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

next page »

Bogus clusterfuck from day one. CIA made a metric ass-ton from the poppies, and the Raytheon boys cleaned up too.

Posted by: Adriatic Hillbilly | Aug 13 2021 14:21 utc | 1

Why do they need to send 3000 troops to evacuate 4000 embassy staff? Is Kabul already so insecure they can't even get from the embassy to the airport which is just 4km away?

Posted by: jv | Aug 13 2021 14:29 utc | 2

What did he drink??
"The Afghan people will be mostly happy about it. Corruption will end. No more bribes will have to be paid."
A minimalist "The Afghan males" would have been in ordnung.
As for corruption, maybe getting familiar with the region could help? A good start:

Posted by: Mina | Aug 13 2021 14:30 utc | 3

Afghanistan = graveyard of empire

Who has the movie rights to the "Last-man-out" of Afghanistan event? I hope the event is biblical.....

I question the $830 billion figure given in the AP article for the cost over 20 years....maybe double that but who is counting when it is made out of thin air.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 13 2021 14:33 utc | 4

How many national disgraces can we just waive away?

- Pandemic ineptness;

- Jan 6 "insurrection"

- Afghanistan debacle


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 13 2021 14:46 utc | 5

Will there be a repeat of Operation Frequent Wind? (Operation Turban Tail?)

Posted by: librul | Aug 13 2021 14:49 utc | 6

From The John Pilger archive

"In a series of extraordinary reports, the latest published in July, Human Rights Watch has documented atrocities "committed by gunmen and warlords who were propelled into power by the United States and its coalition partners after the Taliban fell in 2001" and who have "essentially hijacked the country". The report describes army and police troops controlled by the warlords kidnapping villagers with impunity and holding them for ransom in unofficial prisons; the widespread rape of women, girls and boys; routine extortion, robbery and arbitrary murder. Girls' schools are burned down. "Because the soldiers are targeting women and girls," the report says, "many are staying indoors, making it impossible for them to attend school [or] go to work.

In the western city of Herat, for example, women are arrested if they drive; they are prohibited from travelling with an unrelated man, even an unrelated taxi driver. If they are caught, they are subjected to a "chastity test", squandering precious medical services to which, says Human Rights Watch, "women and girls have almost no access, particularly in Herat, where fewer than one per cent of women give birth with a trained attendant". The death rate of mothers giving birth is the highest in the world, according to Unicef."

Posted by: Ur-Nammu | Aug 13 2021 14:49 utc | 7

Whether or not Pakistan supports the Taliban, Pakistan also is complicit in everything the US does. They permit USAF overflights and attacks. Why can't they just shut down the flights?

All Afghanistan's neighbors are maneuvering for influence with the coming Taliban regime: China, India, Iran, Russia, some of the 'stans, and even the US and NATO. Some of them supported various warlords against the Taliban in the past. No doubt they will continue to do so.

There will be no peace in Afghanistan unless its neighbors butt out.

Posted by: bob sykes | Aug 13 2021 15:15 utc | 8

What if the Afghan commandos in Kabul and the presidential guard evacuated to Mazar-i-Sharif? Do you think they would be able to hold on to the province permanently? That sounds like the only non-surrender strategy left for the Afghan government.

Posted by: doyouthink | Aug 13 2021 15:16 utc | 9

Ur Nammu, I am no questioning the fact that the departure of the US is a welcome event. Just the overly optimistic tone of the sentence.

Posted by: Mina | Aug 13 2021 15:32 utc | 10

If the objective was to really bring peace and democracy to Afghanistan, which it wasn't, US companies like Halliburton helped strip Afghanistan of precious earth metals and minerals, then why didn't the US/UK forces, cut off the Talibans supply and escape routes to Pakistan.

The UK spent £4 billion pounds in Afghanistan, but I'd wager that Hamid Karazi, allowed much more in assets in Afghanistan to go in the other direction.

Posted by: Republicofscotland | Aug 13 2021 15:49 utc | 11

Afghan et al made big bucks for the empire, nothing else matters. States blah, ethnicities to be exploited for a buck. Since the you know who’s empire elevated the power of money to the holy last century, money is life. The planet sees life another way

Posted by: sadness | Aug 13 2021 15:54 utc | 12

Another U.S. Intelligence failure and I'm referring to all of the gurus who were predicting that if U.S. troops left Afghanistan would fall into a prolonged, chaotic, civil war. I'm not talking about Biden's baffling optimism.

Even now, Daniel Hoffman is warning that there will be 'ungoverned areas' just like before 9/11.

It sure doesn't look chaotic to me. It looks like a rapid and well organized consolidation of power.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Aug 13 2021 15:56 utc | 13

Military Industrial Complex Master Plan

We only do bad options
and that is good
As they lead to failures
and that is good
As failures equal victory
if failures are sustainable
and forever generate lots of war profits
and jobs in the Interagency

(the Interagency is what the Deep State calls itself)

This is a followup to:

Posted by: librul | Aug 13 2021 16:00 utc | 14

The end...or the beginning?

Could there be two US factions fighting in Afghanistan, as they are doing at home?
If we convene there is a de facto civil war in the USA, and this country over extends to the last confins of the world, there is no reason why that civil war could not reach those locations...

If we convene IS and AQ are a CIA creation, then who are those with turbans covering totally their faces who appear by the Pashtun taking over main Afghan cities?

Posted by: Asha K. | Aug 13 2021 16:10 utc | 15

The Taliban has done numerous back room deals to take these areas without even fighting. It’s no surprise, just waiting to see if Ghani will flee the country. China is ready to recognize Taliban rule as well.

Posted by: Yongle Emperor | Aug 13 2021 16:12 utc | 16

thanks for the update b...

@ 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..

Posted by: james | Aug 13 2021 16:15 utc | 17

People must be betting whether 100% of Afg will be claimed by 09/11/2021. Its surreal but reality is always stranger than fiction.

Posted by: KD | Aug 13 2021 16:27 utc | 18

It would be good to publicize pictures/data on all of the Afghan officials' villas in Dubai or wherever and all of the mansions of the corrupt US MIC/Intelligence officials.

Of course, this will never happen as war is "good," war is "profitable."

Posted by: Thomas Minnehan | Aug 13 2021 16:27 utc | 19

jv @2--

They need all those troops to haul away as much heroin as possible.


"A Saigon moment looms in Kabul. Escobar reports:

"In a coordinated blitzkrieg, the Taliban all but captured three crucial hubs: Ghazni and Kandahar in the center, and Herat in the west. They had already captured most of the north. As it stands, the Taliban control 14 (italics mine) provincial capitals and counting.

"First thing in the morning, they took Ghazni, which is situated around 140 kilometers from Kabul. The repaved highway is in good condition. Not only are the Taliban moving closer and closer to Kabul: for all practical purposes they now control the nation’s top artery, Highway 1 from Kabul to Kandahar via Ghazni.

"That in itself is a strategic game-changer. It will allow the Taliban to encircle and besiege Kabul simultaneously from north and south, in a pincer movement.

"Kandahar fell by nightfall after the Taliban managed to breach the security belt around the city, attacking from several directions."

And that's just his opening. I'm very much reminded of how the Mongols went about their blitz: "don’t fight us and you will be spared." And that's precisely what we're observing. As I'd hoped, Ghani was "offered" to resign:

"The alleged offer to Ghani actually originated in Doha – and came from Ghani’s people, as I confirmed with diplomatic sources."

But, "On the record, what’s established is that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin promised Ghani to 'remain invested' in Afghan security."

Just as I wrote, all further deaths in Afghanistan are on the Outlaw US Empire's hands--as always.

The last third of Pepe's article deals with what he calls "The Pashtunistan riddle." To aid understanding this complex problem, Pepe links to this analysis, and we should hurl epithets at the British yet again for drawing artificial borders--The Duran Line in this case--that were designed to cause the sort of problems that don't have an easy solution.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 13 2021 16:27 utc | 20

How ironic that the Taliban re-takes Afghanistan in time to celebrate 911 Day! also known as Big Lie Day! Trillions of dollars, millions of lives as Afghanistan was just the appetizer for the great war on terror undertaken by the for-profit Empire desperate for a reason to exist. Mission Accomplished indeed.

Posted by: gottlieb | Aug 13 2021 16:36 utc | 21

I remember fighting off lots of sceptical comments on the Taliban offensive from before several days, when Taliban controlled only one provinicial capitol.

And i said: most provinicial capitols are gone, why way or the other.

Posted by: Passer by | Aug 13 2021 16:43 utc | 22

the 3rd comment by Mina read what did he drink!.

and then goes on to give a reference of book a case of exploding mangoes...

I read that book and it is totally not related to the topic. So Mina what did you drink...if the corrupt afghan rulers couldn't win afghan hearts and prepare their armed forces to control Taliban then they have no right to stay in power and as B says would soon be flying to their villas in Dubai...You better write your own stuff and give your opinion and on other people analysis don't give derogatory comments i.e just shut up.

Posted by: Anonymous | Aug 13 2021 16:50 utc | 23

Posted by: jv | Aug 13 2021 14:29 utc | 2

>>Is Kabul already so insecure they can't even get from the embassy to the airport which is just 4km away?

Taliban (Haqqani) has special operation network than can carry large scale attacks even within Kabul. Including targeting foreign targets if necessery.

Moreover, Taliban already controls districts within Kabul province. it can also fire long range weapons (rockets) into Kabul.

Posted by: Mina | Aug 13 2021 14:30 utc | 3

Read the context. He meant the US corruption related to the Afghan war will end with the Taliban take over.

Posted by: Passer by | Aug 13 2021 17:01 utc | 24

The inevitable result of our meddling around the globe.

Let the Afghan people sort it out.....

Posted by: vetinLA | Aug 13 2021 17:41 utc | 25

The twilight hours of occupied Afghanistan clearly shows what a monumental farce and waste of lives and resources the entire US/NATO occupation was. Twenty years of “democracy building” and “saving the women and children” for this? Whatever plans the US has to “maintain a presence” in Afghanistan in order to steal resources and “contain” China and Russia won’t work. Afghanis won’t allow western special forces and “contractors” to hang around in their country and China and Russia are already talking to the Talibs and accepting them as the legitimate government in waiting.

Given how nobody is really bothering to fight the Taliban I bet even Afghanis who don’t much like them are thinking “well, at least they are our countrymen and not a bunch of infidel invaders” lol

Props to the Afghan people for struggling for 20 years (!) and finally kicking the imperialists out of their country. Very different from Iraq which, despite occasional rhetoric to the contrary, can’t seem to muster up the will to get rid of its occupiers.

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

P.S.; Any guesses as to how many U$ contractors are still in Afghanistan right now???

Posted by: vetinLA | Aug 13 2021 17:47 utc | 27

Saigon 1975 on replay. How could the Empire deteriorate so low so fast? In the 60's and 70's, at least the Chinese and USSR were behind the Vietcongs, and a defeat was more understandable. But the Talebans did this all on their own, with hardly even assistances from fellow Muslim nations. What does this say about the quality of US strategic advisers, think tanks, and above all, decision making politicians of the past 20-25 years???

Pathetic, disgraceful, imbecile, and utterly useless.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Aug 13 2021 17:47 utc | 28

When one watches dummies like Blinken/Sullivan in action and on camera, clowns whom they call politicians in Senate/House such as Rubio/Paul/Pelosi making fools of themselves with garbage soundbites trying to win some zombie attention, and up-stair-lacking fatsos elected as presidents, one understands what is happening!

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Aug 13 2021 17:53 utc | 29

@26, ah, iraq...a very different scenario. i suspect it's being closer to the occupied state factored in, as well as the shock n awe which many suspect were nukes, so in that respect nearer the syndrome japan suffers, as well, the demented empire bribed all the politicians & leaders prior to leave, thus leaving iraq broken before the empire began, not to mention saddam's already having done what he could to break any hope of solidarity. afghanistan was necessary to bankrupt russia & o/c it's wealth was treasure the empire desired bt nothing like the riches & location iraq offered the occupied state.

Posted by: emersonreturn | Aug 13 2021 18:05 utc | 30

It sounds the Afghan forces all were issued baseball caps where the front side had Afghanistan Security Forces blazoned on the front but with “Taliban” etched on the back. Going over to the winning side is as easy as turning the hat around and wearing it like a “G,” facing the other way when the Taliban roll up in numbers.

This is some hilarious shit.

But the question remains: will Uncle Sambo resign itself to the drain-circling fate of the greenback and let it all come down?

Or will we go to war with the Chi-comms?

“Outlook not so good.”

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Aug 13 2021 18:08 utc | 31

Good to see this Af update from Bernhard!

I think the basic equation that has been formulated in previous analyses here, as well as by Pepe, Alex Mercouris and others is that there is a 'Taliban-plus' regional powers roadmap that appears well coordinated---and leaves no room for any future US influence.

We are now seeing that that unfold! In fact it looks like a well-oiled machine!

There are several key dimensions to this. First is the internal dynamics of the Taliban, which seems to have coopted a lot, if not the vast majority, of the previously existing power centers---such as those non-Pashtun areas that were long under the sway of various warlords.

The Taliban seems to have created a Big Tent, under which the various different ethnics have all congregated with a common purpose. This by itself is a hugely transformational development, that seems to have happened over a period of years.

But the wider world's first inkling of this was just weeks ago, when the Talib started their offensive by basically waltzing into the northern Tajik areas, and in fact warmly welcomed. This was surprising to everyone, and our host immediately jumped on that as a significant signpost.

Bhadrakumar, in his latest piece also does a good job breaking down this intra-Afghan dynamic: Taliban Neutralizes the Afghan warlords

So everybody that counts for anything is on board the Taliban bandwagon. Yes, that is a big surprise that no one really saw coming. Many were expecting an inter-ethnic civil war. That intra-Af peacemaking appears to have been long consolidated by the collective Taliban.

