President Joe Biden has received heavy criticism from across the political spectrum for his handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, scenes from which continue to horrify the onlooking world.
The most searing of those scenes were the jarring video of desperate Afghans clinging to an American C-17 cargo plane as it began accelerating down the runway for takeoff. Later video showed several people falling from the sky to their deaths.
President Biden was asked by ABC host George Stephanopoulos about that tragedy, Biden interrupted and said “that was four days ago, five days ago.” The cold, callous response was widely criticized for its lack of empathy, something Biden promised would make a return to the White House in his administration.
That moment comes about 51 seconds into this clip, and is just one of a series of bizarre answers given by the President.
Stephanopoulos pressed Biden about the chaos that has unfolded, and asked if there was anything he could’ve done differently. Despite the obvious answer being yes, Biden offered a blunt “no” and said chaos was going to happen no matter what they did. “So for you, that (chaos) was always priced into the decision?” Stephanopoulos asks. “Yes” was Biden’s reply.
That answer stands in direct contrast with what Biden said back in July.
“Is a Taliban takeover inevitable?” Biden was asked back in July. “No, it is not. Because you have the Afghan troops have 300,000 well-equipped as well any army in the world, and an air force, against something like 75,000 Taliban. It is not inevitable.”
You can read the transcript of the entire interview HERE.
The situation is still not under control.
Footage circulating online shows a chaotic scene at the Kabul airport, with women and children ducking for cover as unidentified armed men fire shots.
And most distressing is the treatment of the thousands of brave Afghan interpreters who helped US military over the past two decades. Reports are flooding in of travel documents being rejected, with no reason, for thousands of marked Afghans, who the Taliban want to kill because of their assistance to the American military.
Their heroics cannot be understated.
One such hero is Zak, an Afghan interpreter who has been a marked man by the Taliban for more than a decade because of his help to the US military.
According to a marine who worked closely with him, Zak was more than just an interpreter. His heroics included not only intercepting communication that their patrol was going to be attacked, but spotting and then running and tackling the terrorist he overheard so that he could be detained. Zak also picked up a fallen soldier’s weapon and fired at the terrorists, something quite obviously far and above what he was being asked to do.
Marine Corps Maj. Thomas Schueman has been on a mission to help him escape Afghanistan. Here’s a bit of the back story:
(Schueman) is no stranger to the sacrifices of war, he earned a Purple Heart while serving. And like too many soldiers, he lost dear friends.
In 2010, he met a young interpreter named Zak. Schueman said Zak saved his life many times. Schueman has spent the last five years trying to help Zak get a visa to the U.S.
As Taliban forces took over Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul Sunday, Schueman was desperately trying to find a way out of the country for his friend and former interpreter Zak, one of the many still trapped as the government collapsed around them.
“I think it’s a very simple transaction. You serve with U.S. forces and we will provide you a visa,” Schueman said. “He served with U.S. forces, we did not provide the visa. I think that’s a betrayal.”
The New York Times podcast “The Daily” interviewed interviewed Schueman and Zak, whose connection was lost in mid call.
“He knew him serving with us would put a target on his back for the rest of his life… his hope was he would make it back to the US,” Schueman said.
Biden’s interview, and subsequent interviews from administration officials, have not been well received and have been viewed by many as, like Schueman said, a “betrayal” of the sacrifice so many made to help American troops fight terrorists.
Please continue to pray for those trapped in Afghanistan, and that the United States can find the will to honor the promises made to Afghans who risked everything to help.