Biden Plans Afghanistan Train Wreck

By Doug Bandow

The seemingly eternal war in Afghanistan continues. American forces have been on station for nearly 20 years, longer than the Mexican-American War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, and Korean War combined.

Some $2 trillion have been spent. More than 6,000 U.S. service members and contractors have died, along with roughly 1,100 allied soldiers. Many more have been wounded, some suffering crippling injuries. Absent a speedy exit, those numbers will continue upward.

The U.S. is supposed to leave Afghanistan on May 1, the timetable agreed to by the Taliban. However, at his recent press conference President Joe Biden essentially admitted that American forces won’t be leaving then. He expressed hope that they would not be there next year.

Even if there was trust between Washington and the Taliban, that sentiment probably would not suffice. The American military has spent nearly two decades seeking to end the insurgents’ bid for power. Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump both increased the number of American personnel in Afghanistan before reducing them.

Moreover, Biden, despite joining his predecessor in criticizing “endless wars,” never committed to implementing the peace accord. Worse, the president is under significant pressure from the Pentagon, hawkish establishment media, mostly interventionist think-tank paladins, and a bipartisan war lobby, which heretofore have dominated Afghan policy. Typical was the Afghanistan Study Group—established by Congress and including former political and military figures who had backed and mismanaged the war—which came to the unsurprising conclusion that U.S. forces should stay. Never mind two decades of failure, even after America put in nearly 100,000 troops, and (largely European) allies added another 40,000. Acknowledging error was simply beyond members’ comprehension.

The best that co-chair Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and one of many architects of the present imbroglio, could offer was: “If we take advantage of the opportunity we have right now then there is at least a prospect of achieving that end state [a U.S.-friendly outcome] even as we recognize how difficult it will be.” That is supposed to be a serious argument for violating the withdrawal plan, putting troops at risk, and sticking around months or years more, with reinforcements likely necessary? Afghanistan is truly an endless war.

Of course, if Biden folds this time, similar claims will be advanced again whenever the possibility of withdrawal looms. Indeed, if negotiations between the Kabul government and Taliban continue to go badly, Biden will face pressure to do more militarily to strengthen Afghan forces. The Ghani government would have an incentive to hinder progress to justify a continued and even expanded American presence. Countries in the region also would push harder for delay, preferring that the U.S. continue to relieve them of responsibility for confronting the conflict.

Most of those advocating America’s forever role in Afghanistan assume that relative peace would continue. Thankfully, no American lives were lost over the last year, but that reflected the Taliban’s assumption that the U.S. was leaving. If the Pentagon keeps several thousand troops …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Gregg Jarrett: Groundwork laid for excessive use of force in Day 3 of Chauvin trial

By Gregg Jarrett Jurors in a Minneapolis courtroom on Wednesday were shown new videotape of George Floyd as prosecutors set the stage to argue that former police officer Derek Chauvin used excessive and unjustified force resulting in Floyd’s death. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Gov. Brian Kemp: Georgia’s election law – Ignore Dems’ false attacks. Here are the facts about bill I signed

By Brian Kemp In their blatant assault on local election systems across the country, Democrats and the mainstream media are spreading lies and misinformation about Georgia’s Election Integrity Act that I recently signed into law. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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How the WWE Won and Lost its Dominance

By Ben Sixsmith

For decades, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., and its chairman Vince McMahon have dominated professional wrestling. For most casual fans, their business is the business. The company and the pursuit can seem inextricable.

It was not always like this. Even in the 1980s, various wrestling “territories” guarded their flags in different regions: World Class Championship Wrestling in Dallas, Jim Crockett Promotions in Charlotte, and the American Wrestling Association in Minneapolis among them. Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Federation, which he had acquired from his father, was one of many.

McMahon drove these regional promotions out of business with hearty enthusiasm. “In the old days, there were wrestling fiefdoms all over the country, each with its own little lord in charge,” he said later, “I, of course, had no allegiance to those little lords.” McMahon poached their best talent, including his first megastar Hulk Hogan, and had his programming syndicated across the United States. Regional promotions collapsed faster than video rental stores in the 2000s.

There was one man he could not outspend. Ted Turner, the genteel tycoon who had founded CNN, had decided to back World Championship Wrestling, which had risen from the ashes of Jim Crockett Promotions. Led by its young, ambitious executive producer, Eric Bischoff, and starring McMahon’s one-time golden boys Hogan, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash, WCW rivalled and surpassed the WWF in popularity. The two promotions competed throughout what became known as the “Attitude Era.”

