Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
December 24, 2015

Still Hopeless For O'Hanlon

U.S. media do not care if a pundit they publish has been wrong in his or her earlier predictions. They allow such dimwits and deniers of reality to repeat their errors over and over and over again. A condition though is some connection of said pundit to a "reputable" organization or think tank with big money behind it.

Consider one Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institute on Afghanistan. In January 2014 we wrote Hopeless For O'Hanlon:

A casual and incomplete search for "O'Hanlon" "Hope" "Afghanistan" finds the following entries:

TwinCities.com, November 17 2009: Michael O'Hanlon: A blue line of hope in Afghanistan

LA Times, December 27 2009: A year of war -- and progress

The question is whether it will be too little too late, but there is reason for hope.

Washington Post, June 26 2010: Reasons to be hopeful about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan

Politico, September 28 2010: New reasons for hope in Afghanistan

NYT, May 20 2011: Finally, a Fighting Force

But there is reason to be hopeful. ...

CNN, March 16 2012: O'Hanlon: 7 reasons for hope in Afghanistan

Here are some highlights of the more hopeful indicators in Afghanistan: ...

CNN, May 2 2012: O'Hanlon: Reasons for hope on Afghanistan

Washington Times, June 1 2012: O’HANLON: Rays of hope in Afghanistan

Several hopeful things I saw on a recent trip ...

Politico, March 21 2013: Kandahar and hope

Now, Kandahar gives hope to the war effort. ...

Michael Cohan now extended the list on Twitter with some new hopeless-like O'Hanlon entries.

In Politico September 5 2013:

An update on a forgotten war

.. overall coalition troop strength has hardly declined, because as Americans have stood down, Afghans have stood up.
..
...while war is always a horrible business, make no mistake about it, this year’s campaign in Afghanistan is reasonably encouraging so far.

On January 2 2014 in the Washington Post:

U.S. intelligence is too pessimistic about Afghanistan

The case for hopefulness on Afghanistan is built largely on what were probably its three most notable developments of 2013 ..
...
There is still a powerful case for interpreting the facts in a hopeful vein.

Mach 23 2014 in Politico:

Afghanistan Is Doing Better Than You Think

But the overall military picture is fairly good. ... Afghanistan is doing far better than most critics imagine.
..
Most major cities, never as violent as many urban areas in Latin America or Africa even at the worst of the war, have improved further
...
Afghan security forces are doing better than almost anyone expected. ...This war may not be won in a classic sense, but it is also surely not being lost.

On February 4 2015 in the Wall Street Journal:

How Not to Squander Hard-Won Gains in Afghanistan

The woes are well-known, the strengths too often forgotten. Major cities and roads, for example, are increasingly safe. ..

O'Hanlon in the Washington Post on July 7 2015:

The U.S. needs to keep troops in Afghanistan

Beyond our own global counterterrorism exigencies, Afghanistan itself still needs help. The situation there is not hopeless, but it is serious.
...
But all is not lost. Far from it.
...
The right approach for the United States is not to pull out next year but to keep several bases and several thousand U.S. and other NATO-coalition troops in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future.

In Politico two days ago, December 22 2015:

How to Win in Afghanistan

The situation in Afghanistan is far from hopeless. For each negative trend, there is an important counterargument.
...
The deterioration has been significant, to be sure, but far from apocalyptic.
...
Postpone the reduction to 5,500 U.S. troops, which will almost certainly be premature. Indeed, we might better expand to 12,000 or so for a couple years

The war in Afghanistan was lost shortly after the Taliban were driven out. Afghanistan was ready to be left alone again to find its own way towards a new balance. Instead the U.S. decided to occupy the place and to hunt down, torture and kill any random "Taliban". Western money fueled an orgy of graft and corruption. With support from within an alienated population the real Taliban came back. Like some 20 years ago, they are wining the war against the occupiers and their proxies and there is nothing the "west" can do about it.

Meanwhile al- Qaeda has multiplied outside of Afghanistan. The theory that such a terror organization needs a secure retreat is wrong. If tomorrow Afghanistan were secured and free of any strife al-Qaeda an similar groups would still be able to exist and flourish there or elsewhere.

But such sane thought is not allowed in mainstream media. Too much moneyed interest is fed by waging war.

That is why hopelessly delusional idiots like O'Hanlon still get published.

