Karzai Refuses To Sign Defense Pact With U.S. As He Tries To Establish Alliance With The Taliban

225px-hamid_karzai_2004-06-14Our erstwhile ally Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai is back reminding American citizens of the waste of thousands of dead and wounded U.S. soldiers and hundreds of billions of dollars. Karzai has refused to sign an agreement to keep a significant number of troops in the country for training and counter-insurgency operations — an agreement guaranteeing more U.S. losses in lives and treasure that the Obama Administration wants signed. Karzai however has been negotiating with the Taliban to force the U.S. out and return them to power in a sharing arrangement with this government. In the meantime, he is repeating his condemnations of the United States as a “colonial” power and alleged that insurgent attacks were actually staged by U.S. forces. I understand that the “enemy of our enemy is our friend” but what about the friend of our enemy?

We have been discussing the continuing gushing costs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq while we cut basic programs and services. I was happy to even see a member ask about the costs. Most politicians have refused to risk the political costs of being blamed for a withdrawal or a perceived defeat. As a result, our personnel were left in harm’s way, even as the country’s president called us “demons”, our allies denied basic rights to woman and religious minorities, and polls showed intense anti-American sentiments. Hundreds of billions were spent to provide political cover for leaders who needed to show that they were tough on terror. Of course, while calling the U.S. demons and liars, Karzai continued to demand billions in aid and bags full of cash delivered to his personal office.

While publicly suggesting that he has fought to end the war, the Obama Administration has been struggling to keep troops in the country with the promise of the continuation of huge amounts of aid in one of the most corrupt governments on Earth. Ironically, with their fortunes improving on the field, the Taliban do not appear that enthusiastic about teaming up with Karzai and he may be forced to sign the agreement. The Obama Administration will then have another foreign policy victory: an agreement with a man who declared us to be the enemy and tried to reach an alliance with the Taliban who has killed U.S. soldiers so that we can spend billions more to prop up his corrupt government.

In the meantime, U.S. citizens are being told of the need to cut environmental, scientific, and educations programs for lack of millions while we are fighting to given Karzai and his government billions more in support, military operations, and government contracts.

It reminds me of that great line in Three Days of the Condor when an intelligence officer (Higgins) speaks to the head of the agency about his storied career as they plot the death of an innocent former employee played by Robert Redford:

Mr. Wabash: I go even further back than that. Ten years after The Great War, as we used to call it. Before we knew enough to number them.
Higgins: You miss that kind of action, sir?
Mr. Wabash: No, I miss that kind of clarity.

Perhaps the thing I miss the most is not the loss of principle (which was abandoned by the Obama Administration years ago) but the clarity as to who exactly is the bad guy in this war.

Source: NY Times

47 thoughts on “Karzai Refuses To Sign Defense Pact With U.S. As He Tries To Establish Alliance With The Taliban

  1. Let’s hand Karzai over to his people. Non US security team and no money. Additionally we want a refund. We need to leave Afghanistan now.

  2. “The Looming Narco-State in Afghanistan”

    “Afghan farmers are growing more opium today than at any time in recent memory, according to America’s watchdog in the country.”

    D.B. Grady Jan 15 2014, 7:39 PM ET

    http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/01/the-looming-narco-state-in-afghanistan/283114/

    Excerpt:

    As the U.S. military withdraws from Afghanistan, so too is the Drug Enforcement Agency. Forget advising forces in Helmand and Kandahar provinces—the twin poppy capitals of the world. As the inspector general reports, “without military support for security, intelligence, medical evacuation, and tactical air control for high-risk operations, DEA will have little ability to extend its operations beyond Kabul.” The upshot is the DEA is soon to become yet another U.S. agency ensconced at our fortress in Kabul, sealed behind Roman testudo-style blast walls and fences draped with anti-sniper netting.

    Sopko concluded his testimony with an ominous assessment of things to come. “The people I spoke with in Afghanistan in my last few trips talked about two possible outcomes following the 2014 transition in Afghanistan: a successful modern state, or an insurgent state,” he wrote. “However, there is a third possibility: a narco-criminal state. Absent effective counternarcotics programs and Afghan political will to seriously tackle this grave problem, that third outcome may become a reality.”

  3. I see Karzai’s refusal to sign the defense agreement as a good thing. Let’s leave him and his fate to the Taliban. He deserves them and they him. Let’s leave tomorrow.

  4. I am torn.

    I do not believe that we Americans are adequately informed about the issues/people/stakes in the Afghan war. We just don’t know enough to evaluate our policies. Both our government and our press have failed us on the information front.

    Many of the comments made about in the article are inflammatory soundbites (“bags full of cash delivered to his personal office.”), but I suspect that foreign policy in that part of the world is a cynical, dirty business.

    Looking back at recent “interventions” (Vietnam, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, et al) it is only with the passage of time that we start to gain some clarity.

    Look at the our involvement with the Diems in Vietnam (their rise to power and subsequently, the coup that killed them). They went through the typical American cycle of being allies, incompetents, victims, villains and today being recognized as symbolic of our many mistakes in Vietnam.

    Bottom line, we are ignorant and being manipulated by our government – I don’t think that we know enough to conclude anything – except that we don’t like what is going on.

  5. Moderate away, Professor, if I’ve violated ‘standards, I apologize…. It just need to be said, and no one else was doing it.

  6. Bush blew whatever opportunity there was in the graveyard of empires when he turned to Iraq. Our troops and President Obama have tried their best to salvage what we could and put in a stable government responsible to the Afghans; but Karzai and his family are too damned crooked and ass trustworthy as an asp. So lets just bring the troops out NOW and let Karzai reap the whirlwind.

  7. “… the clarity as to who exactly is the bad guy in this war …” – JT

    Any and all participants of a bad war, which is all wars.

    Propaganda tells us there are good wars, but that is false.

    It also leaves us fighting the last “good war” while looking for an even “better next good war” under the influence of a mythological trance.

    Like all addictions, war is a disease that requires remedial treatment instead of the typical jingoism.

    If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.” – James Madison
    ——-
    Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.

    War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied: and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people.

    The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals, engendered by both.

    No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.

    Those truths are well established.” – James Madison
    ——-
    Experience has shown that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.” – Thomas Jefferson

  8. In many forums now, I have posed the question of what we have accomplished in Afghanistan. I have never gotten an answer. As I see it we have killed a lot of people, enriched a handful of cruel warlords and tinpot politicians, fattened a lot of crony contractors, and made the world safe for increased production of heroin. Don’t even talk to me about women’s rights or girls’ education. When we have left and the world again looks in the other direction, the people of that country will return to business as usual.

  9. Oh yes, let’s not forget something else: the last five years or so of this war are Obama’s baby. He could have extracted us when he became president, but he did not.

  10. John Falcon

    In many forums now, I have posed the question of what we have accomplished in Afghanistan. I have never gotten an answer. As I see it we have killed a lot of people, enriched a handful of cruel warlords and tinpot politicians, fattened a lot of crony contractors, and made the world safe for increased production of heroin. Don’t even talk to me about women’s rights or girls’ education. When we have left and the world again looks in the other direction, the people of that country will return to business as usual.
    =======================
    Indeed.

    And the heroin that killed actor Phil Hoffman recently probably came from Afghanistan poppies.

  11. reminding American citizens of the waste of thousands of dead and wounded U.S. soldiers
    I think he’s more concerned about the waste of hundreds of thousands of dead and wounded Afghans – it’s ongoing.
    .

    one of the most corrupt governments on Earth.
    Corruption is like a tango. It takes two to do it.
    How about one of the most corrupting governments on Earth – that e.g. delivers bags of cash? Or works to topple elected governments in e.g South America and install puppet dictators in their place?
    .

    negotiating with the Taliban
    It’s all very well for Westerners to bemoan this while sitting on their arses eating burgers and chips. People in the ME have to live with each other. You either negotiate or you crush. So invade this country called Taliban, bomb its cities…right? Win the War on Terror. A couple of years max.
    In the meantime, the people in those countries have to live with perpetual war.
    You can’t defeat them? OK. Negotiate.
    Why not. The US negotiated with, trained and armed the Taliban in order to get the Soviets out of Afghanistan.
    .

    denied basic rights to woman and religious minorities,
    Well, that’s not acceptable. So invade Saudi Arabia. That’s who we’re talking about right? :)
    If we want countries to be democratic, we invade Egypt right? – rather than handing billions to the generals who run regular coups and imprison their opposition.
    .

    One of the issues that Karzai has a problem with is raids on Afghan houses by US forces. There is also a feeling that the US and western allies are not much bothered by collateral damage to Afghans.
    .

    Here is a WaPo atricle from 2011 that illustrates some problems
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/top-secret-america-a-look-at-the-militarys-joint-special-operations-command/2011/08/30/gIQAvYuAxJ_story_4.html
    ‘Top Secret America’: A look at the military’s Joint Special Operations Command

    Extracts: (with comments)
    “We’re the dark matter. We’re the force that orders the universe but can’t be seen,” a strapping Navy SEAL,…
    ( “Orders the universe” – longhand for Colonial )

    The president has given JSOC the rare authority to select individuals for its kill list — and then to kill, rather than capture, them.

    Created in 1980 but reinvented in recent years, JSOC has grown from 1,800 troops prior to 9/11 to as many as 25,000, a number that fluctuates according to its mission. It has its own intelligence division, its own drones and reconnaissance planes, even its own dedicated satellites. It also has its own cyberwarriors, who, on Sept. 11, 2008, shut down every jihadist Web site they knew.

    It also made mistakes. On July 1, 2002, in what the Rand Corp. labeled “the single most serious errant attack of the entire war,” a JSOC reconnaissance team hunting Taliban came under attack and an AC-130 gunship fired upon six sites in the village of Kakarak. The estimates of civilian deaths ranged from 48 to hundreds. The “wedding party incident,” as it became known because a wedding party was among the targets accidentally hit, convinced many Afghans that U.S. forces disregarded the lives of civilians.

    (a few paragraphs on abuse/torture of captives, followed by…)
    JSOC had to use the rules laid out in the Army Field Manual to interrogate detainees. But its interrogators were — and still are — permitted to keep them segregated from other prisoners and to hold them, with the proper approvals from superiors and in some case from Defense Department lawyers, for up to 90 days before they have to be transferred into the regular military prison population.

    (Pressing Karzai’s button….)
    Every JSOC raid that also wounded or killed civilians, or destroyed a home or someone’s livelihood, became a source of grievance so deep that the counterproductive effects, still unfolding, are difficult to calculate. JSOC’s success in targeting the right homes, businesses and individuals was only ever about 50 percent, according to two senior commanders. They considered this rate a good one.
    (50 percent at best is GOOD?. Bet you the 50% plus who were wholly innocent didn’t think it good.)

    “Sometimes our actions were counterproductive,” McChrystal said in an interview.
    ( Yeah! Right!)

    JSOC troops also detained mothers, wives and daughters when the men in a house they were looking for were not at home.
    .

    Read the whole article and weep.
    It ends with some inforamtion on JSOC office in Washington and their wish to take their secret and unaccountable operations into Mexico and domeastic.

    The whole military/indistrial show is out of control.

  12. Justice Holmes…..

    There has been nothing good that has come out of the relation with him….. It’s cost lives, money…. And more…l

  13. So why are we in Afghanistan exactly? Oh yea, there were training camps for some people that didn’t like us. wait, that was 14 years ago. Oh I remember, we are there to ensure girls can go to school? Ooops, the schools are closing. I know, we are there to prevent another terror attack? I’m confused.

    It seams hard to believe but I am pretty sure Obama took a bad situation left him by his predecessor and made it worse. How do you F up so bad? What are we protecting? What is our goal now?

  14. Mr. Karzai is a warlord with a college degree. Our presence in that country is a product of ignorance covered by a veneer of arrogance. Mr. Karzai is negotiating with the Taliban because he understands his country, which means that he understands that Afghan security forces are only as strong as their commitment to nationhood, and that that commitment cannot exist in a society in which political alignments are primarily a function of tribal loyalties. He has long recognized American foreign policy “experts” as fools, has financially milked the United States for as long as possible and is not about to sign an agreement which links his personal fortunes to a relationship with us. When we leave, weep only for the women and children of Afghanistan, who will once again become the victims of religious fundamentalism.

  15. The bottom line from the beginning was to root out and destroy those who attacked the US on 9/11. It was not to rebuild Afghanistan except in a way that might aid the US in finding and destroying these extremists. So, the politicians in Afghanistan, like politicians everywhere, including in the United States, are working sometimes with the idea and sometimes against it, depending on which side their toast is buttered. For other examples of this just follow the republicans and the special interest groups such as the Koch brothers and the NRA.

    I, for one, do not understand why the US is asking permission to stay in Afghanistan if it serves the objective of destroying the nut cases that behead people for dancing to western rock and roll. The US is leaving the antiquated concept of war as exhibited by the three stooges, that got us into a quagmire of Iraq and bungled Afghanistan. The future of warfare is the locating of the enemy and the, as surgically as possible without collateral damage, waxing of said enemy.

    If if serves the goals of the US then the US military should keep as many troops and bases as the US thinks necessary in the area until the job is done. The enemy was based in Afghanistan and the Taliban protected them. Why is this so difficult to understand? Drone bases, armed bases from which to launch attacks where ever and when ever the enemy is located should not have to have anything to do with the people of Afghanistan. These bases could be self-sufficient, totally protected, and in areas where they do not impact the population.

    Afghanistan is a large country with lots of empty spaces. The US should lay down the bases, search out and destroy the terrorists/Taliban, and burn a few poppy fields at the same time. If the Afghanistan government wants to go along then they can. If they don’t want to then that should not have anything to do with the goal at hand, destroy the enemy.

  16. isaac:

    Since the concept of national sovereignty is apparently of little consequence in your world, perhaps someone ought to propose to the government of Mexico that special elite units be sent across the border to eliminate U.S. based elements in the drug trade that has cost so many Mexican lives.

  17. Two empires, one at the height of its power, were unable to fully impose their will upon Afghanistan. Why the United States presumed it could do better is a question I’ve never been able to answer. Although hubris comes to mind.

    “There was never a good war nor a bad peace.” Benjamin Franklin

  18. Karzai is on his way out, he cannot stand for reelection again. He wants the US to negotiate with his successor, as should the US. Since the Taliban is there to stay, they must be part of a ruling coalition, whether we like it or not. Some things cannot be “fixed”, even by the world’s remaining superpower™.

  19. issac:

    Why is this so difficult to understand? Drone bases, armed bases from which to launch attacks where ever and when ever the enemy is located should not have to have anything to do with the people of Afghanistan.

    Right.

    The Taliban menbers who pose an actual threat to US soil and interests wear special high-viz-material turbans that make them unmistakable from the air.
    This as distinct from male tribemen of military age who might be carring sticks or guns (unremarkable in tribal areas) or just hanging around in groups.
    Drone operators always wait until the guy(s) in high-viz turbans are well separated from the non-high-viz people before firing the missiles.

    It NEVER happens that innocent poeple get killed or injured.
    it NEVER happens that drones will fire on first responders to a drone strike on the basis that some of the first responders might be the enemy as opposed to neighbors digging the victims out. Drone opertors don’t even do this if they see one or more high-viz turbans in the crowd.
    It NEVER happens that drones will fire at anything other than isolated high-viz turbans.

    If it did happen, we’d see it on the TV news. The ME is smothered in TV journalists who can get to isolated tribal valleys in minutes flat.

    No innocent people are ever killed or even inconvenienced. It just never happens.
    .

    These bases could be self-sufficient, totally protected, and in areas where they do not impact the population.
    Brilliant!
    They could be built in places so desolate and barren that nobody wants to live anywhere near there.
    They could grow their own food and make water from ….eh… stuff. Solar power baby! It’s often sunny in those places.
    If they ever needed to move people or supplies in and out, they could have special stealth long-range helicopters that can fly really, really high out of missile range and drop down from a great altitude and take off to a great altitude really really fast to avoid missiles. Their whooshes would be way faster than enemy whooshes. The people in them would just have to wear g-suits and kidney belts is all.
    .

    There is an issue that drones can only be used in areas where the US has unrestricted command of the airspace. They are sitting ducks if a fighter went after them. They are also wide open to air-defence missile systems such as would be available to a state but not to a few tribesmen.
    The same apples even to really really fast stealth helicopters.

    This would be a problem if the base were in Country.X and the goverment of Country.X had objections. Country.X would have to be attacked. All of it’s air force and missile systems would have to be destroyed.
    .

    It all kinda works against the (fantasy) concept of just having secure bases that never bother anyone but a few guys in high-viz turbans.

  20. Well said, Mike Appleton. The problem with which we are faced is that there are too many people in power with the same attitude that Issac articulates. How like the United States! We are now over in Afghanistan fighting the very people to whom we gave weapons and training in the hopes of keeping the Soviet Union out. Now that Karzai no longer wishes to dance to our tune, we attack him. We have done the same thing with each of our puppets; Noriaiga, Saddam, Bautista, Qaddafi, the list goes on and on. That each of the dictators mentioned was a horrible person doesn’t negate the fact that it was the U.S. that supported them.

  21. Perhaps Isaac will change his tune when his family is blown up by “mistake” when the Mexican government blows up his neighbors house because they “thought” they were drug dealers.

    I know, it’s totally different. The United States is right and the rest of the world is wrong. Sheeesh!

  22. “stop the spigot of money to Mr. K.”
    ~+~
    Without resorting to hyperbole, I would say stop the dam burst of money to Mr. K.

  23. Not excusing Karzai, but the U.S. government is really bad at foreign policy since at least the Korean War.

    It may not affect the outcome in this situation, but we bully, arm-twist, coerce and even remove leaders of “sovereign” nations we don’t like. We continue to use failed “economic sanctions” that even when they rarely work, aren’t worth the cost. We embargoed Cuba for 50 years and never harmed the real tyrants like Castro but did great harm to innocent Cubans and U.S. Taxpayers.

    Maybe we should treat sovereign nations like “sovereign” nations – equals not subjects! If we torture or kill the wrong people – apologize! Superpowers should be leading by example!

  24. Karzai’s bank accounts are now so bulging, he is running out of space to put our money. Time to make peace with the Taliban. Even a temporary one. Then, scoot to Switzerland.

  25. It’s strange is it not.
    Hundreds of thousands of civillians in the ME are killed and injured. Weddings, funerals, village councils, schools get zapped. The people who arrive to help the injured get zapped. Homes of innocent families are raided. Innocent people are tortured and murdered or imprisoned indefinitely.
    This is just Collateral Damage – so it’s not really a big deal.

    The 3000-odd killed in 9/11 were not the targets. The twin symbols of US power were the target. The dead were just collateral damage.

    And yet 9/11 was the excuse for all sorts of infamy – as well as the junking of the Constitution.
    If the ME reacted to collateral damage in proportion to the US reaction to collateral damage, things would get really messy for the US.

    It’s just as well that the people of the ME don’t hate the US for the damage done and being done to them.
    They seem to be admirably restrained.

    If they hate the US, it’s only because “They Hate Our Freedoms” (TM)

  26. What are you appologising for Smiling Atheist? Your first post shown apologises for a post not posted or never extant.

  27. Prairie Rose

    Dredd,
    Regarding the heroin, do you think our desire to stay in Afghanistan is anything like the cocaine mixed up with the Iran/Contra affair?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crack_epidemic
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/30/ron-paul-conspiracy-theory-cia-drug-traffickers_n_1176103.html
    =====================
    The surveillance state has at times allegedly resorted to drug smuggling to supplement their classified “budget.”

    Wikipedia: “Allegations of CIA Drug Trafficking

  28. Prairie Rose

    Dredd,
    Regarding the heroin, do you think our desire to stay in Afghanistan is anything like the cocaine mixed up with the Iran/Contra affair?

    =====================
    The surveillance state has at times allegedly resorted to drug smuggling to supplement their classified “budget.”

    Wikipedia: “Allegations of CIA Drug Trafficking

  29. The 50th Anniversary Edition of William Appleman Williams, “The Tragedy of American Diplomacy” seems to be in print and readily purchasable.

    What is it about the “nature” of “human nature” that appears, to me–if to no one else, to lead supposed sociocultural leaders into playing transactional variations of the childish game of “king of the mountain” in apparent pursuit of unstinted efforts of holding their purported subjects as forms of chattel?

    The late psychoanalyst, Dr. Martin Cooperman, wrote that, at least in psychotherapy (and everywhere to me) reciprocal retaliation is a defeating process.

    Except that it seems to me to be self-annihilating, I inescapably find that escalating reciprocal retaliation drives its true believers ineluctably into annihilating processes.

    “Where have all the flowers gone?” (Here mentioned in memory of Pete Seeger and everyone else who has died while trying to live.)

  30. There are some very good comments about this caped crusader. I have made the quip before here that Obama should pull out now like his father should have. Karzai is the devil. A friend of the devil is a friend of mine. Or so said the Grateful Dead. I don’t agree. Here are the lyrics from the Grateful Dead.

    “Friend Of The Devil”

    I lit out from Reno, I was trailed by twenty hounds
    Didn’t get to sleep last night ’till the morning came around.

    Set out runnin’ but I take my time
    A friend of the devil is a friend of mine
    If I get home before daylight, I just might get some sleep tonight.

    Ran into the devil, babe, he loaned me twenty bills
    I spent the night in Utah in a cave up in the hills.

    Set out runnin’ but I take my time, a friend of the devil is a friend of mine,
    If I get home before daylight, I just might get some sleep tonight.

    I ran down to the levee but the devil caught me there
    He took my twenty dollar bill and vanished in the air.

    Set out runnin’ but I take my time
    A friend of the devil is a friend of mine
    If I get home before daylight, I just might get some sleep tonight.

    Got two reasons why I cry away each lonely night,
    The first one’s named Sweet Anne Marie, and she’s my hearts delight.
    The second one is prison, babe, the sheriff’s on my trail,
    And if he catches up with me, I’ll spend my life in jail.

    Got a wife in Chino, babe, and one in Cherokee
    The first one says she’s got my child, but it don’t look like me.

    Set out runnin’ but I take my time,
    A friend of the devil is a friend of mine,
    If I get home before daylight, I just might get some sleep tonight.

  31. During the Vietnam War the media would show caskets being unloaded from planes back from Nam. Now this is Blacklisted by the all pervasive government. Snowden had an interview on German television last week and it was Blacklisted by our government. Pete Seeger died and news of this was Blacklisted from the media by our government. We have potholes in our roads that can not be fixed but we spend trillions for defense in Aghanistan and Billions in Tribute. We are defending our Freedom? What Freedom?

    We need to march on Washington to demand that the government shut down the war or we will shut down the government. We can enlist Christy in this because he is good at shutting down bridges. Don’t expect the youth to engage in this protest thing, they are too busy worrying about Justin Bieber. Don’t trust anyone under 30!

    Country Joe and the Fish are coming to a theatre near you.

    [music]
    For its , one, two , three, What are we fightin for?
    Don’t ask me I don’t give a damn!
    Next stop is Viet Nam!
    And its five, six, seven, Open Up The Pearly Gates!
    Aint no time to wonder why…
    WHOOPEE we’re all gonna die.

  32. anon on February 5, 2014 at 5:25 am

    I have seen the enemy, and the enemy is us.

    —————–

    What anon, Pogo and Walt Kelly said, albeit a bit differently.

    “Fraud in Army Recruiting Bonus Program May Cost Nearly $100 Million”

    By HELENE COOPER FEB. 4, 2014

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/05/us/politics/wide-reaching-army-recruiting-fraud-described-by-investigators.html?hpw&rref=us&_r=0

    ———

    “U.S. Army Recruiters Investigated for Fraud”

    By REUTERS FEB. 4, 2014

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/04/us/army-recruiters-investigated-for-fraud.html

    Small potatoes, $$$-wise and in the grand scheme of things, but the corruption runs much deeper. It’s just the tip…

  33. Jonathan Turley wrote:
    “Perhaps the thing I miss the most is not the loss of principle (which was abandoned by the Obama Administration years ago) but the clarity as to who exactly is the bad guy in this war.”

    It’s your blog, your opinion. I’m a little surprised at the seeing myopia here to for unique to the Daily Kos.

    My recollection is that everyone happily marched to war, before the dust settled in Manhattan. The TV was filled with so-called “newscasters” seeking endorsement of their producer’s opinion that “America demands action… right (general/congressman/senator/governor/mayor/secretary/noted author)?”

    Once we decided to end a war fought as financial and logistical backers of the Northern Alliance, we became the next in a succession of failing foreign invaders. We took the Afghans out of the fight for Afghanistan.
    No great news, as we decamped Afghanistan as soon as the Soviets left.
    “Oooh nasty warlords. Subjugating women. We have to distance ourselves from that sort of thing.”

