8/17 Kabul Falls: What’s Biden’s Next Move?

August 17, 2021

Sam and Emma tackle a major week in news, starting with the fall of Kabul to the Taliban and the Biden administration’s lackluster, finger-pointing response. They start by taking a bird’s eye view of the fall of Kabul by going back to the beginning, when Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) was the sole person to vote against the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) in Afghanistan, and how far, or how little, we’ve come since then. Afterwards, they turn to Biden’s remarks he delivered yesterday regarding what’s ensued in Afghanistan in the last few weeks, noting that Biden struck the right tone, but some of the substance, namely in terms of Biden’s continued adherence to American empire, was lacking. They continue combing through some of Biden’s remarks, where he states firmly that the objective was not to nation build in Afghanistan, but to prevent a terrorist attack like that of 9/11 from happening again and to locate and kill Osama Bin Laden, a contention that does seem to be maximize the supposed successes of the invasion while notably minimizing the severe civilian casualties and atrocities that befell the Afghan people as a result, as well as the notable incursion into the Afghan people’s everyday life for over 20 years. Biden then went onto say that he had to adhere in part to the deal that the Trump Administration struck to draw down troops by May 1st 2021 at the earliest, or risk further escalation of the conflict, as well as conceding that, in an effort to supply candor to the American people, Biden and the Administration were startled by how quickly Kabul fell. Sam and Emma, while giving some credit to Biden for his delivery and his marginally less hawkish approach to the war than Obama while he was serving as Vice President, don’t buy this excuse from Biden, given that there’s seemingly no universe where he didn’t know that this was coming, and to completely shift blame onto Prime Minister Ashraf Ghani, who fled the country as a result of the invasion, and the Afghan military, completely excludes the role of the American military in this debacle. They end on observing how some of the members of the media responded to the remarks, with Nicolle Wallace making a shockingly cogent point regarding how people and the members of the press might have disproportionate responses to the remarks, while Tucker Carlson pivots to his favorite thing: blaming the P.C. mob for literally any world event.

And in the fun half, the gang is joined as always on Tuesday afternoons by Nomiki Konst. The whole MR crew discuss at length the tragic story of Leslie Laurenson, a 58-year old British man who died of COVID very recently, and who, due to numerous influences online, notably the commentary of Bret Weinstein, refused to get the vaccine and was actively skeptical of them as a result. Sam, Matt, Nomi, and Emma dissect the fraudulence and cowardice of Weinstein’s positions, where him and his cohort essentially propagate lies and misinformation but, when push comes to shove in terms of real and tangible outcomes as a result of their rhetoric, they shy away from any semblance of accountability and crow that people should know better than to take them *that* seriously. And finally, the gang would be remiss if they didn’t cover Chris Cuomo’s return from vacation and his hasty inability to truly own up to his complicity in advising his disgraced brother Andrew while actively covering his tenure as Governor when ostensibly fawning praise was in order, but never when Governor Cuomo actually had to face the music. The gang discuss how CNN botched the handling of this and how they could’ve initiated a real recusal for Chris with some teeth, as well as Chris’s dissembling on air basically amounting to “I NEVER advised my brother, but when I DID advise him, I was SORRY about it. He’s my BROTHER after all.” They end on the curious phenomenon of the younger Cuomo brother searching his name to lambast other reporters that say mean things about him, as he did to Tori Bedford of GBH in 2018 and to Nomi herself a while back as well. Plus, your IM’s!

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Past Episodes

It’s Casual Friday! Sam and Emma speak with Jeet Heer, national affairs correspondent for The Nation, to round up the week in news. First, they run through updates on the ICJ’s order to halt Israel’s invasion of Rafah (and Israel’s subsequent escalation), South Carolina’s congressional maps, ...
It’s an EmMajority Report Thursday! She speaks with Daniel J. Galvin, professor of political science at Northwestern University, to discuss his recent book Alt-Labor and the New Politics of Workers’ Rights. Then, she's joined by Richard Beck, senior writer at n+1 Magazine, to discuss his recent ...
It's Hump Day! Sam speaks with Sarah Jaffe, fellow at the Type Media Center  based in New Orleans, to discuss her recent piece for In These Times entitled “In Tough Loss, the High-Profile UAW Campaign at Mercedes-Benz in Alabama Falls Short.” Then, Sam checks in on some news stories he’s been ...