Refusing to Learn Bloody Lessons

President Trump’s continued Afghan War pursues the same failed path as the prior 16 years, with the U.S. political/media elites learning no lessons, says former Marine officer Matthew Hoh in an interview with the American Herald Tribune.

Interviewer Mohsen Abdelmoumen: As an expert, how do you see the evolution of the political process in Afghanistan?

Matthew Hoh: Unfortunately, I have not seen any positive evolution or change in the political system or process in Afghanistan since 2009. What we have seen are three national elections that have been ruled to be grossly illegitimate and fraudulent by outside observers, but have been validated and supported by the American government through the presence of tens of thousands of soldiers and the spending of tens of billions of dollars.

Former U.S. Marine officer and diplomat Matthew Hoh

We have seen the creation of extra-constitutional positions in the government, such as the Chief Executive Officer position occupied by Abdullah Abdullah, which was done at the behest of the American government. Additionally, bargains and compromises that were brokered by the American government in an attempt to create more a more inclusive government, reduce corruption and heal fractures among the political bloc that once supported Hamid Karzai and the American presence has failed to achieve those things. Corruption is still the dominant feature of the Afghan government, and the political support for the rule of Kabul has deteriorated and splintered by the corruption and the machinations of the Karzai and now Ghani governments.

Most importantly, the political process, by being so corrupt, by seating successive governments that won by fraud and by disenfranchising various political communities, has alienated many, many Afghans, and not just those Pashtuns who ally themselves with the Taliban, from the government in Kabul. This has allowed for greater support for militia commanders and warlords outside of Kabul, as well as the Taliban, and has allowed the war to progress with no real hopes for reconciliation, negotiations or a cease-fire anywhere in the near future. (By supporting and growing a kleptocracy, a system of have and have nots, that system has by its nature and necessity produced more people out of the system than people in the system every year. This causes resentment, grievances and a desire to share in the spoils and gifts of American occupation that leads to greater violence, more political chaos and a dearth of hope for the future).

Can you explain to us what was the disagreement that led you to resign?

I had been twice to Iraq prior to my time in Afghanistan, and I had been working on issues of the wars since 2002 when I was in the Pentagon as a Marine Corps officer. I could no longer go along with the killing of the war, and the lies that propped up that killing. I saw in the Afghan government the worst excesses that I had seen in the Iraqi government and I knew the Afghan government in Kabul had no real or true interest in coming to a peace with the Taliban and those in the Afghan insurgency.

I also saw that Barack Obama’s administration cared only for the political value of Afghanistan in terms of American politics and had no real interest in the well being of the Afghan people. I also knew the amount of money that American corporations were making off of the war and how that influenced American policy and the escalation of the war. Finally, I also knew that American generals and civilians tasked with overseeing the war were more interested in preserving American empire, as well as their own careers and legacies, than achieving peace or ending the suffering of the Afghan people.

U.S. Army soldier takes a defensive fighting position while training as a member of a quick reaction force on Jalalabad Airfield in Afghanistan, June 7, 2013. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. 1st Class John D. Brown)

In addition to being a diplomat, you were a soldier and served in Iraq as a commander in the Marine Corps. In your opinion, was the US intervention in Iraq in 2003 justified?

No, the war in Iraq was not justified. There were many reasons for the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, but none of them were morally valid, internationally legal or had to do with the safety and security of the American people, or the well being of the Iraqi people. The reasons were many and included of course President Bush’s desire to win a war to win reelection in the United States in 2004, people in the government and foreign policy community who believed in removing Saddam Hussein to “democratize and Americanize” the Middle East for reasons of American Empire and hegemony, the influence of Israeli policy and thought on American policy, Iraq’s large and vast oil reserves, and the influence of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Nations.

In your opinion, should the Bush administration be accountable in particular to a court for the crimes it committed in Iraq?

Yes. Without elaboration, war crimes and crimes against humanity were committed by the Bush Administration and those in charge should be held responsible. It is as simple as that.

 

You are a privileged witness as a diplomat and as a superior officer of the war in Iraq. You describe what happened during the intervention in Iraq as a vast racket. Can you tell us why?

