21 October 2017

Time to Admit Failure in Afghanistan

... And for a number of years, we did very well. Education, health services, democratic institutions, women’s rights, their arrival on the scene of Afghanistan – because of the support of the Afghan people and because of the support of all the countries present here, primarily, the big powers, Russia, China, Iran and so on. I was taken to the United States on a US plane. I was brought to Moscow, Mr President, on a Russian plane. Your government may have not told you. I came here on a Russian plane. I went to China on a Chinese plane. The Indians provided the same facilities. It was this massive international cooperation with the United States and its allies that made a success.
But soon, we began to get troubles. Extremism arrived again, violence erupted again, terrorism arrived again. And the US did not pay attention to where it was coming from. It began bombing Afghan villages, it began killing Afghan people, it began putting Afghan people in prisons. And the more they did the more we had extremism.
Today, I am one of the greatest critics of the US policy in Afghanistan. Not because I am anti-Western, I am a very Western person. My education is Western, my ideas are Western. I am very democratic in my inner instincts. And I love their culture. But I am against the US policy because it is not succeeding. It is causing us immense trouble and the rise of extremism and radicalism and terrorism. I am against the US policy because on their watch, under their total control of the Afghan air space, the Afghan intelligence and the Afghan military, of all that they have, that super power, there is Daesh in Afghanistan. How come Daesh emerged in Afghanistan 14–15 years after the US presence in Afghanistan with that mass of resources and money and expenditure? Why is the world not as cooperative with America in Afghanistan today as it was before? How come Russia now has doubts about the intentions of the US in Afghanistan or the result of its work in Afghanistan? How come China does not view it the same way? How come Iran has immense difficulty with the way things are conducted in Afghanistan?
Therefore, as an Afghan in the middle of this great game, I propose to our ally, the United States, the following: we will all succeed if you tell us that you have failed. We would understand. Russia would understand, China would understand. Iran, Pakistan, everybody would understand. India would understand. We have our Indian friends there. We see all signs of failure there, but if you do not tell us you failed, what is this, a game?
Hamid Karzai, former President of Afghanistan

08 January 2017

The Fall of the House of Clinton

In the above video, you can view the Reverend Jesse Jackson, Jr. calling for Barack Obama to pardon Hillary Clinton before leaving office.

Undoubtedly, Rev. Jackson is carrying water for the Clintons in making that request. He is, as Black Agenda editor Glen Ford points out in the video, a very loyal servant of the Clintons. And as a loyal servant, Rev. Jackson would never make a request so damaging to the Clintons without their approval.

It's a damaging request because the legal nuance that a person need not be guilty to be pardoned is far too complicated for the general public. Instead, it will be understood more in the vein of "where there's smoke there's fire," that the Clintons are guilty of a serious crime.

Although Jackson mentions only a pardon for Hillary Clinton in the short video clip, there can be no doubt that it is a pardon for both Clintons that is actually being run up that trial balloon's tether. The evidence of their jointly-owned pay-for-play racket that emerged in the last days before the election is simply too strong.

So what we see in this video is the moment the House of Clinton fell. Now they want protection, ostensibly from Donald Trump, but in reality from whomever might come bearing pitchforks in the future. The Clintons made very powerful enemies during their reign, not the least of which are the Dark State commanders outraged by Clinton's lackadaisical attitude toward classified information.

Since the Clintons have asked for it, I'm fairly confident that Barack Obama will issue those pardons just before leaving The White House, even though it will be damaging to his legacy.

I can wish that their punishment was far more severe; the Clintons have the blood of millions of people on their hands done in by the wars they started. But things don't work that way during this period of our nation's history. So rather than the hangman's noose, confinement to a mental institution, or even banishment to the Isle of St. Helens, [1] the Clintons will walk free amongst us.

But at least their reign is over. Good riddance.

11 December 2016

Looking at U.S. Government: Reality

For those who look at U.S. government through rose-tinted glasses, it might be enlightening to look occasionally at reality:

Obama also accurately described himself and his own record of militarism. To defend against charges that he Loves the Terrorists, he boasted:
As commander-in-chief, I have not shied away from using force when necessary. I have ordered tens of thousands of young Americans into combat.
I’ve ordered military action in seven countries.
By “ordered military actions in seven countries,” what he means is that he has ordered bombs dropped, and he has extinguished the lives of thousands of innocent people, in seven different countries, all of which just so happen to be predominantly Muslim.
The list includes one country where he twice escalated a war that was being waged when he was inaugurated (Afghanistan), another where he withdrew troops to great fanfare only to then order a new bombing campaign (Iraq), two countries where he converted very rare bombings into a constant stream of American violence featuring cluster bombs and “signature strikes”(Pakistan and Yemen), one country where he continued the policy of bombing at will (Somalia), and one country where he started a brand new war even in the face of Congressional rejection of his authorization to do so, leaving it in tragic shambles (Libya). That doesn’t count the aggression by allies that he sanctioned and supported (in Gaza), nor the proxy wars he enabled (the current Saudi devastation of Yemen), nor the whole new front of cyberattacks he has launched, nor the multiple despots he has propped up, nor the clandestine bombings that he still has not confirmed (Philippines).
(As the military historian and former U.S. Army Col. Andrew Bacevich noted in the Washington Post after Obama began bombing Syria, “Syria has become at least the 14th country in the Islamic world that U.S. forces have invaded or occupied or bombed, and in which American soldiers have killed or been killed. And that’s just since 1980.” That is the fact that, by itself, renders tribalistic Westerners who obsessively harp on the violence of Muslims such obvious self-deluded jokes.)

Glenn Greenwald, To Defend Iran Deal, Obama Boasts That He’s Bombed Seven Countries, The Intercept (August 26, 2015).

24 May 2016

The hazards of speaking from a teleprompter ...

U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday during his visit to Vietnam—a nation still suffering from a U.S. invasion that lasted 20 years—that big nations should not bully smaller ones. ... 
Obama alluded to China’s recent actions in the South China Sea, when he made his bully remark[.]

Obama In Vietnam ‘Big Nations Should Not Bully Smaller Ones’, Mint Press News (May 24, 2016).

(Unless the bigger nation is the U.S.A., of course.)

31 October 2015

Vietnamization 2.0

Andrew Bacevich has an important article now up on TomDispatch.com, On Building Armies (and Watching Them Fail): Why Washington Can’t 'Stand Up' Foreign Militaries, which is highly recommended reading.

Likening present U.S. efforts to build national military forces in Afghanistan and Iraq --- that are capable of protecting present governments --- to the five-year "Vietnamization" wind-down period of the U.S. war in Viet Nam, Bacevich makes a very strong case for his central fact:
Indeed, the United States would be better served if policymakers abandoned the pretense that the Pentagon possesses any gift whatsoever for “standing up” foreign military forces. Prudence might actually counsel that Washington assume instead, when it comes to organizing, training, equipping, and motivating foreign armies, that the United States is essentially clueless.

07 September 2015

A Question about Ron Wyden's Intelligence

The charges in the Indictment that the defendants planned and waged aggressive wars are charges of the utmost gravity. War is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world. To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.
— Reading of the Judgment, 22 Nuremberg Trial Proceedings 427 (30 September 1946)

* * * * *

Congress is expected to vote this week on legislation that would undo the agreement between Iran and the P5+1 nations, negotiated on the U.S. behalf by the Obama Administration. Enough Senators have announced that they will vote against the bill to ensure that Mr. Obama's promised veto of the bill if it passes will be upheld in the Senate.

But there are not yet enough Senators on board to ensure that the bill simply does not pass, making a veto and subsequent lobbying unnecessary. One of the Senators who has not yet taken a position is Oregon's Ron Wyden, regarded by the Administration as one of its most difficult "gets."

25 March 2015

U.S., Russia, and Ukraine: The Heartland

[Editor's note: This article began as a comment on an excellent article entitled, The Saker interviews Paul Craig Roberts. But because The Vineyard of the Saker is still shaking out the bugs from its new website, this was too long to be continued so I publish it here. I agree with Mr. Roberts on most points, but I disagree on his statement that U.S. "hostility toward Russia goes back to the Wolfowttz Doctrine."]

The U.S. government hostility to Russia and its interest in Ukraine demonstrably predate the Wolfowitz Doctrine. Bear in mind here that Barack Obama learned his geopolitics from the Russia-hating former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski and still consults with him.

American foreign policy since World War II has been haunted by a pseudoscience called geopolitics with its corresponding geostrategy that attaches inordinate strategic importance to Eurasia. For an excellent and well-written critique of those concepts that should substantially aid understanding, see this thoroughly-referenced U.S. Army War College Quarterly paper by Christopher Fettweiss from 2000.