Biden dismisses criticism of Afghanistan withdrawal, repeats lie about war

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President Biden dismissed criticism of his withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying in an interview released Sunday that “no one’s come up with a way to indicate to me” how to withdraw “without anybody getting hurt.”

During an interview with CBS News Correspondent Rita Braver, Biden brought up Afghanistan, claiming that he opposed the war from the beginning and shifting responsibility for the disastrous withdrawal.

“Afghanistan. Well, I’ve been against that war in Afghanistan from the very beginning,” Biden said. “We’re spending $300 million a week in Afghanistan over 20 years.”

“Everybody says, ‘You could have gotten out without anybody being hurt,’” he continued. “No one’s come up with a way to indicate to me how that happens.”

Biden’s claim to have opposed the war “from the very beginning” echoed remarks he made in a 2019 interview with the editorial board of New Hampshire’s Seacoast Media Group. 

“I’m the guy that – as has been pointed out repeatedly – that thought we should not be going into Afghanistan,” he said at the time. 

President Joe Biden delivers remarks during an event in the State Dining Room of the White House, Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, in Washington. 
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Biden did not oppose the invasion of Afghanistan, however. Then a senator from Delaware, he joined his colleagues in a unanimous vote in support of the 2001 authorization of military force against “nations, organizations, or persons” that then-President George W. Bush determined to have helped perpetrate the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. 

Biden has repeatedly touted his opposition to then-President Barack Obama’s “surge” of additional troops into Afghanistan when Biden was vice president in 2009. That opposition, however, does not amount to Biden having been “against that war … from the very beginning.”

President Biden also twisted the criticism over his withdrawal from Afghanistan. Critics do not fault the president for failing to have “gotten out without anybody being hurt” but rather for breaking his own promise not to leave Americans behind, among other things.

Taliban soldiers stand guard in Panjshir province northeastern of Afghanistan, Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Mohammad Asif Khan)
(AP Photo/Mohammad Asif Khan)

“If there’s American citizens left, we’re gonna stay to get them all out,” Biden told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on Aug. 16. Yet on Aug. 31, just 15 days later, the president marked the end of the war in Afghanistan with a speech in which he admitted that “about 100 to 200 Americans remain in Afghanistan with some intention to leave.”

“What’s really troublesome and almost frightening to know is that we have a commander in chief who does not see the imperative of bringing the Americans home,” Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William “Jerry” Boykin told Fox News in an interview on Sept. 1. “That’s a longstanding ethos, not just of the military, but of America.”

Boykin joined with other retired military leaders in calling for the resignations of Biden’s top military and diplomatic officials, including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and national security advisor Jake Sullivan, in the wake of the withdrawal.

Retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, former acting national security advisor to President Trump, previously told Fox News that the post-withdrawal situation in Afghanistan is worse than the post-withdrawal situation in Iraq, from which the Islamic State emerged.

As President Biden’s tenure in the White House hits the 100-day milestone, media watchdogs and journalism professors alike have noticed that journalists are "overwhelmingly favorable, polite, and gentle" when covering the current administration. 
(Getty Images)

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