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Time is Running Out For the Women Cyclists of Afghanistan

Sep 17, 2021 at 7:16
by James Smurthwaite  
Views: 1,243    Faves: 0    Comments: 0


Actual messages from Afghan women cyclists on the ground needing evacuation read by Evacuation aid worker, Lien Johnson of OutrideBike.org

Words: Wade Wallace // Cycling Tips

They need our help, and the reasons are not necessarily obvious at first.

The 24 hour news cycle eats its young and will soon be moving on from the atrocities unfolding in Afghanistan since the Taliban reclaimed the country 32 days ago.

For a number of years, we’ve been inspired by Afghanistan’s women’s cycling team – and all Afghan cyclists, for that matter – and have covered them throughout that time. With the latest deteriorations in Afghanistan, they are in immediate need of the cycling community’s help.

For some it’s literally a matter of life and death. For others it could mean severe punishment and living out a life none of us can imagine. For everyone, it’s over a decade of progress that was wound back overnight.

Farid Noori runs the non-profit organisation MTB Afghanistan from his home in the United States which is building the culture of cycling in his home country, as well as helping with the infrastructure and programs needed to grow the sport and activity. With the overthrow of democracy in Afghanistan, overnight, Farid’s mandate changed to evacuating his country’s cyclists.

I spoke to Noori about what his vision is, why it’s important, and most of all, how the cycling community can help make meaningful change in the lives of these fellow
cyclists.

Wade Wallace: What’s your vision for cycling in Afghanistan through the work you do?


Farid Noori: The nonprofit [MTB Afghanistan] exists to serve young Afghans. We wanted to empower them. We wanted to improve their lives, and they’ve given a great deal. They embraced what we offered to them. Not only that, they were having fun but they were also promoting the values that we wanted to bring to the society, which was, create community, respect each other, promote gender equality.

As you know, 10 years ago, it was not even okay for women to ride bikes. These people, this small community of people were the early adopters of this change. They were actually promoting this. They were appearing in TV interviews after the races that we hosted, talking about their experience and painting this amazing egalitarian picture of Afghanistan.

When Kabul fell, when Afghanistan fell to the Taliban this summer, all of a sudden their lives were at risk because these people had been actively promoting all the ideals that the Taliban have now [shut down]. The actors who did all of these things are all of a sudden in danger.

WW: Can you paint a picture of what that means, in tangible terms, how this changes their lives practically overnight?


FN: It means that people burn their cycling clothes. It means that people hide their bikes and are hiding in safe houses. It means that from riding their bikes, all of a sudden they have to leave their beautiful, peaceful life in some remote village in Afghanistan and escape to Kabul with hopes of jumping on a plane like everyone else did, taking that risk with their lives in order to get out.

There’s no future for them now. There’s no hope for them. Their first need is safety. They don’t feel safe. It’s escaping from being imprisoned, living a life of imprisonment.

WW: Are there direct repercussions for what they’ve stood for and what you’ve all grown in this movement in Afghanistan? Are there direct threats that are related to that?


FN: They were high-profile. They were not famous people, but they appeared on TV and there are digital traces about these people. The Taliban have now banned sports for women across the board. And a lot of these women are still in Afghanistan. What they did in the past 20 years, that is now considered to be a sin, a crime.

There’s no orders yet, but the Taliban have made a lot of surprises in a very short period of time, regarding their atrocities. What they have done to a lot of people that they disliked. We’re talking about huge crimes against humanity.

WW: Tell me about the switch that you had to make in terms of what you did with MTB Afghanistan, to growing that to all of a sudden saving them. What did it mean for you and how you needed to act?


FN: Absolutely. It’s our responsibility. They obviously participated in our programs voluntarily. This is what they wanted to do. They helped propel our vision into the Afghan society. And now it is our responsibility to help them find safety, find happiness and be able to do… Safety is absolutely the first reason why we’re doing this, but the other one is they love riding bikes. I want them to live a life that is not imprisoned at home. I want them to be able to live a life that continues to make them happy through riding bikes.

WW: On the ground, what type of support does this fundraising enable, they’re obviously not just packing their bags, like you and me would to go to the airport. There’s a whole set of logistics and safety and probably back doors. How does that work?


