Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Taliban "Red Lines" President Biden

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The deadline for troops to withdraw from Afghanistan is just days away and the desperate evacuation of people is running out of time---with tens of thousands waiting.

President Biden announced he may extend the August 31 deadline, but the Taliban says that is no longer his decision to make---if it ever was. 

Taliban leadership says, "If the US or UK were to seek additional time to continue evacuations--- the answer is no. Or there will be consequences."

The intersection of courage and denial can be tricky. 

Will a president whom a majority of Americans think is mentally unable to serve, make the right decisions?

Be informed, not misled.

The Taliban has met with Sky News, a sister network to Fox News in Europe, to discuss what happens next---and have issued a stark warning about the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.

Taliban spokesman Dr. Suhail Shaheen said: "It's a red line. President Biden announced that on 31 August they would withdraw all their military forces. So if they extend it, that means they are extending occupation while there is no need for that."

Then he added: "If the US of UK were to seek additional time to continue evacuations---the answer is no. Or there would be consequences. It will create distrust between us. If they are intent on continuing occupation it will provoke a reaction."

A Taliban leadership official also said foreign forces have not requested any extension and echoed the spokesperson's assertions that "it would not be approved."

A pathetic response.

After the interview, US Department of Defence press secretary John Kirby said: "We have seen the public statements by the Taliban spokesman about their views on 31 August, I think we all understand that view."

He added, "The goal is to get as many people out as fast as possible, and while we're glad to see the numbers that got out yesterday, we're not going to rest on our laurels."

Denial. There are no "laurels" to rest on.

Afghans who have worked for and with the US and have been promised evacuation, should the Taliban take control of the country, are panicked. They believed us. That's why some of them were seen gripping the outside of our planes as they took off ---ultimately falling to their death as the plane rose from the ground.

American citizens in the country have now been told to not even come to the airport for evacuation because of the chaos---we'll call you, don't call us.

The Biden administration's response is, "We'll continue to run our evacuation process as long as the security situation allows."

Some are hinting that evacuations may continue after the US is out. Apparently, that means the US will pay others to do what we were unable to do. An administration spokesperson said, "Remember, we are not the only people flying out evacuees." 

When asked if there was any flexibility on the withdrawal date, Dr. Shaheen said: "They occupied our country. If we occupy your country. What you say to me? What if I killed your people in your country what you will say?"

A lot of people are "saying" things about this debacle.

Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, himself a veteran, called for President Biden's impeachment Friday if he leaves "any American" or any allies behind in Afghanistan.

"We are duty-bound to get every American citizen now," he says. "We're honor-bound to get those Afghans who fought along our side out and here's what I would say... if we leave any Americans behind, if we leave thousands of  those Afghans who fought on our side bravely, Joe Biden deserves to be impeached for a high crime and misdemeanor of dereliction of duty."

Graham said, "Any military commander would be court-marshaled for leaving our people behind and I think the commander-in-chief owes it to every American citizen and owes it to the Afghans who fought along our side to get them out because if we leave them behind they're going to get slaughtered."

The American Embassy in Kabul has already announced that we "cannot guarantee safe passage" for Americans to the airport.

Multiple sources are reporting that the Taliban is forcibly stopping Americans from getting to the airport.

As late as last week, the Biden administration was still charging Americans to board flights leaving Afghanistan. We wrote about that in this column and talked about it on the radio last week.


Clearly, President Biden's approach to handling this catastrophe is not working. He now stands at the intersection of courage and denial.

We are about to see if he will continue in denial, or if courage and virtue will prevail. And he will actually do the right thing.

It has been said, "The easiest way to solve a problem is to deny it exists."

C.S. Lewis said, "Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point."

President Biden is at the intersection---the crossroads, the proverbial fork in the road---call it what you want---but America is about to experience what our president is really all about. Courage is the light side of denial.

This is his testing point.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Prayerful.