The phrase in the title has an uncertain origin, however, it was aptly applied during a conversation between German General Ludendorf and another German General Hoffman characterizing the British soldiers they had been fighting in World War 1. Ludendorf stated that the British fought “like lions,” to which Hoffman replied, “Yes, they fight like lions. But they are led by donkeys.”
This retort was meant to convey admiration for the fighting prowess of the British soldiers and disdain for their high ranking officers who sent their men to be essentially cannon fodder for the Germans while they were safely removed far from the battlefield itself. It certainly feels as though that description fits the current state of the U.S. military in light of the disaster unfolding in Afghanistan, for we have the fiercest of warrior “lions” being led by feckless “woke” bureaucrats resembling a herd of jackasses.
Here I must confess that I am not the first to connect the WW1 quote with the current horror in Afghanistan. In fact, the following video is where I found the comparison as delivered with passion by Bill Whittle.
On the summit of ‘donkey-leader’ hill resides the Jackass in Chief, the unduly selected President Joe Biden. More about his role in a bit.
I have heard many descriptions of the disgraceful disaster of the American abandonment of the failed war experiment in Afghanistan. It was indeed shameful, and disgraceful, and a stain upon America to witness our partial exit from Afghanistan.
I say ‘partial exit’ because, as is well-known to our further shame as a nation, there are a lot of Americans stranded there at the mercy of the Taliban! Some of these Americans will have British and French troops to thank for their rescue, as the American military is not doing this, nor is it clear they will be trying to get our fellow citizens out of the country anytime soon.
The Americans last rescue policy
There are two facts that may distress Americans who have loved ones in Afghanistan outside of Kabul airport. One is that if anyone is getting out first, it is the Afghani refugees, not American citizens.
Somehow the Leftist view is that we should be concerned more about the Afghanis, refugees, and allies alike, than for the fate of thousands of Americans now trapped in virtual hostage conditions in the Taliban’s new nation. That America has some sort of moral obligation to these than to Americans themselves.
That is actually the reverse of what real national morality demands. Tucker Carlson puts it this way…
OK, so Afghan refugees have destabilized countries into which they have moved in large numbers, but we have a moral obligation to take them anyway. Really? Why is that? Why is this our unique moral burden? Isn’t the U.S. government’s first obligation to its own people? Isn’t that the only point of having a government to look out for its citizens?
The second disturbing fact is that our military forces aren’t looking for Americans outside of the airport because they’re being ordered not to do so. Now, let’s get back to Biden’s response to the crisis of Americans stranded in Afghanistan. From the article linked above…
Joe Biden will not allow our military to rescue Americans and does not know how many Americans are left to be rescued. This is the greatest American defeat in history under the leadership of a dementia patient. There are now reports that British troops are even rescuing Americans in Kabul.
The Washington Examiner reported:
I understand that the commanding general of the 82nd Airborne Division has told the commander of the British special forces at the Kabul airport to cease operations beyond the airport perimeter.
Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue has told his British Army counterpart, a high-ranking field-grade officer of the British army’s 22nd Special Air Service Regiment, that British operations were embarrassing the United States military in the absence of similar U.S. military operations. …the British officer firmly rejected the request.
This show of rare tension between the U.S. and British command groups in Kabul reflects three factors.
First, it shows the obvious stress of attempting to extricate thousands of personnel under a situation of increasing terrorist threat. Elements of the Haqqani network, the Islamic State in Afghanistan, and possibly al Qaeda are now operating in proximity to Kabul airport with some degree of command separation from the Taliban.
In addition, the British military has more operational latitude in Kabul than the U.S. military, including the Navy SEAL elements present at the airport. I understand that the SAS has conducted operations to bring American citizens, as well as British citizens and at-risk personnel, through checkpoints and to the airport.
On whose authority did this general attempt to order the commander of the British SAS to cease their operations around the Kabul airport? Or did he just demonstrate his own foolishness and hubris here?
In one case, this general would not be classified so much as a ‘donkey,’ as a servant of donkeys. In the other case, the U.S. commander is himself one of the ‘donkey-leaders.’
In either case, the consequences of the terrible decisions by these mule-headed fools remain catastrophic, to say the least. The most horrific consequences will come in the future, as the Taliban now has control of both the nation and the fate of thousands of Americans in their hands.
The Taliban will use abandoned Americans to their advantage
This may seem like stating the obvious, but I believe we should carefully examine this factor. There is more to consider.
Understand that first of all, the Taliban is now in a decisive position of advantage on the world stage at the moment and will only seek to increase that power. Due to the incompetence and malevolence on the part of this administration, the Taliban now has in its possession,
75,000 vehicles, 600,000 weapons and 208 airplanes/helicopters in Afghanistan as the Taliban takes control of the country,
Moreover, they have shown this strength in refusing to move the deadline for Americans to leave Afghanistan past August 31st. The Biden administration has been pleading with them and they have refused to budge an inch.
