Biden says he bears ‘zero responsibility’ if Taliban take Afghanistan and re-impose a regime of terror.
The buck stops somewhere else.
The Taliban have retaken 12 provincial Afghanistan capitals following the U.S. military’s secretive overnight withdrawal from Bagram Airfield earlier this year (U.S. officials didn’t even notify the base’s new Afghan commander before silently slipping away, leaving the official to discover for himself, nearly two hours after the fact, that the Americans had Irish Goodbye’d after nearly 20 years of occupation).
Since the May 1 departure, the Taliban have captured 69 of the country's 407 districts, including ones American and Afghan officials previously considered impenetrable government strongholds against the terrorist group. In total, the Taliban hold 142 districts and are fighting for control of roughly 170 more.
Washington is now dispatching an estimated 3,000 combat troops to assist in the evacuation of American personnel from the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, a city that is expected to fall into Taliban hands relatively soon.
But don’t blame these recent developments on the current president of the United States, who ordered the abrupt withdrawal.
President Joe Biden, who has served in the White House amid the war on terror for more than eight years, says he bears “zero responsibility” if the Taliban end up retaking the Afghanistan after 20 years of U.S. engagement and reimpose a regime of terror on the country's residents. The buck stops somewhere else.
CBS News’s Margaret Brennan pressed the president last year to clarify what, exactly, he meant when he told then-special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke in 2010, “I am not sending my boy back there to risk his life on behalf of women’s rights! It just won’t work. That’s not what they’re there for.”
Biden responded, saying international bodies such as the United Nations should adjudicate human rights violations, not combat troops.
“Don't you bear some responsibility for the outcome if the Taliban ends up back in control and women end up losing their rights?” asked Brennan.
“No, I don't,” Biden answered bluntly. “Look, are you telling me that we should go into China because — go to war with China because what they're doing to the Uyghurs, a million Uyghurs, in the — out in the west in concentration camps? Is that what you're saying to me?”
Brennan said, “It was your quote, sir. I was asking you what you meant.”
“Do I bear responsibility? Zero responsibility. The responsibility I have is to protect America's national self-interest. … That's my responsibility as president,” said Biden.
If this quote sounds familiar, it’s because former President Donald Trump said something along these lines last year when he was asked if he takes responsibility for the then-lag in COVID-19 testing.
“No,” said Trump. “I don’t take responsibility at all because we were given a set of circumstances, and we were given rules, regulations, and specifications from a different time. It wasn’t meant for this kind of an event with the kind of numbers that we’re talking about.”
He added, “And what we’ve done is redesigned it very quickly, with the help of the people behind me. We’re now in very, very strong shape. I think we’ll be announcing, as I said, Sunday night. This will start very quickly. We’ll have the ability to do in the millions over a very, very quick period of time. So, no.”
Trump’s remarks were then rewritten and used against him by his critics, including Biden, who claimed their version of what the then-president said proved he is unworthy of the Oval Office.
“Anyone who’s responsible for not taking control — in fact, not saying, I take no responsibility, initially — anyone who is responsible for that many deaths should not remain as president of the United States of America,” Biden said during the first 2020 presidential debate.
Meanwhile, in the present, Afghans who aided U.S. military operations over the years are desperately reaching out to Western media for help, begging U.S. reporters to flag the unresponsive federal authorities who promised to protect them from Taliban retaliation, CNN chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward reports.
Advancing Taliban forces are also executing “detained soldiers, police, and civilians with alleged ties to the Afghan government,” according to Human Rights Watch.
But don’t blame Biden, the man at the top. He says he bears “zero responsibility” for what’s happening right now in Afghanistan. Just ignore the part where he cited Trump’s “no responsibility” remarks last year as proof the previous guy was unfit to serve.