FN: Before August 31st as the deadline neared, it became increasingly complicated. People couldn’t reach the gates. There were a lot of efforts to try to find people within the city. They would send buses, there were code words. There were colour-coded indicators that allowed guards to see these people in crowds. Some of the people that are now in the US were airlifted from a location in Kabul with a helicopter to the airport on the runway.

WW: Can you break down and put in tangible terms how the raised funds are being used?


FN: Yeah. So it is anything from having people airlifted – which I don’t think going forward we would need, we would put people in commercial flights to another location, but from there they would need to quarantine there for 14 days. We would have to pay for the cost of [that] and then to send people on another plane to the United States and then support them while they’re in a camp until their visa is processed. Provide them with basic things like clothing, internet and other needs that they need in the camp that is not provided by others. That’s the bulk of that $6,500, which is the figure [the cost information] we’re getting from our partner Human Rights Foundation.

The logistics is the biggest one. We have to rely on third parties for these flights. And there might be [the need for] legal help as well with the visas and everything. And so the base figure [MTB Afghanistan is targeting is] $250,000 for evacuation and to make sure that there’s a margin there for other expenses. And then [our] $500,000 goal is for resettlement.

The extra $250,000 there is helping them with rent in the first three to six months, helping them getting their basic needs and getting a start in life. If they wish to continue to ride bikes, we will do whatever it takes to make them feel at home both in terms of survival, but as cyclists continuing to support them – they’re obviously not carrying their bikes on these charter flights.

WW: What would you say to people who might say, ‘why are you helping female cyclists? Why not just anybody and everybody?’


FN: Well, I think that cyclists in Afghanistan did a lot to propel progress. It was a visible act of powerful protest … cycling was not banned but it was also not accepted, particularly for women. They risked their lives to be able to do the thing that they wanted to do – not just for themselves, not just for the love of the sport but for the love of the society. I have highlighted it in a couple articles. I’ve written about the risks, the lengths that people took to be able to exercise their basic freedom to ride a bike, basic human rights. And these are the individuals that … took these risks to be able to do this.

And now … their lives are at risk – at huge risk because they were women, [and] they were visible. They were in the news and everywhere they’re known.

I think that if they remained in Afghanistan, all the things that they wanted to fight for – be it having aspirations to race in the world stage, be it creating change for bringing equality in society – that will die. We can’t afford to have those dreams die.

These are highly aspirational people. These are very motivated people. We cannot let not only their lives face danger but also their dreams to have to be sentenced to death basically. I think that everyone who wants to get out of Afghanistan is equally [deserving], but I think it’s the responsibility of my organization and the cycling community in the world to help the people that we loved hearing about their bravery, that we loved reading about their playing against the odds, doing the impossible.

I think that it’s not only for them: it’s for us. We believe in the things that they believed in, and by helping them, it’s the least that we can do.

WW: Anything else you’d like to say?


FN: For me this is a life project. We live in this beautiful country. We have not had the mobility to go see other places, different people, different languages, [but] we’re an incredibly diverse country – and I think that’s what cycling could open, and everyone we’re trying to help believes in that too.

And we need the individuals who can envision a different country to be able to get out of it. … I may not live to see the vision that I wanted, but could we plant the seeds for that? And I think that the people who we are helping evacuate, and saving their lives – we would also save those dreams. Everyone wants to go back. Everyone wants to go back at the earliest opportunity. But how do you keep them alive? And by keeping them alive, how do you keep those dreams alive?




MTB Afghanistan’s goal is to raise $250,000 for evacuation of approximately 30 female cyclists to bring them to safety. Another $250,000 needs to be raised for resettlement. They have raised $99,000 so far.

Specialized Australia has also generously offered to match your donations dollar for dollar up to $10,000 (and has already contributed to this cause with a previous donation).

Together we can do this.

bigquotesNo one has ever become poor by giving.Anne Frank



129 Comments

  • 130 1
 Time is running out for women in general in Afghanistan...
  • 35 7
 Yeah, I didn't even think women could cycle in Afghanistan. The men and religious beliefs make the women dress like bee keepers.
  • 13 1
 @rckon03: you’d be surprised what kind of cloths can be worn while successfully riding a bike. My daughter regularly tries to push the limits. Let’s just say, I think there is a market for a tool that untangles lace from a cassette.
  • 32 26
 Slow Biden should reach out to his Taliban comrades after they change his diaper.
  • 17 18
 @ReeferSouthrland: thanks for your helpful contribution…
  • 8 8
 @DoubleCrownAddict: Anything that gets you to sleep at night.
  • 28 2
 We are so lucky to be able to do what we love and write comments about it when the weather is bad. Let’s put our politics aside and help these women that aren’t lucky enough to live in a place where they can freely complain about EBikes and outdated geometry.
  • 23 0
 I follow a crew/group called Drop and Ride, girls and boys from Afghanistan, they ride BMX/MTB/Skate and they were silent for the last couple of months because they knew what was coming.
One of the faces of the group it seems like it may have successfully escape, as he recently posted "I'm back again and will start a new journey soon!"
The groups FB page also has a campaign goin on to rescue the rest of the members. Links:
www.betterplace.me/hilfezumneustart
www.facebook.com/Drop-and-ride-MTB-team-102037111414008
www.facebook.com/Asghar.freestyler
  • 3 0
 Follow(ed) them Also,I thought about these fantastic youngsters when things got out of hand, really hope they rise,their message is so important
  • 38 29
 The failure of our so called civilized world to protect the once that need protection, to secure a lasting freedom is painfull for us to watch. But is is a real threat to those that had been left alone and behind.

It is easy to blame our leaders that are in power now, but let`s not forget who started to empower the evil.

Our (western) failed foreign policy is now killing the future of w whole country.

Saddest article on PB.
  • 75 9
 The problem is that vast majority of Afgan people either gave a sh*t or even supported Talibs. You simply cannot protect and enforce western standards on people who are not yet ready for them. It's very sad but it seems that every nation has to learn by itself and the majority of people need to want that freedom. And this is a process which takes decades or even centuries to complete. No western country can provide support for such a prolonged period of time.
  • 47 37
 The people of Afghanistan now have the government they deserve. You cannot claim this is a failure of western civilisation. We must stop spending money and lives trying to secure a better free, secular and liberal future for people who, on the whole, don't seem to want it.
  • 29 18
 One more thing, western governments should do everything to allow people emigrate from Afghanistan. There are bright people there for sure and we should simply accept them. This is the best thing we can do, maybe some day they will be back and will know how to make their country a better place.
  • 10 2
 There was no western foreign policy as it was a war; there was a previously initiated war with significantly less justification (a failed Eastern foreign policy if you will) that helped to set the table for destabilization.

Protection is a difficult thing to achieve, especially when trying to appease the enablers. By that I mean trying to be diplomatic and respect sovereignty. Not everyone plays the game fairly (or at all), and here we are.
  • 13 30
flag matadorCE (Sep 20, 2021 at 6:33) (Below Threshold)
 Completely agree, because that capitalism-based foreign policy is based on getting profits and actually helping people does not factor into the equation at all despite what all the propaganda says.
  • 7 10
 @matadorCE: Greed seems to always prevail.
  • 34 32
 Men are afraid of women and oppress them on many levels globally. Right here in the USA included. Recent abortion 'laws' aren't much different than Sharia law. Mix some religious fundamentalism and weapons of war in and this is what you get. Sometimes I hate mankind. I hope they can get out. If I was a billionaire I would not be playing with space toys - I would would be trying to help the oppressed.Can't we all just ride together? TIA 4 DVs.
  • 6 4
 @lkubica: Right, actively create a brain drain on a society you yourself claim needs to "learn by itself". WTF, this is even more self serving and pro western supremacy than doing nothing: taking those we deem "valuable" and damning the rest.
  • 13 21
flag rckon03 (Sep 20, 2021 at 8:57) (Below Threshold)
 @suspended-flesh: I disagree, women are equals here in the states. On the other hand I really like what you said about being a selfless billionaire and helping folks out.
  • 23 6
 @rckon03: I thought women's bodily autonomy was currently being decided by others, not themselves. What he's getting at is it appears religious dogma is to blame for that lack of autonomy, which in many ways is very similar to Sharia law. We live in a diverse nation, we don't need a religious group deciding what's right for everyone, including those who are non-religious or have different beliefs.

