The neocon dogma pushed onto liberals by never-Trump Republicans did its job. Partisan liberals are parroting the line of the CIA. The attempt to sabotage talks with the Taliban and prevent troop withdrawals from Afghanistan worked. “The Resistance” just helped push the continued occupation of Afghanistan to score cheap political points. The CIA thanks them for their “patriotism.”
On July 1st the House Armed Services Committee voted to hinder Donald Trump’s ability to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. House Democrats on the committee teamed up with Republicans, including Liz Cheney (daughter of war-architect Dick Cheney), to pass an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act “that prohibits Congress from spending money to pull US troops out of Afghanistan without first meeting a series of vague conditions that critics said appeared to prevent withdrawal.” Without any public debate, the US will now continue its occupation after the CIA claimed that Russia payed Taliban-linked groups to kill American soldiers.
What’s the evidence? General John Nicholson speculated that Russia was arming the Taliban in 2017. In April 2019, three marines were killed in an attack that the Taliban claimed responsibility for. Unnamed intelligence officials believed that the Russians may have payed militants to attack US troops.
In March 2020, the CIA concluded that the Russians were paying the bounties. They cited testimony from captured militants and pointed to a Seal Team Six raid of a Taliban outpost that resulted in the recovery of a half a million in cash.
That’s it. That’s all the information that the American public is allowed to know.
It’s hardly even mentioned that the NSA disagreed with the CIA’s assessment, stating:
the information wasn’t verified and that intelligence officials didn’t agree on it.”
Furthermore, the Department of Defense (DOD) claimed that “to date, DOD has no corroborating evidence to validate the recent allegations found in open-source reports.” Americans are taking the CIA’s word as gospel.
How exactly did the CIA conclude that the half a million in cash came from Russia and not from Taliban opium-trafficking operations? The US military claimed that 60% of the Taliban’s funding comes from the opium trade.
Is $500,000 in cash unheard of in opium sales? Who are these captured militants that claimed that Russia payed bounties for dead American soldiers? Were these militants tortured by the CIA? The CIA has the largest torture program in the world. Is the information reliable or was the information obtained under dubious circumstances? How do we even know these militants actually made these claims?
The foundation of the assertions is also questionable. Americans are supposed to believe that the Taliban had to be prompted to attack American soldiers. The US has been occupying Afghanistan for nearly 20 years. The war in Afghanistan has resulted in over 2,400 dead American soldiers and over 38,500 dead civilians. US soldiers have been targeted by the Taliban and an assortment of other militant groups over the past 19 years. That’s the cost of occupation.
If over 38,500 civilians have been killed, then there are a lot of angry Afghans that lost family members. Russia does not need to pay the Taliban or any militant group to attack US soldiers. This should not need explanation. The rush to accuse Trump of treason has made Americans lose their critical thinking skills.
More partisan liberals are upset about Trump’s inaction over unproven allegations of Russian bounties then they are by Trump’s record-setting bombing campaign in Afghanistan:
In 2019, according to figures released by Air Force Central Command, the United States ‘dropped more munitions on Afghanistan than in any other year over the past decade.’ More bombs were dropped in most months of 2019 than in any previous months since records were first made publicly available in 2009.”
These bombings led to a massive surge in civilian casualties. In one case, at least 30 pine nut farmers were killed in a drone strike that resulted in zero militants being killed. Where is the outrage over this? How many more Afghans are going to die if Trump is pressed to be even more unhinged to prove he is not a traitor? The end game is more death and more occupation.
This new scandal being pushed by the CIA also conveniently deflects from Trump’s real scandals in Afghanistan. In June, Trump signed an executive order “imposing sanctions on several individuals associated with the International Criminal Court (ICC).”
The ICC is investigating war crimes in Afghanistan. Their investigations include potential American war crimes.
They may even involve Secretary of State Mike Pompeo:
Pompeo may be personally at risk for wrongdoing that the Court could uncover of CIA activities when he was the director of the agency.”
The Trump administration is claiming that because the US has not ratified the Rome Statute, that the ICC has no legal basis to prosecute American war crimes. This is incorrect. The Rome Statute allows the ICC to prosecute non-party countries if war crimes are committed by that party in a country that has ratified the Rome Statute. Afghanistan has ratified the Rome Statue. That puts the US on the hook for potential war crimes committed in that region.
Needless to say, never-Trump neocons have been silent about Trump’s targeting of the ICC. Likewise, partisan liberals have not gone after Trump on this front either. The reasons are obvious. The Barack Obama and George W. Bush administrations are culpable in war crimes in Afghanistan as well. The nearly two-decades long war is a bipartisan project. Furthermore, self-professed left-wingers and liberals are taking their cues from Bush-era neocons like David Frum, Bill Kristol, and an assortment of pro-war goons from the Lincoln Project Political Action Committee.
Russiagate broke partisan liberals’ brains. They are now calling for Trump to ramp up escalation in Afghanistan. They actually believe the absurd over-the-top ads put out by the Lincoln Project. Donald Trump ramped up the war in Afghanistan in 2017 when he did a 3,500-troop surge from 10,500 to 14,000 troops. Trump then increased bombing campaigns throughout his term and set records for bombings in 2019. Civilians casualties spiked. In June 2020, he targeted the ICC for having the audacity to look into US war crimes.
None of this barbarism earned Trump the ire of prominent neoconservatives and liberals. Trump is being vilified for having talks with the Taliban and taking steps towards scaling down US troop presence. After four years of Russiagate hysteria, the only explanation for Trump’s actions is capitulation to Russia. Afghan civilians be damned, Trump needs to ramp up again in Afghanistan to stop Putin or he’s a traitor!
The neocon dogma pushed onto liberals by never-Trump Republicans did its job. Partisan liberals are parroting the line of the CIA. The attempt to sabotage talks with the Taliban and prevent troop withdrawals from Afghanistan worked.
“The Resistance” just helped push the continued occupation of Afghanistan to score cheap political points. The CIA thanks them for their “patriotism.”