Poll: 78% of Americans approve of Afghanistan withdrawal

Originally published at: Poll: 78% of Americans approve of Afghanistan withdrawal | Boing Boing


It seems likely that most Americans approve of getting our troops out of Afghanistan but aren’t especially impressed with Biden’s execution. Which is fair, as it’s been a clusterfuck over there.

What is NOT fair is the oft-repeated claim that “[previous guy] would have handled it better.” That’s bullshit. The three previous guys each had between four and eight years to find a better way to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan and none of them did. You don’t get credit for something you never even attempted to do.


The withdrawal was – quite predictably – messy, but so much less messy than it could have been. Biden was right, and showed courage, in leaving. So many special interests (the aforementioned “Blob”) were against it – the mainstream media’s coverage and slant has been especially irritating to me. People on every side of the aisle wanted out of this war, (though for different reasons). I’ll make a prediction that this will barely be an issue in the 2022 election and beyond.


I wish it had gone better - but we should have left 10 years ago. :confused: I wish things were different where a fundamentalist group isn’t the one in charge.


Conservatives are quick to blame Biden because all they really want is to hurt whichever Democrat is in the White House at the moment.

Of course when pressed, none of the critics have yet named a better way it could have been done; Trump’s agreement with the Taliban meant we were supposed to have been out back in May, so if August is too soon, then . . . ?

I long for someone to blame Obama for any of this, so I can point out he actually increased troop numbers there by fourfold. If 20 years couldn’t build a viable alternative to the Taliban, six more months weren’t going to make a difference.


And that poor Richard Engel is going to have to send his resume over to Eric Prince.


There was no way we were going to leave Afghanistan that would not be seen as a clusterfuck. Sometimes you just have to pull off the band-aid and deal with it.

At this point the best thing we can do now is make it as easy as possible for Afghan refugees to come here.


The evacuation went very well.

125,000 people were evacuated. Only 7,000 were evacuated during Operation Frequent Wind in the fall of Saigon.

That’s the size of Topeka, Kansas. Allentown, PA, Rochester, NY, Berkeley, CA to put it in perspective.

Imagine the discussion if we moved the entire population of one of those cities 5,000 miles in a couple of weeks.


But :100: 100 percent of Qnuts/Fox Comedy News/tRumpers disapproval is what counts. /s


That figure would be reversed inside the Beltway. The military-industrial complex, the national security state, the neoCon think-thank fantasists, the lobbyists, their bought-and-paid-for politicians and staffers from both parties, and the corporate media shills who live and work there spent 20 years trying to sell the country on the idea that this was a workable project instead of another costly trip to the Graveyard of Empires.


It always could have been handled better but no matter what this as always going to be a shit-show. It’s a logistical nightmare. This is not an excuse but just reality. Thought it was a bad idea going in but hey, it’s not like I had much say in the matter back during Bush.


Specifically, the Awful Orange would have made an ungodly mess of the whole thing, like he did with everything else he touched. The Afghans are lucky he was not in charge when Taliban rolled in.


The hell it has. Don’t believe the blob.


Among other points,

  • Why did it take so long to approve visas for Afghans who qualified for evacuation? It didn’t. We approved visas for 100,000 Afghans in two weeks! And to the extent that this was slower than it could have been, it’s because the Trump administration deliberately sabotaged the process before they left office.

ETA: assuming “it” refers to the evacuation. If “it” refers to the 20-year war, then, yes, absolutely.


Non-clusterfucks don’t end with desperate refugees found dead in the wheel wells of overloaded air transports.

Getting some refugee visas approved doesn’t mean the operation has been going well. If anything the fact that at over 100,000 Afghans needed refugee visas should be an indication that the situation there has turned to shit.

I give Biden credit for finally ending the military occupation, and I grant he almost certainly made less of a mess of it than Trump would have. But this has been a 20-year-long catastrophe that began without a coherent objective, dragged on for two decades and ended badly. And Joe Biden, like every member of the 2001 Congress except for Barbara Lee, bears responsibility for voting in favor of the war in the first place.




That would be very, very, VERY surprising. DC and its Northern Virginia suburbs are some of the bluest parts of the United States. Arlington went 80% for Biden; DC went 93% for Biden.

This plays into the super tired, super false stereotype that what the rest of the country thinks of as “Washington” is what DC is actually like. The problem is the politicians the rest of y’all keep sending here, but they and their staffers are a pretty tiny subset… and they mostly prefer to live and vote far outside the District anyway.


Sorry, I misread your attribution of clusterfuckery to the withdrawal, rather than the 20-year-war as a whole, in which case we are in agreement and I have edited to say so.


Huh? That was going to be the case regardless when the Taliban were returning to power, whether gradually or all-of-a-sudden. Afghans who worked with the US were going to be targets and need asylum eventually.


I mean, I wouldn’t really agree with the opinion that the withdrawal itself has been going great either. Aside from the horrible scenes of people desperately trying to leave the country, we also left behind a bunch of stuff that’s going to bite us in the ass down the road (not that it’s the first time we armed the Taliban).

That said, it’s better to end a war poorly than not to end it at all.

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Could you be a bit more specific regarding how it could have been better handled?