Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 19, 2020

The Forever War In Afghanistan Will Soon Re-escalate

Recent headlines on Afghanistan:

Everyone wants the troops to leave Afghanistan except the Pentagon brass and the CIA. They have prevailed over two presidents and are now ready to manipulate a third one into intensifying the war.

Consider:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
Why are we continuing to train these Afghanis who then shoot our soldiers in the back? Afghanistan is a complete waste. Time to come home!
4:05 PM · Aug 21, 2012
Barack Obama @BarackObama
VP Biden on Afghanistan: "We are leaving in 2014. Period."
4:05am · 12 Oct 2012
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
I agree with Pres. Obama on Afghanistan. We should have a speedy withdrawal. Why should we keep wasting our money -- rebuild the U.S.!
9:59 PM · Jan 14, 2013
Barack Obama @BarackObama
President Obama: "By the end of next year, our war in Afghanistan will be over."
3:58am · 13 Feb 2013
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
We should leave Afghanistan immediately. No more wasted lives. If we have to go back in, we go in hard & quick. Rebuild the US first.
8:10 PM · Mar 1, 2013
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
We should have the small remaining number of our BRAVE Men and Women serving in Afghanistan home by Christmas!
1:28 AM · Oct 8, 2020

M.K. Bhadrakumar explains why the Pentagon prevailed over two presidents:

Fundamentally, the contradiction lies here: Pentagon top brass is far from through with the 19-year old Afghan war. They never saw it quite the way Trump sees it — an “endless war” — because they still think they can win it and realise their key objectives. In fact, some amongst them still would think they could have won the Vietnam War if only the Pentagon had a free hand.

When the presidency of George W Bush ended and Barack Obama took over in 2009, the war in Afghanistan could have ended. Candidate Obama was very vociferous about the futility of the war. But the military commanders could anticipate that America’s first Black president was a babe in the woods in the Beltway, as his invitation to Robert Gates to continue as his defence secretary loudly proclaimed.

They sized up that Obama was indecisive and weak and they could change his mind. And they were proven right. They actually got him to approve the “Afghan surge,” which of course was projected persuasively as one last good push to defeat the Taliban conclusively.

Now, that push continued for the next seven years under Obama.
...
The military commanders again were lucky as Trump, although a white American, was a rank outsider to the US establishment.
...
Trump didn’t persevere — he was never “hands-on” — when it came to the Afghan war. He never once phoned Afghan president Ashraf Ghani, leave alone received him in the Oval Office. The military commanders could brilliantly string along Trump. They simply exhausted him in a waiting game right up to the home stretch of his 4-year term.

Now the military commanders are getting ready for a new president who is probably as close to their heart, as good as George Bush.

As Trump is too timid to order the Pentagon to remove ALL U.S. troops from Afghanistan the war will continue beyond his presidency.

Bhadrakumar thinks that Biden will let the military re-escalate the war:

What we can expect now is that the military commanders will hunker down with the 2500 troops in Afghanistan until Trump leaves. And then they will recreate a very good case for another “surge”. It isn’t difficult to do that.

That is indeed highly likely. But it is not just the Pentagon pressing for keeping the war alive. The CIA is historically known for its 'interest' in the drug business. That Afghanistan, while under U.S. occupation, became the largest producer of opium is not coincidental. It generates a lot of money that can be used for 'black' operations and other purposes.

The Doha agreement which Trump negotiated with the Taliban will likely be breached the U.S. side as soon as Biden is in office. He will blame the Taliban and will escalate the war from there.

There is one slight shimmer of hope that the situation might somehow change. Today Imran Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan which is directing the Taliban, came to Kabul on a 'historic' first visit:

“You come with a with a series of very important messages ... but fundamental to this is that violence is not an answer, a comprehensive political settlement for an enduring peace within the framework of our values, our Constitution in the Islamic Republic is the way to the future,” [Afghan President Ashraf] Ghani told Khan at the presidential palace.

Khan acknowledged Pakistan had played a key role in getting the Taliban to the negotiating table and that Islamabad remains concerned that “despite the talks in Qatar, the level of violence is rising.”

“Whatever is possible, we will do to help reduce the violence,” and help move the Afghan-Taliban talks toward a cease-fire, Khan said. “The whole objective of this visit is to build trust, to communicate more. ... We will be helping you.”

That does not sound great yet but more communication between Kabul and Islamabad could eventual lead to some real compromise and an Afghan government both countries could live with.

But there are outside forces, mainly India and the U.S., who do want to see an agreement between Pakistan and Afghanistan as that would diminish their role. They are more likely to sabotage one than to let it happen.

The nineteen year long war is therefore likely to continue. More war crimes will be committed in Afghanistan and more innocent people will die there. In four years more presidential candidates will have promised to finally end it.  But will any of them prevail?

Posted by b on November 19, 2020 at 18:55 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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Depressingly very likely to be true. After all, "war is a force that gives us meaning"

https://www.amazon.com/War-Force-that-Gives-Meaning/dp/1400034639

Posted by: Caliman | Nov 19 2020 19:06 utc | 1

And behind all those pentagon generals are the global financial elite that keep doing God's work for them.....follow the money

The shit show continues with Afghanistan being just one of the circus rings that has been in play for way to long

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 19 2020 19:14 utc | 2

China would be more secure if it could obtain oil imports overland from the Persian Gulf.

And the Belt and Road initiative 'requires' access to to the Gulf for trade.

Pakistan, for one, needs trade via Belt and Road a and it has the port of Gwadar, on the Arabian Sea.

China has invested $10.7 billion in the special Economic Zone Authority of Duqm, Oman - but Duqm also hosts British and U.S.military.

Everyone is playing both sides, which is sensible.

But yes, if US can impede the Belt and Road with a 'forever' conflict in Afghanistan, it will.

But 'forever' is such a long time, and US now has many players pushing the diplomatic settlement. USA is very important. But it is not everything.

USA may profit nicely from its armed conflict, but others want profit from peace and trade.

Posted by: powerandpeople | Nov 19 2020 19:16 utc | 3

Short answer to your question is, NO. It doesn't matter who warms the chair in the Oval Office. This should be evident to anyone by now. The US would need to disintegrate before any of their wars of aggression around the globe ends.

Posted by: Ian2 | Nov 19 2020 19:19 utc | 4

Yes, the US is not leaving Afghanistan anytime soon. Tweet from the President of the CFR

Richard N. Haass
@RichardHaass
·
Nov 17
The US-Taliban agreement is a US withdrawal agreement, not a peace accord. Nor can anyone have any confidence that Afghanistan will not again become a terrorist haven. Yes, the US over-reached in Afghanistan, but the right policy now is not to under-reach.

NATO agrees

Afghanistan could once again become a haven for international terrorist organizations that seek to harm Western countries if foreign forces leave too abruptly, the head of NATO said Tuesday in a rare rebuke of U.S. policy, following reports that the Trump administration would withdraw thousands of troops from the country.

In rare rebuke of Trump, NATO chief warns against troop cuts in Afghanistan

Can’t for the life of me think why NATO won’t leave Afghanistan:

Possible use of NATO aircraft to traffic Afghan drugs needs to be investigated — Lavrov

Posted by: Down South | Nov 19 2020 19:28 utc | 5

Well drug production and sale into Iran, the Stan, Russia and beyond is big business. It is in the US interest to have drug dependency in Iran, in particular.

US Government drug pushing is a big charge, of course, and would require big evidence.

But as settlement comes, as it must, regional players - especially Russia and Iran - will establish joint task forces with Afghan actors (and prob. Pakistan and China) to battle drugs and terrorism cooperatively.

Clearly, this will lead to many ties with many levels of Afghani society...on a cooperation track...leading to many other forms of cooperation and joint work...oh dear!


Posted by: powerandpeople | Nov 19 2020 19:42 utc | 6

Not only is Afghanistan in Washington's sights, Syria is (yet again) the target of Congressional action:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2020/11/syria-and-how-washington-has-become.html

Apparently, Washington simply cannot admit that its efforts in Syria have come to naught and that Bashar al-Assad has not followed the examples of Muammar Qaddafi and Saddam Hussein.

Posted by: Sally Snyder | Nov 19 2020 19:44 utc | 7

Only economic collapse of the US combined with discord at home willever end foreign adventures. It's coming, but not here quite yet.

