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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America’s ailing society

by Mustang

We live in a vast country.  In 2019, our population was 328.2 million people.  According to Johns-Hopkins Medical Center and the National Institute of Mental Health Disorders, one-quarter of our population suffers from clinical and manic depression, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

Many of these people suffer from more than one mental disorder at any given time, such as depressive illness concurrent with substance abuse and anxiety disorders.  Ten percent of our population suffers from depression, bipolar disorder, or dysthymia in any given year.  Women are nearly twice as likely to suffer from major depression as men, but men and women are equally likely to develop bipolar disorder.

The average age of the onset of mental disorders is the mid-20s.  Most people who commit suicide have a diagnosable mental illness, such as clinical depression and substance abuse.  In this group, men are four times as likely to commit suicide than women.  Women, however, attempt suicide more than men.  Whatever the outcome, scientists say that mental health issues begin to manifest themselves in both men and women during adolescence.

Mental health books

Emphasis: one-quarter of our population of 328.2 million.  Do the math.  It must be one of America’s dirty little secrets because we hardly ever hear about this.  If government policy has anything to do with the quality of life in the United States, then someone should be asking our elected officials very pointed questions.  Not that we would ever get any answers, of course.

Politicians are never held accountable for the things they “do to us.”  No government official went to jail for testing nuclear weapons in New Mexico, which caused massive spikes in radiation cancers all across the United States.  No one went to prison for performing human experiments on black men, injecting them with socially transferrable viruses. No one is likely to go to jail to fund COVID-19 viruses in China.

Speaking of government policy, Boston University tells us that since 11 September 2001, 7,057 active duty service men and women lost their lives in the Middle Eastern wars.  Since then, 30,177 active duty and veteran service men and women have taken their own lives.

There may have been undiagnosed mental illnesses within this exceedingly large group of people, but much of it had to do with extended exposure to combat, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) from IED explosions, and the complete indifference of the civilian public to the reality of post-traumatic (war-related) stress.

The average suicide rate for post 9/11 veterans between 18-34 is 32.3 per 100,000 service men and women.  In 2018, that number increased to 45.9%.  In other words, nearly three times the suicide rate of the general population.

Suicide is one of the costs of war that no one wants to address or acknowledge.  And, or so it appears, suicide is a cost of war no one in the government thinks is worthy of acting on.  We could start, I suppose, by demanding that the government refrain from involving us in 20-year-long conflicts that the US government has no intention of winning.

But no … that’s too hard.  Besides, all of us know that government doesn’t care what we (the people) think. This is because we (the people) never hold politicians accountable for the horrific circumstances they’ve created for our society.

The preceding opinion probably makes me a racist, but if either study is valid, then all I can say is that American society is very, very sick.

Mustang also blogs at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar

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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” 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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Vote to repeal 2002 Iraq war authorization coming up



GOP Hawks Warn against Repealing Iraq War Resolution ahead of Vote | National Review

So goes the headline:

In a little-noticed development on Friday, a House panel scheduled a vote to repeal the Congressional resolution that authorized the Iraq war.

National Review has learned that the House Foreign Affairs Committee will vote next Thursday on a measure to repeal the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) against Iraq. This resolution to eliminate the Iraq War AUMF is expected to pass, likely with the support of all of the panel’s Democrats and Representative Peter Meijer (R., Mich.).

Repealing the 2002 AUMF and the 2001 AUMF that authorized force against those responsible for the 9/11 attacks has gained widespread popularity in both parties, as a war-weary public and top politicians have called for an end to the “forever wars” in Iraq and Afghanistan. But ahead of the vote on repealing the 2002 measure, some Republicans say they aren’t convinced, warning of ongoing threats from Iran, which backs proxies and operates in Iraq.


