It’s downright comical how the lying media and sociopathic politicians are blaming Biden for the disastrous collapse and chaotic evacuation from Afghanistan rather than those incompetent predatory morons in the Pentagon that violently occupied the country for 20 years and never bothered to come up with an exit strategy, oh jeezus kryst.
If only there were an endless War Department or some other group that actually knew some shit. Guess that’s why it’s called “military intelligence.”
Over 500k people attended Sturgis and it’s somehow news worthy that 100 got COVID?!?! FFS - Find something new to complain about. That only proves to me (and supports scientific research ) that outdoor masking is unnecessary. All for indoor masks.
You can’t stop a suicidal bomber. Period. Just imagine the chaos if the far right and left in the US were even half as devoted.
@1 You speak the truth.
@2 Yes, I'm sure all those nice motorcycle enthusiastss put their masks on when they went inside the local businesses to enjoy refreshments together.
Republicans are already urging Biden to re-invade Afghanistan. WAR WAR WAR.
If it doesn't happen the attack today will turn into another Benghazi we will hear about until the end of time. And the delusional asshole who still believes he's president is saying Osama bin Laden was NBD. He literally wants another attack to happen. He somehow believes this will make him resident of the WH again so he can return to grifting billions and destroying everything. Cuz, you know, murdering hundreds of thousands (more likely more than one million) Americans and leaving the country literally burning to the ground and having infected 40% of the population with is literal syphilitic insanity is just not enough.
I figured I'd be long dead (I'm talking centuries long dead) before the end of this country.
Now I'm either going to witness it or die from COVID.
Not exactly the ending I had anticipated.
The governors of Florida and Texas have more American blood on their hands than the Taliban.
This is what losing a war looks like. It sucks. But leaving had to be done. I think history will judge Biden well for this decision, despite current media histrionics. Its bullshit all of the blame is falling on him.
I believe what Matt showed this morning was a candy corn buttplug, not a candy corn dildo, but I also don't preofess to be the expert here.
The commander is responsible for everything his soldiers do or fail to do. Biden has been the CIC for months. It's his responsibility. It's his failure of leadership. I would vote for him again.
This is the lying, mouthpiece media’s last stand, and they lost in the most humiliating fashion.
They worked hand-in-hand with Bush and Cheney to lie us into wars in Afghanistan and Iraq because wars sell newspapers and generate clicks, all for ad revenue from companies shilling hamburgers, tampons, and SUVs.
Now that America’s ruling oligarchs have been exposed as illegitimate, greedy kleptocrats bleeding the nation dry, they’re lashing out at anyone they can think of as a distraction from their own criminality and incompetence.
The emperor has no clothes, dum fux.
@8 " It's his failure of leadership."
Except it's not a failure of his leadership. This is what leadership is - making incredibly tough decisions, even if they are unpopular, even if it's ugly in the moment, if it's ultimately the right thing to do. Biden should be commended for his fortitude on this. Trump didn't have the balls. Obama didn't. W didn't. Someone had to take the hit, and he stepped up and is doing so. That is a leader.
@7 I agree. I saw the picture of the rocket and thought "Now that's a dildo!"
@7 You're right. We're using dildo and buttplug interchangeably, probably because we're fags. I tend to think of dildo as an umbrella term.
@10 Except it is his failure of leadership. He is in charge. American soldiers are dead. QED
@10 -- Agreed, but Bush needs to called out not only for his failure of leadership, but his failure in execution. You don't start a war, and then pretend it is over. If you are going to build a nation, do it right. Make the decisions that get the vast majority of the population behind you. We did it in Japan, South Korea, West Germany, and shitloads of other countries. It isn't always pretty (ask South Korea), it isn't always ideal (ditto) but as time moves on, things get better. None of that happened in Afghanistan. That, and the inability to address Pakistan's role in the whole mess created an unwinnable war.
@13 -- Holy shit, dipshit, way more Americans would be dead if we weren't leaving. You can't exit a war without losing lives. But fighting for years and then exiting would mean more dead.
What a fucking stupid statement. We lost 13 American soldiers. That is it for this year. Two years ago, under Trump, we lost 21. You want to blame every American president since Bush for the fact that Bush invaded Afghanistan and couldn't actually win the war -- after eight fucking years in office? Jesus, get a clue.
@13 "American soldiers are dead"
Yeah, that tends to happen in a war. By ordering us to leave, he's also ensuring no more American soldiers get killed in Afghanistan in the future. There have also been more than a hundred thousand people safely evacuated. This thing was destined to fail from the beginning. The person who decided enough is enough is most certainly not a failure.
@10 Are you really that incapable of criticizing someone who you agree with politically? What are you afraid of? This kind if shit is exactly why our gov doesn’t function on either side of the aisle. You can agree it was the right decision to leave and still look at the execution and realize it was complete FUBAR and totally unnecessary. Would it have been so much extra effort to secure Kabul until everyone we wanted to get out was out? NO. His f’n advisors told him this was a possibility and he didn’t plan for it. Complete failure of leadership. The press conferences just make him look totally clueless. Ffs he was asking a Fox News guy today what he thought he should have done. This has turned into a total clown show and has done nothing but further endangered US lives and push congressional control next year closer to the republicans. Great job Joe!
@17 Correct in every respect.
@17 " Are you really that incapable of criticizing someone who you agree with politically? What are you afraid of? "
I actually don't agree with Biden on a lot of stuff. He was not my first, or second, choice for president.
" Would it have been so much extra effort to secure Kabul until everyone we wanted to get out was out? "
Bruh, if Kabul hasn't been secured in 20 years, it was never going to be secure.
" Ffs he was asking a Fox News guy today what he thought he should have done."
It's a legitimate question. All the armchair generals want to claim it was a bad decision, but offer no real alternatives. It's easy to say this was the wrong choice, because it's the choice that was made and we are seeing the effects. There is no way of knowing what consequences would come from other choices, so it's super easy to say something "else" should have been done. And if something else had been done, people would be bitching about that too.
There is no winning here. Only various degrees of losing. Biden chose the best out of a bunch of bad options.
Leaving Afghanistan was (finally) the right decision. But the exodus of Americans and Afghanis should have started in March at the latest. (It takes time to set up refugee sites.) If my bride and I can sit on the couch and know that the Afghan government would collapse, the Biden administration should have known as well. Yes, Biden would have been criticized as the cause of that collapse if he had moved earlier (the government would have fallen in May? Maybe June?) and there would have been suicide attacks regardless. But most of the Afghanis that wanted out would have had the opportunity to leave and thousands of lives would have been saved. Bad job, Mr. President.
Biden looked exhausted, incompetent and defeated. That's how the world views him now.
The Supreme Court has struck down the CDC's eviction moratorium, 6-3. Now you can argue about that.
Cmon you’re just being contrarian now. Are you seriously going to suggest Kabul today is as secure as Kabul two months ago? We both know it’s not even close. As for asking Fox News a question. It really doesn’t matter if it’s legitimate. You know you’ll get a bad faith answer and it just lends them credibility. It’s embarrassing.
@6, @10, @16 You've got the wrong guy.
The US sat down at the table with the Taliban and negotiated the agreement to pull all American troops out of Afghanistan, and signed it on February 29 2020-- ten months before Biden took office.
And that's when the planning should have begun to evacuate and/or repatriate anyone who needed it, too, but it seems pretty obvious why the administration at the time didn't do that.
@21 Actually, Biden is kicking ass domestically. The Covid relief bill (passed) and the two infrastructure bills - so far, so good - will literally transform America economically and environmentally. By the time the Republicans get their hands on the levers of power again, our country will be forever changed.
Biden screwed up the withdrawal from Afghanistan but that will be a historical detail.
@25, Yes, I see it in the polls.
A good, provocative blog thread with thoughtful, diverse perspectives. Biden was deluded regarding the ability of the Afghan army to defend the country; his comments a few weeks back suggesting a rapid Taliban takeover would be impossible make him look bad. There's no getting around that. Yet, the execution of the actual airlift/evacuation has been fairly efficient and humane--not perfect but credibly effective. So, there is lots of pre-Biden blame to go around, and Biden mishandled some key details, for which he is responsible. Yet, until today's tragedy, the evacuation represents a marked improvement over the past few weeks and months, and Biden deserves more credit for that than he has gotten. For those of us rooting for Biden to recover politically to help avoid a lapse back to a Trump era: Biden CAN recover politically. Yes, he's down in the polls, and things don't look good now. But political trends can change quickly, and Biden is a shrewd poltician and a fundamentally decent, considerate person, and I think some of those who've turned against him because of Afghanistan will return to the fold. Focus on continuing an efficient, humane evacuation; keep working on what's domestically possible; and fight tooth-and-nail the lies and hatred spewing from Fox and the Republican media. Don't concede the next or any election to Trump and his cult. Patience and hard work: we can and will turn this around.
a deal with trumpf is
NO Deal ATALL
Impeached not Once
but fucking TWICE
totally SHUT OUT
the Afghani Government
and handed over
5K Taliban prisoners
and in return?
a Pull-Out Date.
Joe shouldda said NO
let's discuss this Timeline
the Artist of The Steal
makes a deal NO Deal
well he Couldda said that
and here we Are.
& it's getting Ugly.
So all the anti vaxx people are just gonna leave? Oh noooooooo, not that.
Does that toy rocket take D cells?
@23: "Cmon you’re just being contrarian now. Are you seriously going to suggest Kabul today is as secure as Kabul two months ago?"
If you limit what you know to what the media decides to feed you, like a mushroom, you will remain in the dark eating nothing but shit.
"Over 1,659 civilians in Afghanistan were killed from Jan.-July this year, about half of whom were women and children. But there were no viral images, nothing to use to score political points, so virtually everyone in the media and Congress ignored. unama.unmissions.org/sites/d…"
If an engineer builds a bad bridge and 10 years later it collapses as someone is driving across it, the money is on asking the engineer where he screwed up. We will find you screaming at the driver for destroying the bridge.
I really resent that out of intellectual honestly you are forcing me to defend someone I generally dislike as much as Joe Biden. You always bring out the worst in people.
I couldn't access the linked article, but it sounds like you're saying 100 people tested positive following the rally if that s the case, I'd have to assume it's probably 10 times that number that actually ontracted and/or transmitted the virus.
I agree that masking outdoors seems like overkill in most situatios, but would also figure that Sturgis was a dumb and bad idea, again.
@4 - Riding a cycle does not make you anti mask / vaccination. I personally hate loud bikes and hope they are outlawed in national parks. Regardless, 100/500k is insanely low.
@All - Nice discussion points on overseas policy. I align closer to Marvel and Brent.
@30 - If you fire up those batteries, get ready for lift off!
@2 what drugs are you taking?
REAL NUMBERS REGARDING STURGIS:
On August 4, the date closest to the start of the rally for which data was available, the state reported 657 active cases. On August 25, the state reported 3,655 active cases. That's a 456% increase of active cases from before the start of the rally to two weeks after, according to the state's department of health.
COVID-19 cases in South Dakota increase more than 450% since start of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally https://www.cbsnews.com/news/sturgis-rally-2021-south-dakota-covid-19-450-percent-spike/
@31 media stories notwithstanding the Talibam are now in total control. I ask again. Are you really insinuating Afghanistan is no different today than it was a few months ago? That really defies logic.
More up to date information on Sturgis:
For the second year in a row, the Sturgis motorcycle rally has become a super-spreader event. In the 14 days since the rally, Meade County has had more than 1,500 percent increase in cases.
NBC News reported that South Dakota has 3,819 new cases and seven deaths. It's the largest percentage increase of any state in the U.S. thus far.
There's also the fact that people went to Sturgis and returned to wherever they live. And since the average unvaccinated person spreads COVID to up to 8 other people with the new Delta variant, who knows what the actual numbers are or will be.
In comparison: Lollapalooza had 100,000 people and 203 cases of COVID.
@28: "it's getting Ugly."
A distinction without a difference.
@35 Afghanistan is different under the Taliban, and it's worse for some people (especially if they took work from the Americans and don't have the money --$ 575USD per person -- or connections to even apply for asylum, let alone get it) , but other people are better off without the US military running around breaking stuff and handing sacks of cash over to local strongmen.
The Taliban have retaken the country almost entirely without the use of force, simply walking in and assuming authority as local US puppet governments crumpled when the hands pulled out. They laid the groundwork for this over years, gaining grassroots support and legitimacy bit by bit, most often by moving into a town and murdering whichever corrupt bigwig the locals complained about the most. They're damn scary, but they're a lot scarier if you've been on the take than if you haven't, and there's about to be a whole lot less American money flowing in to fuel that corruption.
