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Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Impeach Biden

By On August 31, 2021
When Kabul fell, the Taliban offered the Biden administration a deal. Either the United States could control the city until August 31, the terror group’s deadline, or the Taliban would.

The Taliban may have been testing Biden, wary of a direct military confrontation with a large concentration of American forces, but if so they quickly learned that they had little to worry about. Instead of maintaining control over Kabul so that Americans could be speedily evacuated, the Biden administration and its cronies turned over the city to the Taliban.

And the Taliban turned to their most professional and deadliest assets. The Haqqani Network had been closely allied with Al Qaeda and picked up many of its tricks. Its commanders understood urban warfare, excelled at suicide and truck bombings, and had expert units whose commandos had been trained in Pakistan by the terror regime’s ISI secret agents.

The Taliban officially named Khalil al-Rahman Haqqani to head security in Kabul. The Haqqani Jihadist figure had a $5 million bounty on his head from the United States. Not long after the Biden administration made its deal with the devil, a designated foreign terrorist group and a specially designated terrorist controlled access for American refugees fleeing to Kabul’s airport.

The Biden administration made no protest. It did not complain that a terror group founded by one of Osama bin Laden’s mentors which had repeatedly targeted American soldiers with suicide bomb attacks, including the murder of a colonel and two lieutenant colonels by a car bomber, a truck bomb that wounded 77 American soldiers in a 9/11 anniversary attack on a base, and a truck bombing attack on another base, was “coordinating security” for Kabul airport.

Biden had been given the opportunity to create a secure escape route for American civilians escaping Afghanistan and to keep American soldiers safe in the city. Instead he set them up to be massacred by turning security in Kabul and around its airport over to a terrorist group.

Even while Biden falsely claimed at a press conference that Afghanistan would be nothing like Kabul, military and intelligence briefings had already prepared him for much worse. If someone had to take the PR hit for chasing away refugees and a botched evacuation, Biden preferred that the Taliban play the bad guys while he disavowed all responsibility. He didn’t care how many Americans died as long as he maintained plausible deniability to cover up their deaths.

Biden’s assumption that the Taliban could be trusted to do his dirty work without wanting anything in return except the end of our presence in Afghanistan was treasonously dumb.

Obama had assumed that the Muslim Brotherhood could be trusted in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya. The attacks of September 11, 2012, climaxing in the Benghazi massacre, proved him wrong. Biden’s own Benghazi began the same way when he turned over power to Islamists while believing that they would be satisfied with just taking over a country.

The Taliban had turned over the problem of Kabul airport to the Haqqani Network. Like Biden, the Taliban wanted plausible deniability for whatever might happen around the site. The Haqqani Network was part of the Taliban, yet the United States had set the unfortunate precedent of designating the Haqqanis, but not the Taliban, as a foreign terrorist organization.

That legal distinction had provided both the United States and the Taliban with plausible deniability over the years. The Haqqanis would carry out terrorist attacks while the United States could still negotiate with the Taliban without being accused of “negotiating with terrorists”.

When the Taliban turned over the checkpoints and security around Kabul airport to the Haqqani network, they were sending a clear signal that they were washing their hands of any attacks.

And the Biden administration, which had made the deal with the devil, could not hold the Taliban accountable without exposing its own complicity in this setup. The rest was all but inevitable.

The Taliban checkpoints failed to hold back the crowds from the airport even with bouts of occasional brutality. The Jihadists manning them had little interest in screening paperwork on behalf of the Kabul embassy, as Biden expected them to, instead they searched for Afghans on their lists. Once the State Department handed the Taliban its lists of approved Americans and Afghans, their real job of finding and detaining key officials and other figures became easier.

Americans continued to have trouble reaching the airport even while Biden and his cronies falsely claimed that there could be no problems with Al Qaeda’s allies running checkpoints.

Things got worse from there.

ISIS-K's leader, Shahab al-Muhajir, was a former Haqqani commander. The Islamic State affiliate had recruited heavily among the Taliban and, in particular the Haqqani Network.

Biden had put America’s worst enemies in charge of security around Kabul airport.

Gen. Frank McKenzie, who had originally met with Taliban officials to hear their offer to take Kabul, went on bragging that, "we use the Taliban as a tool to protect us as much as possible."

Who was using whom became obvious when an ISIS-K suicide bomber and gunmen who had gotten past the Haqqani checkpoints murdered 13 American military personnel.

Including eleven of McKenzie’s marines.

They didn’t have to die. And the entire botched evacuation didn’t have to play out this way.

Biden made numerous mistakes that led to the fall of Afghanistan, including the abandonment of Bagram Air Base, which not only cut off a secure evacuation route, but freed countless Jihadis, some of whom may have even taken part in the Kabul airport attack. But the decision to turn over Kabul to the Taliban, and to turn over security around Kabul airport to allies of Al Qaeda whom the United States had designated as terrorists is nothing short of treasonous.

13 American military personnel paid in blood for Biden’s treason.

Democrats made a point of impeaching President Trump twice. In 1787, Senator William Blount became the first politician impeached over a plot to help the British take over Florida and Louisiana. Impeachment in the Constitution begins with “treason”, continues with “bribery”, and then finally with “high Crimes and Misdemeanors“. Section 3 defines treason only as “levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.”

It’s hard to think of a clearer definition of aid and comfort than the massive amount of armaments that the Taliban and its Jihadists have picked up in Afghanistan.

Biden can claim that all of that was unintentional. But turning over Kabul to the Taliban at a time when thousands of Americans sheltered there was no accident. Nor was shrugging when the Taliban handed over access to Kabul airport to the Haqqani Network which is designated as a foreign terrorist organization.

These were treasonous acts whose foreseeable consequences are entirely his responsibility.

The Jihadists levied war against American military forces with the attack at Kabul airport.

Biden’s treason led to the murder of 13 American military personnel. His aid and comfort to the enemy, his adherence to the Taliban at the expense of American soldiers and civilians led to the massacre of Americans. And he can and should be impeached for his treasonous crimes.

Joe Biden’s treasonous decision to entrust American lives and security to the enemy was not committed out of any pure motive, but to protect his own political career. After decades of appeasing Islamic terrorists, Biden was only doing what came naturally to him. And he had either learned nothing from Benghazi or he simply did not care about the risk to Americans.

Like Blount and later Burr, Biden, the third ‘B’ in the bunch, committed treason out of self-interest, throwing in with America’s enemies because he thought it would profit him.

That does not lessen his treason. It worsens it.

America’s original traitors, men like Benedict Arnold and Aaron Burr, were motivated by greed, pride, and wounded egos. They did not believe in anything except themselves.

Biden’s treason is that of a career politician who will sacrifice anyone for his own sake.

President Trump was impeached over Ukraine, yet the impeachers could not point to a single American who had died in that country. 13 Americans have died in Afghanistan. The parents of some of these fallen men and women have come forward to demand justice. They deserve it.

Democrats currently control the Senate and the House. But that does not excuse Republicans from the need to confront Biden and hold him accountable by calling for impeachment anyway.

Even a failed effort will keep this issue alive and prevent the dead from being forgotten.

We all saw Biden checking his watch at Dover while waiting for the transfer of the men and women he killed to be complete. The dead Americans are no more to him than the Afghans whose deaths he had falsely dismissed as having happened, “four or five days ago.”

After another four or five days, Biden hopes that the dead Americans will be forgotten.

Biden is counting on Americans to have as bad a memory as he does. And if Republicans remain silent, pivoting to the next scandal or talking point, he will have been proven right.

The Americans murdered and betrayed by Biden deserve justice. They deserve to see the question of his impeachment raised and debated. And America’s honor deserves it too.

The world must not think that what it saw in Kabul represents a new American normal.

That would be devastating to our national security and to our honor. The world must know that what happened was a crime. And that Americans will work to hold the criminal accountable.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. 

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Biden’s Benghazi

By On August 29, 2021
More American soldiers died in one week of Biden’s retreat than in the last two years of war.

9 American soldiers had died in combat in Afghanistan from August 2019 until now when over a dozen of our men were murdered in one single day during Biden’s shameful retreat.

Like so many of the American soldiers who were killed by the Taliban and their Al Qaeda allies during the Obama-Biden administration, and like the Americans murdered in Benghazi by Jihadists allied with Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood, they did not have to die.

American soldiers died because they were prevented from defending themselves.

Abandoning thousands of Americans behind enemy lines, the Biden administration turned the Kabul airport into Fort Apache surrounded by the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and other Jihadis.

Taliban Jihadists controlled checkpoints, checked papers, beat Americans, and entered the airport to “coordinate” security with American forces. Thousands of American citizens and soldiers were cut off from each other, able to meet only with the approval of the Taliban.

“We use the Taliban as a tool to protect us as much as possible," Marine Corps Gen. Frank McKenzie had bragged. McKenzie had repeatedly described the Taliban as "partners".

As warnings of an imminent ISIS-K attack grew, the Biden administration continued to rely on the Taliban to keep their fellow terrorists in check. This was the same treasonous mistake that led to the murder of Americans in Benghazi at the hands of an Islamic militia that was being paid to protect them from other Jihadis. It was also how the British lost thousands of soldiers during the disastrous retreat from Kabul in 1842. But Biden, Austin, and Milley remained blind to both recent and classical history about the perils of trusting the lives of your men to the enemy.

Even now with so many American soldiers dead, the Biden administration and its generals can only think of closer “security cooperation” with the Taliban showing that they learned nothing.

The Taliban and ISIS-K are feuding because ISIS-K consists of former members of the Taliban and the Haqqani Network. But that hasn’t stopped ISIS-K and the Taliban from cooperating by freeing each other's members from prison during previous attacks.

When Biden abandoned Bagram Air Base, he not only threw away the best and most secure means for evacuating Americans, he also handed over thousands of terrorists imprisoned at Pul-e-Charkhi who included Al Qaeda and ISIS-K terrorists. It would not be surprising if the perpetrators or organizers of the Kabul airport attack turned out to have been imprisoned there.

The Biden administration and its cronies keep promising that the Taliban will fight ISIS-K.

Taliban units have gone back and forth from ISIS-K in much the way that our “good” Jihadis in Syria went back and forth between the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, and ISIS.

When the Biden administration coordinates with the Taliban, there’s no way to know if it’s coordinating with the factions of the Taliban potentially sympathetic to ISIS-K.

But there’s no question that it’s coordinating with Al Qaeda.

The Taliban put Khalil Haqqani in charge of security in Kabul. The Haqqani network has been closely allied with Al Qaeda. The Wall Street Journal noted that, "prominent Taliban units with ties to the Haqqani network now operate within feet of U.S. troops securing the area. "

Shahab al-Muhajir, ISIS-K’s new leader, was a former Haqqani network commander.

Afghan officials from the former government have claimed that ISIS-K is just another mask being worn by the Haqqani network.

"Shahab Almahajir, the newly appointed leader of the Islamic State of Khorasan Province-ISKP is a Haqqani member. Haqqani and the Taliban carry out their terrorism on a daily basis across Afghanistan and when their terrorist activities do not suit them politically they rebrand it under ISKP," former Afghan interior minister Masoud Andrabi had tweeted.

Just like in Libya and Syria, sorting through the complex web of alliances and enmities between Jihadist groups, is a long and difficult process with no ultimate truth at the end, only more lies.

The only sane thing to do is to trust none of them.

Turning over security around the airport to a group with ties to Al Qaeda was treason.

Biden entrusted the lives of American citizens and soldiers to a Jihadist organization, the Haqqani network, which was allied with Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.

Even now the Haqqani network is holding Mark Frerichs, a Navy vet, hostage.

The Biden administration not only failed to free Frerichs, but coordinated on security with his captors in the hope that they would protect American soldiers and civilians.

They even turned over lists of American citizens and Afghan allies to the Taliban to help them with their "security" arrangements in what has been described as a "kill list".

An official defended the move by arguing that "they had to do that because of the security situation the White House created by allowing the Taliban to control everything outside the airport."

That did not have to happen.

Biden made the decision to evacuate the military before the civilians. Then he rushed the military back, but refused to allow our soldiers to actually create a secure evacuation pathway.

The Taliban were put in charge of security to and around the airport. And even when the Taliban handed over security to a group allied with Al Qaeda and even possibly ISIS-K, the Biden administration and its incompetent appeasers in uniforms and suits went on trusting the Taliban.

The Biden administration was repeatedly warned that ISIS-K was planning an attack. Just as the Obama-Biden administration was warned that the Benghazi consulate was threatened.

Both in Benghazi and Kabul, the response was to lean harder on the goodwill of the Jihadis.

And in Kabul and Benghazi, Americans died because a treasonous administration put its trust in terrorists instead of letting American military personnel protect the lives of Americans.

Americans did not have to die at the hands of Islamic terrorists in Kabul.

Americans trying to reach the airport did not have to be beaten in the street by Taliban thugs.

The United States did not have to leave Afghanistan in an airport encircled by the enemy, while rushing to meet the Taliban’s August 31 deadline even if Americans had to be left behind.

These were decisions that Biden, his cabinet members, advisers and generals made.

They should be held accountable for them.

The failure to hold Obama accountable for Benghazi led directly to the tragedy in Kabul.

Appeasing Jihadists has become the cornerstone of the Obama-Biden foreign policy. Over a thousand American military personnel died during the Obama-Biden surge in Afghanistan because they were not allowed to defend themselves so as not to offend Muslims.

Why did Biden accede to the Taliban demand that we leave Afghanistan by August 31?

The same reason he turned over security around the Kabul airport to the Taliban.

So as not to offend the Taliban.

American soldiers didn’t die because they had to. They died because they weren’t allowed to protect themselves and their fellow Americans.

They died because Biden put the Taliban’s feelings ahead of the lives of American soldiers.

Since 2007, when Biden ran for president on a platform of surging soldiers and nation-building in Afghanistan to win the hearts and minds of the locals, he was selling out our soldiers.

This is his most shameful betrayal.

Don’t call Joe Biden the commander-in-chief. Call him what he is, the traitor-in-chief.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. 

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Our Mistaken Ideas About Human Rights Failed Us in Afghanistan

By On August 26, 2021
Human rights are not a government, they’re a culture.

America was founded on that simple premise. The Declaration of Independence’s conviction in the equality of men, individual rights, and governments gaining their authority from the consent of the governed was based on “self-evident” truths.

These truths are “self-evident” to Americans in the way that they’re not self-evident to the average Afghan, Pakistani, Iraqi, Russian, South African or Chinese citizen. They have their own truths that are equally “self-evident” to them based on their own worldview and culture.

The Taliban, like the vast majority of Muslims, assert that believers in Allah are superior to infidels, that men must have supreme authority over women, and leaders over people.

This hierarchical model governs a lot more of the world than anything we’ve come up with.

And even in America there are voices that favor tearing up the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and reverting to a hierarchical model. From the Marxists on the Left to the Neo-Reactionaries on the Right, there are those who would turn back the clock to feudalism with enlightened philosopher-kings imposing an “ideal society” on the inferior class of men.

When we say that something is self-evident, it flows naturally from our values and our beliefs.

Consider the two radically different worldviews inherent in Benjamin Franklin writing that, “the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards" is "a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy” and the Ayatollah Khomeini proclaiming “Allah did not create man so that he could have fun" and thus there "is no fun in Islam.”

Both Franklin and Khomeini were expressing a worldview that was self-evident to them.

“Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” came from people who believed that God loves us and wants us to enjoy life. Beheadings, butchery, and the burka came from Islamists who believe that Allah does not like us very much and that we deserve to be miserable.

The respective governments of America and the Muslim world just play out that theology.

America’s approach to individual freedom and meritocratic government came out of broader English and European intellectual trends. Western nations mostly came around to the approach, at least after two world wars, finding that happy people made for a good economy and stability.

Asian First World nations also came around to their own modified versions of a free society while still emphasizing hierarchy and collective morality. And those were the success stories.

Most of the rest of the world is littered with failures.

The American idea was exported successfully by contact with our culture which contained its individualistic, moral, and aspirational DNA. That’s much less true than it used to be. But what is still true is that our efforts to directly export our ideals have failed miserably. Whether it’s trying to explain the Founding Fathers to the Iraqis or funding Women’s Studies in Afghanistan, few were influenced, and many were confused, irritated, or moderately amused by our efforts.

Constructing “governments-in-a-box” in Iraq and Afghanistan was never going to fit their culture. Exporting human rights by explaining our self-evident belief in individual rights didn’t work in cultures that don’t think that people are primarily individuals with agency, but members of a group whose rights come from their role in a rigid hierarchy of ethnicity, gender or race.

Our own political and cultural elites have adopted that worldview making them particularly unfit to spread human rights or individual freedom abroad even as they eliminate them at home.

