May 2, 2011

Crazy Talk

From the NYT:
Pentagon officials said they were preparing for calls for a more rapid withdrawal from Afghanistan. 

I.e., preparing to shout down calls for withdrawal. I'm sorry if this sounds old-fashioned, but I had somehow gotten the impression that the Pentagon's job was to fight our country's wars, not to choose them. Silly me.
Pentagon officials acknowledged that NATO nations, many of whom already are reluctant to remain in Afghanistan, also may argue that Bin Laden’s death allows them to withdraw more rapidly than planned. 
“I hope people are going to feel, on a bipartisan basis, that when you move the ball this far it’s crazy to walk off the field,” one senior administration official said. Officials who favor retaining a large troop presence said that while this was a significant victory, the security gains in Afghanistan remained fragile.

The idea of not spending $114 billion dollars per year on war in strategically crucial Afghanistan is just crazy talk! The U.S. must dominate Afghanistan's world-historical supplies of gravel.

It's interesting that the Pentagon was unenthusiastic about starting the war in Libya, but went along with the State / White House war fever. It's sort of a One War for You, One War for Me deal. We'll fight your war if you let us keep fighting our war. Nobody, of course, seems interested in the inverse: we'll stop our war and you stop your war.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

America jammed Pakistani radars before sending in our forces. That suggests, to me, that we thought that Pakistan was actively protecting Bin Laden. There's really no other explanation.

Pakistani elite military and intelligence figures shelter Bin Laden, annually collect billions a year in mililitary aid from the US to help search for Bin Laden, embezzle a high percentage of the aid, and act as they're "allies" in the War on Terror. Perfect plan for getting rich and keeping the money flowing. In this arrangement, the incentive is to keep Bin Laden hidden forever while aid keeps flowing into Deep Stater bank accounts. Scam of a lifetime.

Dumping the body into the sea was meant to hide something. Perhaps Bin Laden got some type of complex medical or surgical procedure performed - sophisticated enough that it could only have been done at a very elite medical facility. By preventing a good look or autopsy of the body, it's guaranteed the public won't find out.

When US troops confronted him on the top floor of the compound, Bin Laden had no gun in his hand. They shot him twice anyway - once in the chest and once in the head. This is exactly the opposite of what was done to Saddam, who was captured alive and put on trial. Killing, instead of capturing, Osama Bin Laden was done to keep something secret.

headache said...

I'm always a little skeptical when servicemen say they are anti-war and want come home. Maybe the avg. grunt on the ground. But most officers, special forces operatives and certainly the upper brass all benefit from war, so it is in their interest to have many wars. I guess having your plate too full can also be a problem, but generally war is bullish for the military, and naturally for the military-industrial complex.

This is why it is essential that a civilian institution (the Congress in the US) is there to reign them in.

Anonymous said...

Of course they're going to squelch calls for rapid and complete withdrawal. They want to stay in Afghanistan because they want to keep a large military presence right next to Pakistan so they can monitor and intimidate their faux ally. But they can't actually say that, so they'll make up some nonsense about staying on to protect the fledgling democracy in Afghanistan for the next 50 years. Plus it's a goldmine for all those military contractors.

Anonymous said...

Afghanistan's gravel industry...... Very nice. Also don't forget about their developing mud market.

Dan in DC

Anonymous said...

Steve seems to think the govt should carry out the desires of the people. How quaint!

Umm....it's not a democracy, steve. It is a federalist presidential system with separation of powers and strong checks and balances, with super-enlarged voting districts. This is a system tailor-made for crippling democracy, as stated by its creator. This is a system that was designed from the start to keep the people from controlling their own govt.

If you want democracy, where the govt does more or less what the people want, look to western european nations that have parliamentarian systems and small voting districts. Or just try to get voters to take the American Federal budget to zero dollars, and then you will have the starting basis for a defacto parliamentarian democracy. And then the individual states will have much more control of their individual militaries.


What both amuses me and saddens me is that everyday I go on the internet and read, from liberals, conservatives, independents, etc. that we need to, or should, do this or that or implement this or that worthy public policy. Um....we are not in control of our own govt, and we never really have been, not on things that really matter. It's like listening to people on horseback saying, 'we need to travel 50 miles an hour!'

Dude, you're on horseback. If you want speed, get a car. Likewise, if you want your govt to do what the people want, get a democracy.

Yes, it will be hard to get a democracy, especially when nobody seems to realize that we do not have one. But you have to understand any problem before you can solve it.

slumber_j said...

