Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 13, 2021

Afghanistan - This Is The End ...

This was fast. The Taliban have as of now 18 of 34 province capitals (province) under there control.  

  • August 6 - Zaranji (Nimruz)
  • August 7 - Sheberghan (Jowzjan)
  • August 8 - Kunduz (Kunduz)
  • August 8 - Sar-e Pol (Sar-e Pol)
  • August 8 - Talquan (Takhar)
  • August 9 - Aybak (Samangan)
  • August 10 - Farah (Farah)
  • August 10 - Pul-i Khumri (Baghlan)
  • August 11 - Faizabad (Badakhshan)
  • August 12 - Ghazni (Ghazni)
  • August 12 - Kandahar (Kandahar)
  • August 12 - Herat (Herat)
  • August 12 - Qala-e-Naw (Badghis)
  • August 13 - Lashkar Gah (Helmand)
  • August 13 - Tirin kot (Uruzgan)
  • August 13 - Chaghcharan (Ghor)
  • August 13 - Pul-e Alim (Logar)
  • August 13 - Qalat (Zabul)


Only three of the bigger cities, Kabul, Jalalabad and Mazar-i-Sharif, are not yet in Taliban hands. 

Jalalabad and the eastern provinces near the border to Pakistan are Taliban heartland. They will fall automatically. Mazar-i-Sharif, home of the brutal warlord 'General' Dostum, may decide to fight to the end. The fate of Kabul is still open.

The other still yellow provinces will likely change hands with little or no fighting.

Paktﻯawal @Paktyaw4l - 9:06 UTC · Aug 13, 2021
My province has just announced they are surrendering to the Taliban without a fight, Gardez city will be spared from fighting. Scholars and tribal elders are telling government forces that the government is no more, no more fighting.

The U.S. is sending 3,000 soldiers to Kabul to secure the evacuation of its embassy. 650 soldiers are already there. A reserve of 5,000 is kept on bases near the Persian Gulf. Britain will send 600 soldiers. The U.S. will have to evacuate at least 4,000 'embassy' staff of which 1,400 are 'diplomats'.

The AP summarizes the situation:

The onslaught represents a stunning collapse of Afghan forces after the United States spent nearly two decades and $830 billion trying to establish a functioning state after toppling the Taliban in the wake of the September 11 attacks. The advancing Taliban ride on American-made Humvees and carry M-16s pilfered from Afghan forces.

Afghan security forces and the government have not responded to repeated questions from journalists, instead issuing video communiques that downplay the Taliban advance.

Bill Roggio, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said the Afghan army has rotted from within due to corruption and mismanagement, leaving troops in the field poorly equipped and with little motivation to fight. The Taliban, meanwhile, have spent a decade taking control of large swaths of the countryside, positioning themselves to rapidly seize key infrastructure and urban areas once President Joe Biden announced the U.S. withdrawal.

The difficulty of moving troops out to the provinces means the government is likely to focus all its efforts on defending the capital.

There is fear of a battle for Kabul but I find it unlikely that the Afghan army will take a stand. Who or what are the Afghan soldiers supposed to fight for? Its units are likely to negotiate a peaceful change of command as they have done elsewhere. They will then be told to go home. There may be some bodyguards of this or that warlord or politician who will try to protect their compounds. If they fight they will have little chance to survive.

President Ashraf Ghani and other politicians will soon retreat to their villas in Dubai. In a week or two the whole of Afghanistan may well be, for the first time ever, under total control of the Islamic Emirate.

Our politicians have lied to us over 'bringing democracy' to Afghanistan. Corruption, from Washington DC through Kabul down into the smallest army units in Afghanistan, had long destroyed all hope for better results.

The incompetent military leaders have disregarded their duty when they declared again and again that they have turned the corner of the fight. The intelligence people have never understood Afghanistan. How else could they have misjudged the speed of the current outcome?

All this was well known to anyone who read the reports by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. But lots of weapons were sold and lots of contractors made abstruse profits for projects that were never done. The war was a self licking ice cream cone.

It is good that this scam is now finally ending. The Afghan people will be mostly happy about it. Corruption will end. No more bribes will have to be paid.

The country will continue to be poor but much safer.

Posted by b on August 13, 2021 at 14:14 UTC | Permalink

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Small correction: should read "span of 13 years" ...

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Aug 14 2021 0:25 utc | 101

Patroklos @97--

Many have written that today's Taliban aren't the same as the 1995-2002 Taliban. And with Imran Khan guiding Pakistan, that nation is now the opposite policy-wise of what it was prior to his ascension. The current crop of Taliban will have much to prove governance-wise, but there's no way to know how capable or inept they might be until the coalition of which they'll be a part takes up offices in Kabul. From the negotiations they've had with their neighbors, particularly China--and in their travels to very modern places like Doha--it's possible they've experienced an epiphany of sorts informing them that there's no contradiction between being tribal and modern, especially with the sort of "carpet of gold" being offered by China.

The Outlaw US Empire and its NATO vassals committed numerous crimes, some very brutal, yet no one accuses them of being backward bumpkins--although such an epithet might be proper. Who's been more barbaric, the Taliban or the Western invaders?

We shall see soon enough.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 14 2021 0:25 utc | 102

@84 Petri Krohn - thanks for the video! That was eye-opening for me. I noticed that the Global News article I linked to @78 has been changed. The changes include a new quote from the Defence Minister, where he says, “The challenges on the ground are quite immense.”

Since when? Can anyone suggest a good source for on-the-ground coverage of Kabul? If it’s journalists, diplomats and members of the gay and lesbian community who are being rescued, it’s hard to imagine that the most elite unit in Canada’s military are required to escort them. I can’t imagine that the Taliban would pick a fight with those troops, there would be backlash and surely, as the victors, the Taliban have better things to do. Those 4,000 US troops wouldn’t factor in here somewhere, would they? Perhaps Washington has a different list of evacuees to Canada than the one put together in Ottawa?

One quibble, Canadian Cents: as leaders of a minority government Trudeau-Freeland can’t really be called a regime, at least not without including a few other names as well! If they call an election and win a majority though… then maybe.

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Aug 14 2021 0:41 utc | 103

I heard to day a interesting summary while in a crowd of persons I did not know. It went something like this => "The global oligarch have managed USA governed domestic America with acumen similar to that that the global oligarch managed USA governed demonstrated in foreign place (Afghanistan)"

by: Jackrabbit @ 5 =>How many national disgraces can we just waive away?
=> - Pandemic ineptness; - Jan 6 "insurrection" - Afghanistan debacle

What about the many oligarch successes in contrast to a few failures?
1. implementation of the bio weapon called 5g
2. commercialization of 5g rolled into the concept of IOT
3. development, release and promotion of virus which can only be made in a lab.
4. realignment of environmental cost from oligarch owned enterprise to climate change propaganda.
5. export by rule of law of monopoly powers from government to private commercial interest.
digital security (no one can talk to anyone in government)
secures the privacy of govt employees + oligarch from dialog with the public they govern.
6. copyright and patent laws that box up and exported America to foreign lands.
7. copyright and patent laws that exported all useful public knowledge to private balance sheet
assets <= 14% intangible/ 86% tangible assets (1975) have become
as of Sept.2020 90% intantible/10% tangible.
8. creation of secret courts
9. development of massive in size privately operated prisons in foreign lands
10. destruction the American University System by the DoD and its private contractors
11. search& track Intel algorithms capable to spy on everyone + everything.
12. privatization of the public health care system
13. federalization of the nationally coordinated local education system
14. deregulation of the transportation industry so it could be privatized.
15. privatization of the public Internet.
16. implementation of no one works without government issued license behavior control system.
17. 1913 constitutional amendment to privatize ownership of the monetary system
18. 3rd worldization of once great America by oligarch dominance over govt.

probably there are more.. .
I think the successes of the global oligarch did a lot more to demoralized America and to destroy industrial strength and innocent mind set of the governed who believed they lived in a democracy (as opposed to a Oligarch owned Republic). I remember in America when business, very big business was often done on a handshake, I remember in America when the government sued any corporation that became large to break it up and distribute its monopoly powers to others in the market place.

