Trump versus Milley – the knives are out!

No doubt you had already figured out the knives are out in the Biden’s administration over who is going to take the fall over Afghanistan. Things took a strange twist with the forthcoming Woodward book in an attempt to turn the tables on Trump one last time and finish him. At least that is the suspicion, or was it Milley who planted much of this story thinking it would elevate him as the man?  The question left is how much truth is there to it, and if Milley went to the dance or is it more of a figment in Woodward’s mind.

The framework of the CNN article is that General Milley:

…”called a secret meeting in his Pentagon office on January 8 to review the process for military action, including launching nuclear weapons. Speaking to senior military officials in charge of the National Military Command Center, the Pentagon’s war room, Milley instructed them not to take orders from anyone unless he was involved.

“No matter what you are told, you do the procedure. You do the process. And I’m part of that procedure,” Milley told the officers, according to the book. He then went around the room, looked each officer in the eye, and asked them to verbally confirm they understood.
“Got it?” Milley asked, according to the book.

“Yes, sir.” ‘Milley considered it an oath,’ the authors write. (read more)

First here is the orange man himself with his take.

Trump himself has difficulty believing the Woodward on Milley.

Former President Donald Trump reacts to new reports about General Mark Milley story – Via Newsmax’s ‘Spicer and Co.’

We have Tucker Carlson. Retired Army colonel reacts to accusations against Gen. Mark Milley on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight’ and gives us a good overview.

The Conservative Tree House posted an interesting outline of the players involved yesterday before much of the story had shaken out. Worth checking it out.

TEAM One – The Department of State is aligned with the CIA.  Their media PR firms are CNN, CNNi and the Washington Post. Their ideology is favorable to the United Nations.  Their internal corruption is generally driven by relationship with foreign actors.  References: Hillary Clinton, Clinton Global Initiative, John McCain, Qatar, Muslim Brotherhood, Samantha Powers, Susan Rice, Cass Sunstein, Brookings Institute, Lawfare, China-centric, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Council on Foreign Relations.

♦ TEAM Two – The White House is aligned with the Pentagon (DoD) and National Security Council (NSC).  Their media PR firms are domestic in nature. New York Times, Politico, etc.  Their internal corruption is generally driven by domestic influence.  References: Barack Obama, George Bush, Wall St, Big Banks, Multinational Corporations, Defense Contractors, FBI (state police), Judicial Branch, and community activists writ large.  [Presidential elections only affect Team Two (nationalism -v- globalism).  In the modern era Team One is independent.]

Read more

Bonus time! All the old players want in on the game.

The Lieutenant Col. who broke chain-of-command and usurped his authority is complaining about the Joint Chief’s Chairman breaking chain-of-command and usurping his authority.

Alexander Vindman was the national security council operative who worked with the CIA to frame Donald Trump by leaking a manipulated transcript of a presidential phone call.   Today he tweeted this about General Mark Milley:

Read more

And that for sure is the best of the swamp today.

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The boat lift of 500,000 on 9/11, an untold tale

It took 9 hours to rescue the 500,000 people trapped in Manhattan that day. It was the largest sea evacuation in history, larger than the 339,000 British and French soldiers rescued at Dunkirk in 1940.

Some might say that the 9/11 boatlift was not as great perhaps because the Allies at Dunkirk were encircled by the German Army, knew they were in a war,  and were rescued over a period of 9 days in 900 vessels which were much slower than those used 61 years later.  Yet the reality is that on 9/11 no one knew what was happening, and as one person explains in the video they thought that the boats in the waters of New York City might also be a target.

Anyone who remembers that day remembers that everyone thought that almost anything was possible – and that their town, their place of work, the nearest power plant, whatever, might be the next target.  Hence, it is not surprising that people were eager to leave the site and that the waterways were considered almost as dangerous.

Posted in Military. Tags: . 14 Comments »

Biden and ‘Stranded’ in Afghanistan

A terrible day for America. Some times the words don’t cover it. Sadness and anger fill America. Just for the memory. A few brief moments recorded for a day we shall never forget.

The first clue that Milley was willing to sell out his men and women. For what?

Expresses the sentiments exactly.

Trump sums it all up.

