US President Joe Biden is facing a barrage of trenchant criticism for the two suicide attacks that killed 13 American service members and at least 95 Afghans. Former President Donald Trump, who ripped his successor over the “dumbest move ever made perhaps in the history of our country”, is leading the charge of critics.
Trump told Fox News’s Sean Hannity last night that Biden had surrounded himself with “woke generals” who had embraced liberal politics over national security. “Biden and the woke generals are just woke,” Trump blasted.
“I was saying even at the end of my time, I was seeing letters being sent out about equality and all of these different things — the soldiers, they want to fight, they want to be prepared to fight, they want to be soldiers, but the woke generals, it has got into a level that nobody can even believe.”
Trump blasted Biden and his army generals like Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley for botching up what was supposed to be an eventless US withdrawal from war-ravaged Afghanistan. He branded the process as the “most embarrassing thing that has ever happened” to the US.
“They forgot one thing, they forgot to take the people with them and the merchandise with them, meaning they forgot to take the greatest military equipment anywhere in the world with them, and it’s hard to believe, actually, because a child would have understood,” Trump said.
“It’s so sad. It’s probably from the standpoint of military tactics and just embarrassment, the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to our country — we look like fools all over the world, we are weak, we are pathetic, we are being led by people that have no idea what they are doing.”
Trump underscored the fact that Biden had acknowledged in his address to the US citizens that the terrorists had not killed any US service member in 18 months because of the deal struck in 2020 before the current president took office.
Trump recalled his discussions with Taliban honcho Abdul Ghani Baradar, saying the then US president had made it clear to the terrorist that the US would hit back tenfold for any hostile acts toward the military. “We had them totally under control. Every time we saw movement, we’d hit them with an F-18, and the movement stopped,” the former president said. “But we had very little of that because of Abdul, who I spoke to… Abdul would not let anybody do anything.”
Meanwhile, congressional Republicans are furious, with some demanding Biden’s resignation. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Republican from California) slammed Biden for the “horrific” blasts. “Our enemies have taken advantage of the chaotic nature of Biden’s withdrawal,” he said in a tweet. “Speaker (Nancy) Pelosi must bring Congress back before Aug 31 so we can be briefed thoroughly by the Administration and prohibit the withdrawal of our troops until every American is safely out.”
Senator Josh Hawley (Republican from Missouri) would settle for nothing short of Biden’s resignation. “To say that today’s loss of American lives in Kabul is sickening does not begin to do justice to what has happened. It is enraging. And Joe Biden is responsible. It is now clear beyond all doubt that he has neither the capacity nor the will to lead. He must resign,” he said in a tweet.
Senator Marsha Blackburn (Republican from Tennessee) tweeted that Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Milley “should all resign or face impeachment and removal from office”.
Tom Rice (Republican from South Carolina) called for Biden’s resignation too. He is one of only 10 House Republicans who had voted to impeach Trump. “Do the American people a favour. Resign and turn the job over to someone who can handle it,” he fumed on Twitter.
Former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said Biden must either “step down or be removed” for his handling of Afghanistan.
Trump’s national security adviser HR McMaster warned, “This is what happens when you surrender to a terrorist organization like the Taliban.”
“This is just the beginning. We now have jihadist terrorists in control of the state and that is a win not only for the Taliban, as narrowly defined but also to al Qaeda, to ISIS-K and other jihadist terrorist organizations,” he said on MSNBC. “We have to recognize that this is just the beginning of a much more severe threat to all civilized peoples. We have now handed the Taliban a nation-state — the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. And that is a victory for them, it is a victory for al Qaeda, it’s a victory for ISIS and other jihadist terrorists,” he said.
Robert O’Neill, the former US Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden, threw his hat in the ring, calling the day of the bombings a “sad day”. He said there was “a lot of anger and frustration from veterans” who had predicted such a disaster. “What I learned and we’re learning right now is they’re going to lie. They lied to us. They don’t need to tell us the truth because it’s not a legitimate government. These are what we call terrorists,” O’Neill told Fox News.
Meanwhile, Biden has come under attack within his own party. US Representative Susan Wild (Democrat from Pennsylvania) said in a tweet that she was “devastated”. “Although it is clear to me that we could not continue to put American service members in danger for an unwinnable war, I also believe that the evacuation process appears to have been egregiously mishandled,” Wild wrote.
“In order to move forward, we need answers and accountability regarding the cascading failures that led us to this moment. Our troops deserve nothing less than a complete and unvarnished truth,” she added.