That seems to be the verdict of the MSM--lame excuses won't be acceptable. I remarked to my wife yesterday that some stories are just too big to ignore, and America cutting and running and leaving some behind is one of those stories. Zhou will be consuming large quantities of Rocky Road, whether he likes it or not. Indeed, he's already being forced to return early from his vacay. But, of course, this is really about his handlers and about America's political establishment. But for the political establishment, Trump is president. They know that, and the rest of the country knows it, too. Branding the majority of the country as potential domestic terrorists is revealed as too lame to be tolerated much longer by the evident moral corruption of the establishment--which leads directly to its incompetence.
Karl Denninger has a pithy post on all this today, which he spoils at the end with his stock anti-Trump rhetoric--actually contradicting himself within the span of a few sentences. What I mean is, he admits that staying was no solution, while adding that there's a right way to leave and this was manifestly the wrong way. But then he has to add:
PS: Don't forget who set the original we're leaving timetable over in Afghanistan.
That's just stupid. This is not on Trump because Trump didn't get the chance to do it the right way. Abandoning imperial ambitions to concentrate on MAGA was unquestionably the right thing to do.
But I don't want to be negative. What did KD get right? Some very fundamental things. I'll preface these excerpts with the observation that behind all this is the bizarre notion of progs that an effective military is can run on auto-pilot, that it's basically a self executing enterprise that just works in spite of human resource madness. Human nature trumps all, and it will have its revenge. KD:
I wish I could tell you this was a shock to me but it isn't. The purge of DOD people began before Biden took office. ...
The publicly-visible military "realignment", where anyone who wasn't a Democrat party supporter was basically deemed a potential terrorist and security threat, ...
I doubt very much Joe Biden has enough going on upstairs to contemplate the stupidity of any or all of this, but it doesn't matter. ... the remaining question is what power will rush in to fill the vacuum, and with what consequences?
I lay primary responsibility here, however, on the Joint Chiefs, along with the various service heads. It has long been recognized that once you get into the "Starred" side of things you're chosen for your political points rather than your military prowess; ...
Rome didn't burn in a day and no military rots from the top in an afternoon. But a leadership that is so derelict in its duty from the entire Joint Chiefs down as to allow virtually anything other than fielding a fit, fighting force to be the focus of its mission is asking for exactly this sort of outcome.
Two additional comments.
First--and the terms I use here are all relative to military reality, which is always big bureaucracy careerism--I'm not sure how far back the purge of principled normals from the military began. It certainly metastasized for 8 Obama years. When Trump won he was immediately tagged as "it" by the political establishment. Four years of a Special Counsel and an impeachment, all with the visible collusion of the media and the less visible collusion of the GOP, ensured that he would never have control over the government--certainly not over the Hydra headed national security establishment. I presume Trump believed, as did I, that his victory would be followed by a decision within the GOP to come together in some reasonable modus vivendi--if for no other reason, then because of the political realities that Trump's victory revealed. Such was not the case. The establishment closed ranks against the outsider.
Second, KD is wrong to attribute the debacle of Kabul and Afghanistan generally to lack of "a fit, fighting force." America's actual combat forces remain the most capable in the world. They were certainly fully capable of an orderly withdrawal. This debacle comes back to the policy makers and the managers. And, of course, to the people that we elect. However, that effectiveness, even in the combat units, will be eroding rapidly under the Zhou regime.
UPDATE 1: The perspicacious Don Surber nails this, from the title down. I raised the issue of the "political establishment" down in the post, but Surber leads with it--follow the link for all of it. Having said that Don "nails" this, I do take issue with some details:
All of Washington wanted to get rid of the president. On this Republican and Democrat leaders agreed. They whipped up a fake scandal, greased the skids for an impeachment, and got the press to convince the public the president must be replaced.
The difference, of course, is that--as Surber recognizes elsewhere in the post--times are quite different now. The media convinced no one regarding Trump because the media no longer controls the flow of information, no longer enjoys the undeserved trust it had back in the 60s-70s.
His replacement was a reliably lame congressional lifer.
I could be talking about Nixon/Ford or Trump/Biden.
It is the same deal.
This is what Washington wanted. Instead of a competent executive whom the people backed, they wanted an old hack in the Oval Office. That he was ill-prepared or ill-suited for the job mattered not.
The Deep State and Congress wanted an occupant in the White House, not a president because they feared an end to their trillion-dollar game of needless wars, dependency on Red China, and getting cheap labor, votes, drugs, and sex toys (girls and boys) from Mexico and Central America.
They impeached President Trump twice, ruined the economy, unleashed a pandemic panic, and harvested ballots from the graveyards and nursing homes. Still they did not have the votes to defeat Trump on election night. It is incredible.
Above I referenced my earlier view that the GOP, following 2016, would come to terms with the political realities that Trump had revealed--realities that were highly favorable to the GOP. Wrong. Just reread the bolded red.
The price for sabotaging his presidency (Republicans stuck him with a homeland security secretary who opposed the wall) and disposing of him is being paid by others at the supermarket and in Afghanistan.
Those tears are from crocodiles and other denizens of swamps because no one is calling for Biden's removal because no one in DC cares about the country any more. It is all about power and getting their kids in the right schools, getting tax breaks for their donors, and pocketing a share of whatever money Chairman Xi is handing out.
Lots more at the link.
UPDATE 2: Hmmmm. Not sure why this didn't work. To get the full effect you'll need to click on the link under Ryan Girdusky's name: