Winston Churchill supposedly said, “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” So guess what, the USA has just done that because we haven’t learned. I’m two months older than President Joe Biden and, in fact, Joe became a senator representing Delaware in 1973 and was around when we had the fall of Saigon by the North Vietnamese, and I’m sure he remembers that well having been in Congress when President Gerald Ford asked for additional funds ($800+ million) to help support the South Vietnamese and Congress turned him down, and then we know what happened with the turmoil regarding the escape of our American citizens and associated South Vietnamese people. And I don’t blame Congress for turning it down because we were fed up with that war that we should have never got into. Well, at least I remember having been in the military back then, and I bet Joe at least remembers a little bit because he was a senator. It was a travesty, to put it mildly, with a lot of chaos. If you have seen the documentary “Last Days In Vietnam” back in 2014, the words “déjà vu” will shake your memory to now understand our Kabul/Afghanistan failure all over again. Won’t we ever learn what NOT to do? I guess not.
Joe should remember Vietnam, and at least his military advisors should have considered the below before the Afghanistan situation had basically gotten out of hand. Why abandon all our military materials and weapons to the enemy? Why pick a specific date and hold to it when situations arose not anticipated? Why not keep the Bagram Airbase that’s in the middle of nowhere but defensible versus the populated city of Kabul? Maybe there are valid reasons, but they’re not readily apparent.
So shame on the military generals and admirals unless those topics were brought up and then shame on Joe for not remembering what the USA went through during the fall of South Vietnam and the Saigon debacle. And shouldn’t our military have brought in people who actually experienced the Saigon affair to provide some actual wisdom to what can happen?
Plus, why do we always believe that our way of life is what all other countries want? Just maybe they don’t and Afghanistan just might go back to tribal warfare amongst themselves?
Daryl K. Smith