The amounts of money that were made on the Iraq war by American corporations and individuals were enormous. In terms of direct spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (the two are inseparable in many ways including in how the financing and the money making occurred), the direct costs of the wars are nearly $1.8 trillion dollars. Now these are just direct costs. Adding indirect costs of the war, such as healthcare for veterans and interest payments on debt, we see that the long term costs of the war may reach $6 trillion dollars. Again, this is just for the wars directly. At the same time the budget for the Pentagon this coming year will be $700 billion, which is 10 times more than Russia and 3 times more than China spend on their militaries, and this $700 billion does not include the money we spend on our intelligence agencies, healthcare for veterans, homeland security or interest payments for past defense and war debt (next year the United States will spend about $115 billion just on interest and debt payments for past wars and military spending).??This money primarily goes to American corporations that then put money into funding politicians in Congress, as well as to funding think tanks and universities that help to promote the policies that foster and sustain America’s wars in the Muslim world and America’s massive military budget. This funding process is cyclical and the instability and violence that American militarism, intervention and occupation fosters and sustains is utilized as continued justification by American politicians and generals for more military spending. ??On a another level, what I witnessed by my presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, is that the mass amounts of money that are injected into these war zones fuel the corruption and that the massive amounts of money being received by those who are loyal or collaborating with the American forces provides no incentive for the Afghans or Iraqis working with the Americans to seek peace, reconciliation or a cease fire with their adversaries. So long as the Americans are keeping them in power and making them rich, there is no sense in pursuing an end to the conflict, an end to the American occupation/presence/influence or to seek reconciliation.

You are … an Advisory Board Member for Expose Facts (and other groups). Can you explain to our readership what the missions of these organizations are?

I am … an advisory board member for Veterans For Peace, Expose Facts, World Beyond War and the North Carolina Committee to Investigate Torture. I am also an associate member of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. All of these organizations seek to encourage peace and an end to America’s wars overseas as well as an end to the wars that we have in the United States, especially the oppression of people of color in the US.??Veterans For Peace is an international organization dedicated to informing people about the true costs and realities of war.

U.S. Army forces operating in southern Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Apr. 2, 2003 (U.S. Navy photo)

Expose Facts is an organization comprised of many former government officials who encourage whistleblowing and members of government, the military and corporations who are witness to wrongdoing to come forward and report this wrongdoing to the public.??World Beyond War is an international organization devoted to restructure how our world is shaped and to get people to believe and understand that a peaceful world is possible.??North Carolina Committee to Investigate Torture is the only organization of its kind in the US. It is the only organization that is devoted wholly to researching, documenting and publicizing the role of the state of North Carolina in the American torture practices under President Bush. The desire is to hold people accountable for the torture that was conducted.

Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) is an organization of former government and military members who were either intelligence officers or utilized intelligence in their careers (associate members). The purpose of VIPS is to provide alternative recommendations and views to the President of the United States, and to the media, that he is not getting from the American intelligence services.

While whistleblowers inform public opinion on various issues by taking major risks, don’t you think it is more than necessary to launch initiatives or even create a global specific program to protect whistleblowers?

Yes, one of the things I would like to see created is a fund to help whistleblowers pay for the very high costs that they incur by becoming whistleblowers. Whistleblowers lose their jobs, have expensive legal fees and may go for years without having the money necessary to support their families and pay their bills. This is a tactic used by the government and corporations to frighten people into not becoming whistleblowers. I would like to see a fund started that would help whistleblowers pay for these expenses and not be forced into bankruptcy and insolvency because they followed their consciences and reported wrongdoing.

You are also a man committed to the cause of the Palestinian people; you participated in a trip to Palestine with Veteran for Peace to see the conditions in which the Palestinians live. Can you tell us about this action?

This was a very important trip for me as spending 18 days with the people of Palestine and the popular resistance to the Israeli occupation was extremely moving and powerful. You can read essays and books or watch documentaries and films about the suffering of the Palestinian people, but until you are with them, you don’t really understand the horror and the tragedy of the Israeli occupation. As an American it was very important for me to go and stand in solidarity with my Palestinian brothers and sisters particularly as my country is often the sole supporter of Israel and gives the Israeli military nearly $11 million dollars a day in assistance.

The United States is an unconditional supporter of Israel. How do you explain that?

The main reason for this is because of the perverted and corrupted political system in the United States that allows money to influence politics so greatly. The United States would not be such an unconditional supporter of Israel if not for the influence of money provided to American politicians, primarily through the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) but also through other sources. Without this overwhelming purchasing of politicians I don’t believe Israel would receive the support it does from the United States and I don’t think that Israel would be able to continue its occupation of the Palestinian people and the crimes against them.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations in 2012, drawing his own “red line” on how far he will let Iran go in refining nuclear fuel.

