Hostages In Afghanistan: Taliban Grounding Planes

Hostages In Afghanistan: Taliban Grounding Planes

Hostages In Afghanistan: Taliban Grounding Planes

The very thing that anyone with half a brain knew was going to happen in Afghanistan once we no longer had control, is happening right now.

The Taliban has American citizens waiting for airplanes as hostages in Mazar-i-Sharif. CBS reported the situation through one of their reporters on Twitter this morning. The planes are chartered through a NGO, but the Taliban isn’t letting them off the ground.

And the long and the short of the situation is that the State Department, even though they have given clearance to the flights, is impotent to actually get the planes off the ground or assure the safety of anyone involved. But the State Department doesn’t want to use the word “hostages,” it seems… because they just don’t have enough information to confirm who would actually be on those airplanes if they were allowed to leave Mazar-i-Sharif.

Representative Michael McCaul (R-Texas) talked about these flights on Fox News Sunday.

“In fact, we have six airplanes at (Mazar-i-Sharif International Airport) with American citizens on them as I speak, also with these interpreters, and the Taliban is holding them hostage for demands,” McCaul said during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

McCaul, the top ranking Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee, also said he received a “classified” exact number of Americans who are still left in Afghanistan, claiming the number is “in the hundreds.”

An email from the State Department to members of Congress viewed by CBS News acknowledged there are charter flights on the ground in Mazar-i-Sharif that the Taliban is preventing from flying until they approve the departure.”

The Associated Press, however, talking to an “Afghan official” – which means the Taliban, don’t try and pretty this up, AP – says that this is just a “paperwork” problem.

An Afghan official at the airport in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif said that the would-be passengers were Afghans, many of whom did not have passports or visas, and thus were unable to leave the country. He said they had left the airport while the situation was sorted out.”

The Afghan official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject, said it was four planes, and their intended passengers were staying at hotels while authorities worked out whether they might be able to leave the country. The sticking point, he indicated, is that many did not have the right travel papers.”

Residents of Mazar-e-Sharif also said the passengers were no longer at the airport. At least 10 families were seen at a local hotel waiting, they said, for a decision on their fates. None of them had passports or visas but said they had worked for companies allied with the U.S. or German military. Others were seen at restaurants.”

Yes, there is a good chance that the documentation or paperwork from this NGO, which is called “Ascend” and says they teach girls “leadership through athletics” could be incomplete or missing. Also, the Taliban could be straight up lying, which apparently didn’t occur to the AP. However, the State Department isn’t exactly doing a bang-up job on paperwork, either, as we have learned over the last few days.

Now, it’s clear why Antony Blinken and Joe Biden’s State Department doesn’t want to call any Americans left on the ground in Mazar-i-Sharif “hostages.” That would admit that they intentionally left behind Americans that wanted to leave, something which White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain insists that they’re going to fix… you know, when the Taliban lets Qatar fly Americans out again, no rush.

Appearing on “State of the Union” with CNN’s Dana Bash, Klain said the U.S. government has been in close contact with the Americans still left in the country who have been located.”

“We believe it’s around a hundred,” he said. “We’re in touch with all of them, who we’ve identified, on a regular basis. Obviously, we’re hopeful that in the coming days that the Qataris will resume air service out of Kabul. And if they do, we’re obviously going to look to see if Americans can be on those flights.”

“We are going to find ways to get them, the ones that want to leave, to get them out of Afghanistan,” he added. “We know many of them have family members, many of them want to stay, but the ones that want to leave, we’re going to get them out.”

But don’t call them hostages! They’re just people who want out but who aren’t allowed to leave until the Taliban gets something from the United States. Hmmm. Last time I checked the dictionary, that was pretty much the definition of a hostage.

Republican members of Congress are demanding answers from the Biden administration, noting that Grandpa Joe is chilling in Delaware on vacation while American hostages are sitting in Mazar-i-Sharif, trying to get out on airplanes that the Taliban are keeping on the ground.

If Rep. McCaul is correct, then what the Taliban wants is formal recognition by the United States government. And mark my words, Joe Biden and his handlers are fool enough to recognize a terrorist entity as a legitimate government if they think it will get them out of the hole they dug for themselves. In the meantime, this is just formal acknowledgement of what we already knew – American citizens on the ground in Afghanistan are the hostages of the Taliban, and this administration is too scared and gutless to do anything about it.

Featured image: Jet planes in flight by The Pixelman via Pixabay, cropped and modified, Pixabay license

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