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About this blog: So much is right — and wrong — about what is happening in Palo Alto. In this blog I want to discuss all that with you. I know many residents care about this town, and I want to explore our collective interests to help ...  (More)

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Afghanistan: Why did this all happen?

Uploaded: Aug 17, 2021
NOTE: American attention the past few days has focused on the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. Many of our friends and neighbors are talking about what happened. So am I.

As the news rapidly unfurled over the weekend over the capture of Kabul by the Taliban, as well as the plight of the Afghan residents, I found myself filled with worry and concern – how could our country's dramatic and sudden evacuation from Kabul and all of Afghanistan happen so fast? How could we have been fighting against the Taliban for 20 years and then see their army walk in and take over Kabul without shooting a shot?

Was this really a surprise for our president? Or did our government officials secretly suspect all along that this is the way our occupation would end? We were told they had made "plans." Well, if they did, they were the wrong plans. The executive branch was warned by others several times during the past year, according to news reports, but evidently, paid little attention to the power and wiliness of the Taliban army.

In large part this sudden unexpected collapse is because some of our officials have been filled with self-confident hubris, and assured others that they knew what to do in this foreign country and understood what the Afghan culture is and what these people want and need.

But they did not know or understand.

We knew for years we were fighting in a distant country some 7,400 miles away from our home here, but we were assured that things were getting better. I can still hear our generals repeated refrains --– “Just 2,000 more troops and we’ll be able to take control of the area ... Just 5,000 more troops and we can gain a stronghold ... We've invested so much in this country that we can't leave now ... Our reports are showing we have success in sight."

But we didn’t succeed. And we weren't told the truth. For 20 years we didn’t ask about what was happening “over there.” Originally, we went over there to go after the terrorists who were part of that now infamous day in our country's history: 9-11. We then got involved in a war in Iraq we created, and then undertook a new purpose: to establish a democratic stronghold in Afghanistan.

And now the purpose has disappeared we are gone.

Like others, I feel terrible about the translators left behind, and all the others who helped us. And yes, I grieve for the future females who will be at the mercy of the Taliban males – the females will be their forced slaves.

Our president said this past Monday that our country will now double down and help those translators et al to exit Afghanistan. But Biden didn’t say how he would accomplish that. The Kabul airport is almost surrounded as I write, the roads to the airport are filled with armed Taliban soldiers, there are thousands who want to leave Afghanistan. But despite these presidential promises, deep down we know we will never be able to get all the translators, allies ad workers safely out.

It is ultimately tragic, and a morally wrong way to have acted. We broke our promises.

So we can sit here in Palo Alto, asking our questions of how did this happen, what went wrong, why weren’t we told, who can we trust.

Those questions will probably remain unanswered for months, or years. But unfortunately and unintentionally, we will also have a long and hard time to again gain the support of others.

Democracy.
What is it worth to you?

Comments

 +   3 people like this
Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Aug 17, 2021 at 6:39 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

In the 50s and 60s Afghanistan was a peaceful country with Americans and other foreigners living, working and enjoying life, alongside the Muslim nationals. The British rule had left, but the way of life they left behind with schools and other institutions being run along Western lines. The older Afghan people must remember what it was like pre-Taliban. Then the Taliban became strong, Russia invaded, the Taliban became stronger, and it became a haven for Al Qaeda and other terrorists. The last 20 years of US involvement brought back a reasonable life without fear for many in the large cities and the ordinary people were able to live similarly to life back in the 50s and 60s. You ask good questions, but the problems have to go back long before the past 20 years.


 +   49 people like this
Posted by Janice Selznick, a resident of another community,
on Aug 18, 2021 at 8:53 am

Janice Selznick is a registered user.

Nice article. I trust that you " and at least some of your readers " are feeling a bit of remorse for having voted for Biden. He has been AWOL most of the week, and when he did appear briefly on Monday, he took neither questions nor responsibility for this ongoing debacle. “Bidenesque" will soon become a term to describe failure.


 +   52 people like this
Posted by Warren Decker, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Aug 18, 2021 at 9:47 am

Warren Decker is a registered user.

