Danny Sjursen explains why staying in Afghanistan, even indefinitely, won’t make any difference in its eventual outcome. Right now the U.S. military is only enforcing the Kabul government’s grip on a small part of the country, and if they leave, either the Taliban will take over the country, or Kabul will hang on to an even smaller sliver. These are the two possible outcomes, says Sjursen, and it doesn’t make a difference if America withdraws today, next year, or in another twenty years. The only difference is how much money our government wastes and how many Americans we have to bury. Elsewhere, Scott and Sjursen also counsel bringing our military home, promoting free trade, and allowing governments that are more directly concerned with problems like terrorism and dictators to take the lead in solving them, instead of thinking that the United States has to be the world’s police force.
Discussed on the show:
- “We’re Listening to the Wrong Voices on Syria” (Antiwar.com Original)
- “General Says It’s Too Early for Pullout as Taliban Signals Agreement Is Near” (National Review)
- “Jim Mattis: Duty, Democracy and the Threat of Tribalism” (WSJ)
- “The U.S. Abandoned Iraq. Don’t Repeat History in Afghanistan” (WSJ)
- “The Destruction of Islamic State is a Strategic Mistake” (BESA Center)
- “The Master of Spin Boldak” (Harper’s Magazine)
Danny Sjursen is a retired U.S. army major and former history instructor at West Point. He writes regularly for TomDispatch.com and he’s the author of “Ghost Riders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge.” Follow him on Twitter @SkepticalVet.
This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: NoDev NoOps NoIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.com; Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott; Washinton Babylon; Liberty Under Attack Publications; Listen and Think Audio; TheBumperSticker.com; and LibertyStickers.com.
Following is an auto-generated transcript of the episode.
All right, you guys on the line. I’ve got Danny shirts and regular contributor at antiwar dot com, formerly a major in the U. S. Army did combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan during both surges and, uh, very conscientious objector, figuratively, if not literally from the Army. And here’s latest Foer antiwar dot com, which actually originally appeared at Truthdig. But we reprinted Awal along with his original articles for us. We’re listening to the wrong voices on Syria. Welcome back. Danny. How you doing?
Hejaz Ghad. Good to be back. Good to have you here. Let’s talk about Afghanistan first. Uh, I don’t know what the hell was going on. Honestly, the Washington Post says that Donald Trump has given in to Lindsey Graham and that now the withdrawal from Afghanistan is going to be a reduction of troop forces levels back to where they were when he was sworn in, right around 10,000 instead of 15. Bacos, Bibi Nai Gn instead of 16 or whatever Odiz and then. So the Washington Post article seems to imply that the Taliban have agreed to that. But does that sound right to you or what is going on here? Is the deal enough? I’m not in the negotiation rooms, certainly, but come on, Auto. But I cannot imagine the Taliban giving way and allowing us to keep 10,000 troops. I mean, they have all the high cards right now. There, there. You know, I called it in one of my latest articles, Um, a, uh a talking shoot policy. And that was exactly the word they used for the North Vietnamese policy during the peace negotiations. They keep ratcheting up the violence. They would keep changing the facts on the ground in a more positive way for themselves in order to gain leverage at the negotiating table, which is a brilliant strategy as an insurgency. Orazov, the weaker power and the Taliban has done that marvelously. I mean, people are gonna like people who study military like insurgencies are going to study the Taliban because that’s how effective they’ve been. And why in the world would they say, Okay, we’ll agree to peace and let 10,000 American Steak? No way. That’s not gonna happen. There is no chance. But the thing I want to say about if the Lindsay Graeme thing is true, if Trump because Trump wants to get out of Afghanistan, I think he really does. I mean, I think the guy is so inconsistent. But, you know, in The Godfather, you know, I think it’s Ghad father, too, you know, he’s like Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in. Yeah, that’s what the policy in Afghanistan for Trump has been, because every time he, like, lets us think we’re about to get out, and I think he really wants it somebody, whether it’s the Boltons or the grams of the McMasters or the Madisons Air, the dun Kfir Ds of the world, they pulled him right back into a conventional, interventionist, forever war policy. And, you know, I really think it’s true that he thinks this just because he tweeted about it for years before he was elected. I don’t think he actually used the word Afghanistan once during the campaign, but certainly on Twitter. At one point in 2000 and two 12 he took Obama’s side. They hated Barack Obama, born in Kenya, secret Muslim terrorists, that