Chen-ou Liu's Translation Project: First English-Chinese Haiku and Tanka Blog

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Planeload of Cats and Dogs Tanka

This Brave New World, XIX
written at NATO's Afghanistan withdrawal deadline

some thousand Afghans
huddle knee-deep in sewage
outside the airport ...
a planeload of cats and dogs
arrives safely in London

FYI: Gaby Hinsliff, "What a story to tell the world: Britain values dogs more than Afghan people,The Guardian, August 30

As the gates of hell closed on Kabul, they were among the last to make it out. They landed in the early hours of Sunday morning, to a hero’s welcome from some, and shamed silence from others. For this was a planeload not of human souls ... but of cats and dogs.

The Ministry of Defence confirmed, through audibly gritted teeth, that the private plane chartered to bring back former soldier turned animal rescuer Paul “Pen” Farthing and his menagerie of strays had been “assisted” through the airport by British troops in the final shambolic hours of the retreat from Kabul – even as human beings who had put their trust in the western forces they worked alongside were being abandoned to their fate.

As Tom Tugendhat, the Tory MP and ex-serviceman who has been struggling to get his old army interpreter into the UK, put it: “We’ve just used a lot of troops to get in 200 dogs; meanwhile my interpreter’s family is likely to be killed. When one interpreter asked me a few days ago, ‘Why is my five-year-old worth less than a dog?’ I didn’t have an answer.”

FYI: More news about dogs and Afghans:

The Pentagon is denying reports that the U.S. military left service dogs behind in cages at Kabul airport after pulling its last troops out of the country, The Hill, August 31

Afghan interpreter who helped rescue Biden in 2008 left behind after US evacuation, report says, USA Today, September 1

Added: Two Hundred and Fifty-Eighth Entry, Coronavirus Poetry Diary

Zoom therapist's forehead lines
deepening ...
and mine too (I think)

Added: Two Hundred and Fifty-Nineth Entry

lockdown lifted
children's laughter circling
grandpa's farm house