Now Comes The Blame Game

Who lost Afghanistan?

Joe Biden may be able to recover from the Afghanistan fiasco, but it’s going to leave a very dark and deep stain on his presidency.

Even though it is not completely of his own making, the appalling disaster is coming on Biden’s watch, the proximate result of his own decisions, and is a moral, political, and policy FUBAR for the ages.

The optics are horrible. The reality is worse. And the worst is certain to come.

Make sure you read these pieces in today’s Bulwark:

“America Has a Moral Obligation to Get Our Translators Out of Afghanistan,” by André Mann and Alan Cross:

We promised we would get them out. We promised we would stand by the thousands of Afghan translators and their families as they stood by our troops and American government personnel and contractors for almost 20 years. But, now those promises are in grave danger of being broken.

As the American flag has been lowered at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul after the Taliban swept into the capital city over the weekend in the wake of U.S. troop withdrawal and the fleeing of the country by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, thousands of Afghan translators and their families are running, or hiding, for their lives. The Taliban has declared them to be enemies and traitors. It is a moral imperative that the American government and people fulfill our promises and rescue the 80,000 to 90,000 Afghan translators and family members who are enrolled in the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) application process (around 18,000 interpreters). We have only rescued around 2,000 at this point.

“We Didn’t Think Our American Friends Would Leave Us in the Dead of Night,” by Martin Rahmani:

When President Joe Biden was elected, we were promised a return to “normalcy.” The grown-ups had come back into government and America would wash away the stain of President Donald Trump’s legacy. As the Taliban took Kabul over the weekend, the return to normalcy was President Biden exhibiting the same reckless callousness we had come to expect from Trump.

Why the Afghan Army Fell to the Taliban: When the U.S. withdrawal was announced, logistical support evaporated.”

“Too Little, Too Late: The Botching of the Afghan Refugee Evacuation” by Ali Noorani


Rarely has an American president's predictions been so wrong, so fast, so convincingly as President Biden on Afghanistan….

The big picture: It's a stunning failure for the West, and embarrassment for Biden. And it's a traumatic turn for U.S. veterans who sacrificed in Afghanistan over the past 20 years, the 20,000+ wounded in action, and survivors of the more than 2,300 U.S. military personnel who were killed.

George Packer: This Will Live in Infamy.

There’s plenty of blame to go around for the 20-year debacle in Afghanistan—enough to fill a library of books. Perhaps the effort to rebuild the country was doomed from the start. But our abandonment of the Afghans who helped us, counted on us, staked their lives on us, is a final, gratuitous shame that we could have avoided. The Biden administration failed to heed the warnings on Afghanistan, failed to act with urgency—and its failure has left tens of thousands of Afghans to a terrible fate. This betrayal will live in infamy. The burden of shame falls on President Joe Biden.

Hot Takes — An Overview

The commentary is brutal, but — as usual — runs the gamut from the good, bad, and ugly to the hackish, bigoted, and revisionist. A sampling:

The Maga house-bigot:

The Deplorables:

The FashCon take:

The hilarious homophobia:

The memory hole:

And the hackish:

NT Breaks Bad on Biden

Nota Bene: Never Trump does not mean giving a pass to Joe Biden.

Ben Sasse:

Liz Cheney:

Adam Kinzinger was not impressed with the WH photo-op.

Yes, Trump set this in motion. But…