Posted by: snake | Aug 14 2021 0:56 utc | 104

I think the original plan of withdrawal was a trap to lure the Taliban into an offensive that would lead them to overextend themselves and expose them to taking huge loses by withering B-52 and C-130 attacks while dug in troops backed by commandos and special forces slowed their advance and kept them fairly stationary leading to easier targeting by air raids.

As Gordog notes above, a grinding civil war using the Afghani as proxies and Cannon fodder, ultimately leading to the Taliban being ground down and left in a weaker position, if not outright defeated.

I don't think that is working out so well, which is leaving a panicked Washington DC in a lurch. Probably quite tempting to reinsert American soldiers and try to salvage the situation, but seems too late for that.

Posted by: Haassaan | Aug 14 2021 0:57 utc | 105

This Afghan evacuation wouldn’t have anything to do with that sandpiper migration from last night’s The National, would it? I didn’t watch the full episode, but saw the clip of The Moment on their Twitter feed.

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Aug 14 2021 1:04 utc | 106

james @Aug13 16:15 #17

@ 5 jackrabbit... can we say end of usa empire at this point?? if not now, then when?? us$ or petrodollar is still the linchpin.... it has to go..

Apologies for not developing my point further.

These "national disgraces" _ARE_ waived away by an uncaring public, in-the-tank media, and craven Powers-That-Be.

In my comment, I meant to highlight this utter insanity.

The Empire-building asshat cold warriors survived the fall of Saigon (after a turbulent 1960's) and will survive the fall of Kabul.

When Westerners shrug their collective shoulders, WE GIVE THEM LEAVE to plot their next adventurism. Adventurism that comes with HUGE costs and grave risks to ourselves and our planet.

Jimmy Dore is right to call for a new anti-war Movement ().


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 14 2021 1:27 utc | 107

Here's that for Jimmy Dore (ht uncle tungsten).


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 14 2021 1:29 utc | 108

I have to laugh at the views of amerikans who believe all other nations have the same amount of *agency* as the cruel, blood encrusted & sociopathic amerikan empire. Typical of this is comments by some about "Why doesn't Pakistan just block amerikan bomber/missile overflights?" as if Imran Khan, a thoroughly decent man who is himself a Pashtu prince with many familial and social connections to Afghan Pashtu is somehow behaving foolishly.

Think it through for a moment and imagine exactly what would happen were Khan to put his personal interests first by aiding a Pashtun regime under the auspices of the Taleban take control of Afghanistan free of interference by amerikan aerial butchery. His nation would be screwed in an instant with both amerika & england now blatantly supporting India in the inevitable war with Pakistan that Modi and the BJP have been angling for to unite the population while distracting from India's humiliation by China.

USuk have always sided with India whilst claiming neutrality - that would go and their support for the neoliberal indian state wouldn't need to be covert any longer as Pakistan would quickly find itself having been declared an international pariah following the closure of it's flight corridors to amerika.

The usual tools western media plus ambitious 'statesmen' would be used to propagandise against Pakistan. We know this will happen since most will have previously observed how deceitful allegations against the ISI, conflation of the Pakistani Taliban with the Afghan Taleban has occured whenever Pakistan has shown itself unwilling to fully support the empire's murderous agenda.

That is only step 1, Step 2 would be sanctions, suddenly Pakistan would struggle to import medicines, foodstuffs & consumers goods while losing markets for Pakistan produce.
China may elect to ignore amerikan imposed sanctions as it is unlikely that these would garner the support of the UN, but even so since people cannot eat a cell phone or inject a pair of nikes into a dying patient, there would be a limit to the amount of support China could give Pakistan.

Step 2 would also involve cessation of all under the table payments to senior ISI and military staff currently made by amerika because they would conclude those types had failed when they had not prevented the government from banning overflights. That last item would make bringing down the elected government by military coup a certainty & Pakistan would return to the bad old days which only ended when a few junior military types stuffed an explosive stacked crate of mangos onto the president's plane killing Zia and his senior army support in one fell swoop.

The first action by the 'new' government would be to allow amerikan overflights once more. Pakistan would have gained nothing but lost much.

The ISI & military types who take amerikan dollars are in the main,loyal Pakistanis, but they badly need their salary 'top ups' and loathe the overflights as much as any other citizen, consequently they are forced to allow this humiliation until the empire collapses as they too see the alternative being much worse for Pakistan.

Like most of the rest of the world Pakistan is waiting for the moment when entropy finally hits bringing down the decrepit, corrupt & incompetent empire.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Aug 14 2021 1:35 utc | 109

Bruised Northerner @102, true that it's a minority government, but it seems that all the "opposition parties" are on the same page when it comes to foreign policy (whatever the US wants). So "Freeland-Trudeau regime" could be taken to refer to the current parliament as a whole, minus a few rare MPs that are not partisan lemmings.

For example, a majority 266 of our "Honourable" MPs voted to accuse China of genocide in February - and the bill specifically prefaced that it was because the US said so - but only a few months later, the same MPs declined to even take a vote on genocide in Canada, despite the far, far greater evidence - namely, hundreds of unmarked graves found at "residential schools" (forced re-education camps) across Canada.

The PM and deputy PM - who has been the main driver of Canada's foreign policy - have to be held accountable for the country's policies and what happens under their watch, even if they don't have a majority but the other parties agree with them.

"The US embassy in Ottawa boasted in a March 2017 memo, “Canada Adopts ‘America First’ Foreign Policy,” just after PM Trudeau appointed hard-line hawk Chrystia Freeland as foreign minister."

‘Canada Adopts America First Foreign Policy,’ US State Dept boasted in 2017, with appointment of FM Chrystia Freeland
Grayzone article

Thanks for your link @78 about Canadian special ops elite units being sent to Afganistan to rescue Canadians from the embassy!

"Sources told Global News then that the embassy was 'ripping out,' an evacuation process that includes discarding classified items."

Add that to the Canadian taxpayer bill of the undisclosed total cost of our involvement in the US-led military subjugation and occupation of Afghanistan.

Roger @42, well said! I share the same view.

Petri Krohn @84, thanks for that YouTube link about the last US evacuation flight from Da Nang.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Aug 14 2021 1:51 utc | 110

Well, tonight’s National ended with a feature on a Parks Canada program, where newcomers to Canada are taught how to camp. Everything they need to know to stay out in the Canadian wilderness!! I’ll leave it and let others draw whatever conclusions they choose. Programs are offered in 3 coastal locations: PEI, Halifax and Vancouver.

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Aug 14 2021 2:03 utc | 111

Brzezinski famously said how happy and proud of himself he was to see his plan of dragging USSR in Afghanistan worked and gave USSR her own Vietnam. i just wished he was still alive to see how wrong he was with grand chessboard and how his own country failed even more miserably in Afghanistan than the USSR did. Effectively his beloved empire just got her second Vietnam and on to the third one.

Posted by: Kooshy | Aug 14 2021 2:04 utc | 112

@ Karlof 101

Thanks for this, so this is a 'modern' Taliban I guess. But it doesn't allay my fear that the CIA still have one or two strings attached to the Islamist puppet. I just can't bring myself to accept that the Interagency has no plan B (or plan C). Or is this akin to the British failure in Afghanistan, 1840-1920?

Posted by: Patroklos | Aug 14 2021 2:11 utc | 113

Re: Kooshy @111,

Well said. as I recalled when Brzezinski was asked if arming Islamic Terrorists would have long term consequences he dismissively said that a bunch of riled up Arabs were a small price to pay compared to harming the Soviet Union. Oh how the worm has turned!

