Patterico's Pontifications


No One Seems Sure How Many Americans Remain In Afghanistan, But Whatever You Do, Don’t Say They’re “Stranded”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:08 pm

[guest post by Dana]

President Biden yesterday, facing pressure from both sides of the aisle and expected pressure from European allies, has confirmed that he is involved in discussions about extending the Aug. 31 deadline:

“There’s discussions going on among us and the military about extending,” he said. “Our hope is we will not have to extend.”

However, Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen warned that Aug. 31 deadline is a “red line” and that there would be consequences if Americans stayed past the deadline:

“So if they extended, that means they are extending occupation,” he said. While there is no need for that, I think it will deteriorate the relation, it will create mistrust between us. If they are intent on continuing the occupation, so it will provoke a reaction.”

While “the Pentagon said Monday that the U.S. has evacuated or facilitated the evacuation of approximately 37,000 people from Afghanistan since August 14, with about 10,400 of them airlifted out over the weekend,” the White House doesn’t really know how many Americans remain in Afghanistan:

“We don’t have a precise number and there’s a reason for that,” Communications Director Kate Bedingfield told CNN, adding that is partly because the current count “includes people who may have left the country, who may have left over the course of the last six months.”

“What we’re doing is working to identify how many Americans are there,” Bedingfield said.

Moreover, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby was vague about the number of Americans still needing to be rescued:

Kirby was similarly vague when asked to provide the number of Americans who have been evacuated from Afghanistan since Aug. 14, describing the total as “very fluid” and changing “nearly by the hour.”

“We think that, overall, we’ve been able to evacuate several thousand Americans,” Kirby said. “And I’d be reticent to get … more specific than that.”

Estimates have ranged from 5,000 to 15,000.

And today White House press secretary Jen Psaki got defensive when asked about Americans “stranded” in Afghanistan:

Apparently, Politico is not in agreement with Psaki:

Call me irresponsible, but if I were an American in Afghanistan today, with the Taliban everywhere and in control of pretty much everything, and I couldn’t make it safely to the airport, I’m positive that I would feel “stranded,” and terrified, and overwhelmed by a desperate fear that no one was going to get me out of there. But that’s just me. You be the judge:

An American woman called a US representative and tearfully begged for help getting out of Taliban-run Afghanistan.

Rep. Carol Miller of West Virginia on Saturday posted a recording of the call to Twitter. In the recording, a woman’s voice is heard, wavering and breaking up at times over her own tears.

“Hour by hour, it’s getting more difficult,” she said.

“Even when the cars pass by I feel like they’re gonna stop by that door out there, the Taliban, and they’re gonna come and they’re gonna kill us,” she continued, crying in between words.

“I’m really scared,” she said, pleading for help before the audio trails off.

Miller said in her tweet that the woman was “attacked each time she tried to reach the airport.” Her office did not immediately respond to a request for comment asking for more information about the attacks.

P.S. CNN is reporting that the US military is giving President Biden their own deadline for decision about whether he will extend the Aug. 31 deadline:

The US military is advising President Joe Biden that he must decide by Tuesday whether to extend the evacuation in Afghanistan beyond August 31, according to a defense official directly familiar with the discussions.

Military advisers have told the White House that the decision must be made by Tuesday in order to have enough time to withdraw the 5,800 troops currently on the ground, as well as their equipment and weapons. If the President agrees, the military anticipates “a few more days” of trying to evacuate as many people as possible before the drawdown of US forces begins, possibly at the end of this week.


123 Responses to “No One Seems Sure How Many Americans Remain In Afghanistan, But Whatever You Do, Don’t Say They’re “Stranded””

  1. Chaos.

    Dana (174549)

  2. What a revolting development this is.

    A surprise? No.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  3. Dana – My apologies. You must have been writing this post while I was writing my last comment — which would be more appropriate here. Briefly, Glenn Kessler shows that Joe Biden was for “nation-building” before he was against it — despite what he says now.

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  4. And today White House press secretary Jen Psaki got defensive when asked about Americans “stranded” in Afghanistan…

    Couldn’t stop laughing- just out of head-smacking incredibility– at the depth of clueless incompetence these ‘kids’ playing government keep displaying, especially when Psaki tried to joust w/Doocy over ‘stranded.’

    “In the 1998 Coen brothers’ film The Big Lebowski, ‘Branded’ is mentioned several times in connection with the (fictitious) former writer of the show Arthur Digby Sellers. According to the character Walter Sobchak, Mr. Sellers wrote 156 episodes, “the bulk of the series” (while in reality the series did not produce even a third that many episodes). Later in the film, the main character “The Dude,” as played by Jeff Bridges, sings the theme song to Branded while intoxicated in the back of a Malibu, California police car.

    Here is the lyrics to the parody to the Branded theme song, one child would sing to another “Stranded, Stranded on a toilet bowl…”

    ♫ Stranded

    Stranded on a toilet bowl

    Stranded on a toilet bowl

    What do you do when you’re stranded
    And there ain’t nothing on the roll?

    To prove you’re a man
    You must wipe it with your hand

    Stranded on a toilet bowl ! ♫

    No doubt Psaki’s flushed w/pride over how they’ve handled this toilet bowl. Just jiggle the handle, Jen.


    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  5. I watched Jake “the Snake” Sullivan blame the “registration process” for the administration not knowing what the number of Americans is in Afghanistan.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  6. @5.No, he’s Delta President Robert ‘Don’t screw around, they’re serious this time!’ Hoover in spades.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  7. So much competence… this I can tell you.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  8. and Biden is in denial (for public consumption) about the number and kinds of people in danger

    But yesterday he singled out for help “women leaders” and journalists. Journalists of course – if any Afghan journalists who worked for or were known to American journalists, or members of their extended family were killed, Biden would never hear the end of it.

