Americans stranded in Afghanistan are pleading with President Joe Biden to help them get out of the South Asian country and accused the administration of not doing enough to ensure the safe evacuation of American citizens.
More than a week after the pullout of American troops from Afghanistan, chaos continues to engulf the country as thousands of U.S. citizens remain trapped and afraid following the rapid advance of the Taliban.
As the Islamic terrorist group gains ground, American citizens, Afghan Christians and those who worked with the U.S. military over the past two decades fear for their safety. One American citizen stranded in Afghanistan, a woman with two children, spoke with Fox News Digital about her fears of being killed by the Taliban.
“I would like our president to make the process of evacuation faster,” she said. “We are devastated. We are scared for our lives. Every moment that a car passes by, I feel like they’re going to pull in and execute us. I don’t know if I’m going to see my children again.”
“Please, Mr. President, please evacuate us. We need help. … I’ve given up on the hope of going to the airport because it’s just, it’s not possible to make it through all those people. People are getting shot left and right. The tear gas is being released on people. … It’s so devastating that I don’t even know … how to explain it. It’s a nightmare. I want to wake up. I want to wake up from this nightmare.”
During a White House press briefing Monday, Biden's Press Secretary Jen Psaki rebuked the accusation that Americans are stranded in Afghanistan.
"I think it's irresponsible to say Americans are stranded. They are not," Psaki said. "We are committed to bringing Americans who want to come home, home. We are in touch with them via phone, via text, via email, via any way that we can possibly reach Americans to get them home if they want to return home," added Psaki after being asked if the president knows the criticisms he's facing is in large part because the U.S. military was pulled out before U.S. citizens could be evacuated.
Biden also pushed back on reports that American citizens seeking to flee the country have found themselves unable to reach the Hamid Karzai International Airport in the capital city of Kabul. At a press conference on Friday, Biden said the Taliban have “allowed them to go through.”
“It’s in their (Taliban) interests to let them go through. We know of no circumstance where American citizens are carrying an American passport, are trying to get through to the airport. But we will do whatever needs to be done to see to it that they get to the airport.”
Speaking to Fox News opinion host Steve Hilton on Sunday night, the brother of the woman who's stranded in Afghanistan warned that the situation on the ground is “getting worse and worse.” Although he's in the U.S. and not in Afghanistan with his sister, he stressed that “the president should know that these American citizens are hiding in different houses and nobody’s willing to help these citizens, same as my sister.”
“These American citizens and American allies and residents are soon either going to be executed by [the] Taliban regime because they’re behind enemy lines or either they’re going to be dying out of hunger and thirst because they cannot get out of their house to get food and get water,” he predicted.
Explaining that thousands of Americans find themselves in this situation, the man told Fox News that his sister “has attempted three times to go the airport, but they will not let them past unless they show their passports.” He said that showing her passport and thereby revealing herself as an American citizen would constitute a “death sentence.”
“She will be killed on the spot or she will be taken and executed,” he added, lamenting that the soldiers stationed at the Kabul airport “don’t have enough capacity to get these people in.”
The man unfavorably contrasted the U.S. government’s handling of the Afghanistan pullout with those of other Western countries with citizens living in the country.
“The Dutch people, the Germans, the French people, they come out and they take their citizens in the cars from the outside the airport and they take them back in. Whoever is an American citizen, there is no help for them.”
Hilton noted that in a press conference given earlier on Sunday, Biden asserted that “the State Department is in touch with U.S. citizens in Afghanistan … and is sending them a plan for their evacuation” before asking the man if his sister had been contacted by the State Department. The man characterized Biden as a “compulsory liar,” emphasizing that “my sister hasn’t heard [the] past four days anything from the U.S. Embassy or from any U.S. authority.”
As The Christian Post previously reported, many other Americans trapped in Afghanistan find themselves in a similar predicament. Victor Marx, CEO and founder of the nonprofit organization All Things Possible, told CP that based on “real-time intelligence” he received from people on the ground in Afghanistan, “there are American citizens that are in Kabul that are stuck.”
“We’re getting many messages from Americans that are stuck saying ‘can somebody rescue us,’” he remarked. Dissatisfaction with how the U.S. handled the pullout from Afghanistan is not limited to U.S. citizens trapped there.
NBC News reported that Afghan locals who worked at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul sent out a diplomatic cable expressing disappointment about their “brutal experience” trying to flee the country. Some staff members said they were assaulted and “cursed at” by Taliban fighters while others collapsed because of heat exhaustion. One former embassy staffer concluded that “it would be better to die under the Taliban’s bullet” than enduring the same experiences again while attempting to evacuate.
On Saturday, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby confirmed that Americans have been beaten by the Taliban while attempting to reach the airport in Kabul.
“We know of cases, a small number that we know of," Kirby said at the briefing. "We don't have perfect visibility, but we know of a small number of cases where some Americans and certainly, as [Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin] also said ... Afghans — Afghans that we want to evacuate, it wasn't just Americans that he talked about — have been harassed and in some cases beaten. We don't believe it is a very large number. And a matter of fact, the numbers would indicate ... that ... by and large, most Americans who have their credentials with them are being allowed through the Taliban checkpoints and ... into the gate and onto the airfield.
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org