Saturday 23rd of October 2021

interpreting history...






















The scenes at Kabul airport are reminiscent of the chaos in Saigon in 1975 when pro-American Vietnamese desperately tried to flee before the arrival of communist forces. So how does the US’s campaign in Afghanistan compare with the Vietnam war?

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a US broadcaster at the weekend: "This is not Saigon."

But military historians might beg to differ.

The echoes of the fall of Saigon in May 1975 and the collapse of the pro-US government of Ashraf Ghani in Kabul in August 2021 are obvious.

US troops fired shots into the air on Sunday, 15 August, as thousands of Afghans crowded onto the asphalt at Kabul aiport in the desperate hope of getting on board an airliner which could take them out of Afghanistan and away from the approaching Taliban*.


​Footage posted on social media showed Afghans trying to climb up to overcrowded planes as they waited clearance for take-off.

In the end all commercial flights were cancelled.


US troops prioritised evacuating embassy employees and thousands of Afghans who were employed by Washington.

The scenes were almost identical to Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation from Saigon on 29-30 April 1975 of thousands of pro-US officials and their families as  communist forces closed in on the capital of the Washington-backed Republic of Vietnam.

Around 50,000 were airlifted out from the Tan Son Nhut air base and then, in the final hours before the North Vietnamese Army took Saigon, another 7,000 US embassy employees and their dependents were flown out on US helicopters as they queued on the roof of the embassy.


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Military dogs have been evacuated from Kabul airport along with American army officials. The facility has been closed to commercial flights while the military evacuations get underway.



shockingly sad...

 Shocking video appears to show body dangling from US plane out of Kabul, ‘human remains’ later found in landing gear


Human remains were reportedly found in the landing gear of a US military plane after it departed Kabul airport, with harrowing unverified footage purporting to show a person trapped on the plane’s exterior as it took off.

Chaotic scenes emerged from the Kabul airfield in the wake of a full-blown Taliban takeover of the capital, seeing thousands of desperate Afghans flock to the airport in hopes of fleeing the country on Monday as US and other foreign diplomatic staff evacuated. 

While earlier footage showed frantic crowds attempting to cling to the hull of an American C-17 transport plane as it raced down the tarmac, at least one person is believed to have become entangled in the craft’s landing gear, according to sources cited by Politico and the Washington Post. The obstruction in the gear rendered it “temporarily inoperable,” forcing the craft to make an emergency landing in a “nearby third country,” the outlets reported. The victim’s remains were found soon after.


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from guantanamo to kabul...


When then-President Barack Obama released five Taliban commanders from the Guantanamo Bay prison in exchange for an American deserter in 2014, he assured a wary public the dangerous enemy combatants would be transferred to Qatar and kept from causing any trouble in Afghanistan.

In fact, they were left free to engineer Sunday’s sacking of Kabul.

Soon after gaining their freedom, some of the notorious Taliban Five pledged to return to fight Americans in Afghanistan and made contacts with active Taliban militants there. But the Obama-Biden administration turned a blind eye to the disturbing intelligence reports, and it wasn’t long before the freed detainees used Qatar as a base to form a regime in exile.

Eventually, they were recognized by Western diplomats as official representatives of the Taliban during recent “peace” talks.

Earlier this year, one of them, Khairullah Khairkhwa, actually sat across the table from President Biden’s envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, in Moscow, where Khairkhwa was part of the official Taliban delegation that negotiated the final terms of the US withdrawal. The retreat cleared a path for the Taliban to retake power after 20 years.

“I started jihad to remove foreign forces from my country and establish an Islamic government, and jihad will continue until we reach that goal through a political agreement,” Khairkhwa said at the summit.

After raiding the presidential palace in Kabul, a group of armed Taliban fighters told Al Jazeera that they were arranging to bring back their Gitmo-paroled leadership from Qatar upon securing the capital. One unidentified fighter, who blasted America for “oppressing our people for 20 years,” claimed he had also been locked up at the Guantanamo Bay facility. It’s more evidence Gitmo catch-and-release policies facilitated the fall of Afghanistan to the enemy Washington vowed to crush after 9/11.

The mastermind of the regime change is former detainee Khairkhwa, the Taliban mullah whom Obama released from Gitmo even though the Pentagon classified him as too dangerous to release.

Earlier this year, Khairkhwa assured the administration that the Taliban would not launch a spring military offensive if Biden committed to removing all remaining American troops. He also promised not to retaliate against any Afghans who worked with the US military or the US-backed government in Kabul. But Khairkhwa showed no signs of remorse or rehabilitation inside Gitmo — if anything, he’s probably more embittered to the United States. Why would they believe him?

Reports coming out of Kandahar and Kabul indicate the extremists have already broken their word. Taliban thugs have started a reign of terror against people who cooperated with Westerners. Guided by a “kill list,” they are going door-to-door to punish their enemies.


Special envoy Khalilzad convinced the White House the US-backed government would not collapse and the Taliban would not take over — even though Khairkhwa made it clear he and his fellow mullahs sought to reestablish strict Islamic rule without outside meddling.

Mullah Khairkhwa previously served as the Taliban’s minister of interior in Afghanistan, where he oversaw enforcement of brutal Islamist punishments, including beheadings and stonings. After 9/11, he was arrested in Pakistan and sent to Gitmo in 2002. The Pentagon accused him of closely associating with Osama bin Laden and bin Laden’s al Qaeda henchmen.

Twelve years later, Obama sprung Khairkhwa from jail along with four other top Taliban leaders in exchange for the Taliban releasing US Army Sgt. Robert “Bowe” Bergdahl, who was captured after deserting his post in Afghanistan. Khairkhwa and his fellow parolees, who were immediately flown to Qatar, were the only “forever prisoners” released without being cleared by the Gitmo parole board.



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blinken's polished turds...

It was the celebrated American war correspondent Neil Sheehan who used the term “a bright shining lie” to characterise the profoundly corrupt nature – moral, political, social, intellectual, strategic, military, religious – of the US’s (and, by association, Australia’s) disastrous invasion of Vietnam.

 And now, half a century later, it’s a tragedy of the highest order that exactly the same characterisation can be applied to the US’s (and, by association, Australia’s) disastrous invasion of Afghanistan.

 This essay is concerned with the military-strategic dimension of our latest national bright shining lie; namely, the marketing by the Australian Defence Force’s hierarchy and their chorus line of soldier-scholars of the self-serving, intellectually facile, so-called “strategy” of counter-insurgency warfare which has been used to justify our various “interventions”.

 That this strategy has been an utter failure needs no elaboration: Saigon one day, Kabul the next, Baghdad en passant.

 We – the “West” (whatever that might mean in these diminished times) – will be paying the price of squandered moral authority, treasure and young lives for decades. Everything’s relative of course; and our self-inflicted punishment fades when compared to the incalculable misery our armed forces have inflicted on hundreds of millions of everyday people from assorted Third World countries.

 Presented by army strategists as an enlightened rationale for our occupation of Vietnam, the theory of counter-insurgency warfare was based on the lofty concepts of “winning hearts and minds”, “nation building”, “promoting democracy” and, dare we say, “freedom”.

 In practice, however, it proved difficult to explain those conceptual nuances to locals whose village had just been burnt to the ground, or whose neighbour had just been kicked off a cliff and shot in the back.

 Precisely what “counter-insurgency” might mean has, like the failed campaigns themselves, become increasingly confused as first one construction, then another, unravelled. Somewhere along the road from Saigon in 1975 to Kabul in 2021, “counter-insurgency” segued into “counter-terrorism” and then “the war on terror”, changes that tacitly acknowledged that what we were actually doing was neither winning hearts and minds nor building nations, but forcibly imposing our own values and beliefs.

 As US Navy admiral James Stavridis has belatedly acknowledged with masterful understatement, “We did not sufficiently respect the culture, history, traditions and norms of [these] nations”.

