One of the things that certainly has been surprising about the Afghanistan debacle has been that some in media seem to have woken up and become journalists again. They are now questioning Joe Biden and his team, and raising very pointed and good questions, even being honest about the mess that he has caused.
There's a very big piece of news from the Washington Post that hasn't gotten any real attention as yet, but it really should — because it explains how we could have completely avoided this whole catastrophe, but for a very bad decision by the Biden team.
Warning for language:
In a hastily arranged in-person meeting, senior U.S. military leaders in Doha — including McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command — spoke with Abdul Ghani Baradar, head of the Taliban's political wing.
“We have a problem,” Baradar said, according to the U.S. official. “We have two options to deal with it: You [the United States military] take responsibility for securing Kabul or you have to allow us to do it.”
Throughout the day, Biden had remained resolute in his decision to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan. The collapse of the Afghan government hadn't changed his mind.
McKenzie, aware of those orders, told Baradar that the U.S. mission was only to evacuate American citizens, Afghan allies and others at risk. The United States, he told Baradar, needed the airport to do that.
On the spot, an understanding was reached, according to two other U.S. officials: The United States could have the airport until Aug. 31. But the Taliban would control the city.
Understand what they're really saying there: Biden was offered control of the Kabul by the Taliban and he/his people turned it down. And they then agreed to an impossible date to get everyone out by, shortening from his own date of 9/11.
He would have had ample opportunity — with a perimeter — to get people out safely. He still might have had difficulty getting people outside of Kabul. But you wouldn't have this obvious focus on the airport, being a largely unprotected target. He chose to withdraw without any cover, and that's been a large part of the problem, in addition to not doing it fast enough beforehand, despite all the warnings.
“Control” of Kabul wouldn't necessarily have meant that they had to do a lot, just provide a little breathing room for the local authorities to reassert their own control. But we'll never know what that result could have been, because risk averse Joe Biden refused to take the offer. He refused both protection for our military and the city — because he wanted out immediately.
Why are we only hearing this now from the Washington Post and not from the Biden administration before this? Did they not want us to know another absolutely horrific choice they made in all this mess? Remember White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday, Biden didn't think anyone needed to resign, basically implying there were no mistakes.
This finishes any question of this being on President Donald Trump, if the prior facts haven't already foreclosed that. He now wants to blame Trump for Trump making a deal, acting as though he couldn't change it even when it was a conditioned deal where the Taliban weren't holding up their end. But he changed everything on the dictates of the Taliban. It's all on Biden.
Talk about choosing poorly.