Posted by b on December 24, 2015 at 11:05 UTC | Permalink

Comments

The problem is that people are not trying to believe with sufficient vigor. If you close your eyes tight enough and try to believe hard enough it will come true. Really it will.

Posted by: Secret Agent | Dec 24 2015 11:14 utc | 1

It helps if you hold your breath.

Posted by: Secret Agent | Dec 24 2015 11:17 utc | 2

Yankee, please, go home.

Posted by: From The Hague | Dec 24 2015 11:41 utc | 3

No Child Left Behind, Pixie Dust, P.R./B.S. take your pick, it doesn't matter to the ones in control. Nor can you do anything about it. When you consider the cast of individuals who give their blab as gospel, we're in a world of hurt. Happy Holidays to all.

Posted by: originalone | Dec 24 2015 13:51 utc | 4

Tinkerbell is alive!

Posted by: Dan | Dec 24 2015 13:54 utc | 5

Just another American Idiot. It's truly amazing how many people believe things that are demonstrably false, like Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, etc.

Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 24 2015 14:13 utc | 6

These people are kept around because they function as cheerleaders.
The old and less complimentary name for them is : Sycophant.

Posted by: erik | Dec 24 2015 14:17 utc | 7

US Had "Secret" Discussions With Assad "Regime", Tried To Start Military Coup

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-12-24/us-had-secret-discussions-assad-regime-tried-start-military-coup

Posted by: Les | Dec 24 2015 14:47 utc | 8

In the US, nobody talks about the war in Afghanistan except twice a year at the Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner table when some families include the troops in their dinner prayer. Nobody actually wants us to still have troops fighting there. But the war machine just can't let go of the gravy train there and the empire clings to Zbig's lame (and borrowed, his "chessboard" is not even original) rehashed Heartland theory about how controlling that region leads to control of the world island. Presumably that theory will live on with his protege son when he's gone too, so no hope of it disappearing when he does. Like a good neoliberalcon, he has a next generation all lined up. Neocons are famous for this so why not for the neolibs too?

Lawrence Wilkerson says Afghanistan is no longer about Al Qaeda or the Taliban. At 20:00 he says "it's about China... the soft underbelly of Russia, Pakistan, Iran, Syria, Iraq, about whether a Kurdistan is stood up or not, and ultimately about oil, water and energy in general. The US presence in Afghanistan, I'll predict right now will not go away for another half century."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOagQ_nfCes

Posted by: Joanne Leon | Dec 24 2015 15:04 utc | 9

The powerful individuals who own the Media also own everything else. They control the government. The government does not control them. They endeavor to conquer and to plunder the Middle East and Africa and to keep the booty away from competitors like Russia and China.

There is no sharing - not with the indigenous ppl - not with Russia or China. They believe, as they have professed openly, in their own Full Spectrum Dominance.

Pretending to be the world's policemen for the good of mankind is a convenient cover story.

Opportunistic infections like O'Hanlon will never go away. They are whores.

Posted by: fast freddy | Dec 24 2015 15:59 utc | 10

Russia is now working with the Taliban (Pakistan) to counter ISIS (US-Turkey-SA)

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-12-24/bizarre-alliance-russia-teams-taliban-isis-fight

Posted by: Les | Dec 24 2015 16:08 utc | 11

@10 fast freddy

You give a bad name to whores.

People that act against their own and societies best interests provide negative social value. They are extensions of the social parasites that own private finance and everything else with their deluded sense of entitlement.

O'Hanlon is just following in the footsteps of economists who assiduously spew models and concepts describing a bottom up economy when all the major decisions are made by global plutocratic families at the top.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Dec 24 2015 16:19 utc | 12

Moneyed interests,sure,but guided and protected by Zion.
This is the Israeli expansion and security campaign.
The latest from the serial liars;Russian buildup!Too bad the only 5 respondents(so far )all gave it the thumbs down!
And the chosen dance around a wedding shooting guns at a picture of an arsoned dead Palestinian child.And a prominent Israeli settler says;All Christians out of Israel.They are vampires!Holy sheesh and sheesh again.
Yankee come Home!Yes!And the only one speaking that at the moment is Trump,if indirectly.

Posted by: dahoit | Dec 24 2015 16:43 utc | 13

In the US it is not just the journalists and think tank talking heads who know nothing, John McCain wanted to spend 100 years in Iraq. WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Republican presidential front-runner Sen. John McCain on Thursday defended his statement that U.S. troops could spend "maybe 100" years in Iraq -- http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/02/14/mccain.king/

Posted by: harry law | Dec 24 2015 16:59 utc | 14

Mr. O'Hanlon drug of choice is "hopium," a potent mix of delusional "hope" and the new variety of Afghan opium, both developed by the CIA, which he seems to consume in high quantities before he writes about Afghanistan. Like O'Hanlon, there are a dime a dozen CIA-hired MSM stenographers assigned a particular narrative, in his case "hope," to project a distorted, deceitfully "positive" view of any reality, for him Afghanistan, in order to justify and prolong the continued US/NATO intervention, another exercise in futility by the empire and its minions pushed only to benefit the M-IC.

The US/NATO were strategically defeated long ago in Afghanistan, the extension of their intervention is only a proof of their defeat, not of their will to pursue their goals. Their situation is hopeless, hence the appearance of another IS hydra head in Afghanistan, created to divert the Taliban from confronting US/NATO, and also the need for hirelings like O'Hanlon.

Pakistani Taliban recently declared IS un-Islamic, following the Afghan Taliban, adding a new front to the already crowded Afghan battleground, all fighting for a piece of the Af-Pak pie. Afghanistan recently requested weapons from Russia, which answered they will consider the proposition since they saw arming Afghanistan a US/NATO's responsibility. Afghanistan is already under Russia's close observation knowing well the empire will transfer thousands of unemployed takfiris from Syria/Iraq to the Af-Pak front threatening Russia's soft underbelly.

Russia should avoid entering the Afghan conflict in support of the US/NATO installed Afghan puppets, weapons and otherwise, now that the Taliban is about to break their backs, again. If possible, Russia should open a channel to the Taliban in search of a tactical alliance against IS. The recent upsurge of the Taliban will force US/NATO to yet another "surge" to continue to feed the M-IC with blood and money, Russians should not join a project that, despite O'Hanlon delusional "hopium" OD, it was absolutely hopeless decades ago.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 24 2015 17:17 utc | 15

Mr. O'Hanlon drug of choice is "hopium," a potent mix of delusional "hope" and the new variety of Afghan opium, both developed by the CIA, which he seems to consume in high quantities before he writes about Afghanistan. Like O'Hanlon, there are a dime a dozen CIA-hired MSM stenographers assigned a particular narrative, in his case "hope," to project a distorted, deceitfully "positive" view of any reality, for him Afghanistan, in order to justify and prolong the continued US/NATO intervention, another exercise in futility by the empire and its minions pushed only to benefit the M-IC.

The US/NATO were strategically defeated long ago in Afghanistan, the extension of their intervention is only a proof of their defeat, not of their will to pursue their goals. Their situation is hopeless, hence the appearance of another IS hydra head in Afghanistan, created to divert the Taliban from confronting US/NATO, and also the need for hirelings like O'Hanlon.

Pakistani Taliban recently declared IS un-Islamic, following the Afghan Taliban, adding a new front to the already crowded Afghan battleground, all fighting for a piece of the Af-Pak pie. Afghanistan recently requested weapons from Russia, which answered they will consider the proposition since they saw arming Afghanistan a US/NATO's responsibility. Afghanistan is already under Russia's close observation knowing well the empire will transfer thousands of unemployed takfiris from Syria/Iraq to the Af-Pak front threatening Russia's soft underbelly.

Russia should avoid entering the Afghan conflict in support of the US/NATO installed Afghan puppets, weapons and otherwise, now that the Taliban is about to break their backs again. If possible, Russia should open a channel to the Taliban in search of a tactical alliance against IS. The recent upsurge of the Taliban will force US/NATO to yet another "surge" to continue to feed the M-IC with blood and money, Russians should not join a project that, despite O'Hanlon delusional "hopium" OD, it was absolutely hopeless decades ago.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 24 2015 17:21 utc | 16

Lol@LoneWolf15
Guys like O'Hanlon are gonna need copious amounts of the same brand of hopium in the coming years. He'll be needing a good and proper fix as he realises that the only industry holding the US together in this global consumerist mess they've created is the war industry. Everything other industry has been hollowed out. No doubt these presstitutes will be hard on the pipe 24/7 to get over there shared fate of writing shite they dont believe.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Dec 24 2015 17:56 utc | 17

Trump is a phony. His lead foreign policy advisor is John Bolton who recently wrote the NYT op-ed piece advocating a carve-up of Iraq.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/08/donald-trump-john-bolton-iraq-war

Posted by: Les | Dec 24 2015 18:45 utc | 18

George Carlin said it best:

"Bullshit is the glue that holds this nation together".

