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Honest Joe Spins Defeat Into Victory

Volunteers and medical staff unload bodies after the Aug. 26 Kabul attack / Getty Images
• September 1, 2021 10:20 am

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To hear President Joe Biden tell it, the American evacuation from Afghanistan paralleled the D-Day invasion in execution and bravery.

"No nation has ever done anything like it in all the history [sic]," Biden told the country on Tuesday. His predecessor, with whom he saddled the blame for this so-called success, couldn't have said it better.

As Biden congratulated himself for an operation that resulted in the unnecessary deaths of 13 Americans and left hundreds of Americans and thousands of our allies stranded in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, he insisted that it was "time to be honest with the American people again."

He's off to a sorry start, describing the "extraordinary success" of, among others, America's "intelligence professionals"—the same ones who couldn't predict the rapid demise of the Afghan government.

Up next, Biden crowed that "90 percent of Americans who were in Afghanistan who wanted to leave were able to leave" and touted the administration's new strategy to fight terrorism with "over the horizon" strikes. The one that targeted the inbound suicide bomber at the Kabul airport who took out 13 Americans seems to have been a miss. Same goes for the next one, which left seven children dead.

Even if one takes at face value, and we do not, that the evacuation of 5,000 Americans and 100,000 Afghans from Kabul was a success, Winston Churchill's remark about the heroic rescue of British troops at Dunkirk remains true: "We must be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won by evacuations."

If Biden were actually committed to leveling with the American people, he might've told them the truth: that his administration and America are waving the white flag and choosing dishonor over war.

We are now likely to get both.