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Here's what the American news media misses about Afghanistan

By Curt_Anderson
September 5, 2021 10:49 am
Category: Journalism
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(CNN-Reliable Sources)Azmat Khan says the lack of US news coverage about Afghanistan in recent years "has terrible effects" on the public's perceptions of the withdrawal this summer. Eric Boehlert and James Fallows join the conversation. Videos at link below.

Today on Reliable Sources, with substitute host John Avalon, the discussion was about how the media as asking the wrong people or at least the some people too often about the leaving Afghanistan. The wrong people are the generals. Military people have their own prejudices. They are loathe to admit that after twenty years they failed to make Afghanistan a modern liberal democracy, especially outside of Kabul.


Cited and related links:

  1. cnn.com


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Comments:

  1. by HatetheSwamp on September 5, 2021 11:25 am

    What I know is that Joe was confident that the Afghan army would not fall to the Taliban, and it did in a heartbeat and that Joe promised that troops under his command would not withdraw until every American who wanted to leave Afghanistan had left...and our troops left early with a still to be determined number of us effin abandoned to the Taliban.

    Ask anyone. General or not. Facts.

    If you don't want to ask generals, ask Kathy McCollum. She'll tell you all about that feckless dementia-ridden piece of crap.


  2. by Curt_Anderson on September 5, 2021 11:44 am
    HtS,
    Your memory fails you. Biden did NOT say he was confident that the Afghan army would not fall to the Taliban. Was he overly optimistic? Maybe. But had he said that the Afghanistan army would immediately fold like lawn chairs he would have been accused of demoralizing that army. No leader or coach goes into a battle saying "we don't stand a chance".

    Here's what was said.

    Q Is a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan now inevitable?

    THE PRESIDENT: No, it is not.

    Q Why?

    THE PRESIDENT: Because you — the Afghan troops have 300,000 well-equipped — as well-equipped as any army in the world — and an air force against something like 75,000 Taliban. It is not inevitable.

    Q Do you trust the Taliban, Mr. President? Do you trust the Taliban, sir?

    THE PRESIDENT: You — is that a serious question?

    Q It is absolutely a serious question. Do you trust the Taliban?

    THE PRESIDENT: No, I do not.

    Q Do you trust handing over the country to the Taliban?

    THE PRESIDENT: No, I do not trust the Taliban.

    Q So why are you handing the country over?

    Q Mr. President, is the U.S. responsible for the deaths of Afghans after you leave the country?

    Q Mr. President, will you amplify that question, please? Will you amplify your answer, please — why you don’t trust the Taliban?

    THE PRESIDENT: It’s a — it’s a silly question. Do I trust the Taliban? No. But I trust the capacity of the Afghan military, who is better trained, better equipped, and more re- — more competent in terms of conducting war.

    Yes, ma’am.

    Q Thank you, Mr. President. Given the amount of money that has been spent and the number of lives that have been lost, in your view, with making this decision, were the last 20 years worth it?

    THE PRESIDENT: You know my record. I can tell by the way you asked the question.

    I opposed permanently having American forces in Afghanistan. I argued, from the beginning, as you may recall — it came to light after the administration was over, last — our administration — no nation has ever unified Afghanistan. No nation. Empires have gone there and not done it.

    The focus we had — and I strongly support it — and you may remember I physically went to Afghanistan. I was up in that pass where Osama bin Laden was — allegedly escaped or — out of harm’s way.

    We went for two reasons: one, to bring Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell, as I said at the time. The second reason was to eliminate al Qaeda’s capacity to deal with more attacks on the United States from that territory. We accomplished both of those objectives — period.

    That’s what I believed, from the beginning, why we should be and why we should have gone to Afghanistan. That job had been over for some time. And that’s why I believe that this is the right decision and, quite frankly, overdue.


  3. by HatetheSwamp on September 5, 2021 11:56 am

    I missed it. Did Clouseau promise to get every American out who wants to get out of Afghanistan?

    I was never in favor of nation building in Afghanistan...

    ...any more than I'm looking forward to nation building in Korea...

    ...but I was in favor of remaining in Afghanistan for a similar reason as we've been in Korea for 70 years.


  4. by Curt_Anderson on September 5, 2021 1:36 pm
    Joe Biden DID get all the Americans who wanted to leave Afghanistan out.

    The U.S. government alerted Americans 19 times since March to leave Afghanistan. Many of these remaining Americans are dual citizens of Afghanistan and the US. Those who procrastinated or didn't find their way out of Afghanistan in the past five or six months were apparently ambivalent about and didn't really want to leave.




