Author Topic: The Fall of Kabul  (Read 1279 times)

Offline SGOS

Re: The Fall of Kabul
« Reply #30 on: August 21, 2021, 09:39:15 AM »
Inflatables are big improvement over cardboard cutouts.  If they used cardboard cutouts, there would be even fewer believers.

Offline SGOS

Re: The Fall of Kabul
« Reply #31 on: August 22, 2021, 08:10:03 AM »
The NYT describes an Administration/Pentagon strategy planning for withdrawal starting back in May.  I think "strategy planning" would be a good description, but it was also similar to a debate with both sides disagreeing with each other.  As Commander and Chief, Biden had the last say of course, and he and his staff "agreed" with each other that a safe orderly withdrawal would be the outcome.  Pentagon generals did not say, "No, you are wrong," at least from the way I read it.  It sounded they were just offering the most prudent strategy for withdrawal, including more time, and obviously included more details about particulars than were available to reporters.

The outcome being that the Generals were ignored.  Biden and his staff were confident, in spite of the warnings.  In addition, the President of Afghanistan did not want a situation that might cause panic in the country, the result being that information was not presented to the public that would tell them how urgent it was to prepare.  This left a lot of Afghans and Americans outside the circle of safety and outside the Taliban checkpoints not allowing them passage to the safety of the airport.

Maybe this is the way final withdrawals have to be, as it was in Vietnam, planning followed by final chaos, no matter what the strategy involved.  Although the NYT did not present the planning that way.  While the Pentagon strongly warned about the president's exit strategy, we don't know if the Pentagon plan would have been less chaotic.  Also, the Pentagon did not recommend staying in Afghanistan.  They just disagreed with the president's exit strategy.

In any long drawn out war that serves no purpose or advantage to the US, an exit is always necessary.  Americans in general tend to be enthusiastic about invading, but soon begin to lose interest when the actual costs of war become apparent.  Eventually, some president will have to end the war.  Trump could have done it without losing support of his base.  He would have just pulled out and disregarded the humanitarian pain.  His supporters would have rallied around that.  Biden lacks the pathological disinterest in humanity to do what Trump could have done.  Could he have done it better?  I don't know.

Will this affect the 2022 mid term elections?  Probably to some extent, but there may be other factors that will carry much more influence.  Who knows?

Re: The Fall of Kabul
« Reply #32 on: August 23, 2021, 12:43:27 PM »


Holy fuck. I knew this was a mess, but it just gets worse the more angles you look at it from. Not only did we waste hundreds of billions of dollars on military equipment we never used, but when we hastily evacuated, guess what was left behind. Weapons, helicopters, all that stuff American tax dollars went to buy, all now belong to the Taliban.

Fuck Joe Biden. When asked about the people we have an obligation to protect, he said, "Fuck that. We don't have to worry about that. We did it in Vietnam, Nixon and Kissinger got away with it." Wow.
"Oh, wearisome condition of humanity,
Born under one law, to another bound;
Vainly begot, and yet forbidden vanity,
Created sick, commanded to be sound."
--Fulke Greville

Online Shiranu

Re: The Fall of Kabul
« Reply #33 on: August 23, 2021, 01:03:12 PM »
Quote
Fuck Joe Biden. When asked about the people we have an obligation to protect, he said, "Fuck that. We don't have to worry about that. We did it in Vietnam, Nixon and Kissinger got away with it." Wow.

Honestly, the biggest gear that has been grinding for me is every time I've seen him address the nation he keeps repeating, "Look, leaving Afghanistan was the right choice. I don't regret that we left, it was the right choice."

...literally no one is complaining about us leaving, it's how it was handled that people are upset about. I've yet to hear him actually address that, and it's just not a good look to keep on telling people to stop being so annoyed at him because leaving was the right choice and ignoring the actual issue people have with it.


Edit: Holy fuck, I just got to that part and the interview in February. Biden can actually go fuck himself with a rusty axe.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2021, 01:16:10 PM by Shiranu »
“The great appear great to us only because we are on our knees. LET US ARISE!” - "The Rebel", Texas' Premier Socialist Newspaper, 1892

Online Shiranu

Re: The Fall of Kabul
« Reply #34 on: August 23, 2021, 06:57:06 PM »

Speak of the devil.



Two things;
1. Americans aren't stranded in Afghanistan, and it's irresponsible and rage inducing to suggest they are?
 
2. That still doesn't answer the questions I have now heard reporters ask Biden and her at least 10 times; why do you keep repeating that withdrawing was the right thing to do when all we are asking is if it could have been handled better?
« Last Edit: August 23, 2021, 07:33:02 PM by Shiranu »
“The great appear great to us only because we are on our knees. LET US ARISE!” - "The Rebel", Texas' Premier Socialist Newspaper, 1892

Offline SGOS

Re: The Fall of Kabul
« Reply #35 on: August 24, 2021, 06:39:52 AM »
Biden has been around making gaffs for decades.  That's probably the source of his name recognition.  That was probably the worst so far, but I'm convinced he hasn't reached the bottom yet.  Trump was a dufus and generated the biggest liberal turnout ever.  Biden may have the same effect on Republicans.

Offline SGOS

Re: The Fall of Kabul
« Reply #36 on: August 24, 2021, 07:06:37 AM »
Speak of the devil.



Two things;
1. Americans aren't stranded in Afghanistan, and it's irresponsible and rage inducing to suggest they are?
 
2. That still doesn't answer the questions I have now heard reporters ask Biden and her at least 10 times; why do you keep repeating that withdrawing was the right thing to do when all we are asking is if it could have been handled better?
She has gone to extremes to create straw men out of that reporter's comment.  A good politician needs to be able to dance and weave to avoid answering questions, but they are supposed to do it so that no one notices.  Now I agree that she needs to prioritize issues with getting out of Afghanistan at the top.  I think a better approach would be to make that clear, and then address the other questions.  It might even be better to admit that withdrawal from pointless wars always presents death, suffering, and loss among civilian populations, including Americans who were taking unnecessary risks.

"We are going to get them all out!"  This is a great objective, but a purely unsubstantiated claim, and sadly does not address the plight of our Afghan friends.  What she is leaving out seems to be a toned down version of Biden's gaff about "zero responsibility for Afghans."  I doubt that Biden actually meant what he said, which is why they call statements like that gaffs.  And this is one of Biden's character traits.  Usually, they are tiny in comparison, and they are lovingly laughed off by Democrats, but this time, they are burying themselves, and this woman seems to be making a mess out of the mess.

Offline Hydra009

Re: The Fall of Kabul
« Reply #37 on: August 24, 2021, 10:34:47 PM »
A good politician needs to be able to dance and weave to avoid answering questions, but they are supposed to do it so that no one notices.
Sorry to sidetrack the thread, but is that true?  Good politicians shouldn't be candid?  Good politicians shouldn't answer uncomfortable/nonplusgood questions at all?

I can't remember the President, but one President suggested that Americans dial back their consumption to help ease some sort of problem (energy crisis, maybe?) and he wasn't particularly well-liked, so maybe there's some truth to the above quote.

Offline SGOS

Re: The Fall of Kabul
« Reply #38 on: August 25, 2021, 07:51:54 AM »
Sorry to sidetrack the thread, but is that true?  Good politicians shouldn't be candid?  Good politicians shouldn't answer uncomfortable/nonplusgood questions at all?

I can't remember the President, but one President suggested that Americans dial back their consumption to help ease some sort of problem (energy crisis, maybe?) and he wasn't particularly well-liked, so maybe there's some truth to the above quote.
There was some sarcasm in that. You can substitute "re electable" for "good."  Voters as a group don't want the truth.  And I think you are talking about Jimmy Carter and runaway inflation.  He stopped printing money and raised interest rates sky high.  Actually, his appointee Paul Volker at the Fed did that.  The stock market languished for years.  And people stopped building lake homes, until inflation came under control.

Online Shiranu

Re: The Fall of Kabul
« Reply #39 on: August 26, 2021, 02:21:12 PM »
At least 3 bombings have happened in the last 5-6 hours, killing at least 10 U.S. soldiers. ISIS has apparently arrived.
“The great appear great to us only because we are on our knees. LET US ARISE!” - "The Rebel", Texas' Premier Socialist Newspaper, 1892

Re: The Fall of Kabul
« Reply #40 on: August 26, 2021, 02:26:36 PM »
At least 3 bombings have happened in the last 5-6 hours, killing at least 10 U.S. soldiers. ISIS has apparently arrived.

