FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 16, 2021
Contacts: J. Garren Shipley
Statement of House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert on the Fall of Afghanistan
House Republican Leader Todd Gilbert issued the following statement:
“The images from Afghanistan over the past 48 hours are horrifying. Innocent civilians attempting to flee 7th century barbarians, some so desperate to escape that they tried to cling to American military aircraft as they departed. They know the Taliban, and they know what is coming. Near certain death was preferable.
“We can disagree over the conduct of the war, and when it should have ended, but there is near universal agreement that we should not have abandoned those who risked all to help our troops. Our Commonwealth is only one state out of 50, and there is little we can do to influence events overseas. But we can help those who have reached safety on Virginia soil.
“I call on Governor Northam to do everything in his power to support the interpreters and other refugees who risked everything for us and who have found safety at Fort Lee. We should put the full weight of state government behind an effort to begin to repay our debt to these brave people.
“Further, I call on every Virginian to support those veterans who have been forced to watch the sacrifice they and their comrades in arms so valiantly gave vanish before their eyes. Rest assured, the fault here is that of the suits in D.C., not the boots on the ground. You accomplished your mission, and we will always stand behind you.
“Finally, I call on the Governor, Terry McAuliffe, and anyone else with the ability to reach President Biden to encourage him to not only take responsibility for this disaster, but also to lay out plans to ensure that all Americans and our allies are evacuated safely. This failure need not be total and complete. It is never too late to do the right thing.”