When the last U.S. flight departed Afghanistan on Monday, ending America’s longest war and a chapter of history, there were no Americans on board.
As noted in a Defense Department transcript, CENTCOM commander General Kenneth McKenzie said that the last five flights out of Kabul did not have any Americans on them, stating bluntly that any Americans who had not made it to the airport by the time the desperate two-week evacuation ended could not be saved.
Hundreds still stranded
As CNBC reported, McKenzie was the one who broke the news that the Afghanistan war had officially ended Monday afternoon, as the U.S. military completed its withdrawal one day ahead of schedule. By the time the military finished its evacuation, the airlift had been effectively over for 12 hours, he said.
“We were not able to bring any Americans out; that activity probably ended about 12 hours before our exit,” McKenzie said.
“Although we continue the outreach and would have been prepared to bring them on until the very last minute, but none of them made it to the airport,” he added.
The general acknowledged the “heartbreak” of leaving Americans behind, but that was not the only betrayal to disgrace the United States in the final chapter of its 20-year occupation of Afghanistan.
America’s top generals were also reportedly aware of a “mass casualty event” at Kabul’s airport, Politico noted, within 24 hours of a terror attack that killed the final 13 U.S. casualties of the war, many of whom were just children when the war began under George W. Bush.
The blame game
After 20 years of fighting, thousands of American lives lost and trillions of U.S. dollars spent, the Taliban are in charge of Afghanistan and eager to show off their fancy new equipment, courtesy of “the Great Satan.”
But the Pentagon is not taking any responsibility for one of its most humiliating defeats ever. Neither is President Joe Biden, who has portrayed the airlift of more than 100,000 people and some 5,500 Americans as an “extraordinary success.”
Despite leaving hundreds of Americans in one of the most dangerous countries in the world, Biden has said that “90 percent” who wanted to leave did get out and that those who remain had received numerous warnings — cold comfort to those left stranded.
“If Americans could not help me when they were on the ground, how will they help me now when no one is here?” said one distraught American woman still in the country.
Despite declaring the war over, Biden now plans to pressure the Taliban to finish the evacuation he left unfinished and uphold Western values that failed to take root after 20 years of military occupation.