Stone Washington
Reflections on Biden’s failure in Afghanistan, the Trump foreign policy of strength, and the 20th anniversary of 9/11
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By Stone Washington
September 14, 2021

“It looks like the Biden demonstration has just failed in its execution of its own plan.

It looks like they are now trying to get folks out. This remind me of when we have seen previous of administrations allow embassies to be overrun, it’s starting to feel that way.” ~Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

“We must reject the falsehood peddled by a feckless president that this was the only option for withdrawal. This is the product of Joe Biden’s catastrophic failure of leadership. It is now painfully clear he has neither the will nor the capacity to lead. He must resign.” ~Senator Josh Hawley

Contrasting Biden’s failed withdrawal of American troops with Pompeo’s blueprint for a successful extraction

In solemn remembrance of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks on the U.S. this past Saturday, September 11th, I will shed light upon an important testimony from a survivor of the devastation from the collapse of the Twin Towers in New York City. To readers who are not already aware, it is my intent writing this essay that you will become better informed regarding the magnitude of Joe Biden’s foreign policy failure in Afghanistan, following the utterly botched withdrawal of American troops from the country. In recounting the legacy of the 9/11 terror attacks, comparative analysis is required in properly distinguishing the unprecedented lack of leadership and coordination in Joe Biden’s attempt to properly retract U.S. military forces that had occupied the region for the past 20 year, as compared to President Trump’s more developed blueprint on withdrawing troops following carefully structured negotiations with Taliban representatives.

President Biden’s ill-conceived and hasty withdrawal of American soldiers, in addition to carelessly abandoning millions of dollars’ worth of military weapons, aircraft, vehicles, and resources, has left the stranded civilian inhabitants of Afghanistan in a more vulnerable position than prior to 9/11, while erasing much of the progress gained by the U.S. over the last 20 years. If the careful strategy of negotiation and withdrawal established under the Trump Department’s direction had been maintained by Biden’s foreign policy team, the world would not have witnessed the catastrophic collapse of stability in Afghanistan.

Instead of placing American and Afghani civilians in a position to safely and securely execute an exit strategy, Biden prematurely withdrew American troops before any thought was given to evacuating civilians, and was pressured by the Taliban into an August 31st leave deadline. Such a disastrous withdrawal provided an opportune vacuum for Taliban forces to swiftly occupy and reclaim valuable territory from ill-defended positions previously possessed by Afghanistan soldiers. Recall that under the Trump Administration, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with the Taliban at the official signing of the withdrawal agreement in Doha Qatar in February 2020. Pompeo had made great strides to orchestrate a safe and secure exit of U.S. troops and military supplies from Afghanistan, having clearly defined the terms with Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar. Having worked extensively on crafting specific conditions on America’s withdrawal from the region, Pompeo has frustratingly criticized Biden for failing to adhere to the conditions of the agreement prior to pulling troops out.

“This administration just willy-nilly whipped the military out of there, leaving civilians, equipment, all of those things behind”, Pompeo said in a Fox News interview, “I hope we get these folks out. I hope they will bring the airpower. They should go crush these Taliban who are surrounding Kabul. We should do it with American airpower, we should put pressure on them, we should inflict cost and pain on them. We shouldn’t be begging them to spare the lives of Americans, we should be imposing costs on the Taliban until they allow us to execute our plan in Afghanistan.”

What the world has witnessed in abject shock has been the stark opposite to Pompeo’s above statement. None of the immediate chaos that is transpiring occurred under Trump’s tenure, as a well construed four-part withdraw plan would have seen a careful removal of troops in stages over a 14-month period, with the promise that the Taliban would sever ties with Al-Qaida and that Taliban militants would refrain from attacking American forces. Instead, 13 brave U.S. servicemen were killed, in addition to 60 Afghani citizens perished in a horrific suicide bombing incident, during the hasty and disoriented attempt to withdraw troops under Biden’s watch. At a recent rally in Culman Alabama, President Trump seconded Pompeo’s disdain for the historic calamity befalling Afghanistan following Biden’s mismanagement of the withdrawal agreement.

“If I were now President, the world would find that our withdrawal from Afghanistan would be a conditions-based withdrawal. I personally had discussions with top Taliban leaders whereby they understood what they are doing now would not have been acceptable,” Trump wrote in a statement early last month. “It would have been a much different and much more successful withdrawal, and the Taliban understood that better than anyone.”

In a highly watched interview with Sean Hannity, President Trump spoke in length on the disastrous and dangerous implications of abandoning American servicemen in Afghanistan, while pointing out how precariously misguided Biden’s foreign policy strategy has proven to be this year. He questioned whether the collapse of stability and control in Afghanistan was more emblematic of a military collapse or a psychological defeat; or perhaps a perfect combination of both. Trump has joined many Republican Senators and Congressmen that have called for Joe Biden to “resign in disgrace” for the foreign policy collapse and increasing turmoil in the country.

Tim Brown, retired NY firefighter and 9/11 survivor, recounts the Heroes and Horrors of the Islamic terror attack

Two weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending a wonderful conservative conference hosted by the Steamboat Institute in Beaver Creek, Colorado. The conference featured a host of dynamic speakers and group panels, with each segment providing enormous insight on a specific topic of significance. One speech in particular took the form of a tragic testimony delivered by Tim Brown, a retired FDNY Rescue Squad and survivor of the 9/11 terror attack on the Twin Towers in New York City. Brown discussed nearly every detail of his harrowing time coordinating with other firefighters to rescue people seeking to escape the collapsing Towers, 20 years ago. He described in vivid details the many interactions that he had with several valiant firefighters whom he shared treasured friendships with for many years, discussing in heart-wrenching detail how many of the conversations he had with these fellow firefighters rescuing civilians out of collapsed burning elevators or rushing up to floors that were being torn apart by falling rubble in order to rescue a group of trapped individuals. Over 90 of his firefighter friends were killed during such rescue attempts on 911. Below are some key statements made by Brown in his speech.