Posted by: erik | Nov 19 2020 19:46 utc | 8

Behind Imran Khan I hear the voices of Putin and Lavrov--Dialog and more dialog, followed by yet more dialog being the key to advancement toward a settlement. But the CIA must be evicted somehow for any settlement to be arrived at; and given the billions in black ops income available there, getting that Mafia ejected will become a war in itself. The SCO and all other regional organizations know how important it is to obtain a settlement and CIA eviction. Given the direction relations are going between the Outlaw US Empire and the China/Russia alliance, I think declaring the CIA a terrorist organization will need to be done so war can be waged upon it to oust it from Afghanistan. That may sound extreme, but I see it as pragmatic since that's the reality/truth of the situation--and you don't get results battling chimeras.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 19 2020 20:18 utc | 9

Is there any objectives beyond continuation?

Any that aren't a shallow rephrasing of "we want to stay"?

There's too much time wasted on pointless verbosity both from the liars-in-charge and those criticizing them (sincerely or not).

Anyone who turns this thread into yet another party-political and/or ideological crusade is a nitwit.

Posted by: Sunny Runny Burger | Nov 19 2020 20:20 utc | 10

Yes, there is lots to say about America {as USA} using proxies to project this or that force or intention or influence or control over other parts of the planet.

Whose proxy is America?

I know of several answers, all debatable, of course. The fact that there are answers can produce a large shift in point of view. And any shift in POV can be useful, even remarkable.

Answers could be another country/government or just a definable group of persons. England/The Crown or pre-1913 European bankers like the Warburg/Rothschild class come to mind. Or perhaps The Vatican. Or even Israel. Etc.

It is interesting that great accumulations of wealth existed long before America existed.

Just money itself, used as a projector of force/control, not only has a long history pre-dating America's existence, but an unbroken trail that includes North America's discovery and development...up to present time.

So I repeat the Q...Whose proxy is America?


[Just posted on another thread, but is applicable to this new one.]

Posted by: chu teh | Nov 19 2020 20:22 utc | 11

The US-Taliban agreement, that's between the imperialistic US/NATO western powers and . . .terrorists, right? . .I wonder why that doesn't work. Actually, it wasn't designed to work, so that 'conditions on the ground' will mandate that the US military forces stay engaged with the primitive largely illiterate inhabitants of this mountainous nowhere on the other side of the earth. . .forever.

There's no down-side for the people, including generals, who benefit from it in many ways. Randolph Bourne said it best back in 1918 -- War is the Health of the State

War is the health of the State. . .It automatically sets in motion throughout society those irresistible forces for uniformity, for passionate co-operation with the Government in coercing into obedience the minority groups and individuals which lack the larger herd sense. The machinery of government sets and enforces the drastic penalties, the minorities are either intimidated into silence or brought slowly around by a subtle process of persuasion which may seem to them to really converting them. Of course the ideal of perfect loyalty, perfect uniformity is never attained. . . . .

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 19 2020 20:32 utc | 12

b: Pentagon brass and the CIA ... have prevailed over two presidents

Prevailed? LMFAO.

Or did these faux populists simply lie to us? Because they are Deep State-approved, EMPIRE-FIRST insiders not populist outsiders

Why is the later notion inconceivable? And evidence - like continued wars/occupations despite the best intentions of multiple U.S. Presidents - dismissed.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 19 2020 20:38 utc | 13

M.K. Bhadrakumar explains why the Pentagon prevailed over two presidents: "...they still think they can win it..."

Does this make any sense?

Isn't it much more likely that they are there because of Iran and BRI? And maybe CIA drug running?

Bhadrakumar discredits himself when he suggests that after 20 years Pentagon has the valid reasons and honorable intentions.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 19 2020 20:49 utc | 14

Simple explanation: heroin and opiate production

Why do you think we went there in the first place? Osama bin Laden? LOL.

Posted by: Perimetr | Nov 19 2020 20:53 utc | 15

To what extent is the Pentagon interested in winning?

From a geostrategic point of view 'being there' also matters, and being there in a messy way has some disadvantages but it is also a very lucrative business.

I think it was Wilkerson who summed up three reasons for the US to remain in Afghanistan:
- Being able to strike deep inside China in case of conflict.
- Being able to strike inside Pakistan in case they need to intervene when Pakistani state loses control over nukes
- To support Uyghur rebels inside china
Neither of these justifications require 'pacification' or 'nation building' in Afghanistan

In that respect permanent war can be seen as quite acceptable, as long as you're not really forced out.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Nov 19 2020 20:59 utc | 16

chu teh | Nov 19 2020 20:22 utc | 11

When you say 'America' you of course mean the 'USA' - best to call it that, to avoid confusion.

Well, it can't be 'proxies all the way down'. There have to be principal actors, and there is no reason why some of them (even the main ones) can't be US citizens. US criminals can't just hide behind the criminals of the past - they must be stood up to take their share of the blame - along with the rest from the UK, Israel, Germany, France etc.

Posted by: Jams O'Donnell | Nov 19 2020 21:08 utc | 17

Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan between the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan which is not recognized by the United States as a state and is known as the Taliban and the United States of America February 29, 2020. . .here

A comprehensive peace agreement is made of four parts:
1. . . mechanisms that will prevent the use of the soil of Afghanistan by any group or individual against the security of the United States and its allies.
2. . . .announcement of a timeline for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Afghanistan.
3. . . . Taliban will start intra-Afghan negotiations with Afghan sides
4. . . .ceasefire will be an item on the agenda

PART ONE
The United States is committed to withdraw from Afghanistan all military forces of the United States, its allies, and Coalition partners, including all non-diplomatic civilian personnel, private security contractors, trainers, advisors, and supporting services personnel within fourteen (14) months following announcement of this agreement.//

The US withdrawal was unconditional.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 19 2020 21:13 utc | 18

They are using "shell games" to "surge" already even before Trump is out. We all know how they work.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 19 2020 21:19 utc | 19

karlof1 | Nov 19 2020 20:18 utc | 9 and thanks your posts.

Re ...declaring the CIA a terrorist organization...

But the CIA is so needed in real-politik. How can America continue flourishing without it? OMG, think of ending millionaires billionaires as a growing class! Think of the economy!

Pre-1947, it was so difficult to carry-out real-coercion and assassinations that the "Mafia" was governmentalized to carry-out those many tasks...not-so-strange bedfellows at all, eh? But so sticky and icky and, umm, shall we say, always embarrassing to make twisted excuses and for the liaisons.

So, CIA was invented ...since then, no problemo! And forget about having to blush and cringe and cover for our strange bedfellows.

CIA-think: I'm tellin' ya. Dey can't get rid of us! We're home free!

There is this other minor matter...there seem to be so many citizens who kinda have a liking for suicide, there own and others'. Like, maybe as their ticket to heaven and eternal joy. They can be heard remarking so casually that WW3 would be worth it to settle "scores", or disagreements. Or just to get rid of a whole lot of ugliness all at once...and "just do it" and let the gods, or God [whose? which One?] sort 'em out...meaning the real heroes from the rest. That's some real confusion.

I worry this minor matter wants, even salivates, at going all in.
Lest it be forgotten, those who have "nothing left to lose" are daily increasing in number, in a contagious manner, too.

Posted by: chu teh | Nov 19 2020 21:23 utc | 20

Makes me feel I little better, our Spanish ex-empire dealt with soft drugs of the coffee chocolate sort, but the anglo empires have been real pushers, like the Steppenwolf song, hard stuff all over continents.

Posted by: Paco | Nov 19 2020 21:27 utc | 21

If a country spends a lot on manufacturing the tools of war, it cannot store the stuff, the stuff has to be used up. The military hardware and any ammunition from simple rifle rounds to missiles differ from (say) cars or chocolates only in that it kills people, destroys property and infrastructure rather than carry people from place to place (cars) or makes them fat (chocolate), both the output of the military manufacture and the latter have to be consumed, used up, otherwise the companies supplying either would go bankrupt, jobs would be lost.

It follows that America as top producer of military gear and ammo must also be the top initiator or wars and regional conflicts, whether through proxies or directly deploying its own armed forces. It's no use to be critical of wars in Afghanistan, Syria or wherever, if these wars were to end, new wars will have to get started, for the simple reason stated above - the stuff has be used up.

The real culprit is the coupling between the military, the corporates engaged in supplying the military and the politicians channelling funds to both the military and the corporates. Go to u-tube listen to Eisenhower warning about the military-industrial complex in his farewell address, he was right, nobody listened, it's too late now.