Hard decisions. When there were leaders. Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher.

No Jen. Not stranding. Allowing to be killed.

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The Forgotten: Afghan Women, Girls; the Forgotten Golden Age of Afghanistan

 

What about the women and children left behind? Who speaks for them? Afghanistan was once peaceful and democratic. A history when they had a Constitutional Monarchy. A fledgling democracy. That should be part of the kaleidoscope through which we view it

Now the country descends into hell. Where are all the “woke” women’s groups?  The pictures below are a refresher.

What it was that caused many of us, as women, to empathize with the barbaric actions of this vile group against women and young girls. Yet women now remain silent for the most part. Let’s review lest we forget. The world is different now with the 24 hour news cycle and internet. We see and can feel. 

 

Let us not forget

While men fret about how America will look leaving the interpreters behind, little if anything is mentioned as to what will happen to the civilians/women and girls left behind. Heard is “We did what we could.” “They are tribal and have been fighting for years.” “Americans are tired of the war.” Yet we can leave 34,000 U.S. military for 70 years to support our indifferent ally Germany. 

In 2017, the Defense Manpower Data Center noted that the US military had at least 200,000 active-service members abroad, being deployed across 170 countries worldwide. 

But we do not have 2500 for the Afghans. No deaths in 18 months. Did you know that NATO had roughly 7,000 non-American forces in country? AP. This was our idea to exit. Here is something else we are not told about:

Afghanistan’s Golden Age: The Land Where Women’s Rights Were At Par With Western Nations | NewsMo

 

 

I went back and looked at my posts starting in 2009 regarding Afghanistan and especially the women and children under sharia law. Strange looking back, I realize I had become indifferent through the years. After all, what have we heard about this war in the last years?

Here is what I wrote then in 2009:

 

And so, have we forgotten those images of the woman being murdered in a soccer field in front of thousands? Have we forgotten the oppression of the women? Have we no caring that we would turn back the clock and allow the Taliban once more to abuse them in the most hideous manner? Condemn them to Sharia Law? 

 

The shock of the first pictures we saw:

 

Treatment of women by the Taliban - Wikipedia

 

File:Taliban execute Zarmeena in Kabul in1999 RAWA.jpg

“File:Taliban execute Zarmeena in Kabul in1999 RAWA.jpg” by Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) is licensed under CC BY 3.0

Child Brides. Go ahead and look at the slide show at Foreign Policy

Here

The Young and the Betrothed – Foreign Policy

Child Bride

Women of Afghanistan

You will have to watch on YouTube.

 

 

 

I concluded my 2009 post with this and a certain naivete not knowing how the years would unfold.

I hear the men of war, speak of war. Let the women speak of a better time for the women of Afghanistan. Of all of  compelling reasons to sustain this war to victory, let it be the World’s humanity towards these women. They have no voice.  

Conclusion: My ambivalence now. The argument can be made that the country will be turned into a cesspool of wicked terrorists groups that plot and plan against us. After all we cannot help the entire world. But do we have a moral responsibility to remain? There is a generation of young girls who have not experienced Sharia law as dished out by the Taliban thanks to the United States. Having seen the desperation it is a heart breaker. They know what the future holds. But for anyone to say our military was wasted, no. Have we been lied to by our government about numerous aspects? No doubt. What did we do? We planted the seeds of a golden age again for many, that there is another way to live. They lived that way before. Did we have to call it quits? 

The total desperation.

 

 New York Times:

Remembering Afghanistan’s Golden Age

…But as President Obama debates whether to send more American troops to Afghanistan, and whether, more pointedly, he might be sending them down a black hole of civic hopelessness, American and Afghan scholars and diplomats say it is worth recalling four decades in the country’s recent history, from the 1930s to the 1970s, when there was a semblance of a national government and Kabul was known as “the Paris of Central Asia.”

Afghans and Americans alike describe the country in those days as a poor nation, but one that built national roads, stood up an army and defended its borders. As a monarchy and then a constitutional monarchy, there was relative stability and by the 1960s a brief era of modernity and democratic reform. Afghan women not only attended Kabul University, they did so in miniskirts. Visitors tourists, hippies, Indians, Pakistanis, adventurers were stunned by the beauty of the city’s gardens and the snow-capped mountains that surround the capital.

