“Saving Aziz”

Thomas Balzac
25 min readAug 10, 2021
This song about war, sung by many but practiced by few, is a good beginning for this story I re-posted today, October 31, 2021. I had posted photos of Aziz’s children but for security reasons we decided to delete them.

Aziz is on the run in Afghanistan and in hiding from village to village with his wife and three beautiful children. New Orleans composer Thomas Balzac believes his friend — who worked more than eight years “shoulder-to-shoulder” with American troops in Kabul then, afterwards, opened an English academy for girls — truly fears being beheaded by crazed barbarians; that his family will be forced to watch — and worse….

September 14, 2021 — Aziz: Dear sir, Thanks a lot for your reply. Today I saw this Event by my own eyes: I went to a secret bazaar for buying bread for lunch. A person had a cigarette in his hand and was smoking when brutal Taliban stopped him and said take out your tongue. He did and Taliban put the hot cigarette out on his tongue, and he yelled aloud. Also, there are many scary fresh videos released today in Facebook — like Taliban hanging two young boys, Taliban hitting a man by gunstock, and many others. You can watch it on Facebook. Taliban worst than animals. Kindly do your best efforts and rescue me from the brutal Taliban. Once again thanks a lot for everything. Best regards, Aziz.”

Alas, it appears America has left left-behinds “out in the cold” and an email Balzac received from a refugee rights organization today seems to seal their fate. Addressing Aziz, through his friend and advocate Thomas Balzac, Alice states they’re on their own, and to be careful because the Taliban is trying to locate them through What’sApp texts from fake State Department volunteers:

“We recommend making plans for your and your family’s safety that do not rely on being evacuated.”

September 8, 2021: “Dear sir, Hello. Good evening. Hope your doing well. Last night Taliban were shooting for many hours in all cities of our country. I called my friend and he said the reason is because the Taliban leader has arrived in Kabul. The results of their many hours shooting was that some people were killed, and many innocent people injured. It is really very hard to live with the brutal Taliban under one ceiling. They are the wildest of the century. I hope I get a Visa by your help asap. Really very bad situation. Take care. Thank you very much for all your contribution. Best regards, ~Aziz”

“Last night the Taliban leader arrived in Kabul. The result was many hours of shooting.” ~Aziz
“Taliban’s many hours of celebratory shooting ended with some people killed and many people injured.” ~Aziz

Thursday, September 2, 2021 — Aziz:: “[For 8 years] when the USA military needed equipment that I worked hard day and night till I cleared the documents from customs and dispatched them fast to the USA military camps. Every day I sent at least 150 containers to the USA military camps around the country from Hairatan. I worked until the containers reached to the camp, followed up step by step, and informed my head office accordingly…”

“About my teaching: I then opened a private English academy. The Taliban many times told me to close the academy, but I ignored them and continued for many years. A lot of boys and girls learned English and graduated from my academy. So therefore I am afraid if Taliban arrest me no doubt they will direct kill me. Believe me sir in these days the situation is very bad and dangerous. Taliban never has mercy to anyone. They are brutal.”

The great scientist Nikola Tesla wrote our military troops represent, “the ablest, flower of humanity.” If nothing else, President Biden brought our troops home; he stopped risking their lives as if gambling chips — he realized there is no glory in fantasy. Tesla also preached that: “Ignorance is mankind’s greatest evil (next to war).” He’d be proud of President Biden. [There’s a good link to Tesla’s ideas on war in a story I wrote years ago]:

August 31, 2020 — Aziz: Dear sir, Ok well noted with many thanks. I hope and pray that I get the same Airport Visa letter asap. I never want to live with a terrorist organization under one ceiling. I hate Taliban. Because when I was kids I had a plan to be a doctor in the future, but, unfortunately Taliban destroyed my dreams and plans 25 years ago😥 so now they are destroying my children’s future, but I will never allow them to do what they did with my future.

