To have laid the blame for the calamitous handling of the withdrawal of US troops on the Afghan army – as many of them were hiding in fear for their lives – and on translators who’d helped forces opposing the Taliban – as they were being hunted down by blood thirsty killers desperate for vengeance – was beyond crass.
It was heartless, witless and gutless. But, what else should we expect from a man who escaped the Vietnam draft five times.
Less than a year into his lacklustre Presidency, Biden has at least achieved one thing: he has united the United States in utter condemnation of his weasel words.
Managing to get both Fox News and CNN to broadcast searing critiques of your speech, and the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times to do likewise in print, takes some doing. But the 78-year-old President managed it.
Remember when he was campaigning for the job less than a year ago?
He pointed to more than four decades of political service which, he said, had established him as an expert on foreign affairs. The rhetoric continued once he got the job. In a speech in February he declared, “America is back”, adding: “We will engage with the world once again.”
If this duplicitous cut and run is “engaging”, I’d hate to see what he considers to be going it alone.
As General The Lord Richard Dannatt, a soldier with more than 40 years of frontline experience, put it: “We’ve all been encouraged to wash our hands of late.
“But President Biden has washed his hands of the entire Afghan population.”
Last week the world woke up to a stark truth many in the United States have already worked out: merely “not being Donald Trump” is not enough to qualify someone to be the nation’s President.
In their eagerness to dump Trump, they’ve saddled themselves with a pound shop equivalent. It is nothing short of staggering that a country with a population of 330 million seems perennially unable to field a world class statesman or woman with even a shred of credibility.
The widely circulated picture of the President watching a bank of TV monitors at his Camp David retreat prior to his cop out address last week was pitiful.
He did not look like the most powerful man on the planet. Rather, he resembled an elderly man in a betting shop in Tampa watching races on the TV as his money drained away before going off to an earlybird supper at 6pm.
Biden’s team has most likely calculated that keeping his promise to get US military personnel out of Afghanistan and keeping his election pledge will prove a vote winner. They’ll have reckoned that in the shopping malls from sea to shining sea, war-weary Americans will heave a sigh of relief that “their boys and girls” are coming home.
History, however, could prove that projection to be fatally flawed. Winning is hard-wired into theAmerican psyche, it’s part of their DNA.
The fact this will now be the third war the US has effectively lost in less than half a century will not sit well. Just as Vietnam is still seared into their collective consciousness after all those decades, Iraq serves as a more recent reminder of their military failings. And now Afghanistan is to be added to this inglorious roll of honour.
More than 2,300 Americans lost their lives in Afghanistan. Since the terror attacks of September 11 2001, the US spent more than $2trillion on the Afghanistan war. That price in lives and cash bought two decades of effective safety for America and much of the world.
Not with standing the terrorist atrocities that we have endured, compared to what might have been, this can be seen to have been a considerable achievement.
Biden has just walked away from all of that and only time will tell if the harrowing footage of Afghans falling to their death from departing USAF aircraft – which he tried to side-step at an interview by maintaining it took place “days ago” – will do for him what the pictures of crashed and inoperative helicopters in Iran did for Jimmy Carter after his failed rescue mission of US Embassy staff in 1980.
He was booted out of office at the next opportunity.