Slog AM: Taliban Overtakes Afghanistan, COVID Soars, and Seattle Has Twice as Many New Residents as New Homes

Comments

1

I hate the Taliban! Why didn’t the Afghanis at least try to fight them?

2

Circle Jerks, "Paid Vacation" written and performed in 1979, quite astute politically.

It's not Vietnam
Just another oil company scam
Salute that flag from Uncle Sam
Get your money out, place your bets, it's Afghanistan!

Fix bayonets, check grenades
Got enough bullets, got enough rounds to fuck up this place
Where's the infantry and the cavalry?
Parachutes fill the skies as bodies burn and people die.

Taliban are religious fanatic scum, forcing on burqas and forcing "marriages" to fighters. Can you imagine? You're 17 year old modern girl accepted to university this fall, then in a day you're the property of a stone cold murdering soldier/stranger who under penalty of violence is sanctioned to pound your vagina every which way whenever he pleases? Cause too much trouble and not just beatings but they'll murder your family. Get ready to have that baby and Praise Allah! Absolute fucking nightmare. Fuck fundamentalists, scum the lot of them.

3

Not really sure where you got those numbers for US expenditures in Afghanistan, Matt.

122 Billion over 19 years? Try 2 trillion, and that doesn't count our allies' expenditures.

Google harder.

4

A lot of things could have been handled better, but I speculate that no exit from Afghanistan could have escaped some degree of catastrophe.

5

"The United States spent $2.26 trillion on the war in Afghanistan, trying to rebuild the Afghan government and train its military, according to the Costs of War project."

https://www.npr.org/2021/08/14/1027552833/heres-why-biden-is-sticking-with-the-u-s-exit-from-afghanistan#:~:text=The%20United%20States%20spent%20%242.26,the%20Costs%20of%20War%20project.

6

I wonder how many Americans give a flying fuck what happens in Afghanistan. I know I don't. Sad to see the people suffer though. Reminds me of the video when we left Saigon. Lots of panic stricken people.

7

@6. You don't give a fuck. You will when they harbor the next group that attacks the United States. Maybe you, or someone you know, will be the first casualty.

8

@2 well said. Awful, but well said…

9

@3, 5 I think the $80-122B figure was for training and equipping the Afghan army. The $2T was the total cost of the war.

10

Bad news Mr. President
Butchya shouldda pulled
the Necessaries FIRSTLY
and not left them dangling
for a bit off our Jet Aircraft.

gawd only Knows
what's in store
and from what
I hear he's not
a very Just god
more into the whole
Punishment thing and
less in the Benevolence
than say your average Jesus.

wtff?

11

@1: "Why didn’t the Afghanis at least try to fight them?"

I know this has been a central part of the propaganda over the past 20 years, but the Taliban is not some foreign force attacking the Afghani's. The Taliban are the Afghani's.

When Afghani soldiers fighting on the side of the coalition were killed, the US government would give money to the tribal leader to give to the widow as compensation. A US audit found that these tribal leaders would routinely demand sexual favors in return for releasing the money to the widow.

That is who we have been defending for the last 20 years. If you are surprised civilians were unwilling to spill blood defending these monsters you have not been paying attention.

Fuck everyone in the media who has been ignoring the killing and dying in Afghanistan for the last 12 years who decided 5 days ago they would start paying attention.

Fuck all the government official and general who are now declaring publicly the withdrawl is a disaster who kept us from leaving for the last 20 years while privately reporting back that we were propping up a kleptocracy with no support from the people and the war was unwinnable.

There is nothing to stop them from declaring Bill Krystal there leader, picking up their guns and flying to Afghanistan to fight the Taliban they are only willing to expend other American's blood on.

I have never been a Biden fan, but I have never been more proud of him than I am right now.

12

Man I used to work in the Texas Capitol complex and ran documents through the extension during session. I wonder if the floods reached the underground tunnels connecting to the different state agencies in the area.

@7. You mean Saudi Arabia, right?

13

what's in store
for those Remaining
I meant to say

14

The people of Afghanistan didn't support or fight for a puppet state, and everyone was surprised!

15

The United States did an excellent job of installing a government in Afghanistan that's a mirror image of our own: brazenly corrupt, abjectly incompetent, overrun by psychofascist religious fanatics, and on the brink of collapse.

16

The journalists can't seem to shake their neocon talking points. Matt Taibbi is the only journalist I know who has what is happening in Afghanistan remotely right.

"Every image coming out of Afghanistan this past weekend was an advertisement for the incompetence, arrogance, and double-dealing nature of American foreign policy leaders. Scenes of military dogs being evacuated while our troops fire weapons in the air to disperse humans desperate for a seat out of the country will force every theoretical future ally to think twice about partnering with us: "

https://taibbi.substack.com/p/afghanistan-we-never-learn?token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjoyMjMwMTM1NCwicG9zdF9pZCI6NDAwNzM3MTQsIl8iOiJTMVdJeSIsImlhdCI6MTYyOTEzMDk0MCwiZXhwIjoxNjI5MTM0NTQwLCJpc3MiOiJwdWItMTA0MiIsInN1YiI6InBvc3QtcmVhY3Rpb24ifQ.AC1tacbEnKX13UjjePlFEFPx9pByux5ljBm0gIbYcN4

17

Operation Enduring Bullshit

18

temps in the 70's is
'all this hateful heat'?

sooo much cooler at 15K' matt
climb: Rainier well maybe Camp
Muir or just to Paradise. we'll wave!
you can even Camp -- right on The Mountain!

see you this Winter!

@16 -- "Scenes of military dogs being evacuated while our troops fire weapons in the air to disperse humans desperate for a seat out of the country will force every theoretical future ally to think twice about partnering with us... "

gotta say
Joe Blew this one.

perhaps he can make
up for it somehow
or is that Naive

19

@16: Well, a good nation helping to build a better society for 20 years for ungracious country doesn't blemish that good effort.

20

Where were the true leaders of Afghanistan? The heroes who would of come forward and taken a stand. Who should of said “I will not be ruled by the Taliban. I will fight them to the death because to live under their rule would be worse than death”.
Where were those people?
Could it be that those heroes don’t exist?
Could it be that the Afghanistan people believe that God is on the Taliban’s side? He is a cruel God, but he’s the only God they have.

21

@19: Thank you for providing your Captain America defense of the criminals in our military and government who prosecuted and profited off supporting a criminal organization in Afghanistan for 20 years, but I think the observation of @15 is closer to the mark.

Right now the Flag Officers of the US Army are in tears. Not for all the lies they told, people who died, or all the corruption they supported, but because by leaving Afghanistan the Army will lose a flag officer position that helped with with their own promotions.

22

Afghanistan was and continues to be run by vicious Warlords, uneducated gunmen and superstitious Mullahs.

23

@11 I agree completely except for the kind words for Joe Biden at the end. Yes, good on him for finally getting us out of there, but Biden and his administration should have gotten vulnerable American and Afghani civilians out of the country months ago. Everybody that wasn't mainlining the Kool-Aid knew how quickly Taliban control would occur once the US military began to withdraw.

24

It's never a bad time to leave a place you should have never been.

25

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrv5JZuvLso

26

Taliban wants to negotiate
access to Airports for a
Promise not to Invade.

I vote Yes.

27

@22 you mean Texas, don't you?

28

27, we are very lucky y'all qaeda isn't as competent as the taliban.

29

"gotta say Joe Blew this one."

Agreed. It was a fucked situation, but Biden made it worse. It didn't help that Bush mismanaged it from the beginning. One of the fundamental problems is that it borders countries that have big problems, especially Pakistan. For years Pakistan has been comfortable letting its fundamentalist fringe groups travel to Afghanistan, where they would be kept busy, and die. Now they are emboldened, and will likely try to spread their hatred through Pakistan.

This would be bad enough, but there are economic issues as well. One of the big problems is that life didn't get much better for the people of Afghanistan, despite the huge spending. A big part of this was Bush, and the people he associates with. It isn't just a military-industrial-complex, but one that preys on struggling regimes. There is huge money to be made wheeling and dealing with various sides. The country doesn't have that many people (about 30 million). It shouldn't cost that much to dramatically increase the amount of money in everyone's pocket. But even that approach wouldn't be easy, as it would spread over to Pakistan (and other neighbors), which is a lot more people.

It is a horrible outcome, made worse by the fact that we spent so much money (and lives) trying to improve things. It is easy to say we should have stayed out, but an isolationist policy adds up to enormous suffering worldwide. At the time, The Taliban was considered the worst regime from a human rights perspective on the planet. It probably still is.

30

@11 - It's nice that you're proud of him, but I have a sense this is going to end up hurting us come election time with the mushy middle. As for me, I have mixed feelings, albeit ones that lean toward departure.

31

How did Biden blow it? Hee got us out of there, something Bush, Obama and Trump did not. The shit show in the details was baked in 20 years ago and it's why we shouldn't have invaded in the first place.

One look at how fast the government collapsed and people think another 6 months would have done the trick?

ffs

32

Matt thinks 70 degree temps in August is “hateful heat”. Dude, what a fucking wimp.

Are you expecting 60s in the middle of August?

The Stranger Sloggers: Dumber than average… which in America is really saying something.

33

@20, there's always Ahmad Shah Massoud, except that Al Qaeda bumped him off two days before 9/11.

34

@11
Casino is absolutely right on this.

The Taliban regaining control was the only way this was ever going to end.

I suppose there was a brief window between the Oct. 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and the March 2003 invasion of Iraq when a different outcome was possible but once Bush/Cheney started the disaster in Iraq the long term fate of Afghanistan was sealed.

The lesson should be that fighting wars (hot, cold, or proxy) halfway around the world when our national interest is not at stake will always end in disaster.

But since we didn’t learn the lesson in Vietnam, or El Salvador, or Iraq, or..., there’s no reason to think we’ll learn it now.

35

Yes, Biden could have handled the Afghanistan/Taliban situation with greater foresight, flexibility, and acknowledgement of culpability. And it wouldn't have been disastrous to delay plans by a month, pushing the exit date back to September 30th, once it was obvious the Taliban would retake the country quickly. But... we cannot afford to concede politically to the Republican Party and especially to Trump. Biden is competent, intelligent, and trying to avoid complete disaster, and, with the UN's help, this is possible. He will be hurt by this politically, and there will be major ramifications for Democrats because of that. But things can change quickly in politics. Stay cool, make the best of the situation, avoid a complete collapse, and start to recover, understanding that Biden's and Democrats' poll numbers will take a major hit for at least three or four months. But, again: we cannot afford to concede to a proto-fascist Republican Party. Don't panic, make the best of this, and work to (slowly) recover public trust. It's possible. Don't give up.

36

@3 is mostly correct, but the black budget brings it up to $5 trillion, including the bribes to Pakistan and the Saudis which they then used to finance and supply the Taliban to attack Afghanistan.

But you'd know that if they released the internal military analysis documents that said we should have left a decade ago.

On a good note, if we spent 1/10th of what we wasted on Afghanistan on building US renewable energy infrastructure, we'd be able to bring all the troops home from the Middle East.

37

@21: However you would say it's true if it succeeded. So easy to pile on poor Joe.