  5. by HatetheSwamp on September 5, 2021 2:56 pm

    Y'know, Curt.

    After it became clear that Joe was going to be the President, I expected you to be happy...but real.

    The few of us here who voted for Trump were honest about the chagrin he caused us, even if we felt compelled to vote for him.

    I can't recall even one post in which you acknowledge Joe for who he is. He never blubbers. He isn't the guy who spoke inappropriately about the hair on his legs. He never referred to a voter at a town hall as a lyin dog-faced pony soldier. He's a man without flaws, as Miss Bingley describes Mr. Darcy in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.

    Curt, Joe ain't Mr. Darcy.

    Joe absolutely executed the withdrawal from Afghanistan with precision. Certainly, Joe was executing an impossible task, but he was bound by Trump's agreement with the Taliban and he did the best that humanly could be done.

    WHAT THE HECK IS WRONG WITH YOU!!!!!


  6. by Curt_Anderson on September 5, 2021 3:37 pm
    HtS,
    That seems to be your round-about way of admitting that any Americans in Afghanistan who wanted to leave had ample opportunity to do so. They just didn't really want to leave.

    Biden can't make people leave. Around 125,000 Americans and Afghans were airlifted out of Kabul. That's about the same as population of Elizabeth, NJ or Stamford, CT. Plus there were those who left earlier when they warned to leave by the State Department. Compare than to the 7,000 who were evacuated from Saigon.

    You wouldn't have needed to ask me twice, and certainly not 19 times, to leave Afghanistan. I would have been checking flights when Trump announced the plans to withdraw in February 2020. I wouldn't have hung around to see if the Afghanistan army could defeat the Taliban.

    You really seem to think that talking about body hair (it wasn't inappropriate, btw. He was recounting his days as a lifeguard at pool with many black patrons. The pool was being named in his honor) and quoting (or possibly misquoting) John Wayne disqualifies a person to be president. On his worst day Biden doesn't come close to the ridiculous and dangerous statements that Trump made with regularity.

    That you myopically fail to see the difference speaks volumes about you.


  7. by HatetheSwamp on September 6, 2021 2:51 am

    That seems to be your round-about way of admitting that any Americans in Afghanistan who wanted to leave had ample opportunity to do so. They just didn't really want to leave.

    It's clear that many Americans remaining want to leave now that Joe's incompetence has turned Afghanistan into a hell hole and, based on intelligence, many of them are being held hostage, essentially, in Kabul.

    Curt,

    It seems out of character for you, but I'm beginning to think that you're just winding me up. I know that you are a sycophant as far as Joe's concerned but I'm beginning to think that even you can't believe what you're writing.


  8. by islander on September 6, 2021 8:04 am

    ”I'm beginning to think that you're just winding me up. I know that you are a sycophant as far as Joe's concerned but I'm beginning to think that even you can't believe what you're writing.” ---Hate

    LoL !!! I can’t believe you wrote that with a straight face! As everyone here is well aware, it’s a perfect description of yourself and what you do here.



  9. by HatetheSwamp on September 6, 2021 8:43 am

    isle,

    Don't tell me that you have guzzled the Clouseau Koolaid, too.

    Oy


  10. by Donna on September 6, 2021 9:06 am
    LOL! Sounds to me like someone here is all hepped up on mindless right-wing junk news & commentary and is frustrated why we aren't.


  11. by HatetheSwamp on September 6, 2021 9:36 am

    Donna,

    I only know the obvious facts. I watched the Stephanopoulos interview. I saw Joe promise that if you're an American and you want to get out of Afghanistan, we'll get tou out.

    And, I know that our troops left earlier than they had to, abandoning, according to the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, who's getting classified briefings, "hundreds" of Americans in Afghanistan.

    Understandably, Rachel's not big into passing this on, but there are numerous reports from people inside Afghanistan who have contacts among former US military, that the Taliban is now going door to door searching for former US interpreters killing their family members before their eyes, then beheading them.

    You Swampcult Blue MAGA progressives blow my mind.

    We Trump supporters here regularly cringed over things Trump said and did. Yet, for all of Joe's obvious cognitive and physical frailties, you seem to think he is, as I quoted Jane Austen to Curt yesterday, a man without fault.

    More accurately, Kathy McCollum's description that Joe's a feckless dementia-ridden piece of crap, suits.

    I don't think that Joe's the antichrist, but I can see what polls suggest many Americans see. Joe's job performance is not up to par. That you can't see shades of that? Oy!


