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Here we go again

BBC News 17:16 BST: Taliban take over Presidential Palace – reports

Conveniently, Afghanistan has had its own Samizdata tag for nearly twenty years. It is interesting, if depressing, to look at the old entries.

36 comments to Here we go again

  • Paul Marks

    Yes it is depressing to remember

    In 2001 I was (I seem to remember) very pro war – what a fool I was.

    Of course we are not even allowed to discuss the real reason why the West lost this war – not without fear of punishment. And the West is not just losing in Afghanistan – the West is losing in many Western countries. But again we can not really discuss that without fear of punishment.

    That inability to really discuss these matters without fear of punishment is one of the reasons we are losing in Britain, France, the United States (for example some members of the “Squad” and, vastly more importantly, the people who voted for them) and so on.

    It is a situation that would have utterly astonished (and enraged) such people as Prime Minister Gladstone or Prime Minister Winston Churchill (both of whom discussed the matter we can not really discuss – because they lived in a time of Freedom of Speech, which we do not) – and, it must be stressed, the people who would punish us are the Western establishment themselves.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    What is the real reason?

  • Paul Marks

    I have just said – we can not discuss it without fear of punishment (and punishment by our own Western establishment). It starts with the letter “I”. Gladstone and Winston Churchill wrote about it – that was in an age of Freedom of Speech, something we no longer have.

  • Paul Marks

    As should be obvious – if we can not freely be critical of something (without fear of punishment from our own Western establishment) we can not defeat it. And not just in Afghanistan.

    An ideological struggle where one side is working and the other side is not, can only have one outcome. And lots of flashy bits of kit (such as tanks and aircraft), and froth such as pop music and Association Football, make no difference in the long run.

    Human beings need basic, fundamental, beliefs.

  • Mr Ed

    This whole scenario was aptly described by the late Douglas Adams in the Hitchhikers’ Guide series, and the Krikkit Wars. The planet Krikkit was isolated by a dense, clouded atmosphere and they had no sight of the heavens, and no concept of the Universe until some space junk or something penetrated the atmosphere and landed. Shocked at the discovery of the Universe, the people of Krikkit set about building rudimentary spaceships to explore (and destroy) the Universe. Their conclusion being ‘It had to go’. (I took this to be a reference to the Japanese building up to WW2, others say it was a dig at Imperial Britain). Anyway, one of the protagonists of the novel, Ford Prefect (from Betelgeuse) explains how the Krikkit people got so far ‘They care, we don’t, they win‘. This sums up Afghanistan perfectly.

    I recall at the time in 2001, it seemed that the reason Blair was so on-board with the war, was because of the misogyny of the Taliban, I have a vague memory of Cherie Blair saying how important women’s rights in Afghanistan were. But if the Taliban win so easily, it is because their opponents do not fundamentally disagree with them, and, frankly, many may well support them. A bit like Conservatives deprecating ‘political correctness gone mad’ when some council staff or government bureaucrats produce some edict, and they forget that they are wholly on board with this philosophy, but get embarrassed when the painful, logical conclusion is reached. I do not know if your average Taliban fighter is corrupt (which would be a virtue in fanatics), but I fear that under Western tutelage, it was only the corrupt ‘warlords’ who seemed to prosper. The poor average Afghan (and it is a country of many ethnicities, the term ‘Afghan’ is not necessarily helpful) has little hope when it is a) fanatics or b) crooked warlords and their gangs who make the running in determining who forms the State.

    The problem is this: A ‘Roman’-style pacification is out of the question, it is simply unacceptable to behave like a Roman army when it was in its confident, expansionary phase, where you make a desert and call it peace. With that ruled out, the alternatives are half-measures, like picking the side that cannot fight, or simply ignoring it and closing your borders, but that last option is, of course, unacceptable.

    And for us here, there is a lesson. The Left in Europe and the USA and the Anglosphere are increasingly like the Taliban in their determination and effectiveness. Who (or what) will stop them, and how?

    And for Mr Johnson, seeking to recall Parliament to debate the situation, it is, of course, an epic humiliation. The total cost in lives cannot be costed, in US $ c. 1,000,000,000,000 over 20 years, but they cannot impose their ideology on the peasantry of Afghanistan, and feminism has taken a knock. That is the crisis, that they look foolish and powerless. I would ask that Mr Johnson introduces a Bill and passes it this week. The Afghanistan (Equal Rights) Bill, making it illegal for the Taliban to win, and let all who vote for it be sent with Lee Enfield rifles, to fight for it, in the Hindu Kush.

  • Paul Marks

    To slightly change the subject – there is a HOPEFULL message here.

    Joseph Biden is fond of threating conservative Americans – he has ground attack planes and even nuclear weapons, he GLOATS – as does his commander General Milley (I hope I have spelled his name correctly – if I have not he, or some other type, will attack me on Twitter again) who pretends that the election of November 2020 was not rigged (he knows perfectly well that it was) – and pretends that the only reason that anyone could oppose the utterly bloated and corrupt (and utterly UNCONSTITUTIONAL – for it treats the Tenth Amendment as toilet paper) Federal Government is “RACISM” “WHITE RAGE” – black conservatives (and Asian conservatives and Hispanic conservatives) are “really” white you see – as “whiteness” is a mental state, a mental condition of being in opposition to the wonderful future of collectivism.

    Does General Milley really believe this? Of course NOT – he is a mercenary (no apology for the word – it is what he is) he fights for money, not out of a sincere belief in Marxist “Critical Race Theory” (or a sincere belief in anything at all).

    Such people have been in control of the American government for a long time – and President Trump made no difference to that (indeed he rubber stamped the appointment of Milley).

    But, in the end, such people will LOSE – they will lose because they do not really believe in anything, all their bits of kit (yes even their nuclear weapons) do not change that – they will, eventually, fall from power in the United States.

    The question is – are there enough people with a clear belief system in LIBERTY (private rights – including private property rights and Freedom of Speech and the other basic liberties) to replace the filth that presently control the corridors of power in the United States.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    TLDR:

    Ron Paul was right.

  • Exasperated

    Is this at least bad news for Iran?

    Does Afghanistan have rare earths?

  • Paul Marks

    SM – Ron Paul was not correct on many other things, indeed he was used to discredit other libertarians (with his Rothbardian views on World War II and the Cold War).

    Exasperated – no this is not bad news for Iran, the various factions of the belief system that must not be named, do hate each other – but they hate people outside the belief system far more.

    And rare earths are not really that rare – they are in short supply because of demented government regulations (which China does not follow – because the rulers of China want to make the county they control strong, not undermine the country they control – as the types who control the United States do).

    Try, for example, declaring that mathematics is racist – in China.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    SM – Ron Paul was not correct on many other things

    Such as? Also, why do you refuse to give Ron Paul credit for being correct? Ron Paul was right about the wars and he spoke out against the wars courageously and consistently, far before when it became popular to be against the wars. I do not understand how you can fail to give Ron Paul massive amount of credit for being correct when everyone else (and I do mean EVERYONE else) was wrong. Very weird.

    indeed he was used to discredit other libertarians (with his Rothbardian views on World War II and the Cold War).

    What is your evidence that Ron Paul was “discredited”?

    I said on Samizdata in 2016 that “Ron Paul did more to spread the libertarian message through his 2008 and 2012 Presidential campaigns than the Libertarian Party has done collectively throughout its entire existence”

    I was correct about that in 2016 and I’m still correct about that today.

  • Paul Marks

    I wonder what would happen to regional leaders in China who ordered that all children be declared to have graduated – without having any knowledge of mathematics or other subjects, because to insist on some level of objective knowledge is “racist” (against “equity” – which Biden and co claim to be committed to) – the rulers of Oregon have done this, and so have other Democrats in the United States.

    I think the rulers of China would have such regional or local rulers vivisected – their organs removed whilst they were still alive. There you are Mr Ed – the Roman Empire of our time.

    Indeed they go one better than Ancient Rome – the rulers of China do not boast about the people they destroy (as the Romans did) they pretend that such populations never existed in the first place, that an area taken over by China has ALWAYS been part of China.

  • Paul Marks

    SM

    Rothbarians opinions on the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the Cold War in general, and Israel – were a series of lies, lies that he himself did not invent (indeed he may not even have known they were lies), but lies he got from “neo” Nazi and Soviet sources (he used both – uncritically). Rothbard went as far as blaming the Korean War on the United States, denying that the Soviet Union was trying to take over Finland in 1940, and pretending that the German government had no aggressive intentions in 1914 (a view that would certainly have surprised the GERMAN ambassador to the United Kingdom in 1914 – who knew the despicable behaviour of his own government only too well).

    These lies were (via Lew Rockwell and others) whispered in the ear of Ron Paul till, eventually, he started to believe them. My friends Tim Starr and Bruce Cohen have gone into the details of this many times. With Tim Starr it started when he came upon SOME libertarians talking nonsense about Finland (the Winter War) – and worked to find out who was feeding them these lies. With Bruce Cohen it was Israel and World War II – he found SOME libertarians coming out with endless Agitprop and worked to find out who was feeding them these lies.

    Still all that is water under the bridge now – Murray Rothbard is dead, Ron Paul is very old, and Rand Paul is NOT interested in “neo” Nazi Revisionist history or in Soviet Agitprop.

    I use the word “neo” as the people that Rothbard (a man of Jewish family background) got his information from sometimes denied being Nazis. They just happened to agree with the Nazis – so let us call them “Fellow Travellers”.

    It is over now – they are mostly dead.

    As for Ron Paul – he used to discuss the growth of the Welfare State a lot, and I agreed with him. But then in the early 1980s he was a supporter of Ronald Reagan and was an American patriot – and I agreed with him on that as well.

    I believe Ron Paul was a VICTIM – he never asked for what happened to him.

  • Fraser Orr

    FWIW, I don’t know I agree that the war was the wrong strategy. It is just that it was done in an utterly incompetent manner (in a Lions lead by donkeys kind of way, the people below General rank generally did a fabulous job). I believe that had Trump still been President that we would be withdrawing from Afghanistan in an honorable manner right now, or within the next few years. However, it just goes to show the adage — Joe Biden, working on foreign policy for fifty years and still gets every single decision wrong.

    Simply speaking, if they had taken their time over the withdrawal it could have been done successfully (or at least less disastrously.) But Biden wanted a big political win of withdrawing the troops before the 20th anniversary of 9/11, so he rushed it, and utterly botched it. FFS, the military left all its freaking equipment behind to make sure that the Taliban were well supplied. It is a disgrace and embarrassment for the west, and if Biden had any shame he would immediately tender his resignation.

    Again, twenty years of failure and who in the military brass has lost their job? Just one guy, who resigned because his extramarital affair got exposed. Apparently boinking the neighbor is a far more serious crime than bombing weddings, or leaving thousands of twelve year old girls to be raped and forced into sexual slavery, or leaving those who have helped America to the “mercies” of the Taliban.

    You’d think that after twenty years and trillions of dollars we could at least have shot all the Taliban by now. Why do they even exist?

    I have friends in the military who are weeping today because of this disgrace. I know of a young woman who is about to graduate college who lost her dad in the war when she was five years old. I wonder how she is feeling today.

  • Why on earth would the British get into their 5th Afghan war when the previous 4 Afghan wars we’ve fought were all a complete waste of time?

  • Fraser Orr

    Here is what our pathetic secretary of state said about this disaster:

    “This is manifestly not Saigon,” the US secretary of state Antony Blinken told ABC’s This Week. “We went into Afghanistan 20 years ago with one mission in mind, and that was to deal with the people who attacked us on 9/11, and that mission has been successful.”

    The foolishness of this statement leaves my jaw on the floor. Especially when one considers that the one successful thing to come out of the Afghanistan mission was the hit on Bin Laden (which occurred in Pakistan, but it can be counted as part of that mission.) And what was Joe “Never got a foreign policy decision right in fifty years” Biden’s position? Well he opposed the mission to kill Bin Laden.

    Not Saigon indeed we have to parrot, as the helicopters land on the roof of the Embassy evacuating staff, and leaving their who collaborated with us to be burned alive after watching their wives and daughters raped, and their sons shot. It isn’t Saigon indeed because Saigon, is in Eastern Asia, not Central Asia, duh!! Not Saigon indeed as we discover that a country we have supported and trained for twenty years, a country in which we have poured TRILLIONS of dollars, is a country where we can’t even keep an embassy open for a few days.

    Many men and women have lost their lives due to the Afghanistan debacle. But, I ask again, who has lost their job as a result of this gross incompetence?

  • staghounds

    The whole of Afghanistan is not worth the bones of one G. I. from Compton. Nor is it worth one dollar from an Honduran hotel maid’s taxes.

