MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Taliban’

Report: Former Afghan Govt Forces Joining ISIS-K – News From Antiwar.com

Posted by M. C. on November 2, 2021

This is why US government trainers in Afghanistan were told “never turn your back”.

https://news.antiwar.com/2021/11/01/report-former-afghan-govt-forces-joining-isis-k/

by Dave DeCamp

The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that some former members of the now-defunct US-backed Afghan government’s intelligence and military forces have joined the local ISIS affiliate, known as ISIS-K.

The Journal cited people who knew several men who joined up with ISIS-K after the US withdrawal. The report said the number of defectors who joined ISIS-K is “relatively small” but continues to grow.

The former Afghan government fighters joined ISIS-K out of fear of the Taliban hunting them down. Responding to the report, the Taliban pointed to the general amnesty they declared for former Afghan government officials.

“The Islamic Emirate announced general amnesty and no one including the former security forces should worry about their personal security,” said Taliban Interior Ministry spokesman Sayed Khosti using a formal name for the Taliban-led government.

ISIS-K is essentially the only organized force that is fighting against the Taliban, and the terrorist group has launched several attacks since the US withdrawal. The Taliban have accepted US assistance against ISIS-K in the past but are now insisting they don’t need any foreign assistance to deal with the group.

“We are not faced with a threat nor are we worried about them,” Mawlawi Zubair, a senior Taliban commander, told the Journal. “There is no need, not even a tiny need, for us to seek assistance from anyone against ISIS.”

On Monday, the Taliban said 34 ISIS-K fighters in the eastern Nangarhar province switched sides and joined the Taliban. According to Nangarhar’s provincial intelligence department, 149 ISIS-K members have switched allegiance to the Taliban so far.

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Real Cancel Culture: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix – by Caitlin Johnstone – Caitlin’s Newsletter

Posted by M. C. on October 11, 2021

Propaganda is the foundation of all our problems, and the us vs them dynamic is the foundation of propaganda. If humans can awaken in a visceral, experiential way to the reality that all is one we can inoculate ourselves against propaganda and begin moving toward health together.

https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/real-cancel-culture-notes-from-the

Caitlin Johnstone

“To protect Taiwan we must be prepared to go to war with China.”

~ Imperialists who just lost a war to the Taliban

I’m genuinely disturbed at how many people would be willing to fight a world war over Taiwan’s governmental preferences. The power and effectiveness of the imperial propaganda machine never ceases to amaze me.

The astonishing amount of pushback I’m getting for my very sane and normal “Let’s not fight World War Three over Taiwan” position makes it abundantly clear that many people don’t truly understand that starting a war means you have to actually send actual human beings to go fight that war.

The correct response to someone who supports going to war if China attacks Taiwan is “Are you enlisted?”

The correct response when they inevitably answer “no” is “Then shut the fuck up.”

People who are fine with the idea of increasing aggressions between nuclear-armed nations simply haven’t thought hard enough about what nuclear war is and haven’t learned enough about the many different ways it could occur. It’s a comfort held in place by compartmentalization.

The decision to go to war with China would be the single most important and consequential decision ever made in human history. You’d have to weigh it against millions to billions of deaths. Defending Taiwan’s preference of government clearly wouldn’t weigh enough to justify that cost.

Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ @caitozThe empire’s greatest weapon is not its military, but its propaganda machine. ian bremmer @ianbremmer% of Americans who favor the use of US troops if China invaded Taiwan — going up up up 1982 19% 1986 19% 1998 27% 2002 31% 2004 33% 2006 32% 2008 32% 2010 25% 2012 28% 2014 26% 2015 28% 2018 35% 2020 41% July 2021 52% -Chicago CouncilOctober 9th 2021139 Retweets561 Likes

The empire’s greatest weapon is not its military but its propaganda machine. There’s simply never been anything like the global narrative control provided by the western news media, Silicon Valley, and Hollywood. The military fights wars, the propaganda machine wins them long before they start.

A lucid and well-informed examination of the world’s problems will keep bringing you back to this one fundamental issue: that Earth’s inhabitants are being psychologically manipulated at mass scale into organizing themselves in ways that serve the powerful instead of the people.

Congratulations to those who were awarded the same highly esteemed Peace Prize as Barack Obama and Henry Kissinger.

Conduct critical journalism on an empire-targeted government: get a Nobel Peace Prize.

Conduct critical journalism on the empire: get a CIA plot to assassinate you.

Real cancel culture is when the CIA plots to assassinate a journalist for publishing authentic documents in the public interest.

Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ @caitozWhat? Isn’t that how all whistleblowers are treated? Matt Agorist @MattAgoristwow, so I had to vet this for myself, and it is real. pretty insane how blowing the whistle gets you an instant red carpet on twitter, a blue check, and 56k followers, a podium in congress, and a massive legal team literally overnight. https://t.co/pXdLtbny8POctober 7th 2021425 Retweets1,549 Likes

It’s very cute how we all think that everyone else is gullible except for us. Even assuming that is true is already very gullible.

Humans are not inherently fucked up, we’re just traumatized and manipulated by an abusive system into doing fucked up things. Very few of the ugly behaviors we see in people would exist if we had conscious and compassionate systems in place for organizing ourselves in this world.

Everyone gets that it’s wrong to blame an entire group on the misdeeds of a few of its members, but few people seem to apply that same logic to humanity as a whole. All our systems are dominated by the worst among us, simply because they’re sociopathic enough to climb to the top.

Really it just boils down to the fact that the majority don’t understand how sociopaths’ minds work or how to counter them, and that the trauma of preceding generations keeps giving rise to sociopaths. I think the initial trauma stretches back to our evolutionary ancestors who literally spent their lives running from giant monsters who were trying to eat them. Our nervous systems still operate that way today, even though those monsters are long gone.

If we could just catch a break for one or two generations to heal that trauma, I think we’d be fine. But we keep passing our trauma on to new generations because the worst among us keep thwarting everyone’s attempts to set up conscious systems.

To compensate for the fact that it won’t ever give the left any economic concessions the empire has been loudly amplifying some concessions on racial and sexual justice, so now even though nothing really changed you still get rightists saying politics moved “too far to the left”. This gives the propagandists a couple of different tools: it keeps discourse tied up on issues that will never hurt the agendas of any plutocrat or warmonger, and feeds into the culture war dynamics which facilitate us-vs-them propaganda tactics.

Propaganda is the foundation of all our problems, and the us vs them dynamic is the foundation of propaganda. If humans can awaken in a visceral, experiential way to the reality that all is one we can inoculate ourselves against propaganda and begin moving toward health together.

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My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on FacebookTwitterSoundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fiPatreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here

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The World’s Deadliest Terrorist Group: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix – by Caitlin Johnstone – Caitlin’s Newsletter

Posted by M. C. on September 10, 2021

https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/

Caitlin Johnstone

The CIA just casually discussed sinking a boat full of Cuban refugees and planting bombs in Miami and blaming Castro, but you’re bat shit crazy if you suspect such agencies may have had similar discussions about other geostrategic situations and decided to go through with it.

There’s more public criticism of ordinary people taking ivermectin than there is of planet-dominating power structures driving humanity to armageddon.

Nobody who supports internet censorship does so because they’re worried they themselves might consume dangerous words and believe them, it’s always to protect other people from dangerous words. It’s about the most megalomaniacal, emotionally stunted desire anyone could possibly have.

They see themselves as responsible adults who can be trusted to independently sort out truth from falsehood, but see other people as infants who cannot be trusted to do this. This is nothing other than garden variety narcissism.

Internet censorship via monopolistic government-tied tech corporations isn’t just a problem because of free speech issues, it’s a problem because the way it’s applied is completely uneven and power-serving: politicians and the mass media circulate disinformation constantly without ever being censored. It’s not just silencing people, it’s actually shifting power upwards.

There is no path forward for humanity on this planet without complete female reproductive sovereignty.

Imagine if the world’s deadliest terrorist group got their hands on drones and cruise missiles and nuclear warheads and aircraft carriers and circled the planet with hundreds of military bases and began waging wars and destroying any country which disobeyed their dictates.

No, Texas conservatives aren’t like the Taliban. No, US government authoritarianism isn’t like China or North Korea. You know what it’s like? It’s like America. It says so much that the most corrupt and destructive nation on earth keeps comparing its homegrown depravity to foreign nations.

It’s crazy how there are guys whose whole entire job is trying to get large number of people killed by mass military violence and we just let that be a thing like it’s a perfectly legitimate way for someone to be.

“Hey why does that mustache guy keep trying to get large numbers of people violently killed?”

“Oh he’s just one of those war starty guys.”

“What?? Why are there war starty guys??”

“I dunno. Isn’t that normal? I just assumed it was normal to have war starty guys.”

Every single soldier who died in Afghanistan died in vain. Don’t make up sugary fairy tales about it, just stop letting it happen.

Are soldiers working under the US empire the worst people in the world? No. But in terms of moral standing you’d have to rank someone who murders foreigners on behalf of imperialists and war profiteers below most of the people in your average prison.

“If it wasn’t us waging all these wars and killing all those people it’d be someone else” sounds very much like the sort of thing an abusive tyrant would say.