  12. by Donna on September 6, 2021 10:16 am
    Americans left and right are being manipulated by the military industrial complex via news & commentary shows. If you remember, after 9/11, almost the entire US media pounded their war drums 24/7 in order to convince Americans that their military MUST wage war on Iraq to protect the US. And it worked, as about two-thirds of Americans ended up supporting the invasion of Iraq.

    It amuses me how someone who uses the monicker "Hate the swamp" can be oblivious to their own manipulation by that same swamp.


  13. by Donna on September 6, 2021 10:27 am
    A point to ponder.
    google.com


  14. by Donna on September 6, 2021 10:28 am
    That didn't work.

    See my Facebook page instead.


  15. by HatetheSwamp on September 6, 2021 10:32 am

    Donna,

    Do you remember the Stephanopoulos interview?

    Joe, in effect, looked the citizens of the United States in their eyes and lied, and abandoned Americans in a hell hole in doing it.

    You can devise your conspiracies to your heart's content. But, all Americans recall that our involvement in Afghanistan ended in a debacle. And, they know Joe lied about his loyalty to other Americans.

    I think that the cliff like fall in Joe's approval is very easy to understand and it's rooted in facts observable to everyone.


  16. by Donna on September 6, 2021 10:38 am
    I don't watch Mr. Stephanopolis's show.



  17. by HatetheSwamp on September 6, 2021 10:39 am

    Donna,

    What on your Facebook page?


  18. by Donna on September 6, 2021 10:43 am
    I'll try this way. I'd like to test it out first, but I'm not able to here.
    twitter.com


  19. by HatetheSwamp on September 6, 2021 10:48 am

    Donna,

    I don't watch Stephanopoulos either but his interview of Biden is one of the most newsworthy events in a month. What breed of ostrich are you?
    View Video


  20. by HatetheSwamp on September 6, 2021 10:50 am

    The China thing?


  21. by Donna on September 6, 2021 11:05 am
    What breed of lemming are you?


  22. by HatetheSwamp on September 6, 2021 11:09 am

    The sort of lemming who knows the obvious truth about what Joe's said and done.

    If Trump had made the promise Joe made and then broke it so heartlessly, that's all Rachel'd talk about for a year.

    This is about Joe, period.


  23. by Donna on September 6, 2021 11:18 am
    WASHINGTON — The United States facilitated the safe departure of four American citizens by overland route from Afghanistan on Monday, a senior State Department official said.

    The news came while Secretary of State Antony Blinken was en route to Doha, Qatar, just days after the U.S. withdrew all troops out of Afghanistan to end a 20-year war. Monday's revelation is the first known evacuation of American citizens from Afghanistan with U.S. government assistance since the withdrawal.

    "The Taliban was aware and did not impede their transit," the official said, adding that the Americans were in good condition.

    ***

    Washington (CNN)White House chief of staff Ron Klain said Sunday that the US will find ways to get any remaining Americans in Afghanistan out of the country if they want to leave, even after the US finished its military evacuation of US citizens, third country nationals and vulnerable Afghans.

    Klain told CNN's Dana Bash on "State of the Union" that the administration believes there are "around 100" Americans still in Afghanistan and said he is hopeful that if Qatar resumes air service in and out of Kabul, Afghanistan, in the coming days, Americans might be able to get on those flights.

    Battle for Afghan holdout province intensifies as Taliban advance further into Panjshir Valley

    Battle for Afghan holdout province intensifies as Taliban advance further into Panjshir Valley

    "We are going to find ways to get them -- the ones that want to leave -- to get them out of Afghanistan. We know many of them have family members, many of them want to stay, but the ones that want to leave, we're going to get them out," he told Bash, echoing President Joe Biden, who said last week that getting Americans out is now a diplomatic mission as opposed to a military one.

    ***

    96 to go.
    nbcnews.com
    cnn.com


  24. by HatetheSwamp on September 6, 2021 12:02 pm

    Bravo on the four. Every life matters.

    But, the truth is that on Inauguration Day, when Joe issued 20 Executive Orders outright negating Trump era policies, he had, essentially, an infinite number of options regarding the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

    Considering what Joe did, it's hard to imagine that he could have handled Afghanistan much worse than he did.

    And, of course, the story's not over.


  25. by islander on September 6, 2021 12:31 pm

    ”I only know the obvious facts” ---Hate

    That’s your problem Hate. You what you “only know” is very little.

