• East Spotlight Newspaper

Broken Promises: Interpreters Left Behind

As Americans pause to think about the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and the horrible events of that day, they reflect upon why the U.S. entered a conflict with Afghanistan. They begin to come to an understanding on why Americans and Afghans working for the U.S. Intelligence have been at war for 20 years. The tragic bombings that occurred on August 26, 2021, killing innocent civilians and 13 U.S. military, serve as a reminder of how unstable Afghanistan has remained in the 20 years of U.S. involvement. The withdrawal of American troops was inevitable. The U.S. could not stay forever, but the process for removal of military forces has caused many to question the planning of assisting Americans and their allies on their departure from Afghanistan.

After years of working for the U.S. government and receiving a promise that they would be able to live a new life in the U.S., interpreters, and allies of the U.S. are still in Afghanistan, hiding from the Taliban with their families. The Taliban and the U.S. government have been at war since Osama bin Laden. The U.S. gathered thousands of people in Afghanistan to work as translators to communicate through this war, and n return, the interpreters would be able to come to the US after two years. It has been many years for some of these innocent people, and they are all in danger of being killed by the Taliban. Joe Biden said, "Our message to those women and men is clear. There is a home for you in the United States if you so choose. And we will stand with you, just as you stood with us." But still, to this day, thousands of men and women are hiding in fear of powerful threats from the Taliban. So the message is not clear at the moment. Are the people in power going to help the rest of the people stuck in a war zone, or will they keep quiet about it and let 300 more people die in Afghanistan?

That all being said, the interpreters in Afghanistan are still waiting patiently for their applications to be processed and for their tickets to a new kind of life. Although many of them are still in hiding, some have already been evacuated and are now in their new homes in the U.S. Almost two months ago, 200 Afghan interpreters, including their families, set foot in Virginia. Days after that, a group of around 2,500 Afghans were put on a plane and evacuated. All these people are further along with the visa progress than others who are still there at the moment. But these flights to freedom are only a tiny percentage of the many people who worked with the US for years.

Although not everyone has been pulled from this conflict, the U.S. is attempting to help as well. The nation is entirely aware of the dangers of these men and women who have served our country. With thousands remaining there, the American government has committed more than 80 billion dollars to Afghanistan to foster democracy, help clean up the military and modernize it wishing Afghanistan to be free from the power of the Taliban.

The U.S. has attempted to help, but while they’ve had many successful and progressive efforts, they have also done nothing at all in other regards. The interpreters and those currently trying to leave Afghanistan need to be in freedom just like the U.S. has promised, and the Afghan interpreters do not want any broken promises.

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