Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 31, 2021

The U.S. Has A Plan For What's Next in Afghanistan - It Does Not Include Peace

Secretary Antony Blinken @SecBlinken - 1:34 UTC · Aug 31, 2021

I want to drive home today that America’s work in Afghanistan continues. We have a plan for what’s next, and we’re putting it into action.

The codename for the plan which Secretary Blinken is putting into action has not been officially released. It will likely be called "Eternal Revenge" or something similar.

The U.S. is not a good loser. Nor are President Biden and Blinken. They will take revenge for the public outcry their chaotic evacuation of troops and civilians from Afghanistan has caused. The Taliban will be blamed for it even as they, following U.S. requests, had escorted groups of U.S. citizens to the gates of Kabul's airport.

One can anticipate what their plan entails by looking at the process that led to yesterdays UN Security Council resolution about Afghanistan. The full resolution has not been published yet but the UN reporting on it gives the gist:

Security Council urges Taliban to provide safe passage out of Afghanistan

Thirteen of the 15 ambassadors voted in favour of the resolution, which further demands that Afghanistan not be used as a shelter for terrorism.

Permanent members China and Russia abstained.

As the resolution only 'urges' it is obviously minimal and not binding. It is not what the U.S. had set out to achieve. It wanted a much stronger one with possible penalties (see 'holding ... accountable' below) should the Taliban not follow it.

Prior to the UNSC meeting France and Great Britain had proposed to create a 'safe zone' in Kabul. That request has been silently dropped - likely over Chinese and Russian concerns about Afghanistan's sovereignty.

On August 29 Blinken had talked with China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi about a binding resolution. The State Department readout of the call was minimal:

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with PRC State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi about the importance of the international community holding the Taliban accountable for the public commitments they have made regarding the safe passage and freedom to travel for Afghans and foreign nationals.

The readout by China reveals that much more than that was discussed:

Wang said that the situation in Afghanistan has undergone fundamental changes, and it is necessary for all parties to make contact with the Taliban and guide it actively.

The United States, in particular, needs to work with the international community to provide Afghanistan with urgently-needed economic, livelihood and humanitarian assistance, help the new Afghan political structure maintain normal operation of government institutions, maintain social security and stability, curb currency depreciation and inflation, and embark on the journey of peaceful reconstruction at an early date, he said.

The U.S. has blocked Afghanistan's Central Bank reserves, has stopped any budgeted payments to Afghanistan and ordered the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to block their Afghanistan programs.

This will paralyze all functions of the Afghan state. The World Bank is for example currently responsible for paying Afghan teachers and medical personnel. Afghanistan is experiencing a drought and will need to import large amounts of food. With its foreign assets blocked it has no way to do that.

China is clearly aware that Afghanistan will experience a human catastrophe should the U.S. continue its economic blockade.

There is also the danger of terrorism which the U.S. failed to address:

Wang urged the United States, on the premise of respecting Afghanistan's sovereignty and independence, to take concrete actions to help Afghanistan combat terrorism and violence, instead of practicing double standards or fighting terrorism selectively.

The U.S. side clearly knows the causes of the current chaotic situation in Afghanistan, Wang noted, adding that any action to be taken by the UNSC should contribute to easing tensions instead of intensifying them, and contribute to a smooth transition of the situation in Afghanistan rather than a return to turmoil.

China is specifically concerned about the "East Turkestan Islamic Movement" (ETIM) in east Afghanistan which the Trump administration had last year taken off its terrorist list even though the organization continues to target China. The Biden administration has made no attempt to revive the terrorist designation of ETIM.

Russia has similar concerns as its Permanent Representative Vassily Nebenzia explained after abstaining from the resolution:

We had to do this because the authors of the draft had ignored our principled concerns.

Firstly, despite the fact that the draft resolution was proposed against the backdrop of a heinous terrorist attack, the sponsors refused to mention ISIL and “Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement” – the organizations that are internationally recognized as terrorist – in the paragraph on counter-terrorism. We interpret it as unwillingness to recognize the obvious and an inclination to divide terrorists into “ours” and “theirs”. Attempts to "downplay” threats emanating from these groups are unacceptable.

Secondly, during the negotiations we emphasized the unacceptability and negative impacts of evacuation of Afghan highly qualified personnel for Afghanistan’s socio-economic situation. If experiencing a “brain drain”, the country will not be able to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. These elements that are vital for the Afghan people were nor reflected in the text of the resolution.

Thirdly, the authors ignored our proposal to have the document state the adverse effects that freezing of Afghan financial assets had on the economic and humanitarian situation in the country, and mention the fact that humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan must imperatively comply with the UN guiding principles, stipulated in UNGA resolution 46/182.

The first concern Nebenzia mentions is a node to the Chinese concerns. The second one is based on a concern the Taliban had raised when they declined to prolong the U.S. evacuation of educated Afghan people. The third one is the most important.

Russia had proposed to lift the block on Afghan assets. The U.S. has rejected that. That makes it quite obvious that the U.S. intends to keep these in place. It will use them to make demands which the Taliban will be unable to fulfill.

At the same time the U.S. will uses its ISPK (ISIS-K) and 'Northern Alliance' assets in Afghanistan to continue the war and to make successful efforts to govern Afghanistan impossible.

It will then blame the Taliban for the inevitable results.

Posted by b on August 31, 2021 at 17:35 UTC | Permalink

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Repost:

The ignominious end of the American era

Future students of history will remember August 30, 2021, as the end of the American era.

My opinion is that the end of the American era was September 15th, 2008, when Lehman Brothers signed for bankruptcy, thus bursting the financial meltdown that everybody here knows about.

But yes, I agree Afghanistan August 30th, 2021, is more graphic - specially because it was just your plain military defeat.

WaPo today came out with an op-ed claiming that the USA could rise from the ashes like it did from Saigon. I disagree with him and argue the polar opposite. In my view, Afghanistan is the prelude for decay of the American Empire - instead of a rebirth - for many reasons:

1) Kabul is not Saigon. The Taliban is not the Vietnamese Communist Party. The only similarity is the helicopter scene, but that's an infantile association;

2) Vietnam was an outright blunder. It was a completely unnecessary war in every sense of the word - including in the sense that American imperialism didn't need it to consolidate its position. The USSR was never involved with the CPV. The CPV's ultimate victory didn't result in any geopolitical gain for the USSR. The American economy was at its apex, it didn't need the war - in fact, Lyndon B. Johnson once said exactly that: that the war was happening precisely because the American economy was flourishing, not vice versa. The Vietnam War was a demented dream of a cabal of neocon priests based on a pseudo-scientific theory (Domino Theory). Afghanistan was completely different: it was a war for a presence in the Heartland, the single most important geopolitical region in the world. It had concrete reasons to be from the point of view of the American Empire;

3) Biden's claim that he's withdrawing from Afghanistan to focus on annihilating China doesn't make any logical sense. American domination of Afghanistan would help its struggle against China immensely. It would forever make Xinjiang a living hell to the Chinese. The loss of Afghanistan therefore hindered, not helped, the USA "focus" against China;

4) the defeat in Afghanistan happens in a moment of economic decline of the American economy, which is, by the way, also being castigated by a plague. When the Vietnam War was over, the American economy was past its prime, but was still extremely robust, and had a lot of ace in its sleeves to play in the medium to long terms. Indeed, it manage to soften (but not stop) the decline five years later with the neoliberal reforms of Carter-Reagan. This time, there's no perspective for the American people at all;

5) last but not least, the fact that the USA is out of Central Asia. This is an undeniable fact that objectively hurts the USA's world empire. Even if you're a rabid neocon, you have to admit that losing key territory is never good for any empire.

Posted by: vk | Aug 31 2021 17:37 utc | 1

the effing war machine is still fighting this war while casting about for replacement wars. churn those wars like penny stocks, profit.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Aug 31 2021 17:38 utc | 2

This will paralyze all functions of the Afghan state. The World Bank is for example currently responsible for paying Afghan teachers and medical personnel. Afghanistan is experiencing a drought and will need to import large amounts of food. With its foreign assets blocked it has no way to do that.

This won't work for one very simple reason: the Taliban are an Islamic fundamentalist group, not a communist party.

As such, the Taliban don't depend on the welfare of their people to have legitimacy. All they have to do is to preserve the laws of Islam and the hegemony of Islamism and all is good.

The American financial blockade tactics only works against communist revolutions. Religious fundamentalist governments can easily survive and even thrive on economic misery.

