The other day I went down a Norm MacDonald rabbit hole (full disclosure I don’t know if he has been canceled or not, but I would imagine he has because he says some outrageous shit, but I am old and his stuff was funny before he got canceled if he got canceled so I still watch it and it still makes me laugh) and was watching some of his old standup routines while working on other stuff, and this gem popped up:
I immediately thought of the media freakout the last couple weeks over the Afghanistan withdrawal, and it occurred to me- they’re not history buffs. With the exception of a few older reporters and media types like James Fallows and Charlie Pierce, folks who regularly use the brains they were born with, most of our bobble heads are relatively young. Also, there is also nothing more American than not remember fucking anything, so you combine these two and you get a bunch of media who have A.) never seen us lose a war, B.) don’t understand that no military plans survives longer than initial contact, C.) the other guy is trying to win and has their own agenda that is independent of any static intelligence reports. So they literally have no idea what is going on.
For most of them, they’ve never actually seen a war end, particularly because we don’t declare wars anymore, we just call things wars and then they go on forever (see also war on drugs, war on terrorism). It’s very rare that we have actual land wars, we just bomb and arm people and what not, and most of it is out of American sight (a reminder that Operation Menu, Nixon’s bombing of Cambodia, was only a secret war in the United States. The Cambodians were fully up to date on it as it happened).
So they are basically in “I don’t know what is going on and I’m freaking the fuck out.” And their reporting shows it. “Why didn’t we evacuate earlier” is a popular question, and the answer is WHY WOULD YOU EVACUATE BEFORE THE WITHDRAWAL and if we evacuated everyone the fucking Taliban would have noticed and we thought the Afghans would hold longer. Again, it’s not a static turn based crpg. It’s a fluid event with lots of moving parts and hundreds of different agendas and tens of thousands of actors. It’s fucking messy.
Wars are messy, losing them doubly so. So, no. There is no fucking reason for Biden to fire his cabinet or execute the Pentagon leadership and the Joint Chiefs. This is what losing looks like. People may have romantic ideas about a bullet, razorblade, and match in the finial of the flag for the last man abandoning post, but that’s just not how it happens.
So ignore them. Listen to the calm people doing briefings at the Pentagon. They know what they are talking about, even if you can’t trust everything they say.