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bluewater

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Member since: Fri Jun 7, 2019, 03:43 PM
Number of posts: 4,711

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Could someone please put a number on it?

How many Afghans that were helping the US over the last 20 years need to be evacuated at this point in time for this mission to be a success?

I first read that the number was 21,000 special visa applicant/holders.

But then I read that 70,700 people, including about 5,000 US passport holders, have been flown out so far.

That means about 65,000 Afghan citizens have been rescued. That's 44,000 more than the original 21,000 special visa number.

And yet the news media is criticizing President Biden for leaving behind our Afghan allies, stranding them to the mercies of the Taliban.

Ok. But what number of Afghan allies are we actually suppose to rescue before the mission is considered a success?

100,000? A million? How many endangered Afghan allies are there in actuality?

Serious question.

The "Moderate 9" in the House need to suck it up and get with Biden's program

There is nothing "moderate" in bucking both President Biden's and Speaker Pelosi's legislative agenda.

If centrists like the President and the Speaker are too "far left" for these self described "moderates" in the House, perhaps they really need to think long and hard what we Democrats need to accomplish to both govern effectively and, importantly, to get re-elected in 2022 and in 2024.

In short, the "Moderate 9" all need to suck it up and get with the program.

Progressives like myself have. It's what we all should be doing as Democrats for the good of the country.

Pardon my subdued rage.



EDIT: To those that replied a deal was made this afternoon, that was only a first step towards drafting Biden's plan this fall.

The 220-212 vote was a first step toward drafting Biden’s $3.5 billion rebuilding plan this fall, and the narrow outcome, in the face of stiff Republican opposition, showed the power a few voices have to alter the debate and signaled the challenges ahead still threatening to upend the president’s agenda.

After a turbulent 24 hours that brought House proceedings to a standstill, Speaker Nancy Pelosi told her colleagues before the vote that the legislation represents a federal investment on par with the New Deal and the Great Society.

Pelosi brushed aside the delays. “That’s just part of the legislative process,” she said, according to an aide granted anonymity to discuss a closed-door caucus meeting.

Tensions had flared as a band of moderate lawmakers threatened to withhold their votes for the $3.5 trillion plan. They were demanding the House first approve a nearly $1 trillion bipartisan package of other public works projects that’s already passed the Senate.

In brokering the compromise, Pelosi committed to voting on the bipartisan package no later than Sept. 27, an attempt to assure lawmakers it won't be left on the sidelines. It's also in keeping with with Pelosi's insistence that the two bills move together as a more complete collection of Biden's priorities. Pelosi has set a goal of passing both by Oct. 1.

Easing off the stalemate will shelve, for now, the stark divisions between moderate and progressive lawmakers who make up the Democrats' so-slim House majority. But as the drama spilled out during what was supposed to be a quick session as lawmakers returned to work for a few days in August, it showcased the party differences that threaten to upend Biden's ambitious rebuilding agenda.


I fear that the "Moderate 9" will continue to raise objections and threaten the President's 3.5 trillion dollar rebuilding plan.

So, as I said, the "Moderate 9" need to get with the program and stop bucking Biden's proposal. The President was elected with 81 MILLION votes to implement his goals for the country, no nine so called "moderates" should be impeding that.

Maskless Maggat confronts me then cowers. A true and revealing event.

I was shopping last Friday for groceries and was one of the few people in the store wearing a mask.

As I wheeled my cart down the coffee isle a forty year old looking guy, a guy much younger than me, a guy not wearing a mask, spotted me and headed straight towards me, agitated.

When he got within 15 feet of me or so he started shouting, "What are you afraid of, dude. What's with the f*cking mask..."

Not in the mood to engage this asshole, I replied "I'm wearing it because I don't feel well."

Seriously, the guy stopped dead in his tracks and the color drained from his face. He literally backed away and left the isle without saying another word.

So much for another fearless and maskless Trumper, eh?

Taliban 2.0 versus The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

A distinction without a difference?

Perhaps.

I mean, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an authoritarian theocratic state oppressing women.

How oppressed are women in Saudi Arabia? Well, the World Economic Forum ranked Saudi Arabia near the bottom in its 2015 Global Gender Gap Index, with the country falling at 134 out of 145 countries. And it was only in December 2015 that Saudi women finally got the right to vote and run for office—and even then only in municipal elections.

https://fortune.com/2016/03/17/this-is-how-oppressed-women-are-in-saudi-arabia/


It has the death penalty for being gay.

