Kabul Falls...to Multiple Metaphors
Members of Congress add Dunkirk to the Kabul-Saigon metaphor. Or is it Phnom Penh, as some fear? The mostly useless comparisons are adding up.
With thousands of Afghans fleeing the Taliban and the U.S. embassy under evacuation orders, ghosts of disasters past have reared their ugly heads.
Is it Saigon all over again, with its iconic, desperate helicopter rescues as North Vietnamese troops overran the city? Or is it Cambodia, where the U.S. ambassador fled with some 200 other Americans just five days before Phnom Penh fell to the murderous Khmer Rouge? Further, will the Taliban turn out to be more like the Vietnamese communists, who settled scores with their enemy without mass executions, or the fanatical Khmer Rouge, who emptied Phnom Penh and embarked on a genocidal purge that murdered or starved to death somewhere between 1.3 and 3 million people?
A little of both, maybe, longtime observers say. But the story there is far from over, despite dire signs of an imminent collapse.
“The comparisons to Vietnam are more reminiscent of the chaotic U.S. withdrawal after a seemingly endless U.S. military engagement,” Tho…