There has been no shortage of criticism levied at the Biden Administration for its disastrous handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan. It’s been coming from both sides, as the disturbing imagery of desperate Afghans hanging onto airplanes has crossed the partisan divide.
But there are some members of the far-right who have suddenly developed amnesia about the Afghanistan “mess” so many conservative voices are decrying in breathless media appearances the past week.
As CNN’s Jim Acosta pointed out in a blistering and detailed segment on his program, the withdrawal from Afghanistan did not originate with President Biden. Instead,it was negotiated by former President Donald Trump. Watch the entire video above as Acosta goes through a detailed timeline of how things played out.
He notes how Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said it was “pathetic” for Biden to blame Afghanistan on Trump, directly negotiated with the Taliban on behalf of Trump and struck the final deal.
Here is the video in case you haven’t seen it. The man standing with Pompeo is one of 5,000 Taliban prisoners ordered released by the Trump administration. He is the co-founder of the Taliban, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, and may become the new ruler of Afghanistan.
Those Taliban “butchers” Mike Pompeo speaks of?
Yeah, he tried to broker a deal with them without the Afghan government. pic.twitter.com/ZL2ADP2w1v
— The Recount (@therecount) August 21, 2021
For the apologists who keep trying to absolve Trump of his role in this, Acosta reminded them, with video evidence, how Trump took credit for the withdrawal of U.S. troops at a rally in June and bragged that there was nothing Biden could do about it.
Of course, extremists on the far-right have used the situation in Kabul as an excuse to flex their anti-immigrant muscles.
Voices like Fox’s Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham barely wasted a minute before shifting into a breathless fear-mongering that the evacuation from Kabul will bring thousands of Afghans to “invade” American cities. Likewise, Stephen Miller, the architect of Trump’s vindictive immigration policies, has been making the rounds to say that the U.S. owes nothing to the Afghan people and that they have no right to come to America.
Miller’s words underscore one of Acosta’s key points. All the people criticizing Biden must recognize that if the withdrawal would have happened under Trump’s watch, there is little to no chance those Afghan refugees — many of who aided U.S. efforts there the past 20 years — would be welcomed by the U.S.
Acosta also noted that the Afghanistan fiasco shouldn’t be laid out entirely at Trump’s feet, either. Yes, he desperately wanted to get American troops out of there. It’s one of the very few things on which he and Biden agree. And both represent the feelings of the majority of U.S. citizens who wanted the “Forever War” to end.
But now Republicans are trying to ignore and, in some cases, rewrite history to serve their political agenda.
Some on the far right have conveniently forgotten the mistakes that led to where we are today in Afghanistan… not to mention the American tradition of welcoming refugees from war-torn countries.. https://t.co/6wTu3TFs0x
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) August 21, 2021