“I am sure one day my children will know how the uncle Thomas helped them and changed their dreams to fact. We will never forget your precious and useful cooperation and efforts. Best regards, Aziz”

America appears to have reneged on its promise to give a new life to Aziz for help fighting terrorism. However, many non-SIV applicants were given priority over translators and teachers such as Balzac’s friend, Aziz.

The music composer Thomas Balzac refuses to give-up trying to help his friend Aziz escape from real threats of death. The Afghan culture a thousand years ago coined the familiar phrase “Revenge is a dish best served cold,” and the Taliban live by that ancient code.

Some say the Pashtuns symbolize the lost tribe of Israel. But that would make for an unlucky number, 13. The Afghan people are lucky — they live in a beautiful land and have their own “way of life” embedded into the local villages. Avenging wrongs is simply part of their legal code, an eye-for-an-eye thing: you kill my goat, I can slaughter yours (maybe that’s an example).

But Aziz is a typically-proud Afghan; his emails to his musician friend, Balzac, are always upbeat — even when he mentions another “bad guy” pointing a gun-finger at him, or notes the Taliban visited his now-abandoned home one recent night and asked his neighbors his whereabouts….

Monday, August 30, 2021 — Balzac: “Aziz! Today the state department said there “is no deadline” for getting your SIV application processed, and believes the Taliban will honor travel rights for “at-risk Afghans” such as you. This seems to be good news, if true. Even Kabul Airport will be re-opened. One idea is to get you to Doha, Qatar to complete your application. Let’s hope and pray the Taliban will honor their agreement to allow freedom of travel, respecting women’s rights, no “revenge” — and to create a decent Government to help the Afghan people of your country….”

That’s it. That’s all Balzac could tell his friend-in-hiding in Afghanistan — shaky optimism. The last US military plane carrying troops and generals in retreat took-off out of Kabul International at about 3 p.m. today. They left the “mission” a diplomatic one in practice and purpose, Secretary of State Blinkin informs the press, adding that the US Embassy in Kabul will be “physically” transferred-over to Doha, Qatar…

Sunday, August 29, 2021 — Aziz: “Dear sir, Hello. Good morning. Hope you are fine and healthy with your family. I am sure, you also heard about that only two days remaining for end of evacuations plans and last flight of USA from Afghanistan airport? So what will happen if during this two days the embassy staff does not inform me about coming to the airport? Really it’s disappointing news. Kindly if be possible, make a phone call with the embassy staff please. Time is very short….”

If the past is a lens into the present, Aziz has good reason to fear — for not only his life but that of his wife, son, daughter. His entire young family is in danger of summary execution by extremists and, now, “the Taliban” has closed routes to the Kabul Airport, the only road to freedom for Aziz and his small, young family.

Things will depend on whether the Taliban will play nice now. Will they let people out of the country? Will they not resort to strict Sharia law, where women must wear burqas and men no longer can smoke — “little” things like this, not to mention the unmentionable “revenge” killings that might happen.

Thursday, August 26, 2021 — Aziz: “Dear sir, Hello. Hope you are doing well. Sir, as I told you before, the Taliban start checking home to home. They are secretly during the night killing the people who worked with USA military and other foreign companies. I told you after Taliban took the control of our city, I leaved my own home and stayed in another secret place.

“Unfortunately, yesterday my neighbor called to me. He told Aziz Taliban came to in front of your home and asked about you 😥when I heard about that, immediately borrowed some money from my friend and escaped to Kabul….

“Today I went to airport to talk with any USA soldier, but I couldn’t to find any one. As I told you before, hard to trust on Taliban. They are a terrorist organization. Blood of innocent people nothing for them.

The prisons were unlocked immediately by the conquering Taliban, and more Salafi jihadists — who follow a strictly-interpreted, hybrid and cruel form of Sharia law — were unleashed onto a country that has been savoring Liberty and Democracy for the past 20 years.

“They are worse than we think. Now they are ruining everything. all our people hate from Taliban. They are brutal, killer, uneducated, wild they never have any good plans for the innocent people. They are selfish. Only they think about themselves. hope something happens regarding our Visa asap. Really tired. Once again thanks a lot for all your contribution. Just right now I count on you. May God bless you. Expecting to hear something happy. Best regards, Aziz.” …

The Taliban Government was reinstated in Afghanistan in less than a week; tribal villages fell like dominoes as hoards of armed angry-looking long-bearded soldiers marched toward Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital and largest city, and then, by midweek, completely dominated her with their distinguishable scruffy yeards —with hardly a shot fired.

Thursday, August 26, 2021 — Aziz: “Yes unfortunately my family and I were very near to the area of the airport explosion — so you know why I am worried about the future of my family. That is the reason if I stay here no doubt Taliban one day easily will kill me. The situation of our country is very anarchy and dangerous in these days it’s the reason continuously I am asking from you to help with my Visa. Tomorrow I will go back because my father called me to come back when he heard about the explosion….”

Only last week did the State Department release the above “Emergency Evacuation” notice

“Allah help the terrorist who tries to force a burqa back onto women who have tasted Liberty and Freedom!” Balzac assures himself.

But he is growing increasingly worried because his contacts at the State Department do not seem to want to help to save his friend Aziz; although, he will give them the benefit of the doubt for a day or two, knowing chaos reigns at the moment. In fact, recently the State Department finally made contact — which implies good news (but-for all the bad of late):

From: Application@state.gov>Sent: Sunday, August 22, 2021 7:42:34 AM To: Thomas Balzac<vieuxcarretimescom Subject: Re: interpreter/assistant visa application inquiry -SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED

“Dear Thomas Balzac, Thank you for your e-mail. I want to assure you that we continue to pursue all options to relocate interested and qualified Afghan SIV applicants and their immediate families. This effort is of utmost importance to the U.S. Government, and we will continue to surge resources. We are sympathetic to the challenges your friend is encountering and want to provide more clarity on the process. Thank you for your message. My name is Angela and I am a Consular Officer with the U.S. Department of State….

Both, Balzac and Aziz, had sent-in the requested paperwork many times; however, over the past 4 years, the previous Administration’s bureaucracy had intentionally held-up the special immigration visa (“SIV”) application process; and the present Administration dragged its feet as well.

“From: Thomas Ba;zac<vieuxcarretimescom>
Sent: Friday, July 30, 2021 9:11 AM
Application@state.gov> Subject: interpreter/assistant visa application inquiry — “Hello, I have a longtime friend in Afghanistan who worked with our forces there and now is under fear of his life from the Taliban, he and his family are in hiding at the moment and it is difficult for him to contact the embassy to follow-up on his visa application being processed for a couple years now…

“How can I help get Aziz to the USA or another, safe, country? I have emails of his situation, his ID’s, work contacts at the time of his service, good reference letters, etc. His letter today seems very desperate, he thinks the Taliban will find and kill him any day now… Please call or contact me soon as possible? Thank you, Sincerely, Thomas Balzac: vieuxcarretimescom@gmail.com

Monday, August 23, 2021 — Aziz: “Thomas, Hope you are doing well.
Till now I didn’t receive any email or any call from embassy. As I heard from people, just 9 days will more the USA exiting people from Afghanistan to USA. After that USA staff will complete leave Afghanistan and fly will be stop after 9 days. If so be, really time is very short. Only 9 days!

“If be possible kindly call to embassy and ask them to send for you or to me a permission paper to show for USA soldier at the airport of Kabul.

“As I heard if we don’t have contact with USA embassy staff many times in a day, they will never follow the procedures of our case fast. So if possible I kindly request you to find someone in airport to enter me and my family inside the airport. Kindly do your best efforts.

Some SIV applicants have been sent an “Airport Visa” — which may be a sign of hope.

