by Austin Bay
September 1, 2021
As President Joe Biden's propagandists wage a rearguard political war of lies and narrative distortion, al-Qaida has begun exploiting his administration's on-the-ground Afghanistan disaster.
The administration's lies, spin and evasions are as morally dreadful as they are pathetically transparent. Jen Psaki's jaw-dropping Aug. 23 "Americans aren't stranded" denial already ranks high among all-time White House double head-slappers.
Psaki employed a totalitarian rhetorical trick of the ilk George Orwell condemned. To avoid answering a fair but critical question, she attacked the reporter for using the word "stranded." Then, she redefined the word to mean something it does not, arguing citizens who couldn't enter the Kabul airport weren't stranded because they were in telephonic contact.
Earth to Jen. Your car stalls and you're stranded on the highway. You call AAA, but you're stranded until the tow truck arrives. Q.E.D.
American citizens were stranded in Afghanistan when she pulled her stunt. Some still stranded are potential hostages. On Aug. 31, a reporter asked Pentagon spokesman John Kirby if the U.S. would evacuate more citizens should the opportunity arise. Kirby inadvertently delivered a coup de Jaw-Drop Jen: "We have Americans that get stranded in countries all the time and we do everything we can to try to facilitate safe passage."
How many U.S. citizens remain in Afghanistan? The Biden State Department doesn't know, and the figures vary from 100 to 1,500. State Department flacks, including Antony Blinken, also known as Secretary of State Blinken, excuse their befuddlement because the circumstances are chaotic.
Hey, Blinken -- you and yours seeded the unnecessary and deadly chaos.
For years, American veterans groups and civil organizations have sponsored programs to bring former Afghan translators and their families to the United States. Numerous nongovernmental organizations have focused on protecting other Afghans now vulnerable to Taliban execution, for example, religious minorities and women's and children's rights activists.
After Biden's April 14 withdrawal announcement, several of these programs morphed into ad hoc rescue efforts. The State Department response? It would take 12 to 18 months to get Special Immigrant Visas.
Aware that a decision to withdraw was in the works, a competent State Department would have integrated these efforts into its evacuation plan. Issuing treacly lip service plaudits is not integrated planning.
Oh, wait. What plan? Despite American military expertise in Noncombatant Evacuation Operations, or NEOs, Biden's Afghan debacle proves the planning effort was casual, haphazard and rank amateur.
A quote from my Aug. 17 column: "Even a NEO involving an area as large as Afghanistan could have been planned and prepared in 30 to 45 days if the Joint Chiefs of Staff had coordinating power and the State Department arranged for temporary refugee housing in third-country safe havens." The decision to quit Bagram air base "was utterly stupid, at least until threatened Afghans were extracted."
Blinken's State Department served as the lead agency -- that's U.S. doctrine for a NEO. But withdrawal from a combat zone is still a military operation. State Department suits, however, started giving specific security orders. The suits determined protecting the Kabul embassy -- protecting them -- took priority over keeping the Bagram airbase.
Why didn't the Joint Chiefs insist on sending in reinforcements to hold Bagram and protect the embassy? My guess: Biden's State Department is staffed by brats with paper credentials who insist they're smarter than everyone else, and the current ranking Pentagon military officers are political appointees with epaulets.
Meanwhile, in Afghanistan on Aug. 30, Dr. Amin-ul-Haq, an al-Qaida leader and former Osama bin Laden security chief, returned to his native Nangarhar province.
On Aug. 20 Biden said, "What interest do we have in Afghanistan at this point with al-Qaida gone?"
Hey, White House Resident. We defeated al-Qaida in Afghanistan. But your disastrous bugout has put 9/11's mass-murdering terrorists back in business.