38

@23: Mike Pompeo signed that peace deal with the Taliban over a year before Biden took office and did nothing to prepare for the departure of American Troops since that time. Over 70% of Americans have wanted to pull out since 2008 and institutions that wanted to keep fighting there came up with everything from fake Russian bounty story introduced by the CIA to the bi-partisan war party in Congress voting for a group of impossible goals a president would need to meet before they could pull troops out. The institutional power supporting this war in Congress, in the Pentagon, the Military and the 3 letter agencies no doubt planned to roll Biden as it did his predecessors with a promise of "look, if you leave now it will be a disaster. Just one more year to prepare to leave, we promise it will be different this time...."

If Biden had shown a hint of hesitation or admitted as more than a few advisors warned him that things might not be all be peaches and cream after the withdrawal, the "we must stay because things will be worse if we leave" party would have had us there fighting for another 20 years.

No thanks, we have advanced enough careers and minted enough new millionaires on the backs of dead Americans and Afgani's over the past 20 years. They will need to find a new war and I'm sure they are already working on it.

39

@30

I might be wrong but I don’t think this will affect the midterms much if at all.

Being tired of endless war is fairly bipartisan, probably better to get it over with now15 months before the election, than delay the withdrawal and inevitable Taliban takeover another six months. If this happened in Spring of 2022 then it would become the theme for the election. As it is, most people will have moved on, and those who will blame Biden for this aren’t really on the fence.

40

@30: Perhaps you're right. The trouble they will face is the messenger.

Almost everyone who will attack him politically for the way he pulled out are people who have a documented history of never wanting to pull out under any circumstances in the first place.

Their criticism might come across as a bit disingenuous on this point.

41

@34: "I suppose there was a brief window between the Oct. 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and the March 2003 invasion of Iraq when a different outcome was possible but once Bush/Cheney started the disaster in Iraq the long term fate of Afghanistan was sealed."

Bingo. Once they discovered they could launch an imperial military adventure, they (Halliburton & Arbusto) naturally launched another one, this time for the oil.

"The lesson should be that fighting wars (hot, cold, or proxy) halfway around the world when our national interest is not at stake will always end in disaster.

"But since we didn’t learn the lesson in Vietnam, or El Salvador, or Iraq, or..., there’s no reason to think we’ll learn it now."

White male ruling-elite speakers of English tend to have trouble learning that one, it seems...

"When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains
And the women come out to cut up what remains
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
And go to your gawd like a soldier."

-- Rudyard Kipling

(https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/rudyard_kipling_152251)

42

@31 -- "One look at how fast the government collapsed and people think another 6 months would have done the trick?"

not this cowboy.
but if you cannot Plan
to get your people OUT
expect to see "republicans"
milk the Shite outta this come Elections

wannabee Refugees
falling off our Jets to their
Deaths is prolly gonna Sell a
Fuckova Lotta republican Lunacy

plus WTF, Joe?

anyway
Smokin' Joe's
Live & on the Air

43

Also, Texas is not underwater. The basement of the state capitol flooded during downpour because they forgot to clear a storm drain. Get a grip.

44

from my Buddy
thee Best Progressive
ON THE fm AIR – Thom Hartmann

“The Washington Post headline weeks after 9/11 put it succinctly: 'Bush Rejects Taliban Offer On Bin Laden.'

With that decision not to arrest and try Bin Laden for his crime but instead to go to war George W. Bush set the US and Afghanistan on a direct path to today.

More recently, Trump and Pompeo gave the Taliban everything they wanted — power, legitimacy and the release of 5000 of their worst war criminals — over the strong objections of the Afghan government in 2019 so Trump could falsely claim, heading into the 2020 election, that he’d 'negotiated peace' in Afghanistan when in fact he’d set up this week’s debacle.

’The relationship I have with the Mullah is very good,’ Trump proclaimed after ordering the mullah who yesterday named himself President freed from prison over the furious objection of Afghan’s government, who Trump had cut out of the negotiations.

