Go back to Afghanistan? Men like McMaster and Panetta are addicted to war / How the American empire dug its own grave / Let’s Take the Profit Out of War

All empires die. The end is usually unpleasant. The American empire, humiliated in Afghanistan, as it was in Syria, Iraq, and Libya, the Bay of Pigs and in Vietnam, is blind to its own declining strength, ineptitude and savagery. Its entire economy, a military Keynesianism, revolves around the war industry. Military spending and war are the engine behind the nation’s economic survival and identity… with each new debacle the US turns larger parts of the globe against it… It has no mechanism to stop itself, despite its numerous defeats, fiascos and diminishing power… The mandarins who oversee our collective suicide, despite repeated failure, doggedly insist we can reshape the world in our own image. This myopia creates the very conditions that accelerate the empire’s demise…

The Soviet Union collapsed, like all empires, because of its ossified, out-of-touch rulers, its imperial overreach, and its inability to reform itself. We are not immune from these fatal diseases. We silence our most prescient critics of empire, such as Noam Chomsky, Angela Davis, Andrew Bacevich, Alfred McCoy, and Ralph Nader, and persecute those who expose the truths about empire, including Julian Assange, Edward Snowden… (Chris Hedges)

Go back to Afghanistan? Men like McMaster and Panetta are addicted to war

Some of America’s most experienced diplomats, politicians and former generals have been saturating the airwaves in the aftermath of the Taliban’s capture of Kabul issuing dire warnings of what may come next. Many are advocating, even in this final hour, to abandon the withdrawal and return to combat against the Taliban. Such alarmist rhetoric from our senior-most figures does much to explain why America has failed so spectacularly in this war: some of the most influential voices over the past 20 years possess an unhealthy and irrational lust to use war as the first option to solve every foreign problem.

Before 2001, Americans generally thought they were immune from foreign attack. Those beliefs were shattered with the shocking images of the twin towers falling and the Pentagon smoldering on September 11th. In the aftermath, fear and anger descended over the US population… On 20 September 2001 President Bush sought to calm the American people with a speech before a joint session of Congress. “Tonight, we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom. Our grief has turned to anger and anger to resolution,” he said. That resolution, Bush went on to explain, was for the Taliban to turn over “every terrorist” in Afghanistan “or share in their fate”.

It’s what he said next, however, that set the stage for the forever war that would consume 20 years and the bodies of hundreds of thousands of people in the United States and around the world. “Our war on terror begins with al-Qaida,” the president confidently declared, “but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.” The congressional chamber erupted into thundering applause in response. No one knew it in that euphoric moment, but those words were to commit the United States to prosecuting a war that couldn’t be won.

Those objectives were flatly impossible to accomplish….


Chris Hedges: How the American empire dug its own grave

The Taliban, which defeated U.S. and coalition forces in a 20-year war, is about to be confronted with the wrath of a wounded empire. The Cuban, Vietnamese, Iranian, Venezuelan and Haitian governments know what comes next. The ghosts of Toussaint Louverture, Emilio Aguinaldo, Mohammad Mossadegh, Jacobo Arbenz, Omar Torrijos, Gamal Abdul Nasser, Juan Velasco, Salvador Allende, Andreas Papandreou, Juan Bosh, Patrice Lumumba, and Hugo Chavez know what comes next. It isn’t pretty. It will be paid for by the poorest and most vulnerable Afghans.

The faux pity for the Afghan people, which has defined the coverage of the desperate collaborators with the U.S. and coalition occupying forces and educated elites fleeing to the Kabul airport, begins and ends with the plight of the evacuees. There were few tears shed for the families routinely terrorized by coalition forces or the some 70,000 civilians who were obliterated by U.S. air strikes, drone attacks, missiles, and artillery, or gunned down by nervous occupying forces who saw every Afghan, with some justification, as the enemy during the war. And there will be few tears for the humanitarian catastrophe the empire is orchestrating on the 38 million Afghans, who live in one of the poorest and most aid-dependent countries in the world…


Let’s Take the Profit Out of War

We won’t know for some time the total corporate haul from the Afghan war’s 20 years. But Institute for Policy Studies analysts Brian Wakamo and Sarah Anderson have come up with some initial calculations for three of the top military contractors active in Afghanistan from 2016-2020. They found that total compensation for the CEOs alone at these three corporate giants – Fluor, Raytheon, and Boeing – amounted to $236 million….


Thom Hartmann: Myths and lies about Afghanistan’s role in 9/11 live on, Bush and Cheney escape justice / Karen Greenberg: The Endless Shadow of the War on Terror

The Bush administration made a catastrophic mistake in Afghanistan in 2001 / Afghanistan: The End of the Occupation

In pictures: Afghans mark Independence Day as challenges to Taliban rule rise

The last Jews in Afghanistan argued so much the Taliban kicked them out of prison and stole their Torah

Chris Hedges: The Collective Suicide Machine


The CIA’s Intervention in Afghanistan: Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, Paris, 15-21 January 1998

Vanessa Thorpe: MI 6, the coup in Iran that changed the Middle East, and the cover-up

Victor Jara murder: ex-military officers sentenced in Chile for 1973 death

Andrew Bacevich: High Crimes and Misdemeanors of the Fading American Century

Mohammed Hanif: The rest of the world has had it with US presidents, Trump or otherwise

Donald Trump’s gift to America: Realizing we’ve never been a liberal democracy. By PAUL ROSENBERG

Zack Stanton: Violent Christian Extremism in the USA

Conversation with Lawrence Lifschultz: The American reporter who investigated the assassination of Mujibur Rahman

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face, forever” – George Orwell’s Final Warning