Updated: August 17, 2021 4:44:16 pm
“I stand squarely behind my decision. After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw US forces,” he said. “Our mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to have been nation-building,” he said, vowing that despite the departure of US troops anti-terrorism operations would continue.
The western media, however, is not looking at Biden’s move kindly. US newspapers called it the President’s “cold-eyed view of the debacle”(Washington Post) while publishing images he “would want to avoid” (New York Times).
Defiant and defensive, a president known for empathy takes a cold-eyed approach to Afghanistan debacle https://t.co/yNW2eUNPSf
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 16, 2021
The front page of The New York Times for Aug. 16, 2021.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 16, 2021
Highlighting the chaos that has engulfed the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, The Wall Street Journal front page mentioned Biden calling the exit the “right decision”.
— The Wall Street Journal (@WSJ) August 17, 2021
In the UK, The Daily Telegraph’s front page read “Biden defends America’s flight”, while The Sun showed the US President sitting in a room and holding virtual meetings. The headline read “Joke Biden” alongside a subhead saying “Prez ‘surprised’ by rout”.
The front page of tomorrow’s Daily Telegraph:
‘Biden defends America’s flight’#TomorrowsPapersToday
Sign up for the Front Page newsletterhttps://t.co/x8AV4Oomry pic.twitter.com/ha407HEfeJ
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) August 16, 2021
— The Sun (@TheSun) August 16, 2021
Spain’s El Mundo chose a line from Biden’s address on Monday to state “Biden: ‘Afghans don’t want to fight’”.
📰 Portada de EL MUNDO del martes 17 de agosto.
Ya disponible en Orbyt y en la edición digital con la mejor información. pic.twitter.com/moOlggrO06
— EL MUNDO (@elmundoes) August 16, 2021
Miranda Devine’s column in the New York Post read, “Joe Biden’s defeat in Afghanistan will echo for eternity”, while George Packer’s analysis in The Atlantic says, “Biden’s Betrayal of Afghans Will Live in Infamy.”
A piece in Axios stated, “Rarely has an American president’s predictions been so wrong, so fast, so convincingly as Biden on Afghanistan.”
CNN, however, quoted Matthew Dowd, a former strategist for President George W Bush, as saying that the American public is “exhausted” after 20 years of war in Afghanistan. He said that though the chilling visuals from the country may open Biden up to scrutiny and criticism, but will likely not be an issue in “a potential reelection or even midterms”.
Meanwhile, the plight of Afghans was also highlighted in the news coverage by international media outlets. Evocative visuals of citizens, desperate to flee the conflict-stricken country, were printed on the front pages of publications like Daily Mirror, The Guardian, New York Times and The Daily Mail.
The Daily Mirror front page carried the headline “Desperate” and an image of hundreds of citizens crammed into an air force plane, waiting to be evacuated.
Meanwhile, The Guardian showed hordes of people at the Kabul airport in a stampede-like situation, running along planes and trying to climb the wings. Videos that emerged later showed some people dropping off the aircraft after they took off.
— The Mirror (@DailyMirror) August 16, 2021
Guardian front page, Tuesday 17 August 2021: Chaos in Kabul as thousands struggle to flee the Taliban pic.twitter.com/RXEWE0PLS0
— The Guardian (@guardian) August 16, 2021
Using the same image as The Guardian’s, The Times daily in London carried the headline “Race to escape Kabul carnage”, even as President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, leaving the people to fend for themselves.
France’s Liberation newspaper also used a similar headline “Run for your life”, along with an image of people trying to breach the Kabul airport’s wall to reach an aircraft.
— Neil Henderson (@hendopolis) August 16, 2021
À la une de Libération ce mardi :
⚫️ Afghanistan : sauve qui peut
— Libération (@libe) August 16, 2021
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.