No Mr. Biden, the War with Jihadists Continues
President Joe Biden publicly announced the evacuation of U.S. citizens and Afghan allies as if it were a triumph, and that his Administration had planned for such a contingency in case the Afghan military collapsed.
He vehemently rejected criticism of his decision to end America’s 20-year war in Afghanistan, hailing what he called the “extraordinary success” of the evacuation of Kabul and declaring the end of an era in which America uses military power “to remake other countries.”
In reality, the facts do not support Biden’s position, especially after the ISIS-K attack that kill 13 U.S. military personnel and hundreds of slaughtered and wounded Afghans.
Lies, Denial, and Cover-Up
One denial or cover-up by Washington has been the legitimate and inevitable threat of terrorists other that the Taliban in Afghanistan.
For example, just like President Donald Trump, Biden held that ISIS-K posed little or no danger to Americans on U.S. soil, hence he turned his focus elsewhere during the long drawdown that culminated in Monday’s official end of the U.S. presence in Afghanistan.
ISIS-K, according to experts, was nearly neutralized by 2019 thanks to joint U.S. and Afghan counterterrorism efforts, but it regrouped and morphed into a splintered, urban-based network that poses dangers to American interests overseas — and potentially on U.S. soil.
Various media reports had revealed that the White House was actually caught by off guard and preparing for vacation en masse when Kabul fell as Biden had to send back troops he pulled out to separately and heroically to evacuate those who were able to get to the airport.
On Monday, U.S. House Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA) tweeted:
“As the Afghan government fell, the Taliban gave U.S. officials the option to take control of Kabul. They PASSED and instead opted to willingly surrender the city to the Taliban and control only the airport till 8/31! HOW MANY MORE COULD HAVE BEEN SAVED?!?”
One can accept the veracity of Hice’s statement or deny it. However, even the Washington Post, which has substantially been favorable to Biden and his handlers, reported Saturday that as the Taliban were sweeping through Afghanistan, they gave the U.S. government the option to secure Kabul, which would have allowed untold numbers of people who are still trapped there now to have gotten out safely. Apparently, Biden’s military refused, opting instead for control only of Kabul’s airport, leading directly to the disaster we have seen unfold over the last two weeks.
All this makes one wonder how deep the cover-ups in the Biden administration go? For one, he seems to have blamed the evacuation mess on his predecessor, claiming that he was hamstrung by President Trump’s deal with the Taliban.
While many would concur that Trump’s deal with the Taliban terrorists was reckless, Biden was not, as he claims, caught between a rock and a hard place. As a new President he could have modified the deal as he has so much else that Trump did.
The Trump deal was based on the Taliban fulfilling conditions, such as negotiating a deal with the Afghan government that they had already broken when Biden assumed office. Biden, nevertheless, could not help but cry wolf claiming that he was both a prisoner of that deal and courageous for fulfilling it.
As the Wall Street Journal editorial board explained:
“[Biden] also repeated that his only choices were total withdrawal or “escalation” with thousands of troops. His own advisers offered him alternatives in between, as did the Afghanistan Study Group. He was so bent on withdrawal, and so quickly, that he refused to adjust the military plan even as the Taliban made gains and the CIA warned that the Afghan government was likely to fall.”
Yet what comes off as most deceptive was the President’s assertion that “the war in Afghanistan is now over.” No one in the jihadist movement believes that, on the contrary, they know believe the have gotten the upper hand in their holy war against the West.
The Taliban’s major victory over the U.S. have enabled them to secure Afghanistan for what is likely again to become a refuge for recruits for al-Qaeda, ISIS-K, the Haqqani network, and the like.
Biden believes that the U.S. can counter this from “over the horizon,” in other words, by the use of drones. Yet they are no substitute for having soldiers and CIA officials on site, or that of a friendly government or allies to locate and gather intelligence on terror camps to counter terrorists, which it still has in Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, and Syria, it has none in Afghanistan.
Despite U.S. troops destroying or disabling nearly 100 combat vehicles and dozens of aircraft before vacating the airport in Kabul on Monday, Orxy, a blog that verifies military equipment using photos and videos, has identified 38 airplanes, 13 helicopters and seven unmanned aerial vehicles that the Taliban has captured in working order, which can be of use to the Taliban or to arms smugglers. And the total stockpile is likely much larger.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the Taliban had also inherited thousands of U.S.-supplied assault weapons and military ground vehicles along with other technology and equipment including artillery pieces and night-vision goggles. Let us also not forget those jihadists who were not properly vetted yet airlifted by the U.S.-led evacuation team to other parts of the world, perhaps even to our American home front.
Regrettably, the war is not over — a new chapter has just begun.
Mario Alexis Portella is a priest of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Florence, Italy. He has a doctorate in canon law and civil law from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome; he also holds a M. A. in Medieval History from Fordham University, as well as a B.A. in Government & Politics from St. John’s University. He is also author of Islam: Religion of Peace? – The Violation of Natural Rights and Western Cover-Up.