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Weaponizing Psychiatry: Authorities Calling People Mentally Ill, Forcing Them to See Shrinks for Opposing COVID Policy

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“First, do no harm…” — to the state’s official ideology. This seems to be the message with, according to a report, people increasingly labeled “mentally ill” and being compelled to see psychiatrists for opposing irrational COVID-19 mask mandates. In fact, one law student was reportedly likened to a mass shooter, threatened with permanent legal-profession exclusion, and was told by a school dean, “We don’t know if you’re psychologically capable of following the rules.”

Welcome to what has been called the “weaponization of psychiatry.” The Soviet Union was infamous for it (there just must be something wrong with you if you oppose enlightened state ideology, after all), and, chillingly, it’s now emerging in the United States.

So asserted Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson, reporting last night on a student at a prestigious law school who dared question his institution’s irrational mask mandate. For one thing, the face-diaper requirement didn’t apply to professors; apparently, coronavirus spares those with more degrees than a thermometer (and now we know why Ph.D.’s are the education-level-defined group least likely to be “vaccinated”).

What then befell this hapless student, whose identity and school are currently being kept anonymous, was shocking. As Carlson related:

Administrators suspended this student from school immediately; then they threatened to call states’ bar associations to prevent him from becoming a lawyer. And then the school accused him of being mentally ill. As one dean put it, “We don’t know if you’re psychologically capable of following the rules.”

So as a condition of readmission, the school required the student to submit to a psychological assessment test and then meet with a psychiatrist for a counseling session to see if he was mentally ill. Before doing any of that, the school’s deans also required the student to waive his right to medical confidentiality so if the school chose, his results could be made public.

You should know that this student was never diagnosed with any sort of mental disorder or acted as though he had one. He is rational, calm, and very high functioning; that’s how he got into this law school in the first place. At no time did he make threats against anyone; he merely pointed out that the school’s mask policies don’t seem to make sense. For saying this, the school likened him to a mass shooter and implied that he was on the verge of committing violence against students.

“That’s shocking, but it’s happing in a lot of other places as well,” Carlson continued. “We’ve just spoken to a former member of the army who was referred to psychiatrists and booted out of the military because he refused to wear a mask (video below).

Carlson then mentioned that chilling historical precedent. “If this all sounds Soviet, it is indeed Soviet,” he said, referencing how the USSR and other Marxist nations weaponized psychiatry. Elaborating on this in 2018, FEE.org wrote that one

Soviet technique of oppression was to declare that political dissidents were insane. They were then incarcerated in psychiatric hospitals where they were tormented and tortured. Some were used as human guinea pigs for dangerous experiments. (Shades of Hitler’s buddy, Dr. Mengele.) Some even succumbed to the not-so-tender ministrations of those “hospitals.”

Carlson pointed out that these “mentally ill” people were often diagnosed with “philosophical intoxication.” We’re not there yet, of course, but our country and many others are transforming fast. Australia has almost gone full Chinese on China virus regulations, instituting martial law in certain areas to enforce them. Here in America, few could have imagined two years ago that people today would be compelled to take an experimental drug of questionable efficacy and safety and be arrested for not wearing masks in the name of combating a modified flu.

Yet irrational COVID-19 policy has been enforced via the rule of lawless law (government regulations, lockdowns), intimidation, scorn, ostracism, and job loss — and now we see a next step: a date with a shrink because you wonder why we now have a two-tiered society of those with faces and those without, with the former being the unmasked pseudo-elite.

Psychiatrists can easily find you mentally ill, too, history and current events teach. In the Soviet Union, one sign of psychological disorder was disputing pseudo-scientific Lysenkoism and its notion that rye can transform into wheat. Today, with psychiatry still too often being just bad philosophy and ideology with a scientific veneer, we have mental-health “professionals” insisting that a boy can transform into a girl (and who’s mentally ill, again?).

What all this serves to do, as I pointed out last week, is create a society run by compliant ideologues. Refusal to abide by SARS-CoV-2 regulations — genetic-therapy-agent (GTA, a.k.a. “vaccine”) mandates in particular — are already being used as a pretext to purge the military and medical profession of dissidents. Note here that those opposing the GTAs and least likely to get them are more conversant with the issues, more patriotic, more Republican, and more “conservative” than average. Polls bear this out, too, with a July survey finding that while only six percent of Democrats said they’d probably refuse the GTAs, 47 percent of Republicans expressed that sentiment.

