As I was watching the Senate hearings on the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle, I wondered why the questions and answers put to the generals and the defense secretary sounded familiar. Ah-ha, I had just read the context of those questions in the Woodward/Costas book “Peril.” This time the principals collaborated their testimony under oath.
I have asked some of my right-leaning friends if they had read “Peril” and to a man, they said no. They said they weren’t going to read or believe anything the lefty writer Woodward wrote. Some have criticized the generals for talking to Woodward and other journalists. Every president since Nixon and their administration have been written about by Mr. Woodward and the fact that people in the highest offices in our country sit for an interview point to his credibility.
If they had any integrity, senators Paul, Graham, and Rubio would have apologized to General Milley for accusing him of treason and insisted he resign. As the authors of the book “Peril” pointed out, Milley called his Chinese counterpart with full knowledge of the acting Secretary of Defense and State and several others in the administration. He was not rogue.
President Biden is at the top of the food chain so of course, he is fully responsible for the withdrawal debacle and the drone strike that killed innocent civilians. That’s not me saying this, I heard Joe Biden taking responsibility for both events. Does it rise to the level of impeachment? Who took the blame for 9/11 or the war of choice in Iraq?
After the Senate hearings took their lunch break, I decided to see what the breaking news was going to be. I was not surprised that Joe lied or forgot that the generals recommended he leave a 2,500-3,500 residual force after withdrawal. I knew President Biden was lying when he told George Stephanopoulos that the military never advised leaving 2,500 troops. That’s always the arbitrary magic number that the generals use. They used the same numbers when they advised Trump. What they should have centered on is what Generals McKenzie and Milley's last advice was. The generals advised to pull out all the troops since the Taliban would attack our troops after the August 31st date. They said it would take an additional 10,000-15,000 troops to retake Kabul and other needed territory with excepted American casualties.
I thought two of the most thoughtful questions came from Senators Angus King and Elizabeth Warren. Angus King asked his committee members why we didn’t have a hearing regarding Trump’s withdrawal plan as it was happening. Elizabeth Warren’s questions were more pointed.
Warren: Who formulated the withdrawal strategy?
Generals: We did
Warren: Did President Biden agree with your plan?
Generals: He did
Warren: Did he provide all the resources you asked for?
Generals: He did
Warren: Did he interfere?
I think once C-Span turns off the cameras the principals can go behind closed doors and formulate a new foreign policy. We can’t be training natives to use high-tech military equipment and our fighting tactics. We just need to give them some Ak-47/ ammunition and let them fight their enemy in their own way. That’s if they even want to.
What has not been discussed is the reasoning behind the need for Milley to reassure China that our defeated president would not try a “wag the dog.” General Milley had to reassure other countries that the January 6th insurrection was not going to lead to total chaos. Remember our neighbor Canada watched in horror causing PM Trudeau to say “it was an attack on democracy.” Yet, a lot on the right say it was just about a guy wearing horns trashing Nancy Pelosi’s office. Nothing to see here; investigate Portland.
I heard about Robert Kagan’s Washington Post article “Our constitutional crisis is already here” on the Bill Maher show and later a FB friend alerted me to it. The article describes how Trump and his cohorts are trying to circumvent our democracy by stroking fear and distrust of our voting process. They have already achieved step one by making the press the boogieman. The latest fake audit in Arizona had nothing to do with overturning the election. The goal is to keep the fear of rigged elections and to give their GOP legislators cover while they enact voter suppression laws. Trump came to Texas snapped his fingers and Governor Abbott audited the four largest districts which happen to vote Democrat. A lot of us heard Trump tell the Georgia Secretary of State to find him 11,780 votes and no one blinked an eye.
I don’t usually do “what ifs” but it doesn’t keep me from thinking it. 1. What if Hillary was still whining about her loss 10 months after claiming the election was rigged? 2. What if she called the Georgia Secretary of State asking for a recount finding 11,780 votes? 3. What if Hillary insisted the #3 Dem be fired because he voted against her? 4. What if Hillary incited a riot and called the domestic terrorists patriots? I’ll tell you right now, the Dems would have told her to move on.
Get vaccinated and encourage others to do the same. Together we can stymie this virus.