Posted by: Baron | Nov 19 2020 21:34 utc | 22

One tick for my bingo card (see Biden post). Seven or eight more to go.

Posted by: vk | Nov 19 2020 21:45 utc | 23

I have mentioned Australian war crimes here before on occasion. There are some good discussions of the details in today's Sydney Morning Herald. Australia's self-identity is intimately entwined with war (the ANZAC tradition) but none of the wars we have fought in (even the Pacific War) were fought for our own home-grown strategic benefit. Our proud tradition has to overlook that it derives from being an expendable, compliant and token auxiliary force for the empire within which we are (or were) a distant frontier province. Now even that has to be abandoned—it turns out our elite units are rifle-nuts who, given a free hand in a foreign country, murder non-combatants in their homes. Who'd have thought such nice boys would so drastically misunderstand the concept of liberation? What did we expect? We're all guilty. As an Aussie I am ashamed of everything craven we do in the world and feel terrible responsibility for the actions of those weak and small butchers we let loose on Afghanistan. I am not alone in feeling this way.

Posted by: Patroklos | Nov 19 2020 21:45 utc | 24

Sorry, my last post is a distraction.

Indeed, declaring CIA a terrorist organization is a workable solution toward world sanity.

The CIA has gradually created an enormous burden of non-optimum life everywhere in the world.

Just a President announcing it would cause such stress- relief that there would be no turning back its eventual unwind. Life will self-correct.

Posted by: chu teh | Nov 19 2020 21:46 utc | 25

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 19 2020 20:49 utc | 13

In a very interesting recent interview by Etemad magazine with Iran’s MFA Rasoul Mussavie head of the western Asian desk in charge of Afghanistan , he reveals that US and Khalilzad had directly invited Iran to be part of Doha negotiations but Iran declined since US was supporting more radical and violent faction of Taleban and not the faction Iran supported who were willing to share power with Afghan government . In another interview in same paper a current professor or U Kabul and previous member of Afghan government says US wants Afghanistan for control over China, Iran, and Russia I would add also India and Pakistan Afghanistan is closest geopolitical position that US and be to what is called the “roof too of the world” but for sake of the world their bases supply lines sucks and is very expensive and unmanageable in a unfriendly demography and geography that is why is called Hindo Kush meaning Indian killer (you read Cabot killer) here is lik in English from another publisher. Overall is correct that US military hates record another major loss after Vietnam, but IMO it is correct that Orginal geopolitical reasons was have a proximity control on rising powers. Much the same as reasons for Vietnam war and South China Sea and Malaga control. Commerce and trade route controls and usually main geopolitical objectives for wars.

https://ifpnews.com/iran-says-us-should-not-leave-afghanistan-irresponsibly/amp?__twitter_impression=true

Kooshy

Posted by: Kooshy | Nov 19 2020 21:52 utc | 26

Our faux populist President's would NEVER lie about ending wars - they only lie about unimportant stuff, like ...

Obama:

  • offering a 'public option' in what was otherwise essentially RomneyCare;
  • NEVER making the Bush Tax Cuts permanent (but he did via a fiasco called "The Fiscal Cliff");
  • holding BP accountable for the Gulf disaster - instead he allowed use of toxic dispersants to reduce BP liability;
  • Benghazi happened because of an anti-Muslim video;
  • "Moderate Rebels" in Syria;
  • HAMP - help for homeowners facing foreclosure - actually was "foaming the runway" for the banks (delaying foreclosures because Banks couldn't handle the volume);
  • support for global climate change agreement - he actually blocked it.

Trump:

  • prosecuting Hillary and taking on the Deep State;
  • bringing American jobs (nary mentioned during his campaign);
  • severity of the looming pandemic;
  • providing his tax returns;
  • "Repeal and Replace" Obamacare - on DAY ONE!
  • Mexico's gonna pay for the wall (LMFAO);

Not an exhaustive list

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 19 2020 21:53 utc | 27

Nobody has mentioned how Russia has been enabling USA/NATO/West's occupation of Afghanistan all this time by allowing USA/NATO's supply planes to travel through their territory. Why? Why is Putin The Pussy allowing them to do that?? He could have cut that supply route years ago, basically strangling them. Yet he hasn't. Why? he is afraid of China becoming too powerful? Fuck Putin the Pussy who is enabling USA's stay in Afghanistan.

Posted by: Hoyeru | Nov 19 2020 21:55 utc | 28

@25 kooshy

“Commerce and trade route controls and usually main geopolitical objectives for wars.”

Hey, you are moving forward, very good! Last time I tried to tell you exact the same thing about NK war, you called it, eh, what was the term? Oh, yes, you called it “Pussy Poetry”. Of course I didn’t formulate it like you, I had not the typo you have in your conclusion.

Posted by: Framarz | Nov 19 2020 22:08 utc | 29

Posted by: Hoyeru | Nov 19 2020 21:55 utc | 27

“Nobody has mentioned how Russia has been enabling USA/NATO/West's occupation of Afghanistan all this time by allowing USA/NATO's supply planes to travel through their territory. Why?”

Is simple is called attrition. Russians had experienced what would be the outcome of invading Afghanistan, so did Brits and for facts Iranians, that is why back in 1990s Iranian didn’t bite the bullet and didn’t invade Afghanistan when Taleban killed 7 Iranian diplomats in their consulate. In common term this called giving them some of their own medicine. They went there they killed they spent money and got F*ed they want to get more f*ed why not let them enjoy with next president.

Posted by: Kooshy | Nov 19 2020 22:10 utc | 30

"The Forever War In Afghanistan Will Soon Re-escalate"---and "progressive" CNN will be cheerleading it ALL the way:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVjUMcizPjY

Posted by: gm | Nov 19 2020 22:21 utc | 31

It's estimated Afghanistan has a trillion bucks worth of natural resources to exploit beyond the poppy seed. The cave-dwellers in Afghanistan obviously need America's help to get the natural resources out of the ground and off to market so the good folks of Afghanistan can get out of the caves and into condos. The USA is helping the good people of Afghanistan to join the 'free world.' The "A" in USA stands for Altruism! :-)

Posted by: gottlieb | Nov 19 2020 22:28 utc | 32

Posted by: Framarz | Nov 19 2020 22:08 utc | 28

Really you better read multiple post I had in this subject, you need to read more specially read M.K. And b article on NK war. Beside yours do you have a link to one unbiased analysis by a reputable analyst supporting your point? Again read RT today Mr. Lavrov

“Karabakh truce was about ‘saving lives, not scoring political points’: Russia’s Lavrov addresses US & French ‘wounded pride’”

If this was so bad for Iran losing her trade routes ( per your Orginal claim) why would France and US be so happy with the peace plan ?
At the end of the day not only nobody lost any trade routes but Iran and Russia successfully cut off west from meddling in their shared neighborhood affairs. There are multiple analysis in Persian which I don’t have time for toy to link. You should ask for a new talking point this one is really pussy poetry.
BTW I have typo all the time, I don’t even edit or compose, I see something I want to comment on I type while I am doing my daily walk
If you can understand me good if you don’t that’s good too.

Posted by: Kooshy | Nov 19 2020 22:36 utc | 33

https://greenwald.substack.com/p/the-new-ruling-coalition-opposition

The best thing you'll read today. Glenn at his best.

Posted by: Prof K | Nov 19 2020 22:37 utc | 34

On my last comment I meant to write
Russia and France are unhappy with peace plan

Sorry guys

Posted by: Kooshy | Nov 19 2020 22:42 utc | 35

chu teh @19--

Thanks for the dark humor in your reply! When Xi, Putin, Lavrov, etc., talk about the need to jointly battle against the ongoing global terrorism it's almost always linked to international crime and drug trafficing all of which are a euphemism for the CIA, IMO. Today, The Saker published a curious essay, "Putin Expels the Families," that provides some insight into the early very brutal months of Putin's first presidential term in which Russia was having War waged against it. Putin hater Hoyeru @27 asks why Russia allows NATO to use Russian airspace to support its Afghan crime spree--because that spree weakens Putin's opponents and provides him with some leverage over the Outlaw US Empire and NATO he otherwise wouldn't have: Why interrupt your opponent when he's busy making a mistake? As for the actual reason for invading and occupying Afghanistan, you'll need to turn back your contextual clock to the 1994-96 period when the policy of attaining Full Spectrum Dominance was being formulated prior to its publication late in 1996. That context is an additional reason I linked the article. Recall what force was behind Chechnya's bid for independence; it was much more than the charisma of Dzhokhar Dudayev. Recall also the first--1994--coup attempt in Ukraine then look at a map of the USSR in 1990, while also remembering the neverending attempt to overthrow Iran's government. You ought to be able to visualize a plan to block Russian access to both the Black and Caspian Seas and with a much tighter containment noose with gaining all the Stans, Iran, Afghanistan, and Caucasus Republics. Putin was very fortunate Russia's security services and armed forces weren't in as bad shape as the rest of Russia. Yes, the Outlaw US Empire gained some of its goals but was thwarted from attaining its overall Strategic Aim.

