It’s often said that a politician’s stance on an issue will depend on who is in power. Democrats who vehemently opposed the Iraq War suddenly became bloodthirsty cheerleaders for intervention when Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama decided to kill thousands and destabilize the Arab world. Similarly, Republicans who backed President Bush’s $700 billion bank bailout in 2008 tried to reinvent themselves as the party of “no more bailouts” after Obama took office. But one of the most recent instances of this hypocrisy really takes the cake.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) recently praised President Biden for his decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. According to Hoyer, “I believe that President Biden is making the right decision to bring all of our personnel home this year.” But didn’t another President already make plans to shut down the US presence in Afghanistan?
Yes, that’s right, President Trump announced last November that he would pull US troops out of Afghanistan. So certainly Hoyer agreed with Trump, right? Here is Hoyer’s statement in response to Trump’s action:
Today’s announcement is a hasty move intended to undermine the incoming Biden Administration. It ought to surprise no one that this comes just days after President Trump fired top Pentagon officials who stood against his counterproductive plans.
The U.S.-allied government in Afghanistan remains in a precarious position, holding the line against the Taliban with the help of our forces. This kind of draw-down, in the absence of a broader strategy, will only make the situation more dangerous, emboldening the Taliban to step up its offensive operations and signaling a lack of support for the government in Kabul. This is the same dangerous cut-and-run action that President Trump employed in Syria, which led to further bloodshed and a sense of abandonment by our Kurdish allies, who fought so hard against ISIS. Withdrawing troops from Iraq now would put our allies there at further risk as ISIS seeks to regroup.
President Trump, disturbingly but characteristically, did not consult Congress about this action. The only beneficiaries from such a troop reduction right now will be Russia and Iran, which continue to seek ways to thwart American interests, destabilize our allies, and exploit our weaknesses. President Trump has just handed them a gift at the expense of our national security and the safety of our men and women in uniform.
No one should be surprised that Hoyer is a hypocrite. But how anyone could take him or any other hypocritical politician seriously on any issue after such a plainly obvious about face is unbelievable.
Only in Washington could someone make such diametrically opposed statements so close together and still be taken seriously as a “leader.” Hoyer and his ilk are seen as practical, serious, and experienced, while those who want to see a sane foreign policy that doesn’t make war with the rest of the world are derided as impractical, outdated, and unrealistic. Until Hoyer and his hypocritical allies are ignored and treated with the derision they’re due, don’t expect anything in Washington to change for the better.