OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was prime minister of the UK when British troops were sent into Afghanistan after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, shredded Joe Biden’s “abandonment” of Afghanistan as he called it “tragic, dangerous, [and] unnecessary.”
He penned an op ed on the website of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change attacking the decision by the Biden administration, Fox News reported.
“The world is now uncertain of where the West stands because it is so obvious that the decision to withdraw from Afghanistan in this way was driven not by grand strategy but by politics,” he said.
He said the decision an “obedience to an imbecilic political slogan about ending ‘the forever wars.’
“Intervention requires commitment. Not time limited by political timetables but by obedience to goals,” he said. “The absence of across-the-aisle consensus and collaboration and the deep politicization of foreign policy and security issues is visibly atrophying U.S. power.”
He said that intervention “will require parts of the right in politics to understand that isolation in an interconnected world is self-defeating, and parts of the left to accept that intervention can sometimes be necessary to uphold our values.”
And Blair was not the first person to attack Biden for the disastrous retreat.
“We have no indication that they haven’t been able to get in Kabul through the airport,” Biden said during a press conference on Friday in response to a question about whether he’ll agree to send U.S. troops into the city to “evacuate Americans who haven’t been able to get to the airport safely.”
“We’ve made an agreement with the Taliban thus far. They’ve allowed them to go through,” Biden continued.
“It’s in their interest for them to go through, so we know of no circumstance where American citizens carrying American passports are trying to get through to the airport. But we will do whatever needs to be done to see to it they get to the airport,” he said.
Wrong thing to say, apparently, because historically Democrat-friendly media outlets pounced on the statement.
“Well, we had difficulty getting into the airport,” CNN’s Clarissa Ward insisted in an interview from Kabul with her network.
“It’s very difficult. It’s not a simple process at all. And you might remember I did a live shot a couple of days ago outside the airport,” she explained to anchor Victor Blackwell.
“I was talking to people with green cards, people who had all their SIV applications accepted, their visa, and they couldn’t get close,” she said. “Anyone who says that any American can get in here is, you know — yeah, I mean, technically, it’s possible, but it’s extremely difficult and it is dangerous.
Meanwhile, over at ABC News, David Muir asked the network’s senior foreign correspondent, Ian Pannell, who was also broadcasting from Kabul much the same question.
“The president said he has no intelligence that Americans have been unable to get there. The question obviously, does that square with reporting on the ground?” Muir asked.
“I mean, just totally not,” Pannell responded. “It just seems the reality and the rhetoric are miles apart. I’m not quite sure what advice the president’s receiving, but the truth on the ground is that these people who are in fear of their lives can’t get through.”
Even some Democrats have been disappointed with the retreat, The Hill reported.
“I am bewildered and frustrated and, privately talking to a lot of House Democrats, they feel the same thing,” a Democratic member of Congress said anonymously to The Hill.
The unnamed member of the House expressed support for the decision to bring home the troops but was furious at the execution of the operation.
“The scenes are just brutal and there is no excuse for just how badly State or the Defense Department or both completely bungled the evacuations and getting folks out. Someone was really asleep at the switch,” they said.
And while they expressed optimism for the 2022 midterm elections they said “I do want to know who was responsible. Where was the ball dropped? Because that person needs to be held accountable. At least one person, or a group of people, screwed up so bad that it’s fireable.”
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman, Democrat New York Rep. Gregory Meeks said that he would hold hearings on what has happened in Afghanistan.
He said wants Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin both to testify.
“It is imperative that the administration provide the American people and Congress transparency about its Afghanistan strategy,” he said.
Democrat Rep. Seth Moulton of Massachusetts called the situation a “disaster” in a press release.
“To say that today is anything short of a disaster would be dishonest. Worse, it was avoidable. The time to debate whether we stay in Afghanistan has passed, but there is still time to debate how we manage our retreat. For months, I have been calling on the Administration to evacuate our allies immediately—not to wait for paperwork, for shaky agreements with third countries, or for time to make it look more ‘orderly,’” he said on Sunday.
“While I am proud that a strong, bipartisan majority in Congress voted to expand the Special Immigrant Visa program in support of our Afghan friends, my worst fear has been realized: That ultimately this effort would distract from what is truly needed, an immediate evacuation. The fact that, at this hour, we have not even secured the civilian half of Kabul Airport is a testament to our moral and operational failure. We need to rectify this immediately. America and our allies must drop the onerous visa requirements where a typo can condemn an ally to torture and death, and the military must continue the evacuation for as long as it takes,” he said.