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Geostrategic developments, fall of Kabul

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The weekend marked a shock-wave event, the rapid fall of Kabul that was not supposed to happen.

Twenty years of nation-building attempt failures, a poorly managed withdrawal, abandonment of 14 – 86,000 supportive allies, logistically crippled government forces and likely bribing local commanders led to a one-week collapse. This primarily speaks to strategic and operational incompetence of the US decision-makers as a class as a better managed withdrawal was clearly feasible and a soft landing end state was arguably possible. Trillions wasted, with blood also on the line.

Predictably, mass murders, return to utter unbridled barbarism, hosting of terrorism and likely a surge in opium-based drugs esp. Heroin. More subtly, Afghanistan counts as in the direction of Khorasan in Islamist readings of apocalyptic hadiths so we can expect a mahdist push; only utter shocking defeat will stop that, a horrific shock comparable to that of August 1945. Meanwhile, China next door likely is trying to use money to influence the situation.

I find this commentary by a veteran useful:

I offer this main point: the government of Afghanistan lost the “Mandate of Heaven.” The people of Afghanistan had twenty years to experience Afghan government and decide that it was not worth fighting for. The stories are legion: the first president, Karzai, constantly releasing captured terrorist leaders as he dealt directly with the Taliban. President Karzai’s brother being the top gangster of Kandahar. The Afghan Air Force heroin-smuggling ring. The Thursday Man Love sessions for all the pedophiles of the Afghan police and military. The “ghost” soldiers and ever-stolen supplies of the Afghan Army. The massive vote fraud of the Afghan presidential elections. The Afghan judges who gave no justice without a bribe. In sum, the Afghan government had the façade of a constitutional system — but inside its halls, it was a collection of thieves and robbers getting as much as could be gotten while the money was flowing.

There has apparently never been a cohesive, lawful Afghanistan, and that creates a culture of lawless oligarchy, even when trappings of democracy are imposed. I note, though that we need to account for differential performance, as the Pushtun behind the Taliban are not an outright majority. The operational answer points to logistical starvation [no beans and bullets to fight with, after taking 60,000 dead in trying to defend a failing state], a lockdown on technical support that grounded the air force. All of which had to be known to the US decision makers. Their failure to do right by 86,000 people as listed who put their life on the line shows the fundamental untrustworthiness and want of honour of the American decision makers. And this is the second time within fifty years.

I don’t buy the oh this was not expected. Contrast the open borders policy with this breach of honour betrayal of people who put their lives on the line in a now failed attempt to build a better future.

A bruised reed indeed.

The vet continues:

[G]roups, communities, and nations usually get the government they deserve.  A virtuous people is usually ruled fairly well — an anarchic people either collapses into anarchy or is ruled strictly.  I think this was President Bush’s major conceptual strategic mistake in the post-9-11 wars.  He believed that every nation longed for freedom and was capable of democratic self-government.  As we have learned the hard way, our American constitutional government was not just ordered into existence by the Founders; it is the heritage of untold generations of Germanic tribal self-government, the monastic stewarding of the Roman legacy of education, the Anglo-Saxon traditions of consultative government, the compromise of the Magna Carta, the residue of the English Civil Wars and Bill of Rights, and the self-governing experience of the Pilgrims and the colonial founders in the New World interacting with the French and Scottish Enlightenment.

This was not Afghanistan’s experience — the many peoples of Afghanistan lacked the human capital to democratically govern themselves.  The vast majority of Afghans could not read, write, or numerate — parts of Afghan Army basic training were simply teaching soldiers to recognize numbers.  The few Afghan elites were ethnically divided and mutually suspicious.  Often there was no tradition of peaceful self-governance — of the clans living in a valley, often there would be a low-level war among them over resources.  Simply put, the Afghans were not truly capable of self-governing democracy in the Jeffersonian sense.  Therefore, they could not create a government worth dying for.

Sadly, we Americans ourselves also lacked the moral clarity and realism to even try to make the conditions to help build a moral government.  All too often the phrase “it’s an Afghan matter” was used as a rationale to excuse some immoral action of our Afghan government partners.  We saw the evil actions of the Afghan government officials but did nothing about it — in great contrast to the colonial heyday, when British officials would say, “It may be your tradition to burn widows alive, but it is my tradition to hang those who do so.”  We simply shrugged our shoulders and said, “It’s the culture” as we tolerated the evil that destroyed the legitimacy of the Afghan government.

This of course speaks to the cultural buttresses I have often highlighted in discussing an alternative political spectrum:

This leads to explaining what we see as a slide to lawless oligarchy and a coup:

The lessons for the threatening disintegration of cultural buttresses in the US and elsewhere are obvious.

Let’s look at the geostrategic picture:

Afghanistan is an obvious move for China’s Silk Road push to the oil-rich ME and a land bridge to Pakistan, but brings up a contest with Iran and further alienation of India and the belt of states on China’s near-coastal rim from Singapore to Japan and South Korea.

The American geostrategic defeat, retreat and humiliation, combined with a largely continental mindset, points to the post Vietnam malaise as a direct parallel. This also further alienates the dissatisfied hinterland people from the patently incompetent establishment/deep state apostates.

The 4th generation conflict in the US ratcheted up and its inner cohesiveness just got another crack. I still believe the cultural marxists, their red guard cannon fodder and media promoters will lose, but the geostrategic butcher’s bill is going to be high. END

PS: What might a soft landing have looked like? If the Jordanian model of a stabilising adequately backed military had been followed and perhaps a lawful monarchy with a core western presence present to take the two generations to build capacity, something might have been possible. However the depth of corruption may have undermined even that.

U/D: Here is a State Dept archive on mail-in ballots:

Similarly, the highly relevant McFaul colour revolution model and SOCOM insurgency escalator:

F/N Aug 19: A General’s assessment:

U/D Aug 21, the map seen on 9-11, with the 100 year global conquest vision also expressed in the Muslim Brotherhood The Project Document captured by Swiss Financial Police:

86 Replies to “Geostrategic developments, fall of Kabul

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    With reluctance, on Geostrategic developments, fall of Kabul . . .

  2. 2
    polistra says:

    Parkinson explains everything simply. Bureaucracies grow. That’s all.

    Bureaucracies never solve problems. Bureaucracies keep problems running and make them worse, so the agency can justify more budget and power. That’s all.

  3. 3
    kairosfocus says:

    P, this was not an issue of mere bureaucracy, neither in Kabul nor Washington. This was a matter of massive cultural failure in Afghanistan and incipient cultural failure in the US manifesting in incompetent and dishonourable leadership at strategic and operational levels. KF

  4. 4
    jerry says:

    One of the smartest men in history along with other greats such as Socrates and Ben Franklin is Ibn Khaldun. His concept of Asabiyyah explains everything.

    a concept of social solidarity with an emphasis on unity, group consciousness, and a sense of shared purpose and social cohesion,

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

    The recent expression

    politics is downstream from culture but culture is downstream from religion

    also explains it.

    Biden and his cohorts have no religion and the Afghan military and the Taliban are Muslim. Though the Taliban are very intense, they are all Muslims. Just as the US was more cohesive when nearly all were Christians despite differences in some doctrines.

  5. 5
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Biden and his cohorts have no religion and the Afghan military and the Taliban are Muslim.

    Yes. The Biden team’s atheist-secularism created weakness. Like an LGBT military with women in combat and diversity training instead of strategy. The Taliban saw it. Some believe Trump would have carried more authority and backed up the military with hard-action and thus given everyone a softer landing. I don’t know. But the present policy is abandonment and carelessness.
    It’s a breakdown in commitment which is an erosion of morals from the American side. Getting the Afghani nationals to trust and build on American support and then just pulling out leaving them totally exposed to violence is inhumane. It’s like the most crass commercialism or financier: “Trust your life savings to me” and later when it goes bankrupt or fails from incompetency — “sorry, that’s the breaks”.

    Agreed that the lack of religious conviction just emptied the purpose and will to victory. As stated, the Taliban fought with intensity for faith and tribe. They give their whole life to what they believe is true. U.S. Christian warriors did the same, but we lost many because of woke politics which spread to military leadership.
    We also lost 60,000 vets to suicide – more than died in Vietnam. Lack of meaning, strategy, support, commitment to the nation, no love from the people, killing of religious conviction in the culture — all that plays a part.

    Asabiyyah is strongest in the nomadic phase, and decreases as civilization advances.[4] As this declines, another more compelling asabiyyah may take its place; thus, civilizations rise and fall, and history describes these cycles as they play out.

    Interesting. Makes me wonder if financial-success and affluence in the U.S. breaks down that bond. And the continued nomadic approach in Afghanistan keeps the bond strong.

  6. 6
    chuckdarwin says:

    Nation building as failed policy. The British failed in Afghanistan. The Soviets failed in Afghanistan. The United States now fails in Afghanistan.
    This fiasco needs to laid squarely on the doorsteps of Cheney and Rumsfeld whos hubris and utter lack of the historical finds us now at the center of yet another preventable disaster.
    I believe it was George Santayana who said that those who do not heed history are doomed to repeat it.

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, no it is not careless, it is dishonourable. KF

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, there are models of governance success in the ME, and such was worth the try. Dishonourably abandoning those who put life on the line — LISTED at 86,000 (watch the vid) — does not even come into that excuse’s ballpark. Such dishonourable conduct is itself evidence on a lot of other issues a lot closer to home, some of which patently helped set up this fiasco. For dishonour, there is no excuse and it has very long term consequences; going forward, only an utter incompetent ignoramus will take the US’s words in a risky situation seriously. KF

    PS: Nor do I buy your convenient blame shifting. C 2001, there was little choice but to intervene and over years good faith efforts were made to build a stable solution. I think some of that was misdirected; note my Jordan, Arab Legion model. A base — e.g. Bagram — with such a force which enabled proper maintenance and could function as a backup could have made a difference. Arguably, moving away from cultural relativism too. FYI, India worked, starting with fairly unpromising circumstances. What is on the table that must not be ducked or blame shifted is a disastrous, dishonourable withdrawal that abandoned many to a predictably grisly fate, where there were fairly obvious alternatives.

  9. 9

    The US policy makers created weakness in Afghanistan through socialist materialist policy coming from Western universities. Basically it imposed Western decay on Afghanistan.

    It is just impossible to have a vigorous Aghani spirit, when you are clueless about what the spirit is.

    Western decay is also prevalent on uncommon descent. There is no general agreement about what “spirit” is supposed to mean. No general agreement on what an emotion is.

    So then how are you going to get motivated to fight, when you are clueless about what an emotion even is?

    I try to explain on various forums how subjectivity works. That is obviously a number 1 concern when the issue is motivation.

    Nobody is interested in it. Everyone is totally obsessed with facts, objectivity. Subjectivity is only assumed, never explained.

    Subjectivity is an inherently creationist concept. A subjective opinion is formed by choice, and expresses what it is that makes a choice. That is the underlying logic of any subjective opinion.

    Subjectivity is validated in category 1 of the creationist conceptual scheme.
    1. Creator / chooses / spiritual / subjective / opinion
    2. Creation / chosen / material / objective / fact

    But then we have the masses of the fact obsessed, who insist that God must be objective. And the atheists who do not even accept choice is real, so then they throw out the subjective spirit making choices by that.

