Seriously, I never expected much from American adventuring in Afghanistan, and that was even well-before 9-11. Everything that I had read about the place – starting with Kipling, and even pop novels like MM Kaye’s The Far Pavilions, and G.M. Fraser’s Flashman series – especially the first Flashman adventure, which covered the First Afghan War in rollicking (and considering current events) depressing detail.  All that I ever read about the place signaled “handle with extreme care, equipped with asbestos gloves and long tongs” to one uninitiated into the mysteries of international relations. Considering how those considered to be credentialed experts in that region have karked up the American withdrawal from Kabul and Afghanistan proper … one might very well conclude that a survey of popular historical novels dealing with the place and people therein might afford a better grasp of realities. Those military in the lower and mid-ranks who had the experience of deployments there had pretty much come to the same conclusion, if my readings of other milblogs, and posts on social media are any indication. Once we settled Bin Laden’s hash, there really appeared no particular reason to linger.

As I wrote in 2013, “Keep the money flowing, and a couple of units of Special Forces to thump the obvious Talibunnies when they got too obstreperous, secure Kabul and some of the other population centers, and generally administer to the theater with a very light hand. Let the indigenes sort out their own salvation and keep them from damaging anyone else. Of course, our current administration, not known for any other political and international savvy than it needs to keep the Chicago political machine functioning, thought otherwise. Now there is a steady trickle of metal coffins coming back, to practically no notice in the news media than that in the hometowns of the deceased. (Anyone know if the current president has a private meeting with every family/next of kin to those killed in combat? The usual search engines are … unproductive of answers in this regard.)

The final military and civilian evacuation from Afghanistan over the last week and a half was bungled, bungled so catastrophically, the incompetence so monumental that I can’t even begin to get my head around it. That the highest levels in the DOD and State Department didn’t even make a gesture towards doing the jobs that we assumed they were doing – their assigned jobs, not just hunting for white racists in the ranks and ensuring a profitable post-service career for themselves. The mandarinate at State Department had no idea of how many American citizens were actually in-country, the American embassy in Kabul didn’t even make a token plan to notify them of imminent danger and the necessity of departing forthwith, which is mind-blowing in itself. The DOD top echelons, from Secretary Austin and General “Vanilli” Milley appear to have sat on their hands, obeying the mumbled orders of the senile potted plant in the Oval Office. A single Marine light-bird has publicly resigned his commission over this disaster, although the inner corridors of the Pentagon ought to be piled high with the bodies of those in top commands having committed hara-kiri in sheer professional shame at having blundered so badly. Giving up Bagram AB, leaving millions of dollars’ worth of equipment and vehicles, turning away American citizens at the gates of the Kabul airport, abandoning those local Afghanis and their families who had aided us, and not even bothering to inform our NATO allies in country? Oh, and abandoning military service dogs at the airport, just to add a touch of rancid frosting on this cake of fail. Responsibility goes to the top, to the senile old fool sitting behind the Resolute desk, who can’t even endure a solemn ceremony at Dover AFB without looking at his watch.

I won’t go so far as to accuse everyone who voted for the FICUS of having blood on their hands – the blood of the thirteen killed at the Abbey gate this week, or all of those American troops previously killed in Afghanistan. I know some of those voters – and charitably allow that all they knew was what they watched and read in our disgusting establishment media. But I will say that those who engineered his election by fraud, and those in the establishment media who enabled him by their partisan coverage – they own this disaster.

Discuss as you can bear it. Where are we headed from here?

47 thoughts on “Debacle”

  1. Just a guess — Big Media is memory-holing Afghanistan as we speak. Anyone foolish enough to post anything Afghan-related (other than rugs) on Titter or Facebook will be sent into the outer darkness. The Ladies in White in Nancy’s Congress will forget that the US was ever in Afghanistan.

    No-one else in the world will forget — not the abandoned Afghans, the abandoned Brits, the interested observers in Moscow & Beijing. And the DC Swamp Creatures will not understand why their phone calls to foreign capitals are going unanswered.

  2. They can only keep the lid on for so long.

    The dance has gone on for so long that the people calling the tunes have forgotten that there’s even a piper to be paid, and that he will be presenting a bill.

    As it is, I suffered a break, yesterday. I don’t know if it was the reports that US Army officers had turned back busloads of American citizen women and children, or those pictures of the abandoned working dogs, but somewhere in there I not only ceased believing that such things could not be, and started accepting the reality that, yes, they really did that. Reports this morning seem to confirm it all, and watching Biden’s little set-piece press conference only made it worse.

    For the first time in my life, I am ashamed of my country. I am ashamed of the military I served most of my adult life in, and I am ashamed for having served in it, because these people are the ones my generation mentored. Milley’s career, for example? Began not that long before mine; he was one of the generation of officers that my willing service enabled, men who have betrayed us utterly. I cannot believe that I willingly followed these creatures, and I am literally sick to my stomach remembering all the young men and women who I served up to them, acting as a Judas Goat on the way to the slaughter.

    It isn’t so much the deaths and the dying; we killed at the order of these creatures… And, for what? With this outcome, what we did was not war, it was murder, pure and simple… Murder at the command of poltroons whose orders were issued in service of nothing more than their career advancement.

    If I could, I would apologize to all of them, all the troops I trained and made victims of for these ass-clowns.

    I never should have believed in any of it, or any of them. I was a fool.

