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Afghanistan, Who is to Blame?

JWBooth

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Afghanistan, Who to Blame?​

It is important to remember that Afghanistan is only slightly larger than Texas in square mileage. The country has never been a nation so much as a place filled with diverse tribal groups that are often hostile to the next group on the other side of the mountain and have no concept of who or what the national government is. It is nearly impossible for westerners to grasp just how much this is the case.

In modern times Afghanistan was simply a largely desert, mountainous place way the hell and gone on the other side of the world that only geography nerds could find on a map. Its largest cities weren’t metropolitan, but were only roughly twenty to thirty years behind the times. Way out in the sticks, the mountain valleys, and wasteland areas people lived isolated lives much as they had for a thousand years. If you have ever seen “The Man Who Would Be King” with Sean Connery and Michael Caine, based on the Rudyard Kipling book by the same name, you get a peek at Northwest Afghanistan in the 1890’s.

So, to see how we got to the events of the last few days you have to go back to the days of Nixon and Watergate. Not that the burglary or the Nixon administration have anything to do with this narrative, but they give you a time frame with which to work. In 1973 there was a king in Kabul and he was the nominal ruler of the country. Nominally, in that he governed Kabul and most of the other cities, towns, and populated districts. The king was overthrown by his cousin, who was also his brother in law, and a General of the Army. The General announced an end of the monarchy and established a republic in Afghanistan that lasted for a grand total of five years. The government was in the process of crackdown on the communist movements that had formed in the University in Kabul during the 1940’s when in 1979 the leftists and communists led a coup d etat and overthrew the republic and installed their own government. Within a year one communist leader was overthrown by another.

In the meantime, some rambunctious youngsters in neighboring Iran had seized the US embassy in Tehran and taken hostages making President Jimmy Carter look as weak as a young lass tied the railroad tracks by the bad guy in an old silent movie. This made the Russians a tad nervous because a weak, unsettled Afghanistan would make a great staging area for US military assaults on Iran. It was cold war thinking where nobody was willing to give up an inch of territory to the other country in the great ideological struggle. The Russians invaded the country and engineered their own replacement of the new Afghani leader with a more malleable puppet. This puppet then requested Russian military help in solidifying control of the country and keeping the Americans out.

Here is where we get to the part where Afghanistan becomes an American problem.

Jimmy Carter needs to show some backbone after his perceived failures in the international arena. He orders a boycott of the 1980 Olympics. In the background, one fella in his administration has a hell of an idea and he sells the President on it. This genius is the National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski. This guy, behind the scenes, helped engineer the overthrow of the Shaw of Iran and start of the Iranian revolution, installing a guy the CIA had worked with in the 1950’s – Sayyid Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini, yep the Ayatollah himself.

The idea that he sold to Carter is to give the Russians their own Vietnam experience by arming the most radical, religiously extreme segments of Islam and give them an enemy to fight against, thus was born the Mujahedeen and the Taliban. The Mujahedeen was made up largely of non-Afghans who came to fight the Russians in a holy war. If a few of them wandered off to be a problem elsewhere, it was worth it to hand the Russians a big black eye. Shortly after came the formation of the Taliban. The Taliban was made up of Afghans, who went to Pakistan for their training, and then returned to take up the fight. Under the Reagan administration these groups were touted as the equivalent of the American founding fathers and had large sums of money and materiel thrown at them. This effort was successful and the Russians left in 1989 and the government they supported fell in 1991.

The Taliban were native Afghans and shortly took control of most of the country and formed a government. They had come to resent the presence of the largely Saudi Mujahedeen, but were not strong enough to oust them. The Mujahedeen had morphed into Al Qaeda under the leadership of Osama Bin Laden. Under the Taliban Afghanistan retreated socially to the pre Middle Ages and closed itself off to the world. Al Qaeda was autonomous and used the country as an operating base.

Meanwhile, the US was making war on Iraq and using the Arabian Peninsula as a base of operations for its war against Arab Iraq. This presence offended Bin Laden and his followers because Saudi Arabia is the Islamic holy land and allowing these infidels to be there was an infamy. In response to this came the 9/11 attack on New York and Washington D.C. This attack was carried out by eleven Saudi Arabians, two from the United Arab Emirates, one Lebanese, one Egyptian and not one Iraqi or Afghani.

One of the irritants to the Taliban was the Al Qaeda training camps in Afghan soil that was later shown to be where the 9/11 hijackers were trained.

In October of 2001 the Taliban offered up Bin Laden three times to the Bush Administration and their offers were refused. The first offers were with the caveat that he be sent to a neutral country pending proof that he was involved. Finally they offered him without any conditions. Bush turned this offer down as well and the bombing began followed up by invasion and occupation.

We know most of the rest, some of which is being conveniently forgotten. The near endless line of lying generals who promised that with a few more troops this thing could be turned around, the congressional war mongers in the pockets of defense contractors pushing for more spending, the naive politicians that think the whole world wants to be just like us if we just bomb a few more resistors to the idea, the TV talking heads whose programs are paid for by the defense industries and finally most of the American people who blindly believed all of the above and willingly handed over their children to be sacrificed on the altar of jingoism and avarice

There is one last thing to mention. Way back in the 80’s that money that flooded into Afghanistan to fund the jihad was largely do the efforts of an otherwise ineffectual Congressman from the second district of East Texas - Charlie Wilson.
 
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Natural Citizen

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Good post, JW!

I'm not gonna comment much on it.

Those who understand this history understand.
 

Natural Citizen

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For the record, all some 'commission'' would accomplish is to whitewash this. history.
 

Moonglow

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They should have stuck with the "Good neighbor policy".
 
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JWBooth

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I gotta take out that part about the government being popularly elected. It is incorrect.
 

Natural Citizen

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They should have stuck with the "Good neighbor policy".
When Bush decided to build and train an Afghan army to secure the newly installed regime, his intent was to bring a fight to the newly installed regime's rivals. All this accomplished was to make enemies where there were none before. That, too, was likely his intent. It's a recipe for blowback.

Keeps the Fed's printing press rolling, I suppose. War.Inc laughed all the way to the central bank.

Now they're pissed off. Only way they're gonna keep that printing press rolling in their direction is to lay on the bullshit as thick as they can now and in the immediate future. And they will. Cable news entertainment will run interference for them as well, as they tend to do. The yalready are. They're effectively spokespersons for the State Department these days anyway. And with 9/ll right around the corner, they're gonna feed the electorate a steady stream of sob stories and terrorvision in an effort to appeal to the electorate's emotion. May even break out the Toby Keith record again. Heh heh.
 
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Moonglow

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When Bush decided to build and train an Afghan army to secure the newly installed regime, his intent was to bring a fight to the newly installed regime's rivals. All this accomplished was to make enemies where there were none before. That, too, was likely his intent.

Keeps the Fed's printing press rolling, I suppose. War.Inc laughed all the way to the central bank.

Now they're pissed off. Only way theyre gonna get yhat printing prss rolling again is to lay on the bullshit as thick as they can now. And they will. They already are.
That is why the war(s) in Africa were increased under Trump.
 

BS Filter

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The Federal Government is to blame. Too big. The Federal government is involved in too much stuff, which makes it inefficient in the things it is supposed to be involved in. Get the Federal government out of health care, education, remove unions from government, and overhaul everything.
 

Natural Citizen

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That is why the war(s) in Africa were increased under Trump.

Dialogue that that is why I tend to avoid deeper discusion like this on this board. Particularly matters of foreign policy. There's too many other platforms out there where it can be had fruitfully.

As I said to JW, and I'm sure he'd agree fully, those who understand the history understand the events of the exit.

I'll leave the D/R dick waving to the D/R dick wavers.

Enjoy your afternoon.
 

surada

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Afghanistan, Who to Blame?​

It is important to remember that Afghanistan is only slightly larger than Texas in square mileage. The country has never been a nation so much as a place filled with diverse tribal groups that are often hostile to the next group on the other side of the mountain and have no concept of who or what the national government is. It is nearly impossible for westerners to grasp just how much this is the case.

In modern times Afghanistan was simply a largely desert, mountainous place way the hell and gone on the other side of the world that only geography nerds could find on a map. Its largest cities weren’t metropolitan, but were only roughly twenty to thirty years behind the times. Way out in the sticks, the mountain valleys, and wasteland areas people lived isolated lives much as they had for a thousand years. If you have ever seen “The Man Who Would Be King” with Sean Connery and Michael Caine, based on the Rudyard Kipling book by the same name, you get a peek at Northwest Afghanistan in the 1890’s.

So, to see how we got to the events of the last few days you have to go back to the days of Nixon and Watergate. Not that the burglary or the Nixon administration have anything to do with this narrative, but they give you a time frame with which to work. In 1973 there was a king in Kabul and he was the nominal ruler of the country. Nominally, in that he governed Kabul and most of the other cities, towns, and populated districts. The king was overthrown by his cousin, who was also his brother in law, and a General of the Army. The General announced an end of the monarchy and established a republic in Afghanistan that lasted for a grand total of five years. The government was in the process of crackdown on the communist movements that had formed in the University in Kabul during the 1940’s when in 1979 the leftists and communists led a coup d etat and overthrew the republic and installed their own government. Within a year one communist leader was overthrown by another.

In the meantime, some rambunctious youngsters in neighboring Iran had seized the US embassy in Tehran and taken hostages making President Jimmy Carter look as weak as a young lass tied the railroad tracks by the bad guy in an old silent movie. This made the Russians a tad nervous because a weak, unsettled Afghanistan would make a great staging area for US military assaults on Iran. It was cold war thinking where nobody was willing to give up an inch of territory to the other country in the great ideological struggle. The Russians invaded the country and engineered their own replacement of the new Afghani leader with a more malleable puppet. This puppet then requested Russian military help in solidifying control of the country and keeping the Americans out.

Here is where we get to the part where Afghanistan becomes an American problem.

Jimmy Carter needs to show some backbone after his perceived failures in the international arena. He orders a boycott of the 1980 Olympics. In the background, one fella in his administration has a hell of an idea and he sells the President on it. This genius is the National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski. This guy, behind the scenes, helped engineer the overthrow of the Shaw of Iran and start of the Iranian revolution, installing a guy the CIA had worked with in the 1950’s – Sayyid Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini, yep the Ayatollah himself.

The idea that he sold to Carter is to give the Russians their own Vietnam experience by arming the most radical, religiously extreme segments of Islam and give them an enemy to fight against, thus was born the Mujahedeen and the Taliban. The Mujahedeen was made up largely of non-Afghans who came to fight the Russians in a holy war. If a few of them wandered off to be a problem elsewhere, it was worth it to hand the Russians a big black eye. Shortly after came the formation of the Taliban. The Taliban was made up of Afghans, who went to Pakistan for their training, and then returned to take up the fight. Under the Reagan administration these groups were touted as the equivalent of the American founding fathers and had large sums of money and materiel thrown at them. This effort was successful and the Russians left in 1989 and the government they supported fell in 1991.

The Taliban were native Afghans and shortly took control of most of the country and formed a government. They had come to resent the presence of the largely Saudi Mujahedeen, but were not strong enough to oust them. The Mujahedeen had morphed into Al Qaeda under the leadership of Osama Bin Laden. Under the Taliban Afghanistan retreated socially to the pre Middle Ages and closed itself off to the world. Al Qaeda was autonomous and used the country as an operating base.

Meanwhile, the US was making war on Iraq and using the Arabian Peninsula as a base of operations for its war against Arab Iraq. This presence offended Bin Laden and his followers because Saudi Arabia is the Islamic holy land and allowing these infidels to be there was an infamy. In response to this came the 9/11 attack on New York and Washington D.C. This attack was carried out by eleven Saudi Arabians, two from the United Arab Emirates, one Lebanese, one Egyptian and not one Iraqi or Afghani.

One of the irritants to the Taliban was the Al Qaeda training camps in Afghan soil that was later shown to be where the 9/11 hijackers were trained.

In October of 2001 the Taliban offered up Bin Laden three times to the Bush Administration and their offers were refused. The first offers were with the caveat that he be sent to a neutral country pending proof that he was involved. Finally they offered him without any conditions. Bush turned this offer down as well and the bombing began followed up by invasion and occupation.

We know most of the rest, some of which is being conveniently forgotten. The near endless line of lying generals who promised that with a few more troops this thing could be turned around, the congressional war mongers in the pockets of defense contractors pushing for more spending, the naive politicians that think the whole world wants to be just like us if we just bomb a few more resistors to the idea, the TV talking heads whose programs are paid for by the defense industries and finally most of the American people who blindly believed all of the above and willingly handed over their children to be sacrificed on the altar of jingoism and avarice

There is one last thing to mention. Way back in the 80’s that money that flooded into Afghanistan to fund the jihad was largely do the efforts of an otherwise ineffectual Congressman from the second district of East Texas - Charlie Wilson.

Most of the Mujahideen were Afghani NOT Saudi. The Saudi fighters like OBL were outsiders.. They built roads and guarded roads.. It was in every sense an Afghani fight.
 

Sandy Shanks

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The headline read, "President Biden fails in Afghanistan."

Afghanistan, "the graveyard of empires."

Of course, Biden failed in Afghanistan. Twenty years, two trillion dollars, tens of thousands of dead and wounded later this should come as no surprise. After all that, not a damn thing was accomplished. Yeah, Biden failed.

As did President Bush, and he started the war by invading Afghanistan. Bush was in office for eight years. The war was in full fury mode when he left office.

President "The Right War" Obama also failed in Afghanistan. He was in office for eight years and ultimately sent in 85,000 troops to defeat the Taliban. The war was in full fury mode when he left office.

President Trump also failed in Afghanistan. He was in office for eight years and all he did was order a retreat, trusting the Taliban would hold up their end of the bargain. Instead, the Taliban ignored the gullible American President. The war was in full fury mode when he left office.

Biden has been in office for seven months and he inherited the failed Afghan war from three previous Presidents. A massive offensive against the Taliban was out of the question. Biden would either be impeached or lynched. He had no choice but to withdraw, retreat, evacuate, surrender, whatever term the reader wishes to use. They all mean the same thing -- something the White House should learn.

But why did all this happened? It happened because American Presidents completely misread the people of Afghanistan.

The Afghan security forces number over 300,000, and they have an air force. They also have billions of dollars of equipment we gave them.

They have no desire to fight the Taliban.

The Taliban are Afghans. Moreover, they are the largest ethic group in Afghanistan.

Why are the Taliban America's enemy? Why did Bush attack the Taliban?

Because the Taliban gave safe haven to al Qaeda, the terrorist group that attacked us on 9/11.

Does anyone think the soldiers and officers of the Afghan army give a rat's ass about that twenty years later?

Essentially, we trained and equipped the Afghan army to fight Afghans. Also, members of the Afghan army have more in common with the Taliban than they do with Americans.

That is why America failed in Afghanistan. The twenty-year debacle should be treated as a lesson learned.

Never again.
 

Sandy Shanks

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President Biden today accepted responsibility for his decision regarding Afghanistan.

"I stand squarely behind my decision," a defiant Biden said.

While admitting to the chaos, which was expected, his plan seems to be working. No American has been killed, and the Taliban seem reluctant to engage U.S. troops, a wise decision on their part.

As the media and others heap criticism on President Biden for the chaos in Afghanistan, two essential factors are being overlooked.

If the Taliban had gradually taken over Afghanistan and had retaken Kandahar and Kabul in two months as expected, the results would have been the same as they are today. In the long run, the rapidity of the Taliban successes will be inconsequential.

The second factor is a military axiom. The enemy does not always do what you want him to do.

That seems rather obvious to the average observer, yet the media is beating up on Biden because they expected the Taliban to have those successes two or three months later, assuming we are leaving.

"Assuming we are leaving?"
Is that an issue to some? Which brings me around to the fact that many are critical of Biden, but they fail to explain the alternatives.

So, now I ask Biden's critics, what did Biden do wrong? What would you have had Biden do differently?

Now before one answers, consider this. So far the Afghan War has lasted 20 years. Little, if anything, has been accomplished. Over 6,000 Americans have been killed, troops and contractors. Over three times that were seriously wounded. So far the war has cost the American government two trillion dollars.

Is there anyone who wants to prolong this war? I ask Biden's critics again to answer the two questions above.

Two weeks from now, if the media allows it, Americans will have forgotten all about Afghanistan. We have our own very serious problems at home, not the least of which is the viral delta variant which is causing havoc, hospitalizations, and deaths.

Two weeks from now Americans will simply be happy the Afghan war is over.
 

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Bush/Rumsfeld didn't understand the basic fact that there is no nationalism in Afghanistan, only tribes and ethnicities. Pashtun Afghan Army soldiers are Pashtuns first, Afghans second. They aren't going to fight against their Taliban brothers, who are Pashtuns.

Pakistan and the Taliban played the U.S. for 20 years.
 

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Bush/Rumsfeld didn't understand the basic fact that there is no nationalism in Afghanistan, only tribes and ethnicities. Pashtun Afghan Army soldiers are Pashtuns first, Afghans second. They aren't going to fight against their Taliban brothers, who are Pashtuns.

Pakistan and the Taliban played the U.S. for 20 years.
Obviously Obama and Biden didn't understand that either because they escalated the war.
 

C_Clayton_Jones

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Afghanistan, Who is to Blame?
GWB is to blame for starting the failed, illegal war.

Obama and Trump share the blame for lacking the courage to end that failed, illegal war – courage President Biden clearly has.

But finding ‘blame’ isn’t important.

What’s important is to never allow another Vietnam/Afghanistan to happen again.
 

Synthaholic

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Obviously Obama and Biden didn't understand that either because they escalated the war.
Obama listened to the Generals and the "boots on the ground" just like the Republicans, led by John McCain, wanted him to do. Because how uppity would it be for a Black president to presume he knows more than David Petraeus or Stanley McCrystal, amiright?

Biden was against the McCain surge back then and he has not escalated since becoming our awesome president.
 

BS Filter

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Obama listened to the Generals and the "boots on the ground" just like the Republicans, led by John McCain, wanted him to do. Because how uppity would it be for a Black president to presume he knows more than David Petraeus or Stanley McCrystal, amiright?

Biden was against the McCain surge back then and he has not escalated since becoming our awesome president.
Biden is a complete failure, even Democrats know it now. You're insane.
 

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