Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Saturday, August 24, 2019

The Afghan Taliban and the United States have reached an agreement on a time frame of pullout of foreign forces from Afghanistan, Taliban chief spokesperson Suhail Shaheen said on Friday.

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"We've been there [in Afghanistan] for 18 years, it's ridiculous," US President Donald Trump told reporters on Tuesday. "We are negotiating with the government and we are negotiating with the Taliban. We have good talks going and we will see what happens."

Damn.... Orangutan came through!

#1 | Posted by J_Tremain at 2019-08-24 12:28 AM | Reply

Afghanistan is called the grave yard of empire for good reason. Why we would have any thing to do with the back room of the world is a little crazy, but they got into our cross hairs post 9-11. Few facts that soldiers know that you will not. More than half of the soldiers spend their entire tour on the FOB. Fobbits are those who are never in contact with the locals outside the wire. Those who do have contact with Afghans say they are generally honest and hard working. The environment is demanding and the inhabitants are very tough. On the down side, about a third are addicts. More than half use opioids at least occasionally. They seem to love American alcohol- (valuable trade item), Viagra, porn and money. As Churchill noted that one could not buy the Afghan"s loyalty, but it could be rented. What will happen will probity be a Taliban led government akin to the system in Iran. As fractured an Afghanistan has always been, the only basis of governmental legitimacy is Islam to some degree. Maybe they won't let the IS or some other group who want to kill us set up operations.

#2 | Posted by docnjo at 2019-08-24 10:21 AM | Reply

Taliban, US agree on troop pullout time frame

If we finally leave, great.

But I'll believe it when I see it.

#3 | Posted by PinchALoaf at 2019-08-24 10:51 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

When do helicopters arrive on the embassy roof?

#4 | Posted by SomebodyElse at 2019-08-24 01:56 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

As if the Taliban had to agree. They'd say "yes" to anhy plan that involved withdrawal of American troops.

Now let's start planning on getting the rest of them from Asia back home.

#5 | Posted by goatman at 2019-08-24 03:25 PM | Reply

Trillions pissed away down a hole we're simply walking away from.

And no, I'm not saying we should stay. I'm saying we never should have been.

#6 | Posted by jpw at 2019-08-24 06:46 PM | Reply

Right after 9/11 several ME countries offered to send troops. W gave them the brushoff.

IMO, had the force in Afghanistan been primarily from the ME, as it could have been, the Taliban would have been completely rooted out and a more stable government been in place long ago, supported by countries from that region. Instead, Bush set up the West as 'invaders.'

#7 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-08-24 07:25 PM | Reply

"#7 | POSTED BY AMERICANUNITY "

Sounds like Obama blew a huge opportunity as well.

#8 | Posted by goatman at 2019-08-24 07:36 PM | Reply

"Right after 9/11 several ME countries offered to send troops."

Which countries?

#9 | Posted by goatman at 2019-08-24 07:38 PM | Reply

I thought the big idea was for the "Northern Alliance" to take the fight to the Taliban with support from the US.

Which turned into the "Northern Alliance" expecting the US to do the fighting and them to waltz in later and assume control.

Fuzzy memory since it was a long time ago, but that's the way I recall it went.

#10 | Posted by REDIAL at 2019-08-24 07:43 PM | Reply

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#10 | Posted by REDIAL

That was the Bush-Cheney plan.

I specifically remember that in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, several ME countries offered troops to fight Al Qaeda/Taliban but were turned down flat. Also, how ships and subs with cruise missles were moved out of range of Afghanistan.

Most troubling of all was when CIA agent Gary Berntsen, who had Bin Laden and his deputies in sight in Tora Bora, was denied Rangers/additional forces to take them out. Instead, they escaped.

What makes the observance of this 9/11 anniversary so enervating and even shameful is an acute sense of what might have been. According to some experts, the main conflict against Al Qaeda could have effectively ended in as little six months, by mid-to-late 2002, had the right decisions been made by our elected and appointed officials.

No one knows this better than Gary Berntsen, the CIA officer in charge of the operation at Tora Bora who, with the Afghan forces he commanded, had managed to trap the chief perpetrator of 9/11, Osama bin Laden, and his fellow terrorists in their mountain redoubt in mid-December of 2001, only two months after 9/11. With a Delta Force officer standing by his side, Berntsen drafted a message to his superiors back in Washington that he told me ended with this line: "Let's kill this baby in the crib." Berntsen wanted to send in troops"fewer than 1,000 Army Rangers"who could have closed the noose (his position was backed by Marine Gen. James Mattis, who wanted to send in his own troops), but George W. Bush, on the advice of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney, turned him down, believing that Pakistani forces would trap bin Laden as the Afghans forced him southward into Pakistan. (In fact, the Pakistanis were likely helping bin Laden to escape.) Other opportunities presented themselves in the months that followed, in places like Shahikot. But rather than send troops into Afghanistan to eliminate Al Qaeda, the Bush administration began to massively shift men and resources to Iraq, where Al Qaeda didn't then exist.