“Thanks a lot for your sympathy, helping, supporting, hardworking and etc. Thanks a lot for being with me like members of my family till now. You proved that you have honest friendship with me. You proved that you took and kept strong my hand in bad situation. I Highly appreciated for all you did for us till now. May God bless you and your family. Best luck forever sir. Expecting for your reply. Take care. Best regards, Aziz.”

Unfortunately, at first glance it appears there is not much Balzac — or Aziz — can do about the situation. President Biden last Sunday seems to have sworn to “get them out” but the next day there is news that maybe only Americans and those with green cards will be allowed to enter the embassy.

The announcement Tuesday that all routes to the airport will be closed to Afghans, most certainly will discourage his Afghan friend’s family even more.

August 20 at 12:36 AM — Aziz: “Dear sir, Hope your doing well. Taliban are killing some people in these days I have some video to show them killing innocent people in these days with stupid reasons. Your advice is well noted with thanks a lot. I will be patient till your next advice. But kindly if you hear something from embassy via phone or email, kindly inform me accordingly. Once again thanks a lot for your cooperation, helping, supporting, hardworking and etc. Take care. Best regards, Aziz.”

August 19 at 12:36 AM — Aziz: “TALIBAN KILLING PEOPLE 😥Dear sir, Hello. Good evening. Hope your doing well! As I heard via TV news, yesterday Taliban killed 3 people in Kandahar province, and 2 people killed in Jalalabad city and injured 8 people in Jalalabad city. As I told you before, very hard to trust on brutal Taliban. They are a terrorist organization. creating fear among our people, killing innocent people, destroying schools, causing anarchy inside the city — are their favorites actions. They say one thing and do other thing, they have two faces. They’re never standing what they say in media.

“If they say some good words in front of media that’s only for cheating the world and our country people. In action they do other things. Once again I respectfully request you sir, kindly if be possible, help fix our Visa issue and procedure. Once again thanks a lot for everything’s that you do for us till now. Kindly do your best efforts regarding our Visa issue. Hope to hear something from you asap. Take care. Best regards, Aziz contact number +9xxxxxxxxxx”

August 17, 2021 at 12:51 a.m. — Balzac: “Keep your hope high, Aziz! I sent the documents again and am waiting a reply. Be careful, my friend! ~thomas”

August 17, 2021 at 12:51 a.m. — Aziz: “Dear sir, Hope your doing well. Thanks a lot. Yes, we are completely ready for leaving. Because right now our city changed to the hell. Hard to live here. No safety, no discipline, no human rights. Most Taliban walking around the city are uneducated people. I hate from all brutal Taliban. Hope our problems solve asap sir. Once again thanks a lot for everything’s that you do for us. May God bless you. Take care. Best regards, Aziz. contact number +9xxxxxxxxxx”

Only last week did the State Department release the above “Emergency Evacuation” notice

Aziz was recruited 20 years ago by the American Government, to be one of the interpreters and assistants helping out in the American/Allies “green zone” military base established in Kabul. He thought he had made a deal with them.

August 18, 2021 at 12:51 a.m. — Aziz: “Dear sir, Noted with thanks sir. Really I can’t explain how I appreciates you. Hope to hear something positive from you and embassy asap. Cause day by day the situation is going bad. Today Taliban killed some people and injured in Jalalabad city. Best regards, Aziz.”

His SIV (“special immigration visa”) application has been delayed for many years now, and appears to be soon forgotten. The present evacuation is focusing on the 10,000 or more Americans stranded — not the Afghan left-behinds. However, apparently some NGO’s are forming to lead their rescue.

