Along with many of you, I have been watching the unfolding of the situation in Afghanistan with a sense of pain and horror: The shocking, alarming failure of the Biden administration: The abandonment of American citizens and Afghan allies, the emerging terror.
But we must not fashion this as an aberrant situation that emerged – bang! — out of thin air. That would be to seriously oversimplify it. Nor do I believe the failure can merely be pinned on Biden’s limited mental capacity, which is what some suggest.
The roots of this horror are much deeper and go back in time. And so the evolution of this situation is what I want to look at today. Unless and until the realities are confronted, America is certainly lost.
I ask that you share this as broadly as you can. Some of you will be quite familiar with the thrust of what I have to say here.
Lawrence Kadish, writing in Gatestone, asks (emphasis added):
“…if it is not Biden directing American domestic and foreign policy, then who is?”
And he provides the beginning of an answer:
“For those who follow the grifters, pilot fish, and ‘consultants’ who wallow behind the wake of this administration it should come as no surprise. The lobbyists now working K Street with access to the White House would have been familiar to him as the same profiteers who enjoyed enormous retainers during the Obama years. One suspects it is a closed and suffocating world.”
Ah…lobbyists from the Obama years.
Then we have David Hersch, who poses a similar question in a very astute op-ed:
“Who is the Svengali, the Phantom of the American Presidential Opera?” he asks.
Answering his own question, he writes (emphasis added):
“I have no doubt it is Obama, aided and abetted by a coterie headed by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer
”…Obama was not done with his agenda and a perfect candidate was needed to continue Obama’s aims. Hillary Clinton didn’t make it and the next time round a vociferous over-ambitious unintelligent individual who lusted for what was logically beyond him presented himself.”
Let me stop here for a moment to examine Obama’s agenda, for understanding this is key to any coherent understanding of what is happening now.
There were at least three major, intertwined, elements to be discerned within Obama’s agenda.
First, he demonstrated hostility to Israel, speaking about the need to put daylight between the US and Israel early in his presidency and ending with support for a hostile UNSC resolution.
And then, he provided support for Muslim entities. And I want to be clear here: I am not talking about moderate Arab entities such as UAE. Rather he leaned towards the most radical elements within the Arab/Muslim world. The very first talk he gave in an international venue after his inauguration was in Egypt, and he invited the Muslim Brotherhood, which was an illegal entity there. President Mubarak felt seriously undermined by this and was so furious he refused to attend the talk. This gave of us who were watching an early hint of where he was heading. He changed government policy so that terrorism could no longer be linked to Muslims in official documents. He released dangerous Taliban leaders in a dubious trade. On and on.
But worst was his interaction with Iran, which he supported in outrageous fashion. As Hersh writes:
“At the time the JCPOA agreement was being signed, there was a cocksureness and arrogance that was visibly discernible from Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. It seemed so clear and obvious that he had the USA, its representatives and President in his pocket. Of course one of the benefits to Iran was the transfer of $1.7 billion from the USA in cash…”
The third element of Obama’s policy involved a weakening of America. That’s the obvious flip-side of strengthening of radical Islam, is it not? And for those who doubt this, we need only look at the terrifying way in which he weakened the US military.
And then came the electoral victory of Donald Trump, a crushing blow to Obama. Again citing Hersch:
“The Democrats hated Donald Trump so much they were prepared to pull the pillars of America down to expunge themselves of his presence and the very air he breathed. What they hated and resented even more was that their selected candidate, Hillary Clinton, who would have faithfully continued Obama’s actions and agenda, was soundly defeated by a non-member of the political establishment, of independent means and thought and impervious to being bribed or controlled.
“Whether people liked him or not, Trump was competent, capable and strong. Not what the Democrats wanted or could stand. He may not have been an orator of Churchillian stature, but he did the job.”
I will add to this the fact that Trump loved America and had the audacity to want to Make America Great Again.
He strengthened the military; made the US energy self-sufficient; acted against illegal immigration; strengthened ties with Israel; cut unemployment, especially within the black community; promoted the Abraham Accords with moderate Sunni states; and cut off dealings with Iran.
Trump had to be taken down.
