Late last month, Kamala Harris pledged that the US would cooperate with its allies to help protect women and children in Afghanistan. Earlier in August, she laughed when asked by reporters about the deadly chaos in the south Asian nation.
A bunch of protesters waved flags of Afghanistan only about 100 metres from a rally in San Leandro, California, where US vice-president Kamala Harris campaigned for embattled California Governor Gavin Newsom who faces a recall election on 14 September.
The recall was effected because residents of California were unhappy with Newsom’s pandemic-related policies, his approach to handling economic problems, and other burning issues.
Among those challenging Newsom in the election are former Olympic athlete Caitlyn Jenner, businessman John Cox and the mayor of San Diego, Kevin Faulconer.
Several videos emerged on Twitter on Wednesday to show protesters waving Afghan flags and chanting, “Free Afghanistan” during Harris’ appearance at the Newsom rally.
In one film, demonstrator Willy Moosayar, who identified himself as an Afghan-American whose parents left Afghanistan for the US, slammed Harris for failing to speak out about what he dubbed a humanitarian crisis in the south Asian nation.
He added that Afghan refugees, who are at present in the US, feel uneasy now that other Afghans have been abandoned in Afghanistan to face the power of the Taliban*. According to Moosayar “we have to fight for them, we have to be their voice”.
He explained that the protesters were saying “no” to the loss of rights for Afghan women after the Taliban seized power in the country, as well as to reports of the militant group’s opponents facing retribution from the insurgents.
In a separate development, the Republican National Committee held a rally to protest against Harris campaigning for Newsom during the Afghanistan crisis. “Californians are stranded in Afghanistan. Where’s Kamala? Campaigning in California”, one ad, posted on a mobile billboard, read.
These developments have all arisen while Harris and President Joe Biden have come under fire for what some describe as the US administration’s “botched” job of withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan – an evacuation that was completed in late August.
Washington also faces flak over the “chaotic” evacuation of US nationals and allied Afghans from the south Asian nation after the Taliban’s takeover of the capital Kabul on 15 August. Biden praised the US evacuation operation of more than 120,000 people from Afghanistan as an “extraordinary success”, but Washington’s European allies berated POTUS for refusing to extend the 31 August evacuation deadline.