Archive for April, 2010

Arizona Death Trip

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

The state of Arizona is leading the way in the new American Death Trip. The right wing of the Republican Party has just handed the Democrats the entire Hispanic vote in one fell swoop. Not only did they manage to alienate their own less than liberal brain trust in Karl Rove, but they destroyed all the good will Bush had built up among Hispanics over the last decade. But then what does that matter when there is a rhetorical point to make.
This is wonderful news for the Obama administrations plan to push immigration reform. It seems that the Republicans want to help out in the hardest way. First they made health care reform mandatory because of their intransigence. Then they made financial reform easy by making deals with bankers and for Goldman Sachs opportune fall into disrepute. This makes one wonder if the high and mighty of the corporate world really have fallen or if this is all just for show. I mean do we really believe that the head dog at Goldman Sachs is going to get anything more than a slap on the wrist? It would be a proverbial cold day in hell when a member of that crime syndicate ever does time in a real jail.
But it is nice to dream. After all the Governor of Arizona is on a mission from god to punish the poor and the dispossessed. Perhaps the poor and dispossessed can get back at the rich and privileged, not likely but we certainly do like the show.

Why Did Rome Fall?

Monday, April 26th, 2010

I just finished reading Peter Heather’s tome “Empires and Barbarians”. Other than the fact that it is over long and repetitious I think he missed the point when he notes that there were probably 5 million people living in Italy in the 5th century and there might have been 100,000 people at most on the move with the Gothic invaders. If 4 our of 5 of them were non combatants that meant at most 20,000 combatants among the Goths. In a population of 5 million even if it was half slave that leaves 2.5 million and if half of them were women and children that leaves 1.25 million and if half of them were infirm or otherwise incapacitated that leaves .625 million men and if say ten percent of them are available that is a potential military force of 62 thousand against less than a third that number. I would say that the Romans simply did not want to fight.
Looking at the numbers it seems to me that the barbarians were not exactly conquering forces so much as they were liberating forces. If not in reality, then seemingly. According to Gibbon the Romans under Stilicho had Alaric and his band trapped in the Peloponnesus and let him go because of negligence. This seems rather absurd. Gibbon claims Alaric was able to send agents to the eastern emperor and Stilicho was ordered to stand down. Politics and a lack of will kept the Romans from acting in their best interest to destroy the Goths. I suspect the Goths had become an invaluable force to be used by the Roman power brokers and they did not want to see Stilicho gain too much power by defeating what was to them merely an irritating presence, Alaric and his Goths.
But despite the notorious sack of Rome in 410 AD, that was certainly not the end of Rome, the Goths moved on and Italy was for the most part intact. It was not until the next century when the Romans under Justinian came back to reconquer Italy from the Ostrogoths that Italy had much of its infrastructure destroyed in a 20 year conflict. These battles were fought by small armies often in numbers of no more than 10,000 or less. What happened to the mighty Roman people. During the wars with Carthage in the third century BC Rome was able to recruit army after army, hundreds of thousands of peasant soldiers. Free men, citizens and allies from across Italy. Certainly there were not fewer people 700 years later. It was a matter of the culture changing. Wealth, the conquest of the Greek eastern Mediterranean had caused Italy to become transformed from a nation of citizen warrior to a land of slaves and rulers with a landless mob in between. There simply was no more citizenry left because the former citizens had lost their land, become disenfranchised and enslaved. That is the crux of why Rome fell. Rome had lost its citizenry. Ironic especially since citizenship had been open to all free persons in the empire for over two centuries. It would seem not enough of these remained with a will to fight.

Krugman Says Derivatives Holding Up Financial Reform

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Tonight on Rachel Maddow’s show Paul Krugman is saying that the Republicans have no plan. He says the Republicans are saying we can abolish fires by abolishing the fire department. It is a dangerous idea. He is saying that what is good about the financial reform plan is that it will a) Bring derivatives into the regulated market, b) provide protection for consumers, c) provide for a higher level of capital required to back up investments and d) will provide a mechanism to take down failing companies.
He stated that the main reason the Republicans are holding out now is because they want to keep derivatives unregulated. In other words they want the main problem, and the main source of real profit to be kept under the table and off the books. Ultimately they just want to keep from having any reform and are using term “bailout” to try and scare the chickens into hiding under their protective arms of do nothingism. The so called bailout is the fund that companies must pay into to protect the public from having to pay tax dollars next time a disaster happens. This fund will be paid for by the businesses themselves. They don’t want to have to pay to play. Fuck ‘em. They sure fucked us. Let them pay. We sure shouldn’t.
The problem is that this regulation doesn’t go far enough. We need capitalism regulated and kept under a tight leash like a dangerous dog. Think of Wall Street as a nuclear power plant. It is powerful but you wouldn’t want one next door and you certainly would not want it to be open to any tom dick and hairy guy to be able to play with it like it was nothing. The stock market should be treated as a seriously dangerous technology that may not be beneficial for the health of humankind. It should be phased out like capitalism. Time for real change.

Just Watch The Commercials - Vote No Prop 16, Gravity And Time Equals Space

Monday, April 19th, 2010

That is what TV is all about. Our corporate culture is trying to communicate with us and it is most directly done through commercials. They do focus groups and hire professionals who get actors who pretend to be normal every day people and they tell us what we need to know like we need all sources of energy. We need Swiffer sweepers and sham wow to mention a couple of the most prevalent needs we seem to have in the immediate culture based on commercials that stick in my brainpan.
I was listening to the Shins driving home and it struck me how nostalgic this music is. In fact much of the hip pop music on public radio and even on the surfing and skate boarding channel on tv is very sad, soft and whimsical. It is as if a generation of young composers of white pop, and I do mean white pop, but black hip hop has its version also, in a sort of sadness, as if we are watching the demise of youth and the dreams of youth. But it is in the music of the young. The music of the sixties was vibrant and that of the fifties was raucous, in the seventies it turned meaner and in the eighties it went out the window, turned retro in the nineties and reflective in the zeros. I don’t know what the next wave will be but much of what I hear now is soft is weepy, like these kids are wishing they were here.
But they are not nobody is. We have been placed in boxes, cubicles of electronic energy fields keep us from experiencing reality and we have ersatz reality instead. Becoming a nation of talking heads with ganglions attached to electronic media with no bodies, or shadow bodies, bodies that have become immobilized with narcotics and work and TV and laptops and cell phones. It only takes a few minutes to realize that we are wired to this technology in a near genetic manner. I know when I was on my Rivera Death March in the south of France, living on bread and water for days on end, carrying a large pack and sweating as we walked from campground to campground, wandering around Toulon and Marseilles. hitching rides, hoping trains and then falling asleep exhausted in a tiny pup tent or on the ground wrapped in my leather jacket with mosquitoes as my dawn and dusk serenade. I lost 35 lbs in two weeks. I was fit and almost trim by the time I returned to Bordeaux, broke and freaked out at having disposed of my entire previous life. I lost my briefcase, cowboy boots, and all my excess body weight that I had put on when I became a house husband when my first son was born. My San Francisco wife put the weight on my belly by feeding me non stop pasta for six months and my French wife stripped it off when I went to France. But it came back as soon as I returned to America, work and the slug life of an American Office Worker.
Don’t forget to ask your doctor about Lyrica, Viagra, Oxycodone and the ever popular Prozac. But which taxes are the fairest of all? We need to be taxed to keep our government running, but even more than that we are taxed by our debts. If most of us pay 20 to 35% in taxes to government and in my case it is close to 50% then there is at least 50% of my income going into survival paying for food, shelter, transport and clothing. All of which the government does not provide for. Like three-d white smiles from white strips. We all need that extra whiteness. And perfect hair. It is not that we are not real it is that we are becoming Dorian Grays with a select few super thin and perfectly bodied and a larger and larger number of us dissolving into the couch while we process and process and process data that means nothing but needs of Zombies. As if when you are young having a nice car or a nice anything mattered, When you have youth, that is all that matters and we chase after the material goodies, not imagining that we have failed and only end up with the things that mean nothing when we have lost our youth. But at Denny’s you get a meal for $2, $4, $6 or $8 and you will be happy.
You will be young and beautiful again in a parallel universe. Ever feel that way? Like when you fly in your dreams? Yeah well vote no on Prop 16 it’s a scam. Get a life and stop reading this.
Now if we were talking about relativity then we would be able to see that time is relative because time and space contract time would slow down on a space ship if it moves at the speed of light you slow down relative to the place you came from. But I say it has to do with gravity but I can only barely grasp the concept because I am no Einstein. Gravity holds time down and compresses reality and thus from space or from the speed of light it seems as if nothing is happening but it is only the pressure from all that gravity holding time at this pace in space. Do the math.

Nuke Fear, Next Step In Police State?

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

Obama has joined in the fear mongering over the chance of a rouge group of terrorists getting a nuke to attack us. This is part of the constant drum beat in the media to make us afraid and to accept more restrictions on our personal freedoms for the sake of an imaginary nuclear terrorist threat.
I am sure that out there in the world there really are people who would love to ride a nuke a la Dr. Strange Love, but you have to be pretty sure that there was nothing else let to do before taking that desperate a step. Ending your life for the sake of a cause, or even taking out a group of civilians as collateral damage is one thing but nuking a city with millions of people and then having your home country destroyed in retaliation, well that is something else.
On the other hand if you are fighting against the overwhelming force of a country like the USA and you are seeing your people killed at random from the skies by jets, helicopters and drones and all you have to fight back are a few guns and stinger missiles, and maybe one little nuke, what do you do? If you use it you know it means holey hell is going to break loose, if you don’t you are letting your people and your cause down. But if you play your cards right and only threaten to use it. Then you got them by the balls. The problem is to make your threat credible and then perhaps the aggressors from wherever will leave you alone. Only a nation in love with power like the USA would actually use a weapon as destructive as a nuke. Most people even so called terrorists are not that cold blooded. It takes a power that has blood on its hands to imagine the worst from the rest of the world. That is why Obama is so affraid, he knows how guilty the USA is of crimes against humanity. He can only think to protect fortress America from its just deserts, just like ever other modern President since Truman dropped the bomb.
It is unfortunate and true that fear will drive us into destroying the very liberties we proclaim to be the western ideal. What we will end up with is a shallow commercial product, something that is a shadow of we once had a republic of citizens, perhaps with the blood of the indigenous people on our hands and built with the labor of slaves, indentured servants and the desperate poor from around the world. Those who survived the holocaust of the creation of he USA were now given the opportunity to become citizens of this new state where the people are allowed to try their damndest to get rich any way they can.
Over years when the captains of industry fucked up and drove the masses of people close to starvation and despair, President Roosevelt got some legislation passed to keep the people from going communists or fascist. Both options could have happened. The war in Europe kept it from happening and the total devastation of most of the worlds industrial output left the USA on top after the war with a 20 year free ride in which it could have both guns and butter for the people. Only with the end of the economic domination of the world in the 1970’s did things change with the USA now having to compete with the former defeated axis powers of Japan and Germany.
But this is not news. America had to weaken the power of its workers to continue to be the predominant military power in the world and so under President Reagan the work of crushing the labor movement began. Once labor was destroyed, the backbone of the civil libertarian movement would be broken. Without a strong working class the people are left with a tribal structure that is easily divided on racial and ethnic lines. Divide and conquer has always been the rule.
So what is a poor freedom fighter to do? If the USA stops attempting to rule the world perhaps then the rest of the world will stop attempting to strike back. Can the USA stop before it is too late? Not likely not as long a people like Obama are going after every country like Iran that steps outside of the American hegemony. We need to learn to live with people if we are ever going to move beyond this eternal world of warring states. For that to happen there has to be a just peace. For there to be peace there has to be economic opportunity for all and that means all of the people of the planet, not just the fortunate few in fortress America and its allies. Until then, there will be the bomb.

Anti-Nazi Rally in LA

Saturday, April 17th, 2010

About 2000 to 3000 protestors gathered at city hall in Los Angeles to protest a Nazi Rally at which no more than 40 modern day Nazis showed up. The police presence was heavy. There had to be at least 1000 cops there to protect the small band of Nazi’s. They needed the protection, the crowd was furiously anti-Nazi, but polite to one another. Whenever someone bumped into me they apologized and people made room for others to get in and out of the crowd when people got tired of yelling at the Nazis. There were lots of people with bull horns and I don’t think anyone could hear what the Nazis were saying. The taunt and chants were so loud that the Nazi’s were drowned out as they should be.
I am perfectly in favor of the Nazis right to voice their opinions and I am even more in favor of our right to drown out their racist invective with our righteous indignation. People have fought hard for civil rights in America and we don’t need Nazis around trying to turn back the clock. They really should hold their little Hitler commemoratives in private, but since we have a 1st Amendment not only are they allowed to speak, but they are protected while they speak their hate. It is ironic that many of their defenders were Black and Hispanic cops, defending the rights of race haters to speak in a public place where if they were not defended by a thousand cops they would have had their asses kicked.
I just hope the young woman who was taking photos remembers to send them to me and I will upload some of the highlights on the blog. Nothing special, just a few white guys in black outfits and biker helmets with Doc Martins on standing around a bunch of American and Nazi flags in front of the LA city hall with thousands of pissed off people jeering at them.
Food Not Bombs was handing out vegan burritos and some guy with a shopping cart full of bottled water was handing out cups and pouring water for the thirsty crowd. There were anarchists, communists and socialists there of all stripes. I even saw some old time Communist Party types walking around with a banner. Lots of Latinos, Blacks, Punks, Gays and what seemed like a big contingent of pissed off city workers and teachers were there. One woman kept noting that the city was cutting employees and yet paying cops overtime to protect Nazis. Ironic.
It was too bad we could not get within spitting distance of the Nazis, we would have torn them all new assholes.

America Is Broke & Manned Space Flight Is Over.

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Today President Obama admitted that the USA cannot afford a manned Space Program. He cancelled the plan to return to the moon and put off future manned expeditions until 2025 or later. The USA is broke, we are spending all our wealth bailing out Wall Street and paying for wars. Something had to give and the space program was it.

With the infrastructure collapsing, mine disasters joining another series of signs that in the last 30 years constant deregulation and underfunding of inspectors and regulators has let to collapses of bridges, failing schools. mine disasters, toxins in the food and water supply and a homeland security department that is all about appearances and intimidation and very little about real security. I have not even begun to mention the lack of regulation of Wall Street that led to the worst economic disaster since the great depression.
This is largely the result of defunding the government and outsourcing jobs that should be done by public servants. When government leaders have the attitude that government doesn’t work, and is the problem, then we end up with a government that doesn’t work in a case of self fulfilling prophecy that is deliberately induced by parties that are only concerned with a government that shovels tax dollars to benefit the super rich and the large corporations and spending on a military machine to back up that corporate elite around the world.
What are the masses left with? Hulu. Yahoo and Viagra for starters, and if you are semi literate there is plenty of corporate media to bamboozle each of us with fuzzy factoids that are irrelevant or out and out fear mongering that is deliberately done to scare us. These are distractions designed to provide small immediate pleasures to narcoticize people so that they don’t notice that they are getting squeezed and ripped off. Government should serve the mass of the people not a small elite. We are supposed to be a republic not an oligarchy. But in reality we live in a kleptocracy.
I just had to throw in a bit about how the Tea Party people believe that taxes went up, under Obama for 95% of the country, when taxes for most Americans went down. I didn’t have to pay taxes this year for the first time in a long time. The interesting thing is that very rich people will pay more taxes if Obama gets his way. I suspect is the real reason why the Tea Party attracts rich older white male persons, they want to do a preemption to prevent taxes going up on the wealthy. They want to trick the less well funded into following them sort of the way southern rich people got poor southerners to fight for slavery, an institution that benefited them not at all.
Get my point?!!

Lets Get It Done.

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

McCain was making noises today about pulling the trigger on Iran. He is posturing for the Tea Party and John Birch society types in Arizona. He has competition from the Tea Party for his Senate seat so he has to posture playing up to the hard right. Just as Sarah Palin is attempting to appease the working class white voter with her talk about protecting gun rights and opposing taxes and the liberal media. This is an old line out of the Nixon “silent American” and Reagan’s “morning in America”, playing on the hopes, but mostly the fears of working Americans.
They know that capital is on the defensive and today the Obama administration gave notice that they expected financial reform to pass this year. That would be nice but if it is as lame as the signature health reform it will be something for the banking industry to cheer about. Senator Dodd is from the state where most of the Wall Street Bankers live. He has their interests in his heart. Where is the Consumer Credit Protection Agency? I think it is going the way of the Public Option, into the trash bin of Congressional politics.
This weekend there is an Anti Nazi rally in front of city hall in Los Angeles to protest the Rally that the Nazis are holding Saturday at 11 am. I plan on being there, if you don’t like Nazis, this is a good time to show up and express yourself.
Oh and there was a report on Keith Olberman’s show that the Tea Party Express is a publicity and money making stunt of a PR firm, the story?

