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Hi Bari, I know this story is now over a month old, but I just came across a similar story that I thought you'd be interested in, but with a twist: A chassidic rabbi saving Afghan refugees.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-58729508

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This is a heart rending, yet inspiring, column. This is the reason I subscribe to Bari. Her column is now an indispensable part of my life.

I can't imagine the anguish of selecting the five who just might make it out, knowing that the remaining 495 will probably experience pain and difficulty that we, in the US, can't even imagine. I can easily say those making the call cannot take the lives of the other 495 on themselves but I know they will - that is why they are doing what they are doing. I can only hope the learn to live with it. My heart goes out to them.

I can't do much, but are there any support organizations in central Texas that I can contact to see if they need any help with these refugees?

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Contrast this situation with Teddy Roosevelt's response to a single American being threatened: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perdicaris_affair

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Joe Biden has blood on his hands and we must never forget or forgive. The blood is also on the hands of his minions in the military, NSA and state departments and the DNC media who enabled this fiasco. It’s on the hands of the republicans that voted to confirm his appointments like Blinken and AA Austin. And it’s on the hands of anybody who voted for Biden. Everyone knew what he was like, that he was senile and mean spirited and not that bright and racist and yet they couldn’t handle mean tweets. Shame.

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What about W and his "Chicken Hawk" Admin sending Humvees without armor ? 5 dollar IEDs maimed and killed our kids...No basic Military preparation or understanding facts on the ground. The Troops were welding steel plates themselves .......F'ed Up from Day one. Like Reagan did in Lebanon we needed to turn around ASAP. Shame on Us

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Ah the dread whataboutism. I agree we should not have been in afghanistan. But we were and blood on his hands Biden needs to be held accountable.

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Defeated by IEDs.....is my point. Military and Generals are a national disgrace.

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Agree with everything except the "anybody who voted for Biden". I'm going to guess that 90% of them are aghast at this and really did not think this could happen.

I knew he was all of those things, and arrogant to boot. But I know good people who voted for him.

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I know good people who voted for him - but good people do sin. We all do. Sins have consequences. Arrogant good people risk ending up with blood on their hands.

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Yes. I know good people who voted for Biden. I deeply disagreed with them but could say very little. Why ? Because it was downright fashionable, virtuous to rail about how horrible Orange Man was, but publicly unforgivable to criticize Biden who was clearly into early dementia.

And even when I had a few times that loved ones would want to understand why I supported Trump -warts and all- as the least objectionable choice they truly didn’t know what I was talking about.

ALL of their info came from Facebook, CNN, etc. they never heard of Hunter Biden, Burisma, laptop, how so many strings of accusations against Trump had been disproven (Mueller Report…). The truth had been all hidden from them and they could only look at me quizzically.

So that’s what you get from a dishonest media with almost total control over information and an agenda. Good people will make bad decisions when fed bad information (and especially when that’s fed to them in their echo chamber).

If you’re having a hard time understanding me now please take one tiny sample (of many hundreds) and go look up what Trump ACTUALLY said at Charlottesville. Don’t watch a CNN or YouTube clip (they were edited). Read the actual statement with an open mind.

Reminds me: Thank You Bari, and the actual journalists who want to breathe life back into journalism.

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I guess our definition of good people is different. Mine includes being informed.

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My condolences for the loss of your father. He would be proud though of how you think for yourself and have open eyes about what this country was built on. If more people would really learn how much of the world’s history the country’s founders had studied and worked out and negotiated amongst each other, respecting many different points of view, they would see why diverse thinking is so critical.

We’re at a critical point where Big Brother Tech is trying to achieve a total lock on information and declaring Thought Crimes. This site is a key front for helping ensure that you and I can vote and elect Government that truly represents us.

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Sorry. “Good people” voted for a senile, mean spirited, not that bright racist? I can’t call them good people. And I don’t see 90% speaking out

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The "mean tweets" concern seems especially stupid if you actually compare the tweets that emanate from public figures on the Left and the Right. The Left has always been meaner, especially when you consider that Twitter censors anything from the Right that compares to the meanness of left-wing tweets that are often amplified.

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The left and the dnc media, but I repeat myself, have always been in the business of gaslighting and propaganda. I don’t believe a word they ever say.

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That ship was turned around by Franklin Delano Roosevelt democrat. Not our country, him.

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Wow.

This hearkens to the Underground Railroad during the time of slavery in USA. Television, film and pop culture (most recently a miniseries on Amazon Prime) have romanticized the real risks, dangers and sacrifices made by escapee slaves and those who helped them flee to freedom. The Afghans who want to flee are not slaves obviously but the dangers posed by the Taliban are no less frightening that those slaveholders posed to their victims.

Reports of Taliban militias hunting door to door in Kabul and other cities/towns for 'collaborators' (locals who helped the USA/NATO/EU forces) and even using facial recognition to guide the hunts are frequently shared on social media but ignored on mainstream media. The world is focused on Kabul, but this is just one city in a large country. What about the Afghans who wish to flee but are not in Kabul? It might not be feasible for all of them to try to get to Kabul and be rescued.

