Kabul Doomwatch: A Veteran TV Correspondent Recalls Escapes from Vietnam, Cambodia
Longtime ABC-TV international correspondent Jim Laurie also watched the Russians leave Afghanistan. It was more orderly than the US exit from Kabul.
I am experiencing a bit of old reporter's déjà vu anxiety. What is happening in Kabul Afghanistan is heart-wrenching.
On the morning of April 12, 1975, I flew out of Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s besieged capital, on a U.S. Marine Corps helicopter, landing on the USS Okinawa as the American embassy staged its evacuation.
A few weeks later on April 30 in Saigon—soon to become Ho Chi Minh City—I watched the last helicopters leave the roof of the U.S. embassy. I know what confusion and rising panic feel like.
I was with the Russians, too, in January-February 1989, as they pulled out of Afghanistan. Looking back, the Soviets left the country in a far more orderly manner than the Americans this weekend. Of course, the man Moscow left behind in Kabul, President Mohammad Najibullah, was strung up and killed by the Taliban six and a half year later. President Ashraf Ghani risked no such fate on Sunday when he fled to Uzbekistan. (He may have mo…