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Sprinkles from the Left

⏰🚀 Ready, Set, Go: These opinions take 1.58 minutes to read.

“To state the obvious: There was no good way to lose Afghanistan to the Taliban. A better withdrawal was possible — and our stingy, chaotic visa process was unforgivable — but so was a worse one. Either way, there was no hope of an end to the war that didn’t reveal our decades of folly…

The continuing power of the war-on-terror framework reflects the problems that come from too much bipartisanship. Too much agreement can be as toxic to a political system as too much disagreement. The alternative to polarization is often the suppression of dissenting viewpoints. If the parties agree with each other, then they have incentive to marginalize those who disagree with both of them…

For most of my adult life, on foreign policy, our political problem has been that the parties have agreed on too much, and dissenting voices have been shut out. That has allowed too much to go unquestioned, and too many failures to go uncorrected…

Initially, the war in Afghanistan was as broadly supported and bipartisan as anything in American politics has ever been. That made it hard to question, and it has made it harder to end. The same is true of the assumptions lying beneath it, and much else in our foreign policy — that America is always a good actor; that we understand enough about the rest of the world, and about ourselves, to remake it in our image; that humanitarianism and militarism are easily grafted together.”

Ezra Klein, New York Times

“President Joe Biden has instigated a crisis in Afghanistan that could leave American citizens, as well as many Afghans who helped the United States, trapped there — tarnishing the Biden administration and potentially recalling the Iranian hostage stand-off that dramatically weakened the presidency of Jimmy Carter.

On one side are the hundreds of American citizens who remain in Afghanistan… On the other side are the terrorists who launched the attack Thursday at Kabul airport, killing 13 US service members and at least 170 others.

The Biden administration’s self-imposed August 31 deadline has now become a “red line” for the Taliban. At the same time Kabul airport is clearly very unsafe.

That means that some Americans and a far larger number of Afghans will be left in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan…

After the airport attack Biden spoke at the White House and continued to defend his withdrawal decision with a remix of specious arguments that he has made before…

Just when you think that Biden’s unforced error of unilaterally and incompetently withdrawing from Afghanistan couldn’t get any worse, it does.”

Peter Bergen, CNN

Sprinkles from the Right

⏰🚀 Ready, Set, Go: These opinions take 1.61 minutes to read.

“Some readers were upset by our editorial last week: “Biden to Afghanistan: Drop Dead.” But that headline looks more sadly accurate than ever after President Biden’s decision Tuesday to stick to his arbitrary Aug. 31 deadline for withdrawing all U.S. troops from Afghanistan…

There was an alternative. Mr. Biden could have sent in enough military force to provide safe zones and retrieve stranded Americans and Afghan allies. He could have done so with a NATO coalition of the willing…

He could have told the Taliban that the U.S. is not negotiating over the deadline and that U.S. forces will remain for as long as it takes to complete the mission of rescuing our people. This would have salvaged some honor and credibility from the botched withdrawal…

Instead Mr. Biden has negotiated with the Taliban from a position of weakness. He has sent too few troops to protect the Kabul airport and retrieve our allies… The Afghan withdrawal is one of the sorriest American failures in decades. Its consequences will play out for years, if not decades, as friends and foes recalibrate their views of U.S. political will in general, and Mr. Biden’s in particular.”

Editorial Board, Wall Street Journal

“Biden’s original sin was his determined rush to get out of Afghanistan on a fixed timetable. Risk-averse to a fault, he made the avoidance of more casualties his chief measure of success.

That fearful approach was dangerous, just as weakness always invites aggression. And now his fixation on avoiding casualties has led to carnage.

In his late-afternoon remarks, the president struck the right tone with his vow to get those responsible, but he still seems determined to be completely out of Afghanistan by next Tuesday, with the help and cooperation of the Taliban. The very concept is riddled with contradictions, as when he says often the Taliban’s “self-interest” leads him to count on them even as he doesn’t trust them.

Despite his tough talk, Biden’s deadline certainly makes it harder to hunt down those who planned the attacks. The deadline also makes it almost impossible to evacuate the remaining American citizens and our Afghan allies clamoring to get out and away from the Taliban.

Indeed, the Taliban have already restricted Afghans from going to the airport and the tightened security that is inevitable there likely will reduce the number of people lucky enough to make it through the gates.

So America is taking its dead and wounded and leaving in the immediate aftermath of a slaughter. This is not an honorable exit.

It’s a surrender, and a defeat disguised as success.”

Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist.