This week’s newscycle was dominated by Afghanistan, and rightfully so. The swift and ignominious end to America’s longest war, the palpable fear for those in danger from Taliban rule, especially women and girls, desperate imagery of people clinging to airplanes in a life and death struggle to escape, all of these images and storylines are important, gripping, and heartbreaking. This is a story that demands to be covered, as we have tried to in our own modest way on Steady.
The complexity of the situation on the ground has been compounded by years of occupation. Reckoning with this current moment, how we got to this point, how we should proceed forward, takes layers of understanding. Naturally, the withdrawal became politicized, with Republicans eagerly lining up to paint Biden’s leadership as ineffectual. Senator Rick Scott of Florida even invoked using the 25th Amendment to remove Biden. There are many hard questions the Biden Administration should be forced to answer, and on Monday the president outlined his case in a national television address. MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, a former longtime Republican political strategist, summed up what she thought would be drastically different takes from the public, and from the press.
On Twitter, we wanted to gauge what people thought of the speech, and got a flood of interesting responses.
Today, we want to take the conversation a bit broader. We want to hear what you think of what is happening now. How is the draw down looking now, in the days after the Sunday fall of Kabul? How is President BIden’s speech playing now with what we are seeing taking place? Where do you hope this goes from here? Where do you fear it might go?
But we also want to step back more broadly. Do you think the press in particular has put this crisis in enough context — the decision-making, the coverage of said decisions, the ensuing consequences? Are we hearing enough shout Bush, Obama, and Trump in addition to Biden? Who do you blame for where we are? What are our obligations in the aftermath of occupation? Do we have a duty to accept refugees? If so, how many? Has any of this forced you to reconsider your beliefs from the recent or more distant past about how the United States should act on the world stage?
We want to end by once again thanking those who served in Afghanistan, not only in a military capacity but in the diplomatic corps, in NGOs, and other programs. We honor both the Americans and the Afghans who worked hard to bring hope and justice to their country. If that is you or someone you know, we hope you will consider sharing your stories here with the Steady community.
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Some ground rules for these Wednesday chats (and also the comments sections on other posts): I want a space where people feel safe to express their views, as long as they are offered in good faith.I want a space where ideas can be challenged, especially my own. I want debate. But I want it to be civil. I want people to come here with open minds, and open hearts.I want this to be fun as well as serious.We can agree to disagree without being disagreeable.
Some ground rules for these Wednesday chats (and also the comments sections on other posts):
I want a space where people feel safe to express their views, as long as they are offered in good faith.
I want a space where ideas can be challenged, especially my own.
I want debate. But I want it to be civil.
I want people to come here with open minds, and open hearts.
I want this to be fun as well as serious.
We can agree to disagree without being disagreeable.
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