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AFGHANISTAN

Aug 21 06:44

Pentagon contradicts Biden MINUTES after his fumbling speech by saying Americans HAVE been attacked by the Taliban on the way to Kabul airport and al-Qaeda IS still operating in Afghanistan

Minutes after President Biden on Friday said the mission to destroy Al Qaeda in Afghanistan was a success and that he knew of no circumstances where Americans had been unable to reach Kabul airport, he was flatly contradicted by the Pentagon.

Al Qaeda remains present in Afghanistan, said Department of Defense spokesman John Kirby during a briefing, and yes, he was aware of reports of Americans being beaten by the Taliban as they tried to reach safety.

The contradiction will raise further doubt about whether Biden is in control of the White House messaging operation, let alone the chaotic effort to bring Americans home.

Aug 21 06:42

US is at highest risk of a terror attack since 9/11 because Biden's chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal will allow al-Qaeda to regroup, security experts claim

The Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan has raised the global threat of terror to its highest point since 9/11 - and an Al Qaeda atrocity could hit US shores soon.

Tom Copeland, director of research at the conservative think tank Centennial Institute, told Fox News that the withdrawal of U.S. troops could lead to another attack on American soil.

'Having an entire country as a safe haven, will give [Al Qaeda] more physical space and more breathing space to reconstitute and go back to planning major events, so I think the U.S. withdrawal itself is a large part of that threat,' Copeland said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Get ready for a false-flag attack to distract us all from Afghanistan.

Aug 21 06:40

WATCH — Biden: ‘I Have Seen No Question of Our Credibility from Our Allies Around the World’

President Joe Biden told the nation Friday that “I have seen no question of our credibility from our allies around the world” after the U.S. left Afghanistan in chaos.

Biden took a few questions from reporters after concluding a national address.

In response to a query from Zeke Miller of the Associated Press, Biden suggested that the U.S. had gained credibility:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Aug 21 06:18

CBS accused of eco-overreach after claiming CLIMATE CHANGE ‘helped strengthen’ Taliban

CBS has been accused of spinning fanciful, Greta Thurnberg-inspired yarns about the disastrous outcome of the nearly 20-year war in Afghanistan, after claiming that the Taliban received outside support from climate change.

The American news outlet published an exclusive report on Friday that endeavored to shine a light on what may have caused the trillion-dollar debacle in Afghanistan, ending with the complete collapse of the Afghan National Army on August 15 just weeks after US-led coalition forces accelerated their exit from the country.

Authoritatively titled, ‘How climate change helped strengthen the Taliban,’ the CBS investigation discovered that the Taliban benefited immensely from the covert support of a formidable global power: Earth’s climate.

Aug 21 06:18

Russia’s talks with Taliban are latest proof Moscow’s foreign policy is non-ideological. The West could learn a lesson from that

Both Russia and China are pursuing a strategy of engaging with the Taliban. While some politicians and commentators insist this is a global threat, the reality is that constructive talks are now more likely to bring stability.

Winston Churchill famously defined Russia as “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma.” Its unique history and geography have obviously produced a distinctive political culture, but Western efforts to mystify Russia also have the effect of drawing a dividing line between the rational and predictable ‘us’ versus the irrational and unpredictable ‘other’ – Moscow.

As a result, common sense often does not get in the way of outlandish claims, like insisting Russia is on an ideological crusade against democracy or attempting to restore the Soviet Union.

Aug 21 06:16

With the Taliban in control of Afghanistan, world must focus on preventing collapse of state & cross-border terrorism, Putin warns

The world has to accept the realities of the situation in Afghanistan and come together to prevent the collapse of the entire state, Vladimir Putin said during a joint press conference with Angela Merkel on Friday.

The Russian president and the German chancellor were speaking to journalists during the latter’s state visit to Moscow.

“The Taliban control virtually the entire country, including the capital,” Putin said, saying that other countries should react to the situation on the ground. “This is reality.”

He also called on the world to turn its efforts to prevent terrorists from infiltrating Afghanistan’s neighboring countries in the guise of refugees.

Aug 21 06:15

Afghan Aftermath: Europe Braces For Another US-Induced Migration Crisis

President Joe Biden vowed “America is back” when he took office, meaning that Washington would realign with and respect European allies under its global leadership after the years of Trump discord.

The European political establishment swooned and cooed like dutiful debutantes apparently having Uncle Sam’s affections and patronage again.

How quickly indeed has that supposedly rosy relation between the U.S. and the Europeans been ruptured with bitter recriminations following the disastrous collapse in Afghanistan. The EU is scrambling to cope with the potential fallout of mass migration from the Central Asian country after the return to power of the Taliban.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Aug 21 06:08

It's Time To Purge The "Experts"

The United States’ military mission in Afghanistan has collapsed in chaos and ignominy. The catastrophe has many parents. But surely “the experts” upon which our leader relied bear much blame.

They were the ones who often failed to comprehend the power of religious belief and the role pride in Islam played in the Taliban’s unyielding commitment to victory. They were the ones who thought we could remake Afghanistan into a western liberal image. They were the ones who failed to comprehend the intractable tribal nature of Afghan society.

To say the least, Afghanistan has vividly exposed the utter stupidity of our vaunted foreign policy and national security experts. Our hapless Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, for example, assured us that Kabul would not fall from “Friday to Monday.” He was right. It fell from Friday to Sunday.

Aug 21 06:06

The Fall Of An American Empire

The disintegration of the Afghan government and army over the past few weeks exposes the folly of such an approach. After two decades of a nation-building effort that has cost many thousands of lives, and trillions of dollars, the US has succeeded only in substituting one failed state for another. And so it is now the Taliban that very clearly commands more authority around Afghanistan rather than the Kabul government. The US wasn’t building an Afghan nation state – it was building a failed state.

Aug 21 06:06

Beijing Will Use Afghan Angst To Pressure US, Distract From Domestic Chaos

Even as China’s markets wobble, they will view The Afghan Skedaddle as an opportunity to pressure the US.

“When I have learnt what progress has been made in modern gunnery, when I know more of tactics than a novice in a nunnery, and when I’ve a smattering of elemental strategy, I am the very model of a modern Major-General.”

China’s markets are under pressure from the widening Chinese Communist Party’s regulatory crackdown – which is likely as much about imposing party discipline and control as much as it was ever about consumer protection. But as investors fret about crashing China stocks, rising global uncertainty and the destabilisation caused by the Afghan debacle, the Chinese are likely to up the pressure and further test a distracted US administration. “Interesting times” lie ahead for global markets as the tension threatens to escalate.

Aug 21 05:46

Buchanan: Aftermath Of An Afghanistan Debacle

In Afghanistan, the mission failure appears complete.

The trillion-dollar project to plant Western democracy in a Muslim nation historically fabled for driving out imperial intruders has crashed and burned after 20 years, and the Taliban are suddenly back in power.

After investing scores of billions in training and arming a force of 350,000 Afghani troops, the U.S. could not stand up an army and a government that could survive our departure.

And the final U.S. departure from Hamid Karzai International Airport may become, like JFK’s Bay of Pigs, a synonym for American debacle.

Nor is the failure ours alone. Many of our principal allies were heavily invested. The British are now attempting to bring their people out of Kabul under the same conditions as ours.

