Biden Administration

The Big Picture: President Biden’s Decision to Withdraw from Afghanistan

The decision to surrender to the Taliban and abandon our Afghan allies and supporters is among the most craven and dastardly decisions in U.S. military and foreign policy history. One searches in history for a decision of such dishonorable magnitude.

The comparison that comes to mind is the agreement by Neville Chamberlain of England and Ėdouard Daladier of France with Adolf Hitler at Berchtesgarten in October, 1938. The agreement, known as tge Munich Pact, has become synonymous with betrayal and appeasement

That will be Joe Biden’s legacy, unless he changes course, which seems unlikely.



There is no new Taliban (Updated August 20, 2021)

In failing to recognize that its surrender to the barbarism of the Taliban in Afghanistan was a major defeat for civilization and its defense of human rights and the rule law, the United States has committed a tragic mistake.

It has abandoned 38 million Afghans to the barbarism of a medieval terrorist regime, and 19 million Afghan women to the dictatorial rule of a misogynistic Islamic ideology which predates the Enlightenment and has not been influenced by it.

The American and allied capitulation to the barbarism of the Taliban must be understood as a terrible setback to civilization and the values of the Enlightenment.


A wounded presidency: Biden’speech on Afghanistan suggests he will be a one-term president

President Joe Biden spoke to the nation today in an effort to justify his withdrawal from Aghanistan.

In his speech he demonstrated both his delusional state of mind and the stubborn, emotionally dug-in thinking that led to his decision to withdraw all forces from Afghanistan, and its botched execution.


Taliban take Kandahar prison, Afghan morale in free fall, Biden delusional: Afghanistan Chronicle – August 11, 2021

As the democratically elected government of Afghanistan teeters on the brink in the face of a Taliban onslaught which is the result of President Joe Biden’s disastrous decision to withdraw all U.S. forces from the country, Biden and his foreign policy team are disconnected from reality. In his op-ed in the Washington Post, Max Boot highlights the “delusional” thinking in the Biden administration. This thinking could find no more cogent illustration than the fact that Biden is proceeding with plans to hold a Summit of Democracies in December.

The Silence of the Generals

One question permeates a deafening silence: Where are the retired American generals and defense officials who should be screaming from the rooftops about Biden’s surrender to the Taliban, and his passive acceptance of Taliban war crimes on a growing scale?

These generals and officials fought the Taliban, and watched over 2,500 American soldiers die fighting the Taliban.

Where is their patriotism now? Why don’t they speak out and shout out about what is going on?

If they remain silent, they will take the shame of their silence to their graves.


Meet the Afghans America is abandoning

It is absolutely appalling to speak to fellow Americans, even those who are highly educated and intelligent, and to understand the abysmal nature of their ignorance about Afghanistan, what has happened in that country in the last 20 years, and the people who live there today.

American news coverage from Afghanistan had almost disappeared until this summer, when President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw all U.S. forces rekindled interest in some readers about the future of the country after America’s retreat.

To counter this ignorance, The Trenchant Observer is introducing a new feature under the heading, “Meet the Afghans America is abandoning.”

It is late in the game to try to counter the ignorance of the American population about Afghanistan in 2021.

We should bear in mind that polls that show 60% or 70% support for Biden’s withdrawal decision are measuring the views of ignorant and ill-informed people.

This is not so much their fault as it is the fault of American society and culture in 2021, when there is little interest in U.S. foreign policy or what is going on in the rest of the world, and news media–except for a few leading newspapers–which reflect that lack of interest.

Please accept our invitation to meet and learn about some of the Afghans who America is abandoning to the mercies of the Taliban.


Do the Afghan forces have the “will” to fight the Taliban?

We have described the horrific choices facing individual Afghan soldiers and officials:

Soldiers and government officials are faced with terrifying personal choices, as it begins to look like the Taliban will take over.

They and their families are extraordinarily exposed to Taliban reprisals, and may have to make excruciating decisions about whether they can better protect themselves and their families by putting aside their weapons and acquiescing in a Taliban takeover, or by sticking with the government forces and fighting for a future under the existing government.

The surrender and withdrawal of the Americans could well have a decisive impact on their calculus.

The “will” that may proive to be the decisive determinant of the future of Afghanistan is not that of the Afghan soldier or government official, but rather that of Joe Biden and the government and people of the United States.


Afghanistan: A chronicle of defeat and looming collapse–August 8, 2021

Developing The Taliban has continued making sweeping gains today, taking the key northern provincial capital of Kunduz, and two other provincial capitals in the North….


EMERGENCY: The U.S. and NATO must reengage in Afghanistan NOW

“The Afghan government could fall quickly,” The Trenchant Observer, July 5, 2021, updated July 21, 2021.

