Opinion: Heads should roll from Biden on down over Afghanistan calamity

ben weingarten
Conservative Opinion

Ben Weingarten

Federalist Senior Contributor; Claremont Institute Fellow
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America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan is a disaster on multiple levels, and officials at the highest levels should pay for their mistakes.

The story of Afghanistan is a story of failure—of ignorance, arrogance, and corruption, all of which detracted from what should have been the singular mission: To avenge the deaths of Americans on 9/11 by crushing the jihadists who struck us, and deterring any such future acts.

But the calamity unfolding before our very eyes today constitutes an even deeper, and more basic failure of our president, our military, intelligence apparatus, and beyond.

Their collective outrageous failure is an inability, or unwillingness, to protect the life and limb of the American people—the core responsibility of our government. 

Without life, there is no liberty or pursuit of happiness.

Without the American people, there is no America.

The issue today is not the fact that the Biden administration is withdrawing from Afghanistan, but the disaster that is a withdrawal that has created the conditions for the impending greatest hostage crisis in American history.

Amazingly, the fact that the Taliban we ousted from power took over a country that we spent hundreds of billions of dollars rebuilding — including funding a military to the tune of $85 billion, and supplying it with 600,000 weapons, 75,000 vehicles, and 200 aircraft–cutting through the military like a knife through butter, reclaiming power, and now cruising around town in the Humvees that we paid for, is the least of the outrages here. 

This is to say nothing of the billions of *our* dollars on top of this that flowed to murderers who hate our guts over the last 20 years.

The greatest outrage is that there are thousands of Americans left behind in Afghanistan right now as we record this.

And the administration had no plan to get them out of harm’s way, or prevent the scenario in the first place.

On August 18, 2021, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin admitted as much when he said, “We don’t have the capability to go out and collect large numbers of people.”

It is simply unfathomable that with our $800 billion a year military budget, and the still billions more spent on the rest of the national security and intelligence apparatus, there was no plan to ensure safe passage of these individuals before any withdrawal—before any potential descent into chaos and bloodshed, let alone after the fact.

And this is to say nothing of the fact that while American lives are hanging in the balance, and the administration—in another outrage—was planning on charging up to $2,000 per evacuee to get out of there, only to reverse the decision after it drew scrutiny—the administration had plans to evacuate tens of thousands of Afghans who reportedly aided the American effort there, notwithstanding whatever vetting issues there might be, and the reality of the green-on-blue attacks that we faced, and the fact deserving refugees could and probably should be resettled in culturally similar lands, at lesser cost.

Whatever your thoughts on refugee resettlement, Americans have to be the first priority. Period. Full stop. And the administration did not at all make that clear.

This withdrawal or non-withdrawal is the political equivalent of criminal negligence. 

It’s the ultimate dereliction of duty.

It is absolutely an impeachable offense. G-d knows, presidents have been impeached on far less–for phone calls, and speeches for crying out loud.

The commander-in-chief, and every other senior official involved in these calamities ought to be impeached and removed, or resign for their rank incompetence here if nothing else.

There must be vigorous oversight by Congress that exposes the failures occurring in real-time, the parties responsible for them, and proposes remedies with REAL TEETH.

Now I don’t expect this to happen, but anything less than holding those accountable with their jobs, getting at the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth of this debacle, and taking concrete measures to ensure something like this never happens again, is unacceptable. Anything less would ensure far graver failures to come.

We need people in positions of power who are fit to serve, not the woke and the weak. And while I have little faith in our Vice President, in his own words the buck stops with the president, and he and his confidantes should pay with their careers for this disaster.


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