Patterico's Pontifications


President Biden To Announce American Troop Withdrawal From Afghanistan

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:10 pm

[guest post by Dana]

President Biden is scheduled to make the announcement Wednesday:

President Joe Biden intends to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that started the decades-long conflict, congressional officials confirmed Tuesday.

..Biden had faced a deadline set by the previous administration of removing all U.S. military forces from the country by May 1, but publicly admitted meeting that deadline was unlikely.

Still, White House officials have said Biden remained committed to ending the ongoing U.S. military presence there. In March, during a press conference, Biden said he did not see a scenario where U.S. troops were still in Afghanistan in 2022.

Contradicting the Defense Department’s claim that 2,500 U.S. troops are in Afghanistan, the New York Times released a report two months ago claiming that the actual number is closer to 3,500.

Clearly, the withdrawal of American troops will be problematic for Afghanistan:

In March, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction warned in congressional testimony that despite billions spent on fortifying local security forces in the war-torn Asian country, “Afghan security forces are nowhere near achieving self-sufficiency, as they cannot maintain their equipment, manage their supply chains or train new soldiers, pilots and policemen.”

Officials also noted that there is little evidence in recent months that the Taliban fighters are prepared to lay down their arms and take up diplomatic posts with the new government, which was supposed to be a key part of the peace deal and May 1 withdrawal.

Mitch McConnell harshly criticized the decision, saying from the Senate floor:

Precipitously withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan is a grave mistake. It is a retreat in the face of an enemy that has not yet been vanquished and abdication of American leadership.

Other Republicans echoed his criticism:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called it a “disaster in the making” and “dumber than dirt and devilishly dangerous.”

Sen. James Inhofe (Okla.), the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters that the decision was “outrageous.”

“You know, we’re talking about making a political decision on something where there isn’t any justification,” he said. “It should be conditions-based. … It’s the wrong thing.”

House Republicans were similarly incensed, with Foreign Affairs Committee ranking member Rep. Michael McCaul (Texas) saying the withdrawal plan “shows a complete disregard for the realities on the ground, and will not only put Afghans at risk, but endanger the lives of U.S. citizens at home and abroad.”

Rep. Liz Cheney expressed similar criticism:

Wars don’t end when one side abandons the fight.

Withdrawing our forces from Afghanistan by September 11 will only embolden the very jihadists who attacked our homeland on that day twenty years ago. By declaring that this withdrawal is not based on conditions on the ground, the Biden Administration is sending a dangerous signal that the United States fundamentally does not understand—or is willfully ignorant of—the terrorist threat.

President Biden’s decision hands the Taliban and al Qaeda a propaganda victory, abandons our global leadership position, and plays into our adversaries’ hands. As we saw with President Obama’s reckless decision to pull troops out of Iraq in 2011, retreat does not end the fight against terrorism. It merely gives our enemies more room to reconstitute and plot attacks against the homeland.

Breaking ranks, however, was Rep. Peter Meijer from Michigan. Meijer is an Army veteran who was deployed to Iraq and also worked as a civilian conflict analyst in Afghanistan. He applauded the Biden administration for the decision to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan:


Additionally, Concerned Veterans for America released a statement, saying:

While we still believe a full withdrawal by the May 1st deadline in the Doha agreement best serves America’s interests, we are pleased to hear President Biden is firmly committed to bringing our troops home within the next few months. America has more pressing priorities at home and elsewhere, and President Biden must keep his promise to end our endless war in Afghanistan.

Since the war in Afghanistan began in 2001, an estimated 2,300 American troops have died.


When That One Relative Comes To Visit And Dumps Goobers Of Judginess On Her Loved Ones

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:54 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Imagine what she’s like in person. Now imagine what life is like for the people that have to be around her:

She can’t expect to be taken seriously, of course. Her smug sanctimonious virtue-signaling provides a delightfully unintentional warning to others: Lock the front door, you-know-who is coming up the walkway!

I don’t know about you, but when I was able to see my family members from whom I had been separated until vaccines were had, I just wanted to enjoy the moment of being together again. But, hey, that’s just me. Bad SJW and obvious racist!


Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 Vaccine on Pause In U.S. (UPDATE ADDED)

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:12 am

[guest post by Dana]

U.S. pausing on Johnson & Johnson vaccine:

Federal health authorities recommended Tuesday that providers temporarily stop administering the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine while they investigate a potential link to very rare blood clots.

Six women between the ages of 18 and 48 developed blood clots after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. One person died, and another is in critical condition, the Food and Drug Administration said.

“We are recommending this pause while we work together to fully understand these events, and also so we can get information out to health care providers and vaccine recipients,” Dr. Janet Woodcock, acting FDA commissioner, said during a briefing Tuesday.

The review is expected to be completed quickly, lasting “a matter of days,” officials said.

So just how big of a threat does it present?

The clots are considered extremely rare. Overall, more than 6.8 million people in the U.S. have received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.


All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination, according to a joint statement on Tuesday from Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC and Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.

[Ed. I have loved ones who have a wait-and-see attitude about the vaccine, if not an outright heck-no-too-soon-to-know-long-term-side-effects. I suspect pushing the pause button on the J&J vaccine based on such a small percentage of those with adverse reactions will only add to their arsenal of reasons to delay and/or not get vaccinated.]

Meanwhile, a March Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that vaccine hesitancy has dropped:

About 55% of Black adults said they had been vaccinated or plan to be soon, up 14 percentage points from February, according to a poll released Tuesday by KFF. The rate now approaches that of Hispanics, at 61%, and whites at 64%. (Asian Americans were not polled in sufficient numbers to compare their responses with other racial and ethnic groups.)

But the poll found that 13% of respondents overall said they will “definitely not” be vaccinated, signaling that significant hurdles remain in the nation’s vaccination campaign.

Among all groups, Republicans and white evangelical Christians were the most likely to say they will not get vaccinated, with almost 30% of each group saying they will “definitely not” get a shot.

And while the poll indicated that some arguments are effective at persuading hesitant people — such as sharing that the vaccines are nearly 100% effective at preventing hospitalization and death — those messages do almost nothing to change the minds of people who have decided not to be vaccinated.

According to the CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration data tracker, New Mexico ranks as the state with the highest percentage of fully vaccinated population (29.65%). Georgia is at the tail-end with only 15.03% of their population fully vaccinated. Additionally, according to the CDC, 22.3% of the country’s population are now fully vaccinated.

UPDATE: Here is Dr. Fauci commenting on the J&J vaccine:

Paused. Maybe removed from the market. But let’s don’t speculate. Okay.


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