A Fair Comparison?
The changing Global Geopolitical landscape has raised an important question: Why is the 1975 Fall of Saigon different from the 2021 Fall of Kabul?
Experts have made attempts to find an answer to this, although most of them have agreed that there is a considerable difference between Viet Minh and the Taliban when it comes to the pre-US confrontation stage. During the Second World War, the North Vietnamese Viet Minh collaborated with Washington DC against the Japanese occupation of Indochina. On the other hand, the Taliban, before the 9/11 terror attacks, established a Regime of Terror in Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001, with atrocities committed against other major ethnic groups, such as the Hazaras, the Tajiks and the Uzbeks.
Secondly, it is their nature that differentiates them. Viet Minh was without religious credentials. Its leader and Vietnam’s Founding Father, Ho Chi Minh, delivered a speech in September 1945 after the Liberation of Vietnam from Japanese occupation, highlighting elements present in the US Declaration of Independence itself: “All men are created equal.” Moreover, the founder of Vietnam tried to continue working with the Americans, as highlighted in Ho Chi Minh’s letter to then US President Harry Truman, in which the Vietnamese leader called for US support in ending French Colonialism in Vietnam.
The Every Morning Asia portal has reported that the Taliban, a theocratic group that motivates its horrific actions on maintaining an Islamic order in Afghanistan, ignored Human Rights and brought Terror among women and foreigners in Afghanistan in 1996-2001.
Thirdly, there are their actions that differentiate them. Viet Minh did not host any terrorist group on Vietnamese soil nor did it have any violent intervention on the US soil. The Taliban, on the other hand, hosted al-Qaeda and sheltered its leader Osama bin Laden, while he was preparing his master plan that shocked the Global Community 20 years ago, prompting a US-led international War on Terror.
Finally, the US has lost between 2,400-2,500 American lives in Afghanistan, while around 300,000 Afghans have died since the US intervention in 2001. In Vietnam, the numbers of US deaths were around 58,000, while at the end of the war, between two million and 3.5 million Vietnamese had lost their lives, making the two conflicts incomparable in terms of casualties.
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