Following Joe Biden’s disastrous, angry speech yesterday marking the end of the war in Afghanistan, the talking points for his officials have been made clear: They are going to claim this was a great success even as Americans are still stuck behind enemy lines.
For an example of that absurdity, here’s Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin gaslighting the nation on what has actually transpired over the last several weeks.
Defense Sec Lloyd Austin: “We have just concluded the largest air evacuation of civilians in American history. It was heroic. It was historic.”
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 1, 2021
But new numbers on how many Afghan allies (translators, intel operatives, etc.) actually got out are exposing the reality of just how much of a boondoggle this was. While the administration has touted the total numbers of evacuees as some kind of vindication for their strategic and tactical blunders, it appears that most of those people were not former US military allies at all. In fact, while only 5,400 or so Americans were brought to safety, only about 8,500 SIV holders were rescued, with the vast majority left behind.
Majority of Interpreters, Other U.S. Visa Applicants Were Left Behind in Afghanistan, Official Says – WSJ https://t.co/bkJtPxo4Kz
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) September 1, 2021
In other words, the one thing Biden has been bragging about as his supposed great success was actually a colossal failure as well. The airlift may have gotten out 120,000 people total, but those were not mostly Afghan allies who we had sworn to protect.
According to NBC News, around 20,000 Afghans who had worked with the US government had applied for SIVs, and that was back in May. No doubt the number skyrocketed as it became clear the Taliban would prevail. When you add in their families, that number jumps to almost 75,000. In the end, we got out around 8,500, a tiny fraction of those we made promises to.
Putting aside whether one agrees with bringing SIVs here or not, the issue here is just how pervasive the misleading claims by Biden and his cohorts have been following the end of operations in Afghanistan. They’ve continually presented a rosy picture that is clearly not true. This airlift not only failed to get all Americans out, it overwhelmingly failed to get Afghan allies out as well. That’s not the reality the administration is admitting to when they trot out Austin to blow smoke up the collective backside of the nation.
What we are seeing right now is an administration that is flailing, desperate to cover up its incompetence. This airlift was not a roaring success. Rather, it was a rushed, ill-planned, chaotic retreat that left tens of thousands of people who deserved to get out to the tender mercies of the Taliban.
That leaves one big question remaining: Who exactly did we evacuate?