In your opinion, what is the contribution of veterans like you, especially through Veteran for Peace, to support the resistance to US imperialism around the world?

The most important things American veterans can do is to speak openly and plainly about what they saw during their time in the military, what they took part in the wars, and what they truly believe the purposes of the wars and the American military is. It is hard in America for people to speak against the military and the wars, because we have a culture that celebrates war, violence and the military, but veterans must find the courage to do so because through their witness and testimony people can understand the realities and the truths of America’s wars, empire and imperialism.

It is important too for American veterans to stand in solidarity with those resistance movements both outside the United States and internal to the United States that are fighting against American militarism, occupation and intervention. This includes standing against client governments of the United States like Israel, South Korea and Japan. It is also necessary for veterans to stand with the oppressed communities of the United States; with Native Americans, Latino Americans and Black Americans. All of the oppressed people within the United States are victims of America’s militarism and continue to be oppressed by a system that provides overwhelming economic, civic and societal benefits to the wealthy white classes while continuing to punish people of color through mass incarceration, police violence, deportation, economic disadvantage, inadequate health care, poorer education, etc. Such treatment of people of color would not have been possible in the past without the American military and the effects of militarism on the white people of the United States, and now with militarized police remains essential in continuing the oppression. Much of this oppression finds its praxis and its implementation through the culture of violence in the United States that is a direct consequence of the militarism that so many American embrace. I believe militarism to be one of the true religions of the United States. This militarism leads to this culture of violence which accepts violence based solutions as not the only option, but the necessary option. It is through such policies of violence based solutions that America has the largest prison population in the world, epidemics of police violence, mass deportations of non-white people, etc.

How do you evaluate the alternative media experience? Don’t you think that in order to counter imperialist manipulation and propaganda, we need to rely on highly engaged and highly effective alternative media to win the information battle that is strategic?

Yes, I could not agree with you more. When I first started speaking about the war I was allowed onto and into mainstream media. I appeared on the main cable news networks and was published in major newspapers, but over the last decade voices of dissent, particularly those who are against war and imperialism have been dramatically marginalized from the mainstream, or corporate owned press.

Coffins of dead U.S. soldiers arriving at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware in 2006. (U.S. government photo)

In 2014, when I was arguing against a renewed American presence in Iraq, I was only able to appear on one cable news network and none of the major newspapers sought my opinion. The same occurred for many of my colleagues. Where we were successful in appearing on cable television news, CNN in my case, or being printed in major news papers and media outlets, we were outnumbered 5, 10 or 15 to one in terms of the voices and opinions that were pro-war.

For example, when I appeared on CNN during that time, I was introduced as “the lone dove in a field of wolves” by the anchor (Brooke Baldwin). This situation, this echo chamber, of pro-war, pro-imperialism and pro-violence voices has only solidified and I know only a couple of people who have been able to get onto the major networks to argue against war and then they are outnumbered considerably and often drowned out by pro-war and pro-empire voices.

Without the alternative media voices like mine would have no outlet. I think however that the success of the alternative media has caused the mainstream media to tighten and limit its allowance of dissent as fear of dissent against the wars having an effect on the population and policy has caused the intersection of the military/government, the media and corporations to more rigidly control the messages being allowed. I think this really accelerated in 2013 when public opinion and public action towards Congress kept the Obama Administration from launching a war against the government of Syria. The nexus of the top echelons of the military/government, the media and the corporations is quite real and reinforcing, and the consequences of this have been the limitation and, in some cases, elimination of dissent from the corporate owned media.

What do you think of the fact that the Trump administration is going back on the Iranian nuclear deal and what is your opinion on the escalation between the United States and North Korea? Does US imperialism still need an enemy to exist, namely the USSR, Vietnam, Cuba, Iraq, China, Iran, Russia, North Korea, etc.?

I think that Trump going back on the nuclear deal with Iran was bound to happen. Trump is following the lead of the foreign policy establishment in the United States which is first and foremost committed to American hegemony and dominance. The preservation of the American Empire is the mission of most foreign policy experts in the United States, whether they are liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican.

Cooperation between nations, demilitarization and world wide respect for human rights is hardly ever a concern for the American foreign policy establishment. This is why we see the same bellicosity to North Korea, and let’s not forget both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have threatened to destroy North Korea themselves.

