A Great Empire in Decline…

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Trump threatened to blow the whole country up you nincompoop.

You’re only angry that the North Koreans liked Trump and that he commanded their respect, despite him not having to be their slave (like how Hezbollah owns Tayyar).
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US has long claimed Afghanistan helped end ‘Soviet empire’ – now it’s their turn?


Nebojsa Malic
is a Serbian-American journalist, blogger and translator, who wrote a regular column for Antiwar.com from 2000 to 2015, and is now senior writer at RT. Follow him on Telegram @TheNebulator and on Twitter @NebojsaMalic

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(L) The end of the withdrawal of the Soviet troops from Afghanistan, February 15, 1989 (R) US Marines are assisting the Department of State with an orderly drawdown of designated personnel in Afghanistan, August 17, 2021 © V. Kiselev via Sputnik / US Marine Corps / 1st Lt. Mark Andries



Wise men in Washington have claimed for years that defeat in Afghanistan is what pushed the Soviet Union to collapse. Now that the US has done much worse, the world is about to see whether their theories hold water.
The last US military flight out of the Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) took off on Monday, a minute before the clocks struck midnight in Kabul. The 20-year war had come to an end, and the Taliban lit up the night skies with celebratory gunfire.
To hear President Joe Biden tell it, “the largest airlift in US history” was an “unparalleled” success, executed by the US military, diplomats, veterans and volunteers “with unmatched courage, professionalism, and resolve.”
ALSO ON RT.COMBiden praises US military for success of Afghanistan airlift, says diplomacy will rescue those left behind
In the minds of just about everyone else who could watch the events unfold over the past two weeks, it was a mad scramble to evacuate over 100,000 Afghans eager to emigrate, with fewer than 6,000 Americans making the flights – and several hundred being left behind for diplomats to try and save.
In fact, while 82nd Airborne Division commander General Christopher Donahue and US ambassador to Afghanistan Ross Wilson were the last two people to step on the last plane, no American civilians were on board the last five flights out of Kabul. This was the startling admission by General Kenneth McKenzie of CENTCOM to Pentagon reporters on Monday evening.
“We did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out,” McKenzie said.
Compare that to the Soviet pullout from Afghanistan, which ended in February 1989. The USSR took nine months to draw down over 100,000 troops. The last man across the Bridge of Friendship into present-day Uzbekistan was General Boris V. Gromov, who turned to a TV crew and said, “There is not a single Soviet soldier or officer left behind me.”

The government of Dr. Najibullah, whom the Soviets intervened to support against the US-backed Islamists a decade earlier, fought on for three more years – collapsing only after the USSR itself imploded and stopped sending aid. By contrast, the US-backed government in Kabul vanished into thin air before the US withdrawal was even complete.
President Ashraf Ghani flew out of Kabul on August 14, letting the Taliban take over without firing a shot. The Afghan National Army, which Biden himself touted as 300,000-strong and equipped with some of the best US weaponry, simply surrendered and melted away, all that equipment taken by Taliban as trophies. The Taliban then surrounded HKIA with checkpoints, leaving the 6,000 or so US troops there to keep out desperate Afghan civilians. There were no more disturbing images of men stuck in airplane wheels – or falling to their deaths after clinging onto planes as they took off – but something worse was yet to come.
ALSO ON RT.COMUS reputation is in tatters, it’s time to bring those responsible for Afghanistan disaster to account
Last Thursday, a suicide bomber allegedly belonging to the ISIS-K terrorist group made it all the way to the line of US troops before blowing himself up – killing up to 200 Afghan civilians as well as 14 US troops in the process.
Biden’s response was to order two drone strikes. One reportedly killed unspecified ISIS-K leaders in another province, while another was said to have stopped a car bomb in Kabul. Except the Afghans said it killed ten civilians, seven of them children, instead.
Yet the only member of the US military sacked during this fiasco has been the Marine colonel who spoke out publicly and demanded accountability. The leadership at the Pentagon, the CIA, the State Department, and the White House that got just about everything wrong when it came to Afghanistan, remains in place.
While the Biden administration is now claiming credit for ending the 20-year war, it’s clear that its grip on the narrative – both at home and abroad – has been shaken, perhaps fatally.
ALSO ON RT.COMAmerica’s NARRATIVE failure in Afghanistan is worse than its military one – Now the entire world knows the emperor has no clothes
For years it was thought that the US aided the Islamist mujahideen in Afghanistan only after the Soviets intervened. Until January 1998, that is, when former US national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski told a French publication that Washington’s support started months earlier, as part of his own plan to “give the USSR its Vietnam war.” Brzezinski outright boasted that the resulting conflict “brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.” Many US scholars agreed.
Fast forward to the present day, and it’s the American empire that’s facing demoralization, including a political and economic crisis at home. Biden was inaugurated with 25,000 troops lining the empty streets of Washington, and declared the alleged “extremism” of his political opponents as the greatest threat to the country, now rebranded as Our Democracy. He pitched the retreat from Afghanistan to the American public as a heroic decision to end the endless war before anyone else gets hurt. It was supposed to be a feather in his cap.
With the US now exiting Afghanistan after a 20-year nation-building effort and absolutely nothing to show for it but “complete disgrace and total humiliation” – as one commentator put it – Brzezinski’s theory is about to be put to a test.
 

Viral

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@Viral

US provides $100 million in humanitarian assistance for Lebanon. It granted $120 million to the Lebanese army.

What would Lebanon be without US support? Have you ever thought about that?
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America’s catastrophic miscalculation: 20 years of disaster in Afghanistan, by the numbers (PHOTOS)​


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CH-47 Chinook from the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division is loaded onto a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug, 28, 2021. © AP Photo / Department of Defense

The unceremonious exit of US forces from Afghanistan marks the end of nearly two decades of foreign military intervention in the country, leaving behind a trail of destruction and waste difficult to comprehend.
The last three US military transport departed the Hamid Karzai Airport late on Monday, just ahead of the August 31 deadline set for full withdrawal. For years, Washington and media outlets described the conflict in Afghanistan as a stalemate that had provided enough security to kindle social progress, security and stability. But a post-mortem of the last twenty years tells a different story – one of bloodshed, instability and grift, at a total cost of more than $2 trillion.

$85 billion in US weapons and equipment abandoned to the Taliban

According to Congressman Jim Banks (R-Indiana), due to the “negligence” of the Biden administration, the Taliban is in possession of 75,000 vehicles, over 200 airplanes and helicopters, 600,000 small arms and light weapons, as well as night vision goggles and body armor.



He claimed that the Taliban now have more Black Hawk helicopters than 85% of countries in the world, including close US allies. He estimated that equipment was worth $85 billion, but some have suggested a far higher figure.

At least 47,000 civilians killed

While estimates vary, Brown University’s Costs of War project has calculated that at least 47,000 Afghans were killed over the course of the war. Even now that the fighting has stopped, the consequences of the conflict are still being felt: Unexploded ordnance continues to kill and maim civilians, in many cases children. The war has also exacerbated the effects of poverty and poor sanitation and healthcare in the country.

Nearly 6 million displaced Afghans

The US-led conflict in Afghanistan has fueled a refugee crisis that continues to reverberate across Europe. In a nation of 38 million, around 5.9 million Afghans have either been displaced internally or have fled the country since war broke out in October 2001.
In the last three years alone, more than 395,800 Afghans have been displaced, according to Afghan government figures released in early July.
RT

FILE PHOTO. © Reuters / Alkis Konstantinidis

More than 2,400 US military personnel killed and 20,000 wounded

Current estimates put total US military casualties at more than 2,400 killed, with 20,000 others wounded. An additional 3,800 private contractors died during the 20-year war. More than 1,100 allied service members, including those from NATO states, also lost their lives.
RT

Flag-draped coffins of service members killed in action are loaded onto a transport aircraft at Kabul Airport in Afghanistan on August 27, 2021. © Reuters / US Central Command

At least 64,000 Afghan military and police killed

More than 64,000 members of the US-trained Afghan National Army (ANA) and the country’s police force perished in the war.
RT

FILE PHOTO. Fire fighters try to extinguish a police vehicle which was hit by magnetic bomb in Kabul, Afghanistan. © Reuters / Stringer

Countless thousands of US bombs and munitions dropped on Afghanistan

As the war entered its final years, the US military radically ramped up its bombing campaign in Afghanistan. In 2019, US warplanes dropped 7,423 bombs and other munitions on the country, a nearly eightfold increase from 2015.
RT

FILE PHOTO. B-52H Stratofortress. © Reuters / MODERNIZE Air Force

Hundreds of thousands of hectares of opium poppies

According to a UN estimate, Afghanistan’s opium production was estimated at 6,300 tons in 2020. That year, the total area under opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan was estimated at 224,000 hectares, an increase of 37% compared to 2019. Afghanistan is once again the world’s leading source of opium poppies. Under Taliban rule, the crop had been nearly completely eradicated by May 2000.
RT

FILE PHOTO. The flower of an opium poppy. © Reuters / Carlos Jasso

Incalculable levels of grift and waste

With a price tag of more than $2 trillion, the war in Afghanistan suffered from a seemingly ceaseless stream of profiteers and grifters.
In 2007, the US Air Force paid $18 million to a private firm to build barracks at Camp Phoenix, an Army installation in Afghanistan. The company enlisted the help of a subcontractor who withheld salaries from his workers and later fled the country with $2 million, which he used to build himself luxurious homes abroad. His shafted workers decided to pay themselves by walking away with generators and other materials taken from the military camp. The resulting delays left hundreds of NATO troops without adequate housing for more than a year.
This is just one of dozens of similar cases. In 2019, a whistleblower claimed that a defense firm, Navistar Defense, overcharged the Pentagon by $1.3 billion for components of armored vehicles used by troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
 

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‘BURN IN HELL’: Families of slain troops RAGE at Biden as Facebook suspends grieving mother after angry posts aimed at president

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Several parents of the US Marines killed by a suicide bomber in Kabul have vented their anger at President Joe Biden, with Facebook intervening to censor one mother’s rant.
Biden traveled to Dover Air Force Base in his home state of Delaware on Sunday to pay respect to the 13 slain American service members arriving back from Afghanistan in flag-draped coffins. The reception from some parents, however, was hostile.
The meeting “didn’t go well,” Mark Schmitz, father of 20-year-old Marine Lance Cpl. Jared Schmitz told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Monday. Biden “talked a bit more about his own son than he did my son, and that didn't sit well with me,” Schmitz added, referring to Biden's well-reported habit of bringing up his own late son while empathizing with the families of fallen veterans.


Shana Chappell, mother of slain US Marine Kareem Nikoui, noticed the same. In a post to Facebook she described how she told Biden “don’t make it about you,” and complained that the president “rolled [his] f**king eyes” like he was “annoyed with me.” Addressing Biden, Chappell wrote that “the only reason I was talking to you was out of respect for my son...You are a weak human being and a traitor.”

Chappell made similar posts on Instagram, which resulted in her account being temporarily suspended, along with her Facebook account. After an outcry by conservative pundits and lawmakers, Chappell’s accounts were reinstated, with Facebook telling the New York Post on Tuesday that the accounts were “incorrectly deleted.”
Biden drew flak for apparently checking his watch as the dead troops’ remains were being wheeled off transport planes at Dover AFB on Sunday. “I actually leaned into my son's mother's ear and I said ‘I swear to God if he checks his watch one more time...’ and [that] was probably only four times in,” Schmitz told Hannity. “I couldn't look at him anymore after that, considering, especially, the time and why we were there. I found it to be the most disrespectful thing I'd ever seen.”
ALSO ON RT.COMBiden prompts fresh outrage by appearing to check his watch at ceremony for US service members killed in Kabul airport bombing
Others refused to meet with the president. “We said absolutely not. We didn't want to deal with him. We didn't want him anywhere near us. We as a family decided that that was the way it was going to be,” Darin Hoover, father of Marine Staff Sgt. Taylor Hoover told Hannity.
That a conservative talk show host like Hannity would bring on these family members to bash Biden is unsurprising, but they have vented their anger elsewhere, too. Schmitz told the same story to the Washington Post, while Jiennah McCollum, widow of Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Rylee McCollum, told the paper that she felt Biden’s words were shallow, and showed “total disregard to the loss of our Marine – our brother, son, husband and father.”
Another family member at the ceremony was less diplomatic. “I hope you burn in hell! That was my brother!” Schmitz recalled the grieving relative yelling at Biden in his Post interview.
The 13 service members were the last Americans to die in a 20-year war that has claimed the lives of nearly 2,500 US troops and wounded 20,000 others. Biden’s handling of the final evacuation from Kabul – which saw the military withdraw before civilians, only to go back in and attempt to coordinate the airlift with Taliban militants from a single airport with a single runway – has been slammed by critics on the left and the right.
ALSO ON RT.COMPsaki says deaths of 13 US troops don’t ‘take place of all the PROGRESS’ made in Kabul as Biden takes flak for Afghan nightmare
The last American plane left Kabul shortly before midnight on Monday, minutes before the August 31 withdrawal deadline. Speaking to reporters a day earlier, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki set off fresh outrage when she said that the deaths of the 13 troops
“doesn’t take the place of all of the progress, all of the work that’s been done to evacuate people.”
 

Viral

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‘Loss of trust’ in US leaders: Marine punished for Afghan pull-out criticism RESIGNS effective 9/11 & calls for ‘revolution’

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A US Marine who was relieved of duty over a viral video blasting the poorly managed exit from Afghanistan has quit the service, saying he’s lost all trust in American leaders while demanding accountability for their failures.
The controversial soldier, Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller, took to his Facebook account on Tuesday to announce his plans to leave the Marine Corps, sharing a photo of his resignation letter, which requests a termination date of September 11. He captioned the post with a message addressed to “the American leadership,” which concludes with what verges on a call for “revolution.”
“We the people submit our resignation with a requested date of 11 September 2021. Reason: Loss of trust and confidence,”
Scheller wrote, echoing the wording of his letter.

We the people seek change. We the people seek leadership. We the people seek accountability. We the people WILL take it. Every generation needs a revolution.

The Marine first gained recognition last Thursday after posting a Facebook video shredding US military and political leaders for their handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying nobody had taken responsibility for a string of errors. “I have been fighting for 17 years. I am willing to throw it all away to say to my senior leaders: I demand accountability,” he said in the clip, which quickly went viral across several social media platforms.
ALSO ON RT.COM‘I demand accountability’: US Marine relieved of duty after blasting ‘senior leaders’ for poorly planned Afghan exit in viral clip
Less than 24 hours after the video went live, however, Scheller announced in another Facebook post that he had been relieved of duty “based on a lack of trust and confidence” from his superiors. While he did not criticize their decision, Scheller remained adamant in urging accountability, calling on other Marines to “step up” and join him: “They only have the power because we allow it. What if we all demanded accountability?”
Before formally announcing his resignation, Scheller stirred further controversy with another video – filmed, he says, from “an abandoned school bus in eastern North Carolina” – entitled “Your move.”
“You have no idea what I‘m capable of doing,” he says in the video, in which he also discusses his exposure to toxic burn pits during his deployment in Ramadi, Iraq. He later adds, addressing fellow service members: “Follow me, and we will bring the whole f**king system down.”
READ MORE: Biden calls Kabul evacuation ‘EXTRAORDINARY SUCCESS,’ claims it marks end of era of US trying to ‘remake countries’ militarily
The next day, Scheller said he was ordered to undergo a “mental health screening,” suggesting his recent criticisms were being attributed to a post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“First, excusing the actions of service members because of ‘PTSD’ does more damage to service members than any trauma in combat,” he said. “I have been in very traumatic combat situations. But because of that I am STRONGER.”

And for the people who checked on me after my last video… I’m sorry if I scared you. But know that despite my emotions, my words are always carefully thought out.
Despite tendering his resignation, Scheller has continued his battle with military leadership from his perch on social media, addressing Marine Commandant General David Berger in a confrontational post on Tuesday evening.
“I understand you want to court martial me. Your entire staff has already told me. All the Captains you spoke to today already texted me,” he wrote, adding
“Your problem right now… is that I am moving faster than you. I’m out maneuvering you.”
 

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Taliban hold mock ‘funeral’ for NATO, take Black Hawk helicopter for joyrides, and show off loot at Kabul airport after US retreat


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After nearly 20 years of fighting against the US in Afghanistan, the victorious Taliban posed with captured American gear at the Kabul airport, held a mock funeral for NATO in Khost, and flew a Black Hawk helicopter over Kandahar.
The last US troops left the Hamid Karzai International Airport on Monday, just before the clock struck midnight local time. On Tuesday morning, Taliban fighters strolled through the airport they now controlled, littered with debris, posing for photos with the captured vehicles, aircraft and equipment.



Taliban leaders reviewed a “special forces” unit, equipped with weapons and gear captured from the US-trained Afghan army, on the Kabul runway.
“It is a historical day and a historical moment.... we liberated our country from a great power,” said Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, adding that the past two decades should serve as “a big lesson for other invaders, a lesson for the world.”
ALSO ON RT.COMService dogs LEFT FOR DEAD in Kabul by departing US troops – reports
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby acknowledged on Tuesday that a lot of US equipment with “a lethality component to it” has fallen into Taliban hands, but said it doesn’t pose a threat to the US or neighboring countries.
“These are not the kinds of things that the Taliban can make great strategic use out of,” Kirby told reporters.

The first flight of black hawk. pic.twitter.com/7NTWlrFJ0y
— Talib Times (@TalibTimes) August 30, 2021
The Taliban thought otherwise, however, showing off at least one newly acquired Black Hawk helicopter in the skies over Kandahar in a couple of videos. The second clip caused some confusion on social networks, as more than a few American commentators claimed the figure dangling from the helicopter was someone being executed.
The “Talib Times” account that posted the video said no such thing, however. On closer look, the man seemed to be a Taliban fighter joyriding on a rescue harness.

Our Air Force! At this time, the Islamic Emirate's air force helicopters are flying over Kandahar city and patrolling the city. pic.twitter.com/rlE6nUldZf
— Talib Times (@TalibTimes) August 30, 2021
Meanwhile, in the southeastern city of Khost, a crowd of Taliban supporters held a mock “funeral” for the ousted occupiers, carrying coffins draped with US, NATO, British and French flags, as well as some banners of the defeated Islamic Republic of Afghanistan – now replaced by the white flag of the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate.


The US withdrawal turned into a mad scramble to evacuate just over 6,000 US citizens – along with tens of thousands of Afghan civilians – on August 14, when the Taliban took over Kabul without a fight and the Washington-backed government collapsed. It also turned tragic last week, when up to 200 Afghans and 13 US troops died at the entrance to the airport, in a suicide bombing claimed by the terrorist group ISIS-K.


The Pentagon has acknowledged that some US citizens could not reach the airport and were left behind. The State Department was tasked with negotiating their safe passage out of Afghanistan.
 

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أميركا الخروج المرّ | انسحاب ام هروب من مستنقع؟ | 2021-08-31

 

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Chris Hedges: The revengeful suffering orchestrated by the American empire on Afghans will be of Biblical proportions

1 Sep, 2021

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Wounded women arrive at a hospital for treatment after two blasts, which killed at least five and wounded a dozen, outside the airport in Kabul on August 26, 2021. © Wakil KOHSAR / AFP

Chris Hedges is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and host of RT’s On Contact, a weekly interview series on US foreign policy, economic realities and civil liberties in American society. He’s the author of 14 books, including several New York Times best-sellers.

Washington, humiliated in Afghanistan as it was in Iraq, Syria, and Vietnam, is blind to its declining strength, ineptitude, and savagery, but still capable of murderous retribution against those who expose these truths.
The Carthaginian general Hannibal, who came close to defeating the Roman Republic in the Second Punic War, committed suicide in 181 BC in exile as Roman soldiers closed in on his residence in the Bithynian village of Libyssa, now modern-day Turkey. It had been more than thirty years since he led his army across the Alps and annihilated Roman legions at the Battle of Trebia, Lake Trasimene, and Cannae. Considered one of the most brilliant tactical victories in warfare, centuries later it inspired the plans of the German Army Command in World War I when they invaded Belgium and France. Rome was only able to finally save itself from defeat by replicating Hannibal’s military tactics.
It did not matter in 181 BC that there had been over 20 Roman consuls (with quasi-imperial power) since Hannibal’s invasion. It did not matter that Hannibal had been hunted for decades and forced to perpetually flee, always just beyond the reach of Roman authorities. He had humiliated Rome. He had punctured its myth of omnipotence. And he would pay. With his life. Years after Hannibal was gone, the Romans were still not satisfied. They finished their work of apocalyptic vengeance in 146 BC by razing Carthage to the ground and selling its remaining population into slavery. Cato the Censor summed up the sentiments of empire: Carthāgō dēlenda est (Carthage must be destroyed). Nothing about empire, from then until now, has changed.
Imperial powers do not forgive those who expose their weaknesses or make public the sordid and immoral inner workings of empire. Empires are fragile constructions. Their power is as much one of perception as of military strength. The virtues they claim to uphold and defend, usually in the name of their superior civilization, are a mask for pillage, the exploitation of cheap labor, indiscriminate violence, and state terror.
The current American empire, damaged and humiliated by the troves of internal documents published by WikiLeaks, will, for this reason, persecute Julian Assange for the rest of his life. It does not matter who is president or which political party is in power. Imperialists speak with one voice. The killing of thirteen US troops by a suicide bomber at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on Thursday evoked from Joe Biden the full-throated cry of all imperialists: “To those who carried out this attack … we will not forgive, we will not forget, we will hunt you down and make you pay.” This was swiftly followed by two drone strikes in Kabul against suspected members of the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, ISKP (ISIS-K), which took credit for the suicide bombing that left some 170 dead, including 28 members of the Taliban.
ALSO ON RT.COMGeorge Galloway: Do Britain and the US secretly want Julian Assange to commit suicide?
The Taliban, which defeated US and coalition forces in a 20-year war, is about to be confronted with the wrath of a wounded empire. The Cuban, Vietnamese, Iranian, Venezuelan, and Haitian governments know what comes next. The ghosts of Toussaint Louverture, Emilio Aguinaldo, Mohammad Mossadegh, Jacobo Arbenz, Omar Torrijos, Gamal Abdul Nasser, Juan Velasco, Salvador Allende, Andreas Papandreou, Juan Bosh, Patrice Lumumba, and Hugo Chavez know what comes next. It isn’t pretty. It will be paid for by the poorest and most vulnerable Afghans.
The faux pity for the Afghan people, which has defined the coverage of the desperate collaborators with the US and coalition occupying forces and educated elites fleeing to the Kabul airport, begins and ends with the plight of the evacuees. There were few tears shed for the families routinely terrorized by coalition forces, or the some 70,000 civilians who were obliterated by US air strikes, drone attacks, missiles, and artillery, or gunned down by nervous occupying forces who saw every Afghan, with some justification, as the enemy during the war. And there will be few tears for the humanitarian catastrophe the empire is orchestrating on the 38 million Afghans, who live in one of the poorest and most aid-dependent countries in the world.
Since the 2001 invasion, the United States deployed about 775,000 military personnel to subdue Afghanistan and poured $143 billion into the country, with 60 percent of the money going to prop up the corrupt Afghan military and the rest devoted to funding economic development projects, aid programs, and anti-drug initiatives – with the bulk of those funds being siphoned off by foreign aid groups, private contractors, and outside consultants.
Grants from the United States and other countries accounted for 75 percent of the Afghan government budget. That assistance has evaporated. Afghanistan’s reserves and other financial accounts have been frozen, meaning the new government cannot access some $9.5 billion in assets belonging to the Afghan central bank. Shipments of cash to Afghanistan have been stopped. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that Afghanistan will no longer be able to access the lender’s resources.
ALSO ON RT.COMAmericans have long claimed Afghanistan helped end ‘Soviet empire’ – now it’s their turn?
Things are already dire. There are some 14 million Afghans – one in three – who lack sufficient food. There are two million Afghan children who are malnourished. There are 3.5 million people in Afghanistan who have been displaced from their homes. The war has wrecked infrastructure. A drought destroyed 40 percent of the nation’s crops last year. The assault on the Afghan economy is already seeing food prices skyrocket. The sanctions and severance of aid will force civil servants to go without salaries, and the health service, already chronically short of medicine and equipment, will collapse. The suffering orchestrated by the empire will be of biblical proportions. And this is what the empire wants.
UNICEF estimates that 500,000 children were killed as a direct result of sanctions on Iraq. Expect child deaths in Afghanistan to soar above that horrifying figure. And expect the same imperial heartlessness Madeleine Albright, then the US ambassador to the United Nations, exhibited when she told ‘60 Minutes’ correspondent Lesley Stahl that the deaths of half a million Iraqi children because of the sanctions were “worth it.” Or the heartlessness of Hillary Clinton, who joked, “We came, we saw, he died” when informed of Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi’s brutal death. Or the demand by Democratic Senator Zell Miller of Georgia, who after the attacks of 9/11 declared: “I say, bomb the hell out of them. If there’s collateral damage, so be it.” No matter that the empire has since turned Libya, along with Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, into cauldrons of violence, chaos, and misery. The power to destroy is an intoxicating drug that is its own justification.
Like Cato the Censor, the US military and intelligence agencies are, if history is any guide, at this moment planning to destabilize Afghanistan by funding, arming, and backing any militia, warlord or terrorist organization willing to strike at the Taliban. The CIA, which should exclusively gather intelligence, is a rogue paramilitary organization that oversees secret kidnappings, interrogation at black sites, torture, manhunts, and targeted assassinations across the globe. It carried out commando raids in Afghanistan that killed a large number of Afghan civilians, which repeatedly sent enraged family members and villagers into the arms of the Taliban. It is, I expect, reaching out to Amrullah Saleh, who was Ashraf Ghani’s vice president and who has declared himself “the legitimate caretaker president” of Afghanistan. Saleh is holed up in the Panjshir Valley. He, along with warlords Ahmad Massoud, Ata Mohammad Noor, and Abdul Rashid Dostum, are clamoring to be armed and supported to perpetuate conflict in Afghanistan.
ALSO ON RT.COMWayne Dupree: Biden will NEVER accept responsibility for his botched evacuation of Afghanistan
“I write from the Panjshir Valley today, ready to follow in my father’s footsteps, with mujahideen fighters who are prepared to once again take on the Taliban,” Ahmad Massoud wrote in an opinion piece in the Washington Post. “The United States and its allies have left the battlefield, but America can still be a ‘great arsenal of democracy,’ as Franklin D. Roosevelt said when coming to the aid of the beleaguered British before the U.S. entry into World War II,” he went on, adding that he and his fighters need “more weapons, more ammunition and more supplies.”
These warlords have done the bidding of the Americans before. They will do the bidding of the Americans again. And since the hubris of empire is unaffected by reality, the empire will continue to sow dragon’s teeth in Afghanistan as it has since it spent $9 billion – some estimates double that figure - to back the mujahideen that fought the Soviets, leading to a bloody civil war between rival warlords once the Soviets withdrew in 1989 and the ascendancy in 1996 of the Taliban.
The cynicism of arming and funding the mujahideen against the Soviets exposes the lie of America’s humanitarian concerns in Afghanistan. One million Afghan civilians were killed in the nine-year conflict with the Soviets, along with 90,000 mujahideen fighters, 18,000 Afghan troops, and 14,500 Soviet soldiers. But these deaths, along with the destruction of Afghanistan, were “worth it” to cripple the Soviets.
Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski, along with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, oversaw the arming of the most radical Islamic mujahideen groups fighting the Soviet occupation forces, leading to the extinguishing of the secular, democratic Afghan opposition. Brzezinski detailed the strategy – designed, he said, to give the Soviet Union its Vietnam – taken by the Carter administration following the 1979 Soviet invasion to prop up the Marxist regime of Hafizullah Amin in Kabul:
We immediately launched a twofold process when we heard that the Soviets had entered Afghanistan. The first involved direct reactions and sanctions focused on the Soviet Union, and both the State Department and the National Security Agency prepared long lists of sanctions to be adopted, of steps to be taken to increase the international costs to the Soviet Union of their actions. And the second course of action led to my going to Pakistan a month or so after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, for the purpose of coordinating with the Pakistanis a joint response, the purpose of which would be to make the Soviets bleed for as much and as long as is possible; and we engaged in that effort in a collaborative sense with the Saudis, the Egyptians, the British, the Chinese, and we started providing weapons to the Mujaheddin, from various sources again — for example, some Soviet arms from the Egyptians and the Chinese. We even got Soviet arms from the Czechoslovak communist government, since it was obviously susceptible to material incentives; and at some point we started buying arms for the Mujahideen from the Soviet army in Afghanistan, because that army was increasingly corrupt.
ALSO ON RT.COM‘Over-the-horizon’ is just the newest buzz phrase for American incompetence – as proven by recent drone strikes in Afghanistan
The clandestine campaign to destabilize the Soviet Union by making it “bleed for as much and as long as is possible” was carried out, like the arming of the contra forces in Nicaragua, largely off the books. It did not, as far as official Washington was concerned, exist – a way to avoid the unwelcome scrutiny of covert operations carried out by the Church Committee hearings in the 1970s that made public the three decades of CIA-backed coups, assassinations, blackmail, intimidation, dark propaganda, and torture. The Saudi government agreed to match the US funding for the Afghan insurgents. The Saudi involvement gave rise to Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda, which fought with the mujahideen. The rogue operation, led by Brzezinski, organized secret units of assassination teams and paramilitary squads that carried out lethal attacks on perceived enemies around the globe. It trained Afghan mujahideen in Pakistan and China’s Xinjiang province. It shifted the heroin trade, used to fund the insurgency, from southeast Asia to the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
This pattern of behavior, which destabilized Afghanistan and the region, is reflexive in the military and the intelligence community. It will, without doubt, be repeated now in Afghanistan, with the same catastrophic results. The chaos these intelligence agencies create becomes the chaos that justifies their existence and the chaos that sees them demand more resources and ever greater levels of violence.
All empires die. The end is usually unpleasant. The American empire, humiliated in Afghanistan as it was in Syria, Iraq, and Libya, as it was at the Bay of Pigs and in Vietnam, is blind to its own declining strength, ineptitude, and savagery. Its entire economy, a “military Keynesianism,” revolves around the war industry. Military spending and war are the engine behind the nation’s economic survival and identity. It does not matter that with each new debacle the United States turns larger and larger parts of the globe against it and all it claims to represent. It has no mechanism to stop itself, despite its numerous defeats, fiascos, blunders and diminishing power, from striking out irrationally like a wounded animal. The mandarins who oversee our collective suicide, despite repeated failure, doggedly insist we can reshape the world in our own image. This myopia creates the very conditions that accelerate the empire’s demise.
The Soviet Union collapsed, like all empires, because of its ossified, out-of-touch rulers, its imperial overreach, and its inability to critique and reform itself. We are not immune from these fatal diseases. We silence our most prescient critics of empire, such as Noam Chomsky, Angela Davis, Andrew Bacevich, Alfred McCoy, and Ralph Nader, and persecute those who expose the truths about empire, including Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Daniel Hale, and John Kiriakou. At the same time a bankrupt media, whether on MSNBC, CNN, or Fox, lionizes and amplifies the voices of the inept and corrupt political, military and intelligence class including John Bolton, Leon Panetta, Karl Rove, H.R. McMaster and David Petraeus, which blindly drives the nation into the morass.
ALSO ON RT.COMIf Biden worried less about the optics of communicating with the Taliban, the IS-K carnage may not have happened
Chalmers Johnson, in his trilogy on the fall of the American empire – ‘Blowback’, ‘The Sorrows of Empire’, and ‘Nemesis’ – reminds readers that the Greek goddess Nemesis is “the spirit of retribution, a corrective to the greed and stupidity that sometimes governs relations among people.” She stands for “righteous anger,” a deity who “punishes human transgression of the natural, right order of things and the arrogance that causes it.” He warns that if we continue to cling to our empire, as the Roman Republic did, “we will certainly lose our democracy and grimly await the eventual blowback that imperialism generates.”
“I believe that to maintain our empire abroad requires resources and commitments that will inevitably undercut our domestic democracy and, in the end, produce a military dictatorship or its civilian equivalent,” Johnson writes. “The founders of our nation understood this well and tried to create a form of government – a republic – that would prevent this from occurring. But the combination of huge standing armies, almost continuous wars, military Keynesianism, and ruinous military expenses have destroyed our republican structure in favor of an imperial presidency. We are on the cusp of losing our democracy for the sake of keeping our empire. Once a nation is started down that path, the dynamics that apply to all empires come into play – isolation, overstretch, the uniting of forces opposed to imperialism, and bankruptcy. Nemesis stalks our life as a free nation.”
If the empire was capable of introspection and forgiveness, it could free itself from its death spiral. If the empire disbanded, much as the British Empire did, and retreated to focus on the ills that beset the United States, it could free itself from its death spiral. But those who manipulate the levers of empire are unaccountable. They are hidden from public view and beyond public scrutiny. They are determined to keep playing the great game, rolling the dice with lives and national treasure. They will, I expect, preside gleefully over the deaths of even more Afghans, assuring themselves it is worth it, without realizing that the gallows they erect are for themselves.
 

