We’ve spent a lot of time the last few weeks focusing on everything that has gone wrong in Afghanistan and criticizing those whose decisions led to this embarrassing moment for America: The Biden administration, not just for the rushed and chaotic withdrawal, but its absurd insistence that this was unavoidable, and well—actually—everything is going just fine. The Trump administration, for negotiating a bad deal in the first place. We’ve been hard on the politicians who are speaking out against bringing in Afghan refugees, and (as you’ll read below), we’ve sought to remind people that Pakistan was part of the problem, for supporting the Taliban and al-Qaeda while taking aid from the United States.
It’s gotten hard to find the right words to discuss what has happened. Two weeks ago I described it as “frustrating.” Last week felt “bleak.” After the bombing Thursday that killed 13 U.S. servicemembers and upward of 170 Afghans, “grim” doesn’t quite cut it. Neither does “maddening.”
So I’m going to hit pause on the negativity, just for a moment. ABC News broke a truly remarkable story yesterday, at precisely the moment we needed some hope. A group of special ops veterans—all volunteers—had been ferrying Afghan commandos and interpreters and their families to the safety of the Kabul airport. After rescuing 130 people over the first 10 days after Kabul fell, they incredibly managed to rescue 500 more overnight on Wednesday:
“Dozens of high-risk individuals, families with small children, orphans, and pregnant women, were secretly moved through the streets of Kabul throughout the night and up to just seconds before ISIS detonated a bomb into the huddled mass of Afghans seeking safety and freedom,” Army Lt. Col. Scott Mann, a retired Green Beret commander who led the private rescue effort, told ABC News.