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Post ISIS-K and Taliban: Enemy of My Enemy...
Created by John Eipper on 08/30/21 1:40 PM

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ISIS-K and Taliban: Enemy of My Enemy... (Francisco Wong-Diaz, USA, 08/30/21 1:40 pm)

ISIS K is the Muslim terrorist group that entered a maternity ward and killed all the mothers, children and nurses! Now they share power with the Taliban.

John, you are not reading/thinking carefully. I used the example of the big bomb (MOAB) to present some evidence of Trump's willingness to deter the enemy with swift and strong action. His people, of course, would not have used it in Kabul's airport area. That is a crazy and foolish.

Trump and his people would not have done the basically stupid actions for which the Biden minions are being criticized--leaving Bagram and billions of dollars worth of equipment behind. Or stranding thousands of Americans and collaborators behind.

As for the Taliban and Isis K being enemies. The "enemy of my enemy is my friend" applies here. The different terrorists groups cooperate and naming is useful to fool naive people. They are fighting the West and its leader, the Great Satan.   So, in closing, Biden is an incompetent and demented politician who is a puppet. His team of losers are part of Obama's administrations--e.g Susan Rice.

A few worked together in the Pine Island lobbying group as part of the "revolving door" system. In particular, Secretary of Defense Austin and Secretary of State Blinken. They are component parts of the same Democratic cabal that led to the Benghazi disaster. I invite you and others to read and do honest research on these data points in depth.

In particular, consider why the group handling puppet Biden chose Kamala "Kameleon" Harris as his VP and why did Biden refer to her as president or future president Harris six months ago? Given the events since he took over, it is obvious that they knew her incompetence and willingness to follow their orders and instructions just like China Joe.  Also, why is no one asking about Biden and Hunter's China collusion and kompromat? Hypocrites all!

JE comments: Hypocrisy, like ideology, is invariably what the other guy does or has.  This discussion is spinning its wheels in the mud.  If you hate Biden, then yes, he is to blame for the attack.  I may not be thinking carefully, but this looks like a tautology to me.

Francisco, yours is the first claim I've seen that ISIS-K and the Taliban are birds of a feather.  They both hate us, but they also hate each other.  Sometimes the enemy of your enemy just happens to be your enemy, too.  Look at the USSR and the Anglo-Americans days after the close of WWII. 

Let's try to look at this from another angle:  Did ISIS-K launch last week's attack to embarrass the Taliban?  Or what's more, were they trying to bring back a US presence in the country?  If they truly wanted the Westerners out, they would have let them leave.

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  • What is the Evidence that Trump Would Have Handled the Withdrawal More Competently? (Francisco Ramirez, USA 08/31/21 3:31 AM)
    What is Francisco Wong-Díaz's evidence that supports his assertion that Trump and his people would have been much better in the evacuation of Americans and their allies from Afghanistan? Is there evidence of a an exit strategy that anticipated the rapid collapse of the Afghan government and the Afghan military? Did this exit strategy have feasible contingency plans that will soon surface and be known to us?

    Or, alternatively, does the evidence consist in an assessment of how Trump and his people conducted foreign affairs, an assessment that clearly leads to the inference of greater competence? In dealing with Putin? With the leadership of China? With the leadership of North Korea? Our allies in Europe and Asia? Mexico? Or, perhaps, one should turn to domestic matters and reflect on competent leadership in coping with Covid? (See my WAIS post of March 4th.)

    Name-calling does not add up to a cogent evidence-based argument.

    JE comments: While we are reflecting on what might have been, imagine if the Kabul attack had occurred under a President Trump, as the result of a withdrawal agreement signed under a previous administration.  In such a scenario, to whom would the Trumpistas be directing their ire?

    Here is Francisco Ramírez's March posting on the Trump Covid response:


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  • In Afghanistan, We Defeated Ourselves: McMaster (Tor Guimaraes, USA 08/31/21 3:51 AM)
    I am amazed at someone who can still think that Trump is capable of doing anything right, even the things that started with a good idea like getting out of Afghanistan. Francisco Wong-Díaz has written that Trump's assassination of the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and dropping a huge bomb on the Taliban would have made a big difference. Further, Francisco criticized the withdrawal from the Bagram base, even though once Trump decided to leave Afghanistan, sooner or later he would have had to abandon it. He is the one who made the deal with the Taliban.

    Francisco and his people "in the know" are mistaken because, as John Eipper pointed out, the big bomb was dropped in 2017 on an ISIS-K target in Afghanistan, not the Taliban, and the ISIS-K group are the sworn enemies of the latter.

    America has become two nations, one a theocracy by fundamentalists adoring their messiah Trump, the other hanging on to undesirable leaders (anyone but Trump) because we have no other choice and we know based on facts that Trump will be the end of the US Constitution, the rule of law, respect for decency and scientific reality.

    How would Trump have handled the implementation of his agreement with the Taliban? The same way he has handled everything in his life.  Just read the incredibly accurate book by Rick Wilson, Everything Trump Touches Dies. If you are a real Christian, he is the true Anti-Christ. Specifically, here are some facts indicating that Trump could have made things only worse in this Afghanistan mess up:

    1. Olivia Troye (top national security adviser to Mike Pence): "Trump had four years to plan to evacuate these Afghan allies who were the lifelines for many Americans in Afghanistan. They'd been waiting a long time. The process slowed to a trickle. Trump announced our withdrawal from Afghanistan and made a deal with the Taliban, also Trump tried to invite the Taliban to the White House, which stunned many of Trump's top advisers."

    2. According to Secretary Mark Esper, "Mr. Trump had earlier ‘undermined' the agreement through his barely disguised impatience to exit the country with little apparent regard for the consequences. That included an October 2020 declaration by Mr. Trump that he wanted the 5,000 American troops then in Afghanistan home by Christmas."

    3. Former national security adviser H.R. McMaster regarding the actions of Mike Pompeo: "Our secretary of state signed a surrender agreement with the Taliban. This collapse goes back to the capitulation agreement of 2020. The Taliban didn't defeat us. We defeated ourselves."

    JE comments:  We're seeing finger-pointing on all sides, which is a constant for any nation after a military defeat.  The Spaniards had their Generation of '98, and the Germans cultivated the "Stab in the Back" legend after the 1918 Armistice. 

    How much lethal equipment was left in Afghanistan intact (not destroyed) by the departing US-NATO forces?  Simple question, and as we say in the teaching business, "answers will vary."  Even one round of ammunition is too much, but think of the overwhelming logistical challenges.  My understanding is that nearly all of the Western firepower presently in Taliban hands came from the surrendering Afghans.  Am I wrong?

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  • On Foreign Policy, Biden Has Been Wrong for 40 Years (Francisco Wong-Diaz, USA 09/02/21 4:42 AM)
    John E commented that the WAIS discussion on Biden's Afghanistan debacle is "spinning its wheels in the mud."

    I am trying to get him out of the mud. Biden owns all the consequences of his terrible decisions. As former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has recently reconfirmed, Biden has been wrong about all major foreign policy decisions for 40 years. Remember, Obama kicked him out of the situation room before making the decision to kill Osama bid Laden. Wake up!

    JE comments:  With 20-20 hindsight, we see that the biggest foreign policy mistake of the millennium was invading Afghanistan.  Biden absolutely voted for the war, as did every other senator (98-0).  One wonders if any measure could get unanimous support in today's fractious Washington.  Probably not even an endorsement of motherhood...

    One unexpected outcome of the Trump administration was a default nostalgia for the George W Bush years.  Francisco, among the anti-Biden crowd, have you observed a similar phenomenon for Obama?

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    • Is Afghanistan (Paradoxically) Experiencing Stability? A Voice from the Czech Republic (Paul Pitlick, USA 09/02/21 8:36 AM)
      In response to Francisco Wong-Díaz's voice from the far right, here's how my Czech language teacher views Afghanistan:

      "Expert: Za poslední dva týdny je Afghánistán nejstabilnější za dvacet let."

      Translation: Expert: In the last two weeks, Afghanistan has been the most stable it has been in twenty years.


      I also mean to reply to your comment: our misadventure in Afghanistan was clearly ill-fated, but I think the decision to invade Iraq was even worse, and as badly mismanaged as Afghanistan.

      JE comments:  A provocative point from our Czech expert.  Possibly accurate, too, although we outsiders have no idea what's going on as the Taliban seeks to impose its rule on the entire nation.  The most likely scenario:  the endless Afghan civil war is no less chaotic, but it's no longer the West's problem.

      Paul, your final point is worthy of much more discussion.  As we pick apart the Afghanistan debacle, we are forgetting Iraq.  What's the latest?  Is the Baghdad government holding that nation together, or are we simply not paying attention?

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    • The US Had to Invade Afghanistan Because of 9/11 (from Gary Moore) (John Eipper, USA 09/03/21 3:05 AM)

      Gary Moore writes:

      How in the world can John E say that "the biggest foreign policy mistake of the millennium was invading Afghanistan"? (See JE's response to Francisco Wong-Díaz, September 2nd.)

