George W. Bush has urged the U.S. to help Afghan refugees without delay after the Taliban swiftly regained power in Afghanistan, two decades after he led the invasion into the country following the September 11 attacks.
“Like our country, Afghanistan is also made up of resilient, vibrant people. Nearly 65 percent of the population is under twenty-five years old,” the former president said. “The choices they will make for opportunity, education, and liberty will also determine Afghanistan’s future.”
Karl Rove, who served as senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to Bush during his presidency, said Monday that his former boss and the former first lady are “deeply upset” about the Taliban’s immediate takeover and Afghanistan’s expected return to an oppressive Islamic rule of law.
“For 20 years, Laura Bush has hosted groups of Afghan women who came into the United States after beginning to taste freedom in their own country in order to learn about the opportunities that were available to women all around the world. And the idea that the Taliban is going to somehow allow that to continue is absolutely ridiculous,” Rove said in an interview with Fox News.
President Joe Biden on Monday called the plight of trapped Afghan civilians “gut-wrenching,” but stood by the decision to withdraw U.S. troops and end America’s longest war. Critics have pressed the White House to do more to rescue fleeing Afghans, especially those who have helped the U.S. during their 20-year campaign. The Taliban claimed complete control of Afghanistan on Sunday — and since then, scores of Afghans, Americans and other allies have been scrambling to flee the war-torn country.