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Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
Home country: US
Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 09:54 PM
Number of posts: 170,223

Journal Archives

Eric Boehlert: The media's Afghan blame game


The media's Afghan blame game
A 20-year failure
Eric Boehlert
59 min ago

Treating the Taliban’s seizure of Afghanistan’s capitol over the weekend as a shocking event in the wake of U.S. troops withdrawing from the war-torn country, the press eagerly jumped into the blame game. In the process, they diligently did the GOP’s bidding by omitting key context in its rush to pin the blame for a 20-year, extraordinarily complex and heartbreaking military and foreign policy failure on a single man who took office just seven months ago.


A large chunk of Sunday’s coverage simply consisted of journalists recording Republicans’ completely predictable attacks on Biden. “Republican lawmakers are denouncing President Biden's admin. for the Taliban's aggressive takeover of Afghanistan,” NBC News excitedly announced on Twitter. What Biden’s Republican critics would do in Afghanistan in terms of ending the United States’ presence was never addressed, nor was any historical context offered.

In truth, the Republican policy is to leave U.S. troops there forever and spend untold billions in the process. Yet the only Republican perspective journalists focused on in recent days was that Republicans were very mad at Biden. (Yes, many of them were stalwart supporters of the Iraq War and stood by Bush’s botched handling of the war for years.)

When Biden announced earlier this year that all U.S. troops were coming home from Afghanistan, 70 percent of Americans supported the move, including 56 percent support from Republicans.

Would those polling results be different today, given the collapse of Kabul and the Taliban’s newfound control of Afghanistan? It’s possible. But after the U.S. fought a losing war there for two decades, my guess is that most Americans will not swing their positions and urgently demand that U.S. forces return to mountainous fighting.


In essence, Biden came to view Afghanistan as a lost cause militarily, and decided it was time to withdraw. Biden didn’t start the war or shepherd it for two decades. And what’s unfolding in Afghanistan today is not his doing alone.
Posted by babylonsister | Mon Aug 16, 2021, 08:09 AM (18 replies)

The Plague Invasion at the Border Is Just GOP Propaganda

The Plague Invasion at the Border Is Just GOP Propaganda
Fear of disease was used to keep out the Irish, Italians, Greeks, Jews, and Mexicans. Now it is used to keep out the Guatemalans, Hondurans, and Salvadorans.
Ruben Navarrette Jr.
Updated Aug. 14, 2021 3:23AM ET / Published Aug. 13, 2021 11:34PM ET


Now here are the facts.

The actual numbers are tiny. According to CBS News, officials in McAllen, Texas say that, since February, more than 7,000 migrants who tested positive for COVID-19 have been processed in the border city. Those same officials claim that every day they see more than 1,800 migrants coming into their community. That’s at least 54,000 per month. So, in the six months since February, about 324,000 migrants have passed through the city. Of that figure, only 7,000 tested positive for COVID-19—or 2 percent.

Public health officials say that migrants and refugees are no more likely to have contracted coronavirus than any other travelers crossing the border or any American living in COVID-19 hot spots in the United States. In fact, the cities in the U.S. with the highest positivity rates for the virus are nowhere near the border. But those cities tend to be in red states—where vaccination rates are lower and Republican governors have opposed mask mandates.

There is a familiar historical ring to all this. Those who have studied the history of immigration even have a name for it: “medical racism.” In the mid-19th century, Chinese immigrants to California were associated with sickness and blamed for bringing smallpox, syphilis, trachoma, and the bubonic plague. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was passed in part because of the public fear surrounding the spread of disease.


Posted by babylonsister | Sun Aug 15, 2021, 11:13 AM (2 replies)

Liz Cheney Falsely Blames Biden For Afghanistan Instead Of Her Dad


Posted on Sun, Aug 15th, 2021 by Jason Easley
Liz Cheney Falsely Blames Biden For Afghanistan Instead Of Her Dad

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) blamed President Biden for Afghanistan without blaming her father for his role in starting the war.

Rep. Cheney tweeted:

Liz Cheney
The Trump/Biden calamity unfolding in Afghanistan began with the Trump administration negotiating with terrorists and pretending they were partners for peace, and is ending with American surrender as Biden abandons the country to our terrorist enemies. https://t.co/PQ1i5W6zZt
5:28 PM · Aug 14, 2021

Cheney was right about Trump elevating the Taliban. The failed former president cut a deal with the Taliban in a desperate bid to win reelection. Don’t forget Trump’s scheme to invite the Taliban to the US around 9/11 to announce a “peace deal.”

Liz Cheney Ignored The Role Of Her Father And The Bush Administration In The Afghanistan Failure

Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and George W. Bush made the original sin in the Afghanistan decision when they went into Afghanistan with overconfidence in the US military to remove the Taliban from power but had no plan for what comes next.

It was Bush and Cheney who committed the United States to a forever war in Afghanistan. It was Cheney who pushed the nation-building concept. Cheney thought the United States could remake the Middle East with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The neo-con position got the United States into the middle of a civil war, and the responsibility for that decision belongs to the administration that Liz Cheney’s father served in.


