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Taliban Rule Is the Democratic Will of 13% of Afghans
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It is true that Afghans probably have the highest “Islamism Quotient” in the world. Support for sharia, as Steve Sailer reminds us, is basically universal. He refers to a 2013 PEW poll, which Razib Khan and I had covered a few years back. Furthermore, 79% of Afghans who support sharia also support the death penalty for apostasy. In between that and its dysfunction and lack of state capacity and unfortunate location next to Pakistan, if any country was to fall to an Islamist insurgency, Afghanistan was the prime candidate.

Given that, and the swiftness of the Taliban takeover, it certainly feels weird to write a post against the idea that Taliban rule enjoys broad-based support across Afghanistan.

But that is precisely what one can conclude from a comprehensive series of surveys of Afghan opinion by an outfit called the Asia Foundation during the 2010s, which showed that popular “sympathy” for the Taliban was both low and in decline.

The last report was from 2019:

This year, the proportion who say they have no sympathy with the Taliban has grown by almost 3 percentage points, from 82.4% in 2018 to 85.1% this year. The proportion of respondents who have a lot or a little sympathy for the Taliban is 13.4%, similar to 2018. But among respondents who express sympathy for the Taliban, the proportion who say they don’t know why they feel this sympathy has increased four-fold, from 6.2% in 2018 to 28.6% in 2019.

You can explore the detailed data for yourself here.

Note from the outset: The Asia Foundation, was originally founded in 1954 as a CIA-backed outfit. Personally, I think it’s quite hard to get dozens of researchers to closely cooperate in inventing polling data, especially at such a granular level, and in any case the CIA has produced a lot of useful and non-partisan material (e.g. the CIA World Factbook was one of the few easily-accessible and comprehensive sources of comparative national statistics during the 1990s). Apart from seeing the raw results to various questions, many of which actually don’t reflect all that well on the results of the occupation (e.g. only 44% of Afghans say they have access to main grid power), you can also break it down by multiple variables including region, age, sex, and ethnic group. The results stay internally consistent, adding up to and closely tallying with what one might “expect” to see based on anecdotal data (e.g. the Pashtuns, who have a number of colorful sayings about women, are systemically more “conservative” than Hazara). Nor have I seen it cited almost anywhere; if it’s actually meant to be used for Western propaganda, then it seems that Western journalists haven’t gotten the memo. That said, if the CIA connection is a deal-breaker, I suppose you might as well stop reading this now.

According to the poll, Taliban support peaks in the Pashtun heartlands of the South-West (27%), but is much lower in the territories of the old Northern Alliance (10-11%) and in Kabul (8%). In Bamiyan, the Hazara-dominated province famous for the eponymous Buddhist statues blown up by the old Taliban – and where yet another statue, to a local leader who was tortured to death by the Taliban in 1995, was blown up just today – Taliban sympathy plummets to just 0.8%. Across ethnic lines, 21% of ethnic Pashtuns are sympathizers, falling to 14% amongst Uzbeks, and 7% amongst Tajiks and the Hazara. Incidentally, this reflects a general conservative/”liberal” (by Afghan standards) skew across those ethnic groups, with the Pashtuns being systemically more “conservative” and the Hazara being the most “liberal” groups across most social issues. Finally, the mainstream narrative that the Taliban are bad for women, and that women want even less to do with it than men, is borne out by the numbers. Only 10% of women sympathize with the Taliban vs. 17% of men. Unsurprisingly, given its evolution from a war-torn ruinscape of 0.5 million people in the mid-1990s into a cosmopolitan megapolis approaching 5 million people, the gap is widest in Kabul itself (3% women; 12% men).

Conversely, though – and this is where media caricatures of the Taliban actually are wrong – there are no major differences between age groups, and Taliban support actually goes up with income (at least until you get to the very rich):

This is unusual in the modern world, where “progressive” attitudes tend to go up with income and education (though a necessary caveat is that in Afghanistan, “progressive” = not a religious zealot, as opposed to the connotations it has taken on in the West). But this is perhaps not too surprising in light of the core of the Taliban (lit., “students”) having been educated in Pakistani madrassas, some of which had extremely stringent acceptance rates. Incidentally, this immediately answers one obvious criticism of the poll – namely, given that it was conducted by cell phone, that it would leave out a large chunk of the more illiterate and non/cell phone using population. But the assumption that these more “backward” people would be greater supporters of the Taliban seems wrong, both according to the responses themselves and to logic. After all, it would make sense for illiterate peasants to care less about the Koran than students who had studied it for years; conversely, they may feel they missed out on many opportunities in life on account of their illiteracy, and wouldn’t wish the same on their daughters. This is not a supposition – close to 90% of Afghans say that women should have the same opportunities as men as regards primary and high school education

Furthermore, when Taliban sympathizers were asked why they sympathized with them, the most common answer by far was that “they are Afghans” (45%). The second most popular answer (29%) was “I don’t know”. Only something like 5% gave answers touching on “Islamic law” and the like. My interpretation of this is that, to the extent that some Afghans do support the Taliban, it was primarily for quasi-nationalist reasons (getting rid of what they viewed as a puppet regime) as opposed to installing a totalitarian theocracy. One thing that many people seem to elide over is that the pre-Taliban polity is (or was) called the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and that sharia played a major role in its jurisprudence. Its not as if it was ruled by apostates forcing secularizing policies on a recalcitrant peasantry, as happened under the Soviet policy of “unveiling” (Hujum) and emancipation of women in Central Asia from the 1920s, and as was briefly attempted in Afghanistan itself in the 1980s, and is now being attempted by China with respect to the Uyghurs. But that doesn’t describe the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. If it did, it would have seen some of the world’s highest immigration rates during the 2000s as Afghans displaced by the Soviet-Afghan War repatriated.

Browsing through the polls, one interesting thing I noted – and one which lends credence to the idea that the Taliban wasn’t all that popular – is that normie Afghans seemed considerably less regressive than Taliban 2.0, let alone their predecessors. Close to 90% say that women should have the same opportunities as men for primary and high school education, and 75% hold the same view for university education. Probably this at least as much as “optics” explains why Taliban 2.0 have, at least for now, promised not to roll back progress in those spheres. Regardless of its overall record, one thing that did happen under the American intervention is an increase in primary school enrollment from 21% to close to universal levels (a statistic that is, incidentally, borne out by another poll – 82% of Afghans say all of the boys in their household attend school, and 75% say that all of the girls do so), so at a minimum shutting down girls’ schools would be vastly more disruptive than in the late 1990s, when very few children were going to school anyway. Less than 2% think women shouldn’t be allowed to work outside the home. Again, regardless of their internal views, this is presumably something that Taliban 2.0 will just have to accept as a done deal at this point.

There is an overwhelming endorsement of female suffrage, with only 10% of both men and women opposing it. Even more remarkably, and that is something I certainly did not expect to see, is that there is even net marginal support for women being able to run for the Presidency (49% support, 46% oppose).

This clip from a Vice documentary on the Taliban was widely RT’ed a few days ago by outraged liberal and normie conservatives, as well as Alt Righters fawning over how absolutely BASED and REDPILLED the Taliban are. But the actual reality is that the bearded fellows giggling at Hind Hassan’s question on whether Afghans would be able to vote in female politicians under their rule are actually likely a minority even within their own country (e.g. 55% support for women being allowed to be governors).

I am not going to expound on this much further, though I would note that Noah Carl independently came to much the same conclusions on his Substack:

The Asia Foundation’s survey also asked Afghans about the criteria for an ideal president. By far the most popular response, given by 36% of respondents, was “an honest, just and fair person”. By contrast, only 18% said “a pious, devout Muslim”. When asked about female participation in politics, 59% said “women should decide for themselves”, whereas only 17% said “men should decide for women” (the remaining 23% said “women should decide … in consultation with men”). Although a majority of Afghans identified the burka or niqab as the most appropriate dress for women in public, 87% said that women should have the same opportunities in education as men. On the other hand, a slight plurality said that political leaders should be “mostly men”.

Of course, there could be some social desirability bias in respondents’ answers (i.e., Afghans telling interviewers what they wanted to hear), and this bias may have increased over time, as people became more familiar with the values of their Western occupiers. Hence one might want to adjust the numbers from the Asia Foundation Survey in a more “traditional” direction. However, even if the 85% figure were adjusted down by, say, 15 percentage points, that’s still 70% of Afghans who have no sympathy for the Taliban. Interestingly, the survey also revealed that 97% of Afghans believe corruption is a problem in their country.

Indeed, to the extent that Afghans had grievances with the regime, the poll suggests it largely touch on much the same “boring”, non-ideological issues that worry normies everywhere around the world – things like employment, crime and security, problems with utilities and infrastructure. Tellingly, since 2014, more Afghans have thought things were going in the “wrong” direction, a turn that coincided with a sharp stall in the GDP growth rate after a doubling during the 2000s. Nonetheless, it is telling that “foreign intervention” was only cited as a reason things were going in the wrong direction by 7% of Afghans, while concerns with “morality/religious direction” concerned less than 1% of them (!). Afghans were, at least as of 2019, singularly uninterested in Taliban wedge issues.

Perhaps the single most telling result here is that 13% of Afghans said they experienced “a lot of fear” when encountering the National Police and 11% on encountering the ANA versus 73% on encountering the Taliban (only slightly lower than 83% for ISIS/Daesh). This suggests that whereas normie Afghans did view certain factions in their civil war as occupiers or terrorists, it wasn’t the actual national security services of the supposed “puppet” regime, regardless of their oft-reported deficiencies and venality.

***

Could Taliban sympathizers have feared to respond with their true sentiments? This general criticism is one I have come across frequently in my career as Russia watcher, observing how Westerners often cope with Putin’s high approval ratings by positing that Russians were simply too fearful to truthfully answer pollsters. This is self-evidently ridiculous both to anyone who lives in Russia or even anyone who has substantive dealings with or experience in Russia. However, as it so happens, that particular theory was demolished by Timothy Frye et al. in 2015, who used a double list experiment – a clever way of gauging attitudes towards a potentially controversial topic without respondents having to answer it directly – to confirm that Putin’s approval ratings as measured by mainstream pollsters were indeed accurate to at least within 10 percentage points. Now most democracy/freedom indices, admittedly for what dubious value they are worth, tend to define Afghanistan as some kind of “hybrid democracy” like Russia. Be that as it may, it was not a crime to sympathize with the Taliban, and in fact in other questions on this poll, the great majority of Afghans supported pursuing a peace deal with them (though almost 70% opposed ceding the governorship of any provinces to them). Furthermore, we should also bear in mind that substantial numbers of people have expressed “incorrect” opinions in places far more extreme and dangerous to have them. In one notable 2012 poll, some 5% of polled Saudis said they were atheists (a position that theoretically carries the death penalty). Substantial numbers of Arabs, most of whom live in illiberal states, have historically expressed support for Islamic State in opinion polls, including those living in dictatorships. According to a Syria-wide poll by ORB International in July 2015, some 25% of the residents of Al Raqqa said that the influence of the Islamic State under which they lived was either “somewhat” or “completely” negative while about 20% of the residents of “core” regime territory (Tartus, Latakia, Damascus) expressed similar sentiments about Bashar al-Assad. So even in literal “Extremistan” territory, it seems that people are surprisingly honest in responding to polls. By extension, there needs to be really good evidence to give us cause to think otherwise as regards Afghanistan.

***

Historically, there is nothing unprecedented with more fanatical groups overrunning much bigger states with bigger armies (at least on paper), even if their denizens don’t particularly want them in charge. The Bolsheviks, who only gained 24% of the vote in their only free and fair elections in 1917, imposed themselves on the rest of Russia by the use of force (largely with the help of Latvian riflemen in the critical early months). Still, the question remains – if the Taliban really were unpopular, why did ANA crumple so quickly?

James Thompson cites low Afghan IQ. This is probably a factor. Lower IQ people, some of them illiterate (recall that universal primary enrollment was only achieved quite recently), can’t use complex weaponry, which annuls their main advantage against insurgents who make up for material inadequacies with zeal. Still, Afghan IQ was no higher in the late 1980s, and yet Najibullah’s regime managed to last a bit more than three years, mounting multi-division offensives against the jihadists so long as Soviet aid continued pouring in.

But there were many other factors to this:

  1. President Ghani and his circle being convinced that the US would never leave. When Biden called their bluff and withdrew anyway, they were caught with their pants down.
  2. The US never actually trained ANA to operate independently as an Army, so they were left in the lurch when the US abruptly cut out air support.
  3. The Big Brain idea of spreading your military across the entire country, as opposed to concentrating it around Kabul and the north, where anti-Taliban sentiment was highest.
  4. The Taliban appear to have reached behind the scenes deals with some of the generals or even members of the government. There are widespread rumors that many troops were ordered to stand down and not offer resistance.
  5. Whereas the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan fielded a conscript army, the ANA was an army of volunteers scraped from the bottom of the barrel of Afghan society. You’d have to be pretty desperate to sign up, given its lack of prestige and poor (and unreliable) pay.
  6. Conversely, the Taliban forces were volunteers and self-selected for ideological zeal. Given their madrassa background and the positive correlations between income and Taliban support, their human capital was very likely higher than that of the ANA.
  7. The ineptness and cowardice of President Ghani himself, who spent most of his career in the academic/NGO “democracy promotion”/Peace Studies circuit. Highlights include a TED talk called “how to rebuild a broken state” and the book Fixing Failed States. However, his ideas failed when they clashed against gritty reality, as he was unable to satisfy the most basic function of a state – maintaining the loyalty of the armed men defending it. It is said that many of the ANA soldiers hadn’t been paid in 6-9 months, though on the plus side, was at least successful with making good his escape (with wads of banknotes if Russian accounts are to be believed).

Even all these factors aside, it does seem fair to say that the vast majority of Afghans didn’t identify strongly enough with their state to offer up serious resistance to the Taliban. Still, this isn’t grounds to claim that Afghans wanted the Taliban in charge, much less that they deserved the Taliban, and to dehumanize them on this account. There has been a fair amount of that across distinct ideological clusters. One of them are the anti-interventionists who view this as an opportunity to discredit the neocons and future wars of choice by extension, which at least is a good and legitimate cause. Others are less wholesome, such as knee-jerk anti-Americans who are using the opportunity to troll the US on account of a PR humiliation but one that is actually not even all that relevant to its world power status. And then there are some which are actively misanthropic, such as a subset of the Alt Right who, enraged by their powerlessness in Western society, seem to be getting a kind of vicarious self-satisfaction from anticipating the brutal punishment that Taliban “thot patrols” are about to mete out to blue-haired feminists and GloboHomo agents (never mind that SJWs as such practically don’t exist even in Kabul, that the people who are most closely associated with the targets of their rage in Washington D.C. are first in line to be evacuated, that the great bulk of Taliban oppression will befall the most culturally Europeanized Afghans, and that it will provoke a new wave of Afghan immigration into their country which they supposedly oppose).

Anyhow, even if history doesn’t repeat, it does rhyme. Afghanistan is an extremely fractious country, and the fact that not that that many Afghans like the Taliban means that it only has a very limited window to reach a national consensus before it begins to face challenges to its authority across the country. Two days in, there is already a counter-Taliban insurgency starting up in Panjshir, and it will probably neither be the only one, nor the last. So long as the Taliban’s authority is disputed, it is unlikely to be widely recognized by the international community; its “brand” is near globally toxic. As a country heavily dependent on foreign aid, where budget expenditures exceed revenues by a factor of three, its hard to see how Afghanistan can avoid economic collapse (at least short of China funneling in tens of billions of yuan). Afghanistan’s population has quadrupled since the late 1980s. The world should prepare for refugees flows rivaling or exceeding those of the 1980s.

Panjshir Addendum (08/11)

Many people have predictably been dismissing the results from this poll, reasons ranging from good (“can you successfully poll Afghans”) to bad (“but outfit in question got money from the CIA… half a century back”).

Yet even so, it is displaying predictive power even as we speak.

Panjshir . I just looked up Taliban sympathy in Panjshir. 96.3% no sympathy (84 people), 2.8% little sympathy (2 people), one person who “didn’t know”), and nobody with “a lot of” sympathy.

The single most anti-Taliban province in Afghanistan minus a few lightly populated central regions largely populated by Hazaras has become the focal point of a spreading anti-Taliban insurgency. I wonder why, and not, say, neighboring Nuristan – which is just as mountainous and even more inaccessible.

 
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  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.

    • Replies: @Mevashir
  2. Yeah, I guess I’d be part of the 45% of because they’re Afghan.
    Although obviously the rest you know..

    I don’t think cucked opinion of brown normies matter, they’re deferential..

    [MORE]

    Also, fuck the bs about electricity.

    Swiss cantons had tfr crash in turn after female vote.
    Japan did after feminism, fuck women rights. It’s suicide,

    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ

    • Agree: Ray Caruso, Getaclue
  3. Mersaux says:

    -Low support for new regime
    – regime not yet consolidated
    – ethnic tensions
    – Youth Bulge population with many hopeless guys (Gunnar Heinsohn can you hear me?)
    – Large number of Weapons

    Seems a civil war is rather likely

  4. Honestly, for all their sake, I hope they come to a decent compromise that both respects various interpretations of Islam while allowing for enough tribal and regional autonomy for their to be a decently manager center, like the Monarchies and Tribal confederations of old.

    I guess the real kicker here will be how Chinese, Iranian, Russian, Indian and Pakistani influence within the new government helps stabilize it through offers of investment, etc., with only tasteful socio-political demands.

    So long as the Taliban have learned something, and it seems they might have, they’ll should be able to guide this ship to a safer port.

  5. utu says:

    Well written and showing good grasp of facts and reality. You can really write well, Mr. Karlin. This does not mean that I would endorse your writings on subjects that are dear to your heart because of ideology or sentiment that cloud the clarity of your mind like IQism, trans humanism or butt hurts Russian nationalism.

    • Agree: Yevardian, profnasty
    • Replies: @Dissident
  6. So, either you believe your own eyes, or you believe a survey by an outfit funded by who knows whom (he, who pays the musicians, calls the tune). Taliban met virtually no resistance all over Afghanistan, including Kabul, where it was likely less popular than elsewhere in the country. If it’s support was so low, that wouldn’t be the case.

    Remember, the “opinion polls” in 2016 predicted a huge Killary victory. As the elections weren’t rigged as much in 2016, she lost. So much for opinion polls’ reliability.

  7. Unit472 says:

    The Taliban has one ace up its sleeve. It can turn the American garrison holed up at Hamid Karzai airport into hostages anytime it wants by cratering that single runway. That our military leadership let Biden to this shows what mediocrities we have running the Pentagon.

  8. mal says:

    Does it even matter what ordinary Afghans believe? I mean, they are tribal, so the only opinion that matters is one of the tribal elders. Everybody else can be an atheist feminist, and truly believe that, but if tribal elders decree otherwise, then the rest must quickly fall in line and obey, doesn’t matter what they think. It’s custom.

    • Replies: @gotmituns
  9. I am curious to the economic policies of the Taliban, will they enact left or right wing economic policies?

    From what I have learned of middle east politics, Islamist parties, including Hezbollah have promoted or not opposed economic liberalization and privatization.

    It would also be neat to read about what the economics of ISIS were when it reigned.

    • Replies: @mal
  10. mal says:
    @anyone with a brain

    Talibans have always wanted to become a gas transit country. Natural gas supplies to India are going to be a big deal. Compared to that, left wing or right wing domestic policy is far less relevant.

    Taliban Vows to Protect TAPI Gas Pipeline Project

    https://www.voanews.com/extremism-watch/taliban-vows-protect-tapi-gas-pipeline-project

    • Replies: @Vishnugupta
  11. Twinkie says:

    Mr. Karlin,

    I don’t much comment on Unz these days, but I do read your blog occasionally (as yours is the only data-driven blog left here after the departure of Audacious Epigone) and just wanted to say that this is a very good post. Your penultimate paragraph is particularly excellent and is an appropriate riposte to “Afghans deserved this,” “based Taliban,” other inane reactions you well describe.

    I should also add that, while the Taliban are not strictly-speaking Salafist, Salafism and other related or similar forms of modern Sunni reform movements (toward perceived ancient “purity”) sometimes mirror the attitudes of early Protestants and likewise enjoy greater support from the educated middle class segment of Islamic populations than is generally thought in the West (and East Asia, for that matter), where, as you similarly put, people tend to conflate education and professionalism with liberality. It’s actually the illiterate and the rural peasant populations among Muslims who tend to favor Sufism and the like.

    And for those who don’t have firsthand experience with Afghans and who want to actually understand Afghan ways of thinking and cultural mores, visiting the local kebob joints run by their diaspora in the West and engaging the proprietors at such places would be very instructive. Most won’t come clean to random strangers in the West, but there are some young and angry enough ones who will spill the beans readily. I have had numerous conversations with young expatriate/immigrant Afghans in my area of the U.S. and an overwhelming majority of them – including the very anti-Taliban Tajiks – has expressed the equivalent of “Better Hitler than Blum” views about the Taliban versus the now former national Afghan government, along the lines of “At least there was security and little crime under the Taliban,” “At least the Taliban didn’t brazenly rob my merchant family like the current government” and so on. They, of course, didn’t care for the oppression of women, violent reactions against modernity, and whatnot, but certainly appreciated the order the Taliban brought (corruption is, by the way, not all that despised as long as it is predictable corruption – what they seem to hate is unpredictable, arbitrary corruption, which is seen as banditry).

    In general, people – Afghan or otherwise – crave security, consistency, and predictability, before they worry about things like schools for girls, being able to consume Western pop culture, etc.

    Finally, although the end was humiliating for my country, the United States, and is a highly emotional one for all the Americans who served there (and are still serving there) in whatever capacity, this withdrawal, however badly managed, is something that needed to be done. Pity it was done by Biden, not Trump.

  12. @mal

    TAPI pipeline is dead in the water.

    The whole project viability is predicated on Indian demand but we have no intention of running an energy pipeline through Pakistan.

    This is the main reason the previous IPI pipeline got scuttled on one pretext or the other.

    • Agree: Not Raul
    • Thanks: mal
  13. However, his ideas failed when they clashed against gritty reality, as he was unable to satisfy the most basic function of a state – maintaining the loyalty of the armed men defending it.

    This similar to what I have been saying which is that state opposition to the Taliban is not enough.

    You need men willing to risk their lives and not just defend but attack the Taliban.

    For the typical Afghan there isn’t a good risk/reward in fighting the Taliban. Sure they may think the Taliban is brutal and unfair but the goat herder who minds his own business will most likely not run afoul with them. There isn’t a strong ethnic or religious clash. It’s strict Muslims vs brutally strict and backwards Muslims. So goat herding under the Taliban doesn’t look so bad when you see people missing limbs and eyes.

    It should also be noted that the Afghan security forces have taken some serious losses. Even just being a policeman is a very dangerous job. Afghans have a high birth rate and the Taliban keeps cranking out 18 year olds to throw at policeman and security forces.

    The US is really just too nice and isn’t willing to do what it takes to subdue a country like Afghanistan. Our leaders are fuzzy headed globalists that want to believe that you can just mix some capitalism ‘n democracy and everything will be fine. A country like Afghanistan needs Ghengis Khan type tactics. You can’t just pay the locals a wage to fight for a flag.

    • Replies: @Herald
  14. @Twinkie

    At least the Taliban didn’t brazenly rob my merchant family like the current government” and so on. They, of course, didn’t care for the oppression of women, violent reactions against modernity, and whatnot, but certainly appreciated the order the Taliban brought (corruption is, by the way, not all that despised as long as it is predictable corruption – what they seem to hate is unpredictable, arbitrary corruption, which is seen as banditry).

    You know this type of rationalization was similar to what leftists would use when Communists would take over a country.

    But golly gee whiz look at all this stuff they get. Public education, health care. Oh and those corrupt capitalists are gone too. Sure they can’t leave but street crime is at an all time low!

    As with the Taliban there is this underlying point he is making which is that THEY NEVER WOULD HAVE VOTED FOR IT.

    The Communists never got a majority in a single country. The extremes have to go in and chop off heads to take power because they can’t win by democracy. They know they are LOSERS and have to bully their way into controlling others.

  15. Twinkie says:
    @John Johnson

    THEY NEVER WOULD HAVE VOTED FOR IT.

    They didn’t vote for the fallen national government either.

  16. The poll is possibly correct and probably irrelevant. What matters is whether the Taliban are able to deliver peace, order, and stability. If they do, then Afghans will learn to love the bomb.

  17. They didn’t vote for the fallen national government either.

    If only 13% supports the Taliban then yes the majority would support the national government.

    The majority supports democracy and not the Taliban. That isn’t the issue.

    The issue is that they aren’t willing to risk their lives to live without the Taliban.

    They are letting the Taliban rule out of fear, not support.

    The Taliban is a bunch of losers that can’t hack it in a free society. A bunch of knuckle draggers that can only acquire women by force. Really not much different than Communists. Most revolutionary leftists were loser men that wanted revenge against their betters. They would also take women that had zero interest in them.

    • LOL: Commentator Mike
    • Replies: @nokangaroos
    , @Wielgus
    , @Exile
  18. – So 55% “could conceive of a female governor” while 10% of women (=50%)
    are “too conservative”.
    Ergo 55% – [50% – 10%(50)] = 10% IOW 20% of men are cuntlappers and eunuchs.
    While this definitely constitutes “progress” (cough cough) I wouldn´t call it
    intoxicating.

    (How To Lie With Statistics should be perused more often 😛 )

  19. 22pp22 says:

    13% gave a damn, the rest didn’t. That is how PC psychos took over in the West.

  20. @22pp22

    The mathematical model of the “resolute minority” shows that even in a
    politically active environment slightly over 30% is sufficient,
    so don´t be too harsh 🙂

  21. Coconuts says:
    @John Johnson

    The Communists never got a majority in a single country. The extremes have to go in and chop off heads to take power because they can’t win by democracy. They know they are LOSERS and have to bully their way into controlling others.

    Communists don’t believe that votes carried out in capitalist systems carry any legitimacy anyway, the idea is that voters will just choose what the controllers of capital direct them towards. Only voting in a system in which the people as a whole own the means of production is considered genuinely democratic.

  22. It’s another great column. You should really be branching off into your own Substack or something, the rest of Unz is dreadful and not particularly useful.

    • Agree: Grahamsno(G64)
    • Replies: @utu
    , @Eric Novak
  23. Coconuts says:

    And then there are some which are actively misanthropic, such as a subset of the Alt Right who, enraged by their powerlessness in Western society, seem to be getting a kind of vicarious self-satisfaction from anticipating the brutal punishment that Taliban “thot patrols” are about to mete out to blue-haired feminists and GloboHomo agents…

    It’s striking that this even exists as a phenomena. Look back 20 years at Taliban original version and from what I remember no one in the West was saying this, apart from traditionalist Muslim minorities. Is the fact you can see it now is an achievement of feminism?

    Maybe it is possible that within a decade or so support for withdrawing women’s right to vote will be higher in the West than in most of the Middle East and discussion of this policy option will have to be kept out of public discourse by censorship.

    • Replies: @El Dato
    , @Grahamsno(G64)
  24. Now that Afghanistan has adopted (thanks to the US intervention) the splendid institution of democracy, I think it would be right if the west reciprocated and adopted some of cultural traditions of Afghanistan, such as, maybe – Bacha bazi. It would fit right in with the rest of the west’s degeneracy.

    [MORE]

    • Replies: @Almost Missouri
  25. El Dato says:
    @Coconuts

    discussion of this policy option will have to be kept out of public discourse by censorship

    A good part of the politicians and lobbies will be Muslim by then. No way to keep this bottled up.

  26. Passer by says:

    CIA has produced a lot of useful and non-partisan material

    It is also well established that the military lied about progress in Afghanistan to the political leadership. So who knows?

    I remember your claims for high LGBT support in India, only to have a look and find other polls totally contrary to that claim.

    So it would be good to find multiple polls on the issue.

    And as i said in the previous thread, i have noticed higher number of green on blue attacks (insurgents in the police and the army) in Afghanistan that in Iraq or Syria.

    In other words, i would not go near afghan soldier or police based on your poll, that’s for sure.

    • Replies: @Passer by
  27. Passer by says:
    @Passer by

    Several of those interviewed described explicit and sustained efforts by the U.S. government to deliberately mislead the public. They said it was common at military headquarters in Kabul — and at the White House — to distort statistics to make it appear the United States was winning the war when that was not the case.

    Bob Crowley, an Army colonel who served as a senior counterinsurgency adviser to U.S. military commanders in 2013 and 2014, told government interviewers. “Surveys, for instance, were totally unreliable but reinforced that everything we were doing was right we became a self-licking ice cream cone.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/investigations/afghanistan-papers/afghanistan-war-confidential-documents/

  28. @John Johnson

    As for “acquiring women by force”, in some of the Stans to the North it is
    still the courteous thing to do; and if the bride-to-be doesn´t fight like hell,
    she is considered a slut.
    In the even more traditional societies she gets her own horse and a whip,
    and you are free to try your luck
    (the similarities to horse mating are not lost on the biologist 😀 ).

    Faced with such hurdles the revolutionary left would die out pronto.

    • Agree: Almost Missouri
    • Replies: @Pericles
  29. utu says:
    @Ali Choudhury

    Agree. AK has in him one good article per month and he should concentrate on it and stop spending his energy and time on weekly or daily trivia. Leave the trivia to lesser animals like Sailer.

  30. Passer by says:

    Btw, the Taliban is known for lying in your face. For example it said that there are no foreign fighters in Afghanistan. So keep that in mind.

  31. Its not as if it was ruled by apostates forcing secularizing policies on a recalcitrant peasantry, as happened under the Soviet policy of “unveiling” (Hujum) and emancipation of women in Central Asia from the 1920s,

    Great piece of information Anatoly the commies knew how to tackle inhuman social conservatism, there were things they did very well. A big shoutout for mentioning the cheerleading of the incel terrorists of the alt right. Abu Anglin that sick freak has been an absolute disgrace even his readers are noticing.

    A very well written article I will read that ‘list polling’ method you mentioned which tries to gauge the real popularity of leaders in authoritarian states later.

    Thanks.

    • Replies: @Jatt Aryaa
  32. @Grahamsno(G64)

    [MORE]

    Hindus are animals, anyway

    • Replies: @Grahamsno(G64)
    , @AKAHorace
  33. Wielgus says:
    @John Johnson

    Power comes out of the barrel of a gun.
    Samuel Johnson shocked Boswell by telling him that if the country were fairly polled (in the 18th century when only 3% of the population in Britain could actually vote) the present Hanoverian king would leave tonight and his adherents would be hanged tomorrow. Johnson was English and something of a soft Jacobite. Yet when the Jacobite army invaded England in 1745 few English joined it – the one exception, the Manchester Regiment, was subjected to particularly severe repression after the defeat, with numerous officers hanged, drawn and quartered for treason. Hundreds of thousands of English had Jacobite sympathies, it would seem, but actually doing something about it – no.

  34. Putting aside the accuracy of the polling, I think it’s important to discuss the relationship that ordinary people have with polling and support for any kind of political issue in order to understand what’s really going on here.

    By nature, ordinary people do not care about issues of a political and philosophical nature. Even for moral issues their care is passing at best — they might experience revulsion or support in the immediacy of action, but when you ask them ‘what do you think about x generally’ it won’t be something they’ve actually given much or any thought to. And this will be even more true for a country with an average IQ of ~80 than it is for the modern West. In a natural setting, the answer of an ordinary person to any question outside the realm of base needs (security, food, economic stability, etc) will be that they don’t know or don’t care — and crucially — they don’t feel a need to know or care.

    In Western polls (modern society, ~100 IQ) on any issue you’ll often find that these ‘don’t care don’t know’ people are still as high as a quarter to a third of answers, depending on the issue. And that is an a society where you are really expected to care. In more modern, connected, communicative, and political societies, people are expected to have opinions. There is a social expectation for it. We are, I would argue, overpoliticised way beyond what is natural. This is not an afflication that Afghans or other rural third world people have.

    And in the West, when these overpoliticised people are forced to act on their supposed opinions and values, how many really do? Very very few (varying on the difficulty of the acting). Because most simply do not care at heart. You see the truth of their convictions then. Their answers on these polls mean very little because in reality they don’t actually have these opinions, they pretend to have them. In this way they are like the vast majority of Afghans who just don’t really care.

    This is why taking any polling or opinion data from a country like Afghanistan and attempting to draw detailed conclusions from it, is in my opinion, an exercise in futility. You will see accurately that the vast majority of people simply do not care about them. “No sympathy at all” doesn’t mean they’ve thought about the motives of the Taliban and disagree with them, it means “who cares, whatever”. And this will be even more true for issues like women in politics. These issues barely register with them.

    The only people that matter are the hardened core on the extremes that truly do believe their answers, and this is a small cohort (probably even smaller in Afghanistan than the West). This small cohort will simply dictate to the ordinary people on the issues they care about, because they have conviction and will where ordinary people do not. And as long as you don’t mess with the things the ordinary people do feel strongly about (food, security, stability, etc.) they will remain as listless and unmoving as ever. And in Afghanistan I’ll wager that there is more of a hardened core in support of Taliban values than there is in support of ‘Western’ ones.

    If the Taliban can provide these basic necessities then they will be able to dictate the rest.

    On another note, I don’t see what’s wrong with taking some joy in this situation. In my view it is a victory for the natural order. A victory for a future where ordinary people can simply be ordinary and not be burdened with caring about all the nonsense that we in the West are forced to care about. It exposes the absurdity of the modern Western vision, and shows how quickly things can revert to their natural state when that absurdity can no longer be enforced.

    • Agree: sher singh, W
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  35. @Jatt Aryaa

    99% of your posts are gibberish which nobody responds to, your continuing inability to make any sense is a wonder. You truly have ‘broken on through to the other side.’

    • Replies: @Jatt Aryaa
  36. @John Johnson

    When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    The parallels between communism and the Taliban are inaccurate.

    • Replies: @GomezAdddams
  37. @Twinkie

    Glad to hear you’re still around.

    I should also add that, while the Taliban are not strictly-speaking Salafist, Salafism and other related or similar forms of modern Sunni reform movements (toward perceived ancient “purity”) sometimes mirror the attitudes of early Protestants and likewise enjoy greater support from the educated middle class segment of Islamic populations than is generally thought in the West (and East Asia, for that matter), where, as you similarly put, people tend to conflate education and professionalism with liberality. It’s actually the illiterate and the rural peasant populations among Muslims who tend to favor Sufism and the like.

    This is an important point that Westerners usually miss. Until relatively recently, most Muslims were illiterate. They had never read the Koran because they had never read anything because they couldn’t and written Korans were not very widespread even if they could. What most Muslims called “Islam” was a host of orally-transmitted traditions, reputedly Islamic, varying by locality, synthesized with local traditions, some pre-Islamic, some non-Islamic.

    Within the last few decades, increasing numbers of Muslims have taken up studying the Koran itself, rather than local traditions of Islam. This isn’t all “demand driven”. Saudi money, in particular, has sponsored the mass education of Muslims in a Protestant-esque direct reading of the Koran.

    The comparison with the West is surprisingly instructive. Islam, like the West at the Reformation, is/was about fourteen centuries old. Both religions had mostly illiterate followers up to that time. Even literate followers often couldn’t read the arcane language of their original texts. This changed rather suddenly (a century or two) for both religions’ followers as literacy, translations, and new mass communications methods spread (the printing press then, mass reproduction and electronic communications now).

    Western liberals often call for Islamic reform, naively assuming a “moderate Islam” must result. As usual, Western liberals are wrong. The Taliban (literally “students” or “scholars”), ISIS/Daesh, the Salafists are reexamining the Koran, they are the Islamic Reformation. Sorry but the Koran really does commend killing infidels. When Muslims read it, they see that, that and much more that makes liberals sad. Once they see it, they just have to decide to what extent it applies to them personally. So that’s a billion-odd people who will be making that decision in the coming decades. We’ll see how it goes.

    • Thanks: Sollipsist, Twinkie
    • Replies: @A123
    , @Boomthorkell
  38. A123 says: • Website

    The bulk of Afghanistan is controlled by small fighting groups holding tiny patches of land for their side. They are more fractured than one would expect even in a location with tribal factionalism. If you want to visualise the problem. Think of each valley in Afghanistan as a separate nation.

    13% vs. 87% would be untenable. 13% vs. 1% vs. 1% vs. 1%… The 13% looks pretty good in the short term. The problem will be in the long term. The 13% will not be able to lead effectively. And, there is a good chance that the “Central Taliban” will shatter once the U.S. fully departs.

    Give it a few years and Afghanistan will return to its natural, patchwork, historical model.
    _____

    Everyone talks about grandiose CCP funded projects. Except, the 13% does not have sufficient control to make a decades long deal. They can’t keep all the individual, less than 1%, groups from trying to get their piece of the pie after the fact. A project than involves tens or hundred of separate negotiations is unlikely to start. If it somehow a project begins, new fighting groups form each fighting season. Each one of these new groups will demand a new cut.

    The CCP might be able to deal with a collection of fighting groups on the Eastern edge of the country. Paying them enough to keep them active year round eliminates the new fighting groups problem. Such a plan might work. However, it would be a deal within a single tribe, which would exacerbate internal friction among the factions as some get rich and others get nothing.

    The smartest move the CCP could make is to stay out. Will they be that clever? It’s possible. Any natural resource they could want is more easily available in Africa.

    PEACE 😇

  39. @John Johnson

    Oh, sick burn! You really got those beta-male Taliban fellows! They are shaking in their head-towels, totally embarrassed that their rule is not democratic! In fact, I heard Akhundzada himself was chewing his fingernails over issuing an apology about how undemocratic the Taliban of the nineties was!

    So…the point is not democracy. Most people are idiots that don’t know what is good for them, and as one departs from an well-informed, intelligent electorate (like, for instance, property-owning men in early United States), the “choice” of the electorate involves less reasoned thinking about complicated matters and their relevance to personal goals, and more parroting of propaganda in order to gain social acceptance, and in such cases the heart follows the tongue.

    The reason communism failed is not because it was not democratic—it was because its hierarchy was blinded by abstractions and ideologies to pursue irresponsible social experimentation that veered from traditional ways of life. If the Taliban are truly more competent than those of Ghani, and they have the interests and preferences of the Afghan population at heart (as evidenced by their moderation since the nineties), then they will succeed in providing stability to their country, and any failure will arise from the same fount of error as the Soviets and the Taliban of yore: unmooring one’s ideology from reality and pursuing it to tunnel-vision ends like compelling women to always wear burqas outside the home, which of course has never been traditional.

    Twinkie’s analogy to Protestants is dead-on: a malaise about the trajectory of the religious order and a desire to return to the fundamentals, but often wacky ideas about what those fundamentals were to begin with.

    • Replies: @dindunuffins
  40. songbird says:

    About 74% live in rural areas, so household electrical rates are understandable given the terrain. People forget, but there used to be many rural areas in functional countries that didn’t have electricity.

    Anyway, as a strategy, IMO, it wouldn’t made sense to put everyone on the grid, even if you could – the authorities probably wanted people moving to the cities and losing their tribal identity through urbanization.

  41. Pericles says:

    So Kabul is 2x the size of Stockholm now. For some reason I find that pretty funny.

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  42. Passer by says:
    @A123

    13% vs. 87% would be untenable. 13% vs. 1% vs. 1% vs. 1%… The 13% looks pretty good in the short term.

    It is well known that stats and surveys for Afghanistan were distorted by the US to show what they wanted to see (The Afghanistan Papers Affair), so the whole article is useless unless backed up by multiple other polls of non-western origin.

    • Replies: @A123
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  43. Pericles says:
    @nokangaroos

    Not to mention the horse. Wheeze then collapse under the bulk of the bride-to-be.

  44. A123 says: • Website
    @Almost Missouri

    Western liberals often call for Islamic reform, naively assuming a “moderate Islam” must result. As usual, Western liberals are wrong. The Taliban (literally “students” or “scholars”), ISIS/Daesh, the Salafists are reexamining the Koran, they are the Islamic Reformation. Sorry but the Koran really does commend killing infidels. When Muslims read it, they see that, that and much more that makes liberals sad. Once they see it, they just have to decide to what extent it applies to them personally.

    With the various Bibles, internal contradictions & clashes between versions leads Christians to be skeptics about literalism. The messy process of translation & editing proves that any individual Bible edition is the “best efforts” of fallible men to capture the ineffable wisdom of the Father, Son, & Holy Spirit. Unpleasant historical artifacts, such as embracing slavery, can be easily ignored as a sign of the times.

    If the Quran can go through similar translation and editing, Islam could reform towards modern norms and away from a savage violent history. If the book cannot be fixed, Islam is likely to become more primitive, intolerant, and isolationist. As an act of self preservation, Islam would be banned in all Infidel lands as an existential threat. Perhaps a handful of traders would move back and forth, but nuclear power is set to massively devalue oil in the next 3 to 5 generations. At that point, there will be little need for any type of engagement.

    I would like to think that sane reformation is possible. However, all Infidels must be prepared in case things go the other way.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
  45. Pericles says:

    I wonder where all that education actually leads in Afghanistan? Are there HR departments and NGO sinecures to be filled in Kabul too?

  46. A123 says: • Website
    @Passer by

    13% vs. 87% would be untenable. 13% vs. 1% vs. 1% vs. 1%… The 13% looks pretty good in the short term.

    It is well known that stats and surveys for Afghanistan were distorted by the US to show what they wanted to see (The Afghanistan Papers Affair), so the whole article is useless unless backed up by multiple other polls of non-western origin.

    You are “Ignoring the forest for the tree”.

    If you want to say it is 20%+ vs. 1% vs. 1% vs. 1%, the analysis I provided still holds.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @Passer by
  47. @John Johnson

    As with the Taliban there is this underlying point he is making which is that THEY NEVER WOULD HAVE VOTED FOR IT.

    The Communists never got a majority in a single country. The extremes have to go in and chop off heads to take power because they can’t win by democracy. They know they are LOSERS and have to bully their way into controlling others.

    The majority of any western nation wouldn’t vote for any policy you support, either. The majority of Americans vote for Biden, the majority of Germans voted for Merkel, the majority of Canadians voted for Trudeau, etc. I guess you better just shut up and accept the writ of holy democracy.

    • Agree: Bill
    • Replies: @songbird
    , @David Davenport
  48. Wency says:
    @Mersaux

    One thought that came to mind and I haven’t yet heard voiced — did anti-Taliban militias have a “live to fight another day” mentality? Perhaps part of the reason they gave up so readily is they figured the Taliban had a lot of momentum but it wasn’t going to disarm and punish them, for the most part. So they don’t see themselves as submitting, so much as awaiting a day when the Taliban is on the defensive before they pull their AK-47s out and form back up.

  49. Passer by says:
    @A123

    The long term analysis may be problematic. We will see. Last time the Taliban emerged as a reaction to the lack of centralisation.

  50. Wency says:

    Another idea that connects the Taliban and Bolsheviks: extremists tend to have an advantage in extreme times.

    It doesn’t seem a coincidence that the most extreme Russian socialists were the ones that prevailed, the ones who most believed that they were going to transform the world, bring about a new utopia, immanentize the eschaton. The more realistic notion, “It would be nice if the Russian political, social, and economic systems could be improved somewhat,” didn’t inspire nearly so much fanatical zeal.

    Honestly, I think religious moderates are mostly motivated by temporal things (even if they might claim otherwise). You’re not a moderate Muslim because you believe it will save your soul and the Taliban’s path will damn you, you’re a moderate Muslim because you believe Islam will save your soul but life is easier as a moderate. So if suddenly moderate Islam is on the line, do you die for the cause of moderation? Eh, probably not.

    I would guess the Communists had an easier time partly because it’s easier for the secular-minded to be motivated by hatred of Islam, and by all the same immanentizing the eschaton sorts of thoughts that have always motivated Communists. So there probably was a hard core of support there that the moderates didn’t have, even if they alienated both the moderates and the extremists.

    • Agree: Almost Missouri
  51. songbird says:
    @West reanimator

    Of those, I think Biden was the only one to win a majority, probably by fraud. Though, I agree with you in principle that 50.1% of the popular vote is a bad way to decide the future.

  52. Wency says:

    On the matter of the Taliban’s IQ advantage, I would say it’s usually the case that more orthodox religious forms tend to have higher IQ and better-educated followers than more syncretic, traditional forms. My understanding is that Afghanistan was traditionally not so orthodox Muslim, which is how the bacha bazi and other contra-Islamic bits of Pashtunwali endured.

    Among US whites, I’d say the equivalent of syncretic Pashtunwali Islam would be things like Prosperity Gospel, Pentecostalism, and the America-worshiping types of Baptist churches. These are “grass roots heresies”, as opposed to the “elite heresies” of the liberal Christians, the Episcopalians and such. And yes, the grassroots heresies are all significantly less educated than what we’d think of as more orthodox and Biblically-focused forms of conservative Protestantism. Many Prosperity Gospel pastors don’t even have a college degree, while orthodox Protestantism would almost always expect a Master’s at minimum.

  53. @Passer by

    Well, as I noted, given the granularity of the data here (detailed data by demographic group at province level), and the fact that they make the raw data available (https://asiafoundation.org/where-we-work/afghanistan/survey/download-data-form/), it would have required a prodigious amount of work to falsify it.

    Also noted is the fact that most of the data is consistent with what we know of Afghanistan. For instance, here is just one example: https://twitter.com/BarneyFlames/status/1428245873423699969

    My main reason for doubting that poll is that it seems to have systematically oversampled people with cosmopolitan family connections… 40% of the people surveyed by this poll have relatives who live abroad. How representative is that ? Not very would be my guess

    Possibly shocking at first glance, but extremely unsurprising once you recall that Afghan families are big (“relatives” is broad), and that there is a huge Afghan diaspora (~7M vs. a current Afghanistan population of ~38M). So in fact something 40% would have been exactly my guess.

    While I allow that this poll might be biased one way or another, it would have to be so on a stupendous scale to actually affect the general conclusions, something pointed out by Noah Carl: https://noahcarl.substack.com/p/observations-on-afghanistan

    Of course, there could be some social desirability bias in respondents’ answers (i.e., Afghans telling interviewers what they wanted to hear), and this bias may have increased over time, as people became more familiar with the values of their Western occupiers. Hence one might want to adjust the numbers from the Asia Foundation Survey in a more “traditional” direction. However, even if the 85% figure were adjusted down by, say, 15 percentage points, that’s still 70% of Afghans who have no sympathy for the Taliban. Interestingly, the survey also revealed that 97% of Afghans believe corruption is a problem in their country.

    I realize that this goes against the grain of what many people believe. But it’s still just “argument from incredulity”.

    • Agree: A123
    • Replies: @A123
    , @Passer by
  54. @Twinkie

    The Afghan who runs a restaurant near me had similar feelings and statements on the matter.

    Sadly, a lot of the most urbanized, americanized, westernized, university-attending types are very adamant about the need for US support for “The one true Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.”

  55. Kuru says:

    Well, as I noted, given the granularity of the data here (detailed data by demographic group at province level), and the fact that they make the raw data available (https://asiafoundation.org/where-we-work/afghanistan/survey/download-data-form/), it would have required a prodigious amount of work to falsify it.

    CIA could easily make up this data in order to show the pen-pushers in Washington that there is popular support for the ANA and the government and that the Taliban are on the verge of defeat etc etc

    But that is precisely what one can conclude from a comprehensive series of surveys of Afghan opinion by an outfit called the Asia Foundation during the 2010s, which showed that popular “sympathy” for the Taliban was both low and in decline.

    This gives the game away.

  56. Beckow says:

    Good analysis. So why did they collapse? Maybe because all elite-connected people there have plans to leave and this makes it easier. I remember a middle-class student in Rio telling me that she and her friends are ‘voting for Lula‘ – it would make leaving Brazil easier, with visas, etc… The same sentiment exists among the Venezuelan upper class (Viva Chavez!! let’s go to Miami).

    We still don’t fully appreciate how universal and pernicious that is. They want out of there – and that drives what happens. The life plan for an average Afghani, Latin American, Indian, African, (and Ukrainian or Belorussian) youngster is to move to a better place in the West. That is entirely rational and almost unstoppable given the idiocy of the Western liberal rulers. As elites and their endless relatives and hanger-ons leave, other layers of society follow, there will be no end to it as long as they live where they do (sh..hole countries) and the West is what it is (soft and comfortable).

    There are 3 to 5 billion of them. They will gradually come and like dirt introduced to connected vessels will slowly spread across the system until there is an equilibrium. That is what globalism means in practise. All else, including hapless (but rich) Mr. Ghani and Taleban cul-de-sac virtue seeking society is noise. Why don’t we focus on what is really happening?

    • Agree: songbird
  57. @Almost Missouri

    As damaging as the Protestant reformation was, the push for wider literacy, both in one’s religion (the bible) and in general, was a remarkably positive thing. Any system of society, government or religion which is based upon a large portion of its people being ignorant and illiterate in the most literal sense, in an age where that is no long a necessary rule, is not a sustainable nor reasonable system.

    Heterodoxy and Orthodoxy are stronger when the people in question choose them consciously and deliberately, rather than an unconsciously absorbed tradition. These people are very susceptible, ironically, to outside influences simply because they do not think about their beliefs consciously or on an introspective level. This is not to say modern “literate” peoples are much better, but at the very least, they can read things and attempt some kind of internal decision upon the matter. Anyhow, when people are able to understand the reasons for why they might want a syncretic faith, or an “intelligent and technological” return to older pattern of urban design, or agricultural policy (being able to intelligently explain why the modern pork industry is evil vs. smaller scale meat animal raising, or the flaws of mono-crop agriculture revolving upon mass pesticide/fertilizer use, etc.)

    Priestly and noble hierarchies are fine, and easy going “peasant culture” as well, but they have to, even must, be able to exist in a context of a schooled (if not educated) population.

  58. @The artist formerly known as a young man

    Already happening, dude.

    See also, mandatory face coverings, and destroying statues of enemy gods and heroes.

    • Replies: @nokangaroos
  59. songbird says:

    I’ve heard that the Pashtun have the same weave pattern as Aran Islanders.

  60. A123 says: • Website
    @Anatoly Karlin

    AK,

    Are there % numbers on Tribe alignment for:
        — 1990’s Taliban
        — 2020’s Taliban

    My impression is that v1.0 was almost entirely Pashtun. The name Taliban is derived from the Pashto language.

    The current version seems to have a broader, multi-tribe base aligned with stopping foreign intervention. However, that would also suggest lower cohesion once the U.S. departs and the non-Afghan presence ends…. Assuming Turkey and/or China do not start new interventions.

    PEACE 😇

  61. @AltSerrice

    On another note, I don’t see what’s wrong with taking some joy in this situation. In my view it is a victory for the natural order.

    A “natural order” that arose in Saudi-financed madrassas in Pakistan during the 1980s, and which a good majority of Afghans appear to not want?

    Toxic as they are, at least American SJWs are mostly homegrown (not to mention much less bloodthirsty).

    [MORE]

    Example: It’s not this “professor” whom the Taliban are going to torment. He is long back in the US, psychologically tormenting normal Americans. The Taliban on their part are going to be psychologically and in some cases physically tormenting the normal Afghans who wanted no truck with him, much as what would happened in the US itself in a saner era.

    Then in July, AUAF fired me after the Afghan government threatened to criminalize me for engaging in outreach that was promoting homosexuality and subverting Islam.

    • Replies: @AltSerrice
  62. @A123

    Think of each valley in Afghanistan as a separate nation.

    Yes, I think this is the crux of it.

    The unspoken assumption is that the 87% who do not support the Taliban all do support one thing. They do not. Thirteen percent is actually a pretty good coalition in a place as fissiparous as Afghanistan.

    Anyhow, the only poll that actually matters is the poll of armed men and their leaders. The results of that poll just came in.

  63. @Anatoly Karlin

    Yes, a return to the ‘natural order’ in the sense of it being a return to an apolitical society with an authoritarian government roughly representing the values of the land — as I noted, no one cared enough about the things ‘they do not appear to want’ to oppose them. This is a perfectly standard and natural form of government for a third world islamic tribal nation to be in. What is unnatural is trying to forcibly turn such a nation into a Western-style liberal democracy.

    Hence it is a defeat of the idea that everyone is the same regardless of cultural and biological background and can all be meatpacked into the same global system. Of the notion that Afghans can have the same civilisational model we have with the same outcomes. Now Afghans can simply be Afghans.

    As for tormenting, I don’t see how that’s relevant. There’s always victims in war and power struggles, who cares. The Taliban don’t even seem to be on a revenge quest, to their credit.

    Oh, and I wouldn’t be so sure the new ideologues of America aren’t bloodthirsty…

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  64. e.g. the Pashtuns, who have a number of colorful sayings about women

    One of those sayings drew my attention:

    One’s own mother and sister are disgusting.

    This saying is somewhat enigmatic to me. I can’t make sense of it, except in the hypothesis that it is imperfectly translated and in fact is a perhaps humorous way of referencing the incest taboo. If that is the case, it is not “colorful” at all, and is indeed compatible with the predominant moral consensus in these matters. If my interpretation is wrong, then I confess to not having quite understood it as it is very unlike the other two sayings, which are easily decoded as a sexist view of women as slaves.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Wency
  65. @Boomthorkell

    China and Iran will be the big winners. The Chinese will mine the rich mineral deposits of Afghanistan and build an oil pipeline to Iran. The Taliban will get a cut and keep the peace. The same will be done by most of the Afghan warlords.

    Russia has nothing to gain or lose. Pakistan and India could benefit if a pipeline from Turkmenistan is allowed to pass through Afghanistan to Pakistan and India.

    All of them win and have an interest in keeping peace in the region and the Taliban are well suited to that endeavor.

    • Agree: Boomthorkell
  66. That people still believe these kinds of polls is comical. If the Taliban were truly hated and reviled, there would be resistance. I bet the CIA had good polling data for Ceaucescu and Gorbachev.

    • Agree: AnonFromTN, Aedib, Sarah
  67. @Twinkie

    One has to ask the question why the Kabul government failed to deliever the basics?

    They have US support, money, time, weapons. They have freedom and democracy. Why can’t they deliever the basics?

    And to those people who have answers now, one has to ask why their answers are not worked on before.

    Twenty years, plenty support. What went wrong, if people do not actually want them?

    • Replies: @A123
    , @Barbarossa
  68. Dmitry says:

    I would doubt these opinion or survey polls have much direct meaning, even when in our medium and high income countries, let alone when surveys in a third world, politically unstable country.

    In these surveys, people mostly respond with what they believe is what the authorities want them to write.

    When I answer a poll or survey, I would never answer with some “real belief”, but always with what I believe that my manager or employer wants me to write. If I would answer a government survey, I will answer with what I believe the authorities want my to respond with. It doesn’t follow an “underlying belief”, which would be perhaps only be meaningful in my behaviour (for example, how often I was looking at the exit door during the training session).

    In marketing, these polls can be more useful, because if you are just trying to see where fashions are – then this is more of the same entity as what people believe to be the correct response for a survey. E.g. If the correct group of people respond that they believe that Nike is the cool brand now, then the socially correct response is the same as what we want to know from the survey.

  69. Polls don’t matter, and the rainbow Left, the Marxist Left, the Jews, have always disregarded what “the people” want. If someone is quoting polls to say “the faggots have won over society” – that tells me someone supports the faggots, is unwilling to oppose them, etc.

  70. Dmitry says:
    @Brás Cubas

    I would not believe everything written randomly on the internet, even if you can verify this phrase at least to some extent (e.g. in some kind of book or academic article). You can try to find about it first. I am lazy, and I only had time for 5 seconds of searching.

    A phrase that sounds maybe like this phrase from Google Books resource, is “Oh my sister! Thou art my rival, but not my equal in pedigree.” When the two wives of one man quarrel among themselves, the one who is superior in breeding will use this.
    https://books.google.ru/books?id=g-VLAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA2&ru#v=onepage&q&f=false

    There are some other saying about sisters in that book, but in the preview nothing looks like that one.

    • Replies: @Brás Cubas
  71. Passer by says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Did you even read the Afghanistan Papers?

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/investigations/afghanistan-papers/afghanistan-war-confidential-documents/

    “Every data point was altered to present the best picture possible,” Bob Crowley, an Army colonel who served as a counterinsurgency adviser to U.S. military commanders in 2013 and 2014, told government interviewers, according to The Post. “Surveys, for instance, were totally unreliable but reinforced that everything we were doing was right and we became a self-licking ice cream cone.”

    US Officials Routinely ‘Lied’ Over Afghan Progress
    John Sopko, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), told US Congress on Wednesday that US officials routinely lied to the public during the 18-year war

    As an example, he said that US officials have lied in the past about the number of Afghan children enrolled in schools

    Sopko said that US officials falsely claimed major gains in Afghan life expectancy that were statistically impossible to achieve.

    https://tolonews.com/afghanistan/us-officials-%E2%80%98routinely-lied%E2%80%99-over-afghan-progress-sopko

    Interestingly enough, Taliban support in the poll drops over time, exactly what you would like to present as “success of the US effort”.

    I’m sorry, but this whole “afghan stats” thing stinks.

  72. @Dmitry

    If I would answer a government survey, I will answer with what I believe the authorities want my to respond with.

    I think very few people do that, if it was otherwise, opinion polls would have little to no predictive value in e.g. elections, whereas the opposite is in fact the case.

    • Replies: @Passer by
    , @Dmitry
  73. Aedib says:

    The ineptness and cowardice of President Ghani himself, who spent most of his career in the academic/NGO “democracy promotion”/Peace Studies circuit. Highlights include a TED talk called “how to rebuild a broken state” and the book Fixing Failed States.

    An Afghan Mikheil Saakashvili. That’s explains all.

  74. Passer by says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Btw taliban supporters were getting killed, tortured, burned or dismembered by CIA millitias in Afghanistan, their property destroyed. Whole families killed. Why would people want to say: “I support the Taliban”? I think people would be very careful when asked such questions.

    • Agree: Aedib
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  75. A123 says: • Website
    @yakushimaru

    One has to ask the question why the Kabul government failed to deliver the basics?

    They have US support, money, time, weapons. They have freedom and democracy. Why can’t they deliver the basics?

    It seems to be inherent to the nature of Afghan existence. Hyper fractionation into small groups, each of which gets their own cut. From a Western perspective, it may be perceived as graft. But that is not it. The reality is that you cannot have a “Western system” where collections filter up many levels and payments filter down many levels.

    The entire concept of Western style government administration does not function, and can never function, in Afghanistan. Let me repeat my analogy from a few posts ago:

    Think of each valley in Afghanistan as a separate nation.

    If you build a concept that works with that reality, you have a chance. Trying to form a strong center without cultural support — You get a useless catastrophe like the UN General Assembly, except the consequences of failure are much worse.

    PEACE 😇

  76. @yakushimaru

    US largess meant corruption, corruption, corruption. The profiteers were scooping up the cash and failed spectacularly to deliver a working state.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  77. @Barbarossa

    US largess meant corruption, corruption, corruption. The profiteers were scooping up the cash and failed spectacularly to deliver a working state.

    True enough. It helps to remember that 90% of that corruption and all the greatest thieves were right here in the US. It’s like Pentagon budget: a vehicle to steal taxpayers’ money.

  78. Wency says:
    @Brás Cubas

    Yeah, I agree this phrase is awkward. If you said it in English, no one would know what you’re talking about.

    As to its meaning (assuming it is a real expression), I’m imagining an exchange like this:

    “Hey brah, wanna come hang?”

    “Nah, I gotta help ma and sis with this thing.”

    “Bros before hos, dude!”

    “OK, but my mom and my sis ain’t hos.”

    “Oh yeah they are. Your mom’s a ho, my mom’s a ho, they’re all hos, dude. Sisters too. All bitches are hos. Bros before hos, dude.”

    • Replies: @Brás Cubas
  79. @Twinkie

    In general, people – Afghan or otherwise – crave security, consistency, and predictability, before they worry about things like schools for girls, being able to consume Western pop culture, etc.

    This is the point that I was going to make as well. The Taliban’s seemingly bad polling numbers (although I would put almost no practical stock in such a poll) are probably due to the fact that most Afghans just want to live their lives in some modicum of relative peace. They are doubtless sick of decades of constant war and would prefer that ALL the fighters, be they Taliban or US backed, go eff off. I’m sure that lots of them are just relieved that somebody finally came out on top (for the time being anyhow).

    Also as others have pointed out, it does not take a majority to power an insurgency. Even the American revolution was a minority enterprise. There were vocal minorities of Loyalists and Separatists with the indifferent majority in the middle just wanting it to end.

  80. songbird says:

    What are the lessons, if you want to run a third-world puppet state, or if you want to extract minerals from one? Or to use one as a strategic transit route?

    Seems to me that missing salaries might have been dealt with by using some sort of social-credit crypto. Of course, some difficulties there with an illiterate society (biometrics? Facial recog?) and infrastructure (internet balloons/planes/starlink?)

  81. @AltSerrice

    This is a perfectly standard and natural form of government for a third world islamic tribal nation to be in.

    They’ll be a Third World nation indefinitely at this rate.

    I am certainly not claiming that a “Western-style liberal democracy” was feasible, but something more or less civilized like Tajikistan-Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan could have been attained. Are they unnatural? They are after all populated by many of the same ethnic groups as Afghanistan is. And have produced some pretty cool stuff in the past.

    Now Afghans can simply be Afghans.

    They weren’t Afghans in 2020?

    The Taliban don’t even seem to be on a revenge quest, to their credit.

    Maybe, but both age-old stereotypes and prior experience suggest otherwise.

  82. @Anatoly Karlin

    something more or less civilized like Tajikistan-Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan could have been attained.

    In theory, perhaps, but not under US occupation, and to defeat one intolerant ideology requires another. However, in time even the Taliban may mellow out.

    have produced some pretty cool stuff in the past.

    Back when the Uzbeks produced cool stuff, their social norms were much closer to those of the Taliban than those of post-Soviet Central Asia, especially concerning the role of women in society. Женщина— Она тоже человек! There were two main differences, however: 1) the Silk Road, and 2) monarchy, not clerocracy. Iran, however, manages to be more or less civilised under clerocracy.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  83. Kabul population:

    1900 (est.) 60,000
    1950 171,000
    1960 285,000
    1970 472,000
    1980 978,000
    1990 1.5 million
    2000 2.4 million
    2010 3.3 million
    2020 4.2 million
    2035 (est.) 6.8 million

    https://worldpopulationreview.com/world-cities/kabul-population

  84. @songbird

    Throw money at them, let them kill each other, take the minerals if you really need it and run. That’s mostly what China seems to do, because of the incredible pains it involves to actually be around them.

    If you really want to “run” them, you probably will need to build a new, higher IQ caste for leadership – either from them, or by importing your own(that’ll be fun). Its hard to imagine a situation there it is worth the cost and pain, since its easy enough for one of your international rivals to play spoiler.

    I guess you could Xinjiang them, but I don’t know if they’re doing anything useful, that’s definitely an amazing expenditure of resources and the Uyghurs are higher quality as a population.

    • Replies: @yakushimaru
    , @songbird
  85. @Anatoly Karlin

    They’ll be a Third World nation indefinitely at this rate.

    Unlikely. They will mature and advance on their own like any other nation, up to whatever the natural limit of the HBD levels is. If Pakistan can build nukes I don’t see why Afghanistan can’t improve. The Taliban today seem to be a very different organisation to the one from the 90s. Just look at their first press conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtPgzwf9Ux8

    Promising continuation of female education, general amnesty, shiites in government, role for China and other countries in reconstruction, etc. Remember that the guys currently running this organisation are 20-30 years older than they were in the 90s. It was a hotheaded youth movement back then, with some oldish Mujahids and scholars in the top. Now it is closer to something like Hezbollah as far as I can see.

    something more or less civilized like Tajikistan-Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan could have been attained.

    Those countries all underwent 70 years of forced secularisation and development under the USSR. They inherited a relatively stable structure and traditions from the USSR, and even then they haven’t exactly been model countries since. Tajikistan had a civil war, and wasn’t there a coup or revolution in Kyrgyzstan recently?

    They weren’t Afghans in 2020?

    They were an experiment.

  86. @The Big Red Scary

    In theory, perhaps, but not under US occupation, and to defeat one intolerant ideology requires another.

    Primary enrollment went up from 21% in 2000 to near universal by 2020. Americans have at least ensured long-term universal literacy in Afghanistan, so long as Taliban 2.0 doesn’t reverse it, anyway (there’s been mixed signals on that). It’s unfortunate they were unable to finish their civilizing mission with the Afghans as the USSR did with its Central Asians, and which China is trying to do with the Uyghurs, though it’s also not something it can be blamed for, it’s half a world away after all and has no vital interests in the region.

    What intolerant ideology? SJWism? How many native SJWs do you think there are in Afghanistan?

    Back when the Uzbeks produced cool stuff, their social norms were much closer to those of the Taliban than those of post-Soviet Central Asia, especially concerning the role of women in society.

    This is a bit of a strange tangent. Literate industrialized societies are very different from traditional ones, by definition. But in this particular case, I don’t even think that rule applies as much. During Central Asia’s Golden Age, atheists were tolerated. They didn’t have morality peace roaming about and whipping any woman not in a burlap sack as in 1996-2001 Kabul.

    • LOL: Jatt Aryaa
  87. @Daniel Chieh

    I cannot believe the Afgans are bloodthirsty to that level.

    It should’ve been possible to build a normal functioning society virtually everywhere among any kinds of people. It is as about very basic human nature.

    When you cannot achieve that, it must be about insurmountable pressure coming somewhere. Massive number of migrants, natural disasters, foreign invasion with bad intentions, etc.

    In Afganistan, Europe and US were working together to build a democracy, and the democracy, in theory, is not a tender baby, but instead, having its inherent strength to provide for its members. It is supposed to make you stronger and better. And EU and US are not some weak player. And Afghan is not very big.

    So, why?

    Some say corruption, but ain’t a democracy supposed to be best able to deal with that problem, especially when you have EU and US helping you? And whatever you say about the poor Afghan president, he is not Sadham or whoever, I believe?

    I think that a lot of the usual assumptions held by US should now be re-examined.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  88. Mark Boyd says:

    Afghanistan is a wasteland inhabited by barbaric people. The Brits and Soviets both tried and failed to change them. The best we can do is leave them alone.

  89. A123 says: • Website
    @Twinkie

    Finally, although the end was humiliating for my country, the United States, and is a highly emotional one for all the Americans who served there (and are still serving there) in whatever capacity, this withdrawal, however badly managed, is something that needed to be done.

    Pity it was done by Biden, not Trump.

    The TRUMP plan is on the Left. The BIDEN plan is on the Right. To be honest, even an amateur would pick the TRUMP plan. I would pick the TRUMP plan, and I have zero Pentagon experience.

    It is a pity that TRUMP’s effective exit plan was blocked.

    It is an even larger pity that the country was stuck with Not-The-President Biden’s fiasco.

    — How much is Biden’s fault?
    — How much is the Deep State’s fault?

    These are good questions. General Miley made things worse: (1)

    over the past few months, Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has been jabbering about “white rage” and helping our soldiers master the subtle dialectics of Ibram X. Kendi. We would have been better off if he had read Clausewitz and Sun Tzu, though Milley did inform us that he has read Karl Marx.

    This is the biggest foreign failure in most Americans’ lifetimes, and there needs to be an accounting. The normal course of business after government bungling nowadays is that everyone involved tut-tuts a bit, then gets a raise and a promotion, while the government goes back to business as usual.

    But in a sane nation, failure would be punished.

    To begin with, Milley must resign or be fired. And the same for our triple-masking defense secretary, Lloyd Austin. This was a failure that happened on their watch, and it happened through bad management. We could have pulled out without nearly the level of chaos, confusion and terror.

    But Milley and Austin weren’t on top of their jobs. They may feel that firing is unfair, but they’d be getting off light by the standards of military history: In the 18th century, the British executed an admiral, John Byng, for failing to “do his utmost” in combat. It was harsh, but the Royal Navy became more aggressive.

    The one thing that is absolutely certain. It would have been done much better under a serious, competent President like Trump. Letting the SJW’s in the Pentagon run amok brings shame on the Globalist DNC.

    A month ago, I would have said that MAGA reclaiming the Senate in 2022 was an impossible dream. The map of seats that are up is too unfavorable. Today. It is still not certain, but seems likely.

    PEACE 😇

    ___________

    (1) https://nypost.com/2021/08/18/fire-military-and-intelligence-bigs-who-bungled-afghanistan-now/

    • Replies: @Robert Bruce
  90. @Dmitry

    Thanks for the link, and the search. That saying I quoted came from a book too, by one Charles Lindholm (it’s cited in Steve Sailer’s blog post, which is linked to in Karlin’s blog post).

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/with-the-taliban-back-in-the-news/

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  91. @Wency

    Perhaps, but I doubt it. That exchange you imagine would amount to establishing the equality among all women in this specific regard, but the saying I quoted seems to attribute a special disgusting quality to one’s own mother and sister, which seems absurd.

    I favor my own hypothesis for the time being. A slightly similar case exists in a Brazilian saying: “a friend’s wife is a man to me” (in Portuguese: “mulher de amigo meu para mim é homem”).

    Of course I may be completely wrong and the Pashtun may really be too weird for me to understand.

  92. songbird says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Heard someone say that De Beers funds conflicts, in order to take advantage of virtue-signaling to prevent the sale of “blood diamonds”, and help maintain a cartel.

    I fear that the West may need to master colonialism 2.0 in order to survive. Not for the sake of minerals or trade, but in order to block migrants and offshore them, potentially as well as native social parasites and rabid xenophiles.

    Tempting to think it would be affordable, by using existing welfare commitments as a pool to bribe people against their longterm interests. Lots of bang for the buck overseas. And, maybe, not much reason not to move, if you are already segregated with blacks.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  93. @yakushimaru

    It should’ve been possible to build a normal functioning society virtually everywhere among any kinds of people. It is as about very basic human nature

    What makes you think that small tribes shooting each other every now and then isn’t normal or is nonfunctional? The Berbers have done it for hundreds of years.

    Works fine.

    Do you mean industrialized society? Well, we’ve only done that for a few hundred years.

    We’re abnormal.

    Anyway, like I said, anyone who tries to build into there gets others to play spoilers against them. China, for example, isn’t going to be able to pressure Pakistan anymore than the US has been able to. If the Chinese went in, for example, the USA will fund opposition and the results will be unpleasant. And the ISI will continue to do whatever they do.

    It’s just such a pain.

    • Replies: @yakushimaru
  94. Dmitry says:
    @Brás Cubas

    Well looking at the context of the quotes, it seems the idea is that it is just like Borat’s views – although Borat is much more excellent satire of late 20th century industrialized postsoviet central Asian culture (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, etc), while Afghanistan is still living a similar culture, but at least a century earlier in terms of historical development.

    Example of a patriarchal society. It’s claimed on the introduction to the chapter of page 113, as a kind of elaboration on tribal marriage. There isn’t any source for it, so it seems like a bit like it could be literary elucidation by the author of his general themes about women’s low position in the society? In this book, author is stating his views about the culture of the Pashtuns without much qualification, and without sources.

  95. @songbird

    I fear that the West may need to master colonialism 2.0 in order to survive. Not for the sake of minerals or trade, but in order to block migrants and offshore them, potentially as well as native social parasites and rabid xenophiles.

    Given that the US, at least, seems like its heading toward some form of de facto dissolution, being able to run colonialism in one country might be useful to keep certain parts of it more functioning than others. That’s probably where surveilance, AI predictive capabilities, etc, all are useful while the other less functional parts of the nation complain to an increasingly impotent federal government that the functioning parts are mean.

    • Replies: @songbird
  96. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Elections are a poll themselves, so we are talking about polls predicting polls I guess.

    In countries like USA where power is equally divided between two political parties, then it seems like most people answer political surveys, according to the view of the two authorities supported in their particular social circle, and distributed by the opposing media spokesmen of the countries’ two rival political powers (e.g. Republicans vs Democrats; Fox News vs. CNN; Wall Street Journal vs New York Times; TikTok vs Instagram).

    In countries like Russia, China, etc, where the power is not divided equally between two parties, then most people will try answer within how they believe is the socially correct or permissible views according to the main authorities or the primary central power. Of course, in one-party democracy like Russia the situation can be far more sophisticated, than in a non-democracy country like China, as there provided more like a range of customized views released by different media (including systemic opposition), and which the authorities use as feedback to constantly adjust own policies.

    With Afghanistan there is rapid change of power, so the people will need presumably to be careful to answer a correct view even for allegedly anonymous questionnaire. I don’t know anything about realities of Afghanistan, but I assume people will be quite scared to answer the question publicly in a way which doesn’t confirm with the local or tribal power of their area. So public views will match current alliances village elders are following there. In 2010, the Taliban had been removed from central power for almost the decade. By in August 2021, this aspect has become very different.

    • Replies: @A123
  97. @songbird

    There’s a sort of relevant Chinese story on this.

    Tian Ji’s Horse Racing (田忌赛马) is a story in one of the greatest Chinese literatures Records of the Grand Historian. The story goes like this: This guy Tian Ji and the king of the Qi Kingdom both like horse racing, and often make bets. Of course, the king of Qi has better horses, so Tian Ji loses all the time. Another guy, Sun Bin, says “take me to the race next time and I can help you win”. Sun Bin learns that for every race, Tian Ji and the king both choose three horses, classify them as good, better, and best.

    The rule of the race is that there are three rounds, and the winner is the one who wins at least two rounds. Right now, both of them are using their “good” horse for the opponent’s “good” horse, “better” horse for the opponent’s “better” one, and “best” for the “best”. The reason that king of Qi is winning is that he has slightly more superior horse in all three levels.

    Sun Bin then brings up an idea: he uses Tian Ji’s “good” horse for racing the king’s “best” horse, then uses the “best” horse against the king’s “better” one, and the “better” horse against the “good” one. As a result, Tian Ji loses the first round, but wins the second and third round (because his “best” and “better” horse can still beat the king’s “better” and “good” ones respectively), and eventually wins the race.

    The key to this is understanding that there’s costs to deploying your resources, and its quite inefficient and ultimately self-defeating to deploy your “best horses” against poor quality horses while there are more races to be run; you’ll waste your horses there, and some other nation will use their “best horses” to tromp yours remaining, unengaged horses.

    So if you are going to go into one of those places, it would be nice to know exactly what the goal is: Maintain an airfield? Protect a pipeline? Exploit minerals? Often that can just be achieved by supporting a faction rather than mass engagement.

    Opportunity cost is indeed a thing. Two trillion is not pocket change, on top of what else could have been done with it.

    Incidentally, I know this parable specifically because its not infrequently shared among my father’s generation of Chinese leadership-types specifically a warning against getting engaged in quagmires. I imagine it still is being told for the same moral.

    I supposed an extended version of the moral is that while it is fun and ego-building to use your best resources to take out weak opposition, its likely a terrible use of your resources.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin, mal
    • Replies: @PennTothal
    , @Twinkie
  98. A123 says: • Website
    @Dmitry

    most people answer political surveys, according to the view of the two authorities supported in their particular social circle

    opposing media spokesmen of the countries’ two rival political powers (e.g. …Fox News vs. CNN; Wall Street Journal vs New York Times;

    With the realignment of MAGA Populist versus SJW Globalist…

    Murdoch’s Corporate Fox News, Corporate CNN, Murdoch’s Corporate Wall Street Journal, IslamoGloboHomo Washington Jihad Post, and the anti-Semitic Corporate New York Dhimmi Times of Tehran are all on the same side. The Sharia compliant Tehran (NY) Times has a smidge more hate for American Christians.

    The best one can hope for is the occasional, more accurate poll out of rebel firms like Rasmussen.

    Everyone has figured out the bias rigging though. Adjust 5-10% for deception coming from the major firms, and adjust 15-20% from the Pro-Jihad (NY) Lying Times.

    PEACE 😇

     

  99. Dmitry says:

    Apparently we missed the coolest hipster vacation country.

  100. Regardless of its overall record, one thing that did happen under the American intervention is an increase in primary school enrollment from 21% to close to universal levels (a statistic that is, incidentally, borne out by another poll – 82% of Afghans say all of the boys in their household attend school, and 75% say that all of the girls do so), so at a minimum shutting down girls’ schools would be vastly more disruptive than in the late 1990s, when very few children were going to school anyway. Less than 2% think women shouldn’t be allowed to work outside the home. Again, regardless of their internal views, this is presumably something that Taliban 2.0 will just have to accept as a done deal at this point.

    2 thoughts:

    1) This is the general dialectic of successful revolutions. They don’t win by staying in power forever, which is impossible. They win by taking two steps forward when they’re in power, and then laying low when their enemies regain power and only take one step back. Eventually, the revolutionaries get back in power and take another two steps, and the cycle continues. The French Revolution “lost” insofar as the Bourbons were restored, but it won in the much more important sense that even a monarchical restoration could not come close to undoing its profound assault on crown, nobility, and church. Thus, throughout the tumultuous back-and-forth politics of France’s 19th century, the Overton window kept shifting in favor of democracy, capitalism, and secularism as against monarchy, feudalism, and established religion. As Moldbug put it, “Cthullu swims left.”

    2) The victory of the Taliban has produced, it seems to me, the following reactions:

    Normie liberals/conservatives: “Oh no, the US lost and the Taliban are back in power and going to restore primitive tribal Islam, and that’s terrible!”

    Baste Alt-Right/Irony Left: “Great, the US lost and the Taliban are back in power and going to restore primitive tribal Islam, and that’s awesome!”

    The Taliban: “No, no, you’ve got it all wrong! We want to govern moderately and ecumenically, allow women to have some expanded access to work and education, let in some international NGOs, and become a legitimate member of the international community!”

    In Vietnam, the US bankrolled and fought ~30 years of war to prevent a communist government from coming to power. When it finally did, after ~10 years it conducted market reforms and aligned with the US geopolitically. I suspect something analogous will happen in Afghanistan, whereby social liberalism will, ironically, infiltrate more durably under native Taliban rule than under US occupation. And possibly the US will find it a useful ally/staging ground vis a vis Iran or China.

    • Agree: sher singh
  101. After all, it would make sense for illiterate peasants to care less about the Koran than students who had studied it for years; conversely, they may feel they missed out on many opportunities in life on account of their illiteracy, and wouldn’t wish the same on their daughters. This is not a supposition – close to 90% of Afghans say that women should have the same opportunities as men as regards primary and high school education

    But it is a supposition, because as you just said the demographic whose opinions you’re guessing at were excluded and are seemingly the likeliest to break from the consensus you’re citing. And this conjecture at the thought processes of illiterate rural Afghans is also ridiculously liberally framed in its assumptions, “The underprivileged [they must surely think of themselves this way] must know the extent of the opportunities they’ve missed [must they?] and would want those opportunities [to be a grrlboss] for their daughters”. Crazy that women’s suffrage (and the accompanying fertility depression) took so long to happen, fathers just must not have cared about their daughters in the past.

    But in any case, public opinion means nothing. The taliban’s rule is shaky because state capacity is low and there are lots of antagonistic foreigners who would be happy to support anyone and everyone against them, their position would be identical if they enjoyed popular support because public opinion straight doesn’t matter to strong states. That’s why popular opinion in the west looks more like US policy over time and not vice versa, political power >>>> peasant opinion.

  102. @Pericles

    Yeah, but Stockholm has more Muslims.

  103. @A123

    Europeans will have a need to “engage with” — avoid being subjugated by — the tens of millions of people in their rapidly growing Muslim populations.

  104. @Coconuts

    Communists don’t believe that votes carried out in capitalist systems carry any legitimacy anyway, the idea is that voters will just choose what the controllers of capital direct them towards. Only voting in a system in which the people as a whole own the means of production is considered genuinely democratic.

    Another extremely incisive and correct insight given to us by marxism, though ultimately neutered with an appeal to an absurd hypothetical. “Democracy is a legitimacy laundering mechanism for the powerful, except in my worker’s paradise where no one will have greater say in [media, government, finance] than anyone else!”

    • Agree: mal
    • Replies: @Coconuts
  105. AKAHorace says:
    @Jatt Aryaa

    Could you link to the original Taliban twitter account ?

    Cool to see.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  106. RE: Fig. 2.9: Q-66a at beginning of article

    How could a population with a median IQ of 84 even sufficiently understand such a question and its wording to accurately respond with an opinion?

  107. @AKAHorace

    I mean, the Twitter handle is in the picture, is it difficult to type in? But I think that particular Tweet is fake, I wasn’t able to find it when I took a look earlier this morning. Just comes off as a boorish and angry Islamist, with no penchant for /pol/ style humor (strongly suggesting that it is a /pol/ prank).

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  108. @Daniel Chieh

    The Tian Ji horse race strategy is well-known in collegiate and high-school tennis (where, for example, Stanford’s #1 singles player is supposed to play UCLA’s #1 player, #2 plays #2 , etc. down to #5 and the team with 3/5 singles victories wins the tournament.)

    The strategy of sacrificing the #1 match by playing your worst player there and moving up your #1 to play their #2, etc is known as “stacking” and is prohibited.

    See for example:

    https://www.uhsaa.org/btennis/2011/EthicsCode.pdf

    • Thanks: Daniel Chieh
  109. @Coconuts

    “Maybe it is possible that within a decade or so support for withdrawing women’s right to vote will be higher in the West.”

    More incel fantasies – political rights once granted can never be rolled back except under extreme violence perpetrated by the state are you ready to send your daughters to Auschwitz – no, I thought so. So STFU

    • LOL: Jatt Aryaa
  110. @Grahamsno(G64)

    Well, all political rights for everyone will disappear if the entire government does. Disintegration is possible.

  111. @Grahamsno(G64)

    As long as people know of the Guru what do I matter? Meanwhile you’re unarmed,

    Go get ready for the inevitable Pathan invasion.
    I forgot you’re sitting in South India, safe & black।।

    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  112. @Anatoly Karlin

    Russia and China are both tyrant empires who hate the Kirpan.

    Under those steppe savages both were great cultural powers

    Since being ‘free’ d’ they cannot even produce decent Tiktok vids.

    Based Modi banned the app to save your reputation, Karlin.

    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  113. @Grahamsno(G64)

    Hindu goes to Muslim ghetto, realizes laws only apply to him

    Hindu goes to Gurudawara, realizes weapons are part of religion

    Why would men who wanna lock women up send them to Germany?

    [MORE]


    ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕਾਖਾਲਸਾਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂਜੀਕੀਫਤਿਹ

  114. Staggering contrast between US eternal military incompetence and what the Russians have been able to achieve in the 80’s in this country . Even french officers say the Soviet campaign was a military success, unlike the US one where Yankees never managed to adapt to taliban guerilla tactics and just got bogged down. https://www.amazon.fr/guerre-sovi%C3%A9tique-en-Afghanistan/dp/2717868534

    The US has always been utter trash at forming good soldiers , every time they trained foreign soldiers, it resulted in a complete disaster ( South Korean army , south Vietnam army , the Iraqi army which was a good army by Arab standards when it was trained by Russians and which got completely dismantled by a bunch of ISIS terrorists after having been trained by Americans for 20 years , the examples are many…). If this is how the US train foreign armies, what does it say to us about how well they train themselves?

    For Russia this defeat is of course a gift from God , as now Central Asia states have 0 choice but to rely totally on Russia for their security ( Tajikistan army for instance have way less men and gear than Taliban, if Taliban attack them, they will get murdered) and as the world now know the real worth of the US paper tiger and the real relevance of an US alliance ( Afghanistan has the status of a US ally outside of NATO, which is a status countries like Korea and Japan have) .

    Our Ukrainian banderists friends are reportedly sweating intensely.

    • Replies: @songbird
  115. And I’m not sure if they will able to save that much money now that they are not in Afghanistan, because much of the money they have been spending in this country for 20 years have gone to US military companies pockets anyway.

  116. @Anatoly Karlin

    Americans have at least ensured long-term universal literacy in Afghanistan, so long as Taliban 2.0 doesn’t reverse it, anyway (there’s been mixed signals on that).

    And it only took 2 trillion dollars and 20 years. I’d have nothing against a properly run colony that would profit the colonizers while providing civilized, good government to the colonized, but America is not uninterested, getting a worse return on investment than even the Soviets. Paul Robinson has written about this at length, for example here:

    https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2015/11/03/making-the-soviets-look-good/

    What intolerant ideology? SJWism? How many native SJWs do you think there are in Afghanistan?

    I meant the imposition of liberal democracy, a universalist foreign ideology ill-suited to Afghanistan, not SJWism in particular. However, the total number of Afghans who are early adopters is less relevant than the position they hold in society and whether they are winning or losing. Normies are ultimately irrelevant. Elites make the future.

    This is a bit of a strange tangent. Literate industrialized societies are very different from traditional ones, by definition… During Central Asia’s Golden Age, atheists were tolerated. They didn’t have morality peace roaming about and whipping any woman not in a burlap sack as in 1996-2001 Kabul.

    .

    Bait and switch? I presumed you brought up the Central Asian Golden Age to suggest that the Afghans are in theory capable of a higher level of civilization than they currently enjoy. I agree, and am merely pointing out that achieving a higher level of civilization has no a priori relation to adopting contemporary Western liberal social norms. While a clerocracy is very likely to be inferior to an independent authority maintaining reasonable relations with local clerics, the case of Iran shows that a clerocracy can run a half-decent country and will tend to become more moderate over time (the early Islamic Republic of Iran also had morality peace).

    The official Chinese and Russian attitude seems to me the most reasonable: the Taliban has apparently become politically mature and seems to have won for now, so let’s just wait and see.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  117. You wasted 3200 words to say what can be said in less than ten:

    Opinion surveys are worse than useless.

    The hyper-verbose version:

    People give survey answers that reflect what they would like third parties to think about them – as opposed to what they actually want.

    This is not news.

  118. @Mersaux

    “there is already a counter-Taliban insurgency starting up in Panjshir, and it will probably neither be the only one, nor the last”

    I imagine the usual suspects will be sending money and weapons… it always seems that “a civil war is rather likely” in Muslim countries that don’t toe the line.

  119. @Anatoly Karlin

    The tweet is still there. If it’s a /pol/ prank the perp is keeping up pretty well with the news from Kabul.

    It was Ashura yesterday, when the Shiites beat and cut themselves in the street – and the Sunni Taleban apparently provided security, when ten years ago they’d have been planting bombs. I know they’re on their best behaviour but it’s a decent start.

    In the UK, these processions, which attract thousands, get little press publicity. Can’t imagine why.

    A man has been charged with child cruelty after two teenage boys allegedly took part in a religious ceremony involving flagellation. Syed Mustafa Zaidi, 43, of Station Road in Eccles, is due before magistrates in Manchester on Friday. Greater Manchester Police said the charge relates to the treatment of two boys, aged 15 and 13, at a traditional Ashura ceremony. The ceremony took place at a community centre in Levenshulme, police said.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/manchester/7207789.stm

    • LOL: sher singh
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  120. Coconuts says:
    @Grahamsno(G64)

    Mmm… political rights can’t be rolled back… lockdowns, vaccine passports, fortified elections and all that. Little to no violence required.

    Support for this sort of powerful policy is higher now than it was 20 years ago, when no one would talk or think about it apart from Islamists, so it is starting from a very low to nill base. It probably does have something to do with the fact that there are more incels than there were 20 years ago; there are many indications are that the number of incels is going to grow in the immediate future.

    The other side of it is that young women appear to be at the forefront of a lot of the more f*cked up contemporary political and social trends and that is feeding into this sentiment regardless of incel related issues.

  121. Coconuts says:
    @Athletic and Whitesplosive

    Another extremely incisive and correct insight given to us by marxism, though ultimately neutered with an appeal to an absurd hypothetical. “Democracy is a legitimacy laundering mechanism for the powerful, except in my worker’s paradise where no one will have greater say in [media, government, finance] than anyone else!”

    There is that common saying about Marxism that it is much better at diagnosing problems than providing solutions to them.

    • Agree: Barbarossa, AnonFromTN
  122. Annatar says:

    I would just like to highlight the morality of the war and who was on the more moral side, the way I look at it you basically had an alliance of religious conservatives vs degenerates, feminists, liberals, gays, lesbians, paedophiles, atheists and baby killers. Some of these terms apply to the US backed govt but many apply to the US itself who was the main enemy of the Taliban, the govt it supported was simply one part of its war in Afghanistan against the Taliban.

    • Agree: AltSerrice, Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  123. @YetAnotherAnon

    I was unable to find that Tweet casually browsing through his TL soon after that meme appeared. There was no timestamp attached (suspicious) so it’s impossible to refine the search. Perhaps I didn’t look back further enough, but I did notice a couple of other people asking for the original Tweet and not being provided an answer. So my inference was that it was a /pol/ brank. I’ll be happy to be proven wrong with a link to the Tweet in question.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  124. @Anatoly Karlin

    (The fact that he titles the meme “Chad Wojak” tends to support the Afghanicity – any /pol/ poster would surely say “Chad vs Wojak” or similar, they are polar opposites).

    • Thanks: Anatoly Karlin
  125. @Twinkie

    Twink, agree all except are YOU ‘humiliated’? I’m not, none of us should be. What I want is for our generals from Petreus onward to be fired and jailed for their obvious corruption throughout. This would include the entire CIA/NSA apparatus. THEY stole from us, fattened their wallets, increased their numbers to unprecedented levels. Want humiliation? A four star General, these abject failures and grifters take home over 250,000 dollars a year for life. Plus corruption money by the millions for keeping wars going forever.

    The leadership humiliated the US and stole every penny they could. They should be hanged from their necks until death occurs, every one. Instead they get ‘respect’ for their ‘service’ while the enlisted hundreds of thousands fight the Veterans Administration for medical care for their wounds, another ugly corruption and example of rotten grift. The generals humiliated us, not the Taliban. Never forget who the crooks are.

    I suspect Anatoly, who knows a thing or two about US military affairs would agree.

  126. @Daniel Chieh

    USA is the military hommer and the world the nails—–

  127. songbird says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    Not sure the US will dissolve. The ethnic character of separate regions is being quickly and deliberately undermined by flying migrants in directly to the least diverse areas. I’m also thinking that another thing that separates it from past breakups is that there is a huge financial sector, which would probably lobby strongly to keep it together.

    But anyway, there are countries where breaking them up, and resettling some people would vastly improve the standard of living on one side – Brazil, South Africa – but neither seems likely to break up. Maybe, this is the external influence of American Empire, keeping them together? But I tend to think it is a domestic thing.

    As far as resettling people overseas goes, I hope that no country would be Machiavellian enough to try to throw a monkey wrench into it, but maybe that is just naivety on my part. The CCP did recently produce some anti racism propaganda cartoon about the US – though it didn’t look like they spent a lot on it.

    • Replies: @Wency
  128. songbird says:
    @Maïkl Makfaïl

    Wouldn’t put too fine a point on it. Soviet occupation was more brutal, less political constraints. Rumor is that they pushed some people out of helicopters, just to steal stuff that was difficult to acquire back home, like boom boxes. And hygienic conditions were so bad, some Soviet soldiers developed plague.

    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  129. @songbird

    Soviet occupation was more brutal, less political constraints.

    I think fewer is appropriate here? Not sure.

    Would political constraints be considered as countable or liquid?

    • Agree: songbird
  130. @Jatt Aryaa

    Based Modi banned the app to save your reputation, Karlin.

    You don’t know if he can’t sword dance. Banning video reconstruction of this via Tiktok of his would be a net total loss of aesthetic value and emotional gratification to Modi’s India.

    • LOL: sher singh
  131. @The Big Red Scary

    I said that Afghanistan was a massive opportunity cost (for the US at any rate) in the previous post and that was always my opinion, so no disagreement there.

    The US would have loved to make Afghanistan into a liberal democracy, but it didn’t and couldn’t. In practice, Afghanistan was a “hybrid regime”, its jurisprudence partially based on sharia, identifying as an Islamic republic and not even using the Gregorian calendar. Most Afghans seem to have been quite sufficiently satisfied with these the latter concessions to “tradition.”

    • Replies: @Adam D.
  132. Dissident says:
    @utu

    ideology or sentiment that cloud the clarity of your mind

    Do you know of anyone who is above such bias? Isn’t it a universal human weakness?

  133. @Annatar

    I would sooner describe it as apathetic religious conservatives vs. religious zealots, terrorists, obscurantists, and cartoon-tier misogynists. Contrarianism overload seems to have resulted in a subset of the Western Alt Right unironically stanning for a faction who use child suicide bombers and splash acid in the faces of schoolgirls in some bizarre quest to prove all the caricatures about them right.

    https://www.politico.eu/article/far-right-taliban-afghanistan-social-media-facebook-twitter/

    I don’t think it will do great things for their public image, but then again, it’s not like they have one to speak of anyway, so I suppose it’s a moot point.

  134. Wency says:
    @songbird

    Yeah, I continue to insist that US dissolution is a very bad take. It’s not just the financial sector, but the entire corporate economy that likes the economies of scale of a single market.

    Interestingly, I’ve been reading Adam Tooze’s new book on the Nazi economy (it’s a big book and I’ve just started it, but fascinating already, would recommend) and it talks about the degree to which German nationalists, before and after WW1, were obsessed with America’s economies of scale and finding a way to replicate them.

    It’s tough to argue against economies of scale being a source of America’s prosperity. How else is the US so much richer than Canada (40% higher in GDP per capita!), a country with a very similar origins, good institutions, abundant natural resources, and much better demographics from an HBD standpoint?

    In the end, the forces of cohesion have a massive, massive funding advantage over the forces of incohesion. They can buy (and for the most part already own) the politicians, the army, the media.

    • Agree: Dissident
    • Thanks: songbird
    • Replies: @Beckow
  135. @Anatoly Karlin

    unironically stanning

    Ayooo we stanning squads now? Sheeit nibba that shit be highkey snatched, kinda extra tho tbqhai. Big yikeseroons for mah attention thirsty countersignalling brothas. Bet. All these salty stanners has me shook, simping on the Talis, ain’t really slay at all broseph.

    Yeet.

    • LOL: Daniel Chieh
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
  136. @AltSerrice

    This is a half-step away from being as incomprehensible as if you wrote it in Gaelige, but only a half-step.

  137. A123 says: • Website

    It’s tough to argue against economies of scale being a source of America’s prosperity. How else is the US so much richer than Canada (40% higher in GDP per capita!),

    Geography is at least as important Scale.

    Do not underestimate the economic driver provided by navigable rivers. The Mississippi and its tributaries made the entire center of the country productive before railroads were widely available.

    Most of Canada is quite inaccessible. How many large rivers north of the Great Lakes can you think of. Also, Canadian weather is much worse. Winter arrives early and stays longer. Around 80% of Canada’s population lives within 50 miles of the U.S.

    Additional factors to consider are language (mandatory French in Quebec) and the impact of laws. While many decry U.S. bankruptcy as unfair to lenders, the ability to avoid “debtors prisons” makes risk taking innovation much more prevalent.

    PEACE 😇

    • Agree: Philip Owen
  138. @Jatt Aryaa

    I think that you are looking forward to the notion of further fights with cowkillers in Kashmir. After all, such warfare likely will not require large logistic chains or complex mechanized deployments, but instead most likely will be fought via mutually agreed hybrid and low-intensity conflicts akin to the guerilla warfare of mutually agreed murder by knife, by bludgeon and by shots in the dark; all this should raise the status of Sikhs as well as Kshatriya Hindu caste members above.

    Therefore, it is quite understandable that you welcome the rise of the Taliban to create a likely foe to finally be able exercise the finer extrapolations of the morality of butchery of cow butchers.

    • Replies: @Jatt Aryaa
  139. Sorry for cynicism, but this appears to be in line with current Western MSM “reports” about Taliban.

    Wholly owned (by we know who) Western media spread “reports” about Taliban seeking those who collaborated with occupiers and puppet government, or even persecuting family members of traitors who successfully run away, etc. The funniest accusation is that they force women to cover their faces at the time when “democratic” West forces men, women, and children to do exactly that. Hypocrisy rules.

    Current information attack on Taliban is eerily reminiscent of Western MSM behavior whenever Russia wins a round: a slew of virtually identical “reports” about how bad Russia is and how Putin is a “brutal dictator” immediately surfaces. Typical sour grapes, if you ask me. In both cases.

    What’s more, I cannot recall a single scrap of truth “reported” by Western MSM in recent years. So, safe assumption is that every word published by Western MSM is a lie. The same applies to “polls”.

    Mind you, I wouldn’t put it past Talibs that they actively seek and punish traitors who collaborated with the occupiers. Any movement that cares about its country is likely do that. What I question is the reliability of all “polls” and “news” in Western MSM. The West lost pathetically in Afghanistan, so now its obsequious media is likely to shamelessly spread all sorts of lies about the winners.

    • Agree: RedpilledAF
    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @Barbarossa
  140. Beckow says:
    @Wency

    US so much richer than Canada (40% higher in GDP per capita!)

    Economies of scale have a lot to do with it. But another reason is right in your quote – higher GDP/capita is a multiplier, it feeds on itself, it makes for even bigger discrepancy in economies of scale. Money and business flow from Canada (and other countries) to this natural center – it is like gravity.

    Some economists call this accumulation of benefits and size a take-off moment, bigger the better. US has had it for obvious reasons – natural resources, empty land – and it is unlikely to end, although it is getting closer to the exhaustion point. Then it could collapse faster because of all the fluff it is built on. That point will happen when the per capita natural resources in US start dropping to the level of other countries – today US still has a substantial advantage over all others, save Russia. That explains the almost pathological obsession and fear of Russia – only other place that has the same people to resources ratio, actually probably at this point better.

    When the music stops and the lights are turned off it can get awkward. Especially if the buffet is empty and the waiters disappear. Then it hits people that a lot of what they have been living with was an illusion. Just like ancient Rome it goes away very quickly.

    • Replies: @nokangaroos
  141. Beckow says:
    @AnonFromTN

    … eerily reminiscent of Western MSM behavior whenever Russia wins a round: a slew of virtually identical “reports” about how bad Russia is and how Putin is a “brutal dictator” immediately surfaces. Typical sour grapes…

    Aesop was a wise man. This behavior has been around since stone-age tribes yelled at each other across a river. Nobody likes to lose and sour grapes is a small pallative. It changes nothing, but Washington is more systematic about it with PR techniques.

    But what would be an alternative? Contrition is unthinkable because it could lead to accountability. All latter-day systems are always built on unaccountability for the elites. If you are in an elite your crave total security – unfortunately that encourages massive errors. Without elite accountability eventually fools take over and do foolish things. That is Western leadership today: open borders, masks for everyone, bomb far-away places, feel sorry for yourself because you meant well. That last self-pity stage is nicely represented here by Laxa.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  142. @Beckow

    That last self-pity stage is nicely represented here by Laxa.

    Yep, I mistakenly thought that she is a person with a brain, having been spoiled by several very intelligent girls in our graduate school, three of which did their PhD in my lab (two were actually American born and bred, so I don’t buy the notion that Americans are stupid). I freely acknowledge my mistake.

    BTW, Laxa is a little city in Sweden, the poorest municipality in that country (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laxå). Sounds about right.

  143. Passer by says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Primary enrollment went up from 21% in 2000 to near universal by 2020. Americans have at least ensured long-term universal literacy in Afghanistan

    Because a bunch of propagandists said so? Did you even read the Afghanistan Papers linked above?

    Afghan Watchdog: U.S. Pays Millions for No-Show Teachers, Students

    In the Herat schools, Sopko says his auditors found a substantial disconnect between the number of students and teachers paid for on the books, and the number who actually attended.

    While officials reported an average enrollment of 2,639 students at each of the 25 schools in Herat province, an average of 561 students were observed at each school, or 23 percent of the reported numbers.

    As an example, Sopko said that US officials have lied in the past about the number of Afghan children enrolled in schools

    https://tolonews.com/afghanistan/us-officials-%E2%80%98routinely-lied%E2%80%99-over-afghan-progress-sopko

    “Afghan Stats” lol lol lol.

    • Agree: AnonFromTN
    • Replies: @Passer by
  144. Passer by says:
    @Passer by

    https://www.rt.com/news/366345-afghanistan-schools-attendance-report/

    Education Minister Asadullah Hanif Balkhi caused a public furore on 18 December 2016 when, in an interview with Tolo TV, he said that across the country only a little over six million pupils were actually in school. His count contradicted the ones provided by his predecessor under former president Hamed Karzai, Faruq Wardak, who had reported that up to 11.5 million pupils – almost double Balkhi’s number – were attending school. Such high numbers of school attendance had not only served the Afghan government as a marker of post-Taleban success, but also donor governments as proof that their engagement in Afghanistan, though difficult, was still worthwhile.

    https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/a-success-story-marred-by-ghost-numbers-afghanistans-inconsistent-education-statistics.pdf

  145. @Anatoly Karlin

    It’s not so much being pro taliban as basking in the humiliation of the great satan. It’s good for the USA to be humiliated and correctly seen as unpredictable flakes who will fuck over their allies when the going gets tough.

    And although the Taliban’s excesses are obvious, they’ve also mellowed a lot already, and having a regime so culturally toxic to progressive sensibilities that the US can’t productively engage with them in the short term is great for them in the long run, as it helps prevent domination by the sickening culture of the US before hopefully US hegemony has run it’s course. Fundamentalist theocracies are long term amenable to reform, the progressive terrorist state isn’t.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  146. @Athletic and Whitesplosive

    Fundamentalist theocracies are long term amenable to reform, the progressive terrorist state isn’t.

    “Progressive” terrorist state is also amenable to reform, although only via collapse and subsequent rebuilding.

  147. @Beckow

    All excellent points, thanks.

    – Russia has not seen the same malignant growth dynamic since Ivan Dezhnew
    reached the East Cape and Russians settled the opposite coast down
    to California (a last stirring was maybe the Russo-Japanese War).
    The Soviets desperately tried to develop Siberia (how´s my euphemism? 😛 )
    but failed – though if then it warms up there´s a lot of growth potential.

    I think the psychological aspect – that husbandry of anything
    (resources, nature, people, international relations) is alien to the
    American mind will be hardest to overcome;
    and be overcome it must – the times of growth are over
    (and yes, that includes “liberty” and “rugged individualism”).
    Don´t get me wrong – I´m not some kind of tree hugger; the current
    malaise is more Calhoun´s Rats meet The Limits to Growth.

  148. @AnonFromTN

    Speaking of reports and spin…I caught a bit of Biden’s presser today. I had me laughing my ass off.

    He, without apparent irony, stated that we have been making great progress in Afghanistan and that only one nation on earth has the logistical capability, the global reach, and the peerless talent to pull off an evacuation of this magnitude. That nation is the US of A, folks. The whole thing is apparently, a smashing success!

    My head about flew off from the spin.

    This is functionally the equivalent to dropping ones’ car off at the mechanic’s to get the muffler fixed, and coming back to find the entire front end smashed in. The mechanic sidles up and says, “Have I mentioned that our body shop is amazing?!”

  149. A123 says: • Website

    Not-The-President Biden keeps heaping shame on the SJW DNC. It is like watching Carter implode before Reagan restored American confidence and competence.

    Even corrupt CNN reporters have passed their lie tolerance. Every blunder from Not-The-President Biden makes America and MAGA Populism stronger. Hopefully, the Globalists never recover from this.

    PEACE 😇
    __________

    https://hotair.com/allahpundit/2021/08/20/multiple-reporters-call-bs-on-biden-for-saying-americans-are-able-to-get-to-the-kabul-airport-n410419

    • Replies: @Beckow
  150. Twinkie says:
    @Daniel Chieh

    I first learned the 1v2, 2v3, 3v1 ordering strategy as a grade schooler from a comic book version of Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War,” which was popular in Japan and South Korea in the late 70’s.

    It’s a simple, clever, and an elegant construct, but it begs the question, “If it’s that easy, why doesn’t everyone do it?” Here are some (but by no means, exhaustive) reasons why this idea is difficult to implement in real life conflicts:

    1. Assessment of foe: this type of ordering strategy requires an accurate assessment of the opponent’s spectrum of capabilities. In order to be able to match one’s tier one, two, and three forces against the opponent’s tier two, three, and one equivalents, respectively, you have to be able to assess the latter well. Without this intelligence there is no clever matching of the forces.

    2. Self-awareness: it’s often thought that discovering the foe’s capabilities is the most difficult thing in intelligence, but harder still is an accurate appraisal of one’s own capabilities, for this is now the realm of wisdom (which sits above the noise-data-information-intelligence-wisdom hierarchy of knowledge-filtering). This is why Sun Tzu guaranteed victory only to those who knew the enemy and themselves.

    3. (Mutual) Deception: it’s hard enough to assess the respective capabilities when the combatants are relatively transparent, but in real life conflicts, there is always constant use of deception by all parties involved. And not only is deception used to mask one’s own capabilities, but it is also constructed at times to cloud the self-awareness of one’s foes. For example, the time-honored steppe nomad tactic of the feigned retreat is not only designed to deceive one’s own situation (“I want my opponent to think that I am beaten and retreating when I am still strong and preparing an ambush”), it is also fashioned to fool the enemy of his own situation (“He thinks he is winning and is able to pursue and destroy me, but his forces are strung out over distance and disorganized”). So, there is, at minimum a 2×2 matrix of possibilities of deception.

    This is why Napoleon once said, “The greatest moment of peril is the moment of victory” – because the prospect of imminent victory tends to cloud the judgment and prevent accurate assessments of the foe and of oneself.

    4. Element of Time: this type of ordering strategy assumes a tit-for-tat conflict, in which there is a predictable action-reaction cycle, turn-by-turn. In real life, conflicts often do not work that way, there are constant moves by each side, and, in any case, combatants have different decision-making cycle speeds (i.e. OODA loop and whatnot). “Matched pairings” of presentation of forces do not always occur in real fights (some argue they rarely if ever occur). For that matter, the ordering strategy assumes the game, as such, to be played exactly as many times as one has “pieces” (or “horses”), but in real life conflicts, the game might be played only once, as many times as players have pieces, or repeatedly for a long duration.

    5. Victory condition: winning twice and losing once seems like an overall victory, ceteris paribus, but there are many caveats, including casualty tolerance. Losing once (or 1/3 of one’s forces even if the least capable fraction) is still losing. Some players can tolerate such a loss. Others less so. If I lose 2/3 of my forces and you 1/3 of yours, but if I can rapidly make up my losses, whereas you are not able to make up yours, it is a Pyrrhic victory for you.

    These are just some of the many reasons why the 1v2, 2v3, 3v1 ordering strategy is difficult to implement in real life.

    • Thanks: Sarah, Johann Ricke
  151. @Twinkie

    6) incentives line up for your MIC to stay involved in a quagmire and line their pockets.

    Everything is working as expected.

  152. German_reader says:

    The sympathy some Western right-wingers show towards the Taliban is really fucked up, just as much a sign of civilizational decadence as the degeneracy they’re decrying. It’s one thing to be glad that this futile nation-building project is over or to argue that Western powers shouldn’t intervene in the Islamic world (mostly my own view). But lionizing the Taliban as heroes is just bizarre (and no, their cause wasn’t more moral, one has to remember that this war started because they really did harbour terrorists that attacked the US on its own soil – very different case from the Iraq war or a future war against Iran). Used to be demented left-wingers who idolized various Third World movements and projected all their hopes for a great transformation onto them, very disturbing phenomenon that some right-wingers are now doing the same, just shows that they’re completely emasculated, don’t have any heroes of their own left and feel totally alienated from their own societies (I suppose this is especially acute in the English-speaking world with its all-encompassing liberalism…right-wingers in continental Europe at least have the option of looking to the past and admiring the Waffen-SS, squadristi, Falange or Bandera’s men…also problematic of course, but psychologically a lot more healthy than admiring Islamic fanatics whose world view and goals should be totally alien to any Westerner).
    Anyway, despite my general anti-Americanism (and belief that the Afghanistan nation-building project was always idiotic), I’m really not happy about how this has turned out, because 1) it shows Western societies to be ridiculously soft/unwilling to take the necessary measures against enemies once again (how lame is it that some Taliban leaders had been imprisoned in Gitmo and were let go? Why weren’t they just executed?), 2) the consequences regarding migration are bound to be bad for Europe (it’s already noticeable in Germany that the usual suspects are quite excited at the prospect of repeating 2015).
    The latter point is also why I disagree with AK (whose transformation into “white man’s burden” advocate I find rather surprising, is the Russian air changing him into some kind of humanitarian, who wants to help the Afghans because of some Soviet-like “friendship of peoples”?), imo it’s necessary to “dehumanize” Afghans (not all that difficult anyway given the horrific crimes committed by Afghan migrants), because I sure as hell don’t want any more of them in Europe.

    • Thanks: Yevardian
  153. Beckow says:
    @A123

    ok, ok…but why didn’t the MAGA president get out of Afghanistan? In four years, he talked a lot, some good stuff. But no real wall, no change to chain and other migration scams, and no end to wars. At some point you have to ask, did he mean the things he said?

    Biden, whatever else he is, ended the Afghan war. In 6 months.

    • Replies: @A123
  154. Wency says:
    @German_reader

    I think it’s hard not to admire the spirit that allowed the Taliban to conquer Afghanistan while detesting the weakness of its enemies. But yeah, in terms of the follow-on effects of this, probably not going to be good for the West.

    There’s also something of an “I told you so” effect going on. There’s some schadenfreude in seeing USG and Globohomo take a hit and be proven for incompetent frauds. The tragedy of being a rightist is that every time you’re proven right about the world and about human nature, it’s usually an otherwise depressing moment. If only the leftists were right about everything, this world would be a happier and gentler place.

    • Replies: @Levtraro
  155. songbird says:
    @German_reader

    Not too sure of the facts in the lead up, but I was under the impression that the Tabilan did not know about the plan for 9/11 (not too sure about the Saudis), and that at least some believed that Bush deliberately jumped the gun because he was ideologically committed to neoconism. (That is, they may have been willing to hand over Bin Laden, through negotiations.)

    As to idolizing the Taliban, I think they are so alien that they are difficult to characterize politically, but their core is Pashtuns. Partly because they are whitish, Europeans have always had a soft spot for Pashtuns, when they are in their native country and not invading.

    Not me, though. I wish we had dropped off all our blacks there, before closing shop. I fear that the next nation building project of the US, when memories fade a little, will be in Africa, due to diminished state capacity. African countries are such pushovers that almost nobody bothers writing technical military histories about their conflicts. (You can only write so many pages about machetes and AKs.)

    Seems easy to discount Islam due to secularizing trends. Though, I’m not sure that isn’t a longterm mistake.

  156. BlackFlag says:
    @AnonfromTN

    Not only did they meet no resistance from a notoriously pugnacious people but also successfully waged a 20 year long guerilla war managing a good kill ratio against one of the world’s top powers. Doesn’t that require widespread public support in order to provide supplies, shelter, information, etc.? Mao said something about the people being the water that the fish (guerillas) swim in. And they’ve been getting stronger in recent years which doesn’t fit with the polling trendline. All this with only 13% support? Perhaps the greatest military campaign in history.

    By the way, we do know who conducted the polls. It’s a San Francisco NGO who seem mainly concerned with promoting feminism in Asia. I find it amazing that this NGO who doesn’t seem to be engaged in anything very concrete has an annual budget of 100M which is 1/200th the entire Afghanistan annual GDP.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  157. German_reader says:
    @songbird

    Not too sure of the facts in the lead up, but I was under the impression that the Tabilan did not know about the plan for 9/11

    They harboured Bin Laden and his organization though, giving them training facilities etc., even after al-Qaida had bombed American embassies (also killing lots of uninvolved Africans in the process) and an American warship. Even if they didn’t know about the 9/11 plot in advance, they must have known that Bin Laden’s actions were highly provocatory.

    I fear that the next nation building project of the US, when memories fade a little, will be in Africa, due to diminished state capacity.

    Pretty likely, the French are already fighting jihadis in the Sahel zone after all (with Germany’s pathetic Bundeswehr playing an auxiliary role), and there’s that insurgency in Nigeria. And iirc the US has also been running training/covert operations missions in West Africa (didn’t some Americans get killed during Trump’s presidency somewhere in West Africa, and everybody was surprised US forces were active there?).
    The worst thing about these interventions is that they’re exploited for yet more mass immigration, I really resent this line that Western states have some obligation to take in huge numbers of Afghans.

    • Agree: songbird
    • Replies: @nokangaroos
  158. @German_reader

    The latter point is also why I disagree with AK (whose transformation into “white man’s burden” advocate I find rather surprising, is the Russian air changing him into some kind of humanitarian, who wants to help the Afghans because of some Soviet-like “friendship of peoples”?)…

    Although I otherwise, unsurprisingly, agree with most of your comment, in the post just before this, I stated that “this adventure must have set some kind of anti-ROI record,” in turn quoting a Tweet from 2018 saying that “occupying Afghanistan represents one of the most INeffectively altruistic endevours one can engage in.” https://twitter.com/akarlin88/status/1076250946722766848 So I’m not sure where you got that from.

    … imo it’s necessary to “dehumanize” Afghans (not all that difficult anyway given the horrific crimes committed by Afghan migrants), because I sure as hell don’t want any more of them in Europe.

    “Still, this isn’t grounds to claim that Afghans wanted the Taliban in charge, much less that they deserved the Taliban, and to dehumanize them on this account.” Because it’s… probably factually wrong.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  159. German_reader says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Because it’s… probably factually wrong.

    Maybe, but even if correct, even the views of “moderate” Afghans make them incompatible with Western societies (after all you reference that PEW survey from a few years ago yourself and rightly point out that the fallen regime was an “Islamic republic” partially based on sharia). There should be generous financial assistance for resettling refugees in the region (or even support for any area of Afghanistan that manages to break free from Taliban rule), it’s beyond disgusting how Western left-wingers now try to exploit this situation for yet more mass immigration (especially when the same kind of people would have protested any robust action against the Taliban, because “muh war crimes”, as was shown in the case of Sergeant Blackman in Britain).
    Anyway, I don’t want to be too critical, I’m not convinced you’re correct (“public opinion” in a country like Afghanistan strikes me as inscrutable), but obviously your commentary is much superior to the rantings of pychotic faggots like Andrew Anglin.

  160. @songbird

    As to idolizing the Taliban, I think they are so alien that they are difficult to characterize politically,

    And what goes on in the West and USA must be as alien and incomprehensible to the Taliban: that thieves in California can get away with stealing up to 1,000 USD of goods in full public view with four or more witnesses without any consequence let alone getting their hands chopped off, public homo Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco, 70+ genders, trannies teaching children, and on and on and on. I’m just surprised that normal Western people don’t find the same things alien and repulsive, and do something to eliminate them, not necessarily using Taliban methods.

    • Replies: @songbird
  161. @BlackFlag

    I find it amazing that this NGO who doesn’t seem to be engaged in anything very concrete has an annual budget of 100M

    So, American scum is a lot better paid than Afghan scum? Surprise, surprise…

  162. A123 says: • Website
    @Beckow

    TRUMP wanted a well coordinated exit as I explained up at #91:

    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/taliban-rule-is-the-democratic-will-of-13-of-afghans/#comment-4852800

    The Deep State made sure that was impossible. So, TRUMP wisely wound back the engagement as far as possible, without giving blood traitors like Gen. Milley the opportunity to create a fiasco. It was the best he could achieve with the cards he held.

    US Casualties:
    2017 – 17
    2018 – 15
    2019 – 22
    2020 – 9

    Even 1 is too many, however TRUMP did much better than Barack Hussein’s “Surge”.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @Beckow
    , @RedpilledAF
  163. @West reanimator

    The majority of Americans vote for Biden

    Wrong. The CommieCrats stole the election.

  164. Beckow says:
    @A123

    A wet rag would do better than the Nobel laureate, vey low bar :)…

    Trump could have fired Milley. He could have appointed people who agreed with him. He didn’t. Mystery? Sure he was kept in a box, he had everyone in dc against him. Still, those details will fade and what will stay is only what he did. I don’t recall a single historical personality that is judged by his plans or speeches – they are all judged based on results. Results matter.

    • Replies: @A123
  165. Maybe yes or maybe no.
    But I think that Afghanistan is a place where it will take at least few decades, when there would be possible to create a reliable statistics..

  166. Talmudic rule is the democratic rule of 3% of Americans.

  167. gatobart says:

    Nonsense. There is no way a guerrila movement will ever, has ever, been able to take full control of a country, in a few days and without any significant fight on top of that, while counting with anything less than overwhelming support from the people. And if we add the fact that the regime they were fighting to topple has been backed, sponsored, financed and armed for decades by the self-declared world hegemon, which has spent not millions but trillions supporting such regime, such thing is impossible.

    I only needed to read the title to conclude that this article is not even worth a minute of my time.

    • Agree: RedpilledAF, AnonfromTN
  168. Imagine that, using CIA fake statistics to push one of the lines of neo-liberal/neo-con propaganda. You certainly got a great opportunity to link talking points with the “data.”

    Good job pointing out the obvious reality. It is clear that in a generation or two there would slut walks, gay pride parades, and BLM marches if it wasn’t for those pesky Taliban!…and Russians! and Chinese! and Iranians!

    I am eagerly awaiting, from you author, the Israeli propaganda and talking points about Palestine, so that we can get the reality of that situation as well.

    Tov Toda!

  169. @A123

    The Shabbos Goy Trump was/is part of the Deep State.

  170. Ghali says:

    One important point is that the overwheling majority of Afghans supports the Taliban. The peaceful takeover (in 11 days) of the entire country by the Talibanis the undeniable evidence.
    Furthermore:
    1. Women being able to run for the Presidency (49% support, 46% oppose). Also, 55% support for women being allowed to be governors.
    1. When asked about female participation in politics 87% said that women should have the same opportunities in education as men. 59% said “women should decide for themselves”, whereas only 17% said “men should decide for women”.

    How different these figures from the U.S., Europe and Australia?

  171. Anon62 says:
    @Mersaux

    A civil war in Afghanistan is unlikely, The people have already endured some 40+ years of armed conflict and it is the desire to introduce peace to the country that is largely responsible for the support of the Taliban.

    An excellent analysis may be found in the following essay:
    https://annebonnypirate.org/2021/08/17/afghanistan-the-end-of-the-occupation/

    A reading of the above suggests a civil war in America is far more likely.

  172. A123 says: • Website
    @Beckow

    Trump could have fired Milley. He could have appointed people who agreed with him. He didn’t. Mystery? Sure he was kept in a box, he had everyone in dc against him.

    No mystery. You have highly unrealistic expectations and vastly overestimate the power of the Presidency.

    Trump had to keep GOP Senators on board for confirmations and to keep the spectre of impeachment at bay. Some of those Senators were establishment weasels. Anyone who could call on a GOP Senator for protection turned a potential firing into a political risk.

    I don’t recall a single historical personality that is judged by his plans or speeches – they are all judged based on results. Results matter.

    And, the result that matters is Trump fundamentally changed the nature of politics in the U.S. This is much more important than his time in office.

    Before Trump, both parties stood for Globalist Corporate interests. Changing the GOP from a Corporate party to a Populist American citizen/worker party gives it a coherent message backed by huge numbers of small donors. He has inflicted schizophrenia and incoherence of the DNC, as they are now simultaneously both “Progressive” & “Corporate”.

    As we see from individuals like Gov. DeSantis, the MAGA movement is producing success while the SJW Globalists flounder. There is still much work to be done, but there is now an opportunity to save the country.

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @Robert Bruce
  173. In the middle of US rule, with a US puppet government sitting solidly in Kabul, polled by US pollsters, 13% of Afghans said they liked Taliban. Brave people! Next time the ADL ask you if Hitler was right, whatcha gonna do? Are 13% of US representatives going to say they like Palestine better than “israel”?

  174. @German_reader

    They did not exactly “harbour” Bin Laden and his organization, these
    have been an integral part of their fathers´Rotary Club (the Mujahideen)
    and hospitality (milmastia) is sacred in Pashtunwali as in all other
    Aryan societies.
    – Still, there is something peculiarly satisfying about seeing the feminists
    getting one on the detz (given the situation of the Right in the West,
    a little passive-aggressiveness may be excusable; the Left would in such a case
    argue that the people need a Robin Hood. So instead of all the fugee
    child molesters, drug pushers, embezzlers and traitors maybe we should
    ask for a few Taliban djenndah experts? 😀 ).

  175. The Taliban was just gifted with billions in state of the art warfare equipment left by the incompetent illegitimate Biden regime to challenge any future military assault from a LGBTIQPWXYZ/BLM/CRT trained military force that would want to engage with them.

    FUKUS/NATO/Allied forces have been humiliated and shamed by a bunch of battle harden cave dwelling desert monkeys who now call the shots. And I’m not talking about C19 shots which they don’t mandate.
    It’s embarrassing to watch a once great power nation relinquish its sovereignty to GlobalHomo elites, who in their quest for world domination, have been sent back decades to transform the world into a One World, One Gender, Rainbow Caliphate.
    If any positive outcome is perceived from this current shitshow in Afghanistan, it’s the total rejection of a GlobalHomo/BLM/Zio planetary rule.
    And with that I say hallelujah hallelujah.

    • Replies: @Badger Down
  176. @Daniel Chieh

    What makes you think that small tribes shooting each other every now and then isn’t normal or is nonfunctional? The Berbers have done it for hundreds of years.

    I would define it as normal people having normal complaints all year around, instead of being in a hysteria or some other abnormal psycho-state every other day.

    Someone above cited the lack of basics as the reason Afghans “chose” Taliban over the US funded government. So I asked my question. To me it is rather difficult to accept that you cannot provide the ordinary Afghans a reason to fight. And, as it is now, the US are blaming the locals.

  177. @Ali Choudhury

    Websites aren’t buildings in which you have to make your way through corridors and hallways en route to a specific office. Other pages on Unz do not make access to this one more difficult.

  178. Even if the CIA poll is legitimate, who cares? As I once read, if ten men are willing to vote for what they believe and two men are willing to fight for what they believe, the two will give the law to the ten. That’s the reality of the world. Democracy is a feminine idea, “Let’s play nice, let’s all have a turn.” It is ridiculous and contemptible and any nation that sticks with it is doomed. The US is of 2021 is the most conspicuous evidence of that.

    Compared to the alternative of becoming a province of the Feminist-Anal Empire, the Taliban are great.

    • Agree: PJ London
    • Replies: @BlackFlag
  179. “We had difficulty getting into the airport. Working out how to get to the airport is like a Rubik’s cube.”
    Ukrainian contractors in Afghanistan have found a solution to this problem. When it becomes especially problematic, they pretend to be Russians and the Taliban do not touch them. And they are trying to get out with the help of the Russian embassy.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  180. @Mersaux

    Afghanistan has been in a civil war for the past 20 years. In fact, before that as well. The Taliban 2.0 are obviously rather competent at Afghan-style warfare. With any luck, they will soon capture that last valley and foreclose any possibility of new CIA misdeeds. Not having a US embassy helps. The Taliban should not allow one even if the Anal Empire recognizes them, which the latter will not because they live under the illusion they can shape reality through the force of their (im)moral authority.

  181. @Unit472

    I find Mark Milley to be very impressive. He’s gruff, goes around costumed as World War II general, and he reads books on “white rage”.

  182. Kramer2 says:

    No offense to this author, but as someone from the Mideast, I am finding it harder and harder to relate to thoughts coming out of the West, especially the US, these days.

    That said, every article published on this site in the last few months, including this one, is completely irrelevant and needless garbage.

    As I said, I am finding it harder and harder to find common groud with anything coming out of the US. You guys seem to be in a bubble of sorts, and the absolute rubbish which passes as intellectual ideas that you tout here, is mind boggling in its utter irrelevance to any of the issues that actually touch on humans outside of your bubble.

    You have all gone insane, but because your frame of reference is within your bubble, none of you can see how out of touch you are with reality.

    And to the author, what makes you think that giving opinions on other countries is a worthwhile pursuit for you, let alone appropriate?

    An American, or other Western person, giving opinions on matters in another country, let alone Afghanistan, which your forces raped for 20 years, is absolutely not appropriate or acceptable.

    So, sorry to burst your bubble, but what happens in the Middle East has fuck all to do with you, you arrogant, delusional, narcissists. If you had been paying attention to your own God forsaken hell-hole of a country, instead of poking your nose where it didn’t belong, the West wouldn’t be so spectacularly fucked.

    Fuck you all, from the Middle East.

    No regards,

    Kramer

    • Replies: @Biff
  183. BorisMay says:

    The writer asks the wrong questions and consequently comes up with the wrong answers in true US hubris.

    The real question is ‘do Afghans want to live in a country ruled by the corrupt, dishonest and immoral US who have imposed a number of non-Afghan rulers as their stooges?’

    The answer is ‘NO’.

    This article is pure CIA propaganda and the writer, if he does not get paid CIA shekels, must be a low IQ fool who is easily taken in.

    Anyone who believes poles is naive at best or a fool at worst.

    If you think a cell phone pole, where there is absolutely no anonymity because the owners of all those cell phones can be traced, is actually honest, you must be as thick as two short planks.

    The Afghans have opted for the lesser of two evils: Islamists as opposed to the Jew run US.

    To even suggest, as this writer does, that the US is free, seeing how it is bound to ‘international finance, usury and corrupt money speculation’ and that the Taliban is not free, is so ridiculous as to not deserve anything other than derision.

    This writer should take up fantasy writing as he is clearly out of his depth both on international politics and Islam.

    Afghans live according to a code of honour, everyone in the ‘free’ west are economic slaves to the Jews who lie, steal and murder anyone they see as a problem to them (JFK is a prime example)!

    Time the writer opened his eyes rather than live in the self delusion he thinks is the free world.

    • Agree: W
  184. BorisMay says:

    Dear Mr Unz,
    Please may we have less of out of touch writers like Mr Karlin and more of Mr Dihn and even Mr Escobar.

    This Karlin bloke is living in a world of self delusion, lies and dishonesty. He has absolutely no concept of truth, common decency and honour. He thinks he does but is clearly mentally so brainwashed with the standard US media lies he is not able to see the wood for the trees.

    He’d do better writing for The Saker blog as his level of self deception and obfuscation of reality is quite The Saker’s style.

    • Agree: Thim
  185. So, the project of bringing democracy to Afghanistan failed. Quelle surprise. Not to worry, though, democracy is not quite the delicate flower that Americans are making it out to be. It can flourish in a very harsh conditions.

    If it could be invented and exist in that notorious system that starts with “S”, I don’t see why it can exist side by side with Islam. Even the Americans seem to acknowledge this possible symbiotic relationship between Islam and “democracy” – why else would they be using Islamic terrorists to bring “democracy” to the Middle East – especially to places that were leaning towards socialism – such as Iraq and Syria (what a blasphemy).

    So again, there is nothing to worry about, although some seem to think that only capitalism can provide the fertile soil on which democracy can grow into a dizzying array of deception, lies and total fraud, there are other environments where this pearl can find a protective shell and blind us with its splendor when we are unexpectedly exposed to it.

  186. @Unit472

    Apparently it’s already happened. CNN reports no flights out for eight hours due to mortar damage on runway.

  187. Very informative piece, congrats.

  188. Sarah says:
    @AnonfromTN

    So, either you believe your own eyes, or you believe a survey by an outfit funded by who knows whom (he, who pays the musicians, calls the tune). Taliban met virtually no resistance all over Afghanistan, including Kabul, where it was likely less popular than elsewhere in the country. If it’s support was so low, that wouldn’t be the case.

    Author wrote “Taliban Rule Is the Democratic Will of 13% of Afghans”

    Typo here : it’s 93% and not 13% !

    Besides, how can anyone believe in this poll? Do you think it is serious to make a poll in the state where this country is now?

    Do you really believe that Afghans will miss the US puppet, foreign occupation forces? Even wedding parties have been massacred by these occupiers.
    A very high ranking Washington official said a few weeks ago: “There is nothing left to bomb in Afghanistan”, meaning: “It is not worth staying there anymore”.

    Talibans should declare amnesty for the Aghans who worked with the occupiers and the previous government.

    Afghans who are refugees abroad will return home.

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  189. Herald says:
    @John Johnson

    The US is really just too nice and isn’t willing to do what it takes to subdue a country like Afghanistan.

    Clearly twenty years of flowers and chocolates wasn’t enough. So its nukes next time then?

    • LOL: Biff
  190. Let the Taliban run the poll and we’ll see what the figure is. It worked for Putin.

  191. gotmituns says:
    @mal

    but if tribal elders decree otherwise, then the rest must quickly fall in line and obey, doesn’t matter what they think.
    ————————————————————————————————–
    If leadership fails to grasp what the people want they will be overthrown.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  192. Levtraro says:
    @Wency

    The tragedy of being a rightist is that every time you’re proven right about the world and about human nature, it’s usually an otherwise depressing moment.

    Depress over this fact of human nature: in every country of the West the vast majority of people are leftists. They don’t have a uni-party dictatorship just because it is in the nature of being a leftist to be easily disillusioned and then not to go to vote for the charlatan of the day. It takes a truly great charlatan to motivate a large number of them to move their asses and go vote. That’s why it is so important to the D party to make voting very, very easy.

    If only the leftists were right about everything, this world would be a happier and gentler place.

    Except we wouldn’t have all those nice things ’cause in leftist heaven, nobody does anything productive.

    • Replies: @InnerCynic
    , @Philip Owen
  193. padre says:

    This is a bit stupid! Taliban promised not to have democracy, and you are accusing them for not being democratic! Accuse Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, and the rest of them of the same, but it goes against mainstream policy!

  194. Biff says:
    @Kramer2

    Afghanistan, which your forces raped for 20 years,

    Correction; the U.S. has been raping Afghanistan for FORTY years, starting with the Carter administration.

    Hope that helps….

    Fuck you from the Far East.

    No regards

    Biff

  195. Levtraro says:
    @German_reader

    Anyway, despite my general anti-Americanism (and belief that the Afghanistan nation-building project was always idiotic), I’m really not happy about how this has turned out, because 1) it shows Western societies to be ridiculously soft/unwilling to take the necessary measures against enemies once again (how lame is it that some Taliban leaders had been imprisoned in Gitmo and were let go? Why weren’t they just executed?) […]

    I don’t think the USA lost in Afghanistan because it was too soft. The thing about Gitmo you mentioned is totally irrelevant, just a few nutjobs released when they were complelety broken and useless and besides the USA did and does a lot of extra-judicial executions. The USA lost in Afghanistan because it could not commit the necessary resources. The enemy could do a lot at very low cost, the USA could do very little at very high cost, and USA minor companions (toy soldiers from Germany, Canada, Australia, even Spain FFS! and New Zealand lol!) were just insignificant. Those were the facts on the ground. A defeat by erosion (of the invader) and accretion (of the local force).

    • Replies: @German_reader
  196. songbird says:
    @Commentator Mike

    The strength of progressivism is that it is never codified into a formal scripture or church with sacraments and tithes. If it ever were, I think it would immediately implode.

  197. Pierre7y5 says:

    In addition to the potential bias that results from only surveying people who have a cell phone, which you point out, isn’t there an additional bias from surveying people whose cell phone number can be found in a database for pollsters to dial? Wouldn’t that imply that they provided their numbers somehow (maybe online), or signed up to be polled, which someone with more traditional values and lifestyle might be less inclined to do?

  198. Sarah says:

    It’s really funny to hear the US pretending to “bring democracy”, to “establish democracy”, constantly repeating: “We must create a world safe for democracy” when the US is NOT AT ALL a democracy itself.

  199. German_reader says:
    @Levtraro

    The USA lost in Afghanistan because it could not commit the necessary resources.

    True enough, troop levels were always too low to control that country, and to get sufficient troops you’d probably have needed to resort to conscripts being sent there. Obviously that would have been politically impossible in Western societies, with their small families and no extra sons to spare (unlike Afghans). So it was a futile undertaking from the beginning.

  200. @thou/thee/thine pronouns

    Nice!the “choice” of the electorate involves less reasoned thinking about complicated matters and their relevance to personal goals, and more parroting of propaganda in order to gain social acceptance, and in such cases the heart follows the tongue.” Just like Dem libtards and their loser Kang Obozo and his puppet Joe Blow and the Ho. And of course cuckservatives as well.

  201. Maddaugh says:

    Taliban rule is the democratic will of 13% of Afghans !

    SO WHAT !? Woke rule is the Democratic will of 13% of Americans ! LOL

    There are some people who will never understand power, how it is taken, how it is retained and how it is used especially in the Third World and repressive regimes.

    Said bloggers have gone from being experts on Covid to experts on Afghanistan.

    When anyone, bloggers, academics and especially experts, try to explain the dynamics of a Moslem society living in the Middle Ages, tribal, clannish, isolated, uneducated and backward with a culture rooted in thousands of years of feuds, animosity and petty grievances, when anyone tries to explain and unravel this witch’s brew its time to tune out !

    Whatever they have to say is sheer rubbish !

    • Replies: @dindunuffins
  202. moi says:
    @AnonfromTN

    At 13 percent, the Taliban is more popular than the US Congress with Americans.

  203. “The world should prepare for refugees flows rivaling or exceeding those of the 1980s.”

    Why should the world at large be ready to accept those refugees? Just like Haiti, Central America, Africa and the Middle East, the Afghans don’t produce enough food for their own needs, yet breed like there is no tomorrow and come with bizarre ideas about life and liberty. No thank you!

  204. “Taliban rule is the democratic will of 13% of Afghans”
    So what? At least it is the will of Afghans albeit only that of 13% even if what you suggest is true. What about the great America? Not even one percent of Americans have ant say in it. It is all about Israelis and Zionists. So please keep quiet. America is just a tributary of Israel at the best or slave yard of israel at the worst

  205. The Big Brain idea of spreading your military across the entire country, as opposed to concentrating it around Kabul and the north, where anti-Taliban sentiment was highest.

    This was actually a strategy that was successful in Iraq. Gen. Petraeus came up with the idea that, to secure Baghdad, one must actually secure all of the areas around Baghdad and problematic areas. The goal being to make it very difficult for insurgents to move around in the countryside and to maintain bases, which actually can play a bigger role in securing the major cities from terror attacks than simply concentrating forces there, and it proves to be essential for securing the country in the long run.

    Of course, this is completely useless if none of the units are going to be loyal or even put up a fight, and in a countryside as rugged as Afghanistan, it was likely not as effective in shutting down areas and securing them from Taliban influence.

    But, overall, I do not think that this was actually a problematic policy, except maybe in hindsight.

  206. jaye ryan says:

    Never underestimate the stupidity of regular (White) Americans.

    Anybody else remember the great patriotic movie Rambo III where Amurikun patriot (patriotard) Johnny Rambo goes to Afghanistan to join these mountain Muslim freedom fighters (more like 8th century Islamic Jihadists that morphed in tot he Taliban) to fight the evil White racist Russians/Soviets?

    Anybody ever remember that one?

    How did that turn out in real life.

    Or how about that San Francisco suburban White kid with real Liberal parents who got in to all things Lib Leftist from the 1960s and 70s – really got in to Malcolm X.

    I think this guy’s name was something like John Walker Lindh.

    Well this anti Conservative White American ended up in yep:

    Afghanistan and joined the Taliban!

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

    Just shows that ideology isn’t very important for anti White Conservative Leftists they’ll join any group any fad that is opposed to mainstream Whtie American – doesn’t matter if the group kills gay people, bans music, makes women be covered up and banned from speaking in public (Which isn’t always a bad idea). These types will join the African National Congress, the Sandinistas, Black Lives Matter, Antifa and…..

    The Taliban, ISIS, Al Qaeda.

    • Agree: Malla
    • Replies: @showmethereal
  207. Thim says:

    Two CIA outfits cited, Asia Foundation, and Substack. Ridiculous.

    • LOL: Anatoly Karlin
  208. jaye ryan says:

    Does the Unz review allow image attachments. I’ve got lots of great cartoons about the Afghanistan debacle.

    If so, can someone give me some tech help telling me how to attache the images?

    Thanks

    Jack Ryan
    The Political Cesspool hosted by James Edwards

    • Replies: @Commentator Mike
  209. I’m curious who paid for the poll, and how was it taken. Not arguing about the numbers. They are irrelevant to me. Nor was I aware the Taliban was going for democracy. Since polls have objectives behind the questions, who paid for it is intriguing. With Biden’s dementia worsening, there is a lot of questions about who is running the show. What exactly were the objectives with this chaotic Afghan withdraw? Were those objectives actually met like arming the Taliban with American weapons?

    With Biden as a puppet, we here in the US are kind in a similar situation as the Afghanis. However we don’t really know who our “Taliban” rulers are outside they are radical wokesters.

    • Replies: @Alden
  210. @A123

    MAGA was a cheap slogan, as like a freight train travelling at 100 miles a hour, the disaster that approaches isn’t going to be stopped by one man all of a sudden. Trump was either in over his head or one of “them”, meaning false opposition. Either way, the damage was done, and on top of that you gave a nation of rubes thinking giving the man a second shot at taking us down even more. With Trump, the American people had elected a man after their own ❤️. Somebody that isn’t that bright, and totally wrapped up in narcissism, who loves creating a world of fantasy.

    • Replies: @A123
    , @Beckow
  211. HVM says:

    If they wanted democracy so badly and would not have voted for the Taliban, then they should have been willing to fight for that democracy rather than have foreigners do the fighting for them.

    I have no sympathy. The Taliban used force to achieve their ends. The people who oppose Taliban rule showed no spine in defending their “democracy” – whatever that may be which should be of no importance to the USA unless you believe that the U.S. should be in Afghanistan to acquire Caspian Sea oil or to block China’s silk road. If true then the American people should have know the reason why they were there rather than some phony idea of democracy that the Afghani people won’t fight for.

    Moreover why is it the USA’s duty to accept immigrants from like Syria or Afghanistan (many of them being corrupt and U.S. enriched Quislings), who will not even fight for the principles they allegedly believe in if they oppose the regime in power like Assad or the Taliban? Is it because those ideas are western neoconservative/neoliberal ideas which are ethnocentrically being applied to the Middle East?

    Islamic terrorists can affect the U.S. if they are in the USA. Maybe the question should be is why do they exist in the first place? As a counter to U.S. Zionist-oil policy in the Middle East? As a result of U.S. military interventions in the false name of democracy (there are your neocon-neoliberal positions)?

    Poppycock.

  212. Q-ship says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    The Taliban don’t even seem to be on a revenge quest, to their credit.

    A revolutionary movement cannot tolerate collaborators. A determined minority can succeed with the support of a small percentage of the population, and the acquiescence of the remainder. A movement with only minority support will not succeed if collaborators are allowed to operate or escape any consequences for their actions. I suspect that Taliban 2.0 will generally be more discreet than their predecessors when dealing with collaborators, but there will be some public examples pour encourager les autres.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  213. 13% is much more than the 2% leading the USA around by a nose ring.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
  214. @Mike_from_Russia

    Ukrainians pretend to be Russians even under less pressing circumstances. Most Ukrainian tourists all over Europe pretend to be Russians and speak only Russian in public (many have an excuse: they simply don’t know enough Ukrainian to speak it).

    • Replies: @Aedib
  215. @Q-ship

    Think you addressed this to wrong person, but yes, I agree. “Promise them everything and hang them later,” in the immortal words of a character from another conflict.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  216. @Sarah

    Talibans should declare amnesty for the Aghans who worked with the occupiers and the previous government.

    I agree with most of your comment. However, based on Russian experience, can’t agree with this. In WWII there were Russians that collaborated with occupying Nazis. When the NKVD troops were a day or two late coming to cities and villages liberated by the Soviet Army (likely deliberately, but we will never know for sure), the locals caught and hanged all traitors who did not manage to run away with Germans. In my book, that was justified 100%.

    • Agree: Commentator Mike
    • Replies: @Badger Down
  217. Aedib says:
    @AnonfromTN

    You are trying to troll Svidos of AK’s fórums. LOL

  218. @Levtraro

    Leftist “heaven” is here and now. Never ending bitching and kvetching about the supposed failures of others enables them to maintain the illusion that they’ve the answers “if only”. Of course this has to be paid out of the pockets of those unenlightened ingrates who don’t get it or are out of step with progress. Progress being a more efficient means to steal and redistribute.

  219. A123 says: • Website
    @Robert Bruce

    the disaster that approaches isn’t going to be stopped by one man all of a sudden.

    This much is true. The MAGA movement is much more than one man and four years.

    Trump wisely did not try to impose a sudden stop. He was smart enough to work within the system and made the gains that were achievable.

    MAGA was a cheap slogan, as like a freight train travelling at 100 miles a hour,

    MAGA was a powerful concept, not cheap in any easy. A freight train is a good analogy. The MAGA LOCOMOTIVE ran down the crippled DNC truck stuck on the tracks. — see [MORE] —
    ____

    The proof that MAGA has staying power is demonstrated by others replicating TRUMP’s treatment of the Fake Stream Media. He killed the credibility of the messengers.

    Here is a good example of Gov DeSantis savaging the intentionally deceptive Associated Press (1).

    Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Media Spokesperson Hit AP Fake News So Hard The AP Cries Salty Tears Over Mean Tweets

    The Associated Press attempted a hit piece on Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over his promotion for monoclonal antibody treatment for early stage COVID recovery. The treatment from Regeneron was purchased by the federal government in January of 2021. However, the AP attempted to claim a small investor in Regeneron was also a supporter of Ron DeSantis…. the implication was a quid-pro-quo.

    The attempt was so weak, so lacking of substance and silly, that few additional media attempted to join the AP in their narrative. Even the far-left politifact had to call out the Fake News. After the AP refused to clear the record and drop the nonsense, Governor Ron DeSantis and his spokesperson, Christina Pushaw, unleashed on the AP in a similar way they crushed a similar 60-Minutes effort earlier in the year.

    Ms. Pushaw simply re-tweeted the AP story and said “drag them” to her followers and DeSantis supporters. The Associated Press is not used to having the MAGA army take action and start ridiculing them. New rules…

    After the AP and their narrative engineer started to get push-back for their fake news narrative, the Associated Press executives clutched their pearls and started crying, documenting their complaint to the Governors office:

    Making the the fascist Lügenpresse cower and collapse is essential to crushing the SJW Globalist deception machine.

    PEACE 😇
    __________

    (1) https://theconservativetreehouse.com/blog/2021/08/20/florida-governor-ron-desantis-and-media-spokesperson-hit-ap-fake-news-so-hard-the-ap-cries-salty-tears-over-mean-tweets/

    [MORE]

     

    • Replies: @W
  220. German_reader says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Rod Dreher claims to have inside knowledge about Taliban atrocities, including against American citizens (?):
    https://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/america-chernenko-years-downfall-for-liberal-technocracy/

    I have been out for most of the day. This morning I heard from a couple of well-informed sources about particular Taliban atrocities that have not yet been made public. These are the kinds of things that bring tears to your eyes. One of them in particular I cannot stop thinking about. It is one of the worst things you can imagine. These will all become public soon — I am not authorized to write about them…

    I know, this post is out there even for me. But I can’t get out of my head the fates of these Americans left behind by our idiotic withdrawal strategy. You’ll be hearing soon about what happened to them. It cries to heaven for … well, if not vengeance, then at least some sort of accountability.

    Dreher is mostly an idiot, but if there is something to this and the Taliban did indeed kill Americans, the consequences could be “interesting”.
    That situation at Kabul airport also seems potentially quite unstable. Apparently Britain wants to conduct some a extensive evacuation operation, and even Germany’s pathetic forces have sent two helicopters for such purposes to Afghanistan. What happens if the Taliban decide to interfere?

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  221. Beckow says:
    @Robert Bruce

    With Trump, the American people had elected a man after their own..somebody who isn’t that bright, and totally wrapped up in narcissism, who loves creating a world of fantasy.

    That seems about right. Yet I give A123 some credit: Trump changed American politics (and by extension the global one). He opened up the system and created at least an alternative, he may very well be followed by a more real Trump

    The problem with “the Trump was helpless” argument, that he was checkmated by Reps in Senate, deep state, etc… is that if it is true, exactly the same thing will happen to who is next – see Biden’s travails after Afghanistan for a recent example.

    With all due respect, whatever else it is, it is not a democracy – it is actually a traditional definition of an oligarchy: a powerful group of wealthy insiders and their minions controlling the state. Personnel is policy as Stalin said. Historically a freight train at 100 miles/hour is how a self-centered oligarchy always looks at its later stage – but it can go on for a while, there is a lot of space :)…

    • Replies: @A123
  222. If a CIA-created group goes around a country, in the midst of a war by US invaders against that country, and asks the locals if they are supporters of those fighting against the US invaders, how many will be stupid enough to tell the US/CIA that they support the US’s enemy? Really?!

    This is just stupid.

    • Replies: @gatobart
  223. voicum says:

    Good God , i thought that this person had the common sense to stop with his babble.
    .

  224. Getaclue says:
    @Unit472

    They did it on purpose–they want this-destruction of USA is NWO Bolshevik objective and these creeps are what is “running” Biden Admin–none of this is a “mistake”.

  225. @Boomthorkell

    Any system of society, government or religion which is based upon a large portion of its people being ignorant and illiterate in the most literal sense, in an age where that is no long a necessary rule, is not a sustainable nor reasonable system.

    Hum. In a sense, I agree that everyone ought to be able to read basic writings (as well as conduct basic mathematics), but it seems unreasonable that most of the population could truly be literate in the classical sense. Indeed, although we have mandatory and universal “education” across the West, most university-educated people are thoroughly ignorant of both the common-sense and the book-sense expect of the learned of yore. Ask them trivia about any work of literature published before 1800, excluding the Bible and Shakespeare—whereas just two hundred years ago a deep and broad knowledge of literature and history far beyond two hundred years was expected; just read John Milton, and you will see his abundant, seldom explained references to such works. Of course, literate folk also knew the Bible better.

    We have nowadays developed this phenomenon of the fake-literate whose education was mostly an inefficient waste of time, dilute by inferior students and fake-literate instructors. These fake-literate consider themselves sophisticated experts because of their sham university educations and their paper-tiger university-papers, yet they are little better than the old peasants who at least proffered no pretense of proficiency.

  226. @German_reader

    I am sure they can interfere and kill a few dozen Westerners, but that’s also the one thing they can do to make further American withdrawal politically untenable. If push comes to shove, the ~10k NATO troops in Kabul will find it trivial to clear them out, the Taliban are only impressive relative to the ANA. So I think the consensus view that it would be very stupid for the Taliban to harm Americans is correct, and the Taliban realize this, and that at least for now, reprisals will be narrowly targeted against Afghans and take place outside Kabul. So far as foreigners are concerned, I think the only ones at some level of risk are Indians.

    • Agree: German_reader
    • Replies: @Sparkylyle92
    , @A123
    , @Passer by
  227. @Maddaugh

    “Democratic will of 13% of Americans” Yup blacks,always at 13% of the pop. Lowest IQ on the planet.Soon the US will be Africa. Oh, wait,….

    • Replies: @Maddaugh
  228. @Unit472

    That was my thought when this started. Those 6 or 7 thousand troops sent to the airport are in mortal danger. The Taliban don’t have to assault the airport, just deny use of the runway and the garrison must surrender. And denial is easy, all it takes is some artillery. A crucial factor is how far away and how large are the nearest safe airfields. This determines how much close air support could be surged.
    The US generals are counting on the Taliban knowing they can turn Kabul into rubble if the airfield is attacked. But that leverage is finite. If the Taliban want to, they can turn Kabul airport into Dien Ben Phu. If the Empire thinks they’re embarrassed now, they haven’t seen anything. Given the instability of the petrodollar system (US military forces world to use dollars, world dollars funds military) we have a situation where a ragged bunch of goatherds can destroy the globohomo empire. One can dream.

  229. A123 says: • Website
    @Beckow

    The problem with “the Trump was helpless” argument, that he was checkmated by Reps in Senate, deep state, etc… is that if it is true, exactly the same thing will happen to who is next

    There is a real problem with wildly swinging between non-existent extremes:

    — First the complaint is that Trump was not “omnipotent”. Emperor Triumphus I with the power to dismiss all those he disliked with the merest wave of a pinky finger.
    — Now we see the other end of the ludicrous spectrum with descriptions like “helpless”.

    Realism falls in a rational middle, not near either of these one dimensional caricatures. Trump was neither omnipotent nor helpless.
    ____

    What hampered Trump the most was that he was a man without a party. He was leading a transformational MAGA movement. However, the existing cadre of Republican office holders was still in the grip of GOP(e) swampies. The fight on the ground is to Primary non-MAGA incumbents and get rid of them. Liz Cheney is a good example of this phenomenon. However, it takes time. Mitch McConnell won a 6-year Senate term. There is nothing that can be done to expelled him from office in the short term.

    If MAGA can control both the Senate and the Presidency, that avoids the horse trading that let the Senate pick some terrible Cabinet officials. If MAGA can take the financial purse strings in the House, priorities that need funding (e.g. immigration enforcement) will have the needed resources. Even then, expect obstructionism from lifetime appointment judges.

    Not-The-President Biden’s self-destruct makes winning the House and Senate much more likely. However, there is no “Easy Button” that fixes things overnight. It is going to take years of effort at the local, state, and federal levels to fix the damage caused by SJW Globalism.

    — Do not let the Perfect be the enemy of the Good —

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @Beckow
  230. W says:
    @A123

    No surprise your nose is up the rear of DeSantis.

    DeSantis signs antisemitism bill.

    I assume you will support his 2028 Potus run like the rest of the Trumpkins.

    • LOL: A123
    • Replies: @A123
  231. W says:

    That said, if the CIA connection is a deal-breaker, I suppose you might as well stop reading this now

    I will, and thanks for saving me time. You’re the best!

  232. A123 says: • Website
    @W

    I am sure you will be in full on, histrionic #NeverTrump mode for the next election.

    Slavishly supporting whoever Ilhan Omar and Rashid Tlaib order you to obey.

    PEACE 😇

  233. Thank you. A different and very useful perspective. I will be interested in your (biased for sure, but surely containing much truth) analysis of the implications for Ukraine. We should be mindful of Henry Kissinger’s observation regarding Vietnam: “It can be dangerous to be America’s enemy, but being a friend can be fatal.” Far better to walk a middle path, avoiding entanglement with the US and NATO.

  234. @Anatoly Karlin

    “…the ~10k NATO troops in Kabul will find it trivial to clear them out,…”

    This is delusional. Those NATO troops are light infantry, no artillery, no tanks, no local air support. Taliban is light infantry. Taliban would outnumber NATO perhaps 10:1, in a dense urban environment home to them. This would end with the surrender of the “NATO” (US) garrison.
    If I were asked for advice by The Writer-of-Joe-Biden’s-Teleprompter, whoever they are, I would strongly recommend being out by September 11.
    BTW, you don’t have to crater the airstrip to deny its use to US jets. A little mortar debris will do it. US jets require absolute absence of rocks or bolts or mortar frags or else they can’t take off. The debris gets sucked into engines. This is why airmen at US airstrips get in lines and walk the runway every day looking for bolts or debris. Another way in which the US is not serious about war.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  235. @Boomthorkell

    Well said… I have been reading Pepe Escobar’s writings on this situation and Russia and China, in his view, are in fact handling more of the situation behind the scenes that western media has been reporting.

    In addition, according to Escobar, the Taliban now is not the Taliban of 2001. They had to learn new things as well over the years such is being more tolerant if they are going to run a country with the expectations that other countries will invest there…

  236. @Sparkylyle92

    This might take the cake for the most ridiculous thing I’ve read today.

    The Taliban have something like 60-80k regular (non-militia) troops throughout the whole country, of which <1k are even marginally comparable to First World troops (the so-called Red Group). Repairing an airstrip after a cruise missile strike takes 4-6 hours for a modern military. Taliban don't have cruise missiles or probably even any kind of working heavy artillery. Islamic State couldn't take Deir ez-Zor Airport defended by 2,000 (?) Syrian conscripts in a year, despite "help" from an American air strike, and the Taliban are supposed to take Kabul Airport defended by close to 10k NATO troops? LMAO.

    Also Kabul is "home" to very few of the Taliban.

    In a total showdown, they'll be able to kill a few dozen, a couple hundred at most, civilians in the beginning, maybe knock down a single airplane, then the clock will be ticking on their continued presence in Kabul.

    • Replies: @Sparkylyle92
  237. @jaye ryan

    Right click on image then copy image address. Paste in window and it should appear after you click “publish comment” if it is in jpg format. That’s if the cartoon is already published on some site. If it’s your own cartoon you have to upload it to some image hosting site first.

  238. I’d say, Afghans should decide what’s best for them…

  239. @AnonfromTN

    As the elections…

    I think the proper word [in 2021 parlance] is ‘selections.’

    • Agree: AnonfromTN
  240. A123 says: • Website
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I am sure they can interfere and kill a few dozen Westerners, but that’s also the one thing they can do to make further American withdrawal politically untenable. … it would be very stupid for the Taliban to harm Americans is correct, and the Taliban realize this, and that at least for now, reprisals will be narrowly targeted against Afghans

    You are certainly right at the top of pyramid. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar has no reason to interfere with 99.9% of Americans leaving.

    The question becomes, “How solid is his control over the individual troops?” Presumably, he has his people around the airport. And, those forces are specifically keeping their eyes open for other Taliban factions. However, as you have pointed out, Kabul is a populous city. There could be incidents if Westerners wind up in the wrong district. Naive young SJW’s who join NGO’s are notoriously short on common sense and survival instinct.

    The situation is hardly unique to the Taliban. One can be sure that both U.S. and Russian HQ have standing orders for their troops to stay clear of each other in Syria. How many stories have there been about 18-20 year olds on both sides playing silly buggers in APC’s?

    PEACE 😇

  241. @gotmituns

    If leadership fails to grasp what the people want they will be overthrown.

    Works in the DPRK.

    • Replies: @Alden
  242. Beckow says:
    @A123

    There is something in avoiding extremes, but it comes across like a wet noodle. What you say would take decades – and there are the judges, incl. some that Trump appointed. In the meantime there is an oligarchy with increasingly less and less self-restraint. Trump had the support of the people (enough of them) and he could had played much more of a hardball. McConnell needs stuff too.

    Removing Trump was always a long shot and leaders take risks. Trump strategy was to get a second term and maybe do more. That didn’t work out. Waiting for a new Trump borders an absurdity – same circumstances, same media, same oligarchy. Leopards don’t change their spots.

    It is actually more likely that an unhinged uber-liberal oligarchic rule will hit a wall. The 100 million or so liberal Americans who at this point fully control the country are incapable of doing so successfully. I like to say that liberalism has everything on its side except results. It is fatalistic, but having the liberalism extremes – the gender nonsense, open borders, media as 1984 nightmare – will create a counter-force and a backlash. Trump unfortunately failed, but as a catalyst and irritant he still did a lot…

  243. BlackFlag says:
    @Ray Caruso

    Even if the CIA poll is legitimate, who cares?

    It’s still an important question because it goes against what we know about guerilla warfare. Karlin gives explanations for the success of the final takeover but not the 20 years of guerilla warfare. Can guerrilla warfare successfully be waged with only minor support from the local populace? In the examples I’m aware of, e.g. Spain versus Napoleon, Chinese communists versus Kumonintang, Boers versus British, the guerillas has widespread support. And the differences in military resources between the 2 sides were not usually as dramatic. So this would mean we have to radically change our thinking on guerilla warfare or that the Taliban were amazingly successful.

  244. @Anatoly Karlin

    You misunderstand. It’s not necessary to “take” an airfield. This is the mistake the Japanese made at Guadalcanal. It’s only necessary to deny it’s use to the enemy. I claim it’s easy and well within Taliban capability to deny use for jet aircraft with simple mortar bombardment. Harder to deny to helicopters and turboprops like C-130, but they can degrade it’s capacity. So it’s possible to setup a siege situation. 6 or 7 thousand troops sounds like a lot, but an airfield has a big perimeter and most of those troops are not trigger-pullers.
    You’re making the same mistake the US generals made in underestimating Taliban capability. Additionally, and this is subjective, I believe the US military is a morally weak paper tiger. It’s trannified, sissified, and anti-white. Much of it consists of mercenary contractors. Will it fight? Historically, at times it wouldn’t. And it’s not even clear the US elites would mind losing an army, they hate Americans anyway. I wouldn’t want to be a US soldier or mercenary in Kabul right now.

    • Agree: Ray Caruso, Levtraro
  245. gatobart says:
    @Jeff Davis

    That also.

    Who in the world is clueless and dumb enough to believe that a poll taken, say, among Latin American peasants, specially in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, where the populace at large has seen the devastating effects of U.S. sponsored civil wars and coup d’etats, not to mention death squads; a poll taken by, say, a “journalist” from the NYT, or CNN, or the U.S State Deept or even worse, by the some broke-Spanish speaking gringo member of some NGO with well known ties to the CIA; who will really believe that those peasants will give frank, spontaneous answers when asked by these people, for example “How you do feel about the present (Washington installed and sponsored) government of your country…?” “How do you feel about the guerrilas who are trying to topple it…?” In most cases people know by advance the answers they have to give, they know it well, it is part of their training for survival inside the belly of the beast.

    Yoiu said it, stupid. Very stupid.

  246. Passer by says:

    Panjshir . I just looked up Taliban sympathy in Panjshir. 96.3% no sympathy (84 people), 2.8% little sympathy (2 people), one person who “didn’t know”), and nobody with “a lot of” sympathy. The single most anti-Taliban province in Afghanistan minus a few lightly populated central regions largely populated by Hazaras has become the focal point of a spreading anti-Taliban insurgency. I wonder why, and not, say, neighboring Nuristan – which is just as mountainous and even more inaccessible.

    Poll is total BS on Badakshan province. Similar “stats” to Panjshir. No resistance to Taliban there today, very small resistance during the Taliban take over, and it was a Taliban hotbed through the years, including in 2019.

  247. Taliban support at 13% is more than believe Epstein killed himself.

    Old survey like this led Biden to give false assurance to his G’7 critical enablers of splendid victory to come.

    • Agree: Robert Bruce
  248. @A123

    What about the Globalist RNC that backstabbed Trump time after time. That is my thing with Trump 2024. Will the guy pick actual guys for his cabinet that are genuine MAGA? His numerous Swamp picks have to make one wonder if he was/is clueless or just one of them at heart. It will be the ultimate Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice …. . You know the true nature of a man through his actions. His Swamp picks, his narcissism, his handling of COVID, and of course his seedy pardons have to give people pause if they want a second time around. I voted for the man in 2016, stayed home for 2020 as I live in SC, the reddest state of all, so the GOP was going to win big( they did). I have come to the conclusion that George Carlin was the only person who had the balls to say it like it was in the post industrial US. Why give any legitimacy to an illegitimate system. All we get are clowns.

  249. Passer by says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    If push comes to shove, the ~10k NATO troops in Kabul will find it trivial to clear them out.

    Again ignorant comments. The airstrikes stopped precisely because the Taliban can fuck up NATO forces at Kabul Airport. The small airport is in the middle of the city, it is indefensible, and the Taliban hold all the high ground (hills) around it. It is extremely vulnerable to mortar fire, rocket fire, artilery fire, and all types of indirect fire. Taliban can fire from the whole city. Actually Taliban has the US by the balls there, hence the US appealing for a deal.

    • Replies: @Passer by
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  250. How can you do a proper poll in a country where you can lose your head for having the wrong opinion on a wide range of subjects? The only people who you could ask for their opinion on any touchy subject such as this, would be the westernized elite living in the large cities. Do these people represent the people living in the country? I doubt it. To the average Muslim tribesmen, he couldn’t imagine a society where women don’t submit to a man and don’t wear the Hijab. The law of Sharia gives him a stable society and he likes that.

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  251. Passer by says:
    @Passer by

    Basically NATO soldiers are packed in a small place like sardines there, surrounded by the Taliban, the hills and the city. You can rest assured that Taliban have placed many weapons ready to fire an WW 2 style volley at that small point, which also lacks military design and infrastructure, unlike military airbases.

    I would be more worried about Covid and shit/urine/garbage spreading in the area..

    • Replies: @Sparkylyle92
  252. @Passer by

    They can fuck up many civilians and kill a few soldiers, perhaps even a few dozen if they get really lucky with the suicide bomber, but it will be soon followed by thousands of Taliban deaths, pinpoint strikes on their leadership, their expulsion from Kabul, and probably subsequent full-scale air and logistics support for the NRF followed by them retaking at least half the country.

    Biden wouldn’t want this because he really wants to complete the withdrawal and such a scenario will truly crater his approval ratings, so in this sense, the Taliban do hold a bargaining chip. But they shouldn’t overplay their hand, if they think that they can initiate open hostilities with the US and hope to win, they are very deluded. To their credit, I don’t think they are.

  253. @Joe Paluka

    Except that, as mentioned, richer Afghans actually progressively tend more “conservative” than poorer Afghans (with an inflection back to a more “liberal” direction only amongst the very rich).

    You can have sharia without the Taliban. That was literally Afghanistan before a few days ago. Did you actually read the post?

    • Agree: Not Raul
  254. Passer by says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    kill a few soldiers

    They will level the whole place in one hour, lol. Do you understand that they probably have hundreds of mortars (not to mention rockets and artilery, all hidden in the city) at minimal 100 + meter distance ready to fire at a small area packed with soldiers, that lacks any shelters?

    That place is indefensible, lol. It does not matter if there are cyborgs there or NATO soldiers. Place is indefensible relatively small civilian airport that is surrounded from all sides and from hills. It can be leveled in 1 hour or less.

    So the talk about the soldiers at the airport retaking Kabul is incredible BS.

    • Agree: Sparkylyle92
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    , @Maddaugh
  255. @Anatoly Karlin

    You don’t understand the seriousness of the situation. Ask yourself, why were flight operations suspended for 8 hours? We are not being told the reason. It could be due to a single 3-man mortar team.
    Precision bombing? In a city? Why do you think Taliban don’t wear uniforms?
    The Taliban have practiced hiding from airpower for decades. And where will these sorties come from? Not from Kabul airport if mortars and rockets are being lobbed at it. The US better hope the Taliban didn’t capture any real artillery. I’ll bet the US has no capability for counter-battery fire there. What a cluster-f–k.

    • Replies: @Passer by
  256. Passer by says:
    @Sparkylyle92

    They have D-30 artillery plus SPG 9 plus BM 21 Grad MLRS, plus who knows how many other rocket launchers, plus other stuff. All can be deployed at 100 m + from the airport in civilian areas, since the city surrounds it. Not to mention the presence of hills near the airport.

    • Replies: @Sparkylyle92
  257. @Passer by

    Look at the picture of the grounded jetliner. See all the crap on the runway? Jets can’t take off near any of that garbage. If it gets sucked into an engine, goodby engine. You don’t need to crater a runway, just litter it with metal fragments.
    Ever see those comparisons of US and Russian military airfields? The Russian airfields have weeds growing on the runway, wood and paint cans stacked randomly, rickety sheds all over. US airfields are spotless. Thats’s because the Russian jets have protected inlets so they can fly from combat airfields. US jets can’t operate from a besieged airstrip because a single 1/2 inch bolt can take out an engine.

    • Replies: @Passer by
  258. Passer by says:
    @Sparkylyle92

    Another clusterfuck is that there are still thousands of civilian westerners in the city, who can be killed or captured.

  259. @Passer by

    So every American in Kabul is a potential hostage.
    But the Taliban know the US can level Kabul with B-52’s. Also the US has seized the Taliban’s gold and foreign reserve accounts. This may be enough leverage to get our people out.
    It depends now on whether hotheads on both sides can be controlled.
    The Vietnamese took hostages and were promised \$4 billion in reparations. We never paid and they kept and killed our MIAs. I think the Taliban would be fools to take hostages, because the US elites couldn’t care less about their people. But the Russians and Chinese are civilized states, it would impress them favorably if the Taliban let the US citizens go.

  260. Hmmm . . .

    well so what the Taliban aren’t popular. Let’s of countries have unpopular leadership models.

    Your IQ hopscotch has no real meaning in light of history. World history is rife with the literate losing to the illiterate which is rarely a cause for conflict. Viking marauders were far less intelligent than they those they often pillaged.

    The most salient point you make in the article pertains to the will to fight, regardless of IQ.
    ———————————-

    It’s hard to imagine a world in which the winning side doesn’t seek some vengeance on their opponents. i thought it possible as the Taliban do have some moral coding, but even they it seems are intent on getting their pound of flesh.

  261. Taliban won’t kill hostages or even take them. They know what the game is by now. This clusterfuck was intentional so they can get an excuse for round 2. I wouldn’t put it past Neocon central in DC to have some idiots blow something up.

  262. @Passer by

    They will level the whole place in one hour, lol.

    Nothing I’ve seen from the Taliban suggests they can do anything more than lob some small shells and rockets at the airport and hope they hit something, most of which, for that matter, will be shot down by the airport’s air defenses. Again, overrunning surprised, incompetent, demoralized, unpaid ANA troops, most of whom were apparently told to stand down anyway, is a very different world from attacking close to 10k First World military professionals.

    • Replies: @Passer by
  263. The US had every opportunity to destroy the Taliban and actually train the afghan forces from the ground up and chose not to so.

    And let’s do stop whining about the departure, nothing and no one is forcing the Taliban to engage in reprisals. And in reality, there is little if anything a departing military could do to prevent that —-

    including acts against US citizens in country — aside from getting them to safe zones, as if that were possible to 100 percent – not even close. There is only way to stop that activity, (for US citizens) get out and for the population at large —

    to stay and return to fighting.

  264. “This clusterfuck was intentional so they can get an excuse for round 2.”

    Not entirely out of the realm of possibility.

  265. Maddaugh says:
    @Passer by

    I agree with your assessment. The Taliban became inordinately experienced in close quarter fighting. In addition, they are now in the Cities thereby negating the technical superiority of ANY super power.
    A mortar barrage as an example is a fire cracker in a field compared to its use in an urban environment. Contrary to popular belief, the Taliban are well versed in the use of these to support attacks, cover withdrawls, destroy positions or for harassment. Add in all the other captured weapons systems and the US will have a witches brew.

    So, if the Coalition were unable to subdue them in the field it will be practically impossible to do so in an urban environment. As well, there is the propaganda element. To root them out tooth and nail, the attacker will have to raze the City and civilian will become part of the slaughter. The US does not have the stomach for this kind of warfare ! The Taliban will spin any such attempt as a premeditated motive to slaughter Moslems in revenge or whatever.

    There are whole operational manuals and studies that lay out techniques, methods, philosophies of and drills for disengaging with the enemy under any and all tactical and strategic conditions. The US used all these for ass wipes and hence the catastrophe.

    So, I agree with your comment and have to dismiss anyone else who feels otherwise ! These tribesmen have become skilled fighters and anyone who says otherwise is a fool !

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  266. @Maddaugh

    Low-tech partisan forces in an insurgency get kills because they have the luxury of blending into the local population and orchestrating ambushes (i.e. annulling the technologically superior force’s innate advantage in concentration and force multipliers), they get massacred in open battles against better trained and higher tech opponents (especially in an urban environment), most especially when they’re attacking fortified hardpoints to boot. It will be sad and a war crime on the part of the Taliban if they use civilians for cover, but if American soldiers are fighting for their lives and the lives of the civilians they’re protecting, they cannot reasonably be expected to adhere to restrictive ROE.

    • Replies: @Passer by
  267. Maddaugh says:
    @dindunuffins

    Yup is right. We have a situation where a group with a 13% interest is calling the shots. How would you like to go into business with me, you put in 87%, I put in 13% and I tell YOU what to do !

    That;s the madness in the US and its only a matter of time before the majority shareholders get uppity.

    Second, we have yet another in a long line of examples stretching back to Caveman, of what happens when you put a Dindu to run anything anywhere. DISASTER.

    I;m talking about Field MArshal Dustbin, our winner of Chimp of the Year Prize. One of the 13% who could fuck up a slice of toast !

  268. @CelestiaQuesta

    Japan was also given billions in state-of-the-art warfare equipment: F-35s. Of course, they had to pay for it: BILLIONS of dollars, plus the life of a pilot when a plane crashed while protecting the Pacific Ocean.

  269. Ampang member of Parliament (MP) Zuraida Kamaruddin has expressed her willingness to visit Afghanistan in order to guide the Taliban on how to optimise the role of women in various fields.”

  270. kemerd says:

    Oh Karlin! you just have proven my previous conviction that you are indeed an idiot. I was lured by the title but I should have known better.

    It is obvious that that their support is higher than this; but as Nassim Taleb says, as one of intellectual yet idiots you prefer to look into numbers and interpret graphs instead of evidence that shouts at you; that they must indeed have popular support and enormous number of sleeping cells even within armed forces of afghan army. I suggest you to read Pepe Escobar’s account usually including first hand impressions. Yes they perhaps do not have majority support but surely a lot more than the puppet government had.

    Besides, Low IQ or not who would admit they are sympatric to an organisation that is considered a terrorist organisation by the state one lives in? I am certain that your life expectancy in such an environment would be measured in days while those low IQ goat-herders live and adapt.

  271. gatobart says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    “They can fuck up many civilians and kill a few soldiers, perhaps even a few dozen if they get really lucky with the suicide bomber, but it will be soon followed by thousands of Taliban deaths, pinpoint strikes on their leadership, their expulsion from Kabul, and probably subsequent full-scale air and logistics support for the NRF followed by them retaking at least half the country.?

    Pure nonsense. This is like the taking of hostages in the US Embassy in Iran in 1979 but fifty or a hundred times worse. The U.S. government was paralyzed then as much as the Biden administration is now. The Taliban doesn’t need to do anything about it, just leave the sanitary and human situation worsen in the airport, as it has given the best propaganda weapon they could have even dreamt of. By letting nature follow its course, they are telling the world: “See, this is what Amerrican occupation is all about, that is the order they brought to our country; this is how efficient they are. They can’t even execute a timely and orderly repatriation of their own people from our country…and yet we are doing nothing to prevent them from doing so…!” Why would they want to waste such a golden PR opportunity…? As the saying goes, why interrupt your enemy when he is harming himself… ?

  272. Mevashir says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    I am new to your work. Karlin is the name of a famous Hasidic dynasty. I assume that is your heritage correct?

    • LOL: sher singh
    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
    , @Dmitry
  273. Exile says:
    @John Johnson

    JJ has chugged a big mug of American-made “free society” kool-aid.

    For an indication of how much the 87% really supports the national government, see the performance of the Afghan Army vs. the Taliban.

    Saying the Taliban couldn’t cut in a “democracy” is like saying a straight guy couldn’t cut it as a drag queen.

    They don’t want to be good at democracy – because that just means your country is led by Others – especially when you’re a nation like Afghanistan.

    The Taliban’s existence is the Afghan referendum on “democracy” and the puppet Western government – just like they were on the puppet Soviet government.

    FFS, no country in NATO can legitimately call itself the kind of democracy that JJ is fantasizing about, much less a country like Afghanistan.

    Regardless of what JJ or even AK want for them, the Afghans don’t want to be urbane sophisticated bugmen.

  274. @Mevashir

    No. And for that matter, I am approximately 30x less Jewish than the esteemed owner of this webzine.

  275. @AnonfromTN

    Imagine if Russia had been taken over by Jews, who changed Russia into the USSR and killed lots of people: a big, fat Jewish Problem. Then along comes Adolf, in Austria and Germany, where they have a huge Jewish Problem called the Weimar republic. Should a Russian fight for the Jewish side, or help the National Socialists rid Europe of AshkeNazis?

    • Replies: @AnonfromTN
  276. @AnonfromTN

    Yeah the French put up more of a fight against the Germans – so can anyone really believe the support for the Taliban is only 13% when they met basically no resistance. Afghans are hardened people. They would have fought them if they didn’t want them.

    • Agree: AnonfromTN
  277. Adam D. says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Your analysis seems to be blind to the idea that the US knew it could not ever build a Liberal democracy from the off, you don’t think they knew what these guys were like from the soviet war? Ofcourse they did, the more backward the better for the military industrial complex!

  278. @jaye ryan

    James Bond in “License to Kill” was the same thing. The Afghan mujihadeen were James saviors against the Soviets. Ironic…

  279. Alden says:

    The Asia Foundation is a CIA front. Always has been since it was founded.

  280. Dmitry says:
    @Mevashir

    There is also a famous comedian all over YouTube, who was like a wise village grandfather.

    • Replies: @Mevashir
  281. Alden says:
    @Old and Grumpy

    Poll was done by the Asia Foundation. It’s a CIA front was founded by the CIA.

  282. @Badger Down

    As Nazis behaved towards USSR citizens in the most despicable way possible, they decided the issue and were annihilated. Served the bastards right.

    • Agree: Boomthorkell
  283. It’s interesting to think that Islam is making a comparable transition from the medieval — a common derogatory trope of Muslims — to something like their Age of Reason.

    Of course it will occur in different ways and be affected by an already ‘advanced’ civilization around it, so forget about direct comparisons and accurate predictions. But considering that most of Europe was stuck in the middle ages for a thousand years while the Middle East boasted some comparatively advanced aspects, perhaps history’s pendulum is swinging.

    After all, we white barbarians are well on our way back toward feudalism under the oppressive grip of kings wielding a jealous dogma. Maybe the 21st Century will be remembered as the birth of the Islamic Renaissance. They’ve already embarked upon their Age of Discovery, colonizing foreign lands as refugees. Maybe there’s also some equivalent to a Muslim Gutenberg, Galileo, da Vinci, Luther, etc right around the corner.

    • Replies: @Miro23
  284. Passer by says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Nothing I’ve seen from the Taliban suggests they can do anything more than lob some small shells and rockets at the airport and hope they hit something

    Well time to learn something new then. 15 goatherds vs well defended and fortified Marine US airbase apptly named “Bastion”.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/September_2012_raid_on_Camp_Bastion

    The Taliban has now captured a large amount of weaponry from ANA, including hundreds of mortars, as well as artillery, as well as Grad MLRS, so what “you have seen” has nothing to do with the current situation. Plus they now use drones as well.. Their Badri special forces are currently deployed around the Airport.

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

    Deploying one hundred mortars around the airport gives you the ability to launch 1000 mortar shells in two minutes, not much air defense can do about it. They had time to deploy a large amount of weapons around the airport, and since it is surrounded by the city, it can all be hidden in civilian areas. I’m not going to mention that adding a salvo salvo from several GRAD MLRS will level the Airport, plus the artillery they have now (no air defense against artillery), plus all the other rocket launchers they have now. And the big thing is that a large salvo from all sides vs a small surrounded area, with thousand of troops and civilians mixed, without shelters for them or the equipment, means carnage, no matter who is deployed there.

    I’m not going to mention that the Civi airport lacks infrastrucutre to handle so many thousands of people, including water, sewage, and other services. This isn’t Bagram Airbase.

    I would be way more worried about the whole NATO bubble turing into a slum, and shit, garbage and diseases spreading there, than the soldiers there retaking Kabul.

  285. Passer by says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    most especially when they’re attacking fortified hardpoints to boot.

    Kabul Civilian Airport is currently a slum, has nothing to do with Bagram Airbase or any military airbase. Building an airbase is an art. US military airbases in Afg had many square kilometers of terrain around them covered with posts, fences and patrols, precisely to protect themselves again mortar fire and other indirect attacks. Here Taliban are 100 meters from the Airport.

    The urban factor is big because many things can be hidden around the airport, plus Taliban has the high ground around it.

  286. Passer by says:

    This is what a shitshow looks like –

  287. The CIA conducted a poll to weed out any Taliban sympathisers who may be offering support to the insurgents and you believe it. LOL!

  288. Dreadilk says:

    Has it been posted yet that the dude surrendered in Panjir?

  289. Dmitry says:
    @German_reader

    Providing temporary space for real refugees, is a morally correct choice in terms of “categorical imperative”. It doesn’t have to be in developed countries though – the important thing is the refugee is safe from the particular danger they had faced in the country where they were persecuted, not that their standard of living will be elevated (too much of the latter encourages falsification of refugee status).

    The problem is that the immigration situation this century, is so unthought and badly invested in most developed countries, that it seems there isn’t even much of a state capacity to investigate accurately if a person is a real refugee, as opposed to an economic migrant.

    There seems to be a loss of the concept of temporary shelter according to a “categorical imperative”.

    The discussion usually slides to an interest in economic immigration, for which there isn’t a moral justification (but rather only potential pragmatic ones – e.g. if a country needs certain workers).

    From the moral point of view, after the refugee’s origin country has become safe for them (however many years transpass), then the humanitarian job is completed, and they should be automatically returned home. After being returned home, then they could try to apply for selective immigration, if they were a type of worker who was particularly requires in the country they apply to. But they should be returned home first.

    (Some people will argue that it is humanitarian for developed countries to accept immigrants from the developing world, simply because they would raise their living standard. Here all the water is being turned muddy, and the discussion detracts the seriousness of the situation that real refugees experience).

    • Replies: @Coconuts
  290. @Levtraro

    Brexit showed that the majority were rightists.

    • Replies: @Levtraro
  291. Hmmmmm….13%…..disastrous influence upon a nation. I just know there’s something about the USA that bears upon too…..if only I could remember its significance….perhaps it’ll come back to me…. 😉

  292. Levtraro says:
    @Philip Owen

    You didn’t understand my point. What was the turnout? 75.7%. Those 24.3% that didn’t show up are all leftists. Leftists are the majority in all western countries. It’s just very difficult to make them go to vote.

  293. ivan says:

    According some reports Afghanistan’s budget was financed by foreign aid covering 85% of it. It is not a wonder then with Salman in SA, and the Gulfies wearying of throwing good money after bad that the soldiers were not paid for six months. With Trump having pulled the rug, the Afghan government was destined for collapse. Who then will the Afghans rely on after this, with the population having doubled in the last 20 years to 40 millions? Its all very well to flash bazzokas and AK-47s, but how are all these people going to eat, let alone have some surplus over subsistence level?

    Afghanistan is an object lesson in the fate that awaits the Muslims who follow the incredibly imbecilic Islamic religion.

  294. ANATOLY KARLIN you whine like a bitch!

    You barely deserve a response so I will keep it short. You are crying because people are cheering the redpilled Taliban and boo hooing over womens rights. You sound like a filthy jew but you are not worth looking into to find out it that is the case.

    There are no pervert pride flags flying over Kabul anymore. I hope it hurts while you pine for your feminist and leftist gay dogmas.

    • Agree: Anatoly Karlin
  295. Coconuts says:
    @Dmitry

    The problem is that the immigration situation this century, is so unthought and badly invested in most developed countries, that it seems there isn’t even much of a state capacity to investigate accurately if a person is a real refugee, as opposed to an economic migrant.

    There seems to be a loss of the concept of temporary shelter according to a “categorical imperative”.

    I saw a Youtube discussion on this subject a couple of weeks ago between Douglas Murray and a British Afghan academic advocating for asylum seekers rights, this latter guy made every move you describe here. He started with the moral imperative to take in asylum seekers, regardless of the material pluses and minuses, but quickly moved onto the topic of how much asylum seekers contribute economically and culturally and then, that they just want to work and make a better life for their children, before defending ‘irregular entrants’ and irregular claims for asylum (these involve people introduced into the country via human trafficking and other kinds of illegal immigration who fail to claim asylum at recognised points of entry). Kind of hat trick of rhetorical techniques that leave the waters around the core moral aspect of the asylum issue opaque.

    I’ve also wondered if this type of rhetoric is partly successful because of the weak state capacity of a country like the UK in terms of monitoring and dealing with this issue; I read that Hegel thought the state was a product or manifestation of collective human reason, maybe you can see in this case that a strong and well informed border security service is a necessary basis for rational political discussion of the asylum issue. In the absence of that it may be being de facto turned into a kind of improvised business venture or revenue generating opportunity (renting out hotels and private security services to monitor migrants etc.)

  296. Mevashir says:
    @Dmitry

    A wise old man or a dirty old man?

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  297. @German_reader

    but obviously your commentary is much superior to the rantings of pychotic faggots like Andrew Anglin.

    I thought you didn’t like that word

  298. @Greasy William

    This is quite the reunion thread! 🙂

    I hope you’ve been well.

    All it now needs is for Polish Perspective to chime in and complete and trifecta.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  299. Passer by says:

    2-3 meters distance between Taliban and US soldiers

    Ghetto at the airport

  300. I hope you’ve been well.

    I definitely haven’t, but I’m still ticking and that is what’s most important.

    Anyway, on the subject: the only people rejoicing over future potential thot patrols in Afghanistan are a small subculture of Anglinites who live on the internet. I’m not really sure why you would waste time calling out such a marginal and irrelevant group of people.

    It sounds like the more mellow Taliban 2.0 (as opposed to the 90’s Taliban) is actually pretty in line with what most Afghans want, so it doesn’t seem to be worth getting stressed about.

    The overwhelming majority of those of us who are celebrating the Taliban’s victory are doing so not out of love for the Taliban but because we are ecstatic to see the US/GloboHomo/Biden humiliated. It really is that simple. Like the revolutionaries in late Imperial Russia said: the worse, the better.

  301. Passer by says:

    Taliban captured more than one hundred MANPADS – Shoigu

    https://sputniknews.com/world/202108241083702895-taliban-got-huge-amount-of-weapons-including-over-100-manpads-russian-defense-minister/

    Taliban warns of consequences if U.S. delays withdrawal

    Biden folds

  302. @German_reader

    You don’t appreciate Anglin’s fervent anti-imperialism?

    Honestly, I wish more people were as adamantly crazy against foreign intervention as he is, at the very least Americans, whose foreign policy concerns should not extend South of the Panama Canal, West of the Bering Strait, East of Greenland (sorry, Denmark) and North of the fishing waters right along the Great Hat.

    Well, besides trade deals. Getting that Chunnel/Bridge from Alaska to Kamchatka would be an excellent FP win. Join the OBOR, etc.

  303. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Yes nice to see Greasy and German Reader return. It feels like times of years ago.

    for Polish Perspective

    He was here 3-4 months ago on the other name, so there I think a good chance for him to return. https://www.unz.com/comments/all/?commenterfilter=Thulean+Friend The problem for your forum’s culture from his perspective, is that there probably there are not enough “rightoids” on the forum this year for him to enjoy triggering. Although hopefully he returns as he is one of the best writers here.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  304. Dmitry says:
    @Dmitry

    Lol and I remember people argued me about the name changes, which makes me a little sad for posting on this forum, and apparently surrounding myself with netizens that have an IQ of below 60.

    For people who talk about IQ, the average intelligence (or at least memory and pattern recognition) on the forum is surely a long way below average.

    I mean a normal person should do basic pattern recognition automatically in a few seconds of reading a text.

    But if you cannot, then try to type any uncommon word on the provided search function. You don’t need any scripts for this. Just randomly, I choose some unusual words from their posts to test it, and will match like:

    https://www.unz.com/?s=%22so-called%22&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Polish+Perspective

    https://www.unz.com/?s=%22so-called%22&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Thulean+Friend

    https://www.unz.com/?s=essentially+&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Polish+Perspective

    https://www.unz.com/?s=essentially+&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Thulean+Friend

    https://www.unz.com/?s=gushing+&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Polish+Perspective

    https://www.unz.com/?s=gushing+&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Thulean+Friend

    • Replies: @German_reader
  305. Dmitry says:
    @Mevashir

    I was going to write something like “dirty, cynical, angry village grandfather”. But it is a bit redundant as all is already implied by “village grandfather”.

    Although this Helvetius style of explanation..

  306. Yes nice to see Greasy and German Reader return. It feels like times of years ago.

    Is Tahla still around?

    • Replies: @German_reader
  307. German_reader says:
    @Greasy William

    I’ve changed my opinion, the whole tranny nonsense has pushed me into quite the anti-LBGQT+ position, I now endorse “faggot” as a slur.
    Anyway, nice to see you’re still alive.

  308. German_reader says:
    @Greasy William

    iirc his spiritual master (or whatever) told him to stop commenting on internet forums some months ago, so he’s left UR. I suppose it wasn’t such a promising avenue for Islamic proselytism after all.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  309. German_reader says:
    @Dmitry

    Don’t find that convincing at all tbh, PP was a hardcore WN, whereas TF eventually turned into a full-blown SJW. To me they were very distinct personalities.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  310. who is TF?

    Tahla was a good dude. Unz is a really rough place to be a Muslim, though.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  311. Dmitry says:
    @German_reader

    Well if German Reader can’t notice the name changes, then it’s not an issue of IQ. Maybe generational? I wonder how you could survive on the internet. When we were kids everyone could notice when other’s have changed their names online.

    Test for any unusual words:

    https://www.unz.com/?s=%22right+flank%22&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Polish+Perspective

    https://www.unz.com/?s=%22right+flank%22&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Thulean+Friend

    https://www.unz.com/?s=%22handed+the+keys%22&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Polish+Perspective

    https://www.unz.com/?s=%22handed+the+keys%22&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Thulean+Friend

    https://www.unz.com/?s=%22every+turn%22&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Polish+Perspective

    https://www.unz.com/?s=%22every+turn%22&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Thulean+Friend

    You can try Karlin as a control for all these:

    https://www.unz.com/?s=%22every+turn%22&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=anatoly+karlin

    https://www.unz.com/?s=%22right+flank%22&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=anatoly+karlin

    https://www.unz.com/?s=%22handed+the+keys%22&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=anatoly+karlin

    hardcore WN, whereas TF eventually turned into a full-blown SJW

    I would guess because there are more low IQ “rightoids” than “leftoids” here – so he could enjoy triggering the “rightoids” by posting some SJW comments. If we had more “leftoids” then there would be users trying to trigger them – but there are far less leftoids to trigger here, so the only pleasure is triggering the rightoids.

    As for peoples’ real political views, it’s one of the less stable aspects of identity, especially if there are extreme views. Probably he grows older and finds a girlfriend, entered the real world, their life became happier, etc, – their views will change.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  312. Dmitry says:
    @German_reader

    Lol sadly I’m guilty as the reason Talha exited the Karlin forums -I started a discussion with him about afterlife, and on a topic about vegetarianism. This is the comment I wrote which caused him to exit the Karlin forums: https://www.unz.com/akarlin/estonian-freezer/#comment-2605331

    He was indeed here for Islamic proselytism, but it wasn’t the only reason. He also seemed to enjoy writing with us, and writing about his life. But he seemed to be indoctrinated into a cult, and he exited after he allowed himself to become engaged on a discussion he didn’t have answers for.

  313. German_reader says:
    @Dmitry

    Hmm, have to admit those verbal coincidences are interesting (wasn’t convinced by “essentially”, which is a pretty common word imo), still not sure, but maybe you’re right, thanks. Would be pretty bizarre behaviour if PP=TF, but then people do the strangest things on the net.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    , @Dmitry
  314. German_reader says:
    @Greasy William

    He wrote over a million words on UR, seemed excessive for a guy with a large family and such a strong commitment to his religious community. His spiritual guide was probably right that it was better for him to focus more on the offline world.
    TF = ThuleanFriend, a Swedish commenter, who started off not entirely atypical for a UR commenter (“We’re all living in Jewish-dominated oligarchies”), but eventually became very “progressive” (loved Greta Thunberg and told us to eat bugs to save the climate, males are violent and ought to be culled, argued against racial prejudice etc.; also had a weird interest in Indian affairs).

  315. @German_reader

    Nordics are genetically prone to Leftism. Had the Nazis won the war, I think that the bulk of the party would have eventually become SJWs.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  316. German_reader says:
    @Greasy William

    Not leftism, rather conformism and fanatic, rigid belief in ideology (plus ostracism for those who are seen as morally worthless, no longer part of the community). Many Germans are like this, but Swedes seem to be even worse.

  317. @German_reader

    I’m still not convinced, but I don’t have time to run such searches, so who knows.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  318. @German_reader

    Both were posting from the countries they claimed or implied to be part of. That would have been a hard act to keep up.

    Anyhow, I’m certain both that PP =/= TF, and for that matter, that TF is not an Indian.

    In general I have a pretty good record of guessing people’s backgrounds from their texts.

    • Agree: reiner Tor
    • Thanks: German_reader
    • Replies: @German_reader
    , @Dmitry
  319. German_reader says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    thx, that confirms my original view, never saw any similarity between PP and TF either, very different persons imo.

  320. Miro23 says:
    @Sollipsist

    After all, we white barbarians are well on our way back toward feudalism under the oppressive grip of kings wielding a jealous dogma. Maybe the 21st Century will be remembered as the birth of the Islamic Renaissance.

    No way. The winners use intense competition, nationalism and merit based advancement (i.e. North East Asia especially China).

    The trend is well established, and is only reversed if the US Jews nuke them. Not coincidentally their current plan (ref. all those billionaire nuclear shelters in New Zealand) .

  321. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Everyone (or almost everyone) who knows how to embed links here will be running on VPN when they post on forums. And he is one of the few people who embed links here. For example, I change the VPN location whenever I want to access websites from a different language.

    • Replies: @reiner Tor
  322. Dmitry says:
    @German_reader

    It’s not just the same verbal structure, but also the same content is retrieved by those verbal structures.

    For example, the phrase “every turn”, always retrieves a discussion about the judiciary across both accounts.
    https://www.unz.com/?s=%22every+turn%22&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Polish+Perspective

    “same story is in the judiciary. Look at how Trump is getting blocked at every turn by the liberal judiciary” ( https://www.unz.com/akarlin/gcb-20151617-released/#comment-2090574 )

    https://www.unz.com/?s=%22every+turn%22&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Thulean+Friend

    “Anyone who thinks the judiciary doesn’t matter should spend a few moments looking at how it thwarted Trump at every turn early on in his presidency” ( https://www.unz.com/akarlin/open-thread-71/#comment-3099615 )

    “trump’s first six months were the only time he was even remotely radical and he got stymied at every turn.” ( https://www.unz.com/akarlin/open-thread-95/#comment-3566295 )

    He wrote always the same content on the two accounts. For example, “on par” will retrieve a discussion about wage differences within Europe.

    https://www.unz.com/?s=%22on+par%22&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Polish+Perspective

    https://www.unz.com/?s=%22on+par%22&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Thulean+Friend

    Neoliberal also retrieves a discussion about “neo-Cohenist” on both accounts It is the only user here that use that phrase.

    https://www.unz.com/?s=Cohenist+&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Thulean+Friend

    https://www.unz.com/?s=%22neo-cohenist%22&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Polish+Perspective

    “Neoliberal” retrieves always a discussion about oligarchs on both accounts

    https://www.unz.com/?s=neoliberal+oligarchs&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Thulean+Friend

    https://www.unz.com/?s=neoliberal+oligarch&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Polish+Perspective

    One of the things I copied from them was that you should embed screenshots to i.imgur (I copied this for my own posts).

    https://www.unz.com/?s=i.imgur&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Polish+Perspective

    https://www.unz.com/?s=%22on+par%22&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Thulean+Friend

    I didn’t copy their link-embedding technique though, as I prefer to post the unembedded links so people know what website they would be clicking on (usually link embedding is used when people want you to click on an IP logger or some malware, so it feels like bad etiquette).

    pretty bizarre behaviour if PP=TF, but then people do the strangest things

    Polish-Thulean is not really strange, as most of us are here to engage other people into a discussion. Originally, ​he wrote “effort posts” – which I have some experience on as well.

    Almost every time I write an really good post, then it will be ignored. So I assume he has the same experienced this issue.

    On the other hand, if you write something that triggers the other users, then you get a good discussion from them.

    So if you using the forum to write effort posts, you will usually be disappointed rapidly.

    To attain a reliable discussion on the topic you want to discuss, you might need to trigger the other person. I managed to trigger Yevardian into a long discussion, by writing a childish reply to him on the opera.

    I used a writing style which is more simple and basic than normally in my posts, and predictably finally attained an extended reaction from him (he normally ignored my posts when I wanted to talk about Armenia-Azerbaijan with him).
    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/open-thread-161/#comment-4867062

    Polish-Thulean was successfully getting a lot of engagement from triggering the other users with content that contradicted the other users’ political beliefs. (Some users like Utu attain this result by writing insults, and Aaronb by spamming the page with words).

    I’m too polite for that, probably because I can usually just discuss with few people like AP and Utu, where you know what they will be interested in the topic.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  323. German_reader says:
    @Dmitry

    I wonder how do tasks at work if you can’t solve this kind of problem. Everyday at work I have to solve hundred times more difficult problems.

    Well, I’ve been unemployed for some time, and have alluded to my lack of professional success in the past, so I may indeed not be as good as you at “problem-solving”. Try be a little more patient with your slower and less successful interlocutors 🙂
    However, I also don’t think it’s an important issue tbh. Internet drama, personal feuds etc. don’t interest me, it’s a waste of time.

    Polish-Thulean was successfully getting a lot of engagement from triggering the other users with content that contradicted the other users’ political beliefs.

    I have fair experience with writing trollish or semi-trollish comments on other forums myself, but I never went so far as to come back under another name with a totally different made-up persona (though funnily enough people still accused me of writing under several names, or being a former user who had been expelled from the forum and now wanted to troll them again…). So I don’t know, it seems a bit far-fetched to me, but then who can know for sure (I admit the use of “neo-Cohenist” by both PP and TF is strange).
    I think you shouldn’t invest so much effort in this though, it’s kind of pointless.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  324. Dmitry says:
    @reiner Tor

    It’s not advanced computer science. I assumed everyone else knew this instantly and we were all being polite not to mention it (because he is one of the best commentators here, so it’s better not to scare him to exit). He is one of my favourite commentators and I hope he returns, so it is a good idea to be polite about this.

    Seriously how do you people operate basic tasks at work if you can’t solve this problem in a couple minutes.

    I was kind of shocked at how slow people were, when they disputed it. He was never pretending that he didn’t change his name, and he continued posting the same content, with the same graphs from the World Bank, embedded in the same way.

    We could possibly get more mutual retrievals between the accounts, than on your single account.

    The two accounts retrieve at such a level of specificity as for terms like “Michael Pettis”?
    https://www.unz.com/?s=%22michael+pettis%22&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Polish+Perspective

    https://www.unz.com/?s=%22michael+pettis%22&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Thulean+Friend

    “Jason Richwine”

    https://www.unz.com/?s=Richwine&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Polish+Perspective

    https://www.unz.com/?s=Richwine&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Thulean+Friend

    “Ryan Faulk”

    https://www.unz.com/?s=Faulk+&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Polish+Perspective

    https://www.unz.com/?s=Faulk+&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Thulean+Friend

    “Starcraft 2”

    https://www.unz.com/?s=Starcraft+&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Thulean+Friend

    https://www.unz.com/?s=starcraft&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Polish+Perspective

    “Whopping %”

    https://www.unz.com/?s=whopping&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Polish+Perspective

    https://www.unz.com/?s=whopping+&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Thulean+Friend

    “flipkart”

    https://www.unz.com/?s=flipkart&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Thulean+Friend

    https://www.unz.com/?s=flipkart&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Polish+Perspective

    “Permabear ”

    https://www.unz.com/?s=permabear&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Thulean+Friend

    https://www.unz.com/?s=permabearishness&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Polish+Perspective

    “blumenthal”

    https://www.unz.com/?s=blumenthal&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Polish+Perspective

    https://www.unz.com/?s=blumenthal&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Thulean+Friend

    “Bunk”
    https://www.unz.com/?s=bunk&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Polish+Perspective

    https://www.unz.com/?s=bunk&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Thulean+Friend

    “Seething”

    https://www.unz.com/?s=SEETHING&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Polish+Perspective

    https://www.unz.com/?s=SEETHING&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Thulean+Friend

    “fester”

    https://www.unz.com/?s=fester&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Thulean+Friend

    https://www.unz.com/?s=fester&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Polish+Perspective

    “Slave morality”

    https://www.unz.com/?s=%22slave+morality%22&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Thulean+Friend

    https://www.unz.com/?s=%22slave+morality%22&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Polish+Perspective

    “literal dyke”

    https://www.unz.com/?s=dyke+&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Polish+Perspective

    https://www.unz.com/?s=%22literal+dyke%22&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Thulean+Friend

    “seem quaint”
    https://www.unz.com/?s=quaint&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Thulean+Friend

    https://www.unz.com/?s=quaint&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Polish+Perspective

    “baby out with the bathwater”
    https://www.unz.com/?s=%22baby+out+with+the+bathwater%22&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Thulean+Friend

    https://www.unz.com/?s=%22baby+out+with+the+bathwater%22&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Polish+Perspective

    “virulently hostile”

    https://www.unz.com/?s=virulently+hostile&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Thulean+Friend

    https://www.unz.com/?s=%22virulently+hostile%22&Action=Search&ptype=all&commentsearch=only&commenter=Polish+Perspective

    Btw another useful thing I copied from Polish-Thulean was the screenshots from dataworldbank.org
    https://www.unz.com/akarlin/open-thread-43/#comment-2353753

    And for such knowledge of Indian politics he is not replaceable either https://www.unz.com/akarlin/so-putin-is-running/#comment-2109514

    • Replies: @Anatoly Karlin
  325. Dmitry says:
    @German_reader

    so much effort in this though, it’s kind of pointless.

    Lol no it’s not pointless as winning the argument on the internet was a boost for my fragile ego:)

    “neo-Cohenist” by both PP and TF is strange).

    It’s the only use of this term on the internet, so I just wanted to end the argument. Search engines just goes to Thulean’s comment: https://search.yahoo.com/search?p=%E2%80%9Cneo-Cohenist%E2%80%9D

    so far as to come back under another name with a totally different made-up

    It’s good he was changing names though, because we lose the more frequent commentators from their paranoia.

    Thulean/Polish was one of my favourite commentators, and I thought we all were being polite by not saying he changed his name. Hopefully he will return.

    Look what happens with Bashibuzuk, who was a really good commentator. It seemed like he was paranoid about being doxed, and exited the forum for that reason. Maybe we should all change our names every couple years, and then be polite enough to not to say who was which old person, and feel less paranoid for it.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  326. German_reader says:
    @Dmitry

    Thulean/Polish was one of my favourite commentators, and I thought we all were being polite by not saying he changed his name.

    I just never gave it much thought, and I still don’t care much tbh. I will admit though that the thematic similarities between PP’s/TF’s comments that you’ve uncovered are strange and strengthen your case quite a bit.
    Personally I eventually found TF’s comments pretty annoying and only skimmed over them, his hectoring (“Eat your bugs, worship women, don’t be racist, be like a Swede”) was really tiresome, as if there wasn’t enough of this crap everywhere else. He also started to insult other regular commenters. Since he came across as quite youngish (not even 30 was my impression) that was pretty disrespectful imo.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
  327. @Dmitry

    Have to say this is much stronger evidence (though still not fully convinced). Fixing your IP to the country you’re pretending to be posting from and actually maintaining it regularly is top-tier opsec. Apart from that, there was also PP saying he liked Sweden, and his questionable assertions about his trip to Israel, which would be more evidence for your thesis. Can’t say I’m convinced but you’ve certainly moved my probability needle, 10/10 weaponized autism.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @reiner Tor
  328. Dmitry says:
    @Anatoly Karlin

    Lol I can continue with hundred more examples, but I won’t waste your time. I assumed everyone knew this, and you were just being a civilized moderator, that allows us to change our names without mentioning it in writing. He even said to me that I copied his posts (e.g. embedding the world bank screenshots to imgur).

    That’s the value of the internet forum – we can comment anonymously. And your forum is specifically nice, because you are a civilized moderator, that safeguards peoples’ privacy, etc. (Although it would be good if you could add an option so we could edit our posts and so everyone also delete our old posts after a few years).

    He has very specific interests (e.g. DeepMind’s mastery of Starcraft II, Michael Pettis, Ryan Faulk, Flipkart), and it’s a good idea that he adds precautions to avoid being doxed by his friends or colleagues.

    He wants to talk about his comically specific interests, while still staying anonymous.

    Imagine if he was an economics student, and had wrote a dissertation about Michael Pettis?

    People should just avoid discussing the topic on which they actually work. We lost Bashibuzuk because he became paranoid? He never said anything related to his profession at least, but maybe he said too much things about his personal life (I guess there’s not more than a couple dozen Russian emigrants with French wives, whose best friends are a Berber, etc).

    assertions about his trip to Israel

    Wow that is nostalgia from the golden years of your forum. It’s like the conclusion about Israel was accurate, but the specific details were the opposite way around. As if you report that San Francisco is scary because of the intolerant attitude for sexual minorities. Well, San Francisco is a bit scary.. but not quite for that reason.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  329. Dmitry says:
    @German_reader

    He is a good commentator, because he liked to contradict the other people on the forum. These political discussions don’t always have true or false answers, especially if they can link back to unsolved philosophical problems. So it’s more interesting if people argue about those topics, rather than agreeing with each other.

    Besides, we would be wealthy by now if we had listened to his advice about Tesla.

  330. German_reader says:
    @Dmitry

    Although it would be good if you could add an option so we could edit our posts and so everyone also delete our old posts after a few years

    Doubt that’s possible, because

    Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter

    If you comment here, your comments become Ron Unz’s property, and he can do with them what he wants, hahaha.

    • Replies: @Dmitry
    , @Anatoly Karlin
  331. Dmitry says:
    @German_reader

    Lol I guess he could publish books with names like “On the Ukrainian question: a dialogue between AP, Gerard and Mr Hack”

    It sounds like he is planning to republish our witty comments onto t-shirts or something.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  332. German_reader says:
    @Dmitry

    An anthology of the best discussions on AK’s blog could actually be quite readable imo, level of debate here is not that bad by internet standards. More than one chapter on Ukrainian affairs would be tiresome though, too much repetition.

  333. @German_reader

    That’s correct. I don’t really have any moderation control apart from deleting or changing comments (and any changes I do make to comments are either at the commenter’s request or explicitly denoted by AK: …), banning specific handles, and forwarding Ron any requests to hide histories.

  334. @Twinkie

    I don’t much comment on Unz these days

    Welcome back. Your cogent thoughts were sorely missed.

  335. @Twinkie

    I first learned the 1v2, 2v3, 3v1 ordering strategy as a grade schooler from a comic book version of Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War,” which was popular in Japan and South Korea in the late 70’s.

    It’s a simple, clever, and an elegant construct, but it begs the question, “If it’s that easy, why doesn’t everyone do it?”

    As someone whose specialty isn’t history, but has spent time picking up bits and pieces from here and there, I’m struck by the way Chinese historical narratives (based on both English language sources and various historical soaps* with Engrish subtitles) read like a really detailed version of Aesop’s fables, with pat conclusions tying up loose ends. I can’t tell if didacticism and ideological/factional bias has seriously distorted whatever historical accounts exist, but it would not surprise me if it has.

    * The streaming services have been a godsend, although there’s a lot of chaff to go with the wheat, and the Engrish subtitles can be a little confusing at times. As an amateur non-native sinologist, I’m tickled by the amount of subtext that goes with so many Chinese historical productions, to the point that Xi Jinping made a point of criticizing them, since they detract from his simultaneous roles of emperor, pontifex maximus and living god.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  336. @Passer by

    As mentioned, a surprisingly high percentage of respondents were opposed to ISIS in opinion polls in… Raqqa. While it was under ISIS rule. That’s a pretty strong argument that people are very likely to give their real preferences in opinion polls. Also the first line of defense is often just saying things like “I don’t know” or refusing to answer rather than answering the opposite of their beliefs. Or even just modifying it somewhat, like saying “moderately opposed to the Taliban” instead of being neutral on it. I’m pretty sure that the poll results are incompatible with the Taliban being vastly popular.

    I do enjoy the memes like everyone else, but it’s just a fact.

    • Replies: @Passer by
  337. @Anatoly Karlin

    Fixing your IP to the country you’re pretending to be posting from and actually maintaining it regularly is top-tier opsec.

    He could simply do that from two different devices, in which case he’d just need to set it up once on each. It only works if you don’t comment constantly under one name or another, mixing it up. Bizarre behavior, but not more bizarre than what a lot of other people are doing. In a sense, our own commenting in itself is bizarre in the eyes of many. It could be someone with knowledge of both countries.

    I think the unusual expressions coincidentally used by both are actually stronger evidence than IP addresses, especially in light of the fact that they weren’t commenting too much at the same time.

    • Replies: @German_reader
  338. @Dmitry

    Embedding sometimes was screwed up by this website, so I stopped doing that. Using a VPN seems like a lot of hustle for very little gain, but it certainly provides somewhat bigger security.

    Anyway I’m now going on a hiatus until October so I hope you guys are having fun until then.

  339. Passer by says:
    @reiner Tor

    Also the first line of defense is often just saying things like “I don’t know” or refusing to answer rather than answering the opposite of their beliefs.

    Did you look at the poll at all? Lolz.

    Mere 1,5 % don’t know/refused to answer, such a number is almost impossible in polls.

    And as i mentioned already, there are serious abnormalities with the poll. Panjshir and Badakshan have similar numbers (the most anti-taliban areas in Afg according to the poll, no a single person with strong suppport for Taliban), one is the most anti-taliban area in Afghanistan, the other is a Taliban hotbed.

    Moreover, Taliban support declines through the years, just as the insurgency grows stronger.. : )

    So good luck relying on such numbers.

  340. German_reader says:
    @reiner Tor

    In a sense, our own commenting in itself is bizarre in the eyes of many.

    Many people would certainly consider it a waste of time (maybe it is), but imo there’s a difference between having a sincere discussion about various topics just for the sake of it and concocting a fake persona or telling false stories about alleged personal experiences like PP’s vacation in Israel. The latter behaviour implies some personal issues imo.
    Anyway, I hope there isn’t a serious reason for your hiatus (if it’s just a vacation, I hope you’ll enjoy it), and stay safe.

  341. @German_reader

    I will listen to “the rantings of pychotic faggots like Andrew Anglin”

    before listening to the faux superiority of your statements like, “… it shows Western societies to be ridiculously soft/unwilling to take the necessary measures against enemies once again”…

    They were NEVER enemies. They were objects of exploitation, where the dehumanization removes agency from the exploited by default.

  342. the figure of 17% support could be regarded as ‘standard’. in the us, the uk, russia, china, turkey, israel, hungary, nicaragua, etc., etc., the situation is identical. not surprising since wealth is necessary for power and most of the populous remains resentful. it is likely a phenomenon dating back to the origins of currency, i.e., the onset of haves and have nots based on symbolic object possession. spooky.

  343. Twinkie says:
    @Johann Ricke

    Xi Jinping made a point of criticizing them, since they detract from his simultaneous roles of emperor, pontifex maximus and living god.

    Not to forget CEO of China, Inc.

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