The war in Afghanistan is over! Long live the war in Afghanistan!
Yes, in case you haven’t heard, the US Armed Forces are withdrawing from Afghanistan at the end of the month and NATO’s “Resolute Support” mission—which took over from the NATO combat mission that ended in 2014—will wind up at the same time. And now, exactly as predicted, everything is chaos. And by “everything,” I mean everything.
The Taliban is quickly taking over the country. This story is developing by the hour so it will doubtless have moved on by the time you read this, but as of press time the Taliban have already seized half of Afghanistan’s provincial capitals—including Kandahar and Herat, the second and third largest cities in the country respectively—and are on their way (inevitably, we are told) to capturing Kabul itself. The US military has given up defending the country and is now launching “over-the-horizon” strikes from Qatar and the Persian Gulf and using drone strikes to destroy its own artillery and armoured vehicles, which are increasingly falling into Taliban hands.
In response, everyone is getting the hell out of Dodge. Denmark is evacuating Afghan citizens who worked at their embassy. Canada is deploying its special forces to evacuate its own embassy staff. The US military is doing likewise and begging the Taliban to pretty please don’t hurt us as we run away. (No word yet on whether people will be hanging from helicopters as they make their last minute escape.)
And, oh yeah, by the way, Al CIAda is regrouping.
Are you scared yet? Well, you should be. Not because the scary turbaned bogeymen are coming to get you again, of course, but because the government-media-military-industrial-technological complex want you to be scared, meaning that they doubtless have something up their sleeve.
So what’s really happening in Afghanistan?
The simplest answer to that question might be: Nothing unexpected. After all, the country is called “The Graveyard of Empires” for a reason.
First, the history lesson: Situated on the main land route between Iran, Central Asia and India, Afghanistan has for millennia been recognized as a key square on the geopolitical chess board. The country has been subject to periodic invasions and conquests by various civilizations—the Macedonians, the Mauryans, the Greco-Bactrians, the Indo-Scythians, the Mongols, etc.—for thousands of years. In fact, control of Afghanistan continues to be recognized as the strategic lynchpin of any would-be world empire in the modern age, with Zbigniew Brzezinski having defined the “Eurasian Balkans” in which Afghanistan sits as the pivot point of global geopolitics for the 21st century.
In the 19th century, Britain came to see Afghanistan as a valuable buffer between the Russians and the crown jewel of the British Empire: India. This led to a century-long covert proxy war for control over the country known to history as The Great Game and resulted in not one, not two, but three wars between the British Empire and the Emirate of Afghanistan. Spoiler: it didn’t end well for the British.
In the late 20th century, Afghanistan once again became the victim of a dramatic invasion (and a witness to the eventual retreat) of a major world superpower. This time, it was the Soviet Union’s turn to fail to subdue the notoriously ungovernable country, drawn in by America’s campaign to stir up “some agitated Muslims” and restore order to a politically turbulent country. Ten years later—after the CIA had engaged in the largest (acknowledged) covert operation in history and overseen the birth of Al CIAda in their attempt to “bleed” the mighty Soviet Empire to death—the CCCP’s mighty army was marching back to Moscow with their tails between their legs.
Now it’s America’s turn to suffer the same fate. Almost exactly 20 years after rolling into the country (for completely fictitious reasons and on completely spurious grounds), they are now exiting the country in disgrace. And so, from a purely historical perspective, we can say that this chaotic ending to the American Empire’s Afghanistan adventure is not unexpected.
But, given everything that is known about this “graveyard of empires” and its inherent unconquerability, it is worth reminding ourselves what the US and its NATO allies were really hoping to achieve there in the first place, whether this “withdrawal” is really a withdrawal and where things might go from here.
To address the first question, it is worth repeating a dictum that I have repeated so many times over the years that I should probably just call it Corbett’s Law: Major deep state events do not take place for one and only one reason. They take place because they serve the varied interests of the many deep state players involved.
