“Anyone who isn’t confused really doesn’t understand the situation.”

Edward R Murrow regarding the war in Indo-China, the Vietnam War

A question worth asking, as the debate over leaving Afghanistan takes place, have things changed to where a presence forever in a foreign country makes sense?  I am all for leaving, but this is not like when the Soviets left a long time ago in the nineteen eighties.  At that time they were in Afghanistan for a different reason.

Although the Americans went in under the pretense of fighting terrorism, that was twenty years ago.  Americans went in roughly ten some years after the Soviets left.  Times have changed.  Back then the shell of the Russian world was collapsing under the weight of it actually being a step above a third world country. 

Today, we are looking at an ambitious country which is actually doing more than supplying weapons.  China goes into a country and improves it, but with a debt to be paid later.  The later payment date is having China pseudo rule it. 

Could we be back in the Cold War but with a different opponent?  Yes, I think we are.  China does have the cojones to do things the old Soviets could not.  And, they are doing it by not brutalizing the people during the invasion.  China shows up with a wallet.

Do we accept the unknown consequences of leaving the Southwest Asia countries without a presence?  Or, do we stay in one to provide a block to another political adversary? I see the question as one we need to ask now and be prepared for an answer we do not like. I would enjoy China adding its flag to the pile of invaders who thought it a good place to set up a military outpost.

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Author: Blue Bronc

Born in Detroit when Truman was president, survived the rest of them. Early on I learned that FDR was the greatest president, which has withstood all attempts to change that image. Democratic Party, flaming liberal, Progressive, equality for all and a believer in we are all human and deserve respect and understanding. College educated, a couple of degrees, a lot of world experience and tons of fun. US Air Force (pre-MRE days). Oil and gas fields, computer rooms and stuff beyond anything I can talk about. It has been quite a life so far. The future is making my retirement boat my home. Dogs, cats and other critters fill my life with happiness. Work pays the bills.

60 thoughts on ““Anyone who isn’t confused really doesn’t understand the situation.””

  1. Taliban announces ‘amnesty,’ urges women to join government – The Washington Post

    KABUL, Afghanistan — The Taliban declared an “amnesty” across Afghanistan and urged women to join their government Tuesday, seeking to convince a wary population that they have changed a day after deadly chaos gripped the main airport as desperate crowds tried to flee the country.
    Following a blitz across Afghanistan that saw many cities fall to the insurgents without a fight, the Taliban have sought to portray themselves as more moderate than when they imposed a brutal rule in the late 1990s. But many Afghans remain skeptical.
    Older generations remember the Taliban’s ultraconservative Islamic views, which included severe restrictions on women as well as stonings, amputations and public executions before they were ousted by the U.S-led invasion that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

    […]

    The promises of amnesty from Enamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban’s cultural commission, were the first comments on how the Taliban might govern on a national level. His remarks remained vague, however, as the Taliban are still negotiating with political leaders of the country’s fallen government and no formal handover deal has been announced.
    “The Islamic Emirate doesn’t want women to be victims,” Samangani said, using the militants’ name for Afghanistan. “They should be in the government structure according to Shariah law.”
    […]
    Samangani didn’t describe exactly what he meant by Shariah, or Islamic, law, implying people already knew the rules the Taliban expected them to follow. He added that “all sides should join” a government.
    It was also not clear what he meant by an amnesty, although other Taliban leaders have said they won’t seek revenge on those who worked with the Afghan government or foreign countries. But some in Kabul allege Taliban fighters have lists of people who cooperated with the government and are seeking them out.
    [continues]

  2. meanwhile back at home in the states…

    pandemic rages

    fire rages

    shooting crime rages

    homelessness increases

    magaT insurrectionist plots continue

    and it’s hurricane season again

     

    [being potus isn’t all fun and games] 

  3. China treats its Muslim population horribly. Perhaps they want to move them out of China?

    After previous presidents kicking the can down the road instead of pulling out, after listening to Orange Adolf lie for four years, it’s pretty amazing to see actions that match words, and, to hear ownership of the action taken.

    I do wish Flatus were around to add his take on the withdrawal.

    BB – great post

    https://www.texastribune.org/2021/08/16/fort-bliss-el-paso-afghan-refugees/

    In case you missed it last night, this is where Afghanistan refugees are headed.

    “…refugee relocation in the U.S., including temporary sights under assessment at Fort Bliss, Texas, and Camp McCoy, Wisconsin,”..,

  4. Speaking of Flatus, has anyone heard of or from him?  Did I miss news of his illness or passing or just an exit stage right from the site pissed off, bored or just exasperated?

