On Tuesday, Maine Democrat Congressman Jared Golden, a former U.S. Marine who flew missions in Afghanistan and represents the largest congressional district east of the Mississippi River, commented on the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul by the Taliban, saying, “It’s a building. It’s a building.”
WSKW’s Mike Violette asked Golden, “The thought that the American embassy there is going to be occupied by the Taliban on 9/11, 2021, the twentieth anniversary; what emotions go through your mind when you hear that?”
“It’s a building. It’s a building,” Golden answered. “Let’s point out, by the way, that we still got about 6,000 troops on the ground at Kabul International Airport, and hoping every one of them comes home safe. But their mission is important; we gotta stay there ’til we get all American personnel out safely. That’s their job, and I now that they’re proud to be doing it right now, at the same time, trying to get as many of our Afghan partners out as possible.
“So I think we gotta stick together as a country and be pulling for them and making sure that they’ve got everything they need and know that we’re behind them as they carry out that important mission but I don’t feel strong emotions about the embassy,” he continued. “Like I said, 9/11 for me, it’s about getting justice for the people and the families that were killed. It’s about holding people accountable, and we’ve done that; we got Bin Laden. We killed most of his leadership team or put them in Gitmo. “
Golden, who served a roughly ten-month deployment Afghanistan, stated, “The country has to remember. I’m listening to all these elitists and pundits, people in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and everyone right now talking about how this was some kind of failure. Wait a minute: the mission was Bin Laden and al-Qaeda. Our troops have won every battle that they were asked to fight and win over there. And the mission largely accomplished if you look at it through the lens of holding the people responsible for 9/11 accountable. Perhaps we should have asked ourselves if we should have stayed any longer than the day we killed Osama Bin Laden — we can talk about that— but there’s bipartisan blame to go around in regards to the mission creep that took place as we started talking about nation-building in Afghanistan.”
Golden noted he had pushed for an evacuation of American personnel and their Afghan partners months ago, adding, “Largely, the Afghan National Army threw down their arms.”
He said, “At the end of the day, no good way to do his. Whether it happens now or next year, my prediction was: we likely see the return of the Taliban or some kind of coalition which they are a part of, that it would likely happen through a military takeover.”
He said of President Biden, “I see leadership in that he has continually said I’m not going to pass this decision on to a fifth president. He stuck largely to an agreement that President Trump made … I see leadership there but I think he failed to plan for this in the right way; we should have started this evacuation months and months ago.”
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