Episode

9/2 The 20 Years Of Lies We Were Told About Afghanistan w/ James Risen

September 2, 2021

Emma hosts James Risen, Senior National Security Correspondent at the Intercept, to discuss his recent piece “A War’s Epitaph: For Two Decades, Americans Were Told One Lie After Another About What They Were Doing In Afghanistan”, on how bad the “good war” has been since it began. James and Emma walk through the US’s failed twenty-year involvement in what was essentially another country’s civil war, how it began, and the countless mistakes made along the way which were inevitably covered up. They begin with the first involvement in the region with the Bush Administration’s invasion and propping up of the Karzai Presidency, which almost immediately fell to rampant corruption as US funding flowed through a Karzai-backed heroin trade, emphasizing the shell of a government that we had set up. Risen also touches on how the lack of genuine investment from either the local government or their US backing set the stage for the almost immediate collapse following the military exit, before moving onto the Obama years, and what his commitment to his “good war,” through mass investment in the preexisting corruption and the development of his collateral damage drone program, really meant. James and Emma conclude the interview by looking at how the major players in Afghanistan have developed to where they’re at now, before Emma wraps up the first half with a discussion on the countless horrors stemming from last night’s Supreme Court decision, as well as the lacking response from the Biden Administration, and Gov. Kathy Hochul’s wonder at the “once in a thousand years” natural disaster that we’ve somehow been seeing with increasing frequency.

And in the Fun Half: Emma, Brandon, and Matt discuss the horrors of Hurricane Ida, Matt’s flooding, and Sam from NoLa gives a bit of the southern perspective after the storm left, and extreme heat came in. They also discuss supposed-naturalist Joe Rogan’s pharmaceutical-heavy solution to catching COVID, Mike from PA’s guest suggestion, and debate the filmmaking legacy of M. Night Shyamalan, before discussing Candace Owens’ COVID skepticism coming back to bite her, and Tucker and Dave Rubin’s projection of personal shortcomings onto AOC, plus, your calls and IMs!

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