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Nation-Building in Afghanistan, from Sean Connery to Brad Pitt
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From my new column in Taki’s Magazine:

With America’s 16-year-old war in Afghanistan back in the news as Defense Secretary James Mattis hints that he’ll be sending in perhaps 4,000 more U.S. troops, Brad Pitt’s new movie on Netflix, War Machine, could be of interest.

Pitt plays a lightly fictionalized version of “Obama’s general,” Stanley McChrystal, who in 2009 cajoled the greenhorn president, by (apparently) leaking his secret report to Bob Woodward, into giving him 30,000 extra troops to nation-build in Afghanistan, with its strategic gravel deposits.

The disastrous temptation to try to provide the Afghans with what they’ve seldom been able to furnish for themselves—strong, wise rule—has been the stuff of fable since 1888, when the 23-year-old Rudyard Kipling wrote his most famous short story: “The Man Who Would Be King.”

Read the whole thing there.

Pitt’s movie War Machine is based on the reporting by Michael Hastings, who died in a spectacular one-car crash in Hollywood in 2013 that spawned so many conspiracy theories that I even left the house to investigate it.

 
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  1. Continuing to pour resources into a war after sixteen years is an indication that the military-industrial complex really does govern the United States. The rest of us just live here.

    • Agree: JohnnyWalker123
    • Replies: @Neoconned
    @Diversity Heretic

    Agreed.

    As to reporter Michael Hastings....

    Richard Clarke, the counter terrorism guy said a few yrs back it was very possible Hastings was wacked.

    And after watching numerous videos online the lsst few yrs back seeing tech nerds hack cars remotely i do think he was wacked.....question begging itself is of course who

    , @bored identity
    @Diversity Heretic

    Rubbish.

    What about Malala The Scarface?


    Old Talmudic wisdom claims:

    "To save one innocent child is to save Universum of Supremacy of the one and only democracy in the Middle of the Nowhere-East."



    Weimerica, bitchez.

    , @Phelps
    @Diversity Heretic

    I'm more inclined to believe that the sacrifices in lives by an all volunteer military and Americans aren't asked to make many financial sacrifices is the biggest factor in our endless, pointless Afghan War.

    , @Peter Akuleyev
    @Diversity Heretic


    Continuing to pour resources into a war after sixteen years is an indication that the military-industrial complex really does govern the United States. The rest of us just live here.
     
    Further proof of that is that despite Trump and Bannon's initial efforts to "reset" our relationship with Russia, Mattis and the military seemed determined to keep us on a confrontation course, and Mattis seems to be getting his way.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @Corvinus

  2. The biggest problem with War Machine is that Pitt, who has been a reliable star since Thelma and Louise over a quarter of a century ago, is terrible as General McChrystal. Pitt’s affected growling voice is painful to hear.

    Even worse, Michôd doesn’t give Pitt any insightful or charming lines. To Hastings, McChrystal was “a highly intelligent badass.” Yet Michôd doesn’t show any evidence of McChrystal’s intelligence in his movie.

    Sorry you didn’t like the film as much as I did. To me it was one man playing slapstick comedy in surroundings alternately tragic and comic, fictional form mirroring reality. His role is to be a leader in an impossible situation. He bravely plays his part, not stupidly, but as a leader everyone looks up to. What do you want him to do, quit? He soldiers on, quietly desperate. I imagine generals are like business leaders: they have to lay it on thick.

    And how can you blame the movie for letting us know from the start it was going to be about a failure? Who still thinks our wars aren’t all cruel, sickening failures?

    I thought the movie made the case against the war in Afghanistan better than any I’ve seen. And by billing itself as a comedy with a big star, it made me want to watch it. Who otherwise wants to see a serious movie about Afghanistan or Iraq? You know it’ll just make you nauseous. Patton in Afghanistan? No thanks. But Dr Strangelove? Oh all right.

    • Replies: @Olorin
    @European-American


    His role is to be a leader in an impossible situation. He bravely plays his part, not stupidly, but as a leader everyone looks up to. What do you want him to do, quit? He soldiers on, quietly desperate.
     
    Desperation is not a quality of Stoic leaders.

    It is a quality of people who imagine that the situation should be other than it actually is and respond out of any of the many varieties of idealism.


    Who still thinks our wars aren’t all cruel, sickening failures?
     
    Whose wars?

    Failures in what respect and for whom?

    , @bomag
    @European-American


    Who still thinks our wars aren’t all cruel, sickening failures?
     
    We used to send our young men out to conquer territory, or maybe prettier women. Now we send them out to find "refugees" that do that to us.

    Replies: @BB753

  3. robot says: • Website

    http://isteve.blogspot.com/2011/05/crazy-talk.html

    In 2011 you wrote “It’s interesting that the Pentagon was unenthusiastic about starting the war in Libya, but went along with the State / White House war fever. It’s sort of a One War for You, One War for Me deal. We’ll fight your war if you let us keep fighting our war.”

    If the primary goal is a bigger budget, shouldn’t the Pentagon love both?

  4. Whatever happened to “America First”?

    • Agree: Travis
    • Replies: @Bugg
    @MBlanc46

    Disappointing that the candidate who rightly called Obama out for bombing Syria...bombed Syria.

    , @Anon
    @MBlanc46

    Exactly.

  5. I really feel sorry for anyone who signed up “to serve their country” only to end up losing life or limb in that hellhole. If there is some legitimate reason for us to be over there we will probably never know about it. We got our “revenge” against Osama and his minions long, long ago. A wise leader would have simply bombed Mecca after 9/11, shut down immigration from Islamic countries, and been done with it. Instead we drop a trillion or so on a largely pointless war, let tens of thousands of our young men suffer and die, and allow the barbarians into our countries in ever-increasing numbers. If the West ever regains its sanity we will wonder how this all ever happened.

    • Replies: @Ganderson
    @Wilkey

    Couldn't have put it better. Anyone here remember SCTV's "Man Who Would be King of the Popes?"

    Replies: @Hhsiii

    , @Anonymous
    @Wilkey


    I really feel sorry for anyone who signed up “to serve their country” only to end up losing life or limb in that hellhole.
     
    Losing a limb would be almost infinitely preferable to thousands of injuries from Operation Enduring Fredom (OEF-A) that I've seen. Heck, a lot of these limb-loss injuries are so acceptable to the public they are featured in commercials. I've never seen product-marketing commercials feature wounded warriors with severe burns and/or head trauma. Because of the incredible advancements in medicine many more guys survived with horrific injuries than would have survived in previous decades. I worked with severely injured military from Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval. Many Americans will never meet some of these horrifically wounded guys because they will need to be confined to a very limited environment for life-long care and surgeries.

    Almost every day I still wonder how guys like Bush and Cheney can sleep at night.

    Replies: @RadicalCenter

    , @anon
    @Wilkey

    Had America simply ended ALL immigration from Muslim countries (including ending the arrival of so-called "refugees" like Somalis) it would have made the country a thousand times safer and saved many lives. The attack and occupation of Afghanistan was a fools' errand from day one. All of the 9/11 terrorists were basically illegal aliens or "visa over-stayers" in Washington speak.

    , @The Last Real Calvinist
    @Wilkey

    Unfortunately for the USA and its soldiers, the heretical post-Christian desire to save the world through human striving not only dominates leftist thinking, but it's at the root of the neocon mania for 'nation-building'. The price for this folly has been staggering.

    Replies: @Desiderius

  6. LOL at “strategic gravel reserves”. That’s good.

    One of the investment vehicles that Peter Lynch was a fan of was gravel pits. Because gravel is cheap relative to the transport cost, if you have the only gravel pit in the vicinity, you have a local monopoly because the next-closest gravel pit prices itself out of the market by virtue of the transport cost component.

    First you get the gravel, then you get the money…

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    @Anonym

    Peter Lynch had a number of simple, interesting investment ideas. Another was to invest in a growing regional restaurant chain, because America was homogenous enough that what worked in one part of the country would likely work elsewhere.

    But he held so many stocks in his Fidelity fund, he apparently burned himself out after a decade or so.

    , @FPD72
    @Anonym

    I had a client that fit this scenario to a tee. They had the only gravel pit near Childress, TX. They had the winning bid on every job they wanted in about a 75 mile radius.

  7. I view these escapades as training exercises for the Armed Forces, as I told my Filipino neighbour “your Army is crap because they have no experience”

    • Replies: @Jack Hanson
    @jim jones

    The military has been a skills program for minorities and single moms for well over a decade now.

    It is not designed to fight a serious war. The first time the US encounters a military where it loses the air support its enjoyed since WWII is when the levee breaks.

    There are a few units who exist to actually fight, but the 3 legged stool of CAS/SOG/Drones that the US military has become isn't applicable to any sort of large scale war against Russia or the Norks. Sadly, I don't think the destruction of a major manuever unit will change anything. I think you'd need two or three Kesserine Passes before someone realises that perhaps, maybe, diversity isn't our strength.

    Replies: @Opinionator

  8. When I learned that Trump’s defense secretary pick was heavily involved in recent wars, I thought “good, someone who knows how stupid and pointless they are. He won’t want more of that.”

    I guess the fact that I keep overestimating people says that I haven’t completely turned into a cynical old bastard yet.

  9. When Hastings went to report on Iraq, his fiancée accompanied him, getting herself a job with an NGO. She was killed in an ambush while returning from teaching a course on democracy.

    Perhaps she was a bad teacher.

    • LOL: BB753
    • Replies: @BB753
    @reiner Tor

    The soft bigotry of low expectations was her undoing.

  10. When Hastings went to report on Iraq, his fiancée accompanied him, getting herself a job with an NGO. She was killed in an ambush while returning from teaching a course on democracy.

    Maybe she was a bad teacher.

  11. TMWWBK is a great movie – no one should miss it!

  12. The Man Who Would be King gives funny insight into the impossibility of controlling Afghanistan. Restrepo is a documentary which tragically shows why it is impossible. After watching Restrepo it occurred to me how insane it is to try to enforce law in mountainous regions.

    My work used to take me to deep Appalachia frequently. There are hollows back there, which have been part of the US for close to 250 years, where law and order’s grip is tenuous. Yet, we are supposed to build a country 8000 miles away in far rougher terrain with a much tougher bunch of people. What folly!!

  13. >Afghanistan, with its strategic gravel deposits.

    One of the theories of the Afghanistan war hinged on some untold trillions worth of rare metal deposits. Allegedly these are a bunch of metals nobody has heard of that are vital to cell phone manufacturing. BushCheneyHALLIBURTON are trying to corner the market on these metals or something.

    • Replies: @res
    @27 year old

    Rare earth elements. This came up a few years ago. For example: https://www.livescience.com/47682-rare-earth-minerals-found-under-afghanistan.html
    A more cynical take: https://www.wired.com/2010/06/no-the-military-didnt-just-discover-an-afghan-mineral-motherlode/

    An older article: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/afghanistan-holds-enormous-bounty-of-rare-earths/

    Replies: @27 year old

    , @Anon
    @27 year old

    "a bunch of metals nobody has heard of that are vital to cell phone manufacturing"

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

    Tantalum capacitors are (or can be) very small.

    , @El Dato
    @27 year old

    Frankly this sounds weird. There was also talk of lithium deposits ("vital for batteries"). For me, it's all bullshit, threshing around to look for some reason to stay. It's not like rare earth elements are particularly rare in any case, just hard/dirty to refine.

    Yeah, a mining operations in Afghanistan. Bound to beat oil exploitation in Nigeria on the horribad scale.

    , @Father O'Hara
    @27 year old

    I thought Israel sent us there to secure the poppies.
    You may recall the Israeli Obed Orbach,
    who lived for a while in my town ,was nabbed selling guns to the Tallies.
    Jews have interest in Afghanistan. Maybe that's why they chose it to be the fall guy for 9/11?

    Replies: @BenKenobi

    , @Hapalong Cassidy
    @27 year old

    You have the right idea, just the wrong resources.

    Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of opium poppies. And wouldn't you know it?; We seem to have a huge problem with heroin addiction and overdoses.

    Just like how cocaine suddenly became a problem back when the US got involved in Latin America.

    Just how like how heroin became a problem the first time around when the US got involved in Southeast Asia.

    Replies: @Olorin, @The Alarmist, @27 year old

  14. The first Anglo-Afghan War (1839-42), the one in which a British Indian army was lost, ended with a victorious punitive campaign in Afghanistan and then – here is the key – the British withdrew. That’s the secret of a punitive campaign: win and then depart.

    The Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878-80) was a British victory followed by a withdrawal.

    The Third Anglo-Afghan War (1919) was started by the Afghan army invading India. They were expelled and defeated, and then a peace treaty was signed.

    By contrast the Soviet–Afghan War lasted over nine years, from December 1979 to February 1989, and the US-Afghan war is endless.

    There’s a good case for not getting involved in Afghanistan, but there’s a conclusive case that if you do get involved, make it quick and then get the hell out.

    • Agree: syonredux
    • Replies: @syonredux
    @dearieme


    There’s a good case for not getting involved in Afghanistan, but there’s a conclusive case that if you do get involved, make it quick and then get the hell out.
     
    Butcher and bolt. It's tried and true. And it's not as though the US hasn't demonstrated that kind of prudence before. Look at the Barbary Wars. No nonsense there about teaching democracy. Just clobber the heathen, then withdraw.

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

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Barbary_War
  15. It seems amazing to me that during the 8 years of Obama’s presidency he was never publicly asked to provide a strategic rationale for remaining there. Once could make a case that it was valuable to have troops there and in Iraq to pressure Iran, but once Obama decided to pull out of Iraq and bend over to strengthen Iran, that justification evaporated, meaning his entire 2nd term went by with us pouring more money and resources into an apparently irredeemable country without much of a peep from the establishment.

    • Replies: @BenKenobi
    @Arclight

    It seems that anarcho-tyranny even applies to the Presidency.

    Obama got the anarcho, Trump's gettin' the tyranny.

    , @Altai
    @Arclight


    It seems amazing to me that during the 8 years of Obama’s presidency he was never publicly asked to provide a strategic rationale for remaining there.
     
    That assumes the press can conceive of the idea of ending the wars. Since the neo-cons took hold of the state department, wars in the middle east are described almost passively, as though they occur naturally, like rain clouds.
    , @Kylie
    @Arclight

    "It seems amazing to me that during the 8 years of Obama’s presidency he was never publicly asked to provide a strategic rationale for remaining there."

    You do know Obama was the first black POTUS, right?

  16. Your essay’s final sentence: “The U. S. could then wash the dust of Afghanistan off its hands.” Amen, Steve.

    I was fool enough to believe the rightful public demand for retaliation against the 9/11 perpetrators was met pretty well by the routing of Al-Qaeda, the removal of the Taliban, and the capture of Kabul by forces allied with the United States. Wow, did I massively underestimate the iniquity and arrogance of American bureaucrats and corporations in dilating Afghan operations into just another imperial money racket.

    What would the consequences have been had the United States left Afghanistan in early 2002 with a stern warning to the successor government that a repeat of 9/11 from Afghan soil would be met by a Carthaginian retailiation?

    What’s the tab so far for Afghanistan? $1 trillion? $2 trillion.

  17. @27 year old
    >Afghanistan, with its strategic gravel deposits.

    One of the theories of the Afghanistan war hinged on some untold trillions worth of rare metal deposits. Allegedly these are a bunch of metals nobody has heard of that are vital to cell phone manufacturing. BushCheneyHALLIBURTON are trying to corner the market on these metals or something.

    Replies: @res, @Anon, @El Dato, @Father O'Hara, @Hapalong Cassidy

    • Replies: @27 year old
    @res

    Thanks.

