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The Biden administration’s new strategy for pushing back on backlash over its demonstrable incompetence vis-a-vis the evacuation of U.S. citizens from Afghanistan appears to be to blame the citizens for being there in the first place.
Speaking on CBS News this Wednesday, acting U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ross Wilson complained that the Americans currently trapped in Afghanistan had ignored the State Department’s pleas for them to leave.
“We put out repeated warnings every three weeks to Americans going back to, I think, March or April, each one in stronger terms: ‘leave now,’ ‘leave immediately.’ Never in my 40 years … at the State Department have I seen such strong language used,” he said.
“People chose not to leave. That’s their business, there’s their right. We regret now that many may find themselves in a position that they would rather not be in, and we are determined to try to help them,” he added as if the administration is the hero in all this.
Notice how he said the administration is “determined to try to help.” Some suspect that if former President Donald Trump were in charge, there’d be no trying — only doing.
Wilson’s stunning remarks weren’t made in a vacuum.
During a State Department briefing that same day, Secretary of State Antony Blinken also blamed trapped Americans for their predicament. Although unlike Wilson, he did it more subtly, and so it was a tad harder to detect.
“The specific estimated number of Americans in Afghanistan who want to leave can go up as people respond to our outreach for the first time, and it can go down when we reach Americans we thought were in Afghanistan who tell us they’ve already left,” he said.
“There could be other Americans in Afghanistan who never enrolled with the embassy, who ignored public evacuation notices, and have not yet identified themselves to us,” he added.
See what he did there?
National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has reportedly also spouted such rhetoric.
After blaming Obama, Trump, and the Afghan army, the Biden Administration is now blaming Americans trapped in Afghanistan. What a disaster. https://t.co/hGerwfjczF
— Jon Gabriel (@exjon) August 18, 2021
This attitude is not endearing the administration — or President Joe Biden, for that matter — to the public.
The reason why not is because, one, it’s never appropriate to blame victims, and two, it’s a clear-cut deflection from the administration’s failures.
Issuing warnings — or sending “lots of emails & texts,” as former Fox News personality Heather Nauert put it — isn’t doing much.
Watching @SecBlinken remarks from earlier 🤦♀️ *Americans who didn’t get out, it’s your fault for not leaving earlier.
*We’re doing a swell job evacuating people. *We’ve sent a lot of emails & texts #Blinken #Afghanistan #statedepartment
— heather nauert (@HeatherNauert) August 26, 2021
And @SecBlinken keeps mentioning Americans who want to stay! Who wants to stay? I’d really like to know.
And blaming Americans for not leaving earlier! I guess all their emails, texts & phone calls should have included some of those Tik Toks the Biden Administration loves to use https://t.co/VUHat5Xal4
— Heather Childers (@HeatherChilders) August 26, 2021
According to critics, the administration should have been begun evacuating U.S. citizens and Afghan allies months in advance.
Instead, the administration dithered, all as Biden falsely promised that everything would be OK — thus arguably giving those Americans still in Afghanistan false optimism that they could wait until the last minute to travel home.
The Biden Administration kept telling everyone it wouldn’t fall. This person should be nowhere near decision making. He should never be allowed in polite company again, frankly. He has failed and is blaming Americans for being left behind because they believed people like him.
— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) August 26, 2021
Worse, the administration abandoned the key location — Bagram Airbase — that would have made the now-extremely late evacuations far easier.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) July 6, 2021
We left Bagram in early July, and now we have to rely on the airport in Kabul to conduct evacuation operations.
It’s much harder to defend and more limited in terms of air traffic given that it only has one runway while the airfield at Bagram has two.
— Sen. Jeff Jackson (@JeffJacksonNC) August 20, 2021
Now we have no choice but to conduct our evacuation mission under extreme pressure. That’s a bad situation to be in and a tough mission, but it’s a mission that we have an obligation to carry out. We don’t get to call it a day and walk away from these people who helped us.
— Sen. Jeff Jackson (@JeffJacksonNC) August 20, 2021
Even worse, the administration has barred U.S. military personnel from conducting expeditions deep into Afghanistan to retrieve trapped Americans and allies. As a result, other nations have had to make up for the United States’ slack, according to former Trump-era Deputy National Advisor Matt Pottinger.
For instance, the Qataris “have in some cases — at the risk of the lives of their own diplomats — have been arranging for Americans and students, journalists, Afghan staff who have been working at the American University of Kabul, for example, and they’ve been escorting, creating safe passage and escorting those people onto the airbase and then flying them out to safety,” he explained last week on Fox News.
The Brits have been doing something similar.
“The United Kingdom right now, I know that they’re running patrols into Kabul to get British citizens, Afghans, in some cases Americans that they encounter and helping bring them to safety,” according to Pottinger.
However, because the president this week rudely rejected pleas from U.S. allies that he delay the Aug. 31st deadline, their troops have already begun to pull out of Afghanistan, meaning that right it’s likely there’s nobody searching for Americans.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) August 25, 2021
Despite all incessant mistakes and errors in judgment, the administration continues to blame trapped Americans for their predicament. It’s certainly an interesting strategy …
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