 Which brings us back to the ADF’s hierarchy and their soldier-scholar apparatchiks (many of whom are graduates of the Royal Military College, Duntroon).

The issue here is self-interest and “careerism”, in the form of advocating an intellectually unsustainable concept of operations.

 No-one has written more powerfully about military careerism than one of the US’s most decorated soldiers from Korea and Vietnam, David Hackworth. “Careerism is the name of the game”, Hackworth tells us in his autobiography About Face. Ambitious officers seek career success by box-ticking, in this instance through operational service, and by following the party line and not speaking out.

 Opportunism trumped altruism; and for twenty years deployments to Afghanistan offered professional relevance, career advancement, awards, promotion and public recognition.

 And for twenty years strategic reassurance was provided by a succession of chiefs of the defence force and chiefs of army who told Australians that “this is the year we’ll turn the corner”, “our allies are doing a great job” (in fact they were corrupt thugs whom the locals often hated more than they did the Taliban), and “our strategy is working”.

 This was a bright shining lie.

 The one indispensable component of the theory of counter-insurgency warfare – the one part that must succeed for the model to be credible – is the men and women we send to translate theory into practice, our boots on the ground.

 According to Australia’s pre-eminent soldier-scholar, Robert O’Neill, a counter-insurgency campaign demands soldiers who can “substantially erode” the cultural barriers that separate them from the people they’re trying to help. Superficially that sounds reasonable. But when those barriers are listed as language, religion, social mores, a knowledge of local history, geography, institutions, economics, civilian skills (for civic aid programs) and the capacity to “enter into an informal exchange with indigenes”, the model defies credibility.

 The Army apparently forgot to share Professor O’Neill’s ingenuous operational template with those members of the Special Forces, including alleged war criminal Ben Roberts-Smith, who in 2009 were photographed in the Fat Lady’s Arms bar at Tarin Kowt laughing and drinking beer from the prosthetic limb of a dead Afghan militant.

 Not much cultural sensitivity evident there.

 As former US Marine Corps commandant General James Conway brusquely put it, the notion of counter-insurgency is a “masquerade”. Armies are unsuited to long-term nation-building, Conway stated, because soldiers are “killers, not social workers”.

  Justice Paul Brereton’s finding last year that as many as 25 Australian soldiers might be implicated in the murder of 39 Afghans has permanently stained the reputation of once-admired elite combat units.

 That’s not necessarily a criticism of our frontline fighters. It is, however, a criticism of every senior ADF commander who, either actively or by omission, endorsed a morally dubious concept of operations. A straight line can be drawn between that concept and alleged war crimes.

 And it’s also a criticism of those soldier-scholars who provided the concept with a façade of intellectual respectability.

 But reputations and careers are at stake here, so the academic apologists have already started doubling down. In recent days, as we’ve watched shocking scenes from the fall of Kabul, counter-insurgency experts have taken to the media to tell us that, well, things would have been “worse” if we hadn’t invaded Afghanistan.

 Frankly, this is crass.

 Worse for whom and for what? Our international reputation? Those soldiers who lost their lives or were maimed? The distressing number who have PTSD? And of course for the people of Afghanistan themselves. Could things have been worse if we’d actually never gone there?

If we’re to salvage one thing from this shameful history, it should be to acknowledge that the era has passed in which predominantly white, predominantly European, predominantly Christian armies could stampede around the world invading countries their governments either don’t like or want to change.

 What that means, among other things, is no more self-serving constructs for waging war and no more bright shining lie.


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At this stage one Blinken needs an enormous amount of psychopathic hubris to salvage any sense and any reality out of the situation the US has created. Blinken should resign (see at top).






6 Questions we NEED to ask about AfghanistanSo, what’s REALLY going on? Is the apparent Taliban “victory” masking the true narrative?Kit Knightly


ghanistan has “fallen”, that’s the line. The Taliban forces have taken the opportunity of US/NATO withdrawal and swept across the entire country, taking every major city within a week and with barely a shot fired.

Joe Biden is being blamed for his “lack of plan”, even as Democrats try and shift the blame to Trump who first decided to pull the US out of Afghanistan over 18 months ago.

