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Donald Trump will make a special address about the War in Afghanistan on 21 August

Will Trump withdraw troops or will he argue for a military push?

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Afghanistan is known as the graveyard of empires and it is looking increasingly likely that as America declines, Afghanistan may be remembered as America’s quietest but most thorough defeat.

In 1979, Afghanistan descended into war as the previous year’s socialist Saur Revolution faced resistance from local reactionary tribes.

These tribes were augmented by foreign fighters who became the Afghan Mujahideen or the Seven Party Mujahideen Alliance. The Mujahideen was strongly backed by the United States based on a policy spearheaded by Jimmy Carter’s powerful National Security Advisor, the Polish born Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Early in the war Brzezinski was infamously filmed giving a motivational war speech to the Mujahideen who in the 1990s became al-Qaeda, the terrorist group led by Afghan war veteran Osama bin Laden.

Brzezinski’s policies were followed into the Reagan years and after a tense war of ten years, the Soviet Union withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989.

In 1992, the socialist government fell and Afghanistan officially became an Islamic State(no relation to the group commonly known as ISIS which formed decades later in Iraq). In 1996, a more radical group known as the Taliban effectively took over the country. The Taliban claimed to represent the interests of Pashtund, the largest ethnic group in the country. As part of the Taliban’s extreme rule, the former socialist leader of the country, Mohammad Najibullah was gruesomely executed before he was dragged through the streets by a truck and hung lifeless from a post.

As the Taliban took power, the Islamic Republic factions formed the Northern Alliance, a government backed by Russia, Iran, India, Turkey, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. By contrast the Taliban received support from elements in Pakistan, at that time a strong US ally.

After 911, the US became actively opposed to the Taliban and united with the Northern Alliance to oust it from power in 2001. The proximate cause of the US war was the fact that the Taliban had aided and sheltered members of the terror group al-Qaeda.

Since 2001, the Taliban have both factionalised and perversely regained a substantial deal of influence in the country even as the leadership of two main Taliban factions remain at odds with each other. Al-Qaeda and other Salafist groups remain generally loyal to the Taliban. At the same time, terror cells loyal to the so-called Islamic State have also arisen in Afghanistan.

While President Obama formally handed over control of military operations in the country to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in 2014, the internationally recognised government in Kabul, American forces for all intents and purposes remained in position with little noticeable change on the ground.

Donald Trump inherited a quagmire where a divided central government is facing a factionalised Taliban and various terrorist groups including ISIS.

What has changed is that as America proves totally incompetent in respect of bringing peace and stability to the country, other countries including China, Russia and Iran are becoming increasingly seen as possible peace keepers and economic partners in spite of historical enmity between Kabul and Tehran and the fraught war the Soviet Union fought in the country during the 1980s.

The Taliban have asked the US to leave and Pakistan is growing increasingly irritated by the US presence. Pakistan’s increasingly good relations with Russia combined with its historically good relations with China mean that there are many in Islamabad who now see Russians as part of an Afghan solution rather than as part of a prolonged problem.

On the 21st of August, Donald Trump is to address the nation in a speech concerning Afghanistan. Many are wondering whether Trump will announce a pull-out or a final military push that may very well result in few tangible results.

Steve Bannon who has recently left the White House was known to be a proponent of total withdrawal. His absence may mean that those in favour of a US troop ‘surge’ may win the argument.

Donald Trump will make his address at 21.00 EST on the 21st of August. 

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Simon
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Simon

There is only one winning strategy for the US. Accept defeat and leave. Even this privatisation idea is a form of that. Besides Blackwater won’t last 6months – they are not the United States (that’s a big difference, for everyone). But they won’t do that. Some kind of surge will be their answer. Even 50.000 troops will not change anything significantly. They will announce something far less. The US are obsessed with their geostrategic games of Risk. they think they are somehow ‘encircling’ Russia, China and Iran from their Afghan bases. Wheres it is their Afghan base which is encircled.… Read more »

Daisy Adler
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Daisy Adler

“Even 50.000 troops will not change anything significantly.”

Obama beefed up the US contingent to 100,000 troops in 2009, and that changed nothing.
“Winning the war” in Afghanistan has no sense.

Simon
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Simon

Exactly.

Punisher 1
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Punisher 1

“combined with its historically good relations with Russia” I think he meant to say China here. And typed the wrong word. But on another matter. I think with Trump surrounded by generals now. He may announce another “surge”. But that would not be a smart move. He’d be better off to do what he promised his base.And stop involvements in foreign wars.It would show his “independence”. And he could probably set up a “peace conference” and get Russia,China,Pakistan,to join it. That way if it succeeded he’d look like a “great statesman” . And if it failed he could “share the… Read more »

Wesa F.
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Wesa F.

Then they will start on NK and if thats not enough look out Venezuela

mikhas
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mikhas

And the strategy is……….outsourcing the occupation to Prince’s Blackwater aka Academi. US has also shipped ISIS to Afghanistan and unmarked helicopters according to Russia, has been air-dropping what appears to be weapons and munitions to them for months.

Afghani airspace is controlled by NATO….

samo war
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samo war

mickey mouse ?

GeorgeG
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GeorgeG

See also https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/08/solution-afghanistan-withdrawal-iran-russia-pakistan-trump/537252/.

I concede that it takes a “dialectician” to appreciate such an article, but also a sense of humor. The subtitle basically says enough: “A full withdrawal will force Iran, Russia, and others, to step up.” If Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires, let it be the graveyard of someone else’s empire. Not a bad idea, just requires thinking 2 steps ahead, something for which the US (and its generals, of course) is not exactly renowned.

JNDillard
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JNDillard

This will be a major defining moment of Trumps presidency. In Syria he has set a precedent of withdrawal in face of reason. He very much wanted to mark his administration as a renouncing of all things Obama. Here is another chance. Is he smart enough to see when he has been dealt a losing hand? We are about to find out. My prediction is that he will try to cut he baby in half, like Solomon: one last push.

Vera Gottlieb
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Vera Gottlieb

After 17 years, no victory and causing so much pain, misery, destruction…time to gather the belongings and go home – where you belong.

Daisy Adler
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Daisy Adler

Trump has just declared: “We must never forget: this is not a war (in Afghanistan) of choice. This is a war of necessity.”

NOT a single war waged by US since 1945, has been a “war of necessity”, ALL of them were wars of choice. Look at this world map and tell me, which war was “of necessity”, which country where US intervened militarily had attacked or threatened the United States since the end of WWII? Osama bin Laden was not Afghani, he was Saudi. comment image

Daisy Adler
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Daisy Adler

80 years ago, George Orwell nailed it: “War against a foreign country only happens when the moneyed classes think they are going to profit from it.”
The US industrial-military complex wants the war in Afghanistan to go on and on and on, they are making hundreds of billions dollars out of it. Bush, Obama and now Trump bowed to their wish.
The presidents change, the warmongering policy does not.

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May Forces Brexit Betrayal to its Crisis Point

We’re 29 months later and the U.K. is no closer to being out of the EU than the day of the vote. 

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Authored by Tom Luongo:


The only words that were left out of Theresa May’s announcement of achieving Cabinet approval over her Brexit deal were Mission Accomplished.

Theresa May was put in charge of the U.K. to betray Brexit from the beginning.  She always represented the interests of the European Union and those in British Parliament that backed remaining in the EU.

No one in British ‘high society’ wanted Brexit to pass.   No. One.

No one in Europe’s power elite wanted Brexit to pass.  No. One.

No one in the U.S.’s power elite wanted Brexit to pass.  No. One.

When it did pass The Davos Crowd began the process of sabotaging it.  The fear mongering has done nothing but intensify.  And May has done nothing but waffle back and forth, walking the political tight rope to remain in power while trying to sell EU slavery to the both sides in British Parliament.

We’re 29 months later and the U.K. is no closer to being out of the EU than the day of the vote.  Why?

Because Theresa May’s 585 page ‘deal’ is the worst of all possible outcomes.  If it passes it will leave the EU with near full control over British trade and tax policy while the British people and government have no say or vote in the matter.

It’s punishment for the people getting uppity about their future and wanting something different than what had been planned for them.

Mr. Juncker and his replacement will never have to suffer another one of Nigel Farage’s vicious farragoes detailing their venality ever again.  YouTube will get a whole lot less interesting.

It’s almost like this whole charade was designed this way.

Because it was.

May has tried to run out the clock and scare everyone into accepting a deal that is worse than the situation pre-Brexit because somehow a terrible deal is better than no deal.  But, that’s the opposite of the truth.

And she knows it.  She’s always known it but she’s gone into these negotiations like the fragile wisp of a thing she truly is.

There’s a reason I call her “The Gypsum Lady.” She’s simply the opposite of Margaret Thatcher who always knew what the EU was about and fought to her last political breath to avoid the trap the U.K. is now caught in.

The U.K. has had all of the leverage in Brexit talks but May has gone out of her way to not use any of it while the feckless and evil vampires in Europe purposefully complicate issues which are the height of irrelevancy.

She has caved on every issue to the point of further eroding what’s left of British sovereignty.  This deal leaves the U.K. at the mercy of Latvia or Greece in negotiating any trade agreement with Canada.  Because for a deal between member states to be approved, all members have to approve of it.

So, yeah, great job Mrs. May.  Mission Accomplished.  They are popping champagne corks in Brussels now.

But, this is a Brexit people can be proud of.

Orwell would be proud of Theresa May for this one.

You people are leaving.  Let the EU worry about controlling their borders.  And if Ireland doesn’t like the diktats coming from Brussels than they can decide for themselves if staying in the EU is worth the trouble.

The entire Irish border issue is simply not May’s problem to solve.  Neither is the customs union or any of the other stuff.  These are the EU’s problems.   They are the ones who don’t want the Brits to leave.

Let them figure out how they are going to trade with the U.K.  It is so obvious that this entire Brexit ‘negotiation’ is about protecting the European project as a proxy for the right of German automakers to export their cars at advantageous exchange rates to the U.K. at everyone’s expense.

Same as it was in the days of The Iron Lady.

If all of this wasn’t so predictable it would be comical.

Because the only people more useless than Theresa May are the Tories who care only about keeping their current level of the perks of office.

The biggest takeaway from this Brexit fiasco is that even more people will check out of the political system. They will see it even more clearly for what it is, an irredeemable miasma of pelf and privilege that has zero interest in protecting the rights of its citizens or the value of their labor.

It doesn’t matter if it’s voter fraud in the U.S. or a drawn out betrayal of a binding referendum. There comes a point where those not at the political fringes look behind the veil and realize changing the nameplate above the door doesn’t change the policy.

And once they realize that confidence fails and systems collapse.

Brexit was the last gasp of a dying empire to assert its national relevancy.  Even if this deal is rejected by parliament the process has sown deep divisions which will lead to the next trap and the next and the next and the next.

By then Theresa May will be a distant memory, being properly rewarded by her masters for a job very well done.


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The DOJ Is Preparing To Indict Julian Assange

Ecuador’s relationship with Assange has deteriorated considerably with the election of President Lenin Moreno.

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Via Zerohedge…


The US Justice Department is preparing to indict WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange which, after sensitive international negotiations, would likely trigger his extradition to the United States to stand trial, according to the Wall Street Journalciting people in Washington familiar with the matter.

Over the past year, U.S. prosecutors have discussed several types of charges they could potentially bring against Mr. Assange, the people said. Mr. Assange has lived in the Ecuadorean embassy in London since receiving political asylum from the South American country in 2012.

The people familiar with the case wouldn’t describe whether discussions were under way with the U.K. or Ecuador about Mr. Assange, but said they were encouraged by recent developments.

The exact charges Justice Department might pursue remain unclear, but they may involve the Espionage Act, which criminalizes the disclosure of national defense-related information. –WSJ

In short, the DOJ doesn’t appear to have a clear charge against Assange yet. Then there’s the optics of dragging Assange out of Ecuador’s London Embassy and into the United States, then prosecuting him, and if successful – jailing him.

Prosecuting someone for publishing truthful information would set a terrible and dangerous precedent,” said Assange lawyer Barry Pollack – who says he hasn’t heard anything about a US prosecution.

“We have heard nothing from authorities suggesting that a criminal case against Mr. Assange is imminent,” he added.

Moreover, assuming that even if the DOJ could mount a case, they would be required to prove that Russia was the source of a trove of emails damaging to Hillary Clinton that WikiLeaks released in the last few months of the 2016 election.

An indictment from special counsel Robert Mueller that portrayed WikiLeaks as a tool of Russian intelligence for releasing thousands of hacked Democratic emails during the 2016 presidential campaign has made it more difficult for Mr. Assange to mount a defense as a journalist. Public opinion of Mr. Assange in the U.S. has dropped since the campaign.

