A retired Marine who lost both of his legs while serving in Afghanistan blasted Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, commander of the U.S. Central Command, after he praised the Taliban for being “helpful and useful” during the US evacuation efforts.
“I don’t trust politicians or trust this type of diplomacy any further than can I throw it—and a guy with no legs can’t throw real far,” Johnny Joey Jones told Fox News.
Jones, who served as a Marine Corps bomb technician, has been a regular fixture on Fox News and one of several veterans who has regularly criticized the Biden administration’s foreign policy on the network.
He said McKenzie’s comments were a “betrayal” of the men and women who served in Afghanistan.
“I don’t know what political pressures are on his shoulders, but I know what it means to be a Marine,” Jones said, noting he and McKenzie served in the same branch. “I know what it means to bleed with men and women, and to hold their hand when they’re taking their last breath and to do everything I can, everything in me.”
The Biden administration has tried to appeal to the Taliban by floating the promise of legitimacy if the group sets up a new, “diverse” regime.
On Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken vowed to work with the new Afghan government if the Taliban “lives up to its commitments.”
“The Taliban seeks international legitimacy and support. Our message is, any legitimacy and any support will have to be earned,” he said.
Shortly after Blinken’s comments, McKenzie announced the U.S. had successfully partnered with the Taliban to complete its withdrawal.
“They established a firm perimeter outside of the airfield to prevent people from coming on the airfield during our departure,” he said.
“They did not have direct knowledge of our time of departure,” he added. “We chose to keep that information very restricted. But they were actually very helpful and useful to us as we closed down operations.”