And just like that it’s over.
On Monday the last American soldier departed Afghanistan, ending the longest conflict in our storied military history.
It was a clumsy drawdown, expedited so that the President could take credit for ending the war before the twentieth anniversary of 9/11.
And unlike his pressers, Sleepy Joe was right on schedule when it was time to embarrass America on the world stage.
To be fair, many of our recent military interventions have been less than perfect; at a little more than forty years old I remember well the missteps in Bosnia, Somalia, Iraq and Benghazi.
But none rival what just occurred in Afghanistan.
In just the past two weeks we have watched in horror as desperate Afghans clambered onto moving cargo planes in a desperate attempt to escape; the Taliban seized a massive cache of weapons and vehicles from the flaccid Afghan army; and cowardly suicide bombers took the lives of 13 of our bravest men and women.
Our disbelief was such that the country was united, if only for a moment, by the horrors playing out before our eyes.
But just what did we expect?
I mean, who didn’t know Afghanistan would end badly with Biden at the helm? Bringing such a delicate conflict to a close is well beyond the capabilities of the shrewdest tacticians, let alone an aging, confused President who gets lost in his own yard.
Those closest to him certainly knew as much.
Before endorsing his former right-hand man, Barack Obama allegedly, and wisely, advised: “Don’t underestimate Joe’s ability to f*** things up.”
And Robert Gates, Obama’s former Secretary of Defense, wrote in his memoir that our current Commander-in-Chief has “been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades."
In fact, Biden’s incompetence is perhaps one thing the whole world can agree on. In 2010 Osama bin Laden warned his foot soldiers against harming Biden, because if something happened to Obama Joe would almost certainly “lead the US into a crisis.” But it’s not like it takes a Nostradamus to predict an inevitable Biden blunder.
After all, this is the guy who made a fool of himself leading Clarence Thomas’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings; championed the 1994 crime bill that led to mass incarceration for minorities; and advised Obama against taking out bin Laden (no wonder the world’s most notorious terrorist had a soft spot for Number 46).
And despite recently promising more than 20 times to leave no Americans behind, hundreds remain.
To borrow Joe’s own favorite phrase, “Come on, man!” And while his record speaks for itself, it’s surprising that anyone, even our current Commander-in-Chief, could botch anything so badly.
Even the mainstream press, which has enjoyed a front row seat to Biden’s fumbles for decades, are dumbfounded by recent events.
From MSNBC to Jake Tapper to Savannah Guthrie, the journos who so strategically placed Biden in the Oval Office are now stunned to learn he may not be up to the job after all.
As are our allies.
Biden’s blunder was met with ridicule by a wide spectrum of the U.K.’s Parliament, and German politician Armin Laschet, a favorite to replace Angela Merkel, called the withdrawal “the greatest debacle that NATO has seen since its foundation.”
You wanted him, you got him.
It’s hard to imagine how anyone could have screwed this up so badly, particularly considering the entire fiasco was completely avoidable.
From giving up Bagram Air Base to evacuating the military before American citizens to relying on the Taliban for security, the President pitched a perfect game of unforced errors.
Now not even Biden’s most ardent can pretend he’s competent, let alone capable of leading the most powerful country in the world.
It was one thing when Biden was a Senator, or even Vice President; blame could always be shifted one level up.
But Afghanistan is his to own. And everyone knows it, including our geopolitical foes. Iran, Russia, China, and the rest are licking their chops at their good fortune.
They have a three-and-a-half-year window to act on their most aggressive impulses, and the only person who can stop them doesn’t know what planet he’s on.
So buckle up, as the worst may be yet to come.
(h/t to @McMurphy_Pat for the cover art)