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Kabul: Saigon April 30, 1975 Redux?

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken stated on August 15 on ABC’s This Week, which is nationally broadcasted live every Sunday morning, that there was no comparison between the fall of Kabul that morning and the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975. He emphatically stated, “this is manifestly not Saigon.”1 There may not have been any Afghans fleeing from the U.S. Embassy rooftop in Kabul on August 14 and 15 in vivid contrast to the panic-stricken South Vietnamese fleeing from the U.S. Embassy rooftop in Saigon in 1975, this is true. The tens of thousands of Afghans, who desperately attempted to leave Kabul on August 14 and 15 instead fled by car, truck and foot to the Kabul International Airport with its one runway, which fortunately remained uncratered from August 15 to 30.2

The ensuing mayhem happened at the airport simply because the U.S. Embassy had been permanently closed days earlier, and all 1,500 embassy personnel had already been airlifted by Chinook helicopters to the airport, which is located about three miles from the former embassy. So the place of the chaos and panic was manifestly not on the embassy’s rooftop, but instead on the tarmac at the Kabul International Airport. Blinken’s statement on August 15 was either delusional or at best an infamous semantic lie. I strongly suspect the latter. Unfortunately, the cocky, part time Secretary of State should NOT have been vacationing in the Hamptons just hours before the Taliban conquered Kabul on August 15.3

Blinken was so indifferent to the panic and pandemonium at the Kabul International Airport on August 14 and 15 that it almost resembled the scene in the 2013 horror film World War Z when thousands of desperate Israelis were escaping the zombies (i.e. the “Taliban”), and were sprinting toward the Belarus jet as it was preparing to take off and accelerate down the Jerusalem airport runway.

Was the fall of Kabul on August 15, 2021 similar to the fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975? The answer is unequivocally no. First, Vietnam never militarily threatened the U.S. after the fall of Saigon in 1975. Second, the fall of Kabul was far worse because Afghanistan will most likely once again become an opium and heroin selling narco-state, which will most likely provide both refuge and funding for al-Qaeda like it did before September 11, 2001, and give sanctuary to such other Islamic terrorist groups as al-Shabab, Hezbollah, Hamas, Boko Haram, Abu Sayyaf and especially ISIS. Third, the Taliban can now provide refuge and financially support the Pakistani Taliban in a future effort to overthrow nuclear armed Pakistan. Fourth, the Taliban now possess state-of-the-art American military equipment and weaponry such as thousands of “night vision goggles,” “mine-resistant (ambush protected) (MRAP) vehicles,” “several Black Hawk helicopters,” “20 A-29 Tucano attack planes,” “600,000 light weapons” (M16 and M4 rifles), “80,000 vehicles,” “radios,” “7,000 machine guns,” “4,700 Humvees,” “20,000 grenades,” and “18 million rounds of 7.62mm and .50-caliber ammunition.”4 These spoils of war also include countless shrink-wrapped wooden pallets of currency-strapped $100.00 bills totaling hundreds of millions of dollars and huge quantities of such impotency medication as Viagra and Cialis, which both the U.S and NATO troops routinely used in order to “buy off” Afghan warlords and corrupt Afghan government officials from 2001-21. Since August 6 it is estimated that the Taliban have captured American military equipment and weaponry worth approximately $83 billion.5

What is more unbelievable is that Afghanistan, which the Biden Administration and our “esteemed” Pentagon generals failed to realize, “is sitting on [mineral] deposits estimated to be worth US$1 trillion or more [my emphasis], including what might be the world’s largest lithium reserves,” which power such high tech technology as all the world’s smartphones along with “high-tech chips and high-capacity batteries,” which are all extremely dependent on rare earth minerals.6  In 2010 the Pentagon leadership and U.S. geologists in their infinite foresight ”estimated that Afghanistan, one of the world’s poorest countries, was sitting on over $1 trillion [my emphasis] (€850 billion) in mineral wealth, thanks to huge iron, copper, lithium, cobalt and rare-earth deposits.”7 Now communist China will be most eager to exploit this vast mineral wealth, which has often been described as the Saudi Arabia of lithium.

