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Your Views for September 8

Up, up and away

Einstein had a great imagination. COVID-19 has an even better imagination.

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Our leaders need to think very, very, very long-term to protect Hawaii residents.

COVID will continue to mutate as long as people on the planet have the disease. With billions infected, this plague is not going to go away any time soon.

Please do your best and at least get vaccinated. Leaders need to put all COVID cases into isolation at hotels in order to get any form of control over this thing. This will put hotels and takeout restaurants to good use.

Phil Swarz

Papaikou

‘Simply amazing’

I cannot help but notice the negative coverage of the Afghan withdrawal in your paper, on the editorial page and in letters to the editor. What the criticism is lacking is any rational thought as to a better way to do it.

Given that the war was a mistake from the moment it turned from disrupting al-Qaida to nation-building, I see no better outcome than what was achieved.

Withdrawals from failed incursions are always going to be chaotic. The fact we extracted 123,000 or more Americans, other foreigners and Afghan allies is simply amazing and testament to the competence of the bureaucracy and armed forces of the U.S.

The loss of 13 U.S. troops and dozens of Afghan civilians was tragic but was not a result of Taliban violence — they were attempting to prevent it. That we were unable to get everyone out via the airlift is also unfortunate, but given the tight time frame was inevitable.

President Biden gets my respect for making the decision to cut our losses and doing the best he could to save as many as he could.

And the efforts aren’t over. For now, the Taliban seems as interested in ridding their country of disruptive elements as we and the Western world are of further extractions. Let’s focus on finishing that process rather than point fingers and blame.

John Abplanalp

Pahoa

Festival a success

The Experience Volcano Festival volunteers would like to give a big mahalo to the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism and all the Hawaii County agencies that made our cultural festival last month a great success.

All who attended found the village was alive with hula performances, educational activities and wonderful art. This significant cultural festival showcased the commitment and talents of our community.

Hopefully, we will be able to do it again next year.

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Ira Ono

President, Experience Volcano

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