Democrat Seth Moulton, just back from Afghanistan, shared unflattering comments on his interpretation of how the ongoing evacuation is organized, speaking to New York Magazine.
“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**king disaster,” said Moulton. “It will be measured in bodies, because a lot of people are dying because they can’t get out.”
Moulton suggested that “refugees are going to start dying today if we don’t get them to 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,” Moulton said. “These are all things that the administration has failed to do, and I know that because the people on the ground are telling me.”
Since returning from his unauthorized trip to the embattled Kabul airport in Afghanistan alongside Republican counterpart Meijer, Moulton has been on a Twitter tirade about the situation, although his endeavor has sparked strident criticism among many, including US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. In wake of their clandestine trip, Pelosi penned a letter to Congress to “reiterate that the Departments of Defense and State have requested that Members not travel to Afghanistan and the region during this time of danger.”
Moulton responded to the backlash, by stating that he does not “care about [what] people say in Washington”.
Musing on why the evacuation did not begin earlier, Moulton noted that he does not know the reasons, but remarked that he would “absolutely” like to investigate the move through the use of a congressional commission. Describing the chaos and violence at the Hamiz Karzai airport in Kabul amid the ongoing evacuation, the Democrat said that “the administration has created a disaster of epic proportions.”
Moulton and Meijer traveled to Afghanistan on 25 August, saying that they carried out their trip in secret because they wanted to reduce the risk for the mission, and claimed that they had occupied aircraft seats designated for crew so they would not take seats from those being evacuated. Meijer described the situation in Afghanistan as “bizarre” and “shameful” while characterizing the withdrawal as “catastrophic”.
The US president is struggling to comply with the 31 August deadline for all foreign troops to be withdrawn from Afghanistan. In the wake of several Thursday bombings in Kabul that killed 13 US military personnel and dozens of Afghan civilians, Biden vowed to “hunt down” those responsible for the attack.