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The Afghanistan debacle


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    Yes the Taliban is on a winning streak and has captured about 90% of the country, only Kabul has not yet fallen in their hands. I guess this is again another war the US lost. We've been there over 20 years and accomplished nothing at all.

    In the meantime it has cost plenty of US lives and trillions of dollars. The situation is now as it was 20 years ago. Thus this country as with Korea is an example that the US is no longer an reliable world power or an example for creating any Democracy anywhere. Let alone at "home" there the "chaos" roams as well.

    It is time that the US learns that their foreign meddling does not work and should concentrate on this country itself to make it work again as an real Democracy with stringent proper laws, rules, and "limits on things, like "free" speech, gun control etc. It is also time to curb the individual States of their "powers" related to governing and "laws" which do fit an "oversight" role of the Federal Government. Uniformity should be the goal especially in"elections" and "appointments" of governors, who should "dance" to the "tune" of the laws and rules of the Federal Government. Amen.

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    What a mess.

    All those weapons and machinery gone to terrorists, wtf.

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    The United States war in Afghanistan was never winnable. One only needs to look at lessons learned from the incursions of Alexander the Great in 332 BCE to the British experience and ultimate defeat there (1839 - 1842) to the Russian fiasco in the 1980s to know that any war against the Afghans and perhaps more specifically the Pashtuns, was never winnable. Sure there were some claimed military battle victories, but no one could win over the people militarily. Not even some 300,000 highly trained Afghan troops will be able to defend their corrupt government against the passionate religious zeal of the Taliban. I'm sure there were scholars in the Bush administration that knew that, but got us bogged down anyway in a war that only the military contractors would ultimately win.

    And once we were in, it proved near impossible to extract ourselves given the American psyche about "not losing a war". Obama listened to his generals instead of Biden knowing that he would be labeled a loser if he withdrew. Ditto for Trump pretending to set a withdrawal date for Biden, but likewise not wanting the stigma of loser attached to him.

    The cranage to follow with the Taliban seeking retribution was entirely predictable from Day 1. The Republicans will politicize the withdrawal pointing to every human casualty of a post-war Afghanistan as being on Biden's head.

    For each American president it was in effect a conflict between the Taliban's resiliency and the American war psyche. American presidents could not win the hearts and minds of the Taliban in Afghanistan, but at home they could never appease the war hawks in Congress who are now calling for war against Iran.

    President Biden made the right decision to withdraw, but he might pay a high price at home for that decision. There are still many Americans amongst us that believe the Vietnam war was winnable. Much of the American public treated those returning soldiers as losers.

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    When the TFG was visiting the cemeteries in Normandy for the D Day memorial and refused to visit the WW1 cemetery at Aisne-Marne saying "Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with loser & suckers". Yesterday I saw a van with patriotic veterans license plates on it and a huge sigh on each side that said "Veterans for Trump"

    The dirty little secret the USA refuses to face is that much of the military is composed of suckers & losers who join because they have either been brainwashed into believing the fable of “American Exceptualism " or are unemployable losers. They aren’t even bright enough to realize TFG mocks and laughs at them for their so called "service".

    The US military should concentrate on protecting its own citizens and not enabling the military-industrialists.

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    Welcome back, pr. Good to hear from you again.
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    Yes welcome back P.R. Furthermore related to Afghanistan. At least the Russians knew in time to get out, but of course this "island" thinks they can "win" everything. They barely can run their own country, let alone tell others on how to do it.

    How many "wars" have we really won, since WWII? We can't even fight the "Covid" , ask DeSantis. But yeah we are now sending "troops" to save the "troops" in Afghanistan. Yes that will work! But yeah the "ragheads there will for sure have an "opium" party and lots of goat eyes to eat, without interference. I sure like their dress code, as it was in 1600, at least they stick to their origin. But yeah, what is the next war we will start ? As far as I know most of the wars we started were done by the Republican Presidents, because they had plenty to spent, because they cater to the rich who invest in "oil" and other "findings" like "diamonds" in which an certain Kussner invested in such "trade".

    I guess the main reason for "invading" countries is getting hold of their resources so the "rich" here get the "bargains".

    Iraq was great for their oil resources; that will also end soon and so "history" will tell the tale of this country.

    As long as the "word "greed" is the most popular word here, then the Un-United States will stay like an bunch of Afghanistans in suits. If we want to teach "democracy" all over the world by having "bases" all over, let's start at home for a change were more people get killed by the Covid than our silly wars, by accepting Governors who love to have people and kids killed for their own pleasure. Amen

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    This thing has been ongoing in different phases so long I can't keep it straight. Taliban, al-Qaeda blah blah blah. I wonder if Ghandi foresaw something like this when the Muslims split off from India to form Pakistan?

    I guess it boils down to what it means in the present. Bidens going to get the dubious credit for another US military failure. Lots of vets are going to be bitter. I am clueless what it means for Afghanis except some, who depended on the USA will pay a high price. The Talibans will be firing full auto rounds in celebration. But what does it mean for the future? People will get beheaded and will live under a bloody Muslim theocracy.

    I remain shocked by the world and the insanity of it. I'm too ignorant to comment further.


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    Yup, citizens of Afghanistan threw down their American defense weapons and ran or were captured like a bunch of sissies. Evident that they don't give a damn about their country or other people, Americans should never have been there in the first place. Bunch of gutless wimps who won't even fight for their own country, sickening, isn't it? Now the taliban has all of those American weapons, huge mistake, our soldiers should've destroyed or vacated those weapons and left Afghan forces with sticks and rocks to defend themselves with, it's what they used in the 16th. century, some are probably expert rock throwers.

    On the bright side, American forces flying missions can destroy tanks, Humvee's and APC's with ease now since the taliban will be using them for themselves, it would be like shooting fish in a barrel. Target practice. They'd be killing 2 birds with one stone, destroying the armor we left and taking out the taliban at the same time.

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    Talibanistan
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    Schmidt Wrote:

    The United States war in Afghanistan was never winnable. One only needs to look at lessons learned from the incursions of Alexander the Great in 332 BCE to the British experience and ultimate defeat there (1839 - 1842) to the Russian fiasco in the 1980s to know that any war against the Afghans and perhaps more specifically the Pashtuns, was never winnable. Sure there were some claimed military battle victories, but no one could win over the people militarily. Not even some 300,000 highly trained Afghan troops will be able to defend their corrupt government against the passionate religious zeal of the Taliban. I'm sure there were scholars in the Bush administration that knew that, but got us bogged down anyway in a war that only the military contractors would ultimately win.

    And once we were in, it proved near impossible to extract ourselves given the American psyche about "not losing a war". Obama listened to his generals instead of Biden knowing that he would be labeled a loser if he withdrew. Ditto for Trump pretending to set a withdrawal date for Biden, but likewise not wanting the stigma of loser attached to him.

    The cranage to follow with the Taliban seeking retribution was entirely predictable from Day 1. The Republicans will politicize the withdrawal pointing to every human casualty of a post-war Afghanistan as being on Biden's head.

    For each American president it was in effect a conflict between the Taliban's resiliency and the American war psyche. American presidents could not win the hearts and minds of the Taliban in Afghanistan, but at home they could never appease the war hawks in Congress who are now calling for war against Iran.

    President Biden made the right decision to withdraw, but he might pay a high price at home for that decision. There are still many Americans amongst us that believe the Vietnam war was winnable. Much of the American public treated those returning soldiers as losers.

    Schmidt:

    Heather Cox Richardson echoed your comments last night, since both the Republicans and the Democrats missed opportunities to solve the crisis.

    Biden was never comfortable with the war, but was put into a predicament by Trump.

    To end a military commitment that journalist Dexter Filkins dubbed the “forever war,” former president Donald Trump sent officials to negotiate with the Taliban, and in February 2020 the U.S. agreed to withdraw all U.S. troops, along with NATO allies, by May 1, so long as the Taliban stopped attacking U.S. troops and cut ties with terrorists.He also invited the Taliban to Camp David for peace talks - which never took place.

    The U.S. did not include the Afghan government in the talks that led to the deal, leaving it to negotiate its own terms with the Taliban after the U.S. had already announced it was heading home. Observers at the time were concerned that the U.S. withdrawal would essentially allow the Taliban to retake control of the country, where the previous 20 years had permitted the reestablishment of stability and women’s rights. Indeed, almost immediately, Taliban militants began an assassination campaign against Afghan leaders, although they did not kill any American soldiers after the deal was signed.

    Meanwhile, by announcing their intentions, American officials took pressure off the Taliban to negotiate with Afghan leaders. The Pentagon’s inspector general noted in February that “The Taliban intends to stall the negotiations until U.S. and coalition forces withdraw so that it can seek a decisive military victory over the Afghan government.”

    Hoping to win voters with this deal to end the war, the Trump administration celebrated the agreement. In September, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted, “A vote for Joe is a vote for forever war in the Middle East. A vote for Donald Trump is a vote to finally bring our troops home.” Then–Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggested the U.S. would have “zero” troops left in Afghanistan by spring 2021.

    Instead of using troops, Biden has focused on cutting off the flow of money to terrorists through financial and economic sanctions. (Today, a U.S. official told CNN that the “vast majority” of the assets of Afghanistan’s central bank are not held in Afghanistan and that the U.S. will freeze whatever assets are in the U.S.)

    As the U.S. pulled out of the country, the Afghan military simply melted away. Regional capitals fell to the Taliban with little resistance, and Kabul today fell with similar ease. Just five weeks after Biden’s July speech, the Afghan president has left the country and the Taliban is in power.

    So eager are Republicans to rewrite history that they are literally erasing it. Tonight, Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel noticed that the Republican National Committee has scrubbed from its website a section celebrating the deal the Trump administration cut with the Taliban and praising Trump for taking “the lead in peace talks as he signed a historic peace agreement with the Taliban in Afghanistan, which would end America’s longest war.”

    https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/august-15-2021

    Naturally, Trump was quick to criticize Biden:

    Former President Donald Trump Sunday called on President Biden to “resign in disgrace” over his handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal and other issues.

    “It is time for Joe Biden to resign in disgrace for what he has allowed to happen to Afghanistan, along with the tremendous surge in COVID, the Border catastrophe, the destruction of energy independence, and our crippled economy,” the former president wrote in a statement.

    The Taliban have rapidly taken control of most of the country as insurgent forces enter the capital city of Kabul, where US troops have been sent to evacuate the embassy.

    Trump ignores the fact that (1) the surge is increasing primarily in "red" states that have low numbers of vaccinated people (2) Trump was the guy that created the border crisis, (3) by stressing "green power", Biden is making us less dependent on foreign oil and (4) the economy is doing fine (see the BBC link at the bottom of the page).

    None of those facts matter to Trump supporters, who believe everything they hear on FOX.

    https://nypost.com/2021/08/15/trump-calls-on-biden-to-resign-in-disgrace-over-crisis-in-afghanistan/

    The economy under Biden:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/57070054

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    The pictures of Afghans fighting and crowding on plane's walkway shows the fear that they all have in facing the Taliban. And Afghans running rampant over the plane runways is scary.

    I read a Washington Post article about the Afghan troops being "bought off" by the Taliban in the remote provinces. Once everyone could see how easy it was to "overtake" the highly trained Afghan troops, panic set in. They was no resistance when they rode into city after city. I think this aspect of the Taliban march through the cities needs to be examined. How did our intelligence miss it. And where do the Taliban get all their money to buy off Afghan troops without our knowledge?

    Biden has been caught flat footed by the 300,000 Afghan troops laying down their weapons and refusing to fight. I believe his intelligence sources did not serve him well.

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    where do the Taliban get all their money to buy off Afghan troops

    Pick a villain, Russia, Iran, Syria, China, drug cartels of the ME.

    Remember the Russian/Afghan war? Our CIA told the mujahidin to just kill Russians after supplying them with RPG's and other sophisticated weapons, yes, we supplied Afghan resistance fighters with American weapons. It ended up biting us in the ass, 9/11. For meddling in their civil wars and interfering with their squabbles.

    Also, remember the 1983 Beirut barracks bombings? 1983. Intelligence failures.

    America hasn't learned anything, we keep repeating the same mistakes, over and over. Is it any wonder why people in the ME hate Americans?

    We should stop trying to be the world's police force.

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    New York columnist Thomas Friedman is a lot smarter than me (as well as most people), and his opinion is that Biden's decision to pull out of Afghanistan was the right decision. He's written 6 books (see below) and he has also spent a number of years living abroad. Both Schmidt and Dutch are proof that wisdom comes from living abroad.

    For the near term, things will be very ugly in Afghanistan, but ultimately the Taliban will prove that they are incapable of ruling, and the Afghan people themselves will find a better way forward.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=books+by+thomas+friedman&rlz=1C1GCEA_enUS816US816&oq=books+by+thomas+friedman&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.7727j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&safe=active&ssui=on

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    I watched Biden's speech and agree with him. Then I watched some highly emotional guests on MSNBC pretty much blast Biden for his actions and overall longer term decision to totally withdraw. These guests all seemed to have ties to Afghanistan...relatives and friends. Many of them ex-military developed a strong friendship with their interpreters and other friends they made in their many tours of duty.

    MSNBC has shown the clips of the Afghans on the runway over and over again. They stir up emotions. However, later Richard Engel was reporting at 1:15 am Afghan time and the runway was secure and both military and commercial flights were landing and taking off. That loss of control at the airport was temporary. The USA military now controls the flights in and out. The Taliban can disrupt that at any point, but it appears that anyone wanting to leave may be allowed to leave at least for now...if they have the proper visas.

    I don't know what is in store for Afghanistan. Will the Taliban of 2001 reappear, or will they have been somewhat modernized as well in the past 20 years? They have a country to run and they need international help. Conducting beheadings in the public stadium will not endear them to the international community.

    We'll see what happens.