Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 06, 2021

Afghanistan - U.S. Sneaks Out At Night - Taliban Take Multiple Districts Per Day

This is awkward:

The U.S. left Afghanistan’s Bagram Airfield after nearly 20 years by shutting off the electricity and slipping away in the night without notifying the base’s new Afghan commander, who discovered the Americans’ departure more than two hours after they left, Afghan military officials said.
...
“We (heard) some rumor that the Americans had left Bagram ... and finally by seven o’clock in the morning, we understood that it was confirmed that they had already left Bagram,” Gen. Mir Asadullah Kohistani, Bagram’s new commander said.
...
Before the Afghan army could take control of the airfield about an hour’s drive from the Afghan capital Kabul, it was invaded by a small army of looters, who ransacked barrack after barrack and rummaged through giant storage tents before being evicted, according to Afghan military officials.

“At first we thought maybe they were Taliban,” said Abdul Raouf, a soldier of 10 years. He said the the U.S. called from the Kabul airport and said “we are here at the airport in Kabul.”

There is video from the empty base. Hundreds of cars were left behind. The network equipment in the headquarter was ripped out but the base hospital seems to have been left intact. There are even some useful medical supplies stocked there.

Meanwhile the Taliban continue their blitz operation to take over the country. They snatch up district after district especially in the north.


Source: Long War Journal - bigger

I had noticed that two weeks ago:

Remarkably a lot of the districts the Taliban took were not in primarily Pashtun regions but in the north where the population is often Uzbek, Tajik or from other ethnic minorities. Before the U.S. invasion those populations were often anti-Taliban.

The Taliban have probably some 3-4,000 fighters in the north-eastern Badakhshan province but they managed to take 90% of it in just 4 days, 14 of its districts fell in the last 48 hours. Some 1,500 Afghan government soldiers stationed there have fled to Tajikistan. The province capital Faizabad is now isolated and the only place that is still under government control.


bigger

Something is quite curious with this. Badakhshan was a stronghold of the Northern Alliance which in the late 1990s fought against the Taliban. It is the home of the Jamiat-e Islami party which consists mostly of ethnic Tajiks and has its own militia. The leader of Jamiat-e Islami is Salahuddin Rabbani who is now also the chair of the government's Afghan High Peace Council which negotiates with the Taliban.

The mountainous province has 1 million inhabitants. But here are 4 Taliban showing up in a car in the remote Wakhan district. They are not opposed by local militia but are welcomed by the local (male) population. 

It is inconceivable that a brigade size Taliban force can seize Badakhshan in a few days and at little cost without having a deal with the militia of the dominant local party. Something must have happened behind the curtains that the media is not aware of.

This is good news as a fast Taliban victory in the north will make a new civil war less likely. The neoconservative Long War Journal is aghast as it explains:

Afghanistan is at risk of complete collapse after the Taliban has made dramatic gains in recent days, striking at the heart of the Afghan government’s base of power in the north while seizing control of large areas of the country – often unopposed by government forces.
...
Much of the Taliban gains have occurred in the north. The importance of the Taliban’s northern thrust cannot be understated. The Taliban is taking the fight directly to the home of Afghanistan’s elite power brokers and government officials.

If the Taliban can deny Afghanistan’s government and its backers their base of power, Afghanistan is effectively lost. The government could not possibly keep its tenuous footholds in the south, east, west, and even in central Afghanistan if the north is lost. If the Afghan government loses the north, the Taliban could take the population centers in the south, east, and west without a fight, and begin its siege of Kabul.

I currently do not think that there will be a long 'siege of Kabul' but a negotiated transfer of power.

The events of the last weeks show a more or less controlled retreat or defeat of demoralized government forces and a systematic takeover of most of the countryside and district centers by well prepared Taliban forces. Only the bigger province capitals have not yet fallen though some think that Mazar i-Sharif, the capital of Balkh province, will fall tonight.

It seems that there is a willingness of at least certain parts of Afghanistan's current government to let the Taliban take over the country without much of a fight.

That gives me hope that a further long conflict will be avoided. After more than 42 years of war Afghanistan needs peace. While the Taliban rule is harsh it is also somewhat just and certainly less corrupt than the U.S. imposed structures. Afghanistan must be given time to find a new balance from which it can then develop in a way that fits the local circumstances and the local peoples' tradition and morality.

The last 42 years have shown that nothing else will work.

Posted by b on July 6, 2021 at 17:51 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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B you're dead on. The army is handing over well equipped and defended bases in the north without a fight. They're essentially transferring everything from the ANA to the Taliban in exchange for security guarantees and permission to run away with their loot.

Posted by: Cresty | Jul 6 2021 17:56 utc | 1

Well, I guess after 20 years of turning the corner (https://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/11/turning-the-corner-in-afghanistan.html), the Americans finally found the exit.

Posted by: Patrick Armstrong | Jul 6 2021 18:00 utc | 2

I know nothing of Afghan politics or power struggles.

But, I do believe the Taliban deserve most of the credit for US defeat there.

Why fight them? No one can doubt their resolve. They helped restore Afghanistan's sovereignty with their own blood for 20 years. They have earned their chance to lead the people.

As noted in the article, Taliban rule could be no worse than corrupt genocidal US policies.

Posted by: Mar man | Jul 6 2021 18:05 utc | 3

Afghanistan is where empires come to die.

One can only hope that this is proven to be correct once again.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jul 6 2021 18:36 utc | 4

That gives me hope that a further long conflict will be avoided. After more than 42 years of war Afghanistan needs peace. While the Taliban rule is harsh it is also somewhat just and certainly less corrupt than the U.S. imposed structures. Afghanistan must be given time to find a new balance from which it can then develop in a way that fits the local circumstances and the local peoples' tradition and morality.

I must agree with b as he's agreeing with my analysis. I have no idea how much influence is being provided by those outside Afghanistan, but all the national entities want Afghanistan to become stabilized and that can only occur with the ouster of all foreign forces and their terrorist allies. As Rashid wrote over 20 years ago, most Taliban are NOT terrorists--they were made into such by the Outlaw US Empire's invasion which labeled them as such when the reality was the opposite--the invaders were the real terrorists. Once political consolidation occurs, the big task becomes putting Afghanis to work improving their condition. IMO, that will also be the goal of most Afghanis after their multigenerational repression. Islam can be a very good vehicle for such a transformation as legitimate war can be waged on corruption and the opium trade, the latter being as simple as subsidizing demand for food crops to end Afghan's chronic malnutrition and building the infrastructure to promote such a policy. There's plenty of work needing to be done, and Afghanistan's development is key to the further development of every Central Asian nation, and all of them need development and the BRI/EAEU vehicles to make it happen.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 6 2021 18:40 utc | 5

I wont say "Soleimani's surprise" but I would assume adleast Iran and Pakistan have a lot of intelligence operatives in the field making all the contacts meet and negotiations work lot of stuff out. China too, via Pakistan, has a lot of interests in stable Afghanistan.

There is a lot of behind the curtain work here, US's departure was expected for years for anyone with half a brain.

Posted by: Abe | Jul 6 2021 18:42 utc | 6

Words are a funny thing, one could say 'consolidate' instead of 'collapse'.

Whatever happened to those 10,000 translators that the U.S. MSM assured us would be executed by the Taliban, did they get out of the country or were they abandoned? Our MSM bleated in unison that Assange is a monster who deserves our worst punishment because he named a few locals who assisted the U.S. It was never confirmed that any of them were harmed and he was not the first to name them but that's a quibble. If you said anything good about Assange or Manning, reporters would ominously intone, 'he betrayed U.S. operatives to a certain death'. But Uncle Joe Biden is subjecting 10,000 allies to the exact same danger and eh ... no big deal.

This confirms that the outrage against Assange was just for show.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 6 2021 18:47 utc | 7

Great SITREP as usual! Good signs indeed. So much for mid 2022 Taliban takeover. More like Q3,Q4 2021 max.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Jul 6 2021 18:49 utc | 8

Interesting to see that video b linked to of Taliban being welcomed by the local population. Would be curious to know what they were yelling out to the positive cheers of the locals.

The US bully (and its NATO gang) has inflicted so much suffering and corruption on the Afghan people for over four decades now - destroying the progress and society of two or three generations of people - for its own global hegemony goals and profits. All the Wahhabi/AQ/ISIS/Uighur extremism the world has seen since stems from the US habit of covertly fostering and using the worst elements.

Afghans have been exploited for too long by the US/neocons. I hope the Afghan people can now come together and find sovereignty, stability, peace, and a chance to resume their path of development after this 42-year tragedy.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Jul 6 2021 18:54 utc | 9

The Neocon's worst nightmare ... Chinese investment in Afghanistan instead of a military base 'in China's west flank and Russia's' southern flank to stop OBR'.

This was the smart thing to say on FOX news yesterday, I first heard this from Congressman Waltz, FL.
These people are psychopaths. All they care about is war and chaos. Do they ever listen to themselves or think about other people?

I bet these psycho's are already mapping out the economic sanctions to make it next to make it as hard as possible for the Taliban to stop Opium production. No UN programs for you!

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 6 2021 18:56 utc | 10

Afghanistan is where empires come to die.

One can only hope that this is proven to be correct once again.

I assume you're hoping for the Soviet's nine years and not Britain's 70-odd?

Posted by: porkpie | Jul 6 2021 18:57 utc | 11

>>though some think that Mazar i-Sharif, the capital of Balkh province, will fall tonight.

Mazar i-Sharif is populated with pro-government population, the insurgency levels in the city are very low. Several districts around it are not yet under Taliban control. Herat and Kabul are mostly pro-government cities too. These will be some of the last big cities to be taken by the Taliban.

Internal insurgency is currently the highest in Kunduz, Pol e Kumri, Farah, Ghazni, Pol e Alam, Maidan Shar, Qalat, Laskar Gar, Gardez, Mehtar Lam, Sar e Pol, etc.

