Veterans Start To Call Out Biden And Demand Action

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US Vice President Joe Biden meets with US soldiers at Baghdad's Camp Victory on January 13, 2011. AFP PHOTO/AHMAD AL-RUBAYE (Photo credit should read AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP via Getty Images)

Representative Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) spoke at a rally to demand that President Obama take action for American’s Afghan allies. This included interpreters who took great risks in order to assist American troops. Now, as U.S. forces withdraw from Afghanistan, they are being left behind.

Moulton, a former Marine Officer with multiple combat tours, stood in Lafayette Square, in front of the White House. He said, “I want veterans all across America, veterans from different political parties, different wars, are coming together today, reminding Americans that there is a promise to keep.”

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This rally was held one week after The New York Times reported that Biden’s administration had informed lawmakers that the U.S. would soon start relocating thousands of Afghan allies to third countries while they wait for the processing of their special immigrant visas. Details have not yet been provided to congressional members from both sides of this issue.

Moulton says the solution is easy: Evacuate our allies immediately. “I am asking the administration to do three things right now. First, either adopt our plan or create a better one. Second, we need to have a commander. In order to have someone accountable and in charge of getting this done, we need a leader.

The National Defense Authorization Act (2006) created the special immigrant program. It was intended to expedite visa processing for Afghans or Iraqis who were translators or interpreters for U.S forces. Only 50 visas will be authorized for 2021. More than 17,000 Afghans are still eligible.

“President Biden is the commander in chief, he needs to order the Department of Defense… to execute on this… this is not something that Congress can order, this lies at the feet of the president,” Meijer told Fox.

Meijer believes there is a disconnect between the way economic refugees are managed at the southern border, and the management of Afghans who fought alongside the U.S. army against the Taliban and Al Qaeda. “President Biden eliminated the remain in Mexico policy because it was inhumane for economic migrants – but he insists on a stay in Afghanistan policy for interpreters we already know and have vetted.”

The rally was co-sponsored by With Honor, an organization “dedicated to promoting and advancing principled veteran leadership in elected public service,” according to its website. The organization’s co-founder and CEO, Rye Barcott, is a Marine veteran with service in Iraq. He told Fox News that this issue is an excellent example of how veteran leadership in Congress can help get things done. “We support over 25 veterans who are part of the For Country Caucus in the House, and they have made this issue of protecting our Afghan allies a top legislative priority.”

All these veterans, Moulton, Clippard Meijer, Meijer, and Barcott, are here to honor their country and ensure national security.

“If we break those promises, if we betray those and abandon those who served alongside us, people are going to remember that,” Meijer said. “Not only those Afghans we betray, but also, in any potential future conflict, we are going to be looked at as a country that doesn’t keep our promises, that will cut and run, that will turn our backs on our allies, that will, frankly, be a country that can’t be trusted. I think that will be incredibly detrimental to our national security in the long term.”

Moulton added, “There’s a moral imperative to future generations of American servicemen and women, that we show them that they will be able to make this promise on the ground in some other country someday, and people won’t look back to Afghanistan and say we broke that promise.”

Standing in Lafayette Square in front the White House, Moulton, a former Marine officer with multiple combat tours, said, “I want to thank veterans all across America, veterans of different political parties and different wars, who are coming together today and reminding Americans that we have a promise to uphold.”

The rally came one week after the New York Times reported that the Biden administration was notifying lawmakers that the U.S. would soon begin relocating thousands of Afghan allies to third countries while they await processing for their special immigrant visas. However, congressional members on both sides of the aisle have yet to receive details.

According to Moulton, the solution is simple: evacuate our allies now. “I’m asking the administration for three things right now. One, adopt our plan or come up with a better one… Second, we need a commander. We need someone who is charge of this and accountable for getting it done, and third we need a promise… I don’t want to hear two months from now we’ve run out of time… We cannot leave anyone behind,” the congressman said in an interview with Fox News.

The special immigrant visa program was created with the National Defense Authorization Act of 2006, and was designed to provide expedited visa processing for Afghans and Iraqis who worked as interpreters and translators for U.S. forces. For 2021, only 50 visas are authorized, while more than 17,000 eligible Afghans remain in the country.

“President Biden is the commander in chief, he needs to order the Department of Defense… to execute on this… this is not something that Congress can order, this lies at the feet of the president,” Meijer told Fox.

Meijer sees an inconsistency between how economic refugees are handled at the southern border and how the administration is managing Afghans who fought the Taliban and Al Qaeda alongside the U.S. military. “President Biden got rid of the remain in Mexico policy – because apparently for economic migrants that was inhumane – but he’s insisting on a remain in Afghanistan policy for the interpreters who we already know and we’ve already vetted.”

The rally was co-sponsored by With Honor, an organization “dedicated to promoting and advancing principled veteran leadership in elected public service,” according to its website. The organization’s co-founder and CEO, Rye Barcott, is a Marine veteran with service in Iraq. He told Fox News that this issue is an excellent example of how veteran leadership in Congress can help get things done. “We support over 25 veterans who are part of the For Country Caucus in the House, and they have made this issue of protecting our Afghan allies a top legislative priority.”

For all these veterans – Moulton, Clippard, Meijer and Barcott – this is both a matter of honor and national security.

“If we break those promises, if we betray those and abandon those who served alongside us, people are going to remember that,” Meijer said. “Not only those Afghans we betray, but also, in any potential future conflict, we are going to be looked at as a country that doesn’t keep our promises, that will cut and run, that will turn our backs on our allies, that will, frankly, be a country that can’t be trusted. I think that will be incredibly detrimental to our national security in the long term.”

Moulton said, “There’s a moral imperative to future generations of American servicemen and women, that we show them that they will be able to make this promise on the ground in some other country someday, and people won’t look back to Afghanistan and say we broke that promise.”