tv Washington Journal Open Phones CSPAN August 18, 2021 10:37am-11:11am EDT
it unfold and look up close and slowly at the country i was going through and meeting people along the way, trying to understand where were we as a country at the moment. >> neil king on his nearly 300 mile journey, walking from washington idc to new york city sunday at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span's q&a and you can find interviews wherever you get your pod cast. s. ♪
>>. there is an old saying that success has many fathers but failure is an orphan. here's the headline from usa today and their lead story this morning. how did afghanistan end this way? the finger-pointing begins. political rights, president joe biden or anyone of his predecessors, the taliban, the afghan government, the u.s. intelligence community my the pentagon and his generals, experts pushing american leaders to stay the course. those are just some of the answers that national security daily received with a asked u.s. officials, lawmakers, and experts a deceptively constant -- complicated question. who exactly is to blame for the swift collapse of the western backed afghan government and the taliban's return to power? from business insider, a survey
of 1100 americans from august 16 and 17. that survey notes more americans blame former president george w. bush for america's failure in afghanistan than any other president who succeeded him. 38% ranked bush is the most responsible. 27% said joe biden. 19% said donald trump. 12% said barack obama. yesterday on fox news on sean hannity's program, former president donald trump was not afraid to point the finger all the way back to george w. bush for the united states' intervention in the middle east. [video clip] >> think of it. we took this horrible place, a place that we should not have been involved. it was a horrible decision going into the middle east. i know the bush family will not be happy, but i believe it was the worst decision in the
history of our country when we decided to go into the middle east. it has turned out to be quicksand. we have destroyed the middle east. it was a horrible decision that cost us trillions of dollars. if you look at both sides, millions of lives. it is no different than it was. it is worse. the worst decision ever made was going. you can do a strike as retribution and it could be a big strike as retribution for the world trade center, but to get stuck in there was like quicksand. think of what is happening now. i have heard as many as 40,000 americans and the taliban -- that i will tell you they are good fighters. they have been fighting for 1000 years. that is what they do, they fight. the taliban has circled to the airport, and who knows if they are going to treat us right?
host: former president donald trump on sean hannity's program last night. asking you who is responsible for the outcome in afghanistan. the evacuation effort, still underway this morning, this from a reuters reporter covering the evacuation. the head of u.s. central command was at kabul's airport yesterday, making him the most senior u.s. official in the country since the taliban took kabul. we have seen pictures of efforts to get citizens and u.s. allies to the international airport for the evacuation, this from the reporting yesterday out of the u.s. embassy communications with americans, saying the note went out yesterday afternoon to american citizens requesting to be evacuated from afghanistan instructing people to come to the airport but says the u.s.
government cannot guarantee their safety as they make the trip to the airport. that is happening on the ground this morning. asking you who is most responsible for the outcome here and afghanistan. daniel is up first out of buffalo, and independent. caller: i would think it is most likely the afghani's -- afghanis' fall for it. it is facetious of us to think the country is a standard country. it has always been small warlords controlling different areas. ultimately, people have to fight themselves. host: eric is next, georgia, democrat. who do you think is most responsible? caller: i think donald trump and mike pompeo. trump with the taliban, they negotiated with terrorists but did not negotiate with the
afghan government. show trump talking to the man who is now running the taliban. it was negotiating with terrorists. all of this was a set up. the withdrawals -- withdrawal date was set two months after joe biden got out of office because the taliban had already taken over afghanistan when joe biden took office. this was a set up. host: president joe biden, not afraid to point the finger back at the trump administration in the speech he gave monday about the situation in afghanistan. this is what he said monday. [video clip] >> when i came to office, i inherited a deal president trump negotiated with the taliban. under his agreement, u.s. forces would be out of afghanistan by may 1, 2021. just a little over three months after i took office. u.s. forces had already drawn
down during the trump administration from roughly 15,500 american forces to 2500 troops in the country. the taliban was at its strongest militarily since 2001. the choice i had to make as were president was either to follow through on that agreement or he prepared to go back to fighting the taliban in the middle of the spring fighting season. there would have been no cease-fire after may 1. there was no agreement protecting our forces after may 1. there was no status quo of stability without american casualties after may 1. there was only the cold reality of either following through on the agreement to withdraw forces or escalating the conflict and sending thousands more american troops back into combat in
afghanistan. lurching into the third decade of conflict. host: president biden on monday. we mentioned president donald trump was on sean hannity's show last night. he was asked about those comments that president biden made and what the biden administration has been saying about the deal the trump administration put in place. this was former president trump from last night. [video clip] >> what we were going to do is take the military out last. the people were coming out. they were going to come out. the agreement was violated, so i held things back because we were not going to do anything -- again, conditions based. obligations and conditions. just to finish, the people come out first. then i was going to take all the military equipment -- we have billions of dollars of new