Afghans today say that the view of their country as an ungovernable “graveyard of empires” is condescending and uninformed. “Unfortunately, we have a lot of overnight experts on Afghanistan right now,” said Said Tayeb Jawad, the Afghan ambassador to Washington. “You turn to any TV channel and they are experts on Afghan ethnicities, tribal issues and history without having been to Afghanistan or read one or two books.”

“Afghanistan,” Mr. Jawad asserted, “is less tribal than New York.”

….

But the current downward spiral did not begin until 1978, when the president, Sardar Mohammad Daoud Khan, was killed in a Communist coup, setting off three decades of conflict.

In 1979, the Soviets invaded, occupied Afghanistan for the next decade and were finally driven out by American-backed mujahedeen fighters, some of whom went on to form the Taliban, an Islamic student militia, which took control in Kabul in 1996. The Taliban in turn were toppled by the Americans in 2001, but fighting continued.

….And by the end of the 1970s, many of the educated elite had fled and resettled across Europe, Asia and the United States. Gone with them was the promise of those earlier decades, when Kabul solicited foreign aid from both Washington and Moscow that brought in electricity, dams and irrigation, and when a young Parliament was trying out a fledgling democracy.

For a short history  The Golden Decade of Afghans’ history .

And you say the U.S. did not accomplish anything in twenty years in Afghanistan?  What did the billions if not trillions that we spent on Germany in over 70 years get us? Did it improve the quality of one life?

Women, once again, back in school. Judges. Women politicians. Women T.V. reporters.

These Female Afghan Politicians Are Risking Everything For Their Homeland

But we were never given any stories that were positive out of Afghanistan. Not about the three female district governors in Afghanistan. The mayors.

 

Because the stories were only about war. Not the 270 women Afghan judges now.

Not education. Not about girls now back in school.

The Afghan all-girls robotics team have been offered scholarships at ‘incredible universities,’ says Oklahoma mother who helped them escape the Taliban

On Tuesday, 10 of the so-called “Afghan Dreamers,” aged 16 to 18, were able to leave Kabul on a commercial flight to Doha, Qatar, after several failed attempts to flee the country. 

One of the people who helped them get out was Allyson Reneau, a mother-of-11 from Oklahoma, who first met the girls at a Humans to Mars summit in Washington DC in May 2019. 

 

Indeed, the best of the swamp of the world. You thoughts are welcome. I know this is a different point of view from many.

 

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The Pentagon’s leadership lies to Americans – America’s Toxic Military

 

By Mustang

The subject of command ability arises because of recent claims by retired Army Colonel Doug MacGregor (appearing recently with Tucker Carlson), who asserted that our problem in Afghanistan is the result of toxic leadership within the Armed Forces.  He may have been thinking of JCS Chairman Mark A. Milley, whose exhibited leadership would confuse even a recent graduate of Army boot camp.

Retired Army Colonel Doug MacGregor discusses collapse of Afghanistan, arguing he ‘can’t think of anything worse’ on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight.’

In the past, the selection of officers to command Marine Corps companies was the prerogative of the battalion commander.  A regimental commander selected his battalion commanders, and a division commander picked his regimental commanders.  While commanding generals still have a say in the commanding officer selection process, a bureaucratic screening board in Washington now decides which officers shall be deemed “good enough” for assignment to command the Marine Corps’ combat organizations.

The problem, or so it seems, is that given the number of command officers relieved of their duties, “for cause” suggests that individuals “deemed good enough” by Washington bureaucrats to command combat organizations weren’t good enough at all.

 

This process, whatever it entails in all the military services, isn’t simply a matter of selecting the best of the best to lead combat units; it involves all the elements that have destroyed the entire process of military performance evaluation.  Anyone today who receives an average fitness report has reached the end of their career.

The reality of this suggests, very strongly, that “average” is no longer good enough; it also indicates that “average officers” should have been discharged before advancement to captain, rather than allowing them to languish around “taking up space” until they reached the rank of colonel.

