Sen. Cotton: Thousands of Americans trapped by Taliban due to Biden's 'chaotic, ill-planned evacuation'
Sen. Tom Cotton calls Biden’s Afghanistan exit ‘chaotic and disorganized’
Senator Tom Cotton, R-AR, discusses the Afghanistan collapse on ‘The Story.’
Arkansas Republican Sen. Tom Cotton condemned President Biden and his administration’s unfolding disaster in Afghanistan, telling Fox News on Wednesday the president alone overruled his military advisers and set in motion the withdrawal plan that collapsed into chaos over the past several days.
Cotton, a retired Army Captain, and Bronze Star recipient, told “The Story” that Biden shortsightedly chose September 11 as a “politically symbolic” end-date, which now, in contrast, will likely serve as a propaganda victory for the Taliban, as they may likely highlight their flag flying over the U.S. embassy in Kabul by that tragic anniversary.
“Now we’re trying to rescue thousands of American citizens behind enemy lines. It’s important to get out the Afghans that have helped out and vetted so as not to be a security threat — but there’s thousands of American citizens in Afghanistan. I’m glad to hear someone from the administration finally say that that is the first priority,” he said.
Cotton said Biden now risks further catastrophe with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III informing reporters that the military is focused on Hamid Karzai International Airport, while the State Department has no clear way to evacuate thousands of other American citizens either stuck in Kabul behind Taliban-manned checkpoints, or out in the Afghan countryside miles away from the capital city.
“The State Department put out an advisory saying they cannot guarantee the security of Americans getting to the airport. They’re essentially saying that our citizens are on their own trying to get to the airport we have secured,” Cotton said.
The lawmaker said he has heard from people on the ground that French and British officials appear to be expending more resources toward evacuating their citizens from areas the Americans have not.
Should the United States have to leave untold numbers of Americans at the mercy of the Taliban, the human tragedy will likely eclipse that of President James E. Carter’s infamous Iran hostage crisis in 1979.
“There’s a lot of talk about whether this is like Saigon in 1975. If we don’t get the Americans out, it could be like Tehran in 1979 where a mere 52 hostages held by the ayatollahs paralyzed America for more than a year,” he said. “Imagine if there were hundreds or thousands of effective American hostages that are trapped in Afghanistan because of Joe Biden’s chaotic disorganized ill-planned evacuation from that country.”
Biden stands with the most blame for the catastrophe, Cotton later reiterated, saying that the proverbial “chickens” of his failed foreign policy prescriptions over decades in the Senate representing Delaware have “come home to roost” in his “disastrous foreign policy judgment now that he’s in charge, after 50 years of not being in charge.”
Cotton added that Secretary of State Antony Blinken has been noticeably absent as of late, instead leaving much of his public relations to his spokesman, Edward “Ned” Price.
“It’s time to hear from the secretary of state. He shouldn’t be hiding behind his deputy or a spokesman. It’s the case that the military has gone into a very chaotic circumstance. They have secured the airfield but only the airfield. They have not gotten any Americans out from behind enemy lines,” he said, adding that Blinken had the responsibility to advise and evacuate Americans that could be and now are left trapped in the war-torn country.
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