This is from Karoli Friday’s blog Crooks & Liars
“The Tea Party Express is not — I repeat — NOT a grass roots movement. It’s a professionally coordinated corporate PR effort funded and founded by professional PR hacks, principally from the firm of Russo Marsh & Rogers (also known as King Media Group) in Sacramento, CA.

New FEC disclosures have just been filed, so let’s have a look at the money trail.

The TeaParty Express is primarily a Howard Kaloogian project. Howard Kaloogian was featured in an earlier Crooks and Liars report on paid agitator Deborah Johns and in this report about bus tour co-sponsor, the BusBank, who was found negligent and responsible for the deaths of 23 passengers.

Or maybe you recall Kaloogian as one of the architects of the Gray Davis recall/Arnold Schwarzenegger coup of 2003.

According to the most recent Tea Party Express FEC disclosures (PDF), employees of the Tea Party Express include Mormon mom Tiffiny Reugner, Amy Kremer, former Tea Party Patriot, Marine Mom Deborah Johns, and Joe Weirzbicki. These are the paid hacks comprising the face of the “Tea Party Express” campaign.

The newcomer to the Tea Party Express group is Frontline Strategies and Media, LLC. A visit to their website is, well…interesting. It’s a shell site, with a front page and a lot of “coming soon” pages underneath. The domain was registered in June, 2008 to Brent Lowder. Brent Lowder is COO of the California Republican Party.

California Department of Corporations lists Frontline Strategies and Media LLC’s primary contact as Eric Beach. And look what Eric Beach’s bio on Mercury Public Affairs says:

Mr. Beach’s political background is extensive in California. Prior to becoming Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Beach was Campaign Director for Bill Jones for United States Senate in California. During California’s historic recall, Mr. Beach served as a senior staff member for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s successful run for Governor in California and as a member of the California Gubernatorial Transition Team.

If it isn’t already obvious what a sham this outfit is, it should be now.”

Now there you go.

Rat Attack, Bamboo Flowering and Christ in the Mizoram.

Monday, April 12th, 2010

This is from Sajal Nag’s article about the Rats in the Mizo Hills.
“As the British entered the Mizo hills (part of the Indo-Burmese range of hills, then known as the Lushai hills) to chase the headhunting tribal raiders and try to gain control over them by securing a foothold in the heart of the hills at Aizawl, they witnessed an amazing ecological phenomenon: a severe famine apparently caused by rats. The Mizo hills are covered extensively by various species of bamboo, which periodically rot, flower and seed. The bamboo seeds appeared to be a delicious food item for jungle rats, which emerged in massive numbers to devour them, and the consumption of bamboo seeds seemed to produce a vast increase in the rodent population. Once the millions of rats had exhausted the bamboo seed, they began to attack the standing crops in the fields. As they devoured the grains the resulting scarcity of food led to massive hardship, starvation and deaths….”

This is from an article by R. Upadhyay
“The advent of British rule in Mizo Hills was the beginning of a new era for Mizo society, which left a deep impact on its socio-political evolution. The colonial power introduced Inner Line Regulation and restricted the entry of outsiders in this area. The Christian Missionaries arrived immediately after the British and focused their whole enterprise to push the Mizo society to the domain of an unknown Christian tradition. With an army of priests and fat moneybags they increased the strength of Christian population in Lushai Hills from.05 % in 1901 to 80.31 % in 1951. The socio-religious transformation of Mizos to a new tradition arrested their integration in the wider civilisational mass of India.

It was a historical irony that the Mizos like their other tribal counter parts played politics of tribal extremism by raising the unknown concept of tribal nationalism and ethnic identity, which was introduced among them by the alien forces. They failed to understand the game of Church, which caused the first loss to their indigenous ethnic identity. The irony of the whole missionary enterprise is that the Church which strongly advocated the sustenance of the ethnic identity of the Mizos actually destroyed it once for all(Making of Mizoram Vol. II by Suhas Chatterjee, M D Publications, New Delhi, 1994, Page 209). The Church even destroyed some of the positive aspects of their egalitarian identity like Bachelors Dormatories, which used to impart informal education on community living; selfless obligation to society and trade crafts. N.E.Perry in his monograph of Lushai customs and ceremonies observed: the missionaries were destroying some of the excellent customs of the Lushais (Mizoram by Animesh Ray, 1993, Page141). Factually, the Christian Missionaries kept them isolated in a mental sanctuary, sowed the seed of separatism and debarred them from democratic aspiration and rightful partnership in the national rebuilding programmes of India for long years.”