Meanwhile, the press are reporting dozens of stories about the humanitarian crises, refugees fleeing the new regime, the fate of women under the Taliban, and “shocking videos” of desperate people.

That’s the official story. But what’s really going on?


Firstly, let’s be clear, the US has not “pulled out” of Afghanistan, not in the true sense of the phrase. They still reserve the right to bomb the place. There are still private contractors in the country. And the Pentagon are already booking their return tickets.

Secondly, the Taliban didn’t “win”, they were unopposed. More than unopposed, they were directly aided. When the US abandoned Bagram airbase they left hundreds of armored vehicles, weapons and over 5000 alleged Taliban prisoners…all of which “accidentally” fell into the hands of the advancing Taliban forces.

The Afghan army, under command of US puppet President Ashraf Ghani, essentially folded without a shot being fired. Tens of thousands of US-trained and armed troops did nothing to stop the advance of the enemy. 

There are a LOT articles in the MSM endeavouring to explain this. The Guardian. And The TelegraphThe Financial Times. And the non-financial Times. They all give it a go.

The Washington Post’s Max Boot, writing for the Council on Foreign Relations, ties himself in mental knots trying to explain how the Afghan army, with superior numbers AND firepower, “collapsed under pressure”.

The Independent reports that the billions the Pentagon spent on training Afghan security forces has “accidentally” benefited the Taliban, who have now seized vehicles, missiles and aircraft.

The press clearly sees it for what it is – a hole in their story they really need to plug.

All things being equal, the simplest explanation is often the most likely. And the simplest explanation here is that the Afghan security forces were ordered to stand down as part of a deal with the Taliban. There are reports and rumours on social media of deals being done:


The Secret Deal b/w US, Taliban & Afghan Govt (A thread):

It is said that the trio agreed to peacefully handover #Afganistan to #Taliban. Which is why the 350K Forces including 10K AirForce collapsed like dominos in the span of a week only and without a single bullet fired. 1/7

— The Afghan Perspective  August 16, 2021


And, of course, the exact terms of the peace agreement, signed by Trump and Taliban last year, are not known. But it’s interesting to note that this agreement actually called for a handover of exactly 5000 Taliban prisoners. The same number “accidentally” left unguarded at Bagram Airbase.

One interpretation is that the withdrawal has gone exactly as planned in the deal signed by Trump. And that the melodrama and “chaos” of the pull-out was either a part of the deal, or a later addition to either cause a distraction or save some face.


The media have been generating memes to sell the “chaos” of the Taliban’s advance. The go-to comparison has been the fall of Saigon, because the (completely unintentional) “near-identical images” (completely unintentionally) “went viral”.

We’re treated to a lot of viral video footage. Ranging from the questionable:


Does this video not ring true to anyone else? If these are all desperate refugees, where are the women & children? Why are most of them jogging nonchalantly & making no effort to get on the plane? Why are people stopping, smiling & waving to the camera? #AfghanistanAirport

— Kit Knightly  August 16, 2021


To the outright bizarre...


All of this serves a purpose, aside from the distraction of emotive metaphors and lurid headlines. It all aids in the construction of a narrative. 

In this case, the ideas of US “mistakes” and “incompetence” and “wishful thinking” are discussed at length, without ever touching on the true mendacity at the heart of the Afghan invasion.

The “end” of the Afghan war is being used to re-brand its beginnings. The Taliban are propped up as villains, again, and associated with Al Qaeda, as if they were ever anything but a Western tool in the first place. 

People are talking about “spreading democracy” and “counter-terrorism” as if they were the real aims of the war, instead of long-discredited lies. 

Marketing Afghanistan as a “defeat” for the US camouflages the truth of it – the war was a VERY profitable business venture.

And, of course, it all serves to reinforce the frail official story of 9/11, a vital keystone in the construction of our geo-political “reality”.


The press has a long history of, not just lying about Afghan heroin, but totally inverting the truth. In 2019 for example, during the farcical “leak” of the Afghanistan Papers, the press lamented the US’ “failure to curb” the opium trade.

