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.