Let’s face it — the Biden administration didn’t have a plan to get them out before August 31, either. If they had, Joe Biden and the State Department would have started a civilian evacuation first rather than waiting until after pulling out American troops. Biden had to order 5,000-plus troops back into Kabul just to secure the airport for any civilian evacuation.
The Pentagon released one measure of just what a clusterfark this has been all along this morning. Our friend and colleague Guy Benson points out the obvious:
A well planned and orderly process would have placed these groups at the front of the list. The frantic fiasco resulted in chaos that will leave Americans and SIV holders abandoned. https://t.co/NUv8NOfxFe
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) August 27, 2021
This is why Pentagon flack John Kirby and Secretary of State Antony Blinken dodged questions for more than a week on the number of Americans still in Afghanistan, and the numbers evacuated. They’re still fudging those numbers, in fact, by excluding green-card holders and those with valid visas for residence in the US. Those are also “US Persons” in a legal sense (ie, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act), whose omission from these numbers is a clumsy attempt to avoid the fact that the administration will end up leaving Americans behind Taliban lines.
Despite Biden’s insistence that he will somehow retrieve them after ordering the military to leave Kabul, House Democrat Seth Moulton (MA) calls malarkey. There is no plan in place because there couldn’t possibly be a plan without personnel, Moulton explains. The White House has been making it up as they go along, forcing personnel on the ground to do the same:
Moulton made the point a bit saltier with New York Magazine a day earlier. Biden’s performance would be “measured in bodies,” Moulton angrily declared, because the withdrawal “has been a total f***ing disaster”:
Seth Moulton saw things during his trip to Afghanistan that were “truly out of this world.” He spent about 15 hours on Tuesday at the airport in the capital city of Kabul, the epicenter of America’s messy withdrawal from the nearly 20-year war there. The Massachusetts congressman described the scene as “the most visceral, raw view of humanity that I will probably ever see in my life,” with “thousands upon thousands” of refugees camped out and “desperate” to fly out of the country, which was overtaken by fundamentalist Taliban forces. The experience left Moulton more convinced than ever that President Joe Biden made grave mistakes in his handling of the exit.
Moulton was on his way back from Kabul in the wee hours of Thursday morning when he spoke to New York about the trip, during a layover in Madrid.
“The thing that everybody needs to understand, even if you completely agree with the Biden administration’s decision to withdraw, the way they have handled this has been a total fucking disaster,” said Moulton, who traveled to the country with Representative Peter Meijer, a Republican from Michigan. “It will be measured in bodies, because a lot of people are dying because they can’t get out.”
It certainly has, and Moulton deserves a lot of credit for pointing it out. It’s not a withdrawal, it’s not a “retrograde,” and it’s not even a retreat any more. It’s a rout, and we will be hearing about Americans left behind for weeks, months, and maybe years. And the full blame for that falls on Joe Biden, Antony Blinken, Lloyd Austin, Mark Milley, and the rest of the leadership who went along with this catastrophic plan rather than stand up and publicly call it out.