Following up on a Trump administration initiative, President Biden has announced an August 3rd withdrawal date for American troops in Afghanistan. The majority of Americans appear to agree with the move.
The Biden administration is committing itself to an August 3rd deadline of a total withdrawal from Afghanistan, leaving a handful of Democrats worried about the political repercussions if the security situation goes belly-up.
- The withdrawal appears to be happening in phases, as the American military abandoned the Bagram Air Base in the middle of the night, without warning to local Afghan military officials.
- Now that only a handful of American personnel remain in Afghanistan and security has been turned over to the Afghan army, the Taliban (who harbored Osama Bin Laden in the years leading up to 9/11) are quickly taking over territory and claim they control 85% of the country already.
- India is recalling diplomatic personnel as the Taliban keeps gaining ground.
- Despite what appears to be a quickly deteriorating security situation, recent polling shows Americans are supportive of the withdrawal.
- The Washington Post’s coverage of America’s withdrawal highlights the thorn Taliban has historically been for everyone: noting even Shia-dominated Iran has problems with Sunni-led Taliban.
- In a rare rebuke of a Democratic administration, CNN’s national security analyst blasted President Biden for his withdrawal decision and announcement, saying his reasonings for continuing a Trump-era commitment fly in the face of reality.
- NPR reported on the potential consequences to the Guantanamo Bay prison facility originally used to hold detained Taliban during the Afghanistan war.
- The New York Post reported on concerns about a humanitarian crisis as the Taliban gobble up land in the wake of America’s withdrawal.
- Fox News interviewed former Trump official Morgan Ortagus, who blasted the Biden administration’s withdrawal plans, ignoring the fact that the Trump administration (where she worked!) originally negotiated with Afghan officials for the U.S. withdrawal.
- Townhall.com’s coverage characterized the situation as though everyone but President Biden understands what is going to happen to Afghanistan upon an American withdrawal. This reporting totally ignores the efforts the Trump administration made to remove America from what Trump called “forever wars.”
The apparent memory loss by reporters and pundits on the right is astounding. It was the Trump administration that invited the Taliban to Camp David on the anniversary of 9/11 to negotiate withdrawal terms (before they rescinded the offer after being browbeaten in the media over the optics of such an invitation).
While it is easy to call out the partisan hackery of left-leaning media, because it happens almost daily, this is a clear example of right leaning outlets completely ignoring their own positions and that of President Trump for the sole purpose of bashing Biden.
With distrust in the media, among other institutions, reaching all-time lows, some intellectual honesty and ideological consistency is needed if they ever intend on reversing that distrust.
© Dallas Gerber, 2021