60 thoughts on “Now What?”

  1. The culture is different in different parts of the world, and, when different religions/world views are involved.  Go figure. 

    https://www.texastribune.org/2021/08/16/texas-permitless-carry-gun-law/

    I’m not sure how gun-nuts and Christians pair up, but I’m not from here.

    “Starting Sept. 1, most Texans will be able to carry handguns in public without going through training or having to get permits. “

    What I do know is that folks with guns will not hesitate to use them.

    I see the failure of the large, Afghanistan army to halt the progress of the much smaller group of Taliban fighters as being a cultural thing we don’t understand. Heck, the Iraqi army stood down the fist time we showed up.

    Old Man mentioned that they now have US aircraft, but no pilots or mechanics. Yeah, but there are probably YouTube videos for that, too.
    Cut off their means of communication. Why didn’t that happen as they were advancing?

  2. GOP takes down 2020 page touting Trump’s ‘historic peace agreement with the Taliban’ (msn.com)

    The Republican National Committee has removed a page from the 2020 campaign that says “Biden has had a history of pushing for endless wars” while “Trump has continued to take the lead in peace talks as he signed a historic peace agreement with the Taliban in Afghanistan, which would end America’s longest war,” The Washington Post’s David Weigel noted Sunday.

    Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, argued Sunday that the Trump administration had insisted the Taliban meet “a set of conditions” before the U.S. withdrew, and that the Biden administration “has failed.”

  3. bBronc,

    curious chaos going on today. what happened to your thread draft?  once i finally got on to the trail this morning (ran in to some errors on the way), it was no where to be found.  i’m sure i saw something you had pending about the afghan debacle  yesterday.  ???

  4. “Heck, the Iraqi army stood down the fist time we showed up.”

    BiD, am wondering if the afghan army soldiers we thought we were training were really a bunch of taliban in sheep’s clothing. at least a few well placed taliban moles. 

    we should’ve armed and trained the afghan women instead. one can easily wear kevlar vests and stash a lot of guns & ammo under those burkas.

  5. meanwhile, john on other kinds of war for us to worry about

    John Oliver discusses ransomware attacks, why they’re on the rise, and what can be done about them.

  6. but back to the debacle:

    2024 Republicans Quietly Back Biden on Afghanistan | The American Conservative

     

    also remember this from last september in foreign policy mag:

    Public Support Surges for Trump-Backed Afghan Peace Plan (foreignpolicy.com)

    Nearly two-thirds of Trump and Biden supporters said they “strongly” or “somewhat” support the peace deal that would get U.S. forces out of Afghanistan next year.

    Public support for Trump administration-backed peace talks to end the 19-year U.S. war in Afghanistan is surging, according to a report provided to Foreign Policy, as Afghan and Taliban negotiators began talks in Qatar this weekend.

    Though the talks remain mostly shrouded in secrecy from the U.S. Congress and the American public, the Eurasia Group Foundation, a New York-based nonprofit, found strong public support among both Republicans and Democrats for the planned withdrawal of all remaining U.S. troops over the next 14 months. Meanwhile, the portion of those calling for U.S. forces to stay in Afghanistan to ensure the defeat of the Taliban and al Qaeda has halved since last year, to just 15 percent of respondents.

    The survey found that fatigue with the Afghan war is dovetailing with a broader public desire to see the U.S. Defense Department reduce its footprint overseas and for Congress to slash military spending while reasserting its authority over U.S. war-making authority.

    Though the start of the talks has been delayed for months as the Taliban continued military offensives despite pledging to reduce violence, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper touted the start of Afghan negotiations as a “historic moment” in a statement on Saturday. “It is crucial for both sides to take advantage of this opportunity to make a truly Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process a success,” he added.

    Nearly two-thirds of supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump said they “strongly” or “somewhat” support the peace deal that commits all U.S. forces to leave the country within 14 months, a number nearly matched by supporters of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. (Biden wants the Pentagon to leave a small troop presence in the country to contain any terrorist threat, as he advocated during his time as vice president.) ….

    [continues]

  7. the hill:

    At least five people have reportedly been killed at the airport in Kabul as thousands seek to flee Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover of the country.

    Multiple witnesses told Reuters that at least five people at the Kabul airport died, though it is unclear if they had been shot or were killed in a stampede amidst the chaos. Reuters reports that U.S. troops fired shots into the air to prevent people from attempting to force their way onto military flights meant for U.S. diplomats.

    […]

    The U.S. has sent around 6,000 troops to Afghanistan to aid in the evacuation of American embassy workers and Afghans, with the State Department announcing on Sunday that the evacuation of U.S. personnel had been completed.

    Members of the international community released a joint statement on Sunday calling for the safe evacuation of foreign national and Afghans.

    “Given the deteriorating security situation, we support, are working to secure, and call on all parties to respect and facilitate, the safe and orderly departure of foreign nationals and Afghans who wish to leave the country,” read a statement released by dozens of nations in response to the fall of the Afghan government.

    “Those in positions of power and authority across Afghanistan bear responsibility—and accountability—for the protection of human life and property, and for the immediate restoration of security and civil order,” they added.

  8. patd – I did have one in there I was working on.  After all the chaos I decided to hold back on it for a while.  It does not appear anymore, not a problem.  I have many thoughts right now and it will take time to put them in a coherent form.  Sorry.

  9. What I’m noticing the old GWB war hawk conservatives, who mostly pulled out of the Republican party, find the Afghan situation comforting. It is like a return to normal where they can blame all the problems on the Democrats and tell us how much better they would have done it. A lot of scolding going on. They tend to forget that the Republicans are responsible for 11 of those 20 years we were in Afghanistan.
    Jack

  10. My county has a vaccination-rate(one dose) of less than 50%.  If i don’t have delta, yet, i’ll probably contract it, soon😒
     
    These dolts won’t get a vaccine, but they’ll take a cocktail of ivermectin, hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir, regeneron and who knows what else after the fact, makes perfect sense😭

  11. Yo Jack 👋 
     
    Biden is demonstrating the kind of leadership of which Obama wasn’t capable- making tough decisions that please nobody

  12. Ok that’s my lunchtime triple-play for the day, have a good day, people of trailmix ✌️ 

  13.  
    On the Covid front .  a data point of one for you. 
    I went to a family gathering, over the weekend. 
    My ex brother in Law stopped by to let his family know about his sister. She is one of the fully vaccinated who caught covid, she is now in the hospital on a respirator. She  is 60 and suffers from asthma. So it makes me wonder if delta is more of a problem then they let on. 
    Jack 

  14. Bink
    About Obama, I agree, kind of nice to have the Daddy figure in charge rather than big brother or crazy uncle.
    Jack

  15. patD – I wondered about that, as well.  Who were we training? If they weren’t Taliban, they will surely side with them now (if allowed to do so) to save themselves and their families.

  16. BiD
    Things don’t  collapse that fast unless the Afghan military cut a deal. This may have been as much a coup as a revolution.
    Jack

  17. Weekend in western MD in the reddest county in MD. Masks were rare and smart money says vaccinations are rarer. 
    so the Afghanistan exit is ugly but not entirely unexpected. It was close to a classic clusterfuck for the past 10 years. I tend to agree with Biden’s assessment. This was the inevitable result so long as the Afghan military wasn’t willing to engage the Taliban. I feel sorry for the Afghan people, but it isn’t our country and isn’t our fault. 

  18. To show you what kind of a person I am.
    This morning I went out on the porch to drink my first cup of coffee. A spider had built a huge web between me and where the chair was. I looked at him and his web He had yet to catch a fly and it wasn’t in me to destroy all that hard work so I went over and set on the steps.
    Jack

  19. Besides if he is on the front porch I will get my mail as the mail lady won’t walk where there is a spider web and it is probably this spider who has caused her to change her walking route as she brings the mail up to my mailbox..
    Jack

  20. This may have been as much a coup as a revolution.”

    jack,  another thing i noticed today along those same lines that is strange is that chaotic crowd at the airport.  yeah, some look  like they are genuinely desperate to get out of there, but there are some who are waving to the cameras, smiling and seem to be more there to make disorder than to hop a plane.

    with china and russia sending supportive statements to the taliban today one might suspect their hand in it.  maybe hiring a crowd even.

      Russia Is Already Cozying Up to the Taliban as Kabul Spirals (thedailybeast.com)

    Currently, only the embassies of Russia and China are functioning in Afghanistan. Both are being guarded by the Taliban, Russian ambassador to Kabul Dmitry Zhirnov told state TV channel Rossiya-1. “We want Afghanistan to be civilized, so that there is no terrorism, there is no drugs, so that human rights are respected. The Taliban made all the relevant promises to us, let’s hope they will be fulfilled,” the ambassador said on Monday.

     

    also this from
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/u-s-flights-out-of-kabul-suspended-as-troops-work-to-clear-airport-crowds/ar-AANnfYE?ocid=msedgntp

    Adding to the disorder, Kirby confirmed that in “two separate incidents,” U.S. troops responded to “hostile threats” on the airfield, resulting in the deaths of two armed individuals who were shooting at them.

  21. George Conway Credits Trump and Biden for Afghanistan Exit (mediaite.com)

    Conway also tweeted a quote from an article that brought former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama into the circle of blame/credit.

    @gtconway3d
    “The reality, as retired Army Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, the former White House czar for Afghanistan during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, admitted, ‘We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking.'”

