According to the Biden administration, they’ve helped “36 citizens and 24 legal permanent residents” leave Afghanistan since U.S. troops withdrew on August 30, but the Taliban are still blocking flights with Americans from leaving the country.
Sounds like a hostage crisis, doesn’t it?
“Sorry, what is the problem in Mazar? What’s the hold-up? Is it the same issue?” A reporter asked State Department spokesman Ned Price. “I mean, we talked about documentation; you guys said that it wasn’t an acceptable reason, given the circumstances, to hold the flights. And then just nothing?”
“We have been very clear that the individuals who have expressed a desire and a willingness to leave via Mazar-e-Sharif should be allowed to leave the country,” Price replied. “There – the fact that to my knowledge a charter flight has not departed Mazar has nothing to do with anything that the State Department has or has not done, and in fact, quite the contrary. The State Department, as we have said, has pulled every lever available to us. We have gone to extraordinary lengths with not only our engagement with the Taliban, but also with these other constellation of groups on the ground and operating from afar, and also with countries in the region. And to our minds, these flights, these individuals, there is no reason they should not be able to depart. And that’s what we’re continuing to focus on.”
Biden Spokesman Ned Price: We have “pulled every lever available,” but the Taliban is still blocking flights with Americans from leaving Mazar-i-Sharif airport.
This is a hostage crisis. pic.twitter.com/lHT3HUW1eq
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) September 15, 2021
Despite their claims that only 100-200 Americans were left behind in Afghanistan, some say there are over 5,000 American citizens left, and Secretary of State Blinken testified on Wednesday that, according to the “best estimates” there are “several thousand” U.S. green card holders still there. Yet, the Taliban is blocking flights, and the United States, the world’s number one superpower, has done everything they think they can. This sounds like a hostage crisis.
But, are we talking about it? Is the hostage crisis getting the same coverage as the botched withdrawal? Republicans are calling it such, even as Democrats defend Biden and try to blame Trump, but the hostage crisis in Afghanistan isn’t getting the attention it should. Not by a long shot. Why not? Because Joe Biden announced his vaccination mandate, and we’re all talking about that. I’ve said before that the Biden administration likely knows the mandate won’t survive the courts, but that its primary purpose is to distract us from the ongoing quagmire in Afghanistan. Sadly, that strategy appears to be working.