Women are vastly more on equal footing in north american, granted, but that really isn't his point.
  • 24 17
 @rckon03: Tell that to the women in Texas
  • 10 29
flag nocker (Sep 20, 2021 at 10:29) (Below Threshold)
 @matadorCE: They are fine. But if they prefer, they could always move to New York where you can have same day birth abortions thanks to the sleezy rapist Governor. I also like what you said about being a selfless billionaire. good stuff.
  • 10 3
 @nocker: WTF is a "birth abortion"? Your post reads like a bot put it together.
  • 6 8
 @lkubica: when you say, "You simply cannot protect and enforce western standards on people who are not yet ready for them." What exactly do you mean "not ready"?

You do know that Afghanistan was a pleasant, beautiful, and increasingly egalitarian nation in 1979 just before the Soviet Union invaded and destroyed their culture. Were they "ready" then?

You really have no idea what you're talking about. The problem has far more to do with our opportunistic politicians than it is with the Afghan people's "readiness". Do you think you would be ready were it not for your comfy affluent life? These young women have only ever lived in a world where they could feel safe to be modern women, and then we all at once pulled the rug out from under them.

We are letting our politicians and policy makers abandon these people. What our government has done to Afghanistan over the past 90 days is despicable.
  • 10 0
 "failure of our so called civilized world to protect the once that need protection"


So the 'civilized world' should keep sending 18 year old kids to die for political war that started before their birth, while the people they involuntarily become martyrs for largely don't even care enough to join the fight? That sounds pretty uncivilized to me...
  • 2 5
 @matadorCE:
pb readers can't handle the truth
  • 4 2
 @pelopidas: we've spent 20 years there and trillions of dollars, and it got us nowhere. How much longer should we have stayed involved? At a certain point we need to realize we're not all powerful and maybe they see "a good life" differently than we do. We can tell ourselves we're helping them, but we're really just forcing our culture onto them and they don't seem to want it. Now the pullout from Afghanistan was a joke, almost feels intentional with how bad it was managed. But maybe we need to leave them to themselves, only they can really change their country..
  • 2 0
 @pelopidas: There was a TV program on Afghanistan the other day but it was in 4 parts and I only watched one, but one thing I remember it said is that it's mostly Kabul that was "progressing", the rest of the country was not really at pace.
But then everything that happened after didn't help to convince them, more like the contrary.
  • 4 0
 Not being funny but if you "train" 300-400 thousand troops in your own image and they pretty much do nothing after you leave them to it, perhaps you should question the wisdom of the whole endeavour
  • 1 0
 @jaame: I'd be willing to wager the number of troops they claimed was far higher than real numbers because it got them more western funds.
  • 3 0
 @jaame: The gist I read is that the US "trained" the Afghan army but they still relived heavily on US involvement, specially from decisions at the high rank positions plus corruption sprinkled in. I don't question the resolve of the Afghan soldiers, but if big parts of your battle plan depends on the backup from the US (e.g. aerial support, reconnaissance, intelligence) and they suddenly say "you're on your own bro!" then the results of what happened shouldn't be a surprise.
  • 5 0
 @matadorCE: Basically just a massive shit show.
I mate of mine set up a load of police stations in Iraq about 20 years ago. They would fit the stations out with desks and computers, install CCTV, provide guns & ammo and whatnot. Give them a week of training an then move up the valley to the next town or village to set up the next one. On the way back down a couple of months later they would check in with stations they had set up and find that there was only one police officer there, sitting with his feet on the desk watching TV. CCTV all turned off, half the ammo missing.
On asking where 80 rounds had gone in six weeks he found there had been a public holiday and the rounds had gone up in the air.
He said it was at that point he realised it was an absolute waste of time trying to make thousands of people from this culture into people of that culture. He went home, grew long hair and refused to cut it so he could GTFO of the army.

Looks like a similar thing has happened in Afghanistan. You cannot make beavers quack like ducks. Just leave them to be beavers FFS.

