BY FRANK HILL | AUG 2021
Originally published in The North State Journal
The past two weeks in Afghanistan have been an unnecessary and unmitigated humanitarian and geopolitical disaster.
It didn’t have to be this way. President Biden and his national security team appeared to be totally flummoxed when they tried to explain how the withdrawal of troops, American citizens, and Afghani sympathizers became so chaotic under their watch.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin somewhat unbelievably said American military forces did not have the capability to go outside of the Kabul airport to get all of the estimated 11,000 Americans safely out of Kabul. There was hardly any talk about how this administration and national security leaders were going to evacuate the estimated 250,000 Afghani U.S. sympathizers who were translators, spies, drivers, informants, and subcontractors who are now in danger of being executed by the Taliban. Continue reading
BY MICHAEL S. JOHNSON | AUG 23, 2021
Part I of II
“A couple of days ago I was down in Mexico and I said look, you know, if, if our borders are the first line of defense, we’re going to lose and this is unsustainable…We can’t continue like this, our people in the field can’t continue and our system isn’t built for it.”
Alejandro Mayorkas, Secretary of Homeland Security, quoted from a leaked tape recording of a private meeting with border patrol agents in Texas, August 12, 2021
You have to appreciate the Secretary’s candor, even if in private. While he has intimated as much in his public statements after touring the border, this is the most honest assessment we’ve had from anyone in the Biden Administration.
While the White House grapples with the unmitigated disaster unfolding in Afghanistan it should also not diminish the priority of dealing with another unfolding disaster on our southern border.
It’s about time that someone senior in the Administration said what most Americans have known for a long time. The President and his underlings, including the Secretary and a good many progressive members of Congress, have been in public denial about the chronic crisis on our border. The propaganda, the almost comical prohibitions against the use of certain words in describing events there, the refusal to support enforcement of our immigration and criminal laws have gone on long enough. Continue reading
BY MICHAEL S. JOHNSON | AUG 17, 2021
“The State Department could not immediately be reached for comment. Department spokesman Ned Price said Thursday (August 12) that the departure of Americans from the embassy was “not an evacuation,” but rather “a reduction in the size of our civilian footprint.”
Susannah George and Bryan Pietsch reporting in the Washington Post 8/15/21
Ned, tell that to the families of the three Afghan souls who fell from the sky as the US military cargo plane rose from Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul with US evacuees on board. Tell it to the Afghans we all saw clinging to the side of the plane or the hundreds of Afghans running alongside as it prepared for takeoff.
The scenes from this war-torn and war-weary country are heartbreaking; as the President called it, “gut-wrenching”.
It is painful to watch the desperation of those people, especially the women and children, who face yet another period of brutal Taliban rule.
You can’t help but feel angry and humiliated. The US is engaged in surrender once again, acknowledging the failure and probably futility of yet another nation-building escapade in a country where the religious extremes allow no separation of church and state, none of the freedoms women and children enjoy in democracy, and none of the safeguards against government oppression. It is what has been described as “a graveyard of empires.” Continue reading
BY MICHAEL S. JOHNSON | AUG 1, 2021
“I am still recovering from those hugs and kisses that day”
Capitol Police Sergeant Aquilino Gonell, July 27, 2021
It is one of the more memorable and widely-reported quotations to come out of the first and so far only scheduled hearing of the House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the United States Capitol.
It was in a response to Rep. Liz Cheney, who asked Sergeant Gonell about former President Donald Trump’s assessment that the crowd that marched on the US Capitol on Jan. 6 was, he said, “a loving crowd. There was a lot of love in the crowd.”
Gonell was one of an estimated 140 people injured that day, mostly police officers who will be recovering long after the public’s memory of that day fades.
The cops were badly outnumbered. They were beaten, gassed, stabbed, jabbed, and crushed against walls and doors in a vain attempt to hold back an angry mob whose aim was preventing the formal certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory. Some declared themselves intent upon killing or kidnapping the Vice President and elected Members of Congress, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Continue reading