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Washington Post: Secret Government Papers Stunningly Reveal Afghanistan's Strategic Gravel Deposits to be Less Strategic Than the Intelligence Community Once Claimed
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Afghanistan’s priceless gravel

From the Washington Post:

THE AFGHANISTAN PAPERS

A secret history of the war

AT WAR WITH THE TRUTH

U.S. officials constantly said they were making progress. They were not, and they knew it, an exclusive Post investigation found.

By Craig Whitlock Dec. 9, 2019

It’s almost as if Afghanistan is the part of the world that was left over when the more useful, less awkward places were getting organized into valuable empires and states.

Just remember:

Why must America invade the world?

Because America must invite the world!

Why must America invite the world?

Because America must invade the world!

 
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  1. Afghanistan is the low-resolution border map of the video game, enclosing the better rendered parts.

    No-one goes there.

    Except newbs.

  2. Without reading the story I assume they downplay all the opium? That pretty much explains why everyone is so interested in it

    • LOL: Cortes
    • Replies: @Hapalong Cassidy
    Yeah, especially the CIA.
    , @Crawfurdmuir

    Without reading the story I assume they downplay all the opium? That pretty much explains why everyone is so interested in it
     
    If the U.S. government really wanted to destroy the poppy growers, it would institute a program opium subsidies and production controls through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    Without reading the story I assume they downplay all the opium?
     
    Hey, every respectable empire deserves its own opium wars.
    , @Olorin
    It is a little known fact that in CIA codebooks, "gravel" always means "P. somniferum resin."

    You see, the Proto-Indo-European root of "gravel" is *ghrei-- "to rub, grind."

    Which is what you have to do to P. somniferum to get the goo out that gets processed into the street drugs.

    I'll stop now. I'm clowning, but it occurs to me that this is all too likely a connection. Particularly if you read Robert Graves's footnotes regarding entheogens. I'd like not to get Sidewindered on the way to visit fam today.
  3. Think of the warmongering deep state as your kid. You caught him doing something stupid. Did you punish him, or did you give him a golden parachute, and dismiss anyone who criticizes him as a Russian? Based on your choice, do you expect him to do better in the future or repeat the sane damn thing?

    • Agree: El Dato, Bill, TomSchmidt
    • Replies: @Realist

    Based on your choice, do you expect him to do better in the future or repeat the sane damn thing?
     
    I think you meant.... repeat the insane damn thing. LOL
  4. Supposedly the USA invaded Afghanistan to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden in retaliation for the September 11th, 2001 attacks.

    Yet within three months, at least one Army NCO retired, complaining that while the USA had Osama Bin Laden and his core “Al Qaeda” group surrounded on three sides at Tora Bora, they didn’t close the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, allowing a convoy of aircraft to presumably fly Bin Laden and Al Qaeda to safety. Video of the airlift was shown on the network TV news including speculations that maybe Osama Bin Laden was on board.

    Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry brought this up at the 2004 debate against George W. Bush, although characterizing it as Bush “not finishing the job.”

    Even this may have been a cover up as it’s quite possible that Osama Bin Laden had died shortly before, or after, 9/11 anyway. His obituary was published in the Middle East even before 9/11, he was said to be on dialysis for kidney failure and obviously couldn’t have been marching around the mountains of Afghanistan hauling around bulky hospital equipment.

    Donald Rumsfeld claimed to Tim Russert that Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda were hiding out in cave bases, showing a cartoon picture of underground bunkers that looked like something a 12 year old boy might color when playing GI Joe.

    Yet the public bought all of this without question.

    Then, President Obama supposedly finally killed Osama and dumped his body in the ocean, yet that was May 2, 2011 – eight years ago. The USA is still fighting in Afghanistan and it clearly has nothing to do with Osama Bin Laden.

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes

    Donald Rumsfeld claimed to Tim Russert that Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda were hiding out in cave bases, showing a cartoon picture of underground bunkers that looked like something a 12 year old boy might color when playing GI Joe.

    Yet the public bought all of this without question.
     

    And people that stupid still get to vote.

    Worse still: they are permitted to squirt out new idiots ad libitum, and said squirting-out is subsidised.


    That said: Colin Powell's cartoon presentation to the UN Security Council was even more cartoonish, and it wasn't just the Great Unwashed Masses who (claimed to) believe it. A 'compelling' case, was the refrain from more than one 'national leader' (i.e., chief tax parasite).

    Then again, I'm fairly cynical: I don't believe the 'ball tracking' at the tennis either (why use animation - i.e., a cartoon - when it's trivial to set up HD high-speed cameras?)

    , @Dr. X
    OF COURSE it has nothing to do with Osama bin Laden. The war in Afghanistan grinds on for the following reasons:

    1. Contracts for the Military Industrial Complex

    2. Promotional opportunities for career brass

    3. A pretext to keep the surveillance state and the "war on terrorism," which can then be used against "domestic terrorists," going indefinitely

    4. It's necessary as a proving ground for weapons (e.g., Predator drones) and tactics that the Deep State is going to use against the Deplorables sooner or later

    5. It's necessary as a training ground for the techniques and tactics cops are currently using against American Deplorables, i.e., deploying a platoon of SWAT officers in Level IV body armor, Kevlar, carrying M-4s with 30 rd magazines and EOTechs, and rolling up in MRAPs because someone might have a marijuana plant in his basement.

    This training will prove particularly useful when the next Democratic administration implements the national gun ban.

    , @El Dato

    they didn’t close the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, allowing a convoy of aircraft to presumably fly Bin Laden and Al Qaeda to safety
     
    From a Tora Bora airfield?

    I have never followed this story all too closely, the Anthrax scare and Saudi angles were far more interested (didn't manage to follow either though, good info sources were sparse and the fog of war was dense).

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

    An elaborate military operation was planned which included deployment of the CIA-US Special Operations Forces team with laser markers to guide non-stop heavy air strikes during 72 hours.[13] When Tora Bora was eventually captured by the U.S. and Afghan troops, no traces of the supposed "fortress" were found despite painstaking searches in the surrounding areas. Tora Bora turned out to be a system of small natural caves housing, at most, 200 fighters. While arms and ammunition stores were found, there were no traces of the advanced facilities claimed to exist.
     
    Intredasting. The CIA didn't even know what was being built with its cash. I can imagine some Mujaheddin sending in photos from the Maginot line and the CIA people lapping it up like a glossly Steele dossier.
    , @Mr. Anon
    I remember Rumsfeld talking about these cartoons of subterranean Al Quaeda bases that rivaled the secret volcano lairs of Bond villains. He even said that there was not one cave-fortress like this, but many of them.

    However I don't remember seeing any pictures of these complexes - even of rubble or burned-out tunnels - after Al Quaeda was routed in the early days of the War.
  5. Maybe we might have believed them if they broadcast nightly boundycount figures on the evening news, like they did back in that other spectacular success, the War on Vietnam.

    • Replies: @Louis Renault
    They did report from Camp Casey, right up to the point where Al Sharpton got his publicity, Congress voted to continue the funding the Iraq war and the pre-global warming hurricane Katrina came ashore.
    , @Reg Cæsar

    nightly boundycount figures
     
    Sounds like a new football statistic. Who leads the AFC East?


    https://media2.giphy.com/media/FB7yASVBqPiFy/giphy.gif?cid=790b7611e62d31c9980c8864d65cdb261b73d78d2fa05585&rid=giphy.gif
    , @peterike

    Maybe we might have believed them if they broadcast nightly boundycount figures on the evening news, like they did back in that other spectacular success, the War on Vietnam.
     
    Didn't they though? Weren't we subjected to another "grim milestone" every time the bodycount clocked a new round number? 500, 600, 700.... Of course, even though more Americans were killed under Obama when he pointlessly "surged" the war in Afghanistan, for some reason the media "grim milestones" seemed to stop upon Obama's election. As did all the Code Pink anti-war protests. Funny that.
  6. @The Alarmist
    Maybe we might have believed them if they broadcast nightly boundycount figures on the evening news, like they did back in that other spectacular success, the War on Vietnam.

    They did report from Camp Casey, right up to the point where Al Sharpton got his publicity, Congress voted to continue the funding the Iraq war and the pre-global warming hurricane Katrina came ashore.

  7. Aren’t Afghans notorious for not remembering where they buried their treasures?

    • Replies: @Kratoklastes
    In Ao Tea Roa it would not be expected that an Afghan would remember, since they're a biscuit. And tasty, to boot.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d1/AfghanBiscuit.jpg
  8. @BannedHipster
    Supposedly the USA invaded Afghanistan to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden in retaliation for the September 11th, 2001 attacks.

    Yet within three months, at least one Army NCO retired, complaining that while the USA had Osama Bin Laden and his core "Al Qaeda" group surrounded on three sides at Tora Bora, they didn't close the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, allowing a convoy of aircraft to presumably fly Bin Laden and Al Qaeda to safety. Video of the airlift was shown on the network TV news including speculations that maybe Osama Bin Laden was on board.

    Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry brought this up at the 2004 debate against George W. Bush, although characterizing it as Bush "not finishing the job."

    Even this may have been a cover up as it's quite possible that Osama Bin Laden had died shortly before, or after, 9/11 anyway. His obituary was published in the Middle East even before 9/11, he was said to be on dialysis for kidney failure and obviously couldn't have been marching around the mountains of Afghanistan hauling around bulky hospital equipment.

    Donald Rumsfeld claimed to Tim Russert that Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda were hiding out in cave bases, showing a cartoon picture of underground bunkers that looked like something a 12 year old boy might color when playing GI Joe.

    Yet the public bought all of this without question.

    Then, President Obama supposedly finally killed Osama and dumped his body in the ocean, yet that was May 2, 2011 - eight years ago. The USA is still fighting in Afghanistan and it clearly has nothing to do with Osama Bin Laden.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgWrnahej2c

    Donald Rumsfeld claimed to Tim Russert that Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda were hiding out in cave bases, showing a cartoon picture of underground bunkers that looked like something a 12 year old boy might color when playing GI Joe.

    Yet the public bought all of this without question.

    And people that stupid still get to vote.

    Worse still: they are permitted to squirt out new idiots ad libitum, and said squirting-out is subsidised.

    That said: Colin Powell’s cartoon presentation to the UN Security Council was even more cartoonish, and it wasn’t just the Great Unwashed Masses who (claimed to) believe it. A ‘compelling’ case, was the refrain from more than one ‘national leader’ (i.e., chief tax parasite).

    Then again, I’m fairly cynical: I don’t believe the ‘ball tracking’ at the tennis either (why use animation – i.e., a cartoon – when it’s trivial to set up HD high-speed cameras?)

    • Replies: @Prester John
    "And people that stupid still get to vote."

    On the other hand the smart ones don't--like the 40% or so of the electorate who don't bother to show up during presidential elections. In 2016 42% said to The Don and The Empress of Chappaqua "Plague on both your houses.")

    They know that the system is one big hand-job.

  9. @Reg Cæsar
    Aren't Afghans notorious for not remembering where they buried their treasures?



    https://primitivedogs.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Sage-Balochi.jpg

    In Ao Tea Roa it would not be expected that an Afghan would remember, since they’re a biscuit. And tasty, to boot.

  10. Why does the party of Ilhan Omar and Rashid Talib prevent Trump’s stated desired to extract U.S. Troops from Afghanistan.

    What do Omar and Talib have in common?

    Inquiring minds want to know…..

    PEACE 😇

    • Replies: @Johnny Smoggins
    "What do Omar and Talib have in common?"


    They're both in America because of Jews?
  11. @The Alarmist
    Maybe we might have believed them if they broadcast nightly boundycount figures on the evening news, like they did back in that other spectacular success, the War on Vietnam.

    nightly boundycount figures

    Sounds like a new football statistic. Who leads the AFC East?

  12. Bottom line generals and admirals (running SEALs) need promotion and what’s a few dead Americans? Even better if we never win so we can fight there forever.

    Trumps pardon of SEALS and other military men for things over there was strategic. Coup insurance.

    Not sure if that will work. Pierre Delecto says he’s got the votes to remove Trump. And Hillary is running again.

  13. If we pull out and the Taliban take over it won’t have any impact whatsoever on the U.S. or its security. But it would make some people look stupid for having investing all the blood and treasure spent up to now. At this point, it’s nothing but a CYA holding action.

    A classic example of the sunk cost fallacy. No one can articulate any return on investment from staying there. But since we’ve poured so much time and money into the place in the past, we can’t leave until . . . . something . . . because . . . reasons.

    • Agree: Old Prude
    • Replies: @AnotherDad
    I think you nailed it. Beyond just being a big swinging dick, "sunk cost" is basically it.

    Vietnam was easy to understand--we were fighting communism (communist creep). Vietnam was a backwater. But the idea behind it, the overall idea of "containment"--pushing back and keeping more of the world out of the commie sphere--was important.

    Iraq was misguided, foolish. But at least i can understand what the more idealistic proponents thought they could achieve--an Arab state with some more normal democratic politics that would be an example and lead to a liberal democratic revolution in the Arab world. And Iraq was destabilizing, did lead to a revolutionary wave ... but just didn't work out as they'd hoped.

    Afghanistan? The immediate "punish them for hosting--and then not giving up--bin Laden" part made sense. But after that I can't even figure out what the war is *supposed* to achieve? Much less what anyone thinks we are achieving there now.

    ~~~

    BTW, another Trump failure/missed-opportunity.

    If Trump had just gotten out he would have this small but significant feather in his cap. He'd have credibility with his anti-invadism. And a lot of people would give him some credit for pooper scoopering up one of the establishment's screw ups.

    , @Magic Dirt Resident
    Afghanistan is strategically located between Iran, Russia, and China. We're not leaving any time soon.
    , @anonymous
    Losing a war in a humiliating fashion hurts every patriotic American's self esteem, not just military officers.
  14. @Paul Rise
    Without reading the story I assume they downplay all the opium? That pretty much explains why everyone is so interested in it

    Yeah, especially the CIA.

  15. It can only end with the defeat of the United States because the United States war aim is to keep it going forever. There is no point in winning a war when the ensuing peace would cause lucrative contracts to dry up.

  16. The War overlapped with a crushing, punishing Recession, perhaps the worst in living memory. Afghanistan was a Thunderdome where Deplorables Hunger-Games’d for free tuition and cheap mortgages. And most of us knew it, and most of us came out far better for it.
    The War was total bullshit and everyone knew it, but I got free school and a cheap house, so I’m thankful and there’s roughly a million just like me.
    In the 1930s, the Out-Of-Work menfolk built eg roads, by 2009 it was lobbing HE 155s. Same thing, different thing

    • Replies: @Old Prude
    I would encourage any young white man to join the military for just these reasons: Get your gibs.
    Training and veteran benefits. What do you think career military men are doing? Stuffing their goody-bag of retirement benefits, especially Tri-care and a chance at a plush GS job.

    I only served six years but left with an airline job and a VA house loan. Military Service = Welfare for White Boys. Best deal I was ever offered. (Only down-side is you might get your balls shot off... White priveledge, I guess....)
    , @bomag

    Same thing, different thing
     
    Okay, but there are better ways to that end other than burning up an 8000 mile supply chain to make enemies.
  17. Afghanistan matters – for the countries around it. In the unipolar world, in which America aspired to determine the political order everywhere, that made it matter for American ambitions in Eurasia.

    Then, in the post-9/11 stage of globalization, it mattered for America because it had become a base for the Islamist guerrillas who had now added America to their list of targets.

    The Taliban state that hosted Al Qaeda was toppled, the Islamic State that was its more virulent successor was toppled. In the world today, there are still numerous jihadists but they don’t have territorial bases as good as Afghanistan 2000 or Syria 2014.

    I suppose the sensible criterion for an American withdrawal from Afghanistan, is whether the resulting power vacuum will be filled in a way that will prevent the return of anti-American jihadists.

    • Disagree: Chris Mallory
    • Replies: @istevefan

    I suppose the sensible criterion for an American withdrawal from Afghanistan, is whether the resulting power vacuum will be filled in a way that will prevent the return of anti-American jihadists.
     
    An easier, less expensive and more peaceful option is to just not allow them into America in the first place.
    , @Buck Ransom
    At this point, isn't the war in Afghanistan drawn out by the Empire as a way to fuck over the Russians and the Chinese as they attempt to build their One Belt, One Road project? And aren't the Chinese hoping to build a pipeline that would carry oil through Afghanistan from Iran to China, allowing them to curtail shipments by sea?
    , @Jack D
    You are making far too much sense for this crowd.

    Anyway, that's the problem. American withdrawal will mean the return of the Taliban. Either we will have to take all of our allies with us or allow them to be slaughtered. We can (possibly) exact promises from the Taliban that they will not allow Afghanistan to be used as a base for terrorism but how much would these promises be worth? We could keep our eye out and bomb anything that looks like a terrorist base (but that has its own problems - killing "civilians" is bad publicity) for less money than it costs to do an occupation and uphold the puppet government, but that's not free either.

    Afghanistan now is somewhat costly in treasure (although not big in the scheme of things) and fairly cheap in lives - maybe a dozen a year. This is not a lot more than would die if these same troops were stationed stateside, in training accidents, car accidents, etc. In the peacetime years after Vietnam but before the Cold War wound down, when the US military was less safety conscious than it is now, the military death rate was higher than it is now while we are technically "at war". So the easiest thing is just to continue the status quo.

    http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/edgeofthewest/files/2013/07/annualdeathsmilitarypercentage.jpg

    And this graph is just the rate - since the US military was about 2/3 larger in those days, the raw numbers were even higher.

  18. Afghanistan has remained undefeated throughout history. Pepe Escobar had reported in Strategic Culture Foundation years ago that we were there strictly for the heroin, which coincides with the opiod epidemic in America that has killed 400,000.

    I never had imagined that America would devolve to such a complete wasteland. Eighteen years of war and heroin tends to have that effect.

    Add to that that all of the wars were based on totally false pretenses framing people that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks.

    This country is probably beyond salvation. Corrupt to the core. What they have done is unforgiveable!

    • Agree: Houston 1992, Thea
    • Replies: @anon
    Afghanistan has remained undefeated throughout history.

    Except for the Alexander in some sense, and the Mongols in another. IMO the current Afghans are descended mostly from the hill-country tribes that were able to hide from the Mongols way up high.
    , @Hunsdon
    Afghanistan is like a hot rock. It is easy to seize, yet it is hard to hold.
    , @Jack D

    Pepe Escobar had reported in Strategic Culture Foundation years ago that we were there strictly for the heroin, which coincides with the opiod epidemic in America that has killed 400,000.
     
    That makes no sense. Even if the USG wanted the heroin (we want it like a hole in the head) we wouldn't need to occupy the territory to get it - the drugs will come in regardless. If we really wanted opiates we could grow them here. Heroin in the US comes in from S. America via Mexico, not from distant Afghanistan anyway. Afghan opium mostly ends up in Europe, not the US.

    "Years ago" this might have made some sense in a topsy turvy way, but nowadays heroin has been largely supplanted by cheaper synthetic opiates from China.

    Conspiracy theories are great because they make our leaders seem like they have some logical (albeit evil) goal rather than just being blundering idiots, but they at least have to make some minimal sense to be plausible.
  19. @BannedHipster
    Supposedly the USA invaded Afghanistan to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden in retaliation for the September 11th, 2001 attacks.

    Yet within three months, at least one Army NCO retired, complaining that while the USA had Osama Bin Laden and his core "Al Qaeda" group surrounded on three sides at Tora Bora, they didn't close the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, allowing a convoy of aircraft to presumably fly Bin Laden and Al Qaeda to safety. Video of the airlift was shown on the network TV news including speculations that maybe Osama Bin Laden was on board.

    Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry brought this up at the 2004 debate against George W. Bush, although characterizing it as Bush "not finishing the job."

    Even this may have been a cover up as it's quite possible that Osama Bin Laden had died shortly before, or after, 9/11 anyway. His obituary was published in the Middle East even before 9/11, he was said to be on dialysis for kidney failure and obviously couldn't have been marching around the mountains of Afghanistan hauling around bulky hospital equipment.

    Donald Rumsfeld claimed to Tim Russert that Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda were hiding out in cave bases, showing a cartoon picture of underground bunkers that looked like something a 12 year old boy might color when playing GI Joe.

    Yet the public bought all of this without question.

    Then, President Obama supposedly finally killed Osama and dumped his body in the ocean, yet that was May 2, 2011 - eight years ago. The USA is still fighting in Afghanistan and it clearly has nothing to do with Osama Bin Laden.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgWrnahej2c

    OF COURSE it has nothing to do with Osama bin Laden. The war in Afghanistan grinds on for the following reasons:

    1. Contracts for the Military Industrial Complex

    2. Promotional opportunities for career brass

    3. A pretext to keep the surveillance state and the “war on terrorism,” which can then be used against “domestic terrorists,” going indefinitely

    4. It’s necessary as a proving ground for weapons (e.g., Predator drones) and tactics that the Deep State is going to use against the Deplorables sooner or later

    5. It’s necessary as a training ground for the techniques and tactics cops are currently using against American Deplorables, i.e., deploying a platoon of SWAT officers in Level IV body armor, Kevlar, carrying M-4s with 30 rd magazines and EOTechs, and rolling up in MRAPs because someone might have a marijuana plant in his basement.

    This training will prove particularly useful when the next Democratic administration implements the national gun ban.

    • Replies: @Old Prude
    Viewing "The Matrix" (1999) for the first time last week I thought it quaint that the opening scene shows the cops busting down a door to take down a dangerous criminal dressed only in blue shirts and soft caps, armed with nothing more than automatic pistols.

    Hell, before the turn of the century Clinton had his goons with full body armor and submachine guns busting down the doors of trailer homes to grab screaming children, when they weren't using flamethrower tanks to incinerate them.

    The Imperial Government didn't need 9/11 to start waging war on white folks. The government has decided people like me (and most of you, gentle readers) are the enemy.
    , @dimples
    Also it provides a venue for the American soldier class to keep up the supply of 'war heroes' and 'veterans'. This is vital for the juvenile American psychology. What would some Americans do if they did not have a place where they have the opportunity to prove they are a genuine war hero? I would put this No.2 on the list, after contracts for the military industrial complex.
  20. Stanford law professor and Trump coup supporter Pamela Karlan said the U.S. must make sure “Ukraine remains strong and on the front line, so they fight the Russians there and we don’t have to fight them here.”

    Ukraine–our sole bulwark against Russian invasion! The Neocon is strong in this one!

    • Replies: @anon
    Ukraine–our sole bulwark against Russian invasion!

    Indeed! So very, very, very much is at risk!


    https://media.giphy.com/media/Q135YzoamIaQ0/giphy.gif
  21. If Trump tried to end the Afghani Forever War there’s be 10000 op eds in WaPo about how this is basically Trump blowing up the Twin Towers all over again.

    • Replies: @Carol
    Per Bob Woodward, the generals were appalled when the new president had the gall to ask why we were still there and why couldn't we get out.

    But they managed to reason with him.
  22. @Rebel0007
    Afghanistan has remained undefeated throughout history. Pepe Escobar had reported in Strategic Culture Foundation years ago that we were there strictly for the heroin, which coincides with the opiod epidemic in America that has killed 400,000.

    I never had imagined that America would devolve to such a complete wasteland. Eighteen years of war and heroin tends to have that effect.

    Add to that that all of the wars were based on totally false pretenses framing people that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks.

    This country is probably beyond salvation. Corrupt to the core. What they have done is unforgiveable!

    Afghanistan has remained undefeated throughout history.

    Except for the Alexander in some sense, and the Mongols in another. IMO the current Afghans are descended mostly from the hill-country tribes that were able to hide from the Mongols way up high.

    • Replies: @Ron Mexico
    You are right sir. Darius I did it. Alexander. Muslims conquered it bringing their religion with it. In true Mongol fashion, Genghis and Ogedei slaughter hundreds of thousands. Tamurlane. Sikhs. "Undefeated"? Nah.
  23. @BannedHipster
    Supposedly the USA invaded Afghanistan to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden in retaliation for the September 11th, 2001 attacks.

    Yet within three months, at least one Army NCO retired, complaining that while the USA had Osama Bin Laden and his core "Al Qaeda" group surrounded on three sides at Tora Bora, they didn't close the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, allowing a convoy of aircraft to presumably fly Bin Laden and Al Qaeda to safety. Video of the airlift was shown on the network TV news including speculations that maybe Osama Bin Laden was on board.

    Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry brought this up at the 2004 debate against George W. Bush, although characterizing it as Bush "not finishing the job."

    Even this may have been a cover up as it's quite possible that Osama Bin Laden had died shortly before, or after, 9/11 anyway. His obituary was published in the Middle East even before 9/11, he was said to be on dialysis for kidney failure and obviously couldn't have been marching around the mountains of Afghanistan hauling around bulky hospital equipment.

    Donald Rumsfeld claimed to Tim Russert that Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda were hiding out in cave bases, showing a cartoon picture of underground bunkers that looked like something a 12 year old boy might color when playing GI Joe.

    Yet the public bought all of this without question.

    Then, President Obama supposedly finally killed Osama and dumped his body in the ocean, yet that was May 2, 2011 - eight years ago. The USA is still fighting in Afghanistan and it clearly has nothing to do with Osama Bin Laden.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgWrnahej2c

    they didn’t close the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, allowing a convoy of aircraft to presumably fly Bin Laden and Al Qaeda to safety

    From a Tora Bora airfield?

    I have never followed this story all too closely, the Anthrax scare and Saudi angles were far more interested (didn’t manage to follow either though, good info sources were sparse and the fog of war was dense).

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

    An elaborate military operation was planned which included deployment of the CIA-US Special Operations Forces team with laser markers to guide non-stop heavy air strikes during 72 hours.[13] When Tora Bora was eventually captured by the U.S. and Afghan troops, no traces of the supposed “fortress” were found despite painstaking searches in the surrounding areas. Tora Bora turned out to be a system of small natural caves housing, at most, 200 fighters. While arms and ammunition stores were found, there were no traces of the advanced facilities claimed to exist.

    Intredasting. The CIA didn’t even know what was being built with its cash. I can imagine some Mujaheddin sending in photos from the Maginot line and the CIA people lapping it up like a glossly Steele dossier.

  24. The gravel deposits in Afghanistan are considerable. The future is plastics but gravel remains important. Don’t underestimate gravel.

    • Replies: @anon
    Afghanistan is not just a source of gravel. It is a vital crossroad for gravel trucks from many strategic central Asian gravel nations, such as Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Pakistan.
    America will soon reach peak gravel from our own depleted stocks and if we don't secure access to Central Asian gravel our ability to landscape in the new tech economy will be devastated.
  25. New York Times Defends $1 Trillion Afghan Minerals Scoop

    Fighting off skeptical, even mocking reactions to a front-page scoop on a $1 trillion mineral discovery in Afghanistan, The New York Times’ Dean Baquet and James Risen tell Lloyd Grove the paper wasn’t used—and other reporters missed the story.

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/new-york-times-defends-dollar1-trillion-afghan-minerals-scoop

    I thought this was appropriate:

    Dr Evil in 1 million Dollars

  26. LYINGPRESS DEMANDS THAT TRUTHFUL FILM LIE
    https://variety.com/2019/film/news/clint-eastwood-richard-jewell-kathy-scruggs-1203429660/
    (The Atlanta newspaper which rollingstone’d Jewell wants a statement of “taking dramatic license” regarding Eastwood’s film about the maligned hero. You know what they’re not doing is they’re not calling it actionable libel.)

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    You know what they’re not doing is they’re not calling it actionable libel.
     
    The dead can't take action.
  27. Steve, don’t you read the WSJ? There is a huge shortage of tragic gravel here in the US, so we must start importing it for less than we what can mine it here for. Kinda like China and steel, but dumber.

    This is all part of the new Cross Hemisphere Afghani Imperative on Free Trade, or CHAIFT.

  28. Anonymous[175] • Disclaimer says:

    It wasn’t Islam. It was the CIA we have to thank.

    Kandahar Airport 50 years ago:


    Kandahar Airportfield today:


    Thank you for your service!

    • Replies: @BenKenobi
    I've eaten at that TGI Fridays a couple times. It was better than the mess hall.
    , @YetAnotherAnon
    Yes, 50 years ago Kabul and Kandahar were regular stops on the hippy trail to India.

    https://dangerousminds.net/comments/on_the_hippie_trail_through_afghanistan_to_india_1967-1979

    The comments on the linked piece, by people who were there at the time, are interesting, describing a lost world we can never go back to (you could say the same of the 1967 US/UK, too).
  29. “Why must America invade the world? Because America must invite the world! Why must America invite the world? Because America must invade the world!”

    More likely that Europeans and Americans invaded the world, like their predecessors (Chinese, Romans, Greeks) for gimmedats.

    Then, when Europeans and Americans got the gibs, they invited the world to serve as workers to make stuff to sell.

    As far as Afghanistan is concerned, it was about opium.

    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/jan/09/how-the-heroin-trade-explains-the-us-uk-failure-in-afghanistan

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    More likely that Europeans and Americans invaded the world, like their predecessors (Chinese, Romans, Greeks) for gimmedats.
     
    That's certainly a revisionist reading of D-Day. But maybe it's overdue. And where else but Unz.com?

    Then, when Europeans and Americans got the gibs, they invited the world to serve as workers to make stuff to sell.

     

    Well, we didn't invite many Europeans here after 1945. On that score, the whole mess was a waste of time and money. And men.
    , @bomag

    More likely that _______ invaded the world... for gimmedats.
     
    Foreign military adventures are reliable money losers.

    There's some value in keeping trade routes open.
  30. @Rebel0007
    Afghanistan has remained undefeated throughout history. Pepe Escobar had reported in Strategic Culture Foundation years ago that we were there strictly for the heroin, which coincides with the opiod epidemic in America that has killed 400,000.

    I never had imagined that America would devolve to such a complete wasteland. Eighteen years of war and heroin tends to have that effect.

    Add to that that all of the wars were based on totally false pretenses framing people that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks.

    This country is probably beyond salvation. Corrupt to the core. What they have done is unforgiveable!

    Afghanistan is like a hot rock. It is easy to seize, yet it is hard to hold.

    • Replies: @Tex

    Afghanistan is like a hot rock. It is easy to seize, yet it is hard to hold.
     
    More like a tar baby. Easy to grab, hard to let go.
  31. Two big news stories today:

    The US Government Lied About Afghanistan

    US Attorney Durham Claims IG Horowitz Softballs FBI Corruption

    “We have given you a Republic — if you can keep it.” (attributed to Ben Franklin)

    Any chance we can keep it?

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    Once the we is properly identified, sure. Looks like the competent have already abandoned ship on our adversaries.
    , @nebulafox
    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/d1/4f/7b/d14f7b9a079da40e282e8d52853f39a9.jpg
    , @Mr. Anon

    “We have given you a Republic — if you can keep it.” (attributed to Ben Franklin)

    Any chance we can keep it?
     
    Not only can we not keep it, it is not even any longer a Republic, nor are "we" any longer a "we".
  32. OT:
    Mummy’s cheeky lil’ scamp is at it again! Ain’t he cuddly??

    • LOL: jim jones
  33. If the Washington Post had unearthed the Watergate story in as leisurely a manner as they are reporting this story on our government’s doubts about the Afghanistan war, Woodward and Bernstein’s stories would have run sometime in the first Bush presidency.

    • LOL: Pincher Martin
  34. The United States invaded Afghanistan and Iraq as reprisal for 9/11. To inculcate the lesson “do not mess with us”. Like the Germans after Heydrich’s assassination wiping out a Czech town.

    Except 1000’s of times bigger.

    • Replies: @Lurker
    Which would imply killing the bad guys and smashing their stuff. And then walking away.
    , @Pericles

    The United States invaded Afghanistan and Iraq as reprisal for 9/11. To inculcate the lesson “do not mess with us”. Like the Germans after Heydrich’s assassination wiping out a Czech town.

    Except 1000’s of times bigger.

     

    So ... lesson learned, I guess?
    , @HammerJack

    The United States invaded Afghanistan and Iraq as reprisal for 9/11. To inculcate the lesson “do not mess with us”.
     
    Right, because we're too busy messing with ourselves. The two farcical wars have nearly bankrupted the nation [all put on the national credit card] and made us look scared and stupid to boot. Thanks so much.

    Incidentally, most of the plotters were Saudi. Zero were from Iraq or Afghanistan. And Saddam Hussein never tolerated Al-Qaeda for a single moment. What was the lesson again?

  35. That 21st century neoconservatism got its start trying to conquer Afghanistan, possibly the most oft-repeated fool’s errand of would-be conquerors since the Medes first gave it a shot over 2,500 years ago, was an early indicator of how arrogant, stupid and ahistorical the neocons are.

    • Replies: @istevefan

    That 21st century neoconservatism got its start trying to conquer Afghanistan,...
     
    I don't think that is quite right. Neocons never really wanted to conquer Afghanistan. They wanted to do regime change in Iraq and used the hysteria and confusion around the effort to get payback in Afghanistan into accomplishing their goals in Iraq. Before we even fully deployed to Afghanistan they were already advising the president on going after Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9-11.

    Here is an excerpt from an open letter from some key neocons to Bush delivered only nine days after the 9-11 attack.

    September 20, 2001

    The Honorable George W. Bush
    President of the United States
    Washington, DC

    Dear Mr. President,

    We write to endorse your admirable commitment to “lead the world to victory” in the war against terrorism. We fully support your call for “a broad and sustained campaign” against the “terrorist organizations and those who harbor and support them.” We agree with Secretary of State Powell that the United States must find and punish the perpetrators of the horrific attack of September 11, and we must, as he said, “go after terrorism wherever we find it in the world” and “get it by its branch and root.” We agree with the Secretary of State that U.S. policy must aim not only at finding the people responsible for this incident, but must also target those “other groups out there that mean us no good” and “that have conducted attacks previously against U.S. personnel, U.S. interests and our allies.”

    In order to carry out this “first war of the 21st century” successfully, and in order, as you have said, to do future “generations a favor by coming together and whipping terrorism,” we believe the following steps are necessary parts of a comprehensive strategy.

    Osama bin Laden

    We agree that a key goal, but by no means the only goal, of the current war on terrorism should be to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, and to destroy his network of associates. To this end, we support the necessary military action in Afghanistan and the provision of substantial financial and military assistance to the anti-Taliban forces in that country.

    Iraq

    We agree with Secretary of State Powell’s recent statement that Saddam Hussein “is one of the leading terrorists on the face of the Earth….” It may be that the Iraqi government provided assistance in some form to the recent attack on the United States. But even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. Failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism. The United States must therefore provide full military and financial support to the Iraqi opposition. American military force should be used to provide a “safe zone” in Iraq from which the opposition can operate. And American forces must be prepared to back up our commitment to the Iraqi opposition by all necessary means.
     
    Note: In the entire letter, Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden were just covered in two sentences. This was 9 days after the attacks!
  36. Mara Liasson just predicted on Fox News that the Dems will lose seats in both the House and the Senate because of impeachment.

    (Liasson is not a Trump supporter — her day job is at NPR.)

    Trump is truly blessed in the stupidity and mendacity of his enemies..

  37. @Harry Baldwin
    Stanford law professor and Trump coup supporter Pamela Karlan said the U.S. must make sure "Ukraine remains strong and on the front line, so they fight the Russians there and we don't have to fight them here."

    Ukraine--our sole bulwark against Russian invasion! The Neocon is strong in this one!

    Ukraine–our sole bulwark against Russian invasion!

    Indeed! So very, very, very much is at risk!

  38. Wacko brothers became Wacko sisters.

    Will Soskank sisters become Soskank brothers?

    Shame on Cronenberg for letting these twits remake his horror classic.

  39. Only semi-OT:

    Younès – Le Grand Remplacement

    “Don’t worry YT….just lay back and close your eyes….just lay back and relax…it will all be over soon YT….just close your eyes and go to sleep YT….just relax, soon you won’t have anything to worry about YT….just go to sleep YT…soon you’ll be able to sleep forever and ever YT….just relax and don’t worry….”

  40. I hope Derb drops by to comment – I remember him pointing out on his podcast years ago the insanity of our continued presence in Afghanistan by inserting the sound of chirping crickets after a sentence with something like “and now to Afghanistan, where our vital strategic interest of….”

    It’s been a great place for medals and promotions of ambitious officers and a bonanza for defense contractors. All for a country that wasn’t worth even the death of a single military service dog, to say nothing of the thousands of sons, daughters, mothers and fathers that never came home.

    • Replies: @anon
    I hope Derb drops by to comment

    "Rubble doesn't make trouble" was one of his lines. Forget nation building, just mount a punitive expedition and then get out, leave "nation building" to the UN or the Rosecrucians or someone else.

    Probably seemed rash and cruel 18 years ago. Now it seems pretty sensible. Look at it this way: a boy who was toddling 2 years old on 9 / 11 / 01 is now old enough to be an E-4 on patrol in Kandahar, in the same stupid war.

    Does that make any kind of sense?
  41. @Anonymous
    It wasn’t Islam. It was the CIA we have to thank.

    Kandahar Airport 50 years ago:

    http://newageislam.com/picture_library/Afghanistan-3-New-Age-Islam.jpg
    http://static.messynessychic.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/afghanistan26.jpg

     

    Kandahar Airportfield today:

    https://www.wakaphotos.com/wp-content/gallery/ben/archives/afganistan/benbohane-2078.jpg
    https://www.stripes.com/polopoly_fs/1.544107.1535119634!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_490/image.jpg
     
    Thank you for your service!

    I’ve eaten at that TGI Fridays a couple times. It was better than the mess hall.

    • Replies: @Oo-ee-oo-ah-ah-ting-tang-walla-walla-bing-bang
    The ATM fees were less than they were at my local ATM in my hometown. That was the precise moment I truly understood War is a Racket.
    , @Jack Henson
    I remember eating at the Chili's at Qatar after eating MREs in the AfPak border for four months and thinking the nacho plate I ordered as an appetizer was the best thing I had ever eaten.
  42. @BenKenobi
    I've eaten at that TGI Fridays a couple times. It was better than the mess hall.

    The ATM fees were less than they were at my local ATM in my hometown. That was the precise moment I truly understood War is a Racket.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Maybe the ATM machines in your hometown are a racket?
    , @Stebbing Heuer
    And the banking system!
  43. anon[328] • Disclaimer says:
    @Arclight
    I hope Derb drops by to comment - I remember him pointing out on his podcast years ago the insanity of our continued presence in Afghanistan by inserting the sound of chirping crickets after a sentence with something like "and now to Afghanistan, where our vital strategic interest of...."

    It's been a great place for medals and promotions of ambitious officers and a bonanza for defense contractors. All for a country that wasn't worth even the death of a single military service dog, to say nothing of the thousands of sons, daughters, mothers and fathers that never came home.

    I hope Derb drops by to comment

    “Rubble doesn’t make trouble” was one of his lines. Forget nation building, just mount a punitive expedition and then get out, leave “nation building” to the UN or the Rosecrucians or someone else.

    Probably seemed rash and cruel 18 years ago. Now it seems pretty sensible. Look at it this way: a boy who was toddling 2 years old on 9 / 11 / 01 is now old enough to be an E-4 on patrol in Kandahar, in the same stupid war.

    Does that make any kind of sense?

    • Replies: @Jack Henson
    I believe there have been a few cases of grunts dying over there who's dad died over there. Madness.

    What really spins me up is seeing these guys with 15 deployments (Ranger Batt/SF deployments on shorter rotations but still) getting killed so Afghani girls can have some NGO teach them about Tindr. Making widows and orphans to extend American thottery.

  44. @Jack Henson
    If Trump tried to end the Afghani Forever War there's be 10000 op eds in WaPo about how this is basically Trump blowing up the Twin Towers all over again.

    Per Bob Woodward, the generals were appalled when the new president had the gall to ask why we were still there and why couldn’t we get out.

    But they managed to reason with him.

    • Replies: @Jack Henson
    Lied about a million 9/11s occurring the next day I imagine.
  45. @Morton's toes
    The United States invaded Afghanistan and Iraq as reprisal for 9/11. To inculcate the lesson "do not mess with us". Like the Germans after Heydrich's assassination wiping out a Czech town.

    Except 1000's of times bigger.

    Which would imply killing the bad guys and smashing their stuff. And then walking away.

  46. @Paul Rise
    Without reading the story I assume they downplay all the opium? That pretty much explains why everyone is so interested in it

    Without reading the story I assume they downplay all the opium? That pretty much explains why everyone is so interested in it

    If the U.S. government really wanted to destroy the poppy growers, it would institute a program opium subsidies and production controls through the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  47. People are too categorically negative about the pointlessness of the war in Afghanistan. It’s self defense to want the Taliban out and keep them out.

    • Replies: @Neil Templeton
    The question is not whether it's self defense, the question is whether it's effective. If it isn't effective, we need to learn something that works.
    , @anon
    People are too categorically negative about the pointlessness of the war in Afghanistan. It’s self defense to want the Taliban out and keep them out.

    Lol. The Soviets never did get rid of all the doubles within their occupation government back in the 80's. What makes you think that the Talib aren't already in Afghanistan's government...and army?
  48. @Oo-ee-oo-ah-ah-ting-tang-walla-walla-bing-bang
    The ATM fees were less than they were at my local ATM in my hometown. That was the precise moment I truly understood War is a Racket.

    Maybe the ATM machines in your hometown are a racket?

  49. I don’t know about gravel but I’ll bet the skiing up in those mountains is great. They look a lot like the Swiss Alps. All you need to do is get rid of all the Muslims, replace them with Swiss and it would be great.

    • Replies: @BenKenobi

    All you need to do is get rid of all the Muslims, replace them with Swiss and it would be great.
     
    You could say that about a lot of places these days.
    , @Dissident

    All you need to do is get rid of all the Muslims, replace them with Swiss and it would be great.
     
    Gratuitous, ugly attacks like this on Muslims detract from your credibility, especially when defending Jews.
  50. @Mitchell Porter
    Afghanistan matters - for the countries around it. In the unipolar world, in which America aspired to determine the political order everywhere, that made it matter for American ambitions in Eurasia.

    Then, in the post-9/11 stage of globalization, it mattered for America because it had become a base for the Islamist guerrillas who had now added America to their list of targets.

    The Taliban state that hosted Al Qaeda was toppled, the Islamic State that was its more virulent successor was toppled. In the world today, there are still numerous jihadists but they don't have territorial bases as good as Afghanistan 2000 or Syria 2014.

    I suppose the sensible criterion for an American withdrawal from Afghanistan, is whether the resulting power vacuum will be filled in a way that will prevent the return of anti-American jihadists.

    I suppose the sensible criterion for an American withdrawal from Afghanistan, is whether the resulting power vacuum will be filled in a way that will prevent the return of anti-American jihadists.

    An easier, less expensive and more peaceful option is to just not allow them into America in the first place.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon

    An easier, less expensive and more peaceful option is to just not allow them into America in the first place.
     
    Oh come on! That's just crazy-talk. Surely it would be easier to just maintain several regiments in Trashcanistan for the next hundred years or so, garrisoned in bases where it costs eighty dollars a gallon to keep them provisioned with gasoline. That would be the sensible course of action.
  51. @Paul Rise
    Without reading the story I assume they downplay all the opium? That pretty much explains why everyone is so interested in it

    Without reading the story I assume they downplay all the opium?

