Despite Biden’s “Success” Claims, US Officials “Horrified” by Abandoned Americans
Although US President Joe Biden called the US evacuation of Kabul an “extraordinary success,” his administration officials were dismayed that US forces left with several hundred Americans still in Afghanistan, now under pressure. the domination of the Taliban.
“I am absolutely appalled and literally horrified that we left Americans there,” an administration official told the Political news site.
Biden appeared to say on Tuesday that those who stayed did so of their own free will and may leave in the future.
“The bottom line: 90% of Americans in Afghanistan who wanted to leave were able to leave. For the remaining Americans, there is no deadline. We remain committed to getting them out, if they want to get out, ”Biden said.
He claimed that 100-200 Americans are still there and have “some intention to leave,” adding: “Most of those who remain are dual nationals, long-time residents, but decided to stay earlier. because of their family roots in Afghanistan “.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki later said that Biden was telling these people that if they decide in two weeks that they want to leave, “we’ll get you out.”
But other officials painted a different picture.
“It was a hostage rescue of thousands of Americans under the cover of a NEO [noncombatant evacuation operations], and we have failed this mission without fail, ”the official told Politico.
Another White House official said the mission was not accomplished if they left the Americans behind.
And military officers appeared to contradict Biden’s assessment of the desire to leave for those who remain.
General Frank McKenzie, head of the US Central Command, said on Monday that The Americans tried to get to Kabul airport for the final evacuations but were unable to. No American was on board the last five jets to depart.
“We kept the option of bringing them in until immediately before the start, but we couldn’t get any Americans out,” he said. “This activity probably ended about 12 hours before our outing, although we continued to raise awareness and would have been prepared to continue them until the very last minute. But none of them made it to the airport and could be – and could have been accommodated. “
U.S. officials estimated as many as 200 Americans were left behind, along with an unknown number of Afghans and others frantically trying to leave. By that time, more than 100,000 people, mostly Afghans, had been transported to safety during the multinational evacuations.
As the last American soldiers to leave after the 20-year American deployment there, the Afghans are making desperate appeals to the West not to forget those who remain, fearing for their lives from the Taliban.
Afghans left behind
Freshta, an artist and mother of two young children, is among those who have gone into hiding, one of the desperate voices coming from Afghanistan in the wake of the US withdrawal.
Freshta – whose name has been changed for security reasons – was among those who were unable to join the evacuations organized by foreign countries through Kabul airport.
Two days before an attack at Kabul airport left more than 100 dead, the 33-year-old artist and painter tried to board a flight organized by France.
But after a long wait with her five-month-old baby and five-year-old daughter, “stressed” by the chaos around the airport and frightened by gunfire from Taliban soldiers, she had to turn back.
Now Freshta is in hiding at his home in Kabul, desperate by this turn of events.
“In 20 years, we have tried a lot to make our country a nation, to progress,” she told AFP by telephone. “Our message: think of those innocent people who have no way out of Afghanistan. “
Freshta called on the outside world “not to be silent about our situation”.
His is one of many cases supported by a coalition of artists and cultural figures based in France.
If other countries “recognize the Taliban regime, our situation in the future will worsen.” They should listen to our voice, ”she said.
From now on, she simply “waits” to see what the future holds for her while asking those close to her to do her shopping for her and limiting her movements to the strict minimum. Even then, she makes sure she is fully veiled.
“It’s dangerous for me because I’ve done a lot of things as an artist,” she said.
The Taliban’s attempt to reassure Afghans opposed to their ideology does not cut the ice with Freshta.
“We cannot trust the Taliban,” she insisted. “Their actions and their speeches are totally different. “