Since August 15 the Biden administration has succeeded in alienating two of our most important NATO allies: Great Britain and Germany. The British Parliament met in an emergency session on August 18, and strongly condemned Biden’s ill conceived and disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.8 Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair (1997-2007) later called Biden’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan as “imbecilic [my emphasis].”9 He also stated that Biden’s decision was “tragic, dangerous and unnecessary” and believed his withdrawal of U.S. troops had “every Jihadist group round the world cheering.”10 Germany’s Armin Laschet, who may likely become the next Chancellor after Angela Merkel, called Biden’s pullout from Afghanistan most accurately and succinctly a “debacle.”11

The Biden administration as of August 30 was still unbelievably relying upon the “goodwill” and “restraint” of the Taliban. According to many Afghan veterans most American civilians do not know that one of the Taliban’s favorite forms of execution for captured American and NATO soldiers, which was heavily censored by Washington and Brussels from 2001-21, was often either impalement or beheading or sometimes both. From 1996 to 2001 two of the Taliban’s preferred methods of “justice” were mass executions with AK-47s and beheadings in soccer stadiums.  Their “courts” also administered and continue to approve of hand (and foot) severing for theft, eye-gouging, public beatings with rubber truncheons, throwing acid on schoolgirls, arranging forced marriages for preteen and teenage girls, using women as sex slaves, throwing homosexuals headfirst (with either their hands handcuffed or tied behind their backs) off six-story buildings and stoning people to death. It is painfully obvious that due process, the elimination of “cruel and unusual punishments,” and judicial clemency have never been a part of the Taliban’s barbaric tenth-century Sharia law.

The peace deal initially negotiated by President Trump with the Taliban in Doha, Qatur on February 29, 2020, which was highly conditions-based with severe consequences for noncompliance, and later negotiated by President “Philippe Pétain” Biden eventually became a disgraceful and ignominious (single) conditional surrender deal, which was as almost as disgraceful as the French surrender to the Third Reich in Paris after a six-week blitzkrieg ending on June 22, 1940.12 That is because the Biden administration completely allowed the Taliban and their allies to disregard every aspect of the Doha Agreement this past summer with total impunity and no Pentagon military response.

From August 15 to 30 the Taliban’s mujahedeen completely surrounded the Kabul International Airport, and deliberately slowed down to a trickle the humanitarian evacuation of tens of thousands of former Afghan contractors and their extended families, who were often exposed to excessive heat, hunger, thirst and nauseating raw sewage. During the first week of the evacuation in Kabul this also included “more than 10,000 Americans” as reported by CBS News with many Americans still stranded throughout Afghanistan, with no safe or affordable transportation available to the Kabul airport.13 It has been estimated that there were up to 80,000 Americans and Afghan allies once employed by the U.S. waiting to be evacuated at the Kabul International Airport on August 19. How many of these people, especially the Americans living outside of Kabul, were able to escape the country after the last U.S C-17 military cargo plane departed at 11:59 p.m. Kabul time on August 30 might never be known.14

Why the U.S. military evacuated most of its troops and closed Bagram Air Force base on July 5, which is located just twenty-five miles north of Kabul, before FIRST evacuating all American civilians and other allied contractors from Afghanistan is beyond my understanding. I do not need a graduate degree from the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania to understand what is common sense. I suppose that any stranded Americans outside of Kabul after August 31 will be expected to telephone either Uber or Lyft or perhaps hitchhike northward through Taliban controlled territory to Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan or Tajikistan? Many Americans fail to understand that highly mountainous Afghanistan is almost the size of Texas.15 Escaping to the northeast through the Wakhan Corridor for most Afghans will simply never be an option due to Xi Jinping’s genocidal persecution of Muslim Uighurs in China’s far northwestern Xinjiang province. Plus, fleeing toward either Iran or Pakistan is simply not an option.

What was especially disgraceful about our defeat in Afghanistan was that the Taliban now possess American weaponry captured from the former Afghan government valued at $83 billion.16  In retrospect, the real disgrace has been that the combined American and allied NATO military forces completely failed to defeat the Taliban before August 15 after 19.9 years of war with the U.S. having spent more than $2.313 trillion since 2001, which excludes “future interest payments and future costs for veterans care.”17

One huge fear in Washington since September 1 could be a repetition of the Iranian hostage crisis on November 4, 1979. Fortunately, the Iranians only kidnapped sixty U.S. Embassy personnel, but a future Afghan hostage crisis involving hundreds of Americans and thousands of former Afghan allies, would be an unprecedented catastrophe on a monumental scale involving high ransoms and humiliating concessions.18 According to a recent article in the New York Times, there may be “thousands (of former Afghan allies who) did not make it onto U.S. military evacuation flights (after August 30). Many of them are now in hiding, worried for their safety and their future.”19 The New York Times states, “there are also potentially hundreds of thousands [my emphasis] of other Afghans — aid agency workers, officials from the defunct government, media employees, prominent women — who are fearful and laying low.”20 According to the Association of Wartime Allies, it has estimated that “there are 118,000 Afghans, including their families, who are still in Afghanistan and eligible for U.S. State Department visas.21 This present situation has become a total disaster beyond comprehension caused by the Biden White House, Blinken’s State Department and failed Pentagon leadership, who have callously and indifferently stranded these Americans and loyal former Afghan allies behind enemy lines.

