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As the Afghanistan disaster continues to degrade, the Biden administration seems unprepared or unwilling to do what it takes to get Americans and American allies stuck behind Taliban lines.
But GOP Sen. Ben Sasse (Neb.) sent a clear, concise message to the White House on Thursday: Stop messing around and go get our people.
President Joe Biden has equivocated on whether or not the U.S. government would prioritize getting some 10,000 or more American citizens out of the country — not to mention tens of thousands of Afghan allies who supported U.S. efforts in the south Asian country over the last two decades to keep the Taliban at bay.
Even Democrats were quick to go after the president for his failure to focus on getting people out.
One anonymous Democratic U.S. lawmaker told The Hill, “The scenes are just brutal and there is no excuse for just how badly State or the Defense Department or both completely bungled the evacuations and getting folks out. Someone was really asleep at the switch.”
Democratic Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (Texas) said on Twitter, “There’s no way to hide it. The situation in Afghanistan is another shame on this admin. Withdrawal was never going to be easy but it didn’t need to come to this. The US must do everything in its power to help our partners & allies to safety & protect our national security.”
And Democratic committee chairmen in both houses of Congress vowed to launch investigations into the administration’s failure to get people out Afghanistan.
After watching the Biden State Department and Pentagon send mixed messages Wednesday about the administration’s determination to get America’s people and allies out of the Taliban’s crosshairs and seeing the president bungle multiple responses to friendly ABC reporter George Stephanopoulos, Republican Sen. Sasse had had it.
On Thursday, the senator posted a stark statement to President Biden: Stop messing around, lying to the public, shifting blame, and making “delusional happy talk.”
“Mr. President, wake up and lead,” Sasse began. “Your denial that Afghanistan will be back under Taliban rule on the upcoming 20th anniversary of 9/11 is bizarre. You’re still engaging in evasion, denial of reality, blame-shifting, false dichotomies, and delusional happy talk.”
‘Take responsibility and lead’
Sasse then begged Biden to stop ripping the United States’ Afghan allies — a subject that was a major discussion point in the U.K. Parliament on Wednesday, with at least one MP calling the president’s remarks “shameful.”
“You seem unable or unwilling to condemn the Taliban for just about anything, but very eager to criticize Afghans who fought with us against a common enemy,” Sasse wrote. “Take responsibility and lead.”
Most of all, the lawmaker urged the president to stop relying on the good will of the Taliban and get Americans and our allies out of Afghanistan, because what we have now is a “hostage situation.”
“Dishonor is a choice,” Sasse wrote to the president. “Naively hoping the Taliban gives Americans and our allies safe passage to Kabul’s airport is not a plan — it’s a hostage situation. We have better options. Give American troops the power to push back the airport perimeter and create safe, American-controlled corridors to the airport. We cannot wait for Americans to find their own way. Go get them. It’s the duty of the commander-in-chief.”