Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), who has repeatedly proven himself to be one of the few Republican elected officials willing to go against the party line, spoke out this week against the Trump administration’s handling of the war in Afghanistan. As the U.S. has moved forward with its withdrawal from the country this month, the Taliban has swiftly taken over city after city, and on Sunday, the news emerged that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had left the country as the Taliban targeted the capital city, Kabul. Although the Biden administration has moved to complete the work of withdrawing from Afghanistan, it’s the Trump administration that struck a withdrawal deal last year. Kinzinger pointed out these facts.
Kinzinger commented in direct response to a post from former Trump administration official Dan Scavino, who had put up a montage of recent comments from Biden insisting, among other things, that a complete takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban was “highly unlikely.” Kinzinger was not interested in pretending as though the Trump administration itself hadn’t also starkly misevaluated what would happen. As Kinzinger put it:
‘Your boss [Trump] began this Dan. Biden finished it. Both quite naive and stupid decisions. You can’t memory hole your role or pretend to be a born again hawk now.’
Your boss began this Dan. Biden finished it. Both quite naive and stupid decisions. You can’t memory hole your role or pretend to be a born again hawk now. https://t.co/cW2kQmbv9r
— Adam Kinzinger (@AdamKinzinger) August 15, 2021
On Twitter this weekend, Kinzinger also called out Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) for his advocacy on behalf of withdrawing from Afghanistan. Kinzinger commented as follows:
‘Remember: one of the first advocates for this withdrawal? [Rand Paul]. Don’t let him and his allies memory hole that.’
Remember: one of the first advocates for this withdrawal? @RandPaul . Don’t let him and his allies memory hole that.
— Adam Kinzinger (@AdamKinzinger) August 14, 2021
In a recent statement, Trump insisted that the current, rapidly escalating situation in Afghanistan would not be unfolding if he were still in power, but it’s his own actions that laid some groundwork for the current circumstances in the country. In remarks around the time of the signing of last year’s agreement between the Taliban and the Trump administration, Trump — who was president at the time, of course — tacitly uplifted the Taliban, saying, in reference to targeting by the U.S. of terrorists in Afghanistan, that it was “time for someone else to do that work, and it will be the Taliban, and it could be surrounding countries.” Trump added at the time that he “really” believed “the Taliban wants to do something to show we’re not all wasting time.” Talk about a miscalculation. The idea that Trump could handle current circumstances more effectively is ludicrous.