Opinion | What Joe Biden and I Saw After the U.S. Invaded Afghanistan

I finished up lending Biden my satellite tv for pc telephone to name Secretary of State Colin Powell, by the use of the State Department operations heart, to peer if he may lend a hand.

“‘This is Joe Biden, may you attach me with Colin Powell?’ Biden requested the State Department operator. A couple of mins handed. ‘Colin? Hey, it’s Joe Biden. … Yeah, I’m status right here at the runway at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, looking to get out on an army shipping, they usually’re telling me that the Pentagon has ordered that no civilians be let at the aircraft. I’m sorry to hassle you, Colin, however may you give us a hand right here?’

“Powell informed Biden to carry on for a minute whilst he attempted to get Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld used to be in church, so Powell tracked down his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz. There had been a couple of extra mins of telephone calls to Centcom headquarters in Florida ahead of Powell got here again at the telephone with Biden.

“‘Joe,’ stated the Secretary of State, ‘let me communicate to the air visitors controller there.’

“Biden then passed the satellite tv for pc telephone to the air visitors controller with the next phrases: ‘Captain, the Secretary of State want to communicate to you.’

“It used to be pitch-dark, however I used to be positive I noticed that captain’s face flip totally white with surprise that he used to be chatting with the Secretary of State, a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, no much less. All I heard him pronouncing to Powell used to be, ‘Yessir, yessir, yessir.’ When he used to be achieved, he passed again the telephone and informed Biden, ‘You’re welcome to board, sir.’

“As we strapped into the again of the C-130, the workforce shouted that any individual used to be firing tracer bullets on the different finish of the runway. … With this giant shipment aircraft empty with the exception of for us, it felt like we took off instantly up, like a rocket, which used to be advantageous with me, since Bagram is nearly surrounded via tall mountains that had already claimed two U.S. transports. Three hours later, we landed in Jacobabad, Pakistan, someplace in the course of the rustic, at a Pakistani base being utilized by the U.S. Air Force. We had a couple of hours to kill ahead of we hopped a C-17 to Bahrain.

“Talking to the U.S. airmen at Jacobabad used to be an eye-opener. One of them informed us, ‘We don’t have a flight to Afghanistan that doesn’t get shot at via small-arms fireplace from inside of Pakistan someplace close to the border.’

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