August 16, 2021 — Aziz: Dear sir, Ok Noted with many thanks. Sorry if I disturbed you in these days. Really right now i am in very bad situation. Hope our problems solve asap. Just right now, I have you to raise my voice. And convey my message to embassy. Best regards, Aziz. (contact number +9xxxxxxxxxxx)”

August 16, 2021 — Balzac: Hello Aziz! Today’s news said the Taliban agreed to give “amnesty” to everyone who worked with USA military — let’s hope this is true! I think USA will be faster now to process your SIV application, so perhaps prepare your family to leave, should you have to quickly. Take care, friend, be careful, ~thomas

It has been quite a number of years since Balzac had contact with his friend, as the artist long ago forgot the password for his Yahoo account; meanwhile, Yahoo’s chat rooms were taken down, apparently too much free speech was going on, or too many violations of the platform’s rules that caused it to die.

August, 15, 2021, 11:30 a.m. — “Aziz:RIGHT NOW COMPLETE OUR CITY IS UNDER CONTROL OF TALIBAN —Sir, last night Taliban attacks to the center of our city. Unfortunately right now all our city is under control of Taliban even my secret place 😥so hereafter my life is under serious threat. Very dangerous situation. Soon brutal Taliban will start checking home by home. Nothing doubts, they will arrest me. sir, in fact I am going disappointed. Now my family worrying & tensions are going more than before. even my children under pressure.

“Last night, all night they were continuously asking me, ‘Dad now Taliban will kill you?’

“‘What will happen? Let’s escape!’ …It is a very hard situation. So once again I respectfully request you sir kindly solve our problems asap. If I not leave our city in these days, Taliban will arrest me soon. Expecting for your reply. Your prompt reply will be highly appreciated. Best regards, Aziz. contact number +9xxxxxxxxxx

August, 15, 2021, 1 p.m. — Aziz: “Dear sir, Thanks a lot for your attention. We will never forget your useful cooperation. Yes sir I am trying to delete all the data from my mobile, and I burned all these documents, cause all was belongs to foreign companies.

“I hope so sir that Taliban not be annoying our people and we all live together peacefully. Hope Taliban not be enemy of education. Not enemy of development. But very hard to trust these terrorist groups.

“Once again thanks a lot for your helping, trying and all that you do for us. really unforgettable. Expecting for your next reply. Best regards, Aziz.

August 12, 2021 — Aziz: Dear sir: Thanks a lot for your help. Still I am in Mazar e Sharif due to some economic problems till now we couldn’t go to Kabul and stay there. Just awaiting for embassy reply, once embassy invite me for interview, that time we will go to Kabul. hope embassy invite me asap. Cause right now 14 provinces and 200 districts are under control of brutal Taliban. They started checking home by home in some provinces it’s really very dangerous. Hope before Taliban catch me, I be able to leave our country. So hereafter I need your support and more your cooperation regarding getting Visa. Kindly follow up our Visa issue. Expecting for your reply sir. Take care sir. Best of luck. Best regards, Aziz.

August 13, 2021 — Aziz: “Dear sir, once again thanks a lot for your cooperation. Hope we can achieve to our purpose asap. As I heard via TV news, the USA embassy staff will leave our country soon. So once again, I respectfully request you, kindly discuss with embassy regarding our Visa. Because my passport dates is expired and my wife & children don’t have passport. So when I be sure that embassy give me Visa that time I will start the process of ID card and passport for myself and my family’s. Before that I can’t start the process of getting ID card and passport. Cause need money. I don’t have enough money so I have to Barrow from our relatives. So it’s the reason that I continuously requesting you to have some confirmation about our Visa from embassy. Expecting for your next reply. Once again, thanks a lot for your cooperation, supporting, helping, hardworking, and etc. May God bless you. Take care sir. Best regards, Aziz. contact number +9xxxxxxxxxx

Dear sir, Hello. Good morning. Hope everything be ok there with your. Sir, still I am expecting for embassy reply. Did you get any reply from embassy? hope to hear something positive from side of you. Cause day by day the brutal Taliban making the conditions of life hard and dangerous here. believe us, our family is in very bad situation. all my family worried about me, cause of worked with USA military. sir, kindly do something for me, cause if we delay, Taliban will kill me. So better we do faster. Once again, thanks a lot for your humanitarian assistance. Expecting for your reply. Best regards, Aziz. contact number +9xxxxxxxxxx