One realistic and highly nightmarish scenario for the Taliban holding Americans and former Afghan allies as hostages might be the brutal aftermath of the Bay of Pigs invasion on April 17, 1961, but on a much larger scale. Fidel Castro initially demanded from President John F. Kennedy a ransom of $62 million in cash for the release of 1,113 “American” prisoners of war, but the U.S. declined his offer. After the Cuban Missile Crisis ended on October 28, 1962 the U.S. and Cuban governments compromised to a reduced “ransom of $53 million in food and medical supplies, donated by companies” throughout the U.S.22 During May 1961 “60 wounded prisoners” had already been released for a ransom of $2.5 million.23 However, Castro later demanded a last minute ransom of $2.9 million in cash on December 24, 1962, and was paid in full before the prisoners’ final air departure to Miami on Christmas Eve.24

The fall of Kabul to the Taliban on September 1, 2021 may indeed be the worst American foreign policy disaster since 1945. It is evident to the entire world that President Biden is weak, incompetent, coldhearted and a dotard in obvious cognitive decline, who did not have the common sense to evacuate all Americans and our Afghan allies before the Taliban occupied Kabul. The closing of Bagram Airfield on July 5 and the pulling out of all 2,500 U.S. troops from Afghanistan in early August should never have occurred before the Taliban occupied Kabul. Mr. President, you obviously do not know the meaning of quid pro quo in either Latin or English in negotiating with the enemy.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul should have been closed and evacuated before the Taliban ever occupied Kabul, and U.S. military equipment worth $83 billion given to the Afghan National Army should never have been left behind to the enemy or should have been destroyed. Now a very large unknown number of American citizens and former Afghan allies have been left behind in “harm’s way” in both Kabul and throughout Afghanistan. May God help any of our former Afghan allies if the Taliban has access to any captured biometric data collected by the U.S. military since 2011.25 May God also protect the anti-Taliban resistance and Northern Alliance located in the formidable mountainous Panjshir Valley, a province located ninety-three miles northeast of Kabul, which the Soviets were never able to conquer from 1979-89.26 Welcome to September 12, 2001 all over again.

The fall of Kabul on August 15 has truly vindicated Robert Gates, who was the Secretary of Defense under both Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Barack H. Obama from 2006 to 2011, when he famously wrote in his 2014 memoir Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War that then Vice President (2009-17) and former Senator (1973-2008) Joseph Biden “has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades [my emphasis].”27

The Pentagon’s pathetic exit strategy or “strategic withdrawal” has been an indefensible disaster because Afghanistan will most likely again become a haven for such Islamic terrorists as al-Qaeda with their unmerciful “kill lists” and ISIS-Khorasan (ISIS-K), who most likely will bring back their orange jump suits and videotaped beheadings. It appears that Daniel Pearl, who was beheaded by al-Qaeda in Pakistan on February 1, 2002, along with many others suffering the same inhumane fate, may have all died in vain.

In the past two weeks our two most senior military leaders, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, General Mark Milley, seem to be emulating Vice President Kamala Harris, by staying as far away from President Biden as possible. Who can honestly blame them? Both these two loser generals, Austin and Milley, need to resign and retire in disgrace for their dysfunctional evacuation from Afghanistan and leaving $83 billion worth of U.S. military equipment to the Taliban.28 Just imagine if a Marine or Army sergeant, second lieutenant or first lieutenant “lost” a billion dollars worth of military equipment to the enemy? That Marine or soldier would most certainly be court-martialed, imprisoned for ten years at hard labor at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and dishonorably discharged with a full loss of pension.

Both Austin and Milley were greatly mistaken in evacuating Bagram Airfield on July 5, and allowing the U.S. military to leave behind perhaps thousands of Americans and Afghan allies including their extended families, which all resulted in a chaotic “exit strategy” from Afghanistan. Why was the U.S. military not prepared for the contingency of a worst case scenario for both Kabul and the rest of Afghanistan last May or June? The U.S. Congress needs to investigate the answer to this question. The U.S. military was caught totally flat-footed and unprepared both on and long before August 15. Most likely the careers of both Austin and Milley will not suffer in the least unless there is a thorough nonpartisan Congressional investigation that determines otherwise.

There is something horribly wrong in the Pentagon’s leadership. Last fiscal year the United States spent $705 billion on the defense budget, and Afghanistan’s downfall was the result.29 Congress immediately needs to demand a full independent audit of all Pentagon spending as soon as possible. How many wars has the U.S. military won in either an undeclared war or “police action” since 1945? The answer is zero. Excluding the Persian Gulf War in 1990, which was essentially a three day battle, the only other war that may be considered a victory has been the Iraq War (2003-11), but Iraqi sectarian violence still remains highly precarious, volatile and inconclusive.