It was imperative that that after 20 years and $1T spent, the United States depart Afghanistan and allow them to self-govern and assume leadership roles including the self-defense of their own country. Both Trump and Biden concurred with this assessment. The only way this disaster might have been avoided was via pre-emptive evacuation measures and strategies. The former Afghan government is reflective of other American failures. In other words, the country is too backwards and illiterate to ensure a democracy with continued U.S. intervention and maintanance. President Ghani departed Afghanistan with a helicopter full of cash and cars leaving his people out to dry and he is now comfortably settled in the UAE. Sound familiar? Unfortunately the United States cannot accommodate all of the Afghanis wishing to leave Afghanistan and with the possible exception of those who were employed by the U.S. government, why should America become a haven for countless unskilled and under-educated refugees? And the same applies to its southern border. The main reason Afghanistan fell was because of poor morale on the part of its own military forces. Unlike the Taliban who were driven by passion and religious doctrines, the typical Afghan soldiers saw their role as merely a job and many Afghan soldiers endured delinquent payments because klepto President Ghani was hording most of the money. In addition to political and social turmoil, Covid-19 is also running rampant in Afghanistan with its extremely low vaccination rate. We do not need more pandemic variants introduced into this countries if it can be prevented or curtailed. Seattle and Tacoma are accepting 20,000 Afghan refugees. And that is about as close to California as any outside immigration from Afghanistan should get. America has its own internal problems to contend with and what goes on in Afghanistan is now immaterial.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by John Donegan, a resident of another community,
on Aug 18, 2021 at 10:28 am

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Afghanistan was always an unwinable war, but after 9/11 we had no choice but to attack the country which supported the terrorists who attacked us. Instead of the predictably futile task of trying to impose a liberal, pluralistic society on them, we should have limited ourselves to just conquering the Taliban government and destroying any known al qaida facilities,and then just declared victory ad gone home. Our greatest loss of life and expense has been in occupying and attempting to reform the place - a doomed undertaking.


 +   22 people like this
Posted by H. Pierce, a resident of Barron Park,
on Aug 18, 2021 at 10:31 am

H. Pierce is a registered user.

>> President Ghani departed Afghanistan with a helicopter full of cash and cars leaving his people out to dry and he is now comfortably settled in the UAE. Ghani is now on the Interpol list... Web Link


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Gail+Sredanovic, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Aug 18, 2021 at 10:32 am

Gail+Sredanovic is a registered user.

As we mourn the debacle in Afghanistan it is useful to see this moment in perspective. Reagan was a big advocate of arming the Taliban whom he called freedom fighters. Bush invaded over protests by those who pointed to the failure of both British and Soviet troops in Afghanistan after massive losses. We also questioned the very reasons given for the war. The U.S. invasion has helped some but been a disaster for many, with our bombs killing unknown numbers of innocent civilians(aka collateral damage). And now I see some of my fellow citizens oppose helping to get people out of harm's way. Sadness all around. In the words of a song from the Viet Nam era, "When will we ever learn." Gail Sredanovic


 +   48 people like this
Posted by H. Pierce, a resident of Barron Park,
on Aug 18, 2021 at 10:55 am

H. Pierce is a registered user.

> And now I see some of my fellow citizens oppose helping to get people out of harm's way. America cannot accommodate the 70,000 former Afghanis who worked for/with the U.S. government along with their extended families. You are talking close to ONE million potential refugees from Afghanistan. And in addition to this number, the United States cannot take in every Afghani who no longer wants to reside in Afghanistan under the Taliban. Other Middle Eastern Muslim countries should be offering both amnesty and social services to these expatriates, not the United States. Former President Ghani relocated to the UAE...others can do the same.


 +   42 people like this
Posted by Deidre LaPorte, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Aug 18, 2021 at 12:01 pm

Deidre LaPorte is a registered user.

° President Ghani departed Afghanistan with a helicopter full of cash and cars leaving his people out to dry and he is now comfortably settled in the UAE. ° An estimated $169,000,000.00 and certainly not Afghani taxpayer money. An Afghan patriot or an opportunistic coward?


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Green+Gables, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Aug 18, 2021 at 12:20 pm

Green+Gables is a registered user.

We should never have been in Afghanistan, and we did have a choice after 9-11. Evil exists and no matter how many evil ones are killed, another one pops up. Why anyone trusts the United States government is beyond me. I voted for Biden, or against Trump, not because Biden was going to be a wonderful President, but because I could not stand Trump, his tweets. and listening to everything that came out of his mouth from his pea brain.


 +   40 people like this
Posted by Avery Shein, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Aug 18, 2021 at 12:28 pm

Avery Shein is a registered user.

