Chute de Kaboul: On a voulu voir Truman et on a vu Carter ! (In just seven months we have matched the darkest days of the Carter years with the Afghanistan implosion, the historic anarchy on the border, the worst racial relations in a half-century, historic spikes in violent crime, the soaring inflation and the loss of US energy independence)

Jay Dayvault (@DayvaultJay) | Twitter Afghan Men Try To Hang With The Jet Engine Of The Aircraft in Kabul- Afghanistan News - Kabul News - YouTubeமு.நியாஸ் அகமதுTema mítico* : - ¡¡EXTRA, EXTRA!! Los TALIBANES toman KABUL, la gente intenta ESCAPAR AGARRÁNDOSE A LAS RUEDAS DE LOS AVIONES | Página 133 | Burbuja.info
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DEFUND THE ARMY ! TALIBAN LIVES MATTER !
This is Joe Biden's checkered Iraq history - Vox

L’erreur est humaine, c’est persévérer dans l’erreur qui est diabolique. Proverbe latin
La folie, c’est de faire toujours la même chose et de s’attendre à un résultat différent. Einstein (?)
Tout au long de sa phénoménale carrière publique, [Gunther Grass] n’aura cessé d’adopter des postures consternantes. « Homme de gauche », absolument de gauche, il aura épousé toutes les mauvaises causes de sa génération sans en manquer aucune, aura approuvé toutes les révolutions sanguinaires, de Cuba à la Chine. Toujours disposé à accabler ces fascistes d’Américains, Ronald Reagan et, bien sûr, George W. Bush (c’est sans risque), l’a-t-on en revanche entendu, ne serait-ce qu’un peu, dénoncer le fascisme de Mao Zedong ? Ou celui des islamistes ? (…) comment s’interdire de songer à cette génération entière d’intellectuels et d’artistes en Europe, en France surtout, autoproclamée de gauche – au point que le mot ne fait plus sens –, qui n’ont cessé d’adopter des postures morales tout en illustrant des causes absolument immorales ? Comment ne pas voir surgir des spectres : ceux qui hier, ont aimé Staline et Mao et, bientôt, vont pleurer Castro ? Ceux qui n’ont rien vu à Moscou, Pékin, La Havane, Téhéran, Sarajevo, et Billancourt ? Ceux qui, maintenant, devinent dans l’islamisme une rédemption de l’0ccident ? Cette grande armée des spectres, de l’erreur absolue, dieu merci, elle n’a jamais cessé de se tromper d’avenir. (…) par-delà ce cas singulier, on ne se méfie pas assez du grand écrivain et de la star dès qu’ils abusent de leur séduction pour propager des opinions politiques, seulement politiques, mais déguisées autrement. (…) On se garde de l’homme politique, l’élu démocratique, beaucoup trop puisqu’il avance à découvert. On ne se garde pas assez, en revanche, de l’artiste quand son talent le dissimule, surtout quand le talent est grand : des magiciens, grimés en moralistes, on ne se méfie jamais assez. Guy Sorman
Les Etats-Unis étaient allés au Viêt-nam pour porter un coup d’arrêt à ce qu’ils estimaient être un complot communiste centralisé, et ils échouèrent. De l’échec de l’Amérique, Moscou déduisit ce que les tenants de la théorie des dominos avaient tant redouté, à savoir que la corrélation historique des forces avait tourné en sa faveur. En conséquence, l’URSS essaya d’étendre son hégémonie au Yémen, en Angola, en Ethiopie, et enfin en Afghanistan. Mais elle découvrit, ce faisant, que les réalités géopolitiques s’appliquaient autant aux sociétés communistes qu’à leurs soeurs capitalistes. De fait, étant moins élastique, le surengagement soviétique n’engendra pas une catharsis, comme en Amérique, mais la désintégration. Les événements auraient-ils évolué dans la même direction si l’Amérique s’était contentée de rester passive en comptant sur l’évolution de l’histoire pour se charger du défi communiste ? Ou bien cette démission aurait-elle créé un élan et une certitude de l’inéluctabilité de la victoire, chez les communistes, suffisants pour retarder, voire conjurer, l’effondrement soviétique ? La question reste posée. Quelle que soit la réponse des experts, l’homme d’Etat ne peut adopter la démission comme principe d’action politique. Il peut apprendre à modérer sa confiance dans ses évaluations et à faire la part des imprévus; mais compter sur la chute éventuelle d’un adversaire menaçant est une politique qui n’offre aucun réconfort aux millions de victimes immédiates et transforme l’art de gouverner en un pari téméraire sur l’intuition. Henry Kissinger (Diplomatie, 1994)
Like Carter in the 1970s, Obama comes from the old-fashioned Jeffersonian wing of the Democratic Party, and the strategic goal of his foreign policy is to reduce America’s costs and risks overseas by limiting U.S. commitments wherever possible. He’s a believer in the notion that the United States can best spread democracy and support peace by becoming an example of democracy at home and moderation abroad. More than this, Jeffersonians such as Obama think oversize commitments abroad undermine American democracy at home. Large military budgets divert resources from pressing domestic needs; close association with corrupt and tyrannical foreign regimes involves the United States in dirty and cynical alliances; the swelling national-security state threatens civil liberties and leads to powerful pro-war, pro-engagement lobbies among corporations nourished on grossly swollen federal defense budgets. (…) Obama seeks a quiet world in order to focus his efforts on domestic reform — and to create conditions that would allow him to dismantle some of the national-security state inherited from the Cold War and given new life and vigor after 9/11. Preferring disarmament agreements to military buildups and hoping to substitute regional balance-of-power arrangements for massive unilateral U.S. force commitments all over the globe, the president wishes ultimately for an orderly world in which burdens are shared and the military power of the United States is a less prominent feature on the international scene. While Wilsonians believe that no lasting stability is possible in a world filled with dictatorships, Jeffersonians like Obama argue that even bad regimes can be orderly international citizens if the incentives are properly aligned. Syria and Iran don’t need to become democratic states for the United States to reach long-term, mutually beneficial arrangements with them. And it is North Korea’s policies, not the character of its regime, that pose a threat to the Pacific region. (…) Yet as Obama is already discovering, any president attempting such a Jeffersonian grand strategy in the 21st century faces many challenges. In the 19th-century heyday of Jeffersonian foreign policy in American politics, it was easier for U.S. presidents to limit the country’s commitments. Britain played a global role similar to that of the United States today, providing a stable security environment and promoting international trade and investment. Cruising as a free rider in the British world system allowed Americans to reap the benefits of Britain’s world order without paying its costs. As British power waned in the 20th century, Americans faced starker choices. With the British Empire no longer able to provide political and economic security worldwide, the United States had to choose between replacing Britain as the linchpin of world order with all the headaches that entailed or going about its business in a disorderly world. In the 1920s and 1930s, Americans gave this latter course a try; the rapid-fire series of catastrophes — the Great Depression, World War II, Stalin’s bid for Eurasian hegemony — convinced virtually all policymakers that the first course, risky and expensive as it proved, was the lesser of the two evils. Indeed, during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first two terms, the United States pursued essentially Jeffersonian policies in Europe and Asia, avoiding confrontations with Germany and Japan. The result was the bloodiest war in world history, not a stable condominium of satisfied powers. (…) A Jeffersonian policy of restraint and withdrawal requires cooperation from many other countries, but the prospect of a lower American profile may make others less, rather than more, willing to help the United States. There is an additional political problem for this president, one that he shares with Carter. In both cases, their basic Jeffersonian approach was balanced in part by a strong attraction to idealistic Wilsonian values and their position at the head of a Democratic Party with a distinct Wilsonian streak. A pure Jeffersonian wants to conserve the shining exceptionalism of the American democratic experience and believes that American values are rooted in U.S. history and culture and are therefore not easily exportable. For this president, that is too narrow a view. Like Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, and Martin Luther King Jr., Barack Obama doesn’t just love the United States for what it is. He loves what it should — and can — be. Leadership is not the art of preserving a largely achieved democratic project; governing is the art of pushing the United States farther down the road toward the still-distant goal of fulfilling its mission and destiny. Obama may well believe what he said in his inaugural speech — « we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals » — but as any president must he is already making exactly those tradeoffs. Why else refuse to meet the Dalai Lama? Why else pledge support to the corrupt regime of President Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan or aid Pakistan despite the dismal track record of both the civil and military arms of the Pakistani government when it comes to transparent use of U.S. resources? Did the administration not renew its efforts to build a relationship with the regime in Tehran even as peaceful democratic protesters were being tortured and raped in its jails? Is Obama not taking « incentives » to Khartoum, a regime that has for more than a decade pursued a policy in Darfur that the U.S. government has labeled genocidal? It is hard to reconcile the transcendent Wilsonian vision of America’s future with a foreign policy based on dirty compromises with nasty regimes. If the government should use its power and resources to help the poor and the victims of injustice at home, shouldn’t it do something when people overseas face extreme injustice and extreme peril? The Obama administration cannot easily abandon a human rights agenda abroad. The contradiction between the sober and limited realism of the Jeffersonian worldview and the expansive, transformative Wilsonian agenda is likely to haunt this administration as it haunted Carter’s, most fatefully when he rejected calls to let the shah of Iran launch a brutal crackdown to remain in power. Already the Wilsonians in Obama’s camp are muttering darkly about his failure to swiftly close the Guantánamo prison camp, his fondness for government secrecy, his halfhearted support for investigating abuses of the past administration, and his failure to push harder for a cap-and-trade bill before the Copenhagen summit. Walter Russell Mead
Former vice president Joe Biden said in a recent interview he agrees with Jim Mattis that the Obama administration’s decision to withdraw troops from Iraq was a mistake, but that as vice president he tried to keep “a residual force” stationed there. This is revisionist nonsense. Just a few months ago, at the July Democratic presidential debate, Biden boasted that “one of the proudest moments of my life was to stand there in Al-Faw Palace and tell everyone that . . . all our combat troops are coming home.” In September, he declared, “We were right to get the combat troops out.” But now he agrees it was a mistake? The fact is, at the time, Biden expressed zero regrets about the complete US withdrawal, which he was in charge of executing. The New York Times reports that in December 2011 Biden was “ebullient” as he presided over the departure ceremony for the last American forces, calling President Barack Obama from Baghdad to tell him “All I’ve said about this job, I take it back. Thank you for giving me the chance to end this goddamn war.” Of course, he did not actually end the “goddamn war,” he unleashed a humanitarian and national security catastrophe. Biden’s withdrawal created a vacuum that allowed the Islamic State — which had been reduced to just 700 fighters — to regroup, reconstitute itself and build a murderous caliphate the size of Britain. The terrorists enslaved and raped thousands of Yazidi girls and carried out gruesome executions across Iraq and Syria. And they spread their murderous tentacles across the globe, carrying out 143 attacks in 29 countries that killed more than 2,000 people and injured many thousands more. Biden has criticized President Trump for withdrawing from Syria against the advice of our military commanders. Yet Biden did not listen to our military commanders when it came to the Iraq withdrawal. The Times reports that Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, the U.S. commander in Iraq, proposed keeping as many as 24,000 troops in Iraq. According to Biden national security adviser Colin H. Kahl, Austin was told by the White House “you’ve got to be kidding.” So Austin presented Obama and Biden with options for 19,000, 16,000 and 10,000 troops — and told them the lowest number was “unwise.” But Biden “aggressively pushed for a smaller force,” and Obama agreed. Then, during negotiations with the Iraqis, the administration cut the offer in half to just 5,000 — an offer the Iraqis rejected. In his interview with the Wall Street Journal, Biden blamed George W. Bush for the US withdrawal, noting that he had negotiated a status of forces agreement that required an end to the US military presence by 2011. Please. Does anyone really believe that if Bush were still in office in 2011, he would have pulled out all US forces? Of course not. The reason Obama and Biden were unable to get an agreement to extend the US troop presence is because they made it crystal clear to the Iraqis that America was headed for the exits. Iraqis watched as Obama and Biden rejected numbers well above 10,000, only grudgingly agreed to even that number and then cut that number to 5,000. If you were an Iraqi, would this have given you confidence in America’s long-term commitment? (…) In 2013, as the Islamic State was gaining steam, Biden said that he and Obama felt “happy and . . . fulfilled” with the decision to withdraw from Iraq. A year later, they would be forced to send US forces back to Iraq to deal with the debacle they had unleashed. Biden supported the Iraq invasion but then opposed the Bush surge, which crushed the Islamic State and won the war. Then he supported a premature withdrawal that allowed the terrorists to regroup and was celebrating that decision as recently as four months ago — but now says he regrets it. That’s quite a record for a man running on his record of experience and judgment. Mark Thiessen (2019)
President Obama (…) believes history follows some predetermined course, as if things always get better on their own. Obama often praises those he pronounces to be on the “right side of history.” He also chastises others for being on the “wrong side of history” — as if evil is vanished and the good thrives on autopilot. When in 2009 millions of Iranians took to the streets to protest the thuggish theocracy, they wanted immediate U.S. support. Instead, Obama belatedly offered them banalities suggesting that in the end, they would end up “on the right side of history.” Iranian reformers may indeed end up there, but it will not be because of some righteous inanimate force of history, or the prognostications of Barack Obama. (…) Another of Obama’s historical refrains is his frequent sermon about behavior that doesn’t belong in the 21st century. At various times he has lectured that the barbarous aggression of Vladimir Putin or the Islamic State has no place in our century and will “ultimately fail” — as if we are all now sophisticates of an age that has at last transcended retrograde brutality and savagery. In Obama’s hazy sense of the end of history, things always must get better in the manner that updated models of iPhones and iPads are glitzier than the last. In fact, history is morally cyclical. Even technological progress is ethically neutral. It is a way either to bring more good things to more people or to facilitate evil all that much more quickly and effectively. In the viciously modern 20th century — when more lives may have been lost to war than in all prior centuries combined — some 6 million Jews were put to death through high technology in a way well beyond the savagery of Attila the Hun or Tamerlane. Beheading in the Islamic world is as common in the 21st century as it was in the eighth century — and as it will probably be in the 22nd. The carnage of the Somme and Dresden trumped anything that the Greeks, Romans, Franks, Turks, or Venetians could have imagined. (…) What explains Obama’s confusion? A lack of knowledge of basic history explains a lot. (…) Obama once praised the city of Cordoba as part of a proud Islamic tradition of tolerance during the brutal Spanish Inquisition — forgetting that by the beginning of the Inquisition an almost exclusively Christian Cordoba had few Muslims left. (…) A Pollyannaish belief in historical predetermination seems to substitute for action. If Obama believes that evil should be absent in the 21st century, or that the arc of the moral universe must always bend toward justice, or that being on the wrong side of history has consequences, then he may think inanimate forces can take care of things as we need merely watch. In truth, history is messier. Unfortunately, only force will stop seventh-century monsters like the Islamic State from killing thousands more innocents. Obama may think that reminding Putin that he is now in the 21st century will so embarrass the dictator that he will back off from Ukraine. But the brutish Putin may think that not being labeled a 21st-century civilized sophisticate is a compliment. In 1935, French foreign minister Pierre Laval warned Joseph Stalin that the Pope would admonish him to go easy on Catholics — as if such moral lectures worked in the supposedly civilized 20th century. Stalin quickly disabused Laval of that naiveté. “The Pope?” Stalin asked, “How many divisions has he got?” There is little evidence that human nature has changed over the centuries, despite massive government efforts to make us think and act nicer. What drives Putin, Boko Haram, or ISIS are the same age-old passions, fears, and sense of honor that over the centuries also moved Genghis Khan, the Sudanese Mahdists, and the Barbary pirates. Obama’s naive belief in predetermined history — especially when his facts are often wrong — is a poor substitute for concrete moral action. Victor Davis Hanson
In fact, there is a predictable pattern to Obama’s foreign policy. The president has an adolescent, romantic view of professed revolutionary societies and anti-Western poseurs — and of his own ability uniquely to reach out and win them over. In the most superficial sense, Obama demonstrates his empathy for supposedly revolutionary figures of the non-Western world through gratuitous, often silly remarks about Christianity and Western colonial excesses, past and present. He apologizes with talk of our “own dark periods” and warns of past U.S. “dictating”; he contextualizes; he ankle-bites the very culture he grew up and thrived in, as if he can unapologetically and without guilt enjoy the West’s largesse only by deriding its history and values. (…) Reminiscent of college naïfs with dorm-room posters of Che Guevara, Obama mythologizes about the underappreciated multicultural “Other” that did everything from fuel the Western Renaissance and Enlightenment to critique Christian excesses during the Inquisition. In truth, what he delivers is only a smoother and more refined version of Al Sharpton’s incoherent historical riff on “astrology” and “Greek homos.” Obama refuses to concede that Islam can become a catalyst for radical killers and terrorists, and he has a starry-eyed crush on those who strike anti-Western poses and have turned their societies upside down on behalf of the proverbial people. Keep that in mind, and it makes sense that, during the Egyptian turmoil, Obama was intent on ousting the pro-Western kleptocrat Hosni Mubarak and investing in the Muslim Brotherhood, despite the dark anti-democratic history of Mohamed Morsi and the Brothers and their agenda of Islamicizing the most populous country in the Arab world. For Obama, such zealotry is evidence of their legitimacy and the justice of their efforts to overturn the established hierarchies of old Egypt. Moammar Qaddafi was a monster and a thug. But in fear both of radical Islamists and of the implications for Libya of the Western military action in Iraq and Afghanistan, and eager to have Western knowhow rehabilitate his ailing oil and gas industry, he had reached out to the West and ceased his support for international terrorists. But ridding Libya of the cartoonish and geriatric Qaddafi and allowing it to be overrun by stern revolutionary Islamists was again in tune with Obama’s rose-colored view of the Middle East. One of the many reasons why Obama pulled all U.S. troops out of a stable and secure Iraq at the end of 2011 was that its democracy was, in his eyes, tainted by its American birthing and its associations with George W. Bush. Such a hazy belief that Western influence and power are undeserved and inordinate made it initially impossible for Obama to condemn ISIS as growing and dangerous rather than dismiss it as “jayvees.” Putin perhaps should study Iran’s PR effort and its aggression in Lebanon and Yemen. If he would only cut out the guns, tigers, and “macho shtick,” and instead mouth shibboleths about the oppressed minorities in Crimea and Ukraine and the need for revolutionary fairness, he might be reset yet again. His crimes were not so much naked invasions of his neighbors, as aggression in the most un-Iranian fashion of a right-wing kleptocrat and thug. Again, nothing Putin has done is all that different from what Iran did in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen. No one could quite figure out why Obama bragged of his “special relationship” with Turkey’s prime minister Recep Erdogan. Erdogan, after all, is systematically destroying free expression in Turkey. He has bragged that he got off the bus of democracy when he no longer found any utility in it — and he has openly romanticized the Ottoman imperialists. A once-staunch NATO ally, Turkey has turned into a virulently anti-Israeli and anti-American society that has spiked tensions in the eastern Mediterranean with Cyprus, Greece, and Israel. But, again, the redeeming virtue was that Erdogan was taking Turkey in a new and revolutionary direction, trying to massage the Arab Revolution as its spiritual mentor, and becoming point nation in hatred of Israel. In other words, Turkey was churning and evolving, and, for Obama, that apparently was a good thing. Without asking anything in return from Cuba — such as releasing political prisoners or allowing free expression — Obama by executive order is normalizing relations with the Castro brothers, who are allied with fascist Iran, North Korea, and Venezuela. He keeps saying that 50 years of containment have “failed,” as if successfully curbing Cuba’s revolutionary aspirations abroad was a bad thing, and siding with dissidents in its gulags was counterproductive. For Obama, the Castros are authentic anti-colonialists. They perhaps may have broken a few too many eggs to make their egalitarian omelets, but their regime is certainly preferable to what is envisioned by loud Cuban exiles in America or troublemakers like imprisoned Cuban refuseniks. (…) Keep in mind this juvenile view of the revolutionary non-West, and there is a clarity of sorts in American foreign policy. (…) For Obama, in the struggle between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, Israel is a Westernized colonial construct and a proponent of Western neo-liberal capitalism. The PA and Hamas, in contrast, are seen both as the downtrodden in need of community-organizing help and as authentic peoples whose miseries are not self-induced and the wages of tribalism, statism, autocracy, fundamentalism, misogyny, and anti-Semitism, but rather the results of Israeli occupation, colonialism, and imperialism. Obama may not articulate this publicly, but these are the assumptions that explain his periodic blasts against Netanyahu and his silence about the autocratic Palestinian Authority and the murderous Hamas. In such a landscape, the current Iranian talks make perfect sense. Obama was in no mood in the spring of 2009 to vocally support a million, pro-Western Iranian dissidents who took to the streets in anger over the theocracy’s rigged elections, calling for transparency and human rights. He snubbed them as if they were neoconservative democracy zealots. In his eyes, their false consciousness did not allow them to fully appreciate their own suffering at the hands of past American imperialists. In Obama’s worldview, the Iranian mullahs came to power through revolution and were thus far more authentic anti-Western radicals, with whom only someone like Obama — prepped by the Harvard Law Review, Chicago organizing, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s pulpit, and the most liberal voting record during a brief stint in the U.S. Senate — could empathize and negotiate. Why would Iranian idealists and democrats be foolish enough to spoil Obama’s unique diplomatic gymnastics? Traditional analyses deconstruct the Obama administration’s negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program and are aghast at the naïveté — no stop to ongoing uranium enrichment, no open or surprise inspections, no conditions to be met before sanctions are scaled back, no prohibitions against the marriage of nuclear-weapon technology and intercontinental-missile development. But that is to misunderstand the Obama worldview. He is less worried about a nuclear Iran and what it will do to a mostly pro-Western Gulf or Israel, or to other traditional U.S. interests, than about the difficulties he faces in bringing Iran back into the family of nations as an authentic revolutionary force that will school the West on regional justice. (“There’s incredible talent and resources and sophistication inside of Iran, and it would be a very successful regional power that was also abiding by international norms and international rules, and that would be good for everybody.”) Iran will assume its natural revolutionary role as regional power broker in the Middle East; and, almost alone, it is not beholden to any Western power. In some sense, Obama views the rest of the world in the same way as he views America: a rigged order in which the oppressed who speak truth to power are systematically mischaracterized and alienated — and in need of an empathetic voice on the side of overdue revolutionary accounting. The chief danger in Obama’s romantic view of revolutionary societies is that nothing in their histories suggests that these regimes will ever cease aggression or adopt internal reforms. Cuba will still stir up revolution in Latin America and ally itself with anti-American regimes. Iran will still subsidize Hezbollah and Hamas — and, soon, in the fashion of a nuclear power. Turkey will still try to carve out Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influence at someone else’s expense and destroy secular traditions. And one-election, one-time Islamic movements will still attempt to set up theocracies the moment they snatch power. And at no point does Obama ever empathize with thousands of dissidents rotting in Cuban and Palestinian jails, or homosexuals and feminists persecuted in Iran or journalists in Turkey. The only distinction between these illiberal movements and the unromantic Putin’s Russia is their more wily professions of revolutionary fervor, which apparently have fooled or captivated the Obama administration. Victor Davis Hanson
Il est hautement improbable que les Talibans parviennent à reprendre le pays… Les forces talibanes n’ont rien à voir avec les combattants du Viet-Cong… Sous aucune circonstance vous ne verrez des civils évacués depuis le toit de l’ambassade américaine en Afghanistan ! Joe Biden (08.07.
Emmanuel Le Pen ! Edward Snowden
Ne sous-estimez pas la capacité de Joe à tout foirer. Barack Obama
Il s’est trompé sur quasiment toutes les questions de politique étrangère et de sécurité nationale des quatre dernières décennies. Robert Gates (ancien ministre de la défense américain, 2014)
Le vice-président, quand il était sénateur – un tout nouveau sénateur – a voté contre le programme d’aide au Sud-Vietnam, et cela faisait partie de l’accord lorsque nous nous sommes retirés du Sud-Vietnam pour essayer de les aider. Il a dit que lorsque le Shah est tombé en Iran en 1979, c’était un pas en avant pour le progrès vers les droits de l’homme en Iran. Il s’est opposé à pratiquement tous les éléments de renforcement de la défense du président Reagan. Il a voté contre le B-1, le B -2, le MX et ainsi de suite. Il a voté contre la première guerre du Golfe. Donc sur un certain nombre de ces questions majeures, j’ai juste franchement, pendant une longue période, estimé qu’il avait eu tort. Robert Gates
Joe Biden doesn’t have a perfect foreign policy record. But unlike Trump, he’s learned from his mistakes. In considering Joe Biden’s foreign policy record, it’s hard to overlook the scathing critique delivered by Robert Gates, the Washington wise man and veteran of half a dozen administrations who served as President Barack Obama’s first defense secretary. While Biden was “a man of integrity” who was “impossible not to like,” Gates wrote in a 2014 memoir, “he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.” (…) Biden voted against the successful U.S. military campaign that expelled Saddam Hussein from Kuwait in 1991. In Iraq, he compiled a trifecta of blunders: He voted for the 2003 invasion; opposed the 2007 “surge” that rescued the mission from utter disaster; and oversaw the premature 2011 withdrawal of the last U.S. troops, which opened the way for the Islamic State. Biden argued against Obama’s 2009 decision to surge U.S. troops in Afghanistan, proposing that the mission should instead limit itself to counterterrorism. But according to Gates, he raised his hand against the most important counter­terrorism operation of recent years, the 2011 special forces raid that killed Osama bin Laden. (Biden has said he later encouraged Obama to go ahead.) (Yet] by all accounts the former vice president, unlike Trump, has learned from his mistakes. (…) If he wins and sticks to that, he won’t go far wrong. Jackson Diehl (Deputy Editorial Page Editor, The Washington post, Sep. 27, 2020)
For this community and for our nation and for the world, Pride Month represents so much.  It stands for courage — the courage of all those in previous generations and today who proudly live their truth. It stands for justice: both the steps we’ve taken and the steps we need to take. And above all, Pride Month stands for love — you know, being able to love yourself, love whomever you love, and love this country enough to make it more fair and more free and more just. (…) This month, Pride flags are flying — as some of my friends in our last admin- — in the Obama-Biden administration who are openly gay — they are flying in more than — over 130 U.S. embassies around the world. A powerful — a powerful symbol of our commitment to safety, dignity, and opportunity for all. Joe Biden
Just a few minutes ago, surrounded by the survivors of family members who were — we’ve lost, I signed a bill consecrating another piece of hallowed ground: the Pulse nightclub.  And I want to thank all of the members of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate for standing up and making sure that will never be forgotten.  Never be forgotten.  The site of the deadliest attack affecting the LBT- — LGBTQ+ community in American history.  It’s now a national memorial. Joe Biden
The mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that killed 49 people [was] widely believed to be an act of aggression against the club’s LGBTQ clientele and “undeniably a homophobic hate crime.” There’s now conclusive evidence that the shooter wasn’t intending to target LGBTQ people at all. In fact, he allegedly had no idea Pulse was a gay club, and simply Googled “Orlando nightclubs” after finding that security at his original target, a major shopping and entertainment complex, was too high, as reported by ClickOrlando.com. This evidence dramatically changes the mass shooting’s narrative; politicians and individuals across the political spectrum had positioned it as an anti-LGBTQ hate crime. Instead, the new evidence suggests, the Pulse nightclub shooting was intended as revenge for US anti-terror policies abroad. (…) The shooter’s motive was apparently revenge for United States bombing campaigns on ISIS targets in the Middle East. He had pledged allegiance to ISIS’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and during the Pulse shooting posted to Facebook, “You kill innocent women and children by doing us airstrikes. … Now taste the Islamic state vengeance.” In his final post, he wrote, “In the next few days you will see attacks from the Islamic state in the usa.” (…) The Pulse nightclub shooting was the deadliest attack on LGBTQ people in American history, and liberals and conservatives — including then-presidential candidate Donald Trump — assumed the shooting was based on the victims’ sexual orientation and gender identity. Trump and other Republicans attempted to use their response to the shooting to argue that they were true pro-LGBTQ advocates because of their support for immigration restrictions aimed at Muslims. (…) But the evidence shows otherwise. The shooter didn’t target LGBTQ people — he didn’t even realize Pulse was a gay-oriented nightclub, asking a security guard at the club where all the women were just before he started shooting. After a mass shooting, observers, including journalists, often search for a motive, sometimes even before the first victims have been identified. But the Pulse shooting proves that initial narratives about mass shooters’ motivations are often wrong — and those narratives can be far more powerful than the truth. Vox
Nous n’avons pas besoin d’avoir 100 000 soldats stationnés partout. Mais nous devons être engagés et organisés, et nous organiser avec nos alliés et nos amis. Et quand nous laissons un vide, comme il le fait, cela crée d’importantes sources de problèmes, dont ce que vous voyez en ce moment au Moyen Orient. Si nous n’organisons pas le monde, qui le fera ? Pas les gentils. Il a pris une décision irréfléchie en retirant les forces américaines de Syrie, ce qui a ouvert la voie à l’attaque turque contre les alliés kurdes des Etats-Unis. Une petite force américaine devrait rester en Syrie. (…) Se retirer de Syrie renforce, non seulement, le pouvoir du dictateur syrien Bachar al-Assad, mais aussi de ses amis en Russie et en Iran. En raison de l’amélioration de la position iranienne en Syrie, Téhéran possède maintenant un passage qui va jusqu’en Syrie et même au Liban. Si j’étais les Israéliens, je n’en serais pas très heureux. (…) Je partage l’avis du général Jim Mattis, la décision de l’administration Obama de retirer les troupes d’Irak en 2011 était une erreur. Ca a directement conduit à la croissance et à l’expansion de l’Etat islamique, qui a pu élargir son emprise de la Syrie vers l’Irak. Mais en tant que vice-Président, j’ai essayé de faire en sorte qu’un contingent américain reste en Irak. Le Président m’a demandé de rapatrier 150 000 militaires, et c’est moi qui en avais la charge. J’ai plaidé auprès du gouvernement irakien pour qu’une force résiduelle soit maintenue sur place pour que nous puissions rester et nous concentrer sur Al-Qaïda, qui était présent avant Daech. Mais le président George W. Bush avait, avant de quitter son poste, conclu un accord » avec l’Irak pour que toutes les forces américaines quittent le pays à un moment déterminé. Nous n’avons pas pu obtenir les votes du parlement [irakien] pour le modifier afin que nous puissions, avec leur autorisation, rester dans la région. Joe Biden
I’ve read Mao Zedong. I’ve read Karl Marx. I’ve read Lenin. That doesn’t make me a communist. So what is wrong with understanding … the country which we are here to defend? (…) I want to understand white rage. And I’m white. What is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America. What caused that? I want to find that out. Army Gen. Mark Milley (US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff)
Le retrait des troupes américaines d’Afghanistan a entraîné la chute rapide du gouvernement de Kaboul. Le monde a vu comment les États-Unis évacuaient leurs diplomates par hélicoptère tandis que les soldats talibans se pressaient dans le palais présidentiel de Kaboul. Cela a porté un coup dur à la crédibilité et à la fiabilité des États-Unis. Beaucoup de gens ne peuvent s’empêcher de se rappeler comment la guerre du Vietnam s’est terminée en 1975 : les États-Unis ont abandonné leurs alliés au Sud-Vietnam ; Saigon a été repris; puis les États-Unis ont évacué presque tous leurs citoyens à Saigon. Et en 2019, les troupes américaines se sont brutalement retirées du nord de la Syrie et ont abandonné leurs alliés, les Kurdes. (…) L’abandon du régime de Kaboul par Washington a particulièrement choqué certains en Asie, dont l’île de Taïwan. Taïwan est la région qui dépend le plus de la protection des États-Unis en Asie, et les autorités du Parti démocrate progressiste (DPP) de l’île ont poussé Taïwan de plus en plus loin sur cette voie anormale. La situation en Afghanistan a soudainement changé radicalement après l’abandon du pays par les États-Unis. Et Washington vient de partir malgré l’aggravation de la situation à Kaboul. Est-ce une sorte de présage du sort futur de Taïwan ? (…) Une fois qu’une guerre trans-détroit éclate alors que le continent s’empare de l’île avec ses forces armées, les États-Unis devraient avoir une détermination beaucoup plus grande que pour l’Afghanistan, la Syrie et le Vietnam s’ils veulent intervenir. (…) Au cours des deux dernières décennies, le gouvernement de Kaboul a coûté plus de 2 000 soldats américains, 2 000 milliards de dollars et la majesté des États-Unis contre les « bandits ». Mais combien de vies de soldats américains et combien de dollars les États-Unis sacrifieraient-ils pour l’île de Taïwan ?  Global Times
C’est une tragédie. Pas seulement pour le peuple afghan, mais aussi pour l’Amérique, l’Europe et tout l’Occident. Vingt ans d’efforts ont été réduits à néant. Forcément, comme beaucoup, j’ai pensé à Saigon et à la désastreuse évacuation du pays à la fin de la guerre du Vietnam. Aujourd’hui, les talibans contrôlent tout le territoire afghan et vont en refaire un sanctuaire pour terroristes. Nous approchons du 20e anniversaire du 11 septembre 2001 et jamais le risque de voir un nouveau 11 Septembre se reproduire n’a été aussi grand. Les États-Unis sont plus vulnérables aujourd’hui qu’hier. (…) Nous avons gagné la guerre en Afghanistan, mais nous partons comme si nous l’avions perdue. C’est pire encore qu’une défaite militaire, c’est une décision politique, qui demeure pour moi inexplicable. (…) La situation était loin d’être parfaite en Afghanistan. Mais il vaut mieux une guerre sans fin que subir des attaques terroristes sur son sol.(…) Trump et Biden partagent la responsabilité de cette déroute. Si Trump avait été réélu, la même chose serait arrivée, nous serions aussi partis d’Afghanistan. Biden ne fait qu’appliquer les décisions prises par Trump, mais il s’y prend si mal qu’il nous plonge dans un désordre terrible. (…) J’étais au département d’État à cette époque. Nous savions très bien que les talibans hébergeaient Al-Qaïda. George Bush avait bien compris le risque que représentaient les talibans et les groupes extrémistes du Pakistan. Envahir l’Afghanistan était la bonne décision stratégique. L’erreur, c’était de se fixer pour objectif de bâtir un État afghan. Nous n’étions pas là pour ça. Nous étions en Afghanistan pour défendre la sécurité des États-Unis et pour nous assurer que le pays ne passe pas aux mains des talibans. (…) On ne peut pas savoir à quel moment le risque que représentent les talibans aurait disparu. Mais une chose est sûre : il vaut mieux combattre en Afghanistan que dans les rues ou le ciel de l’Amérique. Après la Seconde Guerre mondiale, des troupes américaines sont restées aux portes de l’Union soviétique pendant près de cinquante ans, le temps que nous gagnions la guerre froide. [Si j’étais toujours aux affaires] Je ferais en sorte que nous restions dans le pays et j’augmenterais le budget de la Défense. À Pékin, Moscou, Téhéran, nous passons pour des faibles, voire des guignols. Après son élection à la présidence, Joe Biden a dit au monde : l’Amérique est de retour. Comment le prendre au sérieux, désormais ? John Bolton
Ce qui est triste, c’est que beaucoup dans mon parti essaient de rejeter la faute comme si la dernière administration ne nous avait pas mis sur cette voie. Voici la triste vérité : aucun des deux partis n’est sérieux en matière de politique étrangère. Depuis une décennie maintenant, des démagogues mentent au peuple américain au sujet de notre mission en Afghanistan. Le président Trump a été le pionnier de la stratégie de retrait que poursuit le président Biden, avec un effet désastreux. Les politiciens et les experts qui trouvent des excuses pour cette retraite honteuse prétendront de manière malhonnête que c’était cela ou des soi-disant « guerres éternelles ». Ils prétendent que nos seuls choix étaient une occupation massive ou un retrait immédiat. Ils ignorent la réalité sur le terrain. Leurs arguments faciles ont conduit au chaos, à la persécution et à la mort. Les politiciens ne disent pas cette vérité : l’Amérique n’avait pas de force d’occupation de reconstruction nationale en Afghanistan. La dernière fois que nous avons eu 100 000 soldats dans le pays, c’était il y a dix ans. Nous ne menons pas plus de « guerres sans fin » en Afghanistan que nous ne menons des guerres sans fin en Corée du Sud, en Allemagne ou au Japon – ou au Kosovo, ou au Honduras, ou dans un certain nombre d’autres pays où nous avons des forces déployées. Un nombre relativement restreint de soldats a soutenu avec succès nos alliés afghans en fournissant l’épine dorsale des missions de renseignement et d’opérations spéciales. Les Américains ne construisaient pas d’empires ni ne menaient des batailles impossibles à gagner. Nous défendions les aérodromes et décapitions les organisations terroristes tout en gardant une empreinte légère. Les Américains ont entendu parler de certains hommes de main de premier plan, tels que Qasem Soleimani et Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. Mais nos héros en Afghanistan ont tué beaucoup plus d’apirants Ben Laden dont vous ne connaissez pas les noms, précisément parce que nous les avons tués avant qu’ils ne puissent détruire un World Trade Center. Nous avons combattu et gagné cette guerre en Afghanistan, pas sur les côtes américaines. Mais vous ne vous en rendriez pas compte à partir de la rhétorique isolationniste qui entoure les choix de Biden. Ben Sasse
Le retrait désastreux de l’administration Biden d’Afghanistan est une humiliation de politique étrangère différente de tout ce que notre pays a enduré depuis la crise des otages en Iran. Il a embarrassé l’Amérique sur la scène mondiale, fait douter les alliés de notre fiabilité et enhardi les ennemis à tester notre détermination. Pire encore, cela a déshonoré la mémoire des Américains héroïques qui ont aidé à traduire les terroristes en justice après le 11 septembre, et de tous ceux qui ont servi en Afghanistan au cours des 20 dernières années.(…) Il semble que le président n’a tout simplement pas voulu donner l’impression de respecter les termes d’un accord négocié par son prédécesseur. (…) Une fois que M. Biden a rompu l’accord, les talibans ont lancé une offensive majeure contre le gouvernement afghan et se sont emparés de Kaboul. Ils savaient qu’il n’y avait pas de menace de force sous ce président. Ils l’ont vu s’aplatir devant des groupes terroristes antisémites comme le Hamas, restituer des millions de dollars d’aide à l’Autorité palestinienne et ne pas bouger plus tôt cette année alors que des milliers de roquettes pleuvaient sur les civils israéliens. La faiblesse suscite le mal – et l’ampleur du mal qui monte actuellement en Afghanistan en dit long sur les faiblesses de M. Bide. Mike Pence
