Late-night hosts scramble to spin Biden’s Afghanistan horror show

Grima Wormtongues gonna Grima.

The Democratic Party's friends in late-night television are dutifully trying to spin the Biden administration’s horror show in Afghanistan.

It's no easy task.

President Joe Biden this week delivered one of the worst presidential addresses of the past four decades, arguing both that he is right to withdraw the United States from Afghanistan and that his predecessor left him no choice.

Biden also placed a great deal of blame for the Taliban’s successful one-week takeover of the country on the Afghan people, claiming Afghan soldiers and police, of whom approximately 60,000 have been killed since 2001, are weak and cowardly, too pitiful to waste U.S. lives defending.

It’s a terrible situation now in Afghanistan, including that somewhere between 5,000 and 11,000 U.S. nationals are scattered around the country as the Taliban consolidate control. The way in which the U.S. withdrawal has been conducted is squarely on the Biden White House. The president’s arrogant and angry posture this week isn’t helping anything. In fact, recent polling shows independents awarded the president’s speech an “F” grade .

So the Democratic Party operatives who call themselves late-night hosts are doing their best to downplay and excuse what is an objectively horrible and completely avoidable situation created by the Biden administration.

There are these “bad faith arguments by those on the Right who are forgetting that the plan that is being carried out right now was Donald Trump's plan,” said Late Night and one-time Clinton Global Initiative Global Citizen Awards host Seth Meyers.

He continued, saying Trump is “right about one thing: His policies are equally responsible for the Taliban's takeover. After all, he reduced our troop presence from 15,000 to 2,500. The ceasefire he negotiated was directly with the Taliban. He didn't even include the Afghan government. Then, he went back and convinced the Afghan government to release 5,000 Taliban prisoners, many of whom are currently fighting in Kabul, while also agreeing to pull all troops out by May 1. So, you can't put all the blame for a debacle you helped set the stage for.”

Despite all the irrelevant facts Myers invoked, you can indeed put all the blame for the the current debacle in Afghanistan on the Biden White House. The administration has no plan to evacuate U.S. citizens or Afghan allies. It’s entirely Biden's fault this was done in such a slipshod manner — that Americans had to scramble to evacuate the U.S. Embassy in Kabul as Taliban militants stormed the capital city. These events, and everything happening in the country right now, come after the president ordered the U.S. military to abandon Bagram Airfield in the dead of night.

Over at CBS, the commentary was similarly obsequious.

“Republicans were quick to point the finger,” said host Stephen Colbert, fresh from partying it up at the Obama multimillion-dollar Martha’s Vineyard mansion, "including the former president, who called on Biden to 'resign in disgrace' over Afghanistan. Pretty weird to blame Biden for withdrawing troops, when, this summer, he was claiming credit for it.”

There it is again — the intentional misrepresentation of what people are actually criticizing. The Biden White House is being hammered not for withdrawing from Afghanistan but for a chaotic, lethal, disorderly, and incompetent retreat that may already be turning into a slaughter.

Colbert added, “Why should our soldiers be fighting radicals in a civil war in Afghanistan? We've got our own on Capitol Hill. And maybe Biden's right. Maybe there was no good alternative. Were we never supposed to leave? Make Afghanistan the 51st state? They'd have better COVID numbers than Florida.”

This is an example of a classic logical fallacy known as "false dilemma" — that the only options were indefinite occupation or a hasty, frantic withdrawal in which allies are betrayed and U.S. citizens abandoned. Colbert followed up his pro-Biden spin with a dig at the Republican governor of Florida and then apparently advocated for the use of the U.S. military against the civilian population.

Well, no one ever said playing court jester to a decrepit emperor was easy. You have to work with the material you’re given.

More seriously, Biden was not obligated to go through with the withdrawal or to do so on the exact timetable he chose. He has repeatedly shown he has no problem overturning Trump policies and executive orders.

Likewise, no one from the previous administration forced the Biden White House to execute the Afghanistan withdrawal so incompetently. No one from the previous administration forced the Biden White House to attempt the withdrawal with zero planning or forethought. This disaster is 100% on the current resident of the Oval Office, the protestations from his political lackeys in pop culture notwithstanding.