Taliban fighters stand guard in a vehicle along the roadside in Kabul. (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)
UPDATED 1:50 PM PT – Saturday, August 21, 2021
As turmoil has continued to consume Afghanistan, thousands of Americans have remained stranded without prospects of leaving. According to the Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Friday, the situation has deteriorated to the point where American citizens have been beaten up by Taliban fighters.
This statement came just hours after Joe Biden assured citizens the Taliban was allowing safe passage for Americans to evacuate.
“As we continue to work, the logistics of evacuation, we’re in constant contact with the Taliban, working to ensure civilians have safe passage to the airport,” he claimed. “We’re particularly focused on our engagements on making sure every American who wants to leave can get to the airport.”
All Americans have been demanded to be out of Afghanistan by August 31. Despite constant questioning of how many are left to evacuate, the State Department has been unable to give a firm number of Americans still behind enemy lines.
The chaos of the situation has led to warnings from prominent politicians that the worst of the crisis are yet to come. Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton (R) said recently this could go from Saigon in 1975 to Tehran in 1979, which implied the likelihood of a hostage situation.
The Republican added the Biden administration was to blame for the potential for hostages.
“If we don’t get those Americans out, it could be like Tehran in 1979. When a mere 52 hostages were held by the Ayatollah’s paralyzed America for more than a year,” he explained. “Imagine if there were hundreds, or even thousands, of effective American hostages that are trapped in Afghanistan because of Joe Biden’s chaotic, disorganized, ill planned evacuation from that country.”
Rep. Mike McCaul (R-Texas) has placed blame for Americans being in harm’s way squarely at the administration’s feet. The Texas Republican recently said the seeming lack of a withdrawal plan or even a solid deal with the Taliban to protect Americans would result in much more chaos before the official exit date.
“I think the State Department and White House got it wrong that we could negotiate with the Taliban. Now, we are stuck in a situation where we are begging the Taliban to please not violate our perimeter at this airport while we evacuate,” he stated. “I don’t know how long the Taliban is going to stay, keep with that agreement. I don’t even know if we have an agreement.”
While the evacuation continues to prove disastrous as the final date of withdrawal nears, the Taliban is finalizing their takeover of the country. The leader of the terrorist group has landed in Kabul to begin talks on the formation of his government.