The scenes of a Taliban victory in Afghanistan have resonated very differently in various parts of the world and hold many lessons, especially for Israel. (…) The (…) most valuable lesson for Israel is that fundamentalist Islam does not give up without force. The Taliban had remained largely dormant for two decades but never gave up hope of ultimate victory, even when the odds were stacked against it by the overwhelming presence of foreign militaries. The major problem was that the international forces never truly defeated the Taliban, and did not provide a mortal blow to a paramilitary force which was allowed to regroup and dream of a future conquest. This failure should be seen in direct opposition to the victory over the Islamic State in Iraq. The Islamic State was territorially defeated. It was routed completely from the territory it purported to hold in 2017. Of course, there is still some Islamic State activity, but it is largely peripheral and Iraqi forces have shown they are in a good position to repel it. Unlike the Taliban, the Islamic State was not left with large swathes of territory on which to reorganize, rearm and bide its time. In any military tacticians’ book, absolute defeat is a world of difference away from partial defeat. Israel’s enemies, like Hamas and Hezbollah, were left standing after every confrontation with the IDF. They might not have been victorious, but it is impossible to say they were defeated in any meaningful way. When Israel goes to war with its enemies, defeat must mean defeat. It should mean that at the end of a conflict, the enemy is not left standing and remaining in power. This lesson is not lost on Hamas which has already congratulated the Taliban on its stunning victory. (…) Hamas and other terrorist organizations confronting Israel have been given a massive morale boost by events in Afghanistan. They perceive the West, of which they see Israel as a central part, as something that can be defeated with steadfastness and an unshakeable belief in an ultimate victory regardless of time and against all odds and logic. Israel must take every step to disavow this belief and ensure that its opponents understand that while they might still dream of ultimate victory and the destruction of the Jewish State, they will instead taste the bitter crucible of defeat. Gregg Roman
It is unclear just what the United States has gained from withdrawing the small, affordable, and effective deterrent force that had remained in Afghanistan to support its security forces. It is unnervingly obvious what we’ve lost: national prestige, vast sums of political capital, credibility on the world stage and, most tangibly, our security. The world is much more dangerous today than it was just 72 hours ago. As recently as August 12, when the elected government in Afghanistan still controlled most of its provincial capitals and the country’s total implosion was still evitable, U.S. intelligence officials warned that America’s abandonment of its ally in Central Asia would allow al-Qaeda to reconstitute itself. (…) And the threat to American lives and interests arising from our humiliation in Afghanistan does not begin and end with non-state actors. The world’s irridentist great powers are watching closely, and they are no doubt emboldened by our fecklessness. The Chinese Communist Party has already demonstrated its willingness to court international condemnation in its quest to impose its sovereignty on the greater Chinese sphere. (…) Bejing’s reservation of its prerogative to retake the Republic of China through force has thus far been deterred not just by America’s assets in the Pacific but also by our willingness to use them and by the assumption that the American public would support that mission. That deterrent has no doubt suffered a devastating blow, and China’s propagandists won’t let us forget it. (…) In Europe, too, the United States has much to lose. In 2008, Russia invaded and functionally annexed large swaths of territory in Georgia. In 2014, Moscow invaded Ukraine, outright subsuming the whole of Crimea into the Russian Federation. (…) And Russia’s territorial ambitions are not limited to Ukraine. (…) Eighty years ago, the West’s appeasers howled in unison “Why Die for Danzig?” Why wouldn’t today’s “peacemakers” be just as inclined to question the value of a global war against Russia over Tallinn? At least, that’s what the Kremlin’s hungriest revanchists must be asking themselves. It’s a perfectly rational question. After all, even America’s allies were shocked to watch the United States so callously sacrifice an ally for no discernible strategic purpose and under no perceptible pressure from the voting public. Our caprice has shaken the faith that we will defend our partners’ interests around the world if we’re unwilling to bear the modest burdens associated with preserving our own. Noah Rothman
Nous n’arrivons pas à trouver un équilibre entre la promotion irrationnellement exubérante de la démocratie et le réalisme et la retenue des grandes puissances. Nous sommes allés en Afghanistan pour fermer des camps d’entraînement terroristes, et nous l’avons fait – dans notre propre intérêt – pour ce qui viendrait après l’intervention et le renversement d’un gouvernement. Ensuite, cependant, nous avons fait ce que nous faisons : nous nous sommes perdus dans des priorités concurrentes et des attentes irréalistes. Nous n’avons pas non plus vu ce qui s’était passé en cours de route. En Afghanistan, les camps d’entraînement terroristes du type de ceux qui ont rendu possible le 11 septembre sont restés fermés. L’espérance de vie s’est améliorée. La mortalité infantile a diminué. Les femmes ont acquis des opportunités qui étaient auparavant impensables. Pour ceux qui se concentraient sur la concurrence des grandes puissances, la Russie est restée en dehors, la Chine a été maintenue à distance, et le Pakistan, l’allié de la Chine, a été contraint. Ces gains seront désormais anéantis car nous ne pouvons pas nous contenter de gérer les problèmes, nous devons les résoudre. Si nous ne pouvons pas gagner clairement et décisivement y, refaisant une société dans le processus, nous reculerons et abandonnerons nos alliés. Pourquoi n’aurions-nous pas pu laisser une force résiduelle en Afghanistan pour aider à y assurer un minimum de sécurité ? Après tout, trois quarts de siècle après la guerre de Corée, nous maintenons 29 000 soldats en Corée du Sud. Nous avons encore des troupes d’après-guerre en Europe. Ce sont les coûts indirects de la paix et de la stabilité. (…) Neuf millions d’enfants afghans ont commencé à aller à l’école au cours des vingt dernières années, dont 40 pour cent de filles. L’objectif était de « gagner du temps », a déclaré l’ancien ambassadeur américain Ryan Crocker, membre du conseil d’administration de RFE/RL, « pour que cette jeune génération d’Afghans devienne majeure. Jeffrey Gedmin
As Afghanistan collapses, there is no shortage of explanations, justifications, and outright myths taking root, some encouraged by the Biden administration. Among the most common: This was inevitable. The U.S. presence was unsustainable, critics say. The administration was boxed in by the 2020 peace deal with the Taliban. If the U.S. had repudiated the deal, the Taliban would have gone on the offensive and resumed killing U.S. troops. And for what? We gave it our best for 20 years, they say, proving that the mission was effectively impossible. The rapid collapse only demonstrates that we were never going to succeed no matter how long we stayed. We achieved the most important thing: Osama bin Laden is dead. The Afghans have to run their own country. We cannot stay there forever, we shouldn’t try nation building, and we can keep an eye on al-Qaeda from afar to make sure they do not threaten us. On the surface, these explanations make a compelling case. It is also a comforting case, because it washes our hands of responsibility for what is about to happen. As a humanitarian catastrophe unfolds—as Afghan women fall back under the Taliban’s uniquely cruel tyranny, as the Hazara and Shiites flee the Taliban’s near-genocidal oppression of religious dissidents—we can tell ourselves, “There’s nothing we could have done.” These myths function as an ex post facto explanation that we—the most powerful nation in the world—were actually powerless all along. It turns out we didn’t fail because of bad decisions, strategic incompetence, or moral myopia. We failed because no one could have succeeded, because the mission was inherently impossible. No amount of insight, troop surges, or Marshall-Plan-level reconstruction assistance could have made a difference. Of course, none of that is true. The myths are just that: myths. The U.S. presence in Afghanistan the last few years was tiny—just 2,500 troops before the start of the final withdrawal. It was indefinitely sustainable. There is no significant antiwar movement to speak of, there is no domestic political pressure to withdraw, and no election will hinge on U.S. policy toward Afghanistan. U.S. troops faced low risks in Afghanistan, and the low casualty rate is not a function of the 2020 peace deal. Just 66 U.S. personnel have been killed in action since 2014, less than one per month for nearly seven years. That is not to make light of the loss of individual soldiers, but it is to recognize, in historical perspective, that the conflict in Afghanistan is very small and U.S. ground troops have not been involved in direct combat in large numbers for years. The US mission in Afghanistan accomplished some important successes. There have been no large-scale international terrorist attacks emanating from Afghanistan or Pakistan since 2001. The Afghan people broadly support the country’s new constitution. The Afghan economy showed consistent growth. By virtually every metric of human development, Afghans are better off today than they were 20 years ago. The intervention was not an unmitigated failure—except that many of these successes are likely to unravel with the Afghan army’s collapse. The rapid collapse of the Afghan army in recent weeks was not inevitable and is not a sign that the mission was always doomed, nor that we never would have succeeded. We had been making slow, fitful progress building a new Afghan security force from scratch. The U.S. (…) cobbled together a fighting force by 2010, one that has lost tens of thousands of soldiers keeping the Taliban at bay for the past decade. (…) but surely President Biden’s announcement of a full withdrawal—when everyone, including the U.S. Department of Defense, knew the Afghan army wasn’t yet ready to stand independent of international assistance—had a crippling effect on the morale of Afghan troops. (…) It is easy to envision the counterfactual: If the United States had maintained a small presence (perhaps marginally larger than what Trump left behind), it could have kept the Afghan army in the field indefinitely, giving time and space for the political situation in Kabul to sort itself out, for a fresh round of negotiations with better leverage against the Taliban, and for reconstruction and development to continue. (…) And we should have stayed because the mission is not over. While bin Laden is dead, al-Qaeda is not and, along with the Islamic State and a murderer’s row of copycat jihadists, is almost certain to regain safe haven in Afghanistan and Pakistan following the collapse of our allies. Our presence for the past 20 years kept jihadists on the run, in hiding, and focused on avoiding our air strikes and special forces. They now will have room to breathe, which means room to plan, recruit, train, and fundraise. (..) Our policymakers made specific strategic missteps that caused direct, avoidable harm, including Bush’s light footprint, Obama’s withdrawal timetable, Trump’s peace deal, and Biden’s inexplicable withdrawal, each of which made a bad situation worse. (…) That is why Biden’s claim that the Afghans just have to start taking responsibility for their own country is so mendacious. He is telling a drowning man to take responsibility for swimming while reeling in the life preserver the man had been clinging to. He is overestimating the Afghans’ ability to fight on their own while minimizing American responsibility for the crisis in the midst of which we are abandoning them—all while preaching a soothing myth that there was nothing we could have done after all. Many Americans will be eager to believe him because it is much easier, emotionally and cognitively, to believe in the myth of our powerlessness than in the reality of our own stupidity and moral cowardice. Paul Miller
Mr. Biden refused to accept responsibility for the botched withdrawal while blaming others. He blamed Donald Trump’s peace deal with the Taliban and falsely claimed again that he was trapped. He blamed his three predecessors for not getting out of Afghanistan. He blamed the Afghans for not fighting hard enough, their leaders for fleeing, and even Afghans who helped us for not leaving sooner. The one group he conspicuously did not blame was the Taliban, who once harbored Osama bin Laden and may protect his terrorist successor. The President made glancing reference to the horrible scenes unfolding in Kabul and especially at the airport, though again without addressing the mistakes that led to them. Had the U.S. not given up the air base at Bagram, now controlled by the Taliban, the U.S. would not now have to fight to control Kabul’s commercial airfield. The chaotic scenes at the airport, with Afghans hanging from a U.S. military plane and two falling from the sky to their deaths, will be the indelible images of this debacle. They are the echo of 9/11, with people falling from the sky, that Mr. Biden didn’t anticipate when he chose the 20th anniversary of 9/11 as his withdrawal deadline. Instead of taking responsibility, Mr. Biden played to the sentiment of Americans who are tired of foreign military missions. It’s a powerful point to speak of sending a child to risk his life in a foreign country, and no doubt it will resonate with many Americans. It is a question that every President should ask. But the President was dishonest in framing the U.S. mission merely as fighting in another country’s “civil war.” The U.S. didn’t remain in Afghanistan for 20 years to send women to school or to “nation build.” The core mission was to prevent the country from again becoming a terrorist safe haven. The Taliban’s victory will now attract thousands of young jihadists from around the world, and they will have Americans and the U.S. homeland in their sights. Mr. Biden said he would maintain a “counterterrorism over-the-horizon capability” to strike camps in Afghanistan, but that will be much harder from the distance of the Persian Gulf. This is a far bigger risk than he lets on, as U.S. intelligence agencies know. Mr. Biden was also dishonest in framing his Afghan decision as a false choice between total withdrawal and sending tens of thousands of troops again. He knows his own advisers, military and civilian, believed they could support the Afghan military with no more than a few thousand troops to supply air power and intelligence. He also knows the U.S. hasn’t had a single casualty in more than a year in Afghanistan. Even if Mr. Biden was set on withdrawal, he could have done it based on conditions that would have given the Taliban more incentive to negotiate with the government. Mr. Biden claimed that Afghan leaders Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah had refused his advice to negotiate with the Taliban. That is false. They had been negotiating with the Taliban for months, under enormous pressure from the Trump Administration. The problem is that the Taliban had no incentive to negotiate in good faith when it knew the U.S. was leaving and would be able to take its chances on a military victory. Like all good liberal internationalists, Mr. Biden thinks you can achieve a diplomatic outcome by diplomacy alone. Mr. Biden’s claim that the U.S. will continue to support the Afghan people and stand for human rights and the women of Afghanistan is the same kind of internationalist twaddle. The Taliban is taking the women of Afghanistan back to the Dark Ages, and the “international community” will do nothing to stop it. Mr. Biden’s words of “support” will be cold comfort when the Taliban knocks on the doors of women who worked in the Afghan government. We had hoped that Mr. Biden would accept some responsibility and explain how he would fix this mess. He did none of that, making it clear that he himself is the main architect of this needless American surrender. It does not bode well for the rest of his Presidency. The world has seen a President portraying surrender as an act of political courage, and retreat as strategic wisdom. As we write this, the world’s rogues are looking for ways to give him a chance to deliver a similar speech about other parts of the world. WSJ
Alors que Barack Obama s’opposait courageusement [sic] à l’invasion de l’Irak, en 2003, son futur vice-président en était un chaud partisan au Sénat. Joe Biden est allé encore plus loin que la plupart des « faucons », proposant en 2006-2007 que l’Irak soit divisé en trois entités autonomes, sunnite, chiite et kurde, ce qui n’aurait fait qu’aggraver la guerre civile alors en cours, elle-même directement causée par l’occupation américaine. Il est important de revenir sur cet épisode, très révélateur de la vision du Moyen-Orient du prochain locataire de la Maison blanche, afin que l’idéalisation du vainqueur de Donald Trump ne conduise pas à de nouvelles et sérieuses désillusions. Biden, sénateur du Delaware depuis 1973, préside la puissante commission des Affaires étrangères quand, à l’été 2002, il relaie la propagande de l’administration Bush sur les « armes de destruction massive » que détiendrait l’Irak: « Saddam Hussein doit abandonner ces armes ou il doit abandonner le pouvoir ». Un tel soutien est essentiel pour la Maison blanche, confrontée à un Sénat majoritairement démocrate. En octobre 2002, Biden est un des 29 sénateurs démocrates à voter, contre l’avis de 23 autres et aux côtés de 48 élus républicains, le chèque en blanc qui permet à George W. Bush de mener la guerre à sa guise en Irak. En juillet 2003, trois mois après le renversement de Saddam Hussein, et malgré l’échec des 150.000 soldats américains en Irak à trouver la moindre trace d’armes de destruction massive, Biden persiste et signe: « Je l’ai dit l’an passé, et je le crois aujourd’hui, avec les milliards de dollars à la disposition de Saddam, je n’ai aucun doute qu’au bout de cinq ans, il aurait gagné accès à une arme nucléaire tactique ». Le toujours sénateur Biden participe alors activement à la campagne de dénigrement de la France, accusée de tous les maux pour ne pas avoir soutenu l’invasion américaine de l’Irak: « Nous savons tous que les Français ont été tout sauf coopératifs, qu’ils ont même été casse-c… » (a pain in the you-know-what). Cette diffamation du plus vieil allié des Etats-Unis s’accompagne d’une manoeuvre de Biden pour réécrire sa propre histoire sur l’Irak: en octobre 2004, il affirme « n’avoir jamais cru à la détention d’armes de destruction massive » par le régime de Saddam. (…) Biden s’oppose en revanche au « surge » américain en Irak, où les renforts déployés s’appuient sur des milices sunnites, dites du « Réveil » (Sahwa), pour refouler, et finalement vaincre les groupes jihadistes. (…) Quand Obama confie, en 2009, le dossier irakien à son vice-président, celui-ci va miser sans réserve sur l’homme fort de la communauté chiite, Nouri al-Maliki, Premier ministre depuis 2006. Biden apporte ainsi un soutien déterminant au maintien de Maliki à son poste, en novembre 2010. Peu importe l’autoritarisme de plus en plus agressif du chef du gouvernement irakien, sa coopération de plus en plus étroite avec l’Iran et son acharnement sectaire contre les milices sunnites du « Réveil », seul compte pour Biden la réussite du retrait américain hors d’Irak en 2011. Cette politique américaine à très courte vue favorise le retour de flamme de l’EII qui, en 2013, prend pied dans la Syrie voisine et devient « l’Etat islamique en Irak et en Syrie », connu sous son acronyme arabe de Daech. (…) Ce rappel de l’histoire irakienne de Biden prouve que, chaque fois qu’il a eu à trancher, le sénateur, devenu vice-président, a toujours choisi l’option la plus risquée en termes de conflit international et de guerre civile. Et rien ne prouve que le futur président ait tiré la moindre leçon de tant d’erreurs passées. Jean-Pierre Filiu
Il y a bien sûr les errements catastrophiques de la présidence Trump. [?] Si tout cela n’était pas si tragique, il y aurait quelque chose de risible à voir Donald Trump demander la démission de son successeur, alors qu’il a lui-même conclu à Doha avec les talibans le pire des accords, un accord par lequel les Américains faisaient sans délai toutes les concessions – comme de libérer sur parole 5000 combattants, immédiatement réembrigadés – tandis que les concessions supposées des talibans étaient soumises au préalable du départ américain. Trump avait même envisagé d’inviter à Camp David ces dignes héritiers d’al-Qaida et de Daesh: pourquoi pas un 11 septembre, par exemple! (…) Le retrait d’Afghanistan a été voulu par Biden et par Trump, mais aussi par Obama. Le retour des boys après tant d’aventures militaires coûteuses et décevantes au cours des soixante dernières années est devenu un impératif catégorique dans l’opinion américaine et dément spectaculairement la volonté proclamée par Biden – «America is back» – de voir les États-Unis s’investir à nouveau pleinement dans ce qui est parfois présenté comme une nouvelle guerre froide, cette fois-ci contre la Chine. Le lâchage de Kaboul signe la contradiction entre l’ambition et la fatigue américaines. Les Américains donnent le sentiment de pouvoir encore se battre pour leurs intérêts, mais pas, semble-t-il, pour leurs valeurs. (…) Les Chinois ne manqueront pas de se gausser du nouveau tigre de papier et les États de l’Indo-Pacifique, déjà tiraillés entre l’amitié américaine et la proximité massive et incontournable de la Chine, vont douter un peu plus des États-Unis. À court terme, la Chine devrait sans doute être prudente et y regarder à deux fois avant, par exemple, de tenter un coup de main sur Taïwan, car la réaction d’une Amérique humiliée ne pourrait être que brutale, mais la crédibilité des États-Unis dans le bras de fer avec Pékin en sort inévitablement amoindrie. D’autant que la société américaine n’a jamais été aussi divisée sur ses valeurs, donc sur ses ambitions. (…) Ce que le monde a touché du doigt dans la plus grande stupeur, c’est la vertigineuse inutilité de la supériorité militaire. [?] Par les temps qui courent, il importe moins d’être aimé que d’être craint, or c’est moins l’image de la trahison que celle de l’impuissance que nous renvoie aujourd’hui l’Amérique. On est tenté de dire, paraphrasant Jacques Brel: on a voulu voir Truman et on a vu Carter! (…) Il reste que, le Sahel, c’était notre part du travail et que nous aussi nous tentons d’aider des sociétés vulnérables à faire face à la subversion islamo-terroriste et au crime organisé. Nous le faisons d’ailleurs en bonne intelligence avec les Américains. Les initiatives qui ont été prises ces derniers mois par le président Macron – le redimensionnement de notre effort militaire et la responsabilisation politique des États de la zone – ont cependant pour objet précis de nous épargner le piège du tout ou rien qui a «naufragé» l’action américaine en Afghanistan. En remettant en cause Barkhane, une opération devenue trop lourde, trop coûteuse et trop unilatérale, sans pour autant quitter le théâtre des opérations, nous adressons à nos amis africains un message clair, mesuré et responsable: nous nous battrons avec vous, mais pas à votre place. Par ailleurs, nous nous efforçons d’associer à l’action nos partenaires européens, car le sort du Sahel n’est ni l’affaire de la seule France ni même celle de la seule Europe du Sud. Nous avons sur ce point la satisfaction d’être mieux entendus que naguère. Nous ne nous faisons toutefois aucune illusion: rien n’est joué. (…) Nous sommes les voisins du désastre: ce sont les Américains qui jouent, mais ce sont les Européens qui paient les dettes de jeu. L’évanouissement de la puissance américaine a trois conséquences précises: il libère des flots de candidats à l’émigration, dont l’Europe sera la destination privilégiée ; avec la culture systématique du pavot, il offre au crime organisé les moyens de relancer massivement chez nous la consommation de drogue ; il offre enfin au terrorisme international la base territoriale arrière qu’il a perdue depuis la fin de Daesh. Il est à cet égard un peu dérisoire d’entendre Anthony Blinken nous expliquer que les Américains ont «fait le job» puisque al-Qaida a été puni et que Ben Laden n’est plus! Nous n’avons cependant qu’à nous en prendre à nous-mêmes de ce qui nous arrive, car nous payons le prix de notre nanisme politique. La montée en puissance de la Chine et le pivotement des Américains vers l’Indo-Pacifique créent, du cercle polaire au sud de l’Afrique, une verticale du vide que l’Europe, amorphe, apathique et fragmentée, paraît incapable d’occuper. La situation est d’autant plus pressante que nous sommes entourés de puissances inamicales et que notre «étranger proche», le Moyen-Orient et l’espace méditerranéen, est traversé par des déséquilibres politiques, religieux, démographiques et climatiques à haut risque. La construction d’une Europe politiquement puissante est devenue, sous l’effet d’un désengagement américain partiel mais structurel, un véritable impératif catégorique. Les Européens ne peuvent plus, sans dommage, rester aux abonnés absents de la confrontation internationale. Jean-Louis Bourlanges
Dans une allocution télévisée, au lendemain de la prise de Kaboul par les Talibans, le président Biden a fait reposer toute la responsabilité de la débandade américaine sur, (qui d’autre ?) … son prédécesseur Donald Trump. Voici ses propos : « En entrant à la Maison Blanche, j’ai hérité d’un accord négocié par le président Trump avec les Talibans, en vertu duquel nos soldats devaient avoir quitté le pays au 1er mai 2021… Le nombre de nos soldats sur place avait déjà été ramené de quinze mille à deux mille cinq cents par l’administration Trump. Alors que les Talibans n’avaient jamais été aussi forts militairement depuis 2001…. Le choix qui se présentait à moi en tant que président consistait à m’en tenir à cet accord, ou bien à me préparer à combattre à nouveau les Talibans au printemps… La froide réalité se limitait à suivre cet accord en retirant nos troupes, ou à escalader le conflit en renvoyant des milliers de soldats au combat et en nous engageant dans une troisième décennie de conflit en Afghanistan. » Ainsi donc Joe Biden, président des Etats-Unis, et homme le plus puissant de la planète, s’est présenté comme pieds et poings liés, par un accord négocié par Donald Trump! Loin de reconnaître une quelconque responsabilité, il s’est érigé en victime. Venant d’un Démocrate, une telle posture n’a pas de quoi surprendre. Mais venant aussi d’un président qui a réintégré les Etats-Unis dans l’accord de Paris sur le climat, par décret, dès son premier jour au pouvoir, annulant d’un coup de crayon la décision de son prédécesseur ; qui a ouvert la porte à une reprise du dialogue avec l’Iran sur la question nucléaire, inversant à nouveau la politique de son prédécesseur ; qui a suspendu la construction du mur à la frontière mexicaine, qui a laissé entrer les immigrants clandestins par centaines de milliers et qui a accepté l’entrée de demandeurs d’asile sur le territoire, supprimant non pas une mais trois directives majeures de son prédécesseur ; venant d’un tel personnage, donc, une telle affirmation est grotesque et inacceptable. D’autant que les faits racontent une tout autre histoire. A la vérité, en arrivant à la Maison Blanche, Biden et ses conseillers étaient bien contents du travail accompli par leurs prédécesseurs, à savoir le président Trump et son secrétaire d’Etat Mike Pompéo. Ils ont pris à leur compte un retrait de troupes qui leur permettait d’apparaitre comme des faiseurs de paix. Par contre, ils ont fait preuve d’une incompétence et d’une impréparation invraisemblables dans l’exécution de la manœuvre. Selon l’accord passé entre l’administration Trump et les Talibans, le retrait des troupes américaines était lié à l’absence de toute offensive. Les Talibans étaient tenus de ne rien tenter contre les troupes américaines, et les troupes afghanes, tant que les Américains seraient sur place ! Le retrait des troupes, du matériel et au besoin des civils afghans ayant travaillé avec les Américains, devait être achevé avant de laisser le gouvernement en place et les Talibans se disputer le contrôle du pays. La faute de l’administration Biden a été de laisser les Talibans lancer leur campagne de reconquête, avant la fin du retrait américain, sans envisager la possibilité que celle-ci puisse les prendre de vitesse. C’est une faute gravissime, un péché d’orgueil et d’inattention. (…) Pour Donald Trump, mettre un terme à la guerre en Afghanistan, et permettre aux milliers de GIs, déployés sur place, de rentrer au bercail, était une promesse de campagne. Il y tenait. Tout comme il tenait à ce que l’autorité des Etats-Unis soit respectée. D’ailleurs, entre 2018 et 2020, il avait suspendu les négociations à plusieurs reprises, à cause d’incidents terroristes attribués aux Talibans. Côté américain, cet accord incluait un retrait progressif des troupes présentes depuis 2001 ; l’échange de cinq mille Talibans détenus en Afghanistan contre mille soldats des Forces de Défense Afghanes faits prisonniers par les Talibans, et la levée progressive de sanctions contre les Talibans. Le départ des troupes américaines et de l’Otan pouvait s’achever en quatorze mois, soit à la date du 1er mai 2021, si les Talibans tenaient tous leurs engagements. Le moindre écart serait sanctionné par des représailles militaires de la part des Etats-Unis. Selon les mots de Donald Trump à l’époque, les Talibans seraient exposés au feu américain « comme jamais encore auparavant ». En échange les Talibans s’engageaient à cesser toute violence et à n’abriter ou soutenir aucun mouvement terroriste, tel Daech ou Al Qaida. Le devenir politique de l’Afghanistan était laissé à des négociations futures entre le gouvernement du président Ashraf Ghani, élu en 2014 et réélu en 2019, et les dirigeants talibans. A noter que ces discussions ont commencé dès la signature de cet accord, sans aboutir et ont fini par être suspendues. La sécurité du pays, une fois le retrait des troupes étrangères effectué, était supposée être assurée par les trois cent mille soldats de l’armée afghane, formés et équipés par les Américains. Face à une force talibane estimée à soixante mille combattants, la tâche, sur le papier, n’était pas impossible… Voilà ce dont le président Biden a hérité en janvier 2021 à son entrée à la Maison Blanche. Il pouvait à tout moment dénoncer cet accord. C’est d’ailleurs ce qu’un certain nombre d’élus Démocrates, soutenus par des Républicains Néoconservateurs, dont Liz Cheney, la fille du vice-président de George W. Bush lui ont recommandé de faire. (…) Biden suivit partiellement ses conseils. Il abandonna l’objectif du 1er mai et repoussa le retrait total à la date, hautement symbolique, du 11 septembre 2021, soit vingt ans, jour pour jour, après les attaques terroristes du 11 septembre 2001. Par contre, il ne remit jamais le principe du retrait en question. Et il renonça à sanctionner les Talibans pour leurs manquements répétés à leurs engagements. Le message fut, à l’évidence, parfaitement reçu et compris à Doha et à Kaboul. (…) le 8 juillet précisément, Joe Biden faisait une déclaration télévisée depuis la Maison Blanche suivie d’une de ses très rares conférences de presse. Le retrait américain était alors considérablement engagé. Loin de se plaindre d’un quelconque legs de l’administration Trump, il s’arrogeait la paternité du processus de paix et utilisait à répétition le pronom « je » en parlant des évènements récents. Pressé par une journaliste sur les risques d’un départ précipité et d’une chute de Kaboul, rappelant la dramatique évacuation de Saïgon en 1975, Joe Biden avait affirmé « il est hautement improbable que les Talibans parviennent à reprendre le pays… Les forces talibanes n’ont rien à voir avec les combattants du Viet-Cong… Sous aucune circonstance vous ne verrez des civils évacués depuis le toit de l’ambassade américaine en Afghanistan ! » (…) Si cela ne suffisait pas encore, Joe Biden en a rajouté une couche le 23 juillet. Suite à une conversation téléphonique avec le président Ghani, la Maison Blanche indiquait par communiqué avoir renouvelé ses « assurances du soutien des Etats-Unis au peuple afghan». Alors même que des combats faisaient rage dans plusieurs provinces afghanes, et que les troupes gouvernementales étaient submergées par l’avancée des forces talibanes. Notant que « l’offensive actuelle des Talibans est en contradiction avec l’engagement de ce mouvement pour une solution négociée » et tout en déplorant « les pertes de vies civiles dues à des attaques ciblées, les déplacements de population et les pillages », Joe Biden n’évoquait à aucun moment de quelconques représailles contre les Talibans, ni surtout une suspension ou une remise en question du retrait des troupes américaines. Et pourtant cela aurait été pleinement justifié selon les termes de l’accord dont Biden s’est ensuite dit prisonnier. (…) Prétendre ensuite que la chute de Kaboul et le chaos afghan sont la faute de Donald Trump, c’est se moquer du monde ! D’ailleurs, même la clique de ses partisans dans les médias a trouvé la couleuvre trop difficile à avaler. De part et d’autre du paysage médiatique américain, on observe les premières fissures dans la grande muraille protectrice démocrate. La déroute américaine en Afghanistan est le premier tournant de la présidence Biden. Jusqu’à présent ses errements avaient été passés sous silence par les médias dominants, au nom de l’anti-Trumpisme. Ce ne sera sans doute plus le cas à l’avenir. Le reste de son mandat s’annonce aussi chaotique que la chute de Kaboul. Gérald Olivier
Joe Biden aurait pu facilement garder le silence sur ses intentions en Afghanistan – ou du moins laisser l’ennemi dans le doute. Il aurait pu maintenir les installations aériennes américaines pour soutenir les forces afghanes et assurer la sécurité des grandes villes telles qu’elles l’étaient entre 2017 et 2020 sous Trump, qui lui-même a critiqué le déploiement continu depuis 20 ans. Mais Trump n’était pas stupide au point de retirer toutes les troupes avec tout le soutien aérien ou pour donner aux talibans un calendrier virtuel de conquête. Pire encore, Biden a fait en sorte que ses politiques régionales au Moyen-Orient envers l’Iran, le Hamas et Israël ne projettent pas un sentiment de dissuasion ou de fiabilité américaine. (…) En seulement sept mois, nous avons égalé les jours les plus sombres des années Carter avec l’implosion de l’Afghanistan, l’anarchie historique à la frontière, l’érosion complète de la loi américaine sur l’immigration, la destruction de l’engagement de l’ère des droits civils envers une société racialement aveugle et les pires relations raciales depuis un demi-siècle, des pics historiques de crimes violents, l’inflation galopante de l’économie Biden et la perte de l’indépendance énergétique des États-Unis et des prix raisonnables du carburant. Victor Davis Hanson
Attention: un retrait calamiteux peut en cacher plus d’un autre !
Reprise des négociations avec les mollahs et du financement de l’Autorité palestinienne, implosion de l’Afghanistan, anarchie historique à la frontière, érosion complète de la loi américaine sur l’immigration, destruction de l’engagement de l’ère des droits civils envers une société racialement aveugle, pires relations raciales depuis un demi-siècle, pics historiques de crimes violents, inflation galopante, perte de l’indépendance énergétique des États-Unis et des prix raisonnables du carburant, programmes « woke » de rééducation idéologique, désignation comme monument national d’une boite de nuit homosexuelle  site d’un attentat islamiste alors que le motif n’avait rien d’homophobique, proclamation du mois des fiertés avec drapeau arc en ciel sur les ambassades du monde entier dont les capitales des états musulmans, Kaboul comprise …
Quarante-six ans après la tragique et humiliante chute de Saïgon …
Et sept petits mois après le hold up électoral de novembre dernier …
Où ironie de l’histoire …
Le président américain qui avait ouvert son mandat en supprimant, entre accord du climat, négociation avec l’Iran et immigration, non pas une mais trois directives majeures de son prédécesseur
Prétend à présent, comme en 2019 avec Bush et l’Iak, qu’il était lié par la décision du retrait d’Afghanistan de celui-ci …
Se voit condamné par sa presse-caniche pour avoir voulu faire, rivalité mimétique oblige, plus Trump que Trump
Pendant que le président d’une France qui avait quitté l’Afghanistan depuis sept ans se voit traité de Le Pen
Y-a-t-il une posture consternante ou une mauvaise cause …
Avec les catastrophiques conséquences que l’on sait …
Pour les pauvres Afghans aujourd’hui …
Et peut-être les Taïwanais, les Ukrainiens et les Européens de l’est en général demain …
Qu’à l’image du calamiteux Jimmy Carter en son temps …
Joe Biden et l’équipe Obama derrière lui n’auront pas épousée …
Oubliant comme pour son propre autre calamiteux retrait d’Irak d’il y a dix ans qui avait donné au monde la barbarie de l’Etat islamique …
Derrière le faux choix entre la fuite la queue entre les jambes et la victoire définitive …
Pour, comme le rappelait l’ancien ambassadeur Crocker, « gagner le temps » de faire maturer une nouvelle génération … ?
Our Afghan Agonies
Victor Davis Hanson
The Blade of Perseus
Aug. 16, 2021
Joe Biden could easily have stayed quiet about his intentions in Afghanistan—or at least leave the enemy in some doubt. He might have maintained US air facilities to support Afghan forces, and kept the major cities secure as they were between 2017-20 under Trump, who himself was a critic of the continued 20-year deployment. But Trump was not foolish enough to yank all troops out along with all air support—or to give the Taliban a virtual timetable for conquest. Worse still, Biden ensured that his regional policies in the Middle East toward Iran, Hamas, and Israel would not project a sense of US deterrence or reliability.
So we should assume that Iran is now dangerously emboldened. Anti-American Pakistan is making the necessary further anti-American adjustments. And the general Middle East will become even scarier, as the US begs the Gulf monarchies (that the Biden administration has so feverishly criticized) to pump all the oil they can—even as the Biden administration damns the use of oil and those in the US who produce it (but will be glad to buy its importation by printing even more money at a time of national financial insolvency).
The Afghan debacle is eerily similar to the US border in which extremists are now in control of US policy and demand that ideology and politics trump common sense and basic humanity. We should brace ourselves for some horrific scenes to follow in Kabul over the next few weeks. They will tragically dwarf the mayhem on the southern border.
Who are the culpable? The CIA utterly failed to give any accurate appraisal of the rapid Taliban advance and takeover. I hope the ruinous legacy within our intelligence and investigatory agencies—of John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey and Andrew McCabe—does not explain the epidemic of current mediocrity. The Pentagon has been in the news a lot lately, but mostly in connection with our highest officers virtue signaling their woke and careerist new credentials that either had nothing to do with military readiness or actually would undermine it. The gay pride flag over the US embassy in Kabul, along with the embassy’s virtue-signaling woke communiques, did not resonate confidence among Afghans that the US policy was based on shrewd deterrent policies with a full understanding of a traditionalist Islamic society.
Remember, there was a lot of calumny—including military resignations—that met President Trump over the decision in late 2018 not to intervene in the territorial disputes between Turkey and Kurdish forces in Syria, and again during the false charges that he had used tear gas to clear areas near the White House to do a photo-op with Gen. Milley—the latter accusations were proven erroneous by the Inspector General of the Interior Department.
But the loud and twitter-addicted US military top brass, active and retired, has been strangely quiet about the lunatic idea of simply telling the Taliban when all US forces will leave and then allowing thousands of allied Afghans and billions in US equipment to fall into the Taliban’s hands.
Where is the US military-industrial-intelligence complex outrage? Where the cry-of-the-heart tweeting? Where the letter to Biden from distinguished emeriti CIA and military officers? Why would retired generals addictively tweet about Trump’s cancellations of leftwing newspapers to bureaucracies or falsely charge that Obama’s “cages” on the border were Trump’s Auschwitz-like cells—and yet say nothing about the greatest military disaster in recent memory? If Trump was smeared as Nazi-like and a Mussolini, what exactly is Biden’s stewardship?
Given the 20-year-long investment, this ignominious withdrawal is likely to be more humiliating than the final 1975 dark days in Saigon and the boat people who followed, the Reagan 1984 pullout from Lebanon after the 1983 barracks bombing, and President Obama’s sudden 2012 yanking all troops out of Iraq that birthed the “JV” ISIS beheaders. Note that Obama later blamed his decision on the Iraqis, and Biden now blames Trump, even though both boasted during their campaigns that they would boldly do what they actually did.
The Afghanistan implosion—assured to be impossible or at least unlikely by Joe Biden—is occurring in concert with the historic anarchy on the border, the complete erosion of US immigration law, the destruction of the Civil Right-era commitment to a racially blind society and the worst racial relations in a half-century, historic spikes in violent crime, the soaring inflation of the Biden economy, and the loss of US energy independence and reasonable fuel prices. So in just seven months we have matched the darkest days of the Carter years, when at least the President was coherent and a master of his own policies, misguided though they were.
Since Biden in the last 60 days of public commentaries appears to have no idea of what was, is and will be going on in Afghanistan, it is legitimate to ask who does in his administration? Dr. Biden? Ron Klein? General Milley? Antony Blinken? The Obamas?
In the inevitable blame-gaming to come, even the toadish press will have a hard time blaming Trump, as Biden is already doing—given he left troops in Afghanistan and earlier had bombed the “sh*t” out of ISIS in Syria/Iraq. In general, the Pentagon, the CIA and the Biden state departments and national security council teams should have been warning the nation months ago that the decision to virtue signal a complete cave-in would have rapid and deadly ramifications.
Instead, to the very end of this historic disaster, the true dangers on the immediate horizon were denied ad nauseam by Biden himself, with only a few mousy questions and clarifications from the press. Bottom line: a woke Pentagon and revolving-door careerist top brass, a politically warped intelligence bureaucracy, an obsequious press, and a virtue signaling progressive elite can explain well enough why 300,000 vanished into thin air before the murderous Taliban. I think they concluded that siding with our sanctimonious postmodern apparat was a lot more dangerous even than returning to the Dark Ages.
A final lesson. When there is no free press; a president loses all fears of lying and obfuscation, and counts on pet journalists to hide his untruth or at least claim they are minor exaggerations. Biden, to the extent he is even compos mentis, assumed his assertions that Afghans would fight effectively, given their numbers and US equipment and training, would never be seriously cross-examined by a morally bankrupt media, which always puts partisan interests over the national interest. So he simply went on lying….
Voir aussi:

Biden’s Iraq War walk-back is revisionist nonsense

Mark A. Thiessen

The Washington Post

Former vice president Joe Biden said in a recent interview he agrees with Jim Mattis that the Obama administration’s decision to withdraw troops from Iraq was a mistake, but that as vice president he tried to keep “a residual force” stationed there. This is revisionist nonsense. Just a few months ago, at the July Democratic presidential debate, Biden boasted that “one of the proudest moments of my life was to stand there in Al-Faw Palace and tell everyone that . . . all our combat troops are coming home.” In September, he declared, “We were right to get the combat troops out.” But now he agrees it was a mistake?

The fact is, at the time, Biden expressed zero regrets about the complete US withdrawal, which he was in charge of executing. The New York Times reports that in December 2011 Biden was “ebullient” as he presided over the departure ceremony for the last American forces, calling President Barack Obama from Baghdad to tell him “All I’ve said about this job, I take it back. Thank you for giving me the chance to end this goddamn war.”

Of course, he did not actually end the “goddamn war,” he unleashed a humanitarian and national security catastrophe. Biden’s withdrawal created a vacuum that allowed the Islamic State — which had been reduced to just 700 fighters — to regroup, reconstitute itself and build a murderous caliphate the size of Britain. The terrorists enslaved and raped thousands of Yazidi girls and carried out gruesome executions across Iraq and Syria. And they spread their murderous tentacles across the globe, carrying out 143 attacks in 29 countries that killed more than 2,000 people and injured many thousands more.

Biden has criticized President Trump for withdrawing from Syria against the advice of our military commanders. Yet Biden did not listen to our military commanders when it came to the Iraq withdrawal. The Times reports that Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, the U.S. commander in Iraq, proposed keeping as many as 24,000 troops in Iraq. According to Biden national security adviser Colin H. Kahl, Austin was told by the White House “you’ve got to be kidding.” So Austin presented Obama and Biden with options for 19,000, 16,000 and 10,000 troops — and told them the lowest number was “unwise.” But Biden “aggressively pushed for a smaller force,” and Obama agreed. Then, during negotiations with the Iraqis, the administration cut the offer in half to just 5,000 — an offer the Iraqis rejected.

In his interview with the Wall Street Journal, Biden blamed George W. Bush for the US withdrawal, noting that he had negotiated a status of forces agreement that required an end to the US military presence by 2011. Please. Does anyone really believe that if Bush were still in office in 2011, he would have pulled out all US forces? Of course not.

The reason Obama and Biden were unable to get an agreement to extend the US troop presence is because they made it crystal clear to the Iraqis that America was headed for the exits. Iraqis watched as Obama and Biden rejected numbers well above 10,000, only grudgingly agreed to even that number and then cut that number to 5,000. If you were an Iraqi, would this have given you confidence in America’s long-term commitment?

Iran and its political allies inside Iraq were pressing for a US withdrawal, and threatening politicians who supported extending the American military presence. For Iraqi leaders, 24,000 American troops might have been worth the political risk, and maybe even 10,000 would have been worth it. But an offer of just 5,000 troops from an administration that was determined to go to zero as quickly as possible was not. If America was leaving, and Iran was staying, why risk siding with the Americans?

In 2013, as the Islamic State was gaining steam, Biden said that he and Obama felt “happy and . . . fulfilled” with the decision to withdraw from Iraq. A year later, they would be forced to send US forces back to Iraq to deal with the debacle they had unleashed.

Biden supported the Iraq invasion but then opposed the Bush surge, which crushed the Islamic State and won the war. Then he supported a premature withdrawal that allowed the terrorists to regroup and was celebrating that decision as recently as four months ago — but now says he regrets it. That’s quite a record for a man running on his record of experience and judgment.

Voir également:

Mike Pence: Biden Broke Our Deal With the Taliban

It’s a foreign-policy humiliation unlike anything our country has endured since the Iran hostage crisis.

‘The likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country [of Afghanistan] is highly unlikely,” President Biden confidently proclaimed in July. “There’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of an embassy.”

One month later, the scenario Mr. Biden deemed impossible has become a horrifying reality. In recent days, the world has watched panicked civilians cling to U.S. military aircraft in a desperate attempt to escape the chaos unleashed by Mr. Biden’s reckless retreat. American diplomats had to beg our enemies not to storm our embassy in Kabul. Taliban fighters have seized scores of American military vehicles, rifles, artillery, aircraft, helicopters and drones.

The Biden administration’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan is a foreign-policy humiliation unlike anything our country has endured since the Iran hostage crisis.

It has embarrassed America on the world stage, caused allies to doubt our dependability, and emboldened enemies to test our resolve. Worst of all, it has dishonored the memory of the heroic Americans who helped bring terrorists to justice after 9/11, and all who served in Afghanistan over the past 20 years.

Unanimously endorsed by the United Nations Security Council, the agreement immediately brought to Afghanistan a stability unseen in decades. In the past 18 months, the U.S. has not suffered a single combat casualty there.

By the time we left office, the Afghan government and the Taliban each controlled their respective territories, neither was mounting major offensives, and America had only 2,500 U.S. troops in the country—the smallest military presence since the war began in 2001.

America’s endless war was coming to a dignified end, and Bagram Air Base ensured we could conduct counterterrorism missions through the war’s conclusion.

The progress our administration made toward ending the war was possible because Taliban leaders understood that the consequences of violating the deal would be swift and severe. After our military took out Iranian terrorist Qasem Soleimani, and U.S. Special Forces killed the leader of ISIS, the Taliban had no doubt we would keep our promise.

But when Mr. Biden became president, he quickly announced that U.S. forces would remain in Afghanistan for an additional four months without a clear reason for doing so. There was no plan to transport the billions of dollars worth of American equipment recently captured by the Taliban, or evacuate the thousands of Americans now scrambling to escape Kabul, or facilitate the regional resettlement of the thousands of Afghan refugees who will now be seeking asylum in the U.S. with little or no vetting. Rather, it seems that the president simply didn’t want to appear to be abiding by the terms of a deal negotiated by his predecessor.

Once Mr. Biden broke the deal, the Taliban launched a major offensive against the Afghan government and seized Kabul. They knew there was no credible threat of force under this president. They’ve seen him kowtow to anti-Semitic terrorist groups like Hamas, restore millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian Authority, and sit by earlier this year while thousands of rockets rained down on Israeli civilians.

Weakness arouses evil—and the magnitude of evil now rising in Afghanistan speaks volumes about the weaknesses of Mr. Biden. To limit the carnage, the president has ordered more troops to Afghanistan, tripling our military presence amid a supposed withdrawal.

After 20 years, more than 2,400 American deaths, 20,000 Americans wounded, and over $2 trillion spent, the American people are ready to bring our troops home.

But the manner in which Mr. Biden has executed this withdrawal is a disgrace, unworthy of the courageous American service men and women whose blood still stains the soil of Afghanistan.

Mr. Pence served as vice president of the United States, 2017-21, and is chairman of Advancing American Freedom.

Voir de même:

It is unclear just what the United States has gained from withdrawing the small, affordable, and effective deterrent force that had remained in Afghanistan to support its security forces. It is unnervingly obvious what we’ve lost: national prestige, vast sums of political capital, credibility on the world stage and, most tangibly, our security. The world is much more dangerous today than it was just 72 hours ago.

As recently as August 12, when the elected government in Afghanistan still controlled most of its provincial capitals and the country’s total implosion was still evitable, U.S. intelligence officials warned that America’s abandonment of its ally in Central Asia would allow al-Qaeda to reconstitute itself. The Taliban never renounced violence or its affiliation with the group responsible for the September 11 terrorist attacks, despite repeated overtures from American negotiators to do so. And although that particular Islamist terror group remains a diminished presence, if the “pressure comes off, I believe they’re going to regenerate,” U.S. Centcom commander Gen. Frank McKenzie said.

Accordingly, the Defense Department will reportedly revise its previous estimates suggesting the threat from groups capable of exporting terrorism out of Afghanistan had been relatively low. Today, that threat is unknown, but few believe that the Taliban will do anything but provide succor to fundamentalist terror sects with revenge on their minds. As one source in government privy to the Pentagon’s deliberations told Axios, “the timeline in terms of threats has accelerated.”

And the threat to American lives and interests arising from our humiliation in Afghanistan does not begin and end with non-state actors. The world’s irridentist great powers are watching closely, and they are no doubt emboldened by our fecklessness.

The Chinese Communist Party has already demonstrated its willingness to court international condemnation in its quest to impose its sovereignty on the greater Chinese sphere. The crushing of Democracy in Hong Kong in direct violation of the terms of its handover to the CCP from Britain in 1997 should be evidence enough of that. And in the months that followed that insult to Western proceduralism and power, the People’s Republic has openly flirted with finally retaking the island nation of Taiwan by force. “This problem is much closer to us than most think,” Navy Adm. John Aquilino told a Senate committee in May. He speculated that a Chinese operation designed to rapidly change the facts on the ground and force the U.S. to recognize them could occur in this decade.

“We do not promise to renounce the use of force and reserve the option to use all necessary measures,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said in 2019. Bejing’s reservation of its prerogative to retake the Republic of China through force has thus far been deterred not just by America’s assets in the Pacific but also by our willingness to use them and by the assumption that the American public would support that mission. That deterrent has no doubt suffered a devastating blow, and China’s propagandists won’t let us forget it. “The grand strategy seemed flawless and inspiring for Washington, until the U.S.’ epic defeat and chaotic retreat in Afghanistan mirrored how shaky it is,” read one representative exercise in chest-thumping via China’s Global Times. “The point is, if the U.S. cannot even secure a victory in a rivalry with small countries, how much better could it do in a major power game with China?”

In Europe, too, the United States has much to lose. In 2008, Russia invaded and functionally annexed large swaths of territory in Georgia. In 2014, Moscow invaded Ukraine, outright subsuming the whole of Crimea into the Russian Federation. And Moscow isn’t done yet. Only months ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened the Western world with a renewed assault on Ukraine designed to capture more of its territory along the Black Sea coast. The tools Moscow uses to secure the reconquest of the post-Soviet space are myriad: emigration to rebalance local ethnic demography; exporting Russian passports to non-citizens, propaganda, energy blackmail, and cyber warfare. But the use of force is not off the table. And Russia’s territorial ambitions are not limited to Ukraine.

The notion that Russia might test NATO in a Baltic state has kept American strategists up at night for years. Today, such an experiment must appear even more tempting from the Kremlin’s perspective. Estonia has already been the target of many such provocations—among them, a crippling 2007 cyberattack on the nation’s infrastructure and a sophisticated 2014 raid by Russian forces across the Estonian border, abducting a local police officer and putting him on trial. A more direct provocation that would try NATO’s commitment to the treaty’s mutual-defense provisions is far easier to envision today than it was on Friday night.

Eighty years ago, the West’s appeasers howled in unison “Why Die for Danzig?” Why wouldn’t today’s “peacemakers” be just as inclined to question the value of a global war against Russia over Tallinn? At least, that’s what the Kremlin’s hungriest revanchists must be asking themselves.

It’s a perfectly rational question. After all, even America’s allies were shocked to watch the United States so callously sacrifice an ally for no discernible strategic purpose and under no perceptible pressure from the voting public. Our caprice has shaken the faith that we will defend our partners’ interests around the world if we’re unwilling to bear the modest burdens associated with preserving our own.

As the Washington Post’s Liz Sly reported over the weekend, U.S. allies are fit to be tied over the shambolic handling of Afghanistan. “U.S. allies complain that they were not fully consulted on a policy decision that potentially puts their own national security interests at risk,” Sly reported. One German official raged over the Biden administration’s haughty disregard for European security. “We’re back to the transatlantic relationship of old, where the Americans dictate everything,” she snarled. Another British parliamentarian wondered aloud about whether America under Joe Biden would or even could stand up to its peer competitors if it is “being defeated by an insurgency armed with no more than [rocket-propelled grenades], land mines, and AK-47s?” And in the Middle East, which continues to be menaced by an increasingly extroverted Iran, some are now conceding that American involvement in the region ends up ultimately being more trouble than it’s worth.

Advocates for American retrenchment abroad fancy themselves a serious sort. They don’t think America should commit its resources to the defense of interests on purely moral grounds. So, if they are not moved by the sight of Afghans we abandoned to the Taliban clinging to U.S. transport planes, tumbling to their deaths from hundreds of feet up, perhaps they will be moved by the grave implications to U.S. interests and global security. If not, we can safely assume that their interests are not as benign as they insist. Perhaps pursuing what’s best for America at home and abroad isn’t their only or even foremost motive.

The Magical, Self-Justifying Afghanistan Debacle
Noah Rothman
Commentary
August 17, 2021

It’s hard to imagine how the debacle the Biden administration is overseeing in Afghanistan could be any worse. It’s such a self-evident fiasco, in fact, that even hardened advocates of America’s withdrawal from the world’s hot spots have been forced to admit that this whole thing could have been handled better. Much like Communism, America’s retrenchment from conflicts abroad has never really been tried and just needs better managers. But that’s as far as they’re willing to go. Across the political spectrum, champions of American introversion still insist that the collapse of the Afghan state was inevitable regardless of when or how we withdrew our commitments to it. Indeed, the disaster we’ve been forced to witness is being repurposed as a justification for the very circumstances that led to it.

On Monday, President Joe Biden delivered what could only have been a hastily prepared speech on the meltdown in Afghanistan before resuming his vacation. In it, the president abandoned his rationale for total U.S. withdrawal which, in July, was predicated on the competence, training, and numerical strength of the Afghan National Forces. This week, Biden insisted, withdrawal was justified by the abject weakness and cowardice of those very same Afghan soldiers.

“American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves,” Biden insisted. “We gave them every chance to determine their own future. What we could not provide them was the will to fight for that future.” This sentiment must have appealed to Democrats like Sen. Chris Murphy, who took the opportunity of Afghanistan’s collapse to insist that the lesson here is that we should abandon the pursuit of America’s long-term interests in favor of applying Band-Aids to threats as they arise. Presumably, the rest of Joe Biden’s party will see the virtue of this sort of projection soon enough.

Leaving aside for a moment that running down an ally—even one we’ve summarily abandoned to the mercies of an Islamist militia—is an odd way to restore American credibility on the world stage, Biden’s exercise in blame-shifting has the added defect of being untrue. Tens of thousands of Afghan soldiers fought and died in defense of their country since NATO-led combat operations ended in 2014. They continued to do so well into 2020, when American “peace talks” with the Taliban began to sap those soldiers of the “will to fight” with the understanding that U.S. support was winding down. And when Biden pulled the plug on “air support, intelligence, and contractors servicing Afghanistan’s planes and helicopters,” a thorough Wall Street Journal expose revealed, “the Afghan military simply couldn’t operate anymore.” The Afghans didn’t lose the will to fight for their country; they were robbed of the means of effectively doing so by Washington.

The audience for President Biden’s self-soothing talk about the inevitability of Afghanistan’s implosion isn’t limited to stunned Democrats. A certain sort of conservative for whom retrenchment is both a means to an end and an end in itself is just as enamored of this dubious talking point.

