Americans were horrified Thursday to see a deadly terrorist attack on the airport in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul, where tens of thousands are attempting to flee Taliban rule as the U.S. continues its withdrawal of all military forces from the country.
In response, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) released a statement paying tribute to the lives lost and touting the fact that some 100,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan by the U.S. in recent weeks — but it’s what she didn’t say that has many up in arms.
In addition to failing to mention how many Americans were included in the number of confirmed evacuees, Pelosi also didn’t mention how many U.S. service members were killed in the attack: more than a dozen, including 11 Marines and one U.S. Navy corpsman, according to NPR.
Nearly 20 other U.S. military members were injured in the attack, and over 160 Afghans were said to have been killed.
Pelosi makes a statement
In her Thursday statement, Pelosi said the U.S. “House of Representatives strongly condemns the heinous terrorist attack outside Kabul airport.”
“We mourn the loss of every innocent life taken, and we join every American in heartbreak over the deaths of the servicemembers killed,” she added before quickly switching to a more positive note.
The longtime California Democrat boasted that “over 100,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan” since the end of last month “with the assistance of the U.S. military and allied forces.”
Interestingly, the House speaker didn’t mention who exactly was included among that number. A Fox News correspondent cited a Pentagon source as saying that as of Wednesday morning, less than 5,000 of the evacuees were actually U.S. citizens. Roughly 1,000 Americans are said to still be stranded in the Central Asian nation, according to Fox.
“This is unacceptable”
Pelosi also pledged in her statement to “pray for the lives lost, the many injured and their families” while expressing gratitude “to our military, diplomatic and intelligence communities for their courage and patriotism.”
Her remarks are likely falling flat, however, as Americans continue to grapple with news reports suggesting peril in Kabul. Notably, Pelosi made no mention of calling Congress back into session to respond to the crisis legislatively, something that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has been demanding.
Specifically, McCarthy is calling for a bill that would extend the Biden administration’s withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan past the current deadline of Aug. 31. The Republican insists that the troops should not leave until all Americans in the country are accounted for.
“Nancy Pelosi needs to bring us back into session, bring up this bill, move this deadline and make sure every single American is able to leave Afghanistan,” McCarthy told Fox & Friends on Friday. “We’re less than three weeks from the anniversary of 9/11 and this administration has put America in this position,” he added, according to Fox. “This is unacceptable.”