• Cyburbia is a friendly big tent, where we share our experiences and thoughts about urban planning practice, the built environment, planning adjacent topics, and anything else that comes to mind. No ads, no spam, and it's free. It's easy to join!

NEVERENDING ♾️ The NEVERENDING Political Discussion Thread

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
21,216
Points
61
Not to diminish the loss, but the article you posted said that she did not have any kids.
One of the officers I work with said that in the report that they got. That is where I first heard about it. It could be wrong in that report, but I don't know.

But the link that I provided provides some very disturbing trends. I know locally, all City staff needs to go through de-escalation and inclusivity training later this year. Most of us practice these things already, but it is a great reminder.

I just wish there could be something done for the general public for people to stop this kind of behavior.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
15,937
Points
60
One of the officers I work with said that in the report that they got. That is where I first heard about it. It could be wrong in that report, but I don't know.
Why would an officer at your workplace have access to a report for a deadly officer shooting in a state/city jurisdiction very far away from yours?
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
21,216
Points
61
Why would an officer at your workplace have access to a report for a deadly officer shooting in a state/city jurisdiction very far away from yours?
Don’t know. I am not a police officer.

What are your thoughts on the shooting? Seems to be more discussion on the question of kids or no kids than on what happened.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
15,937
Points
60
What are your thoughts on the shooting?
It's objectively terrible and I'm glad the suspects were captured quickly.

But it is a known risk when joining this specific police force and serving in this specific part of the jurisdiction.
 

Planit

Cyburbian
Messages
14,516
Points
57
Voter suppression’s new clothes: None of the recounts and investigations of election results in Fulton County, Georgia, have surfaced ballot fraud from the November 2020 elections. But now, Georgia lawmakers are starting another investigation that could lead to a state takeover of Atlanta's election administration. They are using the powers of the new Georgia voting law S.B. 202 or the “Election Integrity Act of 2021,” which grants more power to partisan state officials to mold elections and advantage candidates in their party.

If an appointee of the state’s election board is installed in Fulton County, white Republicans would control voting in one of the state’s most Democrat-dense counties with the largest Black population in the state. With proposed legislation stalled in the U.S. Senate, what happens in Georgia now will set the state for the midterm elections and the 2024 presidential race, writes Brentin Mock.

 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
21,216
Points
61
It's objectively terrible and I'm glad the suspects were captured quickly.

But it is a known risk when joining this specific police force and serving in this specific part of the jurisdiction.
It looks like the initial reports said that she had a child, but they were not correct.
Misinformation had been spreading on social media over the weekend prior to French's identification, including claims from some who said French had recently returned from maternity leave and had a child. Chicago Police Supt. David Brown said such rumors were inaccurate, however.

Regardless, the situation is horrific. You are correct that it is a known risk, but the anti-police culture is amplifying that risk.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
21,216
Points
61
We are sending 3000 soldiers back into Afghanistan. But we are not occupying it, and they are not saying it is an evacuation, so I am a little confused what we are doing.

What are your thoughts, should we be going back in? In what capacity should we be there? Was it a mistake to withdraw troops?

I am not 100% sure what the intent is, so I have not formed an option on the situation. One side is me says that we should get our folks out and stay out, but I am also concerned with the safety to Americans, here and abroad. Will this become a training ground for another 9/11?
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,008
Points
52
We never belonged in Afghanistan in the first place, and as much as I hate to see it, what comes now, must come. Not the finest moments for Bush, or Obama, or Trump.

We should take away at least two things: 1. Nation building is not possible, and 2. Pakistan is most certainly not a U.S. ally.
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
7,495
Points
38
We never belonged in Afghanistan in the first place, and as much as I hate to see it, what comes now, must come. Not the finest moments for Bush, or Obama, or Trump.

We should take away at least two things: 1. Nation building is not possible, and 2. Pakistan is most certainly not a U.S. ally.

The part of Texas history no one really wants to acknowledge... Texas was, in reality, an early nation-building exercise by the USA. Of course that goes against the Texas myth we so love here... Although I do argue that the Battle of San Jacinto is perhaps the most consequential battle in world history in terms of the series of events it kicked-off that drastically reshaped the map (especially in North America)
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
15,937
Points
60
If the Afghans couldn't get it together after ~20 years of our help, I don't know what to do for them.

I say we leave and just keep our national security apparatus hyper focused on anything going in or out of that nation/region, just in case.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
21,216
Points
61
I don't know if I'd make that presumptive leap...especially in this case.

Well, perhaps you should ask her co-workers…

The other part that I still can’t get over is she blames COVID for the lack of tributes, but has no problem with 350,000 concert goers a couple weeks ago?
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,008
Points
52
I don't think anyone should be surprised by the breathtaking collapse in Afghanistan. Indeed, I'm angry as hell that President Biden and his administration bungled this so badly. We should have gotten our Afghan allies and their families out weeks ago, because everyone paying any attention clearly foresaw this calamity. Such a terrible waste of talent and treasure.
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
15,937
Points
60
This is all Biden's fault and we made sure to 'update' our webpage to reflect that.


Yes, (Tr)ump made a peace deal with the Taliban.
This..

Never forget!

But it is objectively true that the Biden administration has horribly botched the withdraw and getting our Afghani allies/friends safe and out of country as Gedunker said.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
21,216
Points
61
I don't think anyone should be surprised by the breathtaking collapse in Afghanistan. Indeed, I'm angry as hell that President Biden and his administration bungled this so badly. We should have gotten our Afghan allies and their families out weeks ago, because everyone paying any attention clearly foresaw this calamity. Such a terrible waste of talent and treasure.
I agree and I feel bad for the many of the people in Afghanistan who push for human rights and for equality for women. The news last night had a female school principal who knowledge that she will likely be killed for helping young girls get an education.

This is where I struggle so much. One one hand, who are we to be the worlds police officers and impose our believes on the rest of the planet. On the other hand, there is an absolute right and wrong. How can we just sit back and watch the wrongs of the world continue without doing anything about it? The "I didn't see anything" mentality is all over in the US too. I would wonder how many people would stand up and do the right thing and stop someone from doing the wrong thing in our cities?
 

Hink

OH....IO
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
16,622
Points
59
I agree and I feel bad for the many of the people in Afghanistan who push for human rights and for equality for women. The news last night had a female school principal who knowledge that she will likely be killed for helping young girls get an education.

This is where I struggle so much. One one hand, who are we to be the worlds police officers and impose our believes on the rest of the planet. On the other hand, there is an absolute right and wrong. How can we just sit back and watch the wrongs of the world continue without doing anything about it? The "I didn't see anything" mentality is all over in the US too. I would wonder how many people would stand up and do the right thing and stop someone from doing the wrong thing in our cities?
I think the challenge is the balance between constantly funding support missions when so much of the world hates us, and doing what is right, no matter what others think. The United States was the best thing that has ever happened to Afghanistan, and most of the Afghan people know that, yet here we are. The de-stability in the Middle East is going to continue until we find a middle ground and remove the destabilizing leadership. Both of those things will not happen any time soon with the Taliban now coming back into power in Kabul.

It really starts with Palestine though, and the US isn't exactly willing to stand up for what is right there either.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
21,216
Points
61
I think the challenge is the balance between constantly funding support missions when so much of the world hates us, and doing what is right, no matter what others think. The United States was the best thing that has ever happened to Afghanistan, and most of the Afghan people know that, yet here we are. The de-stability in the Middle East is going to continue until we find a middle ground and remove the destabilizing leadership. Both of those things will not happen any time soon with the Taliban now coming back into power in Kabul.

It really starts with Palestine though, and the US isn't exactly willing to stand up for what is right there either.
The de-stability in the middle east is nothing new and I don't think the United States will ever be able to stabilize the region.

A catholic church that I attended some years ago had an Israeli associate priest that would come to theology on tap with us and he explained to me that the conflict is far more than control of land. It is a combination of religion and fundamental principals that are in conflict between groups. He also explained that the the land now occupied by Israel is different in territory than that of the Jewish people during the old testament and even then, it was in conflict. He said that the Jewish people, Christians, and Islamic all have justified claims to holy sites in the region, but until there is a serious heart change among everyone in the region, there will be no peace.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
21,216
Points
61

dw914er

Cyburbian
Messages
1,632
Points
22
This..

Never forget!

But it is objectively true that the Biden administration has horribly botched the withdraw and getting our Afghani allies/friends safe and out of country as Gedunker said.

Agreed - the whole Afghanistan scenario has remained as a terrible foreign policy decision since 2001. So much time and money invested all of these years.
 

