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tv   The Papers  BBC News  August 21, 2021 11:30pm-11:46pm BST

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we'll be taking a look at tomorrow morning's papers in a moment — first the headlines. crowds continue to gather outside kabul airport, amid reports of chaotic scenes — as the us advises its citizens not to travel there until they are asked, because of security threats outside the gates. senior taliban figures — including the group's co—founder, mullah baradar — are in kabulfor talks about establishing a new government. greece has erected a 25 mile fence on its border with turkey amid warnings of many afghan civillians fleeing their country overland. there have been clashes between australian police and anti—lockdown demonstrators in sydney and melbourne.
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hello, and welcome to our look ahead to what the the papers will be bringing us tomorrow. with me are the the social commentatorjoanna and the whitehall editor of the financial time sebastian payne. the mail on sunday reports on the deaths of four women in a crush at kabul airport, as crowds continue to gather in an attempt to be evacuated. it's an attempt to be evacuated. also got an article ins which it's also got an article inside which we will be talking about, by the secretary ben wallace. the observer leads on warnings from the un that there could be widespread hunger, homelessness and economic collapse unless aid agreements are made. the sunday telegraph's front page story looks at criticism from former prime minister tony blair, who sent british troops into afghanistan 20 years ago. he says the uk has a "moral obligation" to stay until everyone who needs to leave the country has been evacuated. the mirror also features those comments from mr blair,
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who added president biden�*s withdrawal from the country was "imbecilic". meanwhile, the sunday express features comments from the armed forces minister, who says british veterans who served in afghanistan should be proud of what they accomplished, despite the collapse of the afghan government. let's start on the mirror. it is quoting an article from the telegraph but it is one that is unsurprising how many of the papers have chosen to go with it, given that this is tony blair who is not known for his criticism of american governments. laying it on thick, if not by name president biden. mr blair not by name president biden. m blair has written an article where he strongly attacked the withdrawal of allied troops from afghanistan, but particularly laying the blame at presidentjoe biden. he has described the withdrawal as imbecilic and warned that it will
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have consequences for many years to come. this is an interesting intervention. you may remember mr blair was the prime minister to get into afghanistan. it's important to separate this from iraq, which was a very different endeavour and has been thoroughly examined through the chilcott report. mr blair has been really quiet this week. there's been a lot of commentary on social media. you can see here what he is saying. it does strike me as interesting as well because what blair is saying in this article reflects the sentiment and feeling of many within the uk's foreign policy establishment, among mps and particularly among conservative mps. in that big debate on wednesday in the house of commons, you could hear the many conservative mps on the backbenches criticising president biden for that unyielding speech he gave to the american public when he again said, "look, it was i was going to be
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difficult to leave, we had to end the forever war," as he has described it. buti the forever war," as he has described it. but i think the fact that mr blair's record in office has gone on to say that this is the wrong decision and this is why we should all be very worried, i think it is significant. it will be criticised because of a lot of preconceived ideas about mr blair, but he was one of very few people in british politics was still around and intervening in these issues. joanna, i should just clarify. the telegraph was the first paper we saw. i gather it is actually an article mr blair has published on the website of his foundation. what do you make of it? to the website of his foundation. what do you make of it?— do you make of it? to be honest, these comments _ do you make of it? to be honest, these comments don't _ do you make of it? to be honest, these comments don't surprise . do you make of it? to be honest, l these comments don't surprise me do you make of it? to be honest, - these comments don't surprise me in a sense _ these comments don't surprise me in a sense i_ these comments don't surprise me in a sense. i think that the echoes of criticisms— a sense. i think that the echoes of criticisms other people are making of mr_ criticisms other people are making of mr biden. i think it's definitely different— of mr biden. i think it's definitely different from the relationship and
