Joe Gilbertson | Jun 19, 2022 | 10
BIDEN’s SAIGON MOMENT
TALIBAN SEIZE KABUL AIRPORT, AMERICANS TRAPPED
Taliban insurgents seized the Hamid Karzai International Airport Monday, trapping thousands of people who had hoped to escape Afghanistan following the group’s takeover of Kabul.
At least five people were killed during a mad rush onto the tarmac before US forces fired warning shots into the air to keep the area clear. Apache choppers and fire trucks were called in to assist.
According to reports, the tarmac is the only area of the airport that remains under US control.
The Pentagon dispatched an additional 1,000 troops to Kabul on Sunday, bringing the total to 6,000, in order to help evacuate American citizens and their families to the airport. Reports confirm they are safe inside the airport, but it is unclear how they will get home.
Reporters are already comparing the situation to the fall of Saigon in the final days of the Vietnam War.
“The Biden Administration may be saying this is not Saigon, but…that’s what the rest of the world thinks this is,” reports CNN’s Kimberly Dozier, who has been monitoring text messages coming from inside the airport.
“At one point…an empty plane landed and opened its doors and a whole bunch of people on the tarmac just rushed on board and are refusing to leave. It’s that kind of chaos,” continues Dozier. “And the president is going to have to wear this.”
President Joe Biden is “going to have blood on his hands” for his decision to withdraw US troops despite the Taliban’s advances, adds Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX). The Administration “completely underestimated the strength of the Taliban.”
Afghanistan’s aviation authority has suspended all flights out of the country and is urging people to stay away from the airport. Several airlines have suspended flights to Kabul and are avoiding Afghan airspace. With control of the airport and all land border crossings, the Taliban now controls every exit point out of the country.
As the insurgents celebrate their victory, Biden Administration officials are saying the takeover was inevitable.
“The idea that the status quo could have been maintained by keeping our forces there, I think, is simply wrong,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “Remember, this is not Saigon.” The mission to “deal with the folks who attacked us on 9/11” has been completed.
In a statement, President Biden said that prolonged military presence in Afghanistan “would not have made a difference if the Afghan military cannot or will not hold its own country” and took a jab at the Trump Administration for initiating the pull out.
“When I became President, I faced a choice – follow through on the deal, with a brief extension to get our forces and our allies’ forces out safely, or ramp up our presence and send more American troops to fight once again in another country’s civil conflict.”
As the chaos in Kabul continues, the Pentagon is making preparations to house Afghan refugees on American military installations to keep them safe from the Taliban.