President Joe Biden promised to leave American troops in Afghanistan until the last American citizen was extracted. He lied.
After the U.S. mission in the country ended on Monday, U.S. Central Command head Gen. Frank McKenzie said that while the “vast majority” of Americans had been evacuated, a number “in the low, very low hundreds” was left behind.
McKenzie indicated those individuals were unable to make it to the airport before the last American flights left.
An ABC News reporter confirmed this number could be as high as 250.
As many as 250 Americans who wanted to leave Afghanistan were left behind https://t.co/ijrYZ147ny
— Ben Siegel (@bensiegel) August 30, 2021
On Monday, CNN’s Chris Cuomo talked to one of these individuals — an American woman using the pseudonym of “Sara.”
Sara, a former interpreter for the military, said she had been trying to get as many people out of the country before leaving herself. She said 37 Afghans she was trying to evacuate were in her house with her.
“I just can’t believe no one told me that this was the last flight,” she said.
She told Cuomo they made several attempts to leave, getting through Taliban checkpoints by pretending a man she was with was her husband and the “six kids” she had with her were part of her family and they were trying to go home.
They were “all on the streets going from gate to gate,” she said, adding that was the guidance the State Department gave her.
They were hit with tear gas as they approached the airport, Sara said. When she messaged her contact who was supposed to let her in about the gassing, the person said, “They are putting the gas for you so you can get closer to the gate,” Sara told Cuomo.
When she reached the perimeter of the airport, she “started shouting, ‘Hey, I’m an American, please open the gate, I’m here to go home!'”
“They threw another gas and I was knocked out for like maybe 15 minutes,” she said.
All the children she was trying to save in the evacuation attempt were lost, she told Cuomo — and now she’s stuck in the country.
“Am I safe? Now the question is my life. Am I safe? Are these people safe?” she said when asked about her biggest fear.
“I went to so many different missions with military, so many different missions in different provinces. I never had that heartbeat like I have it today, this morning, when they told me the Americans left. They left us to whom? To those people who were always wanting to kill us? And now, I am by myself here with 37 people.”
According to McKenzie, her fate is now in the hands of the State Department. As he told reporters Monday, “the military phase of this operation is ended, the diplomatic sequel to that we’ll now begin.
“I believe our Department of State is going to work very hard to allow any American citizens that were left, and we think the citizens that were not brought out, number in the low, very low hundreds, I believe that we’re going to be able to get those people out, I think we’re also going to negotiate very hard and very aggressively to get our other Afghan partners out,” the general said.
“The military phase is over, but our desire to bring these people out remains as intense as it was before. The weapons have just shifted, if you will, from the military realm to the diplomatic realm and the Department of State will now take the lead on that.”
When dealing with the Taliban — a military enemy of the United States for 20 years and a diplomatic enemy for longer than that — that weapons shift considerably disadvantages the United States. That’s especially true considering Sara was an interpreter for the military, a high-value target for a revenge-obsessed Taliban.
She said she doesn’t have any trust in the government’s ability to get her out. After all, why should she when Biden said this?
BIDEN ON 8/19: “If there are American citizens left, we’re going to stay until we get them all out.”
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) August 30, 2021
“I don’t know anymore what to believe,” Sara said. “I don’t believe anyone anymore.”
She also talked about her reaction when she found out the Americans had left.
“I just found out that they left and I was just silent for a little while,” Sara said. “And I just went, walked around the rooms, and I saw the young kids are sleeping and they have no clue what happened this morning, that the last flight is gone and we’re left behind.”
Don’t expect that to change anytime soon, no matter whether Secretary of State Antony Blinken leans on those “shifted” weapons of diplomacy.
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