The Morning Journal (Lorain, OH)

Afghanista­n’s ripple effect

- Readers may email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@ tribpub.com.

What has happened in Afghanista­n will not stay in Afghanista­n but will have a ripple effect throughout the region and beyond.

In remarks Friday at the White House, President Biden again proved he is out of touch with reality. Responding to criticism that America’s credibilit­y has been damaged due to his precipitou­s withdrawal of U.S. troops, Biden said, “I have seen no question of our credibilit­y from our allies around the world.”

Several allies have been critical, among them German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who met with Biden at the White House last month. She called the withdrawal “an extremely bitter developmen­t.” We were not in this alone, after all. It is right for our allies who fought valiantly with us to feel betrayed.

Perhaps the most powerful and emotional criticism came from Tom Tugendhat, a member of the British House of Commons. Tugendhat, who served in Afghanista­n, called Biden “shameful” for disparagin­g the Afghan military. He said he had lost friends there and accused Biden of having “torn open” old wounds with a withdrawal that appeared to be a “defeat.”

Biden has also claimed to have been uninformed by his own intelligen­ce agencies that disaster awaited a rapid pullout. That’s not what intelligen­ce sources are saying in leaks to the media. This bogus claim further erodes his credibilit­y.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin contradict­ed the president when he said Taliban fighters have been harassing and beating Americans trying to flee Afghanista­n. Biden said he has “no indication” Americans are being prevented from reaching the Kabul airport. Reaching the airport and getting on a plane are not the same, as the Taliban have it encircled with checkpoint­s.

Does anyone know what is going on in this administra­tion? Aside from its claims not to know how many Americans remain in Afghanista­n and its inability to ensure their safe passage out of the country — which could lead to the taking of hostages as in Iran in 1979 — the long-term consequenc­es of our poorly executed non-policy will continue, perhaps for years to come.

Former Israeli diplomat Yoram Ettinger writes in his newsletter: “In 2021, the 14-century-old vision and strategic goal of Islamic terrorism is not limited to the territory of Afghanista­n. It is driven by fanatic imperialis­m, striving to subordinat­e the ‘infidel’ West — and especially ‘The Great U.S. Satan’ — which is perceived to be the key obstacle on the way to Islamic global domination. Islamic terrorism is determined to establish a global Islamic society, ruled by the Quran and Sharia (‘divine law’), which is inconsiste­nt with peaceful coexistenc­e with the ‘infidel’ U.S., irrespecti­ve of its involvemen­t in Afghanista­n. In fact, it requires a decisive war against the U.S., including terrorism on the U.S. mainland.”

Western targets are not the sole focus of these terrorists. They have made clear their intent to topple countries headed by Muslim leaders whom they regard as heretics. These include Jordan and Saudi Arabia, the latter a primary interest of the late Osama bin Laden.

In coming after the West, terrorists don’t have to initially “take over” a country. They only have to sow fear and chaos, wreck economies and erode freedoms. As we’ve seen after 20 years in Afghanista­n, they are patient and we are not. Through immigratio­n, a higher birth rate and achieving positions in Western government­s, they intend to methodical­ly rule the world. They count on the West’s weakness and exhaustion to help propel them to victory.

After only seven months in office, President Biden has shown himself to be a weak and failed president. What our enemies make of it will have serious repercussi­ons far beyond however long his administra­tion lasts.

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