August 31, 2021

"No, the Taliban did not seize $83 billion of U.S. weapons."

Says WaPo Fact Checker Glenn Kessler, reacting to this statement by Donald Trump: "ALL EQUIPMENT should be demanded to be immediately returned to the United States, and that includes every penny of the $85 billion dollars in cost." 

Trump rounds the number up from $83 billion, but we've all heard that number, so why does Kessler give Trump 3 Pinocchios for that? I note that Trump calls that the "cost," and it might be a little ambiguous. "Cost" means what we paid, perhaps for everything. It's not the current resale value of whatever physical objects we left behind.

Indeed, Kessler says that the number comes from the report to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, and it refers to "all the money spent to train, equip and house the Afghan military and police" — spent over the entire 20 years of the war. We also spent another $36 billion on the Afghan government that melted into nothing. That's a statement of the cost. 

If you break out the cost of the equipment alone, it's something like $24 billion. Much of it was spent on vehicles — 76,000 of them — but that's over the entire period, so many of these are worn out (or destroyed). There were 211 aircraft, but only 167 are still usable (according to the Special Inspector).

But Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., head of U.S. Central Command, said that before leaving Kabul airport on Aug. 30, the military “demilitarized” 70 MRAPs, 27 Humvees and 73 aircraft. “Those aircraft will never fly again,” he said. “They’ll never be able to be operated by anyone.” (Demilitarized is a term that means damaging in place, sometimes with explosives.) 

[Anthony H. Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies said] “In rough terms... if the [Afghan National Defense and Security Forces] could not sustain it without foreign contractors, the Taliban will have very serious problems in operating it. That covers most aircraft and many electronics and heavier weapons... The fact that Taliban fighters or cells of fighters get U.S. equipment does not mean it is pooled or shared. Factionalism and hoarding are the rule in Afghanistan, not the exception.”

All of that relates to what the equipment is worth to the Taliban, so it's not an assessment of "cost."  Kessler doesn't acknowledge that he slips from Trump's word, "cost," to the other concept, "value":

The value of these assets is unclear, but if the Taliban is unable to obtain spare parts, it may not be able to maintain them. But the value of the equipment is not more than $80 billion.... The equipment portion of that total is about $24 billion — certainly not small change — but the actual value of the equipment in the Taliban’s hands is probably much less than even that amount.

And then he gives 3 Pinocchios!

But the focus on Trump is a distraction. How much useful equipment did we leave behind? That matters. And so does all the money we spent on the entire war and on the equipment that might have been worth more than the cost of taking it with us as we rushed off. 

We should see all of the facts and judge them accurately, regardless of how Trump puts it. I understand wanting to stop Trump and others from exaggerating for political purposes, but that desire itself is political, and aggressive moves like switching from "cost" to "value" undermine trust in the would-be fact-checkers. 

85 comments:

Sebastian said...

"There were 211 aircraft , but only 167 are still usable."

Well, OK then. No prob.

"[Anthony H. Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies said]"

You mean, one of those "experts" who guided our wonderful Afghanistan policy all along?

"could not sustain it without foreign contractors, the Taliban will have very serious problems in operating it. That covers most aircraft and many electronics and heavier weapons"

They could sell it, or ask Pakistan to help.

"The equipment portion of that total is about $24 billion — certainly not small change — but the actual value of the equipment in the Taliban’s hands is probably much less than even that amount."

Only $24B. OK, then. No prob.

"aggressive moves like switching from "cost" to "value" undermine trust in the would-be fact-checkers"

What "trust"?

Enigma said...

AllSides.com has introduced a fact check bias chart:

https://www.allsides.com/media-bias/fact-check-bias-chart

There's only one "fact check" organization rated to be on the political right, several in the center, several leaning left, and one on the left.

Fact checking came out of the left/progressive strategies to justify change. Many seem motivated to rake muck, bust myths, or reveal establishment issues -- inherently left goals and biases generate such activities. Conservatives seemingly feel they know the facts and don't need to check them because they focus on stability over change.

Jeff Weimer said...

Glenn Kessler seems to only have the urge to downplay hyperbole and exaggeration when it's people he doesn't like. He was perfectly willing to engage in it himself over CRT and Rufo recently before getting publicly embarrassed about it. He's useless.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

Excellent.

Jess said...

If the equipment left costs $25, and can kill a U.S. citizen, the error demands someone get an article 15 at the least. Whether it's 80 billion, or 85 billion, is arguing semantics and ignoring the real problem.

TreeJoe said...

Is this the classic Trump-ist move of making an outrageous overblown claim so that people opposite you fact check it and, by that move, bring more attention and validity to the matter?

I still don't understand the mass leave-behind of equipment. There's fuck-ups like Bagram, bad positioning as-if the Taliban can order us around, even a rushed evacuation as the country fell more quickly then expected.

But the equipment leave-behind has me scratching my head. This was a PLANNED withdrawal with the explicit knowledge that the country would LIKELY FALL TO YOUR 20 YEAR ENEMY WITHIN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME. That was publicly stated, albeit it was expected to be years or months not days.

So...what is this?

I have to say: A spontaneous riot where not a single lawmaker is hurt and the only death is a rioter shot under spurious circumstances....gets 26,000 troops brought in and a panel and non-stop news.

A country-level fuck-up of epic proportions of a planned withdrawal gets no one fired and no mass calls with fixing the military issues involved....?

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

Excellent.

typingtalker said...

A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money.
-- Everett Dirksen

A man with money is no match against a man on a mission
-- Doyle Brunson

BADuBois said...

For the next several months, the MSM will do their best to "minimize, minimize, and ignore" every bit of horrific news coming out of Afghanistan.

Job one: protect Joe!

rehajm said...

I'll cut Kessler a break as he's is a typical fumbling innumerate, especially when it comes to numbers and economics.

The arguments are a distraction to the real damage caused by leaving all that equipment behind. We gave them our best stuff- these weren't our old hand me downs. Taliban now has night vision and secure communications. They can dress and look just like our military. The Chinese, Russians, and anyone else can now reverse engineer our latest avionics and on board weapons systems, and scan our stealth equipment to reprogram their own weapons to target us...

rehajm said...

...and Kessler dangerously underestimates their ability to utilize what we gave them. There's is an army accustomed to functioning on a tight budget and will get more miles out of what they have than our throw away military ever could...

damianlewis719 said...

"undermine trust in the would-be fact-checkers", now that's funny.

tired dog said...

Expecting KBR and the usual 'contractors' will be sending bids for maintenance over to Taliban hq.

SteveM said...

Your concluding statement “undermine trust in the would-be fact-checkers” wrongly presumes that there is still trust in would-be fact checkers.

Quaestor said...

Fact-checkers are nothing more than propagandists.

Conrad said...

Regardless of the price tag, it's scandalous that they left any usable military equipment in enemy hands. Isn't that the literal definition of treason, to give "aid and comfort to the enemy"?

Is there any good reason they could not at least have flown all of the usable aircraft out of the country ahead of the withdrawal?

And this argument that the pullout was a big success because they were able to evacuate over
100k people, ignoring the many Americans they left behind, is like the Secret Service claiming the Dallas trip was a big success because they were able to get all of their agents plus Jackie Kennedy safely back to Washington.

AMDG said...

It will be interesting to see how many Pinocchios Kessler gives Biden for promising not to abandon Americans in Afghanistan.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

That is the way the game is played these days. Seize on an exaggerated number or grammatical error or whatever imperfection so as to ignore the fundamental truth behind the statement. The people who fall for this clumsy slight of hand are the same people who consider themselves the enlightened.

Temujin said...

Glenn Kessler is a putz. Why there are even jobs called 'fact checker' will someday be a laugh for future generations. Sometimes I just have to ask these partisans: What are you defending here?

There is no defense for this list:

2,000 Armored Vehicles Including Humvees and MRAP’s
-75,989 Total Vehicles: FMTV, M35, Ford Rangers, Ford F350, Ford Vans, Toyota Pickups, Armored Security Vehicles etc
-45 UH-60 Blachhawk Helicopters
-50 MD530G Scout Attack Choppers
-ScanEagle Military Drones
-30 Military Version Cessnas
-4 C-130’s
-29 Brazilian made A-29 Super Tocano Ground Attack Aircraft
208+ Aircraft Total
-At least 600,000+ Small arms M16, M249 SAWs, M24 Sniper Systems, 50 Calibers, 1,394 M203 Grenade Launchers, M134 Mini Gun, 20mm Gatling Guns and Ammunition
-61,000 M203 Rounds
-20,040 Grenades
-Howitzers
-Mortars +1,000’s of Rounds
-162,000 pieces of Encrypted Military Comunications Gear
-16,000+ Night Vision Goggles
-Newest Technology Night Vision Scopes
-Thermal Scopes and Thermal Mono Googles
-10,000 2.75 inch Air to Ground Rockets
-Recconaissance Equipment (ISR)
-Laser Aiming Units
-Explosives Ordnance C-4, Semtex, Detonators, Shaped Charges, Thermite, Incendiaries, AP/API/APIT
-2,520 Bombs
-Administration Encrypted Cell Phones and Laptops all operational
-Pallets with Millions of Dollars in US Currency
-Millions of Rounds of Ammunition including but not limited to 20,150,600 rounds of 7.62mm, 9,000,000 rounds of 50.caliber
-Large Stockpile of Plate Carriers and Body Armor
-US Military HIIDE, for Handheld Interagency Identity Detection Equipment Biometrics
-Lots of Heavy Equipment Including Bull Dozers, Backhoes, Dump Trucks, Excavators

