Tag: Afghanistan

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It’s time to get out. When the U.S. first proposed negotiating with the Taliban and the Afghan government, I was cynical about the plans from the start. Afghanistan is beyond redemption—the Taliban and all the other terrorist groups are relentless in pursuing death and destruction, and are not capable of changing. Preview Open

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It’s a day of fast-moving headlines! Amy Klobuchar dropped out after we recorded but it’s just the latest move to rally the non-Bernie Dems around Joe Biden. And we talk about that a lot! Join Jim and Greg as they chronicle the curiously hasty exit of Pete Buttigieg from the Democratic race and they also have some choice thoughts as Tom Steyer hits the bricks too. Then, they marvel at how the Democratic establishment, the media (but we repeat ourselves), and Never Trumpers sound the clarion call to support Joe Biden because he won one state. And they step away from politics to discuss the resumption of violence in Afghanistan just days after the U.S. signed a deal with the Taliban, reminding us that region may never be stable. But will it pose another major national security threat to the U.S. sometime soon?

It’s a bleak search for good news on the Three Martini Lunch. Today, Jim and Greg cringe as reports show the federal government has been flailing unsuccessfully for a sound policy in Afghanistan, lying to the public about what’s been achieved, and wasting an obscene amount of taxpayer dollars. They also react to the mass shooting committed by a Saudi military officer at Pensacola Naval Air Station Friday, in what increasingly appears to be an act of Islamic terrorism. And they roll their eyes hard as the Democratic counsel for the House Judiciary Committee claims his young son asked him a deep and probing question about the character of the president.

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It can be argued that the United States has been at war with Islamic jihadists since the mid-1970’s. That ongoing conflict has cost many American lives in a number of countries all over the globe, often including innocent civilians. There is no greater cause for war than to protect the lives of a nation’s citizens […]

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It’s a big day on the Three Martini Lunch! Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America start by welcoming the news that Leif Olson has been re-hired at the Labor Department just one day after he was falsely accused of anti-Semitism by Bloomberg Law. Then they are encouraged that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is also quite leery of any peace deal with the Taliban. And they unload on politicians in San Francisco for labeling the National Rifle Association.

Then, as the NFL begins it’s 100th season, Jim and Greg put a political twist on the occasion and have a lot of fun by holding a fantasy football draft involving the Democratic presidential candidates!

Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome the news that Hong Kong – at the direction of Communist China – has withdrawn the extradition bill that sparked massive protests, but they’re still not sure this story will have a happy ending. They also pummel Bloomberg News and reporter Ben Penn for forcing the resignation of a Department of Labor appointee over an “anti-Semitic” social media post that wasn’t anti-Semitic at all. And Jim is not at all impressed with the apparent peace plan in Afghanistan, which seems to amount to little more than trusting the Taliban not to commit terrorism or harbor terrorist groups.

Winning by Killing Ten Million Afghans?


President Trump with Pakistan PMPresident Trump declines. In a sit-down informal press conference, with the Prime Minister of Pakistan mostly off camera, President Trump answered a series of questions, mostly by foreign journalists, on Afghanistan and Pakistan. Consider his comments as part of a larger information campaign, or public diplomacy, with both leaders and citizens of countries in the region, especially Iran.

President Trump repeatedly referred to military plans that would result in total military victory through total destruction in a week to ten days. The Afghan civilian casualties would be around ten million. President Trump said that was completely morally unacceptable. These comments can be understood to work with his earlier comments about Iranian civilian lives, again sending the message that he cares more for the man and woman on the street than their unaccountable, unelected leaders.

After noting the start of a new Congress with Democrats running the House, Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley for realizing he had no chance of winning the 2020 Democratic nomination and deciding not to run. They also note O’Malley is urging Beto O’Rourke to run for president, saying it’s time for a new generation of leadership. Jim and Greg also shudder as President Trump not only thinks that the Soviet Union collapsed because of its failed efforts in Afghanistan but thinks the Soviets were right to invade in the first place. And they practice their shocked faces as Democrats start pursuing the impeachment of President Trump on the first day of the new Congress.

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Ricochet is the only place I could think of to get an answer for this. Here is the situation. I have a son-in-law that is retired from the Air Force (my daughter is also a veteran of the Air Force). Due to family circumstances, I do not know this man very well. We were told […]

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Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America give President Trump credit for admitting his Afghanistan policy changes go against his instincts, and they also like some of the other changes he outlined in a policy with few good options. They also enjoy seeing the woeful fundraising totals for the DNC in July and discuss the deep dysfunction still engulfing the Democrats. And they shake their heads as a criminal in Texas is arrested for plotting to bring down a Confederate statue with explosives.