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the way— different from the relationship and the way that he used to refer to america — the way that he used to refer to america. obviously there was a lot of focus _ america. obviously there was a lot of focus before on this special relationship, and i think in the trump — relationship, and i think in the trump era _ relationship, and i think in the trump era global leaders and even past prime — trump era global leaders and even past prime ministers and presidents were always very forthcoming with their criticisms of trump. and i think_ their criticisms of trump. and i think that — their criticisms of trump. and i think that from g7 meetings, biden had given— think that from g7 meetings, biden had given the impression that america — had given the impression that america was back. and when he won the election. — america was back. and when he won the election, you saw world leaders from all_ the election, you saw world leaders from all around the world praising it and _ from all around the world praising it and saying, "welcome back, america" _ it and saying, "welcome back, america." but now i think you're showing — america." but now i think you're showing quite an america first approach _ showing quite an america first approach with this withdrawal. blair's — approach with this withdrawal. blair's comments will echo a lot of the other— blair's comments will echo a lot of the other nato leaders as well, and particularly we have seen a lot of criticism — particularly we have seen a lot of criticism from mps who haven't held back whatsoever in the house of commons — back whatsoever in the house of commons this week. sol back whatsoever in the house of commons this week. so i think that this is— commons this week. so i think that this is probably not something that mr blair— this is probably not something that mr blair has taken lightly at the
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end of— mr blair has taken lightly at the end of the day it is a huge concern and i_ end of the day it is a huge concern and i think— end of the day it is a huge concern and i think that he is somebody who is very— and i think that he is somebody who is very familiar with afghanistan and is very familiar with afghanistan ahd that— is very familiar with afghanistan and that region, and his view on this is— and that region, and his view on this is that — and that region, and his view on this is that it could potentially be a breeding ground for future terrorism and jihadists. so strong words _ terrorism and jihadists. so strong words for— terrorism and jihadists. so strong words for a — terrorism and jihadists. so strong words for a very serious matter, which _ words for a very serious matter, which most _ words for a very serious matter, which most people may see is quite justified _ which most people may see is quite justified. it�*s which most people may see is quite 'ustified. �* , , , ., justified. it's interesting you mentioned _ justified. it's interesting you mentioned the _ justified. it's interesting you mentioned the potential - justified. it's interesting you - mentioned the potential breeding ground for trouble in the future. it was something that was quoted in the mirror this morning. and i also noticed, joanna, that when we look at the mail, which has a very striking image on the front, launches a plea to help those left behind. a photo of the people looking highly distressed in the crash at the airport as they are trying to get access to get out of kabul. inside, the interview, ben wallace says this will have consequences for us all for years to come, joanna.
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consequences for us all for years to come. joanna-— consequences for us all for years to come, joanna. yeah, absolutely, and i think that — come, joanna. yeah, absolutely, and i think that a — come, joanna. yeah, absolutely, and | think that a lot — come, joanna. yeah, absolutely, and i think that a lot of _ come, joanna. yeah, absolutely, and i think that a lot of people _ come, joanna. yeah, absolutely, and i think that a lot of people are - i think that a lot of people are nervous — i think that a lot of people are nervous at the moment because of the tatihan— nervous at the moment because of the taliban in— nervous at the moment because of the taliban in a _ nervous at the moment because of the taliban in a sense being quite sympathetic to terrorist groups in the past — sympathetic to terrorist groups in the past i— sympathetic to terrorist groups in the past. ithink sympathetic to terrorist groups in the past. i think nobody was expecting obviously within 45 days of withdrawal that things would become — of withdrawal that things would become this bad, but ben wallace also says— become this bad, but ben wallace also says that no nation will be able _ also says that no nation will be able to — also says that no nation will be able to get everybody out, which i think— able to get everybody out, which i think it's — able to get everybody out, which i think it's one of the main problems with this _ think it's one of the main problems with this whole tastiness of the withdrawal, is that every nation should — withdrawal, is that every nation should be — withdrawal, is that every nation should be able to get everybody out, that is _ should be able to get everybody out, that is the _ should be able to get everybody out, that is the whole point of having intelligence. so it will be really interesting to see in the future whether— interesting to see in the future whether it will be identified that this was— whether it will be identified that this was a massive global intelligence failure, between the us and the _ intelligence failure, between the us and the uk, and what will happen in that sense — and the uk, and what will happen in that sense. but it is certainly worrying _ that sense. but it is certainly worrying for a lot of people, especially a lot of professionals in the uk _ especially a lot of professionals in the uk that have strong ties with people _ the uk that have strong ties with people in— the uk that have strong ties with people in afghanistan, or people who