Now Trump and the GOP are scrubbing the record of that betrayal of both America and Afghanistan and embrace of the Taliban from their websites.”

more at
https://hartmannreport.com/p/when-will-we-stop-letting-our-presidents

45

"’The relationship I have with the Mullah is very good,’ Trump proclaimed after ordering the mullah who yesterday named himself President freed from prison over the furious objection of Afghan’s government, who Trump had cut out of the negotiations."

"... Afghan’s government,
who Trump had cut out
of the negotiations."

can you Believe this guy?*

for a guy who
couldn't make
Casinos Profitable
he surely fucked us but
Good. thanks "republicans."

*well it's Easy
if you're a Rube

46

It's grim, but it's a bit funny how much this story brings out the 101st Fighting Keyboardists like #20. "Why if I had a gun, I'd go over there myself and blow all them Ta-lee-bans to Kingdom come!"

Knock yourself out, buddy. Though technically, 20 is just asking why all all the Afghans are too cowardly to do that. Hint: they might be smart enough to see a no-win situation. Hint #2: calling an Afghan a coward is a quick way to end up bleeding profusely in a gutter.

47

Seeing those Taliban fighters sitting at President Ghani's desk must make Trump's Proud Boys (and Girls) green with envy.

48

Actually $2 TRILLION has been spent on the United States' occupation of Afghanistan in the last two decades. And since the country fell to the Taliban the minute the United States pulled out we weren't doing any building of anything while we were there, we were running a colony.

Oh and Trump released 5000 Taliban leaders. FIVE THOUSAND. The GOP was quick to scrub their web site page praising Trump and his alliance with the Taliban and how he was such a great leader, creating peace in the Middle East (just another of the millions of lies told).

GW Bush started the occupation.
Trump released 5000 Taliban leaders.
Biden pulls U.S. troops out of Afghanistan and the country falls to the Taliban in 5 minutes.
And the Republicans pretend they give a fuck.
Republicans don't give a fuck about Americans, they sure as shit don't give a fuck anyone in Afghanistan.

WHERE DID THE MONEY GO???

49

Oh and don't forget - the CIA toppled the socialist Democratic Republic of Afghanistan several decades ago by funding and arming groups that would become the Taliban. (Done in order to "fight" the USSR" See: Operation Cyclone

Here's the wiki version:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Cyclone

And promises the United States made when funding these terrorists that the United States did not honor led directly to the terrorist attack on 9/11.

We are not stomping around the world making it better, we are simply a powerful agent of destruction and death.

50

Republicans develop sudden case of amnesia over Trump's 'historic' peace deal with the Taliban

As recently as June, the RNC website boasted that Trump had "continued to take the lead in peace talks as he signed a historic peace agreement with the Taliban in Afghanistan, which would end America's longest war." The RNC page linked to articles calling the deal a "decisive move" toward peace and "the best path" forward for the U.S.

But now, when you click on the link, all that emerges is a 404 error, as Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel pointed out. The RNC apparently couldn't scrub that page fast enough.

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/8/16/2046263/-Republicans-develop-sudden-case-of-amnesia-over-Trump-s-historic-peace-deal-with-the-Taliban

51

@30

I might be wrong but I don’t think this will affect the midterms much if at all.

Being tired of endless war is fairly bipartisan, probably better to get it over with now15 months before the election, than delay the withdrawal and inevitable Taliban takeover another six months. If this happened in Spring of 2022 then it would become the theme for the election. As it is, most people will have moved on, and those who will blame Biden for this aren’t really on the fence.

53

no ducky
he HAD the
Biggest Penis --
his 'Vice' President
the dick Cheney aka Darth
and NO VP has been a bigger
Dick to this Planet than ole 'dick' Cheney.

but now that dick's
RICH so there's that.

54

Once again President Biden’s foreign policy judgement is called into question, such as when he strenuously advised against the neutralization of Osama Bin Laden and Iranian terrorist General Qasem Soleimani, which were fitful uses of piping hot American lead.

