ABC Warns Americans Abandoned in Safe Haven for Islamic Terrorists


Americans were left outraged Monday after the Biden administration completely pulled out of Afghanistan and left behind some 250 American citizens to be hostages and targets of the Taliban. And in their infinite wisdom, officials anticipated that the Taliban would be kept busy fighting ISIS-K. But in a Special Report and on World News Tonight, ABC News warned viewers that Americans were abandoned in what was sure to become a safe haven for radical Islamic terrorism.

Shortly after Marine General Kenneth McKenzie concluded his press conference via TV at the Pentagon, World News Tonight anchor David Muir kicked off their analysis with a recap and noted the admission Americans were willingly left behind:

He was asked for a message to Americans and Afghans that might remain. He said we will still work to get you out. He said, “it was heartbreaking, but we didn’t get everybody out.” He acknowledged that, but he did also say this to the American people: “Every single U.S. service member is now out of Afghanistan.”

During their evening newscast, senior foreign correspondent Ian Pannell reported on how McKenzie “spoke of this painful loss of the service members this week and was asked about the remaining Americans and Afghan allies and the interpreters who helped the U.S. over the years.”

And in wrapping up his report, Pannell dismissed the Biden administration’s notion that they could trust the Taliban to get/let Americans out safely:

 

 

The Taliban is in control of the country. But from the presence of ISIS-K, we’ve seen them from the airport, they’ve issued a statement saying the Americans have left, Afghanistan is independent. The sound of gunfire in the air. The U.N. calling for safe passage for Americans and Afghans but few on the ground believe they’ll honor that.

Pannell was beaming in from a compound in Doha, Qatar that housed our Afghan allies that managed to escape. And his emotions were palpable during the Special Report, leaving his final thought to trail off seemingly unfinished (Click “expand”):

Yeah, that’s right. I mean, I was in Kabul the day it was liberated, the day the Taliban fled. And we were there again the day that the Taliban came back. And I think that will leave many Afghans wondering about this was all about, what happened to their hopes, their dreams, the lives that they built. The compound that we’re in, people are in their beds right now, but they’re Afghans, they’re people who just left their country, their lives, their friends, their family behind.

(…)

But I think many people will be left questioning tonight about the way those decisions were made, the way the evacuation was handled. And a final thought, really, just to those people still stuck in Afghanistan, at home, afraid, and feeling abandoned.

Further in the Special Report, chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz threw up the red flag to warn that Afghanistan was set to slip back into a pre-2001 state.

“I think what concerns me most right now, too, is ISIS. 2,000 hard-core fighters,” she said. “And the Afghans are left with those fighters battling the Taliban. The Taliban isn’t a single entity. They don’t really have control over all of their fighters. And they’re having a very, very difficult time fighting ISIS. So, I think the future of Afghanistan seems very bleak right now, David.”

It was a point she revisited during World News Tonight when she explained the massive flaw in the Biden administration’s analysis on the situation they were leaving behind. “And the U.S. continues to say that the Taliban is the enemy of ISIS but it was the Taliban that let thousands of ISIS prisoners free, so the threat from ISIS remains and Al Qaeda, as well,” she warned.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

ABC News Special Report for Pentagon Press Conference
August 30, 2021
5:01:25 p.m. Eastern

(…)

DAVID MUIR: He [Maine General Kenneth McKenzie] was asked for a message to Americans and Afghans that might remain. He said we will still work to get you out. He said, “it was heartbreaking, but we didn’t get everybody out.” He acknowledged that, but he did also say this to the American people: “Every single U.S. service member is now out of Afghanistan.”

I want to bring in our foreign correspondent Ian Pannell. He is live in Qatar for us, continuing his reporting. Ian, you have reported on this war for so many years as a journalist, many of those years right here on ABC News. Your thoughts on how profound this moment is at the end of this very long war.

IAN PANNELL: Yeah, that’s right. I mean, I was in Kabul the day it was liberated, the day the Taliban fled. And we were there again the day that the Taliban came back. And I think that will leave many Afghans wondering about this was all about, what happened to their hopes, their dreams, the lives that they built. The compound that we’re in, people are in their beds right now, but they’re Afghans, they’re people who just left their country, their lives, their friends, their family behind.

I’ve done multiple embeds with U.S. troops, with British troops. And, of course, for them there didn’t seem to be an end in sight for this combat mission. For them, it had to come to an end. The U.S. military said for many, many months there was no military victory to be had, so it had an inevitable end to it.

But I think many people will be left questioning tonight about the way those decisions were made, the way the evacuation was handled. And a final thought, really, just to those people still stuck in Afghanistan, at home, afraid, and feeling abandoned.

(…)

5:04:28 p.m. Eastern

MARTHA RADDATZ: I think what concerns me most right now, too, is ISIS. 2,000 hard-core fighters. 2,000 fighters from ISIS in Afghanistan now. And the Afghans are left with those fighters battling the Taliban. The Taliban isn’t a single entity. They don’t really have control over all of their fighters. And they’re having a very, very difficult time fighting ISIS. So, I think the future of Afghanistan seems very bleak right now, David.

(…)

World News Tonight
6:45:41 p.m. Eastern

PANNELL: He spoke of this painful loss of the service members this week and was asked about the remaining Americans and Afghan allies and the interpreters who helped the U.S. over the years.

GEN. KENNETH MCKENZIE (Marines): Look, there’s a lot of heartbreak associated with this departure. We did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out.

PANNELL: The General saying this final chapter was perhaps one of the most painful. The crowds outside the gate and the loss of the 13 service members.

(…)

6:46:39 p.m. Eastern

MUIR: Ian, the General mentioned the Americans left behind is now in the low hundreds. He said there will still be efforts to get Americans out. He also said the efforts to get out Afghan allies will continue. But, of course, we know the Taliban is back in control. How is this going to work in the weeks, the months, and perhaps the years to come?

PANNELL: Yeah, that’s right. The Taliban is in control of the country. But from the presence of ISIS-K, we’ve seen them from the airport, they’ve issued a statement saying the Americans have left, Afghanistan is independent. The sound of gunfire in the air. The U.N. calling for safe passage for Americans and Afghans but few on the ground believe they’ll honor that.

(…)

6:48:04 p.m. Eastern

MUIR: One of the main missions here was to make sure Afghanistan was never a safe haven for terrorists again and Martha, you and I took note of the General talking about the 2,000 ISIS terrorists now out of prison in that country.

RADDATZ: Exactly, David. Hard-core fighters. And the equipment general McKenzie did not talk about is the billions of dollars of military hardware abandoned by the Afghan forces including 600,000 arms, tens of thousands of rockets, Humvees, those are all operational. And the U.S. continues to say that the Taliban is the enemy of ISIS but it was the Taliban that let thousands of ISIS prisoners free, so the threat from ISIS remains and Al Qaeda, as well, David.

(…)



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