Former President George W. Bush said Wednesday he fears women and girls in Afghanistan will “suffer unspeakable harm” in the wake of President Joe Biden’s decision to pull American troops from the country.
He told the German news outlet Deutsche Welle he is concerned “the consequences” of leaving Afghanistan “are going to be unbelievably bad.”
Bush oversaw the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, after radical Islamic terrorists attacked the U.S. on 9/11.
As American and NATO forces continue to leave the Middle Eastern country, Taliban terrorists have stepped in to seize control of the country.
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“It’s unbelievable how that society changed from the brutality of the Taliban and — all of the sudden, sadly — I’m afraid Afghan women and girls are going to suffer unspeakable harm,” Bush warned.
According to a report published in 2001 by the U.S. Department of State, Afghanistan “under the Taliban had one of the worst human rights records in the world,” noting that women were confined to their homes and were denied access to basic health care and education.
“Although the Taliban claimed that it was acting in the best interests of women,” the report stated, “the truth is that the Taliban regime cruelly reduced women and girls to poverty, worsened their health, and deprived them of their right to an education, and many times, the right to practice their religion.”
Bush said this week he and his wife, former first lady Laura Bush, are “sad” because they “spent a lot of time with Afghan women, and they’re scared.”
“I think about all the interpreters and people that helped not only U.S. troops but NATO troops,” the former president said, “and it seems like they’re just going to be left behind to be slaughtered by these very brutal people.”
“It breaks my heart,” he added.