Let’s Be Honest: There WAS Major Miscalculation on Afghanistan. By the Keyboard Commando Mainstream Press.


Since the beginning of the withdrawal of American troops under President Biden, and especially since the fall of Kabul to the swiftly advancing Taliban little more than a week ago, the media backlash to the exit and to President Biden has been swift, unforgiving, and relentless.

The wide swath of beltway critics and "chief foreign correspondents" - most of whom cut their teeth in the field by cheerleading the Bush administration's military misadventures presented as 'shock and awe' action theater - has been loudly protesting President Biden for finally being the president with the courage to end a forever war, America's longest no less. Sure, they couch their drumbeat of neocon talking points in the pretense that they are merely criticizing the "logistics" of the withdrawal, not the policy, but that argument is as phony as a three-dollar bill.

There are several tells that expose the media's disingenuousness.

The beltway press's coverage has largely focused on playing a few genuinely gut-wrenching scenes of chaos outside the Kabul airport (and one inside) on loop, elevating many of the same people, who, during the Bush administration created the quagmire in Afghanistan by shifting focus to an irrelevant and unnecessary conflict in Iraq, providing absolutely no context about realities of troop withdrawal at the end of any long conflict, and simply shutting out guests and voices willing to defend the President's policy and execution with the proper context. In short, they've been pretending that a full withdrawal - which the American people support by large margins across the political spectrum - could be choreographed like a Superbowl halftime show and silencing anyone who dares say otherwise.

This is even more obvious when one compares the breathless Biden-bashing of the past 10 days to the amount of coverage Afghanistan got over the last few years from the major news networks. ABC, CBS, and NBC covered Afghanistan for a grand total of 57 minutes, according to Andrew Tyndall, a reporter who monitors the nightly network newscasts. Combined. From 2015 to 2019.

The mainstream media's taste for extracting a pound of flesh from Biden for doing the right thing has reached such a level of ridiculousness that the aforementioned foreign correspondent head hanchos are beginning to contradict their former selves in order to maintain the chaos narrative.

Richard Engel, the celebrated NBC News chief foreign correspondent who chose his current employer in the midst of the launch of Bush's war in Iraq in 2003 with the explicit purpose of getting more face time on TV (not to do better reporting), mocked President Biden for negotiating with the Taliban for safe passage for Americans and allies to the Kabul airport. Engel, however, appeared to forget that just 18 months ago, when Donald Trump had negotiated with the Taliban at a time when they weren't even in control of the Afghan capital, Engel's only complaint was that those negotiations should have happened 18 years earlier.

On second thought, Engel likely didn't forget his position from 2020. He just hoped the rest of us had.

Other reporters, if you can call them that, dismissed the White House's response to the media's one-sided coverage with facts and numbers about how many people were actually being evacuated from Afghanistan each day as "talking points."

But the media is not content with simply creating a false, propaganda-style, anti-Biden narrative. No, they are no rookies at maintaining false narratives after all. Cable and network stations are actively blocking voices that would disrupt the chaos narrative with facts, expertise, and perspective. They simply will not book people who can credibly contradict their Biden bashing, writes Judd Legum, the editor of Popular.info.

The beltway press knows, better than anyone, how fragile a house of cards their narrative is. That is why they have put in as much effort in insulating that narrative from the reality on the ground and from a historical perspective as they have crafting it in the first place.

Still, some voices and the reality are starting to break through. A narrative of failure is becoming harder to maintain by the day as the president and his team refuse to be distracted and keep a laser focus on the mission at hand: evacuating every possible American, allied personnel, Afghans who cooperated with us, and other vulnerable Afghans.

The veterans organization VoteVets released a blistering statement over the weekend, torching the media's coverage and praising Biden for holding strong to the mission of bringing the Afghanistan war to an end after 20 long years.

"What cannot happen is that the very same elites who pushed us into a 20-year war with no achievable military mission be given an outsized voice to comment on what's happening now," reads the statement from VoteVets. It continues, "...Our support for the President's decision to leave is as resolute as ever. It is the right thing to do, no matter how many people in the chattering class want to claim otherwise."

And credit where credit is due, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell has been a shining example of an objective journalist on the subject, explaining time and again in his show The Last Word that President Biden is running the most successful extraction operation from a forever war.

As evidence that it is, in fact, a majorly successful extraction operation, the Biden administration has released the number of people evacuated each day. As of this writing, the latest numbers show that in just 10 days in the midst of less than ideal circumstances, US and allied forces have evacuated nearly 50,000 people from Afghanistan.

These numbers, facts on the ground, and support for the President's strategy - from both inside the veteran and expert communities and from voices speaking out and holding the beltway press accountable on social media - are beginning to break through to the shagrin of the establishment narrative-setters.

Because the truth is this: it is the keyboard commandos in the press that miscalculated. After a 20-year war, they took it for granted that no matter who the president is and no matter what they say publicly, no president would ever dare to actually leave Afghanistan for fear of political fallout.

That didn't work with this president. Because Joe Biden is not afraid of spending political capital to do the right thing. Because Joe Biden believes in untangling America from the remnants of a 20th-century neocon foreign policy so that we can focus on a foreign policy built for the future.

And because President Biden defied the media's comfortable, conventional wisdom, they are now trying to nail him to the proverbial cross.

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