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16th Aug 2021

Biden’s statement ‘washing hands’ of Afghanistan labelled ‘one of most shameful in US history’

Kieran Galpin


Biden and other western leaders are slammed for their shameful handling of the Afghan crisis

With billions invested, countless lives lost, and a vacuum of power left to fill, the Taliban‘s campaign across Afghanistan has highlighted not only a troubling future for the Afghan people but serious questions to be asked of our ‘leaders’.

Dominic Raab is sunning it up in Cyprus, having posted one tweet, the usually opinionated home secretary Priti Patel has merely retweeted official statements, and even our Prime Minister has done little besides a vague and unspecific public statement.

Across the pond, things are not much better. Though numerous senators have spoken out about the Taliban taking Kabul, both President Joe Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris have remained eerily silent on the matter. Even Press Secretary Jen Psaki, who is usually armed with a series of informative and fact-based rebukes, is nowhere to be seen.

Though the move to leave Afghanistan was criticised originally, with numerous experts saying this eventuality would happen, people are understandably enraged at the West’s lack of accountability.

“President Biden’s statement on Saturday washing his hands of Afghanistan deserves to go down as one of the most shameful in history by a Commander-in-chief at such a moment of American retreat,” the Wall Street Journal wrote.

“As the Taliban closed in on Kabul, Mr Biden sent a confirmation of US abandonment that absolved himself of responsibility, deflected blame to his predecessor, and more or less invited the Taliban to take over the country.”

Growing momentum finally peaked on Sunday as, despite a two-decade-long campaign and billions being pumped into the countries defences, Taliban forces retook Afghanistan – not in the predicted year it would supposedly take, but in just a matter of days. President Ashraf Ghani fled, and with it, the country’s political fate looks sealed.

“Plenty of blame to go around for the 20-year debacle in Afghanistan – enough to fill a library of books,” wrote George Packer in The Atlantic. “Perhaps the effort to rebuild the country was doomed from the start. But our abandonment of the Afghans who helped us, counted on us, staked their lives on us, is a final, gratuitous shame that we could have avoided.”

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