February 27, 2012

Obama Admin: U.S. not accomplishing anything in Afghanistan, so can't leave

From the New York Times:
Afghan Uproar Casts Shadows on U.S Pullout 
WASHINGTON — American officials sought to reassure both Afghanistan’s government and a domestic audience on Sunday that the United States remained committed to the war after the weekend killing of two American military officers inside the Afghan Interior Ministry and days of deadly anti-American protests. 
But behind the public pronouncements, American officials described a growing concern, even at the highest levels of the Obama administration and Pentagon, about the challenges of pulling off a troop withdrawal in Afghanistan that hinges on the close mentoring and training of army and police forces.

The "challenges of pulling off a troop withdrawal in Afghanistan" seem somewhat exaggerated.
You just slip out the back, Jack
Make a new plan, Stan
You don't need to be coy, Roy
Just get yourself free
Hop on the bus, Gus
You don't need to discuss much
Just drop off the key, Lee
And get yourself free 

Things have gotten so wacky that the New Voice of Sanity on Afghanistan is the Newtster, who said to Afghanistan this week: "‘You know, you’re going to have to figure out how to live your own miserable life.'"

72 comments:

Anonymous said...

We are done there. The only reason to stay is if we intend to mire ourselves in their tribal squables, or end them permenantly.

Anonymous said...

Latino who wasn't even born in this country demands racial preferences.

http://indianapublicmedia.org/news/affirmative-action-case-hearing-impact-institutions-27284/

Here is his profile where it lists where he was born.

http://ccd.indiana.edu/personnel/students

Anonymous said...

It is quite challenging to leave Afghanistan when you promised it was the "good war" and, darn it, the constitution makes you subject yourself to a re-election campaign this year.

Not sure who's to blame for that. Probably white people? Gun-clingers? Whatever.

hailtoyou said...

The Afghanistan War cost the USA $118 billion in 2011.

The USA collected $2,300 billion in 2011, and borrowed even more. Most was paid out in so-called 'entitlements' (Social Security, Welfare). Discretionary spending was $1,300 billion.

Thus, the Afghan War has been costing the USA 9% of its total non-'entitlement' budget. (118/1300). One minor intervention that few people bother to think much about, that few people truly care about, costs the USA so much.

It seems to me I've heard this story before. (As has a certain Ron Paul). As I recall, it never quite turns out well for the power funding the high-cost/low-benefit foreign military campaigns.

Anonymous said...

The Afghanistan War cost the USA $118 billion in 2011.

The USA collected $2,300 billion in 2011, and borrowed even more.


Well foreign countries that loan the US dollars need to get their dollars from somewhere before they loan it to the US.

So military spending pumps dollars out into the world that can be loaned back to the US.

Chicago said...

I'd bet that if Romney were to suddenly find a voice and declare that, as president, we'd be out of there the day after he takes office, that he'd be voted in. No question about it.
But he won't; too chicken, too much of a waffler, tries to play it safe all the time.

Anonymous said...

If Obama pulls out before election, he can be accused of losing the Afghan War, especially if it leads to fall of Karzai government and rise of the Taliban.

US 'defeat' in Afghanistan may also send shockwaves into nuclear-armed Pakistan. "So,the great power USA went the way of UK and Russia." It will embolden the Islamists.

US had a great chance in 2001. Instead of nation-building in Afghanistan, it should have gone for nationS-creating. Afghanistan should have been re-organized into several nations along ethnic lines. It should have been Yugoslavianized. Diversity is a big headache. In fact, most of the problems in that nation owes to tribal and clan clashes.

divinryan said...

"Things have gotten so wacky that the New Voice of Sanity on Afghanistan is the Newtster, who said to Afghanistan this week: "‘You know, you’re going to have to figure out how to live your own miserable life.'"

Nice one Steve. Great headline too, funny shit. If you did a DrudgeReport style blog your headlines would be better than The Onion's.

Anonymous said...

I'll tell ya how to git outta afganstan. Jist do like tha ol crawfish. When ya had enuff, jist back on out. It works when ya dealing with the womenfolk. Pretty much works with ever thang.

Whiskey said...

Withdrawing means more than just ditching your mistress when her husband comes home. We have tens of thousands of guys in Afghanistan, not to mention sensitive and valuable military equipment. We can't just FedEx them home on a plane.

If we decide to leave, we will likely have to make a deal with the Central Asian Republics, which means Russia, and is a fairly large logistical undertaking.

A reminder: there is no ocean near Afghanistan. We can't just drive out to Kuwait and board ships like Iraq. Any deal to withdraw is going to involve serious concessions to the Russians, unless you want to simply broadcast even more weakness ala the last helicopter out of Saigon. How well did that (1979 Hostage Crisis) work out for us, again? Weakness begets attack, that's elemental.

And then, if you withdraw, how do you moderate Pakistani behavior? You can't send in drones from Afghanistan. You can't send SEALs in. You need a base. That means India, and that means an explicit anti-Chinese alliance with India (which is why it has not already been done). To get out of Afghanistan, you have to pick a fight with China.

That's the cost of kicking the can down the road. Something easy (military strikes to destroy Pakistan's nuclear program in the mid to early 1990's) becomes impossible. See Iran.

And yes Obama will get the "You Lost Afghanistan" after campaigning in 2008 about "winning" there and finding a defeat, any defeat, in Iraq. He wanted to dump Iraq so he could as he put it, "win" in Afghanistan. Fair enough. Hold him too it.

Anonymous said...

Fukuyama was wrong about 'end of history'. It's more like 'end of civilization'.

t3 said...

Newt had an advantage here because he had already said those same words to two soon-to-be exes.

Anonymous said...

Murdoch germ spreading.

Anonymous said...

yobnerlism.

Anonymous said...

The point of these modern wars is not to "win" but to drag out the operation for as long as possible, and leave two houses divided: a house divided in your wake at home and another house divided in the target nation.

gum said...

I think I get PC.

It's like this:

People are naturally spiritual/religious, so if you take God away from them, they need to worship something. So, in the USSR, Marx and Lenin were gods. In China, Mao was god. To some white folks, Obama is the messiah, and MLK is god to maybe most Americans. If you take away God, people need substitute gods.

It could be that people are naturally prejudiced(just like they're naturally spiritual), and so if you take away their old prejudices, they need new prejudices. Of course, new prejudices are not called Prejudice, just as the secular religion of Marxism was called 'rational science' and not a religion. But PC simply replaces old prejudices with new ones(though new ones are cleverly called Tolerance).
And PC is psychologically necessary and useful since people need to be prejudiced about something. Thus, liberals are not prejudiced in favor of gays and prejudiced against opponents of 'gay marriage' as 'hateful homophobes'. But it's the same old psychology of prejudice.

Anonymous said...

Was evolution toward more complex organizations fueled by germs? I might have heard something along this line, but I forgot where and from whom.

I'm sure the Germic Theory is an utterly ludicrous, but here goes anyway:
If the lifeforce in all organisms steer toward greater power, there was no reason for simple organisms to develop into higher ones. After all, what is more powerful than germs like bacteria and viruses? We humans thinks we are so powerful, but we are nothing compared to germs, which really control the world. In fact, even our bodies are largely made up of germs. So, what was the point of simple microbes evolving into more complex ones? What's the point when the simple germs are the most powerful forms of life, able to multiply endlessly and so fast?
But suppose germs facilitated mutations in the organisms they infected so that affected organisms could develop into ever bigger and more complex forms. Why? Because bigger organisms means more fun for germs to infest and take over. If all of life comprised only microscopic germs, they would only compete with one another and feed on one another, and that might not amount to much.

But if more complex life forms evolved, germs could infest them and have one helluva a time. Imagine what an elephant is to germs. Germs infest every cell of an elephant, and elephant has gazillions of cells. And elephants shit and piss a lot, and germs love that too. Of course, germs, being eager to infect and feed on other organisms, can kill the organisms, and if all organisms were killed by germs, germs would just be on their own. So, it was necessary for germs not only to infest big organisms but also to co-exist with them; it was better to make the organisms sick than totally kill them. Also, in many cases, even as germs fed on the big organisms, those organisms became dependent on germs. It's like we would die if we didn't have certain bacteria in our systems. And many germs exist in us doing neither good nor harm.