I think not just for imperialism, but for our culture of militarism, violence and our nationalist concept of American Exceptionalism we must have an enemy. We view ourselves as Good, so there must be a Bad or an Evil. American Exceptionalism and the violence that comes with it, believed to be redemptive and justice-based, is a Manichean, binary framework, so Americans must have an adversary or an enemy. So sad and so tragic that so many have suffered, died and been made homeless all around the world, over the decades for such an absurd, ignorant, simplistic and false belief.

You received the Ridenhour Prize for Truth Telling in 2010. What can you tell us about this award?

It was a very great honor. The prizes are awarded in the name of Ron Ridenhour, the soldier who helped alert people to the massacre at My Lai during the Vietnam War. It is and has been very humbling to be included in such a prestigious group of men and women who have followed their consciences, looked past the risk and did what was right.

Matthew Hoh is a Senior Fellow at the Center for International Policy (www.ciponline.org). Matthew formerly directed the Afghanistan Study Group, a collection of foreign and public policy experts and professionals advocating for a change in U.S. strategy in Afghanistan. Matthew has served with the U.S. Marine Corps in Iraq and on U.S. Embassy teams in both Afghanistan and Iraq. [This slightly edited interview is published with Hoh’s permission.]

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30 comments for “Refusing to Learn Bloody Lessons

  1. mike k
    November 29, 2017 at 7:26 pm

    How can you learn anything when you think you already know everything? You can’t.

    • Sam F
      November 29, 2017 at 7:53 pm

      And of course “supporting and growing a kleptocracy” is natural for the US kleptocracy, which defines that as promotion of Democracy™. Bribery & graft are now holy in both parties, for virtue=money=power in the mass media of oligarchy. Those who disagree must be subversives against Democracy™ itself!

  2. Bart Hansen
    November 29, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Watching the last episode of the Burns series on Viet Nam last night, I was reminded that Congress finally stopped funding that horrible war.

    Now, unhappily, our gutless legislators refuse to do the same for Afghanistan.

  3. Sam F
    November 29, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    Thank you Matthew Hoh for your service to humanity in exposing the corruption by money of US foreign policy, and of the traitors who comprise nearly all of the US Congress and mass media. Democracy in the US has been destroyed by unregulated money power. We need constitutional amendments restricting the funding of elections and mass media to limited and registered individual contributions, and laws to monitor officials and their families and associates for life. But these tools of democracy are already controlled by money: democracy cannot be restored without vast expenditures of blood and treasure.

    • mike k
      November 29, 2017 at 8:18 pm

      We can’t restore what we never had. Money and Power hate democracy, and work ceaselessly to corrupt and crush it. Plato’s dream of leadership by the wise remains unfulfilled. The wise, what few of them still exist on this terminally sick planet, are marginalized and basically ineffective. Is there a real way out of our death-spiral? If you know, please tell me.

      • mike k
        November 29, 2017 at 8:27 pm

        The truth (hard to admit by our can-do egos) is that we don’t know how to save ourselves. If we could just admit that (show a little humility) we would be in a position to begin seriously seeking the solutions we don’t yet have. And remember Einstein’s remark about the futility of seeking solutions within the same failed thinking that got us into this sorry mess. We need an inner revolution – otherwise all our scramble for outer solutions will only draw the noose tighter around our worthless necks.

      • Sam F
        November 30, 2017 at 9:34 am

        Yes, inner revolutions occur among those who seek truth and justice, but they are a minority. The aggression proceeds from the MIC seeking any war, and the zionists seeking mideast wars, both of whose politicians are installed by money control of elections and mass media. When mass media, elections, and judiciary cannot be used to remove corruption, government must be forcibly restructured.

        The judiciary offer no hope of political reform because they are 100% corrupt. They are all lifelong opponents of constitutional rights and prosperity for citizens, and owe their futures to the corrupt rich.

        Elections will not restore democracy. A dark horse candidate for president could install a shadow agency leadership, purge the secret agencies and military of corrupt elements, throw out the entire Congress and judiciary for accepting campaign bribes, turn over the mass media temporarily to the universities, demand amendments to the Constitution to protect elections and mass media from the rich, and repeat until Congress does so. But the Trump who might win intended little or no reform.

        The mass media will not restore democracy because they are controlled by the rich. The emerging middle class failed to see that economic power would corrupt democratic institutions if not severely regulated, and of course oligarchy soon controlled the press and suppressed the issue.