In other words, foisting GTA mandates on government and other institutions ensures they’ll become even more left-wing.

Now, apparently, we see this happening with law schools as well. So in the future, who’ll robustly defend you when that sanity-purged medical profession finds you require institutionalization? Who knows? But when given that inkblot test, just don’t be the realist and tell the shrink you see an inkblot. You must see an enlightened, beneficent, worship-worthy state run by your betters.



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Strategy Isn’t Just History and Policy; It’s Salesmanship and Branding

Here’s What You Need to Know: Strategic branding is about conveying ideas persuasively. So be choosy when sifting through history to help sell your ideas, and connect yourself with proven winners.

“Branding,” or labeling, people, ideas, and things is a competitive sport in Washington, DC, and America has a president who delights in it. For two Harvard Business School professors branding means learning to “strategically craft powerful, resonant, and unique brand positions to help products stand out amidst the cacophony of the marketplace.” Entrepreneurs search for that memorable image, catchphrase, or tagline that lodges in the brains of influential folk—and earns influence for producers of goods and services.

Nor are strategists exempt from marketing their ideas. Far from it: we’re like marketers on Madison Avenue, forever on the hunt for the strategic counterpart to the Most Interesting Man in the World or the GEICO Gecko—the jingle or ad campaign that administration officials, congressmen, or whatever important audience we’re targeting can’t get out of their heads. “Containment,” “offshore balancing,” “restrainment,” “congagement,” “frenemies,” and of course “Thucydides trap” are just a few catchphrases strategic entrepreneurs have dreamt up over the decades.

Strategists being strategists, we often turn to history—or to historical figures—to help brand our ideas. Thucydides Trap, for instance, caught on in large part because the Peloponnesian War and its chronicler still exude glamour two millennia after Athens’ fall to Sparta and its league of allies. Or, because few are familiar nowadays with the Roman dictator Fabius Maximus, it’s commonplace to put George Washington’s face on “Fabian” strategies. Washington remains a popular figure and was a deft practitioner of Fabius’ brand of delaying measures. The imagery stays with students—and so does the strategic concept.

Branding

Not every effort to use history as salesmanship works, though. What makes a good historical metaphor? First of all, pick from history that’s familiar to a critical mass of the demographic you’re attempting to persuade. World War II is an obvious source of analogies for reaching out to American audiences. It’s our Iliad. Failing that, choose history that may be unfamiliar but broadcasts a simple message and has proven appeal even for newcomers. The classics abound with analogies.

Important lessons can manifest themselves in obscure cases; they commonly do. But the more historical background you have to cover to explain the metaphor, the less readily it will register with readers or listeners. Some world-historical events are now largely forgotten, while attention spans expire in a hurry. Think about the battles that made Great Britain master of North America and the maritime world in 1759. These were victories that changed the fates of nations, including our own. Yet it would be hard to make the Battles of Quebec or Quiberon Bay household names. You’d spend too long reviewing the basic facts of the Seven Years’ War to put the analogy in context. Eyes would glaze over.

So historical episodes that are well known, straightforward, or both should constitute your first resort. When addressing a Chinese audience or China specialists, for example, citing the Great Wall evokes a great deal. Toshi Yoshihara and I once likened a first island chain fortified by U.S. allies to a “Great Wall in reverse” that imprisons Chinese ships and aircraft within the China seas. The imagery struck a chord. Viewed from China, the notion of a barrier that keeps China in—rather than nomadic raiders or other foes out—is deeply unsettling.

So make the analogy or metaphor short and punchy, and make it speak to your particular audience. In the ideal case it should be expressible as a parable, a simple story with takeaways immediately intelligible to hearers or readers. Too much ambiguity or nuance subtracts power from the metaphor.

Second, beware when pulling ideas from historical figures. Concepts from diplomatic or military theory may seem straightforward to you, but many are not in the everyday lexicon—even for lawmakers or military officialdom.

