The Neocons Speak: Afghanistan As Political Real Estate

When the tears dry, it is worth considering why there is so much upset about the fall of Kabul (or reconquest) by the Taliban and the messy withdrawal of US-led forces. A large shield is employed: women, rights of the subject, education. Remove the shield, and we are left with a simple equation of power gone wrong in the name of paternalistic warmongering.

The noisiest group of Afghanistan stayers are the neoconservatives resentful because their bit of political real estate is getting away. In being defeated, they are left with the task of explaining to the soldiery that blood was not expended in vain against a foe they failed to defeat. “You took out a brutal enemy,” goes a statement from US President George W. Bush and his wife Laura, “and denied Al Qaeda a safe haven while building schools, sending supplies, and providing medical care.” The couple throw in the contribution of Dr. Sakena Yacoobi of the Afghan Institute of Learning, behind the opening of “schools for girls and women around the nation.”

Paul Wolfowitz, who served as Bush’s deputy defence secretary, is less sentimental in his assessment of the Afghanistan fiasco. To Australia’s Radio National, he was unsparing in calling the victors “a terrorist mob that has been hating the United States for the last 20 years.” They had provided the launching ground for “one of history’s worst attacks on the United States” and were now “going to be running that bit of hostile territory.”

Being in Afghanistan, he asserted, was not costly for the occupiers – at least to the US. It made good sense in preventing it from “once again becoming a haven for terrorists”. For the last year and a half, there had not been a single American death. He chided the simpletons at the Chicago Council of Global Affairs who dared survey Americans with the question, “Would you like to leave [Afghanistan] and get out?” They would have been far better framing it differently: “Do you support withdrawal if it means the country is going to be overrun by the same people who hated us 20 years ago and from where an attack that killed 3,000 Americans took place”.

Neocons speak
U.S. Marines with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command, provide assistance during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 20, 2021

To talk about “endless wars” was also something to avoid. In a reminder that the US imperial footprint remains global, Wolfowitz drew attention to the fact that Washington was hardly going to withdraw from South Korea, where it was still officially at war with the North. It kept troops in countries it had previously been at war with: Germany and Japan. Americans, he lamented, had not “been told the facts” by their politicians.

Boiled down to its essentials, such a view has little time for Afghans with a country “more or less ungovernable for long periods of time”. (What uncooperative savages.) The Obama administration’s deployment of 100,000 soldiers had been an “overreach” with unclear intention. It was far better to treat Afghanistan as a state to contain with “a limited commitment” of US forces rather than “extending to the idea that Afghanistan would become a latter-day Switzerland.” Ringing the real estate, not advancing the people, mattered.

Former US National Security Advisor John Bolton, a caricature of US interventionist policies, never had much time for the withdrawal argument, either. Earlier in August, with the Taliban humming along with speed in capturing a swag of provincial cities, Bolton warned that it was “literally [President Joe] Biden’s last chance to reverse his and Trump’s erroneous withdrawal policy. When the Taliban wins, it compromises the security of all Americans.”

Another voice from the neoconservative stable advocating the need for a continued boot print of US power was Max Boot, who thought it nonsensical to keep US troops in Iraq while withdrawing them from Afghanistan. US forces needed, he wrote in the Irish Independent (Jul 29) “to stay in both countries to prevent a resurgence of the terrorist threat to the US and its allies.” The “imperative” to prevent both countries from becoming “international terrorist bases” remained, but only one had an adequate military presence to provide insurance. Decent of Boot to show such candour.

The British, long wedded to the idea of empire as gift and necessity, have also piled onto the wagon of stayers, saying less about the merits of protecting Afghan citizens than keeping trouble boxed and localised. “We will run the risk of terrorist entities re-establishing in Afghanistan, to bring harm in Europe and elsewhere,” feared General Sir Richard Barrons. “I think this is a very poor strategic outcome.”

British Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood, a former captain in the Royal Green Jackets, went further by suggesting that plucky Britain best go it alone in the face of foolhardy US withdrawal. “Just because the US chose to depart does not mean we should slavishly follow suit,” he exhorted. “Would it not make sense to stay close to the Afghan people given the importance of this bit of real estate?”

The one who tops all of this off must be former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, always one given to evangelising wars waged in the name of a sinister, tinfoil humanitarianism. As executive of an institute bearing his name (modest to a fault), he railed against a withdrawal executed “in obedience to an imbecilic political slogan about ending ‘forever wars’”. Like Wolfowitz, he dismissed the use of such terms and comparisons, noting the diminishing troop deployment on Afghan soil and the fact that “no allied soldier had lost their life in combat for 18 months.”