    Pence s busy defending what Trump did with the vetting process – he can’t really for the interpreters who are all known – so on the weekday James Goulden, aka Bo Snerdly show on WABC radio he spoke about them getting asylum on other countries. Which may be OK, but if they are a risk, aren’t they a risk to other NATO countries?

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  9. The only people who have a right to complain that we’re leaving them stranded are Americans who were there under U.S. government orders. Nobody else. Not journalists, not civilian contractors and businessmen, not tourists, not spouses. What the …?

    nk (1d9030)

  10. I watched Jake “the Snake” Sullivan blame the “registration process” for the administration not knowing what the number of Americans is in Afghanistan.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 8/23/2021 @ 3:29 pm

    Incredible. We have an entire internet/satellite surveillance and data mining infrastructure that’s been funded by deep state venture capital such as In-Q-Tel, going back to at least the mid-90s, and wholly dedicated in its efforts to track every single keystroke input by every single individual on earth, and they don’t have a spreadsheet of every single American citizen that’s entered Afghanistan in the last six months?

    We’re rapidly approaching the line where we cross from incompetence to malice, if we haven’t done a touchdown flip over it already.

    Factory Working Orphan (2775f0)

  11. 5. Well, actually, there’s no reason to know all American citizens who are in Afghanistan. Did anyone know in other countries that fell fast? China in 1948-9 fell relatively slowly.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  12. They know a lot of Americans who entered Afghanistan, but in many cases they don’t know if they are still there.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  13. There is still time for carpet-bombing.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  14. I think I should open the Ron Ziegler School of Press Relations. Maybe get Joe Izuzu as Dean of Faculty. Courses would include “Hangouts” “Limited Hangouts” and “Modified Limited Hangouts”, along with such topics as “words not to use” and “repetition”, “obtuse responses” and “how and when to defer to the perpetually unavailable.”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  15. You must wipe it with your hand

    The left hand in Afghanistan.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  16. So, in the new season of NCIS, how will they deal with Jack Sloane, seen last season staying in Afghanistan to help women.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  17. New flag: POW/MIA/ABB

    (Abandoned by Biden)

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  18. Well, actually, there’s no reason to know all American citizens who are in Afghanistan.

    I dunno, Sammy, if you are responsible for planning and conducting an evacuation and a complete shutdown of your nation’s presence in a war-torn country, I suspect that would be valuable info.

    Just thinkin’ out loud here…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  19. 16… he’ll transition and wear a gown and a burka to better fit in.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  20. Nine out of ten things we hear about the bugout will be lies. Eight of them from Republicans. It’s the way it works. Remember Nayirah?

    nk (1d9030)

  21. A few people are doing the right thing, for example, Congressman Brian Mast.

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  22. And I hope and pray that that pathetic twit (sic) from Rep. Carol Miller is as phony as everything else that comes from Republicans these days. Because I would really hate that to be the example of American womanhood we allow to be seen abroad. An Afghan woman would have sharpened her favorite knives and be crouching by her door, waiting to go all Lorena Bobbitt on any Taliban who kicked it in.

    nk (1d9030)

  23. Jake the Snake wants you to use the voice mail menu, because if you are ….not able to get to the airport rather than stranded, your call is still important to the Biden Administration, And your call is important to them,, though due to high call volume, your wait time is perpetual. Try using our website, and we will get back to you as soon as…awright, may be not. Good f___in’ luck.

    Bugg (024e40)

  24. Whew, I thought that was our own Hiltre Jungen Rep. Mary Ann Miller. More and more “victim blaming” in the Miller of WV twit thread i.e. “why did they (the US citizens) wait so long to get out?”

    urbanleftbehind (6a7cbb)

  25. A few people are doing the right thing, for example, Congressman Brian Mast.

    What are the names of the children that he will be taking?

    The Taliban do not hurt children. Those kids being photo-oped are safer with the Taliban than with the Vatican. Except from our drones, cluster bombs, and landmines, of course, but we said we wouldn’t be doing that anymore.

    nk (1d9030)

  26. This is pathetic. Our SOS needs to be looking for work ASAP.

    Time123 (4bc460)

  27. trump would’ve done the same thing


    like lying about crowd sizes

    same thing

    JF (e1156d)

  28. Foreign policy was a Joe Biden strong point. There seems to be a great many things that old man Joe is not really good at these days.

    Hoi Polloi (998b37)

  29. Well, actually, there’s no reason to know all American citizens who are in Afghanistan. Did anyone know in other countries that fell fast? China in 1948-9 fell relatively slowly.

    Somebody has to stamp their passports in and out. And if they have phones, they can ne pinged for location…

    Funny how FedEx and the USPS can track your packages, though.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  30. The Taliban do not hurt children. Those kids being photo-oped are safer with the Taliban than with the Vatican. Except from our drones, cluster bombs, and landmines, of course, but we said we wouldn’t be doing that anymore.
    nk (1d9030) — 8/23/2021 @ 4:58 pm

    Move over, Baghdad Bob. Say hello to Kabul Ken!

    Hoi Polloi (998b37)

  31. You must wipe it with your hand

    The left hand in Afghanistan.

