No Substitute for Victory

No Substitute for Victory

By Patrick F. Cannon

I am going to write about the implications of the 2020 Census later this week, but the tragic betrayal of our Afghan allies by the Biden administration has made me add an extra today.

            You may recall that those Afghans who had served us as translators and in other roles were promised that they would be able to emigrate to the US and other countries before we finally left. Despite getting advice warning of what might happen, President Biden kept his promise to leave after 20 years of endless war before keeping his country’s promise.

Once again, the United States was seen to shamelessly abandon its friends. Few of us would argue with the decision to finally leave after 20 years, but President Biden will have to live with his badly-timed decision to leave before keeping our very public promise. His self-serving statement on Monday will ring hollow and forever tarnish his legacy. While it is true that the feckless Trump made a bad deal with the Taliban, using it as an excuse for abandoning our friends was and is cowardly.

I am reminded of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur’s statement, after he was relieved of command in Korea, that “There is no substitute for victory.” By that, he meant you shouldn’t go to war unless you intend to win. Korea is still divided, and in its wake we have Viet Nam, Iraq, Syria, and now, Afghanistan.  But at least if you don’t intend to win, you should at least leave with honor.

Copyright 2021, Patrick F. Cannon  

4 thoughts on “No Substitute for Victory

  1. Little surprises me anymore — this country seems to suffer a new outrage every day — but the debacle in Kabul has left me dumbfounded.

    In terms of direct combat, we already were disengaging from Afghanistan. There had been no military casualties for our forces in a year and a half. We could have easily maintained stabilizing bases there as we have elsewhere. The president’s advisers argued for as much.

    With a whim of iron, the president or someone decided he would be the one to end this longest of American wars, and by the anniversary of 9-11, of all dates. Well, he sure did.

    It’s hard to know whether this came about as a result of unfathomable stupidity or purposeful subversion. Was the idea to burnish his “legacy”? Did he mix up his meds? Did he want to follow the gesture of Obama, who took credit for “ending” the Iraq War?

    The hasty statement delivered yesterday by the stupefied Biden, or whoever pixelates that hologram, was one of the most shameful and dispiriting things I’ve ever heard from a president. Mr. “Buck Stops Here” passed the buck to anyone he could blame: Trump, the Afghan army, the loyal Afghans who “didn’t want to leave.” At least he didn’t blame climate change. Even the liberal media, always dependable to defend their moonstruck partisan ideologies, recognized a sinking ship in flames and ran for the life boats.

    The damage will be lasting. This may be the end of America’s preeminence. At the least, the world now knows that we are, in the words of historian Bernard Lewis, harmless as an enemy, and treacherous as a friend.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Let me add another thought. Biden’s Afghan choice was intentional, fully so. As with Hunter’s influence peddling, his fondling of women and girls, his being elected president despite not campaigning and lacking connection with voters, he was convinced he could get away with it. The media have portrayed him as an avuncular, even harmless old fellow, but he is not. He is a flawed, spiteful character who has insulated himself from moral judgment in some fifty years of inconsequential political life. Now he is commander in chief and can do what he pleases. But what pleases him are acts of self-justification, regardless of the consequences on others. He is inherently weak. As a senator and Vice President it didn’t matter. As president he will now boldly commit rash actions, with no thought of their outcomes, to conceal it.

        Liked by 1 person

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