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President Joe Biden is set to address America about the end of the US military presence in Afghanistan, which became official as the last US C-17 transport plane took off from Kabul's airport yesterday, just before midnight local time. As Lawrence O'Donnell noted last night on MSNBC, it's a pretty unusual situation for a president to give a speech after an unsuccessful military conflict. O'Donnell noted that he'd checked with NBC News archivists, who confirmed that in 1975, following the fall of Saigon, Gerald Ford didn't so much as hold a press conference, let alone a speech to the nation.
"We're betting this one starts on time" is a thing Dok wrote in his draft that then did not come to pass.
It's your Sunday show rundown!
Ever since President Joe Biden decided to follow through with the end of the war in Afghanistan, one already negotiated by the previous administration, we've had no shortage of armchair quarterbacks criticizing the decision. As the August 31 deadline approaches, it seems all the warhawks came to the Sunday shows to either request for forever war or criticize our exit strategy.
On CBS' "Face The Nation," political remora Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina decided to honor his last two long-term relationships with Donald Trump & the late John McCain. For McCain, Graham advocated for John's true love (foreign wars) when asked what he would have done differently than Biden.
GRAHAM: Well, number one, I wouldn't have withdrawn. I would have kept the counterterrorism forces on the ground. [...]
Graham channelled his war boner so much, it removed his ability to coherently spit out the soundbite he practiced all night.
GRAHAM: But let me tell you where I think we're at. This is a cata...catamalystic...a cat... just a fair beyond my ability to describe it.
Graham then decided to give some very late advice.
GRAHAM: [...] First thing we need to do is not recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.
That's some sage advice you maybe should have given Trump and Mike Pompeo when they made this deal with the Taliban, Lindsey.
But Graham saved his dumbest critique of Biden for doing what the majority of Americans wanted by calling for his impeachment again.
GRAHAM: [...] He deserves a lot of accountability for this. And I'm sure it will be coming.
O'KEEFE: Senator, one thing, one word I don't hear you using is one you were using before the attack on Thursday, and that is you called for his impeachment over Afghanistan. Do you still feel he should be impeached--
GRAHAM: Yeah, I think--
O'KEEFE: --over this?
GRAHAM: Yeah. Yeah, I think it's dereliction of duty [...]
After all the derelictions of EVERY presidential duty and the failure to impeach Trump, we really don't need to hear this pearl clutching from Lindsey Graham. But take this as warning: Republicans will make this their new Benghazi and impeach Biden, whether rightfully or wrongfully, if they get power again. On "Fox News Sunday,” Senate Minority Leader and turtle/human hybrid Mitch McConnell also advocated for forever war.
MCCONNELL: Yes, I think what's been lost in all of this, Chris, is why we went there in the first place. We went there to prevent the Taliban from having a regime that would allow terrorists to reconstitute themselves and hit us again here at home. It's been a total success.
I mean ... 20 years of training the Afghan military and they disintegrated instantly kinda proves it wasn't a "total success," Mitch.
But any worry Republicans might listen to McConnell went away when he broke from their narrative to say something true about COVID-19.
MCCONNELL: You know, I'm kind of reluctant to give governors advice about how they ought to carry out their responsibilities during the pandemic, but I do think it's important to remember that 90 percent of the people in the hospitals are unvaccinated. So the answer to this is get vaccinated. If we could keep saying that over and over and over again, I think that's the key to this. This is a crisis among unvaccinated Americans who seem to be reluctant to believe that vaccination works. It does.
I guess McConnell occasionally tells the truth like he would win a race with a hare: slow and steady.