What sorts of ideas from the strategic canon resonate? Here’s one: it oftentimes seems that strategy comes in threes. Clausewitz has his “trinity” of rationality, passion, and chance and creativity—the three elements he says make up any warring combatant. Thucydides designates fear, honor, and interest as the “strongest motives” impelling human affairs. Mahan has two threes: he defines sea power as commerce, bases, and ships, and he proclaims that commercial, political, and military access to important trading regions represents the purpose of sea power. And so forth. Numerology? Maybe. But there’s something about threes.

Select theoretical ideas with care

Certain analogies to battlefield strategy retain their appeal for centuries if not millennia. Take Cannae. Cannae was a battle from Roman antiquity (216 BC, to be exact) during which the Carthaginian general Hannibal deployed guile and deception to stage a “double envelopment,” oftentimes simplified to “pincer movement,” against a Roman army. The Carthaginian host encircled and slaughtered the Romans almost to the last man, and it did so on Italian ground—earning Hannibal his place on the honor roll of fighting generals.

Now, Carthage ended up losing the Second Punic War—but not until after Hannibal had rampaged up and down the Italian peninsula for seventeen years. Few fault him for eventual defeat. Soldiers studied Cannae well into the nineteenth and even twentieth centuries. For instance, the battle inspired German strategists mapping out strategy for the Franco-Prussian War (1870–1871). So successful was the Prussian Army’s Carthaginian approach at the Battle of Sedan (September 1870) that Sedan achieved the stature of a historical metaphor in its own right.

In fact, General Alfred von Schlieffen, the architect of Germany’s famous Schlieffen Plan for World War I, commissioned a series of “Cannae Studies” of encounters including both Cannae and Sedan. After reviewing the history of land warfare from antiquity to modernity, the framers of the Cannae Studies concluded that double envelopment, the gold standard during the age of close-quarters combat, remained the key to triumph on industrial-age battlegrounds. So there’s a parable for you: execute an effective double envelopment and you can engrave your name in martial history alongside Hannibal’s.

Cannae reverberates throughout the ages. The U.S. Army reprinted Schlieffen’s studies as recently as the 1980s.

Third, an effective analogy cites a successful strategy, commander, or statesman. Why associate your big idea with failure in your audience’s minds? No one would name a strategic concept after Fort Necessity (1754), George Washington’s cataclysmic failure as a commander—not even to capture Washington’s allure. Dien Bien Phu, the French Army’s debacle in Indochina (1954), likewise makes a loser for branding strategic ideas. The audience may reject your pitch even in the best of circumstances; why start off at a credibility deficit by branding yourself as someone who entertains suspect ideas?

Channel success—not disaster—and make a favorable first impression

That warning also applies to good ideas that failed. Mahan appraises the strategic logic behind Athens’ Sicilian campaign (415 BC) and finds it impeccable, but hitching your proposal to a venture that cost a major power its entire expeditionary fleet and army would be a winner with few audiences. Results matter. Do not label your strategic idea A Sicilian Campaign That Works!

Similarly, avoiding the Schlieffen Plan would be astute. Yes, Schlieffen was acclaimed one of nineteenth-century Germany’s most gifted soldiers, and yes, his campaign design made sense. But it failed. If you cite a historical analogy and immediately have to start making excuses for it, you’re better off looking elsewhere to brand your concept.

I always giggle when preparing to teach Desert Storm, “my” war. Likening some aspect of the coalition offensive to the Schlieffen Plan became a bit of a fad back then. For example, Col. John Warden, the architect of the air campaign, depicted it as an aerial Schlieffen Plan. Many compared the ground offensive to Schlieffen’s handiwork as well. And unwittingly telegraphed this message: I am selling you a masterpiece of an idea that will fail when put to the test of combat, the true arbiter of what does and doesn’t work in martial competition.

The air and ground campaigns worked in Desert Storm to great fanfare, but commanders’ salesmanship for them was so-so at best.

The Maginot Line is another example worth shunning. Edward Luttwak rightly points out that the French fortifications never fell to German arms in World War II. But so what? The Maginot Line was defeated. France fell. An utter defeat doesn’t make an inspiring banner for your great idea. Indeed, naval proponents used the Maginot Line to warn about the “hollow” U.S. Navy of the 1970s. It’s better as a cautionary tale than for branding.

