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Khizr Khan, Sabato react to nightmare situation in Afghanistan

Published: Aug. 16, 2021 at 6:51 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - As the Taliban takes control of Afghanistan, people in Charlottesville are being deeply affected as they watch the horror unfold.

Gold Star father Khizr Khan’s son, Captain Humayun Khan, was killed in combat overseas back in 2004. He says he’s deeply concerned, mainly for the Afghan people and their religious freedoms at stake.

“I am saddened to see the events unfold,” Khan said. “I’m concerned for the well being of Afghan people.”

His son Humayun Khan, who attended the University of Virginia, paid the ultimate sacrifice by laying down his life for the freedom of both Americans and people in the Middle East. He hopes that the United States will remain steadfast in supporting the Afghan people.

“Humanitarian aid is step one,” Khan said. “Step two is that America still carries some weight in that region, in that country, and we should support Afghan people. We should announce that America remains standing with Afghan people.”

Larry Sababto, the director of the UVA Center for Politics, says it is a difficult situation for Americans to watch unfold.

“The loss of life is the most important thing of all. The fact that over 2,400 Americans have lost their lives trying to preserve freedom for afghans, and now we don’t see a return on that very high price and blood and treasure....it’s easy to understand why people are so upset,” Sabato said. “It’s gonna be a miracle if there isn’t a lot of bloodshed.”

However, Sabato says, sending troops back likely will not be the cure-all solution.

“Today 70% of Americans oppose continuing the involvement in Afghanistan,” Sabato said. “You have millions of Republicans joining millions of Democrats, and millions of Independents saying, enough. At that point, it’s very difficult to do very much beyond what Biden has already done.”

Khan says he trusts the U.S. government to make the right move, but hopes they can send humanitarian aid in the meantime.

“I leave the wisdom of that to the government, but as ordinary citizens we should voice our support,” Khan said.

Sabato says this is going to be a major stain on the Biden presidency that will go down in history, but this issue has truly spanned over four presidencies.

“It’s not going to change everything,” Sabato said. “Even the fall of Vietnam didn’t really affect the 1976 election. This is not going to have a major impact in the midterm elections in 2022, or the presidential election in 2024. Americans focus on things that affect their lives like the economy and the pandemic.”

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