This is a sad day, my friends. Joe Biden has surrendered to the Taliban.
It has been clear for days now that the Biden Administration so badly botched its Afghanistan withdrawal plan that it had no plans to safely rescue all Americans in the country by August 31st. And I'm not the only one saying that.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democrat chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, emerged yesterday from an intelligence briefing and said it was "very unlikely" that the Biden Administration could get every American out of Afghanistan by the end of the month. Schiff also warned that the terrorist threat to the Kabul airport was "very real and very substantial."
Incredibly, the Biden Administration is also impeding private efforts to get American citizens and vulnerable Afghans out of the country.
Biden was under tremendous pressure by our allies, most especially from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, to extend the August 31st deadline as our allies are also scrambling to meet Biden's arbitrary deadline.
The president had suggested in recent days that the evacuations might continue into September if it was necessary to get all Americans out safely. He even dispatched CIA Director William Burns to Afghanistan for secret talks with the Taliban, presumably to discuss the possibility of staying beyond August 31st.
The Taliban gave their answer publicly in an interview with British media. A Taliban spokesman said:
"It's a red line. President Biden announced that on August 31 they would withdraw all their military forces. So if they extend it that means they are extending occupation. . . If the U.S. or U.K. were to seek additional time to continue evacuations - the answer is no. Or there would be consequences. . . If they are intent on continuing the occupation it will provoke a reaction."
In spite of pleas from British, French and German leaders, Biden surrendered to the Taliban's demands. U.S. military personnel – the very troops we just sent back to secure the Kabul airport – will begin pulling out this Friday.
The Refugee Issue
It's a good and commendable thing that there is a strong streak of compassion among Americans. The United States is the most generous nation in the world. We see terrible videos and immediately want to help the victims.
Many Americans feel strongly that Afghan translators, who traveled and fought with our soldiers, should be a high priority to be evacuated from the Taliban. And I agree.
But I can't find an example where a modern nation, unwilling to win a conflict, withdrew its troops before it withdrew its own civilians. That's the primary reason why we have such a complete mess at the Kabul airport today.
There are thousands of Americans we still have not evacuated from Afghanistan. Contrary to whatever White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki claims, they are stranded behind enemy lines.
They are stranded partly because tens of thousands of Afghans, not to mention Taliban checkpoints, have created a tremendous obstacle course blocking access to the airport. Meanwhile, the Biden Administration is bringing in thousands of Afghans while we're waiting for thousands of stranded Americans to make their way to the Kabul airport.
We don't know how many Afghan refugees the Biden/Harris Administration is prepared to accept. The Washington Post reports that at least 80,000 Afghans have filled out visa applications.
But when you ask the American people how many Afghans they are willing to bring into the country, most voters (52%) are uncomfortable with any number above 50,000.
I have no doubt that Biden, who allowed 200,000 illegal aliens to cross our southern border last month, would like to bring in 100,000 or even 200,000 Afghans this month. Biden believes the U.S. can take two million new immigrants "in a heartbeat."
Exactly how many Afghan refugees will be able to escape the country remains to be seen. The Taliban are reportedly refusing to allow Afghans to go to the Kabul airport. A Taliban spokesman said today, "The way to the airport has been closed now. Afghans are not allowed to go there now. Foreigners are allowed to go, but we have stopped Afghan nationals."
Common Sense & Compassion
Whatever happens in the days ahead, we must understand that it is not compassionate for any nation to help people in a way that endangers its own citizens. The Biden Administration is compounding its mistakes in the Afghanistan debacle by committing another mistake that will haunt the United States and, ultimately, result in more Americans dying.
Instead of being prudent and taking the refugees to third countries for complete vetting, some Afghans are being flown directly into the United States. We know that some Afghan refugees are being flagged as potential security risks.
Our British allies report that some people on the "no fly list," meaning they have a history of radical Islamic activity, have attempted to board planes at the Kabul airport. At least two successfully got on board and left the country. Not surprisingly, British forces at the Kabul airport are also warning of "a spike in impersonations, forged documents and forged passports."
We cannot allow compassion to override common sense.
I believe we need vetting that goes beyond merely ensuring that someone is not a card-carrying member of Al Qaeda, ISIS or the Taliban. I'm talking about vetting that ensures a refugee is likely to be a good resident or someday a good citizen of the United States.
When I see men in line with women covered in burkas, I have to wonder if these men are likely to treat American women respectfully or if they will accept our fundamental belief that men and women are equal under our laws and in the eyes of God.
Here's another serious concern: How many of the refugees are anti-Semites? The Muslim world is riddled with anti-Semitism. There's only one Jew left in Afghanistan, but I guarantee you that the majority of the Afghan people hold anti-Semitic views.
This country is already struggling with racial divides, ethnic rivalries and the tribalization of our politics, all of which is constantly stoked by the left. Our own birthrate has dropped precipitously during the pandemic.
The left is committed to "fundamentally transforming" America through massive immigration. And the Chamber of Commerce likes the constant flow of cheap labor.
It is hard for me to see how this approach, after a failed war in Afghanistan, is going to be good or positive for the future of the United States.
More Plummeting Polls
Yesterday we told you about a CBS News poll that showed many Americans are increasingly frustrated with Joe Biden's weakness. It's not a fluke.
USA Today just released the results of its latest survey. Biden's overall approval rating has collapsed to 41%. Only 32% of Independents approve of Biden's job performance. Biden gets a failing grade on the economy (39%), even fewer Americans (26%) approve of the way he has managed the withdrawal from Afghanistan.