Look at the dynamic of finance. Suppose there were lots of little dollar bills. On their own, they can't do much except run around as little dollar bills. So, what do they want? They want to facilitate the rise of big companies so that they can infest/invest in those companies. That way, dollar bills have room to grow and multiply. And investment acts like infest-ment. Just as bacteria take from the big organism but also contribute to it, people put their money into companies but also pull them out. We invest in stocks, and the swelling of our money enriches the companies, and indeed many companies cannot do without such 'capitalization'. But we do it for self-interest. We place our money into someone else's company, but the value of our investment swells, and then later we can pull our money out. But the company continues to thrive cuz others keep putting the money in. And we may invest in the company again in the future as others pull out.

So, just as little dollar bills all over the world want to see the rise of companies to invest in, maybe germs hoped for bigger organisms to infest in. And maybe germic infection sometimes led to genetic mutation in the organism that enabled it to grow even bigger and more complex. Bigger the organism, more area for germs to infest and enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Weakness begets attack, that's elemental.

So now the fear is that if we withdraw from Afghanistan, we'll be "attacked" by Russia? Are they going to nuke us or something?

Anonymous said...

After sizing up the situation President Obama decided that what was needed was to accelerate the anemic war in Afghanistan to show what should've been done during the Bush administration. Others of us, Joe Biden comes to mind, were advising a total pullout minus a few troops in remote bases. Meantime, the war he opposed in Iraq was wrapped up during the Bush years and handed off with little to do but phone in the order to leave.

Obama's instincts seem to be about as off as can be.

Kaz said...

@Whiskey

We could stop funding Pakistan's ISI for one.

And will China really get that upset if we build a base in India? Isn't China herself uneasy about crazy people having nukes in Pakistan?

Can we just trust China to handling Pakistan?

Keep in mind China does not want a destroyed world or destroyed West. They trade with the west, they're invested in us as much as we are with them. One of the benefits of globalism and international trade, people are a lot less willing to blow each other up.

Anonymous said...

whiskey said, "To get out of Afghanistan, you have to pick a fight with China.

You have written some pretty silly things, but this takes the cake. The scary thing is your neocon idols who actually have influence probably believe this too, or at least they will whisper it into the ears of those who do.

We've had almost twenty years of people like you playing with the levers of power. If America is too stupid to stop listening to you guys now, then maybe it is for the best that a Soviet style collapse ensues and the sane among us can reorganize into smaller nations that better reflect our ideological and demographic desires.

Steve Sailer said...

By the way, I have no idea why the look of the comments section has changed.

Maya said...

All this talk about Afghanistan reminds me of the new Afghan restaurant, where Daddy took us on one of the first days of September, 2001. We were driving by and went in there on a whim because we didn't know there was an Afghan eatery in the neighborhood. The owner came out to greet us. he was all smiles, telling us that he opened the restaurant just the day before. The guy was wearing a dress white shirt and the place was decorated with lots of rugs and pictures of mountain goats. It looked like he put a lot of effort into the whole thing, and the food was good. He told us that he dreamed of opening his own restaurant since the day he first stepped onto American soil, a decade before. Eight months later, when we decided to go eat there again, the restaurant wasn't there anymore. Poor dude.

Anonymous said...

This comment format is terrible. What is google thinking?

Anonymous said...

Geopolitics is funny like that.
There is a lot of talmudische spricht potential.
One can spew a lot of bogus reasons why you can't do something or anyhing.

However, in order to make any sense you have to have at least SOME sincerity and be able to read a map.

Only people of whiskey's ilk would say that US can't leave Afghanistan due to logistical difficulties.

In case there is anybody actually curious,
Everything that can be airlifted can fly out of Bagram or wherever else.
Anything heavier (that is tanks etc), of course, will be trucked to Karachi port.

Karachi, that would be Pakistan. But no worries.
Of course, if you actually cared about these, you would already know that the great majority of the supplies has already been coming through Pakistan a.k.a Amalek.

Lugash said...

I am Lugash.

I <3 Wikileaks. The StratFor emails are great. There might not be a secret cabal of experts running thing, but in private the experts certainly aren't shy about discussing race, ethnic politics and the national question.

I am Lugash.

Matthew said...

I've got a great idea - let's put the comment thread way out in the boondocks of our giant, 22 inch monitors. Why use all that expensive real eastate in the middle for zero-revenue comments when we at Google can start putting ads there?

Temp. solution - shrink the window so that the comments are in the middle of the screen.

Steve Sailer said...

Great idea, but where are the ads?

Matthew said...

Is there some super-duper-uber secret reason for staying in Afghanistan that the politicians just can't tell us about? Because I have yet to hear any of our leaders make a coherent case for staying there.

I do happen to believe that there are policies politicians have to embrace but can't tell us why, for our own good. Really, I do. I just can't see how the war in Afghanistan can be one of them.

Anonymous said...

Whiskey, I've heard of the domino theory, but you have given us the dummino theory. As someone suggested above, if we fall for this kind of thing again we deserve what's coming to us.

Gilbert pinfold.

Matthew said...

"Great idea, but where are the ads?"

Soon. Very, very soon.

Anonymous said...

Didn't the US topple the Afghan government? Don't we as a rich country have some responsible to these poor miserable folks?

morleysafer said...

Whatever strategic objective remains in Afghanistan is D.C.'s most closely guarded secret. On NPR or the nightly news occasionally I will hear some Bethesdan burble about, "keeping an eye on Pakistan" or some non sequitur like that. Supposed deep thinker Robert Kagan wrote in either the Wash. Post or WSJ how the "fall of the Roman Empire set back progress for centuries" (if my memory serves). That is the mother of all non sequiturs. I think the sole remaining rationale for the police action there is to stall until a news-cycle-timed Unconditional Surrender Week when gay Marines everywhere can upload their best posed imitation of the Eisenstaedt photo to Google+

dearieme said...

Careful attention should be paid to the history of the (British) Indian Army's pulling out of the First Afghan War.

ben tillman said...

Post or WSJ how the "fall of the Roman Empire set back progress for centuries" (if my memory serves).

Yes, if "progress" means the same thing as "the revolution" as used by Trotsky.

For the rest of us, who do not survive by centraizing resources and extracting rent, the fall of the Roman Empire meant freedom, tax relief, and wondrous progress in the development of human rights and the law. See Otto von Gierke.

Anonymous said...

man if we leave Afghanistan, all those Russians will be blowing our tanks up!

Anonymous said...

"Didn't the US topple the Afghan government? Don't we as a rich country have some responsible to these poor miserable folks?"

To bill them for the favor we did?

I'm for it.

peterike said...

Didn't the US topple the Afghan government? Don't we as a rich country have some responsible to these poor miserable folks?

We sure do. We have the responsibility of telling them "go fuck yourselves" in the language of their choosing.

Let us be rid of that filthy hell hole. The whole stinking pile isn't worth the life of one US soldier.

Mr. Anon said...

"Matthew said...

I do happen to believe that there are policies politicians have to embrace but can't tell us why, for our own good. Really, I do. I just can't see how the war in Afghanistan can be one of them."

That is a big mistake. The people who staff the government are not that smart. They are not innately more competent or trustworthy than any of us - at the upper levels perhaps less so, certainly in trustworthiness, if not competence.

Anonymous said...

We are all terrorists.

Marlowe said...

Which diplomat said that men do the sensible thing last, after they have exhausted the alternatives?

The total cost of the war (probably more than $1 trillion) recalls Sir Lew Grade's judgement on his expensive 1980 Dirk Pitt folly Raise the Titanic (Clive Cussler certainly hasn't been well served by the film industry has he).

After the failure of the film at the box office, Lew remarked:

"Raise the Titanic? It would have been cheaper to lower the Atlantic."

Anonymous said...

Why Don’t Liberals Write Big Books Anymore?

Because Big Books are written to rock the boat. Why should Jewish liberals rock the boat when they own it now?

Anonymous said...

Wow, National Review got really dumbed down.

SGOTI said...

"Much work remains to be done before we can admit to our utter failure to achieve progress."

John Cunningham said...

a comment over at www.captainsjournal.com made a good point--we should pull back to the Northern Alliance territory, where the leaders are pro-US, let the rest of the country split up, and run drone strikes and raids out of the north, with carpet bombing as needed. Or, a sea of glass strategy.

Matthew said...

"Didn't the US topple the Afghan government? Don't we as a rich country have some responsible to these poor miserable folks?"

Their poverty and misery was a fact long before our presence, and will continue to be a fact long after we leave - assuming we ever leave. It has nothing to do with us. For that matter we've occupied Detroit for a few hundred years, and it's only gotten poorer and more miserable.

I just hope we pull out while we can still afford to fly our boys home.

Anonymous said...

Great idea, but where are the ads?

Check the blogs that don't bombard the public with HateFacts.

Anonymous said...

Matthew
"Is there some super-duper-uber secret reason for staying in Afghanistan that the politicians just can't tell us about?"

They want it as the base for an attack on Pakistan after Iran is dealt with. It's dragged on and on because Iran is the first priority and they haven't been able to get an attack on it started let alone finished.

Once you realize nearly all the politicians have been bought and it's really just about Isreal and nukes then T.W.A.T (The War Against Terror) makes sense - from that point of view.

Gen. Shinseki said...

Didn't the US topple the Afghan government? Don't we as a rich country have some responsible to these poor miserable folks?

There wasn't much of a centralized government in Afghanistan before we toppled the Taliban, and what there was as often as bad (repression) as good (cutting off opium production).

Individual Afgans will probably be happier after we leave than before we first invaded. Ethnic tribes have more power and self-determination now (and post-US occupation), than under Taliban rule.

This good was accomplished within 6 months of our initial invasion. I have yet to hear of any good the US accomplished after that initial invasion that justifies the cost in US or Afgan deaths and chaos.

The US has spent a decade and $505 trillion (not counting long term military medical care for the 15,310 wounded US soldiers there.

Hunsdon said...

Any materiel we brought in, we can take out. Airlift it, or road convoy it out through Pakistan.

Anything that's not worth taking with us, we can leave for the ANA.

Unlike Vietnam, there's no NVA and VC storming into Kabul.

There's an ongoing calculus in any relationship, in any endeavor. "What is this bringing me?" and "What is this costing me?"

"We came to rid your fine country of al-Qaeda, and have done so. We have remained, in peace and friendship, but now it seems that you prefer that we leave. So be it. We depart wishing you all the best, and allowing Afghanistan to chart its own destiny. However, if al-Qaeda returns, so will we."

David said...

The new look of the comments page is terrible.

Hacienda said...

"If America is too stupid to stop listening to you guys now, then maybe it is for the best that a Soviet style collapse ensues and the sane among us can reorganize into smaller nations that better reflect our ideological and demographic desires."

No, we have to cycle through the world's oppressed and live diversity in time, not space. America doesn't exist in space (only on a map). It DOES exist in time, where the future is always where America moves to. The present is always a memory. Think of America as a cell in a movie reel. The present is only the cell that's projected on a screen, always a flicker to be replaced by the next cell. We should all look forward to the Mormon president, the gay president, bestiality president, the new oppressed-whatever that might be. But you don't get to "break up" America because it's always breaking itself up.

Anonymous said...

"Thus, liberals are not prejudiced in favor of gays and prejudiced against opponents of 'gay marriage' as 'hateful homophobes'."

Thus, liberals are NOW...

Anonymous said...

I don't mind the new comment format but where is the 'collapse' button? That I miss.

Anonymous said...

Of course you can't bring the troops home. There aren't any jobs for them and the level of trust between our working and middle class military and the 1%'s elected henchmen is zero.

Like all oligarchic systems, this is a high risk condition and while the US military has displaced amazing loyalty (too much at times) Congress fears waking up with new elections being called.

Spread Eagle said...

bin Laden's dead, thanks to SEAL Team 6. That was the whole point of Afghanistan, was it not? There's nothing whatsover there now in our interest. Get out.

Anonymous said...

New Format:
On my iPhone I can't "select" anything unless I change to the web page view.
Robert Hume

sideways said...

" You have written some pretty silly things, but this takes the cake"

No, it doesn't. Speedboat invasion of Italy ring a bell? Or was it France?

California kid said...

Whiskey,
I don't see the logic in your Afghanistan election issue. Minorities don't care about foreign policy, they care about goodies from gov't. White women don't care about foreign policy. They like the free birth control pills and they will vote for the sexiest candidate. And what do I a White man care about foreign policy when my home country is under total invasion from the 3rd World ? Afghanistan can burn for all I care.

helene edwards said...

National Greatness conservatism.

http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/52239/william-kristol-and-robert-kagan/toward-a-neo-reaganite-foreign-policy

Anonymous said...

"Didn't the US topple the Afghan government? Don't we as a rich country have some responsible to these poor miserable folks?"

Afghanistan had a government? That's news to me. I thought the Taliban just rolled into the country like a biker gang, then drove off in the direction of Tora Bora when the B1's started unloading.

Anonymous said...

Whiskey,


Can't we just leave all the Scotch-Irish people in Afghanistan? Send them off on a goose chase, and leave while they aren't looking. We can even leave them all the stuff, they could set themselves up as a local power like the White Russians did in Xinjiang and Mongolia back during the Russian Civil War or those Czechs and Slovaks on the Siberian railway.

When we got back we could just tell everyone that they got raptured ahead of schedule.

Anonymous said...

"I'd bet that if Romney were to suddenly find a voice and declare that, as president, we'd be out of there the day after he takes office, that he'd be voted in. No question about it."

I bet that if that happened, Gingrich would get the nomination. TPTB would designate Romney as "unelectable", like RP.

Anonymous said...

Here's the problem with Afghanistan. Paradoxically, it may have failed to develop a strong sense of modern nationalism precisely because it didn't fall under Western imperialist rule for a long spell.

Some peoples are organically nationalistic, like Japanese since Japan is an island filled with Japanese. But in a diverse clan-tribal world of Afghanistan, it was difficult to create a sense of Afghan-ness on an organic basis.
And same was true of India and Indonesia... except that India came under British rule for 200 yrs and Indonesia came under Dutch rule for 250 yrs.
Imperialist rule not only created a new geo-political entity but the prolonged resistance against it forged a sense of national unity. Without the 'struggle for liberation' against the Brits, a person in one part of India may have felt no solidarity with someone in another part of India. But in the long struggle for 'national independence', all 'Indians' came to see Gandhi as their leader. And in the struggle against the Dutch, Sukarno became the hero of all Indonesians of diverse clans, regions, religions, etc. None of this would have been possible without imperialist creations of 'india' and 'indonesia', followed by 'struggle for national liberation' against the imperialists.

This was partly true of America as well. Resistance against the King forged the 13 separate colonies into one political entity. Had there been no American Revolutionary War and Struggle, maybe the colonies would have evolved into separate nations.
And in the South, it was the Civil War that created a special bond among Southerners. And after defeat, there was a sense of being occupied under the damn Yankee Northern imperialists, and that grievance exists to this day in the political culture and unity in the South. Ironically, the GOP, the party of Lincoln is now the neo-Confederate party and the Democratic party, once big in the South, is the Northern party. No wonder then that liberals in the North are eager to fill up the South with lots of Mexicans. Mexicans may achieve what blacks failed to do: electorally snuff out the neo-confederates for good.

Anyway, because Afghanistan never came under prolonged rule under Western imperialists, its various groups were not forced into a single 'modern' political entity as all Indians had been under British rule. And because there was no prolonged resistance to foreign invaders, a national identity failed to mature properly. Though Indians griped about how long it took to finally drive out the British, it actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it gave the nationalist leadership ample time to develop its agenda, policies, unifying myths, and political culture. British suppression of Indian nationalism ended up doing more to strengthen Indian nationalism by broadening the struggle in terms of consciousness and participation across the entire subcontinent over many decades.

To be sure, there was the Soviet Occupation of Afghanistan that lasted 10 yrs, but the sheer brutality of the Soviets prevented any possibility of civilized resistance that may have birthed a modern form of nationalism. Brits could be nasty in India but didn't kill people wholesale--not usually anyway. This allowed a sophisticated and educated bunch of men to lead and define the struggle for national freedom. But in USSR-occupied Afghanistan, bombs rained down everywhere, and so the only kind of resistance possible was one of kill-or-be-killed. (Same was true with Cambodia with massive US bombing and invasion by North Vietnamese. In that hellfire, only an extreme group like the Khmer Rouge could survive and thrive.) So, when Soviets left, the crazies in Afghanistan who only understood kill-or-be-killed fought one another and then the Taliban took over. Due to the sheer brutality and ignoramousness of the Taliban, they were unable to create a modern sense of nationalism, as Gandhi/Nehru and Sukarno(for all his faults)had done.

Anonymous said...

You can take shots at Whiskey, but neoconservative Scotch-Irish types are running our foreign policy. As much as we ridicule him, he's actually pretty mainstream among Republicans and moderate establishment Democrats. Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan, and most of us would be considered "fringe" by the standards of our political discourse.

Perhaps the only difference between Whiskey and most of our establishment is that Whiskey feels the need to throw out some alpha/beta male angle to all of this.

Anonymous said...

Lacking a united modern sense of nationalism, most Afghanis never warmed up to or respected the relatively modernized elites that did develop in the 60s and 70s.

Though most Indians were poor, ignorant, and superstitious and indeed had little in common with the English-speaking and Western-educated political and cultural Brahmin elites of independent India, the shared myth of national struggle paved by Gandhi/Nehru made most Indians look upon and respect their elites as legitimate rulers of the nation.

But since no such national myth existed for Afghanis, the modernized elites in Kabul could only be seen as 'contaminated' traitors who no longer had anything in common with most Afghanis. If the problem of white America is it's culturally coming apart, the problem of Afghanistan is it never politico-mythically came together. Myths are powerful. The shared myth of Indian struggle for freedom made the highly Westernized Nehru welcome even in the most backward places in India. There was a sense of shared historical struggle and destiny.

But in Afghanistan, where such shared myth didn't exist, a backward clannish Afghani would look at a Westernized elite in Kabul and think, 'not one of us'.
Also, absent such struggle, the elites of Afghanistan could look down on the dirty masses as morons.
Traditionally, elites in India looked down on the people. It was the struggle against the Brits that made the educated Indian elites, out of idealism and/or necessity, to reach out to the common folks and see them 'our people' than as simply subjects or stinkeroos.

This may explain the weakness of Iran under Shah too. Paradoxically, Iranian nationalism during the Shah yrs may have been weak(and most Iranians didn't see Shah as their legitimate ruler)because Iran had been relatively spared the domination of imperialist nations. As such, there wasn't much in the way of national identity forged by struggle. It also didn't help that Shah was aloof and was put into power by CIA coup. But I wonder if the Republican government would have done much better since it too didn't have the kind of legitimacy created by prolonged national liberation struggle.

To create modern nationalism, the struggle doesn't have to be against 'outsiders' or 'imperialists'. The nationalism of the French Revolution arose with the overthrow of the King and aristocracy. But the struggle for people power led by the bourgeoisie forged a new kind of nationalism where leaders were supposed to represent the people.

Black unity was also most potent in the 60s during the Civil Rights Struggle. But since then, black community has fragmented along rap tribal lines. It's like many black areas are like Afrogunistan.

stari_momak said...

OT, but the panic over 'racism' extends to the Philippines, for petes sake.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-17196449

Is there nothing so priggish as a BBC 'presenter' grilling some hapless model/plumber/pop star about alleged 'racism'.

Anonymous said...

How can you reason with people who think that war in Afghanistan is about, of all things, Israel?

Anonymous said...

"You just slip out the back, Jack"

Sure we can. Just say 'we won' and leave (a mess behind)!

NOW, if we only had brains enough to do that ONCE AND FOR ALL as far as our aiding and abetting Israel at United States tax payer expense is concerned, we'd stop falling into manure pits everywhere else!

As Will Rogers once said: "If we can just let other people alone and do their own fighting, we would be in good shape. When you get into trouble five thousand miles away from home you've got to have been looking for it."

We NEVER learn, do we!

rec1man said...

Thanks to the USA diverting away the many of the islamic Pushtun Jihadis, the Indian army has finally crushed the muslim Kashmiri
secessionists.

All this for a cost of 1% of what the US spent and far fewer Indian army lives

The methods used was fencing the hundredds of miles of mountainous terrain,

Anti-IED tactics like using smeller dogs and making suspected sympathisers walk along with the road opening parties

CJ said...

Thanks to the USA diverting away the many of the islamic Pushtun Jihadis, the Indian army has finally crushed the muslim Kashmiri secessionists.

Only an optimist could use the word "finally" but yes, good point. I've noticed that you don't hear much from Kashmir anymore. India has also gotten a break simply from the fact that Pakistan today is so hopelessly ****ed up that even Muslim irredentists aren't too enthusiastic about the place.

TGGP said...

rec1man, I was unaware that had happened (Pakistan's support for the "good Taliban"/LeK is still a major topic). Nobody at BrownPundits mentioned it. Sri Lanka's crushing of the Tamil Tigers was big news though.