    Hey, every respectable empire deserves its own opium wars.

  52. @J.Ross
    LYINGPRESS DEMANDS THAT TRUTHFUL FILM LIE
    https://variety.com/2019/film/news/clint-eastwood-richard-jewell-kathy-scruggs-1203429660/
    (The Atlanta newspaper which rollingstone'd Jewell wants a statement of "taking dramatic license" regarding Eastwood's film about the maligned hero. You know what they're not doing is they're not calling it actionable libel.)

    You know what they’re not doing is they’re not calling it actionable libel.

    The dead can’t take action.

    • Agree: ben tillman
  53. Anonymous[277] • Disclaimer says:

    We can’t get out of Afghanistan because we can’t get out of the 9/11 delusion.

    The official story of 9/11 is absolute horseshit. It was controlled demolition. An inside job. Deal with it. Nano thermite vaporized the structure. It took months of work to prep the buildings. Absolutely satanic.

    They bombed the ACCOUNTING DEPARTMENT at the Pentagon on 9/11 because trillions went missing from that budget.

    WTC Building 7 CONTAINED EXTENSIVE INTEL RECORDS they collapsed it at free fall speed. That was just the icing on the cake. “In yo face!”

    And Bin Laden wasn’t killed by Obama. That guy at the camp in Pakistan in 2011 was a ridiculous body double. And then they murdered the entire Seal Team by loading them onto that Chinook helicopter mysteriously shot down (no black box recovery possible!)

    AFTER ALL OF THE LIES THAT THE DEEP STATE (HOSTILE ELITE) HAVE TOLD US IN THE TRUMP ERA … HOW COULD ANYONE POSSIBLY BELIEVE WE WERE TOLD THE TRUTH ABOUT 9/11!!!

  54. @Corvinus
    "Why must America invade the world? Because America must invite the world! Why must America invite the world? Because America must invade the world!"

    More likely that Europeans and Americans invaded the world, like their predecessors (Chinese, Romans, Greeks) for gimmedats.

    Then, when Europeans and Americans got the gibs, they invited the world to serve as workers to make stuff to sell.

    As far as Afghanistan is concerned, it was about opium.

    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/jan/09/how-the-heroin-trade-explains-the-us-uk-failure-in-afghanistan

    More likely that Europeans and Americans invaded the world, like their predecessors (Chinese, Romans, Greeks) for gimmedats.

    That’s certainly a revisionist reading of D-Day. But maybe it’s overdue. And where else but Unz.com?

    Then, when Europeans and Americans got the gibs, they invited the world to serve as workers to make stuff to sell.

    Well, we didn’t invite many Europeans here after 1945. On that score, the whole mess was a waste of time and money. And men.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
    "That’s certainly a revisionist reading of D-Day."

    LOL, no. My comment was directed at those who have conquered.

    "Well, we didn’t invite many Europeans here after 1945."

    You can blame nativists. Immigration remained relatively low following World War II because the numerical limitations imposed by the 1920s national origins system remained in place.

    "On that score, the whole mess was a waste of time and money. And men."

    What "mess" are you referring to? Have you been quaffing the ceremonial wine again?

  55. @Thomas
    That 21st century neoconservatism got its start trying to conquer Afghanistan, possibly the most oft-repeated fool's errand of would-be conquerors since the Medes first gave it a shot over 2,500 years ago, was an early indicator of how arrogant, stupid and ahistorical the neocons are.

    That 21st century neoconservatism got its start trying to conquer Afghanistan,…

    I don’t think that is quite right. Neocons never really wanted to conquer Afghanistan. They wanted to do regime change in Iraq and used the hysteria and confusion around the effort to get payback in Afghanistan into accomplishing their goals in Iraq. Before we even fully deployed to Afghanistan they were already advising the president on going after Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9-11.

    Here is an excerpt from an open letter from some key neocons to Bush delivered only nine days after the 9-11 attack.

    September 20, 2001

    The Honorable George W. Bush
    President of the United States
    Washington, DC

    Dear Mr. President,

    We write to endorse your admirable commitment to “lead the world to victory” in the war against terrorism. We fully support your call for “a broad and sustained campaign” against the “terrorist organizations and those who harbor and support them.” We agree with Secretary of State Powell that the United States must find and punish the perpetrators of the horrific attack of September 11, and we must, as he said, “go after terrorism wherever we find it in the world” and “get it by its branch and root.” We agree with the Secretary of State that U.S. policy must aim not only at finding the people responsible for this incident, but must also target those “other groups out there that mean us no good” and “that have conducted attacks previously against U.S. personnel, U.S. interests and our allies.”

    In order to carry out this “first war of the 21st century” successfully, and in order, as you have said, to do future “generations a favor by coming together and whipping terrorism,” we believe the following steps are necessary parts of a comprehensive strategy.

    Osama bin Laden

    We agree that a key goal, but by no means the only goal, of the current war on terrorism should be to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, and to destroy his network of associates. To this end, we support the necessary military action in Afghanistan and the provision of substantial financial and military assistance to the anti-Taliban forces in that country.

    Iraq

    We agree with Secretary of State Powell’s recent statement that Saddam Hussein “is one of the leading terrorists on the face of the Earth….” It may be that the Iraqi government provided assistance in some form to the recent attack on the United States. But even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. Failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism. The United States must therefore provide full military and financial support to the Iraqi opposition. American military force should be used to provide a “safe zone” in Iraq from which the opposition can operate. And American forces must be prepared to back up our commitment to the Iraqi opposition by all necessary means.

    Note: In the entire letter, Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden were just covered in two sentences. This was 9 days after the attacks!

    • Replies: @Neoconned
    This. Plus the spooks want their paws in global heroin....

    Wth else of value does Afghanistan put out? The CIA is pumping dope...
  56. @Jack D
    I don't know about gravel but I'll bet the skiing up in those mountains is great. They look a lot like the Swiss Alps. All you need to do is get rid of all the Muslims, replace them with Swiss and it would be great.

    All you need to do is get rid of all the Muslims, replace them with Swiss and it would be great.

    You could say that about a lot of places these days.

  57. @Mitchell Porter
    Afghanistan matters - for the countries around it. In the unipolar world, in which America aspired to determine the political order everywhere, that made it matter for American ambitions in Eurasia.

    Then, in the post-9/11 stage of globalization, it mattered for America because it had become a base for the Islamist guerrillas who had now added America to their list of targets.

    The Taliban state that hosted Al Qaeda was toppled, the Islamic State that was its more virulent successor was toppled. In the world today, there are still numerous jihadists but they don't have territorial bases as good as Afghanistan 2000 or Syria 2014.

    I suppose the sensible criterion for an American withdrawal from Afghanistan, is whether the resulting power vacuum will be filled in a way that will prevent the return of anti-American jihadists.

    At this point, isn’t the war in Afghanistan drawn out by the Empire as a way to fuck over the Russians and the Chinese as they attempt to build their One Belt, One Road project? And aren’t the Chinese hoping to build a pipeline that would carry oil through Afghanistan from Iran to China, allowing them to curtail shipments by sea?

  58. @istevefan

    I suppose the sensible criterion for an American withdrawal from Afghanistan, is whether the resulting power vacuum will be filled in a way that will prevent the return of anti-American jihadists.
     
    An easier, less expensive and more peaceful option is to just not allow them into America in the first place.

    An easier, less expensive and more peaceful option is to just not allow them into America in the first place.

    Oh come on! That’s just crazy-talk. Surely it would be easier to just maintain several regiments in Trashcanistan for the next hundred years or so, garrisoned in bases where it costs eighty dollars a gallon to keep them provisioned with gasoline. That would be the sensible course of action.

  59. @BannedHipster
    Supposedly the USA invaded Afghanistan to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden in retaliation for the September 11th, 2001 attacks.

    Yet within three months, at least one Army NCO retired, complaining that while the USA had Osama Bin Laden and his core "Al Qaeda" group surrounded on three sides at Tora Bora, they didn't close the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, allowing a convoy of aircraft to presumably fly Bin Laden and Al Qaeda to safety. Video of the airlift was shown on the network TV news including speculations that maybe Osama Bin Laden was on board.

    Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry brought this up at the 2004 debate against George W. Bush, although characterizing it as Bush "not finishing the job."

    Even this may have been a cover up as it's quite possible that Osama Bin Laden had died shortly before, or after, 9/11 anyway. His obituary was published in the Middle East even before 9/11, he was said to be on dialysis for kidney failure and obviously couldn't have been marching around the mountains of Afghanistan hauling around bulky hospital equipment.

    Donald Rumsfeld claimed to Tim Russert that Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda were hiding out in cave bases, showing a cartoon picture of underground bunkers that looked like something a 12 year old boy might color when playing GI Joe.

    Yet the public bought all of this without question.

    Then, President Obama supposedly finally killed Osama and dumped his body in the ocean, yet that was May 2, 2011 - eight years ago. The USA is still fighting in Afghanistan and it clearly has nothing to do with Osama Bin Laden.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgWrnahej2c

    I remember Rumsfeld talking about these cartoons of subterranean Al Quaeda bases that rivaled the secret volcano lairs of Bond villains. He even said that there was not one cave-fortress like this, but many of them.

    However I don’t remember seeing any pictures of these complexes – even of rubble or burned-out tunnels – after Al Quaeda was routed in the early days of the War.

  60. We are at war with Central Asia. We have always been at war with Central Asia.

    I have noticed over the last several years, that our political/military/foreign-policy/intelligence elite don’t even bother to justify our war in Afghanistan. They don’t say what our war-aims are anymore, or ever if there are any. I can only assume that they don’t know whatthey are. They don’t state how long we would stay, or even how long a war would go on before it might be considered unreasonable. John McCain indicated that 100 years would not be too long. Even Edward III, who gave his people a Hundred Years War, didn’t promise them one.

  61. @istevefan

    That 21st century neoconservatism got its start trying to conquer Afghanistan,...
     
    I don't think that is quite right. Neocons never really wanted to conquer Afghanistan. They wanted to do regime change in Iraq and used the hysteria and confusion around the effort to get payback in Afghanistan into accomplishing their goals in Iraq. Before we even fully deployed to Afghanistan they were already advising the president on going after Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9-11.

    Here is an excerpt from an open letter from some key neocons to Bush delivered only nine days after the 9-11 attack.

    September 20, 2001

    The Honorable George W. Bush
    President of the United States
    Washington, DC

    Dear Mr. President,

    We write to endorse your admirable commitment to “lead the world to victory” in the war against terrorism. We fully support your call for “a broad and sustained campaign” against the “terrorist organizations and those who harbor and support them.” We agree with Secretary of State Powell that the United States must find and punish the perpetrators of the horrific attack of September 11, and we must, as he said, “go after terrorism wherever we find it in the world” and “get it by its branch and root.” We agree with the Secretary of State that U.S. policy must aim not only at finding the people responsible for this incident, but must also target those “other groups out there that mean us no good” and “that have conducted attacks previously against U.S. personnel, U.S. interests and our allies.”

    In order to carry out this “first war of the 21st century” successfully, and in order, as you have said, to do future “generations a favor by coming together and whipping terrorism,” we believe the following steps are necessary parts of a comprehensive strategy.

    Osama bin Laden

    We agree that a key goal, but by no means the only goal, of the current war on terrorism should be to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, and to destroy his network of associates. To this end, we support the necessary military action in Afghanistan and the provision of substantial financial and military assistance to the anti-Taliban forces in that country.

    Iraq

    We agree with Secretary of State Powell’s recent statement that Saddam Hussein “is one of the leading terrorists on the face of the Earth….” It may be that the Iraqi government provided assistance in some form to the recent attack on the United States. But even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq. Failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international terrorism. The United States must therefore provide full military and financial support to the Iraqi opposition. American military force should be used to provide a “safe zone” in Iraq from which the opposition can operate. And American forces must be prepared to back up our commitment to the Iraqi opposition by all necessary means.
     
    Note: In the entire letter, Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden were just covered in two sentences. This was 9 days after the attacks!

    This. Plus the spooks want their paws in global heroin….

    Wth else of value does Afghanistan put out? The CIA is pumping dope…

  62. @BenKenobi
    I've eaten at that TGI Fridays a couple times. It was better than the mess hall.

    I remember eating at the Chili’s at Qatar after eating MREs in the AfPak border for four months and thinking the nacho plate I ordered as an appetizer was the best thing I had ever eaten.

    • Replies: @BenKenobi
    Hot wings w/ blue cheese for me.
  63. @Carol
    Per Bob Woodward, the generals were appalled when the new president had the gall to ask why we were still there and why couldn't we get out.

    But they managed to reason with him.

    Lied about a million 9/11s occurring the next day I imagine.

    • Replies: @Harry Baldwin
    Worse, according to what Trump told Tucker Carlson. It sounds like they convinced him with the old, "we have to fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here" argument.
  64. @anon
    I hope Derb drops by to comment

    "Rubble doesn't make trouble" was one of his lines. Forget nation building, just mount a punitive expedition and then get out, leave "nation building" to the UN or the Rosecrucians or someone else.

    Probably seemed rash and cruel 18 years ago. Now it seems pretty sensible. Look at it this way: a boy who was toddling 2 years old on 9 / 11 / 01 is now old enough to be an E-4 on patrol in Kandahar, in the same stupid war.

    Does that make any kind of sense?

    I believe there have been a few cases of grunts dying over there who’s dad died over there. Madness.

    What really spins me up is seeing these guys with 15 deployments (Ranger Batt/SF deployments on shorter rotations but still) getting killed so Afghani girls can have some NGO teach them about Tindr. Making widows and orphans to extend American thottery.

  65. anon[372] • Disclaimer says:
    @trelane
    The gravel deposits in Afghanistan are considerable. The future is plastics but gravel remains important. Don't underestimate gravel.

    Afghanistan is not just a source of gravel. It is a vital crossroad for gravel trucks from many strategic central Asian gravel nations, such as Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Pakistan.
    America will soon reach peak gravel from our own depleted stocks and if we don’t secure access to Central Asian gravel our ability to landscape in the new tech economy will be devastated.

    • LOL: YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @anon
    The Axis of Gravel!
    , @Anonymous

    America will soon reach peak gravel from our own depleted stocks
     
    But we will never ever reach peak grovel. That's an endless commodity for us.
  66. @anon
    Afghanistan is not just a source of gravel. It is a vital crossroad for gravel trucks from many strategic central Asian gravel nations, such as Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Pakistan.
    America will soon reach peak gravel from our own depleted stocks and if we don't secure access to Central Asian gravel our ability to landscape in the new tech economy will be devastated.

    The Axis of Gravel!

  67. @anon
    Afghanistan is not just a source of gravel. It is a vital crossroad for gravel trucks from many strategic central Asian gravel nations, such as Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Pakistan.
    America will soon reach peak gravel from our own depleted stocks and if we don't secure access to Central Asian gravel our ability to landscape in the new tech economy will be devastated.

    America will soon reach peak gravel from our own depleted stocks

    But we will never ever reach peak grovel. That’s an endless commodity for us.

  68. @Jack Henson
    Lied about a million 9/11s occurring the next day I imagine.

    Worse, according to what Trump told Tucker Carlson. It sounds like they convinced him with the old, “we have to fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here” argument.

  69. @Anonymous
    It wasn’t Islam. It was the CIA we have to thank.

    Kandahar Airport 50 years ago:

    http://newageislam.com/picture_library/Afghanistan-3-New-Age-Islam.jpg
    http://static.messynessychic.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/afghanistan26.jpg

     

    Kandahar Airportfield today:

    https://www.wakaphotos.com/wp-content/gallery/ben/archives/afganistan/benbohane-2078.jpg
    https://www.stripes.com/polopoly_fs/1.544107.1535119634!/image/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_490/image.jpg
     
    Thank you for your service!

    Yes, 50 years ago Kabul and Kandahar were regular stops on the hippy trail to India.

    https://dangerousminds.net/comments/on_the_hippie_trail_through_afghanistan_to_india_1967-1979

    The comments on the linked piece, by people who were there at the time, are interesting, describing a lost world we can never go back to (you could say the same of the 1967 US/UK, too).

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Paul Theroux smoked hash in Afghanistan in 1973 and heard the news of Agnew's resignation.
    , @Clyde

    Yes, 50 years ago Kabul and Kandahar were regular stops on the hippy trail to India.
     
    I know a guy that got killed there and then in Afghanistan. I knew his two brothers better and all were into drugs. Happened 1967 or so.
  70. @YetAnotherAnon
    Yes, 50 years ago Kabul and Kandahar were regular stops on the hippy trail to India.

    https://dangerousminds.net/comments/on_the_hippie_trail_through_afghanistan_to_india_1967-1979

    The comments on the linked piece, by people who were there at the time, are interesting, describing a lost world we can never go back to (you could say the same of the 1967 US/UK, too).

    Paul Theroux smoked hash in Afghanistan in 1973 and heard the news of Agnew’s resignation.

  71. @Oo-ee-oo-ah-ah-ting-tang-walla-walla-bing-bang
    The ATM fees were less than they were at my local ATM in my hometown. That was the precise moment I truly understood War is a Racket.

    And the banking system!

  72. @YetAnotherAnon
    Yes, 50 years ago Kabul and Kandahar were regular stops on the hippy trail to India.

    https://dangerousminds.net/comments/on_the_hippie_trail_through_afghanistan_to_india_1967-1979

    The comments on the linked piece, by people who were there at the time, are interesting, describing a lost world we can never go back to (you could say the same of the 1967 US/UK, too).

    Yes, 50 years ago Kabul and Kandahar were regular stops on the hippy trail to India.

    I know a guy that got killed there and then in Afghanistan. I knew his two brothers better and all were into drugs. Happened 1967 or so.

  73. If Trump isnt stopped—the children will die!

  74. @Oo-ee-oo-ah-ah-ting-tang-walla-walla-bing-bang
    The War overlapped with a crushing, punishing Recession, perhaps the worst in living memory. Afghanistan was a Thunderdome where Deplorables Hunger-Games’d for free tuition and cheap mortgages. And most of us knew it, and most of us came out far better for it.
    The War was total bullshit and everyone knew it, but I got free school and a cheap house, so I’m thankful and there’s roughly a million just like me.
    In the 1930s, the Out-Of-Work menfolk built eg roads, by 2009 it was lobbing HE 155s. Same thing, different thing

    I would encourage any young white man to join the military for just these reasons: Get your gibs.
    Training and veteran benefits. What do you think career military men are doing? Stuffing their goody-bag of retirement benefits, especially Tri-care and a chance at a plush GS job.

    I only served six years but left with an airline job and a VA house loan. Military Service = Welfare for White Boys. Best deal I was ever offered. (Only down-side is you might get your balls shot off… White priveledge, I guess….)

  75. @J.Ross
    Think of the warmongering deep state as your kid. You caught him doing something stupid. Did you punish him, or did you give him a golden parachute, and dismiss anyone who criticizes him as a Russian? Based on your choice, do you expect him to do better in the future or repeat the sane damn thing?

    Based on your choice, do you expect him to do better in the future or repeat the sane damn thing?

    I think you meant…. repeat the insane damn thing. LOL

  76. @Oo-ee-oo-ah-ah-ting-tang-walla-walla-bing-bang
    The War overlapped with a crushing, punishing Recession, perhaps the worst in living memory. Afghanistan was a Thunderdome where Deplorables Hunger-Games’d for free tuition and cheap mortgages. And most of us knew it, and most of us came out far better for it.
    The War was total bullshit and everyone knew it, but I got free school and a cheap house, so I’m thankful and there’s roughly a million just like me.
    In the 1930s, the Out-Of-Work menfolk built eg roads, by 2009 it was lobbing HE 155s. Same thing, different thing

    Same thing, different thing

    Okay, but there are better ways to that end other than burning up an 8000 mile supply chain to make enemies.

    • Replies: @HammerJack
    Yes. Not to put too fine a point on it, building roads and bridges and such usually isn't disastrously counterproductive.

    But that was then and this is now. We're much smarter than we used to be, you see.
  77. Gravel is actually useful:

  78. “Why must America invade the world?

    Because America must invite the world!

    Why must America invite the world?

    Because America must invade the world!”

    Actually, that is Part 2, which replaced Why must England invade the world? America is WASP-run empire 2.0. This is about WASP culture. It is now zeroing in on its gotterdammerung. It always has had a death wish, starting with its desire to exterminate non-WASP white cultures which could be conquered.

  79. @Corvinus
    "Why must America invade the world? Because America must invite the world! Why must America invite the world? Because America must invade the world!"

    More likely that Europeans and Americans invaded the world, like their predecessors (Chinese, Romans, Greeks) for gimmedats.

    Then, when Europeans and Americans got the gibs, they invited the world to serve as workers to make stuff to sell.

    As far as Afghanistan is concerned, it was about opium.

    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/jan/09/how-the-heroin-trade-explains-the-us-uk-failure-in-afghanistan

    More likely that _______ invaded the world… for gimmedats.

    Foreign military adventures are reliable money losers.

    There’s some value in keeping trade routes open.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
    "Foreign military adventures are reliable money losers."

    Not for Europeans who engaged in imperialism. They made a tidy profit from their exploits.

  80. @Jack D
    I don't know about gravel but I'll bet the skiing up in those mountains is great. They look a lot like the Swiss Alps. All you need to do is get rid of all the Muslims, replace them with Swiss and it would be great.

    All you need to do is get rid of all the Muslims, replace them with Swiss and it would be great.

