Afghanistan, Pakistan, Afghan Government discussed on Here & Now

Here & Now


From npr and wbz are. I'm scott tong. And i'm tanya moseley. This is here and now secretary of state. Antony lincoln testifies before the senate today after a testy five hour hearing before house committee yesterday. Republicans and democrats grilled him on the us us withdrawal from afghanistan and republicans were unrelenting many called for him to resign while democrats pointed to a troubled twenty year engagement in afghanistan which president george w bush started. Let's bring in representative jerry. Conley of virginia democrat on the house. Foreign affairs committee for more and congressman connolly. Thank you for joining us my pleasure. Thank you donnie representative. Let's cut through the partisan fighting that we saw yesterday and talk about the substance of what secretary blinken said he defended the administration's handling of the crisis in afghanistan talked about airlifting thousands out of the country and also turned some heads in the foreign affairs world by saying he'd reevaluate the us's relationship with pakistan especially the role pakistan has played in afghanistan over the last twenty years. This could have big ramifications your assessment. The relationship with pakistan has been problematic for a long time Their nuclear development program certainly caused the united states. Great concern but also the relationship. Pakistan has had not only with the taliban but with the connie network. Which now is included in the new taliban cabinet and that is very troubling that pakistan would have a relationship with known terrorists networks that were targeting americans during the afghan war. Do you feel you got to hear a satisfying explanation for what the administration was thinking about. Is the crisis in afghanistan unfolded. Frankly i think that's too much emphasis on the events that started to unfold in the months. Preceding august fourteenth. This didn't happen on president. Biden's watch the trump administration did true things. One was to agree to face to face negotiations with the taliban the second was to actually agree not to include the afghan government in those negotiations and then setting a may one deadline for the full withdrawal of us troops from afghanistan. Those three things undermined the afghan government and undermined the ability of the afghan military to muster any kind of a row resisting the taliban but even if if the in administration's hands were tied so to speak because of past administration. And what do you say to critics who believe we could have handled the exit better. I mean even some democrats have said. The administration shouldn't have left airbases so quickly. I think there's lots of room for Monday morning quarterbacking on what could have should have gone better. I think the administration was saddled with decisions already made by the previous administration. I think it also frankly made the mistake of buying the conventional wisdom which was that the afghan military would be able to continue to resist. And i think that kind of conventional wisdom coming both from our military and our intelligence communities obviously contributed to the chaos yesterday. You you also criticised your fellow congressman. Joe wilson republican of south carolina who spent four of his five minutes laying into the secretary. He didn't ask any questions. Here's how he concluded your bizarre abandoning volume air feel led directly to thirteen marine. Marine's murdered in kabul. You should resign representative conley. You push back at representative will send you cited his famous breach of decorum when he shouted you lie at president obama during joint address to congress. Have you heard from representative wilson since that exchange thought. Look i like joe wilson. But i felt what he said. Yesterday was outrageous to lay the death of brave american marines who are trying to help in the evacuation Who died at the hands of a suicide bomber which was a risk. We knew under those circumstances. I thought was really a liable that Had to be responded to at the root of of this hearing is this call by republicans to have secretary blinken to resign. The gop is going to keep pressing the biden administration on afghanistan. They're trying to campaign on it. Are you worried about that. What are you and other democrats trying to do to counter this message. I said yesterday. I believe the republicans are guilty of very selective fact checking mixed with a salad dressing of enormous amnesia. Afghan is a twenty year war the longest war in american history. Lots of mistakes are made. There's a lot to be learned from these last twenty years. And i hope we'll spend more time trying to understand those lessons. Rather than engaging in petty partisan blame laying that conveniently overlooks the very consequential decisions made by predecessor administrations. Especially the trump administration representative jerry. Conley democrat of virginia. Thank you so much for talking with us. My pleasure tanya. Thank you for doing this. President biden is taking political heat for his co. vaccine plan it requires big companies to have workers vaccinated or tested regularly congressman. Jim banks republican of indiana tweeted that vaccine mandates are un-american other descriptors from critics include authoritarian tyranny. Government power grab. Let's take a long view now with julian zealous or he's professor of history and public affairs at princeton hygiene julian. Thanks for having me nice to be with you. I gather presidential vaccine mandates. Go back a long long way too. When george washington well george washington has been discussed in terms of the period with the continental army forces where he promotes the inoculation of the troops against smallpox. He thinks smallpox is the most dangerous enemy. The troops face in the american revolution he receives a lot of fallout for doing it. But in the end Most people today think that was a good decision so we can go all the way back to washington to see This kind of policy was developed back then anything comparable to what we're seeing now. Well there were attacks saying everything from Washington was trying to play the role of god to rumors then circulated that its slave had actually put this idea out there But actually most people took it the inoculation and there wasn't the kind of resistance that we're seeing now to actually doing okay now. Today's critics of the code vaccine employer mandate some are calling it unconstitutional. Has the supreme court waited on this. They have the supreme court weighed in in nineteen o five with regard to the states and localities and the decision revolved around cambridge massachusetts. Where vaccination for smallpox was challenged in the courts that in the end that the states and localities have the right to require vaccines because the health and safety of the general public can outweigh the rights of an individual to resist the vaccine..

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