FORMER US President Donald Trump has attacked President Joe Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan as the ‘greatest embarrassment’ in the history of the United States.
In a Fox News interview Trump also claimed Biden had ‘humiliated’ the US more than any president in the country’s history – and added that the US needs a ‘president that’s respected.
‘It is a terrible time for our country,’ Trump continued. ‘I don’t think in all of the years our country has ever been so humiliated. I don’t know what you call it – a military or a psychological defeat.’
Over the past days, Biden has come under the harshest bipartisan attacks over his chaotic withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, which led to the capturing of the whole country by the Taliban.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Republican) has also criticised what he called President Joe Biden’s ‘botched exit’ from Afghanistan after the Taliban entered the capital city of Kabul.
In April, Biden announced he would withdraw all troops from the war-ravaged country. The Taliban has ever since been swiftly taking over the country.
Biden, however, has defended his decision to withdraw the US troops, reiterating that he ‘inherited’ a deal for withdrawal that was negotiated by Trump.
‘I inherited a deal that President Trump negotiated with the Taliban,’ he said. Under his agreement ‘US forces would (have been) out of Afghanistan by May 1st, 2021, just a little over three months after I took office,’ said Biden on Monday.
The Taliban took control of the presidential palace in Kabul on Sunday after President Ashraf Ghani fled the war-ravaged country. It took the militants just over a week to seize control of Afghanistan after a lightning sweep that ended in the capital.
The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 as part of the so-called war on terror. While the invasion ended the Taliban’s rule in the country back then, it is ending with the return of the group to power.
US President Joe Biden has come under intense criticism from all angles for the chaotic exit of the military from Afghanistan, and his failure to provide a safe passage for US citizens and some Afghans from Kabul.
Addressing the situation in Afghanistan, Biden told an ABC News television interview that it had been impossible to leave Afghanistan without chaos, as the United States pleaded with the victorious Taliban to allow safe passage for people to flee.
He also said, if needed, US forces would be staying in Afghanistan beyond his August 31st deadline for a full withdrawal to pull out all US citizens.
He said the Taliban were cooperating on letting Americans get out but added, ‘We’re having some more difficulty having those who helped us when we were in there.’
Biden had repeatedly vowed the withdrawal from Afghanistan would be orderly, deliberate and safe and that there were no circumstances that Afghanistan would suddenly fall to the Taliban, after 20 years of war and occupation.
But the Taliban, who started to make gains since the withdrawal process began in May, eventually took over the capital Kabul on Sunday.
The militants entered the presidential palace after president Ashraf Ghani fled the country, declaring that the war in Afghanistan was over.
Biden, who acknowledged that he was stunned by the swift collapse of Kabul, said, ‘I don’t think it was a failure.
‘The idea that somehow there’s a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don’t know how that happens,’ he added.
The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, when US-led NATO troops ousted their government. In recent weeks, however, and as foreign forces abruptly withdrew from Afghanistan, the militants rapidly overran the country, and ultimately recaptured Kabul on Sunday, shortly after Ghani fled the country to an undisclosed destination.
It was later confirmed that Ghani is in the United Arab Emirates.
Biden ordered the takeover of the Kabul airport to evacuate US citizens from the capital.
He said the militants were cooperating on letting Americans get out, but added, ‘If there’s American citizens left, we’re going to stay to get them all out.’
The US president also appeared dismissive of the images showing Afghans clinging to, and falling to their deaths from, US evacuation planes.
‘That was four days ago, five days ago!’ Biden said, when asked about the incident.
His popularity ratings in the US has plummeted in the last couple of weeks hitting a 7-month low of 46%.
In a separate development on Tuesday, Amrullah Saleh, who served as Afghan vice president in Ghani’s administration, said in a post that he was in Afghanistan and was the ‘legitimate caretaker president’.
Saleh had said after a security meeting chaired by Ghani last week that he was proud of the armed forces and the government would, do all it could to strengthen resistance to the Taliban.
- China has again called on the US to abide by the provisions of the Beijing-Washington communiques and halt military ties to Chinese Taipei, insisting that the island territory is an inalienable part of China.
Marking the 39th anniversary of the issuance of the communique regarding arms sales to the Chinese Taipei on Tuesday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said during her daily press briefing that the formal documents constituted the political foundation of bilateral ties, ‘the essential core of which is the one-China principle, which the US side should strictly follow’, Xinhua reported.
Hua also reiterated that Washington had conducted ‘official’ exchanges with Taipei and had sold various types of weaponry to the island in repeated violation of its own pledges.
Beijing holds military assault drills near Chinese Taipei, in what its armed forces described as a show of force against ‘provocations’ and ‘external interference’ in the mainland’s affairs.
She then cited multiple instances of weapons sales to Chinese Taipei by successive US administrations, including a plan recently announced by the US President Joe Biden administration to ship armaments worth nearly 750 million dollars to the territory.
‘We’d like to try our best to strive for the prospect of peaceful reunification with utmost sincerity, and at the same time, will reserve the option of taking all necessary countermeasures against foreign intervention, as well as a few “Taiwan independence” secessionists and their activities,’ Hua said.
‘No one should underestimate the firm determination, strong will, and powerful capabilities of the Chinese people in defending national sovereignty and territorial integrity,’ she said.
‘No matter how many weapons the United States provides to Taiwan, there is no possibility it will change the general trend of cross-Strait relations, and still less that it will impede China’s reunification process,’ Hua said.
China is urging the United States to stop interfering in the affairs of Chinese Taipei and sending wrong signals to separatist forces in the self-governed Chinese island.
The spokesperson then called on Washington to clearly recognise the highly sensitive and harmful nature of the issue involving the transfer of arms to Chinese Taipei, halt official exchanges and military links with the island, and cease arms sales to the territory to avoid the further damaging of US-China relations as well as peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.