Crisis? What crisis? Kamala manages a sentence on ‘priorities’ as she hops on a flight out of the country

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After a week of saying barely anything about the Biden administration’s self-created catastrophe in Afghanistan, Vice President Kamala Harris finally said something late Friday only seconds before hopping a flight out the country — but not to Afghanistan.

“We couldn’t have a higher priority right now. And a particular high priority is making sure that we safely evacuate American citizens, Afghans who worked for them, Afghans at risk, including women and children,” she said minutes before boarding a plane to Singapore.

“And that is one of our highest, if not the highest, priority right now. And it’s a big area of focus for me in the past days and weeks, and will continue to be,” she added.

Listen:

The trip to first Singapore and then Vietnam was scheduled last month in part to build support against China’s growing influence, but critics have argued she should have canceled it so that she could focus her attention on the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan.

In a statement to Al Jazeera, a White House official defended her decision to not reschedule the trip by claiming that the United States’ naval dominance in that region of the world remains “strategically important and economically important to this country.”

“That hasn’t changed with Afghanistan. There’s a difference between ensuring open sea lanes in Asia, which is a priority for the United States, and the continued involvement in another country’s civil war,” the spokesperson reportedly said.

Harris echoed some of this same sentiment in her remarks to the Daily Mail.

“We are a global leader, the United States. We have interests around the world. This trip has been planned, and I’m taking this trip because one of our high priorities in the context of being a global leader is our membership and participation in the Indo-Pacific region,” she said.

“And when you look at the Southeast Asian countries that we’re visiting, they are the sea of the Indo-Pacific region. We have interests there that relate to both security interests, economic interests and — more recently — global health interests,” she added.

Al Jazeera notes that Singapore is “an economic powerhouse that shares concerns over Beijing’s increasingly assertive behaviour in the region,” while Vietnam is “a vocal opponent of China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea.”

Before taking off, the vice president posted a picture to Twitter of her boarding the plane:

The picture was ratioed into oblivion.

Look:

Among the chief complaints was that she didn’t give a damn about the crisis in Afghanistan, where at least 15,000 Americans reportedly remain trapped.

Reports have also emerged of Americans being beaten and denied entry into the airport in Kabul.

Additional reports emerged Saturday morning, long after Harris’s departure, that Americans were now being advised by U.S. government officials to stay clear of the airport because of “security threats.”

Critics also panned her lack of self-awareness. Her second destination is Vietnam. The problem with Harris visiting Vietnam is that it brings to mind the Fall of Saigon.

The Fall of Saigon was the humiliating moment in 1973 that Americans had to be airlifted out of Saigon as U.S. forces withdrew from Vietnam in total defeat.

Some, including reportedly officials within the Biden administration, say the catastrophe in Afghanistan is even worse than Saigon.

All this criticism comes as Harris’s poll numbers show her struggling.

A Rasmussen Reports poll published Thursday showed that a 47 percent plurality of Americans believe the vice president is “not qualified” to serve as president.

Vivek Saxena

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