Afghanistan: it's not just for gravel anymore. As the Wicked Witch of the West put it, "Poppies! Poppies!"

hbd chick said...

@steve - "The U.S. must dominate Afghanistan's world-historical supplies of gravel."

but it's a very, special (valuable) sort of gravel!:

U.S. Identifies Vast Mineral Riches in Afghanistan

"The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.

"The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe."


don't believe the headline, tho. the u.s. didn't discover all these riches -- the soviets did. which is why they were there. and we prolly knew at least something of what they knew, which is why we got into the danged place after they left.

Chicago said...

The Afghan resistance has no air force, no heavy artillery, no tanks, troop carriers, body armor, night vision equipment, high tech sniper rifles, missiles, drones, spy planes, etc. All they have are small arms, RPGs and IEDs. Their recruits are mostly illiterate villagers. What they have is the will to keep fighting and a clear mission, that of ejecting the foreign interlopers who came with guns.
After all these years nobody here really has much idea of why we're fighting there, except that because we've been there we must continue to be there for all eternity. That is, until we go broke.
It would be nice to see all that money spent domestically; at least we'd be spending our money on ourselves.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the U.S. can keep an intelligence presence in Afghanistan (to keep an ear on Pakistan) for a lot less than 100 billion.

Patrick O' Raiffearteague said...

Anon the top of the thread

What you wrote is true. Pakistani Elites do in fact steal US aid-White American tax dollars. And they use this stolen wealth to get their children into the US. The children of these corrupt Pakistani Elites in the US than get into Elite US Universities and then move into influential positions in US society where they can manipulate immigration policy to Pakistan's favor. And the rest of them go to Hedge Funds,Wall Street or start a company. They wealth acquired is used to buy treasonous former Congressman such as the sociopathic Joe Wilson who lobbies the US Congress on behalf of Pakistan for such things as increased Pakistani immigration to the US. Osama Bin Laden and Al-Queda are, of course, a creation of Joe Wilson. Amazing stuff isn't it? I mean the Pakistani Elites have quite a racket.

White American Tax Payer dollars to Pakistan are being used to perpetuate an immigration policy whose only intent-as far as I can tell-is to make White Americans a racial minority.

Anonymous said...

Steve, I agree with you probably 75% of the time, but the only crazy talk on this issue comes from yourself.

My biggest problem with Steve's and by extension the paleocons, foreign policy is that it is mindlessly defeatist and strangely anti-white.

The only thing Steve ever recommends is just giving up and accepting defeat. He has no plan on how to deal with the day after. He doesn't seem to care that much.

Like the far left, he never contemplates what a humiliating disgrace it would be for the powerful nation in history to LOSE to a bunch of tribal nomads, in a war that was started with full justification, 90% approval at home, and majority approval from the Afghans themselves.

Steve assumes that victory is impossible, like he (wrongly) assumed with Iraq. He should know better. There are numerous historical examples of successful counterinsurgency campaigns. European powers once colonized the planet. The idea that one or two medium sized nations are impossible to subdue should be a sick joke.

Steve is upset at the Pakistanis. In that case he should be advocating a relatively more forceful line with them, not throwing up our hands.

Steve says the war is too costly. This is nonsense. The two wars combined have made up less than 5% of our budget. 6,000 have died from all causes, compared to 58,000 in Vietnam and 36,000 in Korea. More Germans got killed in the 36 day long invasion of Poland than Americans who have died in the eight years plus combined in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Unlike some white nationalists, I do not endorse the invasion of Poland.)

Steve is upset that we are playing the game of empire. Hasn't every great nation in history had an empire? When white nations were at their most confident and assertive racially speaking, they had huge empires. We should have no shame in having one ourselves.

Steve thinks he is being pro-white because he thinks the wars are only in the interest of certain Jews. Besides the fact that nothing about Afghanistan can be construed as supporting Israel, the fact is that a defeat there would be seen by 99.9% as a defeat for whites, not a defeat for Jews. We would have to go through a whole new generation of using the wars to promote "whites as cancer" like with Vietnam.

engbill123 said...

hbd chick,

Hey, vast mineral wealth in Afghanistan-something else Kipling got right.

Back of the Napkin said...

"The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan

Well, let's see...

$1trillion/($113.7bil/yr) = 8yrs9mos

So we're on pace to spend more money that nearly all the mineral wealth in Afganistan in a few more years. How many more years...

Let's say we've spent $400Bil as of today and will spend another 3/4*(113.7Bil) by the end of 2011 for a total of $485bil. Thereafter, 115Bil/yr or $600Bil total by end of 2012.

I'm no mining expert, but guesstimate 50% off the top for overhead in extraction, purification, transportation, etc and the hopeful $1Tril mineral reserves produce a net of $500Billion.

Sounds like the US spending in Afganistan will exceed potential profit from all mineral extraction by 15bil/115bil*12=1.6months into 2012.

In other words, by mid-Feb 2012 the US will has spent more money than could be realized by mining all known minerals in Afganistan.

Of course, like Iraq, the US will have no rights to Afganistani mineral reserves.

Matt said...

"Killing, instead of capturing, Osama Bin Laden was done to keep something secret."

Of course it was. The secret is that the judicial system of the United States would turn any trial into a decades-long farce. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is an instructive example, and he's small potatoes in comparison.

Killing OBL let's us all cheer the death of a bad man and go around feeling good about something for a little while. Capturing OBL means he lives to the end of his natural life as a constant reminder of the interminable nature of our appeals process.

Whiskey said...

Former Amb. Bolton argues that simply leaving Afghanistan and Pakistan alone did not work out for us. Indeed, if you look at how bin Laden is basically just a creature of Pakistan's ISI/Military, you'd want to be up close and personal.

OR, nuke your way out and go home. I.E. nuke Pakistan's nukes, just to make the point, and then go home.

Yes it sucks, yes its expensive. Yes guys die. The alternative is to go home and wait for Pakistan to fall to the Jihadis (which Bolton argues is a real strong possibility) and then get plastered. It is not as if Pakistanis fear us. And that's a bad thing.

Whiskey said...

Anon -- In order to send in the recon teams that identified, yes it was quite likely (but not dead certain) that Osama was in the compound, you need substantial bases, and resources. That means boots on the ground and lots of them.

Pakistan is our enemy, which we pretend in bs ways is our friend. Because no one (except Bolton and a few others) has the intellectual courage to describe the "features" of globalization -- screaming Muslim mobs can now reach out and kill us anywhere. Indeed Pakistan and Saudi Arabia might be described as the same system, Pakistanis being the shock troops in Bahrain against the Iranian inspired revolt there.

CJ said...

Steve, Dan, and Chick:

we are protecting vast mineral resources in Afghanistan, just not ours -

http://www.google.com/search?q=china+copper+afghanistan

This is absolutely insane.

Whiskey said...

Let's have a thought experiment. Lets say we do as Steve suggests. Lets withdraw from Afghanistan. Totally. Iraq too, and lets get a good old fashioned defeat in Libya, Khadaffi stays after Obama demands he leave (and says its non-negotiable).

What are our options to prevent the Pakistani military from falling to the Islamists as Bolton fears might happen?

We are basically left with nothing. Pakistan has nukes. We can send in a few impotent cruise missile strikes like Clinton did. That's it. Leaving Afghanistan leaves us with nothing to stop Pakistan from sliding like Egypt into Islamic Revolution completely (you could argue they are already halfway there).

Marketing Genius said...

“I hope people are going to feel, on a bipartisan basis, that when you move the ball this far it’s crazy to walk off the field,” one senior administration official said.

What do you call it when game officials keep moving the goal posts so far downfield that even when you score the game winning touchdown it's simply called "downfield".

At least Bush/Cheney had to offer some plausible timelines even if they knew they were lying. They were constantly held accountable for daily death counts and mounthing costs.

With our leg-tingling MSM, Obama&Co can just blatantly continue their wars without any oversight or accountability.

It was genius for our elites to put in Obama. In constrast to Bush who did everything wrong, Obama is beyond even questioning by our MSM. This despite being worse on the main issues Bush was savaged for: pointless foreign wars, military-industrial waste, Wall Street wealth transfers, etc.

Suddenly it seems all the right-thinking liberals I know have become war mongoring elites who support assinating former allies and stealing trillions from US citizens to give to Wall Street elites.

The cognitive dissonance the Obama branding creates in so-called liberals today is really astounding.

David said...

Now that Osama bin Laden is dead (allegedly), why are we in Afghanistan?

headache said...

OT, but the only useful knowledge I obtained out of this OBL killing is that most Pak city names are composed of some arbitrary name and the "bad" suffix. They also don't seem to have the Indian and African hangup of having to rename everything from the colonial period.

In German a town which ends with "bad" usually denotes a resort or natural spring, often sporting a historical and upper class health industry. But even this supposed upmarket joint Abbottabad seems like the last place in the world I would want to visit apart from basically every African city. So obviously "bad" means something else in Pak.

nosgos said...

