President Biden is making Jimmy Carter look like Winston Churchill.
Carter, president from 1976 to 1980, is generally held by critics to be a failed, one-term president. He was defeated for re-election by Republican Ronald Reagan.
This assessment is based on four years of an economic crisis that featured skyrocketing inflation, soaring interest rates, an energy shortage, long gasoline lines for scarce and overpriced gas, joblessness and, most importantly, the violent Iranian takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.null
In that takeover, Iranian militants on Nov. 4, 1979, seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage. They were blindfolded and humiliated before they were imprisoned and held for ransom.0:00 / 0:00Read More
The attack was in retaliation for Carter welcoming the shah of Iran, who had abandoned his country to the radical Islamists, to the U.S. for medical treatment.
If this hostage story sounds familiar, it should. Because it it is what President Biden has given us today with his abandonment of hundreds of U.S. citizens left behind in Afghanistan.
Only now the stakes are much higher.
But there is one key difference between Carter back then and Biden today.
Biden has done the opposite. Instead of sending troops in to rescue the Americans, he pulled the troops out, leaving hundreds of Americans and their families behind, along with thousands of Afghan allies.
Another difference is that the Carter hostages were treated as heroes.
Biden and his feckless Secretary of State Antony Blinken have shamelessly tried to blame the stranded Americans in Afghanistan for not getting to the Kabul airport in time.
Also, Carter hardly let a day go by without commenting on the plight of the 52 Americans held in Tehran. He saw it as his duty to free them.
Granted the Carter rescue mission failed miserably. It cost the lives of eight Americans when a helicopter crashed into one of the C-130 transport planes on the ground at a staging area outside of Tehran. But at least he tried, and at least he took responsibility.
In an address to the nation, Carter said, “It was my decision to attempt the rescue operation. It was my decision to cancel it when problems developed. The responsibility is fully my own.” Carter later admitted that his obsession with freeing the hostages may have cost him re-election.
At the time, Carter, who was challenged for the Democrat nomination by Sen. Ted Kennedy, thought it inappropriate to campaign while the hostages were in captivity. He would use the time to free them. So he adopted what was then called the stay at home “Rose Garden Strategy” and did not campaign in any of the Democrat primary states. He won the convention but lost the election.
Contrast that to Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris campaigning in California for Gov. Gavin Newsom while Americans are still trapped in Afghanistan.
The Iranian hostages, after 14 months of captivity, were freed on the last day of Carter’s presidency after $8 billion in frozen Iranian assets were released. The next day Carter, now a private citizen, flew to West Germany to greet them on their way home.
Biden, meanwhile, while calling his botched evacuation a success, is desperately trying to put the abandonment of the stranded Americans behind him.
Rather than talk about the Americans he left behind, or the increased likelihood of another terrorist attack on the U.S., Biden he is talking about the “existential threat” of climate change and COVID-19.
Meanwhile the abandoned Americans are at the mercy of the Taliban and other associated terrorist groups, while the Biden administration pleads with the Taliban to gain their release.
So far, their only hope of rescue has come not from the U.S. government, but from U.S. veterans who previously served in Afghanistan, and who have been able to get some Americans and Afghan interpreters out of the country.
Thanks to Biden’s ineptitude, the Taliban are calling the shots.
Biden promised that U.S. troops would remain in Afghanistan until all Americans who wanted to come home were able to come home.
He broke his promise. He lied to them and to the country.
Joe Biden is no Winston Churchill. He is not even Jimmy Carter.
Peter Lucas is a veteran political reporter and columnist.