    This venture was insane, cruel, stupid, and silly from the landing of the first divisional headquarters. Once again our Masters chose to make the country fight the one kind of war in which it can be beaten.

  • Fraser Orr

    Let’s play a little game: Saigon or Kabul?

  • Zerren Yeoville

    The Taliban would not now be racing through Afghanistan like the proverbial hot knife through butter if they did not enjoy a significant level of support from the population at large.

    As for the Afghan army upon whom so much Western effort and expense has been spent, I am reminded of an exchange from the old ‘Chelmsford 123’ comedy series set in Roman-era Britain:

    Aulus Paulinus: “Didn’t they put up the slightest, tiniest bit of resistance?”

    Grasientus: “Indeed they did. They put up the slightest, tiniest bit of resistance.”

    Given that our PM still clutches at the straw that “there are millions of girls and young women who have been educated in Afghanistan” then perhaps it would ultimately have been more effective to issue, on completion of their education, each of those ‘girls and young women’ with an AK47 and a voucher for a week’s basic firearms training, and tell them “If you value your education and your freedom, and don’t want the Taliban back … you know what to do, and here are the means to do it.”

  • In the UK, you can be arrested – but hopefully not convicted for quoting Churchill on islam:

    How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. … Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytising faith … were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science … the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.

    When he wrote that, Churchill did not foresee that the west could retain its lead in science yet its leaders could lose the will to win, even to reason sanely. A worried historian saw symptoms in 1939, describing the fall of the Roman Empire thus:

    “Their roads grew better as their statesmanship grew worse and central heating triumphed as civilization fell.”

    but Churchill overcame them, stoking the UK’s self-belief.

    In the old days, governments usually took their people’s freedoms (such as they’d ever given) on the excuse of defending them. The cruel absurdity of taking their freedom to make them less able to resist invaders is new – but also as old as the falling Roman Empire.

    No great surprise that an administration who incarnate this trend managed to lose faster than they thought possible.

  • Mr Ed

    If the Taliban seized a number of cities in Australia, and dealt with the local politicians, bureaucrats and police in the style to which they are (deserve to be – as the case may be-) accustomed, would the locals be any less free?

  • Martin

    It was justified in 2001 to go after Al Qaeda and the Taliban. However since that swift overthrow of the Taliban was accomplished the western intervention turned into a long-term commitment with numerous and implausible goals, and the whole thing has been a shit show. Once the Taliban rule collapsed in late 2001 it would have been better to hand the country fully over to the anti-Taliban warlords, bribed them a few billion per year to keep terrorists out and pull western troops out then. If it meant bribing Pakistan the same way it would still likely been cheaper and less of a debacle than what has happened.

    Still, I can’t help laugh at all those fools who lapped up Biden’s rhetoric about ‘America is back’. Back at losing wars evidently! Also the elites who bragged the ‘adults in the room’ were back in charge now the big bad Trump had gone. These ‘adults’ screwed up Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria and now Afghanistan. They’ve been exposed again

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Paul Marks,

    SM

    Rothbarians opinions on the First World War, the Second World War, the Korean War, the Cold War in general, and Israel – were a series of lies, lies that he himself did not invent (indeed he may not even have known they were lies), but lies he got from “neo” Nazi and Soviet sources (he used both – uncritically). Rothbard went as far as blaming the Korean War on the United States, denying that the Soviet Union was trying to take over Finland in 1940, and pretending that the German government had no aggressive intentions in 1914 (a view that would certainly have surprised the GERMAN ambassador to the United Kingdom in 1914 – who knew the despicable behaviour of his own government only too well).

    These lies were (via Lew Rockwell and others) whispered in the ear of Ron Paul till, eventually, he started to believe them. My friends Tim Starr and Bruce Cohen have gone into the details of this many times. With Tim Starr it started when he came upon SOME libertarians talking nonsense about Finland (the Winter War) – and worked to find out who was feeding them these lies. With Bruce Cohen it was Israel and World War II – he found SOME libertarians coming out with endless Agitprop and worked to find out who was feeding them these lies.

    Still all that is water under the bridge now – Murray Rothbard is dead, Ron Paul is very old, and Rand Paul is NOT interested in “neo” Nazi Revisionist history or in Soviet Agitprop.

    I use the word “neo” as the people that Rothbard (a man of Jewish family background) got his information from sometimes denied being Nazis. They just happened to agree with the Nazis – so let us call them “Fellow Travellers”.

