DENVER (CBS4) – A former interpreter for U.S. forces in Afghanistan who lives in Colorado is working tirelessly to get his brother out of Afghanistan.
“They came there with a lot of promises. They came there with building a democracy there. They came with a promise of fight against terror. That’s why too many people joined them,” said Mohammad.
He asked that his identity be concealed as he told the story of his brother, who with his wife and four children is stuck in the chaotic throng outside the airport in Kabul.
His brother was also an interpreter, picking up where Mohammad left off, when Mohammad was allowed to come to the U.S. in 2016. Mohammad served 7 years, his brother 4.
But now the brother is in a crowd of thousands seeking refuge and safety. Mohammad believes the U.S. should stand by the phrases it often repeats.
“To stand on their promise, no one leaves behind. They have to help my brother get out of there because he risked his life, his family for the nation, the fight on terror. He supported Americans and now it’s (the U.S.’s) turn to support him.”
He believes that democracy can take hold in his native country, but feels the United States supported the wrong people.
“They want democracy, but the real one. They don’t want just democracy in their name .. That’s why the government collapsed, because the leaders were all installed from outside and the voting in the election was just by the name and everybody knew that and finally it collapsed.”
Here in America, Mohammad has called and emailed and tried to find a way to get help for his brother. He has contacted the State Department, the Defense Department and federal elected leaders. He’s told to fill out forms online that explain the situation, but hears that the weight of so many seeking asylum means the burden is great.
“Betrayed,” says Mohammad about his feelings on the issue. Like, “They don’t care about my brother’s life.”
He says men have shown up at the family home asking questions.
“Taliban, they don’t have an exact uniform with a badge coming to your door saying ‘I’m Taliban.’ No, you never know who is Taliban. They asked for the brother and for Mohammad. “My dad just told them that ‘I don’t know where they are.'”
There’s little question in Mohammad’s mind about what will happen if his brother doesn’t get out.
“One hundred percent he will be dead.”
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His brother has to make it by the Taliban and by American forces who guard the gate. No one is being allowed through right now, even with the papers he has. There is no one there among the crowd to help.
“His daughter fainted once in the crowd and he thought he lost his daughter.”
The girl recovered when they got her some fresh air. But the stress of the situation is bound to have an effect.
“Imagine your kid 7 year old, sees that type of chaos.”
Mohammad is hurting. He has slept very little. He’s hurting so much that he’d willingly take his brother’s place.
“If losing my life would save him I would do that, right away.”