OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Conservative radio host and commentator Glenn Beck has reported that the United States State Department has instructed Macedonia to stop taking refugees from Afghanistan.
Three nations have offered to take in refugees, namely North Macedonia, Albania, and Kosovo, but the planes have not arrived, NBC News reported this week.
As thousands of people continue to throng around Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, officials in North Macedonia, Kosovo and Albania — neighboring Balkan countries whose populations have experienced violence themselves — said last week that they had offered to temporarily take in those fleeing Afghanistan.
But a week after the Taliban completed their lightning-fast takeover of the country, finally walking into Kabul last Sunday without firing a shot, no refugees have arrived on U.S. flights, officials in the countries said. They did not know when the Afghans would arrive.
Duško Arsovski, a spokesman for the government of North Macedonia, said Saturday that the country was waiting for information and was organizing hotels for the refugees to stay in.
“We are rescuing a peaceful population who have cherished democracy for 20 years and who were a help and support to our military on their missions over there,” North Macedonia Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said.
“If they arrive today, we still don’t know,” Endri Fuga, a spokesman for the prime minister of Albania said.
But the news from Beck, after he spoke with Sen. Tom Cotton, was more disturbing.
“I’ve heard reports that OUR State Department told Macedonia to stop taking Afghan refugees. @SenTomCotton tells me he’s heard similar reports. If our govt won’t save these people, WE WILL. But the State Dept. must stop standing in the way,” Beck said in a tweet.
I've heard reports that OUR State Department told Macedonia to stop taking Afghan refugees. @SenTomCotton tells me he's heard similar reports. If our govt won't save these people, WE WILL. But the State Dept. must stop standing in the way. pic.twitter.com/gYzYBzR8N4
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) August 26, 2021
“Can you give me an update on the State Department?” Beck said to the senator. “We last night had an ambassador called in, I think it’s Macedonia, they closed off — we were looking for places where we can fly people in just to hold them, and Macedonia was one of them. … The ambassador of Macedonia was called by the State Department and told not to take any of these people. What the hell?”
The senator said that it was not only Afghans having issues, but that some British nationals have not been able to get to the airport to fly at private expense.
“I’ve heard similar reports,” the senator said. “I know that our people on the ground, inside the airport, both the Department of Defense intelligence agencies and our State Department officials are trying to move heaven and earth to get people into the airport and out of the country, but the senior leadership of the State Department is a different kettle of fish. I heard a story just this morning that we weren’t even allowing British nationals to get inside the airport with their Afghan partners and fly to Great Britain at private expense. … This wouldn’t even have an impact on the American government or taxpayer. And it’s not a country that people have never heard of — it’s Great Britain.”
“I’m very disturbed by these reports, and I’m trying to get answers on all of them. At a minimum, we should be allowing countries that are willing to accept Afghans, are willing to send charters … into Kabul to do that to clean up some of President [Joe] Biden’s mess,” he said.
“Yes, yes, you don’t want to do it, fine — we’ll do it. We’ll do it. But [the State Department] won’t even — they are obstructing us every step of the way. And I don’t know if it’s out of spite, ignorance, I have no idea, I don’t care, but it should stop now,” Beck said to the senator.