It strongly appears that most NCAA Division I-A football head coaches in the United States from such universities as Penn State, Alabama and Clemson have a much better concept of victory and common sense than most Pentagon generals today. Such a politician as Senator Tommy Tuberville, the junior Republican Senator of Alabama and former head Auburn football coach from 1999 to 2008 and three other major universities, immediately comes to mind. It strongly appears that many Pentagon generals have a much greater concern for their bloated salaries, perks, inflated monthly pensions and the potential lucrative signing of multimillion-dollar contracts in their retirement with such defense contractors as Lockheed Martin, Boeing and General Dynamics. These lucrative contracts also include possible employment with a myriad of lobbying firms on K Street located just four blocks north of the White House. Despite the ignominy of having been “loser” generals, many of these same “military geniuses” often seem to value their post-military employment as either wealthy contractors or lobbyists much more than having won the war in Afghanistan from 2001-21.

One major problem of the Pentagon today is that it has too many sycophantic go-along, get-along, money-generals, who are more than eager to kick the can down the road, while continually ignoring the dangers of what President Dwight D. Eisenhower ominously called  the “military-industrial complex” in his farewell address of January 17, 1961.30 I used to know a retired American four-star general from 1983 to 1987, who used to live in Virginia, and whose name I would refer to remain confidential. We used to have frequent interesting conversations about his life as an ROTC cadet, Anzio (1944), Dien Bien Phu (1954), the Tet Offensive (1968), General William Westmoreland, the fall of Saigon (1975), South America and especially the Middle East including the Soviet war in Afghanistan (1979-89). His insightful comments on his nemesis General Vo Nguyen Giap of North Vietnam, and the foul disrespectful language of President Lyndon B. Johnson (aka “FDR wannabe”) spoken toward his generals either in person or on speakerphone in 1967 and 1968, especially fascinated me among many other military and political topics. The general’s poignant comments, especially about Johnson, always confirmed my suspicion that the “big sissy” from Texas never had the fortitude or courage to finish the job. The same could be said for his former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara (1961-68).

The general’s nickname during the Vietnam War was the “genius general,” which he visibly disliked, but I always found him personally modest, politically moderate and always willing to listen to different opinions. He surely gave me excellent career advice. During his long twenty-nine year retirement he was most certainly not a typical go-along, get-along, money-general. In retrospect, he would have made an excellent military history professor or Secretary of Defense.

I once asked the general in mid-1986 in the privacy of his apartment living room when did he realize that the Vietnam War was lost. He quickly and forthrightly replied, “in 1970,” which was five years before the fall of Saigon in April 1975. When I asked him why he did not say anything in 1970, he honestly replied without any hesitation that, “I would have lost my pension, and would have been kicked out of the service.” I appreciated his straightforward honesty, but I also detected some mild remorse.

I once briefly urged the general to write his memoirs, but I often detected a quiet desire on his part to just forget much of his military past, and enjoy his wife, golf and travel along with much voracious reading. Occasionally, I would detect some visible pain or discomfort in his countenance describing his bloody combat experience at Anzio or the Tet Offensive, but I instinctively knew when to stop asking questions and shut my mouth. His widow later told me in mid-June 2005 after his death that his proudest achievement during his entire life was when he became an Eagle Scout as a high school teenager in the Pacific Northwest. Ironically, his proudest achievement did not include any of his numerous military decorations or accomplishments from 1940 to 1975, and I was thoroughly familiar with his impressive resume. That spoke volumes.

I strongly suspect that if the general, whom I once knew were alive today, I do not think he would have approved very much of President Biden’s chaotic “exit strategy” in ending the longest war in American history on August 30, 2021. I especially think that he would have been highly critical of the poor military planning of the two highest leaders in the Pentagon: Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley. I further suspect that his criticism of these two generals would have been in much agreement with the eighty-seven retired generals, admirals and other officers, who on August 30 demanded the immediate “resignation and retirement” of both Austin and Milley.31

I suspect that the general, whom I once knew, might be very nostalgic today for three of the greatest American generals of the 20th century: George C. Marshall, Omar N. Bradley and Dwight D. Eisenhower. I am not quite sure who else might have been included, but it would most probably have excluded a defiant and conceited Douglas MacArthur and the reckless George Armstrong Custer. However, in regard to his opinion on President Biden as commander in chief, I would rather not comment.

Thank you Representative Jim Clyburn (D-SC) for endorsing possibly the worst presidential candidate in modern U.S history on February 26, 2020, which enabled Biden to win the crucial South Carolina Democratic primary. Until you endorsed him, his chances of winning the White House on November 3, 2020 were almost nil. The rest is now history, and you need to retire.32 Or as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt might have said in describing our defeat in Afghanistan on August 30, 2021: it will be “a date which will live in infamy.”33

Robert L. Maronic
September 13, 2021

Notes

Note: You may have to copy and paste some of the hyperlinks, especially the archived ones from the Wayback Machine, to a browser if they fail to work. I recommend the Opera browser. Thank you.

