same old, same old, bollocks

Lindsey Graham Says Those Who Oppose Trump’s Surge Will Own ‘Next 9/11’
Dr Fly, iBankCoin, Aug 22 2017

Why was this man so happy last night? Anytime war or potential for war is announced, Graham jumps on the teevee to ejaculate his exuberance for the President’s decisions. On the contrary, whenever the President isn’t towing the ‘establishment’ line, he’s very very stern and critical. Am I missing something here or is this man insane? In summary, if you vote against sending more pindos into a meat grinder of nothingness in Afghanistan, you will own the next 9/11.

Farid Zakaria: ‘Where Is Steve Bannon When You Need Him?’
Pam Key, Breitbart News, Aug 21 2017

Monday night on “CNN Tonight,” while analyzing Pres Trump‘s new AfPak strategy calling for a troop increase, network host Farid Zakaria asked where was Steve Bannon “when you need him?” Partial transcript as follows:

Q: You think his approach was right? You think it’s the only viable approach?
A: No, I think this was a moment, This was a real lost opportunity. I actually feel like, where is Steve Bannon when you need him? This was an opportunity to really have a rethink, to sit back and ask fundamentally what can we do? Wes Clark I think was closest to the truth when he said the fundamental challenge is actually diplomatic. You know, in any one of these wars, when you’re the country that’s 8,000 miles away, the locals know one day you’re going to go home, so the question is, how do you construct some kind of political settlement that will last when you leave? That means getting the Pakistanis involved, the Indians involved, but also the Russians, also the Iranians, who we don’t talk to. Unless they’re all buying in … Right now you have a situation where none of them are buying into the pindo war, they’re all undermining it in various ways, except for the Indians really, and we’re surprised it’s not working. We don’t have any really local traction. What you need, it seems to me, is a regional diplomatic effort, not 4,000 more troops. What will 4,000 pindo grunts do that 140,000 couldn’t do five years ago?

Update (Aug 22 2017): Trump announced exactly what we predicted below. The military dictated the plan to him just like it did to Obama. Here is the transcript of Trump’s speech. It is no different from the one Obama gave in 2009: undefined aims, undefined troop numbers, undefined time limits, bashing Pakistan (which will bash back) and no new ideas at all. As long as pindostan does not pull out, the war will continue without any end in sight:

Afghanistan: Trump To Announce Four More One-Year Wars
Moon of Alabama, Aug 21 2017

This evening Trump will announce a new “path forward” in the occupation of Afghanistan. According to the usual leaks, it will be very same path that pindostan has taken for 16 years. Several thousand grunts from pindostan and various NATO countries will try to train the Afghan army (in vain). SOF and CIA goons will raid this or that family compound on someone’s say-so. Bombs will be dropped on whatever is considered a target. Trump will announce that 1,000 or so troops will be added to the current contingent. About 15,000 foreign troops will be in Afghanistan. About three contractors per each soldier will be additionally deployed. Trump knows that this “path forward” is nonsense that leads nowhere, that the best option for all foreign troops in Afghanistan is to simply leave:

But neither the military nor the CIA nor the local Afghan government will let pindostan leave. Fearmongering is abounding: “What happens if Afghanistan becomes a hotbed for international terrorists?” But few if any international terrorist incidents in the “west” were ever organized in Afghanistan. In all recent incidents, the culprits were locals. For the military it is all about optics. The generals do not want to concede that they lost another war. The CIA wants to keep its militarized forces and drones, which it justifies through its engagement in Afghanistan. The drug production in Afghanistan, which pindostan never really tried to suppress, is rumored to finance “black” CIA operations just like it did during the Vietnam war and throughout various South American conflicts. The members of the Afghan government all live off pindo largesse. The war in Afghanistan is a racket paid for with the lives of countless Afghans and pindo taxpayer money. Now tightly under control of neocon-leaning generals, Trump had little chance to make a different decision. He had asked his team for alternatives but none were given to him. One official said (meaning that Trump told McMaster):

He told him to go back to the drawing board, but he just kept coming back with the same thing.

Steve Bannon promoted an idea of Eric Prince, a shady provider of international mercenaries: Afghanistan would be given to a private for-profit entity comparable to the British East India Company, which with its own large army robbed India of all possible valuables and nearly became a state of its own. But Prince and Bannon forgot to tell the end of that company’s story. It came down after a large mutiny in India defeated its armed forces and had to be bailed out by the government. The end-state of an East-India-Company-like entity in Afghanistan would the same as it is now. Then there is the fairy tale of the mineral rich Afghanistan. $1 trillion of iron, copper, rare metals and other nice stuff could be picked out of the ground. But in reality the costs of picking minerals in Afghanistan is prohibitive, for various reasons. The Bannon/Prince plan was lunatic, but it was at least somewhat different than the never-changing ideas of the military. Apparently, Mad Dog Mattis has been using this line at meetings:

Mr President, we haven’t fought a 16-year war so much as we have fought a one-year war 16 times.

That line has already been used five years ago to describe the war on Afghanistan. It originally described the 10-year war in Vietnam. Mattis did not explain why or how that repetitive one-year rhythm would now change. A “new” part of the plan is to put pressure on Pakistan to stop the financing and supplying of Taliban groups. That is not in Pakistan’s interest, and is not going to happen. The Trump administration wants to hold back the yearly cash payment to the Pakistani military. This has been tried before and the Pakistani response was to close down the pindo supply route to Afghanistan. An alternative supply route through Russia had been developed but has now been shut down becausae of pindo hostilities towards that country. Pindostan can not sustain a deployment in Afghanistan without a sea-land route into the country. Like the government, the Afghan army is utterly corrupt and filled with people who do not want to engage in fighting. More “training” will not change that. The pindo proxy government is limited to a few larger cities. It claims to control many districts, but its forces are often constricted to central compounds while the Taliban rule the countryside. In total, the Taliban and associated local warlords hold more than half of the country and continue to gain support. The alleged Daesh derivative in Afghanistan was originally formed out of Pakistani Taliban by the Afghan National Directorate of Security, which is under the control of the CIA:

In Nangarhar, over a year ago, the vanguard of the movement was a group of Pakistani militants who had lived there for years as ‘guests’ of the Afghan government and local people. While initially avoiding attacks on Afghan forces, they made their new allegiances known by attacking the Taleban and taking their territory.

Daesh in Afghanistan, founded as an anti-Taliban force, is just another form of the usual Afghan warlordism. During 16 years, pindostan failed to set a realistic strategic aim for the occupation of Afghanistan. It still has none. Without political aims, the military is deployed in tactical engagements that make no long-lasting difference. Any attempts to negotiate some peace in Afghanistan require extensive engagement with the Taliban, Pakistan, China, Russia and Iran. No one in Faschingstein is willing to commit to that. Trump’s likely decision means that the story of the pindo occupation of Afghanistan will continue throughout the next years exactly as it happened during the last 16 years. The decision, once made, is unlikely to change until the next presidential election. The 16 one-year-wars in Afghanistan will become 20 one-year-wars for no perceivable gain. The only conceivable event that could change the situation is an incident with a large number of pindo military casualties. That could lead to a groundswell of anti-war sentiment which could press Congress into legislating an end of the war. But are the Taliban interested in achieving that?

Trump’s Base Goes Ballistic Over His ‘Unlimited War’
Lachlan Markay, Sam Stein, Daily Beast, Aug 21 2017

President Donald Trump acknowledged on Monday night that the new Afghanistan strategy he unveiled is a reversal of his long-held objection to the very idea of having a Pindosi military presence in the country. But in announcing a ramp-up of Pindo forces with no defined timeline for their departure, Trump tailored and mangled and obscured the policy to such a degree so as to make it both difficult to understand and palatable to his base. At one point, he asserted that his strategy was to have no publicly-stated strategy at all. Trump told a crowd of servicemen at Virginia’s Fort Myer on Monday:

We will not talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities.

