By Jerry Roberts of Newsmakers
In the understatement of the year, Representative Salud Carbajal said on Wednesday that the Biden administration “could have better executed the withdrawal” from Afghanistan.
The Democratic third-term member of the 24th Congressional District said in an interview with Newsmakers that he strongly agreed with President Biden’s overall policy of withdrawing all remaining troops from the country, but offered a careful negative review of how the withdrawal was handled.
Carbajal’s comments, the most detailed to date on the fiasco in Afghanistan, come at a time when national and global outrage and anger is rampant over the volatile and violent scenes still unfolding at Hamid Karzai International Airport. of Kabul, as tens of thousands of people seek to flee the Taliban who. with surprising speed, took control of the country as the government and military backed by the United States for two decades collapsed in a matter of weeks.
As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Carbajal said he objected in writing to the administration’s uncompromising insistence on maintaining an August 31 deadline, a position aligned with that of the allies of the NATO, including Great Britain and France.
“What should guide our withdrawal date is not an arbitrary date, but the ability to bring out all the Americans who need to come out, and all those partners and Afghans who helped us during our mission in Afghanistan,” he said, expressing “grave concerns that this delay will cause a less than orderly, swift and complete evacuation of all Americans and other Afghans who must leave.”
“There will be a quarterback Monday night on what happened – should we have done something better or different,” Carbajal added. “I think this administration certainly could have made a better execution of the withdrawal.”
The House Representative for Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, however, rejected the argument that the United States should have left a small force in the country to ensure some level of stability. He applauded not only Biden, but also – surprisingly – former President Donald Trump for pursuing correct policy.
“Ultimately, it’s about ending a presence in Afghanistan that went beyond the mission we started 20 years ago to face the threat of Al Qaeda and deal with Isis, ”he said. “Ultimately, it was the United States that became there to support a government in its civil war and claimed the lives of many of the American men and women who served there.
“So I agree with, believe it or not, the previous administration and the current administration that we had to get out of. I think the problem is we could have done it a little more efficiently. ” he said.
I just arrived at (noon) at the Santa Barbara airport, “he said.” I got up at 4 am in Washington so that I could be with you.
Also in the Carbajal interview:
Showcase a top-notch Terpsichorian performance, tap dancing, and work your way through a series of questions about whether he was allied with the progressives or the moderates in the House’s ideological tax dispute, with the Left Democrats associating a vote on a trillion dollar bipartisan infrastructure bill, already passed in the Senate, calls for support for a $ 3.5 trillion budget measure that contains massive new spending to pay for the welfare, education and welfare program. Biden’s climate change commentator: “I would say I was with both,” he says, in the saludest commentary of all time. “I was working with individuals on both sides. I consider myself very pragmatic, I have relationships with a lot of different points of view and I worked with everyone.”
Ticked off a series of specific benefits for local residents in the new spending programs, ranging from an additional $ 11 million for the expansion of Highway 101 and electric buses for the city of San Luis Obispo to the extension of a new child tax credit, community tuition-free college, and extension of Medicare benefits to include eye, hearing and dental care: “There are significant investments for the Central Coast – roads, bridges , waterways, broadband. “
Has argued that predictions that Democrats would suffer a crushing loss in next year’s midterm elections are false because, he said, a majority of voters will appreciate and reward Democrats for the massive amounts new federal spending his party paid to the country through the American Recovery Act – = – with more to come. “I think the American people have seen what the Democrats have done now that they are in charge. And when you consider the investments to come – like the Universal Kindergarten – I am optimistic it will go far in the box poll. . “
Offered an optimistic view of the chances of passing historic ‘red flag’ gun safety legislation which he co-sponsored with Senator Dianne Feinstein, which would give families and law enforcement a new power to obtain legal orders to remove firearms from people who find themselves in mental or psychological crisis: “During this year and the next year of this Congress, there is a real possibility that this legislation could go to the front. “
Said he would not take sides in the Santa Barbara mayoral race by supporting Mayor Cathy Murillo, as he did at a crucial point in the 2017 race; Carbajal said that while he had a “good partnership” with the mayor, he was also “friends of the family” with challenger Deborah Schwartz, daughter of the late Naomi Schwartz, who was his political mentor when he was his. assistant to the supervisory board. : “I’m staying out of the race this time … I know too many people who run.”
Check out our interview with representative Salud Carbajal via YouTube below, or by clicking on this link. The podcast version is here.