Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 21, 2021

Afghanistan - The New 'Northern Alliance' Resistance Has Already Fallen Apart

Yesterday I explained why I assume that Britain is trying to incite a new 'Northern Alliance' insurgency against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

But as today evolved that project, just three days after it went public, is dead.

Yesterday the anti-Taliban Long War Journal claimed that the insurgents were already making progress:

The nascent resistance to the Taliban that has organized in Panjshir province has launched a counteroffensive against the Taliban and has taken control of four districts in two neighboring provinces.

The Panjshir resistance force, which is flying the flag of the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, took control of Dih Saleh, Andarab, and Puli Hisar districts in eastern Baghlan province, as well as Charikar in Parwan. The resistance is led by former Vice President and National Directorate of Security chief Amrullah Saleh [See FDD’s Long War Journal report, After fall of Kabul, resistance to Taliban emerges in Panjshir].

Anti-Taliban fighters “captured those [four] key districts and are threatening the Taliban’s control of the highway to the north,” a source within the resistance told FDD’s Long War Journal. They also claimed to take “all of Andarab back.”

The news from Afghanistan about that fight was murky and difficult to confirm. It seems that the insurgents shortly occupied one district center while there was inconclusive fighting around two others. About a dozen Taliban were said to be dead together with a number of insurgents. I would not trust any 'source within the resistance'. The Saleh/Massoud gang is already known for making implausible and exaggerated claims:

Gareth Browne @BrowneGareth - 17:05 UTC · Aug 19, 2021
Just spoke with Ahmad Massoud in Panjshir. He says 000s of Afghan soldiers, special forces, and 47 pilots have taken refuge in the Panjshir valley since last week, bringing with them 000s of humvees, 4 helicopters. Calling for international support. Story soon @TheNationalNews

Still the LWJ authors were cautiously optimistic:

While the Panjshir resistance’s odds remain long, if it is able to open a lifeline to neighboring countries and receive international support, it stands a chance to not only divert and disrupt Taliban operations but create a groundswell of interest that could lead to a larger campaign with more sustainable momentum.

That a connection to a neighboring country would help the insurgents is, in my opinion, a misperception. Russia and China would come down hard on, for example Uzbekistan, if it would allow its border to be used to support the insurgency. Every neighbor country of Afghanistan now has an interest in a united Afghanistan at peace. That is why any insurgency against the Taliban will have no chance.

The Russian ambassador to Afghanistan agrees:

Russia's ambassador to Afghanistan praised the conduct of the Taliban on Friday in the days since its takeover, saying there was no alternative to the hardline Islamist group and resistance to it would fail.
Russia wants to ensure that the instability in Afghanistan does not spill over into Central Asia, part of the former Soviet Union it regards as its own backyard, and that the region does not become a launch pad for other extreme Islamist groups.
Speaking to Reuters from Kabul by Zoom, Zhirnov said the security situation in the capital was much better than it was before the Taliban took control of it and spoke optimistically about the future.

"The mood in Kabul can be described as one of cautious hope," said Zhirnov.

"There was a bad regime which disappeared and people are hopeful. They say it can’t be worse so it should be better. But this is another test for the Taliban to pass. After they restore order, they should start improving the socio-economic situation," he said.
"We can’t wave reality aside. They (the Taliban) are the de-facto authorities. There is no alternative to the Taliban in Afghanistan," said Zhirnov.

The son of Ahmad Shah Massoud, one of the main leaders of Afghanistan's anti-Soviet resistance in the 1980s, has pledged to hold out against the Taliban from his stronghold in the Panjshir valley north of Kabul.

Afghan First Vice President Amrullah Saleh has also said he is in Afghanistan and the "legitimate caretaker president" after President Ashraf Ghani fled.

Zhirnov said Saleh's declaration violated the constitution and that Panjshir-based attempts to resist the Taliban were doomed.

"They have no military prospects. There are not many people there. As far as we know they have 7,000 armed people. And they already have problems with fuel. They tried to fly a helicopter but they have no petrol and no supplies," he said.

The tribal elders in Panjshir valley agreed with the ambassador that further fighting would mean doom. A few hours ago Pajhwok News reported (machine translation):

Ahmad Shah Massoud's son gives Panjshir leaders a plan to resolve issues with Taliban

KABUL (Pajhwok): Ahmad Masood, the son of Ahmad Shah Massoud, has given a plan to the Panjsher elders to resolve issues with the Taliban, a source said on Sunday.

And therewith at least half of the the insurgency packed up and made peace.

Dr. Drexluddin Khan Spiveyzai Kayani (Drexy Baba) @RisboLensky - 10:58 UTC · Aug 21, 2021

Reports that Massoud Jr. agreed not to attack #Taliban forces in #Panjshir surrounding after Abdi-Karzai mediation (possibly Rabbani and other Massoud's gave a nod too). But I think that in province Jamiat is not the only group present

Paktﻯawal @Paktyaw4l - 11:12 UTC · Aug 21, 2021

There is disunity & verbal conflict between Amrullah Saleh factions & elders in Panjshir advising Massoud junior. #Panjshir

• @QOMANDON - 12:14 UTC · Aug 21, 2021

Senior Taliban Commander Jalil Haqqani calls Ahmad Shah Massoud a martyr and hero, and announces that his son Ahmad Massoud gave bay’ah to the Taliban yesterday
Embedded video

Will the Washington Post print another Ahmad Massoud op-ed in which he announces that?

Without the symbolic figure of Ahmad Shah Massoud's son as leader of a new 'Northern Alliance' the insurgency will have no chance to gain national or international support. He was the public relations front of the short campaign. But the elders of Panjshir valley told him to end the nonsense and so he did.

The intellectual fraudster Bernard Lévy, who has jinxed any resistance he ever supported, will be quite disappointed.

While its over for Ahmad Massoud his pal Amrullah Saleh wants to continue.

Paktﻯawal @Paktyaw4l - 13:36 UTC · Aug 21, 2021

Not fully confirmed, but #Panjshir surrenders, while Amrullah Saleh’s faction still preferring war & fighting.

Amrullah Saleh on his own has no chance at all. The CIA trained former head of the brutal Afghan intelligence agency is not known to have any genuine local base of support. The elders of Panjshir will not allow him to use their valley as his base. He'd better pack up his money and, like former president Ashraf Ghani, get his ass out of the country before someone takes personal revenge on him.

Apropos Ghani - this must hurt:

Sangar | سنګر پیکار @paykhar - 1:58 UTC · Aug 21, 2021

Former president #Afghan Ashraf Ghani's brother, Hashmat Ghani met Khalilurahman Haqqani and pledged allegiance to the Taliban Amir Haibatullah Akhundzada. Now the former presidents own brother is officially part of the Taliban.
Embedded video

And while I am at it here is one more on the 'bad, bad anti-women Taliban' campaign. Yes, there will be restrictions for women. But these are workable and not too different from those elsewhere.