Biden has made absolutely the right decision by leaving them to it.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: Just got around to noticing the several replies: My response to you is that the Afghan soldiers were trained according to US protocols, which means that they were trained to rely on air support. The Biden Administration took air support away from them. How do you suppose US and British soldiers would preform with out air support? Another few years of phased withdrawal would have helped a great deal.
  • 1 0
 @sonuvagun: US had boots on the ground. They knew who were the casualties and when and why.
  • 1 0
 @DylanH93: @DylanH93: How long should the US have remained in the Korean peninsula?
  • 1 0
 @pelopidas: they (we) should never have gone there in the first place. Shit happens in other countries with other cultures. It’s not a great idea to a) think your way is the only right way or b) try to force it on other people by force of arms.
If people want to live their traditional way, let them get on with it.
An ethnically invisible hit squad should have been covertly deployed in Afghanistan to eliminate the perceived terrorist training threat. At least now we have a much better shot at training such a thing now we’ve extracted some handy local lads.
  • 1 0
 @pelopidas: Your reply in no way addresses what I wrote. I realize one can get their wires crossed when replying to multiple posters, so I will reiterate: I'm saying the number of troops the Afghan army reported was much higher than their actual numbers, and I'm saying it's because they received funds based on the number of troops they reported to have had.
  • 8 0
 Time is running out for Afghanistan as a whole.... who gives a shit about cycling in a warzone. That doesn't even register on the priority list. We are bombing innocents with drones and the taliban controls more of the nation than they did in 2001 before the US showed up Time has ran out
  • 39 32
 So you saying when government makes oppressive laws we should fight back. Instead of laying down and doing what we are told by government….
  • 58 36
 Unless it's mandatory vaccinations and lockdowns. THEN the government has your best interests in mind... /S
  • 19 51
flag Theysayivebeentheone (Sep 20, 2021 at 4:52) (Below Threshold)
 Not every civilian in Afghanistan owns an AK like you all do rednecks..
  • 26 4
 @Theysayivebeentheone: So...you're saying it WOULD be better if everyone did own an AK to resist the government? I mean, that's literally what happened over there - the government was overthrown by tribesmen with AKs. No air force, no tanks, just untrained militia and a absolute certainty of eventual success.
  • 20 0
 @nouseforaname: Not entirely untrained. We did send John Rambo over there in the 80’s to help them fight off the Russians.
  • 8 0
 @Svinyard:
That was a different group, not the Taliban. The Taliban got their training in Pakistan.
  • 4 1
 @cvoc: Not exactly. Rambo helps the Mujahideen in the movie as a CIA operative. The CIA in real life was helping the Mujahideen fight Russians via funneling AA missiles etc and supplies and money through Pakistan. Many of the Mujahideen were based there in the mountainous region, had ties there and received support through Pakistan. That's also where many of the Afghani refuges fled after Soviets took control. The Mujahideen factured a bit after driving out the Soviets and the Taliban were one of the factions born out of that. Uncoincidentally from the Afghan/Pakistan border area...which is also the same area Rambo infiltrates Afghanistan via Pakistan to rescue CIA operative Trautman. He fights with those guys in that area, machine guns galore and arrows exploding. Its likely Rambo was fighting/training with guys that went on to become the Taliban (in the Hollywood universe).
  • 5 0
 @Theysayivebeentheone: you're right. We just gave them M4's and 240b's.........clown
  • 2 1
 @cvoc: Tell me you're US trained without saying that you're US trained

