The crisis in Afghanistan is evidence of President Biden’s shambolic and deadly ineptitude – he is physically present, though mentally and morally vacant.
President Biden is single-handedly responsible for the total catastrophe of the West’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. He is personally responsible for this humanitarian crisis of “epic proportions”, to quote Johnny Mercer, and for the deaths that have both already, tragically and unnecessarily occurred, and the many deaths inevitably to come.
This is beyond party politics; this is beyond Left and Right. But many Americans should be questioning their reasoning behind voting for a politician who is physically present, though mentally and morally vacant. This “imbecilic” – to use the words of Tony Blair – and totally reckless decision that went without the consultation of America’s allies has directly caused this humanitarian crisis, the bloodshed, the inevitable continuation of war and equally inevitable refugee crisis – which will hit Europe the hardest.
But these foreseeable issues were not of concern to Biden, who took the decision to withdraw American troops in order to declare his own vain, self-perceived glory, and to be the man celebrated for nobly ending the 20-year conflict – to go down in history as the “last President” to oversee American presence in Afghanistan. Instead, he has blood on his hands, and as Rory Stewart argues, has not “ended” the War in Afghanistan, but rather extended it by at least another ten years.
Some may argue that other world leaders should share the blame, such as Prime Minister Boris Johnson, because he too, took the decision to withdraw our troops after Biden had previously done so. However, as for other NATO leaders, there was little other choice. To not withdraw after America having done so would have been assuredly calamitous, and would unavoidably claim the lives of many more British armed service personnel. Yet, our presence in Kabul until August 31 threatens the lives of our brave British troops anyway, as three bombs have been detonated at or around the airport, reportedly claiming the lives of 13 US troops on Thursday evening (August 26) so far. Realistically, however, it was only a matter of time.
The scenes on our television screens are almost unbelievable and certainly dystopic. The chaos in the capital, the people rushing for the airport dehydrated and desperate, the deaths of American troops. On Thursday evening, videos emerging on social media of bloody Afghan bodies scattered and strewn everywhere – murdered by suicide bombers. It is a degrading, horrific sight.
Yet, most stay silent. Unlike the BLM movement or the Free Palestine protests, most have little to say on Afghanistan. It is shameful – particularly when looking at the focus of other political commentators in Britain: from defunding the BBC, to Covid vaccine talks, to whether Brexit is to blame for lorry driver shortages. Though, they are unspoken on Afghanistan.
President Biden’s justification for leaving Afghanistan was not for humanitarian reasons. It was not logical, not rational and not responsible. His true motivation for this total omnishambles is domestic political gain: self-glorification; his desperation to have a venerated legacy telling of his bringing stability to the Middle East and ensuring world peace. Biden’s legacy will certainly not be that. Only months into his presidency, his leadership of America will be remembered, bitterly, by the Afghanistan crisis – and so it should be. This situation is stomach-wrenching, and yet it is hopeless and forlorn.
I fear for British and American lives and those of other NATO countries. And I fear for the lives, not least the stripping of human rights, of the Afghan people – particularly for women and girls. For these fears, Biden is responsible.
This political landscape is totally depressing, and no one can do anything about it. No one wants to do anything about it. The illegitimate rule of the Taliban has been consolidated and will be recognised as the lawful government of Afghanistan – because despite this meaningless and empty political slogan that “we don’t negotiate with terrorists”, we do – evidently.
Pride and dignity aside, this is totally and utterly humiliating and shameful – and there is only one man who can be held accountable, one man who can be blamed. Despite the pseudo-appearance of being this kind, gentle and well-intentioned politician, Joe Biden is in fact an idiot, the epitomic omnishambles; and it seems everybody, besides himself, has to pay the price: in misery, death and fear.
This is an opinion piece and the author’s views do not necessarily reflect the views of Platform Magazine.
Lead image: Gage Skidmore