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Archive of Articles in the "Afghanistan" Category

Grading Biden's First Year

[ Posted Thursday, January 20th, 2022 – 16:53 UTC ]

One year ago today, Joe Biden was sworn in as president of the United States. His Inauguration was notable for a few reasons, first and foremost the fact that it happened only two weeks after the U.S. Capitol had been besieged and overrun by insurrectionists attempting to prevent Biden from ever taking office. So the entire Capitol complex was heavily locked down and defended for what is normally a positive and upbeat public ceremony. The other two notable reasons that stick in my mind were: Amanda Gorman absolutely stealing the show with her poem "The Hill We Climb," and Bernie Sanders providing the best photo op by sitting on a socially-distanced chair wearing adorable homemade mittens.

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My 2021 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 2]

[ Posted Thursday, December 23rd, 2021 – 19:12 UTC ]

Welcome back to the second part of our year-end awards column! If you missed it, please feel free to check out [Part 1], too.

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My 2021 "McLaughlin Awards" [Part 1]

[ Posted Friday, December 17th, 2021 – 17:36 UTC ]

Welcome to the first installment of our year-end awards!

We do have to warn readers, right up front, that this is an insanely long article. If you're one of those "tl;dr" types of people, we would strongly advise you to go find a short listicle somewhere else, to read instead. Because this will be a marathon, not a sprint (as always).

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One Year From Now

[ Posted Thursday, October 14th, 2021 – 15:44 UTC ]

One year from now, the midterm elections will be looming in front of us. Candidates will be out on the hustings, frantically campaigning their little hearts out. But what will be the big issues they'll be talking about? It is impossible to say, really, beyond predicting: "it will not be what the pundits are worrying about right now." A year is an absolute eternity in politics, and in a year's time few will remember the topics which are currently hot -- that's a generic prediction that almost always comes true, so it's pretty safe to say right now.

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Friday Talking Points -- Supreme Court Shows Its True Colors

[ Posted Friday, September 3rd, 2021 – 16:47 UTC ]

This week began with conservatives and liberals upset because the women of Afghanistan will now lose their freedoms under a tyrannical extremist government. It ended with liberals upset that the women of Texas have now lost freedoms under a tyrannical extremist government. Conservatives were notably silent, which is understandable since they were the ones instituting this unconstitutional denial of rights from the women of the Lone Star State.

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Forever And A Day

[ Posted Tuesday, August 31st, 2021 – 16:00 UTC ]

President Joe Biden announced to the American people today: "The war in Afghanistan is now over." As he put it: "I was not going to extend this Forever War." One day after the last military plane carried the last soldiers, the commanding general, and the U.S. ambassador out of the country, Biden took the occasion to not only proclaim the war over but also to defend his handling of the end of it.

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Friday Talking Points -- A Grim Week

[ Posted Friday, August 27th, 2021 – 17:09 UTC ]

This was never going to be a good week for President Joe Biden. The ongoing crisis in Afghanistan pretty much guaranteed that. But although the week started out with signs of optimism -- more and more people being airlifted out of Kabul, to top 100,000 by week's end -- it ended in disaster. A suicide bomber exploded his vest right at the gate to the airport, which killed at least 13 American servicemembers and over 100 Afghans (as of this writing the official death toll for Afghans had hit 169). So while this week could have been perhaps tense but slightly optimistic, by week's end that was no longer possible. It was disastrous; there's just no other way to put it. One grim way to measure it is Biden has now made his first addition to the number he always carries around with him in his jacket pocket -- the number of fallen U.S. servicemembers from both Iraq and Afghanistan.

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A Summer Grammatical Interlude

[ Posted Thursday, August 26th, 2021 – 17:06 UTC ]

Today we are going to set aside politics and Washington and all the rest of what I normally write about and instead do some pedantic navel-gazing. Yes, it is the dog days of summer, the tail end of the Silly Season, and so I felt it was time to do a column on grammar and style preferences.

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Afghanistan Airlift Continues Apace, But Will It Be Enough?

[ Posted Wednesday, August 25th, 2021 – 16:33 UTC ]

When future historians look back on President Joe Biden's legacy, one major part of it will be the end he has brought to American troops fighting in Afghanistan. Exactly how these future historians will deem it is still uncertain, at this point. It could go down as an absolute fiasco -- a textbook example of "how not to end a war." But if the rest of the airlift goes as smoothly as it seems to be running now, perhaps history's judges will be a little kinder to Biden. Again, this is still very much up in the air.

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Friday Talking Points -- War's End

[ Posted Friday, August 20th, 2021 – 16:00 UTC ]

This has been a rather historic week, so we are dispensing with our regular format to spend our entire column discussing the withdrawal of United States military forces from Afghanistan, and the emergency airlift operation now being undertaken to get every American and every interpreter and translator and other Afghan ally of ours out as well.

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