Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 23, 2021

Biden Commits To Forever War On Afghanistan

The forever war on Afghanistan will continue.

The U.S. and its NATO proxy force have spent nearly 20 years and a trillion dollars to "do something" in Afghanistan. What that something was to be was never clear. There were attempts to impose some kind of enlightened model of governance on the Afghan people. But anyone with knowledge of that country knew that this would never work.

Bribes were handed out left and right and Afghan warlords, many of whom hold government positions, enriched themselves by scamming the occupation forces. They naturally do not want that to end. There are also Afghans who do not want to live under the heel of corrupt warlords and ignorant occupation troops. They are called Taliban and get support from Pakistan and Arab countries which the U.S. calls 'allies'. The occupation forces tried to fight them but after nearly 20 years of wars the Taliban again rule over half of the country. Even while the warlords still have military support from the occupation forces their troops are losing in nearly every engagement.

Militarily the war against the Taliban has long been lost. Even with the 100,000 'western' troops the Obama administration had sent there was no way to win it.

President Donald Trump made efforts to end the useless war on Afghanistan. He negotiated with the Taliban to remove all 'western' forces by May 1. The agreement also commits the Taliban to not attacking those forces and to negotiate with the warlord government in Kabul on power sharing. They agreed to that after the U.S. promised that Taliban prisoners of war, held by the Afghan government, would be released.

The Afghan government had and has of course no interest in losing power. At least not as long as still gets sponsored by 'western' money. It also did not want to let prisoners go as those would just turn around and again fight against it. A year ago the Trump administration threatened to withhold money should the Afghan government not follow the negotiated terms:

Facing collapse of Afghan peace talks before they even start, the Trump administration has threatened to withhold up to $2 billion in aid unless President Ashraf Ghani and his main rival put aside their political differences and open negotiations with the Taliban.
The threat was the sharpest sign yet that the Trump administration is distancing itself from its Afghan ally and moving closer to the Taliban. The longtime U.S. adversary has in effect become a wary partner as President Trump seeks to withdraw thousands of American troops before the November election and end America’s longest war.
The Kabul government is heavily dependent on international assistance. U.S. aid was expected to total $4.3 billion this year, all but $500 million of which was earmarked for training and equipping the Afghan army.

The threat worked as expected. But when it became clear that a new management would take over the White House the Afghan government again tried to stall the process. Today the talks resumed but they are unlikely to achieve any results:

Peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government have resumed in the Qatari capital Doha after weeks of delays, escalating violence and a change in US diplomatic leadership as the Biden administration began.

Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem tweeted on Monday night the resumption of the talks, which were the outcome of an agreement between the Afghan armed group and the US in February 2020.

But the administration of President Joe Biden is reviewing the agreement, which was aimed at ending the longest war the US has fought.
When talks ended abruptly in January, days after they began, both sides submitted their wish lists for agendas which they now have to sift through to agree on negotiation items and the order in which they will be tackled.

The priority for the Afghan government, Washington and NATO is a serious reduction in violence that can lead to a ceasefire, the Taliban have until now resisted any immediate ceasefire.

Washington is reviewing the Doha peace agreement the previous Trump administration signed with the Taliban as consensus mounts in Washington that a delay of the withdrawal deadline is needed. The Taliban have resisted suggestions of even a brief extension.

Without financial pressure there is no chance that the Afghan government and the Taliban will ever reach a power sharing deal. Even if there would be an agreement there is little chance that it will be upheld by all sides. The conflict would likely reignite and the Taliban would win.

The obvious consequence should be to just follow Trump's plan and to leave as soon as possible.

But Trump was bad and thus the Biden administration is discussing three options:

If the US leaves in the next three months, it’s likely the Taliban will overrun the US-backed Afghan government and once again make life worse for millions of Afghans, especially women and children.

Staying in Afghanistan just a little bit longer would likely delay that takeover, but would also expend any diplomatic capital the US has left with the Taliban and keep US troops in harm’s way.

Finally, violating the terms of the agreement and remaining indefinitely will almost certainly lead the Taliban to restart its campaign, put on hold ahead of the May 1 deadline, to kill American service members in the country.

Biden could follow Trump's agreement with the Taliban and order the troops home. He could sell that as a victory and a fulfillment of a campaign promise.

But with the blob again in power that option had little chance to survive:

The opinion editors at The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal may not agree on much, but they are both determined to oppose bringing forces out of Afghanistan as our war there approaches its 20th anniversary, raising the specter of “withdrawing irresponsibly.” Meanwhile conservative establishmentarians like Washington Post columnist Max Boot, and his cohort on the center-left side of the dial, David Ignatius, as well as Madeleine Albright, make common cause for keeping troops in Afghanistan as Biden’s “best option.” Today’s “stay” advocates, which include Republicans like Lindsey Graham making the media rounds, may all be coming from different plot points on the Washington political grid, but keeping the United States committed to a desultory, unwinnable conflict unites them. Their messages are circulated and amplified by social media and establishment friendlies, and among big cable news outlets. Thus, a consensus is born.

The blob is usually fond of claims that "all options are on the table". Here it was keen to take one away:

Multiple US officials told me in recent days that the administration’s Afghanistan policy review is nearing its end, with one telling me they expect Biden to make a decision “very soon.”

“I don’t know which way the president will go,” said this official, who like others spoke with me on the condition of anonymity to talk freely about a sensitive national security deliberation. Another person familiar with the Afghanistan discussions told me it’s clear a full withdrawal by May 1 is “off the table.”

This again demonstrates that the U.S. is no longer agreement capable. By staying longer than May 1 the Biden administration will breach an international agreement the previous administration had made.

It is unlikely that the Taliban will agree to a prolonged stay of any troops from such an unreliable entity. They will rescind the ceasefire and the war will again enter a bloody phase:

[F]ew think Biden will withdraw all US troops by May 1, which means he will be keeping US service members in the country with or without the Taliban’s approval. If he does it without their approval, that could lead the insurgents to attack and kill American personnel as they overtake major Afghan cities, perhaps even Kabul.

At that point, withdrawing from Afghanistan would be harder, experts say, because the administration won’t want to look like it’s running away from the fight. A return to a larger war, then, would likely ensue, leading to more death and woes for the millions of Afghans who’ve already suffered tremendously.

Unfortunately the decision by the Biden administration was utterly predictable. The military-industrial complex will not allow a retreat from a profitable battlefield and Biden is way too weak to resist its pressure.

Posted by b on February 23, 2021 at 17:19 UTC | Permalink

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Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Feb 24 2021 3:33 utc | 85 -- "I mean, who has the power to get the three letter outfit out of poppy business?"

Yeah they got six ways until sunday to deal with trouble makers.

And some more ways we do not yet know eg. poisoning your underwear poisoning your door knob, poisoning your tea, poisoning your water bottle, making you commit suicide by shooting yourself in the head, twice.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Feb 24 2021 10:45 utc | 101

Posted by: Haassaan | Feb 24 2021 1:42 utc | 77 -- "*Silk Road Lol...The Sulk Road is elsewhere."

LOL. The Sulk Road is where the dogs of impotence bark rudely, but ineffectually, as the OBOR Caravan passes onward and upward into the next chapter of human existence on Earth.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Feb 24 2021 11:02 utc | 102

Whatissowrong @ 31:

US-led troops from NATO and other nations allied with the US, not only the US, have been occupying Afghanistan for nearly the past 20 years. Has there been much social progress for women as a group in that nation since the US and its allies invaded and occupied it?

It's quite likely that most of the violence and brutality in Afghanistan is the result of the presence of US-allied troops and their interactions with local people. At present, here in Australia, there have been inquiries into the behaviour of Australian troops stationed in Afghanistan which includes shooting prisoners dead (because apparently there was not enough room in a helicopter to fit in a bunch of prisoners and soldiers) and drinking beer out of a dead man's prosthetic limb. This is not exactly winning local people's hearts and minds.

As B states in his post, the Afghan government pays bribes to various warlords, few of whom appear to be interested in women's socioeconomic emancipation and advancement, to support it. For all we know, the warlords may be as extremist and backward in their views as the Taliban has been portrayed in Western mainstream media, and foreign money being paid to them not only encourages them but also helps to entrench their power in the regions they rule, no matter how what the local people think of them.

