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Taliban fighters in Kabul

Taliban fighters in Kabul

Biden is Responsible for Afghanistan's Fall

We’ve all seen the news. We know that Afghanistan was taken over by the Taliban in only 11 days. Here’s what else we know:

  • Thousands of American citizens are stuck in Kabul and other locations and are in mortal danger.
  • The US promised safety and refuge to tens of thousands of Afghanis, including translators, contractors, construction workers, and others who worked for the US military and for American organizations, along with their spouses and children, who must now be evacuated as well.
  • The US military left behind tons of military materiel and critical intelligence assets that are now in Taliban hands.
  • The Taliban captured Bagram Airfield after the US left it and released thousands of terrorist prisoners.
  • President Joe Biden disappeared from view for days and has only spoken briefly – and falsely – to the American people about what the US knew, expected, and did with regard to this withdrawal.

President Biden is responsible for this debacle.

Caroline Downey reports:

US intelligence agencies warned of the collapse of the Afghan military and government at the hands of a resurgent Taliban over the summer, as President Biden publicly downplayed the possibility of a government rout.

On July 8, President Biden told the American people that the Afghan government would not collapse when the US left, that a Taliban takeover was not inevitable. Yesterday, Biden told George Stephanopoulos, "[T]he idea that somehow, there’s a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don’t know how that happens."

William McGurn at the Wall Street Journal writes:

[T]he problem isn’t simply the withdrawal but the shockingly naive way he carried it out. All done, moreover, so he could score political points by using the coming 20th anniversary of 9/11 to portray himself as the man who ended America’s longest war.

But the Taliban understand metaphors too, and they have always invoked Vietnam as evidence that the US doesn’t have the stomach for the long haul. Going forward, 9/11 will be their day of victory and celebration over America.

People in Kabul trying to get into the airport

What will the effects of this disaster be?

For the Afghani people: The clock has been turned back to the late 1990s, when the fundamentalist Taliban last ruled their country. They will live under Sharia law, and all the educational and social gains for women and minorities since 2001 will disappear. The Hill reports:

A Taliban commander said Thursday that Afghanistan will not become a democracy and will be strictly run under Sharia law.

"There will be no democratic system at all because it does not have any base in our country," Waheedullah Hashimi, a senior member of the Taliban, told Reuters.

"We will not discuss what type of political system should we apply in Afghanistan because it is clear. It is Sharia law and that is it,” he added.

Before the US invaded Afghanistan in 2001, the Taliban imposed its interpretation of Sharia, or Islamic law. Girls were prohibited from going to school, and women were not allowed to leave their home unless accompanied by a man.

At the United Nations: Hillel Neuer reminds us that if the Taliban are recognized by the UN as Afghanistan’s rulers, they will inherit membership in UNESCO, the UN agency charged with safeguarding world heritage sites like the 1500-year-old Buddha statues of Bamiyan that the Taliban blew up in 2001. Afghanistan also sits on UN bodies responsible for countering extremism and for safeguarding women’s rights.

Who benefits from the America’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan? Seth J. Frantzman lists them as Qatar, Russia, China, Pakistan, Turkey, and Iran:

All these countries have common interests. They want the US gone from the region. They want America humiliated. They also want to share energy and mineral resources that may flow through Afghanistan. This is their invitation to help make the decline of the US and the West more rapid.

Europeans are wondering if US promises to them will be kept. Liz Sly at the Washington Post reports:

US allies complain that they were not fully consulted on a policy decision that potentially puts their own national security interests at risk — in contravention of President Biden's promises to recommit to global engagement.

And many around the world are wondering whether they could rely on the United States to fulfill long-standing security commitments stretching from Europe to East Asia.

Israel is now less safe. Israel Kasnett writes:

The United States has now left a vacuum in Central Asia, and powerful actors such as Iran, Turkey, Russia and China are already scheming on how to take advantage of the vacuum.

This puts Israel in a dangerous position. Experts agree that the Jewish state must plan accordingly if it wants to survive what could become an Islamic fundamentalist onslaught from the east in the coming years.

And quite simply, the danger to the US from terrorists based in Afghanistan – like the ones who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks – is back on the table.

“There's no question that the return of the Taliban opens up space in this new Islamic emirate for al Qaeda to return, rebuild a base, and for other groups associated or previously associated with al Qaeda, like ISIS, to return to the region,” said Jamil Jaffer, founder and executive director of the National Security Institute at George Mason University.

“Jihadi fighters of all stripes will now once again make Afghanistan their home, as they did in the lead-up to 9/11,” added Jaffe.

President Biden and members of his administration should take responsibility for this disaster, and American voters should hold them accountable in 2022 and 2024.

Further reading

Frederick W. Kagan: Biden Could Have Stopped the Taliban. He Chose Not To

Shoshana Bryen: Afghanistan and the Lesson Israel Learned a Long Time Ago

Adam Kredo: Taliban Frees Thousands of Prisoners, Including al Qaeda and ISIS Fighters

Jason Motlagh: As the Taliban return, Afghanistan's past threatens its future

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RJC Meeting in Las Vegas

RJC Meeting in Vegas Described as a "Must-See" Event for GOP Presidential Hopefuls

Gabby Deutsch reports in the Jewish Insider:

In November, two years before the next presidential election, several GOP presidential hopefuls will appear at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual Las Vegas conference.

“The Republican Jewish Coalition [gathering] is a little bit like New Hampshire and Iowa combined and rolled into one,” said Ari Fleischer, who served as White House press secretary under George W. Bush and is a member of RJC’s board of directors. “It’s a must-travel, must-see, must-talk-to meeting for anyone who wants to become president.”

Announced speakers for the event include a slate of Trump administration officials and fans: former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

...For RJC partisans, more than anything else, the conference is not just a chance to hear from candidates but an opportunity to connect with the other Jews who identify as Republicans. “If you’re interested in this kind of stuff, if you like politics, there’s of course the conventions,” said Fleischer. “But second to the conventions, the RJC meeting is probably as good as it gets.”

You can register for this terrific event, which is open to RJC National Leadership members, by going to Not yet a leadership member? Upgrade your membership here. Questions? Email us at [email protected].

WE’RE BACK! We are pleased to announce that the RJC National Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas is back — bigger and better than ever in 2021!

Register today for a terrific weekend of politics and policy featuring top GOP leaders and outstanding VIP speakers. Watch your email for more speaker announcements coming soon!

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Short Takes

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The Crown Heights riots thirty years later

For the 30th anniversary of the Crown Heights riots, the Washington Free Beacon has a series of articles about the riots, the murder of Yankel Rosenbaum, the career of Al Sharpton, and more.






New York: Meet and Greet with Rep. Andrew Garbarino (In-Person Event!)




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