20 Most Dangerous Places For Gay Travelers
#4. Saudi Arabia

“Saudi Arabia is another of the countries on our list which implements the death penalty for consensual homosexuality under their interpretation of Sharia law,” says Fergusson. “Other punishments include 100 whips or banishment for one year ‘Men behaving as women’ or wearing women’s clothes, and vice versa, is also illegal in Saudi Arabia, making this a particularly unfriendly country for members of the trans community.”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/laurabegleybloom/2019/11/25/most-dangerous-places-safest-lgbtq-gay-travelers/?sh=38c286041169


It prohibits the free practice of religion.

Saudi Arabia

LEGAL FRAMEWORK
The Basic Law of Governance establishes the country as a sovereign Arab Islamic state in which Islam is the official religion. The Basic Law says sharia is the “foundation of the Kingdom” and states the country’s constitution is the Quran and the Sunna. The Basic Law contains no legal recognition or protection of freedom of religion. Conversion from Islam to another religion is grounds for the charge of apostasy, which is legally punishable by death, although courts have not carried out a death sentence for apostasy in recent years.

Blasphemy against Islam may also be legally punishable by death, but courts have not sentenced individuals to death for blasphemy in recent years. Punishments for blasphemy may include lengthy prison sentences and lashings. Criticism of Islam, including expression deemed offensive to Muslims, is forbidden on the grounds of preserving social stability.

The 2017 counterterrorism law criminalizes “anyone who challenges, either directly or indirectly, the religion or justice of the King or Crown Prince.” On January 25, authorities issued implementation regulations that criminalize “calling for atheist thought in any form or calling into question the fundamentals of the Islamic religion.” The right to access legal representation for those accused of violating the counterterrorism law is limited; according to the law, “the Public Prosecutor may, at the investigative stage, restrict this right whenever the interests of the investigation so require.” There is no right to access government-held evidence.

https://www.state.gov/reports/2019-report-on-international-religious-freedom/saudi-arabia/



I could go on an on posting other similarities, but you get the gist.

For those criticizing the withdrawal from Afghanistan, a point to consider...

https://twitter.com/jbarro/status/1427660668937900040

Excellent point.

So the difference between the Trumpers and the Taliban is...

just a matter of degree?

Seems so.

Welcome back to a Multi-Polar World

The days of the US being the world's sole super power after the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991 are over.

Since 1991 we have seen the dramatic rise, economically and now militarily, of China.

Since 1991 Russia has stabilized itself into the 6th largest economy in the world, right behind Germany in 5th place. Completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in 2021 enhances the growing economic connection between the two.

In 1991 the so-called G7 nations, the seven nations with the world's largest economies, were:
US, Japan, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Canada.

In 2021 the eight largest economies in the world are:
China, US, India, Japan, Germany, Russia, Indonesia and Brazil

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(PPP)

In short, the balance of power has shifted dramatically over the past 30 years.

Get use to it.

Afghanistan was too big and too poor for "nation building" to have been possible

The population of Afghanistan is around 37,466,414 as of 2021,[6] which includes the roughly 3 million Afghan citizens living as refugees in both Pakistan and Iran

Approximately 46% of the population is under 15 years of age, and 74% of all Afghans live in rural areas.[4] The average woman gives birth to five children during her entire life, the highest fertility rate outside of Africa. About 6.8% of all babies die in child-birth or infancy.[4] The average life expectancy of the nation was reported in 2019 at around 63 years


Afghanistan ranks 210th in GDP per capita at $2474, and that's the purchasing power parity number that takes into account local prices.

Afghanistan was just too big at 39 million people and too poor for "nation building" to work.

Hell, we can't even successfully "nation build" in a smaller country much closer to home like Guatemala in Central America.

Oh, wait, even Guatemala now has 18 MILLION people. Honestly, world demographics are shifting at an astonishing fast pace and I don't think our foreign policy has been keeping up.




The Afghan military was probably infiltrated by the Taliban for years and years

People are people and people are intelligent.

And the intelligent thing for the Taliban to have done was to have their people, people sympathetic to their cause, join the Afghan army these past years.

Free training, spies, sleeper agents, people waiting for the opportunity to undermine morale and take their units out of the fight at the climatic moment -- why wouldn't any resistance group anywhere want all those things?

This would explain the current sudden collapse and, honestly, have made it inevitable.

imho

I was so naive when the Trumpers stormed the Capitol, so sadly naive....

I remember watching the mob storm the Capitol and thinking "They have finally gone too far; surely, this must be political suicide for Trump and the rethugs."

I totally underestimated the nativist, white-supremacist, anti-democratic nature of half the US electorate.

My bad.

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