Michael Scheuer has some very sharp words about Afghanistan as he always has. He points out the British called certain military actions “punitive campaigns.” You go into a country, kill a bunch of men, women, and children, bomb a bunch of buildings, blow up some bridges and dams … then you leave. You know they will leave you alone for a couple of years as they rebuild.
On the surface at least this is what Scheuer wanted for Afghanistan. Go in, kill Osama Bin Laden, kill the Taliban leadership, bomb weddings to demoralize the population, then get the hell out, by 2004 at the latest.
But the US stayed for 20 years. Why? Scheuer makes a chilling revelation. He claims during the initial planning for the war, the Pentagon completely ignored the people who were Afghanistan specialists. He mentions a specific paper done that laid out the basic knowledge and long-term plans specific to the region, a product of many man-years of specialized work; none of the brass, nor the civilians, had ever read it, and weren’t interested in reading it, or talking to the people who wrote it.
Scheuer’s take was they wanted to plan this war as a “generic war.” US has these assets, these techniques, these logistics, and these are universal and apply to any situation. Imperial Hubris, indeed.
As for the motivation, as far as Scheuer is concerned, the politicians wanted a show, and the generals wanted to funnel as much money as they could to Raytheon and Lockheed and Northrop, thus ensuring when they retired they could get on the boards and get that longed after class promotion from upper middle class to wealthy elite. Important to remember, this isn’t simply just the greed of a single general so he can buy a fancy house, this is the ticket to generational wealth that can be passed on to his children and grandchildren.
As to why US is now leaving Afghanistan after 20 years? Here Scheuer gives us a “just so” story. The Democrats – Biden, Pelosi, and Republicans-in-name-only like “Cocaine Mitch” McConnell – they are all being paid by China, they are assets of the Chinese Communist Party, and Xi Jinping called them up and gave them their orders, “evacuate Afghanistan” and they replied, “as you command, Glorious Leader.”
Well, Michael Scheuer is a life-long CIA officer that has for the last year at least been popularizing the comical disinformation of fabulist Thomas McInerney. So, reading Scheuer is a bit like trying to eat the fabled ice cream mixed with some shit. It tastes really good but it’s also hard to avoid eating the shit too.
So as we can see with Steve Bannon’s ridiculous takes on “the Chinese Communist Party,” and the phrase “the Chinese flu” – Scheuer uses that phrase as well – the Republicans are all about demonizing China, just as the Democrats are all about demonizing Russia; indeed, this is the Republican version of “Russiagate.” Democrats told us Trump was taking orders from Vladimir Putin and the Republicans tell us Biden is taking order from Xi Jinping. Tweedle-dee, Tweedle-dumb, pick your poison, pick your shitty ice cream cone.
Henry Delacroix at The American Sun tells us there will be No Saigon ‘75 For Us.
[T]here is no election coming up nor a Republican in the Oval Office. The media does not have a target to wield the images of a collapsing Kabul for its gain. … When Trump wanted out even after their release, he was stymied by the permanent bureaucracy and their friends in the media.
Any video of Afghan National Army forces surrendering en masse, handing over weapons and giving up at the first opportunity will not lead the national news. Viral videos will stay viral and not be given broad establishment amplification. Humvees are falling into the Taliban’s arms with no hysterical emotion from pundits compared to their theatrics about anything the last five years.
They don’t want to embarrass Joe Biden; more importantly, they don’t want to embarrass Antony Blinken, Ron Klain, and Avril Haines, and they don’t want to interrupt Lloyd Austin as he’s purging cishet white males who won’t swear allegience to Robin DiAngelo.
If you poll every single working “journalist” in the “mainstream” media, 90% will proudly identify as strongly partisan Democrats, and 10% will claim to be non-partisan; if any admit to being Republicans they will be summarily fired for “making bodies of color unsafe.” So, the withdraw process will be muted by the media as the media is a strictly partisan operation.
The media was in full-throated support for the war against Afghanistan for 20 years; there was much more ambiguity about the war against Iraq. Bush’s “surge” in Iraq was roundly criticized as the folly of a fool. Obama’s “surge” in Afghanistan was praised as a brilliant strategy from a brilliant strategic mind.
Delacroix speculates, why this, why now?
[T]he pullout could be for a repurposing of the Taliban and ISIS controlled Islamist assets. We aided them in the ‘80s, fought them in the 21st century but now can ask them to pivot to China with America. The weapons the Taliban are collecting are laundered through the Afghan Army similar to the Syrian weapons laundering to ISIS in last decade’s proxy fight. This is on China’s border and offers a refuge and training ground for Uighurs a la Syria. Terror camps can re-open, but this time be aimed at China.
One day in the ‘20s, the media might have to drum up support for Uighur freedom fighters. The image of the last helicopter out of Saigon stuck with a generation. America cannot have a repeat and be asked in short order to support the villains our troops and foreign service fled from in a panic. No major coverage of the quick collapse of the Afghan government also means that no one will notice that after twenty years, the map of control on 9/11/2001 and 9/11/2021 will look the same.
The US never really “controlled” Afghanistan. The various US aligned factions were assisted in keeping control of certain areas and fighting the Taliban and other opponents of the US. When an Afghani girl wanted to get married and have a family, the US would bomb her wedding and kill her entire family. When she wants to go to university and learn Critical Race Theory, she will be profiled in the US media for domestic consumption.
Under Reagan, the Taliban, then called Mujahideen, were invited to the White House for photo-ops and declared the Afghani equivalent of our Founding Fathers. CIA asset Osama Bin Laden became the boogey-man of the 9/11 mythology and the Mujahideen, now called the Taliban, became the bad guys. It works the same in Syria, the exact same people are branded as Moderate Syrian Rebels or Islamic State depending on the propaganda needs at the time.
So the Taliban may get rebranded again as Uighur-Aligned Freedom Fighters in the Great War Against Chinese Communist Oppression.
The point was never to “win” the war. The point was to have a long war and spend a lot of money.
General David Petraeus was the son of a sea captain and a librarian who grew up middle class in a small New York town. By the end of it, after running the war in Afghanistan for years and CIA for a while, he’d probably have been able to retire on a quarter million a year.
But that’s ain’t rich. So, as a reward for a long career of faithful service, he was hired by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, the global investment bank. That’s where you make that multi-generational wealth. That is when service above and beyond gets rewarded by the real oligarchy.
You must understand, for the Pentagon Brass, middle class kids sent to West Point, this is their one chance for that class promotion from ordinary schmuck to Master of the Universe. Imagine if they don’t get on the board of a defense contractor and have to retire on their pension. Sure, a nice house in Florida, a fancy car for the wife, no college debt for the kids, and membership in a great golf club.
But that ain’t rich.
I have to wait around like everyone else. I can’t even get decent food. I ordered spaghetti with marinara and I got egg noodles and ketchup. I’m an average nobody. I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook. — Henry Hill, Goodfellas
Won’t somebody please think of the Generals?