The most the Americans will be able to achieve with this is creating terrorist troubles to Russia and China. But those troubles will never be as great as they were before the defeat, when the Americans have direct and unlimited access to Afghanistan (being able to use the Russian airspace to transport stuff there). They weren't able to build up a credible terrorist threat to China and Russia in the 20 years they could do whatever they pleased to Afghanistan, it won't be now that they will be able to do it.

Posted by: vk | Aug 31 2021 17:52 utc | 3

The lies continue.

Biden ended the war.

No. That's not how the Presidency works. The war was ended because the Taliban had grown into a formidable force. Continuing the fight would've meant the loss of lots more blood and treasure on a war that was senseless.

Continuing to fight that senseless would only cause resistance against other military actions that might be contemplated.

Trump ended the war. Biden followed through. The end was as bi-partisan as the beginning and middle.

=
The war is over.

Is it? The Panjshire Resistance (PR)and ISIS-K are fighting on. Who are these people and who supports them?

PR is led by USA/Western friendly leadership. Rumors of their demise have been greatly exaggerated. Their appeals for support are probably a smokescreen. CIA could not show support while USA troops were still withdrawing.

ISIS-K makes little sense - they are at war over petty a ideological issue (they demand that Taliban publicly support Jihad). And ISIS as an organization is itself questionable as history suggests that US-Israel-Saudi Arabia- and Turkey conspired to create ISIS.

=
Firefight with ISIS-K

USA will not admit to a firefight with the Taliban. They have talked instead about a firefight with ISIS-K.

USA and USA-critics both ignore the 28(?) Taliban that were killed. What is likely to have happened is that some soldiers fired into the crowd and/or soldiers fired on Taliban that were rushing to the scene. Either way, Afghan refugees were killed in the confusion.

That US troops may have been killed in a firefight with the Taliban in the closing hours of the withdrawal has been hushed up. But it will probably be brought to light as part of the anti-Biden/pro-Trump hullabaloo.

The cover-up (not what actually happened) will be used to further weaken Biden and the Democrats as USA moves to the right (as planned).

<> <> <> <> <>

What is not lied about is also curious: The 'Pineapple' Crew "rescuing"(*) Americans and refugees from the clutches of the Taliban.

This effort bypassed Taliban security. Yet there are NO QUESTIONS WHATSOEVER about how they operated and if they may have been responsible for ferrying the bomber to the airport.

"Heros" skirt accountability.

I have speculated that CIA Director Burns got approval for this operation from Taliban leader Baradar in the meeting shortly before (AFAICT) 'Pineapple' began. No one on the Taliban side would question an operation that was personally approved by Baradar.

* It's questionable that such an effort was necessary. There has been wide acknowledgement that the Taliban has allowed people to leave and they have said that they want to build a country that is part of the international community - so travel to-and-from other countries will be allowed.

____________________________________

This is a re-posting from a comment I made today on the previous Afghanistan thread.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 31 2021 17:59 utc | 4

Parwan and ISIS-K https://news.yahoo.com/reap-sow-us-commander-says-224800844.html

Just once, I wish some 'accredited' reporter would ask a useful question from a Gen. instead of fall for their B.S. How many ISIS-k prisoners were in the Parwan detention center?

Parwan was the detention center next to Bagram which was where the 'worst of the worst' was kept. And this was the place called out by McKenzie where the Taliban would get their karmic payback for releasing ISIS-k prisoners who would now plaque them. If you read the link, you will see that he uses misleading language to make it sound like 'thousands of ISIS-k' prisoners were released while saying it was a few.

I googled Parwan and there is basically no info on it. The Pentagon hates giving out details. Wow, it's a good thing that the U.S. has a free press to hold these guys accountable.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Aug 31 2021 18:00 utc | 5

I am certain every possible scenario and outcome is being discussed by China and Russia and I’m sure that Iran, Pakistan, India and the surrounding states are being kept in the loop.
I also suspect that they all know that the U.S.A. would be entirely predictable in it’s actions and behind the scenes are doing a great deal to make sure the U.S.A. and it’s satrapy the U.K. don’t get back in again.
I just saw a video on R.T. showing a U.S. helicopter being flown by the Taliban and apparently the U.S. is fuming at all the electronic information that the Taliban has. I also suspect that aid might also not be the issue that it could be.
China and Russia have too much to lose to allow the U.S. to continue to cause chaos in Afghanistan. As they are experts at keeping the U.S. out of their politics, I believe a lot of useful advice will be passed onto the Taliban.

Posted by: Beibdnn | Aug 31 2021 18:02 utc | 6

I should've added the withholding of funds from the Afghans as part of "The war is over" lie.

b caught that part.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 31 2021 18:03 utc | 7

@vk "They weren't able to build up a credible terrorist threat to China and Russia in the 20 years they could do whatever they pleased to Afghanistan, it won't be now that they will be able to do it."

Tsk, well, perhaps, but I heard that without handy US military bases, the narcotraffic is likely to swamp neighboring states. Unless, of course, the Taliban puts an end to it. Which is unknown at this time.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Aug 31 2021 18:15 utc | 8

If Biden and Blinken want revenge for the chaotic withdrawal, they might begin by openly criticizing and then demoting the generals and other high ranking military officers who were responsible for planning the exit process. An open question is whether the withdrawal was merely botched by a bunch of cretins, or was it sabotaged by a bunch of cretins who want the war to continue indefinitely. Personally, I lean toward the latter explanation, as there is growing evidence of U.S. complicity with ISIS-K, a previously unheard of terrorist group, many of whose members reportedly were airlifted out of Syria into Afghanistan in U.S. and NATO aircraft. The last thing that the U.S. wants for the Afghan people is peace, prosperity and stability.

Posted by: Rob | Aug 31 2021 18:17 utc | 9

Beibdnn @Aug31 18:02 #6

Disruption is a lot easier than "chaos" and usually all that's required.

Those disruptions will hamper the new Taliban government but will also be used to distract from war critics. The public is being told everything BUT that USA *LOST* (it was all for naught) and of the incompetence, greed, and war crimes. The media's general immunization of the military regime and political enablers is sickening.

I can't believe that this completely escapes public notice. The public was already against the war since the time that Obama's surges failed. The war was generally kept off the front pages since then.

The Panjshir Resistance allows propaganda that paint the Taliban as the rogues USA claim them to be. They want us to believe that the war was just.

ISIS-K is a new Afghan-based terror threat to stoke the public's worst fears and justify the war.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 31 2021 18:19 utc | 10

** You do mean the Uighur Freedom Fighters don’t you/

Chinese police are hunting for two or more men from the troubled region of Xinjiang amid growing suspicion that a fatal car crash and explosion in Tiananmen Square was a suicide attack.

https://twitter.com/dtbyler/status/1376364494230671362

Attackers dressed in black, slashed people at random, witnesses say #KunmingRailwayStation

The Dzungar Khanate, also written as the Zunghar Khanate, was an Inner Asian khanate of Oirat Mongolorigin. At its greatest extent, it covered an area from southern Siberia in the north to present-day Kyrgyzstan in the south, and from the Great Wall of China in the east to present-day Kazakhstan in the west. The core of the Dzungar Khanate is today part of northern Xinjiang, also called Dzungaria.

Posted by: Oui | Aug 31 2021 18:20 utc | 11

@ vk
"My opinion is that the end of the American era was September 15th, 2008, when Lehman Brothers signed for bankruptcy, thus bursting the financial meltdown that everybody here knows about".

No, it ended on January 3rd, 2020, when The US threw any remaining dignity, righteousness and respect it had left into the trash bin.

Posted by: Fractional Ownership | Aug 31 2021 18:30 utc | 12

@ Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Aug 31 2021 18:15 utc | 8

So, you're insinuating the US military bases were hindering opium cultivation in Afghanistan?

--//--

@ Posted by: Rob | Aug 31 2021 18:17 utc | 9

Biden has no one to fire in the Pentagon for the withdrawal, for the simple reason there was no withdrawal: the US military was kicked out.

--//--

I see here many people suffering from a Schrödinger's USA syndrome. It is, at the same time, an empire in terminal decay and a formidable fabric of regime change and terrorist forces. Problem is, it can't be both at the same time.

Make no mistakes: the USA's defeat in Afghanistan lowered - not rose - its capacity to intervene in Afghanistan.

Posted by: vk | Aug 31 2021 18:37 utc | 13

the similarity with Vietnam is the US came in and installed a puppet government and lost badly, and the images of people falling from the air are evocative and relevant. Vietnam was the harbinger of the end of the prematurely announced American Century, and Afghanistan is another step on the way to irrelevance.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Aug 31 2021 18:40 utc | 14

Pepe E.

https://thecradle.co/Article/investigations/1401

I think we'll have to invade Mexico next ALMO has cut off all sales of oil to outside sources.

Posted by: jo6pac | Aug 31 2021 18:42 utc | 15

The American era will end when it no longer has military bases outside its borders and the US dollar in no longer the world trade currency and no longer capable of corrupting the various UN bodies.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 31 2021 18:43 utc | 16

The Dzungar Khanate, also written as the Zunghar Khanate, was an Inner Asian khanate of Oirat Mongol origin.

Posted by: Oui | Aug 31 2021 18:20 utc | 11
What is the purpose of this slightly mangled (e.g Tibet, controlled by Zunghars, is quite a bit to the south of Kyrgyzstan) piece of erudition? There are hardly any Oirats in Xinjiang, and the local Mongols have no issues with the government, get jobs in police etc.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 31 2021 18:44 utc | 17

thanks b, for picking up the tail end of the conversation from another thread and exploring it more....

bottom line - financial terrorism is what the usa and friends excel at... until the financial terrorism stops, i see no end to the war=money equation... they can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.... and oh, but isn't it nice how the world bank, imf and etc are completely beholden to the usa... how is that exactly??? so much for the concept of an international organization.. the same can be said for the un and its resolutions, but the usa love to shit on it regularly too...

Posted by: james | Aug 31 2021 18:47 utc | 18

Jalalabad Aug.3, 2021 - There were 1,793 prisoners in the jail at the time of the attack - most of them Taliban and IS fighters, a security source told the AFP news agency.

At a later date as Taliban freed more districts near Kabul, an ISKP leader referred to as the Emir of Khorassani was taken prisoner and most likely executed. The Taliban political leaders cannot permit themselves to be moderate as the majority of their fighters could join IS especially in the provinces.

Pakistan’s western border ‘breeding ground for IS’ | Dawn News – Oct. 2015 |
https://www.dawn.com/news/1213868

The suicide attack was claimed by ISKP and they also released the picture of the suicide bomber, identified as Abdul Rehman al-Logari, indicating he was from Logar province of Afghanistan.

Posted by: Oui | Aug 31 2021 18:51 utc | 19

@vk,
Not hindering opium cultivation, but transporting it.
And not me, I have no slightest idea myself.
But a political analyst who I listen to on youtube a couple of times a week described the main flow as 'from Bagram to Kosovo'. And if there is any truth to it, without Bagram airbase, it will probably have to go thru the neighboring countries.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Aug 31 2021 18:51 utc | 20

Biden Speaks As 20-Year War In Afghanistan Ends In US Defeat
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHgn1OgM2d0

Posted by: Norwegian | Aug 31 2021 18:59 utc | 21

a few articles from indian punchline help fill in more of the blanks.... the first from aug 27th and the 2nd one from today

India reaches out to Russia to break out of regional isolation over Afghanistan

"Yet another Chinese commentary this week entitled Afghan reconstruction may boost de-dollarization push wrote: “As the US seeks to impose sanctions against Afghanistan and stop much-needed global assistance to the country, the already-emerging global de-dollarization push could further accelerate with countries increasingly adopting alternatives to the US dollar… If Afghanistan’s reconstruction sets the stage for the increased presence and usage of other currencies like the euro and the yuan, the dollar’s status could be further diminished. In fact, the de-dollarization trend has already emerged in a number of countries and regions including Russia and Saudi Arabia.”

Rise and rise of Qatar in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan

this combo of keen middle east players is interesting... qatar, turkey, ksa, uae.... which one is pushing isis, or isis-k?? i think it is ksa/uae which support from usa, but could be mistaken.. turkey could be in on it too...

Posted by: james | Aug 31 2021 19:00 utc | 22

Posted by: pretzelattack | Aug 31 2021 17:38 utc | 2

The US is indeed looking for the next war; profitable for the few, but a self inflicted injury for the Captive Nations. A tragedy for the victims.

Biden's handlers, the usual suspects, you know who they are, didn't have to look far to find a wish list of possible candidates for the next war, like choice of a pre-cooked meals. All of them are disgusting and toxic:

https://www.timesofisrael.com/us-pullout-from-afghanistan-frees-up-resources-for-israel-biden-officials/amp/

The more things change.....the more they stay the same, because in every instance the parasite always destroys the host.


Posted by: Paul | Aug 31 2021 19:04 utc | 23

@ Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Aug 31 2021 18:51 utc | 20

Even if opium cultivation rises, it won't make any difference, because, as I said here many times before, the Taliban are not a communist party, they don't have any obligation to bring prosperity to their people.

If Afghanistan needs to become a narco-state shithole in order for it to survive, the Taliban will do so - and it will prosper as such, because they're religious fundamentalists. That's the only advantage of religious fundamentalism: it is very low maintenance geopolitically.

--//--

@ Posted by: james | Aug 31 2021 18:47 utc | 18

The USA can pour USD 1 trn in cash to some random Afghan terrorist group for all it matters. Without a direct, regular army support (specially, in this case, air support), those terrorist groups won't make any difference. Yes, it will be able to harass the local peoples who will die and suffer under random attacks, but it won't make a difference at the geopolitical level.

If random terrorist acts made any difference, Western Europe would've fallen by now. That's not the case, you don't see Western Europeans asking for the toppling of their own governments and the installment of Islamic theocracies in their places just because they were rammed and mow down by some random Islamic terrorists with trucks and automatic guns.

Posted by: vk | Aug 31 2021 19:09 utc | 24

Putting these two quotes together; First from Blinkin, and the second from from Vassily Nebenzia:

"the importance of the international community holding the Taliban accountable"

and
"The sponsors refused to mention ISIL and “Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement” – the organizations that are internationally recognized as terrorist – ...... We interpret it .....to divide terrorists into “ours” and “theirs”. Attempts to "downplay” threats emanating from these groups are unacceptable."

I can quite easily see that the US would try to group ALL terrorist acts together and blame them on the Taliban for not having suppressed them. - In a similar manner to Israel holding Hamas "responsible" for everything, no matter who does what. So if ISIS- or ETIM are the originators of a terrorist act then "it will be the fault of the Taliban".
****

Safe spaces. The US is expert at using alienated enclaves: Such as the camp in Poland where the legitimate Government cannot enter, and where the CIA could have had it's infamous "black hole" torture camps etc. ANYTHING could be placed in those camps (Nukes?) and nobody would know.
*****

Watch this space.

"Bad news" Burnes is now in Beirut. and....A rare guest in Israel, P-8 "Poseidon". A spy plane, a naval patrol, a submarine warfare and a naval warfare ship. The United States and Israel are holding a large and unusual exercise in the Red Sea.

This will be about the Iranian tankers heading for Lebanon.
*
A Chinese ship is "24hr camping" off Taiwan,
*
Meanwhile back at the ranch, The US has declared it will NOT leave Iraq (guarding a "safe space"?) and "arrested" 300 Al-Shaitah tribesmen near Deir Ezzor in Syria. (To protect its safe space in Eastern Syria?).
****
The US may have it's hands full after Afghanistan.

Posted by: Stonebird | Aug 31 2021 19:10 utc | 25

"I want to drive home today that America’s work in Afghanistan continues. We have a plan for what’s next, and we’re putting it into action."
A Blinken, USA - 1:34 UTC · Aug 31, 2021

Wow! White Man's Burden, much?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 31 2021 19:13 utc | 26

White Man's Burden.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_White_Man%27s_Burden

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 31 2021 19:19 utc | 27

james | Aug 31 2021 19:00 utc | 22

Many countries having reserves in the US or in the EU (anywhere in the west) will now be looking very carefully at the ability of the US, IMF etc. to seize them. The only alternative offered is to have those reserves in some other place and currency to safeguard them.
The US dollar is (becoming?) a trap, and any rational, but not convinced of US superiority country - will now quietly look for ways to get outside their system. QED.

Posted by: Stonebird | Aug 31 2021 19:23 utc | 28

For once I can totally agree with you, vk @ 1. This is not Saigon in many ways, mostly internal to the US. Media Benjamin has an insightful post that is featured by Yves at nakedcapitalism.com this morning.

Thank you, b, for giving the reasons for China and Russia to abstain from the UN resolution. What small-minded leadership this country now has! They have done the minimum, if that, for their responsibility to Afghanistan. It should have been far more. We bow our heads in shame for them. Well done, Taliban, you begin a hard task. We have you in our prayers.

