Conservative slams Republicans for resorting to cheap political theatrics following ‘human tragedy’ in Afghanistan
On Thursday, August 26 — with the Taliban having taken over Afghanistan and the Biden Administration working hard to get Americans out of that country — ISIS-K extremists carried out a deadly terrorist attack at the Hamid Kharzai International Airport in Kabul. It didn't take some MAGA Republicans long to resort to cheap political theatrics, blaming President Joe Biden for the attack and neglecting to mention that Biden has essentially followed the Donald Trump/Mike Pompeo plan for withdrawing U.S. troops from Afghanistan. And Never Trump conservative Charlie Sykes calls those Trumpistas out in his August 27 column for The Bulwark, accusing them of stooping to cheap political theatrics following the slaughter of 13 Americans.
"The bombing in Kabul was a national and a human tragedy," Sykes laments. "Some of you may actually be old enough to remember when the shock of losing the lives of 13 American servicemen would have brought us together, if only briefly, as a nation. No longer."
The Trumpistas who have called for Biden's resignation include Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee and Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri — the same Josh Hawley who waved at violent insurrectionists in solidarity when he attempted to subvert U.S. democracy on January 6. And Sen. Rick Scott of Florida has advocated invoking the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution against Biden.
"As far as I can remember," Sykes writes, "Democrats did not demand GW's resignation or impeachment after 9/11. Nor was there a clamor for Reagan's head the day that 241 Marines were killed in Lebanon. There was fierce criticism, but no one discussed the 25th Amendment. The Bay of Pigs was an epic disaster, but Republicans did not, as far as I remember, immediately call for JFK's resignation. But here we are."
To elaborate on Sykes' point, nor was there a movement to impeach President Franklin Delano Roosevelt after Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941. In fact, some Republican isolationists who had considered FDR overly hawkish took a more hawkish turn themselves.
Sykes says of the 13 Americans killed in Kabul on August 26, "If only we could take a moment from the finger-pointing to honor them."
Although the conservative journalist has been critical of the way the Biden Administration handled the withdrawal of U.S. troops, he has been equally critical of the Trump/Pompeo plan for Afghanistan withdrawal. And in his August 27 column, Sykes stresses that the Kabul attack should not be used for political buffoonery.
"We will continue to debate the wisdom of the 20-year war, and we are likely to remember the retreat from Afghanistan as a fiasco," Sykes argues. "We'll continue to ask, 'Was it worth it?' But no one will doubt the courage of the servicemembers who were in Kabul yesterday."
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