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Taking Stock Of The Great and Cowardly Press Freakout Of August 2021
Posted by: numbered
Date: September 01, 2021 11:08AM
Josh Marshall has a nice short take on the overall result and the media hyperventilation:

Quote

....Most Monday-morning quarterbacking of the ‘failure of execution’ school doesn’t posit that the government would have survived, only that it might have lasted months or maybe a year longer, thus allowing the US to pass off the messiness on someone else. In other words, the failure of execution was largely a matter of optics. Extend the country’s civil war for a few more months or years – certainly at the cost of thousands of lives – to allow the US and the authors of the war to avoid the reputational splatter when the end came. That is an understandable but certainly ignoble aspiration.

This is the ‘decent interval‘ that Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger engineered for the fall of South Vietnam – basically an effort to game the 1972 election with ‘peace with honor’ and leave others to pick up the peaces.

.....

Let us remember that two weekends ago a crush of prominent commentators and reporters were reporting as fact that the White House had been caught flatfooted and abandoned everyone who had worked for the US during its war in Afghanistan. They declared the evacuation a catastrophic failure and shameful betrayal when it was actually only starting and then in many cases took credit for the evacuation after it happened, on the premise that it was only their cries of betrayal that made it happen. This is a bracingly self-serving and sloppy logic. One of the worst offenders on this front, ABC’s Martha Raddatz, was forced to move the goalposts yet again yesterday: now judging the evacuation a ‘success’, she claimed Biden was “conflating the withdrawal with the evacuation … they did not realize the Taliban would take over so quickly.”

And there you have it. The problem was the withdrawal itself. That is by definition not a problem of execution but one of policy. Raddatz’s argument appears to be that the US should have known the government would fall in a matter of days and that if it knew this it should have stayed long to ensure it would last at least weeks or months if not years. This is arguing what amounts to a distinction without a difference verging on the logic of perpetual war and occupation which is what kept the US in Afghanistan for twenty years in the first place. It’s the final redoubt of a bad and for many deeply dishonest argument. Raddatz is like a desperate evacuee clinging to the skids of a departing helicopter as her preferred storyline collapses around her. Messy, indeed.

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Re: Taking Stock Of The Great and Cowardly Press Freakout Of August 2021
Posted by: pdq
Date: September 01, 2021 11:23AM
Kind of my feeling too. The Afghanistan correspondent on NBC (Richard Engel) was guilty of this too, with lots of breathless pieces about how we were abandoning Afghanistan to the Taliban.

Well, yes, perhaps. What were our options? Considering how our supported Afghan government and army collapsed, with barely a shot fired, it’s pretty clear that the Taliban has considerable support in Afghanistan. We (including myself) would all like that to be different, but it’s clear now that would have required an endless presence, to prop up a government that many have suggested was corrupt.

Biden is certainly taking lumps for this, but the Republicans are having to do gymnastics in trying to assign blame to him, for a policy and agreement that Trump signed.

I don’t trust the Taliban, but after 20 years of war, they may - may - be willing to more closely abide by international norms re their people to avoid further conflict. I guess we’ll see.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/01/2021 11:24AM by pdq.
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Re: Taking Stock Of The Great and Cowardly Press Freakout Of August 2021
Posted by: Kraniac
Date: September 01, 2021 12:19PM
Opinions.

Plenty of respected people, both chatterboxes and Military folks who have a spine, disagree..still.

Sure, it got better as a system formed. The press did it's job by reacting the way they did..it's their job..this was clearly a total shitshow in the onset..

The advance work was not there and should have been from the first day of Biden's term..Militarily? well backinto Trumps term post negotiation

..it should have been heavy handed and it would have been a simple task to keep the Taliban out of Kabul in meaningful numbers.. and a few other key locations in order to execute this thing methodically..intelligence should have seen immediately what was happening with regard to the sweep of the country by the Taliban..they should have kept the Afghan Military propped up best they could and put a seriously heavy hand on this aspect of the mission..if you or anyone else didn't see that this was thrown together..you're not seeing properly..or perhaps, objectively.
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Re: Taking Stock Of The Great and Cowardly Press Freakout Of August 2021
Posted by: deckeda
Date: September 01, 2021 12:20PM
Marshall articulates it VERY well.