  5. Just saw Mitch slam the withdrawal from Afghanistan as a stain on the US blaming Uncle Joe. I hope Joe doesn’t give a proverbial flying fuck about what Moscow Mitch says about it, or anything for that matter. 

  6. Great post Bronc.  Well done.

    Blue, Trusting a newspaper with an editor who doesn’t know the difference between sight and site is a little hard to do.  It was probably done by some typist using spellcheck.

     

  7. DOD spokesman just on cnn said they are capable of getting 5,000-10,000 folks out per day.  but the folks have to make it to the airport first and then thru the state dept processing.  if all goes well that could mean a complete evacuation is possible within a month.  don’t hold your breath tho’ –  getting to the airport isn’t going to be easy.  

    my nightmare scenario is a nutball (wanting to be a martyr and get his 73 virgins) successfully pass thru the process, board and then blow up a plane stuffed to the gills with evacuees.

  8. A comment at WaPo form “zeiner 73” responding to Aaron Blake’s piece about Clarissa Ward’s coverage from Kabul:

    What else would you expect from Better Dead Than Ted, the Coward of Cancun?

    Now THAT’S GOOD.

  9. Seth Myers last night found a truly memorial quote from an Army Intel Col. 
    Describing  our policy for the last 20 years …………………..
    “It became a self licking ice cream cone”
     
    Nice post BB.

  10. Patd-
    Something else for your list .
    We are about to stop sending water to Arizona framers, from Lake Meade. 

    Why Intel and TSMC are building water-dependent chip factories in one of the driest U.S. states
     

    The Grand Canyon State may not seem like the most obvious place for a chip “foundry” or “fab” since the high-tech manufacturing plants guzzle millions of gallons of water every day.
    Arizona received just 13.6 inches of rainfall on average per year between 1970 and 2000, according to the NOAA National Climatic Data Center, making it the fourth driest state nationwide.
    Intel notes on its website that it is striving to achieve “net positive water use” in Arizona and that it has funded 15 water restoration projects that aim to benefit the state

    https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/04/why-intel-tsmc-are-building-water-dependent-chip-plants-in-arizona.html
     
    These guys remind me of that ice cream cone. 

  11. Group Statement Sent to President Biden on Behalf of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post

    Dear President Biden:
    For the past twenty years, brave Afghan colleagues have worked tirelessly to help The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal share news and information from the region with the global public. Now, those colleagues and their families are trapped in Kabul, their lives in peril.
    As employers, we are looking for support for our colleagues and as journalists we’re looking for an unequivocal signal that the government will stand behind the free press. In that light, we ask the American government to move urgently and take three concrete steps necessary to protect their safety.
    What We Seek
    ● Facilitated and protected access to the US-controlled airport
    ● Safe passage through a protected access gate to the airport
    ● Facilitated air movement out of the country
    Sincerely,
    Frederick J. Ryan, Jr. Publisher and Chief Executive Officer, The Washington Post
    Almar Latour Chief Executive Officer, Dow Jones & Co. Publisher, The Wall Street Journal
    A.G. Sulzberger Chairman and Publisher, The New York Times

    https://www.nytco.com/press/group-statement-sent-to-president-biden-on-behalf-of-the-new-york-times-the-wall-street-journal-and-the-washington-post/

     

  12. just an exit stage right from the site pissed off, bored or just exasperated?

    …it was exactly that.  i probably pissed him off, plus he said his eyes had trouble visually with the site

  13. Bob,
    surprised that statement doesn’t have  a post script that reads:

    In the meantime, Mr. Pres., ignore all the criticism we’re continuing to write about how you’re responsible for the mess, how you’re not getting people out fast enough and how much attention we’re giving the nutballs who hate you. It’s nothing personal, sonny, it’s strictly business.

  14. Pogo – Flatus mentioned a health issue shortly before he disappeared.

    Our ex-military, office ~proud boy~ is slamming Biden today. Of course, he does that every day.