blackhawk helicopters that russia now will be examining and so will china and everybody else . we have brand-new army tanks and all sorts of equipment come missiles. we have everything. i was going to take it out because i knew they were not going to fight. just one thing -- this is different from everyone else. i said, why are they fighting? why are these afghan soldiers fighting against the taliban? i was told some very bad information by a lot of people. the fact is they are among the highest paid soldiers in the world. they were doing it for a paycheck because once we stopped, once we left, they stopped fighting. so all the people that talk about the bravery and everything, i say everybody is brave. the fact is, our country was paying afghan soldiers a fortune . we were sort of bribing them to fight. that is not what it is all about. it is a great think that we are
getting out, but nobody has ever handled a withdrawal worse than joe biden. this is the greatest embarrassment i believe in the history of our country. host: former president last night on sean hannity's show. if you -- former president last night on sean hannity's show. jamie in north carolina sing all politicians, presidents included, are responsible -- saying all politicians, presidents included, are responsible. fred from panama city saying this vet from vietnam blames our military leaders. ray and colorado, from the first day to the last, all government officials and politicians who supported the war are responsible for the outcome. in florida, democrat. what do you think? caller: we started producing all these bombs and bullets and tanks and stuff. what were we supposed to use
them as? we invested into this country. we invested all the military equipment to stack up and rot. it is ridiculous. for mike pompeo to put the deal the taliban, it is the same thing nixon used in vietnam so he could become president. mike pompeo and donald trump are the two biggest traitors in the united states. they need to be locked up. host: in pennsylvania, independent peer and whois response will for the outcome -- independent. who is responsible for the outcome? caller: the failure started with bush. we went into afghanistan with a purpose and mission, to fight bin laden and squash al qaeda. then we got switched to iraq because we did not want to have
his family and especially dick cheney look bad for not going in and guarding -- getting saddam hussein right away. i blame part of it on the afghan military. they did not fight. we paid them. when we decided we didn't want to pay them anymore -- maybe biden did botch this whole thing, but this was from bush to biden and biden inherited what trump negotiated. if you would stop the blame game and start looking at where the failure was -- the people of afghanistan do not want to fight. if you want freedom, you have to fight, but they did not want to fight because we were not paying them anymore. we have to stop these politicians complaining about
whose fault it is. it is everybody's fault, from the generals to the president to congress and the senate. let's stop complaining about biden. maybe he did mishandle them leaving, but blaming somebody -- that is ridiculous. host: you said we need to look at where the failures are politicians saying this week they intend to do that. this from the usa today story -- the senate intelligence committee is coming through all intelligence gathered in and about afghanistan according to one senate staffer, working with democrats and republicans on foreign relations and armed services committees coordinating a series of planned investigative hearings into actions taken by the white house according to that staffer. also, looking into the pentagon and state department. we owe those answers to the american people and all those
who served and sacrificed so much, said mark winter -- mark warner, the democrat from virginia. so congressional investigations still to come. kathy, wisconsin, democrat. who is responsible here? caller: the problem is people do not understand because they did not learn a lesson in vietnam. it is definitely george bush and dick cheney who are responsible for this mess. i kind of blame barack obama because he should have taken us out when they got bin laden. the lesson is you cannot make people stand up for a government that they did not want. the afghani soldiers do not want to this government. it is ours. we set it up. it is not in their nature to govern the way we want to them to.
they walked away. it is not because they were not a courageous bunch of men. they did not want to fight for the government we put their. we should have learned this lesson in vietnam because the same thing happened then. host: on the former afghan government, it was yesterday that the nato secretary-general made his,'s about the situation in afghanistan, saying the internal clinical system and afghan government bears response ability here. -- responsibility here. [video clip] >> the united states agreed that u.s. troops would withdraw by may. after many rounds of consultations, allies agreed to follow the u.s. decision. ending our military mission was not easy. we were faced with a serious
dilemma, either leave and risk seeing the taliban regain control or stay and risk renewed attacks and an open ended combat mission. we never intended to stay in afghanistan forever. for the past few years, from over 100,000 troops, we went down to less than 10,000 and now 20. what we have seen in the last few weeks was a military and political collapse at the speed which had not been anticipated. -- and now tell zero --t to zero. what we have seen in the last few weeks was a military and political collapse at the speed which had not been anticipated.
this failure of afghan leadership led to the tragedy we are witnessing today. host: taking your phone calls, asking you who is most response will for the outcome in afghanistan. mitchell in new jersey, what do you think? caller: honestly speaking, it is a mixed problem. the trump administration signed the agreement. why were they negotiating with the taliban in the first place? unless until just told us this was an unwinnable mass. approved by the u.n. security council also. you would never negotiate with
terrorists and you would not do a 5-1 prisoner swap with your enemies. this was the taliban a bout a month after the agreement. there were a number of strikes and they killed about 900 afghan fighters. there were clearly major logistical problems to begin with. what the failure was and why the biden administration was doing so badly in the withdrawal has to be investigated. was? ? there a problem in the intelligence -- was there a problem in the intelligence? it is hard to know yet. even if the united states had gotten out cleanly, as soon as we were gone this was going to
be the net result. it is shocking to americans, but the public is not going to be too focused on this or care that much about it, which is sad but probably true. host: more voices from the former trump administration from vice president mike pence. biden broke our taliban deal, he writes. by the time we left office, the afghan government and taliban -controlled respective territories. america had only 2500 u.s. troops in the country. the endless war was coming to a dignified end and insured we can conduct counterterrorism missions through the war's conclusion. the progress we made was possible because taliban leaders understood the consequences of violating the deal would be swift and severe. he said when mr. biden became
president he announced u.s. forces would were rain in afghanistan for an additional four months without a clear reason for doing so. there was no plan to transport american equipment recently camp -- captured by the taliban or evacuate the thousands of americans now scrambling to escape kabul. thousands of afghan refugees will be seeking asylum with little or no vetting. it seems the president did not want to abide by the terms of a deal negotiated with his predecessor. if you want to read more, today's wall street journal. harry, pennsylvania, republican. caller: the people i blame was this general milley. he read commonest -- communist manifesto. he wants to investigate white soldiers who voted for trump.
these people kept us there for 20 years. as far as trump goes come he had a deal made. they were waiting for somebody like biden, somebody they could push around. all our so-called allies know who he is. he is on tv. this guy should not be in office. there is something wrong with him. he cannot think. that is the whole problem with this country. him and a couple generals calling people racist. he is the biggest racists of all. if you are blocked, you cannot be a racist, -- black you cannot be a racist, right? caller: if we really look at the problems, it is ignorance on both sides. there has been ignorance for over 50 years.
we have not understood from the historical point of view, just like in the crusades. people do not understand the crusades. that was the focus of islam taking over all of europe. we do not take and understand the degree of what the islam religion means. it meets submission by force. if we do not understand that, we have done over the years -- host: do you consider all muslims enemies? you're talking about an entire religion. caller: the foundation of the islam religion -- i have read the koran. have you? host: i have not. caller: why have you not? if you have not can't you do not understand with philosophy is. our ignorance has put us in a
our ignorance has put us in a situation where we deal with a problem in the wrong way. it is not a political issue, it is a religious war. we have just empowered the taliban because their god has given them victory over the biggest nation in the world, the most powerful nation in the world. host: we will be talking more about the origins of the war in afghanistan in article excitement next in our 8:00 our -- in our hour. around for that discussion. harold in ohio, republican, you are next. caller: me? i am from riverside. host: go ahead.
caller: i have had four sons in the military. i still have the oldest and youngest one and they are not ready to get out. i was in the military. what gripes me most about this, when you're leaving a country or pulling out, you either destroyer remains you left there -- you need to destroyer remains you left there for you do not leave them for the enemy. this is the most i have been afraid in the last 10 years, with joe biden being president. it scares me in this time. host: do any of your sons serve over and afghanistan? caller: i have had a couple -- in afghanistan. caller: i have had a couple in iraq. the two who are still in there
are in the united states. one is in fort bragg. it scares me to death, the way they are running our military now. what really upsets me is the equipment we left behind. destroy it or bring it home. do not leave it for the enemy. host: a couple stories from today's papers from the soldiers' perspective, this from the new york times. timothy cuno is the author and veteran. i served in afghanistan. beasts -- we sacrificed for a lie is the headline. this about veterans pushing to help afghan interpreters and several soldiers interviewed for that story and the ongoing efforts to try to get them out. again, the wall street journal if you want to read that story.
