The establishment media published positive headlines after President Joe Biden fully withdrew from Afghanistan on Monday, leaving billions of dollars worth of abandoned military equipment and up to 200 stranded American citizens in the country.
“Last troops exit Afghanistan, ending America’s longest war,” the Associated Press’ (AP) upbeat headline read Tuesday.
“Hours before President Joe Biden’s Tuesday deadline for shutting down a final airlift, and thus ending the U.S. war, Air Force transport planes carried a remaining contingent of troops from Kabul airport late Monday,” the AP wrote, ignoring that Biden capitulated to the Taliban-enforced deadline of August 31. The AP did not note the United States’ spy chief flew to Afghanistan and met with the Taliban to reportedly extend the deadline past August 31, but the Taliban ultimately said no, and Biden relented.
The AP’s paragraph continued, “Thousands of troops had spent a harrowing two weeks protecting the airlift of tens of thousands of Afghans, Americans and others seeking to escape a country once again ruled by Taliban militants.” The AP failed to mention Biden had placed the military in the position that demanded a “harrowing” evacuation.
With the last U.S. troops leaving Afghanistan, here's a by-the-numbers look at the war that began nearly 20 years ago. Generations of Americans to come will be paying off its cost, in the trillions of dollars. https://t.co/0KBIyygVaM
— The Associated Press (@AP) August 31, 2021
Late Monday night, USA Today published a title which suggested a successful withdrawal, “With last plane out of Kabul, America’s 20-year war in Afghanistan is over.”
More than 123,000 people have been flown out of Afghanistan since Aug. 14, including about 6,000 Americans, said Blinken, who called diplomacy the “next chapter” in U.S. engagement in Afghanistan. He said “under 200 and likely closer to 100” Americans who want to leave Afghanistan remain there. The U.S. is trying to determine exactly how many.
On today's #frontpage:
America's longest war ends
–The final U.S. troops in Afghanistan flew out of Kabul Monday afternoon, ending a 20-year occupation that started after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
–Analysis from @SusanPage: Afghanistan defied
four presidents. What comes next? pic.twitter.com/TPv9H0mQzr
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) August 31, 2021
The Washington Post followed the AP and USA Today‘s lead, publishing the glowing title, “America’s 20-year war in Afghanistan ends as last U.S. military cargo plane lumbers into the sky over Kabul.”
“The United States ended its longest war in history, and its 20-year presence in Afghanistan, as the last U.S. aircraft took off at one minute before midnight from Kabul airport Monday carrying all remaining American troops and diplomats,” the Post wrote in congratulatory form, suggesting the successful last flight was conducted with a “protective fleet of aircraft overhead that included a mix of MQ-9 Reaper drones, B-52 bombers, AC-130 gunships and F-15 fighters.”
America’s 20-year war in Afghanistan ends as last U.S. military cargo plane lumbers into the sky over Kabul https://t.co/7RBiMXnPZd
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 31, 2021
Atlantic magazine billionaire owner and widow of Steve Jobs, Laurene Powell Jobs, also published an article congratulating Biden for the deadly Afghan evacuation before it was completed Monday.
President Biden deserves credit, not blame. … And despite significant pressure and obstacles, Biden has overseen a military and government that have managed, since the announcement of America’s withdrawal, one of the most extraordinary logistical feats in their recent history.
“By the time the last American plane lifts off from Hamid Karzai International Airport on August 31, the total number of Americans and Afghan allies extricated from the country may exceed 120,000,” the magazine said.
Not all praised Biden deadly withdrawal. Breitbart News published the headline Tuesday morning, “Taliban Declare War Is Over: Claim Victory from Kabul Airport Tarmac.”
The article points to the fact that the “Taliban fighters stood on Kabul international airport’s tarmac Tuesday morning and declared victory just hours after the final U.S. troop withdrawal brought the curtain down on America’s longest war.”
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø