It has now been more than a year since President Joe Biden’s disastrously mismanaged withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, and the anniversary of that catastrophic and deadly pullout passed with barely a mention from the White House.
Now some military veterans are calling out the president and his administration for the dismissive manner in which the withdrawal and anniversary were marked, with one going so far as to call it a “slap in the fact,” the Conservative Brief reported.
Indeed, very little has been said by Biden and his people about how the Taliban swiftly recaptured control of Afghanistan following the 20-year war in mid-August last year, how the enemy seized billions of dollars worth of equipment and weapons, how a suicide bombing outside the Kabul airport killed 13 U.S. service members, how a retaliatory drone strike killed an innocent family, or how the ad hoc evacuation effort left behind hundreds of U.S. citizens and allies.
“It feels like a slap in the face”
For what it is worth, President Biden did release a statement on Aug. 26 to mark the one-year anniversary of the fatal suicide bombing attack outside the Kabul airport that killed 13 Americans and nearly 200 Afghans, wounding dozens more, amid the hasty and frantic scramble for escape from Taliban control of the war-torn nation’s capital.
There was no memorial event for the lives lost, nor even a public speech to address what had occurred, and that hasn’t sat well with some of those who have fought and sacrificed in foreign lands on behalf of the country.
The Washington Examiner reported that Matthew Young, an Iraq War veteran who runs a nonprofit group that aids Afghan allies, expressed his deep dissatisfaction with the “lack of acknowledgment” from the White House and “lack of response and follow-through” from the administration more broadly.
“It’s understandable as a leader to not want to focus on things that didn’t go as well as you would hope,” Young said. “But there needs to be an acknowledgment because we lost a lot of brothers and sisters of the U.S. military, our NATO allies, and our Afghan allies throughout the conflict.”
“Words are only going to go so far because the actions and deeds have also been missing,” the veteran added. “It feels like a slap in the face.”
More should have been done
The Examiner noted that an unnamed former Pentagon official was also critical of the Biden White House’s apparent refusal to publicly acknowledge the reality of the situation in Afghanistan and the role the administration’s own actions played in bringing about the current situation.
“They know that this is not something that is popular for them to talk about,” the former official said. “But with the number of people that have been affected both here in the United States and in Afghanistan, in addition to the lack of accountability, there needs to be a public discussion to move forward.”
Amanda Rothschild, senior policy director of the Vandenberg Coalition, told the Examiner, “The president did release a statement on the anniversary of the Abbey Gate bombing, but I would have hoped he would have honored the memory of the 13 fallen American service members more publicly — not just on the anniversary but at several points over the course of the past year, especially during remarks on Memorial Day.”
It is that lack of recognition, to say nothing of the lack of remorse or accountability for mistakes made, in conjunction with obvious lies from the White House about what happened during and after the withdrawal, that has those veterans and more calling out the current commander-in-chief for his failed actions and attitude.