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President Biden campaigned on empathy, but he’s now being blasted for his “meanness” for leaving Americans and Afghanis to the mercy of the Taliban.
“Empathy matters. Compassion matters. We have to reach out to one another and heal this country — and that’s what I’ll do as president,” Biden promised in February 2020. His campaign to “restore the soul of America” and to “heal this country” leaned heavily on his personal story of loss – the loss of his wife in a car accident and the loss of his eldest son, Beau Biden.
Biden claimed that Trump never said “anything that approaches a sincere expression of empathy for the people who are hurting,” while Democrat after Democrat mentioned empathy while endorsing Biden.
“Empathy matters,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said when endorsing Biden. She said that the “unspeakable tragedy” Biden faced animates “the empathy he extends to Americans who are struggling – no matter what their story.”
When Biden won the election, his campaign posted video boards at a drive-in pep rally in Delaware, proclaiming, “The People Have Chosen Empathy.”
But K.T. McFarland, deputy national security adviser to former President Donald Trump, blasted Biden for a “meanness” that embodies the opposite of his campaign promises.
“The meanness, I think, is that he seems so callous about the people who’ve supported us for twenty years and he’s all over the place because on one hand, he says ‘Oh they didn’t fight, they’re worthless,’ and then yesterday he said, ‘We’re going to get everybody out,’” the Americans and the Afghans.
“And I mean, it’s very unrealistic. Right? Because there are probably 3,000 Afghans who want to get out, and I don’t know how we can possibly get them all out, certainly not by his time frame,” McFarland noted.
On Friday, Biden stood by his August 31 deadline to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan, although he suggested troops may remain past that date. Biden also said that there are between 10,000 and 15,000 Americans still in Afghanistan.
Robert Charles, a former assistant secretary of state under President George W. Bush, told Fox News there could be as many as 40,000 Americans in the country, however.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said that U.S. military aircraft had evacuated approximately 13,000 people between August 14 and August 20, but McFarland noted that not all of the Americans in Afghanistan live in close proximity to the capital city of Kabul.
“I don’t think they get Americans out that quickly,” McFarland said. “They’re not all in Kabul. We have a very large presence throughout the country, and particularly with NGOs throughout the country.”
“In a lot of cases there’ll also be like two or three people who are working at a school” in a remote area, she added. “They’re all on their own now.”
“They’re now in a position where they’ve got to make their way to Kabul, on unpaved roads, through checkpoints of various tribal groups, finding their way to Kabul,” McFarland explained. “Once they’re in Kabul, they have to talk their way through the Taliban militia.”
The former Trump advisor remarked on a “weird disconnect that Biden has.” She conceded that “maybe he thinks this is true,” but she insisted that U.S. officials “must know they can’t possibly get everybody out.”
“He’s clearly made some kind of deal with the Taliban that American forces won’t leave the perimeter as long as they let our people get through, and so we’re relying on the goodwill of the Taliban, the guys who were just trying to kill us,” McFarland said. She noted that the U.S. “gave up all the military bases first. It’s like one incompetent thing after another, which is pretty stunning.”
McFarland also noted Biden’s claims that America is “back” now that Trump is out of office.
“We’ve certainly abdicated that leadership role in Afghanistan,” she said. “I think we should have gotten out, but not in this shambolic fashion where everything that possibly could have gone wrong has gone wrong. It’s all been because of our stupidity in handling it.”
McFarland pointed to what she suggested was Biden’s most callous statement about the withdrawal.
“Let me be clear, any American who wants to come home, we will get you home,” Biden said on Friday.
“Biden keeps saying, ‘We’ll get out everyone who wants to leave,’” McFarland noted. “That, to me, is just a red flag right there. So, is his argument that if they don’t make it to Kabul airport, does that mean they don’t want to leave?”
“What about the people who are all over the country, and they can’t make it there? Does that mean they’re going to be counted as people who don’t want to leave?” she added.