Paco @20--

Yes, the Anglo-American Opium Wars waged on China forever marked those governments as the world's #1 Hard Drug Pushers, with the Outlaw US Empire going as far as colluding with its domestic Mafias to pollute Black and other poor sectors of US cities with heroin, then in the 1980s Crack Cocaine came with domestic Death Squads--Bloods & Crips. In a rather ironic twist of fate, the lead man for Steppenwolf, known to fans as John Kay, was born Joachim Fritz Krauledat in East Prussia in 1944, his father a Wehrmacht soldier who died one month before his birth, and was smuggled by his mother to the West during the 1948 Berlin Crisis. The band's name being an homage to Hesse's novel.

I agree that Spain's Imperialism wasn't as brutal as those of the Protestant nations as reflected in the efforts of Bartolomé de las Casas--no other Colonial nation has an equivalent.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 19 2020 22:59 utc | 36

Here is Patrick Armstrong’s take on Karabakh,
https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/

KARABAKH. This ceasefire should last. Russian troops have been moved to the points of contact and secure the road link from Karabakh to Armenia proper. (Deployment positions and General Staff briefing). Baku recovered a lot of territory that had been taken in the first war and can justifiably claim to have won. Armenia, which officially was not involved at all, under its present somewhat colour revolution leadership has lost – but avoided a greater defeat – and Pashinyan is now under considerable pressure to quit. Ankara has once again extended itself but come up short. Moscow has demonstrated that it is the indispensable element in the area. However, it is important to recognise that the final status of Karabakh itself remains undecided and this will be a difficult problem to solve. But it will likely be settled with Moscow's efforts and not that of outsiders.

Posted by: Kooshy | Nov 19 2020 23:07 utc | 37

Forces of Habit: Drugs and the Making of the Modern World

Posted by: Bemildred | Nov 19 2020 23:11 utc | 38

@32 kooshy

If you think to sign under everything your Icons tell you, be it B, Mr. Lavrov or Foreman ... eh- sorry CEO Xi, is the right way to understand geopolitical issues, good for you. But that doesn’t develop your dynamic thinking and ability of delivering independent analysis. You only continue to talk and think out of the box utilizing a set of schablones. I don’t think that Barflies have gathered to do this.
For instance, neither RT nor Xinhua or Pepe is going to tell you that the whole idea about a “multi-polar world” is nothing but Maoism of 21th century.
Yes, I’m a dissident and a provocateur but not of the type that you called me.

Posted by: Framarz | Nov 19 2020 23:33 utc | 39

There is one slight shimmer of hope that the situation might somehow change. Today Imran Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan which is directing the Taliban, came to Kabul on a 'historic' first visit:

“You come with a with a series of very important messages ... but fundamental to this is that violence is not an answer, a comprehensive political settlement for an enduring peace within the framework of our values, our Constitution in the Islamic Republic is the way to the future,” [Afghan President Ashraf] Ghani told Khan at the presidential palace.

Khan acknowledged Pakistan had played a key role in getting the Taliban to the negotiating table and that Islamabad remains concerned that “despite the talks in Qatar, the level of violence is rising.”

“Whatever is possible, we will do to help reduce the violence,” and help move the Afghan-Taliban talks toward a cease-fire, Khan said. “The whole objective of this visit is to build trust, to communicate more. ... We will be helping you.”

Khan needs to watch his six

Posted by: ggersh | Nov 19 2020 23:39 utc | 40

Posted by: Framarz | Nov 19 2020 23:33 utc | 38

Thank you, I knew who you are from day one from your first comment I read, this last comment of yours show you are in a wrong blog and wouldn’t change many minds. As far as I have read this blog in last 10-15 years, non trolls majority here are multipolar guys. And I would t have come here and waste my time if it wasn’t so. I am not here to change anybody’s mind or thinking nor I care if they do or not, I am just here to say what I think.
That’s all folks

Posted by: Kooshy | Nov 19 2020 23:54 utc | 41

The guys in Teheran have provided to have a trigger ready response in Afghanistan for when the exceptionals try a coup or a major hit on them. Just as they had one last January.

Posted by: augusto | Nov 19 2020 23:54 utc | 42

Fara Marz again a frankly not, as per meaning of your name on geopolitics of Iran and Fara Iran, or as said in early Persian Iran and Aniran Your are over (your) border (limit). Just a friendly advise, read more, ask more

Posted by: Kooshy | Nov 19 2020 23:59 utc | 43

thanks b... so if the pentagon and cia are in the drivers seat, where does this leave the incoming presidents?? i would prefer to avoid jackrabbits ongoing theory here - rubber stamped conformists...

yeah - sure cia is a terrorist organization... we have been saying that for a long time! it is okay to say that now too..

@ 9 karlof1... yes - Imran Khan - another actual leader on the world stage and coming from pakistan no less... it is refreshing... he commands my respect.. i guess the usa will have to make him out to be arch enemy number whatever...

@Tuyzentfloot | Nov 19 2020 20:59 utc | 15 quote - "In that respect permanent war can be seen as quite acceptable, as long as you're not really forced out." indeed...

@ Baron | Nov 19 2020 21:34 utc | 21... exactly... thanks..

@ 38 Framarz ... quote "neither RT nor Xinhua or Pepe is going to tell you that the whole idea about a “multi-polar world” is nothing but Maoism of 21th century." would you care to expand on that?? i am curious.... frankly i think the concept of a multi polar world doesn't fit with usa exceptionalism... does that automatically turn everything that doesn't go along with usa as top dog is therefore some type of communism?? i feel like dejavu to a revisit of the era of mcchartyism..are you a senior living in the usa by chance or a friend of pat langs at sst? i am curious. thanks..


Posted by: james | Nov 20 2020 0:07 utc | 44

@vk 22
hmm

Abstracting the factor of a new party naturally being inclined to reinitialize all the wars abandoned or paralyzed by the previous party at a first glance...

yeeeeah. 'tis messed up but probably true.

We should have a 1st annual MOA cynical observations on the sorry state of the world award. Nominating this to start. You might have competition.

Posted by: ptb | Nov 20 2020 0:26 utc | 45

Back to our subject Afghanistan and connecting it to NK war and geopolitics of the MECA. One should be out of mind not recognizing that Iran is an actor with vital own interests in the region. Unfortunately many doesn’t copy the point like Patrick Armstrong:

“However, it is important to recognise that the final status of Karabakh itself remains undecided and this will be a difficult problem to solve. But it will likely be settled with Moscow's efforts and not that of outsiders.”

Since when Russia is insider in Karabach and Yankee the insider in Afghanistan but Iran having the wider natural borders to both of these areas then Yankee imperialists and Russian friends an outsider?

Posted by: Framarz | Nov 20 2020 0:29 utc | 46

IMHO for every US soldier left Afghanistan or Iraq two, three or more Academi aka Blackwater aka Xe Services LLC mercenaries will stay there. It's a never-ending war!

Posted by: Wolle | Nov 20 2020 0:37 utc | 47

Well, the Taliban wishes for Trump.

They probably thought he's gonna be a Nixon and leave Afghanistan.

Posted by: Smith | Nov 20 2020 0:39 utc | 48

Framarz, if this is really your name
FYI, non-literary meaning (over border or over limit) your name in Persian is a “shokre” a (Sepas) a thanking of god/angles from your parents, with naming you Framarz, for their “over expectation” or “more than the world”

Posted by: kooshy | Nov 20 2020 1:06 utc | 49

"Why should we keep wasting our money -- rebuild the U.S.!" - Trump

But this is the whole reason for the war - to 'waste' money. Forget the BS about 'maintaining our standing in the world', 'standing up for freedom and democracy', 'supporting allies', 'fighting terrorism', etc...

