Even when President Biden does the one thing Republicans claim they care about most but somehow haven’t done (it was Obama who got Osama), it’s reported as a bad thing.
A senior Biden administration official briefed the press on a background call shared with PoliticusUSA, saying Ayman al-Zawahiri was al Qaeda’s current leader and was Osama bin Laden’s deputy during the 9/11 attacks as well as his successor in 2011 after the operation then President Obama oversaw.
The official told the press Zawahiri “continued to pose an active threat to U.S. persons, interests, and national security.”
So this is the “bad guy” Biden took out. An active threat to U.S persons, and Tucker Carlson spun it as a MEH who cares on Fox News:
Tucker: Tonight Biden gave a speech boasting that he has killed an al-Qaida leader. Great. Feel safer? Of course you don’t. pic.twitter.com/fKl6CWnM5r
— Acyn (@Acyn) August 2, 2022
Kevin McCarthy found a way to criticize President Biden as well, and for something that Trump actually did, of course:
“We owe a debt of gratitude to the brave Americans who took out the terrorist, Al Zawahiri.
The Biden admin must provide Congress with a briefing as soon as possible to discuss the resurgence of Al Qaeda in the region following his disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan,” the Republican House Leader tweeted.
Factcheck reminded people with short memories:
The Trump administration in February 2020 negotiated a withdrawal agreement with the Taliban that excluded the Afghan government, freed 5,000 imprisoned Taliban soldiers and set a date certain of May 1, 2021, for the final withdrawal.
And the Trump administration kept to the pact, reducing U.S. troop levels from about 13,000 to 2,500, even though the Taliban continued to attack Afghan government forces and welcomed al-Qaeda terrorists into the Taliban leadership.
Did Biden also contribute to this power vacuum, even though he pushed the Trump set departure date to Aug. 31? Yes. Factcheck notes, “despite obvious signs that the Taliban wasn’t complying with the agreement and had a stated goal to create an “Islamic government” in Afghanistan after the U.S. left, even if it meant it had to “continue our war to achieve our goal.”
As someone who anchored the military news for a brief time period during the Afghanistan war as we were advising and assisting in an attempt to turn power over, the region was so chaotic and we struggled to prepare the Afghan government security forces for the onslaught. Since 2002, the U.S. spent $83 billion equipping and training the Afghanistan National Defense and Security Forces. I’m not sure it ever could have been done, which is one reason many of us didn’t agree with the invasion in the first place.
I reported on our valiant efforts, our troops sacrificing so much in order to try to empower the region’s security forces, but terrorists quickly filled any vacuum left by the U.S. and the west. The withdrawal was always going to be chaotic and messy, long before Trump got his hands on it. But he made things so much worse, it almost appeared as if he had reason to want to assist Russia with his actions.
Not only did Donald Trump, who lost the 2020 election by a decisive Biden victory, plot the Afghanistan withdrawal without any attempt to mitigate the damage done by leaving an obvious power vacuum, but Trump also pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal. Both of these Trump decisions further destabilized geopolitics and gave way for chaos and terrorists to take over.
You wouldn’t know it if you’re new to politics, but there used to be a time when principles actually mattered and so hypocrisy and patriotism were seen through very different lenses than they are today.
Here’s Republican Ronny Jackson (of Trump is “very sharp” mentally and is in “excellent” physical health infamy) doing his best to make this a bad thing for Biden:
Ronny has been working real hard trying to find a way that taking out the leader of Al-Qaeda is bad for Biden. pic.twitter.com/JhmeZVsGek
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) August 2, 2022
President Biden oversaw the killing of a top al-Qaeda leader, one who was behind the planning of the horrific attacks on 9/11. This should be celebrated by everyone, especially those who championed and defended these wars when the majority of Biden’s own party was against them.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump was taking Saudi money at his club and claiming we don’t know who was behind 9/11.
It is ever so ironic and telling that it was bad when two Democratic presidents oversaw the killing of top terrorists, while Republicans’ rhetoric against these terrorists suggests it should have been a top priority for them.
Others talked about “America First” and the “War on Terror,” but it was President Biden who delivered.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.