Damage control efforts over the Biden administration’s running up the white flag in Afghanistan began in earnest on the Sunday morning talk shows where the usual array of establishment mouthpieces sought to blame the catastrophic conclusion to America’s longest war on former President Donald J. Trump.
One of the talking heads who was running interference for Biden was Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, a frequent antagonist of the Trump who used an interview with former secretary of state Mike Pompeo to shift the blame away from the current White House occupant.
During the interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Pompeo took exception with Biden’s “pathetic” statement issued on Saturday, where he ducked responsibility for what could end up being the most monumental foreign policy failure in decades by accusing his predecessor of empowering the Taliban by inviting them to the negotiating table as Trump sought an exit from the quagmire that has been a sucking black hole that has consumed American blood and treasure for nearly two decades.
Wallace then flipped the script and attempted to shame Pompeo for negotiating with the Taliban, bringing up the release of 5,000 prisoners, some of who returned to the battlefield as a sweetener in the deal to bring the troops home and engineer an honorable exit for America from the long-running conflict.
Chris Wallace throws Mike Pompeo's past praise for the Taliban back in his face.
"Do you regret giving the Taliban that legitimacy? Do you regret pressing the Afghan government to release 5,000 prisoners… some of whom are now back on the battlefield fighting with the Taliban?" pic.twitter.com/cfISbYYgTD
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) August 15, 2021
“I just want to ask you one more question about your record though sir,” Wallace began, “you were the first American secretary of state ever to meet with the Taliban and you talked about how they had agreed to join us in the fight against terrorism, here you are sir,” as he teed up a video clip of Pompeo.
He continued; “Do you regret giving the Taliban that legitimacy? Do you regret pressing the Afghan government to release 5,000 prisoners – which they did – some of whom are not back on the battlefield fighting with the Taliban?” Asked Wallace.
It was vintage Wallace, a man who is a practitioner of ambush journalism and who showed his true colors last fall when he served as the moderator in the debate between Trump and Biden, repeatedly talking over the then-president and continually intervening on behalf of the often befuddled, overmatched Democrat.
Pompeo stood his ground by defending his record and pointing out that the previous administration never trusted the Taliban and that had they violated the terms of the agreement, they would have been crushed.
He also said that that the US “should go crush the Taliban before they take Kabul, “we can do it with American air power. We should put pressure on them, we should inflict cost and pain on them,” which just isn’t going to happen with Biden.
Surprisingly, not everyone was down with scapegoating Trump and the ex-POTUS found an unexpected defender in Richard Engel, NBC’s longtime Chief Foreign Correspondent who tweeted that the “buck stops with him” as he pointed a finger at Biden for implementing the deal.
Lots of blame to go around for Afghanistan on the US side. Trump made a terrible deal with the Taliban, effectively promising them the country and empowering them. But Biden then implemented the deal, so the buck stops with him.
— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) August 15, 2021
Now that the capital city is ready to fall with the Taliban preparing to engage in the brutal exercise of retribution and repression against their enemies, Biden and his media allies will transition to winning the propaganda war and ensuring that they will be the ones who will have the final say on what “really” happened in Afghanistan.
Pompeo nailed it that the Taliban feared Trump who correctly recognized that the path to peace was through strength and he set an example by crushing the head-chopping army of ISIS fanatics; with Biden, the Taliban quickly realized that his weakness was the equivalent of rolling out a red carpet for them to march on all the way to Kabul where they will soon plant their flag atop the abandoned U.S. embassy.
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