Flashback:  Here is what happened when it was feared that Trump was causing a “premature withdrawal” from Afghanistan:

Speaking on the Senate floor, McConnell warned against a potentially “humiliating” withdrawal that threatens to undo Trump’s “tremendous” work in the region. The GOP leader said a “premature exit” would be reminiscent of the U.S. departure from Saigon in 1975. Leaving Afghanistan now “would be broadcast around the world as a symbol of U.S. defeat and humiliation and a victory for Islamic extremism,” McConnell said.



Our man Mustang responds to the upcoming vote on the war resolution:.

The problem with open ended congressional authorizations are several.  The power to declare war is constitutionally within the purview of the Congress; we seem not to do “declarations of war” anymore – and the reason, I suppose, is to prevent “war” affecting the way citizens behave.  A declaration of war doesn’t just put our troops in a war situation, it places the entire nation in a war situation, and could even result in government imposed rationing – of petroleum products, for example.  And once “war” affects the people in a negative way, they become unhappy voters, which is a seat-threatening situation for presidents and members of congress.

I think the AUMF should expire.  We’ve been in the sandbox for far too long and beyond the horrendous expenditures, in terms of money, material, and human lives, have achieved next to nothing.  In fact, going to Iraq made Iran the regional king pin – which if nothing else, tells us what a bunch of nitwits we have running the show inside the beltway.

I’m a professional officer.  I have no objection to whacking the bad guys.  The problem is that the nitwits send us out to face dangerous enemies in pursuit of poorly contrived objectives.  No one tells us what our national interests were/are in Afghanistan or Iraq.  I suspect that’s because there are no national interests, beyond whacking Saddam Hussein, who tried to have Bush the Elder assassinated.  The US military shouldn’t be carrying out personal vendettas.

Still, a president has the authority to conduct limited military operations without a declaration of war – for up to sixty days before having to obtain congressional authority (in reality, a spending authorization).  I’m fine with that, but if congress does “authorize” operations beyond sixty days, there should be a specified “end date” and a specific, clearly defined “national interest.”  In both instances, war planners know what they are trying to accomplish, why, and they know that it has to be accomplished within a specific time frame. 

And if I could have my way, not only would the president have a specified end date to non-declared wars/conflicts, but he would also have to commit to asking congress for a formal declaration of war if the time frame was inadequate to achieving the national interests/objectives.  That way, it wouldn’t only be the troops who go to war while the rest of the country goes to the mall – it would be a national effort to win.

War is a terrible event.  We should not be involved in them unless every other possible effort has failed.  War is a “failure in diplomacy” … and there are times when diplomacy must fail (mostly on account of the fact that the US has the world’s worst-diplomats).  When that happens, the US should, as a nation, with clearly defined national objectives, go to war; the US should then be committed to beating the living crap out of everyone on the other side (men, women, children, their armies, their leaders, their infrastructure, their economy) and do that in the most conspicuous way possible.  Two clearly discernible results will present themselves: we defeat a nationally declared enemy, and we send an important message to all others – do not mess with the USA.  Fewer major wars is better that dozens of smaller ones.

I will conclude by observing that none of this matters when the purpose of the US military is social engineering.  Not sure a “Tranny Brigade” would accomplish much that make the enemy fall down laughing.  The other day, the SecDef (Austin) publicly announced to North Korea that we could go to war with them “tonight.”  I understand General Austin (who could be a moron) caused much levity in the North Korean Officer’s Club.


Mustang also blogs at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar

Two dozen plus House Democrats ask Biden to give up sole authority to launch nuclear weapons


It’s hard to get a bead on where this is coming from. Its only been a month or so… is Biden so bad off that they really are concerned? Was this the plan right along, move Pops out and 25 him so Harris can move right in? In practicality, how would this work? As China fires their nukes the Commander-in Chief is to call around and figure out if we are going to respond? It’s hard to believe this issue would have been raised without Pelosi’s approval. Maybe Biden has been a bit too cantankerous. Maybe just turn the decision over to Facebook and the Twitter guys.



