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The fall of Afghanistan will linger for us for years | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Wednesday’s letters to the editor.
A military transport plane flies over as relatives and neighbors of the Ahmadi family gathered around the incinerated husk of a vehicle targeted and hit earlier Sunday afternoon by an American drone strike, in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 30, 2021.
A military transport plane flies over as relatives and neighbors of the Ahmadi family gathered around the incinerated husk of a vehicle targeted and hit earlier Sunday afternoon by an American drone strike, in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Aug. 30, 2021. [ MARCUS YAM | Marcus Yam ]
Published Sep. 1

Sick and embarrassed about Afghanistan

20-year war ends, as last U.S. planes exit | Aug. 31

The full consequences of the Biden administration’s disastrous withdrawal of U.S. citizens, Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders and our military personnel from Afghanistan will be felt for years. This catastrophe, including loss of more American lives, could’ve been avoided had our president, his Cabinet and military leaders simply coordinated their efforts and done their jobs on getting everyone out safely, instead of focusing on a single date.

We should all take the time to say a prayer for those 13 families and their loved ones whose lives have been forever altered and tragically affected. By our disgraceful handling of this withdrawal, the Biden administration has emboldened a young generation of jihadists. We have shown them that a ragtag group of “true believers” can overcome one of the greatest military forces in the world. This will swell their ranks the same way a team fills the stadium after winning the Super Bowl.

Because of our failure in Afghanistan, lost is a brave generation of Afghan women who have been left in a country where they will be subjugated, forced into marriage, brutalized and killed. I cannot put into words how sick and embarrassed I feel about this outcome and what will happen to them. I hope every American pauses and thinks about what is happening to these women and how they would feel if it were their daughters or wives. One thing for sure: Accountability can’t change what has already transpired and President Joe Biden and his administration will have to live with this for all time. History will not be kind.

Mark Khan, Tampa

Try that in China

DeSantis adviser promotes ivermectin | Aug. 31

Three radio talk-show hosts, all proudly anti-vaxxers, have died from COVID. An attorney, who represents a number of defendants in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, may be in the hospital with it. Gov. Ron DeSantis depends on doctors who spout misinformation to support him, and then has his spokeswoman say that he doesn’t necessarily support their comments. Oh, pshaw! And now China is limiting how long minors can play video games during the school week. Let’s send the “freedom fighting” parents — you know, the ones who are against vaccination and mask mandates, and think the government and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are acting like Nazis — over to China to fight for the Chinese kids and parents in their quest for the freedom to play video games. How far do you think that’ll get?

David Lubin, Tampa

Quit acting like children

State faces more legal battles over masks | Aug. 31

Every time I look at the paper there is another story about our Florida leaders having preschool-style fights. And even worse is that they are making decisions about classrooms without really knowing what happens in a classroom. Walk into a classroom in Florida, and you will see kids wearing masks and learning. They do not care about the masks. It is like an article of clothing to them. I teach preschoolers and had concerns about mask-wearing last year. I witnessed first hand, in my class and my school, that kids do not care about the masks. Why are we arguing over something that is not a problem? And then threatening to withhold pay of school leaders because they want to keep us safe? Really? No one likes to wear a mask, but I repeat: Kids do not care. Stop the preschool bickering and do the work you were elected to do. And please, Florida citizens, recognize that our current leadership is not only ineffective, it is dangerous.

Marcy White, Tampa

The right to COVID-free air

State faces more legal battles over masks | Aug. 31

Gov. Ron DeSantis continues his inept approaches to the pandemic — from losing his school anti-mask mandate in court while his administration penalizes school boards for enacting mask mandates to not allowing businesses to invoke vaccine requirements and masking for its workers and customers. At the very least, first responders, state employees and all heath care workers should be required to get vaccinated. But, instead, DeSantis governs a state where an average of more than 200 Floridians die daily of COVID while the hospitals are full with anti-vaxxers taking the beds needed by people who are vaccinated and who require care not associated with COVID-19. We need more Floridians to care more about their neighbors than about themselves. I also have rights, which include the right to breathe air free of COVID.

Craig Lewis, Tampa