I’m one of Biden’s biggest cheerleaders – as I was for Carter, Clinton, and Obama. All have disappointed me greatly, and yet I continue because the alternatives, Reagan, W. Bush, Trump, have been so much worse. I agree with most that Biden’s reasoning was correct but his execution was botched, and for that I do blame Biden. Rachel had been doing stories for months before warning about the plight of Afghan interpreters. Obviously to no avail. If she knew, he must have known, and for that again I do blame Biden.
Look at the history of our nation building successes: After our Civil War and World War II there was reconstruction. They were messy too, but ultimately successful. Why? Because they were done the right way. The American people were involved, the House and the Senate debated and Congress passed the necessary legislation which the sitting president signed. Monies were appropriated and the American people were mobilized. They were not presidential prerogatives nor executive orders. They were popular policy; they were legitimate legislation.
America never had the necessary debate about what to do with Afghanistan. We never discussed it, there was no policy, there was no plan, there was no consensus. It was ad hoc all the way, and it failed because it never existed in the first place.
If we ever do this again it has to be done right. The American people must be behind it through the legitimate exercise of Congressional legislation. But most importantly, the people we are trying to help must be behind it too, and must be our partners in it. Working together, we could have made a lasting difference in Afghanistan. Not to remake that country in the image of America but to help make it work the way the Afghan people wanted. A free Islamic state. But that’s too hard for “Christian” America to swallow. We cannot accept that difference and we refuse to even understand it.
That is the awful missed opportunity, that is our awful failure. That is ultimately America’s most shameful quality: Hubris.