Earlier….Feb. 10, 2021 — Aziz “Dear sir, Hello. Good morning. Hope everything be ok there with you. Sir, still I am expecting for embassy reply. Did you get any reply from embassy? hope to hear something positive from side of you, because day by day the brutal Taliban making the conditions of life hard and dangerous here. Believe us, our family is in very bad situation. all my family worried about me, cause of worked with USA military. sir, kindly do something for me, cause if we delay, Taliban will kill me. So better we do faster. Once again, thanks a lot for your humanitarian assistance. Expecting for your reply. Best regards, Aziz”

May 10, 2021 — Aziz:Dear my best friend, Hello. Good evening. Thanks a lot for your reply. No sir still I am jobless and worry about my children future. Really very bad situation here. No job, no incoming, no security. Fucking Taliban destroyed everything. Many thanks sir for your thinking about me and my family. Thanks a lot for your always support. Your sincerely Aziz. Note: if you use WhatsApp kindly add me in your WhatsApp.

The George W. Bush Administration’s misdirected anger and naïve sense of vengeance (something the Afghan culture had inculcated into law more than 1,500 years ago) commanded, lured, our young men and obedient Allied soldiers into Afghanistan.

August 7, 2021 — Aziz: “Aug 7 at 11:58 AM Dear sir, First of all, Thanks a lot for everything’s that you are doing for us. If we not be exiting from here, soon Taliban will find me and direct kill me. So before they find me kindly please help solve my problem with embassy….

Highly appreciated for all your useful help, and for all your hardworking regarding getting Visa for us. We will never forget your help sir. Did you contact with embassy? if yes, what was their answer? once again I respectfully request you, kindly discuss with embassy regarding Visa and solve the problem of my HR LETTERS as soon as possible, because we are in very bad situation here. Day by day everything is going bad….

American newspapers wrote-off this sin — bombing mothers feeding babies in caves — as “collateral damage;” and said little more about these rogue armies that were ignorantly tilting at windmills in a beautiful independent country whom America illegitimately, wrongly, had marked as a haven for terrorists.

Thomas Balzac — May 1: “Aziz, sorry for late reply, i had forgot this email password. How are you and family? I hope & pray better since your last email?? Terrible news about the troubles lately, sad for the children, the students …. Did you know anyone? Will you be able to get your VISA in order now with our govt. so you can move away with your family to safety? I hope so, my friend! Take good care!. ~thomas balzac”

June 2, 2021 —Aziz: “Please do something and attempt to solve my HR letters with embassy. Really day by day I am growing disappointed, there is no doubts Taliban will catch me. really i am afraid and worry from that days which day Taliban catch me and my wife be widow and my children be orphan😥 Kindly never allow bad things happen in our family🙏 The only way I can get my answer and solve my problem that’s you sir. Best regards, Aziz….”

July 9, 2021 — Thomas Balzac: “Aziz! OK I will check on your visa application status, 200 Afghans like you came to the USA last week, the beginning of helping with many more to come. I will give your name to the US Embassy and also to a CNN reporter friend, to see if they can see what you must do to get your visa approved for you and your family. But until then, keep trying to call the embassy and check on your status. Be careful, my friend! ~thomas”

Newspapers and other media, today, are saying just as little about America leaving Afghanistan as when we began bombing — even less about those citizens such as Aziz and his lovely family — left behind by our Government — whom were promised safe passage to another country should “the Taliban” threaten their lives.

August 2, 2021 — Aziz:Dear sir, Hello, Good morning. Hope you are doing well! I sent many emails to USA embassy, but they didn’t reply yet. Everyday the situation of our country going bad and Taliban sieges many districts.

