Biden Announces US To Rejoin UNHRC

President Biden has announced that the United States will rejoin, and again fund, the United Nations Human Rights Council.

President Trump had previously pulled funding and withdrew membership when the Human Rights Council had elected members such as China, Cuba, Iran and Venezuela. Those countries are gross violators of human rights but yet would be in charge of monitoring human rights worldwide.  

The Biden Administration does not seem to have those same concerns.

Military Leadership And The Afghan Withdrawal

The withdrawal from Afghanistan was a disaster:  poorly planned and poorly executed. One need to look no further than the videos of the scene over the last two weeks at the Kabul airport and the pictures of the coffins of the dead and wounded in order bring home the human toll.

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Did I Hear That Right?

During his news conference today in which he talked about the final US withdrawal from Afghanistan, President Biden called the operation an “extraordinary success”.

In and of itself, that either ought to make us question Biden’s grasp of reality or maybe his grasp of any semblance of the truth.

Snapshot Of How We Got Where We Are In Afghanistan

Part of any executive and management job, is being able to effectively carry out plans and policies. And that is the concern with the planned withdrawal from Afghanistan scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 31.

So that we understand how the United States got into the position that we are in as we pull out of Afghanistan, let’s look at the things that President Biden and his Administration have done:

  • Perhaps the biggest mistake was the decision to voluntarily evacuate Bagram Air Base, the large US base just outside of Kabul. This forced the US to use the Kabul municipal air base, where we had no infrastructure and the Taliban are in control of everything that goes on.
  • The United States gave a list of Americans and Afghan allies that we want to get out of the country to the Taliban. What do you really think the Taliban will do with that list?
  • The head of US Central Command, Gen. McKenzie, said that we are sharing intelligence with the Taliban. So we have told the Taliban what we know and don’t know?  Of course, an enemy would never use that against us, right?
  • The President said that the Taliban had given their word to provide security, and we saw how that turned out.
  • The President has said that the Taliban will give safe passage to Americans trying to leave the country. Yet, somehow, we still have Americans that can’t get out of the country.

Looking back at these moves, it is hard to imagine how the US could have done anything more to screw things up, even if we had tried.

Private Groups Doing What US Government Says It Can’t

It has taken me a day to process the terrorist attack that killed 13 Americans and numerous others in Afghanistan yesterday.

The decision to withdraw at this time from Afghanistan was made by President Trump. President Biden did not change that decision, so whatever the issue, the question about withdrawal was a bipartisan one. But running a country is not simply about policy, and often we overlook that. You have to be able to be effective, to be able to do the job at hand and to carry out the policies that you espouse.

What we are seeing in Afghanistan is a plan, policy and military that is not being effective-to the point of incompetence, and now American lives have been lost as a result.

I still have a hard time putting into words my thoughts because they are clouded by emotions over a totally needless loss of life that, as a veteran, I probably feel slightly more than other members of the public. Until such time as I can articulate what should be said, I am only left to ask questions…mostly “Why?”

A private organization has rescued and flown out several hundred Christians in the last two weeks. Under the Taliban, people who are openly Christian would be in grave danger and a group of private citizens organized flights to get them out.

A group of military veterans made headlines when they organized their own effort to get out Afghan allies and their families who had helped the US and its military and so had become targeted by the Taliban. Unfortunately, some of the people they were working to get out are unaccounted for at the Kabul airport after yesterday’s bombing but the group had been able to get out a few hundred people prior to that.

Those are just two examples. So the question is simply this: Why is it that private groups can organize, take action and can get people out of the country but the US military is having a hard time doing the same thing, and the US State Department has told Americans not to come to the airport because they can’t make sure they are safe?  Why can people with compassion do something that the whole of the US government and our military cannot seem to do?

And while we are asking questions, why is it that many of our allies, such as Britain and France, our going out and getting their citizens and escorting them to flights out of Afghanistan but yet the United States has told our citizens they are on their own to get to the airports and that the US military will not help them?

The Rising Chinese Threat (Part 2 In A Series): Cyber-Crimes

China has long been known to be involved in state sponsored theft of technology secrets from companies around the world, attempting to make up for its technology gaps in consumer and other products by stealing information from companies around the globe. This has been a concern of both Democratic and Republican Administrations going back at least to the Clinton Administration.

Most recently, as discussed in the first of this series, China has become much more aggressive.  In today’s commentary, we talk about Chinese aggression through state-sponsored global hacking campaign.

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Those Who Don’t Learn From History…

When President Biden created a senior position in the State Dept. for John Kerry, former Secretary of State under President Obama, it was an indication that Biden’s foreign policy might look a lot like President Obama’s.  In the Middle East, that is concerning and recent comments from Sec. of State Blinken show we have not learned from history.

Continue reading “Those Who Don’t Learn From History…”

Hamas and Israel Conflict Gets Hot

Hostilities between Israel and the declared terrorist group Hamas broke out into armed conflict this week. After years of relative calm between Israel and its neighbors, the intense artillery and air strikes have gone on for almost a full week and show no signs of slowing.

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President Biden Sets His Priorities (Part 2 in a Series): New Direction in Foreign Policy

Every President tires to set a tone for their Administration in the first weeks in office. President Biden is no different. In the second installment of the series, we examine the dramatic shifts Biden has already made in his first month in office, and what that shows about where he wants to go.

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