It's kinda disingenuous calling the Pak scheme of hiding OBL and cashing in on Uncle Sucker a scam, when Israel is running one of gigantic proportions on the US, and ends up being congratulated for it, and its representatives in the US given special privileges. In return the avg. US taxpayer, mostly white and Christian, is being swamped with third worlders, which these privileged representatives of Israel cannot find enough of to bring over, and are having their traditional christian neighborhoods challenged by the likes of ACLU, which sounds awfully like AIPAC. Just sayin.

Aren't the Afgan, by extension the undeclared Pak war, Iraq and even Libya somehow the result of the Neocons, who wanted to redraw the ME to suit Israel. In that case the cost of these wars should be added to the annual aid funneled to Israel, in addition to the buy-offs of Egypt and Jordan. When you tally that it seems Israel is costing the US taxpayer a fortune annually. What is the US taxpayer getting for this in return?

Anonymous said...

The legend of Osama bin Laden has been the best fundraising ploy that the Pentagon has ever had.

They milked it for nearly 20 years and a zillion more budget dollars but finally cashed in that chit.

Never forget: the US gov never officially accused OBL of "masterminding" the 9/11 attacks. They indicted him for the African embassy attacks only.

Various opportunities to kill OBL were quashed over the years by higher ups. He was our boy and he was a freaking goldmine.

RKU said...

Here's a little friendly advice for some of the dimmer commenters on this website...

If you stop always assuming that every single word you read in the MSM-newspapers and hear on MSM-TV is the absolute, literal truth, and just use your brain a bit, you can figure out some pretty interesting things about our world.

Admittedly, this doesn't apply to many of you, since you can't use what you obviously don't possess...

Patrick O'Raiffearteague said...

There is no absolutely no reason to be in Afgahnistan anymore..unless you want to create the next generation of Al Queda recruits which is what the US is doing everytime a pilotless predator drone shoots a missle at an Afghan family, killing some seven year old Afghan boys parents.

I'll go even further:if the goal was to prevent another terrorist attack on American soil, all that had to be done was 1) a complete shut down of all Muslim immigration into the US and 2)the deportation of Muslims in the US.

It was shocking to me-maybe it shouldn't have been-that when George W Bush said that we had t be over in the Musilm world, or otherwise, they would come here to the US to kill Americans...I'm shocked that he wasn't impeached and than put on trial for treason. It only requires he existence of one firing neuron in the neocortex of White Americans to see what an enormous lie that Bush was telling.

Osama Bin Laden is ultimtely so beside the point. It was the enormous stupidty of millions of White Americans that is ultimately the reason for 9/11 occurring. It was stupid enough to have an Israeli first foriegn policy imposed upon millions of Muslims in the Middle East that radicalized thousands of young Muslim Males...but to let these young Muslim Males in the US..now that's brain dead stupidity. And with this brain-dead stupidity, Kolmogorov's 0-1 law went into operation.. 9/11 was going to occur with probablility 1...

Saladin said...

Steve assumes that victory is impossible, like he (wrongly) assumed with Iraq. He should know better. There are numerous historical examples of successful counterinsurgency campaigns. European powers once colonized the planet. The idea that one or two medium sized nations are impossible to subdue should be a sick joke.

Okay, I'm game. Victory means winning what exactly? I've read your whole long comment and still have no idea what the goal is or how victory is to be determined.

The US has been in Afghanistan for nearly ten years now, and just killed ObL. What now is the standard of victory that has been so elusive for the past ten years, and what must be done to achieve it?

Anonymous said...

In German a town which ends with "bad" usually denotes a resort or natural spring... So obviously "bad" means something else in Pak.

It simply means "city".

Like "stadt" or "burg" in German, or "grad" in Russian.

Difference Maker said...

We can get by just fine with the world thinking it's a "humiliating disgrace", oops, oh well. We'll take that over wasting our money and our soldiers' lives while still destroying our international credibility.

Interestingly, you know who scores very highly on "fear of embarrassment" personality exams? Middle Easterners :D :D

Svigor said...

Pat,

Obviously Invade-Invite is a Really Bad Idea, and will lead to another 9/11. But I guess Whiskey thinks, "well, we sure as &#!@ don't have the balls to un-Invite the World, so we might as well Invade it, too."

He may have a point. That big ole military can be used not just against the ME, but also against the crackers at home if/when they get uppity, as they surely must as the consequences of Invade-Invite are harvested.

Maybe instead we should un-Invite the world and carpet-MIRV any country caught nuking us. Or tactical-nuke the capitals/headquarters of all terror-exporting groups in the event a group of origin cannot be determined.

Anonymous said...

"The US has been in Afghanistan for nearly ten years now, and just killed ObL. What now is the standard of victory that has been so elusive for the past ten years, and what must be done to achieve it?"

Before 2009 the U.S. had only 32,000 troops in Afghanistan, obviously an inadequate force. So seven out of those ten years we were mainly reactive.

To win, we need to conduct clear and hold operations and follow up by installing semi-competent local administrators, and try to bribe the locals. We need to move into northern Pakistan to stamp out the sanctuaries. All of this is standard counterinsurgency stuff that has been employed in numerous past wars.

We win when the insurgents have been reduced to a nuisance that the Afghan security forces can handle themselves. We will then withdraw to permanent bases which will be maintained for insurance purposes.

Marketing Genius said...

To win, we need to conduct clear and hold operations and follow up by installing semi-competent local administrators, and try to bribe the locals. We need to move into northern Pakistan to stamp out the sanctuaries. All of this is standard counterinsurgency stuff that has been employed in numerous past wars.

We win when the insurgents have been reduced to a nuisance that the Afghan security forces can handle themselves. We will then withdraw to permanent bases which will be maintained for insurance purposes.


What the hell do you think we've been trying to do for the past decade in Afganistan? After the quick US/Northern Alliance victory the stated US goal has been exactly as you outline: WHAM, stablize and support the local Afgani military, police and government so they can stand on their own.

The problem is you can't impose a Western-style multi-cultural high-trust low-corruption democracy on isolated backwards very tribal peoples who have hundreds of years of rivalries and hatred. Neither the people, culture nor religion allow for it. I assume cousin marriage is higher than the 50% of Iraq?

The only hope to impose any order would require a brutal indifference to human rights and diplomacy that would make Jos Stalin blush. The US and UN would never resort to that on the scale necessary since it would invalidate the very premise of their mission to spread the wonders of modern liberal progressive feminism and materialistic atheistic hedonism.

It costs very little to control the place and instill fear like the initial invasion and quick victory. It's a bottomless pit of wasted men, material and opportunities lost to continue on the fool's errand we've been sent on.

Mr. Anon said...

"RKU said...

Here's a little friendly advice for some of the dimmer commenters on this website...

If you stop always assuming that every single word you read in the MSM-newspapers and hear on MSM-TV is the absolute, literal truth, and just use your brain a bit, you can figure out some pretty interesting things about our world.

Admittedly, this doesn't apply to many of you, since you can't use what you obviously don't possess..."

Or for that matter, stop assuming that anything RKU says - particularly regarding mexicans - is the truth.

Saladin said...

To win, we need to conduct clear and hold operations and follow up by installing semi-competent local administrators, and try to bribe the locals. We need to move into northern Pakistan to stamp out the sanctuaries. All of this is standard counterinsurgency stuff that has been employed in numerous past wars.

We win when the insurgents have been reduced to a nuisance that the Afghan security forces can handle themselves. We will then withdraw to permanent bases which will be maintained for insurance purposes.


Okay, lemme get this straight. We're basically trying to suppress the "insurgents" and then permanently occupy the place.

But in my understanding, you have to be an "insurgent" against somebody. But these so-called insurgents live there, and seemingly the people they're "insurging" against is the US. It certainly isn't against the Afghan government, since there basically isn't one.

So, it seems to me that the "endgame" of this "strategy" must be to annex the place as the 51st state. Because otherwise you can hardly call the people who are trying to get rid of the invaders the "insurgents."

The joint is their country, no? God knows it's more theirs than ours. Anyway, lots of luck with this "victory." Check back with us in a few decades and tell us how it's panning out. Sounds great!

Difference Maker said...

Btw "bad" or "abad" simply means "abode". My back of the envelope indoeuropean etymology for the day.

Udolpho.com said...

Admittedly, this doesn't apply to many of you, since you can't use what you obviously don't possess...

A mental disorder?

none of the above said...

Matt:

Since 9/11, we have successfully prosecuted a bunch of terrorists in civilian court, including US citizens Lindh and Padilla, including alleged 20th hijacker Moussoui. KSM wasn't tried because of political pushback. I assume that was to keep details of his torture out of the public record, since the security concerns that were the commonly given reason to oppose the trial made no sense whatsoever. (If AQ could strike in NYC anytime they chose, they'd have done it by now.)

I can easily believe that Obama thought the trial would be less beneficial politically than killing the bastard, but that's an awful way to decide who does and doesn't get a trial.