It is hard to imagine that any officer serving as a senior field grade officer would ever be judged “not good enough” to command an appropriate level combat organization.  If, for example, a colonel was determined “not good enough” to command a regiment, then why was this person promoted to colonel in the first place?  Any officer judged “not good enough” to command a brigade would never advance to brigadier general — so, why the double standard?

On the other hand, maybe there isn’t a double standard.  As it turns out, the services canned more than a few general officers because they exhibited poor leadership, which again begs the question: how does a poor leader ever become a flag-rank officer?  The answer is politics.

Rather than promoting officers into senior ranks with distinguished service in combat, which given the essential mission of the US military, to begin with, is what officers are supposed to do for a living, many flag-rank officers today have NO distinguished combat service awards at all.  They seem to have a plethora of administrative awards and commendations, which almost entirely encourage sycophantism and rewards or recognizes superior degrees of political correctness.

We are all familiar with the case of Brigadier General Janis Karpinski, promoted to flag rank because she was one of the Army’s first lesbian colonels, who gave us the debacle of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.  One might conclude from that incident that a better system to identify qualified colonels for promotion might be in order.  No, that isn’t the case at all.

Janis Karpinski - Wikipedia

Janis Karpinski

A few weeks ago, Military Times reported that while serving as Commanding Officer, 50th Space Wing, (then) Colonel Jennifer Grant’s poor leadership resulted in the worst toxic environment Air Force investigators had ever seen within the active duty force.  The Air Force interviewed more than sixty witnesses. Most of them claimed that Grant treated her subordinates with disrespect, created and maintained an environment of fear and that she even accepted gifts from junior personnel (apparently seeking her favor).  However, the most troubling of their findings involved three instances of suicide and increased incidents of alcohol abuse since she assumed command.

This is the official portrait of Brig. Gen. Jennifer L. Grant.

BRIGADIER GENERAL JENNIFER L. GRANT

Despite these findings, the Air Force advanced Grant to brigadier general early this year.  In another case, the Air Force fired Major General Dawn Dunlop for her poor leadership in creating and maintaining a toxic environment.  Dunlop continued to serve as a major general but in a different (less demanding) assignment.  In other words: no accountability.

At present, we have a horrible situation in Afghanistan, which Colonel MacGregor claims is essentially the fault of poor senior (general officer) leaders who had command authority in that country.  According to an article published in BizPacReview, MacGregor said:

“I think there are three things we have to take into consideration. First, of course, is there was never an exit strategy; no glide path out of Afghanistan. When I was in the Pentagon, the only thing I could find out was an intention to stay indefinitely. For some of the reasons you outlined in your opening remarks, lots of people were benefiting. Not the American people and certainly not our soldiers and Marines, but there was no glide path out of the place.”

“Secondly, is the problem with [toxic military leaders] [Note: with an inserted reference to General Mark A. Milley, CJCS] — toxic because they simply don’t tell the truth and for 20 years they’ve been lying, frankly, to the American people to soldiers and Marines doing the fighting telling them things were getting better, that we were making progress when the truth was we weren’t.”

MacGregor continued to criticize the decision to invade Afghanistan in the first place, laying much of the blame at the feet of retired Army General Tommy Franks, but returning then to the situation in Afghanistan over the past two years, he said:

“We don’t have democracy [in Afghanistan], we haven’t defeated terrorism per se, we have probably created some new ones [terrorists].  We have the largest Narco-state in the world that is now falling into the hands of new criminals and new terrorists.”

“When we first went into Iraq, there was an argument between [Donald] Rumsfeld and some others in his office, and finally Paul Wolfowitz interjected and said ‘look, we just want to get the army into Iraq.’  I think there were a lot of people that decided they just wanted to get the military into these places and that somehow or another, we would muddle through, that things would improve.”

“What you see now on television, this mass chaos and dissolution is the end of the illusions that began long ago in the aftermath of desert storm.  Well, we have employed it [the Army] and the Marine Corps all over the Middle East, and what have we created?  Chaos.  What have we established that’s in the interest of the American people?  Nothing”

 

The preceding is enough to lead one to this conclusion: the mission of the US military is defending the United States.  This mission strongly suggests that the Armed Forces’ critical duty is combat, combat support, combat logistics support, and combat readiness.

