The video addresses many concerns and issues that have cropped up from President Joe Biden’s disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal. In the video, multiple US veterans that are now serving in Congress give their personal feelings about the end of the war in Afghanistan. The lynchpin of the video’s message is a statement from Representative Ronny Jackson (R-TX; Navy Rear Admiral, Ret.):
“Their sacrifice was not in vain. It wasn’t, okay? It kept this country safe for 20 years. And it’s because we’ve had brave people that have been willing to give their life and limb over there in Afghanistan. Thank you to all the brave men and women that served over there.”
“I am in a very unhealthy mix of betrayal, grief, and rage right now. And those feelings are understandable. But I want them to hear me loud and clear. Veterans, Gold Star families, victims of 9/11, their sacrifices were not in vain. A whole generation of Americans have grown up, not worried about planes flying into buildings, not worried about suicide bombers on school buses, they’ve grown up in safety, and that sacrifice was worth it. But if you’re struggling, if you’re struggling with all of this, please call somebody. There are hotlines out there, use them, you’re not alone.”
Representative Jake Ellzey (R-TX; Navy Commander, Ret.) also spoke to America’s Gold Star families, those who have lost a family member in service to the United States military, and spoke to the anguish that they are going through.
“The message to the Gold Star families, those who have lost loved ones, those who have been wounded, and their families. We did our jobs. We did our jobs for 20 years,” Ellzey said.
“The only thing that you can say is be proud of the job that you did. This is not political. This is personal. And it’s about Americans. It’s personal for those of us who have served there. And it’s personal for everybody who knows somebody who has to.”
The GOP released the video via Twitter:
To all who have served, your service was not in vain.
Watch the first part of an important conversation with Afghanistan Veterans: @TonyGonzales4TX, @michaelgwaltz, @BrianMastFL, @RonnyJacksonTX and @JakeEllzey. pic.twitter.com/zISYQTl3OW
— GOP (@GOP) September 1, 2021
The video is part one of a series being put out by the RNC that focuses on dialogue with veterans of the war in Afghanistan. The issue continues to be a lightning rod for criticism of President Biden and his administration, including but hardly limited to such issues as American citizens stranded in Afghanistan, abandoned allies such as interpreters and other collaborators all left to the tender mercies of the Taliban, and the overall perception of a humiliating loss of American prestige and standing in the world.
As President Biden appears to shirk responsibility, shift blame, and refuse to address questions on these topics, it stands to reason that the Republicans will make maximum use of the debacle in next year’s elections.