It's a ridiculous waste, even if we made 'some' of it unusable for military purposes. I'm sure the various groups there will be fighting over it. And there will be a furious black market for used American military goods. But many will be used against us at a later date.

Remember Eric Holder? The AG under Barack Obama who famously sent loads of weapons to the Mexican cartels with creative notion that it was a way to somehow boost gun control talk here in America? What is it with these Democratic administrations sending and/or leaving weapons to later kill Americans? These people who clamor for gun control seem to have no idea how to actually control the ones they have themselves.

Iman said...

Democracy Dies in Distracting Bullshit.

BillieBob Thorton said...

He's a journalist not an economist. Give the poor guy a break. Distinguishing between value, price an cost would involve learning all that boring economic stuff and that's way too much for a busy journalist.

Mike Sylwester said...

I appreciate Kessler's clarification of this issue.

Another clarification is that much of the equipment no longer was American equipment, because we had given it to the Afghanistan government.

Big Mike said...

Since Kessler automatically assigns 3 Pinocchios to anything Trump says, just because Trump said it, ergo the $83 billion figure must be pretty much correct. Kessler can kvetch over whether all of the aircraft are currently flyable, but Afghanistan’s biggest cash crop is opium poppies so a reasonable person would not expect the Taliban to have much trouble getting tne hard currency to buy the necessary spare parts.

I expect the cost of black market fully automatic M4 assault rifles to come way down — unless the Taliban upgrades from their AKs, which have seen heavy use over the years.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Trump did not make up that number. It’s been widely reported as both $83B and $82B by domestic and foreign press. Huge graphic in the Times of London yesterday catalogued the equipment using that figure (link to it in today’s PowerLine Blog below, requires cut and paste). Funny how WaPo Factobscurer Kessler picks Trump to cite. Of course Trump has been so much more reliable in seeing Joe clearly than the Media so Glenn might be working through some envy of Trump here.

But as a great SOS once said WHAT DIFFERENCE AT THIS POINT DOES IT MAKE if we wasted $30B or $90B on gear WE FREAKING LEFT FOR NO GOOD REASON? Is the $700 cost of our abandoned embassy in dispute Kessler? Isn’t the crux of it that we should not be arming Taliban/ISIS/Al Queda at ALL!!

https://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2021/08/no-blinken-way.php

Big Mike said...

It will be interesting to see how many Pinocchios Kessler gives Biden for promising not to abandon Americans in Afghanistan.

@AMDG, Do. Not. Hold. Your. Breath.

Jeff Weimer said...

Kessler only fact checks things that don't confirm his priors, is said by people he doesn't like, or both.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Are we allowed to say ABANDONED yet?

Joe Smith said...

A billion here, a billion there...

'All of that relates to what the equipment is worth to the Taliban...'

It's priceless to them and others.

We left advanced technology like night vision goggles, bullet-proof vests, and encrypted communications...things they wouldn't have invented themselves for another thousand years.

It's also what the Chinese will love tearing apart in a lab to reverse engineer.

Big Mike said...

Since nearly all of the abandoned equipment was located in fewer than ten arms depots (I have read the number seven in several articles, which probably did not include Bagram), and since we know (or should know, if we had any competent general officers) the coordinates of those depots down to one or two meters, why weren’t a couple B-52s tasked with blasting the depots and their contents into little bitty pieces?

Koot Katmandu said...

Funny how they are still fact checking Trump and leaving Biden mostly alone. Tells you all you need to know about our so called free press.

Lurker21 said...