JFK was not shot for one and only one reason, 9/11 did not take place for one and only one reason, the COVID scamdemic is not taking place for one and only one reason, and Afghanistan was not invaded for one and only one reason. Instead, we have to understand that Afghanistan was invaded for a number of overlapping geostrategic, military and economic reasons. In no particular order, these reasons include:
- securing a key transportation corridor from rich Caspian Sea oil and gas reserves;
- gaining access to a trillion dollars of untapped mineral wealth in the country;
- protecting the poppy crop, which the Taliban nearly eradicated under its rule and which now produces 85% of the world’s opium; and
- providing a military foothold in a chaotic and—with the rise of China’s Belt-and-Road Initiative—increasingly strategic area.
All of which makes this “withdrawal” all the more puzzling. Why is Biden pulling out at all? All of the geostrategic and economic imperatives that prompted the invasion 20 years ago are still in play today; in fact, given China’s growing influence in the Central Asian region, it’s arguably even more important for America to have a military deployment on their doorstep than it was in 2001.
One possible answer to this conundrum is that this “withdrawal” is not really a withdrawal at all. Remember when Trump announced that he was PULLING THE TROOPS OUT OF (Northern) SYRIA!!! . . . and, oh by the way, putting them in Western Iraq? Hmmm, I wonder if a similar sleight-of-hand maneuver might be in play here.
Well, take a look at this curious article from our friends over at ABC News. Their headline admits that “3,000 Fort Bragg soldiers [are] being sent to Kuwait,” but, confusingly, most of the article deals with the fact that the Pentagon has announced that they are “sending 3,000 troops from three infantry battalions — two Marine and one Army — to Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport to help out with the removal of American personnel from the U.S. embassy.” In fact, you need to go all the way to the very last sentence of the article to learn the details of the titular Kuwait deployment, and even then the details are scant:
“Furthermore, a brigade of 3,000 to 3,500 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne — which is based at Fort Bragg — will be sent to Kuwait to preposition in case they are needed further.”
Well, OK, then. So this “withdrawal” of the 2,500 troops who were stationed in the country involves sending 3,000 troops to the country and 3,000 additional troops to a nearby country just in case. But, don’t worry; they’ll only be there for 24 to 48 hours and then they’ll be gone again. (Pinky swear!) Just don’t ask where, precisely, they’ll be going next.
Maintaining skepticism about these announced “withdrawals” which never seem to really happen is certainly justified, but the fact that city after city is falling to the Taliban while the US cuts and runs is fairly convincing evidence that Uncle Sam really is abandoning its military stake in the country (for the time being). And we already know that the Chinese are swooping in to cut deals with the Taliban. Surely this represents what any and every other president (and, surely, even the Bumbler-in-Chief currently occupying the Oval Office) would call a “national security threat,” doesn’t it?
In fact, not only does the specter of the Chinese bogeyman hang over these events, but the O.G. bogeyman, Al-CIAda is even being brought back into the picture.
As the government lapdogs over at NBC News inform us:
With the Taliban steamrolling across Afghanistan, U.S. defense officials are concerned that a Taliban takeover of the country will allow Al Qaeda to rebuild and consolidate, creating security concerns well outside Afghan borders.
Never mind that the report then immediately goes on to clarify that this fearsome fighting force consists of a grand total of 200 to 300 members, or that they’re “really not a very large or what we would consider a capable contingent,” according to “one official.” NBC News knows that their “readers” never actually read past the headline. The point is, the bogeyman is back! But there’s a hitch:
With Al Qaeda in a rebuilding phase in Afghanistan, it is difficult for it to reorganize quickly, the senior U.S. officials said. And while the Al Qaeda ideology emphasizes attacks against the Western world, that is not the current strategy for its fighters in Afghanistan, the senior U.S. officials said.
In fact, these officials are even stressing that Al Qaeda 2.0 is “unlikely to have the capability to carry out an attack on foreign soil against the U.S. or another Western country any time soon.” (NBC News fails to inform its “readers,” however, that Al-CIAda is claiming to be behind be behind a bus bombing in Damascus earlier this month, as that news might bring to mind all of that inconvenient “Al Qaeda are the good guys in Syria” propaganda that the CFR and others were pushing a few years ago.)
