This past week, John Kirby, coordinator for strategic communication at the National Security Council, used the word “proud” to describe the Biden Administration’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2021. 

On August 30, 2021, the last U.S. plane left Afghanistan, leaving its people and country in disarray and opening it back up to Taliban rule. 

The images of hundreds of Afghans running alongside a U.S. military jet tell a different story. The video of people hanging on the plane as it took off and later seeing them falling from the sky tell a different story. 

Before the U.S. withdrew, a generation of women in Afghanistan grew up with the freedom of owning a business, learning to drive, working, attending school, and being in elected office. “Afghan women have fought for and gained basic rights in the past 20 years, becoming lawmakers, judges, pilots, and police officers, though mostly limited to large cities.”

That all changed after August 30, 2021. 

Since the withdrawal, the Taliban has barred women from political participation, working most jobs outside the home, and banned them from traveling long distances without a male chaperone. 

In December 2022, NPR reported that the Taliban took away the right for women to attend a University and that they could only get a 6th-grade education. 

What a thing to be “proud” of, right John Kirby?

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The Press Conference:

Fox News reporter Peter Doocy asked John Kirby, “There were children being killed. There were people hanging off of Air Force jets that were leaving and youre saying that you guys are proud of the way this mission was conducted? Of that?”

Kirby said: Proud of the fact that we got more than 124,000 people safely out of Afghanistan? You bet. Proud of the fact that American troops were able to seize control of a defunct airport and get it operational in 48 hours? You bet. Proud of the fact that we now have about 100,000 afghans our former allies and partners living in this country and working toward citizenship? You bet.”

He later added, Nobody is saying that everything is perfect but there was a lot that went right and a lot of Afghans are now living better lives in this country and other countries around the world because of the sacrifices and the work of so many American government officials. So yeah, theres a lot to be proud of, Peter.”