Posted by: juliania | Aug 31 2021 19:24 utc | 29

Sorry, should have been 'Medea Benjamin', of course.

Posted by: juliania | Aug 31 2021 19:25 utc | 30

Apparently, the Taliban will have a Roman triumph:

Taliban hold mock ‘funeral’ for NATO, take Black Hawk helicopter for joyrides, and show off loot at Kabul airport after US retreat

They do not seem very worried with the American threats, if you ask me.

Posted by: vk | Aug 31 2021 19:27 utc | 31

@28

"but" not convinced of US superiority country => AND not convinced.... oops.

Posted by: Stonebird | Aug 31 2021 19:29 utc | 32

"Even if you're a rabid neocon, you have to admit that losing key territory is never good for any empire."
One has to be a Neocon in the first place in order to perceive Afghanistan as a "key territory" (or a Marxist apparently).

Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world. It has real value to only one group of people - to the Afghans themselves - because it is their home. For all others it is political liability and an economic burden. Up to now the US had been carrying much of that burden (out of imperial hubris). Now others - chiefly Russia and China - will have to take that over (because of very real security concerns).

It´s no surprise that Washington tries to make that burden as heavy as possible.

Posted by: m | Aug 31 2021 19:30 utc | 33

@ Posted by: m | Aug 31 2021 19:30 utc | 33

So Trump was only hallucinating when he took ETIM off the list of terrorist groups?

Posted by: vk | Aug 31 2021 19:32 utc | 34

@3 vk | Aug 31 2021

Precisely so, the Taliban never cared before. Maybe they went to a liberal arts college in the last 20 years and developed a new respect for enlightenment values. Who knows.

But money is a huge motivator, so anything is possible.

b's claim that ISIS-K and Panjsher resistance are Western assets is baseless (for the latter) and based on rumors from other governments.

Posted by: Me2 | Aug 31 2021 19:35 utc | 35

Thanks, Beibdnn @ 6. I agree with you wholeheartedly. We need to remember Russia when first sanctions were hammered down against them. It only makes a people stronger that the US behaves towards them in this manner. Afghanistan can resist; it is only natural. The people can form cohesive bonds against such tactics; that is the response that is asked for, and their leaders have shown the way.

A shameful moment for the US is a proud one for Afghanistan.

Posted by: juliania | Aug 31 2021 19:37 utc | 36

@vk "Even if opium cultivation rises, it won't make any difference"

That's not the point. You said that the US leaving Afghanistan can't cause troubles for the RF and China. My point is that narcotraffic into neighboring countries (including China and the RF via Central Asia) may increase dramatically. Regardless of whether the cultivation rises or stays the same, or even falls a bit; simply because the CIA is out of the trafficking business.

That's not the end of the world, but still trouble.

Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Aug 31 2021 19:38 utc | 37

"At the same time the U.S. will uses its ISPK (ISIS-K) and 'Northern Alliance' assets in Afghanistan to continue the war and to make successful efforts to govern Afghanistan impossible. It will then blame the Taliban for the inevitable results."
Yes, exactly, as usual the country formerly known as the sole global superpower will invoke human rights and blame the situation they created on others. Biden has not ended the war as he proclaimed, he only outsourced it. Cold War style, as predictible for a man still living in the fifties, as his predecessor by the way.

Posted by: pnyx | Aug 31 2021 19:41 utc | 38

@ Posted by: Mao Cheng Ji | Aug 31 2021 19:38 utc | 37

I said it can't cause trouble greater than it was, as American effectiveness in Central Asia will diminish, not rise, with its defeat in Afghanistan.

Of course that absolute zero trouble is utopian. The USA is still able to finance something - but it won't be near the effectiveness of the past 20 years (unless you propose the hypothesis the USA was really sincere in founding a liberal democracy with the Ghani puppet government).

Rising opium cultivation doesn't automatically translate into rising terrorist activities.

--//--

@ Posted by: Me2 | Aug 31 2021 19:35 utc | 35

Yes, but it would be naive to presuppose the Taliban didn't know it would have its access to Afghan USD reserves blocked when it decided to wage a war against the USA. But they may be extremely stupid. Who knows.

If the Taliban really was all about the money, they would have given themselves up to Ghani many years ago. That would be the easy way out.

Posted by: vk | Aug 31 2021 19:43 utc | 39

Why did America invade Afghanistan?

Ostensibly because it harboured "terrorists" responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

Yet the Taliban repeatedly offered to turn OBL over to the US providing the US delivered proof of OBL involvement in 9/11. No such proof was ever supplied prior to invasion.

The US has still not delivered any proof of OBL involvement in 9/11 attacks since the invasion. What evidence is available incriminates Saudi Arabia and / or suggests Israeli involvement.

Why did NATO nations co-operate in the invasion of Afghanistan?
Because the US wanted them to.

This is insufficient reason to violate the sovereignty of a UN member state. It is also insufficient reason under international law.

In WWII there were a great many Quislings who got into bed with the Nazis. After WWII those Quislings were viewed as traitors to their respective nations and most of them met an unpleasant end.

What do you think the response of the Allies would have been if the Nazi's declared the Quislings to have rendered valuable assistance to the Nazi cause, offered them resettlement in Germany, and demanded the Allies assist in this re-settlement process?

Posted by: Sushi | Aug 31 2021 19:47 utc | 40

vk @3, re: "the Taliban are an Islamic fundamentalist group, not a communist party. As such, the Taliban don't depend on the welfare of their people to have legitimacy. All they have to do is to preserve the laws of Islam and the hegemony of Islamism and all is good."

To add some nuance, from M. K. Bhadrakumar:

"As the Taliban reflected over its mistakes in the 1990s and repackaged itself, it realised that much of the opprobrium that it had earned while in power in Kabul had been due to the regime’s excessive dependence on Saudi Arabia and the UAE (which were the only two countries that recognised the Taliban government, other than Pakistan.)

Such excessive dependence led to the Taliban adopting the Wahabbi traits although those were antithetical to the traditional (Deobandi) Islam practised in Afghanistan.

[..]

There are some indications that the Taliban are on the cusp of change."

And according to a "a high-level Pakistani academia-intelligence paper" quoted by Pepe Escobar:

“The standard route of development to be followed will be very pro-people. Taliban’s Islam is socialist. It has an aversion towards wealth being accumulated in fewer hands” – and, crucially, also an aversion to usury."

On the initial steps towards development projects, the paper expects them to come from Russian, Chinese, Turkish, Iranian and Pakistani companies – as well as a few government sectors. The Islamic Emirate “expects infrastructure development packages” at costs that are “affordable by the country’s existing GDP.”

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Aug 31 2021 19:47 utc | 41

US freezing Afghanistan reserves? Under the US, did Afghanistan have any income to speak of? Their main, perhaps only export seems to have been opium for which CIA pocketed the cash, their income being IMF payments and the US money coming in on a regular bases as payments for bribes and rorts.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 31 2021 19:48 utc | 42

vk | Aug 31 2021 18:37 utc | 13

I see here many people suffering from a Schrödinger's USA syndrome. It is, at the same time, an empire in terminal decay and a formidable fabric of regime change and terrorist forces. Problem is, it can't be both at the same time.

No this is wrong. It can be and it is. To lose all its power will take time, meantime it is still capable of doing a lot of harm. It is clearly weaker than it was and is clearly in decline, but there is no point in pretending that it is "powerless" or incapable of doing immense damage. You are clearly stuck in an Aristotelian mode of thought. ("It's either black or white, shades of grey do not exist."

Posted by: foolisholdman | Aug 31 2021 19:49 utc | 43

I think VK has it right.

Any 'plan' that the US may now have is toothless. Remember that the 'pullout' was never actually meant to be the complete ABANDONMENT of the physical territory.

They had an 'embassy' staff of FIVE THOUSAND people? Plus 100,000 at least collaborators. All of that is now GONE!

I have said this before, but the US never actually believed they would be completely TURFED out. Again, what happened to all the PMCs, the over-the-horizon air strikes, and all of the other wishcasting we saw in the media?

There is not a blade of American grass left in Afghanistan. And it is an inaccessible country even from the air, provided neighbors close their airspace to US military flights. All have already done so. Even Pakistan. All of them SCO members.

This 'plan' that Hooknose Blinken is flapping about is called crying in your corn flakes. There is NOTHING the US can now do in Afghanistan, or the entirety of Central Asia for that matter.