  3. How close were the last 18 (but not last two) months close to your 2013 description? Having quietly drawing down but keeping up air backing Afghan forces and keeping the Taliban in check with some special forces and keeping enough to get intelligence from the region – was that impossible? How long were the Afghans prepared to keep losing lives and was there ever a chance they could get peace, was anyone more, well, loyal to Afghanistan willing to take responsibility? (these may be stupid questions, I don’t know what you know; but it is impossible not to see this as a debacle, our loopy president as inviting anyone with minimal aggressive tendencies to see him (and a country that would elect him) as an easy mark.) Did they think that sending all those armaments would stiffen the Afghans? Surely the whole adventure sucked up money in the way that so many sad countries have sucked up the devil’s excrement.

  4. Of course they’re trying to memory-hole everything.
    Facebook disabled the account of Shana Chappell, mother of slain Marine Kareem Nikoui who was killed in Kabul. This was what she had to say to Biden earlier today…
    NEW – U.S. soldier Stuart Scheller, a 17-year Marine, submits resignation letter effective 9/11, cites “lack of trust and confidence” in leadership.

    It’s not going to work.

    Note that these two deplorables are willing to speak up, while we get nothing but deafening silence from the GOPe from top to bottom.

    Sorry, scumbags, you could have played nice with the Tea Party, you should have played nice with Trump, you think you’ll hold all the cards forever, but play time’s almost over.

  5. @Ginny,

    The more I look back on it all, the more a couple of things stick out to me.

    First and foremost… Everything I was ever taught about counterinsurgency begins with one simple little rule: Isolate the battlefield. Deny the insurgency support, safe harbor, funding, weapons… Any of that. If you can’t accomplish that, you’re simply not going to win.

    We know the Taliban was founded as a cats’ paw for the ISI in Pakistan. We know that they were getting support, training, money, weapons… All of that, across the border in Pakistan. Just the way we knew that the Iranians were funneling in operatives, materials, and everything else to the “insurgents” in Iraq. Every one of the EFP warheads that killed American troops came in from Iran.

    That was the deal under Bush, under Obama, under Trump, under the current set of sycophantic bum boys running the wars in the Pentagon and the State Department. They never, ever did a damn thing about any of it, up until Trump killed Soleimani in Baghdad. He was the one operating the whole pipeline into Iraq, the one that killed so many American servicemen.

    None of these people did anything about Pakistan or Iran. Why? We freaking subsidized Pakistan, sending them billions of dollars of weapons and military aid. They turned right around and funneled money into the Taliban, and we tolerated it. Hell, we encouraged it, until Obama needed a distraction and decided it was time to murder bin Laden. And, then we tolerated it some more, paying Pakistan to pay the Taliban to go into Afghanistan and kill Americans and Afghanis who just wanted to live a life in some kind of peace.

    Then, Biden decides enough is apparently enough, and gives the word. After the brass slow-walked Trump, obstructing his every attempt to disentangle ourselves from the mess, they turned around and obeyed Biden like the lapdog lackeys that they are.

    Tell me, anyone… What was the difference between obstruction and slow-walking the orders of duly elected President Trump, and those same orders of Biden’s, that they had to do what they did without a single note of protest? What should we take from this silence of theirs?

    I think the answer for what went on has a lot to do with what was going on in Ukraine. Money must have been coming back, funneled into the “proper channels”, just like with Burisma. The military upper echelons were enamored of the money coming in, and looking for retirement jobs in the defense industry, so they went along with the Congressional creeps enriching themselves. There aren’t really any other logical inferences to be made here–Note the Pakistani IT deal with Wasserman-Schultz, as a clue.

    The parasites are finally killing the host. I don’t know how you reform a military that’s this far gone in the leadership ranks. Who is going to reform it? Who would lead that?

  6. “I don’t know how you reform a military that’s this far gone in the leadership ranks. Who is going to reform it? Who would lead that?”

    And who is going to enlist in that, or sign on for another tour? The fools in the top echelons have crashed recruiting and retention for the foreseeable future.

  7. Yeah, I’d hate to be a retention NCO right about now. Or, a recruiter.

    They’ll learn. The hard way, as we all will. Gods of the Copybook Headings, and all that.

    To a degree, it’s kind of a relief to finally have it all happen. I’ve been expecting this, sort of half-consciously, since 2008 when Obama got in. Watching what he and his coterie of half-baked idiots did in Iraq, without a single dissenting voice in the military staffs? None of them laid their rank on the table, none of them said jack about what was going on. And, now, it shows that Iraq was but a trial run for the real shitshow, Afghanistan.

    How much more of this does it take before the general public starts to grasp that these people are as much our enemies as the terrorists?

    Hell, I warned people about Biden. Told them this exact thing was going to happen on his watch, although I did not expect the extent or the rapidity–I figured it would at least get to 2022-3 time frame. I was told that Trump had to go, no matter what…

    It ain’t much of a comfort that some of them can’t look me in the eye, these days.

  8. “Bungled and bungled badly”- true enough if you assume the goal was to make it theoretically possible for the Afghan government to function, supply their security forces and protect the lives of Americans not in uniform. Perfectly executed if the goal was to leave such a bad taste in the mouths of the country that we would never again inconvenience the military with actually having to fight.

    Have you noticed that the brass asses have averaged about 3.5 weapon procurement programs for each system actually procured? Even then, like the Zumwalt destroyers, they turn out too expensive to actually produce, let alone risk in battle. I predict the new B-21 will be so expensive if it does make it to production that we’ll end up with about three of them too and another program to keep the B-52’s flying until the B-25 or whatever, of which we’ll only build one.

