Trump and Afghanistan

Just watched the speech and, really, it will take some time for everyone to figure out all the details, but I’ll say this: in war, there is no substitute for victory. Trump has set himself a stern test: Victory.

Now, can he get that? Yes, if you understand:

1. A victory doesn’t mean a liberal democracy in Afghanistan. It will be an authortarian regime with a thin veneer of democratic process. It will still be very Islamic and they’ll do a lot of things we don’t like.

2. A victory does mean an Afghan government in control of more than 90% of Afghan territory and able to defend itself without US ground forces.

3. A victory does mean that the Afghan government which emerges includes some elements currently aligned with the Taliban – in other words, people brought over to our side by the stick of massive military force and the carrot of being able to sit high on the hog if they come over in a timely manner.

4. In the geo-political game of that area, if the Afghan government is broadly aligned with us rather than, say, Iran or Pakistan, then that is victory.

I think this can be done – the gloves are off our military and they’ll have the ability to hit hard at the enemy. And if we do it convincingly enough, then the Afghans, themselves, will cease their whining about US military actions…they’ve only done that over the past years because they were worried we’d leave them in the lurch and at the tender mercies of the Taliban. Convince them that we’re the toughest guys and we will win, and all of a sudden everyone who wants to live will be on our side.

This is a harsh business – and there’s no solution which is 100% in line with what our American preferences would be. But we can get a victory – and then get out. We’ll see, now, if Trump can deliver.

17 thoughts on “Trump and Afghanistan

  1. Frank Lee (@trumpcowboy) August 22, 2017 / 2:34 am

    I agree with your broad points. If we fight to “win” rather than to reinvent that society, then maybe we have a chance. Trump was simply not in a position to instantly pull out, or the country simply would be divided by Iran and Pakistan. Also, let’s not forget than in addition to 16 years of war there, we used the country in a proxy war with Russia for a couple decades before. They did what we (America) asked and drove out the Russians. We then abandoned them. That’s what created the problem. I think you’re right, that we have to simply look the other way when warlords take control in nasty ways, as long as they are US friendly warlords. The real hope for that country comes from this: they LOVE capitalism. As bad as everything is, markets are filled with goods (unlike Venezuela) and the people have no real desire to return to communism. If they could stop shooting each other for a few years, their economy would grow on its own. The other thing is that they love technology (particularly cell phones), and have no desire to go back to the Taliban’s era of no TV or gadgets. Unfortunately, there is the drug thing (growing, selling and using). It’s a major, major problem.

    But I think Trump had to give it a try and I can’t blame him for listening to his generals. Prince’s mercenary idea is very interesting, but there’s nothing stopping Trump from shifting to that in a couple years if this didn’t work. But a full pull out right now? It would be a disaster.

  2. Retired Spook August 22, 2017 / 11:01 am

    One of the talking heads on Fox Special Report said last night that the Chinese would love to see us get bogged down in Afghanistan spending money we don’t have. I don’t think it’s quite as simple as that, but it does illustrate the dilemma we face. There’s certainly no clear-cut way forward, and I don’t envy the people making the final decisions.

  3. simoneee9 August 23, 2017 / 12:23 am

    Anyone watching Trump in Phoenix? He’s raving like a lunatic. Hard to believe this is the President of the United States. So disappointing.

    • Frank Lee (@trumpcowboy) August 23, 2017 / 1:10 am

      The old political smears don’t work anymore. The left really needs to find some new tools. For many, many years it worked to label your opponent as “crazy” or “raving” or a “lunatic.” The smear was so nasty people figured it must be at least partially true. Likewise, labeling someone “racist” worked. The old Democratic trick of sending in false flags who are supposedly Nazi’s and trying to create violence around a candidate: that used to work. Very briefly, the “fact checking” smear was a nice trick. But guess what? All that stuff doesn’t work in the internet age where people can go and look and see for themselves. The MSM doesn’t have a monopoly where they can distort the truth and people will believe them. And people on the internet see right through sock puppets and empty political smears.

      I just checked out Trump’s speech, like millions will on You Tube over and over. It was terrific. If the left doesn’t figure out how to update their playbook, or adopt some policies that people like, or find some candidate that people actually want to vote for, they’re in for a very sad decade.

    • Amazona August 23, 2017 / 9:46 am

      I am so sad, so deeply and profoundly sad, to learn that Simple Simon is disappointed. What could matter more than learning that a rabid anti-Trump zealot is disappointed in a Trump speech? Who woulda thunk it?

  4. Cluster August 23, 2017 / 8:58 am

    I am beginning to question the mental stability of Democrats and the media. They race from one manufactured crisis to another, are convinced the world is coming to an end either through climate change or white supremacy, and their political agenda has been reduced to nothing more than standing on a corner, pointing and screaming. Ironically, the two factions currently at war with each other; the KKK and Antifa, originate from the Democratic Party. So now they are fighting each other, and they accuse others of behaving poorly. Go figure.