    It is over now – they are mostly dead.

    As for Ron Paul – he used to discuss the growth of the Welfare State a lot, and I agreed with him. But then in the early 1980s he was a supporter of Ronald Reagan and was an American patriot – and I agreed with him on that as well.

    I believe Ron Paul was a VICTIM – he never asked for what happened to him.

    Let me repeat myself:
    1. Why do you refuse to give Ron Paul credit for being correct? Ron Paul was right about the wars and he spoke out against the wars courageously and consistently, far before when it became popular to be against the wars. I do not understand how you can fail to give Ron Paul massive amount of credit for being correct when everyone else (and I do mean EVERYONE else) was wrong. Very weird. Why do you refuse to give Ron Paul credit for being correct?

    2. What is your evidence that Ron Paul was “discredited”?

    3. I said on Samizdata in 2016 that “Ron Paul did more to spread the libertarian message through his 2008 and 2012 Presidential campaigns than the Libertarian Party has done collectively throughout its entire existence” I was correct about that in 2016 and I’m still correct about that today.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    I repeat, as it relates to the OP and the main topic of this thread:

    TLDR: Ron Paul was right.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Anyone who values liberty (whether they are libertarian or not) should celebrate the life and work of Ron Paul and give him full credit for the many, many things he has been proven absolutely correct about. Ron Paul has probably done more for liberty in the western world than any other single individual in the post WWII era, in my not so humble opinion. Mark my words: Ron Paul is and will remain a paramount inspiration to liberty-lovers across the entire world for centuries to come.

  • Exasperated

    Just a reminder that the Deep State has it’s own agenda:
    MR said…
    “Far from it for me to defend Pres. Biden, but: We saw this already under Pres. Trump. The military commanders and advisors lied to him and manipulated him to obstruct a Syrian withdrawal and pretended to draw down in the ME, feeding Trump fabricated intel. CNN and the Wall Street Journal never figured that out.”
    Couple that with the reality that the American military has other priorities. Remember when the girl crew rammed a combat ship into a freighter, a combat ship that was equipped with radar that could detect a swimmer at 2 miles. Remember, why, because the officers on the bridge weren’t speaking. That was just the pre-show. One of those jokes they give away in the trailer.
    For their sake, I hope Taiwan is taking steps; South Korea and Japan likewise.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    I take strong exception to Paul Marks’ misleading and inaccurate characterization of Ron Paul.

    In 2007 and 2008 Ron Paul did rally after rally across the USA, often on college campuses. On college campuses his team would always try to get the biggest concert hall or auditorium, even on the biggest of college campuses in the USA. And guess what?

    They were never big enough.

    I was there – at many of these Ron Paul speeches.

    I was at (iirc) Iowa State, The Ohio State University, University of Michigan, University of Illinois. I saw first-hand. Every single time there were tens of thousands of students trying to gain admission to standing-room-only full capacity venues to watch Ron Paul speak.

    Such was the fire for liberty in the hearts of young Americans that Ron Paul sparked. Who else has done this while talking about Austrian Economics? What other politicians talk about Austrian Economics and get greeted like ROCK STARS by TENS OF THOUSANDS of ecstatic and enthusiastic students on college campus after college campus after college campus?

    It happened again and again and again. Standing room only, over-capacity, thousands unable to get in the doors, enthusiastic applause, on would expect Lady Gaga or Taylor Swift to be getting. The students were enraptured by this man, it was like a MOVIE.

    Every. Single. Time.

    Did Ron Paul talk about who caused the Korean War? No. Did Ron Paul talk about WWI? No. Did Ron Paul talk about Finland during WWI? No.

    So, what did Ron Paul talk about?

    He talked about the Constitution, he talked about individual rights, he talked about peace, and love, and tolerance, he talked about Austrian Economics, he talked about lowering taxes, he talked about the Federal Reserve, he talked about abolishing federal departments like EPA, Dept of Transportation, Department of Education, etc, he talked about civil liberties, he talked about our Second Amendment, he talked about a non-interventionist foreign policy, he talked about privacy, he talked about States’ Rights, he talked about the 4th amendment, he talked about freedom of speech…

    That’s what he talked about.

    Ron Paul has introduced more people to the ideas of Austrian Economics and the fallacies of the Federal Reserve Monetary System than any other person in American history. Period.

