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U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Wednesday that the military does not have the capacity to collect “large numbers” of Americans who may be struggling to escape Afghanistan.
Article by Ken Silva from our news partners at The Epoch Times.
Austin’s remarks were in response to questions about the Taliban allegedly blocking Afghan allies from reaching Kabul’s international airport, as well as concerns over the possibility of thousands of Americans being stranded in Afghanistan if the military sticks to its Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline.
Austin and the State Department gave differing accounts of what is happening on the ground in Kabul.
“We will continue to coordinate and deconflict with the Taliban, and make sure that those people who need to get to the airfield have the right credentials to ensure passage,” Austin added. “And the Taliban has been checking those credentials—and if they have them, they have allowed them to pass.”
However, in a statement on Wednesday, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul said “the United States government cannot ensure safe passage to Hamid Karzai International Airport.”
Shortly afterwards, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, the second-highest-ranking U.S. diplomat, confirmed in a press conference reports that the Taliban are preventing some Afghans from getting to the airport. Some videos uploaded online showed apparent Taliban members hitting people with sticks and whips who were trying to get into the facility.
“We have seen reports that the Taliban, contrary to their public statements and their commitments to our government, are blocking Afghans who wish to leave the country from reaching the airport,” Sherman told reporters, adding that “many, many” Americans are arriving at the airport.
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“I will tell you this, in spite of the obstacles, many, many Afghans in all of the categories, are finding their way to the airport,” she said.
Austin told reporters that the United States will continue to rely on diplomacy with the Taliban, rather than using force. The roughly 4,500 troops on the ground are required to defend the airport, he said, stressing the importance of preventing another deadly incident where citizens flood the runway.
“The forces that we have are focused on security of the airfield. You know what happens if we lose the ability to provide that security. I don’t want to detract from that [reports of people struggling to reach the airport]—but we have to make sure we can not only secure the airfield, but defend it as well,” Austin said.
A reporter pressed Austin on the issue of whether more could be done to evacuate Americans, pointing out that there are special forces on the ground that have the capacity to extract Americans from around Kabul and beyond. But Austin said those forces are unable to collect the large numbers of people that would be required.
“I would draw a distinction between extracting someone in extreme circumstances versus going out and collecting large numbers of American citizens,” he said. “We don’t have the capability to go out and collect large numbers of people.”
Mark Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was also at Wednesday’s press conference, and he provided an update on the outflow of evacuees. According to Milley, there are two main entry points for people to get to Kabul airport—one processing about 150 evacuees an hour, and the other about 350.
Reports have estimated up to some 15,000 Americans remaining in Afghanistan, as well as untold tens of thousands who assisted the United States over the last 20 years.
Unsatisfied with the answers, one reporter questioned Austin and Milley about why they are “leaving the 10s of thousands of Afghans who’ve helped us over the past 20 years behind” rather than doing more militarily. Austin insisted that they’re doing all that they can.
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“As I said, we’re going to evacuate everybody that we can physically, possibly evacuate,” Austin said. “And we’ll conduct this process for as long as we possibly can.”
Some national security commentators took issue with the reporters’ questions, accusing the press of being tougher when the United States tries to exit a war than when it’s trying to start one.
“[Milley and Austin] are saying the Taliban is allowing people with visas, documentation, etc. to leave. The media keeps giving them hypotheticals, bringing up unconfirmed reports, basically begging them to start fighting again,” Defense Priorities fellow Richard Hanania said on Twitter.
“America creates the TSA, sees air travel and airports get worse for decades, fails to control anything for 20 years in Afghanistan,” Hanania added. “Media: ‘Why can’t Biden pull off a perfect withdrawal from the Kabul airport in a country where the government just collapsed?’”
With reporting by Jack Phillips
The Dangers of Speaking the Truth Diminish If We Work Together
It’s becoming harder and harder for patriots to ignore the deep suppression of truth that’s happening in America today.
In all of my years in journalism, I have never received as many threats or been attacked by big companies like Google and Facebook as I have in 2021. I’d say that ever since we started covering widespread voter fraud, government-endorsed Pandemic Panic Theater, vaccine cover-ups, Critical Race Theory, and the various Neo-Marxist and Satanic agendas at play, I’ve been targeted more in months than the entirety of my life prior.
Speaking the truth is getting harder with so much censorship and suppression rampant. Prior to 2020, I was not a “conspiracy theorist” or an “anti-vaxxer,” but if there’s one thing the onslaught of exposed lies have taught us in the last 18 months, it’s that we cannot take what we’re told by the “arbiters of truth” at face value. There’s an agenda behind every message, a narrative driving every story, and a series of gigantic cover-ups designed to keep the masses in the dark.
This is why we’re building a network of news outlets that are willing to go against the narrative and expose the truth. We need help. We’re establishing strong partnerships with like-minded news outlets and courageous journalists. Even as Big Tech suppresses us, the honest messages they’re trying to quash are finding their way to the eyes and ears of patriots across the nation. With the help of new content partners like The Epoch Times and The Liberty Daily, we’re starting to see a real impact.
Our network is currently comprised of nine sites:
- NOQ Report
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Some of our content is spread across all of these sites. Other pieces of content are unique. We write most of what we post but we also draw from those willing to allow us to share their quality articles, videos, and podcasts. We collect the best content from fellow conservative sites that give us permission to republish them. We’re not ego-driven; I’d much rather post a properly attributed story written by experts like Dr. Joseph Mercola or Natural News than rewrite it like so many outlets like to do. We’re not here to take credit. We’re here to spread the truth.
I’ve said much of this before. From time to time I reframe this request for assistance by taking the most relevant message of the day and adjusting the story accordingly. We’ve discussed this network in previous articles. Now, it’s time to talk about help. First and foremost, we need financial assistance detailed below. But we could also use more writers who are willing to volunteer their thoughts for the sake of spreading the message. Those who are interested should contact me directly.
As far as money, we’re looking better than we have in the recent past, but we are currently experiencing a gap between revenue and expenses that cannot be overcome by click-ads and MyPillow promos alone (promo code “NOQ” by the way).
To overcome our revenue gap and keep these sites running, our needs fluctuate between $2200-$7800 per month. May, 2021, for example, was amazing and we almost broke even. June, revenue was sluggish at best and we had to make up a big difference out of our pockets. But we’re not just trying to get out of the red. If and when we start getting enough contributions to expand, we will do just that. Very few get into journalism to try to get rich and we’re definitely not among those who do. Our success is driven by spreading the truth, profitable or not.
The best way you can help us grow and continue to bring proper news and opinions to the people is by donating. We appreciate everything, whether a dollar or $10,000. Anything brings us closer to a point of stability when we can hire writers, editors, and support staff to make the America First message louder. Our Giving Fuel page makes it easy to donate one-time or monthly. Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal or Bitcoin as well. Bitcoin: 3A1ELVhGgrwrypwTJhPwnaTVGmuqyQrMB8
Time is short. As the world spirals towards radical progressivism, the need for truthful journalism has never been greater. But in these times, we need as many conservative media voices as possible. Please help keep NOQ Report and the other sites in the network going. Our promise is this: We will never sell out America. If that means we’re going to struggle for a while or even indefinitely, so be it. Integrity first. Truth first. America first.
Thank you and God Bless,
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Yes, We Need Your Help
I hate being “that guy” who asks people to donate because I think our conservative news network is so crucial, but here I am…
When I left my cushy corporate job in 2017, I did so knowing that my family would have to make sacrifices. But I couldn’t continue to watch the nation slip into oblivion and was inspired by President Trump’s willingness to fight the good fight even at his own personal expense. What I didn’t realize then is that conservative media would be so heavily attacked, canceled, and defunded that the sacrifices would be extreme.
Many in this nation are struggling right now even though we weren’t struggling just a few years ago. I’m not alone. But I wake up every morning and operate the sites we’ve been able to build because there’s really no other choice. I refuse to be beholden to Big Tech like so many other conservative news outlets, which is why you won’t see Google ads here. With that said, it’s often challenging to pay the bills and it’s even harder to expand so we can get the America First message out to a wider audience.
The economic downturn has forced me to make a plea for help. Between cancel culture, lockdowns, and diminishing ad revenue, we need financial assistance in order to continue to spread the truth. We ask all who have the means, please donate through our new GiveSendGo. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to expand our reach so the truth can get to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
We currently operate:
- NOQ Report
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- Based Underground
- Truth Based Media
- Five other conservative news sites
I would even be willing to entertain investments and partnerships at this stage. I’ve turned them down in the past because editorial purity is extremely important. I’ll turn them down again if anyone wants us to start supporting RINOs or avoid “taboo” topics like voter fraud, vaccines, or transgender supremacy. But I’d talk to fellow America First patriots who want to help any (or all) of our 10 news sites. Hit me up at jdrucker (at) substack (dot) com if you’re interested.
For those who have the means and just want to help keep the mission of spreading a conservative, Christian message to the nation, please consider a generous donation.