    […]

    The credit that Conway assigns to Trump is his commitment to end all U.S. engagement in Afghanistan, and for starting that process. And to Biden, for seeing it through.

     

  22. I used to have fun with the big garden spiders back when I was on the beach.  For some reason they kinda scarce this year on up the creek a ways.  Unless it’s just that they’re spraying for mosquito bugs so the touristers keep forking over them yankee dollah.   Could be dat, I rectum.

  23. I have a curiosity.  Why are there no reports of Covid in Afghanistan?  With all those crowds and no known vaccinations, it would seem something would be happening

     

     

  24. Biden should own failure of evacuation but still defend decision to leave. Many will respect that. His Bay of Pigs moment, which JFK survived by admitting fault. 

  25. Close enough, Uncle Joe: “I will not shrink from my responsibility for where we are today. The buck stops with me. I am deeply saddened by the facts we now face but I do not regret my decision.” 

  26. Yep. Own it.  But who in the hell planned the pullout now and in this manner…and are they tRUMPers? POTUS Joe needs to take a hard look at who advised him to do this now and in this way. Maybe don’t trust their decision-making ability…or their intentions.
    ***

    Ah, just read jack’s comment. It makes sense; the army was in cahoots with the Taliban. I feel sorry for the women. Actually, I feel sorry for all women everywhere who are oppressed , religiously or otherwise.

  27. Thinking powerful back on all my dead friends.  They, of course, by now far outnumber the live ones. They will forever be dead friends and they will pop into the old thought-train at the damndest times.    ( Were they in…..Moose Jaw?).  
    It’s like when my dad was way the fuck in there with the Alzheimer’s—but still driving. And us fools were riding with him. And he could back up a line of cars while he’s looking for the right turn-off till when he finally found the turnoff ( it took forever to make the turn) every car that went by for 10 minutes was LEANING ON THE HORN. Car after car, lol. All my dad could come up with was wave big and “they must know me from the shipyard”.

  28. He was a big wallaby down at the shipyard.  
    Got to fart around with L Mendel Rivers and stuff.

  29. I once played a benefit for L Mendel Rivers, Jr running for sc Congress where he basically actually did an Elvis impersonation. It was great……thank ya ver much…..

  30. It’s a really goofy place.   Even flummoxed Alexander til he said, “Fuck dis, I’m outa heah.”
    But-cept he said it in Macedonian..

    “Hey Mack ! Wanna buy a watch??”

  31. “But who in the hell planned the pullout now and in this manner”

     

    You had 20 years to advise the Pentagon; telegraphing a withdrawal makes targets out of one’s own personnel
     
     
    Afghans are typically praised for resisting occupiers but apparently any military force that wants to can subjugate it in a week, not terribly impressive imo🤷‍♂️

  32. Anecdotally, i watched a documentary ages ago about US training of Afghan defense forces, and the recruits were comically incapable of being trained- a scene that stuck out was a soldier leaving formation to smoke marijuana free of consequence 

  33. Ya know, we could bomb the Afghanistan presidential palace.
    We also have an opportunity to take them out five times a day.

  34. I remember old L Mendel giving his old white-haired advice about Viet Nam.
    “Bomb……Bomb………Bomb”.

  35. How much if the stuff we left behind can be decommissioned and made useless to the Taliban?
    I still worry that Orange Adolf’s chicken-fried Taliban will be emboldened by the fall of the Afghanistan government. 

  36. Some o’ y’all might not know that the very name L Mendel Rivers could at one time strike fear into the hearts of otherwise stalwart men. 

  37. Wouldn’t that be the ultimate trap, though? Get them in the presidential palace, just when they think they’ve won. 

  38. something, something, something…..all my dead ass friends, ya buncha jerks.      lol
     
     
    A bit of piccolo would be nice.

  39. dead dead dead … all my dead ass friends,

    ya bunch of jerks, why’d ya go when ya did

    now that I like ya more than then

  40. Tony… we got your message.  We were really looking forward to seeing you again… but we completely understand.  Maybe someday we’ll get back down your way.

  41. POTUS Joe is what a real President looks like.   Who were his advisors on the timing of this, though?

    https://www.texastribune.org/2021/08/16/fort-bliss-el-paso-afghan-refugees/

    “Fort Bliss in El Paso will be the destination for potentially thousands of Afghan refugees,..”

    “…refugee relocation in the U.S., including temporary sights under assessment at Fort Bliss, Texas, and Camp McCoy, Wisconsin,”

    “There may be other sites identified if services are needed, additional capacity is needed,” he added. “At this point we’re looking to establish 20 [thousand] to 22,000 spaces. We can expand if we need to.”

    “While many of the refugees will be housed at the Fort Bliss military base, others could be settled throughout Texas in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston, …”

    I can already hear Greg Abbott whining about the refugees from Afghanistan.

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