When the Biden White House airlifted 124,000 people from Afghanistan during the chaotic withdrawal from that nation, we were initially informed it had mostly gotten our Afghan allies and partners. Sort of.
The White House was never really specific about who they got out and how those people were vetted — and there is a good reason for it.
On September 3, Bloomberg first reported that only “a small amount of Afghans who got out are the ones the United States put at the top of its priority list: the thousands who worked for the United States and its allies and employees of nongovernmental organizations and media companies.”
Now, according to a new report from The Guardian, some Afghan refugees who left the country and came into the U.K. as a part of Britain’s resettlement program are asking to be sent back, citing their confinement to small hotel rooms.
The Guardian framed the topic as only a liberal newspaper would: If refugees airlifted from Afghanistan want to go back to the Taliban-controlled nation, the fault must be with Operation Warm Welcome, U.K. PM Boris Johnson’s resettlement scheme.
Johnson launched his support for refugees by saying he wanted to help them “rebuild their lives, find work, go for education and integrate into their communities.”
However, because of the circumstances, 7,000 Afghans are being housed inside hotels as a temporary accommodation. Officials inside Britain’s Home Office, which is working on immigration matters, say some of these refugees might have to stay in hotels for months.
“We can’t say when we will get people out of hotels. I believe we all really want it as fast as possible,” said Patricia Hayes, the second permanent secretary in the Home Office.
Being in a hotel for months can be a bad situation, but if an Afghan has made a “brave sacrifice” to work with the United States, the U.K. or their allies “at great risk,” it is better than going back to the Taliban.
Guess where some of these refugees are wanting to go back, however? You guessed it, right back to Afghanistan.
“I have had a few patients say they want to go home,” an Afghan doctor who has been working with the refugees said.
“One man, who was 67, kept repeating: ‘I can’t take this. I must get out of the room.’”
“Another said: ‘I just want freedom from the room.’ I had to put him on meds, and his wife, since they were so upset.”
The disaster and mismanaged priorities of the Afghan withdrawal will be with America and its allies for years to come — and what is happening in the U.K. is just one of the symptoms.
Author: Scott Dowdy