Biden 'Reliving Carter Years' in First 8 Months in Office, Says Aide to Former President
21:41 GMT 08.09.2021 (Updated: 13:23 GMT 06.08.2022)
© AP Photo / Eddie AdamsПрезидент США Джеральд Форд в последний день правления в Овальном кабинете в Белом доме, 1977 год
© AP Photo / Eddie Adams
An aide to former US president Jimmy Carter has compared fellow-Democrat Joe Biden's eight-month-old administration to the 39th president's troubled single term in office.
“The guy can’t catch a break,” said Carter's former deputy White House chief of staff Les Francis of Biden, recalling how his old boss had to contend with multiple disasters including the 1979 seizure of 52 hostages at the US embassy in Iran by young radicals following the Islamic Revolution of that year.
“It’s so reminiscent of reliving those times, where we had Mount St. Helens, we had Three Mile Island … we had the truckers rioting … Then we had the hostage crisis. We had the Soviets invade Afghanistan in December of 1979,” Francis told Politico magazine.
"Now you’ve got a hurricane and a million people without power in Louisiana. You’ve got wildfires in the West. You’ve got the delta variant on COVID," Francis added.
"Nobody could criticize him for those things, but they have a way of infecting the overall political environment," Francis continued. "What it does is, it sours people’s attitudes, and if you’re the guy in charge, people sort of take it out on you, their frustrations, their anger, whatever it is."
Francis did not mention that Democrat president Carter approved US funding to Mujahideen Islamist militant in Afghanistan — the movement from which the Taliban* grew — as early as March 1979, nine months before the Soviet military intervention in the country.
The comparison to the Iran hostage crisis chimed with the widespread condemnation of Biden's rushed decision to send 6,000 troops back into Afghanistan evacuate the US embassy in Kabul, along with thousands of US citizens and tens of thousands of Afghans who worked with the 20-year US-led occupation. That was after the Taliban predictably swept across the country and into the capital with almost no resistance following the US troop withdrawal agreed by former president Donald Trump in the 2020 peace accord.
12 May 2021, 20:00 GMT
Carter's handling of the 1979 incident contributed to his defeat by Republican Ronald Reagan in the 1980 presidential election. The president ordered the ill-fated Operation Eagle Claw, an overly-complex plan for a military special forces raid by the newly-formed Delta Force on the Iranian capital to free the 52 hostages and fly them out of the country.
The mission ran into trouble early on after one of the eight helicopters involved turned back din a sandstorm en route to the desert refuelling rendezvous inside Iran with C-130 transport panes, another made a forced landing and a third suffered mechanical problems.
After Carter approved the field commanders' request to abort the mission, one helicopter crashed into a parked C-130, causing an explosion that killed eight crew and injured four more. An Iranian civilian was also killed when an Army ranger soldier blew up a fuel tanker truck that happened along the road with an anti-tank missile, after its driver tried to get away.
A suicide bombing by Daesh spin-off Islamic State Khorasan Province at Kabul airport during last month's chaotic pull-out left nearly 200 Afghans and 13 US servicemen and women dead, the single-largest wartime loss of US military lives since 2011. The White House's revenge drone strike killed at least nine members of one Afghan family, including seven children.
* The Taliban and Daesh are banned as terrorist organisations in many countries, including Russia.