We are appalled, looking at the debacle in Afghanistan triggered by President Biden’s disastrous decision to surrender and withdraw from the country. Biden, instead of conducting a serious policy review and listening to his generals and senior advisers, simply followed his gut and proceeded with the implementation of Dondald Trump’s February 29, 2020 surrender nd withdrawal agreement with the Taliban. Biden didn’t even replace Zalmay Khalilzad, Trump’s ambassador in charge of the Doha negotiatons.

Biden’s failure to replace Khalilzad was powerful evidence that he didn’t want a serious review of the policy represented by the February 29,, 2020 agreement. That agreement is one of the most shameful international agreements ever entered into by the United States.

Trump didn’t give a hoot about Afghanistan, but rather signed the agreement with the Taliban in the hopes of bolstering his presidential campaign by keeping one of his promises.

The agreement itself was scandalous, exchanging unilateral American (and NATO) troop withdrawal for vague promises by the Taliban not to let the territory of Afghanistan be used by terrorist groups attacking the U.S. and its allies, and to enter into negotiations with the Afghan government for a political settlement of the nearly 20 year-old conflict.

Biden and the U.S. knew that once the withdrawal of U.S. forces was set in stone the Taliban would have no incentives for good-faith negotiations with the elected government of President Ashraf Ghani. The facts have proven that to be the case.

The disastrous nature of Biden’s decision to implement Trump’s surrender and withdrawal agreement with the Taliban has been recognized by virtually all serous military and foreign policy experts with deep knowledge of and experience in Afghanistan.



The dog days of August and the Olympic Games: Time to act on Trump and the Republican fascist threat

See Jonathan Freedland, “Trump may be fading away, but Trumpism is now in the American bloodstream; He left in disgrace, yet all signs point to…


The indictment of Trump: The Democratic wall of silence begins to break

See, 1) Laurence H. Tribe, Barbara McQuade and Joyce White Vance, “Here’s a roadmap for the Justice Department to follow in investigating Trump,” Washington Post,…


Should Trump be indicted? REVISED — A comprehensive evaluation of the arguments

A fundamental norm of a democratic state governed by law is that the authors of serious crimes must be prosecuted and sent to prison if found guilty. This rule should apply no matter who they are.

Both President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland have solemnly stated (Garland under oath) that they would not let political considerations influence Department of Justice decisions on whether or not to prosecute individuals.

Both Biden and Garland have violated these promises, in a most egregious and blatant manner, by refusing to prosecute Donald Trump and his co-conspirators.

There appears to be an iron-clad agreement between President Biden, Attorney General Garland, and Democrats in Congress, not to raise this issue, that is, not to even talk about it.

What, indeed, might be the arguments against prosecuting Trump and his Republican co-conspirators?

As there has been virtually no public discussion of the reasons that have led the Democrats to refrain from indicting Trump and his co-conspirators for their apparent crimes, the disadvantages of this course of action have not been articulated or discussed seriously in the media.


The Afghan government could fall quickly

A thousand Afghan military have crossed over into Tajikistan, seeking asylum. They were fleeing the Taliban, who have cut off access to Badakhshan province, including access to the regional center of Konduz in the North. The Washington Post’s Berger reports:

It looks like Biden, unless he changes course on Afghanistan, will, like Lyndon Johnson, be remembered for his disastrous military and foreign policy decisions, and not for his domestic accomplishments.


IMPUNITY: The biggrest and most important story no one will cover

IMPUNITY: The biggrest and most important story no one will cover

When will Trump be indicted?

Why are we asking this question five months after Democratic President Joe Biden has been in office?

A Pulitzer Prize is waiting for the Newspaper or Magazine that will field a news team to take this story on.

The Biden administration and Merrick Garland’s Justice Department have not convened grand juries and indicted Donald Trump and his Republican co-conspirators for the many electoral crimes and other crimes they committed in what amounted to a vast Republican conspiracy to overthrow the election and the Constitution.

All the attention has been diverted to the Capital Insurrection on January 6 and the violent demonstrators who seized the Capitol. Attention of the media has focsed on the foot soldiers, and not the generals who sent them into battle. Trump and his Republican co-conspirators commited many acts of intimidation of election officials, and other acts of obstruction of justice. Why have Biden and Garland not prosecuted these crimes?

It as if some foreign country that is an enemy of democracy had launched a massive missile attack on the United States that unleashed a tasteless, odorless gas on the entire population, causing total amnesia regarding certain tenets of democracy and the rule of law.

One such bedrock principle of the rule of law is that crimes must be punished, suspected criminals must be indicted and tried, and, when found guilty, sent to prison.

If Trump gave us the Normalization of the Unthinkable and the Normalization of the Unforgivable, President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland have given us the Normalization of Impunity.