So you begin to get the idea that Indians blame the Christian Missionaries for the separatism among the hill tribes. But they claim it was government indifference to the last rat caused famine that caused the rebellion. That is what is the NOVA special on the subject stated in a brief note in their story about the Rat attacks that occur once every 48 years when the Bamboo flowers.

Cleaning Stuff - Thinking About The Plan In Afghanistan

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

I hate it. Cleaning. But it feels good once you do it. I tend to let things pile up and then make a major effort and throw out the old bills and receipts and debris that I accumulate from anti war demonstrations and the daily life. I still keep too much, copies of the Militant that I will never read, pay stubs and bank statements from years gone by.
I should toss the whole lot of it but I keep all these old papers for a few years and then when I can’t stand it anymore or when some woman decides I have had them around for too long. Then they go in the trash. I wish I still had all my underground newspapers from the 1960’s or those original copies of the Black Panther Paper that I used to sell. But nope my mom tossed all that stuff when she moved to Florida. All I have from my youth are fading memories. No physical evidence.
It is hard to get excited about world affairs right now. Obama made a piecemeal peace treaty with the Russians. I wonder what secret side bars are involved with Poland, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and the rest. The Russians are on the front line, the gateway to the orient, on the edge of the Muslim world. One wrong step and they are at war. Fortunately for them there are no strong Moslem powers in the world like the Ottoman Empire was as recently as a century ago. Russia and the Moslems have been going at one another at least since they replaced the Byzantines as the bulwark of Christianity over 5 centuries ago.
But now the Russians with Islamic fundamentalists biting at the heal like some small yappy dog, have to watch their step and might even run back into the woods like a bear chased by a pack of dogs. If that bear decided to turn and swipe at those dogs, they would probably have regrets, but a hungry pack of dogs know they have numbers and that they can wear the bear down. That seems to be the Jihadi approach to the west altogether. Wear down the huge forces of the USA and the Russians or anyone else who decides to take on the Islamic hinterlands. It is not necessarily an Islamic resistance but it amounts to the same thing when all the fighters call on Allah to see the justice of their cause. Often it is because some relative was blasted to bits by some western bomb from a casual drone attack on a semi seen target who happens to be at a wedding party or a funeral with non combatants who happen to live there. This radicalizes people more than any abstract cause, watching you cousin or uncle or aunt getting blown away as collateral damage has fueled the jihad more than anything else.
American and other foreign troops should withdraw from the countries we are trying to help. Our help, outside of something like an emergency disaster aid like after the Quake in Haiti, anything else is simply imperialism and will give us cause for regret.
Look at Kyrgyzstan. We go there and pay the country pennies for a base and then shovel millions of dollars in secret deals with the rulers and their relatives, corrupting the local political process and then we wonder when the place explodes what happened? From the reports I have heard on the radio and the BBC news, the place was allowed to degenerate into a kleptocracy because the USA wanted to get the base there on the cheap, bribing local officials instead of paying a decent rent for access. We blew it in Uzbekistan with our base there. And now we need this base in Kyrgyzstan if we are to have an alternative route for American supplies to get into Afghanistan besides the Khyber Pass from Pakistan.
This whole effort in Afghanistan is built upon a house of cards. Karzai is playing footsie with whatever allies he can find. The US war effort is based on a contradiction, increased presence with a less aggressive footprint. How is that supposed to work? Is it supposed to be like having a cop on every corner? Well Afghanistan is an awfully big beat and I don’t think a zero tolerance for graffiti and broken windows will work. Not when the brother of the President is running a protection racket for heroin exporters. Not that I have anything against the business, but just that well, its illegal in 9/10th of the world. I don’t see how protecting the opium growers from the Taliban for the sake of the official Afghani government dealers is really helping anything. But then maybe I don’t understand the plan.
But the USA has got itself in a war about as far away and logistically hard to get to as is possible. This could be another Vietnam if the USA allows itself to become bogged down in a war in an isolated country with forbidding terrain and a decentralized rural society. It is about as opposite to what our technology is prepared for as you can get. There are easy choke points where our supplies can be blocked and we are dependent upon unstable regimes in central Asia for alternative supply routes. Iran is next door and could at any time become a major problem for everyone around. The whole situation looks like a disaster in the making. But then what do I know. I am going back to cleaning my place up.

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