        Eliminating this requires:
        1. Amendments to the Constitution to restrict funding of mass media and elections to individual contributions, limited and registered;
        2. Renegotiation of the NATO treaty to be purely defensive, or its repudiation;
        3. Undertaking foreign military action solely under UN auspices;
        4. Prosecution of US war criminals and corrupt politicians, and banning of lobbyists;
        5. Monitoring public officials and their families and associates for corruption during their lives;
        6. Repurposing about 80 percent of the military to building infrastructure in developing nations;
        7. Signing the treaty of Rome to submit to ICC jurisdiction in most matters.

        Getting there requires:
        1. Executive overreach to investigate and dismiss corrupt officials, hold new elections, etc;
        2. Infiltrating military/intel/police/national guard to deny enforcement to oligarchy during revolts;
        3. Starting new parties that truly represent members, and making coalitions to gain majorities;
        4. Boycotting all military companies and Israeli products, denouncing zionists and militarists;
        5. Refusing to take mortgages or keep large sums in banks or investments;
        6. Refusing to watch or pay for mass media;
        7. Campaigning for foreign rejection of US products, currency, and NATO.

        The restoration of democracy in the US is the sole historical meaning of our era, the sole meaning of our lives. Unfortunately, the only hope of political reform short of revolution is extreme intimidation of the rich by militias of the poor attacking mass media facilities and destroying gated communities. That would have to be coupled with nearly complete refusal of police and national guard to enforce for the rich. I would estimate that to be 40-80 years out, after complete isolation of the US as a rogue state, and after a series of depressions caused by rich scammers. When the bread and circus no longer preoccupy the poor.

        • mike k
          November 30, 2017 at 11:51 am

          You want a real revolution that will save the ecosystem we all depend on, and provide happiness and fulfillment for all humans? Here are some things that would need to happen:

          1. Cut world population to a maximum of five percent of current levels.
          2. Stop wars.
          3. One world currency regularly apportioned to every human equally, based on the total wealth of humankind, calculated periodically.
          4. Promote by all means love and cooperation as the true goals of human life.

          Those are just a few basics. Getting them done will involve understanding their value, and correspondingly eliminating the attitudes and behaviors that prevent them from happening. Thinking that there is no alternative to the sick myths and mindsets that got us to the possibly terminal place we are in now, will only guarantee our collective demise. Many of us try to hold onto our old ideas, but good results will be lacking until we let go absolutely.

          The underlying laws of the universe are implacable, they are indifferent to our excuses for not conforming to them. Continue to deviate from those laws, and we will be eliminated.

          • Sam F
            December 1, 2017 at 9:12 am

            I agree, although some economic incentives are need to ensure productivity and innovation. Cultural changes to stop wars and promote love and cooperation are essential, and if we had the means to teach them we would not have such cultural corruption. Control of mass media by the rich prevents that essential social education.

      • December 1, 2017 at 12:47 pm

        Cultures and Times have varied, it is and has not always been as it Is in some locations currently.

  4. geeyp
    November 29, 2017 at 8:32 pm

    This country has a great many cowards who enjoy looking down at the rest of us. Notice the warmongers among us and try not to get filled with anger and frustration. My Mother always told me patience, more patience is what I needed or life would get tough. It’s difficult not getting the power to fix all this. Just some meandering feelings while my post on the previous article is in moderation.

    • mike k
      November 30, 2017 at 11:55 am

      I am thinking and feeling along with you geeyp…….

  5. geeyp
    November 29, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    That is, the Randy Credico article.

  6. geeyp
    November 29, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    And now my clarifying that I meant the Credico article is under moderation.

  7. Jake G
    November 29, 2017 at 8:47 pm

    I highly doubt its Trump who really wants to go this way. Its the deep state, and if even Trump is doing their will, you know nobody will ever break their power.

    • mike k
      November 30, 2017 at 12:01 pm

      “Even Trump”? A blowhard ego like the Donald would be the last one to stand up for anything against pressure from the deep state. Of course we know, and Trump knows what happens to those who stand up to the deep state and their assassins, like MLK, JFK, Seth Rich, and so many others.

  8. November 29, 2017 at 9:38 pm

    I’d say the USA MIC has learned its lessons perfectly. Make money on war, and make up wars that can be never-ending. They’ve got it all down pat. No peace on any agenda in the MIC, only money and – along with it – everyone else’s land and resources, dontcha know? We have a rogue USA government that should scare every other nation on Earth into a planetary alliance against it, asap.