“There was no ‘Afghan Government,’” the popular commentator and talk show host Saagar Enjeti insisted. “It was a fiction the entire time backed only by U.S. dollars, U.S. blood, and U.S. military might.” Though he regrets the conditions to which we’ve consigned Afghanistan, The American Conservative’s Rod Dreher agrees. “True, the Taliban takeover was inevitable,” he writes, “and we had to get out.” Though we probably could have better executed this declinist project. Newsweek opinion editor Josh Hammer echoed these sentiments: “It’s time for a late-stage empire to come home and rebuild itself as a durable and functioning nation-state,” he wrote.

Much like Biden, these center-right voices seem to want to believe that the dynamic situation in Afghanistan is static and unchanging. That’s simply false. The collapse of the Afghan state was not written in the stars. It was engineered and executed. And what comes next is unlikely to be something that a competent steward of American national interests can afford to ignore. As even a bleak and clear-eyed assessment from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) concluded, “there will likely be times in the future when insurgent control or influence over a particular area or population is deemed an imminent threat to U.S. interests.”

Maybe those who believe a fatalistic assessment of America’s role in Afghanistan is unjustified are out of touch with Real America. But we have scant evidence that the American people will support, grudgingly or otherwise, what they’re watching on their television screens. Will Americans or the policymakers they empower gaze upon the abandonment of upwards of 10,000 American civilians and the Afghans who aided them as the mere wages of “late-stage empire?” Will they see the reestablishment of a well-armed terrorist state to which aspiring Jihadists around the globe are now flocking, emboldened and determined to once again export terrorism to the West, and throw up their hands in befuddlement?

That doesn’t sound like American voters, who can be counted on to not care about foreign policy up until the minute foreign policy begins producing U.S. casualties or delivers the nation into a state of abject humiliation. Perhaps The Folks are content to sink every last American dollar into the welfare state, settle into a warm bath, and succumb comfortably to the forces of history. Or maybe, just maybe, our capitulatory populists are more oriented toward surrender than the people for whom they presume to speak.

Advocates of retrenchment need this total debacle to be predestined. It cannot have been the product of a series of choices, accidents, and mismanagement. To admit that things might have turned out differently would be to imperil their preferred project—”nation-building at home,” as though the sole superpower seeing to its commitments abroad and managing domestic affairs simultaneously were mutually exclusive. We can only hope the disaster these fatalists abide in Afghanistan will help shake the voting public out of its attraction to this sort of resignation in its political leaders.

Noah Rothman is the Associate Editor of Commentary and the author of Unjust: Social Justice and the Unmaking of America.

Lessons for Israel from the Taliban Victory
Gregg Roman
The Jewish Press
August 17, 2021

The scenes of a Taliban victory in Afghanistan have resonated very differently in various parts of the world and hold many lessons, especially for Israel.

Some in the West have seen a failure of American foreign policy in the region, and the scenes of a helicopter evacuating people from a rooftop was eerily reminiscent from a photo during the fall of Saigon in 1975 at the end of the Vietnam War.

There is no getting away from the sense of defeat after a Western-trained Afghan army was routed in weeks, frequently surrendering without a bullet being fired.

Even Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban leader freed from a Pakistani jail on the request of the U.S. less than three years ago, expressed his shock at the ease in which they retook Kabul. Only a few months since President Biden promised to remove all remaining troops from Afghanistan, it took the Taliban eleven days to recapture almost the entire country.

Intelligence estimates are frequently wrong

The first lesson to be learned is that intelligence estimates are frequently wrong. Many experts told President Biden and his advisors that the Afghan army was ready to hold the country without direct Western help. Even up until the day before the capture, there was the belief that Kabul could be held for months rather than the hours it took to lose it.

The State of Israel has relied on this type of advice before, when it relinquished the Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority who were subsequently routed by Hamas two years later.

Over the years, many foreign officials and experts have tried to tie hoped-for Israeli concessions with security assurances, but so far, the record has been terrible.

After Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, the EUBAM (European Union Border Assistance Mission) was deployed at the Rafah crossing point between Gaza and Egypt. The mission was « to help bring peace to the area ».

After these forces ran away any time they were threatened by Palestinian forces, they left permanently in 2007, but not before bizarrely blaming Israel for their ignominious retreat.

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, or UNIFIL, a UN-NATO peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, had done little more than protect itself as it has been impressively toothless at disarming Hezbollah and demilitarizing southern Lebanon.

Military expertise and technology doesn’t always win

The second lesson is that military expertise and technology doesn’t always win. The Afghan army, numbering around 250,000 had over $80 billion spent on it, but was humiliated by the Taliban who had little significant firepower.

The third and most valuable lesson for Israel is that fundamentalist Islam does not give up without force. The Taliban had remained largely dormant for two decades but never gave up hope of ultimate victory, even when the odds were stacked against it by the overwhelming presence of foreign militaries.

Fundamentalist Islam does not give up without force

The major problem was that the international forces never truly defeated the Taliban, and did not provide a mortal blow to a paramilitary force which was allowed to regroup and dream of a future conquest.

This failure should be seen in direct opposition to the victory over the Islamic State in Iraq.

The Islamic State was territorially defeated. It was routed completely from the territory it purported to hold in 2017. Of course, there is still some Islamic State activity, but it is largely peripheral and Iraqi forces have shown they are in a good position to repel it.

Unlike the Taliban, the Islamic State was not left with large swathes of territory on which to reorganize, rearm and bide its time.

In any military tacticians’ book, absolute defeat is a world of difference away from partial defeat.

Israel’s enemies, like Hamas and Hezbollah, were left standing after every confrontation with the IDF. They might not have been victorious, but it is impossible to say they were defeated in any meaningful way.

When Israel goes to war with its enemies, defeat must mean defeat. It should mean that at the end of a conflict, the enemy is not left standing and remaining in power.

This lesson is not lost on Hamas which has already congratulated the Taliban on its stunning victory. Senior Hamas figure Musa Abu Marzuk praised the Taliban for its cleverness and ability to confront the United States and its allies while rejecting all compromises proposed, and without falling into the traps of « democracy » and « elections. »

Hamas and other terrorist organizations confronting Israel have been given a massive morale boost by events in Afghanistan. They perceive the West, of which they see Israel as a central part, as something that can be defeated with steadfastness and an unshakeable belief in an ultimate victory regardless of time and against all odds and logic.

Israel must take every step to disavow this belief and ensure that its opponents understand that while they might still dream of ultimate victory and the destruction of the Jewish State, they will instead taste the bitter crucible of defeat.

Gregg Roman is director of the Middle East Forum.

Biden déclare « La fierté est de retour à la Maison Blanche » après avoir désigné Pulse monument national / Nation LGBTQ
Gay friendly
26 juin 2021
Le président Joe Biden (D) a signé HR 49, le projet de loi désignant le site de la fusillade du Pulse Nightclub de 2016 à Orlando, en Floride, comme monument national, en tant que monument national. Par la suite, Biden a commémoré le mois de la fierté avec des remarques faites aux côtés du secrétaire aux Transports Pete Buttigieg, la première personne publiquement confirmée à un poste au Cabinet.« Il y a un peu plus de cinq ans, la discothèque Pulse, un lieu d’acceptation et de joie, est devenue un lieu de douleur et de perte indicibles », a déclaré Biden lors de la cérémonie de signature, ajoutant: « Nous ne nous remettrons jamais complètement, mais nous nous souviendrons .
«Connexes : Cinq ans se sont écoulés depuis la fusillade de Pulse. Le changement n’est pas venu.
Il a déclaré que le projet de loi « consacrerait à perpétuité … un monument à une perte qui s’est produite là-bas et une détermination absolue que nous allons gérer cela chaque jour en solitaire et nous assurer que nous ne sommes pas en mesure de voir cela se produire de nouveau. »Le président Biden a également parlé de son fils Beau lors des deux événements, révélant que du vivant de son fils Beau, le jeune Biden voulait créer un fondation pour LGBTQ jeunesse principalement se concentrer au transgenres jeunesse.Biden a ajouté que lorsqu’il a rendu visite à Pulse immédiatement après la fusillade, il s’est demandé comment il se serait senti si, comme les familles d’autres victimes, il ne savait pas si ses propres fils – Beau ou Hunter – ou d’autres membres de la famille avaient été perdus juste après la fusillade.« Je suis fier à conduire la plus pro-LGBTQ égalité administration de notre histoire », a déclaré Joe Biden lors du deuxième événement commémorant le mois de la fierté dans la salle est de la Maison Blanche. Il a mentionné que sous son administration, 130 ambassades américaines dans le monde arborent actuellement des drapeaux de la fierté comme « un symbole de nos engagements en matière de sécurité, de dignité et d’opportunités pour tous ».Puis il a souligné les efforts de son administration pour étendre les droits civils des Américains LGBTQ, notamment en veillant à ce que l’orientation sexuelle et l’identité de genre soient couvertes par la loi anti-discrimination existante.Néanmoins, Biden a mentionné le fait que plus de la moitié des États ici manquent encore de protections explicites contre la discrimination LGBTQ. Il a appelé le Sénat à adopter la loi sur l’égalité, affirmant qu’elle renforcerait également les civil droits protections pour gens de Foi, gens de couleur et gens avec handicapées. Biden a également dénoncé de nombreux projets de loi anti-LGBTQ présentés par les républicains dans les législatures des États. Il a qualifié les projets de loi de « lois les plus laides et anti-américaines » et de « brimades déguisées en législation ».Biden a ensuite annoncé sa récente nomination de Jessica Stern en tant qu’envoyée spéciale des États-Unis pour faire avancer les droits humains des personnes LGBTQI+. Il a qualifié le rôle de Stern de partie importante des efforts de son administration pour promouvoir et protéger les droits de l’homme à l’étranger.Dans les commentaires du secrétaire Buttigieg dans la salle Est, il se souvient avoir vu le visage de la victime de crimes haineux Matthew Shepard à la télévision alors qu’il était adolescent. Buttigieg a appris peu de temps après qu’être LGBTQ pouvait coûter la vie à quelqu’un et l’empêcher également de servir dans l’armée ou le gouvernement fédéral.Il a dit que lui, et tant d’autres avant lui, ont dû choisir « entre le service et l’amour, entre le devoir et moi-même, tout mon moi ».« Le simple fait d’être ici prouve à quel point le changement est possible en Amérique », a déclaré Buttigieg. « Tant de vies ont été changées, sauvées par le plaidoyer soutenu, la détermination morale, le courage politique d’innombrables dirigeants et alliés LGBTQ+, certains élus, certains invisibles, certains disparus depuis longtemps, certains dans cette salle en ce moment. »Mais malgré les progrès, Buttigieg a déclaré que des «actes de violence choquants» comme Pulse et les projets de loi anti-transgenres dans de nombreux États menacent de faire reculer les droits des LGBTQ. Il a félicité la communauté pour avoir combattu la violence anti-LGBTQ au pays et dans le monde, en particulier la violence dirigée contre les femmes transgenres de couleur.« C’est une question de vie ou de mort, et soutenir et célébrer notre communauté LGBTQ+ est une question de compassion et de décence, et c’est une question de caractère national portant sur la question de savoir si cela peut vraiment être un pays de liberté et de justice pour tous , » il ajouta.Au cours de la commémoration du mois de la fierté, Ashton Mota, un adolescent trans de 16 ans afro-latino de Lowell, Massachusetts, a également parlé de l’importance vitale des familles soutenant leurs enfants transgenres.« C’est simple : lorsque les enfants sont aimés, nous nous épanouissons grâce à l’amour », a déclaré Mota.« Nous sommes de futurs ingénieurs logiciels, enseignants, élus et acteurs du changement. Ce sont les histoires que nous racontons que la plupart des gens n’ont jamais rencontré quelqu’un qui est transgenre. Lorsqu’ils nous rencontrent, nous voient et entendent nos histoires, ils se rendent compte que nous sommes comme tous les autres jeunes.Lors de la signature du projet de loi du mémorial Pulse et de la commémoration de la fierté, Biden a été rejoint par la première dame, le Dr Jill Biden, des survivants de la fusillade de Pulse, des membres de la famille des victimes et des membres de la délégation du Congrès de Floride.Biden a également été rejoint par la secrétaire adjointe à la Santé, le Dr Rachel Levine, la toute première personne transgenre confirmée par le Sénat; le lieutenant-colonel Bree Fram, l’un des militaires ouvertement trans les plus hauts gradés ; Les dirigeants d’organisations LGBTQ tels que le président de la campagne pour les droits de l’homme David Alphonso, la PDG de GLAAD Sarah Kate Ellis et le directeur exécutif de PFLAG Brian Bond ; et les membres du Caucus pour l’égalité du Congrès, y compris les membres du Congrès, la sénatrice Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), le représentant David Cicilline (D-RI) et d’autres.La résolution de transformer le mémorial Pulse en monument national a été adoptée à l’unanimité dans les deux chambres du Congrès en mai et juin de cette année. La résolution a été présentée par le sénateur Rick Scott (R-FL). Scott a été gouverneur de Floride lorsque la fusillade a eu lieu.« Cela donnera à ce terrain sacré la reconnaissance fédérale qu’il mérite, en particulier pour ceux qui ont tout perdu », a déclaré le représentant Darren Soto (D-FL) lors du dépôt initial du projet de loi en 2019. « Cela donnera à ce terrain sacré la reconnaissance fédérale il mérite, surtout pour ceux qui ont tout perdu.La fusillade à Pulse le 12 juin 2016 a fait 49 morts et 53 autres blessés parmi les clients du club LGBTQ avant que la police ne tire sur le tireur. C’était la fusillade de masse la plus meurtrière en Amérique à l’époque.Au cours des cinq années précédentes, le Sénat a refusé d’adopter une résolution alors qu’il était sous le contrôle du chef de la majorité de l’époque, Mitch McConnell (R-KY). La résolution que Biden a signée aujourd’hui indiquait qu’aucun fonds fédéral ne serait utilisé pour entretenir le monument.
Voir de plus:

Biden fait de la défense des minorités sexuelles un axe fort de sa diplomatie

Joe Biden, qui a promis une politique étrangère porteuse des « valeurs démocratiques » de l’Amérique, a érigé la défense des droits des minorités sexuelles dans le monde en priorité, plus que tout autre président des Etats-Unis avant lui, et en rupture avec Donald Trump.

Le démocrate a relancé une initiative prise en 2011 par Barack Obama pour « promouvoir les droits humains des personnes lesbiennes, gay, bisexuelles, transgenres, queer et intersexes (LGBTQI) à travers le monde ».

Dans son premier discours de politique étrangère, le président Biden a demandé jeudi aux agences américaines présentes à l’étranger de présenter dans les 180 jours un plan d’action pour en faire un axe fort de leurs interventions.

« Tous les êtres humains doivent être traités avec respect et dignité et doivent pouvoir vivre sans avoir peur, peu importe qui ils sont et qui ils aiment », a-t-il écrit dans un memorandum présidentiel dévoilé le même jour.

Tout en annonçant une hausse spectaculaire du nombre de réfugiés qui seront accueillis aux Etats-Unis, après un tour de vis tout aussi drastique sous l’ère Trump, Joe Biden a notamment promis de « protéger les demandeurs d’asile LGBTQ ».

Il a demandé à son gouvernement de combattre les lois discriminatoires à l’étranger.

– Emissaire spécial –

Un émissaire spécial va être nommé pour « renforcer encore l’attention sur ces questions », a déclaré à l’AFP un haut responsable du département d’Etat.

Au-delà des intentions, la diplomatie américaine version Biden a déjà commencé à adresser ses premières mises en garde. Le département d’Etat, par la voix de son premier porte-parole ouvertement gay Ned Price, a critiqué durement la Turquie après des attaques verbales du président Recep Tayyip Erdogan contre les minorités sexuelles.

Les militants LGBT se réjouissent de ce tournant.

« Que le président Biden publie ce memorandum présidentiel très complet aussi tôt en début de mandat, cela montre clairement qu’il s’agit d’une priorité politique pour lui », estime Jessica Stern, du groupe de pression OutRight Action International.

Elle dit espérer que l’Etat américain, à l’instar de plusieurs pays européens, augmente ses financements pour les organisations non gouvernementales.

Mais elle prévient que le soutien américain, pour obtenir des résultats sur le terrain, devra parfois se faire discret.

« Une des manières les plus efficaces et constantes pour discréditer les personnes LGBTQI et notre mouvement, c’est de les accuser d’être des produits des Occidentaux et d’une forme de colonisation, en pointant le financement par des donateurs étrangers », met en garde Jessica Stern.

« Notre maître-mot, c’est toujours d’écouter les militants sur le terrain et de travailler avec eux sur ces sujets pour avoir leur avis sur comment avancer », a répondu le haut responsable du département d’Etat, promettant une approche au cas par cas.

– Pompeo et les droits « inaliénables » –

Les leçons des années Obama peuvent être utiles à l’administration Biden.

L’ex-président démocrate avait coupé l’aide ou annulé le statut commercial préférentiel de l’Ouganda et de la Gambie en riposte à des lois punissant l’homosexualité de peines de prison. Mais cette ligne dure avait aussi poussé d’autres pays, comme le Nigeria, à adopter leurs propres lois draconiennes.

Pour autant, les progrès sont sensibles, bien que lents. Les relations homosexuelles sont désormais légales dans près des deux-tiers des pays, et 28 d’entre eux autorisent le mariage entre personnes du même sexe, selon l’International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association.

Phillip Ayoub, professeur à l’Occidental College, en Californie, estime qu’il faut laisser les militants locaux décider de comment mener leur combat.

« Certains diront qu’il est trop tôt pour sortir totalement de l’ombre car cela risque d’accroître la violence vers leur communauté », explique ce chercheur. « Ce genre de politique étrangère ne peut être imposée par le haut. Cela doit être fait avec précaution, en partenariat avec la société civile de chaque pays. »

Non seulement Donald Trump n’avait pas défendu cette cause, mais il est même revenu sur plusieurs droits acquis des personnes trans aux Etats-Unis.

Son secrétaire d’Etat Mike Pompeo était un fervent chrétien évangélique qui n’a jamais caché son opposition au mariage gay et à qui ses détracteurs ont reproché des déclarations passées assimilant l’homosexualité à une « perversion ».

Il a limité les visas pour l’entrée aux Etats-Unis des partenaires de diplomates étrangers homosexuels et interdit aux ambassades américaines d’arborer le drapeau arc-en-ciel les jours de « Gay Pride », ou Marche des fiertés.

Cet ultraconservateur a aussi mis l’accent sur la défense des « droits inaliénables », une formule controversée dénoncée par de nombreuses associations comme une manière de restreindre le champ des droits humains en s’appuyant sur une interprétation religieuse, au détriment notamment des droits des minorités sexuelles.

Voir encore:

The uprising at the Stonewall Inn in June, 1969, sparked a liberation movement — a call to action that continues to inspire us to live up to our Nation’s promise of equality, liberty, and justice for all.  Pride is a time to recall the trials the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) community has endured and to rejoice in the triumphs of trailblazing individuals who have bravely fought — and continue to fight — for full equality.  Pride is both a jubilant communal celebration of visibility and a personal celebration of self-worth and dignity.  This Pride Month, we recognize the valuable contributions of LGBTQ+ individuals across America, and we reaffirm our commitment to standing in solidarity with LGBTQ+ Americans in their ongoing struggle against discrimination and injustice.

The LGBTQ+ community in America has achieved remarkable progress since Stonewall.  Historic Supreme Court rulings in recent years have struck down regressive laws, affirmed the right to marriage equality, and secured workplace protections for LGBTQ+ individuals in every State and Territory.  The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act broadened the definition of hate crimes to include crimes motivated by sexual orientation or gender identity.  Members of the LGBTQ+ community now serve in nearly every level of public office — in city halls and State capitals, Governors’ mansions and the halls of the Congress, and throughout my Administration.  Nearly 14 percent of my 1,500 agency appointees identify as LGBTQ+, and I am particularly honored by the service of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the first openly LGBTQ+ person to serve in the Cabinet, and Assistant Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, the first openly transgender person to be confirmed by the Senate.

For all of our progress, there are many States in which LGBTQ+ individuals still lack protections for fundamental rights and dignity in hospitals, schools, public accommodations, and other spaces.  Our Nation continues to witness a tragic spike in violence against transgender women of color.  LGBTQ+ individuals — especially youth who defy sex or gender norms — face bullying and harassment in educational settings and are at a disproportionate risk of self-harm and death by suicide.  Some States have chosen to actively target transgender youth through discriminatory bills that defy our Nation’s values of inclusivity and freedom for all.

Our Nation also continues to face tragic levels of violence against transgender people, especially transgender women of color.  And we are still haunted by tragedies such as the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando.  Ending violence and discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community demands our continued focus and diligence.  As President, I am committed to defending the rights of all LGBTQ+ individuals.

My Administration is taking historic actions to finally deliver full equality for LGBTQ+ families.  On my first day in office, I signed an Executive Order charging Federal agencies to fully enforce all Federal laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.  As a result, the Federal Government has taken steps to prevent discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in employment, health care, housing, lending, and education.  I also signed an Executive Order affirming all qualified Americans will be able to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States — including patriotic transgender Americans who can once again proudly and openly serve their Nation in uniform — and a National Security Memorandum that commits to supporting LGBTQ+ Federal employees serving overseas.  My Administration is also working to promote and protect LGBTQ+ human rights abroad.  LGBTQ+ rights are human rights, which is why my Administration has reaffirmed America’s commitment to supporting those on the front lines of the equality and democracy movements around the world, often at great risk.  We see you, we support you, and we are inspired by your courage to accept nothing less than full equality.

While I am proud of the progress my Administration has made in advancing protections for the LGBTQ+ community, I will not rest until full equality for LGBTQ+ Americans is finally achieved and codified into law.  That is why I continue to call on the Congress to pass the Equality Act, which will ensure civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ people and families across our country.  And that is why we must recognize emerging challenges, like the fact that many LGBTQ+ seniors, who faced discrimination and oppression throughout their lives, are isolated and need support and elder care.

During LGBTQ+ Pride Month, we recognize the resilience and determination of the many individuals who are fighting to live freely and authentically.  In doing so, they are opening hearts and minds, and laying the foundation for a more just and equitable America.  This Pride Month, we affirm our obligation to uphold the dignity of all people, and dedicate ourselves to protecting the most vulnerable among us.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2021 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Pride Month.  I call upon the people of the United States to recognize the achievements of the LGBTQ+ community, to celebrate the great diversity of the American people, and to wave their flags of pride high.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.

JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

East Room

2:39 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, my name is Joe Biden.  I’m Jill Biden’s husband.  (Laughter.)

Ashton, thank you.  You seemed awfully comfortable up here.  (Laughter and applause.)  You were awfully comfortable up here.  I don’t know.  I — I’m not sure I’ll be around, but, you know — (laughter) — if you’re here, just don’t pretend you don’t know me.  Okay?  (Laughter.)

Your story, your leadership, and your mom is an inspiration.  (Applause.)  Your mom.  If my mother were here, she’d look at you and say, “Honey, God love you, dear.”  God love you — what you do, what you did, what you continue to do.

I want to thank Secretary — well, first of all, I want to say to Chasten: Belated happy birthday, Chasten. (Applause.)  If you could hear us inside, we were singing happy birthday to him.  We got a bunch of cupcakes, but not enough for everybody.  (Laughter.)  But — and, Mr. Secretary, thank you.  You are — you’re the best, man.

Look, our presence here this afternoon makes a simple, strong statement: Pride is back at the White House.  (Applause.)

For this community and for our nation and for the world, Pride Month represents so much.  It stands for courage — the courage of all those in previous generations and today who proudly live their truth.

It stands for justice: both the steps we’ve taken and the steps we need to take.

And above all, Pride Month stands for love — you know, being able to love yourself, love whomever you love, and love this country enough to make it more fair and more free and more just.

You know, during the campaign, Tim Gill and Scott Miller — and Tim — one of them is here today, I don’t want to embarrass him; he always gets mad when I do that — (laughter) — brought me and Jill to visit the Stonewall Inn.  I wanted to go, and they wanted — they offered to take me.  We wanted to pay tribute to that hallowed ground that represents the the fight to ensure that all people are treated with dignity and respect.

Just a few minutes ago, surrounded by the survivors of family members who were — we’ve lost, I signed a bill consecrating another piece of hallowed ground: the Pulse nightclub.  And I want to thank all of the members of the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate for standing up and making sure that will never be forgotten.  Never be forgotten.  The site of the deadliest attack affecting the LBT- — LGBTQ+ community in American history.  It’s now a national memorial.

This month, on the way to the office, I walk through — from my — from the Residence to the Oval Office every morning — I walk through a hallway lit with rainbow colors of Pride, which you’ll have a chance to see in just a few minutes.  You’ll see a candle carried during the AIDS vigil in the early ’90s by a pair — and a pair of sandals belonging to Matthew Shepard.

They’re reminders of how much this community has suffered and lost.  But they’re also reminders of this community’s incredible resiliency, the incredible contributions, the incred- — including, we just saw, the National Football League and the National Women’s Soccer League.

All of you here — Henry Muñoz and Kyle — good to see you, man — (laughter).  I had the — I had the opportunity to officiate at their wedding.  (Laughter and applause.)

And Representative Malcolm Kenyatta — where are you, Malcolm?   You’re around here some — (applause) — good to see you, man.  And Dr. Matt Miller — they stole the show at the Democratic Convention.  (Laughter.)

And my friend, Sarah McBride — where is Sarah?  (Applause.)  Sarah?  Sarah worked closely with my son, Beau, when he was Attorney General of the State of Delaware; and is now serving Delaware, as well, as one of the first openly transgender state legislators in history.  Senator.  (Applause.)

You just heard from our history-making Secretary of Transportation.

And we have today the first openly transgender person ever confirmed to the U.S. Senate — you just met her — Dr. Levine.  (Applause.)

Representation matters.  Recognition matters.  But there’s something else that matters: Results.  Results.

I am proud to lead the most pro-LGBTQ equality administration in U.S. history.  And even on the very — my very first day in office, the first executive order I signed was to change the whole of the federal government to commit to work aggressively to root out discrimination against LBT- — LGBTQ+ people and their families.  That was the first executive order.

I ordered our agencies — every agency — to rapidly implement the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bostock, which affirmed that civil rights protections on the basis of sex apply to sexual orientation and gender identity.

And as a result of that executive order, the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs [Development] announced that it would be — take steps to protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination in housing, and ensured critical protections for transgender Americans experiencing homelessness.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced it would work to combat discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in credit and lending.  The Department of Health and Human Services announced it would protect against discrimination in healthcare services.

And just last week, the Department of Education made clear that Title IX protections apply to sexual orientation and gender identity — (applause) — and prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ students in our nation’s schools.

And a moment ago, I signed an executive order to advance diversity, equality, and inclusion, and accessibility across the entire federal workforce.  The order directs the entire federal government to eliminate barriers so people from every background and walk of life have an equal opportunity to serve our nation, including LGBTQ+ folks and all employees in underserved communities.

Look, I also was proud to rescind the discriminatory and un-American ban on openly transgender servicemembers.  Today, we’re joined by Lieutenant Colonel Bree Fram.  Bree, Colonel — (applause) — thank you.  One of the highest-ranking openly transgender servicemembers in the United States Military.  Lieutenant Colonel Fram, thank you for your service to our nation.  We owe you.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

And everyone who has served — everyone deserves the absolute high quality of healthcare.  That’s why I was so pleased that, last week, Secretary McDonough announced the Department of Veterans Affairs is beginning the process to provide more comprehensive gender-affirming care to our nation’s transgen- — for our nation’s transgender veterans.

We’re also making equality the centerpiece of our diplomacy around the world.  We believe LGBTQ+ rights are human rights.

In February, I signed a presidential memorandum establishing that it’s the policy of the United States to pursue an end to violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

This month, Pride flags are flying — as some of my friends in our last admin- — in the Obama-Biden administration who are openly gay — they are flying in more than — over 130 U.S. embassies around the world.  (Applause.)  A powerful — a powerful symbol of our commitment to safety, dignity, and opportunity for all.

And today, I’m proud to announce that Jessica Stern, who many of you know as an LGBT special — -Q+ special envoy at the State Department.

And yes, we’re also making progress, but I know we still have a long way to go, a lot of work to do.  But we must protect the gains we’ve made and fend off the cruel and unconscionable attacks we’re seeing now to ensure that everyone enjoys the full promise of equality and dignity and protection.

When I was Vice President, I was proud — although, some — it won’t surprise some people in the administration at the moment — (laughter) — and, by the way, I did tell the President that I would not go out and proselytize, but if I was asked, I would not remain quiet.  (Laughter.)  The President — I was proud to have called for marriage equality, along with Barack Obama, because, at the time, I said, “Love is love, period.”

Six year ago, tomorrow, when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality, we’re all reminded of the White House lit up in rainbow colors.  Shortly thereafter, I went to New York to celebrate with my friend Evan Wolfson and a team from — at Freedom to Marry.  The joy was palpable.

But we knew then, as we know now, that our work is unfinished.   When a same-sex couple can be married in the morning but denied a lease in the afternoon for being gay, something is still wrong.

Over half of our states — in over half of our states, LGBTQ+ Americans still lack explicit state-level civil rights protections to shield them from discrimination.

As I said as a presidential candidate and in my first joint address to Congress, it’s time for the United States Senate to pass the Equality Act and put the legislation on my desk.  (Applause.)  Put it on my desk.

Harvey Milk was right when he said, quote, “It takes no compromise to give people their rights.”  It takes no compromise to give people their rights.

And, by the way, this bill doesn’t just protect LGBTQ+ people.  It’s also going to strengthen existing civil rights protections for people of faith, people of color, people with disabilities, women — in public accommodations, like doctors’ offices, parks, and gyms.

I want to thank the leaders of the Congressional Equity [Equality] Caucus for their continued work to make it happen.

The Equality Act will also help protect against the disturbing proliferation of anti-LGBTQ bills we’re seeing in state legislatures.

So far this year, hundreds of anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in state legislatures.  More than a dozen of them have already passed — more than a dozen of them.  These are some of the ugliest, most un-American laws I’ve seen, and I’ve been here awhile.  Many of them target transgender children, seeking to prevent them from receiving the appropriate medical care; for using the bathroom at high schools while they’re — the one where they’ll be most safe; even preventing them from joining sports teams with their classmates.

Let’s be clear: This is nothing more than bullying disguised as legislation.  (Applause.)

As I’ve said before, many times, transgender kids are some of the bravest people in the world.  I mean it sincerely.  You just saw it with Ashton, and you’ll see it with several other young people here.  It takes courage to be true to your authentic self and to face — in the face of the — these kinds of discrimination you know exist.  It takes a toll.

We know more than half of transgender youth seriously considered suicide just in the past year.  These young people aren’t hurting anyone, but these laws are hurting them.  And they’ve got to stop.