The way this all happened speaks to a huge over-estimation on the US part to take on Russia and China in their own backyard. That was THE PLAN all along. Central Asia was supposed to become the new Eastern Europe of US vassals.

All of that got REJECTED, bigtime. In your face bigtime. The 'stans are solidly back in Mother Russia's comfy embrace, now with Russia and China as a solid TANDEM [and Iran too]. That rebalancing has been quietly building for many years.

When that bubble burst, Afghanistan had no more point.

Any way you slice this, it is a HUGE loss for the US against Russia and China. That is the big picture.

Posted by: Gordog | Aug 31 2021 19:53 utc | 44

The US has no interest in a stable, developing Afghanistan. If it were genuinely interested in that it would not be:

- trying to brain drain Afghanistan
- withholding the Afghan people's central bank reserves
- imposing an economic blockade with directives to the IMF and World Bank
- refusing to list ISIL and ETIM in resolutions
- keeping Saleh in play
- trying to create conditions for civil war, etc.

China and Russia seem to be quite aware of this as they are now more pointing out more clearly the US attempts to cause chaos and hinder the Afghan people:

"The U.S. side clearly knows the causes of the current chaotic situation in Afghanistan, Wang noted, adding that any action to be taken by the UNSC should contribute to easing tensions instead of intensifying them, and contribute to a smooth transition of the situation in Afghanistan rather than a return to turmoil."

Those words are of course not reported, let alone discussed, by our Western news media.

Posted by: Canadian Cents | Aug 31 2021 19:54 utc | 45

Mao Cheng Ji " My point is that narcotraffic into neighboring countries (including China and the RF via Central Asia) may increase dramatically"
Just when in the West, lockdowns and the pandemy are provoking a boom in booze, anxiolytics and narco-selling.
Coincidence?

Posted by: Mina | Aug 31 2021 20:00 utc | 46

vk:

2) Vietnam was an outright blunder. It was a completely unnecessary war in every sense of the word - including in the sense that American imperialism didn't need it to consolidate its position [...] Afghanistan was completely different: it was a war for a presence in the Heartland, the single most important geopolitical region in the world...

This logic supports my claim, namely, that USA should focus on Tuvalu, perhaps by starting some opposition movement using members of diaspora who are short of cash. This nation is located near the center of Pacific, the largest ocean on the planet, and the importance of Pacific cannot be overstated, and thus the cardinal importance of securing its central position. Security of Aleutian Islands and Hawaii is at stake! Perhaps even California (but who cares what happens to California?).

If you think that my logic is suspicious, the importance of the "Heartland" is even more suspicious. It is not like we suspect that Russian Empire could use it to invade India (the premise behind the concept of "Heartland"). I would say that while Vietnam was an outright blunder, Afghanistan (as a war theatre for USA) is very different because it was a total blunder. Mind you, in both cases we have the benefit of the hindsight.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 31 2021 20:01 utc | 47

@vk "Vietnam was an outright blunder. It was a completely unnecessary war in every sense of the word"

That depends on what you think the purpose of the war was. If it was to enrich defense contractors with tax dollars, it wasn't a blunder. Viewed in this light, Afghanistan was a spectacular success.

Posted by: ian | Aug 31 2021 20:06 utc | 48

Pepe's “The standard route of development to be followed will be very pro-people. Taliban’s Islam is socialist. It has an aversion towards wealth being accumulated in fewer hands” – and, crucially, also an aversion to usury.""... is fantasy.
When the bank accounts (and PR office) are in Qatar, who cares?
The Taliban were boasting today that they can operate the country and even its airport because they have specialists in their ranks. This means imo that they have managed to learn recruitment by the traditional MB methods. Maybe they have internationalized, possibly with a lot of Pakistani Pashtuns and, why not, some foreigners .
Just asking, did Afghan refugees in Pakistan get citizenship and access to studies after a while?

Posted by: Mina | Aug 31 2021 20:07 utc | 49

@Posted by: vk | Aug 31 2021

Yes, they certainly knew and I think that's why they are trying to behave. The question is what will happen when the more radical types among them start to become impatient.

Posted by: Me2 | Aug 31 2021 20:08 utc | 50

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 31 2021 19:19 utc | 27

Re. "TheWhite Man's Burden.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_White_Man%27s_Burden"

Thanks for pointing this out Hoarsewhisperer, and I always thought the white man's burden was INSURANCE.

The other problem with the legacy of this burden is that in my travels to the Philippine Islands the locals automatically assume I am American. Much explanation and detailed geography lessons are then required.

Amusing story: once when checking in to a hotel in Palawan Island the receptionist said, 'all foreigners must show their passports."

I replied, 'How do you know I am a foreigner?"

They all cracked up laughing.

Posted by: Paul | Aug 31 2021 20:12 utc | 51

Interesting interview comments from Trump

"“It’s something that’s rather incredible,” he said. “They [the people supposedly controlling Biden] do horrible things, vicious things. They cheat, steal, lie. But they can’t do a simple withdrawal from a country that we should never have gone into in the first place... We should have hit that country years ago, hit it them really hard, and then let it rot.”"

Some pretty well-known people "lie, cheat, and steal"...interesting he'd be using that word play.

Also from the article:

"With zero evidence, Trump claimed Afghan evacuees who have arrived in the U.S. include “many terrorists” and “criminal rapists.”"

Posted by: catb | Aug 31 2021 20:17 utc | 52

A crisis is an opportunity riding the dangerous wind.
Chinese Proverb

Keep the world off balance
CIA fortune cookie

Failure is victory if it is sustainable income,
victory is failure if it closes opportunity.
MIC ledger book

---
Biden exits before 9/11/21,
during,
or after?

Posted by: librul | Aug 31 2021 20:24 utc | 53

Biden's speech in brief:

"This operation was a complete success.
Also this was all my predecessor's fault."

Posted by: Norwegian | Aug 31 2021 20:30 utc | 54

Gordog

Physically booting the US out of Afghanistan is a major stepping stone, but Afghanistan will still see hard times. Afghanistan has never in it history been a unified nation, often described as an inhabited geographical area. To build a unified inclusive nation, Taliban have a tough job ahead of it. A process of evolution rather than revolution. All that part of the world has been tribeale

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 31 2021 20:34 utc | 55

Biden with more lies in his speech today.

We never would have gone into Afghanistan if we were not attacked by terrorism from Afghanistan.

Firstly, by this logic, we should've attacked and occupied Saudi Arabia. It was Saudis on the planes. Ossama was Saudi. And the Saudi government and individual Saudis were a source of funds for al Queda and other terrorism.

Al Queda wasn't financed with opium sales, the Taliban had greatly curtailed poppy cultivation.

Biden's claim blatantly (and deliberately) ignores that we stayed in Afghanistan for a DECADE after killing Ossama and destroying al Queda (even though Biden makes note of the same in his speech). Anyone that thinks we did so to nation-build and help women hasn't looked at a map or learned of CIA's drug-running business.

=
The airlift of refugees couldn't have happened earlier.

He conveniently forgets and implicitly forgives CIA 'estimates' that the Afghan government could last well into next year. Biden was supposedly relying on these estimates but now won't blame the CIA. He also ignores the sudden and secret departure from Baghram which was a clear signal of 'no confidence' in the Afghan government/forces.

There is no real reflection. That might lead to accountability.

=
Biden 'stands by' his decision to end the war

Anyone that thinks Biden ended the war is living in the fantasy world, promoted by the US media, where the President has ultimate power.

I submit that if Presidents were really powerful they would've allow half the bullshit that occurs in their administration. Any serious analysis shows that they are SELECTED by the powerful interests that they represent. And these interests determine policy.

I explained why the war really ended in my comment above @Aug31 17:59 #4.

=
Lessons Learned: 1) Nation-building is over

If we're not "nation-building" then why are we still in Syria and Iraq? What are we doing with Taiwan now (US govt had previous accepted the 'one China' dictum). Does anyone think that uber-corrupt Ukraine could last longer than a few months without US support? And a special mention for Israel: we've been nation-building Israel for over five decades now with no end in sight.

=
Lessons Learned: 2) We have to act only when US vital interests are at stake.

This lesson is honored in the breech. It has been for decades.

If Biden were serious about this, USA would have AIPAC register as an agent of a foreign power.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 31 2021 20:36 utc | 56

@librul | Aug 31 2021 20:24 utc | 53

Biden exits before 9/11/21,
during,
or after?

