In early July, President Joe Biden said the sudden withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan wouldn’t cause a repeat of the Saigon disaster in Vietnam.
“None whatsoever. Zero,” Biden said in response to a reporter’s question about the chances of a repeat. “There’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of a embassy in the — of the United States from Afghanistan. It is not at all comparable.”
Five weeks later, that is exactly what happened, as the Taliban took over Kabul and, as the Washington Post reported it, the “U.S. scrambled to evacuate embassy staff and accelerate the rescue and relocation of Afghans who aided the U.S. military. Helicopters began landing at the U.S. Embassy early Sunday and armored diplomatic vehicles were seen leaving the area around the compound. … Smoke rose from the embassy’s roof as diplomats destroyed documents to keep them from falling into the Taliban’s hands.”
The White House was reportedly “stunned” by the Taliban’s rapid victory, and Biden had to interrupt his vacation to send thousands of troops back into Afghanistan to help evacuate U.S. personnel.
It is a colossal blunder, the repercussions of which we will be suffering for years.
But we’ve already grown accustomed to colossal blunders since Biden came into office. On every issue he has touched, Biden’s managed to quickly transform victory into failure.
At the southern border, which President Donald Trump had finally stabilized, Biden immediately started reversing every one of the previous administration’s policies, while announcing to the world that the U.S. would welcome illegal border crossers with open arms.
For all of 2020, the border patrol reported a total of 458,000 “encounters” at the southern border. In just six months since Biden took office, there’ve been more than 1 million, with the number increasing every single month since January.
That’s despite Biden’s reassurance that all was well at the border, that the surge in the spring would soon stop once the weather got hotter, and that Vice President Kamala Harris could be trusted to handle it.
Now a federal judge has ordered Biden to reinstate one of the Trump programs he abandoned – “Remain in Mexico,” which required those crossing the border illegally to be sent back to Mexico while their (almost always bogus) asylum claims were adjudicated, rather than be released into the U.S. never to be seen again.
Biden’s energy policies have also been ruinous. He started hampering oil production on day one, issuing a raft of executive orders to halt oil and gas leases on federal lands and offshore, kill the Keystone pipeline, and so on.
So is it a surprise that, after shooting upward under Trump, domestic energy production has been flat this year, even as the economy rebounded? Just last week, Biden was pathetically begging OPEC to increase its production to offset the steep rise in gasoline prices here.
On the economy, the GDP had already regained almost all its losses and unemployment had plummeted faster than expected by the time Trump left the White House.
Then Biden promised to “rescue” the economy.
And despite warnings from even liberal economists that dumping another $1.9 trillion in deficit-fueled cash into a rapidly growing economy would spark inflation, he reassured the country that his “American Rescue Plan” would do no such thing. Now he’s claiming – based on no economic principle known to man – that borrowing and spending $5 trillion more will reduce inflation.
So, in the wake of Biden’s “rescue,” consumer confidence has plunged. The University of Michigan’s widely followed consumer sentiment index took one of its biggest dives on record this month and is now back to where it was in 2011 – when Biden was vice president and the economy was still struggling to recover from the Great Recession.
Meanwhile, on the streets of the nation’s cities, violent crime is rising after Biden and his fellow Democrats spent months attacking the police. Across the country, COVID cases are spiking as Biden’s vaccination effort stalls out.
Biden’s champions claimed that his competence, experience, and judgment would be a welcome relief from Trump’s antics.
But as the list of Biden’s damaging policy stumbles expands, even ardent never-Trumpers must be starting to pine for a return to the days of “so much winning.”
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board