“We respectfully request that you, as president, review ways in which you can end the sole authority you have to launch a nuclear attack, and to install additional checks and balances into the system,” the letter states.

“As president, you will have the final say on any changes to U.S. nuclear policy. We respectfully request that you, as president, review ways in which you can end the sole authority you have to launch a nuclear attack, and to install additional checks and balances into the system,” the letter states.

The letter notes that there have been multiple possible systems proposed and lists several of them. One proposal involves “Requiring additional officials in the line of presidential succession, starting with the vice president and the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives — neither of whom can be removed by the president if they disagree — to concur with a launch order, and utilizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s tracking of those officials to ensure prompt communication.”

From Just the News


Other than this all is well in the swamp.


The Ever Elusive Peace on Earth


The unlearned lessons of history condemns present and future generations.

by Mustang

On the eve of America’s full involvement in the Vietnam War, a great soldier was laid to rest.  The 84-year old Douglas Arthur MacArthur served in uniform for 52 years.  Within that time, he participated in the United States occupation of Mexico, at Veracruz, served with distinction in World War I, led with distinction in World War II, and commanded United Nations troops in the opening days of the Korean War (1950-51).  

Between the two great wars, MacArthur served as the Superintendent of the United States Military Academy, as Chief of Staff of the U. S. Army, and upon retirement, was appointed to serve as Field Marshal of the Philippine Army.

On 26 July 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt federalized the Philippine Army and recalled Douglas MacArthur to active duty in the U. S. Army as a major general and appointed him Commander, U. S. Army Forces Far East (USAFFE).  On 27 July 1941, Roosevelt advanced MacArthur to the rank of lieutenant general.  In that capacity, MacArthur commanded 22,000 troops, of which 12,000 were Philippine Army scouts.

The United States plan for the defense of the Philippine Islands called for the massing of troops on the Bataan Peninsula where they could “hold out” against the Imperial Japanese Army until an American relief force could arrive.  Of course, this decision suggests that the U. S. Government knew far more about Japanese intentions than they admitted publicly — the Japanese never attacked the United States until early December 1941.  It causes one to question Japan’s sneak attack.  The US government had to know in advance.

Washington’s “stop gap” plan for the Philippines was a result of America’s demobilization following World War I.  General MacArthur was ordered to hold out against the Imperial Japanese until reinforced — knowing that there would be no reinforcements.  The Washington plan for American and Philippine troops in the Philippine Islands was an overwhelming defeat — a sacrifice in order to garner the support of the American people for the United States’ entry into World War II.

But by then, on 7 December 1941, World War II had been in progress since 1 September 1939, when Germany invaded Poland and Great Britain and France declared war.  Before General MacArthur was recalled to active duty from retirement, Germany invaded the Soviet Union.  It was a long and bloody war.  Tens of millions of people died — those serving in uniform, and the hapless civilians who simply got in the way of the belligerents.  When the war was over, ending on 2 September 1945 with Japan’s unconditional surrender, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur stated succinctly:

“Men since the beginning of time have sought peace. Various methods through the ages have been attempted to devise an international process to prevent or settle disputes between nations. From the very start workable methods were found in so far as individual citizens were concerned, but the mechanics of an instrumentality of larger international scope have never been successful. Military alliances, balances of power, Leagues of Nations, all in turn failed, leaving the only path to be by way of the crucible of war.

The utter  destructiveness of war now blocks out this alternative. We have had our last chance. If we will not devise some greater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at our door. The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature, and all material and cultural developments of the past 2000 years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.”

But the world’s politicians — and those “free men” who elected them — did not heed these words.  How could they?  These politicians, most of whom have never once placed themselves in harm’s way, had no frame of reference to the utter chaos of bloody confrontations.  And so, following the second great war, the protectors of human liberty throughout the world, the victors of World War II, demobilized their armies and navies, and went back to sleep.

It is true that, as with those who preceded them in earlier decades, the leaders of the “free world” gaped at the ghastly developments in Europe by the Soviet Union — and opted to do nothing.  No one wanted another war.  And once more, the ugly stain of appeasement was the United Nation’s only plan of action.  Should they ignore these developments long enough, perhaps they would go away.  When war came again in 1950, everyone was looking in the wrong direction.

Who knows what was going through Harry S. Truman’s mind during these critical moments in history, when global communists decided that the time was right to strike — while everyone, so weary of war, slept peacefully at home.  

In 1948, Mr. Truman was tightly focused on winning the Presidency on his own terms — to demonstrate that he was much more than President Roosevelt’s vice president; he was a man of the people.  After his success in 1948, Truman refocused his attention on his presidential legacy.  There would be no more war; he would not stand for it — and at Truman’s insistence, the American military was once again dismantled.

But war did come and it was the incompetence of the Truman Administration that made it possible.  Once again, Douglas MacArthur was taken down from the shelf, dusted off, and put into the field with an army that could not even defend itself let alone an entire Peninsula the size of Korea.  

Many young Americans died unnecessarily because of Truman’s incompetence.  Worse, Truman’s petty arrogance led him to dismiss the good advice he received from the man he commissioned to clean up the mess he created.  By 1951, MacArthur’s patience had become thin and in his frustration, he began to speak critically about Truman’s incredible ineptness.  Under such circumstances, there was no other choice for the President — as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States — than to relieve MacArthur of his duties.

Soon after, during an invitation to address a joint session of Congress, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur spoke directly to America’s politicians.  And he told them …

“… Once war is forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end.  War’s very object is victory, not prolonged indecision.  In war there is no substitute for victory.”

“There are some who, for varying reasons, would appease Red China.  They are blind to history’s clear lesson, for history teaches with unmistakable emphasis that appeasement but begets new and bloodier war.  It points to no single instance where this end has justified that means, where appeasement has led to more than a sham peace.  Like blackmail, it lays the basis for new and successively greater demands until, as in blackmail, violence becomes the only other alternative.”

“‘Why,’ my soldiers asked of me, ‘surrender military advantages to an enemy in the field?’  I could not answer.  Some may say to avoid spread of the conflict into an all-out war with China; others, to avoid Soviet intervention.  Neither explanation seems valid, for China is already engaging with the maximum power it can commit, and the Soviet will not necessarily mesh its actions with our moves.  Like a cobra, any new enemy will more likely strike whenever it feels that the relativity in military or other potential is in its favor on a world-wide basis.”

“The tragedy of Korea is further heightened by the fact that its military action is confined to its territorial limits.  It condemns that nation, which it is our purpose to save, to suffer the devastating impact of full naval and air bombardment while the enemy’s sanctuaries are fully protected from such attack and devastation.  Of the nations of the world, Korea alone, up to now, is the sole one which has risked its all against communism. The magnificence of the courage and fortitude of the Korean people defies description.” […]

“I have just left your fighting sons in Korea. They have met all tests there, and I can report to you without reservation that they are splendid in every way.  It was my constant effort to preserve them and end this savage conflict honorably and with the least loss of time and a minimum sacrifice of life.  Its growing bloodshed has caused me the deepest anguish and anxiety.  Those gallant men will remain often in my thoughts and in my prayers always.”

These politicians too, along with Truman, failed to listen — failed to learn.  They opted, instead, to involve the United States in yet another war of attrition, the defense of a nation that wanted neither their own freedom nor America’s version of it.  They chose for the American people a defensive war that could not, from its very first day, be won.  

Once more, young Americans gave up their lives — for nothing.  This too was part of Harry Truman’s world view.  He had the opportunity to engage in a productive discussion with Vietnamese nationalists in 1945 and opted instead to reimpose upon them French colonialism, paid for, at first, by the American taxpayer — adding later, American blood — at the direction of yet another Democrat who not only refused to allow the American military to win that Indochina war (noting that wars are not won through defensive strategies), but also a man who enriched himself from that war.

Now, forty-six years later, these lessons remain unlearned.  The sheer ineptitude of a succession of presidents (of both political parties) have led us to this point in world history.  We are, as a nation, no longer the land of the free and the home of the brave — we are, we have become, the land of appeasers.

The state of war that existed between the United States and North Korea in 1950 was never settled — so a state of war continues to exist with North Korea.  In this context, we are only removed from extreme violence by mere seconds.    

Next door, China proceeds to expand its influence in the South China Sea, creating island naval bases and declaring them sovereign territories of China.  Chinese agents have infiltrated the United States — our corporations, universities, and our Congress.  

Chinese diplomats have brokered deals with many, if not most, Central and South American countries, throughout the African nations, and made lucrative arrangements among our so-called Middle Eastern “friends.”  Once again, as danger lurks, American politicians — and the American people — are looking in the other direction.

What are America’s national interests in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia?  What is it about any of these “nations” that is worth a pint of American blood?  But if there were bona fide national interests, why have American politicians elected not to achieve them?  Are our politicians so dense that they cannot understand that victory delayed or denied becomes even more ghastly and expensive over time?

We should also ask, “What are America’s domestic interests?”  Shall we desire peace at home as much as we desire peace around the world?  Are we doing anything worthwhile to achieve domestic peace and maintain it?  In my judgment, the answer is no.  Peace eludes us at home and abroad because we have not learned the lessons of history.  

We have not learned how to employ wisdom in choosing the men and women who chart the course of our nation.  We have not learned the basics of human behavior.  For instance, an enemy always seeks to advantage themselves by discovering our weaknesses.  Why must we insist on helping our enemies to achieve their goals?

Yes, we must seek peace — but we must do so through strength.  Whoever does not understand this has no business in Congress or any executive administration.  Whoever does not understand this has no business voting in national elections.

I have hope for the future — but I do not delude myself about its prospects.  A peaceful world is not an entitlement — it must be paid for, and like the price of freedom, the cost of peace is high.  We have, in the past, been willing to pay that price, but we have not been willing to protect and preserve that which has cost us dearly.  We Americans, and I am speaking now about all of us, must be vigilant, we must be resolved, and our wisdom, if we ever find it, must be virtuous.

War and more war coming with Biden’s Sec. of State Blinken


Lots of wars coming up. Obama’s Iran deal will no doubt be back in place. Load up the planes with lots more cash. Liz Cheney must be jumping for joy

The Neocons should be very happy with the pick of Anthony Blinken for Secretary of State. All those military contracts coming up. Congress must be salivating. Blinken a so called “Interventionist .”

Here we go:

Blinken and Kerry

Blinken was Biden’s top aide in 2002 when Biden was leading the charge in the Senate to give George W. Bush his invasion of Iraq. In 2006, Biden penned an Op-ed for The New York Times that called for dividing Iraq into three separate autonomous zones with a central government in Baghdad, later referred to as a “soft partition.” According to the Times, Blinken helped craft Biden’s proposal.

Seen as a loyal Biden aide, Blinken surprised some in the White House when he broke with Biden and supported military intervention in Libya in 2011, according to The Washington Post. Blinken also called for US action in Syria after Barack Obama was reelected in 2012. Sources told the Post in 2013 that Blinken “was less enthusiastic than Biden” about Obama seeking Congressional approval for a military strike on Syria.

In 2019, Blinken co-authored an Op-ed in The Washington Post with neoconservative Robert Kagan.

The piece argued against President Trump’s “America First” foreign policy and said the US did “too little” in Syria. “Without bringing appropriate power to bear [in Syria], no peace could be negotiated, much less imposed,” the article reads.

In 2015, Blinken facilitated an increase in weapons sales and intelligence sharing for the Saudi-led coalition after it intervened in Yemen to fight the Houthis. “We have expedited weapons deliveries, we have increased our intelligence sharing, and we have established a joint coordination planning cell in the Saudi operation center,” Blinken said in April 2015.

One area where a Biden administration could be less hawkish than a Trump administration is Iran. Blinken has been critical of President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Speaking at an event earlier this year, Blinken said Biden would return to the JCPOA. “[Biden] would seek to build on the nuclear deal to make it longer and stronger if Iran returns to strict compliance,” he said.  Read more

The Institute for the Study of War with their neocons should be more than happy.

Liz Cheney, Elizabeth O’Bagy, Military contractors- a toxic brew

ISW has increasingly drawn support from military contractors with stakes in the issues that the institute studies. “According to ISW’s last annual report,” noted Consortium News in December 2012, “its original supporters were mostly right-wing foundations, such as the Smith-Richardson Foundation and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, but it now is backed by national security contractors, including major ones like Raytheon, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and CACI, as well as lesser-known firms such as DynCorp International, which provides training for Afghan police, and Palantir, a technology company founded with the backing of the CIA’s venture-capital arm, In-Q-Tel. Palantir supplies software to U.S. military intelligence in Afghanistan.”[18]



Other than that all is well in the swamp.

USA Wars: News from the front


Here we go with the news that is making our military-industrial complex squeal like a stuck pig. Bringing the boys home… heresy to those who have a need for a war somewhere. Always. The best part is now they have no shame. They use to hide their nefarious actions but no more. James Jeffrey is more than happy to claim the title of a treasonous scoundrel. Here we go:


James Jeffrey—who is retiring from his posts as the Special Representative for Syria Engagement and Special Envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS — reportedly said that “shell games” have been used to avoid telling U.S. leaders the true number of American troops in Syria.

“We were always playing shell games to not make clear to our leadership how many troops we had there,” Jeffrey said, according to Defense One.

Amb. James Jeffrey, special representative for Syria Engagement and special envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat Islamic State, speaks during a news conference at the State Department in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2019. AP PHOTO/SUSAN WALSH

Jeffrey reportedly said that when President Donald Trump was interested in withdrawing from Syria, arguments against a withdrawal were presented to the commander in chief.


“What Syria withdrawal? There was never a Syria withdrawal,” Jeffrey told the outlet. “When the situation in northeast Syria had been fairly stable after we defeated ISIS, [Trump] was inclined to pull out. In each case, we then decided to come up with five better arguments for why we needed to stay. And we succeeded both times. That’s the story.” From Just the news

Wandering over the Afghanistan:

Speaking on the Senate floor, McConnell warned against a potentially “humiliating” withdrawal that threatens to undo Trump’s “tremendous” work in the region. The GOP leader said a “premature exit” would be reminiscent of the U.S. departure from Saigon in 1975. Leaving Afghanistan now “would be broadcast around the world as a symbol of U.S. defeat and humiliation and a victory for Islamic extremism,” McConnell said.



Acting Secretary of Defense Miller to officially announce U.S. drawdown in Afghanistan and Iraq from the Pentagon.



We can count on Liz Cheney. June 2020.



The Democrats pitched in:

House Democrats, Working With Liz Cheney, Restrict Trump’s Planned Withdrawal of Troops From Afghanistan and Germany. July,2020.

The bipartisan commitment to using Russia for endless war and imperialism remains vibrant.

THE U.S. MILITARY HAS BEEN fighting in Afghanistan for almost nineteen years. House Democrats, working in tandem with key pro-war GOP lawmakers such as Rep. Liz Cheney, are ensuring that continues.

Last night, the House Armed Services Committee voted overwhelmingly in favor of an amendment — jointly sponsored by Democratic Congressman Jason Crow of Colorado and Congresswoman Cheney of Wyoming — prohibiting the expenditure of monies to reduce the number of U.S. troops deployed in Afghanistan below 8,000 without a series of conditions first being met.

The imposed conditions are by no means trivial: for these troop reductions from Afghanistan to be allowed, the Defense Department must be able to certify, among other things, that leaving Afghanistan “will not increase the risk for the expansion of existing or formation of new terrorist safe havens inside Afghanistan” and “will not compromise or otherwise negatively affect the ongoing United States counter terrorism mission against the Islamic State, al Qaeda, and associated forces.”

Read more The Intercept

Speaking of Liz – I add a refresher. Let’s roll back to 2013 and her Institute for the study of war. Wander over for the full read.

Liz Cheney, Elizabeth O’Bagy, Military contractors- a toxic brew

Just what is the  Institute for the Study of War? Unfortunately,  much of their original information disappeared yesterday from their website. Thanking various military contractors for hosting dinners, and of course Liz Cheney’s name and picture are no longer prominently displayed.

ISW has increasingly drawn support from military contractors with stakes in the issues that the institute studies. “According to ISW’s last annual report,” noted Consortium News in December 2012, “its original supporters were mostly right-wing foundations, such as the Smith-Richardson Foundation and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, but it now is backed by national security contractors, including major ones like Raytheon, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman and CACI, as well as lesser-known firms such as DynCorp International, which provides training for Afghan police, and Palantir, a technology company founded with the backing of the CIA’s venture-capital arm, In-Q-Tel. Palantir supplies software to U.S. military intelligence in Afghanistan.”[18]


Other than that all is swell in the swamp.




Robotics and War


Robotics and War

By Mustang

Given our history (World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq), the American people no longer trust their government to make proper decisions, moral decisions —but the decision to go to war isn’t up to the American people; the issue is always decided by those whom the American people choose to lead them, or represent them in Congress.  Hmmm.  Maybe voting responsibly is the key to this problem.

We are at a place now where America’s antiquated electrical grids are significantly vulnerable to enemy targeting.  If an enemy shuts down our electrical power, they shut down America.  Totally.  Yet, there is now in our country a developing strategy for the employment of robotic/autonomous technology to improve our national defense structure.  One that relies exclusively on electrical systems.

In fact, the United States has been using these technologies for quite a few years now —mostly aeronautical drones that rely on global positioning systems controlled through high altitude satellite systems.  We have used these devices to bomb enemy targets, including human targets.

Darpa unmanned ship

Today, the Navy is in the process of developing autonomous ships that can resupply guided missile destroyers no matter where they are in the world, and unmanned submarines that can conduct undetected coastal reconnaissance.

America’s use of autonomous vehicles demands a national discussion about the ethics of programing computers to make life and death decisions.  The discussion has been ongoing for the past 25 years.

Despite any of our concerns, the military services continue with robotic development—as they must.  Sadly, after Iran shot down one of our aeronautical drones, they sent the wreckage to Russia for reverse engineering.  Now that the “enemy” have acquired our technology, our own countrymen are in danger of the use of such weapons.

But autonomous weapons are here and we must confront two possibilities: we are either doomed to suffer harm by an enemy who does not hesitate to use such weapons, or in using them ourselves we relinquish our humanity, the principles that have long set us apart from the enemy (whomever that is).

Given the danger robotic technology imposes on ourselves, the United States has no choice but to proceed with technological development.  Better them, than us … but we must proceed with the understanding that mistakes will be made, and innocent people will suffer from them.  Unintended civilian casualties occur in every conflict, so our planners, programmers, technicians, and controllers must do all that they can to minimize inadvertent carnage.

Two questions arise: (1) Will lethal robotic systems be more or less likely to make mistakes than human operated systems?  (2) Are civilian casualties at the hands of human operators less reprehensible than those imposed by a computer?

The answer to the first question must be “no,” since computer systems are designed by humans.  The issue becomes one of the ability to discriminate between legitimate targets and unintended ones.  Over time, automated systems will improve in this area, and of course, computers are able to process information quickly, never gets fatigued, and doesn’t let emotions interfere with judgment.

