The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection$
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersRussian Reaction Blog
Afghanistan: 20 Years, $2 Trillion, 20 Days
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information



=>

Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • B
Show CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
AgreeDisagreeThanksLOLTroll
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

First thought is that the US spent 20 years and \$2 trillion trying to build a democracy in a half-literate country of goatherders that disintegrated within 20 days.

Think what you could have done with that (dependent on your preferences).

  • “Green New Deal”.
  • Free college.
  • 335 ship Navy.
  • Mars base.

This adventure must have set some kind of anti-ROI record. Just a singularly total waste of time, money, and energy (if relatively light on blood compared to other conflicts).

Ironically, the USSR’s creation lasted three years. Despite the mujahedeen receiving much more in the way of foreign support, Najibullah’s government managed to independently mount multi-division offensives against the jihadists after the Soviet withdrawal and survived for a bit more than three years, when Soviet aid dried up. In contrast, it appears that the Americans were simply uninterested in building an actual army that could operate independently without their oversight. These are some interesting remarks on this from a former Afghan major on Brown Pundits. Even the South Vietnamese regime lasted for two years. (Has American nation-building capacity declined? Though of course Afghanistan and Vietnam aren’t really at all comparable).

The US failure in this respect is all the more total in that, at least according to the most comprehensive poll on the matter, most Afghans did not actually sympathize with the Taliban. The percentage of Afghans who said they sympathized with the Taliban in 2019 was just 13%, shrinking to 8% in Kabul. Even amongst ethnic Pashtuns, this percentage was just 21%. If this poll is accurate, it would imply the Taliban had less popular support than Islamic State in its heartlands of Al Raqqa. (Incidentally, the fact that many Western commenters believe that Taliban support was broad-based is a testament to Taliban PR). And yet, even so, the Taliban went through the ANA like a hot knife through butter, strolling from town to town in their sandals, firing their rifles from the hip without aiming, like you can see in combat videos from Sub-Saharan Africa. It seems that normie Afghans are not Islamist enough to want the Taliban, but nor are they motivated enough to stick their necks out for a highly corrupt government that few saw as “theirs” and which confirmed their intuitions by fleeing to Dubai as the Taliban closed in. Individually, it was not the incorrect decision, even though it collectively doomed them to an outcome that a majority probably saw as suboptimal.

Finally, it’s certainly a major PR defeat for the US, and some of the most regressively kneejerk anti-American elements, running the gamut from domestic Islamist interlopers crowing over the “defeat of colonialism and imperialism” to their newfound groyper allies slavering over putting women in cages and banning vaccines, are certainly savoring the moment. However, I would imagine Biden has good reasons for going through with the withdrawal. It gets rid of a major strategic liability and money sink, especially at a time when the US needs to devote more and more resources to keeping ahead of China. I would guess that in many cases, even the supposed benefits of staying in Afghanistan might have been overstated. For instance, some have touted it as a “live fire” training base. But the soldiers there operate in conditions of total air and EW supremacy, which will not be forthcoming in a military clash with a real peer competitor. Consequently, the “lessons” that the US military has been learning from Afghanistan may be dubious and even counter-productive in a serious conflict.

At the end of the day, if 20 years wasn’t enough time to stabilize the situation, probably 30 wouldn’t have been enough either. It is good not to succumb to sunk costs fallacy. Certainly the withdrawal might have been better managed. Gifting a newfangled Islamist regimes with tons of advanced weaponry doesn’t strike me as an excellent idea (though, happily, the Taliban Air Force will be barely any more adept at using them than ANA). Perhaps the strategy should have been to hold on to core areas; for instance, if ANA had been concentrated around especially anti-Taliban Kabul and the north, as opposed to being spread out all over the country, then it could have held at least those territories. But those are speculative counterfactuals. At the end of the day, perhaps Biden looked at Trump’s experience, and decided that a sharp and quick withdrawal was only way to avoid it being sabotaged by Pentagon bureaucrats.

Conversely, the conventional wisdom is that this is a minor “win” for China, which has been sending out feelers to the Taliban for months; on July 28, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Taliban commander Abdul Ghani Baradar, who is to imminently become Afghanistan’s new President. Probably Chinese investment into infrastructure and mining will be sufficient enticement to make the Taliban honor their commitment not to support Uyghur separatists in response to China’s reciprocal and long-standing policy of not meddling in the governance of other countries. But there’s no way to be sure. Russia is now put into the awkward position of having to negotiate with an organization which its official news media, by law, has to remind its readers/viewers is “banned in the Russian Federation” while at the same time having to respond to inane and recurring American claims that it paid that same Taliban to kill American soldiers; allegations that I now half expect to resurface in force to explain away the humiliation of the past three weeks. Since the current Taliban as I understand is in significant part a confederation of regional warlords, and the Tajik north feels like breaking away again – for instance, on account of resurgent Pashtun nationalism – this could create a refugee crisis that overspills into Tajikistan and from Tajikistan into Russia itself (non-ethnic Russian immigration from Central Asia is dominated by Tajiks). And will the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan continue to recognize Crimea, as Hamid Karzai did? So many questions! The Taliban’s triumph in Afghanistan will also be discomfiting, if not catastrophic, for Iran. During its previous lease on power, the two nearly came to blows in 1998 when the Taliban killed Iranian diplomats and journalists in the northern city of Mazar-i Sharif (the date is marked as “Journalist’s Day” in Iran). As with Tajikistan/Russia, there might also be a flood of Hazara refugees into Iran if the Taliban overreaches.

In fact, the only clear winners and losers, respectively, would appear to be Pakistan and India, respectively. India’s project to build a logistics route through Afghanistan down to the Iranian port of Chabahar is now dead in the water.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Afghanistan, Taliban 
Hide 387 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to Ignore...to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

    Commenting rules. Please note that anonymous comments are not allowed.

  2. Anatoly, why did you predict that Kabul is gonna hold out, based on some opinion poll? It was so dumb. Explain your train of thought.

    For the record, war in Afghanistan provided fantastic return on investment to defense contractors: they paid millions in campaign contributions and got trillions in government contracts in return. Or do you think US spent this money on Afghans?

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    @Felix Keverich

    I didn't think ANA was that much of a paper tiger and I imagined that the Americans wouldn't dump their allies quite that flagrantly - I certainly expected air support at the very least.

    It was a very bad prediction, but in fairness, (1) almost nobody I think predicted it would be ever this quick, (2) I still gave a 50/50 to Taliban victory, (3) I don't actively follow Afghanistan and my "epistemic status" on this question was low, hence why I kept it to Twitter, instead of the blog.

    Replies: @houston 1992, @JimDandy

    , @notbe
    @Felix Keverich

    we all relied on professional US and NATO analysts-these were not unqualified talking heads but actual military professionals-they all agreed less than a week ago that the Talibs would seriously threaten Kabul in late October early November and that there was some hope that the situation would stabilize before then

    ...yesterday the Talibs approached Kabul ahead of schedule but there was suppossed to be a defence ring around the capital set up by NATO using the experience of the last twenty years

    -the rot in Western military institutions is obviously deep but no one really knew how deep it was Who can trust anything that professional Western military analysts say from now on?...and these were supposed to be the only Western professionals who still knew what they were doing and who still maintained some semblence of reality-based thought

    Replies: @Passer by, @Felix Keverich

  3. Small point, the Major on the Brown Pundits blog is Pakistani, not Afghan.

    Ironically, the USSR’s creation lasted three years. Despite the mujahedeen receiving much more in the way of foreign support, Najibullah’s government managed to independently mount multi-division offensives against the jihadists after the Soviet withdrawal and survived for a bit more than three years, when Soviet aid dried up.


    A very moving Soviet song (in my opinion)

    In fact, the only clear winners and losers, respectively, would appear to be Pakistan and India, respectively. India’s project to build a logistics route through Afghanistan down to the Iranian port of Chabahar is now dead in the water.

    • Replies: @mulga mumblebrain
    @Kuru

    The Soviet were undefeated despite the atavistic fundamentalist fascists being supplied by the USA, UK, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia etc. And when they left Najibullah kept the vermin at bay for years, until the Evil Quisling swine, Yeltsin, cut off military aid.

  4. I think the US will receive boat people from Haiti now and will have some logistics problem regarding COVID-19 so popular attention will focus inwards again after a week-long intermezzo.

    Anyway it’s over.

    Did we get the guys who did 9/11?

    • LOL: InnerCynic
  5. At least the Soviet Army left with dignity. General Gromov walked accross the Friendship Bridge with the last Soviet soldiers.

    The unseemly panic of the Americans at this *entirely predictable* event is disgusting.

    • Agree: Bardon Kaldian
    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
    @jimmyriddle


    At least the Soviet Army left with dignity. General Gromov walked accross the Friendship Bridge with the last Soviet soldiers.The unseemly panic of the Americans at this *entirely predictable* event is disgusting.
     
    There is a very simple reason for that. Najibulla’s government had sizable internal support in Afghanistan. That’s why it lasted so long after the Soviet Army left and even after traitor Yeltsin cut off all help. The puppets the US installed in “power” have none. That’s why their regime crumbled two weeks before the US troop withdrawal was completed.

    The US always installs as puppet “government” the worst crap every nation has to offer. Look at Afghanistan, Kosovo, Ukraine, numerous South American countries, etc. The locals might not like the alternatives much, but they sincerely hate the American occupiers and despise the puppets they install. One action of Taliban will have wide support of the Afghan population: hanging all traitors that served the US and its sidekicks. Their other actions will get a lot less approval in Afghanistan and the rest of the third world.

    Replies: @jimmyriddle

  6. First thought is that the US spent 20 years and \$2 trillion trying to build a democracy in a half-literate country of goatherders that disintegrated within 20 days.

    Think what you could have done with that (dependent on your preferences).

    “Green New Deal”.
    Free college.
    335 ship Navy.
    Mars base.

    Much of Afghan war costs is throwing money at the the MIC. That doesn’t necessarily translate well into something like building a moon base. But admittedly, there is plenty of people working for defense contractors that have the required skill set to be working on a moon base program.

    Free college is simpler. That can be achieved just by printing money.

    • Replies: @Drapetomaniac
    @Shortsword

    "Free college is simpler. That can be achieved just by printing money."

    Calling Gideon Gono! Calling Gideon Gono!

    Replies: @Stebbing Heuer

    , @TG
    @Shortsword

    Free (or at least, affordable) college is even simpler.

    Stop subsidizing the big banks and their college-loan scams. Colleges will charge whatever banks will loan, and banks will loan anything, because they know that students can never get out from under the loans, and if they don't pay up the banks will get bailed out by the public treasury.

    If a bank had to eat the loss of a dull-normal student going $100,000 in debt for a masters degree in multicultural basketweaving and not being able to pay it back, the banks would not make that loan. It's called evaluating risk and its what banks SHOULD be doing... End the bank bailouts. Bring back bankruptcy for non-billionaires. College costs will plummet, guaranteed.

    And of course, let's get rid of all these racial diversity hucksters, and associate adjunct deans for student happiness, etc.

    The actual costs of having a student in a classroom being taught by a teacher are quite small, there is nothing that should make it any more expensive than 50 years ago.

    Except that a lot of people are making crazy money off of a dull-normal student going $100,000 in debt for a masters degree in multicultural basketweaving. Kind of like all the money that was made off that two trillion dollars sunk into Afghanistan...

    Replies: @GomezAdddams

  7. @Felix Keverich
    Anatoly, why did you predict that Kabul is gonna hold out, based on some opinion poll? It was so dumb. Explain your train of thought.

    For the record, war in Afghanistan provided fantastic return on investment to defense contractors: they paid millions in campaign contributions and got trillions in government contracts in return. Or do you think US spent this money on Afghans?

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin, @notbe

    I didn’t think ANA was that much of a paper tiger and I imagined that the Americans wouldn’t dump their allies quite that flagrantly – I certainly expected air support at the very least.

    It was a very bad prediction, but in fairness, (1) almost nobody I think predicted it would be ever this quick, (2) I still gave a 50/50 to Taliban victory, (3) I don’t actively follow Afghanistan and my “epistemic status” on this question was low, hence why I kept it to Twitter, instead of the blog.

    • Thanks: Max Payne
    • Replies: @houston 1992
    @Anatoly Karlin

    as a layman , I thought the USA would fire some soon-to-be stale-ordinance cruise missiles at some bridges and roads, and that would hinder the rapid advance.

    2)btw are those helicopters the TAF (Taliban Air Force) are now operating, are they "ours" or Russian?

    3) did we leave any flight simulators behind --especially ones without software interlocks?

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    , @JimDandy
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Mission accomplished. Now whenever anyone suggests that we get out of Iraq, they can say "Are you crazy? Look what happened in Afghanistan!"

    Replies: @El Dato

  8. “This adventure must have set some kind of anti-ROI record.”

    America has spent a lot more money than that trying to turn africans into productive first world citizens. the ongoing effort to ignore reality about stone age humans has been an order of magnitude more expensive.

    the US lost 2500 troops in 20 years in Afghanistan. it loses that many productive citizens every year to useless african criminals. the US spent 2 trillion accomplishing nothing in Afghanistan. it has spent at least triple that over the last 60 years to negative ROI on africans, who still have the same net negative wealth and GDP effect they’ve always had, except now there are 45 million of them and they still hate America, and vote against the country every election. the net negative financial effect of africans is going up every year, not down.

    having said, Afghanistan was an obvious, no brainer, complete and total loser bet from day 1. after a while the only justification was the yearly military budget, which the US military generals in charge wouldn’t give up easily (who gives up an 80 billion a year budget), and the real world training thousands of troops were getting in combat. needless to say none of that was worth even 1 American dying. a much more worrying result is that the US military now ignores Republican Presidents openly when they demand an end to a war, and will only obey them if ordered to start a war. now military brass will only end wars if Democrat Presidents tell them to.

    • Agree: Mark G., BB753
    • Replies: @Marshal Marlow
    @prime noticer


    ...and the real world training thousands of troops were getting in combat.
     
    I think it's arguable that a first world army is actually weakened if it spends its time killing-off bronze age goat herders. I suspect the lack of honour in those missions is a contributing factor to the PTSD numbers from Iraq and Afghanistan compared to PTSD attributable to soldiers in WW2.

    Replies: @Philip Owen

  9. I think you are unnecessarily pessimistic about the future of Afghanistan under the Taliban. Everything we’ve seen of them so far suggests that they intend to govern Afghanistan as a proper state, and not as the radical militia we saw in the 90s (though of course intentions aren’t always actualised). Put simply, they seem to have matured as an organisation. Both in military terms, able to perform coordinated multi-front offensives in a reasonably organised fashion, and from a governance perspective too — they have long had a political office in Doha and have prospective governors and other government officials lined up. 20 years of war is likely to make any organisation more pragmatic — just look at how their Islamist rhetoric has moderated. Even the Hazara regions simply rolled over for them, which is obviously as a result of their multi-decade effort to become more than radical islamist Pashtuns (I believe they even have a Shia Hazara in a high position internally).

    Plus, soon-to-be President Ghani Baradar was not just in China, but in Iran and Russia too. If I recall right the Russians had good things to say about the productivity and professionalism of their dialogue.

    • Replies: @Gujjar
    @AltSerrice

    The intended model should be to replicate the sharia governance practiced in Saudi Arabia (until recently) and Brunei.

    If the Taliban can achieve some semblance of modernity with sharia, they’ll be accepted in the international community and by Afghan people.

    , @Anatoly Karlin
    @AltSerrice

    All depends where precisely between the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (1996-2001) and the Islamic Republic of Iran they will end up.

    I've seen good arguments for both. Yours is an example of the latter, hopefully for both Afghans and most everyone else pre-victory rhetoric matches post-victory reality.

    Replies: @Xi-jinping

    , @Philip Owen
    @AltSerrice

    The wily Afghan has a 200 year long record for not honouring his promises to Christian infidels.

  10. Maybe Vietnam and Afghanistan are just costly peacock signaling. A chad super power can afford to fight endless wars and still be number 1 in the world, while a virgin super power like the Soviet Union couldn’t survive its Afghanistan debacle.

    • Replies: @notbe
    @Mersaux

    no

  11. Pakistani here. We’re against the ideology of the Taliban. However, the Taliban is the least anti-Pakistan group in Afghanistan (many Afghans dislike Pakistan due to historical reasons over land dispute).

    Our goal is to establish a pro-Pakistan government in Kabul to fulfil strategic and geoeconomic demands. The Taliban governance will prevent India’s growing hegemony in the country, allowing Pakistan to achieve strategic depth. Moreover, there are firm economic reasons as to why the Pakistan wants the Taliban in power in Afghanistan. The TAPI gas pipeline was meant to be created in the 1990s and can be constructed easily now that Taliban will soon gain international recognition. This means that Pakistan’s much-needed energy demands will be satisfied by deriving hydrocarbon reserves from Turkmenistan. This is purported to be one of the major energy features in the globe today, matching the oil reserves in the Arabian peninsula. Connecting Pakistan to Central Asia would make virtually all Central Asian countries (Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, &c.) highly dependent on Pakistan, and thus invested in Pakistan’s socioeconomic development. The Chinese Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will also be bolstered by this. Both China and Russia have moved closer towards Pakistan recognising its geopolitical importance.

    The Afghan nation will now experience a weakening of its currency, and will be more likely to adopt Pakistan’s rupee. This would strengthen the currently weakened rupee. The Afghan national reconstruction will also be headed by Pakistani corporations, allowing Pakistan to achieve a boost to its high-value added companies. An export-led model is imperative to economic growth.

    • Agree: Not Raul
    • Thanks: Anatoly Karlin, reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Xi-jinping
    @Gujjar

    Also, a strong Taliban that agrees to keep terrorist out of Xinjiang in exchange for Chinese investment also plays to increasing stability at China's borders and to further bringing the region under its influence (China has strong influence over Pakistan due to BRI), Taliban rule only strengthens this further (particularly if the Taliban continues to cooperate).

    , @Ali Choudhury
    @Gujjar

    This is rather delusional. Any Pakistani who has been in Afghanistan will tell you how much they dislike us. They aren't going to come running when the Pakistani chief of army staff and director general of the ISI try calling them. They don't need us anymore and will be determined to follow their own path. They are not going to be interested in becoming another West Pakistani colony like Bangladesh was.

    Pakistani Arain.

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    , @showmethereal
    @Gujjar

    " However, the Taliban is the least anti-Pakistan group in Afghanistan (many Afghans dislike Pakistan due to historical reasons over land dispute)."

    I thought the Pashtuns on both sides of the border got along... No?

  12. @AltSerrice
    I think you are unnecessarily pessimistic about the future of Afghanistan under the Taliban. Everything we've seen of them so far suggests that they intend to govern Afghanistan as a proper state, and not as the radical militia we saw in the 90s (though of course intentions aren't always actualised). Put simply, they seem to have matured as an organisation. Both in military terms, able to perform coordinated multi-front offensives in a reasonably organised fashion, and from a governance perspective too -- they have long had a political office in Doha and have prospective governors and other government officials lined up. 20 years of war is likely to make any organisation more pragmatic -- just look at how their Islamist rhetoric has moderated. Even the Hazara regions simply rolled over for them, which is obviously as a result of their multi-decade effort to become more than radical islamist Pashtuns (I believe they even have a Shia Hazara in a high position internally).

    Plus, soon-to-be President Ghani Baradar was not just in China, but in Iran and Russia too. If I recall right the Russians had good things to say about the productivity and professionalism of their dialogue.

    Replies: @Gujjar, @Anatoly Karlin, @Philip Owen

    The intended model should be to replicate the sharia governance practiced in Saudi Arabia (until recently) and Brunei.

    If the Taliban can achieve some semblance of modernity with sharia, they’ll be accepted in the international community and by Afghan people.

  13. @Shortsword

    First thought is that the US spent 20 years and $2 trillion trying to build a democracy in a half-literate country of goatherders that disintegrated within 20 days.

    Think what you could have done with that (dependent on your preferences).

    “Green New Deal”.
    Free college.
    335 ship Navy.
    Mars base.

     

    Much of Afghan war costs is throwing money at the the MIC. That doesn't necessarily translate well into something like building a moon base. But admittedly, there is plenty of people working for defense contractors that have the required skill set to be working on a moon base program.

    Free college is simpler. That can be achieved just by printing money.

    Replies: @Drapetomaniac, @TG

    “Free college is simpler. That can be achieved just by printing money.”

    Calling Gideon Gono! Calling Gideon Gono!

    • Replies: @Stebbing Heuer
    @Drapetomaniac

    By the looks of things, he's already consulting to the Federal Reserve Board.

  14. And will the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan continue to recognize Crimea, as Hamid Karzai did?

    Does it make even the slightest difference? It seems to me that the meaning of this “recognition” is zero, nothing

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    @melanf

    I guess over time Russia would need to recruit a large number of countries to recognize the change, as the unrecognized status keeps causing constant issues, and the more countries recognize it, the fewer problems it’s going to cause. Of course that one country, especially such a poor and underdeveloped one as Afghanistan, makes basically no difference, but it’s worth enough to make it a disadvantage.

  15. I certainly expected air support at least

    There was air support, but it only angered the Taliban and made their offensive inevitable. I would remind you that the Taliban said in Moscow that they could take Afghanistan in two weeks if they wanted to.

    This is what happened.

    1. Doha deal with Taliban (US would not touch Taliban, Taliban would not touch US).

    2. US starts withdrawing troops.

    3. The Taliban launched an offensive, but under orders not to take provincial capitols. The Taliban did not want fighting in the cities because they wanted to preserve the infrastructure and the traders. The offensive stopped in July. They wanted a deal at that point to preserve the cities.

    4. The US narcisists, imperial wannabees, and neocons got massively triggered by the Taliban advance (and the euro-trash globalists too, by the way, for example Germany urged the US to somehow save the situation) and the US reneged on the deal and started bombing the Taliban over the horizon with B-52s and other assets.

    5. But this only angered the Taliban further and they launched their offensive on the cities as a response, also reneging on their promise to seek a deal with the Afghan Government and deciding to humiliate the agreement incapable US.

    6. In the last several days, US air support stopped, because the Taliban threatened that they will capture the US Embassy for all to see and kill/capture the thousands of americans (mostly civilians) trapped in Kabul.

    • Agree: Not Raul, antibeast
  16. \$2 trillion (the real number is probably far less than this) in a period of 20 years is \$100 billion annually. In contrast, Medicare for All is purported to cost approximately \$30-40 trillion in a period of 10 years.

    It’s simple accounting. Providing healthcare universally is substantially more expensive and will directly impact taxpayers. Spending aimlessly on wars does not require tax hikes and thereby produces less reluctance among policymakers to enact.

    • Replies: @Jatt Aryaa
    @Gujjar

    Peshaur Tak Kinni Der Laan Ge?

    Asi Vi Behtey Aa Lahore Te Akh Rakh Ke

    Delhi Te Ghera Taa Jangi Khalsa Paa Chukaa

    Hon Bas Kabul Tehran Rum Khorasan Di Vaari Aa

    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ

    , @Nodwink
    @Gujjar

    Medicare-for-all is modelled to cost around 200 billion less per year than the current system.

    https://www.peoplespolicyproject.org/2020/12/11/cbo-medicare-for-all-reduces-health-spending/

  17. How would you have reacted if a country modelled by Taliban to its image and was maintianed by nithing but raw pwoer ,had dropped out of pocket like a piece of used tissue paper while Taliban was looking for the keys to the exit door?

    Vocal and persistent minoroties carry the day . Election or internet poll has no menaing while under occupation .

    America never was genuine . Dsihonest Amerocans in the defense ,lobbying groups, media and foreign counetrparts simply milked teh system . American never questioned becuase they had no time to find or read Afghanistan Paper . How do Amercan life differ from Taliban ? No paved road no car no hospitals nomuniveristy no restutant amd no resort and concerts . But they have it in Saudi Arab and UAE . There also they dont question .
    Meanwhile Taliabn carried mayhem from 1996-2001 America carried same across the globe .Former is told by America and the later was never told by America.

    CNN reminds that given the past rceord of Taliban ,it cant be trusted . How did the world trust Amerca given its past record?

    CNN and BBC remind the cutting of the hands for theft and for other crimes but who we see Afgahn youth and old without knee or foot having lost in the mine planted by US in 1980s , we dont see people without arms.
    Taking cue from Congolese poachers who would kill the mourning herd of the elephants ,America would wait after killing and then send hell fire missile to the funerals attendee .

    Peopel in Afganistan did not rise agisnt the cruel oppressive explottaive occupation of ulterior motives. They wouldn rise agsint Taliban unless Taliban violates the every moral cuktural and religious codes .

    China Iran Russia and Taliban will try to mainatian peace amd stability and help with rebuilding slowly . But will they do? Will USA NATO UK with help from India allow that ?

  18. Cynical as I am…I’d rig the entire “embassy” with enough explosive to flatten it and take every hip hopping head chopper with it. Why not… if there’s to be entertainment it can go both ways.

    But I digress… What a waste.

    • Replies: @Rahan
    @InnerCynic


    Cynical as I am…I’d rig the entire “embassy” with enough explosive to flatten it and take every hip hopping head chopper with it.
     
    The point of following at least basic rules of war is that next time the people you fight against catch your own people, they do not skin them alive in front of the camera, but instead can be reasoned with in some way.

    Funnily, the skinning alive movements tend to me mostly CIA/state dept creations whom organic movements like the Taliban try to crush.

    Replies: @InnerCynic

  19. From the perspective you gave of “ROI”, the entire Afghan, as well as Imperial, experience for America has been an endless tragedy and waste of money, lives, and most of all: time.

    From the perspective of the regime, it was probably worthwhile. They got 20-years of socially-supported, government-mandated wealth redistribution to friends and family (contractors, etc.). Additionally, the CIA was able to restore and expand its black budget through heroin trafficking and a larger “War on Terror”. The US was able to build a logical excuse for increasing police state tyranny, as well as redirecting popular discontent towards an “other.” It gave good positioning too for future middle eastern plans.

    The last point definitely failed, and the realization that nothing would come of further US interventions in Iran or Central Asia, and that China and Internal Americans are the “real threats” to its hegemony and stability, combined with the American establishment realizing a genuine economic collapse and retraction was making the Empire as it is untenable (unlike the previous free-for-all that it was), means Biden was finally given encouragement from more sensible elites to end what was, by this point, an ongoing disaster.

    Even so, the other points were largely successful. Still, it was monumentally evil, and from any perspective but a short-sighted and evil one, monumentally stupid.

  20. If this new emirate can be like the Islamic Republic of Iran then it’s probably an upgrade in govt.

  21. @jimmyriddle
    At least the Soviet Army left with dignity. General Gromov walked accross the Friendship Bridge with the last Soviet soldiers.

    The unseemly panic of the Americans at this *entirely predictable* event is disgusting.

    Replies: @AnonfromTN

    At least the Soviet Army left with dignity. General Gromov walked accross the Friendship Bridge with the last Soviet soldiers.The unseemly panic of the Americans at this *entirely predictable* event is disgusting.

    There is a very simple reason for that. Najibulla’s government had sizable internal support in Afghanistan. That’s why it lasted so long after the Soviet Army left and even after traitor Yeltsin cut off all help. The puppets the US installed in “power” have none. That’s why their regime crumbled two weeks before the US troop withdrawal was completed.

    The US always installs as puppet “government” the worst crap every nation has to offer. Look at Afghanistan, Kosovo, Ukraine, numerous South American countries, etc. The locals might not like the alternatives much, but they sincerely hate the American occupiers and despise the puppets they install. One action of Taliban will have wide support of the Afghan population: hanging all traitors that served the US and its sidekicks. Their other actions will get a lot less approval in Afghanistan and the rest of the third world.

    • Replies: @jimmyriddle
    @AnonfromTN

    You're right about the uselessness of US puppets.

    But the ANA folding was always quite likely, and yet it looks like there are a crap ton of embassy staff and NGOites, many with wives and kids in tow. It's a total mess. Where was the contingency planning?

    It is really hard to believe they are really this incompetent (I know they are at the top, but this is bad staff work).

    Replies: @AnonfromTN, @A123

  22. The real question is: how come such a rag-tag army has succeeded so swiftly. I think it shows that Islamic peoples are not to be trusted when they fight (or “fight”) for anything except religion.

    Islam is a big loser black hole, and having in mind their numbers, the rest of the world should better try to think strategically. The Ottoman empire would have been destroyed 300 years earlier had it not been for the British & the French.

    • Replies: @Saladin
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Religion is everything. It is the difference between an eternity in Paradise, or an eternity in Hell. You think the decades we have here is of much consequence? Only a pagan godless vermin thinks that.


    Islam is a big loser black hole,...
     
    But, isn't your pathetic pagan Christianity proving to be the "big loser black hole"? In terms of numbers and more importantly to rub in your face, conversions, Islam is doing quite well, thank you very much.

    See, spewing bile is cheap, but there is such a thing called reality. How will you pagan vermin escape it?

    Replies: @Jatt Aryaa, @Anatoly Karlin, @Bardon Kaldian

  23. The percentage of Afghans who said they sympathized with the Taliban in 2019 was just 13%, shrinking to 8% in Kabul.

    Do you know how i know that this poll is wrong? Afghanistan is famous for “green on blue attacks”. Basically an afghan soldier or a policeman will suddenly start shooting at his “comrades” or at americans.

    If you followed the war, you would know that every week there was an attack of the sort “a soldier/policeman killed his comrades at the checkpoint and brought their equipment to the Taliban”. It was a very common occurrence in the conflict.

    And the were more such insider attacks in Afghanistan than in Iraq. Very dangerous. US special forces got owned in such attacks too, and even the commander of US forces Gen Miller barely escaped such an ambush.

    • Agree: Xi-jinping
    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    @Passer by

    My sons's best friend spent his war in Afghanistan in blackface, delivering and repairing digital radios to intelligence contacts. He wasn't even SAS (to say more would still be revealing too much). Special Forces were effective. All sides were bribable. Many of the Taliban were just there for the money. The Afghan National Army was owed a lot of back pay by the government. (Rule number one of strong government. Pay the Army and Police well. The Afghan government broke it).

    In news from elsewhere, the outgoing (they are resisting so far) Zambian government paid less attention than was good for it to the army and police. The incumbent President himself, unable to adjust results, so huge is the vote against him, says elections were not free and fair. (Sounds like Putin on the subject of democracy). The army (I know some generals) says that the courts should decide that. The army will uphold the constitution.

    It seems that people do not support massively corrupt governments anymore, even if tribal loyalists are given some crumbs.

    Replies: @Passer by

    , @Xi-jinping
    @Passer by

    Karlin relies too much on 'polls' or 'statistics' that he digs up from somewhere. Many of these 'statistics' do not give context or are devoid entirely of nuance. In fact looking at 'statistics' only obfuscates the picture even more because 'statistics' can be easily manipulated, or if its not misses many contextual issues that can be only obtained by trying to understand the situation from a more empirical context.

    He made the same error regarding the 'fall' in abortions in russia - because official statistics showed they decreased, but did not account for them moving to private clinics rather than government owned clinics.

    Same with they Yeltsin 1996 - where he gets fixated on votes by region rather than seeing the big picture that the election was 'rigged' in so much as Yeltsin had support from the US and was essentially a US puppet. Whether the ballot boxes were stuffed is irrelevant.

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

  24. Sometimes you win by losing and losing Afghanistan was, in a way, a victory. This country was like a ne’er do well brother in law. Unable to hold a job, always needing a ‘loan’ and creating acrimony in your own marriage.

    Now he is gone and is someone else’s problem and he will be problem= for Central Asia. The Islamic Emirate, as it calls itself is no ISIS. Its the real thing with a real country to rule and a real military with lots of prestige and firepower. The idea that a Taliban ruled Afghanistan can fit seamlessly into any nations plans is a fantasy. This is a nation ruled by Sunni religious fanatics emboldened by their success who will have to manage a nation utterly dependent on foreign aid that will no longer be available. GDP will probably fall by 50% over the next 12 months.

  25. Retreat can be done with style.

    https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofBritain/Britains-Retreat-From-Kabul-1842/

    Comebacks work too. Give them a few months to quarrel with each other.

    Winner of the Battle of Kabul 1842: The British and Indians.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    @Philip Owen

    I wish I could find the report I read (I think in the Times) that around 1900 two elderly Afghan women turned up in (I think) Peshawar and told the top Brit there that they were English survivors of the massacre, taken as child brides.

  26. @AltSerrice
    I think you are unnecessarily pessimistic about the future of Afghanistan under the Taliban. Everything we've seen of them so far suggests that they intend to govern Afghanistan as a proper state, and not as the radical militia we saw in the 90s (though of course intentions aren't always actualised). Put simply, they seem to have matured as an organisation. Both in military terms, able to perform coordinated multi-front offensives in a reasonably organised fashion, and from a governance perspective too -- they have long had a political office in Doha and have prospective governors and other government officials lined up. 20 years of war is likely to make any organisation more pragmatic -- just look at how their Islamist rhetoric has moderated. Even the Hazara regions simply rolled over for them, which is obviously as a result of their multi-decade effort to become more than radical islamist Pashtuns (I believe they even have a Shia Hazara in a high position internally).

    Plus, soon-to-be President Ghani Baradar was not just in China, but in Iran and Russia too. If I recall right the Russians had good things to say about the productivity and professionalism of their dialogue.

    Replies: @Gujjar, @Anatoly Karlin, @Philip Owen

    All depends where precisely between the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (1996-2001) and the Islamic Republic of Iran they will end up.

    I’ve seen good arguments for both. Yours is an example of the latter, hopefully for both Afghans and most everyone else pre-victory rhetoric matches post-victory reality.

    • Replies: @Xi-jinping
    @Anatoly Karlin

    The rapidity and efficiency with which the Taliban took over Afghanistan (Kabul in particular), their discipline when taking the Presidents Palace, their ability and desire to work with Russia (they took it upon themselves to protect the Russian consulate)/China (agreed to Chinese investments) and Iran indicate that they are going to be an efficient state (this is unlikely to change at least for one generation).

  27. Yet again the truth of Wellington’s words was demonstrated (‘It is easy to get into Afghanistan. The problem is getting out again.’)

  28. CIA’s death squad surrendered in Afghanistan

  29. @AltSerrice
    I think you are unnecessarily pessimistic about the future of Afghanistan under the Taliban. Everything we've seen of them so far suggests that they intend to govern Afghanistan as a proper state, and not as the radical militia we saw in the 90s (though of course intentions aren't always actualised). Put simply, they seem to have matured as an organisation. Both in military terms, able to perform coordinated multi-front offensives in a reasonably organised fashion, and from a governance perspective too -- they have long had a political office in Doha and have prospective governors and other government officials lined up. 20 years of war is likely to make any organisation more pragmatic -- just look at how their Islamist rhetoric has moderated. Even the Hazara regions simply rolled over for them, which is obviously as a result of their multi-decade effort to become more than radical islamist Pashtuns (I believe they even have a Shia Hazara in a high position internally).

    Plus, soon-to-be President Ghani Baradar was not just in China, but in Iran and Russia too. If I recall right the Russians had good things to say about the productivity and professionalism of their dialogue.

    Replies: @Gujjar, @Anatoly Karlin, @Philip Owen

    The wily Afghan has a 200 year long record for not honouring his promises to Christian infidels.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
  30. @Gujjar
    $2 trillion (the real number is probably far less than this) in a period of 20 years is $100 billion annually. In contrast, Medicare for All is purported to cost approximately $30-40 trillion in a period of 10 years.

    It’s simple accounting. Providing healthcare universally is substantially more expensive and will directly impact taxpayers. Spending aimlessly on wars does not require tax hikes and thereby produces less reluctance among policymakers to enact.

    Replies: @Jatt Aryaa, @Nodwink

    Peshaur Tak Kinni Der Laan Ge?

    Asi Vi Behtey Aa Lahore Te Akh Rakh Ke

    Delhi Te Ghera Taa Jangi Khalsa Paa Chukaa

    Hon Bas Kabul Tehran Rum Khorasan Di Vaari Aa

    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ

  31. @Shortsword

    First thought is that the US spent 20 years and $2 trillion trying to build a democracy in a half-literate country of goatherders that disintegrated within 20 days.

    Think what you could have done with that (dependent on your preferences).

    “Green New Deal”.
    Free college.
    335 ship Navy.
    Mars base.

     

    Much of Afghan war costs is throwing money at the the MIC. That doesn't necessarily translate well into something like building a moon base. But admittedly, there is plenty of people working for defense contractors that have the required skill set to be working on a moon base program.

    Free college is simpler. That can be achieved just by printing money.

    Replies: @Drapetomaniac, @TG

    Free (or at least, affordable) college is even simpler.

    Stop subsidizing the big banks and their college-loan scams. Colleges will charge whatever banks will loan, and banks will loan anything, because they know that students can never get out from under the loans, and if they don’t pay up the banks will get bailed out by the public treasury.

    If a bank had to eat the loss of a dull-normal student going \$100,000 in debt for a masters degree in multicultural basketweaving and not being able to pay it back, the banks would not make that loan. It’s called evaluating risk and its what banks SHOULD be doing… End the bank bailouts. Bring back bankruptcy for non-billionaires. College costs will plummet, guaranteed.

    And of course, let’s get rid of all these racial diversity hucksters, and associate adjunct deans for student happiness, etc.

    The actual costs of having a student in a classroom being taught by a teacher are quite small, there is nothing that should make it any more expensive than 50 years ago.

    Except that a lot of people are making crazy money off of a dull-normal student going \$100,000 in debt for a masters degree in multicultural basketweaving. Kind of like all the money that was made off that two trillion dollars sunk into Afghanistan…

    • Agree: Mark G., showmethereal
    • Replies: @GomezAdddams
    @TG

    Friend of mine was Math subjcct teacher junior high and had excellent results ---he taught well and graded hard and student had to work-his top students performed well in high school and his mid range were above others at high school---an A was an A and a D was a D. Then adminstration butted in and all students were to receive A because if you don't --their feelings would be hurt and he fought this for 5 years and finally had to take early pension---fighting the administration ""got to him".

  32. @Felix Keverich
    Anatoly, why did you predict that Kabul is gonna hold out, based on some opinion poll? It was so dumb. Explain your train of thought.

    For the record, war in Afghanistan provided fantastic return on investment to defense contractors: they paid millions in campaign contributions and got trillions in government contracts in return. Or do you think US spent this money on Afghans?

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin, @notbe

    we all relied on professional US and NATO analysts-these were not unqualified talking heads but actual military professionals-they all agreed less than a week ago that the Talibs would seriously threaten Kabul in late October early November and that there was some hope that the situation would stabilize before then

    …yesterday the Talibs approached Kabul ahead of schedule but there was suppossed to be a defence ring around the capital set up by NATO using the experience of the last twenty years

    -the rot in Western military institutions is obviously deep but no one really knew how deep it was Who can trust anything that professional Western military analysts say from now on?…and these were supposed to be the only Western professionals who still knew what they were doing and who still maintained some semblence of reality-based thought

    • Replies: @Passer by
    @notbe


    the rot in Western military institutions is obviously deep
     
    Yup. May i introduce you Obama's AF-PAK advisor, Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute -

    But muh Taliban controls only rural areas..
     

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/afghan-security-forces-teeter-on-the-brink-of-collapse-amid-taliban-onslaught

    75 % of the Afghan population lives in rural areas!

    Replies: @notbe

    , @Felix Keverich
    @notbe

    Professional NATO analysts also contend that Russia is fighting a war with Ukraine, but Ukrainian resistance halted Russian territorial gains there. They argue that Minsk agreements no longer represent the balance of power, and can be safely discarded thanks to newfound professionalism and capabilities of the Ukrainian army. 😂

    In Syria they argue that "civil war" is by no means over, because the militants survive in border pockets, protected by US and Turkish airpower. And this is why the West must never, ever, ever reconcile with Assad.

    There is a common theme here of replacing analysis with wishful thinking and believing in your own propaganda. "Russia's invasion of Ukraine" for example is a very real thing in Western expert circles, which shapes both the public discourse in the West and their strategic calculations. They really do think that Russian military is "bogged down" in the Ukraine.

    Replies: @notbe

  33. @AnonfromTN
    @jimmyriddle


    At least the Soviet Army left with dignity. General Gromov walked accross the Friendship Bridge with the last Soviet soldiers.The unseemly panic of the Americans at this *entirely predictable* event is disgusting.
     
    There is a very simple reason for that. Najibulla’s government had sizable internal support in Afghanistan. That’s why it lasted so long after the Soviet Army left and even after traitor Yeltsin cut off all help. The puppets the US installed in “power” have none. That’s why their regime crumbled two weeks before the US troop withdrawal was completed.

    The US always installs as puppet “government” the worst crap every nation has to offer. Look at Afghanistan, Kosovo, Ukraine, numerous South American countries, etc. The locals might not like the alternatives much, but they sincerely hate the American occupiers and despise the puppets they install. One action of Taliban will have wide support of the Afghan population: hanging all traitors that served the US and its sidekicks. Their other actions will get a lot less approval in Afghanistan and the rest of the third world.

    Replies: @jimmyriddle

    You’re right about the uselessness of US puppets.

    But the ANA folding was always quite likely, and yet it looks like there are a crap ton of embassy staff and NGOites, many with wives and kids in tow. It’s a total mess. Where was the contingency planning?

    It is really hard to believe they are really this incompetent (I know they are at the top, but this is bad staff work).

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
    @jimmyriddle


    It is really hard to believe they are really this incompetent (I know they are at the top, but this is bad staff work).
     
    I think you assume, wrongly, that the US government cares about its citizens. If it did, it would have needed contingency plans. As it does not give a hoot, it did not have those plans.

    From my perspective, there were several objectives of “Afghan war”, none of which was declared. First, steal billions of taxpayer’s money via MIC, Afghan puppets, NGOs, etc. Successfully accomplished. Second, greatly increase opium/heroin production and get a good chunk of drug profits into “right” hands. Successfully accomplished. Third, leave a huge pile of shit on Russia and China doorstep. Successfully accomplished.

    To swindle the population, they had to fool it with lies about nation building, democracy, women’s rights, etc. Judging by the comments here (this is Unz, not bought and paid for liars NYT, WaPo, CNN, and the others of that ilk), fooling was also successful. From the perspective of the American elites, their achievements well justify the sacrifice of a few thousand Americans, military and civilians.

    Replies: @Wency

    , @A123
    @jimmyriddle


    It is really hard to believe they are really this incompetent (I know they are at the top, but this is bad staff work).
     
    Does anyone think that this fiasco is "accidental" driven by "incompetence "?

    The NeoConDemocrats do not want to give up their Globalist dreams. The Deep State is intentionally orchestrating the chaos. They are making sure that their fascist co-conspirators in the SJW Lügenpresse obtain the most damaging visuals possible.

    Do your remember Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman? And, his propaganda efforts from within the military? Yes, he was forced out. However, swamp creatures like him still exist in the command structure.

    The Pentagon REMF planners are intentionally staging "1975" helicopter show pieces.

    It is a premeditated set-up, intended to humiliate & punish Biden for defying SJW Globalist, authoritarian dogma.

    PEACE 😇

    Replies: @AnonfromTN, @El Dato, @Seraphim

  34. @Bardon Kaldian
    The real question is: how come such a rag-tag army has succeeded so swiftly. I think it shows that Islamic peoples are not to be trusted when they fight (or "fight") for anything except religion.

    Islam is a big loser black hole, and having in mind their numbers, the rest of the world should better try to think strategically. The Ottoman empire would have been destroyed 300 years earlier had it not been for the British & the French.

    Replies: @Saladin

    Religion is everything. It is the difference between an eternity in Paradise, or an eternity in Hell. You think the decades we have here is of much consequence? Only a pagan godless vermin thinks that.

    Islam is a big loser black hole,…

    But, isn’t your pathetic pagan Christianity proving to be the “big loser black hole”? In terms of numbers and more importantly to rub in your face, conversions, Islam is doing quite well, thank you very much.

    See, spewing bile is cheap, but there is such a thing called reality. How will you pagan vermin escape it?

    • Replies: @Jatt Aryaa
    @Saladin

    Your cousin's waiting..

    Protestants/Liberals doing well in conversion tbh..

    , @Anatoly Karlin
    @Saladin

    More books translated into Spanish every year than have ever been translated into Arabic. (OBL famously seethed about this).

    The last Great Power that espoused your heresy peaked half a millennium ago.

    Your most ardent fanatics posting from the heart of Christendom, interlopers who only exist on our inexplicable sufferance.

    All things considered, we're doing quite well, I think, your recent successes converting some Third World blacks aside.

    Replies: @sher singh, @haha

    , @Bardon Kaldian
    @Saladin

    I don't give a hoot about Christianity. Not going into historiosophical debates, it is evident that anyone who sincerely believes that one will spend "eternity" (what's that?) in heaven or hell for some beliefs is out of touch with the modern world. Actually- this is an opinion of a deranged mind.

    Stupid religionists would still be living their mindless lives had it not been for modern minds who made all the progress- thanks to which even some brain-dead Taliban can use artillery, howitzers or rocket launchers they could have never invented.

    As for supposed converts to Islam- sure, they do exist. Mostly racial minorities (blacks in prislam), or mentally disfigured individuals belonging to psych ward.

    Muslims are simply so stupid that they cannot comprehend they would be wiped out were it not for Western humanist mindset. Therefore liberal Muslims are simply deluding themselves...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhRohAyZ7V4

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  35. @notbe
    @Felix Keverich

    we all relied on professional US and NATO analysts-these were not unqualified talking heads but actual military professionals-they all agreed less than a week ago that the Talibs would seriously threaten Kabul in late October early November and that there was some hope that the situation would stabilize before then

    ...yesterday the Talibs approached Kabul ahead of schedule but there was suppossed to be a defence ring around the capital set up by NATO using the experience of the last twenty years

    -the rot in Western military institutions is obviously deep but no one really knew how deep it was Who can trust anything that professional Western military analysts say from now on?...and these were supposed to be the only Western professionals who still knew what they were doing and who still maintained some semblence of reality-based thought

    Replies: @Passer by, @Felix Keverich

    the rot in Western military institutions is obviously deep

    Yup. May i introduce you Obama’s AF-PAK advisor, Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute –

    But muh Taliban controls only rural areas..

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/afghan-security-forces-teeter-on-the-brink-of-collapse-amid-taliban-onslaught

    75 % of the Afghan population lives in rural areas!

    • Replies: @notbe
    @Passer by

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/afghan-security-forces-teeter-on-the-brink-of-collapse-amid-taliban-onslaught

    yeah seen the show -Annie Pforzheimer says that the government forces are actually regaining ground so i guess i panicked a bit thinking the talibs might win Anyways, General Lute-the am ambassador to NATO!!!-says only a bunch of really small provincial capitals fell so I feel doubly reassured

    look, when one side in a war is facing a rout, of course, their going to lie their heads off-we all laughed way back when Baghad Bob had to do his difficult job but the last week of US and NATO expert opinion is beyond Baghad Bob...in fact Baghdad Bob is probably laughing his head off right now thinking that revenge is sweet

    Anyways the last week of US and NATO expert opinion wasnt lying, it was just pure incompetence there was no military skill displayed Very disturbing actually, these guys...and gals are suppossed to be professionals, whats more most of them did serve in Afghanistan so they are familiar with the land and the balance of forces yet they genuinely totally misjudged the situation -and the armed forces were supossed to be the last institution to succump to the rot in the West There is no hope!

    Oh by the way, a very minor point- General Lute might not be familiar with the writings of a certain Mao Tse Tung-not many are, he was an obscure theorist way back in the 15th or the 17th centuries in Korea or India or whatever but this Mao wrote that control of rural areas is the key to insurgency

    Replies: @nokangaroos

  36. @jimmyriddle
    @AnonfromTN

    You're right about the uselessness of US puppets.

    But the ANA folding was always quite likely, and yet it looks like there are a crap ton of embassy staff and NGOites, many with wives and kids in tow. It's a total mess. Where was the contingency planning?

    It is really hard to believe they are really this incompetent (I know they are at the top, but this is bad staff work).

    Replies: @AnonfromTN, @A123

    It is really hard to believe they are really this incompetent (I know they are at the top, but this is bad staff work).

    I think you assume, wrongly, that the US government cares about its citizens. If it did, it would have needed contingency plans. As it does not give a hoot, it did not have those plans.

    From my perspective, there were several objectives of “Afghan war”, none of which was declared. First, steal billions of taxpayer’s money via MIC, Afghan puppets, NGOs, etc. Successfully accomplished. Second, greatly increase opium/heroin production and get a good chunk of drug profits into “right” hands. Successfully accomplished. Third, leave a huge pile of shit on Russia and China doorstep. Successfully accomplished.

    To swindle the population, they had to fool it with lies about nation building, democracy, women’s rights, etc. Judging by the comments here (this is Unz, not bought and paid for liars NYT, WaPo, CNN, and the others of that ilk), fooling was also successful. From the perspective of the American elites, their achievements well justify the sacrifice of a few thousand Americans, military and civilians.

    • Agree: By-tor, dimples
    • Replies: @Wency
    @AnonfromTN

    You don't even have to think the US government cares about citizens for this to be a colossal screwup -- you just have to believe it cares about optics. Do you really think it's good optics for anybody at USG how quickly and totally this thing collapsed, or that American troops have had to fire on and kill desperate civilians (presumably mostly its one-time collaborators) at Kabul Airport while covering an ignominious retreat? How is that going to look on recruitment posters?

    Replies: @ivan, @AnonFromTN

  37. @jimmyriddle
    @AnonfromTN

    You're right about the uselessness of US puppets.

    But the ANA folding was always quite likely, and yet it looks like there are a crap ton of embassy staff and NGOites, many with wives and kids in tow. It's a total mess. Where was the contingency planning?

    It is really hard to believe they are really this incompetent (I know they are at the top, but this is bad staff work).

    Replies: @AnonfromTN, @A123

    It is really hard to believe they are really this incompetent (I know they are at the top, but this is bad staff work).

    Does anyone think that this fiasco is “accidental” driven by “incompetence “?

    The NeoConDemocrats do not want to give up their Globalist dreams. The Deep State is intentionally orchestrating the chaos. They are making sure that their fascist co-conspirators in the SJW Lügenpresse obtain the most damaging visuals possible.

    Do your remember Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman? And, his propaganda efforts from within the military? Yes, he was forced out. However, swamp creatures like him still exist in the command structure.

    The Pentagon REMF planners are intentionally staging “1975” helicopter show pieces.

    It is a premeditated set-up, intended to humiliate & punish Biden for defying SJW Globalist, authoritarian dogma.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
    @A123


    It is a premeditated set-up, intended to humiliate & punish Biden for defying SJW Globalist, authoritarian dogma.
     
    Makes zero sense. SJW Globalists put corrupt senile walking corpse into the White House, even though this required very clumsy voting fraud. Your supervisor should cut or completely withhold your pay.

    Replies: @A123

    , @El Dato
    @A123

    Next you will tell us Hitler was secretly winning from his bunker.


    punish Biden for defying SJW Globalist, authoritarian dogma
     
    Meanwhile, at Smoking Man's super-duper 666 IQ hideout:

    *RING!*
    "Hello?"
    "Sir, the hologram we installed has been successfully punished by a debacle that makes us look like an omelette with a side-order of fries."
    "Outstanding. Out-standing. Carry on with the forced globalorgasm program!"
    "With pleasure, sir - or madam - or ... err ..."
    *click*

    Replies: @A123

    , @Seraphim
    @A123

    ''Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence" (Napoleon).
    ''Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity'' (Hanlon's Razor).

    Replies: @ivan, @A123

  38. Chaos at Kabul Airport as people desperately try to leave the country

  39. @Saladin
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Religion is everything. It is the difference between an eternity in Paradise, or an eternity in Hell. You think the decades we have here is of much consequence? Only a pagan godless vermin thinks that.


    Islam is a big loser black hole,...
     
    But, isn't your pathetic pagan Christianity proving to be the "big loser black hole"? In terms of numbers and more importantly to rub in your face, conversions, Islam is doing quite well, thank you very much.

    See, spewing bile is cheap, but there is such a thing called reality. How will you pagan vermin escape it?

    Replies: @Jatt Aryaa, @Anatoly Karlin, @Bardon Kaldian

    Your cousin’s waiting..

    Protestants/Liberals doing well in conversion tbh..

  40. @A123
    @jimmyriddle


    It is really hard to believe they are really this incompetent (I know they are at the top, but this is bad staff work).
     
    Does anyone think that this fiasco is "accidental" driven by "incompetence "?

    The NeoConDemocrats do not want to give up their Globalist dreams. The Deep State is intentionally orchestrating the chaos. They are making sure that their fascist co-conspirators in the SJW Lügenpresse obtain the most damaging visuals possible.

    Do your remember Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman? And, his propaganda efforts from within the military? Yes, he was forced out. However, swamp creatures like him still exist in the command structure.

    The Pentagon REMF planners are intentionally staging "1975" helicopter show pieces.

    It is a premeditated set-up, intended to humiliate & punish Biden for defying SJW Globalist, authoritarian dogma.

    PEACE 😇

    Replies: @AnonfromTN, @El Dato, @Seraphim

    It is a premeditated set-up, intended to humiliate & punish Biden for defying SJW Globalist, authoritarian dogma.

    Makes zero sense. SJW Globalists put corrupt senile walking corpse into the White House, even though this required very clumsy voting fraud. Your supervisor should cut or completely withhold your pay.

    • Replies: @A123
    @AnonfromTN

    Makes zero sense. SJW Globalists put corrupt senile walking corpse into the White House, even though this required very clumsy voting fraud.

    It makes 100% sense to everyone rational:
        • The SJW Globalists thought they were installing a pliable puppet.
        • What their Blue Coup actually delivered is an obstinate dementia patient.

    Biden is using DNC talking points from 10-20+ years ago, because he believes they are current. Do you remember what Vice President Biden told Barack Hussein about his "Surge" strategy? Apparently not. Let me provide FACTS to counter your baseless pejoratives: (1)


    Joe Biden attempted to separate himself from President Barack Obama’s foreign policy in Afghanistan.

    Biden, who frequently touts his tenure as vice president, pushed back on the notion that he supported the 2009 decision to send 40,000 extra troops to the war-torn country.

    “Since 2009 — go back and look — I was on the opposite side of that with the Pentagon,” Biden said. “The only reason I can speak to that is because it’s been published, it’s been published thoroughly. I’m the guy from the beginning who argued it was a big, big mistake to surge forces to Afghanistan. Period."

    “We should not have done it, and I argued against it constantly,” he added.
     
    The Deep State needs to discredit Biden, because they cannot keep him on the SJW Lügenpresse talking points.
    ___

    Your supervisor should cut or completely withhold your pay.

    Your highly emotional attempt at slander is not supported by FACTS or logic. As a cheap shot, it is an act of desperation.

    As I do not want to contribute to your mental distress... I Forgive You

    PEACE 😇
    __________

    (1) https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/biden-denounces-obama-on-afghanistan-surge-we-should-not-have-done-it
  41. There was never an expectation that the goatherders would change. There were two actual purposes, and both were achieved. Thus, mission accomplished. The first purpose, obviously, was to spend military money. The second purpose was to demonstrate to China and Russia that the US is militarily insane and unpredictable. Therefore, these nuclear powers would be deterred from dangerous (read: a nuclear ashpile is possible) military adventures. Just like Vietnam. Bring on the next expensive, nonsensical deployment, the US is already thinking. Show that the US is insane.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
    @SafeNow


    The first purpose, obviously, was to spend military money.
     
    Not so much to spend, as to create a good pretext for massive thievery.

    The second purpose was to demonstrate to China and Russia that the US is militarily insane and unpredictable.
     
    China and Russia did not need any additional evidence to that effect. Both knew that the US elites are insane and not agreement-capable for quite some time.

    Replies: @SafeNow, @Zarathustra

  42. Close to brilliant article.

  43. @SafeNow
    There was never an expectation that the goatherders would change. There were two actual purposes, and both were achieved. Thus, mission accomplished. The first purpose, obviously, was to spend military money. The second purpose was to demonstrate to China and Russia that the US is militarily insane and unpredictable. Therefore, these nuclear powers would be deterred from dangerous (read: a nuclear ashpile is possible) military adventures. Just like Vietnam. Bring on the next expensive, nonsensical deployment, the US is already thinking. Show that the US is insane.

    Replies: @AnonfromTN

    The first purpose, obviously, was to spend military money.

    Not so much to spend, as to create a good pretext for massive thievery.

    The second purpose was to demonstrate to China and Russia that the US is militarily insane and unpredictable.

    China and Russia did not need any additional evidence to that effect. Both knew that the US elites are insane and not agreement-capable for quite some time.

    • Replies: @SafeNow
    @AnonfromTN

    “China and Russia did not need any additional evidence to that effect. Both knew that the US elites are insane and not agreement-capable for quite some time.”

    I see your point TN, but I think it is not current enough, or war-specific enough. My theory is that “the US is militarily insane” needs to be renewed via new military nonsense; freshened-up as new leaders emerge in the US. The US can’t just rest on its insanity laurels. Also, new leaders emerge in Russia and China, and so they need to see it first hand, scratch their heads, and think “wow, these guys are militarily crazy.”

    , @Zarathustra
    @AnonfromTN

    Reminder only!
    Remember when I did tell you that Biden's administration will not survive more than two years?
    The first year is not done yet and already Biden's administration is on shaky ground.
    Trump extended friendly hand to Russia, and Democrats used it for Trump impeachment.
    Friendly Triumvirate of USA, Russia, and China would keep order in the world.
    They would keep peace in the world, and also would keep crazy Muslims from trouble making.
    But Democrats did say no!
    ........................................................................................
    Democrats are insane! They should be locked up in Bellwile.

  44. Anonymous[907] • Disclaimer says:

    Sir,
    The fight to establish democracy was / is a LIE!! Pablum for the Sheeples! Adventure explained:

    Plagarized part of this paragraph, source unknown, but well written.

    “The only thing of value we could steal in the Afghan debacle reviewed here.
    Before our invasion, the Taliban had actually eliminated 90% of the country’s poppy production. The U.N. actually commended them for that. Since our invasion, production went from 180 tons/yr to 9000 tons/yr in 2017. Hmmm.
    As for our troop withdrawal, what the Pentagon isn’t telling us is that 18,000 private contractors will remain. One of the companies is DynCorp. (Safe bet it is owned by the CIA!!) They have already received \$7 billion in contracts. One of their jobs is to, wait for it, oversee the destruction of the poppy fields!! Sick joke for the headline on the contract!!!
    Not sure who is doing their yearly job evaluation.”

    The CIA has enjoyed the mega cash flow from the dope there for 20 years, same as Nam, and they will not give it up. Reported but not confirmed / verified that they wash the cash through the Bank of Baghdad, reportedly run by JPM
    Watch the smoke and mirrors for leaving some of our contractors there as mentioned above.

  45. @Saladin
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Religion is everything. It is the difference between an eternity in Paradise, or an eternity in Hell. You think the decades we have here is of much consequence? Only a pagan godless vermin thinks that.


    Islam is a big loser black hole,...
     
    But, isn't your pathetic pagan Christianity proving to be the "big loser black hole"? In terms of numbers and more importantly to rub in your face, conversions, Islam is doing quite well, thank you very much.

    See, spewing bile is cheap, but there is such a thing called reality. How will you pagan vermin escape it?

    Replies: @Jatt Aryaa, @Anatoly Karlin, @Bardon Kaldian

    More books translated into Spanish every year than have ever been translated into Arabic. (OBL famously seethed about this).

    The last Great Power that espoused your heresy peaked half a millennium ago.

    Your most ardent fanatics posting from the heart of Christendom, interlopers who only exist on our inexplicable sufferance.

    All things considered, we’re doing quite well, I think, your recent successes converting some Third World blacks aside.

    • Replies: @sher singh
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I knew Karlin was mad, LOL. Christianity hasn't held power since Westphalia either.
    You get my email about hiding comment history btw? Islam held off Christians despite lesser #s rmbr.

    Islam > Xtianity for non-betas. Lot of white men converted over Cs and fk lot of Taliban look like Jatts lol.
    Will you finally go Westoid/Rightoid and drop the POC stuff? This is a defeat of white supremacy.

    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ

    , @haha
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I normally avoid posts by Anatoly Karlin for the simple reason that I am not interested in reading people who espouse bigotry, ignorance, racial hatred, religious intolerance, and frothing-at-the-mouth rage. Mr. Karlin hates muslims and makes no bones about it. Saladin could have spared himself the hurt and agony by simply not clicking on his article. BTW, what is it about people of Russian/East European origin that they embrace the worst of what the Western intellectual fashions have on offer while remaining totally ignorant of the finest that the Western intellectual tradition has produced? The English gentlemen-soldiers respected the Afghans for their valour, fighting skills, and steadfast devotion to their independence and freedom. People like Karlin only see backwardness in a people whom none have been able to subjugate.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Daniel Chieh

  46. @Saladin
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Religion is everything. It is the difference between an eternity in Paradise, or an eternity in Hell. You think the decades we have here is of much consequence? Only a pagan godless vermin thinks that.


    Islam is a big loser black hole,...
     
    But, isn't your pathetic pagan Christianity proving to be the "big loser black hole"? In terms of numbers and more importantly to rub in your face, conversions, Islam is doing quite well, thank you very much.

    See, spewing bile is cheap, but there is such a thing called reality. How will you pagan vermin escape it?

    Replies: @Jatt Aryaa, @Anatoly Karlin, @Bardon Kaldian

    I don’t give a hoot about Christianity. Not going into historiosophical debates, it is evident that anyone who sincerely believes that one will spend “eternity” (what’s that?) in heaven or hell for some beliefs is out of touch with the modern world. Actually- this is an opinion of a deranged mind.

    Stupid religionists would still be living their mindless lives had it not been for modern minds who made all the progress- thanks to which even some brain-dead Taliban can use artillery, howitzers or rocket launchers they could have never invented.

    As for supposed converts to Islam- sure, they do exist. Mostly racial minorities (blacks in prislam), or mentally disfigured individuals belonging to psych ward.

    Muslims are simply so stupid that they cannot comprehend they would be wiped out were it not for Western humanist mindset. Therefore liberal Muslims are simply deluding themselves…

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Bardon Kaldian


    Stupid religionists would still be living their mindless lives had it not been for modern minds who made all the progress- thanks to which even some brain-dead Taliban can use artillery, howitzers or rocket launchers they could have never invented.
     
    With supplies given to them by Pakistan, supplies purchased by Pakis using money from US and Chinese aid, so not only could they have not invented them, they couldn't even afford them without either theft or deception.

    Kinda funny.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

  47. @AnonfromTN
    @SafeNow


    The first purpose, obviously, was to spend military money.
     
    Not so much to spend, as to create a good pretext for massive thievery.

    The second purpose was to demonstrate to China and Russia that the US is militarily insane and unpredictable.
     
    China and Russia did not need any additional evidence to that effect. Both knew that the US elites are insane and not agreement-capable for quite some time.

    Replies: @SafeNow, @Zarathustra

    “China and Russia did not need any additional evidence to that effect. Both knew that the US elites are insane and not agreement-capable for quite some time.”

    I see your point TN, but I think it is not current enough, or war-specific enough. My theory is that “the US is militarily insane” needs to be renewed via new military nonsense; freshened-up as new leaders emerge in the US. The US can’t just rest on its insanity laurels. Also, new leaders emerge in Russia and China, and so they need to see it first hand, scratch their heads, and think “wow, these guys are militarily crazy.”

    • LOL: Triteleia Laxa
  48. Winners (ir order):
    1. Pakistan: big influence on the new government and a land access to its main geopolitical ally: China.
    2. China: ejects EEUU from central Asia and can incorporate Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran to its Silkroad project.
    3. Iran: Potential access to its main oil buyer, China, by the Silkroad free of a potential US navy interdiction.
    Losers (in order):
    1. India: Geopolitical nightmare with its two geopolitical foes (West and Northeast) now land connected. It will have to increase military spending a lot.
    2. USA: Its bridgehead into central Asia has collapsed. Power projection into the former-USSR Stans aborted. They will be the backyard of China and, in a lesser degree, Russia.
    3. Russia: It will have to spend material and military resources to patrol its soft belly in order to avoid extreme Islamism permeating into the Stans.

    • Replies: @A123
    @Aedib

    It is not a binary situation in Afghanistan.

    • The USSR lost.
    • The SJW Globalists lost.

    Are the USSR and SJW Globalists on the same side? No.... This suggests that anyone (possibly everyone) can lose in Afghanistan.

    -- Pakistan cannot assimilate the "Tribal Region" adjacent to Afghanistan. Why would they try something ambitious that expands that problem? The ISI is aggressive, but not that crazy.

    -- CCP Elites think like you do. They want Silk Road colonists & settlers & expansion of Han ideology (a.k.a. Manifest CCP Destiny). What may save them is the "One Belt" concept. Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa are much less risky than repeating the mistakes of the SJW's and USSR.

    PEACE 😇

    Replies: @Philip Owen

    , @Beckow
    @Aedib

    Sure, looks about right.

    But there is also the inevitable future reality of the glorious American victory in Afghanistan. Movies will be made, narratives created, heroes worshipped - in Hollywood they can make this into a win, they always can. Some cherry-picking, timing manipulation, fuzzy logic, maybe a love story (Marine with a Talib? why not, I hear that Talibs play for both sides). Add evil Russians to it and you have a winning movie.

    It will be done: they came, they won, they conquered. (Then they left in a hurry, but that is post-narrative, it won't be in the script.) It is easy, they call it soft power and it rules the world. Goat herders with baggy pants and impossibly long rifles can win on the ground, but soft power wins the hearts of the people around the world. This is a triumph, just give it a year or two...

    (If that poor Frenchie fool Napoleon knew about this he would have called his Russia invasion a glorious victory. It is good to see that West is experiencing some progress. They learn.)

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @notbe

    , @Svevlad
    @Aedib

    Russia really needs to tie down Central Asia. Perhaps even restore imperial borders, w/ total Russification.

    Very long term, and through the proper intermediaries of course. 100+ year planning and all, but still an imperative.

    Replies: @haha

    , @showmethereal
    @Aedib

    Agree with everything except the part about Russia being one of the losers. Russia and Taliban have been in contact. Iran is next up to join the SCO. The point of the SCO is partly to stamp out extremism in Central Asia. Russia won't have to work alone. And if the Taliban is giving China assurances of not allowing militants to stage attacks from Afghanistan it is almost certain Russia will get the same cooperation.

  49. @Bardon Kaldian
    @Saladin

    I don't give a hoot about Christianity. Not going into historiosophical debates, it is evident that anyone who sincerely believes that one will spend "eternity" (what's that?) in heaven or hell for some beliefs is out of touch with the modern world. Actually- this is an opinion of a deranged mind.

    Stupid religionists would still be living their mindless lives had it not been for modern minds who made all the progress- thanks to which even some brain-dead Taliban can use artillery, howitzers or rocket launchers they could have never invented.

    As for supposed converts to Islam- sure, they do exist. Mostly racial minorities (blacks in prislam), or mentally disfigured individuals belonging to psych ward.

    Muslims are simply so stupid that they cannot comprehend they would be wiped out were it not for Western humanist mindset. Therefore liberal Muslims are simply deluding themselves...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhRohAyZ7V4

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Stupid religionists would still be living their mindless lives had it not been for modern minds who made all the progress- thanks to which even some brain-dead Taliban can use artillery, howitzers or rocket launchers they could have never invented.

    With supplies given to them by Pakistan, supplies purchased by Pakis using money from US and Chinese aid, so not only could they have not invented them, they couldn’t even afford them without either theft or deception.

    Kinda funny.

    • Agree: Vishnugupta
    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    @Daniel Chieh

    The bigger question remains: why are Islamic peoples so anti-national? Why can't they develop their own collective individuality, but they remain, forever, a sort of second-hand Arabs?

    I've read some minor works by a prominent 18th C Indian Muslim polymath Shah Wali-Ullah (on Sufism), but here's what he says about this real, social world:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shah_Waliullah_Dehlawi


    “Muslims, no matter where they live, wherever they spend their youthful days, they should in any case be completely separated from the natives of that country in their culture, traditions and mannerisms. And wherever they are, they must be immersed in their Arabic splendor and Arabic trends”
     

    “Beware! The rich intend to adopt the ways of strangers and non-Arabs and those who deviate from the right path, and tries to mix and be like them”.
     
    Such a splendid civilization as Iranian cannot break free from Islamic cast of mind & suppresses more than 1500 years of their own rich civilization.

    I can get Turks-they've had nothing before, actually. But Iranians show how poisonous Islam can be to other cultures.

    And for peoples, too - because Islam remains the primary collective loyalty. This we can see in the case of Pashtuns, who could, or could at least try to form their own nation-state which would include, at least in theory, parts of Pakistan. But no, they prefer fanatic idiocy of the Taliban.

    Maybe there is some kind of poetic justice in all that, because ditching Buddhism for Islam has sealed Afghan fate as a permanent dump.

    Replies: @HenryBaker, @Kuru, @Svevlad

  50. Afghanistan was the perfect demonstration of: “if you want to steal \$1, you have to spend \$10”

    CREAM SON! Cash Rules Everything Around Me

    One day I hope to be part of a corruption scheme which furbishes me with millions/billions of dollars for absolutely nothing (like the F-35).

  51. Well on one hand the coalition forces did prevent the place from being a terrorist training camp for the last 20 years.
    The failure was the inability to install a real democratic government because cultural differences prevented that. There wasn’t much left for us to do there in all frankness because as has just been demonstrated after 20 years of arming and training their security forces they folded within days. We did about all we could do… However I knew this was going to happen 20 years ago so this is hardly news. Third world nation building is a losing effort , don’t bother with anyway.

    The question is will the Taliban men revert back to harboring terrorists ?
    The ability to hit targets inside Afghanistan using drones and missiles allows the US to c ontinue attacking cells inside the country. This does not mean we don’t have unfinished business inside the country to ensure terrorists don’t thrive and it would be a mistake to think otherwise.

  52. sher singh says:
    @Anatoly Karlin
    @Saladin

    More books translated into Spanish every year than have ever been translated into Arabic. (OBL famously seethed about this).

    The last Great Power that espoused your heresy peaked half a millennium ago.

    Your most ardent fanatics posting from the heart of Christendom, interlopers who only exist on our inexplicable sufferance.

    All things considered, we're doing quite well, I think, your recent successes converting some Third World blacks aside.

    Replies: @sher singh, @haha

    I knew Karlin was mad, LOL. Christianity hasn’t held power since Westphalia either.
    You get my email about hiding comment history btw? Islam held off Christians despite lesser #s rmbr.

    Islam > Xtianity for non-betas. Lot of white men converted over Cs and fk lot of Taliban look like Jatts lol.
    Will you finally go Westoid/Rightoid and drop the POC stuff? This is a defeat of white supremacy.

    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ

  53. The Taliban are not part time soldiers goatherding for a living. They are ambivalent about opium. So where does their money come from? Gulf Arab billionaires? Should there be some probing of Saudi and Bahrani connections? Qatari too. Sunni dominance in Afghanistan means Iran is vulnerable to attack from two sides. This is a triumph for the Saudis. What move can Iran make?

    Will the price of Bitcoin fall as the corrupt Afghani government exiles set themselves up by selling their coints? Perhaps they preferred dollars? Will the Taliban use Bitcoin for the drug trade if they adopt it. Samara is an important transit point for heroin. What will Putin do about increased drug traffic?

    • Replies: @mal
    @Philip Owen


    So where does their money come from?
     
    To the best of my knowledge, Taliban are financed by Pakistan and sales of American military helicopters on Ebay. That should keep them going for a while. To be fair, you can't beat those deals on rocket launchers.
    , @showmethereal
    @Philip Owen

    The Taliban - like their friends in Pakistan have been moving closer to Iran at the expense of Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are too friendly with the US for their liking.

  54. @AnonfromTN
    @A123


    It is a premeditated set-up, intended to humiliate & punish Biden for defying SJW Globalist, authoritarian dogma.
     
    Makes zero sense. SJW Globalists put corrupt senile walking corpse into the White House, even though this required very clumsy voting fraud. Your supervisor should cut or completely withhold your pay.

    Replies: @A123

    Makes zero sense. SJW Globalists put corrupt senile walking corpse into the White House, even though this required very clumsy voting fraud.

    It makes 100% sense to everyone rational:
        • The SJW Globalists thought they were installing a pliable puppet.
        • What their Blue Coup actually delivered is an obstinate dementia patient.

    Biden is using DNC talking points from 10-20+ years ago, because he believes they are current. Do you remember what Vice President Biden told Barack Hussein about his “Surge” strategy? Apparently not. Let me provide FACTS to counter your baseless pejoratives: (1)

    Joe Biden attempted to separate himself from President Barack Obama’s foreign policy in Afghanistan.

    Biden, who frequently touts his tenure as vice president, pushed back on the notion that he supported the 2009 decision to send 40,000 extra troops to the war-torn country.

    “Since 2009 — go back and look — I was on the opposite side of that with the Pentagon,” Biden said. “The only reason I can speak to that is because it’s been published, it’s been published thoroughly. I’m the guy from the beginning who argued it was a big, big mistake to surge forces to Afghanistan. Period.”

    “We should not have done it, and I argued against it constantly,” he added.

    The Deep State needs to discredit Biden, because they cannot keep him on the SJW Lügenpresse talking points.
    ___

    Your supervisor should cut or completely withhold your pay.

    Your highly emotional attempt at slander is not supported by FACTS or logic. As a cheap shot, it is an act of desperation.

    As I do not want to contribute to your mental distress… I Forgive You

    PEACE 😇
    __________

    (1) https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/biden-denounces-obama-on-afghanistan-surge-we-should-not-have-done-it

  55. @Passer by

    The percentage of Afghans who said they sympathized with the Taliban in 2019 was just 13%, shrinking to 8% in Kabul.
     
    Do you know how i know that this poll is wrong? Afghanistan is famous for "green on blue attacks". Basically an afghan soldier or a policeman will suddenly start shooting at his "comrades" or at americans.

    If you followed the war, you would know that every week there was an attack of the sort "a soldier/policeman killed his comrades at the checkpoint and brought their equipment to the Taliban". It was a very common occurrence in the conflict.

    And the were more such insider attacks in Afghanistan than in Iraq. Very dangerous. US special forces got owned in such attacks too, and even the commander of US forces Gen Miller barely escaped such an ambush.

    Replies: @Philip Owen, @Xi-jinping

    My sons’s best friend spent his war in Afghanistan in blackface, delivering and repairing digital radios to intelligence contacts. He wasn’t even SAS (to say more would still be revealing too much). Special Forces were effective. All sides were bribable. Many of the Taliban were just there for the money. The Afghan National Army was owed a lot of back pay by the government. (Rule number one of strong government. Pay the Army and Police well. The Afghan government broke it).

    In news from elsewhere, the outgoing (they are resisting so far) Zambian government paid less attention than was good for it to the army and police. The incumbent President himself, unable to adjust results, so huge is the vote against him, says elections were not free and fair. (Sounds like Putin on the subject of democracy). The army (I know some generals) says that the courts should decide that. The army will uphold the constitution.

    It seems that people do not support massively corrupt governments anymore, even if tribal loyalists are given some crumbs.

    • Replies: @Passer by
    @Philip Owen

    Owen, Green on Blue attacks are with high risk for the attacker, who often dies. You start shooting lots of soldiers around you and often do not make it. This is often suicidal. This isn't for money.

    This is how these attacks work -


    Two Special Force soldiers killed, 6 wounded during attack in Afghanistan

    Upon completing a key-leader engagement at the district center, current reports indicate an individual in an Afghan uniform opened fire on the combined U.S. and Afghan force with a machine gun,”
     

    https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2020/02/08/report-says-multiple-us-troops-killed-in-afghanistan-firefight/

    The CIA yesterday vowed to avenge the deaths of seven of its agents who were killed in a suicide bombing on Wednesday in Afghanistan, as it emerged that the bomber may have been invited on to the base as a potential informant according to two former US officials.
     
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/dec/31/taliban-cia-agents-killed-afghanistan

    Replies: @Commentator Mike

  56. @TG
    @Shortsword

    Free (or at least, affordable) college is even simpler.

    Stop subsidizing the big banks and their college-loan scams. Colleges will charge whatever banks will loan, and banks will loan anything, because they know that students can never get out from under the loans, and if they don't pay up the banks will get bailed out by the public treasury.

    If a bank had to eat the loss of a dull-normal student going $100,000 in debt for a masters degree in multicultural basketweaving and not being able to pay it back, the banks would not make that loan. It's called evaluating risk and its what banks SHOULD be doing... End the bank bailouts. Bring back bankruptcy for non-billionaires. College costs will plummet, guaranteed.

    And of course, let's get rid of all these racial diversity hucksters, and associate adjunct deans for student happiness, etc.

    The actual costs of having a student in a classroom being taught by a teacher are quite small, there is nothing that should make it any more expensive than 50 years ago.

    Except that a lot of people are making crazy money off of a dull-normal student going $100,000 in debt for a masters degree in multicultural basketweaving. Kind of like all the money that was made off that two trillion dollars sunk into Afghanistan...

    Replies: @GomezAdddams

    Friend of mine was Math subjcct teacher junior high and had excellent results —he taught well and graded hard and student had to work-his top students performed well in high school and his mid range were above others at high school—an A was an A and a D was a D. Then adminstration butted in and all students were to receive A because if you don’t –their feelings would be hurt and he fought this for 5 years and finally had to take early pension—fighting the administration “”got to him”.

  57. @Daniel Chieh
    @Bardon Kaldian


    Stupid religionists would still be living their mindless lives had it not been for modern minds who made all the progress- thanks to which even some brain-dead Taliban can use artillery, howitzers or rocket launchers they could have never invented.
     
    With supplies given to them by Pakistan, supplies purchased by Pakis using money from US and Chinese aid, so not only could they have not invented them, they couldn't even afford them without either theft or deception.

    Kinda funny.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian

    The bigger question remains: why are Islamic peoples so anti-national? Why can’t they develop their own collective individuality, but they remain, forever, a sort of second-hand Arabs?

    I’ve read some minor works by a prominent 18th C Indian Muslim polymath Shah Wali-Ullah (on Sufism), but here’s what he says about this real, social world:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shah_Waliullah_Dehlawi

    “Muslims, no matter where they live, wherever they spend their youthful days, they should in any case be completely separated from the natives of that country in their culture, traditions and mannerisms. And wherever they are, they must be immersed in their Arabic splendor and Arabic trends”

    “Beware! The rich intend to adopt the ways of strangers and non-Arabs and those who deviate from the right path, and tries to mix and be like them”.

    Such a splendid civilization as Iranian cannot break free from Islamic cast of mind & suppresses more than 1500 years of their own rich civilization.

    I can get Turks-they’ve had nothing before, actually. But Iranians show how poisonous Islam can be to other cultures.

    And for peoples, too – because Islam remains the primary collective loyalty. This we can see in the case of Pashtuns, who could, or could at least try to form their own nation-state which would include, at least in theory, parts of Pakistan. But no, they prefer fanatic idiocy of the Taliban.

    Maybe there is some kind of poetic justice in all that, because ditching Buddhism for Islam has sealed Afghan fate as a permanent dump.

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @HenryBaker
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Islamic societies tend to be clan-based and multi-ethnic because they're usually not based around a single ethnic group.

    In the case of Iran, I have to mention that it doesn't have a long history of being a nation-state, and indeed we might expect native Persians to be quite a servile lot for a long time. Ever since the Seljuks came in at about the 11th century, Iran was not ruled by Persians but various Turkmenes or Turkicized Kurds with a Mongol intermezzo. If you look at the origins of the Persian dynasties, they were anything but Persian. I believe that, at one point, Turkmenes even made up about 30% of the Persian population, and were the warrior caste (to the point of Mongols separating them from Persians and executing them en masse at times, during their conquest, it was clear what the hierarchy was).

    In the Same manner, Egypt (I believe) was never ruled by a native dynasty since the Muslim conquest, and administered by a slave caste. Likewise, Andalusia was a strictly ethnically hierarchichal state with arab clans at the top, berbers below, converted natives below them, and Mozarabs at the bottom. India was also conquered by Turkic warlords like Tughluq.

    So why does Islamic society not have a healthy national tradition? One aspect is the clannishness, but I also suspect it has to do with elites being to clearly foreign, Islamic states being so unstable, and Islamic natives often having to co-exist with these foreign warrior elites. That does not lend itself to strong nationalism. In such an unstable 'arcology' where the ruling elite has no interest in nationalism, what makes sense is clan and God (which everyone shares at least). States were simply meaningless.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon, @Bardon Kaldian

    , @Kuru
    @Bardon Kaldian


    The bigger question remains: why are Islamic peoples so anti-national? Why can’t they develop their own collective individuality, but they remain, forever, a sort of second-hand Arabs?

     

    Some are worse than others in regards to this supranational allegiance.

    https://i.imgur.com/wLrqbWi.png

    Replies: @Shortsword, @Bardon Kaldian, @Wency, @Yellowface Anon

    , @Svevlad
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Never say never.

    I am fully convinced that at some point in the future, "dumps" will simply be marked for extermination, it's entire populace considered irredeemable, simply because the mere existence of such countries will be viewed as a stain in the perfection of the world.

    From there, the area will be opened either for colonization or as some sort of eternal WMD testing grounds, and seeing how garbage tier Afghanistan is geographically, probably the latter.

  58. Heard someone say that the Taliban are using 40 year old AKs. Somewhat skeptical about it – but it got me thinking that they would be the right people to ask about the lifespan of various weapons brands.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @songbird

    Well, no, they do not have the same regard for safety as we do. They'd find this sort of thing okay.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1449kJKxlMQ

    The joys of old rounds.

    Replies: @songbird

    , @Right_On
    @songbird

    the lifespan of various weapons brands

    I wonder if they still have some Martini–Henry rifles (as recommended by Sean Connery and Michael Caine in The Man Who Would Be King) - or maybe one of those cool Webley top-break revolvers - left behind when the Brits finally left Afghanistan in 1919.

    Worth a fortune on the antique market, today.

  59. This is one of the dumbest failures of foreign policy I have ever seen. Marx said: history always repeats, first as a tragedy, then as a farce. I guess Vietnam was the tragedy and this is the farce. Modern Westerners cannot get anything done. Christ, our ancestors would be turning in their graves. What have we achieved in the Middle East? We blew up Libya, started ISIS, alienated Syria, pushed Iran towards Russia, and got nothing done in Afghanistan.

    It hasn’t really settled in yet, but this seems to more or less clear up the Middle-East for collaboration with China and Russia if the Taliban is willing to play ball. Just because they haven’t spent 20 years destroying their reputation and destabilizing the region. What a fiasco. If we had any common sense we’d come to some sort of accord with Russia and Assad and leave our moronic hostility behind, but that will never happen.

    • Agree: notbe
    • Replies: @Irish Savant
    @HenryBaker

    American foreign policy is decided in Tel Aviv/Jerusalem, not Washington.

  60. @Aedib
    Winners (ir order):
    1. Pakistan: big influence on the new government and a land access to its main geopolitical ally: China.
    2. China: ejects EEUU from central Asia and can incorporate Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran to its Silkroad project.
    3. Iran: Potential access to its main oil buyer, China, by the Silkroad free of a potential US navy interdiction.
    Losers (in order):
    1. India: Geopolitical nightmare with its two geopolitical foes (West and Northeast) now land connected. It will have to increase military spending a lot.
    2. USA: Its bridgehead into central Asia has collapsed. Power projection into the former-USSR Stans aborted. They will be the backyard of China and, in a lesser degree, Russia.
    3. Russia: It will have to spend material and military resources to patrol its soft belly in order to avoid extreme Islamism permeating into the Stans.

    Replies: @A123, @Beckow, @Svevlad, @showmethereal

    It is not a binary situation in Afghanistan.

    • The USSR lost.
    • The SJW Globalists lost.

    Are the USSR and SJW Globalists on the same side? No…. This suggests that anyone (possibly everyone) can lose in Afghanistan.

    — Pakistan cannot assimilate the “Tribal Region” adjacent to Afghanistan. Why would they try something ambitious that expands that problem? The ISI is aggressive, but not that crazy.

    — CCP Elites think like you do. They want Silk Road colonists & settlers & expansion of Han ideology (a.k.a. Manifest CCP Destiny). What may save them is the “One Belt” concept. Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa are much less risky than repeating the mistakes of the SJW’s and USSR.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    @A123

    After a bad startr, the British Empire managed a kind of draw.

  61. @Bardon Kaldian
    @Daniel Chieh

    The bigger question remains: why are Islamic peoples so anti-national? Why can't they develop their own collective individuality, but they remain, forever, a sort of second-hand Arabs?

    I've read some minor works by a prominent 18th C Indian Muslim polymath Shah Wali-Ullah (on Sufism), but here's what he says about this real, social world:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shah_Waliullah_Dehlawi


    “Muslims, no matter where they live, wherever they spend their youthful days, they should in any case be completely separated from the natives of that country in their culture, traditions and mannerisms. And wherever they are, they must be immersed in their Arabic splendor and Arabic trends”
     

    “Beware! The rich intend to adopt the ways of strangers and non-Arabs and those who deviate from the right path, and tries to mix and be like them”.
     
    Such a splendid civilization as Iranian cannot break free from Islamic cast of mind & suppresses more than 1500 years of their own rich civilization.

    I can get Turks-they've had nothing before, actually. But Iranians show how poisonous Islam can be to other cultures.

    And for peoples, too - because Islam remains the primary collective loyalty. This we can see in the case of Pashtuns, who could, or could at least try to form their own nation-state which would include, at least in theory, parts of Pakistan. But no, they prefer fanatic idiocy of the Taliban.

    Maybe there is some kind of poetic justice in all that, because ditching Buddhism for Islam has sealed Afghan fate as a permanent dump.

    Replies: @HenryBaker, @Kuru, @Svevlad

    Islamic societies tend to be clan-based and multi-ethnic because they’re usually not based around a single ethnic group.

    In the case of Iran, I have to mention that it doesn’t have a long history of being a nation-state, and indeed we might expect native Persians to be quite a servile lot for a long time. Ever since the Seljuks came in at about the 11th century, Iran was not ruled by Persians but various Turkmenes or Turkicized Kurds with a Mongol intermezzo. If you look at the origins of the Persian dynasties, they were anything but Persian. I believe that, at one point, Turkmenes even made up about 30% of the Persian population, and were the warrior caste (to the point of Mongols separating them from Persians and executing them en masse at times, during their conquest, it was clear what the hierarchy was).

    In the Same manner, Egypt (I believe) was never ruled by a native dynasty since the Muslim conquest, and administered by a slave caste. Likewise, Andalusia was a strictly ethnically hierarchichal state with arab clans at the top, berbers below, converted natives below them, and Mozarabs at the bottom. India was also conquered by Turkic warlords like Tughluq.

    So why does Islamic society not have a healthy national tradition? One aspect is the clannishness, but I also suspect it has to do with elites being to clearly foreign, Islamic states being so unstable, and Islamic natives often having to co-exist with these foreign warrior elites. That does not lend itself to strong nationalism. In such an unstable ‘arcology’ where the ruling elite has no interest in nationalism, what makes sense is clan and God (which everyone shares at least). States were simply meaningless.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
    @HenryBaker

    There are in fact many examples of foreign elites and warrior castes ruling over native populations in Europe, look at Norman England, the Habsburgs... but national identities replaced feudal, local, clan or religious ones just as religion and coherent tradition faded away.

    Replies: @HenryBaker

    , @Bardon Kaldian
    @HenryBaker

    I am not talking about that. When Christians gradually came to power & established themselves, however narrow minded they may have been through history, they preserved pre-Christian culture, even those works that frequently went against their central ideas: Virgil, Tacitus, Ovid, Suetonius, Horace, Seneca, Caesar, sculptures, architecture,... in the West, and Homer, Hesiod, Plato, Pindar,... in the East.

    When it came to China, Buddhism was transformed into Chinese Buddhism & nothing of non-Buddhist culture was lost.

    With Islam, Zoroastrians, who may have existed from 1300 BC, became a persecuted minority in their own land, land they had created & built into o world civilization & nothing pre-Islamic has remained in Iranian identity, with sole exception of Ferdowsi's "Shahnameh", which is a kind of oddity.

    Iran became just another Arabistan with local colors.

    Replies: @HenryBaker

  62. @Passer by
    @notbe


    the rot in Western military institutions is obviously deep
     
    Yup. May i introduce you Obama's AF-PAK advisor, Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute -

    But muh Taliban controls only rural areas..
     

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/afghan-security-forces-teeter-on-the-brink-of-collapse-amid-taliban-onslaught

    75 % of the Afghan population lives in rural areas!

    Replies: @notbe

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/afghan-security-forces-teeter-on-the-brink-of-collapse-amid-taliban-onslaught

    yeah seen the show -Annie Pforzheimer says that the government forces are actually regaining ground so i guess i panicked a bit thinking the talibs might win Anyways, General Lute-the am ambassador to NATO!!!-says only a bunch of really small provincial capitals fell so I feel doubly reassured

    look, when one side in a war is facing a rout, of course, their going to lie their heads off-we all laughed way back when Baghad Bob had to do his difficult job but the last week of US and NATO expert opinion is beyond Baghad Bob…in fact Baghdad Bob is probably laughing his head off right now thinking that revenge is sweet

    Anyways the last week of US and NATO expert opinion wasnt lying, it was just pure incompetence there was no military skill displayed Very disturbing actually, these guys…and gals are suppossed to be professionals, whats more most of them did serve in Afghanistan so they are familiar with the land and the balance of forces yet they genuinely totally misjudged the situation -and the armed forces were supossed to be the last institution to succump to the rot in the West There is no hope!

    Oh by the way, a very minor point- General Lute might not be familiar with the writings of a certain Mao Tse Tung-not many are, he was an obscure theorist way back in the 15th or the 17th centuries in Korea or India or whatever but this Mao wrote that control of rural areas is the key to insurgency

    • Replies: @nokangaroos
    @notbe

    The Taliban read their Mao, that´s for sure :D

    - Mao was in something of a bind because he had no industrial proletariat
    (and contrary to Marx´scientific predictions no industrial proletariat ever
    successfully revolted);
    of more interest is the provenience: Ernst Röhm had this vision of the SA
    becoming a New Model People´s Army that would supplant the Party,
    government and Wehrmacht (with their aristosclerotic leadership) -
    and both Röhm and Otto Braun (Mao´s chief military advisor) had been
    officers in the Sturmtruppen. The utter radicalism of the idea
    has scared off most (except a few Latin American egghead revolutionary
    theorists).

    Replies: @El Dato

  63. @songbird
    Heard someone say that the Taliban are using 40 year old AKs. Somewhat skeptical about it - but it got me thinking that they would be the right people to ask about the lifespan of various weapons brands.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Right_On

    Well, no, they do not have the same regard for safety as we do. They’d find this sort of thing okay.

    The joys of old rounds.

    • Replies: @songbird
    @Daniel Chieh

    Bet it just ruins a wedding, when someone is firing one of those things into the air, and it explodes due to metal fatigue.

  64. @Philip Owen
    The Taliban are not part time soldiers goatherding for a living. They are ambivalent about opium. So where does their money come from? Gulf Arab billionaires? Should there be some probing of Saudi and Bahrani connections? Qatari too. Sunni dominance in Afghanistan means Iran is vulnerable to attack from two sides. This is a triumph for the Saudis. What move can Iran make?

    Will the price of Bitcoin fall as the corrupt Afghani government exiles set themselves up by selling their coints? Perhaps they preferred dollars? Will the Taliban use Bitcoin for the drug trade if they adopt it. Samara is an important transit point for heroin. What will Putin do about increased drug traffic?

    Replies: @mal, @showmethereal

    So where does their money come from?

    To the best of my knowledge, Taliban are financed by Pakistan and sales of American military helicopters on Ebay. That should keep them going for a while. To be fair, you can’t beat those deals on rocket launchers.

  65. This is chock full of once in a life time lessons you get from observing real time events. In a week or two retard takes will distort the view.

    I can’t even describe everything I am processing.

    To pick one Dostum saga is interesting. Dude lasted for a long time and seemed to be someone they leaned on there. Yet he is old what can he really do? You could probably tell that he had a plan B for a while and it was being implemented since the start of the offensive. Interesting he did not get on a plane with Americans but had his own bolt hole. Probably everyone on the ground knew of the outcome we are witnessing for months.

    It’s kinda tragic how the underlings are being used as cannon fodder. Probably want to keep this in mind for any type of government announcements especially if you are at a high stakes civil war scenario.

    • Agree: mal
  66. US needs to learn how to build tribal alliances better.

    This is not the first time it happens either – remember when ISIS armed with like shovels overran US trained and equipped Iraqi Army in Mosul, Iraq, in 2014? It took Iranian militias to halt that disaster.

    Promoting thieving conmen into leadership positions of your colonial administration is probably unwise, in retrospect.

    Learn from the Russians. Kadyrov mostly pacifies Chechnya by himself, Russia hardly needs to do airstrikes anymore. Why? Kadyrov’s got a good tribal coalition going, and he dedicated time and effort to it, rather than focusing on ‘women’s studies’.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    @mal

    US is post-tribal, so they don't get the whole tribal thing. It is a problem. The Afghani girls are also about to get some 'women studies' and the usual religious virtuous cul-de-sac is about to repeat.

    On the bright side, it turns out that the handover of power in Afghanistan is faster than in US after the elections. Who would have thought.

  67. sher singh says:

    Who cares, this was inevitable the speed may be surprising but the West doesn’t have the awe factor.
    No Afghan man thinks he’s socially better off being Westernized and neither do you.

    I remember being a kid and realizing the White man ain’t respectable enough to change us. :shrug:

    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ

  68. sher singh says:

    The only lesson is that absent airpower rightoid convoys of basedness will patrol thots & minorities
    The West could also be based if there weren’t F-22s and SU-35s.

    A few of those planes costs same as whole Taliban. Maybe this is end of cycle btwn heavy cav-Light Inf
    O well, no more Fedposting let’s see what happens. Worship weapons, lift weights||

    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @sher singh

    Given that the Taliban took the whole country in just 10 days of the US leaving, despite some airpower continuing, the lesson is not only that the Afghan forces were "fake and gay," but also that actually the US military is most definitely not. If a 20 year long situation completely reverses within 10 days of a military force pulling out, it makes sense to infer that said military force is extremely powerful. 10,000 US troops are worth infinitely more than 350,000 Afghan ones.

    Though of course, inastute people will somehow miss this pretty obvious point.

    Replies: @Exile, @Passer by, @Daniel Chieh

  69. @Aedib
    Winners (ir order):
    1. Pakistan: big influence on the new government and a land access to its main geopolitical ally: China.
    2. China: ejects EEUU from central Asia and can incorporate Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran to its Silkroad project.
    3. Iran: Potential access to its main oil buyer, China, by the Silkroad free of a potential US navy interdiction.
    Losers (in order):
    1. India: Geopolitical nightmare with its two geopolitical foes (West and Northeast) now land connected. It will have to increase military spending a lot.
    2. USA: Its bridgehead into central Asia has collapsed. Power projection into the former-USSR Stans aborted. They will be the backyard of China and, in a lesser degree, Russia.
    3. Russia: It will have to spend material and military resources to patrol its soft belly in order to avoid extreme Islamism permeating into the Stans.

    Replies: @A123, @Beckow, @Svevlad, @showmethereal

    Sure, looks about right.

    But there is also the inevitable future reality of the glorious American victory in Afghanistan. Movies will be made, narratives created, heroes worshipped – in Hollywood they can make this into a win, they always can. Some cherry-picking, timing manipulation, fuzzy logic, maybe a love story (Marine with a Talib? why not, I hear that Talibs play for both sides). Add evil Russians to it and you have a winning movie.

    It will be done: they came, they won, they conquered. (Then they left in a hurry, but that is post-narrative, it won’t be in the script.) It is easy, they call it soft power and it rules the world. Goat herders with baggy pants and impossibly long rifles can win on the ground, but soft power wins the hearts of the people around the world. This is a triumph, just give it a year or two…

    (If that poor Frenchie fool Napoleon knew about this he would have called his Russia invasion a glorious victory. It is good to see that West is experiencing some progress. They learn.)

    • Agree: Yellowface Anon, Aedib
    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Beckow

    Don't be silly. There's not one Vietnam film like that and it has been 50 years.

    Replies: @Beckow, @Daniel Chieh

    , @notbe
    @Beckow

    soft power may think it rules the world for a time but eventually it meet goatherders with baggy pants and impossibly long rifles and gets its butt kicked

  70. @prime noticer
    "This adventure must have set some kind of anti-ROI record."

    America has spent a lot more money than that trying to turn africans into productive first world citizens. the ongoing effort to ignore reality about stone age humans has been an order of magnitude more expensive.

    the US lost 2500 troops in 20 years in Afghanistan. it loses that many productive citizens every year to useless african criminals. the US spent 2 trillion accomplishing nothing in Afghanistan. it has spent at least triple that over the last 60 years to negative ROI on africans, who still have the same net negative wealth and GDP effect they've always had, except now there are 45 million of them and they still hate America, and vote against the country every election. the net negative financial effect of africans is going up every year, not down.

    having said, Afghanistan was an obvious, no brainer, complete and total loser bet from day 1. after a while the only justification was the yearly military budget, which the US military generals in charge wouldn't give up easily (who gives up an 80 billion a year budget), and the real world training thousands of troops were getting in combat. needless to say none of that was worth even 1 American dying. a much more worrying result is that the US military now ignores Republican Presidents openly when they demand an end to a war, and will only obey them if ordered to start a war. now military brass will only end wars if Democrat Presidents tell them to.

    Replies: @Marshal Marlow

    …and the real world training thousands of troops were getting in combat.

    I think it’s arguable that a first world army is actually weakened if it spends its time killing-off bronze age goat herders. I suspect the lack of honour in those missions is a contributing factor to the PTSD numbers from Iraq and Afghanistan compared to PTSD attributable to soldiers in WW2.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    @Marshal Marlow

    Churchill had no problem about troops torching whole villages when he was in Afghanistan. He considered Pashtuns as failures to live a decent human life. That said, Churchill was not typical even then. Typical bloodthirsty cavalry officer. (Mostly journalist against the Pashtuns).

    Replies: @Dan Hayes

  71. Afghanistan does not need to worry. Shi_ite power in Levant did grow enormously.
    So Saudi Arabia will help Afghanistan financially to compensate for loss of Sunni power.
    (Remember Bin Laden was Saudi. There was Saudi Afghanistan cooperation before.)
    Pakistani are Sunni also.

  72. @mal
    US needs to learn how to build tribal alliances better.

    This is not the first time it happens either - remember when ISIS armed with like shovels overran US trained and equipped Iraqi Army in Mosul, Iraq, in 2014? It took Iranian militias to halt that disaster.

    Promoting thieving conmen into leadership positions of your colonial administration is probably unwise, in retrospect.

    Learn from the Russians. Kadyrov mostly pacifies Chechnya by himself, Russia hardly needs to do airstrikes anymore. Why? Kadyrov's got a good tribal coalition going, and he dedicated time and effort to it, rather than focusing on 'women's studies'.

    Replies: @Beckow

    US is post-tribal, so they don’t get the whole tribal thing. It is a problem. The Afghani girls are also about to get some ‘women studies‘ and the usual religious virtuous cul-de-sac is about to repeat.

    On the bright side, it turns out that the handover of power in Afghanistan is faster than in US after the elections. Who would have thought.

    • Agree: mal
  73. @AnonfromTN
    @SafeNow


    The first purpose, obviously, was to spend military money.
     
    Not so much to spend, as to create a good pretext for massive thievery.

    The second purpose was to demonstrate to China and Russia that the US is militarily insane and unpredictable.
     
    China and Russia did not need any additional evidence to that effect. Both knew that the US elites are insane and not agreement-capable for quite some time.

    Replies: @SafeNow, @Zarathustra

    Reminder only!
    Remember when I did tell you that Biden’s administration will not survive more than two years?
    The first year is not done yet and already Biden’s administration is on shaky ground.
    Trump extended friendly hand to Russia, and Democrats used it for Trump impeachment.
    Friendly Triumvirate of USA, Russia, and China would keep order in the world.
    They would keep peace in the world, and also would keep crazy Muslims from trouble making.
    But Democrats did say no!
    …………………………………………………………………………….
    Democrats are insane! They should be locked up in Bellwile.

  74. @Beckow
    @Aedib

    Sure, looks about right.

    But there is also the inevitable future reality of the glorious American victory in Afghanistan. Movies will be made, narratives created, heroes worshipped - in Hollywood they can make this into a win, they always can. Some cherry-picking, timing manipulation, fuzzy logic, maybe a love story (Marine with a Talib? why not, I hear that Talibs play for both sides). Add evil Russians to it and you have a winning movie.

    It will be done: they came, they won, they conquered. (Then they left in a hurry, but that is post-narrative, it won't be in the script.) It is easy, they call it soft power and it rules the world. Goat herders with baggy pants and impossibly long rifles can win on the ground, but soft power wins the hearts of the people around the world. This is a triumph, just give it a year or two...

    (If that poor Frenchie fool Napoleon knew about this he would have called his Russia invasion a glorious victory. It is good to see that West is experiencing some progress. They learn.)

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @notbe

    Don’t be silly. There’s not one Vietnam film like that and it has been 50 years.

    • Agree: Wency
    • Replies: @Beckow
    @Triteleia Laxa

    There is not a single one about the defeat either.

    The Hollywood Vietnam movies are mostly solipsistic exercises in narcism: poor us, how painful it was to massacre the gooks?...the ones about Afghanistan and Iraq so far are along the same lines, why would it change? Now, that is silly...

    Replies: @Wency

    , @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa

    We Were Soldiers reasonably follows that idea, though it ends rather soberly with the NV still resolute.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Wency

  75. @sher singh
    The only lesson is that absent airpower rightoid convoys of basedness will patrol thots & minorities
    The West could also be based if there weren't F-22s and SU-35s.

    A few of those planes costs same as whole Taliban. Maybe this is end of cycle btwn heavy cav-Light Inf
    O well, no more Fedposting let's see what happens. Worship weapons, lift weights||

    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    Given that the Taliban took the whole country in just 10 days of the US leaving, despite some airpower continuing, the lesson is not only that the Afghan forces were “fake and gay,” but also that actually the US military is most definitely not. If a 20 year long situation completely reverses within 10 days of a military force pulling out, it makes sense to infer that said military force is extremely powerful. 10,000 US troops are worth infinitely more than 350,000 Afghan ones.

    Though of course, inastute people will somehow miss this pretty obvious point.

    • LOL: showmethereal
    • Replies: @Exile
    @Triteleia Laxa

    There's some truth in that but I think the Taliban held off flexing because they knew we'd leave soon enough that they could save casualties and resources by waiting.

    The Vietcong generals and other asymmetric war planners have pointed out the irony in their strategies basically mirroring those of the American forces vs. the British in our revolution - avoid pitched battles unless you have lucky breaks or the big bads make a mistake, keep stretching out supply lines and playing for time and bleeding resources and will, etc...

    The Rainbow Empire's army even had this problem in the Civil War - the South was just too hell-bent on set-piece battles and Lee refused to advocate guerilla resistance after the formal surrender. Guys like JEB Stuart wreaked havoc so long as they stuck to hit-and-run.

    We've learned little from this heritage and have adopted most of the bad habits of past overgrown decadent retard empires - we do war like IBM does business, throwing money around and always sticking to yesterday's strategies too long.

    It would have cost the Taliban but they could have taken as much of A-stan as they wanted if they stepped up their loss tolerance - even Kabul, eventually, although One Big Base is hard to knock out when they lacked airpower.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Daniel Chieh

    , @Passer by
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Actually the US was losing ground to the Taliban even when it was in the country. The Taliban were gradually capturing new ground regardless of US presence. It couldn't handle the insurgency so it had to vacate various areas - see Korangal Valley, Kamdesh or Sangin.

    The Korangal Valley campaign was a series of military operations conducted by ISAF forces against Taliban insurgents in the Korangal Valley in Kunar province, Afghanistan, from October 2004 to April 2010. The campaign ended with a US withdrawal from the valley, after suffering heavy casualties, and a Taliban takeover of the area.
     

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    , @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Well, the Taliban are not the same people as the Afghan army. As for the US, they definitely failed their mission and of course had enormous technical assist. Of course, in a normal state of war, just saying "industrial/military technology shouldn't matter" is pretty silly, but it is true that the mountain goatsmen were able to essentially conserve the main base of their power, and then strike back pretty overwhelmingly so. I saw reports of over 80k Talibans: without air intervention, there's no way the returning 3k or 5k would have been able to withstand them.

    Now, how much of this is due to ISI providing a safe base from Talibs during the years plus weapons, training and intelligence is of course, another part. Nothing really should be taken away from the Talibs, though, who are just genuinely good fighters regardless of any of their other flaws.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

  76. @InnerCynic
    Cynical as I am...I'd rig the entire "embassy" with enough explosive to flatten it and take every hip hopping head chopper with it. Why not... if there's to be entertainment it can go both ways.

    But I digress... What a waste.

    Replies: @Rahan

    Cynical as I am…I’d rig the entire “embassy” with enough explosive to flatten it and take every hip hopping head chopper with it.

    The point of following at least basic rules of war is that next time the people you fight against catch your own people, they do not skin them alive in front of the camera, but instead can be reasoned with in some way.

    Funnily, the skinning alive movements tend to me mostly CIA/state dept creations whom organic movements like the Taliban try to crush.

    • Replies: @InnerCynic
    @Rahan

    America is led by lunatics. The entire Afghan enterprise was doomed from day one. The Taliban had asked from the beginning for evidence that OBL was responsible for 9-11 and the Yanks never provided. And, of course, once OBL died from renal failure Uncle Scam had to keep the grift running with constant lies and a never ending mission

  77. America has forgotten how to build or sustain our own nation – no surprise we suck at telling others how to do it.

    Those of us who are looking to rediscover those lost arts have to start by rejecting big chunks of established “wisdom” and looking to some unorthodox strategies. The guys who survived and eventually thrived in Russia through the awful 1990’s seem to be good sources for “modern high-tech collapse survival.”

    Any reading suggestions for guys with that kind of knowledge/advice?

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
    @Exile

    James Howard Kunstler & Dmitry Orlov (but both aim quite low, a subsistence-level one, which kind make sense, since overly complex systems like our industrial one cannot be repaired in the short period of decades).

  78. @Anatoly Karlin
    @Felix Keverich

    I didn't think ANA was that much of a paper tiger and I imagined that the Americans wouldn't dump their allies quite that flagrantly - I certainly expected air support at the very least.

    It was a very bad prediction, but in fairness, (1) almost nobody I think predicted it would be ever this quick, (2) I still gave a 50/50 to Taliban victory, (3) I don't actively follow Afghanistan and my "epistemic status" on this question was low, hence why I kept it to Twitter, instead of the blog.

    Replies: @houston 1992, @JimDandy

    as a layman , I thought the USA would fire some soon-to-be stale-ordinance cruise missiles at some bridges and roads, and that would hinder the rapid advance.

    2)btw are those helicopters the TAF (Taliban Air Force) are now operating, are they “ours” or Russian?

    3) did we leave any flight simulators behind –especially ones without software interlocks?

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @houston 1992

    From what I've heard, the US officials were successfully intimidated by threats made by the Taliban might actually attack, kill Americans and parade their corpses in public - not without reason, I should add, since they interpret that the US should not intervene further in the war as part of the accords, and believe that airstrikes previously launched are violations. And so far, they've kept their word to avoid killing foreigners.

    While of course, slaughtering Americans could lead to even more intervention, it would also look terrible for the administration, and its not certain that there's enough national will for returned intervention.

    Furthermore, the Taliban signaled that they didn't have ultimate control of their troops, being essentially a mix of tribes after all, so giving them a reason to be "set off" would be very unwise.

    This resulted in the combination of panic and begging that we saw as they closed in.

    Replies: @Beckow

  79. @Triteleia Laxa
    @sher singh

    Given that the Taliban took the whole country in just 10 days of the US leaving, despite some airpower continuing, the lesson is not only that the Afghan forces were "fake and gay," but also that actually the US military is most definitely not. If a 20 year long situation completely reverses within 10 days of a military force pulling out, it makes sense to infer that said military force is extremely powerful. 10,000 US troops are worth infinitely more than 350,000 Afghan ones.

    Though of course, inastute people will somehow miss this pretty obvious point.

    Replies: @Exile, @Passer by, @Daniel Chieh

    There’s some truth in that but I think the Taliban held off flexing because they knew we’d leave soon enough that they could save casualties and resources by waiting.

    The Vietcong generals and other asymmetric war planners have pointed out the irony in their strategies basically mirroring those of the American forces vs. the British in our revolution – avoid pitched battles unless you have lucky breaks or the big bads make a mistake, keep stretching out supply lines and playing for time and bleeding resources and will, etc…

    The Rainbow Empire’s army even had this problem in the Civil War – the South was just too hell-bent on set-piece battles and Lee refused to advocate guerilla resistance after the formal surrender. Guys like JEB Stuart wreaked havoc so long as they stuck to hit-and-run.

    We’ve learned little from this heritage and have adopted most of the bad habits of past overgrown decadent retard empires – we do war like IBM does business, throwing money around and always sticking to yesterday’s strategies too long.

    It would have cost the Taliban but they could have taken as much of A-stan as they wanted if they stepped up their loss tolerance – even Kabul, eventually, although One Big Base is hard to knock out when they lacked airpower.

    • Agree: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Exile

    The Taliban fought and sustained very high casualties for 20 years.

    Replies: @Wency

    , @Daniel Chieh
    @Exile


    The Rainbow Empire’s army even had this problem in the Civil War – the South was just too hell-bent on set-piece battles and Lee refused to advocate guerilla resistance after the formal surrender. Guys like JEB Stuart wreaked havoc so long as they stuck to hit-and-run.
     
    The British fought against Afrikaaners with those tactics and used effective concentration camp methods to starve out the guerillas; this would also have been likely if the Union was forced to fight a guerilla campaign, as they were already demonstrating a willingness to engage in total war tactics. There would still be a reason to do this, technically - basically it would potentially force the Union into a position of inferiority in the world, as it'll have to constantly spend such enormous treasure on brutally suppressing its own population that it'll weaken itself internationally.

    In Afghanistan , this was impossible for the US both by limited rules of engagement and a foreign nation(Pakistan) actively intervening against you to provide shelter for their families. It probably was a mistake to even start anything like an occupation. The only way to "go all the way," it seems, would also be to invade Pakistan, which will also involve India and China...basically, there was no way to go all the way without potentially causing world war.
  80. @Exile
    @Triteleia Laxa

    There's some truth in that but I think the Taliban held off flexing because they knew we'd leave soon enough that they could save casualties and resources by waiting.

    The Vietcong generals and other asymmetric war planners have pointed out the irony in their strategies basically mirroring those of the American forces vs. the British in our revolution - avoid pitched battles unless you have lucky breaks or the big bads make a mistake, keep stretching out supply lines and playing for time and bleeding resources and will, etc...

    The Rainbow Empire's army even had this problem in the Civil War - the South was just too hell-bent on set-piece battles and Lee refused to advocate guerilla resistance after the formal surrender. Guys like JEB Stuart wreaked havoc so long as they stuck to hit-and-run.

    We've learned little from this heritage and have adopted most of the bad habits of past overgrown decadent retard empires - we do war like IBM does business, throwing money around and always sticking to yesterday's strategies too long.

    It would have cost the Taliban but they could have taken as much of A-stan as they wanted if they stepped up their loss tolerance - even Kabul, eventually, although One Big Base is hard to knock out when they lacked airpower.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Daniel Chieh

    The Taliban fought and sustained very high casualties for 20 years.

    • Replies: @Wency
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Yeah, I think you're basically right -- even though I do agree there's actually a lot of valid comparison to the Revolutionary War here.

    The Americans did take considerably more casualties than the British in that war. The Americans also could only decisively defeat the British when the British took big risks and then blundered them thoroughly. It was probably close to impossible for the 2001-2021 US military to commit a blunder quite as big as the Saratoga Campaign, for a variety of reasons (for one, even an isolated and outnumbered force could always call on air support), which is one reason why this war was able to last 20 years.

    But the Americans were incapable, at any point 1776-1783, of denying the British control of NYC, or of any other particular port city they wanted to occupy. Even with French help. Just as the US could have held Kabul and other key cities forever. But also, just like the British in the Revolutionary War, it didn't have a large enough army to really occupy the country. All it could do was pass through an area and hope the collaborators it installed would keep things running when it left.

    It also seems that in some ways, the Loyalists in the American Revolution were the original collaborationist government, and they basically performed like one. Theoretically they were a large base of support for the British, but they fielded few troops and those they did field didn't fight so well (though probably still better than the ANA).

  81. @songbird
    Heard someone say that the Taliban are using 40 year old AKs. Somewhat skeptical about it - but it got me thinking that they would be the right people to ask about the lifespan of various weapons brands.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Right_On

    the lifespan of various weapons brands

    I wonder if they still have some Martini–Henry rifles (as recommended by Sean Connery and Michael Caine in The Man Who Would Be King) – or maybe one of those cool Webley top-break revolvers – left behind when the Brits finally left Afghanistan in 1919.

    Worth a fortune on the antique market, today.

    • Agree: songbird
  82. The comparison with South Vietnam is too far-fetched and demeaning to the brave veterans of South Vietnam. The South Vietnamese were deprived of equipment for two whole years by the Demoncrats in Congress, before they fell. As per usual the US was distracted by an unfolding drama – Watergate in 1973 – to pay any attention to their yellow friends who had looked up to them. The NVA by that time had grown to a force that could hold the Chicoms (1978). It is a signal dishonour to the South Vietnamese who fought on bravely for years to compare them to the motley Afghan crew. As we see now, the whole Afghan armed forces was nothing but a Potemkin village.

    The first thing the Americans should have done on 12 September 2001, was to flatten the Pakistani Army and the ISI as a lesson to those who nurtured the Taliban in the first place, but instead wonder of wonder, the moron Bush made Pakistan a lynchpin of strategy to contain “terrorism”. The outcome was predictable. As long as the Americans could not be assured that Taliban would not simply melt away into Pakistan, there was no way to effectively degrade the Taliban. This is similar to the situation the Americans found themselves confronted with vis-a-vis the North Vietnamese, when they could not effectively neutralise the sanctuary that the Viet Cong enjoyed in the North.

    • Agree: utu
    • Replies: @ivan
    @ivan

    I have been unfair to the Afghan government : They did the best in a bad situation. DJ Trump owns this as much as Biden, for all his weaselly attempts to deflect it all onto Biden :

    https://thewire.in/south-asia/bidens-afghanistan-blunder-will-come-back-to-haunt-the-us-and-its-allies

    Replies: @Grahamsno(G64)

  83. @Beckow
    @Aedib

    Sure, looks about right.

    But there is also the inevitable future reality of the glorious American victory in Afghanistan. Movies will be made, narratives created, heroes worshipped - in Hollywood they can make this into a win, they always can. Some cherry-picking, timing manipulation, fuzzy logic, maybe a love story (Marine with a Talib? why not, I hear that Talibs play for both sides). Add evil Russians to it and you have a winning movie.

    It will be done: they came, they won, they conquered. (Then they left in a hurry, but that is post-narrative, it won't be in the script.) It is easy, they call it soft power and it rules the world. Goat herders with baggy pants and impossibly long rifles can win on the ground, but soft power wins the hearts of the people around the world. This is a triumph, just give it a year or two...

    (If that poor Frenchie fool Napoleon knew about this he would have called his Russia invasion a glorious victory. It is good to see that West is experiencing some progress. They learn.)

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @notbe

    soft power may think it rules the world for a time but eventually it meet goatherders with baggy pants and impossibly long rifles and gets its butt kicked

  84. @HenryBaker
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Islamic societies tend to be clan-based and multi-ethnic because they're usually not based around a single ethnic group.

    In the case of Iran, I have to mention that it doesn't have a long history of being a nation-state, and indeed we might expect native Persians to be quite a servile lot for a long time. Ever since the Seljuks came in at about the 11th century, Iran was not ruled by Persians but various Turkmenes or Turkicized Kurds with a Mongol intermezzo. If you look at the origins of the Persian dynasties, they were anything but Persian. I believe that, at one point, Turkmenes even made up about 30% of the Persian population, and were the warrior caste (to the point of Mongols separating them from Persians and executing them en masse at times, during their conquest, it was clear what the hierarchy was).

    In the Same manner, Egypt (I believe) was never ruled by a native dynasty since the Muslim conquest, and administered by a slave caste. Likewise, Andalusia was a strictly ethnically hierarchichal state with arab clans at the top, berbers below, converted natives below them, and Mozarabs at the bottom. India was also conquered by Turkic warlords like Tughluq.

    So why does Islamic society not have a healthy national tradition? One aspect is the clannishness, but I also suspect it has to do with elites being to clearly foreign, Islamic states being so unstable, and Islamic natives often having to co-exist with these foreign warrior elites. That does not lend itself to strong nationalism. In such an unstable 'arcology' where the ruling elite has no interest in nationalism, what makes sense is clan and God (which everyone shares at least). States were simply meaningless.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon, @Bardon Kaldian

    There are in fact many examples of foreign elites and warrior castes ruling over native populations in Europe, look at Norman England, the Habsburgs… but national identities replaced feudal, local, clan or religious ones just as religion and coherent tradition faded away.

    • Replies: @HenryBaker
    @Yellowface Anon

    Sorry man, had a long reply typed out but clicked away the tab. Short version: I think Norman England is an extreme example, and acculturation happened because of lack of clan culture (preventing out-marriage of normans). Nuclear family around since 12th century in England. Generally foreign Christian kings relied on native aristocracies, Habsburgs especially, and assimilated quickly. Turkmenes formed own caste.

  85. @Exile
    America has forgotten how to build or sustain our own nation - no surprise we suck at telling others how to do it.

    Those of us who are looking to rediscover those lost arts have to start by rejecting big chunks of established "wisdom" and looking to some unorthodox strategies. The guys who survived and eventually thrived in Russia through the awful 1990's seem to be good sources for "modern high-tech collapse survival."

    Any reading suggestions for guys with that kind of knowledge/advice?

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon

    James Howard Kunstler & Dmitry Orlov (but both aim quite low, a subsistence-level one, which kind make sense, since overly complex systems like our industrial one cannot be repaired in the short period of decades).

  86. I’ve avoided commenting on Afghanistan since
    #1 I know too little outside of stereotypes I now know to be fake and gay and
    #2 the dust hasn’t settled.

  87. @notbe
    @Felix Keverich

    we all relied on professional US and NATO analysts-these were not unqualified talking heads but actual military professionals-they all agreed less than a week ago that the Talibs would seriously threaten Kabul in late October early November and that there was some hope that the situation would stabilize before then

    ...yesterday the Talibs approached Kabul ahead of schedule but there was suppossed to be a defence ring around the capital set up by NATO using the experience of the last twenty years

    -the rot in Western military institutions is obviously deep but no one really knew how deep it was Who can trust anything that professional Western military analysts say from now on?...and these were supposed to be the only Western professionals who still knew what they were doing and who still maintained some semblence of reality-based thought

    Replies: @Passer by, @Felix Keverich

    Professional NATO analysts also contend that Russia is fighting a war with Ukraine, but Ukrainian resistance halted Russian territorial gains there. They argue that Minsk agreements no longer represent the balance of power, and can be safely discarded thanks to newfound professionalism and capabilities of the Ukrainian army. 😂

    In Syria they argue that “civil war” is by no means over, because the militants survive in border pockets, protected by US and Turkish airpower. And this is why the West must never, ever, ever reconcile with Assad.

    There is a common theme here of replacing analysis with wishful thinking and believing in your own propaganda. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine” for example is a very real thing in Western expert circles, which shapes both the public discourse in the West and their strategic calculations. They really do think that Russian military is “bogged down” in the Ukraine.

    • Agree: Aedib
    • Replies: @notbe
    @Felix Keverich

    also western military analysts have degenerated-wishfull thinking indeed but I think the primary fault here is that politics have taken over the military profession in the West. NATO officers know that stroking the egos of their political masters is the surefire way for promotion and career success...and afterwards high positions open up in armament corporations and foundations No reward for a man to use expertise in fact there are huge negative consequences

    Thus tell the politicians what they want to hear-facts be damned...in fact it might be that western military analysts probably, at this point, cannot distinguish what is fact and what is make-believe ...yeah, youre right -wishfull thinking comes into play

    Its that way in almost every NATO country, big or small

  88. @Anatoly Karlin
    @Felix Keverich

    I didn't think ANA was that much of a paper tiger and I imagined that the Americans wouldn't dump their allies quite that flagrantly - I certainly expected air support at the very least.

    It was a very bad prediction, but in fairness, (1) almost nobody I think predicted it would be ever this quick, (2) I still gave a 50/50 to Taliban victory, (3) I don't actively follow Afghanistan and my "epistemic status" on this question was low, hence why I kept it to Twitter, instead of the blog.

    Replies: @houston 1992, @JimDandy

    Mission accomplished. Now whenever anyone suggests that we get out of Iraq, they can say “Are you crazy? Look what happened in Afghanistan!”

    • Replies: @El Dato
    @JimDandy

    Muslims might taunt you a second time?

    Replies: @JimDandy

  89. @ivan
    The comparison with South Vietnam is too far-fetched and demeaning to the brave veterans of South Vietnam. The South Vietnamese were deprived of equipment for two whole years by the Demoncrats in Congress, before they fell. As per usual the US was distracted by an unfolding drama - Watergate in 1973 - to pay any attention to their yellow friends who had looked up to them. The NVA by that time had grown to a force that could hold the Chicoms (1978). It is a signal dishonour to the South Vietnamese who fought on bravely for years to compare them to the motley Afghan crew. As we see now, the whole Afghan armed forces was nothing but a Potemkin village.

    The first thing the Americans should have done on 12 September 2001, was to flatten the Pakistani Army and the ISI as a lesson to those who nurtured the Taliban in the first place, but instead wonder of wonder, the moron Bush made Pakistan a lynchpin of strategy to contain "terrorism". The outcome was predictable. As long as the Americans could not be assured that Taliban would not simply melt away into Pakistan, there was no way to effectively degrade the Taliban. This is similar to the situation the Americans found themselves confronted with vis-a-vis the North Vietnamese, when they could not effectively neutralise the sanctuary that the Viet Cong enjoyed in the North.

    Replies: @ivan

    I have been unfair to the Afghan government : They did the best in a bad situation. DJ Trump owns this as much as Biden, for all his weaselly attempts to deflect it all onto Biden :

    https://thewire.in/south-asia/bidens-afghanistan-blunder-will-come-back-to-haunt-the-us-and-its-allies

    • Thanks: Grahamsno(G64)
    • Replies: @Grahamsno(G64)
    @ivan

    From the article you posted Ashraf Ghani had actually coauthored a book

    Fixing failed states;

    A Framework for rebuilding a Shattered world

    Ha Ha

    https://www.google.com/books/edition/Fixing_Failed_States/IIc4YG59dB8C?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=ashraf+ghani+failed+states&printsec=frontcover

    Replies: @Kuru, @ivan, @Anatoly Karlin

  90. Ultimately, the failure in Afghanistan has nothing to do with incompetence, and everything to do with excessive restraint and rules of engagement.

    During the Korean War, the US killed upwards of 20% of North Korea’s population and bombed and attacked civilians and civilian infrastructure like dams, reservoirs, rice fields, etc. Whereas Afghanistan’s population has doubled (!) since the start of the war.

    And even in the Vietnam War, despite various mistakes, there was still a focus on body counts and kill ratios. There was none of that focus in Afghanistan.

    Afghanistan did not have the equivalent of the Ho Chi Minh trail, no support from superpowers like the USSR, and nothing like the jungle cover of Vietnam. Vietnam like search and destroy missions, with a focus on kill ratios and much looser rules of engagement, should have been the strategy.

    • Agree: ivan
    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
    @linebacker

    You would have had systematic ethnic cleansing in Afghanistan if your goals of "winning" the war had been pursued, which is quite questionable (some crusade mentality besides).

    Replies: @ivan

  91. Toward the end of 2020, Americans exercised their “democratic” vote. The Biden and Tamala Harris was the result. “Individually, it was not the incorrect decision, even though it collectively doomed them to an outcome that a majority probably saw as suboptimal.”

  92. To have a President like Joe Biden who has a personal interest in the “War on Terror”, since he lost his favourite son in Iraq, is a disaster for all the Muslims allied with the US. Biden is the kiss of death for all who thought that he had a more rational policy towards the Muslim nations than Trump. Which rational Muslim would pin his colours to any American backed effort after this?

  93. @linebacker
    Ultimately, the failure in Afghanistan has nothing to do with incompetence, and everything to do with excessive restraint and rules of engagement.

    During the Korean War, the US killed upwards of 20% of North Korea's population and bombed and attacked civilians and civilian infrastructure like dams, reservoirs, rice fields, etc. Whereas Afghanistan's population has doubled (!) since the start of the war.

    And even in the Vietnam War, despite various mistakes, there was still a focus on body counts and kill ratios. There was none of that focus in Afghanistan.

    Afghanistan did not have the equivalent of the Ho Chi Minh trail, no support from superpowers like the USSR, and nothing like the jungle cover of Vietnam. Vietnam like search and destroy missions, with a focus on kill ratios and much looser rules of engagement, should have been the strategy.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon

    You would have had systematic ethnic cleansing in Afghanistan if your goals of “winning” the war had been pursued, which is quite questionable (some crusade mentality besides).

    • Replies: @ivan
    @Yellowface Anon

    Killing the Taliban is not "systematic ethnic cleansing"...

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon

  94. @Yellowface Anon
    @linebacker

    You would have had systematic ethnic cleansing in Afghanistan if your goals of "winning" the war had been pursued, which is quite questionable (some crusade mentality besides).

    Replies: @ivan

    Killing the Taliban is not “systematic ethnic cleansing”…

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
    @ivan

    Where would you stop if you were the strategic command? (I assumed your goal is bringing "order" and state-building to Afghanistan)

    Replies: @Svevlad

  95. @ivan
    @Yellowface Anon

    Killing the Taliban is not "systematic ethnic cleansing"...

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon

    Where would you stop if you were the strategic command? (I assumed your goal is bringing “order” and state-building to Afghanistan)

    • Replies: @Svevlad
    @Yellowface Anon

    There was a blog post on some place on the internet that I found way, way back via r/darkenlightenment, about how the West has no idea how to occupy a place anymore.

    The same strategy for "treating" the US crime rate can be put in place in Afghanistan: ignore any disparate impact, and place extremely high standards of behavior. Who doesn't meet them is simply unpersoned.

    90% of blacks would be genocided? Who cares. Ditto for Afghans. Long term it would be better for them anyway.

  96. @Philip Owen
    @Passer by

    My sons's best friend spent his war in Afghanistan in blackface, delivering and repairing digital radios to intelligence contacts. He wasn't even SAS (to say more would still be revealing too much). Special Forces were effective. All sides were bribable. Many of the Taliban were just there for the money. The Afghan National Army was owed a lot of back pay by the government. (Rule number one of strong government. Pay the Army and Police well. The Afghan government broke it).

    In news from elsewhere, the outgoing (they are resisting so far) Zambian government paid less attention than was good for it to the army and police. The incumbent President himself, unable to adjust results, so huge is the vote against him, says elections were not free and fair. (Sounds like Putin on the subject of democracy). The army (I know some generals) says that the courts should decide that. The army will uphold the constitution.

    It seems that people do not support massively corrupt governments anymore, even if tribal loyalists are given some crumbs.

    Replies: @Passer by

    Owen, Green on Blue attacks are with high risk for the attacker, who often dies. You start shooting lots of soldiers around you and often do not make it. This is often suicidal. This isn’t for money.

    This is how these attacks work –

    Two Special Force soldiers killed, 6 wounded during attack in Afghanistan

    Upon completing a key-leader engagement at the district center, current reports indicate an individual in an Afghan uniform opened fire on the combined U.S. and Afghan force with a machine gun,”

    https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2020/02/08/report-says-multiple-us-troops-killed-in-afghanistan-firefight/

    The CIA yesterday vowed to avenge the deaths of seven of its agents who were killed in a suicide bombing on Wednesday in Afghanistan, as it emerged that the bomber may have been invited on to the base as a potential informant according to two former US officials.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/dec/31/taliban-cia-agents-killed-afghanistan

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
    @Passer by

    The guy gets to go to heaven as a jihadi - no problem for him.

  97. Crazy scenes at Kabul Airport as people try to board a plane to escape Afghanistan

    • Thanks: Morton's toes
    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
    @Passer by

    The Taliban liberated Kabul prison and the prisoners made a bee line to the airport (other than any that joined the Taliban). So expect the worst rapists, child molesters, killers and thieves at your destination "disguised" as refugees. Good move by the Taliban to clean up the country of the worst scum. Anyway, any who remain will have to behave or face quick, if not summary, justice.

  98. Taliban are the Afghan People’s Liberation Army. It seems they don’t wear uniforms but will that change now they’re in power?

  99. @ivan
    @ivan

    I have been unfair to the Afghan government : They did the best in a bad situation. DJ Trump owns this as much as Biden, for all his weaselly attempts to deflect it all onto Biden :

    https://thewire.in/south-asia/bidens-afghanistan-blunder-will-come-back-to-haunt-the-us-and-its-allies

    Replies: @Grahamsno(G64)

    From the article you posted Ashraf Ghani had actually coauthored a book

    Fixing failed states;

    A Framework for rebuilding a Shattered world

    Ha Ha

    https://www.google.com/books/edition/Fixing_Failed_States/IIc4YG59dB8C?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=ashraf+ghani+failed+states&printsec=frontcover

    • Replies: @Kuru
    @Grahamsno(G64)

    More badly aged products on behalf of Ghani

    https://i.imgur.com/NtKKQfU.jpeg

    Replies: @ivan

    , @ivan
    @Grahamsno(G64)

    Ghani clearly was not the right man for the job. But then who is in these circumstances? The fact is the Americans and the rest of world chose to ignore the elephant in the room, Pakistan, to their cost. As an Indian myself I could have told them to stay home if they were not prepared to tackle the duplicitous Pakistanis who along with the Saudis created the Taliban in the first place going all the way back to the 80s. And while we are at it look at what the Great White Hope of Pakistan has to say about this:

    https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/taliban-has-broken-shackles-of-slavery-says-pak-pm-imran-khan-2511573#pfrom=home-ndtv_topscroll

    , @Anatoly Karlin
    @Grahamsno(G64)

    Yeah, he authored that book.

    https://twitter.com/Zinvor/status/1426952791386378242

    As well as an article on Preparing for the Syrian Transition.

    https://twitter.com/Zinvor/status/1427012334703239175

  100. Boeing CH-46 (serial-nummer: N38TU)

    built in 1967

    operated by USMC

    took part in Frequent Wind on April 30th 1975

    —-

    now currently with the US DoS Air Wing in Kabul

    https://twitter.com/whatismoo/status/1426939056970244103/photo/1

  101. @Passer by
    @Philip Owen

    Owen, Green on Blue attacks are with high risk for the attacker, who often dies. You start shooting lots of soldiers around you and often do not make it. This is often suicidal. This isn't for money.

    This is how these attacks work -


    Two Special Force soldiers killed, 6 wounded during attack in Afghanistan

    Upon completing a key-leader engagement at the district center, current reports indicate an individual in an Afghan uniform opened fire on the combined U.S. and Afghan force with a machine gun,”
     

    https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2020/02/08/report-says-multiple-us-troops-killed-in-afghanistan-firefight/

    The CIA yesterday vowed to avenge the deaths of seven of its agents who were killed in a suicide bombing on Wednesday in Afghanistan, as it emerged that the bomber may have been invited on to the base as a potential informant according to two former US officials.
     
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/dec/31/taliban-cia-agents-killed-afghanistan

    Replies: @Commentator Mike

    The guy gets to go to heaven as a jihadi – no problem for him.

  102. @Passer by
    Crazy scenes at Kabul Airport as people try to board a plane to escape Afghanistan

    https://twitter.com/RisboLensky/status/1427154481091862528

    https://twitter.com/RisboLensky/status/1427156359024422912

    https://twitter.com/RisboLensky/status/1427160932111769600

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKAwGqGVknc

    Replies: @Commentator Mike

    The Taliban liberated Kabul prison and the prisoners made a bee line to the airport (other than any that joined the Taliban). So expect the worst rapists, child molesters, killers and thieves at your destination “disguised” as refugees. Good move by the Taliban to clean up the country of the worst scum. Anyway, any who remain will have to behave or face quick, if not summary, justice.

  103. Why no one has realized part of the motivation behind US giving the ground to the Taliban is a gambit that in time (despite paying lip service to China) their Islamist influence will extend into Xinjiang and further destabilize the region. The US can cut losses (even if it is too late) and hassle China on their butt.

    • Replies: @Showmethereal
    @Yellowface Anon

    The exact opposite happened. China and Russia formed the SCO with all the central asian states to keep track of all the jihadists after he US invasion of Afghanistan. It has worked pretty well... China's and Russia's extremeists are sequestered mainly in Syria now - with the noose tightening.

  104. Why all this negativity? Try to focus on the positive things. Afghanistan used to be called “graveyard of empires”. Now it looks like they are modernizing and maybe it’s time for a new moniker – “crematorium of empires”. See – even the Taliban can be environmentally friendly. Greta Thunberg will be so proud of them.

  105. Our generals should be tried and jailed.

  106. @Grahamsno(G64)
    @ivan

    From the article you posted Ashraf Ghani had actually coauthored a book

    Fixing failed states;

    A Framework for rebuilding a Shattered world

    Ha Ha

    https://www.google.com/books/edition/Fixing_Failed_States/IIc4YG59dB8C?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=ashraf+ghani+failed+states&printsec=frontcover

    Replies: @Kuru, @ivan, @Anatoly Karlin

    More badly aged products on behalf of Ghani

    • Replies: @ivan
    @Kuru

    Ashraf Ghani in Afghanistan seems a little like Ahmed Chalebi in Iraq. Someone whom the Americans supported to hear soothing nostrums so favoured by the neocohen set .

    Replies: @Commentator Mike

  107. @AnonfromTN
    @jimmyriddle


    It is really hard to believe they are really this incompetent (I know they are at the top, but this is bad staff work).
     
    I think you assume, wrongly, that the US government cares about its citizens. If it did, it would have needed contingency plans. As it does not give a hoot, it did not have those plans.

    From my perspective, there were several objectives of “Afghan war”, none of which was declared. First, steal billions of taxpayer’s money via MIC, Afghan puppets, NGOs, etc. Successfully accomplished. Second, greatly increase opium/heroin production and get a good chunk of drug profits into “right” hands. Successfully accomplished. Third, leave a huge pile of shit on Russia and China doorstep. Successfully accomplished.

    To swindle the population, they had to fool it with lies about nation building, democracy, women’s rights, etc. Judging by the comments here (this is Unz, not bought and paid for liars NYT, WaPo, CNN, and the others of that ilk), fooling was also successful. From the perspective of the American elites, their achievements well justify the sacrifice of a few thousand Americans, military and civilians.

    Replies: @Wency

    You don’t even have to think the US government cares about citizens for this to be a colossal screwup — you just have to believe it cares about optics. Do you really think it’s good optics for anybody at USG how quickly and totally this thing collapsed, or that American troops have had to fire on and kill desperate civilians (presumably mostly its one-time collaborators) at Kabul Airport while covering an ignominious retreat? How is that going to look on recruitment posters?

    • Replies: @ivan
    @Wency

    Biden runs scared to Camp David his dementia acting up. The perpetually horse-laughing Kamala is playing peek-a-boo. What can one say except that this must be the most incompetent US administration in living memory.

    Replies: @Philip Owen

    , @AnonFromTN
    @Wency


    How is that going to look on recruitment posters?
     
    Does any truth ever end up on recruitment posters?
  108. @Grahamsno(G64)
    @ivan

    From the article you posted Ashraf Ghani had actually coauthored a book

    Fixing failed states;

    A Framework for rebuilding a Shattered world

    Ha Ha

    https://www.google.com/books/edition/Fixing_Failed_States/IIc4YG59dB8C?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=ashraf+ghani+failed+states&printsec=frontcover

    Replies: @Kuru, @ivan, @Anatoly Karlin

    Ghani clearly was not the right man for the job. But then who is in these circumstances? The fact is the Americans and the rest of world chose to ignore the elephant in the room, Pakistan, to their cost. As an Indian myself I could have told them to stay home if they were not prepared to tackle the duplicitous Pakistanis who along with the Saudis created the Taliban in the first place going all the way back to the 80s. And while we are at it look at what the Great White Hope of Pakistan has to say about this:

    https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/taliban-has-broken-shackles-of-slavery-says-pak-pm-imran-khan-2511573#pfrom=home-ndtv_topscroll

  109. @Kuru
    @Grahamsno(G64)

    More badly aged products on behalf of Ghani

    https://i.imgur.com/NtKKQfU.jpeg

    Replies: @ivan

    Ashraf Ghani in Afghanistan seems a little like Ahmed Chalebi in Iraq. Someone whom the Americans supported to hear soothing nostrums so favoured by the neocohen set .

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
    @ivan

    That Ghani won a presidential election less than two years ago. It must have been a joke election.

    Replies: @ivan, @AnonFromTN

  110. @Wency
    @AnonfromTN

    You don't even have to think the US government cares about citizens for this to be a colossal screwup -- you just have to believe it cares about optics. Do you really think it's good optics for anybody at USG how quickly and totally this thing collapsed, or that American troops have had to fire on and kill desperate civilians (presumably mostly its one-time collaborators) at Kabul Airport while covering an ignominious retreat? How is that going to look on recruitment posters?

    Replies: @ivan, @AnonFromTN

    Biden runs scared to Camp David his dementia acting up. The perpetually horse-laughing Kamala is playing peek-a-boo. What can one say except that this must be the most incompetent US administration in living memory.

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    @ivan

    That's unfair to W.

    Replies: @A123

  111. @melanf

    And will the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan continue to recognize Crimea, as Hamid Karzai did?
     
    Does it make even the slightest difference? It seems to me that the meaning of this "recognition" is zero, nothing

    Replies: @reiner Tor

    I guess over time Russia would need to recruit a large number of countries to recognize the change, as the unrecognized status keeps causing constant issues, and the more countries recognize it, the fewer problems it’s going to cause. Of course that one country, especially such a poor and underdeveloped one as Afghanistan, makes basically no difference, but it’s worth enough to make it a disadvantage.

  112. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Exile

    The Taliban fought and sustained very high casualties for 20 years.

    Replies: @Wency

    Yeah, I think you’re basically right — even though I do agree there’s actually a lot of valid comparison to the Revolutionary War here.

    The Americans did take considerably more casualties than the British in that war. The Americans also could only decisively defeat the British when the British took big risks and then blundered them thoroughly. It was probably close to impossible for the 2001-2021 US military to commit a blunder quite as big as the Saratoga Campaign, for a variety of reasons (for one, even an isolated and outnumbered force could always call on air support), which is one reason why this war was able to last 20 years.

    But the Americans were incapable, at any point 1776-1783, of denying the British control of NYC, or of any other particular port city they wanted to occupy. Even with French help. Just as the US could have held Kabul and other key cities forever. But also, just like the British in the Revolutionary War, it didn’t have a large enough army to really occupy the country. All it could do was pass through an area and hope the collaborators it installed would keep things running when it left.

    It also seems that in some ways, the Loyalists in the American Revolution were the original collaborationist government, and they basically performed like one. Theoretically they were a large base of support for the British, but they fielded few troops and those they did field didn’t fight so well (though probably still better than the ANA).

  113. @HenryBaker
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Islamic societies tend to be clan-based and multi-ethnic because they're usually not based around a single ethnic group.

    In the case of Iran, I have to mention that it doesn't have a long history of being a nation-state, and indeed we might expect native Persians to be quite a servile lot for a long time. Ever since the Seljuks came in at about the 11th century, Iran was not ruled by Persians but various Turkmenes or Turkicized Kurds with a Mongol intermezzo. If you look at the origins of the Persian dynasties, they were anything but Persian. I believe that, at one point, Turkmenes even made up about 30% of the Persian population, and were the warrior caste (to the point of Mongols separating them from Persians and executing them en masse at times, during their conquest, it was clear what the hierarchy was).

    In the Same manner, Egypt (I believe) was never ruled by a native dynasty since the Muslim conquest, and administered by a slave caste. Likewise, Andalusia was a strictly ethnically hierarchichal state with arab clans at the top, berbers below, converted natives below them, and Mozarabs at the bottom. India was also conquered by Turkic warlords like Tughluq.

    So why does Islamic society not have a healthy national tradition? One aspect is the clannishness, but I also suspect it has to do with elites being to clearly foreign, Islamic states being so unstable, and Islamic natives often having to co-exist with these foreign warrior elites. That does not lend itself to strong nationalism. In such an unstable 'arcology' where the ruling elite has no interest in nationalism, what makes sense is clan and God (which everyone shares at least). States were simply meaningless.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon, @Bardon Kaldian

    I am not talking about that. When Christians gradually came to power & established themselves, however narrow minded they may have been through history, they preserved pre-Christian culture, even those works that frequently went against their central ideas: Virgil, Tacitus, Ovid, Suetonius, Horace, Seneca, Caesar, sculptures, architecture,… in the West, and Homer, Hesiod, Plato, Pindar,… in the East.

    When it came to China, Buddhism was transformed into Chinese Buddhism & nothing of non-Buddhist culture was lost.

    With Islam, Zoroastrians, who may have existed from 1300 BC, became a persecuted minority in their own land, land they had created & built into o world civilization & nothing pre-Islamic has remained in Iranian identity, with sole exception of Ferdowsi’s “Shahnameh”, which is a kind of oddity.

    Iran became just another Arabistan with local colors.

    • Agree: sher singh, Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @HenryBaker
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Ah, I see what you mean. I still think my point has some relevance, however. For one, Arabs also absorbed classical knowledge, but honestly, they didn't have much to build on (excepting maybe Persia). AFAIK they preserved mostly Greek stuff. I think they handled the ancient Greeks rather similarly to us, as being great philosophers and healers. So that's factor 1: lack of much tradition to preserve, to begin with.

    Factor 2: different establishment. Christianity was established more or less peacefully, with native aristocracies embracing the religion themselves. Islam was mostly spread by conquest and the uprooting of native aristocracies.
    Do not forget that the Roman empire itself destroyed native culture in Italy, Gaul, and Iberia. Castilian, Italian, French of course from Latin vulgates that had erased the languages previously spoken there. In that sense, Europeans at least once have created 'romanistans' like Islam created 'Arabistans'. Or look at South America: there, 'Castilistans' and 'Lusanistans' erased local culture. Cortes demolished Tenochlitan, paved it in, and built a huge damn cathedral right on top on the ruins of Aztec temples.
    Looking at it that way, Islam is not exceptional. The main difference does not seem to be 'Islam' or 'Christianity' but whether native aristocracies are replaced or not and whether the conquered population can offer some cultural resistance, as well as how stubbornly the foreign elites impose their own ways. The foreigner elites in Iran had no incentive to preserve much nationalism, I'd say. Almost all rulers at the time were Turks or at least Steppe people, like them. And Islamic states could rise and shatter and fall at any time.

    Factor 3: instability of states, and pervasive 'foreign-ness', I talked about before of ruling elites, as well as clan culture. Just no incentives to preserve national tradition. Most European states managed very long historical continuity as a state not defined by a dynasty or clan. In some form, France, Germany, Denmark, England etc. have existed continually for a milennium. Impossible to define state by clan if the Catholic church destroys within-clan marriage. This incentivizes a sense of historical continuity and national identity, hence national traditions. The Christian world is generally marked by continuity and native rule (in the sense of aristocracies, not kings), Islam by discord.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon, @Bardon Kaldian

  114. @ivan
    @Kuru

    Ashraf Ghani in Afghanistan seems a little like Ahmed Chalebi in Iraq. Someone whom the Americans supported to hear soothing nostrums so favoured by the neocohen set .

    Replies: @Commentator Mike

    That Ghani won a presidential election less than two years ago. It must have been a joke election.

    • Replies: @ivan
    @Commentator Mike

    I guess the Taliban didn't show up for the vote...

    Replies: @Wency

    , @AnonFromTN
    @Commentator Mike


    That Ghani won a presidential election less than two years ago. It must have been a joke election.
     
    That was not the last joke election. Corrupt senile walking corpse “won” the 2020 presidential elections.
  115. @Triteleia Laxa
    @sher singh

    Given that the Taliban took the whole country in just 10 days of the US leaving, despite some airpower continuing, the lesson is not only that the Afghan forces were "fake and gay," but also that actually the US military is most definitely not. If a 20 year long situation completely reverses within 10 days of a military force pulling out, it makes sense to infer that said military force is extremely powerful. 10,000 US troops are worth infinitely more than 350,000 Afghan ones.

    Though of course, inastute people will somehow miss this pretty obvious point.

    Replies: @Exile, @Passer by, @Daniel Chieh

    Actually the US was losing ground to the Taliban even when it was in the country. The Taliban were gradually capturing new ground regardless of US presence. It couldn’t handle the insurgency so it had to vacate various areas – see Korangal Valley, Kamdesh or Sangin.

    The Korangal Valley campaign was a series of military operations conducted by ISAF forces against Taliban insurgents in the Korangal Valley in Kunar province, Afghanistan, from October 2004 to April 2010. The campaign ended with a US withdrawal from the valley, after suffering heavy casualties, and a Taliban takeover of the area.

    • Thanks: reiner Tor
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Passer by

    The US was not able to provide an ideology that appealed to the population, but its also arguable that the US never really even created a decent situation of infrastructure and safety for the population due to massive organizational problems and amateurism involved.

  116. @Yellowface Anon
    @HenryBaker

    There are in fact many examples of foreign elites and warrior castes ruling over native populations in Europe, look at Norman England, the Habsburgs... but national identities replaced feudal, local, clan or religious ones just as religion and coherent tradition faded away.

    Replies: @HenryBaker

    Sorry man, had a long reply typed out but clicked away the tab. Short version: I think Norman England is an extreme example, and acculturation happened because of lack of clan culture (preventing out-marriage of normans). Nuclear family around since 12th century in England. Generally foreign Christian kings relied on native aristocracies, Habsburgs especially, and assimilated quickly. Turkmenes formed own caste.

  117. Crazy scenes ongoing at Kabul Airport

    Desperate Afghans are hanging on the plane tires and falling from the sky near the Kabul airport.

    This is PR disaster.

  118. Crazy.

    • Replies: @HenryBaker
    @Passer by

    Christ, that's terrible. Can't imagine how desperate you must be to do that.

    Replies: @Passer by

  119. @Bardon Kaldian
    @HenryBaker

    I am not talking about that. When Christians gradually came to power & established themselves, however narrow minded they may have been through history, they preserved pre-Christian culture, even those works that frequently went against their central ideas: Virgil, Tacitus, Ovid, Suetonius, Horace, Seneca, Caesar, sculptures, architecture,... in the West, and Homer, Hesiod, Plato, Pindar,... in the East.

    When it came to China, Buddhism was transformed into Chinese Buddhism & nothing of non-Buddhist culture was lost.

    With Islam, Zoroastrians, who may have existed from 1300 BC, became a persecuted minority in their own land, land they had created & built into o world civilization & nothing pre-Islamic has remained in Iranian identity, with sole exception of Ferdowsi's "Shahnameh", which is a kind of oddity.

    Iran became just another Arabistan with local colors.

    Replies: @HenryBaker

    Ah, I see what you mean. I still think my point has some relevance, however. For one, Arabs also absorbed classical knowledge, but honestly, they didn’t have much to build on (excepting maybe Persia). AFAIK they preserved mostly Greek stuff. I think they handled the ancient Greeks rather similarly to us, as being great philosophers and healers. So that’s factor 1: lack of much tradition to preserve, to begin with.

    Factor 2: different establishment. Christianity was established more or less peacefully, with native aristocracies embracing the religion themselves. Islam was mostly spread by conquest and the uprooting of native aristocracies.
    Do not forget that the Roman empire itself destroyed native culture in Italy, Gaul, and Iberia. Castilian, Italian, French of course from Latin vulgates that had erased the languages previously spoken there. In that sense, Europeans at least once have created ‘romanistans’ like Islam created ‘Arabistans’. Or look at South America: there, ‘Castilistans’ and ‘Lusanistans’ erased local culture. Cortes demolished Tenochlitan, paved it in, and built a huge damn cathedral right on top on the ruins of Aztec temples.
    Looking at it that way, Islam is not exceptional. The main difference does not seem to be ‘Islam’ or ‘Christianity’ but whether native aristocracies are replaced or not and whether the conquered population can offer some cultural resistance, as well as how stubbornly the foreign elites impose their own ways. The foreigner elites in Iran had no incentive to preserve much nationalism, I’d say. Almost all rulers at the time were Turks or at least Steppe people, like them. And Islamic states could rise and shatter and fall at any time.

    Factor 3: instability of states, and pervasive ‘foreign-ness’, I talked about before of ruling elites, as well as clan culture. Just no incentives to preserve national tradition. Most European states managed very long historical continuity as a state not defined by a dynasty or clan. In some form, France, Germany, Denmark, England etc. have existed continually for a milennium. Impossible to define state by clan if the Catholic church destroys within-clan marriage. This incentivizes a sense of historical continuity and national identity, hence national traditions. The Christian world is generally marked by continuity and native rule (in the sense of aristocracies, not kings), Islam by discord.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
    @HenryBaker

    You are right on cultural continuity, but the East managed to keep the relatively advanced economic structures left by the Romans and Persians while Europe slided into Feudalism.

    Tho I believe the coherence of nation-states was only formed in the early modern period where haphazardly-shaped feudal territories gain boundaries that are more finely national. Safavid Iran did a lot of modern state building until Afghan tribals overran the place, and this is why it is the major nation-state (despite clearly not contiguous with Persian and/or Iranic-speaking areas) in the Eastern half of the Middle East. Turkey underwent a process similar to Russia or Habsburgs under the Ottomans and ended up being of the same beast as modern Russia and Austria if you want to call them nation-states (only after much WWI-era ethnic cleansing, mind you). Barring small examples (Israel, South Caucasus, maybe Turkestan) craved out by strong European powers for nation-building, much of the rest (mainly Arabic-speaking but also Pakistan and Afghanistan) are largely "tribes with a flag" and the Quran.
    (I left out Albania and Bosnia [or Yugoslavia in general] since they are Christian-Muslim mixed and very exceptional cases in Europe and closer to the Romano-Germano-Slavic orbit.)

    , @Bardon Kaldian
    @HenryBaker

    It would take us too long to delve into nuances. So, shortly ...

    1. Islam should have stayed as some kind of mega-Judaism, an Arabic monotheism. But, because it overran other, already existent civilizations, it imposed itself culturally upon them. Due to the nature of Islam, they still pray in Arabic - unlike Christians, who pray in their native tongues. No such thing about Christians, no visible cultural Levantinization. For Christians, Christ is the Logos, and not some book; for Muslims, the Logos is the Quran- and only in Arabic. Therefore early translations of St. Jerome from Hebrew and Greek into Latin, and later, Greek teachers to Slavic languages, as well as modern vernaculars after the Reformation. Totally unlike Islam.

    Islam remains "Arabic" is the sense Christianity is not "Jewish". From the start, Christianity has been a fusion of intertestamental Judaism (Essenes), Orphism, a smattering of Platonism & other European, mostly Hellenic cultural traditions. True, Christianity is alien in spirit to the central European culture, Greco-Roman, but it has adapted. Jerusalem has been grafted on Athens and Rome.

    Another cultural issue is that Christians don't have their specific law- unlike Muslims, who have Shariah, which is basically the same as Jews and the Talmud. Christian law is based upon Roman law. And here is another, fundamental difference between Christianity and Islam.

    Most Christian practices are not Jewish in origin, but truly a new stuff. And I am not talking about high Christian culture, but more about ordinary religious practices and ways of life of most people.

    2. most Europeans did not possess any written culture that Christianity had subdued or eradicated. People who are now French, English, Germans, Spaniards, Poles, Russians ... have not had some written corpus of pre-Christian culture, while modern Italians and Greeks are peoples who have evolved, naturally, in the past 1500-2000 years from their ancient origins. Nobody forced them to abandon their practices - in fact, as we all know, Latin has remained the chief language of the West until the 18th C. If we count even marginal Europeans like Georgians and Armenians- they retained or developed their script and culture during Christianity.

    This is so unlike Iran, where a highly organized & rich ancient religion, ideatically the conceptual source of Christianity (resurrection, apocalypse, dualism, heaven and hell, the World Savior as God-Man, angelology & demonology, ..) had been virtually eradicated by Islamized Iranians (and they are persecuted as I write); Iranian script fell into disuse and they now use a modified Arabic; they explicitly have emotional affinity & essentially identification with Arabic Shiah Muslims, while they hate and persecute true, original Iranians, Zoroastrians.

    In other words, Iranians have lost somewhere between 1000 and 2000 years of their own history, which they hate as something alien, at least when it comes to a popular sentiment. Is there a way one can become more stupid?

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon, @Grahamsno(G64), @Showmethereal

  120. @Passer by
    Crazy.

    https://twitter.com/ragipsoylu/status/1427190886262353923

    Replies: @HenryBaker

    Christ, that’s terrible. Can’t imagine how desperate you must be to do that.

    • Replies: @Passer by
    @HenryBaker

    Ironically the airplane they fell from had the 11 09 number..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNCMt-P0O0U

  121. @Daniel Chieh
    @songbird

    Well, no, they do not have the same regard for safety as we do. They'd find this sort of thing okay.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1449kJKxlMQ

    The joys of old rounds.

    Replies: @songbird

    Bet it just ruins a wedding, when someone is firing one of those things into the air, and it explodes due to metal fatigue.

    • LOL: Daniel Chieh
  122. @Grahamsno(G64)
    @ivan

    From the article you posted Ashraf Ghani had actually coauthored a book

    Fixing failed states;

    A Framework for rebuilding a Shattered world

    Ha Ha

    https://www.google.com/books/edition/Fixing_Failed_States/IIc4YG59dB8C?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=ashraf+ghani+failed+states&printsec=frontcover

    Replies: @Kuru, @ivan, @Anatoly Karlin

    Yeah, he authored that book.

    As well as an article on Preparing for the Syrian Transition.

  123. @A123
    @Aedib

    It is not a binary situation in Afghanistan.

    • The USSR lost.
    • The SJW Globalists lost.

    Are the USSR and SJW Globalists on the same side? No.... This suggests that anyone (possibly everyone) can lose in Afghanistan.

    -- Pakistan cannot assimilate the "Tribal Region" adjacent to Afghanistan. Why would they try something ambitious that expands that problem? The ISI is aggressive, but not that crazy.

    -- CCP Elites think like you do. They want Silk Road colonists & settlers & expansion of Han ideology (a.k.a. Manifest CCP Destiny). What may save them is the "One Belt" concept. Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa are much less risky than repeating the mistakes of the SJW's and USSR.

    PEACE 😇

    Replies: @Philip Owen

    After a bad startr, the British Empire managed a kind of draw.

  124. The Byzantines never once thought it was a good idea to destroy Roman law, bureaucracy, currency, taxation and administration. Likewise regarding culture, Homer remained a central part of the curriculum. All of these institutions evolved over time but they remained clearly linked to Greco-Roman civilization despite the adoption of Christianity. The comparison to the Persians is probably unfair as the adoption of Christianity by the Romans/Byzantines was not conducted by an invading non-Roman group but largely by Greeks/Romans themselves. In comparison, the first century or so of Islamic rule over most of Persian by a non-Persian group who initially sought to not only impose their religion but also their language on the subject people. However, it did not take long for Persianisation to occur and even Iranian Islamic dynasties to arise. Over time the language survived but with largely Arabic characters, certain forms of titles like King of Kings, Nowruz and the Shahnameh. It was not a complete wipeout of Persia.

  125. @Bardon Kaldian
    @Daniel Chieh

    The bigger question remains: why are Islamic peoples so anti-national? Why can't they develop their own collective individuality, but they remain, forever, a sort of second-hand Arabs?

    I've read some minor works by a prominent 18th C Indian Muslim polymath Shah Wali-Ullah (on Sufism), but here's what he says about this real, social world:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shah_Waliullah_Dehlawi


    “Muslims, no matter where they live, wherever they spend their youthful days, they should in any case be completely separated from the natives of that country in their culture, traditions and mannerisms. And wherever they are, they must be immersed in their Arabic splendor and Arabic trends”
     

    “Beware! The rich intend to adopt the ways of strangers and non-Arabs and those who deviate from the right path, and tries to mix and be like them”.
     
    Such a splendid civilization as Iranian cannot break free from Islamic cast of mind & suppresses more than 1500 years of their own rich civilization.

    I can get Turks-they've had nothing before, actually. But Iranians show how poisonous Islam can be to other cultures.

    And for peoples, too - because Islam remains the primary collective loyalty. This we can see in the case of Pashtuns, who could, or could at least try to form their own nation-state which would include, at least in theory, parts of Pakistan. But no, they prefer fanatic idiocy of the Taliban.

    Maybe there is some kind of poetic justice in all that, because ditching Buddhism for Islam has sealed Afghan fate as a permanent dump.

    Replies: @HenryBaker, @Kuru, @Svevlad

    The bigger question remains: why are Islamic peoples so anti-national? Why can’t they develop their own collective individuality, but they remain, forever, a sort of second-hand Arabs?

    Some are worse than others in regards to this supranational allegiance.

    • Replies: @Shortsword, @Bardon Kaldian
    @Kuru

    First two examples are comparable, but the third is not. Unlike Christianity and Islam, Judaism is a national, ethnic & non- universalist religion, so for them their nationality is soaked in Jewish ethnic heritage. Not so with, say, various European and east Asians.

    They've been frank about it all the time, so to compare Judaism to Christianity and Buddhism and Islam is.. apples and oranges:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7SoKJwyGM8

    , @Wency
    @Kuru

    Well, for my part, I probably would have said "American first" in 2011, but "Christian first" in 2021.

    I also think this statement is somewhat aspirational. People recognize intellectually that Christ ought to come first and will sometimes respond accordingly when asked, but their sinful selves struggle to prioritize things that way in practice. In my case, I'd say it's more than aspirational, but I got there by becoming more skeptical of America, its ruling ideology, and even its founding ideology -- I'm not that much better of a Christian.

    My sense is that even among younger-than-40 conservative Christians, most don't see support for USG as support for Globohomo and the Pride Flag -- that's a minority view. Even among conservative *Catholics*, I'll add -- I have an atheist acquaintance whose three devout, under-40 Catholic brothers are all committed officers in USG's armed forces. He, the left-of-center atheist, is the only one skeptical of dying in USG's wars.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon

    , @Yellowface Anon
    @Kuru

    The only way Pakistanis can differentiate from their Hindu neighbors is to claim their Muslim identity. This is the destiny of Pakistan. Palestinians in Israel might be reacting to an explicitly Jewish presence, and maybe Lebanon too (the state being at least nominally Christian-dominated before '75). Despite the intentions of Ataturk, (from the Greek example) ethno-nationalism and religion are heavily intertwined and one easily mean another.

  126. After Afghanistan, maybe Siberia & the North Caucasus?

    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ

    • Replies: @Wency
    @sher singh

    That's the first I saw of that. Not a good look.

    Based on the way Taliban occupation of Kabul has proceeded, I think it looks like all of the civilians that the US cares to evacuate and that have made it to Kabul Airport will be allowed to evacuate. I would guess that incidents like "dogs before Afghans" will be somewhat (if not entirely) forgotten, once everyone is evacuated.

    There's no bringing back those dead bodies on the tarmac though. The image of people trying to cling to planes and falling to their deaths, or those apparently shot by US troops -- those will be remembered and used as a propaganda tool against USG's would-be collaborators all over the world until the end of days, or at least the end of USG's empire.

    , @El Dato
    @sher singh

    In the West, dogs are serious business!

  127. @Marshal Marlow
    @prime noticer


    ...and the real world training thousands of troops were getting in combat.
     
    I think it's arguable that a first world army is actually weakened if it spends its time killing-off bronze age goat herders. I suspect the lack of honour in those missions is a contributing factor to the PTSD numbers from Iraq and Afghanistan compared to PTSD attributable to soldiers in WW2.

    Replies: @Philip Owen

    Churchill had no problem about troops torching whole villages when he was in Afghanistan. He considered Pashtuns as failures to live a decent human life. That said, Churchill was not typical even then. Typical bloodthirsty cavalry officer. (Mostly journalist against the Pashtuns).

    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
    @Philip Owen

    FYI, Churchill sent the Black and Tans to Ireland!

    Replies: @Philip Owen

  128. @Kuru
    @Bardon Kaldian


    The bigger question remains: why are Islamic peoples so anti-national? Why can’t they develop their own collective individuality, but they remain, forever, a sort of second-hand Arabs?

     

    Some are worse than others in regards to this supranational allegiance.

    https://i.imgur.com/wLrqbWi.png

    Replies: @Shortsword, @Bardon Kaldian, @Wency, @Yellowface Anon

  129. @Commentator Mike
    @ivan

    That Ghani won a presidential election less than two years ago. It must have been a joke election.

    Replies: @ivan, @AnonFromTN

    I guess the Taliban didn’t show up for the vote…

    • Replies: @Wency
    @ivan

    I think turnout was something like 40% of registered and 30% of eligible voters. Though eligible voters, in turn, were only something like 30% of the population. Even relative to Afghanistan's child-heavy population structure, this seems at least 10 points too low, so I'm not sure if there's another factor.

  130. @ivan
    @Wency

    Biden runs scared to Camp David his dementia acting up. The perpetually horse-laughing Kamala is playing peek-a-boo. What can one say except that this must be the most incompetent US administration in living memory.

    Replies: @Philip Owen

    That’s unfair to W.

    • Replies: @A123
    @Philip Owen

    I thought it would be impossible to be a worse President than Obama. Not-The-President Biden proved me wrong.

    Withdrawing from the forever war in Afghanistan is the only correct decision Biden has made. And, the military is intentionally executing it as poorly as possible. Will the Generals be held accountable? It seems unlikely.

    PEACE 😇



    https://comicallyincorrect.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/02-worst-pres-la-1080-1050x750.jpg

    Replies: @Philip Owen

  131. What are military commanders telling the press about their Commander in Chief? (1)

    Biden Rejected Advice of Military Generals Ahead of Afghanistan Withdrawal

    The generals recommended that Biden leave behind a force of 2,500 servicemen in Afghanistan and negotiate with Taliban for a peace deal. Biden reportedly rejected their advice.

    The Wall Street Journal reported:

    In contrast to the numerous Trump policies he reversed, he opted to carry out Mr. Trump’s deal with the Taliban instead of trying to renegotiate it. In so doing, he overruled his top military commanders: Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East; Gen. Austin Scott Miller, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan; and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Citing the risks of removing American forces to Afghan security and the U.S. Embassy, they recommended that the U.S. keep 2,500 troops in Afghanistan while stepping up diplomacy to try to cement a peace agreement.

    PEACE 😇
    __________

    (1) https://conservativebrief.com/biden-military-48557/

  132. Poetic exposition of the Taliban’s ideology.

  133. @Triteleia Laxa
    @sher singh

    Given that the Taliban took the whole country in just 10 days of the US leaving, despite some airpower continuing, the lesson is not only that the Afghan forces were "fake and gay," but also that actually the US military is most definitely not. If a 20 year long situation completely reverses within 10 days of a military force pulling out, it makes sense to infer that said military force is extremely powerful. 10,000 US troops are worth infinitely more than 350,000 Afghan ones.

    Though of course, inastute people will somehow miss this pretty obvious point.

    Replies: @Exile, @Passer by, @Daniel Chieh

    Well, the Taliban are not the same people as the Afghan army. As for the US, they definitely failed their mission and of course had enormous technical assist. Of course, in a normal state of war, just saying “industrial/military technology shouldn’t matter” is pretty silly, but it is true that the mountain goatsmen were able to essentially conserve the main base of their power, and then strike back pretty overwhelmingly so. I saw reports of over 80k Talibans: without air intervention, there’s no way the returning 3k or 5k would have been able to withstand them.

    Now, how much of this is due to ISI providing a safe base from Talibs during the years plus weapons, training and intelligence is of course, another part. Nothing really should be taken away from the Talibs, though, who are just genuinely good fighters regardless of any of their other flaws.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    For the US, Afghanistan was a minor effort with a luxury, unrealistic aim, undertaken wearing kid gloves.

    It is not an indictment of the US at the moment, but of the US undertaking such fripperies.

    It just as clearly demonstrated the potency of the US's socio-cultural architecture in the US as it did its inapplicability to the technologically medieval Afghans.

    Many commentors rather stupidly want to turn the event into a morality play for their domestic political concerns, by making the Taliban something real, and the ANA into the progressives, but this is the opposite of the truth.

    The Taliban had more will than the ANA, just as the progressives have more will than the US conservative.

    The Taliban also pose zero threat to even the most minimal of direct US efforts. They are the biggest fish in the tiniest of ponds; while the progressives are the biggest fish in the biggest pond.

    1. The US lost 100 casualties a year.

    2. The US used the most restrictive ROE.

    3. The US is a naval power, making Afghanistan literally the very worst territory in the world to undertake this.

    4. The US didn't care

    I'd also bet that Taliban rule ends up a lot more liberal than it was last time.

    How desperate for a victorious avatar do these people have to be that they have to pretend that the Taliban can serve as it? It'd be like Romans looking at Caesar's leaving of the British Isles and trying to claim that it gives Iceni-adjacent politics more legitimacy in Rome. Actually, it is a lot worse than that. The Romans sustained far more serious casualties.

    Now there are lessons to be learned, but they apply to US foreign policy as regards the most backwards societies in the world. They are the opposite of universal.

    In a similar vein, there are a lot of people excitedly showing some Afghans laughing at a Western woman journalist's question about women voting. They conclude how "Chad" and awesome such Afghans are; but that's so sad. The Western woman journalist is slumming it and this will be the Afghan goatherder's brightest moment.

    A homeless man can laugh condescendingly at the former Mrs Bezos as she drives past, tossing a few Dollars out of the window, and I will be pleased for him. He controls his cardboard box on the street and I will be glad that he has the confidence in himself to be having some fun, but a political movement that aspires to be like him is a hopeless joke.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Svevlad, @Passer by

  134. @Kuru
    @Bardon Kaldian


    The bigger question remains: why are Islamic peoples so anti-national? Why can’t they develop their own collective individuality, but they remain, forever, a sort of second-hand Arabs?

     

    Some are worse than others in regards to this supranational allegiance.

    https://i.imgur.com/wLrqbWi.png

    Replies: @Shortsword, @Bardon Kaldian, @Wency, @Yellowface Anon

    First two examples are comparable, but the third is not. Unlike Christianity and Islam, Judaism is a national, ethnic & non- universalist religion, so for them their nationality is soaked in Jewish ethnic heritage. Not so with, say, various European and east Asians.

    They’ve been frank about it all the time, so to compare Judaism to Christianity and Buddhism and Islam is.. apples and oranges:

  135. @Philip Owen
    @ivan

    That's unfair to W.

    Replies: @A123

    I thought it would be impossible to be a worse President than Obama. Not-The-President Biden proved me wrong.

    Withdrawing from the forever war in Afghanistan is the only correct decision Biden has made. And, the military is intentionally executing it as poorly as possible. Will the Generals be held accountable? It seems unlikely.

    PEACE 😇

    [MORE]

    • Replies: @Philip Owen
    @A123

    Clinton was considerably worse than Obama who may have been the most competent President since Nixon from a lot of perspectives. The numbers were against him for legislation. Bush locked in Clinton's error in Kosovo very firmly. W was really bad from a foreign policy perspective. Misdirected responses to 9/11 thus war in Afanistan, Iraq and eventually Syria, humiliating Putin over missile locations, a non response to the invasion of Georgia, shifting NATO east if only nominally. So a mass of mixed messages.

    Mixed messages can be useful. Ethical, logical behavior is predictable. It can be countered. Acting like a lunatic makes counter moves difficult. Human survival depended on not being predictable to predators. Unfortunately, lunacy also makes things difficult for your own citizens.

  136. @Passer by
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Actually the US was losing ground to the Taliban even when it was in the country. The Taliban were gradually capturing new ground regardless of US presence. It couldn't handle the insurgency so it had to vacate various areas - see Korangal Valley, Kamdesh or Sangin.

    The Korangal Valley campaign was a series of military operations conducted by ISAF forces against Taliban insurgents in the Korangal Valley in Kunar province, Afghanistan, from October 2004 to April 2010. The campaign ended with a US withdrawal from the valley, after suffering heavy casualties, and a Taliban takeover of the area.
     

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    The US was not able to provide an ideology that appealed to the population, but its also arguable that the US never really even created a decent situation of infrastructure and safety for the population due to massive organizational problems and amateurism involved.

  137. @sher singh
    After Afghanistan, maybe Siberia & the North Caucasus?

    https://twitter.com/PSFAERO/status/1427229655006855169?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1427229655006855169%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=

    https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/640459736919048202/876702702376222720/unknown.png
    https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/640459736919048202/876701674658488370/unknown.png

    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ

    Replies: @Wency, @El Dato

    That’s the first I saw of that. Not a good look.

    Based on the way Taliban occupation of Kabul has proceeded, I think it looks like all of the civilians that the US cares to evacuate and that have made it to Kabul Airport will be allowed to evacuate. I would guess that incidents like “dogs before Afghans” will be somewhat (if not entirely) forgotten, once everyone is evacuated.

    There’s no bringing back those dead bodies on the tarmac though. The image of people trying to cling to planes and falling to their deaths, or those apparently shot by US troops — those will be remembered and used as a propaganda tool against USG’s would-be collaborators all over the world until the end of days, or at least the end of USG’s empire.

  138. @houston 1992
    @Anatoly Karlin

    as a layman , I thought the USA would fire some soon-to-be stale-ordinance cruise missiles at some bridges and roads, and that would hinder the rapid advance.

    2)btw are those helicopters the TAF (Taliban Air Force) are now operating, are they "ours" or Russian?

    3) did we leave any flight simulators behind --especially ones without software interlocks?

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    From what I’ve heard, the US officials were successfully intimidated by threats made by the Taliban might actually attack, kill Americans and parade their corpses in public – not without reason, I should add, since they interpret that the US should not intervene further in the war as part of the accords, and believe that airstrikes previously launched are violations. And so far, they’ve kept their word to avoid killing foreigners.

    While of course, slaughtering Americans could lead to even more intervention, it would also look terrible for the administration, and its not certain that there’s enough national will for returned intervention.

    Furthermore, the Taliban signaled that they didn’t have ultimate control of their troops, being essentially a mix of tribes after all, so giving them a reason to be “set off” would be very unwise.

    This resulted in the combination of panic and begging that we saw as they closed in.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    @Daniel Chieh


    ...combination of panic and begging that we saw
     
    Washington actually offered future aid money to buy its way out - embarrassing.

    Basically for Talebs the choice is: behave and maybe get some money in the future, or keep hostages to bargain with. Given the essentially medieval bandit nature of Taleban they will always go for the bird in hand. Massive bombing will do nothing and nobody is going back in.

    The Afghanistan debacle shows both strategic and tactical ineptness - as if smarter people are trying to inoculate West against similar foolishness in the future. We may have a few years of peace - then it will start all over again, too much $ and too many careers at stake. But this is not good for Bush-Blair crowd, they will be verbally sacrificed.

    Replies: @Randy Dazzler

  139. @Kuru
    @Bardon Kaldian


    The bigger question remains: why are Islamic peoples so anti-national? Why can’t they develop their own collective individuality, but they remain, forever, a sort of second-hand Arabs?

     

    Some are worse than others in regards to this supranational allegiance.

    https://i.imgur.com/wLrqbWi.png

    Replies: @Shortsword, @Bardon Kaldian, @Wency, @Yellowface Anon

    Well, for my part, I probably would have said “American first” in 2011, but “Christian first” in 2021.

    I also think this statement is somewhat aspirational. People recognize intellectually that Christ ought to come first and will sometimes respond accordingly when asked, but their sinful selves struggle to prioritize things that way in practice. In my case, I’d say it’s more than aspirational, but I got there by becoming more skeptical of America, its ruling ideology, and even its founding ideology — I’m not that much better of a Christian.

    My sense is that even among younger-than-40 conservative Christians, most don’t see support for USG as support for Globohomo and the Pride Flag — that’s a minority view. Even among conservative *Catholics*, I’ll add — I have an atheist acquaintance whose three devout, under-40 Catholic brothers are all committed officers in USG’s armed forces. He, the left-of-center atheist, is the only one skeptical of dying in USG’s wars.

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
    @Wency

    Being an agnostic (maybe a bit of spiritual Taoist) myself my biggest loyalties are my ideology, and then my locality (since defining nationality in my case is genuinely sensitive). But they need not be in conflict and if both reinforce each other, for those who want anchors in their lives, the better.

  140. @ivan
    @Commentator Mike

    I guess the Taliban didn't show up for the vote...

    Replies: @Wency

    I think turnout was something like 40% of registered and 30% of eligible voters. Though eligible voters, in turn, were only something like 30% of the population. Even relative to Afghanistan’s child-heavy population structure, this seems at least 10 points too low, so I’m not sure if there’s another factor.

    • Thanks: ivan
  141. @HenryBaker
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Ah, I see what you mean. I still think my point has some relevance, however. For one, Arabs also absorbed classical knowledge, but honestly, they didn't have much to build on (excepting maybe Persia). AFAIK they preserved mostly Greek stuff. I think they handled the ancient Greeks rather similarly to us, as being great philosophers and healers. So that's factor 1: lack of much tradition to preserve, to begin with.

    Factor 2: different establishment. Christianity was established more or less peacefully, with native aristocracies embracing the religion themselves. Islam was mostly spread by conquest and the uprooting of native aristocracies.
    Do not forget that the Roman empire itself destroyed native culture in Italy, Gaul, and Iberia. Castilian, Italian, French of course from Latin vulgates that had erased the languages previously spoken there. In that sense, Europeans at least once have created 'romanistans' like Islam created 'Arabistans'. Or look at South America: there, 'Castilistans' and 'Lusanistans' erased local culture. Cortes demolished Tenochlitan, paved it in, and built a huge damn cathedral right on top on the ruins of Aztec temples.
    Looking at it that way, Islam is not exceptional. The main difference does not seem to be 'Islam' or 'Christianity' but whether native aristocracies are replaced or not and whether the conquered population can offer some cultural resistance, as well as how stubbornly the foreign elites impose their own ways. The foreigner elites in Iran had no incentive to preserve much nationalism, I'd say. Almost all rulers at the time were Turks or at least Steppe people, like them. And Islamic states could rise and shatter and fall at any time.

    Factor 3: instability of states, and pervasive 'foreign-ness', I talked about before of ruling elites, as well as clan culture. Just no incentives to preserve national tradition. Most European states managed very long historical continuity as a state not defined by a dynasty or clan. In some form, France, Germany, Denmark, England etc. have existed continually for a milennium. Impossible to define state by clan if the Catholic church destroys within-clan marriage. This incentivizes a sense of historical continuity and national identity, hence national traditions. The Christian world is generally marked by continuity and native rule (in the sense of aristocracies, not kings), Islam by discord.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon, @Bardon Kaldian

    You are right on cultural continuity, but the East managed to keep the relatively advanced economic structures left by the Romans and Persians while Europe slided into Feudalism.

    Tho I believe the coherence of nation-states was only formed in the early modern period where haphazardly-shaped feudal territories gain boundaries that are more finely national. Safavid Iran did a lot of modern state building until Afghan tribals overran the place, and this is why it is the major nation-state (despite clearly not contiguous with Persian and/or Iranic-speaking areas) in the Eastern half of the Middle East. Turkey underwent a process similar to Russia or Habsburgs under the Ottomans and ended up being of the same beast as modern Russia and Austria if you want to call them nation-states (only after much WWI-era ethnic cleansing, mind you). Barring small examples (Israel, South Caucasus, maybe Turkestan) craved out by strong European powers for nation-building, much of the rest (mainly Arabic-speaking but also Pakistan and Afghanistan) are largely “tribes with a flag” and the Quran.
    (I left out Albania and Bosnia [or Yugoslavia in general] since they are Christian-Muslim mixed and very exceptional cases in Europe and closer to the Romano-Germano-Slavic orbit.)

  142. Wonder what the average IQ of the Vietnamese who managed to board helicopters was. Weren’t they primarily the officer corps and their families? How many SD above the average Afghan airplane clinger?

    One way to show the decline of the US is that it was trying to nation build in dumber and more fractious countries. Will the Congo be next?

    • Replies: @Johann Ricke
    @songbird


    Wonder what the average IQ of the Vietnamese who managed to board helicopters was. Weren’t they primarily the officer corps and their families? How many SD above the average Afghan airplane clinger?
     
    In a country like Afghanistan, where universal education doesn't exist, it's likely that a good bunch of untapped talent exists. Ditto with South Vietnam during the exodus of the mid-1970's. The problem with Afghan migrants is religious zealotry. Still, the US remains an extremely seductive melting pot. I am personally acquainted with a number of Afghans who are nominal Muslims, at best. Tribal when challenged about Islam, but never go to mosque, et al.
  143. • Thanks: mal
    • Replies: @mal
    @Shortsword

    He may be crazier than a bag of weasels, but certainly an interesting take.


    This points to the most remarkable feature of Liberalism in One Country. It allows the Democratic Party to harness and benefit from revolutionary defeatism while they are in power. They can engineer strategic defeats for the United States and then leverage these into domestic victories. The effect is a mortgaged retreat of the United States, where its position, and by extension that of democracies globally, are traded piecemeal to the Axis for domestic political victories.
     
    He is like modern day Trotsky.
  144. @Kuru
    @Bardon Kaldian


    The bigger question remains: why are Islamic peoples so anti-national? Why can’t they develop their own collective individuality, but they remain, forever, a sort of second-hand Arabs?

     

    Some are worse than others in regards to this supranational allegiance.

    https://i.imgur.com/wLrqbWi.png

    Replies: @Shortsword, @Bardon Kaldian, @Wency, @Yellowface Anon

    The only way Pakistanis can differentiate from their Hindu neighbors is to claim their Muslim identity. This is the destiny of Pakistan. Palestinians in Israel might be reacting to an explicitly Jewish presence, and maybe Lebanon too (the state being at least nominally Christian-dominated before ’75). Despite the intentions of Ataturk, (from the Greek example) ethno-nationalism and religion are heavily intertwined and one easily mean another.

  145. @Wency
    @Kuru

    Well, for my part, I probably would have said "American first" in 2011, but "Christian first" in 2021.

    I also think this statement is somewhat aspirational. People recognize intellectually that Christ ought to come first and will sometimes respond accordingly when asked, but their sinful selves struggle to prioritize things that way in practice. In my case, I'd say it's more than aspirational, but I got there by becoming more skeptical of America, its ruling ideology, and even its founding ideology -- I'm not that much better of a Christian.

    My sense is that even among younger-than-40 conservative Christians, most don't see support for USG as support for Globohomo and the Pride Flag -- that's a minority view. Even among conservative *Catholics*, I'll add -- I have an atheist acquaintance whose three devout, under-40 Catholic brothers are all committed officers in USG's armed forces. He, the left-of-center atheist, is the only one skeptical of dying in USG's wars.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon

    Being an agnostic (maybe a bit of spiritual Taoist) myself my biggest loyalties are my ideology, and then my locality (since defining nationality in my case is genuinely sensitive). But they need not be in conflict and if both reinforce each other, for those who want anchors in their lives, the better.

  146. Additional analysis about the global impact from Afghanistan: [1]

    (1) The Muslim Brotherhood. Already reports from Qatar that MB leadership is heading back into Afghanistan. This is predictable. The Muslim Brotherhood is the political umbrella for authentic Islam (ie. extremists). The Brotherhood supports the al-Qaeda regional affiliates including the Taliban, al-Nusra, and others. Qatar is the financial center of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Brotherhood is political Islam.

    (3) Turkey. Unfortunately for Europe, Turkey is both a NATO member (stupid decision) and aligned in common cause with the Muslim Brotherhood. Turkish President Recep Erdogan has previously given safe harbor to the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood upon their exit from Qatar, when the Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Bahrain) demanded Qatar stop supporting terrorists (the Brotherhood).

    The EU will not want to recognize the Taliban, but Turkey most certainly will… regardless of what the EU wants, because Erdogan is aligned with extremist Islam. Europe is weak and always ends up acquiescing to the threats of Turkey; so don’t look for much other than pearl clutching from NATO members about it.

    (4) Europe. As noted above, the EU doesn’t support Islamic extremism; however, the EU is now infiltrated with Islamic extremism, and the EU is too worried about cultural sensitivities to do anything about it. They will likely try another round of multiculturalism advocacy, which will likely end just like the last time with fracture and cultural crisis because the Islamic extremists attack, murder and rape too many EU people. It will be a mess again.

    NATO is an even bigger loser after this. Minimal cohesion headed towards zero. With luck, it should head off any plans for NATO troops in Ukraine.

    Egypt should be mentioned. They managed to beat back the Muslim Terrorist Brotherhood. An emboldened Terrorist Brotherhood is not good for them.

    PEACE 😇
    __________

    [1] https://theconservativetreehouse.com/blog/2021/08/15/afghanistan-under-taliban-rule-reconstitutes-the-weird-stuff-again/

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
    @A123

    The Taliban would be wise not to allow foreign terrorists to train on their soil like before. If they do they could expect continual air raids on those camps and other targets by Russia, China, even Iran and NATO.

  147. Foreign policy wise Biden is quite a bit better than moron Trump so far.
    Biden not only got out of MeatballStan but destroyed the credibility of the entire military industrial complex in doing so.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    @nickels


    ...Foreign policy wise Biden is quite a bit better than moron Trump so far.
     
    True. It says that at least some in Washington realized that the end of is near, no point in jumping into the abyss. Biden lives in an assisted living facility, so they assisted. What happens, mostly has to happen - the personalities are just a distraction.

    It is still better than all those boastful, empty speeches at stadiums. And hiring Bolton&Co. to have someone to argue with - as Trump justified it, incredible.
  148. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Beckow

    Don't be silly. There's not one Vietnam film like that and it has been 50 years.

    Replies: @Beckow, @Daniel Chieh

    There is not a single one about the defeat either.

    The Hollywood Vietnam movies are mostly solipsistic exercises in narcism: poor us, how painful it was to massacre the gooks?…the ones about Afghanistan and Iraq so far are along the same lines, why would it change? Now, that is silly…

    • Troll: Triteleia Laxa
    • Replies: @Wency
    @Beckow

    Well, I do think your perspective is the opposite of reality -- I'd be really curious to hear your commentary on a film like Platoon, Hamburger Hill, or Full Metal Jacket and their rose-colored view towards Vietnam and the victorious American soldier.


    the ones about Afghanistan and Iraq so far are along the same lines, why would it change?
     
    People actually do change their perspectives on things based on how they end. In the case of Vietnam, compare A Yank in Vietnam (1964) or Green Berets (1968) -- both pro-war films -- to basically everything made after 1975.

    Not only are films about the war universally negative on it, but even films that touch peripherally on Vietnam always portray it negatively. In Forest Gump, it's how Forest loses his best friend and another friend loses his legs, without any suggestion that any of it served any purpose. In Jacob's Ladder, it's presented as a site of weird Agent Orange-like experiments. In First Blood or Deer Hunter, it's a source of forgotten and mentally imbalanced veterans. I could go on.

    Replies: @Beckow

  149. @nickels
    Foreign policy wise Biden is quite a bit better than moron Trump so far.
    Biden not only got out of MeatballStan but destroyed the credibility of the entire military industrial complex in doing so.

    Replies: @Beckow

    …Foreign policy wise Biden is quite a bit better than moron Trump so far.

    True. It says that at least some in Washington realized that the end of is near, no point in jumping into the abyss. Biden lives in an assisted living facility, so they assisted. What happens, mostly has to happen – the personalities are just a distraction.

    It is still better than all those boastful, empty speeches at stadiums. And hiring Bolton&Co. to have someone to argue with – as Trump justified it, incredible.

    • Agree: nickels
  150. @Wency
    @AnonfromTN

    You don't even have to think the US government cares about citizens for this to be a colossal screwup -- you just have to believe it cares about optics. Do you really think it's good optics for anybody at USG how quickly and totally this thing collapsed, or that American troops have had to fire on and kill desperate civilians (presumably mostly its one-time collaborators) at Kabul Airport while covering an ignominious retreat? How is that going to look on recruitment posters?

    Replies: @ivan, @AnonFromTN

    How is that going to look on recruitment posters?

    Does any truth ever end up on recruitment posters?

  151. @A123
    Additional analysis about the global impact from Afghanistan: [1]

    (1) The Muslim Brotherhood. Already reports from Qatar that MB leadership is heading back into Afghanistan. This is predictable. The Muslim Brotherhood is the political umbrella for authentic Islam (ie. extremists). The Brotherhood supports the al-Qaeda regional affiliates including the Taliban, al-Nusra, and others. Qatar is the financial center of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Brotherhood is political Islam.
    ...
    (3) Turkey. Unfortunately for Europe, Turkey is both a NATO member (stupid decision) and aligned in common cause with the Muslim Brotherhood. Turkish President Recep Erdogan has previously given safe harbor to the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood upon their exit from Qatar, when the Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, UAE, Oman, Bahrain) demanded Qatar stop supporting terrorists (the Brotherhood).

    The EU will not want to recognize the Taliban, but Turkey most certainly will… regardless of what the EU wants, because Erdogan is aligned with extremist Islam. Europe is weak and always ends up acquiescing to the threats of Turkey; so don’t look for much other than pearl clutching from NATO members about it.

    (4) Europe. As noted above, the EU doesn’t support Islamic extremism; however, the EU is now infiltrated with Islamic extremism, and the EU is too worried about cultural sensitivities to do anything about it. They will likely try another round of multiculturalism advocacy, which will likely end just like the last time with fracture and cultural crisis because the Islamic extremists attack, murder and rape too many EU people. It will be a mess again.
     
    NATO is an even bigger loser after this. Minimal cohesion headed towards zero. With luck, it should head off any plans for NATO troops in Ukraine.

    Egypt should be mentioned. They managed to beat back the Muslim Terrorist Brotherhood. An emboldened Terrorist Brotherhood is not good for them.

    PEACE 😇
    __________

    [1] https://theconservativetreehouse.com/blog/2021/08/15/afghanistan-under-taliban-rule-reconstitutes-the-weird-stuff-again/

    Replies: @Commentator Mike

    The Taliban would be wise not to allow foreign terrorists to train on their soil like before. If they do they could expect continual air raids on those camps and other targets by Russia, China, even Iran and NATO.

  152. @Commentator Mike
    @ivan

    That Ghani won a presidential election less than two years ago. It must have been a joke election.

    Replies: @ivan, @AnonFromTN

    That Ghani won a presidential election less than two years ago. It must have been a joke election.

    That was not the last joke election. Corrupt senile walking corpse “won” the 2020 presidential elections.

  153. @Daniel Chieh
    @houston 1992

    From what I've heard, the US officials were successfully intimidated by threats made by the Taliban might actually attack, kill Americans and parade their corpses in public - not without reason, I should add, since they interpret that the US should not intervene further in the war as part of the accords, and believe that airstrikes previously launched are violations. And so far, they've kept their word to avoid killing foreigners.

    While of course, slaughtering Americans could lead to even more intervention, it would also look terrible for the administration, and its not certain that there's enough national will for returned intervention.

    Furthermore, the Taliban signaled that they didn't have ultimate control of their troops, being essentially a mix of tribes after all, so giving them a reason to be "set off" would be very unwise.

    This resulted in the combination of panic and begging that we saw as they closed in.

    Replies: @Beckow

    …combination of panic and begging that we saw

    Washington actually offered future aid money to buy its way out – embarrassing.

    Basically for Talebs the choice is: behave and maybe get some money in the future, or keep hostages to bargain with. Given the essentially medieval bandit nature of Taleban they will always go for the bird in hand. Massive bombing will do nothing and nobody is going back in.

    The Afghanistan debacle shows both strategic and tactical ineptness – as if smarter people are trying to inoculate West against similar foolishness in the future. We may have a few years of peace – then it will start all over again, too much \$ and too many careers at stake. But this is not good for Bush-Blair crowd, they will be verbally sacrificed.

    • Replies: @Randy Dazzler
    @Beckow


    But this is not good for Bush-Blair crowd, they will be verbally sacrificed.
     
    They should be put on trial, domestically and internationally. There are no Statue of Limitations on these matters.

    Personally, I believe that the power to put some one to death is too great, and too corruptible, to be in the hands on any government. Cases like these are the strongest counter argument.

    The investigations should be deep and wide. It is time for the American people to find out what has been done in their name under the shroud and Color of Authority. C'mon congresscritters, start with the easy stuff and then, little by little, the stuff the was supposed to really stay hidden will come out.

    Set an example. It should be a long time before War Profiteering is cool again.

    Let's bring Honor and Integrity back into foreign relations. All parties.

    Replies: @Beckow

  154. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Beckow

    Don't be silly. There's not one Vietnam film like that and it has been 50 years.

    Replies: @Beckow, @Daniel Chieh

    We Were Soldiers reasonably follows that idea, though it ends rather soberly with the NV still resolute.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    It will be done: they came, they won, they conquered.

    Has any nation ever engaged in such a long war, won such a high proportion of the tactical engagements and yet produced so little art that comes close to the above in theme?

    Beckow's image of the US is inverse to reality. People are hilarious.

    Replies: @Beckow

    , @Wency
    @Daniel Chieh

    I agree that it's just about the optimistic one I can think of, but it's still a somber affair. It honors the fighting spirit and tactical accomplishments of the US soldier (and, interestingly, the NVA soldier as well) more than a film like Platoon. But it still has two essential elements of practically every Vietnam War film: a pervading sense of doom, and a confirmation at the end that there's nothing to how for all the effort besides a list of American dead.

  155. @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Well, the Taliban are not the same people as the Afghan army. As for the US, they definitely failed their mission and of course had enormous technical assist. Of course, in a normal state of war, just saying "industrial/military technology shouldn't matter" is pretty silly, but it is true that the mountain goatsmen were able to essentially conserve the main base of their power, and then strike back pretty overwhelmingly so. I saw reports of over 80k Talibans: without air intervention, there's no way the returning 3k or 5k would have been able to withstand them.

    Now, how much of this is due to ISI providing a safe base from Talibs during the years plus weapons, training and intelligence is of course, another part. Nothing really should be taken away from the Talibs, though, who are just genuinely good fighters regardless of any of their other flaws.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    For the US, Afghanistan was a minor effort with a luxury, unrealistic aim, undertaken wearing kid gloves.

    It is not an indictment of the US at the moment, but of the US undertaking such fripperies.

    It just as clearly demonstrated the potency of the US’s socio-cultural architecture in the US as it did its inapplicability to the technologically medieval Afghans.

    Many commentors rather stupidly want to turn the event into a morality play for their domestic political concerns, by making the Taliban something real, and the ANA into the progressives, but this is the opposite of the truth.

    The Taliban had more will than the ANA, just as the progressives have more will than the US conservative.

    The Taliban also pose zero threat to even the most minimal of direct US efforts. They are the biggest fish in the tiniest of ponds; while the progressives are the biggest fish in the biggest pond.

    1. The US lost 100 casualties a year.

    2. The US used the most restrictive ROE.

    3. The US is a naval power, making Afghanistan literally the very worst territory in the world to undertake this.

    4. The US didn’t care

    I’d also bet that Taliban rule ends up a lot more liberal than it was last time.

    How desperate for a victorious avatar do these people have to be that they have to pretend that the Taliban can serve as it? It’d be like Romans looking at Caesar’s leaving of the British Isles and trying to claim that it gives Iceni-adjacent politics more legitimacy in Rome. Actually, it is a lot worse than that. The Romans sustained far more serious casualties.

    Now there are lessons to be learned, but they apply to US foreign policy as regards the most backwards societies in the world. They are the opposite of universal.

    In a similar vein, there are a lot of people excitedly showing some Afghans laughing at a Western woman journalist’s question about women voting. They conclude how “Chad” and awesome such Afghans are; but that’s so sad. The Western woman journalist is slumming it and this will be the Afghan goatherder’s brightest moment.

    A homeless man can laugh condescendingly at the former Mrs Bezos as she drives past, tossing a few Dollars out of the window, and I will be pleased for him. He controls his cardboard box on the street and I will be glad that he has the confidence in himself to be having some fun, but a political movement that aspires to be like him is a hopeless joke.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa

    This is silly, this is not some psychological game, this is a geopolitical disaster for the US. Losing that geography has major strategic and economic consequences.

    Correlation to Roman occupation is inaccurate, this has not led to memetic spread of liberal or American values besides the spread of energy drinks.


    The Western woman journalist is slumming it and this will be the Afghan goatherder’s brightest moment.
     
    The constant assumption that this has to do primarily to do with goatherders is a fundamental error in reality, which if adhered to, will lead to further losses. Its part of a much larger game, in which the "goatherders" are an important but hardly the only part.

    The US didn’t care
     
    Don't caring to the sound of two trillion.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Mr. Hack

    , @Svevlad
    @Triteleia Laxa

    You overestimate people too much. It's all narratives - all in all, nothing has actually changed, and the war really was chump change compared to the capabilities of the US...

    But, there's that vicious thing called "subjectiveness." People saw the US leave, basically with it's tail between it's legs, and are now laughing.

    It's less Mrs Bezos and more thugs in some shitty inner city ghetto that should be used as incendiary projectile testing grounds - the toughest guy on the block decided to go easy on the annoying crackhead, decided it wasn't worth his time, but unfortunately for him, the crackhead lunged with a knife as he was heading out, and he had to dodge it but still yelped in surprise, and despite the fact that objectively he's still the toughest guy, everyone saw and is laughing at him and his respect is in the gutter, as is his capability to summon his gangbanger underlings.

    , @Passer by
    @Triteleia Laxa


    The US lost 100 casualties a year.
     
    To be fair, the US lost around 6000 killed and 40 000 wounded, after contractors are taken into account.

    wearing kid gloves.
     
    Actually the CIA ran death squads in Afghanistan to do the dirty work and avoid war crime accusations against the military. Look up Khost Protection Force.
  156. @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa

    We Were Soldiers reasonably follows that idea, though it ends rather soberly with the NV still resolute.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Wency

    It will be done: they came, they won, they conquered.

    Has any nation ever engaged in such a long war, won such a high proportion of the tactical engagements and yet produced so little art that comes close to the above in theme?

    Beckow’s image of the US is inverse to reality. People are hilarious.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Reality has many sides - you focus on the feel-good, self-medication side of it. It looks desperate.

    You lost, run out of Kabul with nothing to show for it. Nato soldiers were hiding at their bases and not fighting. As I said many times: they know how to kill, but not how to die. You don't win without both, so they lose again and again. The Afghan army took the money and didn't even pretend to fight. The fact that is a surprise to many in Washington shows how detached and corrupt they are. Or they could just be stupid.

    So tell us about a single realistic Vietnam war movie. Just one that describes the defeat and doesn't sugarcoat it. It will be the same with Afghanistan. There is no lying more harmful than lying to self. Why are you so much into it? And we are back to self-medication...

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

  157. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    For the US, Afghanistan was a minor effort with a luxury, unrealistic aim, undertaken wearing kid gloves.

    It is not an indictment of the US at the moment, but of the US undertaking such fripperies.

    It just as clearly demonstrated the potency of the US's socio-cultural architecture in the US as it did its inapplicability to the technologically medieval Afghans.

    Many commentors rather stupidly want to turn the event into a morality play for their domestic political concerns, by making the Taliban something real, and the ANA into the progressives, but this is the opposite of the truth.

    The Taliban had more will than the ANA, just as the progressives have more will than the US conservative.

    The Taliban also pose zero threat to even the most minimal of direct US efforts. They are the biggest fish in the tiniest of ponds; while the progressives are the biggest fish in the biggest pond.

    1. The US lost 100 casualties a year.

    2. The US used the most restrictive ROE.

    3. The US is a naval power, making Afghanistan literally the very worst territory in the world to undertake this.

    4. The US didn't care

    I'd also bet that Taliban rule ends up a lot more liberal than it was last time.

    How desperate for a victorious avatar do these people have to be that they have to pretend that the Taliban can serve as it? It'd be like Romans looking at Caesar's leaving of the British Isles and trying to claim that it gives Iceni-adjacent politics more legitimacy in Rome. Actually, it is a lot worse than that. The Romans sustained far more serious casualties.

    Now there are lessons to be learned, but they apply to US foreign policy as regards the most backwards societies in the world. They are the opposite of universal.

    In a similar vein, there are a lot of people excitedly showing some Afghans laughing at a Western woman journalist's question about women voting. They conclude how "Chad" and awesome such Afghans are; but that's so sad. The Western woman journalist is slumming it and this will be the Afghan goatherder's brightest moment.

    A homeless man can laugh condescendingly at the former Mrs Bezos as she drives past, tossing a few Dollars out of the window, and I will be pleased for him. He controls his cardboard box on the street and I will be glad that he has the confidence in himself to be having some fun, but a political movement that aspires to be like him is a hopeless joke.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Svevlad, @Passer by

    This is silly, this is not some psychological game, this is a geopolitical disaster for the US. Losing that geography has major strategic and economic consequences.

    Correlation to Roman occupation is inaccurate, this has not led to memetic spread of liberal or American values besides the spread of energy drinks.

    The Western woman journalist is slumming it and this will be the Afghan goatherder’s brightest moment.

    The constant assumption that this has to do primarily to do with goatherders is a fundamental error in reality, which if adhered to, will lead to further losses. Its part of a much larger game, in which the “goatherders” are an important but hardly the only part.

    The US didn’t care

    Don’t caring to the sound of two trillion.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    Afghanistan may be the least important ground for the US in the entire world.

    There may be some African countries that are just as irrelevant.

    The $2 trillion thrown away on nothing is a sign of ridiculous strength. No other polity could do that on a whim and forget about it on a few months, as will happen.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @El Dato, @Philip Owen

    , @Mr. Hack
    @Daniel Chieh


    Correlation to Roman occupation is inaccurate, this has not led to memetic spread of liberal or American values besides the spread of energy drinks.
     
    The spread of energy drinks may have greater soft power consequences than you might currently imagine. I found this out last night after viewing a Swedish film about a double spy (101 years old) who was involved in an operation to sell the rights of a soviet made soda-pop that would put Coca Cola and its imitators out of business in the world economy of the cold war era, "Folksoda". Watch it to escape the depressing world that we find ourselves involved with today:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/2/2b/The_101-Year-Old_Man_Who_Skipped_Out_on_the_Bill_and_Disappeared.jpg/220px-The_101-Year-Old_Man_Who_Skipped_Out_on_the_Bill_and_Disappeared.jpg
    :-)

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  158. @A123
    @Philip Owen

    I thought it would be impossible to be a worse President than Obama. Not-The-President Biden proved me wrong.

    Withdrawing from the forever war in Afghanistan is the only correct decision Biden has made. And, the military is intentionally executing it as poorly as possible. Will the Generals be held accountable? It seems unlikely.

    PEACE 😇



    https://comicallyincorrect.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/02-worst-pres-la-1080-1050x750.jpg

    Replies: @Philip Owen

    Clinton was considerably worse than Obama who may have been the most competent President since Nixon from a lot of perspectives. The numbers were against him for legislation. Bush locked in Clinton’s error in Kosovo very firmly. W was really bad from a foreign policy perspective. Misdirected responses to 9/11 thus war in Afanistan, Iraq and eventually Syria, humiliating Putin over missile locations, a non response to the invasion of Georgia, shifting NATO east if only nominally. So a mass of mixed messages.

    Mixed messages can be useful. Ethical, logical behavior is predictable. It can be countered. Acting like a lunatic makes counter moves difficult. Human survival depended on not being predictable to predators. Unfortunately, lunacy also makes things difficult for your own citizens.

  159. @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa

    This is silly, this is not some psychological game, this is a geopolitical disaster for the US. Losing that geography has major strategic and economic consequences.

    Correlation to Roman occupation is inaccurate, this has not led to memetic spread of liberal or American values besides the spread of energy drinks.


    The Western woman journalist is slumming it and this will be the Afghan goatherder’s brightest moment.
     
    The constant assumption that this has to do primarily to do with goatherders is a fundamental error in reality, which if adhered to, will lead to further losses. Its part of a much larger game, in which the "goatherders" are an important but hardly the only part.

    The US didn’t care
     
    Don't caring to the sound of two trillion.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Mr. Hack

    Afghanistan may be the least important ground for the US in the entire world.

    There may be some African countries that are just as irrelevant.

    The \$2 trillion thrown away on nothing is a sign of ridiculous strength. No other polity could do that on a whim and forget about it on a few months, as will happen.

    • Agree: Philip Owen
    • Troll: Showmethereal
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa


    Afghanistan may be the least important ground for the US in the entire world.
     
    Post #49 adequately summarizes it, it is quite significant strategic ground lost and indicates total collapse of further ability to project power over much of Eurasia.

    I've personally engaged in and literally destroyed organizations with your form of thinking: resources are not infinite and defeats can easily multiply: each position in weakness can open a gap to further defeats. There is a thing called "momentum" - collapse of momentum will mean that your mass will work against, not for you.

    In chess, losing a pawn can be a disaster not because the pawn itself is the most important piece materially, but because it reduces control over a limited area, and thus allows the opponent to develop an attack with relative safety against you. That's the form of thinking that you should be using.

    This is just further evidence that women lack the range of awareness for any military/political decisions.

    Replies: @Beckow, @Triteleia Laxa, @Wency

    , @El Dato
    @Triteleia Laxa


    The $2 trillion thrown away on nothing is a sign of ridiculous strength. No other polity could do that on a whim and forget about it on a few months, as will happen.
     
    Marie Antoinette, please.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    , @Philip Owen
    @Triteleia Laxa

    The British Empire at its Anglo-Indian peak also did it. Twice. Victoriously. For a while.

  160. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    Afghanistan may be the least important ground for the US in the entire world.

    There may be some African countries that are just as irrelevant.

    The $2 trillion thrown away on nothing is a sign of ridiculous strength. No other polity could do that on a whim and forget about it on a few months, as will happen.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @El Dato, @Philip Owen

    Afghanistan may be the least important ground for the US in the entire world.

    Post #49 adequately summarizes it, it is quite significant strategic ground lost and indicates total collapse of further ability to project power over much of Eurasia.

    I’ve personally engaged in and literally destroyed organizations with your form of thinking: resources are not infinite and defeats can easily multiply: each position in weakness can open a gap to further defeats. There is a thing called “momentum” – collapse of momentum will mean that your mass will work against, not for you.

    In chess, losing a pawn can be a disaster not because the pawn itself is the most important piece materially, but because it reduces control over a limited area, and thus allows the opponent to develop an attack with relative safety against you. That’s the form of thinking that you should be using.

    This is just further evidence that women lack the range of awareness for any military/political decisions.

    • Agree: Showmethereal
    • Replies: @Beckow
    @Daniel Chieh


    ...In chess, losing a pawn can be a disaster not because the pawn itself is the most important piece materially, but because it reduces control over a limited area, and thus allows the opponent to develop an attack with relative safety against you. That’s the form of thinking that you should be using.
     
    In my experience, pawns and their position (further forward the better) usually decide a chess-match. How one uses the pawns is key. That usually escapes most half-baked Western thinkers - they get seduced by who is at the conference buffet, and pawns are never invited.

    Being run out of Afghanistan means a strategic defeat: no more implicit threat to Iran or China from there, no more room to play games with Central Asia (what fool in one of the stans is going to bet on US help at this point?). This basically closes of Euroasia.

    The silly schadenfreude dreams about Taleban creating chaos or attacking neighbours are just that, it won't happen. Taleban cannot project power and cannot fight outside its own tribal territory - they would get massacred by any regular army and air force. The weapons gifted to them will be sold or will rust - Taleban doesn't know how to use them or maintain them. This was a tipping point - and liberal West has just tipped into a much weaker position. There will be consequences. A defeat always invites more defeat.

    , @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh


    Post #49 adequately summarizes it, it is quite significant strategic ground lost and indicates total collapse of further ability to project power over much of Eurasia
     
    There is nowhere else in Eurasia that is less important, nor in the Americas, of course. Name another place, if you can.

    I’ve personally engaged in and literally destroyed organizations with your form of thinking: resources are not infinite and defeats can easily multiply: each position in weakness can open a gap to further defeats. There is a thing called “momentum” – collapse of momentum will mean that your mass will work against, not for you.
     
    Yes, there was a cost to the Afghan luxury. It was 2000 soldiers and some printed money. I wouldn't risk 1 soldier for such a pointless piece of territory, with no natural resources, no sea, cut off from the world and irrelevant, but then I don't have that stuff to throw away like a heartless Emperor.

    In chess, losing a pawn can be a disaster not because the pawn itself is the most important piece materially, but because it reduces control over a limited area, and thus allows the opponent to develop an attack with relative safety against you. That’s the form of thinking that you should be using.
     

    This is just further evidence that women lack the range of awareness for any military/political decisions.
     
    Haha, I bet I would beat you at chess and a better analogy would be me starting that game missing all of my pieces but my King and pawns, just out of vanity, yet still somehow holding you off for 50 turns, while drunk and playing 5 other games, before I resign because I can't be bothered anymore.

    You might also choose to see that "loss" as evidence of me being weak at chess and you being strong, I suppose. I might even let you maintain that delusion, because you seem nice.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    , @Wency
    @Daniel Chieh

    So here's a question for discussion: now that China has India half-encircled, what does China really want from India? I guess I'll admit I don't really understand the Indian-Chinese rivalry. What are their conflicting interests? Why can't they cooperate, as Russia and China do?

    China already has access to Iran through the post-Soviet 'stans, and I imagine for a very long time, perhaps forever, that route will be preferred to Afghanistan. Though it's nice to have options. The idea of having access to energy in spite of a theoretical US naval embargo is valuable, if China really wanted to build a 5,000 mile pipeline to make it happen.

    But I'll admit that I have a tough time seeing the turf of Afghanistan as all that important to the US -- and if it was that important, it really does feel like an unsustainable landlocked colony in a hostile neighborhood that couldn't be held against any sort of determined resistance anyway. My sense was always that the US was *allowed* to be in Afghanistan, and China alone probably could have persuaded/bribed all the 'stans to cut supplies to the US force, if it really wanted to.

    From USG's standpoint, the most important thing lost was psychological: American prestige and credibility. And those losses, in turn, are at least as much about how spectacularly Afghanistan fell after such a large investment and so much insistence about Afghanistan's importance, as the fall itself. And while the fate of America's collaborators is still being decided, the callous disregard for them is going to be hard to deny.

    It causes people to wonder about every government the US has propped up and that has never really been tested in battle. How many other paper tigers are out there? Saudi? Taiwan?

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Daniel Chieh, @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms, @china-russia-all-the-way

  161. @notbe
    @Passer by

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/afghan-security-forces-teeter-on-the-brink-of-collapse-amid-taliban-onslaught

    yeah seen the show -Annie Pforzheimer says that the government forces are actually regaining ground so i guess i panicked a bit thinking the talibs might win Anyways, General Lute-the am ambassador to NATO!!!-says only a bunch of really small provincial capitals fell so I feel doubly reassured

    look, when one side in a war is facing a rout, of course, their going to lie their heads off-we all laughed way back when Baghad Bob had to do his difficult job but the last week of US and NATO expert opinion is beyond Baghad Bob...in fact Baghdad Bob is probably laughing his head off right now thinking that revenge is sweet

    Anyways the last week of US and NATO expert opinion wasnt lying, it was just pure incompetence there was no military skill displayed Very disturbing actually, these guys...and gals are suppossed to be professionals, whats more most of them did serve in Afghanistan so they are familiar with the land and the balance of forces yet they genuinely totally misjudged the situation -and the armed forces were supossed to be the last institution to succump to the rot in the West There is no hope!

    Oh by the way, a very minor point- General Lute might not be familiar with the writings of a certain Mao Tse Tung-not many are, he was an obscure theorist way back in the 15th or the 17th centuries in Korea or India or whatever but this Mao wrote that control of rural areas is the key to insurgency

    Replies: @nokangaroos

    The Taliban read their Mao, that´s for sure 😀

    – Mao was in something of a bind because he had no industrial proletariat
    (and contrary to Marx´scientific predictions no industrial proletariat ever
    successfully revolted);
    of more interest is the provenience: Ernst Röhm had this vision of the SA
    becoming a New Model People´s Army that would supplant the Party,
    government and Wehrmacht (with their aristosclerotic leadership) –
    and both Röhm and Otto Braun (Mao´s chief military advisor) had been
    officers in the Sturmtruppen. The utter radicalism of the idea
    has scared off most (except a few Latin American egghead revolutionary
    theorists).

    • Replies: @El Dato
    @nokangaroos

    Mao only survived by the skin of his teeth because the Japanese kept the Chinese Nationalists really, really busy - Stalingrad levels of busy really. Plus the Jap's depredations just populated Mao's forces with desperate peasants eager to survive a bit longer.

    No Japs and no-one would have heard of him except in footnotes in books on cultish revolutionary movements.

    A book I have yet to read, if only the world would hold still for a bit.

    https://www.amazon.com/Peasant-Nationalism-Communist-Power-Revolutionary/dp/0804700745/

    Replies: @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms, @ivan

  162. @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa

    We Were Soldiers reasonably follows that idea, though it ends rather soberly with the NV still resolute.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Wency

    I agree that it’s just about the optimistic one I can think of, but it’s still a somber affair. It honors the fighting spirit and tactical accomplishments of the US soldier (and, interestingly, the NVA soldier as well) more than a film like Platoon. But it still has two essential elements of practically every Vietnam War film: a pervading sense of doom, and a confirmation at the end that there’s nothing to how for all the effort besides a list of American dead.

  163. @Shortsword

    He may be crazier than a bag of weasels, but certainly an interesting take.

    This points to the most remarkable feature of Liberalism in One Country. It allows the Democratic Party to harness and benefit from revolutionary defeatism while they are in power. They can engineer strategic defeats for the United States and then leverage these into domestic victories. The effect is a mortgaged retreat of the United States, where its position, and by extension that of democracies globally, are traded piecemeal to the Axis for domestic political victories.

    He is like modern day Trotsky.

  164. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    It will be done: they came, they won, they conquered.

    Has any nation ever engaged in such a long war, won such a high proportion of the tactical engagements and yet produced so little art that comes close to the above in theme?

    Beckow's image of the US is inverse to reality. People are hilarious.

    Replies: @Beckow

    Reality has many sides – you focus on the feel-good, self-medication side of it. It looks desperate.

    You lost, run out of Kabul with nothing to show for it. Nato soldiers were hiding at their bases and not fighting. As I said many times: they know how to kill, but not how to die. You don’t win without both, so they lose again and again. The Afghan army took the money and didn’t even pretend to fight. The fact that is a surprise to many in Washington shows how detached and corrupt they are. Or they could just be stupid.

    So tell us about a single realistic Vietnam war movie. Just one that describes the defeat and doesn’t sugarcoat it. It will be the same with Afghanistan. There is no lying more harmful than lying to self. Why are you so much into it? And we are back to self-medication…

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Beckow

    Seethe harder. I can choose to take it as I like. Think about that fact, why it is and what that means.


    As I said many times: they know how to kill, but not how to die. You don’t win without both, so they lose again and again.
     
    Not my fault that you feel like you're dead/want to die, nor would it be a hard thing for you to reverse.

    You say NATO keep losing, but what exactly has NATO lost? I see no NATO country with territory taken, or under occupation. I see no NATO country even under actual threat. To stop "losing" NATO need only ignore, rather than fight, completely pointless wars. This is the easiest inaction in the world.

    You're screaming at Bezos that he is basically homeless because he keeps spending money on hugely expensive dinners, when his luxurious expenditure means the exact opposite. It will always be a human tendency to seethe and carp from the sidelines in this way, but it doesn't make it any less sad. I cringe for you.

    As for Vietnam war films, they're all basically anti the war, but you're essentially asking for a documentary, of which there are just as many. I believe the Ken Burns series is widely distributed.

    Replies: @Beckow

  165. @HenryBaker
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Ah, I see what you mean. I still think my point has some relevance, however. For one, Arabs also absorbed classical knowledge, but honestly, they didn't have much to build on (excepting maybe Persia). AFAIK they preserved mostly Greek stuff. I think they handled the ancient Greeks rather similarly to us, as being great philosophers and healers. So that's factor 1: lack of much tradition to preserve, to begin with.

    Factor 2: different establishment. Christianity was established more or less peacefully, with native aristocracies embracing the religion themselves. Islam was mostly spread by conquest and the uprooting of native aristocracies.
    Do not forget that the Roman empire itself destroyed native culture in Italy, Gaul, and Iberia. Castilian, Italian, French of course from Latin vulgates that had erased the languages previously spoken there. In that sense, Europeans at least once have created 'romanistans' like Islam created 'Arabistans'. Or look at South America: there, 'Castilistans' and 'Lusanistans' erased local culture. Cortes demolished Tenochlitan, paved it in, and built a huge damn cathedral right on top on the ruins of Aztec temples.
    Looking at it that way, Islam is not exceptional. The main difference does not seem to be 'Islam' or 'Christianity' but whether native aristocracies are replaced or not and whether the conquered population can offer some cultural resistance, as well as how stubbornly the foreign elites impose their own ways. The foreigner elites in Iran had no incentive to preserve much nationalism, I'd say. Almost all rulers at the time were Turks or at least Steppe people, like them. And Islamic states could rise and shatter and fall at any time.

    Factor 3: instability of states, and pervasive 'foreign-ness', I talked about before of ruling elites, as well as clan culture. Just no incentives to preserve national tradition. Most European states managed very long historical continuity as a state not defined by a dynasty or clan. In some form, France, Germany, Denmark, England etc. have existed continually for a milennium. Impossible to define state by clan if the Catholic church destroys within-clan marriage. This incentivizes a sense of historical continuity and national identity, hence national traditions. The Christian world is generally marked by continuity and native rule (in the sense of aristocracies, not kings), Islam by discord.

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon, @Bardon Kaldian

    It would take us too long to delve into nuances. So, shortly …

    1. Islam should have stayed as some kind of mega-Judaism, an Arabic monotheism. But, because it overran other, already existent civilizations, it imposed itself culturally upon them. Due to the nature of Islam, they still pray in Arabic – unlike Christians, who pray in their native tongues. No such thing about Christians, no visible cultural Levantinization. For Christians, Christ is the Logos, and not some book; for Muslims, the Logos is the Quran- and only in Arabic. Therefore early translations of St. Jerome from Hebrew and Greek into Latin, and later, Greek teachers to Slavic languages, as well as modern vernaculars after the Reformation. Totally unlike Islam.

    Islam remains “Arabic” is the sense Christianity is not “Jewish”. From the start, Christianity has been a fusion of intertestamental Judaism (Essenes), Orphism, a smattering of Platonism & other European, mostly Hellenic cultural traditions. True, Christianity is alien in spirit to the central European culture, Greco-Roman, but it has adapted. Jerusalem has been grafted on Athens and Rome.

    Another cultural issue is that Christians don’t have their specific law- unlike Muslims, who have Shariah, which is basically the same as Jews and the Talmud. Christian law is based upon Roman law. And here is another, fundamental difference between Christianity and Islam.

    Most Christian practices are not Jewish in origin, but truly a new stuff. And I am not talking about high Christian culture, but more about ordinary religious practices and ways of life of most people.

    2. most Europeans did not possess any written culture that Christianity had subdued or eradicated. People who are now French, English, Germans, Spaniards, Poles, Russians … have not had some written corpus of pre-Christian culture, while modern Italians and Greeks are peoples who have evolved, naturally, in the past 1500-2000 years from their ancient origins. Nobody forced them to abandon their practices – in fact, as we all know, Latin has remained the chief language of the West until the 18th C. If we count even marginal Europeans like Georgians and Armenians- they retained or developed their script and culture during Christianity.

    This is so unlike Iran, where a highly organized & rich ancient religion, ideatically the conceptual source of Christianity (resurrection, apocalypse, dualism, heaven and hell, the World Savior as God-Man, angelology & demonology, ..) had been virtually eradicated by Islamized Iranians (and they are persecuted as I write); Iranian script fell into disuse and they now use a modified Arabic; they explicitly have emotional affinity & essentially identification with Arabic Shiah Muslims, while they hate and persecute true, original Iranians, Zoroastrians.

    In other words, Iranians have lost somewhere between 1000 and 2000 years of their own history, which they hate as something alien, at least when it comes to a popular sentiment. Is there a way one can become more stupid?

    • Replies: @Yellowface Anon
    @Bardon Kaldian


    Iranian script fell into disuse and they now use a modified Arabic
     
    There has never been a purely Iranian script since they have always adapted whatever Semitic script in use at the time for Indo-European needs. Perso-Arabic is no exception.
    , @Grahamsno(G64)
    @Bardon Kaldian


    This is so unlike Iran, where a highly organized & rich ancient religion, ideatically the conceptual source of Christianity (resurrection, apocalypse, dualism, heaven and hell, the World Savior as God-Man, angelology & demonology, ..) had been virtually eradicated by Islamized Iranians
     
    It's shocking that there's virtually nothing left of the old Iranian Script unlike the other peers of Iran - Greek, Roman, Chinese & Hindus almost nothing according to a Zoroastrian friend of mine they don't even have the Zend Avesta in the original language they have Gujarati language versions dating from when they migrated to Gujarat. My hypothesis for this shocking Anomaly is that the Priesthood jealously guarded education.

    I agree with the rest Islam eradicates older cultures by the root they are referred to as Jahalliya a period of Ignorance. The prime example is Pakistan which is the Ground Zero for ancient Hinduism and those great epics the Mahabharata & Ramayana have been totally forgotten whereas they are read in India. India would have been like Iran had the Muslims won but thankfully they didn't

    Ganapati and Hanuman kicked Allah's ass.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian, @Ali Choudhury

    , @Showmethereal
    @Bardon Kaldian

    Your number 2 point is actually why Muslims say Muhammed needed to come because although Christians were "people lf the book" like the Jews - Christians incoporated pagan concepts. Likewise Jews say Yeshua of Nazareth couldnt be the Messiah if His followers are lawbreakers.
    The very gospels supposed Christian read He says the greatest in the kingdom would be those who taught and kept all of the commandments (the ones practiced for centuries already). In other words - Christianity is far from what it is supposed to be.

  166. @Aedib
    Winners (ir order):
    1. Pakistan: big influence on the new government and a land access to its main geopolitical ally: China.
    2. China: ejects EEUU from central Asia and can incorporate Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran to its Silkroad project.
    3. Iran: Potential access to its main oil buyer, China, by the Silkroad free of a potential US navy interdiction.
    Losers (in order):
    1. India: Geopolitical nightmare with its two geopolitical foes (West and Northeast) now land connected. It will have to increase military spending a lot.
    2. USA: Its bridgehead into central Asia has collapsed. Power projection into the former-USSR Stans aborted. They will be the backyard of China and, in a lesser degree, Russia.
    3. Russia: It will have to spend material and military resources to patrol its soft belly in order to avoid extreme Islamism permeating into the Stans.

    Replies: @A123, @Beckow, @Svevlad, @showmethereal

    Russia really needs to tie down Central Asia. Perhaps even restore imperial borders, w/ total Russification.

    Very long term, and through the proper intermediaries of course. 100+ year planning and all, but still an imperative.

    • Disagree: Aedib
    • Replies: @haha
    @Svevlad

    Russia needs to stay within Russia and fix its own problems. Also, apparently, it lacks sufficient number of fools anxious to become canon fodder, preferring the far cozier option of migrating to the West. The way demographics look, Russia could end up without Russians within Russia proper, never mind imperial extensions.

    Replies: @Svevlad

  167. @Beckow
    @Triteleia Laxa

    There is not a single one about the defeat either.

    The Hollywood Vietnam movies are mostly solipsistic exercises in narcism: poor us, how painful it was to massacre the gooks?...the ones about Afghanistan and Iraq so far are along the same lines, why would it change? Now, that is silly...

    Replies: @Wency

    Well, I do think your perspective is the opposite of reality — I’d be really curious to hear your commentary on a film like Platoon, Hamburger Hill, or Full Metal Jacket and their rose-colored view towards Vietnam and the victorious American soldier.

    the ones about Afghanistan and Iraq so far are along the same lines, why would it change?

    People actually do change their perspectives on things based on how they end. In the case of Vietnam, compare A Yank in Vietnam (1964) or Green Berets (1968) — both pro-war films — to basically everything made after 1975.

    Not only are films about the war universally negative on it, but even films that touch peripherally on Vietnam always portray it negatively. In Forest Gump, it’s how Forest loses his best friend and another friend loses his legs, without any suggestion that any of it served any purpose. In Jacob’s Ladder, it’s presented as a site of weird Agent Orange-like experiments. In First Blood or Deer Hunter, it’s a source of forgotten and mentally imbalanced veterans. I could go on.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    @Wency

    All the examples you give are solipsistic self-centered stories about Vietnam: how did killing the local Vietnamese affect the poor draftees sent to do it? They were antiwar movies in a general sense, but they still only showed the different versions of the Washington narrative. And they all downplay the complete collapse at the end - the defeat, that point is never allowed to be articulated, it would be too painful so we get what looks to any outsider as narcism.

    You can argue that no society ever does that. That is largely true, although there have been exceptions. But the point is that US aspires to be a global cultural master - and self-centered yapping about psycho issues of its draftees while ignoring what they were doing (and why) to others doesn't go well with that. My prediction about Afghanistan stands: either nothing or psych-minutia with cheap allusion to we were fighting the evil, poor us, under-appreciated by the mean world...and of course a few Russian baddies will be added for some color. The myths will continue.

    Replies: @Wency

  168. @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa


    Afghanistan may be the least important ground for the US in the entire world.
     
    Post #49 adequately summarizes it, it is quite significant strategic ground lost and indicates total collapse of further ability to project power over much of Eurasia.

    I've personally engaged in and literally destroyed organizations with your form of thinking: resources are not infinite and defeats can easily multiply: each position in weakness can open a gap to further defeats. There is a thing called "momentum" - collapse of momentum will mean that your mass will work against, not for you.

    In chess, losing a pawn can be a disaster not because the pawn itself is the most important piece materially, but because it reduces control over a limited area, and thus allows the opponent to develop an attack with relative safety against you. That's the form of thinking that you should be using.

    This is just further evidence that women lack the range of awareness for any military/political decisions.

    Replies: @Beckow, @Triteleia Laxa, @Wency

    …In chess, losing a pawn can be a disaster not because the pawn itself is the most important piece materially, but because it reduces control over a limited area, and thus allows the opponent to develop an attack with relative safety against you. That’s the form of thinking that you should be using.

    In my experience, pawns and their position (further forward the better) usually decide a chess-match. How one uses the pawns is key. That usually escapes most half-baked Western thinkers – they get seduced by who is at the conference buffet, and pawns are never invited.

    Being run out of Afghanistan means a strategic defeat: no more implicit threat to Iran or China from there, no more room to play games with Central Asia (what fool in one of the stans is going to bet on US help at this point?). This basically closes of Euroasia.

    The silly schadenfreude dreams about Taleban creating chaos or attacking neighbours are just that, it won’t happen. Taleban cannot project power and cannot fight outside its own tribal territory – they would get massacred by any regular army and air force. The weapons gifted to them will be sold or will rust – Taleban doesn’t know how to use them or maintain them. This was a tipping point – and liberal West has just tipped into a much weaker position. There will be consequences. A defeat always invites more defeat.

  169. @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa


    Afghanistan may be the least important ground for the US in the entire world.
     
    Post #49 adequately summarizes it, it is quite significant strategic ground lost and indicates total collapse of further ability to project power over much of Eurasia.

    I've personally engaged in and literally destroyed organizations with your form of thinking: resources are not infinite and defeats can easily multiply: each position in weakness can open a gap to further defeats. There is a thing called "momentum" - collapse of momentum will mean that your mass will work against, not for you.

    In chess, losing a pawn can be a disaster not because the pawn itself is the most important piece materially, but because it reduces control over a limited area, and thus allows the opponent to develop an attack with relative safety against you. That's the form of thinking that you should be using.

    This is just further evidence that women lack the range of awareness for any military/political decisions.

    Replies: @Beckow, @Triteleia Laxa, @Wency

    Post #49 adequately summarizes it, it is quite significant strategic ground lost and indicates total collapse of further ability to project power over much of Eurasia

    There is nowhere else in Eurasia that is less important, nor in the Americas, of course. Name another place, if you can.

    I’ve personally engaged in and literally destroyed organizations with your form of thinking: resources are not infinite and defeats can easily multiply: each position in weakness can open a gap to further defeats. There is a thing called “momentum” – collapse of momentum will mean that your mass will work against, not for you.

    Yes, there was a cost to the Afghan luxury. It was 2000 soldiers and some printed money. I wouldn’t risk 1 soldier for such a pointless piece of territory, with no natural resources, no sea, cut off from the world and irrelevant, but then I don’t have that stuff to throw away like a heartless Emperor.

    In chess, losing a pawn can be a disaster not because the pawn itself is the most important piece materially, but because it reduces control over a limited area, and thus allows the opponent to develop an attack with relative safety against you. That’s the form of thinking that you should be using.

    This is just further evidence that women lack the range of awareness for any military/political decisions.

    Haha, I bet I would beat you at chess and a better analogy would be me starting that game missing all of my pieces but my King and pawns, just out of vanity, yet still somehow holding you off for 50 turns, while drunk and playing 5 other games, before I resign because I can’t be bothered anymore.

    You might also choose to see that “loss” as evidence of me being weak at chess and you being strong, I suppose. I might even let you maintain that delusion, because you seem nice.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Yes, you are weak at chess and other games. You're not even understanding the beginnings of this, and you're trying to "win" something rather than understand.

    Thus, this will lead to further losses.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

  170. @Felix Keverich
    @notbe

    Professional NATO analysts also contend that Russia is fighting a war with Ukraine, but Ukrainian resistance halted Russian territorial gains there. They argue that Minsk agreements no longer represent the balance of power, and can be safely discarded thanks to newfound professionalism and capabilities of the Ukrainian army. 😂

    In Syria they argue that "civil war" is by no means over, because the militants survive in border pockets, protected by US and Turkish airpower. And this is why the West must never, ever, ever reconcile with Assad.

    There is a common theme here of replacing analysis with wishful thinking and believing in your own propaganda. "Russia's invasion of Ukraine" for example is a very real thing in Western expert circles, which shapes both the public discourse in the West and their strategic calculations. They really do think that Russian military is "bogged down" in the Ukraine.

    Replies: @notbe

    also western military analysts have degenerated-wishfull thinking indeed but I think the primary fault here is that politics have taken over the military profession in the West. NATO officers know that stroking the egos of their political masters is the surefire way for promotion and career success…and afterwards high positions open up in armament corporations and foundations No reward for a man to use expertise in fact there are huge negative consequences

    Thus tell the politicians what they want to hear-facts be damned…in fact it might be that western military analysts probably, at this point, cannot distinguish what is fact and what is make-believe …yeah, youre right -wishfull thinking comes into play

    Its that way in almost every NATO country, big or small

  171. @Bardon Kaldian
    @Daniel Chieh

    The bigger question remains: why are Islamic peoples so anti-national? Why can't they develop their own collective individuality, but they remain, forever, a sort of second-hand Arabs?

    I've read some minor works by a prominent 18th C Indian Muslim polymath Shah Wali-Ullah (on Sufism), but here's what he says about this real, social world:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shah_Waliullah_Dehlawi


    “Muslims, no matter where they live, wherever they spend their youthful days, they should in any case be completely separated from the natives of that country in their culture, traditions and mannerisms. And wherever they are, they must be immersed in their Arabic splendor and Arabic trends”
     

    “Beware! The rich intend to adopt the ways of strangers and non-Arabs and those who deviate from the right path, and tries to mix and be like them”.
     
    Such a splendid civilization as Iranian cannot break free from Islamic cast of mind & suppresses more than 1500 years of their own rich civilization.

    I can get Turks-they've had nothing before, actually. But Iranians show how poisonous Islam can be to other cultures.

    And for peoples, too - because Islam remains the primary collective loyalty. This we can see in the case of Pashtuns, who could, or could at least try to form their own nation-state which would include, at least in theory, parts of Pakistan. But no, they prefer fanatic idiocy of the Taliban.

    Maybe there is some kind of poetic justice in all that, because ditching Buddhism for Islam has sealed Afghan fate as a permanent dump.

    Replies: @HenryBaker, @Kuru, @Svevlad

    Never say never.

    I am fully convinced that at some point in the future, “dumps” will simply be marked for extermination, it’s entire populace considered irredeemable, simply because the mere existence of such countries will be viewed as a stain in the perfection of the world.

    From there, the area will be opened either for colonization or as some sort of eternal WMD testing grounds, and seeing how garbage tier Afghanistan is geographically, probably the latter.

  172. @Mersaux
    Maybe Vietnam and Afghanistan are just costly peacock signaling. A chad super power can afford to fight endless wars and still be number 1 in the world, while a virgin super power like the Soviet Union couldn't survive its Afghanistan debacle.

    Replies: @notbe

    no

  173. @Beckow
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Reality has many sides - you focus on the feel-good, self-medication side of it. It looks desperate.

    You lost, run out of Kabul with nothing to show for it. Nato soldiers were hiding at their bases and not fighting. As I said many times: they know how to kill, but not how to die. You don't win without both, so they lose again and again. The Afghan army took the money and didn't even pretend to fight. The fact that is a surprise to many in Washington shows how detached and corrupt they are. Or they could just be stupid.

    So tell us about a single realistic Vietnam war movie. Just one that describes the defeat and doesn't sugarcoat it. It will be the same with Afghanistan. There is no lying more harmful than lying to self. Why are you so much into it? And we are back to self-medication...

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    Seethe harder. I can choose to take it as I like. Think about that fact, why it is and what that means.

    As I said many times: they know how to kill, but not how to die. You don’t win without both, so they lose again and again.

    Not my fault that you feel like you’re dead/want to die, nor would it be a hard thing for you to reverse.

    You say NATO keep losing, but what exactly has NATO lost? I see no NATO country with territory taken, or under occupation. I see no NATO country even under actual threat. To stop “losing” NATO need only ignore, rather than fight, completely pointless wars. This is the easiest inaction in the world.

    You’re screaming at Bezos that he is basically homeless because he keeps spending money on hugely expensive dinners, when his luxurious expenditure means the exact opposite. It will always be a human tendency to seethe and carp from the sidelines in this way, but it doesn’t make it any less sad. I cringe for you.

    As for Vietnam war films, they’re all basically anti the war, but you’re essentially asking for a documentary, of which there are just as many. I believe the Ken Burns series is widely distributed.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    @Triteleia Laxa


    but what exactly has NATO lost? I see no NATO country with territory taken, or under occupation.
     
    Thousand od dead from multiple countries and trillions in wasted budgets. By any estimate, thousand of fully equipped hospitals, or free education for a generation of young people, or hundreds of thousands of new homes, or totally new transport infrastructure - all of that could be in the Nato countries today. It is not, it sits as rusted garbage in Afghanistan and as stolen money in intermediaries and Afghani well-connected thieves bank accounts and suitcases. Plus the millions of migrants it has triggered. It looks to me like the Nato countries lost quite a bit.

    No idea what your Bezos rant means, I will ignore it. You do seem to have some self-respect issues, try to get out more and understand other points of view. Your infantile hysteria after a defeat is not the best way to handle it.

    Replies: @Svevlad

  174. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh


    Post #49 adequately summarizes it, it is quite significant strategic ground lost and indicates total collapse of further ability to project power over much of Eurasia
     
    There is nowhere else in Eurasia that is less important, nor in the Americas, of course. Name another place, if you can.

    I’ve personally engaged in and literally destroyed organizations with your form of thinking: resources are not infinite and defeats can easily multiply: each position in weakness can open a gap to further defeats. There is a thing called “momentum” – collapse of momentum will mean that your mass will work against, not for you.
     
    Yes, there was a cost to the Afghan luxury. It was 2000 soldiers and some printed money. I wouldn't risk 1 soldier for such a pointless piece of territory, with no natural resources, no sea, cut off from the world and irrelevant, but then I don't have that stuff to throw away like a heartless Emperor.

    In chess, losing a pawn can be a disaster not because the pawn itself is the most important piece materially, but because it reduces control over a limited area, and thus allows the opponent to develop an attack with relative safety against you. That’s the form of thinking that you should be using.
     

    This is just further evidence that women lack the range of awareness for any military/political decisions.
     
    Haha, I bet I would beat you at chess and a better analogy would be me starting that game missing all of my pieces but my King and pawns, just out of vanity, yet still somehow holding you off for 50 turns, while drunk and playing 5 other games, before I resign because I can't be bothered anymore.

    You might also choose to see that "loss" as evidence of me being weak at chess and you being strong, I suppose. I might even let you maintain that delusion, because you seem nice.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Yes, you are weak at chess and other games. You’re not even understanding the beginnings of this, and you’re trying to “win” something rather than understand.

    Thus, this will lead to further losses.

    • LOL: Triteleia Laxa
    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    China, Pakistan, Iran and Russia have nothing in common.

    Iran and Pakistan are basketcases, who are prone to hating each other.

    Russia is doing adequately given its history, which still doesn't amount to a lot.

    China has 1.4 billion smart, industrious people. The CCP's achievements are incredibly impressive when you forget that, but really they have hit pretty much the minimum that you would hope.

    Afghanistan as a link between them is unnecessary, vulnerable and will be a pointless money pit, if those countries can't learn from US misadventures.

    In fact, all of those countries are probably more culturally proximate to the US than they are even to each other, which is astonishing when you think about it.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  175. @HenryBaker
    @Passer by

    Christ, that's terrible. Can't imagine how desperate you must be to do that.

    Replies: @Passer by

    Ironically the airplane they fell from had the 11 09 number..

    • LOL: Svevlad
  176. @Wency
    @Beckow

    Well, I do think your perspective is the opposite of reality -- I'd be really curious to hear your commentary on a film like Platoon, Hamburger Hill, or Full Metal Jacket and their rose-colored view towards Vietnam and the victorious American soldier.


    the ones about Afghanistan and Iraq so far are along the same lines, why would it change?
     
    People actually do change their perspectives on things based on how they end. In the case of Vietnam, compare A Yank in Vietnam (1964) or Green Berets (1968) -- both pro-war films -- to basically everything made after 1975.

    Not only are films about the war universally negative on it, but even films that touch peripherally on Vietnam always portray it negatively. In Forest Gump, it's how Forest loses his best friend and another friend loses his legs, without any suggestion that any of it served any purpose. In Jacob's Ladder, it's presented as a site of weird Agent Orange-like experiments. In First Blood or Deer Hunter, it's a source of forgotten and mentally imbalanced veterans. I could go on.

    Replies: @Beckow

    All the examples you give are solipsistic self-centered stories about Vietnam: how did killing the local Vietnamese affect the poor draftees sent to do it? They were antiwar movies in a general sense, but they still only showed the different versions of the Washington narrative. And they all downplay the complete collapse at the end – the defeat, that point is never allowed to be articulated, it would be too painful so we get what looks to any outsider as narcism.

    You can argue that no society ever does that. That is largely true, although there have been exceptions. But the point is that US aspires to be a global cultural master – and self-centered yapping about psycho issues of its draftees while ignoring what they were doing (and why) to others doesn’t go well with that. My prediction about Afghanistan stands: either nothing or psych-minutia with cheap allusion to we were fighting the evil, poor us, under-appreciated by the mean world...and of course a few Russian baddies will be added for some color. The myths will continue.

    • Replies: @Wency
    @Beckow

    I do think you can make a case that the Taliban will be portrayed as more evil than Vietnamese Communists, but that's because they're rightist (and, conceivably, somewhat whitish).

    The Fall of Saigon isn't portrayed all that often, and we could speculate as to a few reasons for that. I'd argue it's mainly because it was an anti-climactic episode in the war and didn't involve many Americans. Honestly, I think Americans care a lot less about the Fall of Saigon per se than about the 58,000 American dead with nothing to show for it. I don't think it's that the Fall of Saigon was too painful -- the highlight of these films is the more painful reality of the soldiers who died or were maimed pointlessly. You could call that solipsistic, I guess. I'd just say it's a focus on the human element of a lost cause, which a lot of men lived through and had to bring home with them, while Vietnam is a far-away and alien place that's tough to care about.

    But most war films in general aren't about the final outcome, because win or lose, it's usually anti-climactic. WW2 films very seldom portray many events on the German front in 1945, for example.

  177. @Exile
    @Triteleia Laxa

    There's some truth in that but I think the Taliban held off flexing because they knew we'd leave soon enough that they could save casualties and resources by waiting.

    The Vietcong generals and other asymmetric war planners have pointed out the irony in their strategies basically mirroring those of the American forces vs. the British in our revolution - avoid pitched battles unless you have lucky breaks or the big bads make a mistake, keep stretching out supply lines and playing for time and bleeding resources and will, etc...

    The Rainbow Empire's army even had this problem in the Civil War - the South was just too hell-bent on set-piece battles and Lee refused to advocate guerilla resistance after the formal surrender. Guys like JEB Stuart wreaked havoc so long as they stuck to hit-and-run.

    We've learned little from this heritage and have adopted most of the bad habits of past overgrown decadent retard empires - we do war like IBM does business, throwing money around and always sticking to yesterday's strategies too long.

    It would have cost the Taliban but they could have taken as much of A-stan as they wanted if they stepped up their loss tolerance - even Kabul, eventually, although One Big Base is hard to knock out when they lacked airpower.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Daniel Chieh

    The Rainbow Empire’s army even had this problem in the Civil War – the South was just too hell-bent on set-piece battles and Lee refused to advocate guerilla resistance after the formal surrender. Guys like JEB Stuart wreaked havoc so long as they stuck to hit-and-run.

    The British fought against Afrikaaners with those tactics and used effective concentration camp methods to starve out the guerillas; this would also have been likely if the Union was forced to fight a guerilla campaign, as they were already demonstrating a willingness to engage in total war tactics. There would still be a reason to do this, technically – basically it would potentially force the Union into a position of inferiority in the world, as it’ll have to constantly spend such enormous treasure on brutally suppressing its own population that it’ll weaken itself internationally.

    In Afghanistan , this was impossible for the US both by limited rules of engagement and a foreign nation(Pakistan) actively intervening against you to provide shelter for their families. It probably was a mistake to even start anything like an occupation. The only way to “go all the way,” it seems, would also be to invade Pakistan, which will also involve India and China…basically, there was no way to go all the way without potentially causing world war.

  178. @sher singh
    After Afghanistan, maybe Siberia & the North Caucasus?

    https://twitter.com/PSFAERO/status/1427229655006855169?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1427229655006855169%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_&ref_url=

    https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/640459736919048202/876702702376222720/unknown.png
    https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/640459736919048202/876701674658488370/unknown.png

    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ

    Replies: @Wency, @El Dato

    In the West, dogs are serious business!

  179. @Yellowface Anon
    @ivan

    Where would you stop if you were the strategic command? (I assumed your goal is bringing "order" and state-building to Afghanistan)

    Replies: @Svevlad

    There was a blog post on some place on the internet that I found way, way back via r/darkenlightenment, about how the West has no idea how to occupy a place anymore.

    The same strategy for “treating” the US crime rate can be put in place in Afghanistan: ignore any disparate impact, and place extremely high standards of behavior. Who doesn’t meet them is simply unpersoned.

    90% of blacks would be genocided? Who cares. Ditto for Afghans. Long term it would be better for them anyway.

    • LOL: Yellowface Anon
  180. @nokangaroos
    @notbe

    The Taliban read their Mao, that´s for sure :D

    - Mao was in something of a bind because he had no industrial proletariat
    (and contrary to Marx´scientific predictions no industrial proletariat ever
    successfully revolted);
    of more interest is the provenience: Ernst Röhm had this vision of the SA
    becoming a New Model People´s Army that would supplant the Party,
    government and Wehrmacht (with their aristosclerotic leadership) -
    and both Röhm and Otto Braun (Mao´s chief military advisor) had been
    officers in the Sturmtruppen. The utter radicalism of the idea
    has scared off most (except a few Latin American egghead revolutionary
    theorists).

    Replies: @El Dato

    Mao only survived by the skin of his teeth because the Japanese kept the Chinese Nationalists really, really busy – Stalingrad levels of busy really. Plus the Jap’s depredations just populated Mao’s forces with desperate peasants eager to survive a bit longer.

    No Japs and no-one would have heard of him except in footnotes in books on cultish revolutionary movements.

    A book I have yet to read, if only the world would hold still for a bit.

    • Agree: Philip Owen
    • LOL: nokangaroos
    • Replies: @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms
    @El Dato


    Mao only survived by the skin of his teeth because the Japanese kept the Chinese Nationalists really, really busy
     
    Oversimplification.
    Since forming the Second United Front Chiang always knew Mao could usurp his power. He had numerous chances to cut side deals with Japs to crush the Commies (In a way become a stronger Wang Jingwei). But refused so out of patriotic convictions.

    And he had other rivals to sort out.
    1. Sichuan Clique whose territory he needed as strategic rear against Japs. This was the secondary objective of the Encirclement Campaigns
    2. The most powerful regional army only nominally under his control, Li Zongren's Guangxi Clique

    In the end Mao would have always won, KMT is a party of the corrupt elite, like our current Uniparty. Mao bought new ideas to the table, to organize the elites and grassroots. 以农村包围城市 Surround the Metropolitans from the Countryside, is to this day CCP's geopolitical strategy.

    星星之火,足以燎原 A Single Spark, can light fire to the entire Prairie

    Stalingrad levels of busy really
     
    Neither side had the industrial capacity near that of Ostfront. And Japs couldn't do much beyond controlling the main cities plus railroads.
    , @ivan
    @El Dato

    Thank you. On the other hand the Shenfan/Fanshen type of books written by an avowed Red Guard, William Hinton - at least I recall that he was so proud that his daughter was a Red terrorist - still holds sway. The New England set, rooted in a Puritanism that spawned legions of of traitors and Communist sympathisers have a lot to answer for.

  181. @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Yes, you are weak at chess and other games. You're not even understanding the beginnings of this, and you're trying to "win" something rather than understand.

    Thus, this will lead to further losses.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    China, Pakistan, Iran and Russia have nothing in common.

    Iran and Pakistan are basketcases, who are prone to hating each other.

    Russia is doing adequately given its history, which still doesn’t amount to a lot.

    China has 1.4 billion smart, industrious people. The CCP’s achievements are incredibly impressive when you forget that, but really they have hit pretty much the minimum that you would hope.

    Afghanistan as a link between them is unnecessary, vulnerable and will be a pointless money pit, if those countries can’t learn from US misadventures.

    In fact, all of those countries are probably more culturally proximate to the US than they are even to each other, which is astonishing when you think about it.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa


    Russia is doing adequately given its history, which still doesn’t amount to a lot.

     

    The depth of your analysis is truly breath-taking.

    That's fine: don't worry your brain with it, it might hurt.
  182. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    Afghanistan may be the least important ground for the US in the entire world.

    There may be some African countries that are just as irrelevant.

    The $2 trillion thrown away on nothing is a sign of ridiculous strength. No other polity could do that on a whim and forget about it on a few months, as will happen.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @El Dato, @Philip Owen

    The \$2 trillion thrown away on nothing is a sign of ridiculous strength. No other polity could do that on a whim and forget about it on a few months, as will happen.

    Marie Antoinette, please.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @El Dato

    Marie Antoinette's apocryphal problem is that she offered cake when there was not even bread to spare in her capital. I understand how you can confuse that with the current US situation, but it was actually the exact opposite. The US has so much bread, that they spent 20 years burning it in the most backwater, pointless part of the other side of the world because they had nothing more pressing to do with their military, and because domestic health care is against too many vested interests.

    Replies: @El Dato

  183. @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa


    Afghanistan may be the least important ground for the US in the entire world.
     
    Post #49 adequately summarizes it, it is quite significant strategic ground lost and indicates total collapse of further ability to project power over much of Eurasia.

    I've personally engaged in and literally destroyed organizations with your form of thinking: resources are not infinite and defeats can easily multiply: each position in weakness can open a gap to further defeats. There is a thing called "momentum" - collapse of momentum will mean that your mass will work against, not for you.

    In chess, losing a pawn can be a disaster not because the pawn itself is the most important piece materially, but because it reduces control over a limited area, and thus allows the opponent to develop an attack with relative safety against you. That's the form of thinking that you should be using.

    This is just further evidence that women lack the range of awareness for any military/political decisions.

    Replies: @Beckow, @Triteleia Laxa, @Wency

    So here’s a question for discussion: now that China has India half-encircled, what does China really want from India? I guess I’ll admit I don’t really understand the Indian-Chinese rivalry. What are their conflicting interests? Why can’t they cooperate, as Russia and China do?

    China already has access to Iran through the post-Soviet ‘stans, and I imagine for a very long time, perhaps forever, that route will be preferred to Afghanistan. Though it’s nice to have options. The idea of having access to energy in spite of a theoretical US naval embargo is valuable, if China really wanted to build a 5,000 mile pipeline to make it happen.

    But I’ll admit that I have a tough time seeing the turf of Afghanistan as all that important to the US — and if it was that important, it really does feel like an unsustainable landlocked colony in a hostile neighborhood that couldn’t be held against any sort of determined resistance anyway. My sense was always that the US was *allowed* to be in Afghanistan, and China alone probably could have persuaded/bribed all the ‘stans to cut supplies to the US force, if it really wanted to.

    From USG’s standpoint, the most important thing lost was psychological: American prestige and credibility. And those losses, in turn, are at least as much about how spectacularly Afghanistan fell after such a large investment and so much insistence about Afghanistan’s importance, as the fall itself. And while the fate of America’s collaborators is still being decided, the callous disregard for them is going to be hard to deny.

    It causes people to wonder about every government the US has propped up and that has never really been tested in battle. How many other paper tigers are out there? Saudi? Taiwan?

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Wency

    Taiwan was founded by the KMT. They fought a two front war against the CCP and Japanese Empire at the same time. They also run an extremely successful polity. They are not "propped up" by the US. They are much less "fake and gay" than the CCP, which itself is not exactly "fake and gay." Putting them in the same grouping with the Saud Royal family is like putting the ANA in the same grouping as the US military!

    Replies: @Wency

    , @Daniel Chieh
    @Wency


    But I’ll admit that I have a tough time seeing the turf of Afghanistan as all that important to the US
     
    The role of Afghanistan is basically a strategic location that allows American troops to maintain presence via airbase; it also allowed control of the Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India Pipeline, which has strategic consequence but a very basic form of "consequence" is that it makes a lot of money, and had the US been the area, it could act either in carrots or sticks to it, but now it has no role whatsoever.

    And of course, not having an airbase means that the US has no way to interact Eurasia by bombing or deploying - pretty much its cut out. It probably wouldn't be unsustainable if it was a very controlled project, like a single city, or even just to maintain friendly relationships; the US got itself in a weird situation where it gambled to "win everything" as opposed to say, bribe the government, and lost its cards there.

    What many don't understand when they go by, "THE US IS STRONG" is well, yeah, sure the US is strong. The US has many many pawns, and thus a huge material advantage. But you also need to be able to put your pawns where you need them, and that positional space is important.


    So here’s a question for discussion: now that China has India half-encircled, what does China really want from India?
     
    Nothing. China more or less to not prefers not think about the existence of India at all. The cadres like to pretend it doesn't exist. The truth is that the cadres mostly seem to regard India as a third-world curiousity of crazy people who worship cow poop and scream about how they're about to punish you with bloodlusted gods while falling off mountains in the dark. Thinking about them hurts their heads and they worry if they try to understand them, they'll catch the crazy like a contagious disease. They would prefer to think about, cooperate with and fight with, anyone else: USA, Japan, Russia, Iran, really anyone else.

    I'm being mildly silly, but that's pretty true.

    You can't cooperate well with people you regard as utterly bonkers. And when your friends are Pakis, which is definitely the case with China, then the antagonism gets naturally extended. Islam may be alien and hostile, but its at least more comprehensible than rubbing yourself with bovine feces to become clean.

    India, understandably, deeply dislikes being regarded as such.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Daniel Chieh

    , @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms
    @Wency

    The first sovereign head of state to visit the Indian Independence movement was Chiang Kai-shek.


    China made various efforts, particularly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour and the fall of Hong Kong and Singapore, in order to defuse the tension that had grown between Indian nationalists and the British administration in India.

    Chiang Kai-shek (Jiang Jieshi) thought that if India were to succumb to Japanese pressures the Allies’ strategic situation in Asia might become extremely difficult.

    For this reasons, Chiang and other Chinese nationalist personalities (for example, Dai Jitao) intensified in those years their contacts with India. They made visits to India and met with leaders like Gandhi and Nehru in order to convince them to give firm support to the Allied cause.

     

    https://portal.research.lu.se/ws/files/4571404/3128707.pdf

    Chiang argued that while Gandhi’s non-violent resistance was not necessarily invalid for the Indian people, it was an unrealistic worldview on a global context

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India%E2%80%93Taiwan_relations

    During his visit, Chiang and Nehru shared a bunker one night when Japanese bombers attacked Chongqing in late August
     
    Aww...
    , @china-russia-all-the-way
    @Wency


    What are their conflicting interests? Why can’t they cooperate, as Russia and China do?
     
    I put most of the blame on India for the conflict. Starting in 2010, India began massively ramping up the number of troops on the border with China. It was a very peaceful border in the 2000s. India decided to do this not because of provocation by China. Indians decided on the build-up at the border because the Indian economy was growing fast and Indians believed their country would in 20 years become a superpower. It would therefore be inevitable for confrontation to occur between India and China, two global powers, in the unresolved border areas. India did not become a global power but in 2020 the buildup led to a clash and still ongoing standoff because of the instability brought on by the buildup.

    I think there is a lot of room for psychological speculation in understanding Indian decision-making. Indians were convinced the country would become a superpower because of an unusual degree of hubris. Every ethnic group suffers from hubris but India is above average among the people of the world due to the caste system. While high caste Hindus are a minority of India they are possibly 7 out of 8 people in the Indian strategic community (e.g. elite think tanks and foreign affairs journalists). The high caste Hindu is fixated on the idea that India will return to greatness and he will lead the new superpower. The Indian strategic community blundered by starting a pre-mature confrontation with China. Indians still believe their country will become a superpower in 20 or so years even though economic growth was lower in the 2010s than 2000s and no turnaround is on the horizon. My short answer is High-caste Hindu Hubris.

    Replies: @AnonFromTN, @Yellowface Anon

  184. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    For the US, Afghanistan was a minor effort with a luxury, unrealistic aim, undertaken wearing kid gloves.

    It is not an indictment of the US at the moment, but of the US undertaking such fripperies.

    It just as clearly demonstrated the potency of the US's socio-cultural architecture in the US as it did its inapplicability to the technologically medieval Afghans.

    Many commentors rather stupidly want to turn the event into a morality play for their domestic political concerns, by making the Taliban something real, and the ANA into the progressives, but this is the opposite of the truth.

    The Taliban had more will than the ANA, just as the progressives have more will than the US conservative.

    The Taliban also pose zero threat to even the most minimal of direct US efforts. They are the biggest fish in the tiniest of ponds; while the progressives are the biggest fish in the biggest pond.

    1. The US lost 100 casualties a year.

    2. The US used the most restrictive ROE.

    3. The US is a naval power, making Afghanistan literally the very worst territory in the world to undertake this.

    4. The US didn't care

    I'd also bet that Taliban rule ends up a lot more liberal than it was last time.

    How desperate for a victorious avatar do these people have to be that they have to pretend that the Taliban can serve as it? It'd be like Romans looking at Caesar's leaving of the British Isles and trying to claim that it gives Iceni-adjacent politics more legitimacy in Rome. Actually, it is a lot worse than that. The Romans sustained far more serious casualties.

    Now there are lessons to be learned, but they apply to US foreign policy as regards the most backwards societies in the world. They are the opposite of universal.

    In a similar vein, there are a lot of people excitedly showing some Afghans laughing at a Western woman journalist's question about women voting. They conclude how "Chad" and awesome such Afghans are; but that's so sad. The Western woman journalist is slumming it and this will be the Afghan goatherder's brightest moment.

    A homeless man can laugh condescendingly at the former Mrs Bezos as she drives past, tossing a few Dollars out of the window, and I will be pleased for him. He controls his cardboard box on the street and I will be glad that he has the confidence in himself to be having some fun, but a political movement that aspires to be like him is a hopeless joke.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Svevlad, @Passer by

    You overestimate people too much. It’s all narratives – all in all, nothing has actually changed, and the war really was chump change compared to the capabilities of the US…

    But, there’s that vicious thing called “subjectiveness.” People saw the US leave, basically with it’s tail between it’s legs, and are now laughing.

    It’s less Mrs Bezos and more thugs in some shitty inner city ghetto that should be used as incendiary projectile testing grounds – the toughest guy on the block decided to go easy on the annoying crackhead, decided it wasn’t worth his time, but unfortunately for him, the crackhead lunged with a knife as he was heading out, and he had to dodge it but still yelped in surprise, and despite the fact that objectively he’s still the toughest guy, everyone saw and is laughing at him and his respect is in the gutter, as is his capability to summon his gangbanger underlings.

  185. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Beckow

    Seethe harder. I can choose to take it as I like. Think about that fact, why it is and what that means.


    As I said many times: they know how to kill, but not how to die. You don’t win without both, so they lose again and again.
     
    Not my fault that you feel like you're dead/want to die, nor would it be a hard thing for you to reverse.

    You say NATO keep losing, but what exactly has NATO lost? I see no NATO country with territory taken, or under occupation. I see no NATO country even under actual threat. To stop "losing" NATO need only ignore, rather than fight, completely pointless wars. This is the easiest inaction in the world.

    You're screaming at Bezos that he is basically homeless because he keeps spending money on hugely expensive dinners, when his luxurious expenditure means the exact opposite. It will always be a human tendency to seethe and carp from the sidelines in this way, but it doesn't make it any less sad. I cringe for you.

    As for Vietnam war films, they're all basically anti the war, but you're essentially asking for a documentary, of which there are just as many. I believe the Ken Burns series is widely distributed.

    Replies: @Beckow

    but what exactly has NATO lost? I see no NATO country with territory taken, or under occupation.

    Thousand od dead from multiple countries and trillions in wasted budgets. By any estimate, thousand of fully equipped hospitals, or free education for a generation of young people, or hundreds of thousands of new homes, or totally new transport infrastructure – all of that could be in the Nato countries today. It is not, it sits as rusted garbage in Afghanistan and as stolen money in intermediaries and Afghani well-connected thieves bank accounts and suitcases. Plus the millions of migrants it has triggered. It looks to me like the Nato countries lost quite a bit.

    No idea what your Bezos rant means, I will ignore it. You do seem to have some self-respect issues, try to get out more and understand other points of view. Your infantile hysteria after a defeat is not the best way to handle it.

    • Disagree: Triteleia Laxa
    • Replies: @Svevlad
    @Beckow

    Those are still irrelevant.

    No, what they actually lost is prestige, and domestic respect.

    See, what Triteleia is saying is objectively correct, but what good is that when 20 tranzillion rightoids start parroting "haha USA BTFO NATO BTFO mashallah" as we're seeing now?

    Well, look at what the people are talking about. A good chunk of the normies are crying, but simply due to the plethora of groypers and talichads mocking everything, a lot of them are taking this idea instead. Half the world is laughing at them as we speak.

    Cue, Vietnam moment. And no matter that those are just statistics to be struck out of a very large ledger, the rice farmer meme will soon have a friend in the goat herder meme.

    And cue "the elites certainly don't think so" - well the elites are too busy tard wrangling the populace, as they do, and judging how sloppy this whole affair was, they aren't the sharpest tools in the shed anymore anyway.

    Oh well, the inevitable march of history goes on! Or rather, the great spiral...

    Replies: @Boomthorkell

  186. @El Dato
    @Triteleia Laxa


    The $2 trillion thrown away on nothing is a sign of ridiculous strength. No other polity could do that on a whim and forget about it on a few months, as will happen.
     
    Marie Antoinette, please.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    Marie Antoinette’s apocryphal problem is that she offered cake when there was not even bread to spare in her capital. I understand how you can confuse that with the current US situation, but it was actually the exact opposite. The US has so much bread, that they spent 20 years burning it in the most backwater, pointless part of the other side of the world because they had nothing more pressing to do with their military, and because domestic health care is against too many vested interests.

    • Replies: @El Dato
    @Triteleia Laxa

    We idea is that poor Marie, a nice white lady, was completely clueless about economic realities that would take her places she couldn't imagine.

    For the US, it's all on the AMEX card, or gone.

    Fuel burnt, metal extracted and wasted, wrong assembly chains built, wrong skills learned, government overreach increased, politicians more off the leash.

    Meanwhile, REAL problems - resources dwindling, population shifting, environment changing and not in good ways, foreign competitors getting serious - are starting to pile up on the front door.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

  187. @Anatoly Karlin
    @Saladin

    More books translated into Spanish every year than have ever been translated into Arabic. (OBL famously seethed about this).

    The last Great Power that espoused your heresy peaked half a millennium ago.

    Your most ardent fanatics posting from the heart of Christendom, interlopers who only exist on our inexplicable sufferance.

    All things considered, we're doing quite well, I think, your recent successes converting some Third World blacks aside.

    Replies: @sher singh, @haha

    I normally avoid posts by Anatoly Karlin for the simple reason that I am not interested in reading people who espouse bigotry, ignorance, racial hatred, religious intolerance, and frothing-at-the-mouth rage. Mr. Karlin hates muslims and makes no bones about it. Saladin could have spared himself the hurt and agony by simply not clicking on his article. BTW, what is it about people of Russian/East European origin that they embrace the worst of what the Western intellectual fashions have on offer while remaining totally ignorant of the finest that the Western intellectual tradition has produced? The English gentlemen-soldiers respected the Afghans for their valour, fighting skills, and steadfast devotion to their independence and freedom. People like Karlin only see backwardness in a people whom none have been able to subjugate.

    • Agree: Yellowface Anon
    • LOL: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @haha

    The Taliban are an even more tragic version of the BLM rioters who burned down their own neighbourhoods, forced out commerce, social services and police, and then congratulated themselves on not being subjugated in their miserable ghettos.

    "Hip hop hurray, we routed YT, now to keep it real in our benighted self-created sh*thole. We are so brave and successful."

    The US installed government failed because it was an attempt at a national polity in a tribal country. Its strength was only as much as the tribes which supported it, and it seems it even lacked those represented by Karzai, Abdullah and Hekmatyr, which left it with little.

    But the corollary of this is that, while the US had just a cameo role in endless Afghan conflict, fanatical Muslims are just a mere prop in Western political disagreements - a conversation point for hyperbole and posing, and about as important as some Twitter racist comments against a few black football players, which also created a media storm.

    Replies: @haha

    , @Daniel Chieh
    @haha


    I normally avoid posts by Anatoly Karlin for the simple reason that I am not interested in reading people who espouse bigotry, ignorance, racial hatred, religious intolerance, and frothing-at-the-mouth rage
     
    But sir kindly, you have not fully understood his intricacies. Please read the below and do the needful to kindly adjust before reverting back.

    My friend also wishes to improve the gastronomical quality of humanity:

    I have consciously begun consuming more beef just to trigger these climate change moralists. It gives me pleasure to think I am canceling out the efforts of some Green vegan loser just through eating what I enjoy anyway. Helping bring about a warmer, wetter world is a nice bonus.

     

    He is deeply invested in altruism in providing living space and increased comfort for the Yakult and other POC people such as Russians:

    Immediate benefits: Russians can go swimming and sunning in the Baltics or even the White Sea. A couple more degrees, and it might become competitive with southern resorts during summer.

    This is just the start. As the century progresses there will hopefully be intensive agricultural development, demographic settling, exploitation of the methane reserves in the permafrost and oceanic floor clathrates. This will hopefully accelerate warming further in a virtuous cycle.
     
    His support for efforts against white supremacy do not merely limit themselves to greening of the lands inhabited by People of Color, but also the greater appreciation and advancement of Brown people of superior spiritual qualities over their historic oppressors:

    Westoids, Sinoids, and Russoids alike will doubtless be doing a lot of cringing and coping as they kneel to be decapitated by the fiery sword of immanentized Kalki and have their very souls burned to be reforged into NFTs, to be traded and casually disposed of at the whim of their Vedic post-human masters.

     

    And yet even for people afflicted with the disease of whiteness, he ponders of means to uplift and invigorate to improve their health and longevity in a truly glowing manner.

    GLORY TO THE ATOM.

    The conservative, strongly atomophile society portrayed in prewar America in the Fallout world is the gold standard of civilization that we must all unironically strive to attain.

     

    Indeed, he does not limit his compassion simply to human beings, but is concerned with the maximization of qualia of all of Earth's living beings:

    For instance, Tomasik’s table gives catfish – one of the more primitive creatures on the planet – a sentience multiplier of 0.5 relative to pigs! This implies that killing two catfish is as bad as killing a pig, and that eating catfish produces 200 times as much suffering as eating pork.

    Pork, I try to avoid entirely
     
    Please remember to support his efforts to improve the qualia of all existence on this gentle world and spread his good name:

    https://www.patreon.com/akarlin

    https://akarlin.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/ak-in-nizhny-novgorod-scaled.jpg

    Replies: @haha

  188. @Wency
    @Daniel Chieh

    So here's a question for discussion: now that China has India half-encircled, what does China really want from India? I guess I'll admit I don't really understand the Indian-Chinese rivalry. What are their conflicting interests? Why can't they cooperate, as Russia and China do?

    China already has access to Iran through the post-Soviet 'stans, and I imagine for a very long time, perhaps forever, that route will be preferred to Afghanistan. Though it's nice to have options. The idea of having access to energy in spite of a theoretical US naval embargo is valuable, if China really wanted to build a 5,000 mile pipeline to make it happen.

    But I'll admit that I have a tough time seeing the turf of Afghanistan as all that important to the US -- and if it was that important, it really does feel like an unsustainable landlocked colony in a hostile neighborhood that couldn't be held against any sort of determined resistance anyway. My sense was always that the US was *allowed* to be in Afghanistan, and China alone probably could have persuaded/bribed all the 'stans to cut supplies to the US force, if it really wanted to.

    From USG's standpoint, the most important thing lost was psychological: American prestige and credibility. And those losses, in turn, are at least as much about how spectacularly Afghanistan fell after such a large investment and so much insistence about Afghanistan's importance, as the fall itself. And while the fate of America's collaborators is still being decided, the callous disregard for them is going to be hard to deny.

    It causes people to wonder about every government the US has propped up and that has never really been tested in battle. How many other paper tigers are out there? Saudi? Taiwan?

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Daniel Chieh, @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms, @china-russia-all-the-way

    Taiwan was founded by the KMT. They fought a two front war against the CCP and Japanese Empire at the same time. They also run an extremely successful polity. They are not “propped up” by the US. They are much less “fake and gay” than the CCP, which itself is not exactly “fake and gay.” Putting them in the same grouping with the Saud Royal family is like putting the ANA in the same grouping as the US military!

    • Replies: @Wency
    @Triteleia Laxa

    The KMT that lost China (despite significantly outnumbering and having better hardware than the Communists even after 1945, but yeah at least they fought) was still a very different animal from the Taiwan of today. I don't think Taiwan's fighting spirit is all that clear to anyone, it's a roll of the dice what they would do, and I'm highly skeptical of anyone who says otherwise. It's a gamble either way, but I think this event should cause everyone to lean a little bit more towards the possibility that Taiwan surrenders to a Chinese invasion without meaningful resistance unless the US can prevent China from landing significant numbers of troops.

    Taiwan is propped up by the US in the sense that a government of more-or-less its fellow countrymen, whom the whole world sort-of-views as the same country, would have conquered it ages ago, if not for US intervention. Though yes, they built a high-functioning economy and democracy. Czechoslovakia did too in the build-up to WW2.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @AnonFromTN

  189. @Beckow
    @Wency

    All the examples you give are solipsistic self-centered stories about Vietnam: how did killing the local Vietnamese affect the poor draftees sent to do it? They were antiwar movies in a general sense, but they still only showed the different versions of the Washington narrative. And they all downplay the complete collapse at the end - the defeat, that point is never allowed to be articulated, it would be too painful so we get what looks to any outsider as narcism.

    You can argue that no society ever does that. That is largely true, although there have been exceptions. But the point is that US aspires to be a global cultural master - and self-centered yapping about psycho issues of its draftees while ignoring what they were doing (and why) to others doesn't go well with that. My prediction about Afghanistan stands: either nothing or psych-minutia with cheap allusion to we were fighting the evil, poor us, under-appreciated by the mean world...and of course a few Russian baddies will be added for some color. The myths will continue.

    Replies: @Wency

    I do think you can make a case that the Taliban will be portrayed as more evil than Vietnamese Communists, but that’s because they’re rightist (and, conceivably, somewhat whitish).

    The Fall of Saigon isn’t portrayed all that often, and we could speculate as to a few reasons for that. I’d argue it’s mainly because it was an anti-climactic episode in the war and didn’t involve many Americans. Honestly, I think Americans care a lot less about the Fall of Saigon per se than about the 58,000 American dead with nothing to show for it. I don’t think it’s that the Fall of Saigon was too painful — the highlight of these films is the more painful reality of the soldiers who died or were maimed pointlessly. You could call that solipsistic, I guess. I’d just say it’s a focus on the human element of a lost cause, which a lot of men lived through and had to bring home with them, while Vietnam is a far-away and alien place that’s tough to care about.

    But most war films in general aren’t about the final outcome, because win or lose, it’s usually anti-climactic. WW2 films very seldom portray many events on the German front in 1945, for example.

  190. @Beckow
    @Triteleia Laxa


    but what exactly has NATO lost? I see no NATO country with territory taken, or under occupation.
     
    Thousand od dead from multiple countries and trillions in wasted budgets. By any estimate, thousand of fully equipped hospitals, or free education for a generation of young people, or hundreds of thousands of new homes, or totally new transport infrastructure - all of that could be in the Nato countries today. It is not, it sits as rusted garbage in Afghanistan and as stolen money in intermediaries and Afghani well-connected thieves bank accounts and suitcases. Plus the millions of migrants it has triggered. It looks to me like the Nato countries lost quite a bit.

    No idea what your Bezos rant means, I will ignore it. You do seem to have some self-respect issues, try to get out more and understand other points of view. Your infantile hysteria after a defeat is not the best way to handle it.

    Replies: @Svevlad

    Those are still irrelevant.

    No, what they actually lost is prestige, and domestic respect.

    See, what Triteleia is saying is objectively correct, but what good is that when 20 tranzillion rightoids start parroting “haha USA BTFO NATO BTFO mashallah” as we’re seeing now?

    Well, look at what the people are talking about. A good chunk of the normies are crying, but simply due to the plethora of groypers and talichads mocking everything, a lot of them are taking this idea instead. Half the world is laughing at them as we speak.

    Cue, Vietnam moment. And no matter that those are just statistics to be struck out of a very large ledger, the rice farmer meme will soon have a friend in the goat herder meme.

    And cue “the elites certainly don’t think so” – well the elites are too busy tard wrangling the populace, as they do, and judging how sloppy this whole affair was, they aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed anymore anyway.

    Oh well, the inevitable march of history goes on! Or rather, the great spiral…

    • Replies: @Boomthorkell
    @Svevlad

    The nice thing is, it spirals up!

  191. @A123
    @jimmyriddle


    It is really hard to believe they are really this incompetent (I know they are at the top, but this is bad staff work).
     
    Does anyone think that this fiasco is "accidental" driven by "incompetence "?

    The NeoConDemocrats do not want to give up their Globalist dreams. The Deep State is intentionally orchestrating the chaos. They are making sure that their fascist co-conspirators in the SJW Lügenpresse obtain the most damaging visuals possible.

    Do your remember Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman? And, his propaganda efforts from within the military? Yes, he was forced out. However, swamp creatures like him still exist in the command structure.

    The Pentagon REMF planners are intentionally staging "1975" helicopter show pieces.

    It is a premeditated set-up, intended to humiliate & punish Biden for defying SJW Globalist, authoritarian dogma.

    PEACE 😇

    Replies: @AnonfromTN, @El Dato, @Seraphim

    Next you will tell us Hitler was secretly winning from his bunker.

    punish Biden for defying SJW Globalist, authoritarian dogma

    Meanwhile, at Smoking Man’s super-duper 666 IQ hideout:

    *RING!*
    “Hello?”
    “Sir, the hologram we installed has been successfully punished by a debacle that makes us look like an omelette with a side-order of fries.”
    “Outstanding. Out-standing. Carry on with the forced globalorgasm program!”
    “With pleasure, sir – or madam – or … err …”
    *click*

    • LOL: A123
    • Replies: @A123
    @El Dato

    Is [MORE] another holodeck problem?

    It is running the military exit from Afghanistan. And, it is responsible for training 300,000+ ANA troops to fight.

    PEACE 😇

    https://i.redd.it/h4edz4rfhmh71.jpg

  192. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Wency

    Taiwan was founded by the KMT. They fought a two front war against the CCP and Japanese Empire at the same time. They also run an extremely successful polity. They are not "propped up" by the US. They are much less "fake and gay" than the CCP, which itself is not exactly "fake and gay." Putting them in the same grouping with the Saud Royal family is like putting the ANA in the same grouping as the US military!

    Replies: @Wency

    The KMT that lost China (despite significantly outnumbering and having better hardware than the Communists even after 1945, but yeah at least they fought) was still a very different animal from the Taiwan of today. I don’t think Taiwan’s fighting spirit is all that clear to anyone, it’s a roll of the dice what they would do, and I’m highly skeptical of anyone who says otherwise. It’s a gamble either way, but I think this event should cause everyone to lean a little bit more towards the possibility that Taiwan surrenders to a Chinese invasion without meaningful resistance unless the US can prevent China from landing significant numbers of troops.

    Taiwan is propped up by the US in the sense that a government of more-or-less its fellow countrymen, whom the whole world sort-of-views as the same country, would have conquered it ages ago, if not for US intervention. Though yes, they built a high-functioning economy and democracy. Czechoslovakia did too in the build-up to WW2.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Wency

    My family was KMT; the modern Taiwan has nothing to do with the KMT and will fold under any assault. The various aspects including globohomo that do represent Taiwan's civilian government pretty much anger the KMT, who used to make up the military, and like me often have a background of military involvement throughout history(almost every single male member of my family, going back to Chu).

    There's been a real fear that parts of the military will turncoat, so Tsai attempted to reconstitute the military with non-KMT, which has resulted in a pathetically trained force with little will, because essentially its not much up by people from a martial culture. It does seem like a real thing, from an HBD level.

    https://international.thenewslens.com/article/123554

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/02/15/china-threat-invasion-conscription-taiwans-military-is-a-hollow-shell/

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/08/20/taiwan-military-flashy-american-weapons-no-ammo/

    E.g. Taiwan's military is composed of many people who have never fired a gun. There's an uniform sense of "it doesn't matter, either the US saves us, or we can't do anything anyway." There's no warrior culture at all in those people, and it really does has a corrosive effect.

    Replies: @Wency

    , @AnonFromTN
    @Wency


    the possibility that Taiwan surrenders to a Chinese invasion without meaningful resistance unless the US can prevent China from landing significant numbers of troops.
     
    It appears more likely that Taiwan would reunite with the rest of China w/o any invasion. Taiwan military has lots of American toys, like ANA. Like in case of ANA, this is negated by the fact that their military is American-trained. As Abkhazians said about Georgian military (which desintegrated in 2008 exactly like ANA in 2021), “American-trained to run away”.
  193. @Wency
    @Daniel Chieh

    So here's a question for discussion: now that China has India half-encircled, what does China really want from India? I guess I'll admit I don't really understand the Indian-Chinese rivalry. What are their conflicting interests? Why can't they cooperate, as Russia and China do?

    China already has access to Iran through the post-Soviet 'stans, and I imagine for a very long time, perhaps forever, that route will be preferred to Afghanistan. Though it's nice to have options. The idea of having access to energy in spite of a theoretical US naval embargo is valuable, if China really wanted to build a 5,000 mile pipeline to make it happen.

    But I'll admit that I have a tough time seeing the turf of Afghanistan as all that important to the US -- and if it was that important, it really does feel like an unsustainable landlocked colony in a hostile neighborhood that couldn't be held against any sort of determined resistance anyway. My sense was always that the US was *allowed* to be in Afghanistan, and China alone probably could have persuaded/bribed all the 'stans to cut supplies to the US force, if it really wanted to.

    From USG's standpoint, the most important thing lost was psychological: American prestige and credibility. And those losses, in turn, are at least as much about how spectacularly Afghanistan fell after such a large investment and so much insistence about Afghanistan's importance, as the fall itself. And while the fate of America's collaborators is still being decided, the callous disregard for them is going to be hard to deny.

    It causes people to wonder about every government the US has propped up and that has never really been tested in battle. How many other paper tigers are out there? Saudi? Taiwan?

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Daniel Chieh, @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms, @china-russia-all-the-way

    But I’ll admit that I have a tough time seeing the turf of Afghanistan as all that important to the US

    The role of Afghanistan is basically a strategic location that allows American troops to maintain presence via airbase; it also allowed control of the Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India Pipeline, which has strategic consequence but a very basic form of “consequence” is that it makes a lot of money, and had the US been the area, it could act either in carrots or sticks to it, but now it has no role whatsoever.

    And of course, not having an airbase means that the US has no way to interact Eurasia by bombing or deploying – pretty much its cut out. It probably wouldn’t be unsustainable if it was a very controlled project, like a single city, or even just to maintain friendly relationships; the US got itself in a weird situation where it gambled to “win everything” as opposed to say, bribe the government, and lost its cards there.

    What many don’t understand when they go by, “THE US IS STRONG” is well, yeah, sure the US is strong. The US has many many pawns, and thus a huge material advantage. But you also need to be able to put your pawns where you need them, and that positional space is important.

    So here’s a question for discussion: now that China has India half-encircled, what does China really want from India?

    Nothing. China more or less to not prefers not think about the existence of India at all. The cadres like to pretend it doesn’t exist. The truth is that the cadres mostly seem to regard India as a third-world curiousity of crazy people who worship cow poop and scream about how they’re about to punish you with bloodlusted gods while falling off mountains in the dark. Thinking about them hurts their heads and they worry if they try to understand them, they’ll catch the crazy like a contagious disease. They would prefer to think about, cooperate with and fight with, anyone else: USA, Japan, Russia, Iran, really anyone else.

    I’m being mildly silly, but that’s pretty true.

    You can’t cooperate well with people you regard as utterly bonkers. And when your friends are Pakis, which is definitely the case with China, then the antagonism gets naturally extended. Islam may be alien and hostile, but its at least more comprehensible than rubbing yourself with bovine feces to become clean.

    India, understandably, deeply dislikes being regarded as such.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    The US failure in Afghanistan is nothing to the US, but it is a symptom of something dangerous. The US elite class is far more parochial than it imagines. They can't see how what works for them, will not work for people like rural Afghans. It represents a failure in their ideology and a failure in their empathy.

    The US should have gone in and left. Or, if they had stayed, they could have split the country into Pashtunland and "other", but their ideology restricted them from those options. This means that the ideology needs adjusting. It does not fit their requirements.

    Despite this, I do find it interesting that one reason the US wouldn't have created a Pashtunland is because that would have caused huge problems for Pakistan, who were pretending to be friendly at the time, but the US ended up trading that pseudo-friendliness for a real friendship with the much stronger India, so it somehow even worked out quite well.

    Remember BRICS? China has traded India and Brazil for Pakistan and Iran. Some geopolitical geniuses! Next, they'll be trading Russia for Georgia and declaring Sinotriumph.

    Not that anyone cares, because international conflict of this type between major powers has become incredibly low stakes and is only getting more so. The real battlefield is played out in terms of culture and actualisation, because there's no need to compete on anything else. The people caught thinking they are fighting the old wars will always lose the new ones.

    The geopolitical, cultural and social Luddites here, and elsewhere, don't begin to understand this, but Luddites will Luddite.

    State legitimacy, which allowed the state to govern the populace and guarantee security, was based on food, now food is too easy, so it is based on higher level concerns. Self-styled "realists" are stuck in old paradigms and don't realise that realism needs constant refreshing from observed reality.

    Replies: @A123, @Daniel Chieh

    , @Daniel Chieh
    @Daniel Chieh


    You can’t cooperate well with people you regard as utterly bonkers.
     
    I should add: you also can't really cooperate with an unstable nation, and that's a major problem with India, which appears to be riven with factional and political rivalries such that agreements and contracts will change from day to day, and may not even be able to internally enforce its policies(as the farm protests show), or apparently has provinces that abruptly announce that they are going to war with you now. The sense and depth of crazy is really pretty extensive.

    https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/pm-has-decided-date-of-war-with-china-pakistan-uttar-pradesh-bjp-president/article32940512.ece

    Pakistan is not much better. China provides substantial financial aid and assistance to it, as does the United States and I've often thought of it a bit akin to paying off pirates; Pakistan is basically noncooperative - and necessarily so, since the ISI hold some significant power, and the civilian government hold some significant power and the population at large is mostly disconnected from both. With no clear "responsible actor" to hold liable, the best* that can be done is to throw money at it and hope that bribery mostly gets your way. So far, it has kinda worked for China but not the US, but its basically dice rolling.


    *You can also begin supporting specific factions, which is akin to instantly volunteering to put your dick into the grinder.

    Replies: @haha

  194. @haha
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I normally avoid posts by Anatoly Karlin for the simple reason that I am not interested in reading people who espouse bigotry, ignorance, racial hatred, religious intolerance, and frothing-at-the-mouth rage. Mr. Karlin hates muslims and makes no bones about it. Saladin could have spared himself the hurt and agony by simply not clicking on his article. BTW, what is it about people of Russian/East European origin that they embrace the worst of what the Western intellectual fashions have on offer while remaining totally ignorant of the finest that the Western intellectual tradition has produced? The English gentlemen-soldiers respected the Afghans for their valour, fighting skills, and steadfast devotion to their independence and freedom. People like Karlin only see backwardness in a people whom none have been able to subjugate.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Daniel Chieh

    The Taliban are an even more tragic version of the BLM rioters who burned down their own neighbourhoods, forced out commerce, social services and police, and then congratulated themselves on not being subjugated in their miserable ghettos.

    “Hip hop hurray, we routed YT, now to keep it real in our benighted self-created sh*thole. We are so brave and successful.”

    The US installed government failed because it was an attempt at a national polity in a tribal country. Its strength was only as much as the tribes which supported it, and it seems it even lacked those represented by Karzai, Abdullah and Hekmatyr, which left it with little.

    But the corollary of this is that, while the US had just a cameo role in endless Afghan conflict, fanatical Muslims are just a mere prop in Western political disagreements – a conversation point for hyperbole and posing, and about as important as some Twitter racist comments against a few black football players, which also created a media storm.

    • Replies: @haha
    @Triteleia Laxa

    I think I already tried to tell you in some other thread that you don't seem to get it. Not one bit, I'm afraid. Let me try one more time. The US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan was immoral, illegal (unless you believe in might is right), and pragmatically a bad policy. It ended in shameful and comical failure, making the US a laughing stock. Repeat of ignominious exit from Vietnam, and for precisely the same reason: might is not right. You were invaders and mass murderers drunk on hubris then, you are drunk on hubris now. If it comes to body counts, the US has beaten Nazi Germany.

    "Fanatical Muslims": well, wouldn't you be fighting mad if outsiders invaded your country and tried to remake it in their image? "Fanatical Muslims" all over the world have only been fighting invasions of their homelands by stronger and far more blood-thirsty outsiders.

    Occupiers and invaders by and large get kicked out. Read some world history and learn.

    BLM is the reaction to your policies at home. I do not agree with much of what BLM say and do, but I have the ability to see where they are coming from. Your "Might is Right" policies are failing right at home as your society disintegrates and turns on itself. Criticize BLM, laugh at it, mock it all you can but anyone with half a brain can see that you will never again be able to put down your blacks and other downtrodden groups. Intuitively you sense your weakness and mock and insult BLM the way you insult Muslims and all who resist you. Laugh all you can now, because the future doesn't belong to you. How can it? You have stopped reproducing yourselves and are thus doomed to extinction. I am sure the dinosaurs were the strongest and smartest in their day. Well, where are they now?

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

  195. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    China, Pakistan, Iran and Russia have nothing in common.

    Iran and Pakistan are basketcases, who are prone to hating each other.

    Russia is doing adequately given its history, which still doesn't amount to a lot.

    China has 1.4 billion smart, industrious people. The CCP's achievements are incredibly impressive when you forget that, but really they have hit pretty much the minimum that you would hope.

    Afghanistan as a link between them is unnecessary, vulnerable and will be a pointless money pit, if those countries can't learn from US misadventures.

    In fact, all of those countries are probably more culturally proximate to the US than they are even to each other, which is astonishing when you think about it.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Russia is doing adequately given its history, which still doesn’t amount to a lot.

    The depth of your analysis is truly breath-taking.

    That’s fine: don’t worry your brain with it, it might hurt.

  196. @Svevlad
    @Aedib

    Russia really needs to tie down Central Asia. Perhaps even restore imperial borders, w/ total Russification.

    Very long term, and through the proper intermediaries of course. 100+ year planning and all, but still an imperative.

    Replies: @haha

    Russia needs to stay within Russia and fix its own problems. Also, apparently, it lacks sufficient number of fools anxious to become canon fodder, preferring the far cozier option of migrating to the West. The way demographics look, Russia could end up without Russians within Russia proper, never mind imperial extensions.

    • Replies: @Svevlad
    @haha

    That's why - extremely long term.

    Replies: @haha

  197. Really it’s funny how Afghanistan is only so strategically important because Turkmenistan is equally a basket case, just on the other side of the spectrum.

    If Turkmenistan was more similar to Uzbekistan or even better Kazakhstan, the China-Iran connection could be easily made, and Afghanistan would instantly become utterly worthless as an US asset except to generate tensions.

  198. @Wency
    @Triteleia Laxa

    The KMT that lost China (despite significantly outnumbering and having better hardware than the Communists even after 1945, but yeah at least they fought) was still a very different animal from the Taiwan of today. I don't think Taiwan's fighting spirit is all that clear to anyone, it's a roll of the dice what they would do, and I'm highly skeptical of anyone who says otherwise. It's a gamble either way, but I think this event should cause everyone to lean a little bit more towards the possibility that Taiwan surrenders to a Chinese invasion without meaningful resistance unless the US can prevent China from landing significant numbers of troops.

    Taiwan is propped up by the US in the sense that a government of more-or-less its fellow countrymen, whom the whole world sort-of-views as the same country, would have conquered it ages ago, if not for US intervention. Though yes, they built a high-functioning economy and democracy. Czechoslovakia did too in the build-up to WW2.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @AnonFromTN

    My family was KMT; the modern Taiwan has nothing to do with the KMT and will fold under any assault. The various aspects including globohomo that do represent Taiwan’s civilian government pretty much anger the KMT, who used to make up the military, and like me often have a background of military involvement throughout history(almost every single male member of my family, going back to Chu).

    There’s been a real fear that parts of the military will turncoat, so Tsai attempted to reconstitute the military with non-KMT, which has resulted in a pathetically trained force with little will, because essentially its not much up by people from a martial culture. It does seem like a real thing, from an HBD level.

    https://international.thenewslens.com/article/123554

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/02/15/china-threat-invasion-conscription-taiwans-military-is-a-hollow-shell/

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/08/20/taiwan-military-flashy-american-weapons-no-ammo/

    E.g. Taiwan’s military is composed of many people who have never fired a gun. There’s an uniform sense of “it doesn’t matter, either the US saves us, or we can’t do anything anyway.” There’s no warrior culture at all in those people, and it really does has a corrosive effect.

    • Thanks: Showmethereal
    • Replies: @Wency
    @Daniel Chieh

    Thanks, those articles are interesting. Though I still think it's wise to maintain some doubt in this matter.

    I guess the way I had been thinking about Taiwan, prior to recent events, is that you can have a hardened core within a mostly useless military. If there were to exist somewhere in the Taiwanese armed forces 50,000 determined and capable men (which is to say less than 1/3 of the active duty forces and none of the reserves), and they're deployed intelligently, ready to hold the beaches and the airports, they could make an invasion very difficult for China. They couldn't deny them the island without American support, but they could perhaps make the conquest costly enough as to not be worthwhile. So perhaps it can be the case that most Taiwanese soldiers are useless, but a hardened "core" exists somewhere.

    That certainly didn't pan out in Afghanistan though -- there was no core. It was all fluff.

    There was a moment (it was too brief to even discuss with anyone) where I wondered if Mazar-e-Sharif might hold out, a rallying point in the North. After all, the Taliban never conquered the whole of the North before, and the last time they took Mazar they committed massacres, and with Northern militias + Uzbek/Tajik members of the ANA, you might have the manpower to be able to win a defensive battle and hold one city. Allegedly Dostum was buying aircraft and pilots from Kabul and sending them to Mazar.

    But then, so the story goes, the ANA decided to surrender, and that triggered the rest of the militia losing confidence and giving up as well. I wonder then if Mazar would have had better odds without the ANA than with it, if the only role of an army that evaporates upon enemy contact is to cause the rest of the men to lose faith. Perhaps this is what would happen in Taiwan -- maybe 10% or 20% of the men would be prepared to fight a real war, but seeing the other 80-90% surrender and to encourage them to do the same would only cause them to lose heart.

    But then again, in the American Revolution, this was ostensibly the role of the militia -- if you wanted to put them up toe-to-toe against British Regulars, maybe expect a single salvo out of them before they evaporated, but they still had their uses and were an important source of American manpower. I guess this model works better if you have regulars that will fight a pitched battle and irregulars that won't. If irregulars see regulars break, they're going to break, even if they might not have broken on their own.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Showmethereal

  199. @Wency
    @Triteleia Laxa

    The KMT that lost China (despite significantly outnumbering and having better hardware than the Communists even after 1945, but yeah at least they fought) was still a very different animal from the Taiwan of today. I don't think Taiwan's fighting spirit is all that clear to anyone, it's a roll of the dice what they would do, and I'm highly skeptical of anyone who says otherwise. It's a gamble either way, but I think this event should cause everyone to lean a little bit more towards the possibility that Taiwan surrenders to a Chinese invasion without meaningful resistance unless the US can prevent China from landing significant numbers of troops.

    Taiwan is propped up by the US in the sense that a government of more-or-less its fellow countrymen, whom the whole world sort-of-views as the same country, would have conquered it ages ago, if not for US intervention. Though yes, they built a high-functioning economy and democracy. Czechoslovakia did too in the build-up to WW2.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @AnonFromTN

    the possibility that Taiwan surrenders to a Chinese invasion without meaningful resistance unless the US can prevent China from landing significant numbers of troops.

    It appears more likely that Taiwan would reunite with the rest of China w/o any invasion. Taiwan military has lots of American toys, like ANA. Like in case of ANA, this is negated by the fact that their military is American-trained. As Abkhazians said about Georgian military (which desintegrated in 2008 exactly like ANA in 2021), “American-trained to run away”.

  200. @Triteleia Laxa
    @El Dato

    Marie Antoinette's apocryphal problem is that she offered cake when there was not even bread to spare in her capital. I understand how you can confuse that with the current US situation, but it was actually the exact opposite. The US has so much bread, that they spent 20 years burning it in the most backwater, pointless part of the other side of the world because they had nothing more pressing to do with their military, and because domestic health care is against too many vested interests.

    Replies: @El Dato

    We idea is that poor Marie, a nice white lady, was completely clueless about economic realities that would take her places she couldn’t imagine.

    For the US, it’s all on the AMEX card, or gone.

    Fuel burnt, metal extracted and wasted, wrong assembly chains built, wrong skills learned, government overreach increased, politicians more off the leash.

    Meanwhile, REAL problems – resources dwindling, population shifting, environment changing and not in good ways, foreign competitors getting serious – are starting to pile up on the front door.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @El Dato

    The US need only cut back on some absurd luxuries, like trying to turn Afghans into Danes, and they will balance things out. This is what an incredibly strong position looks like.

    You're not so guilty of this, but what I find most amusing about "hard analysis" Macho men Unz commenters is that very often their worldviews are essentially pure distilled hysteria.

  201. @Daniel Chieh
    @Wency


    But I’ll admit that I have a tough time seeing the turf of Afghanistan as all that important to the US
     
    The role of Afghanistan is basically a strategic location that allows American troops to maintain presence via airbase; it also allowed control of the Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India Pipeline, which has strategic consequence but a very basic form of "consequence" is that it makes a lot of money, and had the US been the area, it could act either in carrots or sticks to it, but now it has no role whatsoever.

    And of course, not having an airbase means that the US has no way to interact Eurasia by bombing or deploying - pretty much its cut out. It probably wouldn't be unsustainable if it was a very controlled project, like a single city, or even just to maintain friendly relationships; the US got itself in a weird situation where it gambled to "win everything" as opposed to say, bribe the government, and lost its cards there.

    What many don't understand when they go by, "THE US IS STRONG" is well, yeah, sure the US is strong. The US has many many pawns, and thus a huge material advantage. But you also need to be able to put your pawns where you need them, and that positional space is important.


    So here’s a question for discussion: now that China has India half-encircled, what does China really want from India?
     
    Nothing. China more or less to not prefers not think about the existence of India at all. The cadres like to pretend it doesn't exist. The truth is that the cadres mostly seem to regard India as a third-world curiousity of crazy people who worship cow poop and scream about how they're about to punish you with bloodlusted gods while falling off mountains in the dark. Thinking about them hurts their heads and they worry if they try to understand them, they'll catch the crazy like a contagious disease. They would prefer to think about, cooperate with and fight with, anyone else: USA, Japan, Russia, Iran, really anyone else.

    I'm being mildly silly, but that's pretty true.

    You can't cooperate well with people you regard as utterly bonkers. And when your friends are Pakis, which is definitely the case with China, then the antagonism gets naturally extended. Islam may be alien and hostile, but its at least more comprehensible than rubbing yourself with bovine feces to become clean.

    India, understandably, deeply dislikes being regarded as such.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Daniel Chieh

    The US failure in Afghanistan is nothing to the US, but it is a symptom of something dangerous. The US elite class is far more parochial than it imagines. They can’t see how what works for them, will not work for people like rural Afghans. It represents a failure in their ideology and a failure in their empathy.

    The US should have gone in and left. Or, if they had stayed, they could have split the country into Pashtunland and “other”, but their ideology restricted them from those options. This means that the ideology needs adjusting. It does not fit their requirements.

    Despite this, I do find it interesting that one reason the US wouldn’t have created a Pashtunland is because that would have caused huge problems for Pakistan, who were pretending to be friendly at the time, but the US ended up trading that pseudo-friendliness for a real friendship with the much stronger India, so it somehow even worked out quite well.

    Remember BRICS? China has traded India and Brazil for Pakistan and Iran. Some geopolitical geniuses! Next, they’ll be trading Russia for Georgia and declaring Sinotriumph.

    Not that anyone cares, because international conflict of this type between major powers has become incredibly low stakes and is only getting more so. The real battlefield is played out in terms of culture and actualisation, because there’s no need to compete on anything else. The people caught thinking they are fighting the old wars will always lose the new ones.

    The geopolitical, cultural and social Luddites here, and elsewhere, don’t begin to understand this, but Luddites will Luddite.

    State legitimacy, which allowed the state to govern the populace and guarantee security, was based on food, now food is too easy, so it is based on higher level concerns. Self-styled “realists” are stuck in old paradigms and don’t realise that realism needs constant refreshing from observed reality.

    • LOL: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @A123
    @Triteleia Laxa


    The US failure in Afghanistan is nothing to the US, but it is a symptom of something dangerous. The US elite class is far more parochial than it imagines. They can’t see how what works for them, will not work for people like rural Afghans. It represents a failure in their ideology and a failure in their empathy.

    The US should have gone in and left. Or, if they had stayed, they could have split the country into Pashtunland and “other”, but their ideology restricted them from those options. This means that the ideology needs adjusting. It does not fit their requirements.
     

    I mostly concur.

    The withdrawal from the endless Afghanistan fiasco should be scored:
        • LOSE -- SJW Globalism
        • WIN -- Main Street USA

    The WEF Elites of Davos are crying in their $500 martinis right now.

    Ending the deployment makes Real America stronger. No blood and treasure being expended on something that was never going to work. The SJW Elites look very bad right now. Long term that is good for the U.S. We should have less follies, like Afghanistan, in the future.

    Many of those claiming to hate the U.S. do not grasp that a plurality of U.S. Citizens hate the current U.S. Government just like they do. Only simplistic thinkers wield the phrase "The U.S." like a very blunt axe.

    PEACE 😇

    , @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa


    The US should have gone in and left. Or, if they had stayed, they could have split the country into Pashtunland and “other”, but their ideology restricted them from those options.
     
    The US had no coherent plan whatsoever, either liberal or whatever. Their error is much more fundamental and akin to yours: the idea that they can "succeed." At what? At anything and at nothing, apparently, because they had no idea what their goal was, and didn't attempt to sustain any of their accomplishments or even really do it well.

    It profitted some people to be there, so they sustained it. There was a real reason to be there, too, but they were too distracted by various shiny random goals to execute it.


    Remember BRICS? China has traded India and Brazil for Pakistan and Iran. Some geopolitical geniuses! Next, they’ll be trading Russia for Georgia and declaring Sinotriumph.
     
    As Napoleon noted, you don't have to be a genius, you just need idiots for enemies. The latter is a lot easier to be honest, and the US is basically executing along this non-plan.

    State legitimacy, which allowed the state to govern the populace and guarantee security, was based on food, now food is too easy, so it is based on higher level concerns. Self-styled “realists” are stuck in old paradigms and don’t realise that realism needs constant refreshing from observed reality.
     
    Your priors are incorrect. I thought about just dismissing it at that, but it seems worthwhile to add a bit more quickly.

    1) Military contest is now valuable again. It wasn't due to overwhelming US military dominance and ability to intervene, but this isn't the case anymore. We saw the beginnings of this a bit ago with Russian expansion into Crimea, the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war, and so on. Its cyclical: there was a great lull between the end of the Napoleonic Wars to WW1, the Century of Peace, for example, but it ended. We're at the ending of our peace cycle.

    2)Food hasn't been a limiting factor for a long time, people weren't really starving even during the Napoleonic Wars or before; it certainly didn't stop warfare. A better argument to help "steelman" your position is that wealth was once tied to land mass and GDP is no longer associated with that. But strategic locations and positions are still quite important for wealth, and for denying other actors wealth.

    3) The real limiting agent these days with the population is not food but attention. People have limited attention spans and for a long time, "liberalism" was able to capture it. But as Karlin as documented, this appears to be changing. I've also argued with good evidence that polarization is increasing and people even without control are moving into "walled gardens" where they can get the information they want; overlay another aspect of national and corporate control of information and we're very much leaving the era of a "common understanding." And when people can't communicate, they communicate with violence.

    All other notions of spiritual blather is basically so much flimflam. People will feel good when they win. And winning is entirely possible via material means. At the end of the day, its not able food or smartphones or gays or people with boobs or whatever, its that your system won and and their system lost, and so winning gains status necessarily at the cost of someone else losing.

    And constantly fumbling, and indeed, not even understanding that they are fumbling, will not lead to a good position for "liberal values."

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Wency

  202. @JimDandy
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Mission accomplished. Now whenever anyone suggests that we get out of Iraq, they can say "Are you crazy? Look what happened in Afghanistan!"

    Replies: @El Dato

    Muslims might taunt you a second time?

    • Replies: @JimDandy
    @El Dato

    Teenage girls won't be able to wear thong bikinis to the trans rights rally.

  203. @Triteleia Laxa
    @haha

    The Taliban are an even more tragic version of the BLM rioters who burned down their own neighbourhoods, forced out commerce, social services and police, and then congratulated themselves on not being subjugated in their miserable ghettos.

    "Hip hop hurray, we routed YT, now to keep it real in our benighted self-created sh*thole. We are so brave and successful."

    The US installed government failed because it was an attempt at a national polity in a tribal country. Its strength was only as much as the tribes which supported it, and it seems it even lacked those represented by Karzai, Abdullah and Hekmatyr, which left it with little.

    But the corollary of this is that, while the US had just a cameo role in endless Afghan conflict, fanatical Muslims are just a mere prop in Western political disagreements - a conversation point for hyperbole and posing, and about as important as some Twitter racist comments against a few black football players, which also created a media storm.

    Replies: @haha

    I think I already tried to tell you in some other thread that you don’t seem to get it. Not one bit, I’m afraid. Let me try one more time. The US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan was immoral, illegal (unless you believe in might is right), and pragmatically a bad policy. It ended in shameful and comical failure, making the US a laughing stock. Repeat of ignominious exit from Vietnam, and for precisely the same reason: might is not right. You were invaders and mass murderers drunk on hubris then, you are drunk on hubris now. If it comes to body counts, the US has beaten Nazi Germany.

    “Fanatical Muslims”: well, wouldn’t you be fighting mad if outsiders invaded your country and tried to remake it in their image? “Fanatical Muslims” all over the world have only been fighting invasions of their homelands by stronger and far more blood-thirsty outsiders.

    Occupiers and invaders by and large get kicked out. Read some world history and learn.

    BLM is the reaction to your policies at home. I do not agree with much of what BLM say and do, but I have the ability to see where they are coming from. Your “Might is Right” policies are failing right at home as your society disintegrates and turns on itself. Criticize BLM, laugh at it, mock it all you can but anyone with half a brain can see that you will never again be able to put down your blacks and other downtrodden groups. Intuitively you sense your weakness and mock and insult BLM the way you insult Muslims and all who resist you. Laugh all you can now, because the future doesn’t belong to you. How can it? You have stopped reproducing yourselves and are thus doomed to extinction. I am sure the dinosaurs were the strongest and smartest in their day. Well, where are they now?

    • Agree: sher singh
    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @haha

    I don't do LGBTQ+ parades as I think they're self-limiting, but I bet your grandchildren and great grandchildren will love them, should you have any. They'll be the highest of their aspirations, though their own economic situation will be so relatively backwards that they will have to save for years to make a pilgrimage to one. Enjoy your apocalyptic copium in the meantime, but shame that you have to live in a fantasy set in the future to get by in the present. Islam is less relevant every year, and it is already a very boring topic. Even the Taliban have been talking about being more "inclusive!" It doesn't have to be the West that is leading everything, but as long you remain so fixed in thought you will remain stagnant in everything else and will even smell like it 🤣

    What are you going to do after you read this comment? Screech at the walls? Punch a pillow? I can tell you why it triggers you so much, but the answer is individual to you, so you'll just shriek harder. Or perhaps, you'll find the calm to reflect on your reaction and see why yourself?

    Yes, yes, I am being cruel as the light of the middle of the day when it falls on a landfill, but sometimes it is better that way and it is often fun too!

    Replies: @haha

  204. @El Dato
    @Triteleia Laxa

    We idea is that poor Marie, a nice white lady, was completely clueless about economic realities that would take her places she couldn't imagine.

    For the US, it's all on the AMEX card, or gone.

    Fuel burnt, metal extracted and wasted, wrong assembly chains built, wrong skills learned, government overreach increased, politicians more off the leash.

    Meanwhile, REAL problems - resources dwindling, population shifting, environment changing and not in good ways, foreign competitors getting serious - are starting to pile up on the front door.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    The US need only cut back on some absurd luxuries, like trying to turn Afghans into Danes, and they will balance things out. This is what an incredibly strong position looks like.

    You’re not so guilty of this, but what I find most amusing about “hard analysis” Macho men Unz commenters is that very often their worldviews are essentially pure distilled hysteria.

  205. @El Dato
    @nokangaroos

    Mao only survived by the skin of his teeth because the Japanese kept the Chinese Nationalists really, really busy - Stalingrad levels of busy really. Plus the Jap's depredations just populated Mao's forces with desperate peasants eager to survive a bit longer.

    No Japs and no-one would have heard of him except in footnotes in books on cultish revolutionary movements.

    A book I have yet to read, if only the world would hold still for a bit.

    https://www.amazon.com/Peasant-Nationalism-Communist-Power-Revolutionary/dp/0804700745/

    Replies: @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms, @ivan

    Mao only survived by the skin of his teeth because the Japanese kept the Chinese Nationalists really, really busy

    Oversimplification.
    Since forming the Second United Front Chiang always knew Mao could usurp his power. He had numerous chances to cut side deals with Japs to crush the Commies (In a way become a stronger Wang Jingwei). But refused so out of patriotic convictions.

    And he had other rivals to sort out.
    1. Sichuan Clique whose territory he needed as strategic rear against Japs. This was the secondary objective of the Encirclement Campaigns
    2. The most powerful regional army only nominally under his control, Li Zongren’s Guangxi Clique

    In the end Mao would have always won, KMT is a party of the corrupt elite, like our current Uniparty. Mao bought new ideas to the table, to organize the elites and grassroots. 以农村包围城市 Surround the Metropolitans from the Countryside, is to this day CCP’s geopolitical strategy.

    星星之火,足以燎原 A Single Spark, can light fire to the entire Prairie

    Stalingrad levels of busy really

    Neither side had the industrial capacity near that of Ostfront. And Japs couldn’t do much beyond controlling the main cities plus railroads.

  206. @El Dato
    @JimDandy

    Muslims might taunt you a second time?

    Replies: @JimDandy

    Teenage girls won’t be able to wear thong bikinis to the trans rights rally.

  207. @haha
    @Triteleia Laxa

    I think I already tried to tell you in some other thread that you don't seem to get it. Not one bit, I'm afraid. Let me try one more time. The US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan was immoral, illegal (unless you believe in might is right), and pragmatically a bad policy. It ended in shameful and comical failure, making the US a laughing stock. Repeat of ignominious exit from Vietnam, and for precisely the same reason: might is not right. You were invaders and mass murderers drunk on hubris then, you are drunk on hubris now. If it comes to body counts, the US has beaten Nazi Germany.

    "Fanatical Muslims": well, wouldn't you be fighting mad if outsiders invaded your country and tried to remake it in their image? "Fanatical Muslims" all over the world have only been fighting invasions of their homelands by stronger and far more blood-thirsty outsiders.

    Occupiers and invaders by and large get kicked out. Read some world history and learn.

    BLM is the reaction to your policies at home. I do not agree with much of what BLM say and do, but I have the ability to see where they are coming from. Your "Might is Right" policies are failing right at home as your society disintegrates and turns on itself. Criticize BLM, laugh at it, mock it all you can but anyone with half a brain can see that you will never again be able to put down your blacks and other downtrodden groups. Intuitively you sense your weakness and mock and insult BLM the way you insult Muslims and all who resist you. Laugh all you can now, because the future doesn't belong to you. How can it? You have stopped reproducing yourselves and are thus doomed to extinction. I am sure the dinosaurs were the strongest and smartest in their day. Well, where are they now?

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    I don’t do LGBTQ+ parades as I think they’re self-limiting, but I bet your grandchildren and great grandchildren will love them, should you have any. They’ll be the highest of their aspirations, though their own economic situation will be so relatively backwards that they will have to save for years to make a pilgrimage to one. Enjoy your apocalyptic copium in the meantime, but shame that you have to live in a fantasy set in the future to get by in the present. Islam is less relevant every year, and it is already a very boring topic. Even the Taliban have been talking about being more “inclusive!” It doesn’t have to be the West that is leading everything, but as long you remain so fixed in thought you will remain stagnant in everything else and will even smell like it 🤣

    What are you going to do after you read this comment? Screech at the walls? Punch a pillow? I can tell you why it triggers you so much, but the answer is individual to you, so you’ll just shriek harder. Or perhaps, you’ll find the calm to reflect on your reaction and see why yourself?

    Yes, yes, I am being cruel as the light of the middle of the day when it falls on a landfill, but sometimes it is better that way and it is often fun too!

    • Replies: @haha
    @Triteleia Laxa

    "What are you going to do after you read this comment? Screech at the walls?"

    No, but I am shaking my head from side to side. Rather, it is shaking itself, partly in sadness and partly in puzzlement. What do I say to someone who proclaims victory in shameful defeat, says Afghanistan was no big deal for the US because "We can afford it". The fact that you bombed and invaded a defenseless country, which is a war crime and a moral abomination, seems not to bother you. Well, now that you ran away from there, tail between legs, which unfortunate country is going to be your next target?

    Stupidity and ignorance feeding on more stupidity and ignorance, grown fat and ugly on a diet of hubris!

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

  208. @haha
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I normally avoid posts by Anatoly Karlin for the simple reason that I am not interested in reading people who espouse bigotry, ignorance, racial hatred, religious intolerance, and frothing-at-the-mouth rage. Mr. Karlin hates muslims and makes no bones about it. Saladin could have spared himself the hurt and agony by simply not clicking on his article. BTW, what is it about people of Russian/East European origin that they embrace the worst of what the Western intellectual fashions have on offer while remaining totally ignorant of the finest that the Western intellectual tradition has produced? The English gentlemen-soldiers respected the Afghans for their valour, fighting skills, and steadfast devotion to their independence and freedom. People like Karlin only see backwardness in a people whom none have been able to subjugate.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Daniel Chieh

    I normally avoid posts by Anatoly Karlin for the simple reason that I am not interested in reading people who espouse bigotry, ignorance, racial hatred, religious intolerance, and frothing-at-the-mouth rage

    But sir kindly, you have not fully understood his intricacies. Please read the below and do the needful to kindly adjust before reverting back.

    My friend also wishes to improve the gastronomical quality of humanity:

    I have consciously begun consuming more beef just to trigger these climate change moralists. It gives me pleasure to think I am canceling out the efforts of some Green vegan loser just through eating what I enjoy anyway. Helping bring about a warmer, wetter world is a nice bonus.

    He is deeply invested in altruism in providing living space and increased comfort for the Yakult and other POC people such as Russians:

    Immediate benefits: Russians can go swimming and sunning in the Baltics or even the White Sea. A couple more degrees, and it might become competitive with southern resorts during summer.

    This is just the start. As the century progresses there will hopefully be intensive agricultural development, demographic settling, exploitation of the methane reserves in the permafrost and oceanic floor clathrates. This will hopefully accelerate warming further in a virtuous cycle.

    His support for efforts against white supremacy do not merely limit themselves to greening of the lands inhabited by People of Color, but also the greater appreciation and advancement of Brown people of superior spiritual qualities over their historic oppressors:

    Westoids, Sinoids, and Russoids alike will doubtless be doing a lot of cringing and coping as they kneel to be decapitated by the fiery sword of immanentized Kalki and have their very souls burned to be reforged into NFTs, to be traded and casually disposed of at the whim of their Vedic post-human masters.

    And yet even for people afflicted with the disease of whiteness, he ponders of means to uplift and invigorate to improve their health and longevity in a truly glowing manner.

    GLORY TO THE ATOM.

    The conservative, strongly atomophile society portrayed in prewar America in the Fallout world is the gold standard of civilization that we must all unironically strive to attain.

    Indeed, he does not limit his compassion simply to human beings, but is concerned with the maximization of qualia of all of Earth’s living beings:

    For instance, Tomasik’s table gives catfish – one of the more primitive creatures on the planet – a sentience multiplier of 0.5 relative to pigs! This implies that killing two catfish is as bad as killing a pig, and that eating catfish produces 200 times as much suffering as eating pork.

    Pork, I try to avoid entirely

    Please remember to support his efforts to improve the qualia of all existence on this gentle world and spread his good name:

    https://www.patreon.com/akarlin

    • LOL: Triteleia Laxa
    • Replies: @haha
    @Daniel Chieh

    Thanks for your detailed 'research notes' on a certain writer, but mostly I prefer to avoid wasting my time reading him. Some other Russian/East European types I read - and read carefully - because they have some expertise or excellence in matters they touch upon. Martyanov, for example, talks in detail about matters military and of military technologies, and it seems to my layman's mind that he possibly knows what he is talking about. His English is not too strong, though he has fully absorbed all the fashionable curse-words of American English and uses them in abundance. Mr. Orlov writes beautifully, has a unique way with words, and has lots of interesting things to say though, perhaps because of his Russian mean-mindedness, word-spanks Americans and America a little too much. But then he is a poet-essayist who has earned his license to spank all and sundry. Then there is the Saker. I used to find him deep and interesting but of late he is sounding a little worn out. However, the website you referred me to has none of these merits, so I avoid wasting my time.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Anatoly Karlin

  209. @Wency
    @Daniel Chieh

    So here's a question for discussion: now that China has India half-encircled, what does China really want from India? I guess I'll admit I don't really understand the Indian-Chinese rivalry. What are their conflicting interests? Why can't they cooperate, as Russia and China do?

    China already has access to Iran through the post-Soviet 'stans, and I imagine for a very long time, perhaps forever, that route will be preferred to Afghanistan. Though it's nice to have options. The idea of having access to energy in spite of a theoretical US naval embargo is valuable, if China really wanted to build a 5,000 mile pipeline to make it happen.

    But I'll admit that I have a tough time seeing the turf of Afghanistan as all that important to the US -- and if it was that important, it really does feel like an unsustainable landlocked colony in a hostile neighborhood that couldn't be held against any sort of determined resistance anyway. My sense was always that the US was *allowed* to be in Afghanistan, and China alone probably could have persuaded/bribed all the 'stans to cut supplies to the US force, if it really wanted to.

    From USG's standpoint, the most important thing lost was psychological: American prestige and credibility. And those losses, in turn, are at least as much about how spectacularly Afghanistan fell after such a large investment and so much insistence about Afghanistan's importance, as the fall itself. And while the fate of America's collaborators is still being decided, the callous disregard for them is going to be hard to deny.

    It causes people to wonder about every government the US has propped up and that has never really been tested in battle. How many other paper tigers are out there? Saudi? Taiwan?

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Daniel Chieh, @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms, @china-russia-all-the-way

    The first sovereign head of state to visit the Indian Independence movement was Chiang Kai-shek.

    China made various efforts, particularly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour and the fall of Hong Kong and Singapore, in order to defuse the tension that had grown between Indian nationalists and the British administration in India.

    Chiang Kai-shek (Jiang Jieshi) thought that if India were to succumb to Japanese pressures the Allies’ strategic situation in Asia might become extremely difficult.

    For this reasons, Chiang and other Chinese nationalist personalities (for example, Dai Jitao) intensified in those years their contacts with India. They made visits to India and met with leaders like Gandhi and Nehru in order to convince them to give firm support to the Allied cause.

    https://portal.research.lu.se/ws/files/4571404/3128707.pdf

    Chiang argued that while Gandhi’s non-violent resistance was not necessarily invalid for the Indian people, it was an unrealistic worldview on a global context

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/India%E2%80%93Taiwan_relations

    During his visit, Chiang and Nehru shared a bunker one night when Japanese bombers attacked Chongqing in late August

    Aww…

  210. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    The US failure in Afghanistan is nothing to the US, but it is a symptom of something dangerous. The US elite class is far more parochial than it imagines. They can't see how what works for them, will not work for people like rural Afghans. It represents a failure in their ideology and a failure in their empathy.

    The US should have gone in and left. Or, if they had stayed, they could have split the country into Pashtunland and "other", but their ideology restricted them from those options. This means that the ideology needs adjusting. It does not fit their requirements.

    Despite this, I do find it interesting that one reason the US wouldn't have created a Pashtunland is because that would have caused huge problems for Pakistan, who were pretending to be friendly at the time, but the US ended up trading that pseudo-friendliness for a real friendship with the much stronger India, so it somehow even worked out quite well.

    Remember BRICS? China has traded India and Brazil for Pakistan and Iran. Some geopolitical geniuses! Next, they'll be trading Russia for Georgia and declaring Sinotriumph.

    Not that anyone cares, because international conflict of this type between major powers has become incredibly low stakes and is only getting more so. The real battlefield is played out in terms of culture and actualisation, because there's no need to compete on anything else. The people caught thinking they are fighting the old wars will always lose the new ones.

    The geopolitical, cultural and social Luddites here, and elsewhere, don't begin to understand this, but Luddites will Luddite.

    State legitimacy, which allowed the state to govern the populace and guarantee security, was based on food, now food is too easy, so it is based on higher level concerns. Self-styled "realists" are stuck in old paradigms and don't realise that realism needs constant refreshing from observed reality.

    Replies: @A123, @Daniel Chieh

    The US failure in Afghanistan is nothing to the US, but it is a symptom of something dangerous. The US elite class is far more parochial than it imagines. They can’t see how what works for them, will not work for people like rural Afghans. It represents a failure in their ideology and a failure in their empathy.

    The US should have gone in and left. Or, if they had stayed, they could have split the country into Pashtunland and “other”, but their ideology restricted them from those options. This means that the ideology needs adjusting. It does not fit their requirements.

    I mostly concur.

    The withdrawal from the endless Afghanistan fiasco should be scored:
        • LOSE — SJW Globalism
        • WIN — Main Street USA

    The WEF Elites of Davos are crying in their \$500 martinis right now.

    Ending the deployment makes Real America stronger. No blood and treasure being expended on something that was never going to work. The SJW Elites look very bad right now. Long term that is good for the U.S. We should have less follies, like Afghanistan, in the future.

    Many of those claiming to hate the U.S. do not grasp that a plurality of U.S. Citizens hate the current U.S. Government just like they do. Only simplistic thinkers wield the phrase “The U.S.” like a very blunt axe.

    PEACE 😇

  211. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    Afghanistan may be the least important ground for the US in the entire world.

    There may be some African countries that are just as irrelevant.

    The $2 trillion thrown away on nothing is a sign of ridiculous strength. No other polity could do that on a whim and forget about it on a few months, as will happen.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @El Dato, @Philip Owen

    The British Empire at its Anglo-Indian peak also did it. Twice. Victoriously. For a while.

    • Thanks: Triteleia Laxa
  212. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    The US failure in Afghanistan is nothing to the US, but it is a symptom of something dangerous. The US elite class is far more parochial than it imagines. They can't see how what works for them, will not work for people like rural Afghans. It represents a failure in their ideology and a failure in their empathy.

    The US should have gone in and left. Or, if they had stayed, they could have split the country into Pashtunland and "other", but their ideology restricted them from those options. This means that the ideology needs adjusting. It does not fit their requirements.

    Despite this, I do find it interesting that one reason the US wouldn't have created a Pashtunland is because that would have caused huge problems for Pakistan, who were pretending to be friendly at the time, but the US ended up trading that pseudo-friendliness for a real friendship with the much stronger India, so it somehow even worked out quite well.

    Remember BRICS? China has traded India and Brazil for Pakistan and Iran. Some geopolitical geniuses! Next, they'll be trading Russia for Georgia and declaring Sinotriumph.

    Not that anyone cares, because international conflict of this type between major powers has become incredibly low stakes and is only getting more so. The real battlefield is played out in terms of culture and actualisation, because there's no need to compete on anything else. The people caught thinking they are fighting the old wars will always lose the new ones.

    The geopolitical, cultural and social Luddites here, and elsewhere, don't begin to understand this, but Luddites will Luddite.

    State legitimacy, which allowed the state to govern the populace and guarantee security, was based on food, now food is too easy, so it is based on higher level concerns. Self-styled "realists" are stuck in old paradigms and don't realise that realism needs constant refreshing from observed reality.

    Replies: @A123, @Daniel Chieh

    The US should have gone in and left. Or, if they had stayed, they could have split the country into Pashtunland and “other”, but their ideology restricted them from those options.

    The US had no coherent plan whatsoever, either liberal or whatever. Their error is much more fundamental and akin to yours: the idea that they can “succeed.” At what? At anything and at nothing, apparently, because they had no idea what their goal was, and didn’t attempt to sustain any of their accomplishments or even really do it well.

    It profitted some people to be there, so they sustained it. There was a real reason to be there, too, but they were too distracted by various shiny random goals to execute it.

    Remember BRICS? China has traded India and Brazil for Pakistan and Iran. Some geopolitical geniuses! Next, they’ll be trading Russia for Georgia and declaring Sinotriumph.

    As Napoleon noted, you don’t have to be a genius, you just need idiots for enemies. The latter is a lot easier to be honest, and the US is basically executing along this non-plan.

    State legitimacy, which allowed the state to govern the populace and guarantee security, was based on food, now food is too easy, so it is based on higher level concerns. Self-styled “realists” are stuck in old paradigms and don’t realise that realism needs constant refreshing from observed reality.

    Your priors are incorrect. I thought about just dismissing it at that, but it seems worthwhile to add a bit more quickly.

    1) Military contest is now valuable again. It wasn’t due to overwhelming US military dominance and ability to intervene, but this isn’t the case anymore. We saw the beginnings of this a bit ago with Russian expansion into Crimea, the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war, and so on. Its cyclical: there was a great lull between the end of the Napoleonic Wars to WW1, the Century of Peace, for example, but it ended. We’re at the ending of our peace cycle.

    2)Food hasn’t been a limiting factor for a long time, people weren’t really starving even during the Napoleonic Wars or before; it certainly didn’t stop warfare. A better argument to help “steelman” your position is that wealth was once tied to land mass and GDP is no longer associated with that. But strategic locations and positions are still quite important for wealth, and for denying other actors wealth.

    3) The real limiting agent these days with the population is not food but attention. People have limited attention spans and for a long time, “liberalism” was able to capture it. But as Karlin as documented, this appears to be changing. I’ve also argued with good evidence that polarization is increasing and people even without control are moving into “walled gardens” where they can get the information they want; overlay another aspect of national and corporate control of information and we’re very much leaving the era of a “common understanding.” And when people can’t communicate, they communicate with violence.

    All other notions of spiritual blather is basically so much flimflam. People will feel good when they win. And winning is entirely possible via material means. At the end of the day, its not able food or smartphones or gays or people with boobs or whatever, its that your system won and and their system lost, and so winning gains status necessarily at the cost of someone else losing.

    And constantly fumbling, and indeed, not even understanding that they are fumbling, will not lead to a good position for “liberal values.”

    • Agree: Yellowface Anon
    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh


    The US had no coherent plan whatsoever, either liberal or whatever.
     
    Agreed.

    As Napoleon noted, you don’t have to be a genius, you just need idiots for enemies. The latter is a lot easier to be honest, and the US is basically executing along this non-plan.
     
    If you have idiots for enemies and the game is Earth, then you are more than smart enough.

    1) Military contest is now valuable again.
     
    Disagree and your examples don't support your point. Nagorno-whatever is worth nothing. The Crimea was Russia and had their naval base already there.

    2)Food hasn’t been a limiting factor for a long time
     
    I was using it as a shorthand for base needs, but I appreciate your elaboration.

    3) The real limiting agent these days with the population is not food but attention. People have limited attention spans and for a long time, “liberalism” was able to capture it. But as Karlin as documented, this appears to be changing. I’ve also argued with good evidence that polarization is increasing and people even without control are moving into “walled gardens” where they can get the information they want; overlay another aspect of national and corporate control of information and we’re very much leaving the era of a “common understanding.” And when people can’t communicate, they communicate with violence.
     
    You're applying base consequences to conflicts over higher level resources. Developed societies are centrifugal because they can be, because the cost is tiny. This is why politics is all fake hysteria and little action. People communicate fine, but are enjoying being endlessly dramatic.

    People will feel good when they win. And winning is entirely possible via material means. At the end of the day, its not able food or smartphones or gays or people with boobs or whatever, its that your system won and and their system lost, and so winning gains status necessarily at the cost of someone else losing.
     
    Systems losing and winning will be defined by conflicts utilising extremely dramatically argued high level nonsense, with little consequence.

    We have entered an age where ego validation is what people fight over. The words used are ridiculously over the top given the nature of the conflict, but hurt feelings are the majority of the casualties.

    Extrapolating out to predictions of disaster from this comical conflict is confusing what is a symptom of extreme success for a sign of coming systemic failure.

    The hysterical confusion and language is of course a result of you being on the losing side of this hurt feelings contest. Since I don't have a side and don't get this ego validation thing, I don't much care either way and wish you would all just understand each other and be kind; which, of course, on some level you are.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    , @Wency
    @Daniel Chieh


    The US had no coherent plan whatsoever, either liberal or whatever.
     
    My take: late liberalism is characterized by a sense of inevitability of liberalism's victory. Thus there is an assumption that what everyone really wants is liberalism, that illiberalism can only be preserved by ignorance and bullies. So all you really had to do was show people liberalism, in a thousand different ways, and give them tools to resist the bullies, and of course liberalism will prevail, and people will choose to be on "the right side of history". Note the word used so often to describe the Taliban: "medieval". Unspoken assumption: the Taliban only exists because people haven't gotten the message that the Middle Ages are over.

    This wasn't really spoken aloud all that much, because liberalism has a tendency to not really admit to its own existence. It sees itself not as an ideology, but as the absence of either ideology or ignorance. Of course, in many situations this is a strength, but against determined resistance it works against liberalism's ability to develop plans to impose itself. It can identify this guy or that guy as a big bad illiberal bogeyman, but it doesn't really have a retort to the common people saying, "We've seen what you have to offer, and we don't want it."

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  213. My pro Russian takes:

    1: Speed of Afghan collapse is actually astonishing. I would have expected Kabul to not fall for several weeks at least.

    2: The whole thing does represent a major blow to US prestige.

    3: US armed forces are configured in a maximized profit and general positions posture. They are not configured to fight competent adversaries, let alone Russia and/or China, with the partial excpetion of the US submarine and the US nuclear missle force.
    This configuration will not serve them well in a real war with a competent adversary. The question, which is open, is the degree to whcih they can reform. In theory, one would only have to remove a couple of 100s of people. Such a purge is within US capabilities. The US showed capabilites of rapidly reforming or rebuilding much of its military in previous conflicts, it is unwise to count it out.

    4: The big question for Russia/China is wether or not a “rationalisation” of US foreign and military policy is in their interest. I think it mostly is, although parts of the Sino/Russian military establishment may disagree. Personally, I still believe that a nuclear war cannot be won and thus cannot be faught, and given the irrationality of US leadership, here is scant prospect of a non nuclear war staying non nuclear. As such, reaquainting US elites with reality is something that Russia/China should pursue, even if it causes an increase in US competence.n

    • Replies: @sher singh
    @Mightypeon

    1. Sub only competency - similar to UK
    2. Laxa is a woman, if US leaves Afgh then her Paki pimp can't be subbed for an Afghan
    3. China views India as a liability ala Opium Wars - so wants to shut it down/show place
    4. Karlin clear my comments history bro

    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ

    AK: Ok, sure. Wouldn't want people to find out how hard you've been owned.

  214. @Daniel Chieh
    @haha


    I normally avoid posts by Anatoly Karlin for the simple reason that I am not interested in reading people who espouse bigotry, ignorance, racial hatred, religious intolerance, and frothing-at-the-mouth rage
     
    But sir kindly, you have not fully understood his intricacies. Please read the below and do the needful to kindly adjust before reverting back.

    My friend also wishes to improve the gastronomical quality of humanity:

    I have consciously begun consuming more beef just to trigger these climate change moralists. It gives me pleasure to think I am canceling out the efforts of some Green vegan loser just through eating what I enjoy anyway. Helping bring about a warmer, wetter world is a nice bonus.

     

    He is deeply invested in altruism in providing living space and increased comfort for the Yakult and other POC people such as Russians:

    Immediate benefits: Russians can go swimming and sunning in the Baltics or even the White Sea. A couple more degrees, and it might become competitive with southern resorts during summer.

    This is just the start. As the century progresses there will hopefully be intensive agricultural development, demographic settling, exploitation of the methane reserves in the permafrost and oceanic floor clathrates. This will hopefully accelerate warming further in a virtuous cycle.
     
    His support for efforts against white supremacy do not merely limit themselves to greening of the lands inhabited by People of Color, but also the greater appreciation and advancement of Brown people of superior spiritual qualities over their historic oppressors:

    Westoids, Sinoids, and Russoids alike will doubtless be doing a lot of cringing and coping as they kneel to be decapitated by the fiery sword of immanentized Kalki and have their very souls burned to be reforged into NFTs, to be traded and casually disposed of at the whim of their Vedic post-human masters.

     

    And yet even for people afflicted with the disease of whiteness, he ponders of means to uplift and invigorate to improve their health and longevity in a truly glowing manner.

    GLORY TO THE ATOM.

    The conservative, strongly atomophile society portrayed in prewar America in the Fallout world is the gold standard of civilization that we must all unironically strive to attain.

     

    Indeed, he does not limit his compassion simply to human beings, but is concerned with the maximization of qualia of all of Earth's living beings:

    For instance, Tomasik’s table gives catfish – one of the more primitive creatures on the planet – a sentience multiplier of 0.5 relative to pigs! This implies that killing two catfish is as bad as killing a pig, and that eating catfish produces 200 times as much suffering as eating pork.

    Pork, I try to avoid entirely
     
    Please remember to support his efforts to improve the qualia of all existence on this gentle world and spread his good name:

    https://www.patreon.com/akarlin

    https://akarlin.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/ak-in-nizhny-novgorod-scaled.jpg

    Replies: @haha

    Thanks for your detailed ‘research notes’ on a certain writer, but mostly I prefer to avoid wasting my time reading him. Some other Russian/East European types I read – and read carefully – because they have some expertise or excellence in matters they touch upon. Martyanov, for example, talks in detail about matters military and of military technologies, and it seems to my layman’s mind that he possibly knows what he is talking about. His English is not too strong, though he has fully absorbed all the fashionable curse-words of American English and uses them in abundance. Mr. Orlov writes beautifully, has a unique way with words, and has lots of interesting things to say though, perhaps because of his Russian mean-mindedness, word-spanks Americans and America a little too much. But then he is a poet-essayist who has earned his license to spank all and sundry. Then there is the Saker. I used to find him deep and interesting but of late he is sounding a little worn out. However, the website you referred me to has none of these merits, so I avoid wasting my time.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @haha

    I assure you that Karlin has more linguistic skill than any of the writers that you indicated: to wit, none of those writers can speak Lingua 4chan or Trollish, let alone have advanced degrees in it with personal anthropological fieldwork in these esoteric cultures.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    , @Anatoly Karlin
    @haha

    "Saladin", posting from a West European Christian country (500M people so not dox), refers to "pathetic pagan Christianity" and "pagan vermin."

    But it is my measured response to this impudence on the part of a guest in Christian lands that gets a bee in your bonnet.

    You then have the gall to whine about "religious intolerance" and "Hindu fascism" while singing the praises of a state that charges 8 year olds with blasphemy.

    Interlopers like yourself should make themselves scarce in lands where you do not belong.

    Replies: @haha

  215. @haha
    @Daniel Chieh

    Thanks for your detailed 'research notes' on a certain writer, but mostly I prefer to avoid wasting my time reading him. Some other Russian/East European types I read - and read carefully - because they have some expertise or excellence in matters they touch upon. Martyanov, for example, talks in detail about matters military and of military technologies, and it seems to my layman's mind that he possibly knows what he is talking about. His English is not too strong, though he has fully absorbed all the fashionable curse-words of American English and uses them in abundance. Mr. Orlov writes beautifully, has a unique way with words, and has lots of interesting things to say though, perhaps because of his Russian mean-mindedness, word-spanks Americans and America a little too much. But then he is a poet-essayist who has earned his license to spank all and sundry. Then there is the Saker. I used to find him deep and interesting but of late he is sounding a little worn out. However, the website you referred me to has none of these merits, so I avoid wasting my time.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Anatoly Karlin

    I assure you that Karlin has more linguistic skill than any of the writers that you indicated: to wit, none of those writers can speak Lingua 4chan or Trollish, let alone have advanced degrees in it with personal anthropological fieldwork in these esoteric cultures.

    • Agree: Passer by
    • LOL: sher singh
    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @Daniel Chieh

    "Trollish" is an "esoteric culture"? I've always considered it to be "middle of the road" wrapped in a manila colored envelope, especially when reading comments here at this blogsite. :-)

  216. @El Dato
    @A123

    Next you will tell us Hitler was secretly winning from his bunker.


    punish Biden for defying SJW Globalist, authoritarian dogma
     
    Meanwhile, at Smoking Man's super-duper 666 IQ hideout:

    *RING!*
    "Hello?"
    "Sir, the hologram we installed has been successfully punished by a debacle that makes us look like an omelette with a side-order of fries."
    "Outstanding. Out-standing. Carry on with the forced globalorgasm program!"
    "With pleasure, sir - or madam - or ... err ..."
    *click*

    Replies: @A123

    Is [MORE] another holodeck problem?

    It is running the military exit from Afghanistan. And, it is responsible for training 300,000+ ANA troops to fight.

    PEACE 😇

    [MORE]

  217. @Daniel Chieh
    @Wency


    But I’ll admit that I have a tough time seeing the turf of Afghanistan as all that important to the US
     
    The role of Afghanistan is basically a strategic location that allows American troops to maintain presence via airbase; it also allowed control of the Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India Pipeline, which has strategic consequence but a very basic form of "consequence" is that it makes a lot of money, and had the US been the area, it could act either in carrots or sticks to it, but now it has no role whatsoever.

    And of course, not having an airbase means that the US has no way to interact Eurasia by bombing or deploying - pretty much its cut out. It probably wouldn't be unsustainable if it was a very controlled project, like a single city, or even just to maintain friendly relationships; the US got itself in a weird situation where it gambled to "win everything" as opposed to say, bribe the government, and lost its cards there.

    What many don't understand when they go by, "THE US IS STRONG" is well, yeah, sure the US is strong. The US has many many pawns, and thus a huge material advantage. But you also need to be able to put your pawns where you need them, and that positional space is important.


    So here’s a question for discussion: now that China has India half-encircled, what does China really want from India?
     
    Nothing. China more or less to not prefers not think about the existence of India at all. The cadres like to pretend it doesn't exist. The truth is that the cadres mostly seem to regard India as a third-world curiousity of crazy people who worship cow poop and scream about how they're about to punish you with bloodlusted gods while falling off mountains in the dark. Thinking about them hurts their heads and they worry if they try to understand them, they'll catch the crazy like a contagious disease. They would prefer to think about, cooperate with and fight with, anyone else: USA, Japan, Russia, Iran, really anyone else.

    I'm being mildly silly, but that's pretty true.

    You can't cooperate well with people you regard as utterly bonkers. And when your friends are Pakis, which is definitely the case with China, then the antagonism gets naturally extended. Islam may be alien and hostile, but its at least more comprehensible than rubbing yourself with bovine feces to become clean.

    India, understandably, deeply dislikes being regarded as such.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Daniel Chieh

    You can’t cooperate well with people you regard as utterly bonkers.

    I should add: you also can’t really cooperate with an unstable nation, and that’s a major problem with India, which appears to be riven with factional and political rivalries such that agreements and contracts will change from day to day, and may not even be able to internally enforce its policies(as the farm protests show), or apparently has provinces that abruptly announce that they are going to war with you now. The sense and depth of crazy is really pretty extensive.

    https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/pm-has-decided-date-of-war-with-china-pakistan-uttar-pradesh-bjp-president/article32940512.ece

    Pakistan is not much better. China provides substantial financial aid and assistance to it, as does the United States and I’ve often thought of it a bit akin to paying off pirates; Pakistan is basically noncooperative – and necessarily so, since the ISI hold some significant power, and the civilian government hold some significant power and the population at large is mostly disconnected from both. With no clear “responsible actor” to hold liable, the best* that can be done is to throw money at it and hope that bribery mostly gets your way. So far, it has kinda worked for China but not the US, but its basically dice rolling.

    *You can also begin supporting specific factions, which is akin to instantly volunteering to put your dick into the grinder.

    • Replies: @haha
    @Daniel Chieh

    What you say about India could be partly true, but it is only becoming true in recent years. I think the economic problems of that country, caused by the population explosion, pushed that country towards religious fanaticism and corrupted the politics with Hindu fascism. Nevertheless, China must try to deal with India with patience and wisdom, in the greater interest of Asian peace and progress.

    Pakistan has a similar problem of trying to cling to extreme religiosities. But China-Pak cooperation can bring about economic development in that region and - hopefully - begin to solve some problems. The current Pak Govt. seems to be led by decent and highly educated people who are genuinely trying to bring about positive changes. I think all Asians, from Orientals to mid-easterners through the subcontinent of India, need to pursue peace, harmony and pan-Asian development. Try to be friendly with all, avoid pointless strife and hatred, and create a better Asia and a better world. No hope can now be pinned on the West, it is in moral, intellectual, and cultural decline. Perhaps the example of a successful Asia will reenergize the West and bring out its former intellectual and ethical greatness.

    I have no illusions: The chances of any of the above actually transpiring are somewhat slim. But lofty goals must never be abandoned. Just my silly two-cents.

  218. @Rahan
    @InnerCynic


    Cynical as I am…I’d rig the entire “embassy” with enough explosive to flatten it and take every hip hopping head chopper with it.
     
    The point of following at least basic rules of war is that next time the people you fight against catch your own people, they do not skin them alive in front of the camera, but instead can be reasoned with in some way.

    Funnily, the skinning alive movements tend to me mostly CIA/state dept creations whom organic movements like the Taliban try to crush.

    Replies: @InnerCynic

    America is led by lunatics. The entire Afghan enterprise was doomed from day one. The Taliban had asked from the beginning for evidence that OBL was responsible for 9-11 and the Yanks never provided. And, of course, once OBL died from renal failure Uncle Scam had to keep the grift running with constant lies and a never ending mission

    • Agree: Rahan
  219. @Mightypeon
    My pro Russian takes:

    1: Speed of Afghan collapse is actually astonishing. I would have expected Kabul to not fall for several weeks at least.

    2: The whole thing does represent a major blow to US prestige.

    3: US armed forces are configured in a maximized profit and general positions posture. They are not configured to fight competent adversaries, let alone Russia and/or China, with the partial excpetion of the US submarine and the US nuclear missle force.
    This configuration will not serve them well in a real war with a competent adversary. The question, which is open, is the degree to whcih they can reform. In theory, one would only have to remove a couple of 100s of people. Such a purge is within US capabilities. The US showed capabilites of rapidly reforming or rebuilding much of its military in previous conflicts, it is unwise to count it out.

    4: The big question for Russia/China is wether or not a "rationalisation" of US foreign and military policy is in their interest. I think it mostly is, although parts of the Sino/Russian military establishment may disagree. Personally, I still believe that a nuclear war cannot be won and thus cannot be faught, and given the irrationality of US leadership, here is scant prospect of a non nuclear war staying non nuclear. As such, reaquainting US elites with reality is something that Russia/China should pursue, even if it causes an increase in US competence.n

    Replies: @sher singh

    1. Sub only competency – similar to UK
    2. Laxa is a woman, if US leaves Afgh then her Paki pimp can’t be subbed for an Afghan
    3. China views India as a liability ala Opium Wars – so wants to shut it down/show place
    4. Karlin clear my comments history bro

    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ

    AK: Ok, sure. Wouldn’t want people to find out how hard you’ve been owned.

    • LOL: sher singh
  220. @Triteleia Laxa
    @haha

    I don't do LGBTQ+ parades as I think they're self-limiting, but I bet your grandchildren and great grandchildren will love them, should you have any. They'll be the highest of their aspirations, though their own economic situation will be so relatively backwards that they will have to save for years to make a pilgrimage to one. Enjoy your apocalyptic copium in the meantime, but shame that you have to live in a fantasy set in the future to get by in the present. Islam is less relevant every year, and it is already a very boring topic. Even the Taliban have been talking about being more "inclusive!" It doesn't have to be the West that is leading everything, but as long you remain so fixed in thought you will remain stagnant in everything else and will even smell like it 🤣

    What are you going to do after you read this comment? Screech at the walls? Punch a pillow? I can tell you why it triggers you so much, but the answer is individual to you, so you'll just shriek harder. Or perhaps, you'll find the calm to reflect on your reaction and see why yourself?

    Yes, yes, I am being cruel as the light of the middle of the day when it falls on a landfill, but sometimes it is better that way and it is often fun too!

    Replies: @haha

    “What are you going to do after you read this comment? Screech at the walls?”

    No, but I am shaking my head from side to side. Rather, it is shaking itself, partly in sadness and partly in puzzlement. What do I say to someone who proclaims victory in shameful defeat, says Afghanistan was no big deal for the US because “We can afford it”. The fact that you bombed and invaded a defenseless country, which is a war crime and a moral abomination, seems not to bother you. Well, now that you ran away from there, tail between legs, which unfortunate country is going to be your next target?

    Stupidity and ignorance feeding on more stupidity and ignorance, grown fat and ugly on a diet of hubris!

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @haha

    I'm not American and I do not support the invasion of Afghanistan. The effort was not worth even one American life.

    I don't know why you would think otherwise. Maybe you have an answer for why you did?

    Replies: @AnonfromTN

  221. @haha
    @Svevlad

    Russia needs to stay within Russia and fix its own problems. Also, apparently, it lacks sufficient number of fools anxious to become canon fodder, preferring the far cozier option of migrating to the West. The way demographics look, Russia could end up without Russians within Russia proper, never mind imperial extensions.

    Replies: @Svevlad

    That’s why – extremely long term.

    • Replies: @haha
    @Svevlad

    In the long term we are all dead. And in the extremely long term we will all be extremely dead. So stuff that in your Russian/East European pipe and smoke it to Slavic glory.

    Replies: @Svevlad

  222. @haha
    @Triteleia Laxa

    "What are you going to do after you read this comment? Screech at the walls?"

    No, but I am shaking my head from side to side. Rather, it is shaking itself, partly in sadness and partly in puzzlement. What do I say to someone who proclaims victory in shameful defeat, says Afghanistan was no big deal for the US because "We can afford it". The fact that you bombed and invaded a defenseless country, which is a war crime and a moral abomination, seems not to bother you. Well, now that you ran away from there, tail between legs, which unfortunate country is going to be your next target?

    Stupidity and ignorance feeding on more stupidity and ignorance, grown fat and ugly on a diet of hubris!

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    I’m not American and I do not support the invasion of Afghanistan. The effort was not worth even one American life.

    I don’t know why you would think otherwise. Maybe you have an answer for why you did?

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Typical Western European mainstream: idolizing the US, but when directly confronted about heinous American crimes, taking a posture “it’s not us, it’s them”. Frankly, I thought better of you. I was wrong. Mea culpa.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

  223. Its ridiclous that ZOG gives Taliban Blackhawks and other armored vehicles/heavy weapons and here we are asking for for heavy weapons for years and best US can do is sell us some Javelins.

    Oh well they’re probably pulling out of Afghanistan just to consolidate themselves for a future showdown with China and prepare for Taiwan

    Or maybe they pulled out of Afghanistan to help Israel so that Tablian can put pressure on Iran. One of the other.

    • LOL: Anatoly Karlin
  224. @Svevlad
    @haha

    That's why - extremely long term.

    Replies: @haha

    In the long term we are all dead. And in the extremely long term we will all be extremely dead. So stuff that in your Russian/East European pipe and smoke it to Slavic glory.

    • Replies: @Svevlad
    @haha

    How defeatist. If we're already dead in advance, and our lives are forfeit, maybe we should all just jump into a meat grinder.

    Where's the will to power, the spirit, the audacity to involuntarily impose self-preservation at humanity even if it means infinite suffering, for it strengthens and empowers?

    Very droll, very annoying even.

  225. @Daniel Chieh
    @Wency

    My family was KMT; the modern Taiwan has nothing to do with the KMT and will fold under any assault. The various aspects including globohomo that do represent Taiwan's civilian government pretty much anger the KMT, who used to make up the military, and like me often have a background of military involvement throughout history(almost every single male member of my family, going back to Chu).

    There's been a real fear that parts of the military will turncoat, so Tsai attempted to reconstitute the military with non-KMT, which has resulted in a pathetically trained force with little will, because essentially its not much up by people from a martial culture. It does seem like a real thing, from an HBD level.

    https://international.thenewslens.com/article/123554

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/02/15/china-threat-invasion-conscription-taiwans-military-is-a-hollow-shell/

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2020/08/20/taiwan-military-flashy-american-weapons-no-ammo/

    E.g. Taiwan's military is composed of many people who have never fired a gun. There's an uniform sense of "it doesn't matter, either the US saves us, or we can't do anything anyway." There's no warrior culture at all in those people, and it really does has a corrosive effect.

    Replies: @Wency

    Thanks, those articles are interesting. Though I still think it’s wise to maintain some doubt in this matter.

    I guess the way I had been thinking about Taiwan, prior to recent events, is that you can have a hardened core within a mostly useless military. If there were to exist somewhere in the Taiwanese armed forces 50,000 determined and capable men (which is to say less than 1/3 of the active duty forces and none of the reserves), and they’re deployed intelligently, ready to hold the beaches and the airports, they could make an invasion very difficult for China. They couldn’t deny them the island without American support, but they could perhaps make the conquest costly enough as to not be worthwhile. So perhaps it can be the case that most Taiwanese soldiers are useless, but a hardened “core” exists somewhere.

    That certainly didn’t pan out in Afghanistan though — there was no core. It was all fluff.

    There was a moment (it was too brief to even discuss with anyone) where I wondered if Mazar-e-Sharif might hold out, a rallying point in the North. After all, the Taliban never conquered the whole of the North before, and the last time they took Mazar they committed massacres, and with Northern militias + Uzbek/Tajik members of the ANA, you might have the manpower to be able to win a defensive battle and hold one city. Allegedly Dostum was buying aircraft and pilots from Kabul and sending them to Mazar.

    But then, so the story goes, the ANA decided to surrender, and that triggered the rest of the militia losing confidence and giving up as well. I wonder then if Mazar would have had better odds without the ANA than with it, if the only role of an army that evaporates upon enemy contact is to cause the rest of the men to lose faith. Perhaps this is what would happen in Taiwan — maybe 10% or 20% of the men would be prepared to fight a real war, but seeing the other 80-90% surrender and to encourage them to do the same would only cause them to lose heart.

    But then again, in the American Revolution, this was ostensibly the role of the militia — if you wanted to put them up toe-to-toe against British Regulars, maybe expect a single salvo out of them before they evaporated, but they still had their uses and were an important source of American manpower. I guess this model works better if you have regulars that will fight a pitched battle and irregulars that won’t. If irregulars see regulars break, they’re going to break, even if they might not have broken on their own.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Wency

    The "core" was KMT, and the KMT are now a security risk instead. So there is no core for the Taiwanese force either.

    What could happen for the anti-CCP perspective is that Japan gets heavily involved, which they have indicated a desire to. Despite being a "self-defense force", Japan has the fourth largest navy in the world and I don't have any doubt that they are an extremely capable force with a significant martial tradition.

    China and Japan fighting are almost a tradition, at least since the Battle of Baekgang in 663 and it might once again work out that way. Quite a few Asian nations dislike China, of course, and if the US becomes passive, Japan is the only other cynosure of power, a role that she is quite comfortable at taking. Quite a few nations will rally to her, and then discover belated that Japan doesn't just exist to put their chestnuts out of the fire but has very specific ideas of her role in the world(superior) and the role of her allies in that world(inferior). Then they get upset.

    And then we will have the same essential historical situation again of China as the dominant power in Asia, and Japan as the runner-up spoiler.

    Replies: @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms, @nokangaroos, @Dreadilk

    , @Showmethereal
    @Wency

    Im not sure where you are from - but something westerners have to understand is there is no price too high for China to try and retake Taiwan if there are further moves to independence. This is akin to the Yalu River during the Korean War. Taiwan is literally the most core issue to China defense wise. The Korean War was the only thing more immediate. But notice China didnt step in until the US approached the border. Same thing with India in 1962... Well Taiwan is China's border. Its not like invading a foreign country hundreds of miles away. An independent Taiwan means hostile armed forces at the gates. That wont happen without a major major fight. Who do you think has more of the determination?

    Many westerners dont realize millions of civilians on the Mainland think the PRC government is being oo patient regarding Taiwan. People dont get the CPC actually constrains national fervor. That is why they (as does the mayor of Taipei) always refer to Taiwan as "compatriots" and "family". Those terms are on purpose. The Chinese populace is restless because they do not trust American nor Japanese intentions regarding Taiwan. They most assuredly be willing to fight. Even China's maritime militia is partly built for that purpose. It is that serious. After so kuch humiliation nothing is more important to Mainland Chinese than security

    Replies: @A123

  226. @Daniel Chieh
    @Daniel Chieh


    You can’t cooperate well with people you regard as utterly bonkers.
     
    I should add: you also can't really cooperate with an unstable nation, and that's a major problem with India, which appears to be riven with factional and political rivalries such that agreements and contracts will change from day to day, and may not even be able to internally enforce its policies(as the farm protests show), or apparently has provinces that abruptly announce that they are going to war with you now. The sense and depth of crazy is really pretty extensive.

    https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/pm-has-decided-date-of-war-with-china-pakistan-uttar-pradesh-bjp-president/article32940512.ece

    Pakistan is not much better. China provides substantial financial aid and assistance to it, as does the United States and I've often thought of it a bit akin to paying off pirates; Pakistan is basically noncooperative - and necessarily so, since the ISI hold some significant power, and the civilian government hold some significant power and the population at large is mostly disconnected from both. With no clear "responsible actor" to hold liable, the best* that can be done is to throw money at it and hope that bribery mostly gets your way. So far, it has kinda worked for China but not the US, but its basically dice rolling.


    *You can also begin supporting specific factions, which is akin to instantly volunteering to put your dick into the grinder.

    Replies: @haha

    What you say about India could be partly true, but it is only becoming true in recent years. I think the economic problems of that country, caused by the population explosion, pushed that country towards religious fanaticism and corrupted the politics with Hindu fascism. Nevertheless, China must try to deal with India with patience and wisdom, in the greater interest of Asian peace and progress.

    Pakistan has a similar problem of trying to cling to extreme religiosities. But China-Pak cooperation can bring about economic development in that region and – hopefully – begin to solve some problems. The current Pak Govt. seems to be led by decent and highly educated people who are genuinely trying to bring about positive changes. I think all Asians, from Orientals to mid-easterners through the subcontinent of India, need to pursue peace, harmony and pan-Asian development. Try to be friendly with all, avoid pointless strife and hatred, and create a better Asia and a better world. No hope can now be pinned on the West, it is in moral, intellectual, and cultural decline. Perhaps the example of a successful Asia will reenergize the West and bring out its former intellectual and ethical greatness.

    I have no illusions: The chances of any of the above actually transpiring are somewhat slim. But lofty goals must never be abandoned. Just my silly two-cents.

  227. @Wency
    @Daniel Chieh

    Thanks, those articles are interesting. Though I still think it's wise to maintain some doubt in this matter.

    I guess the way I had been thinking about Taiwan, prior to recent events, is that you can have a hardened core within a mostly useless military. If there were to exist somewhere in the Taiwanese armed forces 50,000 determined and capable men (which is to say less than 1/3 of the active duty forces and none of the reserves), and they're deployed intelligently, ready to hold the beaches and the airports, they could make an invasion very difficult for China. They couldn't deny them the island without American support, but they could perhaps make the conquest costly enough as to not be worthwhile. So perhaps it can be the case that most Taiwanese soldiers are useless, but a hardened "core" exists somewhere.

    That certainly didn't pan out in Afghanistan though -- there was no core. It was all fluff.

    There was a moment (it was too brief to even discuss with anyone) where I wondered if Mazar-e-Sharif might hold out, a rallying point in the North. After all, the Taliban never conquered the whole of the North before, and the last time they took Mazar they committed massacres, and with Northern militias + Uzbek/Tajik members of the ANA, you might have the manpower to be able to win a defensive battle and hold one city. Allegedly Dostum was buying aircraft and pilots from Kabul and sending them to Mazar.

    But then, so the story goes, the ANA decided to surrender, and that triggered the rest of the militia losing confidence and giving up as well. I wonder then if Mazar would have had better odds without the ANA than with it, if the only role of an army that evaporates upon enemy contact is to cause the rest of the men to lose faith. Perhaps this is what would happen in Taiwan -- maybe 10% or 20% of the men would be prepared to fight a real war, but seeing the other 80-90% surrender and to encourage them to do the same would only cause them to lose heart.

    But then again, in the American Revolution, this was ostensibly the role of the militia -- if you wanted to put them up toe-to-toe against British Regulars, maybe expect a single salvo out of them before they evaporated, but they still had their uses and were an important source of American manpower. I guess this model works better if you have regulars that will fight a pitched battle and irregulars that won't. If irregulars see regulars break, they're going to break, even if they might not have broken on their own.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Showmethereal

    The “core” was KMT, and the KMT are now a security risk instead. So there is no core for the Taiwanese force either.

    What could happen for the anti-CCP perspective is that Japan gets heavily involved, which they have indicated a desire to. Despite being a “self-defense force”, Japan has the fourth largest navy in the world and I don’t have any doubt that they are an extremely capable force with a significant martial tradition.

    China and Japan fighting are almost a tradition, at least since the Battle of Baekgang in 663 and it might once again work out that way. Quite a few Asian nations dislike China, of course, and if the US becomes passive, Japan is the only other cynosure of power, a role that she is quite comfortable at taking. Quite a few nations will rally to her, and then discover belated that Japan doesn’t just exist to put their chestnuts out of the fire but has very specific ideas of her role in the world(superior) and the role of her allies in that world(inferior). Then they get upset.

    And then we will have the same essential historical situation again of China as the dominant power in Asia, and Japan as the runner-up spoiler.

    • Thanks: Wency
    • Replies: @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms
    @Daniel Chieh


    China and Japan fighting are almost a tradition

     

    Sorry. Disagree, or at least needs to be qualified.

    If you include the barbarian dynasties as fully Chinese (this is the stance taken by PRC), in pre-modern era there was:

    1. Toi Invasion - aggressor China
    2. Yuan Invasion of Japan - aggressor China
    3. Imjin War - aggressor Japan

    This is a lot shorter than this list:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-French_Wars

    Inoue Kiyoshi has for example contrasted Modern Japan’s attitudes toward China as seventy years of aggression with two thousand years of friendship

     

    Japan and Its East Asian Neighbors: Japan's Perception of China and Korea and the Making of Foreign Policy From the Seventeenth to the Nineteenth Century
    http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.839.4807&rep=rep1&type=pdf

    There are no Japs here to tell their side of the story, hence is my raison d'être.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    , @nokangaroos
    @Daniel Chieh

    - There have been speculations Jimmu Tenno was a fugitive from the court
    of Chín Shi-Huang Ti (which would require slight tweaking of the timelines,
    but the cultural pollination has been constant and undeniable).

    , @Dreadilk
    @Daniel Chieh

    Not enough comments to leave thanks emote. Great info.

  228. @haha
    @Daniel Chieh

    Thanks for your detailed 'research notes' on a certain writer, but mostly I prefer to avoid wasting my time reading him. Some other Russian/East European types I read - and read carefully - because they have some expertise or excellence in matters they touch upon. Martyanov, for example, talks in detail about matters military and of military technologies, and it seems to my layman's mind that he possibly knows what he is talking about. His English is not too strong, though he has fully absorbed all the fashionable curse-words of American English and uses them in abundance. Mr. Orlov writes beautifully, has a unique way with words, and has lots of interesting things to say though, perhaps because of his Russian mean-mindedness, word-spanks Americans and America a little too much. But then he is a poet-essayist who has earned his license to spank all and sundry. Then there is the Saker. I used to find him deep and interesting but of late he is sounding a little worn out. However, the website you referred me to has none of these merits, so I avoid wasting my time.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh, @Anatoly Karlin

    “Saladin”, posting from a West European Christian country (500M people so not dox), refers to “pathetic pagan Christianity” and “pagan vermin.”

    But it is my measured response to this impudence on the part of a guest in Christian lands that gets a bee in your bonnet.

    You then have the gall to whine about “religious intolerance” and “Hindu fascism” while singing the praises of a state that charges 8 year olds with blasphemy.

    Interlopers like yourself should make themselves scarce in lands where you do not belong.

    • Replies: @haha
    @Anatoly Karlin

    You are a fool if you call Europe and the US "Christian lands". Religion is DEAD in the West. I am an atheist, so don't have any horse in the religious race. Nevertheless, I stand for religious tolerance, to live and let live.

    And how do you, my Slavic friend, know that I am a guest in Christian lands? And why the hell don't you remove your Slavic butt to some god-forsaken Slavic land?

    BTW, I most certainly will make myself scarce on anything written by you. There is enough bigotry, ignorance, stupidity and rudeness going around, I don't need to seek any more.

    Replies: @Svevlad, @Anatoly Karlin

  229. @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa

    This is silly, this is not some psychological game, this is a geopolitical disaster for the US. Losing that geography has major strategic and economic consequences.

    Correlation to Roman occupation is inaccurate, this has not led to memetic spread of liberal or American values besides the spread of energy drinks.


    The Western woman journalist is slumming it and this will be the Afghan goatherder’s brightest moment.
     
    The constant assumption that this has to do primarily to do with goatherders is a fundamental error in reality, which if adhered to, will lead to further losses. Its part of a much larger game, in which the "goatherders" are an important but hardly the only part.

    The US didn’t care
     
    Don't caring to the sound of two trillion.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Mr. Hack

    Correlation to Roman occupation is inaccurate, this has not led to memetic spread of liberal or American values besides the spread of energy drinks.

    The spread of energy drinks may have greater soft power consequences than you might currently imagine. I found this out last night after viewing a Swedish film about a double spy (101 years old) who was involved in an operation to sell the rights of a soviet made soda-pop that would put Coca Cola and its imitators out of business in the world economy of the cold war era, “Folksoda”. Watch it to escape the depressing world that we find ourselves involved with today:
    🙂

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Mr. Hack

    I have limited complaints about this timeline, except AK NEEDS TO FINISH GB ARTICLE!!!

  230. @Anatoly Karlin
    @haha

    "Saladin", posting from a West European Christian country (500M people so not dox), refers to "pathetic pagan Christianity" and "pagan vermin."

    But it is my measured response to this impudence on the part of a guest in Christian lands that gets a bee in your bonnet.

    You then have the gall to whine about "religious intolerance" and "Hindu fascism" while singing the praises of a state that charges 8 year olds with blasphemy.

    Interlopers like yourself should make themselves scarce in lands where you do not belong.

    Replies: @haha

    You are a fool if you call Europe and the US “Christian lands”. Religion is DEAD in the West. I am an atheist, so don’t have any horse in the religious race. Nevertheless, I stand for religious tolerance, to live and let live.

    And how do you, my Slavic friend, know that I am a guest in Christian lands? And why the hell don’t you remove your Slavic butt to some god-forsaken Slavic land?

    BTW, I most certainly will make myself scarce on anything written by you. There is enough bigotry, ignorance, stupidity and rudeness going around, I don’t need to seek any more.

    • Troll: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @Svevlad
    @haha


    And why the hell don’t you remove your Slavic butt to some god-forsaken Slavic land?
     
    Bold of you to assume he already hasn't.
    , @Anatoly Karlin
    @haha


    And why the hell don’t you remove your Slavic butt to some god-forsaken Slavic land?
     
    I literally did, five years ago.

    What's keeping you in the lands of people you clearly hate and despise?
  231. @Mr. Hack
    @Daniel Chieh


    Correlation to Roman occupation is inaccurate, this has not led to memetic spread of liberal or American values besides the spread of energy drinks.
     
    The spread of energy drinks may have greater soft power consequences than you might currently imagine. I found this out last night after viewing a Swedish film about a double spy (101 years old) who was involved in an operation to sell the rights of a soviet made soda-pop that would put Coca Cola and its imitators out of business in the world economy of the cold war era, "Folksoda". Watch it to escape the depressing world that we find ourselves involved with today:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/2/2b/The_101-Year-Old_Man_Who_Skipped_Out_on_the_Bill_and_Disappeared.jpg/220px-The_101-Year-Old_Man_Who_Skipped_Out_on_the_Bill_and_Disappeared.jpg
    :-)

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    I have limited complaints about this timeline, except AK NEEDS TO FINISH GB ARTICLE!!!

    • Agree: sher singh
    • LOL: Svevlad
  232. @haha
    @Anatoly Karlin

    You are a fool if you call Europe and the US "Christian lands". Religion is DEAD in the West. I am an atheist, so don't have any horse in the religious race. Nevertheless, I stand for religious tolerance, to live and let live.

    And how do you, my Slavic friend, know that I am a guest in Christian lands? And why the hell don't you remove your Slavic butt to some god-forsaken Slavic land?

    BTW, I most certainly will make myself scarce on anything written by you. There is enough bigotry, ignorance, stupidity and rudeness going around, I don't need to seek any more.

    Replies: @Svevlad, @Anatoly Karlin

    And why the hell don’t you remove your Slavic butt to some god-forsaken Slavic land?

    Bold of you to assume he already hasn’t.

  233. @haha
    @Anatoly Karlin

    You are a fool if you call Europe and the US "Christian lands". Religion is DEAD in the West. I am an atheist, so don't have any horse in the religious race. Nevertheless, I stand for religious tolerance, to live and let live.

    And how do you, my Slavic friend, know that I am a guest in Christian lands? And why the hell don't you remove your Slavic butt to some god-forsaken Slavic land?

    BTW, I most certainly will make myself scarce on anything written by you. There is enough bigotry, ignorance, stupidity and rudeness going around, I don't need to seek any more.

    Replies: @Svevlad, @Anatoly Karlin

    And why the hell don’t you remove your Slavic butt to some god-forsaken Slavic land?

    I literally did, five years ago.

    What’s keeping you in the lands of people you clearly hate and despise?

    • Agree: Mr. Hack
  234. @Daniel Chieh
    @haha

    I assure you that Karlin has more linguistic skill than any of the writers that you indicated: to wit, none of those writers can speak Lingua 4chan or Trollish, let alone have advanced degrees in it with personal anthropological fieldwork in these esoteric cultures.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    “Trollish” is an “esoteric culture”? I’ve always considered it to be “middle of the road” wrapped in a manila colored envelope, especially when reading comments here at this blogsite. 🙂

  235. ‘fraid can’t. Was born in a “Christian land”. Home to me sort of thing, see? And it is not the people I despise, but some (and only some) policies of govt from time to time.
    Good luck with your writings. Try to keep out racist hate and religious intolerance – unsolicited advice from an atheist.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    @haha

    We are familiar with this escape to atheism - it is just a protection shield for you. This has very little with actual religion, it is about culture and identity. If you despise Christianity and European past you simply don't belong in Europe. You can call it racist or whatever you wish, you - and we - are better off when you depart where your heart wants to go.

    You are way off when you underestimate our resolve, this is our home, the likes of you came and went before. We always prevail at the end. Like a fool you see the flashy minutia of your dreams and fail to see that we are Europe and always will be. Adapt or go to a more familiar place.

    Replies: @Barr

  236. @Daniel Chieh
    @Wency

    The "core" was KMT, and the KMT are now a security risk instead. So there is no core for the Taiwanese force either.

    What could happen for the anti-CCP perspective is that Japan gets heavily involved, which they have indicated a desire to. Despite being a "self-defense force", Japan has the fourth largest navy in the world and I don't have any doubt that they are an extremely capable force with a significant martial tradition.

    China and Japan fighting are almost a tradition, at least since the Battle of Baekgang in 663 and it might once again work out that way. Quite a few Asian nations dislike China, of course, and if the US becomes passive, Japan is the only other cynosure of power, a role that she is quite comfortable at taking. Quite a few nations will rally to her, and then discover belated that Japan doesn't just exist to put their chestnuts out of the fire but has very specific ideas of her role in the world(superior) and the role of her allies in that world(inferior). Then they get upset.

    And then we will have the same essential historical situation again of China as the dominant power in Asia, and Japan as the runner-up spoiler.

    Replies: @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms, @nokangaroos, @Dreadilk

    China and Japan fighting are almost a tradition

    Sorry. Disagree, or at least needs to be qualified.

    If you include the barbarian dynasties as fully Chinese (this is the stance taken by PRC), in pre-modern era there was:

    1. Toi Invasion – aggressor China
    2. Yuan Invasion of Japan – aggressor China
    3. Imjin War – aggressor Japan

    This is a lot shorter than this list:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-French_Wars

    Inoue Kiyoshi has for example contrasted Modern Japan’s attitudes toward China as seventy years of aggression with two thousand years of friendship

    Japan and Its East Asian Neighbors: Japan’s Perception of China and Korea and the Making of Foreign Policy From the Seventeenth to the Nineteenth Century
    http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.839.4807&rep=rep1&type=pdf

    There are no Japs here to tell their side of the story, hence is my raison d’être.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms

    There is also the Battle of Baekgang, which was between Yamato Japan and the Tang-Silla forces; I believe that's the first clash between what we could recognize as "Japan" and "China."

    Then you had about one thousand years of small-scale raids and counter-raids eventually leading up to this:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiajing_wokou_raids


    References to Japanese pirates in Korea occur as early as 414, with extensive Japanese piracy recorded in the thirteenth century. Although abating after the Mongol conquest of China and Korea, it returned in the mid-fourteenth century, when uprisings in China challenged Mongol rule and the Japanese found themselves embroiled in a bitter civil war. The Ashikaga shoguns were in no position to check these raids, and massive numbers of Japanese pirates despoiled the Korean coast, even assaulting cities such as Kaesŏng and Pyongyang. These attacks also spilled over into China and became a major source of friction between the early Ming emperors and the Ashikaga shoguns. Both the Chinese and the Koreans sent embassies to Japan demanding that the bakufu bring the pirates under control. These initial entreaties were ignored, partly because the Ashikaga did not yet have full control over their own country. The Chinese fortified their coastal areas and subsequently adopted an aggressive policy of expansion under Yongle. The Koreans also strengthened their defenses and even carried out offensive operations against pirate bases in Tsushima[against Japan proper].

     

    And while there wasn't per se active, existential warfare(despite, weirdly, Yamato's panicked efforts' to build up coastal defenses after the Silla War against a Chinese invasion that never was even conceived by the Tang), there was plenty of hostility all around.

    These raids, whether attributable to the Japanese or not, became a major source of tension between the three countries and were foremost in the minds of all three belligerents at the start of the war in Korea. By the late Ming period, earlier views of the Japanese as sagacious monks gave way to the Japanese being seen as “shadowy demons” who “created a deep-seated sense of fear and loathing in the hearts of the Chinese people.”

    ...

    Hideyoshi’s full ambitions could never be realized if he did not conquer the Ming, for he could not bear to suffer the existence existence of a ruler with greater pretensions to authority than his own. Not only does this suggest a rejection or ignorance of the Chinese conception of the world, but it also supports the idea that other states in Asia could have imperial pretensions as great as those of the Chinese. The Koreans, for example, exhibited their own ethnocentric consciousness toward Japan, the Jurchens, and the Ryukyus as part of their own version of the Ming-centered world, even asserting their kingdom as the ideological center of Asia after the fall of the Ming.

     

    To simplify massively, it seems that Koreas had an extremely close relationship with China and therefore advocated the Chinese tribuary system with the understanding that they were the top dogs in it besides for China itself:

    “Since ancient times China and Korea have enjoyed friendly relations akin to those of elder and younger brothers. They share both history and culture and have thus prospered together.”

     

    The implication to this, of course, which the Koreas also basically explicitly expressed was that everyone else, then, was below them. This particularly included the Japanese, would never accepted it in the beginning, certainly had no reason to be fond of Koreans given that the "birth of Korea" equated to "eviction of Japanese state in Korea", and after the Yuan invasions, decided that revenge was quite due.

    Yes, there was also a lot of mutual understanding. But that mutual understanding oddly enough, ended up as an existential struggle for supremacy, by the very system that China had conceived:


    The Japanese believed that whatever the military weakness of Korea and China, they were still repositories of culture and wealth. Buddhism, for example, traveled to Japan via Korea, after its initial transmission to China from India, and Buddhist monks often served as the primary intermediaries between the three belligerents. Japan’s political institutions were rather different from those of the Ming by the late sixteenth century, there was an implicit acknowledgement of the Chinese roots of Japan’s imperial system and a recognition by Hideyoshi that he needed to conquer China and claim its mandate for himself to assume preeminence in Asia.

     

    Replies: @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms

  237. @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms
    @Daniel Chieh


    China and Japan fighting are almost a tradition

     

    Sorry. Disagree, or at least needs to be qualified.

    If you include the barbarian dynasties as fully Chinese (this is the stance taken by PRC), in pre-modern era there was:

    1. Toi Invasion - aggressor China
    2. Yuan Invasion of Japan - aggressor China
    3. Imjin War - aggressor Japan

    This is a lot shorter than this list:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-French_Wars

    Inoue Kiyoshi has for example contrasted Modern Japan’s attitudes toward China as seventy years of aggression with two thousand years of friendship

     

    Japan and Its East Asian Neighbors: Japan's Perception of China and Korea and the Making of Foreign Policy From the Seventeenth to the Nineteenth Century
    http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.839.4807&rep=rep1&type=pdf

    There are no Japs here to tell their side of the story, hence is my raison d'être.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    There is also the Battle of Baekgang, which was between Yamato Japan and the Tang-Silla forces; I believe that’s the first clash between what we could recognize as “Japan” and “China.”

    Then you had about one thousand years of small-scale raids and counter-raids eventually leading up to this:

    [MORE]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiajing_wokou_raids

    References to Japanese pirates in Korea occur as early as 414, with extensive Japanese piracy recorded in the thirteenth century. Although abating after the Mongol conquest of China and Korea, it returned in the mid-fourteenth century, when uprisings in China challenged Mongol rule and the Japanese found themselves embroiled in a bitter civil war. The Ashikaga shoguns were in no position to check these raids, and massive numbers of Japanese pirates despoiled the Korean coast, even assaulting cities such as Kaesŏng and Pyongyang. These attacks also spilled over into China and became a major source of friction between the early Ming emperors and the Ashikaga shoguns. Both the Chinese and the Koreans sent embassies to Japan demanding that the bakufu bring the pirates under control. These initial entreaties were ignored, partly because the Ashikaga did not yet have full control over their own country. The Chinese fortified their coastal areas and subsequently adopted an aggressive policy of expansion under Yongle. The Koreans also strengthened their defenses and even carried out offensive operations against pirate bases in Tsushima[against Japan proper].

    And while there wasn’t per se active, existential warfare(despite, weirdly, Yamato’s panicked efforts’ to build up coastal defenses after the Silla War against a Chinese invasion that never was even conceived by the Tang), there was plenty of hostility all around.

    These raids, whether attributable to the Japanese or not, became a major source of tension between the three countries and were foremost in the minds of all three belligerents at the start of the war in Korea. By the late Ming period, earlier views of the Japanese as sagacious monks gave way to the Japanese being seen as “shadowy demons” who “created a deep-seated sense of fear and loathing in the hearts of the Chinese people.”

    Hideyoshi’s full ambitions could never be realized if he did not conquer the Ming, for he could not bear to suffer the existence existence of a ruler with greater pretensions to authority than his own. Not only does this suggest a rejection or ignorance of the Chinese conception of the world, but it also supports the idea that other states in Asia could have imperial pretensions as great as those of the Chinese. The Koreans, for example, exhibited their own ethnocentric consciousness toward Japan, the Jurchens, and the Ryukyus as part of their own version of the Ming-centered world, even asserting their kingdom as the ideological center of Asia after the fall of the Ming.

    To simplify massively, it seems that Koreas had an extremely close relationship with China and therefore advocated the Chinese tribuary system with the understanding that they were the top dogs in it besides for China itself:

    “Since ancient times China and Korea have enjoyed friendly relations akin to those of elder and younger brothers. They share both history and culture and have thus prospered together.”

    The implication to this, of course, which the Koreas also basically explicitly expressed was that everyone else, then, was below them. This particularly included the Japanese, would never accepted it in the beginning, certainly had no reason to be fond of Koreans given that the “birth of Korea” equated to “eviction of Japanese state in Korea”, and after the Yuan invasions, decided that revenge was quite due.

    Yes, there was also a lot of mutual understanding. But that mutual understanding oddly enough, ended up as an existential struggle for supremacy, by the very system that China had conceived:

    The Japanese believed that whatever the military weakness of Korea and China, they were still repositories of culture and wealth. Buddhism, for example, traveled to Japan via Korea, after its initial transmission to China from India, and Buddhist monks often served as the primary intermediaries between the three belligerents. Japan’s political institutions were rather different from those of the Ming by the late sixteenth century, there was an implicit acknowledgement of the Chinese roots of Japan’s imperial system and a recognition by Hideyoshi that he needed to conquer China and claim its mandate for himself to assume preeminence in Asia.

    • Replies: @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms
    @Daniel Chieh


    Battle of Baekgang, which was between Yamato Japan and the Tang-Silla forces; I believe that’s the first clash between what we could recognize as “Japan” and “China.”

     

    These two civilizations are simply not equals. It would be like Justinian taking back Western Roman Empire territories and warring with the then barely literate Anglo-Saxons. The victory Battle of Baekgang was scantly mentioned in official Tang history because Japan was so simply insignificant at the time.

    The ethnic character of the wokou was

    According to the History of Ming and other contemporary Chinese records, only thirty percent of the 16th century wokou were Japanese, while seventy percent were ethnic Chinese.[8] Moreover, the Chinese played the leading role in these later wokou raids, with the Japanese and those of other nationalities being mere associates and hired hands.

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiajing_wokou_raids#The_%22wokou%22

    To simplify massively, it seems that Koreas had an extremely close relationship with China and therefore advocated the Chinese tribuary system with the understanding that they were the top dogs in it besides for China itself:

     

    Because of its position on Asia Mainland. Korea was literal a Little China and copied Middle Kingdom institutions almost wholely
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sojunghwa

    Japan, separated by sea, had the option of copying what aspects of Sinitic culture she was interested in. For example, practices of enunchs, foot-binding and Imperial Exams were not copied. Their unique tradition of bushido was maintained.

    ended up as an existential struggle for supremacy

     

    After Manchu conquest, Japan considered Qing China to no longer properly Sinitic, there was the term 華夷変態 Perversion from Hua to Barbarian
    https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%8F%AF%E5%A4%B7%E5%A4%89%E6%85%8B

    My personal opinion is that Manchus could not have fully conquered China without cooperation from Han bureaucrats and adoption of Neo-Confucian institutions.

    But I do see relevance in the Japanese perspective. And in many ways they did exceed China in 17-19 CE, for example in mathematics.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  238. Biden let the Taliban take Afghanistan for the same reason Obama let ISIS run wild.

    1. To spark a flood of refugees into Europe and America, accelerating the great replacement.
    2. To weaken Israel’s regional enemies – Shiites (Iran, Hezbollah, Houthis), secular Arab nationalists (Assad, Gadhafi), and their patron Russia.

    Karlin correctly points out the ways in which Russia and Iran will be negatively impacted by the Taliban victory.

    In addition, the impression of a “miraculous” Sunni jihadist victory over a superpower will invigorate and embolden Sunni jihadists across the Middle East, including Al-Qaeda in Syria and Yemen. This, in turn, will harm the enemies of Israel, including Hezbollah, Assad, and the Houthis, thus benefitting Israel.

    The US government has now completely abandoned all pretense of serving American national interests.

    The Department of Homeland Security’s top priority is now persecuting American patriots (“White Supremacists”) rather than protecting our homeland from a real terror threat, radical Sunni jihadists such as Al-Qaeda who have committed dozens of deadly terror attacks with thousands of victims.

    Likewise, our armed forces and intelligence community have now completely ended all hostilities against Sunni jihadists (Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Taliban) while continuing hostilities (economic warfare, proxy warfare, and even intermittent airstrikes) against Shiites, Assad and Russia. These later have not only never targeted our homeland, they are the active enemies of those who have targeted our homeland. Our foreign policy in the Middle East is now purely Israel-first, without even a tattered remnant of a fig-leaf of “avenge 9/11” sentiment.

    The large long-term goal of American nationalists should be to get America out of the Middle East, and get the Middle East out of America.

    Our urgent short term demands should be:

    1. Absolutely no Middle Eastern immigrants or refugees under any circumstances whatsoever.

    2. A consistently and uniformly non-interventionist foreign foreign policy.

    End our involvement in the Middle Eastern quagmire, which now gives our enemies (Sunni jihadists) nothing but benefits. We harm their enemies (Russia, Assad, Shiites) while helping the enemies of their enemies (Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Pakistan, Israel).

    Bring home all the troops.

    End all sanctions against the enemies of Al-Qaeda (Russia, Syria, Iran)

    End all foreign aid to, and alliance with, nations whose actions have benefitted Al-Qaeda (Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Pakistan, Israel).

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @John Gruskos


    Biden let the Taliban take Afghanistan for the same reason Obama let ISIS run wild.

    1. To spark a flood of refugees into Europe and America, accelerating the great replacement.

    2. To weaken Israel’s regional enemies – Shiites (Iran, Hezbollah, Houthis), secular Arab nationalists (Assad, Gadhafi), and their patron Russia.
     
    You realise that you are just making this stuff up, right?

    Replies: @John Gruskos

  239. @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa


    The US should have gone in and left. Or, if they had stayed, they could have split the country into Pashtunland and “other”, but their ideology restricted them from those options.
     
    The US had no coherent plan whatsoever, either liberal or whatever. Their error is much more fundamental and akin to yours: the idea that they can "succeed." At what? At anything and at nothing, apparently, because they had no idea what their goal was, and didn't attempt to sustain any of their accomplishments or even really do it well.

    It profitted some people to be there, so they sustained it. There was a real reason to be there, too, but they were too distracted by various shiny random goals to execute it.


    Remember BRICS? China has traded India and Brazil for Pakistan and Iran. Some geopolitical geniuses! Next, they’ll be trading Russia for Georgia and declaring Sinotriumph.
     
    As Napoleon noted, you don't have to be a genius, you just need idiots for enemies. The latter is a lot easier to be honest, and the US is basically executing along this non-plan.

    State legitimacy, which allowed the state to govern the populace and guarantee security, was based on food, now food is too easy, so it is based on higher level concerns. Self-styled “realists” are stuck in old paradigms and don’t realise that realism needs constant refreshing from observed reality.
     
    Your priors are incorrect. I thought about just dismissing it at that, but it seems worthwhile to add a bit more quickly.

    1) Military contest is now valuable again. It wasn't due to overwhelming US military dominance and ability to intervene, but this isn't the case anymore. We saw the beginnings of this a bit ago with Russian expansion into Crimea, the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war, and so on. Its cyclical: there was a great lull between the end of the Napoleonic Wars to WW1, the Century of Peace, for example, but it ended. We're at the ending of our peace cycle.

    2)Food hasn't been a limiting factor for a long time, people weren't really starving even during the Napoleonic Wars or before; it certainly didn't stop warfare. A better argument to help "steelman" your position is that wealth was once tied to land mass and GDP is no longer associated with that. But strategic locations and positions are still quite important for wealth, and for denying other actors wealth.

    3) The real limiting agent these days with the population is not food but attention. People have limited attention spans and for a long time, "liberalism" was able to capture it. But as Karlin as documented, this appears to be changing. I've also argued with good evidence that polarization is increasing and people even without control are moving into "walled gardens" where they can get the information they want; overlay another aspect of national and corporate control of information and we're very much leaving the era of a "common understanding." And when people can't communicate, they communicate with violence.

    All other notions of spiritual blather is basically so much flimflam. People will feel good when they win. And winning is entirely possible via material means. At the end of the day, its not able food or smartphones or gays or people with boobs or whatever, its that your system won and and their system lost, and so winning gains status necessarily at the cost of someone else losing.

    And constantly fumbling, and indeed, not even understanding that they are fumbling, will not lead to a good position for "liberal values."

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Wency

    The US had no coherent plan whatsoever, either liberal or whatever.

    Agreed.

    As Napoleon noted, you don’t have to be a genius, you just need idiots for enemies. The latter is a lot easier to be honest, and the US is basically executing along this non-plan.

    If you have idiots for enemies and the game is Earth, then you are more than smart enough.

    1) Military contest is now valuable again.

    Disagree and your examples don’t support your point. Nagorno-whatever is worth nothing. The Crimea was Russia and had their naval base already there.

    2)Food hasn’t been a limiting factor for a long time

    I was using it as a shorthand for base needs, but I appreciate your elaboration.

    3) The real limiting agent these days with the population is not food but attention. People have limited attention spans and for a long time, “liberalism” was able to capture it. But as Karlin as documented, this appears to be changing. I’ve also argued with good evidence that polarization is increasing and people even without control are moving into “walled gardens” where they can get the information they want; overlay another aspect of national and corporate control of information and we’re very much leaving the era of a “common understanding.” And when people can’t communicate, they communicate with violence.

    You’re applying base consequences to conflicts over higher level resources. Developed societies are centrifugal because they can be, because the cost is tiny. This is why politics is all fake hysteria and little action. People communicate fine, but are enjoying being endlessly dramatic.

    People will feel good when they win. And winning is entirely possible via material means. At the end of the day, its not able food or smartphones or gays or people with boobs or whatever, its that your system won and and their system lost, and so winning gains status necessarily at the cost of someone else losing.

    Systems losing and winning will be defined by conflicts utilising extremely dramatically argued high level nonsense, with little consequence.

    We have entered an age where ego validation is what people fight over. The words used are ridiculously over the top given the nature of the conflict, but hurt feelings are the majority of the casualties.

    Extrapolating out to predictions of disaster from this comical conflict is confusing what is a symptom of extreme success for a sign of coming systemic failure.

    The hysterical confusion and language is of course a result of you being on the losing side of this hurt feelings contest. Since I don’t have a side and don’t get this ego validation thing, I don’t much care either way and wish you would all just understand each other and be kind; which, of course, on some level you are.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa


    Nagorno-whatever is worth nothing. The Crimea was Russia and had their naval base already there.
     
    Excellent, I'll remember that line when China invades to take South Tibet, because the population there already wishes to leave India.

    The idea that anything that contradicts you is "worthless" is silly at face value, and even more ridiculous at length. Increasing use of force for territorial acquisition is a trend to note. What is "small" can be of escalating importance(and those were not small, for that matter, go ask Yevardian about what he thinks of at least 4000 of his countrymen killed and the loss of a territory worth $716 million gdp a year).

    But no, if you had a paper cut, it would be of fairly minimal importance, but it would still annoy and decrease functionality in the limb suffered. If you had ten papercuts, it would be quite a bit more painful and decrease functionality, quite possibly lead to wound fever. If you had a hundred, you are at severe risk of sepsis and real risk of death.

    Systems losing and winning will be defined by conflicts utilising extremely dramatically argued high level nonsense, with little consequence.

    We have entered an age where ego validation is what people fight over.
     
    One of my favorite systems is the flintlock musket. It is a beautiful mixture of simplicity and effectiveness: at its heart, a gun is simply a tube with a chemical propellant that drives an object in a roughly straight line into a target with unhealthy consequences.

    There are challenges to this, of course: how to introduce a spark to the chemical propellant. You could use a slow-burning match, but then the rain or wind might wick it out. You could use a clockwork mechanism via the piezoelectric effect to strike a crystal with a hammer to create a spark, but the demand for guns quite exceeds the amount of watchmakers and the conditions of the battlefield are not kind to glorified watches.

    The flintlock is an elegant compromise. Rather than just use a match, or rely on a complex watch mechanism, it uses a replaceable flint with a somewhat more complex lock that allows the flint to strike a rough surface, which drops an ember into the pan with the propellant, and then the explosion and material science does the rest to guide the ball down the barrel.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/cb/Flintlock_ignition_animation.gif/800px-Flintlock_ignition_animation.gif

    Its all quite elegant: the replaceable flint, the striking surface that can fail noncatastrophically, the general ruggedness of the design and it all has to fall together for its purpose to be accomplished. Now, assume that one of the pieces was replaced with "emotional validation" instead and we fired at each other.

    Well, you could still pull the trigger and do all of the other mechanisms, but my non-emotional validating flintlock would fire and yours wouldn't, you would be rapidly bleeding out and I would be very emotionally validated.

    Extrapolating out to predictions of disaster from this comical conflict is confusing what is a symptom of extreme success for a sign of coming systemic failure.
     
    Extrapolate this: you were completely wrong about the Taliban taking Kabul. People who are wrong should reevaluate their priors. If you're wrong in one small thing, you are likely wrong in many larger things.

    This is where you can utilize your error as a learning experience. Or don't, life is an excellent teacher.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Mr. Hack, @Grahamsno(G64)

  240. @John Gruskos
    Biden let the Taliban take Afghanistan for the same reason Obama let ISIS run wild.

    1. To spark a flood of refugees into Europe and America, accelerating the great replacement.
    2. To weaken Israel's regional enemies - Shiites (Iran, Hezbollah, Houthis), secular Arab nationalists (Assad, Gadhafi), and their patron Russia.

    Karlin correctly points out the ways in which Russia and Iran will be negatively impacted by the Taliban victory.

    In addition, the impression of a "miraculous" Sunni jihadist victory over a superpower will invigorate and embolden Sunni jihadists across the Middle East, including Al-Qaeda in Syria and Yemen. This, in turn, will harm the enemies of Israel, including Hezbollah, Assad, and the Houthis, thus benefitting Israel.

    The US government has now completely abandoned all pretense of serving American national interests.

    The Department of Homeland Security's top priority is now persecuting American patriots ("White Supremacists") rather than protecting our homeland from a real terror threat, radical Sunni jihadists such as Al-Qaeda who have committed dozens of deadly terror attacks with thousands of victims.

    Likewise, our armed forces and intelligence community have now completely ended all hostilities against Sunni jihadists (Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Taliban) while continuing hostilities (economic warfare, proxy warfare, and even intermittent airstrikes) against Shiites, Assad and Russia. These later have not only never targeted our homeland, they are the active enemies of those who have targeted our homeland. Our foreign policy in the Middle East is now purely Israel-first, without even a tattered remnant of a fig-leaf of "avenge 9/11" sentiment.

    The large long-term goal of American nationalists should be to get America out of the Middle East, and get the Middle East out of America.

    Our urgent short term demands should be:

    1. Absolutely no Middle Eastern immigrants or refugees under any circumstances whatsoever.

    2. A consistently and uniformly non-interventionist foreign foreign policy.

    End our involvement in the Middle Eastern quagmire, which now gives our enemies (Sunni jihadists) nothing but benefits. We harm their enemies (Russia, Assad, Shiites) while helping the enemies of their enemies (Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Pakistan, Israel).

    Bring home all the troops.

    End all sanctions against the enemies of Al-Qaeda (Russia, Syria, Iran)

    End all foreign aid to, and alliance with, nations whose actions have benefitted Al-Qaeda (Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Pakistan, Israel).

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    Biden let the Taliban take Afghanistan for the same reason Obama let ISIS run wild.

    1. To spark a flood of refugees into Europe and America, accelerating the great replacement.

    2. To weaken Israel’s regional enemies – Shiites (Iran, Hezbollah, Houthis), secular Arab nationalists (Assad, Gadhafi), and their patron Russia.

    You realise that you are just making this stuff up, right?

    • Troll: John Gruskos
    • Replies: @John Gruskos
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Who benefitted from the Arab Spring, and the subsequent chaos including the rise of ISIS?

    1. The "Syrian" "refugees" (actually economic migrants from all over the Middle East and Africa) who used the chaos as a pretext to flood into Europe, where they and their descendants will reap generous welfare benefits.

    2. Israel. Civil war weakened Syria. Syria, along with Iran, is the most important patron of Hezbollah. Israel is now in a much stronger position vis-a-vis Hezbollah than they were in 2006.

    3. Al-Qaeda, which now control a territorial bases of their own in Idlib Syria and in parts of Yemen.

    The establishment didn't mind #3, because they were so pleased with #1 and #2.

    Why are American troops still risking their lives and wasting American taxpayer dollars in Syria, where their presence benefits Al-Qaeda by weakening the Syrian government, if Joe Biden is America First?

    Why are the profits of American exporters being hampered by sanctions against Russia, Syria and Iran, sanctions which benefit Al-Qaeda by weakening the Syrian government, if Joe Biden is America First?

    Why are American taxpayer dollars wasted on military aid to Israel, despite the fact that Israeli airstrikes against Syria and its allies benefit Al-Qaeda by weakening the Syrian government, if Joe Biden is America First?

    Why are American resources wasted in an entangling alliance with Turkey, a nation which has directly aided the Al-Qaeda enclave in Idlib, if Joe Biden is America First?

    The only entanglement in the Middle East which Biden liquidated was also the only entanglement which had a plausible pretext of American interests.

    But Biden and the entire deplorable center-left establishment bitterly cling to entanglements which directly harm America's national and civilizational interests:

    1. American soldiers are endangered.
    2. American taxpayer money is wasted.
    3. American export opportunities are neglected.
    4. Our only real enemy in the Middle East, radical Sunni jihadists such as Al-Qaeda, ISIS and the Taliban, actually benefit from a foreign policy which concentrates on weakening their regional enemies (Shiites, secular nationalists, Russia).
    5. Our fellow Christians are ethnically cleansed from the region where Christianity originated.
    6. America, and our fellow White nations in Europe, are flooded with "refugees".
    7. When some of these "refugees" commit acts of terrorism, it becomes a pretext for surveillance state dedicated to eradicating "extremism". But the Sunni jihadists who routinely commit massively deadly terror are not the primary targets of the "anti-extremist" campaign. Instead, peaceful domestic nationalists and Christian conservatives are targeted.

    Supposedly the Taliban issued a statement saying they harbor no hatred against the American people, and hope that we will be liberated from ZOG.

    If so, they should immediately:
    1. Give an unconditional amnesty to all Afghans, eliminating the pretext for "refugees".
    2. Denounce Al-Qaeda, especially AQAP and the Idlib Al-Qaeda (changed their name so many times, I forget what they call themselves now).
    3. Apologize for ever giving assistance to Al-Qaeda n the past.
    4. Arrest Ayman Al-Zawahiri and put him on trial for his life.

    Replies: @showmethereal

  241. @songbird
    Wonder what the average IQ of the Vietnamese who managed to board helicopters was. Weren't they primarily the officer corps and their families? How many SD above the average Afghan airplane clinger?

    One way to show the decline of the US is that it was trying to nation build in dumber and more fractious countries. Will the Congo be next?

    Replies: @Johann Ricke

    Wonder what the average IQ of the Vietnamese who managed to board helicopters was. Weren’t they primarily the officer corps and their families? How many SD above the average Afghan airplane clinger?

    In a country like Afghanistan, where universal education doesn’t exist, it’s likely that a good bunch of untapped talent exists. Ditto with South Vietnam during the exodus of the mid-1970’s. The problem with Afghan migrants is religious zealotry. Still, the US remains an extremely seductive melting pot. I am personally acquainted with a number of Afghans who are nominal Muslims, at best. Tribal when challenged about Islam, but never go to mosque, et al.

  242. @haha
    'fraid can't. Was born in a "Christian land". Home to me sort of thing, see? And it is not the people I despise, but some (and only some) policies of govt from time to time.
    Good luck with your writings. Try to keep out racist hate and religious intolerance - unsolicited advice from an atheist.

    Replies: @Beckow

    We are familiar with this escape to atheism – it is just a protection shield for you. This has very little with actual religion, it is about culture and identity. If you despise Christianity and European past you simply don’t belong in Europe. You can call it racist or whatever you wish, you – and we – are better off when you depart where your heart wants to go.

    You are way off when you underestimate our resolve, this is our home, the likes of you came and went before. We always prevail at the end. Like a fool you see the flashy minutia of your dreams and fail to see that we are Europe and always will be. Adapt or go to a more familiar place.

    • Replies: @Barr
    @Beckow

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/news.yahoo.com/amphtml/conservative-cardinal-criticized-vaccine-ventilator-103629364.html

    Preserve your secular institute , strengthen them otherwise person like Cardinal Raymond L Burke
    will take over . He definitely will provide much needed security in the vacuum created by the disintegration of the public offices and of the law and order .
    But he will exact a price no less ruthless ,inflexible , moralistic , and punitive than that offered by 1996 Taliban .

    Uproot and leave the garden , you will find always wild thorny dry shrubs taking over .

    Our social chaos points to slow decomposition
    Afghanistan faced same social tension in 1970s z

    We might not have to wait for 30 years .

    It’s always gradual then it’s a dam burst open .

    Replies: @Zarathustra

  243. @Daniel Chieh
    @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms

    There is also the Battle of Baekgang, which was between Yamato Japan and the Tang-Silla forces; I believe that's the first clash between what we could recognize as "Japan" and "China."

    Then you had about one thousand years of small-scale raids and counter-raids eventually leading up to this:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiajing_wokou_raids


    References to Japanese pirates in Korea occur as early as 414, with extensive Japanese piracy recorded in the thirteenth century. Although abating after the Mongol conquest of China and Korea, it returned in the mid-fourteenth century, when uprisings in China challenged Mongol rule and the Japanese found themselves embroiled in a bitter civil war. The Ashikaga shoguns were in no position to check these raids, and massive numbers of Japanese pirates despoiled the Korean coast, even assaulting cities such as Kaesŏng and Pyongyang. These attacks also spilled over into China and became a major source of friction between the early Ming emperors and the Ashikaga shoguns. Both the Chinese and the Koreans sent embassies to Japan demanding that the bakufu bring the pirates under control. These initial entreaties were ignored, partly because the Ashikaga did not yet have full control over their own country. The Chinese fortified their coastal areas and subsequently adopted an aggressive policy of expansion under Yongle. The Koreans also strengthened their defenses and even carried out offensive operations against pirate bases in Tsushima[against Japan proper].

     

    And while there wasn't per se active, existential warfare(despite, weirdly, Yamato's panicked efforts' to build up coastal defenses after the Silla War against a Chinese invasion that never was even conceived by the Tang), there was plenty of hostility all around.

    These raids, whether attributable to the Japanese or not, became a major source of tension between the three countries and were foremost in the minds of all three belligerents at the start of the war in Korea. By the late Ming period, earlier views of the Japanese as sagacious monks gave way to the Japanese being seen as “shadowy demons” who “created a deep-seated sense of fear and loathing in the hearts of the Chinese people.”

    ...

    Hideyoshi’s full ambitions could never be realized if he did not conquer the Ming, for he could not bear to suffer the existence existence of a ruler with greater pretensions to authority than his own. Not only does this suggest a rejection or ignorance of the Chinese conception of the world, but it also supports the idea that other states in Asia could have imperial pretensions as great as those of the Chinese. The Koreans, for example, exhibited their own ethnocentric consciousness toward Japan, the Jurchens, and the Ryukyus as part of their own version of the Ming-centered world, even asserting their kingdom as the ideological center of Asia after the fall of the Ming.

     

    To simplify massively, it seems that Koreas had an extremely close relationship with China and therefore advocated the Chinese tribuary system with the understanding that they were the top dogs in it besides for China itself:

    “Since ancient times China and Korea have enjoyed friendly relations akin to those of elder and younger brothers. They share both history and culture and have thus prospered together.”

     

    The implication to this, of course, which the Koreas also basically explicitly expressed was that everyone else, then, was below them. This particularly included the Japanese, would never accepted it in the beginning, certainly had no reason to be fond of Koreans given that the "birth of Korea" equated to "eviction of Japanese state in Korea", and after the Yuan invasions, decided that revenge was quite due.

    Yes, there was also a lot of mutual understanding. But that mutual understanding oddly enough, ended up as an existential struggle for supremacy, by the very system that China had conceived:


    The Japanese believed that whatever the military weakness of Korea and China, they were still repositories of culture and wealth. Buddhism, for example, traveled to Japan via Korea, after its initial transmission to China from India, and Buddhist monks often served as the primary intermediaries between the three belligerents. Japan’s political institutions were rather different from those of the Ming by the late sixteenth century, there was an implicit acknowledgement of the Chinese roots of Japan’s imperial system and a recognition by Hideyoshi that he needed to conquer China and claim its mandate for himself to assume preeminence in Asia.

     

    Replies: @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms

    Battle of Baekgang, which was between Yamato Japan and the Tang-Silla forces; I believe that’s the first clash between what we could recognize as “Japan” and “China.”

    These two civilizations are simply not equals. It would be like Justinian taking back Western Roman Empire territories and warring with the then barely literate Anglo-Saxons. The victory Battle of Baekgang was scantly mentioned in official Tang history because Japan was so simply insignificant at the time.

    The ethnic character of the wokou was

    According to the History of Ming and other contemporary Chinese records, only thirty percent of the 16th century wokou were Japanese, while seventy percent were ethnic Chinese.[8] Moreover, the Chinese played the leading role in these later wokou raids, with the Japanese and those of other nationalities being mere associates and hired hands.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiajing_wokou_raids#The_%22wokou%22

    To simplify massively, it seems that Koreas had an extremely close relationship with China and therefore advocated the Chinese tribuary system with the understanding that they were the top dogs in it besides for China itself:

    Because of its position on Asia Mainland. Korea was literal a Little China and copied Middle Kingdom institutions almost wholely
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sojunghwa

    Japan, separated by sea, had the option of copying what aspects of Sinitic culture she was interested in. For example, practices of enunchs, foot-binding and Imperial Exams were not copied. Their unique tradition of bushido was maintained.

    ended up as an existential struggle for supremacy

    After Manchu conquest, Japan considered Qing China to no longer properly Sinitic, there was the term 華夷変態 Perversion from Hua to Barbarian
    https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%8F%AF%E5%A4%B7%E5%A4%89%E6%85%8B

    My personal opinion is that Manchus could not have fully conquered China without cooperation from Han bureaucrats and adoption of Neo-Confucian institutions.

    But I do see relevance in the Japanese perspective. And in many ways they did exceed China in 17-19 CE, for example in mathematics.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms


    The victory Battle of Baekgang was scantly mentioned in official Tang history because Japan was so simply insignificant at the time.
     
    No doubt. Also, later when a Chinese delegation was attacked visiting India, so he fled to Nepal, gathered troops and invaded India, destroying a pretender and taking back over two thousand slaves. And did you know that after 1980, for almost twenty years after the official end of the Sino-Vietnamese War, the Chinese continued to maintain a low-level war with the Vietnamese, killing and maiming over ten thousand Vietnamese until they got all of their demands fulfilled?

    Thousands of people from both sides were killed in these border clashes. At the military cemetery in Vị Xuyên, there are more than 1,600 graves of Vietnamese soldiers killed during the conflict. Vietnam acknowledged 4,000 killed and 9,000 wounded in the area between 1984 and 1989.

    Probably not. For the Chinese, such things are rounding errors, especially as the Chinese got stronger and had minimal casualties. However, for the people who are on the other side of the "rounding errors" often have excellent memories.

    The Vietnamese are quite bitter about it to this day, and I think, understandably so.


    After Manchu conquest, Japan considered Qing China to no longer properly Sinitic
     
    No, the Japanese distanced themselves from China quite a bit earlier, even though China was part of the conversation. Japanese Neo-Confucianism fundamentally redefined Japan as the center of the universe - which even Wikia notes, but only as part of Kokugaku.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edo_neo-Confucianism


    The influence of Neo-Confucianism was challenged by the rise of the Kokugaku philosophical school in the 17th and 18th centuries. Kokugaku advocates argued that the ancient Japanese were better representatives of Confucian virtues than the ancient Chinese were, and that there should be more intellectual focus on ancient Japanese classics and the indigenous religion of Shinto.
     
    However, the "Pure Heart" belief was a contender even in the very beginning of Edo Neo-Confucianism. I can't find the quote, so I'll go off my memory and its very similar to Kokugaku and it goes like this, "We all agree that China and Japan are the great nations of civilization. But of the two, because of her unique placement in the world, Japan is the greatest representation of civilization and Confucianism: it may have originated in China, but it originated there so that it can blossom here."

    These quibbles of "who is greatest" may seem silly but they all would quite escalate because it formed the essential justification for Japanese military adventures to establish her "place in the world."

    Replies: @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms

  244. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh


    The US had no coherent plan whatsoever, either liberal or whatever.
     
    Agreed.

    As Napoleon noted, you don’t have to be a genius, you just need idiots for enemies. The latter is a lot easier to be honest, and the US is basically executing along this non-plan.
     
    If you have idiots for enemies and the game is Earth, then you are more than smart enough.

    1) Military contest is now valuable again.
     
    Disagree and your examples don't support your point. Nagorno-whatever is worth nothing. The Crimea was Russia and had their naval base already there.

    2)Food hasn’t been a limiting factor for a long time
     
    I was using it as a shorthand for base needs, but I appreciate your elaboration.

    3) The real limiting agent these days with the population is not food but attention. People have limited attention spans and for a long time, “liberalism” was able to capture it. But as Karlin as documented, this appears to be changing. I’ve also argued with good evidence that polarization is increasing and people even without control are moving into “walled gardens” where they can get the information they want; overlay another aspect of national and corporate control of information and we’re very much leaving the era of a “common understanding.” And when people can’t communicate, they communicate with violence.
     
    You're applying base consequences to conflicts over higher level resources. Developed societies are centrifugal because they can be, because the cost is tiny. This is why politics is all fake hysteria and little action. People communicate fine, but are enjoying being endlessly dramatic.

    People will feel good when they win. And winning is entirely possible via material means. At the end of the day, its not able food or smartphones or gays or people with boobs or whatever, its that your system won and and their system lost, and so winning gains status necessarily at the cost of someone else losing.
     
    Systems losing and winning will be defined by conflicts utilising extremely dramatically argued high level nonsense, with little consequence.

    We have entered an age where ego validation is what people fight over. The words used are ridiculously over the top given the nature of the conflict, but hurt feelings are the majority of the casualties.

    Extrapolating out to predictions of disaster from this comical conflict is confusing what is a symptom of extreme success for a sign of coming systemic failure.

    The hysterical confusion and language is of course a result of you being on the losing side of this hurt feelings contest. Since I don't have a side and don't get this ego validation thing, I don't much care either way and wish you would all just understand each other and be kind; which, of course, on some level you are.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Nagorno-whatever is worth nothing. The Crimea was Russia and had their naval base already there.

    Excellent, I’ll remember that line when China invades to take South Tibet, because the population there already wishes to leave India.

    The idea that anything that contradicts you is “worthless” is silly at face value, and even more ridiculous at length. Increasing use of force for territorial acquisition is a trend to note. What is “small” can be of escalating importance(and those were not small, for that matter, go ask Yevardian about what he thinks of at least 4000 of his countrymen killed and the loss of a territory worth \$716 million gdp a year).

    But no, if you had a paper cut, it would be of fairly minimal importance, but it would still annoy and decrease functionality in the limb suffered. If you had ten papercuts, it would be quite a bit more painful and decrease functionality, quite possibly lead to wound fever. If you had a hundred, you are at severe risk of sepsis and real risk of death.

    Systems losing and winning will be defined by conflicts utilising extremely dramatically argued high level nonsense, with little consequence.

    We have entered an age where ego validation is what people fight over.

    One of my favorite systems is the flintlock musket. It is a beautiful mixture of simplicity and effectiveness: at its heart, a gun is simply a tube with a chemical propellant that drives an object in a roughly straight line into a target with unhealthy consequences.

    There are challenges to this, of course: how to introduce a spark to the chemical propellant. You could use a slow-burning match, but then the rain or wind might wick it out. You could use a clockwork mechanism via the piezoelectric effect to strike a crystal with a hammer to create a spark, but the demand for guns quite exceeds the amount of watchmakers and the conditions of the battlefield are not kind to glorified watches.

    The flintlock is an elegant compromise. Rather than just use a match, or rely on a complex watch mechanism, it uses a replaceable flint with a somewhat more complex lock that allows the flint to strike a rough surface, which drops an ember into the pan with the propellant, and then the explosion and material science does the rest to guide the ball down the barrel.

    Its all quite elegant: the replaceable flint, the striking surface that can fail noncatastrophically, the general ruggedness of the design and it all has to fall together for its purpose to be accomplished. Now, assume that one of the pieces was replaced with “emotional validation” instead and we fired at each other.

    Well, you could still pull the trigger and do all of the other mechanisms, but my non-emotional validating flintlock would fire and yours wouldn’t, you would be rapidly bleeding out and I would be very emotionally validated.

    Extrapolating out to predictions of disaster from this comical conflict is confusing what is a symptom of extreme success for a sign of coming systemic failure.

    Extrapolate this: you were completely wrong about the Taliban taking Kabul. People who are wrong should reevaluate their priors. If you’re wrong in one small thing, you are likely wrong in many larger things.

    This is where you can utilize your error as a learning experience. Or don’t, life is an excellent teacher.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    I'll get to the rest later, though I have had a giggle at your insistence on the importance of N-K as an example of where developed nations are heading.


    Extrapolate this: you were completely wrong about the Taliban taking Kabul. People who are wrong should reevaluate their priors. If you’re wrong in one small thing, you are likely wrong in many larger things.
     
    I said "unless the Taliban take it in a lightning sweep," which they did. I was not only right, but the only person who was right in that respect here.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    , @Mr. Hack
    @Daniel Chieh


    Increasing use of force for territorial acquisition is a trend to note. What is “small” can be of escalating importance(and those were not small, for that matter, go ask Yevardian about what he thinks of at least 4000 of his countrymen killed and the loss of a territory worth $716 million gdp a year).

    But no, if you had a paper cut, it would be of fairly minimal importance, but it would still annoy and decrease functionality in the limb suffered. If you had ten papercuts, it would be quite a bit more painful and decrease functionality, quite possibly lead to wound fever. If you had a hundred, you are at severe risk of sepsis and real risk of death.
     
    Do you feel similarly about the Ukrainian loss of Crimea? How about the continuing violence supported by Russia in the Donbas?

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    , @Grahamsno(G64)
    @Daniel Chieh


    I’ll remember that line when China invades to take South Tibet
     
    Molon Labe. We aren't a basket case like Ukraine to grab territory, if it happens it will be through catastrophic state failure or nuclear wars or both. You guys aren't the only ones reviewing your nuclear posture. Such infantile irredentism from a country where 95% of the population stay on 5o% of the land or 5% in 50% of the lands conquered by the Qing dynasty. Next what 'Outer Mongolia' and Vietnam.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  245. @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa


    Nagorno-whatever is worth nothing. The Crimea was Russia and had their naval base already there.
     
    Excellent, I'll remember that line when China invades to take South Tibet, because the population there already wishes to leave India.

    The idea that anything that contradicts you is "worthless" is silly at face value, and even more ridiculous at length. Increasing use of force for territorial acquisition is a trend to note. What is "small" can be of escalating importance(and those were not small, for that matter, go ask Yevardian about what he thinks of at least 4000 of his countrymen killed and the loss of a territory worth $716 million gdp a year).

    But no, if you had a paper cut, it would be of fairly minimal importance, but it would still annoy and decrease functionality in the limb suffered. If you had ten papercuts, it would be quite a bit more painful and decrease functionality, quite possibly lead to wound fever. If you had a hundred, you are at severe risk of sepsis and real risk of death.

    Systems losing and winning will be defined by conflicts utilising extremely dramatically argued high level nonsense, with little consequence.

    We have entered an age where ego validation is what people fight over.
     
    One of my favorite systems is the flintlock musket. It is a beautiful mixture of simplicity and effectiveness: at its heart, a gun is simply a tube with a chemical propellant that drives an object in a roughly straight line into a target with unhealthy consequences.

    There are challenges to this, of course: how to introduce a spark to the chemical propellant. You could use a slow-burning match, but then the rain or wind might wick it out. You could use a clockwork mechanism via the piezoelectric effect to strike a crystal with a hammer to create a spark, but the demand for guns quite exceeds the amount of watchmakers and the conditions of the battlefield are not kind to glorified watches.

    The flintlock is an elegant compromise. Rather than just use a match, or rely on a complex watch mechanism, it uses a replaceable flint with a somewhat more complex lock that allows the flint to strike a rough surface, which drops an ember into the pan with the propellant, and then the explosion and material science does the rest to guide the ball down the barrel.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/cb/Flintlock_ignition_animation.gif/800px-Flintlock_ignition_animation.gif

    Its all quite elegant: the replaceable flint, the striking surface that can fail noncatastrophically, the general ruggedness of the design and it all has to fall together for its purpose to be accomplished. Now, assume that one of the pieces was replaced with "emotional validation" instead and we fired at each other.

    Well, you could still pull the trigger and do all of the other mechanisms, but my non-emotional validating flintlock would fire and yours wouldn't, you would be rapidly bleeding out and I would be very emotionally validated.

    Extrapolating out to predictions of disaster from this comical conflict is confusing what is a symptom of extreme success for a sign of coming systemic failure.
     
    Extrapolate this: you were completely wrong about the Taliban taking Kabul. People who are wrong should reevaluate their priors. If you're wrong in one small thing, you are likely wrong in many larger things.

    This is where you can utilize your error as a learning experience. Or don't, life is an excellent teacher.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Mr. Hack, @Grahamsno(G64)

    I’ll get to the rest later, though I have had a giggle at your insistence on the importance of N-K as an example of where developed nations are heading.

    Extrapolate this: you were completely wrong about the Taliban taking Kabul. People who are wrong should reevaluate their priors. If you’re wrong in one small thing, you are likely wrong in many larger things.

    I said “unless the Taliban take it in a lightning sweep,” which they did. I was not only right, but the only person who was right in that respect here.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Looking for ways to justify your ego is cute, but you're still wrong. You were also wrong about Taliban numbers and still fundamentally lack understanding of how the Taliban won; all in all, you don't seem to have any comprehension of logistics, positioning, or really systems at all.

    So work on that bit of comprehension first. And maybe on that little projection of "hysteria"; that would be nice too.

    But hey, its your life to fail with.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

  246. @Beckow
    @haha

    We are familiar with this escape to atheism - it is just a protection shield for you. This has very little with actual religion, it is about culture and identity. If you despise Christianity and European past you simply don't belong in Europe. You can call it racist or whatever you wish, you - and we - are better off when you depart where your heart wants to go.

    You are way off when you underestimate our resolve, this is our home, the likes of you came and went before. We always prevail at the end. Like a fool you see the flashy minutia of your dreams and fail to see that we are Europe and always will be. Adapt or go to a more familiar place.

    Replies: @Barr

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/news.yahoo.com/amphtml/conservative-cardinal-criticized-vaccine-ventilator-103629364.html

    Preserve your secular institute , strengthen them otherwise person like Cardinal Raymond L Burke
    will take over . He definitely will provide much needed security in the vacuum created by the disintegration of the public offices and of the law and order .
    But he will exact a price no less ruthless ,inflexible , moralistic , and punitive than that offered by 1996 Taliban .

    Uproot and leave the garden , you will find always wild thorny dry shrubs taking over .

    Our social chaos points to slow decomposition
    Afghanistan faced same social tension in 1970s z

    We might not have to wait for 30 years .

    It’s always gradual then it’s a dam burst open .

    • Replies: @Zarathustra
    @Barr

    On every dam are spillway gates. (I even did design those also.)

  247. @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms
    @Daniel Chieh


    Battle of Baekgang, which was between Yamato Japan and the Tang-Silla forces; I believe that’s the first clash between what we could recognize as “Japan” and “China.”

     

    These two civilizations are simply not equals. It would be like Justinian taking back Western Roman Empire territories and warring with the then barely literate Anglo-Saxons. The victory Battle of Baekgang was scantly mentioned in official Tang history because Japan was so simply insignificant at the time.

    The ethnic character of the wokou was

    According to the History of Ming and other contemporary Chinese records, only thirty percent of the 16th century wokou were Japanese, while seventy percent were ethnic Chinese.[8] Moreover, the Chinese played the leading role in these later wokou raids, with the Japanese and those of other nationalities being mere associates and hired hands.

     

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiajing_wokou_raids#The_%22wokou%22

    To simplify massively, it seems that Koreas had an extremely close relationship with China and therefore advocated the Chinese tribuary system with the understanding that they were the top dogs in it besides for China itself:

     

    Because of its position on Asia Mainland. Korea was literal a Little China and copied Middle Kingdom institutions almost wholely
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sojunghwa

    Japan, separated by sea, had the option of copying what aspects of Sinitic culture she was interested in. For example, practices of enunchs, foot-binding and Imperial Exams were not copied. Their unique tradition of bushido was maintained.

    ended up as an existential struggle for supremacy

     

    After Manchu conquest, Japan considered Qing China to no longer properly Sinitic, there was the term 華夷変態 Perversion from Hua to Barbarian
    https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%8F%AF%E5%A4%B7%E5%A4%89%E6%85%8B

    My personal opinion is that Manchus could not have fully conquered China without cooperation from Han bureaucrats and adoption of Neo-Confucian institutions.

    But I do see relevance in the Japanese perspective. And in many ways they did exceed China in 17-19 CE, for example in mathematics.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    The victory Battle of Baekgang was scantly mentioned in official Tang history because Japan was so simply insignificant at the time.

    No doubt. Also, later when a Chinese delegation was attacked visiting India, so he fled to Nepal, gathered troops and invaded India, destroying a pretender and taking back over two thousand slaves. And did you know that after 1980, for almost twenty years after the official end of the Sino-Vietnamese War, the Chinese continued to maintain a low-level war with the Vietnamese, killing and maiming over ten thousand Vietnamese until they got all of their demands fulfilled?

    Thousands of people from both sides were killed in these border clashes. At the military cemetery in Vị Xuyên, there are more than 1,600 graves of Vietnamese soldiers killed during the conflict. Vietnam acknowledged 4,000 killed and 9,000 wounded in the area between 1984 and 1989.

    Probably not. For the Chinese, such things are rounding errors, especially as the Chinese got stronger and had minimal casualties. However, for the people who are on the other side of the “rounding errors” often have excellent memories.

    The Vietnamese are quite bitter about it to this day, and I think, understandably so.

    After Manchu conquest, Japan considered Qing China to no longer properly Sinitic

    No, the Japanese distanced themselves from China quite a bit earlier, even though China was part of the conversation. Japanese Neo-Confucianism fundamentally redefined Japan as the center of the universe – which even Wikia notes, but only as part of Kokugaku.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edo_neo-Confucianism

    The influence of Neo-Confucianism was challenged by the rise of the Kokugaku philosophical school in the 17th and 18th centuries. Kokugaku advocates argued that the ancient Japanese were better representatives of Confucian virtues than the ancient Chinese were, and that there should be more intellectual focus on ancient Japanese classics and the indigenous religion of Shinto.

    However, the “Pure Heart” belief was a contender even in the very beginning of Edo Neo-Confucianism. I can’t find the quote, so I’ll go off my memory and its very similar to Kokugaku and it goes like this, “We all agree that China and Japan are the great nations of civilization. But of the two, because of her unique placement in the world, Japan is the greatest representation of civilization and Confucianism: it may have originated in China, but it originated there so that it can blossom here.”

    These quibbles of “who is greatest” may seem silly but they all would quite escalate because it formed the essential justification for Japanese military adventures to establish her “place in the world.”

    • Replies: @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms
    @Daniel Chieh


    No doubt. Also, later when a Chinese delegation was attacked visiting India, so he fled to Nepal, gathered troops and invaded India, destroying a pretender and taking back over two thousand slaves. And did you know that after 1980, for almost twenty years after the official end of the Sino-Vietnamese War, the Chinese continued to maintain a low-level war with the Vietnamese, killing and maiming over ten thousand Vietnamese until they got all of their demands fulfilled?

     

    Non sequitur.

    No, the Japanese distanced themselves from China quite a bit earlier, even though China was part of the conversation. Japanese Neo-Confucianism fundamentally redefined Japan as the center of the universe – which even Wikia notes, but only as part of Kokugaku.

     

    Further non sequitur. You original contention was:

    China and Japan fighting are almost a tradition

     

    How does this support your point? Historical tensions between C/J/K/V is obviously the case. But no worse than Anglo-French, or Germano-Slavic tensions.

    By exaggerating this without telling the other side, you are baiting for outsiders to exacerbate and inflame these tensions.

    *I can get into the weeds of 朱子學 shushigaku with you, but can you even read Chinese or Kanji?

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  248. @Beckow
    @Daniel Chieh


    ...combination of panic and begging that we saw
     
    Washington actually offered future aid money to buy its way out - embarrassing.

    Basically for Talebs the choice is: behave and maybe get some money in the future, or keep hostages to bargain with. Given the essentially medieval bandit nature of Taleban they will always go for the bird in hand. Massive bombing will do nothing and nobody is going back in.

    The Afghanistan debacle shows both strategic and tactical ineptness - as if smarter people are trying to inoculate West against similar foolishness in the future. We may have a few years of peace - then it will start all over again, too much $ and too many careers at stake. But this is not good for Bush-Blair crowd, they will be verbally sacrificed.

    Replies: @Randy Dazzler

    But this is not good for Bush-Blair crowd, they will be verbally sacrificed.

    They should be put on trial, domestically and internationally. There are no Statue of Limitations on these matters.

    Personally, I believe that the power to put some one to death is too great, and too corruptible, to be in the hands on any government. Cases like these are the strongest counter argument.

    The investigations should be deep and wide. It is time for the American people to find out what has been done in their name under the shroud and Color of Authority. C’mon congresscritters, start with the easy stuff and then, little by little, the stuff the was supposed to really stay hidden will come out.

    Set an example. It should be a long time before War Profiteering is cool again.

    Let’s bring Honor and Integrity back into foreign relations. All parties.

    • Replies: @Beckow
    @Randy Dazzler

    Honour and integrity require accountability. Probably the biggest structural issue in the modern West is that government actors are never held accountable for anything - something to do with sovereign immunity. It doesn't work, with wars or anything else.

    Immunity by government employees (including Bush-Blair-Obama) should only apply to routine work - decisions to go to war, to award billions to cronies, to shut down business and pump people with an experimental substance - all those decisions go beyond that routine work of governing.

    If there was willingness to prosecute, their behaviour and results would improve. That was always the case in the past: failures and obvious corruption were never in the past written off as "unfortunate mistakes" - people were held accountable no matter how high they were. With power comes responsibility, without it you get what we have now: infantile poseurs causing mayhem and laughing all the way at the impunity.

    Replies: @Randy Dazzler

  249. @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    I'll get to the rest later, though I have had a giggle at your insistence on the importance of N-K as an example of where developed nations are heading.


    Extrapolate this: you were completely wrong about the Taliban taking Kabul. People who are wrong should reevaluate their priors. If you’re wrong in one small thing, you are likely wrong in many larger things.
     
    I said "unless the Taliban take it in a lightning sweep," which they did. I was not only right, but the only person who was right in that respect here.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Looking for ways to justify your ego is cute, but you’re still wrong. You were also wrong about Taliban numbers and still fundamentally lack understanding of how the Taliban won; all in all, you don’t seem to have any comprehension of logistics, positioning, or really systems at all.

    So work on that bit of comprehension first. And maybe on that little projection of “hysteria”; that would be nice too.

    But hey, its your life to fail with.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @Daniel Chieh

    The only established fact is the one I said. Your vague prognostications mean nothing to me.

    As for "hysteria", this place is dripping with it. Unless you're an elite Afghan, the Taliban sweep changes nothing and, even if you are an elite Afghan, it probably changes little given that most of them seem to have switched sides.

    Doesn't everyone remember the last 10 trillion "this is the end of the world" moments?

    Afghanistan will likely remain as it always was and American life will be unchanged. It possibly won't even harm Biden's political standing, it is so irrelevant. The Charlottesville nonsense had more political effect. No one really cares.

    And as for comparing reality to the simplistic workings of a matchlock rifle, it only suggests that your simplicity renders you unable to engage with the fullness of reality. If Aaron has to pretend reality is unknowable to cope, you have to reduce it to an unreality. This is better, but hardly whole.

    It is cute and makes for a nice parallel with how you think that complex creatures die of paper cuts, when really they heal them easily and, despite a few fun tears, are unaffected. I've had many and don't even have the scars.

  250. @Triteleia Laxa
    @haha

    I'm not American and I do not support the invasion of Afghanistan. The effort was not worth even one American life.

    I don't know why you would think otherwise. Maybe you have an answer for why you did?

    Replies: @AnonfromTN

    Typical Western European mainstream: idolizing the US, but when directly confronted about heinous American crimes, taking a posture “it’s not us, it’s them”. Frankly, I thought better of you. I was wrong. Mea culpa.

    • Replies: @Triteleia Laxa
    @AnonfromTN

    No, I said "it is not me." I don't presume to speak for Western Europe either. I only use my own voice, though I am happy to relay those of others', but not as my own.

  251. @AnonfromTN
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Typical Western European mainstream: idolizing the US, but when directly confronted about heinous American crimes, taking a posture “it’s not us, it’s them”. Frankly, I thought better of you. I was wrong. Mea culpa.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    No, I said “it is not me.” I don’t presume to speak for Western Europe either. I only use my own voice, though I am happy to relay those of others’, but not as my own.

  252. @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa

    Looking for ways to justify your ego is cute, but you're still wrong. You were also wrong about Taliban numbers and still fundamentally lack understanding of how the Taliban won; all in all, you don't seem to have any comprehension of logistics, positioning, or really systems at all.

    So work on that bit of comprehension first. And maybe on that little projection of "hysteria"; that would be nice too.

    But hey, its your life to fail with.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa

    The only established fact is the one I said. Your vague prognostications mean nothing to me.

    As for “hysteria”, this place is dripping with it. Unless you’re an elite Afghan, the Taliban sweep changes nothing and, even if you are an elite Afghan, it probably changes little given that most of them seem to have switched sides.

    Doesn’t everyone remember the last 10 trillion “this is the end of the world” moments?

    Afghanistan will likely remain as it always was and American life will be unchanged. It possibly won’t even harm Biden’s political standing, it is so irrelevant. The Charlottesville nonsense had more political effect. No one really cares.

    And as for comparing reality to the simplistic workings of a matchlock rifle, it only suggests that your simplicity renders you unable to engage with the fullness of reality. If Aaron has to pretend reality is unknowable to cope, you have to reduce it to an unreality. This is better, but hardly whole.

    It is cute and makes for a nice parallel with how you think that complex creatures die of paper cuts, when really they heal them easily and, despite a few fun tears, are unaffected. I’ve had many and don’t even have the scars.

  253. @Daniel Chieh
    @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms


    The victory Battle of Baekgang was scantly mentioned in official Tang history because Japan was so simply insignificant at the time.
     
    No doubt. Also, later when a Chinese delegation was attacked visiting India, so he fled to Nepal, gathered troops and invaded India, destroying a pretender and taking back over two thousand slaves. And did you know that after 1980, for almost twenty years after the official end of the Sino-Vietnamese War, the Chinese continued to maintain a low-level war with the Vietnamese, killing and maiming over ten thousand Vietnamese until they got all of their demands fulfilled?

    Thousands of people from both sides were killed in these border clashes. At the military cemetery in Vị Xuyên, there are more than 1,600 graves of Vietnamese soldiers killed during the conflict. Vietnam acknowledged 4,000 killed and 9,000 wounded in the area between 1984 and 1989.

    Probably not. For the Chinese, such things are rounding errors, especially as the Chinese got stronger and had minimal casualties. However, for the people who are on the other side of the "rounding errors" often have excellent memories.

    The Vietnamese are quite bitter about it to this day, and I think, understandably so.


    After Manchu conquest, Japan considered Qing China to no longer properly Sinitic
     
    No, the Japanese distanced themselves from China quite a bit earlier, even though China was part of the conversation. Japanese Neo-Confucianism fundamentally redefined Japan as the center of the universe - which even Wikia notes, but only as part of Kokugaku.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edo_neo-Confucianism


    The influence of Neo-Confucianism was challenged by the rise of the Kokugaku philosophical school in the 17th and 18th centuries. Kokugaku advocates argued that the ancient Japanese were better representatives of Confucian virtues than the ancient Chinese were, and that there should be more intellectual focus on ancient Japanese classics and the indigenous religion of Shinto.
     
    However, the "Pure Heart" belief was a contender even in the very beginning of Edo Neo-Confucianism. I can't find the quote, so I'll go off my memory and its very similar to Kokugaku and it goes like this, "We all agree that China and Japan are the great nations of civilization. But of the two, because of her unique placement in the world, Japan is the greatest representation of civilization and Confucianism: it may have originated in China, but it originated there so that it can blossom here."

    These quibbles of "who is greatest" may seem silly but they all would quite escalate because it formed the essential justification for Japanese military adventures to establish her "place in the world."

    Replies: @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms

    No doubt. Also, later when a Chinese delegation was attacked visiting India, so he fled to Nepal, gathered troops and invaded India, destroying a pretender and taking back over two thousand slaves. And did you know that after 1980, for almost twenty years after the official end of the Sino-Vietnamese War, the Chinese continued to maintain a low-level war with the Vietnamese, killing and maiming over ten thousand Vietnamese until they got all of their demands fulfilled?

    Non sequitur.

    No, the Japanese distanced themselves from China quite a bit earlier, even though China was part of the conversation. Japanese Neo-Confucianism fundamentally redefined Japan as the center of the universe – which even Wikia notes, but only as part of Kokugaku.

    Further non sequitur. You original contention was:

    China and Japan fighting are almost a tradition

    How does this support your point? Historical tensions between C/J/K/V is obviously the case. But no worse than Anglo-French, or Germano-Slavic tensions.

    By exaggerating this without telling the other side, you are baiting for outsiders to exacerbate and inflame these tensions.

    *I can get into the weeds of 朱子學 shushigaku with you, but can you even read Chinese or Kanji?

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms


    Non sequitur.

     

    It isn't; my point is simply this: many things China considers as trivial to inflict upon others are not considered as trivial by the entities that have been inflicted upon.


    Historical tensions between C/J/K/V is obviously the case. But no worse than Anglo-French, or Germano-Slavic tensions.
     
    Well, then we have nothing to argue about, really. That sort of is my point: I'm not suggesting existential struggles, but consistent tensions and opposition.

    *I can get into the weeds of 朱子學 shushigaku with you, but can you even read Chinese or Kanji?

     

    我从小多会讲中文, 谢谢. 我不但跟日本公司工作了大概五年了, 而且还有我帮这个韩国电子游戏从爱好变成商业:

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/monosw2000/nearly-dead

    我跟我们的程序员合作要求他们的政府资金,也收到了. 所以我感觉我知道一点点关于这个. 我没说是仇恨,可是还有冲突.

    And English is likely better so others can understand. And yes, I'm always interested in etymology, so do share.

    Replies: @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms

  254. @Anatoly Karlin
    @AltSerrice

    All depends where precisely between the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (1996-2001) and the Islamic Republic of Iran they will end up.

    I've seen good arguments for both. Yours is an example of the latter, hopefully for both Afghans and most everyone else pre-victory rhetoric matches post-victory reality.

    Replies: @Xi-jinping

    The rapidity and efficiency with which the Taliban took over Afghanistan (Kabul in particular), their discipline when taking the Presidents Palace, their ability and desire to work with Russia (they took it upon themselves to protect the Russian consulate)/China (agreed to Chinese investments) and Iran indicate that they are going to be an efficient state (this is unlikely to change at least for one generation).

  255. @A123
    @jimmyriddle


    It is really hard to believe they are really this incompetent (I know they are at the top, but this is bad staff work).
     
    Does anyone think that this fiasco is "accidental" driven by "incompetence "?

    The NeoConDemocrats do not want to give up their Globalist dreams. The Deep State is intentionally orchestrating the chaos. They are making sure that their fascist co-conspirators in the SJW Lügenpresse obtain the most damaging visuals possible.

    Do your remember Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman? And, his propaganda efforts from within the military? Yes, he was forced out. However, swamp creatures like him still exist in the command structure.

    The Pentagon REMF planners are intentionally staging "1975" helicopter show pieces.

    It is a premeditated set-up, intended to humiliate & punish Biden for defying SJW Globalist, authoritarian dogma.

    PEACE 😇

    Replies: @AnonfromTN, @El Dato, @Seraphim

    ”Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence” (Napoleon).
    ”Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity” (Hanlon’s Razor).

    • Replies: @ivan
    @Seraphim

    One can't blame the Pentagon as I realise now, they had essentially devolved the day-to-day fighting to the Afghans, which the Afghans carried out diligently. The Afghans were trained by a modern army. Hence they rely on all kinds of heavy equipment and air support which the Americans provide. The Allies had not taken a single casualty since February of last year according to an article I linked above. With 10,000 soldiers deployed the Americans could have carried on as per normal. The arch-Vandal Donald Trump couldn't abide "laxity" and "linear thinking" in the Pentagon. The bugger is just as responsible for the debacle in Afghanistan as China Joe. He pressed all and sundry to release 5,000 Talibans from various prisons without asking for anything in exchange, including the now president designate, who was sprung from a Pakistani jail.

    When it came to Iran the blowhard and his sidekick Pompeo would not make even rhetorical concessions, blustering all the way. But when he is applying his "art of the deal" to the situation in Afghanistan, he is moved more by contempt for Obama and Bush, rather than any concern to maximise returns for the US, let alone the Afghans.

    , @A123
    @Seraphim


    ”Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence” (Napoleon).
    ”Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity” (Hanlon’s Razor).
     
    True. But....

    Generating a duplicate image required:

    -1- Exactly the same helicopter
    -2- Exactly the same roof style
    -3- Exactly the same flight profile
    -4- At a time of day to get -- Exactly the same lighting
    -5- Sufficient advance notice to get a photographer into position

    There is virtually no chance of replicating the 1975 image by accident or incompetence. Too many coincidences are required.

    "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, stated by Sherlock Holmes

    Having eliminated stupidly and incompetence as potential causes. What remains is a deliberate act. General SJW Milley intentionally arranged replication of the 1975 photo.

    PEACE 😇

    Replies: @Seraphim

  256. @Gujjar
    Pakistani here. We’re against the ideology of the Taliban. However, the Taliban is the least anti-Pakistan group in Afghanistan (many Afghans dislike Pakistan due to historical reasons over land dispute).

    Our goal is to establish a pro-Pakistan government in Kabul to fulfil strategic and geoeconomic demands. The Taliban governance will prevent India’s growing hegemony in the country, allowing Pakistan to achieve strategic depth. Moreover, there are firm economic reasons as to why the Pakistan wants the Taliban in power in Afghanistan. The TAPI gas pipeline was meant to be created in the 1990s and can be constructed easily now that Taliban will soon gain international recognition. This means that Pakistan’s much-needed energy demands will be satisfied by deriving hydrocarbon reserves from Turkmenistan. This is purported to be one of the major energy features in the globe today, matching the oil reserves in the Arabian peninsula. Connecting Pakistan to Central Asia would make virtually all Central Asian countries (Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, &c.) highly dependent on Pakistan, and thus invested in Pakistan’s socioeconomic development. The Chinese Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will also be bolstered by this. Both China and Russia have moved closer towards Pakistan recognising its geopolitical importance.

    The Afghan nation will now experience a weakening of its currency, and will be more likely to adopt Pakistan’s rupee. This would strengthen the currently weakened rupee. The Afghan national reconstruction will also be headed by Pakistani corporations, allowing Pakistan to achieve a boost to its high-value added companies. An export-led model is imperative to economic growth.

    Replies: @Xi-jinping, @Ali Choudhury, @showmethereal

    Also, a strong Taliban that agrees to keep terrorist out of Xinjiang in exchange for Chinese investment also plays to increasing stability at China’s borders and to further bringing the region under its influence (China has strong influence over Pakistan due to BRI), Taliban rule only strengthens this further (particularly if the Taliban continues to cooperate).

  257. @Passer by

    The percentage of Afghans who said they sympathized with the Taliban in 2019 was just 13%, shrinking to 8% in Kabul.
     
    Do you know how i know that this poll is wrong? Afghanistan is famous for "green on blue attacks". Basically an afghan soldier or a policeman will suddenly start shooting at his "comrades" or at americans.

    If you followed the war, you would know that every week there was an attack of the sort "a soldier/policeman killed his comrades at the checkpoint and brought their equipment to the Taliban". It was a very common occurrence in the conflict.

    And the were more such insider attacks in Afghanistan than in Iraq. Very dangerous. US special forces got owned in such attacks too, and even the commander of US forces Gen Miller barely escaped such an ambush.

    Replies: @Philip Owen, @Xi-jinping

    Karlin relies too much on ‘polls’ or ‘statistics’ that he digs up from somewhere. Many of these ‘statistics’ do not give context or are devoid entirely of nuance. In fact looking at ‘statistics’ only obfuscates the picture even more because ‘statistics’ can be easily manipulated, or if its not misses many contextual issues that can be only obtained by trying to understand the situation from a more empirical context.

    He made the same error regarding the ‘fall’ in abortions in russia – because official statistics showed they decreased, but did not account for them moving to private clinics rather than government owned clinics.

    Same with they Yeltsin 1996 – where he gets fixated on votes by region rather than seeing the big picture that the election was ‘rigged’ in so much as Yeltsin had support from the US and was essentially a US puppet. Whether the ballot boxes were stuffed is irrelevant.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    @Xi-jinping

    Re-abortion. Yes, I privilege official Russian statistics - which show exactly the same trends of rapid decline as in neighboring post-Soviet countries - over the rants of an embittered emigre who has many "powerful" ideas on all sorts of topics.

    Re-1996 elections... "seeing the big picture that the election was ‘rigged’ in so much as Yeltsin had support from the US and was essentially a US puppet". The definition a "rigged" election hinges on whether ballot stuffing and the like changes its results relative to what they would have been in its absence, not on whether the winning candidate is an American puppet or not. Goddamn you're a shit for brains moron.

    Replies: @Xi-jinping

  258. I was perusing the comments at

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-afghanistan-points-fingers-blame-others

    and I found this. What a bag of sh*t Biden really is.

    Danger
    4 hours ago

    Subject: Vietnam War relief package

    In 1975, President Ford was left to manage the difficult ending of the Vietnam War. President Ford went to Congress for a relief package to allow American personnel and our allies to evacuate. However, there was ONE US SENATOR who opposed any such support. The result was the embarrassing and hurried evacuation from the roof of the American embassy in Saigon

    This senator reveled in the embarrassment and did everything he could to leverage it politically against Ford. Despite the efforts of this U.S. Senator–President Ford managed to rescue 1,500 South Vietnamese allies prior to the country’s fall. Had President Ford not acted quickly, these people would have been targeted and slaughtered for their support for America . When they arrived in America , President Ford asked Congress for a package to assist these refugees to integrate into American society.

    That SAME troublesome SENATOR TORPEDOED ANY SUPPORT for these shell shocked, anti-communist, Americans and our helpers, the refugees.

    Instead, President Ford had to recruit Christian organizations to offer assistance on a voluntary basis. As he did so, the Senator belittled those efforts.

    THAT SENATOR WAS JOE BIDEN

    medtech68

    Replying to Danger🧨Möuse
    Thanks for reminding us of Joe’s part in that debacle. I think a look back at Joe’s political career would be a series of similar disasters. Which is exactly why his voting record are kept under lock and key with the University of Delaware.

    gaconservative
    2 hours ago

    Replying to Danger🧨Möuse
    Biden also voted to not accept the ceasefire agreement that Nixon had completed with the North Vietnamese. They were to be paid reparations for the destruction of the country. Ford wanted to honor the agreement but Joe Biden and others refused so reparations were not paid and the North Vietnamese kept the MIAs and POWs. One of which is/was from my hometown in GA. His parents made many trips to South East Asia hoping to find him or his remains but they never were able to. They both died brokenhearted.

    • Thanks: YetAnotherAnon
  259. @Bardon Kaldian
    @HenryBaker

    It would take us too long to delve into nuances. So, shortly ...

    1. Islam should have stayed as some kind of mega-Judaism, an Arabic monotheism. But, because it overran other, already existent civilizations, it imposed itself culturally upon them. Due to the nature of Islam, they still pray in Arabic - unlike Christians, who pray in their native tongues. No such thing about Christians, no visible cultural Levantinization. For Christians, Christ is the Logos, and not some book; for Muslims, the Logos is the Quran- and only in Arabic. Therefore early translations of St. Jerome from Hebrew and Greek into Latin, and later, Greek teachers to Slavic languages, as well as modern vernaculars after the Reformation. Totally unlike Islam.

    Islam remains "Arabic" is the sense Christianity is not "Jewish". From the start, Christianity has been a fusion of intertestamental Judaism (Essenes), Orphism, a smattering of Platonism & other European, mostly Hellenic cultural traditions. True, Christianity is alien in spirit to the central European culture, Greco-Roman, but it has adapted. Jerusalem has been grafted on Athens and Rome.

    Another cultural issue is that Christians don't have their specific law- unlike Muslims, who have Shariah, which is basically the same as Jews and the Talmud. Christian law is based upon Roman law. And here is another, fundamental difference between Christianity and Islam.

    Most Christian practices are not Jewish in origin, but truly a new stuff. And I am not talking about high Christian culture, but more about ordinary religious practices and ways of life of most people.

    2. most Europeans did not possess any written culture that Christianity had subdued or eradicated. People who are now French, English, Germans, Spaniards, Poles, Russians ... have not had some written corpus of pre-Christian culture, while modern Italians and Greeks are peoples who have evolved, naturally, in the past 1500-2000 years from their ancient origins. Nobody forced them to abandon their practices - in fact, as we all know, Latin has remained the chief language of the West until the 18th C. If we count even marginal Europeans like Georgians and Armenians- they retained or developed their script and culture during Christianity.

    This is so unlike Iran, where a highly organized & rich ancient religion, ideatically the conceptual source of Christianity (resurrection, apocalypse, dualism, heaven and hell, the World Savior as God-Man, angelology & demonology, ..) had been virtually eradicated by Islamized Iranians (and they are persecuted as I write); Iranian script fell into disuse and they now use a modified Arabic; they explicitly have emotional affinity & essentially identification with Arabic Shiah Muslims, while they hate and persecute true, original Iranians, Zoroastrians.

    In other words, Iranians have lost somewhere between 1000 and 2000 years of their own history, which they hate as something alien, at least when it comes to a popular sentiment. Is there a way one can become more stupid?

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon, @Grahamsno(G64), @Showmethereal

    Iranian script fell into disuse and they now use a modified Arabic

    There has never been a purely Iranian script since they have always adapted whatever Semitic script in use at the time for Indo-European needs. Perso-Arabic is no exception.

  260. @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms
    @Daniel Chieh


    No doubt. Also, later when a Chinese delegation was attacked visiting India, so he fled to Nepal, gathered troops and invaded India, destroying a pretender and taking back over two thousand slaves. And did you know that after 1980, for almost twenty years after the official end of the Sino-Vietnamese War, the Chinese continued to maintain a low-level war with the Vietnamese, killing and maiming over ten thousand Vietnamese until they got all of their demands fulfilled?

     

    Non sequitur.

    No, the Japanese distanced themselves from China quite a bit earlier, even though China was part of the conversation. Japanese Neo-Confucianism fundamentally redefined Japan as the center of the universe – which even Wikia notes, but only as part of Kokugaku.

     

    Further non sequitur. You original contention was:

    China and Japan fighting are almost a tradition

     

    How does this support your point? Historical tensions between C/J/K/V is obviously the case. But no worse than Anglo-French, or Germano-Slavic tensions.

    By exaggerating this without telling the other side, you are baiting for outsiders to exacerbate and inflame these tensions.

    *I can get into the weeds of 朱子學 shushigaku with you, but can you even read Chinese or Kanji?

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Non sequitur.

    It isn’t; my point is simply this: many things China considers as trivial to inflict upon others are not considered as trivial by the entities that have been inflicted upon.

    Historical tensions between C/J/K/V is obviously the case. But no worse than Anglo-French, or Germano-Slavic tensions.

    Well, then we have nothing to argue about, really. That sort of is my point: I’m not suggesting existential struggles, but consistent tensions and opposition.

    *I can get into the weeds of 朱子學 shushigaku with you, but can you even read Chinese or Kanji?

    我从小多会讲中文, 谢谢. 我不但跟日本公司工作了大概五年了, 而且还有我帮这个韩国电子游戏从爱好变成商业:

    我跟我们的程序员合作要求他们的政府资金,也收到了. 所以我感觉我知道一点点关于这个. 我没说是仇恨,可是还有冲突.

    And English is likely better so others can understand. And yes, I’m always interested in etymology, so do share.

    • Replies: @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms
    @Daniel Chieh

    The term Neo-Confucianism 宋明理学 is lamentably lazy translation by Sinologists. It is literally Song-Ming Dynasty School of Principle. Its development followed as response to advent of Buddhism in Tang era (table below). And is a syncretic philosophy of Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism.

    There are two main branches, the orthodox branch is 程朱理学 Cheng-Zhu School of Principle, by brothers Cheng Yi, Cheng Hao (Northern Song), and Zhi Xi 朱熹 (Southern Song), who's regarded as the third highest canonical Confucian philosopher after the Master himself, and Mencius. His main work 近思录 Close Comtemplation Records. (No English translation so far as I know, but quite a lot of coverage in Ray Huang's 1587, a Year of No Significance)

    程朱理学 became adopted as state-official ideology in Ming and Qing, and its corpus, along with Zhu Xi's annotation of Confucian classics, were the main texts of study for the Imperial Exams. There's a lot more to it, but it became associated with a social puritanism* and intellectual strait-jacketing.

    *For example, widows were not allowed to remarry

    The second branch is the heterodox school 心学 School of Mind by Ming scholar-general 王阳明 Wang Yangming, who's regarded as the second highest Neo-Confucianist after Zhu Xi. Main text 传习录 Records of Studies for Posterity.

    His principle idea of 知行合一 Knowledge and Action In One, gave its adherents far more freedom so far as interpretation and adherence. This idea found many followers in China and Korea, but became far more deeply influential amongst the Samurais, and is credited as an intellectual foundation for the Meiji Restoration.

    程朱理学 in Japanese is rendered as 朱子学 Shushigaku. 心学 in Japanese is rendered as 陽明学 Ōyōmeigaku.

    In addition there is a third school of Japanese Neo-Confucianism, 古学 Kogaku, Ancient Studies, a school that sought to study Confucius and Mencius independent of Song and Ming Chinese influences.

    In summary, the Japanese would have been absurd and defiling themselves, to considered themselves as the center of the world. But their most egotistical claim was that they were the rightful, pure, descendants of classical Chinese Civilization.

    Antiquity
    Xia 夏 dynasty (2070 – 1600 BC)
    Shang 商 dynasty (1600 – 1046 BC)
    Zhou 周 dynasty (1046 – 256 BC)
    Spring and Autumn 春秋 period (722 – 476 BC)
    Warring States 战国 period (476 – 221 BC)
    1st Reich
    Qin 秦 dynasty (221 – 206 BC)
    Han 汉 dynasty (206 BC – AD 220)
    Three Kingdoms 三国 (AD 220 – 280)
    Jin 晋 dynasty (AD 266 – 420)
    Northern and Southern dynasties 南北朝 (AD 420 – 589)
    2nd Reich
    Sui 隋 dynasty (AD 581 – 618)
    Tang 唐 dynasty (AD 618 – 907)
    Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms 五代十国 (AD 907 – 960)
    Song, Liao, Jin, and Western Xia dynasties 宋辽金夏 (AD 960 – 1279)
    3rd Reich
    Yuan 元 dynasty (AD 1271 – 1368)
    Ming 明 dynasty (AD 1368 – 1644)
    Qing 清 dynasty (AD 1644 – 1912)
    Modern
    Republic of China (AD 1912 – present)
    CCP Commies (AD 1949 – present)

  261. @Seraphim
    @A123

    ''Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence" (Napoleon).
    ''Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity'' (Hanlon's Razor).

    Replies: @ivan, @A123

    One can’t blame the Pentagon as I realise now, they had essentially devolved the day-to-day fighting to the Afghans, which the Afghans carried out diligently. The Afghans were trained by a modern army. Hence they rely on all kinds of heavy equipment and air support which the Americans provide. The Allies had not taken a single casualty since February of last year according to an article I linked above. With 10,000 soldiers deployed the Americans could have carried on as per normal. The arch-Vandal Donald Trump couldn’t abide “laxity” and “linear thinking” in the Pentagon. The bugger is just as responsible for the debacle in Afghanistan as China Joe. He pressed all and sundry to release 5,000 Talibans from various prisons without asking for anything in exchange, including the now president designate, who was sprung from a Pakistani jail.

    When it came to Iran the blowhard and his sidekick Pompeo would not make even rhetorical concessions, blustering all the way. But when he is applying his “art of the deal” to the situation in Afghanistan, he is moved more by contempt for Obama and Bush, rather than any concern to maximise returns for the US, let alone the Afghans.

  262. @Daniel Chieh
    @Wency

    The "core" was KMT, and the KMT are now a security risk instead. So there is no core for the Taiwanese force either.

    What could happen for the anti-CCP perspective is that Japan gets heavily involved, which they have indicated a desire to. Despite being a "self-defense force", Japan has the fourth largest navy in the world and I don't have any doubt that they are an extremely capable force with a significant martial tradition.

    China and Japan fighting are almost a tradition, at least since the Battle of Baekgang in 663 and it might once again work out that way. Quite a few Asian nations dislike China, of course, and if the US becomes passive, Japan is the only other cynosure of power, a role that she is quite comfortable at taking. Quite a few nations will rally to her, and then discover belated that Japan doesn't just exist to put their chestnuts out of the fire but has very specific ideas of her role in the world(superior) and the role of her allies in that world(inferior). Then they get upset.

    And then we will have the same essential historical situation again of China as the dominant power in Asia, and Japan as the runner-up spoiler.

    Replies: @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms, @nokangaroos, @Dreadilk

    – There have been speculations Jimmu Tenno was a fugitive from the court
    of Chín Shi-Huang Ti (which would require slight tweaking of the timelines,
    but the cultural pollination has been constant and undeniable).

  263. @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa


    Nagorno-whatever is worth nothing. The Crimea was Russia and had their naval base already there.
     
    Excellent, I'll remember that line when China invades to take South Tibet, because the population there already wishes to leave India.

    The idea that anything that contradicts you is "worthless" is silly at face value, and even more ridiculous at length. Increasing use of force for territorial acquisition is a trend to note. What is "small" can be of escalating importance(and those were not small, for that matter, go ask Yevardian about what he thinks of at least 4000 of his countrymen killed and the loss of a territory worth $716 million gdp a year).

    But no, if you had a paper cut, it would be of fairly minimal importance, but it would still annoy and decrease functionality in the limb suffered. If you had ten papercuts, it would be quite a bit more painful and decrease functionality, quite possibly lead to wound fever. If you had a hundred, you are at severe risk of sepsis and real risk of death.

    Systems losing and winning will be defined by conflicts utilising extremely dramatically argued high level nonsense, with little consequence.

    We have entered an age where ego validation is what people fight over.
     
    One of my favorite systems is the flintlock musket. It is a beautiful mixture of simplicity and effectiveness: at its heart, a gun is simply a tube with a chemical propellant that drives an object in a roughly straight line into a target with unhealthy consequences.

    There are challenges to this, of course: how to introduce a spark to the chemical propellant. You could use a slow-burning match, but then the rain or wind might wick it out. You could use a clockwork mechanism via the piezoelectric effect to strike a crystal with a hammer to create a spark, but the demand for guns quite exceeds the amount of watchmakers and the conditions of the battlefield are not kind to glorified watches.

    The flintlock is an elegant compromise. Rather than just use a match, or rely on a complex watch mechanism, it uses a replaceable flint with a somewhat more complex lock that allows the flint to strike a rough surface, which drops an ember into the pan with the propellant, and then the explosion and material science does the rest to guide the ball down the barrel.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/cb/Flintlock_ignition_animation.gif/800px-Flintlock_ignition_animation.gif

    Its all quite elegant: the replaceable flint, the striking surface that can fail noncatastrophically, the general ruggedness of the design and it all has to fall together for its purpose to be accomplished. Now, assume that one of the pieces was replaced with "emotional validation" instead and we fired at each other.

    Well, you could still pull the trigger and do all of the other mechanisms, but my non-emotional validating flintlock would fire and yours wouldn't, you would be rapidly bleeding out and I would be very emotionally validated.

    Extrapolating out to predictions of disaster from this comical conflict is confusing what is a symptom of extreme success for a sign of coming systemic failure.
     
    Extrapolate this: you were completely wrong about the Taliban taking Kabul. People who are wrong should reevaluate their priors. If you're wrong in one small thing, you are likely wrong in many larger things.

    This is where you can utilize your error as a learning experience. Or don't, life is an excellent teacher.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Mr. Hack, @Grahamsno(G64)

    Increasing use of force for territorial acquisition is a trend to note. What is “small” can be of escalating importance(and those were not small, for that matter, go ask Yevardian about what he thinks of at least 4000 of his countrymen killed and the loss of a territory worth \$716 million gdp a year).

    But no, if you had a paper cut, it would be of fairly minimal importance, but it would still annoy and decrease functionality in the limb suffered. If you had ten papercuts, it would be quite a bit more painful and decrease functionality, quite possibly lead to wound fever. If you had a hundred, you are at severe risk of sepsis and real risk of death.

    Do you feel similarly about the Ukrainian loss of Crimea? How about the continuing violence supported by Russia in the Donbas?

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Mr. Hack

    As a general principle, consistent applications of "force" against a state or organization, if unchecked, can cause massive language even if the intensity is low. I feel that it is an effective method and arguably is one of the basic notions behind the idea that is hybrid warfare.

    Attackers have the advantage of initiative; defenders have to scramble to respond, and ultimately may have to setup and organize costs against threats - e.g. if your nation is attacked by cyberattacks, it behooves you to invest in defenses against cyberattacks, but when your antagonist stops launching cyberattacks, you can't easily "free up" the security engineers you have now militarized back into the economy. And then your antagonist launches low intensity artillery strikes(or the threat of it, by moving artillery in high positions), and you have to respond with the threat of counterbarrage fire of your own, but after they move their pieces away from high ground, you're never fully certain if they've abandoned the strategy and it'll likely behoove you to keep up your deployment in some fashion. And then there's a UN motion introduced to condemn your nation and add sanctions, and it seems that your antagonist has gathered a number of allies for it; now it seems that you need to send more politicians to New York, and so on.

    This constantly shifting spectrum of low-intensity aggression adds up as costs against you: economic, emotional and physical. When there is a disparity in state economy and material resources as well, the outcomes can be poor for the smaller or more junior participant in this conflict.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

  264. In the title of your great piece, you did not even yet mention the lost limbs and the dead.

  265. @Gujjar
    Pakistani here. We’re against the ideology of the Taliban. However, the Taliban is the least anti-Pakistan group in Afghanistan (many Afghans dislike Pakistan due to historical reasons over land dispute).

    Our goal is to establish a pro-Pakistan government in Kabul to fulfil strategic and geoeconomic demands. The Taliban governance will prevent India’s growing hegemony in the country, allowing Pakistan to achieve strategic depth. Moreover, there are firm economic reasons as to why the Pakistan wants the Taliban in power in Afghanistan. The TAPI gas pipeline was meant to be created in the 1990s and can be constructed easily now that Taliban will soon gain international recognition. This means that Pakistan’s much-needed energy demands will be satisfied by deriving hydrocarbon reserves from Turkmenistan. This is purported to be one of the major energy features in the globe today, matching the oil reserves in the Arabian peninsula. Connecting Pakistan to Central Asia would make virtually all Central Asian countries (Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, &c.) highly dependent on Pakistan, and thus invested in Pakistan’s socioeconomic development. The Chinese Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will also be bolstered by this. Both China and Russia have moved closer towards Pakistan recognising its geopolitical importance.

    The Afghan nation will now experience a weakening of its currency, and will be more likely to adopt Pakistan’s rupee. This would strengthen the currently weakened rupee. The Afghan national reconstruction will also be headed by Pakistani corporations, allowing Pakistan to achieve a boost to its high-value added companies. An export-led model is imperative to economic growth.

    Replies: @Xi-jinping, @Ali Choudhury, @showmethereal

    This is rather delusional. Any Pakistani who has been in Afghanistan will tell you how much they dislike us. They aren’t going to come running when the Pakistani chief of army staff and director general of the ISI try calling them. They don’t need us anymore and will be determined to follow their own path. They are not going to be interested in becoming another West Pakistani colony like Bangladesh was.

    Pakistani Arain.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    @Ali Choudhury

    Saw this in /r/afghanistan a day ago (presumably banter, but still):



    https://www.reddit.com/r/afghanistan/comments/p5jwcr/taliban_fighters_at_pakistan_border_threatening/

    Replies: @Shortsword

  266. @Bardon Kaldian
    @HenryBaker

    It would take us too long to delve into nuances. So, shortly ...

    1. Islam should have stayed as some kind of mega-Judaism, an Arabic monotheism. But, because it overran other, already existent civilizations, it imposed itself culturally upon them. Due to the nature of Islam, they still pray in Arabic - unlike Christians, who pray in their native tongues. No such thing about Christians, no visible cultural Levantinization. For Christians, Christ is the Logos, and not some book; for Muslims, the Logos is the Quran- and only in Arabic. Therefore early translations of St. Jerome from Hebrew and Greek into Latin, and later, Greek teachers to Slavic languages, as well as modern vernaculars after the Reformation. Totally unlike Islam.

    Islam remains "Arabic" is the sense Christianity is not "Jewish". From the start, Christianity has been a fusion of intertestamental Judaism (Essenes), Orphism, a smattering of Platonism & other European, mostly Hellenic cultural traditions. True, Christianity is alien in spirit to the central European culture, Greco-Roman, but it has adapted. Jerusalem has been grafted on Athens and Rome.

    Another cultural issue is that Christians don't have their specific law- unlike Muslims, who have Shariah, which is basically the same as Jews and the Talmud. Christian law is based upon Roman law. And here is another, fundamental difference between Christianity and Islam.

    Most Christian practices are not Jewish in origin, but truly a new stuff. And I am not talking about high Christian culture, but more about ordinary religious practices and ways of life of most people.

    2. most Europeans did not possess any written culture that Christianity had subdued or eradicated. People who are now French, English, Germans, Spaniards, Poles, Russians ... have not had some written corpus of pre-Christian culture, while modern Italians and Greeks are peoples who have evolved, naturally, in the past 1500-2000 years from their ancient origins. Nobody forced them to abandon their practices - in fact, as we all know, Latin has remained the chief language of the West until the 18th C. If we count even marginal Europeans like Georgians and Armenians- they retained or developed their script and culture during Christianity.

    This is so unlike Iran, where a highly organized & rich ancient religion, ideatically the conceptual source of Christianity (resurrection, apocalypse, dualism, heaven and hell, the World Savior as God-Man, angelology & demonology, ..) had been virtually eradicated by Islamized Iranians (and they are persecuted as I write); Iranian script fell into disuse and they now use a modified Arabic; they explicitly have emotional affinity & essentially identification with Arabic Shiah Muslims, while they hate and persecute true, original Iranians, Zoroastrians.

    In other words, Iranians have lost somewhere between 1000 and 2000 years of their own history, which they hate as something alien, at least when it comes to a popular sentiment. Is there a way one can become more stupid?

    Replies: @Yellowface Anon, @Grahamsno(G64), @Showmethereal

    This is so unlike Iran, where a highly organized & rich ancient religion, ideatically the conceptual source of Christianity (resurrection, apocalypse, dualism, heaven and hell, the World Savior as God-Man, angelology & demonology, ..) had been virtually eradicated by Islamized Iranians

    It’s shocking that there’s virtually nothing left of the old Iranian Script unlike the other peers of Iran – Greek, Roman, Chinese & Hindus almost nothing according to a Zoroastrian friend of mine they don’t even have the Zend Avesta in the original language they have Gujarati language versions dating from when they migrated to Gujarat. My hypothesis for this shocking Anomaly is that the Priesthood jealously guarded education.

    I agree with the rest Islam eradicates older cultures by the root they are referred to as Jahalliya a period of Ignorance. The prime example is Pakistan which is the Ground Zero for ancient Hinduism and those great epics the Mahabharata & Ramayana have been totally forgotten whereas they are read in India. India would have been like Iran had the Muslims won but thankfully they didn’t

    Ganapati and Hanuman kicked Allah’s ass.

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldian
    @Grahamsno(G64)


    Ganapati and Hanuman kicked Allah’s ass.
     
    https://c.tenor.com/iHXx1jpq51UAAAAC/cheers-leonardo-di-caprio.gif
    , @Ali Choudhury
    @Grahamsno(G64)

    The inhabitants of what is now Pakistan and Bangladesh were in the Indian periphery and were either animist or weakly Hindu at best. Hinduism was largely only urbanite and they all left at Partition. The Gangetic core mostly resisted Islamisation. They were helped by the Mughal empire banning religious conversions as they had no desire to stir up religious revolts.

    The northwest of Pakistan was strongly Buddhist although their centres like Gandhara were largely wiped out by the Huns in the sixth century, after which it declined.

  267. @Daniel Chieh
    @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms


    Non sequitur.

     

    It isn't; my point is simply this: many things China considers as trivial to inflict upon others are not considered as trivial by the entities that have been inflicted upon.


    Historical tensions between C/J/K/V is obviously the case. But no worse than Anglo-French, or Germano-Slavic tensions.
     
    Well, then we have nothing to argue about, really. That sort of is my point: I'm not suggesting existential struggles, but consistent tensions and opposition.

    *I can get into the weeds of 朱子學 shushigaku with you, but can you even read Chinese or Kanji?

     

    我从小多会讲中文, 谢谢. 我不但跟日本公司工作了大概五年了, 而且还有我帮这个韩国电子游戏从爱好变成商业:

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/monosw2000/nearly-dead

    我跟我们的程序员合作要求他们的政府资金,也收到了. 所以我感觉我知道一点点关于这个. 我没说是仇恨,可是还有冲突.

    And English is likely better so others can understand. And yes, I'm always interested in etymology, so do share.

    Replies: @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms

    The term Neo-Confucianism 宋明理学 is lamentably lazy translation by Sinologists. It is literally Song-Ming Dynasty School of Principle. Its development followed as response to advent of Buddhism in Tang era (table below). And is a syncretic philosophy of Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism.

    There are two main branches, the orthodox branch is 程朱理学 Cheng-Zhu School of Principle, by brothers Cheng Yi, Cheng Hao (Northern Song), and Zhi Xi 朱熹 (Southern Song), who’s regarded as the third highest canonical Confucian philosopher after the Master himself, and Mencius. His main work 近思录 Close Comtemplation Records. (No English translation so far as I know, but quite a lot of coverage in Ray Huang’s 1587, a Year of No Significance)

    程朱理学 became adopted as state-official ideology in Ming and Qing, and its corpus, along with Zhu Xi’s annotation of Confucian classics, were the main texts of study for the Imperial Exams. There’s a lot more to it, but it became associated with a social puritanism* and intellectual strait-jacketing.

    *For example, widows were not allowed to remarry

    The second branch is the heterodox school 心学 School of Mind by Ming scholar-general 王阳明 Wang Yangming, who’s regarded as the second highest Neo-Confucianist after Zhu Xi. Main text 传习录 Records of Studies for Posterity.

    His principle idea of 知行合一 Knowledge and Action In One, gave its adherents far more freedom so far as interpretation and adherence. This idea found many followers in China and Korea, but became far more deeply influential amongst the Samurais, and is credited as an intellectual foundation for the Meiji Restoration.

    程朱理学 in Japanese is rendered as 朱子学 Shushigaku. 心学 in Japanese is rendered as 陽明学 Ōyōmeigaku.

    In addition there is a third school of Japanese Neo-Confucianism, 古学 Kogaku, Ancient Studies, a school that sought to study Confucius and Mencius independent of Song and Ming Chinese influences.

    In summary, the Japanese would have been absurd and defiling themselves, to considered themselves as the center of the world. But their most egotistical claim was that they were the rightful, pure, descendants of classical Chinese Civilization.

    [MORE]

    Antiquity
    Xia 夏 dynasty (2070 – 1600 BC)
    Shang 商 dynasty (1600 – 1046 BC)
    Zhou 周 dynasty (1046 – 256 BC)
    Spring and Autumn 春秋 period (722 – 476 BC)
    Warring States 战国 period (476 – 221 BC)
    1st Reich
    Qin 秦 dynasty (221 – 206 BC)
    Han 汉 dynasty (206 BC – AD 220)
    Three Kingdoms 三国 (AD 220 – 280)
    Jin 晋 dynasty (AD 266 – 420)
    Northern and Southern dynasties 南北朝 (AD 420 – 589)
    2nd Reich
    Sui 隋 dynasty (AD 581 – 618)
    Tang 唐 dynasty (AD 618 – 907)
    Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms 五代十国 (AD 907 – 960)
    Song, Liao, Jin, and Western Xia dynasties 宋辽金夏 (AD 960 – 1279)
    3rd Reich
    Yuan 元 dynasty (AD 1271 – 1368)
    Ming 明 dynasty (AD 1368 – 1644)
    Qing 清 dynasty (AD 1644 – 1912)
    Modern
    Republic of China (AD 1912 – present)
    CCP Commies (AD 1949 – present)

    • Thanks: Daniel Chieh, Vishnugupta
  268. • Replies: @John Gruskos
    @Shortsword

    I'll believe Biden is the "real America First President" after he brings home the troops from Syria and Iraq, and ends economic sanctions, and ends foreign aid, and ends entangling alliances in the Middle East.

    Replies: @A123

  269. @Daniel Chieh
    @Triteleia Laxa


    Nagorno-whatever is worth nothing. The Crimea was Russia and had their naval base already there.
     
    Excellent, I'll remember that line when China invades to take South Tibet, because the population there already wishes to leave India.

    The idea that anything that contradicts you is "worthless" is silly at face value, and even more ridiculous at length. Increasing use of force for territorial acquisition is a trend to note. What is "small" can be of escalating importance(and those were not small, for that matter, go ask Yevardian about what he thinks of at least 4000 of his countrymen killed and the loss of a territory worth $716 million gdp a year).

    But no, if you had a paper cut, it would be of fairly minimal importance, but it would still annoy and decrease functionality in the limb suffered. If you had ten papercuts, it would be quite a bit more painful and decrease functionality, quite possibly lead to wound fever. If you had a hundred, you are at severe risk of sepsis and real risk of death.

    Systems losing and winning will be defined by conflicts utilising extremely dramatically argued high level nonsense, with little consequence.

    We have entered an age where ego validation is what people fight over.
     
    One of my favorite systems is the flintlock musket. It is a beautiful mixture of simplicity and effectiveness: at its heart, a gun is simply a tube with a chemical propellant that drives an object in a roughly straight line into a target with unhealthy consequences.

    There are challenges to this, of course: how to introduce a spark to the chemical propellant. You could use a slow-burning match, but then the rain or wind might wick it out. You could use a clockwork mechanism via the piezoelectric effect to strike a crystal with a hammer to create a spark, but the demand for guns quite exceeds the amount of watchmakers and the conditions of the battlefield are not kind to glorified watches.

    The flintlock is an elegant compromise. Rather than just use a match, or rely on a complex watch mechanism, it uses a replaceable flint with a somewhat more complex lock that allows the flint to strike a rough surface, which drops an ember into the pan with the propellant, and then the explosion and material science does the rest to guide the ball down the barrel.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/cb/Flintlock_ignition_animation.gif/800px-Flintlock_ignition_animation.gif

    Its all quite elegant: the replaceable flint, the striking surface that can fail noncatastrophically, the general ruggedness of the design and it all has to fall together for its purpose to be accomplished. Now, assume that one of the pieces was replaced with "emotional validation" instead and we fired at each other.

    Well, you could still pull the trigger and do all of the other mechanisms, but my non-emotional validating flintlock would fire and yours wouldn't, you would be rapidly bleeding out and I would be very emotionally validated.

    Extrapolating out to predictions of disaster from this comical conflict is confusing what is a symptom of extreme success for a sign of coming systemic failure.
     
    Extrapolate this: you were completely wrong about the Taliban taking Kabul. People who are wrong should reevaluate their priors. If you're wrong in one small thing, you are likely wrong in many larger things.

    This is where you can utilize your error as a learning experience. Or don't, life is an excellent teacher.

    Replies: @Triteleia Laxa, @Mr. Hack, @Grahamsno(G64)

    I’ll remember that line when China invades to take South Tibet

    Molon Labe. We aren’t a basket case like Ukraine to grab territory, if it happens it will be through catastrophic state failure or nuclear wars or both. You guys aren’t the only ones reviewing your nuclear posture. Such infantile irredentism from a country where 95% of the population stay on 5o% of the land or 5% in 50% of the lands conquered by the Qing dynasty. Next what ‘Outer Mongolia’ and Vietnam.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Grahamsno(G64)

    Why not allow the population there a free and fair vote?

    Replies: @Grahamsno(G64)

  270. @Ali Choudhury
    @Gujjar

    This is rather delusional. Any Pakistani who has been in Afghanistan will tell you how much they dislike us. They aren't going to come running when the Pakistani chief of army staff and director general of the ISI try calling them. They don't need us anymore and will be determined to follow their own path. They are not going to be interested in becoming another West Pakistani colony like Bangladesh was.

    Pakistani Arain.

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    Saw this in /r/afghanistan a day ago (presumably banter, but still):

    • Replies: @Shortsword
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Links to Reddit videos starts for me automatically. Does anyone else have this problem? It's really annoying to have weird sounds start as soon as you open the thread.

  271. @Xi-jinping
    @Passer by

    Karlin relies too much on 'polls' or 'statistics' that he digs up from somewhere. Many of these 'statistics' do not give context or are devoid entirely of nuance. In fact looking at 'statistics' only obfuscates the picture even more because 'statistics' can be easily manipulated, or if its not misses many contextual issues that can be only obtained by trying to understand the situation from a more empirical context.

    He made the same error regarding the 'fall' in abortions in russia - because official statistics showed they decreased, but did not account for them moving to private clinics rather than government owned clinics.

    Same with they Yeltsin 1996 - where he gets fixated on votes by region rather than seeing the big picture that the election was 'rigged' in so much as Yeltsin had support from the US and was essentially a US puppet. Whether the ballot boxes were stuffed is irrelevant.

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

    Re-abortion. Yes, I privilege official Russian statistics – which show exactly the same trends of rapid decline as in neighboring post-Soviet countries – over the rants of an embittered emigre who has many “powerful” ideas on all sorts of topics.

    Re-1996 elections… “seeing the big picture that the election was ‘rigged’ in so much as Yeltsin had support from the US and was essentially a US puppet”. The definition a “rigged” election hinges on whether ballot stuffing and the like changes its results relative to what they would have been in its absence, not on whether the winning candidate is an American puppet or not. Goddamn you’re a shit for brains moron.

    • Replies: @Xi-jinping
    @Anatoly Karlin


    Yes, I privilege official Russian statistics
     
    Which is your error. As Bashibuzuk demonstrated to you on numerous occasions that 'official statistics' do not paint the full picture. As most women go to private clinics for abortions anyway.

    over the rants of an embittered emigre
     
    I am not an emigre. I live in Asia and use a VPN lol

    many “powerful” ideas on all sorts of topics
     
    Says the guy with a blog on an obscure site trying to justify his 'powerful' ideas on all sorts of topics with 'statistics' lol

    As Mark Twain said, "There's lies, damn lies and statistics".

    The definition a “rigged” election hinges on whether ballot stuffing
     
    Definition of "Rigged" according to who? Anatoliy Karlin? Wasn't aware he was an 'authority' on election rigging.

    Besides you want to tell me that supporting favored candidates with money, propaganda, staffers, and advisors is not 'rigging'? Okay then.

    the like changes its results relative to what they would have been in its absence

     

    Which is why the KPRF was doing much better than Yeltsin until Clinton started helping him, as 'official data' from the Clinton archives shows. Clintons help turned the situation around entirely for Yeltsin. Even Medvedev admits it. Oh wait, you ignore that because it doesn't fit your narrative.

    God damn you're a shit for brains moron. Or entirely dishonest. I can't tell which.

    Replies: @Anatoly Karlin

  272. @El Dato
    @nokangaroos

    Mao only survived by the skin of his teeth because the Japanese kept the Chinese Nationalists really, really busy - Stalingrad levels of busy really. Plus the Jap's depredations just populated Mao's forces with desperate peasants eager to survive a bit longer.

    No Japs and no-one would have heard of him except in footnotes in books on cultish revolutionary movements.

    A book I have yet to read, if only the world would hold still for a bit.

    https://www.amazon.com/Peasant-Nationalism-Communist-Power-Revolutionary/dp/0804700745/

    Replies: @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms, @ivan

    Thank you. On the other hand the Shenfan/Fanshen type of books written by an avowed Red Guard, William Hinton – at least I recall that he was so proud that his daughter was a Red terrorist – still holds sway. The New England set, rooted in a Puritanism that spawned legions of of traitors and Communist sympathisers have a lot to answer for.

  273. @Grahamsno(G64)
    @Bardon Kaldian


    This is so unlike Iran, where a highly organized & rich ancient religion, ideatically the conceptual source of Christianity (resurrection, apocalypse, dualism, heaven and hell, the World Savior as God-Man, angelology & demonology, ..) had been virtually eradicated by Islamized Iranians
     
    It's shocking that there's virtually nothing left of the old Iranian Script unlike the other peers of Iran - Greek, Roman, Chinese & Hindus almost nothing according to a Zoroastrian friend of mine they don't even have the Zend Avesta in the original language they have Gujarati language versions dating from when they migrated to Gujarat. My hypothesis for this shocking Anomaly is that the Priesthood jealously guarded education.

    I agree with the rest Islam eradicates older cultures by the root they are referred to as Jahalliya a period of Ignorance. The prime example is Pakistan which is the Ground Zero for ancient Hinduism and those great epics the Mahabharata & Ramayana have been totally forgotten whereas they are read in India. India would have been like Iran had the Muslims won but thankfully they didn't

    Ganapati and Hanuman kicked Allah's ass.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian, @Ali Choudhury

    Ganapati and Hanuman kicked Allah’s ass.

    • Thanks: Grahamsno(G64)
  274. Excellent time for Russia and China to force a vote in the U N – asking for the US to get out of Iraq and Syria. If nothing else , we could see which countries vote which way. A debate in the UN would be interesting but the Bought off U N would never let that happen. Either way – the time is right for a big slap in the face in front of the U N.

    • Agree: Zarathustra
    • Replies: @Grahamsno(G64)
    @GMC

    Iraq might happen anyway Biden signed some kind of deal authorizing some end to military activity, but that's being forced anyway by Shiite Militia controlled by Iran who frequently keep bombing US assets with Rocket fire which is impossible to stop. Besides that the JCPOA is not happening Iran has steadfastly refused to sign on to the missiles preconditions and has insisted that the US lift sanctions first all the time increasing their Uranium enrichment. All this was before the Catastrophic rout of the US in Afghanistan which has sent shockwaves around the world and thrilled a billion Muslims, this was definitely have consequences in the Middle East.

    , @A123
    @GMC


    Excellent time for Russia and China to force a vote in the U N – asking for the US to get out of Iraq and Syria.
     
    Getting the U.S. out of Syria would have been simple under Trump. Forces were there to counter Iran (including Hezbollah). Israeli air strikes against Iranian forces would also stop. No Iran, no IDF targets. No Iran, no U.S. presence. Easy.

    Now it is much harder. Erdogan has established a permanent Sunni defense presence to counter Khamenei's offensive Shia Crescent spearhead. And, JoeBama's "Regime Change" policy has returned.

    Getting Iran out Syria and Lebanon is obviously necessary for any hope of peace on the Mediterranean shore. Of course, there is no point in going to the United Nations for a vote. No one with authority, on any side, takes the UN seriously.

    PEACE 😇

    Replies: @Commentator Mike, @showmethereal

    , @Aedib
    @GMC

    Iranians declared they will eject the Americans from Irak by hit-and-run operations delegated to proxies. They are working on this right now with frequent attacks to US bases. It seems they want the Americans to bleed as retaliation on the assassination of Soleimani.

    Replies: @GMC

  275. @Grahamsno(G64)
    @Daniel Chieh


    I’ll remember that line when China invades to take South Tibet
     
    Molon Labe. We aren't a basket case like Ukraine to grab territory, if it happens it will be through catastrophic state failure or nuclear wars or both. You guys aren't the only ones reviewing your nuclear posture. Such infantile irredentism from a country where 95% of the population stay on 5o% of the land or 5% in 50% of the lands conquered by the Qing dynasty. Next what 'Outer Mongolia' and Vietnam.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Why not allow the population there a free and fair vote?

    • Replies: @Grahamsno(G64)
    @Daniel Chieh

    The honest answer is that we would disintegrate like Yugoslavia, in whose case the dominant ethnic community the Serbs were unwilling to accept the diktat of the times. The Kashmiris and the Sardars would then ask for independence. The violence would be uncontrollable with horrific massacres taking place allover. The Russians let go of their land empire with grace but the Hindus aren't there yet. The British left their sea empire mainly with grace the French tried to cling on and lost. I admit that the north east has been treated horribly but things are changing now.

    I wish that I could give a less gloomy answer.

    A velvet divorce like Czechoslovakia is unthinkable in India.

  276. @GMC
    Excellent time for Russia and China to force a vote in the U N - asking for the US to get out of Iraq and Syria. If nothing else , we could see which countries vote which way. A debate in the UN would be interesting but the Bought off U N would never let that happen. Either way - the time is right for a big slap in the face in front of the U N.

    Replies: @Grahamsno(G64), @A123, @Aedib

    Iraq might happen anyway Biden signed some kind of deal authorizing some end to military activity, but that’s being forced anyway by Shiite Militia controlled by Iran who frequently keep bombing US assets with Rocket fire which is impossible to stop. Besides that the JCPOA is not happening Iran has steadfastly refused to sign on to the missiles preconditions and has insisted that the US lift sanctions first all the time increasing their Uranium enrichment. All this was before the Catastrophic rout of the US in Afghanistan which has sent shockwaves around the world and thrilled a billion Muslims, this was definitely have consequences in the Middle East.

    • Agree: GMC, Aedib
  277. @Daniel Chieh
    @Grahamsno(G64)

    Why not allow the population there a free and fair vote?

    Replies: @Grahamsno(G64)

    The honest answer is that we would disintegrate like Yugoslavia, in whose case the dominant ethnic community the Serbs were unwilling to accept the diktat of the times. The Kashmiris and the Sardars would then ask for independence. The violence would be uncontrollable with horrific massacres taking place allover. The Russians let go of their land empire with grace but the Hindus aren’t there yet. The British left their sea empire mainly with grace the French tried to cling on and lost. I admit that the north east has been treated horribly but things are changing now.

    I wish that I could give a less gloomy answer.

    A velvet divorce like Czechoslovakia is unthinkable in India.

    • Agree: ivan
    • Thanks: Daniel Chieh
  278. @Drapetomaniac
    @Shortsword

    "Free college is simpler. That can be achieved just by printing money."

    Calling Gideon Gono! Calling Gideon Gono!

    Replies: @Stebbing Heuer

    By the looks of things, he’s already consulting to the Federal Reserve Board.

  279. @Shortsword
    https://twitter.com/POTUS/status/1427406026047905792

    https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/1426371914663084036

    Replies: @John Gruskos

    I’ll believe Biden is the “real America First President” after he brings home the troops from Syria and Iraq, and ends economic sanctions, and ends foreign aid, and ends entangling alliances in the Middle East.

    • Replies: @A123
    @John Gruskos


    I’ll believe Biden is the “real America First President” after he brings home the troops from Syria and Iraq, and ends economic sanctions, and ends foreign aid, and ends entangling alliances in the Middle East.
     
    A better list would start with these American Workers First requirements:

        • Closing the Southern border to illegal migration
        • Blocking illegal migration from visa overstays
        • Repudiating drop location (a.k.a. birthright) citizenship
        • Ending H1B visas
        • Preventing Chinese theft of U.S. Intellectual Property
        • Breaking China's monopoly on Rare Earth Elements
        • Stopping China's trade exploitation

    Beijing Biden is the definitive "America Last" President. He will not attempt even one of the above priorities to help American workers.

    PEACE 😇

    Replies: @John Gruskos

  280. @Grahamsno(G64)
    @Bardon Kaldian


    This is so unlike Iran, where a highly organized & rich ancient religion, ideatically the conceptual source of Christianity (resurrection, apocalypse, dualism, heaven and hell, the World Savior as God-Man, angelology & demonology, ..) had been virtually eradicated by Islamized Iranians
     
    It's shocking that there's virtually nothing left of the old Iranian Script unlike the other peers of Iran - Greek, Roman, Chinese & Hindus almost nothing according to a Zoroastrian friend of mine they don't even have the Zend Avesta in the original language they have Gujarati language versions dating from when they migrated to Gujarat. My hypothesis for this shocking Anomaly is that the Priesthood jealously guarded education.

    I agree with the rest Islam eradicates older cultures by the root they are referred to as Jahalliya a period of Ignorance. The prime example is Pakistan which is the Ground Zero for ancient Hinduism and those great epics the Mahabharata & Ramayana have been totally forgotten whereas they are read in India. India would have been like Iran had the Muslims won but thankfully they didn't

    Ganapati and Hanuman kicked Allah's ass.

    Replies: @Bardon Kaldian, @Ali Choudhury

    The inhabitants of what is now Pakistan and Bangladesh were in the Indian periphery and were either animist or weakly Hindu at best. Hinduism was largely only urbanite and they all left at Partition. The Gangetic core mostly resisted Islamisation. They were helped by the Mughal empire banning religious conversions as they had no desire to stir up religious revolts.

    The northwest of Pakistan was strongly Buddhist although their centres like Gandhara were largely wiped out by the Huns in the sixth century, after which it declined.

  281. What will rule under Taliban 2.0 be like? I assume:

    -TV (South Africa did not allow this until late 1970s)
    -internet but with porn filters

  282. @haha
    @Svevlad

    In the long term we are all dead. And in the extremely long term we will all be extremely dead. So stuff that in your Russian/East European pipe and smoke it to Slavic glory.

    Replies: @Svevlad

    How defeatist. If we’re already dead in advance, and our lives are forfeit, maybe we should all just jump into a meat grinder.

    Where’s the will to power, the spirit, the audacity to involuntarily impose self-preservation at humanity even if it means infinite suffering, for it strengthens and empowers?

    Very droll, very annoying even.

    • Agree: Boomthorkell
  283. @Philip Owen
    Retreat can be done with style.

    https://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/HistoryofBritain/Britains-Retreat-From-Kabul-1842/

    Comebacks work too. Give them a few months to quarrel with each other.

    Winner of the Battle of Kabul 1842: The British and Indians.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon

    I wish I could find the report I read (I think in the Times) that around 1900 two elderly Afghan women turned up in (I think) Peshawar and told the top Brit there that they were English survivors of the massacre, taken as child brides.

    • Thanks: Philip Owen
  284. @Seraphim
    @A123

    ''Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence" (Napoleon).
    ''Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity'' (Hanlon's Razor).

    Replies: @ivan, @A123

    ”Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence” (Napoleon).
    ”Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity” (Hanlon’s Razor).

    True. But….

    Generating a duplicate image required:

    -1- Exactly the same helicopter
    -2- Exactly the same roof style
    -3- Exactly the same flight profile
    -4- At a time of day to get — Exactly the same lighting
    -5- Sufficient advance notice to get a photographer into position

    There is virtually no chance of replicating the 1975 image by accident or incompetence. Too many coincidences are required.

    “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, stated by Sherlock Holmes

    Having eliminated stupidly and incompetence as potential causes. What remains is a deliberate act. General SJW Milley intentionally arranged replication of the 1975 photo.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @Seraphim
    @A123

    Incompetence and stupidity refers to the whole politics conducted by the Americans in regards to Afghanistan from the get-go: 'Operation Cyclone'. Trillions of dollars thrown for arming the mujahedin to 'bleed Russia' and annoy China, rejecting Russians from Afghanistan. Result? Mujahedin turned against America, Russians are back, bringing and the Chinese in.

    Replies: @AnonfromTN

  285. @Triteleia Laxa
    @John Gruskos


    Biden let the Taliban take Afghanistan for the same reason Obama let ISIS run wild.

    1. To spark a flood of refugees into Europe and America, accelerating the great replacement.

    2. To weaken Israel’s regional enemies – Shiites (Iran, Hezbollah, Houthis), secular Arab nationalists (Assad, Gadhafi), and their patron Russia.
     
    You realise that you are just making this stuff up, right?

    Replies: @John Gruskos

    Who benefitted from the Arab Spring, and the subsequent chaos including the rise of ISIS?

    1. The “Syrian” “refugees” (actually economic migrants from all over the Middle East and Africa) who used the chaos as a pretext to flood into Europe, where they and their descendants will reap generous welfare benefits.

    2. Israel. Civil war weakened Syria. Syria, along with Iran, is the most important patron of Hezbollah. Israel is now in a much stronger position vis-a-vis Hezbollah than they were in 2006.

    3. Al-Qaeda, which now control a territorial bases of their own in Idlib Syria and in parts of Yemen.

    The establishment didn’t mind #3, because they were so pleased with #1 and #2.

    Why are American troops still risking their lives and wasting American taxpayer dollars in Syria, where their presence benefits Al-Qaeda by weakening the Syrian government, if Joe Biden is America First?

    Why are the profits of American exporters being hampered by sanctions against Russia, Syria and Iran, sanctions which benefit Al-Qaeda by weakening the Syrian government, if Joe Biden is America First?

    Why are American taxpayer dollars wasted on military aid to Israel, despite the fact that Israeli airstrikes against Syria and its allies benefit Al-Qaeda by weakening the Syrian government, if Joe Biden is America First?

    Why are American resources wasted in an entangling alliance with Turkey, a nation which has directly aided the Al-Qaeda enclave in Idlib, if Joe Biden is America First?

    The only entanglement in the Middle East which Biden liquidated was also the only entanglement which had a plausible pretext of American interests.

    But Biden and the entire deplorable center-left establishment bitterly cling to entanglements which directly harm America’s national and civilizational interests:

    1. American soldiers are endangered.
    2. American taxpayer money is wasted.
    3. American export opportunities are neglected.
    4. Our only real enemy in the Middle East, radical Sunni jihadists such as Al-Qaeda, ISIS and the Taliban, actually benefit from a foreign policy which concentrates on weakening their regional enemies (Shiites, secular nationalists, Russia).
    5. Our fellow Christians are ethnically cleansed from the region where Christianity originated.
    6. America, and our fellow White nations in Europe, are flooded with “refugees”.
    7. When some of these “refugees” commit acts of terrorism, it becomes a pretext for surveillance state dedicated to eradicating “extremism”. But the Sunni jihadists who routinely commit massively deadly terror are not the primary targets of the “anti-extremist” campaign. Instead, peaceful domestic nationalists and Christian conservatives are targeted.

    Supposedly the Taliban issued a statement saying they harbor no hatred against the American people, and hope that we will be liberated from ZOG.

    If so, they should immediately:
    1. Give an unconditional amnesty to all Afghans, eliminating the pretext for “refugees”.
    2. Denounce Al-Qaeda, especially AQAP and the Idlib Al-Qaeda (changed their name so many times, I forget what they call themselves now).
    3. Apologize for ever giving assistance to Al-Qaeda n the past.
    4. Arrest Ayman Al-Zawahiri and put him on trial for his life.

    • Troll: Triteleia Laxa
    • Replies: @showmethereal
    @John Gruskos

    Ummmm - Hezbollah is in Lebanon - not Syria. They actually gained more experience for a lot of their weapons (which have expanded) fighting against the US and Turkish backed jihadis who wanted to take Assad down. Hezbollah was on the winning side....

    And as to the refugees - hey Europe shouldn't have supported the ouster of Assad and no refugees would have ended up there.

  286. @GMC
    Excellent time for Russia and China to force a vote in the U N - asking for the US to get out of Iraq and Syria. If nothing else , we could see which countries vote which way. A debate in the UN would be interesting but the Bought off U N would never let that happen. Either way - the time is right for a big slap in the face in front of the U N.

    Replies: @Grahamsno(G64), @A123, @Aedib

    Excellent time for Russia and China to force a vote in the U N – asking for the US to get out of Iraq and Syria.

    Getting the U.S. out of Syria would have been simple under Trump. Forces were there to counter Iran (including Hezbollah). Israeli air strikes against Iranian forces would also stop. No Iran, no IDF targets. No Iran, no U.S. presence. Easy.

    Now it is much harder. Erdogan has established a permanent Sunni defense presence to counter Khamenei’s offensive Shia Crescent spearhead. And, JoeBama’s “Regime Change” policy has returned.

    Getting Iran out Syria and Lebanon is obviously necessary for any hope of peace on the Mediterranean shore. Of course, there is no point in going to the United Nations for a vote. No one with authority, on any side, takes the UN seriously.

    PEACE 😇

    • Thanks: GMC
    • Troll: Yevardian
    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
    @A123

    Iran is only in Syria because the West (including the Jews) tried to topple Assad and plunged the country into a civil war. It would have been very simple to keep Iran out of Syria - not to interfere and to leave it alone. And now you justify the US presence by the Iranian presence which was actually provoked by US backed anti-Assad insurgents. You're being disingenuous - as usual.

    Replies: @A123

    , @showmethereal
    @A123

    I'm afraid you have it backwards. Syria and Iran were not natural allies... But Syria asked for Iranian and Lebanese covert help once the US wanted to oust Assad. Hezbollah was not wanted in Lebanon until the war with Israel. They hated Shira originally.

  287. @Daniel Chieh
    @Wency

    The "core" was KMT, and the KMT are now a security risk instead. So there is no core for the Taiwanese force either.

    What could happen for the anti-CCP perspective is that Japan gets heavily involved, which they have indicated a desire to. Despite being a "self-defense force", Japan has the fourth largest navy in the world and I don't have any doubt that they are an extremely capable force with a significant martial tradition.

    China and Japan fighting are almost a tradition, at least since the Battle of Baekgang in 663 and it might once again work out that way. Quite a few Asian nations dislike China, of course, and if the US becomes passive, Japan is the only other cynosure of power, a role that she is quite comfortable at taking. Quite a few nations will rally to her, and then discover belated that Japan doesn't just exist to put their chestnuts out of the fire but has very specific ideas of her role in the world(superior) and the role of her allies in that world(inferior). Then they get upset.

    And then we will have the same essential historical situation again of China as the dominant power in Asia, and Japan as the runner-up spoiler.

    Replies: @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms, @nokangaroos, @Dreadilk

    Not enough comments to leave thanks emote. Great info.

  288. @John Gruskos
    @Shortsword

    I'll believe Biden is the "real America First President" after he brings home the troops from Syria and Iraq, and ends economic sanctions, and ends foreign aid, and ends entangling alliances in the Middle East.

    Replies: @A123

    I’ll believe Biden is the “real America First President” after he brings home the troops from Syria and Iraq, and ends economic sanctions, and ends foreign aid, and ends entangling alliances in the Middle East.

    A better list would start with these American Workers First requirements:

        • Closing the Southern border to illegal migration
        • Blocking illegal migration from visa overstays
        • Repudiating drop location (a.k.a. birthright) citizenship
        • Ending H1B visas
        • Preventing Chinese theft of U.S. Intellectual Property
        • Breaking China’s monopoly on Rare Earth Elements
        • Stopping China’s trade exploitation

    Beijing Biden is the definitive “America Last” President. He will not attempt even one of the above priorities to help American workers.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @John Gruskos
    @A123

    Immigration restriction, a non-interventionist foreign policy, and civil rights for American nationalists, are all non-negotiable. Trade is also important.

    Tom Cotton may be good on immigration, but he is not America First because he has an atrocious foreign policy.

    Rand Paul may be good on foreign policy, but he is not America First because he has an atrocious immigration policy.

    Replies: @A123

  289. @Mr. Hack
    @Daniel Chieh


    Increasing use of force for territorial acquisition is a trend to note. What is “small” can be of escalating importance(and those were not small, for that matter, go ask Yevardian about what he thinks of at least 4000 of his countrymen killed and the loss of a territory worth $716 million gdp a year).

    But no, if you had a paper cut, it would be of fairly minimal importance, but it would still annoy and decrease functionality in the limb suffered. If you had ten papercuts, it would be quite a bit more painful and decrease functionality, quite possibly lead to wound fever. If you had a hundred, you are at severe risk of sepsis and real risk of death.
     
    Do you feel similarly about the Ukrainian loss of Crimea? How about the continuing violence supported by Russia in the Donbas?

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    As a general principle, consistent applications of “force” against a state or organization, if unchecked, can cause massive language even if the intensity is low. I feel that it is an effective method and arguably is one of the basic notions behind the idea that is hybrid warfare.

    Attackers have the advantage of initiative; defenders have to scramble to respond, and ultimately may have to setup and organize costs against threats – e.g. if your nation is attacked by cyberattacks, it behooves you to invest in defenses against cyberattacks, but when your antagonist stops launching cyberattacks, you can’t easily “free up” the security engineers you have now militarized back into the economy. And then your antagonist launches low intensity artillery strikes(or the threat of it, by moving artillery in high positions), and you have to respond with the threat of counterbarrage fire of your own, but after they move their pieces away from high ground, you’re never fully certain if they’ve abandoned the strategy and it’ll likely behoove you to keep up your deployment in some fashion. And then there’s a UN motion introduced to condemn your nation and add sanctions, and it seems that your antagonist has gathered a number of allies for it; now it seems that you need to send more politicians to New York, and so on.

    This constantly shifting spectrum of low-intensity aggression adds up as costs against you: economic, emotional and physical. When there is a disparity in state economy and material resources as well, the outcomes can be poor for the smaller or more junior participant in this conflict.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @Daniel Chieh

    I'm glad to se that you're consistent in your beliefs, seeing the transfer of the bulk of Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan similarly to the transfer of Crimea from Ukraine to Russia. Principles do matter, and the holding of a plebiscite after the Russian intrusion at gunpoint, was a travesty of disrupture of international norms.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  290. @Daniel Chieh
    @Mr. Hack

    As a general principle, consistent applications of "force" against a state or organization, if unchecked, can cause massive language even if the intensity is low. I feel that it is an effective method and arguably is one of the basic notions behind the idea that is hybrid warfare.

    Attackers have the advantage of initiative; defenders have to scramble to respond, and ultimately may have to setup and organize costs against threats - e.g. if your nation is attacked by cyberattacks, it behooves you to invest in defenses against cyberattacks, but when your antagonist stops launching cyberattacks, you can't easily "free up" the security engineers you have now militarized back into the economy. And then your antagonist launches low intensity artillery strikes(or the threat of it, by moving artillery in high positions), and you have to respond with the threat of counterbarrage fire of your own, but after they move their pieces away from high ground, you're never fully certain if they've abandoned the strategy and it'll likely behoove you to keep up your deployment in some fashion. And then there's a UN motion introduced to condemn your nation and add sanctions, and it seems that your antagonist has gathered a number of allies for it; now it seems that you need to send more politicians to New York, and so on.

    This constantly shifting spectrum of low-intensity aggression adds up as costs against you: economic, emotional and physical. When there is a disparity in state economy and material resources as well, the outcomes can be poor for the smaller or more junior participant in this conflict.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    I’m glad to se that you’re consistent in your beliefs, seeing the transfer of the bulk of Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan similarly to the transfer of Crimea from Ukraine to Russia. Principles do matter, and the holding of a plebiscite after the Russian intrusion at gunpoint, was a travesty of disrupture of international norms.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Mr. Hack

    I'm not saying anything about that. I'm just saying that hybrid warfare is a thing and it works.

    Obviously, a blatant invasion complete with massacres has vastly different moral valence than one welcomed by the population to leave a corrupt and fake state and one that is supported by their vote. Who wouldn't want to stay in a nation where scalpers get robbed by criminals who get arrested by bribed cops?

    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/christopherm51/ukraine-coronavirus-robbery-masks

    It certainly is a change in international norms where the US feels an ability to stop any border changes it doesn't like(and accordingly, various economic consequences) but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

  291. @Mr. Hack
    @Daniel Chieh

    I'm glad to se that you're consistent in your beliefs, seeing the transfer of the bulk of Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan similarly to the transfer of Crimea from Ukraine to Russia. Principles do matter, and the holding of a plebiscite after the Russian intrusion at gunpoint, was a travesty of disrupture of international norms.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    I’m not saying anything about that. I’m just saying that hybrid warfare is a thing and it works.

    Obviously, a blatant invasion complete with massacres has vastly different moral valence than one welcomed by the population to leave a corrupt and fake state and one that is supported by their vote. Who wouldn’t want to stay in a nation where scalpers get robbed by criminals who get arrested by bribed cops?

    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/christopherm51/ukraine-coronavirus-robbery-masks

    It certainly is a change in international norms where the US feels an ability to stop any border changes it doesn’t like(and accordingly, various economic consequences) but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

    • Replies: @Mr. Hack
    @Daniel Chieh


    I'’m just saying that hybrid warfare is a thing and it works.
     
    So the slow drip, drip, drip of blood is preferable to swallow, than a larger massive invasion? At least I'm able to clearly articulate a position where neither the US nor Russia should be willing to take part in these long drawn out debacles, that don't really benefit anybody involved.

    Obviously, a blatant invasion complete with massacres has vastly different moral valence than one welcomed by the population to leave a corrupt and fake state and one that is supported by their vote. Who wouldn’t want to stay in a nation where scalpers get robbed by criminals who get arrested by bribed cops?
     
    I do miss my old Russophile buddy Bashibuzuk who was willing to point out that there were plenty ofscalpers and other fraudsters who were willing to resort to all sorts of chicanery on both sides of the protracted Russian/Ukrainian war. Over 7 years now this hybrid war, and who are the winners and who are the losers?

    It certainly is a change in international norms where the US feels an ability to stop any border changes it doesn’t like(and accordingly, various economic consequences) but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
     
    And Russia laments the days when it could also wield a similar club to direct traffic around the world. Still trying to regain its lost "glory".

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

  292. @Barr
    @Beckow

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/news.yahoo.com/amphtml/conservative-cardinal-criticized-vaccine-ventilator-103629364.html

    Preserve your secular institute , strengthen them otherwise person like Cardinal Raymond L Burke
    will take over . He definitely will provide much needed security in the vacuum created by the disintegration of the public offices and of the law and order .
    But he will exact a price no less ruthless ,inflexible , moralistic , and punitive than that offered by 1996 Taliban .

    Uproot and leave the garden , you will find always wild thorny dry shrubs taking over .

    Our social chaos points to slow decomposition
    Afghanistan faced same social tension in 1970s z

    We might not have to wait for 30 years .

    It’s always gradual then it’s a dam burst open .

    Replies: @Zarathustra

    On every dam are spillway gates. (I even did design those also.)

  293. @Daniel Chieh
    @Mr. Hack

    I'm not saying anything about that. I'm just saying that hybrid warfare is a thing and it works.

    Obviously, a blatant invasion complete with massacres has vastly different moral valence than one welcomed by the population to leave a corrupt and fake state and one that is supported by their vote. Who wouldn't want to stay in a nation where scalpers get robbed by criminals who get arrested by bribed cops?

    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/christopherm51/ukraine-coronavirus-robbery-masks

    It certainly is a change in international norms where the US feels an ability to stop any border changes it doesn't like(and accordingly, various economic consequences) but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

    Replies: @Mr. Hack

    I’’m just saying that hybrid warfare is a thing and it works.

    So the slow drip, drip, drip of blood is preferable to swallow, than a larger massive invasion? At least I’m able to clearly articulate a position where neither the US nor Russia should be willing to take part in these long drawn out debacles, that don’t really benefit anybody involved.

    Obviously, a blatant invasion complete with massacres has vastly different moral valence than one welcomed by the population to leave a corrupt and fake state and one that is supported by their vote. Who wouldn’t want to stay in a nation where scalpers get robbed by criminals who get arrested by bribed cops?

    I do miss my old Russophile buddy Bashibuzuk who was willing to point out that there were plenty ofscalpers and other fraudsters who were willing to resort to all sorts of chicanery on both sides of the protracted Russian/Ukrainian war. Over 7 years now this hybrid war, and who are the winners and who are the losers?

    It certainly is a change in international norms where the US feels an ability to stop any border changes it doesn’t like(and accordingly, various economic consequences) but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

    And Russia laments the days when it could also wield a similar club to direct traffic around the world. Still trying to regain its lost “glory”.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @Mr. Hack


    Over 7 years now this hybrid war, and who are the winners and who are the losers?
     
    I don't know, but it certainly seems like the Ukranians like kneeling a lot. Must be more winning ever day.

    https://www.unz.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/ukraine-kneels-2.jpg

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/im-im-gonna-kneeeeel-ukraine-edition/

    Replies: @AnonFromTN, @Mr. Hack

  294. @Mr. Hack
    @Daniel Chieh


    I'’m just saying that hybrid warfare is a thing and it works.
     
    So the slow drip, drip, drip of blood is preferable to swallow, than a larger massive invasion? At least I'm able to clearly articulate a position where neither the US nor Russia should be willing to take part in these long drawn out debacles, that don't really benefit anybody involved.

    Obviously, a blatant invasion complete with massacres has vastly different moral valence than one welcomed by the population to leave a corrupt and fake state and one that is supported by their vote. Who wouldn’t want to stay in a nation where scalpers get robbed by criminals who get arrested by bribed cops?
     
    I do miss my old Russophile buddy Bashibuzuk who was willing to point out that there were plenty ofscalpers and other fraudsters who were willing to resort to all sorts of chicanery on both sides of the protracted Russian/Ukrainian war. Over 7 years now this hybrid war, and who are the winners and who are the losers?

    It certainly is a change in international norms where the US feels an ability to stop any border changes it doesn’t like(and accordingly, various economic consequences) but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
     
    And Russia laments the days when it could also wield a similar club to direct traffic around the world. Still trying to regain its lost "glory".

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Over 7 years now this hybrid war, and who are the winners and who are the losers?

    I don’t know, but it certainly seems like the Ukranians like kneeling a lot. Must be more winning ever day.

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/im-im-gonna-kneeeeel-ukraine-edition/

    • Agree: AnonFromTN
    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
    @Daniel Chieh

    A little vignette showing where Ukraine is in the imperial pecking order. With all that kneeling, Ukraine positioned itself as one of the least respected sidekicks of the Empire. Evacuating defeated troops from Kabul, the US took their dogs, but left behind Ukrainians, Georgians, Romanians, and Bulgarians (https://rusvesna.su/news/1629142766). Apparently, dogs have greater importance for the US than all this flotsam and jetsam. Serves the scum right, if you ask me.

    Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    , @Mr. Hack
    @Daniel Chieh

    You're right, you don't know who's the winner or the looser. I do wonder, however, how awful Russian leadership must be if this Ukrainian officer kneels before the British Ambassador and accepts a symbolic sword pointed to the north?

  295. @A123
    @John Gruskos


    I’ll believe Biden is the “real America First President” after he brings home the troops from Syria and Iraq, and ends economic sanctions, and ends foreign aid, and ends entangling alliances in the Middle East.
     
    A better list would start with these American Workers First requirements:

        • Closing the Southern border to illegal migration
        • Blocking illegal migration from visa overstays
        • Repudiating drop location (a.k.a. birthright) citizenship
        • Ending H1B visas
        • Preventing Chinese theft of U.S. Intellectual Property
        • Breaking China's monopoly on Rare Earth Elements
        • Stopping China's trade exploitation

    Beijing Biden is the definitive "America Last" President. He will not attempt even one of the above priorities to help American workers.

    PEACE 😇

    Replies: @John Gruskos

    Immigration restriction, a non-interventionist foreign policy, and civil rights for American nationalists, are all non-negotiable. Trade is also important.

    Tom Cotton may be good on immigration, but he is not America First because he has an atrocious foreign policy.

    Rand Paul may be good on foreign policy, but he is not America First because he has an atrocious immigration policy.

    • Replies: @A123
    @John Gruskos


    Immigration restriction, a non-interventionist foreign policy, and civil rights for American nationalists, are all non-negotiable. Trade is also important.
     
    Resisting foreign aggression is a necessity for national survival.

    So, it depends on what you mean by "non-interventionist foreign policy". The U.S. has to react to those who want to do harm to America. And, the nation has to look ahead to head off future liabilities. A couple examples:

    The War Criminals of the Iranian revolution held U.S. civilians hostage for 444 days. Their successors are still shouting "Death to America" today. The kill crazies of that deranged leadership will continue trying to murder Americans until they fall. Countering this existential threat is not "interventionist".

    Letting a new nuclear arms race start in the Middle East is bad for every nation on the planet. It greatly increases the chance of an accident, irrational escalation, and/or loss to a non-national group (e.g. Muslim Terrorist Brotherhood).

    Isolationism is not a viable strategy for the long term.

    PEACE 😇

    Replies: @Svevlad, @Kuru, @Zarathustra

  296. @A123
    @GMC


    Excellent time for Russia and China to force a vote in the U N – asking for the US to get out of Iraq and Syria.
     
    Getting the U.S. out of Syria would have been simple under Trump. Forces were there to counter Iran (including Hezbollah). Israeli air strikes against Iranian forces would also stop. No Iran, no IDF targets. No Iran, no U.S. presence. Easy.

    Now it is much harder. Erdogan has established a permanent Sunni defense presence to counter Khamenei's offensive Shia Crescent spearhead. And, JoeBama's "Regime Change" policy has returned.

    Getting Iran out Syria and Lebanon is obviously necessary for any hope of peace on the Mediterranean shore. Of course, there is no point in going to the United Nations for a vote. No one with authority, on any side, takes the UN seriously.

    PEACE 😇

    Replies: @Commentator Mike, @showmethereal

    Iran is only in Syria because the West (including the Jews) tried to topple Assad and plunged the country into a civil war. It would have been very simple to keep Iran out of Syria – not to interfere and to leave it alone. And now you justify the US presence by the Iranian presence which was actually provoked by US backed anti-Assad insurgents. You’re being disingenuous – as usual.

    • Agree: Aedib, showmethereal
    • Replies: @A123
    @Commentator Mike

    Why do you insist on being so deceptive?

    Sociopath Khamenei's aggression created intrusions into Lebanon and Syria. This would have occurred regardless of U.S. action. Your insistence on playing "blame the victim" is an exercise in mendacity.

    The reality on the ground today is that nothing can be solved without getting Iran out of Lebanon and Syria. You can utter falsehoods all you want. The result will be more bloodshed. Let us know when you want Khamenei's forces to leave, so the violence resisting Iranian aggression can end.

    PEACE 😇

    Replies: @Yevardian

  297. @Gujjar
    $2 trillion (the real number is probably far less than this) in a period of 20 years is $100 billion annually. In contrast, Medicare for All is purported to cost approximately $30-40 trillion in a period of 10 years.

    It’s simple accounting. Providing healthcare universally is substantially more expensive and will directly impact taxpayers. Spending aimlessly on wars does not require tax hikes and thereby produces less reluctance among policymakers to enact.

    Replies: @Jatt Aryaa, @Nodwink

    Medicare-for-all is modelled to cost around 200 billion less per year than the current system.

    https://www.peoplespolicyproject.org/2020/12/11/cbo-medicare-for-all-reduces-health-spending/

  298. @Daniel Chieh
    @Mr. Hack


    Over 7 years now this hybrid war, and who are the winners and who are the losers?
     
    I don't know, but it certainly seems like the Ukranians like kneeling a lot. Must be more winning ever day.

    https://www.unz.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/ukraine-kneels-2.jpg

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/im-im-gonna-kneeeeel-ukraine-edition/

    Replies: @AnonFromTN, @Mr. Hack

    A little vignette showing where Ukraine is in the imperial pecking order. With all that kneeling, Ukraine positioned itself as one of the least respected sidekicks of the Empire. Evacuating defeated troops from Kabul, the US took their dogs, but left behind Ukrainians, Georgians, Romanians, and Bulgarians (https://rusvesna.su/news/1629142766). Apparently, dogs have greater importance for the US than all this flotsam and jetsam. Serves the scum right, if you ask me.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    @AnonFromTN


    She is outraged that there were only 8 Ukrainian citizens on the Ukrainian plane from Kabul, the remaining 72 were