Aug 21 05:45

Why The Wheels Are Coming Off

Why are the wheels coming off the American Project? Afghanistan is front and center in the news flow for obvious reasons, but since I have no expertise on that nation or America's role there, I am stipulating these are general comments from a systemic perspective.

By the American Project I mean 1) global hegemony in both hard and soft power and 2) American Exceptionalism, the belief that America is not just uniquely strong but uniquely right in terms of holding the high moral ground.

1. If you don't understand the problem, you can't possibly arrive at a solution. It's long been painfully obvious that U.S. presidents would be best served by their closest advisors being anthropologists with long in-country experience in whatever nation the U.S. is engaging.

Aug 21 05:43

Will Americans Who Were Right on Afghanistan Still Be Ignored?

America’s corporate media are ringing with recriminations over the humiliating U.S. military defeat in Afghanistan. But very little of the criticism goes to the root of the problem, which was the original decision to militarily invade and occupy Afghanistan in the first place.

That decision set in motion a cycle of violence and chaos that no subsequent US policy or military strategy could resolve over the next 20 years, in Afghanistan, Iraq or any of the other countries swept up in America’s post-9/11 wars.

While Americans were reeling in shock at the images of airliners crashing into buildings on September 11, 2001, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld held a meeting in an intact part of the Pentagon. Undersecretary Cambone’s notes from that meeting spell out how quickly and blindly US officials prepared to plunge our nation into graveyards of empire in Afghanistan, Iraq and beyond.

Aug 21 05:38

UK Defence Sec Defends Top General Claiming Taliban ‘Want an Afghanistan Inclusive for All’

Britain’s Defence Secretary has defended General Sir Nick Carter, Chief of the Defence Staff, after he claimed that the Taliban are honourable “country boys” who “want an Afghanistan that is inclusive for all”.

Carter, the professional head of the British armed forces, put himself in front of the media on August 18th to suggest that the Taliban, responsible for the lion’s share of the 457 fatalities and 616 “serious or very serious casualties” among British military and civilian personnel in Afghanistan, should not necessarily be described as the “enemy”.

“I think people need to understand what the Taliban actually are,” Carter told Kay Burley, a leading anchor for Comcast’s Sky News.

“And of course, what they actually are are a disparate collection of tribespeople… they’re country boys,” he said of the Islamic fundamentalists.

Aug 21 05:37

CIA’s Former Counterterrorism Chief for the Region: Afghanistan, Not An Intelligence Failure — Something Much Worse

While it’s certainly convenient to depict the shock and miscalculation U.S. officials claim over Afghanistan’s tragic, rapid fall to the Taliban as an intelligence failure, the reality is far worse. It’s a convenient deflection of responsibility for decisions taken owing to political and ideological considerations and provides a scapegoat for a policy decision that’s otherwise unable to offer a persuasive defense.

Aug 21 05:37

Israeli press review: Qatar 'misled the US' in Taliban negotiations

With the total collapse of the Afghan government, Nahum Barnea, a political analyst at right-wing Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, predicts that the Taliban takeover will only "strengthen Israel's standing in the White House”.

"Israel is the only country between the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf that America can rely on," he writes.

"Israel will not betray and will not collapse, and the Biden administration is now dealing with scepticism with old allies such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt. It has criticisms towards Israel as well, but it has no partner in the region which is as strong and loyal as Israel.”

Aug 21 05:36

Afghanistan: How Iran and its allies are relying on Soleimani's deals with the Taliban

The response to the Taliban takeover was swift. Iranian-backed Iraqi paramilitaries early this week issued threatening statements, hinting they are prepared at any moment to travel to Afghanistan and protect Shia Afghans from the militant group.

Then, a couple of days later, they began to retract, and the temperature dialled down considerably.

Iraqi commanders, politicians and clerics told Middle East Eye that Iran gave its allied paramilitaries and political factions strict instructions: they are to have no role whatsoever in Afghanistan and must not interfere in any way under any pretext.

Aug 21 05:35

NATO Knives Out for US

It was bound to end like this. The United States and its NATO partners went into Afghanistan in the first place to subjugate and plunder with imperial swagger.

Now that the whole criminal enterprise has collapsed 20 years later, the recriminations are intense and bitter.

There were extraordinary scenes in the British parliament this week and among other European capitals. Politicians across the board have been slamming US President Joe Biden’s administration for the disastrous failure in Afghanistan.

Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel who was recently referring to Biden as “dear Joe” has taken to blaming his administration for the mess that has hit the fan this week as Western states rush to evacuate embassies.

Aug 21 05:32

US airlifts Americans from 200m beyond Kabul airport perimeter, after US general allegedly ‘embarrassed’ by British rescue ops

Commander of the 82nd Airborne Division has told his British colleague to stop “embarrassing” the US troops guarding the Kabul airport by venturing into the city to rescue people, at least according to one Washington columnist.

Major General Christopher Donahue has asked the commander of the 22nd Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment of the British Army to stop their operations beyond the perimeter of the Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA), because they were “embarrassing the United States military in the absence of similar US military operations,” Washington Examiner columnist Tom Rogan claimed on Friday.

“I understand that the British officer firmly rejected the request,” Rogan added.

Aug 21 05:30

McMaken: Did The Pentagon & The Generals Want This Disastrous War?

In early July, Ron Paul penned a column titled “It’s Saigon In Afghanistan,” invoking the imagery of the fall of Saigon in 1975, when US military helicopters scrambled to evacuate personnel from the roof of the US embassy. But Paul suggested that maybe the situation in Afghanistan was “perhaps not as dramatic” as the situation in Saigon forty-six years ago.

But that was six weeks ago.

Aug 21 05:29

Watch: Oliver North Warns Taliban Have Names, Addresses, Phone Numbers Of Everyone Who Worked With US In Afghanistan

Appearing on Hannity Thursday, Lt. Col. Oliver North warned that the Taliban has managed to obtain the personal details of everyone who worked with the US in Afghanistan, and are using the information to hunt down and execute people.

Aug 21 05:28

US officials in Kabul burned PASSPORTS of Afghan visa applicants while destroying embassy documents as the Taliban rapidly approached the capital and the Biden administration panicked, report claims

U.S. embassy workers in Kabul incinerated the passports of Afghan citizens who had applied for America visas in the rush to leave the facility last week.

On Friday, Politico published a tick-tock of the five days leading to the fall of Kabul on Sunday, including the rushed effort that started last Friday, August 13, to evacuate the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan's capital city as the Taliban took over.

Rep. Andy Kim, a Democrat from New Jersey, told Politico about the burned Afghan passports, which would make it impossible for those individuals to be identified as they tried to leave the country.

Aug 20 17:24

Washington Post Actually Does Real Journalism — Exposes Biden’s MASSIVE Lie On Afghan Troop Numbers

It must be quite nippily in Hell these days. The mainstream media, back from a two decade hiatus on actual real journalism, has reported on a massive lie told by President Biden.

This week, the Washington Post debunked Biden’s outright lie that there were 300,000 troops in Afghanistan. They say it’s an ‘overblown figure’, but that appears to be an understatement:

Aug 20 13:50

The president vowed that any attack by the Taliban on U.S. forces working to secure the evacuation of American citizens "will be met with swift and forceful response."

The president vowed that any attack by the Taliban on U.S. forces working to secure the evacuation

Aug 20 13:30

Pentagon pressed on why British paratroopers leaving Kabul airport to rescue citizens but Americans aren't

The Pentagon was pressed Thursday to explain why the U.S. isn't rescuing Americans outside of the Kabul airport as the British are doing for their citizens.

At a press briefing, Fox News' Jennifer Griffin said: "General Taylor, British paratroopers are leaving the airport, going into Kabul to rescue and evacuate some of their citizens who are trapped [and] can't get to the airport because of the Taliban."

"Why isn't the U.S. doing that?" she asked.

Aug 20 10:51

Biden mulling Afghanistan AIRSTRIKES to destroy US military equipment abandoned to Taliban, but only after evacuations – reports

The Biden administration is reportedly considering airstrikes in Afghanistan in hopes of vaporizing large amounts of US military hardware captured by the Taliban after the militant group took control of the country.

US officials told Reuters there is concern that military aircraft, vehicles and weapon stockpiles seized by the Taliban during the group’s offensive could be used against Afghan civilians, or find their way to terrorist organizations such as Islamic State or Al-Qaeda.

“Everything that hasn't been destroyed is the Taliban's now,” one source told the news agency on Thursday.

The US government is now reviewing its options, including the possibility of launching airstrikes to take out large hardware such as helicopters – although policymakers are reportedly concerned that the move would antagonize the Taliban at a time when the United States is rushing to evacuate personnel and citizens from the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

By the time the airstrikes happen, the Taliban will have spread those weapons and vehicles all over Afghanistan. Call this one another failed idea.

Aug 20 10:34

State Dept. internal memo warned of Afghan collapse in July: Report

An internal memo at the State Department in July warned that Kabul could collapse after the United States troop withdrawal deadline on August 31, an official and person familiar with the cable stated, according to Thursday reporting by The Wall Street Journal.

The cable was sent through the State Department’s confidential dissent channel on July 13, and warned the Afghanistan military would be unable to stop a Taliban advance. The memo alerted officials of imminent movement by the terrorist organization, and recommended several ways to alleviate the impending crisis, in addition to expediting evacuation.

Aug 20 10:25

Hell Has Frozen Over: CNN Host Trashes White House Spox For Biden’s Massive Failure And Preparing To LEAVE PEOPLE BEHIND In Kabul

This isn’t something you’d expect to see on CNN. In fact, it’s almost never the case. This morning CNN host Brianna Keilar grilled White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield on what they are doing to get our people out of Afghanistan.

Aug 20 10:20

Biden State Dept Plan To Charge US Citizens $2000 To Rescue Them From Afghanistan Scrapped After Backlash

Biden’s State Department is now scrapping their insane plans to charge American citizens stuck in Afghanistan up to $2,000 to be evacuated out of the Taliban hell-hole Biden helped create:

NY POST – The State Department was forced to scrap a widely excoriated plan to bill US citizens $2,000 or more for their evacuation flights from Kabul.

The hefty price tag drew social media outrage Thursday after it gained public notice.

Aug 20 07:50

Trump Clarifies On Hannity Why Biden Screwed Up In Afghanistan

Former President Trump on Tuesday insisted that he threatened to launch strikes against the chief Taliban negotiator's home village if insurgents failed to follow the terms of a peace agreement, as he blasted President Biden's handling of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

'It's not the concept of leaving,' he told Fox News anchor Sean Hannity.

Aug 20 07:40

Taliban Calling Out US Censorship Means Time For Reflection

The Taliban spokesman on Tuesday mockingly replied to a question regarding whether their government would respect freedom of speech - telling the journalist to ask Facebook.

The Taliban is banned from Facebook and its subsidiaries WhatsApp and Instagram, as well as TikTok and YouTube - though it is enabled on Twitter.

Zabihullah Mujahid, who has 310,000 followers on Twitter, was questioned regarding the Taliban's plan for freedom of speech.

Aug 20 07:38

Taliban takeover wins praise on Communist China’s internet

The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan has prompted mixed reactions on and offline in China, with some deploring attempts by online commentators to play down the Taliban’s attitude to women, as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) tried to present the victorious armed movement as a potential ally for Beijing.

An anonymous post — since deleted — on the Twitter-like platform Sina Weibo described “very good feelings” about the Taliban, “although I know, I know … that tens of millions of women and girls will now be deprived of the right to education.”

Comments hit out at the post, with one user remarking sarcastically “I know they’re inhumane, but I still support them,” and another saying the poster was “full of infinite wishful thinking about the Taliban.”

Aug 20 07:29

Hillary Clinton, Not Joe Biden, Is Speaking to Foreign Leaders about Afghanistan

Following Joe Biden's disastrous pull out of U.S troops in Afghanistan, which has caused a massive vacuum of power from the Taliban, it also turns out he's not even speaking to foreign leaders about the crisis, Hillary Clinton is.Biden is yet to speak with any foreign counterparts folowing the Taliban's take over of the Afghanistan capital of Kabul, security adviser Jake Sullivan confirmed.“He has not yet spoken with any other world leaders,” Sullivan said during a briefing with reporters.Sullivan noted that he and Secretary of State Antony Blinken had held regular calls with their own counterparts.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And right after his 1PM speech on Afghanistan, Sloppy Joe is headed back to Delaware.

Aug 20 07:29

Afghan Christian: 'The whole world has abandoned us'

In an emotional appeal videoed on "the first day of Taliban rule," an Afghan Christian pleaded with Christians around the world not to abandon the church in Afghanistan as the nation faces the sudden loss of all of its gains over the past two decades.

"I don't know that the future of this country will be," he said, according to a translation. "We are not able to control our emotions, because we've worked so hard for 20 years. All of our work over the past 20 years has been lost overnight."

Aug 20 07:14

US Expansionism in Eurasia, Control over Afghanistan

The ex-Soviet states of the Caucasus and Central Asia have, following the early 1990s, been “all about America’s energy security” according to Bill Richardson, the Clinton era diplomat and former American ambassador to the United Nations.

For seven decades, the Soviet Union’s existence blocked the way to the vast fossil fuel sources of the Caucasus, Central Asia and also the Caspian Sea. This reality had been of ongoing frustration to Western strategic planners, but the Soviet collapse 30 years ago provoked jubilant scenes in Washington and London.

Aug 20 07:13

Biden heads to Delaware for R&R while chaos reigns in Afghanistan

The Federal Aviation Administration on Thursday restricted airspace over Wilmington, Delaware, for the weekend — revealing President Biden planned to head home despite the chaotic situation in Afghanistan.

The temporary flight restrictions for “VIP movement” go into effect Friday evening and are set to last until around 1:30 a.m. Monday, according to an FAA alert issued Thursday.

The White House on Thursday night released a daily schedule confirming that Biden will travel to Wilmington around 2 pm Friday after delivering a speech on Afghanistan.

Aug 20 07:11

US promises NOT to charge Americans to fly out of Afghanistan after report of ‘$2,000 repatriation fee’ triggers outrage

Americans looking to leave Afghanistan first have to promise to repay the government for the cost of their evacuations to the tune of “$2,000 or more per person,” but the State Department says it will waive the fee.

It is estimated anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 American citizens, permanent residents and their family members may still be in Afghanistan, and presumably hoping to leave the country – under Taliban control since Sunday – via Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) in Kabul before the end of August.

Before they brave Taliban checkpoints and hope to get a seat on a US troop transport or chartered civilian jet, however, they must promise to repay the US government for the privilege of their rescue.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I can understand the outrage. After all, illegal immigrants get free plane flights all over America. Well, they are not free. YOU pay for them!

Aug 20 07:10

America’s hasty retreat from Afghanistan should be warning to Ukraine that it can’t count on Washington – Russian security chief

As US forces scramble to evacuate their diplomats and local staff from Kabul, one of Russia’s top defense officials has said that other states dependent on support from the White House must be aware it can be withdrawn suddenly.

Nikolai Patrushev, the secretary of Russia’s Security Council, told Moscow’s Izvestiya on Thursday that the previous Afghan government, headed by Ashraf Ghani, was not saved by its friendly ties with Washington. According to him, the overthrown pro-American regime in Kabul didn’t benefit from the fact that Afghanistan was one of the main US allies outside NATO. He went on to say that Ukraine, which positions itself similarly, could encounter a similar fate.

“The confidence of the military and political leadership of the Americans and their allies that they fully controlled the situation in Afghanistan led to ignorance and underestimation of the real situation,” Patrushev said.

Aug 20 06:55

UK lawmakers publicly condemn Biden over ‘appalling’ Afghanistan withdrawal

Lawmakers and politicians in the United Kingdom have been criticizing President Joe Biden this week over the collapse of the NATO-backed Afghan government over the weekend.

Johnny Mercer, a Conservative party lawmaker who served as a defense minister until April, told TIME on Monday, “In my view, Biden has made an appalling mistake.”

Aug 20 06:53

Biden administration appears to have stockpiled military equipment for Taliban months before collapse

For months, the Biden administration was stockpiling military equipment for the Taliban before the collapse of the Afghan government. The report comes from Reuters who shares that well over a month before the Taliban’s march across the country, the Biden administration was sending military equipment to Afghanistan amid a “planned withdrawal.”

The plans of the Biden administration were not very well thought out or executed. But perhaps this was the plan all along.

According to Reuters, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told reporters, “They’ll continue to see a steady drumbeat of that kind of support, going forward.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Does Biden really think he can goad the Taliban into invading Iran?!?

Aug 20 06:52

Facebook moves to protect Afghan users' accounts amid Taliban takeover

Facebook has brought in new safety measures for users worried for their safety in Afghanistan, as the Taliban continue to cement their grip on power.

The firm says it "removed the ability to view and search the 'Friends' list for Facebook accounts in Afghanistan" to protect people from being targeted.

Professional networking site LinkedIn has also taken steps by hiding the connections of anyone in the country.

There are concerns the Taliban are using social media to track opponents.

The additional safety measures were announced on Thursday by Facebook's head of security policy, Nathaniel Gleicher.

"We've launched a one-click tool for people in Afghanistan to quickly lock down their account. When their profile is locked, people who aren't their friends can't download or share their profile photo or see posts on their timeline," Mr Gleicher tweeted.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As a side note, my Facebook account still suffers from a "temporary" problem (now going on 6 months) and will not work.

Aug 20 06:47

They Knew: Leaked State Department Memo Warned Of Afghanistan Collapse

Around two dozen State Department officials at the US embassy in Kabul warned of a potential collapse following the Aug. 31 troop withdrawal deadline, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing a 'person familiar with the cable.'

Using a special 'dissent channel' within the State Department, the cable - sent to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and another top State Department official - warned of 'rapid territorial gains by the Taliban and the subsequent collapse of Afghan security forces,' and offered suggestions on how to speed up evacuation and mitigate the obvious crisis slated to ensue, two people told the WSJ.

In total, 23 US Embassy staffers - all Americans, signed the July 13 cable, which was given a rush status 'given the circumstances on the ground in Kabul.' In addition to Blinken, it was sent to the Director of Policy Planning, Salman Ahmad.

Aug 20 06:47

Report Warns 2021 Afghan Refugee Crisis Could Make 2015 Look Like A "Walk In The Park"

A report by the Center for Strategic and International Studies warns that the 2021 Afghan refugee crisis could make the 2015 refugee crisis look like a “geopolitical walk in the park” in comparison.

Humanitarian workers are warning of up to 3 million Afghan refugees could try to find their way to Europe following the Taliban’s takeover of the country.

CSIS Senior Fellow Erol Yayboke echoes those figures, projecting that the number of displaced Afghans, which currently stands at around 2.6 million worldwide, could easily double over the next two years alone.

“Unless the U.S. and its partners sufficiently respond to this next big refugee crisis, millions of displaced Afghans in 2021 could make the 2015 migration crisis seem like a geopolitical walk in the park,” states the report.

Aug 20 06:44

Kamala Harris tanking in poll as she goes to ground on Afghan withdrawal

Americans have further soured on Vice President Kamala Harris as she continues her radio silence on the chaotic and tragic withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, a new poll indicates.

According to a Rasmussen Reports survey released Thursday, 55 percent of likely voters say the former senator from California is either “not qualified” or “not at all qualified” to assume the duties of the presidency. By contrast, 43 percent consider Harris “qualified” or “very qualified” to be commander in chief.

The same poll found in April that 49 percent of likely voters said Harris was qualified to become president, though 51 percent of voters had an “unfavorable impression” of her.

The poll was taken between Aug. 12 and Aug. 15, as the Taliban embarked on its sweeping offensive across Afghanistan that led to the collapse of that country’s Western-backed government weeks before the deadline to remove US combat forces.

Aug 20 06:39

Pelosi on ‘Billions of Dollars’ of U.S. Military Weaponry Left for Taliban: That’s ‘What Happens When You Withdraw’

Twenty-five U.S. senators have sent a letter to the Secretary of Defense expressing grave concerns about the threat posed by the U.S. military leaving behind in Afghanistan weaponry, such as UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, which have now fallen into the hands of Taliban forces and their terrorist allies. But, that’s just “what happens when you withdraw,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says.

The senators, led by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), want a full accounting of the military equipment left behind, the equipment that is now in the Taliban’s hands and the Taliban’s ability to use, or learn to use with the help of America’s adversaries, the seized equipment.

“We were horrified to see U.S. equipment – including UH-60 Black Hawks – in the hands of the Taliban,” the senators tell the Defense Secretary.

Aug 20 06:30

Biden’s Botched Afghanistan Withdrawal Puts Spotlight Back on Defense Sec. Lloyd Austin’s Special Waiver

President Joe Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan has put a spotlight back on the controversial waiver Congress used to confirm the nomination of now-Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

Austin has come under fire for his admission this week that the United States military does not have the capability to help the thousands of Americans stranded outside the Kabul, Afghanistan, airport.

Austin said, “We don’t have the capability to go out and collect up large numbers of people.”

Austin’s involvement in the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan follows as Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), the chairman of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), urged Republicans in January to vote against Austin’s waiver to allow him to serve as the defense secretary.

