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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has slammed President Joe Biden’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan as one of “the worst foreign policy decisions in American history.”
Speaking on Fox News’ “Fox News Sunday,” he went so far as to assert that the situation in Afghanistan is so dire that Saigon pales in comparison.
“Our heroic military is doing the best they can with a horrible policy decision. This is one of the worst foreign policy decisions in American history. Much worse than Saigon, because after we left Saigon, there weren’t Vietnamese terrorists who were planning on attacking us here at home,” he said.
“That we leave behind exactly what we went in to solve 20 years ago. … Just because we decided to quit fighting doesn’t mean the terrorists go away. So they’re still out there, they’re invigorated, they’re emboldened and excited about the success they see in bringing America to its knees in Afghanistan.”
His point was that the War in Afghanistan began as an effort to stop the Middle Eastern nation from being a terrorism breeding ground. And for the most part, the effort proved fruitful — up until decades of gains was reversed practically overnight.
“I think what’s been lost in all this is why we went there in the first place: We went there to prevent the Taliban from having a regime that would allow terrorists to reconstitute themselves and us here at home. It’s been a total success,” McConnell noted.
McConnell’s been unusually outspoken against Biden ever since the drama in Afghanistan began unfolding earlier this month.
His current contention is that, at the very least, the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan should and must be delayed until every American is evacuated.
“The latest reporting suggests Americans and vulnerable Afghans are still having trouble reaching the Kabul airport because of the Taliban. President Biden’s responsibility is simple: He should clearly and firmly state that the United States will stay for however long it takes and use whatever force is necessary to ensure we do not abandon our people or our friends,” he said in a statement last Tuesday.
“But today, again, the President failed to do this. He still pays more attention to arbitrary and artificial timetables than to reality. He continues to communicate to the world that, on his watch, the greatest superpower in world history will let terrorists and thugs push us around.”
The manner in which President Biden is cutting and running from Afghanistan is a colossal failure. He continues to communicate to the world that, on his watch, the greatest superpower in world history will let terrorists and thugs push us around. My full statement: pic.twitter.com/5G0WJNYTFJ
— Leader McConnell (@LeaderMcConnell) August 25, 2021
Over in the House meanwhile, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy issued his own statement Friday demanding Speaker Nancy Pelosi end the legislative body’s “recess” (or vacation?) so that they can vote on a bill that’d delay withdrawal until all Americans have been evacuated.
“I have urged Speaker Pelosi to call the House back into session prior to August 31st so that the Biden administration can brief elected Members of Congress on our country’s next course of action. I have also urged the House to immediately consider and pass Rep. Mike Gallagher’s legislation prohibiting the arbitrary August 31st withdrawal of our troops until every American is out of Afghanistan,” he said.
“Once all Americans are evacuated and our servicemembers are back on American soil, we must swiftly investigate how we got here and hold the Biden administration accountable for their errors. Transparency in this matter is of the utmost importance, and I will work with my colleagues in Congress until we have the answers that our servicemembers and military families and all Americans merit.”
President Biden failed to lay out a coherent plan for evacuating Americans who have been stranded by his disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan. We must not be bound by an arbitrary timeline.
RT to agree → The withdrawal isn’t done until every American is safely out.
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) August 20, 2021
As of Sunday, the withdrawal was still on for Aug. 31st, despite an untold number of Americans (and Afghan allies) still being trapped in the interior of Afghanistan.
Worse, reports had emerged that Americans who’d managed to reach the airport in Kabul were being turned away by the U.S. military.
‘Unforgivable’: Crenshaw, others say Biden turning away US citizens at Kabul airport https://t.co/9qehj43c8Y
— Deplorable BETSY (@EynoufElizabeth) August 29, 2021
Even G7 leaders tried to persuade the president to delay the withdrawal, but he refused to listen, triggering outrage from the United States’ allies abroad.
“In the end it took only seven minutes for Joe Biden to pour salt into the wounds of his fractured relationship with European leaders, telling them firmly on a video call that he would not extend the 31 August deadline for US troops to stay in Kabul, as he had been asked by the French, Italians and most of all the British,” The Guardian reported after he met with G7 leaders last week.
“For Europe the episode has been a rude awakening, and a moment of sober reassessment,” the outlet added.
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