Despite the withdrawal, Blair suggested that options were available to “the West” which needed some “tangible demonstration” that it was not in “retreat”. A “list of incentives, sanctions and actions” had to be drawn up against the Taliban. In doing so, his motivation was simple: that these turbaned fanatics represented a strategic risk, part of “Radical Islam” that had been “almost 100 years in gestation”.

Far from ditching the prospect for future interventions, the high priest of illegal war is all-embracing of the formula. “Intervention,” he opines, “can take many forms. We need to do it learning the proper lessons of the past 20 years according not to our short-term politics, but our long-term strategic interests.” Be fearful for Afghanistan’s sovereignty, and woe to those lessons.

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  1. samir sardana

    Is there a revival of so-called “Jehad”, across the globe ? Or is it so-called “Islamism” ?

    Houthis used a Missile,to attack a Saudi base,in Yemen today – just after a misifired rocket in Kabul today !

    If the US does NOT recognise Taliban and aid them with food,funds and intel,Taliban will have no option but to let loose Daesh and others,in a few provinces.In essence,if the US and IMF do NOT release the funds of the Afghan state,FROZEN by the WEST,then doom is certain.dindooohindoo

    It will NOT take much for the exodus of Muslims in EU and US to Afghanistan to join Daesh and others.

    In any case,the Leon Uris Exodus from Kabul,has brought Daesh to EU and the US.

    So long as Logar and other provinces with the mines are with Taliban – Taliban will not mind leaving Daesh alone, if they are confined to 1 province,using dry land farming,solar power and drip irrigation,for poppy farming – with the caveat that Daesh does NO attacks,after 1st September 2021.

    Post 1st September,Taliban will start the REAL WAR in Panjshir and the TESTING WAR on ISIS.The Panjshir war will BURY THE INDIAN WEASELS AND RATS – of they do not aid Masood’s son and Saleh.I bet that the Indian weasels will NOT fund or arm the Panjshir.

    Neither will the US,as there will be 1000s of US hostages in Kabul – post 31st August,2021.If the US does not release Afghan funds and unblock Afghan banks – then Taliban MAY NOT, also secure the Americans left behind in Kabul.

    The Testing war with Daesh, is to test the western response in terms of rewards to the Taliban,Even when NATO was IN AFGHANISTAN,Taliban had spectacular successes w.r.t. Daesh.Now with no enemies left,Taliban can POTENTIALLY drive out Daesh – BUT ONLY if Taliban gets some benefits !

    People write off Daesh too easily.The US had int on 9/11,Kabul airport but COULD NOT STOP IT.In 24 hours of the Kabul attack,the US drones killed the 2 planners – w/o Taliban int and w/o tipping off the Taliban.Such genius, coincidence and providence – just like the fables of the Bible.THE 2 PLANNERS WERE TRAVELLING IN A 3 WHEELED CONTRAPTION IN NANGHAR.- AND THE STORY GETS MORE WONDERFUL ! The Daesh attack ALLOWED THE USAF to drone a target in a soverign nation with a new govtt ! A US message that once they exit, they will do MORE.Of Course,I am NOT saying that the Kabul bombing was a false flag,to message Taliban,that they were vulnerable EVEN IN KABUL,and EVEN WHEN THE US WAS AT ITS MOST VULNERABLE.The Crux is that the US is playing POKER,till the 31st August,2021.

    Americans have spent 20 years in Afghanistan.They will have assets and HUMINT,in every 1 square mile of Afghanistan – which they will use to prime effect,once they exit and CERTAINLY,after all US citizens are out of Kabul.In essence,Anti-Taliban forces,will use Daesh and Fund Daesh – like in Syria and Iraq- where besides Mossad – even the Indians supplied arms, medicines and doctors for ISIS ! There are many nations and kings,who are MORTALLY THREATENED by the Taliban.Even the Americans are capable of using Daesh or false flagging them – especially as their int,on Daesh attacks,is so exquisite.


    ELSE,Taliban will need to bring in PLA,on the pretext of securing the mining concessions,and ore concentrate transportation. There will be a perpetual risk to Taliban,of financial freezes and sanctions. Hence,the time has come for Afghanistan,to adopt the Yuan and take Chinese aid.If every poor Afghan has free food,quality water,free education,free power and some economic employment – Taliban will win the elections – and that is the 1st step to get back the Billions of USD frozen,by the US/EU and Aid institutions.PLA is already in one Northern Province bordering PRC (Badkashan).

    Then the next step is PLA ADS,to stop US drone strikes.



    Like I said above “Of Course,I am NOT saying that the Kabul bombing was a false flag,to message Taliban,that they were vulnerable EVEN IN KABUL,and EVEN WHEN THE US WAS AT ITS MOST VULNERABLE”

    It turns out that it was NOT a FALSE FLAG ! IT WAS JUST FALSE !

    Like I said !


    WHICH MEANS ……………………………………………………



    I must be divine ! dindooohindoo

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