Tony Blair Blasts Biden’s “Imbecilic Decision” to Withdraw from Kabul
The British government has made clear from the beginning that it was against President Biden’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan. For Defense Secretary Ben Wallace, the agreement with the Taliban, first made by then-President Donald Trump in Feb. 2020 was a “rotten deal”. In his interview in the Aug. 8 Daily Mail, he revealed that the U.K. tried to convince other NATO member countries to stay, even if the U.S. pulled out, but found no takers. The criticism from former Prime Minister Tony Blair, posted on his blog on Aug. 21, is even more harsh. He said of the withdrawal that “We didn’t need to do it. We chose to do it. We did it in obedience to an imbecilic political slogan about ending ‘the forever wars’.” He laments in particular the repercussions for the imperial designs of London: “For Britain, out of Europe and suffering the end of the Afghanistan mission by our greatest ally with little or no consultation … we are at risk of relegation to the second division of global powers.”
(For those who may not remember, it was Tony Blair who inaugurated the era of “endless wars” in 1999, in a speech to the Chicago Council of World Affairs, who pushed the fabricated intelligence that convinced then President Bush to declare war on Iraq and who blithely committed UK troops to Afghanistan, when he was PM.)
All major British media reported Blair’s assessment, which is shared by many who fear that the United States could make a decisive break with Britain’s imperial policy. The Sunday Times, in its coverage, went on to report that “Ministers have warned that Britain will have to tear up its foreign policy after the debacle in Afghanistan, amid flaring tempers about America’s decision to cut and run.” The article cites an unnamed minister who denounced American “isolationism” and said that the government would have to “revisit” its defense and foreign policy because Washington is no longer a reliable ally.
“America has just signalled to the world that they are not that keen on playing a global role,” the minister said. “The implications of that are absolutely huge” He also raised interesting historical references: “The U.S. had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the First World War. They turned up late for the Second World War and now they are cutting and running in Afghanistan.”
Another freak-out came from Lt. Col. Richard Kemp (ret.), the former commander of British troops in Afghanistan, who proposed that President Biden should not be impeached, he should “be court-martialed for betraying the United States of America and the United States’ armed forces.”
We note that in continental Europe as well, there has been similar criticism of the U.S. policy, albeit not so openly expressed.