Is Joe Biden a Gold Star father? Bush speechwriter says POTUS must stop bringing up Beau

William McGurn snapped at Biden for repeatedly bringing up his late son after several US service members were killed in suicide bombings in Kabul

                            Is Joe Biden a Gold Star father? Bush speechwriter says POTUS must stop bringing up Beau
President Joe Biden waves with his son Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden in 2008 (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden was excoriated by William McGurn, the chief speechwriter for former President George W Bush, in a scathing opinion piece for The Wall Street Journal on Monday, August 30. 

McGurn snapped at the commander-in-chief for repeatedly bringing up his late son Beau Biden after 13 US service members were killed in suicide bombings in Afghanistan. The tragedy befell just days after the Taliban's hostile takeover of Kabul that followed the chaotic withdrawal of US troops from the war-torn nation. “Mr Biden is not a Gold Star father and should stop playing one on TV," McGurn asserted.


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McGurn began his essay by stating that some people hoped Biden would “reconsider letting the Taliban dictate the terms of our exit.” He added, “These people profoundly misunderstand the president and the political equations driving his decisions. For Mr Biden, the top priority was to use the 20th anniversary of 9/11 to take a victory lap as the president who ended America’s longest war. When Kabul fell, it added a new imperative: avoid any US combat casualties that would mar the moment. Even at the cost of leaving Americans behind enemy lines and abandoning our Afghan partners.”

“Critics who accuse the president of having no strategy miss the point: What we are seeing is the strategy,” McGurn explained. “It is based on Mr Biden’s confidence that no one will hold the disastrous consequences of his decisions about Afghanistan against him so long as our troops are gone. Accept this and Afghanistan falls neatly into place.”

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the end of the war in Afghanistan in the State Dining Room at the White House on August 31, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

McGurn noted how Biden had declared in July that "there’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of an embassy.” The former speechwriter commented, “Turned out plenty of folks were evacuated from our embassy in Kabul, but no helicopter dared land on the rooftop lest a photographer ends up with an image too close to Saigon ’75 for the political comfort of the commander in chief.”

“Ditto for rescuing Americans in and around the city,” McGurn continued. “Too great a risk of a replay of Mogadishu and another ‘Black Hawk Down.’ So instead of sending highly trained soldiers and Marines outside the airport to do it their way and on their terms, they were largely confined to the airport while Central Intelligence Agency teams and volunteer groups brought people out.”

In this handout image provided by the Ministry of Defence, the British armed forces work with the U.S. military to evacuate eligible civilians and their families out of the country on August 21, 2021 in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Photo by MoD Crown Copyright via Getty Images)

McGurn asserted, “George W Bush surged troops to fight in Iraq. Barack Obama surged troops to fight in Afghanistan. Mr Biden surged them to pack up and go home.” He then noted how the current POTUS was avoiding any sort of mea culpa. “Meantime, the president refuses to acknowledge any hint of failure, much less his own culpability. He has variously denied making any mistakes, claimed he anticipated the entire mess, and wherever possible blamed Donald Trump.”

“He also dodges the hard question by constantly insisting the issue in contention is his decision to leave rather than the deadly hash he’s made of it. And he bizarrely keeps invoking his son, the late Maj Beau Biden, a Delaware Army National Guard lawyer who served honorably in Baghdad and whose early death from brain cancer was tragic but has nothing to do with Afghanistan, much less the 11 Marines, Navy corpsman and Army soldier killed in Thursday’s suicide bombing," McGurn posited, adding, "Mr Biden is not a Gold Star father and should stop playing one on TV.”

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden talks with his son U.S. Army Capt. Beau Biden (L) at Camp Victory on July 4, 2009 near Baghdad, Iraq. Bidden's first visit to Iraq as the Vice President comes days after U.S. forces pulled out from Iraq's cities. (Photo by Khalid Mohammed-Pool/Getty Images)

In conclusion, McGurn said the Biden presidency "now rests on a cynical bet."

“In demanding moments, great presidents appeal to the better angels of our nature. But Mr. Biden’s presidency now rests on a cynical bet that, by the time Sept. 11 rolls around, a war-weary American people will share the president’s indifference to what he has now wrought in Afghanistan. We can already imagine his response to any newsman who dares bring it up: 'C’mon, man. That was two weeks ago.'" McGurn wrote.

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