Prosecutors have considered publicly indicting Mr. Assange to try to trigger his removal from the embassy, the people said, because a detailed explanation of the evidence against Mr. Assange could give Ecuadorean authorities a reason to turn him over. –WSJ

It’s no secret that Assange and Hillary Clinton aren’t exactly exchanging Christmas cards, however would WikiLeaks’ release of damaging information that was hacked (or copied locally on a thumb drive by a well-meaning American), be illegal for Assange as a publisher?

Despite scant clues as to how the DOJ will prosecute Assange aside from rumors that it has to do with the Espionage Act, the US Government is cooking on something. John Demers – head of the DOJ’s national security division, said last week regarding an Assange case: “On that, I’ll just say, we’ll see.”

The U.S. hasn’t publicly commented on whether it has made, or plans to make, any extradition request. Any extradition request from the U.S. would likely go to British authorities, who have an outstanding arrest warrant for Mr. Assange related to a Swedish sexual assault case. Sweden has since dropped the probe, but the arrest warrant stands.

Any extradition and prosecution would involve multiple sensitive negotiations within the U.S. government and with other countries. –WSJ

Beginning in 2010, the Department of Justice beginning under the Obama administration has drawn a distinction between WikiLeaks and other news organizations – with former Attorney General Eric Holder insisting that Assange’s organization does not deserve the same first amendment protections during the Chelsea Manning case in which the former Army intelligence analyst was found guilty at a court-martial of leaking thousands of classified Afghan War Reports.

US officials have given mixed messages over Assange, with President Trump having said during the 2016 election “I love WikiLeaks,” only to have his former CIA Director, Mike Pompeo label WikiLeaks akin to a foreign “hostile intelligence service” and a US adversary. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said that Assange’s arrest is a “priority.”

Ecuador’s relationship with Assange, meanwhile, has deteriorated considerably with the election of President Lenin Moreno – who called the WikiLeaks founder a “stone in our shoe,” adding that Assange’s stay at the London embassy is unsustainable.

Ecuador has been looking to improve relations with the U.S., hosting Vice President Mike Pence in 2018 amid interest in increasing trade.

Ecuador’s Foreign Relations Ministry declined to comment. This month, Foreign Relations Minister José Valencia told a radio station the government hadn’t received an extradition request for Mr. Assange.

Mr. Assange has clashed with his Ecuadorean hosts in over internet access, visitors, his cat and other issues. Last month, he sued Ecuador over the conditions of his confinement. At a hearing last month, at which a judge rejected Mr. Assange’s claims, Mr. Assange said he expected to be forced out of the embassy soon.  –WSJ

Assange and Ecuador seem to have worked things out for the time being; with his months-long communication blackout mostly lifted (with strict rules against Assange participating in political activities that would affect Ecuador’s international relations). Assange is now allowed Wi-Fi, but has to foot the bill for his own phone calls and other communication.

In October, a judge threw out a lawsuit Assange filed against Ecuador from implementing the stricter rules,.

“Ecuador hasn’t violated the rights of anyone,” Attorney General Íñigo Salvador said after the court ruling. “It has provided asylum to Mr. Assange, and he should comply with the rules to live harmoniously inside Ecuador’s public installations in London.”Assange’s attorneys say he will appeal the ruling – however it may be a moot point if he’s dragged into a US courtroom sooner than later.

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Trump Understands The Important Difference Between Nationalism And Globalism

President Trump’s nationalism heralds a return to the old U.S. doctrine of non-intervention.

The Duran

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Authored by Raheem Kassam, op-ed via The Daily Caller:


President Macron’s protests against nationalism this weekend stand in stark contrast with the words of France’s WWII resistance leader and the man who would then become president: General Charles de Gaulle.

Speaking to his men in 1913, de Gaulle reminded them:

“He who does not love his mother more than other mothers, and his fatherland more than other fatherlands, loves neither his mother nor his fatherland.”

This unquestionable invocation of nationalism reveals how far France has come in its pursuit of globalist goals, which de Gaulle described later in that same speech as the “appetite of vice.”

While this weekend the media have been sharpening their knives on Macron’s words, for use against President Trump, very few have taken the time to understand what really created the conditions for the wars of the 20th century. It was globalism’s grandfather: imperialism, not nationalism.

