Patterico's Pontifications

8/19/2021

State Dept. Cable Warned Administration That Afghan Military Wouldn’t Be Able To Stop Taliban’s Advance

Filed under: General — Dana @ 8:53 pm



[guest post by Dana]

This is just damning:

An internal State Department memo last month warned top agency officials of the potential collapse of Kabul soon after the U.S.’s Aug. 31 troop withdrawal deadline in Afghanistan, according to a U.S. official and a person familiar with the document.

The classified cable represents the clearest evidence yet that the administration had been warned by its own officials on the ground that the Taliban’s advance was imminent and Afghanistan’s military may be unable to stop it.

The cable, sent via the State Department’s confidential dissent channel, warned of rapid territorial gains by the Taliban and the subsequent collapse of Afghan security forces, and offered recommendations on ways to mitigate the crisis and speed up an evacuation, the two people said.

The cable, dated July 13, also called for the State Department to use tougher language in describing the atrocities being committed by the Taliban, one of the people said.

Even in early mid-July, the administration had a very good idea of what was going to happen, and yet they were unprepared. White House correspondent Jacqui Heinrich reports that the White House takes issue with the cable’s warning date:

the Biden administration is disputing the notion this confidential cable warned of the events we saw play out —

A source notes, the cable says Kabul could fall “shortly AFTER the US leaves on 8/31” – not a warning it could happen in early August

On a side note, it’s particularly galling that the State Dept. had to be asked to use tougher language with regard to the atrocities being committed by the Taliban. Hopefully, no one believes the Taliban’s claim that:

…there will be no revenge attacks on those who worked for the government or its security services, and that “life, property and honor” will be respected. They are urging Afghans to remain in the country and have pledged to create a “secure environment” for businesses, embassies, and foreign and local charities.

Because anyone who does is a fool:

The Taliban have stepped up their search for people who worked for Nato forces or the previous Afghan government, a UN document has warned.

It said the militants have been going door-to-door to find targets and threatening their family members.

The hardline Islamist group has tried to reassure Afghans since seizing power, promising there would be “no revenge”.

But there are fears the Taliban have changed little since the brutal 1990s.

The warning the group were targeting “collaborators” came in a confidential document by the RHIPTO Norwegian Center for Global Analyses, which provides intelligence to the UN.

“There are a high number of individuals that are currently being targeted by the Taliban and the threat is crystal clear,” Christian Nellemann, who heads the group behind the report, told the BBC.

And chillingly:

“It is in writing that, unless they give themselves in, the Taliban will arrest and prosecute, interrogate and punish family members on behalf of those individuals.”

He warned that anyone on the Taliban’s blacklist was in severe danger, and that there could be mass executions.

The Taliban is what it has always been:

Reports of violence and repression by Taliban militants are surfacing around Afghanistan, despite pledges by the group’s representatives that their leadership would be conciliatory and peaceful.

At least 12 people have been killed in and around Kabul airport alone since Sunday, when the Taliban entered the Afghan capital, NATO and Taliban officials said Thursday, as cited by Reuters. The deaths may have been caused by gunfire or stampede.

Beatings by Taliban fighters left some adults and at least one child injured and bleeding, according to reporting and photographs from NBC News and the Los Angeles Times. The Taliban deny their members’ involvement in the violence.

And surely, the Afghan people understand all too well the imminent threat of violence and even death they face now that the Taliban are in control. Because mothers don’t toss their babies over razor-wire fencing on the chance that British soldiers might care for them unless they are driven by an all-consuming fear of the terror that is to come.

President Biden is scheduled to address the nation at 1:00 pm tomorrow regarding the evacuation of Americans out of Afghanistan, and SIV applicants.

–Dana

282 Responses to “State Dept. Cable Warned Administration That Afghan Military Wouldn’t Be Able To Stop Taliban’s Advance”

  1. This is just incredibly infuriating, all the way around.

    Dana (174549)

  2. President Biden is scheduled to address the nation at 1:00 pm tomorrow regarding the evacuation of Americans out of Afghanistan, and SIV applicants.

    The Bum at One might just as well be addressing an envelope.

    His credibility is shot; a shot heard ’round the world.

    He was supposed to be competent in the ways of moving the institutional levers of government with 50 years of swamp creature experience. Turns out he’s a bigger foul-up than the inexperienced, bombastic, corner-cutting, capitalist with the entertaining PT Barnum act of recent years. Billions of dollars of equipment abandoned to arm Americas enemies, courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer; tens of thousands of people stranded; all a planned chaos?

    Malarkey.

    Those of us who’ve watched 18-wheeler Joe railroading ‘folks’ w/his ‘here’s the deal’ blarney over half century tried to warn NeverTrumpers ’bout his habitual bull-slinging ways.

    Now we’re stuck with him until the hand of God or a stroke of luck benches him so the 25th Amendment can be implemented- replacing the putz in the event of death, removal, resignation, or incapacitation.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  3. Look for Biden to make up for this mess by proposing to raise the amount of refugees allowed to enter the U.S. That may not be a wise course of action.

    Two of the co-workers I encountered in my career as an immigration officer had previously been refugee officers. They told me that refugee “vetting” was a joke.

    The more refugees that are allowed in, the bigger the chance that some Tsarnaev brothers (Boston bombers) will be in the mix. Even if they are children when they arrive, odds are good that some of them will eventually come to resent the U.S. Something like this even happened with Vietnamese refugees:

    https://apnews.com/article/d1d6b8841ac255296fe66e7c83064532

    In addition, a large amount of refugees will tend to result in them living in enclaves, similar to some Muslim districts in England and France where western laws aren’t exactly honored, and police are afraid to go. Lesser numbers can be assimilated in the American melting pot, but the more the people, the less they melt.

    norcal (a6130b)

  4. The bureaucracy always CYAs! Watch episode of yes prime minister on invasion of yemen.

    asset (913dcc)

  5. The bureaucracy always CYAs!

    asset (913dcc) — 8/19/2021 @ 11:49 pm

    As a former member of the bureaucracy, I can confirm this.

    norcal (a6130b)

  6. The more refugees that are allowed in, the bigger the chance that some Tsarnaev brothers (Boston bombers) will be in the mix. Even if they are children when they arrive, odds are good that some of them will eventually come to resent the U.S.

    Or, if we’re lucky, maybe they’ll merely be like refugee-turned-virulent-U.S.-critic Ilhan Omar and just get themselves elected to Congress.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  7. @6 Yes, because of the enclave of Somalis in Minneapolis. Then proceed as if she still lives in the old country with her anti-Israel and anti-U.S. views.

    norcal (a6130b)

  8. Fox is reporting both Biden will address America… w/Harris his side.

    “Does he do anything alone?” – Henry Gondorff [Paul Newman] ‘The Sting’ 1973

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  9. stay off my land
    terrorist man

    mg (8cbc69)

  10. It said the militants have been going door-to-door to find targets and threatening their family members.
    ….
    “It is in writing that, unless they give themselves in, the Taliban will arrest and prosecute, interrogate and punish family members on behalf of those individuals.”

    “Accessory after the fact”, “obstruction of justice”, “concealing, aiding and abetting a fugitive from justice” … that’s pretty much the law in the land of the free and the home of the brave, too. And we have it in writing, from the United States Supreme Court, that the police can bluff and lie to suspects, material witnesses, and other persons of interest.

    nk (1d9030)

  11. After a nice long vacation at Camp David during an uneventful August week, I’m sure Joe will be ready to give one humdinger of a speech. His foreign policy chops will be on full display.

    Hoi Polloi (998b37)

  12. Sen. Cellar 1975
    Im getting sick and tired of hearing about morality, our moral obligation. The U.S. has no obligation to evacuate 1 – or 100,001 South Vietnamese.
    How could anyone vote for joe savage?

    mg (8cbc69)

  13. There are no kinder, gentler Taliban. They told us and showed us who they were.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  14. “According to reports, President Biden ignored calls from PM Boris Johnson for more than 36 hours in the build-up to the fall of Kabul and subsequent US evacuation.

    Johnson tried to reach Biden on Monday morning, UK time, but wasn’t able to get him on the phone until 10 p.m. Tuesday (5 p.m. Washington time).

    The White House had no immediate comment on the report, but on Tuesday afternoon, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters that the president had “not yet spoken with any other world leaders” about the Afghanistan catastrophe.”

    https://nypost.com/2021/08/19/biden-ignored-boris-johnson-as-afghan-chaos-grew-report/amp/

    Obudman (cef237)

  15. More and more it’s looking to me like our strategy was “We want out, this is going to be bad no matter what, F*&( it, let’s get this over with.”

    Which is a horrible strategy.

    Would like to see some actual investigation into how this was executed. Biden will rightly pay the political price for this, but I’d like to see some accountability for the people in his administration as well.

    Interesting to see what we end up doing for our allies in the region. Trump had no plans in place to help relocate then and it’s obvious Biden didn’t either. I’m already seeing a lot of right wing chatter that we shouldn’t let them come here. I imagine that will just get louder as time goes on.

    This will be 2 in a row where we’ve pulled out and left local allies twisting in the wind. Well have no luck getting local allies in the future.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  16. The only thing worse than JB mumbling and fumbling his way through that George S interview would be KH cackling her way through it.

    frosty (f27e97)

  17. No doubt the media will quickly get to the serious question of the day: “Mr. President, have you had your ice cream today? And what flavor was it?”

    B.A. DuBois (80f588)

  18. Trust in the military has been declining but is still high.

    Joe Biden: Come on man! Me and Corn Pop can fix that right up.

    frosty (f27e97)

  19. Stolen elections have consequences.

    mg (8cbc69)

  20. Good analysis of the Afghanistan situation and a decent read.

    https://www.arcdigital.media/p/every-option-in-afghanistan-was-bad

    Fair warning: it doesn’t talk about party politics so might not be everyone’s cup of tea.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  21. @20 really leaning into that passive aggression?

    I wonder if people who use the term forever war know where that came from and what it means.

    frosty (f27e97)

  22. To be clear, ever since the February 2020 surrender agreement was signed, there was no serious effort to get the Afghans who helped us over to the US.

    But the Taliban have not violated any of the written conditions of the four-page agreement signed in Doha, which bore a title reflecting the awkwardness of the talks with an insurgent group: “Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan between the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban and the United States of America.”

    Nor is there evidence that top Trump officials prioritized planning for the eventual evacuation of Americans, or of Afghans who might be subject to Taliban reprisals for working with the United States.

    (The NYT missed the two classified annexes where the Taliban agreed to not launch “high-profile attacks” on US and coalition forces.) The Trump admin didn’t prioritize Afghan asylum seekers, and Biden did little or no better.

    Former Donald Trump adviser Stephen Miller told Politico that “most of the translators that we’ve worked with and most of the government operators we’ve worked with, who wanted to leave and who meet the conditions for the program, already have left.” President Biden has repeated a similar falsehood. The SIV program has a backlog of some 20,000 applicants, and thousands of others could be eligible.