Hink

OH....IO
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
16,622
Points
59
I appreciate that Biden is taking responsibility for the decision. Whether you agree with it or not, at least he has the guts to admit the buck stops with him as the President. That is pretty refreshing.
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
30,653
Points
74
I appreciate that Biden is taking responsibility for the decision. Whether you agree with it or not, at least he has the guts to admit the buck stops with him as the President. That is pretty refreshing.
Agreed. That's what leadership looks like. Take ownership even if the results aren't what you hoped for.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
21,216
Points
61
I appreciate that Biden is taking responsibility for the decision. Whether you agree with it or not, at least he has the guts to admit the buck stops with him as the President. That is pretty refreshing.
If he was constant with it, I would whole heartedly agree. I also agree that he is much better than Trump. Additionally, as I noted elsewhere, I don't think we should be the world's police force, but I also think that the execution of the removal of troops was very poorly handled. We saw the writing on the wall that this was going to happen, but we left equipment, arms, civilians, and more on the ground and let them fall into the hands of the Taliban.

I agree that Trump put him behind the 8-ball on this one, but he didn't help himself any, and Biden was quick to point that out in his speech the other night:
When I came in office, I inherited a deal that President Trump negotiated with the Taliban. Under his agreement, U.S. forces would be out of Afghanistan by May 1, 2021, just a little over three months after I took office. U.S. forces had already drawn down during the Trump administration from roughly 15,500 American forces to 2,500 troops in country.

On the flip side, President Biden handled this way better than Hillary handled Benghazi.
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
7,495
Points
38
My issue with complaints about the withdrawal... not a single person has offered up what they would've done other than continued the status quo protracted occupancy with no real mission.
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
26,972
Points
71
As one of the talking heads on TV said - how do you continue to prop up an army that doesn't have the will
(my reading between the lines - give a $hit)
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,008
Points
52
There is no saying the status quo would have remained the status quo indefinitely. Indeed, such was extremely unlikely, as the Taliban would quickly tire of it and condone suicide bombings, use of IEDs, ambushes of US/NATO forces, and other measures to make us get out. Leaving was the right thing (especially in December 2001, when we were pretty sure OBL was hiding in Pakistan), but failing that, now. How we pulled our Afghani allies out (or, sadly, abandoned them to their fate) has been a huge disappointment, particularly since people warned that it was going to come down this way.
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
7,495
Points
38
There is no saying the status quo would have remained the status quo indefinitely. Indeed, such was extremely unlikely, as the Taliban would quickly tire of it and condone suicide bombings, use of IEDs, ambushes of US/NATO forces, and other measures to make us get out. Leaving was the right thing (especially in December 2001, when we were pretty sure OBL was hiding in Pakistan), but failing that, now. How we pulled our Afghani allies out (or, sadly, abandoned them to their fate) has been a huge disappointment, particularly since people warned that it was going to come down this way.

Yeah, the treatment of key local support is going to haunt us. Why the f*** would anyone agree to help us with things like translation, intel, etc. based on how we treated those locals in Afghanistan that risked their lives?

We should have had a solid plan for how to help those people from day one of boots on the ground, for every contingency.

And we need to get the F out of the nation-building business. It seems the only aspect of democracy we successfully exported to Afghanistan was rampant, unchecked cronyism. Basically, a 3rd-rate oligarchy. That's a pretty damning indictment of our own system of government.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
21,216
Points
61
Yeah, the treatment of key local support is going to haunt us. Why the f*** would anyone agree to help us with things like translation, intel, etc. based on how we treated those locals in Afghanistan that risked their lives?

We should have had a solid plan for how to help those people from day one of boots on the ground, for every contingency.

And we need to get the F out of the nation-building business. It seems the only aspect of democracy we successfully exported to Afghanistan was rampant, unchecked cronyism. Basically, a 3rd-rate oligarchy. That's a pretty damning indictment of our own system of government.
I agree and it sounds like this is a universal concern.

 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
21,216
Points
61
Looks like more and more people are starting to question Biden.


But all of this has me thinking about what I would have done differently if I was in his shoes. What would you have done differently?
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,008
Points
52
Every presidency should be closely scrutinized, as the Founders intended, by a free and independent press, for the benefit of the citizens.

I would not have been callously indifferent to the Afghans and their families that risked their lives to assist us (and of course assisted NATO/OTAN allies). They should have largely been long gone weeks ago. I realize this would have hurt the legitimacy in the final days of the Ghani administration, but c'mon, a Taliban takeover was inevitable. As Biden himself has rightly said, the end of a 20-year war was never going to be neat and easy. That said, I don't think it should have been this sloppy.

For those critical of Biden, please tell me, how many Afghanis did the Soviet Red Army rescue when they quit Afghanistan in February, 1989?
 

Suburb Repairman

moderator in moderation
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
7,495
Points
38
Every presidency should be closely scrutinized, as the Founders intended, by a free and independent press, for the benefit of the citizens.

I would not have been callously indifferent to the Afghans and their families that risked their lives to assist us (and of course assisted NATO/OTAN allies). They should have largely been long gone weeks ago. I realize this would have hurt the legitimacy in the final days of the Ghani administration, but c'mon, a Taliban takeover was inevitable. As Biden himself has rightly said, the end of a 20-year war was never going to be neat and easy. That said, I don't think it should have been this sloppy.

For those critical of Biden, please tell me, how many Afghanis did the Soviet Red Army rescue when they quit Afghanistan in February, 1989?

I know the answer to the last question: None. But that also stinks of whataboutism... I'm not sure I use Russia as a moral compass. Plus the USSR itself was in the middle of collapse, unlike us (I think).

I'm mostly just shocked there wasn't a fast-track gameplan. But then, we also know military leaders weren't telling the complete truth about the situation in Afghanistan (Biden said as much before taking office). There's also the issue that this withdrawal started under Trump, and Biden was really announcing the withdrawal of the last bits of presence. I'm just surprised by Biden allowing his administration to whif on this considering his background from Vietnam.
 

MD Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,333
Points
49
I'm not sure asking about the Red Army saving Afghanis is a good comparison. The Soviets really didn't give a shit about the people, they were there to try to support an unpopular communist revolution. And the US supported the mujahideen.
 

Super Amputee Cat

Cyburbian
Messages
2,555
Points
35
I didn't even know Lonely Planet had a Guidebook for Afghanistan. But it's instantly and totally out of date now. :(

Lonely Planet -Afghanistan.jpg
 

Planit

Cyburbian
Messages
14,516
Points
57
tRump got BOOOED at his own rally in Alabama this weekend for telling his crowd to get the vaccine. :rofl:
 

Hink

OH....IO
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
16,622
Points
59
tRump got BOOOED at his own rally in Alabama this weekend for telling his crowd to get the vaccine. :rofl:
It is interesting to see some of the crazy right kinda back off Trump though because he said that.

Wonder what his angle was to tell people the truth at this point? I mean I got his angle for the vaccine originally, because he wanted to take all the credit for it. But now I don't see it. He really doesn't do anything for the good of people, only for the good of himself. What is he gaining by telling people the truth at this point?
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
21,216
Points
61
It is interesting to see some of the crazy right kinda back off Trump though because he said that.

Wonder what his angle was to tell people the truth at this point? I mean I got his angle for the vaccine originally, because he wanted to take all the credit for it. But now I don't see it. He really doesn't do anything for the good of people, only for the good of himself. What is he gaining by telling people the truth at this point?

This is one thing that I don't get with the Pro-Trumpers. I might be wrong, but I thought he was always for the vaccine. He got it back in January before he left office.

Personally, the less we hear from Trump, the better.



To switch gears, I am curious what will happen in Afghanistan now that the timeline will not be extended. Do you think that we will be able to get all the US Citizens out? I am also surprised that the "Squad" hasn't voiced any concerns yet on how women are being treated. (or at least anything that I have heard). What do you think will happen to the country now.

Retired Navy Seal and author of the book Lone Survivor Marcus Luttrel is obviously upset over the situation:

Is there any Cyburbians in here that served in Afghanistan? I would be interested to hear how they feel about the situation.

Like I mentioned before, I don't like being the world's police officers, but am also concerned on how the Taliban will treat women and those who helped the US.
 

Hink

OH....IO
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
16,622
Points
59
I find it interesting that the war hawks have anything to say about this at all. They caused it, they certainly shouldn't be throwing stones.

The far left also has a problem, because until this occurred, we were just "wasting money" in Afghanistan. So it can't really be both ways. We either waste money or we don't. Biden decided we had spent enough money and did what probably should have been done 10 years ago.