    Here are just some of the facts you don’t know but should know. You don’t know how many Americans are still in Afghanistan do you? You don’t know how many of those Americans that didn’t leave Afghanistan wished to stay, nor do you know the reasons they wished to stay. You don’t know how many Americans have dual citizenship and permanent legal residency in Afghanistan.

    Do you even know that the effort to get the remaining citizens, legal permanent residents and eligible Afghans out of the country is now a diplomatic one handled by the State Department?

    You see Hate, there is a lot more you need to know but don’t know.


  26. by HatetheSwamp on September 6, 2021 12:51 pm

    Yeah, isle,

    I've been saying that I only know what's obvious but what little I do know is that Joe told George Stephanopoulos that if you're an American and want to get out of Afghanistan, "we'll get you out."

    I know that the Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Committee says that Americans are being held in a hostage situation...based on classified briefings, and, based on the briefings he's received, the number of Americans abandoned in Afghanistan is "in the hundreds."

    I dunno what you know, isle, probably a lot more. You're a pretty wise guy.

    I recall the many times that my dad said things that were untrue or contradicted things that he'd said previously as he descended deeper and deeper into dementia and I don't think ever lied. Truth, simply became too much for him.

    As far as Joe's action that turned his promise to America that he spoke to George Stephanopoulos, into a lie, I can't call it a lie. But, it is a precious promise that he broke.

    But, Joe abandoned...and, we know for certain now...that it was the four we are celebrating today.

    Joe certainly abandoned many more.


  27. by Donna on September 6, 2021 5:56 pm
    "But, it is a precious promise that he broke."

    How can it be a broken promise when they're still in the process of doing it?


  28. by islander on September 7, 2021 4:43 am

    You nailed it Donna !!!

    We have gotten almost all the Americans (about 6,000) out of the country, and like you say, we're still in the process of determining how many Americans who want to leave might still be there, and, as we speak, we are working to get them out as well. There is no deadline for this.


  29. by islander on September 7, 2021 4:47 am

    ” I know that the Ranking Member of the House Homeland Security Committee says that Americans are being held in a hostage situation...based on classified briefings, and, based on the briefings he's received, the number of Americans abandoned in Afghanistan is "in the hundreds." ---Hate


    Looking at how you flood this site with your clickbait headlines, it appears that you yourself are one of those who only reads the clickbait headlines but has little or no knowledge of the subject other than that. You either don’t know the full story but are too lazy to post a link, or you are intentionally attempting to deceive the readers here.

    Here is one such link--

    usatoday.com


  30. by HatetheSwamp on September 7, 2021 5:01 am

    Huh


  31. by islander on September 7, 2021 6:29 am

    Huh" ---Hate

    LoL !!! I think I've been judging you too hard, Hate. You really don't understand any of this, do you!


  32. by HatetheSwamp on September 7, 2021 6:42 am

    You've become incoherent.


  33. by islander on September 7, 2021 2:16 pm

    You didn't read the article did you, Hate ?


  34. by HatetheSwamp on September 7, 2021 2:24 pm

    I did. It was virtually identical to the one I linked to I to to initiate the thread.


  35. by islander on September 8, 2021 6:24 am

    So, Hate, you said you know that GOP Rep. Michael McCaul claims “Americans are being held in a hostage situation...based on classified briefings, and, based on the briefings he's received, the number of Americans abandoned in Afghanistan is in the hundreds.”

    If you read the article then you know the State Department denies his clam. Here’s what our Secretary of State said.

    “"It's my understanding that the Taliban has not denied exit to anyone holding a valid document, but they have said those without valid documents, at this point, can't leave, Blinken said at a news conference in Qatar alongside Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and their Qatari counterparts. He estimated that there are roughly 100 U.S. citizens seeking to flee Afghanistan and said the main impediment was the Taliban's refusal to let Afghans who lacked the necessary documents leave. "Because all of these people are grouped together," Blinken said, "that meant that flights have not been allowed to go."”

    ---What do you say? Is what McCaul claimed true? Do you know if hundreds of Americans are really being held hostage at the airport or is that number just a guestimate of all the Americans he thinks are still in Afghanistan and McCaul is somehow “relating” that number to the American passengers he claims were on the planes, if in fact there were any? Do you think there were there any Americans on those planes?


  36. by islander on September 9, 2021 4:38 am

    "But, it is a precious promise that he broke." ---Hate

    "How can it be a broken promise when they're still in the process of doing it?" ---Donna

    Like I said..."You nailed it Donna !!! "



    cnn.com




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