And lastly, beware of altogether successful analogies if they took place amid dubious circumstances. Think about the French Army’s Morice Line in Algeria (1957). FLN militants broke an army against the Morice Line. It ranks as one of history’s most impenetrable defensive frontiers. But the French-Algerian War (1954–1962) barely even qualifies as forgotten for your average American, it was a decolonization struggle in which torture played a prominent part, and France ended up losing the war despite French engineers’ excellence at defensive works. In short, the Morice Line is tainted by association with the larger North African conflict.



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America’s Foreign Policy Secretly Fulfilled A Bible Prophecy

In her was found the blood of the saints prophecy fulfilled through America (Revelation 18:24).  This is christian blood that was spilled all over the world because of America’s foreign Policy.  Watch the video to find out more.

DISCLAIMER: Views and opinions expressed on The Ben Armstrong Show are solely those of the host and do not necessarily represent those of The New American. TNA is not responsible for, and does not verify the accuracy of, any information presented. 



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CNN seems to prefer Chinese Communist policy on guns compared to U.S. rules

On Monday, CNN parroted Chinese propaganda about the United States, comparing the communist country’s policy on banning private ownership of firearms with that of the United States, which guarantees the right to bear arms under the Constitution. Furthermore, the outlet compared China’s communist revolution in the 1940s to the American War of Independence.

The cable news organization ran an “analysis” of the differences between the repressive Chinese regime and the United States regarding gun rights, with statements dissected by the Daily Wire like the following: “China’s gun control policy is broadly popular among the public, which — like many in the international community — views US gun crime with bewilderment and horror.”

The article in question reports on a fatal shooting in China’s Wuhan city, remarking that “The fatal shooting shocked many in China, which has some of the world’s strictest gun control laws — so much so, that some people thought initial reports were about yet another American shooting.”

“The two countries stand on opposite ends of the spectrum of gun control, with the right to bear arms legally protected and vehemently defended in one, and a near-total ban on civilian firearm ownership in the other,” the authors wrote, adding that “The difference is stark when it comes to public safety. Despite being the world’s most populous country, with 1.4 billion residents, China only records a few dozen gun crimes a year. And more broadly, violent crime has continued falling, reaching its lowest level in 20 years in 2020, according to state-run news outlet Xinhua. Meanwhile, the US reports hundreds of mass shootings with four or more victims every year, with more than 475 such incidents recorded so far in 2021 — not to mention many more gun deaths like suicides.”

The article claims that the two countries’ opposite approaches to private gun ownership are “especially striking given both nations were born from armed insurrection – the US winning its independence in the Revolutionary War in 1783, and the Chinese Communist Party establishing the People’s Republic of China in 1949 after a lengthy rebellion against the Nationalist government.”

China’s nationalist government, the Kuomintang, was a constitutional parliamentary democracy that opposed the monarchists of the previous era and the Yuan military regime, whose leader Yuan Shikai proclaimed himself emperor of China in 1915.

With the outbreak of the Second World War, nationalist forces were depleted following combat with the Japanese while communist forces withdrew from the field and grew in number, so much so that the communists, led by the People’s Liberation Army, were able to defeat the nationalists after three years of full-scale civil war. Not long after seizing power, the communists outlawed the private ownership of land and gold, and eventually firearms in 1966.

CNN notes, “By 1996, a national gun control law had been promulgated by the National People’s Congress, China’s rubber-stamp legislature. Under the law, only a few groups of people are allowed to own guns, including law enforcement, security personnel, government-approved sports shooters and government-approved hunters. The Communist Party’s grip has only grown tighter under President Xi Jinping.”

“China’s gun control policy is broadly popular among the public, which — like many in the international community — views US gun crime with bewilderment and horror,” the authors claim.

CNN’s publication of its piece follows China’s efforts to sow dissent among Americans over the Second Amendment. In July, Chinese state media Xinhua News tweeted, “How a gun-happy nation spends its #FourthofJuly weekend,” with a pair of U.S. political figures sharing a toast “To freedom,” with a third gun-wielding figure adding “… of shooting!”

The blood-splattered gun-wielding figure also danced by a gravestone marked “Death from firearm.”

Chinese cultural ambassador Zhang Heqing shared the tweet, remarking, “With gun violence happening almost every day, how much could the human rights be guaranteed? Can that also be called the so-called freedom?”