    The cold war was a pretty plush deal for the troops. Even in Germany that was supposed to be the pointy end, pretty good quarters, and regular chances to play with the toys without any real chance they’d have to be used for real. What we were protecting in all the other bases escapes me but we sure pumped a lot of American green backs into the European economy for a lot of years.

    The newest buzz word in the O-club is near peer. They assume we will be so intimidated by every paper fantasy the Chinese pump out that we’ll forget that they couldn’t defeat in 20 years a bunch of clowns that didn’t have the capability to shoot down a Piper Cub and hand them a few trillion more dollars to build even fewer actual weapons. Bu, oh man, those will be really sweet.

    I was really impressed that the commander on the ground had time to attend a birthday party, talk about maintaining work/life balance. I’ll bet his staff is a regular rainbow. You have to know what’s really important.

  9. Kirk – one of my daughter’s old USMC friends is now in recruiting – in a big city in Florida. In the last five months he has managed to recruit … not a single one. Anecdota is not evidence, but it provides a certain amount of insight.
    Between this debacle, and the DOD mad hunt for the Great White Rage Whale … recruiting and retention is toast.
    I do wonder if the next step by the prog powers that be is to push for universal conscription.

  10. @MCS,

    TBH, I think that what happened was that the Pakistanis paid people off. Nothing else really makes sense. From the start, it’s kinda “WTF?” that we didn’t go after the people who created and ran the Taliban in the first place.

    Procurement is pretty grotesque. Milley’s deal when he was the Army Chief of Staff was “overmatch”, ‘cos them guys in the hills could shoot farther than we could. Issue with that is that the root problem isn’t that our current weapons fleet is bad, but that we’re not using it effectively. Part of it is that our small arms suite has been biased towards merely providing local security for things like Forward Observers and the bigger support weapons like the 25mm on the Bradley. Take that suite into a small-arms centric fight like we have, with restricted ROE…? Yeah; problems abound. One of the major ones is that we routinely get outranged by guys with PKM 7.62X54R machine guns, which we have trouble answering because our guys are mostly running around with M4 carbines and the M240 MG fired off a bipod–Which for various technical reasons, means you can only deliver really effective fires out to about 800m. The gun itself is capable of 1800m, but you have to have trained men with the proper accessories like a good, adaptable tripod that they can carry, binoculars, range finders, and all the other stuff we don’t bother to issue. I think I could solve about 90% of that problem they’re trying to “overmatch” with better training and accessory equipment, but… No money to be made, there. The training is another issue–Qualification for the machine gun crews is still totally static, geared towards WWI- or Korean War-style defensive operations in positional warfare. The ranges are designed to support that, and it is very easy to evaluate. But, that ain’t how the guns need to be used in places like Afghanistan–You need dynamic movement to be included, taking up hasty positions, delivering fire all the way out to max range. We don’t train that, and we don’t test for that with qualification ranges. It’s been 20-odd years, and we’re still doing the same-old, same-old. But, now they want to throw money at it, and the root causes are still not being addressed.

    The ROE is another issue–We have a military designed for combined-arms operations, mechanized warfare. It’s all predicated on being able to use all those arms at the same time, effectively. But, we demand a perfect war without collateral damage, so we also require what they call PID–Positive IDentification of any and all targets. Which, in an environment like Afghanistan? Is nuts. The politicians, diplomats, and the brass all insist on it, though. No telling how many lives that costs all around, either.

    This was not a well-run war in the first place, but the final denouement is really something else entirely. It’s incompetency, all the way down to about company level, and even that has some issues I’d like to address in a lot of cases.

    Ah, well… No longer my problem.

    Oh, and that birthday party you mention…? If it’s the one I think you’re referring to, I am pretty sure that was either a unit or a branch foundation day they were celebrating. I could be wrong–Have to see what you’re citing. I’m sure it happened, though… The idiots can’t prioritize worth shit. I’d wager more time, effort, and mindspace went into that celebration than they put into the actual evacuation planning.

  11. @Sgt. Mom,

    “Kirk – one of my daughter’s old USMC friends is now in recruiting – in a big city in Florida. In the last five months he has managed to recruit … not a single one.”

    I would laugh, but… When I was recruiting in McHenry County, Illinois during Desert Storm? My recruiting area produced zero for a year. Then, I got fired, and they said it was all my fault. Following that, they brought in a superstar hotshot replacement, and he, as the vernacular went, “rolled doughnuts” for another 18 months.

    All my fault, of course. Root problem was the market, and Illinois schools–If you found a kid who wanted to join, they couldn’t pass the test ‘cos “tracking”, and if they could pass the test, they didn’t want to join, ‘cos they were wannabe proto-yuppies who “had better things to do”.

    But, a large city in Florida rolling doughnuts for the Marines? Yikes. That’s not a good sign, at all.

    I don’t think universal conscription would fly, either. What they’re going to find out is that they can’t man the force, and that’s going to put a serious crimp in all of their ambitions. Who wants to serve these creatures, under these conditions, with this sort of reward at the end of it?

    Biden checking his watch out there on the ramp at Dover AFB says it all, and it says it to the wrong people–Prospective recruits, their families, and anyone up for re-enlistment. I’ll be betting money that the stats here in the next few months are going to be mysteriously “unavailable”, and highly inaccurate when they are.

    And, again… I don’t know how you fix this, in this environment. The standards are going to drop massively, because they’ll have to, and then that’s going to produce even more problems. Second- and third-order effects from this can’t even really be forecast, right now–But, they’re going to be ugly.

