Thursday, September 30, 2021

That Time Peter Mansbridge & stephen harper Talked About Afghanistan


Okay. So, it was a major public policy decision, made at first by a Liberal government, but continued by a Conservative government, for Canada to participate in the occupation of Afghanistan in 2001. Canada's military participation in Afghanistan ended in 2014. So, over a decade. It was a VERY costly exercise in terms of money and human lives. The US-led occupation ended in August 2021, and the US-backed government fell a couple of weeks later. The Afghan National Army (ANA) simply evaporated. Its members simply signed truces with advancing Taliban forces, gave up their weapons and went home. As the Taliban closed in on Kabul, the incorruptible President of Afghanistan fled to the airport with carloads of cash.

The Washington Post's "Afghanistan Papers" revealed that US military, government and media all lied about "progress" in Afghanistan from the get-go. Canadian institutions did the exact same thing. Recently, I was reading Chris Hedges' The World As It Is, a 2011 collection of editorials from 2008-2010. In 2009 Hedges wrote

American military commanders in Afghanistan, rather than pump out
statistics about enemy body counts, measure progress by the swelling
size of the ANA. The bigger the ANA, the better we are supposedly
doing. The pressure on trainers to increase the numbers of the ANA
means that training and vetting of incoming Afghan recruits is nearly

The process of induction for Afghan soldiers begins at the Kabul
Military Training Center. American instructors at the Kabul center
routinely complain of shortages of school supplies such as whiteboards,
markers and paper. They often have to go to markets and pay for these
supplies on their own or do without them. Instructors are pressured to
pass all recruits and graduate many who have been absent for a third to
half the training time. Most are inducted into the ANA without having
mastered rudimentary military skills.


"Afghan soldiers leave the KMTC grossly unqualified," this
lieutenant, who remains on active duty, said. "American mentors do what
they can to try and fix these problems, but their efforts are blocked
by pressure from higher, both in Afghan and American chains of command,
to pump out as many soldiers as fast as possible."


We have pumped billions of dollars into Afghanistan and occupied the
country for eight years. We currently spend some $4 billion a month on
Afghanistan. But we are unable to pay for whiteboards and markers for
instructors at the Kabul Military Training Center. Afghan soldiers lack
winter jackets. Kabul is still in ruins. Unemployment is estimated at
about 40 percent. And Afghanistan is one of the most food-insecure
countries on the planet.


The problem in Afghanistan is not ultimately a military problem. It
is a political and social problem. The real threat to stability in
Afghanistan is not the Taliban, but widespread hunger and food
shortages, crippling poverty, rape, corruption and a staggering rate of
unemployment that mounts as foreign companies take jobs away from the
local workers and businesses. The corruption and abuse by the Karzai
government and the ANA, along with the presence of foreign contractors,
are the central impediments to peace. The more we empower these forces,
the worse the war will become. The plan to escalate the number of
American soldiers and Marines, and to swell the ranks of the Afghan
National Army, will not or defeat or pacify the Taliban.

In 2008, I myself (using information provided by left-wing journalists such as Hedges) wrote:

Bergen spends much of his article talking about the importance of building up the Afghan armed forces so that they'll be able to fight independently after we've left. We've obviously heard this before, in Vietnam, in Iraq, and now Afghanistan. Time and time again, we construct militaries to defend unpopular puppet governments against an organized, oftentimes popular, resistance, and we wonder why they fail to fight. They generally don't want to fight because they're in the army for a paycheque to support their families, and this entire plan hinges on their staying alive. They don't fight because they're corrupt, and they intend to use their weapons and power for extortion and self-aggrandizement. They don't fight because they don't like their own government or its foreign masters. They don't fight because they're actually with the resistance, and are using their presence to funnel arms and information to the resistance.

In other words, the collapse of the Afghan military and, subsequently, its government, was a foregone conclusion. It was too corrupt, too incompetent, too unpopular, to last without sustained US-American assistance. Even after twenty years it was incapable of standing up to a relatively rag-tag resistance. It was all a horrible, tragic waste.

