Several people argued that the animals should not have been given plane seats while Afghan residents are risking their lives to escape.
Images being shared on social media this week appear to show U.S. military dogs being given seats on evacuation flights from Afghanistan. The photos came just days after the international community watched in horror as hundreds of Afghan civilians squeezed into a U.S. Air Force cargo plane departing Afghanistan for Qatar on Sunday and many others jumped onto the aircraft's half-open ramp in a desperate attempt to flee from the Taliban. Some videos shared online also showed civilians who clung onto the fuselage and landing gear of a U.S. Air Force jet, falling to their deaths.
More than 600 Afghans cram into one U.S. transport flight, as thousands flee the Taliban https://t.co/wYsTv075Jf— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 17, 2021
Speaking to The Washington Post, two defense officials said that there were more than 600 people aboard the flight out of Afghanistan. Meanwhile, three officials revealed that human remains were found in the wheel well of a U.S. Air Force C-17 plane that departed Kabul airport on Monday. Speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, two of them explained that the plane's crew declared an emergency while leaving the airport after its landing gear wouldn't go up. The remains were later found in the wheel well after the plane was diverted to another location and landed.
A picture of Afghan citizens in a US military plane. And the dog of an employee of the US Embassy in Kabul pic.twitter.com/ByU2BsO1hs— maytham (@maytham956) August 17, 2021
It was amid international outrage over the inhumane treatment of terrified Afghan civilians, that news broke of plane seats being reserved solely for military dogs. One image that has been widely circulated on social media shows a dog's head and ears over a seat with individuals who appear to be handlers seated on either side. Other images showed the canines waiting to board the flights and broadcast footage showed Americans entering the airport grounds with the dogs. While many critics argued that the animals should not have been given plane seats while Afghan residents are risking their lives to try and get space on the transport, several netizens hit back by pointing out that there's no reason for the service animals to be left behind.
So You’re saying the life of these dog means less than a human? It’s not about that. A life is a life and it means just as much. maybe not to you but it does to people with a heart and a brain. That weighs less anyways, like wtf. Don’t make it about something it’s not.— SuspendedInDisbelief (@BlueBirdLee1) August 16, 2021
"Many Afghans outraged and offended Americans evacuated service dogs in Kabul, but left people behind, including so many who helped the United States," tweeted NBC News reporter Richard Engel. "The US military has managed to evacuate their Service dogs in Afghanistan. They all got seats in the plane, but innocent Afghanis hang onto the tires of the same plane and fell thousands of feet to their deaths. Let that sink in," tweeted @SaithAbdullah99.
Many Afghans outraged and offended Americans evacuated service dogs in Kabul, but left people behind, including so many who helped the United States pic.twitter.com/DpnaZpWCux— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) August 16, 2021
"Only the military side of the Kabul airport has been secured, leaving ordinary civilians with no flights or a functioning airport. The women’s rights leaders who’ll be hunted by the Taliban had no chance. But no worries, the evacuation of dogs is proceeding in an orderly manner," wrote Turkish sociologist, Zeynep Tufekci. "People clung to an evacuation plane — these are carrying embassy staff —and fell to their deaths. The video should be distressing, though many won’t care it seems. People immediately rushing to remind me dogs are valuable too or we had to leave—who said otherwise. But as those heartless, callous commenters remind me, it’s a hierarchy in which people or Afghanistan don’t even get crocodile tears. They’re, at best, props for domestic policy."
US military dogs evacuated ahead of human collaborators. Good idea to avoid collaborating with the US occupation forces unless you’re a dog. https://t.co/p2egueRmbr— Vijay Prashad (@vijayprashad) August 16, 2021
"People can at least pretend to accept Afghans as human beings, their suffering as real and mumble some thoughts and prayers? The bar for pretend humanity isn’t high. We know what’s happening and what was inevitable and blah blah blah. Just one crocodile tear, please. It'll do," Tufekci added. Meanwhile, @Amanda_N_D pointed out that the dogs "are military personnel and are treated as such. They are booked on flights & allocated seating (when available). This is STANDARD procedure. It does NOT mean dogs are being put before people."
"Service" dogs, not random dogs running around the streets of Kabul.— Secola Edwards (@SecolaEdwards) August 16, 2021
Are they not part of our military? Did they not serve to protect the Afghan people? They can miss me with their outrage.