Posted by: Kadath | Aug 14 2021 2:12 utc | 114

It appears there're a lot of people in think-tank land and assorted lobby groups who are angry/mad about the rapid collapse of US/NATO trained Afghan soldiers and also the inevitable fall of Kabul. A lot of wounded egos/pride and an utter disbelief that a bunch of "goat herders" in sandals have defeated a collection of self-righteous countries(most of them bullied into joining) who believe they're on God's mission to bring "freedom" to those uncivilised Afghans.
For these psychos, the war in Afghanistan was a very lucrative business with big money to be made.
The Afghans always had the clock - it was just a matter of time before this clusterf*ck came crushing down. Why should an Afghan soldier die for a corrupt puppet government in Kabul?
This event will reverberate across many different places in the years to come.
Posted by: Zico | Aug 13 2021 20:05 utc | 46

Especially with the Korean and Japanese puppets.
They must have noticed that Germany's patience with its US Occupiers has begun to expire. How humiliating that a bunch of lightly-armed goat-herders in sandals and turbans has given the Great Satan an unforgettable lesson in Great Gamesmanship.
One wonders how long the Koreans and Japanese will pretend not to notice what's happening in Afghanistan - and Germany?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 14 2021 2:19 utc | 115

Oh shit! The us is kicked out of afgh. Where will they invest the freed up resources?
The world wonders…..

Posted by: James j | Aug 14 2021 2:22 utc | 116

@115 Lithuania james. The Lithuanian government (such as it is) wants to restore past glories and regain access to the Black Sea. Poland is quite enthusiastic

about the idea and of course it will be a way to poke a finger in the eyes of Russia and China. Poor Biden. I get the impression he's actually trying to be conciliatory.

Posted by: dh | Aug 14 2021 2:45 utc | 117

@dh | Aug 14 2021 2:45 utc | 116:

The Lithuanian government (such as it is) wants to restore past glories and regain access to the Black Sea. Poland is quite enthusiastic

Oh, how the fur would fly should Lithuanian revanchism meet Polish revanchism! ;-)

Posted by: corvo | Aug 14 2021 2:53 utc | 118

@117 I'd love to see that. Those ex-Soviet countries are nothing without the Russian bear.

Posted by: dh | Aug 14 2021 3:04 utc | 119

I want all US and NATO Political and Military-Industrial Complex leaders (who bilked the US and European peoples and are complicit in these crimes ) to be arrested and put on trial for their massive war crimes and crimes against humanity. All the leadership of the US and nato 'contractors', meaning mercenaries, too. And all the generals at Defense etc who lied and bombed for 20 years....

all of them. by the hundreds and the thousands.

everything else is the devil in the details. Let it all be sorted out at the trials at The Hague
How Many People Has the U.S. Killed in its Post-9/11 Wars? Part 2: Afghanistan and Pakistan
By Nicolas J.S. Davies

"....Costs of War and UNAMA have counted 36,754 civilian deaths up to the end of 2017. If these (extremely) passive reports represent 5 percent of total civilian deaths, as in Guatemala, the actual death toll would be about 735,000. If UNAMA has in fact eclipsed Guatemala’s previously unsurpassed record of undercounting civilian deaths and only counted 3 or 4 percent of actual deaths, then the real total could be as high as 1.23 million. If the ratio were only the same as originally found in Iraq in 2006 (14:1 – before Iraq Body Count revised its figures), it would be only 515,000.

Adding these figures to my estimate of Afghan combatants killed on both sides, we can make a rough estimate that about 875,000 Afghans have been killed since 2001, with a minimum of 640,000 and a maximum of 1.4 million...."

Posted by: michaelj72 | Aug 14 2021 3:07 utc | 120

This won't even move the needle for US public opinion. No draft, no skin in the game. And frankly, for 99% of the mobilized reservists, the afghan boondoggle was a monetary bonanza - collect your civilian check on military leave, hazardous duty pay + BAH (based on cost of living in us)+BAS ... FRIGGIN E-4s with family in NYC were making 100 grand @ year for basically flipping burgers in Kabul

Posted by: Adriatic Hillbilly | Aug 14 2021 3:33 utc | 121

This US/UK re-introduction of 4,500 troops (or whatever the real number is) to secure the evacuation is at best disingenuous since the Taliban have made it clear for quite some time now that they would not interfere with any westerners who were on their way out the door. I don't know if there is some more nefarious purpose, or if it's just a sign of the disarray and panic the US/UK are in. Obviously they had assumed their 1,500 spooks and shit-stirrers, along with the 3,000 overpaid mercenaries guarding them, would be allowed to stay for the foreseeable doubt thought to be under the protection of the Northern Druglord Alliance, in order to keep the spice flowing out and ISIS flowing into the 'stans. But it seems that those pesky Russians (and Chinese) supposedly paying bounties for US scalps were probably sighted in the hinterlands alright, but the real purpose now appears to have been helping the Taliban devise this masterstroke of a plan, building alliances or at least reaching quiet understandings. Once the US began its pullout, the green light would be given for such rapid surrenders throughout the country that the US would find itself in an untenable position, unable to go back on its stated plan to withdraw. Russia in particular knew that the US had no intention of leaving, and that the cancer their continued presence would pose would poison the entire region until they were gone.

Or it may have just been the wonderful payoff of 20 years of perseverance...either way, congratulations to the Afghans. There will be difficult times ahead, but at least now there's a chance.

Posted by: J Swift | Aug 14 2021 3:44 utc | 122

I seem to have misunderstood history, as I though that the US invaded Afghanistan to go after Al Qaeda. Can someone help me out on this one?

Posted by: Seer | Aug 14 2021 3:53 utc | 123

What will China do there?

They have been mining in the NE. I expect it will continue. Can also expect their usual roads/bridges infrastructure work. And the the Belt Road will go through to the Bay of Bengal and also to Europe.

Posted by: HelenB | Aug 14 2021 3:55 utc | 124

From a Reuters article:

"The Biden administration is exploring having three Central Asian countries temporarily take in thousands of Afghans who worked with U.S. forces [..]

They said Washington is in talks with Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan about letting in the at-risk Afghan citizens. Two of the sources were U.S. officials and all requested anonymity.

What would Washington's "temporarily" translate to? Twenty years like their temporary stay in Afghanistan since 2001?

And would they exploit that as a way to slip some of their extremist proxies into the Central Asian states?

"The three sources said an agreement did not appear imminent with any of the countries."

Given the US subversion and destabilization goals for region, it's not a chance worth taking.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Aug 14 2021 3:59 utc | 125

@122 That is what we were told. Basically it was an overreaction to 911. Bush had to 'do something'. Get Bin Laden etc. Of course it looked like a good idea to lots of other people.

Posted by: dh | Aug 14 2021 4:00 utc | 126

Posted by: Kooshy | Aug 14 2021 2:04 utc | 111 -- ".... (the US) failed even more miserably in Afghanistan than the USSR did..... (the US) just got her second Vietnam and on to the third one.

How delicious to see the Exceptionally Evil Nation graduate with 2 vietnams !!!

How delicious to see Jake Sullivan and Ned Price lie through their teeth, knowing that we know that they know that they are lying. And that tight-faced bigger idiot, Blinkin' Blink'n of the nervous disposition and head swollen with hubris. How they work hard for their money.

And the 3rd vietnam lining up for Team Exceptionally Indispensable? Look no further than Syria.

Posted by: kiwiklown | Aug 14 2021 4:05 utc | 127

@ Jackrabbit | Aug 14 2021 1:27 utc | 106.. calling for a new anti-war movement is a good idea.... but i think americans are more focused on black lives matter, and lbgt issues at this point.. they have been convinced that these issues are more important then another war in a far off country and calling a stop to that... well, i would like to be wrong, but it is what i think at a quick glance..

Posted by: james | Aug 14 2021 4:06 utc | 128

The Voice of Amerika is blaming Russia, Iran and Pakistan.

Posted by: Keith McClary | Aug 14 2021 4:14 utc | 129

Stunning speed of developments. It suggests well coordinated organization, and a rapid turnaround in the flow of large scale bribery that kept the previous state of affairs going. Looks like Taliban 2.0 found a superior package deal from new sponsors.

For the time being, the thing that unites the larger regional powers -- China, Iran, Russia, Pakistan -- is they want the US (or India, in the case of Pak) at a more comfortable distance. If that is actually accomplished, and matters turn once again to pipeline routes and regional rivalries, there will be plenty of tensions among the apparent new group of sponsors. So a stable future is hardly a done deal.

Besides that, an overbearing fundamentalist theocratic government is not exactly a thing to celebrate. Only in comparison to the option of endless war and random "precision" bombings run by people half a world away, does it become consistently competitive.