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work specifically with interpreters and people who have helped them while _ and people who have helped them while they've been fighting over the last 20 _ while they've been fighting over the last 20 years, to then realise that maybe _ last 20 years, to then realise that maybe not— last 20 years, to then realise that maybe not everyone will be able to -et maybe not everyone will be able to get out _ maybe not everyone will be able to get out. the guilt, i can't even imagine — get out. the guilt, i can't even imauine. , , , , imagine. this is interesting in this article, imagine. this is interesting in this article. isn't _ imagine. this is interesting in this article, isn't it? _ imagine. this is interesting in this article, isn't it? we _ imagine. this is interesting in this article, isn't it? we talked - imagine. this is interesting in this article, isn't it? we talked about i article, isn't it? we talked about the hard times at the moment. ben wallace has been widely praised by his colleagues for his grip of this issue. and he himself is a former scots guard. in this article he is writing not only praising the personnel but saying in as blunt terms as i think you can say when you are a government and the str, no one wanted 20 years of sacrifice to end this way. as i said, this will have consequences for us all for years to come. have consequences for us all for years to come-— have consequences for us all for years to come. indeed, and i think ben wallace _ years to come. indeed, and i think ben wallace has _ years to come. indeed, and i think ben wallace has been _ years to come. indeed, and i think ben wallace has been the - years to come. indeed, and i think ben wallace has been the most. ben wallace has been the most critical person of the us over the past couple of weeks. he has made it
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very clear publicly that the uk government does not agree with this decision and he has really warned of the consequences of the vacuum that may appear in afghanistan. because the fact is that we have very little idea what this new regime is going to be like, how it is going to compare to when the taliban growth afghanistan in the late 90s, and i think ben wallace, who served himself in the armed forces and has been on the front end of dealing with the withdrawal, particularly with the withdrawal, particularly with the withdrawal, particularly with the vacuum that has emerged around the foreign office, is obviously very concerned about this. and his comments in the mail on son they strike the heart of the message about he was trying to do. because mr wallace did try to work with his american counterparts to persuade them to have an ongoing continue to presence in afghanistan, even a very low level. they said no to that. he also worked to try to ensure there could be an ongoing diplomatic presence will stop an embassy, in kabul or at the airport. that didn't
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go anywhere. finally mr wallace tried to work with nature whether other allies to keep an ongoing coalition there to support the afghan government, and that failed as well. you can understand why he feels very sore. i think as to when i was saying before there are big questions now about uk— us relations in the future. ever since the second world war ourforeign in the future. ever since the second world war our foreign policy has rested on europe and the united states. brexit weekend the europe pillar, it's fair to say stop i think needs to be done to strengthen that. on the us aside, it went through the america first period of donald trump where the scene a very unreliable ally, but i think what we are seeing now is america alone. it is america not working with its allies, not listening to those concerns, and it's quite bizarre what president biden has been saying, saying that allies have made their views heard and they were on board with this. if you listen to ben wallace or borisjohnson or the
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general secretary of nato, it is very clear that they don't agree with this. it feels like they are all in different universes. there's lots of commentary _ all in different universes. there's lots of commentary in _ all in different universes. there's lots of commentary in the - all in different universes. there'sj lots of commentary in the papers tomorrow about what the british primary think about washington cutting them out of the decision—making. borisjohnson cutting them out of the decision—making. boris johnson first requested decision—making. borisjohnson first requested a telephone call on monday morning and finally received one at ten p m on tuesday night, which does not bode well for the specialness of the relationship. we'll move on in a moment. just noting that there are some remarks that have come out in the states. ben wallace talks in his interview about being willing if the americans must take longer to stay longer as well. but the biden administration has issued a warning about possible activation for civil reserve air fleet to help with the capital... potential activation of civilian airlines, too, to ferry people from places. so it may well
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be that it's notjust kabul in the event that evacuation is going to take place. we briefly got a look at the front page of the express, which has never stopped being proud. that is a message to the many hundreds of thousands of british service people, men and women, who served out in afghanistan over the last 20 years. if we look at the front of the times, we've got a picture of a couple of those veterans. joanna, there also an interesting story. not veterans, serving british soldiers. raab, "pm told me i could stay on holiday." this is the ongoing row about the foreign secretary went to crete and was in crete as the afghan government collapsed. i crete and was in crete as the afghan government collapsed.— government collapsed. i mean, it's 'ust government collapsed. i mean, it's just another — government collapsed. i mean, it's just another example _ government collapsed. i mean, it's just another example of _ government collapsed. i mean, it's just another example of one - government collapsed. i mean, it's just another example of one rule i government collapsed. i mean, it's| just another example of one rule for them _ just another example of one rule for them and _ just another example of one rule for them and another rule for us. number
