The sight of the U.S. military ending its rescue mission in Afghanistan, slamming shut the gates at Kabul airport in the face of hundreds, and most likely many more, Americans and Afghans crying out for help to be evacuated, was reminiscent of a harrowing scene from the 1997 movie "Titanic." In the movie, after the ship was sliced open by an iceberg and seawater began rushing in, the captain moved quickly to close compartment doors, hoping to contain the flooding. Quickly doing so, several crew members working below decks were unable to get out before the doors slammed shut, leaving them, like the Americans and Afghans in Kabul, to suffer their fate. For Titanic crew members, it was only a matter of seconds before their fate was realized; for the abandoned Americans and Afghans in Afghanistan, it will take longer.
A U.S. Army colonel assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, was texting with others attempting to rescue stranded Americans in Afghanistan at Kabul airport. As the gates slammed shut, he – obviously in disbelief as to what was happening – texted out, "We are f***ing abandoning American citizens." Those gates, in order to meet Joe Biden's Aug. 31 self-imposed deadline, closed a day before the deadline as people were still trying to get out of the country. Meanwhile, President Biden was telling those of us at home the withdrawal was an "extraordinary success." The explosive reality confronting the colonel was defused for public consumption by a president unwilling to cope with the disastrous reality his bad decision-making had created.
An American woman stranded in Afghanistan where she is hiding 37 others, including children, shared her fears with a CNN reporter. Having worked for the U.S. military as an interpreter for 14 years, she knows she is being sought out by the Taliban who want "to kill us." A State Department that was supposed to be helping the group escape jerked them around, putting out one contradictory advisory after another, leaving her not knowing whom to believe. "What is next for us," she asks. "We just smell the death. I'm afraid to … go out."
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As one Biden critic notes, concerning those left behind, "The Taliban has all the benefits of holding hostages without the negative aspects. These Americans are trapped in Afghanistan."
An accounting method by which assets first acquired are the first to be removed is known as "FIFO," or "First In, First Out." An alternative accounting method is "LIFO," meaning "Last In, First Out." Twenty years ago, the first Americans into Afghanistan after 9/11 were our military. They were later followed by civilians, both U.S. government and private contractors and families, who attempted to bring stability to the country, working with willing Afghan citizens motivated by their own survival. Our withdrawal from Afghanistan should have embraced the LIFO method, ensuring both American citizens and our Afghan allies were the first out, leaving our military to depart last. However, Biden opted for FIFO–getting our military out first, surrendering Kabul to Taliban control and negatively impacting the ability of civilians to get to the airport for evacuation.
The thought of leaving our own to their fate with the Taliban has triggered numerous private-citizen rescue operations. Knowing that those who convert from Islam to Christianity are deemed "apostates" and, as such, targeted for death by the Taliban, conservative commentator Glenn Beck's Nazarene Fund raised $30 million to save 5,000 Afghan Christians. While Beck's critics claim it is "selective saving" by giving priority to Christians, they ignore the fact Christian conversion in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan is an automatic death sentence.
Also answering the call to rescue those left behind are veterans of U.S. Special Force units of the various services, who have already saved hundreds of lives, using their own assets and funding to do so. Even after the last U.S. troops departed Afghanistan, they remained behind, giving those abandoned hope they can still be rescued. We are left to pray these courageous warriors succeed and make it home to celebrate what they have done. If so, it will be interesting to see if Biden says or does anything to recognize them for their service to the country, risking their lives for humanity – a humanity Biden felt was unworthy of saving for political reasons as he envisioned using the occasion as a photo op – i.e., the 20th anniversary of 9/11 to take credit for ending the war in Afghanistan.
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The rescue response of these groups is similar to how British citizens courageously responded during World War II when their troops, isolated in a French port city, in danger of being decimated by German airpower, fought the Battle of Dunkirk. Every civilian boat possible was rounded up to evacuate the British troops before the Germans could act. The only difference between the Dunkirk evacuation and the Kabul airport evacuation was that the British government remained fully involved in the former while the Biden administration abandoned the evacuees in the latter.
It is unfortunate none of these private citizens enticed Hunter Biden to join them. Perhaps the only way President Biden would have rescued all our citizens and Afghan allies was if Hunter – his proxy money source – was to be extracted on a LILO basis, "last in, last out." Should worse come to worse, father Joe could rest easy knowing Hunter's artistic skills could save him – raising money by painting his way out. One only wonders how many paintings the Taliban would buy!
On his first day in office, Biden announced that President Donald Trump's multi-faceted rollbacks to endangered and threatened species protections would be reviewed. Biden had earlier claimed that global warming had created a "new endangered species … the human being." Seven months later, Biden has created an endangered human species in Afghanistan – those hoping to escape the sword of the Taliban – by his irresponsible decision-making. His callous actions indicate they are not high on his endangered species list.
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