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Harold Hutchison / May 11, 2021

Refugees? Take in the ‘Terps’

There are people in Afghanistan who aided America and should qualify for refugee status here.

When the United States of America gets it wrong, the nation needs to make things as right as possible. That is what decent people — or countries — do when things get fouled up. Fixing the mistakes and accepting consequences is part and parcel of life. And when it comes to Afghanistan, America screwed up.

When the attacks on 9/11 happened, George W. Bush had the right idea about what to do — take out regimes that supported terrorism. The problem was, his execution was greatly flawed, particularly with mistakes of omission, although one could argue he should have found the Afghan equivalent to Augusto Pinochet rather than try to jump that country straight to Western-style democracy. It didn’t work, despite our hopes and the sacrifices made by our troops.

Now, with Joe Biden doing a complete pullout — albeit at a later date than what Donald Trump proposed — we need to do right by those who aided our efforts. Unfortunately, as was the case with the American Patriots who made Khalid Sheikh Mohammed spill his guts, we seem more likely to abandon those allies, including as many as 18,000 interpreters, often called “terps.” Saving the “terps” is a matter of honor.

When people step up, especially when they place their necks on the line to aid the United States of America, we owe them something in return. This includes safe harbor when necessary, and the pullout from Afghanistan is going to make safe harbor necessary. As we noted before, far too often, America has hung allies out to dry. The Hmong and Montagnard tribes in Southeast Asia, Carlos Castano in Colombia, the Kurds in Iraq, the Shah of Iran, and the Saudis fighting to hold Iranian stooges at bay in Yemen all were sold out.

Even our troops aren’t immune. SEAL Team Six was smeared, and far too many politicians were silent about it. Our troops found themselves facing dubious prosecutions that crossed the line into dishonor, often due to overly restrictive rules of engagement that resulted in troops making split-second decisions that bureaucrats spent hours or days second-guessing. It was almost as if American leaders weren’t that serious about winning the Global War on Terror. If, that is, they even had an idea of what victory looked like.

The Biden administration recently made a big deal of showing purported compassion by raising the refugee cap. Not that there aren’t legitimate refugees out there, but the interpreters and their immediate families have more than earned a place at the head of the line. Sadly, while Biden has effectively opened the southern border to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants, he is leaving our Afghan support personnel behind, many to certain death.


Update 6/25: It seems there’s a plan to rescue several thousand of these America-friendly people. Good.

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