OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author’s opinion
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is bucking the trend of criticizing President Joe Biden over his handling of the military withdrawal of U.S. forces in Afghanistan to instead praise him, and to call on Afghanistan’s future rulers to respect women.
In a statement issued on Saturday evening, the California Democrat stated that Biden “is to be commended” for “the actions he has taken” in the withdrawal, which has since descended into chaos.
“Any political settlement that the Afghans pursue to avert bloodshed must include having women at the table. The fate of women and girls in Afghanistan is critical to the future of Afghanistan. As we strive to assist women, we must recognize that their voices are important, and all must listen to them for solutions, respectful of their culture,” said Pelosi in the statement.
Pelosi’s statement came as the Taliban rapidly took over cities across the region and prepared to march into the nation’s capital city of Kabul, which they now control following a chaotic pullout of forces by the Biden administration that has been heavily criticized by military leaders, including former Commander of the U.S. and International Forces, General David Petraeus.
The Taliban now controls the vast majority of Afghanistan, and has captured a significant amount of U.S. military equipment including MRAPs, armored Humvees, drones, heavy artillery, and caches of firearms and ammunition originally provided to the Afghan military. The bulk of U.S.-trained Afghan forces have deserted their positions and fled the country or switched sides as the Taliban carry out executions in Kandahar and other Afghan cities.
Pelosi’s remarks on the situation in Afghanistan focused on gender, calling on the Taliban’s future rule of Afghanistan to necessitate the inclusion of women in Afghan politics, writing:
The Taliban must know that the world is watching its actions. We are deeply concerned about reports regarding the Taliban’s brutal treatment of all Afghans, especially women and girls. The U.S., the international community and the Afghan government must do everything we can to protect women and girls from inhumane treatment by the Taliban.
Any political settlement that the Afghans pursue to avert bloodshed must include having women at the table. The fate of women and girls in Afghanistan is critical to the future of Afghanistan. As we strive to assist women, we must recognize that their voices are important, and all must listen to them for solutions, respectful of their culture. There is bipartisan support to assist the women and girls of Afghanistan. One of the successes of U.S.- NATO cooperation in Afghanistan was the progress made by women and girls. We must all continue to work together to ensure that is not eroded.
Pelosi redoubled her praise for Biden, acknowledging the “clarity of purpose of President Biden’s statement and wisdom of his actions.”
“Congress shares the President’s concern for Afghans who have assisted U.S. efforts in country, and we passed Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) legislation to provide for their relocation on a strong, bipartisan basis,” added Pelosi. “Most of all, we join the President in acknowledging the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform and their families.”
Earlier on Sunday, the U.S. embassy in Kabul warned Americans still in Kabul to “shelter in place” as plans to evacuate U.S. personnel fell into disarray. “We are instructing U.S. citizens to shelter in place. The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan has suspended consular operations effective immediately. Do not come to the Embassy or airport at this time,” the embassy stated.
“The security situation in Kabul is changing quickly and the situation at the airport is deteriorating rapidly,” the statement continued. “There are reports of the airport taking fire and we are instructing U.S. citizens to shelter in place. The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan has suspended consular operations effective immediately. Do not come to the Embassy or airport at this time.”
“U.S. citizens needing assistance in departing the country should register for any option that might be identified to return to the United States,” it concluded.
Article Source : Conservativebrief.com