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The Afghanistan Debacle Shows How Ego-Based Policy Tends to be a Recipe for Disaster

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Written by   28
4 months ago

This article is co-published on Publish0x.

Introduction: Guilt By Association

Guilt by association is a fallacy where one deems an argument or idea as invalid because of its association with a person or group who is already viewed negatively. The logical form will go something like this:

(1) Person A states Y is true.
(2) Person A is a moron and idiot.
(3) Because Person A is a moron and idiot, Argument Y must be invalid.

It's an easily avoidable fallacy, but many people frequently fall under the trap, including and especially politicians. Driven by their ego, they base their decisions on the opposite of their opponents' because if their opponents are bad people, then all of their ideas must be bad, too. Such line of thinking is dangerous as it is motivated by pride and emotion rather than cool-headed analysis. Unfortunately, this has been Joe Biden's presidency in a nutshell.

"I'm Not Trump" is not a Substitute for Good Policy

When Biden took office, one of the very first things he did was reverse Trump's southern border policies, including halting border wall construction and ending the "Stay in Mexico" deal. What followed was an extremely porous border where the US experienced the highest number of border encounters in decades. Even worse, this year is not even close to being over.

In response, Texas sued the Biden administration to reinstate the "Remain in Mexico" policy to which a lower court ordered Biden to reinstate it on August 14. However, the Supreme Court has temporarily blocked the ruling, so it remains to be seen what the outcome will be.

Meanwhile, as I have covered in the past, the large influx of migrants has overwhelmed the facilities with children packed like sardines in makeshift enclosures, violating COVID guidelines. When Republican senators tried to investigate on site, the Biden administration ordered them to delete the photos of the overcrowded facilities. It's a terrible situation that not only hurts Americans, but also the migrants and Central Americans as they face a lot of abuse from the drug gangs and cartels that exploit the mass migration as a lucrative revenue stream.

Biden also ran with the "I'm not Trump" mentality in his energy policy. He cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline as well as halting oil drilling on federal lands. While trying to cut down on emissions and environmental destruction is a noble goal, Biden's decision also came at a steep price. The cancellation of the pipeline meant that workers in charge of the construction no longer had employment. On top of that, the prospective managerial and maintenance positions important for keeping the pipeline intact disappeared as a result.

This made the labor unions, a demographic Biden led in 2020, unhappy. The lower domestic energy output also seemed to have hurt the everyday American as gas prices rose by a considerable margin. On August 11, the administration asked OPEC to increase oil output in order to meet demand. However, OPEC rejected the administration's request on August 16. Hindsight is 20/20, but had Biden not reduced domestic production, most likely he wouldn't have needed to ask OPEC in the first place.

That said, no other "I'm not Trump" policy backfired as badly as Afghanistan.

Afghanistan, Biden's Pièce de Dumpster Fire

I want to preface this section with this statement: regardless of whether Biden stuck with Trump's peace deal with the Taliban or not, Afghanistan would've collapsed. The issue isn't Afghanistan falling to the Taliban under Biden's watch, but rather how Biden handled the pullout of troops and evacuation of Americans.

To provide the full context, on February 29, 2020, the Trump administration and Taliban agreed to a conditions-based peace deal. The US would fully withdraw by May 2021, "including all non-diplomatic civilian personnel, private security contractors, trainers, advisors, and supporting services personnel". Other stipulations included the Taliban not attacking US soldiers in the middle of withdrawal, a prisoner exchange, and not letting al-Qa'ida use Afghan soil for terrorist operations.

Biden decided to not adhere with the deal and moved the full withdrawal date to September 11, 2021. In response, the Taliban began to capture territory throughout Afghanistan. It also did not help that the US military would make head scratching actions such as leaving the Bagram airfield without telling the new Afghan commander beforehand. On July 8, 2021, a reporter expressed concern to Biden over the deteriorating situation in the country to which he responded that "the likelihood there's going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely".

Cue the "Curb Your Enthusiasm" theme.

As you may have known already, on August 14, the Taliban captured the last Afghan government stronghold effectively taking control of the entire nation. What followed was total chaos at the Kabul airport as Afghan civilians desperately try to board planes to escape, going as far as to cling onto landing gear only to fall to their deaths. In addition, thousands of Americans are currently stranded, in danger of the Taliban's violence.