    Gives a whole new meaning to “southpaw”.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  32. Don’t ask – and don’t tell – the Spartans.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  33. Our humiliation is bad enough without the Republicans trying to magnify it for no other reason than to make the Biden administration look worse. It’s unpatriotic.

    nk (1d9030)

  34. Re #25, nk (1d9030) — 8/23/2021 @ 4:58 pm – which stated in part: The Taliban do not hurt children. Those kids being photo-oped are safer with the Taliban than with the Vatican. Except from our drones, cluster bombs, and landmines, of course, but we said we wouldn’t be doing that anymore.

    The Taliban do not hurt children? Apparently you missed this 7/29/2010 TIME cover story, What Happens When We Leave Afghanistan.,9171,2007415,00.html

    And this 10/10/2010 Daily Mail article.

    Liberty & Truth require constant vigilance. GLZ.

    Gary L. Zerman (a1521c)

  35. #9

    Doesn’t that depend on any contractual obligations the government has with those contracted civilians?
    Also if you want civilians from Raytheon to continue to go to s#ithole countries and work on military aircraft, private American security for your embassy and consulate staff, if you strand them again like Benghazi you will lose their trust.
    They’ll accept not being #1 on the helicopter, but not being left behind like cheap office furniture

    steveg (ebe7c1)

  36. No, I had not seen the story, GLZ. American Indians were reputed to do the same thing to their women as punishment for adultery. The fact that it was done by an alleged Talib does not mean it’s Taliban doctrine, and at the end of the The Daily Mail article a Taliban spokesman denies that it is.

    The Afghans engaged in all kinds of barbaric practices before the Taliban appeared. When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains …. And every place has criminals who violate secular and religious laws.

    nk (1d9030)

  37. #25

    Do the Taliban have a penchant for buggery?
    Ripped from Foreign Policy
    “While the Afghan government has been able to address some of these issues since the Taliban’s ouster in 2001, archaic social traditions and deep-seated gender norms have kept much of rural Afghanistan in a medieval state of purgatory. Perhaps the most deplorable tragedy, one that has actually grown more rampant since 2001, is the practice of bacha bazi — sexual companionship between powerful men and their adolescent boy conscripts.

    This phenomenon presents a system of gender reversal in Afghanistan. Whereas rural Pashtun culture remains largely misogynistic and male-dominated due to deeply-ingrained Islamic values, teenage boys have become the objects of lustful attraction and romance for some of the most powerful men in the Afghan countryside.

    Demeaning and damaging, the widespread subculture of pedophilia in Afghanistan constitutes one of the most egregious ongoing violations of human rights in the world. The adolescent boys who are groomed for sexual relationships with older men are bought — or, in some instances, kidnapped — from their families and thrust into a world which strips them of their masculine identity. These boys are often made to dress as females, wear makeup, and dance for parties of men. They are expected to engage in sexual acts with much older suitors, often remaining a man’s or group’s sexual underling for a protracted period.”

    steveg (ebe7c1)

  38. Doesn’t that depend on any contractual obligations the government has with those contracted civilians?

    I did not mean them. I consider them “government contractors”, there by U.S. government order.

    nk (1d9030)

  39. Do the Taliban have a penchant for buggery?
    Ripped from Foreign Policy

    The Bacha Bazi practice remained outlawed under the Taliban rule, and death remained the punishment for the culprits. Initially, the Taliban movement started to fight local commanders involved in Bacha Bazi, highway robbery and so on. The Times newspaper highlighted in the article “Kandahar Comes out of the Closet” in 2002, one of the original escalations for the Taliban’s rise to power in the early 1990s was their unacceptability of Bacha Bazi practice. In areas under the Taliban control, Bacha Bazi became taboo, and men involved in the practice had to go underground and keep the practice in secret.

    So, no, the Taliban do not have a penchant for buggery. They kill pederasts. We court-martial Green Berets who beat up pederasts.

    nk (1d9030)

  40. I know the Taliban came out, so to speak, against the practice, but at the same time they recruit/kidnap young boys and send them to madrassa that are sort of like an all-male military/religious school.
    The abuse is said to occur there. I don’t disbelieve it because sexual abuse has been found to be rampant in madrassa for all of the reasons you find it in catholic boys schools. The Taliban uses trained boys as “honey traps” for Afghan national police. They handpick beautiful boys and send them to be raped for the cause.

    steveg (ebe7c1)

  41. I thought that court martial trial was despicable.

    I’ve never forgotten the saying that crows fly with one wing over kandahar, the other wing covers its ass.

    Fundamentalists are some of the worlds biggest hypocrites and they would have no trouble stoning other people to death for doing something they do in secret. Maybe that’s just in the USA.
    When you hear a fundamentalist railing on about God smiting the wicked there’s usually a young, good looking, gay, meth fiend waiting back in the hotel with the outfits and toys.

    steveg (ebe7c1)

  42. There are also the stories of the Royal Marines who claimed to be more afraid of the men (not Taliban) from one village that came out to greet them, than they were of al-qaeda. The word one LCorporal used was “terrified”
    Evidently the village ummm inhabitants had put on make up, nail polish and wanted hugs.

    steveg (ebe7c1)

  43. Back in 2021 barber lee was attacked as a traitor by chicken hawks who wanted others to go to afganistan when she didn’t. They still want others to go to afganistan.

    asset (a10a63)

  44. Competent people voted for Trump. Common sense outweighs degrees and book smart wise guys that hang together.

    mg (8cbc69)

  45. Well, you cellar dweller voters just past the green new deal last night. Way to go you Piglosi piglets.

    mg (8cbc69)

  46. Foolish people vote for foolish people.

    mg (8cbc69)

  47. mcconnell will vote for this, his paymasters demand it.
    Highly sophisticated cellar dweller voters are to blame.

    mg (8cbc69)

  48. Call your lame rep. I did. Stop this wise guy madness.

    mg (8cbc69)

  49. Seems like more competent leadership would have a starting number they were working to clear. That would allow us to put reports like this into the proper context. As it stands now 16,000 in 24 hours sounds impressive, but don’t know if that’s ,1% 10% or 50% of the remaining people.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  50. At some point, the stranded are going to become hostages.

