Monday, August 16, 2021

UPDATED: Zhou Owns This

That seems to be the verdict of the MSM--lame excuses won't be acceptable. I remarked to my wife yesterday that some stories are just too big to ignore, and America cutting and running and leaving some behind is one of those stories. Zhou will be consuming large quantities of Rocky Road, whether he likes it or not. Indeed, he's already being forced to return early from his vacay. But, of course, this is really about his handlers and about America's political establishment. But for the political establishment, Trump is president. They know that, and the rest of the country knows it, too. Branding the majority of the country as potential domestic terrorists is revealed as too lame to be tolerated much longer by the evident moral corruption of the establishment--which leads directly to its incompetence.

Karl Denninger has a pithy post on all this today, which he spoils at the end with his stock anti-Trump rhetoric--actually contradicting himself within the span of a few sentences. What I mean is, he admits that staying was no solution, while adding that there's a right way to leave and this was manifestly the wrong way. But then he has to add:

PS: Don't forget who set the original we're leaving timetable over in Afghanistan.

That's just stupid. This is not on Trump because Trump didn't get the chance to do it the right way. Abandoning imperial ambitions to concentrate on MAGA was unquestionably the right thing to do.

But I don't want to be negative. What did KD get right? Some very fundamental things. I'll preface these excerpts with the observation that behind all this is the bizarre notion of progs that an effective military is can run on auto-pilot, that it's basically a self executing enterprise that just works in spite of human resource madness. Human nature trumps all, and it will have its revenge. KD:

I wish I could tell you this was a shock to me but it isn't.  The purge of DOD people began before Biden took office.  ...

The publicly-visible military "realignment", where anyone who wasn't a Democrat party supporter was basically deemed a potential terrorist and security threat, ...

I doubt very much Joe Biden has enough going on upstairs to contemplate the stupidity of any or all of this, but it doesn't matter. ... the remaining question is what power will rush in to fill the vacuum, and with what consequences?

I lay primary responsibility here, however, on the Joint Chiefs, along with the various service heads. It has long been recognized that once you get into the "Starred" side of things you're chosen for your political points rather than your military prowess; ...


Rome didn't burn in a day and no military rots from the top in an afternoon. But a leadership that is so derelict in its duty from the entire Joint Chiefs down as to allow virtually anything other than fielding a fit, fighting force to be the focus of its mission is asking for exactly this sort of outcome.

Two additional comments.

First--and the terms I use here are all relative to military reality, which is always big bureaucracy careerism--I'm not sure how far back the purge of principled normals from the military began. It certainly metastasized for 8 Obama years. When Trump won he was immediately tagged as "it" by the political establishment. Four years of a Special Counsel and an impeachment, all with the visible collusion of the media and the less visible collusion of the GOP, ensured that he would never have control over the government--certainly not over the Hydra headed national security establishment. I presume Trump believed, as did I, that his victory would be followed by a decision within the GOP to come together in some reasonable modus vivendi--if for no other reason, then because of the political realities that Trump's victory revealed. Such was not the case. The establishment closed ranks against the outsider.

Second, KD is wrong to attribute the debacle of Kabul and Afghanistan generally to lack of "a fit, fighting force." America's actual combat forces remain the most capable in the world. They were certainly fully capable of an orderly withdrawal. This debacle comes back to the policy makers and the managers. And, of course, to the people that we elect. However, that effectiveness, even in the combat units, will be eroding rapidly under the Zhou regime.

UPDATE 1: The perspicacious Don Surber nails this, from the title down. I raised the issue of the "political establishment" down in the post, but Surber leads with it--follow the link for all of it. Having said that Don "nails" this, I do take issue with some details:

DC knew Biden would botch Afghanistan

All of Washington wanted to get rid of the president. On this Republican and Democrat leaders agreed. They whipped up a fake scandal, greased the skids for an impeachment, and got the press to convince the public the president must be replaced.

The difference, of course, is that--as Surber recognizes elsewhere in the post--times are quite different now. The media convinced no one regarding Trump because the media no longer controls the flow of information, no longer enjoys the undeserved trust it had back in the 60s-70s.


His replacement was a reliably lame congressional lifer.

I could be talking about Nixon/Ford or Trump/Biden.

It is the same deal.

This is what Washington wanted. Instead of a competent executive whom the people backed, they wanted an old hack in the Oval Office. That he was ill-prepared or ill-suited for the job mattered not.


The Deep State and Congress wanted an occupant in the White House, not a president because they feared an end to their trillion-dollar game of needless wars, dependency on Red China, and getting cheap labor, votes, drugs, and sex toys (girls and boys) from Mexico and Central America.

