The Biden 'fall of Saigon' media narrative in Afghanistan presents worst moment yet of presidency . . .
by Associated Press, August 15, 2021
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Two Afghan officials say President Ashraf Ghani has left the country.
The officials, one from former President Hamid Karzai’s office and another an aide on the Afghan security council, told The Associated Press that Ghani left Sunday. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to brief journalists.
Ghani left along with his National Security Adviser Hamdullah Mohib and a second close associate. It wasn’t immediately clear where they went.
Meanwhile, the Taliban said it would further enter Kabul on Sunday night after spending hours on the city’s outskirts.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Taliban fighters entered Kabul on Sunday and sought the unconditional surrender of the central government, officials said, as Afghans and foreigners alike raced for the exit, signaling the end of a 20-year Western experiment aimed at remaking Afghanistan.
The beleaguered Afghan government, meanwhile, hoped for an interim administration, but increasingly had few cards to play. Civilians fearing that the Taliban could reimpose the kind of brutal rule that all but eliminated women’s rightsrushed to leave the country, lining up at cash machines to withdraw their life savings.
Helicopters buzzed overhead to evacuate personnel from the U.S. Embassy, while smoke rose near the compound as staff destroyed important documents. Several other Western missions also prepared to pull their people out.
In a stunning rout, the Taliban seized nearly all of Afghanistan in just over a week, despite the billions of dollars spent by the U.S. and NATO over nearly two decades to build up Afghan security forces. Just days earlier, an American military assessment estimated it would be a month before the capital would come under insurgent pressure.
Opinion by Joe Concha
The day was July 8. The topic: President Biden announced a timeline for a drawdown of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, with the military mission of two decades ending on Aug. 31. After making his remarks, the president fielded this question: "Mr. President, some Vietnamese veterans see echoes of their experience in this withdrawal in Afghanistan. Do you see any parallels between this withdrawal and what happened in Vietnam?"
"None whatsoever," Biden replied. "Zero. What you had is you had entire brigades breaking through the gates of our embassy — six, if I’m not mistaken. The Taliban is not the South — the North Vietnamese army. They’re not — they’re not remotely comparable in terms of capability. There’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of an embassy in the — of the United States from Afghanistan. It is not at all comparable."
Fast-forward one month, and the outcome is already a disaster, with the worst yet to come in Afghanistan. The Taliban are seizing city after city, province after province, with little resistance. The Afghan military, which Biden touted would have "all the tools, training and equipment of any modern military," courtesy of the Pentagon, is being completely overrun. And in the process, the Taliban are amassing modern tools and equipment belonging to the U.S. military.
In the past week, comparisons to the fall of Saigon at the end of the Vietnam War in 1975 — which included the chaotic evacuation of the U.S. Embassy as communist forces took over the South Vietnamese capital — have gained steam in headlines and on social media. And this isn't a "conservative pounce" moment, either. Team Biden is getting hit from the right, the left and everywhere in between for its miscalculation that the Taliban could be reasoned with and would not immediately proceed to take back the country, including the capital city of Kabul.