How can Biden, who decided to pick a black woman as his vice president, before deciding which individual was going to fill that role, credibly tell the Afghans or Iraqis that they shouldn’t pick their leaders based on their gender, tribe, ethnicity, or Sunni and Shiite status?

Before we explain freedom and rights to the Afghans and Iraqs, we need a refresher course.

Our democracy export business is based on a series of intellectual errors dating back to the two world wars which we had defined as fighting for democracy and against tyranny in Europe.

Ever since then our intellectual and cultural elites have stuck to the conviction that the entire world works much like Europe. Every country, whether it’s in Asia, Africa, or the Middle East, is in the midst of a struggle between liberal democrats and reactionary authoritarians. All we have to do is overthrow their Hitler or Mussolini, and a liberal democracy will emerge from the ashes.

This fallacy may have hit its peak with the insistence that the Arab Spring was Europe in 1848.

The rest of the world isn’t Europe of the past three centuries. Its intellectual trends, worldviews, and culture have little in common. While western lefties managed to export socialism to most of the world, it takes on very different forms in places like North Korea or Iraq. The “self-evident” assumptions of political ideas are lost in the translation and transition to very different cultures.

The problem with exporting our “self-evident” ideas is that they’re based on the belief in a loving and merciful God, on the value of individual life, and the genius of individual innovation. Most of the world’s cultures are not only not individualistic, many, like the People’s Republic of China or the Muslim world, are actively anti-individualistic and believe morality comes from hierarchy.

Is morality individual or is it collective? Is the role of government to free people to make moral choices or to force them to make the right choice? Where you come down on the answer to that issue is going to determine the sort of society and government you want and will fight for.

If you’re a member of the Taliban, of the Chinese Communist Party, a believer in critical race theory or the neo-reactionary ideology, odds are you will come down on the collective side.

And on the side of tyranny.

Is life basically good or bad? Are most people bad or good? Does God love us or hate us?

You can’t just casually export our underlying assumptions behind human rights to cultures that answer these questions in very different ways.

All of us, in a more tribal America, have experienced the frustration of mutually incomprehensible conversations with our fellow Americans that appear to be about issues, mask mandates, Black Lives Matter, or abortion, but that are actually about culture and values.

If it’s all but impossible to establish common ground on what rights and freedoms are with other Americans, what were the odds that we were going to do it with Afghans or Iraqis?

America can and should export human rights. But the best way to do it is by example.

Whether it’s parents influencing children, teachers acting as role models, or any other mentor relationship, the most vital lessons are not didactic, but personal. From our earliest years, we learn by imitation and we become like the people we want to be. Indeed, in both Judaism and Christianity, goodness comes from striving to learn from and imitate the ways of God.

Tellingly, the concept plays out very differently in Islam where Muslims imitiate Mohammed.

When nations and peoples around the world strived to be like America, it’s because they admired what we had, what we achieved, and how we lived. Most people assume that success is the result of values and behaviors. How people see a successful group, whether it’s Americans, Jews, or Asians comes down to the question of whether they achieved their success fairly through discipline and hard work, or unfairly by abuse and thievery. The answer to that question will determine whether someone is anti-American, anti-Semitic, or anti-whatever group.

These days the loudest voices stating that America is evil, and that everything we had was gained through colonialism and slavery, are coming from our own political and cultural elites.

Why would anyone admire or imitate us when we loudly announce that we’re liars and thieves?

Exporting human rights is not a matter of finding dictators to overthrow. The Muslim world isn’t Europe. It’s not in a state of conflict between tyranny and freedom, but between different flavors of tyranny which all share underlying assumptions about hierarchy over individualism.

Regime change won’t fix the culture.

There are times when America may need to intervene in other countries, when it’s to counter a threat or to prevent an extreme wrong such as genocide, but we cannot and will not fix the world. The vast majority of the planet will go on living under authoritarian regimes. Women in Muslim countries will suffer. And so will various ethnic and religious minorities under their rule.

We should condemn evil where we see it without assuming that we can make it go away and that should drive us to build alliances with nations that share our culture, heritage and values. Instead of spending billions reconstructing enemies, we’re better off strengthening our friends.

Above all else, we should show that our values lead to a good life. The example that we set for the rest of the world will do more to spread human rights than any military interventions.

That’s how it always was.

After a century of ideological cold wars, countering Communism and then Islamism, we have a lot of military interventions under our belt, but have gotten no better at making arguments for our way of life to our own people. While we were trying to convince Africans that Marxism wasn’t for them, our Ivy League institutions adopted it. And while we tried to talk the Afghans and Iraqis out of Islamic theocracy, our own cities, institutions, and governments filled up with Islamists.

If we want to defeat Islamism and protect human rights and freedom, we should start at home.

It’s not just Afghanistan where young girls are being enslaved or sexually abused by Islamists.

In 2019, I reported that there had been over 2,000 visas approved for underage 'brides' from Muslim countries. Two years before that I reported on a female genital mutilation network in Michigan. There have been multiple cases of slavery involving Muslim families in America.

The massive influx of Afghans into America will make those numbers worse, not better.

The fundamental lesson of our founding is that we can’t defend our rights without also defending our culture. The self-evident truths on which our freedoms were founded are no longer all that self-evident on a college campus, let alone in Islamist enclaves like Dearborn or Little Mogadishu. If we want to save our rights, we’ll have to defeat the Taliban at home.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. 

Thank you for reading.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Biden Was the Biggest Supporter of Sending More Troops to Afghanistan

By On August 23, 2021
During the 2007 Dem primaries, Biden attacked Obama for adopting his position on Afghanistan.

The flailing Biden campaign put out a press release accusing Obama of being a "johnny-come-lately" who had belatedly adopted Biden's push for "significantly increasing reconstruction assistance" and sending more American soldiers to Afghanistan.

While running for president, Biden had based his entire foreign policy around sending more troops to Afghanistan. He had memorized one line, "if we're surging troops anywhere, it should be in Afghanistan", and repeated it in the Senate, in interviews, and on the campaign trail.

Sending more troops to Afghanistan, he argued would give America "the moral high ground".

“The next president of the United States will have to rally the American people and the world to fight them over there, unless we want to fight them over here. But the over there is not, as President Bush has falsely and repeatedly claimed, in Iraq, but it's rather in the border areas between Afghanistan and Pakistan,” he insisted at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Biden attacked not only Democrat rivals like Obama, but also President Bush, for not wanting to send more troops to Afghanistan. “I asked the commander of British forces how long his people would allow him to stay in Afghanistan. And he said, ‘Senator, we Brits have an expression. As long as the big dog is in the pen, the small dogs will stay. When the big dog leaves, the small dogs leave as well.’ Well, guess what? The big dog left in 2002.”

He was only off by 19 years. Biden was preemptively accusing Bush of his own sins.

By the 2020 primaries, Biden had completely reinvented his entire history with Afghanistan.

“I’m the guy from the beginning who argued that it was a big, big mistake to surge forces to Afghanistan. Period. We should not have done it. And I argued against it constantly,” he falsely claimed.

Biden had gone from attacking Obama for ripping off his idea of surging forces to Afghanistan to being the guy who "from the beginning" had opposed the idea.

The idea that Biden opposed “from the beginning” was the one he originally claimed credit for.

That was quite a turnaround for the fraudster who had spent his previous presidential campaign declaring, "If we're surging troops anywhere, it should be in Afghanistan."

Biden, one of the co-sponsors of the Afghanistan Freedom Support Act, which began the nation-building push in that country, also claimed that he was against nation-building.

“Our mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to be nation-building,” Biden claimed in his recent failed speech after Kabul turned into Saigon.

Afghanistan should not have been about nation-building, but Biden was the loudest voice in support of turning the mission into nation-building. At one hearing he even complained that, “The original Marshall Plan cost $90 billion in today's dollars. Our total pledge for Afghan reconstruction is less than 1 percent of that, and we've only delivered a fraction of this pledge.”

He attacked Bush, whining that his “follow-through commitment to Afghanistan, Afghanistan's security and reconstruction has fallen very short."

Back in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden had insisted that, “We have to get moving on reconstruction. We need more funds, and we need to use them better. The Afghans are patient, but they’re not seeing reconstruction worthy of a superpower.”

After Biden failed miserably in the primaries, Obama picked his most inept rival to pad out his ticket with an old confused white man. And Biden tried to out-hawk John McCain on Afghanistan. When that failed miserably, he turned to making up stories of his own heroism in Afghanistan. The stories were as true as anything else that came out of his mouth.