he got elected on the backup. He took Obamas side in telling the general’s toe back off of their pressure, trying to get Obama to extend the deadline for the surge drawdown. And Obama was saying, no. We had a deal 2012 and now it’s 2012 and the generals were saying, No, no, no, Give us a few more years And Trump started tweeting that these generals Awja shut up and back down and do it, the commander in chief says, Because he’s right. We got to get out of there, and he was just so consistent on that But then, as soon as he became president, he was like, Oh, well, jeez, I guess I’ve been told better by my people. And but wait, one more thing was a couple more. You’re right. You got to be right that he wants out of there even still as president. Because even though he did Serge 10,000 in there, he also really, I think, rejected McMaster Madison’s strategy of escalation four more years of fighting and tried to deal with them then which was what McMaster wanted. Instead, he sent Zalmay Khalilzad over there with a mandate clearly with a severe mandate, a Wone that Clio Izzat is taken to heart for, you know, a couple of years now that he should really pursue a deal with the Taliban. I mean, all of that would have fallen apart a long time ago, right? If the president himself had not said no Really? Seriously, I got your back. You work for me. I want this done. You’re the guy to do it. Do it otherwise, just from what I know, reading stupid old Bob Woodword books about administrations and things Special Envoy’s don’t keep Awene voiding if they don’t really know that they work directly for the president and have a real mandate to do those kinds of things. And so here we are in the summer of 2019 and they’re they’re talking about, they have the deal. They’re ready to sign it any day now in all of this kind of stuff. So they’ve seen it through this far. But then, yeah, I guess you can just flip flop right back again. Lindsey Graham says 9 11 will happen again if we leave Danny. Well, I mean, that’s the same old tired arguments from the same old tired old man thinkers. I mean, it’s absolutely insane. It it’s actually Orwell Ian’s with certain extent. Onslow Yugo Orwell Ian uh, news article I saw the other day and I tweeted it out was It’s the headline and it was like the Times or the Post was like a top general says it’s too early to talk about withdrawal for Afghanistan. It’s done for it, right? The chief steps. You had no precipitous withdrawals. I mean, when you use the word too early to describe an 18 year war, that’s an Orwellian. That’s like we’re back in Oceania 1984. It’s not war, it’s too soon. Ayt Enas is early like How don’t we have to be careful with our language? Even? How could you say it’s too early to leave 18 years into a war? It’s a shocking number. The guy, the fact that we have people that are that stuck in the box with those just totally useless ideas that have been discredited for two decades The fact that we still have a guy like that at the top of our military is like, so instructive about why we should never trust generals. Yeah, um, and you know what it’s been the former M and current had a Centcom Dir the previous, I should say, and current head of Centcom and the previous and the current general in charge of the wars. All four of these men have said We’re not leaving. We can’t leave. I don’t care what Trump told you. Forget it. Essentially, they’ve been saying that for months. It makes me wonder if they all have, like, beautiful timeshares there or something like maybe they’re investing in the like in the long term, you know, there’s some really nice mansions in Kabul. I heard Yeah, paid for with drug money. You know, maybe they’re playing the long game. We just don’t know it. I mean, these guys are insane, but, you know, part of it is the military culture, these guys, I mean, I was joking about time shares. Many of these generals have actually spent 456 years in Afghanistan over the course of their careers, rotating in and out because a lot of times general stay longer than a year in top positions. I mean, they don’t know when anything but counterinsurgency or whatever this is. They don’t know anything else. Their careers were built on the war on terror. The entire foundation of their careers is the war on terror. If you pulled the rug out from under them, I’m telling you, these guys, intellectually, culturally, identity wise, they wouldn’t know what to do with themselves. They wouldn’t. I mean that that’s the scary reality of a military that’s been an imperial wars for 20 years. Yeah, well, and here’s the really hard part of this Wone. USA lost this and you can’t spend it otherwise. And, I mean, who believes there really be a peace deal between the Taliban and the current Kabuki government. And who believes that the current Cobban government could even be the Kabul government if America didn’t give him $50 billion a year? Well, yeah, There’s Cem really inconvenient facts and statistics that you know very well from writing the book that bolster argument for its Drollas. You know that the tax base, the budget, right, the annual budget of the Kabul government can’t even support its own defense forces. I mean, it doesn’t have enough money to pay for its cops, and its Air Force and its Armey mean much less any of the rest of the government at all. Yeah, no Jatte. Leaving aside the rial functions of government can’t even sustain its security state. And it’s a military security state, of course, Bayan Naglites nature. I mean the thought I mean, this war would have to literally go on forever in a stalemate with America backing it with whatever 10 20,000 and Air force and then this entire thing. Look, it ends the same way Whether we leave yesterday, in six months or in 60 years, this game ends the same way Kabul falls or it holds onto a sliver of the Northeast. I mean, that’s how this thing ends. That’s it. Well, we’re doing is delaying it, causing more deaths. And, you know, burying a couple of Americans. Every Yeah, well, it’s an important point to that. The Taliban cannot defeat the US any more than the U. S. Cannes defeat the Taliban there. Danny Davis. Wone time explained to me that if every Taliban in the country descended on the Bagram air base, there’s enough firepower in that air base. Thio Tair those guys apart like Verdon in World War One or what have you? They don’t have the air power. They don’t have the ability. They’ll never have the ability to challenge America’s presence at that base as long as the Americans are determined to keep it. But so that just means from the point of view of those generals were talking about great, we don’t have to lose the war, Scott Horns wrong. We lost the war. We don’t have to lose the war as long as we’re holding onto our Wone base and we can do drone attacks and keep the Taliban from March and on Kabul, then we hadn’t lost yet. And hey, Danny just said maybe we could put this off another 20 years. Let’s do that. Then I’ll be somebody else’s fault entirely. These guys are never going to admit defeat. I mean, the dirty secret that you and I know is the war is like you said. It’s it’s already been lost it by Eni, like rational examination of the definition of victory. This thing’s been lost, right? But you’re right. We can maintain an Alamo at Bagram Air Base and create like an air, you know, like a safe zone, like an air safe zone over basically Kabul in the suburbs indefinitely. But is that victory? I mean, four more points. Oo Ramat escaped, wrote this like, you know, supposedly amazing op ed in The Wall Street Journal. I just gave it up, but I just talked to a reporter about yesterday, and I just tore up Mattis, which is one of my favorite things to do because he’s like a sacred cow, and I love to slaughter him. But, you know, look at Mattis. Okay, they put this kind of pedestal, but his career beyond the fact that he’s been wrong about every American intervention for two decades, when you look at his career. If you’re honest, it’s failure. He failed at everything he did. He failed in Iraq. Yeah, he want a tactical victory and Fallujah. But Fallujah was back in the hands of Isis. Years later, he lost in Iraq. He lost repeatedly in Afghanistan. The whole Marghah government in a box thing was a joke. McChrystal lost their Madison, the Marines lost in helmets. It’s a career of failure, and it’s not just Battahs. It’s done for it. And it’s an entire generation of American General David Petraeus, the biggest loser of all Great American fraud. Yeah, the fact that he was right in the Wall Street Journal. Algaze, We can’t leave now. Wait. You said you were gonna bring the Taliban to the table to deal on your terms by July of 12 2007 years ago. He can’t even deputize someone else to write this stupid article. It has to be the guy who lost the war, you know himself is he is his own best poster boy. And the only reason but Petraeus is still a national voice, despite all his discrediting behavior and failures, is because he’s the best PR general since you know I don’t know Raton. I mean I mean, he’s the he’s or MacArthur. The guy sells himself. He’s He’s good with words. He’s fairly articulate. He just says all the wrong words articulately like it. I don’t know why were so impressed with him is a P R scam artist. That’s all the guy is, and the fact that Americans are bought and sold on the whole not just Petraeus, but this worship of the generals I’ve written about it so many times. I’m tired of writing about it. This this is really, really unhealthy in a republic, if that’s what we still are. Oh, yeah, well, And of course, he made it clear many times for years that he wanted to run for president. United States. There was even talk of him challenging Obama and 2012 Andrei, You know, nobody ever minded that he lost two wars. He’s still the world’s greatest general in history. The fact that he lost two wars notwithstanding, it’s not even considered he only only trouble he got in was passing above top secret level secrets. Atto Hose. You’re absolutely right, you know, I think Obama Maidan interesting movie moves highly political, and I was stupid. And the Obama surge was one of the great the masters of his presidency. But you say, like Petraeus had these presidential ambitions, Maybe for 2012. So McChrystal gets himself