Taliban

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They’re unruly, misogynistic; despotic
Act unduly pietistic; psychotic
Their comportment is dense; idiotic
Devoid of empathy; feelings erotic

These stupes steeped in stupor and trances; hypnotic
Are hard core hardliners; soulless; robotic
They render societal flesh dead; necrotic
Depress poor folk, till they’re blue; cyanotic

This horde who’s oppressive, obsessive; neurotic
Thwarts cosmos; sets forth path; chaotic
The scourge they spread hath no antibiotic
Their stillborn régime dropped from swill; amniotic

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The Put Up or Shut Up Act of ’21

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Listen up you arrogant, saber rattling, chicken hawk, chickenshit, hyper-partisan, hot air breathing firebrands, (f)lawmakers and broadcasting blow holes!

IF your perfect 20/20 hindsight has been triggering your opposition to wheeler / dealer Donald J. Trump’s Afghanistan Exit Strategy (seen to fruition by President Joe Biden); IF you flat-out insist that American troops get redeployed, STAT; i.e., to restage that till the end of time, no-win, godforsaken war, THEN YOU go fight it!

Working towards that end…

Just to indulge you cannibals; to sate your ravenous hunger for human entrails; quench your insatiable thirst for human blood, I propose the following legislation, which I’m certain you pseudo-patriot, flag humpers will support TWO TRILLION PERCENT. It is with you in mind that we name this law, too. Check this out!

The Put Up or Shut Up Act of ’21

And, I’m reasonably confident, too, that Biden would promptly sign on the dotted line to make it the law of the land!

This law, stated unambiguously…

America will hereby draft and deploy, wherever needed, all able-bodied, age 18+, warmongering pundits and politicians; as well as each and every able-bodied, age 18+ warmongering member of their families.

Acting Senator CommonSenseTom • August 23, 2021

I can already sense your exhilaration; so much so, that you’ve already started packing your bags, updating your wills and pre-planning your own funerals! As they say in show biz, “Break a leg!”

Listen up re my pre-battle pep talk, too. The time is ripe for you guys to put up or shut up! IF your battlefield bite equals your bluster’s bark, the Taliban won’t stand a chance. Of course, that IS a BIG IF!

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The Wind of 120 Days / Change

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Being unable to actually, meaningfully converse with civilians who still call Afghanistan home, my understanding of their plight will be limited to conjecture; hopefully insightful, educated guessing. And, seeing how I’ve only had a scant seven days to sort out that godforsaken war’s tragic, abrupt, turn for the worst, this post, at best, should be viewed as a work in progress.

And plight is apt terminology, considering how, the Taliban toppled President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani’s administration; not unlike how the “Wind of 120 days” would slam into a house of cards; indeed, a most unwelcome wind of change.

Re my educational creds, I’m no heavily college degreed student of this particular region’s history; merely a man whose gut has oft proven trustworthy, at times, prescient.

And my gut reaction, right from the get-go, was that “President” George W. Bush’s invasion of Afghanistan was doomed to end precisely like it did! There’d be no way in Hell, that moron could ever bomb his way into nation building; i.e., into establishing an enduring, honest, level-headed, even-handed Democracy. And Hell, too, is apt terminology.

Let’s now try to look at this from my uncertain perception of the Afghans’ perspective.

• For starters, how could civilians not resent any superpower’s meddling; even by a nation that’s purportedly benign? What could ever be worse to eyewitness, first hand, than America’s ceaseless attempts to willy-nilly bomb their already imperfect homeland back to the stone age? Think about it. Oppressor W mindlessly maiming and murdering, to do what? Oust another oppressor such as the Taliban? An apt song couplet doth comes to mind:

“Meet the new boss
Same as the old boss”

Pete Townshend • Composer of “Won’t Get Fooled Again” • Full Lyrics Linked Here

• As for Americans training Afghan troops, did the generals actually expect their barked out orders, “Fight W’s war, Dammit!”, would be met with a resounding chorus of “Yessirs!”? Many of these new recruits would likely yell, “Yessir!” to Townshend’s very lyrics; i.e., shout, “No Sir!”, to being bossed around.

• Of course we must be fair, here, too. There had been some societal improvements, especially the gains made by females of all ages. But, seeing how defusing chronic, toxic masculinity can be problematic most anywhere in our world, why would Afghanistan be any different? Wherever a male fits into the Taliban hierarchy (if, indeed, anywhere), it’s highly unlikely that female liberation would wind up, high up on his to do list.

For now, for the sake of keeping this post mercifully short, I’ll limit this far from complete analysis to those three bullet pointed speculations above.

Suffice to say, other than one helluva, beyond repair, mucked up mess, George W. Bush wound up with nothing to show for the oceans of red blood and red ink he had needlessly spilt.

And, considering the Taliban’s brutal, sadistic nature, this wretched régime’s return to absolute power won’t find them in any particular hurry to right any of war criminal W’s unforgivable wrongs.

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Alternate Reality’s Rose Hath a Thorn

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Just to score brownie points with the orange DJT, history revisionists / propagandists, have been conveniently, completely forgetting how President Joe Biden inherited “President” George W. Bush’s boots on the ground, groundless, no-win Afghanistan War. And it is crucial that we do make that distinction ‘tween George and Joe.

There’s also need to honestly assess the primary cause and effect that led up to W’s war. To do so, will make it abundantly clear why that so-called prez had made Afghans his political pawns. To flesh that out, succinctly, W had to cover his sorry ass after the 9/11 attacks had caught him with his Commander-In-Chief pants down.

Here’s the skinny. Had W not ignored, his 08/06/2001 Presidential Daily Briefing; ominously titled: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US”; had, instead, heeded this report’s dire warning of hijackings, he’d have had five weeks to, bare minimum, implement more rigorous airport / airline security. Had W done so…

A much rosier alternate reality would’ve materialized; one where Osama bin Laden’s hijacking plot, quite literally, had never gotten off the ground; and consequently, there would’ve been no need for the Afghanistan War, where 241K people perished (71K of them civilians).

Alas (long sigh), no rose is thornless…

While the Afghans would’ve avoided sociopath Bush’s inflicted death and suffering, they would’ve still suffered an abysmal quality of life under Taliban domination.

The tragic, heartbreaking reality is how, mere days ago, due to W’s abject failure to truly liberate them, the Afghans, once again, got stuck with the horrifying, inhumane Taliban’s oppression, anyway.

There are (at least) two certainties:

  • War Criminal George W Bush’s “invitation” to visit The Hague is nearly 20 years overdue.
  • Those who commit torturous and genocidal acts cannot claim any statutes of limitations.

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Dubya Owns the Afghanistan Debacle

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My bygone, middle school’s Social Studies instructor, H.M., taught me how critical thinking, in part, depends upon one’s ability to accurately sift thru the cause and effect aspects, of the situation at hand.

As of late, the media analysts / would-be strategists (of all political stripes) have been rehashing Afghanistan’s downfall. Considering these talking heads’ inconclusive hand wringing and worthless finger pointing, it’s my conclusion that their difficulties, in part, are based upon their inability to grasp how cause and effect actually interact. Let’s dig deeper.

Twenty Augusts ago, on the 6th, (then president) George W. Bush, (purportedly) took a gander at his Presidential Daily Briefing; that PDB ominously titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US”; that very document even envisioning commercial jet hijackings!

As everything eventually panned out, the recently installed prez had been granted / gifted an ample five week long heads up; i.e., to prepare in a prompt, proactive manner; to protect and defend the United States of America; to, ultimately, prevent needless human suffering and death.

Did W even lift a pinky finger to do so? NOPE! By the time 9/11 had rolled around, W’s leadership vacuum had managed to suck 19 of Osama bin Laden’s box cutter wielding terrorists into America’s airports and comfortably seat them aboard 4 jetliners. If things had been any worse, he probably would’ve served ’em breakfast, too.

Ergo, ObL’s predicted attacks wound up catching W with his Commander-In-Chief pants down, all of which horrified his handlers. However, it was not the attacks, themselves, which had formed worry lines on their mugs. What actually sent them reeling in panic mode boiled down to the Q:

How will we ever be able to cover our boss’s sorry ass; firm up his politically flaccid image?

Their eventual, concocted M.O. amounted to a diversionary scam. They’d instruct bush-leaguer W to, FIRST, fearmonger the gullible, non-critical thinking public and, NEXT, dupe these sheeple into blind acceptance of his vengeance seeking, “smoke out” Osama bin Laden (dead or alive), willy-nilly, batshit crazy crusade.

