Salud: Biden Right on Afghan Policy, Wrong on Pullout Deadline; Won't Endorse Cathy in Mayor's Race

Salud: Biden Right on Afghan Policy, Wrong on Pullout Deadline; Won't Endorse Cathy in Mayor's Race title=
Salud: Biden Right on Afghan Policy, Wrong on Pullout Deadline; Won't Endorse Cathy in Mayor's Race
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By Jerry Roberts of Newsmakers

In the understatement of the year, Rep. Salud Carbajal on Wednesday said that the Biden Administration "could have done a better execution of the withdrawal" from Afghanistan.

The third-term Democratic member from the 24th Congressional District said in a Newsmakers interview that he strongly agrees with President Biden's overall policy in pulling all remaining troops out of the country, but offered a guarded negative review of how the withdrawal has been handled.

Carbajal's comments, his most extensive to date on the fiasco in Afghanistan, come at a time when there is widespread national and global outrage and anger over the volatile and violent scenes still playing out at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, as tens of thousands of people seek to flee the Taliban which. with startling swiftness, took control of the country as the government and military the U.S. propped up for two decades collapsed within a few weeks.

As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Carbajal said he has objected in writing to the Administration's hardline insistence on maintaining a deadline of August 31 as misguided, a position aligned with NATO allies, including Britain and France.

"What should guide our withdrawal date is not an arbitrary date, but the ability to get out all the Americans that need to get out, and all those partners and Afghanis that helped us during our mission in Afghanistan," he said, expressing "grave concern that that deadline could cause a less than orderly, swift and complete evacuation of all Americans and other Afghanis who need to leave."
 
"There's going to be Monday night quarterbacking on what’s transpired -- should we have done something better or different," Carbajal added. "I think this Administration certainly could have done a better execution of the withdrawal."
The House representative for Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, however, rejected the argument that the U.S. should have left a small force in the country to ensure some level of stability. He applauded not only Biden, but also -- surprisingly -- former President Donald Trump for pursuing a correct policy.
 
"At the end of the day it's about ending a presence in Afghanistan that went beyond the mission that we started 20 years ago to address the threat of Al-Qaeda and to deal with Isis," he said. "Eventually, it became the United States being there supporting a government in their civil war, and costing the lives of many American men and women that were serving there.
 
"So I agree with, believe it or not, the previous Administration and the current Administration that we needed to get out. I think the issue is could we have done it a little more effectively,." he said.
Carabajal spoke to us from his district office, shortly after returning to Santa Barbara from Washington, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi a few days ago summoned the House back into session during a recess to resolve a high-stakes dispute over the fate of some $4.5 trillion in spending that had been blocked by conflict between moderate and left-wing Democrats.

I just got in at (noon) to the Santa Barbara Airport," he said. "I got up at 4 a.m. in Washington so I could be with you."

Aww.

In the interview Carbajal also :

  • Put on a first-rate terpsichorean performance, tap dancing and tip toeing his way through a line of questioning about whether he was allied with the progressives or the moderates in the House's ideological fiscal dispute, with left wing Democrats coupling a vote on a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, already passed in the Senate, to demands for support of a $3.5 trillion budget measure that contains vast new spending to pay for Biden's social welfare, education and climate change agenda: "I would say I was with both of them," he said, in the most Salud comment ever. " I was working with individuals with both sides. I consider myself very pragmatic, I have relationships with many from different perspectives and I was working with everyone."

  • Ticked off a series of specific benefits for local residents in the new spending packages, ranging from $11 million more for the Highway 101 widening project and electric buses for the city of San Luis Obispo to extension of a new child tax credit, tuition-free community college and expansion of Medicare benefits to include eye, ear and dental care: "There are signficiant investments for the Central Coast -- roads, bridges, waterways, broadband."

  • Argued that forecasts of Democrats suffering a wipeout loss in next year's midterm elections are off the mark because, he said, a majority of voters will appreciate and reward Democrats for the huge amounts of new federal spending his party has showered on the country through the American Recovery Act -=- with more to come. "I think the American people have seen what Democrats have done now that they're in charge. And when you consider the investments that are yet to come - like universal preschool -- I'm optimistic that will go a long way at the ballot box."

  • Offered an optimistic view of the chances for passage of landmark "red flag" gun safety legislation he has co-sponsored with Senator Dianne Feinstein, which would give families and law enforcement new authority to obtain legal orders to take guns away from people who are in mental or psychological crisis: "Within this, and next, year of this Congress, there's a real possibility this legislation will be able to move forward."

  • Stated that he would not take sides in the Santa Barbara mayor's race by endorsing Mayor Cathy Murillo, as he did at a crucial time in the 2017 race; Carbajal said that while he has a "good partnership" with the mayor he also is "family friends" with challenger Deborah Schwartz, the daughter of the late Naomi Schwartz, who was his political mentor when he served as her aide on the Board of Supervisors: "I'm staying out of the race this time around...I know too many people who are running."
     

Check out our interview with Rep. Salud Carbajal via YouTube below, or by clicking through this link. The podcast version is here.

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Byzantium Aug 27, 2021 03:02 PM
Salud: Biden Right on Afghan Policy, Wrong on Pullout Deadline; Won't Endorse Cathy in Mayor's Race

Santa Barbara's own political dynasty: Senator Gary Hart to Supervisor Naomi Schwartz to Rep Salud Carbajal and now down to Naomi's daughter Deborah Schwartz - all a continuous line of succession of similar politics, working as staffers first and then on to the big time as elected politicos. This is your local inside game - not necessarily good or bad, but pretty darn incestuous. Which is why it is hard for newcomers to breakthrough.