fired, right? And I thought it was brilliant Move by Obama politically, he takes Petraeus and Des Moz him right from the head of you know, Centcom and says, Hey, Goa down and command the war in Afghanistan. I really need your Dave. The country needs you, which basically gets him stuck in this Meraz where he’s gonna be so busy he’s not going to be able to run for president. You know, I thought was a great and also you’re not. You’re not going to run against me blaming me for not carrying out your policy. I’m putting you in charge. Godfather of coin. Never mind your assistant, McChrystal. You’re now gonna be the one in charge of making this work, and when it doesn’t work, it’s gonna be your fault. Justus Battahs mine and so screw you. Which, you know, Obama should have just fired him in the first place. And the fact that he gave in to these guys in 2009 shows that he is a trump level weakling and vice versa. These guys, if I was the president, I would give a speech where I would say, I don’t care if the general’s murder me. You guys contrite. You can murder me. I got private security, but you could try. But my orders are to end the war. American people decide with your elected president or these generals who want to refuse to leave a war that they already lost to their pathetic, ridiculous shame. You know, and Huu Kyi, seriously, if you’re the president of States, you’re not willing to take a risk to do the right thing. I would I wouldn’t care at all. Saeidi Isa, Senator Man Fawaziah center. I would raise hell until they drown me somewhere. I agree, man. I think the Awene leeway Atto like effectively on these wars and Cem in something he could do it tomorrow with an executive order, basically, but because we don’t declare war anymore. But I mean, I think Trump should go to the people like you said, because yes, the establishment De see Washington military Dustoor Com Blix blah, blah, blah Imedi Abeer Awal gonna keep the war inertia going. So you got to do an end run. You gotta throw a Hail Mary over them, get on national television to stump speeches around the country Goa, Wana, Wilson, Woodrow Wilson type tour of America and appeal to the people and say, Listen, you guys elected me to end these wars. I know from polling and from the pulse of the people that you guys think this is Bullsh. So follow me and I will lead us to peace. If Trump did that, not only would his people rally around him because they rally around him matter what he did, but he put the progressive left right, his alleged opponents in a in a difficult position, right where the grass roots. I mean, you know, Rachel Maddow will flip flop and say that we need to stay in Afghanistan forever. But even though she wrote a book to the opposite effect, But, you know, I think that the progressive grass roots would ultimately have to go along would ultimately have to agree. I mean, maybe they wouldn’t like it, but if he goes to the people, you know, it makes it a lot harder and a less palatable for the generals to pull this Bullsh. You know, it’s not even that, too. It’s also that he because we know how the Democratic Party will react, they’ll react exactly as predicted like a bunch of Hillary Clinton’s, as they have this whole time over Russia, Ge Ayt and whatever, and accused him of selling out the military and selling out America’s interests and being insufficiently patriotic and all this and attack him from the right in the worst way and which had just There’s no way that they can get, you know, they you know, liberals and Democrats. They might be able to get their people to be silent during Obama times on the wars where they’re never gonna turn Democratic voters into a bunch of Dick Cheney’s over. That, And it’s not like the necessarily would take Trump’s side. But they’re not gonna be impressed by a bunch of Democrats running to Trump’s right. And not only that, but there’s like 10 wars going on so he could end a war every couple of months from now until Election Day. He’d be Trump the great would be easy, and, as you said, Congress can’t get in his way. He could end it all by executive order. You know he could do it. Awal Huguette in Afghanistan Get us out of Syria! Get us out of Iraq! Yemen, Afghanize Des Somalia, Libya. Molly Nai Jer! Whatever you’ve got, he could stop arming Ukraine. You could pull our troops out of Lithuania. Yul, be trump. No time imagining like a like a wheel. You know he’s a Caesars showman, right? There should be like a wheel with Awal 15 or 16 of our ground. Mordor 30 of them. Right? And he should spin a wheel once a month on national television. Big game, out of ratings. Yeah, it would be the ultimate reality show. And we’ll be like, Whoa, Neads, Jer, let Kim Jong un’s sleep in the Lincoln bedroom. You know, he was to end one of these wars every few months. I mean, I’m joking about the wheel that if you’d have just ended, it would be really interesting. How would history then cast his legacy? Because it would be even more complicated. I don’t Beber treasonous isolationist Huu destroyed everything and set the stage for the next Hitler. But is that what the historians would say, I mean, the guy with the liberal historians say that I mean, yes, the pundits would say that, But I mean, when his legacy was out later, you know the relatively progressive historians who dominate historical business. Would they give him credit? I don’t know. I think they might. I would have to In the way that they say about Nixon that, well, Nixon was Nixon and everything, but at least he went to China. That kind of dealing Ayt aunt with Russians. Hey, and if only Nixon could go to China said it 1000 times. Maybe only Trumpian Goa to Kabul, Ind. You know Damascus and you name it. Yeah, it’s appears the thing about it, he’s a bad person. And not only that, he’s lazy. And so he doesn’t even he won’t even take the time to figure out who he Neads nearby to help take his side against Lindsay. Graeme, you know? Yeah, Yeah, you’re right. He’s Oh, geez. I don’t know if Lindsey Graham and John Bolton and Mike Pompeo agree about something. Huu, Am I to disagree with that? Because that’s all he’s got. Then something Lynndie Graeme wrong on every foreign policy issue since he’s been in the Senate, as far as I know and the least popular senator in America, too, right? There’s no reason to have to go along with that. And here’s the other irony of back to the whole actual situation that we’re talking about here in Afghanistan, where Lindsey Graham says, No, we can’t leave because if we do datil cause in 9 11 what was occupying the Middle East is what caused 9 11 is not having a lack of troops in Afghanistan was having troops in Saudi Arabia, particularly the U. S. Air force that was being used to bomb and blockade the people of Iraq for a full decade leading up to September 11th is what caused it, then. Secondly, Bin Ladens plan was to make us overreact and to lure us into a long term engagement in Afghanistan that he knew we couldn’t win. And just like a good Leninists, his idea was how many Afghans have to die in the effort? Who cares, because over the long run, the American empire will go bankrupt and be forced to withdraw just like the U. S. A. Help them due to the Soviet Union in the 19 eighties. And so let’s replicate that it’s bin Laden and Zawahiri who want Lindsay Graeme to make Donald Trump stay in Afghanistan. And then there’s the whole joke about Afghanistan being some kind of magic portal toe. Boston Logan Airport Instead of the furthest place you can get from anywhere before you’re headed back the other way again, Serbs Ighlas no man’s land. How the hell the only reason they were able to do September 11th because they recruited German. I mean, Pas Armey, Egyptian graduate students studying in Germany to get into the United States. They didn’t launch the Afghan Air Force that had to hijack our planes to even have a weapon to crash in anything, for God’s sake. Absolutely, I mean, and it’s a really symbiotic relationship between the extremist Al Qaeda Zawahiri kind of thing and the Lanzhu Graeme Ds the world I mean these air, these people are Batha described. We need each other, they need each other. And the crazy thing is Bin Ladens wrote this stuff down and he said it like he wasn’t hiding his plan e mean what he discussed like when he declared war on us enlisted his three reasons. And when he started making statements about drawing the United States into Anu like Soviet style Afghan crusade in the Middle East, he wrote this down. It’s like his Monta camp. Hitler told us that he was gonna do, and then he did it well, Bin Ladens. Hawl Zerihoun do we fell for it like we just went right into his trap. So Bin Ladens dead under, I think very interesting circumstances. We could talk about it some other time, but Bin Ladens debt. But Bin Ladens ideas Wone no question about it. And, you know, And by the way, people always get mad at me when I talk about, you know, the Americans essentially falling for Bin Ladens plan, Um, and that that somehow acquits George Bush and makes him just a fool and not a mass murderer, this kind of thing. But really, what it is is that, you know, bin Laden was not a Taliban cave man from the town of Bedrock out there in Afghanistan. He was a son of a billionaire and had a phD in engineering and was a very worldly and political guy. And he knew that you know he he had essentially a pretty accurate estimate off the empire that he was up against. And he wasn’t just trying to fool innocent Doe I George Bush into doing something foolish. He was trying to give George Bush and excuse a crisis to exploit that he was cynically take advantage of and do the wrong thing. Knowing that what George Bush thinks is good for him in the short term is ultimately bad for the American empire in the long term. And so, in other words, he knew that Bush wanted to get away with blue bloody murder. And so he was providing Bush an excuse to exploit, which makes Bush just a CZ. Much America’s enemy, as Osama bin Laden is doesn’t make him innocent doe eyed fool. It makes him, you know, horrible, blood soaked fool is what it does, you know. And but people always think it’s got to be so black and white and gray, and that if if he’s a fooled and he’s innocent. But no, the plan was, you know, based on the idea of what, uh, cynical and cruel and fake tough guy, he was right. That’s what Bin Ladens son said to Rolling Stone when he saw Bush come in with all of his tough guy posturing that bin Laden was thrilled that Bush had been, You know, that the Supreme Court had given the election of Bushian Aq Igor because here’s a guy Huu will overreact. Here’s a guy who will exploit to the end degree and fall right into the trap. And I think what you just described accurately is the real 9 11 truth. I mean, it’s not about whether Jeff Yul Cannes, you know, Cannes Melt Khel beams. It’s not about that. The real 9 11 truth is what you describe its that symbiotic relationship between the neoconservative military with monsters in America and the Al Qaeda monsters in Afghanistan and throughout the world. Eni. That’s the real 9 11 truth. The real crime isn’t that Oo. The government, you know, stepped in and blew up these buildings on September 11th. Know the rial Truther goes back like you’re describing to, you know, 1979 And you know all the ways that the United States not only enabled bin Laden to exist and become powerful, but also the way that the two sides they just understood each other. I mean, you’re right. Bin Laden knew that Bush was just the right guy. And they are. And you’re right there, equally enemies of the state. They’re equally enemies of the American people. Someone needs to say that in power. And I feel like Trump could like, I hate to keep praising this bad guy, but like not praising Radisson Trump is capable of. He doesn’t get like if he wasn’t so lazy, and if he actually cared, he could go to the American people and be like, let me tell you the story of 9 11 Why this happens. And while we’re gonna make sure this never happens again, how we’re gonna make sure it never happens again And America is gonna not play into these guys hands we’re getting out of the Middle East. I think the American people would buy that. Yeah, of course. Especially now. But, I mean, that’s the whole thing. They had their chance when Ron Paul Raan in 2008 and 2000 12. But now there’s nobody else like that, and I think the best Democrat ain’t going to do it. Even Tulsi Gabbert, Izzat Hawk 2/3 of the time. So you know, the sad thing is that if Tulsi Gabbert is a hawk 2/3 of the time, and you might be right about that, um what hope do we have? Because she’s That means she’s the best out there. I think on foreign policy, I guess her and Bernie. But, like, I mean, neither of them is perfect. You’re right. I mean, we don’t have a Ron Paul, um, out there. And I also think that if we’re gonna have a Ron Paul if we’re gonna have a person who really, really is truly antiwar consistently it I think it has to come from the right because I I just don’t think that the left is the Is Ayn with left more than than you, of course. But I don’t think the left is the party that’s gonna be able to turn these wars on their head and just upend U. S policy. For some reason, I just have this this I have this instinct or this hunch that it has to come from the right. Yeah, well, and not just from the right, cause I think you know, I hate to say it, but Rand. Paul is such a kind of wimpy character with little turtleneck sweater and all of this stuff that I think in that sense he might as well be a Democrat. What we need is, you know, Nixon when people say Nixon ca Gn Goa to China. It’s not just that he was Republican, even though he really was a liberal Republican on domestic policy in a million ways, but he was known as a hard core anti Communist talk. And so that was why it was his, you know, foe tough guy status, Um, from the right that made it. You know, it was the irony of the whole thing that made it doable for him to seek detente with Russia and China. But And so then that’s the same advantage that Donald Trump has to is that he has this whole faux macho posturing about just what a right winger and just what a nationalist Ind. Just what a super patriot he is. And so it would be the irony of the thing. Wow, Wee Donald Trump went to Tae Rond and shook hands with the Ayatollah and said, Let’s work these things out. After Awal Jimmy Carter could only screw up world history for so long. Right? Come on And then, But even with somebody like Rand Paul, I don’t know. I mean Fitr, Bin Rond. It wouldn’t have mattered. He would have just done it no matter what. But with Rand, he’s just to impress. Well, I could see Raan Brolan over just like Obama and Trump Awene Afghanistan or anything else once the pressure was put to him, you know? So, yeah, I mean, who else is there? You say it’s got to come from the right. Who else? We got? Thomas Massey. He’s just in the house, right? Right. Oh, yeah. I’ve actually spoken to his Ah, chief of staff. Once when I was doing work with the defense priorities, I had a 30 is really good. I think he is. Yeah. Is this woman figure Gnehm chooses his chief, I think. And she gave me, like, 30 minutes and just let me Raan basically, which was I mean, I don’t know how much affected had because I think we already had him in our pocket, but, um, she was really amenable. And I mean, his his records pretty good, but yeah, he’s in