Our military has the means, Mr. President — your job is to lead them
I second US Representative Seth Moulton’s view that, at this point, the Kabul evacuation is nothing “short of a disaster” (“Seth Moulton, a Democrat who speaks the truth about Afghanistan — and the president,” Joan Vennochi, Opinion, Aug. 24). As an aid worker supporting Afghan health initiatives, with extensive experience in-country between 2002 and 2014, I’m convinced that all Americans, foreign nationals, and Afghans who helped US civilian and military authorities, and who wish to leave, should be evacuated with their families.
I would say to Joe Biden: Mr. President, the military is capable of executing the mission; your job is to help them. Please spare no expense, tolerate no excuse, and accept no artificial deadlines in extracting all those who need to get out.
If anyone doubts that what’s happening in Kabul harms our international standing, emboldens terrorists everywhere, and undermines our national security, they’re wrong.
James M. Schermerhorn
The writer is a physician assistant and a Marine Corps veteran.
At a moment of truth, Biden seems dazed and confused
Re “Seth Moulton, a Democrat who is speaking the truth about Afghanistan — and President Biden”: While I voted for President Biden and still strongly support him, I am dismayed, not by his decision to leave Afghanistan, but by the way his administration has mishandled the withdrawal and evacuation of American citizens and the Afghans who stood shoulder to shoulder with our troops for 20 years. The United States made a solemn pledge to extricate these brave Afghans from being beaten, raped, and killed by the Taliban, and now it appears that we will no longer be able to keep that pledge.
The truth is our efforts in Afghanistan is that the three administrations preceding Biden failed miserably to either convincingly defeat the Taliban or leave long before two decades had passed. Further, former president George W. Bush, under the strong influence of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney, gave up the ghost in Afghanistan to invade Iraq, leaving the Taliban and Al Qaeda to run rampant there.
The truth about Biden, is that he inherited a lost war, made a hasty decision to pull our troops out over the objections of his generals, and seems dazed and confused by the sudden but predictable Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. Biden’s popularity has plummeted in the past month, and facing the gigantic problems of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and deepening dismay across the nation, he is, sadly, becoming a shadow of his former self.
Henry A. Lowenstein
Moulton’s trip to Kabul is a stunt
Re “Moulton’s trip to Kabul angers officials: With other congressman, he denies causing distraction” (Page A1, Aug. 25): My question for US Representatives Seth Moulton and Peter Meijer, Democrat of Massachusetts and Republican of Michigan, respectively, is: What did they expect to learn from this so-called dutiful in-person, dangerously distracting oversight stunt that they could not learn from all the reporters, much better in place, who have been giving constant updates on news outlets? It doesn’t seem that their trip changed any assessments or opinions. My hope is that voters will be as angered and put off by this public relations move as the people who are working around the clock to accomplish this herculean evacuation task.
Congressman knows war, and his push for oversight is laudable
My congressman, Seth Moulton, along with a Republican member of the House and fellow veteran, went unannounced, largely on their dime, to see for themselves what is going on in Kabul. Members of the administration are furious that they went without authority — perhaps since the congressmen may find out the truth of why such chaos is unfolding. Moulton knows war up close and personal, having served as a decorated officer in Iraq, and I recognize that he had to see for himself and not rely on spin. I applaud him for his continued courage and patriotism.
Saul P. Heller