Our deceased son, Beau — when he was Delaware’s Attorney General — was one of the first AGs in the country to call for legislation to establish legal protections on the basis of gender identity to protect — to protect trans people — trans people.

And now, the Department of Justice has filed statements of interest in cases challenging two of these — those bills that got passed — explaining why they’re so unconstitutional.

So, we have to work.  We have to work to do so much in these areas to support seniors, aging in isolation without support; to confront disproportionate levels of homelessness and poverty and unemployment in the LGBTQ community; to address the — the epidemic level of violence against transgender people, especially transgender women — it’s been mentioned before — women of color — in the coming days, my administration is going to have more to say about that; and to finally eradicate the AIDS epidemic.  (Applause.)

I’m not sure I’m allowed to talk about this — (laughter) — but our son, Beau, who was a decorated war veteran and attorney general of the United — of the state of Delaware and should be standing here instead of me, came home from war after a year in Iraq and, before that, six months in Kosovo.  And what he did — he decided he was going to set up a foundation for LGBTQ youth, but primarily focusing on transgender youth.

And he took all the money left from the campaign — he was going to run for governor — and put it in and a lot more.  Because in his working with everyone from YMCAs to all the — all the — all the areas where young people can find some solace — his buddy Chris Coons and my buddy Senator Coons knows what he’s done.

The point is: A lot of transgender youth — those who commit suicide — based on the studies his foundation has done, do it because their mom doesn’t understand, because mom or dad says, “You can’t be here anymore” — are rejected.

So, folks, we got a lot of work to do.  A lot of it’s basically public education.

Let me close with this: When you go downstairs, you’ll see some of the Smithsonian exhibit.  You get a sense of the long, long journey — and how long it’s been, and how far we’ve come — have you come.  But how much further we have to go.

So, this afternoon, we celebrate.  But tomorrow, we go back to work.  Progress won’t come easily; it never has.  But we’re going to stand strong, stand together.  And I promise you, we will succeed.  I promise you.

I said to folks earlier, you know things are — why — why — I always get asked by the press, “Why are you so optimistic, Biden?”  Well, as my neurosurgeon once said, I’m probably a congenital optimist.  But beyond that — (laughter) — it’s a simple proposition.

Look at the young people: straight and gay, doesn’t matter.  They’re the least prejudiced — this generation — the most open, the most giving, and the best educated generation in history.  It’s a fact.  In all of history.

And look where they are.  Look how it’s changing.  It’s changing in ways that — in my generation, 270 years ago — (laughter) — you’d get beat up for defending somebody.

But really and truly, there’s a great reason for hope.  And so much talent — so much talent can be unleashed by embracing the LGBT+ community — -Q+ community.

So I want to thank you and say: Happy Pride.

May God bless you all.  And may God protect our troops.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

Voir également:

A pedestrian crosses Christopher Street Thursday, June 27, 2019, in New York. Two LGBT pride parades this Sunday, June 30, cap a month of events marking the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, when patrons of a Greenwich Village gay bar fought back against a police raid and sparked a new era

Département d’État des États-Unis
Antony J. Blinken, secrétaire d’État
Le 1er juin 2021
Communiqué de presse

Cette année, pendant le Mois des fiertés, nous célébrons un message important : « Vous êtes inclus. »  Les diverses expériences, perspectives et contributions de la communauté du département d’État rendent notre institution plus forte et font progresser les objectifs de la diplomatie américaine.  De plusieurs, nous sommes un.

Le département s’est engagé à accroître l’engagement des États-Unis sur les questions des droits humains des lesbiennes, gays, bisexuels, transgenres, queers et intersexes (LGBTQI+) à l’étranger.  Pour ce faire, nous travaillons avec des partenaires du monde entier qui apportent leur expertise sur leurs défis uniques et des solutions innovantes. Nous reconnaissons que, grâce à ces partenariats, nous serons en mesure de construire une société mondiale plus sûre et plus inclusive pour toutes les personnes LGBTQI+. Nous nous efforçons également d’accroître la visibilité des communautés LGBTQI+ particulièrement marginalisées, notamment les femmes et les filles, les minorités raciales et religieuses, les personnes handicapées et les personnes transgenres, de genre différent et intersexuées, et de relever les défis considérables auxquels elles sont confrontées.

Alors que nous célébrons le Mois des fiertés en juin, observons non seulement le chemin parcouru dans la lutte pour les droits humains des personnes LGBTQI+, mais reconnaissons également les défis qui restent à relever.  Les personnes LGBTQI+ du monde entier continuent de subir des discriminations, des violences et d’autres formes de persécution en raison de ce qu’elles sont et de qui elles aiment.  Bien que nous ayons encore du travail à faire, le département est fier d’être un leader grâce au pouvoir de l’exemple, et notamment l’exemple donné par les membres LGBTQI+ de notre personnel, dans la promotion des droits humains pour toutes les personnes.

Nous sommes fièrement différents du point de vue de notre identité mais unis dans notre engagement commun pour la liberté et la dignité de toutes les personnes.

Voir de même:

Jean-Louis Bourlanges: « Le lâchage de Kaboul signe la contradiction entre l’ambition et la fatigue américaines »

ENTRETIEN – La victoire spectaculaire des talibans et le retrait des États-Unis d’une partie du monde ont des conséquences, très graves pour l’Union européenne, explique le président de la commission des affaires étrangères de l’Assemblée nationale*.

LE FIGARO. – La chute de Kaboul prend le monde occidental au dépourvu. N’assistons-nous pas, cependant, à la réalisation d’un désastre annoncé?

Jean-Louis BOURLANGES. – Ce qui déroute les esprits, ce n’est pas tant la victoire politique des talibans que la rapidité inouïe du retournement, la liquéfaction en quelques jours, par quelques milliers d’irréguliers, d’une force politique et militaire construite en vingt ans à coups de millions de dollars par la première puissance du monde. Les États-Unis vont être paradoxalement tentés de justifier leur désengagement par leur échec et c’est un fait qu’un effondrement si soudain et si complet semble montrer que, en dehors d’eux, il n’y avait pas grand-chose à opposer aux talibans. Il reste qu’une débâcle aussi brutale n’avait été en aucune façon anticipée. Le président Biden n’affirmait-il pas encore début juillet comme «hautement improbable l’hypothèse que les talibans s’emparent de l’ensemble du pays»?

Notre sidération vient toutefois de plus loin. Elle tient au fait que ce que nous appelons le camp de la liberté et de la démocratie s’est, en dépit de sa puissance et de sa supériorité apparentes, révélé incapable de produire les solutions politiques et militaires adaptées à la situation. En apparence, les talibans, ce n’est pas grand-chose comparé à l’Empire soviétique, mais nous semblons ne plus avoir aujourd’hui la bonne grammaire pour parler à l’histoire!

Comment la première puissance du monde s’est-elle ainsi fait prendre au piège tendu par les talibans?

Il y a bien sûr les errements catastrophiques de la présidence Trump. Si tout cela n’était pas si tragique, il y aurait quelque chose de risible à voir Donald Trump demander la démission de son successeur, alors qu’il a lui-même conclu à Doha avec les talibans le pire des accords, un accord par lequel les Américains faisaient sans délai toutes les concessions – comme de libérer sur parole 5000 combattants, immédiatement réembrigadés – tandis que les concessions supposées des talibans étaient soumises au préalable du départ américain. Trump avait même envisagé d’inviter à Camp David ces dignes héritiers d’al-Qaida et de Daesh: pourquoi pas un 11 septembre, par exemple!

Le problème est toutefois plus fondamental. Le retrait d’Afghanistan a été voulu par Biden et par Trump, mais aussi par Obama. Le retour des boys après tant d’aventures militaires coûteuses et décevantes au cours des soixante dernières années est devenu un impératif catégorique dans l’opinion américaine et dément spectaculairement la volonté proclamée par Biden – «America is back» – de voir les États-Unis s’investir à nouveau pleinement dans ce qui est parfois présenté comme une nouvelle guerre froide, cette fois-ci contre la Chine. Le lâchage de Kaboul signe la contradiction entre l’ambition et la fatigue américaines. Les Américains donnent le sentiment de pouvoir encore se battre pour leurs intérêts, mais pas, semble-t-il, pour leurs valeurs.

Le crédit des États-Unis dans le monde va-t-il être affecté par ce fiasco?

Oui, bien sûr. Les Chinois ne manqueront pas de se gausser du nouveau tigre de papier et les États de l’Indo-Pacifique, déjà tiraillés entre l’amitié américaine et la proximité massive et incontournable de la Chine, vont douter un peu plus des États-Unis. À court terme, la Chine devrait sans doute être prudente et y regarder à deux fois avant, par exemple, de tenter un coup de main sur Taïwan, car la réaction d’une Amérique humiliée ne pourrait être que brutale, mais la crédibilité des États-Unis dans le bras de fer avec Pékin en sort inévitablement amoindrie. D’autant que la société américaine n’a jamais été aussi divisée sur ses valeurs, donc sur ses ambitions.

Ce que le monde a touché du doigt dans la plus grande stupeur, c’est la vertigineuse inutilité de la supériorité militaire. Par les temps qui courent, il importe moins d’être aimé que d’être craint, or c’est moins l’image de la trahison que celle de l’impuissance que nous renvoie aujourd’hui l’Amérique. On est tenté de dire, paraphrasant Jacques Brel: on a voulu voir Truman et on a vu Carter!

La France a-t-elle des leçons à tirer de la victoire des talibans en ce qui concerne son engagement militaire au Sahel?

Le parallèle a ses limites. Les situations sont très différentes, même si les États africains ont leur fragilité. Il reste que, le Sahel, c’était notre part du travail et que nous aussi nous tentons d’aider des sociétés vulnérables à faire face à la subversion islamo-terroriste et au crime organisé. Nous le faisons d’ailleurs en bonne intelligence avec les Américains.

Les initiatives qui ont été prises ces derniers mois par le président Macron – le redimensionnement de notre effort militaire et la responsabilisation politique des États de la zone – ont cependant pour objet précis de nous épargner le piège du tout ou rien qui a «naufragé» l’action américaine en Afghanistan. En remettant en cause Barkhane, une opération devenue trop lourde, trop coûteuse et trop unilatérale, sans pour autant quitter le théâtre des opérations, nous adressons à nos amis africains un message clair, mesuré et responsable: nous nous battrons avec vous, mais pas à votre place.

Par ailleurs, nous nous efforçons d’associer à l’action nos partenaires européens, car le sort du Sahel n’est ni l’affaire de la seule France ni même celle de la seule Europe du Sud. Nous avons sur ce point la satisfaction d’être mieux entendus que naguère. Nous ne nous faisons toutefois aucune illusion: rien n’est joué.

L’Union européenne ne va-t-elle pas subir le contrecoup du désastre afghan, notamment sous la forme d’une nouvelle vague de demandeurs d’asile?

C’est l’évidence. Nous sommes les voisins du désastre: ce sont les Américains qui jouent, mais ce sont les Européens qui paient les dettes de jeu. L’évanouissement de la puissance américaine a trois conséquences précises: il libère des flots de candidats à l’émigration, dont l’Europe sera la destination privilégiée ; avec la culture systématique du pavot, il offre au crime organisé les moyens de relancer massivement chez nous la consommation de drogue ; il offre enfin au terrorisme international la base territoriale arrière qu’il a perdue depuis la fin de Daesh. Il est à cet égard un peu dérisoire d’entendre Anthony Blinken nous expliquer que les Américains ont «fait le job» puisque al-Qaida a été puni et que Ben Laden n’est plus!

Nous n’avons cependant qu’à nous en prendre à nous-mêmes de ce qui nous arrive, car nous payons le prix de notre nanisme politique. La montée en puissance de la Chine et le pivotement des Américains vers l’Indo-Pacifique créent, du cercle polaire au sud de l’Afrique, une verticale du vide que l’Europe, amorphe, apathique et fragmentée, paraît incapable d’occuper. La situation est d’autant plus pressante que nous sommes entourés de puissances inamicales et que notre «étranger proche», le Moyen-Orient et l’espace méditerranéen, est traversé par des déséquilibres politiques, religieux, démographiques et climatiques à haut risque.

La construction d’une Europe politiquement puissante est devenue, sous l’effet d’un désengagement américain partiel mais structurel, un véritable impératif catégorique. Les Européens ne peuvent plus, sans dommage, rester aux abonnés absents de la confrontation internationale.

* Agrégé de lettres, ancien élève de l’ENA et conseiller maître honoraire à la Cour des comptes, Jean-Louis Bourlanges a été député européen de 1989 à 2007. Il est député MoDem des Hauts-de-Seine.

Voir de plus:

Biden’s Afghanistan Exit Raises Questions About His Foreign-Policy Record
U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan could create a haven for terrorist groups, experts warn
The Wall Street Journal
Aug. 15, 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the 2020 political campaign, President Biden presented himself as a globe-trotting leader who had helmed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, served as President Barack Obama’s point man on complex international issues and who was determined to bring a steady hand to national security.

Yet the turmoil that has engulfed Afghanistan, which has led Mr. Biden to send 5,000 troops back to the country, roughly doubling the force he decided in April to take out, has confronted the White House with a crisis that could have lasting humanitarian and national-security consequences, former officials say.

“We are not at the worst point yet,” said Carter Malkasian, the author of a comprehensive history of the Afghan conflict who served as an adviser to former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford. “Now that the Taliban are moving into Kabul and overturning the democratic government we have been supporting for 20 years, it is highly likely they will seek to punish, and perhaps even execute, the Afghans who worked with us.”

Mr. Biden has resolutely defended his troop withdrawal decision, saying that Washington had accomplished its mission in the region by killing Osama bin Laden and depriving al Qaeda of its sanctuary in Afghanistan, and had nothing to gain by perpetuating its military deployments in the country.

“One more year, or five more years, of U.S. military presence would not have made a difference if the Afghan military cannot or will not hold its own country,” Mr. Biden said in a statement Saturday. “And an endless American presence in the middle of another country’s civil conflict was not acceptable to me.”

On Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken ramped up the Biden administration’s effort to deflect criticism by alleging that former President Trump had allowed the Taliban threat to grow on his watch while boxing in his successor with his Afghan diplomacy.

“The Taliban was at its strongest position in terms of its strength since 2001 when we came into office,” Mr. Blinken said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Some former officials, however, say Mr. Biden’s troop withdrawal was a blunder and that the fallout could have lasting repercussions. The cratering security, which has put the Biden administration in a race to evacuate thousands of Afghan allies, may threaten the rights of women and could provide terrorist groups with an opportunity to move into Afghanistan’s ungoverned spaces.

“I think it is damning for him to have created this situation in his first significant action as commander in chief,” said Ryan Crocker, who served as the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan during the Obama administration and has worked under Democratic as well as Republican presidents. “It’s an unforced error, and as an American I am deeply concerned.”

So far, public opinion polls show that a plurality of Americans favor Mr. Biden’s position. Yet they also indicate that many people have paid little attention in recent years to Afghanistan and that attitudes could shift depending on how events unfold after the last of the U.S. forces are gone.

In a September poll by the research organization NORC at the University of Chicago, 38% supported removing all American forces after being reminded of how many U.S. service personnel had died in the nearly 20-year-old conflict—about 2,400. Some 57% acknowledged, however, that they hadn’t been closely following news about the U.S. role in the country.

“Americans may have supported a withdrawal from Afghanistan, but views could change if we start to see the Taliban beating women in the streets, preventing girls from going to school, and otherwise dealing brutally with the population as they did in the 1990s, or if we see the re-emergence of a terrorist hotbed, including the arrival of foreign terrorist fighters,” said Lisa Curtis, who served as the top National Security Council official for South and Central Asia during the Trump administration.

Mr. Biden didn’t inherit a strong hand in Afghanistan. In February 2020, the Trump administration concluded an agreement with the Taliban that called for all foreign troops to leave by May 2021. Eager to wind down the U.S. military presence, former President Donald Trump reduced U.S. forces more quickly than the deal required.

By the time Mr. Biden took office in January, the U.S. had 2,500 troops in Afghanistan, its lowest level since 2001, which diminished Washington’s military leverage. Under the Trump administration’s pressure, the Afghan government also released 5,000 Taliban prisoners, many of whom have returned to the battlefield during the Taliban’s continuing offensive.

Still, Mr. Biden took office deeply skeptical of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. As vice president, he argued for maintaining a modest counterterrorism force in the country instead of sending tens of thousands of troops in a surge of reinforcement.

“The Taliban, per se, is not our enemy,” Mr. Biden told Newsweek in 2011, drawing a distinction between terrorist groups that menaced the U.S. and the Taliban, which threatened the Afghan government. Mr. Biden lost the argument on sending troops during the Obama administration, but as commander in chief, he was finally in a position to call the shots.

In contrast to the numerous Trump policies he reversed, he opted to carry out Mr. Trump’s deal with the Taliban instead of trying to renegotiate it. In so doing, he overruled his top military commanders: Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East; Gen. Austin Scott Miller, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan; and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Citing the risks of removing American forces to Afghan security and the U.S. Embassy, they recommended that the U.S. keep 2,500 troops in Afghanistan while stepping up diplomacy to try to cement a peace agreement.

“This is really his first big decision as commander in chief,” said Eliot Cohen, a military historian and a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced and International Studies. “He is unquestionably willing to stare down his advisers. This is a decision that involves a lot of blood, just not American blood. Whether it was wise or not, it was not an act of weakness. He is a hard guy, determined to follow through on his instincts, and live with the consequences.”

Those consequences, however, have come more quickly than the White House had anticipated.

The president’s decision to remove U.S. troops prompted NATO nations to withdraw their larger force, which consisted of some 9,600 troops including U.S. service members. It also led foreign contractors, whom the Afghan military depended on to maintain its aircraft, to head for the exits.

The abrupt departure of international support added to the crisis of confidence by the Afghan government’s forces. Their swift defeats happened as the U.S. struggled, so far without success, to secure access in Central Asian nations for U.S. military forces or at least contractors to more easily carry out counterterrorism operations in Afghanistan if al Qaeda or other terrorism threats emerge.

And it happened before the U.S. had evacuated tens of thousands of Afghans who had worked with the Americans and are now in danger, prompting Mr. Biden to temporarily retain 6,000 troops in Kabul to safeguard the airport and the U.S. Embassy.

The Biden administration has been at pains to dispel the impression that this is a Saigon moment, referring to the frantic American departure from South Vietnam in 1975 that came to symbolize America’s defeat. Yet while the White House insists the U.S. accomplished its main aims in Afghanistan, the speed of the Taliban’s advance has surprised the Biden administration. Just last month, Mr. Biden told reporters that “the likelihood there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely.”

The sense that events have outrun Mr. Biden’s planning has given fodder to Republican lawmakers, who have largely refrained from criticizing Mr. Trump’s handling of the issue while trying to turn Mr. Biden’s claim to foreign policy expertise into a political liability by challenging his understanding of Afghan realities.

“The folks in the administration keep pointing to the fact that the Afghan forces have the advantage in airplanes, equipment and training compared to the Taliban,” said Richard Fontaine, a former foreign-policy adviser to the late Sen. John McCain and the chief executive officer of the Center for a New American Security, a think tank. “All of that is true, but it comes down to will. And it turns out the Afghan military’s will to fight for the government was bound up in our will to remain supportive of that government and present on the ground.”

Voir encore:

Afghan abandonment a lesson for Taiwan’s DPP
Aug 16, 2021

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The US troops’ withdrawal from Afghanistan has led to the rapid demise of the Kabul government. The world has witnessed how the US evacuated its diplomats by helicopter while Taliban soldiers crowded into the presidential palace in Kabul. This has dealt a heavy blow to the credibility and reliability of the US.

Many people cannot help but recall how the Vietnam War ended in 1975: The US abandoned its allies in South Vietnam; Saigon was taken over; then the US evacuated almost all its citizens in Saigon. And in 2019, US troops withdrew from northern Syria abruptly and abandoned their allies, the Kurds. Some historians also point out that abandoning allies to protect US interests is an inherent flaw that has been deeply rooted in the US since the founding of the country. During the American War of Independence, the US humbly begged the king of France, Louis XVI, to ally with it. After the war, it quickly made peace with Britain unilaterally and concluded a peace treaty with Britain that was detrimental to France’s interests. This put Louis XVI’s regime in a difficult position, giving cause for the French Revolution.

How Washington abandoned the Kabul regime particularly shocked some in Asia, including the island of Taiwan. Taiwan is the region that relies on the protection of the US the most in Asia, and the island’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) authorities have made Taiwan go further and further down this abnormal path. The situation in Afghanistan suddenly saw a radical change after the country was abandoned by the US. And Washington just left despite the worsening situation in Kabul. Is this some kind of omen of Taiwan’s future fate?

Tsai Ing-wen, who had sent a message of condolence to the US president for the death of his dog, did not mention even a word about the change in the situation in Afghanistan. Other DPP politicians as well as the media that tilt toward the DPP downplayed the shocking change as well. But they must have been nervous and feel an ominous presentiment. They must have known better in secret that the US is not reliable.

The geopolitical value of Afghanistan is no less than that of Taiwan island. Around Afghanistan, there are the US’ three biggest geopolitical rivals – China, Russia and Iran. In addition, Afghanistan is a bastion of anti-US ideology. The withdrawal of US troops from there is not because Afghanistan is unimportant. It’s because it has become too costly for Washington to have a presence in the country. Now the US wants to find a better way to use its resources to maintain its hegemony in the world.

Taiwan is probably the US’ most cost-effective ally in East Asia. There is no US military presence on the island of Taiwan. The way the US maintains the alliance with Taiwan is simple: It sells arms to Taiwan while encouraging the DPP authorities to implement anti-mainland policies through political support and manipulation. As a result, it has caused a certain degree of depletion between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits. And what Washington has to do is only to send warships and aircraft near the Straits from time to time. In general, the US does not have to spend a penny on Taiwan. Instead, it makes money through arms sales and forced pork and beef sales to the island. This is totally a profitable geopolitical deal for Washington.

Once a cross-Straits war breaks out while the mainland seizes the island with forces, the US would have to have a much greater determination than it had for Afghanistan, Syria, and Vietnam if it wants to interfere. A military intervention of the US will be a move to change the status quo in the Taiwan Straits, and this will make Washington pay a huge price rather than earn profit.

Some people on the island of Taiwan hype that the island is different from Afghanistan, and that the US wouldn’t leave them alone. Indeed, the island is different from Afghanistan. But the difference is the deeper hopelessness of a US victory if it gets itself involved in a cross-Straits war. Such a war would mean unthinkable costs for the US, in front of which the so-called special importance of Taiwan is nothing but wishful thinking of the DPP authorities and secessionist forces on the island.

In the past two decades, the Kabul government cost over 2,000 US soldiers, $2 trillion, and the majesty of the US against the « bandits. » But how many lives of US troops and how many dollars would the US sacrifice for the island of Taiwan? After all, the US acknowledges that « there is but one China and that Taiwan is part of China. » Will the US get more moral support from within and from the West if it fights for the secession of Taiwan than it did during the Afghan War?

The DPP authorities need to keep a sober head, and the secessionist forces should reserve the ability to wake up from their dreams. From what happened in Afghanistan, they should perceive that once a war breaks out in the Straits, the island’s defense will collapse in hours and the US military won’t come to help. As a result, the DPP authorities will quickly surrender, while some high-level officials may flee by plane.

The best choice for the DPP authorities is to avoid pushing the situation to that position. They need to change their course of bonding themselves to the anti-Chinese mainland chariot of the US. They should keep cross-Straits peace with political means, rather than acting as strategic pawns of the US and bear the bitter fruits of a war.

Voir aussi:

Worse Than Saigon
Ben Sasse
National Review
August 16, 2021

In yielding Afghanistan to the Taliban, Joe Biden has engineered the worst foreign-policy disaster in a generation.

While President Joe Biden cowers at Camp David, the Taliban are humiliating America. The retreat from Afghanistan is our worst foreign-policy disaster in a generation. As the Taliban marches into Kabul, they’re murdering civilians, reimposing their vicious Islamist law, and preparing to turn Afghanistan back into a bandit regime. The U.S. embassy has told Americans to shelter in place. Refugees are fleeing to the airport, begging to escape the coming bloodbath. None of this had to happen.

America is the world’s greatest superpower. We ought to act like it. But President Biden and his national-security team have failed to protect even the American embassy in Kabul. They have broken America’s promises to the men and women who long for freedom — especially those thousands of Afghans who served alongside our military and intelligence services. They are turning their backs on the women and children who are desperate for space on the remaining flights out of hell.

Gross incompetence has given the Taliban a terrible opportunity to slaughter our allies. Eighty-eight thousand of our Afghan allies have applied for visas to get out of the country, but this administration has approved just 1,200 so far. I’ve been among a bipartisan group of senators that has pushed Biden to expedite this process, but to no avail. At this point, it’s not clear how many we’ll be able to get out. Every translator and ally who stood by us is now at risk.

This bloodshed wasn’t just predictable, it was predicted. For months, Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee have warned the Biden administration that this would happen. Now the administration is acting like this is a surprise. It’s shameful, dishonest spin.

America’s retreat is a major propaganda coup for the jihadists. The Taliban will claim to be a “superpower-slayer.” The Taliban helped their allies stage the 9/11 attacks almost exactly 20 years ago, and after our retreat they’ll be able to brag about humiliating us again.

Make no mistake: The Taliban will exploit every image of American retreat. Pictures of desperate Afghans perilously crowded around the unguarded airport in Kabul are painfully reminiscent of images of Saigon — images that cemented communist victory in Vietnam and showed American weakness to the world. Jihadists are flocking to the “hallowed ground” where they have just defeated the “infidels.” Afghanistan will become a sanctuary for terrorist groups all over again.

China and Russia will look to capitalize on Biden’s weakness and incompetence, too. Their message is simple: Why should Ukraine or Taiwan put any faith in the United States after seeing how Washington has abandoned its allies in Afghanistan? America’s enemies are salivating at the thought of taking advantage of the president who surrendered in the War on Terror.

The sad thing is, many in my party are trying to blame-shift as if the last administration didn’t set us on this course. Here’s the ugly truth: Neither party is serious about foreign policy. For a decade now, demagogues have lied to the American people about our mission in Afghanistan. President Trump pioneered the strategy of retreat President Biden is pursuing, to disastrous effect.

The politicians and pundits who make excuses for this shameful retreat will dishonestly claim that it was this or fighting so-called “forever wars.” They pretend that our only choices were a massive occupation or an immediate withdrawal. They ignore the reality on the ground. Their cheap talking points have led to chaos, persecution, and death.

Politicians don’t tell this truth: America didn’t have a nation-building occupation force in Afghanistan. The last time we had 100,000 troops in the country was a decade ago. We’re not waging “endless wars” in Afghanistan any more than we’re waging endless wars in South Korea, Germany, or Japan — or Kosovo, or Honduras, or any number of other nations where we have forward-deployed forces. A relatively small number of troops has successfully supported our Afghan allies by providing the backbone for intelligence and special-operations missions. Americans weren’t building empires or fighting unwinnable battles. We were defending airfields and decapitating terror organizations while keeping a light footprint. Americans have heard of some high-profile goons, such as Qasem Soleimani and Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. But our heroes in Afghanistan have killed a lot more Bin Laden wannabes whose names you don’t know — precisely because we killed them before they could take down a World Trade Center. We fought and won this war in Afghanistan, not on American shores. But you wouldn’t realize that from the isolationist rhetoric surrounding Biden’s choices.

It’s important to recognize the work that our special forces and intelligence operatives did after 9/11. The partnerships they built with our Afghan allies were premised on the idea that America isn’t capable of this kind of betrayal. I’ve had a dozen conversations with American intelligence officers and special operators over the past few weeks, and they’ve told me that they swore to their Afghan recruits that if they fought shoulder-to-shoulder with Americans, we’d protect their wives and children. Those promises are being broken. America is supposed to be better than this. The Biden administration is spitting in the face of all these heroes, but we owe them a debt of gratitude. The work they did mattered, and still matters.

Our troops didn’t lose this war. Politicians chose defeat. We never had to let the Taliban win, but a bipartisan doctrine of weakness has humiliated the world’s greatest superpower and handed Afghanistan to butchers. In the next few weeks, the situation in Afghanistan will get much worse. Americans need to pray for that troubled country. President Biden needs to man up, come out of hiding, and take charge of the mess he created. Secure the airfields and get as many souls out as possible. Time is short.

Voir également:

Biden to Afghanistan: Drop Dead
Biden is defiant in blaming others for his Afghan debacle.
The Wall Street Journal
Aug. 16, 2021

President Biden told the world on Monday that he doesn’t regret his decision to withdraw rapidly from Afghanistan, or even the chaotic, incompetent way the withdrawal has been executed. He is determined in retreat, defiant in surrender, and confident in the rightness of consigning the country to jihadist rule. We doubt the world will see it the same way in the days, months and years ahead.

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Mr. Biden refused to accept responsibility for the botched withdrawal while blaming others. He blamed Donald Trump’s peace deal with the Taliban and falsely claimed again that he was trapped. He blamed his three predecessors for not getting out of Afghanistan. He blamed the Afghans for not fighting hard enough, their leaders for fleeing, and even Afghans who helped us for not leaving sooner. The one group he conspicuously did not blame was the Taliban, who once harbored Osama bin Laden and may protect his terrorist successor.

The President made glancing reference to the horrible scenes unfolding in Kabul and especially at the airport, though again without addressing the mistakes that led to them. Had the U.S. not given up the air base at Bagram, now controlled by the Taliban, the U.S. would not now have to fight to control Kabul’s commercial airfield.

The chaotic scenes at the airport, with Afghans hanging from a U.S. military plane and two falling from the sky to their deaths, will be the indelible images of this debacle. They are the echo of 9/11, with people falling from the sky, that Mr. Biden didn’t anticipate when he chose the 20th anniversary of 9/11 as his withdrawal deadline.

Instead of taking responsibility, Mr. Biden played to the sentiment of Americans who are tired of foreign military missions. It’s a powerful point to speak of sending a child to risk his life in a foreign country, and no doubt it will resonate with many Americans. It is a question that every President should ask.

But the President was dishonest in framing the U.S. mission merely as fighting in another country’s “civil war.” The U.S. didn’t remain in Afghanistan for 20 years to send women to school or to “nation build.” The core mission was to prevent the country from again becoming a terrorist safe haven. The Taliban’s victory will now attract thousands of young jihadists from around the world, and they will have Americans and the U.S. homeland in their sights.

Mr. Biden said he would maintain a “counterterrorism over-the-horizon capability” to strike camps in Afghanistan, but that will be much harder from the distance of the Persian Gulf. This is a far bigger risk than he lets on, as U.S. intelligence agencies know.

Mr. Biden was also dishonest in framing his Afghan decision as a false choice between total withdrawal and sending tens of thousands of troops again. He knows his own advisers, military and civilian, believed they could support the Afghan military with no more than a few thousand troops to supply air power and intelligence.

He also knows the U.S. hasn’t had a single casualty in more than a year in Afghanistan. Even if Mr. Biden was set on withdrawal, he could have done it based on conditions that would have given the Taliban more incentive to negotiate with the government.

