During the ABC News interview of Joe Biden on the Afghan fiasco with George Stephanopoulos which aired Thursday, the US President seemed to be viewing the still unfolding crisis through the prism of a complete alternate reality.
As we detailed earlier not only did he angrily brush aside the tragedy of Afghan civilians falling to their deaths after they literally clung out of desperation to departing US aircraft, but he again managed to blame everyone but himself for the botched 'evacuation'. Elsewhere in the interview he actually said it was the Taliban now having an "existential crisis" - and not the retreating US under his administration.
EXCLUSIVE: @GStephanopoulos: “Do you believe the Taliban have changed?”— ABC News (@ABC) August 19, 2021
Pres. Biden: “I think they’re going through sort of an existential crisis about do they want to be recognized by the int’l community as being a legitimate government.” https://t.co/zgMVDKleiv pic.twitter.com/Bgxenaydap
"“Let me put it this way: I think they’re going through sort of an existential crisis about do they want to be recognized by the international community as being a legitimate government,” Biden told ABC's Stephanopoulos. "I’m not sure they do."
The comments appeared geared toward suggesting the Taliban could actually moderate their extreme tactics, obviously at this point somewhat of a self-serving narrative for the White House in order to save face.
As part of the rationale for this, Biden said the group is unpredictable, citing the example of how surprised he was to see them give safe passage to American citizens to the airport - though this still remains to be seen as thousands are reported still trapped in the capital city.
They're going through an existential crisis after "defeating" the most powerful military in world history? This is delusional insanity. https://t.co/HkWqPznqfv— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) August 19, 2021
One conservative commentator responded by calling in "delusional insanity"...
They're going through an existential crisis after "defeating" the most powerful military in world history? This is delusional insanity.
Instead the internet has been flooded with scenes of the bearded Islamic hardliners celebrating, chanting, and eating ice cream. Sitting atop piles of captured US weaponry, there seems little evidence of a Taliban "existential crisis"... or self meditating on their "image" and "reputation" to the world.
Another notable section of the interview included Biden's suggestion that we are likely to see US forces engaged in the Kabul airport evacuation stay past his August 31 deadline for full withdraw. Here's the dialogue according to ABC:
"So Americans should understand that troops might have to be there beyond Aug. 31st?" Stephanopoulos asked.
"No," Biden replied. "Americans should understand that we're gonna try to get it done before Aug. 31st."
"But if we don't," Stephanopoulos said, "the troops will stay --"
"If -- if we don't," Biden interrupted, "We'll determine at the time who's left."
"And?" Stephanopoulos asked.
"And if you're American force -- if there's American citizens left, we're gonna stay to get them all out," Biden said.
Meanwhile a number of commentators have pointed out that the horrific scenes out of Kabul this week could have been avoided if Biden had stuck by Trump's Doha negotiations and timeline.
Biden torpedoed the Trump plan of course, simply to say his policy is "not like Trump's"...
“What Biden really did wrong here was he should’ve stuck with the May 1st deadline, like in the deal, and then we would’ve had the so-called ‘decent interval’ to get out before the whole country fell to their power” - @scotthortonshow on @KennedyNation last night pic.twitter.com/ed2GHWIpK2— Liam McCollum (@MLiamMcCollum) August 19, 2021
Recall too that it's recently been revealed the administration was "warned" that the longer it waited to initiate draw down and evacuation procedures, the worse things would get on the ground.
On Wednesday, The New York Times wrote: "For weeks, Pentagon and military officials warned the White House and the State Department that the longer the Biden administration waited to order a drawdown or full evacuation of American personnel from Afghanistan, the more difficult the operation would be."