Presidents have made abrupt foreign policy reversals before, often breaking with campaign pledges when presented with a new set of geopolitical realities. Trump has called for total Pindo withdrawal from Afghanistan and for handing the country over to an army of mercenaries. His reversal stands out not just for the outright vehemence with which he previously argued that Pindostan needed to put an end to its 16-year-long war, but also because of what it says about his foreign policy at large. In the seven months since taking office, Trump has expanded military operations in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Libya and, now, Afghanistan. And that’s in addition to an escalated nuclear stand-off with NK, so when pitching the notion that the time had come to enlarge Pindostan’s military presence, the president used a variety of different selling-points to reframe the context. This was, he stressed, an agenda based on counter-terrorism principles and devoting Pindosi blood and treasure purely to the country’s first-order military interests. He said:

We are not nation-building again, we are killing terrorists.

It was “Pindostan First” rhetoric plastered atop a military-oriented interventionist policy. And it was done, ostensibly, to ensure that Trump’s base, disillusioned with decades of Thug-led foreign policy adventurism, heard someone who remained skeptical. Alas, many didn’t.

The pushback that came after Trump’s speech was apparent in the process leading up to it as well. Inside the White House, the draw-down and ramp-up camps battled over the president’s plan, in an internal debate that contributed to the departure last week of White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, the West Wing’s most vocal critic of escalation in Afghanistan. Bannon returned to Breitbart News, the prominent right-wing website that has favorably covered Trump for years, and in the run-up to Trump’s speech on Monday evening, as details of the troop surge announcement trickled out, Breitbart’s coverage ranged from skeptical to hostile. One headline “Pindostan First? With Steve Bannon Out, Globalists Push For More War Abroad.” After Trump’s speech concluded, the lead story on Breitbart’s homepage braced readers for “UNLIMITED WAR.” The site later took that headline down.

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Bannon, Cernovich, and other elements of Trump’s less interventionist political base hoped for foreign policy more in tune with the president’s pre-White House rhetoric, when he dubbed the war in Afghanistan “a total disaster” and “a complete waste” and repeatedly called on Obama to withdraw completely. Senator Rand Paul, one of the few elected Thugs to echo this hope, was critical of Trump even before he spoke. Paul said in a statement:

The mission in Afghanistan has lost its purpose and I think it is a terrible idea to send any more troops into that war.

In a rare bit of self-reflection, Trump explained that the reason he changed his tune on Afghanistan was precisely because of the weight of his office. “All my life I have heard decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office,” he said. And he tried to couch the shift by repeatedly invoking the possibility of another attack homeland. Twice, Trump referenced the attacks of 9/11. “A hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum that terrorists, including Daesh and AQ, would instantly fill,” he said. But instead of placating his base, Trump ended up drawing plaudits from an unfamiliar crowd. Senator Marco Rubio, a GOP defense hawk and 2016 campaign rival, defended Trump’s apparent reversal. The president “has made a decision based on information now available to him in office & on advice of wide array of experts,” Rubio wrote on Twitter. Senator John McCain, one of the more pro-interventionist voices in the GOP and someone who has repeatedly butted heads with Trump in recent weeks, called the new policy “a big step in the right direction.” Trump, he added, “is now moving us well beyond the prior administration’s failed strategy of merely postponing defeat.” And then there was Marc Thiessen, one of the more prominent neocons in media and a former speechwriter to Bush 43, a man whose foreign policy record Trump has called an unmitigated disaster. Reacting to Trump’s pledge that withdrawal from Afghanistan be hinged on “conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables,” Thiessen wrote:  “How many times did I write that?”

Trump Chooses McMaster Plan, Commits 4,000 More Troops To Afghanistan
zeropointnow, iBankCoin, Aug 21 2017

President Trump has approved a plan to send 4,000 pindo grunts to risk their lives in Afghanistan, fighting Islamic terror and guarding the most valuable opium crop on the planet, which happens to be sitting atop $1 trillion in untapped resources. Where we’ve been for 15 years.