    Every college campus Ron Paul went to he would get the biggest available indoor space seating thousands of people (sometimes tens of thousands) and it was never NEVER big enough. There were always thousands more students outside trying to get in.

    Ron Paul stoked an intense and abiding passion for liberty, for individual rights, and for small government among young people in the USA more than anyone else in post-WWII American history has.

    Soros, Klaus Schwab fear no American politicians except for two: Donald Trump and Ron Paul. They will be breathing a big sigh of relief when Ron Paul passes.

  • Paul Marks

    I repeat there is a hopeful side to this.

    Mr Biden and his associates are NOT sincere Frankfurt School Marxists – they are not sincere anything. They are corrupt nonentities – and that means that in spite of all their fancy bits of kit they will, eventually, fall.

    Yes Mr Biden has nuclear weapons (as he GLOATED when discussing how the government would crush dissent inside the United States itself – when he dismissed the 2nd Amendment, just as he dismisses the 1st Amendment and the rest of the Constitution of the United States). But he will, eventually, fall.

    They will all fall – all the Agenda 21, Agenda 2030, Sustainable Development, Stakeholder Capitalism, Totalitarians. Their system does not make sense – with its Credit Money and its “mathematics is racist” and its endless consumption without production.

    The corrupt nonentities in control of most of the Western World (not just the United States) will fall.

    The question is – are there enough people with a sincere belief in private property rights, Freedom of Speech, and the other basic liberties, to take over when the corrupt establishment falls. Or will the West collapse into chaos?

    I do not know.

  • Paul Marks

    “We control the education system, we control the media, we rig elections, and we have nuclear weapons!”

    Yes – but you will still fall. You will fall because 1+1=2 and that basic fact of objective truth will bring your whole stinking Credit Bubble system crashing down. And not just in the United States.

  • Rudolph Hucker

    According to Biden’s Afghanistan Briefing

    Reporter: Is the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan now inevitable?
    Biden: No it not. Because you have the Afghan troops, have 300,000 as well equipped as any army in the world, and an Air Force, against somethinig like 75,000 Taliban, it is not inevitable.

    Reporter: Your own intelligence community has assessed the Afghan government will likely collapse.
    Biden: That is not true.

    And so on.

  • A question being discussed is how the CIA (and US intelligence generally) was so arrogantly clueless. Pick your favourites from the following.

    – Afghans survive their dangerous country by being quick to spot the upcoming winner. As the west won swiftly 20 years ago, because the west looked like likely winners back then, so now the CIA’s informants saw the need to start serving its enemies.

    – There is immense organisational resistance to bad news. By the time assessments reached the top of the Biden/Dems-supporting CIA, warnings had been so rewritten to flatter, not offend, that any signal in the noise was lost.

    – They were too busy fabricating evidence against Trump while covering up evidence against Biden.

    – To pass their Woke CRT training, analysts had to learn skills that necessitated unlearning any actual job-relevant skills, and any who failed diversity training were replaced with others who did well at it. (For example, Pakistan PM Imran Khan has today said that Afghans have:

    “broken the shackles of slavery”

    in a speech about cultural imperialism. One can see how woke training in the evils of cultural imperialism could handicap the CIA’s ability to detect, let alone report, dangerous trends in the region.)

    – The general death of expertise. “Why do they make so many mistakes?”, muses Jim Hacker at one point about Sir Humphrey and his fellow civil service mandarins, whose self-justification is all about their superior competence. They make yet more now, because the administrative state is yet more determined to insulate itself from despised popular (‘populist’) feedback. (My immediate impression is that this is being handled markedly worse than Vietnam some decades ago – and that was handled badly indeed. However I will check that impression after some time has passed and we know more.)

    – A fish rots from the head. An organisation takes its tone from its head, especially when its leaders are committed to legitimising its head. Operating as part of Biden and Kamala’s withdrawal plan, the CIA’s already poor competence swiftly shrank further.

  • Paul Marks

    To be fair to the intelligence services they did warn the Biden/Harris Administration – Mr Biden is lying when he says they did not (but then he lies about everything – as does do the rest of them).

    Also it was the FBI and the “Justice” Department who fabricated stuff against President Trump and people such as Roger Stone (who was convicted of “crimes” that are not crimes at all) – whilst refusing to do anything about the real crimes of Mr Biden and his associates.

