The US ‘loss’ of Afghanistan is a repositioning and the new mission is not a ‘war on terror,’ but Russia and China
By Pepe Escobar, posted with permission and first published at Asia Times
Wait until the war is over
And we’re both a little older
The unknown soldier
Breakfast where the news is read
Television children fed
Unborn living, living, dead
Bullet strikes the helmet’s head
And it’s all over
For the unknown soldier
The Doors, “The Unknown Soldier”
In the end, the Saigon moment happened faster than any Western intel “expert” expected. This is one for the annals: four frantic days that wrapped up the most astonishing guerrilla blitzkrieg of recent times. Afghan-style: lots of persuasion, lots of tribal deals, zero columns of tanks, minimal loss of blood.
August 12 set the scene, with the nearly simultaneous capture of Ghazni, Kandahar and Herat. On August 13, the Taliban were only 50 kilometers from Kabul. August 14 started with the siege of Maidan Shahr, the gateway to Kabul.
Ismail Khan, the legendary elder Lion of Herat, struck a self-preservation deal and was sent by the Taliban as a top-flight messenger to Kabul: President Ashraf Ghani should step out, or else.
Still on Saturday, the Taliban took Jalalabad – and isolated Kabul from the east, all the way to the Afgan-Pakistan border in Torkham, gateway to the Khyber Pass. By Saturday night, Marshal Dostum was fleeing with a bunch of military to Uzbekistan via the Friendship Bridge in Termez; only a few were allowed in. The Taliban duly took over Dostum’s Tony Montana-style palace.
By early morning on August 15, all that was left for the Kabul administration was the Panjshir valley – high in the mountains, a naturally protected fortress – and scattered Hazaras: there’s nothing there in those beautiful central lands, except Bamiyan.
Exactly 20 years ago, I was in Bazarak getting ready to interview the Lion of the Panjshir, commander Masoud, who was preparing a counter-offensive against … the Taliban. History repeating, with a twist. This time I was sent visual proof that the Taliban – following the classic guerrilla sleeping cell playbook – were already in the Panjshir.
And then mid-morning on Sunday brought the stunning visual re-enactment of the Saigon moment, for all the world to see: a Chinook helicopter hovering over the roof of the American embassy in Kabul.
‘The war is over’
Still on Sunday, Taliban spokesman Mohammad Naeem proclaimed: “The war is over in Afghanistan,” adding that the shape of the new government would soon be announced.
Facts on the ground are way more convoluted. Feverish negotiations have been going on since Sunday afternoon. The Taliban were ready to announce the official proclamation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in its 2.0 version (1.0 was from 1996 to 2001). The official announcement would be made inside the presidential palace.
Yet what’s left of Team Ghani was refusing to transfer power to a coordinating council that will de facto set up the transition. What the Taliban want is a seamless transition: they are now the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Case closed.
By Monday, a sign of compromise came from Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen. The new government will include non-Taliban officials. He was referring to an upcoming “transition administration,” most probably co-directed by Taliban political leader Mullah Baradar and Ali Ahmad Jalali, a former minister of internal affairs who was also, in the past, an employee of Voice of America.
In the end, there was no Battle for Kabul. Thousands of Taliban were already inside Kabul – once again the classic sleeper-cell playbook. The bulk of their forces remained in the outskirts. An official Taliban proclamation ordered them not to enter the city, which should be captured without a fight, to prevent civilian casualties.
The Taliban did advance from the west, but “advancing,” in context, meant connecting to the sleeper cells in Kabul, which by then were fully active. Tactically, Kabul was encircled in an “anaconda” move, as defined by a Taliban commander: squeezed from north, south and west and, with the capture of Jalalabad, cut off from the east.
At some point last week, high-level intel must have whispered to the Taliban command that the Americans would be coming to “evacuate.” It could have been Pakistan intelligence, even Turkish intelligence, with Erdogan playing his characteristic NATO double game.
The American rescue cavalry not only came late, but was caught in a bind as they could not possibly bomb their own assets inside Kabul. The horrible timing was compounded when the Bagram military base – the NATO Valhalla in Afghanistan for nearly 20 years – was finally captured by the Taliban.
That led the US and NATO to literally beg the Taliban to let them evacuate everything in sight from Kabul – by air, in haste, at the Taliban’s mercy. A geopolitical development that evokes suspension of disbelief.
Ghani versus Baradar
Ghani’s hasty escape is the stuff of “a tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing” – without the Shakespearean pathos. The heart of the whole matter was a last-minute meeting on Sunday morning between former President Hamid Karzai and Ghani’s perennial rival Abdullah Abdullah.
They discussed in detail who they were going to send to negotiate with the Taliban – who by then not only were fully prepared for a possible battle for Kabul, but had announced their immovable red line weeks ago – they want the end of the current NATO government.
Ghani finally saw the writing on the wall and disappeared from the presidential palace without even addressing the potential negotiators. With his wife, chief of staff and national security adviser, he escaped to Tashkent, the Uzbek capital. A few hours later, the Taliban entered the presidential palace, the stunning images duly captured.
Commenting on Ghani’s escape, Abdullah Abdullah did not mince his words: “God will hold him accountable.” Ghani, an anthropologist with a doctorate from Columbia, is one of those classic cases of Global South exiles to the West who “forget” everything that matters about their original lands.
Ghani is a Pashtun who acted like an arrogant New Yorker. Or worse, an entitled Pashtun, as he was often demonizing the Taliban, who are overwhelmingly Pashtun, not to mention Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras, including their tribal elders.
It’s as if Ghani and his Westernized team had never learned from a top source such as the late, great Norwegian social anthropologist Fredrik Barth (check out a sample of his Pashtun studies here).
Geopolitically, what matters now is how the Taliban have written a whole new script, showing the lands of Islam, as well as the Global South, how to defeat the self-referential, seemingly invincible US/NATO empire.
The Taliban did it with Islamic faith, infinite patience and force of will fueling roughly 78,000 fighters – 60,000 of them active – many with minimal military training, no backing of any state – unlike Vietnam, which had China and the USSR – no hundreds of billions of dollars from NATO, no trained army, no air force and no state-of-the-art technology.
They relied only on Kalashnikovs, rocket-propelled grenades and Toyota pick-ups – before they captured American hardware these past few days, including drones and helicopters.
Taliban leader Mullah Baradar has been extremely cautious. On Monday he said: “It is too early to say how we will take over governance.” First of all, the Taliban wants “to see foreign forces leave before restructuring begins.”
Abdul Ghani Baradar is a very interesting character. He was born and raised in Kandahar. That’s where the Taliban started in 1994, seizing the city almost without a fight and then, equipped with tanks, heavy weapons and a lot of cash to bribe local commanders, capturing Kabul nearly 25 years ago, on September 27, 1996.
Earlier, Mullah Baradar fought in the 1980s jihad against the USSR, and maybe – not confirmed – side-by-side with Mullah Omar, with whom he co-founded the Taliban.
After the American bombing and occupation post-9/11, Mullah Baradar and a small group of Taliban sent a proposal to then-President Hamid Karzai on a potential deal that would allow the Taliban to recognize the new regime. Karzai, under Washington pressure, rejected it.
Baradar was actually arrested in Pakistan in 2010 – and kept in custody. Believe it or not, American intervention led to his freedom in 2018. He then relocated to Qatar. And that’s where he was appointed head of the Taliban’s political office and oversaw the signing last year of the American withdrawal deal.
Baradar will be the new ruler in Kabul – but it’s important to note he’s under the authority of the Taliban Supreme Leader since 2016, Haibatullah Akhundzada. It’s the Supreme Leader – actually a spiritual guide – who will be lording over the new incarnation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
Beware of a peasant guerrilla army
The collapse of the Afghan National Army (ANA) was inevitable. They were “educated” the American military way: massive technology, massive airpower, next to zero local ground intel.
The Taliban is all about deals with tribal elders and extended family connections – and a peasant guerrilla approach, parallel to the communists in Vietnam. They were biding their time for years, just building connections – and those sleeper cells.
Afghan troops who had not received a salary for months were paid not to fight them. And the fact they did not attack American troops since February 2020 earned them a lot of extra respect: a matter of honor, essential in the Pashtunwali code.
It’s impossible to understand the Taliban – and most of all, the Pashtun universe – without understanding Pashtunwali. As well as the concepts of honor, hospitality and inevitable revenge for any wrongdoing, the concept of freedom implies no Pashtun is inclined to be ordered by a central state authority – in this case, Kabul. And no way will they ever surrender their guns.
In a nutshell, that’s the “secret” of the lightning-fast blitzkrieg with minimal loss of blood, inbuilt in the overarching geopolitical earthquake. After Vietnam, this is the second Global South protagonist showing the whole world how an empire can be defeated by a peasant guerrilla army.
And all that accomplished with a budget that may not exceed $1.5 billion a year – coming from local taxes, profits from opium exports (no internal distribution allowed) and real estate speculation. In vast swaths of Afghanistan, the Taliban were already, de facto, running local security, local courts and even food distribution.
Taliban 2021 is an entirely different animal compared with Taliban 2001. Not only are they battle-hardened, they had plenty of time to perfect their diplomatic skills, which were recently more than visible in Doha and in high-level visits to Tehran, Moscow and Tianjin.
They know very well that any connection with al-Qaeda remnants, ISIS/Daesh, ISIS-Khorasan and ETIM is counter-productive – as their Shanghai Cooperation Organization interlocutors made very clear.
Internal unity, anyway, will be extremely hard to achieve. The Afghan tribal maze is a jigsaw puzzle, nearly impossible to crack. What the Taliban may realistically achieve is a loose confederation of tribes and ethnic groups under a Taliban emir, coupled with very careful management of social relations.
Initial impressions point to increased maturity. The Taliban are granting amnesty to employees of the NATO occupation and won’t interfere with businesses activities. There will be no revenge campaign. Kabul is back in business. There is allegedly no mass hysteria in the capital: that’s been the exclusive domain of Anglo-American mainstream media. The Russian and Chinese embassies remain open for business.
Zamir Kabulov, the Kremlin special representative for Afghanistan, has confirmed that the situation in Kabul, surprisingly, is “absolutely calm” – even as he reiterated: “We are not in a rush as far as recognition [of the Taliban] is concerned. We will wait and watch how the regime will behave.”
The New Axis of Evil
Tony Blinken may blabber that “we were in Afghanistan for one overriding purpose – to deal with the folks who attacked us on 9/11.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Every serious analyst knows that the “overriding” geopolitical purpose of the bombing and occupation of Afghanistan nearly 20 years ago was to establish an essential Empire of Bases foothold in the strategic intersection of Central and South Asia, subsequently coupled with occupying Iraq in Southwest Asia.
Now the “loss” of Afghanistan should be interpreted as a repositioning. It fits the new geopolitical configuration, where the Pentagon’s top mission is not the “war on terror” anymore, but to simultaneously try to isolate Russia and harass China by all means on the expansion of the New Silk Roads.
Occupying smaller nations has ceased to be a priority. The Empire of Chaos can always foment chaos – and supervise assorted bombing raids – from its CENTCOM base in Qatar.
Iran is about to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as a full member – another game-changer. Even before resetting the Islamic Emirate, the Taliban have carefully cultivated good relations with key Eurasia players – Russia, China, Pakistan, Iran and the Central Asian ‘stans. The ‘stans are under full Russian protection. Beijing is already planning hefty rare earth business with the Taliban.
On the Atlanticist front, the spectacle of non-stop self-recrimination will consume the Beltway for ages. Two decades, $2 trillion, a forever war debacle of chaos, death and destruction, a still shattered Afghanistan, an exit literally in the dead of night – for what? The only “winners” have been the Lords of the Weapons Racket.
Yet every American plotline needs a fall guy. NATO has just been cosmically humiliated in the graveyard of empires by a bunch of goat herders – and not by close encounters with Mr Khinzal. What’s left? Propaganda.
So meet the new fall guy: the New Axis of Evil. The axis is Taliban-Pakistan-China. The New Great Game in Eurasia has just been reloaded.
Pepe hits it out of the park on this one. Superbly comfortable and confident with his topic, he simply rocks it all out there!
The Taliban is now guarding the Russian embassy.
Russia will be slow to recognize the new regime and will first see how they behave.
“Earlier on Monday, the Russian embassy in Kabul confirmed that its external perimeter was now being guarded by Taliban militants, after troops loyal to Ghani’s government gave up their posts. Ambassador Dmitry Zhirnov told journalists that “the Taliban reaffirmed once again that nobody would be allowed to touch a single hair from [the heads of] Russian diplomats.” He added that the diplomatic mission continues to function and that bilateral channels had been opened on the ground.”
Yet, they say it is easy to negotiate with the Taliban.
“Speaking to the Rossiya 24 channel on Monday, President Vladimir Putin’s envoy for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, said that there were hopes for constructive relations now that the American-backed president, Ashraf Ghani, had gone into exile. “If we compare how easy it is to negotiate as colleagues and partners, then the Taliban have seemed to me for a long time much more prepared for negotiations than the puppet Kabul government,” he said.
According to the diplomat, Ghani, who the local Russian embassy claimed attempted to take large quantities of cash out of the country, was “doubtfully elected, ruled badly and ended shamefully.” Kabulov said that “he deserves to be brought to justice and held accountable by the Afghan people.”
Yes, Taliban seems to know who their friends are. Russian Embassy is guarded by Taliban. According to this article : https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202108/1231766.shtml
“China Town” of Kabul is also under the protection of Taliban guards :-)
The Chinese take. They say they will work with Afghanistan. But, they are making lemonade with this one and saying to the Taiwanese authorities: From what happened in Afghanistan, those in Taiwan should perceive that once a war breaks out in the Straits, the island’s defense will collapse in hours and US military won’t come to help. As a result, the DPP will quickly surrender.
”From what happened in Afghanistan, those in Taiwan should perceive that once a war breaks out in the Straits, the island’s defense will collapse in hours and US military won’t come to help. As a result, the DPP will quickly surrender.”
There will be über-harsh Western sanctions against the PRC and June 4th will become the world’s first global holiday outside the PRC in commemoration of the defeated colour revolution stunt. Take that /sarc off/.
After the uber-sanctions, the US will quickly find that the shelves at Walmart are empty, while pharmaceuticals and medical supplies vanish, and US factories moved to China are nationalized. You can’t win a “trade war” when they make everything you need.
”You can’t win a ’trade war’ when they make everything you need.”
That’s not fair. Time for some sanctions..
That is special. Hardly have ever witnessed an unabashed shrieker who’s grabbed by the balls. I think Sun Tze should add an addendum to mark this oddball observation to the book of Arts of War. Do they realize that they have been checkmated more or less?
I remember recently there was talk on the topic of strategic repositioning. The Anglo Zio empire has suffered a critical phase in the Eurasian power game and its delusion of manifest destiny. This hugely unexpected sudden loss has them biting into their fingers. They have had to retreat.
Unfortunately, this retreat as Pepe illustrates has actually brought closer the prospect of greater war. While the unrepentant falling empire and its regional allies will strategically focus on the great prize of Russia, China. The grand ambitions of India, also taking a severe setback, will focus on Pakistan and Central, South Asia.
It doesn’t bode well. But that daunting prospect seems to have positioned itself.
It’s how I see it.
It does reek of a genuine strategic loss and retreat, so I question why Pepe parenthesizes “loss” and casts it as a strategic repositioning. How does giving up a foothold in the heart of Asia contribute towards strategic conflict with both Russia and China?
“The grand ambitions of India, also taking a severe setback, will focus on Pakistan and Central, South Asia.” I dont know why but I perceive the Indian military as basically weak, I dont think they could handle even Pakistan (forget China). Russia could handle NATO which in case of war would most probably disintegrate, I do not think Germany, France, Italy would join against Russia. China can handle the US.
You’re correct. Indian armed forces do not have the capacity to fight against a peer-level adversary. If you note, they always try to dominate the smaller countries in South Asia but apart from that, they haven’t achieved anything significant for the past two decades. Even in Sri Lanka, Indians suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Tiger terrorists.
India is just trying to assert itself as a great power out of Hindutva nationalism of the Modi govt.
Oscar, please don’t worry too much about whether the Indian Army can handle Pakistan, after all, it did partition Pakistan in 1971 when only the USSR was in support of India.
The Pakistani Army then had surrendered and sued for peace along with their American supporters.
Sudhi, I read your reference, what can we conclude from that? Well, that India shoud be careful to side with the “free” west (US/UK) against China and or Russia
India by itself couldn’t even handle Bangladesh let alone Pakistan a nuclear armed state; The Indians ever live in delusion of 1971 break-way of Bangladesh which was a logistic fall not a military victory, Bangladesh was a 1000 miles apart from west Pakistan, and even then India had to beg for American and Russian help. Thereafter Pakistan has always remained dominant including knocking of Indian airforce aircraft regularly to Indias great humiliation; Besides this 2021 and not the same Pakistan of 1971. Brilliantly Pakistans ISI the military Intelligence have eliminated the Indians from Afghanistan in one go, they have completely broken down the terrorist network India ran from Afghanistan, Watching Indian TV lately is like the nation is in mourning. So the fact is that India really doesn’t count in the great game, it is a poverty struck nation that is dreaming big, but reality and ground situation is far different.
“1971 break-way of Bangladesh which was a logistic fall not a military victory, Bangladesh was a 1000 miles apart from west Pakistan, and even then India had to beg for American and Russian help”
Wrong ! No question of American “help”. US had military-ruled Pak as an ally then and even sent into the Bay of Bengal, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise. That threat failed to deter India because we had already completed occupation of East Pakistan (which became Bangladesh), and secured the surrender of 90000 Pak soldiers who remained POWs till 1974. 1971 was the only instance ever since 1945 when a Soviet-backed side prevailed over the US-backed side . Also true that Pak and Indians are kith and kin. “Time” correspondent was surprised to find that senior Pak army officers after their surrender , in 1971 were on back-slapping terms with victorious Indian army officers ! Many had known each others’ families before partition in 1947. It was th Brits who evilly intrigued to divide India. India/Pak/China/Russia all need to get together.
50% of Pakistans population are ethnically Pashtoons (Myself Included) Northern area Tribals, and Baluchis, God forbid we have nothing to do with Indians hindus culturally, linguistically, ethnically, religiously; so as usual the Indians are ever deluded that they are kith and Kin of Pakistanis. I don’t think Most Indians have any Idea how different Pakistan is now 70 after separation from India, almost two generations have passed; those who even remotely had anything to do with India are no more, so anyone who is 70 years old today was born in Pakistan and has not even a remote memory of India. Besides, our faith and culture is far closer to Middle East; if you see a typical Pakistani family of 2021 you will note great similarities with Saudi Arabis, the UAE, Iran, Turkey etc. India is extremely disliked by a large bulk of the Pakistani population. Indians seem to live in the past and have a deep complex against Pakistan, I suggest they should move on Pakistan is a Nuclear armed reality.
Wondering about the fate of the Tran Afghan Pipeline, one of the primary reasons the US invaded.
TAP (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan) was proposed by Unocal when the Taliban-1 ruled. They just wanted such a big cut, Unocal balked. Then TAP became TAPI that tried to compete with IPI (Iran-Pakistan-India). This was shutdown by US.
Turkmenistan has rerouted its gas lines to Russian lines (Russia buys it and redelivers via Freedom, NS1 and SouthStream), so they have a client.
IPI is dead but Iran India may do a NS1/2 like delivery or take liquified NG out of Chabbar to India.
Anwyays, the mullas’ and the mujaheeds’ don’t do good deals.
Looks like the Taliban wants to complete the project and is looking for investors to fund it.
No one has the crystal ball, but some hindsight may be useful.
So I have some questions of what may come and what may be considered an existential threat by the US:
– Are the tribal councils surveilled by the Taliban open to accept BRI infrastructure to connect China/Pakistan and Iran?
– Is that technically feasible?
– What projects are the most important in that matter, if any?
– If these projects achieve a very improved communication, transport and commerce along the way (say, China to Iran), how long would it take to get all this infrastructure ready from Xinjian to the Syrian coast, provided that the Syrian civil war ends?
If manufacturing, commerce and natural resources extraction are consolidated along this BRI axis, and if stackholders agree to trade in a currency other than the USD, then the status of the USD as the World trade currency would fall into a precarious position.
syrian civil war ends—the war is not civil, it is regime change directed by zionato.
The road from Iran to the Mediterranean coast of Syria is safe and secure. The Hashd al-Shaabi keep the Iraqi stretch safe, and the IRGC and the Syrians the rest.
All that is left is China-Iran, via Afghanistan.
I think the deal between the US and Talib’s is they (the Talibs) will do redux of what they did 30+ years ago. The only difference is it’s a different client. Same sponsor, same deal.
Pakistan however may have a different game played on them this time. Since they have embraced Iron Brother so tightly, it’s going to be hard to spin a story of neutrality. Added, they’ve mishandled Baluchistan badly. TTP that’s the play dough of ISI finally feels time has come for it to achieve what it wants in Pakistan. Either become sharia or delete the Durand line.
This time around the Talib (AF & PK) will bite the hand that nurtured them in the past, because as y’all know, you can rent their loyalty, but never own it. Pretty sure, the US has given them a conditional guarantee to have free hand, as long as, they stick to the deal.
I don’t think US was in a position to give them any deals, it’s just that Russia and China have become strong and they can defend their allies like PK and Iran.
TTP has nothing to do with ISI. It was created to create terror and destabilization in Pakistan sponsored by RAW & CIA. NDS also provides support.
Since Taliban takeover, commanders of TTP have been dropping dead in numbers inside AFG.
Do not make out US to be all so powerful and great. Those days are gone
Well, as others pointed correctly out already, there must be a bilateral agreement between US and Talibs. This had probably been discussed and accepted by Russia during the Putin meeting along with their other issues in a package. Now what we are seeing is unfolding the agreement. Ghani and the whole NATO aligned administration were tossed under the bus – usual US way to manage their agents when no use anymore -, one can not be surprised.
What is not seen yet, is what the US gets in return. The Ukraine has been handed over to Germany and EU, US has thrown away them. Syria will not be given up, North Stream is deal done, one can not see the concession America may get in return. Can it be free hand in Venezuela? Yemen? Keeping the heroin business in Afghanistan and not being kicked in the ass? One may wonder what the yankees wanted and are granted in return. Look at the news, soon we will see.
If there will be no gain for Yankeestan anywhere soon, than it’s not a deal just a humiliating retreat.
“What is not seen yet, is what the US gets in return”
They got out. The smartest move possible.
Americans have phrase for such situations:
“Cutting the losses”.
@Blackring it would have been the smartest move not to go in in the first place. As they did it for a reason, they could have remained for a longer while, indefinitely more precisely as usual. They are not willing to leave any country. So, cutting the losses seems to be rational but this whole endeavour was not about saving money or being rational. They could pour the money uncounted on their pals in MIC, why exactly now to stop it? Still it begs for an answer. As for me, I would be glad to see them to leave all and every country for cutting losses, but it is highly unlikely to happen anytime soon. So why, and why now?
@Hunguy: “They could pour the money uncounted”.
U$ Foreign Exchange Reserves 140.00 U$ Billion
Doesn’t seem that Uncle $cam has the cash for a 2 $Trillion dollar war in a foreign country. Anyone know Uncle $cam’s current credit rating?
@A.Deplorable forex reserve is indifferent. First, the costs are born in USD (salaries, domestic military industry) so they don’t need other currencies to wage wars. Second, FED prints trillions of USD if needed as the whole world has been witnessing last years. Third, given their overreach (petrodollar, SWIFT, military occupation of the half world, etc.) they can buy as much they want from any currency. Credit rating will follow their real power which is shrinking, but as today their financial power is still unscathed.
First real problem will arrive with higher interest rates which will unfold a rather quick collapse given the enormous debt.
@Hunguy: “First real problem will arrive with higher interest rates which will unfold a rather quick collapse given the enormous debt.”
Which is why I question Uncle $cam’s credit rating. With every new dollar charged at interest payable to Mr.Big who owns the FED, has “Biden” seen the bottom of the barrel?
I agree. Just speculating on what concessions may have been sought by the Americans:
– Keep Lukashenka from running for President of Union state after Putin leaves office
– Don’t sell checkmate fighters to countries who are otherwise likely to buy F-35’s
– Don’t sell Cuba, Venezuela bastion missiles, S-400’s, Su-57’s, etc. And no Russian bases that house hypersonic-capable platforms in the Americas
– Don’t give Iran the green light to attack US/NATO/Israeli targets in a ME absent of previous US force levels
– If USA gets into a war with China, stay out of it
– If the USD experiences a shock due to some geopolitical disruption, don’t immediately release the SWIFT alternative and sink American financial interests
– Work with Quad in some capacity to contain China over the long term, along with Russian allies India, Vietnam
– If Union State is brought online and includes Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, don’t be USSR 2.0 but some other concept instead
– Don’t tell the whole world about Biden’s dirty laundry in Ukraine
– Don’t tell the world about the big secrets of 911 on the upcoming anniversary and humiliate the neocons spectacularly, also antagonizing American politics significantly
– Don’t conduct sabotage ops in USA to exploit the political instability and tensions
– If Pakistan closes its air space to USA aviation, can USA use Russian airspace to access/evacuate its people/assets from The Stan’s and Afghanistan if needed
– Work with India and USA on their new secret project to use the taliban to sack Pakistan and ramp up the north/south corridor project as an obstacle and leverage against China’s BRI
– Be nice and keep paying Ukraine their gas transit fees so they will stop asking USA to station AAW assets there
Just brainstorming. I agree if we don’t see some concessions made to USA soon it will seem like an authentic defeat. On the other hand, the concession to America might be after* some future game changer that hasn’t happened yet (like a war with China over SCS/Taiwan).
With this major nato defeat, Merkel isn’t likely to be standing tall on her imminent trip to Moscow and then Kiev. With USA leaving Afghanistan, their leverage against Iran is severely weakened. Iraq is already pressuring USA to leave, this will only accelerate that process. When USA is out of Afghanistan and Iraq, it’s leverage over Iran will be weaker still. This is likely less than a year out from now. When Iran becomes a full SCO member, American leverage against Aran again weakens.
It almost looks like Syria was the first domino in turning the tide against the empire, and now it has been routed in Syria, Armenia/Azerbaijan, Libya, Afghanistan, Ukraine, and it looks like Iraq and Iran are next. What a time to watch history as it happens.
I’m concerned about Cuba, Haiti, Venezuela, and the other leftist regimes in Latin America. They are close enough to USA and far enough from Russia/China that they could encircle and siege them much more easily. Let’s hope they survive all this.
And last, but not least:
Don’ laugh too loud reading this list.
Sou brasileiro e também tenho medo de qual será a posição do imperio quanto as eleições do 2022 no Brasil com a vitoria iminente de Lula. Será que vão aceitar ou Lula se dobrara3aos eua?
Yandex translation. Mod:
I am Brazilian and I am also afraid of what will be the position of the Empire as the 2022 elections in Brazil with the imminent victory of Lula. Will they accept or will Lula benda3aos the USA?
Dear Liz, Lukashenko is politically dead, will be replaced anyway. Strategic Sino-Russian cooperation is vital for both parties, nothing will be sacrificed there for Afghanistan. Iran is not subordinate and will do whatever pleases if attacked, otherwise they are not stupid to attack anyone, time works for them (has just been full member of SCO recently). Weapon sales limitation is unlikely.
My guess is getting free hand in the Americas for abandoning some already lost causes (Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Ukraine) or deflecting a leverage not known for the public – coordinated military campaign on these fronts, publishing dirty secrets (as you suggested), something like this. Btw, Empire has not been routed anywhere you mentioned except Afghanistan. Turncoat Erdogan will backstab Russia rather sooner than later as their Ottoman dreams cross basic Russian interests, Lybia is taken, Syria is to be abandoned but still foothold is kept – same goes in Iraq. What is going to happen to Ukraine is one major question for the future, what Turkey will do is an other. They want to play a bigger role in Central-Asia – also in Afghanistan – but it’s a question who would entitle them (for now my guess is nobody). Ukraine is being faced (through Merkel) with a check mate: fulfilling Minsk or natgas transfer halts. Choosing either is end of Ukraine as it was. Even is they choose Minsk the concession is valid for 10 additional yrs only, so they are over, sold, betrayed and abandoned – they will be forced to reckon with reality.
We are all happy to see the axis of evil in retreat, but if their Stalingrad is Syria (it is) then Afghanistan is their Kursk – yet the war is not over and wunderwaffen are still waiting to be deployed.
Interestingly, at the UN security Council meeting the Western puppets sang the same song. For them a truly horrific situation. But what struck me were certain nuances of the meeting and words.
Remember India has the presidential chair this month. This is important.
Those invited were Zio spokespersons. They rhymed a similar tune. They were unrepentant and out of context. The only two exceptions were Russia and China. Their statements were measured, constructive and in the context of the new reality on the ground. Remember, Russia and China as permanent members cannot be precluded from attendance. I’m sure readers will understand the ploy to set up a more visible critical voice.
Russia and China’s broader thoughts included:
*Critical of the Proxy govt.
*We believe there is no need to panic.
*A bloodshed has been avoided.
*International community must help Afghanistan achieve reconciliation. (A plea or a reminder to broader members)
*The troika of Russia, China and Pakistan has been engaged in such reconciliation AND we believe an important part CAN be played by Iran too (specific mention of these nations positively helping. This point is further elaborated in China’s statement).
*Important now to restore peace, stability and security.
*Afghan prospects are at a historic crossroads.
*China takes note of the Taliban statements of war in Afghanistan has now ended and that it would transition to an inclusive ISLAMIC EMIRATE. (remarkable they highlighted this. A note for Muslim China ‘over the top’ critics).
*China expectations are that these commitments will be fulfilled (faith in talibs).
*China notes that radical groups had developed in Afghanistan posing a threat to international peace and security (this is a subtle finger at you know who. ETIM were additionally mentioned. We know subversive groups have tried to tarnish and infiltrate the talibs patriotic movement. And to whom they are loyal and compelled by along with their backers). On this point, when the talibs say, they have matured, I believe, they recognise and understand these subversives better now and who they really work for.
*We hope the taliban make a clean break.
What was intriguing was a near ending sentence by the Chinese diplomat. He said,
‘some regional countries and Afghan’s neighbours had made requests to participate in today’s meeting, it is REGRETTABLE that their requests were not granted’.
I can only assume he was referring to Pakistan and Iran. At the point of using the word’ regrettable’ he looked in the direction of the current presidential chair, which this month happens to be the Indian representative. I thought that was quite telling and bold of the Chinese rep. A subtle rebuke to his indian counterpart and only inviting a critical mass voice.
So along with rational and constructive statements and subtle fingers at empire. Both China and Russia made, in their view, a worthy mention of Pakistan and Iran.
If you recall my mentioning of India holding this months presidential chair. They likely did not accept the invitation of these two countries.
I may have made the above observations on a partial basis. I could be wrong and accept that. I will leave it to you to judge these observations from the Security Council meeting.
Nevertheless, the words of Russia and China do corroborate with preceding events and highlights, which many of you, as well as Pepe, in the above article, see as part of the evolving greater game.
‘So meet the new fall guy: the New Axis of Evil. The axis is Taliban-Pakistan-China. The New Great Game in Eurasia has just been reloaded’
Thanks for the above report. I was wondering about the goings on at the UN. You’ve answered all my questions, in particular the role of India.
Thanks for your insight.
I wish people would stop referring to these wars and bloodshed as “the Great Game” We are not on TV, this is not game of thrones, it is real life with real consequneces for real people.
Pedant’s Corner. Mr.K is right, war is no game. I must confess that I find war more enthralling than any game — as long as I am not called to fight — so Mr.K’s protest touches my conscience. But “The Great Game” is a phrase coined by Anglo-Imperialist writer Rudyard Kipling back in the jolly old days when Brittannia ruled the waves. Pepe is reminding us of an enduring political conflict between Russia and the Anglo Capitalist Empire in Central Asia.
china & russia often seem to have agreed on how to proceed; putin, prior to presenting his address to the (i believe UNGA) was congratulatory regarding india’s presidential chair, as well, russia sells india weapons…whereas china & india have more than a few issues, so china can pointedly point out to india where it has failed, whilst leaving the SCO still balanced & business as usual.
Following from the above comment.
New Delhi’s envoy to Afghanistan and his staff will be evacuated from the country “immediately,” the Indian External Affairs Ministry said, noting they would return home after the Taliban took control of the Afghan capital.
“In view of the prevailing circumstances, it has been decided that our ambassador in Kabul and his Indian staff will move to India immediately,” Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi announced in a tweet on Tuesday morning.
”In view of the prevailing circumstances, it has been decided that our ambassador in Kabul and his Indian staff will move to India immediately,”
Excellent news — good riddance to bad garbage. It’s fascinating watching these purifying effects of overthrowing rotten regimes serving imperialism with all its foreign flunkeys getting out of the place too.
As an Indian I can only weep for my country at the truthful and terrible observations you make. However, in afirst-past-the-post system of elections, the present regime got a Parliamentary majority with only 37% of the popular vote. And they have out-Trumped Trump in gross violations of constitution by fraudulently “passing by voice vote” laws in Parliament which everybody knows did not have majority support in the Upper House of Parliament. It is all round Hitlerian experiences for us. However, our opposition parties are moving to unite and overthrow this regime which may take another couple of years and we pray for that.
After that, let us hope India returns to the non-aligned independent path of Nehru.
The question is whether the abominable BJP/Modi/Hindutva regime will survive even for another year. Alongside Bandernazi Ukraine and Brazil under the crackpot Bolsonaro, India will be facing societal collapse. These entities surely look like the weakest links of Western imperialism. The latter’s resounding defeat in Afghanistan will aggravate things further still.
Thanks for your brave post. I pray with you for the rectification of Indian politics being back in the hands of great people of India.
It’s a difficult stance to take speaking out against the fervour of the hard right govt and its spellbound supporters.
I know there is a significant part of the bureaucracy and intelligentsia unhappy with foreign policy and its trajectory.
‘This is one for the annals .. blitzkrieg … Afghan style: lots of persuasion, lots of tribal deals, zero columns of tanks, minimal loss of blood’. Thanks, Pepe. Here’s what we haven’t been hearing about, the element that was so roundly overlooked that when the blitz came to be it took everybody by surprise. Nothing like this has happened since the collapse of the old SU – another blitz like event that took all the wags by surprise. Nearly everything one hears about the Taliban refers to their practice of herding goats, wearing sandals, being barbarians, terrorists, and not using sophisticated weapons. Our understanding of how this rag tag operation of peasants overcame Nato and it’s occupation army of 300,000 well equipped and trained ‘commandos’ and ‘special ops’ is … well .. isn’t. No understanding. Perhaps ‘no understanding as usual’. (As I recall ‘understanding’ got a boost in the wake of the above mentioned ‘Saigon moment’. After Vietnam the soldiers actually got interested in reading. Perhaps now, after Kabul, ‘understanding’ will be rehabilitated. But we’ll see.
It sounds like the widely wondered about government to be is largely already in place. The heart of the system was always the shura, the tribal based consultation system, the bargaining bazaar of traditional politics. Judging by facts on the ground, the machine is well oiled and functioning with surprising efficiency. What the traditional ‘parliament’ has always needed was a crown, a monarch to preside over the system. The Taliban military alliance is loose but the senior commanders, such as Mullah Baradar, answer to the Supreme Leader Haibatullah Akhundzada, the spiritual leader of the emirate. So then it seems that the structure of the Taliban is not unlike the Iranian Islamic Republic where a prime minister presides over the government but remains answerable to the spiritual leader, that is Ayatollah Khamenei. At the heart of the constitution is a relationship between spiritual and secular rulers. The secular ruler must head up the government, presently the Afghan national government and all it’s ministries, while major political decisions must be hammered out in the consultation process, the shura. In the old days Afghanistan was a hereditary monarchy. But it seems that the Taliban are a new development, somewhat along the lines of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is a departure from the old hereditary system, and rather corporative. Well, we shall see what we shall see. The recent leadership has shown a remarkable maturity of judgement and have succeeded in their aims to the shock and consternation of nearly everybody. I do wish them well and hope that this government in the making becomes stable so as to address the enormous tasks that await the reconstruction of this devastated country.
An Emirate is a feudal system, where semi-independent lords, or ‘amirs’, rule over provinces, as governors. The title of amir is hereditary.
It is really not similar to the Iranian system at all. The spiritual leader of Iran is not a hereditary position, neither is any secular government office. Iranian towns, villages and cities have elected councils, not hereditary amirs. And Iran has a Parliament, composed of elected members, who represent every province and ethnicity, and every minority group in the country, including the Sunnis, Jews, Armenian Christians, Zoroastrians, Assyrians, etc. Iran also has a President who is elected every four years, and cannot stay in office more than two consecutive terms.
‘An Emirate is a feudal system … ‘ No argument. I proceeded on the idea that the hereditary tribal leaders of the country, previously ruled over by a hereditary monarchy, now, with the Taliban, have developed relational power form, consisting of sacred and secular authorities, neither hereditary. That’s why I made the comparison with the Iranian Islamic Republic and even the Muslim Brotherhood. All of these developments in recent times vary considerably from the previously presumed universality of Fukuyama’s liberal democracy, as does the CCP. After being roundly declared obsolete and archaic, or downright regressive, we are witnessing the reemergence of forms of monarchy and I daresay aristocracy that appear to be quite viable. I think this is a very important and noteworthy development. Again, the reference to Iran was regarding the non hereditary forms of both spiritual and secular authority. But thanks for commenting; I appreciate your characterisations of Iranian matters.
Thank you for clarifying difference between the two.
The sudden abundance of experts on Afgan tribal system is red flag for me. Stinks like disinfo campaign. You just debunked similar one about Iran.
I must confess they got me on this one – my view on Iran system was it is similar to feudal state. It looked like common knowledge.
We’ll see how this Afgan Emirat narative unfold in the end. These days, almost everything predicted about Talibans turned out wrong.
The stunning military success has galvanised the pushback against empire in many quarters of the world and will certainly have raised eyebrows in the corridors of Israel.
The enormous task ahead is one of maturity and wisdom. They have to dig deep into the pearls of substance located in their faith. That in reality is their greatest challenge. They have to humble themselves from the accolade of victory and of sending the largest military invasion to date packing their bags with their tails between their legs.
To ensure security and safety of the people. To allow institutions to grow. To make mutual agreements with other groups. Most critically, to ensure the freedom of women to enjoy their rights of liberty. These are located within the framework of Islam. They don’t have to look outside their faith but they need to examine the reality outside of their own interpretations.
Lastly, and this is critical. They need to acquire market and investment acumen. While the West is now withholding development aid and funds (after destroying the country). The talibs need to be very careful of IMF loans and the like to protect the health of the economy. Perhaps concentrate on mutual beneficial arrangements with trustable neighbours.
Also, I hope they protect their well earned freedom responsibly in line with Islamic ideals and not compromise such with certain international bodies for the sake of legitimacy which they are clearly conscious of.
Very early days and huge challenges ahead.
As in Medina, the focus right now should be the avoidance of infighting and making mutually beneficial pacts with diverse groups in the land to promote unity.
The early signs are more positive than negative.
Just as with Vietnam, would someone please turn off the light at the end of the tunnel?
Remember how we were lured into this latest quagmire by the 9/11 fable, the notion that 19 Arabs armed with boxcutters led by Osama bin Laden who was holed up in a cave in Afghanistan pulled off the 9/11 attacks? Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) was the lone ‘no’ vote in Congress against the war in Afghanistan. At the time, she was reviled for being unpatriotic, even receiving death threats. “When I voted ‘no,’ I said it was a blank check and would set the stage for perpetual war, and that’s what it’s done,” she said. How right she was.
Spot on, the 911 crap was planned, staged and executed by the evil rulers of USA, absolutely NOTHING to do with Afganistan, or Bin Laden but planned as an excuse to invade and use the opium for their own profits. Now the wheel turns and what a debacle. Not only fleeing in terror but leaving their “enemy” billions of dollars of military equipment. As for The participating supporting countries, well I seems that they are sadly shown the error of their ways, slavishly supporting The US and for What? Humiliation? killing of innocent civilians? Disgrace? It appears that way. What have any of the wars since WW2 achieved apart from exposing the US plans to dominate and take over the world? at what cost to the conscripted servicemen, a huge number maimed and ruined for the rest of their lives. what does War Achieve except to prop up evil rulers and the makers of the weapons of war. What comes around goes around. You aint seen nothing yet.
Afghanistan has one of the most important strategic locations globally. The real crossroad.
A near bloodless takeover of an entire country. that`s worth repeating ‘an entire country’ and it was a deal between USA and Taliban, smooth transition………..I want what you people are smoking. Come out of the haze. Biden did not ask Mr Putin for a meeting, nice optics, wrong page.
This deal has been in the works for a long time and may have recieved an impetuious when Gen Solimani was assassinated. What did the Iranians say, US out of the region entirely. Far too much bloodshed for far too long. The entire region has been frozen, time for a thaw.
The new Taliban, my view from what I see so far, are not the CNN Taliban of 20 odd years ago. The country needs real help which does not come from the end of A10 Warthog. Glitches from the Zio triple letters will happen. Getting control of the opium. Getting it off the black market for drugs and into international market for medical pain relief, currently a shortage even before the thingy came around.
Turkey, from my understanding is the one of, if not. the largest grower and supplier of medical opium. Afghanistan, with proper management could make use of that revenue stream right of git go to provide needed cash infusion for interior projects. Better that money got to rebuilding Afghanistan rather than to a drug dealing CIA buying bombs to drop on its’ next victim. Why beg at the UN beggers trough. Oh, and sue the ass of the USA in every international court for damages.
Important point about the opium/heroin that has been coming out of Afghanistan in ever-increasing tonnage.
I personally thought the CIA/NATO exporters were unlikely to give up on this cash cow. Hundreds of billions of dollars were being made each year . . . and reportedly this money was being laundered by the big banks. So the intelligence/security agencies, as well as the banksters, stand to lose a huge funding source.
Anyone here want to comment on that?
My quick 2 cents… Sure the “CIA/NATO exporters” and the banks involved are definitively screaming behind their soundproof doors, but, as chocking as it may sound, a few hundred billions in today’s trillions world (and I suspect soon to be quadrillions) is increasingly turning into pocket money for the real whales of the Western banking sector. Basically the opium trade has become merely a footnote in their books.
I will comment, but some questions first.
1. What route did the CIA allegedly use to smuggle the “hundreds of billions of dollars” of Afghan narcotics through?
2. And where was the destination market for said narcotics?
3. Can you put a kilogram figure on how much narcotics you believe the CIA was exporting from Afghanistan per year?
When the Islamic Republic was first set up in Iran over 40 years ago, the IRGC position regarding Afghan narcotics was simple: they didn’t want it coming into Iran, and they didn’t want anything to do with it.
After a couple of years, their position changed. Their new policy was: they still didn’t want the drugs coming into Iran, but to make sure that happened, they had to take control of all the shipments at the Afghan border themselves, and transit them safely through Iran, to Turkey, from whence they would go to Europe, which was the main market for their sale and distribution.
A couple more years went by, and as you can imagine, the IRGC became one of the biggest drug kingpins in the world, controlling near 100% of Afghan narcotics, which amounted to something like over 70% of the world’s total narcotics. At some point, as Iranian Revolutionary ideals and morals started to erode under the weight of non-stop propaganda, and the economic situation in Iran became unable to provide Western-style luxury (as per the images portrayed to Iranians on satellite TV) to its citizens, it was thought wiser to loosen the restrictions on opium and cannabis entering Iran.
Now, as a side note, opium and cannabis are both native to Iran, what with Iran being just an extension of the same terrain and climate as Afghanistan, and as such Iranians have been using opium and cannabis for thousands of years. Cannabis use by Iranian Scythians, for example, is historically attested circa 2500-3000 years ago. Some of the most potent cannabis strains in the world originated from the Iran-Afghanistan region.
The point is, Iranians were not drug-naive like the Chinese, who almost destroyed themselves with opium, during the British opium conspiracy against that nation. Iranians consume opium and cannabis like the Irish consume alcohol.
So, as I said, about 25 years ago, give or take, it was decided that some segments of the Iranian population needed the psychological relief that cannabis and opium can bring. It was deemed preferable for the discontent and the unhappy among the Iranian populace to chill with some hash or opium, lest they channel their discontent into more violent and destructive pursuits.
Twenty years ago, when the US invaded Afghanistan, the IRGC had surpassed its role as a drug kingpin, becoming something like a drug god.
One day, when the real statistics finally come out, you will understand what “drug god” quantities we are talking about.
In any case, the US tried to take away this significant income from the IRGC, for twenty years. But they failed. So, I ask again, to debunk the CIA drug canard, how much drugs were the CIA supposedly exporting per year, and by what route?
Not only did the IRGC never lose its iron grip on the Afghan drug business, but now they have set up an equivalent operation in Venezuela, where it has been snowing non-stop for a long time now.
The CIA never had a chance, and right in Iran’s backyard, at that.
Are you an “insider” or do you have credible sources? Because frankly it goes against every publicly known facts about the international drug market and Iran’s war strategies or even tactics. The later being heavily based on Sharia Law which specifically and unambiguously condemns any form of attacks on civilians. And debunking the CIA drug cannard???
I do not have any credible sources.
But what I have said here is common knowledge in Iran.
Narcotics are so widespread, so cheap, and so easily available in Iran, that it leaves no question regarding the Iranian establishment’s position on drugs.
I will tell you a little anecdote. When I lived in Tehran, some years back, our neighborhood had an opium dealer, Farhad, a big guy in his 50s, and he had been selling opium out of his house for a good decade or two. He never met up with his customers on the street or anything like that. His customers would knock on his door, in the middle of the main street, day or night, and walk in, walk out.
Not only did all of his neighbors, naturally, know what he did for a living, but so did everyone in the police station, literally 300 meters away, on the same street.
Not once did I hear of him going to prison in the last 15-20 years. He was married, with three children — just a normal guy. If he was ever stupid enough to get caught, he’d just pay a very reasonable fine, and get on with his life, but the cops never hassled him or demanded regular protection money or anything like that.
So, for one, opium and cannabis do not usually carry a prison sentence in Iran, although it is always at the individual judges’ discretion what to do, in any criminal case. I know a guy who was caught with quite a bit of drugs, and it was clear he was intending to sell it, but the judge took one look at him and said “I can see that you are a good person, you have a good soul, so I am letting you go. Try not to get caught again.”
Either way, you’re not going to prison in Iran for selling opium and cannabis in moderate amounts, you just pay a fine, which is like a tax, and go on your merry way.
Also, while we’re here, judges in Iran are usually clerics, like the judges of the Old Testament, and they carry this kind of power when sentencing someone, ie. judging them as a person, judging their soul. If you are a strong, healthy, good-looking person, and the judge can see no ‘sin’ in your eyes, you will never be condemned to prison in Iran, unless you’ve done something truly awful, which a good person would never do anyway.
Regardless, my neighborhood in Tehran, a middle-class neighborhood, had 3 opium dealers, and 5-6 cannabis dealers. Go figure, right?
And let me tell you another anecdote. My neighbor is a police district chief in a major Iranian city. He is in his late 40s. When he was a few years younger, he was stationed at a border town which is the major transit route of incoming drugs, in Sistan. He was the chief of the police station at the border customs checkpoint. He says they were always told beforehand which incoming trucks they were not allowed to stop and search.
As luck would have it, one night he made a mistake and stopped a truck which he shouldn’t have stopped. The truck contained something like over 10 metric tons of an assortment of drugs. He says when he caught it, he thought “he was going to get promoted out of that hell hole.”
Within the hour, the IRGC showed up at the station, and tossed him into his own lockup, where he spent the rest of the night.
The IRGC people concluded the next day that he had made an honest mistake, and he was released, and not punished.
Eventually, he was promoted and he left the hell hole in Sistan that everyone in Iran dreads serving at, whether Army, IRGC, or Police.
As I said, these things are common knowledge in Iran. You don’t have to be an insider to know any of this.
Just because Iran was forced to sign some nonsensical UN anti-narcotics mandate, does not mean they agree with the UN that drugs are bad, and they should be illegal, and there should be a war against them.
And finally, nowhere in the Quran or Sharia is any other drug except alcohol mentioned. Now, while I believe that Mohamed would have illegalized some of today’s drugs in addition to alcohol, if they had existed back then, I know that he would have been aware of the existence of opium and cannabis, and yet he did not forbid them.
In Islamic teachings, any plant that has medicinal value, is legitimate. Both the opium poppy, and cannabis sativa, have proven medicinal value, especially in this day and age, with people suffering all kinds of physical and psychological issues.
The Iranian establishment, and the IRGC, do not need lessons on Islam from you, that much I can assure you.
Look, buddy, very little happens in, not just Iran, but the whole region, that the IRGC intelligence division does not know about. They have to know, because Iran’s survival depends on it. If they didn’t know, Iran would have been defeated by US-Israeli conspiracies long ago.
So, to say that the IRGC is not aware of the absurd amounts of narcotics going through Iran, is very naive.
The Iranian police say they have seized 1000 metric tons of narcotics in Iran in the last year. Do you know how much does not get seized? A lot more than 1000 tons a year.
You think such quantities of narcotics could come and go through Iran without the IRGC controlling it, let alone not even knowing about it?
So, unless you want to offer some figures regarding the CIA Afghan drug canard, so we can analyze and compare them to statistics and numbers that are hard facts, so we can find out how much drugs the CIA was exporting from Afghanistan, and unless you claim that the CIA is the one transiting and transporting the drugs through Iran, while the IRGC sits by and does nothing, or does not even know about it, then there is nothing to discuss.
Well all your anecdotes basically shows that opium and cannabis enters the country with complicity of the authorities, and that the law is generally “understanding” with their domestics dealers, but it shows zero evidence of Iran being an international narcotic “hub”, Meanwhile one can find tons of articles all over the internet about the CIA’s deep involvement in the international drug market (talk about being naive). And the Coran does prohibit all substances that “alter the mind” even if alcohol is the only one mentioned by name, and I never had any intentions to give lessons on Islam to anyone, merely stating a fact. But it’s ok if you dont like being questioned, we can leave it at that.
Go to any pharmacy in any Muslim country, and see if they have gabapentin, pregabalin, tramadol, acetaminophen with codeine, oxycodone, etc.
They are all mind altering drugs, and every pharmacy in the world carries them.
Perhaps you’d like to alert the Islamic authorities?
And opium is all over Islamic medical text books from the medieval period.
So, first of all, you need to back up your claim with a quote from the Quran where it says all mind altering substances are banned.
And second, as I said before, all you need to do is bring forward a figure for how much narcotics are produced in Afghanistan per year. The rest will all fall into place.
Allow me to do this for you. But first:
“Iran currently has the largest prevalence of opiate consumption in its population globally. Iran also accounts for 84% of total opiate seizures by law enforcement agencies in the world, interdicting tens of thousands of tons of opiates annually.”
And from Wikipedia:
“As per UN drug report of 2011, Iran accounts for highest rate of opium and heroin seizure rates in the world, intercepting 89% of all seized opium in the world.”
“From the collected data, the potential opium production was estimated at 6,300 tons.”
So, according to the UN, 6300 tons of narcotics were produced in Afghanistan in 2020.
There are two major drug transit routes out of Afghanistan, Herat to Iran, and Southern Helmand to Iran via Pakistan.
I daresay, every kilogram of narcotics produced in Afghanistan (and apparently even more) go through Iran.
If Afghanistan produced a total of 6000 tons of narcotics in 2020, and Iranian police say they seized 1000 tons in 2020. What happened to the other 5000 tons? Did the Iranian police seize 100% of incoming narcotics? Then they are the best police in the world. But where do all the drugs in Iran come from then, if the police is seizing it all? And where does all the heroin in Europe come from?
https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/450161/Iran-ranks-first-worldwide-in-narcotics-seizure — note that in 2020, just as in 2009, Iran is still at the top of the list of seizures worldwide.
Where does this leave the CIA?
And if the Iranian establishment has no qualms about Iranians topping the list of drug users worldwide, what issue could they possibly have with selling the drugs to Europeans as well?
I am afraid that everything people think they know about this matter, is patently false. A quick look at the stats could have told you all you needed to know.
“O You who believe! Indeed, intoxicants, gambling, [sacrificing on] stone alters [to other than Allah], and divining arrows are but defilement from the work of Satan, so avoid it that you may be successful.” [Quran: 5:90]
This translation uses the word “intoxicant” I hope you don’t mind. I also hope you can differentiate between medical and recreational use. And really what is it with this obsession? First you want me to give lessons and now you want me to alert the authorities?!?!
Now again, all you show is evidence that Iran is being inundated with narcotics (which is consistent with Anglo-Zionist MoO in general and CIA in particular), but not a country that controls the international drug market by any means. The rest to me seems to be just your own speculation.
Granted the TehranTimes article you reference mentions
“According to UNODC, Iran remains one of the major transit routes for drug trafficking from Afghanistan to European countries and has had a leading role at the global level in the drug-control campaigns.”
But only after first mentioning
“The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has praised Iran’s efforts to fight against narcotics trafficking on the occasion of International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, he said.”
and then adding
“UNODC World Drug Report 2020 estimates that in 2018, 91 percent of world opium, 48 percent of the world morphine, and 26 percent of the world heroin were seized by Iran.”
Doesn’t that contradict your claim? Or did they seize it only to sell it back?
And then that final gem
“Afghanistan produced only 200 tons of narcotics in 2000 and 2001, and now that number has risen to 9,000, which is caused by the support and encouragement of the U.S. and other countries in Afghanistan.”
This is a 4500% increase in the precise time frame the US set foot in Afghanistan. Furthermore If one looks at the production charts in the UN report you provided, the level seems to more than triple from the pre Taliban period. Is this a coincidence?
I’m not trying to be smart here, But you’ll really have to try harder to convince me (that is if you’re so inclined).
For one single year, in 2001, poppy cultivation plummeted in Afghanistan. Then the US showed up. And it is no secret that Iran and the US worked together to defeat the Taliban at the time.
In 2002, poppy cultivation went back to ‘normal’.
Quote the Arabic text of the verse from the Quran. I am perfectly capable of translating it for you myself.
@Sean: “This deal .. may have received an impetus when General
Soleimani,was assassinated. What did the Iranians say, US out of the region entirely. Far too much bloodshed for far too long.”
Interesting point. In line with the reader who wrote (contrary to usual comments) that he saw more Iranian fingerprints than Pakistani fingerprints on the course of events. Another reader mentioned open crossings for trucks with hundreds of tons of aid coming in daily from Iran. Also in line with above discussion on similarity between the new Afghan state and the Islamic Republic of Iran. Certainly enough there to warrant speculation about the ghost of Qasem Soleimani. Like the ghost of Banquo in Shakespeare’s MacBeth, come back to haunt the assassin and put an end to NATZO’s reign of blood in the Middle East.
“A senior US senator, also a member of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, on his social media revealed that the US has 30,000 soldiers stationed in China’s Taiwan island.”
So the USA created the Mujahideen to oust the Russians (Soviets) and their grandkids kick out the Americans.
So, like it or not, the country has liberated itself and will now suffer the wrath of economic vengence by way of looted treasure and sanctions Haiti/Cuba/Venezuela style. However, with Russian, Chinese, Iranian and Indian/Pakistan to do local border business with I doubt it will make much impact. What’s the US going to do without its Heroin supply? Cold turkey, or via Turkey?
I think we need to redefine the word intelligence as it pertains to the government.
Marcus, try Aldous Huxley. “There are 4 grades of Intelligence: Military, Robot, Animal, and Human. The Man from Uncle is an example of Military Intelligence”.
So, after two decades of hubris and clueless intervention, Operation ‘(not so) Enduring Freedom’ has ended in ignominous failure for the Empire.
While the news and sight of the Empire’s cannon fodder and minions scurrying to get out of Afghanistan is something to rejoice, I’m still of two minds as to whether this event might not be a false dawn for Afghanistan.
True, the breathtaking incompetence on the part of FUKUS/Nato in handling this retreat and the finger-pointing already taking place in Western capitals provides further evidence of an Empire in decline. It is also true that the Taliban have evolved into a somewhat more sophisticated organisation — definitely not the organisation of Mullah Omar’s day as Pepe says. The slick PR machine — a female CNN talking head being invited to inspect a former US base as a guest of the Talibs; their spokesman making a phone call to a (female) BBC news reader live on air; interviews with foreign TV, etc. Better command and control — disciplined Talibs on patrol and at checkpoints, and helping to maintain order at the airport. Distinct lack of arbitrary justice being meted out in the streets and playing fields. Diplomats given guarantees about their safety. Exhortations to Afghans to carry on as usual. All signs of a good start for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
Now, please don’t get me wrong. I wish Afghanistan the best but I doubt if the mullahs in charge can bring an improvement to Afghans’ lives. The Talibs have rid Afghanistan of FUKUS, which is a good thing, but the real question now is, can they govern the country? Way I see it, the Talibs have two major problems: (a) continued interference by powers with vested interests in the country, not least the Empire; foreign sponsors demanding payback for previous financial, logistical and political support. And perhaps more important, (b) maintaining their internal solidarity and cohesiveness. I have said this before — the Taliban are a fragmented lot. Mullah Baradar has prestige, being the Taliban’s co-founder but Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada’s leadership has been challenged before — he had to flee to Iran at one point, and he has a serious rival in Sarajuddin Haqqani. Akhunzada is more open to collaboration with, for instance, Iran and Russia. Haqqani on the other hand is less so inclined. These fissures and the inherently decentralised nature of the Taliban these past 20 years make it very difficult for the new masters of Afghanistan, essentially politically-minded religious teachers and not much else, to really govern the country.
I’ll be really glad to be proven wrong.
I found this paragraph in RT on an article about Afghanistan, I just thought was with a sense of humor so I wanted to share:
As Iran or Venezuela can attest, the US has no qualms about taking liberties with foreign assets that belong to nations that have a falling-out with America. The money could go to pay hefty compensation to victims of Taliban or could be handed over to some Afghan government-in-exile led by a Mohammed al-Guaido, for example.
As the saying goes, a fully saddled horse won’t pass two times, so jump fm the ground and ride it.
A historical opportunity for the afghan country and their new bosses or rising leadership. It s of course an interrogation mark whether Baradar and Co will understand this: a new rebirth, far away fm the shadows of Exceptionalistan , a blessing from rain and sun represented by a new world order… where they will have little to fear as long as neighbors
China, russia and pakistan have all on stake to support it – in exchange for a few pre-conditions…
The new axis of ”evil” in central Asia has seen the horse ages in advance of the american so called Intelligence. It s now the Taliban ‘s turn.
A situation has arisen which is at the same time full of opportunities, but also of enormous risks for all parties.
What is certain is that without a truly cohesive government, a lot of money, strong military support, political recognition, Afghanistan can go back into chaos very quickly.
In this sense, Pepe already foreseeing future developments rightly concludes: “So meet the new fall guy: the New Axis of Evil. The axis is Taliban-Pakistan-China.”
“Ahmad Masood,:” … for democracy, human rights, women’s rights, and many other values that we have been able to achieve over the past two decades. We are the first line of defense. We protect both Europe and the entire region. Afghans are fighting not only for themselves, but and for everyone else. ”
“Humanitarian, and possibly military, assistance from foreign governments is already in his pocket.”
Don’t you think a Gulivers travels meme is appropriate now? Uncle Sam and the Taliban. The lilliputions have prevailed. Viva la Lilliputions!!!.
Very pretty – and apt.
Nah, I don’t buy this ‘Washington is deliberately losing, so they can focus elsewhere’ narrative. They lost. And now China is moving into Afghanistan, without losing a single soldier. This is not a smart play on some unseen chess board, it’s a loss, a humiliating one.
Amen to that. The fact of the matter is that they lost catastrophically. This should be an epic reminder to people who come to this forum to babble mindlessly about alleged ”defeats” inflicted on presentday Russia and China by Western intelligence (sic). What has just taken place in Afghanistan is what a genuine defeat looks like. The Empire is on its last legs.
I would wholeheartedly agree with both of you. Bot assets are in overdrive to spin this loss. US made a deal with Talibans? Yea right. Why would a victor negotiate with the looser and how? US is nonagreement capable,that much is obvious to everyone with eyes. Leaving people that worked and died for you behind. Yea, that was the message West want to send to those serving them around the world. Usualy they try to hide it from the eyes of the world so that they can find other naive fools to die for them elsewhere. But in Afghanistan somehow they forgot to pull the curtain to hide it? Nah, we are witnessing the catastrophic collapse.
Pepe gets carried away with this one thought:
“Now the “loss” of Afghanistan should be interpreted as a repositioning. It fits the new geopolitical configuration, where the Pentagon’s top mission is not the “war on terror” anymore, but to simultaneously try to isolate Russia and harass China by all means on the expansion of the New Silk Roads.”
The US may be trying to stop the Eurasian development, but they just lost the most crucial piece of geography for doing just that. Afghanistan is central to China’s rails, roads and ports to the South and West, and untimely to Europe, Africa and Eastern Latin America. If the US wanted to easily mount drones for attack, for spying, for EW, radars and missile defenses, Afghanistan would be the perfect spot.
The US has lost a lot with the loss of basing (they had seven bases). Unless they can completely break down India into a true vassal, South Asia is a gated community and the US is locked out.
As for containing China, that day has passed. Unless the US wants a missile war and loss of most of its Pacific navy surface ships. China is playing with an Ace, face up, Russia. This trumps the QUAD and the bloviating nonsense from the Five Eyes and the pants-less NATO (who just got tossed from Afghanistan, also).
The US can use trade, tariffs, patents, finance, banking, securities sanctions and other US-created Rules to limit China’s global marketing. But physically containing China behind the first line of islands or into the Pacific or Arctic or Indian Ocean are delusions. And over land? Russia, Central Asia and now South Asia are partners for China’s investment, development and New Silk Road trade.
The US national interests are lost. It was a foolish investment.
To turn the proverb, the caravan moves on and the dogs bark.
I had to scroll to the end to read Larch’s comment, it is the only one one I look forward to. Bravo Larch!
My thanks, Boris, for your kind remarks.
Larchmonter, my friend and close comrade,
A several trillion dollar wasted investment for sure, a dream within a dream that has turned in to the worst nightmare imaginable for The Empire and it’s minions. The residuals will become visible over the next half decade if not longer, but the bottom line is no one will ever trust Foggy Bottom again, assuming some were foolish enough to give said trust. Any other country The Empire visits their murderous intents on now sees the solution, first generated by General Giap in Vietnam: take the losses and wear them down, exhaust them, make nowhere safe for them, send lots of the enemy home in body bags and in the end you will win and The Empire will lose. Again.
How the mighty have fallen in an open and almost panic withdrawal with little planning besides what was done by junior officers and ‘diplomats’ on the spot as the situation evolved. What a disgrace, a disgrace that will haunt SehSha politics for years.
As I’ve said before, when they’re shooting at you when you leave, you lost, a truism that is not lost on the fools in Foggy Bottom.
Never The Last One, paper back edition. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1521849056 A deep look in to Russia, her culture and her Armed Forces, in essence a look at the emergence of Russian Federation.
An Incident On Simonka, paperback edition. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1696160715 NATO Is Invited To Leave Sevastopol, One Way Or The Other.
Auslander, my friend,
Indeed, the good done has been overwhelmed by the bad and the evil and greed.
The US Empire is shattered. Led to its mausoleum in a South Asian graveyard by the crypt keeper Biden.
It is far from over, but the unipolarity is snapped, and Russia and China are waiting for the US to join them in a new arrangement of international responsibilities.
At the least, we have something to lift a small drink to.
My comrade Larchmonter,
You and I will not live to see the end of The Empire, neither of us are young, but we will live to see the steadily deteriorating culture and society in said empire over the next decade or two. More’s the pity for that, but on the other hand somehow I don’t think VVP and Xi will allow SehSha to totally fold, it is not in their best interests to do so, but I do see a severe hobbling of Empire and it’s adventuresome spirit and mechanizations will come to an end. Maybe our grandchildren will finally see a time of peace and plenty, a time with no war, no ‘Four Horseman’ running rampant over veldt and prairie spreading hellfire and brimstone.
It is a nice thought, and I lift my stoneware glass of Massandrah Rosehveh in a toast to you, my friend.
Just to add one more loss. Loss of confidence in ability to use proxies as ground forces. After series of failed armies, trained and equipped by US, no one in the right mind will push that strategy any further.
Even if they do, it obviously won’t make any difference.
This visible military fiasco has its roots in not so visible economic turmoil. Meaning, crysis must be much more severe than it looks like on MSM.
So, I predict abandoning of more US overseas bases in short time because of…reasons.
My first bet is on transit stations for Afganistan opium.
Transit station Ramstein
As regards the opium, there are two tiny narco-statelets in the Balkans which surely will come in handy. Consequently, Camp Bondsteel will absolutely not be decommissioned until the Empire collapses utterly.
If, however, China would like to show some belated gratitude to the Western powers by swamping them — peacefully, mind you — with fentanyl, my bet would be on Russia also taking pleasure in boosting the well-being of ’Western partners’.
Exactly. The US occupied Afghanistan for 20 years was for two reasons;
(1) to surround Iran
(2) to create a barrier for China to advance into the region and to have a strategic connection with Iran.
Both objectives failed with this humiliating defeat.
However, regarding South Asia, the US still tries to obtain a piece of land in Sri Lanka. They presented a project proposal called ‘MCC’ in the guise of helping the Sri Lankan govt. to assist in ‘land management’ but with the true intention of grabbing the most fertile, resource-rich land area in the island that also included the strategic port of Trincomalee. They still haven’t given up on that. Reportedly, the US and India are pressuring the SL govt. to obtain the port.
I am in India and based on my reading of various developments, it appears that Sri Lanka under Rajapakshe is successfully playing US/India/Quad against China . Rajapakshe has made it clear that he wants to deal with India as a separate entity and not if INdia enters his room in the company of other moneybags or bullies. He discouraged that by denying the West Container Terminal contract to a joint bid of India and Japan , both Quad members , as it happens. That contract went to China. But when India alone bid for East Container Terminal, India got that contract. Seems like a clear message that ” speak for yourself and dont bring in those guys throwing their weight about”. I hope my reading is correct and even small countries like SL/Myanmar/Mauritius/Seychelles can have a say without becoming vassals.
Controlling the energy corridor in Afghanistan and the energy restriction policy towards China was rendered useless after China found Mega deposits in the Xianjin region. There was no need anymore for the US to have an expensive outpost in Afghanistan, next in line is Taiwan.
”Beijing is already planning hefty rare earth business with the Taliban.”
More than anything, this is what underlines the truly catastrophic defeat which the Zionazis have just suffered. Blinded by megalomania, arrogance, greed, and self-worship they rallied Afghanistan against them, instead of treating the Afghans respectfully. Now, China surely knows what it is doing, dealing a massive blow to the very same Western troublemakers who have been pestering China too.
At the rate things are going, Zone A will be totally routed in 10 years’ time at most. Its power is waning faster and faster under a fully braindead ”leadership” which cannot run the looting necessary to keep Zone A’s parasitic ’post-industrial society’ going. Afghanistan’s mineral wealth is an excellent case in point. Zone A will have to make do with LGBTQ++.
An excellent essay entitled KABULLSHIT has popped up:
All the pictures and diagrams are telling and I’m sure you Pepe Escobar, will get much food for thought and further discussion.
Good link, Gerry. Thanks.
Gerry, food for thought indeed. This picture from your Link is called U$ Bases Surrounding Iran:
In losing 8 Afghan bases, Uncle $cam has lost most of his strength on the East flank of Iran. There are 3 bases in Pakistan but Uncle Crass is well on the way to antagonizing his erstwhile friend. On Iran’s West flank Uncle $cam has 12 bases across the water, but they can’t be used because each base was thoughtlessly built inside a Rothschild oil company (KSA, Bahrein, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and Oman). Uncle $cam dare not annoy Mr.Big by having Iranian missiles start flying, Huti style, because Mr.Big’s oil companies would cease production.
Iran is the new player to add alongside China in Kipling’s “Great Game” at the crossroads of EurAsia. Iran is also an old and formidable player, as Alexander the Great well knew when he hacked his way through Iran, Afghanistan and part of Pakistan to leave his mark on that area.
Pepe Escobar mentioned Mullah Abdul Baradar as the new ruler in Kabul. Here is a speech by Baradar:
“To the people of the world:
« For the last 40 years, we have struggled to establish peace in Afghanistan. We have defeated the forces of the atheistic Communists and the Zionist West, and we have liberated our country.
We invite all Afghans to participate in our Islamic Emirate and we promise we will work for the betterment of our people. Our priorities are to bring peace to all regions of Afghanistan and to ensure the fairness of law. We will punish those who have done evil, and we will pardon those who fought against us, but have now submitted themselves. Allah is the most merciful and we can only thank Allah for our victory. Islam will be upheld in Afghanistan.
We have but a few things to say to the world. If you want peace with us, end your hatred for our government of Afghanistan and recognize our rule. We are the rulers of this land graced by Allah, and no matter how hard you have tried, you have never defeated us.
To the people of this world, especially the Palestinians, we hope that our victory over the superpowers of mankind will inspire you, as our faith in Allah has been confirmed for all to see. How can you deny Allah and his will, when he has delivered such a great victory to the believers?
We dream of a world in which there is peace between all and we ask all world governments to recognize our government.
Our message to the American people and people of the Western powers who fought us, who we know are hurt by this defeat, is simple: we do not have any hatred for you. Your governments, ran by Zionists and atheists, who want to spread their anti-Islamic views here, were our enemies, not you. We will pray for the day when you liberate yourselves from their grip, and there can be peace upon this planet.
One day, in the future, we hope the whole world will see the truth of Islam. Allah is the most merciful. »
– Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar”
Sounds like a Resistance Axis speech.
Oil, Oil, Oil, the Oil Card?
We shouldn’t forget another resource however, that has been responsible for much friction and even war, Water. with two rivers that Turkey wants to and has control with dams the Euphrates and Tigris? It took me the reading of only one article over 23 years ago on water and all I could say was yep that’s the key to everything right there and Turkey holds the key and power to so much yes? Major players can have all the oil in the world and more minerals and resources but water is the elixir of life. Yes, go talk to any Israeli, Palestinian, Lebanese, Iraqi, Iranian etc about water and there gaze turns north to Turkey with question marks?
The Tigris and the Euphrates have nothing to do with Iran. Iran does not look to Turkey for water.
Indeed, Iran is looking like the biggest winner here.
This is a nice “Cliff-notes” over-view but perhaps over-simplified and over-emphasizing the pipelines/opium aspect. The planners of these simultaneous serial wars, of which Afghanistan was only the first campaign, must have known (1) the extreme fractious nature of tribal lands, especially after 20 years of civil/foreign wars and (2) they were not going to control the grave-yard of empires for long.
More important was the Cebrowski-Rumsfeld doctrine of installing chaos at the connection points of Eurasia and to harm the neighbors of Israel. This war was not meant to be won. Afghanistan provides good launching points / fronts onto Iran & Pakistan. It also provides extremist insertion points into China/Russia.
At essence it was empire of chaos at work and with the secondary purpose of the self-licking ice-cream cone of the MIC complex. Perhaps they also anticipated the reactivation of the ancient silk roads given China’s history, strong commerce DNA, ongoing rapid rise, and reaction to their sea-lanes control.
Then mission creep set in:
– the poppy drug trade into EU/US/Russia/Iran is too important to abandon as it weakens those countries.
– Continued occupation delays the devolution of empire and its prestige – similar to the “domino-effect” from Vietnam.
– It denies China and other investors ability to extract significant mineral wealth.
We may never know the true motivations.
1,000 books will be written to provide spin and gaslight us.
The #Taliban’s (#US backed 2.0 version) ascension to power in #Afghanistan this time around means death and destruction for #Pakistan on a scale like never seen / experienced before.
Raising a #RedFlag.
The Afghans will be safe. But the Pakistanis, Chinese & Russians? NO.
—Mamur Mustapha, Geopolitical Analyst
This is a nice summary of all the comments across the world so far.
It is just as if with the simplicity of the Obvious, or rather the howling obvious as already put,
just like Baradar saying:
”We won and you have to talk to us around the table. These guys fm Moscow, Peking and islamabad were already talking with us long before our victory.”
And let s add to it, that those latter three players have never machinegunned and killed wedding ceremonies in the Afghan towns,neither bombed faraway villages fm the air in the middle of the night killing 60 children with one blow.
A simple fact is not being noted in the west as the presstitute
Media downplay the defeat in Kabul and sprinkle the sand of mistrust over chinese, russians and pakistanis.
Here is the fellow claiming to be the new official president of Afghanistan and leader of the fightback against the Taliban. Wonder if he is responsible for wedding ceremonies and children being bombed.
MARTIN SMITH: As the drone war escalated, the United States has had to develop a network of informers on both sides of the border.
AMRULLAH SALEH, Head of Afghan Intelligence 2004-10: Well, we have very close sharing of information with the Americans about targets. But drone operation is a very sensitive, secret U.S. operation. I don’t know much about it.
MARTIN SMITH: [on camera] But your counterparts in the CIA were running these drones.
AMRULLAH SALEH: Right.
MARTIN SMITH: You gave them targets in the tribal areas.
AMRULLAH SALEH: Yes.
MARTIN SMITH: This is human intelligence on the ground?
AMRULLAH SALEH: Yes.
MARTIN SMITH: Inside the tribal areas.
AMRULLAH SALEH: Wherever.
Unlike Saigon, this time the US occupation of Afghanistan crumbled without hundreds of thousands of American casualties.
This suggests that the US Empire has strained its logistical ability and the will to support such expeditions so far from home.
Seeing that light infantry with no heavy weapons were able to defeat the Empire, we can expect this will encourage others to attack US forces in their occupied countries too.
I expect that Iraq and Syria will be the next two American occupations to fall, followed by Korea.
This is a machine translation of a piece by Colonel Cassad. I think he is spot on. There is also a good summary of the press conference by Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.
There is a general misconception amongst a large number of people who comment on this Blog site; First of all almost non of them have been able to grasp the extremely rapid sea-change in Geo-politics (Almost as rapid and smooth as the Taliban Takeover).
These people are way behind the curve and are still under the Impression that the United States and West are still relevant to the rest of the world; the fact is they are not and at best peripheral players; The humiliating defeat in Afghanistan will be a water-shed moment in modern history; The western clout is over and done with, they matter not geopolitically and whatever little semblance of dignity they had left is torn to shreds. No country will accept their redeclious demands and military threats are unimaginable because it will result in their political disintegration
In summary China and Russia along with regional powers like Pakistan (Who has effectively sunk Americas ally India as well) are now very cleverly stage managing the South, they have the economic and military clout. And thats the way it is, people should come out of their stuck in time-past mind-set the world has changed.
The people who think Pakistan is relevant, suffer from the same misconception as the people who think the West is still relevant.
And yet Pakistan was the lead actor in Defeating Soviet Union and the defeat of western invaders is again the work Pakistans brilliant military intelligence ; How cleanly Pakistan has neutralised and almost vaporised their opponent India devastatingly…..I would say your knowledge of recent geopolitics is very limited