Democrat President Joe Biden lashed out at his critics, former President Donald Trump, and even Americans stranded in Kabul during a widely criticized, bizarre speech that he gave on Tuesday about his handling of Afghanistan.
Biden turned his back on reporters and did not take questions, even as hundreds of Americans remained trapped in a country now controlled by extremists, apparently breaking a commitment that he made during an interview with ABC News a couple of weeks ago in which he said that he would leave U.S. troops in the country until all Americans who wanted to leave had been evacuated.
Biden claimed that the mission, which resulted in hundreds of Americans being left behind and 13 dead U.S. service members, was an “extraordinary success.”
Joe Biden calls the mess of an evacuation from Afghanistan an "extraordinary success”. pic.twitter.com/8DOx35qTPQ
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) August 31, 2021
“In April, I made a decision to end this war,” Biden said, appearing to take responsibility for his actions before immediately shifting blame onto others. “As part of that decision, we set the date of August 31st for American troops to withdraw.”
Biden once again pinned blame for the debacle on the Afghan national security forces, which he falsely claimed had 300,000 members to fight the Taliban.
The Washington Post reported:
This is an inflated number. The president is including police forces, which are not part of the military and have often heightened insecurity with their tactics. Even among the active military, there is high turnover and only a small core of professionals which could be expected to fight professionally against the Taliban. In other words, the number is not 300,000 — and probably not even 30,000.
By repeatedly using this figure, the president is misleading Americans about the capabilities of the Afghan military — which has now demonstrated it could not defend Afghanistan from the Taliban offensive. He does not quite earn Four Pinocchios because “security forces” sometimes is broadly defined to include the police. But it’s close, especially when making a ridiculous comparison to the militaries of NATO allies.
The Wall Street Journal previously reported that the reason that the Afghan military collapsed was that the Biden administration pulled U.S. air support, which left them unable to operate.
“We were ready when they the people of Afghanistan watched their own government collapse and the president flee amid the corruption and malfeasance of handing over the country to their enemy, the Taliban,” Biden said.
The statement appeared to contradict this report from The Washington Post that said that it was the U.S. that made a deal, effectively giving control of Kabul to the Taliban. Biden later claimed that the Taliban “seized” Kabul.
Biden appeared to try to downplay the hundreds of Americans who were left behind by claiming that the administration had “reached out 19 times to Americans in Afghanistan with multiple warnings and offers to help them leave Afghanistan all the way back as far as March.”
Biden claimed that there was no deadline for getting Americans out who wanted to leave and that his administration would use diplomacy to get Americans out of a country that is now home to Islamic terrorists.
Despite cheering the effort as a success, Biden repeatedly tried to pin blame for his bungled withdrawal on Trump for making an agreement with the Taliban, which he suggested put him in a spot that he couldn’t get out of.
Biden repeatedly presented Americans with a false choice, claiming that he was faced with the decision to “either follow through on the commitment made by the last administration and leave Afghanistan, or say we weren’t leaving, and commit another tens of thousands more troops going back to war.”
Biden’s comments are not accurate. Top military leaders in the Biden administration reportedly told the president that only a small force of as few as 3,000 troops could keep things stable in the country and allow the Afghan military to fight the Taliban.
After blaming Trump, the Afghan military, and American citizens that the administration claims they warned 19 times, Biden said, “I take responsibility for the decision.”