As heartbreaking images of distressed Afghans hopelessly seeking a way out of the country to avoid the impending Taliban regime started surfacing on the internet, US President Joe Biden faced a massive backlash for carrying out a bungled pullout from the strife-torn country.
According to USA Today, Biden’s approval ratings have fallen to 41 per cent, the lowest ever yet. Up until last week, most polls showed the President’s approval ratings above 50 per cent.
And not just the overall approval ratings, but Biden has taken a hit in other polls as well. Though 87 per cent of Democrats still reposed their faith in him, only 32 per cent of Independents said they believed Biden was doing a satisfactory job. The poll was taken from Thursday to Monday this week, days after Kabul and Afghanistan fell to the Taliban.
On the Afghanistan crisis, only a paltry 26 per cent of the respondents approved of Biden’s handling of the situation. Similarly, he did not fare well on the domestic issues as well, with only two-fifth of respondents agreeing with his way of handling the economy.
“Today, President Biden’s overall approval has taken a turn for the worse due to his awful job performance rating on Afghanistan,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk Political Research Center. “His approval on immigration and the economy are also upside down. The only issue keeping him remotely in the game is his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, where he is barely at 50%.”
More than 53 per cent of Americans agreed with Biden’s call of pulling out of Afghanistan, but a staggering 62 per cent of the respondents were unhappy with the way the administration executed the departure plan.
The Taliban takes over Afghanistan
After a month-long offensive against the Afghan army, the Islamist outfit Taliban finally reached the gates of Kabul on Sunday (August 15). They entered Afghanistan’s presidential palace hours after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.
Since then surreal scenes have emerged as people try to flee the country to save their lives. Visuals of Afghan people falling from the sky as they tried to escape while hanging on to the wheels of the aeroplanes have gone viral on social media. The Taliban have been seen enjoying themselves as the amusement park as well in other surreal scenes.
The stark images of panic, fear and despondency from Afghanistan have indubitably underscored the failure of the United States to ensure a peaceful US troop pullout and the transition of power to the Ashraf Ghani-led Afghan government. Instead, the decision to withdraw the forces had catalysed the Taliban forces to regain control of the country they lost 20 years back.