With such a huge disaster unfolding, Americans (and the world) expected Biden to immediately make a response to the situation. However, it took him over 48 hours to finally say something about it. Heck, the Taliban, out of all people, was more punctual.

It only got worse from there as the administration did not and continues to not have a concrete plan on how to rescue the Americans who are unable to get to the Kabul airport. The military stated that it cannot venture outside of the airport to do so. However, the UK and France sent their special forces to rescue their citizens and they were able to go beyond the airport's boundaries. In a twist of irony, Washington Post reporter Susannah George, an American, was rescued by British troops. When Biden and his staffers were confronted about this matter by the press, they were not on the same page often contradicting each other's statements.

Despite Press Secretary Jen Psaki's claims that the Biden administration would be the most transparent administration in US history, Biden kept avoiding questions from reporters as he would say his speech and make beeline for the exit.

With such a time sensitive situation in his hands, I am appalled that Biden still has not explained why he did not prioritize pulling out American citizens before withdrawing troops and why the US military hung out the Afghan forces to dry like with the Bagram airbase. Looking at what has happened thus far, Biden's withdrawal process was ill-conceived and poorly executed.

And the price goes beyond just American and Afghan lives. Now that the Taliban is in possession of American military equipment, Iran, China, and Russia must be licking their chops to trade for those weapons and gadgets for some R&D.

Closing Thoughts

As you can see, Biden's "I'm going to do the opposite of what Trump did" plan did not turn out so well. His decision to postpone the date to September 11 for a symbolic withdrawal, to me, screamed inflated ego. I would like to ask Biden what made him think that pushing back the withdrawal to such a specific date would not piss off the Taliban and encourage them to retaliate. As a result of his incompetence and complacence, the US now has an extremely sensitive hostage situation.

It has gotten bad to the point that even the mainstream media criticized Biden and his administration. For instance, CNN's Jake Tapper asked Secretary of State Antony Blinken tough questions and held his feet to the fire regarding Biden's badly aged prediction that "the likelihood there's going to be the Taliban overrunning everything and owning the whole country is highly unlikely".

In addition, a CBS News poll showed that approval over Biden's handling of the troop withdrawal was negative, a sharp contrast to his overall positive rating in July. Regardless of party affiliation, the majority of Democrats, Republicans, and independents said that the way the US removed the troops was done badly. On RealClearPoliticsBiden's disapproval rating overtook his approval rating for the very first time on August 20. As me writing this article, the margin has widened to -2.3. Even The Hill's poll which has Biden at +6 is actually a bad sign. If you look at The Hill's last 5 polls, in chronological order, the margins were +22, +20, +18, +16, and +10. Overall, the blowback is not partisan.

Guilt by association has always been a bad argumentative tactic. When that sort of mentality seeps into policy making, things can turn for the worse rather quickly, i.e. in 7 months. Separating the person from the idea and criticizing just the idea are not easy, but these are important skills to have. Will Biden figure that out within the next 3 years and 5 months? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Some first hand accounts of what's been going on over in Kabul.

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Written by   28
4 months ago
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But I think Biden will do better for the United States and for the future than Trump. I personally don't like Trump Because he talks without thinking about the future and his actions are a little random.

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There are several signs that suggest Biden has not done and will not do better for the US than Trump.

(1) Inflation has been going up and up thanks to the massively expensive spending bills.

(2) Biden's negligence of border security has led to the worst migration crisis in decades.

(3) He fucked up the Afghanistan withdrawal. Jury is out on what the hell Biden was on when he decided to pull out troops BEFORE pulling out American citizens (perhaps Hunter's crack). Now the Taliban is dictating the rules of engagement.

(4) He picked one of the worst people for VP. There is a Politico article chronicling the utter dysfunction withing Kamala Harris's office.

(5) He spent tax dollars hiring cringey TikTokers to convince more Americans to get the COVID vaccines. TikTokers...

In just 7 months, Biden has demonstrated irresponsibility of duty, incompetence, and tone deafness.

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4 months ago