President Joe Biden’s decision to capitulate to the Taliban’s demands for the United States’ total withdrawal from Afghanistan by August 31 triggered a flurry of criticism online.
Critics slammed the ageing, 78-year-old president for his “cowardice” and his “completely unacceptable” decision not to push back against the demands of the Islamist militants, who the United Nations says are now conducting summary executions of civilians all across the country.
According to the Associated Press, the United Nations has received “harrowing and credible reports” of human rights abuses by the Taliban upon the population of Afghanistan, including the summary execution of civilians and members of the Afghan security forces.
The civilians being hunted down “door to door” and killed are suspected to have worked for or aided the United States or coalition forces, according to the BBC.
On Tuesday, Biden chose to give in to the Taliban’s deadline of August 31, after the terrorist group threatened to deliver “consequences” to U.S. forces for potentially extending the deadline to remove American presence from Afghan soil. The Biden administration is currently scrambling to evacuate thousands of American citizens and allies who remain trapped on the ground in Kabul — with more potentially trapped in other Taliban-controlled cities across the country.
Biden’s decision to surrender to the Taliban’s demands flies in the face of decades of U.S. foreign policy including the axiom that “the United States does not negotiate with terrorists.” Instead of pushing back, Biden chose to honour the demand, contrary to calls from both Democrat and Republican lawmakers and NATO leaders to at least extend the stay in Afghanistan until the evacuations are completed.
“The world just witnessed the President of the United States take orders from a band of barbaric terrorists while ignoring the pleas of our international allies and American citizens he will leave behind,” said Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), a veteran Navy SEAL who served in Afghanistan. “Joe Biden is a coward.”
“President Biden should commit to staying in Afghanistan until we have rescued every American citizen & those Afghans who risked their lives for American troops. Instead, he intends to abandon stranded Americans to appease the Taliban and meet his own arbitrary political deadline,” wrote Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), a veteran Army Ranger who did tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. “Joe Biden’s impotence leaves Americans in harm’s way and dishonors our entire nation.”
“Joe Biden can’t even confirm how many Americans are still in Afghanistan, and he’s planning to pull out our troops in seven days,” Cotton added.
“Just walked out of the Congressional briefing on Afghanistan. One thing is painfully clear. The Biden team says one thing behind closed doors, admits mistakes, knows this is a shitshow and the President is lying and telling us something different from the White House,” said Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), a US Navy veteran who served in Afghanistan. “Shameful!”
“Joe Biden should sit through some of these congressional briefings on Afghanistan with us,” added Banks. “He might learn a lot about what’s going on there. Clearly he’s not on the same page as his national security team who knows this is a dangerous shitshow.”
Biden’s decision to abide by the Taliban’s demands came after his meeting with leaders of several U.S. allies at an emergency G7 summit. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the meeting to lobby Biden to extend the deadline and provide U.S. allies with ample time to pull out their forces and evacuate civilians.
Due to the loss of Bagram Air Force Base and other airports across the country, the airport in Kabul, which remains under control by the United States, is now the only way in and out of Afghanistan.
Biden rejected the demands of U.S. allies and is standing by the Aug. 31 deadline, due to warnings from the Pentagon that staying past the deadline could potentially spark violence and repercussions from the Taliban, the Daily Wire reported.
“It’s a red line. President Biden announced that on 31 August they would withdraw all their military forces. So if they extend it that means they are extending occupation while there is no need for that. … If the U.S. or UK were to seek additional time to continue evacuations — the answer is no. Or there would be consequences,” Taliban spokesman Dr. Suhail Shaheen said previously. “It will create mistrust between us. If they are intent on continuing the occupation, it will provoke a reaction.”