    Paul Montagu (b3aebc)

  51. 29. DCSCA (f4c5e5) — 8/23/2021 @ 6:02 pm

    Somebody has to stamp their passports in and out.

    That was the Afghan government, not the United States embassy. The United States State Department urged any American coming to Afghanistan to (separately) register with the embassy, but not all did, and often they didn’t de-register before they left Afghanistan.

    The State Department also, a couple of months ago, urged all Americans to leave, but hey do that in many circumstances of somewhat increased risk.

    And if they have phones, they can be pinged for location…

    There are some who have established recent contact.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  52. 20. The incubator story didn’t make any sense.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  53. The US military is advising President Joe Biden that he must decide by Tuesday whether to extend the evacuation in Afghanistan beyond August 31, according to a defense official directly familiar with the discussions…. If the President agrees, the military anticipates “a few more days” of trying to evacuate as many people as possible before the drawdown of US forces begins, possibly at the end of this week.

    Most news stories are treating the situation like they still have eight days, as of yesterday, but they really had just five days.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  54. The cabal of losers that are defending Biden’s actions and policies is beginning to fall away.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  55. There;s also the other people Biden half promised to get out. He thinks maybe nobody in the United States will care about them very much.

    Every morning since the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in the wake of the US withdrawal, journalist Toby Harnden waits for a call or a WhatsApp message from “R,” a translator he worked with on “First Casualty: The Untold Story of the CIA’s Secret Mission to Avenge 9/11” — his new book about the early days of the 2001 US invasion.

    “It’s a proof of life check,” Harnden told The Post. “Part of my dread is that he just drops off and I don’t hear from him again because God knows what happened. It’s constant tension.”

    … While many of his associates have escaped to Turkey and Uzbekistan, R contacted him last weekend desperately seeking help.

    “He said, ‘I’m in Kabul and I need to get out,’ ” Harnden said.

    A British-born US citizen based in Northern Virginia, Harnden has applied for a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) for Afghans, but he has only received an automated reply. He has no case number for R.

    “As far as I can tell, his case hasn’t even been looked at. Right now it’s like he’s at the DMV and in line waiting for [a] number to be called … In the meantime, you have this desperate urgency,” said Harnden.

    I think they stopped taking new applications.

    He’d be better off getting near some British citizens who are still waiting to get taken to the airport – he could get taken with them, especially if they thought the United States was interested in him. He goes to the airport, carrying what amounta to a death warrant with him, but he hasn’t even been able to get near a U.S. let alone be let in. In aother case, an Afghan was told to go home and wait for a call.

    And saying What do you want? It would have required the deaths of American soldiers to give them more of a chance won’t help Biden.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  56. Compare/contrast how Biden treats:

    A) Americans in Afghanistan
    2) Illegal immigrants crossing the southern border

    Hoi Polloi (998b37)

  57. 54. Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 8/24/2021 @ 6:58 am

    The cabal of losers that are defending Biden’s actions and policies is beginning to fall away.

    Rich Lowry writes:

    It’s not a good sign when a White House chief of staff to a Democratic president wants to retweet favorable news coverage and all he can find is the least credible and most slavishly loyal commentators on the internet.

    The New York Post online links this article to this one:

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  58. VP Harris is a proven winner and reputedly a world-class fellatio artiste. She’ll fit right in, bring her on.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  59. Here she is, at her comic best:

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  60. “Enlarge the aperture!”

    —- Joe Biden

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  61. steveg (ebe7c1) — 8/24/2021 @ 12:12 am

    You’re arguing with a guy who thinks children will be safer with the Taliban than with Catholic organizations because sexual abuse isn’t Taliban policy?

    The first rule of holes is to know when to stop digging.

    frosty (f27e97)

  62. 56. The Americans are treated better.

    Nobody is being sent back to Afghanistan by the United States. And some efforts are being made to help them get out. (No migrants are being helped to get out of Mexico)

    We have yet to see what will happen to those already within the perimeter of the airport.

    Now as for Turkey…

    In the days before the Taliban took Kabul, an Afghan woman was doubled over sobbing on a bench in a bus station in eastern Turkey, her children wailing at her feet.

    Fourteen Turkish security and migration officials swooped down on her and other Afghan asylum seekers as our reporting team was interviewing them, part of an intensive crackdown by Turkey to apprehend Afghans crossing from Iran by the thousands and to prevent journalists from reporting on their plight. As her husband tried to gather their belongings, the woman clutched her stomach and retched. After prolonged questioning, they were escorted to a police vehicle.

    “We came out of despair,” another Afghan, Gul Ahmad, 17, said. “We knew if the Taliban had taken over they would kill us — either in fighting or they would recruit us. So this was the better option for the family.”

    Even before the past week’s harrowing scenes of Afghans thronging the Kabul airport to escape the Taliban, many thousands had been steadily fleeing their country over land, making their way some 1,400 miles across the length of Iran to the Turkish border. Their own desperate efforts to escape the Taliban have played out in quieter, though no less painful, tableaus at remote border crossings like the one in the eastern city of Van….

