During a recent briefing in Washington, US Central Command leader Marine Corps Gen. Frank McKenzie told reporters that the Americans who wanted to leave and who were not evacuated number in the “very low hundreds.” So between 100 and 200 Americans who wanted to leave Afghanistan now remain in the country following the final U.S. military withdrawal and evacuation efforts from Afghanistan. Some might question these numbers and could be much higher.
Are these Americans stranded, or are they to become hostages of the Taliban?
At the same time, on Good Morning America, host George Stephanopoulos asked National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan whether the US is going to work with the Taliban – including the prospect of giving them aid?”
Sullivan’s response was, “Well, first of all, we do believe that there is an important dimension of humanitarian assistance that should go directly to the people of Afghanistan. They need help concerning health and food aid and other forms of subsistence, and we do intend to continue that.” See below the full video of this exchange.
Sullivan said that if the Taliban played nice and upheld their “international obligations,” they could also receive economic aid. Sullivan continued, “It will be about they follow through on their commitments, their commitments to safe passage for Americans and Afghan allies.”
Is the Biden administration preparing us to pay ransom to the Taliban?
The Taliban is not new to the game of taking hostages. In November of 2019, American Kevin King and Australian Timothy Weeks were lecturers at the American University of Afghanistan when they were kidnapped in 2016 (see the featured photo of the two men). Afghanistan is to release three high-ranking Taliban prisoners in exchange for two hostages held by the group, President Ashraf Ghani has said.
Then Mr. Ghani said, “In order to pave the way for face-to-face negotiations with the Taliban, the government has decided to free Taliban prisoners in exchange for two university professors,” in a televised speech. Anas Haqqani, a leading figure in the Haqqani militant group, and two other senior commanders are part of the deal. Hostage-taking is in the DNA of the Taliban.
Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers struggled to keep the country functioning after the final withdrawal of U.S. forces. While heavily-armed fighters have imposed control on Kabul, Taliban officials were grappling with keeping banks, hospitals, and government machinery running following the end of a huge airlift of foreigners and Afghans who had helped Western nations during the international intervention.
Afghanistan desperately needs money, and the Taliban are unlikely to get swift access to the roughly $10 billion in assets here mostly held abroad by the Afghan central bank.
The Taliban need money.
This is not too hard to figure out. Since now the Taliban is the Afghan government, they don’t need to demand ransom for “American hostages,” or should we say “stranded Americans.” They can now ask for economic aid to help the Afghan people in such troubling times. And oh, by the way, we can help locate these “stranded Americans” and get them home safely from bad elements in Afghanistan … “We are the “good guys.”
Biden will play along with the charade – signaling the methodology to other counties to do the same.
This insidious narrative will play out in Western mainstream media, and Biden will raise his hand and declare victory, even though he created and set up this whole Afghan debacle in the first place. But don’t let Biden fool anyone – Biden will pay ransom for American hostages no matter how he spins it.