World

Who wins the Afghanistan Dumbest Take Award?

18 August 2021

7:06 AM

18 August 2021

7:06 AM

It’s a national disgrace, a catastrophe nearly two decades in the making. In a just society, everyone involved would be severely punished, but in the fallen state of modern America there will be no consequences, only more humiliation.

Cockburn refers, of course, to Twitter, that monstrous invention where America’s politicians, journalists, ‘experts’, and ordinary people compete with one another to see who can be the most profoundly pathetic, unimpressive, and cringeworthy.

Naturally, the ongoing debacle in Afghanistan allowed every player to put in their best performance. Some of the silliest efforts came from former members of the Trump administration, who instantly forgot all about their five years attacking ‘forever wars’ to clarify that, actually, Trump would have never allowed US troops to come home.

The Taliban are butchers. We demanded a set of conditions and made clear the costs we would impose if they failed to deliver. They haven’t. The deterrence we achieved held during our time. This administration has failed. https://t.co/pdG2Mneh5Y

— Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) August 16, 2021

Angry that his former officials were misrepresenting his presidency, Donald Trump quickly put out a press release denouncing th- just kidding! Trump put out a lame statement making it clear that all his boasts about leaving Afghanistan were fake and he’d have folded under media pressure if he were in Biden’s shoes.

INBOX – Trump statement on the situation unfolding in Kabul. pic.twitter.com/1E0FHRdnfL

— Disclose.tv 🚨(@disclosetv) August 14, 2021


Not every Republican was so focused on the end of the Afghan forever war. Congressman Mike Waltz of Florida instead worried that the Afghan withdrawal might indicate Biden’s lack of willingness to get involved in new wars in countries like Ukraine.

If I were in Taiwan or Ukraine right now watching all this unfold, I would be terrified knowing this is how the United States will react under this administration.

— Rep. Mike Waltz (@michaelgwaltz) August 15, 2021

Don’t worry, Cockburn isn’t just going to pick on Republicans. They are the most enthusiastic amnesiacs pushing for a longer war, but the dumbest takes came from elsewhere.

In a worrying sign of how thoroughly American brains have been poisoned by comic book films, one ordinary Twitter user suggested that the best way to stop the Taliban would be to create a Girl Power Death Squad and send them off to be horribly killed in the name of feminism.

@DLoesch am wondering what you think of an effort to arm women in Afghanistan? It seems like women led militias may be one of the only ways to solve that mess between the Taliban and the corrupt government over there.

— Jenn Johnson (@JennJoh89700897) August 14, 2021

Cockburn will refrain from further bullying members of the general public, though. They aren’t paid to express their thoughts. The same emphatically can not be said for everyone else.

Of course, in a country as consumed with identity politics poison as the United States, such thoughts managed to take over the Afghanistan discourse too. Professional white woman berater (seriously, look it up) Saira Rao argued that it was hypocritical for white people to dislike Islamic terror while… eating food, apparently.

It is wild watching white Americans freak out about “Muslim terrorists” while they buy hot dogs and ice cream for white terrorists here (themselves).

— saira rao (@sairasameerarao) August 16, 2021

But the Dumbest Take Award, coveted by all but only available to one, must go to The Nation’s justice correspondent, MSNBC talking head, and… (does Cockburn really have to say it? Yes? Fine, then)… Harvard Law School graduate Elie Mystal. In a year where the powers that be have injected race into everything, and the more repugnantly done the better, Mystal somehow one-upped the entire crowd.

I’m loving how white journalist are getting all up in the administration’s face over Afghanistan but Black people voting in America doesn’t rate as a humanitarian crisis somehow.

— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) August 16, 2021

Actually, Cockburn takes it back. Mystal’s tweet is just narcissistic and stupid, the feeble product of a feeble mind. The worst tweet – the most appalling combination of cluelessness, duplicity, and ideological brain rot – goes to Bill Kristol. Even as all Afghanistan fell without a shot, Kristol dreamed of a magical ‘surge’ that would fix everything and make Afghanistan safe for gender studies.

Is it too late to salvage Afghanistan? John Allen doesn’t seem to think so. And people thought it was too late to turn things around in Iraq in Nov. 2006, but Bush and Petraeus and Odierno and Crocker didn’t agree. The Iraq surge worked. Could an analogous effort in Afghanistan?

— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) August 13, 2021

Kristol must hope that nobody remembers the first Iraq-style surge in Afghanistan, the one that involved 100,000 troops and the most monumental waste of money in American history. But given that Kristol practically lives on Twitter, can you blame him for expecting the public to be that clueless?

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