The New York Times is Being Too Hard on Joe Biden

Dr. Munr Kazmir
4 min readAug 21, 2021

The debacle in Afghanistan isn’t Biden’s fault. We were all misled for years about U.S. successes in Afghanistan.

A young Afghan girl observes as coalition aircraft provide aerial security during a village clearing operation in northern Khakrez District, May 25, 2011, Kandahar province, Afghanistan. “Operations such as these, conducted by Afghan Commandos with the Afghan National Army’s 3rd Commando Kandak and U.S. Navy SEALs with Special Operations Task Force — South, help legitimize the government of Afghanistan and hinder Taliban influence in the area. Also assisting during the operation were members of the Afghan national police and Ghorak District Chief of Police Alam Guhl. Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force — Afghanistan Media Operations Center.” (Photo: Sgt. Daniel P. Shook)

Readers of the New York Times might have been shocked this morning to see the following headline: “To Save His Presidency, Biden Must Tell the Truth About Afghanistan.

The implication, that President Joe Biden is not only deliberately misleading the American public on the subject of Afghanistan, but also that his presidency is in need of saving, is hard to miss.

Biden, who has only been on the job for 8 short months, was endorsed by the New York Times only last year, a publication that openly supports the Democratic Party platform and progressive policies.

For a news publication to endorse a political candidate puts it in a very tenuous position from a journalistic standpoint once that candidate is elected: Defend the endorsement of Joe Biden by the New York Times by defending Joe Biden or cover the Biden Administration with the hard-eyed clarity of the Trump years?

Plenty of Democrats are rallying to Joe Biden’s side, even as the White House struggles with cohesive messaging. Other Democrats, and certainly Republicans with an eye on taking back the House in the mid-terms- and now maybe even the Senate- haven’t been as generous.

Joe Biden may indeed have erred in his over-estimation of U.S.-trained troops in the Afghan army. He might have also badly underestimated the Taliban. Getting to the bottom of what went wrong, and is still going wrong, in Afghanistan is going to take time, a searchingly honest moral inventory, and real accountability.

But that process doesn’t begin with an indictment of Joe Biden’s presidency, which is still in its infancy.

Is it any wonder, really, that the presidential administration which ended up drawing the short-straw of the Afghanistan drawdown didn’t nail it?

As the Washington Post’s Afghanistan Papers revealed, U.S. officials have misled other U.S. officials, and the American public, for over a decade- overestimating U.S. successes in Afghanistan.