    Always subjectivity get’s to be mangled and disregarded, and everyone is focused on objectivity.

  10. 10
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, tribal loyalties brought together through sound mutuality of good leaders has often proved successful; cf the Kurds in Iraq and Syria. I suspect the murder of Massoud in 2001, as a first step to the 9/11 attacks played a part in undermining such genuine building. KF

  11. 11
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Credit to the air crew who loaded the C17 with as many passengers as possible, but still it was only 640. The most ever on a flight like that.

    https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2021/08/16/mind-boggling-pic-of-people-who-made-it-on-to-the-c-17-out-of-kabul-n427900

    But whether it’s a good idea to resettle the entire Afghan population in the US is another question.

  12. 12

    KF, totally nonresponsive. The problem was lack of motivation to fight. So even when clearly emotions are a real issue, you manage to avoid the issue completely.

    The Afghani’s were flushed with cash, free stuff, and then value signalling things like cultural sensitivity, and women’s rights. Basically socialist policy.

    I remember Iraq was getting crushed by Islamic state in a blitzkrieg as well. I don’t really remember how they turned that around. With the help of others, but the Iraqi army was the weakly motivated, who initially got run over, just the same as the Afghan army.

  13. 13
    Silver Asiatic says:

    But one of those answers (why we lost) may be that the population of Afghanistan has firmly rejected what our leaders were selling it over 20 years.
    It turns out that the people of Afghanistan don’t actually want gender studies symposium.
    They didn’t actually buy the idea that men can become pregnant. they thought that was ridiculous.
    They don’t hate their own masculinity. they don’t think it’s toxic, they like the patriarchy, some other women like it.
    So now they are getting it all back.
    So maybe it’s possible that we failed in Afghanistan because the entire neoliberal program is grotesque, it’s a joke, it’s contrary to human nature, it answers none of our deepest human desires, it is merely a performance stage for the performer, not even supposed to improve your life. it’s ridiculous.
    Afghanistan is not the first country in our leaders have left worse than they found it. the list of those countries as long. part of the reason is for decades, left-wing academics in the u.s. have used the developing world as a laboratory to test their theories about how societies ought to be ordered but aren’t.
    Over time, they have constructed the federal government of NGOs that work alongside the pentagon and state department’s to impose radical socialism projects on the world’s poorest people who have no say in the matter.
    Over the last 20 years for example, congress has allocated close to a billion dollars to export feminism to Afghanistan. where did that money go? and went to a two year’s masters degree in gender and women’s studies offered at kabul university. another u.s. government effort was to find activities that educate Afghan men’s and boys to challenge gender stereotypes. and of course, American funded gender advisors demanding that women compromise at least 10% of the Afghan national army and a still larger proportion of that country’s political leadership thanks to American impose gender quotas, dozens of women ultimately were installed as representatives, how does that work? the whole thing was a sham as always. in fact, many of these new female legislators had never been to the provinces they claim to represent. almost nobody in Afghanistan liked any of this, by the way, and why would they? there is one official conceded in a classified report, “focusing on gender may make things more unstable because it causes revolts. it caused revolts. but officials kept doing it, they kept pushing radical gender politics anyway because they could because they were in charge of these people they were going to educate. this is the face of the late American empire, gender studies seminars at gunpoint for this is not like other empires. unlike other empires, our system operates for our benefit. they took no oil, remember that? instead, the entire point of our imperial project is to give meaning to the empty lives of the neoliberal.

    Tucker Carlson: We are led by buffoons, everything they touch turns to chaos
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXtwuO-ZUR0&t=709s

  14. 14
    Silver Asiatic says:

    U.S. Army veteran Matt Zeller passionate reply on MSNBC about Biden’s remarks on Afghanistan:

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1427386966685913092

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY, actually, I am seeing issues of lack of logistics to sustain a fight, not mere want of will. For example want of technical support, per orders by the Americans blocking such, put the air force out of action. There are reports of being unpaid, lacking ammunition etc. Such was pointed to before you commented. KF

  16. 16

    KF, so you put it down to oversight of a series of practical problems. If only someone had filled the order for the ammunition, etc. Obviously practical problems would get solved with motivation.

  17. 17
    Seversky says:

    Silver Asiatic/14

    U.S. Army veteran Matt Zeller passionate reply on MSNBC about Biden’s remarks on Afghanistan:

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1427386966685913092

    I wholeheartedly agree with everything Matt Zeller said.

    The US still has not learned the lessons of Korea, Vietnam or Iran that you do not build durable new democratic states by propping up corrupt, incompetent and unpopular proxies.

    I don’t know if this is a more shameful failure than the ceding of the Sudetenland before WWII or the panic-stricken evacuation of Saigon that precipitated the loss of Vietnam but it’s certainly on a par, in my view

    What I found to be both outrageous and contemptible was the “victim-shaming” of the Afghan forces.

    I’ve watched a number of “fly-on-the-wall” documentaries showing US and British troops in the field fighting alongside Afghan units. What I saw was that the US and British troops had the latest weapons, technology, body-armor, webbing equipment, combat clothing, etc and could call on modern artillery and air support, as you would expect. Just about everything the Afghans had, in contrast, look like second-rate, hand-me-downs at best, Couple that with the fact that US and European troops most probably looked down on the “ragheads” just as they looked down on the “gooks” in Korea and Vietnam and it’s a wonder they bothered to turn up at all.

    But turn up they did and fought and took much heavier casualties than US or NATO forces. That, in spite of poor tactical deployments, unreliable or non-existent re-supply of arms, ammunition, food and water and not even being paid for months on end.

    I believe that, given the political will and resources, it would have been possible to inflict heavy casualties on the Taliban and to have driven them back across the border into Pakistan. That was not to be, however, and we are now confronted with a debacle which should cost senior military and political leaders their careers but almost certainly won’t.

  18. 18
    jerry says:

    Everybody misunderstands the Taliban

    https://twitter.com/adagamov/status/1427536399570513942

    Taken about 12 hours ago. They just wanted to go to the amusement park.

    Next stop – Disney World.

  19. 19
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Seversky @ 17

    Agreed. Matt Zeller made it clear that a plan was provided that would have saved lives. In other words, our people on the ground are not totally incompetent as it has been made to seem. It was a failure in leadership – a failure to care about people. I agree also that there has been attitudes of looking down on the people we were helping, and that dehumanizes them.

    I believe that, given the political will and resources, it would have been possible to inflict heavy casualties on the Taliban and to have driven them back across the border into Pakistan.

    Our troops complained that their commanders didn’t give a decisive plan like that. The lack of political will cuts across both parties over 4 administrations, so it’s a significant problem.

  20. 20

    What? American condescension of Afghans? I don’t think so. More probably hyper cultural sensitivity ordered from above, leading to no meaningful emotional bonds being forged.

    Then the Afghan government corrupted with materialist socialism from the university educated.

    Materialists meaning, PEOPLE WHO DO NOT ACCEPT THE SUBJECTIVE REALITY OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT MAKING CHOICES. So then no meaningful Afghani national spirit can be cultured in that environment of total spiritual corruption.

  21. 21
    BobRyan says:

    There were problems from the start. A general should have been chosen to run the country who had a knack for it. Someone like an Eisenhower or MacArthur would have done well. Most Afghani people hated the Taliban, but respected their strength. A general who projected the strength they respect would have been a start on a much more solid footing.

    There was no pressure put on Pakistan, who funded and hid those we were fighting. Iraq may have paid more, but Pakistan offered more ground than the Iraqis. Financial pressure was needed, but never happened under any administration.

    The mountains between Pakistan and Afghanistan hold vast cave networks that are still being used. Those caves should have been destroyed. It would limit their movement.

    The tribes, particularly in the mountain region, were friendly and welcoming of the terrorists. The people should have been forced to be moved to another area and every village destroyed to take away support of the locals.

    The Afghan military should have had minimal involvement. Generations of mistrust to not disappear overnight. The various tribes who were fighting with us were also fighting amongst themselves.

    Ultimately, President Biden is responsible for the poor handling of the pullout. The Taliban spent a week making inroads, which should have altered course. The suffering that is happening, at least much of it, could have been prevented had President Biden not been so fixated on pulling out no matter the cost.

  22. 22
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Secretary Rice speaks out:

    https://archive.is/NRaG0

    The past years in Afghanistan have been difficult for every president, our armed forces, our allies and our country. The sacrifices of those who served — and those who died — will forever sear our national memory.
    Each of us who held positions of authority over those years made mistakes — not because we didn’t try or were heedless of the challenges. But the United States could not afford to ignore the rogue state that harbored those who attacked us on 9/11. The time will come to assess where we failed — and what we achieved.
    In the wake of Kabul’s fall, though, a corrosive and deeply unfair narrative is emerging: to blame the Afghans for how it all ended. The Afghan security forces failed. The Afghan government failed. The Afghan people failed. “We gave them every chance to determine their own future,” President Biden said in his address Monday — as if the Afghans had somehow chosen the Taliban.
    No — they didn’t choose the Taliban. They fought and died alongside us, helping us degrade al-Qaeda. Working with the Afghans and our allies, we gained time to build a counterterrorism presence around the world and a counterterrorism apparatus at home that has kept us safe. In the end, the Afghans couldn’t hold the country without our airpower and our support. It is not surprising that Afghan security forces lost the will to fight, when the Taliban warned that the United States was deserting them and that those who resisted would see their families killed.
    No — they didn’t choose the Taliban. They seized the chance to create a modern society where girls could attend school, women could enter professions and human rights would be respected.
    No — they didn’t choose the Taliban. They built a fledgling democracy with elected leaders who often failed but didn’t brutalize their people as so many regimes in the region do. It was a government that never managed to tame corruption and the drug trade. In this, Afghanistan had plenty of company across the globe.
    Twenty years was not enough to complete a journey from the 7th-century rule of the Taliban and a 30-year civil war to a stable government. Twenty years may also not have been enough to consolidate our gains against terrorism and assure our own safety. We — and they — needed more time.

    Food for thought.

    KF

  23. 23
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Lt Col Shaffer gives a different perspective on agreements, changes [e.g. conditional drawdown vs . . . ] and collapse https://www.infowars.com/posts/exclusive-interview-bidens-bluster-in-afghanistan-exposed/ (As usual now, we have to go to the marginalised to get what’s not on the standard hymn sheet.) KF

  24. 24
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Listen to an authentic Afghan voice, a 23 year old young lady https://twitter.com/AlinejadMasih/status/1427526187916701718 She speaks of forced marriages and more. KF

  25. 25
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF @ 22

    She offered a good overview – seems right.
    Trump wanted an America-First agenda which seemed reasonable to me. But at the same time we made pledges and demanded loyalty from people overseas. Plus, we tried to sell people on American democracy and self-rule but at the same time built dependency from the people on American support. Rather than just walking away, it would be more honest for leadership to say “we were defeated by the Taliban and had to retreat”. But instead, they blame the people who did not invite American support, but then had to put trust and loyalty in it as the war raged on.

    “We gave them every chance to determine their own future,” President Biden said in his address Monday

    That wrongly assumes that people are ready and willing to take on self-rule, especially after centuries where a strong ruler guided their nation and the people do not get involved in politics.
    But more importantly, Biden is blaming the victims in this case – and that is ugly to see.

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: A tweet, geostrategic consequences in the eurasian rimlands:

    https://twitter.com/NewDayForNJ/status/1427665818876321793?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

    >>Tricia Flanagan (R-NJ)
    @NewDayForNJ
    ·
    23h
    BREAKING—
    China has deployed warships & fighter jets off Taiwan Coast [–> apparently it claims provocations] & Iran is accelerating uranium enrichment to near weapons-grade.

    Biden’s Afghanistan is already registering aftershocks.>>

    Heeere come the geostrat vultures.

    When a great power that guards the peace shows weakness or incompetence . . .

  27. 27
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: I am seeing the oh the war was kept going to feed the fat cats at the money trough. I don’t think that’s fair.

    A hard lesson was taught 20 years ago, and it was long since forgotten that some feared a nuke strike was possible. Anthrax seems to have been used. Oh yes, did I forget to note that in the general context Libya gave up its nuke programme?

    The logic is brutal. If terrorists are harboured by rogue states and attack anywhere, the pirate’s nest is as guilty as the pirates. Do we want to be taught this again, with a mushroom cloud hovering over the glowing remains of a city of millions?

    How easily we forget, and yes how easily the corrupt and incompetent worm their way in. I recall here how generals were fired in job lots in North Africa in 1942/3. Churchill ran through a long list of Generals until Montgomery could use overwhelming force and an invasion at the back door. Stalin, notoriously invited generals to lunch then sent them to the cellars to be shot.

    Strategy is hard, and most global geostrategic contests of the past 600 years since Cheng Ho set out, have been multigenerational. Arguably our WW1 and 2 were in reality the second 30 years German war. The Anglo-French wars ran for 600 years.

    And more.

    So, refocus.

    The cold war ran for a generation, the real WW3. The USSR was defeated and with it relatively orthodox marxism and linked economics.

    Before it was over, radical Islam returned to its former agenda and set out on a 100 year global conquest Mahdism apocalyptic struggle; 1979, Iran. I first saw the 100 year map on 9/11. In addition, China seeks blue ocean breakout and linked domination. In the West, cultural and similar forms of marxism rose to prominence.

    We are seeing a 4th gen, global geostrategic conflict, with the US civil war 2 cum red guard colour revolution with election hanky panky, as one theatre of operations. I think, a spoiling operation creating a distraction that opens opportunities elsewhere. The pandemic opened up opportunities to push agendas now rather than later. I think the red guards will lose but the geostrategic butcher’s bill will be high. Especially if China gets through on blue ocean breakout. Before 1914 Britain pulled in its fleet resources to hold the line on Germany’s threatening breakout on a smaller ocean. In WW2 it did the same and see what the subs they could not block did. In the cold war, the GIUK gap was vital.

    The recent event is a global shock, due to the global struggle.

    See the 2016 chart in the op. I could not conceive that any US admin could be this incompetent. My bad, add in a line of action from W China to neighbouring Afghanistan then Pakistan thus India one way, and through Iran to the Gulf the other. Don’t forget the line of barriers off China’s coast, from Japan and s Korea to Taiwan and the Philippines. Australia and Singapore to the S are also relevant.

    If the US Navy fails to hold the line, chaos.

    Africa, poor Africa.

    The Caribbean, we are the US underbelly.

    We better wake up fast.

    KF

  28. 28
    kairosfocus says:

    The have you no shame moment, UK edn: https://twitter.com/JamesAALongman/status/1427954085324484608 we need to hear this.

  29. 29
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Levin raises a sobering alternative https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0UW5ccgXiA Again, not in the usual chyrons and bullet point or talking point lists. KF

  30. 30
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I’m not a fan, but that was a powerful analysis – got to hand it to him. Yes, not the usual talking points but original thought and he really created a context for the disaster.

  31. 31
    Seversky says:

    Kairosfocus/28

    The have you no shame moment, UK edn: https://twitter.com/JamesAALongman/status/1427954085324484608 we need to hear this.

    A very moving speech and thank you for bringing it to our attention.

    This precipitate withdrawal has been an unmitigated disaster for Afghanistan. For politicians to pay lip-service to the principle of “the buck stops here” from the comfort and security of offices far removed from the real suffering rings hollow.

    When President Biden said:

    So I’m left again to ask of those who argue that we should stay: How many more generations of America’s daughters and sons would you have me send to fight Afghanistan’s civil war when Afghan troops will not? How many more lives, American lives, is it worth, how many endless rows of headstones at Arlington National Cemetery? I’m clear on my answer: I will not repeat the mistakes we’ve made in the past. The mistake of staying and fighting indefinitely in a conflict that is not in the national interest of the United States, of doubling down on a civil war in a foreign country, of attempting to remake a country through the endless military deployments of U.S. forces. Those are the mistakes we cannot continue to repeat because we have significant vital interest in the world that we cannot afford to ignore.

    it sounded like a noble sentiment. Why should the US spend lives and money trying to prop up such a distant country?

    Unfortunately, I heard in that an echo of a speech made over 80 years ago by British Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain

    How horrible, fantastic, incredible it is that we should be digging trenches and trying on gas-masks here because of a quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing.

    This was from a speech concerning the annexation of a region of Czechoslovakia called the Sudetenland by Nazi Germany. It was a concession to Hitler made in the forlorn hope it would buy him off and prevent a Second World War. It failed dismally, as the world learned to its cost.

    Of course, the hard reality at the time was that Britain and France did not have the power to do anything else to stop Hitler. One of the reasons for that situation was that those who had experienced the carnage of the First World War were prepared to do almost anything to prevent a second round, rather like Biden’s desire to stop American lives and treasure being wasted in Afghanistan any longer. Unfortunately, noble as the sentiment might be, history suggest it doesn’t work against ruthless regimes like the Nazis or Taliban.

    In Afghanistan, there were, at least for a time, the resources in theater to beat an enemy that lacked armor, artillery and, above all, air power. Either Allied forces were strategically and tactically incompetent or their hands were tied by domestic political considerations.

    Not that it matters a this point. It’s now a question of rescuing whoever we can and hoping we don’t live to regret it much more further down the line,

  32. 32
    Querius says:

    I haven’t ever watched Mark Levin and I couldn’t bear watching it to the end, but I agree, Silver Asiatic. But the upshot of this disaster is that no country can count on the U.S. anymore, not Taiwan, not South Korea, not Japan, not Israel. What we learned from WW2 is that weakness, not strength, is provocative.

    “You were given the choice between war and dishonour. You chose dishonour, and you will have war.” Winston Churchill to Neville Chamberlain”

    As a student of Bible prophecy, I can see that the U.S. has now become geopolitically irrelevant and without any stabilizing force, there will be opportunistic wars and genocides throughout the world in the political vacuum left by the U.S.

    In Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39, there’s a list of countries that soon invade Israel from the north. Some of the nations listed are obscure, but in general the list contains primarily Turkey and Iran, possibly southern Russia, Libya (or maybe Rajput/Pakistan), Sudan (or maybe Hindu Kush/Pakistan/Afghanistan), but NOT Syria (Damascus is prophesied to be completely destroyed), NOT Egypt, NOT Jordan, and the Arabian states will NOT be in support.

    Hang on tight and let’s see what happens next. Who knows, maybe Biden will surrender to Afghanistan and CNN will tell us that this was a wise move on his part. LOL

    -Q

  33. 33
    kairosfocus says:

    Sev, Levin raises a shocker, if confirmed. Presence down to 1500 non combat, another battalion of reaction forces based at Bagram, and negligible casualties for 18 months. That’s close to the alternative I suggested above. My projection is, there will be an outrage, maybe a radiological or chemical bomb and there will be an Afghanistan II. There is a hint, Massoud’s old Pansjir Valley stomping grounds are shaping up as a new Northern Alliance redoubt, the never defeated valley with light division strength troops already, but who will back them? Meanwhile, the real geostrategic game is in the rimlands. There may be a push to destabilise Pakistan, which would give any pretender to Mahdi-hood maybe 200 nukes, who knows and an air force and army. Iran is already rumbling and Israel will now act on its own, my bet is coming in from the Indian Ocean with ship-launched cruise missiles as first wave, if Iran gets even close to nukes. China makes no secret Taiwan is its next target . . . which gives it deep water sites on the Pacific for subs. I bet Japan, having been threatened, has assembled the devices it pretends not to have. S Korea and Taiwan will most likely go nuke, likely Australia (already built one generation of subs and working on a second), and possibly Singapore. India will shore up its defences. None of this is good for the world, but now no strategist in his right mind will trust the US. All of this is a nightmare as likelihood of a nuke exchange just went to just short of certain. KF

  34. 34
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, especially weakness of thought and will. Much as in the 1930’s. The US still counts, especially the Navy, but it is facing a Vietnam malaise on steroids, with a raging 4th gen civil war at home to compound it. The pandemic panic and mess will not help matters. KF

  35. 35
    jerry says:

    If one wants to listen to the most knowledgeable people on the planet in terms of terrorism, listen to John Batchelor’s interviews with Bill Roggio snd Tom Jocelyn from the Long War Journal. They have been on Batchelor’s show for almost 15 years discussing all aspects of Islamic terrorism from all over the world since just after 9/11.

    Here are their shows from the last three Monday nights.

    https://audioboom.com/posts/7925871-two-weeks-before-the-tragedy-classiclongwarjournal-billroggio-and-thomasjoscelyn-unbound-th

    https://audioboom.com/posts/7925872-one-week-before-the-tragedy-classiclongwarjournal-billroggio-and-thomasjoscelyn-unbound-the

    https://audioboom.com/posts/7925240-bill-roggio-and-tom-joscelyn-unbound-the-complete-forty-minute-interview-monday-august-16-2

    Their website is https://www.longwarjournal.org/

  36. 36
    vividbleau says:

    KF
    Excellent OP. In one sense I have never been more outraged at what I am witnessing on the other hand I’m not because

    “G]roups, communities, and nations usually get the government they deserve. “

    Joe Biden was elected by the American people and we are getting exactly what we deserve and tragically the Afghan people will bear the worst of it short term and for the American people we will suffer for the blood on our hands longer term.

    In 1933 Adolf Hitler when asking for the German vote said “ Give me four years and you will not recognize Germany” At the time most Germans were dissatisfied with their country and Hitler made good on his promise!

    Joe Biden is not running the country he is barely coherent , I don’t know who are pulling the strings but just look at the damage that has been wrought in just 7 months and we still have over 3 years to go.

    Believe what you see and the simplest explanation one can conclude is that the chaos at our borders, our now reliance on OPEC oil, the stripping away of our freedoms because of “Covid” and now this inconceivable ineptitude in Afghanistan is being done on purpose.

    We also cannot forget the damning evidence that China has over Biden and his corrupt family that was censored and covered up by the mendacious media. No the American people are going to get exactly what we deserve. But hey “No more mean tweets” Oh I forgot Trump is banned from Twitter and Facebook now but not the Taliban

    The scariest statement today from Biden to me was this

    “The idea that somehow there’s a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuring. I don’t know how that happens.”

    Unbelievable

    Vivid

  37. 37
    kairosfocus says:

    Vivid, by and large if one did not soberly reason his/her way into a view in a polarised situation, s/he will not be reasoned out of it. Only pain and deep shame just might motivate breakdown of defensive psychologies and open up rethinking. Buyer’s remorse is real. As for the US election, the willingness to tolerate an ever more dubious system is relevant, until the crucial bulk “mail-in” ballots came on board, cf u/d to OP on that from State Dept archives re Ukraine. You get what you enable. KF

    PS: Notice, capstone of the insurgency, a negotiated settlement. In this case withdrawal on defeat by exhaustion and short-sighted incompetence setting up what will follow.

  38. 38
  39. 39

    The failure was in building up the the Aghani spirit. That could easily have been done in 20 years.

    The Taliban is one of many Islamic organizations against Western spiritual corruption. And the West lost Afghanistan, because of their spiritual corruption.

    The basic understanding of the spiritual is that the spirit makes choices, and the spirit is identified with a chosen subjective opinion.

    The Aghani spirit is the national feeling in people’s heart, the feeling out of which decisions are then made. The decisions of the official decisionmaking structure of government and elections, and then generally in ordinary life this Afghani spirit would also decide some stuff.

    Certainly Western academics has no basic understanding of the spirit / emotions.

    Western academics has thrown out this basic understanding, in throwing out creationism. Because the spirit, emotions, choice, subjectivity, are exclusively creationist concepts.

    And that Western academics is clueless about the spirit, is obviously the reason why the West failed in building up the Afghani spirit.

    The Taliban represents a sort of nativist reaction to Western spiritual corruption. Not knowing precisely what is wrong with the Western culture, but just disliking it, and then in reaction reasserting Islam, but then asserting it with extreme severity.

    The extreme severity ensures that Afghanistan can only become a warstate under the Taliban, aimed at destruction of the West. It cannot keep the focus internally to produce an Islamic state, but will be focused externally to destroy the West.

  40. 40
    kairosfocus says:

    Afghanistan, notoriously, is tribal.

  41. 41
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    Sev, Levin raises a shocker, if confirmed. Presence down to 1500 non combat, another battalion of reaction forces based at Bagram, and negligible casualties for 18 months.

    Yes that shocked me and is the biggest of many good points by Levin for me. It’s clear that a small number of troops and a good plan had stabilized Afghanistan right up to the withdrawal. Also, we left troops in place in Syria and Iraq for the same reason.
    That’s a tribute to the American and Allied forces and the professionals involved – and the lives lost. The Taliban was minimized – still violent but not taking over the country and not a global threat.
    Thinking of the NATO forces, even now people from other countries have to suffer from a poor decision by American leadership.

  42. 42
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I’m thinking that maybe tragedies can unite people who are otherwise opposed – as I read and agree with good thoughts by Sev on this topic. For me it’s not politics. If Trump had done it this way I would be as resistant, and I hope even his supporters would be. It’s real people suffering from stupid, arrogant decisions.

  43. 43
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Querius

    But the upshot of this disaster is that no country can count on the U.S. anymore, not Taiwan, not South Korea, not Japan, not Israel.

    True and that has been unnecessary and tragic. The U.S. has been and is still very capable of doing so much to benefit the world — and ended up just wasting that capability.
    I’d only dispute Israel on your list since, as I see it, the U.S. has invested an enormous support for them and I can’t see where or how they need support considering they have more weaponry than they need, and actually are selling it … but I’m anti-Zionist, so perhaps biased. In any case, I’d add Cuba to the list as a place where people are crying out for help just off of our coast, with a dictator cutting off their internet to prevent protests. We haven’t done anything.
    America has had so many heroes for freedom. They’re still present but in the lower ranks only. We can’t find them in leadership any more.

  44. 44
    Silver Asiatic says:

    mohammadnursyamsu

    The failure was in building up the the Aghani spirit. That could easily have been done in 20 years.

    We’re talking about centuries of tribal custom and conflict being changed in 20 years? No, that’s underestimating the problem. As it stands, educational and work opportunities improved for the Afghans – it was moving in a good direction. It needed some monitoring and management, which would have paid big dividends for everyone (even the Taliban could possibly have seen the benefit over some decades).

    The Taliban is one of many Islamic organizations against Western spiritual corruption. And the West lost Afghanistan, because of their spiritual corruption.

    That’s probably true, but it’s also too sweeping a condemnation. Christianity actually works within the world – so it is secular in a sense. It believes that God created goodness in the world and our task is to bring it forth. Yes, spiritually in the West there has been corruption of morals, but sometimes that gets confused. Like the difference between feminism and respect for women. The former is a corrupted evil and the latter is Christian spiritual virtue at work. For Islam, however, both are condemned. Islam creates a strong separation of world and faith, but that becomes impossible to live out. It seems more spiritual because it renounces the material world to a larger extent, but the challenge of spirituality is to live in the world and maintain moral goodness. The Afghans have seen the benefit of that – not to be corrupted by false values but to live out a more productive society.

    The basic understanding of the spiritual is that the spirit makes choices, and the spirit is identified with a chosen subjective opinion.

    You repeat that somewhat continually but to me, it doesn’t make sense until you define your terms (as I requested). Then explain why. In other words, don’t just make assertions but explain what you mean.

    Certainly Western academics has no basic understanding of the spirit / emotions.

    Agreed. For the most part, It’s empty and nihilistic – without purpose. It’s anti-human and destructive, so nobody should be surprised that all they can spread is evil and violence and oppression, like Marxism and secularism. However, there is a renaissance of good schools in the West – some new, some going back to Christian roots. Those are hopeful and fight against what you’re talking about. And even within secular academia, there are roots which are still good and have not been totally destroyed yet.

    Western academics has thrown out this basic understanding, in throwing out creationism.

    Agreed. But we need to use whatever is good in Western academics and built on it.

    The Taliban represents a sort of nativist reaction to Western spiritual corruption. Not knowing precisely what is wrong with the Western culture, but just disliking it, and then in reaction reasserting Islam, but then asserting it with extreme severity.

    It’s a great point. 1. They don’t know what’s wrong because they don’t or can’t study it. But they know by intuition that it is corrupt. That’s good, but they need to know more. 2. They respond with emotion and force. That’s your subjectivism I think – just emotional reactions. But they it becomes severe and extreme, and they end up destroying their own country. So, objectivity and reason are necessary. It’s a balance – not all one or the other.

    The extreme severity ensures that Afghanistan can only become a warstate under the Taliban, aimed at destruction of the West. It cannot keep the focus internally to produce an Islamic state, but will be focused externally to destroy the West.

    Yes, exactly. They’ll ignore building their own nation for the sake of getting revenge and pushing hatred and violence on their enemies. This is common in that region. The Jews often do the same – just a fixation on revenge and hatred of enemies at the expense of themselves. The Muslims retaliate in the same way. It has been embedded in the Mideastern cultures for a long time. Christianity fights against that mentality (in teaching though not always successfully).
    What the Taliban is doing is actually like the progressive left and Marxist revolutionaries. The one thing they work on is destroying Christian culture and reason — but they can’t build anything.

  45. 45

    @silver
    I don’t agree with any argument like 100’s of years of customs having any relevance. That’s not how things work. If someone has a custom all their life, for many years, then that’s relevant.

    Obviously, the basic understanding of subjectivity is inherent in Afghani common discourse, same as in any other language. To say something is beautiful, it is has the same underlying logic in any language. So Afghani’s could easily just as well build up a national spirit.

    The logic of subjectivity is that a subjective opinion is chosen, and the opinion expresses what it is that makes a choice.

    For example, to say someone is a “nice” person, then the opinion is chosen, in spontaneous expression of emotion with free will. And the personal characteristic of being nice, out of this personal characteristic someone is said to make their choices. So then a spirit of being nice, is identified as making choices.

    Always the same underlying logic is repeated, an opinion is chosen, and an opinion expresses what it is that makes a choice.

    To say a painting is beautiful. The opinion is chosen in spontaneous expression of emotion with free will. The opinion expresses a love for the way the painting looks. Out of this love the word “beautiful” was chosen to be spoken. So then this spirit of love is identified as what makes a choice.

    You are clueless about the basic logic of subjectivity. That is very significant. And then you mention subjectivity, emotions, only in a bad way. As something that leads to violence. And then you dismiss it as subjectivism. Really, you are the one not having proper regard for ordinary subjectivity. I am not being extreme in promoting subjectivity to the exclusion of objectivity. Subjectivity and objectivity are each valid in their own right. They have a different underlying logic. Subjectivity applies to a creator, and objectivity applies to a creation.

  46. 46
    Silver Asiatic says:

    MNY

    Subjectivity applies to a creator, and objectivity applies to a creation.

    And a creation requires a creator, so talking about creation applies to a creator.
    Logic:
    Subjectivity (S) applies to a Creator (C). S = C
    Objectivity (O) applies to a creation (U) O = U
    A creation (U) requires a Creator (C)
    U gives us C

    When we talk about the objectivity of creation, the universe we refer to the Creator because a creator is required.

  47. 47
    Querius says:

    Silver Asiatic @43,

    I’d only dispute Israel on your list since, as I see it, the U.S. has invested an enormous support for them and I can’t see where or how they need support considering they have more weaponry than they need, and actually are selling it … but I’m anti-Zionist, so perhaps biased.

    I’m not sure what Anti-Zionist means to you. That Jews shouldn’t have their own country?

    Support for Israel by the United States has always been chancy, and by the rest of the world, near zero nowadays. Consider how many countries accepted Jewish refugees before and during WW2 when it became apparent that the Nazis had started persecuting Jews.

    At the Evian Conference in July 1938 (https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/the-evian-conference), only the Dominican Republic stated that it was prepared to admit significant numbers of refugees, although Bolivia would admit around 30,000 Jewish immigrants between 1938 and 1941. Here’s the list of countries and how many Jewish refugees they accepted before and during the war (and I’m sure you’re aware that 6 million Jews who couldn’t leave Nazi-controlled areas were murdered):

    Argentina – 24,000
    Bolivia – 30,000
    Brazil – 12,000
    British Palestine – 80,860
    Canada – 5,000
    China – 19,100
    Cuba – a few
    Dominican Republic – 645 plus 5,000 visas
    El Salvador – 20,000 passports
    Great Britain – 80,000
    India – 5,000
    Iran (#3) – 115,700
    Italian occupation zones in Yugoslavia, France, Tunisia, and Greece – 43,000
    Mexico – 1,850 plus 16,000 visas
    Philippines – 1,200
    Portugal – 8,500 plus
    Soviet Union (#1) – 250,000-300,000 but most were murdered by the Nazis in 1941
    Spain – 3,800 plus 20,000-30,000 allowed to pass through
    Sweden – 10,900
    Switzerland – 30,000 (the largest per capita acceptance of refugees at about 10%)
    United States (#2) – 124,000, less than 10% of the allotted quota and many hundreds of thousands were turned away
    Uruguay – 30,000

    So, if antisemitism continues to increase worldwide, where will Jews be able to escape to?

    I agree with you regarding Cuba. The U.S. won’t lift a finger to help the victims of the “socialist workers paradise” there.

    -Q

  48. 48
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Querius

    I’m not sure what Anti-Zionist means to you. That Jews shouldn’t have their own country?

    It’s a good question, Q and I’m sympathetic with your views. I share your concern for the Jewish people in whatever situation, certainly. At the same time, as an American, I believe in equal rights and our country is not a racial collective. So, from an American perspective, we wouldn’t have a “Jewish nation” which is a religious state. So right there I think it’s a conflict. We respect the religious norms (or we should) of all people but we wouldn’t set up a state where only one religion dominated.

    Here’s the list of countries and how many Jewish refugees they accepted before and during the war (and I’m sure you’re aware that 6 million Jews who couldn’t leave Nazi-controlled areas were murdered):

    That was definitely a problem. But I think that after the war, many Jews returned to the European countries where they came from and since the persecution had stopped and there were monitoring by allied nations, they all should have been mandated to do that. Creating an entirely different country for them doesn’t make sense to me.

    So, if antisemitism continues to increase worldwide, where will Jews be able to escape to?

    As I Christian, I face the same question for my own people. With that, I can’t speak for what the Jews can or can’t do in the face of hostility and persecution. It would be presumptuous of me to come up with solutions for the Jewish people, except to offer protection if there was a genocide. Unfortunately, in contrast for example, there’s little support from the U. S. for Christians around the world who face serious persecutions and even elimination. Sadly, for example, Jewish airstrikes in Jordan recently have killed innocent Christians. It just happens that way, but we shouldn’t have a one-sided focus if we’re going to try to help everyone.
    With that, we should support any persecuted people and religion in the world — and Christians at this moment are the biggest target of such evil. I’m biased yes, because these are my people. But they are suffering as human beings. I would wish the U.S. government would cut expenditures for Israel and redirect them to assisting the Christian religion around the world. I mean, that sounds crazy but we’re assisting the Jewish religious state, so why not? As another example, there is presently a genocide against the Uyghur Muslims in China so they could die out completely. I think the same with Falun Gong. They are people suffering and who need help. So I think we place an unfair emphasis on the success of the Zionist project to the cost of neglecting others. True, there’s the important historical aspect of Judaism which would make it seem more important to protect, but it doesn’t seem fair to rank people based on their historical value like that. Were the Rwandan people less worthy of help because they’re African? It seems that way sometimes.
    I also do not agree in principle with the nature of the Jewish confessional state, but I feel the same about Islamic states in comparison. I think a theocracy is understandable, but unworkable in reality and causes a lot of problems. To me, that’s Zionism. We’re in this problem right at the moment in Afghanistan where we created an American style approach instead of an Islamic regime based on Sharia law. So, we didn’t respect that religious view and chose our own. Why not insist on the same for Israel?
    But all this said, it sounds disrespectful to me, either way, as a non-Jew to decide for them and their fate. We created reservations for American Indian tribes because we were the persecutors. Our Indian reservations are neglected and impoverished – there’s enormous suffering right in our own homeland against people we persecuted (and defeated in war). Why should we direct billions in funds overseas for the Jews instead? I think the countries that persecuted the Jews should have been required to restore their property and rights in the places where they lived. They lost the war so that’s the price to pay. Creating a state for them in the Mideast seems to me to be artificial and an avoidance of the problem – thus creating new problems.
    I think we have a responsibility to try to end genocides and bring peace – certainly. But preserving the Jewish people is a task that is fraught with problems – as above, we don’t look at nations as racial collectives like that. Marriage within one’s own community creates a highly segregated situation and it’s difficult to respect the religious norms, but at the same time incorporate the people into society (and seek to preserve them and their norms which are unworkable).
    Hatred and persecution of the Jews is a grave evil that necessarily must be stopped. But I think the best way to do it is to bring problems into the light and seek honest solutions. That’s a very difficult thing to do these days — for understandable reasons. But it really needs to be done, in my opinion.
    As a believer and follower of Jesus, I seek to honor His own ethnic heritage. But Jesus made it clear that God does not play favorites based on one’s lineage or DNA. He put an end to that.
    Modern day Judaism makes accommodations for just about anything imaginable, including the idea that one does not even need to believe in God to fully be a Jew (and weirdly, privileges in Israel may be granted on the basis of DNA testing). So, respect and care? – yes. But agreeing with the religious principles that lead to the situation, and then acting on them? – no.
    This definitely creates a conflict, but that’s the struggle of pluralism and tolerance for religious belief.

    I appreciate your good question, Querius – and the research is helpful to take in. I hope my response was respectful, as I intend it to be. To you and Jewish people and any religion that seeks God.

  49. 49
    Querius says:

    Silver Asiatic,

    Thank you. It was helpful for me to understand your notion of anti-Zionism. Jews are an ethnicity and have an ethnic religion (open to all people). But my perspectives are as follows:

    1. Politically, any ethnicity without a powerful nation to object to abuse against their ethnicity often faces persecution and genocide. I agree that this applies not only to Jews, but to other ethnic groups: Uighurs in China, Armenians in Turkey, Kurds in Turkey, Iran, and Iraq, native Americans and African-Americans in the U.S. to name a few such groups. The Jews that Hitler exterminated weren’t asked what their religious affiliation was, but just their ethnicity condemned them to death.

    2. As a Christian, I recognize that most Jews in Israel are agnostic today, but support their right to reconstruct their nation in light of the massive persecutions and genocides they’ve endured over the centuries.

    One common interpretation of Bible prophecy, one that I happen to agree with, indicates that God’s plan for the Gentiles, which is almost 2,000 years old, is nearly over now, and a final seven years with a newly converted nation of Israel is about to begin (see the description of how this happens in Zechariah 12). The nations prophesied in Ezekiel 38 and 39 are aligned and almost ready for the massive invasion of Israel from the north, which nearly succeeds. Also, the “kings of the east” will cross (or follow) the dried-up Euphrates river according to Revelation 16:12-14 in preparation for the battle of Har-Magedon (Armageddon). What “kings of the east” could this refer to nowadays?

    Are my interpretations all correct? Probably not, but the basics are there, that God miraculously reconstructs Israel from its dry bones (see Ezekiel 37).

    -Q

  50. 50
    vividbleau says:

    SA
    “But I think that after the war, many Jews returned to the European countries where they came from and since the persecution had stopped and there were monitoring by allied nations, they all should have been mandated to do that.”

    It was the European countries that persecuted, expelled, confiscated property, initiated pogroms and wiped out 6 million (in approximately 10 years) and you expect Jews to entrust their fate to them?

    Vivid

  51. 51
    kairosfocus says:

    A bit of a side issue.

  52. 52
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Taiwan takes note

    https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202108/1231877.shtml

    Estimate, nukes are in the background.

    KF

  53. 53
  54. 54

    @silver Yes, a creation requires a creator. And a creator can only be identified with a chosen opinion, subjectivity, and a creation can only be identified with a 1 to 1 corresponding model of it, in the mind, objectivity. What is your point?

    So then if academics did have a basic understanding of subjectivity, then people could set about building up a vigorous Afghani spirit.

    But because as now, academics doesn’t have understanding of subjectivity, so then they are clueless about how to build up the Afghani spirit.
    .
    The previous relief efforts in Afghanistan by the academic people, has produced a kind of entitlement and dependence culture. A value signalling culture.

  55. 55
    jerry says:

    Assabiya wins every time

    Twenty years, $2 trillion, and the most powerful army in the world were no match for the one thing the Taliban has—and that current American leadership has lost

    Assabiya

    https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/assabiya-lee-smith

    By one of the great journalists of our time. Yes, they do exist.

    Lee Smith is the author of the newly published book The Permanent Coup: How Enemies Foreign and Domestic Targeted the American President.

  56. 56
    jerry says:

    Podcast from 7 weeks ago, a discussion of what was known then about Afghanistan by the most knowledgeable people of the situation.

    https://audioboom.com/posts/7927327-seven-weeks-before-the-tragedy-classiclongwarjournal-billroggio-and-thomasjoscelyn-unbound

  57. 57
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Querius

    Politically, any ethnicity without a powerful nation to object to abuse against their ethnicity often faces persecution and genocide. I agree that this applies not only to Jews, but to other ethnic groups: Uighurs in China, Armenians in Turkey, Kurds in Turkey, Iran, and Iraq, native Americans and African-Americans in the U.S. to name a few such groups.

    Agreed, but there’s a difference between ethnicity and religion and that’s where Zionism gets mixed up. Should we preserve every ethnicity? This would mean eventually, for example, outlawing intermarriage between ethnic groups. As Americans we oppose that. But for (some) Jews, that’s what they do.

    The Jews that Hitler exterminated weren’t asked what their religious affiliation was, but just their ethnicity condemned them to death.

    That’s true but I think a convert to Judaism would have been persecuted even if not Jewish-ethnic. But anyway, the state of Israel is supposed to correct the ethnic persecution, but instead, it’s built on religious-theological grounds. The idea that Israel is “the ancestral homeland” is a religious view. As I suggested before, the Jews lived in Europe for centuries, so they could have been returned there. Additionally, the Jews invaded Palestine, killed a lot of people in warfare and took the land for themselves. They then lost the land for various reasons – the Romans destroyed their temple and exiled them. So, why should they be given that land again? They lost it fair and square.
    The problem persists because modern-day Jews have intermarried at such a high rate (58% as of the late 1990s) that was does Jewish ethnicity mean? As you say, the Nazi’s thought it meant something but I don’t think we should adopt their mentality.

    As a Christian, I recognize that most Jews in Israel are agnostic today, but support their right to reconstruct their nation in light of the massive persecutions and genocides they’ve endured over the centuries.

    Understood, but for me that’s the problem with the religious question. When “what it means to be a Jew” cannot be tied to ethnicity (as above) or religious conviction, then there’s a problem. 41% of Jews do not believe God exists. There are Jewish congregations oriented towards atheism – not to convert them, but just with full acceptance. Judaism does not require the believe in God. It also does not require an ethnicity (converts). It’s a social and cultural thing. As such, still nobody should be persecuted or have a genocide against them, but should this group of people be given their own country under that basis?

    The key point here really, for me is, what could I or anyone do about it anyway. The State of Israel is here. I can grumble or complain about it. I can oppose financing it. But the global community supports the concept (with some violent exceptions), so it’s more just an exercise in religious principles. I respect your support for the state of Israel and the same for all of the Jews who support it. Although, I do agree with the minority of Jews who do not support Zionism, for what I think are good reasons.

    Are my interpretations all correct? Probably not, but the basics are there, that God miraculously reconstructs Israel from its dry bones (see Ezekiel 37).

    To me, this is the most meaningful way to look at the situation. It’s a theological problem. In that view, then the Bible is establishing a prophecy that the Jews should be in Israel – therefore the State of Israel is justified on that basis. That makes sense.
    However, I don’t think the American government – the biggest financial supporter of Israel – or anyone else in the global community ever says “we want Israel because of Bible prophecy”. Individual believers say it, but the policy has not been built on that prophecy. If it was, would an alternative Biblical prophecy be considered (like my view of the Bible which conflicts with the pro-Israel view?).
    That’s just unspoken. Again, the idea that we’re making up for persecution of an ethnic group by giving them a religious state conflicts with what we would do for Islam for example. We wouldn’t create a state for them based on Sharia law, no matter how much they believed their religious convictions. In fact, we fight against their religious teachings on the role of women in society, without a problem. But for Judaism, we give a preferential treatment. Logically, that doesn’t make sense – although emotionally I understand it. I also accept and understand that many see Israel through a Biblical interpretation, but why should that interpretation be the winner and not a conflicting interpretation? That’s one reason why I would take time to argue about it.

    In the end, I believe my worldview and religious belief system is true and right. So, I would want everyone to have what I have – and that’s Jews, Atheists, Muslims – anybody. Failing that, then it’s a matter of compromise with care for all people and the hope of contributing to peace and greater understanding, and the end to violence and warfare for any reason, especially for ethnic and religious conflicts.

  58. 58
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Vivid

    It was the European countries that persecuted, expelled, confiscated property, initiated pogroms and wiped out 6 million (in approximately 10 years) and you expect Jews to entrust their fate to them?

    You ask a great question and there are a couple of ways to deal with it, hinging on the notion of “do I expect the Jews …?”
    For me, that’s just about everything all in one phrase. What do I expect from the Jews.
    That’s the problem. For me to expect the Jews to do something is to make myself Boss of the Jews. But that’s what happens when someone says “here, you can have this country for your own”. Those people are telling the Jews what to do, for their own reasons.
    I’m not a Jew so I can’t tell them what to do. But I can expect something from Jews.
    Should they have been made to return to Europe? Well, many did and there wasn’t a problem. They lived in Europe for centuries. Why wasn’t that considered their home? What right did they have to move to Israel? They lost that land almost two thousand years earlier.
    But people attempted to interpret the Bible or claim “this is what God would do” or something like that and then claim that Israel is “the ancestral land” of Jews. What if God never wanted them back there? Well, nobody in the U.N. was going to answer that question. Even today, nobody can even explain what the Jewish religion is given the diverse sets of belief and non-belief.
    But aside from all of that, and getting back to “what do you expect from the Jews”?
    Like everyone, I expect them to respond correctly to the truth. That’s why I argue with Atheists. I expect them to listen and then change. I expect them to adopt my beliefs because what I have found is good, and I want everyone to have what I have found.
    It’s like saying “do you expect atheists to accept a theistic-based society? Do you expect them to want Christian churches to have privileges and tax-breaks”. As atheists, no I don’t expect that. I expect them to oppose Christianity. But I wouldn’t enable that behavior because I ultimately expect atheists to receive and follow the truth about their own belief.
    I think the same for Jews and Muslims and any other people.

  59. 59
    Silver Asiatic says:

    mohammad

    @silver Yes, a creation requires a creator. And a creator can only be identified with a chosen opinion, subjectivity, and a creation can only be identified with a 1 to 1 corresponding model of it, in the mind, objectivity. What is your point?

    You’re missing the logic. In your view, a creator is subjective. The creation is objective. Then you say, creation (objective) requires a creator (subjective). So, whenever you have the objective, you necessarily have the subjective.
    When you talk about the objective (as ID does) you necessarily have the subjective (which you deny that ID has).
    When you talk about creation, you necessarily have a one-to-one relationship with the creator. When you talk about the objective, you necessarily have the subjective.
    The creation (objective) gives you creator (subjective). That’s the point you’re missing. You cannot separate the two. Atheists attempt this, but it does not work. That’s what ID shows. That’s why this site exists – to show that connection. If you’re missing that, then you’re missing the point of UD.

    The previous relief efforts in Afghanistan by the academic people, has produced a kind of entitlement and dependence culture. A value signalling culture.

    This is true for two reasons and has nothing to do with your concepts of subjectivity and opinion.
    1. The secular-atheist academics want a system of dependency so they can control people. That’s socialism. They do not want independent people because that eliminates their influence and power over people.
    2. Islam already has built-in a high-degree of dependency on the Mosque and Imam and spiritually, through sublimation of the personality and a kind of fatalism (not everywhere in Islam but especially in Afghanistan). Earthly life is not considered a high value, thus even suicide or continual warfare is expected. In that scenario,, it is easier for a controlling-factor to create entitlement and dependency.

  60. 60
    kairosfocus says:

    Folks, the focal issue is far too central for a side debate on Zionism, the nationalism of the most famous exiled people in history. I suggest, we need to refocus the main subject, which is weighty with severe geostrategic consequences that may reverberate for generations, potentially marked by rivers of blood and fire. Consequences that may be playing out across the world’s no 1 chessboard already, the Eurasian landmass. I add to the above that the Ukraine may come back to a boil given the Russian wild card. The revelation of the US as a bruised reed is sobering and it seems that serious steps should be at focus of attention, can it be splinted? If not, where is all of this headed? China is already putting the evil eye on Taiwan, bigtime. KF

  61. 61
    kairosfocus says:

    They were warned, on record, in July, re a quick collapse https://www.wsj.com/articles/confidential-state-department-cable-in-july-warned-of-afghanistans-collapse-11629406993

    Now ponder an alternative universe Dunkirk in which Hitler held about 100 k British troops captured instead of evacuated. Where would WW2 have gone from there, with so many hostages and human shields in Hitler’s hands? For one, Churchill’s support would have collapsed — he came to power on the Norway Debate over a fiasco in the North, May 10 1940, only a few weeks before the army was put into the Dunkirk pocket — and the UK would be under huge pressure to make a devil’s bargain peace.

    Where would our nightmare alternative world have gone from there?

    What could that tell us about where we now are?

  62. 62

    @silver In reality most intelligent design theorists consider God to be objective, just as well as they consider the creation to be objective. Most intelligent design theorists are clueless about subjectivity, just the same as atheists are clueless about it.

    I always watch this issue in someone’s position, and that’s just the way it is.

    The secular atheists etc. are extremely fact obsessed, and clueless about subjectivity. That is what defines them. That is why they throw up all sorts of nonsense policies, in total disregard of both the human spirit, and God the holy spirit. They make policies that don’t work out well emotionally, which means, the policies make people unhappy, because they are clueless about happiness. The secular atheists, have no clue what they are doing.

    You cannot give someone the task to build up the Afghani spirit, who is clueless about the spirit. They are obviously going to fail at that, because of being ignorant about it. Same for the American spirit, I am sure the atheists just consider that some meaningless words, and nothing more. They just don’t know what spirit means.

    Islam is simple and complex. It is simple in that it is just about belief in one God. So as that even people prior to the prophet may be said to have been muslims. Then it has complex rules for good living. Suicide is forbidden in Islam.

  63. 63
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Mohammad

    Islam is simple and complex. It is simple in that it is just about belief in one God. So as that even people prior to the prophet may be said to have been muslims. Then it has complex rules for good living. Suicide is forbidden in Islam.

    The other significant thing that Western atheist-secularists have tried to do is to destroy the power of religion among the people using all manner of immoral content in entertainment – basically the promulgation of pornography first, then related sexual disorders to follow.
    This is a Marxist approach towards revolution in the culture and society. Islamic societies rebel (rightly) against this, and it has been an on-going problem for America in the Mideast, since America is perceived as promoters of immorality. America has become a global advocate for gay marriage for example, and this is (admirably) rejected in Islamic countries. The same is true for feminism which is a Marxist-styled revolution against family life, masculine virtue and childbearing.
    Interestingly – I just looked it up – Afghanistan has the 4th highest birth rate in the world. That means it is a youthful society and family life is thriving (polygamy is a factor). The Western countries are aging and dying, with no belief in family or children. So, what values can they bring to a society that has a lot of children and big families?
    I think women will want monogamy and probably birth control, but masculine societies will generally be stronger and more militaristic than effeminate. Multiple wives may balance that off though because men will be morally scattered over several women and children they have not bonded with. So that’s self-defeating.

  64. 64
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Afghanistan has the 4th highest birth rate in the world.

    In the hundreds of essays and opinion pieces on Afghanistan over the past week I propose that you will not find that significant fact mentioned anywhere.

  65. 65
  66. 66
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: Notice, the outline framework with implicit conditionality that withdrawal was tied to consistently good behaviour, and confirmation in part of the Levin summary:

    “As far as how it would have been different, we had an approach that we literally worked on from the very beginning,” Pompeo said. “So President Trump had made clear in his campaign, he wanted to get our young men and women home as quickly as he could. We were striving to achieve that. He also made very, clear both when I was CIA director, but more directly to me when I was the Secretary of State, that we had a second objective—and that was to make sure we could do so in a way that was orderly, that got equipment home, that got American civilians out, and then protected our second objective there, which was to continue to be able to reduce the risk that we ever had an attack on the homeland from that place. And so there were lots of work streams underneath that, one of which was the intra-Afghan conversations. So we spoke with the Taliban, we spoke with the Tajiks, we spoke with the Northern Alliance, folks in the West, we spoke with the Afghan government and had an agreement with the government— we were working to begin the peace and reconciliation process – an ugly, complex, almost certainly years-long endeavor. But at the same time, we made clear to the Taliban that here are our set of conditions. If you honor those conditions, we will honor ours, which is to draw down our forces. We we did that in a measured, step by step way, from about 15,000 to about 2,500. But we never got to the conditions where President Trump felt comfortable that we could go to zero and so we didn’t go to zero.”

    Pompeo said that the Taliban repeatedly broke a February 2020 agreement that laid the groundwork for the broader withdrawal process—during Trump’s time in office and afterwards. When Trump was president, Pompeo said he would respond in force whenever the Taliban broke the terms of the agreement—but when Biden took over, Biden did not do anything when the Taliban kept violating the agreement.

    “The Taliban broke the agreement a number of times during our time in office,” Pompeo said. “When they did that and when they would attack in a place that they were not permitted to, where they acted in a way that was inconsistent with their on-the-ground military obligations, we pounded them. This is the model when America’s interests aren’t protected, when people don’t honor their promises to the United States, you impose costs on them. We did that each and every time. And that repeated effort—that focused, organized, repeated, deliberative deterrence model that had held. And so everybody wants to say, well, what would have been different? I can’t promise you. I don’t know. This is counterfactual. But I can promise you this. We went down from 15,000 to 2,500. So we went down by 80 percent. And we still had the order and structure that helped provide the security for the Afghan people and the Afghan security force. We still had the capacity to reach out and impose costs on them for that entire time that we were engaged in that drawdown mission. There’s no reason to think that we couldn’t have continued to hold that until such time as the conditions were right where we could have gotten to zero.”

    I think the framing of the situation was highly misleading, at policy and media levels. Somewhere, this led a half generation to grow up that failed to understand the global danger of militant, radical Islam-ISM, Mahdi-ism and associated Jihadism.

