The global media are slamming President Biden as a “joke” and an “embarrassment” after the US evacuation of Afghanistan deteriorated into deadly chaos as terrified Afghans clung to military planes in an attempt to flee the Taliban takeover.
Front pages of international newspapers on Tuesday accused a “defiant” Biden of abandoning Afghans following the shocking scenes at Kabul’s international airport a day earlier that left at least seven people dead.
During a national address Monday, Biden rejected blame for chaotic scenes of the bungled withdrawal and the shockingly rapid Taliban conquest.
And the reaction in the international media was swift.
The UK’s Sun newspaper blasted him as “Joke Biden” and declared the president was “humiliated and alone.”
The front page of the Daily Telegraph in the UK read: “Biden defends America’s flight. Defiant president faces international backlash as Afghans trying desperately to escape chaos in Kabul.”
The Daily Mail accused Biden of “abandoning” the war-torn country.
“Biden: It’s Afghans’ own fault. As brave translators hide in fear for lives amid scenes of carnage at airport, defiant president washes hands over abandoning nation,” the British newspaper’s front page read.
Other front pages across the world were filled with the shocking images of Afghans trying to board a US military plane as it taxied down the runway in Kabul.
The Financial Times described it as “absolute chaos,” while the UK’s Metro newspaper branded it “The flight from hell.”
In Canada, the Toronto Sun‘s front page read “Left to die,” alongside an image of women and children crying on the tarmac.
Italy’s La Stampa declared it an “apocalypse.”
The West Australian newspaper used a photo of desperate Afghans trying to climb onto a US plane with the headline, “Our diggers died for this?,” using an Australian term for soldiers.
On home soil, some US media outlets were also critical of Biden.
The Wall Street Journal said Biden washing his hands of the crisis would “go down as one of the most shameful in history by a Commander in Chief at such a moment of American retreat.”
Various CNN commentators declared it a “political disaster” and “willful abandonment.”
A Washington Post editorial was headlined: “The debacle in Afghanistan is the worst kind: Avoidable.”
The reaction came after a defiant commander-in-chief rejected blame for the chaos.
He called the anguish of trapped Afghan civilians “gut-wrenching” and conceded that the Taliban had achieved a much faster takeover of the country than his administration had expected — but stopped short of assuming responsibility for the bedlam.
He instead painted the situation as a binary decision of staying or going — saying he had no second thoughts about his decision to stick by the US commitment, formulated during the Trump administration, to withdraw from Afghanistan and end America’s longest war.
Despite declaring that “the buck stops with me,” Biden placed almost all blame for the shockingly rapid Taliban conquest on the Afghans themselves.