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Morning Glory: Weak, wrong, infirm—and afraid

OpinionMorning Glory: Weak, wrong, infirm—and afraid

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“You have to have a victory,” former President Trump told me last week about Israel’s war with Hamas, “and it’s taking a long time.”

“Israel knows what they’re doing,” Trump added. “To listen to these people [like President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken], what they’ve done is not only Afghanistan, but I actually happen to think Afghanistan was the lowest point in the history of our country.”

“I don’t think there’s ever been a more embarrassing moment in the history of our country than what happened in Afghanistan,” Trump continued. “Between losing $85 billion dollars’ worth of equipment, 13 great soldiers, who I know the families and the parents of every one of them, 13, unbelievable. And by the way, nobody talks about this, 38 soldiers who were decimated with the arms and the legs and the face. 38. Nobody mentions them. And leaving hundreds of people behind. We don’t even know what number, but we have a lot of people that are probably going to turn out to be hostages at a certain moment.”

“No, no, this was the worst, most embarrassing moment in history,” Trump concluded. “And if that didn’t happen, I don’t believe that Russia would have gone into Ukraine. I even think it had an impact on October 7th.”


I believe Trump is correct on all three counts. Had he won in 2020 we would not have had the debacle in Afghanistan, Putin’s second invasion of Ukraine (the first occurred while President Obama was in office) and Iran would indeed have been broke and a very different sort of menace, the sort that doesn’t have the money to buy Hezbollah and Hamas their arsenals and train their terrorists.

President Biden and his “national security team” have a terrible record, one that is indeed worse than President Jimmy Carter’s. I put this failure on every front down to the fact Biden and his advisors are living in a fantasy land concerning the nature of China’s, Russia’s and Iran’s regimes. Our president and his senior advisors look and act as though America is weak, and thus they make wrong decision after wrong decision. The president himself is infirm and the alliance of enemies against the West see what we do about our frail president.


Our enemies can only conclude that this America administration is frozen by fear. Part of it is the president’s failing capacity, part of it is the appeasement ideology, exhumed from the 1930s and refitted to today’s world, and part of it has to be that Team Biden is simply afraid of confrontation. Our country is paralyzed and all our allies not just Israel are in peril as a result.

Biden often likes to talk like Winston Churchill but always acts like Neville Chamberlain. Blinken makes Lord Halifax look like a rabid dog. Our legacy media competes for the “Geoffrey Dawson” award daily. And for many of the 1930s appeasement gang, beating up Churchill and keeping him out of power was more important than stopping the Axis. Trump isn’t Churchill, but he’s not afraid of Xi, Putin or Iran.

This column is an appeal to those Never Trump folks who are smart about the world and the voters who are serious and very smart about national security —people like Max Boot, Jim Geraghty, and Bill Kristol: The GOP needs you back.

This trio and many other public intellectuals who were with President Bush when he invaded Afghanistan and then Iraq and then successfully doubled down with W on “the Surge.” They know what happens when America is weak.  

To them I say: Please put down or aside your enmity for former President Donald Trump and consider what President Biden, Secretary Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan have wrought. The world is sliding into chaos under this team. The debacle in Afghanistan, the failure to deter Putin, the turn against Israel: Do you really think the West is better off today than it was pre-COVID? Do you think Biden or Trump is likelier to deter Xi from invading Taiwan?

This is a question of recognizing and abandoning “sunk costs.” The best book on “sunk costs” is by the Washington Post’s Megan McCardle: “The Upside of Down.” Every human can become overly attached to their past plans, positions, investments. Many people who either supported Biden or did not vote or chose a third party in 2020 have to look at the world as it is, and the actual choice: Biden v. Trump. And I hope they can see past their deep and sincere dislike, indeed, abhorrence of Trump.

“It’s almost an emotional condition,” former Congressman John Campbell remarked to me on Monday’s broadcast. Campbell had pleaded openly with the former president not to run, but now it’s the choice between Trump and Biden and he will vote for Trump. As I will. As I suspect most serious people who understand the hinge of history that is swinging right now, and it’s not about America’s “future as a democracy.”


The Constitution is very strong, but Biden et al are not. They are being overwhelmed by China, Russia and Iran and the proxies of all three. A presidential election is not just about the president but about the 3,000 appointees he will bring with him. You’d prefer Blinken over say, former Secretary of State Pompeo? Attorney General Garland and Secretary of Defense Austin over say, Attorney General or SecDef Tom Cotton?

This isn’t a hard choice, perhaps not even for those who absolutely hate Donald Trump. No one but the loudest on the left will assail you if you say out loud or in print: “I voted for Biden but we cannot afford four more years of him or —as is likely— some time under President Harris. I am not sure the argument from national security will work, but it is worth a try.

Hugh Hewitt is one of the country’s leading journalists of the center-right. A son of Ohio and a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Michigan Law School, Hewitt has been a Professor of Law at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law since 1996, where he teaches Constitutional Law. Hewitt launched his eponymous radio show from Los Angeles in 1990, and it is today syndicated to hundreds of stations and outlets across the country every Monday through Friday morning. Hewitt has frequently appeared on every major national news television network, hosted television shows for PBS and MSNBC, written for every major American paper, authored a dozen books and moderated a score of Republican candidate debates, most recently the November 2023 Republican presidential debate in Miami and four Republican presidential debates in the 2015-16 cycle. Hewitt focuses his radio show and this column on the Constitution, national security, American politics and the Cleveland Browns and Guardians. Hewitt has interviewed tens of thousands of guests from Democrats Hillary Clinton and John Kerry to Republican Presidents George W. Bush and Donald Trump over his 40 years in broadcast, and this column previews the lead story that will drive his radio show today.



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