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SELLERS: Biden’s Afghanistan Defeat Marks the End of an Era—and an Empire

'Domestic violent extremists continue to introduce, amplify, and disseminate narratives online that promote violence...'

As the failures of the Department of Homeland Security, the State Department, US military and other offshoots of the Biden administration become impossible to ignore, the recent efforts to deflect blame have grown more absurd.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in an interview Sunday with normally obsequious CNN anchor Jake Tapper, found no safe harbor while attempting to pin one of the country’s biggest ever foreign-policy flops on the prior Trump administration.

The disastrous ceding of Afghanistan to the Islamic fundamentalist Taliban immediately sparked speculation about renewed terrorist threats on the upcoming Sept. 11 anniversary.

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That occasion, less than a month from now, will mark 20 years since the plane-hijacking attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, as well as nine years since the siege of the US Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, which, among other atrocities, saw a US ambassador sexually violated and dragged dead through the streets.

The painful remembrances of those events—exacerbated now by the decisive defeat in a decades-long war that cost more than 2,300 US lives—would be a sore spot under any circumstances.

Worse yet, it comes during a transitional phase in which the American empire—much like President Joe Biden’s own cognitive functions—already seems to be in advanced, rapid decline.

MAKE AMERICA HATE AGAIN

Adding further insult to injury is Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas‘s outrageous decision to include Trump supporters alongside al-Qaeda terrorists in the DHS’s latest terror bulletin, even as his abject failure to secure the US border remains on full display.

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“The Homeland continues to face a diverse and challenging threat environment leading up to and following the 20th Anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks,” said an Aug. 13 alert from the National Terrorism Advisory System.

“… These threats include those posed by domestic terrorists, individuals and groups engaged in grievance-based violence, and those inspired or motivated by foreign terrorists and other malign foreign influences,” it added.

Far from referring to those plotting Unabomber- or Oklahoma City-type attacks on innocent victims, the “domestic violent extremist” label has been used ignominiously to describe many of the roughly 550 pro-Trump dissidents arrested in the aftermath of a Jan. 6 uprising at the US Capitol.

“[D]omestic violent extremists … continue to introduce, amplify, and disseminate narratives online that promote violence, and have called for violence against elected officials,” said the bulletin.

Seeing our leaders lump America’s most patriotic citizens with, perhaps, the country’s greatest adversary in modern history—Islamic terrorists—may be yet another indication that the war is lost.

Instead of Sharia law arriving at our shores, as we feared 20 years ago, the poisonous blight comes from within, in the form of woke dogma.

Neither one is the greater or lesser of two evils since both equally pose an existential threat to our civilization. Nonetheless, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and the more immediate menace for US and Western interests is not hiding in the caves of Tora Bora but presiding over us at 1600 Pennsylvania.

A SELF-FULFILLING PROPHESY?

Mayorkas’s use of a terrorism alert system to wage a partisan smear campaign risks turning the alert into a self-fulfilling prophesy.

DHS has issued several such false alarms since Jan. 6, each practically urging domestic opponents of the oppressive and inept Biden administration to find common cause with America’s true enemies.

Amid the horror of watching the weekend’s “Saigon on steroids” unfold, I must admit to experiencing a certain level of Schadenfreude, detachedly relishing in the corrupt US president’s global humiliation.

Recognizing that the situation already was unfathomably and irrevocably awful, there was some consolation in knowing that it could help effect positive change by turning public sentiment against the leftist regime.

Frankly, if another 9/11 were to happen, I have difficulty now envisioning the sort of national solidarity that came with the first attacks, largely due to the divisiveness of Biden and his surrogates.

While I would never affirmatively embrace or condone terrorist violence on American soil, there are a few strategic targets I might not lament the loss of, if al Qaeda were to strike.

That is a bad place for the Biden administration to find itself, particularly given its superficially expressed desire to heal the national psyche and restore normalcy.

Just as it did in Afghanistan, the lack of morale on the home front means that the slightest tension could produce a domino effect that sends the whole structure crumbling—and no amount of infrastructure spending can restore US democracy once it’s vaporized.

BUCKING THE RESPONSIBILITY

In a formal address on Monday, Biden pretended to stand behind his decision to withdraw, saying the buck stopped with him (while continuing to shift blame to Trump and others).

“I know my decision will be criticized,” he said, “but I would rather take all that criticism than pass this decision on to another president.”

It’s up to history to judge whether Biden will be vindicated—depending not on the basis for implementing his policies but on the fallout that results from them.

With nation-building for other countries having now become the least of America’s concerns, most would agree that it was past time to make a graceful exit from Afghanistan.

Even so, the frivolity with which Biden squandered away our heavy investment of blood and treasure was a sure sign of the times.

For past presidents, foreign-policy liabilities always came with an upside:

While many objected to America’s presence in the Middle East under George W. Bush, nobody complained about the added sense of security that it brought.

Obama may have engaged in moronic rhetoric about the ISIS “JV squad,” but he was savvy enough to recognize when a troop surge was needed in the region.

Trump‘s bombastic tough-talk and unpredictability may have kept some people on edge, but it also kept our enemies at bay.

With Biden, the only upside is the knowledge that each new catastrophe brings us closer to an eventual resolution. We just don’t know whether that resolution will be the end of a four-term or the end of America as we know it.

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