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August 18, 2021

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Well said, Brian.

I'd like to see a list of all these critics who had predicted all of this.

We're waiting . . .

(crickets)

Mostly agree, Regardless of when withdrawal was announced or begun, the Taliban would have immediately filled the void as the tactical situations changed. As you mentioned, it seems that the announcements did allow for some orderly withdrawals by Afgani forces. Not a whole lot else that Biden could have done.
I do believe that there was some level of negligence when it came to preparing visas for Afgani partners. There was no good reason to wait so long. Bureacracies can be slow but only when the political will is lacking. The writing had long been on the wall.
I still think that we should have stayed, although the political environment may have made that problematic (politics is the great destroyer). The benefits of doing so would have far outweighed the costs. Our military, even after our repeated failures, still has the will to fight for what we supposedly believe in.
Opposing religious and autocratic governments in other countries would be a positive and meaningful gesture, especially since the world increasingly sees us as unable to continue to be an example of a relatively free and democratic state.
As many other countries have now caught up or surpassed us in efforts to provide for their citizens, it will take more than just the materialistic longing of those who struggle daily just to survive (which used to be enough) to slow down the deterioration of our global positions of power and respect. We still need to stand for some things and act as if those things matter.
I only hope that the rate of change for the shift towards autocracy and religious fundamentalism does not continue to be underestimated in this country. A lesson to be learned here may be that turning a blind eye and coloring our perceptions with overoptimism can lead to avoidable harm.
The fight for what is now an uphill battle for civil rights and and the rule of law must be taken to where it is most needed. Full body chemo will not be enough to control the cancer. Concentrated radiation directed at the hot spots on the PET scan may be costly and risky but that may now be unavoidably necessary to at least limit the spread.

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