1 Pilkington, Ed. “‘This is Manifestly Not Saigon’: Blinken Defends US Mission in Afghanistan.” The Guardian. 15 Aug. 2021. See https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/aug/15/antony-blinken-us-mission-afghanistan-saigon or https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/aug/15/antony-blinken-us-mission-afghanistan-saigon. Archived 2 Sept. 2021.

2 Vlamis, Kelsey. “Videos Show Chaotic Scenes at the Kabul Airport as the Taliban Retakes Power in Afghanistan and Thousands Flee.” Insider. 15 Aug. 2021. See https://www.businessinsider.com/videos-kabul-airport-show-chaos-taliban-takes-power-people-flee-2021-8 or https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.businessinsider.com/videos-kabul-airport-show-chaos-taliban-takes-power-people-flee-2021-8. Archived 2 Sept. 2021.  Also, see Soylu, Ragip. “Traffic in Kabul is overwhelmed” (forty-two second video mentioned in the above website). Twitter. 15 Aug. 2021. See https://twitter.com/ragipsoylu/status/1426853413241954307?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw or https://web.archive.org/save/https://twitter.com/ragipsoylu/status/1426853413241954307?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw. Archived 2 Sept. 2021

3 Chasmar, Jessica. “Blinken Was Vacationing in the Hamptons Hours before Kabul Fell.” Fox News. 29 Aug. 2021. See https://www.foxnews.com/politics/blinken-vacationing-hamptons-hours-before-kabul-fell or https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.foxnews.com/politics/blinken-vacationing-hamptons-hours-before-kabul-fell. Archived 10 Sept. 2021.

At least Blinken had the sense to stay within his own country on August 15 while his British counterpart, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, was vacationing at the “five-star Amirandes Hotel” in Crete. See Wilcock, David. “Dominic Raab Refuses NINE Times to Say When He Began Crete Holiday During Collapse of Afghanistan.” Daily Mail. 1 Sept. 2021. See https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9948001/Dominic-Raab-refuses-NINE-times-say-began-Crete-holiday-collapse-Afghanistan.html or https://web.archive.org/web/20210910173722/https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9948001/Dominic-Raab-refuses-NINE-times-say-began-Crete-holiday-collapse-Afghanistan.html. Archived 10 Sept. 2021.

4 Cohen, Zachary and Oren Liebermann. “Rifles, Humvees and Millions of Rounds of Ammo: Taliban Celebrate Their New American Arsenal.” CNN. 21 Aug. 2021. See https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/21/politics/us-weapons-arsenal-taliban-afghanistan/index.html or
https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/21/politics/us-weapons-arsenal-taliban-afghanistan/index.html. Archived 3 Sept. 2021. Also, see Brown, Lee. “Taliban has billions in US weapons, including Black Hawks and up to 600K rifles.” New York Post. 20 Aug. 2021. The website is  https://nypost.com/2021/08/20/us-left-billions-in-weapons-in-afghanistan-with-black-hawks-in-talibans-hands/?utm_source=gmail&utm_campaign=android_nyp or https://web.archive.org/save/https://nypost.com/2021/08/20/us-left-billions-in-weapons-in-afghanistan-with-black-hawks-in-talibans-hands?utm_source=gmail&utm_campaign=android_nyp. Archived 3 Sept. 3021.

5 Spiering, Charlie. “Donald Trump: ‘Everything Woke Turns to S**t.’” Breitbart. 21 Aug. 2021. See https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/08/21/donald-trump-everything-woke-turns-to-st/ or
https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/08/21/donald-trump-everything-woke-turns-to-st/. Archived 3 Sept. 2021. Also, see Andrzejewski, Adam. “Staggering Costs – U.S. Military Equipment Left Behind In Afghanistan.” Forbes. 23 Aug. 2021. The website is  https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamandrzejewski/2021/08/23/staggering-costs–us-military-equipment-left-behind-in-afghanistan/ or https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamandrzejewski/2021/08/23/staggering-costs–us-military-equipment-left-behind-in-afghanistan/. Archived 3 Sept. 2021. NOTE: the $83 billion amount of military equipment left to the Taliban may be subject to serious dispute that only a Congressional inquiry can resolve. The actual dollar amount may be closer to “$24 billion on equipment and transportation for Afghan forces since 2001” according to the Associated Press entitled “FACT FOCUS: Trump, Others Wrong on US Gear Left With Taliban” as reported by the U.S. News & World Report on August 31, 2021. See https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2021-08-31/fact-focus-trump-others-wrong-on-us-gear-left-with-taliban or https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2021-08-31/fact-focus-trump-others-wrong-on-us-gear-left-with-taliban. Archived 31 Aug. 2021.