Then of course you have the disastrous Iranian nuclear deal, which essentially arms our dyed-in-the-wool heretical enemies, who seek to enable fellow terrorist interests in the Middle East to take up arms against our troops and friends in Israel.

Nevertheless, as far as the Afghanistan departure goes, Trump was advocating for the same thing, except he was too inept to bring that about, due to true stupidity and twitter-addiction.

The green-orange howler monkey will probably develop a fast-food addiction and wind up on reality television with Honey Boo-Boo and Vanilla Ice, or endorse reverse mortgages along with Tom Selleck and Henry Winkler.

At least President Biden is cogent and can capably speak in public and negotiate passage of laws such as the Infrastructure Agreement with representatives in Congress with some degree of aplomb, although the aforementioned shortcomings loom large.

Mega-doses of Viagra may be in the offing to propel Mr. Biden through a second term, keeping the cave-dwelling Republicans at bay for another blessed, progressive term.

Vice President Harris will be at Biden’s side, to help him up the stairs or finish his sentences.

Everyone should get your COVID shot if you haven’t already and booster injection, if necessary, please.

Get your medical advice from your physician, not some kooky right-wing website.

Nice to have images from Venus, which is what our planet will look like if we don’t get global warming under control.

Individuals may eventually transition from COVID masks to gas masks, what with all the particulates and detritus in the air from these untamable wildfires.

For those old enough to remember, respirators were not unheard of in Los Angeles back in the day, when air pollution loomed large over the Los Angeles Valley.

55

538 has Biden propping .1% in popularity since yesterday, first time below 50% so far. We'll see how that pans out over the week. Losing sucks but this ain't no Waterloo. Perhaps this will lead to a period where we avoid new conflicts until we work up the courage to face some exposure therapy by invading a small island nation state somewhere.

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/biden-approval-rating/?cid=rrpromo

56

dropping, ugh.

58

@47, I agree and had the same nauseating thought when I saw that photo.

I doubt they the y’all quaedas have the introspection skills needed to see the awful similarities or if they’d even care.

59

@39 & 51

Sorry about the double post.

61

34: Yes, with hindsight 2003 would have been the time to leave before they changed the mission, but just as surely as I knew we were going to war in 2001 (I supported it at the time) I later knew we would stay too long.

Violence is an excellent response to violence and Americans are exceptional at it, but the same missionary cultural mindset that plagues our criminal system also plagues our military exploits. It's never enough to simply answer violence with violence. We must always keep going until and unless we find a mirror with a perfect reflection of ourselves in our enemies. My fear is that whoever starts the next war will try to time the exit in advance, but while the President has the power to not start a war, he is almost powerless to stop it when he wants once it starts. Think about it, 3 administration tried to end on and only now succeeded.

That and the same hubris that leads to war and gamblin makes it hard for such people to quit when they're ahead.

People often say we are plagued by Vietnam, but I think we are plagued by WWII. It's not a mistake that "Saving Private Ryan" came out around the same time the country was heading to the middle east. While Vietnam's and Afghanistan's are the norm, WWII is an anomaly we just can't shake. We see every war as the Germans and the Japanese thanking us for invading their country, writing their Constitution in the later case and killing millions of their people in the process.

Most countries don't respond to invasion that way.

62

@52: I thought that distinction went to LBJ. After all, he named it Jumbo.

65

@48, @49, and @50 xina: BINGO! The Taliban are the Middle Eastern equivalent of white RepubliKKKan men. Both groups are highly toxic and must be stopped.

66

@65 - ALL fundamentalists are no better then the KKK. Doesn't matter who they think God is, they are all toxic, dangerous zealots who should under no circumstances be allowed to run a country.

67

@66 dvs99: Agreed and seconded. That is my point entirely and I share your concerns.

68

@15 Original Andrew and @24 Brent Gumbo for the WIN!
It really sucks that we're now stuck correcting 40 years of RepubliKKKan mistakes.