It was never going to be easy. And China has done a great PR spin on this because it was botched. We don't go into other countries and tell them how to treat women, so at some point we cannot solve all the worlds problems. Our time as the world leader took a HUGE hit with Trump, and I would imagine it will take time to make friends again.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
21,216
Points
61
It was always going to end this way. Anyone who ever thought otherwise is delusional.
Can you expand on that a bit more? Maybe I am too delusional to understand what you are saying.

Granted I might be delusional to think that a more measured approach to get Americans and our resources out over an extended time before we pulled out troops would have been a better approach. That and possibility working with the UN to maintain some level of multinational presence there for a time to allow those who wish to leave to do so might also be a bit delusional as well. That and taking measures as there is an entire generation that has never lived under the Taliban regime as women have had rights to work and go to school for the past 20 years... but maybe they are too delusional to think that their rights, and life, matter.
 

MD Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
3,333
Points
49
Because we as Americans think we are going to "win" something and then walk away. It's what we do. But that's not the game that's being played. This game is infinite, not finite. The only way it was ever going to be sustainable was if we were going to commit to having troops (a lot of troops) in Afghanistan for generations. And then nothing really changes because the people rely on us to keep them safe instead of forging their own path forward.

I feel terrible about it. I weep for the women and children of that region. But Afghanistan is hardly the only place this happens around the world, that just happens to be where our interests were at the time. But our interest wanes and fades after a while.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
11,539
Points
52
I never served in Afghanistan but I have many friends who did. The unit I was in when I got out (26th MEU SOC) in the summer of '01 was the first Marine Corps unit to arrive in Afghanistan after the attacks on 9/11 and had I not gotten out a couple months early to go back to college, I would have been on that deployment.

I am still close with a few of those Marines and a Navy Corpsman from then and every single one of them says that they feel we should have largely gotten out of Afghanistan about 15 years ago, once al-Qaeda was no longer much of a threat, or at the latest 10 years ago after bin Laden was killed. If we wanted to keep a presence in that region beyond that, at that time we probably could have worked with the Afghani government to set up a permanent American base in the country from which we could have had a smaller force (5,000 to 10,000) which would have been enough of a presence to maintain a long-term intel and recon mission and enough troops to set up a security force or FAST team to provide quick responses (be able to be deploy a company-sized force anywhere in the region on about an hour's notice) to deal with immediate threats. The longer we stayed after that, the less we were liked there and the more of a boondoggle it became. Once Trump made the commitment to withdraw completely, any legitimate chance to set up a permanent base with a smaller force in the area was shot.

I know a few other Marines and soldiers who served in Afghanistan long after the unit I was in and they seem to have a much wider range of opinions, everything from "We should stay there until we wipe out the Taliban completely" to we should never have been there to begin with. More of them seem to be towards the "wipe out the Taliban" end of the spectrum. I find the range interesting, especially considering that almost all of these folks joined the military sometime in the years following 9/11 while all of the folks that I'm still in touch with and were in the unit I served had joined in the 97-99 range.



I have another very good friend (who was in Marine Corps boot camp on 9/11) I served with when I got called up for OIF/OEF in '03-'05. He served 4 years in the Marine Corps and then joined the Army where he's now a First Sergeant. He just got back from 10 months in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia a few weeks ago and last week got sent to Afghanistan. According to his wife, he's already on his way back though so it sounds like he was only there about a week. I have no idea what his opinion is, but I do know he better get to a computer soon or else he's going to end up with an auto-drafted team in our fantasy football league!
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
21,216
Points
61
I am still close with a few of those Marines and a Navy Corpsman from then and every single one of them says that they feel we should have largely gotten out of Afghanistan about 15 years ago, once al-Qaeda was no longer much of a threat, or at the latest 10 years ago after bin Laden was killed. If we wanted to keep a presence in that region beyond that, at that time we probably could have worked with the Afghani government to set up a permanent American base in the country from which we could have had a smaller force (5,000 to 10,000) which would have been enough of a presence to maintain a long-term intel and recon mission and enough troops to set up a security force or FAST team to provide quick responses (be able to be deploy a company-sized force anywhere in the region on about an hour's notice) to deal with immediate threats.
I think you are spot on with this.

On a related note, how do you think this will play into the election cycle. I know there are people in here who worship at the alter of Biden and think he can walk on water. Personally, I think he is only slightly less of a train wreak than Trump and an increasing percentage of the American people agree. I will admit not all of it is his doing, but how he is handling it is an absolute mess.
 
Top