Sometime before 2006, the Canadian general public began to sour on our participation in Afghanistan. Despite the steady stream of lies from the aforementioned Canadian military, government and media about how we were "winning" there, Canadians (rightly) weren't buying it.  CBC person Peter Mansbridge found this lack of support to be inexplicable and sought out the wisdom of then-prime minister stephen harper to help him to understand it:

Mansbridge: “How do you explain, to yourself, the apparent lack of knowledge on the part of a good number of Canadians as to what we are doing in Afghanistan…?”

Harper: “You know, Peter, I don’t know if I am shocked by that. I’m not sure if it’s different on Afghanistan than on any other area of public policy."

Put another way, Mansbridge asked harper: "Isn't it crazy that Canadians can't get enthusiastic about throwing away money and lives in an endless effort to prop-up a corrupt government? One that will collapse almost as soon as the spigot of foreign assistance is turned off?"

And harper replied: "It is crazy Peter. But Canadians are ignorant and stupid. They are incapable of grasping that Afghanistan is going to be remembered as a great success story. The battle against the Taliban will soon be won and Canadian soldiers will be sent home as heroes. They will probably first get fucked by hordes of Afghan women who will tear-off their burkas at the first news of the Taliban having been ground into the dust, revealing their beautiful Central Asian bodies and faces. They will ride the hard cocks of our victorious warriors and some of them will get pregnant and deliver beautiful exotic Afghanistan-Canadian babies. A lovely permanent sign of our participation in that noble cause. And feeding those precious infants won't be difficult, because before we leave we will have ensured that the government of Afghanistan is competent and stable, and a high birth-rate will be welcomed after that ruinous conflict."

harper continued: "But the miserable Canadian people, infected by years of left-wing poison, do not see the same glorious visions as you and I do Peter. These ignorant fools reject my policies about everything. They don't see that I'll soon make them all rich beyond their wildest dreams as the Oil Sands of Alberta start pumping kajillions of barrels of Ethical Oil and the industrial economies of the world line-up to pay TOP DOLLAR for it and leave those scumbag dictators in Venezuela and Saudi Arabia standing on street corners begging for change. They don't see that my de-regulation of freight railroads will inevitably lead to the halving of retail prices in stores all across this country as super-charged Choo-Choo trains come barrelling down the line at TOP-SPEED delivering goods to market in record time.  Peter! These cretins don't see how, if they'd only been a little more patient, allowing the meat industry to regulate itself without costly, useless regulations imposed by communist/saboteur Liberal-hired bureaucrats, would've made sandwiches cheaper and more delicious! These stupid fuck-faces don't believe me when I tell them that cutting taxes for plutocrat billionaire morons like Galen Weston will, without question, cause Galen to say: 'Hmmmm! How can I best responsibly use my self-earned billions of dollars to PROVIDE JOBS for my fellow Canadians? Good jobs! High-paying jobs! Jobs that will put a smile on every face of everyone who has one of these good, high-paying jobs, paid for with the boat-loads of money I save on taxes that would have otherwise gone to public healthcare or something stupid like that?"

I know that stephen harper imagines he's a smart fellow. The same way some middle-aged men imagine that they're still dashing lady-killers. Which is to say: In their imaginations. But harper is not a very intelligent man. Some people are impressed by harper's ability to ride herd on that collection of moronic troglodytes that is the Conservative Party caucus, but that's just power, provided by harper's access to Calgary oil money.  Go see my post about harper's stupid book. Read that series of quotes of his on the back of that book. Those quotes had to substitute for the glowing reviews of writers who were not stephen harper, praising his genius, that the publisher could not get because anyone of any substance who read his book would not praise it. Finish reading that dreck and then ponder how that banality was intended to astonish you and get you to want to read more.

No. The man was and is an imbecile. His whole career is an indictment of our collective intelligence.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Heads They Win, Tails We Lose


So, sorta recently, the USA has been putting the screws to the country of Nicaragua after its people had the temerity to re-elect the Sandinista Party under the leadership of Daniel Ortega in November, 2006.