Also Taliban themselves seem to be sparing the US the embarrassment and leaving the biggest cities for later, after September 11 2021. Now they are just working on surrounding them.

Posted by: Passer by | Jul 6 2021 19:02 utc | 12

@porkpie | Jul 6 2021 18:57 utc | 11

I assume you're hoping for the Soviet's nine years and not Britain's 70-odd?

The Soviets finally exited Afghanistan in 1989 and the USSR was dissolved in 1991, so to me that is less than 3 years. If this trend continues I guess the US empire should be gone by next week or so :-)

Posted by: Norwegian | Jul 6 2021 19:03 utc | 13

Probably owed back rent and left without paying...

Posted by: Dennis18 | Jul 6 2021 19:08 utc | 14

So that's what $6 trillion+ of war gets the West:
- Iran firmly in the Russia/China camp, and with a greatly increased presence in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon
- The Gulf Cooperation Council getting cozy with China
- The way being cleared for China investment in Afghanistan
- Much tighter integration of Russia and China
- The continued economic integration of China with ASEAN

Looks like Eurasia is winning, minus the increasingly decrepit archipelago known as Europe. The sheer incompetence and hubris of the Western elites is breathtaking. If they keep winning like this, together with the utter corruption and oligarchy of their economies, the Chinese can just sit there, eat their pop-corn, and enjoy the show.

Posted by: Roger | Jul 6 2021 19:17 utc | 15

Afghanistan is where empires come to die.One can only hope that this is proven to be correct once again.Posted by: Norwegian | Jul 6 2021 18:36 utc | 4

Let this be a warning to all looking forward in the 21st century.

Ristance is never futile. 

Karlof1? As b implies, this is an alliance of all Afghanis to oust Nato.

The Taliban can't really hold a population in rebellion either. I think a certain amount of autonomy in regions is the only way they can succeed.

They are like us. They being all the groups in the middle east. They find it hard to put their differences aside.

United against a common enemy. We see this in occupied Palestine these days.

Posted by: David G Horsman | Jul 6 2021 19:47 utc | 16

Apologies. *all groups in the middle east and asia.

Posted by: David G Horsman | Jul 6 2021 19:49 utc | 17

It seems reasonable that parties that have found themselves temporarily allied with the US coalition have tired of it, or see better prospects for their ultimate goals AFTER the US and friends leave. That's probably already been part of the success of the Taliban in non-traditionally Taliban regions/districts. The Taliban will have to govern knowing that a rebellion or rebellions could come at any moment. Expect some good cooperation at first, but at least a couple of major attempts at autonomy fairly soon after Taliban takeover. Alternatively, some type of autonomy is already part of the bargain.

Posted by: John Perry | Jul 6 2021 19:58 utc | 18

Passer by | Jul 6 2021 19:02 utc | 12
I totally support their right to feel that way but in the interest of preserving human life they should surrender.
They are overmatched.

Posted by: David G Horsman | Jul 6 2021 20:06 utc | 19

A complementary piece to this one from M. K. Bhadrakumar:
https://www.indianpunchline.com/a-hybrid-war-to-replace-afghan-forever-war/

Apparently the UK is floating the idea of "open-ended deployment of a contingent of elite special forces to Afghanistan", and the US is trying to get bases or facilities in Uzbekistan, ... Guess their forever war is just being repackaged - the US/UK are not done with their forever machinations.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Jul 6 2021 20:17 utc | 20

no pic, no news
Evacuating Dien Bien Phu, broad daylight :
https://youtu.be/eg2CLcx_O_o
Evacuating Da Nang, broad daylight :
https://youtu.be/36lLBbhnkZU

Evacuating Bagram, at night:
No more humiliating pictures

Music's over
Turn out the light
https://youtu.be/5CrktS5ldE4

Posted by: الجزائر‎ | Jul 6 2021 20:24 utc | 21

Two other important developments have occurred since Afghanistan's invasion by the Outlaw US Empire: Saudi funding of Wahhabi-Terrorist recruiting Madrassas has almost ceased; Pakistan's policy under Khan has also been altered; and it must be noted that the two were previously in lock-step, which was one of the main reasons behind Russia's Northern Alliance backing and its own battle against Islamic Extremism. I can't conceive Russia's vision for Afghanistan's future differing any from mine, b's or the barfly majority. But in the end it's up to Afghanis to act in their best interest. IMO, we'll soon see if they're capable of doing so.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 6 2021 20:25 utc | 22

Wish it was Ramstein instead of Bagram.

Posted by: Passerby | Jul 6 2021 20:48 utc | 23


re Afghanistan

Indigenous FOOD supply comes first in creating/developing a sovereign nation.!

Beneficial development shared by entire population depends completely on securing a national supply of FOOD.

Importation from outside immediately establishes foreign control of a nation ...whether used for god or evil, it will always be used for foreign intervention and corruption. The It is a very powerful lever, perhaps the most powerful.

Mid-1980s, worked for one of largest US rice consumers, thus paid some attention to "rice" matters. US was pressuring Japan to allow hi-volume import of US rice... [I will paraphrase the dialog between US and Japanese trade diplomats]...

US: our rice is consistently higher quality and and can be exported at well below price of Japanese home-grown that you admit it is heavily subsidized so your many small farmers can produce it.!

Japan: We acknowledge the clear benefits of importing US rice. But what would happen if i day our 2 nations have some important disagreement? Would not our dependence on FOOD imports act to squash our ability to negotiate fairly?

US: Ummm...well..err..ahh....

And that ended the trade talks at that time!

Posted by: chu teh | Jul 6 2021 21:03 utc | 24

Running away, without leaving a word to your allies, in the middle of the night, is more cowardly than leaving through the roof of an embassy in 1975 Saigon. What a glorious army! Good enough, only, to invade a tiny Granada?

Posted by: nietzsche1510 | Jul 6 2021 21:31 utc | 25

Amazing. And they aren't even vaccinated! How were they able to survive covid? lol

Posted by: goldhoarder | Jul 6 2021 21:55 utc | 26

Canadian Cents @Jul6 20:17 #20:

Apparently the UK is floating the idea of "open-ended deployment of a contingent of elite special forces to Afghanistan", and the US is trying to get bases or facilities in Uzbekistan, ... Guess their forever war is just being repackaged ...

You forgot about Turkey and ISIS.

HELL ON EARTH Afghanistan to become ‘terror battleground’ as ISIS and Taliban wage brutal war with beheadings, floggings & executions

<> <> <> <> <>

Apocalypse Now - Colonel Kurtz's monologue

It's impossible for words .. to describe .. what is necessary .. to those who do not know what horror means. Horror. 'Horror' has a face. And you must make a friend of 'horror'. 'Horror', and moral terror, are your fiends. If they are not, then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies.

... If I had ten divisions of those men [men capable of brutality] then our troubles here would be over very quickly.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 6 2021 22:04 utc | 27

This is geopolitically and prophetically significant although ignored by most prophecy scholars and assorted bible thumpers with a lot of knowledge but Zero understanding.

The AZE is Great Mystery Babylon aka the Harlot of Rev 17&18. The Scarlet Beast or Red Dragon rode by the Harlot, is Red Communist China. The 10 horns of the Red Dragon that hate the Harlot are:

1) Russia 2) Iran 3) North Korea 4) the Taliban’s Afghanistan 5) the Houthis’ Yemen 6) Syria 7) Hezbollah’s Lebanon 8) Shiites of Southern Iraq 9) Venezuela 10) Cuba

Rev 17:16  And the ten horns that you saw on The Beast will hate The Harlot and will make her desolate and naked and will devour her flesh and will burn her in fire.

The historical Babylon was defeated by the Medes and Persians ( from today’s Iran) as also narrated in the book of Daniel. But it was not destroyed. This time, the Medes (from Iran) and the Elamites ( from Southern Iraq) will destroy: Babylon, Saudi Arabia and Edom (the impostor Rothschild-stan entity in Palestine). This is explicit in Isaiah 13:17 and in Isaiah 21:2. see also all of chapter 22:6. It is also explicit in Jeremiah 51:11

The failed ISIS / IS “Arab Spring” invasion of the fertile crescent ( Syria) is prophesied in Psalm 83 and it had Edom heading it together with an alliance of Sunni Jihadis both Takfiri and Muslim Brotherhood.

The Gog / Magog invasion of Ezekiel 38 already happened thanks to Britain and General Allenby pre 1948 ) after Lord Balfour gifted the “land of rural villages (not cities) without Walls and without (defensive) Gates to Gog “Rothschild.”

Eze 38:11  And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages; I will go to them that are at rest, that dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates

Now you have a better chance to understand Biblical prophecy and anticipate the geopolitical significance of what is going on in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, Iran, North Korea, Russia and China versus the AZE.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Jul 6 2021 22:12 utc | 28

I disagree with the Taliban banning opium agriculture. Afghanistan petitioned to be a legal producer at the time of the UN rules implementation. It has long been the nation’s prime cash crop because it is not subject to spoilage and is generally grown in spring before vegetable crops are planted. What should be done is the Taliban (or any afghan government) should essentially nationalize it. Buy it all and process it into morphine in Afghanistan. Large parts of the world don’t have enough opioids for needed medicine. There is a market, the price farmers get (very low) for raw opium won’t change drastically and instead of the profits going to international drug traffickers and/or the CIA, the afghan government gets the value added money.

Posted by: Lex | Jul 6 2021 22:14 utc | 29

About the Bhadrakumar article that was mentioned. The idea that the US and its Nato hangers-on will somehow be able to play some kind of role and exert some kind of influence is far-fetched, and sounds like typical US wishcasting.

The information presented here [by our host] is quite telling, and seems to point that facts on the ground are quickly outstripping any 'contingency' plans that the delusional Washington may have. The manner of that mostly peaceful Taliban entry into the Northern non-Pashtun region seems very telling indeed.

As for the US getting a base in Tajikistan, I don't think that is realistic at all. This country is a member of the CSTO, Russia-led military alliance. Uzbekistan is not [although it was previously], but I very much doubt that they would seriously consider hosting a US, which has only backstabbed them in the past with attempted coups and such.

Besides, the Central Asian 'stans' know where their bread is buttered---and that is the Russia-China axis. Even Iran is moving closer into this orbit and has applied to join the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union. It has already been included in a free trade zone with the bloc and has seen a very welcome jump in trade with the stans and others.

Nobody needs the US in the region. And from what we can see in recent reports [especially here on this website] there seems to be already some kind of deal in place with a good part of the power brokers in Afghanistan.

This speaks to the diplomatic skill of the Taliban, something that B has picked up, but has eluded Bhadrakumar. These guys aren't dumb.

Probably Russia and China are active in the diplomatic back channels too. They would be very interested in seeing a peaceful transition government come in, where the Kabul claque is simply absorbed in some way without much friction.

This is exactly the opposite of what the US seems to be trying to do now, which is about trying to maintain a puppet government. That is just simply delusional is not going to happen.

I will add that I don't see how Bhadrakumar draws an analogy with Russia's work in Syria, with what the US is trying to do post-'withdrawal.' Sometimes he really throws up an airball, lol!

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 6 2021 22:16 utc | 30

Gordog is probably correct. It's wishful thinking by the Biden admin that it will keep a residual "counter-terrorism" force in Afghanistan, let alone a puppet government.

One of the leading western researchers on the Taliban, Gilles Dorronsoro, has long argued that the Taliban uses religious messaging to bridge the divides between ethnic groups in Afghanistan. So, the Taliban has been trying to be more than a Pashtun fighting force for a long time.

Furthermore, don't forget how awful the US-empowered warlords were after 2001 across the country.

Add in the total failure of aid and development projects, all of which were organized on a neoliberal model designed outside the country, and you will readily understand why the Taliban is making such rapid advances.


Posted by: Prof | Jul 6 2021 22:31 utc | 31

I recall that, during the acceleration of the collapse of South Vietnam, the Americans also sometimes left in the middle of the night, without warning to the Vietnamese collaborators whom they had recently promised to protect.

Posted by: Feral Finster | Jul 6 2021 23:07 utc | 32

Forfitting security deposit.

Posted by: jared | Jul 6 2021 23:38 utc | 33

I like Patrick Armstrong's comment @ 2 about the US Army having continuously "turned the corner" for the past 20 years. I wonder how the Americans managed to find "the exit"?

I hope the exit doesn't turn back into the circles the Americans have been going around in while "turning the corner" or turn into some other hapless country where US forces will be stuck for another 20 years "turning the corner".

Posted by: Jen | Jul 6 2021 23:40 utc | 34

Bad news for the "Geopoliticists":

China will not fall into ‘Afghan trap’ as other powers have bitterly learned

Posted by: vk | Jul 6 2021 23:51 utc | 35

How ISIS treats prisoners: murders then in gruesome ways on video.

How the Taliban treat prisoners: take down their names and then give them money to go home after surrendering their weapons and positions.

We can see which is the more effective approach.

Apparently the Ghani puppet child sex slaver Quisling warlord regime is arresting those soldiers who surrendered to the Taliban and were released to go home, and making them fight again.

This Twitter account gives regular updates on the latest situation in Afghanistan:

https://mobile.twitter.com/RisboLensky

If there is a deal with elements of the puppet child sex slaver Quisling warlord regime, it doesn't include Supreme Quislings like Ashraf Ghani and the war criminal Abdul Rashid Dostum, who's already fled to Turkey. Look to ex-puppet "president " Hamid Karzai, who's grown elements of a notochord after leaving office, if not a spine, and who has political influence in Kabul.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jul 6 2021 23:53 utc | 36

"Great SITREP as usual! Good signs indeed. So much for mid 2022 Taliban takeover. More like Q3,Q4 2021 max.

Posted by: DontBelieveEitherPr. | Jul 6 2021 18:49 utc | 8"


Right, the puppet child sex slaver Quisling warlord regime is imploding faster than I can cartoon about it!

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jul 6 2021 23:55 utc | 37

@ Posted by: Feral Finster | Jul 6 2021 23:07 utc | 32

South Vietnam was the most fucked up imaginary nation any empire in human history has ever created. It was completely artificial and, after the first three or four months of war, 40% of the population of "South Vietnam" had already gone to the North's side.

The original intended head of state of this so-called South Vietnam was the last monarch of Vietnam, and he was completely nuts. He was a catholic in a country where almost all the population is Buddhist, and that his eventual reign would a bloody dictatorship - if not for the fact he was so unbearable and crazy that the CIA itself killed him in order to put something more credible in place.

Only the extreme pressure from an USSR at its apex, at the height of the tensions of the Cold War, can explain why the USA created something like South Vietnam. It cannot be put as anything else as a blunder by American foreign policy and intelligence.

Posted by: vk | Jul 6 2021 23:56 utc | 38

"Mazar i-Sharif is populated with pro-government population, the insurgency levels in the city are very low. Several districts around it are not yet under Taliban control. Herat and Kabul are mostly pro-government cities too. These will be some of the last big cities to be taken by the Taliban."

The original success of Taliban was in the Pushtun areas where the local warlords were particularly obnoxious and rapacious. Long distance trade was conducted by Afghan truckers based in Pakistan, they had to pay "tolls" to every warlord on their routes, so they were interested in a more unitary government that would collect "tolls" in a predictable and justifiable manner. Thus an organization of religious students (this is the meaning of "Taliban") entered with arms purchased with the support of the truckers and they faced very unpopular warlords. But at that point there were a purely Pushtun movement, unpopular on Dari (Tajik) and Uzbek areas. From the distance, it looked that Dari and Uzbek warlords were perhaps locally capable but hopelessly divided.

But American overlordship allowed the progression of warlords around the country to regress to the hated status of Pushtun warlords from 1990-ties. I suspect that Taliban got converts it all Sunni groups, and decent relations with Badakshan area Ismailis. Shia area in the north-central Afghanistan is mapped "government control".

But this is misleading. Tajik strongmen tend to be Sunni and they did not treat Shia (Hazaras) and Ismailis well.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 6 2021 23:58 utc | 39

The Global Times article vk links @35 begins thusly:

"After the US withdraws from the region, Afghanistan will face many uncertainties. The country is very likely to fall back into war and become the headstream of regional and even global security problems. As an important neighbor of Afghanistan and a major country, China can't sit idle and keep itself out of Afghan affairs. Under such circumstances, it will be important how China makes its Afghanistan policy and plays a constructive role in Afghanistan without repeating the mistakes made by the former Soviet Union or the US." [My Emphasis]

Note the assumption used as the premise for which no evidence is offered. Given the great Chinese angst about unfounded accusations hurled at it, I'm somewhat surprised. The current Afghan situation looks like the Taliban will gain control and a new government will be formulated, likely with far less violence. In the third paragraph, we read:

"First, the geopolitical environment is different. Major powers fell into Afghanistan's 'trap' by accident. The US would not interfere in the country if terrorist groups did not provoke first." [My Emphasis]

That's one very huge howler and allows me to stop doing any further analysis of such trash. Indeed, that's the worst bit of writing I've ever read at that publication. I should ask the writer that based on that premise, then China must have terrorists otherwise the Outlaw US Empire wouldn't constantly meddle in its affairs. One could write an article about how China might become engaged in Afghanistan without the need for such silly and stupid premises.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 7 2021 0:13 utc | 40

@ vk | Jul 6 2021 23:56 utc | 38

The original intended head of state of this so-called South Vietnam was the last monarch of Vietnam,

That would be Emperor Bảo Đại.

and he was completely nuts.He was a catholic in a country where almost all the population is Buddhist, and that his eventual reign would a bloody dictatorship - if not for the fact he was so unbearable and crazy that the CIA itself killed him in order to put something more credible in place.

That would be Ngô Đình Diệm. Diệm was our puppet president and assassinated in 1963; Bảo Đại died in 1977 in Parisian exile.

Posted by: corvo | Jul 7 2021 0:23 utc | 41

Gordog @30, and Prof @31, I hope you're right about the US/UK/NATO no longer really having a chance in the region.

In fairness to Bhradakumar, I think he was kind of saying that too. That despite all the continued US/UK attempts:

"Will the US strategy of hybrid war work? A definitive answer will be possible only through August, given the variables at work. But the chances are rather bleak.

The humiliating defeat at the hands of the Taliban has created a profound credibility problem for the US in the region."

I also wondered about the Syria comparison at first, but I think he's just saying the US will now try to make do with fewer forces on the ground in Afghanistan - the way Russia has not had many forces on the ground in Syria - and rely more on air power and allied militias on the ground.

I do question his use of the term "regime" in writing "Assad regime" instead of "Assad government". Russia was able to help the legitimate Syrian government survive and become stronger without having lots of boots on the ground. The US/UK/NATO now hope to keep a puppet Afghan government in power with fewer actual boots on the ground.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Jul 7 2021 0:27 utc | 42

Ha Ha HA !

USA's Freedom Fighters Mujahideen Bin Laden -> Taliban -> Al-Qaeda -> "Terrorists" -> Victors who kicked the shit out of USA ! HA HA HA -

Hey G Wubya Bush- how did all that "smoke em out" go? You fucking NEOCON moron?

Now everyone chant along USA ! USA ! USA ! MISSION ACCOMPLISHED !

Scum USA is going down hard- Now for some GMO popcorn ! HA HA HA

Posted by: CitizenX | Jul 7 2021 0:44 utc | 43

thanks b.... canadian cents - thanks for the indian punchline article.. i was going to respond to @ gordog and prof too, but you beat it to it.. i honestly think the jig is up for the usa at this point.. they might be moving around with some other game plan coming soon, but at present it looks like poor planning and confusion on the surface..

Posted by: james | Jul 7 2021 1:24 utc | 44

@ Posted by: corvo | Jul 7 2021 0:23 utc | 41

Yeah, my mistake. Wrote from memory something I last studied some ten years ago and simplified the story.

Ngo Dinh Diem wasn't a royal, but he was from the royal court (and, if memory doesn't fail me, he was from a family of royal servants). If I'm not mistaken, he had monarchical ambitions when he was selected by the CIA to head the recently created South Vietnam.

Posted by: vk | Jul 7 2021 1:33 utc | 45

@ Canadian Cents: Yes, I do agree that Bhadrakumar does seem to come to his senses in the final analysis, lol!

But the US goal in Afghanistan is to keep the pot boiling---exactly opposite to what Russia is trying to do in Syria, which is stability.

@ Karlof: I do enjoy reading GT, mostly for the chuckles of seeing how sharp the Chinese rhetoric has become in punching back at all the US and British bullshit, lol!

But yeah, I agree this idea of expecting a lot of chaos doesn't seem to make much sense [neither in GT nor Bhadrakumar]. Of course, they are all probably just assuming that the US will be reverting to form and stirring up trouble, regardless of this 'pullout.'

I do think these predictions of doom and gloom may be overblown. Too many big players in the region want stability, not chaos [excepting the US of course]. Everybody seems to be saying it, but something entirely different may end up happening if things continue going as they are!

I also note that GT are saying that China WILL in fact be involved with Afghanistan, perhaps deeply, if we are reading between the lines here---just not militarily.

As an important neighbor of Afghanistan and a major country, China can't sit idle and keep itself out of Afghan affairs.

And again, a little further down:

China has the responsibility and obligation to contribute to world peace and stability. Afghanistan is China's neighbor.

If China does not participate in Afghan affairs, China can hardly establish itself as a responsible major power.

Certainly both Russia and China are very much for peace and stability in Afghanistan---and in other regions as well, for that matter.

I have to think that both are busy behind the scenes. Russia did host that peace conference just a couple of months ago, with the Taliban in attendance. I think this was a very visible signal, but knowing the sophistication of Russian diplomacy, I would have to think that there is much more going on under the visible tip of that iceberg.

And certainly Putin and Lavrov are coordinating closely with Xi and Yang.

Then there is Pakistan, a close ally of China, and who is also something of a sponsor of the Taliban. If China is saying it's not going to make the mistake of others by getting militarily involved, it doesn't mean that it might not mind if Pakistan threw its weight around a little, if needed.

But yeah, I have to give you that in terms of window dressing, this article does get a little cartoonish---ie the 9/11 thing, and then the stories of previous great power meddlers in Afghanistan, lol.

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 7 2021 2:02 utc | 46

Berhard- Please keep your eye on Turkey and its ongoing attempt to create an ever stronger alliance with Afghanistan's Turkic neighbors, including the lending to them of its military (e.g., to Azerbaijan against Armenia, and Kyrgistan against Tajikistan) and also to penetrate their markets for its products, given his economic troubles.

It could be also be viewed as an attempt by the West to use Turkey as NATO's (and the US's) forward position (including in Afghanistan) to destabilize Russia's and China's relations with their Central Asian neighbors. Rick Rozoff has some interesting reports and insights on Turkey's efforts.

My sense is that the Taliban will not accept Turkish presence, but Turkey could still do great damage with its massive drone force and it drone tactics.

Posted by: axel | Jul 7 2021 2:44 utc | 47

The U.S. is leaving Afghanistan to double down on Syria.

Posted by: Michael Smith | Jul 7 2021 2:58 utc | 48

@ 46 gordog... your posts are good and enjoyable to read! keep them coming.. thanks!

Posted by: james | Jul 7 2021 3:42 utc | 49

karlof1 @40

Maybe the Talibans have a problem with China. Surely they can't be too happy with what the Chinese are doing to their Sunni Uighur brothers. They'll take their seat at the UN and join in the general condemnation of China. The only pipeline from Afghanistan to China is gonna be one of radical islamists. I suspect the real reason the US are leaving is they know the Talibans and the Chinese are gonna be at each other's throat. Do we have enough popcorn to watch a 4th empire come crashing down Afghanistan?

Posted by: Robert Macaire | Jul 7 2021 3:54 utc | 50

The Afghan deck of cards is being reshuffled.

Who gets to deal? Who gets which cards?

Find out in the next episode.

Posted by: jiri | Jul 7 2021 3:55 utc | 51

Hopefully true. As seems to happen in some US attacks, they have unified the national support and professionalism of the US enemy. Alternatives are total chaos or stupidly corrupt client state.

Posted by: Charles Peterson | Jul 7 2021 4:02 utc | 52

We will soon see the triumphant return of the Burka.
There is no shortcut to democracy. It will take whatever time is needed to come naturally.

Posted by: Virgile | Jul 7 2021 4:06 utc | 53

Virgile@53:

The burqa never left. Nothing happened to better the lot of the average Afghan woman in the last 20 years.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Jul 7 2021 4:11 utc | 54

I am interested in why some people accept the US accusations of genocide in Xanjiang, while other people find them completely unbelievable. Here is an article by a Pakistani Muslim explaining why, although he originally believed the accusations, he eventually decided they were not true.

https://ghazanfarsultan.medium.com/a-muslims-perspective-on-the-uyghur-narrative-6da0dfb1391e

Posted by: Fnord13 | Jul 7 2021 4:28 utc | 55

The Anglo-Americans are only withdrawing their "official" imperial stormtroopers.

They will attempt to rely more on special forces, spooks, and "private" mercenaries in order to advance their true agenda: fomenting chaos, balkanization, and terrorism throughout Eurasia--particularly against Russia, China, and Iran.

Biden isn’t ending the Afghanistan War, he’s privatizing it: Special Forces, Pentagon contractors, intelligence operatives will remain
https://thegrayzone.com/2021/04/16/biden-afghanistan-war-privatizing-contractors/

The American Evil Empire, as Pepe Escobar once stated, is fundamentally an Empire of Chaos.

The Anglo-Americans thus specialize in arming and sponsoring jihadi terrorists around the world--even as they claim to be leading the entire world in a (fake) War on Terrorism.

The Anglo-Americans have armed and sponsored the Al-Queda-connected Kosovo Liberation Army against Serbia.

The Anglo-Americans have armed and sponsored the Al-Queda-connected Libyan Islamic Fighting Group against Libya.

The Anglo-Americans have armed and sponsored the Al-Queda affiliate, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, against Syria.

The Anglo-Americans have armed and sponsored Chechen jihadi terrorists against Russia.

The Anglo-Americans have armed and sponsored Uighur jihadi terrorists against China.

I am starting to see a pattern here....

In short, the Anglo-Americans are the world's leading terrorist nations. Terrorism is intrinsic to the Anglo-American political and cultural DNA.

Terrorism is who the fuck they are.

This is a reality that the hordes of flag-waving, "Support the Troops", Good Americans simply cannot accept, as it would irrevocably shatter America's founding national deceptions of being the Land of the Free.

What's more, it would raise very uncomfortable questions about the American Reichstag Fire event (AKA the 9-11 "terrorist" attacks)--which marks its 20th anniversary this year.

Who knows? There just may be an "anniversary gift" delivered to America to celebrate this auspicious event.

As Malcolm X once said about the JFK assassination, America will learn that Terrorists Do Come Home to Roost.

How Washington is positioning Syrian Al-Qaeda’s founder as its ‘asset’
https://thegrayzone.com/2021/06/09/washington-positioning-syrian-al-qaeda-mohammad-jolani-asset/

Posted by: ak74 | Jul 7 2021 6:33 utc | 56

OT, but not really:

Been working on why banks want to hold Treasury paper and relinquish cash... re the recent/ongoing huge RevRepo numbers [.gov sucking in cash and pushing out Treasuries].

Uh oh! In the past, there was a time when the USD was convertible to gold, while Treasuries were NOT. Hmmm...

In some approaching crisis/financial reset might the situation occur wherein the new rule was Treasuries [bills,bonds] would be convertible[to ?] while USDollars were not? The Fed banks/proxies/bedfellows would have to be "prepared in advance" for the changeover, no?

Just asking for a pensioner friend.

Posted by: chu teh | Jul 7 2021 7:09 utc | 57

The Afghan military is nearly completely infiltrated by the Taliban. In the last years US-Afghan military operations were regularly "leaked" to the Taliban as soon as the Afghan military learned about the plans. That's most probably the reason why they US military didn't tell them about their retreat frim Bagram in advance.

The army of looters had been quicker than the Afghan military - which is very telling - but at least it hadn't been only looters and not an army of the Taliban that had taken over Bagram before the Afghan commander even realised what was going on.

Posted by: m | Jul 7 2021 7:12 utc | 58

Roger @15:

Yeah we'll enjoy the show, but we eat watermelon, pumpkin, or sunflower seeds, not popcorn.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jul 7 2021 7:35 utc | 59

John Perry @18:

Used to be temporarily allying with US coalition got them goodies--money, weaponry, economic aids, etc. But what do people get these days? Uncle Sam can't even keep up printing enough money to feed its own junkies. This much reality Middle East and Asian flunkies are smart enough to see.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Jul 7 2021 7:47 utc | 60

The latest in the long line of ignominious, scuttling defeats inflicted by much lighter opponents on 'the greatest military in the history of the world'. Hah!

Posted by: Rhisiart Gwilym | Jul 7 2021 8:06 utc | 61

corvo | Jul 7 2021 0:23 utc | 41
Yes, Mr. Corvo.

Also helpful to know the division of Vietnam began at WW2 Potsdam Conference July 1945...

when [unknown to Stalin "bec he was not involved w Vietnam"] Lord Mountbatten had arranged for the idea to be proposed for HSTruman's agreement, that Vietnam be divided just above Danang "only for the purpose of" the Japanese occupiers surrendering in the South to the British [who had yet no presence in Vn!] and in the North surrendering to Chiang's KMT Generals who would come down from neighboring China.

