communities whose determination to “live their truth” make them easy to identify and kill.
There would be no opportunity to present the teleprompted speech he had hoped to give on the occasion, one proclaiming himself the president who had succeeded in doing what none of his predecessors—George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump—ever could: a final ending of that “endless war” in Afghanistan.
Rest assured, however, that the Taliban, al Qaeda, and ISIS will stage countrywide speeches and celebrations of their own.
Visualize caravans of thousands of American armored Humvees; air shows of American attack aircraft and Black Hawk helicopters circling overhead; and triumphant militants brandishing American weapons jubilantly firing American rockets and advanced rifle munitions into the air … all sponsored thanks to the $85 Billion donated by U.S. taxpayers.
Taliban’s Badri 313 unit has even staged a photo op of its own for the occasion. It features their fighters clad in captured American gear raising the Taliban flag in a parody of the iconic World War II image of Marines raising the Stars and Stripes on Iwo Jima’s Mount Suribachi.
Likely not in a celebratory spirit are hundreds of left-behind U.S. citizens and tens of thousands of Afghan supporters, along with their families, who are now desperately attempting to evade capture and brutal retribution for being on our side.
Also sidelined out of view will be countless Afghan women and girls whose lifestyles have been abruptly flipped to pre-medieval times.
No, it hasn’t turned out at all well for Joe who had hoped the Afghanistan withdrawal would serve as a lifeline to rappel his free-falling poll numbers up out of a deepening pit of domestic policy disasters.
Calamities of his administration’s clown carnival from hell include: an open southern border under control of narcotic and human trafficking cartels; rampantly escalating crime problems in Democrat-controlled states and cities; profligate government spending and skyrocketing inflation; job and economy killing anti-fossil energy policies; and an ongoing COVID pandemic that he pledged to end.
Like Joe Biden, Kamala Harris has big poll number problems, too, worst for any vice president since the early 1970s.
This was even before Afghanistan fell apart and she dashed for cover.
Multiple sources have reported that Kamala was overheard to scream “You will not pin this s*** on me” as she initially refused to stand next to the president during his August 22 press discussion of the Afghan debacle.
This despite previously bragging in April that she was the last person to leave the room when he made that fateful decision to vacate the country.
Biden and his handlers made what they imagined would be a politically advantageous decision to return all American troops from the country by September 11 over opposing recommendations of informed embassy, military and intelligence experts.
An urgent July 13 “confidential dissent channel” State Department memo signed by 23 American Embassy officials in Kabul warned that the country would rapidly collapse to Taliban control if the administration held to an arbitrarily revised August 31 troop withdrawal deadline.
The administration’s top generals, including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, a former military commander in the region, agreed that full withdrawal would create regional instability.
Other advisers, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan, warned Biden about Taliban reprisals against Afghan government diplomats, military interpreters and others who had loyally worked alongside Americans over the past two decades.
Nevertheless, knowing where Biden stood on these matters, they chose political expediency over principles.
A large majority of Americans favored a significant force drawdown in Afghanistan, but the planning and execution of this one was an unmitigated disaster.
No apparent thought was given to removing civilians and securing armaments from enemy hands before, rather than after, the troops had left.
The decision to shut down all defensible U.S. air bases throughout a country about the size of Texas—leaving the commercial airport in Kabul, a city surrounded by Taliban as the only evacuation option—was massively moronic.
Putting Taliban in charge of controlling access to the airport and providing them with identities of those who had worked to help us—essentially kill lists—was egregiously insane.
Abandoning our huge, secure, and accessible Bagram Air Base located 45 miles north of Kabul which had served as America’s situational awareness eyes and ears for the entire region—doing so in dead of night without informing NATO partners or the Afghan commander —will likely go down as one of modern history’s greatest strategic military blunders.
It’s doubtful that even Barack Obama could have anticipated how bad it could get when he privately commented in response to Biden’s announcement to run for president, “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f*** things up.”
When you read or hear that “America has ended its longest war,” don’t believe it.
It will not have ended for the ignominiously abandoned Americans and Afghans who fought with us, now being hunted for vengeance—some for U.S. humiliation trophies and ransom—and their disconsolate families at home.
It will not end the eternal torment of families who lost 13 loved ones to terrorist bombers amid crowded chaos at gates of the Kabul airport directly resulting from lack of contingency planning and total reliance upon Taliban security for protection.
We have since learned that a Taliban offer to put access to the airport under U.S. military control was rejected by our own “leaders.”
America’s unconditional surrender in Afghanistan will expand—not end—threats on our homeland and allies by emboldened and richly U.S.-equipped terrorist elements who use our humiliating defeat as a glorious recruiting benefit.
There can be no cause for 9/11 victory laps around the White House Rose Garden or Pentagon; no accolades from allies who have witnessed America’s ugly image of failed leadership on the global stage.
The only cheers will come from adversaries who seek to exploit our shameful weakness.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and the graduate space architecture program. His latest of 10 books, "What Makes Humans Truly Exceptional," (2021) is available on Amazon along with all others. Read Larry Bell's Reports — More Here.
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