i.imgur.com/JHpwgRa.jpg
  • 1 0
 @Svinyard: There is an amusing ine in that movie where they are talking about the Russians losing and he says somehting like "You guys don't take any shit".
An amazingly ironic line 40 years later.
  • 10 1
 Thanks for bringing this to everyone's attention.
  • 9 0
 Thanks for sharing and informing us on the link to donate.
  • 11 3
 If you came here thinking your party owns the moral high ground on this issue, you are wrong
  • 2 2
 ^^^^^ 100% correct
  • 6 7
 What about the the Green Party?
  • 1 1
 we know who owns the low ground tho. :.)
  • 5 1
 My heart goes out to all the people of Afganistan. I have no real oppinion of thousands of years of tribal wars . A country made up of blood and sand rich in culture. But woman being considered less than equal is total BS. There is no justification for such actions.
  • 4 0
 Thank you PB for the great interview! Humanitarian crisis such as this can leave one feeling powerless to help, but focusing on a small group (like these cyclists) offers some hope. The old "one bite at a time" method of eating the elephant... I hope the PB family can take a break from playing the blame game and help out our Afghan sisters.
  • 8 1
 Man I never realized there were so many foreign affairs experts lurking on Pinkbike
  • 5 1
 To all the political people, who gives a shit wether it was this guy or the last guy who started or did the evac?
People died and trillions spent for nothing.
Every leader in the 20 years is responsible for this.
Every person who is, Now affected or been involved in the last 20 years, should blame them.
  • 15 9
 F@CK JOE BIDEN for bailing out in the middle of the night leaving the Taliban
  • 8 5
 All of our weapons to use against their own people and soon us. China have Biden the election and Biden have China Afghanistan. All the opiates and alkaline they will ever need.
  • 9 5
 Except that the order to leave was signed by Trump in 2020. The military's job was to get out by the end of Aug. Biden then kept to the date. Was gonna be a shit-show no matter what - has been a completely shit-show since most of the war. But actually - yes, lets say F@CK JB - also, F@CK Trump: he signed the order. Also - F@CK Bush for starting this BS war (since it was Saudi Arabians who attacked the US) and all of us for being complicit in yet another useless wax of over 1 million lives overseas, 5000+ of our own, and 90 Trillion dollars - all for nothing. Context matters.
  • 3 0
 ask any afghan who's responsible for the current situation and they will give you a common answer - pakistan. they've been at it for decades and used afghanistan as their playground to get aid/weapons. and now will continue to do so for decades as they have a new sponsor in the form of china
  • 11 5
 Talibiden can only poop in his pants and eat applesauce.
  • 4 1
 we botched this royally as a country. so sad that people have to live through this kind of nightmarish reality on a regular basis, and seemingly repeat it every decade or so.
  • 14 11
 Shame on Biden, Trudeau et al for allowing the Taliban to regain a stronghold.
  • 2 1
 "Are you still helping us?"

Biden and his inept administration aren't even helping Americans and allies. Don't wait for help from them.
  • 66 65
 I know one thing....Dont expect Biden and his lovely government to help.
  • 44 17
 Wasn't the withdrawal locked in more than a year ago?

I guess they could always fire more missiles at civilians.
  • 35 16
 I know one thing... it doesn't matter if it were Trump in the office, they would still be in the same situation. So many need our help over there but its not our place. Its been a disaster from the beginning. I'm hoping a NGO will get these women help.
  • 13 2
 @scott-townes: I hope a lot of the women over there get our help. The ones protesting around there for one. Its crazy. Protesting knowing the punishment could be your beheading.
  • 20 34
flag dualsuspensiondave (Sep 20, 2021 at 4:38) (Below Threshold)
 They tried to help, but their own people didn’t want help until it was too late. They had a year and a half to get out of there. Biden was able to orchestrate a removal of 120,000 people in 2 days which is quite impressive by any standards. The culture there doesn’t want equal rights, and there’s nothing anyone else can do about it.
  • 9 8
 If they had oil they would be doomed forever. We see Afganistán as a country. They don't see themselves as a country, but as a bunch of tribes fighting for control over heroin production by terror.
  • 14 7
 @dualsuspensiondave: it was the military, not Biden. Look into the Pineapple Express operation - pretty amazing (they should make a movie about it IMO).
  • 6 0
 @donpinpon29: they have a tremendous amount of minerals tech industry depends on.
  • 6 5
 @coloradohaze: There probably will be. It was the largest/quickest evacuation of people in human history.
  • 7 1
 @Mntneer: Those screwups are our government's fault. Most of the bad things, however, are not. The Taliban has an army made up of Afghans. The overwhelming majority of the fighters in that army grew up in a democratic Afghanistan and chose to fight for the Taliban. Only a tiny fraction of the Taliban army is old enough to have been part of the Taliban pre-2001. Only a tiny fraction of Afghans were or are willing to fight for democracy. In effect, the Afghans have voted for what they have now.
  • 12 24
flag dualsuspensiondave (Sep 20, 2021 at 6:41) (Below Threshold)
 @Mntneer: Sounds like you are jumping to conclusions most likely based on partisan basis. The majority of Afghans see the United States as the enemy, and to some extent, they are right. There’s documentary after documentary from Afghans point of view and the complete history of the Taliban and Afghan relationship. Taliban is seen as the lesser of two evils to most Afghans. The Afghan army that we puppeted was so corrupt against it’s own people.