For maximum effect, Air Force One crashes into Trump Tower on 9/11. Something like that. Biden is becoming a thing of the past.

Posted by: Norwegian | Aug 31 2021 20:37 utc | 57

would've allow ==> wouldn't allow

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 31 2021 20:38 utc | 58

Vk @ 1.3) Biden's claim that he's withdrawing from Afghanistan to focus on annihilating China doesn't make any logical sense. American domination of Afghanistan would help its struggle against China immensely. It would forever make Xinjiang a living hell to the Chinese. The loss of Afghanistan therefore hindered, not helped, the USA "focus" against China;"

I guess they could plead the budget's too small but that basic point is patently obvious isn't it. And claiming they lack the budget is itself perverse. It's a perverse, degenerate way siphon money away from the people.

Posted by: David G Horsman | Aug 31 2021 20:40 utc | 59

Re: Fractional Ownership | Aug 31 2021 18:30 utc | 12

vk: "My opinion is that the end of the American era was September 15th, 2008, when Lehman Brothers signed for bankruptcy, thus bursting the financial meltdown that everybody here knows about".

Fractional Ownership: No, it ended on January 3rd, 2020, when The US threw any remaining dignity, righteousness and respect it had left into the trash bin.

Me:

Or 12 December 2000 when the five of the nine votes that mattered selected the Commander-in-Thief
Or 22 November 1963 when we lost the last Statesman-in-Chief
Or 23 December when Wilson signed the Feral Reserve Act
Or 21 April 1898 when the U.S. blockaded Cuba
Or 10 May 1886 when corporations became 14th Amendment citizens
Or 24 April 1846 when Zachary Taylor got 80 troopers ambushed so James Knox Polk could have his war

If Anatoly Timofeevich Fomenko, Gleb Vladimirovich Nosovsky, et al. are even partly correct in that we cannot trust world history before about 1600 and U.S. and Russian history around 1850, perhaps we never really had a Constitutional Republic even before 1846.

How far back ya wanna go?????

Posted by: William Haught | Aug 31 2021 20:41 utc | 60

Will Biden attempt to prove that he does know how to withdraw successfully.
From Washington D.C.

Calamity is inextricably tangled
in every web of deceit.

Stay, go,
the outcome of Biden's final bow
won't be good.

Posted by: librul | Aug 31 2021 20:41 utc | 61

What a bunch of nasty mean-spirited pricks the USG is. I knew bullies at high school with more ethical depth. The result will be horrifying. Russia and China need to intervene directly and open up full lines of supply now. Those assholes Biden and Blinken need this follow-up lesson in what it means to be a sulky senile imperial has-been.

Posted by: Patroklos | Aug 31 2021 20:44 utc | 62

Oui @ 11, Piotr Berman @ 17:

The Dzungar khanate was destroyed by the Manchu empire then ruling China in the 1750s using soldiers drawn from ethnic Manchu, other Mongol and Uyghur communities. After the Dzungarian state was destroyed and the Dzungarian Mongols either massacred or forced to flee deep into the Russian empire - their modern descendants are the Kalmucks living in European Russia near Astrakhan on the NW Caspian Sea - the former Dzungarian territories were resettled by Emperor Qianlong with Mongol, Uyghurs and Han Chinese. A lot of the Mongols and Uyghurs who were resettled were soldiers rewarded by the Emperor for a job well done in his view.

There were few if any innocent parties in this genocide. What point were you trying to make, You, in your comment about Dzungaria?

Posted by: Jen | Aug 31 2021 20:45 utc | 63

Sorry, that question in my comment @ 63 was addressed to Oui. Blast my smartphone!

Posted by: Jen | Aug 31 2021 20:47 utc | 64

@Posted by: Norwegian | Aug 31 2021 20:37 utc | 57

"For maximum effect"

Wish Biden owned a cowboy hat :-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OL5FIWha0A

Posted by: librul | Aug 31 2021 20:48 utc | 65

@ Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 31 2021 20:01 utc | 47

The important thing to consider here is not if Mackinder is right or wrong, but that the USA elite takes his theory seriously.

Controlling Afghanistan would give the USA a direct land route to China's most vulnerable point (Xinjiang and Tibet) and also (through Tajikstan etc.) to Russia's "soft underbelly". Plus, in the distant future, it would give a springboard for a direct threat to India and Iran. The geopolitical projection the domination of Afghanistan gives to a non-Eurasian empire on Eurasian affairs is self-evident - with or without the concept of Heartland.

--//--

@ Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 31 2021 20:01 utc | 47; @ Posted by: ian | Aug 31 2021 20:06 utc | 48

That's true, but the American Empire only learned that it didn't need to win wars to prop up its capitalist system (advent of the contractors system) it while the Vietnam War was going on, not before.

Vietnam was a watershed moment in the history of the American Empire, but it was not planned. The American elites sincerely believed in the Domino Theory during that period and were sincerely scared shitless of the USSR (which was at the apex of its international prestige after the victory against the German and Japanese fascist empires and the eventual victory of the Space Race).

Posted by: vk | Aug 31 2021 20:49 utc | 66

Gordog (hit the wrong button on the mouse in the first attempt)

Physically booting the US out of Afghanistan is a major stepping stone, but Afghanistan will still see hard times. Afghanistan has never in it history been a unified nation, often described as an inhabited geographical area. To build a unified inclusive nation, Taliban have a tough job ahead of it. A process of evolution rather than revolution. All that part of the world has been tribal with borders cutting through ethnic groups or tribes. I watched Imran Khan speaking on the deep rooted problems in the area starting right back when US first used wahhabism against Afghanistan and Soviet Union.
It is deeply embedded in some areas and will take some time to change.
India also runs its terrorist groups in Baluchistan which is half in Afghanistan and half in Pakistan.
With the airport Pearl Harbour, US has set the prerequisite for intermittent air strikes that will no doubt target Afghan leadership. Russia has not downed US aircraft in any other theater and I doubt it will do so here. Pakistan I also doubt will down a US aircraft and may not even have the capability. India and Pakistan conducted strikes on each other not long back and the only part surface to air played in that was Pakistan shooting down its own helicopter.
Russia and China will ensure Afghanistan survives but it still has a very tough time ahead.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 31 2021 20:51 utc | 67

ty, peterAU1@67, for a clear & far ranging survey.

Posted by: emersonreturn | Aug 31 2021 20:58 utc | 68

Meanwhile, far from being chastened by the defeat of its colonial puppet regime in Afghanistan, Germany seeks to ratchet up its militarism.

In fact, Germany is doubling down and seeking to accelerate the development of a new German Wehrmacht ... I mean ... "European" Defense Force.

After the Afghanistan debacle: German media and parliamentary parties on course for war
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2021/08/27/berl-a27.html

Posted by: ak74 | Aug 31 2021 21:02 utc | 69

NATO/U$A DEFEATED in Afghanistan.

The Financial Empire is now pursuing economic terrorism? “Afghan central bank has nearly $10 BILLION in foreign reserves. About $7.5+ billion of the bank’s reserves is held by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. About $1.3 billion of the Afghan central bank's reserves are held in international accounts, with some of it in euros and British pounds, while the rest is held by the Bank for International Settlements based in Switzerland.” Why are these Western banks ganging up on Afghanistan? Isn’t war over? They need to be paying damages.

The Financial Empire is amoral. On the contrary, the cornerstone of its philosophy is the so-called “double-cross system” based on DOUBLESPEAK. According to this philosophy, everybody who is not initiated in the core group should be considered to be expendable, can be lied to, and is a biomass that can be manipulated in the interest of the power of the ruling network. In a philosophical sense it is the “game” which counts. The goal is to induce, overwhelm and deceive the opponents. Will Afghanistan, China and Russia fall for its trap?

De-Dollarize, Diversify, Demilitarize to dismantle the Dollar Empire.

Empire’s credibility continues to DEFLATE. What is the right thing for Americans to do?

Posted by: Max | Aug 31 2021 21:08 utc | 70

I don't understand why China would advocate that the US stay in Afghanistan, no matter what the stated goal might be.
The US needs to be banned, its NGOs need to be banned, it's "humanitarian" gestures should be banned.
Do not let the USA into Afghanistan, ever again, or into the countries surrounding it. That is the only way that Afghans will be safe from terror.

Posted by: wagelaborer | Aug 31 2021 21:09 utc | 71

@Posted by: ak74 | Aug 31 2021 21:02 utc | 69

Germany faces a "revolution" this September 26th?

Hope b could comment on this.

