Connect with us

Middle East

Trump: ‘I wish Joe Biden wouldn’t use September 11th as the date to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan’

Published

on

president trump coronavirus address

Former President Donald Trump is criticizing President Joe Biden for selecting the 20th anniversary of 9/11 to pull out the U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

Trump praised Biden for his plan to remove all remaining troops but argued that as every year, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks should be used as a time of “reflection and remembrance” for the lives lost.

“I wish Joe Biden wouldn’t use September 11th as the date to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan, for two reasons,” Trump wrote in a statement released by his office.

“First, we can and should get out earlier. Nineteen years is enough, in fact far too much and way too long […] Secondly, September 11th represents a very sad event and period for our country and should remain a day of reflection and remembrance honoring those great souls we lost.”

“Getting out of Afghanistan is a wonderful and positive thing to do. I planned to withdraw on May 1st, and we should keep as close to that schedule as possible.”

Biden announced last week that he is pulling 2,500 U.S. troops from Afghanistan between May 1 and Sept.

“We were attacked. We went to war with clear goals. We achieved those objectives,” Biden said in his Wednesday speech. “Bin Laden is dead and al Qaeda is degraded in Afghanistan and it’s time to end the forever war.”

“We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan hoping to create the ideal conditions for our withdrawal, expecting a different result,” Biden continued.

“I am now the fourth American president to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan. Two Republicans. Two Democrats. I will not pass this responsibility to a fifth.”

Trump said in November that he wanted “all” troops home by Christmas, and for a full withdrawal to be completed by January 15, before Biden’s inauguration.

At the time, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham was in support of the move, saying, “We have a chance to end this war in Afghanistan smartly and well. But we’re going to need a residual US force, a counterterrorism presence for years to come, because I don’t trust the Taliban to police al Qaeda and ISIS.”

Graham is now calling the move “dumber than dirt,” saying Biden was “paving the way for another 9/11.”

“President Biden will have, in essence, canceled an insurance policy against another 9/11,” Graham said in a statement.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is also critical of Biden’s move, saying U.S. troops in Afghanistan had “helped keep radical Islamic terrorism in check.”

“Apparently, we’re to help our adversaries ring in the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by gift-wrapping the country and handing it right back to them,” McConnell said.

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

Continue Reading

Israel

In Wake of Abraham Accords, Saudi Arabia Revises Textbooks

Published

on

Accords1816983452 huge scaled

Follow Steve Postal: @HebraicMosaic

—————–

In the aftermath of the 2020 Abraham Accords, which Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman helped to broker behind the scenes, Saudi Arabia continues to slowly tilt towards reform. Most noticeably, it is continuing to improve its textbooks, previously a source of glorification of terrorism and anti-Jewish and anti-Christian hatred. According to a recent report analyzing the kingdom’s textbooks from 2022-2023, key reforms include the following:

Praise for jihad continues to be removed. The report notes that most problematic passages glorifying martyrdom and jihad had been removed from Saudi textbooks by 2021-2022, but this trend continues. Passages removed include a reference that “all sins of the martyr will be forgiven, except debt,” that jihad is “the climax of Islam” and that jihad means “fighting the enemies for the protection of religion, land, and worshipers.”

Problematic opinions on Jews and Christians removed. According to the report, Saudi Arabia has removed “almost all” defamatory anti-Jewish and anti-Christian textbook passages. Passages removed include: references that some Jews and Christians worship Satan and idols; that Allah turned some Jews into pigs and apes; that some Jews and Christians falsified Allah’s word; that Jews and Christians lied about prophets in the Torah and the New Testament; negative opinions of how Jews and Christians portray Jesus; implicit references of Jews and Christians as enemies of Islam; and that Jews and Christians are polytheists.

New criticism of the Muslim Brotherhood. In contrast to Qatar, who supports the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hamas, who is the Muslim Brotherhood branch that many Palestinians support, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates have all recognized the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. In line with that stance, Saudi Arabia’s textbooks become increasingly critical of the Islamist movement. One textbook stated that groups formed under the Muslim Brotherhood “wreaked havoc in the country and among the people, as known and evident in crimes of violence and terrorism around the world.” Further, that textbook comments that the Muslim Brotherhood is a “deviant group based on arguing with rulers, rebelling against leaders, stirring up strife in countries, destabilizing coexistence in the unified nation, and describing Islamic societies as ignorant.” A second textbook warns that the Muslim Brotherhood “instigate(s) civil wars in countries” and is “a terrorist group.”

New criticism of other “deviant groups.” Further, one Saudi textbook labelled “Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda, ISIS, the Tablighi Jamaat, and other parties and sects” are “deviant groups” and “terrorist sects and parties” that “seek to divide societies, incite them, and exploit religion for their interests.” Another textbook labelled “The Muslim Brotherhood, al-Qaeda, ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, Hezbollah, the Houthis, the Sururiyya” as “errant groups” that are “purportedly religious but are in fact the opposite.”

“Slight” reforms on opinions on Israel and Zionism. The report qualifies that reforms on the portrayal of Israel and Zionism are “slight” but that those reforms are “are an encouraging sign that progress may include attitudes toward Israel and Zionism [in the future].” Saudi textbooks removed a libel falsely accusing Israel of the 1969 arson of the al-Aqsa mosque (which was carried out by an Australian Christian fundamentalist), an excerpt defining “patriotic poetry” to include that which “oppos[es] the Jewish settlement of Palestine,” and passages glorifying the First Intifada at Israel’s expense. However, textbooks continue to not recognize Israel, not include it in maps, and refer to it as an “occupying” power.

While Saudi Arabia still has room for improvement in reforming its textbooks, it has made significant headway in its education about jihad, Jews and Christians in recent years. These reforms, coupled with increased religious tolerance from the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco, is a direct outgrowth of the Abraham Accords. The Biden administration should capitalize on this opening by formally bringing the kingdom into the Abraham Accords. Saudi Arabia’s ascension into the Accords would serve as a powerful check on Iranian and other Islamist forces, and advance American interests in the region.

Continue Reading

Trending