The Trump Doctrine Meets Afghanistan


“We are not nation-building again. We are killing terrorists.” That line sums up the Trump Doctrine outlined in the President’s Monday night address on Afghanistan.

In Trump’s delivery, you could hear the frustration with the 17-year war now overseen by three presidents. Most Republicans long ago dropped the Bush dream of transforming the graveyard of empires into a modern democracy, while Democrats simply ignored the body counts stacking up under Obama.

Despite Trump’s campaign promises to end the project entirely, James Mattis, et al., convinced him to give them one more try.

Victor Davis Hanson looks at how American warfare has changed since Vietnam and explains the implications for today’s policymakers.

Republican Bombs Are Bad, M’kay?


The stakes were upped Thursday when the US military dropped a MOAB on ISIS forces in eastern Afghanistan. Nicknamed the “Mother Of All Bombs,” the MOAB is the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat, weighing 22,000 pounds and filled with 18,700 pounds of H6 explosive.

The MOAB creates explosive shockwaves through overpressure, especially in caves and canyons. Waves of pressure enter the narrow spaces, killing people and collapsing tunnels. This made the bomb ideal to use against the ISIS tunnel complex in the Nangahar province. Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr., US commander in Afghanistan, said, “This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive.” But what do generals know about military tactics compared to our nation’s journalists?

“The U.S. military has targeted similar complexes and dropped tens of thousands of bombs in Afghanistan, raising the question of why a bomb of this size was needed Thursday.” — Washington Post

Welcome to the HLC podcast for September 20, 2016. It’s the Muslim War on Dumpsters edition. We are nanophysicist Mike Stopa and radio talk host Todd Feinburg. Our topics for today are:

1) The bombings in New York and knife attacks in Minnesota – how did two well-assimilated muslims get radicalized? Were they well-assimilated? And what will the two presidential campaigns do now that the national focus has shifted suddenly back to national security?

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I’ll just make a few remarks about three more of the Afghanistan genre. You can read the first and second reviews here and here. The Bookseller of Kabul is the account of a Norwegian journalist who spends three months at the home of an Afghani bookseller, one who has gone to great lengths to save books through […]

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From the Editors’ Desk: Petraeus’ Advice for the “Long War” Against Islamism


384px-DCIA_David_PetraeusA few days ago in the Washington Post, David Patraeus published a list of lessons the United States should learn from the past fifteen years. What follows is a highly abridged version:

First, it is increasingly apparent that ungoverned spaces in a region stretching from West Africa through the Middle East and into Central Asia will be exploited by Islamic extremists who want to establish sanctuaries in which they can enforce their extremist version of Islam and from which they can conduct terrorist attacks. Second, it is also apparent that the attacks and other activities of such extremists will not be confined to the areas or regions in which they are located. […] Third, it is also increasingly clear that, in responding to these challenges, U.S. leadership is imperative. […] Churchill was right when he observed, “There is only one thing worse than fighting with allies, and that is fighting without them.” And, if one of those partners wants to walk point — such as France in Mali — we should support it, while recognizing that we still may have to contribute substantially. Fourth, it is becoming clear that the path the United States and coalition partners pursue has to be comprehensive and not just a narrow counter-terrorism approach. It is increasingly apparent that more than precision strikes and special operations raids are needed. […] Fifth, and finally, it is clear that the U.S.-led effort will have to be sustained for what may be extended periods of time — and that reductions in our level of effort should be guided by conditions on the ground rather than fixed timetables.

Sesame Street, Hijab Edition


CfcfB9eW8AA5lXDI struggle with Reflexive Conservative Syndrome. It’s what happens when you see something online or in the paper and you just know it’s progressive claptrap. You don’t even have to really read it.

This happened to me this morning when I read this, from Mic:

Baghch-E-Simsim, the Afghan spin-off of the classic American children’s show Sesame Street, on Thursday introduced its newest character: Zari, a 6-year-old hijab-wearing Afghan girl whose segments will focus on female empowerment and well-being.

Seven Questions for the Next Commander-in-Chief


I just came across this item in the Huffington Post, suggesting that the target audience is left-leaning, but I think these questions should be asked — and asked often — of anyone running for the office of Commander-in-Chief. I don’t think I’ve heard any of the candidates offer any kind of specific response to these questions, alone or together, so I thought I’d reproduce them here. Maybe a Ricochet member will get a chance to ask them at a campaign event.

If you do, please share what you learn, because I genuinely don’t know how any of the candidates would answer. The seriousness and sobriety of a candidate’s answers to these questions would be very important to me in deciding for whom to vote: