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Time to End the Lost Afghan War


#1

Time to End the Lost Afghan War

Eric Margolis

Media reports claim President Donald Trump let loose on his generals behind closed doors, blasting them royally for their startling failures in Afghanistan, America’s longest war.

The president has many faults and is a lousy judge of character. But he was absolutely right to read the riot act to the military brass for daring to ask for a very large troop and budget increase for the stalemated Afghan War that has cost $1 trillion to date.


#2

IMHO, Tweetle-Dumb should be taking Gorby’s advice instead of Vlad’s!   And the sooner, the better!!

It’s not just RePooplican politicians pushing this, but their Multi-NaZional Korporate owners who hope to profit from stealing Afghanistan’s mineral wealth. And of course Betsy DeVos’ brother Eric Prince, whose Xe (former- ly Blackwater, now Academi) mercenaries would be the ones hired to do the dirty work.  Pith on all of them!!


#3

“But he was absolutely right to read the riot act to the military brass for daring to ask for a very large troop and budget increase for the stalemated Afghan War that has cost $1 trillion to date.”

Who got the $1 trillion?

What happens when all the people have a say:


#4

What’s wrong Eric? You can’t admit that Afghanistan has been maintained by the US for all that heroin and Oxycontin base coming out? Cmon. All the junkies on American streets can’t keep lining the pockets of wealthy Repubs, Dems, and Ziocons without that trade, and we sure aren’t going to let someone else get a hold of it, or stop it, like the Taliban did. Yeah, Saudi Arabia perped the attacks. Yeah, not Dick Cheney. OK, whatever you say. As far as the minerals, Trump just let slip what all American politicians are told. Fact is, we might be able to fix Afghanistan, except our foreign policy doesn’t include educating people and building their infrastructure so they might get the brains to tell us to go away. Thus why we destroyed secular Iraq and Libya. I love the fallacy that its all Repubs fault as well. Quisling dems and liberals are party to all of this.


#5

Exactly. This “war” (slaughter) is not a failure, but has successfully destabilized yet another country to make it prey for the profiteers of neoliberal global capitalism - including the drug entrepreneurs who have been at the heart of every U.S. war since the U.S. wars in Southeast Asia, and many imperial wars before then. The Brits got the whole thing going big-time with the “Opium War” in China.


#6

Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, developed a plan to lure the Soviets into Afghanistan saying, “We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war.” The short interview this quote’s from is worth reading.

Now the US has put itself in a similar position, even after the Soviet Union was defeated there, even after our own Vietnam disaster. No “Graveyard of Empires” this time, right? If you needed evidence for the insanity of the people running this country, you don’t have to look further than this.


#7

Unfortunately a critical mass of the people living in this country passively accept the power of the people running this country. I wouldn’t call the oligarchs, plutocrats, and Duopoly flunkies “insane.” They (more-or-less) get things out of the deal like money, power, prestige, etc. – even as they destroy the possibility of human and other life in this particular biosphere. The rest of us get misery, but too many of us continue to lay back and accept their crap.


#8

I definitely want in on this conversation !

One: I have read both of Eric Margolis’ books, “War at the Top of the World”, and “American Raj”.

Two: “Dust of the Saints”, by Radek Sikorski.

Three: One of my favorite climbers, Bill Tilman, who served in both world wars from start to finish, first as an artillery officer for the UK, finally behind enemy lines as liason in the Balkans - and traveled extensively in the area of Central Asia, including the Wahkan Corridor, climbing mountains when he wasn’t fighting in wars - possibly playing some role with his compadre Eric Shipton in Britain’s “Great Game”.

Well - I have vicariously seen Afghanistan from many points of view, including that of Marcus Lutrell, the Navy Seal whose book “Lone Survivor” is an astounding look up close at Pashtun tribal culture, and of United States military training techniques.

And I have watched the USA from Canada for over sixty years, and have a particular fascination for Afghanistan for some reason I don’t fully understand.

At present I am reading “Farewell Kabul”, by British foreign war correspondent Christina Lamb (2015), who, like Eric Margolis, has lived a good part of her life with feet on the ground in Afghanistan and Pakistan - and has personal contacts with both sides of the equation, if I might phrase it so, in that area of the world, including Ismael Khan of Herat.

There is a bit of information I wish to pass on here, concerning the very beginning of the United States invasion of Afghanistan:

One member of Congress voted “NO” to the invasion, following the sixty word"Authorization of Military Force" which gave ‘legal’ ??? force to this invasion.

Barbara Lee, Congresswoman from California.

One voice against - 98 Senators FOR - 423 from the House - FOR!

One voice against five hundred twenty one for.

That is almost beyond belief, given that the sixty word authorization gave virtually unlimited power to the President and the military - and Afghanistan was not the author of the attack on the World Trade Center.

“In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve” (Alexis de Tocqueville)

Lysander Spooner was indeed right when he argued that a democracy is just another name for ‘might makes right’.

Justice need not equal law - and right now, in much of the world, including Canada - it does not.


#9

I like your post! Barbara Lee is the same age as Trump. She would make a much better President!

Mr. Margolis knows more about Afghanistan than Trump and all of his Generals combined!

Afghanistan will bankrupt us, financially and morally. One need only to connect the dots.

It has, however, been mighty good for “Defense” contractors, as well as the long chain of soulless opium and heroin producers, middlemen, and distributors! Meanwhile, the opioid epidemic is destroying many multiples more than 9/11 did, with no end in sight! Connect the dots, Follow the dollars!


#10

Poor Venezuela and Iran if we end the Afghan war. Lil Kim says his nukes are the only thing that stops the empire from invading, regime change and failed state status. Libya, Iraq and Syria might agree.

Do the people want war?


#11

No, but their “Fearless Leader”, Tweetle-Dumb, certainly appears to be.  So we are faced with the happy choice of leaving a plutocrat who cares only for himself in power and thereby risking a nuclear war with Korea (or even worse), or replacing Dinkie Donnie with Mike Pence, who’s even more in line with serving the plutocrats and oli­garchs who own him and might actually get some of their hideous and regressive agenda through Congress.
What a Wonderful World!!


#12

We don’t face that choice because at this point we don’t have the power to force that kind of change. The plutocrats and oligarchs do. If they want to, they will get it done by making him an offer he can’t refuse, using the Duopoly Congress in some broad-form Kabuki/Vaudevillian “reality” show or creating an accident. But, as you say, Pence is in the wings and that wing-nut Christian Neandrathal may scare the power brokers even more than the Idiot of Orange. Like he’ll have to go to dinner with May or Merkel and they won’t allow his wife to hold his hand and he’ll just get all nervous and call in the codes to ignite the Apocalypse like his god ordered.


#13

Caravan by Michener is a good read on Afghanistan.


#14

Thank you- Michener can be tedious and sometimes boring, but he is very thorough and begins his stories with A thorough history of the subject…
I believe the only book I have read on Afghanistan is “The Kite Runner”- I’ll have to get A copy of this book and check it out along with manysummit’s picks …


#15

“…W,…needed a Revenge War after the Humilliating 9/11 Attacks.”

Humiliating?

He was IN on them.


#16

Thanks - I wasn’t aware of that book by Michener.


#17

ALL wars end in a negotiated settlement. NO military solution exists to even attempt. EVERY possible military objective was accomplished 14 years ago. For over 30 years the ONLY feasible path forward in Afghanistan has been a negotiated political settlement between the drug-dealing warlords and the fundamentalist religious Taliban. It is still JUST THAT SIMPLE. To spend another DIME on this fiasco serves only the interests of the American war profiteers.

The last serious attempt at a peace summit, under the previous president Karzi, was sniffed out by the CIA who laid in ambush and murdered the Taliban leadership whom Karzi had spent a year convincing to show up at the negotiating table. We need an anti-war movement which can present a credible ultimatum to this president and this government. We need them in the streets and we need it NOW.


#18

Amid a growing debate over how to bring down the government’s debt, a new study has concluded that U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan has cost up to $4 trillion over the past decade.

New estimate of U.S. war costs: $4 trillion
https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/checkpoint-washington/post/new-estimate-of-us-war-costs-4-trillion/2011/06/29/AGnolfqH_blog.html?utm_term=.5c5af4f4f4b6

Where are Trump’s priorities for our huge budget and our spending? Building a wall between Mexico and the US that the US tax payers will invariably pay for? Yet more warfare in the Mideast at a cost of US troop lives and injuries plus over $4 trillion. But who cares when we can exploit Afghanistan for its minerals wealth. But who cares while he fixates on giving the rich and super rich another tax break, more tax loopholes, etc… Is Trump a good money manager? He has gone into bankruptcy four different times with his businesses.


#19

Right!  I didn’t mean We The People actually get to make that Hobson’s Choice, only that we’ll face the results of it.   And that will depend on whether the pro-Theocracy “Christians” have infiltrated enough of “our” govern­ment to out-vote the neo-liberal pollutocrats and oilogarchs who have been increasingly in control for the past fifty years or so.  Not that it matters too much – We The People lose either way.

I wonder how much of that FOUR TRILLION DOLLARS wasted on wars in the Middle East during the past fif­teen years has gone into the pockets of profiteers like Dick Cheney (Haliburton) and Eric Prince (Blackwater => Xe => Academi), not to mention Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed-Martin et al, and how much of that has filtered back into the pockets of “our” representatives and senators who voted for these wars??


#20

Brzezinski’s Theory: World donation comes from control of Eurasia. Control of Eurasia comes from control of Central Asia Connecting Central Asia, in the center, is Afghanistan.

From Wikipedia, Hamid Golpira.