    On the bright side, for your daughter’s friend? The Marines will probably be putting him back in Fleet, before long. Recruiting sucks in general, but it really sucks for Marine recruiters–Those poor bastards are on the hook until the applicant finishes boot camp. Everybody else? Kiss ’em and ship ’em, you’re done. All else is on the training cadre…

  12. Kirk: “What they’re going to find out is that they can’t man the force …”

    Not to worry. There are all these young men from Afghanistan arriving, many with prior exposure to conflict situations. That is a rich recruiting environment.

    Armies of the Roman Empire went mainly to barbarian tribes and non-Latin mercenaries towards the end. What has been — will be again.

  13. Just as an aside — along with expected future difficulties in recruiting, there could well be very intense downward pressure on military budgets.

    The US is bankrupt, but Resident Biden* wants to spend additional $Trillions on unproductive give-aways. They will, of course, simply print the money. But Nancy’s Ladies in White may put on the mantle of financial responsibility and demand offsetting reductions in the military budget — especially in the light of the failure in A*******n. Thanks to K Street schmoozing with CongressScum, big development programs that never produce a usable weapon will likely be left untouched. The savings are most likely to come from readiness — reduced numbers of troops, reduced training, fewer bases, etc.

    Look at what has happened over the last few decades to the British Navy that once proudly ruled the seas. That is the future of the US military. It will cause a lot of head-scratching in Europe, Japan, Korea, etc about what they will need to do to adjust.

  14. Let us look at the last few months, going back to the not well concealed theft of the 2020 election.

    Let us postulate that there is something called an election in 2022, and perhaps even in 2024.

    Look at the record of the current regime, foreign, domestic, and economic. Not to mention the restrictions on liberty in the name of COVID [for the record, I am my family are vaccinated fully].

    If there is/are such elections, can you imagine in the unlikely case that there are honest elections again after 2020, running as a Democrat [even with GOPe submission helping them] on that record? I mean this is 4th Round of Dante’s 9th Circle territory. Democrats will be cast down. Which they will not tolerate and will prevent by any means necessary. Think Article 58 of the Soviet Criminal Code.

    And if the elections are NOT honest, and with recent history to look back on that possibility/probability will automatically be part of the political atmosphere, if the Democrats do “win” who will believe that they are in power legitimately?

    Regardless of polity and culture, there is a social contract about how things are done in that polity and culture. All the contracts are not the same, because all polities and cultures are not the same. But the key point is that no matter the polity or culture, if a statistically significant portion of the population does not believe their social contract is valid and acts so, the matter will be resolved by what the political philosopher Thomas Hobbes referred to as the “State of Nature. It is not a desirable way to resolve things. But it is inevitable.

    Somewhere between 10-20% of a population becomes statistically significant. We have maybe 40%+ who already are doubting the honesty and legitimacy of the electoral process who believed in it before last year. We have a similar number on the Left who never have believed in electoral politics except as a tactic to seize power forever.

    Now the Democrats are far more pragmatic and less idealistic about seizing and holding power than conservatives [not Republicans who are more akin to the Democrats in lust to hold power at any cost]. They know those alternatives already. And they are undoubtedly already working to seize and hold that power by any means necessary.

    Where are we heading? Do you trust the Democrats to govern legitimately, competently, and Constitutionally? Do you trust the Republicans to legitimately, competently, and Constitutionally . . . and effectively . . . work to be an opposition party to the Democrats in power or out?

    And if the answer is no to either or both, where are the concepts of legitimacy and consent of the governed . . . and how may they be restored?

    Subotai Bahadur

  15. “Not to mention the restrictions on liberty in the name of COVID [for the record, I am my family are vaccinated fully].”

    go read havel’s power of the powerless and take your vax sign down(vaxers of the world unite)

  16. I was never in the military and have no expertise about it, but it does seem like a mistake to plan on getting the air force out of the biggest airbase first and then rescue the women and children last.

    What I do know is that as an expatriate American for 25 years, I conscientiously registered with the US embassy in each country we lived in, providing my name and the names of my wife and children, and also our home address and both home and office telephone numbers. I never imagined that by doing so, I was putting us on a kill list to be provided to terrorists, but I now presume that I was.

  17. @Paul,

    Under most circumstances, you weren’t. Under these Democrat-identifying members of the Uniparty elite, however…?

    Guys like Carter Ham try doing the right thing, and then have their careers ended by the same sort of self-hating creatures that we can now see make up the majority of the State Department and the Defense Department. What’s really perverse about it is, they actively lure Americans to go abroad and take up NGO and even government positions to further their career ambitions, and then feel not a whit of loyalty to those people. They’re not even people, in their eyes–They’re fungible tools to be abandoned and left behind, just like those contract military working dogs they abandoned at the Kabul airport.

    Note well, and apply the lessons. I’m reaching the opinion that not only do we have a load of karmic shit headed our way, we deserve it. We did the same thing to various flavors of Burmese tribes that rallied to our side during WWII, handing them off to a regime consisting of men who’d fought for the Japanese, we did the same thing to Hmong and other Montagnards in Vietnam, we did it to the Yezidi and Kurds in Iraq, and now we’ve done it to various and sundry ethnic groups in Afghanistan.

    It’s our fault we let our elites do this. State should have been purged of these sociopaths after WWII, but since they were the Foggy Bottom elite, we let it go on and on, self-perpetuating and continuing.

    These people we’ve set over ourselves? They are sociopaths. Utter, depraved sociopaths.

