Ambassador Ross Wilson blames Americans for not leaving Afghanistan despite warnings
Wilson's comment comes in the wake of desperate people trapped in Afghanistan begging President Joe Biden to rescue them from the Taliban-ruled nation
US diplomat Ross Wilson has drawn social media flak for his "heartless" comments on the Afghanistan crisis. The acting US ambassador to Afghanistan is now being accused of victim-blaming for saying that Americans in Afghanistan "chose not to leave" despite repeated warnings, therefore being in the currently tumultuous region is "their business".
Wilson's comment comes in the wake of desperate people trapped in Afghanistan begging President Joe Biden to rescue them ever since the nation fell to the Taliban. With the August 31 evacuation deadline drawing closer, the president is already being slammed on social media for not doing enough to get Americans out of the country. Two terrifying explosions just outside the Kabul airport on Thursday has left people disturbed with at least 110 dead, including 13 US marines. Amidst the chaos, Wilson blaming people trapped in the country for choosing to stay seemed beyond distasteful to many.
Wilson made the controversial remarks during an August 26 appearance on CBS News, when anchor Norah O'Donnell asked the diplomat, "Why didn't the US get out Americans and our Afghani friends before the Taliban were able to take control from Kabul?" The acting ambassador to Afghanistan responded: "We put out repeated warnings every three weeks to Americans going back to, I think, in March or April, each one in stronger terms. Leave now. Leave immediately."
Dubbing those warnings as some of the strongest he's seen in his career in the State Department, Wilson remarked that many chose to not pay any heed. "People chose not to leave," Wilson said, adding: "That's their business. That's their right." He continued: "We regret now that many find themselves in a position that they'd rather not be in and we are determined to try to help."
Top U.S. diplomat says the State Department put out repeated warnings every three weeks to Americans in Afghanistan telling them to leave since April: “People chose not to leave. That's their business," Ross Wilson said. pic.twitter.com/hr5HlLxA0F— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) August 26, 2021
Wilson's sentiments resonates with those recently made by MSNBC analyst Malcolm Nance, who said that people should just "deal with" the suicide bombing attacks at Kabul airport amidst the evacuation process. Nance, who had also expressed similar opinions about the ISIS suicide bombing of Trump Tower in Istanbul, recently said in a since deleted tweet: "There have been terrorist suicide bombers killing civilians nearly DAILY in Afghanistan. This ain't new. It's why we are leaving. #DealWithIt." Social media ripped Nance apart for his comments, and the same treatment was shown to Wilson after his remarks on the evacuation went viral.
"This is a disgraceful message from the callous Biden administration," foreign policy analyst Nile Gardiner tweeted, calling Wilson's comments: "Truly heartless." Others called out Wilson, claiming his remarks were, "Victim blaming at its finest." Another called for official action against Wilson, tweeting: "White House should fire Ross Wilson and makes him one of the stranded American in Kabul. See if he would blame himself for not leaving Kabul earlier".
Some were of the opinion, "After what we have heard from ROSS WILSON, the President should ask for his resignation. That's the first head that should roll." Others resorted to calling names, as one user tweeted: "Ross Wilson you are a piece of s*** and a lying piece of s*** at that."
This is a disgraceful message from the callous Biden administration. Truly heartless. https://t.co/LnkL9EY8L6— Nile Gardiner (@NileGardiner) August 26, 2021
“Ross Wilson, Acting Ambassador to Afghanistan, said on Thursday morning that many people didn't leave when they had the chance and now 'find themselves in position that they would rather not be in'.”— IT Guy (@ITGuy1959) August 26, 2021
Victim blaming at its finest. https://t.co/wLPGSYJXsK
White House should fire Ross Wilson and makes him one of the stranded American in Kabul.— guo zhong (@zgr66568) August 27, 2021
See if he would blame himself for not leaving Kabul earlier
@USEmbassyKabul Ross Wilson you are a piece of s*** and a lying piece of s*** at that— Bobby Kay (@BigBobKay) August 27, 2021
@WHCOS After what we have heard from ROSS WILSON, the President should ask for his resignation. That's the first head that should roll.— ED CETTEI (@ECettei) August 26, 2021