I witnessed a CNN anchor's determined effort to get Congressman Dan Crawford - a veteran of Afghanistan - to pin the blame on either Biden or Trump. Crawford basically wasn't having it, and noted mistakes were made by every administration. The anchor wasn't accepting nuance or complexity...she wanted BLAME. If blame has to be assessed, why not start (and end) with George W. Bush? The mission of driving bin Laden out of Afghanistan was accomplished in December of 2001. Training an Afghani army....just as training a South Vietnamese army and an Iraqi army...was a fool's mission. We. Never. Learn.

Expand full comment

Who's to blame for this twenty year debacle? George W. Bush and the Press, that's who! Where was the media two decades ago when Bush, the Republicans, and yes, many Democrats voted to go to war with a country that had nothing to do with 9/11? Where were the articles that pointed out or tried to force the country to take a different approach with this new style war? Our country is one built on the Industrial Military Complex. We spend how much every year to build more and more weapons of war when in this modern world they are simply not needed, at least to the degree that we turn them out. God forbid an article or two should show up in the media in that regard. The winner of it all was Osama Bin Ladin. He lured the US into a shit storm that he new would cost countless lives and billions of dollars for decades. Biden's decision is correct. We fucked up, now it's time to cut our losses.

Expand full comment

The coverage has been extraordinarily bad, even by normal piss poor standards. People like George Packer have some gall. So many of these journalists wanted the invasion of Iraq—which had a detrimental impact on our original mission in Afghanistan—and papers like the Times and the Post slanted their coverage, burying stories that went against the Bush Admin line on page A20 while giving front page prominence to BS like Judith Miller’s stenography stories.

Where was this outrage when Trump gave away the store to the Taliban, including releasing thousands of a Taliban prisoners and negotiating without the Afghani Govt? (Besides the outrage of inviting them to Camp David near 9/11)? How much did the lack of cooperation in the Pentagon hurt the incoming Biden Admin vis a vis its planning of the withdrawal—because you know the previous admin had no plan at all? The Biden Admin had four months to devise and implement a plan—which for such a massive undertaking is almost impossible, even with a three-month extension. And the press howled when Biden wouldn’t answer immediately if we were staying or going (and would have blathered on about losing our honor if he reneged).

There are many legitimate questions, but our beltway press isn’t up to the challenge.

Expand full comment

There's good reason why some of us olds were against the invasion since Day 1: History, primarily.

Afghanistan had a history of a weak central government, if at all, and violent hatred of foreigners -- ask the British or Soviets. At the same time, we have a history of doing no good in the name of bringing freedom. Just to name a few that come to mind:

Indigenous American nations

The Philippines





Italy (CIA rat fucking of elections during a couple of decades following WWII)

Uh, Afghanistan



While espousing freedom, we never bring freedom; we bring fascist leaders and de facto slave labor, a few crumbs of material improvement at a pretty shitty price (IMO; western business interests' opinion -- and that of their puppets -- obviously differs).

Afghanistan, contrary to the GOP liars and their irresponsible mainstream media tools, wasn't lost by anyone. It was waiting to be lost by any fool thinking to invade it.

Also willfully ignored is the inconvenient truth that the Taliban's existence in very large part is the result of actions by [checks notes] the US in forming and arming the Islamic fundamentalist mujhadeen to fight the Soviets and the continuing support for them up to this very minute from our very good ally, Pakistan.

But, you know, hubris and narcissism are blinding as fuck.

As for the establishment media bleating, it's not like their track record on important matters heretofore was anything to be proud of. Conservatives are correct; the mainstream press is awful. They just don't know what's true and what's their own delusion and denial. But the press has seriously failed the nation. In the old days, when opposing info was hard if not impossible to find, it was okay enough. But these days, it's a huge problem.

Expand full comment

I have been furious that the coverage I have seen doesn’t even mention that it was Bush and his idiotic belief that we could nation build Afghanistan and Iraq into stable western-style democracies. I remember Bush excoriating people who dared point out that these countries don’t have a history or culture that is conducive to democracy. Bush’s hubris, ignorance and naïveté has created this no-win situation but God forbid anyone mention that. It also seems to me that the military must have told Biden the Afghan military could hold on at least for a few months. If they had warned him this would happen I would bet we would be hearing that.