They impeached President Trump twice, ruined the economy, unleashed a pandemic panic, and harvested ballots from the graveyards and nursing homes. Still they did not have the votes to defeat Trump on election night. It is incredible.

Above I referenced my earlier view that the GOP, following 2016, would come to terms with the political realities that Trump had revealed--realities that were highly favorable to the GOP. Wrong. Just reread the bolded red.


The price for sabotaging his presidency (Republicans stuck him with a homeland security secretary who opposed the wall) and disposing of him is being paid by others at the supermarket and in Afghanistan.


Those tears are from crocodiles and other denizens of swamps because no one is calling for Biden's removal because no one in DC cares about the country any more. It is all about power and getting their kids in the right schools, getting tax breaks for their donors, and pocketing a share of whatever money Chairman Xi is handing out. 

Lots more at the link.

UPDATE 2: Hmmmm. Not sure why this didn't work. To get the full effect you'll need to click on the link under Ryan Girdusky's name:


  1. There's a large 'perception' component in the whole Afghan situation, and indeed in all of foreign affairs, Taliban are cagey and always testing. They would have tested Trump a little, and he would have responded in some manner that said "don't test me."

    Baidan may or may not realize he was being tested for a long time, and failed, just how he finished in the bottom few in his law school class....

    Taliban would have settled for much less if they perceived that was the best they could get. This is basically what BO did in Iraq. Nothing smart, no base left behind, no ally system, no legacy, just give everything to enemies, Red China, they don't care. Jimmy Carter's their patron saint...

  2. Hey what happened to BLM and Antifa riots? Has America become suddenly anti-racist and anti-fascist in just 7 months?

    1. they already declared mission accomplished

    2. The racist and fascists are in the White House now.

      Rob S

    3. Im sure you know the answer, Kirk. They have been leashed for now for most part. But they are being fed and trained nonetheless for later use at the proper time.

  3. Nice Baidan montage:

  4. Suggested text to Baidan's press conference this afternoon:

    "The Taliban has broken the cease fire agreement they negotiated with us, so all bets are off. We have just leveled the Afghan Presidential quarters their top leaders were occupying with cruise missiles. More to come..."

    1. That would have been the Trump text.


  5. ON STRATEGY: A Critical Analysis of the Vietnam War, Harry Summers. The parallels between Col Summers book on Vietnam and that which has overtaken the US Military at the moment is prescient. Summers was a WWII/Vietnam veteran and saw the beginning of "experts/administrative state’s" influence in decision making on how wars were to be run from DC and not the battlefield commanders. DC/WH (McNamara, etc.) simply didn't have the skill set in military science- most were technocrats with success in the private sector applying goofy metrics in an attempt to evaluate success on the battlefield. They (DC/WH) failed miserably and in many ways we've succumbed to a similar strategy since. Worth the read. The last war to be run by the Theater Commandeer was Schwarzkopf, Desert Shield/Desert Storm. He also was a Vietnam alum and detested REMF's control of the battlefield strategy. However, his skill set and personality was such that he prevented over reach from DC (C. Powell) from "significant" over reach. "Stormin'" Norman was a "reasonable" force of nature that had his way with incredible success because of experience and a military skill set that was "reasonably" uncompromising on military strategy he was put in charge of by HW Bush.

  6. Is Biden still useful? The border, inflation, covid and now Afganistan, it's becoming to much to ignore. This is just highlighting his 'fragility' and at some point he will become the scapegoat.

    1. When enough people ask the same question, he will be quickly replaced by Kammallah.

      Bait and switch.

    2. Those are features, nor failures, of his presidency.

      Their intent is to destroy the American middle class and create a nation of serfs.

    3. Correct mistcr, they are playing the long game. They are dispersing the illegals into red states and in a few years, if we can't reverse this, we will never win another election.
      I would like to see a law that bans anyone from voting if they are on welfare (not disability).

  7. "...I have always depended on the kindness of strangers..." has not been a good strategy for the Democrats

  8. Mark Steyn has an excellent and rather scathing commentary on this subject. Warning - don't be drinking coffee or any other beverage when you figure out the acronym for the new intelligence agency he suggests.

    Here's one quote that really hurts, but I think he's right.

    "Somewhere along the way, Lady Avon observed ruefully that the eight days of the Suez crisis in late 1956 marked the great divide between the words "British Empire" being still taken seriously and their being a sneering punchline.

    The last eight days may well do the same for the term "global superpower". Right now, as I said on Rush last year, it's China's world; we just pay for it."


  9. The entire chapter is worth the time spent absorbing what he wrote.
    Book II
    Chapter XXII


    The same interests, the same fears, the same passions that deter democratic nations from revolutions deter them also from war; the spirit of military glory and the spirit of revolution are weakened at the same time and by the same causes. The ever increasing numbers of men of property who are lovers of peace, the growth of personal wealth which war so rapidly consumes, the mildness of manners, the gentleness of heart, those tendencies to pity which are produced by the equality of conditions, that coolness of understanding which renders men comparatively insensible to the violent and poetical excitement of arms, all these causes concur to, quench the military spirit. I think it may be admitted as a general and constant rule that among civilized nations the warlike passions will become more rare and less intense in proportion as social conditions are more equal.

    And lastly,

    “Half-way down the staircase we threw ourselves out of the window, in order to get sooner to the bottom. Such in fact is the course of common events” ~ Alexis de Tocqueville on the French Revolution

    1. With respect, I would argue that equality of conditions is the product of mildness and gentleness. It does not flow in the other direction.

  10. This is interesting. If true, who's going to own the blame?

    "The Afghan Air Force didn’t take flight because — God help us — Joe Biden refused to let outside maintenance crews into Afghanistan, effectively grounding the fleet."

  11. Enter Taiwan, China and Japan to the main stage... Up next Russia and Ukraine!

    When we're to busy telling our boys how good they look in dresses, others apparently notice.

    1. Yeah, I do think China is paying very close attention to what happened in Kabul. It basically signals Biden giving them the Green Light, to do the inevitable, the march on Taiwan. And like you state, Putin is watching too!

  12. Donald Trump built up "street cred" with the "street crud", if you will, by taking out Soleimani. His message to the Taliban would undoubtedly have been something along the lines of: "if you try anything (like what is going on now), we will not recognize your government and every time you go on a balcony somewhere to address your fans, there may be a Predator overhead drawing a bead on your beady eyes". A couple of "pink mist" events would've done the trick IMHO...kinda like the IDF taking out every leader of Hamas until they stopped identifying their leaders so they could live. But, hey, in the words of my old buddy Montaigne: que sais-je?

    1. the Taliban leaders are all gathered right now as an 'easy' the presidential palace.... good time to reach out and touch someone...

  13. Conducting USAF operations as they are in Kabul is another disaster waiting to happen...there should be a ring of 82nd Airborne around that space before those planes are allowed in. Those are desperate crowds, who's protecting the crews? Few guys with small arms? C'mon man... Wait until the runway is blocked in front of one of those planes, it will be in Beijing in hours. Or some Taliban with an RPG wants a big trophy...this current 'woke' military just doesn't have any regard for the safety of personnel or following normal protocols. Not to mention the chicoms or russians could use this unrest as cover for 'dirty tricks' and no adults seem to be in charge!


    The DPP authorities need to keep a sober head, and the secessionist forces should reserve the ability to wake up from their dreams. From what happened in Afghanistan, they should perceive that once a war breaks out in the Straits, the island's defense will collapse in hours and the US military won't come to help. As a result, the DPP authorities will quickly surrender, while some high-level officials may flee by plane.

    The best choice for the DPP authorities is to avoid pushing the situation to that position. They need to change their course of bonding themselves to the anti-Chinese mainland chariot of the US. They should keep cross-Straits peace with political means, rather than acting as strategic pawns of the US and bear the bitter fruits of a war.

    1. Global Times is a CCP mouthpiece. Yet, they're probably correct that our woke politicians and military will abandon Taiwan just as we did Afghanistan and Viet Nam (and others). But that abandonment will cost more. Both Foxconn and TSCM have their main factories and R&D facilities there, and losing them (along with others too numerous to mention) will have severe consequences. Look at the new automobiles piling up around the world waiting for chips just as a result of the CCP virus. Losing Taiwan will be a really BFD.

    2. Installed by the CCP, a demented Biden has handed the same a hypersonic propaganda missile against the US, Taiwan and the world. Now it just may be possible to gather Taiwan in without firing a shot. As well as gather all the nations to a greater or lesser degree.

      Obama hit the nail on the head when he said to never underestimate Biden's ability to F things up.


  15. Interesting detail about the fall of Saigon:

    There's a very large heritage tree on the grounds of the U.S. Embassy in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). The ambassador refused to allow the tree to be cut down, which would have opened space for another helicopter.

    How many people died for that tree?

  16. You know it just occurred to me that what we're seeing in dc is just the other side of the Kabul coin. In other words, maybe dc is doing exactly what you'd expect crooks to do when they know that the enemy army is coming: loot and pillage every last nickel before they get the heck out of Dodge. DC has been on a feeding frenzy since 2016 because they know their time is short-- whether that's due to economic collapse or foreign domination or popular uprising idk, but they behave as if there's no future so deferring the looting makes no sense now. Lran

  17. Blinken said the evacuation of our embassy in Kabul was not at all like the evacuation of our embassy in Saigon. Saigon fell in 1975. Blinken was 13.

  18. Second thought...

    Now that the Times and others are jumping in on this today I wouldn't be surprised if you see a propaganda shift calling for full blown re-entry using the *must save the poor helpless* narrative.

    Give the Analyst 24 hours to cook up the speeches and que up the hawks.Saving face on this one will require moving mountains. Re-entry would do it.

  19. I think I just botched my own comment, sorry if this posts twice.

    I'm having second thoughts now that were seeing the Times and others jump in on the Biden bashing today.

    Watch them spin this into an excuse for full blown Afghanistan re-entry over the next few days.

    Give the Analyst and speech writers till Friday to get their narratives down. This level of fail is going to require a mountain moving response to cover it. Re-entry would do that.

  20. What’s sad is that, for me, I supported going into Afghanistan. What I didn’t support is the 20 years we were there. Looking back, I don’t support much of our involvement there.

    What’s worse, Afghanistan was just a way for us, via W, to lash out due to 9-11 in a way to ameliorate our pain. This means my initial support was based upon emotion and not facts. Facts not given, purposely or not.

    We didn’t go after those governments that funded 9-11. We could have, but it would have meant going against our oil suppliers or nuclear powers like Pakistan, once a long held ally against India (weird, huh? Well, in the Cold War, we effed ourselves in a myriad of ways that to this day still affect us).

    Any exit from Afghanistan could have had this same result, but it didn’t have to be exactly this. It shouldn’t have been this way,

    I have a high school football teammate that I haven’t talked to since high school. I went into the US Navy Reserve and left a Petty Officer 2nd Class, E-5. He became a US Navy SEAL. This teammate, US Navy Chief Stephen White, was a friend of US Army Ranger Pat Tillman. Stephan gave the first initial, official account of how Tillman died.

    I did not notice this. I only noticed when I saw on TV Stephen give Congressional testimony on how the US government under W lied about Tillman’s death.

    That floored me, but it was in keeping with how W’s admin handled US Army Specialist Jessica Lynch.

    Afghanistan was just an easy target that cost us way too much.

    Yeah, the USSR found that out after we got more directly involved and Hollywood made a movie on that.

    Hmmph ... this was the good war that Biden was a part of when Obama declared it so.

    Eff it all!

    1. TD, we're all dealing now with serious cognitive shock. Just about everything we thought was true is a lie. Up is down. Black is white. My best guess is that this wholesale betrayal of the People started with ww2 and the massive power grab by the feds to mobilize the nation for total war. Once the politicians and corporations and Pentagon saw what power they could wield under the pretext of a "Crisis" they never gave it up. The birth and growth of intel agencies multiplied the poisonous power sickness and concentration in dc. Decade after decade all the Smart Set figured out that the People can't be trusted to pick leaders. Power and wealth are there for the Elite to hold and manage and can't be wasted on party politics. The Uniparty grew and thrived as everyone who played along got rich while the Crooks got better and better at selling their lies to the People. And their cronies and enablers took over more positions of influence.

      So here we are. Mere subjects. Not citizens. Controlled. Dictated to by our Betters. We weren't supposed to wake up to from our hypnotic state, and the Regime doesn't quite yet know what to do with us. They are pulling all the usual levers of fear-- pandemic, looming foreign dangers, rampant crime, runaway inflation... all of it designed to drive us back to Big Brother for safety and security. But we ain't buying. So what's next? How far does the Regime dare to go? How far will the enlisted military obey before breaking and rebelling? How fast can the Regime remake the military into a weapon of oppression? They already have the FBI and other agencies but they must secure active military.

      Afghanistan doesn't matter, really. It's another data point in the waking of the People to the horror of our decline and captivity. The Regime will spin it and use it, maybe to invoke the 25th amendment against the SPOTUS (Sock Puppet of the US). Or maybe some other use. It's another step toward a final catalyst that will ignite the unstoppable chain reaction. Ktw

    2. “wholesale betrayal of the People started with ww2 and the massive power grab by the feds.” Yep. And Eisenhower warned us.