    • KiwiAntz
      November 30, 2017 at 6:03 pm

      The only way the MIC & American excepttionism can be brought to its knees, are what the Russians; Chinese & Iranian Govt’s are doing right now & that is to bypass & destroy the American “petrodollar system” which allows the US to have this undeserved advantage of being the worlds reserve currency? With Russia; China & Iran trading its oil in Chinese yuan which can be converted for gold & vice a versa thus bypassing & eliminating the need for the US dollar & its hegemonic tyranny, America’s ability to print massive amounts of fiat currency to buy back its own huge debts in Govt bond purchases will collapse under its own weight? When that happens & it’s going to be sooner rather than later, America will no longer have the ability or capacity to fund the ridiculous MIC & its Military spending or preserve its Worldwide overreach & Military adventurism? Just as the Roman Empire & USSR collapsed under their own weight, due to overreach, corruption & unaffordable military costs, the same things going to happen to the USA. Why do think there is such hatred for Russia; China & Iran & why Libya & Iraq where invaded & destroyed? Gaddafi & Saddam Hussein gave up their WMD’s then tried to bypass America’s petrodollar tyranny & the US & its allies, such as France & the UK, destroyed them for attempting this? However, Russia & China, who are both nuclear armed nations, won’t allow America & its imperialistic Govt to attempt to pull the same crap they got away with in Libya & Iraq, as these nations can fight back against bullies? And if America wants a nuclear war, which seems to be what the US Govt is gunning for with its threats to Nth Korea & indirectly to Russia & China, it will be the last war the US will ever get to fight, as the next World war will be a final one & it will end all life on Earth? American “exceptionism is exceptionally “STUPID”, just like Presidential Trump!

    • Sam F
      December 1, 2017 at 9:31 am

      Exactly so. The rest of the world has a far better chance of stopping US wars for Israeli bribes and MIC profit, than do its own citizens, despite its ridiculous claim of being a democracy.

      But mere economic isolation of the US and defeat of its illegal wars over the next 20-40 years will not help US citizens much. That will merely set the stage for another 20-40 year drama of internal corruption and impoverishment, that can only be ended by forcible restructuring of government. But perhaps I am too optimistic. The US may linger for centuries in the perverse belief that money=power=virtue, if it can keep its morally corrupt citizenry glued to the tube circus and supplied with mere bread.

      In that scenario, China and Russia, and then South America and Africa, will recapitulate the development of socialist democracy and provide better for their citizens over the Anti-American Century, until the morally corrupt citizens of the US are humiliated by their relative poverty, and seek in mere greed to improve their economy.

  9. November 29, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    Corruption is still the dominant feature of the Afghan government

  10. john wilson
    November 30, 2017 at 6:08 am

    The problem with this comment “refusing to learn the bloody lessons of war” assumes that the US would have changed their course of endless war if only they had understood what they were doing. Actually, the US has ALWAYS KNOWN WHAT IT IS DOING with regard to wars in other people’s lands and the US has not the slightest feelings of guilt or remorse for the death and destruction it causes. Its not accidental war, its calculated and deliberate. The US warmongers are about lay waste to North Korea and will butcher millions of people and destroy the country and probably cause destruction in the South as well. The only lessons theses swine murderess learn is how to do it better. That hideous creature, Nikki Haley looks and sounds like Hitler in drag. She and that ghastly woman before her, Samantha Powers, are a cross between Dracula’s brides and Lucifer’s hand maidens. Imagine waking up in the morning after a night of drunken carnal lust in between these two Gargols from hell? Makes me shudder just at the thought of it.

    • mike k
      November 30, 2017 at 12:05 pm

      Stop it John, you’re scaring us! ( lol) Those two harpies are certainly a nightmare from hell……..

  11. cbrown
    November 30, 2017 at 8:40 am

    It’s not a bloody lesson wasn’t learn nor it was a mistake it’s just how the plans go regarding those so called non integrable country such as Iraq. The only problem was there’s no moral or ethical backgrounds on such objective to be pursued and none decent would support or do it on behalf of the zionist. Thus come around the fraudulent war on terror, war on drugs etc whatever justified the violence done to people aboard.