The other dimension is with the major regional powers, which is Russia, China and Pakistan. Here too we see everybody on the same page. It's as if they have a plan---which of course they do. Here the former Soviet 'stans are also on the same page. This too is a relief and something of a surprise.

The overwhelming impression is that EVERYBODY---the Taliban, the Pashtuns, the Tajiks and other ethnics within Af, the 'stans, Pakistan, Russia, China...they all have one overarching goal: get the US the hell out of there and make sure they can never darken your doorway again!

The US had different ideas, of course. They were going to continue with some kind of 'hybrid' war like in Syria, where they could do just enough damage to keep things from settling down.

Even Bhadrakumar for a while was taken in by this noise coming out of the US---at one point trumpeting that the US had pulled a rabbit out of the hat at the last minute [something to do with Uzbekistan and some Quad 2 etc]. What utter fantasy that turned out to be [just go back a few weeks on Bhadra's blog, lol]!

Well, the old warhorse has quickly come to his senses now, as we have seen these US Hail Marys turn into the soap bubbles we always knew them to be, lol!

The Russians are in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan with very big exercises and military hardware, including strategic Tupolev Tu22M3 supersonic bombers! There aren't going to be any US bases anywhere near Afghanistan, from which to carry out 'hybrid warfare.'

What there will be is what we have seen unfolding. A quick and mostly painless transition to a Taliban-led government.

It will be recognized by the major players in the region, including Pakistan, which will then deny overfly rights to the US. Even the 'Biden' team must surely realize by now that there is only one door open for them---and it has the big red letters, EXIT.

So how did all of this come about, so quietly and surprisingly---and catch us all unawares?

Well, we can only judge by what we have seen lately. These pictures tell a lot. A few weeks ago, Taliban welcomed in Moscow by Lavrov.

A few weeks later in Tianjin. 'Where have you been, buddy'? says China FM Wang Yi to Taliban leader! 'I've been expecting you!'

Have the Russian, Chinese and Pakistani diplomats been very busy 'under the table' with their Taliban 'partners'? What about the intel boys and gals? How long has this been going on?

Interesting. Very very interesting!

And just to finish up this rather long, and probably tedious to some comment...Let's recall just WHY the US went into Afghanistan in the first place in 2001. It had nothing to do with any fantastic story about '9/11', which only purpose was to shock and awe the credulous American public into acquiescing into a decades-long 'war on of terror.'

No, the whole idea was to move into the post-Soviet space in central Asia, using Afghanistan as a springboard. The central Asian 'stans were to become US satrapies, like Lithuania and Poland.

But this has failed, big time. I will cut off here and let Alex M take it from here. Video: Russia Tightens Grip on Central Asia as US Regional Influences Collapses

Btw, Alex points, in his introductory comments, to the analyses on this space as a jumping off point. Worth watching!

Posted by: Gordog | Aug 13 2021 18:18 utc | 32

How could it have slipped our minds that 8th August was the 102nd anniversary of the Treaty of Rawalpindi - which marked the end of the 3rd Afghan War, whose provisions, as far as I know, came into effect in August 1921, i.e. a hundred years ago.

The first Afghan War was an unmitigated disaster for the British Empire, and in my view the Indian Mutiny (First War of Indian Independence) came directly from this extraordinary display of ignorance, incompetence, arrogance, complacency and brutality. Britain’s ability to rule that vast populous area of the sub-continent depended largely on a quality called “izzat” - honour, prestige, reputation, which had been built up painfully and slowly in the sub-continent over the preceding century, and which took a mortal blow in 1842.

(And all those years ago, the same old, same old pretext, the Russians are coming!)

Of course the Empire had to have another crack, 1878 I think, more disasters, more brutality.

Then 1919, the Third Afghan War. Afghanistan’s Independence Day is 19th August is called Jeshyn. I was in Faizabad, the capital of Badakshan, on that day in 1969 and was an honoured guest of the Governor for the celebrations. As a foreigner I was specially welcomed, because they had forgotten what we are like. This war was a draw, but resembles the current situation (“the Fourth Afghan War?”) in that the foreigners left with their tales between their legs.

How would people rate Anglo/American “izzat” now?

Kabul 1969 - what a lovely city. Now, from what I am told by contractor friends who have been there recently, a series of heavily defended fortresses, out of which a foreigner ventures at his peril. (As was the case in 1841/42).

Posted by: Montreal | Aug 13 2021 18:21 utc | 33

According to Stoltenberg; ".....NATO will maintain our diplomatic presence in Kabul, and continue to adjust as necessary."

How? .....since nobody wants to go there at the moment.

They always were way off in their planning.

Posted by: Stonebird | Aug 13 2021 18:26 utc | 34

I don't know how long the U.S. dollar is going to remain the world's reserve currency, but that needs to stop asap, and it WILL end eventually, much to the disappointment of so many empire boosters. american century my ass, more like american 50 years.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Aug 13 2021 18:32 utc | 35

@Stonebird | Aug 13 2021 18:26 utc | 34

Stoltenberg does not keep his promises.

I look forward to the day and will congratulate Afghanistan when they are free of foreign occupation. Whether we like the Taliban or not is not the question, it is their country and that must be respected.

Posted by: Norwegian | Aug 13 2021 18:48 utc | 36

Also China 1949 on replay.

Posted by: lysias | Aug 13 2021 18:55 utc | 37

Appropos "the box" [difficulty thinking outside it] and recalling Scott Nearing...

“…above all I had awakened to the quite obvious fact that the masters and shapers of the world and the possessors of the world’s riches were cleverly scattering crumbs of wealth and power among the masses. They gave just enough crumbs to divert, deceive and corrupt each generation to secure its adherence, and to keep it in line, serving the interests of masters and corrupters. This indeed was the essence of the social problem – the success of the Oligarchy in brainwashing the populace to the point where they believed that what is best for the Oligarchy is best for them. So long as the brainwashing worked the masses remained in line and the Oligarchy could follow its program of making the rich richer and the powerful, stronger. Whither mankind?”
― Scott Nearing, The Making of a Radical: A Political Autobiography

And here we are. BTW, ZHedge reports Iran has shut energy exports to Iraq, which had been supplied under waiver of US brutal sanctions on Iran.

Posted by: chu teh | Aug 13 2021 19:09 utc | 38

re: Saigon 1775. Saigon was and is the FOOD breadbasket of greater Vietnam. Afghan is not Saigon.

There will be overwhelming success for a sovereign Afghan if, and only if, FOOD is made available and fairly distributed.

Securing FOOD and maintaining of its distribution, however minimal, will overwhump any counter-force to the evolution of a sovereign, Afghani people's nation. It can be done.

Posted by: chu teh | Aug 13 2021 19:29 utc | 39

Mina | Aug 13 2021 14:30 utc | 3

"exploding mangoes". Nice one. I read that some years ago by chance. I'd add Rushdies "Shame" to that list.

Posted by: radiator | Aug 13 2021 19:34 utc | 40

UK defense minister concerned about resurgence of terrorist groups in Afghanistan:

“I am absolutely worried,” defense minister Ben Wallace told Sky News. “Failed states are breeding grounds for those type of people … (and) al-Qaeda will probably come back.”

Aren’t the al-Qaeda folks happy and settled in the US/UK/NATO protectorate of Idlib?

Posted by: jayc | Aug 13 2021 19:43 utc | 41

@Posted by: Mina | Aug 13 2021 15:32 utc | 10

Much of the religious radicalization of the Middle East stems from US and Western interventions during the post-WW2 years to remove progressive and secular governments that threatened their interests, e.g. Iran in 1953. From the 1970s through the early 1990s, Afghanistan had a socialist government that fully supported such liberal values as women's education and freedoms - it could not withstand the US-funded radical religious groups and warlords once Russian troops left and it fell in 1992 and civil war broke out for the next decade between the squabbling parties (with the Taliban gaining dominance toward the end of this period).

The situation in Iran is one of moderate Islam (as it is in Malaysia), especially when compared to Saudi Arabia, with women being the majority of university students. Libya under Gaddafi was a very "liberal" nation in many such respects, and Iraq under Saddam Hussein was very much the same. Western intervention destroyed these secular governments and brought in a much darker time for women, as it has done in secular Syria.

There was a lot of "opening up" once the Iranian revolution had receded in time. We cannot judge what the Taliban will do, 20 years after their last period in power. We could be just as surprised a few years from now with a Taliban "opening" as many are currently with their rapid advance. We should not Other the Muslim in an Orientalist fashion that views all Muslim states socially recalcitrant and not able to reform over time, this is simply "Feminist/SJW" Imperialism as practiced by much of the US foreign policy elite. We must allow nations their sovereignty and allow them to develop along their own path. That path may not be the same as ours, but they have a right to it as stated by articles of establishment of the United Nations

If anywhere needs intervention it would be Saudi Arabia, one of the most disgusting regimes on the plant.

Posted by: Roger | Aug 13 2021 19:48 utc | 42

@Posted by: jayc | Aug 13 2021 19:43 utc | 41

UK defense minister concerned about resurgence of terrorist groups in Afghanistan: “I am absolutely worried,” defense minister Ben Wallace told Sky News. “Failed states are breeding grounds for those type of people … (and) al-Qaeda will probably come back.”

Given that the UK is a failed state and keeps importing foreign terrorists such as the White Helmets, together with directly funding terrorist organizations, I am very worried that the UK is a breeding ground for those types of people. The UK defence minister should look in the mirror to see one of the major terrorist failed states.

Posted by: Roger | Aug 13 2021 19:53 utc | 43

chu teh @39--

Food indeed! That's why I've been stressing the need to settle the combat and prepare for Winter which means accumulating enough foodstuffs and distributing them equitably. General Winter can be devastating when proper preparations aren't made.


In looking toward the future as the Dawn article I linked @20 above does, we also have the issue discussed in this editorial to deal with:

"The Dasu terrorist attack that killed nine Chinese nationals in Pakistan on July 14 was planned in Afghanistan and carried out by the Swat chapter of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), according to Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi at a press conference on Thursday. Some suspects have been arrested in Pakistan and the rest are in Afghanistan. India's intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Afghanistan's intelligence agency National Directorate of Security (NDS) were behind the terrorist attack, Qureshi said."

I'd say that behind the Indians and Afghanis stands the Outlaw US Empire, and that feeling is shared:

"As China has become stronger, some international forces have become more hostile to China, and the possibility of them using extreme terrorist forces to harm China's interests has also increased. China must severely crack down on the perpetrators and organizers of the July 14 terrorist attack and punish the forces behind as a warning to others." [My Emphasis]

The editor's conclusion again escalates the rhetoric, and it ought to be very clear just what entity it's aimed at:

"The blood of the Chinese people cannot be shed in vain. No matter what measures we take to punish the evil forces that carried out the July 14 terrorist attack, they are justified and will send a solemn signal that whoever kills Chinese people will face serious consequences. As long as we have the ability to do this, we don't need to hesitate to use this ability."

Clearly, a shot across the bow.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 13 2021 19:54 utc | 44

karlof1 @ 20

By the way that you're condensing Pepe's latest, what did you make of this paragraph?

Military analysts will have a ball deconstructing this Taliban equivalent to the 1968 Tet Offensive in Vietnam. Satellite intel may have been instrumental: it’s as if the whole battlefield progress had been coordinated from above

Posted by: john | Aug 13 2021 19:55 utc | 45

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. Many of these lobby groups/contractors will be out of work by Christmas.

For these psychos, the war in Afghanistan was a very lucrative business with big money to be made. Not anymore!!!

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. All those oil Sheikhs and anyone dependent on the US for protection will be scratching their heads wondering when the US will do same to them.

20 years of dropping bombs on weddings, parties etc and Trillions of dollars "wasted"(weapons contractors and lobby groups made a killing), the US now realizes they need to refocus their energy on China. Too late.

Posted by: Zico | Aug 13 2021 20:05 utc | 46

@jv #2 'diplomats' are value targets CIA assets, marines can be left behind they need the marines to fight to get the spooks out, marines they can even forget about them, happened before it will happen again,
Happened in Saigon

Posted by: Ed FOLClorist | Aug 13 2021 20:11 utc | 47

If the Taliban doesn't adopt a tough stance like Iran on US, they will be suckered again.

Posted by: Ed FOLClorist | Aug 13 2021 20:19 utc | 48

A week ago, I was looking at the situation through conventional lenses and there was no way an offensive could go on like this.

However, when an army on the offense suffers little casualties AND increases in size&supplies, the momentum may even increase.

Also, this says something about the power of local knowledge to the territory. Afghanistan must be one of the overall most demanding terrains to advance in, but when the Taliban knows every crag and every hill (always a local guide around), the speed is probably quicker than a motorized offense by unknown attackers.

Military doctrines are about to change. The US imperial model of Roman legions crushing everything is no longer feasible.

Graveyard of empires... USA, Soviet Union and (with some good imagination) the start of the decline of the British empire too.

Posted by: Harald | Aug 13 2021 20:20 utc | 49

"The Prince" was written 500+ years ago and predicted this as the ANA is basically a mercenary force:


"...I say, therefore, that the arms with which a prince defends his state are either his own, or they are mercenaries, auxiliaries, or mixed. Mercenaries and auxiliaries are useless and dangerous; and if one holds his state based on these arms, he will stand neither firm nor safe; for they are disunited,ambitious, and without discipline, unfaithful, valiant before friends, cowardly before enemies; they have neither the fear of God nor fidelity to men, and destruction is deferred only so long as the attack is; for in peace one is robbed by them, and in war by the enemy. The fact is, they have no other attraction or reason for keeping the field than a trifle of stipend, which is not sufficient to make them willing to die for you. They are ready enough to be your soldiers whilst you do not make war, but if war comes they take themselves off or run from the foe;..."