Kessler went after Tim Scott's rags to riches story pointing out that Scott's great-great grandfather owned a lot of land. Amateur fact checkers pointed out that Kessler's own family ran Royal Dutch Shell (now Shell Oil), so it was hardly for him to point out that a Black farmer in South Carolina owned more than a few acres over a century ago. They also dug up a photo of one of the Kesslers giving a Nazi salute. Kessler responded that that wasn't his grandfather. He didn't say that it was his great-uncle.

Media fact checkers are forever finding a kernel of truth in the things politicians they agree with say and failing to find larger shares of truth in things politicians they don't like say. To become a fact checker is to rest secure in the belief that your own grasp of the facts will never be successfully challenged. You get the job because you don't criticize your own assumptions and prejudices.

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

Q: When will the Joint Chiefs of Staff resign for utter incompetence? Same for Lloyd Austin, the SecDef.

A: Never. They have no shame. They'll probably award each other a new medal for the Evacuation of Afghanistan. It'll be the biggest, baddest metal on their uniforms.

Kay said...

It seems like the equipment was left behind on purpose to give us an excuse to invade again in the future.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Trump said there were 40,000 U.S. citizens left in Afghanistan, and there were only around 6,000 (most of whom had already left when he made that statement). Charitably, Trump’s number was 15% truth and 85% bullshit. Applying the same percentage, that would reduce the $85 billion to $13 billion.

As to what comes next, Trump’s agreement with the Taliban promised, “The United States will seek economic cooperation for reconstruction.” I think we’ll see oil money from the Sunni-run countries on the Persian Gulf finance reconstruction. Europe will probably also chip in. The question is, will we?

I suppose our assistance could come in the form of offering to buy back the weapons surrendered to the Taliban by the Afghan National Army. But the Sunnis may prefer to have those weapons sitting next to Iran.

Breezy said...

I think the equipment belonged to the Afghan National Army, and was mentioned in Biden’s earlier statement about how the Taliban wouldn’t be able to take over within a few months or years because the ANA was so big (300k) and so well-equipped. When the ANA simply switched sides when we left, we had no way to grab it all up. Our leaders completely mis-read the whole landscape.

rcocean said...

SO, it was only $24 Billion. Well, that's OK then.

Breezy said...

I would be cautious about aggressive actions against Taliban like bombing all the equipment when we still depended on them to help get people evacuated. Not that that was a great strategy either, but it was what it was.

JPS said...

Gosh, I feel better.

Here's a fact: Glenn Kessler has never been on lockdown for a misplaced pair of NODs.

Critter said...

Kessler thinks he is brilliant by switching from cost basis to a concept of value but he only shows his ignorance, He vastly underestimates the value of the equipment. Among the equipment is some of the most sophisticated technology in military use. That’s why it is of such value in giving it to the Chinese to reverse engineer it. After all, isn’t that the sole purpose of the billions and billions of Chinese patent theft in America? So “cost” is a lowball estimate of the value of the knowledge and expertise, R&D, manufacturing skill, and field testing behind the latest technology in military use. Kessler should point out that Trump is using a low end estimate. But, of course, that is against Kessler’s fact check rules. He is a buffoon, sort of a court jester for the left. Not a serious person.

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

Trump didn't factor in depreciation.

Impeach!

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

Fact checkers exist to protect democrats and shit all over republicans.

Owen said...

Temujin: thanks for the reminder of how Eric "Bagman" Holder helped to engineer Obama's "Fast and Furious" gun-running operation. Good times, good times.

Kessler is being deliberately obtuse about the abandoned gear. And no dollar amount can begin to signify what this has done to our morale and prestige, nor how badly it erodes whatever technological edge we might still have had over our many, many adversaries. We have handed them the keys to the candy store: not just the gear now exposed to reverse engineering, but the shop manuals that I imagine are kept in the depots and maintenance facilities.

The Taliban are already making good use of the helicopters, flying a Blackhawk low over Kabul with a hanged man dangling under it. An aerial billboard for the new regime.

MikeD said...

Late to this "party" but, seems the Tali were able to quickly figure out the operation of our helicopters, all so they could hang people from them.

Chuck said...

There's an even more basic question, apart from the tally of the cost of all of the military hardware; some of the commenters have alluded to it already.

That is, why "leave" any of it? Why allow the Taliban to take any U.S. weaponry?

And the answer is simple; it was entrusted to the Afghan Army that we had equipped and train in the hope that they would maintain their country. But that didn't happen. Some were surprised by the speed and thoroughness of the collapse.

What I think, is that the way to absolutely guarantee the complete and immediate collapse of those forces would have been to take away all of their U.S. weaponry after Trump's February 2020 withdrawal plan.

I very much wish that Trump had taken away all of the Afghans' U.S. weapons immediately. Their Army would have collapsed immediately, and the mess would rightly be on Trump.

Yinzer said...

Ann, you have more integrity than my local rag, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which printed Kessler's article but disable comments!

Greg The Class Traitor said...

We should see all of the facts and judge them accurately, regardless of how Trump puts it. I understand wanting to stop Trump and others from exaggerating for political purposes, but that desire itself is political, and aggressive moves like switching from "cost" to "value" undermine trust in the would-be fact-checkers.

Well, no, because no one actually trusts the "fact checkers."

I had an argument about "fact checkers" with a friend. I said "give me your two or three best fact checkers, and I'll show you why I don't trust them."

She declined to provide any, because in her heart of hearts even she knows they're lying sacks of garbage.

But if any of you lefties here want to provide your most "trustworthy fact checker", I'll be happy to point out cases where they've proved they're nothing of the sort

Drago said...

The Hopeless Left Bank: " I think we’ll see oil money from the Sunni-run countries on the Persian Gulf finance reconstruction. Europe will probably also chip in."

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

The ChiComs are in for the lithium and rare earth metals in very specific regions where military security can be established and they will throw a few dollars (gleaned from Dementia Boy per Business as Usual America Last policies) to the regional tribes.

The ChiComs will also be a big purchaser of the opium crop whose annual yields increased thanks to US help over the years (some estimates of that increase say yields improved x7 over the last 20 years) and will utilize the already well established ChiCom supply lines used to funnel fentanyl into the US.

The EU won't be doing anything as they are too busy undermining NATO with their stupid dreams of building an EU Army, whilst not even meeting modest minimal expenditures for NATO military support (and its all a lie anyway since EU nation "military spending" usually includes improving roads and facilities in US base locales which more impact the local population than military readiness) and transferring more and more cash to Putin who will very shortly have a stranglehold on EU natural gas requirements.

And I'm sure those fine sunni oil sheiks are all about "reconstruction" in Afghanistan.

What, by the way, constitutes "reconstruction" in a nation that exists on a 7th century AD foundation?

Too funny.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Left Bank of the Charles said...
Trump said there were 40,000 U.S. citizens left in Afghanistan, and there were only around 6,000

No, Leftie.

1; Trump said he'd hear there were up to 40k
2: Biden agreed with the 15 k number. the Psaki said they'd been in contact with 11k.

They claim they got 6k out, and then further claim that there's only "hundreds" left.

If you believe that (as opposed to just spouting that because you're a lying political hack), then you're an idiot.

Drago said...

Big Mike: "Since nearly all of the abandoned equipment was located in fewer than ten arms depots (I have read the number seven in several articles, which probably did not include Bagram), and since we know (or should know, if we had any competent general officers) the coordinates of those depots down to one or two meters, why weren’t a couple B-52s tasked with blasting the depots and their contents into little bitty pieces?"

Because the Installed *"president" had a deal with the Taliban that gave it all to them.

Which is simply one of 100 reasons all the usual Althouse lefty Usual Suspects, are spinning so hard to never mention Biden's name and to pretend this is all Trump's plan.

Very similar to how these same morons, at the first opportunity, placed the entirety of obamacare failures and missteps and costs onto republicans after these failures could no longer be denied.

According to the democraticals/LLR-democraticals, obamacare was the greatest thing ever, perfection in legislation and execution, until those darn republicans took out the individual mandate which, according to the democraticals, retroactively "sabotaged" this amazing legislative perfection and thus, the "republicans' owned" all of obamacare and its history from inception to that point.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

The equipment portion of that total is about $24 billion — certainly not small change — but the actual value of the equipment in the Taliban’s hands is probably much less than even that amount.

That's wrong.

The US equipment there was the top of the line US, not dumbed down export versions.

The value of top of the line US equipment, to someone who can sell it to whomever he wants, including Russia, China, Pakistan, and terrorists all over the world, is far more than just list price.

Heck, for a terrorist group to be able to completely outfit a team in genuine US uniforms and equipment?

There's going to be a lot of dead people because of that, most of them good guys.

"Vais wht people are willing to pay for it, "cost" is what we paid for it.

The value, for anti-US terrorists lke the Taliban, of that equipment is far greater than what we paid to buy it.

Look for terrorist attacks in the US from Biden dressed terrorists

Lem Former Twitter Aficionado said...

It’s as though Trump still president in some offices of the Washington Post.