Aug 20 06:30

Antony Blinken Delusional About U.S. Withdrawal Insisting Taliban Takeover ‘Unlikely’ as Jihadis Declared Victory

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was consistently wrong about the outcome of the unconditional withdrawal of all foreign forces from Afghanistan, insisting that a Taliban takeover was “highly unlikely” Sunday, as the jihadis swept into Kabul after the collapse of the government.

Blinken was incorrect when he asserted that the unconditional U.S. withdrawal, a concession long sought by the Taliban, would not result in the fall of Afghanistan.

Secretary Blinken assured that the fall of Afghanistan after the departure of U.S.-led NATO troops was a far-fetched notion, even as the Taliban seized territory and U.S. intelligence warnings months before the withdrawal ultimately determined the rapid collapse of the Afghan government and military was probable.

Aug 20 06:28

Biden Ensures States, Cities Have No Veto Power Over Afghan Refugees

President Joe Biden’s administration may balloon the number of Afghans set to be resettled across the United States following the withdrawal of U.S. Armed Forces from Afghanistan.

Days ago, Pentagon officials stated up to 22,000 Afghans — mostly applying for Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) and the newly-created P-2 visa — would be arriving at three military bases: Fort Lee in Virginia, Fort Bliss in Texas, and Fort McCoy in Wisconsin.

On Thursday, though, refugee resettlement agencies told the Washington Post the number of Afghans “seeking evacuation through a U.S. visa program” is closer to 100,000 and could be as high as 300,000.

Aug 20 06:23

China Admits Taliban Ties Aimed at Getting Afghanistan’s $3 Trillion in Rare Earths

In the course of hectoring the United States for its “bungled and embarrassing withdraw from Afghanistan” on Thursday, China’s state-run Global Times admitted Beijing has a rapacious interest in Afghanistan’s vast rare-earths mineral resources and snarled it was none of America’s business if China makes deals with the Taliban to get what it wants.

The Global Times accused the U.S. of profiteering from Afghanistan for the past twenty years, without offering any theories on where all the plunder might have gone, and claimed America is only worried about China going after those mineral resources because the U.S. is jealous:

Aug 20 06:23

If only Milley cared less about critical race theory and more about Afghanistan

Our country has undergone a radical change in the 21st century. It has not been a change for the better. We have focused more on arguing among ourselves while the “barbarians are at the gates,” so to speak. If we learn no other lesson from the Afghanistan debacle, it is that our military and intelligence agencies need to refocus their priorities. If we fail to do so, situations such as Afghanistan might become much more common.

Mark Milley, a U.S. Army general and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke yesterday about the situation in Afghanistan. During this briefing , Milley announced that “There was nothing that I, or anyone else, saw that indicated a collapse of [the Afghan] army and this government in 11 days.” Perhaps if he worried less about "white rage," he would have seen Afghanistan being overrun by the Taliban in less than two weeks. Perhaps if he worried less about "critical race theory," he would have been better prepared to do his job.

Aug 20 06:16

The chaos in Kabul reveals the one thing more important to the media than covering for Biden...keeping the US war machine going

As the US makes its chaotic exit from Afghanistan, we are reminded once again how truly committed members of the American press are to dying ideas of “militarism and imperialism.”

“Genuinely revealing that the only thing that could make the corporate media turn on Biden was his decision (in agreement with Trump) to end a preposterously long and worthless war,” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted on Friday, after being one of many spending the week calling out the mainstream media for its rather bizarre – but sadly not surprising – coverage of the situation in Afghanistan.

Since Joe Biden took office, he’s enjoyed a rather cushy relationship with the media. It helps that his predecessor lived in their minds rent free, and Biden’s had the distraction of the Covid-19 pandemic and the tiring obsession with January 6 to keep criticism of him almost exclusively to conservative crowds.

Biden’s exit from Afghanistan, however, has given him a rather bad week all round.

Aug 20 06:15

Biden administration was warned LAST MONTH by US diplomats in Kabul of an impending Taliban 'catastrophe' if troops withdrew and was urged to evacuate ALL Americans starting on August 1

State Department officials in the Kabul embassy told the Biden administration last month that the Afghan capital would fall and to speed up evacuations, a new report claims.

A dozen diplomats sent a confidential memo in a dissent channel to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on July 13 that the Taliban was rapidly gaining ground and the city was vulnerable to collapse, the Wall Street Journal reported.

On July 8, President Biden said it was 'highly unlikely' the Taliban would take control of Afghanistan and denied there would be chaos in Kabul.

Aug 20 06:14

ABC News is accused of editing Biden's car-crash interview to avoid him seeming 'incoherent and confused': Transcripts from unaired segments reveal he mistakenly said his son Beau served in the Navy in Afghanistan not the Army elsewhere

ABC News has been accused of editing its Wednesday night interview with Joe Biden to flatter the president, removing mumbled statements and lapses of memory.

Biden's interview with George Stephanopoulos was criticized for his claim that the chaos in Afghanistan this week was inevitable.

But on Thursday, when the full transcript was published by ABC, it emerged that chunks of it were edited out.

Aug 20 06:12

'Incompetent. Unhinged. Incoherent': Republicans ramp up their criticism of Biden's Afghanistan withdrawal and ABC interview - as he goes NINE days without taking questions from rest of press

Republicans are ramping up their criticism of Democratic President Joe Biden's Afghanistan withdrawal and ABC News sit-down with George Stephanopoulos - as the president has now gone nine days without taking questions from the rest of the press.

'Incompetent. Unhinged. Incoherent. Unfit,' tweeted Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott, sharing a clip from the Stephanopoulos interview. Earlier this week, Scott floated that Biden should be removed from office over the Afghanistan debacle.

Ohio Rep Steve Chabot, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee with jurisdiction over Afghanistan, told DailyMail.com: 'No matter how much President Biden makes excuses for his bungled withdrawal and rationalizes the consequences, the simple fact is that we are witnessing a truly monumental failure of leadership and planning that will haunt America for some time.

Aug 20 06:11

White House goes silent after Biden's Afghanistan interview debacle: President schedules NO public appearances and Jen Psaki's team fail to host daily briefing

Joe Biden on Thursday made no public appearances after a widely-panned interview in which he claimed the Afghanistan chaos was inevitable.

The president had a closed-door Afghanistan briefing, according to his schedule.

But no public events were held following Wednesday night's sit-down with ABC News's George Stephanopoulos.

Aug 20 06:08

State Department Mum On Why It Killed Pompeo's Crisis Evacuation Unit

Officials at the U.S. State Department declined on Aug. 19 to say why Secretary of State Antony Blinken “paused” a special evacuation unit formed by his predecessor, even as the firestorm of reaction to the bungled Afghanistan withdrawal intensified.

In June, Blinken signed off on the department’s fiscal year 2022 budget justification request submitted to Congress that included a notation that, while $50.8 million was sought for the Crisis and Contingency Response (CCR) program, “the department has paused implementation pending a policy review.”

When asked by The Epoch Times: “Why was [CCR] paused, is that still State’s intent, and is [CCR] being utilized now in the Kabul evacs,” the department spokesman declined to respond.

