While we live in a time when many Americans will not admit it, I will: I love my country. Through good times and bad, good presidencies and bad, that love has never diminished. One generation of family member after another – from Jacob Zumwalt who served during the American Revolution to my son’s 21st century service in Iraq as a bomb technician – attests to this love by voluntarily serving in uniform.
As a veteran who served for over a quarter of a century, I never thought I would say this about a commander in chief, but the terrorist bombing at the Kabul airport that claimed 40 lives, including at least 13 of our brave warriors, leaves me no choice. It is love of country and all those serving to protect her who have needlessly, callously and intentionally been put in harm’s way with no rational basis for doing so that forces me now to declare: “Mr. Biden, you are not my president.”
I do this with deep concerns. Every president before Biden making a bad decision did it with the same love of country many of us harbor. But Biden’s outrageous actions, both in opening up our borders and rushing to withdraw from Afghanistan, is senselessly claiming American lives.
While the lives of all 40 victims claimed by suicide bombers is tragic, as a veteran my heart went out especially to the soldiers and Marines lost. Many had spent months in harm’s way and were undoubtedly excited to know, despite the chaotic withdrawal Biden ordered, they would soon be back with loved ones. Yet, in a split second, that all changed specifically because Biden had inexcusably ignored the advice of much more experienced military experts.
Based on a political career lasting almost half a century, Biden, allegedly, was more experienced and better qualified for the Oval Office than some of his Democratic Party presidential predecessors. Governors Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton lacked the national and international experience that senator and Vice President Biden had before becoming president. The danger of inexperienced governors taking the national reigns of power became evident as Carter dragged us through the Iran hostage crisis and Clinton did the same with his numerous sex scandals. Yet, only seven months into what, hopefully, is only a single presidential term, Biden makes Carter and Clinton look like boy scouts.
As the National Endowment for the Humanities makes clear, “As a nation, we place no greater responsibility on any one individual than we do on the president.” He sits atop a pyramid of governmental and military leaders who he can readily access in making decisions that not only impact upon American lives but upon lives anywhere around the world depending upon the situation.
Of all the powers and responsibilities the president has, the most difficult has to be the role of commander in chief. As such, he is faced with the awesome responsibility of deciding whether young men and women are to be put in harm’s way. While the overriding weight of that decision must rest on the merits of a particular threat and not on the dangers to which those young people will be exposed, the full trust of the military is put into the hands of a man whom the American voters believe will honor that trust.
While our service members are prepared to answer a president’s call to action, there can be little doubt a greater comfort level exists among them when a president himself has served in combat and better understands a decision to use force. To date, of our 46 presidents, 29 had some form of military service, although not all combat-related.
Biden was eligible to serve in the military at the time the Vietnam war was raging but did not. While attending the University of Delaware as an undergraduate and Syracuse University as a law student, he received five student deferments. An April 1968 physical examination classified him as I-Y, meaning he could only be drafted in case of a national emergency. Reportedly, he was “disqualified from service because of asthma as a teenager.” Interestingly, his asthma kept him out of a military uniform but not out of a football uniform as he was a star high school player. Thus, one unwilling to place himself at risk as a young man today willingly puts the lives of other young people at risk.
From a service person’s perspective, when Biden ran for president in 2020, the fact he had no military service, while a negative, was insufficient reason, alone, not to vote for him. However, sufficient reason not to cast a Biden vote was an observation shared by one who served as secretary of defense while Biden was vice president. In his memoir, Robert Gates wrote that Biden had “been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.” It was a damning claim from one who had observed Biden in action.
But having failed in earlier presidential campaigns, Biden was eager to top his political career with a win, despite lacking the “right stuff” to serve in that capacity. And, just like repeatedly telling lies about himself – causing him to end one presidential bid – failed to bother him, neither did any worries America would have a president, making decisions impacting upon the lives of our military, who had a lengthy track record for wrong decisions. However, holding the office of president was always of greater import to Biden than the consequences America might face due to his incompetent leadership. It did not take long for that incompetence to manifest itself.
While the illegal-immigrant tsunami sweeping into America due to Biden’s open borders policy creates another set of problems with which America will have to deal for years, he also proved Gates right by ordering an Afghanistan withdrawal dictated by a time table rather than the situation on the ground.
The ensuing chaos has triggered a chain of deaths. It commenced with Afghans falling from the sky, no longer able to hold on to the under-carriage of an airborne aircraft departing Kabul airport for freedom. When queried about this during an interview, Biden fumed, dismissing it as past news. While terrorists of various ilks now roam Kabul due to Biden’s haphazardly rushed withdrawal, Biden promises revenge against ISIS for the Kabul bombings – a weak threat coming from a spineless leader.
Additionally, I am disturbed that, after Biden rejected the advice of senior military leaders, including Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, the Aug. 31 date not be controlling to ensure a responsible withdrawal, those leaders then failed to resign en masse. Even Biden’s State Department was concerned about Afghanistan’s quick collapse. Resignation was necessary to underscore that Biden’s senseless decision-making resulted in the second-highest death toll for any single day of the 20-year war and the first casualties since February 2020.
Biden need take no further action to demonstrate the fact protecting American citizens and our military from danger is not his priority. Because he rejects this responsibility, evidenced by a disgraceful withdrawal that leaves an enemy behind that is stronger than ever before while subjecting our warriors to greater risk both now and in the future, Biden commits a dereliction of duty for which I no longer consider him my president.
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