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Archive of Articles in the "Afghanistan" Category

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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The End Of The Forever War

[ Posted Monday, August 16th, 2021 – 16:47 UTC ]

So ends America's longest war. The forever war in Afghanistan is entering its final moments, at least for us. It is an ugly and chaotic picture. Just last week the U.S. government was saying that Kabul might -- just might mind you -- be overrun by the Taliban in roughly 90 days. The reality was closer to 90 hours. That is either a monumental failure of intelligence or was an enormous lie told to the American people. I strongly suspect it was the first of those, since the speed of it all seems to have caught everyone -- up to and including the decision-makers in the Pentagon and White House -- by complete surprise.

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Friday Talking Points -- Biden Closes In On A Big Bipartisan Win

[ Posted Friday, July 30th, 2021 – 16:49 UTC ]

President Joe Biden is now getting very close to securing the second leg of his three-legged economic legislative stool. To put it another way: this week we all finally got to experience the almost-mythological "Infrastructure Week" which we had been promised for lo, these many years. Bipartisanship struggled back to life, fulfilling not just a campaign promise from Biden but also his deep-seated desire to return Washington to some sort of pre-Trump normality.

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Joe Biden's First Big Speech

[ Posted Wednesday, April 28th, 2021 – 21:22 UTC ]

President Joe Biden has achieved one rather monumental task since he took office, at least to me: in his first 99 days as president, Biden has successfully made the presidency boring again. This sounds like a joke, but it isn't. The previous president was the one to make the presidency itself a joke, in fact -- Biden is just returning us all to the normal state of things. And the public -- even a lot of Republicans -- are relieved at this development. Joe Biden is not an egomaniac nor is he a megalomaniac. The difference is striking. Biden does not crave seeing his face on the news each night, so he has no need to deliberately cause a mini-crisis just to get everyone to pay attention to him during that day's news cycle. Biden also does not communicate like a petulant pre-teen on social media. He's downright boring, and that's an enormous relief to us all.

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Friday Talking Points -- Biden Enters "First 100 Days" Homestretch In Good Shape

[ Posted Friday, April 23rd, 2021 – 17:57 UTC ]

President Joe Biden just had a pretty good week. And next week's going to be even better for him. Especially considering how far we've come since this time exactly one year ago.

In the past week alone, Biden and his administration chalked up the following achievements or milestones:

Biden has already reached his (doubled!) goal of 200 million vaccine shots into people's arms in his first 100 days in office -- a week early.

Over 41 percent of the American population has been vaccinated at least once, including over 51 percent of all those currently eligible (age 16 and up).

The average number of new infections has actually started to come down once again, and is once again lower than the peak of the second wave. It is still too high, but at least it is heading in the right direction once again. The average deaths per day seems to have plateaued at just below 750 -- again, too high, but a lot better than the peak of almost 3,500 deaths per day.

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