“If you want to know where al Qaeda lives, you want to know where bin Laden is, come back to Afghanistan with me,” he boasted. “Come back to the area where my helicopter was forced down with a three-star general and three senators at 10,500 feet in the middle of those mountains. I can tell you where they are.”

Despite having this intimate knowledge of where bin Laden and Al Qaeda were, Biden never went back to Afghanistan to hunt them down. That’s probably because Osama bin Laden was safe in a Pakistani military town. Biden’s helicopter, which also carried his Senate colleagues, future Secretary of State John Kerry and future Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, landed because of a snowstorm. “Other than getting a little cold, it was fine,” Kerry later said. “We were going to send Biden out to fight the Taliban with snowballs.”

The joke, as usual, was on Joe Biden.

“The superhighway of terror between Pakistan and Afghanistan where my helicopter was forced down. John McCain wants to know where bin Laden and the gates of Hell are? I can tell him where. That’s where Al Qaida is. That’s where bin Laden is,” Biden claimed at a fundraiser.

Biden and the other Senate members were not in Taliban territory. Heavily guarded and in airspace protected by a F-16 fighter, they waited while a convoy took them to Bagram Air Base. That's the same base that Biden would irresponsibly abandon, cutting off Americans trapped in Afghanistan from being able to get out without the permission of the Taliban.

Biden could have given credit to the men of the Arizona National Guard's 1st Battalion who traveled through the "bitter winds, freezing rain and snow for more than 15 hours" to transport him out. Instead he pretended that he was some sort of hero for sitting in a warm chopper.

And now, Biden could have considered the thousands of Americans trapped in Afghanistan, when he gave the fatal order to pull out military forces without evacuating them. When he was on that mountain, American soldiers traveled through difficult weather to get him out. But when Americans, some of them veterans, are trapped in Afghanistan, he turned his back on them.

Obama adopted Biden’s proposal for an Afghan troop surge with disastrous results. American forces in Afghanistan were quadrupled to 100,000 while preventing them from fighting back so as not to alienate Muslims. 1,200 American soldiers died during the disastrous Afghanistan surge. And Biden, who had pushed the whole thing, ran the other way.

After taking credit for selling Obama on an Afghan surge, Biden rebranded as a skeptic of sending more troops to Afghanistan. By the 2012 election, Biden was running against his own Afghanistan position, and castigating Rep. Paul Ryan for wanting a conditions-based withdrawal. Meanwhile, Biden kept bragging about his expertise on Afghanistan.

“I've been up in the Kunar Valley. I've been throughout that whole country, mostly in a helicopter, and sometimes in a vehicle,” he claimed.

“What we also want it do is make sure that we're not projecting weakness abroad, and that's what's happening here,” Ryan warned. Biden dismissed any such notion.

Obama and Biden promised a withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2014. It did not happen.

That’s been true of the vast majority of Biden’s promises.

When it comes to Afghanistan, Biden was usually for most things before then turning around and being against them. Biden had sold the D.C. political class on the idea that he was some sort of foreign policy expert based on Afghanistan when he actually had no idea what he was doing. He had jumped on the Afghanistan bandwagon after September 11 while scrambling for an approach that would build up his presidential credentials.

His initial response was, "This would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran." But after that disastrous idea, Biden zeroed in on Afghanistan.

He constantly championed more troops and funding for Afghanistan.

"If we fail in Afghanistan, we are going to be talking about, in my view, a country seven times as big, with nuclear weapons sitting on one border, and a country that is, in its present security leadership, hostile to the United States on another border, with more than seven times, probably--I guess it's probably 14 to 15 times the population, seeking nuclear weapons," Biden argued at one Senate hearing in favor of expanding military forces in Afghanistan.

“We're in for, as they say on the east side of Wilmington, Delaware, a world of hurt that has nothing to do with terrorism, that goes far beyond terror, far beyond terror. So I hope you're here to tell us the good news about your overwhelming enthusiasm supporting expanding ISAF."

Even completely dishonest politicians have the right to change their minds. Or at least pretend to have changed them. But Biden adopted the opposite position of the one he ran on while claiming that he had always "from the beginning" opposed the things he supported.

This behavior was not the mark of a responsible leader, but a clueless con artist.

That’s exactly what Biden always was. And it’s what his disaster in Afghanistan has plainly revealed him to be even to his passionate supporters in media.

Biden claimed to know all about Afghanistan. In reality he knew nothing. He leaped from one radical position, surging troops to Afghanistan, to the opposite extreme, withdrawing the troops before evacuating the civilians. The result was a horrifying national security disaster.

And the same media which has temporarily turned on Biden let it happen.

Biden’s dishonesty and ignorance were well known to the press corps. They chose to cover it up and lie about it because they wanted him to win. Now some of them are feigning outrage that the lying hack they championed could have unleashed such an inexplicable disaster.

Biden had contradicted himself again and again on Afghanistan because he didn’t believe anything coming out of his own mouth. That’s how the politician who once predicted, “If Afghanistan falls, I'm not sure how far behind NATO will be” was the one who fell.

The problem wasn’t that Biden had the wrong views, it’s that he was the typical case of a D.C. echo chamber politician who repeated whatever slogan he thought would get him ahead.

He had no plan for carrying any of his proposals out. All he could do was indict himself.

“Ousting the Taliban is only the first step in a long process. Everyone knows we can remove an evil regime. The question is, are we willing to expend the security, financial, diplomatic, and political resources to make the successor regime a success?” Biden once asked at a hearing. “The U.S. has power--but do we have staying power?”

Biden has since answered his own question.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. 

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Democrats Want to Hate Their Way Out of the Pandemic

By On August 22, 2021
"As Virus Cases Rise, Another Contagion Spreads Among the Vaccinated: Anger," the New York Times hisses. "Vaccinated people are ready for normalcy — and angry at the unvaccinated," the Washington Post jeers.

"It's O.K. to be mad at people who refuse to get vaccinated," America Magazine reassures.

Hating people is a hell of a prescription for a medical crisis, but to the Left all problems are political problems. And they deal with political problems by hating twice as hard as ever.

Our media, like that of most totalitarian countries, exists to tell regime loyalists whom to be angry at today while distracting them from the regime’s latest disaster. The American Left only knows and understands identity politics. Its view of the world is rooted in the same Marxist theories that made the Soviet Union and every Communist government so dysfunctional, but the need to juggle the intersectional dynamics of multiculturalism has made it especially insane.

Anyone who wants to understand America’s racial divisions need only look at the perverse skill with which leftists divided the country between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated in less than a year. In a short amount of time people had been taught to hate each other and to form deep divides over an issue that hadn’t even been on their minds last summer.

If the Left can do that with a shot, is it any wonder they were able to do it with skin color?

America’s Left has become an identity politics generator, literally creating new identities overnight (the average number of gender identities went from 48 in 2019, to 56 in 2020, to 64 today), to compete in a packed victimhood Olympics whose only purpose is political power.

The Left has succeeded so well that all of the country’s political discourse is about rival claims of victimhood and dueling accusations of oppression. The identity politics generator works so well that in under a year a new identity can be up and running, and ready to register victims and demand political power to repress the other side of their binary identities. But all this does is give the Left an exciting new way to seize power and posture as the victims this week.

Faced with a pandemic, the Left built a new political identity around masks and vaccines.

That’s what it does with every challenge or crisis. When all you have is a hammer, every problem is a nail and when all you have is identity politics, every problem is identitarian.

And every solution manufactures the same cliched binary identities, victims and oppressors, the enlightened and the reactionaries, and yokes them to the same tired narrative which organizes the latter against the former. The speed with which the Left turned personal medical decisions into an identity shows how the artificial assembly line of its identity politics really works.

Diversity isn’t really very diverse. Multiculturalism is really a single political culture. Identity politics offers the same product with a different coat of paint from the same identity factory.

Identity politics is a revolutionary tool, organizing everything from fifth columns to coalitions to seize political power, but revolutions solve the problem of who is in power, not real problems.

Revolutionary regimes are great at revolutions and bad at everything else.

The Democrats are great at identity politics and bad at pandemics. They excel at taking over institutions, rigging elections, and building narratives in which they’re the victims. They just don’t know how to do anything else. During the revolutionary phase, problems don’t need solving, only exploiting. As Lenin reportedly said, “the worse, the better.” A pandemic, a wildfire, tainted water, or an economic collapse is just another opportunity to churn out narratives declaring that identity politics groups have been hit hardest by the disaster before seizing power in their name.

This works about half the time. The half when Democrats are out of power. Revolutions work best when you’re not already on the throne and trying to blame someone else for your mess.