Mr. Biden claimed that Afghan leaders Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah had refused his advice to negotiate with the Taliban. That is false. They had been negotiating with the Taliban for months, under enormous pressure from the Trump Administration. The problem is that the Taliban had no incentive to negotiate in good faith when it knew the U.S. was leaving and would be able to take its chances on a military victory.

Like all good liberal internationalists, Mr. Biden thinks you can achieve a diplomatic outcome by diplomacy alone. Mr. Biden’s claim that the U.S. will continue to support the Afghan people and stand for human rights and the women of Afghanistan is the same kind of internationalist twaddle. The Taliban is taking the women of Afghanistan back to the Dark Ages, and the “international community” will do nothing to stop it. Mr. Biden’s words of “support” will be cold comfort when the Taliban knocks on the doors of women who worked in the Afghan government.

***

We had hoped that Mr. Biden would accept some responsibility and explain how he would fix this mess. He did none of that, making it clear that he himself is the main architect of this needless American surrender. It does not bode well for the rest of his Presidency.

The world has seen a President portraying surrender as an act of political courage, and retreat as strategic wisdom. As we write this, the world’s rogues are looking for ways to give him a chance to deliver a similar speech about other parts of the world.

Voir enfin:

The Calamitous Fall of Afghanistan
A light is going out now. There’s still no easy exit
Jeffrey Gedmin
American purpose
16 Aug 2021

Afghanistan is a bewildering, agonizing, enchanting place. You get a feel for this in Khaled Hosseini’s 2003 novel The Kite Runner. I got a sense of it when I went there a decade ago.We Americans tend to travel to such places in organized bubbles. My particular bubble was an exceptional one: I arrived in Kabul as president of a congressionally funded media group. The bubble included a little caravan of black SUVs with armored-plated doors, three bodyguards carrying assault rifles, a lead car and follow-on vehicle in chaotic Kabul traffic, and bullet-proof glass. True, my job at the time made me a target—but so was the simple fact that I was a foreigner. Foreigners were getting kidnapped for ransom.The Afghanistan of bleakness, death, and destruction is often the only one we see in the media. I learned better from my Afghan colleagues at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) headquarters in Prague. They were women and men of creativity, energy, and elegance. I never ceased to be amazed by the large bags of mail they received each week from devoted listeners.The “letters” were usually scrolls—ten, twenty, thirty feet long. One ran to seventy feet. These letters, once unfurled, were stunning. They contained drawings and paintings, poems and prayers, songs and tributes and commentary. They named and reflected regions, tribes, and dialects. People would walk for miles to a village scribe to share their stories, to memorialize their reactions to this or that program. I brought samples back to Washington to share with people like Librarian of Congress James Billington and his specialists, who were impressed enough to put hundreds of them on exhibit just outside the library’s main reading room near the Gutenberg Bible. The proximity was not inappropriate.What I saw in Afghanistan deepened the impression that the letters made. I broke bread with a young imam who told me that the United States could never be a model for his country: Afghanistan was religious, tribal, traditional. He also told me he couldn’t stand the Taliban. They were vicious, he opined. Girls should go to school. I met with tribal leaders, all men with beards and long white tunics. I’m not sure what they thought about women’s rights. One told me, though, that he would occasionally adjust a prayer schedule so that people could tune in to important radio programs. One of them, as he would have known, was a popular Azadi program, a call-in show on women’s health issues hosted by a female Afghan gynecologist.Azadi is the local brand of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL). It’s radio, mostly; this is still a radio country, mostly. RFE/RL’s programming in Dari and Pashto was and has remained immensely popular. Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai told me it was the first thing he listened to in the morning to get a feel for things in the country. Azadi has had a bureau in Kabul with journalists who report from across the country’s thirty-four provinces.We can’t seem to find balance between irrationally exuberant democracy promotion and great-power realism and restraint. We went to Afghanistan to close terrorist training camps, and we did. We surely understood that we would bear some responsibility—in our own self-interest—for what would come after the intervention and the toppling of a government. Then, however, we did what we do: We got lost in competing priorities and unrealistic expectations. We also failed to see what else happened along the way.In Afghanistan, terrorist training camps of the kind that made 9/11 possible remained closed. Life expectancy improved. Infant mortality declined. Women acquired opportunities that were previously unthinkable. For those focused on great-power competition, Russia stayed out, China was kept at bay, and Pakistan, China’s ally, was constrained.These gains will now be wiped out because we can’t be satisfied with managing problems; we have to solve them. If we can’t win clearly and decisively, remaking a society in the process, we will retreat and abandon our allies. Why couldn’t we have left a residual force in Afghanistan to help provide a modicum of security there? Three-quarters of a century after the Korean War, after all, we maintain twenty-nine thousand troops in South Korea. We still have post-World War II troops in Europe. These are the overhead costs of peace and stabilitOne can see the way in which such arguments are faltering today. The new realism is hollow, oblivious to power. Idealism is not fashionable.

A couple of years ago, I asked a former RFE/RL colleague about those Afghan letters. We still get them, he wrote me, from

children who dream of becoming scientists. From peasants who pray for rain—or better irrigation. Some are love poems from shepherds or soldiers on front lines. From teachers who want better buildings, or any buildings at all. Many women and girls thank us for being their window to the world. They write from remote mountain hamlets, teeming cities, and refugee camps in neighboring Iran and in parts of Afghanistan where there is no electricity and, thus, no television. Many letters close with a prayer for peace.

Nine million Afghan children started going to school in the last twenty years, some 40 percent of them girls. The aim was “to buy time,” said former U.S. ambassador Ryan Crocker, a member of the RFE/RL board, “for this young generation of Afghans to come of age.”

But time is up. We are now scrambling to get our people—diplomats, select civilians—out of the country. After initial miscalculations, Biden has committed five thousand troops for this purpose. And the Afghans who have worked closely with the United States over the last two decades? RFE/RL president Jamie Fly is determined—and struggling—to get adequate support for the nearly one hundred of his people still there and trying to leave (Voice of America has dozens on the ground looking for safe passage out). They were always targets. Three summers ago, journalist Abadullah Hananzai and video producer Sabawoon Kakar died in a bombing on the main road behind the RFE/RL Kabul bureau. Maharram Durrani, a twenty-eight-year-old female university student training to become a journalist at the bureau, was also killed in the attack.

RFE/RL’s Abubakar Siddique has been reporting that thousands, and possibly tens of thousands, were streaming into Kabul in the last week. Women have been rushing to buy all-concealing burqas. One woman in a makeshift camp for women and children in the capital reports that in her hometown Taliban fighters have gone door-to-door, forcing young girls to marry them at gunpoint.

American adversaries are pushing back into the region. Russian diplomats met with Taliban representatives in Doha last week. Beijing is pressing for Islamabad’s cooperation—and the Taliban’s pledge—in repressing and rounding up Uighurs in their respective countries.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is, in a very real sense, ours. He is a Western-oriented anthropologist, a friend of the United States, who was determined to lessen the country’s corruption. He called for help, until he was forced to flee. The Taliban have taken Kabul.

We Americans see this as our struggle, which is now coming to an end. The Afghans’ struggle is certainly not finished. The two are not so easily separated.

Jeffrey Gedmin is a former president and current board member of RFE/RL. He is co-founder and editor-in-chief of American Purpose.

Voir par ailleurs:

New evidence shows the Pulse nightclub shooting wasn’t about anti-LGBTQ hate
The trial of the Pulse nightclub shooter’s wife dramatically changed the narrative about the deadly attack
Jane Coaston
Vox
Apr 5, 2018

It’s been nearly two years since the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that killed 49 people — widely believed to be an act of aggression against the club’s LGBTQ clientele and “undeniably a homophobic hate crime.” There’s now conclusive evidence that the shooter wasn’t intending to target LGBTQ people at all.

In fact, he allegedly had no idea Pulse was a gay club, and simply Googled “Orlando nightclubs” after finding that security at his original target, a major shopping and entertainment complex, was too high, as reported by ClickOrlando.com.

This evidence dramatically changes the mass shooting’s narrative; politicians and individuals across the political spectrum had positioned it as an anti-LGBTQ hate crime. Instead, the new evidence suggests, the Pulse nightclub shooting was intended as revenge for US anti-terror policies abroad.

The evidence emerged during the trial of the shooter’s wife, Noor Salman, whom the federal government charged with aiding and abetting and obstruction of justice. Federal prosecutors argued that Salman had helped her husband plan and orchestrate the attack. She was acquitted by a jury last Friday, a rare occurrence when most defendants accused of terror charges accept plea deals and the average conviction rate in such cases is above 90 percent.

The shooter’s motive was apparently revenge for United States bombing campaigns on ISIS targets in the Middle East. He had pledged allegiance to ISIS’s leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and during the Pulse shooting posted to Facebook, “You kill innocent women and children by doing us airstrikes. … Now taste the Islamic state vengeance.” In his final post, he wrote, “In the next few days you will see attacks from the Islamic state in the usa.”

Salman’s attorneys introduced evidence showing that, far from assisting the shooter, she was a victim of her husband’s abuse, including frequent beatings and sexual assault.

The Pulse nightclub shooting was the deadliest attack on LGBTQ people in American history, and liberals and conservatives — including then-presidential candidate Donald Trump — assumed the shooting was based on the victims’ sexual orientation and gender identity. Trump and other Republicans attempted to use their response to the shooting to argue that they were true pro-LGBTQ advocates because of their support for immigration restrictions aimed at Muslims.

In a speech on June 13, the day after the shooting, Trump said, “This is a very dark moment in America’s history. A radical Islamic terrorist targeted the nightclub, not only because he wanted to kill Americans, but in order to execute gay and lesbian citizens, because of their sexual orientation.” The following day at a North Carolina rally Trump said, “We want to live in a country where gay and lesbian Americans and all Americans are safe from radical Islam, which, by the way, wants to murder and has murdered gays and they enslave women.”

During Trump’s speech at the Republican National Convention where he accepted his party’s presidential nomination, he said, “Only weeks ago, in Orlando, Florida, 49 wonderful Americans were savagely murdered by an Islamic terrorist. This time, the terrorist targeted the LGBTQ community. No good. And we’re going to stop it. As your president, I will do everything in my power to protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of a hateful foreign ideology.”

But the evidence shows otherwise. The shooter didn’t target LGBTQ people — he didn’t even realize Pulse was a gay-oriented nightclub, asking a security guard at the club where all the women were just before he started shooting.

After a mass shooting, observers, including journalists, often search for a motive, sometimes even before the first victims have been identified. But the Pulse shooting proves that initial narratives about mass shooters’ motivations are often wrong — and those narratives can be far more powerful than the truth.

COMPLEMENT:

Chaos à Kaboul: Pourquoi Biden est responsable et coupable

Gérald Olivier

France Amérique

18 août 2021

La présence américaine en Afghanistan, commencée en 2001, vient de s’achever dans la confusion et le chaos. Les images de milliers de personnes tentant désespérément de fuir le pays dans les bagages de l’occupant ont évoqué les pires clichés de conflits passés que l’on pensait ne jamais revoir.

Ce retrait précipité est une défaite incontestable, voire une déroute, pour les Etats-Unis. Néanmoins, la décision de quitter l’Afghanistan était et demeure la bonne décision. Après vingt ans d’une occupation stérile, c’était la seule chose à faire. Mais c’est la manière qui pose problème. La façon dont le président Biden et ses conseillers ont laissé le pays être submergé par les Talibans, avant même d’avoir pu en évacuer tous les Américains – sans parler des milliers de collaborateurs afghans dont la vie est aujourd’hui menacée – trahit une naïveté, une impréparation et franchement une incompétence coupables. C’est tout l’appareil stratégique américain qui est en cause : le Conseil National de Sécurité, le Département d’Etat, le Pentagone, les services de Renseignements, et tout en haut, bien sûr, le président Biden !

L’heure des comptes viendra. Connaissant les institutions américaines, il y aura des enquêtes parlementaires. Les responsabilités seront tirées au clair. Pour l’instant, il importe de comprendre l’enchaînement des évènements qui a engendré ce chaos.

Dans une allocution télévisée, au lendemain de la prise de Kaboul par les Talibans, le président Biden a fait reposer toute la responsabilité de la débandade américaine sur, (qui d’autre ?) … son prédécesseur Donald Trump. Voici ses propos :

« En entrant à la Maison Blanche, j’ai hérité d’un accord négocié par le président Trump avec les Talibans, en vertu duquel nos soldats devaient avoir quitté le pays au 1er mai 2021… Le nombre de nos soldats sur place avait déjà été ramené de quinze mille à deux mille cinq cents par l’administration Trump. Alors que les Talibans n’avaient jamais été aussi forts militairement depuis 2001…. Le choix qui se présentait à moi en tant que président consistait à m’en tenir à cet accord, ou bien à me préparer à combattre à nouveau les Talibans au printemps… La froide réalité se limitait à suivre cet accord en retirant nos troupes, ou à escalader le conflit en renvoyant des milliers de soldats au combat et en nous engageant dans une troisième décennie de conflit en Afghanistan. »

Ainsi donc Joe Biden, président des Etats-Unis, et homme le plus puissant de la planète, s’est présenté comme pieds et poings liés, par un accord négocié par Donald Trump! Loin de reconnaître une quelconque responsabilité, il s’est érigé en victime.

Venant d’un Démocrate, une telle posture n’a pas de quoi surprendre. Mais venant aussi d’un président qui a réintégré les Etats-Unis dans l’accord de Paris sur le climat, par décret, dès son premier jour au pouvoir, annulant d’un coup de crayon la décision de son prédécesseur ; qui a ouvert la porte à une reprise du dialogue avec l’Iran sur la question nucléaire, inversant à nouveau la politique de son prédécesseur ; qui a suspendu la construction du mur à la frontière mexicaine, qui a laissé entrer les immigrants clandestins par centaines de milliers et qui a accepté l’entrée de demandeurs d’asile sur le territoire, supprimant non pas une mais trois directives majeures de son prédécesseur ; venant d’un tel personnage, donc, une telle affirmation est grotesque et inacceptable.

D’autant que les faits racontent une tout autre histoire.

A la vérité, en arrivant à la Maison Blanche, Biden et ses conseillers étaient bien contents du travail accompli par leurs prédécesseurs, à savoir le président Trump et son secrétaire d’Etat Mike Pompéo. Ils ont pris à leur compte un retrait de troupes qui leur permettait d’apparaitre comme des faiseurs de paix. Par contre, ils ont fait preuve d’une incompétence et d’une impréparation invraisemblables dans l’exécution de la manœuvre.

Selon l’accord passé entre l’administration Trump et les Talibans, le retrait des troupes américaines était lié à l’absence de toute offensive. Les Talibans étaient tenus de ne rien tenter contre les troupes américaines, et les troupes afghanes, tant que les Américains seraient sur place ! Le retrait des troupes, du matériel et au besoin des civils afghans ayant travaillé avec les Américains, devait être achevé avant de laisser le gouvernement en place et les Talibans se disputer le contrôle du pays. La faute de l’administration Biden a été de laisser les Talibans lancer leur campagne de reconquête, avant la fin du retrait américain, sans envisager la possibilité que celle-ci puisse les prendre de vitesse. C’est une faute gravissime, un péché d’orgueil et d’inattention.

Voici ce qui s’est passé dans le détail.

L’accord de paix entre les Etats-Unis et les Talibans remonte au 29 février 2020. Il fut signé dans la capitale du Qatar, Doha, lieu où s’étaient tenues les négociations, par l’envoyé spécial des Etats-Unis, Zalmay Khalilzad et le mollah Abdul Ghani Baradar, co-fondateur et chef politique des Talibans. Baradar avait été capturé en 2010 au Pakistan, emprisonné puis libéré à l’automne 2018, précisément pour engager des négociations de paix (alors secrètes) avec les Américains. Mike Pompéo, alors secrétaire d’Etat avait assisté à la signature de cet accord.

Pour Donald Trump, mettre un terme à la guerre en Afghanistan, et permettre aux milliers de GIs, déployés sur place, de rentrer au bercail, était une promesse de campagne. Il y tenait. Tout comme il tenait à ce que l’autorité des Etats-Unis soit respectée. D’ailleurs, entre 2018 et 2020, il avait suspendu les négociations à plusieurs reprises, à cause d’incidents terroristes attribués aux Talibans.

Côté américain, cet accord incluait un retrait progressif des troupes présentes depuis 2001 ; l’échange de cinq mille Talibans détenus en Afghanistan contre mille soldats des Forces de Défense Afghanes faits prisonniers par les Talibans, et la levée progressive de sanctions contre les Talibans. Le départ des troupes américaines et de l’Otan pouvait s’achever en quatorze mois, soit à la date du 1er mai 2021, si les Talibans tenaient tous leurs engagements. Le moindre écart serait sanctionné par des représailles militaires de la part des Etats-Unis. Selon les mots de Donald Trump à l’époque, les Talibans seraient exposés au feu américain « comme jamais encore auparavant ».

En échange les Talibans s’engageaient à cesser toute violence et à n’abriter ou soutenir aucun mouvement terroriste, tel Deach ou Al Qaida.

Le devenir politique de l’Afghanistan était laissé à des négociations futures entre le gouvernement du président Ashraf Ghani, élu en 2014 et réélu en 2019, et les dirigeants talibans. A noter que ces discussions ont commencé dès la signature de cet accord, sans aboutir et ont fini par être suspendues. La sécurité du pays, une fois le retrait des troupes étrangères effectué, était supposée être assurée par les trois cent mille soldats de l’armée afghane, formés et équipés par les Américains. Face à une force talibane estimée à soixante mille combattants, la tâche, sur le papier, n’était pas impossible…

Voilà ce dont le président Biden a hérité en janvier 2021 à son entrée à la Maison Blanche. Il pouvait à tout moment dénoncer cet accord. C’est d’ailleurs ce qu’un certain nombre d’élus Démocrates, soutenus par des Républicains Néoconservateurs, dont Liz Cheney, la fille du vice-président de George W. Bush lui ont recommandé de faire.

“Les Talibans ne respectent pas tous leurs engagements en vertu de l’accord du 29 février, ce qui pose un problème quant à la sécurité future de l’Afghanistan » dit alors le sénateur Robert Menendez, président de la Commission des Affaires étrangères du Sénat. Pour lui, il existait un risque de voir « l’Afghanistan sombrer dans le chaos » et il avait recommandé au président Biden de renoncer à un retrait effectif en date du 1er mai.

Biden suivit partiellement ses conseils. Il abandonna l’objectif du 1er mai et repoussa le retrait total à la date, hautement symbolique, du 11 septembre 2021, soit vingt ans, jour pour jour, après les attaques terroristes du 11 septembre 2001. Par contre, il ne remit jamais le principe du retrait en question. Et il renonça à sanctionner les Talibans pour leurs manquements répétés à leurs engagements.

Le message fut, à l’évidence, parfaitement reçu et compris à Doha et à Kaboul.

Le 25 juin 2021 le président Biden reçut à la Maison Blanche le président afghan Ashraf Ghani. La rencontre donna lieu à un communiqué lénifiant sur « la poursuite d’un solide partenariat bilatéral » et le « soutien durable des Etats-Unis au peuple afghan, y compris aux femmes et aux filles afghanes, ainsi qu’aux minorités. » Biden assura aussi son homologue de la « poursuite de l’assistance américaine aux forces de défense et de sécurité nationales ».

A cette date, les Talibans avaient déjà commencé de regrouper leurs forces pour préparer la reconquête du pays. Mais de cela, le communiqué officiel ne disait rien !

Quelques jours plus tard, le 8 juillet précisément, Joe Biden faisait une déclaration télévisée depuis la Maison Blanche suivie d’une de ses très rares conférences de presse. Le retrait américain était alors considérablement engagé. Loin de se plaindre d’un quelconque leg de l’administration Trump, il s’arrogeait la paternité du processus de paix et utilisait à répétition le pronom « je » en parlant des évènements récents.

« Quand j’ai annoncé notre retrait en avril j’ai dit que nous serions partis en septembre et nous sommes en bonne voie pour réaliser cet objectif… Notre retrait se déroule de façon ordonnée et sécurisée… Une fois ma décision prise de mettre un terme à cette guerre, il nous fallait agir vite… Que les choses soient claires, la mission américaine en Afghanistan se poursuit jusqu’à la fin août et nous conservons d’ici là les mêmes capacités et la même autorité que par le passé… Par la suite nous maintiendrons notre présence diplomatique en Afghanistan ! »

Pressé par une journaliste sur les risques d’un départ précipité et d’une chute de Kaboul, rappelant la dramatique évacuation de Saïgon en 1975, Joe Biden avait affirmé « il est hautement improbable que les Talibans parviennent à reprendre le pays… Les forces talibanes n’ont rien à voir avec les combattants du Viet-Cong… Sous aucune circonstance vous ne verrez des civils évacués depuis le toit de l’ambassade américaine en Afghanistan ! »

Propos prémonitoires qui reviennent déjà le hanter ! Certes on n’a pas (encore) vus de civils évacués depuis un toit, mais on en a vu des centaines courir et s’accrocher à un avion militaire américain en train de décoller… Quant à l’ambassade américaine à Kaboul, elle a été évacuée et l’ambassadeur Ross Wilson a fui l’Afghanistan quelques minutes après le président Ghani ! L’inverse de ce qu’avait affirmé Biden.

Si cela ne suffisait pas encore, Joe Biden en a rajouté une couche le 23 juillet. Suite à une conversation téléphonique avec le président Ghani, la Maison Blanche indiquait par communiqué avoir renouvelé ses « assurances du soutien des Etats-Unis au peuple afghan». Alors même que des combats faisaient rage dans plusieurs provinces afghanes, et que les troupes gouvernementales étaient submergées par l’avancée des forces talibanes. Notant que « l’offensive actuelle des Talibans est en contradiction avec l’engagement de ce mouvement pour une solution négociée » et tout en déplorant « les pertes de vies civiles dues à des attaques ciblées, les déplacements de population et les pillages », Joe Biden n’évoquait à aucun moment de quelconques représailles contre les Talibans, ni surtout une suspension ou une remise en question du retrait des troupes américaines. Et pourtant cela aurait été pleinement justifié selon les termes de l’accord dont Biden s’est ensuite dit prisonnier.

Sans doute avait-il d’autres priorités. Il est vrai que ce même 23 juillet, s’est tenue à la Maison Blanche une table ronde avec « les représentants des femmes transgenres de couleur » qui a, sans doute, retenu toute son attention et celle de ses conseillers !

Comble de l’impréparation, Biden a estimé que le temps était venu de prendre des vacances et de libérer son staff. Il s’est offert un week-end à Camp David, comme il le fait souvent, et sa porte-parole Jen Psaki a laissé un message sur son répondeur comme une simple employée de bureau… Alors que pendant ce temps-là l’Afghanistan sombrait dans le chaos.

Prétendre ensuite que la chute de Kaboul et le chaos afghan sont la faute de Donald Trump, c’est se moquer du monde ! D’ailleurs, même la clique de ses partisans dans les médias a trouvé la couleuvre trop difficile à avaler. De part et d’autre du paysage médiatique américain, on observe les premières fissures dans la grande muraille protectrice démocrate.

Jake Tapper de CNN s’est offusqué de la tendance du président Biden à s’absoudre de toute responsabilité et à « pointer du doigt et blâmer les autres ». La chaine a parlé « d’une débâcle et d’un désastre politique qui vient entacher une présidence déjà marquée par des multiples crises ». David Sanger du New York Times estime que « Biden restera dans l’histoire comme celui qui a présidé au dénouement humiliant de l’expérimentation américaine en Afghanistan. » Dans le reste de la presse, c’est le mot « fiasco » qui revient le plus.

Un « fiasco » qui repose sur les épaules de Joe Biden, mais pas seulement. Le Pentagone, le Conseil National de Sécurité et le Département d’Etat sont aussi dans la ligne de mire des chroniqueurs américains.

En tête, tous ceux – et ils sont nombreux, du général Stanley Mc Chrystal, commandant en chef des forces américaines en Afghanistan sous Barack Obama, à John Mattis, responsable du commandement central américain, donc de la zone Iraq-Afghanistan, sous Obama, puis chef du Pentagone sous Donald Trump, qui ont prétendu au long des quinze dernières années que les efforts et les investissements américains étaient payants et que l’Afghanistan était sur la voie de la démocratie. Alors que ce n’était clairement pas le cas !

Tout récemment encore, le général Mark Milley, chef des Etats-Majors inter-armées, répétait que « les forces armées afghanes ont la capacité de défendre le pays et une victoire des Talibans n’est pas une certitude ». Se tromper à ce point, lorsque l’on occupe un poste aussi sensible, dépasse l’erreur d’analyse et constitue de l’incompétence, voire une volonté de mentir…

La déroute américaine en Afghanistan est le premier tournant de la présidence Biden. Jusqu’à présent ses errements avaient été passés sous silence par les médias dominants, au nom de l’anti-Trumpisme. Ce ne sera sans doute plus le cas à l’avenir. Le reste de son mandat s’annonce aussi chaotique que la chute de Kaboul.

Voir aussi:

John Bolton : « Trump et Biden partagent la responsabilité de la déroute en Afghanistan »
ENTRETIEN. Ancien ambassadeur américain à l’ONU, John Bolton explique pourquoi il n’aurait jamais ordonné le retrait des troupes d’Afghanistan.

Propos recueillis par Julien Peyron

20/08/2021

Sous la présidence de George W. Bush, il faisait partie du clan de ceux que l’on appelait « les faucons ». John Bolton a été l’un des grands artisans de la guerre en Irak en 2003 aux côtés de Donald Rumsfeld. Désigné ambassadeur américain à l’ONU en 2005, il est contraint de démissionner l’année suivante car les démocrates refusent de confirmer un homme qui représente à leurs yeux la politique va-t-en-guerre des États-Unis. Donald Trump ira ensuite le chercher pour lui offrir le rôle de conseiller à la Sécurité nationale en 2018. Les deux hommes se brouillent rapidement, notamment sur le dossier afghan. En effet, contre l’avis de son conseiller, farouchement opposé à tout retrait américain, le président annonce son intention de quitter le pays . Depuis, John Bolton a des mots très durs envers Donald Trump puis Joe Biden , car le nouveau président a continué, voire accéléré le départ des troupes d’Afghanistan. Comme le reste du monde, il a regardé avec sidération les images des talibans s’emparant de Kaboul le 15 août dernier. Au Point, il fait part de sa colère. Entretien.

Le Point :Comment décririez-vous ce qui s’est passé le 15 août à Kaboul ?

John Bolton : C’est une tragédie. Pas seulement pour le peuple afghan, mais aussi pour l’Amérique, l’Europe et tout l’Occident. Vingt ans d’efforts ont été réduits à néant. Forcément, comme beaucoup, j’ai pensé à Saigon et à la désastreuse évacuation du pays à la fin de la guerre du Vietnam. Aujourd’hui, les talibans contrôlent tout le territoire afghan et vont en refaire un sanctuaire pour terroristes. Nous approchons du 20e anniversaire du 11 septembre 2001 et jamais le risque de voir un nouveau 11 Septembre se reproduire n’a été aussi grand. Les États-Unis sont plus vulnérables aujourd’hui qu’hier.

Malgré tout, vous dites que l’Amérique n’a pas perdu la guerre en Afghanistan…

Nous avons gagné la guerre en Afghanistan, mais nous partons comme si nous l’avions perdue. C’est pire encore qu’une défaite militaire, c’est une décision politique, qui demeure pour moi inexplicable.

Ne fallait-il pas mettre un terme à cette « guerre sans fin » ?

La situation était loin d’être parfaite en Afghanistan. Mais il vaut mieux une guerre sans fin que subir des attaques terroristes sur son sol.

Qui tenez-vous pour responsable du fiasco en Afghanistan ? Donald Trump ou Joe Biden ?

Trump et Biden partagent la responsabilité de cette déroute. Si Trump avait été réélu, la même chose serait arrivée, nous serions aussi partis d’Afghanistan. Biden ne fait qu’appliquer les décisions prises par Trump, mais il s’y prend si mal qu’il nous plonge dans un désordre terrible.

Pas du tout. J’étais au département d’État à cette époque. Nous savions très bien que les talibans hébergeaient Al-Qaïda. George Bush avait bien compris le risque que représentaient les talibans et les groupes extrémistes du Pakistan. Envahir l’Afghanistan était la bonne décision stratégique. L’erreur, c’était de se fixer pour objectif de bâtir un État afghan. Nous n’étions pas là pour ça. Nous étions en Afghanistan pour défendre la sécurité des États-Unis et pour nous assurer que le pays ne passe pas aux mains des talibans.

Sans doute. On ne peut pas savoir à quel moment le risque que représentent les talibans aurait disparu. Mais une chose est sûre : il vaut mieux combattre en Afghanistan que dans les rues ou le ciel de l’Amérique. Après la Seconde Guerre mondiale, des troupes américaines sont restées aux portes de l’Union soviétique pendant près de cinquante ans, le temps que nous gagnions la guerre froide.

Si vous étiez toujours aux affaires, que feriez-vous ?

Je ferais en sorte que nous restions dans le pays et j’augmenterais le budget de la Défense. À Pékin, Moscou, Téhéran, nous passons pour des faibles, voire des guignols. Après son élection à la présidence, Joe Biden a dit au monde : l’Amérique est de retour. Comment le prendre au sérieux, désormais ?

Voir encore:

Afghanistan Didn’t Have to End This Way
There is no shortage of explanations and justifications for our withdrawal. They are myths.
Paul Miller
The Despatch
Aug 13 2021

With dizzying speed, the Taliban has seized a dozen provincial capitals across Afghanistan in the past week. On Thursday militants seized Herat, the country’s third-largest city, one with a reputation for being relatively urbane and strongly antipathetic to the Taliban’s jihadist vision. U.S. intelligence reportedly estimates that Kabul could fall within 90 days of the U.S. withdrawal.

As Afghanistan collapses, there is no shortage of explanations, justifications, and outright myths taking root, some encouraged by the Biden administration. Among the most common: This was inevitable. The U.S. presence was unsustainable, critics say. The administration was boxed in by the 2020 peace deal with the Taliban. If the U.S. had repudiated the deal, the Taliban would have gone on the offensive and resumed killing U.S. troops.

And for what? We gave it our best for 20 years, they say, proving that the mission was effectively impossible. The rapid collapse only demonstrates that we were never going to succeed no matter how long we stayed. We achieved the most important thing: Osama bin Laden is dead. The Afghans have to run their own country. We cannot stay there forever, we shouldn’t try nation building, and we can keep an eye on al-Qaeda      from afar to make sure they do not threaten us.

On the surface, these explanations make a compelling case. It is also a comforting case, because it washes our hands of responsibility for what is about to happen. As a humanitarian catastrophe unfolds—as Afghan women fall back under the Taliban’s uniquely cruel tyranny, as the Hazara and Shiites flee the Taliban’s near-genocidal oppression of religious dissidents—we can tell ourselves, “There’s nothing we could have done.”

