US diplomats' evacuation from Kabul reminds many of Saigon exit
American diplomatic staff had to be evacuated using helicopters from the rooftop of the US embassy in Saigon on April 29-30, 1975. Similar scenes were reportedly witnessed on Sunday in Kabul.
US President Joe Biden would want to forget the day he said that there was no way there would be a repeat of Vietnam in Afghanistan. Scenes similar to that witnessed in Vietnam's Saigon seemed to have played out in Kabul on Sunday as the Taliban surrounded the Afghanistan capital and eventually entered it.
Biden had on July 8 declared that the situation would not be the same as it was in 1975. Asserting that the Taliban was not the North Vietnamese army, Biden confidently asserted that there was no way scenes of people being lifted off the embassy of the United States would play out in Afghanistan.
On Sunday, visuals flooded social media showing a Chinook helicopter evacuating American diplomats from the embassy in Kabul as the Taliban militia marched into the capital from all sides.
To recall, American diplomatic staff had to be evacuated using helicopters from the rooftop of the US embassy in Saigon on April 29-30, 1975.
Communist North Vietnam reneged on the 1973 agreement, known as the Paris Peace Accords, and launched an assault on the US-backed South Vietnam. The intense war ended on April 30, 1974 with the capture of Saigon by the North Vietnamese Army. The desperate US had to undertake helicopter sorties to evacuate over 7000 people in less than 24 hours.
Among those out to embarrass Biden for his over-confident and miscalculated handling of the situation was NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, however, denied that the Afghanistan scenario was comparable to Saigon.
Blinken said that in Afghanistan, the United States had completed its mission in bringing the perpetrators of the September 11 terrorist attacks to justice.
But that did not convince many.