Aug 20 06:04

Senators "Horrified" To See Black Hawk Helicopters In Taliban Hands

A group of senators led by Republican Marco Rubio of Florida is demanding answers to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, writing in a letter: "As we watched the images coming out of Afghanistan as the Taliban retook the country, we were horrified to see U.S. equipment – including UH-60 Black Hawks – in the hands of the Taliban."

It's being widely estimated that the Taliban now has "billions of dollars in US weaponry" under their control amid that lighting fast collapse of the US-backed national government on Sunday into Monday. The Pentagon is still assessing, but what is known is that Black Hawk helicopters as well as A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

No doubt the Taliban will sell examples of these US weapons to Russia and China to be reverse engineered!

Aug 20 06:03

Taibbi: We Failed Afghanistan, Not The Other Way Around

On MSNBC the other night, Rachel Maddow told a story about visiting Afghanistan a decade ago. She described being taken on a tour of a new neighborhood in Kabul of “narco-palaces,” what she called, “big garish, gigantic, rococo, strange-looking places” that hadn’t existed before the Americans arrived. This was said to be symbolic of the “fantastically corrupt elites” among the Afghan political class who put themselves into position to siphon off big chunks of the “billions of dollars per month” we sent into the country.

Aug 20 06:02

"Delusional Insanity": Biden Says It's The Taliban Going Through An "Existential Crisis"

During the ABC News interview of Joe Biden on the Afghan fiasco with George Stephanopoulos which aired Thursday, the US President seemed to be viewing the still unfolding crisis through the prism of a complete alternate reality.

As we detailed earlier not only did he angrily brush aside the tragedy of Afghan civilians falling to their deaths after they literally clung out of desperation to departing US aircraft, but he again managed to blame everyone but himself for the botched 'evacuation'. Elsewhere in the interview he actually said it was the Taliban now having an "existential crisis" - and not the retreating US under his administration.

Aug 20 05:56

Report: US Considering Bombing Military Equipment Left in Afghanistan

The Taliban has wound up with a massive amount of US military equipment that was originally given to the now-defunct Afghan government. According to a report from Reuters, the Biden administration is considering bombing some of the larger equipment.

The report cited unnamed US officials who said bombing equipment such as helicopters has not been ruled out. But the US fears that such an action would antagonize the Taliban. Washington is reliant on the Taliban to allow US citizens to travel to the Kabul airport to be airlifted out of the country.

Up to this point, the Taliban has been cooperating with the US and there have been no reports of Americans being stopped or harassed on their way to the airport, according to the Pentagon. But if the US starts launching airstrikes, that would change.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

By now, that equipment has been dispersed to Taliban all over Afghanistan. What are they going to do? Nuke the whole country?

Aug 20 05:46

Justice Department Moves to Dismiss Bowe Bergdahl’s Case to Overturn His Conviction

The U.S. government has filed a motion to dismiss Bowe Bergdahl's petition to have his military conviction and sentence overturned.

Attorneys with the Justice Department's civil division filed a motion Aug. 2 asking U.S. District Court Senior Judge Reggie Walton to throw out the case of the former Army sergeant, who pleaded guilty in 2017 to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy after leaving his post in Afghanistan in June 2009.

Bergdahl was a private first class on July 30, 2009, stationed at Observation Post Mest, Afghanistan. Assigned to guard duty the following day and a convoy to a nearby forward operating base, he left the post. He later said that he wanted to call attention to poor leadership in his unit and his observations of the situation in Afghanistan.

Aug 20 05:45

The Afghanistan Lessons America Refused To Learn

As the humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan continues to brutally unfold, there are not a few "we told you so" lecturers out there. But nobody has earned their stripes more than the office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). Created by Congress in 2008, SIGAR's job is to serve as independent oversight over the more than $140 billion dollars appropriated for the country's reconstruction efforts.

Aug 20 05:42

Aftermath of an Afghanistan Debacle

In Afghanistan, the mission failure appears complete.

The trillion-dollar project to plant Western democracy in a Muslim nation historically fabled for driving out imperial intruders has crashed and burned after 20 years, and the Taliban are suddenly back in power.

After investing scores of billions in training and arming a force of 350,000 Afghani troops, the U.S. could not stand up an army and a government that could survive our departure.

And the final U.S. departure from Hamid Karzai International Airport may become, like JFK’s Bay of Pigs, a synonym for American debacle.

Aug 20 05:41

Afghanistan’s Central Asian neighbours panic, reject refugees

Nothing seems to have changed in recent weeks in Tashkent, the bustling capital of ex-Soviet Uzbekistan that sits about 750 kilometres (466 miles) north of Kabul.

Many Uzbeks worry about the COVID-19 pandemic, the devastating heatwaves and rising prices – but not about the unexpected, stunning speed of the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.

Aug 20 05:40

The woke media are using alleged Australian war crimes in Afghanistan as a smokescreen for the fact their worldview has failed

The media is obsessed with alleged atrocities committed by soldiers during the war, but this is just a distraction from the fact that the calamity in Kabul this week proves their woke, ahistorical worldview is doomed to failure.

This week, a book written by ABC journalist Mark Willacy, titled ‘Rogue Forces: An Explosive Insiders’ Account of Australian SAS War Crimes in Afghanistan’, was published in Australia.

As its title suggests, it is a collection of eyewitness accounts of war crimes committed by Australian military forces in Afghanistan.

It is probably a very readable book, but I will not be reading it – because I have recently become very suspicious of the woke media’s preoccupation with the war crimes issue.

Aug 20 05:39

'Swift and Fatal Revenge': Taliban Reportedly Hunting Down Those Who Worked With US, UK Forces

After the swift takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban amid a US and NATO troop withdrawal, the government in Kabul collapsed, with president Ashraf Ghani fleeing the country. Western countries have rushed to evacuate citizens and diplomatic staff, with questions lingering over the fate of Afghans who aided foreign forces over the last two decades.

There are growing accounts of the Taliban* searching for people they believe worked or fought alongside US and NATO forces, which are currently wrapping up their withdrawal from Afghanistan, reports The New York Times.

Aug 20 05:33

Raab call NEVER happened: Foreign Secretary's job hangs by a thread after government admits truth about crucial call to save Afghan translators' lives that they claimed was delegated to a junior minister

Dominic Raab's job was hanging by a thread last night as it emerged the crucial phone call that was delegated to a junior minister never took place.

Tory MPs yesterday joined a ferocious backlash against the Foreign Secretary over his failure to intervene while on holiday to help airlift translators out of Afghanistan. The Mail revealed yesterday that Mr Raab had been advised by officials to interrupt his luxury trip to Crete on Friday to urgently contact his Afghan counterpart.

The Foreign Secretary, however, failed to make the call and it was 'delegated' to the duty Foreign Office minister Lord Goldsmith. It was thought the telephone conversation had then taken place the following day.

Aug 20 05:32

US Black Hawk Helicopters Captured by Taliban as ‘Horrified’ Senators Demand DOD Audit

Likely billions of dollars of American weapons and vehicles are now in the hands of the Taliban extremist group after the collapse of the Afghan government and army, with numerous videos and photos surfacing online showing Taliban members seizing the equipment.

Photos have circulated of Taliban members holding American M-4 carbines and M-16 rifles rather than AK-47s or AKMs. Other images and videos showed the Taliban surrounding U.S. Black Hawk helicopters and A-29 Super Tucano attack aircraft.