    Jamie – “Eye half a spelling checker, it came with my pea sea…”

  15. too bad the media in their frenzy today overlook where it began.

    at least this op ed in the hill acknowledged it:

    History will mark Aug. 15, 2021, as the date that the Afghan government collapsed and the Taliban retook control over this troubled and war-torn country. But the real date that the Taliban’s victory was assured is Feb. 29, 2020, the day the Trump administration signed what it characterized as a “peace” deal with the Taliban. Once this agreement was signed — the tragic collapse we witnessed this weekend was inevitable. 
    Of course, the agreement was not, and could not possibly have been, a “peace” deal since one of the parties currently at war — the Afghan government — was not a signatory. Rather, this was a “withdrawal” agreement between the U.S. and the Taliban that set the terms for the complete departure of American troops from Afghanistan by May 2021.
    What did the United States gain in exchange for this withdrawal, for which the Taliban had been fighting for 20 years? Nothing but vague, unenforceable promises that the Taliban would not engage in hostilities against the departing U.S. troops and would “send a clear message” to al Qaeda that it “had no place” in Afghanistan. So eager Trump was to withdraw, we did not even hold out for a clear, firm commitment that the Taliban would not provide aid, safe harbor or weaponry to al Qaeda and like-minded groups. The agreement contained no enforcement mechanisms and included no penalties on the Taliban for failing to comply with its terms.  
    Once the agreement was signed, the fate of the Afghan government was signed, sealed and delivered — the Taliban had practically won the war. There was no way that the government could possibly survive.
    […]
    The agreement also did absolutely nothing to attempt to bring about a peaceful settlement of the war between the Afghan government and the Taliban. A genuine peace deal would have made our withdrawal contingent on the progress of peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban. But it did not. Trump agreed unconditionally to bring down U.S. troop levels to 8,600 by mid-July 2020 and totally withdraw by May 2021. 
    The agreement anticipated there would be peace negotiations, but in August, Trump voluntarily cut troop levels down to 4,500, even more quickly than required by the agreement, even though negotiations had not even begun. This was a clear signal there would be no linkage between withdrawals and peace, contrary to what U.S. diplomats were telling the parties. This signal was received loud and clear by the Taliban. 
    […]
    The Taliban knew it had won the war once Biden’s predecessor had signed the troop withdrawal agreement — now it was only a matter of time.  

  16. Of course China is the adversary, btw.  It’s an expansionist fascist anti-democratic, anti-human state that persecutes any who dare cross it

    Personally, i knew covid would be bad when the Chinese government started imprisoning their own well-intentioned journalists for trying to warn the world about what was coming, which was all pre-January 2020

  17. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2011/apr/28/afghanistan-mujahideen-taliban

    “The original mujahideen of the 1980s and today’s Taliban may use the same language of holy war, but their understanding of jihad is worlds apart.”

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

    “Operation Cyclone was the code name for the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) program to arm and finance the Afghan mujahideen in Afghanistan from 1979 to 1989, prior to and during the military intervention by the USSR in support of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. The mujahideen were also supported by Britain’s MI6, who conducted separate covert actions. The program leaned heavily towards supporting militant Islamic groups, …”

    So, Reagan started this cluster. We didn’t just arm the militants this week (via confiscated weapons from the Afghan army), we’ve been doing it for decades.

  18. And Dumbass the Former and his minions, lying about the agreement with the Taliban, criticized the withdrawal as done incompetently.  Never mind that the “conditions based” agreement had only conditions that can best be characterized as low hanging fruit and had no enforcement mechanisms built in.  BTW, the Biden administration has found the lever that may allow the US to keep some measure of control over the Taliban and this clusterfuck for the time being.  WaPo:

    BIDEN ADMINISTRATION FREEZES BILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN AFGHAN RESERVES, DEPRIVING TALIBAN OF CASH
    The move comes as the White House has scrambled to redraw its Afghanistan policies
    By 
    Jeff Stein
    Today at 1:30 p.m. EDT

    The Biden administration on Sunday froze Afghan government reserves held in U.S. bank accounts, blocking the Taliban from accessing billions of dollars held in U.S. institutions, according to two people familiar with the matter.

    The decision was made by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and officials in Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, the people said. The State Department was also involved in discussions over the weekend, with officials in the White House monitoring the developments. An administration official said in a statement, “Any Central Bank assets the Afghan government have in the United States will not be made available to the Taliban.” The officials spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss government policy not yet made public.

    Cutting off access to U.S.-based reserves represents among the first in what is expected to prove several crucial decisions facing the Biden administration about the economic fate of that nation following the Taliban takeover. Afghanistan is already one of the poorest countries in the world and is highly dependent on American aid that is now in jeopardy. The Biden administration is also likely to face hard choices over how to manage existing sanctions on the Taliban, which may make it difficult to deliver international humanitarian assistance to a population facing ruin, experts say.

    The Afghan central bank held $9.4 billion in reserve assets as of April, according to the International Monetary Fund. That amounts to roughly one third of the country’s annual economic output. The vast majority of those reserves are not currently held in Afghanistan, one of the people familiar with the matter said. Among those, billions of dollars are kept in the United States, although the precise amount is unclear.

    Spokespeople for the White House and Department of Treasury declined to comment on the process for blocking the funds, or the fate of U.S. economic assistance to Afghanistan. A spokeswoman for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where much of the money is presumed to be held, also declined to comment.

    The U.S. did not need any new authority to freeze the reserves, because the Taliban is already sanctioned under an executive order approved after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, said Adam M. Smith, who served on the National Security Council and as senior adviser to the director of the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control during the Obama administration.

    * * *
    International powers may also entertain new sanctions against Afghanistan, a suggestion already made by Britain’s foreign minister earlier this week. Sanctions can help force foreign adversaries to adopt U.S. policy by penalizing their trade partners. However, they can also exact brutal humanitarian tolls on civilian populations.

    Daniel Glaser, who served as assistant secretary for terrorist financing and financial crimes in the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said cutting Afghanistan off from the reserve funds is the obvious first move.

    “It’s the least they could do. I, personally, would not trust the Taliban to be responsible custodians of Afghanistan’s reserves,” Glaser said.

    Haven’t heard this mentioned by the Biden critics – I guess its importance eluded them.  Plus, it doesn’t have the emotional impact that a cell phone video of a C5-A rolling on a taxiway with Afghans hanging on it does.


  19. one thing about bob…..he was always impeccably in tune.  It’s one of the great secrets of his success. And it was all ear-tuned. A whole nother thing cause some folks back then had little impeccadillos.
    This song is a 1962 take on fallout shelters, which were all the rage at one point.

  20. I was going through some town and they were making this bomb shelterright outside of town, one of these sort of Coliseum-type things and there were construction workers and everything. I was there for about an hour, just looking at them build, and I just wrote the song in my head back then, but I carried it with me for two years until I finally wrote it down. As I watched them building, it struck me sort of funny that they would concentrate so much on digging a hole underground when there were so many other things they should do in life. If nothing else, they could look at the sky, and walk around and live a little bit, instead of doing this immoral thing.[12]

    —Dylan

  21. People sometimes are prone to say things like “oh, history will judge them harshly” or karma and hubris will catch up with them on down the road etc 
    But just looky here who’s catching at least a modicum of history-type scrutiny……Bush Cheney, Rumsfeld and all them.

  22. Looks like we have a deal with Taliban for safe evacuations. You’d think it’s in their interest to get rid of their enemies and kick us out ASAP. If we evacuate 100,000 scared Americans and Afghans would lessen political hit for Biden. 

  23. One of Dave’s favorite moves was walking like a chicken while emitting the scream of a peacock.

  24. “If we evacuate 100,000 scared Americans and Afghans would lessen political hit for Biden.”

    craig,  nah, he’ll be hit then for letting in all those furriners. 

  25. Don’t sweat the politics of it- the GQP is in a bind because the “America First” base doesn’t support interventionist wars because quite frankly it’s their kids that enlist 

  26. Scariest thing I heard today, Council on Foreign Relations president Richard Hass on MSNBC worrying Taliban could take over Pakistan and its nuclear weapons. 

  27. Someone should ask Abbott if he knows that karma is spelled b-i-t-c-h.  Stupid shit.

    And I bet this (from the Statesman) will almost make his head explode:

    “Fort Bliss in El Paso will be the destination for potentially thousands of Afghan refugees, Pentagon officials said Monday during a press conference to address the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan.

    “As we prepare for even more arrivals, [U.S. Northern Command] and the U.S. Army are working to create additional capacity to support refugee relocation in the U.S., including temporary sites under assessment at Fort Bliss, Texas, and Camp McCoy, Wisconsin,” Department of Defense official Gary Reed said.”

     
    Congrats to Pete and Chasten – they’ll wonder some years from now why they thought this was a good idea.

  28. As through any situation that appears to be very bad, slowly things come out about the back action.  More and more there are the reports of what the SFB administration had done the last couple of years to encourage the Taliban.  In particular are stories about that master of negotiations and business doing his thing to release criminals from jail, giving the enemy the go ahead to do what they want, but wait a year.  Yup.  Looking like SFB set the path for the collapse of the Afghanistan military and government. 
     
    Probably why SFB Texas has a dose of Covid-19 and people are climbing on that trophy.  If you are trying to be a bigger SFB than the original SFB you pay a price.  Rumours are SFB Texas has been vaxxed so there is little chance he will end up room temp after sucking on tube for air. 

