Joe Biden has been criticized for the ‘bizarre’ messaging his team has been putting out about the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.
A panel on CNN’s ‘Inside Politics’ show on Sunday were discussing the gulf in narrative between how the operation was being described by the White House, and how it was being depicted on the ground in Kabul.
Images and videos shared on social media in recent days have shown huge crowds of Afghans who worked with U.S. military forces, as well as US nationals, camped outside the airport in Kabul and the clock ticks down to Biden’s exit ultimatum.
And when the evacuation operation first began, harrowing images of Afghans attempting to flee the Taliban by clinging to the underside of aircraft also laid bare the situation in Kabul.
Despite this, on Friday, President Biden claimed that he has ‘seen no question of our credibility from our allies around the world.’
A panel on CNN’s ‘Inside Politics’ show on Sunday were discussing the gulf in narrative between how the operation was being described by the White House, and how it was being depicted on the ground in Kabul
Jeff Zeleny, CNN’s chief national affairs correspondent, described the President’s comment as ‘bizarre’.
He said: ‘You have to question, is the president insulated, isolated? On Friday it was almost bizarre. What he was saying did not match the reality of what some of his other advisers were saying.
‘I think this will be a very defining moment in the Biden presidency about what we learn of him as president, but it seems to me he’s a bit insulated or isolated inside the White House.’
Meanwhile, Associated Press’ Julie Pace pointed out that ‘there’s a serious disconnect between the messaging from the Biden administration, which is essentially, “We’ve got this, we have a plan, we’re getting this under control. If you want to get out of Afghanistan, you can”.’
On Friday, President Biden claimed that he has ‘seen no question of our credibility from our allies around the world’
But she then pointed out that the scenes coming out from the airport in Kabul do not match those being described by President Biden, with scenes of violence erupting at the gates having been documented.
She also called on the President to be ‘upfront’ with the American people about what is really happening in Kabul.
Biden’s allies have also echoed a similarly critical opinion on the US’ handling of Afghanistan.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also previously said: ‘It is fair to say that the US decision to pull out has accelerated things,’ with regard to the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.
And former British Prime Minister Tony Blair blasted Joe Biden’s ‘imbecilic’ decision to withdraw US troops from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, calling the President’s scuttle ‘tragic, dangerous and unnecessary’ and claiming the move had ‘every Jihadist group round the world cheering’.
Mr Blair, who was in Downing Street when London sent UK troops to the Middle Eastern country 20 years ago following the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington DC, said Britain has a ‘moral obligation’ to stay until ‘all those who need to be are evacuated’.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also previously said: ‘It is fair to say that the US decision to pull out has accelerated things,’ with regard to the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan
In a 2,700 article on the threat of ‘radical Islam’, the former British prime minister said the exit was not in the West or Afghanistan’s interest as he lamented the likely reversal of gains made during the occupation, with the Taliban reasserting itself across most of the country in recent days.
Speaking to Sky News on Sunday, Mr Blair said he has ‘enormous respect’ for Mr Biden, but suggested the President – who campaigned on a slogan of ending ‘forever wars’ and is likely to be keeping an eye on next year’s midterms – had withdrawn US troops for domestic political reasons.
He repeated his assertion that the withdrawal was a ‘serious mistake’ and ‘not something we needed to do’ and said there had been ‘a lot of gains’ made in the past two decades, stressing that the deaths of British Armed Forces personnel were ‘not in vain’.
While it was also revealed that the White House scrubbed a cutting remark made by French President Emanuel Macron to President Biden about ‘abandoning’ Afghanistan in a summary of the leaders’ call.
France’s official ‘readout’ of the August 19 call highlighted how Marcon had upbraided his US counterpart over his sudden withdrawal from Afghanistan, which has triggered chaos as Americans and Afghans granted visas try to flee the Taliban.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair blasted Joe Biden’s ‘imbecilic’ decision to withdraw US troops from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan
It read: ‘President Macron spoke with U.S. President Joe Biden this evening about the situation in Afghanistan.
‘He underscored the absolute need for swift, concrete coordination between the allies to ensure the evacuation of our citizens, Afghan men and women who worked for the allies, and those who are in danger.
‘The head of state emphasized our collective moral responsibility toward the Afghan men and women who need our protection and who share our values.
‘We cannot abandon them.
‘The two presidents agreed to strengthen their efforts in the humanitarian and political arenas and on counterterrorism in the days to come, particularly within the framework of the G7.
It was also revealed that the White House scrubbed a cutting remark made by French President Emanuel Macron to President Biden about ‘abandoning’ Afghanistan in a summary of the leaders’ call
‘It is absolutely urgent and it is a collective responsibility, for which the U.S. President assured President Macron of his support,’ read the statement.’
But the White House’s readout of the same call, published on its official website, omitted Macron’s remark about not abandoning Afghanistan.
It said: ‘President Joe Biden and President Emmanuel Macron of France spoke today about developments in Afghanistan.
‘They lauded the tireless efforts of their personnel working closely together in Kabul on the evacuation of their citizens, the brave Afghans who have stood by us and our NATO partners, and other vulnerable Afghan nationals.
‘They underscored the importance of continued close coordination among allies and democratic partners on Afghanistan, including through multilateral for a, on the provision of humanitarian assistance and support for refugees. They welcomed the virtual G7 leaders’ meeting next week to help coordinate these efforts and discuss a common approach.’
And German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also previously described the scenes that have followed the announcement of foreign troop withdrawals from Afghanistan as an ‘absolutely bitter development’
The discrepancy between the two readouts was first reported by Breitbart, which highlighted how governments will often tweak their summaries to ensure diplomacy.
That has sparked claims that Macron and his government wanted his attempt at shaming Biden left in the readout in a bid to display their disdain for the withdrawal.
And German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also previously described the scenes that have followed the announcement of foreign troop withdrawals from Afghanistan as an ‘absolutely bitter development’.
Speaking last week, she said: ‘Since the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan we have had to watch the Taliban, with breathtaking speed, province for province, town for town, reconquer the entire country.
‘This is an absolutely bitter development: Bitter, dramatic and awful, especially for the people in Afghanistan.’