U.S. and World Politics

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  • The circumstances in Afghanistan have been a shitshow since the beginning and a living example of 'those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.'

    It was ill conceived by the Bush administration, during a period of shock and grief that our young country was not ready or in any way prepared to navigate. It was a guerrilla urban war, and the US Government (Government, NOT MILITARY) has proven, two times before, we do not have the stomach to perform well in these kinds of wars.

    THIS IS NOT A COMMENT ON OUR MILITARY MEN AND WOMEN!! It is a comment on our two party system of government that breeds an environment where neither the doves, nor the hawks can gain a majority so we end up with these half-assed attempts at being the police of democracy.

    We swept in two months still staggered with grief, and shock. Our hubris blinded us to investigating and addressing OUR role in what happened in September. Our culpability. Instead, it was just like in Vietnam and Korea; we were a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

    Then we had Obama, who was too busy being apologetic to the entire globe to have anything that resembled an effective foreign policy. Another case of a lot of verbal rhetoric, sound and fury, that signified nothing and only served to further divide our nation and laid the groundwork for an even more divisive figure to step up on the political stage. A figure who understood and tapped into a simmering vein of anger and resentment built up over the 8 years of Obama's presidency.

    So now we have Trump. A man who's ignorant arrogance cannot get out of his own way long enough to win a second term. As a Moderate Independent, I can promise you I wasn't jumping for joy when the Democratic Nomination went to Biden. That was just more of Obama's mealy mouth bullshit coming down the pike. But Trump made himself so ugly, disagreeable and alarming that I could not in good conscience vote for him.

    Any other Republican, my vote might have swung a different direction, but Trump is too vile a human being for me to want him representing me as the face of America. He is a garbage human being.

    So now here we are, in a shitshow that -please recall- was set in motion by the Trump Administration. I will call a spade a spade, that Trump got himself a win/win here. He followed through on his campaign promise of America First, AND he left a steaming pile of shit cocked and ready to hit the fan under the Democrats' watch.

    Bush was an idiot, but at the end of the day it is the arrogance of the American people, that put this whole nightmare in motion. We should all feel ashamed for what is happening in Afghanistan and to the men, women and children who will be punished and made an example of by the new government. But hey, if you still want to put America First, fine. We should all feel ashamed for what we've done to the men and women of our military who just watched 20 years of their work, their sacrifices, their lives get flushed down the toilet in the span two weeks.
  • KMMKMM Member
    edited August 2021
    Zenyen, I agree with your observations in general, but it is a no-win in general for any countries involved in Afghanistan: history goes way back with different reasons for involvement but same outcomes, e.g., British, Russians, United States.

    I am not a political strategist but do follow events on world stage: In my opinion we abandoned our allies the Kurds in Syria and are doing the same thing here in Afghanistan.

    We at least have to as a very, very first step, protect and allow immigration to the U.S. for all Aphaghani translators, workers, and like-minded individuals and their families immediate protection to safe zones, those who have served there and at risk, and immigration into US. on an expedited basis.

    In addition, and Canada is much better we are, we should be allowing Afghani women to apply for refugee and asylum status based on what their status will be like under Taliban, or at the least, offer them safe haven.
  • KMM said:

    Zenyen, I agree with your observations in general, but it is a no-win in general for any countries involved in Afghanistan: history goes way back with different reasons for involvement but same outcomes, e.g., British, Russians, United States.

    I am not a political strategist but do follow events on world stage: In my opinion we abandoned our allies the Kurds in Syria and are doing the same thing here in Afghanistan.

    No, we agree that Afghanistan was a no win scenario from the beginning just like Korea and Vietnam. Our track record on guerrilla warfare, especially when dealing with cultures so varied from our own, is pathetic. Because we sweep in on the hubris of our technology and our 'advancements' and we NEVER seem to listen or ever truly grasp the nuances of the history and culture of these lands.

    But we are so gung ho to be the Defenders of Democracy, and so full of ourselves that we think we're galloping in on white chargers and we're only riding our own jackasses.
  • KMMKMM Member
    edited August 2021
    History does repeat itself, especially in Middle East. Look at our historical involvement in Syria and Iran, and on the coat tails of the British, the French, and other colonial powers. A lot of it is and was about fossil fuels, and being able to deal with in-control royal autocrats who are solidified in power and trade away their countries’ riches for nespotic goals.
  • I think we can all agree that this is a shit show par excellence, and Western governments have a lot to do with it starting with the jockeying for position between the expanding British and Russian Empires in what became known as "The Great Game" which significantly influenced Afghanistan during the 19th century. Here British concern over Russian advances in Central Asia and over Russia's growing influence in West Asia and in Persia in particular culminated in two Anglo-Afghan wars.

