America first? Not so much: Mere 2,500 Americans among 17K rescued thus far from Kabul

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Top Biden administration officials revealed during a briefing Saturday that only 2,500 out of an estimated 15,000+ Americans trapped in Afghanistan were rescued last week.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, it was also revealed that a total of 17,000 people were rescued from Afghanistan, meaning that the administration rescued more Afghans than Americans.

While “All Lives Matter,” American lives typically matter more when it comes to foreign operations by the U.S. military. Or at least they should, critics argue.

Look:

It’s possible that more Afghans have reached the airport in Kabul than Americans. Multiple reports have emerged of Americans being blocked from the airport — and sometimes even beaten — by the Taliban.

However, this wouldn’t be a valid excuse, because the administration has willfully chosen to not deploy expedition crews to search for and retrieve Americans. As a result, other nations have had to pick up its slack, according to former Trump-era Deputy National Advisor Matt Pottinger.

For instance, the Qataris “have in some cases — at the risk of the lives of their own diplomats — have been arranging for Americans and students, journalists, Afghan staff who have been working at the American University of Kabul, for example, and they’ve been escorting, creating safe passage and escorting those people onto the airbase and then flying them out to safety,” he explained last week on Fox News.

The Brits have been doing something similar.

“The United Kingdom right now, I know that they’re running patrols into Kabul to get British citizens, Afghans, in some cases Americans that they encounter and helping bring them to safety,” according to Pottinger.

The administration did finally conduct one extremely brief expedition mission, according to Defense Department spokesperson John Kirby.

On either Wednesday or Thursday of last week, U.S. troops left the international airport in Kabul to retrieve a group of 169 Americans who were “very close to to the perimeter of the airport,” Kirby said during a briefing Friday.

The announcement prompted a reporter to ask whether the administration might consider “going further beyond the perimeter” to retrieve more Americans, but the DoD spokesperson refused to “speculate.”

He said only that right now “the main focus is on security at the airport and making sure that … air operations resume and continue as unimpeded as possible.”

So that would be a no. In fact, by Sunday no other expeditions had been reported.

Meanwhile, neither Biden nor his top officials have committed to rescuing EVERY American.

“We’re going to work that 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and we’re gonna get everyone that we can possibly evacuate, evacuated. And I’ll do that as long as we possibly can — until the clock runs out or we run out of capability,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said last Wednesday.

Listen:

Asked during a briefing Friday whether the administration’s lackluster evacuation efforts will even continue past the Aug. 31st withdrawal date, the president refused to commit, saying only that “we are going to make that judgment as we go.”

He was also asked why he doesn’t — at the very least — expand the U.S. military’s perimeter around the airport in Kabul.

“[T]he reason why we have not gone out and started and set up a perimeter way outside of the airport in Kabul is that it’s likely to draw an awful lot of unintended consequences. … We’ve been in constant contact with the Taliban leadership on the ground in Kabul, as well as the Taliban leadership at Dalai. And we’ve been coordinating what we’re doing,” he responded.

Listen:

It sounded as if he was saying that he was afraid of upsetting the Taliban. It’d certainly fit with the strategy he’s employed throughout this whole ordeal: appeasement and capitulation.

Vivek Saxena

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