President Joe Biden fancies himself a hero, not the Nero, who ended a war of “nation-building” in Afghanistan. Toward this fantasy, he ordered the most strategically inept and self-serving conclusion to any war in American history. He reportedly wanted out of Afghanistan in time to give a self-aggrandizing speech on Sept. 11.

Among the lives wasted are 13 American service members killed by a terrorist attack at the Kabul Airport as the United States attempted to airlift Americans and U.S.-friendly Afghan residents to safety. Americans and our allies remain in Afghanistan as inevitable targets of the Taliban.

No one can know what is going on in the president’s heart and mind, but he gave the world a clue by checking his watch at a ceremony honoring service members returning in flag-draped caskets. It was a solemn ceremony to honor the dead — individuals who are mortally gone forever — and Biden seemed more concerned about the time it was taking.

The president repeatedly looked at his watch as the relatives and friends of 13 dead Americans contemplated losses they cannot undo and will never fully overcome. As discovered by renowned UCLA psychology professor Albert Mehrabian, and confirmed by other studies, words account for about 7% of the communication individuals convey. Body language — such as compulsively checking the time — tells the audience more.

After disrespecting survivors of the deceased, Biden used words to misrepresent our military’s role in Afghanistan.

“It’s about ending an era of major military operations to remake other countries,” the president said.

If that were true, Biden would deserve a degree of praise for this irrational and deadly withdrawal. Americans should not pay hard-earned taxes to remake other countries that don’t share our values and goals and never will. Just as Americans fight to expand civil liberties for individuals of every conceivable background, the Taliban in Afghanistan want the opposite. We will never Americanize a racist, misogynistic, theocratic society so ravaged by internal and international wars the enemy has nothing to lose.

We did not invade and remain in Afghanistan to rebuild it. We took on the Taliban because they harbored and supported terrorists who attacked us at home on Sept. 11, 2001, killing nearly 3,000 Americans.

Most of the deceased had never heard of the people who killed them and did nothing to deserve their collective plight. We maintained a relatively small military presence in Afghanistan — as we do in several other unstable countries — to keep these enemies busy in their homeland, stabilize the country’s legitimate government, and prevent another attack that could make Sept. 11 seem minor.

Imagine the Taliban acquiring a nuclear weapon from Pakistan, Russia, or China and destroying a major American city.

For watch-gazing Biden, it seems political appearances are more important than favorable outcomes for his country.

“When I was running for president, I made a commitment that I would end this war, and today I have honored that commitment,” Biden said.

He “ended” our involvement at an extraordinary cost that could become unfathomable in the not-so-distant future. When we went to war with the Taliban, the terrorists had old pickups and primitive weapons and attempted to hold their own against the world’s most sophisticated military.

Biden’s anti-strategic exodus left them with cash and billions of leading-edge warplanes, tanks, machine guns and more. Be assured these terrorists will try using them against the United States and our allies. It is likely Biden’s declaration that “war in Afghanistan is over” becomes the impetus for more conflicts that will cost more of his fellow countrymen their lives.

Any president has the sole authority to end a military operation. Only a smart, brave, strategic thinker can do so without handing barbarians control of an entire region and an arsenal to use against us.

The United States should never enact policy to be globally adored. We don’t need other countries to like us because we seem nice. We need them to fear and respect us. It is a proven humanitarian doctrine known as “peace through strength.” Biden’s debacle makes us look vulnerable, ignorant, weak, and unworthy of international trust.

Regardless of his words, President Biden did not end a war. He enabled the immediate empowerment of terrorists who want nothing other than war for the sake of killing “infidels” in the United States, Israel, and other countries we count among our friends.

We should hope and pray for a peaceful Sept. 11 eight days from today, when we mourn the 20th anniversary of history’s worst attack on the United States mainland. If the Taliban celebrate with another attack, we’re not sure what Biden will do. Unlike Nero, he won’t play the fiddle. More likely, he’ll fiddle with his watch.

The Gazette Editorial Board


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