Pentagon spokesman John Kirby hosted a press conference on Monday on the sudden collapse of Afghanistan after nearly two decades of U.S. fighting.
A reporter identified as Nazira Karimi, a woman of Afghan origin, spoke up about the disintegrating situation. Her haunting words ‘where is my president?’ are very relatable for Americans who are wondering the same things about their own president.
“I am from Afghanistan, I am very upset today,” the emotional woman said. “Because Afghan women didn’t expect that overnight all the Taliban came.”
“They took off my flag,” she continued. “This is my flag,” she said, referring to her mask and pulling it down in order to speak.
“They put their flag,” she added. “Everybody is upset, especially women. And I forgot my question…” the woman said and trailed off.
“Where is my president?” she asked. “Former president Ghani. People expected that he would abide by the people. And immediately he ran away. We don’t know where is he.”
“And we don’t have a president,” she continued. “President Biden said that President Ghani knows he has to fight for his people.”
“But we don’t have any president,” she went on. “We don’t have anything. Afghan people, they don’t know what to do.”
The woman said that she left Afghanistan twenty years ago, and asked for Kirby to give a comment. Pentagon spokesperon Kirby addressed the woman’s concern, and moved on.
“Russia’s embassy in Kabul said on Monday that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had fled the country with four cars and a helicopter full of cash and had to leave some money behind as it would not all fit in,” Reuters said, based on a RIA Novosti report.
“Ghani, whose current whereabouts are unknown, said he left Afghanistan on Sunday as the Taliban entered Kabul virtually unopposed,” the report continued.
Former President Ghani was educated by Western elites, according to his biography at Columbia University.
“When pro-Soviet forces came to power, most of the male members of his family were imprisoned and he was stranded in the US,” the biography continued. “He stayed at Columbia University and earned his Ph.D. there, with a doctoral thesis entitled ‘Production and domination: Afghanistan, 1747-1901’, and was immediately invited to teach at University of California, Berkeley (1983) and then at Johns Hopkins University (1983-1991). During this period, he became a frequent commentator on the BBC Dari and Pashto services, broadcast in Afghanistan.”
On Monday, President Biden emerged from Camp David to give a brief speech on the collapse of Afghanistan. Biden only appeared on Monday to give a press conference, then quickly exited to go back on vacation at Camp David without taking any reporters’ questions.
“The buck stops with me,” Biden said and headed for the exits as reporters tried in vain to shout questions at him.
‘President Biden is going back to Camp David after delivering remarks on Afghanistan,’ the White House confirmed. Unbelievable.
Biden retreats from the capital amid questions over his competence and capacity to lead. pic.twitter.com/txyjWwDgIY
— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) August 16, 2021
America’s Commander-in-Chief is back on vacation, joining White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, at a time when Americans need answers more than ever. Much like the fleeing former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani, the American people have also been abandoned by their leadership.
“Where is my president?”
Indeed. The Afghan woman’s haunting question at the Pentagon press briefing speaks for many of us.
OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.