The unfolding drama – tragedy of Shakespearean proportions – in Afghanistan, created by mindboggling incompetence in the Biden-Harris White House and State Department – stands alone. It is emblematic of a broader problem: Systemic incompetence.
To watch an American president stammer before the world, defending an avoidable failure of policy, planning, and execution, leaving thousands stranded in terror – is heartbreaking, defies our can-do history, ideals, and every American’s inner hopes. Flanked by tin soldiers, a black-masked Vice President and Secretary of State only adds to the sense of theatrical nonsense.
Reality is sweeping the country, media to main street: The Biden-Harris team is stumbling, ideologically distracted, over-impressed, under-focused, systemically incompetent. Like the Midas touch in reverse, what they touch withers, wilts, and suffers.
In Afghanistan, between 15 and 40 thousand Americans, based on internal documents, were left flat-footed by the sudden withdrawal and predictable collapse; many will not get safely out.
Another 20 to 40 thousand Afghans who put faith in us, who were promised safe passage by special visa, also may not get out.
Shockingly, internal sources report Biden’s State Department not only deprioritized them – knowing they may die without protection – but put only four employees on processing 20,000 applications. That is either breathtaking incompetence or heartless.
Then we learn that to shift blame to Defense, Biden’s Secretary of State signed in July – a document abolishing the bureau charged with evacuating Americans from danger, the “Crisis and Contingency Response” (CCR) Bureau. It got 100,000 Americans safely home in 2020.
State at first hid this fact, delaying notification to Congress. Then, they tried to hide their statutory obligation for evacuation, which resides at State not with Defense, under federal law.
Pivoting again, they downplayed Trump’s creation of the bureau, suggesting the Consular Affairs Bureau, which put four employees on 20,0000 emergency Afghan visa applications, has evacuation covered. Really? Facts say otherwise.
Then we learn a phalanx of Foreign Service Officers used the “dissent channel” to warn the Secretary and White House – this is going to be a disaster. That memo was ignored.
Now, we see the president blame everyone from our intelligence community and under-supported Afghans to past presidents and US allies. We see him say Americans will not be hurt, as they are dragged from cars and beaten.
We hear him say all 15 to 40 thousand will be rescued when they cannot get to the Kabul airport, are told to “shelter in place,” are not retrieved, and he cannot say how many are there.
We hear him say al Qaida is not in the country; then his own Defense Department says they are. We hear him say allies are not furious, adversaries not emboldened, credibility unharmed – when all know all that is false.
What this travesty tells us is bigger than foreign policy and national security mismanagement and dissembling. This cascading national security failure signals systemic incompetence. We are witnessing runaway federal spending; as inflation accelerates, federal debt shoots for 30 trillion, Social Security trustees labor to deliver bad news on solvency.
We see abdication of law enforcement on the border, attacks on law enforcement across the country, homicides, and drug overdoses at record levels. We are seeing failure to care for American citizens, as sick illegal aliens are secretly shipped to towns that cannot manage them.
We see fanning of racial tensions, attacks on culture, history, moral fiber, constitutional rights, and institutions – from attempts to intimidate individual Supreme Court justices to court-packing, abuse of legislative process to executive orders ignoring Supreme Court rulings.
We see an executive indifference toward – and collusion with social media monopolists to suppress – free speech, worship, assembly, rights preserved by the 2nd, 4th, 6th, 9th, and 10th Amendments. We see ignorance and politics converging to trample knowledge, history, and law.
So, where is the hope? Hope lies where it always has, in three facts, each in sharp opposition to Biden-Harris’s systemic incompetence.
First, widespread awareness of central facts – near-universal acknowledgment by liberals, conservatives, and centrists that this administration is flailing, sets up consensus correction. Whether that is constitutionally, legislatively, or electorally is unclear.
Second, history teaches that America tends to indulge poor leadership, only to a point. We then snap back – responding with decisive action. We seem to be approaching the point when corrective action is needed on both foreign and domestic policy. Optimally, level heads prevail.
Third, electoral corrections in 2022 and 2024, while requiring patience, assurance of election integrity, renewed confidence in the process, and peaceable assembly – are likely. These corrections may begin with House and Senate, extend to the White House, but will likely involve major rethinking about party loyalty, State, and local elections down to school board.
Net-net, crises are never fun, nor correcting leadership failure. Americans would rather live at peace, undisturbed, free from government failures. But sometimes, things must be put right. As Americans watch Afghanistan in near-universal disbelief, Biden-Harris is demonstrating systemic incompetence on an order seldom seen. National correction approaches.
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