  12. Banger
    November 30, 2017 at 9:52 am

    The problem we face is sadly and depressingly simpler than we think. Why is U.S. in Afghanistan or anywhere? Basically, because the Military-Congressional-Industrial-Complex needs wars to continue the flow of money and, as faith in government continues to decline, we also know that faith in the military continues to be overwhelmingly high because Americans love uniforms. So continuing wars and spreading chaos and corruption around the world is the sum total of U.S. foreign police at this point in history. There are, as a practical matter, no other forces at work. Even Israel is a secondary consideration but it is way ahead in line of the welfare of the American people which is dead last by any measure.

    • mike k
      November 30, 2017 at 12:09 pm

      You are right, we don’t need Israel or anyone else to make us the independent absolute top source of terroristic violence in the world – nobody tops us for pure evil, don’t even try……

  13. Babyl-on
    November 30, 2017 at 11:10 am

    “Can you explain to us what was the disagreement that led you to resign?

    I had been twice to Iraq prior to my time in Afghanistan, and I had been working on issues of the wars since 2002 when I was in the Pentagon as a Marine Corps officer. I could no longer go along with the killing of the war, and the lies that propped up that killing. I saw in the Afghan government the worst excesses that I had seen in the Iraqi government and I knew the Afghan government in Kabul had no real or true interest in coming to a peace with the Taliban and those in the Afghan insurgency.

    I also saw that Barack Obama’s administration cared only for the political value of Afghanistan in terms of American politics and had no real interest in the well being of the Afghan people. I also knew the amount of money that American corporations were making off of the war and how that influenced American policy and the escalation of the war. Finally, I also knew that American generals and civilians tasked with overseeing the war were more interested in preserving American empire, as well as their own careers and legacies, than achieving peace or ending the suffering of the Afghan people.”

    This question and answer encapsulates a deep and fundamental cause for all of this.

    Ruthlessness, the total disregard for human life or human suffering, even for nature itself, brutality and the unhesitating use of force and every advantage is the behavior which in Western culture most revered and honored. Slaughter and you return the hero.

    Recently when Theresa May was about to assume the office of PM she was asked in Parliament – Would you give the order to launch a nuclear missal knowing that hundreds of thousands of innocent people would be killed – to “protect Britain”? She, of course, answered yes and I have little reason to doubt her resolve.

    These are the people that our culture rewards and promotes, honors and elevates to the highest levels.

    This is illuminated clearly in Yanis Varoufakis’ book “Adults in the Room” about his dealings with the real power of the EU there is a moment when he could have taken a decisive and aggressive move but chose to hold off for democratic consultations first. At that moment as he understands all was lost, the EU had no democratic constraints their only constituent was Merkel and they could act decisively and ruthlessly with no consideration of any interests except those of the power they represent so they won.

    What is the point of the rest of it if cruelty is so adored?

    • mike k
      November 30, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      Addiction to evil and violence is a sickness we must find a cure for, or our world is doomed. The lunatics are in charge of crazy house Earth. The worst scum rise to the top of the power pyramid.

    • Sam F
      December 1, 2017 at 8:40 am

      I agree with minor reservations. The head of a nation using nuclear deterrence is not at liberty to seem unwilling to use it if necessary to defend against a greater evil. But of course that should be the almost unthinkable last resort when under greater threat.

      The causes of cruelty are many, and some are strongest in the cruelest nations:
      1. Poor parenting causing unmet emotional needs;
      2. Experiences of bullying in childhood or later causing unjust loss and teaching the methods of bullying;
      3. Experiences of selfishness and unethical practices of others;
      4. Guidance and pressure toward such views and practices by associates and mass media.

      So the causes lie both in the corrupted mass media, and in the corrupted people themselves. Of course the mass media are controlled by the most morally corrupt, who rise to the top of businesses, political parties, and media companies in an unregulated economy, so the ultimate problem is regulation of these entities and the economy to eliminate rogue economic power. Doing that peacefully requires the election and media tools of democracy that we do not have, so it will likely be an extremely violent process.

      The other problem is the moral corruption now infecting the people, who have accepted that they should seek the same economic and physical domination from which they suffer. Some would recover quickly under a just system, but many attack reformers in defense of their own overlords. The Repubs overtly despise democracy and teach that money=power=virtue; the Dem leaders believe the same and say the opposite. Teaching the nice ones how to be nicer has no significant effect.

