The United States Army left the Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan in the dead of night, quietly, without informing the new commander of the base as Joe Biden prepares to pull out American soldiers from the war-ravaged country. According to military officials in Afghanistan, they discovered that the US army had left more than two hours after their departure.
“We (heard) some rumor that the Americans had left Bagram … and finally by seven o’clock in the morning, we understood that it was confirmed that they had already left Bagram,” Associated Press (AP) quoted Gen. Mir Asadullah Kohistani, Bagram’s new commander, as saying.
After the US army’s departure, looters ransacked the compound as the Afghan Army had not taken control of the airfield yet. “At first we thought maybe they were Taliban,” an Afghan soldier said. He said that US officials called them later to inform “we are here at the airport in Kabul.”
According to Kohistani, the US left behind nearly 3.5 million items including tens of thousands of bottles of water, energy drinks and military ready-made meals, known as MRE’s. “When you say 3.5 million items, it is every small items, like every phone, every door knob, every window in every barracks, every door in every barracks,” Kohistani said.
Electricity was turned off 20 minutes after the American soldiers departed the base. Kohistani also stated that while the departing army took the heavy weapons with them, they left small weapons and ammunition for the Afghan troops.
Satire turns into reality
In July, 2011, popular satire website The Onion published a satirical article with the headline, “U.S. Quietly Slips Out Of Afghanistan In Dead Of Night”. In its article, it wrote, “In what officials said was the “only way” to move on from what has become a “sad and unpleasant” situation, all 100,000 U.S. military and intelligence personnel crept out of their barracks in the dead of night Sunday and quietly slipped out of Afghanistan.”
The satire spoke of a note left by the US Army that said, “By the time you read this, we will be gone. We regret any pain this may cause you, but this was something we needed to do. We couldn’t go on like this forever.”
“We still care about you very much, but, in the end, we feel this is for the best,” the note said. “Please, just know that we are truly sorry and that we wish you all the greatest of happiness in the future.”
While the exact details of US army’s departure from Bagram Airfield may vary, reality, it seems, has a weird way of turning satire into reality.