George W. Bush Urges Biden To ‘Cut Red Tape’ To Allow Afghan Refugees Into U.S.

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George W. Bush, the former president responsible for going to war in Afghanistan more than 20 years ago, is urging President Joe Biden to move quickly to allow refugees from Afghanistan into the U.S.

“Laura and I have been watching the tragic events unfolding in Afghanistan with deep sadness,” Bush said in a statement on Monday. “Our hearts are heavy for both the Afghan people who have suffered so much and for the Americans and NATO allies who have sacrificed so much.”

In his message, Bush addressed U.S. troops, veterans, diplomats, and the intelligence community who have served in Afghanistan.

“Many of you deal with wounds of war, both visible and invisible,” Bush said. “And some of your brothers and sisters in arms made the ultimate sacrifice in the war on terror. Each day, we have been humbled by your commitment and your courage. You took out a brutal enemy and denied Al Qaeda a safe haven while building schools, sending supplies, and providing medical care. You kept America safe from further terror attacks, provided two decades of security and opportunity for millions, and made America proud. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and will always honor your contributions.”

Bush in July vocally opposed Biden’s plan to withdraw U.S.  troops from Afghanistan,  saying, “This is a mistake. They’re just going to be left behind to be slaughtered by these very brutal people, and it breaks my heart.”

In his statement, Bush pointed out that Biden pledged to evacuate the Afghans who have helped promote “progress” in the nation.

“The Afghans now at greatest risk are the same ones who have been on the forefront of progress inside their nation. President Biden has promised to evacuate these Afghans, along with American citizens and our allies,” Bush said. “The United States government has the legal authority to cut the red tape for refugees during urgent humanitarian crises. And we have the responsibility and the resources to secure safe passage for them now, without bureaucratic delay.”

“Laura and I are confident that the evacuation efforts will be effective because they are being carried out by the remarkable men and women of the United States Armed Forces, diplomatic corps, and intelligence community,” he said.

Ever the optimist, Bush said the situation will improve.

“Like our country, Afghanistan is also made up of resilient, vibrant people. Nearly 65 percent of the population is under twenty-five years old. The choices they will make for opportunity, education, and liberty will also determine Afghanistan’s future,” the statement read.

Last month, the former president told Deutsche Welle that a troop withdrawal would have tremendous consequences in the country, especially for women and girls.

“Laura and I, along with the team at the Bush Center, stand ready as Americans to lend our support and assistance in this time of need. Let us all resolve to be united in saving lives and praying for the people of Afghanistan,” the statement concluded.

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