One wonders if they had ever considered flying a more brains over brawn approach up the flagpole; i.e., something akin to Operation Neptune Spear, which President Barack Obama would eventually approve (come 2011); the meticulously orchestrated, regimented operation, where U.S. Navy SEALS were able to finally track down and obliterate bin Laden (not that his death did much of anything to win W’s no-win War on Terror/make our world a safer place).

Anyway, seeing how W’s “smoke out” plan was never anything more than a CYA smokescreen, he had never actually intended to bring 9/11’s architect to justice. All his wranglers did manage to accomplish was snagging their boy his coveted second term. And, as is true with most other cookie cutter Republicans, clutching to power (and amassing obscene wealth) is all that ever really matters to them.

Alas, throughout W’s eight year reign of terror, he exploited the Afghans as his political pawns; used them as his punching bag; even waterboarded / tortured suspected enemies of his own making; while trying to cover it all up with his euphemistic catchphrase, “enhanced interrogation techniques”.

Abroad: W was, still is, guilty of [1] needlessly slaughtering 241,000 people, 71,000 of them civilians [read it and weep article located here], [2] stifling / snuffing out that nation’s culture, and [3] blasting the real estate / infrastructure to smithereens.

Domestically: To this very day, W’s fear generated, U.S. Patriot Act still bulldozes and buries our once-upon-a-time Constitutionally guaranteed personal freedoms and has pissed away TWO TRILLION FREAKIN’ DOLLARS; revenue that would’ve been far better spent on domestic programs to vastly improve Americans’ quality of life.

As bad as all of that already sounds, the repackaging and rebranding techniques, which served to refurbish W’s image, long ago, became canon within the Republican Party’s mucked up, political playbook.

You see, what those wranglers / spin doctors learnt during W’s Era, is that IF they could so readily groom an asshat, such as the ne’er-do-well George W. Bush; morph that imbecile into a pseudo conquering superhero, THEN such a coat of whitewash can also be easily slapped onto any subsequent, political wannabe stumblebum.

Case in point, in preparation for the 2024 Presidential Elections, image makeover (con) artists will be able to easily groom elitist Donald J. Trump; morph that insurrectionist fascist freak into a fake founding father figure.

Bottom lining it, George “Dubya” Bush’s negligence was, still is, and shall forever brand him the CAUSE of the EFFECT; better known as the War in Afghanistan! Dubya flat out owns that godforsaken debacle!

Had Dumbass Dubya properly and promptly reacted to his PDB’s dire warning and thwarted the 9/11 attacks, his pre-existing leadership vacuum would’ve never been strong enough to suck America into that two decades too long, no-win war! Hell, that war would’ve never even existed!

Regarding Bush’s dreadful character faults and deplorable deeds, be these mentioned above or not, on behalf of America, my heartfelt apology to all Afghans. I know what I’m about to type will be of no consolation to either you or me, but say it I must:

I never voted for him!

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Embattled Mixed Emotions

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As a pacifist, I concur with President Joe Biden’s decision to finally end George W. Bush’s ill-conceived War in Afghanistan; the projected exit date to fall on September 11, 2021; the 20th Anniversary of the NYC / DC / PA al-Qaeda attacks.

As a pragmatist, I know there’s little for the world to gain by America soldiering onward, endlessly, in that one specific war zone; especially considering how terrorism, by its very nature, knows no geopolitical boundaries; when new, terrorist training camps proliferate not unlike metastatic cancer cells; when any attempts at shutting them down is not unlike playing a bloody, deadly game of Whac-a-Mole.

As an ethicist, I also need to factor in the Pottery Barn, “You Break It, You Own It Rule”. Obviously, since W did his damnedest to break Afghanistan, unfortunately, that means that each of his presidential successors, have inherited the carnage. And, as such, there’s a moral and financial obligation to clean up all that W had mucked up.

The rub here is that when it comes down to any Wars on Terror, there are no easy exit strategies; as the reality of W’s nearly two decades long AND Russia’s one decade long no-win battles can both certainly attest to.

The problem began when brain dead W, in his futile attempt to “smoke out” Osama bin Laden, had resorted to boots on the ground overkill when, truth be told, a more refined, cogent approach would’ve sufficed; e.g. President Barack Obama’s deployment of the “United States Navy SEALs of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group (also known as DEVGRU or SEAL Team Six)” (quoted content copied / pasted from Google search).

Of course, that’s not to say there have been no gains within Afghanistan, in particular, we must consider the modest improvements re human rights; more specifically, women’s rights.

