"No one said that to me... that I can recall"

Author: 949havoc ,

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949havoc
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The pre-response to the testimony of Generals Milley and McKenzie by Biden that no one advised Joe Biden of keeping troops in Afghanistan, if not sufficiently rebutted by the testimony today from the Generals, was sufficiently shelved by Austin, SoD. Austin sided with the generals. Who is Biden's defense. Jen? Credible Jen? Some President you guys elected. His out: "...that I can recall." The old memory teaser defense. In his case, it may actually be true. But, aren't capable presidents supposed to remember important stuff like whether you're going to leave a small force behind when vacating a country we've been at war in for 20 years?

Anyone have an apology? This guy is racking them up like alleged Tump lies. Forgetfulness on  Biden does not wear like an allegation.
Wylted
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This is a a distraction. The statement "I can recall" is problematic  in itself because it is meant to counter evidence that may arise that he is lying. 

It's a distraction though. Withdrawal is good. American troops were behaving in an evil way by protecting poppy fields and listening to orders to allow the Afghanistan military to rape little kids. 

It doesn't get more evil than that, and that's the American military who is supposedly over there to somehow protect freedom here. 

We also know that all foreign terrorist attacks ks on American soil are from blowback. If you eliminate the cause of blow back (foreign meddling) than you completely eliminate any chance of blowback and any chance of attacks on American soil. 

Hell, even Hiroshima was blowback and so was the sinking of the lusitania.  You want to entirely eliminate the possibility of war. Eliminate the possibility of blowback.  

You become completely isolationist . If anyone fucks with us, you nuke them and go back to being completely isolationist.  
oromagi
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--> @fauxlaw
For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
MATTHEW 7:2-5

As rarely ever happens, we have an opportunity to compare and contrast the leadership of two different American Presidents in very similar circumstance.

TRUMP

  • TRUMP committed the US and signed into international law an agreement to withdraw from five military bases including Bagram no later than July 14, 2020.
  • TRUMP committed the US and signed into international law an agreement to withdraw all troops, "The United States, its allies, and the Coalition" no later than April 30, 2021.
  • On Nov 11th, the day after Trump was officially advised that he had lost the election fair and square and all further agitation towards discrediting the election was unlawful, Trump ordered a massive stand-down of US forces.  Specifically, in writing, Trump ordered all US forces out of Afghanistan no later than Jan 15, 2021
    • Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller told reporters his response to the order was "What the fuck is this?"
      • News of the memo spread quickly throughout the Pentagon. Top military brass, including Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, were appalled. This was not the way to conduct policy — with no consultation, no input, no process for gaming out consequences or offering alternatives.
        A call was quickly placed to White House Counsel Pat Cipollone. In turn, Cipollone notified the national security adviser, Robert O'Brien. Neither Cipollone nor O'Brien had any idea what the order was or where it had come from.
        Neither did the office of the staff secretary — whose job it was to vet all the paper that reached the president's desk. Yet the paper bore Trump's distinctive Sharpie signature.
        The U.S. government's top national security leaders soon realized they were dealing with an off-the-books operation by the commander in chief himself.

    • Miller and the Pentagon publicly expressed their concern regarding the feasibility and legality of executing such a reckless order when the President was clearly emotionally unstable and erratic.  
    • Miller told associates he had three goals for the final weeks of the Trump administration:
      • #1: No major war.
      • #2: No military coup.
      • #3: No troops fighting citizens on the streets.
  • Miller and the Pentagon conspired to ignore the direct order from their Commander-in-Chief
BIDEN

  • One of the first actions Biden took in office was to contact the Taliban and advise that Trump was badly behind schedule on the promised April 30 withdrawal.
    • The Taliban agreed to push the withdrawal to Aug 31 but stated clearly that any US troops in Afghanistan after Aug 31 would be a violation of the peace agreement and a renewed declaration of war.
Transcript: Hearing to Receive Testimony on the Conclusion of Military Operations in Afghanistan and Plans for Future Counterterrorism Operations (Round 1 of Questioning)
United States Senate Committee on Armed Services 
Tuesday, September 28, 2021 Senator Warren:
 Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

So I want to begin by zooming out, because it is not possible to understand our final months in Afghanistan without viewing them in the context of the 20 years that led up to them. Anyone who says the last few months were a failure but everything before that was great, clearly hasn’t been paying attention.  
In 2015, the Taliban conquered its first province since 2001. By October 2018, the Afghan government controlled only 54% of the 407 districts. And by May 2020, the Afghan government controlled less than a third of Afghan’s 407 districts. We poured money and support and air cover, and the Afghan government continued to fail.

By 2021, it was clear that 2,500 troops could not successfully prop up a government that had been losing ground and support to the Taliban for years.
Secretary Austin, I understand that you advised President Biden to stay in Afghanistan. But, as you acknowledge, staying or withdrawing is a decision for the President alone. So I want to focus on what happened next. Once President Biden made the decision to have U.S. forces leave the country, who designed the evacuation?

Secretary Austin: Well, Senator, again, I won’t address what I advised, but the advice I gave to the President. I would just say that in his calculus, this was not risk-free, and the Taliban, as we've said earlier in this hearing, were committed to recommencing their operations against our forces. His assessment was that in order to sustain that and continue to do things that benefitted the Afghans that would require at some point that he increase the presence -- our presence -- there in Afghanistan. So once he made the decision, then of course, from a military perspective -- in terms of the retrograde of the people and the equipment -- that was, that planning was done by Central Command, and certainly, principally, by General Miller. Very detailed planning. And then, we came back and briefed the entire inner agency on the details of that plan. 

Senator Warren: Okay. So the military planned the evacuation. Did President Biden follow your advice on executing on the evacuation plan?

Secretary Austin: He did.

Senator Warren:  Did President Biden give you all the resources that you needed?

Secretary Austin: From my view, he did. 

Senator Warren: Did President Biden ignore your advice on the evacuation at any point?

Secretary Austin: No, Senator. He did not. 

Sen Warren: Did he refuse any requests for anything that you needed or asked for? 

Secretary Austin: No. 

Senator Warren: So the President followed the advice of his military advisors in planning and executing this withdrawal.  As we’ve already established, the seeds for our failure in Afghanistan were planted many, many years ago, so let me ask you one more question, Secretary Austin. Knowing what you know now, if we had stayed in Afghanistan for another year, would it have made a fundamental difference?

Secretary Austin: Again, it depends on what size you remain in at and what your objectives are. There are a range of possibilities, but if you stayed there at force posture of 2,500, certainly, you'd be in a fight with the Taliban. And you'd have to reinforce yourself. 

Senator Warren: I appreciate you looking at it as a fighter, but I would also add one more year of propping up a corrupt government and an army that wouldn't fight on its own was not going to give us a different outcome. And anyone who thinks differently is either fooling himself or trying to fool the rest of us.

I believe President Biden had it exactly right: Withdrawing was long overdue. The withdrawal was conducted in accordance with the advice of his military advisors, who planned and executed every step of this withdrawal.

########
To be clear, any and all commanders recommending in January 2021 that the US maintain a rump force or hold onto Bagram understood that they were recommending a renewal of hostilities in Afghanistan and a violation of the international Treaty Trump had signed a year earlier.  Biden wisely refused to break faith with NATO and persist in the the longest war in US history without  any realistic future hope of strategic or diplomatic advantage to the US.

When Biden says "I don't recall," we should correctly interpret that remark as an attempt to protect the reputation of certain incompetent warmongers pontificating from the Pentagon.

Now ask of yourself- which of these is the more effective Commander-in-Chief?

A  commander that orders an immediate withdrawal without any logistic or political consultation and who is so afraid to stake his reputation on the order that the military can confidently and effectively ignore that direct order?
or 
A commander who says "I've bought you a little extra time since you got nothing done all last year but I need you to make speed now and withdraw by Aug 31.  What do you need from me?"  And the order is obeyed?
oromagi
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--> @fauxlaw
Let's note that when Robert Mueller asked five questions regarding Trump's collaboration with Putin to win the American Presidency in 2016, Trump, who took months and six lawyers to compose his response, answered "I don't recall" 36 times and forgot to answer the fifth question entirely.  That question was, 

Following the Obama Administration’s imposition of sanctions on Russia in December 2016 (“Russia sanctions”), did you discuss with Lieutenant General (LTG) Michael Flynn, K.T. McFarland, Steve Bannon, Reince Priebus, Jared Kushner, Erik Prince, or anyone else associated with the transition what should be communicated to the Russian government regarding the sanctions?

Let's assume Trump's lawyers correctly advised that there was no way for Trump to answer this question without breaking many laws.

Again, which President would you rather have not recalling shit?

A President who says he does not recall once to protect the reputation of his generals? or
A President who says he does not recall 36 times to conceal his entanglements with foreign enemies?
Ramshutu
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It seems unlikely given the responses of the generals and Biden that the generals said it was absolutely essential to keep troops in Afghanistan. Nor is it likely that keeping troops in Afghanistan would be preferable militarily was never mentioned.

Most likely, they said that it was the preferred option, Biden had already committed to pulling out American troops from a forever war, and felt that the status quo was no longer justifiable, so they made their preference known and then went with the pull out as it was. 

So the truth is likely in the middle.

Obviously, has they done the opposite; people would be equally outraged at how American troops remained in a forever war feeding the military industrial complex; this is primarily just a case of right wing politician weaponized hypocrisy.
949havoc
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--> @Ramshutu
The problem is, the president claims he was never advised of the option of keeping some troops in Afghanistan, then justifies by saying he doesn't recall being so advised [a cop-out], whereas, the generals, and SoD, claim he was so advised.
Wylted
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--> @oromagi
Let's note that when Robert Mueller asked five questions regarding Trump's collaboration with Putin to win the American Presidency in 2016, Trump, who took months and six lawyers to compose his response, answered "I don't recall" 36 times and forgot to answer the fifth question entirely.  That question was
Why do liberals think like this? Why would Trump doing evil things, make it okay for biden to be evil?
zedvictor4
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Yep I see the Faux now.

Who was the idiot that sent troops to Afghanistan in the first place.

Didn't they remember anything about the futility of invading Asia.
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Any stubborn, old fool could simply withdraw his forces from a country with disastrous results. And a stubborn, old fool did…