Faced with withdrawal from Afghanistan, Biden is trying to regain control of communications
When asked about the fall in popularity in the polls, Joe Biden laughed. The chaotic departure from Afghanistan may seem like a disaster, but the US president firmly believes that the future will prove itself right.
“I think they will clearly understand what I did when it was all over the United States,” he said over the weekend.
“This is my job,” he told reporters. “My job is to make decisions that no one else can or does not want to make.”
During the Taliban’s hurricane-force attack across Afghanistan, the Biden administration seemed startled and paralyzed by the capture of Kabul in mid-August.
In Kabul, panic prevailed among the thousands of Afghans who arrived at the airport, leading to horrific scenes of civilians boarding a plane or falling into a vacuum.
Meanwhile, in the United States, Joe Biden appeared to be invisible, receiving criticism not only from Republican opposition but also from his allies.
A week later, the White House is trying to recapture the initiative.
The Pentagon helped her as she tried to make up for the White House’s initial silence.
But increasingly, the 78-year-old president is leading the charge.
His message? The Americans did not see a failure, but rather a boldly implemented withdrawal, turning the page on America’s longest war, and could not proceed anyway.
So far, these communication efforts have not helped its popularity, which has already been affected by the outbreak of the Govit-19 epidemic due to the delta variation.
An NBC poll released on Sunday gave 49% popularity, down from 53% in April. Among Democrats, public discontent rose from 39% to 48%. Only 25% voted for him to deal with the situation in Afghanistan.
But Joe Biden, a big believer, only laughed when he faced those bad scores on Sunday.
“I didn’t see this referendum,” he said.
– “Incredible functionality” –
Its effective evacuation operations, along with strong images of child-care soldiers, seem to be doing everything the U.S. military can do to improve the image of the Biden government.
More than 37,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan via Kabul airport since August 14 and July, the day before they were captured by the Kabul Taliban.
Joe Biden, known for his empathy, faced the sad images of evictions and dried up differently in the early days. But in recent days he seems to have regained his compassion.
“Incredible activity,” he said, starting from the White House on Sunday.
He recently injected a new element into his speech: Yes, the scenes may be confusing, he agrees, but confusion is inevitable and only important when withdrawing from a civil war.
“Without the harsh images you see on TV, it is impossible to expel so many people without suffering and loss. This is a fact. My heart aches for the people you watch,” he stressed.
If Joe Biden is optimistic about the long-term effect of this withdrawal, time is likely to play against him.
In the immediate aftermath, he is engaged in a one-time investigation to complete the mass exodus of Kabul before August 31, which is accepted by the Taliban.
The time has come for Washington to be able to advance its other priorities, where its opponents are more stressed and its allies more tense.
Two massive investment projects in infrastructure and social spending, to be crowned for Biden’s first term, are the subject of intense negotiations and controversy, with only a narrow majority in Congress.
In the long run, the horizon of the November 2022 midterm elections (“medieval”) appears to threaten Democrats that they will lose a majority, which will greatly complicate Joe Biden’s last two years in the White House.