“We inherited a deadline, but not a plan,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken explained this week in remote testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives on the Biden administration’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Mr. Blinken, if this is true, then why didn’t you and your compadres in the Biden administration come up with a plan? President Joe Biden, after all, said in April he was going to withdraw from Afghanistan. The president also diverted from former President Donald J. Trump’s deadline of May 1st and set it ceremonially to Sept. 11th. It was your own administration’s deadline you were working toward – without a plan, you had months to prepare.
Blaming the Trump administration may win you favor with Democrats, but it doesn’t equate to the truth. The Trump administration had conditions for withdrawing, which the Taliban violated, and thus, the “deadline” you falsely inherited (and actually changed) could’ve very well been altered.
Under the Trump administration’s agreement with the Taliban, the May 1st withdrawal was conditioned on a pledge from the Taliban that they would engage in an “intra-Afghan dialogue,” to achieve a “permanent and comprehensive ceasefire” and to adhere to a “political roadmap” for Afghanistan’s future. The Taliban took Afghanistan by force, starting the month after Mr. Biden announced his new withdrawal date, and thus, Mr. Trump’s Doha agreement with the Taliban was off. Mr. Biden’s decision to stick to his new withdrawal date was his, and his alone.
And my, how your tune has changed.
In June, you said, “We are staying, the embassy is staying…I would not necessarily equate the departure of forces in July, August, or by early September with some immediate deterioration in the situation.” In July, you assured the American people the Afghanistan government wouldn’t fall “from a Friday to a Monday.”
Yet, that’s exactly what happened.
Also, in June, your spokesperson Ned Price said the world would not “accept” a Taliban government “imposed by force” in Afghanistan. That same month, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby admitted the Taliban was a “terrorist group.” In July, Mr. Price said that any government that comes to power “at the barrel of a gun” will lack international legitimacy.
And now, you’re now trying to give the Taliban just that.
On August 30th, the last U.S. military flight left, stranding Americans within the war-torn region. The Taliban has blocked multiple charter flights carrying Americans from the country, leading to a hostage situation. You admitted this week, you have no idea how many Americans, Afghan special immigrant visa holders, or allies you left behind or how you’re going to get them out.
Thirteen American service members were killed in the withdrawal, as your administration decided to outsource security measures to the Taliban. As retaliation, your administration did drone strikes. We still don’t know who the so-called high-level ISIS-K “planner” was or who the “facilitator” was, and according to reporting from the New York Times, your third drone strike killed innocent civilians and children, who were allies to us.
Now, you won’t rule out recognizing the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan and are pleading with them to grant Americans safe passage back to the U.S. It is, after all, those American’s fault they didn’t get leave the country sooner. Not yours.
Last week, your boss, Mr. Biden, through his press secretary Jen Psaki, said U.S. recognition of the terrorist organization was “dependent on what steps the Taliban takes.”
Dependent on what steps the Taliban takes? There are no women included in its new government. It’s headed by FBI-wanted and ex-Guantanamo terrorists. It’s brutalizing the free press and our allies in the Afghan army. Americans remain stranded in the country.
Resign. Immediately. Your judgment and credibility have been compromised, and all the world knows it.