  18. Not only is Gavin @31Aug 4:39 p.m. correct wrt memory holing. As others have predicted they would and observed they are, and as I heard explicitly on the radio yesterday, TPTB and media are already calling the retreat a victory. Not a debacle, not even an illustration of a SNAFU. But a planned action that would in any case have some speed bumps. A planned action that everyone should praise the president* for having the courage and tenacity to stick to and accomplish.

    The unfolding of the next few weeks will reveal just how well that paradigm sells. And foreshadow next years elections.

  19. I was not lured by the US government and was not involved with an NGO. I worked for a Fortune 50 company and was fairly compensated.

    I believe there were honorable men in the US military in the years I was an expatriate, and I believe they would haver tried to evacuate my family, had it become necessary. There may still be some.

    I no longer believe that the state department and the US embassies were staffed with honorable men. Not at any time in the last 80 years. It is, of course, easier to discern that today.

  20. the qataris have taken the reins from the isi, although the al isha (night prayer brigades) come from the latter, and al udeid is the main airbase, and like the numidians of yore, they own half of washington,

  21. @Cousin Eddie,

    I bet he did really well on all the tests, too…

    At some point, we’re going to have to assess whether what we’ve been doing for the last century-plus is working, along with injecting some actual accountability into the system. Blinken? How the hell does he get confirmed as SecState with his track record? You wanna talk about “failing upward”? He’s a felching case-study, he is…

  22. he was biden’s coffee fetcher out right out of harvard, his pal robert malley is the boss of this side of the operation, arafat and hamas apologists, promoter of the iran deal,

  23. Do we have a design for an Afghan Victory medal yet? Surely Milley has room for one more and who could deserve it more.

  24. I read something that was both sad and funny and resonated. That any recent graduate of a Boot Camp could have done a better job.

    And I blame the high echelons in the Pentagon for not saying anything in the previous months.

    Something a former CIA analyst also said on Greg Gutfield today.

    Only one of which is true.

    1. The entire CIA got it wrong.

    2. Many had it right, but Biden only chose to listen (and be briefed) by those who said what he wanted to hear.

    3. He was briefed with an accurate assessment, but chose to ignore them.

    Other than that, the comparisons with Jimmy Carter and Iran are are astounding. In both cases one can’t blame the Presidents for what came, but one can blame both for not doing enough to possibly thwart the takeovers. A generation ago, how Carter treated the Shah was contemptible,

    Like Iran, I fear more terror will now emanate from Afghanistan.

  25. How about this:
    1. Everyone at CIA ad DOD knew what would happen.
    2. CIA and DOD were very careful to only allow the fantasy of Afghan sufficiency on the record.
    3. To be sure, any possible air support was systematically eliminated.

    We should call this Bay of Pigs II.

  26. How about:
    1. CIA is full of snakes who embody the Peter Principle.
    2. Joe Biden has always been a complete and total moron, even before having moderate to severe dementia.
    3. The US government is staffed by people who make Ben Rhodes look like a distinguished expert.
    4. The “plan” was to have US forces completely out by Sep 1 and the Taliban in, and what negative outcomes that required were considered irrelevant. All the idiots in charge care about is domestic politics, and they think this will work out to their benefit in the next elections.

  27. Meanwhile, waiting for another shoe to drop:

    “China’s controversial nine-dash line claims cover more than two-thirds of the entire South China Sea basin, which raises new questions about how far Beijing is willing to reach to enforce the new amended Maritime Traffic Safety Law (MTSL), which requires Chinese pilots to board various types of vessels including oil tankers and submersibles.”

    Reportedly, Slo Joe’s handlers are following up on his bold “victory” in Afghanistan by focusing instead on providing more military aid to Hunter Biden’s paymasters in the Ukraine — so we won’t have to worry about Russia getting pissed off in the middle of a controversy with China. What happens when China focuses on putting pilots onto US nuclear submarines hundreds of miles off their coast? Fortunately, Slo Joe’s friend Kamela is on that case.

    Are we in 1929 or 1914? I can’t decide.

  28. Saw something on CNN in passing last night… Apparently, the latest “thing” they’re trying to get out there is that the “White Supremacists” are trying to stir up trouble over the Afghan refugees being terrorists…

    Which is an interesting thing for them to be trying to get traction with, TBH. One, I’ve seen very little out there even discussing the fact that there’s a really good chance that there were actual terrorists that got fed into the refugee stream. Given the deliberate confusion and inability to control the whole thing, it almost looks like that was an intentional part of the planning. From the raw numbers reported, I’m pretty sure that there are at least a few “sleepers” in all the numbers.

    The Biden administration is also, apparently, targeting swing states with the refugees.

    I don’t think this is going to work out the way these idiots think it will. I really, really don’t–The cover they’re trying to provide by getting out in front of all of this with the “Evil White Supremacist vs. Poor, Pitiful Afghan Refugee” thing is a tell; they’re expecting trouble over the resettlement, and they’re so transparent about it that you can’t mistake what’s going on. The other thing is that by dumping these refugees into swing states, the odds are pretty damn good that they’re going to “swing” them the other way from what they desire.

    They dumped a bunch of Iraqis into rural Idaho and Montana. The end result was a lot of very happy emigre Californians living in gated communities and a whole lot of pissed-off long-term Idahoans and Montanans who don’t have the money to build enclaves to shelter from their “new friends”. Given what I’ve heard from folks about the resultant tensions…? It ain’t going to be pretty. I give it a generation or two, and you’re going to see a quiet migration out by the Islamics and an equally quiet rolling pogrom. To a degree, it’s already started–Cop acquaintance of mine was telling me he just wanted out of the job, and that he felt like it was worse where he’d moved to in Idaho than it was where he’d been down in the Central Valley of California, between the Mexicans and the black community.

