Update (1540ET): Late into the speech, Biden addressed critics who ask why the US couldn't have started the evacuation sooner. Biden insisted, with no evidence to back it up, that no matter when the evacuation started, there still would have been a "rush to the airport."
And while Biden waxes poetic about the Bin Laden raid, it's important to remember that he was actually against the raid as Vice President.
A reminder: Biden was against the bin laden raid.— Cincy Hustle (@cincyhustle513) August 31, 2021
And also served as vice president for 8 of those years, and served in some elected capacity for at least 16 of the 20 years.
While Joe Biden is dunking on ending a 20-year mistake of a war, remember he was the vice president for eight of those years.— Annie Frey (@anniefreyshow) August 31, 2021
Biden was a U.S. senator, vice president, or president for 16 of the 20 years of the war in Afghanistan. He voted for it, funded it, re-authorized it, and prosecuted it for 16 years.— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) August 31, 2021
No politician on earth is more responsible for the failed mission in Afghanistan than Joe Biden. https://t.co/qWhcS7w377
Bottom line: the Afghanistan pullout was a success, but any of the unsuccessful bits were President Trump's fault.
Biden’s message today (but much shoutier, as if his doctors haven’t quite figured out the right mixture of uppers to dope him with following his afternoon nap): Everything in Afghanistan was a success, except for all the bad stuff I did, which was obviously somebody else’s fault.— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) August 31, 2021
And it doesn't matter anyway, because the important thing is that this horrible money-wasting war is over: "I refuse to send another generation to Afghanistan...300 million dollars a day for two decades...I refuse to continue a war no longer in the national interest of our country."
We are hardly surprised that Biden won't be taking questions tonight.
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Update (1534ET): President Biden confirms that 200 Americans remain in Afghanistan, almost all of whom are dual citizens. "The bottom line: 90% of Americans in Afghanistan, who wanted to leave, we're able to leave," Biden says. For those Americans remaining in Afghanistan, "there is no deadline."
Some were incredulous that Biden, who shouted and slurred through most of the speech, would brag about this. And yet he declared that "no nation, no nation has ever done anything like it in all the history," he said.
I may have hallucinated something. Did Biden just brag that 90% of Americans get out (and thus only 10% were left behind)?— Kyle Becker (@kylenabecker) August 31, 2021
Biden basically just admitted that he abandoned 10% of Americans who wanted to leave Afghanistan.— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) August 31, 2021
Others still can't get over Biden calling the airlift a "success" as Biden insisted the US will continue to help those who want to leave.
BIDEN CALLS BIGGEST NATIONAL EMBARRASSMENT IN US HISTORY, THE EVACUATION OF AFGHANISTAN, AN "EXTRAORDINARY SUCCESS" *— The_Real_Fly (@The_Real_Fly) August 31, 2021
Biden hyping the fact that the State Department encouraged Americans in Afghanistan to leave months earlier totally ignores the fact that the Biden administration was simultaneously saying that the Taliban wouldn't seize power— Peter J. Hasson (@peterjhasson) August 31, 2021
Biden also seemed incapable of modulating his tone, even when asking his audience to join him in prayer.
Biden can't moderate his tone. Even when asking for prayers, he sounds like he is yelling at us.— Victoria mcd (@echo369ss) August 31, 2021
Several twitter users pointed out that Biden couldn't even lie coherently.
Didn't he just tell us how great the intel community did? He's not even trying to lie coherently. https://t.co/19FW9hK7LU— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) August 31, 2021
"In April, I made a decision to end this war." —Joe Biden, 18 months after President Trump signed a deal to end the Afghan War— Michael Knowles (@michaeljknowles) August 31, 2021
This operation was a complete success. Also this was all my predecessor's fault.— Stephen L. Miller (@redsteeze) August 31, 2021
The Taliban have made "commitments" to provide everybody safe passage, even those who worked for the other side, and the US has "leverage" (ie money) to help hold the Taliban to their word.
But whatever happens, the bottom line is this:
The buck stops with Trump— Joel Pollak (@joelpollak) August 31, 2021
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Update (1528ET): Nearly 50 minutes late, President Biden finally took to the podium to read a prepared statement where he declared the withdrawal from Afghanistan an "extraordinary success."
- BIDEN: U.S. COMPLETED ONE OF BIGGEST AIRLIFTS IN HISTORY
- BIDEN CALLS EVACUATION FROM AFGHANISTAN AN EXTRAORDINARY SUCCESS
Then explained why everything went so horribly wrong.
Biden calls evac "extraordinary success", and is now explaining why it wasn't— zerohedge (@zerohedge) August 31, 2021
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Update (1520ET): President Biden is once again running inexplicably late. There's still no hint at when he will start speaking.
President Biden's speech on Afghanistan was delayed from 1:30 to 2:45. It's 3 o'clock now, and no word on when it will start.— Chris Megerian (@ChrisMegerian) August 31, 2021
* * *
Now that the last American soldier (though not the last American citizen) has left Kabul, President Biden has apparently gotten permission from his handlers to address the American people and remind us all that the disastrous final moments of the nearly 20-year-long war weren't his fault.
With 90 retired generals signing a letter calling on Biden's defense secretary and leader of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to quit and take responsibility for the disastrous pullout, the messiest pullout in US history, according to President Trump, it's hardly a surprise that President Biden feels another face-to-face with the American people is necessary.
He is slated to begin speaking at 1445 (though he has been notably late recently):
As we noted earlier, now that the Taliban have taken control over every province in Afghanistan except for 1 (the rebel bastion of Panjshir), it's up to them to govern effectively. To try and accomplish that, they're seeking help from one of the most unlikely places: the US (along with Russia and China).
There are still at least 100 to 200 American citizens trapped in Afghanistan after being unable to reach the airport. Right now, it's unclear when commercial flight will restart; Turkey has reportedly offered to assist the Taliban in getting the airport up and running against.
Ahead of Biden's speech, Republican lawmakers held a press conference criticizing Biden's "bungled" removal of troops from the country. Meanwhile, the MSM has taken every opportunity to point out that the timeline for the withdrawal was set by President Trump in negotiations with the Taliban.
But whatever happens next in Afghanistan - it's not America's problem. Or at least, not yet.