KIMT-TV 3 – Some of Iowa’s political figures are responding to the situation in Afghanistan and President Biden’s public comments on it.
Republican U.S. Senator Joni Ernst issued the following statement:
“After days of avoiding the press and the American people, President Biden’s bad faith spin of his catastrophic exit and gross mishandling of the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan is insulting. The Taliban takeover in Afghanistan is shameful, a sincere tragedy, and a complete leadership failure by this president—and it was all entirely avoidable,” said Senator Joni Ernst. “This mishandled and haphazard withdrawal executed by this president caused so much of the collapse and panic we are witnessing now and is an international embarrassment and a black-eye for our country that will put more Americans and allies in harms’ way while emboldening our adversaries. The President failed to give any specifics on how he plans to get our Afghan friends to safety or to expedite the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program—something I’ve long pushed for on a bipartisan basis.”
“To so many—to my fellow servicemembers and the men and women who served in Afghanistan—it feels like our nation has squandered their tremendous sacrifices. But I want them to hear the words this president has too often failed to say: thank you—we are forever grateful for your sacrifice and that of your families.”
“As we move through these tumultuous days, the United States, this administration, must be clear-eyed and straightforward with the American people about what could result from this rushed and mishandled exit: a reinvigorated Taliban in Afghanistan could lead to increased threats of terrorist attacks and endanger our national security.”
Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Glenn Hurst of Minden called on the Iowa government to assist in the humanitarian crisis afflicting many Afghan citizens:
“Today, we need to lead with compassion and love. Iowa has the capacity to accept our Afghan allies and provide them with the opportunity to start over," said Hurst. "This is a humanitarian crisis. Currently, Iowa has resettled 94 Iraqi and Afghan SIV recipients since Fiscal Year 2017 – that number needs to go way up.”
“I am calling on Governor Reynolds in conjunction with the federal government to accept 5,000 Afghan refugees who have aided Americans over the past 20 years.”
"These people protected and supported our family members as they fought abroad. They are our allies, and we have a moral obligation to help them. Iowa has a long history of welcoming refugees, and it's time to do it again."
"Iowa has the means to take these people in and provide them with opportunity and safe haven. The Iowa Department of Human Services, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement has the resources to assist refugees to escape persecution and resettle in the United States.”
Republican Congresswoman Ashley Hinson also released the following statement:
"First and foremost, the brave men and women of the US armed forces who have served in Afghanistan deserve our thanks - they are heroes whose sacrifice and service will never be forgotten.”
"In his speech, President Biden did not provide clarity or reassurance to Americans or our allies. The President blamed Afghans instead of taking responsibility for his decisions. A sad chapter in American foreign policy has been capped off by a sad response from our Commander in Chief.”
"It is now clear that the President has no real plan of action to right this wrong, protect American and Afghan lives, and safeguard our homeland from a resurging terrorist threat ahead of the 20 year anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.”
"We have watched this tragedy unfold on our TVs and newsfeeds the last few days, with no word from our Commander in the Chief. It is evident that the void in leadership at the White House is having catastrophic consequences and will for decades to come. Congress must step forward and demand answers and transparency about the decisions that led to this unfolding catastrophe in Afghanistan. “
"We cannot forget the women and young girls in Afghanistan whose lives will now never be the same -- the Biden administration has abandoned them in this crisis. They need our help and our prayers."