On Fox News
"MAGA POWER HOUR" "Sunday Morning Futures," host Maria Bartiromo proves she doesn't understand the constitution as she cites Senator Rick Scott from Florida to see if Kevin McCarthy can invoke the 25th Amendment (Spoiler: He can't):
Representative Madison Cawthorn from North Carolina tried the same 25th Amendment stunt:
BREAKING: I just formally requested the U.S. Cabinet invoke the 25th Amendment. Joe Biden does not simply have a p… https://t.co/xNAFvKt1V4— Rep. Madison Cawthorn (@Rep. Madison Cawthorn) 1630024601.0
We conclude today on CNN's "State Of The Union", where host Jake Tapper decided to invite a pair of bipartisan assclowns: Representatives Seth Moulton from Massachusetts and Peter Meijer from Michigan. Tapper decided to platform and give the pair the exact attention they wanted, without pushback, for their unsanctioned and unscheduled political stunt trip to Kabul. When Tapper asked Moulton the only vaguely critical question of the entire segment, Moulton showed what a joke he is.
Rep. Seth Moulton on criticism of his trip to Afghanistan: "At the end of the day, I don't care what pundits in Was… https://t.co/4MhdfOt4EW— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1630244306.0
TAPPER: You must know how furious so many of your colleagues are, as well as people in the Pentagon and the Biden administration, about the trip. They say you diverted resources needing to protect the evacuation just two days before the terrorist attack there. Congressman Moulton, how do you respond?
MOULTON: Lookit, those accusations are just not true. But, Jake, at the end of the day, I don't care what pundits in Washington are saying.[…]
Yeah, except they DID divert resources and 13 US service members were killed less than 24 hours after your stupid-ass attention-seeking trip. It's unbelievable to see the lack of understanding from Moulton and Meijer how their useless appearance in Kabul wasted time, money and attention from a critical war-ending evacuation EVEN after the loss the following day of the very people who kept them safe.
Have a week.
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He's never gonna be president.
Mike Pompeo is what happens when you have the warmongering of Henry Kissinger with one-fourth the evil competence. But his heat-seeking to be the next Trump-wannabe in 2024 might be derailed by his monstrous incompetence.
As detailed by William Saletan of Slate, Pompeo has been trying to see if he can lie like a common Nikki Haley about how safe Afghanistan was when he was the one negotiating with the Taliban despite the disastrous consequences we are currently experiencing.
Appearing on Maria Bartiromo's Fox News show "Sunday Morning Futures," Mike Pompeo lied about it on Sunday for the
second week in a row.
Pompeo played all his hits:
There were the dogwhistles:
POMPEO: [Biden] is more focused on spending three and half trillion dollars on creating 'diversity' inside of our military ...
He waxed about the marvelous deal he made:
POMPEO: Remember this Maria: From the time we began our "peace and reconciliation," our conversations ... from the time we signed that deal in February 2020 ... not a single American was attacked by the Taliban in a serious way and there wasn't a single American killed.
Yeah, well, once we told them we'd leave immediately if they just stopped attacking us (mostly), we guess they were OK with that.
Pompeo also attempted to say our allies don't trust us, as if to imply they'd like it better if Trump was still the sheriff. You bet.
POMPEO: You need [...] only to go to the British Parliament or listen to Macron or Merkel. [...] All of them are concerned that they no longer can trust America as a partner and ally.
Of course, one only has to look at news articles from Trump's four years to see how our allies actually felt while Trump was being pen-pals with Kim Jong-un or defending Vladimir Putin or defending Prince Bonesaw of Saudi Arabia. Pompeo's sudden concern for Emmanuel Macron or Angela Merkel or the British Parliament might not be authentic!
But as, MSNBC's Medhi Hansan tweeted, the receipts are all archived and wont be easily forgotten:
As Afghanistan falls further into chaos, the many decision by Pompeo that led here become starker. Slate detailed numerous articles, interviews, and statements showing Pompeo's hypocrisy like the video above. They also highlighted moments like one on March 5, 2020, when Pompeo responded to criticism by making excuses for the Taliban:
We have seen the senior Taliban leadership working diligently to reduce violence from previous levels [...]
Or when he told Fox News's Pete Hegseth on March 6, 2020, he was willing let Kabul fall:
HEGSETH: I mean, we're not going to intervene ultimately two, three years from now if the Afghan Government can't defend itself. This is an Afghan issue.