I never for a moment put all the Afghan culture in one box. That’s a blatant lie on your part. Sound like an uneducated Trump supporter.

The only administration in the last 10 years to stop immigration visas was the Trump administration. Biden reversed that and hired more people to work on visa approvals. Biden isn’t a messiah, but has actually tried to help the people that don’t want help.

I’m extremely sensitive to culture, and if you knew me, you would feel like a fool for making up generalizations that are false. Someday people need to mature and realize that we aren’t the answer to the world’s political problems.
  • 6 2
 @scott-townes: You seem to know "one thing" that you haven't got a clue about.
  • 30 6
 @dualsuspensiondave: everything in your response is in direct contrast to what you said. This has nothing to do with partisanship. I spent over a decade in army special operations and as an intelligence contractor and know better than to trust any American politician and their intentions.

The Afghan visas have nothing to do with trump. Feel free to do your research and watch a documentary about how they have been fighting to get to the US under visas that were promised to them by Bush. Denied under Bush, denied under Obama, denied under Trump, denied under Biden. Sure, I mentioned Biden because of the silly shit you brought up about them having a year and a half to come to the US but not taking the opportunity. You most likely would like his old balls in your mouth as well.

You are interpreting the people being oppressed by the power of the taliban as saying that’s what they want. Which does in fact make you extremely ignorant to the situation on the ground.

A good example of this that you might understand is a wife you has been beaten by her husband. She stays because she is defeated and is trapped in a psychologically destructive power dynamic. She still supports her husband because she has lost herself.

The people of Afghanistan mostly want to survive. Additionally, the people in the rural cities are entirely different from those in the urban areas. In the village areas, the taliban has always had a support network. Similar to how ISIS use Sunni wahibi villages in western Iraq to support them, despite being the minority in the country, they were successful. There are also numerous ethnic groups in Afghanistan that have nothing to do with what you refer to as “the culture.” You literally group all people together as a monolith by referring to them as a culture. I get it, you’ve never lived amongst the people and have only watched documentaries. You know nothing.

So sure, you watched a documentary or two. You still don’t know shit and are are probably less educated about the matters than you were before you watched them.
  • 11 9
 @scott-townes: Love when people say this and have no clue. No, actually it wouldn't have been the same situation. It's the plan in place to get US citizens, troops and equipment out effectively that matters. This awful administration had no plan whatsoever to do so. And aside from leaving US citizens, billions in military equipment and allowing the Taliban to take over this incompetent government and military hierarchy bombed 9 kids and an Afghan guy that helped the US government on their way out claiming they thought there were bombs. Criminal and incompetent this president and administration. And you know what else Trump didn't do that Biden did??... get 13 marines and 98 innocent people killed for no reason. We have troops in every country, tons... If keeping Afghanistan safe with 2500 troops in place worked why change it?
  • 6 8
 @two2pedal: LOL, OK buddy. I'm certain lord master of the universe, Trump, would have rescued everyone including the women cyclists. Yup.
  • 1 0
 @Mntneer: maybe he meant the Afghm military had a year and a half?
  • 1 0
 @nug12182:
They won't, remember when Michael Obama did the whole " bring our girls home" or something like that..
Nothing happened and unfortunately this will be the same
  • 17 20
 Thanks James and the rest of Pinkbike for sharing this story and the amplifying the importance of it. Like most people I felt helpless in the face of the enormity of what's happening in Afghanistan. But after speaking to some people I realised this is a relatively small and tangible thing we can do to help a few dozen people that'll make a significant difference to their lives, and to keep the dream of cycling alive in Afghanistan. A simple joy that I personally take for granted every day.
  • 18 12
 is PB gonna do something about that Outside+ badge? it looks preposterous...
  • 13 2
 Downvote for Outside+
  • 12 0
 @Narro2: Respect for use of Preposterous. That word doesn't get enough luv.
  • 3 0
 @suspended-flesh: Wink