6 Marlow, Iain and Enda Curran (Bloomberg). “China is Eyeing Afghanistan’s US$1 Trillion of Minerals with a Risky Bet on the Taliban.” Taipei Times. 28 Aug. 2021. p. 9. See https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2021/08/28/2003763351 or https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2021/08/28/2003763351.  Archived 5 Sept. 2021.

7 Unknown Author (Deutsche Welle). Taiwan Times. “Afghanistan: Taliban to Reap $1 Trillion Mineral Wealth.” 17 Aug. 2021. See https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4271957 or https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/4271957. Archived 10 Sept. 2021

8
James, William and Elizabeth Piper. “UK Lawmakers Condemn PM Johnson and U.S. President Biden over Afghanistan.” Reuters. 19 Aug. 2021. See https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/pm-johnson-says-britain-will-do-all-it-can-prevent-afghan-crisis-2021-08-18/ or https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/pm-johnson-says-britain-will-do-all-it-can-prevent-afghan-crisis-2021-08-18/. Archived 3 Sept. 2021.

9 Pylas, Pan. “‘Imbecilic’: Ex-UK Leader Tony Blair Slams Afghan Withdrawal.” AP News. 22 Aug, 2021. See https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-europe-middle-east-tony-blair-4ee456473a928eb97163fc080c40ed31 or https://web.archive.org/save/https://apnews.com/article/joe-biden-europe-middle-east-tony-blair-4ee456473a928eb97163fc080c40ed31. Archived 3 Sept. 2021.

10 Wright, Jack. “Britain Loses Patience with Sleepy Joe: Tony Blair Brands Biden’s Decision to Quit Afghanistan ‘imbecilic’ Amid Claims Boris Remarked ‘We would be better off with Trump.’” Daily Mail. 23 Aug. 2021. See https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9916221/Blair-brands-Biden-imbecile-unnecessary-decision-quit-Afghanistan.html or https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9916221/Blair-brands-Biden-imbecile-unnecessary-decision-quit-Afghanistan.html. Archived 3 Sept. 2021.

11 Moore, Mark. “Blinken Struggles to Explain Biden’s Contradictions on Afghanistan.” New York Post. 22August 2021. See https://nypost.com/2021/08/22/antony-blinken-struggles-to-explain-bidens-statements-on-afghanistan/ or https://web.archive.org/save/https://nypost.com/2021/08/22/antony-blinken-struggles-to-explain-bidens-statements-on-afghanistan/. Archived 3 Sept. 2012.

12 The Taliban only granted the U.S. and its NATO allies one condition after August 15. That was the continued use of the Kabul International Airport through August 31 for the evacuation of all American and NATO soldiers, U.S. civilians and other Afghan allies. These Afghans “theoretically” included such people, who once worked for the U.S. or NATO, as translators, IT workers, engineers, sanitation
workers, drivers, cooks, laborers, teamsters, etc. If some of these estimated 60,000 Afghans and their extended families do not escape Kabul or other cities within Afghanistan, they will most likely be treated as enemy collaborators, hostages and face Taliban “justice.”

13 Crane, Emily. “Up to 80K Americans, Afghans Employed by US Waiting for Kabul Evacuation.” New York Post. 19 Aug. 2021. See https://nypost.com/2021/08/19/up-to-80k-americans-afghans-need-to-be-evacuated-from-kabul?utm_source=drive&utm_campaign=android_nyp or https://web.archive.org/save/https://nypost.com/2021/08/19/up-to-80k-americans-afghans-need-to-be-evacuated-from-kabul?utm_source=drive&utm_campaign=android_nyp. Archived 3 Sept, 2021.

14 Ibid. Also, see Garger, Kenneth. “Photo Shows Last US Service Member Departing Afghanistan.” New York Post. 30 Aug. 2021. See https://nypost.com/2021/08/30/photo-shows-last-us-service-member-departing-afghanistan?utm_source=gmail&utm_campaign=android_nyp or https://web.archive.org/save/https://nypost.com/2021/08/30/photo-shows-last-us-service-member-departing-afghanistan?utm_source=gmail&utm_campaign=android_nyp. Archived 3 Sept. 2021.

15 Unknown Author. “Afghanistan is 0.94 Times as Big as Texas (US).” MapFight.xyz. Date Unknown. See https://mapfight.xyz/compare/af-vs-texas/ or https://web.archive.org/save/https://mapfight.xyz/compare/af-vs-texas/. Archived 3 Sept. 2021. See “Index Mundi: Afghanistan Area – Comparative (CIA World Factbook). 27 Nov. 2020. See

https://www.indexmundi.com/afghanistan/area_comparative.html or https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.indexmundi.com/afghanistan/area_comparative.html.  Archived 3 Sept. 2021.

