Eric Margolis talks with Scott about the situation in Afghanistan as American forces continue to withdraw. Of course, the last few days have seen nonstop headlines proclaiming an utter disaster in the country, many of them excoriating President Biden for having screwed things up so badly. But Scott and Margolis remind us just how much worse things could be. Margolis points out that for one thing, some Afghan government officials seem to have been quietly preparing for a transfer of power far in advance, such that when U.S. forces pulled out, they were prepared to more or less let the Taliban take over. You don’t have to be a fan of the Taliban to realize that this relatively peaceful transfer of power is far better than the alternative: months of bloody and destructive fighting followed by victory for the Taliban anyway. Even in areas like women’s rights, Margolis explains that the current generation of Taliban leadership isn’t as harsh as their fathers and grandfathers—Taliban spokesmen have been quick to reassure the West that they want women to play a bigger role in society. The last thing Americans should do is let war hawks use the chaos in Afghanistan as an excuse for us to go back into the country and stay forever.
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Snowflakes: Afghanistan is Your Future
The plight of Americans left behind in Afghanistan is described as “dire”. U.S. Senator Tom Cotton has set up a hotline for crisis counseling; Biden, still hiding at Camp David, said through his vacationing press secretary that he hopes the Taliban will be nice and let Americans go peacefully.
THIS is what the military and federal government of the United States of America have come to. The military founded by George Washington that defeated the British, later liberated the world from Nazism and Communism, and crushed ISIS only a couple of years ago is now THIS. Why? Because the fish rots from the head down, and Joe Biden, along with all who actively support him, are rotten, through and through.
It’s truly a metaphor for what’s to come. The 30-year-old snowflakes who draw government checks and live in their childhood bedrooms claiming fear of COVID; or the more sophisticated snowflakes who trade on government perks and favors in pursuit of the unearned … They will yawn or sneer at the collapse of American credibility in Kabul and around the world. But the moral credibility that once made “America” mean something, and the fiscal credibility that those government payments or perks made possible, should matter to these snowflakes.
Reality will hit them at some point. The Joe Biden regime is just like any other regime that will follow it in our rigged, utterly corrupt system that once made up a republic. The very Joe Biden who literally hides at Camp David and refuses to talk to anyone is the same one who will abandon the millions who count on ever-expanding benefits — benefits that will do them no good when inflation grows into the double digits, or beyond, and all the freebies in the world will do them no good in a collapsing economy. Yet they will vote for their own destruction again and again — screaming, as they go down, that nothing was ever their fault.
Take a look at those poor, physically mangled, abandoned souls clinging to US military planes fleeing Afghanistan, you snowflakes. Before long, that will be YOU.
Michael J. Hurd, Daily Dose of Reason
Biden’s Afghanistan Disaster Proves: There Are No Accidents
Biden badly bungled Afghanistan. He took the military out of the country without even first securing our weapons and technology. The Taliban, one of the primary groups responsible for 9/11, is back in power, free to strike again. It’s incomprehensible that the nation who won a Revolution, prevailed in the Civil War, World War I, World War II and over ISIS could reach this point. But here we are.
People are quick to label Biden incompetent. And demented. It’s true; he is both of these things. But Biden didn’t achieve high office through his own skill. He was put there by people and entities — tech giants, fascist billionaires like Soros and Steve Jobs’ widow, the Chinese Communists, and others — with both the will and the skill to do so.
Biden’s incompetence is no accident. His regime, like his party, is out to destroy the United States as we’ve known it. Whatever remnants or fragments of individual rights, private property, and fearless defense of liberty still exist must be eradicated. Biden’s party, Biden’s Congress, Biden’s Supreme Court (including paid off, blackmailed or otherwise terrified conservatives) and, most of all, Biden’s media are all on the same page: They want the United States to lose because they want freedom to end. They want capitalism to lose. But they only detest capitalism because it means economic freedom. They have no problem with “crony capitalism”, which is actually economic fascism, i.e., a way to control others through money; it’s FREEDOM they are after.