    While marching towards Political Correctness and Cultural Sensitivity training here at home.
    So lets not do what works, and do what makes Contractors money.

    That’s not unique to Obama, as the BushCo administration failed to patent the concept.
    What’s unique to Obama is to not fulfill ANY promise to end this, restore the missing Fourth Amendment, and to abide in any increased fashion to the Constitution of these United States.

  34. Yup,
    The definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over, while expecting a different outcome. Didn’t work for the English in the 19th century, didn’t work for the USSR in the 20th, and is not going to work for the US in the 21st. Kenny Rogers was right. You have to know when to hold up and know when to fold up.

  35. YF, remember the conversation we had when you were here? People from that culture remind me of what a guy told me about the Japanese. He had lost a hand and part of his arm on Ishi Shima. I asked him what kind of solders the Japanese army had. I meant with their training and skill set, but he responded, “What kind of solder were they? Damn good soldiers. They fought until you had to kill them because they would not quit fighting.”

  36. CS, as one fellow said in a recent article: There will be a time to have a war with the 8th Century, but today is not that day.

    We’ve squandered 12 years of not having a war, while paying in lives and finances, for having a war.

    To anyone else reading:
    I’ve friends and a family member who have been “to the Stan” and thankfully back. It’s not a “Taliban country” any more than it’s the 51st state in the Union.

    “Afghanistan” is lastly a country.
    Next to last is your politics, though not for all.
    Sort of the middle is your religion, though not for all.
    Third from the top for most, is your Province, as that’s an extension of the top two.
    Second: Clan
    First: Family.

    Like any feudal system, an insult to your family requires compensation.
    A killing, a maiming, the disposal of your ugly widowed sister and her female children. The male children will be raised here… with our family, in our clan, in our Province.
    Like any feudal system, an insult to your clan requires compensation.
    A killing, a maiming, horses, goats, gold, guns.
    Like any feudal system, and invasion of your Province requires the clans and families to repulse the invaders – or die a glorious death.
    That foreigners, a political or religious leader not of your clan, not of your sect, defiles your Province?
    Requires a response. Requires that all men, and all children wishing to be men, respond to this grave insult.
    Peaceniks? Never marry, never hold property, never hold station.

    At one time, we were smart-enough to use all of this, against the Soviets.
    And for a very brief while, against the Taliban and their Al Q’aeda allies.
    Then we purged all of those smart people from government, government agencies, and the military.

    It’s not the American way. The $en$ible, honorable, $uperior technology trump$ human assets way.
    Which is damn good for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
    And that alone, is what matters.

  37. For those who are confused, some clarity. Karzai has learned that if he keeps coming up with 1 insane story after another, that he actually could get the USA/ NATO to pull out. Think. Who is served by this? Karzai wins in that his years of negative propaganda uses the people in the civilized world to make us turn on our governments to get out. If and when USA leaves, Taliban will move back in, and Karzai will also leave along with all those people rich enough to do so, just like before…referring to USSR war. Again Taliban will return imposing their rule even harder than before.

    But this tool Karzai has been using has of late been turned against him. World powers are realizing those who would replace him are very capable of transforming Afghanistan into a modern peaceful country. What is needed is to remove Karzai and his poisonous government party. Once this is done, every religion on the planet can declare Christmas!

    It is extra bad for Karzai because he was only the first President and feels used. It is not his legacy he is angry about, rather he was the stooge to get the process of returning central government to Afghanistan after a 45 period of absence. Now much more intelligent people are running and with abilities he never had in 13 years in control. The world will see more progress in less than 5 years of true leadership of next President, and view Karzai as the man who lived the good life during the war, but selfishly did nothing to advance his country, to make it a better place for all Afghans.

    Sadly in Karzai’s final days he has proven to be delusional and simply evil. He has won the outrage of Afghanistan’s financial backers, and now the Indian government is “Perturbed over reports about Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s clandestine engagement with Taliban, Indian foreign minister Salman Khurshid will visit the country next week for a meeting with him”–The Indian government has up to now been neutral in The Washington-Karzai soap opera and has promised to commit TWO BILLION in assistance. Next weeks meeting might really be in regards to India pulling that aid. If and when that occurs, Karzai is likely going to burn at the stake.

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