It could very well be that if all foreign troops were to leave Afghanistan, the Taliban (after some time in power) might start to follow the example of Iran in creating a society with socialistic characteristics based on select Islamic principles and institutions such as Islamic banking and the custom of zakat, or giving donations to charities which fund economic and social
development. Women and men alike might benefit in such a society: charities could help set up factories or establish schools and community centres and create jobs for both women and men.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 24 2021 11:30 utc | 103

Jen @ 103

It could very well be that if all foreign troops were to leave Afghanistan, the Taliban (after some time in power) might start to follow the example of Iran in creating a society with socialistic characteristics based on select Islamic principles and institutions such as Islamic banking and the custom of zakat, or giving donations to charities which fund economic and social
development. Women and men alike might benefit in such a society: charities could help set up factories or establish schools and community centres and create jobs for both women and men

Apparently, the world-wide production of opium has exceeded the demand for years now. There are phenomenal quantities in storage, even if much of the developing world lacks adequate supplies for medicinal pain relief. Afghanistan, where 6 or 7 hundred children under the age of 5 die every day from mostly preventable causes, could easily supply themselves and the entire planet with licit opium, but of course this would require a licensing system following the establishment of some measure of rule-of-law, preceded, of course, by the cessation of jackboot tactics and the removal of all invading forces.

ONLY the Taliban are presently capable of cultivating such a program.

Posted by: john | Feb 24 2021 11:38 utc | 104

One of my speculations at the time was that the Michael d'Andrea intelligence control plane was shot down in a special deal between ISIS and Iran as a once only revenge shot.
Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 24 2021 8:11 utc | 97

Far more likely that Iran collaborated with the Taliban. There is no reason for Iran to have any truck with ISIS. Plenty of reasons though, to collaborate with Taliban, despite ideological differences. Could even be that Iran injected the weapons, military experts and signals intelligence to get the job done, then took all of those back to Iran without ever leaving the weapons in Taliban hands. Taliban might have got the surviving prisoners as part of the deal. Startegically both Iran and the Taliban would have gained. I have read Iran is getting closer to the Taliban.

Posted by: BM | Feb 24 2021 12:44 utc | 105

Jen @103

The Taliban so badly mistreated women that I do not understand why they should be given the benefit of a doubt about how they will run Afghanistan if they return to power. I do not know the condition of women in Afghanistan but it's hard to find a more oppressive force than the Taliban in regards to treatment of women.

The occupation force is mostly made up of non-US NATO troops. Do you think non-US NATO governments will get more tired quickly of the occupation over the next 20 years, leaving the US to fill any gaps? Even if the US troops deployed in Afghanistan are well short of 20,000, do you think any bit will help take up capacity that would otherwise be used against Iran?

Posted by: whatissowrong | Feb 24 2021 14:17 utc | 106

@oldhippie, 52 "Opium poppies grow most anywhere. Turkey, India, Laos, Thailand, Mexico all serve the purpose. What is needed to grow poppy is pliant local politicians."

Sure, but there are other factors too. Location and geopolitical situation around it, for example. Afghanistan is perfect for directing the flow to Central Asia (and then to Russia), and to China. We're in the context of the 'Great Game' here, where Mexico is totally irrelevant.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Feb 24 2021 14:52 utc | 107

@ Posted by: whatissowrong | Feb 24 2021 14:17 utc | 106

The hypothesis you're bringing up here - that the USAA is actually a closeted feminist army - is pure nonsense.

In human history, there was never a single instance - unless you believe in the legend of Helen of Troy - where humans waged wars for the honor, safety, lives and purity of women. This simply doesn't happen - and will never happen. It is not a realistic assumption.

This romantic debate about the chivalrous soldier traveling to far-away lands in order to save random women is a cool subject for a bar chatting in postmodern capitalism, but it doesn't belong to serious geopolitical discussion.

Posted by: vk | Feb 24 2021 14:55 utc | 108

America and its Free World allies must never withdrawal their colonial occupation troops from Afghanistan!

The moral task of teaching those savage Brown barbarians about the joys of Anglo-American Freedom and Democracy™ is a thankless task, but it must be done.

