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Taliban announces general amnesty plan for all Afghans

Kern politicians react to president's address
Posted at 8:06 AM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 11:06:29-04

(KERO) — Overnight the Taliban announced a general amnesty for all Afghans and urged women to join its government.

This after thousands were seen trying to escape Afghanistan with some chasing U.S. planes as they taxi for takeoff.

Panic and desperation at the Kabul airport overnight was so intense it temporarily shut down.

More than 640 afghans packed on to U.S. C-17 military jet. Thousands of afghans crowding onto the runway, surrounding the plane as it took off. Some even trying to cling to the side of the fuselage.

Officials confirming U.S. troops shot and killed at least two armed men as thousands poured onto the runway. One U.S. service member was injured during the chaos.

President Joe Biden conceding the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan unfolded faster than anticipated but insisting "I stand squarely behind my decision. After 20 years I've learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw U.S. Forces.

"I am president of the United States of America and the buck stops with me."

While pointing a finger at the Afghan forces and leaders for the Taliban's rapid advance.

"Here's what I believe to my core. It is wrong to order American troops to step up when Afghanistan's own armed forces would not," said Biden.

The president also blaming the Trump administration which negotiated the deal to pull troops out of Afghanistan.

Republicans pounced.

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski said "really troubling and disturbing and just devastating. We're going to be reeling, going back through that reel to see where we went wrong."

Few democrats coming to the president's defense. Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy said on MSNBC: : "The President made a tough decision, but the right decision. I find it pretty incredible that people look at this decision and try to portray it as weakness."

An ABC News IPSOS poll just last month found 55% of Americans approved of the president's withdrawal of us troops from Afghanistan.

Kern County members of congress reacted to President Biden's address.

Rep. David Valadao saying on Twitter "my office stands ready to assist Americans stranded in Afghanistan. If you or someone you know needs help, contact my office immediately: 559-460-6070."

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy released a statement saying of the president "he owes the American people a cohesive plan to get every American out of
Afghanistan immediately and safely, target terrorists wherever they seek refuge, and secure our border.

"The American people, and especially our troops who have sacrificed so much, deserve more than this catastrophic leadership and empty words."

And as thousands try to escape Afghanistan looking for refuge, California Gov. Gavin Newsom says they're welcome here.

While at an anti-recall rally on Monday, the governor talked about the role of refugees in the Golden State.

"I'm proud of the fact over the last decade California has taken in more refugees than any other state in America, and I'm proud of the fact a disproportionate number of Afghani refugees are here in Northern California, not just here in the south, but also up in Sacramento County. We're already working in terms of a lot of those refugees coming in and working with CBOS and non-profit organizations to make sure that they feel welcome and celebrated as members of our community,"

The governor did not talk about a plan or where refugees would be housed if they did come to California.