Politics

Remembering the Hostages

I hope I’m premature and very wrong about this assessment I have about Afghanistan. But at the moment, I have a sinking feeling that our country is about to find itself in a hostage crisis that will make the Iranian hostage crisis of 40 years ago seem like a playground slapfight.

Thankfully, some Americans have been airlifted out of Kabul, but it’s likely many more are still stranded. Yes, “stranded.” That’s a word that everyone except the White House is willing to use.

The Taliban has publicly proclaimed that any American who wants to leave is free to make their way to the Kabul airport. But when Americans try to reach the airport, they are often turned away, sometimes with violence. Thus, the Taliban is saying one thing, but doing another. And that leaves me to conclude that they plan to hold the Americans they are turning back, as hostages.

The White House claims they don’t know how many Americans are still in Afghanistan. So we are left with estimates from television pundits, who speculate that it is up to 15,000. And that doesn’t include our allies. It’s speculated that Canadians, British, and French have been left stranded also, due to our abrupt pullout.

Thus, this could become a hostage crisis of historic proportions. What will happen to the hostages? Some are making phone calls to news outlets, and you can hear the terror in their tremulous voices. One such caller claimed some Americans are being dragged from their homes in the middle of the night, to who knows what fate?

I’m not proud of how our president has bungled our pullout from Afghanistan. But I’m proud to be an American, and I want to say that I stand in solidarity with all of our Americans stranded in Afghanistan. They need our support. They need to know that we are not so caught up in the usual bullshit that tends to keep us distracted, that we’ve forgotten about them.

I have no fucking idea what I can do to help them. But at least I’m thinking about them. And in my own stupid, feckless way, I’m posting a flag of Afghanistan on my blog as a show of solidarity, below the American flag that’s already been on display for about a month. It’s solidarity for our stranded citizens, the stranded citizens of our allies, and for the stranded Afghans who assisted our military.

Maybe some artist will come up with a more apropos symbol of solidarity, in the future. Until then the old Afghan flag will have to do.

I hope like hell Biden’s airlift will be completely successful and we get every one of our stranded hostages out of there. But if not, I hope the Taliban will have mercy on them, because that’s where they’ll be at. And until all hostages are safe, I hope we will do our best to keep them in our minds, and never forget.

Remembering the hostages stranded in Afghanistan.

Categories: Politics

54 replies »

  1. I’ve been wondering along the same lines. But I suspect that further releases will be accomplished through back-channel money transfers. But my heart goes out to those now Western-educated Afghan women who will be abandoned to their fates. This is the end result of a 20-year long fuck up exacerbated by successive administrations simply kicking the can down the road while we funded institutionalized corruption in Afghanistan… including the Taliban. Unfortunately, it seems to have become the “American” approach to governance, both internally and externally anymore. I remember distinctly George W. Bush saying that, “The United States is not in the business of nation-building.” Then Obama was going to get everyone out, and then Trump. Biden has, unfortunately, inherited the truckload of decomposing crap, and no amount of perfume is going to make it smell any better.

    Dear God, I hope he doesn’t die in office. But it does appear that Harris is being gently groomed into some kind of international readiness, which has me seriously concerned that the vultures are circling.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Arranging back-channel money transfers may have been the purpose of the CIA director meeting with the Taliban chief the other day. I suppose at this point, paying ransom might be cheaper than allowing a hostage crisis to play out. I just hope we get them out safely. If we leave them behind, what Americans in their right minds will want to work for the U.S. government in dangerous countries, anymore?

      Yeah, Biden inherited a mess, although he was part of kicking the can down the road when he was Obama’s Veep. Now, please correct me if I’m the one who has dementia, and not Biden, but wouldn’t it have been a better idea to evacuate Americans prior to pulling out, rather than after? Although Biden inherited a mess, he seems to have been very adept at discarding common sense, and at turning the mess into a complete disaster.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Don’t take me wrong… I’m not one bit defending this entirely predictable and totally inept handling of the US withdrawal. You can watch old interviews with US soldiers who did on-the-ground trainings of Afghan government troops who predicted exactly this. They observed that few Afghan soldiers could read at all, there was no sense of military discipline, and apparently a majority were opium addicts. Mind blowing, considering that Biden is considered something of a foreign policy expert. I can only come to the conclusion that he has surrounded himself with a bunch of completely disconnected advisors… or just morons.

        We’ve also just armed the Taliban with an extensive repository of US weaponry with which to form their own military, everything from M-16s and ammunition to night vision and armored vehicles. Ugh…

        Liked by 2 people

        • If I was Joe I’d be firing my advisors about now. That is, if he was actually following their advice rather than going against it.

          The weapons are another issue. The amount of weapons and equipment we left behind, that the Afghan military surrendered to the Taliban, is staggering. Let’s just hope the Taliban fighters are so illiterate and opium addicted that they’ll never be able to figure out how to use it properly.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. We, in Canada, have much the same circumstances. We too have politicians saying all the right things … but is anything happening? In fairness to them however, I have no idea what is involved but no doubt it is not as simple as flying in …loading up … and flying out!

