I would like to say I have great news to share this morning, but that is not the world we are living in. Instead, a leaked State Dept. cable has finally showed the number of Americans who were rescued from Afghanistan over the past 10 days. Unfortunately, the data is so bad that it is leading to shock and horror.
While the White House and Pentagon insisted yesterday that they did not have this information, in the least shocking development of recent days, we now understand they were lying. A running number of Americans who have left has been found, and the numbers are that only 4,407 Americans have made it onto the flights.
NEW: Leaked State cable with evacuation numbers (as of Aug 23 at 1500 ET):
Total manifested since midnight Kabul AUG 23: 483 AMCITS, 6,425 Afghans natls, 8 3rd country/unknown. Total = 6,916
Total manifested since op began: 4,407 AMCITS, 21,533 Afghans, 642 TCNs. Total = 26,582
— Alex Ward (@alexbward) August 24, 2021
While the White House and its media defenders (on any topic other than withdrawing from the Middle East) said yesterday that 37,000 people were evacuated, they then kept not reporting how many of these people were American citizens.
Now we know for a fact that this evacuation will fail. There are just 4-5 days left to get people out because of the logistics of the 8/31 deadline, and according to this data, there are still 20,000+ Americans stranded in the country. Even if you take the lower estimate that just 10,000 Americans were stuck, that means we are behind schedule, and the circumstances for getting to the airport will only get worse. In other words, you will likely see less, not more Americans getting to planes.
There is no magic solution to fix this problem. The only thing we can do is what President Biden should have done almost two weeks ago. He should have informed the Taliban to leave Kabul or we start blowing things up. Instead, we have bent the knee and now we don’t have a backup plan. This evacuation is doomed no matter what. Americans will get left behind. When this happens, what’s our next move? Another war? Just leaving our citizens in hopes of giving ransoms later on?
Many people are already dead and many more will die because our president is more concerned with eating ice cream than doing his job. Will there be consequences for this mistake? Or will Congress keep pretending that supposition about a phone call was cause for impeachment but this abject dereliction of duty is not?
Author: Scott Dowdy