“He’s either lying or he’s forgotten!” Neil skewers Biden on Afghanistan remarks

GB News chair Andrew Neil has highlighted contradictions in US President Joe Biden’s speech following the capitulation of Afghan government forces to the Taliban.

When Biden finally returned from his Camp David retreat to address the country on Monday, he claimed: “Our mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to have been nation-building. It was never supposed to be creating a unified, centralized democracy.

“Our only vital national interest in Afghanistan remains today what it has always been: preventing a terrorist attack on American homeland.

“I’ve argued for many years that our mission should be narrowly focused on counterterrorism, not counterinsurgency or nation-building.”

Yet in typical fashion, Andrew Neil scanned through the archives to fact-check Mr Biden’s remarks, and found the golden ticket which entirely contradicts Mr Biden’s new-found position.

“Last night Biden claimed Afghanistan was never about nation-building,” Neil tweeted. “Yet in 2003 he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee re Afghanistan: ‘In some parts of the administration, nation-building is still a dirty phrase but the alternative to nation-building is chaos, a chaos that churns out blood-thirsty warlords, drug traffickers, and terrorists.’

“When the US first intervened in 2001 he had said much the same thing: ‘Our hope is that we will see a relatively stable government in Afghanistan, one that does not harbour terrorists, is acceptable to the major players in the region, represents the ethnic make up of the country and provides the foundation for future reconstruction of that country.’

“In other words, nation-building. Biden is either knowingly lying or he’s forgotten what he was saying 20 years ago,” Neil concluded. “Being of a forgiving nature, I choose the latter explanation.”

Biden has faced criticism from all sides for the rushed withdrawal of US forces, with the current president blaming Donald Trump’s agreement with the insurgent Taliban and suggesting he was forced to follow through on that deal

However, critics pointed out that Trump tanked the Iran nuclear deal agreed by President Obama and that Biden’s administration was not bound by the actions of a previous President.

Ronald Reagan’s former assistant defense secretary slammed Biden’s speech as “disingenuous”, telling Fox News: “I was struck with how defensive [Biden] was, almost angry that this could be happening because he’s so much in the right. He’s not in the right and he didn’t tell the truth.”