In answer to the second question, there is no real difference between unintended collateral damage caused by human or computer error, but some will argue that computers will become a better safeguard for innocent life.  Beyond this, social attitudes change over time.  With more young people playing computerized war games, it is likely that with the passage of time, there will be less objections to autonomous warfare—not more.

It is doubtful that fully autonomous systems will run the show in any near-future conflicts.  Robotics will remain a human-machine collaboration: significant autonomy with humans making the final “go-no go” decision.  But we should make no mistake about the interest in robotic warfare in China and Russia, two significant US adversaries.  The new age is here.  We either shape it in our own interests, or we suffer the consequences of falling behind our enemies.

If robotic technology makes our forces more lethal, if it increases their survivability rate, if it gives American troops an edge on the battlefield, then I’m in favor of autonomous systems.  My opinion may not matter because this is the direction our military leaders are taking us.  Questions do remain, however.

When the United States develops a robust robotic defense system, when our warriors can inflict more damage to the enemy while remaining relatively isolated from an enemy response, when or if we get to the point where we can send robots to kill the enemy and keep our young people home, will our president or congressional leaders be more or less likely to take our nation to war?

One point of view regards warfare as immoral.  Its opposite is that in self-defense, warfare is a necessity, obligatory, and moral.  But there are many levels to these kinds of arguments.  We assume that the individual with the responsibility and authority to commit our nation to war is the President of the United States, or collectively, the Congress of the United States.

But under what circumstances is a presidential or congressional decision for war justified?  Franklin D. Roosevelt wanted war so badly that he did everything within in his power to provoke the Japanese into attacking the United States.

Harry S. Truman’s inept foreign policy invited the North Korean invasion of South Korea in June 1950 and set into motion the firsts and second Indochina wars (1946-1954, 1960-1975).  Lyndon Baines Johnson wanted a war in Southeast Asia so badly that he lied about the circumstances that prompted his decision to commit the United States to war in South Vietnam and against North Vietnam.  Ours is not a fail proof system.

Meanwhile, our nation’s ability to protect our access to electrical power remains a concern.

What is your opinion?

Mustang also blogs at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar

Other than that, all is well in the swamp.

Did the McCain Funeralrama come down to Bush giving Michelle a piece of candy?



The American oligarchs came together as planned for the McCain funeralrama that went on for days. In the end, the memorable point of the exercise for most Americans came down to a few seconds of Bush handing over a piece of candy to Michelle Obama. See, we can all get along.

Forget that the point, in this orchestrated piece of theatre, was simply to continue the coup of our sitting President.That’s it. That’s all it took to win Twitter for the day. Did the World miss the point?

Those four seconds of footage have been circulated around TV news stations to ‘ooh’s and ‘ahh’s of fawning establishment pundits yammering incessantly about how the death of War Hero John McCain™ has let everyone Put Aside Our Political Differences™ and Come Together As Americans™ to celebrate the life of a man who dedicated his entire political career to sowing death, suffering and devastation at every opportunity.



Because that’s how compartmentalized Americans are from the reality of what war is and what it means. The explosions, the screams, the charred and shredded human bodies, the chaos and displacement and all the suffering, terrorism, slavery and rape that necessarily always comes with it, the million Iraqis killed under Bush, the unfathomable humanitarian disasters created in Libya and Syria under Obama, all the devastation created in all the military interventions McCain helped push for, all of that is so peripheral and distant in American consciousness that it can be dismissed with a wave of the hand and a piece of fucking candy.

And it isn’t really their fault. The more woke Americans who’ve grown to resent their brainwashed countrymen hate it when I say this, but it isn’t. It’s not a coincidence that the nation with the most powerful military in the history of civilization and the most billionaires in the history of civilization also happens to have the most sophisticated propaganda system in the history of civilization, and that propaganda system is pointed at them from a very early age to normalize the war machine that is used to protect the empire of the billionaires.


More at  Zero Hedge

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