Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 10, 2016

The U.S. (Again) Escalates The War In Afghanistan

When Obama came into office he promised to end the hopeless war in Afghanistan. Immediately the Pentagon ambushed him with requests for a "surge" with some additional 40,000 troops. Under pressure Obama agreed to a lower number and set a 18 month limit for their deployment. Those troops occupied some meaningless areas in Afghanistan and when they were withdrawn those areas fell back to Taliban rule. Currently the U.S. has some 10,000 troops and more than 20,000 "contractors" in Afghanistan. There are additional troops from NATO allies. Since 2014 these troops are restricted in their tasks to fighting Al-Qaeda and are not supposed to support Afghan government troops.

But the idea of turning the war over to local troops without losing to the Taliban failed. Afghan troops are giving ground especially in the south and have a high attrition rate. It is obviously that without change the whole south would fall to the Taliban by end of the year. This would hardly matter to anyone but the people living there many of whom have no problem with their Taliban brethren.

Several steps taken by the U.S. have made it more unlikely that the conflict will come to an end. The primary Taliban demand in any peace talks is the the removal of all foreign troops from the country. The U.S. and the U.S. installed puppet government have rejected that. Instead of finally giving up the U.S. military wants to continue to occupy Afghanistan. The U.S. recently killed a innocent taxi driver in south Pakistan and his passenger, the Taliban commander Mansour, with a military drone strike. All available science on the issue says that assassinating the leader of a resistance movement does not end such movements but let them intensify their conflict and cause more civilian casualties. The Taliban operations did not halt for one moment. A new hardline leader was elected and bigger operations against Afghan troops were launched.

In a recent political change of direction the U.S. is now making nice with India to use it as a pawn in the competition with China. At the same time it stopped payments to the Pakistani military. In a countermove China intensified its cooperation and its investment in Pakistan. The Taliban have their training camps, leadership organization and support in Pakistan. The Pakistani secret services are feeding them with Saudi money. Shunning Pakistan and making nice with India will intensify Pakistani paranoia of a two front war against their arch enemy India supported by the U.S. in Afghanistan. Pakistan is therefore likely to further intensify its support for the Taliban. These have an endless stream of recruits from Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan and enough material support to fight on for decades. Meanwhile the Afghan government troops are unwilling to shed blood for their corrupt government, operational incapable and disorganized despite years of U.S. training.

The only way to end the war in Afghanistan is through peace negotiations. Some main conditions of the Taliban must be met to let those succeed. Foreign troops will have to leave the country. Otherwise the conflict will go on for more decades and will again metastasize into neighbor countries.

The Obama administration seems to be incapable of recognizing that. Instead of reducing troops it is contemplating to again reinforce those. Instead of deescalating the war it intensifies it. This despite years of failure to achieve anything positive with similar moves.

After months of debate, the U.S. is close to a decision to expand the military's authority to conduct airstrikes against the Taliban as the violence in Afghanistan escalates, a senior U.S. defense official said Thursday.

There is a broad desire across the Obama administration to give the military greater ability to help the Afghans fight and win the war. The official said the U.S. is likely to expand the authority of U.S. commanders to strike the Taliban and do whatever else is necessary with the forces they have to support the Afghan operations.
...
Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook, asked Thursday whether the administration was looking at expanding the U.S. military's authorities to strike the Taliban more broadly, said: "In every step of our review of Afghanistan, the question of what's the best way to use our forces is something we're constantly looking at. It's also in the same sense that we're looking at the number of troops. We are always looking at the authorities question and the best use of our troops."

This "new" policy is incoherent:

The official said U.S. forces will also be able to provide close air support to Afghan ground forces and accompany and advise them on the ground.

The plan does not involve U.S. ground troops.

More bombing will not cower the Taliban who have been bombed by the U.S. for the last 15 years. More U.S. troops will not change the strategic equations for China, Pakistan and the Taliban.

The U.S. and the especially the U.S. military have lost in Afghanistan. How many additional decades will it take it to recognize and admit that simple fact?

Posted by b on June 10, 2016 at 01:13 PM | Permalink

Comments

the Pentagon ambushed him with requests for a "surge" with some additional 40,000 troops. Under pressure Obama agreed to a lower number and set a 18 month limit for their deployment.

Sy Hersh tells a slightly different story:

I was told that within three weeks of taking office [Obama] informed his senior advisers at a secret National Security Council meeting of his plan to send an additional 17,000 American troops to join the more than 30,000 already stationed there. This outcome was not the product of an interagency staff decision, but a unilateral action taken by Obama and retired Marine Corps general James Jones, the national security adviser at the time....

[Obama] stood aside as a group of American generals staged what amounted to a public debate over the number of troops needed to “win” the Afghan war. At one point, a highly classified internal request from Army general Stanley McChrystal... was leaked to the Washington Post within a week of its delivery to the White House, with no significant protest or sanction from Obama. McChrystal had asked permission to deploy as many as 80,000 more troops.

Obama eventually committed a first tranche of 30,000 additional American soldiers. It was a decision marketed as a compromise between a reluctant president and a gung-ho Pentagon. There was at least one senior member of Congress who had reason to suspect that Obama, despite his resentment of the military’s public posturing, had wanted these higher troop numbers all along.

Posted by: Mark | Jun 10, 2016 1:29:02 PM | 1

Afghanistan to the Outlaw US Empire isn't about winning or losing; it's about being in place to ensure its dominance over Russia and China. It's really that simple, and the dollars can continually be printed to keep the operation ongoing. The only force capable of stopping the war on Afghanistan is the citizenry of the United States, but they're not in anyways motivated to do so.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 10, 2016 1:37:25 PM | 2

I think you're wrong, the US (or elements therein) have what they want in Afghanistan, a pet little war they can keep alive by feeding the products of military industry indefinitely, a river of medals for the careerists and contracts for the missile makers. Afghanistan is a growth market the US-MIC, and will remain so.

Posted by: Lonkal | Jun 10, 2016 1:38:38 PM | 3

Maybe they don't see it as a loss. Their strategic equation might include sitting in the middle of the "world island" and preventing everyone else from interconnecting, so the US continues to be biggest fish in the bowl ... or is this just a far-off guess by a lazy armchair strategist --
The US can likewise continue this for decades. Just as in Syria, which they probably will. The aims are opaque and followed through on with grim certainty.

Posted by: persiflo | Jun 10, 2016 1:40:13 PM | 4

@2

Afghanistan to the Outlaw US Empire isn't about winning or losing; it's about being in place to ensure its dominance over Russia and China. It's really that simple, and the dollars can continually be printed to keep the operation ongoing.

I don't know how placing a couple of military bases in Afghanistan can "ensure" the "dominance" over China and Russia, when in reality Afghanistan long ago became a tremendous drain of US military and political resources. Not everything could be reduced to mere money. Much more complex geopolitical calculus is involved here. In the end, Russia may play a Taliban card if push comes to shove--there are contacts between Russia and Taliban. Currently, US doesn't get any real returns on Afghanistan and continues to sustain economic and massive image losses there. Militarily the war was lost there once the 2003 Iraq adventure started.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Jun 10, 2016 2:03:32 PM | 5

Russia would be well served at this point to start supporting self-government around the world, supplying arms and expertise to insurgent movements against unpopular puppets of empire. The US is hovering on the brink of financial and military bankruptcy. The Russians should push them right over the edge.

The danger of course is an association with terrorism and hence sanctions against Russia itself. The US has dug itself so deep in with sanctions already that they don't have much leverage against Russia or any of their other perceived "enemies" or "threats".

There's probably no way for Russia to avoid a hot war without yielding sovereignty. The current destruction of Germany and the rest of Europe warns against any compromise: nominal allies sabotaged for temporary advantage to the homeland of empire.

Hawaii and the Philippines (more recently Iraq) are good examples of what happens to conquered territories. Promises of independence are broken, assets are stripped (Philippines was logged bare), any resistance is annihilated. Filipino national character was broken for about seventy years.

Better to die a free man than to live a slave.

Posted by: Uncoy | Jun 10, 2016 2:15:58 PM | 6


Syria and Iraq were supposed to fall to Wahabiism and U.S/Nato control. And Afghanistan was to be allowed to fester until such time came about to have Shia(arch enemy of Israel) Iran surrounded and plagued by war, infiltration etc. The Taliban as a group are Wahabi/Salafi orientated and come from the World's largest tribal society; the Pashtuns(some 35+ million ppl). Afghanistan has always been a CIA black ops/covert op/program waiting to be hatched and sprung at the most desirable timeframe, see Syria and Iraq. An explosion of Wahabiism and militant Pashtuns on a broad base(nutured by Saudi intel of course and the CIA) could spell deep, deep trouble to Iran,the soft underbelly of Russia(see the 'stan' countries and Caucuses) and even China's vast west(mostly Muslim, where militant Wahabiism/Salafism has taken root).

Posted by: bored muslim | Jun 10, 2016 2:21:51 PM | 7

Hmmmmm, I wonder if opium poppies have any importance here. I also wonder who, exactly, would lose if the Taliban returned to power and re-instituted their anti drug policies. What is the total $ value of the opium-heroin trade, in and outside of the country? Who really controls the flow of drugs to the world's major markets?

Posted by: Gurrker | Jun 10, 2016 2:22:11 PM | 8

Karlof is half right. Any pressure on Russia and/or China is part of the Rothschild program of world conquest of all natural resources, Russia being the last huge, untouched reserve of such and the U.S. military & blackwater types the Rothschild cabal's present myrmidons.
However, as Pat Tillman was planning to tell the American people when he was cold bloodedly murdered with three bullets in the forehead, the U.S. forces in Afghanistan have a primary duty of guarding the poppy fields, a major source of CIA funding. The Taliban had practically eradicated the dope business before the U.S. military showed up.

Posted by: Tony B. | Jun 10, 2016 2:30:20 PM | 9

Tony B. @9--Heroin derived from Afghan poppies is targeted at Russia and China as hybrid weapons aimed at destabilization. The Afghan nut will take time to solve, but the major players--Russia, India, Pakistan, China--are now within the SCO and thus finally have a permanent forum to form a solution--Afghanistan is also in the SCO as an Observer.

SmoothieX12 @5--Neocons don't care about cost, wins or losses; they care about arriving at the overall goal--Full Spectrum Dominance.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 10, 2016 3:03:04 PM | 10

UNI-POLARITY or GENOCIDE.


B. is too nice!

That is the only explanation for such an intelligent and well informed person to still believe that the United States is interested in peace anywhere in the world but in within its own borders!

The United States IS NOT interested in PEACE in Afghanistan -- the more mayhem round Russia and China, all the better. Further, if the United States were to leave, it would be a sure bet that Russia and/or China would be in there, and would be of course, arranging things towards stability and peace.

The goal is to prevent any opportunity for MAJOR Chinese and/or Russian financial dealings to take place -- SO any country in the pathway of these, will be a target for major destabilization. The goal is no Silk Roads, no Bricks going anywhere, no nothing that would rival the United States financially.

Anything to prevent this, will be utilized, -- from major destabilization campaigns, to a World War. The United States will stop at nothing -- no shame, no ethics, no nothing, to ensure its macabre survival. And that survival will depend on the demise of any other major competitor. Uni-polarity or genocide. Mark my words, this is the absolute truth. The future will prove this assertion.

Posted by: susetta | Jun 10, 2016 3:16:57 PM | 11

An interesting shift?

I read the above comments, as well as the background offering from b. In it there seems to be the awareness that the reason for Afghanistan is not so much to win a war ... but rather to feed the MIC with someplace to blow up and thus actually use all the shit manufactured for war; and concomitantly to give the military an excuse to reward itself with medals.

It reminds me of an event during my childhood. I was then, and am now, into model railroading. I had just been given a new set of tools. They were somewhat specialized and I really did not need them at that point in time. Being excited about having them though I decided to use them. They were rather delicate and what I chose to use them for was not a project needing delicacy but rather blunt force. I basically messed them up.

I suspect that one of the reasons our political and military classes like war is that it gives them (us) a chance to 'play' with their (our) toys. It also provides an excuse for having spent so much money on systems we do NOT need.

Perhaps the MoA contributors are waking up to that reality ... though, sadly, there are those who still attempt to understand why ... when the only answer is "just cuz."

Posted by: rg the lg | Jun 10, 2016 3:27:56 PM | 12

OPIUM TRADE IS FINANCING THE BIG and bankrupted WESTERN BANKS:


Also I forgot to mention that the other great use for Afghanistan, is for all that opium trade to keep the western banks afloat. The Taliban had but totally eradicated it before the United States got in there. Now, it is at its highest. Much higher than when the United Kingdom used it, in order to subsidize itself as well.

In consequence, there are simply too many important reasons to stay in Afghanistan -- all to do with financial gain, of course! (There are pipelines to prevent, and pipelines to ensure that they be constructed as well)

Posted by: susetta | Jun 10, 2016 3:43:50 PM | 13

@7 bored muslim.. yes - wahabbism and it's different guises being exported to the madrassahs in pakistan and etc is a real problem for the world.. it seems as though the 1% want to use the war=profit strategy around the globe for profit.. if they didn't, they would address this 500 lb elephant in the room..

Posted by: james | Jun 10, 2016 4:25:57 PM | 14

Susetta is closest to the mark.

And after all this time b is still giving Obama credit, even when Obama has proven himself the worst liar it all in political history for the last 50 years.

Posted by: tom | Jun 10, 2016 4:33:07 PM | 15

@10

Neocons don't care about cost, wins or losses; they care about arriving at the overall goal--Full Spectrum Dominance.

I really don't care what neocons, notoriously incompetent in military and geopolitical issues, care about--there are geopolitical, military, economic and other realities. I understand that "Full Spectrum Dominance" is a cute term but, rephrasing Mark Twain, rumors of the US being capable of "Full Spectrum Dominance" were greatly exaggerated. I, may be, like neocons, want to be the superman but I don't have and never will have properties of superman no matter how badly I want them. Even if I will make obtaining those properties a main goal of my life. Not gonna happen. Neocons may have whatever goals they want but one doesn't win Daytona 500 driving original 1960s VW Beetle. Not possible. In fact, greatest statesmen and military leaders of the world have become such for a reason--a superbly accurate assessment of own capabilities and development of objectives based on reality, not wishful thinking. Those who didn't do so--they were thrown into the dust bin of history.

Posted by: SmoothieX12 | Jun 10, 2016 4:36:04 PM | 16


@James-14

Yes, Wahabiism and Salafism is a World-wide menace that has been bred and financed by the GCC countries. The nefarious House of Saud alone have spent 500 billion$ on the spread of this ideology since the 80's. It has it's tentacles all over the World. But one has to understand that this is allowed and nurtured by the western intelligence agencies. Wahabiist's and Salafist's are the 'new' foot soldiers of the empire. They are being unleashed as we speak and are part of a grand design. They are fanatical, unethical(anti-Muslim too)ignoramuses that are highly weaponized and often blazed on amphetamines. I'm sure the Russian's and Chinese and everyone else interested in a multi-polar World are watching where they manifest.

Posted by: bored muslim | Jun 10, 2016 5:35:08 PM | 17

rg the lg @12

Reminds me of Cache-22.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 10, 2016 5:44:30 PM | 18

@17 bored muslim.. that is exactly how i see it all too.. part of the resolution to this is people waking up to it.

Posted by: james | Jun 10, 2016 5:54:32 PM | 19

One explanation by Mr Bhadrakumar, former indian diplomat and now editor in Asia Times :
"What lies ahead? In a nutshell, the dogs of war are being unleashed in the Hindu Kush, and, ironically, this will be the last major policy decision on Afghanistan taken by Obama, a Nobel who had actually vowed once at the outset of his presidency that he’d bury this war once and for all."....
"The US is co-opting India as a full partner in the rebalance strategy, which of course would pit India against both China and Pakistan. The US counts on India to join the effort to disrupt the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and frustrate the strategy by China and Russia to create a Eurasian economic bloc.".......
"Clearly, political tensions are rising throughout Asia, and the South Asian region’s political order that largely managed to escape the ravages of the Cold War may not be lucky this time. The danger is real that the major regional powers may be drifting toward a general war."

http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/2016/06/10/us-unleashes-the-dogs-of-war-in-afghanistan/

Posted by: Philippe | Jun 10, 2016 6:22:18 PM | 20

b, 'When Obama came into office he promised to end the hopeless war in Afghanistan.'

I don't remember that. I remember Obama describing Afghanistan as 'the right war'.

@7, bm, 'Afghanistan has always been a CIA black ops/covert op/program waiting to be hatched and sprung at the most desirable timeframe, see Syria and Iraq. An explosion of Wahabiism and militant Pashtuns on a broad base (nutured by Saudi intel of course and the CIA) could spell deep, deep trouble to Iran, the soft underbelly of Russia (see the 'stan' countries and Caucuses) and even China's vast west (mostly Muslim, where militant Wahabiism/Salafism has taken root).'

I think that CIA involvement explains Obama's assessment.

@11, susetta, 'The goal is to prevent any opportunity for MAJOR Chinese and/or Russian financial dealings to take place -- SO any country in the pathway of these, will be a target for major destabilization. The goal is no Silk Roads, no Bricks going anywhere, no nothing that would rival the United States financially. '

Financial or otherwise ... the CIA is fundamentally a destructive organization. Their mission in life is 'covert' death, devastation, and destruction. With their man in the White House the 'covert' part was no longer deemed 'necessary' ... probably because it was no longer deemed possible. The CIA now comes right after motherhood and apple-pie in the exceptional pantheon.

Now Hillary's on board, along with the rest of the sleep-walking nation, and the plan is for eight more years.

Much has been made of Hillary's attempts to woo the republicrats unwilling to accept Trump as their nominee. I wonder if Trump and his 'party' will make similar efforts to woo demoblicans and independents unwilling to accept Hillary as their 'nominee', and the eight more years of war that guarantees?

Trump can, has, and does 'say anything'. All's quiet on the Trump font at this point, with the Hillary 'victory/betrayal' at the top of the corporate media queue ... Trump needs something 'outrageous' to put him back in the headlines. 'Bring our boys home' from Afghanistan is about the most outrageous thing he might say at this particular point in time. Why do we want to pick a fight with Russia? Why do we want to continue dying in Afghanistan? They're both the wrong wars.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 10, 2016 6:25:25 PM | 21

@20, Philippe

From your link ...

US unleashes the dogs of war in Afghanistan


The US counts on India to join the effort to disrupt the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and frustrate the strategy by China and Russia to create a Eurasian economic bloc.

The war in Afghanistan becomes the perfect alibi to beef up the US military presence in the region, the game plan being to intimidate Pakistan and to break its axis with China. This US policy thrust matches India’s interests, too.

In geopolitical terms, Obama’s move aims at regaining the upper hand in the Afghan endgame. Interestingly, it coincides with the induction of India and Pakistan as full members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a regional development that Washington views with disquiet. (TASS)

Logically, at some point in a near future, US will demand a direct Indian military role in Afghanistan (which would also offset the waning interest in the war among the NATO countries.) Conceivably, India may be already positioning itself for undertaking such a role in Afghanistan as the US’ key partner.


Typical of the unspeakable evil of the CIA. And Barack Obama. And Hillary Clinton.

Trump ought to make all this an issue. The corporate media will do their best to drub him, and that's been his winning strategy so far, Big Time.

If Trump can admit that war is bad, he can easily play up Hillary's poster girl status for war, attract the wrath of the corporate media, and with it the interest of the 'American people'. No one outside of Washington is pro-war, except the Israelis, and they are the corporate media.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 10, 2016 6:51:33 PM | 22

At the very least, one of Obama's advisers was talking about escalating the war in Afghanistan, before he was elected. Obama himself might have talked about being open to the possibility, but I don't remember, and I don't have access to old bookmarks and such at the moment. There was enough publicly available information about it, that I fully expected the escalation in Afghanistan, under Obama (and I have no insider information).

Posted by: RudyM | Jun 10, 2016 6:53:06 PM | 23

If America pulls out of Afghanistan they will lose their toehold on the heartland of the Eurasian continent and their plot for global domination will fail.

Posted by: Secret agent | Jun 10, 2016 7:08:06 PM | 24

3

Have to agree with you. Everything is this blog post is unsubstantiated linear hoo-aah, from "..In a recent political change of direction the U.S. is now making nice with India..." on.

Clinton put Karzai back in power, real power and wealth, in 2009, with her $5B a year grift to Karzai's Bank of Kabul at the International Conference on Afghanistan in London. NATO had no issues when Karzai granted world-class oil and gas, iron and coal, copper and strategic minerals leases to India *and China*, ...contrary to b's analysis.

Karzai was CIA-India-TAPI-Enron, anyone could see that in his bio.

Clinton wallowed at that $Bs baaksheesh through her term as SoS, then the US-UK installed CIA Abdullah-Abdullah and World Bank Ghani. It doesn't get anymore simple than that, witness the Israeli junta coup in Ukraine. Afghanistan is the largest unaudited baaksheesh grift on the planet right now, and it's all being LBO'd with US taxpayer savings. Everything is going as smoothly as the best Corporate-Socialist colonial profit center, then to surmise that this is a New American Century Cold War Game of Thrones against Pakistan and China is political fiction.

Afghanistan has nothing to do with 'moving against China', and Ukraine has nothing to do with 'moving against Russia'. They are nothing more than Globalist privatizations, a New Corporate Iron Curtain, paid for entirely by US taxpayer last life savings, and Modi is as on board with this same privatization plan in India, ...so of course he's a 'friend'.

The only hope for the people of Afghanistan is expatriation. Let's leave any Cold War posturing out of the discussion, it obscures the analysis. And the only hope for all of us of the 1W is to topple the Corporate-Socialist Privatization Machine, before they run out of our pensions and last life savings to loot, because the Corporate Socialist Fascist Wehrmacht doesn't give a frack about you, or me, or any of the useless mouths to feed.

There's your real takeaway. Hitler won.

Posted by: Uk Tahder | Jun 10, 2016 7:33:46 PM | 25

http://katv.com/news/nation-world/in-pakistan-us-drone-strike-victims-family-push-for-justice
~~~
ISLAMABAD (AP) Pakistan's government met senior U.S. officials Friday to discuss the fallout from a May 21 drone attack that killed Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour, while the family of the taxi driver who died alongside Mansour demanded justice.

Peter Lavoy, head of Washington's South Asia desk at the National Security Council and Richard Olson, the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, met with Pakistani civilian and military leaders in the first high level exchange since the drone strike, according to Pakistan's foreign ministry.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jun 10, 2016 7:33:50 PM | 26

The Geographical Pivot of History, sometimes simply as The Pivot of History is a geostrategic theory, also known as Heartland Theory.[1] "The Geographical Pivot of History" was an article submitted by Halford John Mackinder in 1904 to the Royal Geographical Society that advanced his Heartland Theory.[2][3] In this article, Mackinder extended the scope of geopolitical analysis to encompass the entire globe.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Geographical_Pivot_of_History

Posted by: okie farmer | Jun 10, 2016 7:41:59 PM | 27

Here's something to chew the fat:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/10/a-debasing-spectacle-behind-and-beyond-the-latest-quadrennial-carnival/

Or, you can belly up the bar and ... well, aside from drink ... pontificate. This article could shed some light on the subject.

To repeat, it isn't profitable for the US, but it is profitable to waste munitions and people in Central Asia and around the world to make the wealthy wealthier. Does that include any of you? Must be, it seems there are some deeply vested interests in keeping things as they are with some tinkering done to allow for a minor, yet personally satisfactory sharing of the wealth.

Hmm?

Posted by: rg the lg | Jun 10, 2016 8:26:00 PM | 28

#25 and #28, yup that's the elephant in the room that almost invariably gets ignored. Its an expense/debit to the ISA public but a revenue stream/credit to a select few.

Posted by: ThatDamnGood | Jun 10, 2016 9:08:15 PM | 29

@ 21,jfl ; @ 24,secretagent

Pretty much sums it up. The empire is in dire straights. In a lot of ways it's in desperation. Either keep the 'Forward Leaning Posture' which in the 90's turned into a 'Project for a New American Century' of full-on blatant aggression or collapse and civil war. That's what makes the Global situation so dangerous. The situation today will define the next couple of centuries for humanity. If there still is a World left.

Posted by: bored muslim | Jun 10, 2016 9:11:45 PM | 30

The only way the the US is forced to stop its war of empire in Afghanistan is if the countries of the world stop buying US Treasuries and instead buy "the alternative".

The Alternative is coming or already here. China has or is close to having a complete set of international banking functions as an alternative to the current private pieces, IMF, World Bank, SWIFT, BIS, etc.

As long as nations keep buying US Treasuries under the Bretton Woods agreement, American empire will keep waging war against all who would challenge private finance. I have a feeling that the G20 meeting in China in September may be the stage for serious challenges to Western hegemony.....I certainly hope so.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jun 10, 2016 9:50:01 PM | 31

There was a real failure to actually train the Afghan army, like in Iraq, we stood them up, equipped them, and let them stand guard. The only units that get honest training are the special forces that operate under American command.

Is this consistent failure a coincidence? Or is it preferable to have a fake army, built to retreat, to lose, to justify US presence?

Posted by: Cresty | Jun 10, 2016 10:39:56 PM | 32

Is it possible that the Yankees are trying to conceal the fact that they're not getting out of Afghanistan because they can't?

I still reckon their Base & Bunker strategy...

- setting up bases of varying sizes
- giving the big ones a large defensive perimeter (95% effective),
- giving medium sized bases a smaller perimeter (75% effective),
- setting up the majority as outposts with 30% to 50% perimeters which would require outside assistance to repel all but light, small, brief, attacks...

...would be almost impossible to dismantle SAFELY in an environment as committed to hostility toward invaders as Afghanistan is reputed to be.

AmeriKKKans are cowardly, stupid, and believe too much of their own mawkish bullshit. Especially the 1% (the PTB). Hence Full Spectrum Dominance daydreams usually transform themselves into classic examples of Full Spectrum Dumbinance (everything that can go wrong DOES go wrong. In Oz we call that Murphy's Law.

The Nasty Shit that they perpetrate upon (inferior) civilians in their cowardly fake wars could be seen as revenge for making them look incompetent - which they are. Russia & China are quite safe if all they've got to worry about is a bunch of deluded, supremacist, Yankee (and Eurotrash) Military Buffoons.

Napoleon and Russia got out of Afghanistan by treating Afghans with respect and negotiating their safe departure. AmeriKKKa and the Eurotrash are too proud and racist to stoop to treating "inferiors" like fellow-Humans.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 11, 2016 12:30:29 AM | 33


Okie Farmer @27
Re: Geographical Pivot+H J Mackinder 1904 Royal Geographical Society+Heartland Theory+ "extended scope of geopolitical analysis to encompass the entire globe"...
The aforementioned intention began, in earnest nearly 300 years ago, in the early 1600s. Such is hardly debatable when confronted with the work of the Hakluyts [uncle and nephew with same name].

England, an island nation totally dependent on trade and thus necessary control of sea-lanes, saw its buccaneers' great success in pirating gold from Spanish galleons heavily laden homeward from Caribbean ports et al. England's merchant Lords knew (1) their lives and England's future depended on trade and (2) that the Spanish Fleet already was the most numerous and powerful thus must be defeated. I.e., England must control the sea-lanes via Ships Of The Line and choke-point strongholds and knowledge related to trade and the Crown's interests must be sought and compiled.

To accomplish this, a global survey began of all the earth's resources and all global shipping data. The 2 Hakluyts established a central clearing house as the repository for all the data as it was collected from all nations thru interviews [overt and covert] of ships captains, navigators, port spies, etc.

For example, fresh-water was a vital resource. Any blue-water fleet must have the locations of fresh-water re-supply islands. Any long -haul venture was deadly without it. "Ghost ships" were a well known phenomena that occurred when a crew ran out of fresh water at sea and all perished. So, where are fresh water islands? How and where are
the safe passages in thru the rocks/shoals to make land safely?

Etc. for all mineral, food, raw material and tradeable items. Hakluyts distributed their 1st volumes of accumulated knowledge abt 1598-1600. Thereafter, more volumes were made available. Copies of copies and copies of summaries exist today, if you can find them.
The global survey of all the world's resources has been ongoing ever since, and by necessity, is shrouded in secrecy.

[Possibly IIRC, England's Haileybury East India College early 1800s played a part in this survey/collection?].

[BTW, there is today a "Hakluyt Society", but it is a corporate group that has just adopted a similar name and, AFAIK, is unrelated.]

Sorry the overlong rambling.

Posted by: chu-teh | Jun 11, 2016 1:15:59 AM | 34

This article reeks of either naiveté or wilful ignorance.

Posted by: Andy V | Jun 11, 2016 4:08:44 AM | 35

Liberals 'Considering' NATO Request That 1,000 Canadian Troops Be Deployed in Eastern Europe
http://www.canada.com/news/national/liberals+98considering+nato+request+2c000+canadian+troops/11976373/story.html

Eastern European NATO allies have been pressing Canada to deploy up to 1,000 soldiers into the region to bolster the alliance's presence amid continued concerns about Russian aggression. The Liberal government says it is 'actively considering options'..."

It should be remembered Canada is currently 'training' Ukrainian troops and is a staunch supporter of the Nazi oligarchy in Kiev. Perhaps we'll be returning to Afghanistan too, where the current Canadian Defence Minister, a specialist in 'counterinsurgency' was posted as an officer with Canadian Forces not so very long ago.

Posted by: John Gilberts | Jun 11, 2016 5:01:04 AM | 36

@ Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 11, 2016 12:30:29 AM | 33
Napoleon and Russia got out of Afghanistan by treating Afghans with respect and negotiating their safe departure. AmeriKKKa and the Eurotrash are too proud and racist to stoop to treating "inferiors" like fellow-Humans.

Short memories and faulty remembrances; the Soviet Army in Afghanistan (1979 - 1989) was no bastion of humanity towards the Afghan people. Essentially treated the Afghan civilians the same way the U.S. scum did/does to this day.
But then there is little resemblance between the armies (Russian), then and now. The below link (pdf) is informative and written at the time of the Soviet/Afghan War.

http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a213733.pdf

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jun 11, 2016 6:23:28 AM | 37

@34, chu teh 'England ... saw its buccaneers' great success in pirating gold from Spanish galleons heavily laden homeward from Caribbean ports'

The English started out 'trading' as thieving, murderous, pirates. 'Sir' Francis Drake ... the terrorist who looted the gold and who so mightily pleased his queen. Some might say the English haven't changed much. W.R. Polk puts the founding of Jamestown as - from the queen's point of view at any rate - not so much a colony as a more or less permanent ambush point of the Spanish gold fleet. When the Spanish left the Caribbean they sailed along the North American coast to about that latitude and then followed the Gulf Stream and the trade winds home to Europe. Jamestown was founded by criminals. England sent them out from prison to bring back 'Spanish' gold. The gold was the product of the Spanish genocide of the Caribbean and the enslavement of South America, of course. Polk says the English cleared their foreign debt with 'liberated' ... as in liberal or libertarian ... 'Spanish' gold.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 11, 2016 8:11:31 AM | 38

@38 "Jamestown was founded by criminals.'

I can't let that go. The Virginia Company settlers were all shareholders in the company who sailed voluntarily. Most were craftsmen and artisans.

Posted by: dh | Jun 11, 2016 8:46:04 AM | 39

It's very simple. The MIC is the only jobs progam left in the US. Entire counties are centered around the arms/tactical/mil-tech industry. I live in one. There are literally no other jobs beyond the medical nd law professions. You're either part of it, or you're bagging groceries.

The stock must be "used", or else. This is also why we see vast swaths of equipment go missing, or ending up in mercenaries' hands.

Posted by: L Bean | Jun 11, 2016 9:19:20 AM | 40

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jun 11, 2016 6:23:28 AM | 37

Forgive the scepticism, but I didn't get past the Foreword...

"via US Army, Sponsored by Rand." i.e. tasty sauce rather than useful source.

I prefer the Russian version of their Afghan debacle plus I'm a Russophile. If Vlad & Xi can't save the world then we're all fucked.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 11, 2016 9:41:25 AM | 41

33;Did you mean Alexander instead of Napoleon?Napoleon got to Afghanistan?I know he went to the Levant and Egypt,but I never read Afghanistan.
AmeriKKKa?oy.Isn't Australia one of the most(Israel is number 1 with a bullet) racist nations on earth,or have I been fed BS?They have refugees on islands because they don't want their lily white people besmirched by Islam,Chinese and other Asians.
Glass house people should avoid stone throwing.

Posted by: dahoit | Jun 11, 2016 10:03:15 AM | 42

Oboma is an abysmal liar and numb nut idiot,but hey what else is new from our POTUS's?
Remember the old Chinese losing face adage?That's US today,faceless fools.
C'mon Trump!
Pocahontas and the hell bitch,delete your account!sheesh.

Posted by: dahoit | Jun 11, 2016 10:06:46 AM | 43

I wonder if opium poppies have any importance here... who, exactly, would lose if the Taliban returned to power and re-instituted their anti drug policies. Gurrker @ 8.

What has the US ‘won’? karlof1 wrote @ 2 : It's about being in place to ensure its dominance over Russia and China Not stupid at all but see for ex. counter, Lonkal, persiflo, Smoothie.

Answer — ‘the heroin trade.’ The Taliban made a big show of destroying poppy fields and mouthing godly guff, while the real aim was to lower production as there was a glut and prices were in the pits. Also, some tribal chiefs were at the top, others more lowly.. Even documented at the time by the FAO (= UN) when these institutions did such things (no link.)

From the drug angle, it boils down to a fight to control the drug trade which at the mo. is afaik controlled by the US, though ..??..

At some point (UN etc) it was proposed to let Afghanistan become a major legal pharmaceutical supplier (legalise their opiate production etc.) Refused by the usual suspects.

Link: CIA control, not mentioned is that the refineries are in Pakistan so even at that level Afgh. is being ripped off.

http://aldeilis.net/english/bush-will-not-stop-afghan-opium-trade/

Surprisingly, the wiki entry is semi-palatable, though they pay lip service to ‘opium ban’ by the Taliban (but read the whole thing) and don’t mention US control directly (etc. etc.), and skim/neglect other topics (heroin add., prostitution, AIDS, in Afgh. itself.) It provides an intro to some of the issues.

snippet: In March 2010, NATO rejected Russian proposals for Afghan poppy spraying, citing concerns over income of Afghan people.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium_production_in_Afghanistan

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 11, 2016 10:10:17 AM | 44

dh @39
"I can't let that go. The Virginia Company settlers were all shareholders in the company who sailed voluntarily. Most were craftsmen and artisans."

Wrong. Most were shareholders seeking fame and fortune--upper class fortune hunters--which is why the settlement almost died because they lacked those craftsmen, artisans and farmers required to make a plantation--literally the planting of people--successful.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 11, 2016 10:50:47 AM | 45

Posted by: dahoit | Jun 11, 2016 10:03:15 AM | 42

If you say I've confused Napoleon and Alexander than that's probably right. It's my own fault for trying to over-embellish a short story.
Australians, generally speaking, are quietly racist but not as racist-supremacist as the pro-Israel, pro-AmeriKKKan politicians on both sides of politics. They're obviously as bribed & owned by the 1% & Corporations & Banks as US politicians.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 11, 2016 10:57:26 AM | 46

@45 Correct. The first ship was largely upper class fortune hunters. And yes they chose a bad place and were nearly wiped out. Subsequent supply ships brought more craftsmen all of whom received one share in the company. They were not criminals.

Posted by: dh | Jun 11, 2016 11:15:15 AM | 47

I don't think Alexander got out of what is now Afghanistan. I think it remained under Macedonian rule under his Seleucid successors for some time.

Posted by: lysias | Jun 11, 2016 11:24:37 AM | 48

@ Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 11, 2016 9:41:25 AM | 41

Yeah, I expected that; however, there is much to be learned from one's enemy, and, not reading counter informative's puts one at a distinct disadvantage in the info wars.
In any event, there is/was truth in that link, which you chose to ignore because it ran counter to your "belief" system; a shame really; you cripple your own narrative in the search for truth.
Pity...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jun 11, 2016 11:43:04 AM | 49

US putting out bids for American firms to manufacture AK-47s and other Russian-made weapons

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2016/06/10/special-operations-command-looks-to-u-s-companies-for-homemade-ak-47s/?tid=pm_world_pop_b

U.S. Special Operations Command, which oversees some of America’s most elite forces, is exploring the possibility of having American companies manufacture Russian-designed weapons, such as the AK-47, that are ubiquitous in war zones.

First reported by the Tampa Bay Times, Special Operations Command, or SOCOM, posted a “sources sought” solicitation for non-standard weapons on a federal contracting site early last month. In April, the command posted a similar notice for non-standard weapon ammunition. The term “non standard” is used for weapons not frequently employed by the United States or its NATO allies.

Posted by: Les | Jun 11, 2016 11:57:11 AM | 50

Sorry as this is not relevant to the discussion.

I wonder often if Obama and the neocons would be so warlike if they had ever been truly tested man to man. You know as in either getting the Hell beat out of them behind the pool hall or beating the Hell out of the other guy.

My money is on Obama never being tested in his whole life. Maybe I'm wrong and he was in fistfights all through school and loved scrapping.

Somehow I doubt it.

Pretty easy to be a "keyboard" warrior and another to really take some physical risks.

Atleast Hillary appears to pack a pretty good punch, she's more of a man than most of the neocons.

Posted by: Morongobill | Jun 11, 2016 12:02:02 PM | 51

Reason for the outsource bid:

Recently, U.S.-backed groups in Syria have been spotted with American equipment, including heavy machine guns and sniper rifles.

Posted by: Les | Jun 11, 2016 12:19:13 PM | 52

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jun 11, 2016 11:43:04 AM | 49

Don't take it personally. I know you meant well. I happen to think that Ayn Rand was certifiably insane. I'm not prepared to wade through umpteen pages of psy-war dross when, in 2016, a satisfactory overview of the critical errors made in Afghanistan by Russia would fit on one page.
Spin tank authors, like legal scribes, get paid for each word. Hence the absence of brevity.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jun 11, 2016 5:08:55 PM | 53

@47 dh

My information came from William R Polk, The Birth of America, chapter 7 - Early Days in the Colonies ...


... But however skilled they were and whatever help they got from their Indians, the early Englishmen spent a hungry winter on Roanoke Island and were so discouraged that their chief, Ralph Lane, concluded that they must discover either a passage to “Southsea” (the Far East) or a gold mine;

  “nothing els can bring this country in request to be inhabited by our nation.”

Luckily, just at that point, the two aims of English policy came temporarily into a single focus: colonist and privateer joined hands when Sir Francis Drake sailed up from plundering Spanish cities in the Caribbean. It was obvious, at least to Drake and Ralegh, how valuable a base in Virginia could be, and they determined to support it.


... I realize that the English consider pirates and terrorists to be 'noblemen', but the rest of the world views them as criminals.

And ... chapter 9 - The Growth of the Colonies


In 1751, noting a rise in violent crime, the Virginia Gazette attributed it (as did Benjamin Franklin) to England’s practice of shipping felons to the colonies. About 30,000 criminals were sent to America in the eighteenth century.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 11, 2016 5:43:00 PM | 54

@54 Of course Drake and Raleigh were pirates in Spanish eyes. They still are. One could argue the legality of privateers and letters of marque forever. As far as Elizabeth the 1st. went she needed money. She was at war with Spain and beyond legal niceties....though Raleigh was offered up as a token. At least his head.

But all that doesn't make the Virginia settlers any more criminal than any other settlers in the New World....French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian, Irish you can take your pick. I suppose stealing Native American land counts as criminal but not many Americans seem to feel any qualms.

There was no gold in Virginia BTW.....but they learned how to grow tobacco.

Benjamin Franklin's satirical comment about English felons in the 18th century would be considered Trumpist by today's standards and has nothing to do with the founding of the Jamestown colony (#38). Though no doubt Britain did facilitate emigration for some less desirable citizens. Look at Australia.

Posted by: dh | Jun 11, 2016 6:30:24 PM | 55

jfl @ 38

That gold was vital to England's future.

The "buccaneers" were authorized by Q. Elizabeth to grab the gold at sea. Thus they were not legally "pirates" under English point of view and were immunized from prosecution when they made it home.


That gold was divided between the Crown and the merchant leaders. Crucially, it financed the necessary preparation for confronting the Spanish Armada, in which
#1 buccaneer Francis Drake's newly-built fleet ripped and set blaze the Armada's rigging.

Your point of Jamestown serving English control of sea-lanes would surely fit into a global strategy of identifying and taking control of vital choke-points; and then some.

Of the entire Caribbean, the East coast of Panama was most busy for the final loading of gold n silver, etc onto shipment direct to Spain. Most[?] of the gold n silver had to be transshipped to Western Panama and transited with by pack-animal thru jungle to the Carib coast. From there, the cargoes had to run thru English "interests" in the Greater n Lesser Antilles to make it to the open Atlantic.

There are some first-hand historical accounts by the pirates that lay history open n naked.

.

Posted by: chu-teh | Jun 11, 2016 7:44:57 PM | 56

apologies if someone already posted it - M K Bhadrakumar

US unleashes the dogs of war in Afghanistan

Posted by: james | Jun 11, 2016 8:54:32 PM | 57

@ 58 for reference
First-hand accounts:

John Masefield's compilation "On the Spanish Main; or some English forays on the Isthmus of Darien (now Panama}.
Awesome n detailed observations n experiences. A reader only need patiently get definitions of each unfamiliar word, n the reward will be great understanding.

BTW, "buccaneer" seems mostly associated with the English pirates but, in fact, buccaneers of many nations n nationalities operated on the Spanish Main. "Buccaneer" derives from "boucan" from the Carib native method of preserving beef n pig/boar meats. Sailors using this method were called "boucaneers".Our "barbeque" derives from the Carib name for the fire+grate+smoke device used in the "boucan" process.

Posted by: chu-teh | Jun 11, 2016 11:02:46 PM | 58

@54 dh. 'As far as Elizabeth the 1st. went she needed money. She was at war with Spain and beyond legal niceties...'

She was at war with Spain because she pirated "Spain's" gold. She started the war by her act of piracy and theft. The Queen of England was a criminal.

But if you're unwilling to consider heads of state and their underlings as criminal, there was, apparently, at least one bona fide 'low-life' criminal aboard the vessel bound for Roanoke ...


Their toehold on the American continent would have slipped from under their feet had it not been for the flamboyant soldier of fortune, Captain John Smith.

Whether or not Smith exaggerated his own role — his determined enemy George Percy certainly thought so, calling him

  “an Ambityous, unworthy, and vayneglorious fellowe Attempteinge to take all Mens Authoreties from them” —

Smith certainly played a constructive part in the new colony. He had come to America under particularly unhappy circumstances. Accused of conspiring to mutiny, he was clapped in irons and locked belowdecks. When the ship’s captain opened his sealed instructions, he was horrified to find that they named Smith as one of seven members of the colony’s ruling council.


Not unlike the seven-man GNA in Libya? This thread is about the US' aggression in Afghanistan, now in its 16th year, and about our criminal, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate president, who will have prosecuted that war for 8 years when he leaves office, and who is now, once again, ratcheting up the aggressive war criminals who obey him, as criminal commander-in-chief, just as those criminals of yore were delighted to follow the criminal-in-chief queen's orders 400 years ago.

Not much has changed in 400 years. Millions of AmerIndians died for empire then, millions of Afghans, Iraqis, Libyans, Syrians, Ukrainians, Yemenis, have died now for empire and millions of folks to be named later ... Russians? peoples of the Baltics? Poles? Germans? French? .... Chinese? ... Americans? will die for empire, the way things are headed.

The people who start these wars/massacres/genocides were and are truly criminal whether they are manipulative kings, queens, presidents, sultans, prime ministers ... or manipulated Scots-Irish 'settlers' in the Ohio River Valley, or American-Israeli 'settlers' on the West Bank of the Jordan River, or American mercenaries or uniformed special forces in Iraq or elsewhere - all over the earth. Owning the past, and the present, is the first step toward changing the future. We need to take it really soon.

Posted by: jfl | Jun 12, 2016 2:26:30 AM | 59

@59 You obviously don't know much about Spanish anti-Protestant activity in the lowlands. Gold was only one part of Anglo-Spanish differences.

I don't think George Percy's opinion of Captain John Smith's lifestyle justifies your original statement....'Jamestown was founded by criminals'. More research needed.

Posted by: dh | Jun 12, 2016 5:11:23 AM | 60

You talk about kings, queens, presidents etc. being criminal but you seem to have a problem with migration per se. Presumably you expect everybody to stop building ships and stay home. People tend to move around ....usually to better their lives. The Age of Exploration was a particularly active period.. Vasco da Gama, Christopher Columbus, Magellan. British, French, Dutch all the European powers got into the act.. And colonization wasn’t a distinctly Western phenomenon. Indians colonized Thailand and Cambodia. Chinese colonized Malaysia. Arabs colonized Africa. The Scots-Irish in the Ohio Valley were land hungry. The Indians were in the way. That's the way Israelis see Palestinians.

Ordinary people sailed those ships and settled in far away places.....they traded with the locals, sent goods home, intermarried. It's what humans do. We are a very indigent species.

I'm not sure how this relates to the situation at present but it seems to have reached a point, with 6 billion people on the planet, that something has to give.

Posted by: dh | Jun 12, 2016 5:33:18 AM | 61

@61 are you kidding in calling the colonization and genocide of millions of indigenous people in the Americas - "migration"?

You make sweeping historical generalizations to belittle and justify the 500 year long bloody trail of horror and crimes that birthed and nourished the power and wealth of the once marginal-impoverished Europe and its settler colonies. The late Eduardo Galeano's Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of Latin America is worth reading to see how this history of which you think is in the past is alive and well today with El Norte (USA) occupying a prime position as no. 1 pillager. Even in the most recent ten years the U.S. attempt to destablize and stop Latin Americans in Brazil, Bolivia, Honduras, Ecuador, Venezuela, Argentina etc. from stopping the on-going looting is a continuation of this history.

As for the settler-colonization of North America and the genocide of which the Scots-Irish 'migrants' were enthusiastic participants in, let us see what these land-hungry 'migrants' were doing in Europe, for whom they were doing it and how they ended-up in North America scalping indigenous men, women, children so they could steal their land for the criminal syndicates that funded and established the settler-colonies.

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz on Native American Genocide

Posted by: thirsty | Jun 12, 2016 6:15:02 AM | 62

dh | Jun 12, 2016 5:33:18 AM | 61
Indians colonized Thailand and Cambodia.

That is utter nonsense; Thailand has "never" been colonised (and that goes back 5,000 years); parts briefly occupied by Burma and Kampuchea; but never colonised. And that includes the Japanese in WWII.
And in the 12th century Kampuchea was the largest empire in the world; as recently discovered.
I have lived in S.E. Asia and am a student of its history.
You obviously are not. Where the hell do you get this crap; India indeed...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jun 12, 2016 6:21:31 AM | 63

Link for the above post.

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/cambodia-ancient-civilization-discovered/2016/06/11/id/733404/

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jun 12, 2016 6:30:14 AM | 64

@63 Colonization was the wrong word. Are you saying Hindu merchants and adventurers had no influence on Thai and Khmer culture?

Posted by: dh | Jun 12, 2016 9:14:08 AM | 65

Link for the above post.....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Indian_influence_on_Southeast_Asia

Posted by: dh | Jun 12, 2016 9:27:04 AM | 66

@62 No I am not kidding. Human migration takes many forms. Sometimes peaceful....more often warlike. Mongols migrated from Asia.

Posted by: dh | Jun 12, 2016 9:29:42 AM | 67

dh | Jun 12, 2016 9:27:04 AM | 66

Your post says nothing about colonization; but speaks to influence, which is true. Thai Buddhism is predominately Theravada, which is also influenced by tribal animism and other local animistic beliefs as well as Hindu gods and teachings; Thai Buddhist chants are in Bali; which is Sanskrit.
That India "influenced" S.E. Asia is beyond despute; but colonised; no, not a chance.
Your still a fail in accuracy...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jun 12, 2016 10:16:04 AM | 68

@68 Indian merchants, adventurers and monks had an enormous influence on Thailand and Cambodia. As a student of Thai history you probably know how many Sanskrit words there are in Thai. Buddhism came from India. The many Hindis living and intermarried in what was the State of Funan could probably be called a colony.

Looking at a dictionary definition the word 'colony' appears quite flexible. I've heard the word 'expat colony' used to describe lower Sukhumvit in Bangkok. There is a large foreign 'colony' established in Pattaya. There is a British 'colony' in New York.

Posted by: dh | Jun 12, 2016 10:39:58 AM | 69

dh | Jun 12, 2016 10:39:58 AM | 69

Look, this could go on forever; your original post said Thailand and Kampuchea were colonised by India; tacitly untrue.
End of story.
Take your bullshit narrative elsewhere please...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jun 12, 2016 10:55:51 AM | 70

@70 Nice of you to admit the influence part anyway. โชคดี

Posted by: dh | Jun 12, 2016 11:14:38 AM | 71

For a break in the pedantic exchange - a gunman has attacked an Orlando Florida nightclub killing 50 and wounding another 53. The gunman is dead as well from early reports. Now back to your self-righteous opinions.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jun 12, 2016 11:55:26 AM | 72

@72 Thank you for the newsbreak which is a little late but very welcome. Muslim slays gays. Hard to know what to think.

Posted by: dh | Jun 12, 2016 12:03:53 PM | 73

@ dh | Jun 12, 2016 12:03:53 PM | 73

It is not hard to know what to think - many people are now dead, gravely injured or wounded, all having families and loved ones carrying immense trauma from the events. Above all else, these all, including the gunman were or are people, nothing else matters at this point in time. Once the emergency is over and time has been allowed for investigation into the particulars concerning the participants, willing and otherwise, to this tragedy, only then, in the coolness of composure, should the known facts be admitted, all else put aside. There will be no vengeance or retribution possible now, a hate crime that will go unpunished, the wounds healed only with caring for those so hurt. It might be better that way as well.

Posted by: Formerly T-Bear | Jun 12, 2016 2:36:10 PM | 74

@73 I agree. Also when religion and gender issues come into people are very wary of voicing their true opinions.

Posted by: dh | Jun 12, 2016 3:15:59 PM | 75

dh | Jun 12, 2016 11:14:38 AM | 71

โชคดี back at you.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Jun 12, 2016 11:05:14 PM | 76

@76 ขอขอบคุณ และผมหวังว่า การศึกษาของคุณ เป็นไปด้วยดี

Posted by: dh | Jun 12, 2016 11:08:10 PM | 77

If you want to win Afghanistan you need to nuke Islamabad, Rawalpindi and the Northwest Frontier Province.
Then turn the rest over the Shia of Karachi and the Baluchi of Baluchistan.
The so called "pure" of the land of the pure must be sent to their master, in Hell.
Then Afghani's can be free to determine their own destiny.

Posted by: Northern Observer | Jun 13, 2016 10:01:42 AM | 78

At what point do U.S. troops decide not to deploy to Afghanistan as the original stated motives become meaningless and the real motives of elitist money making off of heroin or other resources becomes blatantly apparent and the military and political situation becomes even more tenuous? I don't know about American military law but Canadian troops do have the right to not accept a deployment on conscientious grounds despite the harm done to their careers and standing within the unit. Is this still a declared war even long after OBL as casus belli has ceased to exist and the humanitarian platitudes of championing women's and civil rights and democracy has withered to nothing, leaving nothing but naked aggression for profits and geo political aims as the reasons for continuing this war?

Posted by: BRF | Jun 13, 2016 11:20:42 PM | 79

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