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Inevitable? BLM to protest restaurant over vax passport policy – HotAir

After a disturbance at Carmine’s restaurant in New York City last week that led to several people being arrested for assault, a new angle has been brought into the debate over immunity passports and vaccination mandates in bars and restaurants. Three women who were visiting from Texas arrived at the restaurant and were seated last Thursday. But when a group of men arrived to join them, they refused to show the hostess their CDC vaccination cards or any other acceptable immunity passport and were refused service. This led the women to assault the hostess. While unfortunate, we’ve heard similar stories before, but as I said, this one has a bit of a twist. The women and the men were all Black. Now the New York Chapter of Black Lives Matter is entering into the fray and they will now be protesting the restaurant over accusations of racism. Going one step further, they are declaring that the entire vaccine passport plan is racist. (Daily Wire)

Black Lives Matter’s Greater New York chapter plans to protest Carmine’s restaurant in New York City following reports that a hostess tangled with a group of black women over COVID-19 vaccination cards. The group is also claiming that the city’s vaccine passport is racist.

Fox News reported that “a 24-year-old hostess was assaulted Thursday” at Carmine’s “by three Black female tourists from Texas after the hostess requested to see their COVID-19 vaccine card. Kaeita Nkeenge Rankin, 44, Tyonnie Keshay Rankin, 21, and Sally Rechelle Lewis, 49, were arrested and charged with assault and criminal mischief.”

Later reports seem to indicate that the women were seated, but ended up in an argument with the hostess after men who were supposed to join their party refused to provide the hostess with their proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

A BLM spokesperson released a statement saying that he believes the city’s immunity passport mandates for indoor activities are being used to “keep Black people out of spaces.” He further claimed that if the passport system isn’t canceled, police will use vaccination status as an excuse to “harass and arrest our people.”

Honestly, I’m shocked we hadn’t already reached this point by now. And this is going to make for some awkward, uncomfortable moments for our liberal media figures who cover all of the vaccine mandate battles on a regular basis.

When it’s a group of mostly white people showing up to protest vaccine mandates, it’s easy enough for the liberal mainstream media to lump them all in together as disgruntled, southern Trump supporters who refuse to “follow the science” and are endangering everyone else. But now the New York chapter of BLM is applying the same rule to the vaccination mandates that they do to everything else with most of the media happily singing along with their choir. If anything ever impacts people of color disproportionately, they claim that the “thing” in question is racist no matter what the underlying cause of the disparity may be. That’s what they’re doing here.

But what BLM is tacitly admitting here is something that we’ve already seen in all of the national vaccination statistics since the doses were first rolled out. Vaccine hesitancy is much higher among Black and Hispanic Americans on a per capita basis. That pattern has held up in New York City all year. So when you start requiring vaccination passports to engage in public life, you’re bound to be hitting Black patrons disproportionately. Most of our media mavens have been happy to blame the unvaccinated for everything including the kitchen sink up until now. But will the hosts at CNN be willing to step up and blame Black unvaccinated tourists for their own inability to go out for a meal and say that BLM is wrong about this?

Up until now, the press has been able to happily blame a bunch of conservative rednecks and point out how ignorant and unscientific they are to resist being vaccinated. The shoe is going to be on the other foot now, however. I can’t wait to see how they plan to spin this situation.



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Deep State “Foreign Policy” is Killing Christians Worldwide

All around the world, the fruit of the U.S. government’s so-called “foreign policy” is becoming clear to see: the slaughter and persecution of Christian communities. In this episode of Behind The Deep State, host Alex Newman, senior editor of The New American, explains how this pattern can be seen in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, the Ivory Coast, and more. An occasional incident of Christian persecution as a result of the Deep State-controlled “foreign policy” establishment might be explainable as stupidity or an accident. But today, the pattern is too clear and ubiquitous for that to make sense. Plus, when you see the persecution of Christians by the Deep State escalating in America and Europe, it should be no surprise that those same evil individuals and organizations unleashing terror and hate against Christian communities in other nations, too.