“See the pictures, Taliban recently killed a traffic man and hit a son cause he was son of soldier. As I told you Taliban are not human, they are animals, wild.”

So therefore I am afraid before they catch me and kill me in front of my family, better I leave the country. Believe me sir for sure if they catch me they will direct kill me. So kindly do something for me and my family. All my family expecting for your reply. Once again many thanks for everything that you doing for us. Thanks! Best regards, Aziz.”

“Taliban recently killed a traffic man…
and hit a boy because he was the son of a soldier.”

Threats to Aziz from “the terrorists” have gone on since the occupation’s beginning, many times over the past two decades, Aziz tells his friend. Balzac does remember the musicologist telling him often that a “Taliban” that morning had pointed a finger “like a gun” at him as he drove his truck from his home to the Green Zone.

The bad guys still perceive him as having helped the invading Western forces in more substantial ways than just being a clerk translating invoices, driving a supply truck, and teaching girls and boys.

August 3, 2021 — Aziz: “BOMB EXPLOSION NEAR MY HOUSE — Dear sir, Hello, Hope everything is fine with you. Sorry if I disturbed you in these days by sending many emails to you. As I said, right now we are in very bad situation. Very afraid from Taliban. They never know the value of humanitarian. They are enemy of education, so I never want my children grow up under control of Taliban.

“See sir, yesterday that bomb explosion happened just near my house, just 1-km away from my home.

“It will be very hard to live here, hereafter. No job, no education, no safety. Once again I kindly request you sir do something to help exiting my family from Afghanistan to other country. Best regards, Aziz.”

America and her NATO skirt-followers should have realized Russia’s folly years earlier into the graveyard of empires; in the end, they all proved to be impotent superpowers. But, as if only an aside from all their powerplay, these Governments know their friends, such as Aziz and his young family, are being left behind, perhaps to die — or worse, to be tortured — and just don’t care.

June 4, 2020 — Thomas Balzac: “Aziz hello, my friend, I will keep trying but also you must contact the Embassy and re-apply for your visa if possible. There is some talk that families like yours who apply will be taken to another country to live, while your applications are being reviewed by our Government. Keep your ears open to hear any news about your visa, soon. Apply for your visa again, or call and ask what is the status. I will also write whoever I can. Take care, friend!~Thomas PS — lovely photos of your family!(:”

With the real 9/11 murderers 1,500 miles away in Saudi Arabia, not in caves targeted by American Exocets, where babies were being fed goats milk by their mothers when drones mindlessly wiped them out. Nevertheless, these young soldiers — whom the great inventor Nikola Tesla in 1900 with love labeled “the flower of humanity” — were then ordered to create self-trauma: to blindly kill mothers suckling their babies in caves….

Aziz is now himself traumatized — “in hiding” today — having fled his home near Mazur when the Biden troop withdrawal began.

“The Taliban, Al-Qaeda and the remnants of the Islamic State are coming for me”, he tells Balzac.

The American from New Orleans has worried about his Afghanistan friend for many years; but he has been most worried these past few months — when the pullout of soldiers from the country got rolling in June.

…Aziz and Balzac had remained friends from two decades ago, when the two — both advanced musicians — met in a friendly nonpolitical Yahoo chat room called “international music” while the composer was researching the musical instruments and songs of Afghanistan; particularly the Mazar region. Aziz has an advanced degree in musicology and is a student of the rubab, one of Afghanistan’s national folk instruments resembling a lute.

August 3, 2021 — Aziz: “Dear sir, Ok noted with many many thanks! Really your email gives me energy. Thank you for your humanitarian sense. I will never forget your support and help. Yeah exactly I want to move our family toward safe country of course by your help.

“Once again my son wants to send his picture for your with best and full love.” I will keeping follow the status of my Visa from here but kindly your following from there too as you followed in past. Thanks a lot! Best regards, Aziz.”

