'Symbol of Defeat' for Biden Team: Blinken Bashed Over Shunning Journos' Questions on Afghanistan

© REUTERS / JONATHAN ERNSTU.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers remarks following talks on the situation in Afghanistan, at the State Department in Washington, U.S., August 30, 2021
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivers remarks following talks on the situation in Afghanistan, at the State Department in Washington, U.S., August 30, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 31.08.2021
Shortly before the Taliban's* takeover of Kabul, Antony Blinken tried to uphold the alleged success of the nation's Afghan mission, which he claimed "is manifestly not Saigon".
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was under fire on Monday over his reluctance to take questions from reporters after a speech on the American troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
During the address, the top US diplomat praised the end of the American presence in Afghanistan following nearly 20 years of war. Blinken also admitted there are between 100 and 200 Americans left in Afghanistan who still wish to leave the country despite the US completing its withdrawal on Monday.
"We're trying to determine exactly how many", he said at the news conference.
As he was concluding his speech, several reporters tried to shout questions at Blinken, who, however, ignored them walking away from the podium.
Most journalists immediately took aim at the secretary of state on social media, with CNN host Jim Sciutto berating Blinken for failing "to answer reporter questions after a speech and a moment like this".
Curtis Houck, managing editor of the blog-site NewsBusters, in turn, slammed Blinken as a "weak" person, tweeting that "turning your back and walking away - the symbol of defeat for this administration".
Townhall.com editor and Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich sarcastically tweeted about Blinken's "perfect" behaviour, adding that "after confirming hundreds of Americans have been left behind in Afghanistan", the secretary of state "turns and walks away. No questions".
They were echoed by many netizens who also lashed out at Blinken's unwillingness to field journalists' questions, something that one Twitter user noted was "depressing to watch".
"Sec of State Blinken just finished his statement. Promptly left, took no questions. Unbelievable", another user tweeted.
In an interview with the US broadcaster ABC News on 15 August, Blinken attempted to defend the nation's mission in Afghanistan, also rejecting parallels between the events in the war-ravaged country and the Vietnam War (1955-1975).
"This is manifestly not Saigon. We went into Afghanistan 20 years ago with one mission in mind, and that was to deal with the people who attacked us on 9/11, and that mission has been successful", he claimed.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken boards his plane to depart for his return to the United States from Kuwait International Airport in Kuwait City, Kuwait, July 29, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.08.2021
State Secretary Blinken Was Vacationing at The Time Taliban Seized Power in Kabul
Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, was captured by the People's Army of Vietnam on 30 April 1975. This marked the end of the Vietnam War, a military conflict between North Vietnam, supported by China and the Soviet Union, and South Vietnam, backed by the US and its allies.
The comparisons to Vietnam emerged after US President Joe Biden asserted on 8 July that the Afghan Army could handle the Taliban.
"The Taliban is not the North Vietnamese army. They're not remotely comparable in terms of capability. There's going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of the embassy of the United States from Afghanistan. It is not at all comparable", he said.
The claims were followed by the Taliban's takeover of the Afghan capital Kabul on 15 August and the hasty evacuation of US Embassy staff and allied Afghans from the Kabul Airport.
*The Taliban is a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries.
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