‘We should all be ashamed’: Reporter who lost eye in Afghanistan on withdrawal


CHICAGO (NewsNation Now) — A journalist who lost his eye in Afghanistan says, “We should all be ashamed” for what’s happening as the Taliban takes control and the U.S. works to evacuate about 22,000 Afghans from the country.

“It’s a nonstop gut punch,” said Carmen Gentile, a war correspondent and author. “To know that my friends on the ground there are suffering so much running for their lives, wondering what they’re going to do day to day, whether they’re going to be able to survive this, when the next knock on the door is going to be from the Taliban to take them away and to take away their wives and children. It’s nothing that you could possibly imagine in your worst dreams.”

Gentile nearly lost his life when the Taliban fired an explosive while he was conducting an interview.

“What happen to me, this is nothing,” Gentile said. “This is a kiss on the cheek. What they’re going to do to the Afghan people, particularly to the women and the children is beyond comprehension.”

On Monday,  President Joe Biden defended his decision to withdraw American troops from the country.

Despite declaring “the buck stops with me,” Biden placed almost all blame on Afghans for the shockingly rapid Taliban conquest.

Biden said he had warned U.S.-backed Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to be prepared to fight a civil war with the Taliban after U.S. forces left. “They failed to do any of that,” he said.

“They knew what was what was coming,” Gentile said. “They knew because they had heard the stories already in the remote villages. What the Taliban was doing to soldiers, how they were gathering them up and not just killing them, they were mutilating them.”

Gentile said almost 70,000 Afghan men fighting for their country have died in uniform since the Afghan army was stood up.

“For President Biden to say that they were as well equipped and well trained as any army in the world is disgusting,” Gentile said. “It’s not the case at all. They often didn’t have ammunition; they didn’t have fuel for their vehicles. They slept on planks without mattresses.”

Gentile did say it wasn’t all our country’s fault because there is a lot of corruption in Afghanistan.

“But to say that those men were not fighting for their country is an insult, I’m ashamed,” Gentile said.

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