This appears to have been understood at least until the 1980s, though forgotten now. With historical revisionism applied to nationalism and the great wars, it is much harder to understand what President Trump means when he calls himself a “nationalist.” Though the fault is with us, not him.

Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism: nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism … By pursuing our own interests first, with no regard to others,’ we erase the very thing that a nation holds most precious, that which gives it life and makes it great: its moral values,” President Macron declared from the pulpit of the Armistice 100 commemorations.

Had this been in reverse, there would no doubt have been shrieks of disgust aimed at Mr. Trump for “politicizing” such a somber occasion. No such shrieks for Mr. Macron, however, who languishes below 20 percent in national approval ratings in France.

With some context applied, it is remarkably easy to see how President Macron was being disingenuous.

Nationalism and patriotism are indeed distinct. But they are not opposites.

Nationalism is a philosophy of governance, or how human beings organize their affairs. Patriotism isn’t a governing philosophy. Sometimes viewed as subsidiary to the philosophy of nationalism, patriotism is better described as a form of devotion.

For all the grandstanding, Mr. Macron may as well have asserted that chicken is the opposite of hot sauce,so meaningless was the comparison.

Imperialism, we so quickly forget, was the order of the day heading into the 20th century. Humanity has known little else but empire since 2400 B.C. The advent of globalism, replete with its foreign power capitals and multi-national institutions is scarcely distinct.

Imperialism — as opposed to nationalism — seeks to impose a nation’s way of life, its currency, its traditions, its flags, its anthems, its demographics, and its rules and laws upon others wherever they may be.

Truly, President Trump’s nationalism heralds a return to the old U.S. doctrine of non-intervention, expounded by President George Washington in his farewell address of 1796:

” … It must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves, by artificial ties, in the ordinary vicissitudes of [Europe’s] politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.”

It should not have to be pointed out that the great wars of the 20th century could not be considered “ordinary vicissitudes”, but rather, that imperialism had begun to run amok on the continent.

It was an imperialism rooted in nihilism, putting the totality of the state at its heart. Often using nationalism as nothing more than a method of appeal, socialism as a doctrine of governance, and Jews as a subject of derision and scapegoating.

Today’s imperialism is known as globalism.

It is what drives nations to project outward their will, usually with force; causes armies to cross borders in the hope of subjugating other human beings or the invaded nation’s natural resources; and defines a world, or region, or continent by its use of central authority and foreign capital control.

Instead of armies of soldiers, imperialists seek to dominate using armies of economists and bureaucrats. Instead of forced payments to a foreign capital, globalism figured out how to create economic reliance: first on sterling, then on the dollar, now for many on the Euro. This will soon be leapfrogged by China’s designs.

And while imperialism has served some good purposes throughout human history, it is only when grounded in something larger than man; whether that be natural law, God, or otherwise. But such things are scarcely long-lived.

While benevolent imperialism can create better conditions over a period of time, humanity’s instincts will always lean towards freedom and self-governance.

It is this fundamental distinction between the United States’ founding and that of the modern Republic of France that defines the two nations.

The people of France are “granted” their freedoms by the government, and the government creates the conditions and dictates the terms upon which those freedoms are exercised.

As Charles Kesler wrote for the Claremont Review of Books in May, “As a result, there are fewer and fewer levers by which the governed can make its consent count”.

France is the archetypal administrative state, while the United States was founded on natural law, a topic that scarcely gets enough attention anymore.

Nationalism – or nationism, if you will – therefore represents a break from the war-hungry norm of human history. Its presence in the 20th century has been rewritten and bastardized.

A nationalist has no intention of invading your country or changing your society. A nationalist cares just as much as anyone else about the plights of others around the world but believes putting one’s own country first is the way to progress. A nationalist would never seek to divide by race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual preference, or otherwise. This runs contrary to the idea of a united, contiguous nation at ease with itself.

Certainly nationalism’s could-be bastard child of chauvinism can give root to imperialistic tendencies. But if the nation can and indeed does look after its own, and says to the world around it, “these are our affairs, you may learn from them, you may seek advice, we may even assist if you so desperately need it and our affairs are in order,” then nationalism can be a great gift to the 21st century and beyond.

This is what President Trump understands.

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