Probably most of you watched the Biden speech, which just concluded.  I was tremendously impressed by it.  He said, at length and point by point, what many of us have been saying: that we should have left Afghanistan long ago, as soon as the original mission having to do with Al-Quaeda was accomplished.  He had the authority to say that, because it had been his stance all along, even while he was the vice president of a president who believed otherwise.

He made the point several times that if Afghanistan’s own forces, even with our training and equipment, would not even make an attempt to stand up against the Taliban, what was our purpose in staying there? 

He pointed out that we had essentially been attempting to intervene in another country’s civil war.  What he did not say was that that was exactly what we did in Vietnam 50 years ago—and we are now seeing exactly the same result.  He could rightfully have pointed that out, but he probably wanted to stick to the issue at hand.

As for the chaos we are now seeing, he promises to address that by sending in more troops, temporarily, strictly to oversee the evacuation of our troops and Afghan allies (his term) and their families, and for no other purpose.  He said that he has warned the Taliban that if they attempt to interfere they will be met with “devastating force”.  I expect the Taliban to comply; it’s certainly in their own interests to do so.

It remains to be seen how many “allies” can actually be gotten out.  That process should have started months ago.  Biden explained that it was not done specifically at the request of the then-government of Afghanistan, supposedly our allies, so as not to create a panic situation.  I’m not sure what else he could have done under those circumstances.

Perhaps now that we have followed this script twice, we will not be subjected to it for a third time, 50 years from now.

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