Joe Biden filibustered his way through the Q&A portion of his press conference yesterday. He ate up reporters’ time by injecting arguments that supposedly support his decision to abandon Afghanistan, even though the questions he’d been asked were exclusively about the execution of the abandonment.
I discussed his most ridiculous argument in this post. Now, I want to discuss another of Biden’s talking points.
Biden said that those who point to the absence of recent American casualties in Afghanistan ignore the fact that this was due to our decision to withdraw. Had we not agreed to pull out of Afghanistan, there would have been American deaths, Biden argued.
This argument isn’t ridiculous or false, but it’s misleading.
Sure, there might well have been American deaths had the Taliban not expected the U.S. to withdraw. But American deaths have been minimal (between one and two dozen per year) for more than six years, and it’s only been a year and a half since the U.S. said it would withdraw if certain conditions were met. Thus, it’s wrong to suggest that, absent the expectation of a pullout, there would have been a substantial number of U.S. deaths in Afghanistan.
The argument that opponents of the pullout are making — that our engagement was resulting in very few American deaths — is accurate. Biden couldn’t deny it, so instead he knocked down a strawman — the view, held by no one, that we could stay engaged with no American deaths.
But maybe for Biden this is not a straw man. Maybe Biden believes that no U.S. military engagement overseas that results in any American deaths is worth it. Maybe Beau Biden’s death, which Joe Biden attributes to his service in Iraq, has induced this belief.
If so, Biden is unfit for that reason alone to be commander-in-chief.