Nearly 1/2 of all Afghanis are infected with Covid-19. Web Link Do we want even more coronavirus cases and its potential variants in the United States? The Afghanis now seeking refuge in the United States chose the wrong side to align themselves with and it is no longer our problem.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Ozymandias, a resident of another community,
on Aug 18, 2021 at 2:13 pm

Ozymandias is a registered user.

This is merely the latest debacle. It was preceded by Syria, Libya, Iraq, Somalia...the list goes on. Some of these misguided US foreign policy 'experts' later take up residence at Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute or the Hoover Institution where they continue to think their instincts are golden. These are merely the rotted corpses of Vietnam's 'best and brightest.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Mama, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Aug 18, 2021 at 3:08 pm

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[Post removed.]


 +   42 people like this
Posted by David Jenkins, a resident of Stanford,
on Aug 18, 2021 at 3:09 pm

David Jenkins is a registered user.

Sadly, history will again repeat itself later down the road somewhere else. Both Great Britain and the United States should realize that they are not the global superpowers they once were and that their sphere of influence is fading. That said, let's try some isolationism for a while and this begins with buying less merchandise from the PRC and severely curtaining immigration into the United States from ANY outside country whose people have nothing constructive to offer.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by ALB, a resident of College Terrace,
on Aug 18, 2021 at 10:32 pm

ALB is a registered user.

As an Afghani friend told me years ago, "You can NEVER negotiate with the Taliban." She and her large extended family fled her country when the Russians invaded. Yes in the fifties and sixties Afghanistan was not ruled by fanatics. The interpretation of the Muslim religion by the Taliban is extreme. It is a cult. Who provided funding for the Taliban? Saudi Arabia, Arab Emirates and wealthy people from Pakistan backed these fighters because they believe in the same extremist ideology. Tragic. Never forget that the former president, a different kind of fanatic, insisted that Ghani not be at the table during 'negotiations' only Americans and the Taliban. Biden inherited this fatuous and ill informed excuse for statecraft. Unfortunately President Biden did not have the 'intelligence' to inform the leaving of Afghanistan. Now there is chaos and tragedy.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by OldPA+Resident, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Aug 19, 2021 at 5:44 am

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To quote a piece from the Council on Foreign Relations about the Taliban: "The group was formed in the early 1990s by Afghan mujahideen, or Islamic guerilla fighters, who had resisted the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan (1979"89) with the covert backing of the CIA and its Pakistani counterpart, the Inter-Services Intelligence directorate (ISI)." So to some extent the USA present at the creation of the Taliban and perhaps provided their initial weapons. (For additional information about the history of US support for the mujahideen, see the very entertaining and informative book and movie "Charlie Wilson's War.") An irony of history is that Osama bin Laden was one of the mujahideen whom the US supported covertly during the Soviet Union's occupation of Afghanistan. History calls Afghanistan the graveyard of empires. Invaders included the Persian Empire in about 480 BC, Alexander the Great in 330 BC, the Arab Caliphate in 7th century, Mongols in 1220, Mughuls in 1383,Sikh Empire in 1837, British in 1838, and Soviets in 1929, 1930 and 1979. Ultimately each of these powerful invaders left Afghanistan. No one should be surprised the US has joined this long list.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by OldPA+Resident, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Aug 19, 2021 at 5:55 am

OldPA+Resident is a registered user.

Additional comment to my posting: To be fair, there is some controversy about whether the CIA supported dBin Laden during the 1979-1989 Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. For a thorough and apparently balanced account look at the Wikipedia entry on "Operation Cyclone", the name of the then-classified program to support the Afghan mujahideen.


 +   48 people like this
Posted by Chase Bellamy, a resident of Community Center,
on Aug 19, 2021 at 7:55 am

Chase Bellamy is a registered user.

This was another harsh lesson in American history. The United States cannot police the world as the cost in human lives and monetary outlay is exorbitant. Afghanistan is an entirely different culture that has little in common with the rest of the western world. And as far as future and further Afghan refugee immigration into the United States...it should be curtailed as there are countless other Middle Eastern and Arab countries far better suited to accept them based on religious and epicurean commonalities.


 +   44 people like this
Posted by Lillian Steinberg, a resident of Professorville,
on Aug 19, 2021 at 9:21 am

Lillian Steinberg is a registered user.

