KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – Shortly before boarding an early morning flight out of Kabul airport, CNN chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward reported that she did not see a single U.S. flight evacuating people in the 12 hours she was there, contradicting claims made by the President that full evacuation was underway.
“It’s a desperate situation, and it’s a mess.”
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) August 20, 2021
“I’m sitting here, for 12 hours in the airport, eight hours on the airfield, and I haven’t seen a single U.S. plane take off. How on earth are you going to evacuate 50,000 people in the next two weeks? It just, it can’t happen.”
“During the last eight hours, the time that we have been waiting here, we have not seen a single U.S. flight evacuate people. We saw one U.S. flight take off about half an hour to an hour ago, but it was filled with U.S. servicemen and women. The people who have been sitting on the tarmac for the last 10 hours have not been able to get on a flight.”
An infant handed to U.S. Marines at an airport in Afghanistan was safe and reunited with their family, officials said on Friday. Harrowing video of the incident had gone viral, fueling anger at a haphazard evacuation process from the country. https://t.co/Tg74y6CqJm pic.twitter.com/52isnYdGRp
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 20, 2021
Ward’s report was accompanied by footage of Afghans standing outside in the sun waiting for instructions on where to go and how to get on a flight.
Since President Biden ordered the United States military out of the war-torn country, the country has been in turmoil. The Taliban has stormed back into control, and there have been reports of Americans being harassed and assaulted while trying to get to the airport.
Afghans who aided the United States during the long war have been scrambling to obtain the proper documents and clearances to flee the country, fearing the wrath of the Taliban.
On our flight and getting ready for takeoff pic.twitter.com/bGaYREsbxT
— Clarissa Ward (@clarissaward) August 20, 2021
During Ward’s live report, Anchor Kate Bolduan asked Ward:
“As a sign of maybe what a problem is still before however long this takes is still today, Clarissa, the White House cannot say how many even Americans are still in the country which when the promise and guarantee are from the president to get every American out of the country, and you’ll stay there until you do, it is impossible to know when this mission is going to end if you don’t have a count of how many Americans are in there. I mean, does that make sense?”
Potential Islamic State threats against Americans in Afghanistan are forcing the U.S. military to develop new ways to get them out. U.S. citizens have been told not to go to the Kabul airport without instruction from a U.S. government representative. https://t.co/Pfc4fLXH2D
— The Associated Press (@AP) August 21, 2021
Ward, who was preparing to leave the country after heroic reporting on the U.S. government’s hectic and disorganized evacuations, responded:
“Yeah. I mean, here is the thing, Kate, let’s be very clear about this, I’ve now spent more than 12 hours watching this whole process as it plays out. And it is very disorganized.
And privately, off the record, these guys will tell you that. It is totally disorganized. The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing. It is an enormous operation. There are many different nationals involved.
“Listening to the talking points that I was hearing from the Pentagon and the White House. I thought this whole thing was moving along swimmingly now. Yet here I am 12 hours later, and I haven’t seen a plane take off in eight hours. I’m watching children coming up to me and saying, please could you get me some food. So, it is clearly not working.”
Crushed to death, dehydrated and terrified: Sky News correspondent sees Kabul airport mayhem and then bodies covered in white sheets amid evacuation scramble https://t.co/J3dXVznJnN
— Sky News (@SkyNews) August 21, 2021
Ward boarded a 2 a.m. flight out of the country Saturday morning local time and tweeted a photograph of the dozens of individuals packed into the transport plane.
Ward leaves behind a country where she covered the Taliban, often at great personal risk. At one point, as Taliban members approached her and her crew, and one fighter almost pistol-whipped her producer, she courageously began questioning one Taliban fighter.
“She said she fears showing her U.S. passport to militants who could be members of other terror groups, including ISIS and al Qaeda.” @FoxNews spoke with an American woman still trapped in Afghanistan, unable to reach the airport, already whipped once.https://t.co/3yRq4NADvk
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) August 22, 2021
As she sat in the aircraft waiting to leave, the total failure of Biden’s evacuation plan became apparent when CNN anchor Jake Tapper, often a vocal supporter of the President, said he was thankful she got out of Afghanistan:
“I’m so glad you’re getting on a plane to get out, and I just want to say, on behalf of everybody here at CNN and everybody who’s been watching CNN, your reporting has been brave and amazing. … We are so lucky to have you as a colleague.”
