President Biden is being attacked from all sides after the deaths of at least 13 American service members Thursday in an ISIS-K terrorist at the Kabul airport, with calls for his impeachment and resignation from some.
The outrage over the American deaths Thursday was compounded by news that the U.S. gave the Taliban the names of Americans and Afghan allies it wanted to evacuate.
The political crisis for Biden follows a foreign policy crisis in Afghanistan after the Taliban swept into power as American troops withdrew from the country on Biden’s orders. And even Democrats are criticizing the president’s actions. Prior to yesterday’s bombings, images out of Afghanistan contributed to plunging approval ratings for the president.
“Although it is clear to me that we could not continue to put American servicemembers in danger for an unwinnable war, I also believe that the evacuation process appears to have been egregiously mishandled,” Rep. Susan Wild, D-Pa., tweeted Thursday. “In order to move forward, we need answers and accountability regarding the cascading failures that led us to this moment.”
Critics argue Biden should have left some troops in Afghanistan to keep the brutal Taliban regime from coming into power, or that he should have more strategically handled the drawdown to prevent frantic and deadly evacuations. The White House counters that the withdrawal would be messy no matter what and that the airlift out of the country has saved many lives. According to the White House, 12,500 people were evacuated from Kabul between 3 a.m. Thursday and 3 a.m. Friday, including 8,500 on U.S. military flights.
“This is why, from the outset, I’ve repeatedly said this mission was extraordinarily dangerous and why I have been so determined to limit the duration of this mission,” Biden said Thursday.
The cascading crises the president faces are happening more than a year before the midterm elections and his political stock could certainly recover. But many in Congress are calling for Biden to be held responsible for what they say is a botched withdrawal effort, even going so far as to call for the president’s resignation or impeachment.
“Well Joe, you’ve proven yourself incapable of handling your job as Commander in Chief. You ignored your advisors, rushed this haphazard withdrawal without appropriate conditions and before evacuating our citizens and friends. Your ineptitude has now cost at least 12 American lives,” Rep. Tom Rice, R-S.C., said Thursday. “All options are on the table to hold President Biden accountable for this tragic chain of avoidable events… Resign and turn the job over to someone who can handle it.”