Biden blames Afghan army & politicians for debacle
August 16, 2021
“I will not mislead the American people by saying just a little bit more time will make a difference.”
– President Biden
biden

(Photo provided by Ron Adar)

President Joe Biden stepped up to the podium this afternoon to speak on the crumbling situation in Afghanistan. The speech follows a noticeable lack of commentary on behalf of White House after Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani exited the country yesterday, allowing the Taliban to wrest control from the government in Kabul.

Biden speaks on Afghanistan

At the start of the press conference, President Biden appeared prepared to speak on the specific steps being taken in Afghanistan. But first, he focused on the history leading up to this point.

“We never gave up on the mission to find Bin Laden, and we got him. That was a decade ago.” He recalled, implying a decline of terrorist power in the region. Following this, he spoke on the U.S.’s other counter-terrorism efforts, stating “These threats warrant our attention.”

President Biden noted that the decision to continue the withdrawal was difficult, stating that “There was only a cold reality of either upholding the agreement, or sending thousands of Americans back and ‘lurching into a third decade of conflict.'”

Biden also asserted where the blame must be placed. He said, “Afghanistan’s political leaders gave up and fled the country. The Afghan military collapsed, sometimes without trying to fight.”

Furthering this, Biden claimed, “We gave them every tool they could need. We paid their salaries. We gave them every chance to determine their future. What we could not provide for them was the will to fight for that future.”

Shortly after blaming the Afghan politicians and military leaders, Biden paused and asked, “How many more American lives is it worth?”

He spoke on future efforts as well, claiming that, “We will continue to push for regional diplomacy, and to speak out for the rights of Afghan people, of women and girls.” And that, “Human rights must be at the center of our foreign policy, not in the periphery.”

President Biden circled back to the initial reflections in his speech, saying, “What’s happening now, could just as easily have happened five years ago, or fifteen years in the future.”

“Once we have completed this mission, we will end America’s longest war, after 20 years of bloodshed. I will not mislead the American people by saying just a little bit more time will make a difference.”

The president’s speech ended with him stating, “I am the president of the United States of America and the buck stops with me.”

Wavering Commitments

Reports and videos circulated wide and far for the past two days, as thousands of Afghan citizens stormed the streets in search of a way to escape the reach of the newly-formed Taliban government. The Taliban has taken control and confirmed that there will not be a transitional government.

All of this has led some to speculate about what exactly Biden will use to justify, or simply address, the current situation.

Back in mid-April, President Biden addressed the Afghanistan withdrawal plans by stating, “We’ll hold the Taliban accountable for its commitment not to allow any terrorists to threaten the United States or its allies from Afghan soil. The Afghan government has made that commitment to us as well. And we’ll focus our full attention on the threat we face today.”

However, this commitment fell as flat as it possibly could.

It appears that holding the Taliban “accountable” for its commitment not to allow terrorists to threaten U.S. allies in Afghanistan, was an idea, not a plan. This is evidenced by multiple videos showing Taliban forces chanting “Death to America,” shortly after the takeover.

The commitments have indeed soured, as the Taliban has managed to take over the Afghanistan government in a matter of a couple weeks. With the commitments broken, tensions reached a new high today as thousands of civilians and U.S. allies have uprooted across Kabul as evacuations continue.

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