ABC Rediscovers Afghanistan Withdrawal Disaster, Avoids Blaming Biden

News & Politics

Now that we’re coming up on the one-year anniversary of President Joe Biden’s disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal which left thirteen American service members dead and hundreds of Americans trapped at the hands of the Taliban after their inevitable takeover, ABC’s World News Tonight decided to revisit the story after ignoring it for months. 

Other than a brief dismissive mention during coverage of the killing of Al Zawahiri, ABC’s World News Tonight hasn’t covered the ongoing humanitarian disaster due to Biden’s troop withdrawal since December of 2021. Yet recently, ABC’s flagship morning show Good Morning America recently rediscovered the debacle. So World News Tonight is behind the curve even for their own network. 

Yet on Thursday evening’s installment of World News Tonight, anchor David Muir turned his focus to the wartorn country in the aftermath of the United States’s withdrawal. Turning to chief foreign correspondent Ian Pannell, Muir observed how “the Taliban [is] now fully in control.” 

For his report from the ground in Afghanistan, Pannell painted a grim picture of the situation in the country: “on one level the city looks similar to this time last year, but if you look again, today the troops driving around in those pickups, some of them carrying American-made weapons are the Taliban.” 

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Pannell added that “it’s clear in a little over a week since Al-Qaeda’s leader was taken out here in a U.S. drone strike that the terrorists have a safe haven again, although the Taliban is insisting that Afghanistan won’t be used to plot attacks on America.” 

He ended by noting how “Afghanistan has become this country of broken promises and lost dreams. Girls unable to finish their high school education. Women forced to live life behind a veil. And over 90 percent of the population lacking reliable access to food.”

To underscore how devastating the conditions in Afghanistan have become since American troops left, Pannell reported that “some aid agencies are warning that the humanitarian crisis here could now kill far more Afghans than the past 20 years of war.” 

It should be noted that while ABC reported on the disaster in Afghanistan, Biden’s name wasn’t mentioned once. So even when covering the disaster that Biden caused, ABC helps distance him from any blame. Mentioning Biden would only draw more attention to his epic foreign policy failure there. 

ABC World News Tonight’s sudden rediscovery of Biden’s Afghanistan withdrawal debacle was made possible by Simplisafe. Their information is linked. 

To read the transcript, click “expand”: 

ABC’s World News Tonight 
8/11/2022
6:47:44 p.m. Eastern 

DAVID MUIR: We turn now to Afghanistan, and as we prepare to mark one year since that chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban now fully in control, and our chief foreign correspondent Ian Pannell tonight back on the ground there. And reporting in today on what he has seen already. 

IAN PANNELL: David, on one level the city looks similar to this time last year, but if you look again, today the troops driving around in those pickups, some of them carrying American-made weapons are the Taliban. And it’s clear in a little over a week since Al-Qaeda’s leader was taken out here in a U.S. drone strike that the terrorists have a safe haven again, although the Taliban is insisting that Afghanistan won’t be used to plot attacks on America. 

Afghanistan has become this country of broken promises and lost dreams. Girls unable to finish their high school education. Women forced to live life behind a veil. And over 90 percent of the population lacking reliable access to food. Some aid agencies are warning that the humanitarian crisis here could now kill far more Afghans than the past 20 years of war. David? 

MUIR: Ian Pannell, who is now our chief foreign correspondent, leading our coverage there in Afghanistan one year later. Ian, thank you. 

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