Although the Taliban is still allowing evacuation flights to arrive and leave, they have already breached part of their “agreement” with Biden that “foreigners” would be allowed access to the airport in Kabul. As of August 25th, the Taliban is blocking anyone from entering the airport, including Americans.
As reported by The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, the Taliban have expanded their blockade of the besieged Hamid Karzai International Airport outside Kabul and are now blocking Westerners from getting to the airport, as well as Afghans, despite having repeatedly assured the Biden administration that “foreigners” would be allowed access to evacuation flights and would not be harrassed.
The fate of Americans abandoned in Afghanistan is dim, and some may simply be chosen for execution in the future as an example of the serious intentions of the Taliban. The fact is that these terrorists are effectively holding American hostages right now, and could easily prevent anyone from leaving Kabul airport itself by simply raining down mortars on the landing strips there.
Our chief global foe, the Chinese Communist Party, has already acknowledged they are anxious to deepen ties with the new Afghan government, and the Taliban has affirmed the same desire toward China. This raises the threat to America to a critical level in world affairs, and the Taliban knows America is helpless to do anything about this.
On Monday, China said it “welcomed” the chance to deepen ties with Afghanistan, Agence France-Presse reported. “The Taliban have repeatedly expressed their hope to develop good relations with China, and that they look forward to China’s participation in the reconstruction and development of Afghanistan,” Hua told reporters.
With that reality in mind, what options does America have in this dire situation? Unfortunately, there are really only two options, and each one is bad.
Each option is bad
Because of our ‘donkey-leaders’ and to the detriment of American soldiers who ‘fight like lions,’ the options America has are bad ones. By that I mean, of the choices we could make, none of them will result in a peaceful and safe outcome for us or our allies.
The worst option is to continue the course we are on at the moment. Since the Biden administration’s people have admitted that we don’t even know how many Americans were abandoned in Afghanistan, it is certain that despite our current evacuation efforts, we will inevitably leave many Americans as MIA (Missing In Action), reminiscent of one of the many shameful moments in American history associated with the fall of Saigon.
In fact, this disaster has been called Biden’s “Saigon moment.” The unduly selected President’s statement just last month that there would be nothing like a rescue by helicopter from the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan, as there was in Vietnam, has been shown to be worse than a false hope as we have witnessed such rescue attempts just last week!
However, I must disagree with equating the fall of Saigon and the fall of Afghanistan. Afghanistan is far worse than Saigon.
I admit this is quite an assertion to make given the history surrounding our exit from Vietnam. A brief review of that history will reveal some of the terrible events of the fall of Saigon.
In January of 1975, the North Vietnamese overran a provincial capital just north of Saigon. By late April, Saigon had fallen and America had done nothing about it.
Despite previous presidential promises to provide aid in such a scenario, the United States did nothing. By this time, Nixon had resigned from office and his successor, Gerald Ford, was unable to convince a hostile Congress to make good on Nixon’s earlier promises to rescue Saigon from communist takeover.
The promises made earlier by President Nixon were in conjunction with the signed peace accord from 1973. The North Vietnamese broke the agreement and America did nothing because of political hatred of the former president. Sound familiar?
The Taliban have also broken their agreement, as was noted earlier, and now this has resulted in attacks at the Kabul airport and American military personnel killed and wounded. Still, we sit by and place our hope in evacuation efforts that will fail to extricate all of the Americans.
Yes, this is worse than Saigon for a multitude of reasons. One is the fact that by staying this terrible course America has just made the terrorist presence far larger and more lethal against America and the west!
America didn’t leave a massive arsenal in Vietnam for the enemy to use, yet we have in Afghanistan. They are effectively armed and have an abundance of other equipment they can now sell to enrich themselves and their efforts.
However, the factor that makes this debacle much worse than Saigon is the same one that makes staying our present course the worst option of all. It is the fact that America has further emboldened all of our enemies around the globe by our broken promises in Afghanistan.
America spent decades rebuilding its strength and trust among allies after the shame of Saigon and in the blink of an eye all of that is swept away on the world stage because of what has happened in Afghanistan. Ask yourself this question. If you were a strategic ally of the United States, would you trust us to keep our word now?
The only other option we have is also an unpleasant one. However, it is the single chance, in my estimation, for America to retrieve a sliver of honor and a measure of strength in the eyes of us, the American citizenry, and in the eyes of the world.
This option was ably presented in a short video by military veteran Jocko Willink. Bear in mind that the video was made prior to the latest attack on the airport at Kabul and the resulting casualties.
This recent event only underscores the need for undertaking the honorable option. Willink speaks here as if he were in the place of the present Commander in Chief.
In a very Patton-like manner, Willink outlines what the only true and honorable option is given the current situation. The longer we delay engaging in this option of demonstrated strength and integrity, the more costly it will be to our nation.
However, I also don’t believe this unduly selected administration has it in them to even attempt the honorable option. I could be in error, in fact, I pray that I am.
O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Psalm 4:2 [ESV]