‘Taliban is not the North Vietnamese army’: Biden comment resurfaces as US evacuates from Kabul

‘There’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of a embassy,’ Biden said

Stuti Mishra
Monday 16 August 2021 14:25 BST
Just five weeks ago, Biden said this about the Taliban

A statement from president Joe Biden claiming the US will not witness a Vietnam-like situation in Kabul is resufacing again after the hasty rescue of American officials from the embassy following Taliban’s overtake of power.

Last month, speaking to reporters at the White House, Mr Biden said the Taliban was “not remotely comparable” to the North Vietnamese Army “in terms of capability”.

“There’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of a embassy in the - of the United States from Afghanistan. It is not at all comparable,” Mr Biden was quoted as saying on 8 July.

The events of last three days, however, have proven him wrong, with the US carrying out a sudden evacuation of personnnel, including US and Afghan residents.

The visuals on Sunday showed helicopters doing rounds of the Kabul embassy in order to evacuate US personnels and residents and bring them to the Kabul airport which is mobbed by thousands desperate to get out. The image of the helicopter has been widely compared with the strikingly similar image of US’ evacuation in Saigon at the end of Vietnam war in 1975.

This Sunday, the Taliban marched on to the Afghan capital of Kabul and surrounded the city from all sides, leading to president Ashraf Ghani fleeing the country with his aides. The militant group entered the presidential palace and declared the war “over” on Monday morning leading to chaotic scenes as residents fear for their future in the Taliban ruled state.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken in an interview denied that the situation in Kabul is comparable to that with Saigon.

“This is manifestly not Saigon,” the US secretary of state Antony Blinken told ABC’s This Week. “We went into Afghanistan 20 years ago with one mission in mind, and that was to deal with the people who attacked us on 9/11, and that mission has been successful.”

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