Many do not realize that Barack Obama broke with tradition after leaving the presidency. He moved into housing just blocks from the White House and declared intention to stay actively involved in government proceedings. He founded an organization that worked at the grassroots level across the country to seed negative accusations about Trump. Called, “Organizing for Action,” it was a nonprofit group that grew out of Obama’s campaign machine; Politico called it the lead organizing hub of the Trump resistance. The goal was to get rid of him in any way possible.
There is in my mind no question but that the election of the Biden-Harris ticket was not legitimate.
It was Biden who had been selected to make the run because he was “the perfect candidate who could and would be controlled, thus giving Obama his third term and opportunity to finish many of his questionable policies and agendas…”
And Kamala, who was enormously unpopular? She was a woman with dark skin – electoral advantages, and she was a known left-wing opportunist. It was likely that she was selected because in the event that Biden could not make it through four years, she would also be malleable, as Obama advanced his agenda.
As to Biden’s agenda. On the face of it would be difficult to discount Obama’s input. Biden – who was Obama’s vice president and has drawn repeatedly and extensively on people who served in the Obama administration – has reversed one Trump success after another, weakening America domestically and on the world stage in the process. He has been courting Iran, demeans the Abraham Accords, reinstated funds to the PA cut by Trump. His embrace of the Taliban is a world-class embarrassment for the US.
Commentator Ben Shapiro, looking at the current horrendous situation, cites the late Charles Krauthammer (emphasis added):
“The question of whether America is in decline cannot be answered yes or no. There is no yes or no … Nothing is inevitable. Nothing is written. For America today, decline is not a condition. Decline is a choice.”
“If there is a Biden doctrine, it’s simply this: surrender abroad, bloated dotage at home. Decline is a choice. And Biden has made that choice.”
And that is my point here, my friends. What happened in Afghanistan is not simply a manifestation of mismanagement or foolish decision-making by a less than competent president. Matters may have unraveled faster than had been expected, but there was choice involved, choice that weakened America. Choice ostensibly made by Biden, as guided and instructed by a coterie of political actors out, most of all, to destroy America.
Can America be saved? Only if a large portion of the electorate grapples with these issues with honesty and seriousness, might this be possible.
And I close with a stunning piece by Conrad Black, “This Horrible Fiasco Demands Change” (emphasis added):
“The one potentially positive aspect of this horrible debacle has been the unarguable revelation that the president is not up to his job.
“I would certainly wish to give him the benefit of the excuse of declining mental and physical powers, although I never imagined that even at the height of his powers the defamer of Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas, the candidate who cribbed a campaign message from a twice-defeated leader of Britain’s Labour Party, and a man who cannot tell the truth even about his own university background or most other things, could serve successfully in such a great office. The powers that be in the Democratic Party plucked him out of the ditch where the primary voters had left him and put him in as president…
“The administration has been a pantomime horse with the front legs and the back attached to different torsos. It has been a catastrophic failure in every field: foreign and defense policy, illegal immigration, crime, inflation, and even the COVID-19 pandemic, which was the Democrats’ chief ally in getting elected, both through the incitement of public hysteria and as the excuse in the selective rigging of voting and vote-counting rules…
“Biden, Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan should all resign at once, after Biden has fired the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Mark Milley. They are jointly responsible for the most horrible foreign policy fiasco in American history and, to compound matters, they have all lied to the public and to Congress about it.
President Obama said Sullivan is “wicked smart.” He may have been half right. Milley should have been court-martialed for denouncing President Trump’s walk to the church of the presidents after the attempted destruction of it by arson in June 2020, in which Milley participated. The Obama-elevated senior officer corps of the U.S. armed forces now believes that white racism and climate change are the principal obstacles to U.S. national security. Any officer above one star who believes that bunk should be sacked and no retiring officer should be allowed near a corporate boardroom in a defense-related industry for five years after leaving the service. The woke movement conducted by Biden and Obama has rotted and corroded most of the American state following the American academy and the national political media—they have atrophied in choreographed synchronization.
“If this horrible fiasco contributes to the radical change of course necessary in American political society, it will be worth it…
As I write this, there is crisis in America, following a massive suicide bombing in Kabul in which at least 10 US servicemen lost their lives.
The Bennett-Biden meeting, originally scheduled for Thursday, with Bennett planning to return to Israel shortly thereafter, has been postponed until Friday.
I will have a great deal to say about Bennett’s visit to Washington DC, and none of it is likely to be positive. But these comments will come after Shabbat.
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by independent journalist Arlene Kushner. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.