These myths function as an ex post facto explanation that we—the most powerful nation in the world—were actually powerless all along. It turns out we didn’t fail because of bad decisions, strategic incompetence, or moral myopia. We failed because no one could have succeeded, because the mission was inherently impossible. No amount of insight, troop surges, or Marshall-Plan-level reconstruction assistance could have made a difference.

Of course, none of that is true. The myths are just that: myths. The U.S. presence in Afghanistan the last few years was tiny—just 2,500 troops before the start of the final withdrawal. It was indefinitely sustainable. There is no significant antiwar movement to speak of, there is no domestic political pressure to withdraw, and no election will hinge on U.S. policy toward Afghanistan.

U.S. troops faced low risks in Afghanistan, and the low casualty rate is not a function of the 2020 peace deal. Just 66 U.S. personnel have been killed in action since 2014, less than one per month for nearly seven years. That is not to make light of the loss of individual soldiers, but it is to recognize, in historical perspective, that the conflict in Afghanistan is very small and U.S. ground troops have not been involved in direct combat in large numbers for years.

The US mission in Afghanistan accomplished some important successes. There have been no large-scale international terrorist attacks emanating from Afghanistan or Pakistan since 2001. The Afghan people broadly support the country’s new constitution. The Afghan economy showed consistent growth. By virtually every metric of human development, Afghans are better off today than they were 20 years ago. The intervention was not an unmitigated failure—except that many of these successes are likely to unravel with the Afghan army’s collapse.

The rapid collapse of the Afghan army in recent weeks was not inevitable and is not a sign that the mission was always doomed, nor that we never would have succeeded. We had been making slow, fitful progress building a new Afghan security force from scratch. In 2021, it was better than it had been in 2001—because in 2001 it did not exist. It was better than it had been in 2006—because the Germans, British, and the U.N., which had assumed responsibility for training the new army and police, wasted five years doing essentially nothing.

The U.S. took over and cobbled together a fighting force by 2010, one that has lost tens of thousands of soldiers keeping the Taliban at bay for the past decade. The Afghan army was again better this year than previously, but the Department of Defense truthfully reported year after year that it was not ready for fully independent operations yet.

The Afghan army’s collapse this summer is demoralizing for anyone who has watched or participated in the war. Historians will give us the full story decades from now, but surely President Biden’s announcement of a full withdrawal—when everyone, including the U.S. Department of Defense, knew the Afghan army wasn’t yet ready to stand independent of international assistance—had a crippling effect on the morale of Afghan troops.

Some Americans are now sneering at the Afghan troops’ supposed lack of willpower, patriotism, or grit—but consider, if you know that your army is simply not equipped to win the battle that’s coming, why fight? It is an individually rational decision to save your life by not fighting, a decision that, when multiplied, loses a war.

It is easy to envision the counterfactual: If the United States had maintained a small presence (perhaps marginally larger than what Trump left behind), it could have kept the Afghan army in the field indefinitely, giving time and space for the political situation in Kabul to sort itself out, for a fresh round of negotiations with better leverage against the Taliban, and for reconstruction and development to continue.

Critics may complain that “we can’t stay forever.” Perhaps, but we could have stayed long enough for the military presence to evolve, very gradually, into a near-peacetime deployment. Again, the military presence was small, low-risk, and relatively low-cost.

And we should have stayed because the mission is not over. While bin Laden is dead, al-Qaeda is not and, along with the Islamic State and a murderer’s row of copycat jihadists, is almost certain to regain safe haven in Afghanistan and Pakistan following the collapse of our allies. Our presence for the past 20 years kept jihadists on the run, in hiding, and focused on avoiding our air strikes and special forces. They now will have room to breathe, which means room to plan, recruit, train, and fundraise.

The myths about Afghanistan’s collapse—that we were actually powerless and the mission was always inevitably doomed—denies the reality of the United States’ agency. Our policymakers made specific strategic missteps that caused direct, avoidable harm, including Bush’s light footprint, Obama’s withdrawal timetable, Trump’s peace deal, and Biden’s inexplicable withdrawal, each of which made a bad situation worse. Those decisions were made by politicians elected by and accountable to the U.S. electorate, who largely ignored the war and enabled policymakers’ strategic muddling for two decades.

That is why Biden’s claim that the Afghans just have to start taking responsibility for their own country is so mendacious. He is telling a drowning man to take responsibility for swimming while reeling in the life preserver the man had been clinging to. He is overestimating the Afghans’ ability to fight on their own while minimizing American responsibility for the crisis in the midst of which we are abandoning them—all while preaching a soothing myth that there was nothing we could have done after all. Many Americans will be eager to believe him because it is much easier, emotionally and cognitively, to believe in the myth of our powerlessness than in the reality of our own stupidity and moral cowardice.

Paul D. Miller is a professor of the practice of international affairs at Georgetown University. He served as director for Afghanistan and Pakistan on the national security council staff for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. His most recent book is Just War and Ordered Liberty.

Voir enfin:

Biden’s Long Trail of Betrayals
Why is the president so consistently wrong on major foreign-policy matters?
Peter Wehner
The Atlantic
August 18, 2021

“I’m getting sick and tired of hearing about morality, our moral obligation,” Joe Biden said in 1975. “There’s a point where you are incapable of meeting moral obligations that exist worldwide.” At the time, he was arguing against U.S. aid to Cambodia. But he could just as easily have said the same about his decision this year to end the American presence in Afghanistan, a catastrophic mistake that has led to a Taliban takeover, undermined our national interest, and morally stained Biden’s presidency.

It is the latest blunder in a foreign-policy record filled with them.

In 1975, Biden opposed giving aid to the South Vietnamese government during its war against the North, ensuring the victory of a brutal regime and causing a mass exodus of refugees.
In 1991, Biden opposed the Gulf War, one of the most successful military campaigns in American history. Not only did he later regret his congressional vote, but in 1998, he criticized George H. W. Bush for not deposing Saddam Hussein, calling that decision a “fundamental mistake.”
In 2003, Biden supported the Iraq War—another congressional vote he later regretted.
In 2007, he opposed President George W. Bush’s new counterinsurgency strategy and surge in troops in Iraq, calling it a “tragic mistake.” In fact, the surge led to stunning progress, including dramatic drops in civilian deaths and sectarian violence.
In December 2011, President Barack Obama and Vice President Biden withdrew America’s much-scaled-down troop presence in Iraq; the former had declared Iraq to be “sovereign, stable, and self-reliant,” and the latter had predicted that Iraq “could be one of the great achievements of this administration.” Their decision sent Iraq spiraling into sectarian violence and civil war, allowing Iran to expand its influence and opening the way for the rise of the jihadist group ISIS.
According to Obama’s memoir A Promised Land, Biden had advised the former president to take more time before launching the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
Ten years ago, Biden said in an interview that “the Taliban per se is not our enemy.” He added, “If, in fact, the Taliban is able to collapse the existing government, which is cooperating with us in keeping the bad guys from being able to do damage to us, then that becomes a problem for us.” Indeed.

In his 2014 memoir, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, Robert Gates, who served as the secretary of defense under George W. Bush and Obama, said that Biden “has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.”

So is there a unifying theory of why Biden is so consistently wrong on major foreign-policy matters? Does he misunderstand something about the world, or possess some set of instincts that don’t serve him well?

Perhaps the place to begin is by recognizing that Biden has never been an impressive strategic thinker. When talking about his strengths, those close to Biden stress his people skills: his ability to read foreign leaders, to know when to push and when to yield, when to socialize and when to turn to business. But that’s very different from having a strategic vision and a sophisticated understanding of historical events and forces.

What the Biden foreign-policy record shows, I think, is a man who behaves as if he knows much more than he does, who has far too much confidence in his own judgment in the face of contrary advice from experts. (My hunch is he’s overcompensating for an intellectual inferiority complex, which has manifested itself in his history of plagiarism, lying about his academic achievements, and other embellishments.)

On national-security matters, President Biden lacks some of the most important qualities needed in those who govern—discernment, wisdom, and prudence; the ability to anticipate unfolding events; the capacity to make the right decision based on incomplete information; and the willingness to adjust one’s analysis in light of changing circumstances.

To put it in simple terms, Joe Biden has bad judgment.

William Inboden of the Clements Center for National Security at the University of Texas, who worked on George W. Bush’s National Security Council, told me that the key thing to understand about Biden is he is first and foremost a politician, consistently aligned with the Democratic Party’s center of gravity on any foreign-policy issue, a follower more than a leader, and certainly not an independent or creative thinker.

But Biden’s foreign-policy record has one other through line: the betrayal of people who have sided with the United States against its enemies and who, in the aftermath of American withdrawal, face a future of oppression, brutality, and death. And these betrayals of people in foreign lands seem to leave Biden unmoved. There is a troubling callousness to it all, a callousness that is at odds with empathy that Biden has clearly shown in other areas of his life.

According to my colleague George Packer’s biography of Richard Holbrooke, Obama’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Biden has argued that the United States does not have an obligation to Afghans who trusted the United States.

“We don’t have to worry about that. We did it in Vietnam. Nixon and Kissinger got away with it,” Biden told Holbrooke. Biden also “reportedly pushed back on the argument that America had a moral obligation to women in Afghanistan,” according to The Washington Post.

The withdrawals that Biden insisted on in Iraq and Afghanistan were at stages in those wars when very few American troops were at risk, when U.S. troop levels in those countries were quite low. As Paul D. Miller wrote in The Dispatch, “The U.S. presence in Afghanistan the last few years was tiny—just 2,500 troops before the start of the final withdrawal. It was indefinitely sustainable. There is no significant antiwar movement to speak of, there is no domestic political pressure to withdraw, and no election will hinge on U.S. policy toward Afghanistan.” Miller, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan who served as director for Afghanistan and Pakistan on the National Security Council for Presidents George W. Bush and Obama, went on to say this:

The US mission in Afghanistan accomplished some important successes. There have been no large-scale international terrorist attacks emanating from Afghanistan or Pakistan since 2001. The Afghan people broadly support the country’s new constitution. The Afghan economy showed consistent growth. By virtually every metric of human development, Afghans are better off today than they were 20 years ago. The intervention was not an unmitigated failure—except that many of these successes are likely to unravel with the Afghan army’s collapse.

But Biden decided to do in Afghanistan what he decided to do in Iraq: cut the cord because he was determined to cut the cord, because he thinks he knows better, not because circumstances on the ground dictated that it be done. The result is a human-rights catastrophe.

America’s second Catholic president speaks openly of his faith, carries a rosary in his pocket, and attends Mass every Sunday. “Joe is someone for whom the ways in which he sees issues around racial justice, around the treatment of refugees and immigrants—all of that is connected to a view of other people—who he sees as neighbor, who he sees as being made in the image of God,” Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, a close friend of Biden’s, told NPR.

Carol Keehan, the former head of the Catholic Health Association, who has worked closely with Biden for years, echoes those sentiments. “He’s very clear about justice,” she told NPR. “When Joe Biden talks about faith, he talks very much about things like the Gospel of Matthew—‘what you’ve done to the least of my brother, you’ve done to me.’”

Just don’t tell that to the girls, women, and other frightened souls in Afghanistan who, thanks to a decision made by Joseph R. Biden Jr., are about to enter the gates of hell.

COMPLEMENT:

Retrait d’Afghanistan : le fiasco de trop pour Joe Biden

Gérald Olivier

25 août 2021

Depuis la chute de Kaboul, le climat politique aux Etats-Unis a changé du tout au tout. C’est comme si les Américains se réveillaient après plusieurs mois d’insouciance avec une gueule de bois carabinée. Les images terribles et les commentaires cinglants suscités par le départ chaotique des Américains d’Afghanistan ont comme ouvert les yeux des électeurs. Ce qui était toléré, ou même ignoré depuis huit mois, au nom de l’alternance ou du « tout sauf Trump », ne l’est plus.

Médias et électeurs portent un nouveau regard sur la politique de l’administration et découvrent subitement les multiples crises qui affectent l’Amérique depuis huit mois : crise migratoire, crise de l’énergie, crise sanitaire sans fin, crise budgétaire, crise sociale et même crise raciale et culturelle, avec l’inquiétante révolution « woke ». Leur verdict est impitoyable. Il se traduit, entre autres choses, par une chute de la popularité de Joe Biden et de la cause Démocrate.

De janvier à juillet, Joe Biden a bénéficié d’une côte de popularité relativement stable, avec 53% d’opinions favorables et 42% d’opinions défavorables. Des chiffres moins bons que ceux de Barack Obama ou Ronald Reagan, au même stade de leur mandat, mais comparables à ceux de Bill Clinton ou Georges W. Bush. Depuis le 15 août cependant, cette côte a chuté de cinq points, tombant à 48%. Selon plusieurs instituts de sondages, les opinions défavorables dépassent désormais les opinions favorables.

Cette chute est particulièrement sensible sur la situation en Afghanistan. Seuls 25% des électeurs approuvent la gestion de ce dossier par Biden contre 60% qui la désapprouvent. Mais cette chute touche aussi d’autres pans de sa politique.

Sur la gestion du Covid, Biden a perdu seize points entre avril et août. 53% des électeurs le soutiennent, contre 69% précédemment.

Sur l’économie il a perdu cinq points. Ils ne sont plus que 47% à l’approuver, contre 52% en avril. Alors que 49% désapprouvent ses options.

Sur l’immigration, seuls 33% des électeurs approuvent le travail de Biden. 55% en ont une opinion défavorable.

Sur la question de savoir si le pays, dans son ensemble, évolue dans la « bonne », ou la « mauvaise » direction, Joe Biden n’est plus suivi que par 33% des électeurs. Contre 44% en avril. C’est son plus mauvais score depuis son entrée à la Maison Blanche.

Cette chute de popularité n’a rien de surprenant. Elle aurait même pu survenir plus tôt. L’administration Biden n’a cessé de prendre des décisions à l’encontre des intérêts américains. Intérêts nationaux, ou intérêts particuliers. Partout où son administration est intervenue, le résultat a été désastreux. Comme le souligne Jim Jordan, Représentant Républicain de l’Ohio, : « l’administration Biden s’est plantée sur tous les sujets qu’elle a abordés. » Tout ce que Biden touche devient un champ de ruines. Barack Obama aurait dit à son sujet : « ne sous-estimez jamais la capacité de Joe (Biden) à tout foutre en l’air ». Le fiasco afghan lui donne raison. Toutefois ce fiasco n’est pas le seul d’une présidence, vieille de seulement huit mois. La crise afghane a plutôt servi à réveiller les consciences. C’est le fiasco de trop. Celui qui fait ressortir toutes les crises précédentes. Et elles sont nombreuses.

La première reste la crise migratoire.

2021 sera une année record pour les entrées de clandestins aux Etats-Unis. Au rythme actuel, leur nombre pourrait approcher des deux millions ! Du quasi jamais vu. En juillet, les garde-frontières ont effectué deux cent mille arrestations. Le chiffre mensuel le plus élevé depuis vingt ans ! Cet afflux massif de clandestins est la conséquence directe des politiques vantées puis mises en place par l’administration Biden.

Donald Trump avait fait campagne contre l’immigration clandestine. Et il avait tenu promesse. A l’issu de son mandat le flot des entrées illégales s’était presque tari. En avril 2020 le nombre d’arrestations à la frontière mexicaine était tombé à seize mille. D’un côté, la pandémie de Covid-19 naissante avait découragé les tentatives de passage, de l’autre ses décisions avaient porté leur fruit : construction d’un mur à la frontière mexicaine (la longueur bâtie fut inférieure aux attentes de ses électeurs, mais l’objet n’en avait pas moins une forte portée symbolique) ; obligation pour les demandeurs d’asile de déposer leurs demandes depuis l’étranger ; renvoi systématique des clandestins hors du pays.

Ces politiques ont été abandonnées par l’administration Biden. Dès les premiers jours. Par décrets présidentiels. Et Joe Biden a annoncé en fanfare une grande loi d’amnistie pour les douze millions de clandestins déjà présents aux Etats-Unis. Ces décisions et ces annonces ont fonctionné comme un appel d’air et déclenché un afflux massif de nouveaux candidats à l’immigration. En avril 2021 le nombre d’arrestations à la frontière mexicaine fut de cent quatre-vingt-dix mille ! Douze fois plus qu’un an plus tôt. Cet afflux a submergé les services sociaux des localités et régions concernées. S’en suivit une crise humanitaire et sanitaire dont les images ont indigné les Américains : gardes-frontières débordés, centre d’accueils surpeuplés, mineurs non-accompagnés entassés par centaines dans des cellules vitrées, etc. L’administration Démocrate a été dépassée par les conséquences de ses décisions.

Cette crise n’est toujours pas terminée ! Elle n’occupe plus les écrans, comme au printemps, mais les clandestins continuent d’affluer.

La seconde crise concerne l’énergie.

Comme la précédente, elle est entièrement le fait des politiques instituées par l’administration Biden. C’est une crise qui n’avait pas lieu d’être. L’excellente santé du secteur énergétique constituait le succès le plus retentissant de l’administration Trump. L’Amérique était devenue, pour la première fois de son histoire moderne, auto-suffisante en énergie. Les Américains produisaient plus qu’ils ne consommaient. Mieux, les Etats-Unis étaient devenus le premier producteur de gaz naturel et le premier producteur de pétrole au monde. Devant la Russie et devant l’Arabie Saoudite. Cette réussite a été sapée, consciemment et délibérément, par Joe Biden et les Démocrates.

Les deux éléments déclencheurs furent deux décrets signés dans les premiers jours de l’administration. Le premier suspendit, sans sommation, la construction du pipeline Keystone, reliant des champs bitumineux du Canada et du nord des Etats-Unis au golfe du Mexique. Le second suspendit les permis d’exploration et de forages sur les terres fédérales et programma l’élimination progressive des énergies fossiles aux Etats-Unis. Le président signa d’un trait de plume la mort d’un secteur économique florissant et des dizaines de milliers d’emplois qui en dépendent.

Cela a été fait au nom de la lutte contre le changement climatique, pénalisant instantanément l’économie et l’emploi aux Etats-Unis. Sans aucune contrepartie de la part des partenaires et concurrents des Etats-Unis. Au contraire, Biden mit fin aux sanctions imposées par Donald Trump contre le pipeline russe Nord-Stream 2, donnant un coup de pouce à l’exportation du gaz russe vers l’Allemagne et l’Europe centrale. Non content de pénaliser l’Amérique il favorisait ses concurrents. Une logique incompréhensible pour les électeurs.

La première conséquence de cette politique fut une envolée du prix de l’essence à la pompe et du pétrole au baril ! .Le « gallon » (4 litres) d’essence qui coûtait environ deux dollars sous Donald Trump en coûte désormais le double. Parfois plus. En Californie une station-service située sur le célèbre Highway 101, affichait un prix de 5, 39 dollars le gallon cet été.

Le prix du baril qui se situait autour de 40 dollars début novembre 2020 approche désormais les 80 dollars ! Il a été multiplié par deux en huit mois ! Comble de l’incohérence le président Biden a demandé, début août, aux membres de l’OPEP d’augmenter leur propre production, pour faire baisser les prix et soutenir l’économie mondiale… Si le ridicule tuait, il y aurait une hécatombe à la Maison Blanche!

Cette hausse du prix du brut ne s’est pas produite dans un vide économique. Le prix de toutes les matières premières est reparti à la hausse engendrant aux Etats-Unis un redémarrage de l’inflation ! Une crise supplémentaire manufacturée par l’administration.

L’inflation renvoie à un temps que les moins de vingt ans ne peuvent pas connaître. C’était le mal des années 1970-1990. Elle avait disparu du contexte international depuis. Elle revient aux Etats-Unis. En mai et juin les prix ont augmenté à un rythme annuel de 12%. Le taux le plus élevé depuis 2008. Sur les douze derniers moi la hausse est de 5,4%, alors que depuis 2010 elle a été contenue entre 1 et 2% par an. Les produits les plus touchés sont le bois (donc l’immobilier et le mobilier aux Etats-Unis), les voitures, les appareils électroménagers, le café, la viande et les soins de santé.

Au-delà du contexte international qui peut susciter des variations de prix sur certains produits comme le café, les analystes attribuent ces hausses au nouveau « climat inflationniste ». Depuis son arrivée à la Maison Blanche, Biden a approuvé plus de trois mille milliards de dépenses supplémentaires, portant la dette nationale à près de trente mille milliards de dollars, à travers des plans de relance successifs, et des gros projets d’infrastructures. Or ces trains de mesure débordent de dotations aux motivations plus politiques qu’économiques (ce que les Américains appellent « pork ») et surtout seront financés par l’emprunt c’est-à-dire la planche à billets…

Ce qui n’a pas empêché Joe Biden d’annoncer par ailleurs une série de hausses d’impôt.

La taxe fédérale sur les revenus du capital passerait de 29% aujourd’hui à 39%. Une fois facturées les taxes d’Etat sur ces mêmes gains, les investisseurs se verraient ponctionnés de près de 49%. Ce qui ferait des Etats-Unis le pays avec la taxation du capital la plus lourde de tous les pays de l’OCDE ! Surprenant pour un pays encore dénoncé comme porte étendard de l’ultra-libéralisme

Dans la foulée, Biden a proposé une hausse des taxes sur le revenu des salariés, sur les entreprises, sur la propriété et même sur les successions. Il ne s’agit pour l’instant que de propositions qui doivent être débattues au Congrès mais l’effet de ces annonces sur l’économie a été immédiat.

Entreprises et investisseurs hésitent à s’engager avant de savoir à quelle sauce ils seront mangés. Du coup l’économie se traine. Le taux de chômage national reste largement au-dessus de ce qu’il était sous Donald Trump avant la pandémie de Covid-19. 5,4% en juillet 2021 contre 3,2% en décembre 2019.

Justement la pandémie n’en finit pas aux Etats-Unis. C’est une crise supplémentaire et les Américains se lassent de recommandations changeantes et d’une obligation de port du masque sans cesse prolongée dont les politiciens à Washington semblent, au passage, être exempts.

Grace au plan « Warp speed » de Donald Trump, les Etats-Unis ont développé en 2020 plusieurs vaccins contre le Covid en un temps record, neuf mois. La campagne de vaccination a commencé dès décembre, avant la prise de fonction de Joe Biden. Celui-ci avait promis que le 4 juillet, date de la fête nationale, serait aussi la date de la « libération », c’est-à-dire de la fin des restrictions liées au Covid. Nous sommes fin août et les restrictions sont toujours en place. Pire, le Docteur Anthony Fauci, expert scientifique auprès du gouvernement, affirme à présent que « la pandémie ne sera pas sous contrôle avant le printemps 2022 ». Et encore, à condition que les taux de vaccination progressent.

La faute aux « variants », dit-il. C’est-à-dire aux différentes mutations du virus, La faute aussi à une perte de confiance des Américains envers les vaccins. Non seulement leur efficacité est limitée dans le temps (certains parlent de rappels annuels, comme pour la grippe) mais ces vaccins n’ont pas enrayé la propagation du virus. Illustration étonnante de ce phénomène de rejet, Donald Trump, d’habitude si adulé par ses partisans, a récemment essuyé des huées quand il a invité ses supporters à se faire vacciner ! La campagne de vaccination a d’ailleurs connu un coup d’arrêt au cours des dernières semaines. Avec 52% de sa population vaccinées, les Etats-Unis se retrouvent au même niveau de vaccination que la Grèce et derrière la France.

L’ultime crise de crise est une crise raciale, avec des retombées culturelles et sociales.

Depuis huit mois, au nom de « l’équité raciale », les programmes scolaires, les enseignements militaires, et même les formations professionnelles des grandes entreprises ont été bouleversés pour faire place à la « théorie critique des races ». Le phénomène s’est répandu à travers le pays comme une trainée de poudre. C’est une révolution culturelle d’une telle soudaineté et d’une telle ampleur qu’elle a d’abord suscité de l’incrédulité, avant de déboucher sur un rejet résolu de la part des électeurs, toutes races confondues !

La « théorie critique des races » est une construction intellectuelle d’inspiration marxiste qui considère la race comme le vecteur dominant des rapports sociaux et dénonce les personnes de race « blanche » comme intrinsèquement racistes. Sans exception. Ce racisme serait responsable de la persistance d’un échec économique au sein d’une partie de la communauté noire et appellerait à être corrigé par des réparations financières et une rééducation de la communauté blanche.

Les tenants de cette théorie, appuyés par l’administration Biden, mettent en avant le concept « d’équité » raciale, qui va bien au-delà de l’idée « d’égalité » raciale. Il ne s’agit plus de garantir l’égalité des chances. Il s’agit de parvenir à l’égalité des résultats. C’est une idée qui a germé pendant des décennies au sein de la gauche radicale américaine et de Noirs « racialistes » avant d’exploser au visage de l’Amérique en 2021.

Concrètement, elle passe par l’enseignement dans les écoles primaires américaines de l’existence d’un racisme systémique blanc. Dès l’âge de sept ans, les écoliers sont soumis à cet endoctrinement et tenus d’apprendre et réciter ses préceptes, comme les Chinois sous Mao et les Cambodgiens sous Pol Pot.

Les nouvelles recrues de l’armée sont sommées de lire le livre « Comment devenir un anti-raciste » par Ibram Xolandi Kendi (de son vrai nom Ibram Henry Rogers), dont l’une des propositions est la mise en place d’un « Ministère de l’anti-racisme » chargé de superviser l’action de… tous les autres ministères.

Tandis que la gauche et de pseudo-révolutionnaires noirs font ainsi la chasse aux racistes blancs, la criminalité explose, dans les quartiers noirs et au-delà. Depuis les manifestations qui ont suivi la mort de George Floyd en mai 2020, avec leur flot de revendications visant à réduire les services de police dans les grandes villes, on assiste à une explosion de toutes les formes de criminalité: homicides par armes à feu, vols de voiture, cambriolages et vols à l’étalage.

New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Saint Louis, Detroit, Sans Francisco, et d’autres grandes villes ont vu une hausse vertigineuse de nombre de meurtres. A Chicago, les meurtres ont augmenté de 50% entre 2019 et 2020, passant de 500 à 775. En 2021, le cap de 800 meurtres pourrait être dépassé. A Seattle la progression a été de 61%. A Minneapolis, ville où George Floyd a été tué, les homicides sont remontés à leur niveau des années 1990, au plus fort des ravages de la « crack-cocaïne ». Idem dans la capitale fédérale Washington D.C..

Ces villes ont deux choses en commun. Elles sont toutes dirigées par des administrations démocrates depuis des décennies. Elles ont toutes réduit leur budget consacré à la police en 2020.

A San Francisco, le vol à l’étalage est devenu une activité banale. Régulièrement, les grands magasins sont dévalisés par des bandes de pillards qui prennent soin de ne pas voler pour plus de 950 dollars de marchandises. En effet une loi locale considère qu’en dessous de cette somme le vol n’est pas un « crime » mais un simple « délit » et que la police ainsi que le procureur s’en désintéresseront. Résultat, les pillages se déroulent en plein jour, sous les caméras de sécurité et sous l’œil de gardes qui ont pour ordre de ne pas intervenir, de peur de provoquer des affrontements violents pouvant engendrer des victimes humaines…

Voilà à quoi ressemble l’Amérique de Joe Biden.

Avec des tels résultats il est presque surprenant que sa côte de popularité ne soit pas encore plus basse. Il peut remercier les médias dominants qui jusqu’à présent l’ont épargné. Comme ils l’avaient fait durant la campagne électorale. Mais cela aussi est en train de changer. A la lumière de la débâcle afghane CNN et le New York Times réévaluent leur soutien aveugle à Joe Biden. Leurs journalistes retrouvent soudain de leur mordant et Joe Biden est pointé du doigt pour ses lapsus, ses errements, ses trous de mémoire, ses faiblesses intellectuelles, et surtout sa déconnexion apparente face aux conséquences gravissimes de sa politique. Il transparaît de plus en plus que Biden n’est qu’un président par intermittence. La question de savoir s’il est en mesure de diriger le pays, et s’il peut achever son mandat, est sur toutes les lèvres.

Toutefois, une destitution ou une démission de Joe Biden, ouvrirait la porte du bureau ovale à Kamala Harris, sa vice-présidente. Et heureusement pour lui, elle est encore plus impopulaire qu’il ne l’est devenu.

6 Responses to Chute de Kaboul: On a voulu voir Truman et on a vu Carter ! (In just seven months we have matched the darkest days of the Carter years with the Afghanistan implosion, the historic anarchy on the border, the worst racial relations in a half-century, historic spikes in violent crime, the soaring inflation and the loss of US energy independence)

  1. jcdurbant dit :

    THERE WAS NEVER MEANT TO BE A FULL WITHDRAWAL (Talk of a full withdrawal was a negociating ploy to convince a Taliban-led government to keep U.S. counterterrorism forces, says Trump’s last acting defense secretary)

    “We did plenty of wargames on this and we knew what the minimal force structure was. The number was 800. If this all goes bad, what is the minimal force structure needed to maintain [counterterrorism] strike and reconnaissance capability? We can do it for 800, 850. The whole policy strategy going forward was ‘Ghani is going to have to deal with the Taliban.’ And it wasn’t going to be a 50-50 split between the Afghan government and Taliban. We knew that. It was going to be 75-25 [majority Taliban], and then you flip this thing into an interim government. (…) But there was never meant to be a full withdrawal; the “play” was to persuade the Ghani administration to accept an interim, coalition government or quit as the Taliban demanded. A new government then would be ratified by loya jirga, a traditional Pashtun legal assembly of tribal leaders, which likely would have transferred key ministerial posts and other powers to the Taliban. It wasn’t an unconditional surrender: ‘We’re leaving, heading for the door’. We weren’t just going to head for the door. We were going to jam Ghani hard and make him cut a deal with the Taliban. It would have been ugly. It wouldn’t have been great. But there was no plan to just leave. There was going to be a new government. The Taliban wouldn’t exist as an independent entity. That deal is no longer valid. The whole idea was they would agree. We would have called it ‘security assistance,’ so that they could save face, but we were going to maintain a [counterterrorism] strike and reconnaissance capability. We were in a stalemate,” he said. “If the Taliban started massing and coming out of their insurgency state…we would have put [American] advisors with Afghan forces. If the Taliban attacked Afghan and U.S. forces, the United States would better be able to respond by calling in targeted air strikes. In the meantime, the interim government process would have bought the United States time to conduct an orderly evacuation in stark contrast to what is playing out in Kabul this week. The process of establishing that new government also would have kept the Taliban in negotiations rather than speeding to take over Kabul.

