Amid the unfolding withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Afghanistan, Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) is taking a stance on Afghan refugees opposite that of prominent figures within his party, seemingly including the former president himself.
Certain Republicans have complained about efforts to get certain Afghans out of Afghanistan for their protection, with conservative commentator Charlie Kirk — who is a close ally of Trump himself — disgustingly claiming that Biden “wants a couple hundred thousand more Ilhan Omars to come into America to change the body politic permanently.” Trump himself commented in reference to an image of a plane full of Afghans that the “plane should have been full of Americans. America First!” In contrast, Sasse said on Fox News Sunday over the weekend that those Afghans who have assisted American forces in Afghanistan over the years are “welcome” in his neighborhood.
It’s Afghans who provided support to American personnel who are primarily at issue here, Sasse said. As he put it
‘First of all, a great nation is a nation that keeps its word. The American people need to understand who we’re talking about here. We’re talking about men and women who risked their lives to protect Americans. They fought hand-in-hand with our troops, and we made promises to them. There are 32 million Afghans; we’re talking about 60 to 80,000 people… We’re talking about heroes who fought with us to take the fight to al Qaeda and the Taliban.’
Sasse subsequently claimed that the Biden administration has been “way too slow” in its efforts to evacuate certain individuals. As the Senator put it:
‘When you’ve fought on behalf of Americans to protect our people, you’re welcome in my neighborhood.’
Watch Sasse’s comments below:
Sen. Ben Sasse on Afghan refugees: "When you've fought on behalf of Americans to protect our people, you're welcome in my neighborhood." pic.twitter.com/P54j8KSTzT
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 22, 2021
Trump has complained about Biden’s handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan to the point of insisting that Biden should resign over what has unfolded, but it’s worth noting that Trump himself set up a withdrawal deal with the Taliban. In so doing, he and his administration essentially elevated the Taliban — the actual Afghan government, which the Taliban has since toppled, wasn’t even directly a part of that particular final deal. Although he added at the time that “if bad things happen, we’ll go back with a force like no-one’s ever seen” (whatever that even means), Trump said around the time of that deal-signing that he “really” believed that the Taliban “wants to do something to show we’re not all wasting time.” Talk about a miscalculation.