    Gratuitous, ugly attacks like this on Muslims detract from your credibility, especially when defending Jews.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    The truth is never ugly. If you don't like it get your shit together. It's not like you haven't before.
    , @Jack D
    I don't think it is seriously in dispute that Afghanistan would be a nicer place to visit if it was populated by Swiss and not by Afghans. As a practical matter, I don't see any way that's ever going to happen so it is going to continue being the shitty place that it has always been.

    I can think of very few countries that wouldn't be improved if their Muslim population was replaced by Christians. Maybe I am prejudiced but I don't think that is true of Jews. My impression is that the big capitals of Central Europe - Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, Prague, Warsaw, etc. are all much less interesting places now than they were when a large chunk of their population was Jewish. Maybe at the time (and even now) many of the locals were glad to see them gone but I also get the feeling that nowadays many locals sense their absence, like a limb that was amputated.
    , @AnotherDad


    All you need to do is get rid of all the Muslims, replace them with Swiss and it would be great.
     
    Gratuitous, ugly attacks like this on Muslims detract from your credibility, especially when defending Jews.
     
    Don't get this Dissident.

    Jack's certainly a Jewish patriot, who believes everything *ought* to be organized in the interest of middle-man-minority Jews--and will spin up whatever verbiage is required for that view.

    But there's nothing particularly Jewish or gratiously "ugly" here. At core Steve's running an HBD blog. People differ in their capabilities and behavior. That's just reality. These sort of observations are par for the course.

    -- Ireland would be more orderly if (my people) the Irish were replaced by Japanese. (Especially around closing time.)

    -- Baltimore would be a lot more pleasant and a lot less violent if the blacks were replaced by whites. (As it was back in the day.)

    -- Mexico would be more prosperous and a lot less violent and law abiding if the Mexicans were replaced by Anglos. (For starters, the drugs cartels wouldn't own the joint.)

    -- Australia is a lot more developed and prosperous since the British stole it from the Aboriginals.

    -- South Africa would be pretty damn nice if it was 100% Boer.

    And yes, Afghanistan would be orders of magnitude more peaceful and prosperous if all the various tribes were turfed out and replaced by say Mormons. (Kabul has more or less the same continental, high altitude climate as Salt Lake City.) Do that and i'd love to go visit. Right now--pass.

  81. @Morton's toes
    The United States invaded Afghanistan and Iraq as reprisal for 9/11. To inculcate the lesson "do not mess with us". Like the Germans after Heydrich's assassination wiping out a Czech town.

    Except 1000's of times bigger.

    The United States invaded Afghanistan and Iraq as reprisal for 9/11. To inculcate the lesson “do not mess with us”. Like the Germans after Heydrich’s assassination wiping out a Czech town.

    Except 1000’s of times bigger.

    So … lesson learned, I guess?

  82. @Dissident

    All you need to do is get rid of all the Muslims, replace them with Swiss and it would be great.
     
    Gratuitous, ugly attacks like this on Muslims detract from your credibility, especially when defending Jews.

    The truth is never ugly. If you don’t like it get your shit together. It’s not like you haven’t before.

  83. The continuation of the Afghan War (as well as the D House and thus Impeachment Clown Show) are all now known to be fruit of the poisoned tree.

    Flynn would have had us out by now.

  84. @Hypnotoad666
    If we pull out and the Taliban take over it won't have any impact whatsoever on the U.S. or its security. But it would make some people look stupid for having investing all the blood and treasure spent up to now. At this point, it's nothing but a CYA holding action.

    A classic example of the sunk cost fallacy. No one can articulate any return on investment from staying there. But since we've poured so much time and money into the place in the past, we can't leave until . . . . something . . . because . . . reasons.

    I think you nailed it. Beyond just being a big swinging dick, “sunk cost” is basically it.

    Vietnam was easy to understand–we were fighting communism (communist creep). Vietnam was a backwater. But the idea behind it, the overall idea of “containment”–pushing back and keeping more of the world out of the commie sphere–was important.

    Iraq was misguided, foolish. But at least i can understand what the more idealistic proponents thought they could achieve–an Arab state with some more normal democratic politics that would be an example and lead to a liberal democratic revolution in the Arab world. And Iraq was destabilizing, did lead to a revolutionary wave … but just didn’t work out as they’d hoped.

    Afghanistan? The immediate “punish them for hosting–and then not giving up–bin Laden” part made sense. But after that I can’t even figure out what the war is *supposed* to achieve? Much less what anyone thinks we are achieving there now.

    ~~~

    BTW, another Trump failure/missed-opportunity.

    If Trump had just gotten out he would have this small but significant feather in his cap. He’d have credibility with his anti-invadism. And a lot of people would give him some credit for pooper scoopering up one of the establishment’s screw ups.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    Live fire training ground. Obscenely green recruits turned into bodybags/PTSD/hardened killers.

    As for Trump ending it, he tried. He presently has less power than most constitutional monarchs.

  85. @Dissident

    All you need to do is get rid of all the Muslims, replace them with Swiss and it would be great.
     
    Gratuitous, ugly attacks like this on Muslims detract from your credibility, especially when defending Jews.

    I don’t think it is seriously in dispute that Afghanistan would be a nicer place to visit if it was populated by Swiss and not by Afghans. As a practical matter, I don’t see any way that’s ever going to happen so it is going to continue being the shitty place that it has always been.

    I can think of very few countries that wouldn’t be improved if their Muslim population was replaced by Christians. Maybe I am prejudiced but I don’t think that is true of Jews. My impression is that the big capitals of Central Europe – Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, Prague, Warsaw, etc. are all much less interesting places now than they were when a large chunk of their population was Jewish. Maybe at the time (and even now) many of the locals were glad to see them gone but I also get the feeling that nowadays many locals sense their absence, like a limb that was amputated.

    • Replies: @Desiderius
    https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/xPJKZyPCvap4Fven8/the-atomic-bomb-considered-as-hungarian-high-school-science
  86. @Hunsdon
    Afghanistan is like a hot rock. It is easy to seize, yet it is hard to hold.

    Afghanistan is like a hot rock. It is easy to seize, yet it is hard to hold.

    More like a tar baby. Easy to grab, hard to let go.

  87. @Rebel0007
    Afghanistan has remained undefeated throughout history. Pepe Escobar had reported in Strategic Culture Foundation years ago that we were there strictly for the heroin, which coincides with the opiod epidemic in America that has killed 400,000.

    I never had imagined that America would devolve to such a complete wasteland. Eighteen years of war and heroin tends to have that effect.

    Add to that that all of the wars were based on totally false pretenses framing people that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks.

    This country is probably beyond salvation. Corrupt to the core. What they have done is unforgiveable!

    Pepe Escobar had reported in Strategic Culture Foundation years ago that we were there strictly for the heroin, which coincides with the opiod epidemic in America that has killed 400,000.

    That makes no sense. Even if the USG wanted the heroin (we want it like a hole in the head) we wouldn’t need to occupy the territory to get it – the drugs will come in regardless. If we really wanted opiates we could grow them here. Heroin in the US comes in from S. America via Mexico, not from distant Afghanistan anyway. Afghan opium mostly ends up in Europe, not the US.

    “Years ago” this might have made some sense in a topsy turvy way, but nowadays heroin has been largely supplanted by cheaper synthetic opiates from China.

    Conspiracy theories are great because they make our leaders seem like they have some logical (albeit evil) goal rather than just being blundering idiots, but they at least have to make some minimal sense to be plausible.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @nebulafox
    During West Berlin's heroin epidemic in the 1970s, the heroin had primarily came from two places: covert East German labs, which was obviously a little unique to West Berlin, and moreso imported from places like Pakistan and Afghanistan. In neighborhoods like Kreuzberg that were traditional blue-collar tenement neighborhoods before WWII, the populace was increasingly Turkish (along with squatters, punks, etc). West Germany's postwar economic boom had halted by the 1970s, which meant you had a lot of young, uneducated, unemployable men listlessly hanging around. Aka, prime dope dealer material. So, you had the supply, you had the demand, and you had the means of transporting it.

    I suspect the dynamic was same in other Western European cities that suffered from a heroin problem in the 1970s and 1980s.

    America's big problem in the old days was crack, then meth, IIRC: and nowadays, opoids, supplied by the Chinese and American oligarchs who really shouldn't be walking the streets free. But I don't think we ever had a major heroin issue originating from that part of the world. In Southeast Asia, it was a different story, but it was also one that ended with that particular war.

  88. @bomag

    Same thing, different thing
     
    Okay, but there are better ways to that end other than burning up an 8000 mile supply chain to make enemies.

    Yes. Not to put too fine a point on it, building roads and bridges and such usually isn’t disastrously counterproductive.

    But that was then and this is now. We’re much smarter than we used to be, you see.

  89. @Morton's toes
    The United States invaded Afghanistan and Iraq as reprisal for 9/11. To inculcate the lesson "do not mess with us". Like the Germans after Heydrich's assassination wiping out a Czech town.

    Except 1000's of times bigger.

    The United States invaded Afghanistan and Iraq as reprisal for 9/11. To inculcate the lesson “do not mess with us”.

    Right, because we’re too busy messing with ourselves. The two farcical wars have nearly bankrupted the nation [all put on the national credit card] and made us look scared and stupid to boot. Thanks so much.

    Incidentally, most of the plotters were Saudi. Zero were from Iraq or Afghanistan. And Saddam Hussein never tolerated Al-Qaeda for a single moment. What was the lesson again?

  90. @Kratoklastes

    Donald Rumsfeld claimed to Tim Russert that Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda were hiding out in cave bases, showing a cartoon picture of underground bunkers that looked like something a 12 year old boy might color when playing GI Joe.

    Yet the public bought all of this without question.
     

    And people that stupid still get to vote.

    Worse still: they are permitted to squirt out new idiots ad libitum, and said squirting-out is subsidised.


    That said: Colin Powell's cartoon presentation to the UN Security Council was even more cartoonish, and it wasn't just the Great Unwashed Masses who (claimed to) believe it. A 'compelling' case, was the refrain from more than one 'national leader' (i.e., chief tax parasite).

    Then again, I'm fairly cynical: I don't believe the 'ball tracking' at the tennis either (why use animation - i.e., a cartoon - when it's trivial to set up HD high-speed cameras?)

    “And people that stupid still get to vote.”

    On the other hand the smart ones don’t–like the 40% or so of the electorate who don’t bother to show up during presidential elections. In 2016 42% said to The Don and The Empress of Chappaqua “Plague on both your houses.”)

    They know that the system is one big hand-job.

  91. @Mitchell Porter
    Afghanistan matters - for the countries around it. In the unipolar world, in which America aspired to determine the political order everywhere, that made it matter for American ambitions in Eurasia.

    Then, in the post-9/11 stage of globalization, it mattered for America because it had become a base for the Islamist guerrillas who had now added America to their list of targets.

    The Taliban state that hosted Al Qaeda was toppled, the Islamic State that was its more virulent successor was toppled. In the world today, there are still numerous jihadists but they don't have territorial bases as good as Afghanistan 2000 or Syria 2014.

    I suppose the sensible criterion for an American withdrawal from Afghanistan, is whether the resulting power vacuum will be filled in a way that will prevent the return of anti-American jihadists.

    You are making far too much sense for this crowd.

    Anyway, that’s the problem. American withdrawal will mean the return of the Taliban. Either we will have to take all of our allies with us or allow them to be slaughtered. We can (possibly) exact promises from the Taliban that they will not allow Afghanistan to be used as a base for terrorism but how much would these promises be worth? We could keep our eye out and bomb anything that looks like a terrorist base (but that has its own problems – killing “civilians” is bad publicity) for less money than it costs to do an occupation and uphold the puppet government, but that’s not free either.

    Afghanistan now is somewhat costly in treasure (although not big in the scheme of things) and fairly cheap in lives – maybe a dozen a year. This is not a lot more than would die if these same troops were stationed stateside, in training accidents, car accidents, etc. In the peacetime years after Vietnam but before the Cold War wound down, when the US military was less safety conscious than it is now, the military death rate was higher than it is now while we are technically “at war”. So the easiest thing is just to continue the status quo.

    And this graph is just the rate – since the US military was about 2/3 larger in those days, the raw numbers were even higher.

    • Agree: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @Old Prude
    I don't think the welfare of the people of Afghanistan are worth any of our treasure or blood. Ooh: Televised images of civilian dead would be bad! That's about it. We survived just fine before we went into that gravel dump. All we need to do is pull our heads out of our asses about letting bunch of foreigners come across the borders. Amazing that some people think a military presence in a distant gravel pit makes more sense than securing your ports of entry and enforcing some simple laws.
    , @Desiderius
    Please. They act up they get the hose. Don't pretend that it's inevitable that anti-American lawyers will be making those decisions going forward.
    , @but an humble craftsman
    This is not even true if you do not count Afghan lives.
    , @Mr. Anon
    So do you or do you not favor continuing our occupation of Afghanistan? Stop being coy with this "on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand-on-the-third-hand" bulls**t.
  92. @Hypnotoad666
    If we pull out and the Taliban take over it won't have any impact whatsoever on the U.S. or its security. But it would make some people look stupid for having investing all the blood and treasure spent up to now. At this point, it's nothing but a CYA holding action.

    A classic example of the sunk cost fallacy. No one can articulate any return on investment from staying there. But since we've poured so much time and money into the place in the past, we can't leave until . . . . something . . . because . . . reasons.

    Afghanistan is strategically located between Iran, Russia, and China. We’re not leaving any time soon.

    • Agree: Ron Mexico
  93. @Dr. X
    OF COURSE it has nothing to do with Osama bin Laden. The war in Afghanistan grinds on for the following reasons:

    1. Contracts for the Military Industrial Complex

    2. Promotional opportunities for career brass

    3. A pretext to keep the surveillance state and the "war on terrorism," which can then be used against "domestic terrorists," going indefinitely

    4. It's necessary as a proving ground for weapons (e.g., Predator drones) and tactics that the Deep State is going to use against the Deplorables sooner or later

    5. It's necessary as a training ground for the techniques and tactics cops are currently using against American Deplorables, i.e., deploying a platoon of SWAT officers in Level IV body armor, Kevlar, carrying M-4s with 30 rd magazines and EOTechs, and rolling up in MRAPs because someone might have a marijuana plant in his basement.

    This training will prove particularly useful when the next Democratic administration implements the national gun ban.

    Viewing “The Matrix” (1999) for the first time last week I thought it quaint that the opening scene shows the cops busting down a door to take down a dangerous criminal dressed only in blue shirts and soft caps, armed with nothing more than automatic pistols.

    Hell, before the turn of the century Clinton had his goons with full body armor and submachine guns busting down the doors of trailer homes to grab screaming children, when they weren’t using flamethrower tanks to incinerate them.

    The Imperial Government didn’t need 9/11 to start waging war on white folks. The government has decided people like me (and most of you, gentle readers) are the enemy.

  94. @AnotherDad
    I think you nailed it. Beyond just being a big swinging dick, "sunk cost" is basically it.

    Vietnam was easy to understand--we were fighting communism (communist creep). Vietnam was a backwater. But the idea behind it, the overall idea of "containment"--pushing back and keeping more of the world out of the commie sphere--was important.

    Iraq was misguided, foolish. But at least i can understand what the more idealistic proponents thought they could achieve--an Arab state with some more normal democratic politics that would be an example and lead to a liberal democratic revolution in the Arab world. And Iraq was destabilizing, did lead to a revolutionary wave ... but just didn't work out as they'd hoped.

    Afghanistan? The immediate "punish them for hosting--and then not giving up--bin Laden" part made sense. But after that I can't even figure out what the war is *supposed* to achieve? Much less what anyone thinks we are achieving there now.

    ~~~

    BTW, another Trump failure/missed-opportunity.

    If Trump had just gotten out he would have this small but significant feather in his cap. He'd have credibility with his anti-invadism. And a lot of people would give him some credit for pooper scoopering up one of the establishment's screw ups.

    Live fire training ground. Obscenely green recruits turned into bodybags/PTSD/hardened killers.

    As for Trump ending it, he tried. He presently has less power than most constitutional monarchs.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    Right now, the US troops in Afghanistan are, for the most part, neither killing nor being killed. Can you get PTSD from eating too much KFC?

    Given the White Death and the dangers of the ghetto and the ever present propensity of youth toward drinking and reckless driving, sometimes both at the same time (with the added modern bonus of texting while driving) I think the average recruit nowadays is safer in Bagram than he would be back home in East Podunk or Chicago.

    Look at the above graph. The current active duty death rate is about 0.1%. This means that out of 1,000 recruits, 999 of them will still be around a year from now. I think those are pretty good odds. People like to make it sound as if enlisting in the military is certain death so that for the few brave survivors, giving them a lifetime of free gibmedats is small recompense. But this is not even close to being true.

  95. @Jack D
    I don't think it is seriously in dispute that Afghanistan would be a nicer place to visit if it was populated by Swiss and not by Afghans. As a practical matter, I don't see any way that's ever going to happen so it is going to continue being the shitty place that it has always been.

    I can think of very few countries that wouldn't be improved if their Muslim population was replaced by Christians. Maybe I am prejudiced but I don't think that is true of Jews. My impression is that the big capitals of Central Europe - Berlin, Vienna, Budapest, Prague, Warsaw, etc. are all much less interesting places now than they were when a large chunk of their population was Jewish. Maybe at the time (and even now) many of the locals were glad to see them gone but I also get the feeling that nowadays many locals sense their absence, like a limb that was amputated.
  96. @Jack D
    You are making far too much sense for this crowd.

    Anyway, that's the problem. American withdrawal will mean the return of the Taliban. Either we will have to take all of our allies with us or allow them to be slaughtered. We can (possibly) exact promises from the Taliban that they will not allow Afghanistan to be used as a base for terrorism but how much would these promises be worth? We could keep our eye out and bomb anything that looks like a terrorist base (but that has its own problems - killing "civilians" is bad publicity) for less money than it costs to do an occupation and uphold the puppet government, but that's not free either.

    Afghanistan now is somewhat costly in treasure (although not big in the scheme of things) and fairly cheap in lives - maybe a dozen a year. This is not a lot more than would die if these same troops were stationed stateside, in training accidents, car accidents, etc. In the peacetime years after Vietnam but before the Cold War wound down, when the US military was less safety conscious than it is now, the military death rate was higher than it is now while we are technically "at war". So the easiest thing is just to continue the status quo.

    http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/edgeofthewest/files/2013/07/annualdeathsmilitarypercentage.jpg

    And this graph is just the rate - since the US military was about 2/3 larger in those days, the raw numbers were even higher.

    I don’t think the welfare of the people of Afghanistan are worth any of our treasure or blood. Ooh: Televised images of civilian dead would be bad! That’s about it. We survived just fine before we went into that gravel dump. All we need to do is pull our heads out of our asses about letting bunch of foreigners come across the borders. Amazing that some people think a military presence in a distant gravel pit makes more sense than securing your ports of entry and enforcing some simple laws.

  97. @Jack D
    You are making far too much sense for this crowd.

    Anyway, that's the problem. American withdrawal will mean the return of the Taliban. Either we will have to take all of our allies with us or allow them to be slaughtered. We can (possibly) exact promises from the Taliban that they will not allow Afghanistan to be used as a base for terrorism but how much would these promises be worth? We could keep our eye out and bomb anything that looks like a terrorist base (but that has its own problems - killing "civilians" is bad publicity) for less money than it costs to do an occupation and uphold the puppet government, but that's not free either.

    Afghanistan now is somewhat costly in treasure (although not big in the scheme of things) and fairly cheap in lives - maybe a dozen a year. This is not a lot more than would die if these same troops were stationed stateside, in training accidents, car accidents, etc. In the peacetime years after Vietnam but before the Cold War wound down, when the US military was less safety conscious than it is now, the military death rate was higher than it is now while we are technically "at war". So the easiest thing is just to continue the status quo.

    http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/edgeofthewest/files/2013/07/annualdeathsmilitarypercentage.jpg

    And this graph is just the rate - since the US military was about 2/3 larger in those days, the raw numbers were even higher.

    Please. They act up they get the hose. Don’t pretend that it’s inevitable that anti-American lawyers will be making those decisions going forward.

  98. @Desiderius
    Live fire training ground. Obscenely green recruits turned into bodybags/PTSD/hardened killers.

    As for Trump ending it, he tried. He presently has less power than most constitutional monarchs.

    Right now, the US troops in Afghanistan are, for the most part, neither killing nor being killed. Can you get PTSD from eating too much KFC?

    Given the White Death and the dangers of the ghetto and the ever present propensity of youth toward drinking and reckless driving, sometimes both at the same time (with the added modern bonus of texting while driving) I think the average recruit nowadays is safer in Bagram than he would be back home in East Podunk or Chicago.

    Look at the above graph. The current active duty death rate is about 0.1%. This means that out of 1,000 recruits, 999 of them will still be around a year from now. I think those are pretty good odds. People like to make it sound as if enlisting in the military is certain death so that for the few brave survivors, giving them a lifetime of free gibmedats is small recompense. But this is not even close to being true.

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
    All true.

    But how's about we move them out of Bagram and down to the Mexican border? Where they'll be able to date the local girls or have their wives and families posted with them ... and will actually be protecting America!
  99. @Paul Rise
    Without reading the story I assume they downplay all the opium? That pretty much explains why everyone is so interested in it

    It is a little known fact that in CIA codebooks, “gravel” always means “P. somniferum resin.”

    You see, the Proto-Indo-European root of “gravel” is *ghrei-– “to rub, grind.”

    Which is what you have to do to P. somniferum to get the goo out that gets processed into the street drugs.

    I’ll stop now. I’m clowning, but it occurs to me that this is all too likely a connection. Particularly if you read Robert Graves’s footnotes regarding entheogens. I’d like not to get Sidewindered on the way to visit fam today.