As an altruist, the very thought of the Taliban (or any other barbaric, moronic, misogynistic régime), muscling its way back into that embattled region is repugnant to me.

As a realist, I know that U.S. troops have been fighting no-win battles. So, how the hell could it ever be any different for the Afghani forces who will soon be left to fend for themselves?

As a kinda / sorta journalist, I find it absolutely unsettling to end a blog with a question, especially one that neither I nor anyone else can honestly answer in a hopeful manner. Long sigh.

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Vladimir’s Lapdog Donny

Full disclosure, I’m a blend of pacifism and pragmatism. Alas… with long exasperated sigh… I must concede…

The rise to power of drunk on power, infantile egomaniacs is inevitable. Until we oust (preferably in a peaceable and orderly manner) those who masquerade as world leaders, the diplomats, alone, can never be expected to settle international conflicts. Which is a fancy-schmancy way of saying…

War is inevitable.

Troops will be deployed worldwide. They’ll wind up selflessly laying their very lives on the line to [1] liberate and secure a better life for members of our human family and [2] halt subjugation, dead in its tracks before it ever gets the chance to spread… not unlike a rampaging, global pandemic.

Such battles are honorable and I do honor and thank the troops who fight them.

One would expect the Commander-In-Chief… one Donald J. Trump… to honor and thank his own troops.

Instead, he honors Vladimir Putin, who’s been offering a bounty to the Taliban to kill American soldiers fighting in Afghanistan.

Right on cue, Donny is now whimpering and whining out his ignorance… i.e., he wasn’t even briefed by anyone re this matter. Really? The President of the United States was, somehow, left out of the loop?? Re something as serious as THAT???

Hmm… maybe Donny was too busy preventing the spread of COVID-19? You know… keeping “his” numbers down? Uh-huh…

Seeing how his abject failure to promptly, proactively and persistently contain the coronavirus has resulted in the deaths of nearly 129,000 Americans… and still counting… he had better not even try to make that his excuse.

What we’ve actually got, here, boils down to wee, little Donny’s loyalty to his master, Big Bad Vlad. Power hungry Trump would never bite the hand that feeds him. Not when he owes his 2016 rise to power to Russian meddling… not when he expects that same outcome, come Election Day 2020.

As such, we could never expect Putin’s Pooch to even whimper…

“Please, oh pretty please, don’t kill my soldiers.”

Hell, Donny won’t even try to playfully nip Vlad’s ankle.

Now that I’ve had my say… if you’ve yet to play back the above clip… give a listen to retired U.S. Army intelligence officer / author Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deal or No Deal?

 

CAVEAT: The following post employs conjecture to build upon a recent, factual, international incident. The disturbing quotation, below, was never, actually, uttered by anyone… and hopefully never will be.

When it comes down to foreign relations, Donald Trump’s negotiating tactics have always been more about feathering his own nest, rather than working towards making our world a better place for everyone to live in.

Hmm… that doth raise the question…

What sort of peace treaty will Donny be hammering out with the Taliban’s negotiator Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai?

Naturally, Stanikzai knows all about Trump’s obsession with digging up dirt on Joe Biden (and Sonny) and how… via that now infamous, corrupt quid pro quo / “Perfect Phone Call”… the ne’er-do-well, fake prez had attempted to coerce Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky into doing his dirty work for him.

Hmm… that doth raise a followup question…

WHAT IF, during the Trump / Taliban talks, Stanikzai proposes his own, self-serving, quid pro quo? Check this out…

Mr. Trump, I’ve got dirt on Joe Biden and the other major Democratic POTUS wannabes. All of this intel can be yours but… I would like you to do us a favor though. We demand [1] All American and allied troops must leave Afghanistan within three months (never to return), [2] $10 Billion in U.S. aid, annually, for the next 30 years, [3] 75 percent of your nuclear warheads and [4] Zero criticism over the brutal human rights violations we fully intend to inflict on the Afghani.

Hmm… that doth seem to raise (at least) one more question…

Would Trump sell out Afghanistan and America… indeed… the entire free world… just to reinstall his mangy carcass in the Oval Office for another 4 to 28 years?

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Walk on the Mild Side

 

Earlier on this day… around mid afternoon… it suddenly dawned on me that, grocery wise, I was ill prepared in the event of another terrorist attack… one that’d coincide with tomorrow’s 9/11 anniversary.

