Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham said Wednesday that Afghanistan has become “Hell on earth” under the Taliban, but urged veterans to be proud of their service and blamed President Joe Biden for the situation.
“Afghanistan is hell on earth for those living there,” Graham told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”
“To the veterans who fought in Afghanistan: tomorrow is Veterans’ Day. I mourn with you. We betrayed our allies in Afghanistan. The Biden administration withdrew all our forces in a dishonorable way,” Graham continued.
“I know you’re hurting and you have a reason to be hurting. But keep your chin up. It wasn’t your fault,” the senator said of the veterans.
Graham called the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan “a logical outcome: if we left, the Taliban takes over” and said al-Qaida now has a “safe haven” while ISIS “is a now a big threat to the world.”
The senator called it “fantasy” to not believe that a complete American withdrawal from Afghanistan would not lead to a victor for terrorism. “To believe that we can protect America through an over-the-horizon counter terrorism capability is a joke.”
He pledged to “fight to my last day as a senator” to ensure that every American veteran and ally is rescued from “that hellhole run by the Taliban.”
Graham called Biden “the most incompetent president in my lifetime on foreign policy” he has known and criticized the Biden administration for abandoning “the thousands who fought along our side. The entrance policy against another 9/11 by Biden was canceled with the withdrawal,” the senator said, adding that “it was all so preventable.”
“I’ve known Joe Biden for a long time. I had a good personal relationship with him. He is a decent man but what he did in Afghanistan I will never forgive him for,” Graham declared, saying Biden “has blood on his hands” and has made Americans less secure through his actions while claiming he has been “the most consistently wrong” politician on foreign policy he has known.
“I can’t wait until the next election to stop this socialist train on the domestic side and have a chance to get a commander-in-chief that knows how to keep this country safe,” Graham concluded.
A Morning Consult poll indicated that veterans of the Afghanistan war rate Biden lower than the previous three presidents, with only 49% approving of the current president’s foreign policy decisions in Afghanistan.