The White Man's Burden and Western Civilizing Mission are truly a noble crusade, as is evidenced by the following report....

Australian war crimes report: A damning indictment of the barbarity in Afghanistan

Posted by: ak74 | Feb 24 2021 14:59 utc | 109

don't forget all the NGO money flowing around since 2001 that does nothing in country b/c, in part, the environment is so unsafe. money is not even spent in Afghanistan.

many Afghanis also believe that the remoteness of the country makes it a great testing ground for weapons. are they wrong?

we'll know the US is leaving Afghanistan when we see embassies being abandoned as in Vietnam. who takes seriously what some dumb fucking US POTUS says? about anything?

Posted by: jason | Feb 24 2021 15:43 utc | 110

the state-manufactured US opioid crisis didn't begin w/fentanyl, but high-volume oxy distribution, in WVA esp. the idea that intel agencies and military would not be involved in the Opium Wars, guarding if not themselves farming opium fields, b/c it looks bad, bad for the reputation...they also aren't running the coke out of Colombia, are they? they don't run black sites around the world either, do they? etc., etc.

on a side but very related note (see my comment about ngo's above), none of the gov't-funded non-profits who are "helping" w/the opioid crisis think it's therapeutically useful to tell addicts where the opioids are coming from. but these domestic-ngo's are here to "help" people. bull fucking shit. mostly it's a PR operation but substitution of one addiction (suboxone, e.g.) for another also works. (this is not a comment on individual workers in this or any other "social services" field.)

leaving Afghanistan sets a bad precedent. like the "Vietnam syndrome." doesn't matter at all what practical value might come from it.

Posted by: jason | Feb 24 2021 16:09 utc | 111

It is the Opium
The election fraud was a typical CIA operation. Trump talked too much about withdrawing from Afghanistan where the GIs are protecting the opium poppies for the trillion dollar drug operation. The CIA has been blatantly busted for importing drugs more than once dating back to Vietnam.

Posted by: Arnieus | Feb 24 2021 16:12 utc | 112

vk @ 109 :"In human history, there was never a single instance - unless you believe in the legend of Helen of Troy - where humans waged wars for the honor, safety, lives and purity of women. This simply doesn't happen - and will never happen. It is not a realistic assumption."

such a broad statement...not even defensive wars? there have certainly been plenty of historical figures who claimed they were fighting over women. can't get the throne w/o the right woman, can one?

and what about "Mad Max: Fury Road?" i'm joking, we'll be fighting over water first, but the point of the movie, that militarized cultures can't biologically reproduce and thus are forced to fight wars "over women" is valid. myths and legends like "the Rape of the Sabines" exist for a reason, that contemporary technological superiority makes people scoff at b/c they are so impressed, blinded by their own "cultural reproduction." they can't even see themselves killing off their own sperm as that warmongering capitalist walking dog turd N Kristoff commented on in the NYT the other day.

Posted by: jason | Feb 24 2021 16:30 utc | 113

Mao @ 108

Mexico only came to mind because I used to live in a Chicago neighborhood in mid 80s where trucks from Mexico would pull up on residential streets and offload Mexican brown. The bulk drug was cut and packaged in apartments and basements and garages. Labs? Maybe. Better not to ask. Delivery drivers would pick up the bags and envelopes. There was absolute zero other crime in that neighborhood. Everyone knew what was going on.

No idea what the geopolitics of that episode were, it was set up quickly, then supply chain moved elsewhere. Those who play that game do whatever they want and no one interferes, ever.

Posted by: oldhippie | Feb 24 2021 16:43 utc | 114

@ Posted by: jason | Feb 24 2021 16:30 utc | 114

Women were considered - specially when mercenary armies were involved - as part of the spoils of war, to be raped and sold to slavery (slaves were the most profitable part of Ancient wars).

But this is different from stating peoples would go to war against other peoples to save the women from these other peoples from oppression from their own husbands - that is Disney fairy tales level of historical revisionism.

Posted by: vk | Feb 24 2021 16:47 utc | 115

usa in afgan to protect the women is a load of shit, but it is an amazing con job that works on the politically correct back home.. that is called a sales job, or snow job on the public, any way you look at it..

Posted by: james | Feb 24 2021 16:57 utc | 116

As to the US fighting for women's rights in Afghanistan, one of the key issues in the Islamist revolt against the socialist government of Afghanistan was the attempt to abolish bride price. One of the leading warlords on the US side, one Gulbeddin Hekmatyar (is he still with us?) was notorious for throwing acid in women's faces. The best defenders of women in Afghanistan were the Communists. The US armed the Islamist rebels with Stinger missiles to fight the Communists (including the Soviets who were asked for help [the Soviets supported the overthrow of Babrak Karmal, but this is fairly similar to the US supporting the overthrow of Diem in Vietnam]) before they gave Stingers to the US troops. The US deliberately allied itself with some of the most backward and vicious elements in Afghan society. It is often forgotten that the Taliban are more independent, less mercenary and in some ways less sectarian than other groups, which is why they defaulted to leadership in the Islamist movement, as not quite so homicidal and superbackward. The Taliban were the kind who would ban opium, for instance.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Feb 24 2021 17:57 utc | 117

Being that I'm late to this party I've only read a significant fraction of the comments. They do seem to gravitate toward the answering the question of why we have spent about 20 years and a trillion dollars fighting 'something' in Afghanistan. I think my answer will be rather unique. Let me begin by mentioning that I went to a fascinating presentation at a book store 20 years ago by the now-late, but wonderful John Taylor Gatto, author of the book 'Weapons of Mass Instruction. He turned me on to a fascinating concept. He told us that the way to reify that you hold power over other people is to force them to think or do things that they deeply resent having to think or do. For example, a whole lot of Americans were strongly averse to having Joe Biden as their president. But they were brainwashed into thinking that Trump is some kind of NAZI, much worse than Biden. But we now are coming to realize that Biden is at least as bad, if not worse. I just read that some very intelligent blogger lost a best friend of 30 years over their opinions on this matter. I have long held that the Trump hatred episode was the largest mass mind control operation since Adolph Hitler convinced the Germans that the Jews needed to be eliminated. I don't favor Trump at all but I think he might have pulled out of Afghanistan. More than once I have read that people who know others who are CIA agents say they are bewildered as to why they are required to hate Russia. the vast majority of the media preach the sermon that we must hate Trump, and keep fighting in pointless foreign wars.

And the beat goes on. The insane ruling kings just keep churning out lousy history that we must pay for.

Posted by: blues | Feb 24 2021 19:14 utc | 118

Whatissowrong @ 107:

The Taliban may have treated women badly but in the (nearly) 20 years of US-led occupation, with numerous foreign charities in Kabul supposedly operating ventures to improve conditions and create educational and employment for women, with milliond of dollars at their disposal, there appears to have been no improvement since the Taliban Dark Ages.

I once suggested at a public talk that many of these foreign NGO charities could be fronts for intel agencies. A woman whose daughter once worked in Kabul said her daughter used to wonder what all the US charity workers she met there actually did, since she saw very little evidence of US charity helping Afghans - and there were many US charity workers in Kabul. The woman at the talk seemed to think I was on the right track.

Whatever the Taliban did, they did it in a context of extreme political and social chaos with very little money and not much political experience after over a decade of war in the 1980s and then war between warlords of extreme religious bent who benefited from CIA money and arms supplied by Osama bin Laden during the 1980s and afterwards.

The people who form the Taliban today are not necessarily the same people who governed Afghanistan back in the late 1990s. Much if not most of the current violence in Afghanistan is being created by foreign forces as demonstrated by the brutish behaviour of troops from several nations towards Afghan civilians: Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Denmark among others, not only the US. Reason enough to get rid of all troops, send them back to their original countries to be treated for PTSD and receive psychological counselling and other treatments, and allow Afghanistan to govern itself and decide who it wants to do business with.

