Taliban boxes Joe Biden into a corner on Aug. 31 deadlime

As Joe Biden held his Sunday briefing, advising Americans that all was well and the evacuation from Afghanistan was progressing, the Taliban was listening.

The most critical part of the presser came with the first question, from Associated Press reporter Darlene Superville, who asked Biden if the August 31 deadline might be extended.

NBC News cut that answer off for a reporter's rehash of the brief, just as viewers were leaning in to hear that answer.  Some news agencies eventually reported the answer, though.

"Our hope is we will not have to extend, but there are going to be discussions, I suspect, on how far along we are in the process," the president said.

That prompted the Taliban to pounce:

The Taliban has said it will 'provoke a reaction' and has threatened 'consequences' if the US does not leave Afghanistan by August 31 and chooses to extend the deadline for the withdrawal of troops.

President Joe Biden wants all Americans to have left the country by the end of the month, in order to stick to the troop withdrawal agreement reached with the Taliban, although he admitted on Sunday night that an extension was under discussion, while this morning UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said the evacuation effort is 'down to hours now, not weeks'. 

Taliban spokesman Dr Suhail Shaheen said the group will not accept an extension to the deadline and warned of retaliation if Western forces extend their 'occupation' since the group dramatically swept to power. 

Seems the Taliban, whom Joe Biden is depending on for a safe American evacuation, aren't negotiating.  Negotiations are for losers, nations that beg their embassy not be attacked.  The Americans will stick to Joe's stupid Aug. 31 deadline...or else.  They've got the power.

Besides not negotiating, they're telling Biden, the putative leader of the free world, what he's going to do.

This ought to prompt an airstrike right there on this filthy terrorist, but thanks to Joe, we've pulled out.

The backstory of this is very much worth looking at.

Former U.S. ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, a diplomat I enjoy following on Twitter but often disagree with, is pretty sound on this:

Repeatedly, he links the chaos at the airport gates to the artificial deadline, which Joe threw out there on July 8 based on his desire to make it not 9/11.  Now he's got chaos at the airport as a huge crush of desperate people seeks not to be left behind.  He's got 10,000 Americans in there somewhere, but his troops can't come out of the airport to find them, the way the British, the French, and the German allies are, and while the State Department tells Americans not to come at all, given the danger.

Here's the take from Biden's secretary of state, Antony Blinken, basically telling stranded Americans that Joe's given up:

Hard deadline, say the Taliban terrorists, plus warnings of an ISIS-plotted attack in that area.  And Joe's early warning to rain hell down on them if they interfere with the evacuation has obviously been dismissed.

Meanwhile, nobody can come to the airport -— not only are the crowds making it impossible, but the Taliban are going around and beating up Americans trying to get in and stealing their passports.

It sounds as though the Taliban have Biden in a bind, are unperturbed about his past threats, and are now looking for the mother of all hostage crises.  They know that Joe won't fight, nor send more troops, nor put up any resistance, nor pay attention to the pleas of allies.  His word is worthless, and they don't fear him.

They certainly don't want all the Americans to get out.  Besides the big shiny new American aircraft, Humvees, Blackhawk helicopters, night-vision goggles, flight simulators, tanks, rifles, airbase, and all they've taken from the abandoned booty of the Americans, they'd also like a treasure trove of U.S. hostages.  Marauders like this don't stop to count the loot.

They've struck hard and fast, knowing they've got doddering Joe backed into a corner.  Now they're showing what they're about.  They're making it impossible to evacuate all the Americans (and Afghan collaborators) yet demanding the U.S. get out on Joe's early timetable as if that's some kind of obligation of the U.S. to these certified treaty-breakers, and if they don't, then they'll do something evil.

It's disgusting.  And it's more disgusting because it's hard to think Joe will call them out, telling them, as any U.S. president ought to do, the hell with their "orders" and send more troops and take back Bagram airbase, as President Trump would have done.  What's bad is that this threat will trigger more airport panic, as McFaul described above.  Net result?  Fewer Americans will be able to get out.

Proud of yourself, Joe?

Image: USAToday video screen shot via shareable YouTube.

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