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Taliban reportedly executing people in Afghanistan caught with Bibles on their phone: ‘Spies and informants everywhere’
August 18, 2021
AFGHANISTAN – According to a recent report from Breitbart News, Afghans caught with Bibles downloaded on their cellphones are reportedly being executed.
Considering that the last time the Taliban had control over Afghanistan, religious minorities were given the choice of converting or being killed, the reports of this practice being currently implemented are not shocking.
“Taliban demand people’s phones, and if they find a downloaded Bible on your device, they will kill you immediately,” said SAT-7 North America President Dr. Rex Rogers told Religion News Service. "The Taliban have spies and informants everywhere.”https://t.co/HbkguYXBad
— @TammyPitts (@TammyPittsOH) August 18, 2021
SAT-7, a nonprofit organization that broadcasts Christian programs to churches and Christians in the Middle East and North Africa, conveyed to Religion News Services that the Taliban are going door-to-door and executing those who refuse to renounce their Christian faith.
SAT-7 North America President Dr. Rex Rogers said reports coming from sources in the area claim that anyone caught with Christian-related materials are being killed if those materials are discovered:
“We’re hearing from reliable sources that the Taliban demand people’s phones, and if they find a downloaded Bible on your device, they will kill you immediately. It’s incredibly dangerous right now for Afghans to have anything Christian on their phones. The Taliban have spies and informants everywhere.”
Other Christian-themed non-profits have been raising alarms as of late with the takeover by the Taliban in Afghanistan, with Release International quoting a contact simply referred to as “Micah” saying the following about current conditions:
“Our brothers and sisters in Christ are telling us how afraid they are. In the areas that the Taliban now control girls are not allowed to go to school and women are not allowed to leave their homes without a male companion.”
— Husain Haqqani (@husainhaqqani) August 17, 2021
In a recent piece from Farahnaz Ispahani featured in The Hill, the Taliban of 2021 is really no different from the Taliban that reigned in Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001:
“Contrary to assertions by Western diplomats who engaged in talks with Taliban representatives, setting in motion the current debacle, there is nothing ‘moderate’ about the new Taliban. Their prejudices and intolerant outlook seem still to be the same as in the past.”
Ispahani went into detail on what life was like in Afghanistan before America intervening 20 years ago:
“The last time the Islamist fundamentalist group ruled Afghanistan, from 1996 to 2001, they imposed their version of strict Sharia law, did not allow women to work or girls to attend schools, forced women to keep their faces covered in public and be accompanied by a male guardian and demanded that religious minorities convert or be killed.”
It seems as though, based upon these recent reports, Afghanistan is reverting back to that dark period again.
On August 16th, former Washington Post contributor Amie Ferris-Rotman proclaimed on Twitter that some of her friends in Afghanistan have told her about the door-to-door efforts being employed by the Taliban:
“Over the past hour, several Afghan female friends in Kabul told me the Taliban are in their neighbourhoods, going house to house, looking for women in govt and media, making lists. One sent me a photo from her living room showing armed Talibs outside. “I love you,” she wrote.”
Over the past hour, several Afghan female friends in Kabul told me the Taliban are in their neighbourhoods, going house to house, looking for women in govt and media, making lists. One sent me a photo from her living room showing armed Talibs outside. "I love you," she wrote. 💔
— Amie Ferris-Rotman (@Amie_FR) August 16, 2021
Back in July, the Taliban Cultural Commission issued a “diktat” – an ordered decree – ordering then-controlled Taliban areas to provide lists of women to be married off to the Taliban’s fighters:
“All imams and mullahs in captured areas should provide the Taliban with a list of girls above 15 and widows under 45 to be married to Taliban fighters.”
With the Taliban now controlling Afghanistan, it would seem likely that this diktat from July would still be in effect. Overall, the outlook is not good for either Christians or women in the country.
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