Omid Sobhani @OmidSobhni - 10:38 UTC · Aug 21, 2021

#Taliban Statement on #Herat University, #Afghanistan
1. Female students can continue their studies in all-female classes, considering Islamic Hijab
2. All male & female staff of university can resume their works
3. Male students can come with their previous outfits (anything)
4. There will be a discussion on the curriculum of some subjects such as ‘Law’ in the beginning of next semester.
5. An envoy of Emirate will be designated as director in each faculty. The rest of employees can continue their normal jobs.

Posted by b on August 21, 2021 at 15:54 UTC | Permalink

next page »

The Taliban may have learned from the US experience of trying to reconstitute a government from scratch after banning participation by Baathists. It failed miserably.

Looks like the Taliban have decided to leave the present administrative state in place and simply take over the reins of it and direct it as an Islamic emirate. Nothing too radical about this, depending on their policies, of course. But at the moment it looks like their priority is functioning state with ties to the international community. Good strategy.

Now the challenge is to pull it off, since the Taliban is not a monolithic organization and has different factions. In addition, Afghanistan is a tribal state and the tribal elders have to go along to make it work. The Taliban certainly realize this as a group.

Now the question is whether they can pull it off successfully and keep a functional unifies government. If they use a traditional model that is not too extreme, it is possible. I assume they get that.

Posted by: Tom Hickey | Aug 21 2021 16:17 utc | 1

Thanks for the Truth b.

Posted by: jo6pac | Aug 21 2021 16:18 utc | 2

I'm guessing that Tajikistan government agreed with the elders of Panjshir valley, effectively eliminating any backdoor access or egress.

Posted by: PAUL SPENCER | Aug 21 2021 16:19 utc | 3

thanks for this perspective b.. much appreciated..... i want to forward an article that a poster named ptb shared on a previous thread... i think it is excellent, so for anyone who missed it - Farewell to Bourgeois Kings

Posted by: james | Aug 21 2021 16:23 utc | 4

Thanks for summarising b!

This development isn’t very surprising. How would they have worked the mobilization? “Yeah… we’ve like just lost an army of 300 000 backed up by the mightiest military machine the ever seen on the planet. But we’ve got some guys together, and we have mopeds and all, heck, we’ve even got two vintage 1960-ies anti-aircraft machine guns [as seen in one of their propaganda vids]. Come join us! It’s gonna be fun!”

This was an nonstarter even before it didn't start, the people believing in it would be the same kind of people that think the US(nato) didn’t lose the war, they just left…

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Aug 21 2021 16:26 utc | 5

Looks like the Taliban have decided to leave the present administrative state in place and simply take over the reins of it and direct it as an Islamic emirate.
Or--who knows--maybe the Taliban will employ a variation of the above, the one employed by so many Eastern European Stalinists in the aftermath of the Second World War: keep administrators in place and form coalitions; then, once the dust settles, start replacing administrators with all deliberate speed and eliminating the coalition partners, whether by assimilation or defenestration. In any case it's their business, not ours.

Posted by: corvo | Aug 21 2021 16:26 utc | 6

Thanks for the reporting on the rebirth of Afghanistan b

I think that empire will continue to pull tricks out of their ass to try and regain control of the global narrative, if not in Afghanistan, then elsewhere. We have a global cult who have been in control of society in the West for hundreds of years and I haven't seen any white flags being raised from their corner.

So, Afghanistan is going to join the multi-polar world and slough off the jackboot of empire. Lets hope the Taliban understand the example they are setting for the rest of the jackbooted world. I expect their living through 40+ years of conflict has sharpened their focus on reality quite well. I expect the reality they build will shatter some of the delusions of the West and its about time, IMO

Where is our civilization war going to rear its ugly head next?

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 21 2021 16:37 utc | 7

With no US or Israeli embassy in sight, very hard to orchestrate a coup or revolution with the normal methods.

As long as the Taliban NEVER reopen the US embassy and also ban all the same western NGOs Russia and China have, any color revolutions are doomed to fail.

Posted by: Mar man | Aug 21 2021 16:41 utc | 8

CGTN had an interesting interview from Aug 16 with the current ambassador of Afghanistan to China, he was still communicating with the folks at home and seemed cautiously optimistic. He thought the new regime was saying the right things. His priority is getting food and medical aid from China for his people but air transport of food is very expensive and I guess there are limited to no options overland.

Link to transcript and video here. The transcript is good, but the live interview (conducted in excellent English) is worth watching.

Posted by: Billb | Aug 21 2021 16:46 utc | 9

The Fall of an American Empire
By Philip Cunliffe
(Kent University)

Author makes several good points -- the way state building under US bombs followed the demolition of neoliberalism, and the connection between the crisis of empire and the social and political crisis at home.

Posted by: Prof | Aug 21 2021 16:54 utc | 10

This is good new! It seems the Taliban promise of an "inclusive" government is really more than empty words. Really good.

@8 Mar man
Color revolutions in Affhanistan are doomed to fail anyway because there is no developed civil society in Afghanistan. The Taliban can re-open the US embassy without having to fear much. From an embassy in Kabul Washington can influence a handful of intellectuals in Kabul city and nobody else.

Posted by: m | Aug 21 2021 16:56 utc | 11

Meanwhile.....Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar is being considered for the Nobel Peace Prize and like Le Duc Tho, he deserves it and much more than Obama...

Posted by: opereta | Aug 21 2021 16:59 utc | 12

So, let me get this straight: after the USA was defeated and was expelled from Afghanistan, the anti-Taliban forces not only got stronger, but are nearer than ever of toppling the Taliban!

This logic only makes sense if you believe in homeopathy.

Posted by: vk | Aug 21 2021 17:02 utc | 13

Thanks for covering the events in Afghanistan so closely, this is very informative and therefore important.

Posted by: Norwegian | Aug 21 2021 17:02 utc | 14

opereta @12:

Naah, you missed the new interpretation of Alfred's will. Nowadays you only get the peace prize if you start wars, not if you end them.

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Aug 21 2021 17:12 utc | 15

Billb @ 9
I don't see any assurances. There is one group of political figures now in Pakistan, as we speak. They are invited there to Islamabad in a way to mediate between them and the Taliban, so they are part of the government. Yes, the coalition you mentioned, it was created by ex-president Karzai to do the transition process actually, with Dr. Abdullah Abdullah. I think there is a possibility.

Great link to the interview. What I found interesting is the mediation efforts created by Karzai. That speaks volumes. The former ARCO executive who worked towards the original pipeline now wants a peaceful transition with the Taliban?

I think he stayed in country and did not flee. That also speaks volumes. He must have had some assurances from the Taliban and it appears that he was one of the leaders of the negotiations that started in the previous administration.

Posted by: circumspect | Aug 21 2021 17:15 utc | 16

The talker over at the Panjir Resistance wiki page seem to still be in denial:

Many (probably false) reports of pledge to Emirate

There's a lot of chatter (most likely disinformation) at Twitter now, some of which is being echoed in the press, that Massoud has pledged allegience to the Emirate. Mostly unconfirmed, though.

PanjshinProvin1 ("Panjshin Province") at Twitter a short while ago: "Ahmad Massoud, commander of the People's Resistance Forces in Panjshir, is negotiating with the Taliban over a comprehensive government, but no agreement or allegiance has been reached."