A war against Iran is not likely to be similar to the current war and occupation in Afghanistan. There are at least 70 million people in Iran for a start. After 40 years of economic sanctions, Iranian society has become quite resilient and inventive. Iranians may bicker among themselves about corruption in their government but their disagreement should not be construed to mean that many of them would side with a US invasion.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 24 2021 19:36 utc | 119

vk @ 116
the idea that the US & co are in A. or anywhere to help anyone except themselves is not worth talking about. there's no lie they won't tell. wmd's, feminism, hell they'd claim to be bombing wherever on behalf of PETA if Americans gave any kind of a crap about animals.

it's still useful though isn't it? people sure want to believe that their country is like a medieval knight protecting distressed damsels even if in reality they are Crusaders raping everything from London to Jerusalem. for the 3rd...or 6th...or 8th what? 15th time? 25th time? did the Crusades ever end?

Posted by: jason | Feb 24 2021 19:51 utc | 120

@98 Uncle Tungsten
I think Iran would be more likely to work with the Taliban then ISIS in Afghanistan.

My theory is Iranian Special Ops units based in Eastern Afghanistan were used for the job.

Taking down a high flying intelligence control plane equiped with state of the art electronic defenses with a MANPAD is no small feat. Precise information on the flight plan would be needed, and precise placement of the MANPAD unit armed with high-end equipment would be required.

Iran may have used a proxy, but for such a delicate mission my guess would be Iranian Special Ops.

I agree letting such equipment out into the general jihad public is a bad idea, but if USA gets too aggressive, Iran does have the option of arming the Taliban.

Posted by: Haassaan | Feb 24 2021 23:03 utc | 121

@103 kiwiklown

Posted by: Haassaan | Feb 24 2021 23:06 utc | 122

Hi oldhippie,
An older map I once saw of AIDS showed Xinjiang, right up to Xinjiang, at a very high rate. Why? I figure drug use.
A website I saw once on buying pot in China said look for the minority on the street. Recently I see that Trump was trying to reduce the fentanyl coming to the US from China and it changed to sending out ingredients, which after that are ever varying.
Switch to Myanmar. I read recently that NE Myanmar is a high export facility for fentanyl, and it is going to consumers in China.
When I taught English inside China, I tried to prepare them for what is happening in the outside world. In my drug slide show, my first slide was a picture of a marijuana leaf. 49 of 50 students generally did not know what it was. As late as five years ago.

Posted by: Helen | Feb 25 2021 5:50 utc | 123

While Ukraine commits to forever war on Russia (apologies if previously posted). This will give you a chuckle amongst the despair of it all.

But that is not all! Kiev is also promising to 1) build a new naval base not only on the Black Sea coast, but also on the Sea of Azov and 2) they are now working with the UK to build up these capabilities. Best of all, the western and Ukrainian propaganda outlets are open declaring that this is a strategy to defeat Russia (for a good laugh, read this). The truth is this: nevermind the Sea of Azov, the entire Black Sea is now a de facto “Russian lake” and Russia has the means to destroy any ship sailing the Black Sea within minutes, everybody knows that, at least anybody with any military background. In case of conflict, the survival time of these two Ukrainian bases would be counted not even in minutes, but in seconds. Deploying any force so near to the Russian border is basically suicidal.

One more example of the kind of insanity which has taken over the Ukraine with Ze in power: believe it or not, but the Ze administration has explained that the Ukraine gave NATO the “authorization” to overfly Crimea. Again, this is such a self-evidently stupid idea that I won’t discuss it on its merits. All I want you to do is imagine hearing all that crazy stuff if you were a Russian decision maker: would you simply ignore these nutcases or would you take the needed measures to make sure that none of that ever happens. Even Lavrov recently quoted the famous Roman wisdom “si vis pacem, para bellum” which, considering that Lavrov is most definitely a “moderate” tells you all you need to know about Russian responses to all this insanity.

Zelinski is as mad as Mikheil Saakashvili. Methinks it must be the soil or the river water or something.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Feb 25 2021 7:08 utc | 124

Helen | Feb 25 2021 5:50 utc | 124
Never heard of marijuana?
Did you ask them if they knew what da ma is?

Posted by: tucenz | Feb 25 2021 9:50 utc | 125

Helen, this is from the Chinese point of view and it does not jive with your points at all.

Why is the US obsessed with smearing Xinjiang through gimmicks?

Oh, and why would China TV post all kinds of photos of body parts all the time as you say?