    Political operatives like Mr. Miller speak about these Afghans as if they were freeloaders. Yet their greatest advocates are veterans. “These interpreters risked their lives and their families’ lives by aiding the U.S. military,” Daniel Elkins, a Green Beret and Afghanistan veteran, said in June. “If we abandon our side of the commitment now, people in the future will be less willing to work with us.” Even die-hard Trump supporter Rep. Matt Gaetz said he supported the SIV bill because “there are people over there who have kept my constituents alive.”

    By our actions since Trump betrayed the Syrian Kurds through today, the US is a sh-tty fair-weather ally. Frustrating and infuriating.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  23. blood is on the hands of the cellar voter

    mg (8cbc69)

  24. Frosty, It wasn’t intended as a slight. The situation can be validly analyzed on multiple levels. The political impacts are valid topic and the main point of this post.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  25. Another Trump thread….

    BuDuh (fdd65e)

  26. It’s also no surprise that, despite utterings of amnesty, the Taliban has a list.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  27. What would you have done with the Kurds if you were president at that time, Paul?

    BuDuh (fdd65e)

  28. I found this useful in understanding the predicament:

    https://www.cato.org/commentary/stealth-commitment-how-syrian-kurds-became-us-allies

    BuDuh (b430cc)

  29. BuDuh, Forgive me for butting in but I would have told Turkey that the Kurds in question were coordinating closely with US assets in the region and that because of the proximity we would be compelled to take steps to defend our people. I would have expressed hope that in the confusion there was no regrettable destruction of advancing Turkish forces. I would have ordered US forces int he regions to return fire if fired upon and prepare for potential military action with Turkey. I would also have alerted our allies in Europe that this was happening and asked for their help in preventing any loss of life.

    If necessary I would have destroyed the advancing Turkish forces. But I think Turkey would have backed down.

    If i were king we would also still be in Afghanistan.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  30. I’m open to an argument that we needed to put an end date on our partnership with the Kurds. But that’s not the same thing as running away int he middle of the night.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  31. Simple, BuDuh, not abandoned them.
    They were effective partners with us in combating the Islamic State. Their peshmerga have to proven to be better than non-Kurdish Iraqis and Syrians, and our work there wasn’t done (in fact-checking Biden, we still have 900 American troops there).
    Next to Israel and Jordan, the Iraqi and Syrian Kurds were our best allies in the Middle East, until Trump betrayed the Syrian Kurds and left them to Erdogan’s incursions into Syria and the cleansing that followed. We had had great goodwill with them ever since we put up the no-fly zones against Saddam and had no real issues with them after we took out Saddam.
    Also, it’s a fact that Trump has collected at least $13 million for Trump Towers Istanbul, and Trump loves him those dictators. Am I saying that Trump was swayed by his financial conflict of interest? Yes, that and withdrawing our forces aligns with his xenophobic sentiments.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  32. Paul, we didn’t really withdraw our forces. We just moved them to another part of the ME.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  33. @15 yes, future omars and tsarnaevs should come here

    it’s the right thing to do

    just not here here, more like there here

    dem governors like kate brown will gladly sacrifice their state but not their neighborhood

    JF (e1156d)

  34. Chaos on the “safe” side of that HKIA fence. Just imagine how bad it is on the Taliban side.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  35. JF, what’s your solution to the problem? No one has made arrangements for Afghanistan refugees. Not Trump and not Biden. The expectation was always that the Taliban would take over. The question was just how long it would take. It’s reasonable to expect that they’d seek retribution on people who helped us. I’m genuinely curious what you think *should* have happened and what you think we should do now given the current situation.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  36. At night, the Taliban are strolling thru the crowd and beating them with chains, apparently trying to provoke incidents with troops on the other side of the fence. They are going door to door, looking for those who’ve been identified as helping our forces, where two things are occurring: 1) the names of the residents are noted and they are told the Taliban will soon be back to deal with them, or 2) they are grabbed, taken away and never seen or heard from again.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  37. Paul, we didn’t really withdraw our forces.

    I expressly said that we still have 900 military still in Syria, Time. We did withdraw from the Syrian Kurds, which explains why Erdogan’s Turkish forces are still going after them on Syrian soil. The sad part is that, despite all the bad actors, places like Rojava are commendable (which I wrote about here: theforvm dot org/rojava).

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  38. @35 we certainly owe help to those that helped us

    put them on martha’s vineyard, crawford, dover and the toney zip codes in northern va who are most directly responsible for this mess

    it’s not vengeance, more like an incentive based solution that pays future dividends for the nation

    otherwise it’s like the kennedy clan pushing wind farms everywhere but hyannis port

    JF (e1156d)

  39. Where was the military brass on this?

    If there was honor and integrity in one of these jokers, they’d resign in protest stating that the current plans, or the lack thereof, isn’t going to fly.

    whembly (1fe49d)

  40. “We have not seen any great impediments to the safe passage that the Taliban have agreed to facilitate. Americans are getting through those checkpoints and they are getting onto the base — airfield, and they are being flown out of Kabul.”

    —- John Kirby, Pentagon Spokeshole

    Total Bullschiff.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  41. 38… sounds equitable!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  42. “Nude man stabs another nude man on Seattle sidewalk”

    Sounds about right…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  43. Joe Biden lacks the mental acuity to be POTUS. He has been deficient for a number of years now.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  44. @37, Sorry, I just meant that we hadn’t pulled them back from deployment. Sorry I misunderstood you.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  45. @38, so no serious ideas, just more resentment.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  46. @45 i know, right

    it lacked a whatabout trump element, i suppose

    JF (e1156d)

  47. Rather than explaining why the government didn’t know that Ashraf Ghani was going to flee the country, allegedly with bags of cash, national security sources are busy suckering journalists to report that they warned of the quick demise of the Afghan military.

    A positively egregious example is this piece from WSJ’s Vivian Salama. What it reports is that 23 people in the State Department concerned about the rapid collapse of the Afghan government warned that the collapse would happen after August 31 — that is, still eleven days in the future from today. It also reports that the Biden Administration was already hastening efforts to get allies out of Afghanistan the day after those 23 people warned Tony Blinken (meaning, State was already aware of and working on the urgency). […]

    In other words, the story should be about how top Biden officials were already ahead of where the 23 people who signed this dissent cable were, and where they weren’t, they integrated the recommendations of the cable.

    https://www.emptywheel.net/2021/08/20/journalists-getting-suckered-by-ass-covering-sources-on-afghanistan/

    Victor (6be8ea)

  48. His peak was the Crime Bill Speech. Most likely full of “-it” even then, but tell me he didn’t sound like the dream mayor of a lot of big cities in 2021 America. All downhill from there.

    urbanleftbehind (263e66)

  49. https://www.wsj.com/articles/confidential-state-department-cable-in-july-warned-of-afghanistans-collapse-11629406993

    An internal State Department memo last month warned top agency officials of the potential collapse of Kabul soon after the U.S.’s Aug. 31 troop withdrawal deadline in Afghanistan, according to a U.S. official and a person familiar with the document.

    Note: potential collapse – but not certain. And probably described only as a worst case scenario,

    “soon” – a vague term, leaving room for the assumption that there would be time to evacuate up to 70,000 people from Afghanistan before the government fell.

    And of course:

    AFTER

    But not BEFORE

    This is not a prediction of what actually happened.

    We can ask why a fall of Kabul before the evacuation was even halfway done was not the worst case scenario, but we can’t say that it was considered even a remote possibility inside the administration,.

    Biden is correct that “we planned for all contingencies” .

    All contingencies they considered rhinkable, or that someone was willing to write was thinkable,

    The worst case scenario was that a complete Taliban takeover of Afghanistan would take place, at the minimum, at least several weeks after the complete American withdrawal.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/18/us/politics/afghanistan-intelligence-agencies.html

    The intelligence he reviewed, General Milley said, outlined different scenarios including a Taliban takeover after the collapse of the Afghan security forces, a civil war and a negotiated settlement.
    “The time frame of the ‘rapid collapse’ scenario widely varied and ranged from weeks, months and even years following our departure,” he said.

    We can’t argue that what happened was predicted, but we can argue about why it wasn’t, especially in the last week. There may be an element of people being made into “yes men” here.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  50. The State Department was also trying to discourage the Taliban from taking over.

    https://www.sweetwaterreporter.com/news/us-vows-to-isolate-taliban-if-they-take-power-by-force/article_a28a47a4-f9f5-11eb-8403-0f298f4ddb73.html

    Aug 10, 2021 Updated Aug 10, 2021

    ….Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. envoy, traveled to Doha, Qatar, where the Taliban maintain a political office, to tell the group that there was no point in pursuing victory on the battlefield because a military takeover of the capital of Kabul would guarantee they would be global pariahs. He and others hope to persuade Taliban leaders to return to peace talks with the Afghan government as American and NATO forces finish their pullout from the country.

    Now the question is, is the United States prepared to follow through on that and do its best to make sure that Afghanistan under the Taliban becomes a pariah state, no matter what they do from now on in?

    And for how long? Ten years, fifteen years, twenty years, thirty years, or as long as Cuba? (62 years and counting)

    Or was that declaration just a bluff?

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  51. It has been reported that there have not been any flights leaving HKIA for 8 hours now.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  52. Biden. Didn’t. Care.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  53. The administration’s position is a “modified limited hangout.” If we don’t believe this lie, they have others.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  54. Face facts, Biden voters and supporters: the president is not well, hasn’t been functioning for quite some time now and we have a deadly crisis on our hands. All those who propped this man up, knowing that this was the case? It will not wash off.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  55. “We have not seen any great impediments to the safe passage that the Taliban have agreed to facilitate. Americans are getting through those checkpoints and they are getting onto the base — airfield, and they are being flown out of Kabul.”

    CAREFULLY CHOSEN WORDS.

    Americans only.

    The New York Times has a story about getting their employees out:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/19/business/afghanistan-news.html

    A breakthrough for a group of 128 people from The Times came when the government of Qatar, a country with ties to both Afghanistan and the United States, agreed to help. Qatar is home to an American military base; it also has an embassy in Kabul and a relationship with Taliban leaders.

    A.G. Sulzberger, the publisher of The New York Times, said the company was “deeply grateful” to the government of Qatar, “which has been truly invaluable in getting our Afghan colleagues and their families to safety.”

    ….Taliban Takeover in Afghanistan
    LIVEUpdates
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    How News Organizations Got Afghan Colleagues Out of Kabul
    The evacuation of those who worked for outlets like The New York Times and The Washington Post came after a global rescue effort stretching from the Pentagon to Qatar.

    Hundreds gathered Monday near a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane at the perimeter of the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.
    Hundreds gathered Monday near a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane at the perimeter of the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.Credit…Shekib Rahmani/Associated Press
    Michael M. GrynbaumTiffany HsuKatie Robertson
    By Michael M. Grynbaum, Tiffany Hsu and Katie Robertson
    Aug. 19, 2021
    阅读简体中文版閱讀繁體中文版
    For hours, they waited on the tarmac in the relentless heat, children and suitcases and strollers in tow, hoping for a flight to freedom that would not come. More than 200 Afghans from all walks of life — cooks, gardeners, translators, drivers, journalists — gathered on the runway of the Kabul airport, seeking escape from a country whose government had collapsed with shocking speed.

