State leaders address situation in Afghanistan during visit to Peoria



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PEORIA (WEEK) — Democratic state leaders say they are united behind a common cause; getting all American troops and their allies home from Afghanistan.

Senator Tammy Duckworth served in Iraq and says the issue is personal for her. She, like others, is nervous for the future of women’s rights in the country and doesn’t believe the Taliban’s promises about protecting the rights of women.

“I suspect the promises that they make will certainly change once all US forces have left,” Duckworth said. “They’re not exactly known for keeping their word.”

Right now, Duckworth adds the most urgent issue is evacuating as many people as possible.

“We can talk later on about the drawdown and all that,” Duckworth said. “Right now, our focus needs to be making sure we leave no American behind.”

Senator Dick Durbin voted to send troops to Afghanistan 20 years ago. He defended the Biden administration’s plan to pull troops out of the country.

“We thought we prepared them well,” Durbin said. “But when the time came, they wouldn’t stand their ground. And then their government left the country… I am not going to hold Joe Biden responsible for the Afghan security forces disappearing in the battle. We cannot and should not take their place.”

Governor JB Pritzker echoing the same message of getting the troops home, but not specifically endorsing the President’s original plan for a drawdown of troops. He says refugees of the conflict will be welcome in the Land of Lincoln.

“Refugees that come to the United States as a result of our ability to get them out, I hope Illinois will be one place we are able to welcome them to,” Pritzker said.

Representative Cheri Bustos adding her take, that the Afghan government failed to step up and lead.

“They had the military equipment to fight back, and they didn’t,” Bustos said. “But Americans need to come home.”

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