RHS Aug 27, 2021 02:58 PM
Salud: Biden Right on Afghan Policy, Wrong on Pullout Deadline; Won't Endorse Cathy in Mayor's Race

There is no perfect end for a misbegotten adventure of this absurdity. Criticizing Biden for any part of this is just petty. Really, are the deaths of US military people placed in harms way in a part of the world that we have no right to be in more important than the hundreds of thousands of others lost to this stupidness? Did the people who 'helped' us not know and calculate the odds of their position? Are women treated worse in other parts of the world? Are sexual rights denied in other parts of the world? Are children abused and sexually exploited in other parts of the world. We can never guarantee equity for others. All these things are not the burden of the US. The end to this attempt is messy but it is an end I hope. Thanks for that.

sacjon Aug 30, 2021 01:23 PM
Salud: Biden Right on Afghan Policy, Wrong on Pullout Deadline; Won't Endorse Cathy in Mayor's Race

VOICE - Read the first sentence of your own comment again...."You thinking it's only "right wing" shows how blind you've been to the misinformation, hoaxes, and censorship the "left wing" media has spewed out the past five years."

Now, read the second sentence of your own comment again..."Again, if you're thinking red-blue, left-right, you've already lost and are doing exactly what is expected of you."

Funny guy, real funny guy......

SantaBarbaraObserver Aug 30, 2021 10:38 AM
Salud: Biden Right on Afghan Policy, Wrong on Pullout Deadline; Won't Endorse Cathy in Mayor's Race

The same people who became infectious disease experts, epidemiologists and virologists over the last 18 months are now foreign policy, military and Afghanistan experts. It might be a coincidence, but they all have two things in common. No formal training in these fields and hours spent every day watching, listening and sharing right wing media that somehow, conforms perfectly to their bias and prejudice...

a-1630208865 Aug 28, 2021 08:47 PM
Salud: Biden Right on Afghan Policy, Wrong on Pullout Deadline; Won't Endorse Cathy in Mayor's Race

Wouldn't it be nice if some good came out of recent history. But even "Never Forget" does little or no good. Our detestable human race just keeps fighting and destroying. There's a lot of good we create, of course, but how do people blindly continue with so much pain and destruction in the world?! I do what I can to help. When I die, I'll wave and wish y'all the best.

PdW Aug 27, 2021 05:12 PM
Salud: Biden Right on Afghan Policy, Wrong on Pullout Deadline; Won't Endorse Cathy in Mayor's Race

You are right, we should not have been in Afghanistan in the first place. There is a lot of blame for a lot of Presidents to go around. The exit strategy that Biden has had 7 months to work on was and is a disaster. That’s not a partisan take, that’s a fact. Ask any of our allies, or our enemies. All of them have chimed in on the disaster.

Hopefully some good comes out of the 20 years we were there. Time will tell. But either way, history will not be kind to Biden’s exit strategy.

FondofSB Aug 27, 2021 04:52 PM
Salud: Biden Right on Afghan Policy, Wrong on Pullout Deadline; Won't Endorse Cathy in Mayor's Race

@ RHS :
The withdrawal was botched in the worst possible way.
Biden had plenty of "quiet" time to do the following. From April to July : basically NOTHING was going on in Afghanistan.
He should have :
1) Flown away ALL Americans and "partnership" Afghans.
2) Flown away the military equipment and prepare the one that couldn't be taken away to be BLOWN out.
3) AFTER and only AFTER all of that was done , remove the military and abandon Bagram.
He had time to get all of that done with NO chaos.
He is incompetent and fully SOLE responsible from the current (and not yet over) disaster in Afghanistan.

dukemunson Aug 27, 2021 03:59 PM
Salud: Biden Right on Afghan Policy, Wrong on Pullout Deadline; Won't Endorse Cathy in Mayor's Race

We had a duty to protect our own and those that we had approved for visas...and leave in an orderly and controlled manner. This is the exact opposite of that. Your comment of "Did the people who 'helped' us not know and calculate the odds of their position?" is probably the most callous comment I've ever seen on here. And that four people up-voted it is truly sickening.

dukemunson Aug 27, 2021 03:56 PM
Salud: Biden Right on Afghan Policy, Wrong on Pullout Deadline; Won't Endorse Cathy in Mayor's Race

RHS - Just a ridiculous post RHS. You are saying the people who "helped us" deserve to die? And that the horrifying dumb plan of having the military all exit BEFORE American citizens isn't something that can be criticized. This is not a partisan issue. Everyone can see this was a train wreck. If you can't see and acknowledge that, then you have no capacity for objectivity anymore.

Harbor_Seal Aug 27, 2021 03:48 PM
Salud: Biden Right on Afghan Policy, Wrong on Pullout Deadline; Won't Endorse Cathy in Mayor's Race

The responsibility for the rapid collapse in Afghanistan rests squarely with the Commander in Chief of the United States, Joe Biden. It’s not petty to blame him, the Biden administration failed to fund contingency plans or even take the possibility of failure seriously. Listening to Biden try to rationalize his failures this past week makes me question how much longer he’ll be around.

Byzantium Aug 27, 2021 03:23 PM
Salud: Biden Right on Afghan Policy, Wrong on Pullout Deadline; Won't Endorse Cathy in Mayor's Race

Biden made a series of very flawed decisions during his pivotal 8 months handling this pre-set Afghan withdrawal - their consequences are now his alone and he does need to be accountable for them. One of the worst was handing over Bagram AFB to the Taliban before departure of Americans and others of interest. He had a choice - the embassy or Bagram - he chose to put his resources into protecting the downtown Embassy, which quickly fell. And that cut off his alternate escape routes at Bagram along with handing over military supplies and releasing ISIS-K prisoners before the last Americans had departed. Too late to undo that choice now as the carnage numbers mount from the recent ISIS-K suicide bombing, but it clearly was his to make.

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