At the time, 20 years ago, Balzac was composing anti war songs — “Rock, Don’t Bomb ‘The Cradle’” was one — with an Afghan flavor, utilizing local musical instruments and parts of traditional songs transcribed into music for the classical guitar, cello, and saxophone.

20 years older, today Balzac partly occupies his time composing funeral dirges on a donation basis for the “second lines” that flow through New Orleans’ French Quarter. Business of late has been picking up, sadly, during this period of the Great American Pandemic.

Because of the many “unvaccinated” in Louisiana these days, there will likely be a second wave of deaths and “jazz funerals” — certainly in the coming weeks, due to the so-called “variant”….and due to the obstinance of half all Americans, even the local peoples of New Orleans. Perhaps some day the old composer will have enough in donations for his, otherwise free work, to help save his Afghanistan friend and fellow musician, Aziz, from certain execution. Meanwhile, he is considering forming a “Go Fund Me” page for Aziz….

August 13, 2021 — Aziz: “Dear sir, Hope your fine and healthy. Thanks a lot that you taking my hands, in this bad situation. We will never forget your honestly help sir. Hope in future we be able to do something for your. Once again thanks a lot for everything’s that you do for us. Expecting for your next reply. Take care. Good luck sir. Best regards, Aziz.

August 15, 2021 — Thomas Balzac: “Aziz, I am trying to inform the world of you and your family’s situation. Let’s see if someone is able to help you. Let’s also pray the Taliban want peace and not violence. “Forgive & Forget” — not the Pashtun way of vengeance, “badal”…. I will send my story update now, take care, be careful — (hide your phone well or delete all your messages and contacts). I hope all goes well, and will fight to get you out of jail should that happen, ok? ~thomas ~PS — I also will send an update to the Embassy now…

postmaster@usdos.onmicrosoft.com Sun 8/15/2021 12:26 P To: Thomas Balzac — re: “Mr. Aziz, SIV status”Delivery has failed to these recipients or groups: AfghanSIVApplication@state.gov)

The recipient’s mailbox is full and can’t accept messages now. Please try resending your message later, or contact the recipient directly.

Sunday, August 22, 2021 — Balzac: “To: AfghanSIVApplication@state.gov>
Subject: Re: interpreter/assistant visa application inquiry —”Dear Angela, thank you very much for the information, I will now forward to Aziz. He submitted all the requirements but some you said needed updating which time makes impossible.

“He is in hiding and banks are closed, he is broke anyway. Unless you can rendezvous somewhere to extract Aziz and his young family I don’t see a happy ending to this story. Thanks again for the initial contact. I’ll get the info to him right away, but he says Taliban are going door to door … -Thomas Balzac

The last email received from Aziz was Thursday just before the blast in Kabul near the airport. Aziz had told Balzac he was at the airport trying to locate a US soldier to show his SIV paperwork….

Shortly after the email was sent from the airport it was reported, just this hour, that many have been killed or maimed by two blasts. Indeed it is a “BAD SITUATION” as Aziz references his final email to his American friend, to his friend who apparently has failed to “save” this man, a fellow musician, lover of those spirits only and nothing bad…. Balzac can only cry for his children.

Thursday, August 26, 2021 — Aziz: “Today I went to airport to talk with any USA soldier, but I couldn’t to find any one. As I told you before, hard to trust on Taliban. They are terrorists organization. Blood of innocent people nothing for them. They are worst than we think. Now they are ruining everything; all our people hate from Taliban.

“They are brutal, killer, uneducated, servant, wild. They never have any good plans for the innocent people. They are selfish. Only they think about themselves. hope something happens regarding our Visa asap. Really tired.

“Once again thanks a lot for all your contribution. Just right now I count on you. May God bless you. Expecting to hear something happy. Best regards, Aziz.

…to be continued

[Editor’s note: if there’s anyone “out there” who might can help me help Aziz and his small family, please contact Thomas Balzac @: vieuxcarretimescom@gmail.com ]