A worthwhile New Years resolution

…would be for the United States to admit we’ve achieved everything we’re likely to in Afghanistan (i.e. not much), and end the operation:

No other country in the world symbolizes the decline of the American empire as much as Afghanistan. There is virtually no possibility of a military victory over the Taliban and little chance of leaving behind a self-sustaining democracy — facts that Washington’s policy community has mostly been unable to accept…

Indeed, Afghanistan represents the triumph of the deterministic forces of geography, history, culture, and ethnic and sectarian awareness, with Pashtuns, Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras and other groups competing for patches of ground. Tribes, warlords and mafia-style networks that control the drug trade rule huge segments of the country…

The United States’ special adviser to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, is trying to broker a diplomatic solution that allows the United States to draw down its forces without the political foundation in Kabul disintegrating immediately.

That may be the real reason the United States keeps spending so heavily in Afghanistan. The Pentagon is terrified of a repeat of 1975, when panicked South Vietnamese fled Saigon as Americans pulled out and North Vietnamese forces advanced on the city. The United States military did not truly begin to recover from that humiliation until its victory in the Persian Gulf war of 1991. An abrupt withdrawal from Afghanistan could conceivably provide a new symbol of the decline in American hard power.

There is also the fear that an Afghanistan in chaos could once again provide a haven for an international terrorist group determined to perpetrate another Sept. 11-scale attack. Of course, Yemen, Somalia and a number of other places could also provide the setting for that.  The point is, we remain in Afghanistan out of fear of even worse outcomes, rather than in the expectation of better ones.

Afghanistan has become America’s “tar baby.”  The more we try to do there, the more we seem “stuck” with no vision or endgame in sight.  The writer of the linked article is correct that our misadventures there are likely to signal to our adversaries we aren’t the power we used to be.  But what is far worse is that our indecision and inability to know “when to fold them” demonstrates poor strategic judgment as well.  Nothing encourages aggression like thinking your potential opponent is both weak AND a fool.

(Chinese) Rear Admiral Lou Yuan has told an audience in Shenzhen that the ongoing disputes over the ownership of the East and South China Seas could be resolved by sinking two US super carriers.

His speech, delivered on December 20 to the 2018 Military Industry List summit, declared that China’s new and highly capable anti-ship ballistic and cruise missiles were more than capable of hitting US carriers, despite them being at the centre of a ‘bubble’ of defensive escorts.

“What the United States fears the most is taking casualties,” Admiral Lou declared.
He said the loss of one super carrier would cost the US the lives of 5000 service men and women. Sinking two would double that toll.

Our extended presence in both Iraq and Afghanistan underscored our country’s emphasis upon what the military calls “force protection.”  It’s natural for any military to seek to limit casualties, but when it becomes apparent that even a few deaths are enough to change national policy, outside observers begin to doubt one’s resolve.  The thoughts expressed by Admiral Lou Yuan echo those of the Japanese militarists in 1940: the U.S. is a paper tiger, and will acquiesce to its rivals if smacked hard enough on the nose.  Japan’s miscalculation led to a brutal Pacific War that ended in atomic fireballs over two of its cities.  To see the line of thought being resurrected by the Chinese, whose potential to oppose the U.S. dwarfs that of Russia, should give plenty of people pause.

Afghanistan is known as “the graveyard of empires” for a reason.  The sooner we recognize that, and take steps to restore the deterrent credibility we’ve lost there, the better.  The misguided 17-year (and counting) occupation may have sought to avoid another 9/11.  But at this point, it risks far worse outcomes by emboldening rivals who believe they’ve taken our measure by watching us there.  Perhaps America in 2019 lacks the ability to muster the resolve shown after Pearl Harbor in 1941.  Then again, perhaps not.

The only certain thing is it’s better to ensure we never have to find out.

Duds and distractions

During the past 24 hours the news has been fixated on a series of at least nine (as of this writing) alleged explosive devices sent, it appears, exclusively to well-known figures on the Left: the Clintons and Obamas, George Soros, Maxine Waters, CNN, and so forth.  However, it’s very much worth noting:

  • None of these devices actually exploded (and authorities confirm some were not built to).
  • None of them were actually delivered to their intended recipients
  • CNN took time to take and post photographs of theirs (!), after supposedly removing it from its package (seriously… who does that if they believe they’re in mortal danger?)

Photos show several stamps… none of which were cancelled.  In other words, these weren’t actually mailed through the Postal Service.

Why point all this out?  Because sadly, in the America in which we now live, it’s entirely possible these are fake crimes intended to generate sympathy for a Democratic Party that may well lose again – badly – in the 2018 election cycle.  If so, they would be far from the first such faked episodes intended for emotional manipulation.

At least one former military bomb disposal expert has weighed in on the available photographs, calling into question whether these were intended to be working devices at all, versus somewhat convincing props.

From the perspective of “qui bono” (who benefits), I’ll leave you with two thoughts:

  • The GOP theme of “jobs, not mobs” has begun to resonate, given all the anti-Republican violence committed by Antifa and others over the past two years
  • The army of migrants headed toward the Mexican border appears to have generated more support for Trump’s immigration viewpoint, rather than stirring the Hispanic vote to turn out for the Democrats.

Two disastrous developments for the Democrats with less than two weeks to go before election day.  Just in the past few days, Her Hillariness has publicly pleaded with potential supporters to “Do something!”  A sudden wave of alleged bombs is just the thing to change the subject from the two subjects above.

So excuse me if I reserve judgment on these little gifts instead of immediately declining to point out Leftist violence and violent rhetoric.  I simply don’t trust the Left, or the media — but I repeat myself — enough to hold back like that.  Regardless, whoever is behind these attacks, whatever their political persuasion, needs to be punished severely to make the point this is NOT acceptable.  Far too many lines are being crossed in the past couple years.  The trend does not bode well for what remains of our Republic.

Do your own diligence, and view every news narrative between now and November 6th with a very critical eye.

Ruled Britannia

Where you are more likely to be jailed for calling attention to numerous cases of sexual abuse by immigrants than you are if you are the abuser…

Robinson, who on May 25 was arrested while streaming live on Facebook from outside Leeds Criminal Court, where several Muslims were being tried for mass child rape. Tommy was then brought before a judge who sent him straight to prison for having violated the terms under which he was released by another judge last year.

On that occasion, he was brought before a female judge who, when asked about the very real danger of him being beaten up — or worse — if sentenced to prison, said: “So what?” Yes, that’s what she actually said. Every day, in the same courts, they treat accused mass rapists with more respect…

As for Robinson being “detained illegally”: I, for one, certainly wouldn’t say that his detention is illegal. No, it’s entirely legal. That’s precisely the problem.

British law itself — the whole process of deciding what’s legal and what’s illegal — is no longer what it used to be, and hence no longer worth respecting. It’s been twisted into a tool of those who wish to protect Muslim criminals and troublemakers (and their apologists and defenders) and to punish those who blow the whistle on Muslim crime and tell the truth about Islamic ideology.

…the judge who ruled on Robinson’s case last year effectively told him to stay home and shut up. He refused to do so, out of principle. That doesn’t make her right and him wrong. It means that those in charge of administering justice in Britain are now doing something very different indeed from administering justice.

Indeed.  And Britain’s not the only country whose “justice” system seems to have seriously skewed priorities.

Parasitical terrorism

I’m increasingly convinced that if we (and the rest of the West) got our own house in order with regard to immigration and welfare, terrorist activity would be severely curtailed even without further major military operations:

On the morning of March 15, Fox 9 chased a tip about a man who was leaving the country. Sources said he took a carry-on bag through security that was packed with $1 million in cash. Travelers can do that, as long as they fill out the proper government forms.

Fox 9 learned that these cloak-and-dagger scenarios now happen almost weekly at [Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport].  The money is usually headed to the Middle East, Dubai and points beyond. Sources said last year alone, more than $100 million in cash left MSP in carry-on luggage…

[Former Seattle police detective Glen] Kerns discovered some of the money was being funneled to a Hawala in the region of Somalia that is controlled by the al Shabaab terrorist group…

As Kerns dug deeper, he found that some of the individuals who were sending out tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of remittance payments happened to be on government assistance in this country.

How could they possibly come up with such big bucks to transfer back home?

“We had sources that told us, ‘It’s welfare fraud, it’s all about the daycare,’” said Kerns.

Read the whole thing.  Minnesota is now home to a very large Somali Muslim community.  Next door in Michigan the Muslims tend to be from Bosnia, Yemen and Bangladesh.  In both states, Islam is increasingly influential.  Those communities are already linked to a rise in female genital mutilation cases (a practice that is rightly illegal in most of the West).  It appears the community is also linked to shenanigans back home as well.

Think about it: we’re allowing colonists to come here, partake of our welfare system, and use some of the proceeds to fund extremist groups back home.  We can’t defeat what we’re allowing ourselves to subsidize.  Seal the borders and tighten down on foreign remittances.  Otherwise there’s no point in waging this war.

Evil finds a way

UPDATE: British authorities insist the incident blockquoted below was a “traffic collision” and not a terrorist attack.  I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, though it should be noted Western governments are quick to deny terror links whenever possible.  The main point of the original post, however — that would-be terrorists are hardly limited to firearms in their choice of weapons — remains a valid one.

It appears a would-be jihadist in Britain has provided a helpful (if painful) reminder that even if the U.S. were to overturn its Second Amendment and ban firearms, it will not lead to the utopia some proclaim:

Several people have been injured after a car mounted the pavement and mowed down pedestrians outside the Natural History Museum in London this afternoon.
A man was pinned down by security guards and arrested by police in the heart of the capital’s museum land in Kensington.
Hundreds of terrified tourists fled the scene as the black Toyota careered into a sign before ultimately crashing into a crowd of as many as 10 people as it hit into a silver car, according to witnesses.
Dramatic pictures taken at the scene show guards holding down a man covered in blood with rubble strewn across the road.

It wasn’t the rock that killed Abel.  It was Cain.  I take no joy in pointing this out, but it’s a little hard to accept the constant criticism of U.S. constitutional rights by Europeans when they’re not exactly living in violence-free zones themselves:

22221705_1984653731752532_4964259104798689752_n