Regards, Esowteric + Talk + Breadcrumbs 14:25, 21 August 2021 (UTC)

If we are taking Twitter as a proof, Panjshir based figures as well as Taliban spokesperson have called that bs. Certainly a third party lie to create more disruption, most likely al-Qaeda, apparently. I saw this on Ahmad Massoud's page as well, but as it isn't protected, misinformation could spread more rapidly. There's also claims that Ghani's brother has passed to the Emirate, I don't know about those as well. Larrayal (talk) 15:11, 21 August 2021 (UTC)

Where's my popcorn ...

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Aug 21 2021 17:16 utc | 17

Yes, anyone associated with BHL deserves a quick exit from the stage.

However, for all the talk of inclusiveness and SCO backing, a Taliban-led theocratic government brings in a hundred political tensions just like the previous kleptocracy did.

In this case, top of the list might be the Taliban's pledge to end the large scale drug business (opium poppy cultivation). That alone is a tempting enough reason for a Northern Alliance 2.0 to form, tolerate each other, and find funds. IMO expect an entirely respectable effort in this department sooner or later.

Hopefully, unlike 2001, there is now also equally serious determination to stop this trade on the other side of the Afghan borders.

Posted by: ptb | Aug 21 2021 17:18 utc | 18

Thanks for the update, b. This answers some questions I had because Massoud was not only featured in an op-ed in the WaPo (CIA at work?), but I read an article on Telesur announcing that Afghanistan was now returning to civil war, with mention of the same Massoud. (Most definitely not CIA!) How to explain this? (And for those who diss the firepower of the Panjshir fighters, it’s guérilla warfare, right?) I watched that excellent GrayZone interview with Pepe Escobar (linked from a comment here) and that helped me understand a bit more of how things work in Afghanistan. The Venezuelan-state media must be publishing the view of Iran, who must have the support of some clan leaders in Panjshir. That’s my best guess? Looks like it was an invitation for dialogue, some compromise was agreed upon, and the matter is now closed, as b reports.

I think it was Grieved who posted a comment about the interest in including Afghanistan in the British Commonwealth. IMO, number one benefit of being in the Commonwealth? Cash moola. Of which it is said that the new Afghan admin is in need. Stable banking, financial sector… a little cleaning of Her Majesty’s laundry, maybe some glad handling. Not every country is a superpower.

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Aug 21 2021 17:21 utc | 19

@James "Farewell to Bourgeois Kings" amazing essay.

Posted by: anonymous | Aug 21 2021 17:22 utc | 20

Excellent read yesterday regarding the history of women´s treatment in Afganistan ' and the complicated history there. Thank you. I note that Catholic schools the world over have segregated schools by gender for years. In Spain it is beginning to end but there is still a lot of support for the seperate schools.

Posted by: c | Aug 21 2021 17:22 utc | 21

@4 james

Glad someone else found it as interesting as I did!

I certainly follow the author's logic and agree with it. I also agree that it is a genuine national and international reality-check moment.

I am less optimistic that it signifies lasting change. Look at the disastrous Covid response, for example. The body count in the past 12-15 months dwarfs Afghanistan's. If anything, that should be an irrefutable and conclusive sign of how worthless "the system" is in an acute emergency.

Yet most people, especially the ones who should know better, are more than happy to block it out of their minds. Maybe because "there's nothing I can do about it anyway". Knocking down that assumption might be another key ingredient to these moments of sea-change.

Posted by: ptb | Aug 21 2021 17:32 utc | 22

"The Taliban may have learned from the US experience of trying to reconstitute a government from scratch after banning participation by Baathists."

The difference is that the Taliban already have a government. It is their country. They don't need to keep the American puppets to run it for them.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | Aug 21 2021 17:37 utc | 23

Thanks for the great coverage!

Looks like the US is already onto Plan B warning about Islamic State attacking the airport. The war against terror never dies, or even fades away.

Posted by: gottlieb | Aug 21 2021 18:10 utc | 24

Panjshir has about 100,000 residents, or 0.3 percent of Afghanistan's population.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 21 2021 18:13 utc | 25


Interesting essay. The guy is Swedish, but I haven't heard of him before.

Of course I had to lecture him in the comments section:

"Food for thought. A collapse of the liberal mindset… Might happen, might be interesting.

But let me point out that what ever the ‘managerial’ are, they are not a class, since they don’t control means of production. The might be a strata (of the working class, actually), they might be a layer, they might even be a sub culture, but not a class."

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Aug 21 2021 18:20 utc | 26

However, for all the talk of inclusiveness and SCO backing, a Taliban-led theocratic government brings in a hundred political tensions just like the previous kleptocracy did.

Posted by: ptb | Aug 21 2021 17:18 utc | 18

A lot of question here. For example, if Ghani brother is as corrupt as Ghani, "inclusiveness" may result in a kleptocracy. As for "political tensions of theocracy", one has to realize that ALL political parties and movements in Afghanistan are Islamic, so there is a question of shade and sect, no of the principle.

And for the women's rights, so dear to us all, this is again and "shade and sect" zone. For example, a picture of a group of recent Afghan refugees showed one female early teen with covered hair and another women with the face below the eyes covered. I would be curious about girls' schools in Panjishir Valley. Unlike "Taliban Mark I", Mark II will allow segregated education for women, perhaps even rising the status of women to Pakistani norms? Pakistan is an Islamic Republic, like the neighboring Iran. Afghanistan is a conservative corner of a conservative region.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 21 2021 18:32 utc | 27

Can Afghanistan avert a financial collapse?

The Financial Empire has frozen Afghanistan’s reserves, stopped the national aid and dollar shipment. The Taliban has the keys to the presidential palace, but they do not have access to all the levers of power, including billions of dollars held overseas. How will Afghanistan stabilize its economy and move forward?

A resistance needs: leadership/organization, vision, external funding & support. No resistance will survive in Afghanistan without external support. Are there any potential external power players who want to create chaos and instability in Afghanistan?

China, Russia, Iran and its neighbors are waiting to see Afghanistan’s new administration and its policies and commitments, before helping them. Will the Financial Empire, the UK in particular, exploit Afghanistan’s situation by determining its administration?

What is Financial Empire’s stratagem for Afghanistan?

Posted by: Max | Aug 21 2021 18:42 utc | 28

Afghans like to deal with China, will never count on 'evil' US, says Afghan businessman, by Xiao Xiaojing

Afghans like to deal with China because China is willing to help Afghanistan, and will never count on the US which is the "evilest", an Afghan businessman H.Qayoum Azimi told the Global Times on Friday.


"Many of these people have never left Afghanistan and have no idea what the outside world is. They think that the US or Europe are paradises," he said. "I have been to over 60 countries and regions including the US and Canada. I know they will not be welcomed in these countries. Locals will look down on them and consider them parasites."


Azimi told the Global Times about an incident that annoyed him when he led several Chinese solar panel makers to Afghanistan in 2019 in a bid to generate power for local people. The cooperation failed. He later found out that it was the Americans who intervened because they did not want the Chinese to do business there. "For their own political purposes, the US never cared about the people."

