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As Taliban runs riot in Afghanistan, new commander of withdrawing US & NATO troops vows to support ‘abandoned’ Afghan forces, Jul 13 2021

General Austin “Scott” Miller, commander of US forces and NATO’s Resolute Support Mission, hands over
his command to US Marine General Kenneth McKenzie, during a ceremony in Kabul, Jul 12 2021.
Photo: High Council for National Reconciliation

The commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan has stepped down, and his Florida-based successor is pledging to support local allies, even as the withdrawal of Western troops sees the Taliban overrunning Afghan fighters. US Army General Austin ‘Scott’ Miller officially handed off his role as commander in a ceremony on Monday in Kabul, calling his nearly three-year stint the “highlight of my military career.” That assessment might ring hollow to the Afghan people, who continue to endure massive civilian casualties, caused by both the Taliban and pro-government forces and more than two decades of fighting. Miller, the longest-serving US commander since the war began in 2001, added that “the people of Afghanistan will be in my heart and on my mind for the rest of my life” and that “our job now is not to forget” those who sacrificed. With the US troop withdrawal scheduled to be completed by the end of August, Miller’s role will be filled from afar, by CENTCOM chief and Marine General Frank McKenzie in Tampa, Florida. He told Afghan forces they could “count on our support in the dangerous and difficult days ahead.” It’s not clear what form that support might take. US forces earlier this month left the Bagram Airfield, formerly the epicenter of Washington’s war effort in Afghanistan, without even notifying the base’s Afghan commander. The Taliban has already retaken large swaths of territory, including border crossings with Iran, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Since Biden announced the US exit in April, extending a May withdrawal date set by Trump, surrendering Afghan troops have reportedly been massacred in some cases. Afghan special forces were left to be overrun and killed by militants last month in the northern town of Dawlat Abad, when they were surrounded and local reinforcements declined to come to their rescue. In another case, more than 1,000 Afghan soldiers fled into Tajikistan to escape a Taliban assault. The security situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated to the point that Russian diplomats and consular staff in the border city of Hairatan have withdrawn to Uzbekistan until fighting in the area dies down. On Sunday, India said its diplomats in Kandahar had also been evacuated due to “intense fighting” in the area. Afghanistan’s commanding army general, Sami Sadat, said on Monday in an NPR interview that Afghans feel abandoned by the US. Asked why Afghan troops are surrendering in some cases without a fight, he said: “There is a sense of abandonment amongst the Afghans from when the US left.”

Protesters worldwide waving US flags as ‘symbol of freedom,’ I have bad news for you: it now stands for Snitch Nation
Nebojsa Malic,, Jul 12 2021

Cuban exiles in Miami wave American flags, Jul 11 2021. Photo: Maria Alejandra Cardona/Reuters

There is a special kind of irony at work when Cuban protesters demanding “freedom” are waving about American flags, while in the actual US, the government is rolling out retro-style repression in the name of Our Democracy. Large anti-government protests over the weekend saw Cubans chanting “freedom, food, vaccines.” The government blamed US “meddling” and decades-long blockade. One video from the protests showed someone holding up an American flag, prompting a Cuban-American commentator to declare:

Never forget what America represents to millions across the world.

While some Cubans may think the US is a bastion of freedom based on the images and narratives that reach them from Miami, it’s not clear what is the excuse of many Americans who believe so in the face of observable reality.

Over the same weekend, conservative columnist James Bovard was out for a walk in a park near Washington when he was warned by men who looked like plainclothes police that “photographing landmarks and the police are two warning signs of terrorists.” The impressively bearded Bovard replied, “Having a scruffy beard is a third warning sign,” and they nervously laughed it off. It wasn’t a laughing matter, though. On Sunday, the FBI tweeted out a call for “family members and peers” to “spot suspicious behaviors and report them” in order to “prevent homegrown violent extremism.” The actual resource they linked was barely repurposed from the Bureau’s playbook for countering Daesh terrorists. The machinery built to wage the “global war on terror” has now been turned on the domestic population, just as journalists like Glenn Greenwald had warned back in January.

This was right after the Jan 6 riot at the US Capitol. In the narrative of Our Democracy, which has apparently replaced the old American constitutional republic, that was an “insurrection” and the greatest threat to government ever. People who believe this, and they’re firmly in charge in Washington, even if the rest of the country may be slipping through their fingers, don’t care that facts go against their narrative. They’re determined to secure the power they worked so hard to “fortify,” after all. The FBI’s call for family and friends to snitch to the government has been compared to the East German Stasi and its tactics, or the Soviet KGB. The resemblances are indeed spooky. Add to this the role of the US intelligence community in the “Russiagate” conspiracy theory, and sabotage of an elected government based on it, and the picture becomes, well, alarming.

It’s not just the US government being shady, either. Last week, Facebook started warning users about possible exposure to “extremist” content. What qualifies as such content? It can be anything, really, as the Menlo Park behemoth is keeping its definition vague. When you consider its founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg spent hundreds of millions to “fortify” the 2020 election, though, it’s not hard to guess. Our Democracy is such a paragon of freedom that the same people who howled about walls and fences  being immoral and evil quickly put up a barrier around the Capitol after the Jan 6 riot, and kept it there for six months. The same people who denounced the calls for the National Guard to quell the deadly 2020 riots brought 25k troops to secure Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration. The last of them didn’t leave until late May. All of these are tactics the US has itself denounced, as emblematic of systems that Washington had spent the better part of the 20th century actively fighting around the world, including in Cuba. A special kind of irony, indeed.


  1. Posted July 13, 2021 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    After the stooge enemy was exposed and suffered humiliating defeats across the country where thousands of soldiers defected and embraced the open arms of the Islamic Emirate, and nearly two hundred districts were cleansed from their malicious presence, the enemy has now reached for propaganda, fabrications and other futile tactics regarding which we clarify the following:

    – Fake statements, documents, threats and other letters are recently being circulated on social media and even physically airdropped into some areas that impose restrictions on locals, threatens them, specifies gender laws, regulates lives, beards, movements and even contains baseless claims about marriage of daughters and other such issues.

    – Similarly fake videos and footage of multi-year-old video scenes showing activities of Daesh militias are also passed off as recent actions committed by the Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate.

    – Moreover, spurious claims and propaganda is being conjured and handed over to media by the enemy about horrendous dealings by the Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate with locals in the recently liberated districts.

    – Unfounded reports about inflicting hundreds of casualties on the Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate or retaking recently liberated districts are also being published by the enemy.

    The Islamic Emirate rejects all above material and does not allow anyone to transgress against people anywhere, or to impose laws and regulations by themselves, or to circumscribe lives, and neither has there been any ill-treatment of women and men, nor is anyone allowed to do so.

    All this propaganda by the enemy is aimed at controlling their fear and anxiety, to distract common thinking and to cover up their compounding failures.

    We want all media outlets, activists and the general public to not fall victim to such propaganda and to rest assured about their Mujahideen brothers. All our publications will be distributed through our official and other channels through which we have communicated with outlets over the past twenty years. Any material published by any additional and novel channels should be ignored.

    Zabihullah Mujahid

    Spokesman of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

    02/12/1442 Hijri Lunar

    21/04/1400 Hijri Solar 12/07/2021 Gregorian

  2. niqnaq
    Posted July 13, 2021 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    yep, there’s plenty of atrocity propaganda.

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