A highlight from The Short vs. Long Term (with Bill Kristol)

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Hey up a chair. Tax on tap with. David axelrod robert gibbs and mike murphy added evacuated. Thousands of people from kumble is going to be hard and painful no matter when it started when we began would have been true if we had started a month ago or a month from now. There is no way to evacuate this. Many people without pain and loss heartbreaking images. You see on television. So robert gibbs that was the president of the united states on his third or fourth Effort to explain what was going on in in afghanistan Good to see you. I wanna say to everybody including our buddy bill kristol. Who's standing by here. I had a little oral surgery this week. I'm hopped up on painkillers. I'm offering that as a disclaimer. For anything i say during this During this podcast but it strikes me you guys that there are a lot of people in washington. Who would like painkillers right now. There's been a terrible week. It you mean you're not just talking about your oral surgery. Now you're talking about writ large. Did you experiment large yet writ. Large i feel. I mean bill kristol. You're a veteran of the white house. whatever you think about what happened. I watched jake sullivan on sunday You know on some of the sunday shows. I barely recognize them You know. His eyes were sunken He was sallow. And it's very clear you know that. He is absorbed You know totally and trying to trying to navigate through all this. And i'm sure everybody there is doing the same. You know anyone who's been in the white house knows what that's like It's not it's it's a terrible terribly difficult feeling. Yeah it seems like they have pulled it together. A little bit of the last forty eight hours speaking what midday tuesday and i'm hopeful that we get a lot all the americans out obviously and then a lot of afghans and do so without you know it's going to be messy as the president said but without Disaster i'm worried about the deadline. August the thirty first of it wasn't my preferred policy but to be fair the president ran on it and do some bewildered why they didn't in the four-month since was fourteen that he announced it. It didn't organize better to think through. How do we get the civilians out. Not just the military at the afghans out. Not just the americans. How do we handle the possibility of army and the government falling apart faster than than we expected and so forth but Honest feels like this is the by demonstrations. They do this a fair amount. They don't do a great job on the first of a policy and they don't always get perfectly organized ahead of time on something but they do a b. They don't like criticism and As i've heard from people and you guys were snow here. This might have gotten involved and and see they. Do we act though. They do adjust i would say they don't stick their head in the senate. I don't think general and so some of the things you can't make up for unfortunately if if some afghan translator is not in coppell and is in hiding or is being persecuted by taliban as we speak. That's not something you can make up for of time. Maybe some of it couldn't be stopped anyway but they do adjust that i feel like the military's pretty good at this to once they see. Okay this is the situation. And i'm a little more hopeful than i was two or three days ago robert. That's that seems to be what they're banking on you know I saw ron claim Tweeted out the announcement. That thirty seven thousand people have been evacuated. Which is a substantial Number and you know david sanger said once someone in the administration told him you know we're we're we're going to be judged by what happens to the next two weeks not the last two weeks and That's you know. I think that's that's their beyond the obvious moral and strategic obligation to to to pull this off. I think as a political matter. They think that that that they can get some redemption if they get it right. I'm not entirely sure they're right on on how this is going to be judged generally the the i will note. I don't think we'll know the final grade for quite some time But i you know. I grew bill. I think credit where credit is due. I think that number now is even even north of the number you gave axe. I think we're about fifty thousand people evacuated. And i think they've done it in an extraordinary amount of time but also to bill's point on the organization of this. Now you're beginning to see stories of you know over welcomed in in in cutter having to absorb all of these Evacuees and to some degree Afghan refugees and one had to wonder if you knew. This was coming to bill's point You wouldn't have been overwhelmed at the place where you needed to put the people because you would have known how many people you needed to get out when you needed to get out. So i still think there's some real troubling questions around the evacuation of this and if you look at the nbc news. Poll twenty five percent of the public had confidence or supported his handling and afghanistan. Now i don't i don't i don't quibble about whether twenty five is good and fan fairness plus or minus four so to your point exit could be as high as twenty nine percent of the people but no mean i look i think to me. The the politics of this particularly in in its impact of of biden is not going to be on whether or not it's popular to leave afghanistan. I still think it it. It is yeah. I think people can before leaving afghanistan Feel badly or disapprove of how we're leaving. I still think the danger to him as we've talked about before is their series of traits. He ran on to be president right. He was going to provide calmness. Not chaos right. That empathy was going to be an empathetic president. I think we all agree that he has been in. Probably at the core of it that there was a level of both foreign policy expertise and competence that would be infused again into the oval office. And i think that's to me the real danger for the biden team right now in the short term is the hit that it takes on that. I think if you look at approval ratings over the weekend and the public polling afghanistan is weighing heavily on added covert and other things that i know. Get to I think it's the values and traits that that joe biden wants to be of as bitter the real potential challenges right now on this august thirty first date a bill. I don't exactly understand arrived there. Maybe maybe you do. But deadlines seem very treacherous here and now. He's he's been a vice today because our european allies were strongly supportive of extending the deadline. Apparently the president set Sent bill burns the cia director. Who's a really tremendous diplomat To talk to the leader of the taliban in kabul yesterday presumably to see about extending that deadline and I you know judging from the fact that the president now says we're going to stick to the deadline that meeting didn't go particularly Well so now you know. This is quite a task. They're they've taken on here to try. And in the remaining days of august Get everyone out Including people who are not in kabul and they need to get out of the country. It's i. I don't exactly understand why they set up that tests. And maybe it's to get out before the nine eleven anniversary. I don't know but They could they could come to regret that. I've got to think he's also we'll slide that deadline when it really comes to it because look the most important thing obviously both moral and political humanitarian strategic. Point of view is how it actually comes out not just in a week or a month or two or six or twelve and if to the degree that we look if because of a truly arbitrary deadline what is august thirty. I have to do with anything. It was originally going to be september. Eleventh suggestion suddenly Which biden seemed to think was a good idea to make it on the twentieth anniversary of nine. Eleven which i do. Snakes shows a certain he's deeply believed in this.

Coming up next