Jon Stewart Says US’ ‘Toxic Hit-It-and-Quit-It Reputation’ After Afghanistan Created a ‘Messy’ International Problem (Video)

Jon Stewart took a swing and hit the U.S. right where it hurts – in its reputation. On Friday night’s “The Problem With Jon Stewart,” the host examined one of America’s bad habits – when it needs help from allies, it makes promises. But when those allies ask for help, it breaks those same promises.

Case in point: The U.S. failed to provide a safe haven for many of its Afghan allies following its military withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021. “America has a bit of a toxic international ‘hit it and quit it’ reputation,” Stewart said, noting how the U.S. largely abandoned those who provided on-the-ground translation and other services during and after the U.S. military invasion in 2001.

“Aside from World War II, America tends to leave its adventures a bit messy — and thus the problem with allies,” he said. “Geopolitical relationships are tricky when the power imbalance is so pronounced, and that can reveal itself in many ways — trade imbalance, natural resource exploitation, the occasional redrawing of borders. But the international game is especially fraught when it involves the military-industrial complex and you happen to be the host country.”

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Stewart mocked powerful countries – like the U.S. – saying they have a tendency to come on pretty strong when dealing with allies. As in, a creepy flirtatious way. “Hey, baby, I know you want to go halvesies on a democracy, baby. Come on. Freedom is forever, baby,” he said, channeling his best lewd, deep-voiced lecher.

But then “when we pull the rug out, and we will, bad s— can happen.” The promises then come, he said, turning on his Barry White voice again, “But that’s the old us, baby. We’re working on our s—. This time, we got you.”

The fix for Afghan allies was supposed to be the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa Program, which was designed to provide a path to U.S. citizenship for a lot of people who put their lives in harm’s way to help the U.S. As Stewart joked, the promise was that “you just do a little paperwork, submit it to the State Department and soon you’ll be at the Rock ‘n; Roll Museum with a pocket full of cold cash.”

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Stewart noted that the SIV program has brought in more than 80,000 Afghan allies and their families since 2009. “So to borrow a phrase of the era, mission accomplished,” he said. But wait, it’s not that simple. The fact is, more allies are still there, trapped and in hiding than were freed.

“I’m in my hiding place somewhere in Kabul, and I’m living in panic now. I’m not asking for the U.S. visa; I’m just asking for a safe place. Please give me out of here,” one Afghan said on video, with his face blurred to protect him. Another said, “Please expedite our process. You know, we are almost getting killed, man.”

“We didn’t get everybody?!” Stewart asked. “Because apparently since our orderly withdrawal from Afghanistan, over 100,000 SIVs, as well as their families, are stuck. And the processing of applications is piling up with denials and delays.”

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Stewart went to Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illiinois), who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, for some clarity on what the problem is with getting those Afghan allies out.

“So, if you want to apply for a special immigration visa program, you have to go to the embassy?” Stewart asked.

“Yes,” Durbin answered.

“Do we have an embassy there?” Stewart questioned.

“I’m not sure it’s functioning,” Durbin responded.

“Are we insane?” Stewart said, grinning.

You can watch that interview below.