The day 13 American service members and an unknown number of Afghans were killed by suicide bombings in Kabul, Afghanistan, President Joe Biden was 25 minutes late to address the nation in a roaming speech marked with labored breathing and a few choked-up moments.
Biden said he's "outraged as well as heartbroken" after "ISIS-K took the lives of service members standing guard at the airport" in Kabul Thursday.
"These American service members who gave their lives" in Kabul "were heroes," Biden said. "Heroes who've been engaged in the dangerous, selfless mission to save the lives of others." The dangerous mission is, of course, the result of the Biden administration's misreading of intelligence that led the world to watch Afghanistan fall to the Taliban in a matter of days.
Biden delivered a message to those who carried out Thursday's suicide attacks as well as others who may wish America harm: "We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay," Biden said, refusing to give specifics about when, where, or how those responsible would be made to pay other than that the United States would strike ISIS-K leadership, assets, and facilities. It's a departure from the President's promise last week that "any attack on our forces or disruption of our operations at the airport will be met with a swift and forceful response."
As the Biden administration has said, they had intelligence of impending ISIS-K attacks on HKIA for days — so why weren't the group's leaders, assets, or facilities attacked before? Instead of striking ISIS-K previously, Biden's plan has been partially reliant on the Taliban checkpoints around the airport to deter or detect ISIS-K suicide bombers.
In his remarks, the President also touted his administration's talking points on how many individuals have been airlifted so far while offering a vague commitment to "complete our mission" in Afghanistan — set to end by the Taliban's August 31 deadline — that is not on track to get every American out of the country before the U.S. military withdraws from Hamid Karzai International Airport.
Joe Biden begins his eulogy of 12 dead American Service Members by touting his evacuation mission in Afghanistan.— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) August 26, 2021
"...with more than 100,000 American citizens, American partners, Afghans who helped us, and others taken to safety in the last 11 days." pic.twitter.com/Sy8G3KsgWK
Again without specifics, Biden promised that the United States will "find any American who wishes to get out of Afghanistan" and "get them out" after the military has withdrawn without any explanation for how such missions will be carried out after a U.S. departure. And despite his administration's claims that every American who wants to get out of Afghanistan would be evacuated, Biden stated that a war has not ended with a "guarantee that everyone who wanted to be extracted...would get out."
BIDEN: "No conflict where when a war was ending, one side was able to guarantee that everyone who wanted to be extracted from that country would get out." pic.twitter.com/6jaFB6snhS— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) August 26, 2021
Following his remarks, Biden again pulled out a preapproved list of reporters he "was instructed to call on" before attempting to again blame former President Trump for his deadly handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal after eventually calling on Fox News' Peter Doocy.
Joe Biden says that he "was instructed to call on" specific reporters for questions.— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) August 26, 2021
Who is calling the shots here? pic.twitter.com/K24AH81g1L
DOOCY: "Do you bear any responsibility for the way that things have unfolded in the last two weeks?"— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) August 26, 2021
BIDEN: "You know as well as I do that a former president made a deal with the Taliban that he would get all American forced out of Afghanistan by May 1..." pic.twitter.com/cUb24FhJar
The President, though, had extended the deadline negotiated by Trump. And his failure to successfully or safely bring the United States out of Afghanistan is squarely the fault of President Biden.