In just two short statements, this Afghan bourgeois busted two myths about the West: 1) that it is some kind of woke paradise, that will accept every kind of diversity and 2) that they're "green".

Posted by: vk | Aug 21 2021 18:43 utc | 29

Just seen this; Apparently the Taliban are sending a substantial force to "quell" Amrullah Saleh, as soon as possible. The Masouds are under pressure from their own tribesmen - who would love to see Peace break out. (As b says).
Salah might have made some sort of agreement with Dostums' forces (Warlords never die, they just fade away, - with the loot.)

"Taliban have sent massive battalion from kunduz to recapture Baghlan. Although they are superior in number/artillery we’ll fight to the last man & make a stand here. If I die, then I die as a free man & not a slave of pakistan Might be my last tweet Allhumdulilah"

PS. Unlinkeable vid. taken at twilight, so subject to confirmation.

Posted by: Stonebird | Aug 21 2021 18:45 utc | 30

B is becoming one of the only easily accessible sources of facts about the situation in Afghanistan. Almost all other media are running a smear campaign or poking around in the fog.

Thank you for that, B.

Posted by: pnyx | Aug 21 2021 18:46 utc | 31

Nearly forgot - remember those Ukrainian soldiers who were left behind with no means of leaving? The Taliban found them and..... they said they were Russian. The Taliban let them go.

Posted by: Stonebird | Aug 21 2021 19:00 utc | 32

@27 Piotr Berman

one has to realize that ALL political parties and movements in Afghanistan are Islamic, so there is a question of shade and sect, no of the principle

Disagreements over the finer points of religious doctrine can be bad enough.

Anyway I'm not saying they will do worse than the previous government and occupation. Only that the ingredients for a reincarnated Northern Alliance didn't go away: ethnic and religious differences, narco trafficing, pipeline routes, foreign influence trying to stir s##t up.

Posted by: ptb | Aug 21 2021 19:01 utc | 33

Sputnik quoted a story from The Sun, so I ended up looking at their front page. Venomous anti-Taliban propaganda. Some choice stories:

This is however the interesting story. The first part is from March 2021:

AFGHAN BOOZE BUST British veteran known as ‘The Milkman’ seized with £50k of illegal booze in Kabul

A FORMER British soldier could face 20 years in an Afghan jail after allegedly being caught with £50,000 worth of illegal booze.

Officers claimed the former Red Cap, from Liphook, Hants, ran a 24-hour booze delivery service and was the city’s main black market alcohol dealer.

“He supplied everyone. Ministers, MPs, the police,” claimed an MP who was also a customer.

He is currently being held in a specialist counter narcotics detention facility, that was built with British taxpayers money house Afghanistan’s heroin barons.

The story continues today:

MIRACLE ESCAPE I broke out of Afghanistan jail and fled Taliban in my flip-flops, says Brit former soldier known as ‘Milkman of Kabul’

A BRIT ex-soldier has told of his miraculous escape from a hell-hole Kabul jail as the Taliban surged into the Afghan capital.

Former Red Cap Ian Cameron, 56, made a desperate dash in his flip-flops across blood-soaked streets before somehow finding his way to a plane out.

He had set up a business selling alcohol and was known as The Milkman because he delivered to customers – including Afghan ministers, provincial governors and members of the president and vice-presidents’ offices.

Describing his prison he said: “Conditions inside were atrocious.

“I wouldn’t have put my worst enemy in there. There was one toilet that was disgusting, always blocked. No shower, just a dirty sink. You were given a loaf of bread that looked like a brick.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Aug 21 2021 19:20 utc | 34

Very good exposé abou the tiduation there -- thanks a lot to B from one barfly!
I camped out a lot in the Panjdsheer valley once upon a time: They have the best grapes for wine .making in th world! (And produced some ecxcellent wines in 1956-03, lao even for ecxport to Frane and th Emiates n'non-mislim' (!) comminitiea. (But the best is tió be saught in N`ûr8san to taste -- Norwegian linguist av Munthe von MorgenStierne , who led the Afghan Academy of Sciences for many a year.
Coudos! And best hoes for the Panjeer Valleyy when liberated!

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐/טלפ וש | Aug 21 2021 19:25 utc | 35

Tradition -- not tudition and about -- not abou .. Sorry for the late night typos!

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐/טלפ וש | Aug 21 2021 19:29 utc | 36

Other misspellings: Nûristân, and treditions.

Posted by: Tollef Ås اس طلف | Aug 21 2021 19:35 utc | 37

Masood is a hero, just like his father. In the Panjshir valley Women are treated like actual human beings with inherent rights, unlike the Taliban who officially reduce women to the status of house slaves. Yes, the Bankster Deep State is evil; so is the Taliban, by their own record.

Posted by: Grog | Aug 21 2021 20:06 utc | 38


The “Ahmad Massoud op-ed” link is broken.

Posted by: S | Aug 21 2021 20:21 utc | 39

Good news war ends. Thank you for your report b.

I trust these are the last carpetbaggers to eradicate and the self determination can continue.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 21 2021 20:26 utc | 40

The wild card in this is the substantial number of takfiris airlifted from Syria to Afghanistan by the US military a few months prior to the collapse. They could do a lot of damage, exploding IEDs in market places, killing random civilians and police, etc as per the CIA playbook. The MSM presstitutes will report such atrocities as being carried out by Teh Evul Taliban.

Posted by: Arfur Mo | Aug 21 2021 21:03 utc | 41

massoud is the latest chelabi clone.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Aug 21 2021 21:04 utc | 42

If you were a Taliban, how would you set things up? A shortlist.

Do not allow the US to have an embassy in Kabul, and the risk of a color revolution drops. Have the Swiss embassy provide consular services to U.S. citizens living in or travelling to Afghanistan. It works for Iran.

If there are soldiers at your frontier, and at your airport, there should be police at your internet frontier too.

Do not provide unfiltered Internet access. Be prepared to cut the US social media at any moment. Have an annual "no internet day", just to check the off-switch works.

Cooperating with other Islamic countries such as Iran and Pakistan, find out what internet should be in an Islamic country.

Posted by: Passerby | Aug 21 2021 21:37 utc | 43

What I love about MoA is the immense combination of astute geopolitical analysis combined with tactical updates about things from all kind of peoples.

I honestly have not found a better forum to get thoughts from in this era of censorship.

Posted by: Harald | Aug 21 2021 13:30 utc | 159

Me too.
Really disappointing that some interesting comments and links "disappeared".
Why is this selective censorship on MoA?

Posted by: C. Unebonnequestion | Aug 21 2021 21:49 utc | 44

Tradition -- not tudition and about -- not abou .. Sorry for the late night typos!

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐/טלפ וש | Aug 21 2021 19:29 utc | 36

OK, but what is this "best hoes for the Panjeer Valleyy"? We wish them better cultivating tools, or easy going girls? Or both?

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 21 2021 21:49 utc | 45

Did someone spoil the party?

