Biden's inaccurate claims in defense of withdrawal from Afghanistan

President Biden, in Remarks Friday, sworn to evacuate all Americans out of Afghanistan and defended his administration against critici...


President Biden, in Remarks Friday, sworn to evacuate all Americans out of Afghanistan and defended his administration against criticism of the withdrawal.

But in doing so, he made several misleading or false statements about the withdrawal and evacuation, which were chaotic as the Americans and tens of thousands of Afghan allies try to escape through the airport in Kabul.

Here is a fact check of the president’s remarks.

What Mr. Biden said

“I have not seen any questioning of our credibility from our allies around the world.”

It is misleading. While leaders of countries allied with the United States have hesitated to publicly criticize the withdrawal, some members of their governments have not mince words in questioning American leadership and credibility.

In Germany, the chairman of the Parliament’s foreign relations committee called withdrawal “a serious and wide-ranging miscalculation on the part of the current administration” and said it “had fundamentally damaged the political and moral credibility of the West”. Armin Laschet, the leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party and candidate for election to succeed her, called him “biggest debacle»That NATO had never seen. Ms Merkel also criticized him privately, according to German media.

In Britain, the withdrawal raised doubts among some officials about the reliability of the United States as an ally. Tom Tugendhat, Conservative MP and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, characterized it is the “greatest foreign policy disaster” since the Suez Crisis of 1956, claiming that “we need to rethink how we treat our friends, who matters and how we defend our interests.”

Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks noted that the withdrawal caused “chaos” and showed that the West was “weaker overall”.

What Mr. Biden said

“What interest do we have in Afghanistan at this point when Al Qaeda is gone? We went to Afghanistan for the express purpose of getting rid of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan as well as securing Osama bin Laden, and we did.

False. Al Qaeda’s presence in Afghanistan has certainly been reduced since the US invasion, but Mr. Biden is wrong to say that the terrorist group is no longer in the country.

A United Nations Security Council report released in June valued that al-Qaeda was still present in at least 15 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. Office of the Inspector General of the Ministry of Defense said in a report published Wednesday that “the Taliban have continued to maintain relations with Al Qaeda, providing a safe haven for the terrorist group in Afghanistan.”

After Mr. Biden’s intervention, John F. Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, confirmed in a press conference that Al Qaeda was present in Afghanistan.

What Mr. Biden said

“We have no indication that they could not pass – in Kabul – through the airport. We made an agreement with the, with the Taliban. So far, they have allowed them to pass. It is in their interest that they spend. So, we are not aware of any circumstance where US citizens – holders of US passports – try to get to the airport. “

It is misleading. Reports from Afghanistan contradict this statement, and other government officials have been more cautious when describing the conditions under which American citizens travel to the airport.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul sent a security alert Wednesday, warning US citizens, legal residents and their families that “the US government cannot guarantee safe passage to Hamid Karzai International Airport.”

Asked about Mr Biden’s claim that no American had been denied access to the airport, Ned Price, a spokesperson for the State Department, said in a press conference friday that the department “has only received a small number of reports from US citizens indicating that their access has been hindered in some way, that they have faced difficulty or resistance to get to the airport “.

Mr. Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman, also said in the press conference that he was aware of “sporadic reports that some Americans could not pass through checkpoints” but that they were able to pass “in general”.

Politico reported Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III told Congress on Friday that some Americans trying to leave Afghanistan had been harassed and beaten by Taliban fighters.

Anonymous US resident in Afghanistan told ABC News that he had seen people with US passports not being allowed through Taliban checkpoints. Clarissa Ward, a CNN reporter in Kabul, said after Mr Biden’s remarks that she was having difficulty reaching the airport.

“Working out how to get to this airport is like a Rubik’s Cube,” Ms Ward said on CNN Friday. “Anyone who says any American can get in here is – yes, I mean, technically it can. But it is extremely difficult and it is dangerous.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Biden's inaccurate claims in defense of withdrawal from Afghanistan
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