16 Burnsap, Robert, Nomaan Merchant, Lorne Cook and James LaPorta. “Billions Spent on Afghan Army Ultimately Benefited Taliban.” Associated Press. 16 Aug. 2021. See https://www.breitbart.com/news/billions-spent-on-afghan-army-ultimately-benefited-taliban/ or https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.breitbart.com/news/billions-spent-on-afghan-army-ultimately-benefited-taliban/. Archived 4 Sept. 2021. Also, see Andrzejewski, Adam. “Staggering Costs – U.S. Military Equipment Left Behind In Afghanistan.” Forbes. 23 Aug. 2021. See https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamandrzejewski/2021/08/23/staggering-costs–us-military-equipment-left-behind-in-afghanistan/ or https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.forbes.com/sites/adamandrzejewski/2021/08/23/staggering-costs–us-military-equipment-left-behind-in-afghanistan/. Archived 4 Sept. 2021.
From above Forbes website: “Lost Drones”: “In 2017, the U.S. military lost $174 million in drones that were part of the attempt to help the Afghan National Army (ANA) defend itself. But the ANA didn’t immediately use the drones and then lost [my emphasis] track of them. This week, the SIGAR (Special Inspector General For Afghanistan Reconstruction) audit of the $174 million drone loss disappeared from its website.”

17 “Costs of War: U.S. Costs to Date for the War in Afghanistan, in $ Billions FY2001-FY2022*.” (*Rounded to Nearest Billion. Amounts to FY22 are budget requests.) Brown University: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. 21 Aug. 2021. See https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/figures/2021/human-and-budgetary-costs-date-us-war-afghanistan-2001-2022 or https://web.archive.org/save/https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/figures/2021/human-and-budgetary-costs-date-us-war-afghanistan-2001-2022. Archived 4 Sept. 2021

18 Carafano, James Jay. “Call Afghanistan What It Is: The Worst Hostage Crisis in American History. New York Post. 19 Aug. 3021. See https://nypost.com/2021/08/19/afghanistan-is-the-worst-hostage-crisis-in-american-history?utm_source=gmail&utm_campaign=andro or https://web.archive.org/save/https://nypost.com/2021/08/19/afghanistan-is-the-worst-hostage-crisis-in-american-history?utm_source=gmail&utm_campaign=andro. Archived 4 Sept. 2021.

19 Nossiter, Adam. “Afghans With Ties to U.S. Who Could Not Get Out Now Live in Fear.” The New York Times. 3 Sept. 2021. See https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/03/world/asia/afghanistan-taliban-airport-evacuation-refugees-asylum.html or https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/03/world/asia/afghanistan-taliban-airport-evacuation-refugees-asylum.html. Archived 4 Sept. 2021.

20 Ibid.

21 Ibid.

22 “1962: Bay of Pigs Prisoners Fly to Freedom (On This Day: 1950-2005). BBC News. 24 Dec. 1962.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/december/24/newsid_3295000/3295045.stm or https://web.archive.org/save/http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/december/24/newsid_3295000/3295045.stm. Archived 7 Sept. 2021. Also, see https://perma.cc/R7JW-KVRB. Archived 4 Sept. 2021.

23 Ibid.

24 According to footnotes 27 and 28 above the U.S. paid a king’s ransom to Castro’s Cuba in both 1961 and 1962. All currency below was converted from 1962 to 2021 dollars for simplification. See the two currency converting websites below (numbers 4 and 5) in order to approximate 2021 dollars.

  1. Bay of Pigs’ Hostages’ Total: 60 + 1,113 = 1,173.
  2. Bay of Pigs’ Ransom Total: $2.5 million (May 1961) + $53 million (November 1962) + $2.9 million (December 1962) = $58.4 million.
  3. Bay of Pigs’ Ransom Paid per Hostage before December 25, 1962: $58.4 million ÷ 1,173 hostages = $49,786.87.
  4. 1962 Ransom Total Converted to 2021 Dollars: $58.4 million =$507,171,345.74.

“Value of 1962 US Dollars Today.” Inflationtool.com. 2021. See https://www.inflationtool.com/us-dollar/1962-to-present-value?amount=58400000 or https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.inflationtool.com/us-dollar/1962-to-present-value?amount=58400000. Archived 3 Sept, 2021.

  1. 1962 Ransom Paid per Hostage Converted to 2021 Dollars:

$49,786.87 ($~49,787) = $432,372.26.

“Value of 1962 US Dollars Today.” Inflationtool.com. 2021. See https://www.inflationtool.com/us-dollar/1962-to-present-value?amount=49787 or https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.inflationtool.com/us-dollar/1962-to-present-value?amount=49787. Archived 3 Sept. 2021.

Note: According to my friendships with many Cuban American refugees in Miami and south Florida during the late 1980s and early 1990s, these dollar amounts may have excluded the “donation” of hundreds of John Deere farm tractors and fertilizer etc. to Castro’s Cuba. I wonder how much the Biden Administration would pay in a humiliating ransom per person if the Taliban and Afghan warlords decide to hold both Americans and our former Afghan allies as slave labor or hostages? I strongly suspect that the amount will be much higher than $432,372.26 per person in 2021 dollars.

