I’m talking myself into believing that the kindest thing we could do now for the Afghan allies we’re about to abandon is to bomb them on our way out, to spare them from what awaits them after we’re gone.
How did this conversation go, exactly?
— “We’ll secure the airport perimeter for you, but how will we know who should be allowed through and who shouldn’t?”
— “What do you suggest?”
— “The names of all of your remaining citizens and every Afghan who assisted you in your infidel occupation.”
— “Consider it done.”
Consider it done:
U.S. officials in Kabul gave the Taliban a list of names of American citizens, green card holders and Afghan allies to grant entry into the militant-controlled outer perimeter of the city’s airport, a choice that’s prompted outrage behind the scenes from lawmakers and military officials.
The move, detailed to POLITICO by three U.S. and congressional officials, was designed to expedite the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from Afghanistan as chaos erupted in Afghanistan’s capital city last week after the Taliban seized control of the country. It also came as the Biden administration has been relying on the Taliban for security outside the airport…
“Basically, they just put all those Afghans on a kill list,” said one defense official, who like others spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive topic. “It’s just appalling and shocking and makes you feel unclean.”
“They had to do that because of the security situation the White House created by allowing the Taliban to control everything outside the airport,” one U.S. official said.
Supposedly, once the security situation at the airport changed and the State Department started advising visa applicants not to go there, they began omitting their names from the lists given to the Taliban. How many names ended up on the kill list before that happened, though? No word yet.
As for the thousand or so Americans left in the country, State is trusting/hoping that they’ve made it out or on the verge of making it out on their own:
An update from State on the evacuation efforts pic.twitter.com/3AUGI24v5O
— Sam Stein (@samstein) August 26, 2021
Don’t ask me to explain the last line there. Any American who doesn’t want to leave now with “kill lists” circulating and ISIS bombers blowing themselves up is likely staying put only because they refuse to abandon Afghan family members who can’t leave. State’s going to write them off, it appears.
As I type this, reports are trickling in of *another* explosion in Kabul:
DEVELOPING: Another huge blast heard in Kabul, say AFP staff
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) August 26, 2021
Centcom chief Frank McKenzie told the media within the past hour that he expected more attacks at the airport. His prediction may have been fulfilled already, especially since we’re now relying on the Taliban for … “protection”:
Biden's military says they are relying on the Taliban to "protect us" at the Kabul airport as 12+ U.S. soldiers have been killed. pic.twitter.com/mRE8p6vvxe
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) August 26, 2021
Politico notes that McKenzie has taken to referring to the Taliban as “our Afghan partners” in the evacuation operation. When you put it like that, why not share with them the names of Afghans who assisted America in a 20-year war against them?
One of Fox’s sources claimed this afternoon that “hundreds” of ISIS fighters are in the vicinity of Kabul airport and that, with the military continuing to evacuate, it’s “almost a certainty that Americans will be left behind.” It’s strange that “our Afghan partners” aren’t intervening to stop further attacks so that the evacuation can play out.
Biden is expected to address the country at 5 p.m., but with bombs still going off and the threat to Americans growing, that may change as the crisis deepens. Stand by.
Update: Here’s a little good news, at least. The mystery explosion I mentioned above turns out to have been caused by our guys.
From the Taliban spox regarding more explosions in Kabul tonight: Explosions were heard inside Kabul airport after dinner today. These explosions were carried out by American forces to destroy their equipment, so that the citizens of Kabul do not worry. https://t.co/6dsSHehrWB
— Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC) August 26, 2021