It is not vital race theory indoctrination; it is not making women equal to men in the combat arms, it is not righting the wrongs of past generations, it is not leveling the playing field for minorities through affirmative action programs, and it certainly is not nation-building or protecting Afghan women from their abusive husbands.  It is raw, horrific, blood and guts combat.  America’s senior military officers have (a) forgotten this essential mission, or (b) the mission has become secondary to their advancement.

But we must not lay this entire mess at the feet of senior field grade and flag rank officers.  The civilian leaders who tell the military what to do, have created most of this mess.  They encourage yes men by firing combat leaders and replacing them with men and women devoid of personal and professional integrity.

If you want to put stars on your collar one day, go with the flow.  Understandably, there will always be some element of politics in any organization, but to encourage it within the Armed Forces has produced, as we have seen, men who value their careers over that which is best for the United States of America.

And this is not simply toxic for our junior officers and enlisted men and women of our armed forces; it is dangerously unhealthy for our Republic.  Can any of this be “fixed?”  Sure — and it wouldn’t take long to accomplish — but only if Congress has the wisdom to see that it is necessary and the will to make it happen.

Mustang also blogs at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar

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Jake Sullivan arranges evacuation of Indian Nationals from Kabul

 

In a stunning report we learn that Sullivan himself is personally arranging evacuation of people from India stuck in Kabul. 400 so far. I could ask why not Americans first but we already know the answer to that question. In several news reports published in the India Times we learn the fine details of the “how” of it. So India figured out a way to get its folks out but what about the USA.

Americans Last – Biden will not prioritize Americans in Afghan evacuation

“Once we get more airlift out of Kabul, we’re going to put as many people on those planes as we can,” Kirby told Fox News:

The form: Use the form the Embassy says: Do not call the U.S. Embassy in Kabul for details or updates about the flight. This form is the only way to communicate interest in flight options.

Afghanistan“Afghanistan” by United Nations Photo is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Let’s start here:

 

Indian Times:

As part of efforts to evacuate its officials and staffers from Afghanistan, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Monday evening spoke with his American counterpart Jake Sullivan for a smooth evacuation of Indians from there.

Top government sources told India Today TV that Ajit Doval had a long conversation with the American NSA Jake Sullivan regarding the evacuation which had become ‘difficult’ due to the lack of clarity about authorities on ground.

It was after the conversation that the Indian officials were taken inside the secure American zone at the Kabul airport last night from where they took off this morning, sources said.

The National Security Council has been working towards smooth exit of Indian citizens and officials from Afghanistan in coordination with other authorities and has also been coordinating the special military flights going to Kabul. The Americans have taken over the airport and have helped the Indians also to leave from there, sources said.

 

Top government sources told India Today TV that Ajit Doval had a long conversation with the American NSA Jake Sullivan regarding the evacuation which had become ‘difficult’ due to the lack of clarity about authorities on ground.

It was after the conversation that the Indian officials were taken inside the secure American zone at the Kabul airport last night from where they took off this morning, sources said.

The National Security Council has been working towards smooth exit of Indian citizens and officials from Afghanistan in coordination with other authorities and has also been coordinating the special military flights going to Kabul. The Americans have taken over the airport and have helped the Indians also to leave from there, sources said.

 

August 16-17 Operation | How was it done?

The Indian embassy in Kabul has a large contingent, therefore, taking everyone out would have been a very risky proposition, sources said, adding that it was, hence, decided that the transportation will be done in two batches. The two batches also included some of the Indian nationals working or staying in Afghanistan.

“There were various options that were being looked at. We are happy that they are all back safely,” said the source.

 

How India evacuated Indian Nationals:

Minute-to-minute monitoring, a well-calculated strategy and real-time assessment of the security scenario in Kabul were among the key elements of India’s complicated evacuation operation to fly the Indian nationals out of Afghanistan. In the absence of a government to coordinate with in the territory that is now under the Taliban, here’s how India pulled off the evacuation op.

The focus was on two main movements:

-Mission to the airport

-Airport to India

While the latter was under control, it was the former that posed a huge challenge, since there was no government to coordinate movement with. Cops had vanished from the streets, there was utter chaos and things were getting messy.

Like the first batch, the decision was to take the whole lot of people in the dark of the night to the airport and wait there till the flight was ready for take off. But, unfortunately, on August 16, the Taliban announced a night curfew, disabling the movement from the Indian mission to the airport.

The embassy made calls to all those Indians who were to travel to the airport with them and asked them to reach the mission. They all spent the night at the mission, prepared to leave in the wee hours of August 17.

The Taliban had cordoned off the entire stretch of the road leading up to the Indian embassy. Nobody was allowed to pass without showing documents. While they allowed Indians to pass, Afghan nationals certainly were not allowed to go past the Kalashnikovs.

The decision to have everybody within the embassy compound was because it is safer than other places in the city.

For the movement, the biggest concern was the presence of rogue elements that are not taking orders from the Taliban leadership. India Today has learnt that the Haqqani network and Lashkar-e-Taiba elements have infiltrated the city. Any untoward incident with the Indian convoy could have major political repercussions back home.

But, there was no option to airlift them from the mission to the airport. A convoy of 14 vehicles was arranged to ferry all the passengers, with two pilot vehicles in the front and two at the back of the convoy. The pilot vehicles had trusted local staff of the mission who spoke Dari and Pashto and were familiar with the location and the areas very well.

There were about 15 check posts from the Indian mission to the airport that were to be crossed. Most knew that a high-security convoy was passing and that it had left the Indian embassy. All movements were in bullet-proof cars.

Every checkpoint was being monitored and reported to Delhi. Officials were awake all through the night. Each check post led to tense moments for those monitoring movement in Kabul and in Delhi, sources said. The convoy was stopped and questioned once or twice, the added.

The Indian side informed the Americans of their movement and details of vehicles that would be entering the airport but did not inform any of the Taliban on the ground since there was no way of trusting their security and assuring no leaks to rogue elements.

 

The main concern for India remains the evacuation of remaining Indian nationals. While exact numbers have not been shared, it is estimated to be in the hundreds.

After Indian nationals, the priority would be Afghans from the minority Hindu and Sikh communities, sources said, adding that some religious leaders are in touch with MEA. India is planning to send some chartered flights to bring them to India. All this is in the planning stage.

This appeared in the Indian Times today August  23, 2021.

The desperation of Afghan and foreign nationals to escape the Taliban’s clutches have led to tragic scenes at the airport, with seven people killed in a crush at the gates on Sunday.

 
In order to control crowds and ensure smooth evacuation operations, the US Embassy in Kabul has issued an advisory detailing who should gather at the Hamid Karzai International Airport.
 
 
 

The best of the swamp. Check out the India News for another perspective on the happenings.

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Biden and ‘teams’ action not incompetence but deliberate

 

The whole Afghanistan debacle was a deliberate plan. Laura Logan nails it. In a spectacle unseen before, Biden’s miscreants blew the USA and its citizens to hell. Leaving who knows how many to suffer and die.

Biden, the pompous fool, plays the senile old fool that he is. No. Those behind the curtain? This was a set up.

 

 

Does anyone really think this just happened?

 

The Biden administration moved in June to dismantle a system designed to protect American citizens trapped abroad — just months before the Taliban took over Afghanistan, stranding thousands of Americans in the Central Asian country.

Fox News has obtained the June 11 memo sent around the State Department which gave the green light on the “discontinuation of the establishment, and the termination of, the Contingency and Crisis Response Bureau (CCR).”

The sensitive but unclassified memo was signed by Deputy Secretary of State Brian McKeon, just a couple of months before the Biden administration’s botched troop withdrawal that saw Afghanistan fall under Taliban control.

CCR was formed under Trump-era Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and was tasked with providing “aviation, logistics, and medical support capabilities for the Department’s operational bureaus, thereby enhancing the secretary’s ability to protect American citizens overseas in connection with overseas evacuations in the aftermath of a natural or man-made disaster.”
 
The best of the swamp today.
 
 
 

Bye bye Joe.

 

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WH Press Secretary Psaki taking off next week, Biden back in a few days

 

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki is taking the next week off work amid the crisis in Afghanistan.

Joe Biden, who is on vacation, has still not addressed the public about the foreign policy nightmare underway in Kabul.

