In times of crisis, we look to our heroes.
And, though the Afghanistan development seems insurmountable at this point, we’re relieved by a new group of heroes who stepped up to the plate.
We’ve been hearing of growing violence in the region, with Americans stranded behind enemy lines amid the Taliban’s growing presence, yesterday’s ISIS attack that killed at least 13 U.S. service members and wounded 15 others, and resurging persecution of vulnerable groups.
But one group of all-volunteer special forces veterans of the Afghan war wasn’t going to take the Taliban’s abuse lying down.
In fact, they stepped up where the Biden administration wouldn’t.
On Wednesday night, “Task Force Pineapple” launched a final rescue mission, dubbed “Pineapple Express,” to save Afghan allies and their families still trapped behind enemy lines in Afghanistan.
Beginning on Aug. 15, the veterans devised a plan in conjunction with U.S. military forces present at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport to rescue those left behind enemy lines who would identify themselves with a password upon reaching the U.S.-occupied zone.
The group told ABC News that, in conjunction with the U.S. military and the U.S. embassy, they escorted approximately 500 “Afghan special operators, assets and enablers and their families into the airport in Kabul overnight,” as of Thursday morning. By Friday, one group member estimated they saved at least 630 Afghan lives.
Jason Redman, a combat-wounded former Navy SEAL, expressed his frustration “that our own government didn’t do this. We did what we should do, as Americans.”
As the mission was still underway Thursday, disaster struck in the form of the ISIS suicide bombings.
“Dozens of high-risk individuals, families with small children, orphans, and pregnant women, were secretly moved through the streets of Kabul throughout the night and up to just seconds before ISIS detonated a bomb into the huddled mass of Afghans seeking safety and freedom,” Army Lt. Col. Scott Mann, retired Green Beret commander and leader of the private rescue effort, told ABC.
“There were wounded among the Pineapple Express travelers from the blast, and members of the group said they were assessing whether unaccounted-for Afghans they were helping had been killed,” the outlet reported.
It’s another garish development we’re witnessing from the Afghanistan crisis, but it’s reassuring to see these American heroes responding to the cries for help emanating from those left behind.
Aug. 31 is drawing dangerously close, and we still have a lot of work to do to deliver our people and Afghan refugees from a future of Islamic militant oppression.
We’re thankful for heroes like these, who go above and beyond what’s required of them to save those left behind in the wake of this administration’s poorly executed withdrawal.
In dark times like these, it’s important to remember what our men and women in uniform have sacrificed (and continue to sacrifice) to rectify the failures of our elected officials.
Neither they, nor the victims of this untimely withdrawal, should be forced to answer for a mistake they didn’t make, a mistake the Biden administration refuses to own.
But the bold and tenacious are ready to do what’s necessary.
Let that be a lesson to Biden: This is what true leadership looks like.