There’s no good reason to respect the analysis of anyone who thinks China’s behavior on the world stage is worse than or equally as bad as America’s.

Australia is the only so-called democracy in the world which has no bill of rights of any kind. Most people are unaware of this, including most Australians. What you’re seeing in Australia is simply what happens when you add a pandemic response on top of a nation with no foundational legal protection from government overreach. That’s why our Covid measures are so notoriously harsh relative to other western countries.

Modern gods are corporations and banks, faceless inhuman entities whose agendas of growth and conquest supercede even the wishes of their own executives. Our gods are insatiable devourers controlled by no one. Our gods have no heads.

At a time when our species is hurtling toward its own demise we ought to be coming together and working in unison to avert disaster, and it says so much about the power of propaganda that we are instead doing the exact opposite.

All of humanity’s problems are ultimately due to a misperception of the way things are.

Propaganda causes us to misperceive reality in a way that benefits establishment power structures, so we don’t rise up and use the power of our numbers to put an end to the ecocidal, omnicidal status quo which oppresses and exploits us.

Advertising causes us to misperceive our own bodies and the source of real contentment, leading to the obsessive consumption habits necessary for turning the gears of capitalism.

Ego causes us to misperceive our own experience of consciousness and the information which enters our minds through the senses, leading to the suffering and dysfunction which ultimately underlies all abuses in our world.

What we need, then, is clear seeing, both outwardly and inwardly. An end to government secrecy and the mass-scale manipulations which distort our perception of reality. An end to restrictions on psychedelic tools which help people behold their inner processes with lucidity. A greatly elevated prioritization of self-honesty and self-reflection to help us see through the ego’s illusions.

We can’t move toward health until we can see where we’re going.

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My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on FacebookTwitterSoundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fiPatreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here

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Australian Citizens Ask Taliban To Liberate Their Country

Posted by M. C. on August 26, 2021

https://babylonbee.com/news/australian-citizens-ask-taliban-to-liberate-their-country

MELBOURNE—As Australia continues to brutally enforce a total lockdown on their own citizens, the increasingly desperate population has reached out to the Taliban and begged them to come and liberate their country. 

“If only those brave mujahadin fighters could ride in on their American tanks and Humvees, armed with American weapons, and liberate us all,” said local woman Charlotte Menda. “I mean, they aren’t perfect, but at least people can go shopping and walk their dog under Taliban rule. Anything would be better than this, right?”

According to sources in the country, Australians have been suffering under creeping totalitarian rule for years, and COVID only intensified the brutality and cruelty of the regime in the last year. In spite of this, the suffering of Australia has received little attention on the international stage. 

“Australia has a proud tradition of being a prison colony,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison while eating gourmet seafood in a deserted restaurant. “I’m proud to be returning our country back to her roots.” 

Australians then chose a representative to fly to Kabul and ask the Taliban army to overthrow their tyrannical government and usher in an age of slightly less tyranny. 

The Taliban are reportedly considering the request, and have promised a decision next month after they have finished embarrassing America. 

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US Warns American Citizens To Avoid Kabul Airport One Day After Biden Reassures That All Is Well | ZeroHedge

Posted by M. C. on August 23, 2021

Alas, even that was news to the US president – at least until he is replaced by Kamala Harris in a few weeks – who was shocked when confronted about criticism over the planning for the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

“I have seen no question of our credibility from our allies,” Biden told reporters after a speech from the White House on Friday. “As a matter of fact, the exact opposite … we’re acting with dispatch, we’re acting, committing to what we said we would do.”

https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/us-warns-american-citizens-avoid-kabul-airport-one-day-after-biden-reassures-all-well

Tyler Durden's Photoby Tyler Durden

One day after the dementia-ridden president lied to Americans and billions watching around the world that he has “no indication that [Americans] haven’t been able to get, in Kabul, through the airport,” when asked about evacuating Americans who were unable to reach the only safe place in the Taliban-overrun caliphate…

… just 12 hours later (or 2-3 days in Biden time) on Saturday the US embassy in Kabul, or rather what’s left of it as it is now officially located at the airport having handed over the actual embassy building to the millitant Suunis, advised Americans in Afghanistan to avoid traveling to Kabul airport, adding that authorities will contact all registered U.S. citizens with further instructions as the situation updates.

“Because of potential security threats outside the gates at the Kabul airport, we are advising U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to the airport and to avoid airport gates at this time unless you receive individual instructions from a U.S. government representative to do so,” the embassy posted Saturday morning.

To the thousands of desperate US citizens gathered trying to flee the country the instructions to wait – perhaps until General Milley is finished reading the collected works of Mao Zedong – will come as merely the latest slap in the face by an administration that has rightfully earned international scorn and mockery for its unprecedented botching of the Afghan withdrawal.

The scene at Kabul airport several hours ago per source from an NGO who is trying to get people out. Main problem is that it’s impossible to pass the gates and get to the planes even if you are on an evacuees list pic.twitter.com/b3bZn5B34Z — Barak Ravid (@BarakRavid) August 21, 2021

Images circulated on social media this week of Afghans rushing towards a U.S. C-17 transport plane and clinging to its side. A separate video showed what appeared to be two people falling from a military plane as it flew out of Kabul. Since then, crowds have grown at the airport where armed Taliban have urged those without travel documents to go home. At least 12 people have been killed in and around the single runway airfield since Sunday, NATO and Taliban officials said.

The chaos was not the responsibility of the Taliban, an official of the group told Reuters. “The West could have had a better plan to evacuate.”

See the rest here

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Afghanistan Shenanigans – by Caitlin Johnstone – Caitlin’s Newsletter

Posted by M. C. on August 18, 2021

And this all comes just months after the Taliban renewed its earlier pledge to guarantee safety to a trans-Afghanistan gas pipeline, which many like journalist Whitney Webb have suggested was a major reason for the invasion of Afghanistan in the first place.

https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/afghanistan-shenanigans

Things have been moving very rapidly as Taliban forces immediately closed in on Kabul after the end of the occupation. The US is frantically evacuating people, former Afghan officials are fleeing the country, and a transition to Taliban control is a done deal

It’s long been obvious to anyone paying attention that the Taliban would regain control of the country when occupying western powers withdrew, but I don’t think anyone would’ve put money on it happening this quickly. A few interesting questions have come up about this, like for example how hilarious would it be if after spending twenty years and trillions of dollars and thousands of human lives “fighting the Taliban”, the Taliban suddenly resumed power as a US puppet regime?

I mean, what’s going on here?M.S 🪁🌲🌳🌴🚴🚉🏙 @ShaykShackTaliban spox speaking with BBC world rn. Says Afghanistan will be open for business with US and the US companies can keep on working on their public sector contractsAugust 15th 202163 Retweets251 Likes

And here?Frud Bezhan فرود بيژن @FrudBezhanAli Ahmad Jilali, U.S.-based academic and ex-Afghan interior minister, likely to be named as head of new interim government in #Kabul, three diplomatic sources told @ReutersAugust 15th 202165 Retweets117 Likes

And here?Shashank Joshi @shashjInteresting guy to serve as interim president in Taliban-dominated government. Attended @BritishArmy staff college in 1966-67. Director of Dari/Pashto services at @VOANews for many years. Later Afghan interior min & ambassador to Germany. Now at @NDU_EDU, funded by the Pentagon. Frud Bezhan فرود بيژن @FrudBezhanAli Ahmad Jilali, U.S.-based academic and ex-Afghan interior minister, likely to be named as head of new interim government in #Kabul, three diplomatic sources told @ReutersAugust 15th 202120 Retweets41 Likes

I’m not the first person to speculate about this:Louis Allday @Louis_AlldayWhat feels possible is that we are seeing what’s essentially an arranged transition and the Taliban will take power and then work with/subordinate to the US and likely be utilised in its regional plans towards Iran and China in some way.August 15th 2021110 Retweets362 Likes

And this all comes just months after the Taliban renewed its earlier pledge to guarantee safety to a trans-Afghanistan gas pipeline, which many like journalist Whitney Webb have suggested was a major reason for the invasion of Afghanistan in the first place.Björn Müller @Bjoern__MTaliban vows to guarantee safety of trans-Afghanistan gas pipeline | Eurasianet Taliban vows to guarantee safety of trans-Afghanistan gas pipelineThe Taliban has vowed to guarantee the safety of a planned trans-Afghanistan gas pipeline, which could make Turkmenistan’s dream of reaching buyers in Pakistan and India a reality.eurasianet.orgFebruary 7th 202112 Retweets14 Likes

So who knows what’s going on, but it wouldn’t be surprising if shenanigans were afoot in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile this all has a lot of people outing themselves as believers in benevolent imperialism, with many westerners across the political spectrum arguing that the US needs to continue its military occupation in perpetuity to protect women’s rights.Marianne Williamson @marwilliamsonExactly right. Borzou Daragahi 🖊🗒 @borzou“Yes, the US and the west should stop endless wars of imperial conquest. But it’s unconscionable to throw 38 million Afghans to feral wolves and squander hard-fought social and educational advances women and minorities have made over the last two decades.” https://t.co/jDasrpD2TKAugust 15th 202116 Retweets87 Likes

It is now suddenly the wokest of feminisms to want an empire whose interventionism is literally always disastrous to re-invade Afghanistan and occupy their land for generations and keep murdering anyone who tries to fight back in order to force them all to espouse our white liberal values.

Exactly zero of the shitlibs demanding troops stay to prevent Taliban rule at gunpoint would fight the Taliban themselves. Exactly zero of them would even be willing kill Taliban forces sitting miles away safely piloting a drone. This is a game to them. A complete abstraction. I mean, can you picture Marianne Williamson charging at Taliban forces firing an M4 carbine? I can’t.

If the US empire hadn’t manufactured consent for the invasion by aggressive narrative management about Taliban oppression westerners would give zero fucks about women in Afghanistan, just like they give zero fucks about women in all the other oppressive patriarchal nations. This is all just people who don’t think much about the consequences of US warmongering having an emotional reaction to their sudden realization that US warmongering has consequences.

Maybe, just maybe, it was dumb to believe the invasion of Afghanistan ever had anything to do with helping women in the first place? The US military is the very last institution on earth who’d ever actually do anything in the interests of humanitarianism and the very last institution you’d ever want to.Caitlin Johnstone ⏳ @caitoz”OH MY GOD think of the people of Afghanistan!! We’ve got to DO SOMETHING!!” I mean I guess we could all open our wealthy nations to all the refugees who want to leave. “Oh. Oh no. Haha! No. I just meant dropping bombs on them or something, I’m not a lunatic.”August 15th 2021416 Retweets1,339 Likes

No matter what exactly is happening in Afghanistan, everything you’re seeing there today is the fault of the US-centralized oligarchic empire. Every little bit of it. Not just starting with the insane 2001 invasion which cost trillions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives but long before it, when US government agencies backed the Mujahideen against the Soviet Union in the eighties and actively radicalized them. This entire mess is the result of a bunch of imperialists deciding that the entire planet needs to be dominated by a single power structure and that it’s fine to play with human lives like chess pieces in order to make that happen.

These bastards are going to keep murdering people around the world while robbing and oppressing their own citizenry at home until their fingers can be pried off of the world’s steering wheel for good. Only then will we ever have a chance at creating a healthy world.

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My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on FacebookTwitterSoundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fiPatreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here

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Who Lost America’s Longest War? – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on August 14, 2021

How many other U.S. allies field paper armies, which will collapse, if they do not have the Americans there to do the heavy lifting?

Is what we have on offer — one man-one vote democracy — truly appealing in a part of the world where democracy seems to have trouble, from the Maghreb to the Middle East to Central Asia, putting down any deep roots?

The Taliban’s God is Allah. The golden calf we had on offer was democracy. In the Hindu Kush, their god has proven stronger.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/08/patrick-j-buchanan/who-lost-americas-longest-war/

By Patrick J. Buchanan

In April, President Joe Biden told the nation he would have all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack ever on the continental United States.

Given the turn of events of the past week, that 20th anniversary may be celebrated by a triumphant Taliban, now on the cusp of victory over the Americans and their Afghan allies, with gruesome public executions of their surrendered and captured enemies.

Sept. 11, 2021, could see U.S. Marines and diplomats fleeing Kabul to escape the retribution of the Taliban whom we ousted in 2001.

Consider. From Friday, a week ago, to today, the Taliban have overrun 10 of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capitals.

Mazar-e-Sharif in the north is now surrounded. Kandahar and Herat, second and third largest cities, are under siege. The Kandahar-Kabul road has been cut. The defense minister escaped assassination in the capital. The government’s media director did not. The Taliban now control half of the 400 regions of Afghanistan and two-thirds of its territory.

Some Afghan soldiers have fought bravely. Others have retreated into their bases, surrendered, or fled into neighboring countries such as Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan. An entire Afghan army corps with its U.S. weapons, equipment and vehicles was surrendered in Kunduz city.

U.S. military say the fall of Kabul could come within 90 days, with some saying privately the regime could fall to the Taliban within a month.

Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut has summarized the situation:

“The complete, utter failure of the Afghan national army, absent our hand-holding, to defend their country is a blistering indictment of a failed 20-year strategy predicated on the belief that billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars could create an effective democratic central government in a nation that has never had one.”

The reality of that grim assessment raises many questions.

Who is responsible for the colossal U.S. failure in Afghanistan? Who is responsible for America’s impending defeat in her longest war?

Over the last 20 years, the U.S. lost 2,500 troops with 20,000 wounded and invested $1 trillion to create an Afghan army, only to see that army crumble and disintegrate as soon as we departed.

