On Aug. 30, at 3:29 p.m. in Washington D.C., breaking headlines blared across the chyrons of national news networks. After 20 years, America’s longest war had been declared over by the Pentagon.
“I’m here to announce the completion of our withdrawal from Afghanistan,” U.S. Central Command chief Gen. Kenneth McKenzie told reporters.
Strangely, President BidenJoe BidenUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Schumer moves to break GOP blockade on Biden's State picks GOP Rep. Cawthorn likens vaccine mandates to 'modern-day segregation' MORE, who campaigned on ending the war, didn’t make the announcement. There wasn’t an address to the nation scheduled from the Oval Office. Instead, the White House sent an emailed statement and delayed official remarks for 24 hours.
“Our 20-year military presence in Afghanistan has ended,” Biden said. “Tomorrow afternoon, I will address the American people on my decision not to extend our presence in Afghanistan beyond 8/31.”
But while the last C-17 aircraft had left Hamid Karzai International Airport, it wasn’t over for hundreds of Americans and thousands of green card holders who were left behind. After being instructed by the State Department to make their way to the airport, many of them were beaten by Taliban terrorists on their way, only to get to the gates with proper paperwork but unable to get in. Security had been outsourced to the Taliban, resulting in the suicide bombing of U.S. troops. Thirteen were killed and 15 more were severely injured. In the 18 months prior, the U.S. had suffered no casualties in the country.
As we get further away from the official U.S. departure date, which Biden had set for Sept. 11, 2021, but happened earlier, the details of the catastrophic exit are becoming increasingly clear.
Of the more than 100,000 Afghans the U.S. and the Taliban frantically shoved onto planes for departure, a finite number were vetted. Our true allies in the decades-long battle in the country, specifically Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders, were a tiny percentage of the departures. Hundreds of Americans who wanted to leave were left behind and the State Department won’t give numbers on exactly how many SIVs and Americans are still stranded. The administration has repeatedly touted the situation as the most “successful airlift in U.S. history,” ignoring why there was a need for a rushed airlift in the first place. The American ethos of never leaving our fellow citizens behind has been shattered.
Biden was told by then-Afghan President Ashraf Ghani this was coming. Instead of working to prevent the situation by implementing a new strategy, Biden asked Ghani to lie about the situation on the ground.
“In much of the call, Biden focused on what he called the Afghan government’s ‘perception’ problem. ‘I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things are not going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban,’ Biden said. ‘And there is a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture,’ ” Reuters reports. “‘We are facing a full-scale invasion, composed of Taliban, full Pakistani planning and logistical support, and at least 10-15,000 international terrorists, predominantly Pakistanis thrown into this,’ Ghani said.”
The phone call came on July 23, just two weeks after Biden told the American people it was unlikely the Taliban would take over the country. Another lie.
“The likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely,” Biden said on July 8.
The administration’s efforts to pass their responsibility to the Trump administration, claiming initially they were simply executing former President TrumpDonald TrumpUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Trump sues NYT, Mary Trump over story on tax history McConnell, Shelby offer government funding bill without debt ceiling MORE’s plan after pushing the exit date from before the Taliban’s fighting season in May to September, has only solidified their weak and failed position.
“We handed our entire plan to the incoming Biden administration during the lengthy transition. The new team simply wasn’t interested,” former chief of staff for the Department of Defense Kash Patel writes in the New York Post. “Everything changed when the new commander in chief declared that US forces would leave Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021, pushing back the Trump administration’s timetable by four months. Crucially, he didn’t condition the withdrawal on continued adherence to the agreed-upon stipulations. It would be an unconditional pullout with an arbitrary date based on pure symbolism — and set in stone.”
In the aftermath of it all, President Biden, Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenUN meeting with US, France canceled over scheduling issue Diplomats express 'frustration' to Blinken over Havana syndrome skepticism: report Biden's post-Afghanistan focus on China is mostly positive so far MORE, Gen. Mark MilleyMark MilleyWoodward: Milley was 'setting in motion sensible precautions' with calls to China Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Rocky US alliances as Biden heads to UN assembly Thompson says he hopes Jan 6. committee can complete work by 'early spring' MORE and Defense Secretary Lloyd AustinLloyd AustinSchumer moves to break GOP blockade on Biden's State picks Overnight Defense & National Security — Presented by AM General — Afghan evacuation still frustrates Diplomats express 'frustration' to Blinken over Havana syndrome skepticism: report MORE have attempted to bolster the narrative that it was time to leave Afghanistan, that the American people supported the decision to do so and that they simply executed the mission. While leaving Afghanistan may have been the right decision, which is supported by many veterans and a majority of Americans, leaving without dignity, honor and at the mercy of the Taliban is unforgivable.
Pavlich is the editor for Townhall.com and a Fox News contributor.