Does Weeping President Deserve Sympathy? – OpEd


Most of the people in the USA and in several other countries seem to think that US President Joe Biden has handled the Afghanistan situation incompetently, without adequate forethought and understanding of the ground realities.

Joe Biden has argued that such a situation that is now prevailing in Afghanistan would be inevitable at any time, if and when the US would withdraw it’s troops from Afghanistan. Obviously, he thinks that US troops withdrawing from Afghanistan is inevitable ,as it has become too costly for the USA ,both in terms of money spent and American lives lost. He seems to mean that he should be given credit for taking the inevitable decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan.

However, Joe Biden’s stand and argument are weak and unacceptable , as adequate preparation has not been done before withdrawing the US troops from Afghanistan and it appears to be a sudden decision that has made the world remain stunned. Lack of forward planning is too conspicuous to be ignored.

The biggest consequence of this decision of Joe Biden to withdraw from Afghanistan after US forces being there for around twenty years, is that the faith on US as a dependable ally has been eroded to a very large extent. Further, the claim about the military might of US to fight against the enemy forces under any circumstances and at any time has also been now questioned and ridiculed.

Finally, when a suicide bomber exploded himself near the Kabul airport killing many people including number of US troops, President Biden lost his cool and wept in front of the media personnel.

Joe Biden’s shedding tears in front of the media , which has been extensively shown in visual media all over the world, inevitably give an impression that Joe Biden realises that he has erred in taking this withdrawal decision from Afghanistan all of a sudden and further feels helpless and now suffers from a sense of panic gripping him.

One of the important attributes of any President of any country is that even in adverse difficult circumstances, he needs to maintain a cool attitude . He needs to exhibit courage of conviction and should give confidence to the people that he can manage the future developments competently. A President who shed tears in the wake of a difficult situation does not create confidence in the minds of the citizens and perhaps, people would start wondering whether Joe Biden is the right man for the job.

After shedding tears, Joe Biden said that he would not forgive and forget, with a voice of aged and clueless person, with effortful and forced firmness brought to his face. There is no hint from him how he would approach the future issue in dealing with the Taliban terrorists and virtually appears to have surrendered to the Talibans. When the US said that all Americans would be evacuated from Afghanistan by August 31, and the Taliban leadership arrogantly fixed August 31 as the deadline for US troops to leave Afghanistan, the prestige of US nose dived and reached rock bottom level, creating a sense of shock , frustration and humiliation amongst the American citizens.

The question remains that when the President of a country starts weeping in the light of the stress that happened due to a crisis , even his ardent admirers would start wondering whether the President deserves sympathy or contempt for his “administrative , governance capability”.

Handling of the Afghan situation by Joe Biden reflects very poor strategies with a large number of sophisticated American arms and ammunition going under the control of Taliban terrorists , which could be used against Americans.

The US has now reported to have shot down two ISI planners and claim that it has taken revenge. Does it mean that the US would not take revenge against Taliban terrorists or would the US view Taliban terrorists as more preferable terrorists than ISI terrorists?

Now, the US should not make the historical mistake, that several past US administrations has done , of supporting one terrorist group in a country to fight against another terrorist group. In such cases, the experience is that ultimately both the terrorist groups turned against the US. Will Joe Biden learn the lesson?

All said and done, Joe Biden shedding tears in public makes one suspect that he has admitted his error of judgement and he is retributing himself and asking pardon from the people.

A leader is not judged by the tears but by the capability to remain strong in most difficult circumstances, that would create confidence amongst citizens. The ardent admirers of Joe Biden wish that the tears should dry up in his eyes.

N. S. Venkataraman

N. S. Venkataraman is a trustee with the "Nandini Voice for the Deprived," a not-for-profit organization that aims to highlight the problems of downtrodden and deprived people and support their cause. To promote probity and ethical values in private and public life and to deliberate on socio-economic issues in a dispassionate and objective manner.

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