    • Amazona August 23, 2017 / 9:55 am

      They are not only fighting each other, the Leftists are posturing as white supremacists because of the success the Left has had in linking the concept of “Nazi” with the concept of “the Right”, and the alleged anti-fascists are using fascist tactics to fight a non-existent Right, knowing the prior success in sucking millions into a belief that fascism is “Right-wing”.

      The levels of deception in this ginned-up faux “battle” are mind-boggling but when deconstructed show nothing but Leftist machinations designed to fool people and create divisiveness and strife.

    • Frank Lee (@trumpcowboy) August 23, 2017 / 7:17 pm

      The Democrats and the media’s strategy makes perfect sense. (If frighteningly evil.) After letting the genie out of the bottle by encouraging Trump’s run (assuming it would be a disaster) they have been hoping to create rioting and bloodshed between the left and the right.

      They are well aware the right has more weapons and training, and assumed in a minor civil war it would be easy to portray the right as the villains.

      They also know they have enough votes from establishment swamp Republicans to impeach Trump (with all the Democratic votes.) Rioting and bloodshed would give the eRepublicans cover for getting rid of Trump. (Notice how quickly Ryan leap away from Trump and supported rioting leftist, hoping things would get worse to cover his treachery.)

      They also know, they have absolutely no choice. What Trump has done, what he represents, is the end of their party and media empire. The Democrats are so corrupt, they simply can’t win elections unless the Republican party is equally corrupt. And if Trump can win (and prosper) without MSM approval, they are finished too.

      There is one… amazing… amazing… thing that went wrong with their plans. The right has been startlingly restrained in their response to being threatened, maced, punched and spit upon. It is absolutely incredible the vast majority of the right has put up with this madness without resorting to eye for an eye payback (in the most part). That is something they didn’t count on, and frankly, it’s a surprise to me too that all the provocations haven’t worked.

      Perhaps, in addition to having lots of training and weapons the right has more discipline and respect for the law (not to mention stable families they want protected). But I think Trump himself deserves most of the credit. Despite the out and out lies of the media, he has always called for restraint while also standing firm. And his mix of toughness and humor shows real leadership. There’s a tremendous amount of really wonderful humor and satire coming out of the right in response to the violent provocations. Very creative and not destructive.

      • M. Noonan August 23, 2017 / 11:09 pm

        Clearly, a lot of GOPers would be happy for Trump to go away – but I think that McConnell is far more friendly to Trump than is admitted. I could be wrong, of course, but McConnell is a workhorse politician…he wants his side to win, and right now his side includes Trump. He knows that if Trump goes down, so does his whole side…and he won’t want his legacy to be a Democrat President and Congress taking revenge. Ryan is a bit more of a doubtful quality which I, as a fellow Catholic, think I understand…perhaps it is a pity Ryan never served in the Navy: you get a strong stomach for the outlandish in the Navy, after all. Trump is vulgar and not what a Catholic would prescribe, were such asked to describe the desired political leader. OTOH, Ryan simply must know that his caucus largely backs Trump (or, at least, Trump policies) and knows, further, that the way to political suicide for the House GOP is to turn against Trump.

        The left is playing with Civil War fire, but I suspect they don’t realize it…they are rather mindless in their opposition and simply believe, with astonishing credulity, whatever the MSM is putting out. For Trump the whole key, now, is 2018…if we can engineer an increase in the number of GOP House and Senate members then it will simply destroy any internal GOP opposition to his plans. Part of this will require at least some action on tax and health care reform – but mostly it would be cast as a case of, “I’m doing my best to Make America Great Again, but I need more solid GOPers in DC”. The 2018 mid-terms will be nationalized – there’s no doubt in my mind about it. A referendum on Trump. A lot of the experts (ie, people who told us Trump had no chance) are sure such a thing will be a disaster for the GOP given how intense Democrat feeling is…but I believe that Trumpster feeling is at least as strong, and may be stronger…meanwhile, small-donation fundraising by the GOP is an indicator that the GOP’s street strength is growing.

        Time will tell – but if we can win in 2018, then all the walls of opposition are down and we really simply have to wait while various Trump and GOP actions gut what remains of Democrat power.

  5. Cluster August 23, 2017 / 9:37 am

    One of today’s headlines:

    Dershowitz: President Has Obligation to Condemn Racist Right

    And HE HAS!! On numerous occasions.How about if Democrats denounce BLM and Antifa? That would be the larger obligation Mr. Dershowitz. Oh and thanks for your help in acquitting a murderer.

    • Amazona August 23, 2017 / 9:50 am

      I wonder if Mr. Dershowitz can explain what it is about racism that is related to a belief in Constitutional governance—that is, to the “Right”.