    I looked for more recent articles and it seems like (surprise!) it's not quite the windfall people expected. The stuff is really there, but actually getting it to market is not happening, for all the same reasons everything in Afghanistan doesnt happen.

    https://www.propublica.org/article/the-u.s.-spent-a-half-billion-on-mining-in-afghanistan-with-limited-progres

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  18. Pitt’s movie War Machine is based on the reporting by Michael Hastings, who died in a spectacular one-car crash in Hollywood in 2013 that spawned so many conspiracy theories that I even left the house to investigate it.

    Jimmy Rockford Sailer, P.I.

    • Replies: @G Pinfold
    @Anonymous

    LOL. Sailer's legwork was discussed at the time. If I recall, the consensus of the commentariat was more along the lines of Jeffrey Lebowski, aka The Dude.

  19. Rare earths are for the future. For the here and now, what is indisputable is that Afghan is the ElDorado of opium production, and almost all Europe’s supply depends on it, in the same way that the ex-Khmer Rouge backcountry of the Golden Triangle serves East Asia, or Colombia and neighbours supply the US with marching powder. And are coincidentally in a permanent state of anarchotyranny and cartel/political, rather than tribal/religious feuding.

    If you’re making an unimaginable fortune importing an illegal commodity, best to make sure there’s absolutely no Law around on the shop-floor to mess things up. As The Third Man claimed, permanent war is good for that sort of thing.

    • Replies: @Yak-15
    @Expletive Deleted

    It is rumored that the CIA sells Afghan opium to fund their various warlords. This, in turn, makes its way back to the US via Mexico which winds up being abused by PTSD afflicted veterans.

    I am surprised a scandal along these lines has not broken yet.

  20. @Wilkey
    I really feel sorry for anyone who signed up "to serve their country" only to end up losing life or limb in that hellhole. If there is some legitimate reason for us to be over there we will probably never know about it. We got our "revenge" against Osama and his minions long, long ago. A wise leader would have simply bombed Mecca after 9/11, shut down immigration from Islamic countries, and been done with it. Instead we drop a trillion or so on a largely pointless war, let tens of thousands of our young men suffer and die, and allow the barbarians into our countries in ever-increasing numbers. If the West ever regains its sanity we will wonder how this all ever happened.

    Replies: @Ganderson, @Anonymous, @anon, @The Last Real Calvinist

    Couldn’t have put it better. Anyone here remember SCTV’s “Man Who Would be King of the Popes?”

    • Replies: @Hhsiii
    @Ganderson

    Yeah, I've even posted it here. And How the Middle East Was Won. Dave Thomas doing Richard Harris was great. And Eugene Levy doing Connery as an Arab with a Scottish accent.

  21. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Wilkey
    I really feel sorry for anyone who signed up "to serve their country" only to end up losing life or limb in that hellhole. If there is some legitimate reason for us to be over there we will probably never know about it. We got our "revenge" against Osama and his minions long, long ago. A wise leader would have simply bombed Mecca after 9/11, shut down immigration from Islamic countries, and been done with it. Instead we drop a trillion or so on a largely pointless war, let tens of thousands of our young men suffer and die, and allow the barbarians into our countries in ever-increasing numbers. If the West ever regains its sanity we will wonder how this all ever happened.

    Replies: @Ganderson, @Anonymous, @anon, @The Last Real Calvinist

    I really feel sorry for anyone who signed up “to serve their country” only to end up losing life or limb in that hellhole.

    Losing a limb would be almost infinitely preferable to thousands of injuries from Operation Enduring Fredom (OEF-A) that I’ve seen. Heck, a lot of these limb-loss injuries are so acceptable to the public they are featured in commercials. I’ve never seen product-marketing commercials feature wounded warriors with severe burns and/or head trauma. Because of the incredible advancements in medicine many more guys survived with horrific injuries than would have survived in previous decades. I worked with severely injured military from Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval. Many Americans will never meet some of these horrifically wounded guys because they will need to be confined to a very limited environment for life-long care and surgeries.

    Almost every day I still wonder how guys like Bush and Cheney can sleep at night.

    • Agree: whoever
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    @Anonymous

    Because you don't wonder how the democrat warmonger presidents sleep at night? Add Clinton, Obama, and Trump to that list.

  22. while giving the Iranians and Russians a cheap way to annoy the U.S. by supporting the Taliban

    Both Russia and Iran are hostile to Taliban and neither supports it. Iran has their own proxies on the ground, a Shiite militia. And Russia all this time steadfastly supported American military efforts. Not only they are getting no credit for that, no one in the USA seems to be aware of this. Not even Steve.

    • Agree: German_reader
    • Replies: @El Dato
    @inertial

    MiniTruth meedja types at work:

    Alleged Russia-Taliban Arms Link Disputed


    A tiny article from Reuters in late May quoted the director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency as telling a Senate hearing, “I have not seen real physical evidence of weapons or money being transferred.” Marine Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart was addressing widespread claims by top Pentagon officials of Russian arms flowing to the Taliban in Afghanistan.

    By conceding the reports have no real substance, Stewart quietly called the bluff of military hardliners who are invoking the Russian menace to justify prolonging and escalating the longest and second-most-costly war in U.S. history. Stories of Russian military shipments to Afghanistan began last December, with a typical headline from the Washington Post [sic, actually the Washington Times]: “Russia begins supplying weapons to Afghanistan, sides with Taliban.”

    Down in the body of the story, however, it emerged that Moscow had agreed to ship 10,000 assault rifles not to the Taliban but to the Afghan government’s police force in Kabul. A Russian Foreign Ministry official said, “Russia has been consistently pursuing the policy of providing comprehensive assistance to Afghanistan in the establishment of a peaceful, independent, stable and self-sufficient state, free from terrorism and drugs.” Russia previously supplied helicopters and pilot training to Afghan forces, under a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense, which continued thanks to a special U.S. waiver on economic sanctions.
     

  23. Trump is a huge disappointment. The MAGA crowd is delusional. He’s reneged on the big campaign promises. Ann Coulter twitter has been roasting him on a spit with the FACTS.

    Trump never would’ve been elected if he ran his campaign on the program he’s actually implementing.

    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Troll: Clyde
  24. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    It’s flabbergasting that someone still thinks that another four thousand troops here or there are going to make any difference in the long run. We’re on our third president already while we’ve been there. The idea of the Taliban calling themselves something else so that we can extricate ourselves is a nice one but perhaps they won’t even give us this face-saving dodge. The number of people killed and disabled is just a tragedy that was completely unnecessary and avoidable. The cynics are right, war is just a business, a racket that kills.

  25. People, please! The reason America is still in Afghanistan is because, according to the CIA Factbook, Afghanistan is the world’s primary opium producer, accounting for 82% of the global supply. They weren’t when the Taliban ruled. Do you not understand that this provides the people that own you, your children, and everything you pretend to hold dear, with literally trillions of dollars in revenue? It also serves the insidious purpose of anesthetizing millions of people worldwide so they won’t care that they are slaves.

    • Replies: @HenryA
    @Anonymous White Male

    I could never understand why we don't do aerial spraying of Afghanistan's opium fields with Roundup. I'm sure we could easily attach aerial sprayers to helicopter gunships. When the Afghans replant next year, we re-spray.

    Replies: @Jack D, @Anonymous White Male

    , @mobi
    @Anonymous White Male


    People, please! The reason America is still in Afghanistan is because, according to the CIA Factbook, Afghanistan is the world’s primary opium producer, accounting for 82% of the global supply. They weren’t when the Taliban ruled. Do you not understand that this provides the people that own you, your children, and everything you pretend to hold dear, with literally trillions of dollars in revenue? It also serves the insidious purpose of anesthetizing millions of people worldwide so they won’t care that they are slaves.
     
    You would think, with all their smarts and resources, they'd have seen Fentanyl coming.
  26. @27 year old
    >Afghanistan, with its strategic gravel deposits.

    One of the theories of the Afghanistan war hinged on some untold trillions worth of rare metal deposits. Allegedly these are a bunch of metals nobody has heard of that are vital to cell phone manufacturing. BushCheneyHALLIBURTON are trying to corner the market on these metals or something.

    Replies: @res, @Anon, @El Dato, @Father O'Hara, @Hapalong Cassidy

    “a bunch of metals nobody has heard of that are vital to cell phone manufacturing”

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

    Tantalum capacitors are (or can be) very small.

  27. @27 year old
    >Afghanistan, with its strategic gravel deposits.

    One of the theories of the Afghanistan war hinged on some untold trillions worth of rare metal deposits. Allegedly these are a bunch of metals nobody has heard of that are vital to cell phone manufacturing. BushCheneyHALLIBURTON are trying to corner the market on these metals or something.

    Replies: @res, @Anon, @El Dato, @Father O'Hara, @Hapalong Cassidy

    Frankly this sounds weird. There was also talk of lithium deposits (“vital for batteries”). For me, it’s all bullshit, threshing around to look for some reason to stay. It’s not like rare earth elements are particularly rare in any case, just hard/dirty to refine.

    Yeah, a mining operations in Afghanistan. Bound to beat oil exploitation in Nigeria on the horribad scale.

  28. @reiner Tor

    When Hastings went to report on Iraq, his fiancée accompanied him, getting herself a job with an NGO. She was killed in an ambush while returning from teaching a course on democracy.
     
    Perhaps she was a bad teacher.

    Replies: @BB753

    The soft bigotry of low expectations was her undoing.

  29. Steve writes in the Takimag article:

    …while giving the Iranians and Russians a cheap way to annoy the U.S. by supporting the Taliban.

    Is there any evidence that this is going on? Other than “leaks by anonymous sources”?

    It’s definitely not something that either Russia or Iran would be inclined to do.

    Afghanistan seems to be, however, a playground for the India-Pakistan interactive game, for example:

    http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/pakistan-resorting-to-proxies-against-india-afghanistan-us-experts-1688346

  30. Afganistan-just another example of how colonialism destosy a beautiful place

  31. Nuke em till they glow. Shoot em in the dark.

    • Replies: @El Dato
    @Whiskey

    Who are you to wish genocide upon another people?

    Also: Afghanistan in better times

    And also: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175100/juan_cole_empire_s_paranoia_about_the_pashtuns

  32. @27 year old
    >Afghanistan, with its strategic gravel deposits.

    One of the theories of the Afghanistan war hinged on some untold trillions worth of rare metal deposits. Allegedly these are a bunch of metals nobody has heard of that are vital to cell phone manufacturing. BushCheneyHALLIBURTON are trying to corner the market on these metals or something.

    Replies: @res, @Anon, @El Dato, @Father O'Hara, @Hapalong Cassidy

    I thought Israel sent us there to secure the poppies.
    You may recall the Israeli Obed Orbach,
    who lived for a while in my town ,was nabbed selling guns to the Tallies.
    Jews have interest in Afghanistan. Maybe that’s why they chose it to be the fall guy for 9/11?

    • Replies: @BenKenobi
    @Father O'Hara

    When I was Corporal Kenobi (seems a thousand centuries ago) I spent a little time in Kandahar.

    It was common knowledge the Afghan National Army* units tasked with poppy eradication would extort/take bribes from farmers to just torch one field "for the cameras" and leave the rest.

    The spice must flow.

    *ANA troops were also a great source of drugs, I knew guys who got pounds of hash at pennies on the dollar and were able to get it back to Canada. It's easy when the only customs enforcement is an air force private waving a hand thru a barrack box stuffed with kit.

  33. @res
    @27 year old

    Rare earth elements. This came up a few years ago. For example: https://www.livescience.com/47682-rare-earth-minerals-found-under-afghanistan.html
    A more cynical take: https://www.wired.com/2010/06/no-the-military-didnt-just-discover-an-afghan-mineral-motherlode/

    An older article: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/afghanistan-holds-enormous-bounty-of-rare-earths/

    Replies: @27 year old

    Thanks.

    I looked for more recent articles and it seems like (surprise!) it’s not quite the windfall people expected. The stuff is really there, but actually getting it to market is not happening, for all the same reasons everything in Afghanistan doesnt happen.

    https://www.propublica.org/article/the-u.s.-spent-a-half-billion-on-mining-in-afghanistan-with-limited-progres

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @27 year old

    Afghanistan needs a lot of bridges.

    Sean Connery puts Michael Caine to work building rope bridges in The Man Who Would Be King. The demise of a rope bridge at the hands of the natives plays a major role in the climax of the movie.

  34. At the risk of another hysterical response from the “nothing underhanded has ever been done” commenters the Michael Hastings crash simply looked very wrong. I’ve seen, and also have been in, some spectacular accidents and have never seen an engine disengage from a car like that. I’ve also seen many thousands of cars in junk yards and have never seen a car with that accident profile, no matter how severe the accident.

    Sometimes things being visually off is a strong clue there is something wrong. A recent example is the Grenfell fire. Buildings are not supposed to burn like that. In the case of Grenfell it appears the religious status of “green” in England encouraged people to essentially attach kindling to the outside of a tall building.

  35. I even left the house to investigate it.

    Hardcore.

  36. @Arclight
    It seems amazing to me that during the 8 years of Obama's presidency he was never publicly asked to provide a strategic rationale for remaining there. Once could make a case that it was valuable to have troops there and in Iraq to pressure Iran, but once Obama decided to pull out of Iraq and bend over to strengthen Iran, that justification evaporated, meaning his entire 2nd term went by with us pouring more money and resources into an apparently irredeemable country without much of a peep from the establishment.

    Replies: @BenKenobi, @Altai, @Kylie

    It seems that anarcho-tyranny even applies to the Presidency.

    Obama got the anarcho, Trump’s gettin’ the tyranny.

  37. Few more Friedman units, Afghanistan’s gonna turn right around!

    • Replies: @Geschrei
    @Hunsdon


    Few more Friedman units, Afghanistan’s gonna turn right around!
     
    The next six months will be crucial...
  38. A really clean explanation of why nation building cannot overcome cultural patterns was written by Robin Fox in 2006 for Harpers magazine. It is called “The Kindness of Strangers”. Much of it is drawn from his book “The Tribal Mind”, also a fascinating read.

    Steve, thanks for a great read in Takis this morning.

    • Replies: @Mark Caplan
    @oddsbodkins

    The Tribal Imagination: Civilization and the Savage Mind by Robin Fox.

  39. @Arclight
    It seems amazing to me that during the 8 years of Obama's presidency he was never publicly asked to provide a strategic rationale for remaining there. Once could make a case that it was valuable to have troops there and in Iraq to pressure Iran, but once Obama decided to pull out of Iraq and bend over to strengthen Iran, that justification evaporated, meaning his entire 2nd term went by with us pouring more money and resources into an apparently irredeemable country without much of a peep from the establishment.

    Replies: @BenKenobi, @Altai, @Kylie

    It seems amazing to me that during the 8 years of Obama’s presidency he was never publicly asked to provide a strategic rationale for remaining there.

    That assumes the press can conceive of the idea of ending the wars. Since the neo-cons took hold of the state department, wars in the middle east are described almost passively, as though they occur naturally, like rain clouds.

  40. Has Netflix made a good movie yet? Can a movie be good when it’s given away for free on a streaming site?

    • Replies: @TWS
    @Jean Ralphio

    A couple. This was just, 'meh'. Nearly all the characters were written with the subtlety of a daytime soap, the direction was ham handed and flat they had some great actors but didn't use them.

    , @guest
    @Jean Ralphio

    Of course it can be. You're not giving it away for free, really. You're offering it to your subscribers, just like HBO, for instance. There have been good tv movies on free channels, in any case.

    Has Netflix, in fact, made good movies? I'm not well-informed on the subject. I watched a little bit of the Siege of Jadotville, and it was okay.

  41. Your solution to ending the crisis is so simple, helps everyone get what they want (except the MIC) that there’s no way it will ever happen.

  42. eD says:

    These sorts of operations, the pointlessness of which in terms of normal strategy is becoming increasingly obvious, have to be understood as a sort of jobs program where people can get killed.

    They also give more opportunities to give government contracts to favored supporters. Again, people can get killed, but then people get killed when this is done in the US and they lead to substandard infrastructure.

  43. The Pukhtun is never at peace, except when he is at war.

    One’s own mother and sister are disgusting.

    When the floodwaters reach your chin, put your son beneath your feet.

    What are the sources for these? These proverbs don’t appear to be especially widespread. When I Google them the only things that comes up are Steve’s articles.

    • Replies: @Iain
    @Jeremy Cooper

    They're from “Generosity and Jealousy: The Swat Pukhtun of Northern Pakistan,” Charles Lindholm, Columbia University Press, 1982.

    You can download the whole book from here:
    https://open.bu.edu/handle/2144/3822

  44. PSR says:

    I recall reading an article in the Atlantic at least twelve years ago – before it transformed itself into the Journal on Race in America and still carried thoughtful content – that predicted eventually the US would settle for a few permanent bases in Afghanistan that could be used for strategic strikes against terrorist (at that time Al Qaeda) targets and the central Govt would live or die on its own. It might have been by James Fallows. At any rate, more than a decade later that still seems like the best outcome we can hope for.

  45. The movie makes some good points.We did invade; why would we think we would be so welcomed? But it ultimately cannot decide if it wants Pitt/McChrystal to be a full joke or give him some sense of gravity.

    Did like the scene where Pitt asks why they do not burn the poppies and whether they could grow something else. Not a mystery why and how we are now experiencing an opiod crisis.

    Didn’t know the Flynn character was Hall util I looked at the credits.

  46. @Anonymous White Male
    People, please! The reason America is still in Afghanistan is because, according to the CIA Factbook, Afghanistan is the world’s primary opium producer, accounting for 82% of the global supply. They weren't when the Taliban ruled. Do you not understand that this provides the people that own you, your children, and everything you pretend to hold dear, with literally trillions of dollars in revenue? It also serves the insidious purpose of anesthetizing millions of people worldwide so they won't care that they are slaves.

    Replies: @HenryA, @mobi

    I could never understand why we don’t do aerial spraying of Afghanistan’s opium fields with Roundup. I’m sure we could easily attach aerial sprayers to helicopter gunships. When the Afghans replant next year, we re-spray.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    @HenryA

    Shades of Agent Orange. This would be a publicity nightmare. There would be class action lawsuits involving every deformed Afghan baby born for the next 50 years (never mind that Roundup doesn't cause birth defects). Every poppy field would turn out to be a "wheat field" and they would show some poor Afghan farmer weeping about how he was going to starve now that the Americans killed his crops. Etc.

    Everything is possible if your civilizational confidence is intact (you can literally nuke the cities of your enemy), nothing is possible if it isn't. You are thwarted at every turn. Leftist Federal judges issue injunctions. Video appears on CNN. On and on.

    Replies: @Expletive Deleted

    , @Anonymous White Male
    @HenryA

    The opium fields were replanted after the Taliban was defeated. Planted with CIA money and assistance. Opium production surged from a minimal 180 tons to a monumental 8,200 in the first five years of U.S. occupation. do you think anyone in the Swamp would want to decrease opium production? Sure, it would work, if DC wasn't such an evil place, but cheap narcotics are a useful distraction for the masses.

    Replies: @anon

  47. @Whiskey
    Nuke em till they glow. Shoot em in the dark.

    Replies: @El Dato

  48. @Father O'Hara
    @27 year old

    I thought Israel sent us there to secure the poppies.
    You may recall the Israeli Obed Orbach,
    who lived for a while in my town ,was nabbed selling guns to the Tallies.
    Jews have interest in Afghanistan. Maybe that's why they chose it to be the fall guy for 9/11?

    Replies: @BenKenobi

    When I was Corporal Kenobi (seems a thousand centuries ago) I spent a little time in Kandahar.

    It was common knowledge the Afghan National Army* units tasked with poppy eradication would extort/take bribes from farmers to just torch one field “for the cameras” and leave the rest.

    The spice must flow.

    *ANA troops were also a great source of drugs, I knew guys who got pounds of hash at pennies on the dollar and were able to get it back to Canada. It’s easy when the only customs enforcement is an air force private waving a hand thru a barrack box stuffed with kit.

  49. @27 year old
    >Afghanistan, with its strategic gravel deposits.

    One of the theories of the Afghanistan war hinged on some untold trillions worth of rare metal deposits. Allegedly these are a bunch of metals nobody has heard of that are vital to cell phone manufacturing. BushCheneyHALLIBURTON are trying to corner the market on these metals or something.

    Replies: @res, @Anon, @El Dato, @Father O'Hara, @Hapalong Cassidy

    You have the right idea, just the wrong resources.

    Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer of opium poppies. And wouldn’t you know it?; We seem to have a huge problem with heroin addiction and overdoses.

    Just like how cocaine suddenly became a problem back when the US got involved in Latin America.

    Just how like how heroin became a problem the first time around when the US got involved in Southeast Asia.

    • Replies: @Olorin
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    My read as well.

    After Afghanistan I hope they invade the Sackler drug family and Purdue Pharma.

    They're the ones who for 60 years now have been peddling highly addictive narcotics to white Americans using family doctors as pushers...and winning acclaim from their kin for doing so. Without that the demand for heroin would have remained much smaller.

    So would have the demand for the narcotics themselves, which could have remained therapeutically beneficial but been less socially harmful had if their pushers' goal not been to reap hundreds of millions and then billions of dollars by any means necessary.

    Then there needs to be an invasion of the Globobanks who have been laundering all this money, and/or pointing the laundrymen to smaller banks.

    While we're at it, I think it's time to claw back all the American and European cultural properties that have been seized by this drug family, like that building at the Smithsonian, the wing at the Met, that Carnegie Foundation/Bloomberg/Sackler outpost in Brooklyn, and so on.

    Which they use as a lever for marginalizing and displacing American and European culture and replacing it with garbage like Judy Chicago, Congolese carvings of guys with boners, and portraits of the Catholics' mother-god, smeared with excrement.

    Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson

    , @The Alarmist
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    What Steve failed to mention is that the Taliban, to their credit, were well down the road to eradicating cultivation of poppies, but that all changed when we arrived on the scene ... almost as if it was part of the new proprietors' and venture-backers' business plan for Afghanistan 4.0.

    , @27 year old
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    In my opinion opium is a much more plausible reason for the war than mining

  50. @inertial

    while giving the Iranians and Russians a cheap way to annoy the U.S. by supporting the Taliban
     
    Both Russia and Iran are hostile to Taliban and neither supports it. Iran has their own proxies on the ground, a Shiite militia. And Russia all this time steadfastly supported American military efforts. Not only they are getting no credit for that, no one in the USA seems to be aware of this. Not even Steve.

    Replies: @El Dato

    MiniTruth meedja types at work:

    Alleged Russia-Taliban Arms Link Disputed

    A tiny article from Reuters in late May quoted the director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency as telling a Senate hearing, “I have not seen real physical evidence of weapons or money being transferred.” Marine Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart was addressing widespread claims by top Pentagon officials of Russian arms flowing to the Taliban in Afghanistan.

    By conceding the reports have no real substance, Stewart quietly called the bluff of military hardliners who are invoking the Russian menace to justify prolonging and escalating the longest and second-most-costly war in U.S. history. Stories of Russian military shipments to Afghanistan began last December, with a typical headline from the Washington Post [sic, actually the Washington Times]: “Russia begins supplying weapons to Afghanistan, sides with Taliban.”

    Down in the body of the story, however, it emerged that Moscow had agreed to ship 10,000 assault rifles not to the Taliban but to the Afghan government’s police force in Kabul. A Russian Foreign Ministry official said, “Russia has been consistently pursuing the policy of providing comprehensive assistance to Afghanistan in the establishment of a peaceful, independent, stable and self-sufficient state, free from terrorism and drugs.” Russia previously supplied helicopters and pilot training to Afghan forces, under a contract with the U.S. Department of Defense, which continued thanks to a special U.S. waiver on economic sanctions.

  51. @European-American

    The biggest problem with War Machine is that Pitt, who has been a reliable star since Thelma and Louise over a quarter of a century ago, is terrible as General McChrystal. Pitt’s affected growling voice is painful to hear.

    Even worse, Michôd doesn’t give Pitt any insightful or charming lines. To Hastings, McChrystal was “a highly intelligent badass.” Yet Michôd doesn’t show any evidence of McChrystal’s intelligence in his movie.
     

    Sorry you didn't like the film as much as I did. To me it was one man playing slapstick comedy in surroundings alternately tragic and comic, fictional form mirroring reality. His role is to be a leader in an impossible situation. He bravely plays his part, not stupidly, but as a leader everyone looks up to. What do you want him to do, quit? He soldiers on, quietly desperate. I imagine generals are like business leaders: they have to lay it on thick.

    And how can you blame the movie for letting us know from the start it was going to be about a failure? Who still thinks our wars aren't all cruel, sickening failures?

    I thought the movie made the case against the war in Afghanistan better than any I've seen. And by billing itself as a comedy with a big star, it made me want to watch it. Who otherwise wants to see a serious movie about Afghanistan or Iraq? You know it'll just make you nauseous. Patton in Afghanistan? No thanks. But Dr Strangelove? Oh all right.

    Replies: @Olorin, @bomag

    His role is to be a leader in an impossible situation. He bravely plays his part, not stupidly, but as a leader everyone looks up to. What do you want him to do, quit? He soldiers on, quietly desperate.

    Desperation is not a quality of Stoic leaders.

    It is a quality of people who imagine that the situation should be other than it actually is and respond out of any of the many varieties of idealism.

    Who still thinks our wars aren’t all cruel, sickening failures?

    Whose wars?

    Failures in what respect and for whom?

  52. It seems amazing to me that during the 8 years of Obama’s presidency he was never publicly asked to provide a strategic rationale for remaining there.

    He was and he did. To allow the Taliban to regain control and invite every anti-American group to come in and train for big attacks would be a mistake. It would have been a disastrous political mistake for Obama if we left A-stan and a later terrorist attack was traced back to that country.

    The right way to deal with this would have been punitive strategic bombing in 2001. A sustained bombing campaign with the intent of killing people, and lots of them. Then at the end you drop a bunch of leaflets saying “If something like 9/11 happens again we’ll be back”. But the voting public doesn’t have the stomach for that sort of brutality, so we’ve slouched into the next best thing – creating and maintaining a puppet government. Forever.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    @tsotha

    This is a really dumb rationale. Why should we care if every terrorist in the world camped out in Afghanistan? It's literally half way around the world from us, and the terrorists don't have ICBMs. They can't do anything to us from Afghanistan.

    Your point about a punitive strike makes sense, and that's essentially how the Afghanistan War started. To his credit, Rumsfeld didn't put a lot of boots on the ground initially; he used special forces + local proxies + lots of bombing. But by January of 2002, IIRC, TV footage of Afghan internal refugees had our compassionate conservative President switch to nation-building mode, and NATO went along with him.

    Then, after W. invaded Iraq, Dems seeking to burnish their hawkish bona fides while opposing Iraq inflated the importance of the Afghanistan War, saying that was the "real" war.

    The problem from the beginning, as Steve notes in his article, is that the Taliban represents the biggest ethnic group in Afghanistan. It's unreasonable to expect them to be boxed out of running the country forever, and it's pointless of us to insist on that.

    Replies: @carol

    , @guest
    @tsotha

    Terror from the air is appealing to many, but have we ever really developed a reliable way to control the world with it? Sometimes it can seem like shouting into the void. Or worse, causing more of the problem you're trying to solve.

    Replies: @Autochthon, @dearieme

    , @Coemgen
    @tsotha

    The telishment of Saddam Hussein was all that was needed to get the attention of leaders of Muslim dominant countries.

    Bringing Democracy to Iraq (I'm not sure what the rationale for staying in Afghanistan is) is building-a-bridge-to-nowhere for the U.S. military - it's expensive but it's helping keep the tip-of-the-spear sharp.

    Replies: @Jack Hanson

  53. @Expletive Deleted
    Rare earths are for the future. For the here and now, what is indisputable is that Afghan is the ElDorado of opium production, and almost all Europe's supply depends on it, in the same way that the ex-Khmer Rouge backcountry of the Golden Triangle serves East Asia, or Colombia and neighbours supply the US with marching powder. And are coincidentally in a permanent state of anarchotyranny and cartel/political, rather than tribal/religious feuding.

    If you're making an unimaginable fortune importing an illegal commodity, best to make sure there's absolutely no Law around on the shop-floor to mess things up. As The Third Man claimed, permanent war is good for that sort of thing.

    Replies: @Yak-15

    It is rumored that the CIA sells Afghan opium to fund their various warlords. This, in turn, makes its way back to the US via Mexico which winds up being abused by PTSD afflicted veterans.

    I am surprised a scandal along these lines has not broken yet.

  54. @Diversity Heretic
    Continuing to pour resources into a war after sixteen years is an indication that the military-industrial complex really does govern the United States. The rest of us just live here.

    Replies: @Neoconned, @bored identity, @Phelps, @Peter Akuleyev

    Agreed.

    As to reporter Michael Hastings….

    Richard Clarke, the counter terrorism guy said a few yrs back it was very possible Hastings was wacked.

    And after watching numerous videos online the lsst few yrs back seeing tech nerds hack cars remotely i do think he was wacked…..question begging itself is of course who

  55. @Hapalong Cassidy
    @27 year old

    You have the right idea, just the wrong resources.

    Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of opium poppies. And wouldn't you know it?; We seem to have a huge problem with heroin addiction and overdoses.

    Just like how cocaine suddenly became a problem back when the US got involved in Latin America.

    Just how like how heroin became a problem the first time around when the US got involved in Southeast Asia.

    Replies: @Olorin, @The Alarmist, @27 year old

    My read as well.

    After Afghanistan I hope they invade the Sackler drug family and Purdue Pharma.

    They’re the ones who for 60 years now have been peddling highly addictive narcotics to white Americans using family doctors as pushers…and winning acclaim from their kin for doing so. Without that the demand for heroin would have remained much smaller.

    So would have the demand for the narcotics themselves, which could have remained therapeutically beneficial but been less socially harmful had if their pushers’ goal not been to reap hundreds of millions and then billions of dollars by any means necessary.

    Then there needs to be an invasion of the Globobanks who have been laundering all this money, and/or pointing the laundrymen to smaller banks.

    While we’re at it, I think it’s time to claw back all the American and European cultural properties that have been seized by this drug family, like that building at the Smithsonian, the wing at the Met, that Carnegie Foundation/Bloomberg/Sackler outpost in Brooklyn, and so on.

    Which they use as a lever for marginalizing and displacing American and European culture and replacing it with garbage like Judy Chicago, Congolese carvings of guys with boners, and portraits of the Catholics’ mother-god, smeared with excrement.

    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson
    @Olorin


    They’re the ones who for 60 years now have been peddling highly addictive narcotics to white Americans using family doctors as pushers…and winning acclaim from their kin for doing so.
     
    While I agree with much of what you wrote I think you dismiss the legitimate uses of narcotics for pain control without due consideration of the upside. My late mother-in-law had neuropathy, and her doctor would prescribe 28 days of medication regardless of the number of days in the month. He said it was required by the FDA. Every month except non-leap-year Februaries she suffered needlessly.