I have seen almost no mention of the military’s miscalculation of the stability of Afghanistan. David Ignatius did say this morning that for years the CIA has been warning the military they wouldn’t succeed in stabilizing Afghanistan but military leaders refused to listen. They were confident they had things under control. Yet it is Biden and his team, not military leaders, who are getting all the blame for miscalculating as if they didn’t base their assumptions on what the military has told them.

Expand full comment

Nicole on MSNBC:

95% of the American People support Joe's decision.

95% of the Media opposes Joe's decision.

Expand full comment

Here's my response: Thank You President Biden. https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/8/16/2046108/-Thank-you-President-Biden

Expand full comment

The complete lack of context from our Failed Political Press ™ is the shocking part of this story. It seems that no one in the elite DC cocktail party circuit knows how our military got into Afghanistan. It’s a complete mystery.

Watching some of the Sunday Talkies was also revealing: what heretofore unknown insights was Liz Cheney (!) going to bring to the table? What about nuanced discussion with the other Neocons? I’m so glad the networks had the brainy idea of booking them.

Expand full comment

How about pointing out that the media is saying that “Afghans” and “civilians” are storming the airport to try to flee to safety but it appears from footage that only men are at the airport. So much for women and children in the lifeboats first.

Expand full comment

The Corporate Controlled Conservative Press acted as they always do which is why I ignored them and just listened to music yesterday. And we can see The Usual Gang Of $tenographer$ reciting GOP talking points while Ronna was having Winston Smith erase every mention of the deal Trump made with the Taliban from the GOP website.

And the Presstitutes have dialed up their hatred of Joe to 11 just a their Republican masters decreed led by the predictable Maureen Dowd who increased the amount of venom in her poison pen because she didn't get to go to Obama's party.

Oh and it's also predictable to see the Usual Idiots linking this to Carter's hostage situation...

Expand full comment

It’s the breathlessness with which Mika et al report about the Afghanistan withdrawal that frosts me, the almost joy like tenor they tout as Biden’s ‘disaster.’ I’ve been cringing with anxiety since this evacuation story began to be told knowing the press would happily and repeatedly crucify him (Oh goodie, another awful crisis to hype and blame solely on Biden) . Pompeo was quoted as saying that under the FG, the evacuation HE negotiated would have gone very differently/ie better had they still been in office. Duh. MSNBC keeps replaying the same scene over and over of Afghans at the airport trying desperately to get on a US plane for escape, and, of course, it’s now Biden’s Vietnam. Every story should include the history of failed forays into the country by the Brits, the Russians and now us. Hopeless and costly. Eric cited the popularity of this policy among the American people. Nary a word about that little tidbit mentioned in reporting. I’m heartsick by this most recent display of handwringing by the press. Not a good look for us.

Expand full comment

This weekend brought the most disgusting display of bullshit badly disguised as journalism. I was in a word unwatchable. Anyone old enough to remember the debacle that was Vietnam is having deja view all over again.

Expand full comment

Sadly, us Americans have a very short memory. By the time Santa is sliding down the chimney we will have moved back to the Dems trying to cancel Christmas and this present MSM outrage will have passed.

Expand full comment

David Rothkopf on Twitter) "Tapper(Jake) is unhappy that Joe Biden did not make the speech Jake wanted to hear. His summation was an editorial as was the beginning of the post-speech roundtable, designed to advance the views of the reporters but not to objectively assess what was realistic or in the US interest.' Great analysis; "reporters want to advance their view but not objectively assess what was realistic."

Expand full comment

Biden did a great job just now...let's see how MSM spins this....because you know that they will.

Expand full comment

Seems like the food stamp story is kind of a big deal.

Pulling out of Afghanistan frees up enough moneys to pay for the food stamp changes...

Let's see, $2 Trillion, spread over 20 years, that's $100 Billion annually.

From the USDA site:


Looks like the Afghanistan withdrawal frees up enough funds to cover the SNAP benefit increases thrice this year. At least the changes with a $ call out.

Where was all that money going when it was being spent on Afghan adventures? Follow the money. You can probably do that just by listening for the screams of outrage.

Expand full comment