Joe Biden ripped after Taliban fighters wearing US army gear mock iconic 1945 photo of marines
The original 1945 photo shows a group of six Marines hoisting the flag on Mount Suribachi. The Taliban's elite Badri 313 battalion recreated the image
President Joe Biden faced a major backlash after the Taliban released a collection of propaganda material, including a photo mocking the historical World War II picture of soldiers raising the American flag on Iwo Jima.
The original 1945 photo shows a group of six Marines hoisting the flag on Mount Suribachi. The Taliban's elite Badri 313 battalion recreated the image this week using weapons and gear left behind in Kabul by the US military. The Taliban version shows a group of fighters dressed in U.S. army gear hosting the Taliban flag instead of Old Glory, mocking the United States in the process.
The Badri 313 is a special unit of the Taliban that wears camouflage, combat boots, and body armor like US soldiers. They are known to drive armored Humvees and carry M4 carbines. The special outfit was reportedly named after the Battle of Badr depicted in the Quran, in which Prophet Mohammed defeated a formidable enemy with just 313 men, about 1,400 years ago, the Daily Mail reported.
According to the newspaper, the unit is highly trained and equipped with top-of-the-line military equipment. While it's unclear where they got their hands on the equipment, experts believe it's likely a combination of US military hardware, including those used by Afghan forces, seized by the Taliban as Western and allied forces withdrew from the country.
IEA Special force "Badri 313" has been deployed in Kabul to ensure peace and security. I hope everyone feels happy to see American M4s in the hands of upgraded version of Taliban. pic.twitter.com/qT6YaXjJZW— Hanzala Ghazali🇵🇰 (@hanzala_ghazali) August 17, 2021
The Badri 313 fighters are seen in videos released by the extremist group, flaunting military helmets and sunglasses instead of the traditional turban, bulletproof vests over camouflage jackets, and trousers instead of robes, armed to the teeth with various ammunition. Furthermore, the unit appears to be armed with modern sidearms, combat boots, and even night-vision goggles. This would make it difficult to distinguish them from the US special combat units.
According to US officials, the Taliban has seized approximately $28 billion worth of arms and weaponry that America supplied to the Afghan forces between 2002 and 2017. "Everything that hasn't been destroyed is the Taliban's now," one official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
According to Elias Yousif, deputy director of the Center for International Policy's Security Assistance Monitor, the seizure of US military gear is a propaganda move and they are unable to operate a lot of the equipment due to a lack of training, including the advanced aircraft they got their hands on.
"When an armed group gets their hands on American-made weaponry, it's sort of a status symbol. It's a psychological win," Yousif explained to The Hill. "Clearly, this is an indictment of the U.S. security cooperation enterprise broadly. It really should raise a lot of concerns about what is the wider enterprise that is going on every single day, whether that's in the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia."
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan raised eyebrows while responding to a question about the seizure on Tuesday, August 17. "We don't have a complete picture, obviously, of where every article of defense materials has gone, but certainly a fair amount of it has fallen into the hands of the Taliban," he said. "And obviously, we don't have a sense that they are going to readily hand it over to us at the airport," he added.
That said, the Taliban's latest PR stunt sparked a major backlash against the Biden administration on social media.
"No Enemy has EVER done this to America, befouled Iwo Jima’s eternal sacrifice, whilst wearing our equipment. Until Biden. He has betrayed all Americans, alive and dead," former White House advisor Sebastian Gorka tweeted.
"Taliban can murder as many people as they want. But if they keep trolling Biden like this they’re gonna get kicked off of social media," right-wing pundit Jessey Kelley added.
"This just keeps getting worse and worse! #Taliban mocks iconic Iwo Jima picture wearing US gear left behind by the @JoeBiden woke administration," ex-Navy SEAL Jonathan T. Gilliam noted.
"The Taliban is wearing our gear, mocking Iwo Jima. Biden must resign or be impeached and removed. Dems can never hold power again," ex-NYPD officer John Cardillo wrote.
"This is on you @POTUS and @VP. #iwojima #ImpeachBidenNow," one user tweeted.
No Enemy has EVER done this to America, befouled Iwo Jima’s eternal sacrifice, whilst wearing our equipment.— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) August 21, 2021
He has betrayed all Americans, alive and dead. pic.twitter.com/3WlZpLuy6v
Taliban can murder as many people as they want. But if they keep trolling Biden like this they’re gonna get kicked off of social media. https://t.co/UY0ZvpUUcw— Jesse Kelly (@JesseKellyDC) August 21, 2021
The Taliban is wearing our gear, mocking Iwo Jima.— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) August 21, 2021
Biden must resign or be impeached and removed.
Dems can never hold power again. pic.twitter.com/E06UHjyGYs