Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has defended President Joe Biden following the debacle in Afghanistan, arguing that he made a “courageous decision” to withdraw from the region the way he did.
On Wednesday, two days after the last U.S. servicemember departed from the airport in Kabul, leaving hundreds if not thousands of American citizens and Afghan allies behind under the Taliban’s control, Ocasio-Cortez suggested that critics of Joe Biden are merely repeating the talking points of defense contractors seeking to profit off the war in Afghanistan.
The Democratic congresswoman’s defense of Biden comes amid intense criticism of the president’s handling of the withdrawal, which resulted in hundreds of Americans being stranded in Afghanistan.
Ocasio-Cortez shared a video of past remarks in which she blasted a military contractor over the profit margins of a certain type of vehicular disc, suggesting that critics of the botched withdrawal are motivated by Department of Defense contracts.
“In case you’re wondering why people are going on TV relentlessly attacking Biden for his courageous decision to leave Afghanistan when no other president would, here’s one glimpse as to why,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Wednesday as she shared a video in which she grilled a defense contractor during a congressional hearing for allegedly overcharging the U.S. government.
“War is addictive for the few who reap its profits, while the rest of us foot the bill,” she added.
In case you’re wondering why people are going on TV relentlessly attacking Biden for his courageous decision to leave Afghanistan when no other president would, here’s one glimpse as to why.
War is addictive for the few who reap its profits, while the rest of us foot the bill. https://t.co/jOtKPtRWGv
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 1, 2021
AOC’s defense of Biden comes after she said the president should work to resettle up to 200,000 Afghan refugees in the United States.
“I believe we need to move and the administration needs to move as quickly as possible and as expansively as possible ensuring that we are raising the amount of refugee visas to whatever amount is necessary,” she told The Independent.
“I would say the rock bottom is 200,000, but I think it should be whatever is necessary,” she added. “And that needs to be expedited as soon as possible.”
In a speech on Tuesday, President Biden defended his pullout from Afghanistan and blamed his predecessor, President Trump, for the botched withdrawal that resulted in the deaths of 13 U.S. servicemembers while leaving thousands of Americans and Afghan allies stranded:
My predecessor, the former president, signed an agreement with the Taliban to remove U.S. troops by May 1, just months after I was inaugurated. It included no requirement that the Taliban work out a cooperative government arrangement with the Afghan government [sic]. But it did authorize the release of 5000 prisoners last year, including some of the Taliban’s top war commanders among those who just took control of Afghanistan. And by the time I came to office, the Taliban was in its strongest military position since 2001, controlling or contesting nearly half of the country. The previous administration’s agreement said that if we stuck to the May 1 deadline, the Taliban would not attack any American forces. But if we stayed, all bets were off. So we were left with a simple decision: either follow through by the commitment made by the last administration and leave Afghanistan, or say we were not leaving, and commit another tens of thousands of more troops going back to war.
An anonymous Biden official later told Politico that they were “absolutely appalled” at the thought of leaving Americans behind in Afghanistan.
“I am absolutely appalled and literally horrified we left Americans there,” the official said.
“It was a hostage rescue of thousands of Americans in the guise of a [noncombatant evacuation operation], and we have failed that no-fail mission,” the official added.