‘A big change has come’: Kabul airport reopens but flights leave empty as Taliban blocks access

Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, August 17, 2021

Despite the re-opening of Kabul airport for military and civilian flights, access remained nearly impossible for tens of thousands of Americans waiting to be evacuated and many more thousands of Afghans seeking to flee the Taliban’s Sharia law control, reports say.

The Taliban erected checkpoints at airport entrances, reportedly whipping and beating Afghans who attempted to cross.

Stranded Afghans climb on a plane at Kabul airport. / Getty Images

Some evacuation flights were leaving near-empty as a result. The Wall Street Journal reported that the German military’s A400M Airbus, with a capacity of well over 100 passengers, took off Tuesday with just seven passengers aboard.

Even though the U.S. flew in 1,000 American troops, the Pentagon said the U.S. only managed to transport out about 700 to 800 individuals. At full capacity, this adds up to just a handful of outbound flights.

U.S. defense officials said up to 40,000 Americans remain stranded in Afghanistan. To be evacuated, all have to get on flights at Kabul airport. Taliban fighters have taken all access points to the airport, which forces U.S. troops to negotiate with the terrorists on who gets in.

“The Taliban is in control now, complete control, in Kabul. Biden has had to fall on bent knee at the airport and create three rings; the Taliban controls the outer ring, what’s left of the Afghan Security Forces is the next ring and the Marines are the last ring,” former Assistant Secretary of State Robert Charles told “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday.

“It’s hard for me to properly present the extent of this foreign policy failure. This is a cascading national security failure,” Charles said.

Charles noted a document in the U.S. Embassy called the F-77.

“I am told the F-77 of Afghanistan indicates there are 15,000 potentially, upwards of 40,000 Americans scattered around Afghanistan right now,” Charles said. “The Taliban has given a two week grace period for them to get out but most of them have been told to shelter in place by the State Department.”

Charles said many of them were still in remote parts of the country like Kandahar and Jalalabad which are harder to reach and more dangerous.

“We’re talking about places like Herat, Mazar-i-Sharif, Kandahar and Jalalabad. It’s very difficult to get in from there,” he said.

According to a report by The Hill, American citizens stuck in Afghanistan have been sent an automatic email directing them to fill out a repatriation form and await further instructions.

According to the report, one stranded American citizen “expressed hope” in public statements from Taliban officials that they will not carry out campaigns of violence despite reports from across the country of Taliban fighters occupying people’s homes and forcibly marrying off women and girls.

WSB-TV in Atlanta reported on an American citizen who has been left behind:

Georgia Insurance Commissioner and Afghanistan veteran John King says he has never felt so helpless… King says the military police that he trained are the very people who are in danger.

“The two colonels that have sent me messages, at this point, say that since they are senior officials in the Afghan military, they are probably going to get killed. But they are just begging to get their daughters out of the country,” he said.

The situation created by Team Biden’s incompetence also risks “the lives of Afghan nationals who helped the U.S. and are now desperate to flee in an impossible situation of being unable to stay and live under them, but also too terrified to present themselves at the airport to the terrorist soldiers who they fear will slaughter them for working against them for 20 years.”

It emerged on Tuesday that, in 2010, Biden reportedly told Richard Holbrooke, then the Obama administration’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, that the U.S. had to leave Afghanistan regardless of the cost for the Afghan people.

According to Holbrooke, when Biden was asked about America’s obligation to maintain their presence in Afghanistan to protect vulnerable civilians, Biden scornfully replied by referencing the U.S. exit from southeast Asia in 1973.

“F*** that, we don’t have to worry about that. We did it in Vietnam, Nixon and Kissinger got away with it,” Biden said.

Meanwhile, reports from Kabul noted that Taliban agents continued searching the offices and homes and collecting evidence on Afghans suspected of being affiliated with Western governments and organizations. At the new checkpoints that sprang up in the capital city, the terrorists inspected residents’ smartphones for illicit content — and for communications in English, the Journal’s report noted.

Mawlawi Fathullah Madani, the new Taliban intelligence chief for Kabul, told the city’s residents that the terror organization now has full control. “Our security people are working everywhere,” he said in a video address. “A big change has come.”

Mullah Baradar, who is a Taliban co-founder, landed with other senior Taliban officials in Kandahar. The southern Afghan city is the group’s birthplace and its airport is fully controlled by the terrorists.

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