By Boaz Bismuth, Israel Hayom—
One picture of Joe Biden at Camp David this week, sitting alone in a polo shirt, chin in hand, looking worriedly at a large screen tells the whole story of the 46th president’s failure in his first major mission – withdrawing American forces from Afghanistan.
Until last week, Biden benefitted by the Afghanistan issue not being a burning one for anyone in the US, and even the hawks in Congress realized that the mission was over and the withdrawal would happen soon. But on the clear, blue-skied day when Kabul fell like a house of cards, Biden managed to put the country back on the agenda and turn it into a litmus test of his crisis management. The grade? Total fiasco. Not because of the decision to pull out, but because of the lack of ability to plan the pullout appropriately and talk honestly about it to the cameras (not to mention, answer questions).
This show of Biden, totally alone, sitting at a big table and talking to his advisors during a crisis while still refusing to cut his vacation at Camp David short, is all we need to know about how Biden – and the rest of the world – has handled Afghanistan in the last seven months. The image made it clear that for Biden, anything unrelated to COVID and the economy will be carried out from afar, with an uninterested look.
This should be of concern to Israel and other US allies, if this is how he’ll act when it’s time to make a decision about a nuclear deal with Iran, for example. It should also concern anyone who thinks that Biden will be a “human rights” president – all the signs indicate that the Americans will ultimately recognize the Taliban, even if they continue to take away women’s rights.
What might be worse, the picture showed the way in which Biden prefers not to make decisions until he is forced to. He thinks that his cabinet is a bunch of bland technocrats, rather than people who have something organic that holds them together. Some will say that former President Trump was also a one-man show, but Trump knew how to give his administration officials access and listen to what they wanted, especially people at the important level, like his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo and the top defense echelon. When they made suggestions, Trump would meet with them in person and listen, and even insist on developing them (such as with the targeted killing of Quds Force commander Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani. Most important – Trump made it clear that he wanted to be presented with plans, and did not wait for them to arrive. With Biden, at least according to reports these past few days, various officials warned repeatedly that the Afghans were not capable of taking the reins, but Biden hoped his cabinet would know what to do without him giving them explicit instructions. Because really, what’s so difficult about pulling out of a country, he must have thought to himself. Continue Reading….