Biden was to have his Mission Accomplished moment
this coming September 11th - the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

Our troops were to have made an orderly exit from Afghanistan and the Afghan Army was supposed to be carrying the ball.
All by 9/11/2021.

The regular NFL (American football) season begins this year neatly coincident with 9/11.
(One game on 9/9 and fourteen more games on 9/12)

Most certainly an extravaganza was planned.

The NFL is a **great** recruitment tool for the US armed forces.
Each NFL game begins with US troops taking center stage in the stadium
together with the flag and the national anthem.

And then comes the crowd-pleaser.

The shock and awe of powerful and proud US aircraft roaring at low altitude over the crowd-packed football stadiums
ever draws a boisterous cheer. Spectacular!

They would have planned something extra special this year to shake the stadiums,
and then...The...President...of these United States...would have come on the huge - Huge! -
stadium video screens, simultaneously broadcasting into millions of homes and bars.
And Biden would have had his big moment. Spectacular!

You won't see any C-17 Globemaster aircraft participating this year. You won't.
In fact, the bravado of *any* military aircraft will certainly have new meaning
this year.


5 more recruitment stunts (also with helicopters)

The party is not going to go as previously scheduled.
Sorry Joe.

Posted by: librul | Aug 21 2021 21:50 utc | 46

Now come the coverups....

Most of the 9-11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, none of them were Afghans. Many of them entered the US from Germany. The US government descriptions of them, and the sloppy way they were admitted to the US, never mention Afghanistan. . .here

Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, commanded troops in Afghanistan and has talked often about how deeply he felt the loss of each soldier under his watch. “For more than 20 years, we have prevented an attack on the U.S. homeland. 2,448 lost our lives, 20,722 were wounded in action, and many others suffered the unseen wounds of war. To each of them, I want you to know, personally, that your service matters.” . .here

IOW the human sacrifices make it all worthwhile, sort of an Aztec thing.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 21 2021 22:05 utc | 47

A threat from ISIS always comes in handy.

The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan on Saturday warned American citizens not to travel to the airport “because of potential security threats outside the gates at the Kabul airport.” . . Two defense officials told NBC News that they are tracking specific threats from ISIS against the Kabul airport. . .here

IOW we can't protect and evacuate you so stay where you are.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 21 2021 22:14 utc | 48


Now all the clowns are coming. What about the guy in ghost sheets? Al-Zawahiri or whatever...

Now, we just need the "white supremacists"..

What a freakshow!! The kitchen sink was thrown long time ago, no the plumbing pipes is being used...


Posted by: Harald | Aug 21 2021 22:40 utc | 49

Bin Laden is the newest witness for the 25th Amendment ouster of Biden.

A lot of disinfo was penned following the hoax killing of Bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
The CIA/Pentagon claimed to have seized a lot of material from the Abbottabad compound.
And that material can say whatever the CIA wants it to say. The CIA penned it, after all,
following the Navy Seal raid.

The authors of the Bin Laden Letters clearly wanted Hillary over Joe Biden back at the time of authorship (2012?).

The letter has new usefulness, just in time for the invocation of the 25 amendment.
It has come to light that "Bin Laden" considered Joe Biden a poor leader and he would create a crisis
that favored al Qaeda.

Posted by: librul | Aug 21 2021 22:47 utc | 50

The Foundation for the Defence of Democracies is a dangerous warmongering propaganda shit show with an enormous and basic credibility problem: it pushes the proposition that the Bandit State is ....wait for it..... a 'democracy.' 

Often these stink tanks betray themselves by their unconditional support for Zionist strategic objectives.

Have a look at their team of self described 'fellows' and 'experts', all available to look into a TV camera or stand in front of an assembled crowd of dupes and sprout lies, also known as HASBARA "> ">

These often interconnected 'think tanks' were exposed by Stephen J Sniegowski twenty years ago:

The only question is why are they not required to register as agents of a foreign government?

They should all be tar and feathered.

Posted by: Paul | Aug 21 2021 23:05 utc | 51

While US citizens are staying where they are and trying to keep safe, they have to fill out some forms on their computer and transmit them to the Kabul embassy, one form per family. You do have a computer and wifi connection, right?
...from the US Embassy Kabul. . .
Security Alert – Embassy Kabul, Afghanistan (August 21, 2021
U.S. citizens requesting assistance in departing the country who have not yet to completed the Repatriation Assistance Request for each traveler in their group should do so as soon as possible. Spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens in Afghanistan who are awaiting immigrant visas should also complete this form if they wish to depart. Do not call the U.S. Embassy in Kabul for details or updates about the flight. This form is the only way to communicate interest in flight options. If you are not already enrolled, please sign up for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). . . .(link doesn't work)

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 21 2021 23:16 utc | 52

@ ptb | Aug 21 2021 17:32 utc | 22.. thanks again for sharing that article and to grieved who thanked you and drew my attention to it as well... i agree with you and i think the author is prescient in suggesting this evacuation of kabul is a perfect symbol to use as an analogy of where the usa is at the present moment in time... the wheels are coming off the empire.. it might not happen all at once, but i think this is such a strong sign of it...

@ Jörgen Hassler | Aug 21 2021 18:20 utc | 26.. it's interesting it is a fellow swede like yourself who wrote it... i agree - managerial is not what i would think of as a class, but i still think the article had so much merit, i didn't dwell on this! i hope you got something out of the article..

Posted by: james | Aug 21 2021 23:19 utc | 53

@ don bacon.. i wonder who filled out the forms for the dogs that got the earlier flights?? maybe the spca, lol...

Posted by: james | Aug 21 2021 23:20 utc | 54

The US DoD has broadcasted some videos of US Army soldiers taking care of babies ( one is to guess, Afghan babies..), but it seems not everybody was so caring...

Anyway, why the people in the airport looking for an airlift to the West are oblied now to be raised by US soldiers through a wall crowned by barbed wire?
I have seen photos of little children being raised this way, and women ( obviously young...) escalating the wall to meet a US soldier up there...

Posted by: Asha K. | Aug 21 2021 23:25 utc | 55

Saudi citizen bin Laden was never wanted for 9/11 by FBI
Most Wanted Terrorist poster for Usama Bin Laden
FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitive
Murder of U.S. nationals outside the United States; conspiracy to murder U.S. nationals outside the United States; attack on a federal facility resulting in death. .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 21 2021 23:30 utc | 56

In reference to the implicit perspective in the article "Farwell to Bourgeois Kings," is the basis for the Taliban victory in Afghanistan centered on the fact that it is primarily a spiritual movement?

If the modern U.S. system of power and technology is, at its foundation, a tendency within us which has coalesced into a huge conglomeration of power, control and ambition, then is some type of spiritual movement also necessary in the U.S. to dislodge it?

If our modern kingdom of power is all about the destruction of limits is there any type of traditional secular political or economic movement that can reconstitute or transcend such a dynamic?

Posted by: Gulag | Aug 21 2021 23:35 utc | 57

@ Don Bacon | Aug 21 2021 23:30 utc | 56

Correct, Bin Laden was never charged by the FBI and his wanted poster was updated AFTER 9/11 with no mention at all of those attacks.
Here is the link directly to FBI site for the poster.