Posted by: Some Nobody | Aug 13 2021 20:20 utc | 50

Zico | Aug 13 2021 20:05 utc | 46

This event will reverberate across many different places in the years to come. All those oil Sheikhs and anyone dependent on the US for protection will be scratching their heads wondering when the US will do same to them.

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.

Posted by: Keith McClary | Aug 13 2021 20:23 utc | 51

Btw, there is a serious mental disorder with country that fights "war on terror" using one hand and while the other (CIA) uses drugs production to finance itself. Same as with "war on terror". Most of terrorists and "terrorists" USa is fighting were made by CIA themselves.

Posted by: Abe | Aug 13 2021 20:34 utc | 52

* first one should be "war on drugs". Brainfog.

Posted by: Abe | Aug 13 2021 20:35 utc | 53

@ Posted by: lysias | Aug 13 2021 18:55 utc | 37

I agree with you. The situation resembles more China 1945-1949 than Vietnam.

Posted by: vk | Aug 13 2021 20:37 utc | 54

This is going much too fast for it to just be brilliant work on the Taliban's part and stunning incompetence on the Afghan government's part. It looks much more like the Taliban are riding a wave of revolution. If this is the case then is is almost certain that the Taliban's rule will be significantly moderated since revolutions always proceed with their own imperatives that are difficult to ignore.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 13 2021 20:44 utc | 55

karlof1 | Aug 13 2021 19:54 utc | 44

re "Clearly, a shot across the bow."
And IMO a well coordinated one.

BTW, my belated hat-tip to you. I clearly recall the death of Scott Nearing as reported on KPFK-radio abt 1983 via Helen Nearing's thoughts...and sorta filed it away for future reference. Then 2021 you mention M Hudson's paper on Simon Patten, which I recently read and several disparate items [long story] suddenly aligned having to do with his signal influence on U of Penn' Wharton School and that Scott Nearing was mentored by Patten...What!?... then I dove into Patten and Nearing and had new realizations. Both Patten and Nearing became targets for chaos and destruction from roughly 1910 onward...lest they awaken popular uprising against the Oligarchy. They were wiped!

ALways thank your contributions et al at MOA.

Posted by: chu teh | Aug 13 2021 20:45 utc | 56

A few weeks ago, I wrote "Grab your popcorn and enjoy the show"

Harald #49

A week ago, I was looking at the situation through conventional lenses and there was no way an offensive could go on like this.

Very good antwort from Machiavel, thanks to Some Nobody #50.

In order to understand, that is Not a Taliban offensive against Afghan National Army, but something like National Liberation Army kicking the ass of some Mercenaries and Kollabos.

Why 1000's more troops?
A very good comment from Turcopolier

walrus says:
August 13, 2021 at 7:43 am

3000 troops plus the embassy staff will make a very attractive group of hostages for the Taliban. They would be worth diplomatic recognition, a seat at the U. N. and a very large chunk of compensation from the U.S.

I hope there is an air extraction plan is being executed right now. If we are stupid enough to try and drive through the passes then we deserve the same fate as previous generations. The Taliban will try and “negotiate” in an effort to keep us in Kabul until the weather breaks.

And one more thing; I pray we have physically destroyed every hard drive, iphone, iPad, printer, photocopier and paper record.

Grab a big bunch of your favorite popcorn for the show.
4000's staff, and stuff? By air? How many Chinook?
I bet for the passes

Posted by: Rêver | Aug 13 2021 20:59 utc | 57

lysias | Aug 13 2021 18:55 utc | 37

"Also China 1949 on replay."

Mao, early on, targeted the [landlords'] grain storage [silos] and demanded equitable distribution of FOODstuffs, however meager. Result? Unity and loyalty among the locals and his comrades-in-arms, while word spread-out to influence all who heard of such a miracle! Mao knew hunger, knew deprivation and could think clearly what was to be done.

Posted by: chu teh | Aug 13 2021 20:59 utc | 58

If the Taliban are in and the invaders are out, as seems to be the case, where will the invaders source their heroin now?
And as if on cue, Myanmar descends into chaos.

Posted by: Hal Duell | Aug 13 2021 21:00 utc | 59

Has it occurred to you that the Americans already have an under the table deal with the Taliban. That they are simply being let in, with the required amounts of ammo hidden at the right spots.

The real game will begin when the Taliban are in full control and CIA starts to use them to destabilize the region.

Posted by: HeyThere | Aug 13 2021 21:07 utc | 60

What will the Taliban do about the opium trade? When they were first in power didn't they shut it down, with it only re-emerging when they were toppled? The BBC claimed that 60% of Taliban monies were from the trade.

Posted by: Erelis | Aug 13 2021 21:11 utc | 61

@Erelis | Aug 13 2021 21:11 utc | 61

The BBC claimed that 60% of Taliban monies were from the trade.
Is the BBC known to tell the truth?

Posted by: Norwegian | Aug 13 2021 21:13 utc | 62

"Good Morning Vietnam Afghanistan!"

U.S. Embassy In Kabul Tells Staff To Destroy Sensitive Material And Evacuate

A memo obtained by NPR lays out the emergency preparations underway by American diplomats at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul — including the destruction of sensitive documents and computers — as most of them prepare to leave the country.

@Mina. Very sorry for collateralized Afghan women. As for Algerian sisters, freedom is not a consequence of colonial wars.

Posted by: Rêver | Aug 13 2021 21:15 utc | 63

The empire assumes it will be able to evacuate its diplomats and soldiers the way they arrived, by air, but the Taliban may be in a position to prevent that and also may have the will to do so. They may be in a position to capture the Kabul airport, or prevent vehicular traffic from the US embassy to the airport, or use captured artillery and drones to destroy the runways, or perhaps they even have obtained missiles capable of shooting down departing troop and diplomat transport planes. Interesting days ahead.

Posted by: Chas | Aug 13 2021 21:17 utc | 64

Oriental Voice | Aug 13 2021 17:47 utc | 28

What you have to understand is that the US never had any real intention of doing any good in Afghanistan. The point was to fund the CIA (With heroine) and to have a base to harry Russia, China and Iran and to prevent the Chinese from building an oil pipeline to the Indian Ocean and, of course, to up the profits of the MIC. You can bet the corruption was not confined to Afghans!

Posted by: foolisholdman | Aug 13 2021 21:20 utc | 65

@ Posted by: Harald | Aug 13 2021 20:20 utc | 49

Military doctrines are about to change. The US imperial model of Roman legions crushing everything is no longer feasible.

AK47 - The one tool that levelled the playing field and gave the ordinary man a fighting chance against technologically advanced forces.

The NATO trained Afghan army can't operate without airstrikes. In fact, most Western armies cannot operate without air support. Problem is, air support is very expensive and limited. Eventually the soldiers have to engage in close quarters - that's where local knowledge and AK47 makes all the difference. The Taliban simply melt away when there's incoming airstrikes.

So many souls wasted in this war for no reason other than satisfying the egos of rich fat old-men who don't have any skin in the game. There must be some reckoning back home.

Posted by: Zico | Aug 13 2021 21:26 utc | 66

Lavrov revealed a few things today at a presser whose transcript is still in Russian. The first is that he much prefers negotiations to combat for solving problems, but that's not a big surprise since he's a student of Primakov. Second, it's close to beyond doubt that the Afghan government was ordered to delay all negotiations and other proceedings as long as possible, since now--third--they're suing for an urgent UNSC meeting to discuss their predicament. Also, the Central Asian nations that had previously allowed some Outlaw US Empire military access have learned their lesson and have refused. Lavrov diplomatically put that this way:

"The Americans, as you know, tried to negotiate with the Central Asian countries to place on their territory part of the withdrawn weapons and armed forces from Afghanistan. Our position coincides with the position of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan: no one needs it. Trying to create a new presence with the obvious purpose of using force across the border through the territory of Afghanistan makes our allies hostages of American policy, which in this region and in other parts of the world, unfortunately, have not shown positive results."

Lavrov is in Rostov-on-Don and earlier met with Russian Olympians and Para-Olympians. After his greetings and pleasantries, he asked for questions. I post this because it conveys the patriotism present at Russia's grassroots, which we seldom get to read about:

"Question: How do you assess our People's Military-Historical Museum Complex 'Sambek Heights', which was created with donations, and the organizers were veterans?

"Sergey Lavrov: I think this is a great thing. Now the issue of preservation, perpetuation of historical memory is especially acute. Our Western colleagues are trying to rewrite the history and results of the Second World War, to question the principles laid down in the verdict of the Nuremberg Tribunal and in the UN Charter. Therefore, the fact that everything here is done with their own hands, not by order, but simply because people feel the need for such a complex (it is magnificent) - this says a lot. In the people living here, as in the Russian people as a whole, respect for their history is deeply rooted, especially for the memory of those who laid down their heads for our freedom and independence." [My Emphasis]

Another universe from the happenings within the Outlaw US Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 13 2021 21:26 utc | 67

lysias | Aug 13 2021 18:55 utc | 37

Also China 1949 on replay.

My thought exactly.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Aug 13 2021 21:33 utc | 68

can’t get over how much this seems like everyone except uncle sam is in on it

kind of heartwarming!

Posted by: Rae | Aug 13 2021 21:40 utc | 69

Great victory for America! after 20 years it has taken the Taliban less than 2 months to regain pretty much everything. Paper tiger that is the US military shown up for what it is, again - and of course the clueless idiots in washington and their bought and paid for think tanks bubble. What a massive tax draining circle jerk.

Posted by: Geraldo | Aug 13 2021 21:44 utc | 70

john @45--

The Taliban's success IMO and Pepe's too is related to this mostly:

"Yet there are some quite prosaic reasons for the success of the onslaught apart from strategic acumen: corruption in the Afghan National Army (ANA); total disconnect between Kabul and battlefield commanders; lack of American air support; the deep political divide in Kabul itself."

And the Mongol method as I wrote above:

"In parallel, the Taliban had been secretly reaching out for months, through tribal connections and family ties, offering a deal: don’t fight us and you will be spared." [My Emphasis]

IMO, aside from the surprise aspect, there's no real parallel with Tet as it was ultimately defeated while the Taliban are going to win. As I reported above, Lavrov tells us that the Afghans are now begging for a UNSC meeting when they were stonewalling the idea a few days before.

As for the speculations the Taliban will attack the Outlaw US Empire's Embassy or the troops detailed to help transport the heroin, IMO they'll be allowed to come and go as long as it's done swiftly. Also, am I the only one finding it odd that the Empire is completely bailing out by completely abandoning its Embassy when remaining would perform a very valid test of the Taliban's intentions, or is such behavior an admission of guilt for the many crimes performed by the Empire since 2001 that they don't want anyone captured and put on trial for those crimes?


chu teh @56--

Thanks for your reply! And thanks for making that connection known to me as it's another piece of the historical puzzle I'm trying to solve!

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 13 2021 21:45 utc | 71

The real litmus test of anyone is their predictions and if they bear a resemblance to what comes to pass. b you are one of the only people I have seen who predicted a very quick takeover by the Taliban. I've seen many others who downplayed them like the BBC and only today on Twitter where people say America should have stayed, "It (occupation) was cheap and the Taliban are no threat to the American forces." Sad how delusional people can be.

Posted by: Mighty Drunken | Aug 13 2021 21:47 utc | 72

chu teh | Aug 13 2021 19:29 utc | 39

There will be overwhelming success for a sovereign Afghan if, and only if, FOOD is made available and fairly distributed.

Securing FOOD and maintaining of its distribution, however minimal, will overwhump any counter-force to the evolution of a sovereign, Afghani people's nation. It can be done.

The reason that the Afghan farmers under the US grew poppies, was because it was more profitable than growing food. The Taliban prohibited the growing of poppies last time they were in power and I expect they will again, so I expect the the farmers will go back to growing food.

Nice new word there overwhump! BTW, could you give a definition of it, please?

Posted by: foolisholdman | Aug 13 2021 21:50 utc | 73

Fifty years ago, John Kerry asked Congress: "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"

It looks like there are plenty of soldiers in the Afghan army who have come to the conclusion they don't want to be that "last man".

Posted by: Tom | Aug 13 2021 21:57 utc | 74

I would say that it's more a replay of 1979 Iran.

Other than receiving help from outside powers, the only ones who can stand up to an American installed puppet government backed by American-trained death squads (and their modern day airborne counterparts) are religious fanatics who are not afraid to die. Even then, it takes over 20 years to finally drive out the invaders. (In both Iran and Afghanistan)

I think the main reason that the Shia clerics in Iran enjoy popular support is that most Iranians know that so long as the United States (and Britain) exist, a democratic government will be unattainable for them.
Should they ever step outside the protection of the Supreme Leadership Authority, their newly formed government will not live through its first term before being overthrown by another coup or a color revolution, and another generation would be lost to anti-imperialist struggle before ending up where they began.

Posted by: Sid Victor Cattoni | Aug 13 2021 21:59 utc | 75

Roger | Aug 13 2021 19:48 utc | 42

If anywhere needs intervention it would be Saudi Arabia, one of the most disgusting regimes on the plant.

One of not the most! After all it has not wrecked about 50 countries and tried its worst to wreck others, since 1945. If anywhere needs Regime Change or a color revolution it is the USA.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Aug 13 2021 21:59 utc | 76

Geroman reports the Taliban team 30 kms from Kabul:

My guess is that they are well embedded in the capital and monitoring key resources and movements. Kabul is unlikely to last a week imo but that depends on how rapidly 4000 !!! USAi embassy staff can be rushed off to the airport.

Its an Afghani August once again. May peace return to this fine people.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 13 2021 22:06 utc | 77

@69 geraldo

This has nothing to do with the American soldier and everything to do with the CIA.

