Well, they should be horrified — and they should say so openly while resigning their positions in the wake of this disgrace. In a measure of our times, said official(s) have contented themselves with speaking anonymously to Politico. Joe Biden might have covered himself in dishonor, but he’s clearly not alone:
Biden’s remarks served as the latest instance of the president digging his heels in on Afghanistan in the face of an unprecedented wave of criticism from traditional allies in the Democratic Party and the media. In fact, Biden has appeared more resolute and defensive the louder his critics became, appearing convinced that voters and history will ultimately reward him for ending the war despite the chaotic withdrawal. …
Not everyone in the administration shared the commander in chief’s confidence. “I am absolutely appalled and literally horrified we left Americans there,” one administration official told POLITICO. “It was a hostage rescue of thousands of Americans in the guise of a NEO [noncombatant evacuation operations], and we have failed that no-fail mission.” Another White House official said that the mission isn’t accomplished if they left Americans behind.
So … where are the resignations and the public rebuttals to Biden’s lies? America has left hundreds of its citizens behind Taliban/terrorist lines and perhaps thousands of its legal permanent residents as well. Biden calls that a success while the White House quibbles about the exact percentage of Americans they managed to evacuate before bugging out of Kabul. If that horrifies members of Biden’s team — and again, it should, since it horrifies nearly everyone else — then they should quit, stand up, and say so on the record. Anonymous distancing from Biden isn’t distancing at all. It’s just a different form of cowardice.
Speaking of which, guess what percentage of our Afghan allies we managed to get out? NBC News has a pretty good idea, and it’s not between 90-98% either:
More than 120,000 people of all nationalities were evacuated from the Kabul airport as the U.S. military withdrew, but initial figures suggest that only about 8,500 of those who left Afghanistan in recent months were Afghans, according to numbers released by the Biden administration and estimates from advocates.
That is a small percentage of the tens of thousands of Afghans who worked for the U.S. government or U.S. organizations and applied for special U.S. visas, and an even smaller percentage of the Afghans eligible to apply. …
As of May, about 18,000 to 20,000 Afghans who worked with U.S. troops and diplomats had applied for SIVs, according to government figures. When their family members are included, the pool of Afghans in the SIV program was at least 70,000 and probably higher, according to refugee advocacy groups.
But only about 8,500 Afghans appear to have made it out on evacuation flights that began in July, according to estimates from nongovernmental organizations and advocates and the figures released so far by the Biden administration.
Presumably by “Afghans,” NBC means “Afghan allies,” since it’s clear that most of the evacuees have been Afghan nationals, at least. If only 8500 of those were people we hoped to protect through the SIV program, who comprised the 125,000 or so that we did manage to evacuate? It increasingly looks like the vast majority of evacuees were simply the people who showed up to the airport and managed to find a way in.
There’s nothing wrong with getting those people out as well. However, a well-planned withdrawal would have left the military in place all along to ensure that our highest priority evacuees got out first. The civilian evacuation should have started first, with security for egress out of the city and holding Bagram as a secondary/fallback egress route if needed. Instead, we pulled 2500 troops out and then sent 5500 back into Kabul’s airport while failing to secure any routes to the airport from the city, and then attempted an evacuation while handing the city to the Taliban. A child could have seen the idiocy of this plan.
Any attempt to call that a “success” is a sick and demented joke. Anyone within Biden’s team that realizes it should have the moral fiber to stand up and say so on the record. The lack of resignations thus far gives us a pretty good measure of the moral fiber in this administration, even apart from the bug-out and abandonment of Americans and our allies for the purpose of a 9/11 anniversary talking point.