Reps. Seth Moulton and Peter Meijer, Democrat and Republican respectively, are both U.S. military veterans.
The two took it upon themselves to make a secret trip to Kabul to find out what’s really going on at the besieged airport. Before we get to what they saw and learned on the ground there, consider what their trip truly means.
The Biden White House has bungled communications since Afghanistan began to collapse a fortnight ago. Actually, “bungled” isn’t strong enough a term. At first Biden, Jen Psaki et al. simply let all of the alarming emails and messages they were getting as Afghanistan fell go to autoresponse. They didn’t pick up the phone. They failed to communicate, then lied, gaslit, condescended, played word games, lied some more, and are always trying to spin while also always failing to lead. It’s quite a spectacle.
With each passing day, as the Biden White House puts optics ahead of operations, trust erodes among the American people and thinking members of Congress. Two of those, Moulton (D) and Meijer (R), decided that they’d had enough spin and that it was time to see Kabul for themselves.
That’s how little trust there is between some members of Congress and the Biden White House now. None. They would rather put themselves into harm’s way in the most dangerous city on earth than listen to another Psaki bomb.
What they found, by listening to commanders on the ground and observing the situation for themselves, is that there is no way Biden’s arbitrary evacuation deadline of August 31 will be met. None.
Today with @RepMeijer I visited Kabul airport to conduct oversight on the evacuation.
Witnessing our young Marines and soldiers at the gates, navigating a confluence of humanity as raw and visceral as the world has ever seen, was indescribable. pic.twitter.com/bWGQh1iw2c
— Seth Moulton (@sethmoulton) August 25, 2021
A few tweets into that thread, Moulton says:
We came into this visit wanting, like most veterans, to push the president to extend the August 31st deadline. After talking with commanders on the ground and seeing the situation here, it is obvious that because we started the evacuation so late, that no matter what we do, we won’t get everyone out on time, even by September 11. Sadly and frustratingly, getting our people out depends on maintaining the current, bizarre relationship with the Taliban.
Pelosi and others are castigating the two, and the trip does raise safety and operational questions, but what they found is far more important than that.
The troops are already leaving. That is, the troops Biden was forced to deploy to Afghanistan to cover for the disaster his withdrawal caused are already leaving and are expected to be entirely out by August 31. Despite Biden, Psaki, Blinken, and Kirby trying to paint a rosy picture, the Taliban not only have the initiative now, they will also have the initiative on deadline day and on the 20th anniversary of 9-11. Some Americans will be stranded along with many more Afghans who trusted America.
The likelihood that the Taliban will be holding Americans hostage on that anniversary is much higher than the Biden White House is letting on. Much higher. What’s to stop them? Biden’s non-existent “over-the-horizon” anti-terrorism capability? The Taliban knows that’s laughable. In his desperation to avoid a Black Hawk Down, Biden is on the precipice of ending entirely the U.S. global effort against terrorism. That doesn’t mean the Taliban, ISIS-K, al Qaeda or any other group are going to respect Biden’s unilateral ending of the U.S. side of the war. They won’t.
Biden puts optics ahead of all else. Imagine the optics of the Taliban being in control of Afghanistan on the 20th anniversary of 9-11, which is definitely going to happen, parading with the American weapons they captured, which will definitely happen, and also holding Americans and some Afghan or NATO allied personnel hostage.