The worst is probably still to come-- the last two times an empire retreated from the country, a civil war or three broke out in the power vacuum. By the time that happens, though, pretending to care about the people who live there won't score you a lot of imaginary internet points anymore-- most Americans won't want to hear about it, so most papers won't be too enthusiastic about reporting it, either.
@35: It only defies logic if you are collecting your information from the wrong people.
It's a Poshtun majority country and the Taliban are Poshtun. Out of ideology we chose to back the corrupt Tajik and Uzbek minorities in the country. Because Afghanistan is 74% rural and we along with the minorities stayed primarily in the cities, the US presence not only was not seen as helpful by the majority of Poshtun women living in the countryside, but was actually seen as a disadvantage. These are people who had no connection with the government in kabul or the Americans. many of them were so disconnected that they did not know the Russians had ever left, or the American's had come. What do you think America has to offer such people that would make them want to support us? You're right, absolutely nothing.
Before we showed up women in the rural regions were second class citizens largely confined to their homes. After we showed up, they remained second class citizens confined to their homes, only now the tribal men who protected them were being bombed and killed off in our raids.
As Pepe Escobar, Anand Gopal, Jennifer Brich Murtazashvili and Obaidullah Baheer who have been in country on the ground for the last 20 years have reported, the illusion of American support for these people was always a fiction. Over the past 8 years in particular, Jennifer Brich Murtazashvil would follow up on these US reports on all the miraculous things our aid was accomplishing on the ground in these villages, only to arrive and discover the report was a complete fiction. No aid had ever arrived and some American contractor had stolen all the money and run off to Maui long ago.
the majority of Poshtun women and men who backed the Taliban feel their life will be better with us gone. At least the endless bombing and US raids will stop killing off all the men they depend on for protection. It's not much, but it's more than we ever provided them over the past 20 years.
You need to stop thinking of the Taliban as some foreign occupying force. Not only is the Taliban Afghani, but they represent by far the largest tribal group in Afghanistan, the Poshtuns. Eliminating the Taliban to save Afghanistan would be like killing and the Vietnamese to free Vietnam for the Hmong. It shows a fundamental misunderstanding of who Afghanistan belongs to. The reason things fell so fast when we left is because the Poshtun's not surprisingly backed the Poshtun Taliban.
The message was clear when we arrived. "Thanks for liberating us, now get the hell out." It's he same message almost every country will give you when your military arrives with the emphasis on "now get the hell out." We ignored that and shockingly, they did not approve.
In the cities like Kabul where a more ethnically diverse and smaller percentage of the population lives things will get worse. This is where the majority of journalists report from so for them the loss of the Sheraton and the Marriott is a National Crisis. that is not at all how most Afghani's see us leaving. The majority of the Posthun's simply want to stop their men from getting killed off and were going to support the Taliban the moment they finished milking the American cow. The milking is done and they are doing what they always planned. Only our military and foreign officials would be stupid enough to be surprised but what is now taking place. There was never a possibility it would turn out any different.
ISIS has taken responsibility for the bombing in Afghanistan. Guess Trump didn't neutralize ISIS like he said he did. Shocking.
@38: "The worst is probably still to come"
Absolutely right. They only reason Afghanistan is currently united is because we did such a miserable job there that all ethnic groups were willing to work together to get rid of us and our incompetent Afghani government stooge.
The Tajik and Uzbeks have temporarily hidden their weapons and gone to ground, but it will not take long for the Poshtun's to ask them to make a sacrifice they are unwilling to make. Like the Taliban did when the US arrived, at that point they will take their weapons back out of hiding and backed by the Turks and other countries in the region go back to war with the Taliban/Poshtuns majority.
Xina- You are so tiring. My source IS SLOG, which is what we are commenting on.
I prefer the candy corn dido.
To all those public employees out there who threaten to quit rather than comply with public safety requirements, BFOQs of the job so to speak: Don't let the door hit you where the good lord split you.
43 the number of cases that have been officially linked to sturgis is a massive undercount because we suck at contact tracing, particularly states like SD whose leadership is incredibly still trying to pretend the pandemic isn't happening. From the article we're discussing here on slog:
"The 123 cases among the five states almost certainly represent an undercount because the rally concluded less than two weeks ago and contact tracing is challenging in connection with an event that lures attendees from around the country"
I think it's safe to say the sudden explosion in covid cases in SD can be attributed to the reactionary biker rally that immediately preceded it ,even if no one can be bothered to investigate it
@40: He did actually. This is a new group called ISIS-K.