Afghanistan currently produces around 90% of global heroin. When the US invaded in 2001, that number was much closer to zero. The Taliban outlawed the growing of opium poppies in early 2001, and by the end of the year the business was almost extinct.

The US invaded in November 2001, and opium production has increased almost every year since then. We don’t need to go into the CIA’s links to the drug trade here, or how much money people have made from this heroin production. That’s not relevant, what we need to ask is, what now?

Will the newly-reinstated Taliban put an end to this trade again? Or will production continue?

According the press, the heroin will continue to flow. In fact the Taliban will increase production because the “illegal drug trade helps fuel” them.

Reuters reports that the US plan to halt heroin production “failed”, and that the opoium trade is a “boon” for the Taliban.

The Telegraph headlines that “Taliban mulls flooding the West with heroin to shore up Afghan economy”. So we should be prepared for the illegal heroin trade to increase now the US has “withdrawn” from Afghanistan.

But the idea that heroin benefits the Taliban, and the US wants to put an end to it is a myth. Afghan heroin is, and always has been, a US/Deep State/corporate enterprise to the bone. 

And, If the Taliban do allow the US to continue to use their land to mass-produce heroin, that is yet another piece of evidence supporting a deal between the Taliban and the West.


So what are the next steps? Where is this going?

Well, in the US, President Joe Biden is experiencing some pretty heavy FLAK. Even his usually-stalwart supporters at CNN ran the headline “Joe Biden is facing a crisis of competence”. Which could mean they’re in the early stages of prepping us for President Kamala Harris.

Geo-politically, the talk is of Russia and China – the only two counties to officially recognise the Taliban government – “stepping into the void”. This is being played as a victory for America’s enemies (and another stick with which to beat Biden), but does that really mean anything?

The Covid “pandemic” has been an eye-opener in terms of conflict between nations. They’ve shown us that, when they really need to, they work together to the same end. They tell the same lies, sell the same stories, and want the same thing. The wall at the back of the theatre has been revealed, in that regard.

The truth is, no matter which nations notionally hold sway in Afghanistan, the profits from the war, the lithium and the heroin will all end up going to the same few pockets. Corporations rule, not countries. Nation-states are no longer the players of the Great Game, they are the pieces. Toys for corporate megaliths. Their owners can make them fight each other, or bump them together and make kissy noises. Each is equally meaningless.


The Afghanistan narrative will fuel other big narratives going forward.

Firstly, there is the coming “refugee crisis”

The “worst since world war II”, according to Tobias Elwood MP (who can always be relied upon to promote Deep State talking points), which is weird because I’m sure that’s what they said about the refugee crisis in 2016, too. Oh, and in 2019.

The UK’s Defence Secretary has already announced plans to allow Afghan asylum seekers into Britain without passports. Merkel is advocating for similar steps in Germany, and the US press is also on board.

Will these refugees be forced to stay in “quarantine hotels” at their own expense? Have they all been “double jabbed”? We don’t know. Nobody’s thinking about that, that’s from the other narrative. We’re talking about refugees today, Covid can wait.

Anybody opposing asylum seekers entering the country because of Covid will be branded a racist, and medical professionals will claim that “racism is a public health issue more dangerous than covid”, just like they did when the Covid narrative collided with the Black Lives Matter narrativelast summer.

That importing asylum seekers, undocumented, from a near-failed state could be suggested at all during an allegedly “deadly pandemic” is a sign of just how contrived both narratives are.

It’s not said much – but corporations love refugees. Just like illegal immigrants, undocumented refugees can be used as cheap labour, with none of the legal protections of full citizens. They can then be blamed for deteriorating living standards, unemployment and wage stagnation. They act as a heat-sink for public anger.

Further, “refugees” with no passports are a great way to get your trained mercenaries, agitators, saboteurs, and/or special forces across national borders without leaving a trail.

The resulting army of undocumented men of fighting age can then serve as a pool of potential “terrorists” who can be “radicalised” at a moments notice and deployed to spread panic at home or abroad.

