Journalist who witnessed fall of Saigon: 'Heartbreaking for me to see this all occur again' in Afghanistan

Journalist Jim Laurie, who covered the fall of Saigon to communist Vietnamese forces, said Tuesday it was “heartbreaking” to witness the same thing happening in Afghanistan 46 years later. 

Appearing on “America’s Newsroom,” Laurie lamented the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan following the collapse of the U.S.-backed government and the capture of Kabul by the Taliban, describing it as a “human tragedy” not seen since 1975. 

“What is happening in Afghanistan this last seven days is like Vietnam, Cambodia at warp speed,” Laurie said when asked for his thoughts on the war-torn country. “It is all collapsing much more quickly. We at least had in Vietnam 55 days to watch the unraveling of the South Vietnamese effort there.”

Laurie described the tragedy that unfolded in Saigon following the withdrawal of U.S. forces from South Vietnam, noting the significant number Vietnamese people the U.S. was able to evacuate in the weeks prior to the city’s capture. “It was not a totally unmitigated disaster,” he said, before expressing his hope that the same thing could still happen in Kabul, despite it already being in the hands of the Taliban.

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“It’s never easy to lose a war and in my time I’ve watched the U.S. leave tragically from Cambodia, and then a few weeks later from Vietnam, and it has been heartbreaking for me to see all this occur again,” he added. “The only thing we can do now is try to get people that we know out … It is, to put it mildly, a totally tragic condition.”

After playing a video clip of Secretary of State Antony Blinken denying that the situation in Afghanistan was akin to Saigon, host Bill Hemmer asked Laurie what he thought about the images of desperate Afghans clinging to a U.S. C-17 aircraft as it prepared for takeoff. 

“Vietnam was all so different, but all so familiar when watching those pictures,” Laurie said. “I would say to Mr. Blinken that of course the context, the background, all of the Vietnam War was very, very different from Afghanistan. There is no question about that.”

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Laurie claimed that the roots of the collapse of Afghanistan go back to the Trump administration deciding “to endorse” the Taliban, and that it led to it making plans to take over the country again. He added it was the same for communist Vietnamese forces in Vietnam during the impeachment of former President Richard Nixon and that his replacement Gerald Ford wouldn’t use military force in Vietnam again.

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“These were deciding factors back in those days and today. But clearly there’s nothing to be said about what we’re seeing on the screen now except that it is a human tragedy that we’ve not seen since, I would argue, 1975 Saigon,” he said.

Soruce: https://www.foxnews.com/media/journalist-saigon-heartbreaking-afghanistan

By Steve

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