Host Leahy with Guests Ogles and Henry Follow Up on Hagerty Interview and the Wreckage of Afghanistan Withdrawal


Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Grassroots Engagement Director of Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee Grant Henry and Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in studio to weigh in after Senator Bill Hagerty’s concerns with the abrupt Afghanistan retreat leaving behind thousands of Americans.

Leahy: I want to get a reaction to that interview that we just had with Senator Bill Hagerty from our guests in studio, Grant Henry, the Grassroots Director for Americans for Prosperity of Tennessee, and Andy Ogles, mayor of Maury County. Grant, what’s your reaction to that interview with Bill Hagerty?

Henry: I was just stunned by the sheer volume of individuals that are still left involved in this thing. And obviously, you heard Senator Hagerty talk about over the past 20 years, our frontline military has performed magnificently year after year.

They were courageous and effective. They deserve our support and respect. And right now, we should be focusing on American lives. How many lives are still left over there that desperately need our help.

And I’m telling you, one of the most frustrating things for me is that this should be a time of bipartisan support. It was President Trump that really introduced Republicans to the notion that nation-building just will not work.

It’s a bad economic policy. It’s a terrible constitutional decision. And while we’re stuck here looking what should be a bipartisan area of doing something, correct now.

It’s time to focus on American lives that still need help over there. And the number of people stuck over there is stunning. According to Senator Hagerty, right now, there are ten to

Leahy: 200 Americans still there and up to 600 Westerners. That’s a huge number, Andy Ogles.

Ogles: Yeah, I think about the logistics there. But what’s also troubling is that the Biden administration has said that they would not prioritize Americans. When has that been a policy of the United States to prioritize its own citizens? I don’t know.

This administration is out of touch. This is a huge debacle and everything’s in context, right? I mean, it was just last week, Biden said that Afghanistan wouldn’t fall, that the country wouldn’t be swept. That you wouldn’t see helicopters taking off from atop the embassy. And then guess what happens?

Leahy: You saw helicopters taking off from the top of the embassies.

Ogles: Again this shows you whether it’s an aptitude, the arrogance, the incompetence of this administration. And again, the Joint Chiefs.

Regardless of your politics to allow that to happen, they should, if they’re not fired, should immediately resign. This is a catastrophic moment for this region of the world.

Leahy: There’s no question about it. It’s interesting. I’m looking here to try to see what is being reported about the number of Americans left behind in Afghanistan. I can’t see any reporting on that. I’m looking for it.

I heard Sean Hannity last night mentioned that up to 10,000 Americans. We heard from Senator Hagerty it was 10 to 20,000 Americans.

This is something that you would think that ABC, NBC, CBS, and CNN would be reporting, but it’s not really being reported. And I think that’s not a good thing.

Henry: No, not at all. And again, one more time, I think I go back to what Senator Hagerty focused on with this idea that the original mission of Afghanistan was, say, right, and even reasonably well executed.

And now we come to the end of the situation now and one more time, I stressed the idea that this whole debacle is one more time in showing us that Trump was correct.

One of the things that argued to be separated Trump from the rest of the Republican field in the primary in 2016 and one of the reasons why he won against Hillary Clinton was his non-interventionist policy.

That nation-building is just a bad policy on its face. And to be able to talk about that now in a way that we should be talking about it, it’s just a missed opportunity.

And most importantly, Hagerty is correct to focus on the lives that are still left over there, the amount of work that still needs to be done, the focus that we should be paying on.

We have a desperate situation over the next couple of weeks, the next couple of months in particular. I just looked at pictures of airplanes just loaded with individuals, absolutely loaded with individuals. It’s a real humanitarian crisis right now that deserves our attention.

Ogles: When you look historically when we’ve had these 20-year protracted engagements in Afghanistan. So go back to World War II. At the end of the war in the mid-40s into the 80s and the 90s, you saw the importance of having troops stationed in Germany, in Japan, on these various fronts where you had a war four decades before.

So here we are. We’ve got this protracted engagement, and not only do we leave, but we leave hastily. And so to not have a strategic contingent there, to not have a strategic air presence flies in the face of what we know to hold true historically. Whether it be Korea or Vietnam or two. Again, you have to be a brilliant tactician to understand history.

Leahy: The history tells you that what Joe Biden has done is going to have disastrous consequences for America’s standing in the world and for homeland security.

Last night on the Mark Levin Show, Senator Tom Cotton from Arkansas, who was a couple of months ago was sitting in the very seats that you’re sitting in right now, Andy Ogles, mayor of Maury County.