They will not stop until there is no freedom left. They’re doing everything conceivably possible at home: outlawing fossil fuels; devastating the currency through inflationary spending; massively raising taxes; imposing crippling regulation; shuttering small business with mask mandates and by making people “show their papers” with vaccine passports; and driving up the cost of fuel to paralyzing levels. None of these policies are accidents; they are all deliberate. These are the actions of a regime and a movement HELLBENT on the utter obliteration of freedom.
So don’t call Biden’s disgraceful exit from Afghanistan an example of “incompetence”. In today’s world, there are no accidents. There are no conspiracy theories, either. It’s not a conspiracy to point out that every single action of this regime is the exact kind of action you would expect if a Nazi or Communist party had taken over the government, and was (1) setting the government at war with the people and (2) destroying all cultural and political remains of the previous government. The facts overwhelmingly, and with 100 percent predictability, support this assertion.
So why is the collapse of American military force, not just in Afghanistan, but everywhere, even a tiny bit of a surprise.
Michael J. Hurd, Daily Dose of Reason
Who Lost America’s Longest War ?
In April, President Joe Biden told the nation he would have all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack ever on the continental United States.
Given the turn of events of the past week, that 20th anniversary may be celebrated by a triumphant Taliban, now on the cusp of victory over the Americans and their Afghan allies, with gruesome public executions of their surrendered and captured enemies.
Sept. 11, 2021, could see U.S. Marines and diplomats fleeing Kabul to escape the retribution of the Taliban whom we ousted in 2001.
Consider. From Friday, a week ago, to today, the Taliban have overrun 10 of Afghanistan’s 34 provincial capitals.
Mazar-e-Sharif in the north is now surrounded. Kandahar and Herat, second and third largest cities, are under siege. The Kandahar-Kabul road has been cut. The defense minister escaped assassination in the capital. The government’s media director did not. The Taliban now control half of the 400 regions of Afghanistan and two-thirds of its territory.
Some Afghan soldiers have fought bravely. Others have retreated into their bases, surrendered, or fled into neighboring countries such as Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan. An entire Afghan army corps with its U.S. weapons, equipment and vehicles was surrendered in Kunduz city.
U.S. military say the fall of Kabul could come within 90 days, with some saying privately the regime could fall to the Taliban within a month.
Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut has summarized the situation:
“The complete, utter failure of the Afghan national army, absent our hand-holding, to defend their country is a blistering indictment of a failed 20-year strategy predicated on the belief that billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars could create an effective democratic central government in a nation that has never had one.”
The reality of that grim assessment raises many questions.
Who is responsible for the colossal U.S. failure in Afghanistan? Who is responsible for America’s impending defeat in her longest war?
Over the last 20 years, the U.S. lost 2,500 troops with 20,000 wounded and invested $1 trillion to create an Afghan army, only to see that army crumble and disintegrate as soon as we departed.
Wednesday, Biden conceded that truth:
“Look, we spent over $1 trillion over 20 years; we trained and equipped … over 300,000 Afghan forces. Afghan leaders have to come together. They’ve got to fight for themselves.”
We are facing in Afghanistan a wipeout of the investment of a generation to convert Afghanistan into a democracy with the ability to hold the allegiance of its people and to defend itself.
Why did we fail?
Did the U.S. generals, statesmen, politicians and journalists who went to Afghanistan during these last two decades, and came back to testify to our steady progress, delude themselves? Or did they deceive us?
How many U.S. generals knew what was going on but declined to risk their careers by telling Congress or the country that the Afghan army and regime we had stood up would likely collapse like a house of cards once the Americans departed and they had to face the Taliban alone?
Today, the U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, is in Qatar threatening the Taliban that if they overrun the country and impose a victor’s peace, they risk being denied diplomatic recognition by the U.S. and its Western allies and a forfeiture of future foreign aid.
But to brand the Taliban terrorists and pariahs is not new to them. What they seek is something for which they have proven they are willing to die.
What is critical for them is to restore the Taliban to their previous dominance; to create an Islamic Emirate; to make themselves the moral, social and political arbiters of a more purely Islamic Afghanistan.
And to be rid of the outsiders and their alien values.
They want to be able to stand up and say to the Muslim world: “We have shown you how to do it. We fought America, the world superpower, for 20 years until we forced the Americans, tails between their legs, to get out of our land, and then put their puppets up against a wall.”
While our strategic defeat will leave Americans reluctant to attempt any such future imperial interventions, there needs to be an accounting.
The questions that need answering:
Was not the attempt to transplant Madisonian democracy into the soil of the Middle and Near East a fool’s errand from the beginning?
How many other U.S. allies field paper armies, which will collapse, if they do not have the Americans there to do the heavy lifting?
Is what we have on offer — one man-one vote democracy — truly appealing in a part of the world where democracy seems to have trouble, from the Maghreb to the Middle East to Central Asia, putting down any deep roots?
The Taliban’s God is Allah. The golden calf we had on offer was democracy. In the Hindu Kush, their god has proven stronger.
Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”
The Afghanistan Fiasco was Based on a Philosophical Error
The disintegration of the Afghanistan army after the U.S. withdrawal should not have come as a surprise to anyone. It was based on a philosophical error.
The disintegration of the Afghanistan army after the U.S. withdrawal should not have come as a surprise to anyone. It was based on a philosophical error.
Afghanistan is a third-world country dominated by the Islamic religion. Fundamentalist Islam is anti-reason and based on mysticism, including the belief that so-called natural law is based on God’s whim. Fundamentalist Islam does not believe in individual rights and is especially contemptuous of women who are viewed as inferior creatures who must not even be educated. It advocates total subservience or death for those who reject the faith and view the epitome of moral achievement to consist of self-immolation in the service of killing non-believers. The reward for men will be meeting virgins in heaven. (Note: not all Afghans are fundamentalists; those who want freedom often immigrate to freer countries.)
The Afghans defeated the Russians when they tried to take over the country. The U. S. hoped to do better. The intervention consisted of extensive training of the Afghan military and various reforms and building projects, including schools for women. It also consisted of many thousands of U. S. troops and fighter planes to hold the country together in the face of the Taliban and other fundamentalist groups. The delusion was that the non-Taliban Afghans would learn to defend themselves and eventually be able to function without our help. They never did. What was the problem?
Military training does not help fundamentalist countries in the absence of value training, and value training could only work if a large portion of the population became pro-reason and thus pro-individual rights. This would mean they would be willing to fight to the death for freedom. To my knowledge, no such training ever occurred or did occur and did not work except perhaps on a very small scale. So, in reality, the Afghans we trained to fight were fighting against people of their own religion based presumably on differences of opinion on the application of Islam. (Note: We are morally obligated to give sanctuary and, ideally, citizenship to those who risked their lives to support our soldiers and who will be in mortal danger as the fundamentalists take over. We should also admit women who have sought education and who could also be at risk).
Let’s go deeper. Could we have even tried value training in-depth and on a wide scale? Most assuredly not, because a core, false axiom today is that all religions and philosophies are morally equal. Telling the Afghans that their philosophy was fundamentally wrong would have been unthinkable— just more “western imperialism.”
But let’s say we had tried. What would have been the reaction? It would have been negative. You cannot come into a third-world country and tell them to just shape up when their philosophy has been considered a virtual axiom for millennia. The entire fundamentalist way of thinking is alien to the Enlightenment which took centuries to flourish in the west. Similarly, large-scale cultural change in third-world countries could take centuries.
So, what should we do with such countries? Leave them alone unless they terrorize us or our allies. Then, severe but focused military reprisals are proper.
It is obvious that our government made the same error in Vietnam. South Vietnam was a third-world country mired in centuries of royal rule. Their populace was not inspired by any Declaration of Independence. The few who were pro-rights were no match for millions of soldiers from the North who were happy to die for Communism.
What lesson needs to be learned from these fiascos? The key is to provide military support only to countries who are already committed to freedom and are willing to fight for it. This means they must already support Western, pro-rights values. Examples would be Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. This would also include Europe so long as they pay their fair share of the NATO budget. The U.S. should have treaties with such countries, not out of altruism but out of self-interest. There are four very dangerous dictatorships in the world today: Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran. These countries have nuclear weapons and want to destroy freedom everywhere. It must be made clear that they will not get away with it.