    ….Many Afghans interviewed in recent weeks said that they had crossed in large groups — sometimes hundreds strong — but that only a small number had succeeded in evading Turkish border guards. Thousands of Afghans were massed in the border region in Iran, they said.

    ….As in Europe, the public mood in Turkey has turned against immigrants and refugees, sometimes resulting in violence, such as knife fights and a recent attack on Syrians’ homes in the capital, Ankara. The scale of the pushback by Turkey has increased dramatically since last month, said Afghans, human rights monitors and even government officials.

    For President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, the burden of hosting so many refugees — 3.6 million Syrians and more than 300,000 Afghans, among others — has become a burning political issue, especially as the Turkish economy has worsened. He has made clear he has no intention of opening the door to more Afghans.

    When photographs emerged on social media of columns of Afghan migrants walking through Iran toward Turkey in recent weeks, opposition politicians accused Mr. Erdogan of negotiating a deal with the European Union, as he had done for Syrian refugees, to host the growing number of Afghans who are arriving…

    ….Mr. Erdogan warned Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany by telephone Sunday that his country “will not be able to shoulder the additional burden” in the event of a fresh wave of migration from Afghanistan. Turkey, he reminded Ms. Merkel, “has already taken in five million refugees.”
    Afghans interviewed in Van said Turkey had tightened security along its border with a widespread and often violent police operation in recent weeks, turning away Afghans regardless of their requests for asylum.

    In a single operation in July, more than 1,400 Afghans who had crossed into Turkey were rounded up and pushed back by Turkish border guards and military police, according to a statement from the office of the governor of Van.

    Hundreds more, including women and children, have been detained in towns across eastern Turkey as they have tried to make their way deeper into the country.

    Such expulsions are against the international convention on refugees, said Mahmut Kacan, a lawyer in Van who specializes in refugee and asylum cases.

    Few Afghans know their rights under international law, he said, but Turkey does not abide even by its own laws, since migrants should be entitled to an appeal process before being deported.

    …In an interview before they were apprehended, the husband, Najibullah, 30, said they had made the arduous three-day trek with their 1-year-old twins into Turkey three times in recent weeks, only to be pushed back each time. The children had dramatically lost weight, he said.

    His wife, Zeineb, 20, seemed badly shaken by the experience. “It would have been better to stay and die in Afghanistan than make this journey,” she said. They only gave their first names out of fear because of their undocumented status in Turkey.

    The family, ethnic Uzbeks, had left home two months ago partly because the Taliban had seized control of their district in northern Afghanistan. “We had nothing,” Najibullah said. “They would order us to prepare them food. We could barely feed ourselves.”

    Many are looking for economic opportunity, or schooling for their children, but also some have had family members killed, in the fighting in the course of defending their village and the like.

    The Taliban question them, but let and human traffickers help them (pr did before Iran closed its border with Afghanistan) but also rob them.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  63. There’s a virtual meeting of the G-7 going on today. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly wants the deadline extended. The Taliban, meanwhile say that Auf=gust 31 is a red line. The U.S, is afraid of shelling or a suicide bomber (where the Taliban would have plausible deniability because it would be ISIS)

    As Dana posted, President Biden has to make a decision to go beyond August 31 today, because the American military needs to know now in order to get every American member of the military and other u.S. personnel out by the end of August 31. They can;t wait until the last day. It’s going to take two or three days after all flights have stopped.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  64. “Well, here’s another fine mess Biden’s gotten us into!”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  65. You’re arguing with a guy who thinks children will be safer with the Taliban

    Facts are not arguable. They either are or they are not. And the fact is that the Taliban execute pederasts.

    I do confess that there’s a good deal of national pride involved. American national. I really, really, would hate it if it turns out that we lost to a bunch of boy lovers.

    nk (1d9030)

  66. Leaving Afghanistan is something Americans – whatever their politics – support.

    Leave it to the Biden administration to fu*k it all up.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  67. “I really, really, would hate it if it turns out that we lost to a bunch of boy lovers.”

    —- Xerxes

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  68. The Taliban are beating up men wearing jeans in Kabul (on the grounds it is insulting to Islam to wear western clothes) something which evidently took some young men by surprise. Also leading to beatings: T-shirts.

    A Taliban official said they are working on a dress code for men.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  69. Chasing credibility: ‘Senator’ Plagiarist to speak to the nation AGAIN this afternoon on Afghan mess he- and he alone- has created.


    He’s a bum.

    Breaking: Fox News reports Biden sticks to August 31 deadline.

    He’s a bum. And a coward.

    “Access denied.” – Taliban

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  70. Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c) — 8/24/2021 @ 9:08 am

    which evidently took some young men by surprise. Also leading to beatings: T-shirts.

    Shocked they are doing what they did the last time they were in charge. Sounds like one of the things those US schools failed to teach is any recent AF history.

    A Taliban official said they are working on a dress code for men.

    Fake news Sammy. They already had a dress code. They just get to enforce it in larger areas.

    frosty (f27e97)

  71. Towel-headed, haggling, carpet bazaar bargainers decked out in stolen, brand new U.S. flack jackets, rifles and night vision goggles outwit incredibly dumb-azzed, brain-damaged mick from Scranton, Pennsylvania.. or is it Wilmington this week. Eyeball to eyeball and POTUS blinked.

    He’s a bum. He’s a coward. And now he’s a sucker:

    “For friends of Rick’s we have a small discount. Did I say 700 francs? You can have it for 200… For special friends of Rick’s we have a special discount. 100 francs!” – ‘Casablanca’ 1942

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  72. A Taliban official said they are working on a dress code for men.