Biden deserves praise for having the guts to do what was necessary and what the American people have been demanding for years.

By leaving out her father’s role, Liz Cheney attempted to rewrite history to remove blame from Dick Cheney and instead blame Joe Biden.

Rep. Cheney is wrong, and her falsehood can’t be allowed to stand unchallenged.
Posted by babylonsister | Sun Aug 15, 2021, 08:06 AM (33 replies)

Why Is the Afghan National Army Performing So Miserably?

Why Is the Afghan National Army Performing So Miserably?
Always dependent on the U.S. military for air support and logistical help, the country’s army is virtually helpless on its own.
James A. Warren
Published Aug. 15, 2021 5:04AM ET


The United States spent more than $70 billion dollars to train and equip the Afghan National Security Forces—both police and army—but in the face of the recent Taliban offensive, dozens of units have simply vanished into thin air, deserting their posts and wandering off. Others have reached accommodation with local Taliban leaders, and turned over their positions without firing a single round. Still other government units have surrendered after they were surrounded and cut off by insurgents, or because they were betrayed by relief force commanders who decided it would be best to forego their mission entirely and call it a day.

So much for fighting spirit and military cohesion...

Why is the Afghan National Army collapsing? On a tactical and operational level, the answer is simple: the Afghan National Army has never severed its umbilical cord to U.S. logistics, air support, and intelligence gathering, even though the main mission of U.S. forces in the country since 2014 has been to prepare the national army and police to operate independently. Without these assets, government forces simply cannot stand up against a highly-motivated, well-supplied enemy like the Taliban.


Like the government in Kabul, the Afghan National Army is drenched in dysfunction, division, and most of all, debilitating corruption. The government has failed to address these problems for years. Nor did the senior leadership of Asraf Ghani’s administration develop a coherent politico-military strategy for tackling the Taliban on its own, though it has known for years that such a strategy would be required for long-term survival. Kabul’s internal paralysis and tensions ensure that even if it had a coherent plan, it could not implement it.

As Anthony Cordesman, an American strategic analyst known for his clinical detachment, wrote in a recent report for the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Washington, the government in Kabul “is dominated by leaders more interested in competing for power than in the nation’s future, and it cannot govern or make effective use of its funding, most of which comes from U.S. and outside aid. The political structure of the Afghan central government remains a corrupt and divided mess.”


Posted by babylonsister | Sun Aug 15, 2021, 07:06 AM (30 replies)

Lindsey Graham Called Biden to Fix Friendship Even After Attacking Hunter


Lindsey Graham Called Biden to Fix Friendship Even After Attacking Hunter
Corbin Bolies
Breaking News Intern
Published Aug. 14, 2021 1:24PM ET

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) seemed to have no qualms about attacking President Joe Biden’s son Hunter during the 2020 election, but at the same time he apparently wanted to remain friends with his former Senate colleague.

According to The New York Times, Graham called Biden shortly after the election to try and repair their fractured friendship, allegedly telling the president-elect that he only attacked Hunter to satisfy Trump supporters—even as he called for a special prosecutor to look into the younger Biden’s business dealings.

Biden, however, was reportedly not interested in patching up the relationship, telling Graham he was trying to play both sides, sources close to the president said. Days after the phone call, the Times noted, Biden remarked to Stephen Colbert that Graham was “a personal disappointment because I was a personal friend of his.”
Posted by babylonsister | Sat Aug 14, 2021, 02:01 PM (39 replies)

What is the matter with Florida governors? Remember

Jeb Bush inserting himself into the case of Terry Schiavo?

Governor Jeb Bush's brief does not yet seem to have had any effect. In his brief, known as an "amicus curiae" brief (a brief provided by a disinterested adviser to the court), he argued that it might be unconstitutional to allow Ms Schiavo to die without testing her to see whether she can swallow, a test she has already failed.

Besides filing the brief he has instructed his legal staff to find out whether there is a way that the judge's original 2002 order to remove the feeding tube could be found to be unconstitutional.


DeSantis needs to get his mitts out of Florida's healthcare. He's grandstanding at the expense of lives here. I think a nice class action suit against him should be filed; there are plenty of people who could join.

Posted by babylonsister | Sat Aug 14, 2021, 12:28 PM (7 replies)

America's Catastrophic Afghanistan Exit Has Many Fathers

Good article; pay wall unfortunately.

America’s Catastrophic Afghanistan Exit Has Many Fathers
While history offered U.S. leaders 3,000 years of warnings, it does not offer them an excuse.
David Rothkopf
Published Aug. 13, 2021 5:41PM ET


It is a cliché now, to the extent useful historical context can be characterized as such, to note that the interventions of foreign powers in Afghanistan are typically difficult and more often than not end badly for the invaders. The litany of those who came and went, who grappled with the reality of a largely poor, fragmented tribal society, difficult physical terrain and an ebbing will to pay the price Afghanistan demands of its visitors, is strikingly long. It includes the Persians, the Greeks, Arabs, Mongols, Mughals, Sikhs, the British, the Soviets and to what will be the enduring discredit of America’s leaders, us.