    I will give our politicians the benefit of the doubt, and pray that not only can all Canadians, and all those who have assisted Canada, be airlifted out … but also a significant number of Afghans whose status is refugee. Given the Taliban’s habit of killing all those who are not 100% on board with them, I hope that many countries will do the humane thing and get as many out as possible.

    Liked by 5 people

    • From what I’m seeing on the news, there seems to be a disconnect between what our president says, and what reporters on the ground are saying. I guess time will tell, concerning what information is accurate.

      I’d sure hate to be an Afghan citizen right now, and have to go back to living under the Taliban’s Sharia law. I can understand anyone wanting to leave a country like that.

      Liked by 2 people

      • From what we are being told, the Taliban are killing all those with a history of non-support. i.e. It is questionable whether Afghans will have that choice. However, given the primitive position they (Taliban) appear to take regarding the female role in their society, they may well kill the males but enslave the females. They are a very sick society, and no major religion on this planet would support their position. It is a shame that the world cannot unite for once and eliminate the Taliban once and forever.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I guess there’s going to be a lot of blood-letting in the future, over there. Too bad. What a human catastrophe.

          I doubt we can eliminate them. Not as long as they receive assistance from countries like China and Pakistan.

          Liked by 1 person

          • That is exactly why countries should unite but, sadly, money “talks” as always. Lean on China too heavily and the cheap goods that proliferate our stores may well be no more and, given that home manufacture would cost more to produce, the cost of living will increase. Whereas I would gladly trade off some of my lifestyle if the end result was that less fortunate people would be given assistance, that view would not get too much support from the general population.

            We have an imminent Federal election here so it will be interesting to see what “vote for me” posturing decorates our TV screens!

            Liked by 1 person

            • I suspect we have too many eggs in one basket, when it comes to China. By “we” I mean the U.S.A., and probably Canada and Europe. I try to buy products made in other countries, but that can be hard to do.

              I understand Trudeau has taken a lot of heat from his opposition. But I’m glad I’m not living there, having to see the endless political ads. We just went through all of that, last year.

              Liked by 2 people

    • Canada is definitely in a heap of trouble as well. Our pm is so dangerous it’s disturbing. I suspect he’d be the first to assist the Taliban since he’s done that with known terrorist.
      This world is an absolutely awful world right now.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t know what the solution is. It is a mess. Apparently this was all negotiated with the Taliban but they didn’t honor their agreement which is no surprise because they are mainly just a group of thug warlords. I also think that it is possible that the Taliban leadership, if you can call it that, has no real control over many of its affiliated gangs and thus chaos reigns. In hindsight, we probably should have not let Kabul fall so quickly. In hind-hindsight, we should have had a purpose for being there and a plan to win in the first place.

    I think in the near future this is all going to be China’s problem.

    Liked by 4 people

    • That’s true, the Taliban may be a loose confederation, with no strong central leadership. This might result in some groups letting Americans through to the airport, while others might just take Americans hostage.

      Hindsight is 20-20, but in this case I think foresight was also 20-20. It only makes logical sense to evacuate American civilians before we pull our military out. Any idiot, including a fool like me, can see that. So why the hell didn’t our president? This only helps confirm my suspicions that the man suffers from dementia.

      Yeah, China can almost taste all those rare-earth minerals in the mountains of Afghanistan. Which might explain why they want to be the Taliban’s friend right now.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah it’s heartbreaking. I feel both sad and outraged. I want all of them to be able to escape from this nightmare and return home safely. And I also want accountability for those who allowed this to happen.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I am reading a book that was written by an Afghan who lived in Kabul and came to the US in 1990. Its a novel that tells the story about life in Afghanistan. Tugs at the heart strings as you read about a child bride and follow her story.

        Liked by 2 people

          • There are! Its a hard read but its what is really happening! We are far from having it perfect here in the US but we often forget how good we really have it! Just like the little things. She talked about the first time she had to wear a heavy burqa on her. Seeing out of a small veil, no peripheral vision. I am presently out running errands in a t-shirt and shorts. Can not imagine having to wear a heavy burqua in this heat!

            Liked by 2 people

            • Unfortunately, the women are treated like slaves and property under their system of law. Any American who thinks they’re living in a terrible country might want to live in someplace like Afghanistan for awhile. I’ll bet when they return to the States they’ll be kissing American soil.

              I think a burqa would come in handy for bank robbers and those on the America’s Most Wanted list. But otherwise they don’t seem to have much practical use. What a pain to have to wear one.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Slaves and property is right, so sad!
                I also forgot to mention that I was out on my own. My husband did not have to escort me everywhere, I actually can go places without him. Afghan Women don’t have that freedom.
                And we here don’t think anything of it, its normal to go out on our own.

                Liked by 2 people

  4. It so sad. Everything is just insane and it’s sad not to mention scary.

    I hope they all get out safe. Unfortunately even if they do, I’m sure they’ll be dealing with an incredible amount of trauma/ptsd.
    I can’t imagine how the families of those trapped must feel.

    It feels like our world is totally falling apart.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. it’s a complete mess, and I agree a good deal of this could have been avoided with some common sense, such as getting our people out before the military left. And as much as I’d hate to see money used as a way to help alleviate the crisis, it seems better than most alternatives…

    Liked by 2 people

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