The 10 [make that 2] percent solution

President Biden gave his statement on our departure from Afghanistan yesterday. The White House has posted the text of Biden’s remarks here. It has also posted video of his remarks on YouTube. I have posted the video below.

We have been following Biden’s statements and remarks over the past two weeks. He had nothing new to say, but he said it louder and more belligerently than he did last week — like a mean drunk at closing time. As he slurred his words, he only amplified the effect.

He took no questions. He turned his back and retreated, returning to the lectern only to grab his mask.

A contradiction lies at the heart of his remarks. Our exit — our defeat by the Taliban — is a great success. ‘Twas a famous victory. Also, it’s Trump’s fault. Trump tied his hands! Biden is comforted in our disgrace by his lack of shame.

Listening to his remarks live, I thought Biden made news with this: “The bottom line: Ninety percent of Americans in Afghanistan who wanted to leave were able to leave.” Doing the math with the White House numbers would give us another shot at figuring those we left behind. However, the White House transcript reflects this correction: “The bottom line: Ninety [Ninety-eight] percent of Americans in Afghanistan who wanted to leave were able to leave.”

Doing the math with the White House numbers — two percent of 6,000 — I figure we left 120 citizens behind. According to Biden’s remarks, we left behind “100 to 200 Americans.”

Translation: Biden almost kept his promise to leave no Americans behind! And Biden has next to no idea what he is saying as he recited the script he had been given.

The American citizens left behind “have some intention to leave.” Translation: They are ambivalent about leaving.

As I say, Biden is comforted in his shamelessness.

Biden introduced his prematurely deceased son into the remarks:

I don’t think enough people understand how much we have asked of the 1 percent of this country who put that uniform on, who are willing to put their lives on the line in defense of our nation.

Maybe it’s because my deceased son, Beau, served in Iraq for a full year, before that. Well, maybe it’s because of what I’ve seen over the years as senator, vice president, and president traveling these countries.

As I say about Biden’s shamelessness…

Bill McGurn wrote the Wall Street Journal column “Biden bets on cynicism” before Biden gave his speech yesterday. It was published On August 30. Because Biden was only repeating himself yesterday, McGurn’s column seemed to anticipate Biden’s remarks. For example, “Mr. Biden is not a Gold Star father and should stop playing one on TV.”

Biden repeated stupid talking points he has previously made: “[T]here’s nothing China or Russia would rather have, would want more in this competition than the United States to be bogged down another decade in Afghanistan.” Does anyone believe this? They are especially distraught that we left behind $85 billion of materiel.

All the talking points are stupid. Every one. To take another example: “This decision about Afghanistan is not just about Afghanistan. It’s about ending an era of major military operations to remake other countries.” That was an era Biden himself had supported, but it ended long ago.

And of course we had the obligatory false choice. Here the choice was to surrender of “commit tens of thousands of more troops going back to war.” I will only observe that this was Barack Obama’s favorite rhetorical device to defend the indefensible.

As I say about Biden’s shamelessness…

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