I just saw a video from CNBC about a suicide bomber outside the airport where everyone's waiting to GTFO of the country. But don't worry. Biden's team hears you. He's doing everything he can by...sending out suggestions on WhatsApp. This is totally under control.
"Oh, wearisome condition of humanity,
Born under one law, to another bound;
Vainly begot, and yet forbidden vanity,
Created sick, commanded to be sound."
--Fulke Greville

Online Shiranu

Re: The Fall of Kabul
« Reply #41 on: August 26, 2021, 02:35:21 PM »
I just saw a video from CNBC about a suicide bomber outside the airport where everyone's waiting to GTFO of the country. But don't worry. Biden's team hears you. He's doing everything he can by...sending out suggestions on WhatsApp. This is totally under control.

I am still seeing a massive circling of the wagons by Democrats who insist he is doing everything right, and that all the criticism of him is just undercover Republicans who belong in prison trying to destroy his reputation.

I just don't get how the right-wing Dems and the far-right Republicans can be so fucking partisan towards one another when they really aren't all that different other than a few social policies.


Here's to hoping this isn't used as an excuse to go back in...
“The great appear great to us only because we are on our knees. LET US ARISE!” - "The Rebel", Texas' Premier Socialist Newspaper, 1892

Offline Hydra009

Re: The Fall of Kabul
« Reply #42 on: August 26, 2021, 02:49:38 PM »
I am still seeing a massive circling of the wagons by Democrats who insist he is doing everything right, and that all the criticism of him is just undercover Republicans who belong in prison trying to destroy his reputation.
I hear ya.  A few days ago, I saw one that insinuated that Biden is getting so much flak because he's doing the right thing.  Dafuq.

No.  He's getting flak because he's doing the right thing in an obviously flawed and disorganized way.  I mean, how the fuck do these people think jihadis opening up US weapons crates and driving around in US military vehicles is a good thing?!  It's almost as brain-dead and irritating as right-wing propaganda.

They do correctly blame Trump for being a part of this mess but I've got news for you guys - a LOT of people have their fingerprints on this mess, not just Republicans.  The "blame the Republicans" thing is not the full story by a long shot.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2021, 02:52:48 PM by Hydra009 »

Offline Mr.Obvious

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Re: The Fall of Kabul
« Reply #43 on: August 26, 2021, 04:28:11 PM »
Look, I'm not an expert on this kind of matter. I won't pretend to be.
Nor have I extensively looked into it.

I just want to say, I'm not sure another administration, given the hand they were already dealt, would've handled the withdraw better.

That being said; it was still a collossal fuck-up from begin to end, with the fault on all those in charge over the past two decades. Including Biden. Including Obama. Including Trump. Including Bush. And all their lackees and all their representatives.

And even if Biden were to truly think he and his people did everything right that they had control over, which I doubt that he truly does, I think he is still in a position in which he should express more that this could and should have been handled better; including by him.
It is the absolute bare minimum of what is needed of him. For America. For Afghanistan. For the rest of the world. Because for all his talk of decency, it would be the decent thing to do. It's hard to hone up to a bad look, even if you truly think most of the blame isn't on you. But that was what the former guy did. He never took responsibility for jack-shit if he thought it made him look bad. It shouldn't be another four years of that. Sometimes, even if you truly don't think it is fair, you need to bite the bullet and take one for the team. He holds a powerfull office, it comes with responsibilities that should surpass his ego.

I still think Biden has the potential in him to do great things in office yet. And up until this, I had little qualm over his performance so far. His presidency doesn't even have to be defined by these past few weeks. But only if he both hones up to them as well as turn to the future and truly work for a better world.

And if he's worried about admitting fault hurting his chances of reëlection, I don't think anyone, even as they voted for him, was hoping for a second Biden term. He's just too damn old for that, even if he were to be one of the greatest presidents in the world. Which actually puts him in an almost unique situation to do great things without needing to fear the reprecussions on his future political carreer. He could be the one to show us that  it takes strength to take responsibility for a fuck-up. Which makes it all the more painful that he isn't.
"If we have to go down, we go down together!"
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Re: The Fall of Kabul
« Reply #44 on: August 26, 2021, 05:04:44 PM »
Lawrence O'Donnell has a take on the Afgan withdrawal that I had not thought about.  He suggests that we are a country leaving a theater of war in defeat.  Those never go well.  We did it in Vietnam and did not save a single person.  This time is going much better (not good, but better).  He states it better than I can:
https://www.msnbc.com/transcripts/transcript-last-word-lawrence-o-donnell-8-17-21-n1277051

I think he has a point.  We lost and are leaving.  Never a fun nor good thing to go through.  I have hated the Afgan war almost from the start and have viewed it as a total waste of people and money.  Finally we are leaving. 
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?