Jared Golden, a Democrat Congressman from Maine, made a surprising remark with regards to the Taliban’s takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul: “It’s a building. It’s a building.”
Golden, a former U.S. Marine who flew missions in Afghanistan, was responding to Mike Violette at WSKW, who inquired how Golden felt about the likelihood that the American embassy in Kabul is likely to be occupied by the Taliban on the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks.
“What emotions go through your mind when you hear that?” Violette questioned Golden.
“It’s a building. It’s a building,” Golden replied.
Golden continued onward to note that 6,000 troops are still present in Kabul International Airport, and he also hopes that each troop is able to arrive home safely. However, Golden also commented on the troops’ mission itself as important, as the U.S. must remain until all American personnel are out safety.
“That’s their job, and I know that they’re proud to be doing it right now … trying to get as many of our Afghan partners out as possible,” Golden added.
“I don’t feel strong emotions about the embassy,” Golden continued, observing that for him, 9/11 revolves around “getting just for the people and the families that were killed.” In addition, 9/11 also pertains to “holding people accountable,” which Golden states was achieved once the United Staes “got Bin Laden,” as well as most of Bin Laden’s “leadership team,” either by killing them with gunfire or imprisoning them in Guantanamo Bay.
Golden spent approximately ten months deployed in Afghanistan, and he also took issue with various media outlets’ portrayal of the withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“The country has to remember,” Golden proclaimed, that in spite of what all the “pundits” and “elitists” are saying in, Bin Laden and al-Qaeda constituted the ultimate mission, or “the mission was Bin Laden and al-Qaeda.”
Golden also stated that the troops have won every battle that they had been asked to fight, and, for the most part, the mission in Afghanistan has been “largely accomplished if you look at it through the lens of holding the people responsible for 9/11 accountable.”
Golden admitted that Americans perhaps should have left shortly after Osama Bin Laden was killed, or that it is questionable whether or not Americans “should have stayed any longer” afterwards.
However, Golden asserts that “there’s bipartisan blame to go around in regards to the mission creep that took place after we started talking about nation-building” in the war-torn nation.
Golden also argued that the Afghan National Army basically “threw down their arms,” which is why he had been pushing for an evacuation of American personnel, alongside their Afghan partners, several months ago.
“At the end of the day,” there is “no good way to do this,” Golden insisted. He also added that whether the withdrawal happened this year or the following year, it is likely that the world would “see the return of the Taliban” regardless, “or some kind of coalition which they are a part of.” Such a return would likely be accompanied with “a military takeover.”
Golden also offered a defense of Biden, claiming that the president has demonstrated leadership by not “[passing] this decision on to a fifth president.”
Moreover, while Golden argued that Biden adhered “largely to an agreement that President Trump made,” he also admitted that Biden likely “failed to plan for [the withdrawal] in the right way,” especially since the evacuation should have occurred several months ago, in Golden’s view.