Home Letter To The Editor Letter: Time For That Whole Déjà Vu Thing Again…

Letter: Time For That Whole Déjà Vu Thing Again…


Readers of a certain age may – like me – be watching coverage from what’s left of Afghanistan and saying: “This reminds me of April, 1975 again.” And of course they are right.

Those of us able to place Vietnam on a map remember the dramatic collapse of that country and the panicky exit from the rooftop of the American embassy those many years ago. Once again a ragtag army cuts off propped up local forces with no interest in living up to the press releases issued by their American handlers over these many years and takes control of – let’s face it – their country. Afghans crowd the airport in Kabul hoping to board flights out ahead of the Taliban’s specific brand of Islamist rule.

It’s left to American politicians to sling blame, generals to dodge it and the American people to figure out – once again – what it got for the $2.26 trillion we spent in our latest failed effort to shore up a reluctant and corrupt ally.

In the weeks to come I’m sure committees will be convened to investigate the matter and “get to the bottom” of this latest failure but I am reminded of the words of a lowly U.S. PFC as his unit sheltered from Taliban sniper fire in a dusty compound somewhere in Afghanistan during our years there. He said: “This whole country would fall in three days if we left. A week – tops.”

This despite our leaders and generals telling us that the effort in Afghanistan was “rounding the corner” and an example of a longed-for “democratization.”

As usual, we would have been better off listening to that lowly private than the generals and politicians and corporate benefactors flinging money and lives at a failed effort. Always listen to the privates.


Daniel Cooper/ Walnut Creek


  1. Better a Saigon sequel than Teheran 2.0.

    We should’ve withdrawn years ago. If not in 2004, certainly by early 2013.

    On the bright side, Afghanistan is now Beijing’s problem.

    A stable regime in Islamabad is critical to implementing Belt-and-Road. The PRC has already deployed tens if not hundreds of Beijing must appease two conflicting governments (the Taliban and the Pakistani regime), or suppress the mujahidin‘s legacy insurgents that successfully resisted almost a half century of combined Soviet and US occupation. Neither is

    Yet the modern PLA has never conducted a forward deployment, and no living PLA officer has ever fought a war.

    Xi craves regional hegemony.

    Now he gets to learn what that actually means. His course will demand a rigorous learning curve. Classes are held on campus in the planet’s least hospitable terrain with humanity’s most restive population. The grading curve is capricious and the syllabus unintelligible. Though many of the pupils were among history’s greatest empires, graduation rate remains pegged at zero.

  2. If only there were a place where we could read local news without any intrusion by state, national, and global politics. There are plenty of places to read world news and political opinions without any local news. There is no place offering the opposite. NextDoor, a logical candidate, is overrun by people addicted to outrage who believe that no place should be free of politics.

    I’m not commenting on the importance of the issue or the quality of the discussion. Only that I wish I could escape it when I want to read local news. If the world is sane there should be a market for that.

  3. Good letter and I agree. Can’t shake the thought that a good amount of my tax dollar is sitting on an airstrip on Kabul right now.

  4. Someone made a LOT of money on the backs of the American people. Rampant corruption on the part of the Afghani army. Just the latest example of American foreign policy at its worst.

  5. A massive cock up for the US and a huge win for the taliban. At some point you would think we realize we are really bad at shoring up failed countries only too happy to take our money. I can only think of the people who died there. It sickens.

  6. Apparently the ANA spent more time getting high on missions than fighting the Taliban. What we could have done with all that money here at home……

  7. About 6,000 dollars in debt for every man and woman and child in America. Not to mention nearly 3,000 American lives…..

  8. Nailed it of course. The American people have been lied to by their leaders for so long they expect it – and don’t know what to do about it if and when they realized they’re being had. Politicians rely on that level of stupidity and why not, it works for them.

  9. I still remember Rummy Rumsfeld mocking the reporter who dared ask him if we were getting into another Vietnam.

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