I agree with those opposed to allowing any Afghan refugees and their entire extended families from immigrating into the United States. We have enough problems to resolve at present (i.e. dealing with Covid-19, rejuvenating the domestic economy, defusing political strife etc.). The citizen residents of Afghanistan will simply have to adjust to the Taliban way of life. No different than countless American citizens having to adjust to Trumpism between the years of 2017-2021.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Brian, a resident of Shoreline West,
on Aug 19, 2021 at 11:01 am

Brian is a registered user.

Following the news over the past week, it is apparent how unprepared the US was. If accountability means anything, I think there should be resignations or firing of the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, National Security Advisor, Director of National Intelligence, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.


 +   25 people like this
Posted by Julian Guiterez, a resident of another community,
on Aug 19, 2021 at 11:55 am

Julian Guiterez is a registered user.

There is a small section of town in Fremont designated Little Kabul and it is made up of refugees from Afghanistan. The residents there should consider sponsoring any legitimate immigration from Afghanistan with offers to house and feed their expatriate friends & relatives rather than the United States government (i.e. American taxpayers) being stuck with the bill. Or liberal-minded Palo Altans could follow suit and house the Afghan refugees in their various ADUs. In other words, don't pass the buck unless you are also willing to contribute to the cause.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Pietro Moscalli, a resident of another community,
on Aug 19, 2021 at 12:18 pm

Pietro Moscalli is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


 +   40 people like this
Posted by Janice Selznick, a resident of another community,
on Aug 19, 2021 at 12:56 pm

Janice Selznick is a registered user.

I hope that all of your woke readers are hanging their heads in shame because of their votes to elect this demented individual as President. As more and more reports come out about the bumbling decision-making within the Biden administration that led to this debacle, I have no doubts that many including democrats will be calling for his resignation.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Roger Azarian, a resident of Los Altos,
on Aug 19, 2021 at 3:20 pm

Roger Azarian is a registered user.

Each President has a specialty or 'wheelhouse'. Trump was pretty good at international and business dealings but weak on domestic policies. Biden is the vice versa...he is sound on domestic policy but weak when it comes to global politics.


 +   49 people like this
Posted by Janice Selznick, a resident of another community,
on Aug 19, 2021 at 5:36 pm

Janice Selznick is a registered user.

Something is definitely very wrong with this President. He has stopped answering questions when addresses the press. When he does answer questions, they often sound like gibberish. (Stephanopoulos interview on Wednesday.) He cannot remember what he said at his July 7th press conference, or he contradicts himself. There is a major international crisis going on and he has been mostly unavailable for the past week (and is on vacation again at home in Delaware until Sunday). UK PM Boris Johnson called Biden at 10am on Monday to try coordinate rescue efforts with the Brits. He was not able to reach Biden until 36 hours later. Something is very wrong with Biden and we're being asked to pretend that everything is just fine with him. This is crazy. He hasn't has a physical with results released to the public since 2019.


 +   7 people like this
Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Aug 19, 2021 at 10:07 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

Echoing the above comment from Janice. Where is Kamala? Is she hiding so that there are no sound bites for when she ultimately takes over? Biden is in big trouble. Foreign media are all asking the difficult questions. This crisis is not going anywhere. If the buck stops with Joe, when will he have to resign over this bad implementation?


 +   48 people like this
Posted by Answer...Where Is Kamala?, a resident of Los Altos,
on Aug 20, 2021 at 8:13 am

Answer...Where Is Kamala? is a registered user.

@Bystander Kamala Harris was involved with the evacuation plans but chose to disavow herself. She did not stand alongside President Biden because the unfolding events would damage her presidential aspirations. Web Link


 +   32 people like this
Posted by M. Lerner, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Aug 20, 2021 at 9:48 am

M. Lerner is a registered user.

> the United States cannot accommodate all of the Afghanis wishing to leave Afghanistan... > You are talking close to ONE million potential refugees from Afghanistan. > The citizen residents of Afghanistan will simply have to adjust to the Taliban way of life. > Other Middle Eastern Muslim countries should be offering both amnesty and social services to these expatriates, not the United States. Like Turkey who is now building a massive wall to keep Afghan refugees out? Web Link


 +   28 people like this
Posted by Emeril DePodesta, a resident of Mountain View,
on Aug 20, 2021 at 10:22 am

Emeril DePodesta is a registered user.

