A viral video confirming that not only did former President Donald Trump order the military withdrawal from Afghanistan but was also proud of doing so stands in stark contrast to the revisionist history provided by right-wing trolls in a disingenuous narrative meant to blame President Joe Biden for what’s become a debacle.
As of Monday morning, the Taliban militant group of Islamic extremists had taken over every part of the Middle Eastern country, including the capital city of Kabul, from where the president had fled days earlier.
It was all a response to the expedited withdrawal of U.S. military troops, a decision that had not only already been made by Trump before Biden took office but also one that had been negotiated with the Taliban by the former president at Camp David, all places, Biden said.
“When I came to office, I inherited a deal cut by my predecessor—which he invited the Taliban to discuss at Camp David on the eve of 9/11 of 2019—that left the Taliban in the strongest position militarily since 2001 and imposed a May 1, 2021 deadline on U.S. Forces,” Biden reminded people in a statement on Saturday.
Biden said because Trump had already pared down the number of troops in Afghanistan to a minimum, he “faced a choice—follow through on the deal, with a brief extension to get our Forces and our allies’ Forces out safely, or ramp up our presence and send more American troops to fight once again in another country’s civil conflict.”
He said he chose the former because he refuses to “pass this war onto a fifth” U.S. president, referring to how President George W. Bush’s costly decision to occupy Afghanistan has stretched into Biden’s own administration four presidents later.
But that still hasn’t stopped a Republican-led effort to blame Biden for the collapse of Afghanistan’s political and security forces, even — and especially — if those same Republicans were also calling for a withdrawal of troops.
Trump himself had the audacity to call for Biden “to resign in disgrace for what he has allowed to happen to Afghanistan.”
That sentiment was shared by other right-wing extremists and trolls looking to deflect blame from Trump, who, less than two months ago, bragged that the decision to expedite the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan was his and his alone.
I started the process,” Trump said at a rally in Ohio in late June, his first since losing the presidency. “All the troops are coming back home. They couldn’t stop the process. 21 years is enough. Don’t we think? 21 years. [The Biden administration] couldn’t stop the process. They wanted to, but it was very tough to stop the process.”
Watch the video that has been going viral.
Never mind the video proof of Trump’s hypocrisy. The one-term president on Saturday tried to sow the familiar seeds of division by expressing contrived and fake outrage over his prediction of “when the Taliban raises their flag over America’s Embassy in Kabul.”
In an example of how the Cult of Trump shamelessly dictates the Republican Party’s agenda, Newsweek brought attention to the GOP conveniently removing a page from its website that praised Trump’s “historic” peace deal with the Taliban that the 45th president brokered just last year.
It should be noted that former President Barack Obama, who Trump has repeatedly targeted with racist attacks, was — like Biden — also in favor of slowing the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
To be sure, the optics are not good for Biden.
The ACLU was among the critics calling out Biden’s response to Afghanistan.
The unfolding international fiasco in Afghanistan comes as the COVID-19 delta variant is causing an exponential number of infections across the country and concerns grow over climate change, voting rights and police reform, among other pressing issues Biden’s administration have said it would prioritize.
Whether merited or not, all of the above have become polarizing political issues designed in part to delegitimize Biden’s presidency.