    When Taliban forces surged into the crowded airport, the group — local employees of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, along with their relatives — heard gunfire. They quickly scattered, eventually returning to homes where their safety could not be assured.

    It would be several long days until some members of the group were able to secure passage on Thursday out of Afghanistan — an exfiltration that came after a global rescue effort stretching from American newsrooms to the halls of the Pentagon to the emir’s palace in Doha, Qatar. One Times correspondent, a former U.S. Marine, who had been evacuated earlier but returned on a military plane to assist his Afghan colleagues, stayed inside the airport to help coordinate the escape.

    The group’s ordeal was one of many that played out over the past week in Afghanistan, where citizens who worked side by side with Western journalists for years — helping to inform the world about the travails of their nation — now fear for their safety and that of their families under the Taliban. Media outlets from around the world have called on high-level diplomats and on-the-ground fixers to help their employees escape a situation that none expected to unfold so brutally, so quickly.
    As the situation in Afghanistan deteriorated in recent days, the publishers of The Times, The Journal and The Post banded together on their evacuation efforts. Security personnel and editors shared information on morning calls. The publishers called on the Biden administration to help facilitate the passage of their Afghan colleagues, and discussions ensued with officials at the White House, the Pentagon and the State Department.

    By Sunday, bureaus had been closed and Kabul’s streets had grown chaotic. As American troops, contractors and security teams left the country, newsroom officials had less and less visibility into the situation on the ground. Some Afghan employees feared that Taliban forces would go door to door, intimidating or even kidnapping journalists known to have worked with American outlets.

    The American military had secured a portion of Hamid Karzai International Airport, just a few kilometers from the center of Kabul, but getting there, and then gaining access to the terminal, became nearly impossible. On Sunday, the group of more than 200 people connected to the three papers, including employees and their relatives, traveled to the airport’s tarmac, hoping to make contact with the American military, according to three people briefed on the events, some of whom requested anonymity to describe sensitive discussions.

    Instead, they found a scene of mass confusion, with hundreds of other panicked Afghans seeking refuge. When Taliban forces arrived, the situation grew more dangerous; members of the group left dehydrated, hungry and dispirited, with no clear idea of what would happen next, the people said.

    Back in New York and Washington, the papers’ leaders reached out to diplomatic contacts in countries with embassies in Afghanistan, chasing leads that could result in safe harbor and transportation for their employees. “There were many plans and many efforts that either failed or fell apart,” said Michael Slackman, an assistant managing editor for international for The Times. “You’d have a plan at night and two hours later the circumstances on the ground would have shifted.”
    One option emerged when Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state, offered a few seats for Afghan employees on a charter flight her team was trying to arrange to help Afghan women at risk, according to three people briefed on the discussions. The employees did not end up taking the flight.

    On Tuesday, 13 people from The Washington Post — including two Afghan employees and their families and an American correspondent — were able to leave on an American military transport bound for Qatar with the help of “a number of people coordinating on different fronts,” according to a spokeswoman, Kristine Coratti Kelly. Fred Ryan, The Post’s publisher, had emailed the U.S. national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, for assistance.

    Three Wall Street Journal correspondents had left the country by Tuesday, and the newspaper was continuing to work on evacuating dozens of Afghan employees. A spokeswoman said on Thursday that there had been “positive progress and our colleagues are on their way to safe passage.”

    “We will have more to share soon,” Colleen Schwartz, the spokeswoman, said.

    A breakthrough for a group of 128 people from The Times came when the government of Qatar, a country with ties to both Afghanistan and the United States, agreed to help. Qatar is home to an American military base; it also has an embassy in Kabul and a relationship with Taliban leaders.

    Taliban Takeover in Afghanistan ›
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    A.G. Sulzberger, the publisher of The New York Times, said the company was “deeply grateful” to the government of Qatar, “which has been truly invaluable in getting our Afghan colleagues and their families to safety.”

    “We also thank the many U.S. government officials who took a personal interest in the plight of our colleagues and the military personnel in Kabul who helped them make their exit from the country,” Mr. Sulzberger said in a statement. “We urge the international community to continue working on behalf of the many brave Afghan journalists still at risk in the country.”

    …..News outlets remain focused on aiding the Afghans whose employment in some cases stretches back decades. Some are holed up in cities outside Kabul, unable to travel to the airport or pass Taliban checkpoints. The Kabul airport itself remains inundated by waves of Afghans seeking flights out of the country, with Taliban forces blocking various entry points.

    Overnight on Thursday, employees of The Times and their relatives made another attempt to reach the airport. At first turned away by teeming crowds and guards at a Taliban checkpoint, the group eventually found an open entryway, according to the three people briefed on the events.

    The group was aided by a pair of Times foreign correspondents: Mujib Mashal and Thomas Gibbons-Neff. Mr. Neff, a former Marine, had initially left Kabul with an early round of American evacuees. But he later flew back to Kabul on a military plane and stayed in the American-occupied wing of the airport, where he advised his Afghan colleagues on how and when to make their approach.

    “State Department officials — both in Washington and Kabul — have been in constant, around-the-clock contact with U.S.-based media organizations regarding efforts to bring their reporters, employees and affiliates to safety,” the State Department said in a statement on Thursday. “It is a priority of ours, and we welcome today’s news.”

    You can bet it’s a priority for the Biden Administration. They’d never hear the end of it if the Washington Post, or the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal lost people.

    Some people got to the airport in Sunday, before the Taliban did, so for them all the difficulty was getting aboard a plane,

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  56. I quoted more than I wanted to.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  57. He warned that anyone on the Taliban’s blacklist was in severe danger, and that there could be mass executions.

    But they are not going to start for at least a few days.

    The Taliban want this organized and don’t want the wrong people (people they intend to let live) caught up in it. It will only be done by specially dedicated units.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  58. Or, if we’re lucky, maybe they’ll merely be like refugee-turned-virulent-U.S.-critic Ilhan Omar and just get themselves elected to Congress.

    Or maybe there are other examples:

    Ten years after the fall of Saigon and 12 years after the U.S. withdrawal from the war in Southeast Asia, two 21-year-old Vietnamese refugees joined the “Long Gray Line” of West Point graduates trained to lead American troops since 1802.

    Under a cloudless sky high on this famous promontory above the Hudson River, Nguyen, daughter of a former Vietnamese army colonel, and Vu, son of a disabled Vietnamese air force officer, joined 1,008 other cadets today waving their diplomas and tossing their white caps high in the traditional salute.

    Commissioned as second lieutenants, they are among the first three Vietnamese-born officers to emerge from the U.S. military academy. Phong Nguyen of Hayward, Calif., (no relation to Jean) graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy today. More than a score of Vietnamese refugees are enrolled here, at the Naval Academy and at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

    “It is my duty to serve this country,” said Vu, a slender youth with a serious demeanor. “So many Americans lost their lives in Vietnam. I see it as my duty to repay that debt.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1985/05/23/vietnam-refugees-find-home-in-the-long-gray-line/59746824-7e65-49c1-8710-e1f3a93b3548/

    Or here:

    COLORADO SPRINGS — Twelve years ago, Hoang Nhu Tran was a frightened 9-year-old Vietnamese boy on a leaky boat in the middle of the South China Sea, one of thousands of homeless “boat people” who fled invading North Vietnamese troops.

    On Wednesday, he will graduate from the Air Force Academy here as class valedictorian, prepare to go on to Oxford University as an Air Force second lieutenant and Rhodes Scholar for two years and then enroll at Harvard Medical School on a full scholarship to start training as a surgeon.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1987/05/25/from-vietnam-to-top-of-the-class/c2a1d810-aa03-42cb-b3b5-f9cc157be0b6/

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  59. Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 8/20/2021 @ 7:20 am

    . They are going door to door, looking for those who’ve been identified as helping our forces, where two things are occurring: 1) the names of the residents are noted and they are told the Taliban will soon be back to deal with them, or 2) they are grabbed, taken away and never seen or heard from again.

    Earlier, they were checking people’s cell phones at checkpoints, looking for phones with government contacts.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  60. I’m already seeing a lot of right wing chatter that we shouldn’t let them come here. I imagine that will just get louder as time goes on.

    It is hard to separate “right-wing” from racist bigotry again. Don’t have to look far, either.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  61. Three questions to ask Biden:

    “What year is it?”
    “Where are you?”
    “Who is President of the United States?”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  62. 34. Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 8/20/2021 @ 7:10 am

    Chaos on the “safe” side of that HKIA fence. Just imagine how bad it is on the Taliban side.

    A big question:

    Will they take out everybody on the American side of the fence?

    Or sneak out like at Bagram, hoping only to avoid people dropping form airplanes, or killed in the wheel well?

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  63. Biden’s defense seems to be: “Hey, but Trump would have done no better!”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  64. Uh Oh, you said the “R” word.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  65. I wonder if people who use the term forever war know where that came from and what it means.

    Well, I trace the term back to Joe Haldeman’s Hugo-winning book about an interstellar war that lasted centuries due to relativistic time dilation.

    But the war between Oceania and Eastasia (or was it Eurasia) was a previous literary example.

    The Hundred Year’s War is an obvious historical example.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  66. 21. frosty (f27e97) — 8/20/2021 @ 6:10 am

    I wonder if people who use the term forever war know where that came from and what it means.

    It’s a 1974 science fiction story by Joe Haldeman. It lasts seemingly “forever” because of time dilation.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Forever_War

    The war also only happens because of an inability to communicate.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  67. @63, That’s both likely true and completely irrelevant. He’s president. He decided to follow through with this, and if there are insurmountable reasons it had to be THIS bad no one has made that case.

    I think his ‘strategy’ was
    1. Hope that it wouldn’t be this bad.
    2. The public isn’t going to care about central Asia for long and he wanted it to have faded from memory by the mid-terms.
    3. Don’t do or say things that will keep this in the news.

    This would also explain why there’s been little effort for offering asylum to the people that helped us. The fear that thousands of refuges will drive more headlines than a humanitarian crisis on the other side of the world.

    Utterly contemptible performance by us.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  68. Uh Oh, you said the “R” word

    Yeah, well, go back and read some of the comments here and argue I shouldn’t have.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  69. The war also only happens because of an inability to communicate.

    Uh, no. I read the book. It happens because of a desire NOT to communicate. The power structure on Earth finds the war too useful to end, for much the same reason Big Brother did.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  70. @67: Well, yes. The fact that we did not choose Trump was at least partially due to a hope Biden would do better. Remember: Trump was the “worst ever.” Biden should not be able to defend himself with “but I’m no worse than the worst-ever.”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  71. Americans are getting through those checkpoints and they are getting onto the base

    Hey, Kirby, put those goalposts back down!

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  72. There is something seriously wrong with Biden and they are trying to shield him from the world.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  73. @68 “some of the comments here”

    lol

    that takes more effort than to actually name some

    some of the comments here are purposely vague cuz they don’t really believe their own mud flail

    JF (e1156d)

  74. An internal State Department memo last month warned top agency officials of the potential collapse of Kabul soon after the U.S.’s Aug. 31 troop withdrawal deadline…

    The August 31 date is a red herring here. The date of the actual troop withdrawal is what is important, not the deadline for accomplishing it.