    Do they prescribe headwear? That will be key…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  73. He doesn’t know how to ‘negotiate’ w/towel-headed carpet bazaar hagglers.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  74. CIA Director William Burns secretly went to Kabul on Monday to meet with the Taliban’s top political leader, Abdul Ghani Baradar.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  75. Biden is expected to make some remarks sometime today, and to announce he will stick with the August 31 deadline.

    I would expect him to say he got enough people out. He may use careful wording.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  76. Breaking News: Likely Havana syndrome case delays Harris trip to Vietnam

    ‘SINGAPORE (AP) — U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris’ trip from Singapore to Vietnam was delayed several hours Tuesday by a “recent possible anomalous health incident,” the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi said.’

    “…recent possible anomalous health incident…”

    Ahhhhh yes, vividly recall Malcolm Kilduff standing in Parkland Hospital back on November 22, 1963 announcing President Kennedy suffering a ‘recent possible anomalous health incident.’


    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  77. Off-topic:

    Can someone explain to me where all the Historic. First. Black. Governor. stories went to in the CA recall?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  78. Wonder if Lindell will give a 2fer on towels?

    mg (8cbc69)

  79. Biden sides with Taliban:

    President Joe Biden has decided, in consultation with his national security team, to stick with the August 31 deadline for withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, according to a senior administration official.

    Biden made the decision mindful of the security risks in remaining the country longer, the official said, and he has asked for contingency plans in case he determines at a later date the US needs to remain in the country for longer.

    Even as the United States flies tens of thousands of people out of the country, the situation in Afghanistan remains desperate and many Afghans who assisted the war effort are still awaiting their turn to leave. US officials have described in stark terms the real threat of terror attacks at the Kabul airport as crowds gather outside the gates.

    Too bad for those waiting Afghans, however:

    The Taliban said Tuesday that they would not allow Afghans to leave the country and warned that the US must stick to next week’s deadline to pull out, as a frantic Western evacuation operation at Kabul airport picked up pace.

    The announcement came as a senior US official said that President Joe Biden had decided to stick with his August 31 deadline to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, despite top American allies calling for an extension in order to fly more people out.

    Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told a press conference Tuesday that while foreign nationals could continue traveling to the airport, the huge crowds of Afghans that have gathered there in recent days should return home and would not face reprisals from the country’s new rulers.

    What a putz.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  80. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 8/24/2021 @ 9:43 am

    Do any of them have a problem deciding whether they’re for JB? If they do you know what that means.

    frosty (f27e97)

  81. Article in The Hill claims Taliban will soon fall apart into factions, and it will be replaced by “a patchwork of regional statelets overlaid with pockets of ungoverned or contested spaces” and “even if there is something approximating a Taliban-dominated national government, its writ is unlikely to run much beyond Kabul.”

    According to Andrew Latham, a professor of international relations at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota.

    Previous analysis by Latham:

    Because the Taliban emirate might seek to export its revolution to neighboring Central Asian states.

    A Taliban victory mght create trouble (or a trap) for China also, said Andrew Latham:

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  82. Staggering Costs – U.S. Military Equipment Left Behind In Afghanistan

    The U.S. provided an estimated $83 billion worth of training and equipment to Afghan security forces since 2001. This year, alone, the U.S. military aid to Afghan forces was $3 billion.

    Here is a breakdown of estimated vehicle costs:

    •Armored personnel carriers such as the M113A2 cost $170,000 each and recent purchases of the M577A2 post carrier cost $333,333 each.
    •Mine resistant vehicles ranges from $412,000 to $767,000. The total cost could range between $382 million to $711 million.
    •Recovery vehicles such as the ‘truck, wrecker’ cost between for the base model $168,960 and $880,674 for super strength versions.
    •Medium range tactical vehicles include 5-ton cargo and general transport trucks were priced at $67,139. However, the family of MTV heavy vehicles had prices ranging from $235,500 to $724,820 each. Cargo trucks to transport airplanes cost $800,865.
    •Humvees – ambulance type (range from $37,943 to $142,918 with most at $96,466); cargo type, priced at $104,682. Utility Humvees were typically priced at $91,429. However, the 12,000 lb. troop transport version cost up to $329,000.
    •Light tactical vehicles: Fast attack combat vehicles ($69,400); and passenger motor vehicles ($65,500). All terrain 4-wheel vehicles go up to $42,273 in the military databases.

    This month, the Taliban seized Black Hawk helicopters and A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft. As late as last month, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense posted photos on social media of seven newly arrived helicopters from the U.S., Reuters reported.

    Black Hawk helicopters can cost up to $21 million. In 2013, the U.S. placed an order for 20 A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft for $427 million – that’s $21.3 million for each plane. Other specialized helicopters can cost up to $37 million each.

    The Afghan air force contracted for C-208 light attack airplanes in March 2018: seven planes for $84.6 million, or $12.1 million each. The airplanes are very sophisticated and carry HELLFIRE missiles, anti-tank missiles and other weaponry.

    The PC-12 intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance airplanes use the latest in technology. Having these planes fall into Taliban control is disconcerting. Civilian models sell new for approximately $5 million each and the military planes could sell for many times that price.

    Basic fixed-wing airplanes range in price from $3.1 million to $22 million in the DLA database.

    Of course, helicopter prices also range widely depending on the technology, purpose, and equipment. For example, according to the DLA, general purpose helicopters range in price from $92,000 to $922,000. Observation helicopters can cost $92,000 and utility helicopters up to $922,000.