On Wednesday, several GOP senators demanded the Department of Defense (DOD) provide full accounting over the weapons and equipment that were captured by the Taliban, considered by several agencies as a terrorist organization.

Aug 20 05:24

Press review: Patrushev says Afghan fate awaits Ukraine and error cuts EU gas prices

The situation in Afghanistan will top the agenda of one of the next meetings of the Security Council, Secretary of Russia’s Security Council Nikolai Patrushev said. He emphasized that the priority task now is to ensure control over migration flows and protect the region against terrorists infiltrating it as refugees as well as against arms and drug trafficking. According to him, a similar situation is in store for those who support the US in Ukraine.

Aug 20 05:23

Merkel to focus on Ukraine, Belarus, Afghanistan during visit to Russia — spokesperson

Afghanistan, Belarus and Ukraine will be the focus of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Moscow on Friday, August 20, Germany’s Government Spokesperson Steffen Seibert said on Wednesday.

"It will definitely be about major international issues: the conflict in eastern Ukraine, for which Russia can do more than it is doing, and Belarus," he said.

When asked if Afghanistan will be touched upon, he said, "I would expect so."

Seibert added that Merkel would lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Kremlin Wall during her visit.

Aug 20 05:22

Russia ready to provide planes to evacuate Afghans to any country — Foreign Ministry

Russia is ready to provide civil planes to evacuate Afghan nationals who want to leave the country to any other state, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a briefing on Thursday.

"In the light of the situation that we now see at the airport of Kabul and the inability of some Western countries to arrange the evacuation of their diplomats, military and civilians from Afghanistan, to say nothing about Afghan nationals who cooperated with them, and their families who want to leave the country but have no possibility we would like to say the following: In order to prevent the worsening of the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, we are ready to provide the services of the Russian civil aviation to ensure the flight of any number of Afghan nationals, including women and children, to whatever foreign countries that will show an interest in receiving and accommodating them," the diplomat said.

Aug 20 05:22

Britain’s delusions that it could take on the Taliban alone are ludicrous - what are our empire-nostalgic MPs smoking?

Politicians think that the answer to 20 years of military failure in Afghanistan is, er, more war – and that we should send troops back without US support. Given we couldn’t even hold Helmand last time, this is just fantasy.

On Wednesday the British parliament reconvened in an emergency session to allow MPs to vent their spleen over the situation in Afghanistan. It was a scene of self-righteous and delusional posturing and indignation over why the UK had allowed the collapse of the Kabul government and had been too subservient in following the United States.

No, not a session of regret, remorse and acceptance that Britain has wasted 20 years in another pointless conflict, but largely one promulgating the notion that “more war” was the answer to the Afghan ‘problem’, even though two decades of fighting had achieved precisely nothing, save death and defeat. And this new war is apparently to be conducted independent of the US.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As I recall, Britain didn't do very well the last time they went into Afghanistan!

Aug 20 05:20

EU must move quickly to push back against Russian & Chinese influence in Afghanistan or face being made IRRELEVANT – FM Borrell

The EU must intervene immediately and not allow Russia and China to take control of the situation in Afghanistan and become the main players in Kabul, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs told MEPs on Thursday morning.

Josep Borrell expressed his opinion that the EU must take immediate steps in the country.

“Faced with the disturbing images of Taliban takeover, we Europeans and the international community have to ask ourselves what went wrong,” Borrell said. “What we cannot do is let the Chinese and Russians take control of the situation and be supporters of Kabul, and we become irrelevant.”

To work out the bloc’s next actions, he convened a meeting on Tuesday with the EU foreign ministers, he said, also noting that he hopes to work closely with the US to intensify diplomatic efforts.

Aug 20 05:16

Defiant Afghans Wave Flags Amid Fears Of Taliban CrackdownBy David FOX

Defiant protesters waved Afghan flags at scattered rallies Thursday to mark the country's independence day, as a UN document suggests the Taliban are rounding up people placed on a blacklist for working with the Afghan government, or US-led forces.

As the small-scale demonstrations unfolded, the son of the nation's most famous resistance fighter vowed to take up arms against the Islamist hardliners, who are back in power after being ousted in a US-led invasion nearly 20 years ago.

Aug 20 04:57

CIA Gave Afghan Warlords Viagra to Help Them 'Rape More Boys More Often'

"The reality is that America lost its war in Afghanistan more than a decade ago, roughly around the time when CIA officers began bribing aging warlords with Viagra," Tablet Mag reported. "The Americans knew all about the young boys the tribal leaders kept in their camps; because the sex drug helped Afghan elders rape more boys more often, they were beholden to America's clandestine service."

Aug 19 11:34

Taliban Blasts Western Nations for Free Speech Hypocrisy!

Aug 19 11:33

U.S. Foreign Policy Failure From A(fghanistan) To V(ietnam)

And make no mistake – every single one of the generals who commanded American forces in Afghanistan lied. They lied to Congress – and Congress knew it and did nothing about it. One could write a PhD thesis on political malfeasance simply by reviewing the testimony of these commanders before Congress, and the fawning adoration Congress bestowed upon every one of them. No hard questions. No insistence upon fact-based answers. Just a simple vindication of the lies being told, and the repeated passage of budgets which continued to fund these lies.

The frontline troops knew that their Afghan counterparts were incapable of fighting on their own. And yet, because the mission required the Americans to certify that the Afghans were “taking the lead” in the fight against the Taliban, these units were certified as combat capable, and that certification briefed to Congress. Medals were awarded. Careers were enhanced. And it was all a lie.

Aug 19 11:31

Pentagon DOES NOT KNOW how many Americans are still in Afghanistan, or how many were among the 7,000 evacuated so far

The US military has no idea how many Americans remain in Afghanistan, or even how many were among the 7,000 or so people that have been evacuated via the Kabul airport so far, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

Approximately 7,000 people have been evacuated via Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) in Kabul since August 14, Major General Hank Taylor said at a Pentagon briefing on Thursday. Neither he nor Kirby could say how many of them were Americans – or how many Americans remain in Taliban-controlled territory.

“I don’t know,” Kirby said when asked. “The State Department would be a better place to go for an estimate of how many Americans are in Afghanistan or in and around Kabul. That is not a figure that the US military would know.”

Aug 19 11:22

Israel to leverage Afghanistan exit to get US to ‘flex muscle’ against Iran

“It’s possible to leverage events there in our favor [following the US departure from Afghanistan],” a former senior Israeli intelligence source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “I think that the shock experienced by Biden and his people, the harsh public reaction in the US and in the international media could have the opposite effect now, similar to a pendulum effect. The humiliating surrender to the Taliban could actually lead Biden to toughen up and decide to flex US muscle toward Iran, given the threat it poses to world peace and not just to the lives of local citizens.”

Aug 19 10:49

Stranded Americans are told to make their OWN way to Kabul airport past Taliban check points but to stay home 'if they don't think it's safe' as shambolic evacuation of at least 11,000 US citizens continues

The State Department is refusing to transport Americans stranded in Kabul to the airport and instead is telling them to make their own way there, past the Taliban - unless they think it's 'unsafe' to do so.

