The Bitter Fruits of Interventionism, by Pat Buchanan
While President Lyndon Johnson and the best and brightest of the 1960s were broken on the Vietnam wheel, Biden’s presidency may well be broken on the Taliban wheel of triumph in Afghanistan.
Less than a week after America’s chaotic withdrawal at Hamid Karzai International Airport, a CBS poll found that Americans, while still approving of President Joe Biden’s decision to get us out of this “war for good,” were shocked by how bad the withdrawal was. be executed.
By 75-25, Americans believe the withdrawal is going badly. And those who believe it has gone “very badly” outnumber those who believe it has gone “very well” by 9-1.
Biden’s own approval rating has plummeted to 50%, the lowest in his presidency. However, the disastrous debacle at the Kabul airport has by no means been fulfilled. It can get worse, much worse.
Because it is hard to believe that the United States can remove all of its citizens before the Biden deadline of August 31, and impossible to believe that we can remove all of our Afghan allies in danger from that 20-year war who today live in terror of themselves. themselves and their families.
And there is a certainty – indeed, it is already happening – that some of those left behind will be subjected to atrocities by rogue elements of the Taliban, if not their leadership. Those atrocities will be made into movies and footage in the Western press, underscoring America’s failure to rescue the allies it left behind.
And, with reports already emanating from Afghanistan about food shortages, the country could turn into a human rights hell by the fall.
To consider. The Taliban may have invaded 15 provincial capitals and Kabul in one week. But the government officials who run those cities cannot easily be replaced by Taliban fighters whose vocation for the past two decades has been to wage guerrilla and terrorist warfare.
While the triumphant Taliban have no interest in a renewed war with the United States, they do have an ideological interest in proclaiming their triumph over the superpower and rubbing America’s nose in defeat.
What, then, are the consequences of America’s humiliation?
Biden’s reputation as a capable half-century veteran at the highest levels of the United States government is being deconstructed daily.
America is being portrayed in the world’s media as “a pitiful and defenseless giant,” in the words of former President Richard Nixon. And that is the United States whose public face today is that of Joe Biden.
As for the appetite of the American people to intervene in future wars for democracy and nation-building, it is almost certainly gone.
Nations that have relied on the United States to fight their wars for them should probably increase their defense budgets.
Billions of dollars in American military equipment (armored vehicles, Black Hawk helicopters, drones, artillery, mortars, thousands of rifles, and thousands of tons of ammunition) have been lost. Part of this will end up in Russia and China, and part of it will be transferred to ISIS and al-Qaida.
And, lest we forget, other dominoes fell in the wake of America’s strategic defeat in Vietnam. Cambodia fell to Pol Pot’s genocidal Khmer Rouge. Laos fell to the communists.
Ethiopia fell to the Derg in East Africa. The former Portuguese colonies of Mozambique and Angola fell into the hands of the communist bloc. The Marxists seized Grenada in the Caribbean. The Sandinistas took Nicaragua.
In the late 1970s, our Near Eastern ally, the Shah of Iran, was overthrown and an anti-American Islamic republic led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini was established.
In 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.
Across the Atlantic, “Eurocommunism” took root.
The perception that President Jimmy Carter did not understand the character and purpose of our Communist enemies, and that Ronald Reagan did, was one of the main reasons the country opted for the Gipper.
That another victim of the Afghan fiasco is Biden’s credibility is his doing. Repeatedly in recent days, what Biden predicted would never happen happened. And the president made remarks apparently disconnected from events on the ground in Kabul.
Often last week, Biden would cast the image of a bewildered man who did not understand what was going on or what he was doing. Nor are Republicans the only ones expressing it. Democrats and NATO allies say the same thing.
One of the main victims of Kabul is the establishment’s grand vision of an American foreign policy for the new century, where liberalism and democratic capitalism have won the battle for the future, and the United States, victorious in the Cold War, would lead the world in the realization of a new world order where we would write the rules and watch over the planet.
Biden described this new world struggle as between democracy and authoritarianism, and the United States as the leader of humanity towards the triumph of democracy.
The debacle in Kabul begins Biden’s leadership of that fight with the worst humiliation in America in memory.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “The Nixon White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broken a President and Divided America Forever.”