    Which includes that 9-11 was on the 318th anniversary less one day, of the Jan Sobiesky lifting of the Vienna siege . . . i.e. the highwater mark in the W of Islamic geostrategic power, the nearly successful siege of Vienna, 1683. That was itself a message and an implicit Mahdist claim by Bin Ladin. Tie that to the direction of Khorasan hadith, as to where Mahdi arises, and the ideological significance of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan surfaces. With, onward, that of Iraq, Syria and Israel, bringing in the Gharqad tree hadith on latter-day mass slaughter of Jews that is embedded in the Hamas covenant.

    This ideology is explicitly a global conquest, apocalyptic agenda, and death in the course of jihad . . . the historic meaning is primarily military struggle to subjugate [cf Q sura 9, 5, 29 and context of competent translations] . . . is presented as a sure gateway to paradise, complete with the notorious 72 perpetually renewed virgins.

    Such ideologies can only be crushed, shattered then exposed.

    Meanwhile, containment is a generational challenge; here, with a mushroom cloud looming in the usually unstated background. Generational struggle is the normal course of global conflicts, indeed even WW1 and 2 were in reality two phases of the second German 30 years war, building on the wars of German unification from the 1860’s on.

    It is time to wake up to geostrategic realities.

    KF

  67. 67
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: I added to op the map seen on 9-11-01 re the Islamist 100 year ideological vision.

  68. 68
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Yet another smoking gun, here on broken assurances to other Western powers, in June:

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-08-20/biden-assured-allies-in-june-u-s-would-ensure-kabul-s-stability

    Biden Assured Allies in June U.S. Would Ensure Kabul’s Stability
    By Alberto Nardelli
    August 20, 2021, 3:09 PM GMT-4

    Vow came ahead of Taliban’s rapid push to capture control
    British officials assumed they would keep embassy functioning

    President Joe Biden told key allies in June that he would maintain enough of a security presence in Afghanistan to ensure they could continue to operate in the capital following the main U.S. withdrawal, a vow made before the Taliban’s rapid final push across the country, according to a British diplomatic memo seen by Bloomberg.

    Biden promised U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and other leaders at the Group of Seven summit in Cornwall, England, that “critical U.S. enablers” would remain in place to keep Kabul safe following the drawdown of NATO forces, the note said. British officials determined the U.S. would provide enough personnel to ensure that the U.K. embassy in Kabul could continue operating.

    But the withdrawal of U.S. forces saw the Afghan government collapse as Taliban fighters raced across the country seizing provincial capitals, culminating in scenes of chaos at Kabul’s airport this week as Western governments tried to pull out their diplomats. The British embassy has since been evacuated, Johnson’s office said, and the U.S. embassy is now shuttered.

    There is onward waffling about being caught off-guard. Irrelevant given clear warnings and obvious signs. The fundamental issue is losing sight of realistic alternatives.

    Going beyond, on fair comment, much of this goes to deep rooted character and integrity issues, indicting the US establishment. That’s why there is rightly now no confidence in the US as a guardian of geostrategic stability. Similarly, what we have seen should shift our evaluation on concerns over media, academy and cultural messaging, and frankly on integrity of the US government systems including the dollar and elections.

    In that last regard, I am not impressed that apparently CA recall election mail ballots allow the vote to be seen through strategically located features of the envelopes, further underscoring the fraud-proneness of that whole push.

    Kabul today, Sacramento tomorrow, DC the next day [or was that, first of all?], it seems.

    KF

  69. 69
    jerry says:

    It seems we fail to recognize what motivates people. Yes, a lot has been written about the fall of Afghanistan in the last 10 days. But little seems to understand what has happened.

    Yes, Biden botched the withdrawal big time. But few can justify staying there when there was two corrupt sides, the Afghan leaders and the American corrupt military establishment.

    For some insight into American corruption from the very beginning, here are two opinions. One early and one from Rand Paul, more recent.

    https://twitter.com/andrewbostom/status/1428345142876966912

    https://techstartups.com/2021/08/16/kabul-fallen-dont-blame-president-biden/

    The podcasts linked to above on the John Batchelor show by the most knowledgeable people in th US on the situation points to the lies by the military over the years. But the military were serving the politicians.

  70. 70
    jerry says:

    Before anyone decries nation building as a futile effort, let’s all say together “Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.”

    But there is a difference in Afghanistan and other similar countries to it. It is very religious in nature while the other countries listed above are not. There is the expression that

    Culture is downstream from religion and
    politics /policies is downstream from culture.

    This is probably an important reason why no democracy/stable form of government can last in many countries.

    I was listening to a lecture on the third century Roman Empire. It was a mess. What had held the Roman Empire together was gone. So maybe the above expression should be

    Culture is downstream from religion/ideology and
    politics /policies is downstream from culture.

    The ideology that was the glue of the Roman Empire was gone. Diocletian and Constantine were able to briefly restore power but essentially the Roman Empire was over in the late 2nd century.

    From above Assabiya wins every time.

    https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/news/articles/assabiya-lee-smith

    What this is all saying is that Christianity is unique in that it can tolerate democracy. But it didn’t for almost 1700 years till the Protestant religious wars of the 17th century in England. Then it grew first in the British colonies and then the rest of Europe.

    But now it is deteriorating in the West as religion, Christianity, retreats and non religious elites want to impose their will.

  71. 71
    Silver Asiatic says:

    Jerry

    “Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.”
    But there is a difference in Afghanistan and other similar countries to it. It is very religious in nature while the other countries listed above are not.

    Japan was highly religious at the time. Shinto worship of the nation and emperor was a powerful force. The legacy of nation building there has been one of extreme consumerism, isolation, ruthless competition (against the builders) and social dysfunction. That’s the problem with the so-called American values that are promulgated. Secularizing democracy ends up destroying itself, since “we the people” are empty of spiritual values. This does fit the saying that politics is downstream of culture and culture downstream of religion. America has not had robust spiritual values to communicate – certainly not much of a culture aside from buying-selling and money.

    This is probably an important reason why no democracy/stable form of government can last in many countries.

    As above, democracy has not been a stable form in any country – not just Islam. This assumes also that democracy is necessarily the best form. The American founders tried to offset the harms of pure democracy with representation. We have now legislation by unelected court justices and politicians getting rich and staying in office for decades. If the people don’t have a good idea of values and rightness, then “government by the people” will reflect all of their problems.
    If I wanted to argue for Islam I’d say “why do we need democracy? We’re taking over huge parts of the world without it.” The USA might try to sell freedom but if this means access to pornography, abortion and transgender surgeries then a lot of people will reject it.

    What this is all saying is that Christianity is unique in that it can tolerate democracy.

    I don’t think it really can very well. As you mention, it’s deteriorating here over only a couple of centuries. Several nations in Eastern Europe now, coming out of Communism are not looking to American democracy as a solution, but as more of the problem. They want strong leadership and nationalism – what the American left calls “tyranny”. But why should people have to spend most of their life trying to figure out the best position on political issues, then vote, then lose — when a good leader can do it rightly and free the people for other pursuits?

  72. 72
    kairosfocus says:

    What was foregone

  73. 73
    Silver Asiatic says:

    KF

    Tie that to the direction of Khorasan hadith, as to where Mahdi arises, and the ideological significance of Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan surfaces. With, onward, that of Iraq, Syria and Israel, bringing in the Gharqad tree hadith on latter-day mass slaughter of Jews that is embedded in the Hamas covenant.

    I do not see that as worse than atheistic-secularism of the West which is on-course for global conquest and subjugation of peoples. Mass slaughter not only of Jews but of all races through abortion and euthanasia. At least Islam attempts to reverence God, whereas secularism is atheistic and empty of spiritual values entirely. It threatens to destroy the world.

    This ideology is explicitly a global conquest, apocalyptic agenda, and death in the course of jihad . . . the historic meaning is primarily military struggle to subjugate [cf Q sura 9, 5, 29 and context of competent translations] . . . is presented as a sure gateway to paradise, complete with the notorious 72 perpetually renewed virgins.

    There’s a big difference between an ideology and a religious conviction.

    Such ideologies can only be crushed, shattered then exposed.

    If you’re talking about crushing and shattering Islam (but we can’t talk about Zionism) are we drifting off-topic?

  74. 74

    The problem is very simple, the rejection of subjectivity on the intellectual level, by many people, especially in academics.

    Without that rejection, the West would not be in a state of debauchery. Without that rejection, we would have had the understanding of how to build up a national Afghani spirit.

    Then the Afghans would be much more resistant militarily, and the jihadi’s would have less excuses to engage in warfare anyway, because there would be less Western debauchery to combat.

    However, it is not easy to make people accept the validity of subjectivity. It is a deeply psychological problem to reject subjectivity.

    The problem is based on conceiving of making a choice, in terms of figuring out the best option. There is enormous psychological pressure from society, and people’s own ideals, to do your best. And it has several other aspects of psychological appeal.

    With all that psychological pressure, it is not easy to conceive of making a choice in terms of spontaneity. But that concept of choice is needed for the concept of subjectivity to function.

  75. 75
    Silver Asiatic says:

    M

    Then the Afghans would be much more resistant militarily, and the jihadi’s would have less excuses to engage in warfare anyway, because there would be less Western debauchery to combat.

    That’s probably true, but in fairness, Jihad has been part of the religion since the founding. Violent attacks came against Christianity in the Middle Ages when it was not a society of debauchery. But Islam also had centuries of peaceful co-existence. And even today there are Islamic populations that are not marked with extremism or even the desire for world domination by force.

  76. 76
    kairosfocus says:

    SA, nowhere have I suggested that this is a worse problem than the dechristianisation of the W. In my region I have championed the opposite, that the dechristianisation is tidal wave 1, with radical islam-ism as wave 2, both exploiting our weaknesses. I have identified mass abortion as the worst single holocaust, with numbers. That said, this is a case where both come together, it is cultural marxism riding on radical secularism cum neopaganism — it’s utterly incoherent — that fed into the policy and operational blunders that now open up a series of geostrategic disasters. The specific blind spots I listed come from the first cluster, but open the way to a second serious threat, with more coming from China’s blue ocean breakout push. We need to deal with them all and dare not neglect any but the second cluster is least recognised, hence my outline. Radical Islam-ISM is to be distinguished from Islam and ordinary muslims though the estimated 10% of what 1.2+ billions makes this a very serious issue in magnitude. The Hadiths are real and are taken that way and given credence by the -ISTS. The selection of a significant date for 9-11 should not be overlooked, nor the turning of Aircraft against Skyscrapers at the heart of the financial centre of gravity of the US, all loaded with cultural significance. As explicitly identified, I am talking of crushing Islam-ISM, a radical movement tracing to the 1930’s and championed recently by Bin Ladin et al. We can compare German patriotism and nationalism with Nazism, a violent, world-conquest radical ideology that preyed on otherwise responsible cultural forces and manipulated widespread concerns, seized power using dirty tricks and launched aggressive war. No one seriously holds that German patriotism is evil in itself, but the Germans themselves are vigilant to guard against nazism. More can be said, I think I have sketched enough. KF

  77. 77
    jerry says:

    An excellent assessment of the debacle that Trump and Biden created. The pullout was stupid. How it was handled by Biden was criminal.

    https://strategypage.com/on_point/202108172241.aspx

  78. 78
    jerry says:

    Silver Asiatic, the course “ History of Science: Antiquity to 1700” is now on sale for $29 for audio download.

    https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/history-of-science-antiquity-to-1700

    Some ads say take another 10% off. Supposedly good through Monday night.

    I’m never sure what appears on my computer shows up for others.

  79. 79
    kairosfocus says:

    Jerry, given 20 years of spin and the underlying continental mentality of a big slice of the US population, fading support for fighting was a given that had to be addressed. With kneejerk hostility to anyone and anything alternative to the hymn sheet, a withdrawal policy was probably unavoidable, though in my view given the nest of terrorism issue, inherently dangerous. A conditional withdrawal was thus justifiable, as Pompeo outlined. That was switched to a disastrously mismanaged bug out with dishonour, which ironically will make for far worse military consequences. That is where unmitigated blameworthiness applies. KF

  80. 80
    kairosfocus says:

    PS: I clip Col Austin Bay:

    Understand that I think that since 9/11, America’s essential mission in Afghanistan has been what I call Guard Duty Writ Large. I first used that description in 2012. To protect U.S. national security at home and abroad, America had to attack and damage militant Islamic terrorist organizations. That meant denying them bases in anarchic regions, like Yemen, Somalia and Afghanistan. Denying doesn’t mean we have to occupy those places. It definitely doesn’t mean we need to engage in nation building and culture-changing — those are mega-challenges.

    We can strike Yemen and Somalia from the sea. Landlocked Afghanistan presents a problem. The closest air bases are six to seven hours away. Guard duty in Afghanistan means — or meant — maintaining an on-the-ground presence, primarily to support Afghan forces and refuel allied aircraft, but also to occasionally conduct U.S. air and ground raids on high-value targets throughout the region. The special operations raid that killed Osama Bin Laden in his Pakistan compound was launched from Afghanistan.

    Many in the defense and intelligence community agree that guard duty was the essential mission. Some argued nation building would ultimately give pro-democracy Afghans the tools to guard themselves. We did try that. Afghan corruption undermined the effort.

    In many respects, the U.S. Afghanistan operations since mid-2019 have been guard duty. The last American combat death occurred in February 2020. [–> corroborates the other main claim by Levin, Pompeo confirmed force level] Pro-democracy Afghan government military and police forces did most of the fighting, with the U.S. and NATO providing air and fire support and intelligence assistance. This support meant the Taliban couldn’t defeat the Afghan government. In this case, stalemate aided America’s essential mission.

    Unfortunately, high-visibility American political and media narrators, particularly on the left but also on the right, would call me an advocate of endless U.S. military commitments and condemn guard duty as a form of “forever war.” I use scare quotes because I’m not quite sure what “forever war” means in the real world. It measures time like a Hollywood movie — beginning and end. That’s disconnected from reality. The term works as angry rhetoric but fails to address on-the-ground security. [[–> esp long term, and such has geostrategic consequences]

    Fact: U.S. military personnel have been in South Korea far longer than they have been in Afghanistan. There is no peace treaty between South and North Korea. Don’t tell me Afghanistan is America’s longest war.

    And don’t tell me American withdrawal means the war in Afghanistan is over. It’s not. In July 2021, the stalemate ended and anti-Taliban forces collapsed after they lost U.S. and allied air support. The Biden administration made no attempt to counter the Taliban’s surprise offensive. The Taliban filled the vacuum America’s incompetent withdrawal created. Al-Qaida, the Islamic State group and other homicidal terror factions will eventually return to Afghanistan.

    The stalemate protected pro-democracy Afghans who believed America would defend them and, failing that, give them refuge. State Department bureaucrats say it will take 12 to 18 months to process their visa applications. Meanwhile, Taliban death squads will execute the tens of thousands who fail to escape.

    It didn’t have to be this way.

    That’s pretty close to my estimates above.

  81. 81

    I don’t think you really can distinguish Islam from radical Islam, because it is such a generic difference. It is just more severe. You can distinguish it when they are in a group of declared radicals, like the Taliban. But any muslim can come to be a radical.

    There isn’t much of any specific teaching outside of the Quran, like hadiths, by which a muslim becomes radical, but rather from the ordinary Quran, and then given the circumstances, a muslim could well decide to become a radical.

    In nazi ideology, there is a very specific teaching you can attack. Namely the teaching that the personal character of people can be established as a matter of fact of biology. That teaching is a logical error. And with that teaching destroyed, then nazism would certainly have become much more benign. It would lose the coldhearted calculating aspect it has, in asserting personal character as scientific fact.

    But you can hardly attack the teaching to fight against spiritual corruption, on which the radical Islam is based. It’s a good thing to combat spiritual corruption.

    And so I am back to the ridiculous reality that subjectivity is generally discarded in Western academics. No way, no how, can you throw out people’s emotions, and then things would somehow still turn out ok. It’s not going to turn out ok, it’s going to turn out very badly.

  82. 82
    kairosfocus says:

    MNY:

    I don’t think you really can distinguish Islam from radical Islam, because it is such a generic difference. It is just more severe. You can distinguish it when they are in a group of declared radicals, like the Taliban. But any muslim can come to be a radical.

    That is an issue, radicalisation is very possible and it does not need supplementation of Q. However, that points to the responsibilities of moderates, to find and teach the counter-balances to radicalism.

    The alternative to that in the end is nuclear fire.

    KF

    PS: I suggest, starting with the self-evident, built in first duties of responsible reason, recognising that we are morally governed and that sound conscience is key. Mothers throwing their babies across a wire has a telling force, that is the last desperation of a mother in a fire, save my baby.

  83. 83

    KF, generic do-gooddery isn’t going to solve anything. Not when you have the screeching Western academics throwing out emotions at the same time.

    You continue to fail to make any kind of meaningful evaluation of the importance of the concepts of subjectivity and emotions.

  84. 84
  85. 85
    kairosfocus says:

    F/N: Leaked data on evacuees from Kabul:

    https://twitter.com/alexbward/status/1430133660162924544?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

    Alex Ward
    @alexbward
    ·
    9h
    NEW: Leaked State cable with evacuation numbers (as of Aug 23 at 1500 ET):

    Total manifested since midnight Kabul AUG 23: 483 AMCITS, 6,425 Afghans natls, 8 3rd country/unknown. Total = 6,916

    Total manifested since op began: 4,407 AMCITS, 21,533 Afghans, 642 TCNs. Total = 26,582

    Alex Ward
    @alexbward
    ·
    9h
    Other items in cable:
    • 128 planned flights in the next 48 hours
    • Approx 13,000 people inside HKIA
    • Denmark won’t temp host US SIVs
    • Cyprus will host evacuees in the “low hundreds” for 30-60 days
    • Netherlands to take 2k people for 60 days

    KF

  86. 86
    jerry says:

    This OP died a few days ago but a recent article from the British Telegraph (hard to access) summarizes the suicide of the West.

    At least four mega-trends are conspiring to break the West’s grip on the world: the emergence of non-democratic capitalism; the misuse of technology; the net zero revolution; and America’s and Europe’s ideological decadence.

    It used to be believed that the entire world would converge voluntarily on a Western model. We would wear the same clothes, drive the same cars and eat at McDonald’s. Capitalism would lead to the universal adoption of democracy, human rights and secularism, buttressed by institutions such as the UN: this Hegelian version of history was as deluded as the Marxist nonsense it replaced.

    It was based on a series of intellectual errors, not least a denial of the West’s particular Jewish and Christian history, the latter recounted so brilliantly in Tom Holland’s Dominion, and a narcissistic, arrogant, ahistorical downplaying of other traditions. A corollary to this was the erroneous belief that adopting capitalism – a technology to deliver economic growth – had to mean also adopting individual liberty: one couldn’t pick and choose, because both emerged together in England and the Netherlands.

    Terrifyingly for libertarian conservatives such as myself, this was wrong. The Western model can be disaggregated, as the Chinese have proved. Capitalism can easily coexist with tyranny; free markets don’t imply free speech. This means that the 21st century will be defined by a range of clashing civilisational models. There will be China, of course, and India, but also Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil and Nigeria as regional powers. Thanks to capitalism, they will become rich; but they won’t be Western. Some may be democracies, but in a very different sense to what we understand by it: India, for example, may well become far more explicitly Hindu nationalist.

    The next big change is that the West is no longer putting economic growth first, while the emerging empires are still desperate to get rich. America and Europe’s embrace of net zero is largely driven by altruism: its proponents believe that poorer countries will suffer greater harm from climate change than wealthier nations. Yet many of these same nations are planning to make the most of the West’s green turn to reinforce their own rise.

    China’s real agenda is to pick up new, clean technologies developed at great cost by the West on the cheap, allowing it to leap-frog America and Europe without crippling its own economy. Net zero will also unleash geopolitical chaos: how will Putin respond to the collapse in demand for gas? Could he push Nato and an unprepared, semi-pacifist EU beyond destruction? The Gulf States are also likely to implode, creating a series of additional Afghanistan-like scenarios for America. Last but not least, by bolstering the importance of the rare earth metals such as lithium and cobalt required for new technologies, net zero will give China a dramatic boost. It has cleverly been seeking to corner the supply of these key 21st resources and is hoping to grab Afghanistan’s plentiful supplies.

    Technology, and its misuse, represents the third great paradigm shift. In the West, social media in particular has had a catastrophic, corrosive impact on attention spans, the quality of discourse and, paradoxically, the ability to think freely. Bullying and hate are the norm, squeezing out reason, kindness and support for free speech. It has dramatically exacerbated tribalism and extremism.

    At the same time, states now have more tools than ever before at their disposal to control their populations. Privacy, the best protection of the dissident, is dying. Everything we buy, read and every trip we make can be logged. For China, this is a dream come true. When all cars are electric and networked, the state could simply shut down the vehicles of opponents. When all currency is digital, dictators can track, control, tax and confiscate as they please. Combine all of that with massive progress in facial recognition and AI, and the outcome will be nightmarish. Authoritarian states will become ever harder to overthrow, further tipping the balance of power in their favour.

    What of the West? Will we embrace a Chinese-style social credit system in the guise of fighting obesity or saving the planet, and in effect converge with our authoritarian rivals?

    All of this takes us to the fourth mega-trend driving the West’s decline: we are turning our backs on the values that made us great. Support for capitalism is dwindling at the very time when every other society has embraced it, and many would rather see mob rule than the rule of law. In the US, the young are less likely to support democratic values than the old. There is growing scepticism about reason and the pursuit of truth. Universities are going back to their obscurantist roots, putting identity politics before knowledge. Many believe meritocracy has gone too far. We are even seeing a resurgence of neo-Lysenkoism, whereby politics trumps science.

    The woke ideology is the greatest threat to freedom since communism, and it is gaining ground by the day, fragmenting and dividing society, and pitting group against group better to undermine the West. As Afghanistan burns, the rest of the world is looking on, and laughing at our stupidity

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/08/25/four-mega-trends-condemn-west-irreversible-decline/

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