Despite Biden’s Reassurances, Taliban Confiscates Americans’ Passports, Continues Reign of Terror
By Yehudit Garmaise
Although on Friday, President Joe Biden reassured Americans that he would get home every American who is stuck in Afghanistan, yesterday the US Embassy said that American citizens should stay away far away from Kabul’s international airport, at which many have reported and recorded devastating scenes, such as of toddlers and others being trampled, Afghani babies being passed over barbed wire to American soldiers for safety, and many people lying on the ground, after being bloodied by gunfire.
Not only are reports coming out of Afghanistan that, in complete contradiction to President Biden’s assurances on Friday that the Taliban has peacefully agreed to provide checkpoints to speed up and facilitate Americans’ departure, yesterday it was reported that the Islamic fundamentalist group is, in fact, confiscating Americans’ passports and further detaining them, who fear they will be killed, beaten, or taken hostage.
“The fact that we’re now somehow relying on the Taliban to protect Americans: and the White House is denying what we know is happening on the ground, which is that Americans are being beaten. They’re being prevented from getting to the gates of the airport. And they are probably being held hostage,” said Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.)
In further direct contradiction with Biden’s reassuring, and, many said, out-of-touch-with-reality tone on Friday, the US Embassy put out a security alert yesterday that advised US citizens, “Because of potential security threats outside the gates at the Kabul airport, we are advising US citizens to avoid traveling to the airport and to avoid airport gates at this time.”
Those “security threats,” reported the Associated Press are potential threats made by the Islamic State, who are are forcing the U.S. military to develop new ways to get evacuees to the airport in Kabul, said a senior U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The official said that small groups of Americans and possibly other civilians will be given specific instructions on what to do, such as getting to transit points where they can be gathered up by the military.
For evacuees who can get to military bases in Germany, Qatar, and Bahrain, although it is not clear how they will do so, the Pentagon said today that during this time of emergency, for the first time in 70 years the US will be using commercial planes, from such airlines as American, United, and Delta, to rescue the thousands of Americans and allies who, fearing for their lives, are trapped in Afghanistan.
U.S. officials also plan to provide housing to arriving Afghani evacuees to some US military bases in the U.S.
Despite stranding tens of thousands of American citizens, Afghani allies, and other allies in Afghanistan, while starting to first evacuate US troops, President Biden, whose approval ratings have sunk to 50% in the last week, has now even further moved up the date by which he is withdrawing all American troops from Afghanistan from Sept. 11 to Aug. 31, in a draw down of US troops after 20 years of military engagement in the region.
The Hamid Karzai International Airport is the only way out of the country that has been quickly taken over by the Taliban, the brutal regime that is back in power in Afghanistan for the first time since just before the U.S. invaded Afghanistan and helped the country to create a republic, shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
“[The Taliban] are in control of Kabul,” said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken today. “That is the reality.”
Although last week, Biden asserted that the US had long completed its mission in Afghanistan by hunting down and killing Al Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden and otherwise rooting out terrorists that Afghanistan was harboring, today, when Antony Blinken, the US Secretary of State was asked by Chris Wallace on Fox News whether Al Qaeda was “gone” from Afghanistan, Blinken acknowledged that while there are still “remnants and members” of the terrorist group in Afghanistan, “Al Quada’s capacity to do what it did on 9/11, to attack us and our partners and allies from Afghanistan has been vastly, vastly diminished.”
Worldwide, many are worried about what the recently emboldened Taliban, and perhaps ISIS and Al Qaeda, will do next.
An Afghan interpreter, for instance, who had already five times attempted to approach the airport told CBS News that Taliban members were telling people outside the airport that ISIS was planning an attack.
In addition, the Taliban, despite doubtful promises otherwise, seem to have continued its reign of terror against women in the country.
For instance, although Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid recently held a news conference in which he reassured that his group, which historically reigned through terror, violence, and murder would “honor women’s rights within [their interpretation of] Sharia law,” women are being told, and some are reporting, being shot, if they leave their homes without wearing the head-to-toe burkas, and without being accompanied by male relatives.
(Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)