POMPEO: That's right. [...]
When in the same “Fox & Friends" interview it was pointed out that the Taliban was not meeting its agreement, as similar violence to what's being seen now was already occurring then, Pompeo minimized it by calling it "common" in Afghanistan.
POMPEO: And your point about violence, violence is actually significantly down. The American people don't think – spend much time thinking about the fact that on an average day over the last years there have been between 80 and a hundred violent incidents across Afghanistan. This is common. This is recurring. It is a difficult place.
Pompeo's Dunning-Krueger inspired narcissism and disdain for anyone questioning his moves could be seen back when the House Foreign Affairs Committee was asking very relevant questions about this whole "negotiating with the Taliban as if they are part of the Afghan government thus undermining the actual government there."
I agreed w/ the Trump Admin that there was no military solution to Afghanistan. Unfortunately, my concerns with the… https://t.co/rI5WRBrjYw— Rep. Colin Allred (@Rep. Colin Allred) 1629560127.0
Pompeo clearly stated then that they were "appraising" the Afghan government instead of including them as active participants. Watching Pompeo's smug arrogance in the face of legitimate concerns that were proven correct now is nauseating. It shows how little understanding Pompeo had as he opened the door of legitimacy for the Taliban as a co-equal part of Afghanistan's future.
It also reveals a simple truth of military occupations: The locals live there, the occupiers don't. They'll always be there after the occupiers are gone. It's why soon after our assistance and support was pulled, per the Pompeo-negotiated agreement, the Afghan military dissolved. Dying for a US-created government that no longer had US backing is like being a minimum wage mall cop dying to protect Mark Zuckerberg's barber.
As Slate concluded in their analysis:
The return of authoritarianism in Afghanistan is tragic. So are the latest atrocities: retributive executions, brutality against civilians, and the subjugation of women. The Biden administration misjudged how quickly the government would fall, and Biden misled Americans about what could happen. But nobody has lied more about the Afghan collapse than Pompeo. At every stage, he aided the Taliban and sabotaged the Kabul government. And now he dares to blame others.
The current whitewashing by Pompeo and others is actually very cynically straightforward. It's a bunch of self-interested scumbags trying to attain and hold on to power and relevance at the expense of real people's lives. So: Republicans.
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And Josh Hawley and Marsha Blackburn want in too.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, continuing his audition to be the GOP's official national weathervane, called for President Joe Biden to be impeached over the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, claiming that no other president in history has ever done anything so "dishonorable," and that leaving the Forever War would leave the US open to another "9/11." Graham said nothing at all about his favorite president ever, who brought us a 1/6 and a COVID-19.
Graham made the remarks in a Tuesday interview on NewsMax; that was two days before yesterday's horrific suicide bombings at the Kabul airport, which prompted other GOP senators to call for Biden to resign, be impeached, or just magically be replaced with Donald Trump, who would be so much better at this.
Should President Joe Biden be impeached? @LindseyGrahamSC: "I think [President Biden] should be impeached." https://t.co/P2Dv8tYf0l— Newsmax (@Newsmax) 1629858452.0
You see, if we had no president, vice president, secretary of State, secretary of Defense, or chair of the Joint Chiefs, then ISIS would really know it was in big trouble. Or maybe she thinks that if Biden and Harris step down, Donald Trump would magically become president again.
Weirdly, shortly before that call to decapitate American leadership, Blackburn had also tweeted that Joe Biden had better well follow up on his vow to counterattack against the terrorists, which might prove a tad difficult with no one in charge. Maybe she was just tacitly signaling her support for Nancy Pelosi's ability to defeat every army everywhere, plus a religion.
At least Lindsey Graham had a plan for how he'd handle the Forever War: if it were up to him, he'd keep it going forever.
If I was the president of the United States, I'd have told the Taliban to "Go to hell. We're going to stay here as long as it takes to get out people out." And if I were president of the United States, we'd have had soldiers in Afghanistan as long as it takes to keep America safe.
But you're not, Lindsey, you're not president of the United States.
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