    In our times, Russia involved itself in Afghanistan due to fears of the rising muslim influence which threatened to spill over into neighbouring russian territories. Russia got badly bloodied there, by the then mujahideen fighters who were supported funded and armed by the US. The Taliban was formed by the same mujahideen fighters who fought Soviet forces in the 1980s with the backing of the CIA, emerging in the civil war that followed the withdrawal of the Soviet troops, predominantly in the southwest and Pakistan border areas.

    The Taliban, which means "students" in the Pashto language, have now waging an insurgency against the Western-backed government in Kabul since they were ousted from power in 2001. Emerging in 1994 as one of several factions fighting a civil war, the Taliban gained control of much of the country by 1996 and imposed its own strict version of Sharia, or Islamic law. They vowed to fight corruption and improve security. The group has been accused of brutally enforcing Sharia, with public executions for those convicted of murder or adultery and amputation for those found guilty of theft. Men had to grow their beards and women had to wear the burka, which covers their whole body. By 1998 they had taken control over almost all of the country.

    But after sheltering Osama bin Laden and key al Qaeda figures in the wake of the 11 September 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, the Taliban would fall after a US-led military coalition launched an offensive on 7 October 2001. The US was responding to the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. Officials identified Islamist militant group al-Qaeda, and its leader Osama Bin Laden, as responsible.
    Bin Laden was in Afghanistan, under the protection of the Taliban. When they refused to hand him over, the US intervened militarily, quickly removing the Taliban and vowing to support democracy and eliminate the terrorist threat.

    The militants simply slipped away and later regrouped.
    Nato allies had joined the US and a new Afghan government took over in 2004 but deadly Taliban attacks continued. Obama's "troop surge" in 2009 helped push back the Taliban but it was not long term. In 2014, at the end of what was the bloodiest year since 2001, Nato's international forces ended their combat mission, leaving responsibility for security to the Afghan army. That gave the Taliban momentum and they seized more territory.

    Peace talks between the US and the Taliban started tentatively, with the Afghan government pretty much uninvolved, and the agreement on the withdrawal came in February 2020 in Qatar. The US-Taliban deal did not stop the Taliban attacks - they switched their focus instead to Afghan security forces and civilians, and targeted assassinations. Their areas of control have simply grown and now we are here

    Around 150,000 British military personnel have served in Afghanistan over the past 20 years, and 457 have been killed.
    Also, 2,448 American service members have died in the conflict.

    So what happens now, a major fear is that the country once again becomes a training ground for terrorism. Taliban officials insist that they will fully adhere to the deal and prevent any group from using Afghan soil as a base for attacks against the US and its allies.

    They say they aim only to implement an "Islamic government" and will not pose a threat to any other country. But many analysts say the Taliban and al-Qaeda are inseparable, with the latter's fighters heavily embedded and engaged in training activity.

    It is important also to remember that the Taliban are not a centralised and unified force. Some leaders may want to keep the West muted by not stirring up trouble but hardliners may be reluctant to break links to al-Qaeda. Just how powerful al-Qaeda is and whether it could now rebuild its global network is also unclear.

    Then there is the regional branch of the Islamic State group - ISKP (Khorasan Province) - which the Taliban oppose.
    Like al-Qaeda, ISKP has been degraded by the US and Nato but could use the post-withdrawal period to regroup.
    Its fighter numbers could be only between a few hundred and 2,000 but it may try to gain footholds in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and parts of Tajikistan, which could be a serious regional concern.

    This is why Afghanistan is known as the Graveyard of Empires

    @Zenyen , you are right about how difficult it is to fight a guerrilla war with a standing army, although you yourselves were very effective in throwing out the British when using these tactics.

    @KMM, Afghanistan is slightly different from the reasons you give as its importance is geopolitically strategic due to its location between central and south Asia, rather than economic ( has some oil but not much),and especially to India as it provides a buffer against Pakistan

    @tincup , hardly Bidens finest moment, comparisons are already being made to the ignoble withdrawal from Vietnam in 1975.
  • KMMKMM Member
    edited August 2021
    My discussion about fossil fuels didn't include Afghanistan--sorry if the reference wasn't clear. Afghanistan, you are right racing fan, sits in the middle of crossroads between the continents.
  • @KMM , no your points were very valid and usually the reason for western aid unfortunately, think Falklands and the Gulf wars.

    The pictures coming over the news are just horrific and I really dont know how this can be fixed.
  • tincuptincup Member
    edited August 2021
    @KMM
    Can't let that "your guy" comment go without some push back. I would certainly expect the game show host to be added to the lineup of unbelievable candidates for high office. It's the primary system that produces these choices. Bidden should have never gotten that nomination, but once he did, of course I understand peoples willingness to support the Democrats position. Remember, I was willing to support an effort to undo Trump's nomination as it would probably benefit the party and the voter. But once elected, yeah he was my guy.
  • ...and to add.
    I've a three year old son, so my work isn't done yet. The twenty year future for him doesn't look anything like the first twenty years of my thirty five year old son. Nor my thirty eight year old daughter. I still got work to do.
  • KMMKMM Member
    edited August 2021
    Yep, you do have work to do tincup! Really can’t believe he is 3. Are you, Lizzie, and your son now back in CA, or is Nevada the current place for all of you? I’m sure the past year has been tough on you and your family. I hope all is well with all of you; these are trying times.
  • Thank you for those nice words.
    This past year has been very difficult in many ways...in many areas.
    No, we are not all together, and yes I bugged back to California to resume contracts and work. The money is good, but the time sour and am working to bring everything back together. Getting child care for Patrick became a challenge and is sliding backwards again.
    The year has been tough. The worst I've ever seen. Love and spirit will bring it all home, but the onslaught is daunting.
  • KMMKMM Member
    And you and your family, and really all of us on the forum I think, have love and spirit. I think it is an overwhelming feeling for so many in these challenging times.

    I am so troubled by all the drought and fires in the west, and Pacific Northwest, one of my favorite places. It has a place in my imagination from when I was a college student, e.g., Ken Kesey's Sometimes a great notion, green and rainy and verdant.
  • racingfan said:

    @KMM , no your points were very valid and usually the reason for western aid unfortunately, think Falklands and the Gulf wars.

    The pictures coming over the news are just horrific and I really dont know how this can be fixed.

    It can't be fixed.
    Unless someone does a full stop, with bloody consequences, this can not be fixed... and so it won't.
    As someone once said, what difference does it make why, time to move on.
    Root causes, historical reference, cultural reference....hey man, it's what they do...
    My comment was directly to the massive failure of this withdrawal. Why it happened as it did, why is it so chaotic, what happened?
    Well, the reports are flowing.
    How the peoples were kneecapped in almost every category of defense.
    Air support, supply, intelligence, self reliance...left as dudes in a knife fight...by the country that said this would never happen.
    Many are complaining about the black eye on our international relationships...yes this is bad, but the failure will have long time consequences for our domestic policy. I fear, very bad consequences.
    There just isn't a single institution in the United States of America that anyone can trust.
    None.
  • KMM said:

    And you and your family, and really all of us on the forum I think, have love and spirit. I think it is an overwhelming feeling for so many in these challenging times.

    I am so troubled by all the drought and fires in the west, and Pacific Northwest, one of my favorite places. It has a place in my imagination from when I was a college student, e.g., Ken Kesey's Sometimes a great notion, green and rainy and verdant.

    Don't be too concerned with drought and fire, it's something westerners have delt with forever. I was born in drought, raised in drought, and have always understood good clean habits, no waste, and leaving no sign behind. Most westerners do.
    The fires are a product of people.
    Some intentionally, look it up, some by bad management, some by good old fashion nature.
    We get lots of rain, I post lots of pretty wild flowers, we get lots of growth, we live in arid climate, we get lots of dry growth, we get lots of fire.
    Its not blamed on too much water, just the normal dry cycle.
    Gets tiresome.
  • KMMKMM Member
    Tincup, it is way, way beyond what you think is happening. Bless you!
  • KMM said:

    Tincup, it is way, way beyond what you think is happening. Bless you!