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one, them and another rule for us. number one. the _ them and another rule for us. number one. the fact — them and another rule for us. number one, the fact that dominic brad was even on _ one, the fact that dominic brad was even on holiday, but also it'sjust a continuation of the pm's behaviour, of basicallyjustifying behaviour, of basically justifying some _ behaviour, of basicallyjustifying some of— behaviour, of basicallyjustifying some of the things that people in his cabinet have done. so this story is focusing — his cabinet have done. so this story is focusing on the fact that earlier on in _ is focusing on the fact that earlier on in the — is focusing on the fact that earlier on in the week dominic raab has been criticised _ on in the week dominic raab has been criticised widely for not making an important — criticised widely for not making an important call to his counterpart in afghanistan, which could have been cruciat— afghanistan, which could have been crucial to— afghanistan, which could have been crucial to get some people who had heiped _ crucial to get some people who had helped british forces in the past. and now— helped british forces in the past. and now it— helped british forces in the past. and now it turns out that he had actually — and now it turns out that he had actually been asked by westminster to come _ actually been asked by westminster to come back from holiday on friday and he _ to come back from holiday on friday and he had — to come back from holiday on friday and he had allegedly spoken to the prime _ and he had allegedly spoken to the prime minister and told him he was ok to _ prime minister and told him he was ok to stay— prime minister and told him he was ok to stay for another two days. i think— ok to stay for another two days. i think that — ok to stay for another two days. i think that within a lot of criticisms of individual ministers that we've — criticisms of individual ministers that we've had the right coronavirus, and now with dominic raab _ coronavirus, and now with dominic raab in _ coronavirus, and now with dominic raab in this— coronavirus, and now with dominic raab in this situation, the pm has been _ raab in this situation, the pm has been able —
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raab in this situation, the pm has been able to put himself, remove himself— been able to put himself, remove himself from the situation, even though— himself from the situation, even though he — himself from the situation, even though he hasn't condemned some of his ministers for their actions sufficiently enough to most people's likin- sufficiently enough to most people's iiking in _ sufficiently enough to most people's liking in the country. he has been able to— liking in the country. he has been able to kind of remove himself from the situation, but i think that if this does— the situation, but i think that if this does come out that it rings true, _ this does come out that it rings true, that— this does come out that it rings true, that the pm did say to him, "0h. _ true, that the pm did say to him, "oh. it's— true, that the pm did say to him, "oh. it's ok. _ true, that the pm did say to him, "oh, it's ok, just stay on holiday, afghanistan — "oh, it's ok, just stay on holiday, afghanistan has basically fallen down _ afghanistan has basically fallen down by you stay for an extra couple of days _ down by you stay for an extra couple of days in _ down by you stay for an extra couple of days in crete," i think it could be equally— of days in crete," i think it could be equally damaging for boris johnson — be equally damaging for boris johnson as well, because it just shows— johnson as well, because it just shows that both dominic raab priorities— shows that both dominic raab priorities when it comes to things that are _ priorities when it comes to things that are happening internationally, especially a crisis like this, it is hisjob, — especially a crisis like this, it is hisjob, but _ especially a crisis like this, it is hisjob, but also especially a crisis like this, it is his job, but also the especially a crisis like this, it is hisjob, but also the prime minister's priorities are also completely in the wrong place as weit~ _ completely in the wrong place as well. ,, , completely in the wrong place as well, ,, , , , well. sebastien, it seems the prime minister--- — well. sebastien, it seems the prime minister... he _ well. sebastien, it seems the prime minister... he was _ well. sebastien, it seems the prime minister... he was spotted - well. sebastien, it seems the prime minister... he was spotted last - well. sebastien, it seems the prime| minister... he was spotted last week at taunton railway station to catch the train back to london from his childhood home where he spent some
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time with his wife and his son. because he decided he had to come back to london because of the collapse. i wonder if it's necessarily very wise politically to drop in your boss and say i only stayed on a couple of days because the boss that i could. i stayed on a couple of days because the boss that i could.— the boss that i could. i don't think it's heartlessness _ the boss that i could. i don't think it's heartlessness going _ the boss that i could. i don't think it's heartlessness going on - the boss that i could. i don't think it's heartlessness going on here. | the boss that i could. i don't think it's heartlessness going on here. i don't think that boris johnson, dominic raab shrugged their shoulders and said they didn't care. it is more the case of how things work in whitehall, where if a minister as a way there is someone covering for them. within the foreign office, there are a whole plethora ofjunior ministers. the same in downing street. the critical misjudgement was made of mrjohnson and mr raab, simply thinking that the gravity of the situation could be dealt with by theirjuniors. sorry to interrupt. it's interesting. george robinson was the defence secretary under blair, he was saying on friday that

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