August 2, 2021


“The first flight evacuating Afghans who worked alongside Americans in Afghanistan brought more than 200 people, including scores of children and babies in arms, to new lives in the United States on Friday… Congress on Thursday overwhelmingly approved legislation that would allow an additional 8,000 visas and $500 million in funding for the Afghan visa program.” AP News

“The Taliban have swiftly captured significant territory in recent weeks, seized strategic border crossings with several neighboring countries and are threatening a number of provincial capitals… The U.S.-NATO withdrawal is more than 95% complete and due to be finished by Aug. 31.” AP News

Here’s our recent coverage of Afghanistan. The Flip Side

Both sides are critical of the delay in providing visas to Afghans who were employed by the US government:

“Current and former interpreters must produce documents proving their identity and that they worked with U.S. forces—and they must obtain testimonials from American military officers, many of whom are now thousands of miles away or have left the service

“‘I have to get an H.R. letter plus a recommendation letter from the supervisor that I work with,’ one young man told me, in broken English. ‘But due to evacuation of Americans and due to leave of your supervisor to U.S.A. or any other places, you can’t reach them.’ The young man, who asked not to be named, said that he had been frantically searching Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram for the contact information of the U.S. military officers who supervised him…

“The Afghans I spoke with said that they did not regret backing the American effort and that they were proud of the economic and humanitarian gains Afghanistan had made over the last two decades. But they felt that a rushed American withdrawal was causing them to be treated unfairly. During our conversation in his home, Ahmed, the former military translator, explained that several of his relatives had worked for the Canadian military. ‘Now they live in Canada,’ he said.”
Jane Ferguson, New Yorker

“Our tendency to retreat often costs the lives of both people who worked with allied governments as well as innocents who tried not to choose a side. In the case of the Afghan interpreters, the betrayal is especially egregious. Few of America’s friends have faced a more brutal enemy than the Taliban and the rank-and-file translators lack the political clout to cut through the bureaucracy in either Afghanistan or the United States…

“Making America great again should start with honoring our commitment to those who fought alongside our own soldiers. Not abandoning them to be brutally murdered along with their families is the least we can do. If we, as a country, can’t find a way to get these people out of Afghanistan, it will be to our everlasting shame.”
David Thornton, Racket News

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