Republican members of Congress slammed President Joe Biden after an explosion attack at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul killed 11 and one Navy medic US Marines and killed multiple civilians.
Texas Rep Tony Gonzales, a Navy veteran, called for resignations from the Biden administration.
“My biggest fear is these attacks today are just the beginning of what we will continue to see as the Administration fails to get Americans and our Afghan allies out and to safety,” the freshman rep tweeted. “We don’t need statements from the Administration right now - we need immediate resignations.
Sen Josh Hawley of Missouri went one step further and said Mr Biden must resign.
“Joe Biden has now overseen the deadliest day for US troops in Afghanistan in over a decade, and the crisis grows worse by the hour,” he said. “We must reject the falsehood peddled by a feckless president that this was the only option for withdrawal.”
Rep Jim Banks of Indiana, who served in Afghanistan, blamed Mr Biden for the attack.
“The responsibility for this tragedy rests squarely on the shoulders of Joe Biden,” Mr Banks. “His incompetence means American blood has been shed. This was avoidable and is unforgivable!”
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy called on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to call Congress back into session so members could be briefed and vote on Rep Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin’s legislation to keep troops in Afghanistan until every American is out of the nation.
“In the meantime, President Biden must take decisive action to protect our troops, our citizens, and our allies without regard for an arbitrary deadline,” Mr McCarthy said in a statement.
Texas Rep Dan Crenshaw, who lost an eye in Afghanistan, said Mr Biden needed to fix the problems that he said the president created.
“We are still at war. You didn’t ‘end the war,’ you just gave the enemy new advantage,” he tweeted. “Go on offense, establish superiority, and don’t leave until all our citizens and allies are safe.”
Michigan Rep Peter Meijer, who earlier this week traveled to Afghanistan with Democratic Rep Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, called the attack was the worst possible outcome.
“Heartbreaking and awful news- a nightmare scenario we had been fearing,” he said.
Senator Lindsey Graham called for Bagram Air Base to reopen after a suicide bomber attack Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport injured as many as three US Marines and killed multiple civilians.
“I have advocated for days that the Bagram Air Base should be reopened as the Kabul airport is very difficult to defend and has been the only evacuation outlet,” the South Carolina Republican Senator tweeted on Thursday.
Mr Graham said that the United States had the capability to establish a presence at Bagram to continue moving Americans and allies.
“The biggest mistake in this debacle is abandoning Bagram,” Mr Graham said.
“The retaking of Bagram would put our military at risk, but I think those involved in the operation would gladly accept that risk because it would restore our honor as a nation and save lives,” Mr Graham tweeted.
Mr Graham’s words come as news broke out of Kabul of a the explosion at the airport.
“We can confirm that the explosion at the Abbey Gate was the result of a complex attack that resulted in a number of US & civilian casualties,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said. “We can also confirm at least one other explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate. We will continue to update.”
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