    The actual withdrawal happened in early August, like a thief in the night, and the collapse of the government happened immediately thereafter.

    JUST as predicted.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  75. If the shoe fits….

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  76. it fits you all right

    JF (e1156d)

  77. Biden is a babbling seniles] dolt.

    Off the the early bird dinner special in Wilmington. But first some weak rhetorical fighting of the few strawmen who wanted to to stay in Afghanistan forever(the Cheney, David Frum, Bill Kristol, David French), couipled with a non sequitir invocation of the deceased good son Beau. AND NO QUESTIONS. The President from MBNA has to get back to his tax haven kingdom forthwith.

    Bugg (024e40)

  78. The State Dept. memo wasn’t damning, it was known as far back as 2014:

    Final SIGAR Report Points to Afghanistan’s Growing Dependence as U.S. Drew Down

    The 11th and final Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) comprehensive lessons learned report reveals telltale signs over the 10-year U.S. drawdown that the Afghan government could not sustain progress made nor provide for its own security.

    The scathing report, released Aug. 16, also criticizes the $145 billion reconstruction effort for harboring unrealistic goals and timelines but commends social progress such as lower child mortality rates and increased per capita GDP and literacy rates.

    “If the goal was to rebuild and leave behind a country that can sustain itself and pose little threat to U.S. national security interests, the overall picture is bleak,” the report’s conclusion reads.

    The final SIGAR report also appeared to predict the Afghan military’s capitulation and Taliban takeover.

    It noted that the Taliban controlled more territory and that security had progressively worsened despite $83 billion spent to build the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.

    The reason, the report stated, was a failure of clear strategy.

    “At various points, the U.S. government hoped to eliminate al-Qaeda, decimate the Taliban movement that hosted it, deny all terrorist groups a safe haven in Afghanistan, build Afghan security forces so they could deny terrorists a safe haven in the future, and help the civilian government become legitimate and capable enough to win the trust of Afghans,” the report reads. “Each goal, once accomplished, was thought to move the U.S. government one step closer to being able to depart.”

    But after 10 years of escalating, the U.S. gradually began to decrease its footprint and spending, starting around 2011. That drawdown revealed “how dependent and vulnerable the Afghan government remains.”
    ……..
    DOD had a budget of $696 billion compared to the State Department’s budget of $56 billion. The security environment necessitated that the job of political reconstruction, normally a State Department role, was instead given to the Defense Department.

    “U.S. policymakers had no other viable option but to lean on the military and simply pretend State holds the reins in such missions,” the report reads.
    ………
    “U.S. officials came to believe that even the narrow mission of keeping al-Qaeda from returning required rebuilding institutions, and these were plagued by increasingly interconnected reconstruction problems,” the report reads.

    The harbinger of the Taliban seizing territory as the U.S. withdrew was known as early as 2014.

    “The drawdown laid bare just how hollow the alleged progress had been,” the report reads. “Contested territory that had been cleared by U.S. forces was hastily ‘transitioned’ to Afghan officials who were not ready, allowing the Taliban to seize districts as U.S. forces vacated them.”
    ……..
    In March 2014, then-commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan Gen. Joseph Dunford told the Senate Armed Services Committee that when coalition forces withdrew, “the Afghan security forces [would] begin to deteriorate.”

    He continued: “The only debate is the pace of that deterioration.”
    ………
    My emphasis.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  79. not really cool of you to call out JVW like that, Kevin M

    JF (e1156d)

  80. some of the comments here are purposely vague cuz they don’t really believe their own mud flail

    if you can hold mud
    while others are losing their’s
    you’re not a lefty

    In other news…

    “WASHINGTON, Aug 20 (Reuters) – The FBI has found scant evidence that the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was the result of an organized plot to overturn the presidential election result, according to four current and former law enforcement officials.

    Though federal officials have arrested more than 570 alleged participants, the FBI at this point believes the violence was not centrally coordinated by far-right groups or prominent supporters of then-President Donald Trump, according to the sources, who have been either directly involved in or briefed regularly on the wide-ranging investigations.

    FBI investigators did find that cells of protesters, including followers of the far-right Oath Keepers and Proud Boys groups, had aimed to break into the Capitol. But they found no evidence that the groups had serious plans about what to do if they made it inside, the sources said.“

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  81. Kevin, I’m not saying it wasn’t appropriate.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  82. 67. Time123 (9f42ee) — 8/20/2021 @ 8:59 am

    The fear that thousands of refuges will drive more headlines than a humanitarian crisis on the other side of the world.

    It;s both or nothing. Countries from which nobody from there resides in the United States almost nobody in the United States pays attention to.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  83. So now Biden is not traveling to his home in Delaware after “addressing” the nation later today, he will remain in DC.

    Heh… the bad optics and outrage are finally registering with the not-too-swift prez handlers.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  84. @80 The claim hasn’t been that Trump or others organized the terrorist attack on the US capital into a well oiled operation. It was that they enraged the crowd on the lie that the election was stolen, encouraged them to attack the capital, and then stood by while the attack unfolded.

    From the DOJ charges it looks like some of them had planned for violence and others went along with the mob.

    The fact that the insurgent mob was shambolic doesn’t mean it wasn’t an insurgent mob. It just means the nation got lucky.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  85. not really cool of you to call out JVW like that, Kevin M

    I am pretty sure I did not “call out” anyone, as much as you want to say so.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  86. FBI investigators did find that cells of protesters, including followers of the far-right Oath Keepers and Proud Boys groups, had aimed to break into the Capitol. But they found no evidence that the groups had serious plans about what to do if they made it inside, the sources said.“

    Because the people who planned this – and it was planned – had a different kind of follow-up in mind that did involve any pf the people who broke into the Capitol. And we don’t know exactly what it was.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  87. So Qatar is at capacity, so there’s no place to land any evac flights.

    One gets the sense this is building to a horrible climax.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  88. @84 Time123… that may have been your position. But, it certainly wasn’t the positions of Democrats, media and Trump critics a like. Don’t help them drag the goal post.

    The rhetoric over Jan 6th was hyperbolic to such absurd levels.

    It was equated to 9/11.

    It was equated to terrorism.

    The media and Democrats (sorry repeating myself) gleefully used this as a cudgel to such absurd extremes, partly because they’re continue to give cover over the BLM riots.

    This was simply a riot. The only difference is that it took place at Congress, instead of the streets in real America.

    The mental jujitsu by some on this is truly appalling.

    whembly (ef8c84)

  89. The fact that the insurgent mob was shambolic doesn’t mean it wasn’t an insurgent mob.

    Nor does it mean that it wasn’t incited. No one is being charged with an attempted overthrow, and the closest anyone came to that was Trump demanding that Pence interfere in the EC ballot counting. But the crowd that invaded the Capitol was just an angry mob.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  90. Because the people who planned this – and it was planned – had a different kind of follow-up in mind that did involve any pf the people who broke into the Capitol. And we don’t know exactly what it was.

    Better hire Mueller and get his Band of Angry, Leftwing, Sad Sack prosecutors right on it, Sammy.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  91. A. Just disrupting Congress and forcing it to recess was enough?

    B) Was it a hope of persuading Donald Trump to declare martial law even though he’d rejected it when Mike Flynn proposed it as illegal (and therefore unfeasible – and likely to result in either nothing happening, or him being in prison, if not dead?)

    C) A plot by Russia to embarrass the United States?

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  92. They’d want to blame Trump, not Russia, for Jan 6..

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  93. This is going to be Biden;s second speech in a week about Afghanistan. He will either give answers (about what is to happen) or he won’t.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  94. Whembly, I think an armed mob that violently storms the capital at the urging of the outgoing leader to prevent the legal transfer of power is engaging something more then a riot. Either terrorism or insurgency seem colorable.

    The fact that the mob was feckless and the outgoing leader ineffectual doesn’t change that. The fact that some people who have spoken up about this have exaggerated it doesn’t diminish what happened any more exaggerating Antifa excuses their behavior.

    The fact that I think this doesn’t mean I endorse every overblown statement about the events on Jan 6.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  95. @88: Had the mob stayed outside the barriers, it would simply have been protected political expression. One of the reasons why charging people who DID stay outside the barriers with a crime is unsupportable, as is their firing by employers, etc.

    But there was a clear Rubicon. That so many in the crowd crossed that line should be troubling to all, as should the sequence of events that followed Trump’s “rhetoric.” They were protesting Congress’ failure to overturn the election as Trump demanded. That they failed to “interact” with any Congresspeople is more due to their security services’ actions than to any lack of individual desire.

    Trump’s role in the events cannot be ignored. It didn’t just happen spontaneously. This was Trump talking to the Trump legions and they knew full well which of Trump’s words were meant, and which were aimed at the lawyers.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  96. @9:49am… Are you sure, Sammy?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  97. 82. el Haiku (2601c0) — 8/20/2021 @ 9:41 am

    So Qatar is at capacity, so there’s no place to land any evac flights.

    Triple digit temperatures.

    Of course, they;ve got to fly people further away.

    Planning assumed evacuation would be slow, and to a permanent destination.

    One gets the sense this is building to a horrible climax.

    The Taliban shooting American soldiers on the way out, while Afghans (and some others) who sought shelter with the United States are abandoned.

    Now Biden is going to want to avoid that scene.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  98. @94: If someone takes a shot at me, but their aim is terrible, I still think they attempted murder. Similarly that this attack on Congress was disorganized does not mean they were not attacking Congress.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  99. 96. Pretty sure. It was planned – the article even says so – and it wasn’t planned by Trump because Trump had ther plans for that day.

    And people who go to the trouble of planning a riot have some objective in mind.

    WE just don’t know what it was.

    Despite the calls to hang Mike Pence (a ate addition by the way) and kill Nancy Pelosi that wasn’t the real objective and no serious plans were made to accomplish that.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  100. 87.So Qatar is at capacity, so there’s no place to land any evac flights. One gets the sense this is building to a horrible climax.

    Saigon moment: have ’em shove the planes off the runways to sink into the… sand!

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  101. I need to back my claim down in 84. It should be “The correct claim….”

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  102. Flights now resuming after a 9 hour pause… good news!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  103. “el Haiku”, Sammy?

    Entonces…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  104. “Grandma is on a list because she went to Washington DC on Jan. 6 to see President Trump speak but the State Dept doesn’t have a list of American citizens in Afghanistan.”

    https://twitter.com/goodblackdude/status/1428381696349540356?s=21

    Obudman (cef237)

  105. 99… “Pretty sure.” Sammy?

    My question related to your contention that, “He will either give answers (about what is to happen) or he won’t.”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  106. 83.So now Biden is not traveling to his home in Delaware after “addressing” the nation later today, he will remain in DC.

    No surprise: he doesn’t know whether he’s coming or going.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  107. Networks are emptying the green rooms with 2nd tier talent awaiting the Drooler In Chief to have his meds adjusted and and have staff change his Depends.

    Bugg (024e40)

  108. 10 AM means 10 AM – not 10:15 AM or later. $2000 man $2000… not $1400.