Posted by: Mar man | Aug 21 2021 23:38 utc | 58

Remember Colin Powell, the guy with the anti-Iraq vial? He failed to follow his own doctrine.
The Powell Doctrine states that a list of questions all have to be answered affirmatively before military action is taken by the United States:
Is a vital national security interest threatened?
Do we have a clear attainable objective?
Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed?
Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted?
Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?
Have the consequences of our action been fully considered?
Is the action supported by the American people?
Do we have genuine broad international support?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 21 2021 23:58 utc | 59

I predict Pakistan will become the next target for destabilisation. Expect a bomb here and another bomb there.

The stink tank types fear Pakistan for being friendly to Afghanistan, nuclear armed and Muslim.

Prime Minister, Imran Khan should be afraid, very afraid. The best option would be to seek assistance from the Iran and China players. It has been well publicised that the US has contingency plans for an invasion of Pakistan with the objective of seizing the nukes. Imran Khan will need all his skills as a cricket captain to protect his country now. This is a test match not 20/20 cricket.

Posted by: Paul | Aug 21 2021 23:58 utc | 60

@ MM #58
Thanks for the confirm on OBL.
I got knocked off Lang's blog for saying it, BTW.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 22 2021 0:02 utc | 61

"i want to forward an article that a poster named ptb shared on a previous thread... i think it is excellent, so for anyone who missed it -
Farewell to Bourgeois Kings

james @ 4 It was interesting. I have been trying to determine what democracy means within a meritocracy. The same problem presents itself in this essay. Managerialism.

I was wondering how you would level the playing field given the imbalance in intelligence.

Do dumb lives matter? Also? It never comes up.

Posted by: David G Horsman | Aug 22 2021 0:04 utc | 62

American citizens stuck in Afghanistan, unable to get to the airport, told to file a request online. Interesting. Perhaps the milkman who broke out of jail in flipflops and somehow made his way to a plane should have gathered a few Americans on his way.
General Milley has recently announced that the biggest threat to the America Homeland now is "white supremacist domestic terrorists". He has moved on from the Taliban already. Easier to go after people who aren't actually fighting back. Yet.
I have seen the propaganda about how the US should stay in Afghanistan to protect the women, like the girls who had acid thrown in their faces, while the US was there "protecting them".
But the Afghan population doubled in the last 20 years, under US rule? DOUBLED? Wow, way to push women's rights, America. Nothing says Empowerment like popping out baby after baby, amirite?

Posted by: wagelaborer | Aug 22 2021 0:10 utc | 63

>re: getting kicked off Lang's blog
--I'm just trying to keep up with james but probably I'm way behind.

>re: meritocracy
from Edward Abbey, anarchist. . .
>>No man is wise enough to be another man's master. Each man's as good as the next -- if not a damn sight better.
>>I know my own nation best. That's why I despise it the most. And I know and love my own people, too, the swine. I'm a patriot. A dangerous man.
>>Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.
>>A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 22 2021 1:17 utc | 64

Max @ 28 posed the question that will determine Afghanistan's fate;

"What is Financial Empire’s stratagem for Afghanistan?"

We'll all have to wait and see..But, if someone, or some Gov. seeks to challenge existing world order, they'll be crushed.

Posted by: vetinLA | Aug 22 2021 1:39 utc | 65

So the jew trash Levy flew into the Panshir valley? And one assumes flew out just as fast, right? Doesn't strike me as the type to pick up a rifle and ride along till the end. My point is: forget about retaking Kabul, just the photo op required serious state support. So who was it? Somehow I doubt it was the French themselves; how about the British?

Posted by: Ma Laoshi | Aug 22 2021 1:53 utc | 66

@ vetinLA | Aug 22 2021 1:39 utc | 65 who wrote

We'll all have to wait and see..But, if someone, or some Gov. seeks to challenge existing world order, they'll be crushed.

I continue to posit here that we are in a civilization war challenge to the existing world order.

That someone, or some Gov. you refer to is China, plain and simple. China has a public system of finance at its core and the core of finance in the West is private.

Max thinks that private finance just needs some competition instead of being replaced by the public finance of all of the world's sovereign nations. I disagree with Max's position and it makes me dismiss much/all of what he writes.

Afghanistan could be a test case for the global alternative to the private finance of the West. As I have written before here, Afghanistan could get its redevelopment loans through the AIIB, bypassing the IMF/World Bank private option. I also wrote that China's Digital Yuan pilot may be transferrable technology for Afghanistan and a pilot for China backing of another country's currency by linking to Yuan.

Humanity does not lack options to try but the will to break the chains/jackboot of global private finance. That will may be growing as shown by the situations in Syria, now Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq as well as other countries around the world.

Right now, Afghanistan has potential and it is yet to be seen what happens to that potential given the myriad of internal and external forces at work.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 22 2021 1:59 utc | 67

The profits of war thanks to the prophets for war:

Posted by: Paul | Aug 22 2021 2:00 utc | 68

@ David G Horsman | Aug 22 2021 0:04 utc | 62.. maybe we live in a pseudo democracy, more then a democracy?? that is what i think...

i watched a very good video about a year ago on meritocracy by a harvard professor Michael Sandel... actually i highly recommend this video as well, although it's long at 1 hour 20 minutes... Does Meritocracy Destroy the Common Good?

maybe it will answer some of your questions, or get your thinking of more questions to ask! cheers..

Posted by: james | Aug 22 2021 2:00 utc | 69

James @ 4, Thanks for the article, interesting, but, in human affairs, the strived for "meritocracy" is mostly a dream.

IMO, the closest humans come to it, exists only in sports, if at all. Most of humanity is just too greedy and selfish.

For Governments "mixed economies" work best.

Posted by: vetinLA | Aug 22 2021 2:08 utc | 70

Posted by: librul | Aug 21 2021 22:47 utc | 50

Osama bin Laden didn't like Joe Biden? Aha! The truth is he underwent radical surgery and BECAME POTUS!

A simple matter of cipher: jOeSeph BI(nla)DEN... spooky. Can't see where the 'ama' bit fits though.

Posted by: Patroklos | Aug 22 2021 2:22 utc | 71

PS, re: that swedish blog link mentioned above -- he seems very fond of the Carl Schmitt quotes. To be clear, I don't endorse that aspect of it.

Posted by: ptb | Aug 22 2021 2:22 utc | 72

Thanks for the summary b.
I guess Condi Rice was right. These are the birth pangs of a new [greater] ME. A re-birth which does not include the empire.
What does it say when you get beat by a bunch of shoeless-cave-dwelling-goat-herders, as we were told Afghans are?

Posted by: Sakineh Bagoom | Aug 22 2021 2:30 utc | 73

Posted by: Paul | Aug 21 2021 23:58 utc | 60

Can you link to materials publicising Pakistan invasion scenarios?

Also, you say it's a test match not 20/20 cricket: agreed, but though I'm not sure what 20/20 is I do know it's not cricket ;)

Posted by: Patroklos | Aug 22 2021 2:30 utc | 74

@49 Harold...