Okay. A brief background: Nicaragua had long been a feudal, agricultural society and for much of the 20th Century a colony of the United States of America. (Which included an actual occupation by US Marines from 1912 to 1933. An attempt was made to throw-off this feudal/colonial status under a peasant revolutionary, Augusto Sandino from 1927-33.  Sandino succeeded in expelling the Marines but was subsequently assasinated. It was ruled for decades by the super-corrupt Somoza family. (Anastasio Somoza Garcia had been the director the National Guard which has murdered Sandino.) In 1972 a major earthquake destroyed most of the capital city of Managua. President Anastasio Somoza, (son of the scumbag mentioned above) staying true to form, pilfered most of the international aid money sent to help rebuild, destroying his support base among Nicaraguan capitalists. Almost the whole country turned against him. A Marxist rebel movement; the "Sandinistas" (named after Sandino) rose up against him, and, aided by almost the entire country (including capitalists either having been fleeced by Somoza or unable to operate due to the continued chaos in the ruined capital) overthrew his regime. (Not before Somoza and his fascist "National Guard" set-up by the departing US Marines, inflicted a great deal of bloodshed in the regime's last days.)

Thursday, September 23, 2021

The Perpetual Insanity That We Accept


So, after twenty years, the richest countries in the world (the USA and its NATO allies) were unable to construct a viable government that could meet the very modest expectations of the people of Afghanistan (one of the poorest countries in the world). Despite having spent literally TRILLIONS of dollars, the USA and its NATO allies were also unable to defeat a "Third World" insurgency, or to build an Afghan military force that could fight the insurgency autonomously. I don't know what sort of world you'd have to live in where you could constantly throw billions of dollars a month at a problem, and be genuinely indifferent and incurious about how nothing ever seems to improve. That's not my world. It's not the world of many leftists. Being critical thinkers, it is second-nature for us to acknowledge the realities that stare us straight in the face, look honestly for their causes, and think honestly about possible solutions. And if this self-praise sounds a little obnoxious, ... well, just consider how powerful people, being paid to think about and manage something like the Occupation of Afghanistan, showed themselves entirely incapable of doing the same thing that leftist critics of that occupation did for pretty much the entire twenty years of its existence. Which, in the end, produced articles like this:

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Liberal Shit-heads Continue to Masturbate


Liberal hacks will try to make you believe that there were "five months of inaction" before Justin Airhead True-dope called this totally unnecessary election. Supposedly the Liberals couldn't get anything through the toxic environment of a minority parliament wherein the dastardly opposition parties conspired to use bullshit procedural tricks to prevent the saintly Liberal Party of Canada from passing its angelic agenda.

The truth of the matter is that the Liberals used a couple of incidences of the Conservatives slowing things down, combined it with their own lack of interest in passing stuff, to paint a picture of a frustrated Trudeau being prevented from saving Canada and giving everybody a pony.

Trudeau wanted a majority because he (and most of his caucus) are arrogant, lazy, entitled, corrupt asswipes. A Liberal majority will make progressive legislation suffer the same fate as electoral reform.

None of the political parties inspire me. And it goes without saying that the Conservative Party of Canada (and its inbred half-brother the People's Party of Canada) are noxious and vile. But currently it's the deluded, self-righteous, self-pitying, dreck of Liberal bloggers that most sticks in my craw.

Oh yeah, ... and of course, a majority would allow Trudeau to continue to pursue "reconciliation" with the First Nations. If he can just resist his urges to send RCMP snipers onto their lands to point rifles at them when they protest Liberal policies.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Liberal Fuckwads Praying For a Majority (so Trudeau can implement climate change strategy he just pulled out of his ass)

 That's pretty much it.  Trudeau has been prime minister since 2015. In that time he and his party have provided lots of lip service towards fighting climate change combined with plenty of real-world support for the fossil fuels industry while going nowhere on reducing Canada's carbon emissions.

I suppose there are NDP bloggers embarrassing themselves online about their party's record as well. But they're not writing delusional shit about how if the NDP is given a majority government it will totally start doing all the stuff it hasn't bothered to do for five fucking years.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

The NDP Did NOT Sabotage Electoral Reform


Glenn Head is the Cartoonist

Some of the panic noticeable from Liberal partisans is dissippating what with the fall-out from Erin O'Toole and Jason Kenney's insane pact to implement COVID restrictions according to a political timetable. There's less shrieking and caterwauling about NDP voters "splitting the progressive vote."

