Monday, July 5, 2021

Afghan Interpreters Face Terror in Wake of US Troop Withdrawal

The United States has left Afghanistan. Here's how the AP describes the nation's departure: 

The U.S. left Afghanistan’s Bagram Airfield after nearly 20 years by shutting off the electricity and slipping away in the night without notifying the base’s new Afghan commander, who discovered the Americans’ departure more than two hours after they left, Afghan military officials said.

The U.S. may have left the nation, but it's also left behind thousands of interpreters who worked on behalf of U.S. troops during their tenure in the Central Asian country.

We've known for a long time that the United States hasn't lived up to its promises to translators working for U.S. troops. I've been using this segment from John Oliver to teach about special immigrant visas for the past six years:

Despite high profile coverage of this issue from folks like John Oliver, as well as advocacy from groups such as No One Left Behind, the United States did in fact leave translators left behind this week

Despite coverage two days ago from WaPo, reporting that Biden was looking into some sort of rapid evacuation plan (like the UK has done) for translators, there's zero indication that translators were included in the middle-of-the-night flight from Afghanistan this week. To the contrary, interpreters left behind have told reporters: "They are going to slaughter us."  Their only hope? Flight into a third country and a desperate attempt to continue the demanding SIV process from exile.


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