With the possible exception of fully vetted Afghanis who assisted the United States in its Afghan war effort, absolutely no refugees should be admitted into the United States for purely humanitarian reasons or purpose. The influx of even more Covid-19 infections from abroad and potential terrorism is now a serious Department of Homeland Security issue.


 +   24 people like this
Posted by Peter Chen, a resident of Los Altos,
on Aug 20, 2021 at 11:37 am

Peter Chen is a registered user.

° "liberal-minded Palo Altans could house the Afghan refugees in their various ADUs." ^ This is not going to happen and the same goes for Los Altos which is a somewhat conservative (aka white Republican) voting community. The earlier postings citing the adverse reasons for not admitting Afghan refugees (other than American collaborators) into the United States is sound logic from the standpoint of public health and homeland security.


 +   20 people like this
Posted by Lillian Chan, a resident of Charleston Meadows,
on Aug 20, 2021 at 1:35 pm

Lillian Chan is a registered user.

The current population of Afghanistan is 39,909,905 as of Tuesday, August 17, 2021, based on Worldometer elaboration of the latest United Nations data. Approximately 15% of it's overall population is pro-Taliban leaving roughly 34,000,000 potential and willing Afghani refugees. Can America handle the bulk of this immigration? That's too many potential refugees from abroad.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Schoenberg, a resident of Stanford,
on Aug 20, 2021 at 5:15 pm

Schoenberg is a registered user.

Another example of man's inhumanity towards mankind and we all must share in the blame except those yet to be born. By placing our misguided trust and faith in those we chose to be our leaders, we essentially authorized a green light for every subsequent blunder and oversight that occured in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The American voting public has yet to learn (or process) that their singular vote has minimal impact on these turn of events. And until our representatives and senators actually reflect the true wishes of their respective voter contingencies, we will have a multi-headed dictatorship that does whatever it wants.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Douglas+Moran, a resident of Barron Park,
on Aug 20, 2021 at 6:01 pm

Douglas+Moran is a registered user.

After the Soviets pulled out of Afghanistan and its leave-behind government fell, the country fell under the control of regional warlords. Very roughly, the warlords were corrupt and brutal and the Taliban gained support because although still brutal, they weren't systematically and extravagantly corrupt. After 9/11, the Taliban's offer to surrender was rejected by President Bush because he demanded that the Taliban turn over Osama bin Laden *directly* to the US while the Taliban was only willing to turn him over to an intermediary. During the US' 20-year presence in Afghanistan, there were repeated reports that the Afghani government's "normal" corruption continued to alienate the population from the government. To be fair, the US government also failed to get a handle on its corruption: One method to reduce corruption was to sharply reduce the number of auditors and consequently the reporting of corruption.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Henry, a resident of Atherton: other,
on Aug 21, 2021 at 12:21 am

Henry is a registered user.

I predict about it in the past and it is https://happeningevents.com


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Henry, a resident of Atherton: other,
on Aug 21, 2021 at 12:23 am

Henry is a registered user.

This is a great post for me. http://kdili.com


 +   20 people like this
Posted by M. Kornicki, a resident of Barron Park,
on Aug 21, 2021 at 7:34 am

M. Kornicki is a registered user.

> Afghanistan: Why did this all happen? ^ Answer: Sub-par American leadership throughout 4 administrations starting with the events of 9/11. All countries ending in 'stan' are best avoided either militarily or diplomatically and their inhabitants are not worth sacrificing American lives. Let them live on their own terms as their culture and religion bears no semblance to American values and lifestyles.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Alan Dunning, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Aug 21, 2021 at 8:39 am

Alan Dunning is a registered user.

- Approximately 15% of it's overall population is pro-Taliban leaving roughly 34,000,000 potential and willing Afghani refugees. If Biden can find a way for the United States to accomodate the majority of those 30 million Afghan refugees, it will be a boon for the Democratic Party come future election times. Similar to the solid and reliable Republican Miami Hispanic voting bloc whose family members fled Castro's Cuba and who still detest the Democrats for JFK's abandonment during The Bay of Pigs insurrection. 10 million potential Afghani Democratic votes could swing any election. It's time for Biden to do his party a favor by letting ALL of the Afghani refugees resettle in the United States.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Aug 21, 2021 at 9:06 am

Bystander is a registered user.