  29. Yes, but what of Greg’s un-masked audience on Monday? 

    Greg won’t want to take refugees. He tried to opt out of tRUMPsky’s plan to take in folks, so why would he did it under Biden? (I think he was told he could not opt out, but I’m not certain.)

    BB – This will be interesting if it can be verified that tRUMP touched Afghanistan and it, too, turned to crap.

    https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/17/us/chicago-pharmacist-arrested-vaccine-cards-ebay/index.html

    “Tangtang Zhao, 34, allegedly sold 125 Covid-19 vaccination cards from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…”

    “Zhao, who worked as a pharmacist during that time, was indicted on 12 counts of theft of government property, the release added.”

    “Knowingly selling COVID vaccination cards to unvaccinated individuals puts millions of Americans at risk of serious injury or death,…”

    “If convicted, Zhao faces up to 10 years in prison for each count…”

  30. in re abbott, someone said on nicole’s show today that he was taking remdesivir.  maybe he’s in more trouble than his spokeperson lets on.  

  31. A fake vaxx  card can go for up to $1500, the shots are free.
    China wants  access to Afgan rare earth minerals. I wonder how the Taliban will deal with them jailing all those Muslims in Northwest China ?
    Abbott , ………………..
     
     
    On July 14, 1984, at age 26, Abbott was paralyzed below the waist when an oak tree fell on him while he was jogging following a storm. He had two steel rods implanted in his spine, underwent extensive rehabilitation at TIRR Memorial Hermann in Houston and has used a wheelchair ever since.

    I got to think Greg has some under lying health concerns. 

     

  32. I hope we know where all those Pakistani A-Bombs are. 
    They played a dangerous game the last 20 years.  And climate change is after both countries , and throw in Iran as well. 
    All of them , will be some of the first to deal with “Wet Bulb Temperatures”.  We have already seen the first of these events in Iran , and Pakistan.  Both were short in duration,  a warning shot of what’s to come. 

  33.  
    Thousands Of People Flee A Wildfire Near The French Riviera During Vacation Season
     
    LA GARDE-FREINET, France — Thousands of people fled homes, campgrounds and hotels near the French Riviera on Tuesday as firefighters battled a blaze that raced through nearby forests, sending smoke pouring down wooded slopes toward vineyards in the picturesque area.
    It was just the latest blaze in a summer of wildfires that have swept across the Mediterranean region, leaving areas in Greece, Turkey, Italy, Algeria and Spain in smoldering ruins.
     
    https://www.npr.org/2021/08/17/1028481268/french-riviera-wildfires-france-mediterranean-region-fires

  34. News in the 21st Century –
    “Thousands Flee”  , and embedded in the story , a first hand account with this  …………….. “We’ve never seen this before”. 

  35. Smoke ruins wine grapes , even if the vines are saved. 

    “Temperatures in the area have reached 40 degrees C (104 F) in recent days. ………………… The wildfire started Monday evening, in the height of France’s summer vacation season, about 40 kilometers (24 miles) inland from the coastal resort of Saint-Tropez. Fueled by powerful seasonal winds coming off the Mediterranean Sea, the fire had spread across 5,000 hectares (12,000 acres) of forest by Tuesday morning, according to the Var regional administration.”

  36. The real wild card in this mess is women.  The Taliban say they have changed, but one thing is certain the women have .
    Speaking of which,  the PM in New Zealand  has shut down the entire country  over one new Covid case. 
    God Bless lesbian  leadership.  
     
     
    Cases
     
    From Wikipedia and 

    others

     

     

     

     · Last updated: 10 mins ago
     
    World  wide     208M    Deaths  4.38M
     
    New Zealand       
    Cases

    2,926

    Deaths

    26

     
     

          Clever girl .
     
     
     
                
     
     
     

  37. Yeah. Where in the world is Kamala Harris?   Well, maybe they want to keep her from being associated with the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan.  Although, she did go in for some kind of medical testing a couple of weeks ago.

  38. https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/17/politics/texas-supreme-court-house-democrats/index.html

    “I’m very disappointed in the Supreme Court’s opinion. We will continue to consult with our legal team to pursue a federal remedy that isn’t closely tied to Governor Abbott…”

    As for Abbott’s current health situation (shoulda worn a mask, Greg), if anything happens to him, we will be stuck with Lt. Turd, Dan Patrick, who is actually a more loathsome being.

  39. Mike Herriot
    Greg Abbott has armed guards who don’t let people get close, daily testing for anyone he comes into contact with, a whole team disinfecting the Governors mansion and a medical staff on standby And he STILL got that shit I’m sure those unmasked Texas schoolkids will be fine, tho

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