HST agreed to the division "only for the purpose..."

Whereupon Gen. Gracey [under Mountbatten] asked ever so sweetly to local leaders in Saigon if they would accept a small British force to land "just for the purpose of...".

US journalist Ed Snow was there and [he later wrote] warned of a nasty trick. But the local leaders agreed to accept Gracey coming over from Burma "just to...".

And North of Danang, came the KMT down to Hanoi just after Ho delivered his Vietnam Independence Day speech partly copied from American Decl. Of Inde.

I.e., the plans for what followed were laid well before the end of WW2.

[Brit did a huge! favor for France that enabled the French to return as occupiers! Did for nothing? Oh, no! The brit got a promise worth a greater fortune...I am darn sure of it!...it yet involves at least 2 more nations... Complicated, but simple for a Mountbatten to fit up...and at a level where no docs need exist...just win-win-win-win... with no need to write anything down...ever. It can never be proven...just obvious like "Does a bear shti in the woods?"]

Posted by: chu teh | Jul 7 2021 8:13 utc | 62

The Taliban apparatus and controls are based in Doha, Qatar, not very far from there is the sprawling Al Udeid Air Base, largest US base in that part of the world, the whole things is a circus, Taliban don't make gun or even bullets , some one gives them, they have offices in UAE and Saudi Arabia, it was Iranian Revolutionary Guards that helped Americans to Take key cities in the North(Herat, Mazar Shareef), and Bush paid the gratitude by calling them axis of evil, this a farce , one can be sure these poppet masters do their home work and plan well, putting back Taliban in business is part of the long term game! Enjoy posting critical claptrap, but spare the thought for the suffering of ordinary people, in Iraq Libya Syria and now more murder and mayhem in Afghanistan!

Posted by: Grishka | Jul 7 2021 9:02 utc | 63

50 Robert Macaire
I do not know whether that is your wishful thinking or only complete ignorance of the situation, be it that one in Afghanistan, or that one of the Uighurs. You seem to believe the propaganda shit of US and NATO about Xinjiang. The Taliban most probably do not. So doesn't the majority of Muslim countries which by itself is telling.

If the Taliban succeed in establishing a stable state after ejecting the puppet regime and foreign mercenaries they can count on Chinese support in rebuilding and extending infrastructure and establishing trade and traffic roads, thus improving the livelihood of Afghans. There are few reasons to believe the Taliban could be abused for aggression and infiltration in China. We shall see.

Posted by: aquadraht | Jul 7 2021 10:15 utc | 64

Return of the Jeddaïburka
@ m | Jul 7 2021 7:12 utc | 58


The Afghan military is nearly completely infiltrated by the Taliban.

Isn't this quote a westerners bias?
Isn't The Afghan military is nearly completely infiltrated by "Afghans"?

And Afghanistan is just tired to be f**k off by empire(s).

The "biden's will"...
Warning about woman's freedom...

LOL
C'mon Man, grab your popcorn and enjoy the show...

Posted by: الجزائر‎ | Jul 7 2021 10:24 utc | 65

by: Cresty @ 1 =>
The army is handing over well equipped and defended bases in the north without a fight. They're essentially transferring everything from the ANA to the Taliban in exchange for security guarantees and permission to run away with their loot?


Abe @ 6, => There is a lot of behind the curtain work here,

Korlof1 @ 22 => Saudi funding of Wahhabi-Terrorist recruiting Madrassas has almost ceased; Pakistan's policy under Khan has also been altered; and it must be noted that the two were previously in lock-step


by Sun Tzu @ 28 =>The historical Babylon was defeated by the Medes and Persians ( from today’s Iran) as also narrated in the book of Daniel. But it was not destroyed. This time, the Medes (from Iran) and the Elamites ( from Southern Iraq) will destroy: Babylon, Saudi Arabia and Edom (the impostor Rothschild-stan entity in Palestine). This is explicit in Isaiah 13:17 and in Isaiah 21:2. see also all of chapter 22:6. It is also explicit in Jeremiah 51:11

Gordog @ 30 =>I don't see how Bhadrakumar draws an analogy with Russia's work in Syria, with what the US is trying to do post-'withdrawal.' Sometimes he really throws up an airball, lol!
..there seems to be already some kind of deal in place with a good part of the power brokers in Afghanistan

ak74 @ 56 => Biden isn’t ending the Afghanistan War, he’s privatizing it: Special Forces, Pentagon contractors, intelligence operatives will remain (i repeat your two well taken links, thanks)
remain and Washington's Syrian actions

by Chu teh @ 57 => In some approaching crisis/financial reset might the situation occur wherein the new rule was Treasuries [bills,bonds] would be convertible[to ?] while US Dollars were not? The Fed banks/proxies/bedfellows would have to be "prepared in advance" for the changeover, no?

<= My take is the Yemen war is not going well, Troops moved from Iraq to Syria, and so on.. Erdogodan has moved one foot from Israel and NATO to Russia and China..

Biden classifies those who believe the government has overstepped its bounds, as Domestic terrorist and now the Taliban evacuation and apparent deal in Afghanistan?
any chance the Poppy fields in Afghanistan will reappear in the USA governed America? Something is up? If the events of the past few months are mapped to one picture will they reveal a global plan? Consolation seems to be in play: temperature and density make the difference between VFR blue sky weather, and murky, cloud covered, IFR weather.. Keep your eye on the temp dew point spread?

Have the Oligarchs decided to target the USA, pitting the rest of the world against the USA and its allies as the Oligarchs did when the Oligarchs took down the Ottoman empire to get the oil, when the Oligarchs took down Germany to eliminate production and know-how competition, when the oligarchs took down Iraq to prevent Iraq from organizing an independent oil cartel ..?

Humanity is about to be played for a sucker I feel. The lives and livelihoods of millions may now in play.
B's job in getting these events before this group is a service to mankind. Thank you B.

Posted by: snake | Jul 7 2021 10:34 utc | 66

Gordog @ 30

Re the possibility of US bases (“temporary”) in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, Israel Shamir

https://www.unz.com/ishamir/geneva-rendezvous/

claims that the Russians flatly rejected the request. Russian cooperation in facilitating the movement of personnel and materiel into Afghanistan was repaid by the stoking of secessionist tensions in the Caucasus.

Posted by: Cortes | Jul 7 2021 11:31 utc | 67

Do you think they'll get rid of the opium? Or take over the business? Or has the CIA arranged for managers?

Posted by: lizziedw | Jul 7 2021 12:07 utc | 68

It was the same during the exit from Iraq in 2011. They left at night, with no publicity exiting into Kuwait in dead silence. It's just unfortunate that they were allowed back three years later. Still I'm not convinced they'll be staying that long, for which remark I'm sure I will be attacked by all the "Evil Empire" bods.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jul 7 2021 13:25 utc | 69

That gives me hope that a further long conflict will be avoided. After more than 42 years of war Afghanistan needs peace. While the Taliban rule is harsh it is also somewhat just and certainly less corrupt than the U.S. imposed structures.

I would not be so complacent. The seizure of the territory of Afghanistan by the Taliban is a direct threat to the security of the surrounding countries, including Russia. Let me remind that the Taliban is recognized as a banned terrorist organization in the Russian Federation. A radical Islamic caliphate (the Taliban are radical Islamists) at your side is not the best neighborhood. This is a very big problem for the countries of the region, including Russia. From this point of view, the Americans acted wisely - by leaving Afghanistan, they created a serious headache for their existential enemy. This is a new challenge to the Russian leadership.

I'm interested in something else - who exactly is behind the Taliban movement. Funding, training, procurement, operations planning, etc. The Taliban's spectacular success cannot be coincidental. An analogy with Syria comes to mind: the success of the Syrian army in recapturing its own territory, effective military operations, loud victories, etc. - all this became possible not because the Syrian army is just "so good and talented", but because there was a powerful player behind it - Russia.
The question is who is behind the Taliban and what goals he pursues.

Posted by: alaff | Jul 7 2021 13:34 utc | 70

FOX News has a fifth column

I am enjoying FOX's knack of showing rather embarrassing video footage during their hysterical coverage of our withdrawal from Afghanistan.

1st segment: Bill Bennett and other like minded warning of all of the vacuum when U.S. withdraws ... FOX video shows U.S. infantry with hi-tech gear securing Poppy fiels

2nd segment: Hegseth and guest Robert O'Neil discussing savage Taliban and horrors about to befall Afghanistan as it falls to the Taliban ... FOX video shows Afghan soldiers surrendering and embracing Taliban soldiers.
Shrewd O'Neil did recover and say words to the effect that the Afghans were being tricked by the Taliban.

Are these video clips intentional or accidental? I don't know but they are great, I just don't know if the average FOX viewer is sentient enough to notice.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 7 2021 14:06 utc | 71

Posted by: chu teh | Jul 7 2021 8:13 utc | 62

Well, you have to understand that they have been doing this for centuries now, colonizing and exploiting. They will indeed screw each other, have wars and disputes, and do favors, like any gangs do, but what they all agree on is the continued need for their exploitation of the rest of us, and thus to keep everydody else down. And if you aren't part of one of the gangs, you are always on the menu.

Tribal, really.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 7 2021 14:07 utc | 72

ak74 @ 56 (and others)

US paid mercenaries may remain a good long while. However. When in a tight spot they won’t be able to call in an air strike. Their private air assets will not have well serviced airfields available. They won’t be able to go to the PX. So they will do less and less. Probably a whole lot less immediately.

What they will do is continue to feed at the trough. Full pay for virtual killers. Pretending to kill bad guys while parked at the bar thousands of miles away. It has long been possible to feed media consumers any BS at all about Afghanistan. Who is going to check?