Posted by: arby | Feb 25 2021 13:46 utc | 126

Jen @120

I don't understand why you give the Taliban the benefit of a doubt. Why do you think they will change in their behavior towards women when they were oppressive in the past? Girls can go to school. Do you consider this an improvement?

About Iran, I'm not sure what your conclusion is because I think you went off track with that resilient and inventive part. Are you saying that it's not likely any war scenario against Iran requires a lot of Army combat brigade teams? If that is the case then are you saying the continued presence of several US brigades in Afghanistan doesn't take away much capacity from the US for going to war against Iran?

Posted by: whatissowrong | Feb 25 2021 13:48 utc | 127

whatissowrong | Feb 25 2021 13:48 utc | 128

you are an odd one, not sure exactly what your angle is.

Why do you think anyone has to "do" something for the women of Afghanistan. Is that not something the people of Afghanistan need to worry about? I assume you are a woman since you seem so concerned about your sisters' welfare. Yet you think the answer is to take the sons and husbands away from these women with bullets and guns. I suppose that is one way to do it but surely there is a better way.

now consider the alternative, some young upstart culture from far away and with no understanding of your culture decide they want to protect you in the US or where ever you are. Their plan is to make you cover yourself completely, only allowing small openings to see out of. To further reduce your risk of corrupting men, a Clitoridectomy is mandatory. to them, these are all proven methods to reduce rape and abuse.

I suspect you would not like this at all. this leads me to believe you think you are quite willing to impose your views and norms on others. What makes you think you have this right?

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 25 2021 20:49 utc | 128


Posted by: SanityClaus | Feb 26 2021 1:44 utc | 129

The day the (cia) drives out of Afghanistan with those poppy bumper crops fading away in the rear view mirror, is the day Hell freezes over twice.

Posted by: L Garou | Feb 26 2021 1:58 utc | 130

Whatissowrong @ 128:

Actually for as long as the US has imposed sanctions against Iran, the US has been at war against that country. War takes many forms, not only in the form of physical combat.

By the same token, as long as you continue advocating that US forces should continue to occupy Afghanistan, ostensibly to safeguard women's rights (even though continuing US occupation has not improved their condition much and if anything will make things more difficult for Afghan women, because women's rights come to be seen as a form of colonialism or subversion of Afghan culture), you are in fact continuing to support war against Afghanistan and against its women.

As others have noted, the issue of women's rights in isolation from social justice is a convenient excuse for continuing foreign occupation and violence. The British did the same in the 1800s in posing as the champions of women's rights to justify their occupation and exploitation of the Indian subcontinent, even as their rule resulted in impoverishment of the people there, including women and children, and regular famines leading to mass starvation.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 26 2021 4:17 utc | 131

thinking the usa is in afgan to help women or protect womens rights can only come from someone who is brainwashed... no other answer suffices...

if anyone believes that, they may as well believe the usa is handing out lollipops too in afgan, iraq and syria at the moment... makes a huge amount of sense, lol..

Posted by: james | Feb 26 2021 5:34 utc | 132

dan of steele @129

If you think we are in not in a position to judge the Taliban for their treatment of women...that the Taliban could be considered liberators of women with a change of perspective...then I don't have the starting point for a discussion with you.

Jen @132

The kind of war we are discussing is the more serious form with the massive bombing of Iran. Preventing a war against Iran is a central theme of the blog. So why shouldn't a continued Afghanistan occupation be discussed as a contributing factor to preventing the war? You and other commentators don't seem to put much thinking in your responses on this point.

I'm not clearly following your argument about women's rights in Afghanistan. Do you mean to say that if the war is ended by a Taliban take over, conditions for women will improve on balance despite oppression by the Taliban? I'm not arguing that the US fights to stop oppression of Afghan women. I'm saying that is one of the effects in place because the Taliban do not rule over the rest of the country.

Posted by: whatissowrong | Feb 26 2021 7:40 utc | 133

@whatissowrong 134
In your response to dan steele, Who is this we you speak of? Is this we like imaginary majorities, special exceptional groups, or who?

