Biden’s approval rating plunges seven points to lowest level after Kabul falls to Taliban

President Biden’s approval plunged seven points to its lowest level so far in a poll published on Tuesday, as voters said his handling of the Afghan war was worse even than President George W. Bush.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll was taken on Monday, when Biden faced growing anger at his decision to stay away from the White House through a weekend when the U.S. embassy in Kabul was evacuated and Taliban fighters closed on the Afghan capital.

The national opinion poll found that 46 percent of American adults approved of his performance in office, marking his lowest level in the poll since he was inaugurated. 

On Friday, the same poll put his approval rating at 53 percent.

Biden has faced withering criticism from Democrats and Republicans for the way the crisis – triggered by his decision to bring home all U.S. troops – unfolded. 

People flock to Kabul's international airport as they seek safe passage out of the country on Tuesday. Thousands of Americans remain in the country

People flock to Kabul's international airport as they seek safe passage out of the country on Tuesday. Thousands of Americans remain in the country

People flock to Kabul’s international airport as they seek safe passage out of the country on Tuesday. Thousands of Americans remain in the country

Pictured: Taliban fighters on a pick-up truck move around a market area, flocked with local Afghan people at the Kote Sangi area of Kabul on August 17, 2021, after Taliban seized control of the capital following the collapse of the Afghan government

Pictured: Taliban fighters on a pick-up truck move around a market area, flocked with local Afghan people at the Kote Sangi area of Kabul on August 17, 2021, after Taliban seized control of the capital following the collapse of the Afghan government

Pictured: Taliban fighters on a pick-up truck move around a market area, flocked with local Afghan people at the Kote Sangi area of Kabul on August 17, 2021, after Taliban seized control of the capital following the collapse of the Afghan government

Biden was criticized for staying at Camp David during a weekend when Americans needed rescuing from the U.S. embassy and the Taliban overran Kabul

Biden was criticized for staying at Camp David during a weekend when Americans needed rescuing from the U.S. embassy and the Taliban overran Kabul

Biden was criticized for staying at Camp David during a weekend when Americans needed rescuing from the U.S. embassy and the Taliban overran Kabul

Thousands of Americans and Afghans who worked for the U.S. remain stranded in the country after officials were unprepared for the speed of the Taliban advance. 

Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell told Fox News: ‘There are up to 15,000 Americans stranded out in the country who presumably have to beg the Taliban to let them get to the airport, not to mention the interpreters who worked with us and other Afghans who are in danger because they cooperated with us. 

‘All of this is the aftermath of the decision first to withdrawal, and then to withdrawal in a precipitous and incompetent way.’

The result is a White House scrambling to limit the political fallout from days of negative headlines and telephone footage of an unfolding catastrophe. 

Even so, a majority of both Republicans and Democratic voters said the scenes of chaos were a sign that the U.S. should leave the country after 20 years of war. 

A separate Ipsos snap poll, also conducted on Monday, found that fewer than half of Americans liked the way Biden had steered the U.S. military and diplomatic effort in Afghanistan this year. 

Last month he said Afghan forces were better equipped and more numerous than the Taliban and that the fall of Kabul was ‘not inevitable.’ He scoffed at suggestions the departure might end up resembling the fall of Saigon with embassy employees being rescued by helicopter.

A C-17 jet carrying 640 Afghan refugees that left Kabul on Sunday night as the Taliban claimed the city. The flight landed in Qatar. The refugees ran up the half-open ramp while US forces were preparing for take-off, according to an unnamed defense official cited by Defense One on Monday. At least one other C-17 has departed the area

A C-17 jet carrying 640 Afghan refugees that left Kabul on Sunday night as the Taliban claimed the city. The flight landed in Qatar. The refugees ran up the half-open ramp while US forces were preparing for take-off, according to an unnamed defense official cited by Defense One on Monday. At least one other C-17 has departed the area

A C-17 jet carrying 640 Afghan refugees that left Kabul on Sunday night as the Taliban claimed the city. The flight landed in Qatar. The refugees ran up the half-open ramp while US forces were preparing for take-off, according to an unnamed defense official cited by Defense One on Monday. At least one other C-17 has departed the area 

French and Afghan nationals line up to board a French military transport plane at the Kabul airport on August 17, 2021, for evacuation from Afghanistan after the Taliban's stunning military takeover of the country.

French and Afghan nationals line up to board a French military transport plane at the Kabul airport on August 17, 2021, for evacuation from Afghanistan after the Taliban's stunning military takeover of the country.

French and Afghan nationals line up to board a French military transport plane at the Kabul airport on August 17, 2021, for evacuation from Afghanistan after the Taliban’s stunning military takeover of the country.

But that is how things unfolded at the weekend, with helicopters ferrying diplomats to the airport where frightened Afghans rushed planes about to leave. 

It meant that Biden’s handling was judged more harshly even than President George W. Bush, who ordered the Afghanistan invasion and an ultimately futile effort to rebuild the country as a democracy.

Only 44 percent of respondents thought Biden had done a good job in Afghanistan, compared with 47 percent for Bush, and 51 percent for both former Presidents Trump and Obama.   

Biden was forced to cut short his summer vacation at Camp David on Monday. He returned to the White House to deliver a speech defending his decision, and laying the blame for Afghanistan’s rapid collapse at the feet of his predecessor Trump and Afghan leaders.

Even allies said he missed his mark by not owning the chaotic evacuation. 

Senior Obama White House adviser David Axelrod told CNN: ‘You cannot defend the execution. This has been a disaster. 

‘And anybody with a beating heart watching these scenes of people desperately swarming the airport, trying to get out ahead of the slaughter that they anticipate from the Taliban — it is heartbreaking, it is depressing and it’s a failure.’ 

Biden left immediately after his speech to return to Camp David.

But on Tuesday the White House announced he would return to Washington in the evening as evacuation efforts continue. 

Link hienalouca.com

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