  100. Our leaders tried to make Afghanistan into Not Afghanistan. They failed.

    It’s really that simple. No conspiracy theories, just sheer stupidity and willful blindness.

    • Agree: Rob McX
    • Replies: @anon
    Our leaders tried to make Afghanistan into Not Afghanistan. They failed.

    Correct. The blank slate turned out to already have a lot written on it. No matter how hard we try, Afghans are not Vermonters having a town meeting in 1820. Have your 3 cups of tea or 300 cups of tea or 3,000,000 cups of tea - Afghans have a different culture and genotype. Attempting to change them into something else has failed, and will fail for all time, so long as they are themselves.

    The Mongols turned lowland Afghanistan into something else. However we are not going to use their methods, nor should we. Therefore the Afghanis will remain Afghan.

    If an ongoing occupation of Afghanistan is so important to the region, then the regional countries should do it themselves, or bring in UN peacekeepers.

    There is no reason to import anyone from Afghanistan to the US. None. There are other countries that they can go to. The US is full.
    , @YetAnotherAnon
    I said more than 10 years ago that if the British Government wanted Afghanistan to be more like the United Kingdom, all they had to do was keep the borders open, allow demographic change to work its magic, and let the UK converge with Afghanistan standards.

    The government, while keeping troops out there, seem to have taken my advice.

    https://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/18092120.estimated-2-000-people-attend-funeral-bradford-father-son/
  101. @Dissident

    All you need to do is get rid of all the Muslims, replace them with Swiss and it would be great.
     
    Gratuitous, ugly attacks like this on Muslims detract from your credibility, especially when defending Jews.

    All you need to do is get rid of all the Muslims, replace them with Swiss and it would be great.

    Gratuitous, ugly attacks like this on Muslims detract from your credibility, especially when defending Jews.

    Don’t get this Dissident.

    Jack’s certainly a Jewish patriot, who believes everything *ought* to be organized in the interest of middle-man-minority Jews–and will spin up whatever verbiage is required for that view.

    But there’s nothing particularly Jewish or gratiously “ugly” here. At core Steve’s running an HBD blog. People differ in their capabilities and behavior. That’s just reality. These sort of observations are par for the course.

    — Ireland would be more orderly if (my people) the Irish were replaced by Japanese. (Especially around closing time.)

    — Baltimore would be a lot more pleasant and a lot less violent if the blacks were replaced by whites. (As it was back in the day.)

    — Mexico would be more prosperous and a lot less violent and law abiding if the Mexicans were replaced by Anglos. (For starters, the drugs cartels wouldn’t own the joint.)

    — Australia is a lot more developed and prosperous since the British stole it from the Aboriginals.

    — South Africa would be pretty damn nice if it was 100% Boer.

    And yes, Afghanistan would be orders of magnitude more peaceful and prosperous if all the various tribes were turfed out and replaced by say Mormons. (Kabul has more or less the same continental, high altitude climate as Salt Lake City.) Do that and i’d love to go visit. Right now–pass.

  102. @A123
    Why does the party of Ilhan Omar and Rashid Talib prevent Trump's stated desired to extract U.S. Troops from Afghanistan.

    What do Omar and Talib have in common?

    Inquiring minds want to know.....

    PEACE 😇

    “What do Omar and Talib have in common?”

    They’re both in America because of Jews?

  103. @Jack D
    Right now, the US troops in Afghanistan are, for the most part, neither killing nor being killed. Can you get PTSD from eating too much KFC?

    Given the White Death and the dangers of the ghetto and the ever present propensity of youth toward drinking and reckless driving, sometimes both at the same time (with the added modern bonus of texting while driving) I think the average recruit nowadays is safer in Bagram than he would be back home in East Podunk or Chicago.

    Look at the above graph. The current active duty death rate is about 0.1%. This means that out of 1,000 recruits, 999 of them will still be around a year from now. I think those are pretty good odds. People like to make it sound as if enlisting in the military is certain death so that for the few brave survivors, giving them a lifetime of free gibmedats is small recompense. But this is not even close to being true.

    All true.

    But how’s about we move them out of Bagram and down to the Mexican border? Where they’ll be able to date the local girls or have their wives and families posted with them … and will actually be protecting America!

    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
    The US military acting in accordance with its classical historic role of protecting the country's geographic redoubt? That's crazy talk!
  104. anon[172] • Disclaimer says:
    @nebulafox
    Our leaders tried to make Afghanistan into Not Afghanistan. They failed.

    It's really that simple. No conspiracy theories, just sheer stupidity and willful blindness.

    Our leaders tried to make Afghanistan into Not Afghanistan. They failed.

    Correct. The blank slate turned out to already have a lot written on it. No matter how hard we try, Afghans are not Vermonters having a town meeting in 1820. Have your 3 cups of tea or 300 cups of tea or 3,000,000 cups of tea – Afghans have a different culture and genotype. Attempting to change them into something else has failed, and will fail for all time, so long as they are themselves.

    The Mongols turned lowland Afghanistan into something else. However we are not going to use their methods, nor should we. Therefore the Afghanis will remain Afghan.

    If an ongoing occupation of Afghanistan is so important to the region, then the regional countries should do it themselves, or bring in UN peacekeepers.

    There is no reason to import anyone from Afghanistan to the US. None. There are other countries that they can go to. The US is full.

    • Agree: Old Prude
    • Replies: @nebulafox
    I wouldn't go quite that far, as I believe people from different cultures in the end have shockingly mundane concerns. The cultural means of procuring those concerns are what differs drastically, not the underlying behavior of human beings. Probably your ordinary Afghan just wants peace and quiet like anybody else, and isn't too concerned with who gives it. Most people are far more concerned with gaining a partner and starting a family, or being a success at their job, than with the exact political issues of the day.

    I will say that Afghanistan needs something that'll work for Afghanistan, and that's probably not going to be Jeffersonian democracy. We should have utterly eradicated the Taliban after 9/11 to drive home the lesson that sheltering people who bomb the USA is about the dumbest thing you can do, and then leave to let the Afghans do as they please. Had the Taliban come back to power, or another group like it, those memories would have stuck around, rather than the memories of an insurgency that proves that if you can just wait long enough, the Americans will get bored, tired, and will leave. The idea that Afghanistan (or Iraq) could be another Germany, Japan, or South Korea assumes that you don't know anything about Afghanistan (or Iraq).

    It's too late now. The issue is, short of sitting on the country for the next several decades, I see no realistic way that the Taliban isn't going to come back to power at this point. Nobody wants to face up to that in the Beltway because it'd be a tacit admission that we've wasted trillions of dollars fruitlessly, so we've decided to kick the can down the road. Let the Iranians and Pakistanis fight over it. If they are busy squabbling over Afghanistan, they have less time to mess with us, as far I'm concerned. And if Pakistani pressure is what is keeping the generals committed to this, Trump needs to pointedly bring up where Bin Laden was discovered and shut them up. He's a typical Boomer, Trump, totally worshipful of the US military rather than viewing it as the all-too-human institution it is.

    >The Mongols turned lowland Afghanistan into something else. However we are not going to use their methods, nor should we. Therefore the Afghanis will remain Afghan.

    The most recent example I can think of an occupying power successfully, if partially, transforming the culture of Muslim countries is a pertinent one: it was the newly formed Soviet Union in Central Asia in the 1920s pacifying the colonial Central Asian neighbors of Afghanistan with horrific force. It worked. To this day, Central Asian Muslims are among the most secularized you'll meet, which is part of why Vladimir Putin feels comfortable allowing immigration from that part of the world.

    But simply put, no remotely civilized nation in the 21st Century would approve of the methods that the Soviets-and the Tsarists before them-used to combat the Muslim insurgencies that plagued the region. Even the modern day Russians wouldn't go close to that kind of institutionalized savagery with the global Internet looking: nor would the Chinese in Xinjiang. And if they don't institute that kind of repression anymore, would a Western nation realistically ever do so?

    (The other "success story" that comes to mind, as far as crushing Muslim insurgencies go, was Fascist Italy in Libya during the early 1930s. Like the Soviets, Rome used methods that would you get you turned into a global pariah state today. But unlike the early Soviets, the Italians weren't interested in transforming Libyan society, IMO: to the best of my knowledge: they just wanted peace and order and were unconcerned with the death toll it'd take to get there.)

  105. @AnotherDad
    All true.

    But how's about we move them out of Bagram and down to the Mexican border? Where they'll be able to date the local girls or have their wives and families posted with them ... and will actually be protecting America!

    The US military acting in accordance with its classical historic role of protecting the country’s geographic redoubt? That’s crazy talk!

  106. Jack D has interesting comments to read but they are so frequent and so closely (and articulately) support mainstream foreign policy talking points that I halfway wonder if he is a disinformation agent paid out of Eglin Air Force Base or Tel Aviv. Either that or he works for a Think Tank somewhere.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    I find that it's half good comments and half indefensible shilling (not disagreement, I'm saying it's objectively lazy, which is wierd considering his good comments), with the proportion depending on the topic. I bet if we had a string of business strategy (or entrepreneurial history) threads there'd be nothing to complain about, and if we had a string of threads on Israel it'd be all groaning.
    But yeah the volume is wierd. As Steve can tell you, I comment entirely too often, and the only governors on my typing are days of moderation, an automated warning to not comment so often, or a mechanical error eating my post. Jack does several times what I do.
    , @Anonymous
    I agree that Jack works for some kind of comment farm. His wiki expertise in every subject is why I believe this.
  107. @Jack D

    Pepe Escobar had reported in Strategic Culture Foundation years ago that we were there strictly for the heroin, which coincides with the opiod epidemic in America that has killed 400,000.
     
    That makes no sense. Even if the USG wanted the heroin (we want it like a hole in the head) we wouldn't need to occupy the territory to get it - the drugs will come in regardless. If we really wanted opiates we could grow them here. Heroin in the US comes in from S. America via Mexico, not from distant Afghanistan anyway. Afghan opium mostly ends up in Europe, not the US.

    "Years ago" this might have made some sense in a topsy turvy way, but nowadays heroin has been largely supplanted by cheaper synthetic opiates from China.

    Conspiracy theories are great because they make our leaders seem like they have some logical (albeit evil) goal rather than just being blundering idiots, but they at least have to make some minimal sense to be plausible.

    During West Berlin’s heroin epidemic in the 1970s, the heroin had primarily came from two places: covert East German labs, which was obviously a little unique to West Berlin, and moreso imported from places like Pakistan and Afghanistan. In neighborhoods like Kreuzberg that were traditional blue-collar tenement neighborhoods before WWII, the populace was increasingly Turkish (along with squatters, punks, etc). West Germany’s postwar economic boom had halted by the 1970s, which meant you had a lot of young, uneducated, unemployable men listlessly hanging around. Aka, prime dope dealer material. So, you had the supply, you had the demand, and you had the means of transporting it.

    I suspect the dynamic was same in other Western European cities that suffered from a heroin problem in the 1970s and 1980s.

    America’s big problem in the old days was crack, then meth, IIRC: and nowadays, opoids, supplied by the Chinese and American oligarchs who really shouldn’t be walking the streets free. But I don’t think we ever had a major heroin issue originating from that part of the world. In Southeast Asia, it was a different story, but it was also one that ended with that particular war.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    I suppose back in the "French Connection" days when heroin addicts were mainly urban blacks, the heroin came from the Middle East or Asia via Europe. But that was many drug epidemics ago.
  108. @anon
    Our leaders tried to make Afghanistan into Not Afghanistan. They failed.

    Correct. The blank slate turned out to already have a lot written on it. No matter how hard we try, Afghans are not Vermonters having a town meeting in 1820. Have your 3 cups of tea or 300 cups of tea or 3,000,000 cups of tea - Afghans have a different culture and genotype. Attempting to change them into something else has failed, and will fail for all time, so long as they are themselves.

    The Mongols turned lowland Afghanistan into something else. However we are not going to use their methods, nor should we. Therefore the Afghanis will remain Afghan.

    If an ongoing occupation of Afghanistan is so important to the region, then the regional countries should do it themselves, or bring in UN peacekeepers.

    There is no reason to import anyone from Afghanistan to the US. None. There are other countries that they can go to. The US is full.

    I wouldn’t go quite that far, as I believe people from different cultures in the end have shockingly mundane concerns. The cultural means of procuring those concerns are what differs drastically, not the underlying behavior of human beings. Probably your ordinary Afghan just wants peace and quiet like anybody else, and isn’t too concerned with who gives it. Most people are far more concerned with gaining a partner and starting a family, or being a success at their job, than with the exact political issues of the day.

    I will say that Afghanistan needs something that’ll work for Afghanistan, and that’s probably not going to be Jeffersonian democracy. We should have utterly eradicated the Taliban after 9/11 to drive home the lesson that sheltering people who bomb the USA is about the dumbest thing you can do, and then leave to let the Afghans do as they please. Had the Taliban come back to power, or another group like it, those memories would have stuck around, rather than the memories of an insurgency that proves that if you can just wait long enough, the Americans will get bored, tired, and will leave. The idea that Afghanistan (or Iraq) could be another Germany, Japan, or South Korea assumes that you don’t know anything about Afghanistan (or Iraq).

    It’s too late now. The issue is, short of sitting on the country for the next several decades, I see no realistic way that the Taliban isn’t going to come back to power at this point. Nobody wants to face up to that in the Beltway because it’d be a tacit admission that we’ve wasted trillions of dollars fruitlessly, so we’ve decided to kick the can down the road. Let the Iranians and Pakistanis fight over it. If they are busy squabbling over Afghanistan, they have less time to mess with us, as far I’m concerned. And if Pakistani pressure is what is keeping the generals committed to this, Trump needs to pointedly bring up where Bin Laden was discovered and shut them up. He’s a typical Boomer, Trump, totally worshipful of the US military rather than viewing it as the all-too-human institution it is.

    >The Mongols turned lowland Afghanistan into something else. However we are not going to use their methods, nor should we. Therefore the Afghanis will remain Afghan.

    The most recent example I can think of an occupying power successfully, if partially, transforming the culture of Muslim countries is a pertinent one: it was the newly formed Soviet Union in Central Asia in the 1920s pacifying the colonial Central Asian neighbors of Afghanistan with horrific force. It worked. To this day, Central Asian Muslims are among the most secularized you’ll meet, which is part of why Vladimir Putin feels comfortable allowing immigration from that part of the world.

    But simply put, no remotely civilized nation in the 21st Century would approve of the methods that the Soviets-and the Tsarists before them-used to combat the Muslim insurgencies that plagued the region. Even the modern day Russians wouldn’t go close to that kind of institutionalized savagery with the global Internet looking: nor would the Chinese in Xinjiang. And if they don’t institute that kind of repression anymore, would a Western nation realistically ever do so?

    (The other “success story” that comes to mind, as far as crushing Muslim insurgencies go, was Fascist Italy in Libya during the early 1930s. Like the Soviets, Rome used methods that would you get you turned into a global pariah state today. But unlike the early Soviets, the Italians weren’t interested in transforming Libyan society, IMO: to the best of my knowledge: they just wanted peace and order and were unconcerned with the death toll it’d take to get there.)

    • Replies: @anon
    I wouldn’t go quite that far, as I believe people from different cultures in the end have shockingly mundane concerns. Probably your ordinary Afghan just wants peace and quiet like anybody else, and isn’t too concerned with who gives it. Most people are far more concerned with gaining a partner and starting a family, or being a success at their job, than with the exact political issues of the day.

    Ok, Boomer!
    , @anon
    We should have utterly eradicated the Taliban after 9/11 to drive home the lesson that sheltering people who bomb the USA is about the dumbest thing you can do, and then leave to let the Afghans do as they please.

    That's what "rubble doesn't make trouble" means, dude. Don't be so Boomingly slow to grasp basic concepts.

    In the bigger picture, Islam has a cycle it goes through, from horrifically strict to relaxed to libertine to strict. Most Muslim countries show this pattern, sometimes over generations. The Talib are just the latest manifestation of "it's in the Koran! It says this! We must do this!" to show up. 3 cups of tea won't stop or even slow down that cycle, either. Only time does that, maybe. I'm still not sure why it is my business to provide bodyguards for elementary school teachers in Afghanistan when there are plenty in my country who would also benefit from more security.

    It's touching that so many Boomers are willing to fight to the last someone-else's son for the rights of Afghan women to be made into western thots, but really it's not good for them or for us. Perhaps the Indonesians could be persuaded to take up the duty of occupying Afghanistan for its own good? They might be just as ready to suppress Bachi Bazi as the Talib are, but without nearly so much other baggage.

    Anyway, if the ongoing occupation is so very important to the whole world, then the whole world needs to chip in and help. Because what we are doing isn't working.
    , @Jack D
    Something has changed. Up until the '60s it was assumed that traditional religion was dying everywhere and especially in the Islamic world - they were on their way to becoming modern. But instead there was a revival of fundamentalism, not just in the Islamic world but also among Jews, Christians, etc. These groups tend to have high birth rates and over time form an increasing % of the population. What changed? Was it the failure of socialism?
  109. @nebulafox
    During West Berlin's heroin epidemic in the 1970s, the heroin had primarily came from two places: covert East German labs, which was obviously a little unique to West Berlin, and moreso imported from places like Pakistan and Afghanistan. In neighborhoods like Kreuzberg that were traditional blue-collar tenement neighborhoods before WWII, the populace was increasingly Turkish (along with squatters, punks, etc). West Germany's postwar economic boom had halted by the 1970s, which meant you had a lot of young, uneducated, unemployable men listlessly hanging around. Aka, prime dope dealer material. So, you had the supply, you had the demand, and you had the means of transporting it.

    I suspect the dynamic was same in other Western European cities that suffered from a heroin problem in the 1970s and 1980s.

    America's big problem in the old days was crack, then meth, IIRC: and nowadays, opoids, supplied by the Chinese and American oligarchs who really shouldn't be walking the streets free. But I don't think we ever had a major heroin issue originating from that part of the world. In Southeast Asia, it was a different story, but it was also one that ended with that particular war.

    I suppose back in the “French Connection” days when heroin addicts were mainly urban blacks, the heroin came from the Middle East or Asia via Europe. But that was many drug epidemics ago.

  110. @S. Anonyia
    Jack D has interesting comments to read but they are so frequent and so closely (and articulately) support mainstream foreign policy talking points that I halfway wonder if he is a disinformation agent paid out of Eglin Air Force Base or Tel Aviv. Either that or he works for a Think Tank somewhere.

    I find that it’s half good comments and half indefensible shilling (not disagreement, I’m saying it’s objectively lazy, which is wierd considering his good comments), with the proportion depending on the topic. I bet if we had a string of business strategy (or entrepreneurial history) threads there’d be nothing to complain about, and if we had a string of threads on Israel it’d be all groaning.
    But yeah the volume is wierd. As Steve can tell you, I comment entirely too often, and the only governors on my typing are days of moderation, an automated warning to not comment so often, or a mechanical error eating my post. Jack does several times what I do.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    He's in his 60s, IIRC, so it's entirely possible he's retired from law.

    If I'm right (and I might not be), I'm around the age of his daughter. I also come, from what I can infer, from a radically different background in just about every metric you can imagine. So, it doesn't exactly shock me when we don't agree on everything. It'd be unnatural if we did. I'll say this, though: he's never boring to talk to, and he doesn't BS you.

    The better commentators on here are the people you genuinely learn stuff from, the ones who shed a light on your own possibly erroneous preconceived conclusions or elaborate more fully on them if they are correct. Whether it is about politics or economics or life lessons or whatever. Always most important to know what you don't know in depth.

  111. anon[172] • Disclaimer says:
    @nebulafox
    I wouldn't go quite that far, as I believe people from different cultures in the end have shockingly mundane concerns. The cultural means of procuring those concerns are what differs drastically, not the underlying behavior of human beings. Probably your ordinary Afghan just wants peace and quiet like anybody else, and isn't too concerned with who gives it. Most people are far more concerned with gaining a partner and starting a family, or being a success at their job, than with the exact political issues of the day.

    I will say that Afghanistan needs something that'll work for Afghanistan, and that's probably not going to be Jeffersonian democracy. We should have utterly eradicated the Taliban after 9/11 to drive home the lesson that sheltering people who bomb the USA is about the dumbest thing you can do, and then leave to let the Afghans do as they please. Had the Taliban come back to power, or another group like it, those memories would have stuck around, rather than the memories of an insurgency that proves that if you can just wait long enough, the Americans will get bored, tired, and will leave. The idea that Afghanistan (or Iraq) could be another Germany, Japan, or South Korea assumes that you don't know anything about Afghanistan (or Iraq).

    It's too late now. The issue is, short of sitting on the country for the next several decades, I see no realistic way that the Taliban isn't going to come back to power at this point. Nobody wants to face up to that in the Beltway because it'd be a tacit admission that we've wasted trillions of dollars fruitlessly, so we've decided to kick the can down the road. Let the Iranians and Pakistanis fight over it. If they are busy squabbling over Afghanistan, they have less time to mess with us, as far I'm concerned. And if Pakistani pressure is what is keeping the generals committed to this, Trump needs to pointedly bring up where Bin Laden was discovered and shut them up. He's a typical Boomer, Trump, totally worshipful of the US military rather than viewing it as the all-too-human institution it is.

    >The Mongols turned lowland Afghanistan into something else. However we are not going to use their methods, nor should we. Therefore the Afghanis will remain Afghan.

    The most recent example I can think of an occupying power successfully, if partially, transforming the culture of Muslim countries is a pertinent one: it was the newly formed Soviet Union in Central Asia in the 1920s pacifying the colonial Central Asian neighbors of Afghanistan with horrific force. It worked. To this day, Central Asian Muslims are among the most secularized you'll meet, which is part of why Vladimir Putin feels comfortable allowing immigration from that part of the world.