Which newspaper or magazine or news team will go after the Pulitzer that is just sitting there, like on a table, waiting for someone to pick it up?


REPRISE: When will Trump be indicted?

Putting all of these actions together, it appears that Donald Trump led a vast conspiracy, in which he enlisted the support and cooperation of Republican federal, state, and local legislators and officials, to overthrow the results of the November 3 presidential election and, consequently, the Constitution of the United States.

Why have we heard virtually nothing about federal or state grand juries investigating these alleged crimes?

There have been only a few exceptions, such as the grand jury in Atlanta where a courageous prosecutor is investigating a blatant case of apparent election interference for which there is recorded and public evidence.

Why indeed has former President Donald Trump not yet been indicted for the many crimes he has apparently committed?

When will he be indicted?

Moreover, when will his many Republican co-conspirators and accomplices in these apparent crimes be investigated and themselves indicted?

What is going on?

We are all tired of thinking about Trump and his crimes. However, democracy is a very fragile flower, and we have just seen how close we can come to losing it. If America’s first fascist president, and the many members of the Republican Party who engaged in a vast conspiracy to overthrow the Constitution, are not held accountable before the courts for the very numerous crimes which they committed, the lesson of political impunity will not be lost on others.

Americans who are too cowardly to defend American democracy by prosecuting, and insisting on the prosecution of, those who have committed criminal acts in furtherance of the Republican conspiracy to overthrow the Constitution, will have only themselves and their own passivity to blame if it is lost.


America has become a Country of the Absurd

Reprinted, with permission, from ABSURARAMA! June 6, 2021. In the United States, perhaps 50-70 million voters, including a vast majority of Republican voters and almost…


The U.S. doesn’t need investigations or commissions. It needs prosecutions.

Republicans have done the Democrats and the ciountry a huge favor by blocking the creation of a special joint commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection. ..

No, we don’t need any further commissions of inquiry to distract us from the real issues and stakes in American politics today.

What we need is a Justice Department Task Force to launch and coordinate the prosecutions of Donald Trump and his Republican co-conspirators who committed many serious felonies in their efforts to overthrow the election and the Constitution in 2020-2021. Trump should also be prosecuted for his many egregious crimes in office, including the instances of obstruction of justice detailed–with a summary of the evidence–in the Mueller Report, and the many instances of obstruction of justice through witness tampering and retaliation against witnesses for truthfully testifying in impeachment investigations.

The rule of law is at stake here.

Congress, and in particular the House, has an important role to play. Instead of spinning their wheels in yet another congressional inquiry into the insurrection on January 6, the Democrats in the House should be holding hearings into why the Justice Department has not proceeded with prosecuting Donald Trump and his co-conspirators for the many crimes he and they committed in office, including the rash of election-related crimes committed after November 3, 2021.


Fascism in America is here NOW, in the Republican Party

A principal characteristic of fascist parties, such as the Nazi party in Germany in the 1920’s and 1930’s, is the use of violence in the streets and elsewhere against opponents. Today, in the United States, legislators, governors, and electoral officials operate under the threat of imminent bodily harm to themselves or their families.

The highest priority facing the government of Joe Biden is the urgent need to repress this threat of violence, so that votes and decisions and actions of legislators, governors, and government officials are not taken under the influence of fear of bodily harm to themselves or their families.

What can the Biden administration do?

A lot.

For example, they could establish a “zero tolerance”policy for such threats, which constitute serious federal crimes, and prosecute each and every individual who makes such a threat.


When will Trump be indicted?

Putting all of these actions together, it appears that Donald Trump led a vast conspiracy, in which he enlisted the support and cooperation of Republican federal, state, and local legislators and officials, to overthrow the results of the November 3 presidential election and, consequently,  the Constitution of the United States.

Why have we heard virtually nothing about federal or state grand juries investigating these alleged crimes?

There have been only a few exceptions, such as the grand jury in Atlanta where a courageous prosecutor is investigating a blatant case of apparent election interference for which there is recorded and public evidence.

Why indeed has former President Donald Trump not yet been indicted for the many crimes he has apparently committed?

When will he be indicted?

Moreover, when will his many Republican co-conspirators and accomplices in these apparent crimes be investigated and themselves indicted?

What is going on?

We are all tired of thinking about Trump and his crimes. However, democracy is a very fragile flower, and we have just seen how close we can come to losing it.  If America’s first fascist president, and the many members of the Republican Party who engaged in a vast conspiracy to overthrow the Constitution, are not held accountable before the courts for the very numerous crimes which they committed, the lesson of political impunity will not be lost on others.

Americans who are too cowardly to defend American democracy by prosecuting, and insisting on the prosecution of, those who have committed criminal acts in furtherance of the Republican conspiracy to overthrow the Constitution, will have only themselves and their own passivity to blame if it is lost.