Power and identity politics can exploit a pandemic, but they can’t meaningfully address it. Much as the Soviets couldn’t address agriculture, and China can’t fix its environmental disasters, the Biden administration and its leftist allies lack the intellectual tools to cope with the problem.

Communist regimes reduced all problems to class warfare, declared that they had eliminated classes, and then blamed problems on domestic saboteurs or denied that they existed at all.

The Democrats blamed the pandemic on the Trump administration. After taking power, they began blaming Trump supporters. Unable to deliver on their promises, they doubled down on identity politics as their way of evading responsibility for the job they claimed they wanted.

But lefties want the job, they don’t want the responsibility.

Fixing problems is dirty and unrewarding work that requires humility, patience, and a willingness to listen. These are not the attributes of a radical movement of egotistical theoreticians who use identity politics to trick people into letting them test out their theories and then when their theories fail in the real world, pivot back to identity politics to blame others for their failures.

The revolutions keep coming, but utopia never arrives.

The Left interacts with reality through a series of abstract constructs filtered through an ideological matrix defined by social relations. This is an unfit model for solving anything except social problems and hasn’t even seen any success there. Reducing the problems of a vast universe, or even a planet, to social injustice is the laughably stupid approach of our elites.

An ideology that blames everything from forest fires to viral outbreaks on social injustice foolishly treats human social relations as the greatest force in the universe. Elites who embrace these ideas are announcing their inability to grapple with problems outside social relations.

Instead of dealing with the problems, they attach them to another identity politics group.

Then they blame some other group for their own inability to grapple with the problem. Democrat politicians and the media have blamed the pandemic on church attendees, Chassidic Jews, spring breakers, surfers, Trump supporters, and an endless list of out-group scapegoats.

Every instance of scapegoating has been undone by their own hypocrisy from the French Laundry to Black Lives Matter riots to the rejection of vaccine mandates by their own health care and teachers’ unions. And Americans are growing tired of their cynical blame game.

Democrats and their media are encouraging Americans to hate each other as they have since the very beginning of the pandemic and the very beginning of their radicalization as a party.

Every problem is met with identity politics and hate.

The Left wants Americans to blame everyone for their problems except the ones in power.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. 

Thank you for reading.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

While Afghanistan Fell, Military and CIA Focused on Diversity

By On August 19, 2021

"I want to understand white rage, and I’m white," Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, whined at a congressional hearing.

He might have done better to understand Muslim rage.

A week after his testimony, the Taliban had not only doubled their number of districts, but possessed hundreds of captured U.S. armored vehicles, along with artillery and drones.

The Pentagon's spokesman told reporters to ask the Afghan military about the gear.

In May, Milley had shrugged off questions about whether the Afghan military would survive. “We frankly don’t know yet. We have to wait and see how things develop over the summer.”

The Afghan military was beginning to fall apart while Milley was defending critical race theory.

A week earlier, the New York Times had described "demoralized" Afghan forces "abandoning checkpoints and bases en masse." Two days after Milley’s disgraceful performance, the media reported that even the Taliban were “surprised” at how fast they were advancing.

At the beginning of July, the Biden administration abandoned Bagram Air Force Base. A week later the Taliban reclaimed the Panjwayi District where the Jihadist movement had gotten its start, seized the largest border crossing with Iran and the millions in revenue that came with it.

The United States Army responded by announcing that it was putting "a renewed emphasis on diversity, inclusion, and equity" or DEI. Had the brass ordered it as diversity, inclusion, and equity, the resulting acronym would have been more reflective of the real world.

While the Taliban were conquering Afghanistan's rural provinces and then moving on to besieging its cities, the Army was wrestling with the "effective messaging that demonstrates why DEI efforts are critical to the success of the Army". The new messaging would explain how the "talents of a diverse workforce" that included "language, race, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity" were vital to whatever its mission was.

The Taliban, who were mostly Sunni Islamist Pashtun tribesmen, would spend the next two months demonstrating that diversity was not a strength, but a serious weakness.

While the Afghan government and its military were divided between diverse tribal factions, some of whom would flee to Iran and others to Uzbekistan (depending on whether they were Hazaras or Uzbeks) while the Pashtuns would surrender to their fellow Taliban tribesmen, the Taliban showed that unity would stomp diversity in the face and then dance on its grave.

Meanwhile the military brass in this country, as discussed in my recent pamphlet, Disloyal: How the Military Brass is Betraying Our Country, was busy dividing our own military from within in pursuit of diversity, pitting black and white service members against each other in “critical conversations” and urging them to accuse their country and services of “systemic racism”.

As the Army brass were striving to establish the “Army as a global leader in DEI”, America’s enemies were plotting to become global leaders in land, power, and military victories.

By late July, Milley admitted that, "Strategic momentum appears to be sort of with the Taliban."

By "sort of", Milley meant that the Taliban had more than doubled their territory again and were marching on half of the provincial capitals.

Few reporters asked follow-up questions about the "sort of" because the leading story in D.C. was an anti-Trump book which flatteringly portrayed Milley as preventing a Trump "coup".

No one, from the media to Milley, cared about the actual coup underway in Afghanistan.

"This department will be diverse. It will be inclusive," Biden's Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin insisted. "I’m committed to that. This department is committed to that. The chairman’s committed to that.”

While Biden’s brass were pledging allegiance to diversity, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi welcomed Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar to the People’s Republic of China. Yi praised the Taliban as a "a pivotal military and political force" and mocked the United States.

The United States Army was busy “developing and implementing a strategic plan to advance DEI across the Total Force” as the Taliban seized the capitals of Helmand and Herat.

But the Navy faced its own crisis when Chief of Naval Personnel Vice Adm. John Nowell Jr. warned at a DEI panel at the Sea Air Space conference that removing photos from promotion boards, a diversity measure from last year, actually undermined diversity because the brass no longer knew exactly how many minorities they were artificially promoting to fit diversity quotas.

While the Navy was grappling with this dark night of the soul, Staff Sgt. Nicholas Jones with the 2nd Marine Raider Battalion received the Navy Cross for his heroism during a six-hour battle with ISIS last year during which he rescued a French ally and risked his life to try and rescue two wounded comrades.

Jones “continued fighting until forcibly evacuated”.

Sadly, Jones is a straight white man from Kansas, and doesn’t really fit the DEI template, but in happier diversity defense news, the new Navy Secretary is an immigrant, the first female sailor graduated from Naval Special Warfare training, and the Naval Institute published a confession by Lieutenant Commander David Elsenbeck that he was "unconsciously biased" and a "member of the dominant group in a society suffering from institutionalized and historically ingrained bias”.

Eisenbeck urged immediate “bias education”.

American POWs used to be starved, beaten, and had bamboo shoots driven under their fingernails without repeating the Marxist dogma they were being indoctrinated with. But hardly a week goes by now without another litany of Marxist confessions at military struggle sessions.

The Taliban, who actually are a member of the dominant group, began swallowing up a series of provincial capitals and marrying off young girls to their Jihadists. Back home, the Virginia Military Institute’s first-ever Chief Diversity Officer, Jamica Love, announced that she intended to pursue "institutional change" to transform the VMI's culture. That’s what the Taliban were also up to.

While the Taliban advanced, CIA Director William Burns commented that increasing "diversity and inclusion" was among his top priorities. "We cannot be effective around the world if everybody looks like me," he complained. To that end the CIA had unrolled an ad campaign featuring a Latina cisgender intersectional worker wearing a pink gender power clenched fist t-shirt. But the widely hated woke ad was only the tip of the agency’s diversity iceberg.

"At CIA, we don’t just leverage diversity, equity, and inclusion; we embrace and celebrate it," an agency diversity report insisted. "This ethos must be woven in to our day-to-day tasks."

How were diversity and equity woven into the task of monitoring the Taliban's advance?

No one knows. But, like the military, the CIA went on holding "critical conversations" in which minority employees were encouraged to spout racism accusations.

Sonya Holt, Deputy Associate Director of CIA for Talent for Diversity and Inclusion, who had started out as a mere recruiter, assured that through DEI, "the Agency will be better prepared to address intelligence challenges and support its customers."

While CIA officers were learning “how diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential to mission success”, the agency began belatedly considering how to extract its assets from Afghanistan.

Recent intelligence reports "warned that Kabul could fall to the Taliban within years".