25 Roy, Siddharthya, Richard Minite and Zenger News. “Taliban Kill Squad Hunting Down Afghans — Using US Biometric Data. New York Post. 7 Aug, 2021. See https://nypost.com/2021/08/27/taliban-kill-squad-hunting-afghans-with-americas-biometric-data/# or https://web.archive.org/save/https://nypost.com/2021/08/27/taliban-kill-squad-hunting-afghans-with-americas-biometric-data/#. Archived 4 Sept. 2021.

26 Kerley, Paul and Lucia Blasco. “Afghanistan: The ‘Undefeated’ Panjshir Valley – An Hour from Kabul.” BBC News. 26 Aug. 2021. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-58329527 or https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-58329527. Archived 4 Sept. 2021.

27 Wehner, Peter. “Biden’s Long Trail of Betrayals: Why is The President So Consistently Wrong on Major Foreign Policy Matters?” The Atlantic. 18 Aug. 2021. https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/08/biden-afghanistan-record/619799/ or https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2021/08/biden-afghanistan-record/619799/. Archived 4 Sept. 2021.

28 Davidson, Jordan. “The Taliban Now Has $85 Billion Worth of Taxpayer Funded U.S. Military Equipment.” The Federalist. 27 Aug. 2021. See https://thefederalist.com/2021/08/27/the-taliban-now-has-85-billion-worth-of-taxpayer-funded-us-military-equipment/ or https://web.archive.org/save/https://thefederalist.com/2021/08/27/the-taliban-now-has-85-billion-worth-of-taxpayer-funded-us-military-equipment/. Archived 4 Sept. 2021.

Note: According to this article, Congressman Jim Banks (R-IN) has speculated that the “Taliban now has [sic] more Black Hawk helicopters than 85 percent of the countries in the world.”

29 Macias, Amanda M. “Here’s the Firepower the Pentagon is Asking for in Its $715 Billion Budget.” CNBC. 28 May 2021. See https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/28/pentagon-asks-for-715-billion-in-2022-defense-budget.html or https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/28/pentagon-asks-for-715-billion-in-2022-defense-budget.html. Archived 4 Sept. 2021.

30 Eisenhower’s “Military-Industrial Complex” Speech Origins and Significance. National Archives: Inside the Vaults. 11 January 2011. 28 August 2021. See

https://youtu.be/Gg-jvHynP9Y or https://web.archive.org/save/https://youtu.be/Gg-jvHynP9Y. Archived 10 Sept. 2021.

31 Davidson, Jordan. “Almost 90 Retired Flag Officers Demand Mark Milley, Lloyd Austin Resign After Afghanistan Debacle.” The Federalist. 30 Aug. 2012. See https://thefederalist.com/2021/08/30/almost-90-retired-flag-officers-demand-mark-milley-lloyd-austin-resign-after-afghanistan-debacle/ or https://web.archive.org/save/https://thefederalist.com/2021/08/30/almost-90-retired-flag-officers-demand-mark-milley-lloyd-austin-resign-after-afghanistan-debacle/. Archived 6 Sept. 2021.

See the “Open Letter from Retired Generals and Admirals Regarding Afghanistan.” (Copyright 2021) at https://flagofficers4america.com/read-and-sign-our-letters or https://web.archive.org/save/https://flagofficers4america.com/read-and-sign-our-letters.

Archived 4 Sept. 2021. Also, see the PDF entitled “DOD Resignation Letter 083021 (pdf)” at https://www.utvarpsaga.is/file/522496314-DOD-Resignation-Letter-083021.pdf or https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.utvarpsaga.is/file/522496314-DOD-Resignation-Letter-083021.pdf. Archived 13 Sept. 2021.

32 Behrmann, Savannah. “Rep. Clyburn Compares Trump to Mussolini, Says President Won’t Leave White House If He Loses Election.” USA TODAY. 2 Aug. 2020. See https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/08/02/clyburn-says-trump-is-mussolini-and-wont-leave-white-house/5566970002/ or https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/08/02/clyburn-says-trump-is-mussolini-and-wont-leave-white-house/5566970002/. Archived 12 Sept. 2021.

33 Unknown Author. “FDR’s ‘Day of Infamy’ Speech: Crafting a Call to Arms.” U.S. National Archives: Prologue Magazine. Winter 2001, Vol. 33, No. 4 (last reviewed on 13 Dec. 2017). See https://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2001/winter/crafting-day-of-infamy-speech.html or https://web.archive.org/save/https://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2001/winter/crafting-day-of-infamy-speech.html. Archived 3 Sept. 2021.

 

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