Wednesday, Biden conceded that truth:

“Look, we spent over $1 trillion over 20 years; we trained and equipped … over 300,000 Afghan forces. Afghan leaders have to come together. They’ve got to fight for themselves.”

We are facing in Afghanistan a wipeout of the investment of a generation to convert Afghanistan into a democracy with the ability to hold the allegiance of its people and to defend itself.

Why did we fail?

Did the U.S. generals, statesmen, politicians and journalists who went to Afghanistan during these last two decades, and came back to testify to our steady progress, delude themselves? Or did they deceive us?

How many U.S. generals knew what was going on but declined to risk their careers by telling Congress or the country that the Afghan army and regime we had stood up would likely collapse like a house of cards once the Americans departed and they had to face the Taliban alone?

Today, the U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, is in Qatar threatening the Taliban that if they overrun the country and impose a victor’s peace, they risk being denied diplomatic recognition by the U.S. and its Western allies and a forfeiture of future foreign aid.

But to brand the Taliban terrorists and pariahs is not new to them. What they seek is something for which they have proven they are willing to die.

What is critical for them is to restore the Taliban to their previous dominance; to create an Islamic Emirate; to make themselves the moral, social and political arbiters of a more purely Islamic Afghanistan.

And to be rid of the outsiders and their alien values.

They want to be able to stand up and say to the Muslim world: “We have shown you how to do it. We fought America, the world superpower, for 20 years until we forced the Americans, tails between their legs, to get out of our land, and then put their puppets up against a wall.”

While our strategic defeat will leave Americans reluctant to attempt any such future imperial interventions, there needs to be an accounting.

The questions that need answering:

Was not the attempt to transplant Madisonian democracy into the soil of the Middle and Near East a fool’s errand from the beginning?

How many other U.S. allies field paper armies, which will collapse, if they do not have the Americans there to do the heavy lifting?

Is what we have on offer — one man-one vote democracy — truly appealing in a part of the world where democracy seems to have trouble, from the Maghreb to the Middle East to Central Asia, putting down any deep roots?

The Taliban’s God is Allah. The golden calf we had on offer was democracy. In the Hindu Kush, their god has proven stronger.

Patrick J. Buchanan is co-founder and editor of The American Conservative. He is also the author of Where the Right Went Wrong, and Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War. His latest book is Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever See his website.

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Graveyard of Empires – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on July 21, 2021

America’s war party is trying to find ways to keep the conflict going by raising phony alarms about girl’s schooling, translators and woman’s rights.  But we hear nothing at all from these pro-war hypocrites about the murder, rape and dowry killing of thousands of women in India each year.  How many misinformed Americans know that Taliban was a religious movement formed to stop the rape of Afghan women and brigandage during the bitter 1990’s civil war?  I was there and saw it.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/07/eric-margolis/graveyard-of-empires/

By Eric S. Margolis

The US-led war in Afghanistan looks to be ending, and not a day too soon.  America’s father, Benjamin Franklin, wisely wrote: ‘No good war; no bad peace.’

Yet for 20 years, the United States waged all-out war against this small, remote, impoverished state whose only weapons were old AK47 rifles and the boundless courage of its fierce people. 

In my first book about Afghanistan, ‘War at the Top of the World,’ written after being in the field with the anti-Soviet ‘mujahidin’ warriors, I called them ‘the bravest men on earth.’  Now, some 21 years later, I repeat this title.

For the past two decades, the Afghan nationalist mujahidin have faced the full might of the US empire: waves of B-1 and B-52 heavy bombers; fleets of killer drones, constant air strikes from US airbases in Afghanistan, Central Asia and the Gulf; 300,000 US-financed Afghan mercenary troops; up to 120,000 US and NATO troops and other US-paid mercenaries;  the brutal Communist-run Afghan secret police, regular government police, Tajik, Hazara and Uzbek militias, hit squads sent by the US and Britain, plus famine and disease.  Use of torture by western forces was rampant.

All this to defend the US-installed Afghan puppet governments whose main business was protecting the nation’s growing opium trade which made Afghanistan the world’s largest exporter of opium/morphine that was processed into heroin.  Another proud moment for Washington which, in the 1970’s had been up to its ears in Indochina’s opium trade, and later in Central America’s cocaine business. 

Afghanistan was a war of lies, sustained by the powerful US and British media.  President George W. Bush, a man of deep ignorance, launched this war to cover being caught sleeping by the 9/11 attacks.  Bush blamed Osama bin Laden, former US ally, and Afghanistan’s Taliban government for 9/11, though the Afghans were likely not involved with it. 