    Buy a calculator watch – and address an envelope, stumblebum.

    He’s an idiot.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  109. @65 the book is a metaphor of the war against communism and is full of juxtaposition and parallels meant to highlight many of the contradictions, specifically with the war in Vietnam. It wasn’t a “forever war” because it was an endless war. From the POV of the main character the “war” lasted a little over 4 years. The core story is about a soldier who goes away to fight and doesn’t recognize, and isn’t welcome, by the society that sent him when he returns.

    @66 Initially conflict was triggered because of an inability to communicate. Within the context of the story the war continued because the parties represented incompatible ideologies. There ability to communicate and stop fighting was a result of one side adopting the biology/ideology/psychology of the other. You’re only told about the initial “mistake” by the collective intelligence and while it’s certainly possible for this to be exactly true a lot of things in the book have double meanings. It’s possible for this to be a form of the unreliable narrator.

    A better choice of words might be “pointless war”. But forever war isn’t so much about how long the war takes. It’s about fighting a war and losing because your side gives up on the basic tenets of its beliefs and transforms into something radically different.

    Most of the people saying they don’t want to fight a forever war in Afghanistan are actually advocating for what the term originally described. They’re just at the point where they don’t have the will to fight and have given up on, or never really adopted, the beliefs that triggered the war.

    frosty (f27e97)

  110. Well past 1PM Eastern… probably scrambling to round up enough of the substances they pump into Biden to help him face the world.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  111. I see you beat me to it, Bugg.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  112. Remember, these arrogant people- Biden, Blinken, Harris, Pelosi. Schumer, Austin, Milley… etc., WORK. FOR. US..

    And they keep disrespecting their employers.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  113. @110, I really liked that book and your summary with analysis is fantastic.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  114. Still waiting for Biden to start speaking.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  115. Please, please, please President Plagiarist: plagiarize The Big Dick:

    “I small resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow.”

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  116. I’d think it’s them working on the speech.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  117. Phone the White House: somebody wake him up:

    Switchboard: 202-456-1414.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  118. “I small resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow.”

    [voice over]: “The President of the United States”

    President Harris: “This morning, the Cabinet met at my direction….”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  119. Has anyone reached out to Jimmy Carter for his perspective?

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  120. Bugg (024e40) — 8/20/2021 @ 9:27 am

    couipled with a non sequitir invocation of the deceased good son Beau.

    JB has been using dead family members as political props for a long time. I’m expecting him to say impeaching him or removing him with the 25th would tarnish the memory of Beau and wouldn’t be something his daughter would have wanted.

    He’s a man of character and a restorer of norms though.

    frosty (f27e97)

  121. The miserable mick is deliberately insulting every American by stalling like this.

    Can’t walk. Can’t talk. Can’t tell bloody time.

    Charlie McCarthy had better interactive skills– even with a hand up his azz.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  122. “the FBI recognizes that claiming that that ruckus was an ‘insurrection’ is BS & that it was not an ‘organized plot to overturn the presidential election result.”

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  123. NATO held a meeting. The Secrtary General (>) of NATO says they have plenty of planes and plenty of planes can fly into Kabul airport, and they are willing to take refugees, but the problem is getting the people on the planes (to the airport, and having their papers processed)

    Some NATO countries are asking for the Aug 31 deadline to be extended.

    The only way this will work is if they abandon all the red tape and just take everybody who wants to go out of Afghanistan. That’s what happened with South Vietnam in the end.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  124. couipled with a non sequitir invocation of the deceased good son Beau.

    The imbecile is emotionally damaged. If a Secret Service agent smacks a mosquito and he’ll go all weepy and cry, ‘Now the bug’s with Beau!”

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  125. Hey Joe, did some garedening; killed some ants and weeds: now they’re with Beau.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  126. I don;t think the 1 pm time for the address was ever a real time, but he should have said so. And updated more precisely as it got closer. But they don;t know what they are doing. That;s the whole point.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  127. There is no problem in Kabul that a couple dozen AC-130s can’t fix.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  128. Sammy @10:41am… have they ever known what they were doing? A serious question…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  129. “When we leave, we don’t leave with our tail between our legs. We leave from a position of strength on our terms.”

    —- Adam Boehler

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  130. Other nations are sending their soldiers out to get their civilians and keep them safe. Us under Biden, not so much.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  131. Projecting power?????

    ‘Americans land airplane. Film at 11.’

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  132. Still F-ing clueless…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  133. Goddam! Things are going great. It’s Miller Time!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  134. “We are in constant contact with the Taliban”

    This from an American president.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  135. Appeals court leaves Biden eviction ban in effect

    They have to do this. The Supreme Court precedent can only be overruled by SC.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  136. TalEbon

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  137. Word salad, word salad, list reading, sh!t-shovelling senator… ‘over watch’…. hell, BUY at watch- 1:50 PM isn’t 1 PM. Constant touch w/Taliban— the very group you said you don’t trust. ‘Swift and forceful response’… plagiarizing Trump… and ‘Beau’ get a shout oput…. piss on him you mealy-motor-mouthed pool of puss… shut up and sit down on the throne, “senator”: ‘evacuation’ to a 79 year old is a bowel movement.

    You’re witinessing the Peter Principle on display.

    The POTUS gig is too big for him.

    Do America and the world a favor, resign or die.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  138. Isn’t anybody going to help that poor man?

    —- Harriet Blazing Saddles

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  139. “Grandma is on a list because she went to Washington DC on Jan. 6 to see President Trump speak but the State Dept doesn’t have a list of American citizens in Afghanistan.”

    https://twitter.com/goodblackdude/status/1428381696349540356?s=21

    Obudman (cef237) — 8/20/2021 @ 10:12 am

    That is because the USG is not getting phone data without a warrant from telecom companies, like they did with Jan. 6th.

    Hoi Polloi (ade50d)

  140. “I’ve see no question of our credibility from our allies around he world.”- President Plagiarist ,8/20/21

    Malarkey.

    UK lawmakers condemn PM Johnson and U.S. President Biden over collapse of Afghanistan

    British lawmakers vented their anger on Wednesday at Prime Minister Boris Johnson and U.S. President Joe Biden over the collapse of Afghanistan into Taliban hands.

    http://www.reuters.com/world/uk/

    IDIOT.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  141. @114; It is one of my favorites. It’s simple and complex at the same time which is a rare find. Today most authors do not understand the difference between complex and complicated. It predates the recent trend towards deconstructionism in fiction and it illustrates a way to analyze a complex topic without cynicism.

    I suspect a modern audience wouldn’t be able to appreciate how the heterosexual/homosexual issue is being used in the story so it would probably cause an issue.

    frosty (f27e97)

  142. “The buck stops with me.”

    It just doesn’t buy much credibility these days thanks to your inflation.

    IDIOT.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  143. A Confusion of Cables

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  144. Bumfuzzled in Teh Beltway

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  145. Commitment? Start with yourself.

    They sent ‘TR’ to “Happydale.”

    “Charrrrrrge!!” – Teddy Roosevelt [John Alexander] ‘Arsenic & Old Lace’ 1943

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  146. Beau Biden references again.

    This old man is emotionally damaged; truly, truly sick in the head.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  147. LOL. First question shows the media doesn’t buy Biden’s baloney.

    Hoi Polloi (ade50d)

  148. And Biden has no idea how to answer coherently.

    Hoi Polloi (ade50d)

  149. Parsing, parsing, parsing…

    Feckless incompetent.

    Resign or die.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  150. It’s funny that he’s getting pushback from all the “good” media.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  151. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 8/20/2021 @ 10:56 am:

    Appeals court leaves Biden eviction ban in effect

    They have to do this. The Supreme Court precedent can only be overruled by SC.

    There is no Supreme Court precedent. The previous case was a one-page unsigned denial of an emergency stay. The Court did not make a decision on the merits.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  152. Good Lord… when he’s lost NPR, you know the knives are out!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  153. @151. He’s sh!t-shoveling malarkey and blarney like a senator.

    He’s in denial or brain dead.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  154. “Why do you continue to trust the Taliban, Mr. President?”

    LOL

    Don’t get me wrong, the media is only grilling Biden because the media is on the ground and feeling betrayed. But it is nice to see them push back on their Democratic handlers.

    Hoi Polloi (ade50d)

  155. @154, maybe your theory of media bias is off…

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  156. Jesus… he is going to try to bluster, blarney and malarkey his way through this like a drunken, stubborn Irish mick. This guy is the best campaign asset going now for a Trump re-election ever.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  157. “an alternate reality”…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  158. 159… no, this is a real-time demo of how Biden has been designated highly, toxic and hazardous material…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  159. CNN’s Clarissa Ward in Kabul heard Joe’s speech realtim and is contradicting his blarney and malarkey point by point LIVE.

    Even The Big Dick finally accepted reality.

    He’s out of it.

    25th amendment time.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  160. In other words, time to unhitch your wagon from the exploding turd.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  161. Beau is calling you home, Joe.

    For America, go to Beau, Joe. Go to the light.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  162. It wasn’t an address; it was a press conference. I didn’t see the beginning because the news radio station (WCBS-AM 880)I expected to broadcast it didn’t, but mentioned it on the news at 2pm. I should have tuned the radio to Bloomberg (1130 AM) They carry more live news events.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  163. @166. Radio??? It’s 2021, not 1949, Sammy: buy a television set or watch it on the interweb.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  164. My City Was Gone Joe Biden Must Go

    I watched Biden on TV
    But Joe Biden was gone
    There was no connection
    There was no one home
    Reality had disappeared
    All his word salad
    All his punches pulled
    Reduced to empty statements
    Ay, oh, way to go, Dementia Joe

    Well, I watched the pundits weigh in
    They said Joe Biden is gone
    He left thru the back door
    There is nobody home
    I was stunned and amazed
    And all my lifetime memories
    Slowly swirled past
    Like the wind through the trees
    Ay, oh, way to go, Dementia Joe

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  165. Joe, Joe, Joe…

    Half-a-century of moving the institutional levers of government as a swamp creature…

    “Gentlemen, congratulations. You’re everything we’ve come to expect from years of government training. Now please step this way, as we provide you with our final test: an eye exam…” – Zed [Rip Torn] ‘Men In Black’ 1997

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  166. I keep hearing “every American who wants to leave” and I’m anticipating a future statement about how any Americans who didn’t get out really didn’t want to.

    frosty (f27e97)

  167. Fox reports Biden abandoned $85 billion worth of weaponry to resupply the Taliban.

    Resign or die.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  168. Oresident Biden said that if Osama bin Laden had launched his attack from Yemen, we would not have gone into Afghanistan. And we got rid of al Qaeda in Afghanistan, and also killed bin Laden. So we had no more reason to stay there.

    Biden seems concerned that we might evacuate some ordinary Afghans, not associated with the United States. He is determined to abandon them to Taliban rule. They think they are entitled to go to the United States just because they don’t want to live in Afghanistan under Taliban rule, or maybe under any rule. And he’s not going to let them get out (they could go to Europe, maybe, but that would extend the time period of the evacuation, so he doesn’t want to – he didn’t say that but that’s the reason he would have)

    So that’s why the gates of the airport are closed.