But while the CIA tried to figure out how it would collect intelligence on the Taliban after the withdrawal, its employees did have the benefit of 15 affinity groups including ANGLE (Agency Network of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Officers and Allies), DAC (Deaf Advisory Council) and SALAAM (South Asian Leadership and Advisory Membership.)

The CIA was also working to hire “neurodiverse” personnel, which it defined as people suffering from ADD, Dyslexia, or Tourette's Syndrome. Or as the CIA 'wokely' put it "differences labeled with" these syndromes.

Key Afghan figures had warned that there was a conspiracy underway to hand Afghanistan to the Taliban. The drumroll surrenders of cities and much of the Afghan military appeared to confirm that backroom deals had been made. The obvious players able to pull off such deals were Pakistan’s ISI spy agency, the original backers of the Taliban, along with Turkey and Qatar.

Biden’s CIA director had turned to Pakistan in the hopes of allowing the agency to run a spy base in the country that had harbored Osama bin Laden. The Biden administration’s military and diplomatic response to the Taliban was being run out of Qatar. And it had handed security at Kabul Airport over to Turkey before frantically taking it back when the Taliban took the city.

The CIA should have been on top of this, but it had better things to do with its time.

An unclassified intelligence community report did warn that the Taliban was “broadly consistent in its restrictive approach to women’s rights."

The Taliban have now taken over Afghanistan, but it’s not all bad news on the military front

."While Trump administration Pentagon nominees were overwhelmingly white and male, the Biden administration says 54% of its national security nominees ― to the Pentagon, State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development ― are women, 40% are people of color, and at least 7% identify as LGBTQ," the publication thrillingly reports.

Better yet, "recent weeks saw two LGBTQ women confirmed to top military positions. Air Force Undersecretary Gina Ortiz Jones is the first out lesbian to serve as undersecretary of a military branch, while Shawn Skelly, the assistant secretary of defense for readiness, is the first out transgender person in the job and highest-ranking out transgender defense official in U.S. history."

The State Department is doing its part by asking the Taliban to form an “inclusive and representative government.” And if they refuse to have as many neurodiverse black transgender defense officials as us, Biden won’t give them any more humvees, artillery, choppers, or drones.

The Taliban may have won Afghanistan, but we’re winning the diversity race. And since diversity is more important than winning wars or being a military superpower, we’re beating the Taliban. Not to mention Russia, China, and Iran in the field of transgender defense officials.

As I warned in the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s booklet, Disloyal: How the Military Brass is Betraying Our Country, wokeness is leading our military to disaster, disgrace, and defeat.

Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity, (sorry, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) is at “the heart of everything” that Biden’s military does and our performance reflects the focus on DEI.

Afghanistan is a disaster, but we’ll have the most diverse military in the world or DEI trying.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. 

Thank you for reading.

Disloyal: How the Military Brass is Betraying Our Country

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Afghanistan Didn't Fall: It Never Existed

By On August 18, 2021
"Afghanistan's collapse: Did US intelligence get it wrong?" ABC News asks. "Afghanistan Is Your Fault," barks Tom Nichols at The Atlantic. “Why Afghan Forces So Quickly Laid Down Their Arms,” Politico ponders.

The one thing that the Taliban's conquest of Afghanistan is good for is more media hot takes.

Afghanistan didn't fall because it never existed. The Afghan army laid down its arms because it also never existed. And not just because many of the 300,000 soldiers were imaginary. Its Pashtun members surrendered to their fellow Taliban Pashtuns, or fled to Iran or Uzbekistan, depending on their tribal or religious affiliations which, unlike Afghanistan, are very real.

The Afghan army was there because we spent $90 billion on it. Much like Afghanistan with its president, its constitution, and its elections existed because we spent a fortune on it. When we left, the president fled, the army collapsed, and Afghanistan: The Musical closed in Kabul.

Afghanistan isn’t a country. It’s a stone age Brigadoon of quarreling tribes, ethnic groups, Islamic denominations, and warlords manned by young men with old Russian and American rifles. Unlike the fiction of a democratic Afghanistan, that is something they will die for.

And in the coming years you will see some of those same soldiers who laid down their guns fighting and dying for tribes and warlords, even fighting the Taliban, in the real endless war.

The forever war isn’t something we invented after 9/11: Afghanistan has always been at war.

Americans are impressed that the Taliban held out for 20 years. They shouldn’t be.

There’s no time in Afghanistan. Two decades of war are horrifyingly incomprehensible to Americans. To Afghans, it’s the way things have always been. We stepped into a place that has been a war zone for centuries, took sides, supplied weapons, and then left as everyone knew we would. The British and the Russians came and went. After us, the Chinese will come and go.

And the forever war will go on endlessly.

Before us, the Russians wanted the Afghans to pretend to be Communists. We wanted them to pretend that they were Democrats. But the Afghans aren’t ‘Afghans’, they’re Pashtuns, Uzbeks, Balochs, Hazaras, Sunni and Shiite Muslims, everything else is just a temporary costume.

The Taliban, another Pashtun bid to seize power, will be met with resistance, not by the proponents of a free and democratic Afghanistan, but by rival tribes and warlords.

We’ll probably end up funding some of them. And maybe this time we won’t be stupid enough to ask them to hold elections or any of the other nation-building nonsense from Foggy Bottom.

Our Afghanistan campaign after September 11 was fast, clever, and ruthless. The men who conducted it understood the society. They worked together with warlords to crush the Taliban. Their goal was a quick and dirty victory that would make an example out of the Taliban.

Our allies were anyone whose current factional interests in the endless power struggle aligned with ours. As the years went on, some of our allies became enemies, and some enemies became allies. The Taliban were the bad guys, but just like in Syria, so was everyone else. There were plenty of innocents caught in the crossfire, but innocents have no power.

The average Afghan rural villager doesn’t think of being a citizen of some country called Afghanistan. He cares little for elections and his elders confuse Americans with the Russians and sometimes even the British. The elites in Kabul are happy to dress up their power grabs in presidential titles and constitutions that no one else in the country cares about. USAID pays girls in Kabul to play at feminism and college graduates to talk about international relations.

None of it mattered a damn in the vast majority of the country as we are now finding out.

But, Afghanistan didn’t become a complete disaster for us. Until Obama.

American forces peaked at 25,000 under Bush. Obama quadrupled them to 100,000. That’s the year more American soldiers were wounded than during the entire Bush administration.

1,200 Americans died during Obama's Afghanistan surge, not just because he quadrupled the number of soldiers, but because the military was told to stop trying to defeat the Taliban.

Our soldiers became community organizers with guns who were told not to fight.

No hearts and minds were won. But cemeteries filled up with boys from Texas and West Virginia who weren’t allowed to shoot back because Obama wanted to win Muslim hearts and minds.

The military brass who embraced Obama’s strategy buried and crippled a generation of young men. Countless men and women came home wounded inside. They overdosed or killed themselves.

The surge receded. The military brass pulled back to secure the cities while the Taliban secured the rural areas that we spent so many lives on. All they had to do was wait for us to leave.

The speed with which the Taliban took the country only seems magical to CNN viewers.

The country was theirs for the taking. The Taliban fought few battles. The various warlords and leaders began switching sides when Biden announced his withdrawal to join the winning team. That’s the Islamic team backed by Pakistan, China, Turkey who are the big boys still standing.

But that doesn’t mean that they won’t switch sides next month or next year.

The hated government in Kabul was backed by our money and our air power. We’re out, so are they. But the locals will hate the Taliban too. And as the Chinese come in to set up mines, run roads, and offend the locals, they’ll find out what we, the British, and the Russians learned.

Afghanistan doesn’t belong to anyone. It’s its own forever war of quarreling tribes.

The forever war will continue whether or not we’re there. But we’ll probably be there in one form or another. We never really understood Afghanistan or Iraq. And so we can’t escape them.

Al Qaeda and ISIS will operate out of Afghanistan. So will countless other Jihadi fighters.

Americans didn’t invent the forever war. It’s been going on in the Islamic parts of the world for over a thousand years. It’s unfashionable and politically incorrect to mention it. That’s why the media carefully describes the Taliban as “religious students” without naming the religion. It’ll refer to Sunni and Shiite infighting in Iraq while leaving off the “Islam” part of the group.

We came to defeat the Jihadists behind September 11 and we stayed behind to reform Afghanistan. But what were we reforming it from? We couldn’t name the problem.

And when you can’t name a problem, you never come up with a solution.

Having failed to fix Afghanistan, the process is now underway to bring as many Afghans as possible to America. The old plan to bring 100,000 “interpreters” and their family members has been vastly expanded to make any Afghan who did any work for American organizations, from aid groups to the media, eligible to come to America. By the time they’re done, we may end up with a million Afghan refugees in America. Some of them will become Islamic terrorists.

