BY MIRANDA DEVINE
Psst, Nancy Pelosi! Still looking for a phone call worth impeaching a president?
Do I have news for you.
Reuters has a bombshell report about a July phone call between Joe Biden and then-Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, in which the US president promises military aid in return for lies.
The “perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things aren’t going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban,” says Biden in the July 23 call. “And there’s a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.”
Whether it is true or not.
No, things weren’t going well, three weeks after the US abandoned Bagram Airfield in the dead of night.
Biden’s solution was to create the “perception” that all was fine. He wanted to keep the illusion going long enough to cover his Aug. 31 self-imposed deadline to withdraw US troops and have a victory lap on September 11th, when he would preen as the first president to end the forever war.
So he asked Ghani to trick up an event to make it look as if he had a plan to push back on the Taliban to reassure America’s allies who were beginning to question Biden’s timetable.
“I don’t know whether you’re aware,” said Biden, “just how much the perception around the world is that this is looking like a losing proposition . . . so the conclusion I’m asking you to consider is to bring together everyone from [ex-Afghan Vice President Abdul Rashid] Dostum, to [ex-President Hamid] Karzai and in between. If they stand there and say they back the strategy you put together, and put a warrior in charge, you know a military man . . . in charge of executing that strategy, and that will change perception.”
Ghani tried to explain that the situation was dire: “Mr. President, we are facing a full-scale invasion, composed of Taliban, full Pakistani planning and logistical support, and at least 10-15,000 international terrorists.”
He begged for US air support. “What is crucial is, close air support . . . a very heavy reliance on air power.”
The Afghan army was based on the US model, which relies on air support for enemy strikes, ferrying the wounded, and so on. But the contractors who serviced Afghan aircraft had left, leaving the Afghan army exposed.
Biden offered conditional air support, in return for Ghani going along with his ruse, but only until his Aug. 31 deadline. After that, “who knows?”