Posted by: ptb | Aug 14 2021 4:22 utc | 130

The yanks are getting really, really desperate now, telling the taliban if they attack that nest of spies known as the US embassy in kabul(with its 1400 "diplomats"), they wont be eligible for future US financial aid.

Posted by: RC213V | Aug 14 2021 4:22 utc | 131

@15 Ash

The Taliban are deeply conservative Sunni believers.

IS and AQ are more akin to reactionary cults, whose origin is in wahabi Islam, which rejects the formal and traditionally orthodox forms of Islam.

While dress may be similar, and some conservative values shared, the groups detest each other.

Think Baptists vs JWs or Mormons

The Taliban offered to turn over bin laden and AQ ilk to the US all for a simple request. The US refused to fill out the legal form and 20 years of war followed.

Today's Taliban are different but still rooted I conservative Sunni doctrine

Posted by: les7 | Aug 14 2021 4:38 utc | 132

I firmly believe that Abdul Rashid Dostum will soon be relieved of life.

Posted by: Pricknick | Aug 14 2021 4:41 utc | 133

J Swift @ 121 hits the BULLSEYE! 👍

Posted by: Gordog | Aug 14 2021 4:41 utc | 134

Good article except for the part about "most afghans will be happy". People need to stop speaking for afghans.

Posted by: F | Aug 14 2021 4:53 utc | 135

Afghanistan is a significant domino in the line up of ME countries that empire continues to want to influence/control.

Will the domino of Af fall completely or will mercs and shit-stirrers as Gordog calls them still roam the country influencing drug trade and geo-politics?

If the Af domino falls completely then Iraq and Syria as falling dominoes are close behind.....someone else commented about Korea and Germany...who knows what sort of renaissance our world is poised for but it sure is fun to speculate about a better world.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 14 2021 4:54 utc | 136

Posted by: Antibody | Aug 13 2021 17:46 utc | 26

How much of the taliban are composed of foreign fighters? They are pakistani proxy army.

Posted by: F | Aug 14 2021 4:55 utc | 137

My question at posting 122 was to question why we're talking about the presence of being in Afghanistan being couched as being to rout the Taliban when in fact (again, please correct me if I'm mistaking history on this) it was to go after Al Qaeda, get Bin Laden.

Of course, there was the meeting with the Taliban in Texas prior to 9/11 in which they were told to make an oil deal or else be bombed back to the stone age. But, I'm sure, that had nothing to do with the continued occupation of Afghanistan and the attacks on the Taliban.

Posted by: Seer | Aug 14 2021 5:35 utc | 138

The American Copium is off the charts on Afghanistan.

Posted by: J W | Aug 14 2021 5:36 utc | 139

The issue with FukUS's crazy flight from Afghanistan I find the most droll is this business of 'interpreters'.
One would think that these give-up, somewhat amerikan speaking afghanis who openly worked with the invaders would have spent enough time with the duplicitous 'Coalition of the Willing' that they would know their position is hopeless. The empire needs their continued presence in Afghanistan to provide a solid core of 'believers' to man the cadres of resisters in Kabul plus one or two other large townships.
I don't believe the empire is so stupid as to believe a colour revolution agin the Taleban could be a goer but the majority of those who benefited materially from the coalition won't be granted asylum or refugee status now or at any other time.

A few standout alleged victims of the coming Afghan administration will publically cop entry for propaganda purposes & a handful more types who have committed acts of sabotage - terrorism will get given refugee status covertly, but the rest will be deliberately left behind, all the better to stir shit the empire hopes. In truth most will probably adjust to the the new administration. The worst enablers of murder & torture will be executed or serve lengthy prison sentences but ordinary blokes who did what they had to to feed their clan will be tossed back after questioning or be entirely left alone. There is nothing to be gained by divisive ness during a time when Afghans need to work together in unity.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Aug 14 2021 6:57 utc | 140

@Keith McClary #51
Sort of a "domino theory", but could happen.
The oil Sheikhs are already seeking protection from their natural ally, the State of the Jewish People.

This but I think the greatest damage might be when black rag heads ISIS(Wahhabi/Chechen/Uighurs) realize that the US is in no way that they could help them realize their sharia state dream and they are just cannon fodder, they look at the Iraq Shia and at the Taliban and they realize radical Muslim + USA = loosing, radical Muslim + own their own = winning, if that happens the USA has lost their last foot in the door in the ME.

Posted by: Ed FOLClorist | Aug 14 2021 7:16 utc | 141

The servile media here in India are fretting about "lack of options for India in Afghanistan"..

Posted by: R | Aug 14 2021 7:19 utc | 142

If people want to live in the Stone Age let them do that.

Posted by: Den lille abe | Aug 14 2021 7:41 utc | 143

Posted by: RC213V | Aug 14 2021 4:22 utc | 130

The yanks will change their tune when they're notified that China will be all too pleased to offer an alternative.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Aug 14 2021 7:48 utc | 144

The Afghan soldier is fighting for the same thing that most Afghan desire more than anything else : loot.

The USA is still providing millions annually. That money is only going to flow through Ghani, with the Taliban in control of Kabul that source would dry up.

Posted by: m | Aug 14 2021 7:48 utc | 145

Seer @122 and @137, here's a roughly 30-minute video from June in which Abby Martin does a great recap of the US war on Afghanistan, including covering some of the many motivations that come into play for the US.

Afghanistan War Exposed: An Imperial Conspiracy

Google/Youtube has made the video "age-restricted", though I don't really see a good reason for that. So it requires sign-in, probably greatly reducing its viewership as a result.

Keep in mind that it's probably simplistic to expect just one single reason, and it's probably a confluence of many.

Regarding the Wahhabi extremist groups like AQ and its many offshoots including ISIS/ETIM, many people feel that they are a product and tool of the US (and its ally Saudi Arabia), serving as ground proxy forces to destabilize and overthrow socialist/secular governments like the government of Afghanistan in 1979, Libya's Khadaffi government in 2011, Syria's Assad government, etc. and/or as a convenient false flag to justify American military intervention.

AQ arose out of the Wahhabi extremism that the US and its ally Saudi Arabia fostered in order to impose brutal war on Afghanistan four decades ago in 1979 to destabilize the USSR - in the words of former National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, "to induce a Soviet military intervention [..] giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war" in Afghanistan, thanks to US machinations.

More generally, US neocon doctrine for world domination has been "to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival" in Eurasia, or more specifically: "prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power."

Eurasia is the "Heartland" in Halford Mackinder's "Who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island; who rules the World-Island commands the world." Afghanistan can be considered to be at the heart of that Heartland. And "hostile" power seems to be any country that does not bend the knee to US hegemony, so countries like China and Russia get labeled as "hostile".

US Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson who was chief of staff to US Secretary of State Colin Powell when the US invaded Afghanistan and Iraq stated in this 2018 talk on YouTube that the US military wants to be in Afghanistan so that the US can disrupt China's Belt and Road Initiative near its starting point in Xinjiang, and so that the US can exploit China's Uyghur minority in Xinjiang to destabilize China.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Aug 14 2021 8:06 utc | 146

@michaelj72 | Aug 14 2021 3:07 utc | 119

I want all US and NATO Political and Military-Industrial Complex leaders (who bilked the US and European peoples and are complicit in these crimes ) to be arrested and put on trial for their massive war crimes and crimes against humanity.

I agree entirely. We need something different than the Nuremberg trials, but with similar significance. We now live in lawless societies, law must be restored.

Posted by: Norwegian | Aug 14 2021 8:14 utc | 147

@dh | Aug 14 2021 4:00 utc | 125

Nothing was a 'reaction' to 911. It was all planned beforehand, and 911 itself was a huge false flag to pull the trigger on the plan's execution.

Posted by: Norwegian | Aug 14 2021 8:18 utc | 148

Talking about reactions to 911, what are the odds that the Taliban will be taking over in Kabul by 11. September 2021?

It seems that everybody, including the perpetrators of 911, think of it as more likely than not.

Posted by: Norwegian | Aug 14 2021 8:45 utc | 149

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Aug 14 2021 7:48 utc | 143

Surely that ship has sailed. I too have a feeling the chinese are not only all to pleased too, but already have it all planned out, to the smallest detail.

Posted by: RC213V | Aug 14 2021 9:00 utc | 150

Norwegian 147

There are plenty of public bridges with free access, and ropes of all types and tensile strengths can be purchased at any hardware store. Neither are listed as duel use so no problems legally buying rope or accessing a public bridge.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 14 2021 9:21 utc | 151

Stoltenberg: Taliban Will Not Get International Recognition if It Takes Over Afghanistan by Force

Perhaps he means that the NATO wars against Yugoslavia, Libya, Syria, Iraq and not to forget Afghanistan itself lacks international recognition? Or what?

According to Stoltenberg's logic it is apparently ok to attack and take over other countries, but defending your own country against invaders is a big no-no.

Posted by: Norwegian | Aug 14 2021 9:22 utc | 152

@Peter AU1 | Aug 14 2021 9:21 utc | 150


Posted by: Norwegian | Aug 14 2021 9:23 utc | 153

So, in the end, Bin Laden won (if we are to believe this fight was ever about him to begin with):

Instead of one "Al Qaida" there are now thousands of "Al Qaidas" ... How long before one or more of them decide to execute a new 9-11 ?

(Assuming Al Qaida had anything to do with the original 9-11 as we have been emphatically encouraged to believe ...)

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Aug 14 2021 9:24 utc | 154

Posted by: Norwegian | Aug 14 2021 9:22 utc | 151

Somehow I believe the Taliban, and the Afghan people in general have not the least interest in international 'recognition' given how it's worked out for them thus far.

I can imagine the Taliban leadership already chuckling into their tea cups (or whatever they imbibe over there) at Stoltenbergs threats.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Aug 14 2021 9:29 utc | 155

Posted by: Norwegian | Aug 14 2021 8:45 utc | 148

Talking about reactions to 911, what are the odds that the Taliban will be taking over in Kabul by 11. September 2021?

They will be in Kabul within one week - I'm willing to bet bitcoin on it.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Aug 14 2021 9:31 utc | 156

J Swift 121

Both China and Russia are on good terms with Pakistan. European imperial borders cut through peoples. Taliban base or foundation I think is Pashtun. The Pakistan/Afghan border cuts through the Pashtun people.
This map I think is an important part of the picture of the region.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 14 2021 9:34 utc | 157

Ned Price, US State Dept spox, August 12

"Look at the investment we have made in Afghanistan. Look at the investments, whether – however you measure it, whether it is humanitarian, whether it’s political, whether it’s diplomatic, whether it is the security investments that we have made.

Again, we’ve cited this bullet point a couple times:

President Biden’s budget requests $3.3 billion for the ANDSF going forward, a fighting force that is, at least quantitatively, much larger than what the Taliban have to muster".

$3.3 billion from the US taxpayer to profit the US 1% uber-rich.In danger of being lost!

This is serious. The Afghan profit center must not be allowed to wither. The plight of the rich Americans is heart-breaking! Have pity, please!

No bread for the ungrateful Afghani people - let them eat US 'freedom bullets'!

Posted by: powerandpeople | Aug 14 2021 9:35 utc | 158

This is Afghanistan's 1776 moment.

I would be doubly ironic if they make their Independence Day on 9-11.

Posted by: Littlereddot | Aug 14 2021 9:38 utc | 159

In 2022, will president Kamala Harris decide to invade Afghanistan to defend girl schools and LBGT alphabet soup rights?

Some in the know made a killing with their Pfizer and Moderna stocks, now it's time to take a ride with Raytheon and Boeing. Smedley Butler was right. War is a racket.

Posted by: Symen Danziger | Aug 14 2021 9:41 utc | 160

@Arch Bungle | Aug 14 2021 9:29 utc | 154

Somehow I believe the Taliban, and the Afghan people in general have not the least interest in international 'recognition' given how it's worked out for them thus far.

Exactly, when you take back your country, 'recognition' from the occupiers is not your first priority.

Posted by: Norwegian | Aug 14 2021 9:47 utc | 161

Posted by: F | Aug 14 2021 4:55 utc | 136

How much of the taliban are composed of foreign fighters? They are pakistani proxy army.

Ok, I'll feed the troll, just a little.

"F", your confusion stems from your ignorance of the fact that there is a region of overlap between Pakistan and Afghanistan which comprises the traditional homelands of the various tribes from which the Taliban are drawn.

Various Pashtun (and other) groups have always circulate freely between Pakistan and Afghanistan before Pakistan ever existed, which is one of the reasons you can have something called "The Pakistani Taliban" and the "Afghan Taliban".

Ultimately, it's not the "Taliban" the US-NATO is fighting, it's primarily Pashtuns and related / allied tribes united at grassroots level.

What you call a "proxy of Pakistan" is therefore no such thing.

There is no "proxy". These people have been fighting invaders since before Alexander the Great.

The notion that the sophisticated kind of guerrilla warfare waged by the "Taliban" could be developed and coordinated by Pakistan is silly - they have no experience or expertise in this particular kind of conflict. The Afghans do.

It is an illusion spun by Indian propagandists.

Milt Bearden puts it well in an article over at Counterpunch:

Halfway around the globe, there is a place called the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan, seven so-called tribal “agencies” along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan where about six million of the most independent humans on the planet live on 27,000 square kilometers of rugged and inhospitable terrain.

They are the Pashtuns, and they have lived on their lands without interruption or major migration for about 20,000 years. They know their neighborhood very well, and their men have been armed to the teeth since the first bow was strung. Their ancient code involves a commitment to hospitality, revenge and the honor of the tribe. They are invariably described as your “best friend or worst enemy.” The Pashtuns’ sense of territoriality bears some resemblance to the Nipmuck tribe of Massachusetts; when outsiders venture into the middle of their lands on fishing expeditions or to exert authority, very bad things happen.

In the 4th century B.C., Alexander the Great fell afoul of Pashtun tribesmen in today’s Malakand Agency, where he took an arrow in the leg and almost lost his life. Two millennia later the founder of the Mogul empire, Babur, described the tribesmen of the area now known as Waziristan as unmanageable; his main complaint seemed to center on his inability to get them to pay their taxes by handing over their sheep, let alone stop to attacking his armies. A couple of hundred years later, in the middle of the 19th century, the British experienced disaster after disaster as they tried to bring the same Pashtun tribes to heel, particularly in the agencies of North and South Waziristan.


Posted by: Arch Bungle | Aug 14 2021 9:51 utc | 162


Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 14 2021 9:54 utc | 163

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 14 2021 9:54 utc | 162

How odd. Our history books used to tell us that Mussolini was executed by Hitler ...

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Aug 14 2021 9:58 utc | 164

Civil war was the wishful thinking of US.

Now they are like please don't do a Iran Hostage Crisis on us, please, please... don't mind that we are bombing you.

Posted by: Ed FOLClorist | Aug 14 2021 9:59 utc | 165

Arch Bungle #155

They will be in Kabul within one week - I'm willing to bet bitcoin on it.

I am with you on that timing. I can't cover your bitcoin but fyi a block of Afghani dust at the bar of excommunicated souls might be on offer ;)

A week from now they will be camped in the US embassy courtyard, roasting fresh goat and doing various renditions of The Masters of War and then laughing their rs off.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 14 2021 10:00 utc | 166

@ Peter AU1 | Aug 14 2021 9:54 utc | 162

Thank you, now I understand! By coincidence, when I woke up this morning I already had this image on my mind, I have seen it before and will not forget it.

Posted by: Norwegian | Aug 14 2021 10:02 utc | 167

After Vietnam a major defeat of the US imperialism. Must be followed by defeats in Irak and Syria.

Neocons are so stupids that the can be very dangerous in case they will not accept the reality.

"War is a racket" by general S. Butler.

Posted by: LibEgaFra | Aug 14 2021 10:39 utc | 168

Mission accomplished in Afghanistan, all in time to allow some 2.0 celebrations there for the anniversary of 9/11 (and let the guys endorse something they did not do, like in the good old 70s). Next step is the Sahel and Central Africa, where Macron has already announced a reduction of troops, courtesy to Africom?
Oh the juicy underexploited resources. Mozambique for its sea access?
I bet the guys in Doha had a huge party.

Posted by: Mina | Aug 14 2021 11:25 utc | 169

Is there a "Festung Kabul" in the works. It seems a bit odd to fly in three infantry batallions from US and a British Paratroop segment from an Air assault batallion? In addition a mixed Air force batallion from USA?

It doesn't make sense they would do this just to aid in evacuation. I could more likely see an intent to corset the ANA with crack combat units and likely airforce coordinators for close air support.

What would be the intention? Maybe they think they can hold on and bleed the Taliban significantly when the latter starts concentrating forces around Kabul.

The key to a success here would be to hold on to the airport and have enough tactical space to enable safe flight of transport planes in and out.

I don't know, but it sounds like something more than "aiding" evacuations. The first Taliban is probably already at the gates. The next 48 hours sbould be interesting..

Posted by: Harald | Aug 14 2021 12:08 utc | 170

Canada just announced that they'll take 20,000 Afghans, especially if LGBT.
Depopulation... repopulation...
And now that the lockdowns resulted in less terror attacks, voters will loudly applaud to all the coming "sanitary" lockdowns.

Posted by: Mina | Aug 14 2021 13:16 utc | 171

@ Petri Krohn | Aug 13 2021 22:28 utc | 84
Hi Petri, 4000+3000=7000 to bring back, perhaps more [as Saïgon: family, relatives, "girlfriends"], no way for air extraction plan, too late.
Or very rocky bumpy air show!!!

Bhadrakumar explains that Kabul is isolated.

I bet [again, as in my #57] for the passes. Negotiations need some truckload of fresh printed green leaves [supposed to remain a monetary value]

I hope we'll soon receive Pic from TalibTV

Posted by: Rêver | Aug 14 2021 13:30 utc | 172

How much money has the West poured in the Afghanistan elections of 2019? And more importantly, how much money did the intl technocrats get in salaries and bonuses to produce that kind of BS?

Posted by: Mina | Aug 14 2021 14:09 utc | 173

Harald | Aug 14 2021 12:08 utc | 169

That is a possibility. The whole thing could have been a ruse to get the Taliban out of the woodworks and fighting openly so that they could be attacked.

Posted by: jiri | Aug 14 2021 14:24 utc | 174

Posted by: Norwegian | Aug 14 2021 8:45 utc | 148

Talking about reactions to 911, what are the odds that the Taliban will be taking over in Kabul by 11. September 2021?

They will be in Kabul within one week - I'm willing to bet bitcoin on it.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Aug 14 2021 9:31 utc | 155

No doubt already there in significant numbers, just waiting for the signal to make their presence known.

Posted by: corvo | Aug 14 2021 14:25 utc | 175

None of the neighboring states will be happy with a Sharia Islamic Republic … perhaps solely Pakistan … sanctuary for AG leaders and Taliban leadership near Quetta … the Shi’a Hazara in Afghanistan and Baluchistan will be persecuted and bombed. See efforts by Dr. Sima Samar. Just in May a Hazara girls school in Kabul was bombed with 60 dead. No one should be satisfied with medieval patriarchal rule in the 21st Century. Afghanistan has lived through happier ages …

US Forces left as a thief in the night … drawing down 7,000 NATO allies and 18,000 contractors taking care of Bagram airbase thereby disabling any air power the Afghan National Army depends on. The White House and NSC pissed by the visit of Afghan officials to ICC Tribunal in The Hague 😅 in May?

Justice Minister Fazel Ahmad Manawi, Acting Attorney General Zabihullah Kalim, and a number of senior government officials and judiciary and security experts are part of the delegation, according to a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Posted by: Oui | Aug 14 2021 14:36 utc | 176

Posted by: jiri | Aug 14 2021 14:24 utc | 173

The whole thing could have been a ruse to get the Taliban out of the woodworks and fighting openly

The problem with this theory is that the Taliban are now widely interspersed with the general population.

To attack them among the population with ground forces trained primarily in conventional warfare will mean massive civilian casualties and they'll be at a disadvantage.

The Mujaheddine can always melt back into the population again.

Besides, they've already tipped their hand by employing aerial bombing, so the Mujaheddine know to be careful.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Aug 14 2021 14:37 utc | 177

The problem is that the US does not have any useful tactical airpower to pinpoint strikes. The cannot get the A-10 in there any more, unless they fly some into Kabul.

In any case, they could try to pinpoint concentrated forces behind the frontline, I guess to relieve some pressure on Kabul if it comes to that.

Let us say they have 100K Afghan forces in Kabul that are corseted by 5000 Americans/Brits, would that even suffice? Likewise, how soon until there would be massive Taliban infiltration, not to mention Taliban DOES HAVE stomach for casualties while the West doesn't.

I don't know.. This will be studied for a long time. The last week is a bizarre history in modern "warfare", if you can call it that...

Posted by: Harald | Aug 14 2021 14:46 utc | 178

@karlof1 @bobsykes and others. While i respect your opinions on other subjects, your opinions of the whole pakistani issue are incredibly frustrating for me to read. You guys do a quick google search, find "durand line" and "pashtunistan" on wikipedia and get all excited about thinking you've found something new. Let me enlighten you on some points I believe to be true
1)The british did not care about the partition of india before they left just as the usa don't care about the longevity of the kabul govt as they live. It was simply unprofitable for them to remain in control so they left as quickly as possible. It was only when the muslims of central india realised they would be seen as 2nd class citizens in india that they started looking for ways to separate. In the north west, they found states with huge muslim majorities but were completely illiterate and politically unaware so they were used and pakistan was created. The british just followed the path of least resistance. this is a deeper topic but suffice to say, Partition was an cerntral indian, muslim idea, the beneficiaries of which were muslim states to the north. There should be no regrets about this on either side and certainly no sense of loss
2)The precursor to the modern state of afghanistan was the durrani empire. Go look it up.... understand that pakistan is home to 45million pashtuns while afghanistan is home to 15million... note also that several high ranking generals within the pak army are pashtuns as well as several pms including the current one! Take this information, connect some dots and try to understand why the idea of a pashtunistan does not scare pakistan...the durrani line will either be erased one day or will continue to be utterly meaningless to anyone who lives in this region. What surprises me constantly is that you know this and yet you continue to level accusations at pakistan for sheltering/aiding the taleban.... YES OF COURSE WE DO. If my brother wants to hide in my house, im not going to say no. But I do not control what my brother does, he is his own man... but I'm not afraid of his intentions.
Indians should ask themselves why pashtuns did not take any opportunity against pakistan during any conflict with india on our eastern border? They should also question why sindh and punjab are majority muslim in the first place. Any effort to drive a wedge here is just a waste of resources

No one knows the future but the Almighty, and any plans we make are insignificant in front of His. But on this beautiful day of independence, if some think our biggest failure is that the world cannot see the victory this region has just gained...well we've been working too hard to gain the victory to worry about propaganda.

Posted by: Ali | Aug 14 2021 14:59 utc | 179

If the USA cannot even defeat the Taliban, how are they going to defeat China? America is doomed in every possible way. We should just re-elect that corrupt, dumb jackass Trump again, he will start a nuclear war with China and we can kiss all America goodbye.

Posted by: GreatSocialist | Aug 14 2021 15:10 utc | 180

@Biswapriya Purkayast

The Indian reaction has indeed been quite pathetic. I really fear for the decision making in that country. The utter delusion to think that they can spout off so much anti-muslim hate then go to places like afg and iran and expect some sort of alliance. And then make such half-hearted, transparent gestures.... well, they just lost a 3billion usd investment in afg.
They really need to come to terms with reality and accept that they have to work with the region and not seek to dominate it. There's no barrier to this apart from the one they've created in their minds with this akhand bharat nonsense. No one in this region will accept what goes on in kashmir.

Posted by: Ali | Aug 14 2021 15:12 utc | 181

It's funny to see some of the comments, at this obviously late stage in the game, suggesting [some perhaps hoping] the US will somehow pull a rabbit out of the hat, lol!

I suggest the folks read the headline of this article: Afghanistan---This is the End

Bernhard is exactly right. He has been analyzing the Afghanistan situation correctly for many weeks now---even though the rapid events have still caught a lot of us by surprise.

