Fox News hosts and personalities exchanged fire during a Thursday segment on “The Five” over the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan after two decades.
The segment began with co-host Martha MacCallum noting that President Joe Biden ordered 3,000 troops back in to secure the American embassy in the capital of Kabul ahead of an onslaught by Taliban forces that have already captured more than a dozen provincial centers.
The insurgent group’s fighters began retaking parts of the country as U.S. forces withdrew from their positions earlier this summer and Afghan National Army troops either proved unable to stop the Taliban advance or unwilling to engage its forces.
Now, U.S. military and intelligence officials think that Kabul itself could eventually fall, perhaps within the month without U.S. and NATO reinforcements, after Taliban fighters took control of nearly two-thirds of the country within 10 days.
(Video: Fox News)
“This is one of the ultimate embarrassments in my lifetime,” said co-host Brian Kilmeade, as he compared the situation developing in Afghanistan to the fall of Saigon in 1975 to North Vietnamese forces.
He went on to note that when former President Donald Trump pushed for withdrawing from Afghanistan, as he promised during his campaign, then-Defense Secretary James Mattis, a former four-star Marine general, disapproved to the point where he resigned.
Kilmeade then put that onus on current Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, a retired four-star Army officer, as well as other ranking members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who don’t appear to have pushed back at all on Biden in a similar fashion.
He then accused the Biden administration and the Pentagon of leaving Afghanistan “irresponsibly” after hitting on reports that women in the country are being killed and abused under the Taliban’s strict code of Islam.
“The world is laughing at us, and China is giggling,” Kilmeade added.
“They can’t believe how humiliated we are. We look as bad as the Russians when they ran for the hills in the 1980s. And that was the fall of the Soviet empire,” he added, referencing the decade-long, much more costlier war the then-USSR fought in Afghanistan, to defeat.
“Which is why we shouldn’t have gone there in the first place, right?” co-host Greg Gutfeld interjected.
“We had to go there. [Osama] bin Laden was in there,” Kilmeade fired back.
“We went there 20 years ago on good faith because of bin Laden,” replied Gutfeld. “That was 20 years ago. Times have changed.”
Gutfeld then hit on an earlier point made about the U.S. abandonment of Kurdish fighters in Syria during the Trump administration, which led to Mattis’ resignation.
“That’s just a great example of how we are lied to about things,” Gutfeld said, adding Americans were told that if U.S. forces left, Kurds would die en masse. “Have we heard anything about that?”
“I think we’re war-weary at this point. And it’s like you’re in jail, and you’re trying to stay awake and the moment you fall asleep someone’s gonna take your shoes. So are we gonna stay awake forever in Afghanistan or are we gonna–”
“It’s to our advantage to be there,” Kilmeade interjected. “China, Russia, Pakistan, and terrorists there–”
“But Brian, the presence can be technology,” Gutfeld responded.
“No, it can’t!” argued Kilmeade.
“It’s been 20 years!” said Gutfeld.
“We don’t know what’s going on on the ground right now!” Kilmeade shot back.
“Then that’s on us,” Gutfeld responded, incredulous. “How have we been there for 20 years and we still don’t know what’s on the ground?”
MacCallum countered by asking what the original mission was — getting bin Laden — but also to bring stability to the region.
“Now, China and Russia are filling that void. China is watching what is happening,” she insisted.
“Let them do it!” Gutfeld fired back. “Let China be the third sucker in this!”
“We got bin Laden. When do you say, ‘Enough’?,” he asked. “Do you want another 10 years? Another 20 years? Soon, you’re gonna be there forever.”
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