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

Trump's plan was not followed. But if Biden DID follow Trump's plan, as Biden himself says - isn't that grounds for impeachment?

gilbar said...

Hey people, i'm not as good at math (or Commodity pricing ) as i used to be; so i have a
Serious Question

How many Kilos of heroin is 85 Billion Dollars?

Bilwick said...

Glenn Kessler . . . because there is. I truth but socialist truth, comrades.

Wa St Blogger said...

-2,000 Armored Vehicles Including Humvees and MRAP’s $100 million
-45 UH-60 Blachhawk Helicopters $450 million
-50 MD530G Scout Attack Choppers 60 million
-30 Military Version Cessnas 70 million
-4 C-130’s $260 million
...

-The names and biometrics of all US citizens, contractors, and in-country helpers Priceless

Kessler is running interference for his team.

Misinforminimalism said...

Trump seems to be suggesting that the Taliban should reimburse the United States for the cost of trying to turn them into a modern state, not just paying the Blue Book value of a bunch of army surplus goods. Kessler is far more deceptive in his redefinition of Trump's points than Trump was. Four Pinocchios!

rcocean said...

Can we stop calling this guy Kessler a "fact checker". He's not. He's just a Wapo Left wing journolist posing as a "Fact checker" to make himself sound objective. Which he is not.

Achilles said...

The night vision equipment is the worst thing on that list by a long ways.

Achilles said...

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Trump said there were 40,000 U.S. citizens left in Afghanistan, and there were only around 6,000 (most of whom had already left when he made that statement). Charitably, Trump’s number was 15% truth and 85% bullshit. Applying the same percentage, that would reduce the $85 billion to $13 billion.

We should trade you for one of those 6000 people.

They should come here and we should just move all the Biden supporters who say things like this to Afghanistan to live with the consequences of their support of Joe Biden.

JAORE said...

Trump said there were 40,000 U.S. citizens left in Afghanistan...

Sure,LB, sure. Only a month or so ago the US estimate was 15-40,000. Then 15,000 then 11,000. It seems to have shrunk to fit the volume we brought out. At least there was no explanation except the "want to go".

But, let's say Trump made up that number out of whole cloth. Which "lie" is greater, an incorrect number of Americans left behind or the "we'll stay until they are all brought home"?

Yancey Ward said...

Which statement is true:

Glenn Kessler is completely full of shit.

Glenn Kessler is mostly full of shit.

Yancey Ward said...

Which statement is true?

Left Bank of the Charles is completely full of shit.

Left Bank of the Charles is completely full of shit.

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

Chuck - once again - As of Jan 20st - Biden is president, not Trump.

so all your blame-shifting makes you look ridiculous.

walter said...

Was the helicopter dangling a corpse one of ours, Mr. Kessler?

Yancey Ward said...

Which statement is true:

Chuck so full of shit he explodes in a brown mist.

Chuck so full of shit he explodes in a brown mist.

Hyphenated American said...

“ The value of these assets is unclear, but if the Taliban is unable to obtain spare parts, it may not be able to maintain them”

They cannot sell it to China or Iran?

Big Mike said...

@Drago (9.56) you could be right, except that neither the Taliban nor the Biden administration has been particularly scrupulous about adhering to the agreement Trump hammered out. Why they’d suddenly care about the details of something the much-hated Donald Trump negotiated is difficult to understand.

Bilwick said...

I meant, "No truth but socialist truth," but spell check or whatever went nuts just as I hit the Publish Your Comment button.

Václav Patrik Šulik said...

Great reply by David (Iowahawk) Burge:

https://twitter.com/iowahawkblog/status/1432689161362976771

Chuck said...

Correcting MikeD's presumption that the Taliban was "hanging people" from U.S.-issued Blackhawk helicopters. Via Snopes:

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/taliban-hanging-black-hawk/

Big Mike said...

Is $83 billion the replacement cost of the equipment in constant dollars? Or in 2021’s inflated dollars?

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Chuck is getting desperate

That is, why "leave" any of it? Why allow the Taliban to take any U.S. weaponry?

And the answer is simple; it was entrusted to the Afghan Army that we had equipped and train in the hope that they would maintain their country. But that didn't happen. Some were surprised by the speed and thoroughness of the collapse.


No one with a functioning brain was surprised at the speed of the collapse of the Afghan Army after the Biden* Admin
1: Snuck the US troops out of Bagram in the middle of the night without telling anyone before hand
2: Blocked all contractors from supporting the Afghan Air Force, effectively grounding it

Once you've been told you're being abandoned and set up to fail and die, people are going to look for an exit, any exit.

