Go Ahead and Ignore Republicans on Afghanistan

President Biden spoke this afternoon from the White House regarding the situation in Afghanistan following the withdrawal of American forces from that country and the subsequent takeover by Taliban forces. As The Washington Post reports:

In remarks at the White House Monday afternoon, President Biden acknowledged that the collapse of Afghanistan’s government and security forces took place more rapidly than expected — but maintained that withdrawing U.S. troops from the country was the correct decision.

“The truth is, this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated,” Biden said. “So what’s happened? Afghanistan’s political leaders gave up and fled the country. The Afghan military collapsed, some … without trying to fight. If anything, the developments of the past week reinforced that ending U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan now was the right decision.”

He added: “American troops cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying in a war that Afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves.”

Meanwhile, both around the country and here in Colorado, Republicans are crowing about the perceived failures of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. It’s the kind of back seat driving/Monday morning quarterbacking that Republicans have long favored as opposed to offering up any sort of actual policy proposal of their own.

Former President Trump is accusing Biden of having “surrendered” to the Taliban — and even, absurdly, calling on Biden to resign as President — while insisting that he would have handled the withdrawal of military forces differently. Never mind that it was the TRUMP ADMINISTRATION that negotiated the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan back in December 2020

In fact, here was Trump in July 2021 (yes, LAST month):

 

Nobody would argue that the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan is going well, but it’s likely that the swift Taliban takeover in the region was going to happen whenever America finally left Afghanistan. As The Washington Post explains, the complete failure of the Afghan security forces to offer any real resistance to the Taliban was not a huge surprise. 

Yet in their zeal to pin all of the negative effects of the withdrawal on Biden, Republicans are again completely ignoring their own history. For example, here’s Rep. Lauren “Q*Bert” Boebert (R-ifle):

In that last Tweet, Boebert quotes right-wing talking head Jack Posobiec, whom Reddit users already discredited over the weekend.

Appearing on Fox News over the weekend, Boebert’s Colorado colleague, Congressman Ken Buck (R-Greeley), haughtily condemned the Biden administration over the Afghanistan withdrawal:

We are a strong country with a weak President…

…President Biden was misleading the American people and putting Americans at risk, and foreigners at risk, inside Afghanistan with just a foolhardy plan.

This is interesting, considering that just a few months ago Buck was clamoring for a full withdrawal from Afghanistan by May 1, 2021. Here’s what he wrote in a letter co-signed by Rep. Barbara Lee in March of this year:

“We support your administration’s pledge to advance a negotiated end to this war, and we believe that meeting the May 1 deadline is vital to this effort…But it is long past time for the United States to end its military role in a complex conflict that predates our initial invasion two decades ago.”

Congressman Buck has long been an adherent of taking every side on every issue, so his mealy-mouthed talk on Afghanistan is no huge surprise. This is all illustrative (again) that Republican politicians largely have absolutely nothing useful to add to the problem.

Republicans are going to say something today that is completely different than whatever they said yesterday, and if the situation changes tomorrow…then they’ll say something else. It’s as predictable as it is useless.

8 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Genghis says:

    Ups to Rep. Lee, the one and only member of Congress with the goddamn sense to vote against the AUMF back in 2001.

    Republican politicians largely have absolutely nothing useful to add to the problem.

    Republicans are spectacularly adept at adding to problems. They become wholly useless when it comes to viable solutions.

  2. unnamed says:

    I would say the Republicans can have it their way on Afghanistan.  The problem is that their way is both ways.

  3. Golden Girl says:

    If you missed the President's speech, then find it and watch the 20 minutes or so.  The pundits may not like it but my bet the public will agree – it's time to get the hell out of Afgan.

  4. Diogenesdemar says:

    It should be clear by now that whenever Republicans speak, the only thing that matters is what they’re saying at that particular moment . . .

    . . . holding them to any account for those things they said in the past (even this morning’s recent past) is all just so very unAmerican and unpatriotic, and certainly not in the spirit of bipartisan goodwill.

  5. JohnInDenver says:

    Republicans will continue to try to blame Democrats for the debacle.  Lord knows there is plenty of blame to pass around to 4 Presidents and their administrations, virtually everyone in the House and Senate during the past 20 years, the military command staff, the intelligence community, and a host of corporations, think tanks and lobbying firms.

    The "who lost xxxx" discussion is of vital interest — to foreign policy nerds.  I figure it would matter to a large population in the US if there was a “loss” of Israel, Mexico, Canada and maybe Taiwan. 

    We know "losing" hasn’t had much of a impact on elections after the "loss" of:  Iran, Iraq, Libya,  Nicaragua, Panama, (White) South Africa, Somalia, Syria, (portions of) Ukraine, Venezuela, Vietnam, … you probably can add a few more from your own knowledge.

    We will need to wait and see on Afghanistan. The US military was able to accomplish the initial goals:

    The U.S. carried out a successful punitive expedition after 9/11, killing or capturing all of al Qaeda’s senior leadership, as well as the individual Taliban leaders who aided and abetted those terrorists. It had its way with the Taliban on the battlefield, and signed a peace deal that basically said that the Taliban won’t go up against America again.

    Nation building didn’t go well — like it hasn’t gone well most of the time.  Culture is a strong force, and no Western nation I know of has been able to substantially modify a broad population's commitment to Islamic principles.

  6. joejoe says:

    What I saw on politicalwire.com:

    https://politicalwire.com/2021/08/15/illicit-deals-and-mass-desertions-led-to-taliban-victory/

    Taliban (with mostly out-of-Afghan. money) started paying local officials early last year, to have their people lay down their weapons when the T. began their push to conquer all the country.

    I don't know whether to believe this or not, but that must be at least part of the reason why everything went so fast in the past week.

  7. Sparky says:

    These are the same people who spent months acting as if Critical Race Theory was indoctrinating kindergartners and Dr. Seuss and Mr. Potato Head symbolizing "cancel culture" were the single greatest problem America faced.

    These are not serious people.

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