HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — In the Middle East Sunday, Afghanistan’s embattled president has left the country, joining thousands of his fellow citizens and foreigners in a stampede fleeing the Taliban. Here in Connecticut, lawmakers are speaking out.
The Taliban has reportedly fanned out across the capital. A group of fighters is now controlling the country after entering the Presidential Palace in Kabul.
The U.S. is also working to evacuate personnel from the U.S. Embassy. Afghans are fearing the Taliban could reimpose the kind of brutal rule that all but eliminated women’s rights
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Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, who is a U.S. Navy veteran who fought in Afghanistan tweeted Sunday following the news out of the Middle East, “Thinking and feeling lots of thinks about Afghanistan right now. Lots to debate for years. What matters most at this moment is that we get our friends and allies out – as many as we can, as fast as we can. Taliban promises of amnesty are worthless. We need to rescue everyone we can.”
Monday, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, who has been supportive of President Joe Biden’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan, said, “Our central mission in Afghanistan – to decimate al Qaeda – was completed long ago. We must maintain counter-terrorism capabilities to make sure al Qaeda in Afghanistan never again presents a threat to the United States…But our 20-year, trillion-plus dollar nation-building campaign, crippled by design flaw, cannot continue.”
U.S. Congressman John Larson (CT-01) released a statement on Afghanistan, as well, supporting the president’s decision.
It reads: “This is a devastating situation, of which there is no good option. I support President Biden’s decision because endless war is not a solution for Afghanistan or our troops. My heart goes out to the Afghan people as tragedy unfolds in their nation. Now is the time to focus on safely evacuating American citizens, allies, and dedicated Afghan translators. We must work to ensure that everyone is protected, and we have a special obligation to help those who served side-by-side with our diplomats and military so they can find safety in the U.S. I was proud to support the ALLIES Act to increase and streamline the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa program. I’m grateful for our brave members of the military who have served in Afghanistan over the last 20 years. They fulfilled the mission of going after the perpetrators of 9/11, including Osama Bin Laden. Our service members and their families have sacrificed dearly. We should continue our intelligence efforts to ensure Afghanistan does not become a haven for terrorism again.”
House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03) also issued a statement on the escalating crisis in Afghanistan.
It reads, in part, “President Biden’s…I commend his efforts and leadership in understanding that the United States military occupation could not create a sustainable government nor lasting peace. The situation unfolding in Afghanistan is a humanitarian crisis. Our immediate priority must be to safely evacuate all American service members and citizens, Afghans who supported the American mission, journalists, and the vulnerable populations that will be targeted by the Taliban. This must be a whole-of-government approach to quickly process visas and assist our Afghan partners in safely resuming humanitarian efforts on the ground. Doing so can help to ensure the progress U.S. forces have made with our allies over these years is not erased overnight.”
Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05) released the following statement on Afghanistan:
“I have been following the developing news, been briefed as a Member of Congress, and listened to the president address the nation on the situation in Afghanistan. I remain supportive of efforts to facilitate the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country and recognize the need to prioritize the safety of all U.S. service members, personnel, and citizens. However, I am shaken to my core by the images of the Afghan people and deeply concerned about the welfare of Afghan women, journalists, and human rights advocates. What has transpired over the past few days is a cause for global concern. We must ensure the Afghans who have supported our American missions are able to get the help they need.”