Joe Biden pledges to withdraw all American combat troops from Afghanistan by September 11, giving a concrete endpoint to America’s twenty year old war.
Meanwhile, protests continue across the twin cities area as the officer who killed Daunte Wright and the Brooklyn Center police chief both resign.
And lastly, the U.S. pauses rollout of the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine after just six reported cases of blood clots.
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We finally have an end date for America’s long, deadly, pointless war in Afghanistan: September 11, almost exactly 20 years after it began.
Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that he would remove all U.S. combat troops from the country by then. That pushes back the deadline of May set by the Trump administration, but at least gives Americans and Afghans a tangible date to look towards.
Biden appears to be unequivocally rejecting the military and foreign policy establishment that urged him to take a so called conditions-based approach to withdrawing.
Military leaders fear that without a U.S. presence, the country will soon fall to the Taliban all over again. But the New York Times reported that Biden thought putting any conditions on withdrawal would mean our troops would never leave.
The tragedy is both sides here are probably right. The Taliban have surged across the country in many years and will undoubtedly be part of Afghanistan’s future. But if the U.S. doesn’t get out for good now, when will we?
It’s been 20 years, and we’ve wasted 2,400 American lives and over 2 trillion dollars. Intelligence officials say that the Taliban and other terrorist groups active in the country pose little risk to striking the U.S. Enough is enough -- now all that’s left is to make sure Biden sticks to his promise.
Protests continued in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center and throughout the Twin Cities on Tuesday, as an angry, fed-up populace reacted to the death of 20-year-old Daunte Wright at the hands of police.
Wright reportedly spent his last moments on the phone with his mother. He was stopped, he told her, because of the air fresheners hanging from his rear-view mirror.
The officer who killed Wright, Kimberly Potter, resigned from the force on Tuesday, as did Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon.
Potter, a 26-year-veteran of the force, was one of the first officers on the scene after another police shooting in 2019, and served as a police union leader.
She advised the officers involved there to go into separate squad cars, turn off their body cameras, and not speak to one another. No charges were filed in that case.
As protests continued after Wright’s death, the rest of the officers in the Twin Cities area have not yielded an inch to protestors, responding on Monday night with force, and as of script-time, were reportedly firing more flash bang munitious at crowds on Tuesday evening.
City officials declared a 10pm curfew for Tuesday night. Meanwhile, just a few miles away, the trial for George Floyd’s killer Derek Chauvin continues. As yet, no charges have been filed against Potter.
The U.S. has called for a pause in the rollout of Johnson and Johnson’s single-shot vaccine after federal health officials discovered a rare blood clot disorder in six people who had recieved it.
For reference, that’s six people out of an estimated seven million who have gotten the J&J shot thus far. But authorities are clearly tightly wound after Europe’s struggles with the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was also tenuously linked to blood clots.
But again, as sexual health advocates pointed out, the risk for blood clots is 1 in 1000 for some forms of birth control. That’s more than a thousand times more likely than the J&J shot, and those pills are considered extremely low-risk.
FDA scientists said in a statement:
“We are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution.” “Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare.”
That overabundance of caution has thrown the nine million or so doses of the J&J vaccine that were expected to go out to Americans in the coming weeks into limbo. The pause is supposed to last just a matter of days, but it depends what the FDA finds in that time. Let’s hope that the risks stay as low as they appear and we can get back to using that vaccine as soon as possible.
AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:
A new internal report shows that Capitol Police were specifically told not to use aggressive tactics against the January 6 rioters, despite knowing that there was the potential for violence and that Congress itself was the target of the riots.
The Senate will likely move ahead on a rare bipartisan measure today. The bill is designed to to help investigate and halt hate crimes against Asian Americans, and could be finalized by the end of the week if negotiators from both sides of the aisle can pull it off.
Also in bipartisanship: a group of Representatives from both sides of the aisle sent a letter to Biden’s secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Tuesday, urging him to end U.S. support for the Saudi Blockade and military campaign in Yemen, which is drastically feuling the humanitarian crisis there.
Nancy Pelosi has invited Joe Biden to address a joint session of Congress on April 28, the traditional meeting that isn’t officially a State of the Union address, but serves as one in a president’s first year.
APRIL 14 , 2021 - AM QUICKIE
HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner
WRITER - Jack Crosbie
PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn