Letter to the Editor: Peter’s Principle on display

To the Editor:

The events of August 14 in Afghanistan have glaringly displayed that “Peter’s Principle” is running rampant in the White House.

For those of you who do not know or remember what “Peter’s Principle” is, it is as follows: “People working in a hierarchy tend to rise to their level of incompetence”. This clearly applies to President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of Defense General Lloyd Austin, Joint Chief of Staff Chairman Mark Milley and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

August 17, President Biden read a statement, claiming, ala Harry Truman, that the buck stops with him.  Then he proceeded to tell us why he was not responsible for any of the events in Afghanistan in spite of the fact that he is the one who ordered the pull-out of our forces without consideration of what was happening on the ground. He lamely tried to put the blame on former president Trump, who had based the final withdrawal date depending on the situation on the ground.

August 18, Secretary of Defense Austin read an emotional statement claiming that everything was being done to ensure that all Americans, third party nationals and those Afghans who had helped the U.S. over the past 20 years would be evacuated. He was followed by a stern-faced Gen. Milley, who read a similar statement claiming the same thing. Milley even went so far as to claim that at no time did U.S. Intelligence predict such a rapid collapse of the Afghan Security Forces. Austin had been focusing on CRT training for all military personnel.

The statement by Milley was completely opposite of the statement made earlier in the day by retired General Jack Keane that U.S. Intelligence had indeed laid out the possibility of such a collapse, noting that the intelligence community did not actually predict the collapse because their job is to present the facts and let the leaders decide if such was the possibility.

The presentation by the two generals was a real exercise in CYA and an attempt to convince the public that things are under control. Clearly they are not!

Earlier in the day the Deputy Secretary of State also read an emotional statement claiming the State Department was working day and night to ensure that all personnel wanting evacuation from Afghanistan would be removed.

During all three presentations, assurances were made that any effort to prevent the evacuation of  the personnel would be met with “serious consequences”.

Notably absent from the early presentation August 18 were President Biden, Vice President Harris and Secretary of State Blinken.  President Biden was preparing to read another speech on the status of the Covid-19 outbreak - another attempt at deflecting scrutiny away from what is  happening in Afghanistan. After all, that worked during the recent presidential election. Harris remains in hiding not taking care of the situation on the southern border. Blinken’s whereabouts was unknown.

Time for Blinken, Milley and Austin to be replaced. I know that my criticism of Austin will be construed as racist by many on the left.  Could not be farther from the truth. Incompetence must be criticized.

The actions of the Biden administration have further damaged our international standing, which had already taken a beating with what is happening on the southern border. China, Russia and Iran have to be dancing with glee over this blunder.  And our close allies have to be scratching their heads in disbelief.

So let’s add up the glaring blunders - cancellation of the Keystone pipeline, opening the southern border where over one million illegal immigrants have entered (to bring that closer to home, in July the number of illegals entering the U.S. almost equals the population of Des Moines), a spike in inflation, and a request to OPEC to pump more oil so Americans can pay more for oil from other countries, and now Afghanistan.

It is very obvious now why Joe Biden was kept in his basement during the campaign for the presidency. He is certainly not up to the task. Mid-term elections can not come fast enough.

Lowell L. Engle
Harpers Ferry