There is a lot of money to be made in forever wars. It's a racket.

Posted by: ian | Nov 20 2020 1:08 utc | 50

@43 James

Don’t worry james, I’m not a McCarthy fan rather the opposite, ... and no, I have no background in US military intelligence. (Give me a break).
3 decades of new-leftist revisionism and policy of deception have caused a lot of troubles, in many progressive minds. As you know, we are living at a time that scratching the surface of MSM provided propaganda is not enough, one need to carve deeper.
I am going to expand that but with caution and with time, (and maybe with help of some who are trusted by the community). I don’t want to be accused of having initiated a hearth strike or two, by too much and too sudden provocation in a political blog. The punch delivered to kooshy was deserved but an exception.

Posted by: Framarz | Nov 20 2020 1:13 utc | 51

Only economic collapse of the US combined with discord at home will ever end foreign adventures. It's coming, but not here quite yet. by: erik @ 8
<=(Eliminate copyright and patent laws and watch the few collapse beneath the many.) These monopolies siphon dollars into feudal gift kits that are created and then donated by nation state governments to one or more oligarchs (scratch my back I'll scratch your back).

chu teh @ 11 Whose proxy is America? <=the colonial corporations (i.e. West and East Indies companies and their ship captains) <=they colonized places that could be exploited, and brought slaves to the colonies to extract the wealth from the place.. these were the sea fares (the corporations were the product of the oligarch investors in England, Norway, France, Spain, Portugal, etc.). Time proved whale stocks deplete and leave ships empty of cargos and corporate colonial exploitation for profits from export and trade proved profit wise risky and difficult to manage, usually, it required the home government of the investors to support the colonies with military might and taxpayer paid for bureaucratic management talent ) so these mafias (known then as corporations) discovered that unlimited supplies of petroleum, could replace difficult to get whale oil, and stealing the oil from colonial places was not only much more profitable than trying to operate a colony but generally corporate mercenary armies could avoid the colonial need for the home government to protect the corporate exploiters with military. so my answer is the global oil and gas owning and producing companies that rose from the global colonial trading corporations own the USA. They were the force that developed the nation state system.
Without such a system to make and enforce private property(real estate, copyright and patent) laws that turns public property into private property and generates, from hot thin air, monopolies in goods and services and production rights so these oil and gas companies could keep competition from interfering with corporate profits. Local government (known as nation states could make the exploitation of foreign colonialies very profitable). The nation state is a proxy colony.

When you say 'America' you of course mean the 'USA' - best to call it that, to avoid confusion.

Well, it can't be 'proxies all the way down'. There have to be principal actors, and there is no reason why some of them (even the main ones) can't be US citizens. US criminals can't just hide behind the criminals of the past - they must be stood up to take their share of the blame - along with the rest from the UK, Israel, Germany, France etc. by: Jams O'Donnell @ 16 <= why not? criminal mafias are feudal systems.

Nobel prize with a box of Wheaties for Jack Rabbits(@ 26) list of the Trump Backtrack regime. .


Xi, Putin, Lavrov, etc., talk about the need to jointly battle against the ongoing global terrorism it's almost always linked to international crime and drug trafficing all of which are a euphemism for the CIA, IMO. Karlof1 @ 35 .. yes the crime of monopolism whether it be because of military force or rule of law power..monopolism is still a crime against humanity as is drug trafficing.

Posted by: snake | Nov 20 2020 1:15 utc | 52

Agent Smith @47 brings up an excellent if unwritten point: What's really in the USA's Public's interest when it comes to Afghanistan or its complete Outlaw Empire? Nixon lied and lied and lied again about leaving Vietnam, until "combat" troops were finally withdrawn in 1973, about a year prior to Nixon's resignation. So, Trump can't emulate Nixon.

The citizenry of the Outlaw US Empire have absolutely zero interest in remaining in Afghanistan as it would provide them with much needed monetary resources for their support and for use in solving its many domestic infrastructure problems. But as the election has proven once again, the US public doesn't control its own destiny; instead, an unelected group from the Rentier Class and the Industrial Death Merchants along with a few others and their bureaucratic allies collectively known as the Deep State or 1% have control, all of whom share a Cold War group-think mindset whose overall strategy I outlined above is now 25 years old and failing badly having essentially bankrupted the host nation as seen via declining living standards at the same time as the inflation they induced raises the cost of living. The greatest success of the 1% lies in their ability to divide and rule the US citizenry that currently clamors for the leadership of one of two men who don't share their interests whatsoever--indeed, will actively work against them as proven by their past performances.

So, I thank Agent Smith for asking his unasked question.

Posted by: karlof1 | Nov 20 2020 1:24 utc | 53

Wolle @Nov20 0:37 #46

IMHO for every US soldier left Afghanistan or Iraq two, three or more Academi aka Blackwater aka Xe Services LLC mercenaries will stay there. It's a never-ending war!

I agree.

But I think we also have to beware of US Presidents and their fake peacemaking.

Obama was give the Nobel Peace Prize but then proceeded to make war.

Trump pretended to make peace with North Korea and between Arabs and Israel but has been belligerent toward Iran, China, Venezuela, and Russia: supporting coups and civil protests (Venezuela, Hong Kong, Belarus); terminating and/or reneging on arms agreements/peace treaties; imposing crushing third-party sanctions (a virtual embargo) and tariffs, etc.

The fake peacemaking just provides cover for more war-making.

As much as Americans (and others) decry "perpetual war", American politicians and media presstitutes convey the message that USA is FORCED! to defend her interests and the interests of her allies. And they believe that crap. Because of the myth that our "populist" Presidents and "free" press wouldn't lie to the people.

<> <> <> <> <> <>

Trump didn't follow-thru on the agreement signed with North Korea which lays out explicit steps for each party. And peace between Gulf Arabs and Israel was largely in place before Trump. The push toward making it official during the Trump years was prompted by the mutual enmity toward Iran. So it's a shaky peace with sectarian war as a foundation.

=

Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of justice.

- Martin Luther King

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Nov 20 2020 1:52 utc | 54

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fny99f8amM

The above lays it all out. Kayfabe. Complexity.

Posted by: HH | Nov 20 2020 2:14 utc | 55

@ karlof1

Preaching to the choir, old man.

Preaching to the choir.

Nixon was one of the last US presidents who did some noteworthy moves such as pulling out of Vietnam and normalizing relation with China to surround the Soviet.

Posted by: Smith | Nov 20 2020 2:16 utc | 56

@ karlof1 at #52 who wrote
"
The citizenry of the Outlaw US Empire have absolutely zero interest in remaining in Afghanistan as it would provide them with much needed monetary resources for their support and for use in solving its many domestic infrastructure problems.
"

Wars are not started by commoners but by kings, popes, and nations leaders/despots advancing their agendas. Private banking at the national level started in the late 1600 in England to privately fund the kings latest war. While forever wars make money for the MIC, they also are crucial for financial gains and advancement into new areas of control and indebtedness for the tentacles of global finance.

Should our species live a form of financial Darwinism for the few or one that prioritizes cooperation over competition for the many? As long as forever wars continue we are living the perverse version and Afghanistan is only one of many nations infected by late empire ongoing wars.

That said, I firmly believe we are in the MAD phase of resolution of this social organization conundrum, where the aggression is being checked by better equipment and tactics and escalation is already at MAD level between the sides. There are two ways out of the MAD phase and we only really can talk about the positive one. In the positive one either the China/Russia axis capitulates or the empire one underpinned by global private finance loses its grip on global hegemony.

I think it will be the latter but it may be quite the ride, so to speak.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Nov 20 2020 2:35 utc | 57

@ ian #49
"Why should we keep wasting our money -- rebuild the U.S.!" - Trump . . .But this is the whole reason for the war - to 'waste' money. . .There is a lot of money to be made in forever wars. It's a racket.

Absolutely! What is an expense for taxpayers is pure profit for the warmongers.
"War is a racket. . .the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives." -- MajGen Smedley D. Butler, USMC, double recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor, 1935

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 20 2020 2:49 utc | 58

Imran Khan, the Prime Minister of Pakistan which is directing the Taliban, came to Kabul on a 'historic' first visit
Imran Khan is just a mouth piece for the Pakistani army, who regard Afghanistan as their back garden - strategic depth to withdraw into if India retaliates strongly. They are indeed directing the Taliban, ever since CIA Charlie Wilson armed them in 1979 at their formation due to Brzezinski's anti-Russia game by controlling the main supply line from Karachi harbor.
Nothing historic on Khan's visit, just acting meant for naive outsiders.

