It is far from clear that President Joe Biden deserves the obloquy heaped on him for the U.S. evacuation from Afghanistan.

This is especially true given the endings of other American wars and the nearly impossible situation confronting him — in particular, that the Kabul airport is located within a city of millions which had just come under Taliban control.

The repetitive airing of scenes of panicked Afghans clinging to C-17 cargo planes after this was no longer happening made for far more dramatic scenes than the smooth take-offs that followed during the next 17 days of evacuation, yet news programs kept rerunning those chaotic images, creating an impression of Biden as hapless. Yet, some 120,000 U.S. people — including troops of U.S. allies as well as Afghans who had helped the U.S. cause — were evacuated by air from Kabul, a logistical triumph.