    We are dealing with the consequences of letting utter fucking morons run our country, and they’ve run it into the ground. Trump was the “pull up, pull up” warning in the cockpit, but they turned it off and are still flying into the mountain.

    Won’t surprise me a bit when these assholes start going missing when they dare go back to their districts. Also won’t surprise me when Pelosi or her successors start appointing Representatives for districts from DC, either. That’s coming, I guarantee you. ‘Cos, that’s how this shit-show progresses…

  29. @Gavin,

    No, we’re not in either 1914 or 1939. This is 2021, and the clowns have taken over–It’s a whole new game.

    China, for all of everyone’s worries, has a lot more problems than anyone is bothering to pay attention to. If you look at things, what I think they’re actually trying to do is maximize their returns before their demographics and policies catch up to them, because what they’re doing is just as unsustainable as what we’re doing. It’s all clowns, all the way down–Xi is busily putting the knife to the throat of his gold-egg producing goose by chopping down what he sees as his competition in industry, and they’re reaching out for a level of control over the entire population that is unprecedented in the history of totalitarianism.

    I don’t think that Xi is either a student of history, or of human nature. They’re going to get some very unpredictable results from all of this, and I don’t think China is going to come through it intact. Time was, the mandarins told the Emperor in Beijing to shut down trade; what did everyone else do? Nodded along, and subverted the entire program of isolationism. The various criminal elements and the mandarin class members that they subverted started up the opium trade in order to bring in all that filthy lucre from the West, which they actually had to have due to internal reasons. The Chinese like to blame the West for opium, but the raw fact is that they created the need and the market themselves because they refused to trade.

    Similar arrogance and top-down thinking is going to destroy China again. Meanwhile, once the US collapses, there’s going to be a period of chaos that will be followed by a period cowboy-esque Old West growth and redevelopment because the government is going to be gone, unable to choke things out any more. Ten thousand little independent types will do their thing, and in a generation, China is going to be a moribund hierarchy presiding over an economic dead zone.

    See, the thing is… By killing the US government? They’re really unleashing the rest of us. It’s like “Man, if they nuked DC, they’d be doing us a favor…”, and the unfortunate fact is, that’s the truth. They’re rendering the monolith Federal state a joke, and the rest of us are shortly going to proceed to treat it as such. Do not look at the coming chaos as a bad thing; Americans thrive on chaos. It’s what we do. It’ll be ugly for awhile, maybe a generation or two, but the reality is that when it settles out and all the old cruft is out of the way? We’ll be loads better off.

    China will still have the same set of antiquarian idiots running it, only more entrenched and more inbred.

    Do not forget–The US has always had a knack for reinvention. You go to Europe, and if you declare bankruptcy, you and your family are marked for generations. Here in the US, we basically invented no-stigma bankruptcy, and ain’t nobody caring if you declare it–You can reinvent yourself, and you don’t even have to leave home. Your neighbors don’t care; your dog will still love you. So, when the Federal monolith finally collapses due to its internal self-contradictions, everybody else will be standing around in a bit of shock, then they’re going to realize that “Y’know… That bunch of assholes wasn’t really doing anything for me in the first place… I wonder what is going on with all that BLM land up over out of town…?”.

    This ain’t crisis, folks: This is opportunity. The cruft will be committing suicide, shortly. The big worry I have? Stasis. They may be smart enough to stave off collapse, when the reality is, that’s the best thing that could ever happen to us.

  30. It is not 1914, 1929 or 1939. It is also not 1805, but a brief look is instructive. After Trafalgar, it was certain that Napoleon would not invade England with the army he had sitting in Boulogne. However, no one in Vienna, Berlin, Dresden or anywhere in Germany had the faintest clue how thoroughly Napoleon would defeat them and turn their world upside down. Of course, seven years later, Napoleon threw it all away.

    It is 2021. Bad things are going to happen. The only thing I know for sure is that the experts are going to be very surprised.

  31. Kirk — We are basically on the same page with respect to the long-term (after several decades) benefits of the coming collapse versus the highly disruptive short-term costs. Stasis is not an option for our Ruling Class, because they have transformed the US into a country which depends on the kindness of strangers to send us Real Goods and buy our government debt. That is what is different for the US from 1914, 1929, 1939 — we cannot stand unsupported on our own two feet; and we cannot rely on those strangers continuing to be kind.

    Further, I fully agree that China has its own problems. Nevertheless, if this were a card game, I would rather be holding China’s cards today than the US’s. But there is never a final end. When this particular game is over, the survivors will all have a drink and then sit down at the card table again and play another round.

    One possibly related thought — China has advanced so far & so fast in large part because it has learned from the West on technologies and manufacturing. China has also had the opportunity to see what has happened to the West from such things as financialization of the economy, celebrity culture, and educational dysfunction. The Chinese Communist Party are not supermen, but they are clearly fast learners. It will be interesting to see if they can avoid falling into the same holes as the West. There are indications they are at least trying to act pre-emptively on those kinds of problems. Whether the CCP will be successful is a whole other question.

  32. @Gavin,

    You’re making the same mistake that everyone pronouncing on the coming of Japan, Inc. did.

