2021-08-26 15:11:31 UTC
Asslifters can't wait to collect their 72 virgins,
which will be on back order shortly...
Two dead, fifteen wounded:
What now, China Joe?
DISPATCH: INSIDE KABUL AIRPORT — ‘A DEATH METAL SHOW WITH ONE EXIT. AND THE
PLACE IS ON FIRE’
By Jariko Denman
August 24, 2021
What’s it like to get somebody past the gates at Hamid Karzai International
Airport? A lot of media and people seem to think it’s like signing in your
girlfriend when you lived in the barracks.
It’s not that simple.
It’s more like trying to pick up someone who doesn’t speak your language and
looks exactly like everyone else there. “There” being a fucking death metal
concert at Madison Square Garden.
And it’s at triple capacity.
And only one door is open.
And the place is on fire.
I’m not a religious person, but the word that comes to mind is “biblical.”
It’s like Hurricane Katrina meets Dien Bien Phu.
Anyone who has ever been deployed would recognize HKIA’s entry control
points: big barricades with multiple checkpoints. When you get to the last
one, that’s Taliban. And then the Taliban kind of spit them out at us.
So when we went out to get our people, I was 5 meters — 15 feet — from the
Taliban multiple times. Like, just kicking it. Wild feeling for a guy who
spent his career in the military as an Army Ranger with 15 deployments.
But with the main checkpoints a mess, people are improvising. There’s a
gray-water canal that the refugees found, and if you can get across the
canal to the walls of the airport, you don’t have to go through the Taliban.
So on the walls are Marines and other Americans and every kind of coalition
SOF — Norwegians, Belgians, Swedes, Canadians, French. And the Afghans will
yell for the nationality they worked for — “I’m looking for Canadians!” —
trying to connect with their guys. And soldiers will yell back, asking them
The lip is about 10 to 12 feet high. If you jumped into the canal, you’d
probably get hurt. And you’d be thigh-deep in shit water. If someone hoping
to use the canal has the right paperwork or our blue passport, the troops
will yell across, “Come on,” and that someone will jump in the shit water
and come across. Others, who don’t have passports, might just hang out down
there and beg for the foreign service members to let them up, showing a
bunch of random paperwork.
So, the guidance is — well, I haven’t seen any guidance from anywhere,
except by word of mouth, and dudes are just getting things done anyway. But
the guidance is that, if you have a US passport or green card, you can get
in. But the Special Immigrant Visas — or SIVs — the State Department has
been processing are almost worthless.
If I cruise up with myself and an SIV, they’re probably going to let me in.
But if I pull up with an SIV and I have a wife, cousin, and mom, I’m not
getting in. They say, “You can’t bring all these people with you, sorry.”
People with passports and green cards get all their family members, but even
then, it’s immediate family only.
I’ve deployed 15 times, and this is the worst living and working conditions
I’ve seen for US troops. I’m a little used to this kind of work, unlike the
many young Marines and other service members who are having to sentence
these Afghans. They tell someone, “Hey, you can’t come in,” and it’s like
telling the person he’s probably going to die.
These kids — the Marines and soldiers — are worn the fuck out.
I helped out with an Afghan general and an Afghan colonel who ran a commando
battalion. They drove from Helmand because the Taliban came to their house
to kill them. One member of their group of eight had a cellphone, and they
got in touch with us.
We went and got them from the unit they arrived with. They had nothing for
paperwork except these recommendation letters, all the things you need to
apply for an SIV. We were able to email and print some documents. One of the
two had a copy of a copy of a recommendation letter.
So we walk the guys through the process, and it feels like “these are not
the droids you’re looking for” every step of the way.
Finally, we get to the pax terminal, and I tell the people working there,
“He doesn’t have this visa because he applied for it. Here’s these letters.
I personally know him.”
It’s like bro code. I have yet to see someone bungle a common-sense
decision. It may be coming. I don’t want to jinx it.
Update, 5 p.m. EST, Aug. 24: Late Tuesday, I learned the two men I walked
through processing had been rejected from a flight and sent back outside the
airport. By 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time — early morning in Kabul — access
at the airport gates had been restricted to US citizens and Afghans with
Coffee or Die Magazine’s Jariko Denman, a former Army Ranger with 15 combat
deployments under his belt, is on the ground inside the Kabul airport to
report on and volunteer his experience to the evolving evacuation, an effort
being called America’s “Digital Dunkirk.” Denman is traveling with Ark
Salus, which is a group of a dozen or so US veterans and civilians taking
matters into their own hands to save former Afghan colleagues and their