Rory Stewart and Mehdi Hasan clashed furiously on the BBC’s Question Time after Hasan accused Western governments of “lying” to the world after thousands of lives were lost during the Afghanistan campaign. He suggested that there should be no “endless war” in the region, as he supported Western forces that eventually left the region, but not in the “horrible way” that has been carried out in recent years. Stewart was puzzled by Hasan’s assessment of Afghanistan, as he noted that the situation on the ground was much calmer than it appeared before the two men started yelling at each other.
Speaking on Question Time, Hasan said that for the past 20 years the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom “lied” to everyone by saying that the situation in Afghanistan was being resolved and that they were “turning a corner.”
He pointed to the thousands of people who lost their lives and wondered if Western involvement in the country really worked.
He said, “At what point do we say enough is enough, we have to end this, even if it is done, and I think it was done in a horrible way, but it has to end.”
“We cannot have an endless war and do the same thing over and over again expecting different results.”
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Stewart, who has worked and lived in Kabul for several years, told Hasan: “You are massively misrepresenting the situation, combat operations ended in 2014.
“You are living in the past, there have been very few victims in the United States or the United Kingdom and this is one of the problems of the line that Biden is selling.”
“Since 2014, we have conducted air operations from bases in support of the Afghan National Army.
“There was no significant pressure against our forces on the ground, they were never tested.
Stewart has called the withdrawal from Afghanistan “the greatest betrayal since World War II” and said that many key players in the country were unaware of the important role they played, no matter how small.
The former politician also attacked President Joe Biden for complying with Donald Trump’s 2020 deal.
During an interview with LBC, Stewart said: “It is very, very sad for Britain because it suggests that we have lost the ability to really think independently of America.”