But when they were crying about vote-splitting, these Liberal hacks were claiming that it was the NDP which scuppered electoral reform by joining up with the Conservatives on the Special Committee on Electoral Reform to demand a referendum on the topic. (The NDP also favoured proportional representation over Trudeau's preferred, Liberal-friendly, "ranked ballot" scheme.)

Trudeau then used the asshat excuse that the country was too divided on this topic for him to impose changes with a good conscience. (As if popular opinion is the only thing that ever guides Liberal policies! It is to laugh!)

The fact of the matter is that Justin Trudeau's Liberal had a massive majority. The fact that the Special Committee didn't reflect this majority is our first clue that Trudeau and his handlers were looking for excuses to not implement electoral reform. Because the massive majority they then possessed reminded them why they like our shitty "First-Past-the-Post" (FPTP) voting system.

But the Special Committee's desires were, in reality, entirely irrelevant to what could have happened. The Special Committee was only meant to study and debate the idea of electoral reform and to propose a way forward. Trudeau could have disregarded it entirely and proposed legislation for whatever version of voting he wanted, sent it to a different committee dominated by a Liberal majority, and had it passed. 

For Liberal partisans to continue to spew this drivel about how the NDP's asking for a referendum somehow tied Justin Trudeau's hands is the height of either delusion or cynicism or ignorance. And, more sickening, is for Liberal hacks to support Trudeau's betrayal on electoral reform while simultaneously wailing about the dangers of vote splitting, which only remains a danger because of our continued subservience to FPTP.

One could argue that FPTP provides stability, or that people voting under proportional representation regimes aren't always happy and better served, but for me the strike against FPTP is the way it disenfranchises people unhappy with the two major parties. Study the nightmarish reality of the USA's two-party/FPTP system to see just how anti-democratic this voting system can get. But the reality is bad enough here in Canada. Under FPTP, the votes, aspirations, values of a socialist in Canada are almost effectively zero. In many ridings they are, in reality, zero. Any electoral system that denies representation to significant members of the political community is, by definition, anti-democratic. It shouldn't be tolerated to exclude specific demographics (by race or gender or income level or whatever) and it shouldn't be tolerated when socialist votes or environmentalists' votes are denied representation either. 

Personally, I would not hold a referendum on electoral reform. Support for either the Liberals and the Conservatives often reaches about 30% of the electorate. In times of deep unpopularity, support for either of these parties will fall to around 20%. This means that any referendum on electoral reform will have to contend with anything like 40-60% of the voters being automatically opposed to change based on partisan self-interest and the anti-democratic desire to continue to deny representation to other viewpoints. On top of that barrier there are the ignorant people who have no ideas and therefore no opinions on the issues being debated and who probably vote to keep things the way they are not out of any considered reflection but from laziness and indifference. Implementing a new form of voting won't take away any of these people's rights. It WOULD improve the situation for supporters of ideas outside of the narrow, capitalist-dominated parties of corruption and imperialism.

If Liberal hacks are going to make excuses for Justin Trudeau's betrayal of electoral reform they cannot simultaneously shriek about "vote-splitting." But being goddamned hypocrites, they will. But un-fuck 'em when they do that.

This artist is Kim Deitch

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Thwap's 2021 Federal Election Post


Blogging and politics are wastes of time. So I don't attend to either as much as I used to. I need to vent my feelings about subjects and just yesterday I added two more books to the last post about "latest reads." I don't plan on voting myself. After Jerkwad True Dope's little stunt/massive betrayal on electoral reform I don't plan on ever voting for a Liberal again. And, without proportional representation, or even a monetary vote subsidy (you know, where the political party you voted for gets public money for it, thereby reducing the need to fund-raise) I see no reason to vote NDP or Green or Communist to "make a statement."

What a country we live in! Remember how stephen harper shat upon the very fundamentals of our parliamentary pseudo-democracy and almost all of our mainstream media outlets continued to support him? They, being cretins, probably were genuinely unaware of how that endorsement of harper completely invalidated any of their claims to be democrats devoted to the rule of law. I'm not sure that they would have cared if they were made aware of the depths of their corruption and authoritarianism because they're full-time asshole people.

This goes for all the dunces and shit-stains and ignoramuses who are currently thinking of voting Conservative today. These are people who are so fucking crazy and so fucking stupid that they have convinced themselves that there's no pandemic and that we're just seeing the seasonal flu being advertised as a killer virus to help China take over the world. Thanks to our corporate media (and their own inherent lack of interest in the subject) they have no memory of their party's serial assaults on the integrity of parliamentary democracy.  

I think the main policy of stephen harper through all his years in power was making Canada an "energy super-power" by exploiting the Tar Sands. And we all know how that turned out. We all saw the policy implode with the price of oil. And Erin O'Toole's version of the Conservative Party of Canada will be no better. O'Toole is, himself, an idiot. He lies about as intelligently as harper did, which is to say badly and bald-facedly. I don't know how anyone of normal intelligence could be so debased as to want to vote for them. 

Sickeningly, this is the country we live in. According to the opinion polls the Conservatives are neck-and-neck with the Liberals. Partisan Liberals (like Montreal Shithead) have been downplaying these polls as being either inaccurate or corrupt. Which is hilarious because all summer Montreal Shithead had been crowing about how high the Liberals were polling and how the Conservatives and their NDP allies were terrified of an election. Now he and other partisan hacks are shrieking about how it is incumbent upon NDP or Green supporters to vote Liberal to prevent a Conservative government. (Which, thanks to Trudeau's betrayal of electoral reform could turn out to be a goddamned majority.)

I'm no fan of the Liberals. Not being as repulsive as the Conservatives isn't enough for me. They're an imperialist party willingly torturing the peoples of Honduras and Venezuela (to name just two examples); they continue to fight their legal obligation to compensate Aboriginal communities for underfunding services for children's services. And, it was Trudeau's Liberals who voted at the WTO on the side of greedy pharmaceutical companies to place patent profits over fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the NDP's popular call for a wealth tax, Trudeau is mewling about people wanting to punish the rich. The fact that the wealthiest have seen their fortunes literally soar during this pandemic, when almost everyone else has taken a hit doesn't seem to be a factor in that fucking stupid airhead's thinking.

Trudeau says that he called this election because parliament had become dysfunctional. They hadn't been able to pass any legislation in five months. Here's my (admittedly not very informed) take on that: In the case of their bill protecting gay kids, they appeared not to have tried as hard as they could have. As far as anything else goes, t'would appear that the Conservatives have adopted the Mitch McConnell strategy of permanent obstruction of everything. But unlike the US Senate, the Trudeau Liberals in the House of Commons have had the NDP (and sometimes even the Bloc) to nullify Conservative obstructionism.

The simple fact of the matter is that the arrogant Liberals wanted a majority and they convinced themselves of their awesomeness and purity and loveliness that they projected those sentiments on the electorate. But Canadians always hate voting. They hate elections. And holding an election before the pandemic is behind us was a dick move. And now we find ourselves here, today, with even a possible Conservative majority.  I have no idea what's going to happen.

I was genuinely surprised to see this image in my search. I had this comic as a lad: "The Dingbats of Danger Street."

Saturday, September 11, 2021



"Nobody reads his blog anymore." Truer words were never spoken. Anyhow, here's the latest books that I've been reading:


First off, I read a couple of books about "Exoplanets." These are planets outside of our solar system. The first one was by Ray Jayawardhana called Strange New Worlds. I had an edition from 2013 (or 2015) and a lot has happened since then. Jayawardhana does a good job of explaining the theories and the methods whereby astronomers somehow fucking observe the patterns of light from tiny planets a gajillion kilometres (or lots of light-years) away as they pass in front of, or around, or somewhere in the vicinity of stars 50, 100, 200 or more times their size. Sadly, for a lazy moron such as myself, there wasn't much in the way of science-fantasy descriptions of the weird and wonderful worlds found at the time of his writing. Probably because that would be speculation.  Then I read Exoplanets: Diamond Worlds, Super Earths, Pulsar Planets, and the New Search for Life Beyond Our Solar System by Michael Summers and James S. Trefil. This book is from 2017 which meant it was written after more telescopes and satellites had come on line and even more exoplanets had been discovered. My take away from reading both of these books is that it's more likely than ever that we're alone in the galaxy. Both books talk a great deal about how we'd be able to find methane or oxygen from the light shifts emanating from exoplanets, signifying water or even life (as I dimly remember, both of those elements dissipate quickly and need to be replenished by things like plants or other lifeforms to be able to register in a planet's atmosphere) and so far they haven't found squat.  It was kinda wild to read about rogue planets. These would be planets ejected from the solar systems where they were forming and which now float in the starless darkness of the endless void. At one point, one of the books mention how heat from radioactive elements in the planets or from tidal heating inside a moon circulating a rogue planet could theoretically provide the elements necessary for life even on these godforsaken places. I don't remember how they claim they know this, but both books state that there are way more rogue planets drifting about the Milky Way than there are planets orbiting stars. Finally, about orbiting stars: Earth is way out in the suburbs of the galaxy, halfway down one of the spiral arms. Closer in to the galactic centre wouldn't be a good place for life because the greater likelihood of cataclysms caused by nearby exploding stars.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Consequences of the Taliban's Re-Taking Afghanistan

I frequently said (over the past TWENTY YEARS) that I would have been happy to eat crow if it turned out that the US-led alliance created a successful state out of Afghanistan that visibly improved living standards and human rights thereby rendering any insurgency unpopular and useless. However, I didn't believe that would happen because the USA's leadership are monstrous psychopaths and the leadership of their allies are mostly feckless cowards, airheads and/or monstrous psychopaths.

One reason that I would have been happy to have eaten that crow would have been because of the improvements in the lives of the people of Afghanistan. Sadly, all of us who opposed this from the start have been vindicated in our pessimism. 

The internal struggle between pro-Soviet and pro-US American cliques among the Afghanistan ruling class turned into a geo-political Cold War struggle because of Jimmy Carter's Secretary of State Zbigniew Brzezinski, a Pole who hated the Soviet Union that had carved up his ancestral homeland between itself and the genocidal Nazi Germany. Thus began over forty years of bloodshed and misery. Carter and subsequent Republicans armed the Afghan Mujaheddin (working with governments like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan) thereby empowering the same Islamic fundamentalists who would become the great existential threat of the Great Bullshit War on Terror after the Soviet Union fell.

The Soviets had intervened to defend their client government in Afghanistan but had to pull out when the costs of the war began to cripple them. Their client government lasted a few more years on its own before succumbing to the continued pressure of US-financed and armed rebels. The pro-Soviet regime lasted longer on its own because unlike the US creation it was not full of insanely corrupt gangsters but men who actually believed in something.

The USA walked away from Afghanistan and left it to the rival warlords who had destroyed the government in Kabul. They then fought among themselves and the country descended into anarchy of violence and rape and pillaging. This chaos brought the Taliban to the fore. (I'm not going to go into much more detail from here on. Because blogging is a waste of time. I'm really just going to record my own thoughts for myself really. And anyone else with a passing interest in a different perspective.) The Taliban were VERY fundamentalist/extremist. But they were not corrupt. The people of Afghanistan saw them as much more preferable than the rapist thieving warlords and soon the Taliban controlled most of the country except some northern provinces were the remnants of the warlords were holed up.

The USA was attracted to the now stable Afghanistan, seeing it as place to invest in pipelines and mineral concessions. The problem became that the Taliban had a passing acquaintance with Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaeda terrorist group. Osama bin Laden had been a Saudi mujaheddin leader and was allowed to use Afghanistan (along with other countries including Pakistan) as a safe haven.

Then September 11th, 2001. Afghanistan had little or nothing to do with this attack. But Osama bin Laden was in Afghanistan when it happened and the bush II regime, led by Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld ignored the Taliban government's conditions for turning over bin Laden because they were determined to go to war regardless. 

The dirt-poor Afghan/Taliban military crumbled and the war was soon over. But instead of allowing Taliban fighers to go back home the USA stupidly offered bounties for "terrorists" and their reinvigorated warlord allies were happy to settle scores with Taliban opponents and there came a free-for-all of accusations and the hunting down and killing or imprisoning (which inevitably meant torturing) of Afghan men, both Taliban and ordinary farmers. 

This, together with the corruption and violence of the warlords, and the corruption and violence and incompetence of the puppet government installed by the USA would eventually produce a return to civil war by 2005. The Washington Post's "Afghanistan Papers" exposed that US government, military and media leaders all knew that Afghanistan was a non-stop disaster but consistently covered this up with happy stories of schools and an Afghan Army and National Police force that were going from strength to strength under NATO tutelage. It was all bullshit. And Canada's government, military and media did the exact same thing.

It was Trump who really got the ball rolling. He personally thought the "forever wars" were a stupid waste of time but didn't really do much to stop them (in fact he actively pursued the one going on in Syria out of some twisted desire to steal Syria's oil) due to the opposition from the "Deep State." When he decided that his popularity with his base was waning and the Deep State would oppose him no matter what, he initiated genuine plans for withdrawal with the Taliban. These plans were inherited by Joseph Biden who extended the USA's presence from Trump's May 2021 to September 2021. 

Make no mistake about it: Trump doesn't give a shit about anyone other than himself. He made no plans to rescue Afghan collaborators with the US occupation. In fact, his racist shit-stain friend Stephen Miller stymied efforts to bring them to the USA due to their being brown-skinned people not from a European country.

(Canadian veterans also complain about official obstruction in their own efforts to rescue Afghan nationals who worked with them during Canada's participation.)

Within weeks of the removal of US troops from Afghanistan, the whole house of cards collapsed. It collapsed because the "government" was comprised of gangsters, thieves, murderers and rapists. The NATO occupation was brutal and disgusting and for many Afghans the Taliban was [again] seen as the lesser evil. 

The problem remains that the same imperialist voices who initiated this shit-show; who cheered it on for twenty years of stupid lies; are still the voices that are being sought out by the corporate oligarch, pro-imperialist media. Assholes like William Kristol, Max Boot, and the whole stinking lot of them are allowed to give their opinions while the people who have been proven right continue to be marginalized.

The narrative is that this is a disaster for Afghanistan, especially with regards to women's rights. And it's sickeningly true. The Taliban are horrible on women's rights. But if Afghan human rights and happiness (of both men and women) had been at all important to Western leaders, they would have done more to ensure that the government that they subsidized was a good one that did things for the people of Afghanistan. They didn't care so they didn't. Instead they subjected them to thieving rapist gangster warlords and thieving rapist gangster police and burned their cash crops and bombed their houses and invaded their homes in night raids and droned them from the skies for twenty fucking goddamned years.

And, besides, the Military-Industrial-Complex made a lot of money from Afghanistan. Ninety percent of the $2.6 TRILLION that was spent in Afghansitan by the US government during those twenty years went to weapons and ninety percent of that money stayed in the United States. It was a taxpayer subsidy to weapons manufacturers and other assorted scum. 

I said in another post how the corporate media attempts to justify its presenting of Global Heating "skeptics" as being their attempt to provide "balance" and to give the public awareness of "both sides" of the "debate" over reality. But their adherence to "balance" and "objectivity" goes right out the window when it comes to war and imperialism. The reason for this disconnect is obvious: The corporate media doesn't care about balance and free debate. Questioning global warming benefits the fossil fuels industry and other oligarchic beneficiaries of the status-quo. Therefore their voices get heard and voices calling for less consumption and less greenhouse gases don't benefit any wealthy groups (at least to the extent that fossil fuels interests would be harmed) and so they get muted. But voices for peace don't profit anyone of any standing and they get utterly excluded.  And no matter how often drooling imbeciles like Will Kristol or Thomas Friedman are found with shit on their lips, they'll always get called back on to share their idiocy with the general public and the corporate media's advertisers.