Re ISIS. the US ferried some 10,000 or so to Afghanistan a couple years back. They were preparing training camps and a destabilization force for Uzbekistan and others-also Russia and China.

Trumpz peace and withdrawal plan hung them and the Black on Black boys out in the cold. Biden invited Turkey into Afghanistan to continue the ISIS training and deployment - not to babysit the airport, although by controlling it they could ferry additional murderers from Syria into the area.

The Taliban hates ISIS, would have none of it. The big Q is what has happened to the 10,000 that are already there?

Posted by: Les7 | Aug 22 2021 2:38 utc | 75

Posted by: David G Horsman | Aug 22 2021 0:04 utc | 62

The meaning of democracy in our current neoliberal context is still well explained by Marx in his Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Law. It is a metaphysical alibi for domination and exploitation by a particular class.

Posted by: Patroklos | Aug 22 2021 2:44 utc | 76

. . .from Stripes
Thousands of Afghanistan evacuees find temporary home at Ramstein Air Base [Germany]. . . 2,300 men, women and children who managed to get a flight out of Kabul to escape Taliban rule were settling into their temporary home. . .here

So American citizens have to fill out forms and wait while Afghan traitors get evacuated?

Posted by: Don Bacon | Aug 22 2021 3:03 utc | 77

Doesn't the Taliban's success in the last few days remind anyone of Russia peacefully taking over Crimea?

Posted by: bobzibub | Aug 22 2021 3:30 utc | 78

Below is a Xinhuanet posting that I thought fit in this thread

MOSCOW, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin held a phone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday with a focus on the current situation in Afghanistan.

The presidents underlined the importance of ensuring peace and stability in Afghanistan as well as the strict observance of law and order, the Kremlin said in a press release.

Putin and Erdogan emphasized the prioritized tasks of fighting terrorism and drug trafficking, and agreed to strengthen bilateral coordination on Afghan issues.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 22 2021 4:49 utc | 79

Posted by: Patroklos @ 74

"Can you link to materials publicising Pakistan invasion scenarios?

Also, you say it's a test match not 20/20 cricket: agreed, but though I'm not sure what 20/20 is I do know it's not cricket ;)"

Do a search on T20 or Twenty 20 Cricket. It is a relatively new form of the game, each side plays for twenty overs. It's therefore very fast.

This is opposed to 'one day cricket' or 'test cricket' where there is more strategy involved. Test cricket can take a number of days.

20/20 is very popular in India/Pakistan lots of bookmakers involved so there is big money and corruption. In Australia/NZ lots of alcohol is consumed by the spectators. I can speak from experience, having watched all forms of the sport live in both countries, at the Sydney Cricket Ground and McLean Park in Napier NZ.

Posted by: Paul | Aug 22 2021 4:53 utc | 80

Well, I see that out of eighty comments so far, not one has addressed the crux of Bernhards analysis: that the Massoud - Saleh clownshow has folded like a cheap suit.

Some of us said days ago when this western psyop kickedf off, that it has no chance of succesd.

This was bitterly disputed by some ccommenters. Now where are those commenters? They should step up and admit they had no cause to make a contrarian kerfuffle here!

Instead we see 80 comments, all cimpletely beside the point of B's important update, that shattets this silly psyop for what it was.

I will be interested in what Grieved has to say. He is clearly an important part of the activity here. I don't begrudge him asking me to refrain from steamrolling over some commenters. In self-reflection he is right. I don't want to hurt anybody. And I will take that well-meaning wisdom to heart.

But at the same time, I can't help feeling that not one single commenter has acknowledgd my calling this shot right from the git-go.

That's human nature of takes a lot of conradely intetactions with 'brothers' to get past our monkey roots which come naturally.

I don't disoarage

Posted by: Gordog | Aug 22 2021 5:42 utc | 81

Sorry. Typing on phone. I don't disparage anyone who hasn't had the benefit of building collegial and even life-changing relations with people you rely on.

But after the acrimony here it would be nice to say an honest word or two.

Posted by: Gordog | Aug 22 2021 5:47 utc | 82

While I agree with B's analysis and your analysis generally speaking, I think it is too early to say if Saleh/NATO/etc...are going to be able to stir up any significant trouble.

Personally, I'd give it until the end of October before making any definitive statements. Perhaps start some kind of betting pool?

That said, I was wrong on how fast it would take the Taliban to free Afghanistan and over the years have come to view B's sitreps and general geopolitical journalism as top notch. In the shorter term your prognosis has been solid, too, but for myself, a track record I can rely on doesn't happen overnight, despite the obvious amount of knowledge you have in the geopolitical arena.

In short, if the situation in Afghanistan is stable come November, I will sing your praises, and quote you to my friends who come to me for my opinion on such matters.

Posted by: Haassaan | Aug 22 2021 6:06 utc | 83

The above was directed at Gordog @81 if that wasn't obvious.

Posted by: Haassaan | Aug 22 2021 6:07 utc | 84

Please forgive my ignorance, but I cannot understand why Britain is hanging on so tenaciously to Afghanistan. One would have thought that with the US gone, the Brits would have known that the game is up.

What I would like to know is what do they have to gain from staying in Afghanistan? Is it simply to keep the instability going? Or are they really speaking for a faction in the US that doesn't want to leave? It baffles me.

Posted by: littlereddot | Aug 22 2021 6:08 utc | 85

Britain is an over populated country with few resources and declining manufacturing...they don't really have much going for them there. Yet, they consume many times more their share of resources taken from their old colonial holdings backed by the might of the American Military. Without access to other people's resources they'd be just a pathetic little island run by Anglo Barbarians.

I believe that is why the panic and desperation.

Posted by: Haassaan | Aug 22 2021 6:13 utc | 86

@Don Bacon | Aug 21 2021 22:05 utc | 47

Now come the coverups....

Most of the 9-11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, none of them were Afghans. Many of them entered the US from Germany.

9-11 is an onion of lies. Once you peel away the outer layer, you find the next level of deception. Nobody from Afghanistan had anything to do with 9-11, the official narrative of what happened is physically impossible and it doesn't help to claim the planes contained Saudi nationals, because the planes were a distraction anyway, they could never (and didn't) bring the three towers down or cause the other effects.

Posted by: Norwegian | Aug 22 2021 6:17 utc | 87

@librul | Aug 21 2021 22:47 utc | 50

A lot of disinfo was penned following the hoax killing of Bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

Yes, Bin Laden died 10 years earlier, in Afghanistan in December 2001, ref. Pepe Escobar.

Posted by: Norwegian | Aug 22 2021 6:18 utc | 88

@Don Bacon | Aug 21 2021 23:30 utc | 56

Saudi citizen bin Laden was never wanted for 9/11 by FBI

The US demanded of the Taliban during the autumn of 2001 that they hand over Bin Laden, the Taliban replied that they would do so if the US presented evidence that Bin Laden had anything to do with 9-11. No such evidence ever materialised, and instead the US invaded Afghanistan according to the plans that had been laid down well in advance of 9-11.

