Two military combat veterans now serving in Congress, Republican Rep. Peter Meijer (MI) and Democrat Rep. Seth Moulton (MA), quietly traveled to Kabul this week to see for themselves the ongoing evacuation effort following President Joe Biden’s botched withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.
Upon their return, both have been highly critical of the Biden White House’s handling of the situation, with Moulton even going so far as to call it a “total f*****g disaster,” The Daily Wire reported.
The progressive Democrat, who served multiple tours in Iraq as a U.S. Marine, is now urging the Biden administration to extend its self-imposed Aug. 31 deadline to fully withdraw from Afghanistan, lest more innocent lives are lost at the hands of the Taliban and other terror groups.
“People on the ground”
Moulton’s comments came in a recent interview with New York Magazine‘s Intelligencer. There, the congressman spoke of his experiences in Kabul.
“The thing that everybody needs to understand, even if you completely agree with the Biden administration’s decision to withdraw, the way they have handled this has been a total f*****g disaster,” Moulton told the magazine, according to The Daily Wire.
“It will be measured in bodies, because a lot of people are dying because they can’t get out,” he added. “Refugees are going to start dying today if we don’t get them help in places like Qatar. Thousands will get slaughtered by the Taliban if we don’t somehow devise a plan to get them out before we leave.”
In Moulton’s eyes, those at the top are to blame. “These are all things that the [Biden] administration has failed to do,” he said, “and I know that because the people on the ground are telling me.”
“None of us wanted” this
The congressman also told the Intelligencer of the emotional and physical toll the situation is taking on American military members who are participating in the frantic evacuation operation in Kabul. He recounted one official telling him, “I know this had to end someday, but none of us wanted it to end like this.”
“We understood as one only can from being on the ground in Kabul that we were never going to finish this in time, even if we extended to September 11th,” Moulton remarked of Biden’s Aug. 31 deadline. “As crazy as this sounds, we need a positive relationship with the Taliban to have any hope of getting out the thousands of people we’ll leave behind down the road,” he said.
Moulton conceded that he dislikes “criticizing Biden,” but lamented, “If telling the truth is what’s required to save a few lives, then it’s worth all the bad politics in the world.”
“It’s no surprise”
Rep. Meijer, who also served a combat tour in Iraq, gave a similar account to Fox 17 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “Both Congressman Moulton and I wanted to make it bipartisan, so this would not be a partisan endeavor… We both served with the military in Iraq and we both also spent time in Afghanistan as civilians. So we were uniquely well-positioned to be able to report back on what was going on,” the Republican said of his trip.
“I think it’s no surprise that a Congress that has washed its hands of its war powers for two decades, does not want to be dragged back into having to make those difficult decisions,” Meijer added in his interview with Fox 17. “And you have an administration that has botched this withdrawal egregiously, and is trying to avoid that accountability.”