    Chris Miller (Trump’s last acting defense secretary)

    https://www.defenseone.com/policy/2021/08/trumps-pledge-exit-afghanistan-was-ruse-his-final-secdef-says/184660/

    IL N’A JAMAIS ÉTÉ QUESTION D’UN RETRAIT COMPLET (Selon le dernier secrétaire à la Défense par intérim de Trump, la discussion sur un retrait total était une tactique de négociation pour convaincre un gouvernement dirigé par les talibans d’accepter de conserver des forces antiterroristes américaines)

    « Nous avons fait beaucoup de jeux de guerre là-dessus et nous savions quelle était la structure de force minimale. Le nombre était de 800. Si tout va mal, quelle est la structure de force minimale nécessaire pour maintenir la capacité de frappe et de reconnaissance [contre le terrorisme] ? Nous pouvons le faire pour 800, 850. Toute la stratégie politique pour l’avenir était « Ghani va devoir faire face aux talibans ». Et ce n’allait pas être un partage 50-50 entre le gouvernement afghan et les talibans. Nous le savions. Cela allait être 75-25 [taliban majoritaire], et ensuite vous transformez cette chose en un gouvernement intérimaire. (…) Mais il n’a jamais été question de retrait total ; le « truc » consistait à persuader l’administration Ghani d’accepter un gouvernement de coalition intérimaire ou de démissionner comme le demandaient les talibans. Un nouveau gouvernement serait alors ratifié par la loya jirga, une assemblée légale traditionnelle pachtoune de chefs tribaux, qui aurait probablement transféré des postes ministériels clés et d’autres pouvoirs aux talibans. Ce n’était pas une reddition inconditionnelle : « Nous partons, direction la porte ». Nous n’allions pas seulement nous diriger vers la porte. Nous allions coincer Ghani durement et lui faire conclure un accord avec les talibans. Cela aurait été moche. Cela n’aurait pas été génial. Mais il n’y avait aucun plan pour simplement partir. Il allait y avoir un nouveau gouvernement. Les talibans n’auraient pas existé en tant qu’entité indépendante. Cet accord n’est plus valable. L’idée était qu’ils se mettraient d’accord. Nous aurions appelé cela « assistance à la sécurité », afin qu’ils puissent sauver la face, mais nous allions maintenir une capacité de frappe et de reconnaissance [contre le terrorisme]. Nous étions dans une impasse. Si les talibans commençaient à se masser et à sortir de leur état d’insurrection… nous aurions mis des conseillers [américains] auprès des forces afghanes. Si les talibans attaquaient les forces afghanes et américaines, les États-Unis seraient mieux en mesure de répondre en appelant à des frappes aériennes ciblées. Dans l’intervalle, le processus du gouvernement intérimaire aurait donné aux États-Unis le temps de procéder à une évacuation ordonnée, contrairement à ce qui se passe à Kaboul cette semaine. Le processus d’établissement de ce nouveau gouvernement aurait également maintenu les talibans dans les négociations plutôt que de les les faire se précipiter pour prendre le contrôle de Kaboul. »

    Chris Miller (dernier secrétaire à la Défense par intérim de Trump)

    J'aime

  2. jcdurbant dit :

    ON THE QUESTION OF WITHDRAWING FROM AFGHANISTAN, TRUMP AND BIDEN ARE TWEEDLEDEE AND TWEEDLEDUM, BUT BIDEN BEARS THE PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE CATASTROPHIC WAY IT OCCURRED

    « There are two mistakes at work here. The first is the strategic mistake of withdrawing, which Biden made, but which Trump fully supported. Had Trump been reelected, he’d be doing the same thing. On this question of withdrawal from Afghanistan, Trump and Biden are like Tweedledee and Tweedledum. The second question though is did the withdrawal occur in the best possible way. And the answer to that is no. It’s been a catastrophe and I’m afraid it’s only going to get worse. I think Biden does bear the primary mistake for that. »

    John Bolton

    SUR LA QUESTION DU RETRAIT D’AFGHANISTAN, TRUMP ET BIDEN SONT BONNET BLANC ET BLANC BONNET, MAIS BIDEN PORTE LA RESPONSABILITÉ PRINCIPALE DE LA MANIÈRE CATASTROPHIQUE DONT CELA S’EST PRODUIT

    « Il y a deux erreurs à l’œuvre ici. La première est l’erreur stratégique du retrait, que Biden a commise, mais que Trump a pleinement soutenue. Si Trump avait été réélu, il ferait la même chose. Sur cette question du retrait d’Afghanistan, Trump et Biden sont comme bonnet blanc et blanc bonnet. La deuxième question est de savoir si le retrait s’est produit de la meilleure façon possible. Et la réponse est non. Cela a été une catastrophe et j’ai peur que cela ne fasse qu’empirer. Je pense que Biden porte la principale responsabilité pour cela. »

    John Bolton

    J'aime

  3. jcdurbant dit :

    QUEL TROISIÈME MANDAT OBAMA ? (Entre sa réputation de 40 ans pour s’être trompé constamment sur tous les problèmes de politique étrangère et son obsession de se distinguer à tout prix de l’ancien président Trump, Biden va-t-il s’enferrer encore plus en relançant de plus belle l’accord nucléaire iranien d’Obama de 2015 ?)

    WHAT OBAMA THIRD TERM ? (With his 40-year reputation for consistently being wrong about every foreign-policy issue and his obsession with distinguishing himself from former President Trump, will Biden dig himself a deeper hole by doubling down on his desire to revive Obama’s 2015 Iran nuclear deal ?)

    President Joe Biden has tried to shift the responsibility to his predecessors and to just about everyone but himself regarding the situation in Afghanistan, which is a colossal disaster. It demonstrates how ill-prepared the president and his staff were to deal with an entirely predictable catastrophe that they had helped create.

    As bad his current predicament seems, Biden has an opportunity to segue from this calamity to something that would not only be productive but political gold. The only problem is that it would require him to pivot away from his current course in which he is acting as if he is leading the third term of the Obama administration and to contradict the beliefs of almost all of those who serve on his foreign-policy team.

    After Afghanistan, the rest of the world is looking at the United States as a declining world power. The man who has ceaselessly boasted of his diplomatic expertise and that under his leadership, “America is back,” now finds his reputation and his credibility in tatters.

    That leaves the administration and the foreign-policy establishment, whose members largely comprise Biden’s top advisers, in desperate need of a triumph of some sort. They may be counting on the public’s lack of interest in foreign policy to give them a pass for their blunders. Still, the terrible pictures coming out of Afghanistan and the fact that there are still thousands of Americans left behind as potential hostages as well as an untold number of Afghans who served as US allies similarly being left to their fate, can’t be ignored. That means that Biden is going to want to do something soon to distract the country from a narrative about his incompetence.

    Unfortunately, the most likely option for the Biden team involves doubling down on their desire to revive former President Barack Obama’s 2015 Iran nuclear deal. A rapprochement with Iran was the administration’s foreign-policy priority with the expectation when they took office in January that they would easily achieve their goal.

    But rather than happily accept Biden’s tempting offer, the Iranians have proved themselves once again to be tough bargainers. They’ve made new demands that range from the implausible, such as having Congress repeal the extra sanctions imposed by the Trump administration for the Islamic regime’s role as a state sponsor of terror, to the constitutionally impossible, such as having the administration guarantee that any successor won’t overturn the agreement. The latter would require its passage as a treaty rather than merely an agreement, which would require a two-thirds affirmative vote in the Senate.

    Neither is going to happen, though judging by the Iranian’s bargaining skills, which were on display during the negotiations for the 2015 agreement, Iran is counting on Biden being as desperate as Obama was to get a deal, no matter what the price. At the very least, that would probably mean a reinstatement of the old pact with various side deals thrown in to make it even more lucrative for a regime that is in dire economic distress in large part due to the Trump administration’s sanctions.

    Given Biden’s current dilemma, you can count on him and his cheerleaders in the mainstream media to represent any agreement with Iran as a diplomatic triumph. In reality, a decision to up the ante on Iran appeasement would actually dig Biden an even deeper hole than the one he’s in now. It would not only further alienate Israel and the Arab states, which have been forced into each other’s arms in no small measure because they believed that Obama’s pro-Iran tilt betrayed their security interests. It would also make regional conflict in the Middle East—where an Iran that would be further enriched and empowered is already doing its best to stir up trouble with its Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist allies and auxiliaries—much more likely.

    By appeasing Iran, Biden would set the stage for what might be a series of bloody conflicts along Israel’s borders, as well as those targeting its Arab allies, which could destabilize the region with unknowable consequences.

    That said, Biden has a much better option than such a dismal prospect. The main obstacle is that it would be harder to persuade his foreign-policy team to pursue it than it would to sell it to the American people.

    All he has to do is to put his foreign-policy team to work on an effort to expand the Abraham Accords. The normalization agreements between Israel, and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, were first agreed upon in August of 2020 and solemnized in a White House ceremony the following month. Later that year, Sudan and Morocco were added to the roster of Arab and Islamic countries that had diplomatic relations with the Jewish state. There are others waiting to join that list, and all it would take would be some encouragement from the United States.

    But they haven’t gotten any since January for two reasons.

    One is that the Biden team wants nothing to do with anything associated with former President Donald Trump. The other is that most of the people back in charge of American foreign policy—a group composed of veteran members of the establishment and young left-wingers—don’t actually believe in the Abraham Accords.

    The idea that Arab countries view Israel as a strategic ally against Iran, as well as an economic partner, goes against everything they believe about the conflict in the Middle East. They are still convinced that the only legitimate path to peace is by brokering an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. In their minds, that means a two-state solution and an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 lines with only minor adjustments while throwing hundreds of thousands of Jews out of their homes and replicating the current mess in Gaza on a grand scale in the West Bank. The Palestinians—both the Fatah “moderates” who govern the West Bank and the radical Islamists of Hamas who run Gaza—have no interest in two states or peace. But for American diplomats and foreign-policy wonks, belief in this concept is a matter of what can only be described as religious faith since it requires one to disregard the facts.

    While Biden has not sought to overturn the Abraham Accords, neither he nor his staff has shown the least interest in expanding them.

    As historian Michael Oren, who was Israel’s ambassador to the United States from 2009 to 2013, told me in an interview, Biden’s people are “looking for Sadats” (a reference to Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat who made peace with Israel in 1977), but in the wrong places. There are other Muslim and Arab leaders who understand that Israel isn’t their enemy, and can help them both strategically and economically. But they aren’t to be found in either Tehran or Ramallah.

    Giving up on the impossible (a two-state solution with the Palestinians) or the dangerous (the appeasement of Iran) would be painful for Biden’s staff, many of whose members, especially at the lower level, have little love for Israel. But as Oren points out, for all of his arguments with Israel’s leaders, Biden thinks of himself as someone who cares deeply about the Jewish state. Expanding the Abraham Accords would be an easy diplomatic win as well as make the region safer and more stable, something that is more important than ever in the wake of the Afghanistan disgrace.

    Unfortunately, there is little indication that Biden will choose this path. As former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates famously noted in his memoir, Biden has been consistently wrong about every foreign-policy issue facing the United States for 40 years. It would be totally out of character for him to discard Obama’s policy catechism. Nevertheless, it would be the best thing for the Middle East, American interests and Biden’s political prospects.

    Jonathan S. Tobin is editor in chief of JNS—Jewish News Syndicate

    https://www.algemeiner.com/2021/08/19/can-biden-reverse-course-and-abandon-obamas-policies/

    J'aime

  4. jcdurbant dit :

    PERSEVERARE DIABOLICUM (Alors que les régimes extrémistes et groupes terroristes à travers le Moyen-Orient se réjouissent de la création d’un autre État terroriste et djihadiste en Afghanistan après celui de l’Irak suite à une autre sortie bâclée des troupes américaines par le même leader américain, devinez qui est probablement sur le point d’en rajouter dans la crédulité face aux adversaires islamistes de l’Amérique alors qu’il se prépare à reprendre ses pourparlers avec les Iraniens sur leur programme nucléaire ?)

    PERSEVERARE DIABOLICUM (As extremist regimes and terrorist groups across the Middle East rejoice over the establishment of another terrorist, jihadist state in Afghanistan after the one in Iraq following yet another botched exit of US troops from the same US leader, guess who’s probably about to look even more gullible in the eyes of America’s Islamist adversaries as he resumes its talks with the Iranians over their nuclear program ?)

    « I was responsible for getting 150,000 combat troops out of Iraq. »

    Joe Biden (Jun. 28, 2019)

    https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/national-international/joe-biden-i-was-responsible-for-getting-150000-combat-troops-out-of-iraq/2120531/

    “Maybe this moment is the time that we can stop our self-delusion that these groups are separate from one another and recognize that they are utterly intertwined and interconnected, and what we are seeing is the establishment of a terrorist, jihadist state in Afghanistan. And all of us will be at much greater risk as a result.”

    Gen. H.R. McMaster

    Across the Middle East, extremist regimes and terrorist groups are rejoicing in the fact that the U.S. presence and reputation in their region is a shadow of what it was just 10 years ago. Any notion that the worst days of Islamist terrorism are long behind us was brutally shattered at Kabul Airport on Thursday, as twin bombs [sic] ripped indiscriminately through Afghan civilians and U.S. and other foreign servicemen trying to complete the desperate evacuation of thousands of people for whom Taliban rule represents the most terrible fate. Gen. H.R. McMaster, a former U.S. national security advisor who served as deputy commander of the international force in Afghanistan, put it succinctly in the hours that followed the bloodshed in Kabul.

    His underlying argument is that talking up divisions between the Taliban and fellow Islamist fanatics—such as ISIS-K, the Afghan branch of the Da’esh terrorist organization in Iraq and Syria that carried out the Kabul Airport bombing—elides the point that these groups are united in their fundamental worldview. On the ideological front, the late Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden’s promise of a war against “crusaders and Jews” still holds firm, which means terrorism against Western interests and Western targets, most of whom will be defenseless civilians. It also means, for those unfortunate enough to live under the direct rule of the Islamists, that ordinary Muslims will continue to be their principal and most numerous victims.

    The “intertwined” connections described by McMaster inside Afghanistan can be seen in the region more broadly. At the same time that the Taliban have conquered Afghanistan, Iran has appointed a new cabinet composed of men with a direct, personal role in terrorism, torture and other systemic violations of human rights, all of whom have extensive connections with Iran’s regional proxies, like Hezbollah in Lebanon.

    In the past, many analysts have scorned the contention that there could be a strategic connection between the austere Sunni Islam adhered to by the Taliban and the Shi’ite millenarian Islam that defines the Tehran regime. It is also true that the Taliban and the Iranians have come to blows in the distant past, as evidenced in the Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif in 1998 following the kidnapping of a group of Iranian diplomats by Taliban fighters.

    Even so, what unites them is, in the last analysis, more important than what divides them. Taliban delegations have visited Iran on at least two occasions this year, in January and in July, with the outgoing foreign minister Javad Zarif recently praising their “noble … jihad against the foreign occupiers.” In part, the Iranians are simply betting on the right horse, correctly deducing that further conflict with the Taliban is unnecessary given that the Taliban are once more the masters of Afghanistan. But more significantly, they share the common goal of banishing the United States and its allies from the region, including the State of Israel and, one assumes, those conservative Gulf Arab states that have made their peace with the Jewish state.

    Which brings me back to Iran’s new cabinet. It is not surprising that the Islamic Republic’s new president, Ebrahim Raisi—a sadist who, as a regime prosecutor in the 1980s, supervised beatings, rapes and mass executions of prisoners—would appoint a bunch of thugs to his cabinet. But what is alarming is the silence of Western states on the unmistakable message that this cabinet sends. For this is not an occasion to defer to the principle of not commenting on political appointments in other countries.

    Iran’s new defense minister is Ahmad Vahidi, who is returning to the post for the second time in his career, having previously occupied it during the term of the Holocaust-denying former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The vice president for economic development is Mohsen Rezaei, a fierce devotee of the Islamic Republic’s founder, Ayatollah Khomeini, and the commander for 17 years of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). Both Vahidi and Rezaei are fugitives from justice—specifically, for their roles in the July 1994 Iranian-sponsored bombing of the AMIA Jewish Center in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires, the bloodiest act of anti-Semitic terrorism in more than half a century, in which 85 people lost their lives and more than 300 were wounded. Both of them were among the subjects of six “red notices” that were issued in connection with the AMIA atrocity by Interpol, the international law-enforcement agency, in 2007. More than a quarter of a century after the AMIA bombing, Vahidi and Rezaei sit in Tehran, secure and stony-faced, serving a daily reminder that justice has never been delivered to those who died or lost their loved ones on that terrible morning in Buenos Aires.

    Poking the international community in the eye by placing two terrorists in the cabinet isn’t the ultimate goal here, though. Like all authoritarian states, the Iranian regime enjoys political theater, bloodthirsty rhetoric and the grandstanding that goes with it, but these are a means to an end. Vahidi and Rezaei are in the cabinet because there is a job to do, and Raisi—and behind him, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei—has judged that they are the right men to do it.

    Across the Middle East and the Islamic world, extremist regimes and terrorist groups are rejoicing in the fact that the U.S. presence and reputation in their region is a shadow of what it was just 10 years ago. They are not wrong; the options of America are largely restricted to diplomacy and sanctions. In that light, there is no reason for the Biden administration to continue its talks with the Iranians in Vienna over their nuclear program unless it wants to look even more gullible in the eyes of America’s Islamist adversaries. It also needs to review the existing sanctions on Iran and extend these where necessary. Should Vahidi or Rezaei surface as official guests of a U.S. ally—Turkey being the obvious example—then the United States should make its displeasure known.

    None of these moves can be said to be game-changers. But they speak to the lack of a broader vision for the Middle East on the part of successive U.S. administrations, save for the ambition of getting out of the region as quickly as possible. As McMaster reminded us amid the carnage of Kabul Airport, the region won’t let us go so easily.

    Ben Cohen

    https://www.jns.org/opinion/islamisms-brutal-face-is-back-on-display

    J'aime

  5. jcdurbant dit :

    QUID DE LA BIDENMANIA ? (Catastrophique retrait d’Afghanistan, chaos à la frontière, records de criminalité dans les grandes villes, records de dette et d’inflation, plus grande hausse des impôts depuis 50 ans, devinez pourquoi, malgré les envolées lyriques, les genoux à terre et les signes de la contrition la plus extrême, nos médias qui s’extasiaient tant du retour à la présidence normale avec Joe Biden après le sombre mandat de Trump sont brusquement devenus si silencieux ?)

    « Pour la (très) grande majorité des médias et des analystes, l’élection de Joe Biden était celle du «retour à une présidence normale», elle annonçait la renaissance de l’Amérique après le «sombre mandat de Trump» et incarnait les espoirs des progressistes du monde entier. «America is back» clamait Joe Biden après sa victoire. Et un grand ouf de soulagement s’échappait de toutes les poitrines démocrates, les cœurs se remettaient à battre, les gens « sensés » disaient leur immense soulagement d’avoir de nouveau un président sortable. Sont-ils en train de déchanter ? Difficile de s’en rendre compte. Les plus attentifs guetteurs de faux pas, les plus virulents pourfendeurs du moindre mot de travers de Trump, sont devenus des taiseux. Il n’y a plus beaucoup de lanceurs d’alerte à la bourde, les critiques sont rares ou exprimées du bout des lèvres. Pourtant, sept mois à peine après ses débuts, la présidence de Joe Biden présente déjà tous les signes d’un traumatisme profond suscitant de vives inquiétudes. Le silence autour du président ressemble à de la consternation, et l’agitation de sa coéquipière, à une manière de vouloir conjurer l’imminence d’une catastrophe. Dans le dernier baromètre USA Today, seulement 41 % des Américains approuvent son travail à la Maison Blanche et 55 % le désapprouvent. La principale raison en est le calamiteux retrait d’Afghanistan mais elle n’est pas la seule. Biden a commencé a baisser dans les sondages d’opinion depuis quelques mois, de nombreux Américains étant mécontents de la manière dont l’économie reprend après la récession durant la pandémie. Plus de 55 % des Américains pensent que l’Amérique va dans une mauvaise direction (c’est une baisse de 20 points depuis le mois de mai !). Ils ne semblent pas convaincus par le plan de relance de 1.9 trillions de dollars qui, selon Biden, «a sauvé le pays». Un jour ou l’autre il faudra rembourser cet argent. De plus, l’inflation – +5,4 % sur un an – est ressentie par tous et en Amérique, lorsque les prix de l’essence (+41.8 %) et des 4X4 d’occasion (+ 70 %) augmentent, la population comprend que l’économie ne tourne pas rond.

    Ce qu’elle a probablement compris aussi, c’est que le plan supplémentaire de 1.2 trillions de dollars (il était de 2.5 trillions avant les négociations au Congrès avec les républicains) pour moderniser les infrastructures n’en est pas un. Les infrastructures sont un prétexte, uniquement 7 % de l’enveloppe leur sont effectivement destinés. Une grosse part de l’argent va à des dépenses sociales et des subventions ne disant pas leur nom. Des dizaines de milliards sont répartis à des fins politiques, tels des financements pour les écoles et universités dites « noires » ou le renflouement des caisses des syndicats dont le soutien est nécessaire. Finalement, 3 ou 4000 milliards de dollars de dépenses publiques ? Personne ne sait exactement. À ce niveau, tout le monde à l’exception des experts serait perdu mais l’Américain moyen n’aime pas ça et le fait savoir dans les sondages.

    Ce que l’on sait par contre, c’est que la classe moyenne supérieure et les entreprises seront principalement appelées à contribuer au financement de ces mesures. Une hausse des taxes pour les foyers gagnant plus de 400 000 dollars par an servira en partie à financer le plan, bien que le montant n’en ait pas encore été détaillé. Joe Biden va également supprimer les réductions de taxes sur les entreprises mises en place en 2017 par Trump. Elles avaient pourtant permis à l’économie américaine de tourner à plein régime, de faire baisser le chômage à un niveau record, et de rapatrier 1600 milliards de profits autrefois taxés à l’étranger. Les impôts sur les entreprises vont être augmentés de 21 % à 28 %, ce qui fera passer les États-Unis au-dessus de la moyenne de l’OCDE (23,5 %). Au total cela devrait représenter 1500 milliards de dollars de taxes supplémentaires sur 10 à 15 ans : la plus grande hausse depuis 1968.

    Le centriste Biden est devenu de plus en plus «progressiste». Après avoir répété à satiété qu’il existe un «racisme systémique au sein de la police», il a insisté durant tous ces mois pour changer le processus de vote dans plusieurs États républicains, processus qu’il a dénoncé comme discriminatoire à l’égard des minorités. Sa rhétorique ressemble de plus en plus à celle de Bernie Sanders ou d’Elizabeth Warren. Lors du procès du policier accusé de meurtre de George Floyd, il est intervenu en affirmant qu’il espérait un «verdict juste». Drôle de manière pour un président de garantir l’indépendance de la justice. Debout devant les policiers blancs américains, couché devant les talibans…

    Ces déclarations progressistes n’assurent pas la sécurité au quotidien. Le taux de criminalité bat des records dans de nombreuses villes américaines. À l’échelle nationale, les homicides ont augmenté de 21 % dans 66 des plus grandes villes du pays au cours du premier semestre de l’année, selon la Major Cities Chiefs Association. Depuis un an par exemple, la ville de Minneapolis sombre dans une violence qui semble incontrôlable depuis la mort de George Floyd. Elle est maintenant l’une des plus dangereuses des États-Unis. Les homicides y ont plus que doublé : rien qu’entre janvier et juin 2021, + 108 % par rapport à la même période de 2020. Les fusillades ont augmenté de 153 % et les vols de voiture, de 222 %. À Chicago, on a enregistré 105 homicides en juillet dernier contre 44 en juillet 2019. La ville serait aujourd’hui encore plus dangereuse que du temps de la mafia.

    À New York, les statistiques sont encore plus dramatiques. Le nombre de fusillades a bondi de 70 % en 2020 et celui des homicides de 50 % depuis 2019. Malgré les appels – repris par les médias – du mouvement BLM (Black Lives Matter) de «defund the police» («démanteler la police»), les Américains préfèrent plus de présence policière afin d’endiguer la criminalité rampante. Même les Noirs sont très majoritairement pour plus de présence policière. Ainsi, selon un sondage Politico réalisé juste avant la primaire à la mairie de New York, 77% des électeurs démocrates noirs pensent que le nombre de policiers dans le métro devrait sensiblement augmenter. Le problème de la violence est donc loin d’être résolu, malgré les envolées lyriques, les genoux à terre et les signes de la contrition la plus extrême.

    En politique étrangère, la ligne de Biden est on ne peut plus floue. Il a montré quelque fermeté à l’égard de la Chine mais a cédé sur le pipeline Nord Stream 2 qui rendra une partie de l’Europe dépendante de la Russie de Poutine. Et comment réagiront la Chine, la Russie, l’Iran ou la Corée du Nord après le désastreux retrait d’Afghanistan ? Vont-ils mettre à l’essai l’Amérique de Biden ? Probablement. On verra si le président américain pourra se rattraper. Pour le moment, America is not back. Bien au contraire. »

    Nicolas Lecaussin

    https://www.lefigaro.fr/vox/monde/la-presidence-biden-est-un-echec-pour-le-camp-progressiste-20210902

    J'aime

  6. jcdurbant dit :

    PLUS TRUMP QUE MOI TU MEURS ! (Trump pour intellos: Devinez pourquoi, quand Biden procède à des expulsions, nos médias ne titrent pas « enfants en cage » ou « camps de concentration » ?)

    « Le trumpisme est essentiellement une marque de style de vie de la classe moyenne inférieure dont le porte-parole se trouve être un milliardaire de Manhattan, tandis que le bidenisme est la même chose reconditionnée pour les mères buveuses de vin de banlieue chic et les pères fans d’usines d’énergie renouvelable par le fils d’un concessionnaire de voitures d’occasion à Scranton, en Pennsylvanie. Seulement en Amérique, non?

    Pourquoi alors Biden a-t-il plus de succès à être Trump que Trump lui-même ? C’est la différence entre les coalitions qui les ont amené chacun au pouvoir qui explique tout. Parce que Biden était le candidat des classes professionnelles, soutenu par tous ceux qui n’étaient pas racistes obèses, super-propagateurs, accros aux opioïdes, tout ce qu’il fait maintenant est presque par définition correct et conforme aux conseils d’experts vaguement définis.

    Trump a été considéré quasiment dès le début comme une sorte d’usurpateur dont les décrets devaient être combattus dans toute la mesure du possible, aussi raisonnables qu’ils aient pu apparaître à un observateur désintéressé.

    Pendant ce temps, lorsque l’administration Biden procède à des expulsions, les médias ne titrent pas «enfants en cage». Au lieu de cela, ses politiques sont menées en silence par une branche exécutive conforme, avec très peu de fanfare de la part des gens qui, il y a seulement quelques années, lançaient des expressions comme «camp de concentration». Lorsque Biden dit qu’il est temps de quitter l’Afghanistan, même en l’absence d’un plan réel, l’armée le fait.

    Bien avant l’investiture de Trump, les journalistes avaient décidé qu’il n’était tout simplement pas le président dûment élu. Deux ans de bêtises maccarthystes sur la « collusion » russe, deux mises en accusation ridicules, les tentatives de faire revivre des lettres mortes comme les lois sur la sédition ou la corruption présidentielle : autant de conclusions en quête de justification.

    Les dindons de la farce sont les partisans progressistes modérés de Biden. Pour reformuler le bon mot de Blake sur Milton, ils sont du parti de Donald sans le savoir. »

    Matthew Walther

    WHAT SUBURBAN WINE MOM TRUMP ? (Guess why when Biden carries out deportations, we don’t get stories about ‘kids in cages’ or ‘concentration camps’ ?)

    « Do you remember the president who gave Vladimir Putin everything he wanted in Europe? The president who consistently ignored the advice of military experts, hoarded Covid vaccines, peddled nativist rhetoric about American manufacturing, turned Washington, DC into an 80s sci-fi dystopia during his inauguration, expressed his astonishment at the number of interracial couples on television, and planned a mass deportation of Haitian refugees fleeing an earthquake, a hurricane, and a coup?

    Readers of The Spectator are clever enough to know that I am talking not about Donald Trump but Joe Biden. For months now I feel like I’ve been screaming into the void: Biden is everything Trump wanted to be. The main difference between the two is their respective bases of support. Trumpism is essentially a lower-middle-class lifestyle brand whose spokesman just happens to be a Manhattan billionaire, while Bidenism is the same thing repackaged for suburban wine moms and renewable energy plant dads by the son of a used car dealer in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Only in America, right?

    Why is no one interested in pointing out the obvious areas of continuity between the two administrations? I like to think of it as the ‘Pepsi Challenge’ problem. Back in 1975, when Biden was still glad-handing with segregationist colleagues in the Senate, the soda brand decided to offer blind taste tests, ostensibly for the purpose of showing those who preferred Coca-Cola that if they set aside their prejudices they would discover that Pepsi was just as good, if not better.

    The problem with the Pepsi Challenge was that people didn’t actually want to trust their taste buds; they were content with their pre-existing view that one drink or the other was superior. On issue after issue (with the notable exception of abortion) Biden has followed the course charted by his predecessor. You would think this would be horrifying to his supporters, who criticised Trump for everything from wanting to leave Afghanistan to taxing Chinese imports.

    Why then is Biden having more success at being Trump than the man himself? The difference between the coalitions that brought both into office tells most of the story. Because Biden was the candidate of the professional classes, supported by everyone who was not an obese, super-spreading, opioid-addicted racist, everything he now does almost by definition is correct and in keeping with the advice of vaguely defined experts.

    The other difference is that everything Biden proposes has a good chance of actually being carried out. Trump spent all four years of his presidency trying to make a single common-sense change to the way the United States provides medical care to veterans of the armed forces. Instead of forcing them to go to poorly run facilities administered by the Veterans Administration, he very reasonably suggested that the free health care to which they were entitled by virtue of their service could be sought at any hospital and that the feds should simply pick up the bill.

    Nearly half a decade later, this seemingly simple process has proven almost impossible to implement. Why? Because the sclerotic bureaucracy doesn’t like it. Trump was regarded almost from the beginning as a kind of usurper whose decrees should be resisted to the furthest extent possible, regardless of how sensible they might have appeared to a disinterested observer.

    Meanwhile, when the Biden administration carries out deportations, we don’t get stories about ‘kids in cages’. Instead, his policies are carried out silently by a compliant executive branch, with very little fanfare from the people who only a few years ago were throwing around phrases like ‘concentration camp’. When Biden says it’s time to leave Afghanistan, even in the absence of an actual plan, the military gets it done.

    Biden’s success reminds us that the actual American constitution does not remotely look like the one that exists on paper. In the real world it is not the tally of votes from the Electoral College that determines who is the legitimate president but the consensus of the media. Long before Trump was inaugurated journalists decided that he simply was not the duly elected president. Two years of McCarthyite nonsense about Russian ‘collusion’, two ludicrous impeachments, the attempts to revive dead letters like the Logan Act or the Emoluments Clause: these were all conclusions in search of a justification.

    In the meantime those of us who thought that Trump’s instincts were at least occasionally sound should derive some comfort from what his successor has been able to achieve. Biden is aggressively shoring up American domestic heavy industry and pulling us out of disastrous wars [?] that the Pentagon simply refused to abandon under Trump.

    The joke is on Biden’s middle-of-the-road liberal supporters. To rephrase Blake’s crack about Milton, they are of the Donald’s party without knowing it. »

    Matthew Walther

    https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/joe-biden-is-everything-trump-wanted-to-be

    J'aime

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