My original instinct was to pull out and, historically, I like following my instincts, but all my life I’ve heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office, in other words when you’re POTUS. So I studied Afghanistan in great detail and from every conceivable angle. After many meetings, over many months, we held our final meeting last Friday at Camp David, with my Cabinet and generals, to complete our strategy.

But hey, if shit talking Marco Rubio’s happy, Trump’s happy!

Who else is happy? #NeverTrumpers Lindsey Graham and John McCain!

Let’s be fair though. A lot can change in 7 months. For example, one might run for President on a non-interventionist, Pindostan First platform, railing against your globalist opponent and the ‘never ending wars’ they support. Then, after winning said presidency, two major players on your anti-war / Pindostan First platform who convinced a ton of like-minded pindos to vote, Flynn and Bannon, might get railroaded out of the West Wing, along with any other pesky patriots. In their stead, you’d find yourself flanked by Goldman Sachs & Patraeus protege McMaster, and the very liberal Jared and Ivanka. Coincidentally, you might be convinced by those around you, despite your ‘original instinct,’ that sending 4,000 more kids to Afghanistan is a good idea. Trump had three choices:

  1. A full-scale pullout similar to the one that created the vacuum in Iraq when Obama was at the helm,
  2. A troop increase McMaster’s plan, or
  3. Scaling Afghanistan back to a smaller leaner footprint, a move supported in July by Blackwater founder Erik Prince and reportedly Steve Bannon.

Per Breitbart, Prince pointed out:

Right now, pindostan is spending more than when there were five times as many troops in-country. We’re spending more than the entire pindo infrastructure budget in Afghanistan. I think the president is looking for a more Pindostan First focus, and not what amounts to a large wealth transfer to Afghanistan.

So the neocons love this idea. Who doesn’t? Mike Flynn Jr, for starters.

Neither does Ron Paul:

Nor do many of the pundits who convinced countless voters to show up at the polls:

Alas,

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Trump gives military green light to escalate Afghanistan war
Patrick Martin, WSWS, Aug 22 2017

Pres Trump announced a major escalation of the war in Afghanistan in a nationally televised speech Monday night, although he gave no details either about the number of additional troops that will be sent or the extent or duration of the military commitment. Trump also made menacing threats against Pakistan, in remarks clearly crafted in close coordination with the top military generals who dominate his administration. While Trump pleaded military necessity as the reason for not disclosing how many grunts will be added to the 8,400 already deployed in Afghanistan, or how long they will remain there, his goal was not to keep these facts secret from the Taliban, who will know soon enough, since they have sympathizers throughout the Afghan government and in every district of the country. Trump is mainly concerned about keeping the extent of the escalation secret from the Pindo sheeple, who he admitted were “weary of war.” Mad Dog Mattis has been authorized since June to send up to another 4,000 grunts to Afghanistan, but the action has been postponed while boxtops conducted what was described as a comprehensive review of Pindo strategy in South Asia. The grunts are expected to move quickly into position now, so that they can participate in an ongoing series of bloody battles across Afghanistan, seeking to blunt the traditional summer offensive by the Taliban. In the past month, five district capitals have fallen to them, and they now control 48 of the 407 districts. Government-controlled districts number barely 100, less than one quarter of the total, while the remainder are contested, in some cases government-run by day and Taliban-run by night.

Aside from a brief reference to 9/11, which was the pretext for the initial pindo invasion and overthrow of the Taliban regime in Kabul, Trump made no attempt to provide an explanation, let alone a justification, for the longest war in pindo history. In fact, the sheer length of the war and the thousands of casualties suffered by pindo forces were one of Trump’s arguments for continuing and expanding the conflict. The first conclusion of the administration’s review of the war was the necessity of “an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made, especially the sacrifices of lives.” Death justifies more death. The number of dead and maimed among the Afghan population is many hundreds of thousands, together with millions of refugees. This colossal toll will only rise rapidly as the scale and ferocity of pindo military operations increases. The war in Afghanistan will take on an even bloodier character under the new policies announced by Trump. “Micromanagement from Faschingstein does not win battles,” he declared, announcing that he is lifting all restraints on military operations, giving on-the-ground commanders the green light to use force as they see fit. This means rescinding restrictions established under the Bush and Obama administrations after well-documented atrocities, such as the bombing of Afghan wedding parties and helicopter gunship attacks that wiped out hospitals and entire villages. Even more reckless and inflammatory is the pindo shift in policy towards Pakistan, which Trump denounced for “continuing to harbor criminals and terrorists.” He complained:

We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars, at the same time they are housing the same terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change. And that will change immediately.

Trump is not speaking merely about the continuation of the illegal drone missile strikes against Taliban and other Afghan militias hiding out in Pashtun tribal areas of western Pakistan. He is threatening an openly hostile stance by pindostan toward to a nuclear-armed country with a population of 190 million people, beginning with a possible cut-off of financial and military aid. Trump menaced Pakistan with the specter of Faschingstein further developing its “strategic partnership with India,” which he called “a key security and economic partner of Pindostan.” Faschingstein has cultivated military-diplomatic ties with India over the past two decades, seeking to transform India into a front-line state in the pindo strategy of surrounding and isolating China. Trump’s speech was a warning to Pakistan that pindostan is prepared to openly side with India against Pakistan in the longstanding conflict between the two nuclear powers in South Asia. Trump also touched briefly on the material interests that underlie the pindo intervention in Afghanistan, saying:

As the PM of Afghanistan (sic) has promised, we are going to participate in economic development to help defray the cost of this war to us.

Behind this vague language is naked imperialist plundering. Trump has recently cited studies showing that Afghanistan possesses at least $3 trillion in natural resources, more than four times the estimated $714b in military spending and reconstruction in the country since 2001. As CNBC reported Saturday:

Trump is seeking a military win in Afghanistan, but pindo efforts there may yet reap financial gains. Afghanistan possesses rare minerals crucial for industrial manufacturing, including copper, gold, uranium and fossil fuels.

Trump’s announcement of a more aggressive stance in Afghanistan is the first major policy decision by the White House since Trump began a reshuffle of senior White House staff, replacing Reince Priebus with Gen Kelly and sacking Stephen Bannon. In discussions within the administration going back at last to the spring, Bannon had opposed sending more troops to Afghanistan, clashing with both Gen Mad Dog Mattis and Gen H R McMaster. He has opposed most military actions in the Middle East as a diversion from the Pindo-China conflict, declaring in an interview last week:

The economic war with China is everything.

The top generals in the Trump administration were also furious over Bannon’s statement last week that there were no viable military options for Pindostan in NK. Following Bannon’s departure, the NYT carried a front page article Monday reporting that discussions over “preemptive war” against NK are “rising in the White House.” The newspaper reported:

General McMaster and other administration officials have challenged the long-held view that there is no real military solution to the NK problem.

Apparently, the administration is seriously considering a first-strike on NK, an action that would lead to the deaths of tens of millions of people. Trump’s speech Monday night, announced only 24 hours in advance, was clearly an effort to cement his relations with the Pentagon brass in the wake of the Bannon firing and the political crisis that erupted after Trump’s declaration of sympathy for the neo-Nazis who rioted Aug 11 in Charlottesville, Virginia, leading to death of one anti-Nazi protester. The speech began with a lengthy declaration by Trump that there was no place for bigotry or racism within the military. The language was taken straight from the declarations of members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who all issued statements after Charlottesville deploring racists and white supremacists and presenting the military as a model of unity across race and gender lines. Trump’s speechwriter combined the disavowal of racial hatred with a paean to the armed services as the model for pindo society as a whole. Using language that would not be out of place in a military dictatorship, Trump said:

In the men and women of the military, our country has produced a special class of heroes whose selflessness, courage and resolve is unmatched in human history.

Throughout the Trump administration, and in the aftermath of the events in Charlottesville, the Demagogs have attempted to subordinate and redirect all opposition to Trump behind the military and intelligence agencies, hailing figures like Kelly and Mattis for providing “stability” to the administration. The announcement of a new stage in the bloody war in Afghanistan is the fruit of their efforts.

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