President Biden assured Americans that the Taliban would not storm the U.S. Embassy in Kabul the same way the North Vietnamese stormed the U.S. Embassy in Saigon in 1975, but footage captured an eerily reminiscent scene on Sunday – completely disproving the confident prediction Biden made last month.
“The Taliban is not the south—the North Vietnamese army. They’re not—they’re not remotely comparable in terms of capability. There is going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of an embassy in the—of the United States from Afghanistan. It is not at all comparable,” Biden predicted in a news conference on July 8.
Just weeks later, U.S. troops flew helicopters to the embassy in Kabul, rescuing diplomats as the Taliban stormed the building. Photos of the rescue eerily echo photos of the U.S. helicopters rescuing diplomats from the embassy in Saigon in 1975.
“It’s a very dire situation when you see the United States embassy being evacuated,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-LA, said Sunday. “In fact, you just had President Biden a few days ago saying you wouldn’t see helicopters evacuating the embassy like Saigon, and yet, here we are. This is President Biden’s Saigon moment, and unfortunately, it was very predictable.”
The U.S. House Republican Conference shared the video of Biden’s July 8 remarks on Sunday after his prediction proved false.
“There is going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of a embassy in the—of the United States from Afghanistan,” Biden said, 38 days before that exact scenario took place.
Secretary of State Anthony Blinken felt the need to say, “This is not Saigon.”
Republicans have excoriated Biden for going on vacation at Camp David during this crisis. While the president released a statement on Saturday, he has not addressed the American people since, and he has avoided the cameras as Americans fled the embassy and as the Taliban stormed the presidential palace in Kabul.