    I don't get, as you said, I'm apparently not looking in the right direction. You used two ways... what are you talking about. What exactly is happening, and why is it bad?
    Our people are killing each other on streets everyday.
    Our people are killing other people the world everyday.
    Other people are killing other people the world over everyday.
    Nature is gonna take hand in all this killing, and why shouldn't it?
    Let the chips fall will they will, I'm not afraid....let it go wild, have the chips fall where they may.
    Nature will win.
    If the climate change crowd were serious, we'd be building nuke stations as fast as we could.
    It's all a lie.
    Remember, I live in the places you speak of in romantic terms. The biggest pollution production comes from the woke crowd. Do not be fooled by this.
  • I've thought about a lot of this crap for a long time. Long time, a passion really.
    Like, what happened that breast cancer became such a scurge to our women and why was it allowed to fester for so long? We lost a lot of beautiful people...why?... where did this come from? Why was it so targeted?...why was it allowed to happen for so long?
    The masses of people are worse then cockroaches.
    The experts can be criminal.
  • @KMM... let me ask you question.
    Chuck Todd has stated that a Trump withdrawal would have been worse. Do you believe this statement, and do you have any follow up to Todd's position?
  • There is a time, under heaven, for every purpose.
    ...even hate....
    A time for living, a time to kill
    A time for planting, a time to harvest
    A time for joy and a time for deep sorrow.
    ...under heaven..
    All these things will come to pass
    ...a time to remember, a time to forget.... it's okay to forget....
    Turn, turn, turn....
  • KMMKMM Member
    I don't follow Todd.
  • tincup said:

    racingfan said:

    @KMM , no your points were very valid and usually the reason for western aid unfortunately, think Falklands and the Gulf wars.

    The pictures coming over the news are just horrific and I really dont know how this can be fixed.

    It can't be fixed.
    Unless someone does a full stop, with bloody consequences, this can not be fixed... and so it won't.
    As someone once said, what difference does it make why, time to move on.
    Root causes, historical reference, cultural reference....hey man, it's what they do...
    My comment was directly to the massive failure of this withdrawal. Why it happened as it did, why is it so chaotic, what happened?
    Well, the reports are flowing.
    How the peoples were kneecapped in almost every category of defense.
    Air support, supply, intelligence, self reliance...left as dudes in a knife fight...by the country that said this would never happen.
    Many are complaining about the black eye on our international relationships...yes this is bad, but the failure will have long time consequences for our domestic policy. I fear, very bad consequences.
    There just isn't a single institution in the United States of America that anyone can trust.
    None.
    @tincup, first am glad to hear the optimism in your posts with respect to your family and wish you well

    To be fair, I dont think the US can take the blame for this shebackle alone, NATO must also bear part of the blame, but yes this withdrawal or should I say rout, leaves a very bad taste in many mouths. So many lives lost, so many maimed and for what
  • A
  • When I'm in a mood, like the mood I'm in... I wanna write something.
    When I'm in a mood like I'm in, it might be best not to
    But when I'm in this place, it's best to ask if drinks are are in place, or a least the windows down...
    The hurry to train station, the fragmented thought of... should I stay, or should I go...
    ...if I stay there will be trouble, if I stay it would be double...
    ...is it here I was looking for a drink?. . or windows wide open?
    Clickity clack, clickity clack,.. the train across the track.
    I had rushed to the station, rushing to the destination... windows wide open... rushing..
    Clickity clack, clickity clack
    Saw a bunch of stuff, played some cards, read a book or two. .
    Wrote a song, loved some too...
    There were days that train seemed slow as molasses, days that were faster then I could counter.... and still
    Clickity clack, clickity clack
    Windows wide open.
    As the train slowed to the final station, I was glad the windows were wide open... I thought about it... and again...
    I was glad the windows were wide open.
  • This is after all a political thread, so we should dance political steps.
    Dancing...are we all dancers?
    Certainly I am...as steps seem quite important and impressive.
    I used to work at a women's club, or rather...At one time I worked at a women's club. I did the usual heavy crap you'd expect of a young teenager working there.
    Now I got that job because of my Tata, my grandma... she'd been a founding member and anything she wanted she got.... anything I wanted I got... what to do with that salad?
    I'll admit, that was a problem, but....
    I had some best times at our women's club. I learned to appreciate almost everything to home making and even became an astute crochet player.
    Yes, I can crochet.
    But I learned something else... something that would hurt me.
    I learned that women are our strength, that the fiber that makes us strong is the quiet of a strong thread.
    I pulled a lot of weeds
    Set a lot of stages
    Listened
    Got too many sisters
    Love my sister's
    Tata....
  • tincuptincup Member
    edited August 2021
    A
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