Alabamians react to Taliban taking over Afghanistan

Alabama News
October 02 2021 06:00 pm

CLANTON, Ala. (WIAT) – The withdrawal of American troops in Afghanistan has led to chaos at Kabul’s airport. The Taliban took over Afghanistan’s government in recent days, and many in politics and former service members are reacting to the news.

Many in the Republican party, including several Alabama republicans, have voiced their distain on social media, blaming the Biden administration for all the chaos. A former marine from Alabama says the way the United States pulled out of the country could have major consequences.

“That’s how desperate these people are. They are going to die,” Iraqi War Veteran Johnathan McConnell said.

The crisis in Afghanistan has McConnell terrified for Afghan allies and their families.

“They’re going to lose their lives. As sad as that is, we don’t have the capacity of pulling out tens of thousands of people,” McConnell said.

Lawmakers on both sides in Alabama fear the same.

“Because they’re going to be targeted. And they’re going to be the ones with the worst time to get out,” Democratic Rep. Neil Rafferty said.

“It’s heartbreaking. I mean, this is an unspeakable human tragedy and we’re responsible for it,” Congressman Gary Palmer said.

McConnell says some of the Afghanistan War veterans he’s spoken to are discouraged about the situation and believe all they fought for is essentially lost.

“That all of those lives that were lost, all of those who were wounded, it was lost in vein,” McConnell said.

“So, I’m very concerned about women and girls with of their reading and healthcare and other kind of amenities and basic services that were able to be provided. And I’m afraid of those being ripped away under the Taliban,” Rafferty said.

Congressman Palmer didn’t believe pulling troops out of the country was the right move and he fears this could hurt the United States going forward.

“I think we’re in one of the worst positions we’ve been in years in terms of our posture among foreign nations, particularly with our enemies,” Palmer said.

McConnel says if the Biden administration had pulled out in a different way, then lives would have been saved.

“It saves lives and it doesn’t put our allies in danger,” McConnell said.

President Biden defended his decision Monday afternoon. Here is a full statement.

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