He basically said that President Joe Biden blaming former President Trump for tying his hands in Afghanistan by stating Biden doesn’t feel tied to Trump’s policies in any other area. Cotton said the situation in Afghanistan has undercut America’s credibility.

And over the last 72 hours, Xi Jinping of China, the dictator there is grinning like the cat who ate the canary when he thinks about Joe Biden’s willingness to support Taiwan should the Chinese Communists invade it. Your thoughts Andy.

Ogles: Going back to Trump’s policies immediately when Biden came into office, it was executive order after executive order undoing Trump’s policy.

You can’t now, then turn around and blame Trump for his policies when you basically came in and undone anything that you thought was not good or that you didn’t agree with. And so why now can you blame Trump for something that you ultimately had the final say.

Leahy: Grant Henry, here’s the other thing that Senator Cotton told Mark Levin last night on Mark Levin’s program. Any partner around the world, which is to say almost every partner who counts on American credibility and counts on the credibility and the word and the judgment of the American President right now is worried about whether or not this President will answer the bell when it’s time to get in the ring. And in particular, Taiwan. Your thoughts, Grant Henry.

Henry: Well, it also goes to something that Senator Hagerty mentioned of what happens next? So you’re talking about what Tom Cotton says about whether the president currently has the sort of gusto necessary to do. What’s about to come?

That’s my question. And I don’t pretend to have the military expertise to even pose an answer to that question. But I do want to ask you all, what happens next? What do we do now?

Clearly, there’s gonna be a power vacuum that’s gonna be filled by somebody or something. Does that mean we have more troops that are going back in?

I don’t know the answer to that question, but it’s going to take the fortitude of some of these people up there to make that decision.

Leahy: And I think China and Russia have already recognized the Taliban as a government in Afghanistan. Now China is going to run in, and they’re going to take all the minerals there that are the special kind of minerals that are rare Earth minerals that are apparently there.

I saw a report on that. I don’t know how much it is available, but China is now going to lie with the Taliban. That’s not a good thing, is it?

Ogles: Our enemies overseas and when I mean enemies, yes, I’m talking about your terrorists. But I’m also talking about China and Russia. So what does this mean for Taiwan as it pertains to China? What does this mean for the Baltic States as it pertains to Russia?

What does this mean for some of our South American and Central American dictators who now see America not just theoretically as weak, but because of the inaction, goodness gracious, the buffoon that we have in the office right now of the presidency, that they see an opportunity to strike? And I think you’ll see countries across the globe striking quickly.

Leahy: Oh, absolutely.

Ogles: There’s a window now.

Leahy: There’s a window here, and our enemies are going to strike quickly. And frankly, if you wanted to be totally Machiavellian about this right now, I think probably Xi Jinping is on the phone with the guys from Iran and on with the dictator in Russia, and they’re saying, why don’t we do it all at the same time?

Why doesn’t China invade Taiwan? Why doesn’t Iran attack Israel? Why doesn’t Russia attack Ukraine? If I were a bad guy and I was looking at weakness, that’s what I do. What do you think Grant?

Henry: It’s interesting. A guy named Eric Prince, he’s the founder of Blackwater.

Leahy: We did an exclusive interview with him.

Henry: That’s what I’m reading from right now.

Leahy: Of course!

Henry: Eric Prince is an interesting sort of taking this tire thing, saying one of the reasons why Trump was leading us into this idea that we should probably get out of Afghanistan is that after 20, 30, even 40 years, how effective was it really is stabilizing that region?

Eric Prince has a proposal saying that I don’t know. Maybe we should say you have some private contractors that are in there as a sort of…

Leahy: Mercenaries! Highly-paid mercenaries, not American, not young American boys risking their lives, but highly paid mercenaries who could control the situation. Now I saw that and I thought that made a lot of sense. I think that ship has sailed.

Henry: I understand.

Leahy: I didn’t get any indication from Biden yesterday that he was going to do anything that made any sense. It felt to me like that press conference that the headline was: It Wasn’t Me, Stern Letter to Follow.

Ogles: He blamed the people of Afghanistan, blame the Afghani military. And look the reality, and it’s hard for us in the west to comprehend, but their allegiances are based on who has the most strength at the moment.

Leahy: Exactly!

Ogles: Because they’re thinking about whether or not my children will survive tomorrow.

Leahy: Joe Biden is a disgrace to the honor of America.

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.














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