President Joe Biden got elected largely because millions of voters found him caring and empathetic. Mr. Nice Guy, the argument went, would be a welcome relief from the sometimes abrasive and combative President Donald J. Trump.
But Biden’s winning, grandfatherly persona is among the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Americans abandoned in Afghanistan. As the president retreated from Kabul, to the beat of the Taliban’s drummer, Nice-guy Joe morphed into Mean Mr. Biden.
The president’s true colors now shine with searing clarity. He has exposed himself as calculating, callous, and cruel.
●Reuters reported August 31 that Biden spoke by phone on July 23 with his then counterpart in Kabul. According to a leaked, official transcript and audio recording, Biden told Afghan President Ashraf Ghani: "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 added, "whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture."
These astonishing comments unmask Biden as a calculating, global-grade liar.
Biden pushed Ghani to project toughness, "whether it is true or not." Rather than actual fortitude, Biden pressed Ghani to practice strength-signaling: Fool the world by appearing powerful, even as Afghanistan crumbled.
●ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos reminded Biden on August 19 that two desperate Afghans lost their grips on the outside of a departing C-17 transport and tumbled hundreds of feet to their deaths. Another perished mid-flight while clutching the aircraft’s landing gear.
"That was four days ago, five days ago," Biden barked. In fact, that was two days earlier. But Biden missed the macro point: At least three Afghans preferred to escape Biden’s blazing bungle by clinging to a plane out of Kabul, rather than confront the Taliban’s wrath. Biden’s response? Not compassion and humility, but dismissiveness and arrogance.
●"Mr. President, if Americans are still in Afghanistan after the deadline, what will you do?" NBC News’ Peter Alexander asked Biden August 25. Biden laughed off this legitimate, concerned query. "You’ll be the first person I’ll call," he quipped.
●On August 29, Biden irritated the Gold Star families of the 13 U.S. service members murdered by an ISIS-K suicide bomber on August 26. Meeting behind closed doors at Delaware’s Dover Air Force Base, Biden reportedly spoke to these survivors at length about his late son Beau, who served honorably in Iraq, not Afghanistan. He died tragically at age 46, but of cancer, not combat. Biden’s dwelling on his own son backfired on multiple levels when he should have comforted these grieving survivors.
●At the dignified transfer that followed in Dover, Biden checked his watch multiple times, thus deeply dishonoring the GIs whom terrorists had slaughtered just three days before. Biden’s sign of disrespect further wounded their loved ones, literally as their flag-draped caskets were escorted off of a C-17 transport plane.
●Runaway Joe repeatedly has refused to answer journalists’ inquiries about this life-and-death matter. That same day, Biden also visited FEMA, to thank its staffers who were shoulder deep in Hurricane Ida.
"I’m not supposed to take any questions, but go ahead," Biden said.
A newswoman began, "Mr. President, on Afghanistan —"
"I’m not going to answer Afghanistan now," Biden snapped in disgust. He then wheeled around and left his podium.
●On the evening of August 30, Kabul time, U.S. forces withdrew fully from Afghanistan. "No American citizens came out on what we call the last joint tactical mission — last five jets to leave," Marine Corps General Kenneth McKenzie Jr. explained, adding, "none of them made it to the airport and were able to be accommodated."
●The Wall Street Journal reported on August 31 that Mohammed is among those Biden left behind. The Afghan interpreter helped rescue then-senators Biden, Chuck Hagel, R-Neb. and John Kerry, D-Mass. when they and their helicopter were snowbound behind Taliban lines in February 2008.
"I can’t leave my house," Mohammed told the Journal. "I’m very scared."
While Mohammed trembles with anxiety over a Taliban knock on his door, Ghader Heydari fared far better. Biden’s highly vetted airlift jetted him back into America. Heydari was deported in 2017 as a convicted rapist.
●In a uniquely angry speech that afternoon, Biden blamed everyone but himself for what he paradoxically considers a triumph. Biden even faulted those whom he marooned. After all, Biden yelled, "Since March, we reached out 19 times to Americans in Afghanistan" and warned them to leave.
But Biden claimed over and over that the Ghani government would stay put. On July 8, Biden said, "the likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely."
So, which was it?
●Biden never publically admitted to deploying U.S. GIs to collect Americans and whisk them to the airport, as British and French troops did for their countrymen. Biden never cleared a corridor into the airport, so Americans and allied Afghans could enter safely. And Biden’s deputies in-country reportedly handed the Taliban the names of Americans and Afghan allies en route to the airport and on flight manifests out of Kabul. The Taliban — heavily re-armed with U.S. weapons that Biden neither extracted nor destroyed — now can abuse this information to torture and/or execute those who never made it out or the associates and relatives of those who did.
Never mind! Biden tone-deafly declared America’s chaotic, disgraceful, deadly exit "an extraordinary success."
●Biden’s public schedule for September 1: Meetings on the economy, Hurricane Ida, and U.S.-Ukrainian relations. Afghanistan? Nope.
September 2: Remarks on natural disasters, followed by zero questions.
September 3: Even as Americans remained trapped in the hands of al Qaeda’s once and future hosts, Biden departed for a long Labor Day weekend brimming with rest and relaxation.
Days after shouting at his fellow Americans about decamping Kabul in shame and leaving hundreds of his constituents behind, Mean Mr. Biden has moved on.