- The Washington Times - Monday, August 23, 2021

Republican politicians in Washington have not learned a damned thing from the Trump presidency. Nor, for that matter, have they learned a thing from nearly a half-century of foreign governments’ spilling blood and treasure in Afghanistan.

The world watched in horror last week as the very best, most expensive Washington schemes ended in predictable catastrophe in Kabul.

Our long-forgotten mission failed. Americans left in deeper peril. Our troops dead or maimed. Incalculable debt piled on U.S. taxpayers. Our allies thrown to the wolves. And the very equipment that guarantees American freedom abandoned in the desert sands.

When politicians seek to disarm American citizens, they are literally handing out weapons of war to our blood enemies who want to destroy us.

The simple, yet profound, lesson of the Trump presidency can be summed up in two words: America First. That is the Trump Doctrine — both domestically and on the world stage.

Unbelievably, this is somehow controversial among politicians in Washington — even among many Republican politicians.

After President Joe Biden set an artificial date to withdraw from Afghanistan and failed to secure safe passage for Americans trapped in Kabul, some Washington Republicans were quick to blame — who else? — President Donald Trump. If these spineless simps spent nearly as much time standing up to Democrats and Joe Biden as they do attacking Donald Trump, they might actually win more elections.

Instead, they mount the social media barricades to attack Mr. Trump, the first Republican president since Ronald Reagan, to understand that the only honest American political agenda is an agenda that serves American interests first and foremost. After all, the American people pay all the bills, and every one of these politicians takes an oath of office to represent our interests and our interests alone.

Yet even as American citizens left trapped in Kabul try to escape with their U.S. passports, American politicians obsessively grieve for all the Afghan “interpreters” left behind who helped U.S. troops during 20 years of their failed “nation-building” experiments.

Former President George W. Bush and his wife issued a statement lamenting the horrifying conditions Afghan women are left to live with. If only we could figure out whose idea it was in the first place to spend 20 years and trillions of dollars remaking the Middle East.

To be sure, there are some truly sad cases among the Afghan “interpreters” and the women left in the carnage of these politician’s grand schemes. But this is not the fault of the American taxpayer or the American soldier. This is entirely the fault of American politicians such as George W. Bush and Joe Biden. 

To Mr. Bush’s eternal credit, at least he really did believe all this nonsense about “nation-building” in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Biden believed it just as long as it advanced his own political career. Then he immediately abandoned it — along with our troops and their precious Afghan “interpreters” — as soon as that advanced his own political career. (Are you starting to see a pattern here?)

And then skeptical Americans are now called “racist” and “hateful” because we are wary of more promises from these same failed Washington politicians who insist that they will carefully vet each and every Afghan citizen they are so hellbent on bringing to America. 

How on earth can we take these people seriously after the disaster they created in Afghanistan — not to mention the catastrophe they have created on our own southern border?

Let us never forget the whole reason the 9/11 terrorist attacks happened in the first place was that politicians and the bureaucrats who work for them failed to enforce our borders and keep out those wishing to do us harm. Of the 23 visa applications submitted by the 9/11 hijackers before the attacks, an astonishing 22 of them were approved by these people.

On Sept. 12, 2001, any regular American citizen could have offered three solutions to prevent the next attack. 

1. Outfit commercial airplane cockpits with impenetrable doors.
2. Take immediate control of our borders, including the visa approval process.
3. Become energy independent so the Middle East can burn to the ground without us.

Private airlines fortified their cockpit doors. And, despite all efforts by politicians in Washington, private enterprise turned America into a net energy exporter.

The only ongoing failure remains the federal government’s refusal to enforce its simplest, most basic responsibility at the border. It took Mr. Trump to finally force these people to start doing their job. And they have hated him for it ever since.

• Charles Hurt is the opinion editor of The Washington Times.

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