    But simply put, no remotely civilized nation in the 21st Century would approve of the methods that the Soviets-and the Tsarists before them-used to combat the Muslim insurgencies that plagued the region. Even the modern day Russians wouldn't go close to that kind of institutionalized savagery with the global Internet looking: nor would the Chinese in Xinjiang. And if they don't institute that kind of repression anymore, would a Western nation realistically ever do so?

    (The other "success story" that comes to mind, as far as crushing Muslim insurgencies go, was Fascist Italy in Libya during the early 1930s. Like the Soviets, Rome used methods that would you get you turned into a global pariah state today. But unlike the early Soviets, the Italians weren't interested in transforming Libyan society, IMO: to the best of my knowledge: they just wanted peace and order and were unconcerned with the death toll it'd take to get there.)

    I wouldn’t go quite that far, as I believe people from different cultures in the end have shockingly mundane concerns. Probably your ordinary Afghan just wants peace and quiet like anybody else, and isn’t too concerned with who gives it. Most people are far more concerned with gaining a partner and starting a family, or being a success at their job, than with the exact political issues of the day.

    Ok, Boomer!

  112. @The Alarmist
    Maybe we might have believed them if they broadcast nightly boundycount figures on the evening news, like they did back in that other spectacular success, the War on Vietnam.

    Maybe we might have believed them if they broadcast nightly boundycount figures on the evening news, like they did back in that other spectacular success, the War on Vietnam.

    Didn’t they though? Weren’t we subjected to another “grim milestone” every time the bodycount clocked a new round number? 500, 600, 700…. Of course, even though more Americans were killed under Obama when he pointlessly “surged” the war in Afghanistan, for some reason the media “grim milestones” seemed to stop upon Obama’s election. As did all the Code Pink anti-war protests. Funny that.

  113. Afghanistan banana stand!

    The neocons wanted to do Iran first before Afghanistan, and capturing Osama bin Laden was not much of a priority it was left to a bunch of women in the slow lane of the CIA . The high priority was pacifying the restive Saudi populace by getting the US army (in Saudi Arabia to protect its family dictatorship from Saddam’s Iraq) out of Saudi Arabia. So Saddam had to be taken out. Was it worth all the sacrifice? Coked out of his skull Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman can give Lo-rent Lindsey an American Express Black Card. I think that speaks for itself.

  114. @Jack Henson
    I remember eating at the Chili's at Qatar after eating MREs in the AfPak border for four months and thinking the nacho plate I ordered as an appetizer was the best thing I had ever eaten.

    Hot wings w/ blue cheese for me.

  115. @PhysicistDave
    Two big news stories today:

    The US Government Lied About Afghanistan

    US Attorney Durham Claims IG Horowitz Softballs FBI Corruption
     

    "We have given you a Republic -- if you can keep it." (attributed to Ben Franklin)

    Any chance we can keep it?

    Once the we is properly identified, sure. Looks like the competent have already abandoned ship on our adversaries.

  116. anon[172] • Disclaimer says:
    @nebulafox
    I wouldn't go quite that far, as I believe people from different cultures in the end have shockingly mundane concerns. The cultural means of procuring those concerns are what differs drastically, not the underlying behavior of human beings. Probably your ordinary Afghan just wants peace and quiet like anybody else, and isn't too concerned with who gives it. Most people are far more concerned with gaining a partner and starting a family, or being a success at their job, than with the exact political issues of the day.

    I will say that Afghanistan needs something that'll work for Afghanistan, and that's probably not going to be Jeffersonian democracy. We should have utterly eradicated the Taliban after 9/11 to drive home the lesson that sheltering people who bomb the USA is about the dumbest thing you can do, and then leave to let the Afghans do as they please. Had the Taliban come back to power, or another group like it, those memories would have stuck around, rather than the memories of an insurgency that proves that if you can just wait long enough, the Americans will get bored, tired, and will leave. The idea that Afghanistan (or Iraq) could be another Germany, Japan, or South Korea assumes that you don't know anything about Afghanistan (or Iraq).

    It's too late now. The issue is, short of sitting on the country for the next several decades, I see no realistic way that the Taliban isn't going to come back to power at this point. Nobody wants to face up to that in the Beltway because it'd be a tacit admission that we've wasted trillions of dollars fruitlessly, so we've decided to kick the can down the road. Let the Iranians and Pakistanis fight over it. If they are busy squabbling over Afghanistan, they have less time to mess with us, as far I'm concerned. And if Pakistani pressure is what is keeping the generals committed to this, Trump needs to pointedly bring up where Bin Laden was discovered and shut them up. He's a typical Boomer, Trump, totally worshipful of the US military rather than viewing it as the all-too-human institution it is.

    >The Mongols turned lowland Afghanistan into something else. However we are not going to use their methods, nor should we. Therefore the Afghanis will remain Afghan.

    The most recent example I can think of an occupying power successfully, if partially, transforming the culture of Muslim countries is a pertinent one: it was the newly formed Soviet Union in Central Asia in the 1920s pacifying the colonial Central Asian neighbors of Afghanistan with horrific force. It worked. To this day, Central Asian Muslims are among the most secularized you'll meet, which is part of why Vladimir Putin feels comfortable allowing immigration from that part of the world.

    But simply put, no remotely civilized nation in the 21st Century would approve of the methods that the Soviets-and the Tsarists before them-used to combat the Muslim insurgencies that plagued the region. Even the modern day Russians wouldn't go close to that kind of institutionalized savagery with the global Internet looking: nor would the Chinese in Xinjiang. And if they don't institute that kind of repression anymore, would a Western nation realistically ever do so?

    (The other "success story" that comes to mind, as far as crushing Muslim insurgencies go, was Fascist Italy in Libya during the early 1930s. Like the Soviets, Rome used methods that would you get you turned into a global pariah state today. But unlike the early Soviets, the Italians weren't interested in transforming Libyan society, IMO: to the best of my knowledge: they just wanted peace and order and were unconcerned with the death toll it'd take to get there.)

    We should have utterly eradicated the Taliban after 9/11 to drive home the lesson that sheltering people who bomb the USA is about the dumbest thing you can do, and then leave to let the Afghans do as they please.

    That’s what “rubble doesn’t make trouble” means, dude. Don’t be so Boomingly slow to grasp basic concepts.

    In the bigger picture, Islam has a cycle it goes through, from horrifically strict to relaxed to libertine to strict. Most Muslim countries show this pattern, sometimes over generations. The Talib are just the latest manifestation of “it’s in the Koran! It says this! We must do this!” to show up. 3 cups of tea won’t stop or even slow down that cycle, either. Only time does that, maybe. I’m still not sure why it is my business to provide bodyguards for elementary school teachers in Afghanistan when there are plenty in my country who would also benefit from more security.

    It’s touching that so many Boomers are willing to fight to the last someone-else’s son for the rights of Afghan women to be made into western thots, but really it’s not good for them or for us. Perhaps the Indonesians could be persuaded to take up the duty of occupying Afghanistan for its own good? They might be just as ready to suppress Bachi Bazi as the Talib are, but without nearly so much other baggage.

    Anyway, if the ongoing occupation is so very important to the whole world, then the whole world needs to chip in and help. Because what we are doing isn’t working.

  117. The simple strategy to win Afghanistan was obvious from the beginning. Make a desert and call it peace. The US establishment preferred boots on the ground, nation building and other gay stuff that allowed more money funneling, enjoy the results.

    It is not too late to correct course, raze the place into lifeless ashes and proclaim victory while having recreated the first man free ecological sanctuary.

  118. A few questions re the irreverent “wry detachment” here: how many young American men and women (not to mention coalition dupes partners) have been killed or horribly maimed in Afghanistan? — how many Afghan civilians? — how much wealth has been stripped from ordinary, working Americans via the coercive tax system to pay for the conflict there?

    • Replies: @El Dato
    Probably well underestimated, via RT:

    With nearly $1 trillion poured down the hole by the Pentagon alone – to say nothing of indirect expenses, the cost of caring for veterans back home, and the psychological cost of constantly lying – plus over 2,200 dead American soldiers and over 100,000 dead Afghans, the appeal of cutting America's losses is obvious.
     
    Not only have those 1 trillion gone to special interests with bank accounts in the Carribean, but resources that might well be needed at some time have gone up in smoke forever, including human resources, metal, fuel, time and work spent in non-productive pursuits. Also, the permanent maintenance of people damaged. And the costs for pursuing Private Manning for no good reason.

    Meanwhile, apparently Cheney has been reanimated by Herbert West or some other evil:


    Cheney warned a rapt Dubai audience that “American disengagement” from the Middle East would play right into the hands of Iran and Russia, serving up “power voids” on a silver platter to any US rival willing to take the initiative. “Russia is always on standby to fill power voids,” he insisted on Monday, framing the Trump administration's move to wind down its military presence in northeastern Syria as a national embarrassment sure to set the stage for a resurgence of the Evil Empire coupled with a nuclear Iran.

    Citing “some deeply malign forces at work in the broader Middle East, as well as disturbing influences from outside,” Cheney warned an audience that included Dubai's Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum that “inaction can carry even greater risk than action.”
     

    Why isn't that guy made "unschädlich"?
  119. @PhysicistDave
    Two big news stories today:

    The US Government Lied About Afghanistan

    US Attorney Durham Claims IG Horowitz Softballs FBI Corruption
     

    "We have given you a Republic -- if you can keep it." (attributed to Ben Franklin)

    Any chance we can keep it?

  120. The last I checked the US’s annual expenditures on the war in Afghanistan exceeded – by a wide margin – the Afghani GDP. We’re wasting more on Afghanistan than it’s literally even worth. I really hope there is some super-duper top secret reason we’re still there, because otherwise we’ve wasted the lives of a lot of young men for no good reason but revenege for a man we supposedly killed years ago.

    The failure to fix Afghanistan is really just a vindication of conservative beliefs: the general superiority of traditional Western culture, the false hope of government social engineering, and the fact that it is good people who create good government, not the reverse.

    • Agree: Old Prude
    • Replies: @Jack D
    The Afghan GDP is not the correct yardstick. The cost of one F-15 would keep a large Afghan city in flat bread and goat meat for a year.
    , @Mr. Anon

    The failure to fix Afghanistan is really just a vindication of conservative beliefs: the general superiority of traditional Western culture, the false hope of government social engineering, and the fact that it is good people who create good government, not the reverse.
     
    Well said. And it is odd that so many conservatives will claim that the government - our government - is no good at running the lives of its own citizens, and in the next breath say that that same government must run the lives of people in some alien and far-away land. If the government in Washington D.C. is ill-suited to manage the affairs of people in Dubuque, how much less so the people in Kabul.
  121. @Reg Cæsar

    More likely that Europeans and Americans invaded the world, like their predecessors (Chinese, Romans, Greeks) for gimmedats.
     
    That's certainly a revisionist reading of D-Day. But maybe it's overdue. And where else but Unz.com?

    Then, when Europeans and Americans got the gibs, they invited the world to serve as workers to make stuff to sell.

     

    Well, we didn't invite many Europeans here after 1945. On that score, the whole mess was a waste of time and money. And men.

    “That’s certainly a revisionist reading of D-Day.”

    LOL, no. My comment was directed at those who have conquered.

    “Well, we didn’t invite many Europeans here after 1945.”

    You can blame nativists. Immigration remained relatively low following World War II because the numerical limitations imposed by the 1920s national origins system remained in place.

    “On that score, the whole mess was a waste of time and money. And men.”

    What “mess” are you referring to? Have you been quaffing the ceremonial wine again?

    • Troll: YetAnotherAnon
  122. @nebulafox
    Our leaders tried to make Afghanistan into Not Afghanistan. They failed.

    It's really that simple. No conspiracy theories, just sheer stupidity and willful blindness.

    I said more than 10 years ago that if the British Government wanted Afghanistan to be more like the United Kingdom, all they had to do was keep the borders open, allow demographic change to work its magic, and let the UK converge with Afghanistan standards.

    The government, while keeping troops out there, seem to have taken my advice.

    https://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/18092120.estimated-2-000-people-attend-funeral-bradford-father-son/

  123. @nebulafox
    I wouldn't go quite that far, as I believe people from different cultures in the end have shockingly mundane concerns. The cultural means of procuring those concerns are what differs drastically, not the underlying behavior of human beings. Probably your ordinary Afghan just wants peace and quiet like anybody else, and isn't too concerned with who gives it. Most people are far more concerned with gaining a partner and starting a family, or being a success at their job, than with the exact political issues of the day.

    I will say that Afghanistan needs something that'll work for Afghanistan, and that's probably not going to be Jeffersonian democracy. We should have utterly eradicated the Taliban after 9/11 to drive home the lesson that sheltering people who bomb the USA is about the dumbest thing you can do, and then leave to let the Afghans do as they please. Had the Taliban come back to power, or another group like it, those memories would have stuck around, rather than the memories of an insurgency that proves that if you can just wait long enough, the Americans will get bored, tired, and will leave. The idea that Afghanistan (or Iraq) could be another Germany, Japan, or South Korea assumes that you don't know anything about Afghanistan (or Iraq).

    It's too late now. The issue is, short of sitting on the country for the next several decades, I see no realistic way that the Taliban isn't going to come back to power at this point. Nobody wants to face up to that in the Beltway because it'd be a tacit admission that we've wasted trillions of dollars fruitlessly, so we've decided to kick the can down the road. Let the Iranians and Pakistanis fight over it. If they are busy squabbling over Afghanistan, they have less time to mess with us, as far I'm concerned. And if Pakistani pressure is what is keeping the generals committed to this, Trump needs to pointedly bring up where Bin Laden was discovered and shut them up. He's a typical Boomer, Trump, totally worshipful of the US military rather than viewing it as the all-too-human institution it is.

    >The Mongols turned lowland Afghanistan into something else. However we are not going to use their methods, nor should we. Therefore the Afghanis will remain Afghan.

    The most recent example I can think of an occupying power successfully, if partially, transforming the culture of Muslim countries is a pertinent one: it was the newly formed Soviet Union in Central Asia in the 1920s pacifying the colonial Central Asian neighbors of Afghanistan with horrific force. It worked. To this day, Central Asian Muslims are among the most secularized you'll meet, which is part of why Vladimir Putin feels comfortable allowing immigration from that part of the world.

    But simply put, no remotely civilized nation in the 21st Century would approve of the methods that the Soviets-and the Tsarists before them-used to combat the Muslim insurgencies that plagued the region. Even the modern day Russians wouldn't go close to that kind of institutionalized savagery with the global Internet looking: nor would the Chinese in Xinjiang. And if they don't institute that kind of repression anymore, would a Western nation realistically ever do so?

    (The other "success story" that comes to mind, as far as crushing Muslim insurgencies go, was Fascist Italy in Libya during the early 1930s. Like the Soviets, Rome used methods that would you get you turned into a global pariah state today. But unlike the early Soviets, the Italians weren't interested in transforming Libyan society, IMO: to the best of my knowledge: they just wanted peace and order and were unconcerned with the death toll it'd take to get there.)

    Something has changed. Up until the ’60s it was assumed that traditional religion was dying everywhere and especially in the Islamic world – they were on their way to becoming modern. But instead there was a revival of fundamentalism, not just in the Islamic world but also among Jews, Christians, etc. These groups tend to have high birth rates and over time form an increasing % of the population. What changed? Was it the failure of socialism?

    • Replies: @anon
    Something has changed. Up until the ’60s it was assumed that traditional religion was dying everywhere and especially in the Islamic world – they were on their way to becoming modern.

    A false premise leads to a false conclusion. Or no meaningful conclusion. Or even no conclusion at all.

    But instead there was a revival of fundamentalism, not just in the Islamic world but also among Jews, Christians, etc. These groups tend to have high birth rates and over time form an increasing % of the population.

    We shall see if that continues or not. One generation isn't enough to draw a trendline.

    What changed? Was it the failure of socialism?

    It's almost as though some part of human behavior is inherited rather than just written on some blank slates. But that can't be true, because muh Franz Boas!

    , @Johann Ricke

    But instead there was a revival of fundamentalism, not just in the Islamic world but also among Jews, Christians, etc. These groups tend to have high birth rates and over time form an increasing % of the population. What changed? Was it the failure of socialism?
     
    Birth control coupled with urbanization. Religious people back on the farm had more kids than urban sophisticates, whose birth rate fell well below replacement. That's why Turkey is slouching towards the 7th century. Urbanization hit a plateau, and the religious began out-breeding the secular.
    , @nebulafox
    They did become modern, or at least large swathes of it did. It just turned out to be that "modern" didn't necessarily mean "Western".

    To my understanding, what is different is that before the 1970s, these insurgencies typically developed on a country-by-country basis. So, they reflected the conditions of the country there more than a transnational cause. Islam was an important accessory, but not necessarily the only thing going on. To indulge in some far-off alt-history here, suppose then Christian Victorian Britain were about to have their capital invaded by the Chinese in the 1860s, rather than the other way around. I suspect Christian imagery would have taken on an even more aggressive, nationalistic tone, not too dissimilar from the Mahdi popping up in Sudan against the Turks, then the Britains.

    In the case of Central Asia, Islamic militancy was a recent thing in the early 1900s and took on anti-Russian connotations. This was especially the case when the Russians involved transformed from Orthodox Christians who insisted the Muslims fight for them and give their lands to Russian colonists, to atheists who wanted to exterminate their religion (along with all others) wholesale. In the case of Indonesia, by contrast, Islamic uprisings in the 1950s were strongly associated with sectarian communal conflicts and separatist movements. The point is, though, that Islamic as the local movements were, they were very wrapped up in local conditions and didn't exactly think about transnational jihad.

    After the 1970s, things got globalized. The Islamic World hadn't undergone the huge underlying social shifts of the 1960s, but modernity was taking off regardless. In places like Java or Malaysia, local kampung traditions started fading as people moved to the cities. (Not entirely-I know Malay women who still do traditional shamanistic things, albeit they are very, very careful to try make it "halal" friendly.) But to a big extent, they needed a new cultural identity. So, ironically, as people got wealthier, a more orthodox form of Islam took off. This coincides with all the contradictions and challenges of modernity, and in some countries, an increasingly frustrated middle class dealing with corrupt, inefficient secular governments that repeatedly discredit themselves.

    Also worth mentioning is that two very important things happened in 1979: the Iranian Revolution and the Grand Mosque Incident, the latter of which caused the Saudi government to embrace Wahhabism. The former was quite into the idea of pan-Islamic unity worldwide throughout the 1980s until Khomeini died and Iran reverted back to character. I'd date the genesis of radical Islam as we know it from that year: only then did guys like Qutb have their writings really read, or in the age of the Internet some decades later, dumbed down into digestible bits.

    So, to boil it down: modernity and globalization came, but unlike in the West, there was no mass neutering of religion. This means that Europeans and Muslims have a much bigger gap between them than they used to, despite modernity taking off underneath the surface in the Muslim world-it is important to stress that you can find premarital sex, drinking, that kind of stuff outside of the true backwaters, and that's part of the reason religious revivalism is there at all. In the USA, which was always more resistant to secularization than Europe, you still saw a lot of Christian backlash toward liberal policies throughout the second half of the 20th Century. Same thing, just more radical.

    (As a side not, what's ironic is that for most of the Tsarist state's existence, their long-time Muslim subjects were trusted far more by the Russians than their more recently acquired Catholic subjects to the west, to say nothing of the "anti-human" Jews. Yet it isn't surprising on some level, if you look at how Russian ultra-nationalists have traditionally viewed the world. They might not "like" Islam, per se, but inside Russia's borders, they see it as a historical reality for Russia that needs to be pragmatically dealt with. The Popes, by contrast, they viewed as making a perverse mockery of everything that Christianity should stand for. So, in the sense that traitors were far worse than outright foreigners...

    Fyodor Dostoevsky is a great primer to this kind of thinking. Even Putin has stated on record that he thinks Orthodoxy has more in common with Islam than Western Christianity these days, and in his own way, he might not be wrong. I think Orthodoxy in modern Russia is more of an image than an actual belief thing after the Soviet experience, but still, official ideology is what it is.)

    >These groups tend to have high birth rates and over time form an increasing % of the population. What changed? Was it the failure of socialism?

    Your guess is as good as mine. One thing is for sure: the Crystal Palace is always doomed to failure. Looks like the globalists haven't figured that out yet.

    , @Desiderius
    Modernism was wrong.

    Not complicated.

    The individual unit is the chain of being (i.e. the begats - Jews of all people should appreciate that) across generations, not the organism itself.

    The rootless (cosmopolitans or no) are at a distinct disadvantage. The premodern is the default alternative to the atomized modern. It is not the only one.
  124. @Wilkey
    The last I checked the US’s annual expenditures on the war in Afghanistan exceeded - by a wide margin - the Afghani GDP. We’re wasting more on Afghanistan than it’s literally even worth. I really hope there is some super-duper top secret reason we’re still there, because otherwise we’ve wasted the lives of a lot of young men for no good reason but revenege for a man we supposedly killed years ago.

    The failure to fix Afghanistan is really just a vindication of conservative beliefs: the general superiority of traditional Western culture, the false hope of government social engineering, and the fact that it is good people who create good government, not the reverse.

    The Afghan GDP is not the correct yardstick. The cost of one F-15 would keep a large Afghan city in flat bread and goat meat for a year.

  125. @Dr. X
    OF COURSE it has nothing to do with Osama bin Laden. The war in Afghanistan grinds on for the following reasons:

    1. Contracts for the Military Industrial Complex

    2. Promotional opportunities for career brass

    3. A pretext to keep the surveillance state and the "war on terrorism," which can then be used against "domestic terrorists," going indefinitely

    4. It's necessary as a proving ground for weapons (e.g., Predator drones) and tactics that the Deep State is going to use against the Deplorables sooner or later

    5. It's necessary as a training ground for the techniques and tactics cops are currently using against American Deplorables, i.e., deploying a platoon of SWAT officers in Level IV body armor, Kevlar, carrying M-4s with 30 rd magazines and EOTechs, and rolling up in MRAPs because someone might have a marijuana plant in his basement.

    This training will prove particularly useful when the next Democratic administration implements the national gun ban.

    Also it provides a venue for the American soldier class to keep up the supply of ‘war heroes’ and ‘veterans’. This is vital for the juvenile American psychology. What would some Americans do if they did not have a place where they have the opportunity to prove they are a genuine war hero? I would put this No.2 on the list, after contracts for the military industrial complex.

  126. @JackD,
    The heroin in America primarily originates in Afghanistan, which was the reason that the government wanted to defeat the Taliban, who are agai st all drug and alcohol use for religious reasons.

    You, and the majority of people in the west have convinced yourelves that either you can get away with these lies, or that all people in power have no belief system at all.

    The Taliban has an oppressive mysogynistic belief system that I do not share, but they do have a very strong religious based ideology. It is an extremist interpration of the Koran, but they totally believe in what they are doing.

    They can’t be bought.

    The U.S. military started regrowing poppies, they guard the poppies at gun point.

    This is actually the Third Opium War.

  127. anon[262] • Disclaimer says:
    @Jack D
    Something has changed. Up until the '60s it was assumed that traditional religion was dying everywhere and especially in the Islamic world - they were on their way to becoming modern. But instead there was a revival of fundamentalism, not just in the Islamic world but also among Jews, Christians, etc. These groups tend to have high birth rates and over time form an increasing % of the population. What changed? Was it the failure of socialism?

    Something has changed. Up until the ’60s it was assumed that traditional religion was dying everywhere and especially in the Islamic world – they were on their way to becoming modern.

    A false premise leads to a false conclusion. Or no meaningful conclusion. Or even no conclusion at all.

    But instead there was a revival of fundamentalism, not just in the Islamic world but also among Jews, Christians, etc. These groups tend to have high birth rates and over time form an increasing % of the population.

    We shall see if that continues or not. One generation isn’t enough to draw a trendline.

    What changed? Was it the failure of socialism?

    It’s almost as though some part of human behavior is inherited rather than just written on some blank slates. But that can’t be true, because muh Franz Boas!

  128. @Jack D
    Something has changed. Up until the '60s it was assumed that traditional religion was dying everywhere and especially in the Islamic world - they were on their way to becoming modern. But instead there was a revival of fundamentalism, not just in the Islamic world but also among Jews, Christians, etc. These groups tend to have high birth rates and over time form an increasing % of the population. What changed? Was it the failure of socialism?

    But instead there was a revival of fundamentalism, not just in the Islamic world but also among Jews, Christians, etc. These groups tend to have high birth rates and over time form an increasing % of the population. What changed? Was it the failure of socialism?

    Birth control coupled with urbanization. Religious people back on the farm had more kids than urban sophisticates, whose birth rate fell well below replacement. That’s why Turkey is slouching towards the 7th century. Urbanization hit a plateau, and the religious began out-breeding the secular.

  129. @Jack D
    Something has changed. Up until the '60s it was assumed that traditional religion was dying everywhere and especially in the Islamic world - they were on their way to becoming modern. But instead there was a revival of fundamentalism, not just in the Islamic world but also among Jews, Christians, etc. These groups tend to have high birth rates and over time form an increasing % of the population. What changed? Was it the failure of socialism?

    They did become modern, or at least large swathes of it did. It just turned out to be that “modern” didn’t necessarily mean “Western”.

    To my understanding, what is different is that before the 1970s, these insurgencies typically developed on a country-by-country basis. So, they reflected the conditions of the country there more than a transnational cause. Islam was an important accessory, but not necessarily the only thing going on. To indulge in some far-off alt-history here, suppose then Christian Victorian Britain were about to have their capital invaded by the Chinese in the 1860s, rather than the other way around. I suspect Christian imagery would have taken on an even more aggressive, nationalistic tone, not too dissimilar from the Mahdi popping up in Sudan against the Turks, then the Britains.

    In the case of Central Asia, Islamic militancy was a recent thing in the early 1900s and took on anti-Russian connotations. This was especially the case when the Russians involved transformed from Orthodox Christians who insisted the Muslims fight for them and give their lands to Russian colonists, to atheists who wanted to exterminate their religion (along with all others) wholesale. In the case of Indonesia, by contrast, Islamic uprisings in the 1950s were strongly associated with sectarian communal conflicts and separatist movements. The point is, though, that Islamic as the local movements were, they were very wrapped up in local conditions and didn’t exactly think about transnational jihad.

    After the 1970s, things got globalized. The Islamic World hadn’t undergone the huge underlying social shifts of the 1960s, but modernity was taking off regardless. In places like Java or Malaysia, local kampung traditions started fading as people moved to the cities. (Not entirely-I know Malay women who still do traditional shamanistic things, albeit they are very, very careful to try make it “halal” friendly.) But to a big extent, they needed a new cultural identity. So, ironically, as people got wealthier, a more orthodox form of Islam took off. This coincides with all the contradictions and challenges of modernity, and in some countries, an increasingly frustrated middle class dealing with corrupt, inefficient secular governments that repeatedly discredit themselves.

    Also worth mentioning is that two very important things happened in 1979: the Iranian Revolution and the Grand Mosque Incident, the latter of which caused the Saudi government to embrace Wahhabism. The former was quite into the idea of pan-Islamic unity worldwide throughout the 1980s until Khomeini died and Iran reverted back to character. I’d date the genesis of radical Islam as we know it from that year: only then did guys like Qutb have their writings really read, or in the age of the Internet some decades later, dumbed down into digestible bits.

    So, to boil it down: modernity and globalization came, but unlike in the West, there was no mass neutering of religion. This means that Europeans and Muslims have a much bigger gap between them than they used to, despite modernity taking off underneath the surface in the Muslim world-it is important to stress that you can find premarital sex, drinking, that kind of stuff outside of the true backwaters, and that’s part of the reason religious revivalism is there at all. In the USA, which was always more resistant to secularization than Europe, you still saw a lot of Christian backlash toward liberal policies throughout the second half of the 20th Century. Same thing, just more radical.

    (As a side not, what’s ironic is that for most of the Tsarist state’s existence, their long-time Muslim subjects were trusted far more by the Russians than their more recently acquired Catholic subjects to the west, to say nothing of the “anti-human” Jews. Yet it isn’t surprising on some level, if you look at how Russian ultra-nationalists have traditionally viewed the world. They might not “like” Islam, per se, but inside Russia’s borders, they see it as a historical reality for Russia that needs to be pragmatically dealt with. The Popes, by contrast, they viewed as making a perverse mockery of everything that Christianity should stand for. So, in the sense that traitors were far worse than outright foreigners…

    Fyodor Dostoevsky is a great primer to this kind of thinking. Even Putin has stated on record that he thinks Orthodoxy has more in common with Islam than Western Christianity these days, and in his own way, he might not be wrong. I think Orthodoxy in modern Russia is more of an image than an actual belief thing after the Soviet experience, but still, official ideology is what it is.)

    >These groups tend to have high birth rates and over time form an increasing % of the population. What changed? Was it the failure of socialism?

    Your guess is as good as mine. One thing is for sure: the Crystal Palace is always doomed to failure. Looks like the globalists haven’t figured that out yet.

    • Agree: Houston 1992
  130. ,
    You are incorrect. This is the Trird Opiate War. 80% of opium is from Afghanistan. The U.S. went to Afghanistan because the Taliban burnt the poppy fiends down because of religious bans against mind altering and addictive drugs.

    Most people in the west do not have any idea of what it means to have a government that has a belief system.

    The Taliban cannot be bought. They truly believe in what they are doing.

    The U.S. military regrew the poppies and guards them at gun point. That is a fact. That is the disgusting horrendous dispicable truth about the U.S. military. A bunch of good for nothing spineless thugs and whimps. Yes men, will do whatever they are told without remorse. They are totally without honor.

  131. @Jack D
    Something has changed. Up until the '60s it was assumed that traditional religion was dying everywhere and especially in the Islamic world - they were on their way to becoming modern. But instead there was a revival of fundamentalism, not just in the Islamic world but also among Jews, Christians, etc. These groups tend to have high birth rates and over time form an increasing % of the population. What changed? Was it the failure of socialism?

    Modernism was wrong.

    Not complicated.

    The individual unit is the chain of being (i.e. the begats – Jews of all people should appreciate that) across generations, not the organism itself.

    The rootless (cosmopolitans or no) are at a distinct disadvantage. The premodern is the default alternative to the atomized modern. It is not the only one.

  132. @anon
    Afghanistan has remained undefeated throughout history.

    Except for the Alexander in some sense, and the Mongols in another. IMO the current Afghans are descended mostly from the hill-country tribes that were able to hide from the Mongols way up high.

    You are right sir. Darius I did it. Alexander. Muslims conquered it bringing their religion with it. In true Mongol fashion, Genghis and Ogedei slaughter hundreds of thousands. Tamurlane. Sikhs. “Undefeated”? Nah.

  133. @Hypnotoad666
    If we pull out and the Taliban take over it won't have any impact whatsoever on the U.S. or its security. But it would make some people look stupid for having investing all the blood and treasure spent up to now. At this point, it's nothing but a CYA holding action.

    A classic example of the sunk cost fallacy. No one can articulate any return on investment from staying there. But since we've poured so much time and money into the place in the past, we can't leave until . . . . something . . . because . . . reasons.

    Losing a war in a humiliating fashion hurts every patriotic American’s self esteem, not just military officers.

  134. @Wilkey
    The last I checked the US’s annual expenditures on the war in Afghanistan exceeded - by a wide margin - the Afghani GDP. We’re wasting more on Afghanistan than it’s literally even worth. I really hope there is some super-duper top secret reason we’re still there, because otherwise we’ve wasted the lives of a lot of young men for no good reason but revenege for a man we supposedly killed years ago.

    The failure to fix Afghanistan is really just a vindication of conservative beliefs: the general superiority of traditional Western culture, the false hope of government social engineering, and the fact that it is good people who create good government, not the reverse.

    The failure to fix Afghanistan is really just a vindication of conservative beliefs: the general superiority of traditional Western culture, the false hope of government social engineering, and the fact that it is good people who create good government, not the reverse.

    Well said. And it is odd that so many conservatives will claim that the government – our government – is no good at running the lives of its own citizens, and in the next breath say that that same government must run the lives of people in some alien and far-away land. If the government in Washington D.C. is ill-suited to manage the affairs of people in Dubuque, how much less so the people in Kabul.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
    Yeah, Pat Buchanan made the concurrent point that the same Bushies who decried creeping progressive cultural norms in the United States were the same guys who insisted on imposing those same norms on the Islamic World, by bayonet if necessary. Same dynamic.

    Ultimately, if you believe in limited government and the freedom to practice religion in public life... well, hard not to conclude that maybe social conservatives should have came to the conclusion that the prudent move would have been standing beside Islam, against the likes of Hollywood and Hillary. Especially a decade before Merkel's millions, partially triggered by the geopolitical upheaval in the region that was in turn partially triggered by US foreign policy. That need not have happened.

  135. @Jack D
    You are making far too much sense for this crowd.

    Anyway, that's the problem. American withdrawal will mean the return of the Taliban. Either we will have to take all of our allies with us or allow them to be slaughtered. We can (possibly) exact promises from the Taliban that they will not allow Afghanistan to be used as a base for terrorism but how much would these promises be worth? We could keep our eye out and bomb anything that looks like a terrorist base (but that has its own problems - killing "civilians" is bad publicity) for less money than it costs to do an occupation and uphold the puppet government, but that's not free either.

    Afghanistan now is somewhat costly in treasure (although not big in the scheme of things) and fairly cheap in lives - maybe a dozen a year. This is not a lot more than would die if these same troops were stationed stateside, in training accidents, car accidents, etc. In the peacetime years after Vietnam but before the Cold War wound down, when the US military was less safety conscious than it is now, the military death rate was higher than it is now while we are technically "at war". So the easiest thing is just to continue the status quo.

    http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/edgeofthewest/files/2013/07/annualdeathsmilitarypercentage.jpg

    And this graph is just the rate - since the US military was about 2/3 larger in those days, the raw numbers were even higher.

    This is not even true if you do not count Afghan lives.

  136. @anonymous
    People are too categorically negative about the pointlessness of the war in Afghanistan. It's self defense to want the Taliban out and keep them out.

    The question is not whether it’s self defense, the question is whether it’s effective. If it isn’t effective, we need to learn something that works.

  137. anon[602] • Disclaimer says:
    @anonymous
    People are too categorically negative about the pointlessness of the war in Afghanistan. It's self defense to want the Taliban out and keep them out.

    People are too categorically negative about the pointlessness of the war in Afghanistan. It’s self defense to want the Taliban out and keep them out.

    Lol. The Soviets never did get rid of all the doubles within their occupation government back in the 80’s. What makes you think that the Talib aren’t already in Afghanistan’s government…and army?

  138. @S. Anonyia
    Jack D has interesting comments to read but they are so frequent and so closely (and articulately) support mainstream foreign policy talking points that I halfway wonder if he is a disinformation agent paid out of Eglin Air Force Base or Tel Aviv. Either that or he works for a Think Tank somewhere.

    I agree that Jack works for some kind of comment farm. His wiki expertise in every subject is why I believe this.

  139. THE AFGHANISTAN PAPERS
    A secret history of the war

    There is no damned secret. We watched the whole catastrophe unfold in real-time.

    The Pentagon Papers was Daniel Ellsberg making public a frank analysis about the conduct of the Vietnam war, made by contractor the Rand Corporation, that contradicted the sunny assessment coming out from the Johnson-administration. Why the facts of the conduct had eluded news media is.. the hell, we all know why.

    It serves the press no honour to present this story now.

  140. @PhysicistDave
    Two big news stories today:

    The US Government Lied About Afghanistan

    US Attorney Durham Claims IG Horowitz Softballs FBI Corruption
     

    "We have given you a Republic -- if you can keep it." (attributed to Ben Franklin)

    Any chance we can keep it?

    “We have given you a Republic — if you can keep it.” (attributed to Ben Franklin)

    Any chance we can keep it?

    Not only can we not keep it, it is not even any longer a Republic, nor are “we” any longer a “we”.

  141. @Jack D
    You are making far too much sense for this crowd.

    Anyway, that's the problem. American withdrawal will mean the return of the Taliban. Either we will have to take all of our allies with us or allow them to be slaughtered. We can (possibly) exact promises from the Taliban that they will not allow Afghanistan to be used as a base for terrorism but how much would these promises be worth? We could keep our eye out and bomb anything that looks like a terrorist base (but that has its own problems - killing "civilians" is bad publicity) for less money than it costs to do an occupation and uphold the puppet government, but that's not free either.

    Afghanistan now is somewhat costly in treasure (although not big in the scheme of things) and fairly cheap in lives - maybe a dozen a year. This is not a lot more than would die if these same troops were stationed stateside, in training accidents, car accidents, etc. In the peacetime years after Vietnam but before the Cold War wound down, when the US military was less safety conscious than it is now, the military death rate was higher than it is now while we are technically "at war". So the easiest thing is just to continue the status quo.

    http://chronicle.com/blognetwork/edgeofthewest/files/2013/07/annualdeathsmilitarypercentage.jpg

    And this graph is just the rate - since the US military was about 2/3 larger in those days, the raw numbers were even higher.

    So do you or do you not favor continuing our occupation of Afghanistan? Stop being coy with this “on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand-on-the-third-hand” bulls**t.

  142. @J.Ross
    I find that it's half good comments and half indefensible shilling (not disagreement, I'm saying it's objectively lazy, which is wierd considering his good comments), with the proportion depending on the topic. I bet if we had a string of business strategy (or entrepreneurial history) threads there'd be nothing to complain about, and if we had a string of threads on Israel it'd be all groaning.
    But yeah the volume is wierd. As Steve can tell you, I comment entirely too often, and the only governors on my typing are days of moderation, an automated warning to not comment so often, or a mechanical error eating my post. Jack does several times what I do.

    He’s in his 60s, IIRC, so it’s entirely possible he’s retired from law.

    If I’m right (and I might not be), I’m around the age of his daughter. I also come, from what I can infer, from a radically different background in just about every metric you can imagine. So, it doesn’t exactly shock me when we don’t agree on everything. It’d be unnatural if we did. I’ll say this, though: he’s never boring to talk to, and he doesn’t BS you.

    The better commentators on here are the people you genuinely learn stuff from, the ones who shed a light on your own possibly erroneous preconceived conclusions or elaborate more fully on them if they are correct. Whether it is about politics or economics or life lessons or whatever. Always most important to know what you don’t know in depth.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    And the high volume could just be high verbal IQ plus a certain confidence. Imagine if Isaac Asimov, who wrote hundreds of books while contributing multiple weekly columns, had not been published but found a blog.
  143. @Mr. Anon

    The failure to fix Afghanistan is really just a vindication of conservative beliefs: the general superiority of traditional Western culture, the false hope of government social engineering, and the fact that it is good people who create good government, not the reverse.
     
    Well said. And it is odd that so many conservatives will claim that the government - our government - is no good at running the lives of its own citizens, and in the next breath say that that same government must run the lives of people in some alien and far-away land. If the government in Washington D.C. is ill-suited to manage the affairs of people in Dubuque, how much less so the people in Kabul.

    Yeah, Pat Buchanan made the concurrent point that the same Bushies who decried creeping progressive cultural norms in the United States were the same guys who insisted on imposing those same norms on the Islamic World, by bayonet if necessary. Same dynamic.

    Ultimately, if you believe in limited government and the freedom to practice religion in public life… well, hard not to conclude that maybe social conservatives should have came to the conclusion that the prudent move would have been standing beside Islam, against the likes of Hollywood and Hillary. Especially a decade before Merkel’s millions, partially triggered by the geopolitical upheaval in the region that was in turn partially triggered by US foreign policy. That need not have happened.

  144. @bomag

    More likely that _______ invaded the world... for gimmedats.
     
    Foreign military adventures are reliable money losers.

    There's some value in keeping trade routes open.

    “Foreign military adventures are reliable money losers.”

    Not for Europeans who engaged in imperialism. They made a tidy profit from their exploits.

    • Replies: @El Dato
    While this is a leftist trope, that was not particularly true:

    https://youtu.be/FTupV8o3mW4?t=1300

    Start from

    https://youtu.be/FTupV8o3mW4?t=940

  145. @eah
    A few questions re the irreverent "wry detachment" here: how many young American men and women (not to mention coalition dupes partners) have been killed or horribly maimed in Afghanistan? -- how many Afghan civilians? -- how much wealth has been stripped from ordinary, working Americans via the coercive tax system to pay for the conflict there?

    https://i.postimg.cc/6pwZ1M5Y/kandahar.jpg

    Probably well underestimated, via RT:

    With nearly $1 trillion poured down the hole by the Pentagon alone – to say nothing of indirect expenses, the cost of caring for veterans back home, and the psychological cost of constantly lying – plus over 2,200 dead American soldiers and over 100,000 dead Afghans, the appeal of cutting America’s losses is obvious.

    Not only have those 1 trillion gone to special interests with bank accounts in the Carribean, but resources that might well be needed at some time have gone up in smoke forever, including human resources, metal, fuel, time and work spent in non-productive pursuits. Also, the permanent maintenance of people damaged. And the costs for pursuing Private Manning for no good reason.

    Meanwhile, apparently Cheney has been reanimated by Herbert West or some other evil:

    Cheney warned a rapt Dubai audience that “American disengagement” from the Middle East would play right into the hands of Iran and Russia, serving up “power voids” on a silver platter to any US rival willing to take the initiative. “Russia is always on standby to fill power voids,” he insisted on Monday, framing the Trump administration’s move to wind down its military presence in northeastern Syria as a national embarrassment sure to set the stage for a resurgence of the Evil Empire coupled with a nuclear Iran.

    Citing “some deeply malign forces at work in the broader Middle East, as well as disturbing influences from outside,” Cheney warned an audience that included Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum that “inaction can carry even greater risk than action.”

    Why isn’t that guy made “unschädlich”?

  146. @Corvinus
    "Foreign military adventures are reliable money losers."

    Not for Europeans who engaged in imperialism. They made a tidy profit from their exploits.

    While this is a leftist trope, that was not particularly true:

    Start from

    • Replies: @Corvinus
    "While this is a leftist trope, that was not particularly true"

    Praytell, what part of the video is germane here?

    Regardless, Malachy Postlethwayt succinctly put it (1745)--British trade is a magnificent superstructure of American commerce and naval power on an African foundation.

    So, no, it's not leftist trope; rather, it is historical fact. European nations which engaged in imperialism gained enormous wealth. African and Asian colonies underpinned Europe's earlier development. Their palm oil, petroleum, copper, chromium, and gold were and are crucial to the expansion of the world economy. Only South America, at the zenith of its silver mines, outranks Africa's contribution to the growth of the global bullion supply. The fragility of contemporary Africa is a direct consequence of 200 years of slaver, followed by another 100 years of colonial despotism.
  147. @nebulafox
    He's in his 60s, IIRC, so it's entirely possible he's retired from law.

    If I'm right (and I might not be), I'm around the age of his daughter. I also come, from what I can infer, from a radically different background in just about every metric you can imagine. So, it doesn't exactly shock me when we don't agree on everything. It'd be unnatural if we did. I'll say this, though: he's never boring to talk to, and he doesn't BS you.

    The better commentators on here are the people you genuinely learn stuff from, the ones who shed a light on your own possibly erroneous preconceived conclusions or elaborate more fully on them if they are correct. Whether it is about politics or economics or life lessons or whatever. Always most important to know what you don't know in depth.

    And the high volume could just be high verbal IQ plus a certain confidence. Imagine if Isaac Asimov, who wrote hundreds of books while contributing multiple weekly columns, had not been published but found a blog.

  148. @El Dato
    While this is a leftist trope, that was not particularly true:

    https://youtu.be/FTupV8o3mW4?t=1300

    Start from

    https://youtu.be/FTupV8o3mW4?t=940

    “While this is a leftist trope, that was not particularly true”

    Praytell, what part of the video is germane here?

    Regardless, Malachy Postlethwayt succinctly put it (1745)–British trade is a magnificent superstructure of American commerce and naval power on an African foundation.

    So, no, it’s not leftist trope; rather, it is historical fact. European nations which engaged in imperialism gained enormous wealth. African and Asian colonies underpinned Europe’s earlier development. Their palm oil, petroleum, copper, chromium, and gold were and are crucial to the expansion of the world economy. Only South America, at the zenith of its silver mines, outranks Africa’s contribution to the growth of the global bullion supply. The fragility of contemporary Africa is a direct consequence of 200 years of slaver, followed by another 100 years of colonial despotism.

    • Replies: @Anon

    1745
     
    A bit early, don't you think?

    https://missduerdin.weebly.com/uploads/2/8/7/1/28718189/1197284_orig.jpg

    African and Asian colonies underpinned Europe’s earlier development.
     
    Time machines ftw.
    , @bomag

    European nations which engaged in imperialism gained enormous wealth.
     
    Blah. Your usual crap.

    England was never all that wealthy relative to other European powers. Its colonial empire cost more to run than it brought in, compared to just trading for the raw materials at market rates. England's wealth was from domestic activity.

    Portugal had a significant empire, but was always pretty poor.

    Sweden and Germany had almost no colonial pursuits, but were wealthy enough.

    [African and Asian] palm oil, petroleum, copper, chromium, and gold; South America... silver mines
     
    Oh yeah, palm oil, the wealth builder.

    Petroleum came to be important circa WWII, about the time England was in decline.

    As for the others, and in general, mining rights and royalties are a small percentage compared to the value of the finished product. The First World had the tech and trading centers to make the raw materials valuable. People like you think that Africa could have started exporting finished stainless steel products if the White man would just get his boot off the neck, but things don't work that way.
  149. @Corvinus
    "While this is a leftist trope, that was not particularly true"

    Praytell, what part of the video is germane here?

    Regardless, Malachy Postlethwayt succinctly put it (1745)--British trade is a magnificent superstructure of American commerce and naval power on an African foundation.

    So, no, it's not leftist trope; rather, it is historical fact. European nations which engaged in imperialism gained enormous wealth. African and Asian colonies underpinned Europe's earlier development. Their palm oil, petroleum, copper, chromium, and gold were and are crucial to the expansion of the world economy. Only South America, at the zenith of its silver mines, outranks Africa's contribution to the growth of the global bullion supply. The fragility of contemporary Africa is a direct consequence of 200 years of slaver, followed by another 100 years of colonial despotism.

    1745

    A bit early, don’t you think?

    African and Asian colonies underpinned Europe’s earlier development.

    Time machines ftw.

  150. “A bit early, don’t you think?”

    It’s not what I think, it was what Malachy Postlethwayt had thought. He wrote several works on the benefits of the African slave trade and the Thirteen Colonies to the British economy in the 1700’s. So his quote in 1745 is relevant here. Furthermore, British colonies in Africa and Asia had supported its previous work in securing raw materials and building up its industrial base.

    • Replies: @Anon

    1745
     

    British colonies in Africa and Asia
     


    https://missduerdin.weebly.com/uploads/2/8/7/1/28718189/1197284_orig.jpg
  151. @Corvinus
    "A bit early, don’t you think?"

    It's not what I think, it was what Malachy Postlethwayt had thought. He wrote several works on the benefits of the African slave trade and the Thirteen Colonies to the British economy in the 1700's. So his quote in 1745 is relevant here. Furthermore, British colonies in Africa and Asia had supported its previous work in securing raw materials and building up its industrial base.

    1745

    British colonies in Africa and Asia

    [MORE]

  152. @Corvinus
    "While this is a leftist trope, that was not particularly true"

    Praytell, what part of the video is germane here?

    Regardless, Malachy Postlethwayt succinctly put it (1745)--British trade is a magnificent superstructure of American commerce and naval power on an African foundation.

    So, no, it's not leftist trope; rather, it is historical fact. European nations which engaged in imperialism gained enormous wealth. African and Asian colonies underpinned Europe's earlier development. Their palm oil, petroleum, copper, chromium, and gold were and are crucial to the expansion of the world economy. Only South America, at the zenith of its silver mines, outranks Africa's contribution to the growth of the global bullion supply. The fragility of contemporary Africa is a direct consequence of 200 years of slaver, followed by another 100 years of colonial despotism.

    European nations which engaged in imperialism gained enormous wealth.

    Blah. Your usual crap.

    England was never all that wealthy relative to other European powers. Its colonial empire cost more to run than it brought in, compared to just trading for the raw materials at market rates. England’s wealth was from domestic activity.

    Portugal had a significant empire, but was always pretty poor.

    Sweden and Germany had almost no colonial pursuits, but were wealthy enough.

    [African and Asian] palm oil, petroleum, copper, chromium, and gold; South America… silver mines

    Oh yeah, palm oil, the wealth builder.

    Petroleum came to be important circa WWII, about the time England was in decline.

    As for the others, and in general, mining rights and royalties are a small percentage compared to the value of the finished product. The First World had the tech and trading centers to make the raw materials valuable. People like you think that Africa could have started exporting finished stainless steel products if the White man would just get his boot off the neck, but things don’t work that way.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
    "Blah. Your usual crap."

    No, my usual truth.

    "England was never all that wealthy relative to other European powers."

    You're not that bright. Consider that Great Britain became the world wide leader in global trade in the 1800's. Its agricultural and manufacturing productivity enabled it to grow rich compared to other European nations.

    "Its colonial empire cost more to run than it brought in, compared to just trading for the raw materials at market rates. England’s wealth was from domestic activity."

    The net drain to the British economy from protecting its colonies have been exaggerated. Rather, Great Britain gained tremendous economic strength.

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/25764217?seq=1

    Besides, why on earth would European nations seek colonies and extract natural resources from them if they clearly understood that such an endeavor would not be worth the costs?

    "Oh yeah, palm oil, the wealth builder."

    Indeed.

    https://www.eco-business.com/news/planet-is-paying-for-palm-oil-profits/

    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/feb/19/palm-oil-ingredient-biscuits-shampoo-environmental

    "People like you think that Africa could have started exporting finished stainless steel products if the White man would just get his boot off the neck, but things don’t work that way."

    Africans relished the fact that they had independently developed their own political and economic institutions rather than be infiltrated by foreigners. Invade the world, invite the world. But the historical record shows that indeed Europeans sought free stuff and gimmedats.
  153. @bomag

    European nations which engaged in imperialism gained enormous wealth.
     
    Blah. Your usual crap.

    England was never all that wealthy relative to other European powers. Its colonial empire cost more to run than it brought in, compared to just trading for the raw materials at market rates. England's wealth was from domestic activity.

    Portugal had a significant empire, but was always pretty poor.

    Sweden and Germany had almost no colonial pursuits, but were wealthy enough.

    [African and Asian] palm oil, petroleum, copper, chromium, and gold; South America... silver mines
     
    Oh yeah, palm oil, the wealth builder.

    Petroleum came to be important circa WWII, about the time England was in decline.

    As for the others, and in general, mining rights and royalties are a small percentage compared to the value of the finished product. The First World had the tech and trading centers to make the raw materials valuable. People like you think that Africa could have started exporting finished stainless steel products if the White man would just get his boot off the neck, but things don't work that way.

    “Blah. Your usual crap.”

    No, my usual truth.

    “England was never all that wealthy relative to other European powers.”

    You’re not that bright. Consider that Great Britain became the world wide leader in global trade in the 1800’s. Its agricultural and manufacturing productivity enabled it to grow rich compared to other European nations.

    “Its colonial empire cost more to run than it brought in, compared to just trading for the raw materials at market rates. England’s wealth was from domestic activity.”

    The net drain to the British economy from protecting its colonies have been exaggerated. Rather, Great Britain gained tremendous economic strength.

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/25764217?seq=1

    Besides, why on earth would European nations seek colonies and extract natural resources from them if they clearly understood that such an endeavor would not be worth the costs?

    “Oh yeah, palm oil, the wealth builder.”

    Indeed.

    https://www.eco-business.com/news/planet-is-paying-for-palm-oil-profits/

    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/feb/19/palm-oil-ingredient-biscuits-shampoo-environmental

    “People like you think that Africa could have started exporting finished stainless steel products if the White man would just get his boot off the neck, but things don’t work that way.”

    Africans relished the fact that they had independently developed their own political and economic institutions rather than be infiltrated by foreigners. Invade the world, invite the world. But the historical record shows that indeed Europeans sought free stuff and gimmedats.

  154. @Corvinus
    "Blah. Your usual crap."

    No, my usual truth.

    "England was never all that wealthy relative to other European powers."

    You're not that bright. Consider that Great Britain became the world wide leader in global trade in the 1800's. Its agricultural and manufacturing productivity enabled it to grow rich compared to other European nations.

    "Its colonial empire cost more to run than it brought in, compared to just trading for the raw materials at market rates. England’s wealth was from domestic activity."

    The net drain to the British economy from protecting its colonies have been exaggerated. Rather, Great Britain gained tremendous economic strength.

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/25764217?seq=1

    Besides, why on earth would European nations seek colonies and extract natural resources from them if they clearly understood that such an endeavor would not be worth the costs?

    "Oh yeah, palm oil, the wealth builder."

    Indeed.

    https://www.eco-business.com/news/planet-is-paying-for-palm-oil-profits/

    https://www.theguardian.com/news/2019/feb/19/palm-oil-ingredient-biscuits-shampoo-environmental

    "People like you think that Africa could have started exporting finished stainless steel products if the White man would just get his boot off the neck, but things don’t work that way."

    Africans relished the fact that they had independently developed their own political and economic institutions rather than be infiltrated by foreigners. Invade the world, invite the world. But the historical record shows that indeed Europeans sought free stuff and gimmedats.

    Great Britain became the world wide leader in global trade in the 1800’s. Its agricultural and manufacturing productivity enabled it to grow rich compared to other European nations.

    Whatever.

    Britain was on par with other European nations. Their ag and manufacturing productivity would have made them wealthy without the colonies. Colonies had no magic for anyone else.

    The net drain to the British economy from protecting its colonies have been exaggerated. Rather, Great Britain gained tremendous economic strength. [link to an article by A. Mukherjee that promptly references Marx, Lenin, and Rosa Luxemberg, LOL]

    Indian boosterism.

    Why would European nations seek colonies and extract natural resources from them if they clearly understood that such an endeavor would not be worth the costs?

    People and countries make bad economic decisions all the time.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Britain's small strategic colonies like Gibraltar, Aden, and Hong Kong were very nice things to own.

    Huge India was cheap to control.

    Big unpopulated places like Australia were nice amenities for your surplus population.

    Other colonies, not so much.

    One way to study this quetion would be to look at the fortunes behind the biggest country houses in Britain: e.g., Blenheim Palace, Chatsworth, Castle Howard, etc. Where did they come from?

    , @Corvinus
    "Whatever."

    You didn't even bother to offer the proper context to the graph, as demonstrated in the linked paper. How typical. Britain was on par with other European nations. Their ag and manufacturing productivity would have made them wealthy without the colonies. Colonies had no magic for anyone else. Holland's economy grew faster, but not larger, than Great Britain's economy in part because it went from "small potatoes" to a "bigger potatoes", compared to the British who went from "bigger potatoes" to "biggest potatoes". It's called phases of growth and scale. The researchers acknowledged that they used data that had already been collected that demonstrated each nation's their relative economic starting point, so some nations were "ahead" or "behind" with their starting point of 1300 A.D.

    From your source--Per capita GDP rose by 70 percent from 1505 to 1595 as Dutch trade expanded rapidly, which translates into a growth rate of 1.3 percent per annum during this period. Great Britain became the next vibrant economy--its per capita income growing more than 50 percent during this time...In 1800, England was catching up with Holland and taking the lead. Why? It became industrialized and focused on colonial growth for its raw materials by way of empire.

    That was the difference.

    "Indian boosterism".

    Right, a British colony that enabled the mother country to continue to grow by leaps and bounds, as well as take out a major competitor (China) by way of the opium trade.

    "People and countries make bad economic decisions all the time."

    Right. Over 250 years of conquering and developing and plundering and converting, aka Invading The World. If we are to take you seriously, then European whites had lacked the high IQ and the high time preference that HbDer's champion if they repeatedly made this "bad economic decision" for nearly 3 centuries.

  155. @bomag

    Britain’s small strategic colonies like Gibraltar, Aden, and Hong Kong were very nice things to own.

    Huge India was cheap to control.

    Big unpopulated places like Australia were nice amenities for your surplus population.

    Other colonies, not so much.

    One way to study this quetion would be to look at the fortunes behind the biggest country houses in Britain: e.g., Blenheim Palace, Chatsworth, Castle Howard, etc. Where did they come from?

    • Replies: @Corvinus
    "Other colonies, not so much".

    LOL. It's called mercantilism, Mr. Sailer. Several European nations, most notably Great Britain, greatly expanded their economic power as a result of conquering foreign lands rich with natural resources to spur their own industrial capacities. The Thirteen Colonies in particular was a boon for the British crown.

    Why would European nations for such a long time engage in an enterprise that they knowingly understood as being too expensive to maintain and would potentially contribute to their downfall as a civilization? That would lend support that the white people there were other than intelligent and sophisticated.

    "One way to study this quetion would be to look at the fortunes behind the biggest country houses in Britain: e.g., Blenheim Palace, Chatsworth, Castle Howard, etc. Where did they come from?"

    You would have to refer to those stately mansions that were created DURING the Age of Exploration and Imperialism, rather than BEFORE. For example.

    https://www.bostonathenaeum.org/events/5364/hidden-connections-slavery-and-british-country-house

    Perhaps we should also NOTICE if we looked at the vast estates created in the British colonies, men like Sir Bartle Frere.

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/634329?seq=1

    Of course, this palatial estate, compliments of the globalist cabal, reeks of wealth and opulence (and "white privilege"--LOL).

    https://www.haileybury.kz/en/almaty/bartle-frere-house

    https://www.haileybury.com/about-haileybury

    , @bomag

    One way to study this quetion would be to look at the fortunes behind the biggest country houses in Britain...
     
    I suspect they were poised to do well with or without colonialism.
  156. @bomag

    “Whatever.”

    You didn’t even bother to offer the proper context to the graph, as demonstrated in the linked paper. How typical. Britain was on par with other European nations. Their ag and manufacturing productivity would have made them wealthy without the colonies. Colonies had no magic for anyone else. Holland’s economy grew faster, but not larger, than Great Britain’s economy in part because it went from “small potatoes” to a “bigger potatoes”, compared to the British who went from “bigger potatoes” to “biggest potatoes”. It’s called phases of growth and scale. The researchers acknowledged that they used data that had already been collected that demonstrated each nation’s their relative economic starting point, so some nations were “ahead” or “behind” with their starting point of 1300 A.D.

    From your source–Per capita GDP rose by 70 percent from 1505 to 1595 as Dutch trade expanded rapidly, which translates into a growth rate of 1.3 percent per annum during this period. Great Britain became the next vibrant economy–its per capita income growing more than 50 percent during this time…In 1800, England was catching up with Holland and taking the lead. Why? It became industrialized and focused on colonial growth for its raw materials by way of empire.

    That was the difference.

    “Indian boosterism”.

    Right, a British colony that enabled the mother country to continue to grow by leaps and bounds, as well as take out a major competitor (China) by way of the opium trade.

    “People and countries make bad economic decisions all the time.”

    Right. Over 250 years of conquering and developing and plundering and converting, aka Invading The World. If we are to take you seriously, then European whites had lacked the high IQ and the high time preference that HbDer’s champion if they repeatedly made this “bad economic decision” for nearly 3 centuries.

  157. @Steve Sailer
    Britain's small strategic colonies like Gibraltar, Aden, and Hong Kong were very nice things to own.

    Huge India was cheap to control.

    Big unpopulated places like Australia were nice amenities for your surplus population.

    Other colonies, not so much.

    One way to study this quetion would be to look at the fortunes behind the biggest country houses in Britain: e.g., Blenheim Palace, Chatsworth, Castle Howard, etc. Where did they come from?

    “Other colonies, not so much”.

    LOL. It’s called mercantilism, Mr. Sailer. Several European nations, most notably Great Britain, greatly expanded their economic power as a result of conquering foreign lands rich with natural resources to spur their own industrial capacities. The Thirteen Colonies in particular was a boon for the British crown.

    Why would European nations for such a long time engage in an enterprise that they knowingly understood as being too expensive to maintain and would potentially contribute to their downfall as a civilization? That would lend support that the white people there were other than intelligent and sophisticated.

    “One way to study this quetion would be to look at the fortunes behind the biggest country houses in Britain: e.g., Blenheim Palace, Chatsworth, Castle Howard, etc. Where did they come from?”

    You would have to refer to those stately mansions that were created DURING the Age of Exploration and Imperialism, rather than BEFORE. For example.

    https://www.bostonathenaeum.org/events/5364/hidden-connections-slavery-and-british-country-house

    Perhaps we should also NOTICE if we looked at the vast estates created in the British colonies, men like Sir Bartle Frere.

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/634329?seq=1

    Of course, this palatial estate, compliments of the globalist cabal, reeks of wealth and opulence (and “white privilege”–LOL).

    https://www.haileybury.kz/en/almaty/bartle-frere-house

    https://www.haileybury.com/about-haileybury

    • Replies: @bomag

    Why would European nations for such a long time engage in an enterprise that they knowingly understood as being too expensive to maintain and would potentially contribute to their downfall as a civilization?
     
    Smart people often do counter-productive things.

    Germany and Japan felt compelled to expand circa 1930s for access to raw materials, with a poor outcome. Afterward, they prospered remarkably without that colonial access. Hmmm.
  158. @Steve Sailer
    Britain's small strategic colonies like Gibraltar, Aden, and Hong Kong were very nice things to own.

    Huge India was cheap to control.

    Big unpopulated places like Australia were nice amenities for your surplus population.

    Other colonies, not so much.

    One way to study this quetion would be to look at the fortunes behind the biggest country houses in Britain: e.g., Blenheim Palace, Chatsworth, Castle Howard, etc. Where did they come from?

    One way to study this quetion would be to look at the fortunes behind the biggest country houses in Britain…

    I suspect they were poised to do well with or without colonialism.

  159. @Corvinus
    "Other colonies, not so much".

    LOL. It's called mercantilism, Mr. Sailer. Several European nations, most notably Great Britain, greatly expanded their economic power as a result of conquering foreign lands rich with natural resources to spur their own industrial capacities. The Thirteen Colonies in particular was a boon for the British crown.

    Why would European nations for such a long time engage in an enterprise that they knowingly understood as being too expensive to maintain and would potentially contribute to their downfall as a civilization? That would lend support that the white people there were other than intelligent and sophisticated.

    "One way to study this quetion would be to look at the fortunes behind the biggest country houses in Britain: e.g., Blenheim Palace, Chatsworth, Castle Howard, etc. Where did they come from?"

    You would have to refer to those stately mansions that were created DURING the Age of Exploration and Imperialism, rather than BEFORE. For example.

    https://www.bostonathenaeum.org/events/5364/hidden-connections-slavery-and-british-country-house

    Perhaps we should also NOTICE if we looked at the vast estates created in the British colonies, men like Sir Bartle Frere.

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/634329?seq=1

    Of course, this palatial estate, compliments of the globalist cabal, reeks of wealth and opulence (and "white privilege"--LOL).

    https://www.haileybury.kz/en/almaty/bartle-frere-house

    https://www.haileybury.com/about-haileybury

    Why would European nations for such a long time engage in an enterprise that they knowingly understood as being too expensive to maintain and would potentially contribute to their downfall as a civilization?

    Smart people often do counter-productive things.

    Germany and Japan felt compelled to expand circa 1930s for access to raw materials, with a poor outcome. Afterward, they prospered remarkably without that colonial access. Hmmm.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
    "Smart people often do counter-productive things."

    Assuming that nations led by intelligent leaders which seek to secure resources to stimulate their economy by conquering foreign lands is counter productive.

    "Germany and Japan felt compelled to expand circa 1930s for access to raw materials, with a poor outcome."

    Actually, both nations sought access to raw materials by way of imperialism in the late 1800's and early 1900's.
  160. @bomag

    Why would European nations for such a long time engage in an enterprise that they knowingly understood as being too expensive to maintain and would potentially contribute to their downfall as a civilization?
     
    Smart people often do counter-productive things.

    Germany and Japan felt compelled to expand circa 1930s for access to raw materials, with a poor outcome. Afterward, they prospered remarkably without that colonial access. Hmmm.

    “Smart people often do counter-productive things.”

    Assuming that nations led by intelligent leaders which seek to secure resources to stimulate their economy by conquering foreign lands is counter productive.

    “Germany and Japan felt compelled to expand circa 1930s for access to raw materials, with a poor outcome.”

    Actually, both nations sought access to raw materials by way of imperialism in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

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