(Headline USA) While attempting to take a victory lap over his Afghanistan withdrawal Tuesday, President Joe Biden glossed over his broken promise to keep U.S. troops there until the last Americans were out in.
Biden’s speeches, laden with blatant mistruths and duplicitous claims, have become a regular fixture since the fiasco began, despite his having maintained a long-running media aloofness for months prior.
His earlier pledge to keep Americans abroad safe no matter now seems to have been memory-holed, with the Biden administration itself acknowledging hundreds left behind, and other reliable sources projecting that the actual number could be thousands of US citizens and green-card holders unable to flee the Taliban‘s rule.
The president vaguely assured the potential hostages that they were free to leave at any time, even without the military presence to support them.
“For those remaining Americans, there is no deadline,” he said.
“We remain committed to get them out, if they want to come out,” he added. “Secretary of State [Tony] Blinken is leading the continued diplomatic efforts to ensure safe passage for any American, Afghan partner or foreign national who wants to leave Afghanistan.”
But with its forces withdrawn, the U.S. is left with only diplomatic persuasion instead of military muscle to get the Islamic extremists who’ve been fighting the U.S. for 20 years to give remaining Americans safe passage out.
Meanwhile, public confidence in both the Defense and State department bureaucracies is fast eroding as the leaders find themselves being repeatedly caught in lies to cover up their scandalous mismanagement of the withdrawal.
But rather than trying to streamline the process that led to a historic policy failure, Biden has made it clear to most that the chaotic disarray is flowing from the top downward.
The so-called-comforter-in-chief has done anything but for the vast majority of concerned Americans—including many of the Gold Star families whose children, spouses and parents were sacrificed in last week’s suicide bombing.
Biden has generally appeared detached and deflective, with some even describing his lack of empathy as callous. Tuesday’s ‘victory lap’—which called to mind the premature “Mission Accomplished” of George W. Bush in Iraq—was no exception.
“The bottom line: 90% of Americans in Afghanistan who wanted to leave were able to leave,” Biden claimed.
The goalpost-moving claim, however, triggered even the left-leaning, Biden-loving Associated Press to throw down a fact check.
“For the record, Biden vowed that he would get 100% of Americans out before withdrawing forces,” the AP wrote. “And his suggestions Tuesday that many of the remaining Americans are dual nationals who may be undecided about leaving do not reflect the full reality.”
While evidence on the ground in Kabul suggested a broad swath of Americans—including tourists—were among those abandoned by the Democrat leadership, after having been turned away at the airport, Biden claimed otherwise.
“Most of those who remain are dual citizens, longtime residents, but earlier decided to stay because of their family roots in Afghanistan,” he said.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki attempted to clarify afterward that Biden was telling those people that if they decide in two weeks that they want to go, “we will get you out.”
But the AP used unusually sharp phrasing to contradict Biden and his propaganda minister.
“[T]hose comments may understate the desperation of Americans trapped in Afghanistan,” it said, noting that even the top general overseeing the mission had said otherwise just the day before.
Gen. Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command, said Monday that Americans tried to get to the Kabul airport for the final evacuations but couldn’t.
McKenzie also admitted in his press conference on Monday that no Americans were on the last five jets to leave.
“We maintained the ability to bring them in up until immediately before departure, but we were not able to bring any Americans out,” he said.
“That activity ended probably about 12 hours before our exit, although we continue the outreach and would have been prepared to bring them on until the very last minute,” he added. “But none of them made it to the airport, and were able to be … accommodated.”
Biden told ABC News unequivocally on Aug. 19 that the U.S. would not leave any Americans stranded.
“Americans understand we’re going to try and get it done before Aug. 31,” Biden said then. “If we don’t, we’ll determine at the time, who’s left.”
And then? “And if there are American citizens left, we’re going to stay until we get them all out.”
He echoed those remarks in a speech to the American public the following day, saying simply, “We will get you home.”
But as the last U.S. planes took off from the airport Monday night, Aug. 30, one minute before midnight in Kabul, U.S. officials acknowled up to 200 Americans were left behind, along with unknown numbers of Afghans and others who were trying frantically to leave.
By then, more than 100,000 people, mostly Afghans, had been flown to safety in the multinational evacuations.
Now that has become a matter for diplomacy, said the AP.
U.S. officials said diplomats are in talks with neighboring countries and others to try to arrange non-U.S.-military evacuations for those remaining. Among the options, if the diplomacy works, are potential charter flights from the airport when it re-opens and overland routes.
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press