There are thousands of US citizens stranded in Afghanistan awaiting evacuation flights home. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki put the number at at least 11,000 on Tuesday afternoon but others say it may be as high as 40,000.

The number includes American journalists, contractors, NGO workers, diplomats and government staff who remain in Kabul, which the Taliban took control of on Sunday.

There is now a frantic rush to get everyone out, along with 22,000 Afghan Special Interest Visa applicants that the US says it will help, and countless more Afghans who are hoping desperately to be put on a flight to anywhere.

Aug 19 10:44

AP FACT CHECK: Biden skirts US failures in Afghan mayhem

President Joe Biden ignored his own administration's failures Monday when he tried to explain why desperate civilians in Afghanistan's capital have been left stranded and in danger from the Taliban because of the swift U.S. departure.

While asserting “the buck stops with me,” Biden blamed Afghans in large measure for the chaotic evacuation at Kabul's airport and conceded no missteps.

Aug 19 10:43

US waited too long to withdraw from Afghanistan

There was no good way for the United States to exit the failed war in Afghanistan.

President Joe Biden inherited a strategically untenable position: a looming deadline for withdrawal, a deal the Taliban had not adhered to and too few U.S. troops on the ground to hold back Taliban advances. The only choices were to escalate, sending in thousands more U.S. troops to fight the Taliban, or complete the withdrawal.

Aug 19 10:32

UK paratroopers are rescuing trapped British civilians…

General Mark Milley says he’s still ‘working through’ how to get stranded Americans to the airport

Lloyd Austin — We can’t do it

Clarissa Ward — No way in hell Americans can get to the airport

Aug 19 10:31

Taliban official says they will soon declare the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan from the presidential palace in Kabul

Taliban official says they will soon declare the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan from the presidential palace in Kabul.

Aug 19 10:28

It’s raining gunfire outside Kabul Airport… How could any American possibly get through this gauntlet…

An Afghan man sent me this video which he said was raked outside Kabul airport today. How are Americans and Afghans supposed to get through this?

Aug 19 09:54

Biden Says He Doesn’t Know How Afghanistan Withdrawal Could Have Been Handled Better

As interviewer George Stephanopoulos begins to get into how the U.S. withdrew from Afghanistan, Biden said that he doesn’t think the exit from Afghanistan could have been handled better, and “the idea that somehow, there’s a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don’t know how that happens.”

Stephanopoulos then asked the president, “So, you don’t think this could have been handled — this exit could have been handled better in any way, no mistakes?”

Biden replied, “No. I don’t think it could have been handled in a way that — we’re going to go back in hindsight and look — but the idea that somehow, there’s a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don’t know how that happens.”

“I don’t know how that happened,” Biden replied.

Aug 19 09:21

Spot the VP: Camera-shy Kamala Harris covers her face as she is finally seen at Joe Biden’s side after six days of the Afghan chaos she signed off on

President Joe Biden met with top military and security officials at the White House Wednesday amid the unfolding chaos in Afghanistan – as he prepared to try to explain the situation to the American people once again in a sit-down interview.

The president returned to the White House Tuesday evening, cutting short a trip to Camp David amid the rush to evacuate Americans and foreign nationals from the airport in Kabul.

The White House blasted out a photo image of the meeting Wednesday afternoon, in the latest public demonstration that Biden was in command, following days of televised images on television that the White House called 'heartbreaking.'

Aug 19 09:19

Former CIA analyst contradicts MSNBC hosts to slam 'bold-faced lie' in Biden's Afghanistan speech

Former CIA analyst Matt Zeller slammed President Joe Biden's speech on the Afghanistan crisis, snapping back at MSNBC's Brian Williams for supporting the president's remarks on Monday.

After Biden addressed the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan following the planned U.S. troop withdrawal from the country in a speech from the White House on Monday, media pundits lauded the president's remarks, with Williams praising the speech. Zeller disputed Williams's interpretation, particularly his assertion that Biden "owned the fact that, as he put it, the buck stops with him."

"I hope he gets to own their deaths, too," Zeller told Williams and Nicolle Wallace on Deadline: White House Monday night.

Aug 19 09:18

The Taliban special forces: Heavily armed fighters with American equipment and commando-style bullet proof vests and 'night vision goggles'

Reports of a Taliban special forces unit patrolling Kabul have begun to emerge from Afghanistan, shattering the stereotypical image held by many of the militant group.

Rather than the typical Salwar Kameez and AK-47 slung over the shoulder that has become synonymous with farmer-turned-terrorist Taliban fighters, the 'Badri 313' battalion forces are an altogether different outfit.

The unit, previously unveiled by the Taliban in promotional material, are reportedly highly trained and equipped with state-of-the-art military equipment.

Aug 19 09:18

Trump Defense Secretary Mark Esper claims he wanted to keep 4,500 troops in Afghanistan and slow down the withdrawal until the Taliban 'met the demands of the 2020 peace deal'

Former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper laid blame for the coup in Afghanistan on both President Biden and his former boss, President Trump.

Esper said that withdrawing from Afghanistan was the 'right policy objective' but the US should have compelled the Taliban to uphold its side of the peace agreement before leaving.

'Just because negotiations began under the Trump administration does not ignore the fact that President Biden owns the situation implementation of his withdrawal,' Esper told CNN on Tuesday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It amazes me how so many top officials have yet to understand that the US doesn't call the shots in Afghanistan any more.

Aug 19 09:17

'That Doesn't Answer The Question': Pentagon Chiefs Pressed On Evacuation Plan From Afghanistan

Aug 19 07:49

CRIMINAL: Biden’s State Dept CANCELLED A Trump Crisis Program That Would Help Evacuate Americans From Afghanistan BEFORE They Let The Taliban Take Over

It turns out that Biden’s State Department suspended a Trump-launched program for evacuating Americans from disaster zones, such as Afghanistan. It was cancelled just months before they pulled out of Afghanistan and allowed the Taliban to take over, leaving thousands of Americans stranded and facing death.

Just months before the fall of Kabul, Joe Biden’s State Department moved to discontinue a crucial State Department program geared at ensuring rapid and secure evacuations of Americans out of crisis zones.

Anthony Blinken’s State Department stopped the “Contingency and Crisis Response Bureau” early this year, which was supposed to provide medical, diplomatic, and logistical support for Americans abroad. The notification was signed only a few months before the Taliban took control of Afghanistan.

Aug 19 07:40

Obama is architect of Afghanistan mess, says former US special ops general

Throughout the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle and the Taliban's rapid takeover, one person has been strangely silent: former President Barack Obama.

Former Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc, who spent nearly six years as special operations commander in Afghanistan, believes the onetime leader of the free world has not commented because he doesn't want blowback for the catastrophic blunder he helped create.

Aug 19 07:23

State Dept. leak shows Biden ignored safer exit plan

Aug 19 07:23

Sources: British And US Troops At Odds In Afghanistan As UK Engages Rescue Missions

Reports have surfaced that British and American forces are unhappy with each other at Kabul airport, as UK Military commanders are overseeing rescue missions into the city itself, while US commanders are sitting tight, leaving US nationals to fend for themselves.

Thousands of Americans trapped in the city were again advised by the US embassy that it cannot protect them if they attempt to get to the airport, and even if they make it, they might not be able to get on a plane out of there:

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