NewLeb

Active Member

America is only humiliated when it cares about what the usual trash (like this Persian scum) has to say about its conduct. Iran (or Russia) on the other hand doesn’t concern itself with journalists and the international community who are critical of its policies.

When Trump was president, no ****s were given, which is why the administration was so successful (the killing of general Suleimani for instance).
 

Viral

Well-Known Member
How can you not respect such integrity and values?
An Empire built on Lies and deceptions...

And the most honest among them might have been Mike Pompeo who was honest enough to tell us that lying, cheating and stealing is their Standard Operating Procedure...



Psaki refuses to discuss leaked Biden call with Ghani that shows he knew Afghan army was collapsing


White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday refused to comment about the leaked phone call between President Biden and former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Psaki dodged questions from reporters about the July 23 call, in which Biden told the Afghan leader to change the “perception” about the fight against the Taliban, “whether it’s true or not.”

“I’m not going to get into private, diplomatic conversations or leaked transcripts of phone calls,” Psaki said at a White House briefing.

Instead, she maintained that the report was “consistent” with the administration’s past assertions that “no one anticipated … that the Taliban would be able to take over the country as quickly as they did or that the Afghan national security forces would fold as quickly as they did.”

“What the president conveyed publicly and certainly privately as well repeatedly to Afghan leaders is that it’s important that the leaders in Afghanistan do exactly that — lead, show the country they are ready to continue the fight,” Psaki insisted.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki refused to comment about the leaked phone call between President Biden and former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Asked if Biden had been trying to push a “false narrative” in the conversation with Ghani, Psaki said she wouldn’t “go into the details of a private conversation.” But she stressed that there was a “collapse in leadership” in the Afghan government long before Ghani fled the country.

A transcript of the call between the two leaders obtained by Reuters showed Biden could well have anticipated the Taliban was capable of completing its takeover of the country.

But neither Biden nor Ghani appeared aware of how quickly the country would fall to the insurgents, who three weeks later, on Aug. 15, stormed Kabul, prompting the Afghan leader to take off.

“We are going to continue to fight hard, diplomatically, politically, economically, to make sure your government not only survives, but is sustained and grows,” Biden vowed to Ghani.

During much of the roughly 14-minute conversation, Biden emphasized what he saw as Afghanistan’s “perception” problem.

President Joe Biden meets with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani
President Biden pressured Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani to create the “perception” that the Taliban weren’t winning, “whether it’s true or not,” in a phone call just three weeks before the fall of the country.REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
“I need not tell you the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things are not going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban,” Biden said.

“And there is a need, whether it is true or not, there is a need to project a different picture.”

Biden also offered aid if Ghani could publicly project he had a plan to control the situation in Afghanistan, saying: “We will continue to provide close air support, if we know what the plan is.”

Some GOP lawmakers expressed outrage over details of the call, even calling for Biden’s resignation.

“The result of Biden’s LIES was 13 brave Americans losing their lives,” Texas Rep. Ronny Jackson wrote on Twitter. “HE NEEDS TO RESIGN!”

“Yet more evidence that Joe Biden is totally disconnected from the real world,” tweeted Georgia Rep. Jody Hice. “’Changing perception’ is political spin, not a national security strategy.”

Despite her insistence she would not discuss what she called a “private”: call between the world leaders, Psaki took a very different stance when it came to a famous call involving former President Donald Trump.

SEE ALSO​

Biden Afghanistan comp

Biden pressured Ghani to create ‘perception’ Taliban weren’t winning

In 2019, she called on the White House to release the transcript of Trump’s phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — who coincidentally met with President Biden on Wednesday.

“It is not just the call transcript. The whistleblower complaint would likely have more details. We need both. And not just the call,” Psaki said in a tweet on Sept. 24, 2019, the day the White House released that transcript.

That call led to his eventual impeachment, and later acquittal in the Senate.
 

Viral

Well-Known Member
America is only humiliated when it cares about what the usual trash (like this Persian scum) has to say about its conduct. Iran (or Russia) on the other hand doesn’t concern itself with journalists and the international community who are critical of its policies.

When Trump was president, no ****s were given, which is why the administration was so successful (the killing of general Suleimani for instance).
It’s about time we heard your wisdom sunny boy…1630610738835.png

So tell us when was the last time US troops withdrew out of any of their occupations with dignity? Starting with Vietnam to Afghanistan and passing by Lebanon… Let’s see how well they are going to do next time pulling out of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon for the second time…

Not that I agree with them, about half the Lebanese want France to come back for the simple reason that the French left behind a culture that built schools and hospitals unlike the Americans who destroy everything they walk by. What they can’t destroy by force they destroy using economic blockades and starvation. That’s the moral decay that destroyed every empire from within throughout history.
 

NewLeb

Active Member
So tell us when was the last time US troops withdrew out of any of their occupations with dignity? Starting with Vietnam to Afghanistan and passing by Lebanon… Let’s see how well they are going to do next time pulling out of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon for the second time…[

Since your Mediterranean mind is not familiar with American history, culture and spirit; it’s critical that you first understand that America was sold out long ago (Nixon) to China and the world economy starting in the ‘70s.

When the president of the free world is concerned with what some fat communist and Jewish woman with purple hair is writing about him in a major newspaper (where 50% of its shares belong to some moving company in Beijing), don’t expect “America” to walk away with dignity.

The America that dropped two nukes on Japan is not the same America today…at least for now. ;)


Not that I agree with them, about half the Lebanese want France to come back for the simple reason that the French left behind a culture that built schools and hospitals unlike the Americans who destroy everything they walk by. What they can’t destroy by force they destroy using economic blockades and starvation. That’s the moral decay that destroyed every empire from within throughout history.

I don’t care what the Lebanese or French think. We pay for your asses and always have, and the severe case of lack that your societies experience when we pull out is a testament to that Reality!

Because if you were as competent as you claim to be (and America as incapable as it is), then surely your societies would thrive and easily withstand a bunch of nobodies like the Americans, hmm? ;)
 

proIsrael-nonIsraeli

Legendary Member
Since your Mediterranean mind is not familiar with American history, culture and spirit; it’s critical that you first understand that America was sold out long ago (Nixon) to China and the world economy starting in the ‘70s.

When the president of the free world is concerned with what some fat communist and Jewish woman with purple hair is writing about him in a major newspaper (where 50% of its shares belong to some moving company in Beijing), don’t expect “America” to walk away with dignity.

The America that dropped two nukes on Japan is not the same America today…at least for now. ;)




I don’t care what the Lebanese or French think. We pay for your asses and always have, and the severe case of lack that your societies experience when we pull out is a testament to that Reality!

Because if you were as competent as you claim to be (and America as incapable as it is), then surely your societies would thrive and easily withstand a bunch of nobodies like the Americans, hmm? ;)

"Jewish woman with purple hair is writing about him in a major newspaper" - to whom are you referring?
 

Viral

Well-Known Member

Taliban announces formation of new government, including some ministers sanctioned and WANTED by US



The Taliban has begun to fill government positions following its successful conquest of Afghanistan. Among the names are people still on the UN Security Council sanction list and a minister with a $5-million US bounty on his head.
Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, a co-founder and head of the Taliban’s leadership council, was named acting Prime Minister of Afghanistan on Tuesday, with other senior Taliban leaders approving his nomination. Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, considered the militant group’s de-facto leader, was named Deputy Prime Minister, according to a Taliban spokesman.


Akhund is considered a terrorist by the UN, EU and UK, and has been sanctioned by the UN Security Council, along with every member of the Taliban government named on Tuesday. The US considers some Taliban factions to be Foreign Terrorist Organizations, and sanctions the entire Taliban as a ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist’ organization.
Baradar was once hunted by the US, before being captured and jailed by Pakistani authorities. After eight years in a Pakistani prison, he was released in 2018 and two years later made history by becoming the first Taliban leader to speak directly to a US president, when he talked to then-President Donald Trump by phone after signing a peace deal with the US.


Sirajuddin Haqqani was named Acting Interior Minister, with his appointment standing out for one reason: Haqqani is considered an international terrorist by US authorities, with the FBI offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to his arrest.


Haqqani is wanted in connection with a 2008 attack on a hotel in Kabul, which killed six people, including an American citizen. Haqqani also allegedly participated in cross-border attacks on US and coalition forces in Afghanistan, and had allegedly plotted to assassinate then-Afghan President Hamid Karzai in 2008.
Mullah Yaqoob, son of Mujahideen leader and Taliban founder Mullah Mohammed Omar, was named acting Defense Minister. Despite his warrior pedigree, Yaqoob is considered by the west to be a moderate by Taliban standards, and supported a negotiated end to the 20-year Afghan conflict.
ALSO ON RT.COMSlavoj Zizek: The Taliban is the proof that our modernity is an unfinished project
Acting Foreign Minister and Acting Deputy Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and Abas Stanikzai are both already known to the west, having taken part in peace talks in Qatar over the last year. Stanikzai in particular has publicly supported cordial relations with Washington, appearing on national television last month to also declare Afghanistan off limits for Pakistani operations against India, and promising to respect the rights of his country’s religious minorities.



The Taliban’s formation of a government comes a week after the last American troops departed Kabul, and nearly a month after the fall of Kabul to the militant group. Though the US has no diplomats remaining in Afghanistan, Washington will negotiate with the Taliban and press Afghanistan’s new rulers to safeguard the rights of women and religious minorities, Secretary of State Tony Blinken told a State Department press conference on Friday. Blinken insisted that the US will use whatever “leverage and influence” it can to shape the Taliban’s behavior, with the promise of aid and financial assistance the most likely.
However, with no American boots on the ground and with its senior leaders already hardened by decades of war, deprivation and imprisonment, the Taliban may scoff at Washington’s finger-wagging.
 
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