To the editor,

Letters to the editor give insight into what is important to the writer. By nature, their limited word-count focuses the writing to what is important to the writer. Case in point is a response to my letter on Sept. 9.

 The letter begins by saying that I think it’s okay to bash Trump but not criticize Biden. In fact, I did say Biden deserves some blame for problems with the Afghanistan withdrawal. It took four Presidents to get us into Afghanistan, Biden shouldn’t bear all the blame for getting us out. I did not single out Trump. Trump never left any plans for withdrawal from Afghanistan. If he had plans, we’d be hearing about how much better his plans were. To make his grand deal with the Taliban, Trump released 5,000 Taliban prisoners. Some are now members of the current Taliban leadership. Biden evacuated more than 123,000 civilians from Afghanistan. Those sent to the US are going to military bases for COVID vaccinations and further vetting. They will be resettled across the US. The claim was made, probably from Fox Fake News, that Biden left $85 billion in military assets. Of the $83 billion authorized, $75 billion was spent over 20 years. Most of that money was for training and transportation. The Washington Post’s (Aug. 21, 2021) accounting puts the equipment portion at $24 billion spent over 20 years. That equipment is up to 20 years old. The equipment will need difficult to get, spare parts and trained operators to be of any use. 

 When Trump abandoned the Kurdish fighters in Syria in 2019, they were holding 11,000 ISIS prisoners. When the Kurds lost US support, 950 escaped and others are unaccounted for. There was $715 million in abandoned military equipment. Lastly, there was massive damage done to the US world stature. With the way the Kurds were abandoned, who will trust the US as a partner?

 Letters to the editor show what is really important to the writer. In the response to my letter, the writer chose not to address the 400,000 Americans that died from COVID during the Trump presidency. Nor did he address the 160,000 who may have needlessly died directly because of Trump’s policies. I am not, in any way, trying to minimize the deaths of Afghans, Kurds and others that have helped the US. But to not take even a few of the 400 words allotted, says more about what is important to the writer than any words he could have written. 

Jeffrey Benny

Cambridge

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