President Joe Biden was blasted by a number of newspaper editorials Monday over his defense of how his administration has handled the rapidly deteriorating Afghanistan crisis.
“President Biden’s blunders in what is — suddenly — a Taliban-dominated Afghanistan may be measured in many ways. One is by searching the sorriest episodes of U.S. foreign policy history for an analogy,” The Washington Post wrote before noting its comparison to the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961 and the fall of Saigon in 1975.
Biden defended his actions in a 20-minute speech at the White House on Monday before returning to Camp David, saying there was “never a good time” to withdraw forces while conceding the country fell to the Taliban more quickly than he anticipated.
The liberal paper described the chaos in Afghanistan as “avoidable,” and it refuted Biden’s placed blame on previous administrations and Afghanistan’s political leaders by noting U.S. forces had not been in major ground operations or faced high casualties since 2014.
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It suggested Biden could have renegotiated former President Donald Trump’s withdrawal deal with the Taliban and there was no need for the withdrawal to devolve into “catastrophic spectacle.”
Biden also faced criticism from The Boston Globe, which wrote that America’s Afghan allies “deserved better planning” and that Biden had much to answer for over the “disastrous” pullout from the war-torn country.
“Biden took no blame for the calamity that has ensued in recent days, even though administration officials were providing assurances that the US-trained Afghan national army and security forces would be able to hold off Taliban fighters for a year or more. Instead, the Taliban swept the country during the course of a weekend,” it wrote.
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The Wall Street Journal and The New York Post appeared to be the toughest on Biden, with both placing responsibility for Afghanistan solely on him, despite his attempts to redirect blame.
“Mr. Biden refused to accept responsibility for the botched withdrawal while blaming others. He blamed Donald Trump’s peace deal with the Taliban and falsely claimed again that he was trapped,” The Wall Street Journal wrote. “He blamed his three predecessors for not getting out of Afghanistan. He blamed the Afghans for not fighting hard enough, their leaders for fleeing, and even Afghans who helped us for not leaving sooner. The one group he conspicuously did not blame was the Taliban, who once harbored Osama bin Laden and may protect his terrorist successor.”
The paper added that Biden “played to the sentiment” of Americans tired of foreign military interventions in his Monday speech instead of taking responsibility for the situation.
The New York Post went further by saying that Biden should flat out regret his decision to withdraw forces in the fashion that he did.
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“He stands ‘squarely behind’ his decision to withdraw. Yet he should regret it: The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan over the past few weeks was an utter catastrophe, for Afghans and for world security — and he alone is responsible,” it wrote.