David Rosenthal
David Rosenthal

From Saigon to Kabul

And then a place as remote as Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, became the most famous place of that forgotten Indochina, which now faced the superpower, the United States. The War of Resistance against the United States, better known as the Vietnam War, represented the first defeat of the great northern nation at the hands of a local guerrilla group known as the Vietnam National Liberation Front (Viet Cong) and the Army of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam), with the support of China and the Soviet Union. The conflict that lasted from 1955 to 1975 was a great failure for America, especially a moral defeat, as well as a demonstration that its power could be relative according to geographical, cultural and, above all, military latitudes.

This great defeat took place in Saigon, which cost the lives of more than 60,000 Americans and was only surpassed in duration by the Afghan-American war. Now, the war in Afghanistan, which George W. Bush waged at the time and which cost him his reputation, just as the war in Vietnam was the end of the career of the legendary Richard Nixon.

In Afghanistan, Bush, in short, made a mess of things. Then the Obama administration and its secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, failed to bring about any significant improvement in the area. But the US presence had made a difference for the civilian population. And it had made a substantial change in the lives of women, girls and adolescents, as well as trying to lift the country out of the poverty in which it was mired.

The current president, Joe Biden, ended up making one last “bad mistake”, which was to withdraw almost unexpectedly all the American troops there. However, Donald J. Trump had also promised the same thing, so it was a foregone conclusion, regardless of who was in charge.

As it is, Biden being the “elected” president and having taken this decision, his responsibility is absolute if this leads to a disaster as is already being foreseen. And, surely, Americans were more than bored of having to pay for a war in a place they can’t even locate on a map and which was certainly coming out of their taxes, but the consequences could be much worse. Afghanistan was the site of the whole plot by Al Qaeda, natural allies of the Taliban, that ended with the largest terrorist attack on American territory in US history.

The danger of the Taliban and Afghanistan itself is imminent for the future of the United States, especially since all the terrorists in the Middle East, including Hamas, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda, would make Afghanistan their sanctuary. Even the reappearance of a group like Isis in the area could be the result of what Biden triggered by withdrawing US troops from the country. NATO, for its part, is not even aware of what is happening, it only knows that the US had not yet withdrawn and that the Taliban had already taken power, as happened in 1996. And it would take five years for the horror regime that the black turbaned Taliban had set up to be resolved.

@rosenthaaldavid

About the Author
Political scientist, analyst, researcher, journalist and columnist in various national and international media outlets. Host of “The Footprints of Sepharad in the New World,” a radio show on Radio Sepharad about Sephardic heritage in America. Also conferencist in multiple topics, like history, literature, judaism, women's history and mysticism.
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