Posted by: Copeland | Dec 24 2015 18:59 utc | 19

Sometimes not telling the truth is so obvious that it is not really a lie. For example, a highly respected comedian, Rodney Dangerfield kept saying "I don't get no respect." That said, a narrow specialization exhibited by Hanlon often marks a high risk of extinction.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Dec 24 2015 19:11 utc | 20

There is nothing posted above which is contradictory. Each comment adds a layer or dovetails with (and reinforces) the previous ones. I wonder what the numbers are - the percentage - of English-speaking people who are thus "enlightened". It can't be very many. I find zero among my personal associates.

Posted by: fast freddy | Dec 24 2015 19:21 utc | 21

@19

Fast Freddy, wouldn't that also mean that there is a group-think in this board? That everyone thinks the same thing and there is no variety of perspective? Is a group really "enlightened" just because everyone says the same thing?

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Dec 24 2015 19:43 utc | 22

Fast Freddy, wouldn't that also mean that there is a group-think in this board? That everyone thinks the same thing and there is no variety of perspective? Is a group really "enlightened" just because everyone says the same thing?

Is that you, Mr. O'Hanlon?

Posted by: fast freddy | Dec 24 2015 20:02 utc | 23

Any possibility that O'Hanlon is not an actual person with real qualifications and experience to pronounce anything on Afghanistan and other parts of western and central Asia but is actually a software program given over to a rotating line-up of college students and under-employed graduates to write so-called articles to be issued to US media outlets?

Posted by: Jen | Dec 24 2015 20:09 utc | 24

This a hole o' shit not once aknoweledged and apologized for his Iraq continued wrong analysis, why should I care to read about this pice of shit.

Posted by: Kooshy | Dec 24 2015 20:12 utc | 25

Afghanistan: US barbarians bombing again
https://news.vice.com/article/the-us-just-bombed-the-taliban-to-stop-it-from-taking-afghanistans-largest-province

Posted by: From The Hague | Dec 24 2015 20:25 utc | 26

Gosh, if we only had some brilliant strategy to drive the Taliban out of Afghanistan once and for all...

UNIDENTIFIED HELICOPTERS DROP OFF ISIS MILITANTS IN AFGHANISTAN

ISIS militants have been transported to the province of Nangarhar in Afghainstan by helicopters.

So now I'm all confused. Is this a CIA or an anti-CIA DoD op? The TOW missiles can't be far behind, and we're expecting another record poppy crop this year. I'll bet the Afghani police are having a child rape party right now to celebrate. If anyone sees CENTCOM's commander - Gen. Lloyd Austin - at the party, be sure to remind him that we can read his holiday message to his troops:

"...The Central Region is an area of great consequence; and thus, the efforts of every individual assigned to or associated with this command matters... ...In every case, what you do on a daily basis is important and contributes to the defense of our Homeland and our interests around the globe..."

Stop lying to your troops, Gen. Austin - they're not stupid. Nothing we've ever done in Afghanistan contributes to the defense of the U.S. - our failed efforts there have only endangered the U.S. by creating more terrorists, more dead Afghanis, more dead American soldiers and more hate for the U.S. everywhere. There are NO U.S. interests 'around the globe' that need defending in Afghanistan. You are simply enabling the expansion of the Afghani warlord mafias, the CIA heroin pipeline and the Taliban (which we created).

Thank your troops for their service, but don't lie to them during the holidays about any of this mattering for their families or anyone else back in the U.S. - it doesn't and never has mattered to anyone besides the psychopaths giving you orders.

Posted by: PavewayIV | Dec 24 2015 20:35 utc | 27

A Friedman Unit named for billionaire columnist Tom "Suck On This" Friedman is a unit of time equal to half of one year or a period of six months.

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

Posted by: fast freddy | Dec 24 2015 20:40 utc | 28

b

If you had ever BEEN to Afghanistan then you would understand O'Hanlon, just as you would if you'd ever BEEN to Gaza, or to Port A'Prince, or Damascus, or Brazzaville, for that matter, then you would be a hopeful person. Those who make the effort to affect change will always remain hopeful, while the Chosen will always flock like flies to shyte, and the perspecacious prognosticators will always hold their nose at the stench.

Shouldn't there be some war pron in your post, some death metal hoohaa?

