Reps. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., and Peter Meijer R-Mich., are Iraq war veterans and patriots who traveled to the airport in Kabul secretly Tuesday to assess the situation for themselves.
They found, first of all, that we won’t get all Americans and our Afghan allies out by the original deadline of Sept. 11, let alone the current one of Aug. 31. And they said “Washington” should be “ashamed” of the situation in which it has mired our service members who are at the airport.
But they are being polite. By Washington, they sure mean the Biden administration and the president himself, who are the only ones responsible for this catastrophe.
Biden’s assessment Tuesday was that we were “on pace” to be done by Aug. 31.
From a joint statement by the two lawmakers:
Like many veterans, we have spent the last few weeks working without sleep to try to get as many people as we could through the gates and to safety . . .
Washington should be ashamed of the position we put our service members in, but they represent the best in America. These men and women have been run ragged and are still running strong. Their empathy and dedication to duty are truly inspiring. The acts of heroism and selflessness we witnessed at HKIA make America proud.
We came into this visit wanting, like most veterans, to push the president to extend the August 31st deadline. After talking with commanders on the ground and seeing the situation here, it is obvious that because we started the evacuation so late, that no matter what we do, we won’t get everyone out on time, even by September 11. Sadly and frustratingly, getting our people out depends on maintaining the current, bizarre relationship with the Taliban.
We conducted this visit in secret, speaking about it only after our departure, to minimize the risk and disruption to the people on the ground, and because we were there to gather information, not to grandstand. We left on a plane with empty seats, seated in crew-only seats to ensure that nobody who needed a seat would lose one because of our presence.