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Thread: Where empires go to die

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    Default Where empires go to die

    This may have been brought up in the "illuminating journalism" thread but I think this merits its own discussion.

    "A confidential trove of government documents obtained by The Washington Post reveals that senior U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable."

    18 years of lies, $1 trillion down the drain, over 2000 US combat deaths and 20,000 wounded.

    The Afghanistan Papers: A Secret History of the War
    Last edited by thollandpe; 12-12-2019 at 08:55 AM.
    Trod Harland, Physical Educator

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    Default Re: Where empires go to die

    The military-industrial complex is alive and well. How much blood and treasure are we willing to squander? Just set a record for military spending in 2019 and the Repubs want to spend more. Yet another reason to vote them all out.
    Guy Washburn

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    Default Re: Where empires go to die

    For some low angle illumination of the same, worth a read.

    CDR Salamander: Shaping the Blame in Afghanistan

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    Default Re: Where empires go to die

    If you can find it, watch The Beast of War from 1988. It is the story of a Soviet T-55 tank lost in afghan and hunted by villages. It's dusty and grim.

    If you want another grim dusty movie there is my old Chinese western - Swordsmen of Double Flag Town. 1991. One of my favorite.

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    Default Re: Where empires go to die

    I was in the Gulf of Oman about three weeks after 9/11. Our planes had a target rich environment and were putting 2000 pound bombs on everything from old Soviet tanks to Toyota HiLux trucks. The Taliban was an actual military force, uniforms, tanks, personnel carriers, helicopters, etc. They were an easy bad guy. After we blew up all their stuff, they disappeared into the mountains and began guerilla warfare. Up until that time, we'd meet up with an ammo ship and get bombs every 2-3 days, we were dropping many thousands of bombs.

    I was over there for the last time during my 2009-2010 deployment. We dropped a total of 12, 500 pound bombs. The warfare changed, the tactics did not. My USNA son wants to be a Marine Aviator. He graduates from Annapolis in 2022, then 2 more years of flight school. He'll probably fly missions over the stan.
    Weight Doper

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    Default Re: Where empires go to die

    Thanks to the Sacklers and others hawking opioids to Americans, the heroin market was revived and America's drug addiction financed the taliban war against us.

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    Default Re: Where empires go to die

    Where did the trillion bucks go? How many of those contracts were no-bid?

    I question the Guardian's characterization of "the sheer stupidity of American leaders continuing to fight a war they knew they could not win." As we knew at the outset of Shrub's Iraq war, when people like Cheney are involved it's not about winning, it's about justifying the transfer of huge sums of money between military and industry. And it ain't just Repubs.
    Dan Fuller, local bicycle enthusiast

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    Default Re: Where empires go to die

    Guy Washburn

    Photography > www.guywashburn.com

    “Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.”
    – Mary Oliver

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    Default Re: Where empires go to die

    Another counterpoint, from former ambassador Ryan Crocker
    I served in Afghanistan. No, it’s not another Vietnam.
    Last edited by thollandpe; 12-13-2019 at 08:39 AM.
    Trod Harland, Physical Educator

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    Default Re: Where empires go to die

    I recently read a book about the First British War in Afghanistan.
    Compelling read about the limits of western power against irregular forces.

    The US under bush 2 should have read a few books about the region before sending Americans in there with no clear objective.
    When bush and his crony army of ideologues left the White House they gifted us, not only an economic depression but also 2 unendable wars.

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    Default Re: Where empires go to die

    I understood the desire to do something in response to the September 11 attacks, but Afghanistan made little sense to me. And then I read this by Tamim Ansary and it really made no sense. It's worth reading again. Written 18 years ago, the week after the attacks.

    Bomb Afghanistan to Stone Age? It's Been Done | Common Dreams Views
    Last edited by thollandpe; 12-16-2019 at 07:05 PM.
    Trod Harland, Physical Educator

    Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. — James Baldwin

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    Default Re: Where empires go to die

    Quote Originally Posted by thollandpe View Post
    Another counterpoint, from former ambassador Ryan Crocker
    I served in Afghanistan. No, it’s not another Vietnam.
    All due respect to the former Ambassador, but this piece is littered with all sorts of whatboutism and pretty plainly failed ideals from the Bush Doctrine as neoconservative pipe dream. It stinks of the kind fo CYA you'd expect once the details of the Papers came to light.

    As John Kerry said a long time ago, how do you ask a man to be the last one to die for a mistake?

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    Default Re: Where empires go to die

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveP View Post
    I recently read a book about the First British War in Afghanistan.
    Compelling read about the limits of western power against irregular forces.

    The US under bush 2 should have read a few books about the region before sending Americans in there with no clear objective.
    When bush and his crony army of ideologues left the White House they gifted us, not only an economic depression but also 2 unendable wars.
    Did you ever read The Sleepwalkers, about WW1? Every time I read a good war history book, I’m reminded of how much we don’t learn from history.

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    Default Re: Where empires go to die

    Quote Originally Posted by 72gmc View Post
    Did you ever read The Sleepwalkers, about WW1? Every time I read a good war history book, I’m reminded of how much we don’t learn from history.
    I have not. I will pick it up though, I read a lot of history books esp in winter.

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    Default Re: Where empires go to die

    I thought this was going to be about your Giro shoes...

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    Default Re: Where empires go to die

    Quote Originally Posted by 72gmc View Post
    Did you ever read The Sleepwalkers, about WW1? Every time I read a good war history book, I’m reminded of how much we don’t learn from history.
    "History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake."

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