But the boundless charisma of WWF stars like Stone Cold Steve Austin, Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson and McMahon himself as his villainous alter-ego “Vince McMahon” helped to drown their rivals in the choppy waters of the AOL Time Warner Merger (Time Warner having previously merged with Turner Broadcasting System). With the collapse of WCW, and the smaller, edgier promotion Extreme Championship Wrestling, the WWE, as it was renamed after legal disputes with the World Wildlife Fund, stood astride the world of professional wrestling and McMahon became the king he had always dreamed of being. There it has remained, towering above far smaller companies, whose most talented, popular performers it has swept away to fill the ranks of their developmental brands, as well as NXT and NXT UK.

This is a triumph of a kind. But it has also been a weakness. Competition had powered McMahon’s creativity and ambition. As the years have passed, however, market dominance has blunted them. The WWE has had successes: Its streaming service was a far-sighted move as the pay-per-view market slid towards oblivion; fans have appreciated the athletic development of its women’s roster, which once featured little more than “bra and panties” matches.

Still, most fans have also noticed a creative slump. I’m not ventriloquizing here. The audience for the WWE’s flagship programs hit record lows last year, with Monday Night Raw plumbing its deepest depths since the show began. Moreover, the WWE audience is aging, experiencing especially severe declines among its younger viewers.

Some of this is natural. The wrestling craze of the ’90s was bound to peak …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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Gregg Jarrett: Tears, emotion, and incriminating testimony in Day 2 of Chauvin trial

By Gregg Jarrett ‘I was sad and kinda mad,’ said the tiny voice. Those simple but powerful words were spoken by a 9-year-old girl who witnessed a police officer kneel on the neck of George Floyd for more than 9 horrifying minutes on the day he died. It came during highly emotional testimony on the second day of the murder and manslaughter trial of Derek Chauvin. …read more

Via:: Fox Opines

      

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Dr. Marc Siegel: COVID and your privacy – freedom from pandemic mustn’t mean a loss of our essential liberties

By Marc Siegel Simple home tests to help you identify COVID along with serological tests to show immunity and proof of vaccine will all help us manage our exit from the pandemic and back in the direction of normal life. …read more

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Virginia’s Religious Left

By Arthur Bloom

❤✊

— Richmond Community Bail Fund (@RVABailFund)

Last week it was announced that Jemar Tisby, one of the biggest names in progressive evangelicalism, was joining Ibram Kendi’s Antiracism Center at Boston University. Many Protestant churches took up reading Tisby’s books in the last couple of years to make sense of the nation’s racial reckoning, and while political conservatives might see in this a worrying Christian capitulation to left-wing cultural politics, the opposite is more likely: a theological gloss on them.

The spread of progressive evangelicalism is one of the most important developments in the American religious landscape today. The denominations where it’s proving most contentious are just to the right of the mainlines, since the mainlines have already been suborned for 80 years. But in the Southern Baptist Convention, ACNA, and the PCA, things are heating up. Within each of them there’s a new generation of clergy and laypeople, often supported by the big progressive foundations, who throw around the phrase “prophetic witness” a lot, though unlike the Old Testament prophets, they are very much in line with the spirit of the age.

These new progressive theologians have made their mark on Virginia especially, and many emanate from our titular university, whose endowment used to be managed by the hedge funder who bought off the state legislature for Warren Buffett in the name of “environmental justice.” The conquest of Virginia since the collapse of the state’s Republican Party has been so complete that it seems like the more substantial battles of our coming Third Reconstruction will take place elsewhere, in Georgia or maybe Texas, but our new UVA clerisy is here to make sense of things for us.

Pastor Greg Thompson, for instance, received his Ph.D. there, and is now the foremost defender of critical race theory in the PCA. Late last year Thompson panned Rod Dreher’s latest book, accusing him of having a “Cold War imagination” like Thompson did as a kid. The review begins with Thompson exploring a bomb shelter as a kid, illustrating the all-encompassing paranoia of a youth spent in the shadow of armageddon. The only problem is it takes place in 1985, the year Gorbachev came to power and the danger of nuclear war was fairly small.

There’s a lesson here, just not the one Thompson thinks. The left’s sense of racial strife today is analogous to someone hiding underground from a Soviet first strike as people are taking sledgehammers to the Berlin Wall. Fourty-four percent of liberals say more than a thousand unarmed black people are killed by police every year. They overestimate the problem by two orders of magnitude. But we follow the scripts that come down to us, and in the case of left-leaning evangelicals, it’s the script of the civil rights movement.

One difference between them and the actual civil rights movement is that leaders back then had a sense that serious damage could be done if their cause were seen to be linked with more radical, revolutionary ones like …read more

Via:: American Conservative

      

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