A pal I know who did two tours there often said that if we had used an iron fist, we could have won over there (I view his take more or less as equivalent to the average U.S. soldier's who has toured there). However, I usually retort, that you can not come there under the guise of democracy while also being indiscriminate in your heavy-handed approach. Even though we were heavy-handed in many ways, he argues from a first-hand perspective, that we were often restrained. Perhaps out of necessity, or perhaps because the Taliban was full of cunning and subterfuge, in general. But that is what the CIA sold to the American public: hearts and minds.

It was never going to be a success. The heavy-handed approach would have eroded public support in Afghanistan to the nth degree.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Aug 13 2021 22:08 utc | 78

“According to the sources, Canadian Special Operations units, including Canadian Special Operations Regiment (CSOR) and Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2), we’re going to be deployed to rescue Canadians from the embassy.” Hmmmm…..

Posted by: Bruised Northerner | Aug 13 2021 22:14 utc | 79

Now if only those recruits didn't use hashish - the result could have been so different! (/sarc)

Posted by: tucenz | Aug 13 2021 22:17 utc | 80

the saudis may been connection with 9/11.but what about israel?huh?never mind.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 13 2021 22:23 utc | 81


Oh I fully understand that, but you misunderstood me. I wasn't implicating the west for failure to do good for the Afghanis. Of course they never meant to do any good for Afghanistan. I was pointing finger at the western so-called 'experts' 'brains' 'know-it-alls' et al wanting to do good for their own agenda (which is gaining a beachhead in south-central Asia) but falling flat on their faces.

Seeing what the west has accomplished--not--in the past half century, I have nothing but contempt for the academics-think tanks-historian-scientists. Seeing the pitiful calibre of competency these folks sitting on pedestal of western intelligence are demonstrating, I come to understand why their glories are slipping through their fingers.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Aug 13 2021 22:24 utc | 82

what a stunning collapse. The last helicopter leaving the US kabul embassy cant be far off now.

Posted by: RC213V | Aug 13 2021 22:27 utc | 83

The Taliban Special Forces have been trolling the US

Posted by: Arfur Mo | Aug 13 2021 22:27 utc | 84

Posted by: jv | Aug 13 2021 14:29 utc | 2

Why do they need to send 3000 troops to evacuate 4000 embassy staff? Is Kabul already so insecure they can't even get from the embassy to the airport which is just 4km away?

Watch this video, and you will understand.

1975 - South Vietnam - Last US Evacuation Flight Out of Da Nang as City Falls to North - 29/3/75

On the morning of 29 Mar 1975, 2 World Airways Boeing 727s flew from Saigon to Da Nang in an attempt to pick up more refugees. When the first 727 landed at Da Nang Air Base, it was mobbed, 270 people pushed into the plane, all but 3 were from ARVN.

As the aircraft attempted to take off it was hit by a grenade which jammed the flaps and the main runway was blocked by trucks and the pilot instead took off from a taxiway.

A number of ARVN personnel hung onto the undercarriage and in the wheel wells, preventing the retraction of the landing gear, 4 of them survived the flight back to Saigon.

The PAVN (People's Army of North Vietnam) entered the outskirts of Da Nang by mid-morning on 29 Mar 1975 and by the afternoon were in complete control of the city.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Aug 13 2021 22:28 utc | 85

When I linked to Escobar's article, I also linked to an excellent analytical essay published by Dawn. After lamenting what looks to be the failure to reach a negotiated settlement, the writers opine:

"Threaded into this is another dangerous concern being expressed by western governments — that somehow Pakistan is playing the spoiler and aiding the Taliban in their offensive....

"[T]here is worry that such a perception could precipitate a process of scapegoating Pakistan for the failures of the US and its allies in Afghanistan. Such scapegoating glosses over inconvenient facts that paint a picture quite different from the one being sketched on the international media landscape — and it presents a twin challenge to Pakistan. First, how to stop the turbulence in Afghanistan from spilling over across our border; and second, how to tell our own story instead of allowing others to tell it for us."

In the middle of this article is a link to another that also ought to be consulted. At the end of their article, the writers put forth the following lament:

"Over the years the Pakistani state has garnered a number of failures, but none — as it turns out today — as glaring and painful as its inability, incapacity and incompetence in telling its own story. This failure is yet again on display and the state is clueless how to address it."

IMO, Khan is doing what he can as his government reversed Pakistan's policy and removed it from the Outlaw US Empire's clutches as the writer's note:

"There has been a strategic shift in the Pakistani state’s orientation in the last few years. The shift is a direct outcome of a firm realisation within the highest echelons of the state that militancy and extremism via non-state actors have wreaked enormous harm on the country. If the state of yesteryear used jihadi groups for its stated objectives, the state of today will have none of it."

I do think Khan is making a mistake by allowing senior Pakistani officials to say "fairly openly that they consider the Afghan Taliban and TTP as two sides of the same coin." I rather doubt the wickedness of the British Partition of South Asia will ever be completely undone, but I do believe something can and must be done about the contrived border between Pakistan and Afghanistan--The Durand Line.

But first, Afghanistan must get a new government and get all tribals to join hands so reconstruction and development projects can commence.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 13 2021 22:29 utc | 86

The Financial Empire is out of LUCK!

The Empire hasn’t had success in Afghanistan, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, Belarus, Bolivia, Peru, Nord Stream 2 ...? How about Iraq? Where has the Empire achieved victory in the 21st century?

Success = (Talent x Effort x Resources) X LUCK

If Luck is zero, then...?

The broader strategic question is what the unfolding disaster in Afghanistan will do for Empire’s CREDIBILITY around the world.

What next for the Empire & Afghanistan?

Posted by: Max | Aug 13 2021 22:33 utc | 87

chu teh | Aug 13 2021 20:59 utc | 58

Mao had a very valuable insight, which when you look at it is basic common sense, but o how few see it for themselves!
"Problem: If you are facing a sea of problems; which problem should you concentrate on?
The answer is: Decide which problem is the most important one. The one which underlies a lot of the others. Deal with with that one first. Having dealt with that one a lot of the others will vanish of themselves. If you OTH deal with minor problems first, each will be replaced by at least another one." (See Mao "On Contradiction")
When you have a lack of food it is ALMOST ALWAYS the major problem.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Aug 13 2021 22:33 utc | 88

@lysias, @vk, @foolisholdman, et all:

Saigon 1975 or Shanghai 1949, it matter not as it is egg yolk on the same face. That face used to awe people the world over. That same face is now becoming the joke at parties.


Posted by: Oriental Voice | Aug 13 2021 22:34 utc | 89

@79 Thanks for that. Like chalk and cheese. Mind you there are probably a few Afghans who would enjoy shopping malls and US TV shows.

Posted by: dh | Aug 13 2021 22:38 utc | 90

@79 Another similar clip...

Posted by: dh | Aug 13 2021 22:43 utc | 91

foolisholdman | Aug 13 2021 21:59 utc | 75

strike (something) heavily with a dull thudding sound.
"she began whumping him on his lower back"

So, "overwhump" seems to terminatedly handle something...I guess. I like the way it communicates.