    One of the drivers of assisted suicide is the lack of pain control medications for the terminally ill. I have seen, and heard, the suffering first hand. If you had seen the same, I wonder what you would think about the issue.
  56. Jack Hanson says:
    @jim jones
    I view these escapades as training exercises for the Armed Forces, as I told my Filipino neighbour "your Army is crap because they have no experience"

    Replies: @Jack Hanson

    The military has been a skills program for minorities and single moms for well over a decade now.

    It is not designed to fight a serious war. The first time the US encounters a military where it loses the air support its enjoyed since WWII is when the levee breaks.

    There are a few units who exist to actually fight, but the 3 legged stool of CAS/SOG/Drones that the US military has become isn’t applicable to any sort of large scale war against Russia or the Norks. Sadly, I don’t think the destruction of a major manuever unit will change anything. I think you’d need two or three Kesserine Passes before someone realises that perhaps, maybe, diversity isn’t our strength.

    • Agree: BenKenobi, BB753
    • Replies: @Opinionator
    @Jack Hanson

    The military has been a skills program for minorities and single moms for well over a decade now.

    You mean "employment program"? What is a skills program?

    Replies: @Jack Hanson

  57. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    It’s important to stay in Afghanistan at level of around 10k troops for one important reason: avoiding complete defeat. If the Taliban overrun the US client state and US diplomats and contractors have only 24 hours to evacuate quickly then that will become another one of the most humiliating moments in American history and stay with America for generations. Keeping in 10k troops and not exposing them to combat is a small price to pay to avoid this likely scenario.

    • Replies: @anon
    @anonymous

    Reminds me of what they used to say about not withdrawing from South Vietnam in the 1960's & 70's. It was wrong thinking then and it is wrong thinking now.

    , @BB753
    @anonymous

    "If the Taliban overrun the US client state and US diplomats and contractors have only 24 hours to evacuate quickly then that will become another one of the most humiliating moments in American history and stay with America for generations."

    Hopefully if such a thing happens, the brass at the Pentagon might learn a lesson or two.
    Also, there's no way to avoid" complete" defeat. Either you're defeated or you're not. Dragging the miserable experience longer seems unnecessary and pathetic.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

  58. @Hapalong Cassidy
    @27 year old

    You have the right idea, just the wrong resources.

    Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of opium poppies. And wouldn't you know it?; We seem to have a huge problem with heroin addiction and overdoses.

    Just like how cocaine suddenly became a problem back when the US got involved in Latin America.

    Just how like how heroin became a problem the first time around when the US got involved in Southeast Asia.

    Replies: @Olorin, @The Alarmist, @27 year old

    What Steve failed to mention is that the Taliban, to their credit, were well down the road to eradicating cultivation of poppies, but that all changed when we arrived on the scene … almost as if it was part of the new proprietors’ and venture-backers’ business plan for Afghanistan 4.0.

  59. The insinuation that certain elements within the ruling class of the American Empire would deliberately engage in profiteering in regards to illicit drugs in Afghanistan is appalling to the patriotic mind. Those who assert that the drug trade has in any way contributed to the involvement of the American Empire in Afghanistan are unpatriotic rogues worthy of scorn and contempt.

    The type of person who would suggest that money madness has driven the American Empire’s overlong actions in Afghanistan are the same ones who would say that the American Empire swindled Hawaii away from the natives and grabbed bits of the Spanish Empire by force of arms in the Caribbean and the Pacific. The American Empire is beneficent and only wants what is best for all concerned.

    God is the original shareholder and director of the American Empire. God alone has seen fit to give the energy and grit to certain Brits to sail or fly here or there and make a go of it.

  60. @HenryA
    @Anonymous White Male

    I could never understand why we don't do aerial spraying of Afghanistan's opium fields with Roundup. I'm sure we could easily attach aerial sprayers to helicopter gunships. When the Afghans replant next year, we re-spray.

    Replies: @Jack D, @Anonymous White Male

    Shades of Agent Orange. This would be a publicity nightmare. There would be class action lawsuits involving every deformed Afghan baby born for the next 50 years (never mind that Roundup doesn’t cause birth defects). Every poppy field would turn out to be a “wheat field” and they would show some poor Afghan farmer weeping about how he was going to starve now that the Americans killed his crops. Etc.

    Everything is possible if your civilizational confidence is intact (you can literally nuke the cities of your enemy), nothing is possible if it isn’t. You are thwarted at every turn. Leftist Federal judges issue injunctions. Video appears on CNN. On and on.

    • Agree: Abe
    • Replies: @Expletive Deleted
    @Jack D

    If the joint was simply ring-fenced and every plane, truck and donkey rigorously searched by non-local customs personnel on the way out, they'd have to revert to apricots and cereals. It's the relatively lucrative export market enabled by globalism, while being, curiously, simultaneously involved in a decades-long, near-apocalyptic (series of) conflicts that give the game away.
    How much Japanese rice did you import during WWII? I can tell you it killed the cheap German mantel-clock trade stone dead, Over Here.
    Shades of Milo Minderbinder.

  61. @Hapalong Cassidy
    @27 year old

    You have the right idea, just the wrong resources.

    Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of opium poppies. And wouldn't you know it?; We seem to have a huge problem with heroin addiction and overdoses.

    Just like how cocaine suddenly became a problem back when the US got involved in Latin America.

    Just how like how heroin became a problem the first time around when the US got involved in Southeast Asia.

    Replies: @Olorin, @The Alarmist, @27 year old

    In my opinion opium is a much more plausible reason for the war than mining

  62. The best strategy out of a range of poor options would have been after a quick and impressive defeat of the Taliban, to go to every town and village in the areas under the influence of the Taliban and accuse them under their own values as a tribal, warrior society of ingratitude and inhospitality.

    They are an illiterate society, so it would have required sending teams all over the country to explain it orally to village gatherings. We would need to explain that we helped them fight the Soviet invaders, and they repaid us by sheltering our enemy who prepared an attack upon us. This was ungrateful and inhospitable and unworthy of Afghans. We would need to hammer this message home ad nauseum so that our position was understood and held a moral high ground among at least a significant part of the illiterate native population.

    And then go home. Yes, violent Islamists would probably still arise and US forces might have to go back, but at least we would have equipped those debating and opposing them in their own villages to accuse them of wrongdoing under their own values.

    O/T: British Jewry Feels Left Behind Amid the Election Turmoil [UK]

    (Jewish Telegraphic Agency 20-6-17) Nearly 50 years after she left her native South Africa for Britain to escape apartheid, Sharon Klaff again is finding herself unable to imagine a future for her family in her country and society because of racism.

    And this time, the problem is hitting nearer to home, said Klaff, 69, a yoga teacher and Jewish mother of two.

    Troubled by the Labour Party’s recent electoral successes despite its perceived failure to tackle anti-Semitic vitriol in its ranks, Klaff felt even more concerned Sunday when London Mayor Sadiq Khan — a Muslim Labour politician who on his first day in office reached out to the city’s Jews — allowed hundreds of protesters to march Sunday at an anti-Israel event with flags of the Hezbollah terrorist group.

    “There probably isn’t a place for me here as a Jew,” Klaff, who attended an unauthorized counterprotest against the annual Al-Quds march, told JTA. “And I’m kind of wondering where’s the place of anyone who belongs to Western, democratic civilization.”

    There is a reason “chutzpah” is a Jewish word. After doing their best to eviscerate the Western societies of the European goyim through mass third world immigration, promoting Islamic colonization of the West and persecuting Christian values, Jews are now in the position of someone who kills their parents and demands mercy for being an orphan.

    • Replies: @anon
    @Achilles

    As I have often said Jewish support for "diversity-open borders" will come back to haunt them.

    , @Anon
    @Achilles

    I think that divide-and-rule, while very effective, always runs the risk that one or other of the dividees may not play the game to your rules.

  63. The Pashtun culture, centered in eastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan, may be the world’s most dysfunctional.

    Big words about a culture that just fought off the world’s greatest empire and kept control of its own land.

    Especially coming from a man whose own native culture is being ethnically cleansed from its homelands with no visible resistance whatsoever.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    @(((Owen)))


    Big words about a culture that just fought off the world’s greatest empire and kept control of its own land.
     
    Eh. The Afghans are simply lucky that Westerners no longer have the stomach for wars of extermination....

    Especially coming from a man whose own native culture is being ethnically cleansed from its homelands with no visible resistance whatsoever.
     
    Solid point. Obviously, the USA needs to mount Operation Wetback II. Mestizo Hispanics are the real enemy, not Muslims in Afghanistan.

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

    Replies: @SteveRogers42

    , @SteveRogers42
    @(((Owen)))

    How long would it have taken the U.S. Army of 1945 to completely subdue the Pushtun "culture"? In six months, the place would have been as quiet as "a mouse pissin' on cotton".

    Replies: @dearieme

    , @neutral
    @(((Owen)))


    Especially coming from a man whose own native culture is being ethnically cleansed from its homelands with no visible resistance whatsoever.
     
    No need to ask who is doing this ethnic cleansing, the parenthesis tell me that you already know.
  64. @dearieme
    The first Anglo-Afghan War (1839-42), the one in which a British Indian army was lost, ended with a victorious punitive campaign in Afghanistan and then - here is the key - the British withdrew. That's the secret of a punitive campaign: win and then depart.

    The Second Anglo-Afghan War (1878-80) was a British victory followed by a withdrawal.

    The Third Anglo-Afghan War (1919) was started by the Afghan army invading India. They were expelled and defeated, and then a peace treaty was signed.

    By contrast the Soviet–Afghan War lasted over nine years, from December 1979 to February 1989, and the US-Afghan war is endless.


    There's a good case for not getting involved in Afghanistan, but there's a conclusive case that if you do get involved, make it quick and then get the hell out.

    Replies: @syonredux

    There’s a good case for not getting involved in Afghanistan, but there’s a conclusive case that if you do get involved, make it quick and then get the hell out.

    Butcher and bolt. It’s tried and true. And it’s not as though the US hasn’t demonstrated that kind of prudence before. Look at the Barbary Wars. No nonsense there about teaching democracy. Just clobber the heathen, then withdraw.

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

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

  65. @Jack D
    @HenryA

    Shades of Agent Orange. This would be a publicity nightmare. There would be class action lawsuits involving every deformed Afghan baby born for the next 50 years (never mind that Roundup doesn't cause birth defects). Every poppy field would turn out to be a "wheat field" and they would show some poor Afghan farmer weeping about how he was going to starve now that the Americans killed his crops. Etc.

    Everything is possible if your civilizational confidence is intact (you can literally nuke the cities of your enemy), nothing is possible if it isn't. You are thwarted at every turn. Leftist Federal judges issue injunctions. Video appears on CNN. On and on.

    Replies: @Expletive Deleted

    If the joint was simply ring-fenced and every plane, truck and donkey rigorously searched by non-local customs personnel on the way out, they’d have to revert to apricots and cereals. It’s the relatively lucrative export market enabled by globalism, while being, curiously, simultaneously involved in a decades-long, near-apocalyptic (series of) conflicts that give the game away.
    How much Japanese rice did you import during WWII? I can tell you it killed the cheap German mantel-clock trade stone dead, Over Here.
    Shades of Milo Minderbinder.

  66. @(((Owen)))

    The Pashtun culture, centered in eastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan, may be the world’s most dysfunctional.
     
    Big words about a culture that just fought off the world's greatest empire and kept control of its own land.

    Especially coming from a man whose own native culture is being ethnically cleansed from its homelands with no visible resistance whatsoever.

    Replies: @syonredux, @SteveRogers42, @neutral

    Big words about a culture that just fought off the world’s greatest empire and kept control of its own land.

    Eh. The Afghans are simply lucky that Westerners no longer have the stomach for wars of extermination….

    Especially coming from a man whose own native culture is being ethnically cleansed from its homelands with no visible resistance whatsoever.

    Solid point. Obviously, the USA needs to mount Operation Wetback II. Mestizo Hispanics are the real enemy, not Muslims in Afghanistan.

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

    • Replies: @SteveRogers42
    @syonredux

    Wall. Active Denial systems. Deportation Corps. Sheriff's posses.

  67. And, unlike ISIS, the Taliban appear to have learned their lesson not to be culpable in terrorism in the West. For instance, the Taliban’s 2012 commando raid on a NATO base in southern Afghanistan that wrecked eight Marine Corps jets (the worst damage American air power has suffered since Vietnam) was a fair fight of brave soldier versus brave soldier.

    10 jets were destroyed in Puerto Rico by a rebel group in 1981:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mu%C3%B1iz_Air_National_Guard_Base#Attack_by_Macheteros

    • Replies: @Sarah Toga
    @Lugash

    Interesting comment. Because the situation has deteriorated to where the Taliban now look better than a more recent group, when the two are compared. The Taliban.

    , @(((Owen)))
    @Lugash


    10 jets were destroyed in Puerto Rico by a rebel group in 1981:
     
    US occupation of Puerto Rico is barbaric, intolerable, and illegal under international law. Time for the USA to withdraw and recognize Puerto Rican independence now.

    Replies: @syonredux

    , @Jack Hanson
    @Lugash

    Camp Bastion has all the hallmarks of an amazing story that should be heralded, right up to a colonel organizing a bunch of pogues (mechanics and other support staff) to fight off the saboteurs, leading the charge with his pistol and ultimately dying leading his men into combat.

    However, the fact that the elite Tongan military was sleeping in their tower (among other things)and allowed the Taliban to slip through is just too much to swallow down with this story of heroism for Pentagon brass.

    Replies: @whoever

    , @anon
    @Lugash

    Reason # 9,000,685 to give Puerto Rico its independence.

  68. OT

    Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, 06/21/17 – Officer stabbed in neck at Michigan airport; state cops say one in custody

    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/nationworld/ct-flint-michigan-airport-evacuated-20170621-story.html#nt=oft12aH-1li3

    Officials on Wednesday evacuated an airport in Flint, Mich., where a witness said he saw an officer bleeding from his neck and a knife nearby on the ground. Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw said the officer stabbed is Lt. Jeff Neville with the Bishop International Airport police. Shaw says Neville’s condition also has been upgraded from critical to stable condition…

    A law enforcement official says the FBI is looking at terrorism as a possible motive for the stabbing at Bishop International Airport. The official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the individual wasn’t able to publicly discuss the investigation that is in early stages.

    A second law enforcement official also speaking on condition of anonymity says authorities were investigating witness reports the suspect made during the incident, including saying “Allahu akbar,” the Arabic phrase for “God is great.”…

  69. General McChrystal’s staff, whom he portrayed as hard drinkers not wholly respectful of Vice President Joe Biden. (They loved Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, however.)

    When I lurked a military forum many moons ago there was post of some American that was deployed in Iraq saying that there he met National Guardsmen that are entusiastic about a Hillary presidency.

  70. @MBlanc46
    Whatever happened to "America First"?

    Replies: @Bugg, @Anon

    Disappointing that the candidate who rightly called Obama out for bombing Syria…bombed Syria.

  71. iSteve is to harsh towards US Army efforts in Afghanistan.

    At least they have managed to teach Afghans perform Jumping Jacks:

  72. @Lugash

    And, unlike ISIS, the Taliban appear to have learned their lesson not to be culpable in terrorism in the West. For instance, the Taliban’s 2012 commando raid on a NATO base in southern Afghanistan that wrecked eight Marine Corps jets (the worst damage American air power has suffered since Vietnam) was a fair fight of brave soldier versus brave soldier.
     
    10 jets were destroyed in Puerto Rico by a rebel group in 1981:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mu%C3%B1iz_Air_National_Guard_Base#Attack_by_Macheteros

    Replies: @Sarah Toga, @(((Owen))), @Jack Hanson, @anon

    Interesting comment. Because the situation has deteriorated to where the Taliban now look better than a more recent group, when the two are compared. The Taliban.

  73. Invade the world – Invite the world.

    Trump was on course to break that vicious cycle.
    Explains why the GOP-Democrat uniparty is attacking him, even encouraging free-lance assassins like Hodgkinson of the softball field.

    Trump needs to shut down the invite-the-world part to keep his base. Hopefully he’ll figure out the invade-the-world part just needs to be shut down, too. No way to actually win, but we probably could contain those people to their area. Which requires abolishing immigration. No easy answers.

  74. @Anonymous
    @Wilkey


    I really feel sorry for anyone who signed up “to serve their country” only to end up losing life or limb in that hellhole.
     
    Losing a limb would be almost infinitely preferable to thousands of injuries from Operation Enduring Fredom (OEF-A) that I've seen. Heck, a lot of these limb-loss injuries are so acceptable to the public they are featured in commercials. I've never seen product-marketing commercials feature wounded warriors with severe burns and/or head trauma. Because of the incredible advancements in medicine many more guys survived with horrific injuries than would have survived in previous decades. I worked with severely injured military from Walter Reed and Bethesda Naval. Many Americans will never meet some of these horrifically wounded guys because they will need to be confined to a very limited environment for life-long care and surgeries.

    Almost every day I still wonder how guys like Bush and Cheney can sleep at night.

    Replies: @RadicalCenter

    Because you don’t wonder how the democrat warmonger presidents sleep at night? Add Clinton, Obama, and Trump to that list.

  75. I even left the house to investigate it.

    Never get out of the house. Unless you are going all the way.

  76. @syonredux
    @(((Owen)))


    Big words about a culture that just fought off the world’s greatest empire and kept control of its own land.
     
    Eh. The Afghans are simply lucky that Westerners no longer have the stomach for wars of extermination....

    Especially coming from a man whose own native culture is being ethnically cleansed from its homelands with no visible resistance whatsoever.
     
    Solid point. Obviously, the USA needs to mount Operation Wetback II. Mestizo Hispanics are the real enemy, not Muslims in Afghanistan.

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

    Replies: @SteveRogers42

    Wall. Active Denial systems. Deportation Corps. Sheriff’s posses.

  77. @(((Owen)))

    The Pashtun culture, centered in eastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan, may be the world’s most dysfunctional.
     
    Big words about a culture that just fought off the world's greatest empire and kept control of its own land.

    Especially coming from a man whose own native culture is being ethnically cleansed from its homelands with no visible resistance whatsoever.

    Replies: @syonredux, @SteveRogers42, @neutral

    How long would it have taken the U.S. Army of 1945 to completely subdue the Pushtun “culture”? In six months, the place would have been as quiet as “a mouse pissin’ on cotton”.

    • Replies: @dearieme
    @SteveRogers42

    "How long would it have taken the U.S. Army of 1945 to completely subdue the Pushtun “culture”?"

    They couldn't remotely have done it. Look at a bloody relief map, for heaven's sake.

  78. @MBlanc46
    Whatever happened to "America First"?

    Replies: @Bugg, @Anon

    Exactly.

  79. The article itself is depressing, but you wrote it very well. Some very nice turns of phrases. You should be proud!

    The disastrous temptation to try to provide the Afghans with what they’ve seldom been able to furnish for themselves—strong, wise rule—has been the stuff of fable since 1888, when the 23-year-old Rudyard Kipling wrote his most famous short story: “The Man Who Would Be King.”

    During the Obama administration’s high noon of access journalism, in which most journalists degraded themselves to regime PR interns, Hastings, a Ron Paul admirer, was willing to risk crashing his career by burning his sources…

    So, my suggestion is that the Taliban should be prodded to merge with some other Pashtun group and then change their names to something innocuous like the United Afghan Front.

    The U.S. could then wash the dust of Afghanistan off its hands.

    • Agree: Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @Anon
    @Romanian

    " to try to provide the Afghans with what they’ve seldom been able to furnish for themselves—strong, wise rule"

    This was also the theme of the final lines of Kipling's short animal story "Her Majesty's Servants".

    http://www.authorama.com/jungle-book-13.html


    Then I heard an old grizzled, long-haired Central Asian chief, who had come down with the Amir, asking questions of a native officer.

    “Now,” said he, “in what manner was this wonderful thing done?”

    And the officer answered, “An order was given, and they obeyed.”

    “But are the beasts as wise as the men?” said the chief.

    “They obey, as the men do. Mule, horse, elephant, or bullock, he obeys his driver, and the driver his sergeant, and the sergeant his lieutenant, and the lieutenant his captain, and the captain his major, and the major his colonel, and the colonel his brigadier commanding three regiments, and the brigadier the general, who obeys the Viceroy, who is the servant of the Empress. Thus it is done.”

    “Would it were so in Afghanistan!” said the chief, “for there we obey only our own wills.”

    “And for that reason,” said the native officer, twirling his mustache, “your Amir whom you do not obey must come here and take orders from our Viceroy.”
     
  80. “provide the Afghans with what they’ve seldom been able to furnish for themselves—strong, wise rule”

    Actually the Taiban under Mullah Omar were doing a reasonable job.

  81. This video seems relevant to the location as well

  82. The funeral of the first London tower-block fire victim, a young male “Syrian refugee”, took place today.

    His parents flew in from Syria to attend (and will presumably fly back again).

    How does this asylum thing work again?

    • Replies: @anon
    @Anon

    The whole thing is just a scam and a racket.

  83. Anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Romanian
    The article itself is depressing, but you wrote it very well. Some very nice turns of phrases. You should be proud!

    The disastrous temptation to try to provide the Afghans with what they’ve seldom been able to furnish for themselves—strong, wise rule—has been the stuff of fable since 1888, when the 23-year-old Rudyard Kipling wrote his most famous short story: “The Man Who Would Be King.”

    During the Obama administration’s high noon of access journalism, in which most journalists degraded themselves to regime PR interns, Hastings, a Ron Paul admirer, was willing to risk crashing his career by burning his sources...

    So, my suggestion is that the Taliban should be prodded to merge with some other Pashtun group and then change their names to something innocuous like the United Afghan Front.

    The U.S. could then wash the dust of Afghanistan off its hands.
     

    Replies: @Anon

    ” to try to provide the Afghans with what they’ve seldom been able to furnish for themselves—strong, wise rule”

    This was also the theme of the final lines of Kipling’s short animal story “Her Majesty’s Servants”.

    http://www.authorama.com/jungle-book-13.html

    Then I heard an old grizzled, long-haired Central Asian chief, who had come down with the Amir, asking questions of a native officer.

    “Now,” said he, “in what manner was this wonderful thing done?”

    And the officer answered, “An order was given, and they obeyed.”

    “But are the beasts as wise as the men?” said the chief.

    “They obey, as the men do. Mule, horse, elephant, or bullock, he obeys his driver, and the driver his sergeant, and the sergeant his lieutenant, and the lieutenant his captain, and the captain his major, and the major his colonel, and the colonel his brigadier commanding three regiments, and the brigadier the general, who obeys the Viceroy, who is the servant of the Empress. Thus it is done.”

    “Would it were so in Afghanistan!” said the chief, “for there we obey only our own wills.”

    “And for that reason,” said the native officer, twirling his mustache, “your Amir whom you do not obey must come here and take orders from our Viceroy.”

  84. @Jean Ralphio
    Has Netflix made a good movie yet? Can a movie be good when it's given away for free on a streaming site?

    Replies: @TWS, @guest

    A couple. This was just, ‘meh’. Nearly all the characters were written with the subtlety of a daytime soap, the direction was ham handed and flat they had some great actors but didn’t use them.

  85. @HenryA
    @Anonymous White Male

    I could never understand why we don't do aerial spraying of Afghanistan's opium fields with Roundup. I'm sure we could easily attach aerial sprayers to helicopter gunships. When the Afghans replant next year, we re-spray.

    Replies: @Jack D, @Anonymous White Male

    The opium fields were replanted after the Taliban was defeated. Planted with CIA money and assistance. Opium production surged from a minimal 180 tons to a monumental 8,200 in the first five years of U.S. occupation. do you think anyone in the Swamp would want to decrease opium production? Sure, it would work, if DC wasn’t such an evil place, but cheap narcotics are a useful distraction for the masses.

    • Replies: @anon
    @Anonymous White Male

    I thought a blind eye was turned toward opium farming as a way to curry favor with the peasant masses. You know, eff the Taliban; we'll tacitly permit your livelihood.


    In any event, I'm pretty sure domestic opiod consumption plays absolutely zero role in any of the US Military's strategic calculations. They've got a war to fight, for crying out loud!

    Replies: @Anonymous White Male

  86. @Lugash

    And, unlike ISIS, the Taliban appear to have learned their lesson not to be culpable in terrorism in the West. For instance, the Taliban’s 2012 commando raid on a NATO base in southern Afghanistan that wrecked eight Marine Corps jets (the worst damage American air power has suffered since Vietnam) was a fair fight of brave soldier versus brave soldier.
     
    10 jets were destroyed in Puerto Rico by a rebel group in 1981:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mu%C3%B1iz_Air_National_Guard_Base#Attack_by_Macheteros

    Replies: @Sarah Toga, @(((Owen))), @Jack Hanson, @anon

    10 jets were destroyed in Puerto Rico by a rebel group in 1981:

    US occupation of Puerto Rico is barbaric, intolerable, and illegal under international law. Time for the USA to withdraw and recognize Puerto Rican independence now.

    • Replies: @syonredux
    @(((Owen)))


    US occupation of Puerto Rico is barbaric, intolerable, and illegal under international law. Time for the USA to withdraw and recognize Puerto Rican independence now.
     
    Absolutely. Followed by expelling all people born in PR but living in the USA back to their homeland.

    Replies: @(((Owen)))

  87. Are we going to make it through a week without another “Incident?”

  88. I watched the movie on Netflix over the weekend in about three segments. I couldn’t get through it on on a single sitting as I found Brad Pitt’s portrayal of the General somewhat annoying. I agreed with the over sentiment of the movie. I want friend, a two tour veteran to watch it so I can hear his opinion. That being said, there’s a line in the movie Tropic Thunder “You went full retard, man. Never go full retard”

    However when it comes to satirical war movies I’m thinking the opposite is true. The key is not a little bit of satire but full on 100% satire. Either do it as a documentary or over the top. Somehow if it were more Dr. Strangelove or given the Michael Moore treatment, it may have been better.

    @SteveSailor On another subject apparently Haven Monahan can be found at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT. However this time the cat fisher is going to jail http://nypost.com/2017/06/16/former-co-ed-faces-two-years-on-charges-she-lied-about-rape/

    • Replies: @Travis
    @George Taylor

    the victims were probably Black football players, thus she gets punished. Good to see they do prosecute some women who falsely claim they were raped.

  89. @(((Owen)))
    @Lugash


    10 jets were destroyed in Puerto Rico by a rebel group in 1981:
     
    US occupation of Puerto Rico is barbaric, intolerable, and illegal under international law. Time for the USA to withdraw and recognize Puerto Rican independence now.

    Replies: @syonredux

    US occupation of Puerto Rico is barbaric, intolerable, and illegal under international law. Time for the USA to withdraw and recognize Puerto Rican independence now.

    Absolutely. Followed by expelling all people born in PR but living in the USA back to their homeland.

    • Replies: @(((Owen)))
    @syonredux

    Puerto Rico will need that labor; otherwise the crops will rot in the fields.

  90. @Anonym
    LOL at "strategic gravel reserves". That's good.

    One of the investment vehicles that Peter Lynch was a fan of was gravel pits. Because gravel is cheap relative to the transport cost, if you have the only gravel pit in the vicinity, you have a local monopoly because the next-closest gravel pit prices itself out of the market by virtue of the transport cost component.

    First you get the gravel, then you get the money...

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen, @FPD72

    Peter Lynch had a number of simple, interesting investment ideas. Another was to invest in a growing regional restaurant chain, because America was homogenous enough that what worked in one part of the country would likely work elsewhere.

    But he held so many stocks in his Fidelity fund, he apparently burned himself out after a decade or so.

  91. @(((Owen)))

    The Pashtun culture, centered in eastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan, may be the world’s most dysfunctional.
     
    Big words about a culture that just fought off the world's greatest empire and kept control of its own land.

    Especially coming from a man whose own native culture is being ethnically cleansed from its homelands with no visible resistance whatsoever.

    Replies: @syonredux, @SteveRogers42, @neutral

    Especially coming from a man whose own native culture is being ethnically cleansed from its homelands with no visible resistance whatsoever.

    No need to ask who is doing this ethnic cleansing, the parenthesis tell me that you already know.

  92. @oddsbodkins
    A really clean explanation of why nation building cannot overcome cultural patterns was written by Robin Fox in 2006 for Harpers magazine. It is called "The Kindness of Strangers". Much of it is drawn from his book "The Tribal Mind", also a fascinating read.

    Steve, thanks for a great read in Takis this morning.

    Replies: @Mark Caplan

    The Tribal Imagination: Civilization and the Savage Mind by Robin Fox.

  93. @Jean Ralphio
    Has Netflix made a good movie yet? Can a movie be good when it's given away for free on a streaming site?

    Replies: @TWS, @guest

    Of course it can be. You’re not giving it away for free, really. You’re offering it to your subscribers, just like HBO, for instance. There have been good tv movies on free channels, in any case.

    Has Netflix, in fact, made good movies? I’m not well-informed on the subject. I watched a little bit of the Siege of Jadotville, and it was okay.

  94. @syonredux
    @(((Owen)))


    US occupation of Puerto Rico is barbaric, intolerable, and illegal under international law. Time for the USA to withdraw and recognize Puerto Rican independence now.
     
    Absolutely. Followed by expelling all people born in PR but living in the USA back to their homeland.

    Replies: @(((Owen)))

    Puerto Rico will need that labor; otherwise the crops will rot in the fields.

  95. @Ganderson
    @Wilkey

    Couldn't have put it better. Anyone here remember SCTV's "Man Who Would be King of the Popes?"

    Replies: @Hhsiii

    Yeah, I’ve even posted it here. And How the Middle East Was Won. Dave Thomas doing Richard Harris was great. And Eugene Levy doing Connery as an Arab with a Scottish accent.

  96. Jack Hanson says:
    @Lugash

    And, unlike ISIS, the Taliban appear to have learned their lesson not to be culpable in terrorism in the West. For instance, the Taliban’s 2012 commando raid on a NATO base in southern Afghanistan that wrecked eight Marine Corps jets (the worst damage American air power has suffered since Vietnam) was a fair fight of brave soldier versus brave soldier.
     
    10 jets were destroyed in Puerto Rico by a rebel group in 1981:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mu%C3%B1iz_Air_National_Guard_Base#Attack_by_Macheteros

    Replies: @Sarah Toga, @(((Owen))), @Jack Hanson, @anon

    Camp Bastion has all the hallmarks of an amazing story that should be heralded, right up to a colonel organizing a bunch of pogues (mechanics and other support staff) to fight off the saboteurs, leading the charge with his pistol and ultimately dying leading his men into combat.

    However, the fact that the elite Tongan military was sleeping in their tower (among other things)and allowed the Taliban to slip through is just too much to swallow down with this story of heroism for Pentagon brass.

    • Replies: @whoever
    @Jack Hanson


    a colonel
     
    You're talking about Lt. Col. Chris Raible

    Replies: @Jack Hanson

  97. I saw a preview for War Machine and thought it was a comedy based on Pitt’s acting in the preview. I was thinking “that would have been worth watching if were a serious movie instead of a comedy.” Looks like I was half right.

    Steve, this article reads like you’re getting frustrated. I would be if I had been writing what you’ve been writing for the last 15 years.

  98. @Diversity Heretic
    Continuing to pour resources into a war after sixteen years is an indication that the military-industrial complex really does govern the United States. The rest of us just live here.

    Replies: @Neoconned, @bored identity, @Phelps, @Peter Akuleyev

    Rubbish.

    What about Malala The Scarface?

    Old Talmudic wisdom claims:

    “To save one innocent child is to save Universum of Supremacy of the one and only democracy in the Middle of the Nowhere-East.”

    Weimerica, bitchez.

  99. @Jeremy Cooper

    The Pukhtun is never at peace, except when he is at war.

    One’s own mother and sister are disgusting.

    When the floodwaters reach your chin, put your son beneath your feet.

     

    What are the sources for these? These proverbs don't appear to be especially widespread. When I Google them the only things that comes up are Steve's articles.

    Replies: @Iain

    They’re from “Generosity and Jealousy: The Swat Pukhtun of Northern Pakistan,” Charles Lindholm, Columbia University Press, 1982.

    You can download the whole book from here:
    https://open.bu.edu/handle/2144/3822

  100. @European-American

    The biggest problem with War Machine is that Pitt, who has been a reliable star since Thelma and Louise over a quarter of a century ago, is terrible as General McChrystal. Pitt’s affected growling voice is painful to hear.

    Even worse, Michôd doesn’t give Pitt any insightful or charming lines. To Hastings, McChrystal was “a highly intelligent badass.” Yet Michôd doesn’t show any evidence of McChrystal’s intelligence in his movie.
     

    Sorry you didn't like the film as much as I did. To me it was one man playing slapstick comedy in surroundings alternately tragic and comic, fictional form mirroring reality. His role is to be a leader in an impossible situation. He bravely plays his part, not stupidly, but as a leader everyone looks up to. What do you want him to do, quit? He soldiers on, quietly desperate. I imagine generals are like business leaders: they have to lay it on thick.

    And how can you blame the movie for letting us know from the start it was going to be about a failure? Who still thinks our wars aren't all cruel, sickening failures?

    I thought the movie made the case against the war in Afghanistan better than any I've seen. And by billing itself as a comedy with a big star, it made me want to watch it. Who otherwise wants to see a serious movie about Afghanistan or Iraq? You know it'll just make you nauseous. Patton in Afghanistan? No thanks. But Dr Strangelove? Oh all right.

    Replies: @Olorin, @bomag

    Who still thinks our wars aren’t all cruel, sickening failures?

    We used to send our young men out to conquer territory, or maybe prettier women. Now we send them out to find “refugees” that do that to us.

    • Agree: BB753
    • Replies: @BB753
    @bomag

    This is a great comment! Indeed, we send out our own soldiers to be defeated in pointless operations abroad, and as scouts to recruit successful invaders of our own country. Invade the world, invite the world.
    Truly, these must be miserable times to be in the military! Any self-respecting officer should shoot himself for allowing this travesty of warfare to happen. The more we win, the more we lose.

  101. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous White Male
    @HenryA

    The opium fields were replanted after the Taliban was defeated. Planted with CIA money and assistance. Opium production surged from a minimal 180 tons to a monumental 8,200 in the first five years of U.S. occupation. do you think anyone in the Swamp would want to decrease opium production? Sure, it would work, if DC wasn't such an evil place, but cheap narcotics are a useful distraction for the masses.

    Replies: @anon

    I thought a blind eye was turned toward opium farming as a way to curry favor with the peasant masses. You know, eff the Taliban; we’ll tacitly permit your livelihood.

    In any event, I’m pretty sure domestic opiod consumption plays absolutely zero role in any of the US Military’s strategic calculations. They’ve got a war to fight, for crying out loud!

    • Replies: @Anonymous White Male
    @anon

    There are probably some in the military that understand the real reasons behind the absurdity. But, the common soldiery, not a clue. They're just trying to stay alive so they can get out of that hellhole.

  102. @tsotha

    It seems amazing to me that during the 8 years of Obama’s presidency he was never publicly asked to provide a strategic rationale for remaining there.
     
    He was and he did. To allow the Taliban to regain control and invite every anti-American group to come in and train for big attacks would be a mistake. It would have been a disastrous political mistake for Obama if we left A-stan and a later terrorist attack was traced back to that country.

    The right way to deal with this would have been punitive strategic bombing in 2001. A sustained bombing campaign with the intent of killing people, and lots of them. Then at the end you drop a bunch of leaflets saying "If something like 9/11 happens again we'll be back". But the voting public doesn't have the stomach for that sort of brutality, so we've slouched into the next best thing - creating and maintaining a puppet government. Forever.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen, @guest, @Coemgen

    This is a really dumb rationale. Why should we care if every terrorist in the world camped out in Afghanistan? It’s literally half way around the world from us, and the terrorists don’t have ICBMs. They can’t do anything to us from Afghanistan.

    Your point about a punitive strike makes sense, and that’s essentially how the Afghanistan War started. To his credit, Rumsfeld didn’t put a lot of boots on the ground initially; he used special forces + local proxies + lots of bombing. But by January of 2002, IIRC, TV footage of Afghan internal refugees had our compassionate conservative President switch to nation-building mode, and NATO went along with him.

    Then, after W. invaded Iraq, Dems seeking to burnish their hawkish bona fides while opposing Iraq inflated the importance of the Afghanistan War, saying that was the “real” war.

    The problem from the beginning, as Steve notes in his article, is that the Taliban represents the biggest ethnic group in Afghanistan. It’s unreasonable to expect them to be boxed out of running the country forever, and it’s pointless of us to insist on that.

    • Replies: @carol
    @Dave Pinsen

    They can't do anything to us from Afghanistan? The 9/11 attack was hatched there, yes?

    Just for the record.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen, @anon, @guest

  103. @Anonym
    LOL at "strategic gravel reserves". That's good.

    One of the investment vehicles that Peter Lynch was a fan of was gravel pits. Because gravel is cheap relative to the transport cost, if you have the only gravel pit in the vicinity, you have a local monopoly because the next-closest gravel pit prices itself out of the market by virtue of the transport cost component.

    First you get the gravel, then you get the money...

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen, @FPD72

    I had a client that fit this scenario to a tee. They had the only gravel pit near Childress, TX. They had the winning bid on every job they wanted in about a 75 mile radius.

  104. @Anonymous

    Pitt’s movie War Machine is based on the reporting by Michael Hastings, who died in a spectacular one-car crash in Hollywood in 2013 that spawned so many conspiracy theories that I even left the house to investigate it.
     
    Jimmy Rockford Sailer, P.I.

    Replies: @G Pinfold

    LOL. Sailer’s legwork was discussed at the time. If I recall, the consensus of the commentariat was more along the lines of Jeffrey Lebowski, aka The Dude.

  105. @anon
    @Anonymous White Male

    I thought a blind eye was turned toward opium farming as a way to curry favor with the peasant masses. You know, eff the Taliban; we'll tacitly permit your livelihood.


    In any event, I'm pretty sure domestic opiod consumption plays absolutely zero role in any of the US Military's strategic calculations. They've got a war to fight, for crying out loud!

    Replies: @Anonymous White Male

    There are probably some in the military that understand the real reasons behind the absurdity. But, the common soldiery, not a clue. They’re just trying to stay alive so they can get out of that hellhole.

  106. @Arclight
    It seems amazing to me that during the 8 years of Obama's presidency he was never publicly asked to provide a strategic rationale for remaining there. Once could make a case that it was valuable to have troops there and in Iraq to pressure Iran, but once Obama decided to pull out of Iraq and bend over to strengthen Iran, that justification evaporated, meaning his entire 2nd term went by with us pouring more money and resources into an apparently irredeemable country without much of a peep from the establishment.

    Replies: @BenKenobi, @Altai, @Kylie

    “It seems amazing to me that during the 8 years of Obama’s presidency he was never publicly asked to provide a strategic rationale for remaining there.”

    You do know Obama was the first black POTUS, right?

  107. @Hunsdon
    Few more Friedman units, Afghanistan's gonna turn right around!

    Replies: @Geschrei

    Few more Friedman units, Afghanistan’s gonna turn right around!

    The next six months will be crucial…

  108. So now we need to worry about Canada’s immigration policies as well as our failure to nation-build in Afghanistan:

    FLINT, MI — Investigators have identified the man they say attacked a police officer at Bishop Airport as Amor M. Ftouhi, a 50-year-old Canadian citizen.

    Federal prosecutors filed an affidavit Wednesday, June 21, supporting a criminal complaint of violence at an international airport in U.S. District Court in Flint.

    The affidavit from FBI Special Agent Thomas M. Sondgeroth says an officer who observed the attack on police officer Jeff Neville told him Ftouhi used a large knife to stab the victim.

    Ftouhi yelled “Allahu Akbar” — “Allah is the greatest” — before making the attack, according to the affidavit.

    After stabbing the officer in the neck, Ftouhi continued to yell, “Allah,” several times, Sondgeroth’s statement says.

    “He further exclaimed something similar to, ‘you have killed people in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan, and we are all going to die.’ ”

    http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2017/06/flint_bishop_airport_slasher_i.html

  109. @Anonymous White Male
    People, please! The reason America is still in Afghanistan is because, according to the CIA Factbook, Afghanistan is the world’s primary opium producer, accounting for 82% of the global supply. They weren't when the Taliban ruled. Do you not understand that this provides the people that own you, your children, and everything you pretend to hold dear, with literally trillions of dollars in revenue? It also serves the insidious purpose of anesthetizing millions of people worldwide so they won't care that they are slaves.

    Replies: @HenryA, @mobi

    People, please! The reason America is still in Afghanistan is because, according to the CIA Factbook, Afghanistan is the world’s primary opium producer, accounting for 82% of the global supply. They weren’t when the Taliban ruled. Do you not understand that this provides the people that own you, your children, and everything you pretend to hold dear, with literally trillions of dollars in revenue? It also serves the insidious purpose of anesthetizing millions of people worldwide so they won’t care that they are slaves.

    You would think, with all their smarts and resources, they’d have seen Fentanyl coming.

  110. @Jack Hanson
    @Lugash

    Camp Bastion has all the hallmarks of an amazing story that should be heralded, right up to a colonel organizing a bunch of pogues (mechanics and other support staff) to fight off the saboteurs, leading the charge with his pistol and ultimately dying leading his men into combat.

    However, the fact that the elite Tongan military was sleeping in their tower (among other things)and allowed the Taliban to slip through is just too much to swallow down with this story of heroism for Pentagon brass.

    Replies: @whoever

    a colonel

    You’re talking about Lt. Col. Chris Raible

    • Replies: @Jack Hanson
    @whoever

    Yes. Thank you. He really did go out like a hero.

    It always amazes me how the services have some real amazing heroes who served in the recent wars yet they can't move on past Murphy, Puller, and Hathcock.

    Replies: @whoever

  111. @George Taylor
    I watched the movie on Netflix over the weekend in about three segments. I couldn't get through it on on a single sitting as I found Brad Pitt's portrayal of the General somewhat annoying. I agreed with the over sentiment of the movie. I want friend, a two tour veteran to watch it so I can hear his opinion. That being said, there's a line in the movie Tropic Thunder "You went full retard, man. Never go full retard"

    However when it comes to satirical war movies I'm thinking the opposite is true. The key is not a little bit of satire but full on 100% satire. Either do it as a documentary or over the top. Somehow if it were more Dr. Strangelove or given the Michael Moore treatment, it may have been better.

    @SteveSailor On another subject apparently Haven Monahan can be found at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT. However this time the cat fisher is going to jail http://nypost.com/2017/06/16/former-co-ed-faces-two-years-on-charges-she-lied-about-rape/

    Replies: @Travis

    the victims were probably Black football players, thus she gets punished. Good to see they do prosecute some women who falsely claim they were raped.

  112. @Dave Pinsen
    @tsotha

    This is a really dumb rationale. Why should we care if every terrorist in the world camped out in Afghanistan? It's literally half way around the world from us, and the terrorists don't have ICBMs. They can't do anything to us from Afghanistan.

    Your point about a punitive strike makes sense, and that's essentially how the Afghanistan War started. To his credit, Rumsfeld didn't put a lot of boots on the ground initially; he used special forces + local proxies + lots of bombing. But by January of 2002, IIRC, TV footage of Afghan internal refugees had our compassionate conservative President switch to nation-building mode, and NATO went along with him.

    Then, after W. invaded Iraq, Dems seeking to burnish their hawkish bona fides while opposing Iraq inflated the importance of the Afghanistan War, saying that was the "real" war.

    The problem from the beginning, as Steve notes in his article, is that the Taliban represents the biggest ethnic group in Afghanistan. It's unreasonable to expect them to be boxed out of running the country forever, and it's pointless of us to insist on that.

    Replies: @carol

    They can’t do anything to us from Afghanistan? The 9/11 attack was hatched there, yes?

    Just for the record.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
    @carol

    You want to bomb every place where someone can hatch an idea?

    The terrorists didn't board the planes in Afghanistan. The reason 9/11 happened is because we allowed the hijackers in the country in the first place (and let some of them overstay their visas, IIRC). They can't hurt us here if we don't let them in.

    I recall during the early days of the Afghanistan War a general describing a bombing raid (as Fox News played file footage of jihadis traversing monkey bars) as, "We just destroyed their Quantico". Bud, they don't have a Quantico. Never did. You just rearranged some rocks. Nothing you blew up costed as much as the bombs you dropped on it.

    , @anon
    @carol

    Well plans have to be hatched somewhere. It is the execution of the plan that is the key. That execution is harder if Muslims encounter difficulty getting into western countries.

    , @guest
    @carol

    Wherever the plan was hatched, they not only carried it out here, some of them actually learned how to fly (or crash accurately) here.

  113. @Diversity Heretic
    Continuing to pour resources into a war after sixteen years is an indication that the military-industrial complex really does govern the United States. The rest of us just live here.

    Replies: @Neoconned, @bored identity, @Phelps, @Peter Akuleyev

    I’m more inclined to believe that the sacrifices in lives by an all volunteer military and Americans aren’t asked to make many financial sacrifices is the biggest factor in our endless, pointless Afghan War.

  114. 1. If I were an Afghan, I’d silently be swelling with pride that my countrymen, the Taliban, have kept the world’s greatest power at bay for so long. Just like the North Vietnamese felt.

    2. Mike Nichols and Robert Altman did this sort of movie much better.

    3. You’re not kidding about Anthony Michael Hall. That is the most radical change from age 17 to mid-life that I’ve seen in a person. Did the guy juice on human growth hormone or something? It’s like the bones in his face have thickened and shifted beyond recognition.

    http://img.thedailybeast.com/image/upload/c_crop,d_placeholder_euli9k,h_2251,w_4003,x_0,y_0/c_limit,w_1480/fl_lossy,q_auto/v1496690445/netflix-being-michael-flynn-anthony-michael-hall_gbtthb

  115. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @Wilkey
    I really feel sorry for anyone who signed up "to serve their country" only to end up losing life or limb in that hellhole. If there is some legitimate reason for us to be over there we will probably never know about it. We got our "revenge" against Osama and his minions long, long ago. A wise leader would have simply bombed Mecca after 9/11, shut down immigration from Islamic countries, and been done with it. Instead we drop a trillion or so on a largely pointless war, let tens of thousands of our young men suffer and die, and allow the barbarians into our countries in ever-increasing numbers. If the West ever regains its sanity we will wonder how this all ever happened.

    Replies: @Ganderson, @Anonymous, @anon, @The Last Real Calvinist

    Had America simply ended ALL immigration from Muslim countries (including ending the arrival of so-called “refugees” like Somalis) it would have made the country a thousand times safer and saved many lives. The attack and occupation of Afghanistan was a fools’ errand from day one. All of the 9/11 terrorists were basically illegal aliens or “visa over-stayers” in Washington speak.

  116. @bomag
    @European-American


    Who still thinks our wars aren’t all cruel, sickening failures?
     
    We used to send our young men out to conquer territory, or maybe prettier women. Now we send them out to find "refugees" that do that to us.

    Replies: @BB753

    This is a great comment! Indeed, we send out our own soldiers to be defeated in pointless operations abroad, and as scouts to recruit successful invaders of our own country. Invade the world, invite the world.
    Truly, these must be miserable times to be in the military! Any self-respecting officer should shoot himself for allowing this travesty of warfare to happen. The more we win, the more we lose.

  117. @Olorin
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    My read as well.

    After Afghanistan I hope they invade the Sackler drug family and Purdue Pharma.

    They're the ones who for 60 years now have been peddling highly addictive narcotics to white Americans using family doctors as pushers...and winning acclaim from their kin for doing so. Without that the demand for heroin would have remained much smaller.

    So would have the demand for the narcotics themselves, which could have remained therapeutically beneficial but been less socially harmful had if their pushers' goal not been to reap hundreds of millions and then billions of dollars by any means necessary.

    Then there needs to be an invasion of the Globobanks who have been laundering all this money, and/or pointing the laundrymen to smaller banks.

    While we're at it, I think it's time to claw back all the American and European cultural properties that have been seized by this drug family, like that building at the Smithsonian, the wing at the Met, that Carnegie Foundation/Bloomberg/Sackler outpost in Brooklyn, and so on.

    Which they use as a lever for marginalizing and displacing American and European culture and replacing it with garbage like Judy Chicago, Congolese carvings of guys with boners, and portraits of the Catholics' mother-god, smeared with excrement.

    Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson

    They’re the ones who for 60 years now have been peddling highly addictive narcotics to white Americans using family doctors as pushers…and winning acclaim from their kin for doing so.

    While I agree with much of what you wrote I think you dismiss the legitimate uses of narcotics for pain control without due consideration of the upside. My late mother-in-law had neuropathy, and her doctor would prescribe 28 days of medication regardless of the number of days in the month. He said it was required by the FDA. Every month except non-leap-year Februaries she suffered needlessly.

    One of the drivers of assisted suicide is the lack of pain control medications for the terminally ill. I have seen, and heard, the suffering first hand. If you had seen the same, I wonder what you would think about the issue.

    • Agree: (((Owen)))
  118. @anonymous
    It's important to stay in Afghanistan at level of around 10k troops for one important reason: avoiding complete defeat. If the Taliban overrun the US client state and US diplomats and contractors have only 24 hours to evacuate quickly then that will become another one of the most humiliating moments in American history and stay with America for generations. Keeping in 10k troops and not exposing them to combat is a small price to pay to avoid this likely scenario.

    Replies: @anon, @BB753

    Reminds me of what they used to say about not withdrawing from South Vietnam in the 1960’s & 70’s. It was wrong thinking then and it is wrong thinking now.

  119. @Jack Hanson
    @jim jones

    The military has been a skills program for minorities and single moms for well over a decade now.

    It is not designed to fight a serious war. The first time the US encounters a military where it loses the air support its enjoyed since WWII is when the levee breaks.

    There are a few units who exist to actually fight, but the 3 legged stool of CAS/SOG/Drones that the US military has become isn't applicable to any sort of large scale war against Russia or the Norks. Sadly, I don't think the destruction of a major manuever unit will change anything. I think you'd need two or three Kesserine Passes before someone realises that perhaps, maybe, diversity isn't our strength.

    Replies: @Opinionator

    The military has been a skills program for minorities and single moms for well over a decade now.

    You mean “employment program”? What is a skills program?

    • Replies: @Jack Hanson
    @Opinionator

    I'm glad you took the time to engage in the pedantic hairsplitting over trivialities you're known for rather than discuss the rather substantial point of:

    Our military doesn't exist to fight wars and a lot of people are going to die the first time we ain't fighting goat herders with Mausers.

    Replies: @Opinionator

  120. @carol
    @Dave Pinsen

    They can't do anything to us from Afghanistan? The 9/11 attack was hatched there, yes?

    Just for the record.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen, @anon, @guest

    You want to bomb every place where someone can hatch an idea?

    The terrorists didn’t board the planes in Afghanistan. The reason 9/11 happened is because we allowed the hijackers in the country in the first place (and let some of them overstay their visas, IIRC). They can’t hurt us here if we don’t let them in.

    I recall during the early days of the Afghanistan War a general describing a bombing raid (as Fox News played file footage of jihadis traversing monkey bars) as, “We just destroyed their Quantico”. Bud, they don’t have a Quantico. Never did. You just rearranged some rocks. Nothing you blew up costed as much as the bombs you dropped on it.

  121. @carol
    @Dave Pinsen

    They can't do anything to us from Afghanistan? The 9/11 attack was hatched there, yes?

    Just for the record.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen, @anon, @guest

    Well plans have to be hatched somewhere. It is the execution of the plan that is the key. That execution is harder if Muslims encounter difficulty getting into western countries.

  122. @Achilles
    The best strategy out of a range of poor options would have been after a quick and impressive defeat of the Taliban, to go to every town and village in the areas under the influence of the Taliban and accuse them under their own values as a tribal, warrior society of ingratitude and inhospitality.

    They are an illiterate society, so it would have required sending teams all over the country to explain it orally to village gatherings. We would need to explain that we helped them fight the Soviet invaders, and they repaid us by sheltering our enemy who prepared an attack upon us. This was ungrateful and inhospitable and unworthy of Afghans. We would need to hammer this message home ad nauseum so that our position was understood and held a moral high ground among at least a significant part of the illiterate native population.

    And then go home. Yes, violent Islamists would probably still arise and US forces might have to go back, but at least we would have equipped those debating and opposing them in their own villages to accuse them of wrongdoing under their own values.

    O/T: British Jewry Feels Left Behind Amid the Election Turmoil [UK]

    (Jewish Telegraphic Agency 20-6-17) Nearly 50 years after she left her native South Africa for Britain to escape apartheid, Sharon Klaff again is finding herself unable to imagine a future for her family in her country and society because of racism.

    And this time, the problem is hitting nearer to home, said Klaff, 69, a yoga teacher and Jewish mother of two.

    Troubled by the Labour Party’s recent electoral successes despite its perceived failure to tackle anti-Semitic vitriol in its ranks, Klaff felt even more concerned Sunday when London Mayor Sadiq Khan — a Muslim Labour politician who on his first day in office reached out to the city’s Jews — allowed hundreds of protesters to march Sunday at an anti-Israel event with flags of the Hezbollah terrorist group.

    “There probably isn’t a place for me here as a Jew,” Klaff, who attended an unauthorized counterprotest against the annual Al-Quds march, told JTA. “And I’m kind of wondering where’s the place of anyone who belongs to Western, democratic civilization.”
     
    There is a reason "chutzpah" is a Jewish word. After doing their best to eviscerate the Western societies of the European goyim through mass third world immigration, promoting Islamic colonization of the West and persecuting Christian values, Jews are now in the position of someone who kills their parents and demands mercy for being an orphan.

    Replies: @anon, @Anon

    As I have often said Jewish support for “diversity-open borders” will come back to haunt them.

  123. @anonymous
    It's important to stay in Afghanistan at level of around 10k troops for one important reason: avoiding complete defeat. If the Taliban overrun the US client state and US diplomats and contractors have only 24 hours to evacuate quickly then that will become another one of the most humiliating moments in American history and stay with America for generations. Keeping in 10k troops and not exposing them to combat is a small price to pay to avoid this likely scenario.

    Replies: @anon, @BB753

    “If the Taliban overrun the US client state and US diplomats and contractors have only 24 hours to evacuate quickly then that will become another one of the most humiliating moments in American history and stay with America for generations.”

    Hopefully if such a thing happens, the brass at the Pentagon might learn a lesson or two.
    Also, there’s no way to avoid” complete” defeat. Either you’re defeated or you’re not. Dragging the miserable experience longer seems unnecessary and pathetic.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @BB753

    It took the pro-Soviet Communist government in Kabul four years, from 1988 to 1992, to fall after Gorbachev pulled the Soviet troops out.

    Replies: @Opinionator

  124. @Lugash

    And, unlike ISIS, the Taliban appear to have learned their lesson not to be culpable in terrorism in the West. For instance, the Taliban’s 2012 commando raid on a NATO base in southern Afghanistan that wrecked eight Marine Corps jets (the worst damage American air power has suffered since Vietnam) was a fair fight of brave soldier versus brave soldier.
     
    10 jets were destroyed in Puerto Rico by a rebel group in 1981:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mu%C3%B1iz_Air_National_Guard_Base#Attack_by_Macheteros

    Replies: @Sarah Toga, @(((Owen))), @Jack Hanson, @anon

    Reason # 9,000,685 to give Puerto Rico its independence.

  125. @Anon
    The funeral of the first London tower-block fire victim, a young male "Syrian refugee", took place today.

    His parents flew in from Syria to attend (and will presumably fly back again).

    How does this asylum thing work again?

    Replies: @anon

    The whole thing is just a scam and a racket.

  126. @BB753
    @anonymous

    "If the Taliban overrun the US client state and US diplomats and contractors have only 24 hours to evacuate quickly then that will become another one of the most humiliating moments in American history and stay with America for generations."

    Hopefully if such a thing happens, the brass at the Pentagon might learn a lesson or two.
    Also, there's no way to avoid" complete" defeat. Either you're defeated or you're not. Dragging the miserable experience longer seems unnecessary and pathetic.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    It took the pro-Soviet Communist government in Kabul four years, from 1988 to 1992, to fall after Gorbachev pulled the Soviet troops out.

    • Replies: @Opinionator
    @Steve Sailer

    Right. In any case, how much time do they need to evacuate? Surely not more than a couple of weeks.

  127. @tsotha

    It seems amazing to me that during the 8 years of Obama’s presidency he was never publicly asked to provide a strategic rationale for remaining there.
     
    He was and he did. To allow the Taliban to regain control and invite every anti-American group to come in and train for big attacks would be a mistake. It would have been a disastrous political mistake for Obama if we left A-stan and a later terrorist attack was traced back to that country.

    The right way to deal with this would have been punitive strategic bombing in 2001. A sustained bombing campaign with the intent of killing people, and lots of them. Then at the end you drop a bunch of leaflets saying "If something like 9/11 happens again we'll be back". But the voting public doesn't have the stomach for that sort of brutality, so we've slouched into the next best thing - creating and maintaining a puppet government. Forever.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen, @guest, @Coemgen

    Terror from the air is appealing to many, but have we ever really developed a reliable way to control the world with it? Sometimes it can seem like shouting into the void. Or worse, causing more of the problem you’re trying to solve.

    • Replies: @Autochthon
    @guest

    Terror from the air works swimmingly. (Ask the citizens of Dresden or Nagasaki, they'll tell you all about it, and show you some eye-opening photographs, too.) It simply hasn't been used properly since 1945 (also, to answer your question, the last time it was used to reliably control the world — or rather, more accurately, to deginitively prevent madmen from controlling the world; the good guys in these situations are not interested in controlling the world...).

    I say again: We have not won the so-called war on terror because we have not fought it. As another commenter intimated earlier in this thread, and as I have in past threads, that war could have been won hand over fist in one day, on 12 September 2001, by turning Medina and Mecca both into fields of shiny glass and permanently prohibiting all immigration to the U.S.A. (we've been full up for many decades, in any event!). The U.S.A. should also have severed all diplomatic ties to every Muslim nation on the planet, and sent a rhetorical dispatch to Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United Nations on 13 September 2011 reading, in its entirety: "Where is your God now?" (On 14 September 2011, the U.S.A. should have ejected the United Nations from New York.)

    Those actions all of course assume and require the U.S.A.'s existence as a viable nation. It does not so exist; it was a grand blaze of glory sabatoged from within.

    , @dearieme
    @guest

    It would have worked in Afghanistan because the problem they were trying to solve was the 9/11 hysteria of the US population and political class. Lashing out was what was wanted.

  128. @carol
    @Dave Pinsen

    They can't do anything to us from Afghanistan? The 9/11 attack was hatched there, yes?

    Just for the record.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen, @anon, @guest

    Wherever the plan was hatched, they not only carried it out here, some of them actually learned how to fly (or crash accurately) here.

  129. @27 year old
    @res

    Thanks.

    I looked for more recent articles and it seems like (surprise!) it's not quite the windfall people expected. The stuff is really there, but actually getting it to market is not happening, for all the same reasons everything in Afghanistan doesnt happen.

    https://www.propublica.org/article/the-u.s.-spent-a-half-billion-on-mining-in-afghanistan-with-limited-progres

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    Afghanistan needs a lot of bridges.

    Sean Connery puts Michael Caine to work building rope bridges in The Man Who Would Be King. The demise of a rope bridge at the hands of the natives plays a major role in the climax of the movie.

  130. @Wilkey
    I really feel sorry for anyone who signed up "to serve their country" only to end up losing life or limb in that hellhole. If there is some legitimate reason for us to be over there we will probably never know about it. We got our "revenge" against Osama and his minions long, long ago. A wise leader would have simply bombed Mecca after 9/11, shut down immigration from Islamic countries, and been done with it. Instead we drop a trillion or so on a largely pointless war, let tens of thousands of our young men suffer and die, and allow the barbarians into our countries in ever-increasing numbers. If the West ever regains its sanity we will wonder how this all ever happened.

    Replies: @Ganderson, @Anonymous, @anon, @The Last Real Calvinist

    Unfortunately for the USA and its soldiers, the heretical post-Christian desire to save the world through human striving not only dominates leftist thinking, but it’s at the root of the neocon mania for ‘nation-building’. The price for this folly has been staggering.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @The Last Real Calvinist

    The two are one and the same.

    At this point there is little left that is Left about it.

  131. @Opinionator
    @Jack Hanson

    The military has been a skills program for minorities and single moms for well over a decade now.

    You mean "employment program"? What is a skills program?

    Replies: @Jack Hanson

    I’m glad you took the time to engage in the pedantic hairsplitting over trivialities you’re known for rather than discuss the rather substantial point of:

    Our military doesn’t exist to fight wars and a lot of people are going to die the first time we ain’t fighting goat herders with Mausers.

    • Replies: @Opinionator
    @Jack Hanson

    If you meant "jobs/welfare program," that would tend to support your point. If you meant by "skills program" something else than that, the relevance is uncertain.

    Either assertion (welfare program or "skills program," whatever the heck you meant by it) cuts against the standard perception of the military, and is potentially interesting and therefore possibly worth elucidating and elaborating on.

    Replies: @Jack Hanson

  132. @whoever
    @Jack Hanson


    a colonel
     
    You're talking about Lt. Col. Chris Raible

    Replies: @Jack Hanson

    Yes. Thank you. He really did go out like a hero.

    It always amazes me how the services have some real amazing heroes who served in the recent wars yet they can’t move on past Murphy, Puller, and Hathcock.

    • Replies: @whoever
    @Jack Hanson

    If you care to take a look at this lip-sync music video, you can see Lt. Col. Raible's AV-8B+ in the background. It was destroyed by the attackers. Some of those performing in the video were involved in the fight, which took place not all that long after the video was made. Whenever I watch it, I smile and feel happy, but it also makes me terribly sad.
    https://youtu.be/au-qqhRHtXg

    Replies: @WJ

  133. @Steve Sailer
    @BB753

    It took the pro-Soviet Communist government in Kabul four years, from 1988 to 1992, to fall after Gorbachev pulled the Soviet troops out.

    Replies: @Opinionator

    Right. In any case, how much time do they need to evacuate? Surely not more than a couple of weeks.

  134. @Jack Hanson
    @Opinionator

    I'm glad you took the time to engage in the pedantic hairsplitting over trivialities you're known for rather than discuss the rather substantial point of:

    Our military doesn't exist to fight wars and a lot of people are going to die the first time we ain't fighting goat herders with Mausers.

    Replies: @Opinionator

    If you meant “jobs/welfare program,” that would tend to support your point. If you meant by “skills program” something else than that, the relevance is uncertain.

    Either assertion (welfare program or “skills program,” whatever the heck you meant by it) cuts against the standard perception of the military, and is potentially interesting and therefore possibly worth elucidating and elaborating on.

    • Replies: @Jack Hanson
    @Opinionator

    I'm pretty sure everyone got the gist of what I meant without you around to act as a Voxplainer.

  135. @guest
    @tsotha

    Terror from the air is appealing to many, but have we ever really developed a reliable way to control the world with it? Sometimes it can seem like shouting into the void. Or worse, causing more of the problem you're trying to solve.

    Replies: @Autochthon, @dearieme

    Terror from the air works swimmingly. (Ask the citizens of Dresden or Nagasaki, they’ll tell you all about it, and show you some eye-opening photographs, too.) It simply hasn’t been used properly since 1945 (also, to answer your question, the last time it was used to reliably control the world — or rather, more accurately, to deginitively prevent madmen from controlling the world; the good guys in these situations are not interested in controlling the world…).

    I say again: We have not won the so-called war on terror because we have not fought it. As another commenter intimated earlier in this thread, and as I have in past threads, that war could have been won hand over fist in one day, on 12 September 2001, by turning Medina and Mecca both into fields of shiny glass and permanently prohibiting all immigration to the U.S.A. (we’ve been full up for many decades, in any event!). The U.S.A. should also have severed all diplomatic ties to every Muslim nation on the planet, and sent a rhetorical dispatch to Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United Nations on 13 September 2011 reading, in its entirety: “Where is your God now?” (On 14 September 2011, the U.S.A. should have ejected the United Nations from New York.)

    Those actions all of course assume and require the U.S.A.’s existence as a viable nation. It does not so exist; it was a grand blaze of glory sabatoged from within.

  136. @Jack Hanson
    @whoever

    Yes. Thank you. He really did go out like a hero.

    It always amazes me how the services have some real amazing heroes who served in the recent wars yet they can't move on past Murphy, Puller, and Hathcock.

    Replies: @whoever

    If you care to take a look at this lip-sync music video, you can see Lt. Col. Raible’s AV-8B+ in the background. It was destroyed by the attackers. Some of those performing in the video were involved in the fight, which took place not all that long after the video was made. Whenever I watch it, I smile and feel happy, but it also makes me terribly sad.

    • Replies: @WJ
    @whoever

    I wish I could unsee that video. No wonder they said "swing with the wing" when I was an USMC 03.

  137. @Diversity Heretic
    Continuing to pour resources into a war after sixteen years is an indication that the military-industrial complex really does govern the United States. The rest of us just live here.

    Replies: @Neoconned, @bored identity, @Phelps, @Peter Akuleyev

    Continuing to pour resources into a war after sixteen years is an indication that the military-industrial complex really does govern the United States. The rest of us just live here.

    Further proof of that is that despite Trump and Bannon’s initial efforts to “reset” our relationship with Russia, Mattis and the military seemed determined to keep us on a confrontation course, and Mattis seems to be getting his way.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    @Peter Akuleyev

    He needs the warriors to survive the lawyers.

    , @Corvinus
    @Peter Akuleyev

    "Further proof of that is that despite Trump and Bannon’s initial efforts to “reset” our relationship with Russia, Mattis and the military seemed determined to keep us on a confrontation course, and Mattis seems to be getting his way."

    The odds are that there is not going to be an all-out nuclear war between Rocky and Ivan Drago. It's typical posturing by the big kids on the block.

  138. @SteveRogers42
    @(((Owen)))

    How long would it have taken the U.S. Army of 1945 to completely subdue the Pushtun "culture"? In six months, the place would have been as quiet as "a mouse pissin' on cotton".

    Replies: @dearieme

    “How long would it have taken the U.S. Army of 1945 to completely subdue the Pushtun “culture”?”

    They couldn’t remotely have done it. Look at a bloody relief map, for heaven’s sake.

  139. @guest
    @tsotha

    Terror from the air is appealing to many, but have we ever really developed a reliable way to control the world with it? Sometimes it can seem like shouting into the void. Or worse, causing more of the problem you're trying to solve.

    Replies: @Autochthon, @dearieme

    It would have worked in Afghanistan because the problem they were trying to solve was the 9/11 hysteria of the US population and political class. Lashing out was what was wanted.

  140. @Peter Akuleyev
    @Diversity Heretic


    Continuing to pour resources into a war after sixteen years is an indication that the military-industrial complex really does govern the United States. The rest of us just live here.
     
    Further proof of that is that despite Trump and Bannon's initial efforts to "reset" our relationship with Russia, Mattis and the military seemed determined to keep us on a confrontation course, and Mattis seems to be getting his way.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @Corvinus

    He needs the warriors to survive the lawyers.

  141. @The Last Real Calvinist
    @Wilkey

    Unfortunately for the USA and its soldiers, the heretical post-Christian desire to save the world through human striving not only dominates leftist thinking, but it's at the root of the neocon mania for 'nation-building'. The price for this folly has been staggering.

    Replies: @Desiderius

    The two are one and the same.

    At this point there is little left that is Left about it.

  142. @tsotha

    It seems amazing to me that during the 8 years of Obama’s presidency he was never publicly asked to provide a strategic rationale for remaining there.
     
    He was and he did. To allow the Taliban to regain control and invite every anti-American group to come in and train for big attacks would be a mistake. It would have been a disastrous political mistake for Obama if we left A-stan and a later terrorist attack was traced back to that country.

    The right way to deal with this would have been punitive strategic bombing in 2001. A sustained bombing campaign with the intent of killing people, and lots of them. Then at the end you drop a bunch of leaflets saying "If something like 9/11 happens again we'll be back". But the voting public doesn't have the stomach for that sort of brutality, so we've slouched into the next best thing - creating and maintaining a puppet government. Forever.

    Replies: @Dave Pinsen, @guest, @Coemgen

    The telishment of Saddam Hussein was all that was needed to get the attention of leaders of Muslim dominant countries.

    Bringing Democracy to Iraq (I’m not sure what the rationale for staying in Afghanistan is) is building-a-bridge-to-nowhere for the U.S. military – it’s expensive but it’s helping keep the tip-of-the-spear sharp.

    • Replies: @Jack Hanson
    @Coemgen

    No, if anything it blunted out spear. Let me explain:

    In 2005 after a year of being told how we were the killiest killers ever to kill, we arrive in Mosul. We have been told this is the most dangerous sector in the most dangerous part of northern Iraq, how we are there to stack bodies and fight a war by our leadership.

    So what happens? We spend the majority of the next year "winning hearts and minds", during IO style missions involving giving kids pencils at schools, guarding polling places, and talking to government officials.

    For all the talk of "closing with and destroying the enemy", there was vanishingly little of that. I fired a turret mounted at someone who was about to drop a Molotov on a group of MPs, killing him. The Civil Affairs guys shit the bed because apparently you needed the battle watch captain to sign off on any heavy weapon use in that sector.

    Heavy weapons made "it feel like a war zone", they explained.

    I was also smart enough to see the writing on the wall (endless deployments like this for the conceivable future), and decided to get out.

    So this blunted the military in two ways, basically by changing the paradigm of what war is to "half ass occupation force", and two by guys like me leaving because while we were willing to risk GLORIOUS death in war, the idea that we were going to get killed by a sniper while acting as crossing guards for a photo op wasn't quite as acceptable.

    Replies: @Johann Ricke

  143. @Opinionator
    @Jack Hanson

    If you meant "jobs/welfare program," that would tend to support your point. If you meant by "skills program" something else than that, the relevance is uncertain.

    Either assertion (welfare program or "skills program," whatever the heck you meant by it) cuts against the standard perception of the military, and is potentially interesting and therefore possibly worth elucidating and elaborating on.

    Replies: @Jack Hanson

    I’m pretty sure everyone got the gist of what I meant without you around to act as a Voxplainer.

  144. Jack Hanson says:
    @Coemgen
    @tsotha

    The telishment of Saddam Hussein was all that was needed to get the attention of leaders of Muslim dominant countries.

    Bringing Democracy to Iraq (I'm not sure what the rationale for staying in Afghanistan is) is building-a-bridge-to-nowhere for the U.S. military - it's expensive but it's helping keep the tip-of-the-spear sharp.

    Replies: @Jack Hanson

    No, if anything it blunted out spear. Let me explain:

    In 2005 after a year of being told how we were the killiest killers ever to kill, we arrive in Mosul. We have been told this is the most dangerous sector in the most dangerous part of northern Iraq, how we are there to stack bodies and fight a war by our leadership.

    So what happens? We spend the majority of the next year “winning hearts and minds”, during IO style missions involving giving kids pencils at schools, guarding polling places, and talking to government officials.

    For all the talk of “closing with and destroying the enemy”, there was vanishingly little of that. I fired a turret mounted at someone who was about to drop a Molotov on a group of MPs, killing him. The Civil Affairs guys shit the bed because apparently you needed the battle watch captain to sign off on any heavy weapon use in that sector.

    Heavy weapons made “it feel like a war zone”, they explained.

    I was also smart enough to see the writing on the wall (endless deployments like this for the conceivable future), and decided to get out.

    So this blunted the military in two ways, basically by changing the paradigm of what war is to “half ass occupation force”, and two by guys like me leaving because while we were willing to risk GLORIOUS death in war, the idea that we were going to get killed by a sniper while acting as crossing guards for a photo op wasn’t quite as acceptable.

    • Replies: @Johann Ricke
    @Jack Hanson


    So this blunted the military in two ways, basically by changing the paradigm of what war is to “half ass occupation force”, and two by guys like me leaving because while we were willing to risk GLORIOUS death in war, the idea that we were going to get killed by a sniper while acting as crossing guards for a photo op wasn’t quite as acceptable.
     
    What policy changes, short of a complete withdrawal, would have helped, in your opinion? Were the rules of engagement a problem? Should something like martial law, with evening curfews and indefinite, solitary detention for suspected guerrillas, have been maintained until casualties went down?
  145. @Achilles
    The best strategy out of a range of poor options would have been after a quick and impressive defeat of the Taliban, to go to every town and village in the areas under the influence of the Taliban and accuse them under their own values as a tribal, warrior society of ingratitude and inhospitality.

    They are an illiterate society, so it would have required sending teams all over the country to explain it orally to village gatherings. We would need to explain that we helped them fight the Soviet invaders, and they repaid us by sheltering our enemy who prepared an attack upon us. This was ungrateful and inhospitable and unworthy of Afghans. We would need to hammer this message home ad nauseum so that our position was understood and held a moral high ground among at least a significant part of the illiterate native population.

    And then go home. Yes, violent Islamists would probably still arise and US forces might have to go back, but at least we would have equipped those debating and opposing them in their own villages to accuse them of wrongdoing under their own values.

    O/T: British Jewry Feels Left Behind Amid the Election Turmoil [UK]

    (Jewish Telegraphic Agency 20-6-17) Nearly 50 years after she left her native South Africa for Britain to escape apartheid, Sharon Klaff again is finding herself unable to imagine a future for her family in her country and society because of racism.

    And this time, the problem is hitting nearer to home, said Klaff, 69, a yoga teacher and Jewish mother of two.

    Troubled by the Labour Party’s recent electoral successes despite its perceived failure to tackle anti-Semitic vitriol in its ranks, Klaff felt even more concerned Sunday when London Mayor Sadiq Khan — a Muslim Labour politician who on his first day in office reached out to the city’s Jews — allowed hundreds of protesters to march Sunday at an anti-Israel event with flags of the Hezbollah terrorist group.

    “There probably isn’t a place for me here as a Jew,” Klaff, who attended an unauthorized counterprotest against the annual Al-Quds march, told JTA. “And I’m kind of wondering where’s the place of anyone who belongs to Western, democratic civilization.”
     
    There is a reason "chutzpah" is a Jewish word. After doing their best to eviscerate the Western societies of the European goyim through mass third world immigration, promoting Islamic colonization of the West and persecuting Christian values, Jews are now in the position of someone who kills their parents and demands mercy for being an orphan.

    Replies: @anon, @Anon

    I think that divide-and-rule, while very effective, always runs the risk that one or other of the dividees may not play the game to your rules.

  146. @Peter Akuleyev
    @Diversity Heretic


    Continuing to pour resources into a war after sixteen years is an indication that the military-industrial complex really does govern the United States. The rest of us just live here.
     
    Further proof of that is that despite Trump and Bannon's initial efforts to "reset" our relationship with Russia, Mattis and the military seemed determined to keep us on a confrontation course, and Mattis seems to be getting his way.

    Replies: @Desiderius, @Corvinus

    “Further proof of that is that despite Trump and Bannon’s initial efforts to “reset” our relationship with Russia, Mattis and the military seemed determined to keep us on a confrontation course, and Mattis seems to be getting his way.”

    The odds are that there is not going to be an all-out nuclear war between Rocky and Ivan Drago. It’s typical posturing by the big kids on the block.

  147. @Jack Hanson
    @Coemgen

    No, if anything it blunted out spear. Let me explain:

    In 2005 after a year of being told how we were the killiest killers ever to kill, we arrive in Mosul. We have been told this is the most dangerous sector in the most dangerous part of northern Iraq, how we are there to stack bodies and fight a war by our leadership.

    So what happens? We spend the majority of the next year "winning hearts and minds", during IO style missions involving giving kids pencils at schools, guarding polling places, and talking to government officials.

    For all the talk of "closing with and destroying the enemy", there was vanishingly little of that. I fired a turret mounted at someone who was about to drop a Molotov on a group of MPs, killing him. The Civil Affairs guys shit the bed because apparently you needed the battle watch captain to sign off on any heavy weapon use in that sector.

    Heavy weapons made "it feel like a war zone", they explained.

    I was also smart enough to see the writing on the wall (endless deployments like this for the conceivable future), and decided to get out.

    So this blunted the military in two ways, basically by changing the paradigm of what war is to "half ass occupation force", and two by guys like me leaving because while we were willing to risk GLORIOUS death in war, the idea that we were going to get killed by a sniper while acting as crossing guards for a photo op wasn't quite as acceptable.

    Replies: @Johann Ricke

    So this blunted the military in two ways, basically by changing the paradigm of what war is to “half ass occupation force”, and two by guys like me leaving because while we were willing to risk GLORIOUS death in war, the idea that we were going to get killed by a sniper while acting as crossing guards for a photo op wasn’t quite as acceptable.

    What policy changes, short of a complete withdrawal, would have helped, in your opinion? Were the rules of engagement a problem? Should something like martial law, with evening curfews and indefinite, solitary detention for suspected guerrillas, have been maintained until casualties went down?

  148. @whoever
    @Jack Hanson

    If you care to take a look at this lip-sync music video, you can see Lt. Col. Raible's AV-8B+ in the background. It was destroyed by the attackers. Some of those performing in the video were involved in the fight, which took place not all that long after the video was made. Whenever I watch it, I smile and feel happy, but it also makes me terribly sad.
    https://youtu.be/au-qqhRHtXg

    Replies: @WJ

    I wish I could unsee that video. No wonder they said “swing with the wing” when I was an USMC 03.

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