Miranda Devine – NY Post
The scenes out of Afghanistan are infuriating and tragically predictable. It shouldn’t really come as a surprise that President Biden and the geniuses surrounding him have made such an almighty hash of the withdrawal from that godforsaken country. Look at everything else he has messed up. His first act in office was to dismantle hard-won Trump-era border protection measures. The inevitable illegal migrant surge at the southern border has turned into an unchecked invasion, with national security and public health risks that will ricochet through history. At this stage we can confidently say that Joe Biden has the reverse Midas touch. In Afghanistan it didn’t have to be like this. The humiliating scenes of Americans evacuating from Kabul’s airport were avoidable, as is the specter of American helicopters, planes, Humvees, weapons and ammunition in the hands of our enemies. But Biden was caught unawares. Then he had the gall on Saturday to blame Donald Trump: “When I came to office, I inherited a deal cut by my predecessor.” Since Secretary of State Antony Blinken doubled down over the weekend on this dishonest spin, it’s time for some home truths. I asked President Trump Sunday about the plan his administration had to get out of Afghanistan —which ultimately was obstructed by the same US generals who gave Biden a green light. “We were going to not let people get slaughtered,” Trump said flatly. “I wanted to get out. But you have to get out safely and you have to get out with respect . . . “We had all sorts of conditions . . . All civilians were going to come out before the military. Everyone should have been out before they took our military out . . . “I was going to close this ridiculous embassy they spent a billion dollars on and move everybody out . . . “I was going to blow up every military base [before we left]. I was going to take out every single piece of equipment. I said I don’t want anything left [apart from] leave each soldier a gun . . . “Plus, I had a relationship with the Taliban where they knew they weren’t allowed to do this. They understood they were going to get hit very hard . . . What I had was conversations with the [Taliban] leadership where I said if you do anything we were going to hit them like they haven’t been hit before.” Trump said the Taliban “no longer has fear or respect for America . . . “It’s a terrible, terrible black eye for this country. “We’re a laughingstock. The whole world can’t believe it. “And there was no reason for it.” Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who began negotiating with the Taliban in February 2020 to lay down conditions for a US withdrawal, has corroborated Trump’s version of events. Pompeo was in the room when Trump warned the Taliban’s senior negotiator, Mullah Baradar, that if a single American was hurt or threatened the entire wrath of American power would rain down on them.