"The war could have been over pretty quickly," Berntsen told me on Friday. "We could have had the entire Al Qaeda command structure had we done that. Also the terrorism that metastasized into Pakistan might not have happened. It's impossible to prove any of this. It's a what-if. But, sadly, we lost the opportunity."

www.politico.com


#11 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-08-24 08:07 PM | Reply

"I specifically remember that in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, several ME countries offered troops to fight Al Qaeda/Taliban

#11 | POSTED BY AMERICANUNITY"

Which countries were those?

#12 | Posted by goatman at 2019-08-24 08:20 PM | Reply

#11 | POSTED BY AMERICANUNITY"
Which countries were those?

#12 | POSTED BY GOATMAN AT 2019-08-24 08:20 PM |

imaginarystan, United Arab hallucinations, feverdreamistan, and the independent state of dilusion

#13 | Posted by hatter5183 at 2019-08-24 09:47 PM | Reply

"#13 | POSTED BY HATTER5183 "

I had a feeling Americanunity made this up because I don't remember any support from the Middle East after 9/11, much less the US refusing it since we were trying to put together a coalition to help us fight.

#14 | Posted by goatman at 2019-08-24 09:52 PM | Reply

136 countries have offered a range of military assistance. Among them were many Islamic countries. Their offers were rejected. I remember reading about that at the time.

#15 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-08-24 10:22 PM | Reply

""I specifically remember that in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, several ME countries offered troops to fight Al Qaeda/Taliban

POSTED BY AMERICANUNITY"

I read your link and I don't see a list of those countries. Please copy and paste that part from your link for me.

Thank you.

#16 | Posted by goatman at 2019-08-24 10:30 PM | Reply

Here, I googled it for you:
Operation Enduring Freedom
en.wikipedia.org

Belligerents
In Afghanistan: (completed)
NATO
ISAF
Afghanistan
United States
United Kingdom
France
Australia
Canada
Germany
Norway
Italy
Georgia
Spain
Portugal
Poland
Armenia
Azerbaijan
Denmark
Sweden
Czech Republic
New Zealand
Ukraine
Turkey
Uzbekistan
Turkmenistan
Tajikistan
United Arab Emirates
Former:
Afghanistan Northern Alliance

#17 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-08-24 10:36 PM | Reply

"136 countries have offered a range of military assistance. Among them were many Islamic countries. Their offers were rejected. I remember reading about that at the time.

POSTED BY AMERICANUNITY"

Anything on that yet, AU?

#18 | Posted by goatman at 2019-08-24 10:38 PM | Reply

Well, it looks like crickets from AU. Could ths mean he is making stuff up again?

#19 | Posted by goatman at 2019-08-24 10:47 PM | Reply

""I specifically remember that in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, several ME countries offered troops to fight Al Qaeda/Taliban

#11 | POSTED BY AMERICANUNITY"

You have a citation for this yet, or is it just another one of your flights of fancy?

#20 | Posted by goatman at 2019-08-25 03:26 AM | Reply

Wow.

#21 | Posted by snoofy at 2019-08-25 03:35 AM | Reply

"Wow.

#21 | POSTED BY SNOOFY "

I agree with you. Yet another wild claim AU can't back up.

#22 | Posted by goatman at 2019-08-25 03:41 AM | Reply

Imho this is a disaster waiting to happen.

#23 | Posted by Augustine at 2019-08-25 03:46 AM | Reply

"Imho this is a disaster waiting to happen.

#23 ut | POSTED BY AUGUSTINE "

I'm sure you're right, but if the US isn't there, who cares? Let those savages do whatever they do to each other.

#24 | Posted by goatman at 2019-08-25 03:47 AM | Reply

Watch the movie "12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers" (www.militarytimes.com). The Taliban were evil and they haven't changed. No matter what is promised will be forgotten as soon as Allied forces move out.

Preventing extremists from reoccupying the balance of Afghanistan is mission worth supporting. For 50 years after WW2, US forces remained based in Germany to (first) prevent W. Germany's post-Nazi government from backsliding toward authoritarianism and then later to protect it from Soviet expansionist threats. That long investment of allied military commitment paid off and undoubtedly helped Europe and the world be a safer place.

Why not make the same investment in Central Asia? Why invite the enemy of the Northern Alliance back to power? Why undermine our own accomplishments in this strategic part of the world?

#25 | Posted by Augustine at 2019-08-25 04:08 AM | Reply

Why invite the enemy of the Northern Alliance back to power?

Well sir.... here is how things stand:

The northern alliance is the govt today. They are drug lords and crooks and hopelessly corrupt. And they have got more Afghans killed than the taliban ever did. All Afghans hate their govt. And their hate is transferred to the US as the govt won't survive a week without US protection. They only have support among the minority Persian/Darri speakers. And only because they share the corruption with their own tribe.

On the other hand, we have the taliban. These are evil country-side hicks. Totally useless people but have the backing of at least 10 million afghans (Pushto speakers).

Either way, none of these people are going places. Afghanistan will never produce a rocket scientist or a brain surgeon or titan of literature. The country and it's people are a waste and a burden.

Good luck.

#26 | Posted by J_Tremain at 2019-08-25 04:44 AM | Reply

Why not make the same investment in Central Asia?

Stepping all over Russia's and China's toes? LOL

Not happening.

Besides, the US no longer has the resources for another Marshall Aid program.

#27 | Posted by J_Tremain at 2019-08-25 04:46 AM | Reply

"#17 | POSTED BY SNOOFY "

That's really, really nice of you to come to Americanunity's aid, but he said:

"I specifically remember that in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, several ME countries offered troops to fight Al Qaeda/Taliban but were turned down flat. " (post # 11)

1) only one country on the list is in the Middle East, not "several" as AU claimed

2) Of that one country, you failed to provide proof that theu promised to provide troops to fight as AU said

3) Also, of that one (not several) country, you fail to prove that their alleged offer to help was "turned down flat"

Snoofy, you should think twice before appointing yourself as americanunity's spokesman. He makes a lot of stuff up and it makes you look silly trying to defend it,.

#28 | Posted by goatman at 2019-08-25 06:42 AM | Reply

"The Taliban were evil and they haven't changed. No matter what is promised will be forgotten as soon as Allied forces move out."

In 2001, the Taliban was comprised of middle aged men who had cut their teeth fighting the Soviets up until 1989, and then the Soviet-backed Afghan government after that.

Those guys are all dead or retired. You might be right-they might be evil...but I don't really think so. The relationship between the GoA and the Taliban is like quarreling cousins. They fight like hell, until someone else comes along. When fighting ISIS-K, it was common for soldiers on both sides to come together.

#29 | Posted by madbomber at 2019-08-25 01:13 PM | Reply

The one thing missing from all of your observations is the stick part of carrot and stick. Leaving and giving them power is the carrot. Stating that acts of international terrorism is a weapon of mass destruction, the stick. The US doesn't use bug eyed zealots to fly planes into buildings, we only have one weapon of mass destruction. That should give you pause. I am certain that has given the Taliban something to contemplate. It all depends on how quickly they can effectively govern and not be distracted by some guy that doesn't have a beard or some woman who is out without an escort. The worse thing that could happen to Afghanistan is to return to the control of these Islamist, but I think it is high time these people take a flying leap back to the 7th century.

#30 | Posted by docnjo at 2019-08-25 01:37 PM | Reply

Obama caught hell from the right wingers here for abiding by Status of Forces agreement W negotiated with Iraq requiring us to remove our forces. He didn't have a choice. Trump does. Where's the right wing outrage? Huh? Ya, thought so ...

#31 | Posted by AMERICANUNITY at 2019-08-26 02:58 AM | Reply

Yeah, I seem to remember righties getting their panties in a wad over Obama's withdrawal and the enemy knowing our troop movements.

#32 | Posted by jpw at 2019-08-26 12:28 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"Yeah, I seem to remember righties getting their panties in a wad over Obama's withdrawal and the enemy knowing our troop movements."

There goes another Republican talking point, straight to the fastest-growing cemetery in politics.

#33 | Posted by Danforth at 2019-08-26 12:35 PM | Reply

The worse thing that could happen to Afghanistan is to return to the control of these Islamist, but I think it is high time these people take a flying leap back to the 7th century.

#30 | POSTED BY DOCNJO

That's nice that you think that.

Unfortunately Trump just handed the country over to them.

#Winning

#34 | Posted by Sycophant at 2019-08-26 01:41 PM | Reply

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