Misunderstanding the Taliban

If the last two centuries have taught students of world history anything, it should be this: most peoples will eventually expel foreign occupiers, unless you inflict genocidal levels of violence upon them or explicitly integrate them into your empire. 

https://fx.substack.com/p/misunderstanding-the-taliban?token=eyJ1c2VyX2lkIjo4NzQzMjM0LCJwb3N0X2lkIjo0MDc0Mzc4NCwiXyI6Im9VNXZLIiwiaWF0IjoxNjMwNTg2NTUyLCJleHAiOjE2MzA1OTAxNTIsImlzcyI6InB1Yi02NDc5Iiwic3ViIjoicG9zdC1yZWFjdGlvbiJ9.vKhAxfa8kNm11_uUcFhnZT7SIvdGTIqsOiyigaH7jQo

15 thoughts on “Misunderstanding the Taliban

  1. Interesting read. I caught snippets of an interview while driving the other day. The subject was talking about the futility and hubris about going into Afghanistan and trying to create a Western democracy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think it’s safe to say the creation of a “Western democracy” was never actually the goal. Few of our allies in the region are even remotely democratic. Empires require frontiers. The US economy requires large money-laundering operations to turn public money into private profits for defense contractors. The security state needs proving grounds for new policing techniques.

      The other interesting thing is watching the media do a complete 180 in their adulation of Biden.

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      1. Our foreign policy ever since we came out of WW2 has been based on military solutions, just like Eisenhower warned against. Vietnam was the last conscript war, and for good reason. Once we figured out that the whole mess was based on lies, the realization that sending people’s sons and daughters to die to support dictators was not going to be an easy sell anymore. Göring’s admonition that all you need is to call people unpatriotic for not going to war had run its course.

        A professional military, on the other hand, would make a wonderful arm of our diplomatic strategies. Throw in neo-con thinking and we spend a couple of Trillion and thousands of American deaths and 10’s of thousands damaged for life. Cheney and his ilk got very rich through companies like Haliburton.

        The Taliban will need parts for all the hardware the Afghan army “donated”. Similarly for some of the hardware we left at Bagram. I would not be surprised if we establish a decent relationship with the new Afghan government when the dust settles. And our defense contractors have a new customer.

        “Truth, justice and the American way” were the words opening Superman on TV. Now only if Superman were real. No phony conspiracies needed (except for votes) just plain ole business marketing and sales.

        Yes, this is cynical thinking. Yes, I think I have it about right. But I have been wrong before.

        IMHANEO

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “I would not be surprised if we establish a decent relationship with the new Afghan government when the dust settles.”

          Well there’s all that mineral wealth and pipeline routes to consider. Not to mention the poppy cultivation and certain acronym organizations’ history of partnering with drug cartels.

          Liked by 2 people

      2. On the contrary, it wasn’t a goal; it was a military necessity. No less than the architect of the invasion, Donald Rumsfeld, informed GW Bush after the insertion of troops, that there was “no exit”. He even ended the memo with one word, “Help!”.

        BTW, we had NO allies “in the area”. All countries surrounding Afghanistan are hostiles, or if not hostile, would not be safe sanctuary for a retreating army. Our allies were all in the liferaft with us.

        The invasion of Afghanistan was the very definition of a “suicide mission”. It was an invasion by an agressor force without secure avenues of retreat.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Kind of laughed at what I could read before rolling my eyes at the grand conspiracy portrayed by it. The writer made some pretty asinine assumptions such as making a big deal abt people/media supposedly didn’t think/know Taliban were Afghans. Of course everyone knew. Taliban is an evil regime that started as an Afghan movement in 1994 like the riotous BLM movement in the US today. No one said Taliban weren’t Afghans or BLM aren’t Americans but only they are abusive and oppressive.

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  3. It is always instructive to examine how media creates false consciousness. Here the media techniques are oversimplification, disregard for history and overt emotionalism. But it is interesting to see how the writer commits the same errors, especially in choosing a name for his villian: The Blob.

    I’m glad to know that the Taliban are not “one-dimensional” and not “alien to Afghanistan,” but to complete the pattern the question then becomes what are they?

    My guess is they are a CIA asset which Joe Biden gifted to China for the development of the lithium mines to support his Green New Deal.

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    1. “The Blob” is a term often used in the manner the author does.

      And the Taliban were almost certainly CIA funded, but it goes back to Carter. The US and allies have consistently supported religious fundamentalists over secular nationalists in the region.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. RE: “‘The Blob’ is a term often used in the manner the author does.”

        So is “Foggy Bottom,” with equal distraction.

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        1. “So is “Foggy Bottom,” with equal distraction.”

          Not really. Foggy Bottom is the nickname given to the neighborhood around the Department of State. I will say that Arlington (Department of Defense) sounds much nicer.

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  4. Afghanistan and D-Day have a lot in common and a major difference or two.

    The D-Day invasion wasn’t the taking of the beachhead. The invasion began hours before the beach was assaulted with the insertion of the 82nd Airborne. Thousands of American soldiers were air-dropped deep (20+ miles) into enemy territory without supply lines or avenues of retreat. That was the invasion, and it was military insanity.

    The beach assault was the effort to create an avenue of retreat and/or supply lines to those paratroopers — Contingency Plan A.

    Eisenhower knew that if the beach assault failed, those paratroopers were toast. There would be no Dunkirk for them. They would be captured and killed to the man. He also knew that even if he could supply and replenish from the air it would come at a unsupportable costs. Any additional paratroopers would probably be killed before they reached the ground. He prepared a speech in which he took the blame for the failure to take the beaches and the loss of the 82nd. (Google Eisenhower and the “speech not given”.)

    Fast forward to Afghanistan. The definition of “deep into enemy territory” changed from 20 miles to 1000 miles and Contingency Plan A changed from a beachhead assault to establish avenues of retreat to “build an American style democracy and train the locals.”

    The difference? No general took responsibility for an insane military plan. They dumped it on whoever happened to be president when it came to an end.

    Liked by 1 person

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