Ideally, Americans will fight to the death for freedom. It will be beneficial if it has allies that will do the same.
Edwin A. Locke
Biden Should Get Us Out of Afghanistan
The Biden Administration’s effort to withdraw nearly all US troops from Afghanistan and Iraq before the end of the year is commendable and it is hoped that a departure from Syria will follow soon thereafter, but one must nevertheless be concerned that the overseas moves are being made to concentrate government resources on the domestic war that has already begun. I am, of course, referring to the ongoing efforts being made to extirpate “extremists” among American citizens who have been further identified as largely consisting of “white supremacists.”
As part of the new war, ideas or even demonstrable facts that are considered to be undesirable are being targeted by the government working together with internet resources, most particularly the social media, to attack critics. It is being argued that the alleged provision of “misinformation” is doing actual harm to the country and the American people. Recently, much of the focus has been on the COVID virus, in support of the government’s intention to have all Americans vaccinated and, increasingly, again compelled to be masked when inside buildings that are accessible to the public. These efforts are being supported by media including Facebook, which features pop-ups directing the reader to a “safe” site whenever a piece appears that challenges the government orthodoxy on the spread of the virus.
One might reasonably argue that there is a national public health crisis that is part of a global problem which requires coordinated government intervention, but the actual statistics that reveal the existing low levels of infection and death in most states would not support that contention. And one might also observe that the growing problem involving the regulation of speech and even ideas by government working in cooperation with large corporations is potentially more serious than COVID or any other virus.
If the United States government and its corporate partners were in an honest way trying to protect the American people one might at least be sympathetic regarding the efforts being made, but both government and businesses have proven to be serial liars and purveyors of egregious untruths to serve their own agendas. Recently, the White House spokesman Jen Psaki suggested that those spreading false information about COVID vaccinations might well be banned from spreading such lies on social media. The implication was that the government could compile lists of such “extremists” and use its regulatory authority to compel companies on the internet to censor individuals and groups in compliance with orders coming from the White House. The justification would be that government in this case gets a pass on limiting free speech and association due to a national health crisis.
Psaki has undoubtedly discovered a certain benevolence in big government which few Americans have noted before. Foreigners, however, being on the receiving end of wars resulting from the stream of lies emanating from Washington might well have a different viewpoint. President Bill Clinton relied on a false narrative to go to war in the Balkans and then used unprovoked attacks on Sudan and Afghanistan to draw attention away from an affair he was having with an intern. George W. Bush and his pack of neocon scoundrels, most of whom are still holding prestigious positions, used what was known to be fake information to justify destroying Afghanistan and Iraq. Barack Obama lied to overthrow the governments in Libya and Ukraine while also attempting to do the same in Syria.
All lies, all the time, and now we Americans are supposed to believe that the Biden Administration is seeking to benefit us? Online one wag quipped that “The party that believes that men can get pregnant now wants to control ‘misinformation’ on the internet?” Never forget that policies that compel all Americans to behave in certain ways, no matter how innocent in appearance, can also be used and expanded upon to mandate something more sinister.
And what about the social media companies? Facebook has long had a censorship group headed by a former Israeli government official. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has admitted to Congress that Facebook suppresses nearly all so-called “hate speech” automatically using computer algorithms that rely on word associations to determine what is allowed on the site. Pieces that are considered borderline are allowed only limited exposure, having their distribution among contacts automatically restricted and disabling sharing. Google search uses similar algorithms to make sure that sites and individuals that it does not approve of do not appear among search results. It also uses software to actually “re-direct” users away from sites that it does not approve.
And now PayPal, owned by online auction service eBay and an essential tool for small public interest groups’ support, has now announced that it will henceforth be working with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to “fight hate” by cutting off financing of extremist groups. But its definition of “hate,” criticized as highly subjective and inclined to condemn groups disliked by ADL for political reasons, has prompted legitimate concerns about where this all is going. ADL has often been criticized for finding hate virtually everywhere, particularly among conservative white groups. RT cites a recent example of such fervor “in response to an article published in Canada’s National Post, which was denounced by the ADL because its author mentioned that one of the 32 US lawmakers supporting a tax reform belonged to a Jewish fraternity.” In short, any discussion of Israel or of the behavior of Jewish individuals and groups in anything but a positive context will be considered “hate” by ADL and PayPal.
