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Biden Counterterror: Over The Horizon, Over The Rainbow?

Austin Bay on

Calling the Aug. 29 mistaken counterterror attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, a wartime error -- or an "endless war" withdrawal blunder -- understates the inhumane effects and geostrategic significance of the tragedy.

On the other hand, labeling the incident a war crime absurdly overstates the case. Prior to the strike, an Islamic State group-sponsored terror bombing had killed 13 U.S. military personnel and Afghans seeking to escape the Taliban's impending tyranny. Chaos and deadly threats haunted the whole of Afghanistan, but thanks to the Biden administration's botched withdrawal operation, Kabul's international airport had become the bull's-eye target for terrorists.

Here are the historical facts. On Aug. 29, U.S. intelligence had tracked a vehicle in Kabul for several hours and concluded the vehicle carried Islamic State group terrorists intent on attacking U.S. forces and Afghan refugees.

An American drone aircraft fired a missile that destroyed a white Toyota Corolla and killed all the human beings inside it. Blasted them to bits.

Subsequently President Joe Biden claimed the drone strike demonstrated the U.S. could and would counterattack the Islamic State and other terrorist groups. Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, went as far as calling the vehicle's destruction a "righteous strike." U.S. Central Command claimed the drone strike eliminated an "imminent ISIS-K threat." ISIS-K is the Islamic State group faction active in Afghanistan.

On Sept. 1, Milley said: "We had very good intelligence that ISIS-K was preparing a specific-type vehicle at a specific-type location. We went through the same level of rigor that we've done for years, and we took a strike."

 

According to the Biden administration, the drone strike was also supposed to be a demonstration of American capabilities. After U.S. military forces left Afghanistan, the U.S. would retain an "over the horizon" capability to attack terrorist organizations in Afghanistan that threatened the U.S. and its allies.

Unfortunately, the strike was indeed a hideous mistake. In mid-September the Pentagon reported the strike killed 10 civilians and zero terrorists. Seven of the dead were children. On Sept. 17, Milley testified to these facts.

Now consider this fair alternative historical and political frame. If a Republican U.S. president had approved the erroneous counterterror strike reprisal, it's slam dunk certain that corporate U.S. media, European elite media and other anti-American propagandists from Beijing to Moscow would have condemned the strike as a calculated slaughter of innocents. Sanctimonious leftist spinmeisters like The Guardian and New York Times would have demanded serial investigations of the inept Republican administration's Afghanistan fiasco and ordered the arrest of the military and CIA cretins who callously murdered innocents.

Moreover, the "over the horizon" strategy to counter terrorists would be treated as ... what's a good word? ... How about balderdash? Twaddle? Over the rainbow?

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