      He’s a pretty smart man, but here he seems to have drunk the KoolAid and bought into the old 1939 canard that Nazis are on the “Right”.

      Also, this Dershowitz comment is just another foray into Identity Politics. How about just condemning racism, period?

      It’s alarming how many are buying into the Leftist narrative, which is just another example of the success of Semantic Infiltration. Repeat a lie often enough and eventually you’ll have everyone repeating it, even those who are harmed by it.

  6. Amazona August 23, 2017 / 9:58 am

    I just ran across a sentence that is part of an article on those who support abortion, but I am passing it on because it has such relevance to what we see daily from the Left:

    …. you can’t reason people out of ideas that they weren’t reasoned into…

    • Cluster August 23, 2017 / 11:30 am

      That’s a great line. Progressive policies are 100% emotionally based, thus any semblance of reason goes right out the window. Take science for example, progressives like to think that science is the bedrock of their political ideology and scoff at anyone who questions the “consensus” surrounding climate change, but then turn around and deny basic biology with all of this gender fluid crap. YCMTSU!! If you take away the victim based policies of Democrats, what do they really have to offer?

  7. Cluster August 23, 2017 / 11:47 am

    In case everyone missed it – here is a list of demands from the Louisville, KY BLM leader, and this speaks directly to my assertion that I just don’t think they are mentally fit:

    1. White people, if you don’t have any descendants, will your property to a black or brown family. Preferably one that lives in generational poverty.

    2. White people, if you’re inheriting property you intend to sell upon acceptance, give it to a black or brown family. You’re bound to make that money in some other white privileged way.

    3. If you are a developer or realty owner of multi-family housing, build a sustainable complex in a black or brown blighted neighborhood and let black and brown people live in it for free.

    4. White people, if you can afford to downsize, give up the home you own to a black or brown family. Preferably a family from generational poverty.

    5. White people, if any of the people you intend to leave your property to are racists assholes, change the will, and will your property to a black or brown family. Preferably a family from generational poverty.

    6. White people, re-budget your monthly so you can donate to black funds for land purchasing.

    7. White people, especially white women (because this is yaw specialty — Nosey Jenny and Meddling Kathy), get a racist fired. Yaw know what the fuck they be saying. You are complicit when you ignore them. Get your boss fired cause they racist too.

    8. Backing up No. 7, this should be easy but all those sheetless Klan, Nazi’s and Other lil’ dick-white men will all be returning to work. Get they ass fired. Call the police even: they look suspicious.

    9. OK, backing up No. 8, if any white person at your work, or as you enter in spaces and you overhear a white person praising the actions from yesterday, first, get a pic. Get their name and more info. Hell, find out where they work — Get Them Fired. But certainly address them, and, if you need to, you got hands: use them.

    10. Commit to two things: Fighting white supremacy where and how you can (this doesn’t mean taking up knitting, unless you’re making scarves for black and brown kids in need), and funding black and brown people and their work.

  8. Amazona August 23, 2017 / 2:39 pm

    I wonder if this moron realizes that he sounds like someone still on a plantation, asking for handouts from those above him. This would be embarrassing, if these people were capable of shame.

    There is the begging aspect. There is Magical Thinking—–if some white people give away what their parents earned and tried to pass on, no prob—they’re “…bound to make that money in some other white privileged way….” Like maybe, I dunno, WORKING FOR IT like their parents did? There is sexism, the bit about “white women being nothing but “Nosey Jenny and Meddling Kathy”. There is philosophy—you can’t fight racism by knitting (I’m putting that on a bumper sticker) though I do feel a twinge of white guilt for never being inspired by the sight of all those little black and brown children running around in their knitted scarves, while the needy and scarfless look on in pain and envy.

    “Call the police”. The same police you want to kill? THOSE police?

    But my favorite is the part about “funding black and brown people where they work”. Black and brown people who want to work are already funded, by their employers.

  9. Amazona August 23, 2017 / 11:24 pm

    OT on this thread, but an interesting article about a legal challenge to the SPLC’s arbitrary “hate group” list. From the article:

    Attached is a recent article entitled, “D.C. Shooter A Fan of the Southern Poverty Law Center.” Not only has the SPLC’s hate list been connected to at least two incidents of attempted mass murder, the article quotes Mark Potock, of the SPLC, who admitted in an interview: “Our criteria for a ‘hate group,’ first of all, have nothing to do with criminality, or violence, or any kind of guess we’re making about ‘this group could be dangerous.’ It’s strictly ideological.” (Emphasis added.)

    In the attached recent article, “A Demagogic Bully: The Southern Poverty Law Center Demonizes Respectable Political Opponents as ‘Hate Groups’—And Keeps its Coffers Bulging,” Mark Pulliam catalogues the SPLC’s biased listings and describes how the SPLC unfairly uses a loose definition to smear ideological opponents having no connection to actual hate groups:

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