Marble Halls & Silver Screens With Sarah Lee Ep. 102: The 'Afghanistan Tragedy, Avenue 5, and Gavin's Beg' Edition

I don’t have a great deal to offer to help anyone understand why and how the Biden administration mangled the Afghanistan withdrawal so magnificently. And I’m personally not optimistic that the August 31 deadline is in any way reasonable if we expect to actually evacuate all civilians, Afghan allies, and military from the region.

But I do know that what happened yesterday at the airport in Kabul, in which 13 members of our military were killed, never had to happen and is a direct result of the incompetence of the Biden administration and possibly the deal the previous administration struck with the Taliban (although I’m less certain about the latter).

I have heard from legitimate experts that there’s no way to hunt down ISIS-K in a retaliatory strike without boots on the ground, but that is what Biden is reportedly planning on doing.

President Joe Biden said Thursday that he had ordered US military commanders to develop plans for a retaliatory strike against ISIS-K, the Islamic State’s Afghan affiliate, which claimed responsibility for the deadly suicide bombings near Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Biden said the US military would be developing operational plans to “strike ISIS-K assets, leadership, and facilities” after a string of suicide bombings earlier Thursday outside the Kabul airport that killed at least 13 American troops as well as dozens of Afghans seeking airlifts out of the country.

“We will respond with force and precision in our time, at a place we choose, in a manner of our choosing,” Biden said in a televised address.

And then there are also reports that the Taliban is requesting a “diplomatic” presence in the country and that the Biden administration is considering the request.

And so, I ask again: Are we actually leaving?

I talk about all that on the show today, and try to balance all the awful news with some moments of absolute valor brought to us by former special operators who served in Afghanistan and helped spirit evacuees away to safety under cover of darkness.

Moving after nightfall in near-pitch black darkness and extremely dangerous conditions, the group said it worked unofficially in tandem with the United States military and U.S. embassy to move people, sometimes one person at a time, or in pairs, but rarely more than a small bunch, inside the wire of the U.S. military-controlled side of Hamid Karzai International Airport.

The Pineapple Express’ mission was underway Thursday when the attack occurred in Kabul. Two suicide bombers believed to have been ISIS fighters killed at least 13 U.S. service members — 10 U.S. Marines, a Navy corpsman, an Army soldier and another service member — and wounded 15 other service members, according to U.S. officials.

There are also thoughts on a pretty funny HBO joint called “Avenue 5” (trailer below); and if you can stomach it, there’s some discussion of Gavin Newsom begging Hollywood for money.

Enjoy.

The show lives on Spotify and you can also find me at iHeartRadio, Apple PodcastsFCB Radio’s Spreaker, and Deezer.