|Operation Frequent Wind|
What I remember most about the fall of Saigon --- nearly 40 years ago now (April 29-30, 1975) --- was the worry about what had become of my co-workers and friends --- Miss Nghiem, Mr. Suk, Miss Lieu, Mrs. Nguyen and others.
The intelligence-gathering center where I worked, sandwiched between two cemeteries just over the fence from Tan Son Nhut, was a "combined" operation, staffed overwhelmingly by Vietnamese military and civilian personnel.
There never was much social interaction with the military types, but many of the civilians became friends. Mrs. Nguyen was a wonderful cook --- and my friend, George, and I often were invited to share meals in the family apartment in Cho Lon. Now and then several of us would gather at restaurants.
These were among the civilians who would be targeted after the fall because of their association with the South Vietnamese regime --- and the Americans. And I did learn much later that Mr. Suk and Miss Nghiem, at least, had been airlifted to safety.
So I've been thinking now about the civilians who have suffered and will suffer as Iraq unravels. It's always the civilians, most of them innocents ....
I appreciated David Mixner's brief analysis, "Iraq: It Was Only a Matter of Time," for the Web journal Towleroad yesterday. This is a site "with homosexual tendencies," so it's not clear how widely it will travel, but worth reading.
And it's been interesting to watch the Iraq situation rise gradually to the top of the news feeds I follow, although it's not clear how many Americans are especially interested.
Politicians agree --- President Obama should do something. But it's not clear that there is anything to do that will (a) be effective or (b) not compound the disastrous consequences of the folly launched with the invasion of Iraq.
Another fine mess we've gotten ourselves --- and millions of others who will suffer more --- into.