Former CIA analyst and Afghanistan war veteran Matt Zeller threw a wrench into MSNBC’s efforts to prop up President Joe Biden after Monday’s national address on Afghanistan, emphatically noting that he must have watched “a different speech.”
The president was stirred from a Camp David vacation for a hurried trip back to the White House Monday for the sole purpose of publicly addressing the humiliating takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, which is a sign of how bad a drubbing he was taking over bungling of the U.S. evacuation — once he checked that off, Biden returned to the presidential retreat.
While Biden’s speech Monday was focused on the decision to leave Afghanistan and not on HOW his administration was executing what is proving to be a disastrous exit coupled with plenty of finger-pointing, directed at previous administrations and even the Afghans themselves — more on that later — the usual media suspects dutifully carried the president’s water, to include MSNBC’s Brian Williams.
(Earlier in the segment, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace, who doubles as a Democratic Party mouthpiece, defended Biden’s speech, claiming that “95 percent” of the public would agree with him.)
Zeller co-founded No One Left Behind, an organization that helps interpreters who have worked with the United States, and Williams referenced the group before asking his take.
“It’s almost ironic now to state the name of the organization you founded, given what we’re watching go on, though I’m curious to hear your reaction of this consequential speech by the American president,” the MSNBC host said. “Didn’t run from it. He owned it. He owned his decision, he, the fact that — as he put it — the buck stops with him.”
“I hope he gets to own their deaths, too,” Zeller shot back. “I feel like I watched a different speech than the rest of you guys. I was appalled. There was such a profound bold-faced lie in that speech, the idea we planned for every contingency? I have been personally trying to tell this administration since it took office, I’ve been trying to tell our government for years this was coming. We sent them plan after plan on how to evacuate these people. Nobody listened to us.”
“They didn’t plan for the evacuation of our Afghan war-time allies. They’re trying to conduct it now at the 11th hour,” he continued. “The thing they were most concerned about was with the optics of the chaotic evacuation. They got exactly what they were most concerned of by failing to do what was right when they could have done it. We had all of the people and equipment in place to be able to save these people months ago and we did nothing.”
Zeller was also “appalled” at the number of Afghans the administration wants to get out, suggesting the number is much higher.
“I have no idea why he claims people don’t want to leave Afghanistan. I have a list of 14,000 names right now of people who want to get out of Afghanistan,” he said. “And the idea that the Afghan military should be blamed for this? Do you know how many casualties the Afghan military took in an average year? More than the United States did in 20. When you are not getting paid on a regular basis, when you are not getting fuel, when no one is supplying you with ammunition and yet you’re still showing up to the fight, how dare us for having to blame these people for not having the audacity to be able to survive a Taliban onslaught? No, no, no.”
On that note, Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, went even further to accuse Biden of taking away air support for the Afghan forces, as seen here:
This is a lie. Since Jan 2015, when Afghans took over combat operations, 53-57,000 Afghan soldiers have died in combat fighting the Taliban-including more than 2,600 this year. Afghans with US air support held off the Taliban for more than six years. You took away the air support https://t.co/ZxpY3ESICR
— Marc Thiessen (@marcthiessen) August 16, 2021
Zeller was also clear about the fate of those who assisted the U.S. who are left behind.
“What we need to be doing right now and I’m appalled the president didn’t say is we need to be talking about how we’re going to get every single one of these people out because let’s be abundantly clear, people like me looked these people in the eye and made them a promise,” he said. “We promised them in their time of need we would take care of them. How do you ever expect anyone to ever trust us again if we don’t do that now while we can?”
The Afghan war vet also said he was “sick and tired” of the administration deferring to the Taliban.
“We are the United States of America. They’re terrified of us,” Zeller insisted. “I have Afghans on the ground right now who are telling me they’re going door to door in Kabul and making lists of people who used to work with us. They are telling them with smiles on their face, evil smiles, they will be back for them once we leave.”
“So we either take them now or these people are going to die. I have been trying to tell anyone who will listen. This is a never-again moment in the making,” he said, before comparing the Taliban to the Nazis.
“Every Afghan we leave behind is going to be left behind to a horrible existence, and if we don’t take them while we can it’s as much on us as on the Taliban who will hang or behead them,” Zeller angrily concluded.
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