American lawmakers are offering their sympathies to the US service members killed and wounded in two bombing attacks at the Kabul airport, with some blasting President Biden for his “weak,” “incompetent,” and “unforgivable” withdrawal from Afghanistan, which has been marred by chaos and violence.
A number of Afghans were also killed in the blasts believed carried out by ISIS terrorists.
“Joe Biden has blood on his hands,” Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) said bluntly in a Twitter post before the deaths were announced by the Pentagon.
“The buck stops with the President of the United States. This horrific national security and humanitarian disaster is solely the result of Joe Biden’s weak and incompetent leadership. He is unfit to be Commander-in-Chief,” she said.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) said Biden’s actions led to the deaths.
“Before President Biden ‘ended’ the US involvement in Afghanistan, the last Americans to die in battle were Army Sgts. 1st Class Javier Gutierrez and Antonio Rodriguez, on Feb. 8, 2020.,” he said on Twitter.
“Today, at least 4 more have been killed, and it, sadly, won’t be the last,” Cornyn said.
Rep. Jim Banks, a veteran and member of the House Armed Services Committee, blasted Biden’s “incompetence.”
“As a veteran who served in Afghanistan, my heart breaks for the families of the American servicemembers and the Afghan people who are learning this morning that their loved ones have been harmed or killed in a terrorist attack. My wife Amanda and I are praying and grieving with them,” Banks (R-Ind.) said in a statement posted on Twitter.
“The responsibility for this tragedy rests squarely on the shoulders of Joe Biden. His incompetence means American blood has been shed. This was avoidable and is unforgivable!,” he said.
He also faulted Biden for abandoning Bagram airbase, saying the decision “will go down as one of the worst foreign policy blunders in American history.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) also called on the president to reopen Bagram to assist in the evacuation of Americans, Afghans and foreign citizens.
“We have the capability to reestablish our presence at Bagram to continue to evacuate American citizens and our Afghan allies. The biggest mistake in this debacle is abandoning Bagram,” Graham said.
“I urge the Biden Administration to reestablish our presence in Bagram as an alternative to the Kabul airport so that we do not leave our fellow citizens and thousands of Afghan allies behind. It is not a capability problem, but a problem of will,” said Graham, who has said Biden “should be impeached” over the Afghanistan withdrawal
”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,” he continued.
Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) tweeted “it’s time for Biden to RESIGN NOW!!!”
“Biden Admin views abandoned people in Afghanistan as a political nuisance. Maybe looking at them as real people instead of ‘papers to push’ would produce rescues rather than deaths,” he said on Twitter.
Sen. Marsha Blackburn urged Biden to hold those who carried out the deadly attacks responsible.
“I am devastated to hear several of our servicemembers lost their lives today. We owe a debt of gratitude to them for their sacrifice & pray for comfort for their families. Terrorism is a grave & evil threat, & we must do everything in our power to hold our enemies accountable,” Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said on Twitter.
Top Democrats stopped short of blaming the Biden administration’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan for prompting the attacks — instead offering condolences to those lost.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he has been in contact with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin about the “heinous attacks.”
“My thoughts are with the families and friends of the brave U.S. service members and Afghans who lost their lives and those injured in this cowardly attack. I strongly condemn this act of terrorism and it must be clear to the world that the terrorists who perpetrated this will be sought and brought to justice,” Schumer said in a statement.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) offered his sympathy to “the men and women working tirelessly” on the ground in Afghanistan.
“With a heavy heart, I extend my deepest condolences to the families of the U.S. service members and Afghan civilians who lost their lives in today’s senseless attack at the airport in Kabul,” he said, adding that he continues to “hope for the safety and well-being of the men and women working tirelessly to evacuate” the Americans and Afghans.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, echoed his Democratic colleague’s sentiments.
“Devastating to learn of the loss of U.S. servicemembers and Afghans at Kabul Airport. While it is too early to draw any conclusions, ISIS-K had a clear motivation to disrupt our efforts,” Schiff of California said. “My prayers are with our brave servicemembers as they continue these vital evacuations.”