When Biden came into office, he delayed that departure date. But he could not ignore the obvious. America no longer had any pressing national interest in Afghanistan that would warrant a permanent presence like in Germany (to support NATO and offset Russian strength) or in Korea (to help counter the threat from North Korea). Our efforts to support the central government and retrain the military were not gaining necessary traction. Terrorist groups had largely decamped to other parts of the world. Further, Biden had 20 years of evidence that a U.S. presence on the ground would not and could not achieve the kind of stability that would ensure that upon our departure the country would not immediately revert to the Taliban.

So Biden did what his predecessors had not dared to do. He made the hard decision to leave, knowing that the political fallout from the inevitable aftermath would fall on him. (He also knew that stay or go, his critics would attack him.) But there were no better alternatives recommended by anyone. And by leaving, our troops would no longer be at risk, our costs would be contained, and our attentions could be devoted to higher priorities. He and his team correctly argued that the U.S. military was not the way to advance our longer-term objectives in the country, which would have to be handled by diplomats and international institutions.


Joe Biden is doing the right thing. His team is not executing the departure well. He and they bear responsibility for that. But they no more bear the primary responsibility for the fiasco that was America’s longest war than did Gerald Ford did for all our errors in Vietnam when the last U.S. helicopter lifted off the roof of the U.S. embassy in Saigon on April 30 of 1975.

It could be argued that every U.S. administration from Carter through Trump bears greater responsibility for what went wrong with U.S. policy in Afghanistan than Biden’s. What is going on there now is awful. But make no mistake, getting out and getting out now is what we needed to do. Continuing to do what had not worked for two decades would only meet the famed definition of insanity. Biden recognized that it is the job of leaders sometimes to do painful things, things that damage them politically.


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Aug 14, 2021, 06:56 AM (5 replies)

I remember finding DU in 2004

because of the Iraqi war, Bush, and things just not adding up. I never understood and still don't why we started that.
I went to see Cindy Sheehan in Crawford, TX, to support her after her son was killed.
I went to DC to protest that war.
I was not happy when President Obama surged instead of removing us from the war zone.

I know this will be a big mess but we needed to get out. There is/was no end game. It would always be messy despite what year it was done.

Posted by babylonsister | Fri Aug 13, 2021, 11:56 PM (25 replies)

Fox News poll shows voters aren't buying the GOP's attacks on Biden

Fox News poll shows voters aren't buying the GOP's attacks on Biden
By Josh Israel -
August 12, 2021 10:45 AM

Most registered voters back President Joe Biden's investment plans and want COVID safety rules.

A new Fox News poll released Wednesday shows congressional Republicans are way out of step with the American public. Months of GOP attacks on the President Joe Biden, his economic policies, and COVID-19 safety requirements have failed to sway most of the American public.

Conducted between Aug. 7 and Aug. 10, the poll surveyed 1,002 registered voters. It found majority support for Biden and his proposed economic investments.

By a 53%-46% majority, voters said they approve of the job Biden is doing as president, much better than any Fox News poll approval rating for Donald Trump over his single term as president.

Asked about the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the bipartisan plan to invest $550 billion in transportation, broadband, electrical, and water system infrastructure that passed in the Senate on Tuesday, 62% said they favor the package, while 30% said they opposed.

Asked about Democrats' $3.5 trillion plan to "address climate change, healthcare and childcare," 56% backed that as well, while 38% did not.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Aug 13, 2021, 02:49 PM (7 replies)

GOP Aide Admits To Journalist Why They're Letting People Die


GOP Aide Admits To Journalist Why They're Letting People Die
Yes, it really is a strategy.
By Susie Madrak

Yesterday, Ari Melber was talking about the Republicans, calling them a "January 6th-adjacent party."

"I will read you something that Gene Robinson was writing. He argues that too many Republicans were taking covid's side literally in the pandemic, creating an environment killing Americans who shouldn't have to die. Republican DeSantis transparently positioning himself as a contender for 2024, and if Floridians die along the way, so be it.'

"Gene is a serious Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, that's pretty harsh coming from him. Do you think that's fair, or too far?" he asked journalist Julia Ioffe.

"I think it is very fair, Abbott and DeSantis positioning themselves for 2024," she said.

"You saw DeSantis' wife, she said, 'Oh, it is so great, my husband is a great dad just like Trump and he has the same hand motion as Trump. It's so obvious that he's positioning himself just like Trump."

But here's the part that every Democratis candidate should be using in ads, starting right this minute.

"About a month ago, I was talking to a pretty senior Hill aide on the Republican side. Vaccinated, everybody in his shop was vaccinated. I said, 'What is the deal, why are you doing is this? It's your own constituency you're killing.'

"And he said they just want to make Biden look bad.
They want the crisis to happen on Biden's watch so that he does not get the credit for the vaccine that they felt Trump should get the credit for. That's it. I mean, my jaw hit the floor and I had to work to get it back up."

I can't say I'm surprised, exactly. After all, it's really the only explanation that fits the facts. But that our national politics have degraded to the point where Republicans actually believe mass murder is a legitimate campaign strategy?
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