Posted by: oldhippie | Jul 7 2021 14:07 utc | 73

Something must have happened behind the curtains that the media is not aware of.

Well, naturally, the world's greatest peacemakers have not been sitting on their hands the last several months. I can see the hidden hand of Russian mediators, cajoling and persuading power brokers in the Afghan government to find a peaceful and productive environment for the inevitable handover to the Taliban. Maybe even a coalition government of national unity (minus holdouts) has already been agreed, who knows. The 4 Taliban officials arriving in Wakan might reflect an agreement leaving real local power in Badakhshan in exchange for a peaceful and orderly handover of central government.

Even in the big cities like Kabul, it might be that some of Ghani's key personnel have already agreed to a new structure, and will quietly transfer the keys to the city gates once the siege starts for the final lap, leaving Ghani unprepared. Pure speculation in this case, we shall see. In any case Russian mediation and planning central to the outcome is a given.

Russia naturally will be rewarded with good relations and strategic influence with the Taliban, and the chance to neutralise any threats that the Taliban might otherwise represent.

Posted by: BM | Jul 7 2021 14:08 utc | 74

US paid mercenaries may remain a good long while. However.
Posted by: oldhippie | Jul 7 2021 14:07 utc | 74

If my reading is correct at #75, the US mercenaries will not have a chance, and will be quickly turfed out. I hope so anyway, but we shall see.

Posted by: BM | Jul 7 2021 14:13 utc | 75

karlof1 @22:

"...I can't conceive Russia's vision for Afghanistan's future differing any from mine, b's or the barfly majority. But in the end it's up to Afghanis to act in their best interest. IMO, we'll soon see if they're capable of doing so."

Thank you, karlof, and I would predict for them a bright future ahead, surrounded now as they are by nations of a similar mind and purpose. India's a bit of a problem, but maybe they can help get Kashmir sorted out as well. (My father was in the region with the UN when a mess was made of the partitions back in the day. Beautiful, beautiful country!)

I felt, however, a different impact from reading your quoted passage. That is, will some day others make a similar comment as the US itself is finally freed from bondage? Will our rulers also scurry hence at night, hopefully to be forever gone? There are not many places left for them to go, but they are after all a comparatively tiny group - probably best for me to cede my native land to them. It's a benign enough prison; they should be happy there. Only the sea's a bit of a menace when you consider that no habitation is more than 50 miles from an eroding coastline and the country is at the far edge of the Pacific rim of fire. They will have to come to terms with the Maori; that will profit them more than any remnants of wealth in their carpetbags; I don't think that will be easy, far from it.

But it's a big ocean, and after all it has been called Pacific. No belts or roads to have to bother with. Yes, we'd better send them there. Sort of a grand experiment in socialization - that would be fun to watch.

Posted by: juliania | Jul 7 2021 14:36 utc | 76

Posted by: lizziedw | Jul 7 2021 12:07 utc | 69


Do you think they'll get rid of the opium?

My prediction:

We will be watching footage of the poppy fields burning before the year is done.

Count on it.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Jul 7 2021 15:38 utc | 77

juliania @77--

Thanks for your reply! Much of Central Asia share the same development status and would benefit greatly from the integration plans developed by a Central Asian, Nursultan Nazarbayev, who first proposed the EAEU idea and who hosted Xi when he announced China's BRI from Kazakhstan. If the canal ever gets built across Iran connecting the Caspian with the world ocean, all Central Asian nations stand to greatly benefit from that new transport corridor. Peace will bring the needed stability which will require lots of jobs to establish deeply.

Pepe Escobar updates us on the rapidly changing situation, its title gives away its content, "A Saigon moment in the Hindu Kush":

"Their [Taliban] new tactical approach works like a dream. First, there’s a direct appeal to soldiers of the Afghan National Army (ANA) to surrender. Negotiations are smooth and deals fulfilled. Soldiers in the low thousands have already joined the Taliban without a single shot fired.

"Mapmakers cannot upload updates fast enough. This is fast becoming a textbook case of the collapse of a 21st-century central government.

"The Taliban are fast advancing in western Vardak, easily capturing ANA bases. That is the prequel for an assault on Maidan Shar, the provincial capital. If they gain control of Vardak, then they will be literally at the gates of Kabul."

As for Tajikistan and its fabulous mountains, the Taliban say have no fear:

"The Taliban, for their part, officially declared that the border is safe and they have no intention of invading Tajik territory. Earlier this week even the Kremlin cryptically announced that Moscow does not plan to send troops to Afghanistan."

Apparently, we'll need to await an announcement toward the end of July:

"A cliffhanger is set for the end of July, as the Taliban announced they will submit a written peace proposal to Kabul. A strong possibility is that it may amount to an intimation for Kabul to surrender and transfer full control of the country."

That's precisely what I anticipate as in three weeks given the current rate of progress the Taliban will control over 90% of the nation. Pepe discusses the Outlaw US Empire plans; the CIA's heroin ratline; how the neighbors stand; and crucially, Pepe outlines China's analysis and its plans:

"China is now picking up where the USSR left. Beijing, in close contact with the Taliban since early 2020, essentially wants to extend the $62 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) – one of the Belt and Road Initiative flagship projects – to Afghanistan.

"The first, crucial step will be the construction of the Kabul-Peshawar motorway – through the Khyber Pass and the current border at Torkham. That will mean Afghanistan de facto becoming part of CPEC."

Pepe cites and links to this overlooked news report about the June meeting between the foreign ministers of Pakistan, China, and Afghanistan which produced the following statements:

"'China and Pakistan reiterate their strong support for the peaceful recovery of Afghanistan and stand ready to expand economic and trade exchanges with Afghanistan and help Afghanistan expand its opportunities for independent development', the Chinese foreign ministry said....

"'The sides ... expect and welcome the early return of the Taliban to the political life of Afghanistan. The parties confirm that they do not support the creation of any government of Afghanistan with the help of armed force, they support that Afghanistan becomes an independent, sovereign, secure state', the statement read.

"The ministers added that the internal conflict in the Central Asian country should be settled through negotiations, calling on all parties to declare 'a complete ceasefire, put an end to senseless violence and create the necessary environment for negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban' as soon as possible."

Looks like we're about to arrive at that "as soon as possible" moment. Pepe continues:

"The Chinese gameplay is clear: the Americans should not be able to exert influence over the new Kabul arrangement. It’s all about the strategic Afghan importance for Belt and Road – and that is intertwined with discussions inside the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), incidentally founded 20 years ago, and which for years has advocated for an “Asian solution” for the Afghan drama.

"The discussions inside the SCO regard the NATO projection of the new Afghanistan as a jihadi paradise controlled by Islamabad as not more than wishful thinking nonsense.

"It will be fascinating to watch how China, Pakistan, Iran, Russia and even India will fill the vacuum in the post-Forever Wars era in Afghanistan. It’s very important to remember that all these actors, plus the Central Asians, are full SCO members (or observers, in the case of Iran)."

Pepe confirms a point I've speculated upon:

"What’s certain is that Russia will take the Taliban off its list of terrorist outfits."

I'll leave the rest for barflies to read at the link as it's not behind any paywall.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 7 2021 15:56 utc | 78

I wonder if they remembered to take down the last American flag , or were they just counting their money from all their easy tours that they got away with. The dope money alone paid for - everything - Everything except for paying back the taxpayer !

Posted by: GMC | Jul 7 2021 16:16 utc | 79

@ alaff | Jul 7 2021 13:34 utc | 71

"The question is who is behind the Taliban and what goals he pursues." it's a good question.. i am sure russia has an idea too.. i want to say pakistan, ksa and uae - countries like that, although someone up thread emphasized qatar... i am not sure how much the taliban is driven by religious ideology, but it looks like a good chunk of it is... if that is correct, then any of these countries might qualify... i would like to say the usa is behind it which sounds odd, but they have been able to justify their involvement because of taliban, just like the usa justified its involvement in syria because of isis... my take is usa-israel-ksa were responsible for isis - created it... so, it is possible it is a confluence of interests that have helped create and support the taliban for a few different reasons..

Posted by: james | Jul 7 2021 16:29 utc | 80

Most reports I'm reading say there's very little resistance/violence happening as the Taliban advances everywhere as no one wants to be the last person to die for a lost cause, which contradicts this and similar news reports:

"Afghanistan is witnessing a surge in violence as international troops are gradually being withdrawn from the country....

"The diplomat went on to say that in order to achieve peace in the country at last, the international community should pressure the Taliban* to make a political decision, end violence, and engage in a constructive dialogue with Kabul."

Back in February, the head NATO Terrorist Stoltenberg made this ridiculous demand:

"'We see that there is still a need for the Taliban to do more when it comes to delivering on their commitments ... to make sure that they break old ties with international terrorists,' Stoltenberg said."

The only "international terrorists" present within Afghanistan are NATO and its Terrorist Foreign Legion, and it's the current Afghan government that must break its ties to them, not the other way round.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 7 2021 16:38 utc | 81

James, thanks kindly for your warm words!

Man, a lot of good discussion here!

Going back to Karlof @ 22 who notes that Islamist extremism seems to be a force that is waning:

'Saudi funding of Wahhabi-Terrorist recruiting Madrassas has almost ceased; Pakistan's policy under Khan has also been altered; and it must be noted that the two were previously in lock-step...'

Indeed, and commenter AK74 gives a clue @ 56, listing just some of the many cases of western use of Islamist extremism and militancy over the decades, from Chechnya, to Syria, Kosovo etc:

'In short, the Anglo-Americans are the world's leading terrorist nations...

Terrorism is who the fuck they are.'

Well, all good things must end I suppose, lol---and I think we may be seeing that the imperialist deployment of Islamist terrorism as a useful [and powerful] geopolitical tool has possibly run its course!

This is why I don't place much stock in the idea that the Taliban is a 'mortal enemy' of Russia, much less China, as at least a couple of commenters here have posited.

