Pentagon spokesman John Kirby appeared on Fox News Channel for an interview on Team Biden policies, particularly the situation related to America-bashing athlete Brittney Griner, who was recently convicted of smuggling drugs into Russia and sentenced to 9 years in prison, and the status of Afghanistan, which has apparently started hosting al-Qaeda terrorists again, as shown by al-Zawahiri’s presence there.
Predictably, that went somewhat poorly. During the comments on Afghanistan, for example, Kirby
“I think one of the things that we’ve seen over the last year is the rightness of the President, his decisions to end this war, which really has helped put us on a stronger strategic footing around the world because we’re not now focused with such a footprint of American troops in Afghanistan where, quite frankly, the terrorism threat to the country had not metastasized much, much larger than that Al-Qaeda is moving to other places around the world. It was a chance to refocus and rebalance our strategic focus as well as our footing around the world.
So I think we’ve seen now in the past year — just look at what we’ve been able to do and help support Ukraine. Look at how we’ve been able to help rally so much of the international community over what’s going on with respect to Taiwan.”
Unmentioned was why the US would have been unable to ship guns to the Ukraine or send Pelosi to Taiwan for a day if Special Operations Forces or paramilitary contractors had staying in Afghanistan and kept the ANA from collapsing.
Perhaps leaving was the right decision, in fact, many on the MAGA right wanted to leave and were right to want that. Endless wars aren’t a good thing. But Kirby’s defense of it was weak, and the whole “stronger strategic footing” bit seemed hardly believable.
Similarly weak were his comments on Brittney Griner. On the topic of Griner, Kirby was asked “Do you still feel like you’re operating from a position of strength there? You say the deal has been on the table for multiple weeks and still nothing has come to fruition.”
His response? Apparently, the Russians don’t want their arms dealer back. Or, more probably, they smell weakness in Biden’s Administration and are just waiting to see what other goodies Biden will throw in after Griner rots in a Russian jail for a few weeks. In any case, here’s what Kirby said:
“Well, the fact that nothing has come to fruition is on the Russians. It’s not on the American side. We made a serious proposal, we’re working on this very, very hard. And as far as we’re concerned, negotiations will continue. We made it clear that we have an offer that we want the Russians to take seriously. We want Brittney and Paul home. And again, we’re willing to keep talking to the Russians about that.”
As with Afghanistan, the actual result, Griner being locked up, is hardly a bad thing to the average MAGA Republican. She’s an America-basher, so there’s more than a touch of schadenfreude in seeing her locked up.
But, as with Afghanistan, it also shows Biden’s weakness. Despite her cause being one that all of the average Biden voters are championing, Team Biden can’t manage to get her released and Kirby’s response was hardly reassuring on that front.