Afghan reporter breaks down during NATO press conference
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Richard Burgon’s outrageous statement came as he claimed there can be “no military solution” to bringing peace to the war-torn nation. His tweet emerged as the country’s humanitarian crisis threatens to spiral out of control after the Taliban seized control of vast parts of it – including the capital Kabul – in recent days.
Rather than pointing the finger at inept Afghan government forces for capitulating, the loudmouth Labour politician blamed the country’s ongoing woes on “20 years of disastrous military intervention” by foreign powers including the UK and US.
The Labour MP for East Leeds continued: “Just as in Iraq and Libya, backing US-led invasions led to a huge loss of life.
“There is no military solution in Afghanistan. The focus now should be on reparations and supporting refugees.”
His outrageous statement was quickly slammed by many – who rightly pointed out that paying reparations to the country would likely end up in the hands of its hardline Islamist rulers.
Before they were toppled in 2001 they turned Afghanistan into a pariah state and harboured terrorists including Osama bin Laden – the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks which killed nearly 3,000 people.
One Twitter user wrote: “Labour are a never-ending walking disaster. How anybody could ever think to vote for them is mind-boggling.”
Another said: “Richard, in case you missed it. The Taliban now controls Afghanistan.
“I am not sure paying them reparations is the way to go…”
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A third posted: “So this is your tweet as a sitting MP! Sounds like a prepubescent keen student.”
Meanwhile a fourth said: “Presumably he would have just let the Taliban and Bin Laden get on with murderous misogyny unhindered.
“You can’t appease fascist terrorists. The tragedy is not the intervention but the craven withdrawal & betrayal of the Afghan people.”
The gaffe is far from the first committed by the left-leaning MP.
Last month he was mercilessly mocked for bringing up Boris Johnson’s self-isolation in Chequers after the Prime Minister came into close contact with then coronavirus-positive Sajid Javid.
Pointing out double standards for Brits self-isolating compared to Mr Johnson’s hideaway in the 1,500-acre manor house, Mr Burgon insisted the Prime Minister should increase statutory sick pay.
He said: “The Prime Minister is having to self-isolate just as hundreds of thousands of people across the country are having to do because of his reckless Covid strategy.
“But unlike the Prime Minister, not everybody has been able to run off to a luxury country mansion with a heated swimming pool.
“And also unlike the Prime Minister, so many people across our country are having to survive on just £96 sick pay per week.”
In response, the Prime Minister said Mr Burgon is “quite wrong”.
He pointed out those self-isolating are entitled to the living wage, statutory sick pay, and “in extreme circumstances to help from their local councils and also to a £500 payment to help them with self-isolation”.
Mocking Mr Burgon’s PMQ’s appearance, Patrick O’Flynn posted on Twitter: “I swear Burgon’s lip curled when he referred to the Chequers swimming pool being ‘heated’.
“How would a Labour MP know?”
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