in alabama, independent. you are next. caller: good morning. it is joe biden's fault. i think everybody recognizes the buck stops with the chief executive officer of the nation, the president. this is an unmitigated disaster. the take away, the safety of the american nation and people is this. he has created this disaster, but the concern is the appalling weakness. week -- weak is how joe biden is going to be remembered. red china, a 40 seven mile border in the northern regions of afghanistan. they are licking their chops, delighted at what is happening here. they are now moving their famous belt and root initiative, the
modern silk road, across afghanistan. they have money with their new bromance, the taliban. they care nothing about human rights. i want to call out this vocal bunch of naive people led by aoc. you want to talk about female repression? welcome to afghanistan. they will not stand a day there. girls and women are not allowed to go to school, like slaves in america. they are castrated. they are abused. if you'll hunt omar -- ill had omar -- ilhan omar and aoc have -- talk about repression, let's talk about afghanistan. host: chinese estate media mock -- chinese state media mocking
the withdrawal from afghanistan. they write china is approaching its own plans with -- for engaging with the country under taliban rule. china's foreign military cited portrayals of a new saigon moment, tweeting side-by-side photos of helicopters evacuating from saigon and kabul with the words "history repeats itself." it goes on to talk about chinese engagements with the taliban. caller: i am a cold war vet. i am retired now. i am calling to say if i was part of that, which i probably have been, it is the government of afghanistan, they take the full brunt of it. we may have made mistakes, but hopefully we will rectify that.
i appreciate you talking to me. god bless. host: and at, alexandria, republican. -- annette, alexandria, republican. caller: why are callers rehashing 20 years of occupation? biden said this was his decision and he stands by it. the failed exit belongs to him. he announced in april we would leave by september 11. yet apparently he had no plans to do it right and allow the people to leave first. then the vehicles, then the weapons, and now the troops. is that so hard to figure out? we have abandoned warehouse is filled with weapons and helicopters, a seven hundred million dollar embassy. the taliban just walked in without firing a shot.
there could not have been any planning for this exit. if there was, this country is in trouble because we have failed. so far, they estimate 70,000 80,000 americans and afghan translators have been left behind. i heard yesterday they are being sent texts telling them find a way to get to the airport but we cannot guarantee your safety. the taliban are free to go wherever they want except the airport. and we are stuck there. this is embarrassing and humiliating. host: the communication freezing used by embassy officials as they ask them to get to the airport, writing, please be advised the united states government cannot guarantee your security as you make this trip to the airport. that communication was sent to
americans still in country and who may not be at the airport yet. in light of what you were discussing of the weapons in taken over by the taliban, questions now about that country once again perhaps becoming a training ground for terrorism. yesterday in an interview, a congressman from texas, the ranking member on the house foreign affairs committee, said there are now increased security risks because of u.s. decision-making here by the biden administration. this is what he told the washington post. [video clip] >> when bagram airbase fell -- now it has fallen to the taliban. all that intelligence capability was gone. now that the embassy has shut down, we have no eyes and ears on the ground. it means we cannot see what is happening in afghanistan or with
al qaeda, any potential threats to the homeland. beyond that, in the region. most importantly, that capability gave us eyes and ears on russia, china, and iran. this is a victory for our adversaries, for the taliban, who is going to celebrate the 20th anniversary on 9/11, probably raise their jihadist flag over the u.s. embassy. it is emboldening our enemies and weakening our allied friendships. i predict it is going to become a terrorist safe haven again and we are going to look at potential external operations to hit americans once again. host: a congressman in his interview with the washington post yesterday. we are asking you who is most responsible for the outcome in afghanistan.
we mentioned a business insider poll. some 1100 americans responded to that from earlier this week. respondents asked to rank nine entities in order of how responsible each was for the outcome of the war in afghanistan. here is the ranking based on the percentage of people who placed each entry into their top three. the taliban coming in the most responsible, most often ranked among the top three and 55%. afghan >> we leave this tape program here. today's white house coronavirus response team briefing has begun. we go to that now on c-span. >> we see a rise in cases driven by the variant with cases concentrated in communities with lower vacc