The cover of this week's "Economist" shows what the rest of the world thinks. Web Link Hope the link works, but it is being shown everywhere on social media. It is down to Biden, fair and square.


 +   31 people like this
Posted by Pierce Dewar, a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive,
on Aug 21, 2021 at 9:48 am

Pierce Dewar is a registered user.

According to the news, VP Harris is off on a goodwill tour of SE Asia while President Biden has returned to Delaware to escape media and public ostracism over the weekend. Both should either resign or be impeached for negligence of duties and replaced by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi who will also fail miserably in a presidential role besides being way too old (80) to run for president in 2024. The mid-term election results will be a reflection of what's to come in 2024...a glorious and triumphant return by Donald Trump or a supportive Trump family member? Meanwhile life will go on in Afghanistan.


 +   28 people like this
Posted by Jamie Decatur, a resident of another community,
on Aug 21, 2021 at 11:57 am

Jamie Decatur is a registered user.

Biden has clearly demonstrated that he is totally incapable of handling international affairs. Even the liberal media has turned against him and Kamala Harris, both of whom cannot provide the leadership that our country is most desperately in need of. The same could be said of past presidents Bush, Obama, and Trump. So now what?


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Brian Winters, a resident of Los Altos Hills,
on Aug 22, 2021 at 10:36 am

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[Post removed.]


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Li Zhao, a resident of Charleston Meadows,
on Aug 22, 2021 at 12:18 pm

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[Post removed.]


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Aug 22, 2021 at 12:39 pm

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Many of those attempting to escape Afghan are well educated individuals with ties to countries in the West and carry those passports. There is a girl's high school robotics team that were out of the country at the time of the fall of Kabul and are safe but with no expectation to return. One of those who fell from the plane has since been discovered to be a 19 year old soccer star who would have had a bright future. The coach of the women's Afghan international soccer team and FIFA have instructed female players to burn and destroy their uniforms, photos and other memorabilia in order that the Taliban cannot identify their soccer careers. Many of those who are fleeing are well educated professional people who can become self sufficient independent individuals in a new country, if given the chance. Please do not look on Afghan refugees as poor, uneducated waifs and strays. The vast majority are just in need of help to get to family and friends, and to have the chance of a new life.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Sarah McLemore, a resident of Barron Park,
on Aug 22, 2021 at 12:50 pm

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[Post removed.]


 +   18 people like this
Posted by Lyle Eckhardt, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Aug 23, 2021 at 8:36 am

Lyle Eckhardt is a registered user.

>> "Many of those who are fleeing are well educated professional people who can become self sufficient independent individuals in a new country, if given the chance." ^ Then why have Turkey and Greece built massive walls to keep them out? >> Please do not look on Afghan refugees as poor, uneducated waifs and strays. ^ Strapping oneself with ropes to the fuselage of a taxiing transport plane might dispute your observation.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Aug 23, 2021 at 9:17 am

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@Lyle I will correct what I have said. The vast majority of those at the airport awaiting rescue have all the necessary paperwork including employment history as well as somewhere in mind to go. There is definite identification of one of those who feel from the plane as being a 19 year old soccer player with a bright future. His impetuation could well be down to the invincibility of youth rather than being poor or uneducated. The walls being built by Turkey and Greece are for those trying to sneak across the border in rugged terrain. They may indeed be the poor and uneducated waifs and strays. I have spent a good deal of time reading about this from many sources including foreign media outlets. Even the journalists embedded at the airport from such organizations such as Sky News are seeing passports, visas, paperwork and interviewing those attempting to escape, are saying that these people have legitimate and just calls for leaving the country.


 +   24 people like this
Posted by Duncan Amerine, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Aug 24, 2021 at 7:17 am

Duncan Amerine is a registered user.

Public sentiments towards the bulk of Afghan refugees re-settling in the United States is being met with resistance and reluctance as reported in the news. It is one thing to assist in re-situating some former Afghan translators who worked with the United States military and another to accept every Afghani who now wants to come to America. America cannot become a sanctuary country for everyone fleeing some global wrongdoing. It is up to the citizens and victims of those wrongdoings to initiate constructive reforms either by violent revolution or diplomatic overtures. The Afghans need to stand up to the Taliban if they don't like the mandates being imposed. This is how the United States got its start...by revolting against the more powerful British. The Afghanis can do the same...if they have the courage and are willing to die for freedom.