@42: Despite all the overblown rhetoric around the Taliban since 9/11 about them being no different than Al Quaeda, they are businessmen interested in running a country. Hillbilly businessmen who don't share our values, but businessmen all the same.
Just before 9/11, groups like Unocal were openly working with the Taliban to run an oil and gas pipeline from the Central Asian countries through Afghanistan to the Mediterranean Ocean, thus bypassing the old soviet pipeline infrastructure that routed all gas through Russia and Ukraine. This was something people like Clinton and Brzezinski supported in order to bypass Russia's stranglehold on natural gas to Europe at the time. The Taliban was on board with ensuring the safety of the pipeline, for a fee.
Then 9.11 happened and all that ended.
Brazilian reporter Pepe Escobar has done an excellent job documenting all this since the 90's. Of course the Chinese will deal with the Taliban and this will be the deal. You let us mine your resources along with building roads and infrastructure to deliver it for a fee and promise no terrorist attacks inside China. Other than that, do what you want.
It's the kind of deal the Taliban will have no trouble making. No American led NGOs on the ground over the past 20 years with women explaining to the Elders of tribal counsels how they must have more women on their counsel if they want US aid. No flow charts of dispute resolution handled through puppet reenactments. No gender study programs and classes requiring training on male toxicity. It will be the kind of deal that will make sense to the Taliban and China. The kind of deal we are absolutely incapable of. We refuse to make deals with anyone who does mirror our HR concerns as of 2021. I mean, how can we work with people who haven't even embarrassed the #MeToo movement?
"Embraced" the #MeToo movement, but embarrassed kinda works too.
@39 On the one hand, you'll never understand Afghanistan if you don't understand its ethnic divisions, but on the other hand, you'll never understand Afghanistan through the reductive lens of intertribal conflict, either.
The Taliban lost their local legitimacy precisely because they were seen as a tribal and sectarian interst -- and a foreign one, to boot -- and they rebuilt by gradually bucking that perception, recruiting in-country and targeting any bigwigs viewed as corrupt-- pointedly including Pashtun and Sunnis.
What happens in the next couple-few years or decades is simply going to be about money before it's about religion or ethnicity. American money has been a major source of funding for local power structures through most of the country, and Taliban legitimacy today is rooted in targeting anyone who was too flagrantly tapping that source. All of that is going to change as everyone who's used to having a lot of money coming in starts to look around for ways to extract it from local populations, and the Taliban gradually run out of obviously American-backed targets and have to take on more homegrown exploitation if they want to keep up their anti-corruption campaign. Also, without the sea of American money sloshing around, it's going to get harder to ignore the Taliban's own little pond of foreign funding.
The current dynamic is unsustainable, and when it comes apart the cracks will most likely form along the old ethnic lines, because that's where the handshakes happen; but reading the fallout as rooted in "ethnic hostility" will be a gross misunderstanding of the situation.
“Trump allowed the Taliban to set all the metrics for withdrawal. From how many planes could come and go to who gets to be a refugee. Biden would have to renegotiate that but with what? We had no stick.” --@Casino
but we have U$D
and can Build Shit
like no One’s Business
when we’ve half a Mind to
if we cannot Overpower them
perhaps we might REPAIR
for them some of the
Shit WE Blew Up?
can we not Purchase
a Better Outcome?
@37 – Pardon me:
it's getting Uglier.
By that "logic" Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Delano Roosevelt were the worst leaders in U.S. history, QED.
Oh, so NOW suddenly you believe the results of polls? Interesting...
@55 I don't have much hope for a western press whose curiosity about the reconstituted Taliban is limited to "But Will They Allow Girls In The Treehouse???!!?"
Of course they won't. And nobody else in the region will, either. The only people who've had any inclination in that direction in the past century were a small "cosmopolitan urban elite," which we can abbreviate to "marxists," for all practical purposes. There aren't many left, and they don't have a lot of friends.
@51: Let me offer a more cynical and less ideological narrative on why the Taliban lost local legitimacy.
They went to war on the poppy plant a few years prior to our arrival. By doing so, they alienated not only the Northern Alliance ethnic groups, but also their own more moderate Poshtuns.
