House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) praised Democrat President Joe Biden over the situation in Afghanistan in a statement issued on Saturday evening, saying that Biden “is to be commended” for “the actions he has taken.”
Pelosi’s statement comes as the Taliban has rapidly seized control of Afghanistan following a disastrous pullout by the Biden administration. The Taliban now controls the majority of the country, has seized a significant amount of U.S. military hardware and weapons, and is reportedly carrying out atrocities and human rights abuses.
Pelosi focused on gender in her statement on the situation in Afghanistan, writing:
The Taliban must know that the world is watching its actions. We are deeply concerned about reports regarding the Taliban’s brutal treatment of all Afghans, especially women and girls. The U.S., the international community and the Afghan government must do everything we can to protect women and girls from inhumane treatment by the Taliban.
Any political settlement that the Afghans pursue to avert bloodshed must include having women at the table. The fate of women and girls in Afghanistan is critical to the future of Afghanistan. As we strive to assist women, we must recognize that their voices are important, and all must listen to them for solutions, respectful of their culture. There is bipartisan support to assist the women and girls of Afghanistan. One of the successes of U.S.- NATO cooperation in Afghanistan was the progress made by women and girls. We must all continue to work together to ensure that is not eroded.
Pelosi again doubled down on praising Biden for “the clarity of purpose” of his “statement and the wisdom of his actions.”
Biden’s statement blamed former President Donald Trump for the decisions that his own administration made.
Experts quickly pushed back on Biden’s attempts to deflect blame:
- Rebeccah Heinrichs, senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, blasted Biden’s statement: “He begins by listing what his administration is scrambling to do to avoid American and partner deaths, and to have the ability to conduct counterterrorism operations. And this horrible scramble with high stakes is all because of Biden’s order to withdrawal immediately. There is plenty of blame to go around for the failures in Afghanistan, but what happens as a result of the way the withdrawal happened will be Biden’s alone. He can’t pass this off on Trump. He owns all of this. Also, I don’t care if he reads a script word for word, he needs to address the nation. There are a lot of military families who deserve it and so much more.”
- Andrea Stricker, research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD): “The disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan fits a pattern of this administration deciding on a course of foreign action without consideration for the ramifications. Biden wanted out regardless of the cost to the Afghan people, regional security, and years of effort and dedication by many brave Americans and allies. This poorly planned exit will go down in history as a major U.S. strategic failure.”
- Jamil N. Jaffer — who serves as Founder and Executive Director of the National Security Institute and as an Assistant Professor of Law and Director of the National Security Law & Policy Program at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University: “Pathetic for the President to lay the situation he created by his own choices at the feet of his predecessor. Having inherited whatever he inherited, it was his job to do what the nation required, and the President ought admit he made the wrong choice. Be better @JoeBiden.”