Which leads us neatly onto…


It’s only been a few days since the “fall” of Kabul, but already the “renewed terrorism threat” is making waves in the press.

The Sun, in its usual understated style, headlines:

RED ALERT Britain faces ‘direct threat of terrorism’ from Taliban’s Afghan takeover in new wave of terror against West

A rather more sedate report in from AP says“Concerns over US terror threats rising as Taliban hold grows.”

The New York Times goes almost fully schizophrenic, reporting “A decade ago, a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq opened the door for the Islamic State. Will the withdrawal from Afghanistan do the same for the Taliban? and warning of other terror attacks in the future…

…without ever acknowledging that the US never “withdrew” from Iraq at all. Or that they armed, and trained, ISIS.

Bloomberg warns that “The Taliban are already inspiring terror beyond Afghanistan”. The Times is worried about the “terrorist elite” the Taliban freed from Bagram prison.

Project Syndicate reports that “The world should not ignore the risk that Afghanistan under the Taliban could become a breeding ground for international terrorism.

Politicians from France, the US and UK been eager to talk it up, too...



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german failure...

The Federal Intelligence Service, or BND, is Germany's key foreign intelligence agency. It is tasked with collecting, collating and evaluating information, and with providing the government with an early warning system on critical developments in the fields of foreign and security policy.

Now the BND's image has been seriously tarnished, both at home and abroad, by its failure to alert the German government of the impending disaster in Afghanistan.

This has in turn put the government itself under massive pressure to explain how such a fiasco was possible. As recently as June, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told the German parliament, the Bundestag, that it was inconceivable "that the Taliban would, within just a few weeks, be able to seize power."

The German government gets regular reports from the BND as well as from the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and the Military Counterintelligence Service on the overall security situation. These bulletins are of huge significance for Bundeswehr forces deployed abroad and for German embassy staff and ancillary personnel from the local population.


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Apparently the BND did not get the memo from the USA agencies... And Joe Biden did not read it either... In the "intelligence" industry, there was plenty of warnings about "what was going to happen", especially when the US forces got out of Bagram, not even bothering arming the material left behind with explosives on contact or even remote control... Out of their own bat, the Germans should have known that the Afghan army was going to fold and in some instance join the TALIBAN... considering that the US and NATO, including the Aussies troops barely controlled 30 per cent of that country...


The lack of urgency from all the countries involved, including Australia, seems to have been an DELIBERATELY organised chaos by the said countries to MINIMISE the number of "absorbed refugees" from those poor people seeking asylum away from their beloved homeland. Sad situation of possibly "another deliberate intelligence failure" to minimise responsibility of governments...


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pelosi oints biden's butt...

Pelosi commends Biden for ‘strong’ and ‘decisive’ action in Afghanistan


Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi stood by President Biden’s hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying she actually commends him. Meanwhile, Biden’s approval is dipping lower than ever among Americans. Pelosi appeared on CBS News Wednesday to say “it was the right thing to do.”


“First, may I just say that I commend the President for the action that he took,” Pelosi said. “It was strong, it was decisive and it was the right thing to do. We should have been out of Afghanistan a while back.”

She was echoing an earlier tweet. On Sunday, she wrote: “The President is to be commended for the clarity of purpose of his statement on Afghanistan and his action.”

However even Pelosi recognized the process was messy. “Unfortunately, one of the possibilities was that it would be in disarray, as it is, but that has to be corrected,” Pelosi said. “And it is my understanding, from the assurances we have received, that the military will be there negotiating with the Taliban for the safe exit of American citizens and friends, people who have helped us, our allies there, and people working in the nonprofit sector, but also not just U.S. NGOs, but those who have worked in Afghan NGOs as well, who would be targets.”


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Please not that TRUMP WAS THE ONE WHO ORGANISED THE PULL OUT. "it was the right thing to do." HE SHOULD BE THANKED. As well, one can be sure that Trump would not have let the "retreat" be so disorganised, wasteful and so DANGEROUS. 


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