History Repeats Itself: As World on Brink of International Crisis, Here's Where Biden's Going


Sometime this weekend, one hopes President Joe Biden is visited by the Ghost of Military Disasters Past.

On Friday, according to The Hill, officials in Biden’s administration warned Russia could invade Ukraine beginning “any day now,” adding that it could happen before the Winter Olympics end on Feb. 20.

Also on Friday: Biden left for the presidential retreat in Camp David, the same bucolic presidential retreat in Maryland where he was when Afghanistan fell.

Whether or not Russia decides to get its irredentism on this specific weekend is somewhat beside the point. When Kabul was about to fall, Joe Biden showed the world how much he cared about it by galavanting off to his retreat, projecting to both our allies and (especially) our enemies that Afghanistan could fall to the Taliban and Biden still wouldn’t let the thought spoil a weekend getaway. (And seize upon it our enemies did — something we chronicled here at The Western Journal. We’ll continue bringing readers the truth about the consequences of Biden’s weakness — and you can help us by subscribing.)

On Friday, President Biden’s national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, said war could break out between Russia and Ukraine “any day now” and urged Americans to leave the country.

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“The risk is now high enough and the threat is now immediate enough that this is what prudence demands,” Sullivan said.

“If you stay, you are assuming risk with no guarantee that there will be any other opportunity to leave and no prospect of a U.S. military evacuation in the event of a Russian invasion.”

He told Americans in Ukraine they needed to get out within 24 to 48 hours.

“I’m not standing here and saying what is going to happen or not happen, I’m only standing here to say … that prudence demands that this is the time to leave now while commercial options and commercial rail and air service exits, while the road remains open,” he said.

Sullivan also said the attack “could begin during the Olympics” — something observers thought might be unlikely, given Russian President Vladimir Putin’s appearance with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the opening ceremony on Feb. 2, which was interpreted as a sign of unity.

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This echoed comments made by President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken during the week.

“American citizens should leave. Should leave now,” Biden said during a Thursday interview with NBC News’ Lester Holt. “We’re dealing with one of the largest armies in the world. It’s a very different situation. Things could go crazy quickly.”

But, you know not quickly enough that some quality time at Camp David was out of the question.

CNN reported Friday that Biden would be speaking to Putin on Saturday via phone from Camp David. However, amid talk of Ukraine being invaded by Russian forces at any moment — an event which could precipitate an international crisis — the president again thought he needed to get away.

In other words, it’ll be a mere six months since the fall of Kabul this coming week, and everyone in the Biden administration forgot the impact this photo had:

In 2001, we invaded Afghanistan. We promised to rebuild the country and ensure the sanguinary theocratic regime that sheltered Osama bin Laden and brutally oppressed its own people would never rule the nation again.

In August of 2021, we broke that promise with shocking and sudden finality. Our president was pictured alone in a room presiding over the chaos via a glorified Zoom meeting. Not only did this belie the explanation Biden could handle the crisis just as effectively from Camp David, the visual alone told American allies in dangerous corners of the globe just what they could expect if and when their Kabul moment came.

Less than half a year later, one of our emboldened adversaries is, according to the Biden administration’s own estimation, on the verge of devouring their neighbor. There’s a good chance the president could be watching the consequences of projecting that kind of weakness to the world unfold from the same place he projected it, apparently being none the wiser from the experience. Even a visit from the Ghost of Military Disasters Past, one fears, wouldn’t make much difference.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture