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Pressure Mounts to Stay in Afghanistan Until All Americans, Allies Are Out: 'What is the Worth of the American Handshake?'

(Master Sgt. Donald R. Allen/U.S. Air Force via AP)
(Master Sgt. Donald R. Allen/U.S. Air Force via AP)

Only seven days and counting remain to get Americans and Afghan allies out of Afghanistan to meet President Biden's August 31st deadline. 

It's an all but impossible mission and now the pressure is mounting for the president to extend the deadline to make sure no one is left behind.

Thousands of Americans have been evacuated since the Taliban took control of the country less than two weeks ago. It's unclear how many Americans remain in the country.

Each day the pace of evacuations picks up, while on the ground, a chaotic scramble continues as more and more Afghans try to escape the Taliban's oppressive brutality.

"We're waiting to get through but they're not letting us at the moment," one Afghani woman standing in line told someone over the phone.

One Afghan translator explains he's still waiting for his special immigrant visa to be approved as he's hunted by the Taliban.  

"They are seeking us. They are searching for us," Ahmad Shah Azimi, an Afghan interpreter told a reporter while he's hiding out in Afghanistan.

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The U.S. military is under ever-increasing pressure to finish its mission.

The Taliban calls August 31st a "red line" warning and "consequences" will follow any efforts by the U.S. to stay beyond the deadline.   

"We're gonna do everything we can with the time available and each day we're coming up with new and innovative ways to bring people in," said Army Major General Christopher Donahue who is in charge of the evacuation mission.

The military is now dispatching helicopters to pluck some Americans to safety and today we're learning two members of Congress: Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Peter Meijer (R-MI), both Iraq War veterans, traveled to Hamid Karzai airport to "conduct oversight" of evacuations.  

Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned other members of Congress not to go.

"This is deadly serious. We do not want members to go," she told reporters.

The tragedy unfolding on TV screens is generating bipartisan calls for the White House to leave no Americans or allies behind, calling the alternative unacceptable and drawing attention to the fate that awaits them if they aren't evacuated.
"Sadly, sometimes they're sent home where the Taliban beheads their family and beheads them. That's something you may not be hearing but you need to," Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) said during a bipartisan press conference calling on the President to extend the deadline if Americans and allies remain after August 31st.

Members of the bipartisan group call the violation of America's word to its allies a future threat to natural security.

"What is the worth of the American handshake?" asked Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ).

As communities across the country prepare to receive refugees, Afghans arriving on American soil are grateful to have escaped with their lives.

"I think we're safe here," said one Afghan man as he walked through an airport.
"If you're working at the government as an Afghani with the Americans, they kill you," said an Afghan woman who is being housed temporarily in Virginia. 

A number of Christian groups are sending private planes to evacuate Christians and other religious minorities who face tremendous hardships if left behind, particularly Muslims who have converted and dedicated their lives to Jesus.  

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