The Forgotten War

Closing Thought–23Sep21

The war that time tries to forget….the 1950s and the Korean War……this basically brought down America’s ‘Caesar’, MacArthur…..

For those that have fallen for the erasing of this conflict from American collective memory….I can fill in the blanks…..

The Korean war began on June 25, 1950, when some 75,000 soldiers from the North Korean People’s Army poured across the 38th parallel, the boundary between the Soviet-backed Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to the north and the pro-Western Republic of Korea to the south. This invasion was the first military action of the Cold War. By July, American troops had entered the war on South Korea’s behalf. As far as American officials were concerned, it was a war against the forces of international communism itself. After some early back-and-forth across the 38th parallel, the fighting stalled and casualties mounted with nothing to show for them.  Meanwhile, American officials worked anxiously to fashion some sort of armistice with the North Koreans. The alternative, they feared, would be a wider war with Russia and China–or even, as some warned, World War III. Finally, in July 1953, the Korean War came to an end. In all, some 5 million soldiers and civilians lost their lives in what many in the U.S. refer to as “the Forgotten War” for the lack of attention it received compared to more well-known conflicts like World War I and II and the Vietnam War. The Korean peninsula is still divided today.

https://www.history.com/topics/korea/korean-war

Let’s take a look at the major battles of this conflict…

Korea was under the rule of the Japanese Empire between the year 1910 and the end of World War II. In 1945, the country was liberated by the Soviet Union from the Japanese rule as a result of the agreement with the United States. The Soviet Union settled in the North while the United States settled in the South of Korea. As a result of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, Korea was split into two with separate governments in 1949. However, both the government claimed to be the legitimate Korean government. The conflicts between these governments resulted in battles when North Korea moved into South Korea in 1950. The war marked series of wars that were to follow. To this far, no treaty has been signed and the two countries are technically still at war.

16. First Battle of Seoul

https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/major-battles-of-the-korean-war.html

AS Americans put this deadly conflict out of their minds the next will be Vietnam….as those vets grow older and pass on there will be few that will keep their memory alive….hopefully people like me will keep Korea and Vietnam in their minds and in their memories.

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Closing Thought–09Sep21

We all know about this War on Terror…..but do you know what it has cost in funds and lives?

The US-led “war on terror” has killed nearly one million people globally and cost more than $8 trillion since it began nearly two decades ago, according to a report from Brown University’s Costs of War Project.

The landmark report, which was published on Wednesday, examines the tolls of wars waged by the US in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and other regions where the US military is engaged in conflicts referred to as “forever wars”.

“It’s critical we properly account for the vast and varied consequences of the many US wars and counter-terror operations since 9/11, as we pause and reflect on all of the lives lost,” said the project’s co-director, Neta Crawford, in a statement accompanying the report. 

“Our accounting goes beyond the Pentagon’s numbers because the costs of the reaction to 9/11 have rippled through the entire budget.”

The report estimates that the war on terror, which will mark its 20th anniversary on 11 September, had directly killed 897,000 to 929,000 people – including at least 387,072 civilians.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/us-led-global-war-terror-has-killed-nearly-one-million-people

A staggering cost of lives and funds…..

Somewhere I hope that sanity will finally set in and a new direction for our foreign policy other than shoot first a hope it turns out well….and it seldom does.

(You guessed it…..there will be a post coming about the changes that are desperately needed in our foreign policy)

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And The Fight Goes On

In less that two weeks the Taleban has controlled the country of Afghanistan…..well most but not all…..

The Northern Alliance has always been a thorn in the butts of the Taleban and today that situation has not changed…..

A band of Afghan resistance fighters holed up in Afghanistan’s rugged Panjshir province northeast of Kabul has repelled repeated attacks by Taliban fighters in recent days, a representative for the group tells NPR.

Speaking with NPR’s All Things Considered on Friday, Ali Nazary, the National Resistance Front’s head of foreign relations, who is currently in the U.S., also denied reports that the Taliban have taken control of the province — the last major territory standing between the Islamist militia and total control over Afghanistan — calling the rumors “propaganda.”

The Panjshir Valley “has not been breached,” he told host Audie Cornish. “The Taliban are facing fierce resistance.”

“The Taliban propaganda machine is trying to divert attention, is trying to spread propaganda, to weaken morale in Kabul and elsewhere,” said Nazary, who says he has been in close contact with NRF officials in Panjshir.

https://www.npr.org/2021/09/03/1033966153/afghanistan-taliban-panjshir-resistance

Two days of fighting between the Taliban and the remnant resistance in Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley continues to rage, with the Taliban pushing back into Baghlan districts, and civilians fleeing the area.

Both sides are claiming heavy casualties inflicted on the other. The Taliban did not provide numbers, but the resistance said they’d killed 40 Taliban and wounded another 35 since fighting began Monday night.

Both sides are also disputing who started this latest round of fighting, each claiming the other side attacked first. The Taliban added that talks have failed so far, but that they still want to resolve this peacefully. Other Taliban, however, suggested that the negotiations are over and were a failure.

The Panjshir Valley resistance is the remnants of the Afghan military and allied militias from the Ghani government, which fell last month. The group has promised to resist, and have even reclaimed some sparsely populated districts in the area.

The news trickles out of this region and the latest report is that the Taleban may have met is match….at least for now…..

Taliban and opposition forces continue to battle to control the Panjshir Valley north of Kabul with resistance fighters saying they captured hundreds of Taliban troops.

The National Resistance Front (NRF) of Afghanistan, grouping forces loyal to local leader Ahmad Massoud, said on Sunday it surrounded “thousands of terrorists” in Khawak Pass and the Taliban abandoned vehicles and equipment in the Dashte Rewak area.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/9/5/afghanistan-panjshir-forces-claim-hundreds-of-taliban-captured

This situation is very fluid…..

Days of heavy fighting in Panjshir Valley, the home of the last major holdout forces in Afghanistan, seem to be wrapping up, with the Taliban claiming complete control of Panjshir Province, and releasing photos of their fighters at the governor’s compound.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid declared the war over, saying this amounted to a complete victory. The Panjshir remnant forces were what was left of the Ghani government that continued fighting after the fall of Kabul.

The remnants have denied that this is the case. Leader Ahmed Massoud has gone missing, but says he is safe and that his fighters are still fighting in several areas around the valley. This comes just a day after Massoud claimed that there were deals for a ceasefire and talks with the Taliban.

(antiwar.com)

Like I said…..fluid.

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The War Is Over!

It is official….the Afghanistan War is over and our troops have departed.

In the early hours of 3 August (Afghan tine) the last plane flew out of Kabul airport….

n Washington, the US confirmed the withdrawal of its last troops, which faced a self-imposed Tuesday deadline. In announcing the completion of the evacuation and war effort. Gen. Frank McKenzie, head of US Central Command, said the last planes took off from Kabul airport at 3:29pm Washington time, or one minute before midnight in Kabul. The evacuation effort, set to end Aug 31, was wrapped up a full day early, with military equipment loaded onto transport planes before the last US service members flew out, reports the New York Times.

“Tonight’s withdrawal signifies both the end of the military component of the evacuation, but also the end of the nearly 20-year mission that began in Afghanistan shortly after September 11 2001,” McKenzie said, per the Guardian. “It is a mission that brought Osama bin Laden to justice along with many of his al-Qaeda co-conspirators. The cost, he said, was “2,461 US service members and civilians killed and more than 20,000 who were injured.”

Then with all the criticism fro  the idiot Right the president wen on-air to explain and thank the troops….

Addressing the nation, a defensive President Biden on Tuesday called the US military airlift to extract more than 120,000 Afghans, Americans, and other allies to end a 20-year war an “extraordinary success,” though more than 100 Americans and thousands of Afghans looking to leave remain in the country. Twenty-four hours after the departure of the last American C-17 cargo plane from Kabul, Biden vigorously defended his decision to end America’s longest war and withdraw all US troops ahead of an Aug. 31 deadline, the AP reports. “I was not going to extend this forever war,” Biden said in an address from the White House State Dining Room. “And I was not going to extend a forever exit.”

