On Wednesday, the U.K. Parliament met for a normal session for the first time in a year. They recently scrapped the protocol for social distancing and returned to normalcy.
However, the content of their meeting was anything but normal. Members of Parliament made an unprecedented move in censuring U.S. President Joe Biden for the Afghanistan withdrawal disaster.
And the most scathing criticism came from the top.
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Member of Parliament (MP) Richard Dannatt is the former head of the British Army and a member of the Conservative Party. He condemned Biden’s foreign policy. “The manner and timing of the Afghan collapse is the direct result of President Biden’s decision,” he said.
Michael Howard, a former Conservative Party leader, described Biden’s withdrawal as “a catastrophic mistake which may well prove to be the defining legacy of his presidency.”
Conservative MP Tom Tugendhat fought alongside the Afghan National Army, and he now serves as chairman of the foreign affairs committee. He criticized Biden’s description of the Afghan soldiers. “To see their commander in chief call into question the courage of men I fought with, to claim that they ran, is shameful,” he said.
Other members of Parliament nodded.
“We can set out a vision, clearly articulate it, for reinvigorating our European NATO partners to make sure that we are not dependent on a single ally, on the decision of a single leader, but that we can work together with Japan and Australia, with France and Germany, with partners large and small, and make sure that we hold the line together.”
The sharp criticism of Biden didn’t stop there. It also came from Britain’s third parties and its left-wing party.
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“The American decision to withdraw was not just a mistake — it was an avoidable mistake, from President Trump’s flawed deal with the Taliban to President Biden’s decision to proceed, and to proceed in such a disastrous way,” said Ed Davey, leader of the Liberal Democratic Party.
MP Chris Bryant, a member of the leftist Labour Party, described Biden’s recent speech as “some of the most shameful comments ever from an American president.”
Labourite Khalid Mahmood, a former defense minister, also criticized Biden’s decision. Mahmood said, “The Biden government have just come in and, without looking at what is happening on the ground, have taken a unilateral decision, throwing us and everybody else to the fire.”
Mahmood was referring to the foreign citizens of allied nations trapped in Afghanistan.
On Wednesday, The Daily Mail reported, “The U.K. faces a desperate race to evacuate 6,000 Britons and eligible Afghans amid scenes of stampeding crowds and Islamist fanatics.”
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Biden was even criticized by former Prime Minister Theresa May and current Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The frustration with Biden went all the way to the top.
“In July of this year, both President Biden and my Right Honorable friend the Prime Minister indicated that they did not think that the Taliban were ready or able to take over control of the country,” May said. “Was our intelligence really so poor? Was our understanding of the Afghan government so weak? Was our knowledge of the position on the ground so inadequate?”
The current prime minister said, “The West could not continue this US-led mission – a mission conceived and executed in support and defense of America – without American logistics, without US air power and without American might.” He was making an obvious dig at Biden.
It’s not just Americans that are shocked by Biden’s mismanagement of Afghanistan.
Our strongest allies are stunned and ashamed, too.
The Horn editorial team