    I am NOT saying the CIA or the military intelligence agencies are any good – but we need to keep the history straight. Even if they are all scumbags – it is specific scumbags who did and did not do specific things, in the case of trying to frame President Trump and covering up the crimes Mr Biden, the FBI and the “Justice” Department. At this point I think it is clear that the FBI and the “Justice” Department can not be reformed – they are too saturated in corruption and political partisanship, and putting RINO Republicans at the top of these things does no good at all. If anyone doubts this I have a question for them – “Where is the Durham Report?”. The United States was much better off before it has an FBI, and before the Federal “Justice” Department started to think it has a “police power” (something the Federal Government does NOT Constitutionally have outside the ten square miles of D.C., and military bases).

    And, again, the Biden/Harris Administration WERE warned by the intelligence services about Afghanistan – they choose to ignore the warnings, and are now lying (saying they were not warned).

    As for those people who are now re running old Ron Paul speeches. Or rather the Rothbardian poison that Lew Rockwell and others poured in the ear of Ron Paul for so many years – till he started to believe it.

    No, the attacks in America have nothing to do with “our interference it the Middle East” – no more than the attacks in Sweden are to do with Sweden’s “interference in the Middle East”, or the Barbary Pirates (who did NOT consider themselves pirates) were caused by Kermit Roosevelt and the CIA (who did not own time machines – and did not even overthrow the Soviet puppet regime in Iran in 1953, Kermit Roosevelt’s coup effort FAILED, it was coup effort a couple of weeks later that succeeded) – and nor was the history of the last 14 centuries (including the conquest of much of the Middle East in the early 7th century) – that was not caused by America either.

    As the Taliban make clear – this is a part of a world wide struggle which will not end the belief system controls the world.

  • Paul Marks

    By the way Peter Oborne (if this person is still about somewhere) – not only did the CIA not overthrow the Soviet puppet regime in Iran in 1953 (their effort failed – it was another coup, some days later, that succeeded), but to suggest that the CIA and the Americans were working for the Jews (for Israel) in Iran 1953 is a direct lie. The CIA fear was Soviet Control of the Persian Gulf – of the oil supplies that Europe and Asia depended on. It had nothing to do with the Jews.

    Just as your blaming British girls for being raped and prostituted in some many towns and cities by so called “grooming gangs” is despicable. Blaming the victim (whether in relation to 9/11 or in relation to British and other Western girls) is a horrible thing to, and totally dishonest.

  • Paul Marks (August 16, 2021 at 1:05 pm), John Brennan, former (he said) communist and head of the CIA under Obama and (briefly) Trump was involved in the Russian collusion scam.

    It appears to me (to be sure, it is early days yet in the post-mortem – we will know more later) that such warnings as the CIA dared present to Biden and Kamala were – how might one say it – ‘inadequate’ to the Friday-to-Monday reality that Biden assured us could not happen.

    The military/intelligence establishment (having very little other choice) shows signs of throwing Biden under the bus. He and Kamala so belong there – but “we were not as clueless as they were” leaves much room for criticism. Even the shadow cast by Bidonian/Kamalan imbecility is not quite deep and dark enough to hide a wider intelligence failure (or so it seems to me at the moment).

  • Mr Ed

    Well Breitbart has an R Senator, Rick Scott, calling for Biden’s ouster under 25A.

    So perhaps this is the DNC plan to instal the V-P in the White House? The sacrifice of Afghanistan kills two birds with one stone. (And they have found a useful Republican)…

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Let me repeat myself:
    1. Ron Paul was right about the wars and he spoke out against the wars courageously and consistently, far before when it became popular to be against the wars.

    2. I said on Samizdata in 2016 that “Ron Paul did more to spread the libertarian message through his 2008 and 2012 Presidential campaigns than the Libertarian Party has done collectively throughout its entire existence” I was correct about that in 2016 and I’m still correct about that today.

    3. The life and work of Ron Paul should be celebrated by all lovers of liberty. His integrity and backbone are beyond reproach. Ron Paul will be an inspiration for liberty-lovers for generations into the future.

  • Snorri Godhi

    I said on Samizdata in 2016 that “Ron Paul did more to spread the libertarian message through his 2008 and 2012 Presidential campaigns than the Libertarian Party has done collectively throughout its entire existence”

    I am afraid that that is not saying much for Ron Paul.

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