What I think, is that the way to absolutely guarantee the complete and immediate collapse of those forces would have been to take away all of their U.S. weaponry after Trump's February 2020 withdrawal plan.

Except:
1: Trump didn't set up this failure, Biden* did
2: Trump's February 2020 withdrawal plan was not followed by the Biden* Admin. Any parts of it that they did follow were entirely of their own choice and decision

I very much wish that Trump had taken away all of the Afghans' U.S. weapons immediately. Their Army would have collapsed immediately, and the mess would rightly be on Trump.

Yes, if Trump had acted as stupidly as the Biden* Admin acted, the mess would all be on Trump.

But Trump did not act that stupidly. Only the Democrat Biden* Admin that you supported and support acted so fecklessly, incompetently, and utterly evilly.

It's very special, Chuck, the way you so bitterly cling to the utterly incompetent and entirely f'ed up Democrat Biden* Admin.

It's like the Democrats ar your religion.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

American Interpreter Biden Left Behind In Afghanistan: ‘I Don’t Believe In Anybody Anymore.’ “On Monday night, an American citizen who worked as an interpreter for the American military in Afghanistan but was left behind by President Biden told CNN, ‘I don’t believe in anybody anymore.’ She added, ‘I just can’t believe no one told me that this is the last flight.'”
https://www.dailywire.com/news/american-interpreter-biden-left-behind-in-afghanistan-i-dont-believe-in-anybody-anymore

Oh, yeah, I totally believe the Biden* Admin when they tell us there were only "hundreds" of American citizens left behind

Doug said...



Let's see, where could the Taliban get money to obtain spare parts?
Hey! Pallets of cash! One for each stranded American the Taliban allow to return.

Chuck said...

Greg:

Again, for about the twentieth time; I don't like Biden's having followed Trump's idiotic decision to pull out of Afghanistan now. I don't excuse Biden, just because the idea originated with Trump. Biden could have (and should have) turned it all down. I am not giving Biden a pass on any of this fiasco.

I do think that Joe Biden is just the sort of craven Democratic pol, who always wanted to get out of Afghanistan for the sake of the Left-wingers in his party who opposed the operation since the days of the Bush43 Administration. I expect that Biden thought that he now had political cover to do it, because of Trump's dealing with the Taliban throughout 2020.

I have no idea whether the Biden Administration ever thought that the Trumpists would be so shameless as to blame Biden for problems with an Afghanistan pullout that Trump originated. I don't expect that they think too much about how shameless TrumpWorld is; that's a bottomless hole.

Your problem, Greg, is that in swing states like Michigan, with Republicans like me adding their numbers to swing voters, the Trump Party is a minority party and is getting smaller. The more that Trump Freaks win Republican primaries, the more that voters like me will defeat them in general elections. In 2016, Trump won Michigan by about 11,000 votes. As close as Georgia was last year.

Michigan had a Republican governor; a Republican secretary of state, and a Republican attorney general. A Republican supermajority on the state supreme court. Four years later in Michigan, every statewide elective office is held by a Democrat; Democrats took over two of the most notable swing Congressional districts, and a bipartisan/nonpartisan commission is taking over the state's redistricting to draw new state house and state senate districts, and US Congressional districts. And Trump lost by 150,000 votes.

Michael said...

The original Fact Checkers were the early bloggers from the turn of the century. Remember the thrill you got from reading really smart people with specific content expertise blow giant holes in corporate media reports. And they did it day after day after day.

mikee said...

As a teen in the late 1970s I cherished my Vietnam-era jungle boots (with eyelets to let water out, and steel plates to prevent punctures through the sole by punji sticks). They made perfect hiking boots for the Appalachians in summer. And cost almost nothing.

I, for one, would have enjoyed the milsurp bargains available from the pawnshops around Fort Hood had the US military removed as much as possible before their exit. And not anything like firearms, vehicles and airplanes. How about boots, uniforms, camping gear, cold weather gear, tools, and so on?

Joe Smith said...

'Via Snopes:...'

From the site that plagiarizes everything? I suppose they would cover for Biden.

If you're citing Snopes then you've already lost the argument...

Chuck said...

Joe Smith said...
'Via Snopes:...'

From the site that plagiarizes everything? I suppose they would cover for Biden.

If you're citing Snopes then you've already lost the argument...


