Just 13 days ago, Biden said that the U.S. would not withdraw until every American was out of Afghanistan now it appears as if he has changed his mind.
President Joe Biden will surely find himself under heavy criticism after the statements he made Tuesday during an address defending decisions his administration made concerning the evacuation effort in Afghanistan.
Biden claimed that 90% of Americans who wanted to leave the country were evacuated successfully. Clearly, the president views this as a successful mission.
Just one day after Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Gen Kenneth McKenzie acknowledged there were at least 100 or more Americans left behind in Afghanistan when the U.S. had completed its withdrawal, Biden said the U.S. reached out 19 times to try to help them get out before the withdrawal was complete.
“Now we believe that about 100-200 Americans remain in Afghanistan, with some intention to leave,” Biden said. “Most of those who remain are dual-citizens, longtime residents, who earlier decided to stay because of their family roots in Afghanistan.”
Doesn’t that sound like they intended to leave since they’d been there for a while and suddenly changed their minds?
“The bottom line: 90% of Americans in Afghanistan who wanted to leave were able to leave” he continued. “And for those remaining Americans, there is no deadline. We remain committed to get them out if they want to come out.”
Gen. McKenzie said on Monday that many of the Americans who were left behind had not been able to reach the airport so they could not be “accommodated” on the last five military flights out of the country. There are reports coming in of Americans, some children, trapped in Afghanistan that frantically tried to reach the airport but were not allowed through.
Now that all American troops have been withdrawn, the Hamid Karzai International Airport is officially under the control of the Taliban. Along with the Americans still stranded in Afghanistan, so are thousands of Afghan allies who helped the American war effort. These trapped allies are now at the mercy of the Taliban, many are under threat of execution.
“Since March, we reached out 19 times to Americans in Afghanistan with multiple warnings and offers to help them leave Afghanistan,” Biden said. “After we started the evacuation 17 days ago, we did initial outreach and analysis, and identified around 5,000 Americans who decided earlier to stay in Afghanistan, but now wanted to leave. Our Operation Allied Rescue ended up getting more than 5,500 Americans out.”
Is he seriously saying “we tried” but couldn’t get an answer? Maybe they should have answered the phone or picked up their mail so they could have been helped. Besides, we got 500 more than we anticipated so we are ahead….right?
Biden reiterated comments made by Blinken and McKenzie that further efforts to evacuate the remaining stranded Americans would be diplomatic and not military, it’s not clear if the Taliban will allow them to have safe passage.