DANIEL VAUGHAN: Joe Biden’s defiant betrayal of America

There’s an elementary rule in American diplomacy and military power: The safety of American citizens is non-negotiable.

It’s central to the president’s job and the oath of office in the Constitution that the president “will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” The first seven words of the Constitution are: “We the People of the United States.” The president must preserve, protect, and defend them.

Joe Biden, the 46th president of the United States, is not doing that. To our current knowledge, there are as many as 15,000 Americans trapped in Afghanistan who need evacuation and who cannot escape from the now Taliban-controlled lands. And according to reporting by the Washington Post, “The US has no plans to evacuate Americans in Afghanistan who are located outside Kabul.”

Political discourse in America is often hyperbolic and can inflate the issues. It’s almost impossible to do that here. From the president of the United States down to the military leadership, all levels of leadership have failed in inexcusable and astonishing manners. We are witnessing one of the greatest self-inflicted crises in U.S. history, and there’s little evidence the president cares.

I do not use the phrase about the president not caring lightly. American lives are at stake. We need any president to have a profound sense of care for each American to fulfill the obligations of their office.

We have scant proof that’s the case here.

Out of one side of his mouth, Biden talks about getting all Americans out of the country no matter what. Meanwhile, we’re getting talking points from the White House and Department of Defense officials that we’re dealing with a timeline for getting Americans out.

There should be no timeline on rescuing Americans stuck behind “enemy lines.” If Americans are free game for the Taliban, other countries or terrorist groups will see this as an invitation to go after U.S. citizens traveling abroad. In times past, there was a deep meaning behind having a U.S. Passport and citizenship tied to your name; it meant the full force of the U.S. military was behind your life. Other countries had to be careful.

Biden’s actions, or lack thereof, severely undermine the promise and expectation of American citizenship.

It’s a betrayal of that promise and the oath.

The collapse of Afghanistan was not an unknown possibility. For all the talk from the Biden administration that they were caught off-guard, the exact opposite is true.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

An internal State Department memo last month warned top agency officials of the potential collapse of Kabul soon after the US’s Aug. 31 troop withdrawal deadline in Afghanistan.” The article adds, “The classified cable represents the clearest evidence yet that the administration had been warned by its own officials on the ground that the Taliban’s advance was imminent and Afghanistan’s military may be unable to stop it.

ABC News and Fox News almost immediately corroborated that report. ABC News added that the memo “was sent on July 13 and was immediately brought to [Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s] attention.” Fox News noted that the message was written and signed by “two dozen officials” in Afghanistan.

This disaster is, as the Washington Post‘s editorial board notes, the very worst kind: avoidable. The Biden administration was warned this was coming, and yet they proceeded without heeding any advice. As a result, we’ve been presented with very nearly the worse version of events possible. The result is that American lives are in danger.

The only way these events spiral even more out of control is if the Taliban start taking American citizens prisoner for ransom, or worse. So far, we appear to have avoided that. But that’s not a given, and there’s no way we can trust the Taliban’s word that won’t happen, or hasn’t already.

This is of little help to Afghans stuck without American citizenship. Reuters reports that the Taliban have a blacklist of Afghans they’re using to hunt down and execute. The New York Times reports, even worse, the Afghan military members who fought most resolutely beside the U.S. military are now being forced into hiding as Taliban members are hunting them.

These are the same Afghan nationals that Joe Biden had the gall to claim wouldn’t stand up for their country and fight. Joe Biden called people getting hunted down by Taliban cowards. And then, in his lone speech, Biden blamed Afghans for not evacuating at the right time, saying, “Part of the answer is some of the Afghans did not want to leave earlier.”

In his few words, Joe Biden has managed to betray Americans trapped in Afghanistan, betray our Afghan allies, and betray all our partners across Europe and the world who assisted in this military operation. Everyone was caught off-guard, and Biden’s betrayal will echo for generations.

Perhaps most alarming, Biden betrayed his promise to American troops. Every military branch has had to reach out and encourage past or current military members because Biden’s words effectively declared their service irrelevant. Biden has betrayed everyone involved. And the defining picture of the moment is him walking away from his podium after the speech, turning his back on everyone, and taking no questions.

Biden’s betrayal is complete and total, and it is defiant. The Wall Street Journal said, “He is determined in retreat, defiant in surrender, and confident in the rightness of consigning the country to jihadist rule.” In every way, he has betrayed Americans, our allies, and our military.

For that, Joe Biden should resign as president of the United States.