The dismissive attitude of the US political and military establishment towards its foreign “helpers” is well known.
This attitude became even more apparent after Joe Biden’s recent appearance before the House of Representatives and Senate with his annual State of the Union Address, in which he described the people of Ukraine as Iranians. One could hardly attribute this remark to Biden’s mental ageing. It is yet another indication of the indifference of the White House as to whom to shell: Iranians, Ukrainians, Iraqis, Afghans, Vietnamese, who are all seen there as second class people.
As recently as last August, US combat veteran Sgt Larry Suer was convinced that the story of how the Americans abandoned the Vietnamese in Saigon in 1975 would be repeated in Kabul, which, by the way, happened!
The death of Afghan interpreter Sohail Pardis and the dramatic plight of thousands of Afghans working for the US is a vivid example of the entire highly chaotic attempt to evacuate Americans from Afghanistan, but also a testament to Washington’s disregard towards its helpers abroad. According to a report by the Association of Wartime Allies, the Afghanistan International television revealed that the United States evacuated about 3% of its Afghan allies who had applied for special immigration visas, leaving behind some 78,000 people willing to flee. According to interviews with 4,000 applicants for special immigration visas, those remaining in Afghanistan face harassment and hardship under the Taliban (organization banned in the Russian Federation). Almost 30% of these applicants said they spent some time in detention during the six months after the withdrawal of US troops, and 52% said they were interrogated, 88% of these people faced unemployement, and 94% reported economic difficulties and hunger. Meanwhile, Kim Stafiri, one of the founders of the Association of Wartime Allies, says other Western governments, unlike the US, have managed to pull their Afghan partners out of Afghanistan with fewer casualties.
Hundreds of Iraqi interpreters working for the US army have made similar claims against the US authorities, as they have been abandoned to their fate, according to Switzerland’s SRF portal. Citing the testimony of one of them, Ali, an Iraqi resident, SRF says he worked as an interpreter for the US army for nearly two years, carrying out communications between the US and Iraqi military. For the sake of their work, such Iraqi interpreters risked everything – including the safety of their families. After almost two years in the US army, he received order to leave the US military base, then he was escorted on foot to a fortified Iraqi army post, and five days later received a letter telling him that his job with the US army was over. He then learned that the US military had given the full identities of all Iraqi interpreters to the Iraqi government, which Ali said had been infiltrated by militant groups. After this, a list of several hundred interpreters’ names appeared on the Internet and members of militant groups started sending death threats to the interpreters.
According to a former interpreter who worked with the US army occupation forces, the US military was ambivalent towards Iraqis during the occupation. He divided the US military into three groups according to their attitude towards Iraqis: the first supported the occupation of Iraq and held a grudge against the local population; the second doubted the rightness of the US leadership; the third detached themselves from politics and joined the service just to be able to get a higher education.
More than once, the US has demonstrated its complete indifference to the fate of the Kurds by exploiting them for its own momentary interests during the wars in Iraq and Syria. The US has shown the Kurds its support towards the Kurdish vision of creating a separate state, supported by the Iraqi and Syrian Kurds. To this end, Washington has nurtured this dream to meet its own needs of establishing US bases in those areas of Iraq and Syria where Iran has had a lot of influence. However, the Kurdish plan, like the US support for it, has failed to come to fruition. In particular, it is well known that after the start of the Turkish military operation Peace Spring, Washington abandoned the Kurds to their fate, forcing them to fight with Ankara.
In this context and against the backdrop of a deteriorating situation in Ukraine after Russia launched a special operation to denazify and demilitarize it, many Ukrainians began to express their concerns about the possible consequences of cooperation with the US embassy. In particular, local employees of the US embassy in Kiev have sent a letter to the US Department of State asking for help, feeling, as the US media report, abandoned to their fate. In particular, on February 26, The Financial Times, quoting the text of their letter, which was made available to its editors, pointed out that the embassy staff requested help with evacuating from the war zone, obtaining US visas, as well as a stable line of communication with the Department of State amid the ongoing hostilities. However, even these requests for help were ignored by Washington, which showed its true attitude towards those “helpers”.
Under these circumstances, even the Polish Polityka points out the fear of many countries today that the US will abandon them, demonstrating its usual “defection” to them and NATO.
Vladimir Platov, expert on the Middle East, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.