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/unthinkable-has-become-possible-germany-faces-political-revolution-4-weeks

Posted by: librul | Aug 31 2021 21:17 utc | 72

Apparently, things did not go so smoothly between POTUS Biden and the Marines:

‘BURN IN HELL’: Families of slain troops RAGE at Biden as Facebook suspends grieving mother after angry posts aimed at president

And people still think the CIA wouldn't dare to kill 13 marines in exchange for some cheap geopolitical gain.

Posted by: vk | Aug 31 2021 21:18 utc | 73

vk @1 & @3

Lisen to the excitement from BBC reporter James Landale yesterday regarding the UNSC Resolution about Afghanistan (starting ca 14'00, esp.around 17’26-17’48):

After the UNSC Resolution sponsored by France & UK got through, Landale said then “if they (Afghan refugees) want to come to China, they should be allowed.” This perfidy!

MSM would continue to whip up hysteria and fear about Taliban and set up humanitarian moral high ground to pressure China, FUKUS will try to trap China to accept/allow the so-called Afghan refugees aka terrorists to get into China to destablise Xinjiang.

I see lots of pro-Taliban and Taliban twtters spport their "Eastern Turkestan brothers" and constantly rt the XJ genocide lies.

Posted by: lulu | Aug 31 2021 21:27 utc | 74

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 31 2021 20:01 utc | 47

Afghanistan is key territory: it sits at the crossroads of Eurasia. It's Russia's underbelly (via the 'stans) and will be on all China's BRI maps as a route to the Indian ocean via Pakistan. If you hold Afghanistan you have leverage on all fronts. The US has bent all its energy toward it since 1979 (at least).

Posted by: ian | Aug 31 2021 20:06 utc | 48

Couldn't agree more: Forever Wars = permanent siphon from public purse to private assets, and the same goes with the Forever GFC (spectacular success for any financial institutions with toxic debts) and now the Forever Plague (big Pharma's wet dream).

Posted by: Patroklos | Aug 31 2021 21:33 utc | 75

To b:

The CGTN interview in hospital provides the evidence that support your excellent analysis about the large number of deaths and injuries at Kabul airport were mainly caused by US military shootings:

CGTN: Eyewitnesses in Kabul, #Afghanistan said some casualties of Thursday's airport attack were victims of gunfire by foreign forces, reported CMG reporter Obaidullah Musaferzada

Posted by: lulu | Aug 31 2021 21:33 utc | 76

vk@1:

Agree with your post on all points, particularly point #4:

....This time, there's no perspective for the American people at all

There indeed is no perspective for American people this time. There are still brilliant people in the US abound, but they are out of the power circles. There is nothing they can do even if they try. All institutions in the USA are dominated by wicked, sleezy, petty, incompetent clowns, from POTUS down to bureaucratic paper chasers at all levels and locations of governments and corporate worlds. This scenario has run parallel with the Afghanstan War, a carnage waged on lies and made-up excuses. In the 20 years since, we saw the corruption and incompetence in rebuilding World Trade Center, the billions-of-dollars joke in downtown Boston called a traffic improvement project, the $10 billion dollar concrete pedestals for a 20 miles light train project in Honolulu that will never be completed, the high speed projects that became feeding troughs in California/East Coast and eveywhere else, the endless law suits involving billions of $$$ for lawyers based on he said-she said, healthcare ripoffs by hospitals and practioners, the airplanes falling from skies, new multi-billion dollar destroyers that can hardly float, the college graduates who can hardly add fractional numbers nor can find meaningful jobs....... you name it, we are witnessing it.

So are we to expect another digital highway phenomenon like the one that followed the Vietnam debacle? I don't think so.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Aug 31 2021 21:34 utc | 77

@ Fractional ownership and @ Vk the American era died in Syria and was buried in Afghanistan.

Posted by: Ciso2011@hotmail.ca | Aug 31 2021 21:35 utc | 78

Oh I forgot to mention the 73 miles of border wall that costed $10+billions. Thank you Mr. Trump!

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Aug 31 2021 21:37 utc | 79

vk @Aug31 21:18 #73:

And people still think the CIA wouldn't dare to kill 13 marines in exchange for some cheap geopolitical gain.

Perhaps you've missed my earlier comments, vk.

It seems logical that most, if not all, Marine casualties were from a firefight with the Taliban (the Taliban was said to have about 28 dead). A firefight that USA acknowledges but insists was with ISIS-K. None of the pressitude media questions why ISIS-K would engage in such a firefight when they would gain a big 'win' simply from the bombing.

I think the firefight was hushed up because it was inconvenient and unexpected. Inconvenient because EVERYONE AGREES that USA needs to leave Afghanistan - even Biden's partisan critics - who love Trump and see Trump's agreement to withdraw as sound policy (to them, despite all evidence to the contrary, Trump is an America-First peace-maker).

If true, when it comes out, the COVER-UP will be blamed on the Biden Administration and Biden himself as Biden has accepted responsibility for everything related to the pull-out - with the caveat that the Joint Chiefs of Staff agreed with everything that was done with regard to the pull-out.

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 31 2021 21:41 utc | 80

Me2 #50

The question is what will happen when the more radical types among them start to become impatient.

They will get some sophisticated SAM missiles and start popping the USA drones thus ending idiot Blinken's plans.

The losers have gone back to slaughter their own in USA, all is good. So long as the world can keep these warmongering generals and presidents and the more radical types from the USA in their cage, the rest of us can breathe free and prosper in peace.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Aug 31 2021 21:50 utc | 81

Peter, I don't see possibility of US airstrikes, intermittent or otherwise.

The only way any such US aircraft would be able to get to Afghanistan would be through Pak airspace. I don't think that is realistic in the current scenario.

First, Pak is a strong, formal military ally of China. It is also economically tied to China through the latter's massive infrastructure investment in the CPEC corridor, a big part of BRI. Pak very much wants to to hitch a ride on the China express to prosperity.

This is a much different situation from the cold war era, where Pak was enlisted in the anti-Soviet effort and could get sizable monetary benefits from that.

Pak today has no need of the US, which is on the other side of the world and can offer nothing Pak needs. In fact, as the US draws closer with main enemy India, there is very little room for any kind of cooperation anyway.

At the same time, Pak is formally in SCO, which is led by China and Russia. So that is its current operating system.

Last but not least, Pak is the main sponsor of the Taliban. They will likely be the first to formally recognize the new regime.

What could they possibly have to gain by letting them be bombed?

In fact, the US has nothing to gain from any airstrikes either. In support of what and whom?

The US terrorist proxies like ISIS-K are an enemy and problem for Pak too. The US has no means to physically reach those assets. The Talib will clean them up. That is the CORE REQUIREMENT of both Russia and China.

The Talib's new friends and partners are the latter two. Thus all the diplimatic engagement with them. The Talib need them very much and have repeatedly stressed that relationship.

The only odd man out is the US, whom nobody needs in the region in any way.

I don't see any role for any kind of US 'airstrikes' in this very much new regional configuration.

Btw, US attempting to barge into Pak airspace [which again is completely off the wall] will result in aircraft being downed.

That's how these things work. Intruding on sovereign airspace is an act of WAR! It's just not done.


Posted by: Gordog | Aug 31 2021 21:55 utc | 82

@ Oriental Voice:

As a former academic, I must say you're being unfair to universities! They're still excellent minor league franchises for our professional football and basketball leagues, and the "better" ones are still effective finishing-cum-party schools for our elite classes.

Posted by: corvo | Aug 31 2021 21:57 utc | 83

Long lines of Afghans standing outside German Embassy in Iran.

German foreign minister Heiko Maas is visited Uzbikstan, Pakistan, etc. looking for the guarantee of land exit route for Afghan regugees. Is he so dumb to get Germany another refugee wave or simply following the NATO/US script to continue cause the refugee spillover to Afghanistan's neighbouring counties?

Btw, you have to give BBC, CNN, NYT & Co the credit that it has succeeded in spinning the debacle of US & NATO withdraw from its occupation of Afghanistan into humanitarian gallantry......

Posted by: lulu | Aug 31 2021 22:00 utc | 84

Jackrabbit 80

In the previous thread, S posted a translation from Russian media by a Russian journalist who had questioned witnesses.

