Jackson David / Unsplash

This post was written one week after Kabul fell to the Taliban, Aug. 15. Another 10 days have since passed, with U.S. troops now departed from Afghanistan, after a herculean (and last-ditch) effort to evacuate over 122,000 people, including both American citizens and Afghan allies who aided the U.S. mission and thus were marked by the Taliban for death. Yet, per The New York Times, “tens of thousands” of Afghan allies remain, desperate to flee their country. In a further tragedy, 13 U.S. troops endeavoring to aid the evacuation were killed by a suicide bomber allegedly associated with ISIS-K. I…

Twentieth in an ongoing series, Notes from a Plague-Time

It had to happen, sooner or later. With the pandemic now “a pandemic of the unvaccinated”; with the nation’s intensive-care units (ICUs) packed to the point that hospitals must now ration care; and with nearly 100% of those ICUs taken up by the unvaccinated who, exercising their freedom, chose freely not to take the life-saving vaccine but then got deathly ill with COVID-19, sooner or later it had to happen: A fully vaccinated patient, suffering an equally deadly event but one not freely induced (like heart attack, stroke, accident, etc.), …

Every American can remember, like it was yesterday, the horrific day that soon became known simply for its date: 9/11.

Like the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, we remember where we were, what we were doing, when the terrible news burst through: that the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City had been hit — first one, then the other — by, as we soon learned, foreign terrorists weaponizing commercial airliners to strike at the world’s (at the time) sole superpower.

In Washington, D.C., my husband and I were sleeping in, having gotten in late…

Julian Lozano / Unsplash

The following may seem a foray into the mystical, but it is meant for the realm of policy and national purpose:

Given the astonishing rescue operations of U.S. combat veterans here at home working online, either alone or in teams, to get their Afghan allies (interpreters, drivers, etc.) out of the chaos of a collapsing Afghanistannumbers saved are now in the thousands: What if we, Conscientious America, mounted such rescue operations, here at home, to save our fellow Americans in need?

For example: Saving the reckoning on race relations, now being sandbagged by Republicans’ flight into insanity, which…

Hold off on the “Who lost Afghanistan?” debates and “End of the American era” commentary.

Right now, there is life-saving work to be done — launching a Kabul Airlift, like the famous Berlin Airlift, and mobilizing the international community to protect Afghan women and girls — and precious little time to do it after the utter fiasco of a U.S. departure from Afghanistan just days ago.

To counter this “Kabul moment,” etched for the world in shocking images of desperate Afghans overrunning the airport runway and clinging to U.S. military aircraft as they took off, all in mortal fear of…

The Case of Andrew Cuomo

© MTA of New York

With the abrupt resignation of New York governor Andrew Cuomo, second-generation holder of his state’s highest office once held by his late father Mario, the media has reached for high metaphor. Andrew Cuomo’s fall is “tragic,” it is being claimed, a “Shakespearean fall from grace” from a high height (here, here, here, here, and here).

Not! Thugs do not have tragic, Shakespearean falls. Heroes do. Heroes, equipped with characters of substance, who have achieved great heights by achieving great things, may trigger their own fall if a flaw in their own substantive character goes ungoverned, amok. …

Nineteenth in a series, Notes from a Plague-Time

Just as America, after a year-and-a-half of suffering, was heading for Independence Day from COVID-19, we are regressing — perhaps to a worse place than before — defeated not by the virus in any of its variants, but by the human factor at its most irrational and un-citizenly.

First, the irrational part. Citizens described as “vaccine-resistant” or “vaccine-skeptical,” whose doubts about the safety or efficacy of vaccines developed so fast, are somewhat plausible (actually, the research has been ongoing for decades). Less plausible and more harmful, though, are those holdouts who can…

Despite assurances from the Biden administration, the evacuation of Afghan interpreters is tied up in bureaucratic squabbling

Marco Di Lauro / Getty Images

It is clear: If your military troops deployed in Country X have been aided by members of Country X’s population — such as interpreters, drivers, fixers, security guards, staff at your embassy, etc.; and if, in aiding your troops these interpreters, etc., have also saved your troops’ lives; and if, by aiding and saving your troops these interpreters, etc., have been marked as “traitors” by the forces soon to take over Country X as you pull out, then you have a moral duty to aid them in return, as they seek refuge from certain death for themselves and their families.

Jad Limcaco / Unsplash

Eighteenth in a series, Notes from a Plague-Time

In his canonic novel The Plague, as the plague began to ebb away, Albert Camus tells of the “sporadic talk” of the townspeople to create, post-plague, “a new order of things.” Having “gone to school with suffering,” they wanted to “put to account” that suffering, to create a New Day.

In the old order of things, the townspeople devoted themselves to “doing business” and “getting rich” — materialism Camus calls “completely modern.” Also “modern”: the “relaxed morals,” love as a thing “consumed,” inattention to God. (American readers will note the resemblance.) With…

“The inescapable property of Time,” wrote English philosopher Francis Bacon, “is ever more and more to reveal the Truth.” While this inescapably is true, America cannot wait for Time to serve up Truth. For the sake of our badly battered democracy, we need Truth now.

Senate Republicans voting down an independent bipartisan commission to seek the Truth of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol was not unexpected: A party that stood by its nefarious leader (Donald Trump) through two impeachments would not likely turn to examining his role in inciting this assault on American democracy.

But there’s more…

Carla Seaquist

Our times examined via politics, culture, morality. Author, "Can America Save Itself from Decline?" Playwright. Contributor, HuffPost. www.carlaseaquist.com.

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