Yes the occupation in afghan is preventing war with iran since the us allied forces of "good" is losing and losing badly even without much interference from iran and russia.

You dont have to follow any arguments but it really hurts my brain putting any thoughts into your logic thing for you is to take those "we" that you speak of and move over there, and show these bad guys who the good guys are. Because you are saving iran from missile rain. The more of you there are there the less chance of iran being harmed.

Posted by: Jason | Feb 26 2021 8:44 utc | 134

Whatissowrong @ 134:

You don't think that enforcing economic sanctions against a country, blocking its development and possibly preventing a stable civil society, and trying to starve its people for over 40 years is not serious warfare? And in what way does stationing troops in a neighbouring country like Afghanistan, causing mayhem and instability there, and sending thousands of Afghan refugees into Iran, putting pressure on its already strained resources, contribute to preventing "war" in Iran when economic war is already happening?

Someone clearly has limited thinking and I can tell it's neither me nor any of the other MoA posters who bother to reply to your comments. There are many kinds of warfare, all of them serious in how they affect the populations they target, and the US will use any and all forms that it thinks will give it the greatest advantage and crush the targeted country.

Posted by: Jen | Feb 26 2021 9:31 utc | 135

whatissowrong | Feb 26 2021 7:40 utc | 134

If you think we are in not in a position to judge the Taliban for their treatment of women...that the Taliban could be considered liberators of women with a change of perspective...then I don't have the starting point for a discussion with you.

too bad. it would seem that your mind is made up and you are here only to change other's.

frankly I have never seen this blog as being pro anything. most here do not like war in any of its forms, regardless of the country or people it is directed against.

I think it is all quite simple in the end, aside from some random acts of kindness, no one does anything without a reward. What you see as an act of generosity toward the women of Afghanistan, whose men need to be subjugated to foreign rule in order to put off an attack on another country seems a bit far fetched.

control of resources is very important. we all practice it, you don't leave your wallet outside and you take care of your belongings. this grows in importance with the value each possession has. You might take extra special care of a gold watch or diamond bracelet. Along that line large corporations with billions in revenue might view things like access to rare minerals or even petroleum as necessary for profit and wish to safeguard or even acquire by other means those resources. these are sometimes referred to as vital national interests.

debsisdead tried to make a point earlier about our constant outrage at all this unfairness. I believe it is overwhelming and the only ones who would have the stamina and drive to actually make change are ones running the show now. Who would risk life and limb to take away fantastic profits from others without any gain for himself? Furthermore, with the corporate owned press, this person would be portrayed as an international terrorist and be despised by the vast majority of the public.

I come here to learn. it is much like watching sports and hearing informed commentary. There are many things going on behind the scenes that are never covered on teevee. Here we can go outside the overton window.

I wish you well.

Posted by: dan of steele | Feb 26 2021 11:07 utc | 136

whatissowrong @ 128

I don't understand why you give the Taliban the benefit of a doubt. Why do you think they will change in their behavior towards women when they were oppressive in the past

Because they say so...

I am confident that, liberated from foreign domination and interference, we together will find a way to build an Islamic system in which all Afghans have equal rights, where the rights of women that are granted by Islam — from the right to education to the right to work — are protected, and where merit is the basis for equal opportunity (Sirajuddin Haqqani, deputy leader of the Taliban)

When the social order in an ancient country like Afghanistan is politically disturbed by outside forces, resulting in 40 years of war and abject poverty, be sure it's gonna take some time to set things right, but the Pashtuns in Bill Podlich's photos from the 1960s are the same endemic folks (and folkways) there today.

Posted by: john | Feb 26 2021 11:37 utc | 137

you folks are wasting your time with this person.. that is as clear as day at this point...

Posted by: james | Feb 26 2021 17:57 utc | 138

@ john | Feb 26 2021 11:37 utc | 138 - those are great photos in your link.. thanks!

Posted by: james | Feb 26 2021 19:50 utc | 139

Afghanistan reminds me more and more of Vietnam. Just like in South Vietnam you have a government that seems too corrupt and too remote from the population to be able to do the kind of mobilization and policy changes that are needed to fight the insurgency.

Posted by: Wim | Feb 28 2021 19:52 utc | 140

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