Biden said the US government had reached out 19 times since March—prior to his public announcement that he was going to end the US war—to encourage all American citizens in Afghanistan to leave. He acknowledged that 100 to 200 were unable to get out when the airlift ended Monday. Biden asserted that his administration was ready when the US -backed government in Kabul collapsed in mid-August and the Taliban took over. The last Air Force transport plane departed Kabul one minute before midnight Monday, raising questions about why Biden didn’t continue the airlift for at least another day. He had set Tuesday as a deadline for ending the evacuation and withdrawing the last US troops.

 

 

Biden has faced tough questions about the way the US went about leaving Afghanistan—a chaotic evacuation and spasms of violence including a suicide bomb that killed 13 American service members and 169 Afghans. But he said it was inevitable that the final departure from two decades of war would be difficult with likely violence, no matter when it was planned and conducted. “To those asking for a third decade of war in Afghanistan I ask, ‘What is the vital national interest?’” Biden said. He added, “I simply do not believe that the safety and security of America is enhanced by continuing to deploy thousands of American troops and spending billions of dollars in Afghanistan.”

Nice try prez but this will not silence the morons on the Right…’the Chickenhawks’…..for me this was spin and political speech setting up the issue for the 2024 campaigns.

Personally I am glad yo see this abortion of a foreign policy come to an end…..

But if you thought this would save the country some cash to be used elsewhere then you will be mistaken.

The last plane was barely airborne before a statement was issued…..

Defending his decision to withdraw from Afghanistan on Tuesday, President Biden said the “world is changing” and that the US is now “engaged in a serious competition with China.”

Since coming into office, President Biden has frequently framed China as an ideological competitor, and his Pentagon has identified Beijing as the top “pacing threat” facing the US military.

(antiwar.com)

And then the real bomb (no pun intended) was dropped….

As the US military is focused on China, Pentagon officials are inflating the threat of Beijing to justify more spending and expansion in Asia. Last week, the deputy commander of US Strategic Command (STRATCOM) claimed China will soon surpass Russia as Washington’s top nuclear threat.

“There’s going to be a point, a crossover point, where the number of threats presented by China will exceed the number of threats that currently Russia presents,” Lt. Gen. Thomas Bussiere told an online forum on Friday.

China’s nuclear arsenal is estimated to be somewhere between 300 and 350 warheads, while the US and Russia each possess around 6,000, give or take a few hundred. But Bussiere insists it is not the size of China’s arsenal that makes them a threat, but how they’re “operationally fielded.” He said he believes China will overtake Russia as a nuclear threat “in the next few years.”

(antiwar.com)

And that sports fans is how you keep the cash flowing into the Pentagon by the buckets…..find the new enemy that needs confronting.

We may be out of Afghanistan….but we will find a new way to find an enemy to use those unused weapons so they can be replaced at a higher price range.

All this just a new beginning for the waste of much needed funds.

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Closing Thought–27Aug21

Douche Bag Of The Week

It is absolutely NO secret that I have a serious dislike for Erik Prince of Blackwater Fame….as low as this d/bg sinks he has reached a new low as a profiteer of human suffering….

Michigan-born military contractor and former Navy SEAL Erik Prince is offering chartered flights out of Afghanistan at $6,500 a seat, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

Prince, who is the brother of former U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and grew up in west Michigan, told the Journal it would cost more if people needed his aid in getting out of their homes and to the airport with the Taliban in control of the country.

The article, which described the scramble underway by both American forces and private rescue operations to evacuate Afghans, U.S. citizens and others ahead of an Aug. 31 withdrawal of U.S. troops from that country, said it was unclear whether Prince — who founded the military security firm formerly known as Blackwater — was capable of carrying out such rescue missions and flights.

The White House criticized any attempts for private actors to make money off the evacuations, with Press Secretary Jen Psaki noting Wednesday the Biden administration is evacuating tens of thousands of people free of charge.

“We wouldn’t be supportive of profiting off of people who are desperate to get out of the country,” she said.

Prince has been involved in controversies before, including during the Iraq War when Blackwater security forces killed more than a dozen Iraqi citizens in Baghdad. Four years ago, President Donald Trump’s advisers brought Prince in to look at ways of using contractors to conduct military operations in Afghanistan rather than using additional troops.

(Detriot Free Press)

WH not supportive?

How about doing something about this douche bag who is trying to profit off human suffering.

He is a disgusting DOUCHE BAG!

More on this…..https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/08/25/monstrous-human-erik-prince-reportedly-charging-6500-seats-out-kabul

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Is The ‘Northern Alliance’ Reborn?

We all have seen the stories of the collapse of Afghanistan and the horrific chaos that has ensued.

Some have asked just how the collapse of the Afghan army was possible with 20 years of training and equipment and money ($2.3 trillion) spent……the MSM is spending lots of endless hours looking at what went wrong and the crush of people trying to leave the country….but none are asking about the brave  Afghans that will stand up to the Taleban….

Is there anybody that will stand up to the Taleban?

Back in the days of Soviet occupation of Afghanistan there was a small but very successful group that was called the ‘Northern Alliance’.

This is for the youngsters out there that have no damn idea what I am talking about….

Since early 1999, Ahmad Shah Massoud was the only main leader able to defend his territory against the Taliban, and as such remained as the main de facto political and military leader of the United Front recognized by members of all the different ethnic groups. Massoud decided on the main political line and the general military strategy of the alliance. A part of the United Front military factions, such as Junbish-i Milli or Hezb-e Wahdat, however, did not fall under the direct control of Massoud but remained under their respective regional or ethnic leaders.

Before the forming of the United Front Massoud led a very successful resistance to Soviet occupation.

The short history lesson was given because the answer to the question of who will oppose the Taleban…the answer is….the Northern Alliance.

The Panjshir Valley, in the Hindu Kush mountains north of the Afghan capital Kabul, has long been the heart of military resistance in Afghanistan and looks like it is becoming the centre of a gathering of “resistance” forces against Taliban rule.

Since mid-August, forces opposed to the rule of the Afghan Taliban have gathered in the valley under the leadership of Ahmad Massoud, son of the famed Afghan resistance fighter Ahmad Shah Massoud.

Between 1980 and 1985, the Panjshir Valley witnessed at least nine unsuccessful major Soviet offensives to retake the region, with Ahmad Shah Massoud’s forces resisting wave after wave of military operations that involved ground forces, airborne units and helicopter assaults.

A common tactic by Ahmad Shah Massoud’s forces at the time was to allow Soviet forces into the valley and to then cripple or cut them off with harassing fire from the higher ground of the mountains.

After the Soviet withdrawal, the collapse of the Afghan government at the time, and the first Taliban takeover, the area saw renewed fighting from 1996 as Massoud’s forces fought against the Taliban under the banner of the multi-ethnic Northern Alliance.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/8/23/explainer-afghanistans-panjshir-valley

Sadly the Taleban is closing in on the resistance….will the US do what they do best…turn their back on these fighters?

A Taliban spokesman said Monday that the group recaptured three districts in Afghanistan’s northeast Baghlan province that fell to anti-Taliban forces over the weekend.

The Baghlan districts of Bano, Deh Saleh, Pul e-Hesar are near the neighboring province of Panjshir and the Panjshir Valley, where an anti-Taliban resistance group is forming.

It’s estimated that there are about 6,000 fighters in or near the Panjshir Valley. Ahmad Massoud, the son of the late mujahideen commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, has emerged as a figurehead of the Panjshir resistance.

Massoud told Reuters on Sunday that while his group is ready to fight, that he hopes to hold talks with the Taliban to reach a solution. “We want to make the Taliban realize that the only way forward is through negotiation,” he said. “We do not want a war to break out.”

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Monday that Taliban forces were established in areas near Panjshir and that the anti-Taliban fighters were blockaded inside the Panjshir valley. Mujahid said the Taliban was trying to resolve the situation peacefully. “The Islamic Emirate is trying to resolve the issue peacefully,” he said.

The region of Afghanistan around Panjshir appears to be the only area where there is armed resistance to the Taliban, and the Taliban controls virtually all of the country. Taliban leaders are engaged in talks with some former Afghan officials on the structures of a future government, which is expected to be announced soon.

(antiwar.com)

This is the story that should be foremost in the reporting….gain US support will go a long way to confronting the Taleban…but no the media prefers to keep reporting the same stories with minor adjustments to make it appear fresh and breaking news.

More writers should jump on this and help spread the word that there are some Afghans that will not willing accept the Taleban.

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Those Unwinnable Wars

Some of have asked for many years just how this country is so terrible at winning wars after such a success in WW2.

Think not?

What was the last won by the US in the last 80 years?

….Pause here for further thought….

Can’t think of one?

Why is that?

Washington’s attempts to back pro-U.S. foreign movements against incumbent regimes have amassed a similar dismal track record. Under the so-called Reagan Doctrine in the 1980s, the United States funded and equipped a number of anti-communist rebel organizations that were trying to oust left-wing regimes in the Third World. The most prominent cases included the Contras in Nicaragua and Jonas Savimbi’s UNITA faction in Angola. Both of those insurgencies ultimately failed to take power. In only one case was Washington’s support for an insurgency successful during that era – backing the mujahidin against the Soviet Union’s occupation forces in Afghanistan. However, that outcome was especially ironic, since many of the mujahidin alumni later showed up in the Taliban. Moreover, the collapse of Moscow’s client regime in Afghanistan foreshadowed what would happen to America’s client in that country. In both cases, a government that a foreign power helped install and prop-up eventually collapsed because of a lack of meaningful domestic roots.

Why US Foreign Clients Collapse – and Collapse Fast

Further thoughts on this is an article from 2018 that tries to explain the reasoning…….

“When I was young, in high school and college, everybody used to say we never lost a war,” Trump told a group of US governors last February. “Now, we never win a war.”

Dominic Tierney, a professor at Swarthmore College and the author of multiple books about how America wages war, may know the reason why.

He believes the US can still successfully fight the wars of yesteryear — World War-style conflicts — but hasn’t yet mastered how to win wars against insurgents, which are smaller fights against groups within countries. The problem is the US continues to involve itself in those kinds of fights.

“We’re still stuck in this view that war is like the Super Bowl: We meet on the field, both sides have uniforms, we score points, someone wins, and when the game ends you go home,” he told me. “That’s not what war is like now.”

The US military is currently mired in conflicts in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. It’s hard to see any end in sight — especially an end where the United States is the victor, however that’s defined.

A lightly edited transcript of our conversation follows.

https://www.vox.com/2018/2/15/17007678/syria-trump-war-win-interview

Let’s be honest wars of today are not really about saving the world, the rhetoric is but reality is that it is more about making cash out of destruction and death……the plans maybe about the end game but when since 1954 has it ever worked out?

Disappointing experiences should create an indelible lesson for future US policymakers. The United States usually cannot successfully identify and install capable governments in foreign countries. That point is especially true in societies that are vastly different from American culture in nearly every aspect. We can’t fully comprehend such key factors as their unique histories, religions, economics, and politics. In short, we don’t understand such alien cultures and cannot even begin to shape them effectively to serve Washington’s foreign policy objectives. US leaders keep choosing clients who make statements that echo American values. Even in the rare cases when such clients are sincere, they typically have little domestic support and even less ability to organize their faction effectively. The Afghanistan fiasco is just the latest confirmation of that reality.

War has become an extension to the term “business as usual”…..that needs to change and change NOW!

But as long as the corporations can own a representative then they are guaranteed a steady income for generations.

The people no longer have a vote in war….corporate owned media sees to that and in doing so mutes the voice and the will of the people.

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Afghanistan 24/7

A wonderful morning…it is 0330 and the temp is 93…..what a damn joy!

By now everyone has seen the iconic pictures of the panic and chaos brought om by the Taleban seizing most of the country.

Yes the stories are heart wrenching…but all too predictable….you see it has all happened before.

Then there are the American people…they now are saying that we should have never occupied the nation of Afghanistan especially for 20 years.

And the survey sez!

As the chaotic American withdrawal from Afghanistan continues, almost two-thirds of Americans say that the 20-year war in that country — as well as the Iraq War — were not worth fighting, per a new AP-NORC poll.

The polling for the two wars — conflicts begun separately and for distinct reasons — is remarkably similar. 62% of Americans believe that the war in Afghanistan was not worth fighting, while 63% say the same about the Iraq War.

For both wars, a slight partisan divide exists; Republicans were more likely to say that the wars were worth fighting than Democrats, with 45% of Republicans saying the war in Iraq was worth fighting, versus just 27% of Democrats that said the same thing.

https://www.businessinsider.com/over-60-say-afghanistan-iraq-wars-were-not-worth-fighting-2021-8

Really?

I call BS to this survey.

Where was this so-called 60% when the war was raging?  They have an opinion now that it is on the boob tube 24/7……this is fake rage!

If it was that disliked where were the street protests demanding it end?

For 20 years the generals and the media have been lying to the American public…..and now they have a story to spurn Americans sympathy and compassion…it will not work!

Back to the cheer leading generals that work more for defense industries than the people of the US….

An opening move in the U.S. military high command’s campaign to deflect blame for the 20-year-long American debacle in Afghanistan has come with a Sunday article by General H.R. McMaster and Bradley Bowman in the Wall Street Journal, “In Afghanistan, the Tragic Toll of Washington Delusion.”

The delusions have indeed been real, and now cruelly exposed. As amply documented by the reports of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John F. Sopko, and the The Afghanistan Papers by Washington Post journalist Craig Whitlock, the deceptions are largely the work of McMaster himself and his military colleagues.

The generals lied and the fantasy died

After 20 years it is obvious who the Pentagon truly works for…..

Think I am being too hard on these corporate slugs?

Why all this surprise over the quick move of the Taleban?  Were we caught off guard?

NO WE WERE NOT!

The White House says nobody anticipated that Afghanistan would fall so quickly. But the Wall Street Journal is out with a scoop about an internal State Department cable dated July 13 that warned things were about to get very bad in a hurry:

  • Warning: The cable, signed by 23 staffers, warned that Kabul would likely collapse quickly after the Aug. 31 troop withdrawal and urged the White House to immediately ramp up evacuations of Afghans who worked with the US. It was sent to Secretary of State Antony Blinken through the department’s longstanding “dissent channel,” and Blinken personally reviewed it, per the story.

Context: “The classified cable represents the clearest evidence yet that the administration had been warned by its own officials on the ground that the Taliban’s advance was imminent and Afghanistan’s military may be unable to stop it,” writes Vivian Salama of the Journal.

  • Context, II: The cable “casts perhaps the harshest light yet on the administration’s performance,” per the Politico Playbook.
  • What they said: In July, President Biden said it was “highly unlikely” the Taliban would be able to run roughshod over the country. On Wednesday, Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters that “there was nothing that I or anyone else saw that indicated a collapse of this army and this government in 11 days,” per Yahoo News. (The cable did not appear to suggest the collapse would happen before the withdrawal deadline of Aug. 31.)
  • Effects: It appears the White House did implement some recommendations contained in the cable, but apparently not aggressively enough. The Journal notes that an estimated 18,000 Afghans who have applied for a special visa remain stuck in Afghanistan.
  • Accountability: The House Foreign Affairs Committee has summoned Blinken to appear, and ranking Republican Michael McCaul said he wants a full readout of the cable, reports the Hill. “If these reports are true, it means this Administration also willfully ignored the pleas of their own people on the ground in Kabul and their warnings of how dire the situation truly was,” McCaul said.

Maybe things would have been different without the pandemic (some say) but the daily victory laps by Biden did not help the Afghan situation.

Not to worry then even with the loss of Afghanistan the gravy train will continue….The real “corrupt elite” weren’t Afghans, who were pikers in comparison to the grifting of Pentagon, State, & CIA contractors, lobbyists, & revolving door generals, slurping up long-term, no-bid contracts that continued to pay off no matter how ineffectual or criminal their work.

The media’s heart wrenching stories are doing NOTHING to solve the problem….and sadly in a year no one will care what has happened to those poor souls in Afghanistan there will be new story to tug at America’s heart strings.

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Lies….Lies….More Lies

The title could be about just anything political for lies and cash are the stock and trade of American politics……in this case I am trying to point out the lies the public were told about the the situation in Afghanistan for the last 20 damn years…..

The Pentagon, the president, Secs Defense and State with the help of the media have been lying to the American people for just about of our 20 year involvement in Afghanistan….

The lies began December 2001 when Bush issued his statement…..

“The Taliban regime is coming to an end,” announced President George W. Bush at the National Museum of Women in the Arts on December 12, 2001 — almost twenty years ago today. Five months later, Bush vowed: “In the United States of America, the terrorists have chosen a foe unlike they have faced before. . . . We will stay until the mission is done.” Four years after that, in August of 2006, Bush announced: “Al Qaeda and the Taliban lost a coveted base in Afghanistan and they know they will never reclaim it when democracy succeeds.  . . . The days of the Taliban are over. The future of Afghanistan belongs to the people of Afghanistan.”

https://greenwald.substack.com/p/the-us-government-lied-for-two-decades

And the lies continued from there.

Let’s just pick on a couple of the major lies……thanx to Maj. Danny Sjursen……

The Pentagon (publicly, at least) underestimated the skill, will and popularity of the Taliban, whilst (also publicly) overestimating the same factors for the security forces of the U.S.-installed and -backed Kabul government. While even such a skeptic as I was wrong about the likely speed, scale, and scope of enemy victory – what’s clear from the often almost-combat-free recent conquests, is that Taliban success turned on mostly morale and psychological factors. Many local elders and power-brokers feared a return to 1990s-era chaotic civil war more than a Taliban takeover (and the semblance of at least order they hoped the latter would bring). Then, as Afghan security forces faced a recent string of defeats, often went unpaid, and lacked proper air or logical support – they read the way the wind was blowing, decided not to die needlessly, and thus the Taliban tidal wave took on an inertial momentum all its own. Kabul’s soldiers aren’t all cowards – most Afghans are able and willing fighters – but neither are they stupid or suicidal. Washington never really admitted the extent to which America’s very invasion – and especially its prolonged military occupation – bolstered the Taliban narrative, (somewhat understandably, if uncomfortably) legitimizing these oft-pitiless Islamists as the only true nationalist resistance in town. That the recognized Afghan government remained so reliant, after two decades, on US trainers, contracted-logisticians, and cold-hard-cash (Kabul still lacked enough tax revenue to even pay its own security forces) only magnified the perception that President Ghani and company were little more than corrupt (which they were) foreign lackeys.

Establishment elites – politicians and pundits alike – ignored the advice of actual nonpartisan experts, as well as centuries of history and even basic reason, believing (as they’re are apt to do) that America-the-exceptional would prove the exception when wading into the “graveyard of empires.” Deep down, even the US military knew the salacious score and the long odds. In my mandatory military history course at Fort Leavenworth’s Command and General Staff College (the Army’s school for new majors), we were all taught about the all-but-unconquerable challenges of what’s called “fortified compound warfare” (FCW). In such a situation, one’s enemies possess four main elements and advantages: 1) a regular or main force (massed Taliban foot soldiers), 2) an irregular or guerrilla force (dispersed Taliban fighters, as well as informants, urban terrorists and assassins), 3) a safe haven for the regular force (just over the Pakistani border), and 4) a major-power ally (Pakistan, and much later, and to a much lesser extent, maybe Russia and Iran). An official US Army University Press publication dubbed compound warfare “the fatal knot,” and admitted that “[an enemy possessed of these advantages] nearly always defeated its opponents because the adversary’s necessary first step to victory, destroying the FCW defender’s main force, is almost impossible.” Yet into the impossibility-inferno America’s moral-coward generals and civilian-chickenhawks gleefully leaped – replete with 20-years worth of sunny false follow-on promises of progress. That is until the Taliban called in the illusional chips.

Overall, and perhaps most profoundly, American leaders – enabled by an apathetic, deceived, and cowed citizenry – exaggerated the utility of of foreign-imposed force to transform far-flung complex societies. Even after countless (at best) indecisive draws, and (should-have-been) obvious Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan losses – not to mention abject blood-soaked failure back in Vietnam – these criminally inept clowns never learned the limits of American military power. And why not? No one (at the top) is held accountable; no one fails to profit from even losing ventures, and none of the policymakers were betting their own sons and daughters at the Afghan table – these venal incompetents really believed they were playing with the house’s (blood) money. So they carelessly acted accordingly.

Like I stated just a bit of the manure spread by politicians and the media…..

Our ‘leaders’ deluded themselves and the public for 20 years…..