    Even if the Taliban can’t fly our planes, the parts are very valuable. For example, just the control stick for certain military planes has an acquisition value of $17,808 and a fuel tank sells for up to $35,000.

    The howitzer is the modern cannon for the U.S. military and each unit can cost up to $500,000; however most are in the $200,000 price range. At the higher end, there’s GPS guidance on fired shells.

    A common price of a M16 rifle is $749, according to DLA. Adding a grenade launcher can push the price of the M16 to $12,032. M4 carbine rifles are slightly more expensive with unit prices as high as $1,278.

    Just the sights on night-vision sniper rifle scopes can run as high as $35,000, however, most vary in price between $5,000 and $10,000.

    Here are the costs of other types of weaponry provided to Afghan forces:

    •Machine guns, i.e. the M240 model, were priced between $6,600 and $9,000 each.
    •Grenade launchers cost between $1,000 and $5,000 each; however, in 2020, the manufacture sold 53 for $15,000 each.
    •Army shotguns were acquired for only $150 each, according to DLA.
    •Military pistols cost $320 each, such as the .40 caliber Glock Generation 3.

    Each Aerostat surveillance balloon costs $8.9 million. Each ScanEagle drone costs approximately $1.4 million according to recent procurement news. Even as late at 2021, U.S. appropriations for the Wolfhounds radio monitoring systems approached $874,000.

    Night vision devices: The total cost for the 16,000 night-vision goggles alone could run as high as $80 million. Individually, the high-tech goggles were priced between $2,742 and $5,000 by the DLA. Other equipment like image intensifiers are commonly priced at $10,747 each; however, sophisticated models run as high as $66,000 each.

    Radio equipment: the cost of equipment adds up – receiver-transmitters ($210,651); sophisticated radio sets ($61,966); amplifiers ($28,165); repeater sets ($28,527); and deployment sets to identify frequencies run up to $18,908.

    However, if the Taliban doesn’t have the expertise or technologies to program the equipment, it will become obsolete quickly. Or it could be sold off to other countries who wanted to acquire U.S. technology.

    And there’s more… years 2017 through 2019

    From 2017 to 2019, the U.S. also gave Afghan forces 7,035 machine guns, 4,702 Humvees, 20,040 hand grenades, 2,520 bombs and 1,394 grenade launchers, according to the since removed 2020 SIGAR report, reported by The Hill.

    An unnamed official told Reuters that current intelligence assessment was that the Taliban took control of more than 2,000 armored vehicles, including American Humvees, and as many as 40 aircraft that may include UH-60 Black Hawks, scout attack helicopters and ScanEagle military drones.–us-military-equipment-left-behind-in-afghanistan/

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  83. Video of Andrew Cuomo leaving office.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  84. If Biden has any balls whatsoever, those high-value items like helicopters will go up in flames September 1. Not going to bet on it though.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  85. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 8/24/2021 @ 9:51 am

    The Pentagon has already said their primary goal was to not give the Taliban any reason to escalate.

    JB is in Lando Calrissian mode except he’s not nearly as interesting an actor.

    frosty (f27e97)

  86. The all for nothing war has joe cellar at a 41% approval rating.

    mg (8cbc69)

  87. Options:

    [ ] 25th Amendment

    [ ] impeachment

    [ ] pistol in drawer

    [ ] stairs

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  88. JB is in Lando Calrissian mode except he’s not nearly as interesting an actor.

    He’s not even as interesting as Louis Renault. Closer to The Walking Dead’s “Gregory.”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  89. There is still time for the House GOP to take Pelosi up on her plan to replace the Cabinet with a more pliable group as the 25th Amendment’s activating body.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  90. Has Big Rig Joe suffered a “…recent possible anomalous health incident…” too?

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  91. 77. The recent anomalous health incident probably happened to some American diplomat(s) in Vietnam.

    It’s happening in all kinds of places in the world. It’s now started to happen in friendly countries i Europe.

    The Russians probably have a secret weapon. Maybe it’s also been used by China. It first was used in Cuba. It’s gone on too long to be merely an unintentional effect of spying.

    The symptoms, which included nausea, severe headaches, ear pain, fatigue, insomnia and sluggishness, began to emerge in recent months and some victims were left unable to work, the diplomats said. They are the first cases to be reported in a NATO country that hosts U.S. troops and nuclear weapons.

    U.S. diplomats said similar incidents had been registered among American officials stationed in other European nations, but declined to provide any detail.

    Some victims were intelligence officers or diplomats working on Russia-related issues such as gas exports, cybersecurity and political interference, U.S. diplomats and people familiar with an investigation into the illness said.

    NBC News reported in July about at least one Havana Syndrome case among Berlin-based U.S. diplomats.

    The set of symptoms first surfaced in 2016 among U.S. diplomats in Cuba and have since been observed in China, Russia and, more recently, in Austria, a neutral nation. There have been unconfirmed cases in Poland, Taiwan, Georgia and even in Washington, D.C. Some U.S. officials have said the complaints could be caused by attacks using radio-frequency energy such as microwave radiation…

    ….One patient who recently transferred from a posting in a European capital to be treated at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Maryland said doctors there had diagnosed a brain injury of the type seen in people exposed to shock waves from explosions.

    This person told the Journal the symptoms were preceded by piercing ear pain, high-pitched electronic noise and pressure in the ears. These occurred while the person was at home at night or early in the morning in March.