WaPo commentary and editorials have largely been critical almost without fail … except by people like myself commenting on those opinions.

The “conclusions” from most column writers boil down to: America should have been omniscient and willing to stay for an unlimited time.

Reacting to optics alone is an inability to process abstract concepts and most importantly, context and circumstance.
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Re: Taking Stock Of The Great and Cowardly Press Freakout Of August 2021
Posted by: numbered
Date: September 01, 2021 01:36PM
Quote
Kraniac
it should have been heavy handed and it would have been a simple task to keep the Taliban out of Kabul in meaningful numbers.. and a few other key locations in order to execute this thing methodically..intelligence should have seen immediately what was happening with regard to the sweep of the country by the Taliban..they should have kept the Afghan Military propped up best they could and put a seriously heavy hand on this aspect of the mission..if you or anyone else didn't see that this was thrown together..you're not seeing properly..or perhaps, objectively.

Yeah, no. The Wapo reported that *even the Taliban* did not expect the government to disappear. The Taliban asked the our military whether we wanted to secure Kabul during the evacuation.

Sorry, the idea that we should have fielded even more people, left them vulnerable to other terror groups, and somehow (please tell us how) done things better...makes no sense.

Indeed, hearing about the 'Americans left behind' now is ridiculous. Turns out most of them have dual citizenship anyway, and chose not to go. But now Biden is betraying them. Really.

Finally, the Wapo has an interview with an interpreter who says that most of the Afghans would prefer the Taliban if given a choice.

Quote

From the point of view of many Afghans, Americans might as well have been extraterrestrials, descending out of the black sky every few weeks, looking and acting alien, and always bringing disruption, if not outright ruin. We failed to understand what made sense for Afghans time and time again. No wonder the Taliban maintained such sway over the past 20 years.


The media folks know lots of the most upscale Afghans and take Biden's choice personally. From their view we should have made Afghanistan a European liberal democracy. It was not going to happen. And sending in troops to better organize withdrawal--which would have triggered the collapse *whenever* it started--is a pipe dream.
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Re: Taking Stock Of The Great and Cowardly Press Freakout Of August 2021
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: September 01, 2021 01:38PM
to repeat myself- this wouldn't have turned out this way if the 300,000 man Afghan army had not 'disappeared faster than Snickers in a Halloween candy bowl'.
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Re: Taking Stock Of The Great and Cowardly Press Freakout Of August 2021
Posted by: Kraniac
Date: September 01, 2021 03:31PM
So many of you are so drenched status quo and lined up taking the BS and regurgitating it..Kool Aid drinkers who have lost the abilty and need to be objective and critical..no different than Trump voters..a total parallel.
You're being messaged upon right now....in a hasty flurry.

"Let's take the tough guy stance, Mr. Biden"
"ok, yeah, that sounds like the right choice"

You're looking at an Admin that knows full well they @#$%& up and right now they're
doing a full skid loop back around to try to pick up the pieces..they are in panic mode..LOOK.

example..Biden re-directing back to how great it was that we went to Afghanistan
to take care of business..our dead and how great they were..his son (?) huh?..sympathy bait all around.
America the great who's intelligence departments are not what they were, a military that is not what it was..since WW2, really.
It's all a bunch of horse @#$%&.

Optics? really?

The optics of chaos are always indicative of chaos...you just know it.
The optics of people @#$%& with us via round back 'messaging' are also usually very clear..
The optics in situations where the advance work wasn't done in a thorough, all encompassing way generally resemble chaos..see above.

Sure..the Military adapted and created a system..that is NOT what people will remember..what they'll remember is the most powerful military force in the world in someone elses country for twenty years, again...and @#$%& up when it was time to leave...again...the slop.
And..the numbers of those left behind are much more significant than what you are being fed..

(you really think it's not easy to pick up on a military force (the Afghan Army) that's about to bail?..all you need are a peppering of contacts in the infantries to know that--they know..you're a fool)

Kool Aid drinkers, the most of you..wake the @#$%& up and hold your leaders accountable.

This WILL affect the upcoming the election..all the more reason to approach a situation like this with a heavy hand and with attention to every possibility and detail with all intelligence gathering resources everywhere, and on high alert from the jump. You prepare for worst, impossible extreme case and hope it doesn't play out..

We're @#$%& next year..Just handed the Repubs everything they needed..First term-mid term elections in the most unstable series of momentsin our history..how's that gonna play out?..first term mid terms are almost always a disaster for the elected Pres..this time? How's Biden gonna be holding up in the next
6 months..he's tired, and rattled and those around already trying to pick up the pieces...
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Re: Taking Stock Of The Great and Cowardly Press Freakout Of August 2021
Posted by: vision63
Date: September 01, 2021 03:53PM
Politics is politics. We handed the Republicans what, to accomplish what? All of a sudden, people that voted for Democrats are going to vote for Republicans instead? Why? Not saying that that can't happen. But over this? No. I don't believe that. If it does happen, it won't be over this. I fully don't believe the citizens of this country care all that much about what happens to Afghanis.

Bumbling through Vietnam, invading Cambodia etc., didn't stop Nixon from being re-elected. Nor, did not finding Bin Laden and bumbling through Afghanistan and Iraq keep W. Bush from being re-elected.
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Re: Taking Stock Of The Great and Cowardly Press Freakout Of August 2021
Posted by: Kraniac
Date: September 01, 2021 04:13PM
Quote
vision63
Politics is politics. We handed the Republicans what, to accomplish what? All of a sudden, people that voted for Democrats are going to vote for Republicans instead? Why? Not saying that that can't happen. But over this? No. I don't believe that. If it does happen, it won't be over this. I fully don't believe the citizens of this country care all that much about what happens to Afghanis.

Bumbling through Vietnam, invading Cambodia etc., didn't stop Nixon from being re-elected. Nor, did not finding Bin Laden and bumbling through Afghanistan and Iraq keep W. Bush from being re-elected.

Mr Kool-Aid himself makes an appearance.."arms flailing"..

These are MUCH different times, my Friend..The Bush era was a relative stone age as far as
the manipulation of media and information goes..i wont even address your Nixon example.
Don't forget..the biggest bumbling moron in the history of the world just left office..after being actually elected to be a President..this weird period is nowhere near over
..The Republicans thrive on this stuff -and there are a ton of swing voters who, i guarantee you, watched this thing with eyes bugged out

And damn..it's those District and Senatorial elections again..that's where we're at..that's where ITS at.
and it's gonna crumble because those are the elections that are winnable by the Repubs operating on huge media money directed to focused areas..Hell..they have us by the balls right now with our one vote Senate majority and a clear but slim majority in the House..

They will make sure these voters never forget this and they'll freely embellish the TV spots and internet trash with any kind of lie they want to..And any kind of response, fact checking..by the Dems to try cancel that Repub messaging? Will have absolutely zero net effect..we see that right now, every single day,,literally, NOTHING MATTERS..we're @#$%&, Dude.
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Re: Taking Stock Of The Great and Cowardly Press Freakout Of August 2021
Posted by: vision63
Date: September 01, 2021 05:03PM
You'll only know this when there are actual elections.

We got one job. Vote the way we know "we" should vote. Nobody is entitled to election successes. Fight the fight that's in front of you, while thinking long term.

Republicans are focused and lethal, as am I. I get that. I don't care how much money they spend, it's doesn't guarantee them anything.

Swing vote potential is more vulnerable to their concerns regarding defund the police, "socialism" and Democratic "Hypocrisy" than Afghanistan. They actually run on exactly that.

Republicans can cry about "another 9/11" but until that happens it's just hyperbole. They're gonna win on that? How are they going to keep that going?
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Re: Taking Stock Of The Great and Cowardly Press Freakout Of August 2021
Posted by: Lux Interior
Date: September 02, 2021 08:41AM
Americans have a short memory.

GHWB looked like he was going to sail through to a second term after Kuwait was liberated.

But it was the economy, stupid.
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Re: Taking Stock Of The Great and Cowardly Press Freakout Of August 2021
Posted by: testcase
Date: September 04, 2021 01:51AM
" leave others to pick up the peaces." ?????

Sounds like another journalism school "gradiate" eye rolling smiley
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