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Thu Aug 19, 2021, 12:21 PM

One of my favorite websites for news review and reporting

Results of voter polls near elections. They post almost every day and have interesting question and answer posts. They say they are neutral but seem to lean D overall (how could you not from the last 4 years)


Today- snip:

The Blame Game Heats Up

John F. Kennedy once said: "Victory has a thousand fathers but defeat is an orphan." With the Afghanistan fiasco, it is slightly different. In real time, only one person in Congress—Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) who represents Berkeley and Oakland—voted against invading Afghanistan, saying it was a bad idea. She was called a traitor. Now dozens, if not hundreds, of people are busy explaining why it was a bad idea and not their fault.

Let's start with Condoleezza Rice. It was very much her fault because she was George W. Bush's National Security Advisor from 2001 to 2005 and the person he most trusted on foreign affairs, an area about which he knew nothing. To start with, she knew about the Aug. 6, 2001, President's Daily Brief entitled: "Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in U.S." and didn't alert Bush to its importance or urge him to take action. After the 9/11 attacks, she was fully on board with invading Afghanistan. She now senses that maybe she is not going to come out of this smelling like roses, so she wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post explaining why the withdrawal was a bad idea. In it, she pointed out that the U.S. invaded Korea in June 1950. Fast forward 71 years, and the U.S. still has 28,000 troops there. In other words, if the U.S. had the guts, it would have kept troops in Afghanistan another 50 years and it would have become a stable democracy selling us smartphones and television sets and A-Pop music. These things take time.

Also chiming in is Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY). She said: "This has been an epic failure across the board, one we're going to pay for years to come." She blamed Joe Biden and Donald Trump. She said nary a word about dad (Dick Cheney), one of the strongest voices in favor of invading Afghanistan in 2001. At the time he was the vice president and had Bush's ear all the time. If Rice and Cheney had told Bush: "No way we can win a war in that godforsaken backward medieval country," he would almost certainly not have invaded.

Now onto the present. Who screwed up? NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg put the blame on the Afghan government. he said: "Ultimately, the Afghan political leadership failed to stand up to the Taliban and achieve the peaceful solution that Afghans desperately wanted." That's true, but omits the fact that the trying to turn a country that was living in the 8th Century into a modern democracy was probably never going to work, especially not when led by a corrupt government propped up by the U.S. and unable to stand on its own two feet despite almost $150 billion in aid from the U.S.

Now let's take a look at folks who might actually have a better idea of what went wrong. Yesterday, we briefly mentioned the report of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. Earlier this month (but just before the collapse there had become total), IG John Sopko, issued a report entitled: "What We Need to Learn: Lessons from Twenty Years of Afghanistan Reconstruction." The report is not classified, so Congress and the American people can get the truth from an office that has been looking closely at the war for 20 years and which interviewed over 700 people in the country. SIGAR was created by Congress to investigate the entire Afghanistan mission. In 2014 it began working on its "lessons learned" program. Here are the main points in the report:

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Reply One of my favorite websites for news review and reporting (Original post)
Tadpole Raisin Aug 2021 OP
2naSalit Aug 2021 #1
mahina Aug 2021 #2
halfulglas Aug 2021 #3
Tadpole Raisin Aug 2021 #4
mahina Aug 2021 #5
crickets Aug 2021 #6

Response to Tadpole Raisin (Original post)

Thu Aug 19, 2021, 12:34 PM

1. Seems like the loudest nay-sayers...

Are those who profit from the endless war machine.

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Response to Tadpole Raisin (Original post)

Thu Aug 19, 2021, 12:42 PM

2. Needs to go back a little farther

To the time of the Vietnam war when I know from my own Father that there was immense corruption.
Schools and medical clinics in the tri-border all fully equipped and staffed of course, on the books for year after year, all of it bullshit. When my Dad told the man he reported to that none of it was real he was cut off from all support for the rest of his tour.

Then they had gall to ask him to stay.

We only learned of this including the name of the man he reported to, after Dad died from his written account for the V.A. to Bill Kilauano. Bill was an angel to our family and now has passed himself.

Fast forward to our entry to Afghanistan when we didn’t even count the money we gave warlords because it took so long. They weighed the money.

May this be the beginning of the end of the military industrial complex and the graft and corruption within the larger hustle that is our system of campaign funding.

Oh- I like that website too. I don’t usually think of it but every 4 years so thanks for the reminder.

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Response to mahina (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 19, 2021, 01:01 PM

3. Yeah. It wouldn't be so bad if the corruption was just one-sided.

The reports from Saigon of the markets having newer guns and ammo than many of the troops. They sometimes had to buy their own stuff back. That stuff wasn't "stolen" from our supplies. It was kind of "transferred." Also the noncoms running the enlisted clubs were raking in the graft money in kickbacks and other arrangements. As was told to me by a guy over there, it wouldn't be so bad if it was just the Vietnamese, they have to live. But we're getting screwed by our own guys. So many that weren't taking bribes were lazy and just putting in their time and not doing their jobs.

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Response to mahina (Reply #2)

Thu Aug 19, 2021, 02:08 PM

4. Wow - must have been something to learn that account about your dad!

And sad, but not surprising, that he got that response. Thanks for relaying this!

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Response to Tadpole Raisin (Reply #4)

Thu Aug 19, 2021, 03:14 PM

5. Things made more sense after we read his account.

We were expecting to adopt a Jarai boy whose father, a tribal leader, had been beheaded by the VC.

He refused the demand that they go collect wood and make coal for the VC.

The boy died in my Father’s arms from a gunshot wound to the throat. Dad blamed himself for the boy’s death for the rest of his life.

People often think that PTSD it’s about what happens to the individual and how they feel about it but in our family anyway PTSD was caused by the pain from what happened to others.

But yes, it was a surprise.

Can you imagine being an Captain in the US Army, Special Forces, tri-border region with the Montagnards and be denied food and supplies by your commanding officer for the duration? Because you wouldn’t support theft?

The words that I have to say next are not fit to write down. I loathe that man. My Dad deserved better.

And of course the reason they were called to active duty was a complete fucking lie.

PS, welcome to DU.

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Response to Tadpole Raisin (Original post)

Thu Aug 19, 2021, 05:06 PM

6. K&R for the post and the discussion.

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