A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things.
You Saw It Coming From Miles Away
As images filter out of Afghanistan of U.S. allies desperate to escape, and as President Biden pledges assistance to continue those evacuation efforts, MAGA world and the right-wing media are trying to gin up a new freakout: that the administration will resettle too many Afghans in the U.S.
- Stephen Miller — who else? — was early out of the gate with this take Sunday evening.
It is becoming increasingly clear that Biden & his radical deputies will use their catastrophic debacle in Afghanistan as a pretext for doing to America what Angela Merkel did to Germany & Europe.
— Stephen Miller (@StephenM) August 16, 2021
- Candidates for office got in on the act Monday afternoon.
The federal government worries about the 'terror' threat from Americans who distrust mandates or advocate fair elections, yet they'll import 30,000 unvetted Afghan SIV applicants and pretend none will be loyal to the Taliban.
— Janice McGeachin (@JaniceMcGeachin) August 16, 2021
I’m sure our generals are vetting these people as effectively as they waged the war. https://t.co/gbEaIT3LMO
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) August 16, 2021
- By Monday evening, the drumbeat of xenophobia had, predictably, made its way to Tucker Carlson’s show.
Tucker Carlson, already going there: "If history is any guide, and it’s always a guide, we will see many refugees from Afghanistan resettle in our country, and over the next decade, that number may swell to the millions. So first we invade, and then we are invaded." pic.twitter.com/4ES5fz4reb
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) August 17, 2021
- Laura Ingraham followed on his heels.
Ingraham: Is it really our responsibility to welcome thousands of refugees from Afghanistan? pic.twitter.com/Sopvx4RJ0H
— Acyn (@Acyn) August 17, 2021
‘Hard Not To Respect That’
Meanwhile, even further to the right, some are impressed by the Taliban’s sweep across Afghanistan and its commitment to religious fundamentalism.
- “I think Islam is poisonous,” opined one Proud Boys Telegram account cited by Vice’s Ben Makuch. “BUT, these farmers and minimally trained men fought to take their nation back from [world governments]. They took back their national religion as law, and executed dissenters. Hard not to respect that.”
Breaking This Morning
The Taliban has offered its first — and very vague — comments about how it might govern, the AP reports:
- “The Taliban declared an ‘amnesty’ across Afghanistan and urged women to join their government Tuesday, seeking to convince a wary population that they have changed a day after deadly chaos gripped the main airport as desperate crowds tried to flee the country.”
Must Reads on Afghanistan
- Inside Reach 871, A US C-17 Packed With 640 Afghans Trying to Escape the Taliban — Tara Copp and Marcus Weisgerber, Defense One
- The Afghan debacle lasted two decades. The media spent two hours deciding whom to blame. — Margaret Sullivan, The Washington Post
Good To Know!
Former president George W. Bush is “watching the tragic events unfolding in Afghanistan with deep sadness,” he informed us in a statement.
The Biden administration has decided Americans should get a COVID-19 booster shot eight months after their second dose of the two-dose vaccines, the Times reports. Those who got the one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot are expected to also need a second dose.
The death toll in Haiti following an earthquake Saturday has now topped 1,400 people. This comes as the country grapples with political instability and as a tropical storm pounds the region.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) defense strategy ahead of the recall election next month isn’t to win over undecided voters — it’s to light a fire under the butts of Democratic voters who might otherwise not turn out during a non-election year.
- In addition to warning Californians of top GOP rival Larry Elder’s deeply conservative stances, Newsom also says that “we’ve just got to gin up that enthusiasm” among blue voters. “That’s what the next 30 days is about,” he tells CNN.
Sign Of What’s To Come
The Biden administration has declared a water shortage along the Colorado River and is instituting cutbacks to the water it supplies to Arizona and Nevada, E&E News reports.
- The river is a key source of water for over 40 million people and millions of acres of farmland across seven states.
NY Lawmakers Reverse Course On Cuomo Investigation
The New York State Assembly will finish its impeachment investigation into disgraced Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) after drawing backlash over its initial decision to drop the probe in the wake of Cuomo’s resignation.
Delete Your Account
Sen. Ted Cruz (R) retweeted a clip of CNN correspondent Clarissa Ward’s report in Kabul that was selectively cropped by right-wing troll Jack Posobiec to make it look like CNN is….pro-Taliban or something?
Is there an enemy of America for whom @CNN WON’T cheerlead?
(In mandatory burkas, no less.) https://t.co/9O6pe8yROM
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) August 16, 2021
Here’s Ward’s full report where she speaks to Taliban forces on the ground:
— New Day (@NewDay) August 16, 2021
Hey, remember when Cruz ran away to sunny Mexico while millions of his constituents froze in their homes earlier this year? CNN’s comms team does:
Rather than running off to Cancun in tough times, @clarissaward is risking her life to tell the world what's happening. That’s called bravery. Instead of RTing a conspiracy theorist’s misleading soundbite, perhaps your time would be better spent helping Americans in harm’s way.
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) August 16, 2021
Do you like Morning Memo? Let us know!