August 22, 2017

No bottom in sight for losing in Afghanistan, as Pentagon tells war-weary Silent Majority to drop dead

After the Pentagon brass formally hijacked our foreign policy in April when they coerced the Trump administration into pursuing regime change in Syria, and then intensifying our commitment to the largest exporter of jihadism when they gave hundreds of billions worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the announcement last night of a troop surge in Afghanistan comes as no surprise.

Now that the Pentagon party is back in power, it is the military elites who will raid the treasury to inflate a bubble, after eight years of the Wall Street party inflating a bubble for the financial elites.

What did shock most people, though, was the total lack of commitment to any clearly defined objectives for winning -- or rather, any clearly defined criteria for declaring that Uncle Sam has officially "gone bust" in Afghanistan and is getting the hell out.

So far, even though they hate our guts, the militaries of Afghanistan and Pakistan have not attacked American soil, nor have terrorist groups from either country -- how many American civilians are an acceptable number killed if the war escalates to that level? A hundred civilians? A thousand civilians? Another September 11th?

Over 2000 American soldiers have already died there -- will 5000 dead be enough? Or 10,000 dead?

Over 1 to 2 TRILLION dollars have already been wasted there -- will 5 trillion dollars be enough? Or 10 trillion dollars?

Over 16 years have already been squandered there -- will 30 years be enough? Or 100 years?

Last night the Pentagon signaled that it is willing to send every last soldier into the meat grinder, waste every last dollar that the government has or that it can borrow, and spend every last year of our country's existence occupying Afghanistan. Anything less would be "taking options off the table".

The refusal to level with the war-weary American people will not be matched in communications with our allies. Certainly the other NATO leaders will know how many troops we're sending, how much weaponry, how many vehicles, and roughly how much that all costs.

More importantly, the various warring factions within Afghanistan will know the facts -- they're right there on the ground, you think they're not going to be able to tell whether an additional 4000 vs. 40,000 troops have started climbing up their mountains? Or whether an additional $10 billion vs. $100 billion worth of equipment has started driving down their roads?

The Afghan forces will have the keenest awareness of how much the American presence will have grown by, and how it is being used. They don't need to tune in to CNN to figure that out.

So the only people who will be in the dark are the American people, and the Pentagon preemptively dressed them down for even thinking about asking for a commitment not to go beyond certain limits for troops deployed, dollars spent, and years gone by.

This is no different from the Wall Street behavior and attitude when it was their party in power under Obama. There was no limit to how low interest rates would go, nor how long they would be kept that low, nor how many trillions of dollars the Fed would burden its balance sheet with in order to bail out the financial elites. Anyone asking those questions was told to shut up and just go along with the bailouts, or else there would be apocalyptic consequences for the economy.

Now we're told that if we don't bail out the Pentagon, arms dealers, and defense contractors forever and ever, our national security will collapse. Same BS, different vendor.

Our ruling class has escalated beyond callousness toward its subjects, to outright hostility against them. The elites are not only going to continue sucking as much blood as possible out of America's body, they have now opened fire on anyone who tries to pull the parasite away from its half-dead host.

Doubling down on their part will only cause doubling down on the people's part -- next time it won't be a magnanimous deal-maker who the voters send to negotiate with the Swamp. It will be a remorseless Terminator, leading a larger army of single-minded machines. The mere specter of revolution is the only thing that has ever caused a parasitic elite class to change its ways and begin running society for the good of the people.

But since Trump is only the initial good cop, expect the civil war / revolution atmosphere to get worse over the short term.


  1. appropriate song for the post courtesy of Starship Troopers 3:

  2. The bogus argument about withdrawing too quick is contradicted by our experience.

    The claim is that withdrawing too quick leaves a power vacuum which gets filled by the most destabilizing elements, posing a larger threat to our interests than if we stayed put.

    It is based on a database with only one point -- Iraq under Obama -- and made into a general statement, that will apply to another particular case like Afghanistan today.

    In fact we pulled immediately out of Iraq during the Gulf War in 1991, after inflicting about as many deaths on the other side as we have in Afghanistan (20-40 thousand). Only difference is that we have taken on 10 times as many casualties in Afghanistan than in the Gulf War (~2000 vs. ~200), because we've stayed there so much longer and deployed far more troops there over the years.

    After we pulled immediately out of Iraq, there were no jihadist militias running around Iraq a la ISIS in the 2010s.

    Why? Because we did not decapitate the Iraqi power structure during the Gulf War. For a power vacuum to form, we must have already taken out the existing power structure. We did not do that in the Gulf War, so there was no vacuum left -- regardless of how fast or slow we pulled out.

    During the Iraq War of Bush and early Obama, we did decapitate the government -- the leader, his ruling party, and their whole worldview and approach (secular strongman). THAT is what left the power vacuum, regardless of how fast or slow we pulled out.

    Staying there post-Saddam would have been an even bigger mistake than just leaving. The power vacuum left by our decapitation of the Baathist govt would still have been there, ISIS groups would still have been struggling to fill it, and the Shia majority backed by Iran would still have been making the largest gains to rule the nation.

    Only difference would have been that thousands more Americans would have gotten killed, and trillions more dollars would have been wasted.

  3. But Trump and Republicans in general have so personalized and partisanized their justifiable anger over the Iraq War that they can only blame Obama and the Democrats -- they pulled out too quick.

    Some, like Trump, are willing to also blame Bush but also in a personalized way -- hating on the Bush clan.

    But the whole Iraq intervention has been an unmitigated clusterfuck from the very beginning when we armed "both sides" in the Iran-Iraq War. (One side being a giant, and the other a midget, so guess which one of the "two sides" we were trying to wear down evenly, instead ended up expanding at the expense of the other?)

    "Stop digging" was the best thing to do in Iraq, and it was one of the few good things that Obama and the Democrats accomplished.

  4. Other big examples of us pulling out quick, without any downside afterward:

    Vietnam. Peak in 1968, slight decline in '69, then three straight years of rapid pull-out -- a 95% reduction in just three years, from 475K to just 25K.

    No roaming militias destabilizing the country -- rather, a unification under the Communist govt. No further attacks on American interests in the region, let alone on the homeland.

    Part of the basis for which the Deep State staged the Watergate burglary to get Nixon removed from office (also, seeking detente with Russia).

    All the covert wars that Reagan -- really, Bush Sr. -- was waging during the '80s in Central America and the Caribbean. We cut the right-wing death squads loose all of a sudden in the '90s. No growth of civil war, but gradual closing of civil war, with the lefty nationalist parties in solid control now.

    They did not go on to attack us in their countries or in our own.

    Lebanon in 1983. Once our soldiers and embassy got blown up, we immediately pulled out. Lebanese civil war was no better and no worse as a result. Lebanese jihadists did not fill a power void that we created, nor did they attack us over there or back here at home.

    Grenada 1983 -- we have to occupy some pointless dinky island in the Caribbean forever, or else the Communists might take it over and use it to lob Soviet missiles at America!

  5. Then there are all the places we have occupied forever, and still have nothing to show for it.

    Korea. We still have tens of thousands of troops there after 60 years, and the leadership of NK has only consolidated their control and expanded into nuclear weapons.

    Afghanistan. Numerous surges, continuous presence for 16 years, civil war still raging, Taliban growing stronger against us.

    The only places we've occupied for awhile and did not get taken over by our enemies are Germany and Japan -- we've stayed there since WWII, and the Nazis and Japanese Empire have not returned.

    That was just the end of their time, had nothing to do with the US staying there forever.

    But I'm willing to stay in Germany and Japan for the time being, on the dubious claim that we've at least prevented the rise of the destabilizing forces there from WWII, if it means we can get out of Korea, the Middle East, and Afghanistan.

    First big step toward drawing down our presence in Germany and Japan afterward, where we are not taking any casualties or in any real danger anyways, unlike Korea, Mid-East, and Afghanistan.

  6. I'm pretty sure US military stays in Afghanistan to protect the poppy fields for the CIA to manufacture and distribute opium domestically.

  7. "ZERO response to tax cuts. No one cares. "Middle class families" aren't paying taxes for the simple reason that they don't have jobs."

    From Coulter's Twitter. Also points out that the GOP cuck establishment (Haley, Gen. Kelly,) elicits apathy at best from rally crowds. Middle-lower middle class people have been starving for populism of any flavor for decades. But the GOP with it's bitchy attitude about muh small government, muh capital gains taxes, muh union busting, muh endless war, not to mention cowardly refusing to point out ethnic differences in welfare use, crime, terrorism, etc., had been worthless before Trump presented reform of war policy, trade policy, and immigration policy.


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