    China and Japan both benefited from the fact that they had the West doing the trailblazing. The raw fact is, they’d have never gotten to where they are at without someone else providing example and spur. The only new thing that either brought to the table were refinements on repression and control.

    The universe is chaotic; you cannot do well within it by trying to control everything. The more control you reach for, the less you actually have–Which is why planned economies always fail. There is always an unplanned for, unforeseen, “unfortunate” Black Swan waiting for you. So, when you build your systems and your society based on the idea that you can and have to control every little detail…? It. Don’t. Work.

    China and Japan, Inc. are headed to the same grave of “unexpected consequences” and “unforeseen second- and third-order effects”. We’re not going to be the ones they need to worry about; we never were. The Chinese and the Japanese both need to worry about the things they never saw coming, because they’re not adaptable and flexible enough to cope with that stuff. Japan’s demographic slide? They didn’t see that coming, and they’ve still not figured out how to cope with it. They’ll come up with robots and all sorts of other stop-gaps, but the raw fact is? They were never going to realize their promise as “Japan, Inc., World Dominators”. China will go the same way for some other unforeseen reason–I would speculate that the hatred and animosity they’re building up in all the little surrounding ethnic groups around the Han are going to take off at some point, and there’s going to be a Vietnamese- or Uyghur-led insurrection that’s going to turn into a modern-day version of the Taiping Rebellion. They simply cannot sustain the repression or the control that they’d need to prevent that happening–At some point, enough Chinese citizens will be on the outside looking in on the “Social Credit” system for the whole thing to collapse into civil war.

    The control-freak impulse in societies are what kill them–Same with ancient Rome, same with China, same with Imperial Russia and the Soviets. You do that crap long enough, and you quit growing, quit adapting–And, then someone else comes along who grows and adapts better, leaving you in the dust and probably conquered.

    The coming chaos should be thought of as a forest fire, burning away all the accumulated bullshit we’ve built up over decades. They want to break the social contract and all the loyalties they find no longer convenient? The oligarchy is going to find that that is a two-way street, a double-edged blade. Small-town USA doesn’t need these assholes; what it needs is for them to be gone, so we can get back to our business of minding our own business. What killed all the little communities around the country? The felching government did, with all of its crushing “mandates” and regulation. Take that away? Watch what happens–It won’t be what you think. The world still needs our agriculture, and we still have enough of a manufacturing base to build on. The actual results of a collapse of federal and state government in this country will not be what the idiots think it will be–We’ll just self-organize at the local level and get on with it again. That’s what Americans do–The cultural roots are still there.

    Hell, I’m pretty sure that the actual fact is that we’ll benefit hugely from the collapse, over the long haul–And, that the morons who engineered it all, whoever they are? They’re going to do a hell of a lot worse out of it than they think.

    Case in point–What’s keeping someone like George Soros alive, really? Why hasn’t someone murdered him, for what he’s doing? It’s not like we can’t tie a hell of a lot of chaos and death to him, directly, now is it? Remove the US government from the question, and there’ll be someone out there that decides “Y’know… Screw it… That asshole spent millions getting these District Attorneys elected, including the one who let my kid’s murderer go free… Imma gonna spend the rest of my life dedicated to killing Soros the way my kid went…”.

    Chaos and anarchy are places where you don’t want to go, because it not only unleashes what you want to do, unfettered, it unleashes everyone. The Black Bloc types will really not like what happens when they don’t have the police to protect them from the public. Throw a Molotov? Fine; get doused in gasoline and set alight while your buddies have to watch and wait for their turn. Once “normies” realize that the rules are gone? LOL… Y’all do not want to live in that world, anarchists. You’re tolerated here, protected by your allies: A world where your principles reign? You haven’t thought it through carefully enough. If you can burn buildings down without fear, the owners of those buildings can burn you without fear.

  33. I don’t think anyone really understands “China”–how can anyone outside it (or even inside it, to be honest) know what to expect from their gangster government? It’s way too big, with way too many factions, to have any good sense for where it’s going to go next.
    This article is an interesting read
    “It is likely that for months if not years to come, observers of Chinese history and current affairs will weigh the significance of an article making the rounds on China’s internet this past Sunday. Appearing on scores of official Party-state media websites and commercial internet portals, the article is penned by a virtually unknown blogger named Li Guangman (李光满), who claims that revolution is in the air in China, with profound transformations to be felt by all.”

    Again, I don’t know enough to know whether there’s any there there. But certainly I think anyone who thinks China is on a glide path to be the 21st century global power is delusional.
    (I don’t think there is going to be a 21st century global power, personally. I think demographic challenges, mainly the implosion of the first world native populations, and the growing and massive movements from third world to first, are going to be what distant future historians write about the coming century. You know what they won’t mention?–climate change.)

  34. Brian — thanks for the link to that article. Very interesting! China watchers like Andrew Batson and Barry Naughton have been pointing out for some time that China’s great advances came during the more freewheeling days of Deng, and Xi has been re-imposing central control — with effects that are yet to be seen. As Kirk notes, central control does not work for long anywhere — as the solons in the DC Swamp are busy proving.

    Paul noted: “The only thing I know for sure is that the experts are going to be very surprised.” I suspect we are ALL going to be very surprised — and not pleasantly!

    At the end of the day, we come back to Matt Ridley’s observation in “The Rational Optimist” — there were two World Wars and a Great Depression in the 20th Century, creating immense misery; even so, at the end of C20 there were more human beings on Planet Earth living longer, healthier, better lives than at the beginning. The long term trend is good, even though the fluctuations around that trend can be very painful. That is a comforting thought to keep in mind during the darkening days ahead.

