Politics America's blood chit: Is our promise worth the silk it's written on?
EXPLAINER: What remains as US ends Afghan 'forever war'
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — After 20 years, America is ending its “forever war” in Afghanistan. Announcing a firm withdrawal deadline, President Joe Biden cut through the long debate, even within the U.S. military, over whether the time was right. Starting Saturday, the last remaining 2,500 to 3,5000 American troops will begin leaving, to be fully out by Sept. 11 at the latest. Another debate will likely go on far longer: Was it worth it? Since 2001, tens of thousands of Afghans and 2,442 American soldiers have been killed, millions of Afghans driven from their homes, and billions of dollars spent on war and reconstruction.
I was first introduced to a "blood chit" as a young major at the Pentagon. My boss put a file on my desk filled with yellowed newspaper clippings describing how a Korean farmer helped an Air Force pilot downed behind enemy lines return to friendly territory. The farmer was killed by the North Koreans for "sympathizing" with Americans. The file also contained a request from the farmer's family for compensation based on the promises contained in the downed airman's "blood chit." My job as the legal advisor to the Joint Services Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) Agency was to adjudicate the claim based on the evidence available.
Biden’s America First hangover
In key areas like immigration and Covid-19 relief, Biden isn’t breaking with Trump’s nationalism. In fact, he’s continuing it.There have been real accomplishments, like the transformative American Rescue Plan. But in key policy areas, even ones where Trump’s approach deeply damaged America’s democratic image, the Biden administration has seemingly been content with continuing its predecessor’s policies. On immigration and the global Covid-19 response in particular, Biden has seemed unable or unwilling to move past Donald Trump’s worldview, giving “America First” a home in a Democratic White House.
A blood chit is a document, originally printed on silk and today printed on Tyvek, that contains a promise written in multiple languages. The most recent version's English text reads:
"I AM AN AMERICAN AND DO NOT SPEAK YOUR LANGUAGE. I NEED FOOD, SHELTER AND ASSISTANCE. I WILL NOT HARM YOU; I BEAR NO MALICE TOWARD YOUR PEOPLE. IF YOU HELP ME, MY GOvernment will reward you."
Apple Watch could get blood sugar monitoring thanks to a UK tech deal
The longstanding rumors of an Apple Watch with blood sugar monitoring just gained some credibility. The Telegraph and Forbes report that UK health tech firm Rockley Photonics recently confirmed in an SEC filing that Apple has been its largest customer for the past two years, and that it has a continuing deal to develop future products. Rockley's focus has been on sensors that track blood glucose, pressure and even alcohol levels, suggesting that at least one of these features will be available in a future Apple Watch.
The most famous blood chits were the ones used by the Flying Tigers in China during WWII. They were silk images of the American and Nationalist Chinese flags sewn onto the backs of aviators' leather jackets. Whether written on silk during WWII or Tyvek today, the promise is the same: "Help me return to friendly territory, and my government will reward you."
Apple reportedly looking at blood sugar, blood pressure and alcohol monitoring for future Apple Watches
Diabetics and others with health issues they want to monitor may be happy to hear that future Apple Watches may track glucose and blood pressure.Future models may be able to measure blood sugar levels, blood pressure and blood alcohol, suggest some revelations from one of Apple's suppliers.
The U.S. government paid the claim I reviewed - because to do otherwise would have broken a sacred promise. For American aviators carrying blood chits over enemy territory, those promises would have been worthless had our government lacked the credibility to keep them. Their lives depended on the willingness of enemy civilians to believe the promises those blood chits carried.
Today, America faces another "blood chit moment." With President Joe Biden's recent announcement of the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, many Americans are asking whether we will protect the many Afghans who have helped us during our 20-year presence there.
Adescribed the difficulties many of these Afghans have encountered navigating a U.S. immigration visa process that is apparently broken. A from bipartisan Members of Congress implored the president to address these challenges so that our promise to the Afghans who served us "with the understanding that the U.S. would stand by them and provide safe haven when and if necessary" might now be fulfilled. Without our protection, many Afghans and the Americans they served with now fear that the Taliban will regard them as "American sympathizers" and that they will suffer a fate similar to the Korean farmer who gave his life to help a downed American airman.
Chris Jericho: ‘Blood & Guts’ Is ‘Going to Be Remembered for a Long Time’
“This is going to be remembered for a long time, and it will be a spectacle, but the key is the story behind it.” SI.com’s Week in Wrestling is published every week and provides beneath-the-surface coverage of the business of pro wrestling.Chris Jericho: “This is going to be remembered for a long time, and it will be a spectacle, but the key is the story behind it”Chris Jericho is ready to unveil the first “Blood & Guts” match.
Our credibility as a nation in battle has already been tarnished by former President Donald Trump's hasty withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria. Leaving Syria meant leaving the Kurds, with whom we fought ISIS, without protection from the Syrian and Turkish forces intent on obliterating them. At the time, Trump's decision was met with a huge outcry from American veterans who served alongside the Kurds. We cannot afford another stain on our credibility as a nation.
If we keep abandoning the people who fight with us, at some point we will fight alone or not at all.
My message: When we leave any engagement - including Afghanistan - please don't abandon the "American sympathizers" whose lives will be at risk because they helped us. For them and for the sake of future generations of American service members whose safety behind enemy lines depends on the credibility of our "blood chit" promises, please keep the promises we made to the Afghans whose support over the past 20 years was instrumental to our military operations.
Steven J. Lepper is a retired Air Force major general and member of the American College of National Security Leaders. He served from 2010 to 2014 as Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Air Force. He was also Deputy Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the senior "crisis communicator" for the Department of the Air Force, and from 1991 to 1995 Legal Advisor to the Joint Services SERE Agency (now known as the Joint Personnel Recovery Agency).
COVID-19 pet boom has veterinarians backlogged, burned out .
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — During the gloomiest stretches of the pandemic, Dr. Diona Krahn's veterinary clinic has been a puppy fest, overrun with new four-legged patients. Typically, she’d get three or four new puppies a week, but between shelter adoptions and private purchases, the 2020 COVID-19 pet boom brought five to seven new clients a day to her practice in Raleigh, North Carolina. Many are first-time pet owners. Like many veterinarians across the country, she's also been seeing more sick animals. To meet the demand, vets interviewed by The Associated Press have extended hours, hired additional staff and refused to take new patients, and they still can't keep up.