The only proof of bin Laden’s involvement was a number of fake videos that I believe were made by Afghanistan’s Communist-run intelligence service or its former KGB bosses.  When I pointed out these videos were fakes, CNN blacklisted me from further broadcasting.  So too did Canada’s CBC TV and the Sun chain after I warned Canadian troops were being sent to Afghanistan under false pretenses.

Officially, the US lost 31,376 dead and seriously wounded in Afghanistan; Canada lost 158 dead; Britain 456 dead; the Afghans god knows how many.  Estimates range from, 100,000 to one million.  Two million Afghans reportedly died during the decade-long Soviet occupation.  Almost anything that moved was bombed.

The known cost for this useless war was 2 trillion US dollars, plus hundreds of millions in secret payments to hire ‘volunteers’ from US allies to fight in Afghanistan.  This was almost all borrowed money hidden in the US federal debt.

What next?  The US is trying to find a way to stay engaged in Afghanistan via air attacks from its bases in the Gulf and possibly new ones in Central Asia.  The world’s premier military power simply cannot endure the humiliation of defeat in Afghanistan, particularly so by a bunch of Muslim mountain warriors.  All those US and British ‘experts’ who championed the Afghan war are now hiding their faces, as they did after the Iraq debacle.

America’s war party is trying to find ways to keep the conflict going by raising phony alarms about girl’s schooling, translators and woman’s rights.  But we hear nothing at all from these pro-war hypocrites about the murder, rape and dowry killing of thousands of women in India each year.  How many misinformed Americans know that Taliban was a religious movement formed to stop the rape of Afghan women and brigandage during the bitter 1990’s civil war?  I was there and saw it.

What next? As US power wanes, CIA will try to bolster separatist movements among Afghanistan’s Tajik and Uzbek minorities.  Iran will arm and finance the Shia Hazara minority.  Still Communist dominated Tajikistan and Uzbekistan will support their ethnic brethren in Afghanistan.  Most important, India will intensify intrigues in Afghanistan where its powerful intelligence agency, RAW, is increasingly active.

Meanwhile Pakistan quietly supports Taliban which, like a quarter of Pakistanis, is of Pashtun ethnicity.  China for once does not know what to do in Afghanistan: it wants to block expansion of Indian influence in the subcontinent but deeply fears militant Islam and its rising influence in Chinese-ruled Xinjiang, formerly Turkistan.  

So, Americans may have not seen the last of Afghanistan, one of the greatest follies of US foreign policy.  To paraphrase the great Talleyrand, the US war in Afghanistan ‘was worse than a crime, it was a mistake.’

Eric S. Margolis [send him mail] is the author of War at the Top of the World and the new book, American Raj: Liberation or Domination?: Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World. See his website.

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As Afghanistan Pullout Nears, US Emphasizes Plans to Keep War Going – News From Antiwar.com

Posted by M. C. on July 12, 2021

Instead of defending the peace plan, the Biden Administration is arguing that the war is effectively ongoing, openly talking about heavy airstrike campaigns against the Taliban well beyond the pullout.

Officials are envisioning adding more and more military options to Afghanistan, seeking military base access along the Afghan border in other countries.

The Pentagram wins, again. We lose, again.

https://news.antiwar.com/2021/07/11/as-afghanistan-pullout-nears-us-emphasizes-plans-to-keep-war-going/

by Jason Ditz

The US was supposed to be out of Afghanistan in May, and by the end of August they’ll finally make good on that pledge, more or less. Officials are quick to argue that the US will retain military capabilities in Afghanistan going forward.

This has a political dimension. President Trump made the initial peace deal to withdraw from Afghanistan, but now Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R – IL), an opponent of ending the war, is arguing that the withdrawal is tantamount to a “crushing defeat” in the war.

Instead of defending the peace plan, the Biden Administration is arguing that the war is effectively ongoing, openly talking about heavy airstrike campaigns against the Taliban well beyond the pullout.

Officials are envisioning adding more and more military options to Afghanistan, seeking military base access along the Afghan border in other countries.

While those deals aren’t in place, the Pentagon is still arguing that they will retain military leverage over the Taliban after finishing their withdrawal in late August.

The US has been arguing for weeks now that they will retain military capacity in Afghanistan, and has been assuring the Afghan government that they will be supporting them.

This comes amid Afghan officials insisting they’d be fine without US support, and amid mounting losses the Afghans are facing despite the US troops being present as it is.

After 20 years, the US is so used to being at war in Afghanistan that even when the troops leave they can’t imagine not being able to attack that nation. It’s not clear what that’s going to look like, but they just assume attacks can happen.