Apparently the bomber got into the american area so the blast would have most likely killed an injured a few Americans. Every witness has stated it was the Americans that did all the shooting. I very much doubt there was any firefight as no witness has even hinted at that. What I make of it is that American in the tower, and perhaps on the walls were shooting at everything below them including their own. Most likely simply plastering the entire area with automatic gunfire. There may well have been some up there whose job was to kick things of after the blast and ensure there was a good American body count.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 31 2021 22:01 utc | 85

Oriental Voice @Aug31 21:34 #77

How can you forget:

  • The Global Financial Crisis;
  • The Bush Tax Cuts (the first in the middle of a war) which Obama largely made permanent through a farce known as the "Fiscal Cliff" - a fiasco that can never be discussed in polite company because it was a con run by Saint Obama with an assist by Republican leadership.
  • The F-35 fighter boondoogle/disaster - which began shortly after "The Fiscal Cliff" fiasco.

    Foreign Policy 2012: The Jet That Ate the Pentagon:

    It’s no secret, however, that the program — the most expensive in American history — is a calamity.

    This month, we learned that the Pentagon has increased the price tag for the F-35 by another $289 million — just the latest in a long string of cost increases — and that the program is expected to account for a whopping 38 percent of Pentagon procurement for defense programs, assuming its cost will grow no more.

    Washington Examiner 2021: End the F-35 boondoggle

  • Even at a time of relative (international) peace, Congress is determined to keep funding the most expensive military program in U.S. history. Rather than looking for ways to keep costs down or at least hold expenses constant, lawmakers are approving money on fighter jets with operational costs 79% greater than the aircraft being replaced by F-35s. And costs are climbing even compared to the already high baseline of spending for the fighter jet boondoggle.

    ... In July, the House Oversight and Reform Committee noted numerous supply-side issues, including behind-schedule depots and the unreliable Autonomic Logistic Information System. And of the F-35 jets that are “successfully” built, many are not meeting reliability and maintainability goals, according to the Government Accountability Office.


!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 31 2021 22:05 utc | 86

corvo@83

I almost spewed beer all over the bar when I read that. Literally, not metaphorically.

👍

Posted by: David F | Aug 31 2021 22:09 utc | 87

Jackrabbit

Another thought. One witness did say Americans on the ground were also firing into the crowd. The pineapple crew? Non were killed or injured in the incident. Perhaps they were the ones to kick off the shooting with shit scared knuckle draggers and wannabe warriors in the tower quickly joining in.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 31 2021 22:14 utc | 88

Gordog @Aug31 21:55 #82:

Intruding on sovereign airspace is an act of WAR! It's just not done.

And yet Biden keeps touting USA's over the horizon policing capability.

That "policing" is US policy.

That policy was famously demonstrated by the killing of Gen. Suleiman and several of his Iraqi colleagues.

And we see the policy at work in Syria: Russia and Syria just don't HATE ISIS enough!

!!

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 31 2021 22:18 utc | 89

Gordog 82

My view is based on what I see as Russia and China's strategy in taking down the US. The US is unstable and run by crazies.
Russia and China I think intend taking the US down without triggering a major war. Pakistan have not cut ties with US entirely but shooting a manned aircraft down would probably do that. I would give fifty fifty as to which way they would go but lean more towards them not shooting one down.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Aug 31 2021 22:27 utc | 90

Posted by: Sushi @ 40

I agree with you, but it is worse than that:

"One thing we should not forget about the Afghanistan War is the US double standard that helped precipitate it, and which underpins most US foreign interventions.

Some may recall that in 2001 the US demanded the Taliban hand over Osama Bin Laden without any extradition treaty, any evidence of his culpability in the 9/11 bombings, and without considering alternative Taliban suggestions such as adjudication by the International Court at the Hague.

When the Taliban quite reasonably demurred, the US attack began.

As the Taliban’s Ambassador to Pakistan at the time, Abdul Salam Zaeef, said about the US demand, “If every country were to hand over any person deemed a criminal by America, then America would de facto control the world. This would in turn threaten the independence and sovereignty of all countries....."

https://johnmenadue.com/the-great-double-standard-over-afghanistan/

Posted by: Paaul | Aug 31 2021 22:37 utc | 91

That's how these things work. Intruding on sovereign airspace is an act of WAR! It's just not done.


Posted by: Gordog | Aug 31 2021 21:55 utc | 82


It's done all the time if the flyover country is deemed too weak to fight back. Just ask Lebanon, just ask Syria.

Posted by: corvo | Aug 31 2021 22:37 utc | 92

corvo@83:

The operative word in your post is 'former'. I know a few brilliant former academics myself. None of them want to talk about the $11 million Nick Saban makes. Yeah, our universities are minor league pro sport breeding grounds and LBGT party venues. Glad you got away from yours in time.

Posted by: Oriental Voice | Aug 31 2021 22:38 utc | 93

@ Oriental Voice:

Actually, I was thinking more of "greeks" -- you know, those ritually abusive clubs that are at least good for business connections -- but yes, the woke groups, having discovered their power, don't want to be left out. But they're still nothing compared to Pigma Sty, to say nothing of the Bonesers.

I fondly recall Indiana University back in the days when it was effectively run by Bobby Knight and seconded by a weasel named Tom Ehrlich, who used the university as a stepping stone to where the REAL action is: the NCAA.

Posted by: corvo | Aug 31 2021 22:44 utc | 94

And never ever any accountability for utter failure - both in policy and execution. What we see in Afghanistan is 20 years of public/private partnership to the tune of trillions of dollars full of sound and fury signifying nothing. This hollow empire stands for nothing but class apartheid and bloodlust.

Even now after mountains of lies and coverups, there is no clamor by 'the people' to do anything different, but make the surrender go a lot smoother next time. Pathetic.

The collapse of the USA will make the collapse of the USSR look like the rise of a phoenix.

Posted by: gottlieb | Aug 31 2021 22:47 utc | 95

JR @ 89: US is still legally in Iraq, so it can fly there. That is not intruding on sovereign airspace.

Syria is another matter also. The US and Russia have clearly delineated flight ops areas, where the other doesn't go.

Lebanon is taken for granted by Israel. None of those situations is remotely comparable to Pakistan.

US violated Pak airspace in that 'bin Laden' raid in 2011, but they flew helos under radar and got out quick. They knew they would be shot down if caught, so no fixed wing aircraft.

Posted by: Gordog | Aug 31 2021 22:52 utc | 96

vk wrote:

The American financial blockade tactics only works against communist revolutions. Religious fundamentalist governments can easily survive and even thrive on economic misery.
______________________________________________________________

Some people are incredibly blinded by ideology. Maybe its time to consider why communist governments are so vulnerable to financial tactics?

The Taliban are in charge of a nation where most of the people are not dependent on the global economy. They have thrived for thousands of year without the help of outsiders. The only thing that has damaged their independence from outside influence is the endless wars which have now ended. It will take a few years to wipe out the destruction of war, but the Taliban is committed to making that happen.

Posted by: jinn | Aug 31 2021 22:53 utc | 97

Joe switches between yelling at me, and whispering to me.
Neither form of communication convinces me that he’s being honest.

The strategies and policies of USA admin are consistently a fail.
Imagine, if you can, what GOOD could be done with the strength of the US military and economy.
Instead, it’s more pain for the entire world.
Every single fucking time.

Posted by: Cadence calls | Aug 31 2021 22:58 utc | 98

Gordog @Aug31 21:55 #82:

Intruding on sovereign airspace is an act of WAR! It's just not done.

-----
Could someone please transmit this post to the nearest Israeli embassy.

Thank you.

Posted by: Sushi | Aug 31 2021 23:15 utc | 99

And just a little more specifics on Syria. Israel doesn't fly into Syrian airspace either, not since the Syrians shot down that F16 in 2018. They now just launch standoff missiles from Leb, or Med Sea.

US likewise doesn't do many combat sorties. That changed after they pulled back from a lot of the Kurd areas, after Turkey sent the army in. The Russians took over those former US air bases.

Now only small strips available in US-occupied Kurd area of Syria, not suitable for combat aircraft, only very small prop transports like King Airs.

Not much US combat sorties into Syrian airspace since then either. And the few that do pop up, like that recent 'retaliation' bombing on Iranian-backed paramilitaries on the Iraq-Syria border, those come from Iraqi bases.

So US air activity in Syria has pretty much dried up anyway. All of that since the kerfuffle with the Turks.

Syria is a lost cause for the regime change project anyway. And the official line is that ISIS has been defeated.

So yes, the US footprint in Syria has shrunk dramatically also. Another 'L' in the making. As soon as they get out of Iraq, they can no longer stay [illegally] in Syria either, due to logistics cut off.

Posted by: Gordog | Aug 31 2021 23:41 utc | 100

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