      The US had to invade Afghanistan because of 9/11. The mistake was in not facing up to an early way to get out, compounded by the real mistake, invading Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11, and arguably could have kept the focus and resources away from articulating a realistic Afghanistan approach.

      Chicken-Little catastrophism as a substitute for real historical memory?

      JE comments:  You've sent us an important reminder, Gary.  All but the most zealous doves in the US were in favor of going in to Afghanistan after 9/11.  I too was guilty of a certain hubris.  Even though Afghanistan got its "Graveyard of Empires" epithet the honest way, didn't we all think the Americans and NATO could accomplish what others never could?

      But did the US have to invade Afghanistan?  Politically, yes, but strategically?  Were there other options--for example, a carrot-stick ultimatum to the Taliban to hand over those responsible?

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      • The 2001 US Ultimatum to Iraq: Was There an Alternative? (Eugenio Battaglia, Italy 09/04/21 3:26 AM)
        This is in response to Gary Moore/John Eipper and the latter's comment of September 3rd. I would argue the opposite of John's claim: the Empire had no political reason to invade Afghanistan. However, it had strategic reasons to dominate Afghanistan because of that nation's position in Central Asia.

        There was no political reason, as the real culprits or better the instigators of 9/11, are still up for debate.

        Anyway, a no-carrot but big-stick ultimatum was presented by the Empire on 21 September 2001. It is worth reviewing:

        "By aiding and abetting murder the Taliban regime is committing murder. America makes the following demands:

        "Deliver to US Authorities all the leaders of Al Qaeda (terrorist organization) that hide in your land.

        "Release all foreign nationals including American citizens you have unjustly imprisoned.

        "Protect all journalists, diplomats, and aid workers in your country.

        "Close immediately and permanently every terrorist camp in Afghanistan and hand over every terrorist and every person in their support structure to the appropriate authorities.

        "Give the US full access to terrorist training camps so we make sure they are no longer operating.

        "These demands are not open to negotiation or discussion."

        Such an ultimatum sounds much stronger than that of Austria-Hungary on 28 June 1914 to Serbia. The Western powers praised Serbia for rejecting it and at the end of the war it placed full responsibility for the Great War on Germany (sic), but that is another story.

        The Afghan government in September 2001 expressed its condolences for the American deaths, and on receiving the ultimatum, it confirmed that it would cooperate/comply if the accusations were proven true.

        About Iraq, the Empire pushed it to make war against Iran (understandable after the Embassy siege) in 1980-88.  In 1991 Iraq had essentially recovered a piece of its sphere of influence separated by British colonialism 1899.  And finally poor General Collin Powell in 2003 made a fool of himself out of loyalty to his Commander. The stupidest action was by Commander Paul Bremer in dissolving the Iraqi Army, so all its personnel without jobs and money but well armed, could join the various insurgencies.

        The action against other countries was equally foolish.

        Imagine an alternative present for the region, with the former secular socialist regimes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Iran (going back to Mossadegh). How many deaths could have been avoided? How many wasted dollars could have been used for peaceful enterprises in such lands and the US? For sure the regimes mentioned above were much better than the chaos at present.

        JE comments:  I don't follow the concept of an Iraqi "sphere of influence," especially because the nation itself was cobbled together by the victors after WWI.  But what about the 2001 US ultimatum to Afghanistan?  The "full access" part is something no sovereign nation can accept.  Was there an alternative that would have allowed the Taliban to save face?  In 2001 there was not, although twenty years later we have no choice but to attempt it.

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    • Among the Anti-Biden Camp, Is There Obama Nostalgia? (Francisco Wong-Diaz, USA 09/04/21 4:11 AM)
      John E cited the rise of George W Bush nostalgia during the Trump era, and asked if there is anything analogous for Obama at present. The answer is simple: NO!

      Why miss Obama when Obama 3.0 is in power now through the puppet Biden?

      In reply to Paul Pitlick's inexpert "expert": Even Bill Maher chastised the Left for going so far as not knowing what true oppression looks like. Yes, the so-called peaceful, stable Afghanistan is the place where in the last two weeks young men were seen clinging to airplanes to leave the country, or being hanged from a rope by their necks from a flying Black Hawk helicopter--not to mention killed by a suicide bomber at the airport gate and left to die in sewage. The cited "expert" should also look at the ongoing "peaceful" fighting in the Northern Alliance region. His sources, if any, are useless.

      I guess that since I did not support Trump or Biden I am a "right winger," too. What a joke!

      JE comments:  Francisco, several times you've stressed Biden's "puppet" status.  In your view, whose puppet is he?  Some lurking Deep State entity doesn't really convince most of us (or at least not me).  Obama's?  He seems rather to be enjoying his senior statesman role on the speaking circuit.

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