Bush blew chance to prevent Afghan crisis
As you watch the thousands of Afghanis crushed in the Kabul airport in a desperate attempt to escape the Taliban, you might remember 20 years ago when this horrible war could have been ended, a war that has taken the lives of at least 2,500 Americans and a quarter of a million Afghanis and has cost us an estimated $2 trillion.
In 2001, the Taliban were weakened and running scared. That November, according to Alissa J. Rubin, a New York Times writer who was there, Taliban leaders, including Mullah Oman, were sending messengers to Hamid Karzai and others in the Afghan government. They were willing to deal. All they wanted was amnesty for their fighters. Rubin’s article appeared in the Aug. 23 Times.
But George W. Bush and his hawk Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld wouldn’t listen. They wanted revenge. They wanted Mullah Oman captured or, preferably, dead. “We don’t negotiate surrender,” Rumsfeld said.
The Bush administration and Congress were confident that the Taliban would just go away.
Instead, it’s we who are going away, our tails between our legs, leaving behind in mortal danger many of those who aided us. Leaving Afghan women and girls to suffer under the medieval culture of the Taliban. Leaving billions of dollars of sophisticated American military equipment. Leaving the country a chaotic mess.
And leaving thousands of American parents and children and spouses with only memories of their loved ones. Way to go, Dubya. Good job, Don.
Richard W. Lewis, Jr.
Vaccine skeptics have good reasons
I’m responding to Ottavio LoPiccolo’s Aug. 19 letter (“Stop being selfish; Get covid vaccine”) wherein he describes vaccine skeptics as arrogant, selfish, ignorant, lacking common sense and compassion, and irresponsible.
He says we don’t trust science and doctors, and think the pandemic is man made to wipe out the older population and make money.
That’s quite a list of charges and often untrue.
Some of us look at the disaster that took place when the first polio vaccine was issued and would prefer the covid vaccine be thoroughly tested before taking it.
The reason given for bypassing established protocols is the need to save lives, at any cost. Then why is it that American citizens terminally ill with cancer must go to Mexico and Europe to get alternative therapies and drugs while U.S. testing protocols delay the use of those therapies here? Don’t cancer patients’ lives matter?
Forced certification of the vaccines as safe without undergoing standard testing protocols shouldn’t be reassuring to any rational, intelligent individual.
Finally, don’t prattle on about the “science.” If no one ever questioned accepted “settled science,” we’d still believe the Earth was flat and that Blacks were intellectually and morally inferior to Caucasians.
Timothy J. O’Neill
Is Saratoga a superspreader site?
Just wondering – has anyone else considered that the Saratoga racetrack and the night life in Saratoga might be a super spreader for the coronavirus?
I read negative remarks about motorcycle rallies and other large gatherings, but we’re pretty “guilty” right here in the Capital District. And we wonder why infection numbers are rising?
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