The question is whether Biden is even able to formulate a response. Is he that incapacitated? Is this the beginning of the end so that Jen is clearing out? What a sad day.

Here is a collage of the worse of it.

Indeed.

Gramps looks confused.

The very best of the swamp.

Last Helicopter Out

by Mustang

Unfortunately, the United States of America has a dismal track record in matters of diplomacy.  It’s so bad that even our failed diplomacy has become a disaster.  Really?  How bad could it be?  Let’s review.

After twenty years of George Bush’s War, Joe Biden announced the end of US involvement in a country that has never been a nation.  Despite the loss of 3,562 coalition lives and nearly 23,000 wounded and maimed combat troops (discounting lives lost and wounded contractors), $2 trillion in American debt, the Taliban have reemerged. They are sweeping aside the Afghan Defense Force as if they weren’t there.

Taliban

“Taliban” by newsonline is licensed under CC BY 2.0

And who knows — maybe they aren’t.  Maybe the ADF has been with the Taliban all along.  The ADF certainly did kill their fair share of the US and coalition military personnel, primarily by shooting them in the back.

President Biden, meanwhile, continues to call for peace talks with radical Islamists who resume the wanton murder of any Afghan who doesn’t share their worldview.  What is the view of US diplomats?  “We’re stunned,” one official said.  According to one CNBC reporter, a US official has warned the region, “The Afghan War will spread beyond its borders.”  Not only that, but Biden officials also predict Kabul will fall within 90 days.  How’s that for optimism?

From the Taliban’s side of the argument, they wonder, “What is there to talk about?”  And the Taliban are probably correct.  So far, ten (of 34) Afghani provinces have already fallen to the Taliban.

We can’t credit US diplomatic ineptitude or the Taliban’s radical ethos for the entire problem.  We also have to credit the rampant corruption of the Afghan government.  One US congressman noted that official corruption is as lethal as Taliban machetes used to decapitate the unbelievers.  Not only are the ministers of interior and defense liars and thieves, but they are also as inept as the US State Department — which is saying something.  According to one report by journalist Lynne O’Donnell, “Some Afghan police haven’t been paid for months, while sorely-needed ammunition and food deliveries are pilfered before they reach the soldiers.”

The short version of current events in Afghanistan is that the Taliban attack ADF positions from the north and the ADF run as fast as their legs can carry them toward the south.  So far, it’s been a very equitable arrangement.  So far, the only ADF holding the line against the Taliban are special forces troops and the (cough) air force.  Lately, the air force has begun attacking retreating Afghan ground forces.  In the long run, this may not be a workable strategy.

One report suggests that the real problem in Afghanistan is that all the American and European contractors have left.  These people made logistics work in a country that was never a nation — and never will be.  They managed supplies, the organized training, they maintained equipment.  Now, they’re all gone, and my guess is they won’t be going back.

So, what silver bullets does the Biden administration have under their skirts?  Talking points.  Biden’s latest threat is that if the Taliban do not stop taking over provinces, if they continue to press the Afghan government, and/or if they eventually take over the country, Biden will make sure that the international community isolates Afghanistan.  Biden must be a dolt.  Isolation from the western world is what the Taliban wants — they much prefer a more open arrangement with Pakistan and a more beneficial relationship with Russia and China.

Should any American even care?  Well, the mother who lost her son or daughter might wonder why their child had to die if the United States wasn’t serious about “saving” the Afghan women from their abusive Islamacist husbands — which is what Laura Bush told them was the US mission in Afghanistan.

A refresher –

U.S. Evacuation and Fall of Saigon During the Vietnam War

Mustang also blogs at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar

And that is the best of the swamp today.

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Justice Denied and the Colonel Larry Franklin Debacle

On June 30, Colonel Larry Franklin marked the fifth anniversary of his meeting with FBI agents, in which he first learned he was a suspect in what would later be known as “the AIPAC case,” referring to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Along with Franklin, two of the Washington lobby’s senior officials were charged with violating the seldom-used federal Espionage Act of 1917. Mustang gives us the details of what went wrong.