China's PLA is also in the mix: they have a base right next to Afghanistan's "finger valley" sticking out in the north East. They like Afghanistan's minerals and its location for their Belt and Road colonial charade.

Posted by: Antonym | Nov 20 2020 3:15 utc | 59

@ 58
India is in Afghanistan, with US help, so Pakistan not wanting to become an Indian sandwich, must maintain its security interest in Afghanistan, that is support the Taliban. It works for them.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 20 2020 3:38 utc | 60

@ karlof
the US public doesn't control its own destiny
Let's take it all the way -- the US Public gets a chance to vote and then it is told: This is democracy! . . .Actually it isn't. The US public has no control of anything, especially of the people they voted for, who are controlled by others. It's all a farce.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 20 2020 3:43 utc | 61

@Don Bacon 58
India tried to connect Afghanistan by new rail to the Iranian
Chabahar port so it could become more independent from the strangle grip of the Pakistani port Karachi.
Then Nethanyahu got obsessed with some Ayatollahs so that project became history - even Trump got dragged into that.

Posted by: Antonym | Nov 20 2020 3:55 utc | 62

The Afghan war will not end because the opium trade is too lucrative, and its location is too strategic in the New Great Game (same as Old Great Game, only now with more emphasis on China).

War is the core business of the M-I.C., which means that war is no longer a means to an end (as in previous eras), but the end in itself. Wars will only end when those who profit from them are made to pick up the tab for its cost, both financial and the loss of human life.

Posted by: 0use4msm | Nov 20 2020 4:42 utc | 63

Concur with @14 Perimetr

At least as far as the CIA is concerned, Afghanistan is much about running heroin to support their black budgets.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-spoils-of-war-afghanistan-s-multibillion-dollar-heroin-trade/91

https://www.geopoliticalmonitor.com/afghan-heroin-the-cia-519/

It's not new:

https://www.winterwatch.net/2019/11/cia-drug-smuggling-and-dealing-the-birth-of-the-dark-alliance/

Who remembers Noriega? Ran arms to the Contras for the CIA, in return was allowed to fly marijuana and cocaine back into the US by the CIA. But like so many others, he went from being America's great ally to their great enemy when he became president of Panama. The Yankees needed a more pliable puppet to control the Panama Canal after they had to cede control under the Torrijos-Carter treaties:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torrijos–Carter_Treaties

That's why the US invaded Panama.

Posted by: Ant. | Nov 20 2020 4:47 utc | 64

Why is M.K. Bhadrakumar liked here so much? any reasons?

Posted by: AB17 | Nov 20 2020 4:49 utc | 65

Posted by: gottlieb | Nov 19 2020 22:28 utc | 31

I know you are being sarcastic there, but still here's a big LOL to the West if they still think they are able to mount any efficient large scale infra project on their own soil, much less Afghanistan.

Posted by: J W | Nov 20 2020 6:18 utc | 66

Why is M.K. Bhadrakumar liked here so much? any reasons?

Posted by: AB17 | Nov 20 2020 4:49 utc | 63

___________

It's a complete mystery to me too.

After 8 years of straight "War,war, war" under the Obomber admin, anyone who could write the following, with an apparent straight face:

    Candidate Obama was very vociferous about the futility of the war. But the military commanders could anticipate that America’s first Black president was a babe in the woods in the Beltway, as his invitation to Robert Gates to continue as his defence secretary loudly proclaimed.
is either a liar or an imbicile.

And to doubledown on the dishonesty/imbicility by further claiming:

    They sized up that Obama was indecisive and weak and they could change his mind. And they were proven right. They actually got him to approve the “Afghan surge,” which of course was projected persuasively as one last good push to defeat the Taliban conclusively.
. . is simply an insult to his readers.

As if poor little Mr President Obomber was simply fooled by the pleadings of those pesky Pentagon geniuses.

Are people really so utterly clueless as to think that, after 8 years of war escalation under the Obomber admin, M.K. Bhadrakumar's idiotic "poor little naive Mr Obomber" ramblings are in any way a useful and accurate reflection of events?

Posted by: Triden | Nov 20 2020 7:18 utc | 67

China's PLA is also in the mix: they have a base right next to Afghanistan's "finger valley" sticking out in the north East. They like Afghanistan's minerals and its location for their Belt and Road colonial charade.

Posted by: Antonym | Nov 20 2020 3:15 utc | 58

______

The PLA were involved in Mr Charlie Wilson's war from the very beginning.

They're on record as having provided military assistance to both the Afghan mujahideen and to Pakistan

Posted by: Triden | Nov 20 2020 7:26 utc | 68

The CIA has never been embarrassed for funds. No doubt any number of agents and operatives have stuffed their pockets from the drug trade. But the CIA just doesn’t care about the small change. Remember the same people just pulled of a heist of ten trillion or more in broad daylight. A hundred billion here or there is for chumps.

The drug trade does give Langley a small army. They get to corrupt politicians and bankers. Hmmm, would there be such a thing as a non-corrupt banker? A non-corrupt politician? At least drug trade gives them an introduction and a hook. Loyalty can be controlled by being the only source of the next fix. Fix of cash, fix of dope, fix of power.

Consider they like having a significant part of the population strung out. Another part of the population strung out in the prison-industrial complex. Courts and therapy programs. All sorts of activity in all segments of society where they call all the shots. Don’t forget those who take glee in seeing junkies die. These are not nice people. But they don’t need drug money. And poppies grow most anywhere. They don’t need Afghanistan.

Posted by: oldhippie | Nov 20 2020 7:35 utc | 69

Jackrabbit | Nov 20 2020 1:52 utc | 53
re Peace is not the absence of conflict but the presence of justice. Martin Luther King...

Thanks for that quote; new to me. Very workable as a basic tenet to keep humans on a path to progress shared by all.

I heard it from a different viewpoint: A survivor [Nando Parrado] from that winter 1972 flight [571?] that went down in the high Andes related that several days after the crash, when some were sequestering scarce food items, he explained the vital role of fairness in giving best chance for max survival...namely, that

"without fairness there could only be increasing chaos."[as translated from Spanish].

The result was openness and sharing of all resources and ideas that might bring rescue [which happened about 2 months later!] .

ML King's quote above, brought this to mind.

Posted by: chu teh | Nov 20 2020 7:41 utc | 70

more to my # 68...

Compare the effects of justice/fairness with the operations of a terrorist CIA.

Posted by: chu teh | Nov 20 2020 7:54 utc | 71

Posted by: Smith | Nov 20 2020 2:16 utc | 55 -- "Nixon.... did some noteworthy moves.... "

Vietnam and China are less noteworthy (in terms of toxicity to all mankind) than Nixon defaulting on gold in 1971, after which the USD became a paper currency, backed not by gold any more, but empty words from leaders not agreement-capable.

In the 5 decades since the Nixon's Gold Default the One Percenters' share of US national income rose inexorably while Main Streeters' share crashed. Another way of saying that is that the wealth of Main Streeters has been shifted into the pockets of One Percenters.

And because the rest of the world are forced (petrodollar, SWIFT) to use the 'reserve currency', so the wealth of the world is also shifted into the same pockets.

So, now, we might understand why some people do not like the rise of China, the rise of Putin, the rise of Trump, the rise of free speech on the internet, the rise of bitcoin, those truculent Iranians, et al.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Nov 20 2020 8:19 utc | 72

@ kiwiklown

Nixon did some bad things, sure, just saying that he also did some noteworthy things that end wars and propel the world into this era. He's probably more influential than Kennedy, all said and done, who's more famous because of his assassination more than anything.

I don't think gold standard and fiat are inherently that different, the issue is that the normal folks aren't getting that cash/revenues.

Posted by: Smith | Nov 20 2020 8:44 utc | 73

69#

I agree with your comment,oldhippie.The benefits of controlling opium production are not so much calculated in money as well in influence,disturbing societies,crippling the youth etc.Not to forget that this is the way states gave the authority on our own bodies to the medical class a long time ago.The worth of one gram of heroine is about 1 dollar in Zanzibar,a major transport hub,about 3 dollars in Rotterdam,so that does not amount to billions,at that level it matches marijuana and hashish prizes.
Morphine and heroine,and opium itself of course are the most efficient painkillers that exist,but countering addiction to it demands extreme personal discipline,which is very hard to find in people these days.The users can't just understand that the process of tolerance is reversible,and that even multigram-a-day-users,can go back to 0,05 g/day and live comfortably.This is due to misinformation.

