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

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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

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Facebook, Instagram Employees ‘Censor or Delete’ Protests against Iran

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Iran President Rouhani

Former and current Facebook and Instagram employees are shedding light onto the “fact checkers” that are censoring vital content such as protests against Iran. “According to a report by BBC Persian, these employees admitted that at all levels of the company, the Iran regime’s influence has infiltrated, leaving biased and pro-regime content monitors to restrict, censor or delete posts about the current protests in Iran” reports The Foreign Desk.

Similar to censorship at the companies in the United States and elsewhere, the behavior is its own political movement. “The actions by these Iranian employees to remove images of the demonstrations in Iran and associated hashtags helps reinforce the Islamic Republic’s argument that the protests are not so widespread.”

According to one of the former employees who had his identity hidden for security purposes, told the BBC Persian in an interview from Germany, that the workers travel back and forth between Europe and Iran. “About 90 percent” of the decision making on censorship is done by these “fact checkers.”

“These are individuals who single-handedly take posts down. According to the source, employees are not allowed to have their personal cellular devices with them at their workstations, so these individuals go to the break room to report a post from their personal phones and then come back to their workstations and address the ‘complaint’ they just created.”

 

The Foreign Desk adds:

In 2019 TELUS International became the third-party company contracted with Instagram and Facebook to become their fact checkers and address complaints from users reporting posts for violent, hateful, or threatening material. 

A second source, a former TELUS employee, said approximately 400-500 Iranians work at the company in Germany, a country that is known to have diplomatic and bilateral relations with the Islamic Republic. 

The Islamic Republic has learned from the Green Revolution of 2009 to infiltrate Western social media outlets and their parent companies to control the narrative and prevent the international community from siding with anti-regime demonstrators.

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