And I do benefit from your contributions. Thanks.

Posted by: chu teh | Aug 13 2021 22:49 utc | 92

@ Roger | Aug 13 2021 19:48 utc | 42:

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Posted by: corvo | Aug 13 2021 23:04 utc | 93

@ Tom | Aug 13 2021 21:57 utc | 73

Fifty years ago, John Kerry asked Congress: "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?"

Kerry's answer, if his career is any indication, would be: "Make sure there's always a next guy to be the last man to die."

Kerry is a disgusting creature.

Posted by: corvo | Aug 13 2021 23:07 utc | 94

Why the Taliban should not negotiate and should never accept anything other than the complete abolition of the USAi anti Afghan/Islam puppet government.

Below is a transcript from a video report on the final decimation of the terrorists in Daraa province of southern Syria.

The American project moved from the city of Daraa after the first disturbances in mid-March 2011.

Armed groups emerged and the Military Operation Center (MOC) was established in Jordan, which is still led by American, British, Israeli, Jordanian, and Gulf officers.

The Zionist security interests required the creation of a buffer zone, similar to the experience of Antoine Lahd’s army in southern Lebanon.

The complexities of the southern region imposed themselves on the reconciliation agreement in Daraa in 2018, as a result of the Israeli concern.

Reconciliation was affirmed after Putin and Trump met in Helsinki in 2018.

There has become a region subject to the intertwined interests between Moscow, Washington, and “Tel Aviv”.

Retaining a large part of the armed groups’ elements under the so-called “Eighth Brigade in the Fifth Corps”.

The terrorist groups in Daraa continued to turn against the manifestations of the state. Military reinforcements of the Syrian army have arrived in the city of Daraa, stressing the handover of light and medium weapons to restore the Syrian state in all its manifestations. There is no alternative."

This gives an interesting insight to the continual tension in relations between the Syrian and Russian government and the sometimes mysterious actions or inactions of the two. For now the 'nice' period of 'accommodation' in Daraa is over and the traitors and stooges for the west are about to be eradicated.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 13 2021 23:15 utc | 95

The Modi regime in India is acting as though it is Delhi that is about to fall, not Kabul, such is the propaganda in the Modi worshipper Internet. Propaganda channel WION, which is owned by an RSS (Modi’s parent fascist organisation) member, is especially stricken by the collapse. It fails the laugh test to imagine that the Modi gangsters, who just lynched a Muslim man in Rajasthan and beat another in Delhi, care about the welfare of Muslims in Afghanistan or for that matter in Xinjiang (which they couldn’t find on the map to save their lives anyway). The real reason for this upsurge of despair is the loss of the four Indian “consulates” in Afghanistan – Herat, Kandahar, Jalalabad and Mazar e Sharif. What kind of requirement was there for four consulates in a relatively small country with not too many – a couple of thousand – Indian citizens and a perfectly good embassy in Kabul? And then when the Kandahar consulate was closed the other day, 50 (!) Indian “diplomats” were withdrawn from it. What kind of consulate requires 50 diplomats? Of course none of these consulates were anything but hubs for exporting spies, saboteurs, terrorists and weapons into Pakistan through the mostly open Afghan frontier. The Modi regime had been openly trying to break Balochistan away from Pakistan. Now all that is impossible, and the regime is weeping tears of rage. Apart from which it is suddenly apparent even to Modi’s semiliterate brain that the Bidet regime might not actually fight China in a suicidal war for the greater glory of Narendrabhai Damodardasbhai Modi.

Posted by: Biswapriya Purkayast | Aug 13 2021 23:16 utc | 96

Watch this video, and you will understand. 1975 - South Vietnam - Last US Evacuation Flight Out of Da Nang as City Falls to North - 29/3/75 Posted by: Petri Krohn | Aug 13 2021 22:28 utc | 84
Thanks.. Pretty brutal. To fend off the locals... Now I understand.

Posted by: jv | Aug 13 2021 23:42 utc | 97

Did the US really not foresee the collapse of the government they propped up? If they didn't then something is really broken in DC. The alternative is that they did foresee it and believe that the Taliban has a back door for the CIA to move back and forth through. Since the CIA nurtured the Taliban along with the rest of the Mujahideen (via Pakistan) to destabilise the USSR in the 80s what is it that entitles us to think this time the Taliban are a genuinely independent political force now? I don't dispute any of the analysis here, I'm just incredulous that the US have just decided to abandon a foothold they will never get back. Comparisons with Saigon, China, Iran are historically helpful only if we imagine the Taliban as a force created with US support in the 80s-90s who now bite the hand (e.g. like Vietnamese communists, etc in ww2).

Posted by: Patroklos | Aug 13 2021 23:59 utc | 98

As with psychohistorian @4, the AP article's $830 billion figure sounds low to me. For example, other estimates put the cost to US taxpayers at over $2 trillion:

"Since invading Afghanistan in 2001, the United States has spent $2.26 trillion on the war, which includes operations in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Note that this total does not include funds that the United States government is obligated to spend on lifetime care for American veterans of this war, nor does it include future interest payments on money borrowed to fund the war."

Costs of War Project at Brown University

For Canada, the last reported estimate of the cost to Canadian taxpayers seems to be $18 billion. But that was a 2008 estimate "according to a government report that also criticized how financial records are being kept" and that estimate was just a forecast to the end of 2011. However, Canada's military presence in Afghanistan was in fact until at least 2014.

Despite that, Canada's so-called "free press" over a span of 15 years has never updated that "$18 billion" since it first came out in 2008. For example from a 2019 news article: "The exact financial cost has never been figured out but estimates indicate Canadian taxpayers spent around $18 billion." Seems neither our "journalists" or our "opposition parties" under our so-called "democracy" have bothered to demand basic answers.

Meanwhile the Freeland-Trudeau regime in Ottawa just announced that 20,000 more Afghan compradors and collaborationists that helped our foreign forces militarily occupy their country will be brought to Canada. What does that bring the total cost up to for Canadian taxpayers for this involvement in the US-led military subjugation of a country on the other side of the world?

What was the cost for taxpayers of all the NATO and other US "partner" countries combined of this 20-year military occupation of another people's country? How many trillions?

p.s. agree with this recent gem from Pepe Escobar: NATO’s “partnerships” are euphemisms for “we own you, bitch”

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Aug 14 2021 0:13 utc | 99

Posted by: Patroklos | Aug 13 2021 23:59 utc | 97

I imagine they forsaw the government would fall eventually, or wind up governing some fraction of the entire country. But I don't think they forsaw a rapid collapse, nothing like that accurate. I was just reading a story claiming Taliban in Kabul tonight. Lots of atrocity stories on some channels too. It's like Vietnam 2.0, a disaster for the Pentagon. Decades of propaganda and conniving rubbished.

Posted by: Bemildred | Aug 14 2021 0:25 utc | 100

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