The year was 1940, and Nazi forces across Europe were soundly defeating the United Kingdom and the British military. The British got pushed to the shores of Dunkirk, France, facing the English Channel on one side and the Nazi onslaught on the other. Winston Churchill and the rest of the UK leadership feared imminent defeat. At best, they only thought they could evacuate 45,000 men.
What followed was one of the most incredible feats in history, Operation Dynamo. The Allies miraculously evacuated 338,226 soldiers across the English Channel to safety. It was historic and unprecedented. Everyone chipped in, from military ships to your local layman with a boat. Everyone leaped into danger to save all those lives.
With President Joe Biden’s disastrous evacuation of Afghanistan, Americans wanted to do the same thing. Americans of every partisan affiliation, or none at all, pulled together money and other resources to help evacuate American citizens, Afghans, and others from the horrors of Taliban rule.
One man in Connecticut helped get 40 people out of Afghanistan by himself. An entire “Digital Dunkirk” movement took place, ready to stand in the gap and get people out when the United States government failed. These private citizens arranged everything from money to planes to evacuation plans. Everything was set and ready to go.
And yet, that movement fell flat.
Conservative radio host and founder of TheBlaze.com, Glenn Beck, at one point raised more than $20 million in less than three days to help this effort. Beck was livid because the U.S. State Department blocked private efforts to evacuate people.
Before the US Government stepped in, Beck’s group had helped evacuate 5,100 people. When Beck had 500 people ready to leave, the State Department ordered them back out of the airport. Yes, you’re reading this correctly; the roadblock to getting people out was the US Government.
Beck was not alone. The group No One Left Behind, an organization dedicated to getting Afghans who assisted the US military in its mission, was a major driving force of Digital Dunkirk. They sent the Biden administration evacuation plans and ideas for months, arranging visas, planes, and more. The State Department acknowledged nothing they did, answered none of the pleas for help, and ignored the aid.
That’s partially why Biden’s speech rings so hollow. He claimed, “We completed one of the biggest airlifts in history, with more than 120,000 people evacuated to safety. That number is more than double what most experts thought were possible. No nation — no nation has ever done anything like it in all of history.”
But Biden is claiming a number that includes the evacuations of every nation that evacuated people, including our allies. He’s ignoring groups like No One Left Behind, who have lists of people that tell them at least 250,000 people were betrayed and abandoned to the mercy of the Taliban.
Tens of thousands of Afghans seek any remedy possible now, including smugglers and traffickers, to get out of Taliban territory. It’s a humanitarian disaster, and we know American citizens are caught in that mess, too, a fact that seems to get ignored by this president.
When Churchill was telling Parliament the story of Dunkirk, he said, “We must be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won by evacuations. But there was a victory inside this deliverance, which should be noted.” Churchill spoke those words and went on to talk about the spirit of the British and how they would “fight on,” on the beaches, hills, and everywhere.
Biden stands before a nation, defiantly declaring a Dunkirk Airlift that did not happen—betraying people he ignored when they pleaded for help, an American citizen or not. He refused the aid of an American people that continually shows the very best spirit that has long defined our national character. Biden failed the moment, abandoned his countrymen, and failed as a man.
While others were happy to leap into action to save others, Biden turned his back. When Americans marched forward, Biden stepped back. Americans were willing to make this another Dunkirk that would enter the annals of history as a notable victory snatched amid disaster. But at that moment, when the people ran into danger, the president slammed the door.
That makes President Joe Biden the very worst kind of disgrace: an arrogant coward. He was confident in his pronouncements but shrinking like a coward when it was time to step forward to offer leadership and decisiveness. Biden stands defiant because he cannot stand with honor.
This act removes him from the perch of those like Churchill, who stepped forward with his people when the moment mattered. God save the United States of America, but the president will not.