“Pucker factor” – coarse military slang for the adrenaline rush triggered by a dangerous situation – means the tightening of the sphincter caused by extreme fear. Thousands of Americans in Afghanistan are experiencing it now – those yet to make it to Kabul Airport to be evacuated after receiving a U.S. embassy alert saying they should “consider traveling ” there while warning they do so at their own risk.
American citizens are left to pass through numerous Taliban-controlled checkpoints. Although JCS Chairman Gen. Mark Milley reports the Taliban “are facilitating safe passage,” such a journey through groups of brutal killers committed to America’s ultimate destruction presents “nonbelievers” with great danger. Meanwhile, Afghan citizens eligible for special visas to the U.S., to be issued upon arrival at the airport, will never get them as the Taliban denies them passage, undoubtedly having special treatment in mind later for Afghans who helped delay a Taliban victory for 20 years.
The absolute chaos we witness in America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, including Afghans falling from the sky after clinging to an airborne aircraft’s under-belly in a last ditch effort to reach freedom, is a tragedy and embarrassment on two fronts.
Firstly, Afghan government forces – trained and equipped by the U.S. at a cost of $83 billion – have been fleeing in fear from or surrendering without a fight to Taliban hordes, apparently deciding democracy is just not worth fighting for. Surprisingly, they consider surrender an option despite the Taliban brutally executing some attempting to do so.
Secondly, the Afghanistan withdrawal clearly violates the long embraced U.S. military practice of “the 7 P’s” – meaning “prior planning and preparation prevents piss poor performance.” Immediately after taking office, President Joe Biden supposedly began planning our withdrawal. But, rather than ensuring the withdrawal date went unscheduled until the key factor of guaranteeing evacuation security as determined by the situation on the ground was certain, Biden issued an Aug. 31 deadline for completion – a plan even failing to include Afghan translators. Nothing good ever comes from giving the enemy a “heads up” on scheduling.
Also telling about Biden’s withdrawal “plan” was the praise given by Majority Leader Senator Chuck Schumer’s months earlier. Yet now, Biden and Schumer blame the chaos on Trump for having made an agreement with the Taliban. They conveniently ignore two points. First, Trump’s peace agreement was conditional, providing for – should the Taliban violate its terms which they clearly have – military action Biden refuses to take. Second, Democrats cannot have it both ways, condemning Trump now for Biden’s re-drafted Schumer-approved withdrawal plan.
In February 2021, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, introducing Biden, assured us that “in the history of the presidency, no one has brought as much foreign policy experience to the job as Joe Biden. Wherever he goes, he’s been a champion for American leadership and a defender of American values.” Biden followed up giving his vision of U.S. foreign policy claiming, “America is back.”
Yet, six months later we see America turning tail in Afghanistan, deserting an ally of two decades and lacking the decency to even tell that ally we were vacating an important base (Bagram Airfield) – actions all benefiting our enemies. Adding a word to English Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s famous World War II quote praising Royal Air Force pilots, “Never before in the field of human conflict have so many enemies owed so much to so few.” Not only will the Taliban victory encourage Islamism to take wings globally as the group’s leader has already declared their goal is world domination, it will encourage other enemies to take action as America’s traditional role as the world’s policeman is deflated by an inept president.
This is evident by the praise Islamist leaders – even in the U.S. – are already heaping upon the Taliban for resurrecting the global caliphate. Meanwhile, China, dehumanizing Muslim Uighurs domestically, rushes to Afghanistan, knocking on the Taliban’s door, hoping to be first to recognize them as the country’s legal government, although the U.S. says it is ready to do so as well with a Taliban now controlling more territory than it did before the 2001 U.S. invasion.
British and French special forces have been deployed to Afghanistan to locate and evacuate their civilians as the Biden administration tells ours we lack the “capability” to rescue those stranded outside the airport. London and Paris are doing their best to prevent the Taliban from taking their citizens as hostages while a vacationing Biden seems to dismiss similar concerns about Americans.
Americans making it to the airport will then learn each adult will be required to sign a $2,000 (or more) promissory note to reimburse the U.S. government for their flights – a difficult pill to swallow as Biden doles out $4 billion in stimulus funds to illegal immigrants back home.
The Afghan disaster will impact on issues not even in play yet. Years from now, a country assessing whether to ally itself with America against a common threat, may reflect upon U.S. abandonment of one ally – South Vietnam – as an anomaly, but her abandonment in less than half a century of a second ally, Afghanistan, as a pattern. Also, as a bellicose China today airs the threat of invading Taiwan, the Nationalist Chinese undoubtedly collectively experience their own pucker factor over whether a Biden-led America will help them.
Based on his penchant for inactive leadership, any Biden threat now to use force lacks credibility. This message is conveyed in a recent photograph of four Taliban fighters showing the world a Biden-led America leaves them pucker factor-less. As several Biden photographs over the past year show him enjoying an ice-cream cone, the fighters posed together “armed” with their own cones.
Like Paul Reuben’s 1985 cartoonish character performance in “Pee-wee Herman’s Big Adventure,” Biden is cementing a similar milquetoast reputation, embarking upon his “big adventure” as president – a presidency even China now openly mocks.
It is reassuring that chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., has discarded party politics to call for an investigation as to why our withdrawal was such a disaster. Obviously, someone dropped the ball, leaving thousands of Americans and Afghans at risk and billions of dollars of military equipment in Taliban hands. Reports are already emerging that Biden opted to do this despite contrary advice from several sources including his military commanders, intelligence agencies and the private sector.
Not only did a president hellbent on ending the war ignore the consequences of a rapidly-implemented-but-poorly-planned withdrawal by relying upon piss poor prior planning, but, unbelievably, both he and his press secretary left on vacation at this critical time, demonstrating a despicable display of leadership. And, after a brief return, Biden continued his vacation.
It is a sad irony that Biden put more thought and organization into transporting thousands of illegal immigrants, providing them with safe transit, secretly using buses and military aircraft to fly them primarily into Republican states, hoping eventually to turn those states blue. As such, he demonstrates much greater concern for the welfare of illegals in America than for U.S. citizens struggling to get back home.
Contrary to Hillary Clinton’s claim about Trump supporters, those in the Biden administration responsible for a disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal policy that has left so many Americans and Afghans fighting to survive comprise the real “basket of deplorables!”
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