Indeed, PayPal and ADL issued a self-serving statement last week which said “PayPal and ADL will focus on further uncovering and disrupting the financial pipelines that support extremist and hate movements,” adding that they would also go after “actors and networks spreading and profiting from all forms of hate and bigotry against any community.”
The joint venture will also include the “launch[ing] of a research effort” to determine how “extremist and hate movements throughout the US are attempting to leverage financial platforms to fund criminal activity.” The negative information collected will be shared with police, financial services, and the government, presumably to create an environment where such groups will be marginalized and shut out of the public space completely, to include possibly having their supporters arrested, charged and convicted.
The growing collusion between big government and large public-accessible online information and opinion services is not a good thing. It permits those well-funded and politically connected organizations to work together to limit what the public is allowed to know. Its zeal to eliminate “misinformation” is misplaced, replacing dissident voices that have limited access to a wider audience with massive agenda driven public-private organizations that will essentially determine what is acceptable and what is not. If allowed to continue, it will be the death of free speech in this country as everything that disagrees with the approved narrative will be labeled “hateful” or “extremist,” eventually to include criminal penalties for those who disagree. It is not too much to suggest that we are witnessing the first steps in the creation of a totalitarian de facto one-party state. Perhaps that is the intention.
Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is https://councilforthenationalinterest.org address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is email@example.com
Why Can’t We Just March out of Afghanistan ?
Last week President Biden announced a “full” US withdrawal from Afghanistan – the longest war in US history – by the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attack on the United States. While this announcement is to be welcomed, the delayed US withdrawal may result in Americans and Afghans dying needlessly for good PR optics back home. We all remember how many Americans died after President Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” stunt in Iraq.
The war has been a disaster from day one. So why wait to end it?
The previous Trump Administration had negotiated an agreement for the US to be out of Afghanistan by the first of May, but in its obsession with tossing out anything associated with Trump, President Biden will continue to keep US troops in harm’s way in this pointless war.
The Taliban have kept their end of the “Doha Agreement” signed under then-President Trump: no Americans have been killed in Afghanistan for more than a year. However, the US side under President Biden will formally violate the Agreement by keeping US troops in-country after May 1st. The Taliban has announced that it will hold the US “liable” for remaining in-country after the agreed-upon departure date. That means more Americans may be killed.
The outcome of the war will not be altered in the slightest by keeping US troops in Afghanistan four additional months. The withdrawal is already announced and no one paying attention expects the corrupt US-backed Kabul government to survive. It is another Saigon moment, proving that the intellectually bankrupt US foreign policy and military established has learned absolutely nothing from history. So if another American is killed, who is going to explain to the grieving family why their loved one had to remain in harm’s way for a good 9/11 photo-op?
A recent article in the Military Times lays out the massive disaster of the US two-decade war on Afghanistan: more than two trillion dollars spent – much of it going to fund crooked practices in Afghanistan and here at home. And even worse, the Cost of War Project has estimated that a quarter of a million people have been killed in the war.
We do applaud President Biden’s decision to ignore the demands of all the neocons who have flocked to support his Administration, but as is most often the case, when it comes to Washington you have to really read the fine print when something sounds too good to be true. In this case, the fine print is that the US will not actually be leaving Afghanistan at all. As a recent article in The Grayzone points out, the Afghan war will continue with US special forces, CIA paramilitaries, and guns-for-hire taking the place of US soldiers. The war is not going to end, it’s just going to be “privatized.”
My philosophy has always been simple: we just marched in, so we can just march out. As we have learned recently, that is exactly what President Trump tried to do in the final days of his presidency, only to get cold feed after his military and national security “experts” told him it was a terrible idea. When the history of the Trump Administration is written, it will sadly be filled with stories of Trumps’ excellent instincts tossed aside by his inability to demand that those working for him follow his orders. It’s tragic.
We need to be completely out of Afghanistan. Yesterday.