Joe Biden’s Afghanistan debacle shows us how much damage one president can do. But why would it stop there?
The lack of contrition from the president or anyone in his administration leads to the alarming conclusion that they haven’t learned a thing. If you fail to show humility in the face of your own mistakes, it means you are destined to repeat them. And unfortunately for the rest of us, we are along for the ride.
At least with the self-inflicted disaster in Afghanistan, even the left-wing media have held the administration to account. The criticism is an unfamiliar feeling for Biden and the pampered likes of Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, as you can see from their shell-shocked faces.
No doubt normal programming will resume soon, once the last US military plane leaves the Kabul airport and a Taliban-ordered media blackout descends. The administration’s unforced errors will again be explained away by silver-tongued scribes and its gaslighting accepted as gospel truth.
But there is another humanitarian crisis that had been unfolding quietly right on our doorstep for months before Biden’s foolhardy decision to close Bagram Air Base — the unchecked flow of illegal migrants over the southern border.
It is no stretch of the imagination to see the national-security threat of Afghan terrorists newly freed from prison by the Taliban making their way to Mexico and slipping past overworked border agents.
They would just be following in the path of others named on the terror-watch list, such as the two Yemeni men caught crossing into California in recent months. Even as Psaki tries to reassure Americans that every person flown out of the chaos in Kabul will be carefully vetted before setting foot in the US, what’s the point of having a functioning front door when your back door is wide open?
Who will do the vetting, anyway? The overloaded Department of Homeland Security as it is can’t keep up with the influx over the southern border.
“Vetting” is just kabuki theater. You may as well fly the Afghans straight to the southern border from Kabul and save on red tape.
The good news is that the Supreme Court this week reinstated the Trump-era “remain in Mexico” policy and even suggested the Biden administration had violated federal law by rescinding it.
If enforced, the policy would require aspiring migrants to stay in Mexico pending a court hearing of their asylum case. Homeland Security says it will comply with the order but it has vowed to keep fighting it. Why? How does it serve American citizens to keep the surge over the southern border going? It is not even compassionate since it lures vulnerable people — and children — into the arms of criminal people smugglers.
The border has become a magnet for opportunists all over the world, and the flow will never end without tough resolve and competence we don’t see in the Oval Office. Why wouldn’t you try your luck if you come from one of the broken-down countries whose nationals are swelling the ranks of South Americans at the border?
Remain in Mexico was effective, but only as one element of a suite of border-protection measures put in place by the Trump administration that had slowed border crossings to a trickle.
Building the border wall was another element, and yet on Day One of his presidency, Biden canceled all construction projects. Senate Republicans have estimated the cost of stopping construction at $2 billion — more than it would have cost to complete the wall.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration has talked about sending the funny money it has “saved” as cash payments to residents of Northern Triangle Central American countries to, ahem, address the “root causes” of migration, Kamala Harris’ fanciful mission.
Great idea. Now more people will be able to afford to pay the cartels to smuggle them over the border.
It’s hard to know how Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas can sleep at night. He knows what’s going on, as you can hear in leaked audiotape obtained by Fox News of his comments to Border Patrol agents this month. The border crisis is “unsustainable,” he said. “We’re going to lose . . . We can’t continue like this. Our people in the field can’t continue and our system isn’t built for it.” Cheery chap. Why he doesn’t resign in protest is a mystery. He has been given an impossible job, since the first act of Biden’s presidency was to dismantle Trump-era border protection.
While the administration makes a show of extending border restrictions with Canada, it blithely keeps the southern border open. While it whips up COVID panic with vaccine mandates and mask mandates on little kids, it turns a blind eye to the superspreader event spreading across the country from Mexico.
It bases its cynical media management around the gaslighter variation of an old philosophical question: “If a tree falls in a forest and no one hears the sound, did it ever exist?”
If there is a crisis at the southern border and most of the media ignores it, is it happening at all?
No news is good news from the Biden perspective. Only ice cream reports allowed.
Gov strikes right note by releasing true nursing-home COV toll
New York’s new governor, Kathy Hochul, got off to a good start in her first day on the job by coming clean on the state’s true COVID death toll.
It’s grim news that New York suffered nearly 12,000 more deaths during the pandemic than Andrew Cuomo would ’fess up to.
But Hochul understands that accounting for her predecessor’s callous order forcing nursing homes to accept COVID-positive patients last year — and the subsequent coverup — is the unfinished business of his sorry reign.
“The public deserves a clear, honest picture of what’s happening . . . Whether it’s good or bad, they need to know the truth. And that’s how we restore confidence,” said Hochul.
What a breath of fresh air. Next task: law and order.
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