TIM BROWN: “And something struck me in that moment that has stayed with me since. And it was what the people were not doing. They were not pushing screaming kicking trampling each other; in fact, it was the opposite. For every person who was disabled, pregnant, obese, or injured, there were four or five office workers, not cops or fire office workers, helping that person. And I said to myself internally, ‘no matter what happens today we're going to be okay’, because it's the true human spirit right there, the true human spirit is to help each other out, if we're walking out of here in an hour. And so many trips everybody goes to help that person that's what we do right, except for a few bad ones, and they we treat differently, but that's the true spirit of humanity it's good.”

“And Terry was the captain of the elite rescue company won the Manhattan special operations varsity team. He was the boss because, he was that good, he was that experienced, and he was that smart and the leadership of the fire department at that time recognized that Terry was the future. A future leader of the New York City fire department. And being that he was the Manhattan captain, his tie was all the way up he was clean shaven his coat was perfect, his helmet was brand new. And I ran over to him, and I threw my arms around me around him and got lost in his chest and his shoulders because he was just that big, and we squeezed each other tight and he kissed me on the cheek and he said to me in my ear, ‘I love you brother I may never see you again’. And of course, the dumb Bronx Harlem guy me blew him off because we had done so many things together we had crawled through the rubble together so many times we had been we had gone to places that no one had ever had any business coming back alive from, but we always did and we did it together.

“So, I blew him off and I was like ‘be careful, I’ll see you when we're done’. But Terry was a smart one, ‘remember I love you brother I may never see you again’. And captain Terry Hatton turned around took his men in the stairwell and went up and they made it to the 83rd floor of the north tower where they were saving people's lives and putting the fire out a fireman came running into the lobby where we were yelling that another plane hit the other tower. That's the first that I heard of it, prompting the leadership to huddle up and it was decided how to split our forces, and that we decided to send assistant chief Donald Burns and myself to the south tower to open that command post and try to manage the second biggest disaster in the history of the city of New York that was occurring at the exact same time as the first biggest disaster in the history of the city of New York right next door.”

“Chris and Terry were from our special operations. 14 of their 23 were their elite cops they called them rescue cops may be the best cops in the world and every one of them did what Chris and Terry and Patty Brown and all my other friends, all the men of rescue did. They chose other people's lives over their own, and that's what the Bible says right? No greater love than to lay down your life for your neighbor [John 15:13] and those are the heroes and the horrors of 9/11. And whenever we speak about 9/11, we need to tell the whole truth. People didn't die… they were murdered, and they were murdered by radical Islamic terrorists. How poignant for current events today, right? So, the next few weeks are going to be tough for us. The threat level couldn't be blinking red more than it is. Pray for our firefighters, our police officers, our intelligence community, our military, pray for these gold star families who are hurting so bad right now that's what we can do.”

Reflection on 20th Anniversary of 9/11

As Americans who were old enough to remember the tragedy and horrors of September 11th, 2001, reflect on the memories of the 2,977 people who perished, we must not forget the evil—radical Islamic terrorism—at the root cause of the senseless tragedy. We must also never forget the brave police officers, firefighters, and other first responders who rushed into the eye of the storm to save many lives as the Twin Towers collapsed in the heart of New York City.

Tim Brown, one of those individuals, was blessed to have survived while clinging for dear life onto a support pillar in one of the collapsing towers, with winds of 180 mph surging around him from the implosion of the building. His bravery, faith in God, and the protection of the Holy Spirit ensured that he marvelously survived in a devastatingly dangerous situation, which in all probability, was supposed to see him perish. But unlike the unfortunate members of his squad of valiant firefighters, Brown was not fated to die that day and has since lived to tell the tale of his perilous survival against the odds, similar to Ishmael surviving to tell the story of Moby Dick and captain Ahab. Brown was truly right to quote scripture in John 15:13, which says, “greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”.

In addition to Brown’s testimony, I was honored to hear from and meet with many other great speakers at the Freedom Conference, most notably Secretary of State Mike Pompeo himself, who spoke on how the failures of Biden’s withdrawal in Afghanistan did not pay homage to the memories of those who perished on 9/11, while effectively erasing much of the military gains made in the region over the past 20 years. This, despite the U.S. originally being forced into a perilous war in October 2001 by the Bush Administration; a war that we should never have embarked on in the first place. On this 9/11 anniversary, we must never forget the brave servicemen who gave their all to save and protect the many victims of the terrible tragedies that befell our nation.

Tim Brown’s bold testimony provides an inspiring lesson on why we should continually honor and pray for the souls of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty to save as many as possible from death. We must also do well to distinguish the remarkable foreign policy successes under President Trump, that would most likely have seen a safe and secure withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, compared to the current disastrous foreign policy failures of the Biden administration, which as my article explains, stands in stark contrast.

© Stone Washington

 

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Stone Washington

Stone Washington is a second year PhD student in the Policy Studies Program at Clemson University Graduate School. Stone is employed as a Research Assistant in the Legal Policy Department at the Manhattan Institute, where he recently completed the Collegiate Associate Program. He is also employed as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in Clemson's Department of Political Science and serves as a WAC Fellow for the Pearce Center for Professional Communication. Stone is a recent addition to the Steamboat Institute's Emerging Leaders Council.... (more)

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