Stubborn, Defiant: For US Media, the Buck Does Stop With Biden for Afghan Chaos

Joe Biden's address on the Afghanistan crisis has not gone down well with the US media.
Eshwar Ranjana
World
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Joe Biden's address on the Afghanistan crisis has not gone down well with the US media.

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(Photo altered by The Quint)

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Joe Biden's address on the Afghanistan crisis has not gone down well with the US media.</p></div>

"I am the President of the United States and the buck stops with me," said Joe Biden on Monday as he addressed the nation for the first time since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan amid withdrawal of the US troops from the country.

While Biden stood by his decision and reiterated the American people's wish for their forces to return home, for the American media, the buck does stop with Biden, but for the devastation that has unleashed in Afghanistan while the Taliban took control.

Many drew parallels between the horrific scenes that unfolded at the Kabul airport and those that were seen on 9/11, calling Biden the face of the "chaos and violence" that Afghanistan is now facing.

Here's a look at a few takes on Biden's address by some prominent American media houses.

'Determined in Retreat, Defiant in Surrender': Wall Street Journal

Slamming Biden for playing a blame game and ignoring the horrific scenes at the Kabul airport, The Wall Street Journal's editorial drew parallels between the visuals of Afghans falling off an aircraft to those from 9/11 when Americans jumped to their deaths from the World Trade Centre.

"Mr Biden refused to accept responsibility for the botched withdrawal while blaming others. He blamed Donald Trump’s peace deal with the Taliban and falsely claimed again that he was trapped. He blamed his three predecessors for not getting out of Afghanistan. He blamed the Afghans for not fighting hard enough, their leaders for fleeing, and even Afghans who helped us for not leaving sooner. The one group he conspicuously did not blame was the Taliban, who once harbored Osama bin Laden and may protect his terrorist successor."
The Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal

Read the full article here.

'Stubbornness on Full Display': CNN

Writing for the CNN, Kevin Liptak, Jeff Zeleny, and Kaitlan Collins said that Biden's "stubbornness was on fully display in his speech from the East Room" despite leaving unanswered myriad questions.

"Yet if that truly is the case, Biden left unanswered a myriad of questions about how events spiraled out of control so swiftly, saying only that the process of withdrawing troops had been "hard and messy." He has not shown any sign -- publicly or, aides say, in private -- that he believes his own decision to pull troops from Afghanistan helped cause the current crisis. Instead, he has placed the blame elsewhere: the Afghan military for falling apart, former President Donald Trump for agreeing to a deal with the Taliban and his predecessors for expanding a mission in a country without any consideration of how to end it."
Kevin Liptak, Jeff Zeleny and Kaitlan Collins | CNN

Read the full article here.

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'Face of the War’s Chaotic, Violent Conclusion': AP

While Jonathan Lemire, writing for The Associated Press, acknowledged Biden taking responsibility and making the "buck stop with him", he criticised the "chaotic and violent" conclusion of the 20-year-long war, which he likened to the Vietnam War and the Cuba invasion.

"The collapse of the Afghan government is the biggest foreign policy crisis of Biden’s young presidency, recalling setbacks for past presidents – such as the withdrawal from Vietnam and the botched Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba. The reverberations of the Taliban’s success were startling, endangering Afghan women and girls, posing new security threats and threatening to undercut global views of America’s reliability."
Jonathan Lemire | AP

Read the full article here.

'Contrary to Biden's Claims, Preventing Extremism Now More Difficult': Washington Post

While Biden in his address on Monday pledged US support to Afghanistan to fight terrorism, as it does with "nations where the country does not have a military presence", Missy Ryan and Souad Mekhennet, writing for The Washington Post, said that preventing extremist resurgence in Afghanistan may now be more difficult than before.

"At the same time, there are worrisome signs it may become more difficult for the United States to prevent a resurgence by al-Qaeda, which a recent United Nations report said maintained a presence in at least 15 Afghan provinces and showed “no indication of breaking ties” with the Taliban despite pledges to do so as part of a 2020 deal struck between the Afghan militants and Trump administration. Foreign intelligence officials said they are detecting signs that the Taliban’s victory has energized global jihadists, a threat that may only grow as the Taliban releases al-Qaeda operatives who were imprisoned by the Afghan government."
Missy Ryan and Souad Mekhennet | The Washington Post

Read the full article here.

More Views on Afghanistan on The Quint

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