Images emerging from the country show a frightened people trying to flee.
As the Taliban assumes control of Afghanistan, some Mississippi leaders are commenting on the situation as it devolves following the Biden Administration’s rapid drawdown of U.S. troops in the region.
Here’s what they are saying:
Senator Roger Wicker
“What we are seeing unfold in Afghanistan amounts to the most shameful and cowardly betrayal of friends by an American president in my memory. President Biden’s ill-advised and clumsy withdrawal has done irreparable damage to our international standing and therefore to our American security. This self-inflicted humiliation is a disaster for Afghan families and will have long-term ramifications for American leadership in the world.
“My staff and I are making every effort to provide assistance to people who are attempting to evacuate or who are seeking information about friends and coworkers who are in danger.”
Congressman Michael Guest
“What has happened in Afghanistan is a complete failure that rest solely on the shoulders of the Biden/Harris Administration. The United States must not recognize any government that is led by the Taliban.
“Please continue to pray for our friends and allies in Afghanistan.”
Congressman Steven Palazzo
“President Biden’s decision to remove troops from Afghanistan is reminiscent of what President Obama considered to be the ‘worst mistake’ of his presidency. Like the Obama administration’s costly lack of foresight in Libya, President Biden has failed to plan for the repercussions of his hasty decision.
“In February of 2020, The United States and the Taliban agreed to a ceasefire while U.S. forces evacuated the country. The agreement promised the removal of American troops only if the Taliban abided by stringent conditions for peace. The extremists broke this agreement and overnight began to retake major Afghan cities. President Biden took the word of a violent insurgency that is responsible for brutally taking thousands of American and allied lives, and unfortunately, his decision will only cost more lives.
“The Taliban has directly violated the spirit of our ceasefire by targeting and attacking innocent civilians. Pulling the American presence from the region now leaves the Afghan people at the mercy of the group who has proven to be an enemy of democracy.
“This is looking like Vietnam’s Fall of Saigon. Just like the Viet-Kong, the Taliban are waiting for the United States to leave before wreaking havoc on those who cooperated with the United States and our allies.
“Thousands of American service members’ lives were lost fighting in Afghanistan. President Biden’s order is a disservice to those who have served in the name of democracy and freedom, by allowing the Taliban to unravel the progress toward long-term stability made possible by American troops. My heart aches for the families who will watch as their loved one’s ultimate sacrifice is made futile by a single political move.
“President Biden’s decision to withdraw troops is not only premature and dangerous, but entirely politically motivated. Make no mistake, because of the current administration’s insistence on decision making based on a liberal political agenda rather than the preservation of life and democracy, the Taliban will wreak terror.”
Congressman Trent Kelly
“The failures in withdrawal from Afghanistan and at the southern border have highlighted the vacuum in leadership in the White House. Silence during crisis is the opposite of leadership. It’s time to address the American public on both of these epic problems. Leadership requires action, not silence.”
Images from the region are coming in from various news sources. Below are some of the most compelling and concerning:
Chaotic scenes as Afghans attempt to cling to US Air Force plane departing from Kabul
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) August 16, 2021
— CNN International (@cnni) August 16, 2021
Peace prevailed across Afghanistan, Taliban officials said, as the militants declared the war over a day after seizing the capital, while Western nations scrambled to evacuate their citizens https://t.co/cuywQheIPJ pic.twitter.com/BJkiDXtFak
— Reuters (@Reuters) August 16, 2021
All of this occurred over the weekend as President Joe Biden was vacationing at Camp David. The White House released this photo showing the President on a video conference with various agencies and Vice President Kamala Harris.
This morning, the President and Vice President met with their national security team and senior officials to hear updates on the draw down of our civilian personnel in Afghanistan, evacuations of SIV applicants and other Afghan allies, and the ongoing security situation in Kabul. pic.twitter.com/U7IpK3Hyj8
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 15, 2021
This article was update at 1:50pm on August 16, 2021 to add the comments from Congressmen Palazzo and Kelly.