While awaiting evacuation, Afghan personnel who worked for the U.S. embassy for years are losing hope of being rescued.
According to a State Department diplomatic cable accessed by NBC News, local members of the embassy in Kabul “are deeply disheartened” by U.S. evacuation efforts, and claim to feel “betrayal and mistrust” on the part of the Biden administration.
The cable, according to NBC News is a response to the State Department, which last Wednesday sent a memo inviting Afghan personnel to head to Kabul’s international airport; it also asked them to bring food and “prepare for difficult conditions.”
Afghan personnel vilified
Staff members reported being pushed, beaten, spat on, and cursed at by Taliban fighters at checkpoints near the airport, the cable said, adding that the criminals were taking advantage of the chaos as the U.S. military tried to maintain order “in an extremely physical situation.”
Some personnel reported that they were almost separated from their children, while others collapsed in a crowd of people and had to be taken to hospitals with injuries, the cable said. Others said they had collapsed on the road due to heat exhaustion.
“It would be better to die under the Taliban’s bullet” than face the crowd again, one staff member told the cable.
“Happy to die here, but with dignity and pride,” said another, while a third accused the United States of giving priority to Afghan government elites with U.S. contacts, who already had the right paperwork and other ways to flee the country.
A local embassy staff member reported that their home had been tagged with spray paint, a tactic the Taliban had used in the past to identify occupants of houses for further interrogation, the cable said, adding that the family had been forced to flee their home but was unable to reach the airport.
The United States began evacuating its citizens, diplomatic personnel and Afghans assisting its mission in the country just last week after the Taliban took control of much of Afghanistan.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday that 8,000 people were evacuated from Kabul on 60 flights in the past 24 hours and that the United States had reached agreements with about two dozen countries on four continents that are helping or will soon help with the transit of people out of Kabul.
Biden promised to bring Americans home and help Afghans who assisted troops in the country, but time is running out before the Aug. 31 deadline to withdraw them all.
However, the U.S. Embassy warned Saturday that American citizens intending to leave should not travel to the Kabul airport unless individually instructed because of “possible security threats.”
“There’s no way to evacuate all those people without pain. A lot can go wrong,” added Biden, who also acknowledged the possibility of a terrorist attack in the vicinity of the airfield.
According to White House estimates, there are still between 10,000 and 15,000 Americans in Afghanistan who need to be evacuated, in addition to between 50,000 and 65,000 Afghans and their families whom the U.S. also wants to get out of the country.
Evacuate without measuring consequences
Joe Biden has received countless criticisms for the way he withdrew troops from Afghanistan without measuring consequences.
In a statement issued last Thursday, August 19, Trump suggested a timeline for the evacuation that he believed would have been safe to safeguard all American citizens in Afghanistan.
Trump said that American citizens should have been evacuated first, and then brought back all the “equipment.” He then pointed out that after the departure, the U.S. should have bombed the bases that housed foreign troops for years.
“First, you bring out all of the American citizens. Then you bring out ALL equipment. Then you bomb the bases into smithereens—AND THEN YOU BRING OUT THE MILITARY. You don’t do it in reverse order, like Biden and our woke Generals did. No chaos, no death—they wouldn’t even know we left!” said the former commander in chief.