Follow me on the tictocs and pinstragrams for more seldomly used words.
  • 2 5
 It is sad that women over there will no longer be able to cycle. But on the other hand, we need Islam to thrive so they can aid us in the fight against feminism, homosexuality, and atheism. It is for this reason that I have always been a staunch supporter of Muslim immigration to the United States. I wish both groups the best for the future.
  • 1 0
 Wow, you’re insane! Get your head checked. Atheism? Thanks for the input… hate to break it to you but the Muslim religion does not welcome homosexuality and feminism with open arms. This is just the most ignorant and bizarre comment.
  • 1 0
 I really hope that was sarcasm. Other wise fu#k you.
  • 1 0
 @nocker: What? That is exactly what I said. My point stands. Muslims are a valuable ally in the fight against homosexuality and feminism. If they break a few eggs to make an omelet, that is a sacrifice that I'm willing to make. We need to give them the room to destroy that they need. Only then can we begin to understand each other and build a better future.
  • 2 0
 they are so pitiful
  • 1 0
 +100k casualties

app. $2,300,000,000,000 cost

Wonder what the plan was
  • 25 25
 Thanks Biden
  • 10 10
 The old dude in not responsible for Abrahamic Monotheism - the root of much of the evil in 'civilization'.
  • 10 2
 Thanks George W…
  • 11 10
 @kobold

-elect guy who promises to get the f*ck out if elected
- said guy gets elected and gets the f*ck out
- blame said guy for getting the f*ck out

AMERICA f*ck YEAH!!
  • 12 3
 @powpowpow: I have no side in this fight, but your statement was a gross misrepresentation of the circumstances. For better or worse, previous president signed the withdrawal papers. Biden followed through, good on him. The issue most are having with this is *how* the withdrawal was carried out. By most metrics, a total sh*tshow. And to that extent, yes, the current administration bears the responsibility.
  • 8 0
 If it's not Biden, then who is it? Who was the person who hastily left the country without any backup plan... or any plan at all?
  • 2 5
 @p-m-z: I don't think the US expected the Afghan army to drop their weapons and run away that fast. That was an intelligence fail for sure. Had they provided even a tiny bit of resistance, there would have been time to get out in a more dignified manner.
  • 2 0
 @suspended-flesh: I agree with some that, but I do think that the white house should've put MUCH more effort into securing the country so the people affiliated with the US could've got out and removing ALL the recorces that the Taliban could steal. The whole thing was WAY to hastey
  • 4 4
 @p-m-z: The 'White House' got caught with their pants down and were overrun when the Afghan military split. Can't really blame them - it was just a job in a land of few opportunities and many dangers. I would have done the same thing. There is no securing that country. It was a losing gambit from day one. We learned nothing from the Soviet-Afghan War of 79-89. The US military doesn't care about leaving the equipment behind - we'll buy them more. We have no choice in the matter.....
  • 4 1
 @suspended-flesh: Just cause the Taliban are a bunch of crazy nut jobs and the situation over there is crazy and complicated doesn't mean we could have made the move more gradually and better thought-out. As for leaving equipment, that is just a nuh duh not to do, cause now the Taliban have thousands if not millions of dollars worth of equipment that they got from the Afgan military, and all the US Military's stuff. Not to mention all the Afghans and American soldiers abanded by of Commander and Cheif. As the Army Rangers say, "I will never leave a fallen comrade to fall into the hands of the enemy" or the Marines, "Leave no man behind" I belive that should have been remembered when we pulled out.
  • 4 1
 @suspended-flesh: "Abrahamic Monotheism - the root of much of the evil in 'civilization" - this is just the latest reason in a line of very long reasons, spanning millions of years, for humans to hurt each other.

If you haven't worked it out yet, it's just in our nature. Religion is not the cause of, or solution to, problems that are fundamentally in our biology.
  • 4 0
 @Mini-Pinner: Agreed. That's just the axe I choose to grind.
  • 3 4
 @p-m-z: nobody has done it as bad as Biden that’s for sure. He’s the worst.
  • 6 2
 @nocker: You won't find a lot of Biden enthusiasts to spar with here, pops. He got elected to remove the orange puppet of doom.
  • 2 0
 @suspended-flesh:
It's a good one to grind - most enduring one of recent millennia anyway.
For us blamers: Humans - big clever brains - always mistaking ourselves for supra-orbital omniscience.... no matter how vast or complex the issue.
Insert calamity - everyone yearning to point and blame and find witch to burn.
I'll be near last to support lack of accountability... But the desperate finger of blame needs use as judicious as one in the chocolate starfish
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