Joe Biden told a nationwide TV audience yesterday that the horrifying scenes in Kabul, with desperate refugees fleeing the rule of a resurgent Taliban, isn’t his fault. He also says he won’t “shrink from my share of responsibility for where we are today.” Look up cognitive dissonance in the dictionary.

The problem, Biden explained, is that the Afghan army that we and our allies stood up, fell down the moment the U.S. troops pulled back and the Afghan government hightailed it out of the country. Fair enough: How can we fight their war if they won’t even fight it themselves?

Related Story: Poll — Nearly 70% of Americans Disapprove of Biden’s Handling of Afghanistan

But what Biden fails to face candidly is why the withdrawal had to be so chaotic, so seemingly haphazard, risking the lives of those who helped America fight its longest war. That was transparently a failure of planning and intelligence and leadership.

It’s not that we left Afghanistan. It’s the grossly incompetent way we left!
– President Donald J. Trump

In making the broader case against staying in that dysfunctional land for another five or 10 or 20 years, Biden could have cited one of his predecessors on a different war: “We are not about to send American boys nine or 10,000 miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.” Of course, Lyndon Johnson said that two weeks before his 1964 election, then soon enough sent huge numbers of American boys to Vietnam to fight.

Laura and I have been watching the tragic events unfolding in Afghanistan with deep sadness. Our hearts are heavy for both the Afghan people who have suffered so much and for the Americans and NATO allies who have sacrificed so much,” – George and Laura Bush.

But like Vietnam, the Afghanistan war is ending, and in much the same way with us closing our embassy and flying away, leaving terrified people to the mercy of the conquering enemy. For that it’s impossible to blame the weak will of the Afghan forces, or Ashraf Ghani, who was Afghan president before he skipped out. Ghani wanted to avoid the fate of Najibullah, the Soviet-installed Afghan president who didn’t escape when the Taliban conquered the country the first time in the 1990s. Najibullah was caught, tortured, castrated and dragged to death behind a Jeep.

America is right to leave. “The buck stops with me,” said the president. Hold him to his word.

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