The US shows up with suitcases stuffed with cash at the end of 2002 and start buying off impoverished farmers who had lost all their income due to poppy eradication. Of course they took our side. We had all the cash.
By 2003 the Taliban was actually starting to lay down their weapons and try to integrate into the existing economy, but fanatical US ideology made that absotely impossible as the US tried to repeat de-talibinization with the same success we would later accomplish de-bathification, which is no success at all. The Taliban by 2005 realized integration was impossible, picked up their guns and started fighting again.
Anand Gopal, who was embedded with the Taliban for the last 20 years tells these heartbreaking stories of Taliban trying to integrate back into normal society, only to be rejected by the Americans in his landmark 2015 book "No Good Men Among the Living (American Empire Project)"
Amy Chua, a Chinese American immigrant born in the Philippines as a Chinese American documents America's ideological blind spot on this area in her book: "Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations" from 2018. American's have an almost Star Wars level understanding of foreign affairs where we spin things as simply as the impact of cutting off a primary cash crop into some huge ideological war between good and evil. While the rest of the world finds if laughable, it keeps getting up into wars we should not get in trying to achieve things we cannot achieve. The worst part is that we never learn anything because we insist on imposing a superficial ideological belief system in place of reality as it exists.
If you go back to 2001 Afghanistan was not very tribal. For all their other flaws, the Taliban understood power sharing in a diverse country of ethnic groups and new how to manage things without creating ethnic rancor beyond the small scale ethnic groups primarily in the north. As Jennifer Brich Murtazashvili has pointed out, the Constitution America imposed on Afghanistan was far more top down authoritarian project than the Taliban would have dreamed of creating. It was essentially a recreation of the Top down central authority model that the USSR had failed to instituted during their occupation. It's one reason many of the villagers did not realize the Russians had left and the American's arrived. There we almost no difference in the failed centralization policies we tried to implement that cause so much resistance to their occupation.
Then we not only put ethnic minority American puppets literally raised in the US like Ashraf Ghani in charge, but they used that central authority to give their minority ethnic tribe power over Poshtun majority areas and absolutely refused to discuss this with them, sending the American Army to impose his decisions instead.
Afghanistan may not have been an ethnic defined country in 2001, but it was almost entirely defined along ethic lines by 2021 thanks to our policies. We have turned it into an ethnic conflict. That is what 2 trillion dollars, thousands of dead Americans and Afghani's and 20 years of failed occupation have brought us.
That's why I find it so ridiculous that a media that has ignored Afghanistan for 12 years now wants to blame the inevitable bad withdrawal in Joe Biden. As I said to another poster, if someone is driving a cross the bridge and it collapses, you don't interview whoever was driving the last car when it happened. You look at what the engineer did wrong when he built it.
Important Typo: The US shows up with suitcases stuffed with cash at the end of "2001" and start buying.
Hey, look everybody - we have us a brand new sock puppet (@60)! Wonder which OLD sock puppet he was before...
@60 -- 'republicans' are all about the Retribution and of Course they'll find the flimsiest of 'arguments' to Impeach -- 'specially after El Incompetento was Impeached -- TWICE! that's gotta be 'republican' slang for Impeach ALL Dems! from now on.
right or wrong
Your hubris is thinking you deserve anything more than mockery...
It hasn't fallen apart - the key players just haven't been subpoenaed and put under oath to testify about their involvement.
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@60: I think your ideologically driven mistake is your failure to understand the other side gets a vote.
For all his flaws, Hamid Karzai was a negotiator and by 2008 had become an authentic statesman. American government officials were furious to see him referring to the Taliban as "our Afghani brothers" by 2008 and he even called off attacks on Taliban strongholds by 2007. He had the good sense to place true representatives in power in areas where they were popular because by 2008 he could see the writing on the wall even if our own government could not.
In 2009 Ashraf Ghani came to power and it was a disaster. During the original peace talks, he refused to participate. Once Biden was elected both Biden and Karzai pleaded with him to negotiate a power sharing agreement with the Taliban after the US withdrew and he refused. It was Ashraf Ghani's stubborn refusal to negotiate that led to a quick collapse of the Afghan government and we don't get a vote in what the other team decides. If you want to be angry about the recent problems, that's who you need to direct your ire at although personally, all I care about is that we are finally getting the fuck out.
