“The fact that everything collapsed so quickly to me vindicates Biden’s decision,” Jeet Heer says on this week’s second episode of The New Abnormal.
“If you read the Afghanistan Papers, none of what’s happening is shocking. One of the big things that comes out of [the story] is the weakness of the Afghan government, which is really a pumpkin government,” he tells Molly Jong-Fast and Jesse Cannon. “Like it’s like a bunch of guys with a phony baloney jobs and offices and big sacks of money.”
Heer, a columnist for The Nation and writer of the newsletter The Time of Monsters, says that the blame for the war and its chaotic end rests not just with Joe Biden, but with 20 years of presidential mismanagement.
“Going back, the real lost opportunity was very early on with Rumsfeld and Bush and Cheney,” he says. “The whole thing was mismanaged from the start.”
“They didn’t do the right thing? I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you,” says Jong-Fast.
Also speaking to Jong-Fast and Cannon is The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent, who agreed that decades of blundering from the White House caused the chaos of the past three weeks.
“This is kind of a real disastrous mess, but I think it probably was inevitable given all the failures that have led up to this point,” Sargent says. “And there’s probably no neat and tidy way to do this. And in the end that, you know, it had to be done. That would be where a good chunk of mainstream Americans ends up landing.”
Jong-Fast and Cannon are also joined by supermodel Carré Otis, who earlier this month filed a lawsuit accusing former Elite Model Management executive Gerald Marie of sexually assaulting her multiple times in the 1980s.
Otis, once the face of Guess and Calvin Klein, has called for Elite to change the way it does business in an open letter to its CEO, Julia Haart. She decided to come forward with her story after Bill Cosby’s conviction was overturned in June.
“There was a defining moment for me when I heard that Cosby was going to walk. That was so crushing. And so just devastating,” she says. “There are enablers and institutions created to insulate abusers from consequences of their actions, period. You know, my abuser, his behavior was well-known throughout Elite when I was sent to live with him, and while corporate structures might have changed, I have to say Elite and Julia Haart are now directly profiting from the branding and prestige associated with that era.”