by Pepe Escobar : Posted with permission
“We’re like policemen. We’re not fighting a war. If we wanted to fight a war in Afghanistan and win it, I could win that war in a week. But I don’t want to kill 10 million people. Afghanistan could be wiped off the face of the Earth. I don’t want to go that route.”
Even considering the rolling annals of demented Trumpism, bolstered every single day by a torrent of outrageous tweets and quotes, what you’ve just read is simply astonishing. Here we have the President of the United States asserting that, 1) The US is not fighting a war in Afghanistan; 2) If the US wanted a war, the President would win it in a week; 3) He would kill 10 million people – although he doesn’t want it; 4) “Afghanistan” as a whole, for no meaningful reason, could be wiped off the face of the Earth.
Trump said all of the above while sitting alongside Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan – who, in a deft move, is trying to appease the White House even as he carefully positions Pakistan as a solid node of Eurasia integration alongside Russia, China and Iran.
When Trump says the US is not fighting a war in Afghanistan, he’s on to something, although it’s doubtful that Team Trump have told the boss that the real game in town, from the beginning, is the CIA heroin rat line.
It’s also doubtful Trump would ask for input from his hated predecessor Barack Obama. Obama may not have killed 10 million people, but the forces under his command did kill scores of Afghans, including countless civilians. And still Obama did not “win” – much less “in a week.”
Barack Obama did entertain the notion of “winning” the war in Afghanistan. After deliberating in solitary confinement for 11 hours, as legend goes, he “methodically” settled for a two-step surge, 21,000 troops plus 30,000. Obama believed the war on Afghanistan was a noble crusade and during his presidential campaign in 2008 always defined it as “the right war.”
Obama defended his surge on humanitarian imperialist grounds: “For the Afghan people, the return of Taliban rule would condemn their country to brutal governance, international isolation, a paralyzed economy and the denial of basic human rights to the Afghan people, especially women and girls.” The New York Times and the Washington Post applauded.
But, Kabul, we have a problem. Afghanistan, bombed and invaded under the Cheney regime, was never a “right” or “just” war. There was never any established Taliban connection to 9/11. Plotting and financing for 9/11 involved Saudis and cells in Germany, Pakistan and the UAE. Mullah Omar never dispatched any “terra-rists” on one-way tickets to America.
Nevertheless, the Taliban leadership in Kandahar did agree to a deal – brokered by Moscow – to surrender Osama bin Laden, who, without even the hint of an investigation, was proclaimed the evil 9/11 culprit only a few hours after the collapse of the Twin Towers. The Cheney regime rejected the Taliban offer, as well as a subsequent one, to hand over Osama to a Muslim nation for trial. The Cheney regime only wanted an extradition to the US.
The SCO steps in
With puppet Hamid Karzai barely reigning in Kabul, and the neocons already focused on their real target, Iraq, the occupation of Afghanistan was handed over to NATO. This had already been decided even before 9/11, at the G8 in Genoa in July, when it became clear Washington had a plan to strike Afghanistan by October. The Cheney regime badly needed a beachhead in the intersection of Central Asia and South Asia not only to monitor Russia and China but also to coordinate a drive to take over Central Asia’s massive gas wealth.
Notoriously fickle history in the Hindu Kush ruled otherwise. Incrementally, the Taliban started to get their mojo back throughout the 2010s, to the point that now they control as much as half of the country.
Even that fountain of vanity General David Petraeus – who had crafted the (failed) Iraq surge – always knew the Afghan war was un-winnable. Disgraced General Stanley McChrystal at least was more surgical: “We’ve shot an amazing number of people and killed a number, and to my knowledge, none has proven to have been a real threat.”
Still, certified fun and games were assured by stuff such as Lockheed Martin’s high mobility artillery rocket system laying waste to Pashtun villages and devastating wedding ceremonies. Pentagon propaganda about “low collateral damage” never disguised the absence of real, actionable intel on the ground.
Seymour Hersh argued that Obama’s version of the killing of Osama bin Laden in May 2011 was an elaborate work of fiction – subsequently duly enshrined by Hollywood. One year later, Obama’s surge still had 88,000 soldiers in Afghanistan plus nearly 118,000 contractors. The surge then died a slow, ignominious death.
Anyone remotely familiar with the fractious geopolitics at the intersection of Central and South Asia knows that, for the US military-industrial-security complex, to withdraw from Afghanistan is anathema. Trump may be emitting some noise – but that’s just noise. Bagram air base is an invaluable asset in the Empire of Bases to monitor the evolving Russia-China strategic partnership.
The only feasible solution for Afghanistan is a pan-Eurasia mechanism being advanced by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, with Russia and China at the helm, India and Pakistan as full members and Iran and Afghanistan as observers. Afghanistan will then be fully integrated as a node of the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative, as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as well as the Indian mini-Silk Road through Afghanistan towards Central Asia starting from the Iranian port of Chabahar.
This is what all major Eurasia players want. This is how you “win” a war. And this is how you don’t need to kill 10 million people.
Afghanistan will then be fully integrated as a node of the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative, as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as well as the Indian mini-Silk Road through Afghanistan towards Central Asia starting from the Iranian port of Chabahar.Oh noes! If the fighting stops and peace and prosperity comes to Afghanistan via the Silk Road, then we will lose forever the opportunity to bring peace and prosperity to Afghanistan through war.
Seriously, the inability of my fellow Americans to engage in simple reasoning is depressing.
1) Even if you believe OBL was responsible for the destruction of the WTC, he was Saudi not Pashtun.
2) Even if you believe OBL was responsible for the destruction of the WTC, he is dead.
3) The threat has been neutralized.
4) Afghanistan is not going to attack us.
5) Why are we attacking Afghanistan?
All follows from 5) The US is in Afghanistan to control the heroin market which has expanded dramatically following the original US intervention. The money is then used to fund black book CIA projects.
As for the ordinary US grunts out on the front line, even the US Special Forces are getting their ass handed to them.
If you seriously believe that al Qaeda did 9/11 then you are either brain dead, pig ignorant, completely brainwashed to the point of zombie-like stupour, or some combination of the three.
Agreed. Building 7, among other items on the list, is the Achilles’ heel of the official story.
As Pepe said in his referenced article, it’s all about the heroin. As he says here, it’s also all about Russia and China. And we also know it’s all about that “several trillion dollars” that someone got paid for all this. (The heroin, of course, is also about the money.)
China and Russia and the rest of the SCO countries can’t “save” Afghanistan because the US won’t withdraw its troops. And any Belt and Road construction that occurs is going to be sabotaged by the CIA using those thousands of US contractors (mercenaries) while blaming the Taliban.
Not to mention the inevitable Iran war will result in a surge of US troops back into Afghanistan with the intent of attacking Iran from that direction. Since the Iran war is likely to go on for the next thirty years, I’d say Afghanistan isn’t going to be “saved” in our lifetimes.
In the next thirty years the USA will collapse due to its advanced spiritual decay, and the ecological Holocaust will devastate the planet. In any case the crumbling US/Zionazi Reich will destroy the planet in war, rather than see it break free from its grip.
To Richard and Mulga: I track completely with your analysis. Focus on: “the US won’t withdraw its troops” and Mulga’s remarks on US collapse (no disagreement about that at all).
It just so happens that I have been consulting my “Maximum Ironymeter”, which exclusively shows the most unthinkable but utterly necessary outcomes. Any of you can write the next several lines of this post. I don’t get the impression that the Taliban has any strong sense of humor, but they will smile as they complete a squeezing operation they have been carrying on for years.
It will be tough to beat the airlift off the roof of the Embassy in Viet Nam, but I can feel it coming in all my bones.
Your right of course its only a matter of time,the decay is more than evident in a country when it people elect someone like Trump to office,one who whips up the rabble with stupid slogans like ‘jail her ‘ or ‘send her back home ‘ I fully expect the next thing we will see are the lighted torch parades,taking us back to another era and its results another world war as they believe they have the greatest military in the world,they don’t,Nam Iraq Syria and Afghanstan proves that.!!!!
Pepe, so swiftly, clearcuts to the reality, through the Big Muddy of bullshit and insanity of US leadership.
Not mentioned, beyond the geopolitical locus of immense importance to the American Hegemon, is the trillions of dollars of minerals under the stony earth of Afghanistan.
The US with its accomplices in NATO understand that Afghanistan is a wealthy country, stillborn because of religious zealotry and American hegemony.
So for strategic and economic reasons, the Trumpster will continue the occupation forces on the necks of the Afghanistanis. Doesn’t matter if they are Taliban or Westernized democrats. They will be collaterals to greed and geopolitical machinations.
The war will end for the US when a massive number of troops are sent home in body bags and flag-draped coffins.
The current negotiations requires the Taliban to accept five more years of US presence. And we know that during those five more years there will be more war that will render the “peace agreement” as useless.
Afghanistan is cursed, it seems.
Presently, the US military controls the least area of the country since 2001. It has been one of the most purposeless wars in human history. It has wasted tens of thousands of lives and cost Trillions of dollars.
So far, only the CIA’s drug industry has benefited.
The gallows of Nuremberg should be dusted off and prepped for the criminals who have led this disaster for two decades. It has been nothing less than war crimes almost from the getgo.
And on the Home Front, we are not seeing any troops coming home in draped coffins. Pretty much kept out of
the media for obvious reasons, and it works as Afghanistan, and other aggression’s are just not mentioned by everyday Americans. Bush the Younger and Cheney put the fear in the people, and the evolving economic situation, a totally corrupt government, and fake everything, has everyone just trying to hold on to a little sanity;
a job, a roof over our heads and food on the table. I’m in my seventies now and don’t get out much, but when I
do, I’m seeing lots of dumb-ass behavior by a zombie-like populace, and a totally Orwellian media. It’s frightening. Nothing good will come of it all, I’m sure… Would be alone if not for Alternative Media to know others like me out there. Peace…
The crucifixion of Afghanistan by the Yankee Reich commenced in the mid 70s, as a way to attack the Soviet Union through its soft, Islamic, underbelly. That’s forty years plus, already.
For the ruling psychopaths in Thanatopolis DC, the killing is EVERYTHING. Murder Incorporated exists to KILL and DESTROY. It is their God’s Will.
US assets and personel to be moved out of Afghanistan prior the nuclear strike on Iran. It is all about wind direction and nuclear fallout.
You are upset.
That much is clear.
From your post over months and years.
However that is only.tectonic shift in power.
From westerners considering others as untermench.
To a world order free from western arrogance.
Truly Iran stated it right.
The US is big satan and Uk small satan.
That is the western materialist corruption and imperialism.
Based upon Theucidide power and privilege.
It has been stated by Iran 30 years ago.
“Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Deputy Commander Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said that the enemies, specially the US, have been defeated in any confrontation against Iran since 1987.”
“Akbar Velayati underlined that the IRGC’s downing of the US spy drone and seizure of a British oil tanker in the Persian Gulf was a milestone in the history of the Muslims.”
The Arabic-language Ray al-Youm newspaper in a memo titled “Iran’s response to seizure of Iranian tanker in Gibraltar… this is the power we want”, described Iran’s power in confrontation against the superpowers as honor for the Muslim world.
Sure and that is giving ideas to Turkey about their great Otoman History.
That is dominatinting half of the civilized world for centuries.
And China being the world super power for centuries.
Other civilizations are claiming their rightfull place.
And western piracy and imperialism is long passed history.
The US needs to come to term with realities or receive punches in their mouth.
Trump is not bad. He is the same as previous US leaders save the BS sugar coated words.
(Removed language,MOD) Obama like with his TV AD smile and white teeth just as Gaido are worse than Trump.
The worst is Clinton.
Truly the most corrupt POTUS of all time.
Anon, I was born upset.
What a sad state of affairs for the world. We have fascists running america, uk, india and israel and they are all very cosy with one another.
The US is going no where fast. Trump told Imran to pucker up and do its bidding and provide warm bodies to go after the baddies causing trouble in Kabul. And if those same elements cause mayhem in Pakistan, than tough shit. Otherwise no more IMF bailouts for Pakistan. There is no need to disguise this with such a long and stupid essay. Trump has Pakistan right where he wants them in subservience. Pakistan has no way out but to bend over. They are fuc**** bankrupt.
Pakistan doesn’t need the IMF economic hit-men anymore. They have China, the AIIDB and the OBOR development.
We forget about the trillion dollars of rare earth elements in Afghanistan that they capitalist will never leave for anyone else or for the Afghan nation to rebuild. The neo cohens are going to neo cohen.
There is nothing ‘astonishing’ about Trump’s statement. It’s the usual simplistic thinking, augmented by stupidity. The idea that Americans are good ‘policemen’ and the only thing preventing us from defeating the ‘enemy’ (whoever that might be) is that we don’t want to rain total destruction on ‘them’ and destroy their country … that was BS from the start, given the massive bombing of N. Korea in the 50’s. It gained real currency during the Vietnam War (remember that Trump is an old man … and thinks like one). Pepe should tone down the outraged spluttering if he would like to be taken more seriously.
He is right about one thing, the only hope for peace in Afghanistan is if they are part of a military alliance that will protect them, which has the support of the Afghan people (or at least of some kind of national government) and which doesn’t want to colonize it. Maybe the SCO can turn into that sort of thing … ?
Alternatively, one might consider this possibility:
“One element in the Consciousness E-Q-uation that might be considered both here….and…. over on the How to Kill 10 Million Afghans Thread ……….. is the quite distinct possibility that Orange Man might be trolling……….just about everybody…………. and may yet JOIN OBOR…. instead of going down in flames vainly attempting to deny a development of the planet that Alexander Hamilton, Abraham Lincoln, FDR and JFK would support…………and is actually…..the only way out of Imperial Madness and WW III………for both America and the UK!”
from a Café Comment Moments Ago
for the revealing Twitter Thread
”We’ve shot an amazing number of people and killed a number, and to my knowledge, none has proven to have been a real threat.”
Exactly. The very core of Zionazi bravery is maiming and murdering poor, unarmed people in general and captive populations in particular. Exceptional, indispensable peoples boosting their egos at the expense of lesser peoples.
The ICC at the Hague needs to formulate new guidelines, anybody threatening nuclear annihilation may be brought to the court to face war crimes charges, upon the urging of the IAEA. Clearly the non-proliferation regime is utterly debased and becomes worthless if existing nuke holders go around threatening non-nuke nations with annihilation.
Russia has come with with the perfect deterrent to such threats from the wasps and neocohens, it has made clear it will wipe out at least 75% of “Tashkentis” (who would prefer only the goyim to die) in Florida,NY,LA,Israel,SF,etc in retaliation. And we all know the rednecks/hillybilly roosevelts, like in WW2, will not nuke without the aid of the latter day oppenheimers like maher.