Afghanistan was never America’s to lose. The US and its Afghan allies did not, at any point, control the country, Daniel Silverberg writes in the Atlantic. Instead, officials in Washington deluded themselves and each other for two decades, until President Biden was left with nothing but bad choices. A former Defense Department official, Silverberg saw on a 2017 visit to Kabul that the government couldn’t even guarantee the safety of the four-mile route from the airport to the US Embassy—and that was with the help of thousands of US personnel in the country. In congressional hearings, he heard intelligence officials assess the tenuous situation in Afghanistan, only to be followed by defense officials’ optimistic portrayal of progress. In truth, the 20-year US effort went nowhere. “Biden did not decide to withdraw,” Silverberg writes, “so much as he chose to acknowledge a long-festering reality.” You can read the full piece here.

Writing in Slate, Fred Kaplan sees similar delusions, calling the army’s collapse and the Taliban’s rout “the result of an arrogance that has plagued American strategy from nearly the beginning.” The US self-deception began in 2001, when an international conference assumed that Afghanistan, with the Taliban gone, would embrace democracy and civil society—if only the “mountainous, rural, largely illiterate country ruled by provincial warlords” could be shown the way. Decisions were based on US ideals, not what would work in Afghanistan. The US sent millions to the government that was used to bribe warlords to follow edicts, further ingraining a culture of corruption. Another $83 billion went to create an army “in the precise image of the US military,” Kaplan writes, sustained by a combat support network maintained by American forces and contractors. When US personnel withdrew, it was over. “Not even US military units would have been able to fight well without this network behind them,” Kaplan writes. You can read his full piece here.

I find it very telling how the media has changed its tune now that Afghanistan has fallen….it has gone from cheer leading to condemnation….scapegoats everywhere.

My point is that all willing participants to the lies owe their existence to the Defense industry…..this country needs writers like myself and others that will not bow to the influence of the industry whose profits come from the continuation of war.

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

But It Is Not The Same

Closing Thought–17Aug21

Comparisons have been made to Afghanistan and the fall of Saigon 1975….

Biden and Blinken have made it ‘clear’ that it is not anywhere similar to 1975…..

The White House is working very hard to tamp down comparisons of what’s happening in Kabul to what happened in Saigon in 1975. But for now, a statement that President Biden made only last month doesn’t appear to be aging well:

  • July 8: “There’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of a embassy in the—of the United States from Afghanistan,” Biden said on that date, per Newsweek. “It is not at all comparable.” He added: “The likelihood there’s going to be one unified government in Afghanistan controlling the whole country is highly unlikely.”
  • Blinken, I: “This is manifestly not Saigon,” Blinken responded. “The fact of the matter is this: We went to Afghanistan 20 years ago with one mission in mind, and that was to deal the people who attacked us on 9/11. And that mission has been successful.” (See his full remarks via a State Department transcript.)
  • Blinken, II: The secretary of state got a similar question from Jake Tapper at CNN, who wondered if we were “in the midst of a Saigon moment.” Blinken gave a similar response: “No, we’re not. Remember, this is not Saigon. We went to Afghanistan 20 years ago with one mission, and that mission was to deal with the folks who attacked us on 9/11. And we have succeeded in that mission.” (That transcript is here.)

The spin has been relentless…..but NO one is believe the hype…..

1975…..Fall of Saigon…..

On April 30, 1975, Sandy Gall was one of the few Western journalists to stay in Saigon to witness the South Vietnamese capital's fall to the forces of the Communist North. Pictured: Vietnamese try to escape from the US embassy roof as Saigon fell

2021….fall of Kabul…….

Chaos at Kabul airport as hundreds try to leave; viral videos show people falling to their death from US aircraft

The chaos looks very familiar to me.

But these two politicians are right….there is one comparison that shows it is not the same…..

The forces of North Vietnam and the Viet Cong took about 6 months after the US pulled out before they took the capitol of Saigon.

The Afghan forces lasted about 10 days before the president left the country and the forces of the Taleban too the capitol of Kabul.

But it is the same…..we wasted time and money training an army to defend themselves and it collapsed embarrassingly for the US.

How long will it be before we try the stupidity of nation-building again….the waste and the destruction to accomplish NOTHING?

“We will not make the same mistakes from the past” Biden stated……too late dude we already have and continue to do so.

After writing about our involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq for many years all I can say in closing is….”I Told You So”!

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”