    The patient initially believed the symptoms were related to a Covid-19 vaccine received earlier. After the condition persisted, the embassy flew the worker back to Washington, embassy officials said.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  92. [✅] gas pipe

    mg (8cbc69)

  93. I heard that Biden was at 88% approval among Democrats for something and an identical 88% disapproval by Republicans.

    The movement is taking place almost entirely among the 15% or so of the voters who are hard core independents. (that would still leave some 15% to 25% unaccounted for.)

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  94. Options:

    [√] Biden loses clout in Congress.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  95. 90… tanned… cackling… ready!

    The decline, it steepens.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  96. None dare call it treason!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  97. When the going get tough, the tough gets going, eh Joe?

    Get going: resign.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  98. How dare you, Col.

    mg (8cbc69)

  99. G7 Statement: ‘The Taliban Will Be Held Accountable”


    “I am not a number, I’m a free man!” – Number Six [Patrick McGoohan] ‘The Prisoner’ 1967-68 ITV

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  100. Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 8/24/2021 @ 10:21 am

    In fairness, I didn’t watch it until the end but she made it several minutes without a cackle. I’m not sure what it took to achieve that. She also was able to at least read from the teleprompter.

    I’m pretty sure that vastly exceeds any expectation most people have of her.

    frosty (f27e97)

  101. Just turn the teleprompter to the audience.

    mg (8cbc69)

  102. President Biden’s deadline for the U.S. evacuation of its citizens and allies in Afghanistan — Aug. 31 — is one week away…. The U.S. military has helped secure the evacuation of 58,000 people since Aug. 14…. The Biden administration has been unable to pinpoint how many people are in need of evacuation.
    It should at least be an either/or situation: Either they let people get to the airport OR there is no valid deadline.

    But I expect silence from the Biden administration about that and presume that they will evacuate until the deadline, then credit themselves with having evacuated so many people so quickly and meeting the deadline. That’s what I expect, so I’m not surprised that the Taliban have the gall to declare the deadline in force even as they obstruct access to the airport.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  103. 101… All that arm flapping makes her look like she’d rather fly away, frosty.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  104. Watch word: Biden delays speech 30 minutes- now scheduled for 2 PM EDT.


    Chuckie the Toddler ponders w/congressman on MSNBC MTP Daily that the Taliban will need financial assistance eventually so when do we ‘turn the tap’ on to aid them…

    When the carpet bazaar hagglers sell us back our own weapons at a 10% mark-up, maybe, Chuckie???


    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  105. So far, the Democrats couldn’t roger this country any harder if they tried.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  106. @106. Rogered? Nah. It’s both parties; Darth Cheneyed. Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam were Dicked.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  107. The Biden Presidency… “Muh norms have been restored and America’s honor reclaimed!”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  108. RIP Charlie Watts

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  109. THAT SUCKS!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  110. Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 8/24/2021 @ 10:40 am

    Don’t get me wrong. She’s a horrible public speaker. To get over the cackling it looked like she had a grin plastered on her face most of the time. The few minutes I watched had “Dirty Laundry” playing in my head.

    mg (8cbc69) — 8/24/2021 @ 10:38 am

    I keep thinking that every time JB speaks. They could get Google to create a voice from Biden’s old speeches and he could just stand there. Better yet they could get a marine to carry out a life-sized cut-out of JB in his prime.

    frosty (f27e97)

  111. @111. Some of the best images of Big Rig Joe are of his ass running away.


    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  112. 90. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 8/24/2021 @ 10:09 am

    There is still time for the House GOP to take Pelosi up on her plan to replace the Cabinet with a more pliable group as the 25th Amendment’s activating body.

    You still would need the Vice President, because the Vice President is written into the text of the 25th amendment.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  113. 103.Althouse:

    But I expect silence from the Biden administration about that and presume that they will evacuate until the deadline

    No, according to what Dana has posted, they will; evacuate civilians only up to about 48 to 72 hours before the deadline, because the military has to evacuate itself, and turn over control of the airport to the Taliban.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  114. Biden hasn’t spoken yet – Bloomberg news says he will be speaking soon.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  115. The Politburo is still working on his speech.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  116. @115. Speechpuhed ack to4:30 Pm EDT. Hell breaking loose. Fox News reports tunnel to airport blown up ‘stranding’ people; escape routes closing. Brits pulling out after a KIA. ‘Private’ efforts under way- civil aircraft, etc.

    Incompetence reigns.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  117. You still would need the Vice President

    Yes, but Kamala Harris would be voting yes, out of sorrow.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  118. Biden: “Well, at least this can’t get any worse!”

    Then the windows of the Oval Office blow in.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  119. One consequence of all this is that it’s going to encourage people to panic in other countries, whenever there’s a remote chance of evil government coming or a military conquest

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  120. 84. Andrew Cuomo’s Emmy award has been rescinded:

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  121. Kathy Hochul spoke. She;s the first governor of New York in more than a century who’s not either from the New York City area or the Hudson River less than halfway to Albany. I only heard the very end but did hear a brief recap

    She wants a 45-day transition period. (no quick resignations)

    She’s going to institute live sexual harassment training (no clicking through a computer) and different ethics rules.

    On Covid, she offers the option of testing instead of a vaccine mandate (for schoolteachers)

    She hopes to make New York women proud.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  122. On his last day in office, Governor Cuomo pardoned five people convicted of murder in the 1980s.

    One of them was a Brink’s robber, the father of the San Francisco District Attorney.

    Three seem to be ordinary criminal murders.

    In the last the detective on the case was later was found to moonlighting as a Mafia hitman, so I don;t know if a possible miscarriage of justice was a factor

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

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