Let's say you had a deep animus against the United States, let's say you hated the country and you wanted to permanently knock the U.S. from its perch as the preeminent world power and degrade and humiliate America for good. You might use Afghanistan to do that. And if you wanted to, here's what you might do:
First, you would delay or withdraw from Afghanistan for 19 years, long after there was any national security justification for being there. You would turn a war into a welfare program and you would turn your military into an NGO. That would humiliate everyone involved.
You would spend trillions of dollars to do this, but you would be absolutely certain to get nothing in return for that money. Apart from dramatically increasing local corruption and making opium poppies the national crop. As the occupying power, you would run Afghanistan so badly, with such unbelievable stupidity and overbearing arrogance that by the end much of the population would yearn for the return of brutal religious extremists. Then, when it was finally time to go, you would ignore the relevant details of the withdrawal. You wouldn't plan your exit. You would just hope for the best what could go wrong in a country controlled by the Taliban?
When crowds of desperate people showed up, as they inevitably would, begging to be evacuated, you'd be certain to give preference to the foreign nationals, the ones you might hate you and prefer Sharia law to democracy. They would get the first seats on the plane. As for your own citizens, the people you exist to protect, we just wish them luck and leave them behind. You wouldn't even bother to get all of their names because really, who cares?
Then, having done all of that, you go on television back in your own country to brag about what an amazing job you've done. You'd call yourself a hero. You'd compare your evacuation of Kabul to the Berlin airlift. And that way, once you done that, the rest of the world would know you're not simply incompetent and weak, but you're also delusional. You are a lunatic with no self-respect.
Having learned all that, your enemies just might conclude that now is the perfect time to take advantage of your diminished condition.
And today in Kabul, they did just that. A terror bombing at the airport killed ninety people and injured 150 more. Thirteen of the dead were American servicemen - 12 Marines and a Navy corpsman. For the U.S. military, it was the single deadliest day in Afghanistan in a decade. It was a tragedy and we saw it on television.
In moments like this, Americans turn instinctively to their president for perspective and leadership. It doesn't matter if they voted for him, They want to be reassured by the man in charge. But Joe Biden did not reassure them, he didn't even appear. For hours, Biden remained hidden and silent. Finally, the White House announced that Joe Biden would speak to the country at 5:00 p.m. this afternoon.
But even then, he didn't show. Joe Biden was fully 25 minutes late to the podium like he had better things to do. And when he spoke, it was hard to believe this is the man in charge of our country. Joe Biden is fading before our eyes. He began by muttering something irrelevant and weird about his late son, Beau, whom he described as the U.S. attorney in Kosovo, as is if that position exists. And then Biden pledged his voice weak and halting, speaking at a pace half of what a normal person speaks at, that he was going to somehow hunt down and punish the people who killed our Marines today. And all of a sudden, this didn't sound a lot like a withdrawal from Afghanistan at all.
JOE BIDEN: To those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes America harm, no, this. We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay.
No, you won't, unfortunately. The tragedy today was not a complete surprise. There was intelligence suggesting it might happen just hours before the attack. The US embassy in Kabul now operates from the airport, sent out the following alert, "Because of security threats outside the gates of Kabul airport. We're advising U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to the airport and to avoid airport gates At this time. U.S. citizens who are at the Abbey Gate, the East Gate or the North Gate now should leave immediately."
That turned out to be relevant intelligence. What did the Pentagon do with it? Well, not much. Apparently, they were too busy tweeting about equity. This morning, the sergeant major of the Army, a man called Michael Grinston, wrote this, "Women's Equality Day reminds us we're smarter and more lethal when we come together as an inclusive, cohesive team."
OK, so some large, but as yet still unknown number of American citizens are trapped in Afghanistan tonight, all of them facing potential death. And here we have the senior NCO in the United States Army celebrating Women's Equity Day, whatever that is – send in the pregnant fighter pilots. It's all so humiliating. Serious people are laughing at us, which is probably the point of doing it. On the other hand, Joe Biden doesn't really need the U.S. military to protect the Kabul airport because the Taliban now have that covered. General Kenneth McKenzie explained this today at a press conference.
KENNETH MCKENZIE: It was a failure by the Taliban to operate with varying degrees of confidence. Some of those guys are very scrupulously good. Some of them are not.
Now, some of those Taliban guys are very scrupulously good. That was the official word from the Biden administration. Keep in mind what the general said. He said after the Taliban let a suicide bomber through a checkpoint at the airport that killed 13 Americans. But still, we're going to trust them. The Biden administration trusts the Taliban enough tonight, apparently to share classified intelligence with them. Again, here's General McKenzie.
KENNETH MCKENZIE: The other thing we do is we share versions of this information with the Taliban so that they can actually do some searching out there for us. And we believe that some attacks have been thwarted by them. And then we also use the Taliban as a tool to protect us … We share a common purpose to as long as we kept that common purpose aligned, they've been useful to work with. They've cut some of our security, some of our security concerns down.
So we now share a common purpose with the Taliban, that's the head of the US military telling us that. So naturally, the Taliban are now in charge of protecting our citizens. Hey, America, here’s your new bodyguards. The bad news is, they’re the Taliban.
It's hard to believe any of this is actually happening, or that quote is real, but it is happening. So what kind of information is the Biden administration now handing over to the Taliban? Well, according to Politico, "U.S. officials gave the Taliban a list of names of U.S. citizens, green card holders and Afghan allies to grant entry into the outer perimeter of the city's airport."
Wait, what? We gave the Taliban the names of U.S. citizens in Afghanistan. We don't have special operators anymore? Why are we doing that? Why would you give it to the Taliban? That can't be right. Well it is right. It's true.
The Biden administration handed the Taliban a list of Americans who are still in Afghanistan. Joe Biden all but confirmed that today, apparently it makes the Taliban's job easier. The question is, what is that job? That's one of many questions tonight.
This article is adapted from Tucker Carlson's opening commentary on the August 26, 2021 edition of "Tucker Carlson Tonight."