It's funny, I'm an independent and for the last 4 years I have agreed with the Republicans that we should get out. Now that Biden is president, those same Republicans who wanted us out are instead whining that it did not go as smoothly as they would like. Ideology is a drug. You and I both know if Trump had pulled this off you would declare in the greatest withdrawal of all time even if it looked exactly as it does now. If you want to understand the world, you need to think beyond "your team" to the broader implications. Particularly when it comes to foreign affairs, an obsession over supporting your team will only keep you from understanding what is happening on the ground.
@71: Corruption in the context of Afghanistan means something different. Stealing money is business as usual. Corruption is holding a family hostage until someone does what you say. All Afghani politicians are corrupt in both the 1st and 2nd sense. Ghani was not inept, he was a dangerous ideologue who cut his teeth at the world bank and in US Universities. It goes way beyond inept.
Ghani was not going to discuss power sharing so the government was going to collapse and that is just as true back in may as it was in August. Changing the timeline does not change the failure of the Afghani government to cooperate. Karzai remains in Kabul and is working out a power sharing a agreement as we speak. Ghani is in Dubai with 138 million he stole from the Afghan government. They are not even in the same category.
Given that the government was going to collapse regardless of who was in charge, please spell out in your bipartisan way how things would have been different if Trump were in charge.
Come to think of it, do you think leaving was a good idea to begin with?
@73; As an aside, many of us served in both the military and Afghanistan, but since there is no way to back up the claim, most of us don't mention it. I figure the arguments can stand on their own.
@A_S-g -- "Russian collusion bullshit
which fell apart like a house of cards"
well duh under "republicans"
EVERYTHING Falls Apart
like Houses of Cards
from Democracy Now: As Attorney General William Barr releases Robert Mueller’s long-anticipated report into Russian interference in the 2016 election, we speak with world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author Noam Chomsky about what he sees as the political perils of “Russiagate.”
“The Democrats invested everything in this issue. Well, turned out there was nothing much there. They gave Trump a huge gift. In fact, they may have handed him the next election.
That’s just a—that’s a matter of being so unwilling to deal with fundamental issues, that they’re looking for something on the side that will somehow give political success.
The real issues are different things. They’re things like climate change, like global warming, like the Nuclear Posture Review, deregulation. These are real issues.
But the Democrats aren’t going after those. They’re looking for something else—the Democratic establishment. I’m not talking about the young cohort that’s coming in, which is quite different.
Just all of that has to be shifted significantly, if there’s going to be a legitimate political opposition to the right-wing drift that’s taking place. And it can happen, can definitely happen, but it’s going to take work.”
@64 -- you musta missed this
right or wrong
oh and Speaking of Impeachable Offenses:
What Trump’s Disgraceful Deal
With the Taliban Has Wrought
But in both hubris and folly, none come close to matching Donald Trump.
For someone who prided himself on his abilities as a dealmaker and displayed an “I alone can fix it” arrogance, the agreement he made with the Taliban is one of the most disgraceful diplomatic bargains on record.
Coupled with President Biden’s mistakes in continuing the policy and botching its execution, the deal has now led to tragic consequences for Americans and our allies in Kabul.
Mr. Trump’s handling of Afghanistan is an object lesson for why presidents of both parties need to be better constrained by Congress and the public in their conduct of foreign policy.
The problem was that the strongest state in the international order let itself be swindled by a terrorist organization.
By Kori Schake
Ms. Schake, a foreign policy expert who worked for the National Security Council and the State Department during George W. Bush’s administration, is director of foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute.
Aug. 28, 2021
tonnes more at
@53 COMTE re @13: Swifty has a tendency to leap off the high diving board without first checking to make sure there's actually any water in the pool. Methinks he spends too much time hanging out with Elmer (@47).
@60, @62, @64, @70, @72, @73 & @74 The Terminally MAGA-Stupified Idiot Formerly Known As...Seattle Blues? Muffy? Mellow? Eudamonic? Sportlandia? HerrBrahms? David in Shoreline? Isn't changing your screen name account more frequently than most people change their underwear getting tiresome? Are you wanted for tax evasion?
Oh--THAT'S right...you're the alleged "deported Nigerian price living in exile".
Good one. That'll fool 'em.
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All contents © Index Newspapers LLC
800 Maynard Ave S, Suite 200, Seattle, WA 98134