      So unfortunately a real reform movement would require organization of the victims to destroy the rich. Nationwide riots in the streets are the only thing that forced the rich to pretend to be persuaded by the likes of MLK. The Civil Rights act that resulted was over fifty years ago; no progress since. With the heavily militarized police and riot suppression we have now, direct action would have to be far more covert and military, much like the Bolsheviks, requiring infiltration of police and national guard to deny enforcement to the rich. This will require a sufficiently prolonged and desperate economic crisis to motivate conformists to become soldiers. I would guess 40-80 years. I wish that there were historical precedents applicable to our situation that led to a better outcome by other processes, but there seem to be none.

  14. Mild-ly - Facetious
    November 30, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    “…All they that hate Me love death.” — Proverbs 8:36

    Palestinian Genocide–imposing Apartheid Israel Complicit In Rohingya Genocide,
    Other Genocides & US, UK & Australian State Terrorism

    by Dr Gideon Polya —
    November 30, 2017

    Apartheid Israel is intimately involved in Aung San Suu Kyi-led Myanmar’s Rohingya Genocide through supply of advanced gunboats and armaments as well as military training to genocidal Burmese forces in Rakhine state. Palestinian Genocide–imposing Apartheid Israel has similarly been involved in the Maya Indian Genocide in Guatemala, Sri Lankan Tamil Genocide, South Sudan Civil War, Syrian Genocide, Iraqi Genocide, and in current deadly state terrorism in 7 countries by US drone-targeting, US lackey Australia that is second only to the US as a supporter of Apartheid Israel.

    Before proceeding any further, it is important to note that genocide is defined by Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention thus: “In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such: a) Killing members of the group; b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group” [1]. Killing occurs not just through violence (active killing) but also through avoidable death from imposed deprivation [2]. Mass mortality in a Subject population occurs in gross violation of Articles 55 and 56 of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War that unequivocally state that the Occupier must supply its Subjects with life-sustaining food and medical services “to the fullest extent of the means available to it” [3].

    As systematically and succinctly documented below, Apartheid Israel has been involved in genocidal atrocities world-wide through cooperation with and sale of arms, systems, and training to the genocidal rogue states involved in these atrocities.

    http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/11/30/palestinian-genocide-imposing-apartheid-israel-complicit-in-rohingya-genocide-other-genocides-us-uk-australian-state-terrorism/

  15. Zachary Smith
    November 30, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    The United States is an unconditional supporter of Israel. How do you explain that?

    The main reason for this is because of the p e r verted and corrupted political system in the United States that allows money to influence politics so greatly. The United States would not be such an unconditional supporter of Israel if not for the influence of money provided to American politicians, primarily through the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) but also through other sources. Without this overwhelming purchasing of politicians I don’t believe Israel would receive the support it does from the United States and I don’t think that Israel would be able to continue its occupation of the Palestinian people and the crimes against them.

    I believe Matthew Hoh is spot-on with this part of his essay. Corrupt and cowardly American politicians are easy prey for people bearing buckets full of easy money and pilfered intelligence information about their personal, business, and s e xual habits.

    Unfortunately I also feel he is entirely wrong about the rest of it. I agree with this author about Afghanistan.

    In the analysis of this writer, the US occupation of Afghanistan is really about one thing: spreading chaos and antagonizing the surrounding countries.

    But why would the USA want to keep Afghanistan unstable?

    Look at a map. Afghanistan is located in central Asia. It is an impoverished, underdeveloped country that is landlocked. It borders the three top opponents of US power on the global stage, Russia, China, and Iran. Since 2001, not only has Afghanistan been a mess of terrorism, drug trafficking, and societal chaos, but this chaos has spilled over into the three neighboring countries.

    Menacing The Russians

    US operations in Afghanistan have almost always been related to Russia.

    All the corruption, the inefficiency, the waste; they’re a positive good from this viewpoint. Take a look at a map. Afghanistan is a nation nestled among a bunch of nations the US wants to destabilize. By encouraging the crime and p e r versions in Afganistan, the neocons/imperialists hope it’ll be like putting a rotten potato into a bag of good ones. With just a bit of luck, the rot will spread. In the meantime, the effort is immensely profitable for the MIC.

    Iraq is similarly misread. Iraq was destroyed because Israel wanted it done. Ditto for Libya. Ditto for Syria. Guess who is banging the big drum for a similar smash job on Iran. Israel sits on its haunches and gloats while the damned-fool g o y i m spill tides of blood and money doing its dirty work. Even now the Saudis are allowing themselves to be led down the primrose path by the Israelis and their American puppets.

    h**p://russia-insider.com/en/military/us-afghanistan-destabilize-russia-iran-and-china/ri20985

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