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Exit From Afghanistan: The Fallout

Exit From Afghanistan: The Fallout

Opinion|Exit From Afghanistan: The Fallout



Mr. Biden departed for Camp David after speaking about Afghanistan on Monday. The speech appeared to stem some of the political fallout, with Democrats praising him for laying out the costs of the lengthy war.
Credit…Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Facing Afghan Chaos, Biden Defends Exit” (front page, Aug. 17):

President Biden has it exactly right. Not one more American soldier should die for a country in which the people fighting against the Taliban lack the will to fight.

America has given the Afghans the means, training and resources to fight the Taliban if that is their wish; apparently, it is not their wish. Who should be the last American to die for such a cause? Not one American should have that sad distinction. Not one family should bear that loss, again, as thousands of American families have done for 20 years.

Criticism from Republicans should be completely discounted. They have shown in their near unanimous support for Donald Trump (who, they often don’t admit, brokered this withdrawal agreement) and his lies that they have no credibility whatsoever.

John E. Colbert

Arroyo Seco, N.M.

To the Editor:

We should have learned from the French in Vietnam, but we didn’t. We should have learned from the Russians in Afghanistan, but we didn’t. The Vietnam generation took us into Afghanistan, convinced that this time was different. The scale of the tragedy is simply devastating.

This time can we get the lessons straight? Military solutions don’t fix political and societal problems. Rebuilding societies we don’t understand is a fool’s effort.

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Susan Shurin

San Diego

To the Editor:

It took many years for the United States to offer a hand of friendship to Vietnam after that debacle. The same need not occur in Afghanistan.

The country is in desperate need, and help invested in a positive way will prove that soft diplomacy is now the best policy. Seeking to undermine the new government, as the United States did for many years after losing the war in Vietnam, only prolongs the suffering.

Tom Miller

Oakland, Calif.

The writer helped establish Parwaz, an Afghan-run microlending organization in Afghanistan.


Credit…Sergio Flores/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images


Credit…Joe Raedle/Getty Images

To the Editor:

Re “Texas Hospitals Are Full. Doctors Are ‘Frightened’ by What’s Next” (news article, Aug. 12):

It is unbelievable chutzpah for Texas’s governor, Greg Abbott, to ask out-of-state health workers to travel to Texas to help with the overflow of coronavirus patients there while he furthers the crisis by refusing to enact any statewide mask mandate and prohibiting local officials from doing so as well.

Irv Schiffman

Chico, Calif.

To the Editor:

Re “DeSantis Remains Defiant as Coronavirus Cases Surge in Florida” (news article, Aug. 7):

Gov. Ron DeSantis’s embrace of the anti-mask MAGA crowd is the most cynical political move I have ever seen and a disaster for Floridians, who are experiencing soaring sickness, hospitalizations and deaths. It should also prove to be a disaster for his presidential ambitions.

Michael McKinney

San Francisco

To the Editor:

My patience and empathy for people hellbent on killing me are rapidly approaching zero. We stayed inside, wore masks, washed our hands, damaged our economy, sanitized every surface, stayed away from our family and friends, lost loved ones and finally got vaccinated not only to protect ourselves, but also as part of our love for our fellow humans.

Now that the vaccine has been widely distributed, those who deliberately refuse to be part of the solution should no longer be allowed to mingle with the adults in the room. We did our part as responsible citizens of a vast interconnected civilization.

To protect the very survival of future generations, we must somehow ensure that those among us who refuse the vaccine don’t continue to incubate this virus into an even more virulent mutation that, maybe next time, could totally evade our science.

Lew Nathan

Shirley, Mass.


Credit…Al Drago for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “Early Adversity Drives Graham Toward Power” (front page, Aug. 15):

The article seems to suggest a connection between Lindsey Graham’s relationship with his father and his choice of Donald Trump as a political dance partner.

Do we really need Freud to understand the South Carolina senator? Wouldn’t Machiavelli be more instructive?

Deborah Cabaniss

New York

The writer is a psychoanalyst.