Several Twitter users lashed out at MSNBC “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski after she ripped President Joe Biden over the collapse of Afghanistan.
During a Monday segment, Brzezinski, who is married to fellow co-host Joe Scarborough, sounded a familiar refrain on the left in assigning additional blame for the unfolding fiasco in the southwest Asian country on former President Donald Trump, though he has been out of office for nearly seven months.
After labeling Trump’s negotiations with the Taliban, which has now taken over virtually all of the country in less than a week after numerically superior Afghan National Army and security forces collapsed, variously as “treasonous,” “downright disgusting,” “anti-democratic” and “not conducive to a good outcome,” Brzezinski laid into Biden.
“However you wanna describe it, but this is Joe Biden’s. He made this decision. And I just worry a little bit about, you know, the ‘whataboutism’ or putting it back on Trump,” she said. “You can do it — he owns a lot of it. But Joe Biden made this decision.”
For those remarks, Brzezinski was mocked and attacked by several leftist social media users.
“I’ve never much cared for Mika,” said one user whose Twitter bio listed them as “liberal and proud.”
“@morningmika needs to understand the reality of the Afghanistan situation more, and engage in performative dramatics less. Joe Biden is the only one who has the spine to pull this bandaid off,” wrote another user with a blue wave emoji in their Twitter handle.
“Disgraceful dramatics on Mika’s part,” said another with #BLM and #Resist hashtags in their bio.
“Morning Joe is Fox News Lite,” said another.
I blame #MorningJoe & #morningmika for helping to give us the disastrous treasonous monster that f***ed up our country & the world. They don’t get to act outraged now! Why do they still have a show after what they did? Why is anyone still watching them? https://t.co/wodzzPaV2M
— Polly Olly Doodles All the Day (@pollyollydoodle) August 16, 2021
“Shut up, Mika!” wrote another.
While it is true that the U.S. pullout from Afghanistan was initiated during Trump’s tenure, there are several aspects of the deal his administration made with the Taliban that are not being widely reported.
First and foremost, Trump campaigned in 2016 on pulling the U.S. out of Afghanistan and other so-called “brushfire wars” throughout the Middle East, while still maintaining an adequate security presence in the region.
Also, the Trump administration established goalposts and parameters that had to first be met by the Taliban and the Afghan government.
“The presence of U.S. forces has long been conditions-based. Adjustments over the years have been conditions-based. And any future reductions or withdrawal of forces will also be conditions-based,” a State Department official told Fox News in August 2019.
More recently, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been making the rounds on cable news defending the Trump strategy and explaining why it’s not the former president’s fault Afghanistan crumbled so quickly after Biden’s hasty withdrawal.
For one, Pompeo has explained that the Trump administration implemented “deterrence” protocols that required the Taliban to refrain from offensive military operations during the U.S. withdrawal, which he said Biden abandoned.
“We had conditions attached to how we were thinking about this withdrawal. I was part of those negotiations. I was also in the room when President Trump made very clear to … the senior Taliban negotiator that if you threaten an American, if you scared an American, certainly if you hurt an American, we would bring all American power to bear to make sure that we went to your village, to your house,” Pompeo told Fox News over the weekend.
“We were very clear about the things that we were prepared to do to protect American lives. And indeed, since we began those negotiations back in February 2020, there wasn’t a single American killed by the Taliban. We had established a deterrence model. I hope we haven’t lost that for the Americans who’re still on the ground there in Kabul,” he said.
In a separate interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday,” Pompeo pushed back on the host’s suggestion that the former top U.S. diplomat regrets negotiating with the Taliban and encouraging the Afghan government to release some 5,000 Taliban prisoners as part of a good faith action.
He said the Trump administration never trusted the Taliban and had warned Taliban negotiators the U.S. would not hesitate to reengage those forces if they broke the terms of the agreement.
Foreign policy expert William Ruger told news outlets in February, just weeks after Biden was inaugurated, that the new administration should stick to the deal Trump and Pompeo negotiated.
“I think President Biden should follow the agreement we have with the Taliban,” he said, noting that at the time Biden didn’t own the Afghan war.
“We have accomplished what we need to, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be possible in any kind of cost-effective way to meet the more expanded goals. We need to come to terms with that and withdraw,” he said.
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