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Texas restaurant with “no masks” policy under scrutiny – HotAir

We’ve all been watching the various battle lines being drawn around the country when it comes to COVID abatement policies in public spaces and businesses. One of the larger bones of contention arises with face masks. Should businesses like bars and restaurants mandate the wearing of masks by all patrons when they aren’t eating or drinking? Should they make it entirely voluntary? Or should only the unvaccinated be forced to wear a mask and, if so, how will you check their vax status? Needless to say, it’s complicated. But one bar/restaurant in Texas has created a stir for going in an entirely different direction. At Hang Time, an eatery in Rowlett, Texas, a different sort of rule is in place. Face masks are not allowed. If you go in and put one on, you will be asked to remove it or leave. And not everyone agrees with that sort of system.

That’s what happened to a young couple who went to Hang Time for dinner recently. Natalie Wester and her husband were out for “date night” while their young child was at home with a sitter. But upon entering. the waitress came up and asked them to remove them. They refused to do so and were refused service. (CBS Dallas)

“Our waitress came over, sat down next to me and said, ‘Our manager told me to come over because I am nicer than he is… But this is political and I need you to take your masks off.’”

No masks allowed.

It’s a policy you don’t hear often amid the pandemic, but the owner says he considers it part of the dress code.

“I have spent my money on the business, my blood sweat and tears in this business, and I don’t want masks in here,” Tom, the owner of Hang Time, said.

While the Westers are both fully vaccinated, they say that they choose to wear masks while out and about because their 4-month-old son is immunocompromised. That explanation didn’t manage to get them served in the restaurant.

Part of me certainly feels sympathetic toward the Westers, since caring for a baby with those sorts of medical issues can’t be easy and no doubt causes a lot of concerns. But a the same time, I have a hard time seeing this as “a problem” that needs to be addressed.

Personally, I find pretty much all of the face mask mandates to be repugnant at this point. That’s doubly true for any eating and drinking establishments where you’re told to mask up, but allowed to lower or remove the mask while partaking of your food or beverage. I’m sorry (not sorry), but that’s just dumb. Even if you believe that the cloth masks most people wear are magically effective at blocking airborne viral loads (they aren’t, though they can reportedly partially block transmission from infected persons who are coughing or sneezing), the moment you lower the mask you are breathing in the air around you and exhaling whatever you have in your own system. The virus isn’t scanning the room and saying, oh, that person is going to put a mask back on in a moment. We’d better skip them.

I’m not going to beat that idea into the ground. It’s just a pet peeve of mine. But the larger point here is that while I don’t agree with making face masks mandatory, I also don’t see any point in banning them outright for the people who feel more comfortable that way. It seems to me like the owner of Hang Time is just driving away potential business.

But with that said, it’s his business and he has to run it how he sees fit. In the end, these are questions that will all be answered by the free market if the situation is allowed to play out. I’m sure there are plenty of other eateries in Rowlett that allow masks and will be happy to accept the Westers’ money. There are others that require masks and everyone will be able to pick and choose which places to patronize. (If I happen to be in Rowlett any time soon you’ll probably be able to find me at Hang Time, but that’s just me.)

Tom, the owner of Hang Time, shouldn’t be in any legal trouble here. Restaurants are allowed to enforce dress codes. And in an ironic twist, many states (including Texas) actually have laws on the books forbidding the wearing of masks in public as an anti-crime measure, though all of those laws have seemingly gone ignored since the pandemic blew into town. The bottom line is that each business should be able to make the call on this question as they see fit and all of the customers out there can decide where to take their business based on their own preferences.



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MSNBC’s Stengel: Drone Fiasco Shows ‘Rightness’ of Biden Afghan Evacuation Policy

On Monday’s Craig Melvin Reports on MSNBC, analyst Richard Stengel claimed that the drone strike that killed ten civilians in Afghanistan confirmed the “rightness” of Biden’s policy of evacuating Afghanistan. 

Melvin asked, “The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan was already a rough patch for the Biden administration, to say the least, but where does this mistake leave the White House now? How does it fit into the broader story of Afghanistan?” 

Stengel, who was an Undersecretary of State under Obama after many years at Time magazine, replied “Well Craig, I would say it just confirms the rightness and correctness of evacuating from Afghanistan and the difficulties that U.S. soldiers face in that country. I mean, you know, the — even the administration has admitted the intelligence they had about how long the Afghan government would survive and the efficacy and power of the Afghan military, I mean, our intelligence was not great about that either.”