 +   16 people like this
Posted by F. Kleinman, a resident of Professorville,
on Aug 24, 2021 at 8:03 am

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[Post removed.]


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Aug 24, 2021 at 8:03 am

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When a country has been following Western ideals, educating women, encouraging them to play international soccer, encouraging them to enter international competition in robotics, should that country then be abandoned and in particular those women who have become what women in the West take for granted, should they then be left at the mercy of their new leaders? If the answer is yes, then we are the problem not the solution.


 +   16 people like this
Posted by Seth Rogers, a resident of Menlo Park,
on Aug 24, 2021 at 12:21 pm

Seth Rogers is a registered user.

- "Public sentiments towards the bulk of Afghan refugees re-settling in the United States is being met with resistance and reluctance as reported in the news." Count me in on this sentiment. With widespread Covid-19 and domestic economic recovery concerns on every Americans' mind, I could care less about the refugees fleeing Afghanistan other than those who assisted the United States. The others can stay put and deal with whatever transpires as it is not our problem. It is up to the inhabitants of Afghanistan to initiate and preserve cultural changes, not the United States, its military or the American taxpayer. If they cannot fight for change, then resign and live under the Taliban. We had to live under Trump for four years.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by maguro_01, a resident of Mountain View,
on Aug 25, 2021 at 2:32 am

maguro_01 is a registered user.

A few posters may have overlooked important matters and been excessively polarized and partisan. For one, President Biden's historic task is to keep the US a single country in a time when that is not to be taken for granted. I listen to both sides as best I can of our polarized polity and the schism is wider than one country can usually accommodate. A problem is that so much of it is an old divide going back before US founding. That is, the persistence of the core US Confederate Culture Area and its diaspora. The original agreement with the Taliban to withdraw was negotiated directly with them by the previous administration in Feb 2020 with the withdrawal day this past May. The present administration extended that to this present month. There is no reason to think that the results would have been any different. For some reason few made any attempt to leave though the agreement was well known through all that time. True, few realized that the Afghan Army was largely a paper creation and most of it would fold, especially without US air support, intelligence, and so on. That withdrawal was why the Brits, Germans, Pols, and others pulled their troops, so why would the Afghan Army survive - what little there was of it after the graft from the corrupt government. The immediate war was lost by George W Bush, our least competent recent President even including Trump, pulling resources from Afghanistan for his bogus war on Iraq. But the Afghan war would just have been prolonged otherwise with the Taliban retreating to Pakistan. Our US has spent trillions of dollars from Vietnam to Iraq for no strategic reason. Given necessary domestic requirements today, we are now 'spent out'. Indeed, we are using up the benefits of the US dollar reserve currency and our lives will change more than we think. ps - Why is our military given responsibility for "nation building"? That is not their competence. Our government reports on that subject have been lies for 50 years.


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Posted by Rufus Taylor, a resident of another community,
on Aug 25, 2021 at 8:20 am

Rufus Taylor is a registered user.

The United States had enough internal problems and issues of its own to contend with. What transpires internally within Afghanistan is for their citizens to address and resolve sans any additional American financial or military support. And the Afghan refugees should be taken in by other Middle Eastern countries that share a commonality in religion and culture. There is enough ethnic diversity in America at present and outside of the various exotic cuisines and menu items introduced by refugee food sellers, these newcomers from abroad have contributed very little to the well-being of the United States.


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Posted by Kristin Pierce, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Aug 25, 2021 at 10:37 am

Kristin Pierce is a registered user.

'Humanitarian Parole' is the new buzzword being used to allow up to 50,000 Afghan refugees without passports or visas into the United States. Is a comprehensive vetting process being effectively applied or in the rush to appear 'humanitarian' is the Biden Administration allowing future terrorists to enter our country? Most Americans hope not.


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Posted by Art Fetters, a resident of Barron Park,
on Aug 25, 2021 at 11:17 am

Art Fetters is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


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Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Aug 25, 2021 at 12:00 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

Biden has now managed to anger most foreign allies. The special relationship with the Brits appears to have vanished. Foreign relationships are being destroyed. China and Russia are waiting in the wings to see what happens next. One thing is sure, this is not going to go away anytime soon.


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Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Aug 26, 2021 at 9:06 am

Bystander is a registered user.

The news this morning is showing the situation is getting worse and completely out of hand. Isis is involved. Joe Biden has to resign!


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