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Torture Enters the Courtroom – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on June 10, 2021

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2021/06/andrew-p-napolitano/torture-enters-the-courtroom/

By Andrew P. Napolitano

For the first time in American history, a federal judge last week authorized the government to admit as evidence in a criminal case in a public courtroom words uttered by the defendant that were obtained under torture.

The fruits of torture — which is any cruel or degrading or intentionally painful or disorienting behavior visited upon a person in captivity to induce compliance or to gratify the torturer — are not permitted in any court in the United States, and their inducement is criminal.

Here is the backstory.

Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a low-level former member of the Taliban, is accused with others of plotting the suicide bombing of the USS Cole in October 2000 that killed 17 American sailors. He has been in U.S. custody since 2002 and at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, since 2004. When he was first captured, he was turned over to the CIA for interrogation, not the Department of Justice for prosecution.

The practice of the federal government immediately following 9/11, when it captured anyone overseas from whom it believed it could extract national security information, was to hand the person over to the CIA for torture — the feds call it “enhanced interrogation” — at a “dark site” in a foreign country with which the U.S. does not have an extradition treaty.

The reason for the location of the torture was the erroneous belief by DOJ and CIA officials that torture conducted or condoned by American personnel is not prosecutable if it occurs outside the U.S.

That has never been the law in the U.S., but it has been the practice of the DOJ and the CIA to shield their personnel with secrecy when they are caught engaging in torture in a foreign country.

However, because either the tortured person or someone connected to whatever the tortured person revealed was to be tried in a federal court, and because no federal court can admit evidence against a defendant that was obtained under torture, the feds devised a scheme around this.

That scheme called for FBI “clean teams” to interrogate the tortured person after the torture was completed, using conventional and lawful interrogation techniques. These techniques often proved more successful than CIA torture. Because these techniques were lawful, and the person being interrogated was advised of his rights and treated humanely by the FBI, the information thus obtained from him was usable in federal court.

At trial, a defendant can always demonstrate that he had been tortured, not to obtain the jury’s sympathy but to enable his lawyers to argue to the jurors that they should disregard as unconstitutional, immoral, unlawful and un-American whatever evidence the torture produced.

Al-Nashiri’s lawyers told the court and the prosecutors at Guantanamo Bay that they intend to argue at trial to the jury that the government has the wrong man and that the true plotters have already been killed by U.S. forces. The feds, in order to counter that argument, told the court that they have statements that al-Nashiri made during his torture that can arguably be used to question his defense.

If the trial judge in the court in Guantanamo Bay had followed the law — the Constitution, the statutes and the rules of procedure, all of which profoundly reject the fruits of cruel and unusual punishment and shocking behavior — as well as American history, he would have excluded from the trial whatever al-Nashiri told his torturers while they had a broomstick well into his rectum.

If the trial judge had followed the law and our values, he would have dismissed the case against al-Nashiri because the government’s behavior shocks the conscience. If the trial judge had followed the law, he would have ordered the torturers into his court room and had them arrested on the spot.

But the trial judge in this case did not follow American law and rejected American values and all sense of human decency when he authorized the government to introduce at trial a partial transcript of the statements al-Nashiri allegedly made under torture. He also broke with 230 years of precedent. He also gave judicial credibility to governmental barbarism and nihilism in the extreme, which holds that individual human beings are subject to the state and, since their rights come from the state, they and their rights exist at the pleasure of the state.

The government lies, cheats, steals and kills; and it has written laws that permit it to do so and make legal recourse against it nearly impossible.

But nothing it does is more damnable than torture.

Torture is the ultimate triumph of the state over a person and the ultimate degradation of personhood. It is a complete rejection of the values of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. And it doesn’t work.

The history of torture is the history of victims divorced from reality by overwhelming fear and unbearable pain and willing to say whatever the torturers demand in return for a cessation of the pain. Stated differently, the fruits of torture are divorced from the truth. As a truth-producing mechanism, torture is a failure.

Many appeals remain for al-Nashiri before his jury trial comes to pass; and torture — with all its sufferings by victim and perpetrators — is part of the history of his case. I trust that saner judicial heads in the appellate process will prevail and this precedent-shattering and monstrous decision will soon be overturned. But its damage is done.

The government of the United States engages in torture and will continue to do so until the torturers are punished. And the prosecutors for whom the torturers work will someday try again to get the fruits of their barbaric behavior legitimized in an American courtroom.

When will the government stop the use of torture? Whom will it torture next? Why does it swear to uphold the Constitution and then trash it?

Andrew P. Napolitano [send him mail], a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel. Judge Napolitano has written nine books on the U.S. Constitution. The most recent is Suicide Pact: The Radical Expansion of Presidential Powers and the Lethal Threat to American Liberty. To find out more about Judge Napolitano and to read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit creators.com.

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