“What is your Afghanistan hot take? Go.”
“My number one hot take is that I don’t like occupation. I don’t feel like we should be permanently defending ‘democracy’ in any given country. If they are not ready for democracy or to be run in the way that we want them to, we cannot use military power to force them to have a democracy,” said Touré, one of this week’s guests on The New Abnormal, former MSNBC host, current host of an eponymous podcast, and author of I Would Die 4 U: Why Prince Became an Icon.
Hosts Molly Jong-Fast and Jesse Cannon are also joined by Jonathan Allen, a senior political reporter for NBC, and Noga Tarnopolsky, a contributor to The Daily Beast based in Jerusalem.
“People say they don’t want forever wars. Your boyfriend says, ‘I will never hurt you.’ But then when he runs into that one specific ex, he’s like, ‘Well, you know, I got to go have a drink with her.’ You know?” Touré said. “Like if they said, ‘No forever wars,’ and everyone’s like, ‘Yeah!’ But then he said, ‘Pull out of Afghanistan,’ everyone’s like ‘Whoa. Like, nah, we didn’t mean it like there and right now.’”
Jong-Fast and Allen also pinned down the problem with how Joe Biden’s administration has presented the withdrawal from Afghanistan to the public.
“The White House has offered a binary: you could either have the evacuation as it’s been going, or you could be in Afghanistan forever,” Allen said. The reality, the reporter said, is that experts have told the White House how the exit could have been better planned, points the West Wing has largely ignored.
Noga Tarnopolsky joined to discuss the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan from a Middle East perspective. The chaos in Kabul has damaged the United States’ reputation abroad and made allies leery of U.S. promises of protection, Tarnopolsky said.
“This will be really a formative moment of the Biden presidency. I think that many, many allies are feeling a little jittery right now,” she said.