Posted by: Chipnik | Dec 24 2015 22:18 utc | 29

In the early years of the Afghan war US troops complained that captured opposition who were delivered to the Afghan govt's calaboose were seen on the street again in only a few days-- but the US army still insisted that they be delivered to the Afghan govt. That was AFTER I'd read about the complaints of US privates that they hadn't signed up to have to deliver fertilizer to the poppy fields. Haven't bothered to read about the Afghan war since; those two stories seemed to say it all.

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 24 2015 23:51 utc | 30

Thank you b. You're the best. Merrry Christmas, and to all a good night.

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 24 2015 23:52 utc | 31

Guys-- This is from a comment & says the Bosphorus has passed no Russian ships. Does anyone know if this is true? Is there a way to actually watch the area?

" Erdogan – with or without an OK from Isramerica and NATO – has now blocked the Straits. No Russian warship or supply ship has transited north or south since a sub got through on 13 December. I am not sure how long Putin’s expeditionary force in Syria can hold out on air supply only; probably not all that long. Pretty soon, Putin must make an an extremely dangerous call: either admit defeat in Syria and withdraw, or seize Constantinople and the Straits. If the former, his regime will wither and die; if the latter, and he pulls it off – via a coup de main (see: Crimea) – US/NATO/EU will collapse, and Putin will be astride half the planet. If he settles for half measures and gets stuck, then we are likely looking at WW III."

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 25 2015 0:30 utc | 32

@30 Ron Unz right? A valuable source of Russophobic misinformation.

Posted by: dh | Dec 25 2015 1:07 utc | 33

fast freddy @ 10: Right on ff. It's really just redundant to explain further.

Thanks b, for another dose of reality, and therapy.

A very merry everything to all.

Posted by: ben | Dec 25 2015 1:18 utc | 34

I did a bit of digging on Michale O'Hanlon and CNAS, Obama's think-tank

US Policy of Military 'Re-alignment' and Obama's Military Think-tank

Posted by: Oui | Dec 25 2015 1:21 utc | 35

us media is propaganda central.. anyone who views it differently gets what they deserve...

it is like sending someone up from the farm league to play semi-pro.. see who the best liar is.. hope people don't pay attention to how wrong they've been, and trust there attention span is equivalent to a gnat.. meanwhile these o'hanlan gnats hope to spread some disease among the american population, as if they aren't distressed enough with all the garbage they are fed.. they have more success in hollywood and in the land of make believe.. i guess that defines the exceptional nation these days/daze..

Posted by: james | Dec 25 2015 1:53 utc | 36

christmas cancelled, Santa shot down after violating turkish airspace
http://imgur.com/Yaf43tS

Posted by: xmasucks | Dec 25 2015 7:57 utc | 37

I am not sure how long Putin’s expeditionary force in Syria can hold out on air supply only; probably not all that long.

All the reports I am seeing indicate steady, and increasingly rapid, progress. I would give the catastrophism a rest for a bit and get a life.

Posted by: Seeing is believing | Dec 25 2015 9:19 utc | 38

It would be just a crying shame if the Trans-Balkan pipeline which supplies gas to Turkey, Bulgaria & Romania were to be blown up somewhere in Banderastan wouldn't it.

Just a crying shame.

Merry Christmas Turks!

Posted by: Julian | Dec 25 2015 9:57 utc | 39

@Seeing is believing@38

All the reports I am seeing indicate steady, and increasingly rapid, progress. I would give the catastrophism a rest for a bit and get a life.

Wise words to deaf ears...

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Dec 25 2015 15:15 utc | 40

33 dh, 38 Seeing Is Believing & 40 Lone Wolf,

The comment that I asked about whether it was true? Well, it WAS on Unz Review. But Unz himself said he didn't think it was true, so just one of his commenters. I'd still like to know whether there's a site that tells about naval movements. Anybody?

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 25 2015 23:26 utc | 41

"Fast Freddy, wouldn't that also mean that there is a group-think in this board? That everyone thinks the same thing and there is no variety of perspective? Is a group really "enlightened" just because everyone says the same thing?

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Dec 24, 2015 2:43:11 PM | 22 "

Inkan1969 @22, What in the world do you call that?? Verecundiam in reverse? F'heaven sakes, Man; you measure opinions against reality-- got nada to do w numbers of adherents or the absence thereof. Shees!

Posted by: Penelope | Dec 25 2015 23:30 utc | 42

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