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Afghans, hoping to leave Afghanistan, walk through the main entrance gate of Kabul airport in Kabul on August 28, 2021, following the Taliban stunning military takeover of Afghanistan. | WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

Mike Pence slams Biden over handling of Afghanistan withdrawal: ‘What a disgrace’

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President Joe Biden is receiving criticism from politicians, members of the media and religious leaders after the United States ended its military presence in Afghanistan Tuesday, despite the fact that hundreds of Americans have yet to be evacuated.

In a speech to the nation Tuesday, Biden said “there’s about 100 to 200 Americans remaining in Afghanistan with some intention to leave.” The president insisted that in spite of the sizable number of Americans who remain in the country after the military completed its “Operation Allied Rescue” evacuation mission, “90% of Americans in Afghanistan who wanted to leave were able to leave.”

The New York Times reported that in addition to hundreds of American citizens, “potentially thousands of green card holders” remain in Afghanistan. 

Many political figures, journalists and religious leaders did not react favorably to the news that hundreds of Americans who tried to flee Afghanistan remain in the country, which is now controlled by the Taliban. In addition, the president continued to face criticism for his handling of the pullout of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, which concluded Tuesday as the war came to a close after nearly 20 years.

poll released by Pew Research Center Tuesday found that while a majority of Americans (54%) believe exiting Afghanistan was the right decision, a plurality of Americans (42%) rated the Biden administration’s handling of the situation in Afghanistan as “poor.” An additional 29% rated the administration’s performance as “only fair,” while 21% described its handling of the withdrawal as “good,” and 6% characterized it as “excellent.”

The Afghanistan withdrawal has taken a toll on the president’s approval rating. As of Wednesday, one day after the pullout of the remaining U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Biden’s approval rating in the Real Clear Politics average of polls stood at 46.8% while his disapproval rating had reached 48.7%. Prior to the Afghanistan pullout, Biden consistently had a positive net approval rating, meaning more Americans approved of his performance than disapproved. 

Here are reactions to the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Biden administration’s execution of it, and reports that hundreds of Americans remain in Afghanistan.

Trump administration alumni: Biden ‘failed America,’ created ‘potential genocide’ 

Former Vice President Mike Pence contended that Biden “failed America” in his execution of the Afghanistan withdrawal by failing to ensure every American citizen who wanted to leave was evacuated by the Aug. 31 deadline.

“What a disgrace,” Pence wrote on Twitter Tuesday, in response to a Republican National Committee ad highlighting Biden’s previous assertion that “If there’s American citizens left, we’re going to stay until we get them all out.”

“Leaving Americans behind is not the American way. Any President of the United States should know that. The President failed Americans and Afghan allies now stranded in Afghanistan. Joe Biden failed America,” he added.

Another Trump administration alumnus, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, warned of the potential consequences of the withdrawal from Afghanistan in a piece for the American Center for Law and Justice.

Pompeo, who now serves as senior counsel for global affairs at the conservative advocacy group, proclaimed that “The Biden Administration Has Created a Humanitarian Crisis and Potential Genocide in Afghanistan.”

He added: “Team Biden has left thousands of Americans stranded in Afghanistan at the mercy of radical Islamic extremists. It threw America’s allies under the bus by withdrawing our forces without so much as a phone call to other world leaders, whose people are now stranded there as well. It has opened the door for the beginnings of a genocide against Christians.”

Journalists slam Afghanistan withdrawal as ‘moral disaster’

Martha Raddatz, ABC News’ chief global affairs correspondent, also expressed criticism over the way the U.S. withdrew from Afghanistan as her network covered the president’s speech.

While praising the “very successful evacuation” of “more than 120,000 people,” she asserted that Biden was “conflating the withdrawal with the evacuation.”

“The evacuation occurred because the withdrawal was … they did not realize the Taliban would take over so quickly. They did not realize [Afghanistan] would fall in 11 days and that’s why you ended up with this chaos, that’s why you ended up with so many desperate people.”

Raddatz recalled that in a July 8 speech, Biden promised that “there’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of an embassy of the United States from Afghanistan.”

Raddatz suggested that Biden did not live up to that promise because people seeking to leave Afghanistan “were clinging to airplanes in those early days.”

She added that Biden placed trust in “the capacity of the Afghan military,” describing them as “ready” and “prepared for this.” Raddatz concluded that the Afghan military was not ready for the withdrawal of U.S. troops, as demonstrated by its collapse and the subsequent resurgence of the Taliban.

Raddatz continued to share Biden’s comments from the July 8 speech, including a guarantee of “the safety of the interpreters.” She reported that “there are thousands of interpreters in Afghanistan right now who are desperate and frightened.”

“Just a month ago, he told our George Stephanopoulos that they would get all Americans out. They’ve gotten 90 percent of those out and that 10 percent right now is scared and still does not know how they’re going to get out,” she added.

Taliban, Afghanistan
Taliban fighters stand guard along a road near the site of an Ashura procession which is held to mark the death of Imam Hussein, the grandson of the Islamic prophet Mohammad, along a road in Herat on August 19, 2021, amid the Taliban’s military takeover of Afghanistan. | AREF KARIMI/AFP via Getty Images

Like Raddatz, The Washington Post’s editorial board expressed gratitude that “many thousands of American citizens, third-country nationals and Afghans who worked directly for U.S. and allied military forces or embassies made it out.” However, they lamented that “many thousands of people did not, including former U.S. interpreters and their families, and Afghans classified by President Biden and his administration as ‘vulnerable.’”

“As security worsened in the wake of a horrific terrorist attack at the airport last Thursday, and as U.S. troops prepared for their own departure on Monday, time and space ran out for these people. This is a moral disaster, one not attributable to the actions of military and diplomatic personnel in Kabul – who have been courageous and professional, in the face of deadly dangers – but to mistakes, strategic and tactical, by Mr. Biden and his administration.”

Pope Francis expresses opposition to US policy of spreading democracy; Johnnie Moore slams Biden’s collaboration with Taliban

CBS News reported Wednesday that in an interview with Spanish radio, Pope Francis described the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan as “legitimate” but expressed his opinion that “not all eventualities were taken into account here.”

“I don’t know whether there will be a review or not, but certainly there was a lot of deception, perhaps, on the part of the new authorities [of Afghanistan]. I say deceit, or a lot of naiveté — I don’t understand,” Francis said. 

The pontiff recited a quote he attributed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, indicating that while he did not necessarily approve of the execution of the Afghanistan withdrawal, he agreed with Biden that the foreign policy strategy of nation-building should be abandoned.

“‘It is necessary to put an end to the irresponsible policy of intervening from outside and building democracy in other countries, ignoring the traditions of the peoples.’ Concise and conclusive,” he said. The leader of the Catholic Church was not the only religious figure to express some degree of unease about the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Johnnie Moore
Rev. Johnnie Moore

The Rev. Johnnie Moore, president of the Congress of Christian Leaders and former United States Commission on International Religious Freedom Commissioner, slammed Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of the U.S. Central Command, for vowing to “coordinate” with the Taliban in an Aug. 26 press conference following an explosion at the Abbey Gate of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul that killed 10 U.S. Marines, two U.S. Army soldiers, one Navy Corpsman and some 170 Afghan civilians. 

“The commander of U.S. Central Command described an alarming amount & type of coordination with the Taliban during today’s Pentagon press conference. Democrats and Republicans in Congress need to put their partisanship aside & DEMAND answers & action,” he proclaimed in an Aug. 26 tweet

In another tweet, Moore reacted to a report that “U.S. officials gave the Taliban a list of names of U.S. citizens, green card holders & Afghan allies to grant entry into the outer perimeter of the city’s airport.” He described the actions of the U.S. government as “unconscionable.”

On Monday, Moore discussed how “videos are circulating of the Taliban flying a US made Black Hawk helicopter in Kandahar.” After lamenting that “they have more of them now than Australia along w/ countless other advanced U.S. equipment,” he asked, “Why didn’t @CENTCOM take out what they could and destroy the rest?”

Moore responded to a report detailing that the Biden administration destroyed and left behind the wreckage of some military equipment. He called the destruction of the military equipment “Good & also not good enough.” The religious leader also issued a call to prayer for “the Americans & thousands of threatened, minority communities who have been left behind in Afghanistan.”

Source: ChristianPost.Com by Ryan Foley

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