Tuesday 17 August 2021

‘Completely Avoidable’: Andrea Mitchell GRILLS State Dept. Spox Over ‘Chaotic’ Scenes in Afghanistan

 NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell grilled State Department spokesperson Ned Price on Monday over the footage circulating on social media of Afghans hanging onto U.S. military planes as they depart from the airport in Kabul amid the Taliban taking over the Afghan capital.

Mitchell’s question also included the plight of Afghan girls, who’ll now be subject again to repressive Taliban rule, and about the part of President Joe Biden’s speech at the White House on Monday where he said that the United States can accomplish its mission of preventing Afghanistan from becoming a haven for another 9/11 without a U.S. military presence there.

“There are Democrats as well as Republicans on the Hill, including veterans of the Afghan War and Iraq Wars, saying that there should’ve been arrangements made months ago. That before the withdrawal, the withdrawal was signaled by the date in April,” said Mitchell, referring to the month Biden announced the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan following almost 20 years of war after 9/11.

“That for months we should’ve been moving people out. We should’ve been moving on the evacuation,” she said. “Not only of the special visas but of other people as well and that this chaotic vision of people, thousands of people, at the airport climbing onto C-17s as they are rolling down the tarmac was completely avoidable given the withdrawal.”

Price replied that “the images we’ve all seen emanating from” the Kabul airport are “searing” and “painful,” “difficult to see” and “difficult to watch.” He said that he says that “on a couple different levels.”

“One, the most basic level, we are all human,” he said. “We share a common humanity with these Afghans whose desperation, whose fear, whose concern is they wear it on their faces. And so on that level, it is deeply moving to all of us.”

“There’s another level, though, that I think is especially relevant,” continued Price, who went on to talk about State Department employees “who have dedicated years and years of their lives to effecting a better life for the people of Afghanistan, including the women and girls.” Price touted the Foreign Service officers who’ve served in Kabul and in Washington to support the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. He also mentioned people like himself who were inspired to serve in the aftermath of 9/11.

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