So what, exactly, is the existential threat that Al-CIAda is supposedly posing this time? They’re publishing a magazine!
That’s right, for the first time in four years Al Qaeda has published a new edition of their glossy Inspire magazine in which they are exhorting all of the lone wolf terrorists in America to rise up with a wave of attacks. Specifically, they’re urging all the would-be Jihadi Joes out there to use “ghost guns” for their attacks.
“Ghost guns,” or guns constructed from parts that lack the registration and serial numbers that would tie them back to their source are, of course, not synonymous with Ghost Gunner, the general purpose CNC mill from Defense Distributed that allow do-it-yourselfers to “finish a growing library of mil-spec 80 percent lowers to completion” . . . but don’t tell the MSM repeaters that. They’re already dubbing this new approach “open source jihad” and implying that the wave of violence that will undoubtedly be raining down on Americans soon will be the fault of all that damn privacy and anonymity available on the internet.
All of this has resulted in the Department of Reichland Services issuing a new terror threat alert in the run-up to the 9/11 anniversary. And guess who they’re pre-blaming for this expected wave of “lone wolf” attacks on the “homeland”: “anti-government/anti-authority violent extremists” driven by the “increased societal strains” that have arisen during the scamdemic.
As Whitney Webb has covered extensively in recent months, this dovetails in perfectly with a narrative that the media and government have been trying to hammer into the public’s consciousness over the past year: that the greatest terror threat now stems from lone wolf domestic extremists who are opposed to the government and/or “corporate globalization.”
But wait, it gets even worse!
Not only is the DHS using their crystal ball to predict that these forthcoming Al-CIAda attacks will be perpetrated by MAGA cap-wearing yahoos, they are also warning of the threat posed by “malign foreign influences.” Specifically, they tell us:
Nation-state adversaries have increased efforts to sow discord. For example, Russian, Chinese and Iranian government-linked media outlets have repeatedly amplified conspiracy theories concerning the origins of COVID-19 and effectiveness of vaccines; in some cases, amplifying calls for violence targeting persons of Asian descent.
I suggest you go and peruse each of the cookie crumbs of information along this trail for yourself, because the enormity of what is happening right now is difficult to convey. Once you do so, I think you’ll start to see that the various threads of this narrative are being spun into a Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory being pushed by the powers-that-shouldn’t-be: That a newly resurgent Al CIAda is working with the Russians, Chinese and Iranians to radicalize far-right domestic extremists who question the effectiveness of vaccines. If you have a “False Flag” bingo card on you, please note that every square on your card has now been punched.
Getting back to Afghanistan, let me concede that Corbett’s Law applies to this current “withdrawal” from the country. Just as there was not one singular reason for the invasion, there is not one singular reason for the withdrawal. I still think the New Great Game with China is an exceptionally important part of what is happening here and we have not heard the last of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement or other NATO terror proxies who will likely be knocking on China’s door in the near future.
But having said that, I have a very bad feeling about the new Al-CIAda / domestic terrorist narrative that is emerging as a result of this Afghan chaos and I think a false flag event (or perhaps a series of false flag events) may be just around the corner to paint “anti-vaxxers” and those who question the government as extremists who need to be dealt with.
And once again, as in all wars of imperialist aggression, the actual people of Afghanistan and the plight that they now face are left as an afterthought in this whole discussion. The attempt of the average Afghan to rebuild their lives in the smoking crater that the 20-year invasion and occupation has left behind will, as ever, go unnoticed and unheralded by a world community that never cared about them in the first place.
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James Corbett has been living and working in Japan since 2004. He started The Corbett Report website in 2007 as an outlet for independent critical analysis of politics, society, history, and economics. Since then he has written, recorded and edited thousands of hours of audio and video media for the website, including a podcast and several regular online video series. He is the lead editorial writer for The International Forecaster, the e-newsletter created by the late Bob Chapman.
His work has been carried online by a wide variety of websites and his videos have garnered over 40,000,000 views on YouTube alone. His satirical piece on the discrepancies in the official account of September 11th, “9/11: A Conspiracy Theory” was posted to the web on September 11, 2011 and has so far been viewed nearly 3 million times.
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