The Underground Railroad operating in Kabul today ought to think creatively. Afghanistan shares borders with six countries: Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and China. Thus there are six additional ways out of the graveyard of empires that Melissa Chen and many other likeminded people of good will should consider. Unfortunately this will involve trekking through wilderness and dangerous parts of the country, and also these countries will have beefed up security of their borders fearing influx of Afghans fleeing the Taliban. Moreover some of the border countries are hostile to the West (China especially) so any rescue operations by Americans or Europeans which breach their territories will be illegal, violations of sovereignty, etc. But at this point saving lives is more important than diplomacy or respecting lines drawn arbitrarily on a map by colonialists centuries ago.

Godspeed to the rescue missions! May the North Star guide them as it guided escapee slaves fleeing their pursuers. Let freedom ring!

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founding

Terrible events in history bring out the absolute best - and the worst - in people. We are seeing each in high relief now, as chance spells life or death for so many innocent ones in Afghanistan. Thank you for telling this story that gives breath to Rahima and her countrymen & women.

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Bari, my wife and I were discussing the MS St Louis the other night as we watched some of the news about the people of Afghanistan who wanted to come to America SIMPLY TO STAY ALIVE. That is the analogy that best fits the past two weeks. Thanks for pointing it out.

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As a first generation immigrant who naturalized many years ago, I found this administration's behavior appalling and terrifying. In the past, holding a US passport meant our government got our backs. (Recall how Trump flew people back from China at the beginning of Covid.) In this case, our government abandoned our own citizens, along with our allies! Who will ever work with us again? How can I feel safe visiting a non-NATO country as a US citizen?

Bari you are right...where you were born and who you knew could change your life. My own life was forever changed for the better because of these factors, and I am grateful. I want to vote for the people who want Americans to be safe.

Sorry to be harsh, but every Biden voter who voted for him because of their hatred of Trump has blood on their hands. It was you who put this person unfit for duty on the seat, and I am afraid this is only the beginning.

May God bless us all.

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Why didn’t they use Bagram? Why didn’t they expand a secured perimeter around the Kabul airport? Why did they treat our NATO partners with such contempt? Why did they leave Americans and Afghani allies behind? Why did they leave so many armaments behind?

Why didn’t they plan at all?

Anthony Blinken just announced that Afghanistan is beginning “a new chapter.” While he was saying these words there was a video trending of the Taliban hanging an Afghani by the neck from an American helicopter as it hovered over Kabul.

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The current state department has no spine or accountability. They consistently make the wrong and counter-intuitive decisions. It's simply awful to watch.

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<i>“ I’ve been thinking a lot these past two weeks about luck. The luck of where we are born. The luck of the parents we are born to. And, right now, the luck of who we know.”</i>

This is a bewildering thought process to me; I simply don’t understand. I don’t feel lucky for having great parents but grateful. I don’t feel lucky for being born in the US but grateful. I don’t feel lucky for getting a solid education but grateful.

These are radically different views and I simply don’t understand the one based on “lucky”.

I had no control over my conception. I had no control over where I was born. I had no control over who my parents were. Luck assumes I could have been born in the Amazon but that is a lie. I could ONLY have been born from my parents at a specified date, time and place. Any other combination would not have been me but someone else.

I can ONLY feel grateful for my situation of having great parents, a good upbringing and a solid education. Not lucky.

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Uhm, I don’t know how solid your logic is and I sure can’t argue with you about how you feel. I call it lucky if I’m not excluded from making a good life for myself, and grateful afterwards if I DID get that benefit. But I’ll bet if you were born somewhere like Afghanistan, worked hard all your life to scratch out a life for yourself and maybe a small family, followed what your “leaders” (like say -Hamid Karzai) told you, and then watched them fold like a cheap tent leaving you or your loved ones in fear for their lives (as in the recording in the article) that you’d feel mighty UNlucky. Maybe you can interpret “Lucky” from that.

For me, I feel mighty lucky that I was born here. We have our own faults but they pale in comparison to a lot of the rest of the world and history. And to be protected by people who will give life and limb to preserve our freedom is downright lucky in my book. THANK YOU to those who have served !

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This is just devastating and heartbreaking to read. I can’t imagine the desperation so many people we suddenly abandoned are now experiencing. The U.S. exit was irresponsible beyond words. I am so embarrassed for our country. As they say, “Salaam Allekoum” - may God be with them all.

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Don't be embarrassed for our country: Half of the country didn't vote for Biden. Even if it was Obama he wouldn't have done this so poorly.

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founding

If it was Obama??

“I think that what we’re seeing now, is Joe and the administration are essentially finishing the job. And I think it’ll be an interesting test. Ninety percent of the folks who were there in my administration, they are continuing and building on the policies we talked about”

It is Barack Obama.

(quote is Obama from NYT interview with Ezra Klein)

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founding

I’m in tears at this story and overwhelmed at how heroic and brave humans can be. Ms Weiss, THANK YOU for leaving your prestigious NYT post… you’ve brought to light these stories, true journalism. I hope and pray you know the blessing of your own courage.

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founding

We left four C130 transport planes behind. Those are the big ones. They have a range of 2300 miles.

Don’t worry, the people who planned the withdrawal have a sustainable, equitable, and inclusive plan to shoot them down if necessary.

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Aug 31, 2021Liked by Bari Weiss

Melissa Chen - thank you and the others involved in rescue efforts.

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