Rep. Guy Reschenthaler on Thursday called for "swift retaliation" from the United States after the deadly attack at the Kabul airport, telling Newsmax that the United States must send the message that it will not tolerate Americans or allies being targeted on the ground.
However, the Pennsylvania Republican told Newsmax's "John Bachman Now" that he doesn't think President Joe Biden and his administration, in particular, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, have the "resolve to actually retaliate when Americans are targeted."
He also accused the administration of making the same mistakes with the Taliban that former President Barack Obama and Biden, his vice-president then, made concerning ISIS.
"If we look back in history, recent history, when you had Obama and Biden pulling out of Iraq, you had ISIS that was marching, caravanning right from Syria," said Reschenthaler. "We could have attacked them from the air and destroyed ISIS capability for at least that period of time to move into Iraq. Foolishly, Biden/Obama did not do that, and then we had ramped-up kinetic operations o the ground."
And now, Reschenthaler said, he fears "we're making the same mistakes here."
"The Taliban, al Qaeda, and apparently ISIS are concentrated in one area," he said. "This is when you want to strike them. We now have the luxury of hitting them when they're all together, as opposed to when they're blending into the population and we can't tell who's a friend and who's a foe."
The United States should also have retaken the Bagram Air Base, he maintained.
"We should have never given it up," said Reschenthaler. "We should have taken it back immediately."
Meanwhile, the congressman said he has many questions for Biden, but he's not taking questions from Congress, "at least Republicans."
"You see him literally turning his back on the press and walking off stage at press conferences where he's talking about COVID," said Reschethaler. "It is as if the Biden administration is living in an alternative reality and is not aware of the situation on the ground."
Further, he said, the message that is being given behind closed doors is not the same that is being given to the public.
"Every time you hear anything from the Biden administration, they're so focused on the airport," he said. "The real problem here in any novice can point this out is that you have 1,500 Americans who were outside the airport who can't get in because the Taliban controls the checkpoint. The Taliban is literally controlling the perimeter of the airport and now you have what's likely an ISIS attack, two attacks, two bombings around the airport. They're not grasping the situation."
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