Now, at the risk of you deeming me a mad as a hatter conspiracy theorist, check out the following…

THEORY #1: I would not put it past mad-dog Donald Trump to be up to no good. Considering how he’s been hobnobbing with the Taliban, wouldn’t you like to be a fly on the wall? Be eavesdropping on all of their chatter? Or a bug on the phone? Have they been colluding / plotting to raise hell, tomorrow? Such a horrific distraction certainly would take the heat off Donny… e.g., that would definitely sabotage U.S. House Democrats’ efforts to investigate (maybe even impeach) him.

THEORY #2: Even if that’s not the case, we are still talking about Donny, the keeper of nuclear launch codes. Is he ready to rumble? To meltdown mentally? To meltdown globally? Don’t think he’s that stupid and/or insane? Guess again. He actually believes firing off nukes into the eyes of a hurricanes can break them up! YIKES… uh I mean Oops! Let’s not piss the fake prez off too much. We’d be ill-advised to remind him of what an ass he’s been making of himself… i.e., by (still) insisting that his fairy tale about Dorian hitting Alabama was / is true.

THEORY #3: Even if scenario-wise it’s none of the above, Donny could still “have the last laugh”. That tempestuous, Tyrant-o-saurus Rex could still easily roll up the world with one of his Tweetstorms, too.

Anyway… let’s try to dismiss the theories about how the Trumpster may’ve been spending HIS Tuesday afternoon and get back to MY actual Tuesday p.m., instead. With my bread supply insufficient relative to my goodly stash of peanut butter and strawberry jam it was off to the supermarket. Weather-wise, the conditions had been so sunshiny warm and pleasant, I decided to hoof it.

The best part of walking is that, unlike driving, the mind is free to wander. All along the way, I found myself fondly reminiscing about this day back in 2001… the last day of normalcy… not only for Americans but for all the good people of planet Earth. Yet, I couldn’t help but wonder. Might even this post 9/11 “new normalcy”, which we’ve all been enduring for nearly two decades, also be up for grabs? Could it, too, suddenly, come tumbling down… wind up a smoldering, rubble strewn, emotional Ground Zero? After all, armed to the teeth, lone wolf terrorists… both domestic and international… could still be afoot.

Since no one really ever knows, for sure, where and when a terrorist attack will erupt, I did feel the first wave of relief while the cashier rang up my purchase of bananas and three loaves of bread. It felt even better to finally be out the door and homeward bound.

Of course, am I really home free? True, there had been no macroscopic assaults, but what about WMD of the microscopic variety? If so, the symptoms won’t show up right away.

That duly noted… as I now type these words… all does appear to be well. I had already refueled my car late last week and with my provisions now adequately restocked, all that’s left is our awaiting what, hopefully, will remain tomorrow’s serene, solemn and spiritual service to pay our respects to all the good people we lost on Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

 

 

 

 

Fatemah Qaderyan’s Indomitable Spirit ~ Vid of the Day

 

On this day, Ayesha and I began following each other’s blogs and I thank her for raising my awareness re [1] her fine writing style and [2] the indomitable spirit of a science/tech savvy, published author and Afghani feminist, Ms. Fatemah Qaderyan.

Were there such a thing as a Thesaurus where words and pictorial representations get cross-indexed, then, whenever we’d be looking up synonyms for terms such as intellectual curiosity, courageousness and heroism we’d find portraits of Qaderyan.

Indeed, this young woman won’t settle for anything less than life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness… to see that her gender’s curiosity, imagination, dreams and ambitions are all rewarded… not punished like some sort of crime.

Regrettably, such a stance places her in the unenviable position of being in defiance of the Taliban… jihadists notorious for their barbaric, sociopathic, misogynistic traits… not unlike the set in stone, faults of a certain fake prez whose travel ban had, temporarily, denied Qaderyan entry into the U.S.

Without revealing much more of her eloquent speech to the attendees of May 2018’s Oslo Freedom Forum… she speaks of paying dearly for standing her ground… tells of societal demands for female submissiveness… where what should be the full color palette of female optimism gets splattered with the dreary shade of black… the blackness of bullets… and lurid red… the redness of spilt blood.

While Fatemah Qaderyan’s eyes do well up and spill over with sorrow, they also gleam with hopeful optimism. Her story is guaranteed to cause every clearheaded, warmhearted soul to regard her as the feminist hero who she truly is… to wish we all could’ve been among the Forum attendees who had given her a standing ovation.

Watch this must see video!