Barack Obama blocks Instagram comments after flood of pleas to help Afghanistan

Taliban 'receiving Russia and China's support' says Shaheen

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The 44th US President, who served from 2008 to 2017, briefly suspended comments on his Instagram page on Monday following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. As US troops returned home after 20 years of war, a resurgent Taliban took over the country with little resistance.

Mr Obama’s most recent social media clip was concerning voting boundaries in various constituencies.

However, both he and his wife Michelle Obama had comments disabled on the social media site for at least two hours.

Users attempting to leave a message to the former First Family were met with a note saying: “Comments on this post have been limited.”

The former President has not yet issued a statement on the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.

As of publishing, Mr Obama has once again allowed user to comment on his Instagram posts.

During Mr Obama’s presidency, he and then-Vice President Joe Biden vowed to pull US forces out of Afghanistan.

Despite promising to end the war on December 28 2014, by 2016 8,400 US troops were still stationed in the country.

Near the end of his Presidency in January 2017, Mr Obama said at the White House: “I do not support the idea of endless war, and I have repeatedly argued against marching into open-ended military conflicts.

“Yet given what’s at stake in Afghanistan . . . I am firmly convinced that we should make this extra effort.”

It comes as the Taliban capturing the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul, and installed themselves as the Government of the country.

The takeover came 90 days ahead of the US’ predictions, stunning the exiting forces and sparking a panic in the country.

US President Biden defended his decision to pull all US forces out of Afghanistan.

The 46th President said he “stands squarely” behind the exit, and added: “How many more American lives is it worth?”

Mr Biden admitted the US’ exit was “messy”, but also claimed: “There was never a good time to withdraw US forces.”

He blamed Afghanistan’s Government for failing to defend themselves, and said: “If Afghanistan is unable to mount any real resistance to the Taliban now, there is no chance that 1 year — 1 more year, 5 more years, or 20 more years of U.S. military boots on the ground would’ve made any difference.”

Mr Biden also blamed the Taliban’s takeover on his predecessor former US President Donald Trump, noting he had inherited a deal negotiated with the Taliban for the US to withdraw from Afghanistan by May.

Following the President’s speech, Mr Trump slammed Mr Biden for the crisis in Afghanistan, and called for him to “resign in disgrace”.

In a statement, he said: “It is time for Joe Biden to resign in disgrace for what he has allowed to happen to Afghanistan, along with the tremendous surge in Covid, the border catastrophe, the destruction of energy independence, and out crippled economy.

“It shouldn’t be a big deal, because he wasn’t elected legitimately in the first place!”

There is no evidence to support Mr Trump’s claims the 2020 US election was fraudulent.

The 43rd US President George W Bush, who authorised the military intervention in 2001, shared he was “watching the tragic events unfolding in Afghanistan with deep sadness”.

He said: “The Afghans now at greatest risk are the same ones who have been on the forefront of progress inside their nation.”

Mr Bush also stressed the US had “the legal authority to cut the red tape for refugees during urgent humanitarian crises”.

Mitch McConnell, Republican Senate Minority Leader, tweeted: “What we are seeing in Afghanistan is an unmitigated disaster.

“The Biden Administration’s retreat will leave a stain on the reputation of the United States.”

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