A highlight from Wednesday 14 April

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Us president joe biden announces withdrawal. If the us military from afghanistan by the eleventh of september this year the process of succeeding. Angela merkel as germany's chancellor continues will delve into a complicated time in german politics and patrons returned to the uk's pubs and watering holes this week. We'll ask whether the huge demand for social spaces after the. Uk's latest coronavirus lockdown has put a temporary halt to social spontaneity. Monaco editors are here to discuss those stories today on the late edition here on monocle twenty twenty-four hello there and a very warm welcome t to the late edition here on monocle twenty four. It is wednesday the fourteenth of april. I'm thomas lewis here in toronto with us today to discuss the day's news articles coach editor. Kiara mela and monaco's news editor. Chris shurmur chris kiara great heavy. Both with us on the program. Today we are at the middle of another week. So how are things shaping up after this or the start rather big week in london kiara. Let's start with you. Well radio enthusiast. I've got to say it's a big week. Because obviously there has been a significant loosening of lockdown restrictions. Here in the uk and life really does feel different when you walk down. The street shops are open. Life is back on the street truly and it's been called but it's been too wet so people have graced the outdoor terraces of restaurants and of of of which more later. I'm sure we'll discuss at length. But it has been really quite heartening to see kind of the streets but elizabeth again have to say the couple of days ago. I did walk down towards oxford street. And it was a mixture to reflect relief and horror at seeing oxford tree seeing oxford street. Essentially b-actor as usual state right. Things never change but also got things never change. It was a mixed state of emotions and chris. You've mentioned several times desire to get back on the tennis courts when lockdowns east house the tennis elbow holding view then this first week the easing restrictions in the uk towers on that note. I have to say that we missed you last week. So i wasn't able to provide you with my weekly update on my tennis game. We were thrown into complete chaos. Here i ended up hosting on wednesday with with page and fernando. Kiara was on a different day. I mean it was just broke up the band man. I know what to say but in terms of my tennis i have been very active. Yes i i actually had my first proper sort of group Tennis training last night. I am very very sore. But it's good. It's a good feeling to actually be in pain again from actually doing some proper exercise so i'm feeling good. Whatever can take a nice big deep breath because the band is back together christian and kiara mala gray tabby both with us on the program today while we begin in the us where joe biden has announced that us troops will be withdrawn from afghanistan by the eleventh of september this year and on today's edition of the briefing scott lucas commentator on. Us affairs at the university of birmingham in the uk explained for us. Why president biden was making this move. Now yes i mean. It's big bert with the domestic population. In that you know folks in the united states may not know that much about the complexity of what is going on in afghanistan in twenty twenty one but they certainly know about that marker of nine eleven but andrew i think it's an equally Bigger gamble perhaps even greater when in terms of significance. Set yourself this timetable to withdraw all the us troops from afghanistan with no real clarity on where we are about the attempted political resolution in afghanistan scott lucas. They're speaking two hundred. Today's edition of the briefing. Chris to begin with you to put that same question to you. Why is president biden. Making this announcement you know. It struck me listening to that clip to go back to Biden's democratic predecessor obama. It's quite striking. Isn't it that. When barack obama entered office he made it his goal to get out of iraq. And that was the the sort of key foreign policy issue at the time was exactly the same question that scott lucas was asking right there and then like. What is the plan. What's going to happen when you leave. And what's also course interesting. Is that iraq. Was you know the won. The war that many of us probably remember more is more in the public consciousness and it's sandwiched between afghanistan. Isn't it because afghanistan has been going on now you know for in terms of the. Us obviously afghanistan's own problems Well predate the us as well but in terms of the us role in the conflict. You know it's it's going to be going on almost twenty years when they do leave on the anniversary of september eleventh and you know the other thing that struck me though in terms of joe biden. i was watching or listening a little bit too Senior administration officials setting this up yesterday. And he just had this quote to simplify explanation saying we went to afghanistan to deliver justice to those who attacked us on september eleventh and to disrupt terrorist seeking to use afghanistan as a safe haven to attack the united states. We believe we achieved that objective. Some years ago and i found that quite striking in a way because it just it just set this very narrow goal in a way and it also makes you reflect on you know just what the war in afghanistan has become for the us Over the last few years. Joe biden In the campaign. I was also Listening to an interview. Where he quite bluntly had this quote Where he basically said this is on. Cbs that he would feel quote zero responsibility. If the status of women in afghanistan and others who suffered a human rights abuses as a consequence of the us. Leaving his quote is quote. He kind of turned around and said. Are you telling me that we should go into china. Go to war with china. Because they're do because of what they're doing to the league wars and you know it was a very strong Someone say very unnecessary up to statement about the state of afghanistan. But it also just struck me the the way that the politics is in the us. Right now i find quite fascinating in terms of the debate between liberals and conservatives and who stands where you know this. This was george w bush's war the war he started. You know before. Iraq and at the time Even if they didn't always admit it there was more of a goal than just Us safety and security. You know this was the time of neo conservatism. As as was talked about back in the two thousands where the goal was this idea that the us could create the conditions for democracy In other countries afghanistan or in iraq And it's sort of strikes me that now that's been flipped a little bit because it's actually the democrats of the left liberals that in this case are questioning. Joe biden's decision by saying you know we have a role to stay here to kind of help ghanistan You know improve the society if you will in afghanistan that this should not be just about security issues. And it's joe biden kind of going back to what i would say is more of a traditional conservative. You know realitic line of just saying look we have security goals As long as we're meeting those we can't do any more than that And you know it's just striking in that sense. I think he's quite. He's trying to sort of take this very Narrow middle line in politics And it's it's it's tricky. You know at the same time also because of course rather fascinating lee. We shouldn't forget that it was donald trump who started on this path of leaving afghanistan in his motivation in some ways.

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