The Journal Gazette
Sunday, September 12, 2021 1:00 am

Letters to the editor

Facts blunt attack on Afghanistan policy

An Aug. 31 letter from Bruce Cynar decries the leaving behind in Afghanistan of “some $50-80 billion worth of military equipment and facilities.” There are several issues that require a response.

Cynar should have checked government sources to be certain of the figures. According to those sources, $83 billion was spent by the U.S. to train, equip and supply the Afghan army. Of that figure, only one third ($27-28 billion) represented costs for materiel (all the items listed by Cynar). But all that materiel belonged to the Afghans, who surrendered or simply turned it over to the Taliban.

So, President Joe Biden did not choose “to leave behind in Afghanistan $50-80 billion worth of military equipment”; it wasn't his to leave. But as to the small amount of materiel (helicopters, tanks and weapons systems) controlled by U.S. forces, had Cynar read the news with any attention, he would have known that all that materiel had been rendered inoperable by our military personnel.

A second point is the gratuitous speculation that the Chinese will almost certainly buy this materiel from the Taliban. One wonders how Cynar came up with this oddball scenario. Why would the Chinese want this equipment? And what does Cynar know about Taliban-Chinese interaction that would lead him to believe the Chinese coveted these items? And why wouldn't the Taliban keep these items to enhance their own military strength?

A final, overarching concern is the implication contained in the statement “leave behind,” which is that there is an alternative course of action. The $27-28 billion of materiel that belonged to the Afghans is now in the possession of the Taliban and wasn't ours to repatriate. As to Bagram and the embassy, is it Cynar's expectation they should have been disassembled and flown out of the country?

The reader can only conclude that Cynar let his conservative, Republican outlook and desire to criticize a Democratic president take precedence over facts and cogent, logical thinking.

David Oberstar

Fort Wayne

American mouse ran from Taliban

Even a mouse will fight if cornered. The Taliban, who live among vermin, know this. When to their happy surprise they realized the American mouse wanted out on any terms, they gladly gave him an escape path.

Spin it however you wish. The mouse didn't roar. He didn't squeak. He just ran, tripping over the bodies of a few good Marines and Afghans on his way out.

Russ Kirby

Fort Wayne

Mandate opposition allows personal choice

In response to the letter from Lowell Gratigny (Aug. 28), Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is neither an anti-vaxxer nor an anti-masker. He is simply against the government mandating either vaccines or masks.

Like many Hoosiers, my husband and I spend our winters in Florida and are so grateful for a governor who takes his leadership responsibilities seriously. He has done an amazing job making vaccines available to all Florida citizens by continually expanding access. Last spring, he struck a deal with Publix, the most prolific grocery store/pharmacy chain in all of Florida, to administer vaccines. He was immediately chastised and misquoted by his haters for somehow “colluding” with this chain for personal financial gain.

My husband and I both had COVID in 2020 and have been fully vaccinated in 2021.

The new COVID variants will most likely eventually attack everyone, and no mask is going to prevent that from happening. Those who have been vaccinated or who have natural antibodies will fall into one of three categories: 1) they will not contract the variant; 2) they will test positive with few to no symptoms; or 3) they will experience symptoms but the chances of hospitalization or death will be minimal. Those who don't have long-term antibodies either from having had COVID or the vaccine may not fare as well.

All of this information is readily available to the public. How does someone's choice not to get vaccinated affect you in any way? If you have chosen to get vaccinated and lower your own risk, why would you harbor such hatred for those who choose otherwise? And what would make you think that wearing a paper mask will keep any of us from exposure to these new variants?

Patty Jones

Fort Wayne 

Motorcycle joyriders leave others at risk

On West Wallen Road, we have a group of young guys riding their motorcycles back and forth. They are speeding and doing wheelies while one of them records with a webcam helmet.

Clearly they do not understand that an animal could run out in front of them at any time, causing a crash. I really don't want this to happen in front of my property.

Children living in the area do not need to see this either. It would traumatize them.

Spread the word to your sons and others. It needs to stop now.

Kevin Henry

Fort Wayne 

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