Posted by: willie | Nov 20 2020 11:29 utc | 74

@72 kiwiklown

"... the rise of free speech on the internet ..."

I don’t know how many here are familiar with KenFM. It’s an alt-media portal in Germany, I would call it the place where German speaking Barflies get together but, for the good or bad, with more lot of structural transparency and digital contents then MoA.

It started as a sharp-minded, fast-speaking and popular German state-run radio reporter with Iranian roots (did I mention his sharp mind?) crossed the borders of the established and, ethically allowed by the government, “political correctness”. He lost his job and was denounced as a conspiratorial theorist by MSM and then KenFM was borned.
Long before, many noticed “The Great Reset”, and acquiring the knowledge about, if it’s something edible or wearable, those frequenting KenFM were clarifying about what is coming and getting people ready for possible outcomes of annual Davos meeting, where elites from US, EU, China, Russia and even Iran going to have their little chit-chat.

As of yesterday, KenFM is silenced by YouTube, they simply closed the video channel there. Was it a coincidence that it happen couple of days after the law about “Infection Protection” was passed by the German Bundestag? A law providing the federal government with “legal” framework to rape citizen rights.

Anyway, KenFM still exist but may go analog instead of being digital, and easy target, for global giants in control of Internet traffics.

Posted by: Framarz | Nov 20 2020 11:46 utc | 75

Morphine and heroine, and opium itself of course are the most efficient painkillers that exist,but countering addiction to it demands extreme personal discipline, which is very hard to find in people these days.The users can't just understand that the process of tolerance is reversible, and that even multigram-a-day-users, can go back to 0,05 g/day and live comfortably. This is due to misinformation.

Add to that the social stigma attached to opiate addicts for being "morally weak". Our own US President reminded us that "these people are criminals". Many people see aiding them or offering therapy as a form of coddling them and insist that they should be jailed or worse, like President Maduro of the Philippines advocates.

Posted by: Malchik Ralf | Nov 20 2020 13:01 utc | 76

Ok so this is another of b’s ——- trump ‘good’’ —- Biden ‘bad’ posts.
Moving on from that obveous conclusion.
The number of US troops in Afghanistan has been slowly reduced over a long time. Way before trump came on the scene.
It means absalutly nothing, what ever our election bias. Why ?
American troops have steadily been replaced by Afghan troops, that prosess has been again going on long before trump.
96% of troops fighting taliban are Afghanistan’s.
Hence the US have been replacing their presence with proxy’s, along with US complient govenment.
Nothing new to see here then or on this post.
Just post election electioneering!

Posted by: Mark2 | Nov 20 2020 13:02 utc | 77

Posted by: Framarz | Nov 20 2020 11:46 utc | 75

Ken Jebsen went a little kooky during Covid, innit?
He had some good interviewee during the last couple of years, but, as it turned out, he is also a narcissist and his alt-media platform has become some kind of money-making business.
And the people who were commenting below his videos were something else...to say the least.

Posted by: v | Nov 20 2020 13:15 utc | 78

This post would be much more credabilty if we ——-
‘Followed the money’
Conspicuous by its absence !
Think contractors blackrock ectra.
Think US tax payer money spent by trump on Afghan.
More civilians in Afghanistan have been killed by America than by the Taliban.

Posted by: Mark2 | Nov 20 2020 13:20 utc | 79

Afghanistan cost every US citizen $6,000 so far...that is ten weeks of support payments. Per person for the whole damn country...

Posted by: Malchik Ralf | Nov 20 2020 13:30 utc | 80

Reall? Wow, I'm shocked the U.S. will continue to wage war against other countries until our power dissipates but it will dissipate.

It doesn't matter who is President. I'm glad Trump is gone because he was a particularly brutal tormentor of weaker nations.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Nov 20 2020 13:42 utc | 81

Having seen photos that are ostensibly of US soldiers guarding poppy fields in Afghanistan, it seems to me that there is a huge giant financial benefit to the CIA and whomever else in staying in Afghanistan and being poppy guarders, refining opium to heroin and supplying the world, especially us poor souls in the US who have been propagandised for eons to turn to any kind of medication that exists for whatever problem we have, be it physical, emotional or just the plain idea that humankind has always wanted to get high. Since time immemorial. Therefore, I do not think this so called "forever war" is ever going to be over unless all drugs are legalised and people can get it - or grow poppies (haha) - for themselves.
I also think that any msm discussion of Afghanistan will not mention heroin. Recently there was an article by Gordon Duff about heroin being the overriding reason the military/intelligence/deep state apparatus intends to do whatever it takes to stay there; that is it.
We Americans will be again beaten on the head with misinformation about why our young men are dying in some mountainous country thousands of miles from home.

Posted by: lizzie dw | Nov 20 2020 13:49 utc | 82

"...President Maduro of the Philippines..."?

I think someone is mixing up their talking point instructions.

Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 20 2020 14:41 utc | 83

Not much new in this article. The notable element of somewhat polyanna-ish naivete is pretty common these days. The notion that some oval office seat warmer really really tried to stop the big bad war machine but in the end just couldn't. I suppose there is a swath of the USAn population that laps this up, but it sure doesn't wash for anyone who has done even a modicum of homework. As far as I can tell the very real possibility of being shot to death is a pretty good deterent to keep the executive branch from going off script.

I do however like the notion that some large international organization like say the SCO put the CIA on the "terrorist list". I mean why not? The USA and their lap dogs do it all the time and for reaons far less grave than what The Company has been documented doing for decades. Wont sign onto the ICC? No problem, you can just be put on the list and maybe even sanctioned! Heck maybe that has even happened behind closed doors....Didn't one of their higher ups drop out of the sky not so long ago?

I wish I could believe the claims that NATO (USA) forces are steadilly being replaced by Afgan forces. Even if that were tha case what would these forces do? Guard the poppies? Rout the evil Taliban from their lairs?! After looking at the footage of them nodding off on heroine while standing in formation I rather doubt they will be storming much of anything. Plus I think most of this I flat out fiction. They just make stuff up and publish it. Who's gonna varify it? Yeah we moved some troops, then we paid mercs even more, then we shipped some product, then we did a surge! Let's face it folks, there is absolutely nothing preventing the brass from just plain lying. Claim otherwise and get called a conspiracy theorist, get tarred and feather, then have your career ruined.

Nato leave Afganistan? Honkey PLEASE! Poke at China, poke Iran, sabotage BRI, agitate Russia, run dope, extract unobtanium, and keep the munitions flowing. You would have to pry them out of there like a constellation baracles from a rock submerged in arctic waters.

Posted by: Chevrus | Nov 20 2020 14:41 utc | 84

This post would be much more credabilty if we ——-‘Followed the money’ Conspicuous by its absence !
Think contractors blackrock ectra. Think US tax payer money spent by trump on Afghan. More civilians in Afghanistan have been killed by America than by the Taliban. by: Mark2 @ 79 <=
Fee Barflies are serious; the problem has been addressed many times.

Effect multinational tracking into continuous and serious nation state suppression of human rights or denials of right to life and liberty has been proposed many times.

Several have proposed various systematic processes involving attaching authenticated evidence to serious inquiry with foreseeable consequences but the bar drunks could care less, that everything said at the bar, is some else's drunken belief [never authenticated fact indexed in a retrieval system]. Loss of liberties is never discussed <=ALAE right to stay drunk is not infringed, its ok?]. Barflies are not interested in sorting out who shoots them or their family ALA occupants still standing at the bar can chug down the suds

But revisiting this issue today, I thought maybe divide the contents of the posts into one of two format classifications.. project based vs all else. index the project based and dont bother indexing the rest. Suggested for example open to ideas.
Covid 19 c/b/ a project.. <=that is many subjects could be discussed on the covid 19 project
covid 19 1-1 infection: <= how does infection happen
covid 19 1-2 prevention <= something about progress in preventing infection
covid 19 1-3 treatment <= something about vaccine or in hospital stays

Afghanistan 1-x
troop presence 2 -1 <= there are ..numbers by unit in Afghanistan
government actions 2-2 <=someone was elected or died or said something official
...

systematic ndexing of data needs to be established to defend against dirty trick propaganda.

