Saturday, August 28, 2021

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: Media Biden Remorse?

Although the U.S. Afghan withdrawal has not yet fully played 

out, the so-called establishment media appears to have 

already abandoned its year-long cheerleading of Joe Biden, 

candidate and now president.

Mr. Biden’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops was not popular

with many in the military, neo-conservatives, and a number

of our allies, not to mention the Afghan government, but a

a majority of Americans does support in principle our leaving.

Former President Trump wanted to withdraw, but apparently

was constrained by a secure way in arranging the departure of

U.S, troops.

The drama now taking place is producing, much to the Biden

administration's discomfort, a series of negative visuals and

issues, including chaotic scenes at the Kabul airport where

U.S. citizens and Afghans who helped the U.S have gathered to

be evacuated. This has been complicated  by terrorist

threats and a tragic suicide bomber attack, killing Americans,

Europeans and Afghans.

That attack put focus on the fact that the Taliban who now

control the country, and negotiated the U.S. withdrawal, do

not seem able to control terrorist groups such as Al  Quaeda

and others who might pose a threat against the West, as

happened on September 11, 2001.

President Biden’s own presentation of his policy and the

evacuation has been inconsistent and muddled, and he has

even avoided taking questions from the usually friendly

media. His early assurances of an orderly and successful

withdrawal/evacuation have been wrong so far. The

premature abandonment of allied air bases and huge

quantities of planes, helicopters and military materiel

seems disastrous.

A few commentators defending the president contend that

all this was unavoidable, and that the bottom line will be 

that we will be out of Afghanistan — which is what the

American public wanted.

But most in the media, including Mr. Biden’s friends on

editorial pages and in the print/broadcast commentariat do

not appear to accept that rosy assessment. Visual memories

of the chaotic evacuation of Saigon in Viet Nam persist

almost 50 years later, and the notion of leaving Americans

and their Afghan friends behind seems unacceptable.

The precipitous withdrawal of U.S. troops, accompanied by

pullouts of British, French and other troops, also creates a

very large strategic and political vacuum in the region,

affecting Russia, Iran, Pakistan, India, China and southeast

Asia. It isn’t really clear yet what the consequences will be.

The Taliban themselves seem unlikely to want to precipitate

a U.S. military return, but as already noted, they seem

unable to control jihadist and terrorist groups in their midst

who might provoke with another 9/11.

Afghan women and minority groups are certain now to 

suffer under Taliban rule.

In the past, the media ignored Mr. Biden’s problems. But

this one might be different.


Copyright (c) 2021 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved. 

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