By Andrew Trunsky and Ailan Evans
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Sunday called for the Biden administration to be investigated over its handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal after the Taliban retook the country in a matter of days.
McCarthy, a Republican from California, told Punchbowl News Sunday that President Joe Biden’s decision to fully withdraw before Sept. 11 was a “mistake that will haunt us for decades,” and that pulling out during the summer was wrong because that is “when [the Taliban is] at their height.”
He called for congressional probes into the administration and the intelligence community regarding what they knew in the weeks and months before Afghanistan’s government fell.
“How does the rest of the world look at us?” McCarthy added. “They like that the president doesn’t tweet, but they don’t think America is very tough.”
Biden announced that 1,000 additional troops would be temporarily deployed to Kabul, the Afghan capital, to assist with evacuating American personnel. Some were reportedly trapped in the city Sunday as the Taliban seized it and Ashraf Ghani, the country’s democratically-elected president, fled to Uzbekistan.
Biden defended his decision in a lengthy, sharply-worded statement Sunday.
“Over our country’s 20 years at war in Afghanistan, America has sent its finest young men and women, invested nearly $1 trillion dollars, trained over 300,000 Afghan soldiers and police, equipped them with state-of-the-art military equipment, and maintained their air force as part of the longest war in US history,” he said. “One more year, or five more years, of US military presence would not have made a difference if the Afghan military cannot or will not hold its own country. And an endless American presence in the middle of another country’s civil conflict was not acceptable to me.”
His administration has also tried to deflect blame to former President Donald Trump, who negotiated terms of withdrawal with the Taliban and originally called on Biden to withdraw faster. Trump, along with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, has joined the chorus of Republicans blasting Biden for the botched withdrawal.
People Are Clinging To American Planes Leaving The Kabul Airport
Video from Kabul’s international airport shows people clinging to departing American planes as thousands of desperate Afghans attempt to flee the city following the Taliban’s takeover.
The Taliban’s seizure of Kabul on Sunday prompted large crowds of people to head to Hamid Karzai International Airport in hopes of escaping the city with evacuating Americans as the U.S. completes its withdrawal from Afghanistan. The U.S. sent troops Sunday to secure the airport and facilitate the evacuation of American and allied personnel.
هرج و مرج در #کابل؛
لحظهی پرواز هواپیمای نظامی آمریکاییها از میدان هوایی کابل.#Afghanistan #Kabul #KabulHasFallen pic.twitter.com/3OF8S8Dmf2
— Mukhtar wafayee (@Mukhtarwafayee) August 16, 2021
U.S. forces repeatedly fired into the air and helicopters dropped smoke grenades in an effort to disperse the crowd, according to The Wall Street Journal. People were hanging on to boarding ramps and crowding around parked planes in an effort to escape the city.
صحنههای دردناک از میدان هوایی کابل. مردم از طالبان میترسند. مردم تلاش میکنند فرار کنند.#Afghanistan #AfghanistanBurning #KabulHasFallen pic.twitter.com/xNGAsf3dbe
— Mukhtar wafayee (@Mukhtarwafayee) August 16, 2021
Evacuation flights from the airport in Kabul were suspended Monday morning due to the crowds, Fox News reported.
At least five people have been killed during the chaos at the airport, Reuters reported, though their cause of death is unclear. One witness told Reuters a stampede occurred that may have caused injury or death.
The scene outside the Kabul airport gate this morning, where people were arriving by the thousands and things were rapidly spiraling out of control, as false rumors spread of flights out for anybody without visas. Several killed inside and outside already. pic.twitter.com/Rzdi2D9BTe
— Matthieu Aikins (@mattaikins) August 16, 2021
Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told the BBC that troops were under strict orders not to harm anyone, and that the militants desired a “peaceful transfer of power.”
Ashraf Ghani, president of Afghanistan, fled the country to Uzbekistan early Sunday, reportedly bringing with him four cars and a helicopter full of cash, a Russian embassy spokesman told Reuters.
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Vermont delegation stands by Biden’s decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan
Vermont’s three congressional delegates continued to support President Joe Biden’s withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan on Monday, Aug 15, 2020, despite a swift collapse of the government and takeover by the Taliban.
At the same time, Leahy, Sanders, and Welch expressed dismay at the unfolding crisis there, and urged the president to do everything possible to save millions of so-called allies, still trapped in the country, and fly them to the US as quickly as possible.
The Taliban’s predicted advance was capped SundayAug 15, 2020, when the American-backed government in Afghanistan collapsed and President Ashraf Ghani and the President of the Central Bank fled the country in a plane loaded with money provided by the Afghanistan Central Bank.
All this happening just a few months after Biden announced his decision to withdraw ALL troops, after 20 years of American presence in the country. He quickly returned about 6,000 of them to maintain order around some airports.
Droves of Afghani civilians flocked to the Kabul airport, some of them hanging on to the OUTSIDE of the plane (what were they thinking?), and hiding in the landing gear well of the US military cargo planes.
Some military transports took off with EIGHT HUNDRED Afghanis on board, a new world record, heading for America to ultimately create “AMERICA-STAN”.
All three members of Congress from Vermont backed Biden when he first announced in April, 2020, that he would be withdrawing troops and ending the American occupation of Afghanistan, including Welch calling the decision “long overdue” and Sanders calling it “brave and right.”
1000s risked their lives for freedom and to escape tyranny. We in America have freedom and by the 1000s roll over and let it be taken away. We only respect what we value and don’t understand the true loss until its gone.
All those billions upon billions of dollars of ‘precious gems and minerals’ now in the hands of CIA-trained ‘insurgents’…pay back is a b.
The results of Biden’s acts have been so predictable – and have been reliably predicted beforehand – that it is sheer idiocy to pretend those results were not orchestrated and intended. The befuddled old man is pulling a Vincent Gigante while he is successfully blasting the foundations out from under the once greatest United States of America. He is winning – and the Republicans have just been awestruck spectators glued to their seats – or even helping him wreak socioeconomic mayhem.
Holy $h!t could this be any more embarrassing for the US? Not sure what is more out of control, Afganistan, the Mexican Border, the Trillions of dollars being printed, or the White House itself. Who’s running this country? Biden literally has two meetings a day (look it up, if you can) and then goes to bed.
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