Remember a few weeks ago, everybody was talking about the US PMC mercenaries that were going to be 'left behind'? What happened to that?

Just another soap bubble. Now we have a few more soap bubbles being carried in the breeze here at the discussion zone. Some are pure fantasyland---like the Taliban is 'secretly' working for the CIA and such nonsense. These folks are obviously COPING very very hard, lol!

Others wonder about the sending in of troops to secure the safe exit of the nearly five thousand US 'diplomats' and such. They wonder if this means those soldiers will actually fight against the Taliban?

No. It is far far too late for such a thing.

Those soldiers are coming because the US didn't expect that they would have to pull out their spooks and 'shit stirrers' [thousands of them it turns out], as J Swift astutely pointed out in 121.

Those troublemakers were never meant to leave. At least not for a couple of years, similar to the Vietnam scenario, where the south puppet government held on for a couple of years after US pulled out. That was the plan, anyway.

Obviously even that is now burnt toast, lol!

Besides the 5,000 or so US nationals that somehow have to ESCAPE with their big fat exceptional butts intact, there are also many thousands of collaborators, 'interpreters' etc. Some say up to 100,000. Canada I think said they will be taking 20,000.

Aside from the stupidity of bringing in such dangerous riffraff to live among your own people [remember the 'white helmets' that were welcomed to 'resettle' in various western countries a year or two ago, as that US-built bastion of terrorism collapsed in Syria, under heavy Russian-backed house-cleaning?], getting that many people out under the current circumstances is a huge LOGISTICAL nightmare on its own.

Another commenter astutely pointed to the 1975 evac flights from Da Nang to Saigon, on US commercial airliners. Here's the network news footage of that chaos from 1975.

Look at those cockroaches, all of them armed, some of the shooting at the plane and throwing hand grenades, all of the SOuth Vietnam soldiers---scrambling aboard to save their asses, while leaving the women and children behind. Which was supposed to be the purpose of those mercy flights. A total of five women on that plane!

This is what we could well see in Kabul in a matter of days, or at most weeks. This is why those soldiers are being brought in. So the US nationals can be safe from their own desperate Frankenstein creations, who now want to get out at any cost too. some of whom are going to use force to get on those evac planes.

There will be many cockroaches left behind. They will all be dealt with most appropriately by the Talib, lol! [Uncle T earlier suggested a nicotine patch-like 'solution' for some of the scumbags, only involving a C4 'patch' to the forehead, lol!]

Kabul is a huge rat's nest right now. The Talib have taken most of cities with very little, or almost no fighting at all. Mostly the cockroaches, including governors, Afghan troops etc, were allowed to leave---but leaving the military hardware behind.

There are now only one or two cities, aside from Kabul itself that are not in the hands of the Talib. This is indeed the end!

And yes, we have all been surprised by many things as this astonishing 'new Taliban' in a matter of mere hours really, simply took control with almost no resistance.

As I mentioned in my comment 32 upthread: How on earth did this happen? What must have happened behind the scenes with the major players in the Region, Russia, China and Pakistan?

Obviously there has been major coordination between these players and the Taliban.

Translation: Behind the New Taliban stand world powers Russia and China, plus Pakistan. [Plus the SCO, the 'stans etc].

Bhadrakumar yesterday picked a curious quote from Russian defense minister Shoigu:

What’s important to us is that the border with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan is also taken under the control of the Taliban.

Really? So now Russia is good with a 'terrorist' organization that is still officially banned in the country, having taken control of the frontier territories with its Central Asian ally states?

How very interesting.

Bhadrakumar adds his own:

As for Russia and China, Taliban’s consolidation in the North is a factor of stability and security.

So here is the big takeaway: What we are seeing in Afghanistan is not just the victory of the Taliban, but also the victory of the Russia-China 'double helix' against the Ponzi Empire!

That's what Afghanistan was all about from the beginning. US setting up shop in the post-Soviet space. Big Fail!

We will find out more about this incredible backstory in due time.

But in the meantime, we can look forward to more such faceplants in the coming months---in Iraq, in Syria, etc.

Posted by: Gordog | Aug 14 2021 15:47 utc | 182

The United States had been gearing up for a "great power confrontation" with Russia and China and therefore had decided to end the "War on Terror."

However,it forgot that in war, the other side has a vote. The "War on Terror" persists whether that that advances current Washington, DC, policy objectives or not.

Things also are heating up in the Sahel.

Posted by: Duncan Kinder | Aug 14 2021 16:09 utc | 183

PeterAU1 @ 156

Yes, you are certainly correct that Pakistan and its intelligence service is also a major player in Afghanistan, and as you mention, Pakistan has had good and improving relations with both Russia and China. I'm sure they have also been part of what almost has to have been a pre-coordinated plan in Afghanistan, I just didn't mention them because I didn't want my comment to ramble on. I see echos of the Russian tactical advice that was used so effectively in Syria--why fight your brothers when you know most of them don't even want to be there and would gladly lay down their arms or relocate if given a chance. And as someone pointed out up-thread, this might even stem from the ancient Russian experience with the Mongols, who apparently were happy to grant much autonomy to their conquered lands, so long as they would contribute tribute to the cause and not cause trouble.

Posted by: J Swift | Aug 14 2021 16:21 utc | 184

Any word on the tens of thousands of Western mercenaries who were supposed to remain behind?

Surely this is no longer tenable? In which case there might be a lot more evacuations for the 3000 new troops to secure than has been stated?

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Aug 14 2021 16:25 utc | 185

And Gordog, thanks for your kind mention, and I also concur fully with your more detailed description of the situation.

Posted by: J Swift | Aug 14 2021 16:28 utc | 186

@ Posted by: Gordog | Aug 14 2021 15:47 utc | 181

People (probably Americans) were discussing here how the B-52s "carpet bombing" would save the day for the USA some days ago...

Now, they're saying it was all planned by the USA from the beginning, that the war was profitable, that the Taliban struck a secret deal with the USG, that Kabul will become a Festung that will mow down the Taliban, that economic sanctions will destroy the Taliban's nation-building, that the USA never intended to win the war etc. etc.

Note the pattern? It's exactly the same pattern of the COVID-19 pandemic. First, commenters here (again, probably the American ones), started the narrative that the virus only infected Asians (the ACE-2 story) and were kind of waiting for the collapse of China. Then, when it started to ravage Italy, they changed the narrative to state that Trump would take care of the situation like a boss, that the USA was the best prepared nation against the pandemic, that the USA was isolated geographically etc. Then, when the pandemic was stifled in China and ravaged the USA, they appealed to the narrative the virus is a bioweapon designed by the American elites so that they could start their "Great Reset" project.

The modus operandi is clearly delineated here: first, the Americans start to prematurely commemorate victory. Then, when the tide starts to turn, they come up with some transition bullshit narrative. When the tide finally turns against them, when the whole thing backfires, the conspiracy theories and denial take over. It's the same pattern: high expectations → high disappointment → denial.


@ Posted by: GreatSocialist | Aug 14 2021 15:10 utc | 179

Why would Trump nuke China? He's a billionaire. His many children are healthy and will also be billionaires once he's gone. He had a beautiful life and will continue to enjoy it for some time more. His children will enjoy beautiful lives as billionaires, probably also for a very long time. Life is beautiful for a billionaire. Why would Trump destroy such world?

It's pathetic, really, to see Trump supporters thinking they have skin in his game, when in reality they live in completely different worlds.

Posted by: vk | Aug 14 2021 16:28 utc | 187

@Posted by: J Swift | Aug 14 2021 16:21 utc | 183

Very insightful last comment! I already had the Chinese down as basing their position on the Tributary system but hadn't thought about the Russian experience with the Mongols. Its was during the Mongol Yoke that Moscow flourished (Kiev had been utterly destroyed by the Mongols). So both China and Russia may share a general policy towards foreign affairs, no need to enforce some "universalist" ideology upon others and directly control them as long as those others don't mess with you and they accept your leadership.