Justice Denied and the Larry Franklin Debacle

by Mustang

In late November 2020, Israeli journalist Caroline Glick wrote an opinion article for Newsweek that called for justice on behalf of former U. S. Air Force (Reserve) Colonel Lawrence A. Franklin.  Glick described Franklin as a brilliant, fearless intelligence officer who worked in the Department of Defense and whose efforts saved the lives of countless US service members.

Once Labeled An AIPAC Spy, Larry Franklin Tells His Story by the Forward

Image by NATHAN GUTTMAN

In 2003, Franklin worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as the Secretary’s expert on Iranian affairs.  Then-Secretary Donald Rumsfeld needed fresh (practical) intelligence on Iran concerning that country’s efforts to undermine US war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, its terror networks, and information on the Iranian nuclear weapons program.  Within the framework of Franklin’s duties, he was authorized to share intelligence information with US allies — more specifically, Israel — because no other country’s intelligence services know as much about what is going on in Iran as the Israelis.  Franklin had long-standing contacts with Israeli intelligence, including surrogates connected to the pro-Israel lobby, AIPAC.

Typically, the intelligence communities work on a quid pro quo basis: you give me something, I’ll give you something in return.  In return for information about Iran, Israel wanted to know what in the hell George W. Bush was up to.  As it happens, Bush’s policy toward Iran was a series of incomprehensible contradictions.  The State Department and CIA supported appeasing Iran, the White House (Dick Cheney), and some members of the National Security Council did not think it was possible to appease Iran.  What was needed, they believed, was a head-on confrontation with Iran.  President Bush mediated these two sides by opting for incoherence.

Franklin agreed with Cheney (and others) that a hardline approach was the correct position, and, concerned that Bush was insufficiently aware of Iran’s intentions relating to US involvement in Iraq, Franklin opened a discussion with AIPAC officials to have them communicate his concerns to their NSC friends, who in turn, would convey them to President Bush.  There was nothing particularly unusual in Franklin’s actions.

What Franklin did not realize at the time was that the policy disagreements in the Bush administration involved more than a mere dispute over a certain measure of distrust of Israeli intelligence information among some of the doves;  an FBI inquiry about Franklin’s contact with AIPAC officials soon followed.  Glick contends that these concerns by Bush administration doves were predicated on their inherent anti-Semitism.  Whether that argument has any merit is impossible to know.  One of the DIA investigators, however, according to Franklin, was known to have sympathies for the Hezbollah organization, which makes one wonder why an Islamicist would be working in the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Franklin willingly spoke with investigators to explain his actions.  He did not feel that he needed an attorney present during any of these interviews.  In any case, as the inquiry continued, Franklin realized that investigators seemed more interested in Jewish employees in the Pentagon than with any discussion Franklin had with his AIPAC contacts — that is until they informed Franklin that he was suspected of being a “closet Jew” and opened an espionage case against him.  Ultimately, the FBI charged Franklin with spying for Israel; he pled guilty to taking “classified information” home as homework and having an “unauthorized discussion” with members of AIPAC.  The case against the two AIPAC individuals was later dismissed, which reduced Franklin’s sentence from 12 years in prison to ten months of house arrest.

Franklin’s conviction, however, resulted in the loss of his civil service pension and his Air Force pension.  He now lives on the edge of poverty in West Virginia.  Despite his appeal to President Trump for a pardon, which would have restored his pension, the President denied his request.

It is difficult for me to imagine that someone like Franklin or Michael Flynn, mature, experienced officers and/or civil servants, would ever agree to an FBI/DIA/CIA interview without the presence of an attorney.  It is also unseemly that a 35-year veteran intelligence officer would have failed to cover his ass with a memorandum for the record governing his actions, with page initials by his immediate superiors.  That’s just nuts.

It also seems bizarre that President Trump could find it in his heart to pardon a Memphis cocaine dealer while refusing to entertain a pardon for someone like Franklin (although Franklin is white), who was only trying to serve his country.  Errors in judgment, most certainly … criminal or treasonous conduct, hardly … and the impact of his conviction, for being open and upfront with FBI investigators, has far exceeded his trivial misstep.  Who in their right mind would want to join the US military today, or become an intelligence officer/analyst with the Defense Department, or join the police force?

Today, Lawrence Franklin is an area expert writer for Gatestone Institute.  He writes almost exclusively about Sino-American relations.

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