In the wake of a suicide bombing attack at a Kabul airport that claimed the lives of many bystanders including 13 U.S. service members, certain Republicans have — true to form — opted to obsess over Biden rather than uniting behind the idea of holding those responsible for the attack accountable. Nevertheless, Biden and his administration have pushed forward, including with an airstrike targeting the ISIS affiliate responsible for the airport attack. Meanwhile, the U.S. has either directly evacuated or facilitated the evacuation from Afghanistan of some 120,000 people since the end of July, and is that remarkably high rate of evacuation the mark of an inept presidential administration? Clearly, it is not.
UPDATE: The US has evacuated and helped facilitate the evacuation of approximately 2,900 people from Kabul in the last 24 hours.
Since August 14, the U.S. has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of approximately 114,400 people and roughly 120,000 since end of July.
— chrismeagher46 (@chrismeagher46) August 29, 2021
At a recent White House press conference, Biden administration press secretary Jen Psaki shredded talking points from Republicans who’ve opted to needle the Biden team’s operations from the sidelines. As Psaki put it:
‘I think it’s easy to play backseat — “let’s look at what could’ve happened three months, four months ago.” I think we’ve been clear on a couple of things I will just say. No one anticipated, I think including on the outside, that the Afghan government would have fallen at the pace they fell. And the president and members of our national security team have spoken to that as well. We didn’t anticipate the Afghan national security forces would have folded as they did. We didn’t anticipate that. And as a result of that all happening, we saw a chaotic situation just two weeks ago.’
Indeed, as the U.S. recently moved forward with some of the final stages of the withdrawal from Afghanistan of its military presence, the Taliban took over the country. Watch Psaki’s comments replying to GOP-aligned talking points on the issue below:
.@PressSec Jen Psaki: "It's easy to play backseat let's look at what could've happened three months, four months ago… no one anticipated, I think including on the outside, that the Afghan government would've fallen at the pace they fell." pic.twitter.com/DN2olymG9P
— The Hill (@thehill) August 29, 2021
Biden also pushed past Republican naysayers with his own statement this week, saying in part as follows in reference to the retaliatory airstrike that followed the Kabul airport attack:
‘This strike was not the last. We will continue to hunt down any person involved in that heinous attack and make them pay. Whenever anyone seeks to harm the United States or attack our troops, we will respond. That will never be in doubt… I directed [military commanders] to take every possible measure to prioritize force protection, and ensured that they have all the authorities, resources and plans to protect our men and women on the ground.’
These are not the words — and these are not the actions — of a commander-in-chief who is not in touch with the needs of the situation. Evacuation efforts in Afghanistan are continuing after hitting that mark of around 120,000 people brought out of the country since the end of July.