That was bad, but instead of talking about how nobody has been held responsible for those failures, Stengel doubled down on his Correctness argument: “And I think that’s one of the reasons that President Biden has always been a skeptic about American boots on the ground in Afghanistan. And as tragic as it is, and it is absolutely tragic and we should get to the bottom of it, I think it only confirms the correctness of that decision and I think it reminds Americans of just how messy our engagement in Afghanistan was.” 

It is absolutely true that our 20-year experience in Afghanistan could be described as “messy” and the withdrawal was plagued by horrible assessments of the Afghan Army that led to the ISIS-K bombing. But what that has to do with the drone strike and subsequent cover-up and general lack of accountability is something Stengel never addressed. 

This segment was sponsored by Liberty Mutual.

Here is a transcript of the September 20 show:

MSNBC

Craig Melvin Reports

11:34 AM ET

CRAIG MELVIN: It really is such a terrible tragedy on so many levels. Kind of hard to get your head around how something like that could happen. And Rick, I mean, the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan was already a rough patch for the Biden administration to say the least, but where, where does this mistake leave the White House now? How does it fit into the broader story of Afghanistan? 

RICHARD STENGEL: Well Craig, I would say it just confirms the rightness and correctness of evacuating from Afghanistan and the difficulties that U.S. soldiers face in that country. I mean, you know, the — even the administration has admitted the intelligence they had about how long the Afghan government would survive and the efficacy and power of the Afghan military, I mean, our intelligence was not great about that either. 

And I think that’s one of the reasons that President Biden has always been a skeptic about American boots on the ground in Afghanistan, and as tragic as it is, and it is absolutely tragic and we should get to the bottom of it, I think it only confirms the correctness of that decision and I think it reminds Americans of just how messy our engagement in Afghanistan was. 



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There’s a Government Hall of Fame – but Government Is AWFUL at Everything – RedState

Barely-there President Joe Biden is arguing that the federal government should spend over $6 trillion next year — a more than 20% increase over the titanic $4.8 trillion spent this year.

But that ain’t nearly enough for government’s crony-self-dealers.  They are now debating $5.4 trillion of additional spending on an endless array of fake “infrastructure” slush funds.

The only actual argument to be made against this idiocy is almost never made anywhere by anyone.  And that is: Government is AWFUL at everything.  Having them try to do anything at all ain’t very bright.  Having them try to do…everything is really very stupid.

This job requires me to consume mass quantities of political media.  Which I am sure is penance for major sins committed in this or a prior life.

Of course, most media outlets offer a broad range of perspectives  — from hard-Left to very-hard-Left.  So they are always waving their Big Government pompoms — and less politely mass-reprising the role of Oliver Twist.

But even on the non-Left outlets, those offering (often token) opposition to the endlessly increasing avalanche of government cash?  Do so in the mildest, meekest, and weakest of ways.

Arguing that we can’t afford it clearly doesn’t resonate.  We’re almost $30 trillion in debt.  Almost no one cares.  In the very near future, the debt ceiling must be yet again raised.  The last time a small contingent of sane members of Congress tried to make the debt ceiling raise an issue — rather than a perfunctory afterthought — they were roundly attacked by everyone — including lots of Republicans.

Arguing against the tax increases alleged to offset the spending clearly doesn’t work either.  The Left’s “tax the rich” idiocy has made us the most tax-the-rich country on the planet.  The top 1% already pay 40% of the taxes.  How much thinner do you want to shave the pointy end of our economy’s upside-down pyramid?  Besides which, all the REALLY rich bribe government to exempt them from the increasingly absurd “tax the rich” rates.

Very few even argue the private sector can do things better than government — which is inching towards the never-used “government is awful” argument.  And they do so as a throwaway line rather than mining the Mariana Trench-esque vein of government idiocy.

If non-Left media types started relentlessly saying government sucks — and listing government’s endless misfires — those arguing for more government would begin to look more and more and more ridiculous.  Quite rapidly, all those not arguing for a trillion-direction rollback of government would begin to look more and more and more ridiculous.

Well, maybe.  It may already be too late.  In which case — what the heck do we have to lose?  Let it fly.

Government dangles promise after promise after promise — that they never, never deliver.

On health insurance….

Obama – If You Like Your Healthcare Montage

Obama Promises to Lower Health Insurance Premiums by $2,500 Per Year

Except….

Millions Have Lost Private Insurance Under Obamacare

Obamacare Has Doubled the Cost of Individual Health Insurance

Obama’s ‘Keep Your Plan’ Promise Labeled ‘Lie of the Year’

Government is awful on health care in totality.  You want government-only medicine?  Medicare-for-All, perhaps?  Well, we’ve had government-only medicine for almost two hundred years — it’s called the Veterans Administration (VA).  How’s that been going?

VA History and Failures

307,000 Vets May Have Died Awaiting VA Care

VA Bonuses Were Incentive to Hide Wait Times

Veterans’ Group Charges VA With Failure to Fix Health Care System

Speaking of Medicare – and its bastard stepchild Medicaid.  And while we’re at it — our government retirement program Social Security….

Social Security & Medicare Shortfalls Exceed $100 Trillion Over 30 Years

More Physicians No Longer Seeing Medicare/Medicaid Patients:

“A combination of constant battles over reimbursement rates, red tape and payment below what services actually cost has simmered for a long time.  Medicare now faces the same tell-tale signs of trouble as Medicaid, the low-income health program.  One-third of primary care doctors won’t take new patients on Medicaid.”

And as the government-only VA has demonstrated for two centuries….

Medicare for All: Bad for Doctors and Patients Alike

How about government picking and choosing which energy sources we can use…?

Even Michael Moore Now Knows: ‘Green Energy’ – Is Neither Green Nor Energy

We Shouldn’t Be Surprised Renewables Make Energy Expensive Since That’s Always Been The Greens’ Goal

The Dark Side of Renewable Energy: Negative Impacts of Renewables on the Environment

The ‘Green Energy’ Lobby is About Cronyism – Not Polar Bears

Biden’s Infrastructure Bill: Green Handouts for the Politically Connected

Government can’t do ANYTHING.  Those of you still rooting for that massive “infrastructure” spending…?

Federal ‘Infrastructure’? State-Local Government and Crony Bail Outs and Slush Funds

Obama Admitted $787 Billion Stimulus Was Utter Failure – ‘There Were No Shovel Ready Jobs’

And of course — government awfulness in general….

50 Examples of Government Waste

Bizarre Examples of Wasteful Government Spending

The Poison of Government Corruption and Abuse of Power

So when government promises this….

Infrastructure Framework Has $65 Billion for Universal Broadband

Oh look — it’s government-only Broadband-for-All….

Meanwhile, in Ways and Means:

“House Ways and Means Committee Democrats tucked in a proposed tax credit for local governments that run their own broadband networks, which Democrats say are better attuned to local needs. Republicans and the telecom industry broadly oppose municipal broadband projects, complaining local governments lack the scale and expertise for network building.”

Oh, look — Republicans timidly saying “local governments lack the scale and expertise for network building.”  That’s an inch in the direction of “government is AWFUL at everything.”…

Broadband Boondoggles:

“For decades, local governments have made promises of faster and cheaper broadband networks. Unfortunately, these municipal networks often don’t deliver or fail, leaving taxpayers to foot the bill. Explore the map to learn about the massive debt, waste and broken promises left behind by these failed government networks.”

Because government is AWFUL at everything.

And, oh look — this government trip is totally unnecessary:

“(A)ccording to the Federal Communications Commission, 99.99% of the U.S. population has access to one or more internet service providers offering cable, DSL, fiber, fixed wireless, satellite or another type of internet service….”

We’re already there.  Thanks exclusively to the private sector — and not at all to government.

We’ll end this ceaseless cavalcade of soul-crushing government idiocy – with this….

Government Hall of Fame Inductees to Be Unveiled Next Week:

“Dr. Anthony Fauci. Colin Powell. Madeleine Albright….

“These are just a few of the luminaries who have been inducted into the Government Hall of Fame in the two years since Government Executive created the prestigious honor.

“Now we’re about to unveil this year’s class, along with the visionaries, directors, pathfinders, partners and defenders whose outstanding achievements have made them the winners of this year’s Theodore Roosevelt Government Leadership Awards.”

And no, most unfortunately — that isn’t the Babylon Bee.



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