  35. @Brian,

    That’s because climate change is going to be remembered the way we remember Piltdown Man–As a massive fraudulent scandal of “science”.

    I tend to agree with your assessment–The monolithic powers are going to have problems dealing with the coming set of chaotic changes, and the more control they try to exert over them, the more difficult it is going to be dealing with them. Those states unfortunate enough to retain controlling “authorities” are going to do badly, because those authorities are going to be more worried about maintaining the status quo, which includes their authoritas as an intrinsic feature. Reality is? None of it is going to work.

    To a degree, I kinda-sorta see more hope out there: Unlike past “downfalls”, this one is different, in that we have a hell of a lot more documentation of what worked in the past–Consider the problems encountered by the Dutch reformers trying to bring back close-order drill and military discipline akin to the Roman legions, when there were fragmentary records and hundreds of years intervening. Today’s problem? Too much information, really.

    Education systems failing? No worries; most real students that want to learn will do so by going back to original sources. So long as the libraries exist, and the records are there, we’ll do fine. The formal institutions of learning? Not so much… I look for a different paradigm for such things arising, one more based on the reality of what you can do and what you really know, not where you got your credentials from. They’re steadily devaluing the old diplomas; something new will have to arise, so that people will know what you can do.

    It’s a lot like the way the military has so devalued the awards system; if you hand out a Bronze Star to everyone for everything they do, pretty soon they’re worthless, and you have to mint a new medal. Or, there’s some marker that needs to go along with it, so people know you really earned it, like a “V” device. Bullshit is always easily identifiable, and when it is? Nobody cares about it, any more.

    Frankly, whenever I see one of our general officers wandering about with all the fruit salad on their chests? I think that they’ve just self-identified as useless twats, right there. I know how those awards are generated, and who gets them: “Bronze Stars are for E-7 and up, nobody else…”.

    Tell ya a little story: End of my last tour, I was told to write up my own award, and to make it for a Bronze Star. I’d spent my tour working the night shift at Division HQ, filling a tasking that I thought was bullshit. I think I actually filled a purpose maybe three-four times in the year I was over there, and most of that was answering a question by calling my guys down at our headquarters for an answer to some idiot staff officer’s question from a meeting. So, I was not in a mood to write my own award for that bullshit, and it sure as hell shouldn’t have been something like a Bronze Star. I also learned, at the same meeting, that my subordinates that worked for me in garrison, and who’d been tasked to fill out the Personal Security Detachment, going outside the wire every couple of days and driving the roads of Iraq…? They weren’t eligible for shit. One of my sergeants was a ballsy little bastard, and he’d demonstrated that by pulling civilians out of a burning vehicle during an IED attack. No award. I asked about writing him up, got told that since I wasn’t there, I couldn’t, and if I did, he wasn’t eligible for anything more than a nice letter the colonel would maybe sign…

    I told my boss that I wasn’t writing myself up, and that if anything did get written up, they were going to be embarrassed by the experience of trying to make me accept it. Time came, everyone else around me on the staff is getting their awards, in front of the troops (incredible balls on that one, I thought… Somehow, my invitation to the ceremony was “lost”…), and they casually hand me an award “for service” while I was standing around in the Operations Center one day as we were waiting to go home. I’m not even sure what it was–Might have been a Bronze Star, might have been an Army Commendation Medal.

    I turned around and put the entire award packet into the handy nearby shredder, making it a point that I was doing so to all present. There were a few dropped jaws that I’d do such a thing, but that was about it.

    I later found out that all the junior enlisted knew I’d done it. I had thought I was making a point to my peers and senior leaders, but the two PFCs who were there saw what I did, and the word spread. Interestingly enough, that futile gesture meant more to them than anything else I’d done that year, and I had more than one or two of them come up and shake my hand, saying that I’d earned their respect for doing that more than if I’d stood there and accepted the award.

    Cost me a fifth of something good when we got back to the US to ensure that the NCOIC of the personnel section didn’t send the orders in to Department of the Army, but it was worth it: That bullshit award did not go into my service record. I still have a warm fuzzy feeling of moral superiority over that.

    Here’s a tip for anyone still in the Army and reading this: When the people you’re handing out meaningless slips of paper to feel better about shredding them than putting them in their records, and when the troops gain new-found respect for them having done so…? Your awards system is FUCKING BROKEN.

    For America’s educational elite? When your diplomas are similarly useless, in real terms? Your system is broken, and about to be rendered unnecessary. You’re useless? You’ll be routed around, and your function taken up by someone or something else. Period. That’s not just an internet thing, either.

  36. While we’re waiting for the collapse of civilization:
    The Commandant of the Marines wants an investigation of the Afghan withdrawal.
    I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting. I hope he’s not expecting to make Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

    And the Navy can’t be bothered to keep their ships from colliding or running aground but now men will be able to wear ear rings.

    I’m sure there’s someone planning how the Army will fix all their problems with a new beret.

  37. MCS: You realize what Milley Vanilley is saying, right?
    He’s saying we have to help the Taliban…
    All the “If he had any shame he’d resign…” bloviating was absurd. He’s a Bad Guy, period.

  38. in the most recent adaptation of a jack reacher novel, never go back, which was somewhat faithful to the source material, reacher is investigating a series of murders of servicemen, that tracks to back to deep state figures in the military, of course robert knepper played the main bad guy, so he was really villainous, (the book outlines the plot involving a member of the zadran clan, (that’s the haqquanis)

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