News & Politics

Devastated Female Afghan Reporter Weeps During Pentagon Briefing. John Kirby's Response Was Yet Another Slap in the Face.

(Twitter screenshot)

A female Afghan reporter broke down in the Pentagon briefing Monday afternoon, lamenting the U.S. withdrawal from her home country and explaining what the consequences would be for girls and women.

“As you know, I’m from Afghanistan,” Nazira Karimi began, “and I’m very upset today because Afghan women didn’t expect that overnight all the Taliban came.”

“They took off my flag,” she exclaimed, pointing to her face mask emblazoned with the flag of Afghanistan, “and they put their flag” in its place.

“Everybody is upset, especially women,” Karimi explained.

“Where is my president? Former President Ghani?” she asked. “People expected that he would [unintelligible] and immediately he run away. We don’t know where is he and we don’t have a president.”

She paraphrased President Biden’s explanation for the withdrawal from Afghanistan: “President Ghani knows that he has to fight for his people. They have to do everything and we were able to financially help them.”

“But we don’t have any president,” she cried. “We don’t have anything. Afghan people, they don’t know what to do. Women [have had a] lot of achievement in Afghanistan, and I have a lot of achievement.”

“I left from the Taliban like 20 years ago,” she continued. Now the women in her country must “go back to the first step again.”

Related: Biden’s Speech on Afghanistan Was Terrible, But This Part Made the Least Sense of All

“Heartfelt respect for what you’re going through,” replied Pentagon spokesman John Kirby. “Let me say, with all respect, that I understand, and we all understand the anxiety and the fear and the pain that you’re feeling.”

“Nobody here at the Pentagon is happy about the images that we’ve seen coming out in the last few days,” he added. “And we’re all mindful of the kind of governance that the Taliban is capable of. So, heartfelt respect for what you’re going through, and we understand that.”

It’s the official equivalent of a flippant “thoughts and prayers” remark. And that’s about all the women and girls of Afghanistan—who now face lives of uncertainty, oppression, fear, and enslavement—will get from the Biden administration.

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This article has been updated to include the name of the reporter.