Collapsing Afghanistan? Nope, not enough to halt secretary of state Blinken's Hamptons vacay
The late Sen. John McCain, who was all in for reaching across the aisle, drew the line at Antony Blinken.
In 2014, he warned about placing the man in a deputy position at the Department of State as he was "unqualified" and "one of the worst selections of a very bad lot":
'In this case, this individual has actually been dangerous to America and to the young men and women who are fighting and serving it,' McCain said, citing Blinken's ideas about Afghanistan as a prime example.
Well, now it's pretty obvious that McCain knew what he was talking about.
Turns out that as Afghanistan was collapsing on the weekend of August 14 and 15, Blinken had more important things to do.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken was reportedly vacationing in the Hamptons just hours before Kabul fell to the Taliban, despite warnings that the city was at risk.
Blinken was one of several top-level Biden administration officials to have gone on vacation the Friday before the Afghan capitol [sic] was taken by the group on August 15.
He had his priorities. He had his status to think of.
The dereliction of duty, however, was more than just not suspecting that the capital would fall to the Taliban, which is bad enough. Mr. Preppie Madras Pants actually had some intense warnings that the place was going to blow to hell fast with Taliban barbarians at the gate. Some 23 of his own State Department diplomats at the Kabul embassy had just a month earlier had sent a dissenting memo (which is normally a career-killer) to Blinken warning about the Taliban gaining ground rapidly and the city of Kabul being in danger of falling. The memo also called for sterner warnings about Taliban violence and preparing plans to evacuate the collaborators. The Mail reports that Blinken actually read the memo, and a spokesman said he praised the use of the dissent channel. But it sure as heck was not enough to stop Secretary Topsiders from halting his croquet.
As a result, the Mail says the embassy evacuations from Kabul never started until after the capital had fallen to the terrorists and Afghanistan's feckless president had fled without a fight. The likely polo-shirted and printed pants-clad secretary of state found himself on the phone with Afghanistan's President Ghani as the capital went down, trying to coach the man into signing a last-minute power-sharing deal with the Taliban well after it was too late and the barbarians were circling the city to enter in triumph.
As a result, Americans now remain abandoned in the city as Joe Biden's Aug. 31 pullout deadline approaches, American diplomats are in the lurch, and Afghan translators are set to be left behind. The Mail reports that 300 Americans are still scattered throughout Kabul trying to get into the airport, and that's Blinken's figure — no word about how many are out in the countryside, and whether that 300, likely from State Department form submissions from a website that is often down, might just be an undercount. Bottom line: The job is not done.
As one columnist noted (unfortunately, I cannot remember who), why wasn't Blinken banging the table and resigning, given that the entire evacuation plan was a built-in disaster, with State Department personnel left on the ground unprotected as U.S. troops were ordered to do their original evacuation as well as abandoning Bagram airbase, leaving Blinken's own people in danger? He didn't. He had better things to do, what with the scotch on the rocks, the seagrass beaches, and the tennis matches and all.
Like all of the Bidenites, he went on vacation instead, imagining that anything that happened could be fixed with a simple phone call from the polo lounge. He's still around, no resignations in the offing, while the biggest foreign policy disaster since Vietnam went down all around him.
Didn't Sen. Ted Cruz endure wall-to-wall opprobrium from Democrats for taking a Cancun vacation while Texas was hit with a disastrous deep freeze, which blew out most of the state's renewable energy? There wasn't a heckuva lot he could have done by remaining in state, but no matter to the Democrats; he needed to stay there and freeze and use energy there, same as the rest of the Texans. Countless memes and oodles of hot wind from Democrats dominated the airwaves for weeks for the misstep.
Blinken's is quite a bit more serious. And like a sheep, he took his cue from the top, his old longtime boss, Sleepy Joe Biden, who didn't want to let the collapse of Afghanistan ruin his vacay, either. What kind of people are these? Leaders lead. These characters fiddle while Kabul burns and imagine that eating cake will take care of things well.
This 1980 song sung by Sting in his days as one of The Police, and this description by its composer, Stewart Copeland (son of a CIA Middle East operative who grew up in that region), seems to portentously describe this swampy situation very well.
Based on the lyrics, you know that that described general is Mark Milley. You know that that president is Joe Biden. And somewhere, Blinken is right there in the cynical mix.
Image: Official photo via Wikipedia, public domain.
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