It is a changing world. Things are much different on the radical Islamism front than they were even a decade ago---which btw, was when China was being racked with outside-sponsored Uighur terrorist violence on a quite disturbing scale [to name just one example, never mind Syria, Iraq etc].

If Karlof's intuition is correct, we may in fact be seeing nothing less than the endgame failure of the imperialist-sponsored global terror project! Very significant indeed!

They've been trying hard for 40 years, and now the inevitable failure and collapse seems to be at hand---just as the Red Army came a-knocking on a certain Austrian gefreiter's bunker door, back in the day.

One could, I suppose write a book about this subject [I hope someone does]. And the many small, but persistent pushback victories along the way, from the axis of resistance.

Russian pushback in the Caucasus and Syria; Chinese pushback in Xinjiang, Iranian pushback in West Asia, etc etc.

Plus the abject chaos resulting in places like Iraq and Libya, where even those willing to go along to get along [hello EU and Nato] have been shocked and awed with the unforeseen consequences of massive human migration, domestic extremism etc.

I think the world at large has mostly had it with going along with the 'war on of terror' narrative. At least the ordinary folks who choose to think.

Not to mention the consolidation of the resistance forces. Yes, Pakistan is now on board, firmly even, I would say.

Saudia appears to be looking 'outside the box' that it has been dutifully confining itself to. Maybe MBS is going to surprise all, especially Washington, which seems to be increasingly snappish towards towards the Petro-dollar kingdom, lol!

[I note in passing here the recent good reporting on this site on that corner of the world too.]

Bottom line: I think the world has already changed---and the Taliban of today is not necessarily the antagonist to major powers like Russia and China [I have to mention in particular one absurd comment here, where the Taliban is somehow posited as a mortal enemy to China and its efforts in Xinjiang].

The days when this might have been true was when that same US was sponsoring that same Taliban and its Al Qaeda and Mujahedin forebears! And using these and other terrorist forces against those same countries which we now refer to as the axis of resistance.

There is only so much inversion of truth that the professional liars of the Imperium can get away with. I think we have already passed that tipping point!

Bottom line is I agree with the commenters here who see a Taliban-led Afghanistan becoming a responsible player in the region---with the help and support of the major players, as well as the immediate neighbors.

Minor note: Afghanistan is already 'observer' status in the China-Russia-led SCO, which was founded as a security alliance whose major aim is to counter instability and terrorism in the region [naturally we know where that terrorism comes from, lol!].

If Russia and China are engaged diplomatically with the Taliban, which is a near certainty, and in fact possibly quite deeply, then the Taliban-led government's following on the road into the SCO is going to be a big part of the overall regional security architecture.

Again, as with MBS and Saudia, we may well be surprised to see that the Taliban are changing horses. [Erdogan is somewhat in this boat too, although in typical Turkic horsemanship, he seems to have mastered the skill of riding two horses at the same time, lol!]

The fact is that the Imperium is losing on all fronts. It is a visibly shrinking old man, who despite the grandiose talk of MAGA or 'America is Back' cannot change the fact that the rest of the world is getting bigger and steonger, while the old man is getting smaller and sicker, and increasingly bedeviled by all kinds of inevitable blowback.

Big problems ahead for the delusional disneylanders!

Of course that is not to say that they won't keep trying to make trouble, in Afghanistan, in Syria, Iraq, Iran and other places [Myanmar].

Only their punch is not nearly what it once was. And the counterpunches from the resistance seem to be landing hard and heavy! [See Al Asad airbase!]

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 7 2021 17:05 utc | 82

@ 79 karlof1 - Thank you for all of your insightful comments on MoA! And thank you for bringing up the example of Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan as a political leader in the tough neighborhood of Central Asia. Incidentally, a new film about Nazarbayev just had its premiere in Kazakhstan. Mr. Stone conducted interviews with Nazarbayev and his daughter, Dariga.
Here is a link to the trailer on YouTube.
QAZAQ

Thanks b, and all the super smart people who comment on here. I have learned so very much.
I hope a brighter future is on the horizon for the people of Afghanistan.


Posted by: lex talionis | Jul 7 2021 17:22 utc | 83

Gordog @83 & lex talionis @84--

Thanks for your replies! The QAZAQ film's been touted over the last several days by regulars at Escobar's VK Page, and I hope to find time to watch. At a presser in Laos, Lavrov was asked about the Afghan situation and made the following comment:

"We are closely monitoring the developments in Afghanistan, where the situation seems to be rapidly deteriorating, including in the context of the hasty pull-out of US and other NATO countries’ troops. During the decades they have been deployed there, they have not achieved any visible results in terms of stabilisation.

"The other day, President of Russia Vladimir Putin held telephone conversations with President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon and President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, and he also maintains contact with other Central Asian leaders. The obligations under the CSTO remain in force. Representatives of the CSTO Secretariat have visited the Tajik-Afghan border to take stock of the situation and will report their conclusions to the Permanent Council." [My Emphasis]

The biggest sea-change related to Afghanistan is Pakistan's position once Imran Khan became PM. He saw that the only road for Pakistan's advancement via the BRI was to change its Afghan policy and--crucially--its policies towards Saudi Arabia and the Outlaw US Empire and by extension Iran.

As for Myanmar, at every stop on Lavrov's ASEAN tour so far, Myanmar's been one of the main topics of discussion where he's insisted that the ASEAN's approach to dealing with be followed and to reject outside attempts to derail its method, which ultimately aims at undermining the entire group. Essentially, since Myanmar's an ASEAN member it will be protected by the ASEAN Charter's own R2P provisions that ought to keep the Outlaw US Empire sidelined and allow the processes of dialog and negotiation to arrive at a solution, which may take awhile but avoid the sort of destabilization aimed at by the Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 7 2021 18:05 utc | 84

" While the Taliban rule is harsh it is also somewhat just and certainly less corrupt than the U.S. imposed structures. Afghanistan must be given time to find a new balance from which it can then develop in a way that fits the local circumstances and the local peoples' tradition and morality.

The last 42 years have shown that nothing else will work."

The claim that the Afghan monarchy or its supposed secular replacement by the prince Daud worked is false.

The implicit claim that the Taliban is the same as it was twenty years ago is naive. The speed of its spread in the countryside suggests corrupt deals.

Collaborators are corrupt but they are not imposed to be corrupt: They are locals taking advantage of foreigners. The Taliban have had their foreign supporters too. Puppets are not really puppets, they always pull back on their (metaphorical) strings.

The general perspective that the oppression lies in the disregard for tradition and morality is extremely backward. First, tradition is never real, it is an imaginary justification for the way things are. Tradition always mutates to accommodate change, never the other way around. Second, generally, it is tradition and morality that are the ideological justifications for oppression. The idea that abolition of bride price or schooling for women really was a terrible oppression is unspeakable.

The case against the US occupation is possibly at its most compelling when you regard US support for Hekmatyar, the guy who liked to throw acid in girls' faces or warlords using baccha bazi: Those are also tradition and morality! Bombing women isn't supporting women's rights. Condemning US intervention for supporting womens' rights is ridiculous.

The case against US intervention is that it is reactionary, that it relies on indiscriminate fire, that it isn't peace. It's not even as invested in building Afghanistan as an outright colonial power would be. It has just treated Afghanistan as a theater of war and like Israel it has even refused to accept surrender. It is an atrocity. But it's not bad because it violates the Afghan peoples right to traditional morality. True morality requires for one thing, taking care of the kids. The US drones them. Enough said about the US.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 7 2021 18:19 utc | 85

The onion had it first tho
https://www.theonion.com/u-s-quietly-slips-out-of-afghanistan-in-dead-of-night-1819572778

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jul 7 2021 19:22 utc | 86

"The general perspective that the oppression lies in the disregard for tradition and morality is extremely backward. First, tradition is never real, it is an imaginary justification for the way things are. Tradition always mutates to accommodate change, never the other way around. Second, generally, it is tradition and morality that are the ideological justifications for oppression. The idea that abolition of bride price or schooling for women really was a terrible oppression is unspeakable."

Yes. Let's hope the war winds up soon. But b, your shift to blathering about tradition in a way that skates over the fate of women under the Taliban is shameful. Simply because the Taliban's oppression of women was turned into a major element of the US propaganda campaign doesn't make it a horror. Will you continue to whitewash this away as the bearded family tyrants advance?

Posted by: dadooronron | Jul 7 2021 20:00 utc | 87

The crypto establishment spokesthing goes into full hysteria mode again. Nobody is condemning US intervention for supporting women's rights for the simple fact that the US didn't intervene in Afghanistan to support women's rights. That was the Soviets. The US intervened to move the "Project for a New American Century" forward. If rights in Afghanistan were being supported by that it would be the warlords' rights, which tend to be exclusive of women's rights.

See how stupid this "woke" nonsense makes people? The fool thinks women's rights were part of the empire's agenda in Afghanistan!

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 7 2021 20:53 utc | 88

'But b, your shift to blathering about tradition in a way that skates over the fate of women under the Taliban is shameful.

Simply because the Taliban's oppression of women was turned into a major element of the US propaganda campaign doesn't make it a horror.

Will you continue to whitewash this away as the bearded family tyrants advance?'

Hmm, yes we have a deeply 'concerned' observer it would seem!

Others here have also commented about the 'return' of the burka etc...

So let's talk about this a little, starting with some Afghanistan history. This was the campus of Kabul University in the 1970s. Also this, this, and this.

Only problem was, there were also many deeply 'concerned' folks in the US at the time. Their 'concern' was not with those young coeds studying biology and wearing miniskirts. Their 'concern' was with the progressive socialist government in Kabul that made all that possible!

Their solution was to arm a lot of BEARDED FANATICS in the countryside with rifles, manpads and billions of bullets, so they could start a civil war and get rid of all of this evil, progressive socialism, where young women could become doctors, scientists and engineers...like say in Cuba! [Another area of very deep 'concern' for many Americans.]

