History of the former US Army Chris Rubishaw looks like a movie. For 30 years he was a member of the US Special Forces, Take part in secret missions, fight several wars And for those who talk to him, he is physically similar to Rambo – without the headband and a few inches shorter.
“Sylvester Stallone is short too,” the military man jokes, amused in comparison to the actor who played, in fiction, a green hat like him.
Like a screen star, Robishaw devised a fascinating and risky operation. He used his experience from six periods in the occupation of Afghanistan to prepare it with other ex-combatants ‘Parallel’ Afghan rescue mission. While ex-militaries and spies devised similar projects, but charged a ticket, his idea was to rescue people for free, in a purely humanitarian way, using some loopholes at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, where yesterday, after (a) in a frantic rush of rescue operations in the days The past 16, the last American planes bid farewell to a 20-year war, leaving the country in the arms of the Taliban.
Hundreds of people, some carrying documents, gather near a checkpoint around Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, on August 26, 2021 – Photo: Wali Sabawoon/AP
for team Globo TV In Bahrain, the base of the operation, he says, the plan was captured by the American NGO Ark Salus. The proposal was to charter commercial planes, call in retired pilots and use a network of communications to open up space on the runway at the Afghan airport, and create a private airlift, foreign to any government, to rescue Afghan families and soldiers who fought privately. Shoulder to shoulder with the American and his colleagues.
In online meetings, a network of volunteers came together to discuss ways to help select potential passengers, check documents, obtain passes, route to the airport and create a boarding list. The international press has reported that more than $10 million has been raised in donations – it is not known who.
It was a risky gamble, which still counts on another trump card: persuading the government of Bahrain, an archipelago attached to Saudi Arabia and ruled by a rigid dynasty, to take in refugees after a three-hour journey.
Rather than struggle for people’s shelter and logistical support, the challenge will be to counter the resistance of countries in the region to take a public stand at this time – a stance which, in the case of Robishaw’s appeal, means conveying the message that Bahrain was helping to save people from the Taliban, a feared group You will become a new major player in the region, with unlimited power and influence.
American Chris Rubishaw mobilized a special rescue operation to get Afghans out of Kabul – Photo: TV Globo
The American says that the Bahraini authorities, led by Sheikh Mohammed Hamad Mohammed Al Khalifa, silently agreed to help. There was a license for the military base of the Public Security Service, in the country’s desert, where an American center also operates, to receive Ark Salus planes. With this deal, the movie’s mission started to come into play, at least for a while.
In total, Rubishaw says he has organized four flights from Kabul to Bahrain in the past week. He also said that he was able to save about 650 people in Afghanistan. “Our hope was to roll out the red carpet for the people who, a little earlier, were at the gate of death and punishment by the Taliban,” he said.
The initial plan to rescue the Afghan soldiers and their families failed. When it was time to board the plane, confusion reigned. And whoever appeared first, without the imagined standard, rode. According to him, those who took part in the mission were so shocked by what they saw that they would not even be able to give an interview.
However, the problems had only just begun. The movie, which was originally an action and adventure, started to turn into a drama. Robishaw and Ark Salus hoped to save thousands of people. The press was told that two luxury hotels in Bahrain would receive huge groups of refugees. An international operation to use the collected funds began to spin. Doctors and psychologists from the United States were sent to the Middle Eastern archipelago.
Map showing the Afghan rescue operation – Photo: G1
After the first flights, the political scenario changed. blast near Kabul airport last Thursday, was the trigger. Tensions rose in the region – and the United States closed its doors. Collaboration with the Rubishaw entity waned, which was dependent on access to the Kabul airport, the military base in Bahrain, and the American position in the archipelago. People associated with the project also believe that the country’s sheikh, fearing that refugees would end up on his island, decided to withdraw from the operation and leave passenger traffic confined to the Americans.
With the changes, Rubishaw can no longer organize new flights or take care of people who have left Afghanistan – whom his entity will take to the United States. For him, the overall balance is “very sad”.
“We’ve been guided by our moral obligation to do a good job and save many lives,” he says. “So my primary feelings are still sadness.” “And I think my second emotion was frustration, because we weren’t able to do more. I was frustrated that our plan wasn’t as effective as I had imagined,” he says.
However, the former Green Hat feels that he is, above all, proud of what he has done. “We did what seemed impossible weeks ago. I’m so proud of our organization, and I’m flattered to be a part of it and for the good we’ve done,” explains the ex-military who, in his spare time, is also a Hollywood war film consultant.
“Devoted food specialist. General alcohol fanatic. Amateur explorer. Infuriatingly humble social media scholar. Analyst.”