The Bitter Fruits of Interventionism
As President Lyndon Johnson and the best and brightest of the 1960s were broken on the wheel of Vietnam, the Biden presidency may well be broken on the wheel of the Taliban's triumph in Afghanistan.
Less than a week into the chaotic U.S. withdrawal at Hamid Karzai International Airport, a CBS poll found that Americans, while still approving of President Joe Biden's decision to get us out of this "forever war," were stunned by how badly botched the withdrawal was being executed.
By 75-25, Americans believe the withdrawal is going badly. And those who believe it has gone "very badly" outnumber by 9-1 those who believe it has gone "very well."
Biden's own approval rating has plummeted to 50%, the lowest of his presidency. Yet, the disastrous debacle at Kabul airport is by no means played out. It may yet become worse, far worse.
For it is difficult to believe the United States can get all its citizens out by Biden's deadline of Aug. 31, and impossible to believe we can withdraw all of our imperiled Afghan allies from that 20-year war who today live in terror for themselves and their families.
And there is a certainty -- indeed, it is already happening -- that some of those left behind will be subjected to atrocities by rogue elements of the Taliban, if not its leadership. Those atrocities will make for film and footage in the Western press, underscoring the failure of the United States to rescue allies it left behind.
And, with reports already emanating from Afghanistan about food shortages, the country could become a human rights hellhole by fall.
Consider. The Taliban may have been able to overrun 15 provincial capitals and Kabul in a week. But the government officials running those cities cannot readily be replaced by Taliban fighters whose vocation for the last two decades has been fighting a terrorist-guerrilla war.
While the triumphant Taliban have no interest in a renewed war with the United States, they do have an ideological interest in trumpeting their triumph over the superpower and rubbing America's nose in its defeat.
What, then, are the consequences of America's humiliation?