    These people are trapped between the taliban checkpoint and the airport entrances.

    This creates a problem for some American citizens. The Taliban are letting through any people with American passports, but those people are in the middle of the crowd and can’t get in. So yesterday he sent some American soldiers over the wall ad they puled out 169 American citizens.

    (Biden only says by omission that others the United States wants to get out are not being let through by the Taliban. As the New York Times reports, some media companies got their Afghans out by finding a way to avoid the checkpoints. It’s not like the Berlin Wall yet.)

    There are other Afghans, apparently by the British zone, who are throwing babies over the fence. The parents may be afraid of being killed. Nobody knows who the Taliban are going to kill, and whom they are not going to kill. And they have threatened in the past that relatives of people who are hiding from them could be killed. Or it may be that the parents or mothers throwing babies over the fence may fear that a bad fate awaits them if their small children stay, particularly if they are girls. They probably also feel they may be killed for trying to escape.

    Biden talks about an over the horizon capability. Biden wanted bases for drones in the former Soviet republics of Central Asia, the stans north of Afghanistan, but Putin vetoed that. (There is a real argument that Afghanistan is not the best base for terror now.)

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  169. OT: U-Hauls have been seen by the Governor’s mansion in Albany, New York,

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  170. Here’s a ‘canary in coal mine’ moment.

    Megan McCain absolutely abhorred Trump and no one in their right minds would criticize her for defending her father in their spat against Trump.

    During ’20 election, Megan would write/say that Biden was a decent man and argued he’d be better at the WH than Trump.

    Her take down of Biden is something to behold:
    https://www.breitbart.com/the-media/2021/08/19/unfit-biden-supporters-enraged-afghanistan-debacle/

    whembly (1fe49d)

  171. The previous case was a one-page unsigned denial of an emergency stay. The Court did not make a decision on the merits.

    True, but the SC did deny the stay and the circuit court was asked for a similar stay. The only guidance they had was the SC action. And they punted as one might expect. It’s really the top court’s baby.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  172. @154, maybe your theory of media bias is off…

    No, I’d say they can only put so much thumb on the scale without it being obvious.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  173. Fox reports Biden abandoned $85 billion worth of weaponry to resupply the Taliban.

    I guess pushing the helicopters into the sea was a better move than this.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  174. U-Hauls have been seen by the Governor’s mansion in Albany, New York,

    Too bad they weren’t dispatched to Kabul first.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  175. The State Department cable this post refers to was a “dissent letter” something established by a previous Secretary of State (William P Rogers in 1971) possibly so that diplomats would not attempt to sabotage foreign policy.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissent_Channel

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  176. He is determined to abandon them to Taliban rule. They think they are entitled to go to the United States just because they don’t want to live in Afghanistan under Taliban rule, or maybe under any rule.

    Yet Central American economic migrants are let in after they say the magic words.

    I guess it’s who they’ll support later — and Afghanis who hate the Taliban are not going to favor the people who let them back into power.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  177. A good chunk of the weapons weren’t abandoned by the US, they were abandoned by the Afghan Army and Air Force.

    Afghanistan’s military has laid down its weapons, and the Taliban have wasted little time in collecting them, raising concerns about how easily troves of U.S.-made arms, military aircraft and armored vehicles have fallen into enemy hands and the new capabilities they bring.

    Scores of videos have emerged of Taliban fighters rejoicing near abandoned American helicopters, carrying U.S.-supplied M24 sniper rifles and M18 assault weapons, stacking other small arms and materiel in unending piles and driving Humvees and other U.S.-made military trucks.

    The Taliban have seized airplanes, tanks and artillery from Afghan outposts and from evacuating U.S. personnel, revealing one of the heavier costs of a U.S. troop withdrawal amid a collapse of Afghanistan’s government and army.
    …….
    The U.S. sent nearly 600,000 small arms, 76,000 vehicles and 208 airplanes to Afghanistan’s military and police from 2003 to 2016, according to a 2017 Government Accountability Office report, one of the few such compilations. The most recent quarterly report of the U.S.-led military coalition documented deliveries of 174 Humvees, nearly three million rounds of ammunition, and nearly 100,000 2.75-inch rockets during the period.

    The U.S. has also transferred anti-tank missiles, automatic grenade launchers, mortars and rocket-propelled grenades to Afghan forces. In all, Washington has spent more than $80 billion over 20 years on the Afghan forces, government auditors have said.
    ……..
    The Afghan air force had 167 operational planes and helicopters, including the UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter and the A-29 Super Tucano, a Brazilian turboprop attack plane modified for counterinsurgency missions…..

    Airplanes and helicopters, however, are unlikely to provide the Taliban much practical value, given the expertise needed to operate and maintain them, defense analysts have said. Aircraft and aircraft components and parts could be worth more in the profits they would bring when sold on the secondary market.
    ……

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  178. Biden is holding off on any decision to extend the stay past August 31 and says he thinks they’ll be able to finish it by then. He also is not for extending the perimeter.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  179. @177. No kidding– and those choppers were ‘used.’ $85 billion worth of equipment… hell, the frigging ISS cost $100 billion by itself.

    Is brain damaged incompetence a high crime or merely a misdemeanor?

    “Mediocrity is not a mortal sin…” – J. Pierpont Finch [Robert Morse] ‘How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying’ 1967

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  180. 181… here’s a Kleenex…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  181. 180. He’s got to give the immigration hawks something.

    Any effect from the Central American migrants themselves is actually about ten years in the future, till the next Census and few will become citizens by then, but it’s the people currently living in the United States who matter. There is a big community of ympathizers here and they have relatives here, and politicians who cater to them.

    Afghans not to much. Biden is trying to take care of Afghans with U.S. connections. But not all of them.

    It was probably better for an Afghan to have a connection to a U.S. media company than to the U.S. government. They’re taking out all the extended family.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  182. Airplanes and helicopters, however, are unlikely to provide the Taliban much practical value, given the expertise needed to operate and maintain them, defense analysts have said.

    Pakistan will take them.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  183. Scripted questions and answers…

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  184. Good day to be a buyer on the private international arms market …..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  185. @ Col Haiku What the Obama campaign did it 2012:

    https://nypost.com/2012/10/21/obama-campaign-accepted-foreign-web-donation-and-may-be-hiding-more/

    They stopped the address verification. Any credit card with a foreign address was no longer being rejected. They also didn’t ask for the 3 digit code.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  186. 187, They weren’t scripted, although Biden had some prepared answers to anticipated questions

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  187. After rewatching that confrence…

    He’s unfit for the office.

    Not because of his policies or what party he’s from… but, it’s obvious that all of his synapsis are not firing and people are getting hurt.

    whembly (ae0eb5)

  188. https://www.foxnews.com/politics/pentagon-british-paratroopers-afghanistan-kabul-airport

    Pentagon pressed on why British paratroopers leaving Kabul airport to rescue citizens but Americans aren’t

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  189. 188; The worst day ever in the history of Taiwan.

    Bugg (024e40)

  190. The Taliban (?) are firing shots into the air to control the crowds trying to get to the airport – the United States is firing tear gas. (not at the same locations)

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-forces-use-tear-gas-to-control-crowds-at-kabul-airport-11629459610

    In Kabul on Friday, thousands of Afghans were pushing to get into the airport. U.S. officials, in touch with Taliban leaders on the ground and in Doha, Qatar, have said the Taliban had agreed to permit U.S. citizens through their checkpoints to reach the airport, but Afghans, including holders of U.S. visas, have reportedly been blocked, harassed and beaten by militant fighters.

    The three entry gates to the airport remain blocked with people pushing to get inside. To allow families, including women and children, into the airport, security forces have used tear gas and fired into the air to disperse the crowd, Western officials said.

    It was unclear whether the soldiers who fired into the air were American; Afghan, British and other Western troops are also stationed at the airport. The U.S. military didn’t comment on the tear gas and firing but said that it is tasked with securing an outer perimeter at the airport. It has also assumed responsibility for air-traffic control there.

    One Afghan man who has worked for a U.S. contractor and who has an approved Special Immigrant Visa for the U.S. said he arrived at the airport on Thursday and attempted all night to enter. His family carried their children on their shoulders to prevent them from being crushed. However, he failed and gave up Friday morning, returning home exhausted.

    “We were stuck between the aggression of the Taliban and U.S. forces in the gate,” said the man. “I don’t know if I will ever be able to get out.”

    Many people trying to reach flights don’t have the required documents. One had only his household electricity bill, the man said.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  191. One had only his household electricity bill, the man said.

    More than they show at the Rio Grande.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  192. Floyd of Rosedale will be a mountain goat, not a pig, by 2035:

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2021/08/19/iowa-to-accept-afghanistan-refugees/8196232002/

    urbanleftbehind (6b6640)

  193. whembly (1fe49d) — 8/20/2021 @ 11:57 am

    The funny thing is this should be a surprise to no one. Every sleazy incompetent senator you see in fiction is a poor caricature of JB. He pretends at the Everyman representative from Delaware, i.e. the state corporations pick because of the favorable corporate legal and tax policies. He routinely invokes his dead family members for political points. He’s routinely grabby and inappropriate with women and girls on TV at public events. He was racist when it was cool and helped him politically and then became woke when that was the ticket. His time with BO was a joke. He screws up everything he touches.

    Anyone who says he is a “decent” man is calling their own judgment into question.

    frosty (0478d6)

  194. There’s some speculation that this marks the death knell for NATO.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  195. 181.A good chunk of the weapons weren’t abandoned by the US, they were abandoned by the Afghan Army and Air Force.

    Malarkey and blarney.

    WE -American taxpayers- paid for them.

    Damn you Biden…

    “Ah, damn you! God damn you all to hell!”- George Taylor [Charlton Heston] ‘Planet Of The Apes’ 1968

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  196. 198.There’s some speculation that this marks the death knell for NATO

    It could survive w/o the U.S.- it would be ironic if the U.S. was kicked out, though— if the other member countries could afford it.

    Across the Pacific, Taiwan is screwed. It’s a cinch American boys and girls aren’t going to defend them with this clown in the Oval. Taiwan may just look both ways and decide survival means willingly welcoming absorbtion w/t mainland.

    Thanks, Joe.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  197. How could anyone vote for this cellar dweller?

    mg (8cbc69)

  198. @197. No kidding.

    Those of us who’ve known about him for 50 years tried to warn NeverTrumpers and rabid rightie conservative party deserters of what a puddle of puss he is. Trump might have been New York City sewer scum but at least entertainingly manageable… this jerkwater is a stubborn, brain-damaged, Beau-weepy-mealy-mouthed-mick who thrives on shoveling senatorial-styled, ever-parsing word salads. Even today it was all so much blarney, malarkey, deliberate misinformation & bullsh!t.

    He’s not only a bum. He’s a coward.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  199. @201. ‘You-know-what’ is like Baseball Fever and Covid-19:

    “Catch it!”

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  200. @191. Not because of his policies or what party he’s from… but, it’s obvious that all of his synapsis are not firing and people are getting hurt.

    At this point, that’s almost too convenient malarkey and blarney to use as a excuse.

    Ths is the Peter Principle unfolding before your eyes.

    He is acting and talking like a senator- and every one of them wakes up in the morning, looks in the mirror and whispers ‘Good morning, Mr. President.’ He’s delusional.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  201. Incompetence is the issue.

    mg (8cbc69)

  202. CNN’s Clarissa Ward just on air reports the sutuation has deteriorated to the point that she is now evacuating from Kabul.

    That’s how bad it is, Joe.

    Idiot.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  203. Joe biden was sold as the safe choice to the black women democrat primary voters in the south. Over at democratic underground they are attacking the liberal news media for not defending biden’s handling of the afganistan pull out. The party is always right.

    asset (2bc2ee)

  204. All the sophisticated jet setters are flying those private’s jets 0ff the cape and the islands before the hurricane.
    Then will be the first people to blame the hurricane on global warming.

    mg (8cbc69)

  205. #202

    Trump is “manageable”?

    How do you feel the whole stolen election thing has gone? Is that corrosive anti-democratic stunt the sort of thing pulled by the easily guided?

    That’s a foolish comment, made by someone who hates Biden so much he can’t see straight.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  206. Anybody remember when President Kennedy came out to face the country and the press with Vice President Johnson and Secretary of State Rusk standing next to him to deal with the Bay of Pigs debacle?

    No.

    JFK stood alone, took responsibility for Ike’s people’s plan ‘as the responsible office of the government’ and his popularity actually went up. Even w/a back brace he didn’t have to use the crutches of a Harris or a Blinken to hold himself up on stage t the world.

    I’m ashamed Joe Biden is our president: an idiot, a bum—and a coward.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  207. @207 – The media is trying as hard as they can. That George S interview was softball and they preselected the journalists for that interview today. Joe doesn’t make it easy when he can’t get through a sentence or he contradicts himself in the very next statement.

    It’s going to be really bad when they can’t cover for the first female poc POTUS.

    frosty (f27e97)

  208. Appalled: except it’s not. Get with the program, fella.

    Only Biden could make Trump look presidential.

    [ X ] NYC capitalist sewer scum

    [ ] puddle of festering Delaware puss

    Now you choose.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  209. @212 take your own advice. That choice has already been made. Catch up.

    frosty (f27e97)

  210. Memo to Kamala:

    Confucius say last person in room first one out door.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  211. Frosty- false advertising; few people knew cellar Joe was actually a festering puddle of puss except those who kept tabs on him for 50 years.

    Now you know.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  212. #212

    The question is this —who is a bigger threat to Democracy. A mediocre pol, or the guy who persuades a whole political movement that any election they don’t win is stolen.

    I think that’s where the argument is. Please don’t lie to yourself that Trump can be managed. A lot of people have thought that and have landed in the dustbin.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  213. mg (8cbc69) — 8/20/2021 @ 1:55 pm

    How could anyone vote for this cellar dweller?

    No one could be worse than Trump right? So anyone had to be better right? We keep forgetting that he made it through the primaries so the choice wasn’t originally between those two. D/NeverTrump had an entire country full of anyone better than Trump to choose from.

    Some would say we have Trump to thank for the JB catastrophe. Those people are wrong. We have a lot of voters and a corrupt D primary process that also deserve credit.

    frosty (f27e97)

  214. Appalled (1a17de) — 8/20/2021 @ 2:49 pm

    A mediocre pol

    Now who’s being ridiculous. This mediocre pol is flushing US foreign policy, damaging the US military, and generally screwing up our national security.

    I guess it depends on what you mean by “Democracy” though.

    frosty (f27e97)

  215. Frosty:

    Biden did what Trump would have done, in terms of policy. The execution seems to have been bad because the intelligence stunk and the President likely believed what he wanted to believe and didn’t ask questions.

    Do you think Trump would have asked the questions that would have caused him to reverse track on something he considered a triumph?

    Snicker

    Appalled (1a17de)

  216. The question is this —who is a bigger threat to Democracy

    No, Appalled: the question is who’s the bigger fvck-up- the inexperienced capitalist schmuck w/t PT Barnum act or the 50 year-experienced swamp creature wallowing in his own incompetent puddle of puss.

    Now you know.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  217. Biden did what Trump would have done, in terms of policy.

    Bull. Blarney and malarkey.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  218. There have been reports that Americans have been beaten by the Taliban in Kabul.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  219. ‘Austin and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley told reporters on Wednesday that while there was the ability to rescue Americans in dire harm, “we don’t have the capability to go out and collect up large numbers of people,” Austin said. Milley added that a move outside the boundaries of the airport would be “a policy decision.’

    For Christ’s sake- THERE’S $85 BILLION WORTH OF U.S. MILITARY EQUIPMENT ABANDONED IN AFGHANISTAN TO ACCESS.

    W.T.F.

    White Rage: Two IDIOTS.

    Fire them. NOW.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  220. Appalled, Biden and Trump had the same bad police goal. Biden has also done a terrible job at the execution. The point wasn’t to replace Trump with an equally bad leader.

    Time123 (e5b03b)

  221. There have been reports that Americans have been beaten by the Taliban in Kabul.

    Contractors Joe Malarkey and Robinette Blarney, no doubt.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  222. The point wasn’t to replace Trump with an equally bad leader.

    Equally????? Unfair. President Plagiarist, w/50 years of swamp creature experience, is clearly much worse. This disaster makes Trump’s faux pas at Helsinki look like a Charlie Sheen out take from ‘Major League’.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  223. The point wasn’t to replace Trump with an equally bad leader.

    We should be so lucky to have Biden performing at even 25% of Trump’s level of competence. This EPIC FAILURE still isn’t registering with Biden, let alone some of you… denial is NOT just a river in Egypt.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  224. 197. frosty (0478d6) — 8/20/2021 @ 1:12 pm

    The funny thing is this should be a surprise to no one.

    It was a surprise to a lot of people in Afghanistan.

    That Joe Biden was determined to avoid combat was not. He still is determined to avoid comba and will leave even American citizens behind rather than do that..

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  225. 222. Colonel Haiku (2601c0) — 8/20/2021 @ 3:41 pm

    There have been reports that Americans have been beaten by the Taliban in Kabul.

    Defense Secretary Lloyd Auatin told that to members of Congress in a briefing he gave them – he also said it was “unacceptable.”

    Joe Biden appointed him partially because he’d been Beau’s superior, and he got to know him – also he needed to fill the Sudoku boxes for his Cabinet members so that everything came out right. Today he corrected himself after first starting to refer to him as General

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  226. How did the Pentagon lose track of this many copters, planes, Humvees, drones, SAMs, and tons of small arms? Perhaps s hours of spnet obsessing about white rage and being woke over the last 7 months might have been better applied to simple quartermaster takings tock of inventory. Austin not only appeared to have no idea how many, he was shocked anyone would ask the question. Competence, indeed.

    Bugg (024e40)

  227. For Gods sake, a gay Boy Scout could figure out the logistics of setting up 4 LZs at each point of the compass outside the airport perimeter, ringed w/Marines, for Americans to gather at so choppers can ferry them back to the airport to evacuate aboard C17s. Then you collapse the bag and leave.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  228. The point wasn’t to replace Trump with an equally bad leader.

    Sp why are there Republican commentators calling for his impeachment?

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  229. Biden’s I mean.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  230. 230. Bugg (024e40) — 8/20/2021 @ 4:00 pm

    How did the Pentagon lose track of this many copters, planes, Humvees, drones, SAMs, and tons of small arms?

    They turned them over to the Afghan army. The policy was to give them a fighting chance. Nit much care was taken to see that they actually had one.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  231. Defense Secretary Lloyd Auatin told that to members of Congress in a briefing he gave them – he also said it was “unacceptable.”

    Gosh, I hope Austin follows up with a stern letter. Unless they’ve already tried that. If they have and need a different approach, they should check in with James Taylor. That guy still has serious chops!

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  232. Lloyd needs a beating

    mg (8cbc69)

  233. West Point should be renamed –
    Lowest Point

    mg (8cbc69)

  234. The funny thing is this should be a surprise to no one. Every sleazy incompetent senator you see in fiction is a poor caricature of JB

    If I were casting someone to play Biden, I think I’d go with Xander Berkeley and his persona in The Walking Dead is what comes to mind.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  235. Looked up an old thread from 2019. Interesting to see the perspectives here:

    http://patterico.com/2019/10/09/as-turkey-begins-its-military-offensive-trump-faces-criticism-from-evangelicals/

    Davethulhu (aa6793)

  236. Taiwan may just look both ways and decide survival means willingly welcoming absorbtion w/t mainland.

    I kind of doubt that. TSMC is more important to the West than Saudi Arabia. Not only do we not want it to go away, but we don’t want the Chinese to have it either. If it came to the point where they might get it, it would be a race between the Taiwanese and the US Air Force to destroy those fabs.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  237. Looked up an old thread from 2019. Interesting to see the perspectives here:

    Pretty sure I was not on Trump’s side there, either.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  238. We keep forgetting that he made it through the primaries so the choice wasn’t originally between those two.

    No, it was Biden or Bernie. That should tell you all you need to know about the Democrat bench. I wish that I could say better of the GOP.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  239. Biden will bomb Taiwan.
    He has everything azz backwards.

    mg (8cbc69)

  240. “Pretty sure I was not on Trump’s side there, either.”

    I think it’s pretty clear who is consistent and who is not. I’ll let people form their own options, though.

    Also notable is that DCSCA has only 3 posts in the thread.

    Davethulhu (aa6793)

  241. @Davethulhu-here’s another; 18 wheeler Joe is supposedly hanging at the WH, scuttling his vacation to Wilmington to ‘monitor/manage the Afghan mess’. You believe that there’s a bridge to Brooklyn to sell ‘ya; check the weather map– there’s a tropical storm bearing down on the Northeast/Delmar region. Ol’ Beachcomber Joey don’t wanna get caught out in the wind and rain, too.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  242. Dana! My comment needs fishing out of moderation. Thanking you in advance…

    felipe (484255)

  243. #245 – A little bit of dialog from Charles Sheffield’s Resurgence:

    Julian Graves (a good guy) is speaking, when he is interrupted by a bad guy.

    Louis Nenda said: “It’s like I told you –”

    “There is therefore no need to tell me again.”

    And then Graves continues.

    (Is the point I am making obscure? I hope not.)

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  244. Davethulhu (aa6793) — 8/20/2021 @ 5:19 pm

    There are still a few people maintaining that the situation with the Kurds is analogous to the situation in Afghanistan. I think that’s becoming less plausible as each hour passes.

    There are also a number of people still trying “whatabout Trump” in it’s most speculative mode, i.e. whatabout what Trump would have done. That was ridiculous from the beginning.

    The better question is what do we do now? Noodle on that one and come back with something that doesn’t start and/or end with “get wrecked” if you can.

    frosty (f27e97)

  245. There are also a number of people still trying “whatabout Trump” in it’s most speculative mode, i.e. whatabout what Trump would have done.

    We know his plan of procedure; he spelled it out and staff has confirmed. This withdrawal disaster has nothing to do w/any other POTUS.