Well, perhaps it could at least begin the argument, if you had something substantive to say. You know, like you've got a link to better video of the incident, or better/different sources of news in Afghanistan. Something substantive. A particular error in the Snopes page, that you could point to, quote, and criticize. Proof, of the point that I criticized, which was the phony story about the Taliban hanging a man from a U.S.-supplied helicopter.

But no. You've got nothing. Nothing but Snopes/"plagiarize"/yadda yadda/blah blah blah.

Dumb fucks like you are such a waste of time. But here goes anyway. IT ISN'T JUST SNOPES THAT CORRECTED THE STUPIDLY UNTRUE STORY:

Politifact also shot down the story:
https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2021/aug/31/tweets/viral-video-doesnt-show-taliban-hanging-body-helic/

And so did USAToday:
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/factcheck/2021/08/31/fact-check-video-doesnt-show-taliban-hanging-someone-us-helicopter/5668864001/

Also Reuters:
https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-hang-helicopter/fact-check-evidence-appears-to-show-man-dangling-from-helicopter-by-a-harness-in-afghanistan-idUSL1N2Q22W0

Newsweek ran the story straight (that a Taliban fighter was dangling in an apparent harness) without -- curiously -- mentioning the social media kerfuffle about a "hanging."
https://www.newsweek.com/video-taliban-member-hanging-blackhawk-helicopter-viewed-2m-times-1624449

And then of course we had the New York Post. Whose cracker editors ran full-throated with the story right out of right-wing social media, and then later "Updated" the story when the other fact-checkers in the news media called it out for what it was.
https://nypost.com/2021/08/31/video-shows-man-hanging-below-black-hawk-flown-by-taliban/

MartieD said...

Yes, let’s “fact-check” Donald Trump and ignore Americans left behind in Afghanistan at the mercy of the Taliban. Because priorities!

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Chuck said...
Again, for about the twentieth time; I don't like Biden's having followed Trump's idiotic decision to pull out of Afghanistan now. I don't excuse Biden, just because the idea originated with Trump. Biden could have (and should have) turned it all down. I am not giving Biden a pass on any of this fiasco.

Every time you try to blame any of this on Trump, you're doing it to give Biden a pass.

You won. Trump isn't President. As we've seen with the Border, drilling, and foreign policy (Nord Stream), nothing that Trump did binds the Biden* Admin.

Stop blaming Trump for your team's fuckups. It's a really pathetic look

I do think that Joe Biden is just the sort of craven Democratic pol, who always wanted to get out of Afghanistan for the sake of the Left-wingers in his party

Ah, "craven Democratic pol " you mean like Barack "Let's Surge into Afghanistan, the important war" Obama?

I have no idea whether the Biden Administration ever thought that the Trumpists would be so shameless as to blame Biden for problems with an Afghanistan pullout that Trump originated.
You sit here, blaming Trump for the Biden* team's fuckups, and call "Trumpists" "shameless"?

Projection, thy name is Chuck.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Chuck babbles:

"Your problem, Greg, is that in swing states like Michigan, with Republicans like me adding their numbers to swing voters, the Trump Party is a minority party and is getting smaller."

Which explains why Detroit had to kick out every honest poll watcher, it's because they were doing a completely honest, totally unsuspicious vote count. Pay no attention to how they have more votes than voters.

There are no "Republicans like you" Chuck, because you're a partisan lying Democrat hack

Zev said...

apparently the job of a fact checker is to body check the facts into submission

Chuck said...

Greg, unlike a considerable number of Trump fans in Iowa, Ohio, Florida and dly and happily voted for McCain. And even more proudly and happily voted for Romney.

You’re damn right, “Trump isn’t President.” I’m part of the reason for that.

Now for this:

Which explains why Detroit had to kick out every honest poll watcher, it's because they were doing a completely honest, totally unsuspicious vote count. Pay no attention to how they have more votes than voters.

None of that is true. The TCF Bank Center was never emptied of Republican poll watchers. It had a full capacity of them, so others who were called by their leaders to go there couldn’t get in. And there were never “more votes than voters” in Detroit. That’s a lie that was brazen even for Trump. The lawsuits contesting those things were thrown out and they were such frivolous claims, the lawyers involved are now having to pay the election officials’ costs and attorneys fees. And they are being referred for professional discipline.

Joe Smith said...

'Dumb fucks like you are such a waste of time.'

Then why bother responding?

As for the 'dumb' part, I am typing this from my multi-million dollar (paid for) home as I start my day, having been retired since my early 50s.

I may be many things, but dumb is not one of them : )