Biden said Zawahiri was “deeply involved” in the September 11, 2001, attacks and masterminded the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, which killed 17 American sailors and wounded dozens more.
The U.S. president said on Monday “justice has been delivered” by killing Zawahiri in Kabul, Afghanistan. But Fox News anchor Carlson said the strike unfavorably highlighted Biden’s role in a series of geopolitical flash points, with another one looming.
“It takes a lot of brass to brag about Afghanistan or even mention the word,” Carlson said, referring to Biden’s widely criticized withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country in August 2021, which led to its takeover by the Taliban.
“Bill Clinton doesn’t casually drop the term, ‘Monica Lewinsky’ in conversation,” Carlson added, equating the controversy over the sex scandal involving the ex-president and Lewinsky with the condemnation Biden has faced over Afghanistan.
“His withdrawal from that country almost a year ago, was the single most humiliating moment in American foreign policy since the fall of Saigon in April 1975,” he said. “Biden chose a path that seemed designed to inflict maximum damage to the interests of the United States.”
“But Biden is not ashamed of it. He was not ashamed of it then, he’s not ashamed of it now,” Carlson said, before segueing into how afterwards the U.S. president “immediately set off in another direction” and started “provoking yet another conflict” in Ukraine.
Carlson said that the Biden administration played a role in the lead-up to Vladimir Putin‘s invasion of Ukraine. The Fox anchor said that Russia had warned that if Ukraine were to join NATO, “the Russian army would invade.”
Carlson then said that Vice President Kamala Harris told the Munich Security Conference that Ukraine should “join NATO” and that her administration, “wanted a war with Russia, and now we have one.”
At the conference on February 19, five days before Putin’s invasion, Harris did not expressly call for Ukraine to join the alliance. She reaffirmed that the U.S., NATO allies, and partners were “open to serious diplomacy” in engaging with Russia. She also warned of a “significant” cost to if Putin “further invades Ukraine.”
Carlson’s comments about U.S. provocation also fail to take into account Putin’s public comments that as well as NATO expansion, he wanted to “denazify” Russia’s neighbor, which he repeatedly argued Moscow had historic claims to.
Although Carlson has denied he is a champion of Moscow’s invasion, his comments are regularly portrayed on Russian state television as aligning with the Kremlin’s point of view.
In Monday’s monologue, Carlson also warned of “yet another potential war to contend with” due to the visit of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan, which Beijing has condemned.
Sending Pelosi to a “flash point in a faraway part of the world in order to provoke a violent response,” Carlson said, “is lunacy.”
“What’s happening in China looks very much like what happened in Ukraine earlier this year,” he added.
Newsweek has contacted the White House for comment.
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