Rep. Elise Stefanik on Fall of Afghanistan: ‘This Is Joe Biden’s Saigon’

Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., speaks to reporters at the Capitol in Washington, Friday, May 14, 2021, just after she was elected chair of the House Republican Conference, replacing Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., who was ousted from the GOP leadership for criticizing former President Donald Trump. She is joined by, from …
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) responded to the apparent fall of the government of Afghanistan on Sunday morning by likening President Joe Biden’s failed policy to one of America’s notable military failures: the desertion of South Vietnam in 1975, which delivered Saigon into the hands of communist guerilla forces.

“This is Joe Biden’s Saigon,” the congresswoman posted on Twitter in response to news of U.S. evacuating the American embassy in Afghanistan’s capital amid a Taliban takeover.

“A disastrous failure on the international stage that will never be forgotten – meanwhile Joe is on vacation,” she continued, referring to Biden’s five-day retreat at Camp David.

Former President Trump agreed to withdraw troops from Afghanistan by May 1, 2021, in exchange for the Taliban agreeing not to attack U.S. troops and to cut ties with al-Qaeda and other international terrorist groups. Biden announced in April he would not abide by the agreement and extended the Afghan war by four months, making the new withdrawal date the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks. He then revised the date, announcing American military presence would instead end August 31.

Biden ordered the deployment of another 5,000 troops into Afghanistan this weekend, jeopardizing the August 31 deadline.

“I was the fourth President to preside over an American troop presence in Afghanistan — two Republicans, two Democrats. I would not, and will not, pass this war onto a fifth,” Biden said in a Saturday statement.

After more than two decades of war and 2,500 U.S. troops killed following the 2001 Taliban-enabled terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Taliban leaders on Sunday were reportedly in Kabul negotiating the end of the legitimate government, according to local media reports.

The terrorist group allegedly seized at least 85 percent of the country between May 1 and this month. The Taliban has also reportedly appropriated U.S. military equipment left behind by Afghan soldiers and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has fled the country.

Stefanik’s comparison drew parallels to when the U.S., under President Gerald Ford, called troops back from South Vietnam, allowing the communist People’s Army of Vietnam and the Viet Cong to conquer Saigon, one of South Vietnam’s last strongholds.

When North Vietnam’s guerilla troops took Saigon, the Vietnam War ended. Saigon is now called Ho Chi Minh City and, to this day, Vietnam is dominated by one-party communist rule.

The U.S. bitterly grappled with the defeat of Vietnam by communist forces. America lost nearly 60,000 soldiers to a brutal war characterized by massacre and harshened by unforgiving jungle terrain. Those who survived came back battered and shell-shocked, and many veterans have died or are still suffering from health issues related to combat.

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