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Monday, September 20, 2021

OPINION:

Joe Biden’s Afghanistan disaster represents a horrifying low point in the history of American foreign policy. With a total disregard for the safety of American citizens — and the decades of sacrifice and hard work by our service members in Afghanistan — Mr. Biden upended an entire nation, kowtowing to the Taliban, resulting in the deaths of thirteen American heroes.

Shockingly, he pulled U.S. troops out of Afghanistan before ensuring the safety of Americans trapped behind Taliban-controlled enemy lines. The blame for this crisis lays squarely on Mr. Biden’s shoulders, but he was not alone in his betrayal of the American people and our nation’s interest. His Secretary of State Antony Blinken was with him every step of the way, lying to America about the withdrawal and consistently revealing the depths of his incompetent disregard for our troops and the safety of Americans. Mr. Blinken should resign immediately. 


Mr. Blinken testified before both the House and the Senate last week. Highlights of his testimony include failing to rule out direct support for the Taliban, admitting U.S. weapons are in the hands of the Taliban, and claiming ignorance as to whether or not the Taliban has mistreated American citizens. Mr. Blinken also refused to answer how many American names were given to the Taliban.  Unfortunately, this is part of a pattern for Mr. Blinkenhe has been dishonest and detached throughout this crisis.

This month, Mr. Blinken claimed that he was “not aware” of any hostage situation in Afghanistan. That was a stunningly blatant lie: it was common knowledge at the time that the Taliban was stopping hundreds of stranded Americans from leaving Afghanistan. The next day (and again during his testimony), Mr. Blinken came clean, admitting that “the Taliban [were] not permitting any charter flights to depart.” He then took the final insulting step of downplaying a life-and-death hostage situation of his and Mr. Biden’s own making, describing the tense standoff as little more than “a fair amount of confusion.”

A blatant lie, followed by a total reversal, followed by political spin. That is not leadership — that’s failure. With American lives hanging in the balance, Mr. Blinken played politics and tried to avoid responsibility for his utter diplomatic failure. This is our nation’s top diplomat? No wonder our international standing has cratered through Mr. Biden’s first months in office. Thanks to Mr. Biden and Mr. Blinken’s lead-from-behind diplomacy — punctuated by the Afghanistan fiasco — our allies don’t trust us, and our enemies don’t fear us. Consider that the British Parliament held Joe Biden in contempt over this disaster as China moved to ally itself with the Taliban.

Unfortunately, this is part of a pattern. If you examine Mr. Blinken’s record in the weeks and months leading up to the botched withdrawal, it becomes abundantly clear just how unqualified he is for this job.  

In March, Mr. Blinken claimed that the administration would “keep troops out of harm’s way” and ensure that “Afghanistan can never again become a haven for terrorists.” 13 American heroes were killed on Mr. Blinken’s watch by the terrorists who now control Afghanistan.

In April, Mr. Blinken told our allies that America had a “commitment” to those brave Afghans who helped our forces throughout the war. The result? Thousands of those Afghans remain trapped at risk of torture and execution by the Taliban

In August, Mr. Blinken claimed that America would “hold the Taliban to its pledge to let people freely depart Afghanistan.” That didn’t happen. The Taliban unsurprisingly broke that pledge, and Mr. Biden and Mr. Blinken left the country, leaving hundreds of Americans —including children — trapped with murderous terrorists.

This is not a game. This is life and death. Antony Blinken left Americans stranded in Afghanistan and lied about it. He drastically underestimated the Taliban’s strength and then tried to negotiate with them from a position of weakness — and lost the negotiation. He has failed the most basic tests of leading America’s foreign policy. For the sake of our nation, he should be fired.

• Ronna McDaniel is the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee.


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