The final act of fighting terrorism is bringing the terrorists to America to create more terror.

The real tragedy of Afghanistan isn’t just that we lost so many of our best and brightest in the dust, it’s that we learned nothing from the experience. Nothing except to blame ourselves.

We didn’t fail Afghanistan. Nor did we lose Afghanistan. It was never ours or anyone’s.

Afghanistan wasn’t our forever war. It’s the forever war of the warlords and tribesmen who will keep on fighting it until the water dries up, the cattle die, and they all move to Fremont where 25,000 Afghans already live. Our mistake was not recognizing what Afghanistan was.

Americans like to believe that everyone is like us. It’s an easy trap to fall into. Wherever we go, the people speak English, listen to our music, and wear Nike shirts. They have opinions about our presidents and want to know how easy it is to move to Fremont. And we cheerfully supply them with more Nike shirts, bad music, worse movies, and try to persuade them to create a United States of Iraq or a United States of Afghanistan. Then when it doesn’t work out, they move to Fremont, Minnesota, or New York City, run for Congress, and tell us they hate us.

If we learn anything from Afghanistan, from Iraq, and from September 11, let it be this.

There have to be boundaries, physical and conceptual borders, between us and the rest of the world. American exceptionalism can’t be a narcissistic belief that everyone ought to be like us. If everyone could become us, there would be nothing exceptional about us. Our exceptionalism is that the rest of the world isn’t like us and never will be. And that if we want to protect ourselves, we have to stop trying to define the world or allowing the rest of the world to redefine America.

We could have won in Afghanistan, swiftly and decisively, and left, if we hadn’t been seduced into believing that Afghanistan could be America and that Afghans deserved to be Americans.

Likewise, Iraq.

Victories became defeats and cemeteries filled with the dead because we lost sight of the truth about Afghanistan and about ourselves. The more we think about Afghanistan or any place in terms of ourselves, the less we see it for what it is. And that can be a deadly illusion.

Americans have spent the last century trying to turn the world into America. Let’s spend this century making America what it was always intended to be: a refuge from the rest of the world.

We won’t win wars anymore because we can no longer remember what we’re fighting for. Unable to draw boundaries between the enemy and ourselves, between our nation and the world, we’ve lost touch with the fundamental purpose and even the concept of what a war is.

To win a war, we have to remember what we’re fighting for. Ourselves.

The Afghans understand that concept. Perhaps they understand it too well. But it’s time we learned it too. If we can’t go to war for ourselves, not for democracy, human rights, or so that Afghan girls can go to school, then we will lose soldiers, lose wars, and lose our nation.

All wars are endless and forever when you don’t understand what it takes to win.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Click here to subscribe to my articles. 

Thank you for reading.

Disloyal: How the Military Brass is Betraying Our Country

Monday, August 16, 2021

The Afghan Army Didn't Surrender: It Rejoined Its Tribes

By On August 16, 2021

The media is filled with absolutely worthless analyses of why the Afghan army surrendered.

Some commentators blame the United States for not providing logistics. Others claimed that we undermined its non-existent morale. There's hand-wringing over the 300,000 Afghan soldiers who wouldn't fight. And the $90 billion that we squandered on building up the army that wouldn't fight.

These analyses are just as dumb as the ones that accompanied the collapse of the Iraqi Army in the face of ISIS.

The Afghan army, like its Iraqi counterpart, was a wholly artificial western institution. When faced with a tribal crisis, its members revert to their first duty, which is going to the defense of their tribe.

The Afghan army didn't "surrender". 

Its Pashtun members surrendered to the Taliban who are fellow Pashtuns. Hazaras fled to Iran and took our equipment with them for the benefit of Hezbollah, the Houthis, and any other Shiite terrorists. The Uzbeks fled to Uzbekistan. 

There's no Afghanistan. It's a collection of tribes whose members are loyal to their own. 

The only group invested in Afghanistan, aside from the State Department, are the Pashtuns.  

But the Taliban are a much more effective Pashtun bid for taking over the country than the pathetic shambles of a free and democratic Afghanistan. 

And for those tribes and subtribes who want to resist the Taliban, they'll do so because they oppose that particular tribe by siding with their tribe and the warlords leading the fight. They won't do so while wearing army uniforms or toting around a lot of our equipment which we thought was absolutely vital to a modern armed force, which the locals aren't culturally compatible with, but is not especially useful for raiding tactics, which the locals are quite good at.

The Afghan army didn't surrender. Much of it never existed. The parts that did exist rejoined their tribes and are waiting for the next move which will come as the Taliban overextends itself and gets too deep in bed with the Chinese. 

Our inability to understand this was the problem all along.

We insisted on building up an imaginary military for an imaginary nation. The whole farce collapsed the moment we decamped because there was no longer anything holding it together.

The people we wrongly call the Afghans reverted to who they had been all along before we demanded that they adopt the same political trappings in which we dress our political system. 

Our system works well enough for us, or at least, as Churchill put it, less badly than any other system.

But the Afghans are not Americans. They're not in it for democracy or human rights. What they want is to gain power through their tribe, their subtribe, their family, and their chosen bosses. 

That's what the war was about for 75% of them. It's what the endless war will be about going forward.

Afghanistan is in a perpetual state of tribal warfare. We never understood that and to the extent that we did, we tried to apply solutions that the locals didn't want and weren't especially interested in.

Now that we're gone, the forever war will continue without our overlay of myths and illusions.

Or at least fewer of them.

The warlords who turn to us for money and guns will talk about human rights. If we're smart, we'll ask them instead how many Taliban they've killed today.

That's how we did things after 9/11. If we had kept on doing things that way, maybe the rest of the world wouldn't be laughing at us.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Why America Can't Win Wars

By On August 15, 2021

"Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time. That's why Americans have never lost and will never lose a war. The very thought of losing is hateful to Americans." 

General George S. Patton 

"It's our belief that one day mujahideen will have victory, and Islamic law will come not to just Afghanistan, but all over the world. We are not in a hurry. We believe it will come one day. Jihad will not end until the last day."

Taliban commander to CNN

Why can't America win wars? 

You've gotta fight a war to win a war. And we don't fight wars. In my upcoming article on the disaster in Afghanistan, I warn that we've lost the ability to define what a war is and why we fight them.

"If we can’t go to war for ourselves, not for
democracy, human rights, or so that Afghan girls can go to school, then we will lose soldiers, lose wars, and lose our nation," I write. 

The average American spent the last decade wondering what the hell we were doing in Afghanistan.

It's a good question with all the usual bad answers. We were propping up a government that wouldn't exist without us. We were exporting our ideals. We were trying to win hearts and minds. We were trying to stabilize an inherently unstable part of the world. What we weren't doing was fighting and winning.

Wars, like stories, are simple things if you define a goal that can be achieved by military means.

Few of our goals could be achieved by military means and certainly not by the ones we were using. 

The Taliban know what they're fighting for. Not only don't we know what we're fighting for, but we couldn't define victory except in terms of Afghanistan turning into San Francisco with coffee shops, courses on feminism, and LGBT parades. The Taliban are fighting a culture war by military means. Our elites tried to do the same thing in Afghanistan without being able to define an enemy or victory.

The same establishment that excels at fighting culture wars against Americans keeps discovering that its toolbox of activism, media bias, and victimhood fails miserably outside the western world.

You can't win a culture war if you don't understand a culture.

The Russian and Chinese Communists understood that they were out to suppress Islam. The Chinese Communists are still doing it. Compare their tactics of forcing Uighur men to shave their beards and drink alcohol to America funding feminism and democracy in Afghanistan. Undermining traditional culture worked in America, they assumed that it would work in Afghanistan. They assumed that they could co-opt Islam the way they have elements of Christianity and Judaism into their woke project.

Their repeat failures in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Europe should be a wake-up call to their bright future in Little Mogadishu and all the Islamic enclaves that they've created in America. 

But it won't be.

Up until the very last moment, the State Department believed that it could co-opt the Taliban into the political system they had set up in Afghanistan. Elements of it still seem to believe that they can even as the Jihadists advance into Kabul. Victory, such as it was, had come to be defined as the Taliban seeing reason and deciding to stop being Jihadists. Three administrations bought into this dumb fantasy.

Jihadists who believe that "Islamic law will come not to just Afghanistan, but all over the world" are not interested in playing Let's Make a Deal except as Taqiyya to keep the infidels off-balance.