Afghanistan was, and remains, mostly rural and agrarian---a type of society where tradition and religion is valued above modern notions of women's rights. There is nothing wrong with that in the context of village life. They settled upon this culture over many centuries of figuring out what works and what doesn't in their particular physical circumstance.

Wrongly or rightly, they are entitled to their CULTURE.

At the same time, in those progressive Afghan years, the cities were places where folks embraced a modern way of life---including girls in university and miniskirts.

Again, nothing wrong with that. It is their OWN particular culture.

All of these fundamental things are nicely stated in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, adopted by the UNGA in 1976.

Now some deeply 'concerned' individuals would do themselves a huge favor by carefully reading that fairly succinct, yet comprehensive document!

And then figure out which particular country has been TRAMPLING almost each and every one of these fundamental principles of human rights!

And also perhaps consider, which particular country, has been loudly preaching AT the rest of the world, about so-called 'human rights.'

The simple fact is that the modern, progressive era of Afghanistan was murdered in the crib by one particular country that appears deeply 'concerned' about human rights.

Were the traditionalist country folks happy with what was going on in the cities? No they were not. And they were entitled to live life in their villages in the way that they chose.

But these country folks were also NOT entitled to pick up arms and force their values on the city folks. Which is what the US intervention in Afghanistan, starting more than four decades ago engineered and enabled.

The simple fact is that ZERO progress has been made since the US physically occupied Afghanistan twenty years ago. In fact, it is patently obvious that NOTHING has been done to even attempt to return to a civilizational state that existed in the country in the socialist era.

Yet now, we have deeply 'concerned' folks once again showing their deep 'concern.'

Well, the simple reality is that Afghanistan will indeed have a long way to go if its city folks are to have the same freedoms and human rights that they enjoyed in the socialist era.

But we don't have a choice now. Eggs have been broken and we now have the Taliban omelette---thanks to none other than the US.

The best we can hope for is that the Taliban, which does represent the majority of the population [which is still rural and traditionalist] will simply evolve under the tutelage and guidance of the major players it chooses to partner with.

Those partners being China and Russia and others in the region. If the Taliban does become first and foremost a responsible player in terms of regional politics [which we have every indication to believe will be the case], then it would be a natural progression that there will evolve, sooner or later, more personal freedoms and women's rights and things like that. In short, repsecting the culture of the city folk!

That is the REALITY as of right now---call it a 'solution' for the time being.

And one must wonder aloud, what kind of 'solution' the deeply 'concerned' among us have in mind? Perhaps it involves more 'guidance' from the one country that is to blame for the entire situation to begin with. And which never actually showed any REAL concern.

Just pretend 'concern,' which is really getting a little transparent [and tiresome] at this point, lol!

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 7 2021 21:08 utc | 89

dadooronron@88 may be confused about who said what. What I said was, the US supported the traditionalists in its war, and never acted to help women. (I will add that the US had no problem with the Taliban themselves till issues over pipelines and banning opium arose after they were in power some years.) And, the US bombing people and droning them cannot serve any such alleged goal. The US has no moral authority in Afghanistan, not after the atrocities. It was b who advocated the return to tradition and "morality" as a positive good. The Afghan people have been battered, what they accept now is partly a product of US abuse. There is no reason to pretend that the Taliban are actually a good thing, as opposed to an Afghan thing. In my view, the Taliban are very much like what some of the opposition to Assad and the national secular government of Syria are like.

William Gruff@89 is typically wrong. It was our host who said the Taliban were good, because they were at the tradition and morality of the Afghan people. And it was I who pointed out that the warlords the US supported, like Gulbeddin Hekmatyar, were terrible offenders. As to whether some people really believe the US was ever motivated by women's rights (anybody's, really,) well, William Gruff is so delusional as to think that anyone who disagrees is a troll/intelligence operative/subversionist or whatever crazy, paranoid delusion William Gruff lives by. That's why when people like our host praise reversion to the proper tradition and morality, it is a terribly backward thing. The fact that US interventions as they have done them repeatedly cannot ever support women's rights (or anybody's really,) proves US governmental hypocrisy. I suspect that William Gruff, who is deluded enough to think US women deliberately deepen their voices to sound more manly, is more or less rabid on sexual matters and rather fancies the Taliban repressions on sexual morality.

Gordog@90 pretends to support the historical desire of many Afghans for a freer society, linking to reports about Kabul University. But insisting that "they" have a right to their culture belies that. That's the same support for the Taliban and backwardness in general the OP lapsed into. The women at Kabul University were "they," but Gordog inadvertently (I hope) denies them retroactively their rights to support progress, which means struggle.

As to the nonsense about being concerned? Of course people of good will should be concerned about assholes like the Taliban, who are still the spiritual kin of the same assholes the US armed to fight the PDPA and their Soviet allies. It's like being concerned about the victory of the Idlib jihadis over the national government in Syria, if such a thing were to happen. It's not clear to me that anyone is supporting US intervention, though. I've explicitly criticized that, for one. But the issue arose because the OP actually defended the backwardness of the Taliban! It's one thing to reject the atrocity of war against the Taliban. It's another to pretend they are the good guys, just because they are rural. The idea that cities are sinkpits of sin is really backward.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Jul 7 2021 21:56 utc | 90

Gordog @90--

That was very well done!! Like all Imperialist nations, there's no concern whatsoever for the subjugated, only concern for the tribute they're forced to provide to their jailers.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 7 2021 23:05 utc | 91

I suspect that over the past couple of decades the most fanatical Afghanis have offed themselves in Darwinian fashion removing the worst Talibans from the gene pool, those that remain are likely more circumspect and apparently have mastered a smattering of diplomacy even.

I also suspect that the Taliban look at IRAN as a role model, despite active efforts by the AZ and the shitty little country to exacerbate the natural Sunni/Shia antagonisms. In IRAN, the fundamentalists are in charge, and successfully stand up to the real Evil Empire, something Iraq has not yet achieved (but they are working on it).

After fifty or so years of constant strife, the Afghanis are probably fed up with war, and I think the Taliban have already convinced China, Russia, Pakistan and anyone who will listen that they are ready to put their energies in rebuilding their country rather than remain the puppets to Saudi wahhabi money and AZ empire machinations.

As others in this thread mentioned, the sea change was likely Pakistan - when Modi sided with the AZ empire, it became crystal clear to even the most dense in Islamabad that Pakistan's real future, as well as Afghanistan's, is with the BRI, particularly with China showing up with a pile of cash to improve infrastructure, and the Russians smoothing things out diplomatically.

We shall see...

Posted by: Simplicius | Jul 8 2021 0:47 utc | 92

Human Roids @93--

Oh they exist all right, just as traffic and contract laws exist. What makes them hard to enforce are attitudes from people like you who refuse to hold their governments to account, that have absolutely zero sense of Civic Responsibility or the Duties of the Citizen. In other words as Nader would say, you're civically illiterate, and instead choose to hide behind your pomposity.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 8 2021 1:10 utc | 93

Simplicius, thanks! Good summary.

Posted by: Gordog | Jul 8 2021 1:26 utc | 94

And thank you Gordog @90 for your lengthy takedown of the puerile posting by dadooronron and his rather obvious 'crocodile tears' bemoaning the fate of Afghan womanhood. It's astonishing that there are posters who still try to push such obviously debunked tropes this late in the game.

Posted by: thermobarbaric | Jul 8 2021 2:42 utc | 95

Pepe Escobar "A Saigon moment in the Hindu Kush" (link @79)

Quote 1:
"“Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski’s imperial counterpunch worked because it manipulated Afghan feudal lords and their regimentation capacity – bolstered by immense funds (CIA, Saudis, Pakistani intel) – to give the USSR its Vietnam. None of these feudal lords were interested in the abolition of poverty and economic development in Afghanistan."

Have those "feudal lords" changed their minds about economic development? Escobar doesn't say. He just breezily assumes the Talibans want it. Why do most people assume everybody wants economic development? That could just be a western materialistic bias. Has a pipeline ever brought anybody closer to Allah?

Quote 2:
"The key provision is that the special privilege to bomb Afghanistan whenever the Hegemon feels like it remains intact."

Why would the Chinese want to build anything that can be bombed overnight by the US? Are they like Camus' Sisyphus, happy to eternally redo what's been undone?

Posted by: Robert Macaire | Jul 8 2021 2:55 utc | 96

If and when the Taliban controls 100% of the country no Anglo private army is going to be able to do much of anything even with over the horizon air cover. The best they could do is cover the retreat from the embassy and the last strongholds in the final hours.

@ b
Something is quite curious with this.

Maybe some sort of deal was cut to get energy products and other resources out of the Stans to the coast with the region's players and with the Anglos getting the short end of the pipe on the back of the head.

The Empire has lost control and approaching a most dangerous state of affairs. I think they are starting to realize that a few carriers deployed here and there is now a useless exercise in wasting money.

They have to deal with the big boys now and not the likes of Grenada, Panama, and China minus a Navy like 25 years ago. Will they change their battlefield doctrines? Never.

Posted by: circumspect | Jul 8 2021 3:33 utc | 97

@ 90 gordog and @ 92 simplicius... thanks for your posts..

Posted by: james | Jul 8 2021 4:11 utc | 98

I guess the Turks want to keep that narcotics pipeline open by sending jihadists to protect the airport in Kabul. Obviously they were not in on the deal.
Turkey To Send Syrian Mercenaries To Afghanistan: Monitoring Group

Another fine piece of disinformation or fact?

Posted by: circumspect | Jul 8 2021 4:58 utc | 99

I say Amen.

Let the Afghans live their own lives. Let them sort out their own differences. Who are we to take sides?

The real question is whether Americans have learned anything about their endless overseas adventures. Or are they going to be ever willing to "go save those poor brown/yellow people from their evil leader"?

Posted by: Littlereddot | Jul 8 2021 5:44 utc | 100

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