17 Aug 2021: Will never forgive US for this, says Afghanistan war veteran
Former CIA analyst and Afghanistan war veteran Matt Zeller has criticized the United States for its actions in Afghanistan, which witnessed a takeover by the Taliban over the weekend. The Taliban had been gaining ground in Afghanistan since the US decided to withdraw its troops from the country after a two-decade war. Zeller said he will never forgive the US for leaving people behind.
Statement: 'We sent plan after plan for evacuation. Nobody listened'
Reacting to Biden's Monday speech on the Afghanistan crisis, Zeller told MSNBC, "I was appalled." "The idea we planned for every contingency? I have been personally trying to tell this administration since it took office. I have been trying to tell our government for years this was coming. We sent them plan after plan on how to evacuate these people. Nobody listened to us."
Fact: 'If we don't help Afghans, they will die'
"We made these people a promise. The Taliban are now actively killing them, and if we don't take them they're going to die... We have the means to do this," said Zeller, adding that the US lacks the conviction to "do the right thing."
Statement: 'Can't forgive myself; won't forgive US for doing this'
Zeller further said, "I can't forgive myself and I'll never forgive my country for doing this," adding that he now understands the "moral injury" every Vietnam war veteran had been warning him about. He criticized the US administration for not having a concrete plan to evacuate the thousands of Afghans left in the lurch amid the takeover by the Taliban.
Anchor: Zeller also opposed news anchors for supporting Biden
Zeller also appeared to differ from MSNBC hosts Brian Williams and Nicolle Wallace. Williams had complimented Biden's Monday speech, saying that the President "didn't run" from responsibility. Williams said, "He didn't run from it. He owned it. He owned the fact that, as he put it, the buck stops with him." "I hope he gets to own their deaths, too," Zeller replied.
Biden speech: Biden said he stood by withdrawal of troops
Biden said Monday that he stands by his decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.He said he would rather invite criticism than pass on the crisis to a fifth US President and let America's longest war continue for a "third decade."He conceded that the chaos escalated far more quickly than anticipated, maintaining that there was "never a good time to withdraw US forces."
Context: Taliban takes over Afghanistan; civilians flee
The Taliban stormed the capital Kabul on Sunday after taking over several key cities since the US withdrawal. Horrific visuals of civilians trying to flee the country have emerged online. On Sunday, the group seized the Presidential Palace in Kabul, taking control of the capital. President Ashraf Ghani also fled the country on Sunday, saying he did so to prevent a "flood of bloodshed."
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