    It’s a solo act played out by The Man from S.c.r.a.n.t.o.n.

    Or is it Wilmington this week.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  246. The war isn’t over:

    KABUL — Groups of armed Afghans attacked the Taliban on Friday, driving Afghanistan’s new rulers out of three northern districts, the first assault against the Islamist militants since they swept into Kabul last week and seized control of the government.

    Local anti-Taliban commanders claimed in interviews they had killed as many as 30 of the group’s fighters and captured 20 in the takeover of the districts in Baghlan province, just over 100 miles north of the capital. Former Afghan service members were joined in the fight, they said, by local civilians. Images shared online showed celebrations as the red, green and black Afghan national flag — rather than the white flag of the Taliban — was raised over government buildings.

    Jim Miller (edcec1)

  247. What do we do now?

    Well, French and British troops are going into Kabul and rescuing their citizens, we are not.
    Former Seals, Green Berets, Marine Recon and AF PJ’s have all said they’d do it.
    Current military members that are willing are not in a position to volunteer until asked.
    Biden should give current military orders, air and armor cover (oh, wait we took it away… well bring back close air support and armor and go get people)

    There are stories that the northern tribes are not putting up with Taliban rule. Embed CIA and SF people and support them with air and heavy weapons like the Carl Gustav’s and TOW missiles.
    It is a cynical idea, but start a civil war.

    Spray Roundup on the the Opium poppies. Destroy the Taliban cash crop

    steveg (ebe7c1)

  248. “There are still a few people maintaining that the situation with the Kurds is analogous to the situation in Afghanistan. I think that’s becoming less plausible as each hour passes.”

    I disagree. I think that people’s opinions on “how long should American forces be present” and “what care do we owe our allies” are strongly analogous.

    “There are also a number of people still trying “whatabout Trump” in it’s most speculative mode”

    Not the point of my post.

    Davethulhu (aa6793)

  249. SteveG, I think you’re on the right track.

    But that would take Biden admitting his approach wasn’t perfect, and he isn’t man enough to do that.

    And also, the second Biden sends our troops to fight in Afghanistan, they will start to take casualties from weapons Biden gave the Taliban (in my book). Sniper rifles, armor, etc. I know our military is up for it, but it would be more difficult press and an election approaches, so we know Biden will just hope this goes away. The anger our allies must feel internally..

    dustin (c61416)

  250. “There are also a number of people still trying “whatabout Trump” in it’s most speculative mode”

    Actually, there are a number of Trump fanatics who are thrilled to see this pain, because they think it proves people who voted for Biden shouldn’t be “able to live with themselves” now.

    And that’s insane. Trump says he knew how to do this right, and he said for years it needed to be done, and he * DIDN’T DO IT *. So while that doesn’t take an ounce of blame off Biden, Trump had the option of handling this task, and failed.

    The guy we miss shouldn’t be Trump or Obama. It’s Bush.

    dustin (c61416)

  251. Sorry the fence-sitters, 3rd party voters, Biden voters, hell, even the thumbsitters didn’t care for the previous POTUS, but we sure could use the guy now.

    Surely even you can see, even take to heart, this is a sh*tshow. Own it.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  252. Nah, I don’t own it, but thanks for proving my point. It’s a tragedy that we left afghanistan, something I’ve always opposed. Trump demanded we do it for years and … left the task undone, happy to complain about the guy who did the job very very very badly.

    If Trump really and truly and so certainly could have done this well, and it was so predictable that Biden would do this badly… why did Trump and pals leave this job undone?

    Why are both sets of partisans so eager to see the USA fail, so the other side can ‘own it’?

    Because they aren’t good people, plain and simple. The nation has a deficit of character.

    dustin (b05975)

  253. In short, Trump was worse than useless on Afghanistan. No, we can’t use him now. That silly worship of a politician is so weird and naive.

    Not only did Trump never do this task, but he freed the leader of the Taliban and many of their fighters. He weakened the US Reputation among allies when he betrayed the Kurds, telling them to withdraw from safety before opening the door to the same thing Biden opened the door to for our Afghani allies.

    Biden was unelectable before Trump, the sorest loser who ever stained the reputation of democracy. Biden is the consequence I warned Trump fans about in the 2016 primary. The GOP had its chance to avoid a whole host of disasters. Abandoning Afghanistan is nothing compared to the full scope.

    Just think back to how Bush pulled the nation together after 9/11. Think how Trump tore the nation apart in his crisis.

    If you want to dream of a politician bringing his amazing leadership skills to this problem, maybe don’t pick the guy who lost money on a casino. Trump is a loser and Biden is an awful president. We should look behind door number 3.

    dustin (b05975)

  254. ‘What do we do now?’

    What other waning empires do:

    1. Throw a parade.
    2. Erect monuments.
    3. Tea.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  255. The question is this —who is a bigger threat to Democracy. A mediocre pol, or the guy who persuades a whole political movement that any election they don’t win is stolen.

    I think that’s where the argument is. Please don’t lie to yourself that Trump can be managed. A lot of people have thought that and have landed in the dustbin.

    Appalled (1a17de) — 8/20/2021 @ 2:49 pm

    You just cited every democrat since Gore lost to Bush. But you don’t see it because you’re blinded by something…

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  256. Sorry Dustin,

    I plain disagree. Trump didn’t tear apart anything. It’s the left that has decided their time is now and they will destroy the nation to achieve their goals. They did the same to Bush a scant year after that unity you just cited.

    They don’t care about uniting people. It’s about ruling them.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  257. The democrat party no longer has use for biden and deciding how to replace this no longer useful senile old fool.

    asset (03437a)

  258. There are still a few people maintaining that the situation with the Kurds is analogous to the situation in Afghanistan. I think that’s becoming less plausible as each hour passes.

    The point of referencing the Kurds isn’t that the situations are equivalent on a moral or tactical level. It’s as evidence of how Trump would have handled it.

    Time123 (6d64b0)

  259. #259 —

    There has been some of that from the Dems over the years, particularly in 2000 (you can understand why but Gore did concede gracefully in the end). But not this organized toxic campaign from Trump. Degree matters, NJR.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  260. @262 – it’s wishful thinking and it’s irrelevant. It’s a big neon blinking whining and wailing “whatabout Trump”. It’s “my guy is bad but you’re guy would have been just as bad”. It’s people who believed as an article of faith that Trump was literally the worst POTUS ever desperately trying to hold on to that.

    frosty (f27e97)

  261. They remain bumfuzzled.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  262. I noticed how in the ABC transcript Biden took cover behind his deceased son Beau, who he noted got a bronze star for being a JAG lawyer in Iraq, but close to the soft serve ice cream machine reveiwuing military contracts

    steveg (ebe7c1)

  263. 242. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 8/20/2021 @ 5:25 pm

    No, it was Biden or Bernie. That should tell you all you need to know about the Democrat bench.

    There was Bloomberg. Of course, I don’t know what he thought about Afghanistan either, although maybe you could look it u.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  264. NJRob @260

    Trump was no different than “they”. He did not care about uniting people. He wanted to be their ruler.

    Chris (3d25b0)

  265. Kevin M @ 132 & 184

    Get more people mandated for vaccinations.
    Perhaps all Social Security payment recipients should be included.
    And perhaps have every government program include a vaccination mandate clause.
    Don’t forget anyone, not even those farmers receiving Covid payments.
    But don’t stop there…perhaps before any American can be evacuated from Afghanistan, vaccination proof should be submitted, or immediately get vaccinated as they get on the airplane.
    And what about the those coming across the southern US border?
    We need more mandates!

    Chris (3d25b0)

  266. Frosty, If not the withdrawal from northern Syria What evidence would you suggest be used to understand how Trump would have handled it?

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  267. Trump was no different than “they”. He did not care about uniting people. He wanted to be their ruler.

    Chris (3d25b0) — 8/22/2021 @ 5:26 am

    Nope. Look at the actual results of his policies. Highest minority employment. Increased wages for the middle class naturally, not by paying them to stay home, expanded oil independence, peace deals, and on and on.

    But you want to pretend they’re the same. Carry on.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  268. 262. Time123 (6d64b0) — 8/21/2021 @ 3:12 am

    The point of referencing the Kurds isn’t that the situations are equivalent on a moral or tactical level. It’s as evidence of how Trump would have handled it.

    More willing to reverse himself (in part, and without saying that he did)

    Biden is less limber.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  269. NJRon, What are you talking about? Trump left the economy in shambles with huge sums of money to people to stay home and a moratorium on eviction. His complaint on the last round of stimulus was that we should pay people more.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  270. Sammy, You could be right. I still think Biden wanted out and his calculus is to just this over with quickly so it’s not top of mind in the mid terms and insist that this level of chaos was inevitable or caused by bad set up on Trump’s part.

    If it’s old news in a year we’re still out and the arguments moves. To How much chaos was inevitable and how much was he limited by previous decisions.

    It’s BS. There were things that could have been done but weren’t and nothing was stopping him form saying “We’re not ready to do this so we have to hold off until proper planing is done.” But he wanted out.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  271. Time123,

    sure. Ignore the 1st 3 years of his term before the Wuhan Lab Virus infected America. It’s easy to ignore when you have only 1 agenda and it’s to support your hatred of the successes he had and America had versus the incompetence we are currently stuck with.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  272. Ignore the 1st 3 years of his term before the Wuhan Lab Virus infected America.

    The first three years of the Trump economy were comparable to the last three years of the Obama economy, except Trump piled on hundreds of billions more debt per year. Trump inherited a good economy and then falsely spun that he was the one who gets all the credit for it.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  273. Biden now says some level of chaos was inevitable, but he didn’t think so before. It may be correct that if anybody tried a withdrawal this would have been very hard to avoid,

    It is indeed inevitable where a large number of people are about to suddenly lose many human rights by military conquest, including possibly their lives, and even more so when there are some specially =privileged people in country, American citizens and others, whom you want to help escape that fate.

    But it wasn’t his thinking when he made the decision. This was going to go smoothly.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  274. Time123 (9f42ee) — 8/22/2021 @ 5:54 am

    Are you trying to get my help creating a more acceptable “whatabout what we imagine Trump would have done”?

    I’ll say it again; it’s wishful thinking and it’s irrelevant. I’ve no interest in imagining what would have happened to help me process what is happening.

    frosty (254253)

  275. But it wasn’t his thinking when he made the decision. This was going to go smoothly.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c) — 8/22/2021 @ 10:53 am

    His story now is that it was priced in. He just thought he’d get it on lay-a-way and wouldn’t have to pay until after Christmas.

    frosty (ccba9b)

  276. The first three years of the Trump economy were comparable to the last three years of the Obama economy, except Trump piled on hundreds of billions more debt per year. Trump inherited a good economy and then falsely spun that he was the one who gets all the credit for it.

    Paul Montagu (5de684) — 8/22/2021 @ 10:34 am

    Facts not backed up by any statistics.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  277. 280… I better understand why one naked man stabbed another naked man on a Seattle sidewalk.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  278. 278… you can spread so much more fertilizer using hypotheticals than anything grounded in established facts.

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)


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