US retreat from Afghanistan ‘a lot worse” than defeat at Vietnam War
US Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has called Washington’s retreat from Afghanistan "a lot worse than Saigon in 1975,” referring to the hasty evacuation of remaining American troops from Vietnam when the city of Saigon fell two years after former President Richard Nixon withdrew American forces in the country.
In an interview on Tuesday, McConnell also pushed US President Joe Biden to continue the evacuation of Americans and their allies beyond an end-of-the-month deadline for the US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
"The president needs to forget about the August 31 deadline. ... Extend the deadline, get outside the perimeter, make sure that every single American who wants to leave can get out with our assistance and our Afghan allies," McConnell told Fox News.
"The Taliban should not be allowed to tell us how long we are there to get our personnel out. That's our decision, not theirs," he added.
The Taliban took over the capital Kabul on August 8 and declared that the war in Afghanistan was over. The militants entered the presidential palace after president Ashraf Ghani fled the country.
The US was forced to close the embassy in Kabul and evacuate diplomats and staff by helicopters.
American journalist Don Debar told Press TV that “this entire war, since Jimmy Carter started it (using George Bush, the first's CIA and Donald Rumsfeld's military intelligence) and George Bush II deployed regulars, through the Obama-Trump and now the Biden administration's time, has been a ‘Saigon moment.’”
‘Biden to stick with Aug. 31 deadline’
On Tuesday, a Biden administration official said that the US president does not plan to extend the August 31 deadline for withdrawing all American troops from Afghanistan.
American media reported that Biden will accept a recommendation from US military officials that more time is not necessary to evacuate American citizens and civilians from the country.
Biden has previously said American troops would remain in Afghanistan into September if needed to bring all American nationals home, but he also said an extension would not be necessary.
"There's discussions going on among us and the military about extending," Biden said Sunday. "Our hope is we will not have to extend, but there are going to be discussions, I suspect, on how far along we are in the process."
Biden held a virtual call on Tuesday morning with other Group of Seven (G-7) leaders, some of whom had advocated for the extension of the war into September so Afghan allies could be safely evacuated.