Haven't we learned not to nation-build?

The British learned in the early 1800s. The Russians left in 1989 after nine years with more than 15,000 soldiers dead. We stayed for 20 years, losing tremendous blood and treasure. We finally have a president who had the courage to extract us from an untenable situation.

Donald Trump struck a peace deal with the Taliban that called for sanctions to be lifted, U.S. troops to be out by May 2021, and 5,000 Taliban prisoners to be released. He also wanted to invite their leaders to Camp David; ultimately, that idea was nixed.

Mike Pompeo met with the Taliban head of political office, Mullah Beradar, on Sept. 12, 2020. President Trump had Beradar released from a Pakistani prison in 2018. Now he is de facto president of Afghanistan.

We must also remember George Bush, in haste to capture Osama bin Laden after 9/11, decided to go into Afghanistan. That was the mission. President Obama achieved that objective May 2, 2011. We stayed another 10 years.

Eisenhower first sent military into Vietnam in 1955. Have we learned nothing from these misadventures? Will we continue to try to mold other nations into our image?

Dolores Benton

Signal Mountain


Normandy patriots weren't complainers

I'm 81. I was 4 years old when young American patriots clambered out of landing craft on Omaha Beach with guns in their hands and heavy packs on their backs, and tried their best to reach the beach without drowning or being hit by gunfire — many never reaching sand. They had not said to their country: "You can't take away my freedom by making me wear that heavy pack and forcing me to jump into the ocean to attack Nazis! I'm an American! I'm a patriot! I've got rights!"

Maybe that's why I don't understand some of today's patriots who have so many rights that they cannot wear a small mask or get a shot in the arm to keep themselves and their fellow citizens safe.

Franklin McCallie


How Afghanistan might have ended

Following Trump's four years in office, this is what we should know about him. He wanted out of Afghanistan, just like Bush and Obama did. He would have done it on his timeline with no Marines dying and all Americans and Afghan supporters of our military leaving unscathed. Contrary to what mainstream media would have you believe, he would have listened to his advisors. Our weapons and aircraft would have been extricated and important documents taken or shredded.

Then, in typical fashion, he would have bragged and boasted. We supporters would have once again rolled our eyes and wished he wouldn't, but that's Trump. The left would hate his arrogance and further despise him as he racked up yet another success. That abrasiveness along with COVID cost him his second term. Instead, the voters chose Biden and his minions to redirect our country.

We got incompetence, ineptness and quite possibly dementia over a man with an offensive personality who directed America into a thriving, prosperous and safe nation. Elections truly do have consequences. To the left, I would simply say this: You exercised your right to vote. How did that work out for you?

Jerry Finkle


Don't understand the concern about masks

It's hard to believe that there are parents who have a problem with their children wearing a mask when it could save their child's life. What's going on? Are these real parents? I can see this if you are keeping your child at home. Doctors and nurses wear them. It's a sign of protection.

Mary Taylor


McDaniel lauded for devotion to causes

It was a distinct privilege to have had the opportunity to interact in numerous capacities with the Rev. Paul McDaniel over the past years.

One of the many attributes he demonstrated that I admired and respected was his strong commitment to worthy causes, which were many, but also the personal manner in which he pursued those causes.

He kept his commitments to worthy causes, which sometimes incurred considerable opposition, while doing so in a manner that contributed greatly to the broadening of support for his efforts and the causes he advocated. He was definitely an intelligent, dedicated and compassionate person who pursued worthy causes and achieved great success in those pursuits.

I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to interact with such an outstanding person.

Dale Mabee


Tesla showing way to electric vehicles

We invented solar as an energy source. Then we allowed the fossil fuel lobbyists and right-wing media to kneecap production in America. China then took ownership to become the world's largest producer. It owes much of its sustained annual growth to such forfeitures and corrupt American politics. Now we are in the midst of another, even larger debacle.

The media, resenting no Tesla ad dollars, fires off unfounded headlines charging some Tesla failure. Invariably, Tesla is found to be head and shoulders above comparable standards. Read beyond the headlines of "Tesla" battery fires and beta self-driving. It single-handedly resurrected the electric car from the GM trash heap and is shouldering the world to a clean transportation future as it produces "the world's" safest vehicles. In spite of it being far and away the industry leader, the president has twice done EV photo-ops with legacy companies, excluding Tesla, the only company producing its cars in America. Oh, Tesla doesn't make campaign contributions to anyone, either.

China is drooling at another prospective missed American slam dunk. Here is VW playing catch-up, building EVs — imagine the fit of Gig City's highway, river and rail hub with a Tesla gigafactory.

Michael Bartley


Breakthrough virus info must be simple

We need simple, consistent explanations by experts and clear communications by media. That was lacking in the Aug. 22 article ("COVID 19: Breakthrough virus cases increasing").

Look at four facts. First, CDC studies show delta variants are twice as infectious as alpha. If one is exposed now, infection is almost certain, whether vaccinated or not.

Second, CDC data show vaccinations are safe and in more than 87% of cases prevent serious, deadly infections. But, up to 13% of vaccinated people experience serious, deadly infections because protection fails (aka breakthrough) as a result of a weak immune response, declining antibodies or a compromised immune system.

Third, infectious disease doctors tell us COVID-19 first infects mucus membranes in our nose and throat. Vaccinated and unvaccinated alike acquire and spread these infections; vaccination does not protect against mucous membrane infections. When infected, some vaccinated experience breakthroughs; most experience the sniffles.

Fourth, vulnerability increases with age. Health department data show people over 80 years old with systemic infections have a 20% chance of dying; people under 20 have a 0.04% chance.

The message: Be responsible, get vaccinated, wear a mask, stay six feet apart to protect yourself and others.

Robert Phillips

Signal Mountain