Posted by: Norwegian | Aug 22 2021 6:19 utc | 89

@psychohistorian | Aug 22 2021 4:49 utc | 79

There is clearly a concerted effort by China and Russia to lobby European and NATO countries encouraging "realpolitik" towards the new situaltion in Afghanistan.

Putin had as we know a face to face meeting with Merkel in the Kremlin and now also a phone conversation with Erdogan as you point out. The Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi has had telephone conversations with the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Dominic Raab, and the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio.

Afghanistan has been central in all these discussions. Merkel acknowledged grudginly the failure of the policies in Afghanistan. From the looks of it, Erdogan largely agrees with Putin wrt. Afghanistan. Dominic Raab took the initiative to contact Wang Yi, who explained the Chinese position wrt. Afghanistan, which is the same as the russian position. Raabs response is not referenced by the Chinese so perhaps his position wasn't all that clear. According to Alexander Mercouris, the Italian Luigi Di Maio expressed full support for the Chinese position on Afghanistan.

Russia China Coordinate on Afghanistan. Putin Lectures Merkel on Realpolitik. Wang Wins Over Italy

Posted by: Norwegian | Aug 22 2021 6:21 utc | 90

@81 Gordog - "not one single commenter has acknowledged my calling this shot right from the git-go"

Here I am!

I acknowledge - dude, you've called everything right, dead-on balls accurate, throughout the whole campaign. I always read every word, and took great support from your analyses. I leaned on your perspective of things, because I don't have the time and I don't have the insider baselines. Your comments have been crucial, pivotal and indispensable to me.

To put it simply, you've been right throughout, and I think everyone who values truth, values you.

It's just that being right doesn't require anyone else to be wrong. It's like a race where you're in front and you're going to break the finish line. No one needs to look back at the others following after the winner. We will celebrate the winning analysis. No need to disparage the runners-up.

And next year, those others may be in first place - because everyone is always training, everyone is always learning, or at least, that's the way to bet.

Anyway - carry on, please. You're a comrade. We're all comrades. Some of the comrades are completely wrong - and you and I both know it. But one day, when you're right and I'm wrong, I don't want you to beat me up. Just let it go, and there will be another day after that when I may be right again.

This is a thing, I believe, that should be learned be everyone.

ps..Dead-on balls accurate? It's an industry term:

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 22 2021 6:29 utc | 91

This whole massoud northren alliance nonsense smack of narrative control in addition to the current demonization of taliban in the media , there's this 'we'll be back' nonsense propagated by US propaganda team. THe purpose is to pretend US still in the game , while in reality even the US military know it have zero chance mounting Covert Ops in afghanistan especially with china and russia working with taliban govt.

Posted by: deap | Aug 22 2021 6:53 utc | 92

If anyone here visit Col Patrick Lang's Sic Semper Tyranis blog , you will notice an uptick of the same media nonsense ('Taliban bad and evil') and the sounding of crazy covert ops supporiting northen alliance by some ex green beret called TTG). As James here know , col Lang dropped his mask of fairness already and go full bore neocon. His site already banning people who posted anything outside col lang's worldview.

why mention Col Lang SST ? because it is a propaganda channel supporint US neocon nonsense , if you read the site it is as if you take the pulse of the beast

Posted by: deap | Aug 22 2021 6:56 utc | 93

The iNorthern Alliance was able to mount a resistance to the Taliban because they had the support of Russia and the surrounding stans.

This time round Russia and the stans are not on board. This killed any chance of a resistance to the Taliban.

I’m fact the Russians seem to have developed a civil working relationship with the Taliban.

As to the article linked by James:

The comparison between the PMCs and the kings of old doesn’t work because the kings were the final decision makers. The PMCs are glorified lackeys managing the system in behalf of the actual decision makers. The PMCs manage the system for the benefit of the actual decision makers not the general public. As such they are eminently discardable by the actual decision makers should the PMCs lose credibility with the public.

Posted by: Down South | Aug 22 2021 7:42 utc | 94

Posted by: Paul | Aug 22 2021 4:53 utc | 80

When I said I'm not sure what 20/20 was but it's not cricket I was being ironic. I'm from Sydney and been to more test matches and one day games than I can remember over the last 40 years. I don't need an explainer (lol). All I meant was that 20/20 is not real cricket mate, it's big bash. The art form is in the test. But thanks for assuming that my handle meant I was from Mars.

Posted by: Patroklos | Aug 22 2021 7:51 utc | 95

Posted by: Gordog | Aug 22 2021 5:47 utc | 82

"I don't disparage anyone who hasn't had the benefit of building collegial and even life-changing relations with people you rely on."

I think you need to assume people here have had that benefit before assuming they haven't. I look forward to the content of all your posts but not the lofty and sneering snobbery.

Posted by: Patroklos | Aug 22 2021 7:56 utc | 96

Patroklos @ 95

Lol. Have to agree with you re:20/20

It’s like they tried to dumb down the sport to appeal to a wider audience.

Posted by: Down South | Aug 22 2021 8:20 utc | 97

james @53:

It's a good article, I think everyone should read it. I for one hadn't considered how the Afghan collapse would effect the minds of the liberal establishment in the imperialist countries.
But the question needs more pondering -- given the state of the left and the level of consciousness and militancy of the working class we might be in a situation of considerable risk.

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Aug 22 2021 9:24 utc | 98

David G Horsman @62:

According to various tests I'm one of the most intelligent persons I will ever meet. So take it from superior intellect: the ability to quickly see patterns (which is what iq-test test for) is highly overrated.

And meritocracy is a therm used by people that don't like the sound of 'I'm a professor because my father was one.' It's a myth.

Posted by: Jörgen Hassler | Aug 22 2021 9:39 utc | 99

Lots of things going on now, not much of it to the benefit of the falling empire.

1. Merkel meeting Putin in Russia while USA still trying to "sanction" the finishing of NordStream.

2. Australia and UK (the cheif puppets) are less enthusiastic about US leadership these days.

3. China openly mocking the capability of US Navy wile staying strong in Asia.

Meanwhile the Taliban has some interesting choices to make.

1. There will be NO attempts to destabilize Pakistan. Taliban needs Pakistan to maintain a no-bases policy towards USA. Imran Khan knows this, but also knows anything done from him to the contrary will throw Pakistan into chaos.

2. Massood seems at least to be neutralized as a significant threat to Taliban rule and likewise limit it's ties to the hegemon.

3. China is maintaining it's early ties with Taliban leadership to provide political and economic support to come.

4. Russia is now talking with Turkey so they are on the same page (i. e. Erdogans trolling of USA and NATO continues).

5. Taliban will not become any "terrorist heaven". This will still be the domain of USA. There is nothing to gain for them to do this and the new leaders in Kabul are too savvy for such things.

6. They sit with all cards with regards to the airport debacle and can crank it up or down at any time.

USA will try to do SOMETHING, but what? When you know the simple tricks of a big bully and can check them, the bully is not so feared anymore, is it?

Posted by: Harald | Aug 22 2021 9:41 utc | 100

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