Republicans on Wednesday slammed US President Joe Biden for his comments in an interview to ABC saying he could have handled the situation in Afghanistan better.
In an interview to George Stephanopoulos, the US president said, "No, I don’t think so it could be handled in.. we are gonna go back in hindsight and look, but the idea that somehow there’s a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don’t know how that happened.”
In response to another question on intelligence failure, planning, execution or judgement around what happened in Afghanistan in the past days, President Biden said “it was a simple choice” and put the responsibility on the Afghan government and its forces for fleeing the country.
When Stephanopoulos asked the US president about Afghans falling from the sky in an attempt to flee the country, President Biden who looked irritated by the question cut the host in middle and said: “That was four days ago, five days ago.”
Referring to the same incident, the host asked what Biden thought after watching the pictures, to which the president replied he thought he had to gain control of this. “We have to move this more quickly,” he added.
Biden has received much criticism for the handling of the Afghan situation, from the abrupt early withdrawal of US troops in July. The response to his ABC interview also drew flak from Republicans.
Former US envoy to the UN and Republican Nikki Haley criticised Biden’s comments, saying “he had no plan, he has no urgency, and he won’t take responsibility. #Shameful”
Republic politician Liz Cheney termed the president’s performance “truly ignorant and shameful”.
Republican Senator Tom Cotton labelled the US president “dishonest” and “impotent”.
In a tweet, Cotton asked Biden about his plan to evacuate the 10,000-15,000 Americans stuck behind Taliban lines.
For American physician and politician Mariannette Miller-Meeks, the US president’s statements speaks volume to “lack of commitment to the safety of American troops and Afghan allies”.
During the interview, the US president also said US troops will stay until all Americans are out of Afghanistan, even if this means going past the Aug 31 deadline.
Biden speech to nation on Afghanistan
After Biden’s speech to the American nation on Tuesday, former CIA analyst and Afghanistan war veteran Matt Zeller in an interview to MSNBC lashed out at the US president for the chaotic evacuation.
He said: “I was appalled. There was a profound bald-faced lie in it [the speech]. I was trying to tell this administration when it took office and the previous governments that this was coming. For years… we sent plan after plan to evacuate these people… They [the governments] didn’t listen to us… They were most concerned about the optics of the chaotic evacuation…. We had all the people and equipment to save these people [stuck in Afghanistan] months ago.. And we did nothing.”
The former CIA analyst said the president talked about 2,000 people in his speech to the nation who had to be evacuated from Afghanistan, however, Zeller said, “We had 80,000 people in the country to rescue.”
Zeller negated Biden’s words that people didn’t want to leave Afghanistan and claimed that he had a list of 14,000 people who were in Afghanistan and wanted to leave the country.
He also lashed out at the president for accusing the Afghan forces of leaving the country and noted that the security personnel were not receiving regular pays; they had lack of ammunition; and still they were fighting for the country.
The war veteran deemed it unfair to blame the Afghan forces for not having the audacity to survive the Taliban onslaught.