Posted by: snake | Nov 20 2020 14:58 utc | 85

@78 v + (indirect) kiwiklown

I don’t agree that Ken Jebsen went a little kooky about Covid, but then again it will be provocative to discuss this here, and I have promised to slow down provocations. However you may have a point about his narcissistic tendencies. The sad truth is, acting outside a central organized, disciplined structure, with a concrete political program toward social and global justice, increase the chances of narcissism, opportunism, nationalism and racism to appear.
But at the end of the day, he managed to provide a platform to those streams much more progressive then himself to break the monopoly of MSM on the current sociopolitical discourse in the German-speaking societies. That’s why his freedom of speech was limited.
About him thinking money, I believe he could earn much more money, personal influence, and supportive connections by playing "the game" in MSM.

I was answering kiwiklown about the allegedly increasing freedom of speech on the internet. This allegation is also something taken out of a box. Indeed we are accelerating in the opposite direction and many don’t notice what’s going on.

Posted by: Framarz | Nov 20 2020 15:47 utc | 86

Trump is pulling out half the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, oh, that's nice. 🙄 However, nothing has changed policy wise! There are still tens of thousands of troops in bases in the ME that can be reshuffled in a nano-second!

Trump is not pro peace...puh leeeeaase! He is pro Trump and pro creating a mirage for political self-interest!

If Trump were pro-peace, he wouldn't send Pompeo to visit illegal West Bank settlements and every other thing he's done to undermine the Palestinian cause for justice.

More importantly, if he were pro-peace he wouldn't be contemplating a serious Act of War against Iran at the end of his Presidency! He's pro Peace, not initiating war during his Presidency (although his actions say otherwise), but initiating War for the incoming President? That's pro-peace??? Contemplating a strike inside Iran to trigger war with Iran at this time, for the next guy to deal with is pro-peace?????????????!

Stop with this nonsense.

Posted by: Circe | Nov 20 2020 15:56 utc | 87

Has US Turned Afghanistan Corner?
The United States may have turned a corner in Afghanistan, but it’s not a military one. There are no signs that the Afghan war is being won on the ground. . .The Diplomat, Oct 20, 2010 . .here

Currently, according to LongWarJournal:
For nearly two decades the government of Afghanistan, with the help of U.S. and coalition forces, has been battling for control of the country against the ever-present threat of the Afghan Taliban. FDD’s Long War Journal has been tracking the Taliban’s attempts to gain control of territory since NATO ended its military mission in Afghanistan and switched to an “advise and assist” role in June 2014. Districts have been retaken (by both sides) only to be lost shortly thereafter, largely resulting in the conflict’s current relative stalemate. However, since the U.S. drawdown of peak forces in 2011, the Taliban has unquestionably been resurgent.
District control
GoA control 133
Contested 187
Taliban control 75

Population
GoA control 15,157,565
Contested 13,205,484
Taliban control 4,551,049 . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 20 2020 16:26 utc | 88

I am spending too much time here and it’s not good, so let it be my last comment for a while, Have it hit your mind that a temporal reduction of US military force in MECA, is not necessarily a good sign.

One of the most alarming situations for Iranian military will be the discovery of empty US bases in the neighbouring countries and no US navy within Persian Gulf. From the perspective of military tactic, Iranians would then calculate a sudden hit to occur. The track record of US administrations deceptive policies doesn’t allow one to sleep with both eyes shut even when they pull forces back home. Think about how Sadam and Ghadafi were trapped.

Posted by: Framarz | Nov 20 2020 16:30 utc | 89

Circe , Don Bacon, thanks other than you two, seems suddenly they all lost interest.
Farmarz thanks for that hint, you jus opened my eyes still wider( if your saying what I think your sayin) cheers.
———————
Anyway back to the follow the money ——
It’s obsecne !
On any possible level, what has the US got back as a return ? https://fas.org/man/eprint/cow/fy2018q3.pdf

This link is figures from a few years ago going back.
This is the real topic.

Posted by: Mark2 | Nov 20 2020 16:45 utc | 90

Currently, all Taliban attacks were "repelled". . .
. . .from Tolo News:
Taliban Launched Attacks in 23 Provinces in Last 24 Hours: MoD
The Taliban’s attacks have been “repelled” by Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, says the Defense Ministry.
Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) on Friday said the Taliban launched attacks and other “destructive activities” in 23 out of 34 provinces of the country in the last 24 hours. One of their attacks was on the center of Maymay in the northeastern Badakhshan province on Thursday, where according to Hujjatullah Kheradmand, an MP from Badakhshan, at least 25 members of Afghan security forces were killed and seven more are missing. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Nov 20 2020 16:48 utc | 91

Well shucks, looks like they got themselves some Taliban repellent! If only they had known it was so easy 19 years ago.

Posted by: Chevrus | Nov 20 2020 17:47 utc | 92

One reason given for the CIA drug running from Afghanistan was to introduce dependence into Russia's underbelly, thus weakening it, and opening up the possibility of using junkies to carry out subversion. Not just for the money part. However, the other main route for extracting drugs went (and probably still goes?) through the massive US base in Kosovo.

I presume it still does, as the CIA is no friend of normal populations, only with other "Intelligence" organisations. The CIA acts as if all normal people are hostile, whether in the Russian south or in the EU.

Of course, there will still be "pocket money" handed out to Jelly Bellied Generals, as they have the same ambitions the world over. Most of them seem to be frustrated dictators.

Posted by: Stonebird | Nov 20 2020 18:01 utc | 93

@erik (8) "Only economic collapse of the US combined with discord at home willever end foreign adventures. It's coming, but not here quite yet."

I think that you may have it backwards. Domestic disarray could be a trigger for foreign adventures, if for no other reason than to stir patriotic feelings in support of "the greatest military the world has ever seen."

Posted by: Rob | Nov 20 2020 18:06 utc | 94

Framarz @ 89.

True, and I am sure the Iranian military fully understand this But where will the Israhell apartheid 'state' go? Or the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Baharain ...

Posted by: BF | Nov 20 2020 18:18 utc | 95

Anyone who thinks that Donald Trump gives a rat's ass about ending wars needs to stop and consider the ongoing crime against humanity in Yemen. Without U.S. support, that war would have been ended years ago and might never have been started in the first place. As for reducing troop levels, it is all a shell game, as former U.S. Ambassador to Syria, Jeffreys (?), has clearly stated. Troops are shifted from one place to another, and Trump is none the wiser.

Posted by: Rob | Nov 20 2020 18:23 utc | 96

@Framarz
Have you ever heard of Telegram? It's a messenger service that you can install at your mobile phone. All the dissidents are at Telegram by now. KenFM has more than 90.000 subscribers.

Posted by: m | Nov 20 2020 18:37 utc | 97

In the discussion of the Afghan heroin trade and the CIA, I find it interesting that no one has mentioned the Sackler family. They have trademarked Oxycontin and other similar drugs and sold them in massive quantities, making billions on the trade. Please note that Oxy, Perco, and others are semi-synthetics. They take the opium and attach a radical group to it and make a variety of painkillers. As the Afghan opium trade grew, the number of prescriptions exploded. A lot of the money they stashed away went to lobbying (successfully) and to their tax havens.

Posted by: naiverealist | Nov 20 2020 18:39 utc | 98

All that drug money is very lucrative, if the CIA are running the heroin trade like they did in Vietnam they'll never want to leave.

Posted by: Poison Ivy | Nov 20 2020 18:56 utc | 99

"...I think that you may have it backwards. Domestic disarray could be a trigger for foreign adventures, if for no other reason than to stir patriotic feelings in support of "the greatest military the world has ever seen.'" Rob@94

No Rob, Erik@8 has it right- the credibility of 'wag the dog' politics is exhausted. Too many people have too many real-and urgent- problems to tolerate jingo as entertainment policies.
Governments get away with wars as distractions when working people are occupied. With tens of millions unemployed, on the brink of unemployment and caught up in a nightmare of worry and fear of the future it is going to take more than imperialism as entertainment to prevent their insistence that their demands be heeded.
The US is a country spending about a thousand billion dollars a year dealing with nonexistent threats and unable to provide people with basic healthcare. As more people grow sick and become poor that is a basic contradiction that will be undeniable.

Posted by: bevin | Nov 20 2020 19:17 utc | 100

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