The headline of the year, perhaps of the century, appeared on the website of nbc News on August 19, 2021. This was four days after the Taliban captured Kabul, forcing the Afghan president to flee the country and the United States to evacuate its embassy, and three days after President Biden’s address to the nation in which he said, “I do not regret my decision to end America’s war-fighting in Afghanistan.” Never mind that this was a fudge, one of many in the speech. “America’s war-fighting in Afghanistan” had for all practical purposes ended some time ago. What he had ended was America’s military presence in Afghanistan as a backstop and support for the Afghan national army, which everybody knew (or ought to have known) could hardly be expected to stand against the Taliban without it. To say that he had no regrets about

 

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