Wednesday, July 07, 2010

In which I apologize to Michael Steele

And... hell freezing over here folks... agree with Ann Coulter.

The subject? Afghanistan as "Obama's war", which we're losing. The fact of the matter is that Obama ran on a platform of expanding U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, and has in fact done so. Steel is right -- Obama now owns Afghanistan, even if the Chimperor got us there. And we're losing, for the simple reason that we have no achievable objective in Afghanistan and thus nothing to win.

The fact of the matter is that invading Afghanistan makes sense only if your intent is to make it part of your own empire, with your own people in charge. The last man to successfully conquer Afghanistan was Tamerlane, who succeeded in 1370 via the simple expedient of genocide of any areas that resisted and then putting his own governor in place to rule it as part of his own Timur Empire. Tamerlane had two advantages: 1) He didn't give a shit about the locals and had no problems slaughtering them to the last man, and 2) He didn't have supply lines. None. His army fed itself by seizing the food from the conquered folks, after all they didn't need it anymore (since they were dead, mostly). Every attempt to invade Afghanistan since has been to put a more pliant local leader into power, and every one of them has been a disaster, up to and including the current one.

In other words, unless we want to make Afghanistan the 51st state, there's nothing to "win" there, and thus by definition we're losing. Michael Steele was right. And Ann Coulter is right when in today's World Nut Daily she points out that Michael Steele was right. Hope is not a plan, and change is not a strategy, but those are pretty much the only two things Obama has deployed in Afghanistan that the Soviets and British didn't deploy before him. Will they make a difference? Not bloody well likely...

-- Badtux the Tongue-biting Penguin


  1. In other words, unless we want to make Afghanistan the 51st state,

    It's stupid to go fight a war in any country if we don't have the intention of annexing it.

    Lots of rich mineral deposits have been discovered there, you know we are going to want them, at least our capitalists are going to want to get their hands on them.

  2. BadTux - I have long said that this was the most expensive siege of a city (Kabul) to prop up a failed mayor (CIA asset and Unical employee Hamid Karzai) in the history of the world.



  3. The main objective should be to rout al Qaeda and find bin Laden, if he's even alive. As a Noo Yawka, I think it's inexcusable that Bush dropped the ball here.

    The general consensus seems to be that Afghanistan is ungovernable. I think that Afghanistan AND Iraq will cease to exist as nations within 10-15 years.

  4. Truffle makes an interesting point. Iraq and Afghanistan are make believe countries - Pakistan, too. Iraq was invented by Churchill in the mid 20's, by drawing a line on a map. One of his objectives was to assure that the Kurds have no homeland.

    None of them have any natural unifying feature. The natural tendency is to explode, and the model is the former Jugoslavia.

    Steele is so stupid, and Coulter so insanely loathsome - but even these demented pigs can find the occasional truffel.

    Still, intentions count for something, and they are both nefarious. An overlap or agreement between either of them and any rational agent is transitory and coincidental.


  5. Truffle: al Qaeda is in Pakistan, not Afghanistan. We are not in Afghanistan today because of al Qaeda. We're in Afghanistan today because.... uhmm... anybody? Maybe BBC has a point? Other than the fact that these mineral deposits could certainly have been gotten at in cheaper ways than invading the most inhospitable place on the planet?

    Jazz: Is Afghanistan ungovernable? By outsiders, yes. Which is what has been the problem with the place for the last 35 years or so, outsiders trying to run the place. The Taliban were doing a pretty good job of governing the place (with the exception of the Turkik part in the north) before we came through and started killing them for the crime of being dubious that Osama bin Laden had anything to do with 9/11 (they kept asking, "show us the evidence", and the Bushies kept saying, "we don't need to give you no steenkin' evidence, give us bin Laden, or else"). Well, yeah, there was that whole deal about the Taliban being brutal zealots, but really, who has governed Afghanistan *without* being brutal zealots? Certainly Tamerlane would have approved. As brutal as the Taliban were/are, they're cream puffs compared to Tamerlane.

    Regarding agreeing with Steele and Coulter: Agreed, they are loathsome people who want nothing but evil for America. But even a stopped clock is right twice a day :). Transitory and coincidental, as you point out, but there it is.

    - Badtux the Geopolitics Penguin

  6. I dunno if Afghanistan is ungovernable. I do remember in the very first Sherlock Holmes story,he meets Watson and susses from his sun tan (quite noticeable among the otherwise pasty-faced Brit) and limp that he is freshly returned from Afghanistan.

    They weren't too successful there. Not were the Russkies.

    Oh, wait . . . that was YOUR point.

    Never mind.


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