The Taliban play to win. We don't.

That's the simple answer to why we haven't won wars in a long time and aren't about to start. 

American soldiers are the best. They win battles all the time. When faced against an enemy that will stand and fight, our men roll over them. We aren't losing those kinds of battles: we keep losing wars in which the leaders can't define what a war is or what victory looks like in military terms.

Let's get back to Patton for a moment. "Sure, we all want to go home. We want to get this war over with. But you can't win a war lying down. The quickest way to get it over with is to get the bastards who started it" and "I don't want any messages saying 'I'm holding my position.' We're not holding a goddamned thing. We're advancing constantly."

What were we doing in Afghanistan for 15 years? Were we getting anything over it? Were we getting anyone? Were we winning a war so we could go home or were we holding our positions? 

Wars can be won when you're out to defeat the enemy. 

When you're not out to defeat the enemy, you never win the war and you never go home until you get tired of holding your position and waiting for the culture to change. 

The inability to define war or victory isn't a military problem: it's a cultural problem.

We can't win wars because while Patton's "Americans play to win all the time. That's why Americans have never lost and will never lose a war" may still ring true in parts of the country, it's as alien to the elites who run the country as the Taliban are. It's a strange species of exotica for people who drink organic seltzer, hand out participation trophies, and spend all their time worrying about victimhood.

They view the military as a means to a non-military end. That's how we ended up in Afghanistan.

Stability, cultural transformation, and all the rest of it are non-military ends. If you want to use the military to achieve a non-military end, you have to engage in conquest and then use force to transform a region or a society. That's what the Taliban did and that's what they'll be doing again.

After successfully using the military for a military end, in both Afghanistan and Iraq, defeating our named enemies, our elites embarked on an impotent program of cultural change in which they couldn't tell themselves the truth about what they were doing or even explain why the military was there.

They assumed that they were liberating the innate forces of progress and civilization which would thrive if we just had some soldiers there to protect them. No wonder the non-European parts of the world were laughing at us. What the hell were we doing in Afghanistan? That's what we were doing in Afghanistan.

And so many places before it. We were trying to protect client states that couldn't stand on their own. We were practicing imperialism without the empire and it was always bound to fall apart on us.

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

Sun Tzu

Americans don't know the enemy. And increasingly our elites don't know ourselves. 

They can't define what a war is or how to win it. And they sure as hell can't define the enemy, let alone know the enemy. 

They've lost the cultural skills to understand what war is and what victory looks like.

And they're the ones calling the shots.

Friday, August 13, 2021

A Myth Named Afghanistan

By On August 13, 2021
American soldiers would often show up at villages in rural areas of Afghanistan to win the 'hearts and minds' of the locals only to learn that they not only don't understand what America is, but aren't even aware that they're living in a country called Afghanistan.

And don't especially care.

Afghanistan is an imaginary country. Much like Iraq and Syria. These places have history, but the idea of a country is an external concept embraced by local elites who want centralized authority, but resisted by locals in rural areas.

The real Afghanistan is a collection of different ethnic groups and Islamic denominations, where tribe matters far more than nationality.

We "won" Afghanistan by backing an anti-Taliban tribal coalition. The strategy, much like the Sunni Awakening in Iraq, paid off because we provided air and military support to a viable tribal opposition.

The clean and effective victory was then ruined by trying to "modernize" and "democratize" Afghanistan.

We plowed billions into building a modern Afghan army. Just like the effort to build a modern Iraqi army, it was doomed.

The Afghans couldn't be trusted to fight alongside us or even alongside each other. The only kind of viable military force in a tribal society consists of people who trust each other fighting together using traditional raiding tactics.

The Afghan army collapsed in the face of the Taliban for the same reason that the Iraqi army collapsed in the face of ISIS.

We were trying to get people who don't think like us or live like us to fight like us.

That was never going to work.

A modern Afghanistan was worse than a client state. It was a Potemkin village of State Department and USAID workers funding female rock bands and American officers trying to get Afghans to act like they're in a modern western army. All that led to was Afghans feeling insulted and trying to kill Americans.

Afghanistan was a strange dream that Americans had. The Afghans never shared that dream. The moment we announced that we were leaving, the soldiers we had dressed up, abandoned ship. Every Afghan we had spent a fortune paying to participate in our production of a modern Afghanistan fled. The show was over, the paying crowd was leaving, and the Taliban smoothly took over everything.

Everyone except us understood that was going to happen.

The old Brits or Frenchmen who had lived through this same phenomenon in the fifties could have told us about it, but we wouldn't have listened.

And we still don't understand.

A tribal opposition to the Taliban will likely emerge. And we will likely fund them. That opposition may succeed in dividing the country. The warlords in the Taliban coalition and the opposition coalition will move back and forth as they did during our part of the Afghanistan war.

It's become fashionable to call Afghanistan an "endless war". But it's not our endless war. It's the endless war of the tribes, clans and families that make up much of the Muslim world. We didn't begin the "endless war" in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria or anywhere else.

It was foolish of us to believe that we could end it.

The difficult realities are those no one wants to hear.

There was never a solution to Afghanistan. Nation-building was never going to work And the odds are that after we've withdrawn, Islamic terrorists are going to set up shop and begin the cycle all over again.

Americans think in terms of solutions. Or at least we used to.

But cultural problems can't be solved. The War On Poverty failed for the same reasons that the War on Drugs failed. And for the same reason that our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan ultimately failed.

The Founding Fathers understood that we could solve our own problems. We couldn't solve those of Europe. We still can't.

But the flip side of the reality is that isolation only gets us so far in a world in which terrorists can hijack planes and fly them into buildings.

Or get their hands on nuclear weapons.

More than ever we think in binary and polar terms. All either one thing or another. Reality doesn't work that way.

We need to avoid being drawn into more nation-building folly, but there will come times when we'll need to militarily intervene to protect our interests.

Those interventions should be short and decisive. They should set a clear goal of destroying the enemy without then being drawn into a futile program of stabilizing and constructing a new system that we approve of on the rubble of the enemy.

That's foolish and doomed.

The temptation to stabilize a source of instability is geopolitically rational, but doomed by culture. The nation-builders were right that failing to stabilize Iraq or Afghanistan meant that we would get dragged back in. It already happened in Iraq, the odds of it happening at some point in Afghanistan are pretty good.

But that means we'll have to learn to live with an Israeli model of occasional brief interventions with low casualties rather than extended engagements. We are done with trying to replicate WW2 or Vietnam all over again. Or at least we should be.

This model doesn't really fix anything. It isn't any kind of solution. And as terrorists get closer to accessing more dangerous weapons, building their own drones and rockets, obtaining chemical, biological or nuclear materials through the same pipeline from North Korea to Pakistan to Iran, there may be a hell of a price to pay.

There were better decisions that we could have and should have made before and after September 11.

We didn't make them. And that means we are where we are. Our enemies are getting more dangerous just as we're getting weaker.

Everyone needs to adapt to a new reality horizon and work with the situation as it is. But that probably won't happen. Instead the debate will go back to being between the same old failed intervention model or the equally failed model of insisting that if we ignore the problem, it'll go away.

It won't.

The basic crisis is simple enough.

Islamic terrorist insurgencies are expanding. Demographics mean that there will increasingly be more of them than there are of us and they will seek, as the Nazis did, Lebensraum or Breathing Room, through migration or immigration, colonization or conquest. Either way there will be enemies without and within whose organization and capabilities will continue to increase even as ours decay.

A sane country would have responded to 9/11 by cutting off their sources of funding and weapons with brief and decisive campaigns targeting oil-rich states and the North Korea-Pakistan-Iran weapons pipeline.

Instead we spent our time chasing the terrorists and trying to rebuild their societies.

Wars that could have been won became unwinnable exercises in suicidal sociology. That choice may mark one of the turning points of our decline. And it came from a political culture that was unable to deal with real problems, only with ideological abstractions, run by men who thought entirely in terms of the ideas that they had absorbed in the past, and with no room left for questioning those ideas.

The only real lesson of Afghanistan is that we need to step out of the boxes and echo chambers and start seeing the world as it is, and evaluating problems and solutions the way we would tackle a broken chair or a toilet, not in ideological, but in practical terms.

If we can't learn that lesson, then we can always debate the sex of all the angels can dance on the heads of a pin while the Turks besiege our walls. History offers ample lessons for societies that can't learn from the past, the present, or the future.

We ought to learn them before the barbarians aren't just in Kabul, but on our own borders.


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