A much better strategy for the emerging multiverse world that is developing, the elites of the West of course won't be able to get over its racist and civilizational arrogance through many, many more humiliations. Life for the average Western citizen is going to go continuously downhill a their elites throw more and more resources at attempting to maintain their pathetic charade of pre-eminence.

Posted by: Roger | Aug 14 2021 16:34 utc | 188

Gordog is right. Everyone needs to see this for what it is: a massive rout of a US puppet state that was supposed to anchor the US "forever" presence in Central Asia, as part of strategic actions against Iran, China, Russia and Pakistan's nukes.

Some of you have quoted Wilkerson on these issues, and you're right to do so.

But the Obama White House was also clear about those intentions. On May 1, 2012, Obama flew to Afghanistan and signed an Enduring Strategic Partnership Agreement on long-term bases and military training. The White House said that the Agreement was also designed specifically to secure "a regional equilibrium...and that's ultimately why we went there in the first place."

So, don't underestimate this major loss for the empire. There is no rabbit to pull out of the hat. And there will be no easy evacuation of tens of thousands of collaborators, spooks, "aid" workers, special forces, mandarins, and diplomats. Things will get ugly.

Most interestingly, this has been a political victory for the Taliban, as they have effectively negotiated the surrender of most of the country. There is no way the Taliban could have done so without massive discontent with the government, the security forces, the warlords, and the US presence. Many polls were available from the Obama era on the growing popularity of the Taliban in many rural areas as well. I can dig up references if necessary.

My guess is that this political victory will translate into an overwhelming military campaign against Kabul if the "remaining government elements" (lol) opt for war. Let's hope we don't see that kind of carnage. Afghans have suffered enough.

As Gordog and Karloff point out, it might very well be true that Pakistan, Iran, Russia and China are giving the Taliban strong signals in favor of expelling the Americans. Let's hope more details emerge.

Posted by: Prof | Aug 14 2021 17:03 utc | 189

Late 1978 in Jalalabad en route to the Wakhan Corridor and China: Four muslim clerics at my Chaikhane & Kebab table as me: "We call our Allah 'Cod' -- what do You call Yours?" I cold only say yes: In Norway Allah is called 'Cod'!" And then they asked me if I had any "dawa" ('medicine') and I shared with them my wine and spirits that I had bought in Herat and Kabul -- a real good source of opening their mouths and soules and soles in both directions!

Posted by: Tollef Ås اس طلف | Aug 14 2021 17:03 utc | 190

VK, and now some commenters are speculating about how the US is going to continue bombing Afghanistan, lol!

Not a chance! The Taliban government is going to be quickly recognized by Pakistan, Russia and China, the 'stans etc.

At that point, the overflights over Pakistan stop. I don't think it will even be necessary to say no. The US by now surely understands the futility. It's over, folks!

Global Times Cartoon!

Posted by: Gordog | Aug 14 2021 17:06 utc | 191

The Financial Empire doesn’t want to develop or defeat nations, but destroy them. Why?

Biden’s failure makes it much harder for the U$A to push its core message that “America is back”...

A DESTABILIZED nation is more valuable to the Empire. The Empire wants to thwart the threat from China, Russia and De-Dollarization to maintain its hegemony and dominance. Its economic model is based on looting resources (externally & internally) or acquiring them at low prices, to generate super profits & control. Its intent is to decimate states, to send people of these countries back to a pre-historic time & for some to immigrate. Wars are still being waged. This surely evidences that Washington/Wall Street and London/City had no intention of defending democracy. These were covers for their true malicious intentions. It is a basic observation that rocks our understanding of contemporary imperialism.

Imperialism seeks to divide the world in two. One part will be a stable area which profits from the system while in the other parts (?) a terrifying chaos will reign. This other will be a zone, where all thought of resisting has been wiped out; where every thought is fixated on surviving; an area where the multinationals can extract raw materials which they need without any duty to account to anyone. This strategy appears so cruel in design, that no one imagined it to be a driving force.

Afghanistan Plausible Future SCENARIOS:
Better Future.Various factions, including Taliban, work together to build a better nation. Afghanistan, enjoys peace and prosperity, along with its neighbors.

Good internally but bad externally. Internally stability achieved, and then exploited by the Empire as an aircraft carrier against China and Russia. Neighboring powers won’t like this scenario and would rather see it destabilized internally. Will Afghanistan be a responsible neighbor?

Terrorist - Opium playground. It is destabilized and penetrated by terrorists, that are used as proxies against China and Russia. Is this the reason for China and Russia preferring Taliban, who are against opium production? Will Afghanistan launch opium war & terrorism against neighbors?

Any additional scenarios and signals to watch for?

What probabilities would you assign to these scenarios?

Posted by: Max | Aug 14 2021 17:10 utc | 192

Hi Gordog, JSwift, b.[thanks for so many updates] et al.
Enjoy the moment. Airshow, Stockcars or final Firework.

US Arrogance was Anchoraged, Genfed and finally Kabuled.

Peace or Loved [f***ed]?

See you next thread!

Posted by: Rêver | Aug 14 2021 17:14 utc | 193

Posted by: Max | Aug 14 2021 17:10 utc | 192

If that's the Empire's strategy it's an extremely stupid one.

Chaos favours nobody in the end.
It's a roll of the dice which takes control out your own hands and puts it... Anywhere.

Chaos is a double edge sword with no handle. It could and would most likely benefit one's enemies and create unintended consequences that might not be in one's favour.

Empires, successful ones at least, thrive on control and order, not chaos.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Aug 14 2021 17:25 utc | 194

Rêver...'Anchoraged'...etc! 😹

Posted by: Gordog | Aug 14 2021 17:30 utc | 195

@ Arch Bungle (#194),

The Financial Empire is full of hubris, groupthink and evil. It has lost its soul and luck.

What does one see in Afghanistan, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, Iraq...? How would one summarize its strategy against China & Russia? Chaos?

It seems to be in a CRISIS of CONFIDENCE. What happened to Dollar Empire’s core message: “America is back”?

Posted by: Max | Aug 14 2021 17:37 utc | 196

Dostum finished, Mazar i Sharif fell, Rozhin posts a picture of units crossing into Uzbekistan through a well known bridge. Machine translation of last paragraph:

Due to the rate of collapse of the Afghan army, it is assumed that already from 50 to 70% of all military equipment, weapons and ammunition supplied by the United States to the Afghan army have fallen into the hands of the Taliban. That is, roughly speaking, the Taliban will have enough to retrofit 100-150 thousand people.

Posted by: Paco | Aug 14 2021 18:12 utc | 197

There exists a very poigiant and (un-timely) communion to the feature fall of the US empire in the form of a 1966 0rin67 song by THE DOORS (I BELIEVE) , that went; «this must be the end!». Setting out the future ov America the Looser Nation. Now it comes all time around.

@Norwegian | Aug 13 2021 18:48 utc | 36
Stoltenberg’s father was a Quisling-type squerril who who became a USA and CIA rat who parroted his socialist friends in the student labour movement and then sent a list with their names to the Americans. So pa became Minister for Foreign affairs. His sister is the queen of the Rockefeller-founded «Norwegian Folk Health Institute» and a faithful propagandist for European-style fake measures against the present epidemic. (They ma as OK , though). He rarely pays his bills.
With sutck a pedigree, it’s hard to agree with his self image, which is «I’m a cool cat»! (Wnen decendant from a rat) His other sister died from self-chosen drug addiction, which those of us in the know deeply understood. She was to gifted and intelligent, is the diagnosis of several who knew her. and were ‘in the know’. And also ethical and too honest.

Posted by: Tollef Ås اس طلف | Aug 14 2021 18:50 utc | 198

Who is really the chief commander of the Taliban? The chief stratgist?

This entire thing is so odd and shocking now that it is starting to dwarf how Alexander the Great crushed ancient Persia.

Again, military doctrines and strategies of modern template will have to be reanalyzed and rebuilt from scratch.

Posted by: Harald | Aug 14 2021 20:49 utc | 199

Mazar-i-Sharif has fallen and the Afghan Fifth Corps headquarters overrun.

Apparently the Kabul regime is down to one division and the Commando Corps.

Posted by: Feral Finster | Aug 14 2021 21:23 utc | 200

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