the House, and he’s a Republican from Kentucky. Does he really have, you know, the potential to be a national figure? I don’t know. They probably wouldn’t let him. You know, that’s the thing. Look how they’re attacking, Tulsi told. He’s not even like you said told Cees, not even as Rond Paulie as we’d like her to be right, but because she says some, you know, seriously anti war things. They’re scared to death of her. It’s amazing, like the amount like this’ll Woman is pulling under 2%. But the attack on her shows that they will make sure Eni anything that even smells of anti interventionism. I mean, they’re gonna make sure that campaign is still born. Yeah, well, you know what? It’s her fault, too, because even never remind the stuff that she’s bad Awene even the stuff that she’s good Awene When they attack her with this Asaad stuff, she is letting them put her on the defensive where it was. It was correct. But she looked weak when she’s pro testing to MSNBC. That cheese, this is all you guys ever asked me about, and it’s getting to be like propaganda, and I’ve already answered this a few times. And that kind of thing, That’s totally the wrong position. Like frustration with them not leaving her alone about it. That’s not the right position. The right position is. Let me tell you something, Lady Asaad is fighting Al Qaeda. Okay? I don’t like Asaad, but I dislike Al Qaeda more. Can you understand that? That Yes. I prefer the Syrian state control the Syrian state instead of a bunch of head chopping suicide bombers. Just like me and my friends fought in Iraq. War too. Okay. And then the stupid lip gloss TV lady has to shut the hell up because she doesn’t know. And she just got told, and so okay. And then you actually have a viral YouTube to pass around now to Tulsi shoves it back down their throat. But instead she always goes Awal. Come on. I was just trying to make peace or something. That in other words, she doesn’t change the presumption of the narrative at all that she’s a bad guy for daring to meet with this bad guy. It’s like they’re pitching Noora, Slobo Awal and she could be knocking it out of the park. But She just won’t. I would, I mean I mean, you’re absolutely right. She should go on the attack. She should go viral. I mean, I think she knows the things you said. I think she even believes the things you said, but she just doesn’t know how to present it. And if she did, you’re right. She’d be like, Hey, guess what, guys? On the left. Uh, you guys don’t like forever war, right? And you don’t like Al Qaeda, so fight him on the right. You guys love Christians, right? Especially christians in the in the Middle East, as rare as they are. Well, guess what? Asaad protects them. He always has and told Id Saddam, right? So I mean, to me, it would be palatable. Sort of like both wings of the people. Like if not the establishment, like yeah, let’s let Asaad the dictator run Syria. He’s not a threat to us. He protects minorities and he fights Al Qaeda doesn’t mean I have to like the guy doesn’t mean I wouldn’t prefer just for the sake of the Syrian people, that there was somebody Huu De do those things that was also a Democrat and small De. But look, that’s not the world. I take the world as it is. That’s what Seoul Ds used to say. I take the world as it is, not as I wish it would be. And seriously, who the hell is the United States of America? Atto? Let anyone be the sovereign leader of anything you know as outside of our jurisdiction, to say Who gets to be the government of Syria or not. I mean, you know, not in reality, America’s Bin overthrowing governments in Syria there since 1946. But I mean, according to the U. S. Constitution and according to the lessons of the last just say, eight years or the last 20. Forget it. There’s you’d be crazy to support an intervention against the Middle Eastern government after all of this. Now I’d like to I’d like to see us go a step further, like I’ve got some radical ideas, like here’s Wone like, let’s let’s let’s to have Trump let him call like a conference like a like a like an anti terror conference, you know, like an alliance or a partnership tacit like invite Putin, invite Com Ain Eni, or at least you know the civilian ruler and say, You know, Asaad, I don’t care who and say, Look, this is This is a broad stroke alliance. We’re not signing entreaties, but hey, like we’re cooperating to destroy Jihadi Islamism in the Middle East. And and we’re all in the same basic team when it comes to this, because we won’t say that because it’s politically unpalatable to be anything pro Hiran or pro Asaad Alpher, Russia. But the reality is that’s already true. We’re fighting the same battle. The problem is America just can’t decide which battle wants the fight. So we fight everybody, right? We’re fighting Iran and Russia over influence were fighting Asaad because he’s Oh, he’s a humanitarian disaster. And you know, we’re fighting everybody plus for fighting Isis. And Oh, by the way, what do we do about the Kurds? And Oh, by the way, what are we gonna do about Turki? The only thing I would add to that is I need to host that conference, get every in the room, walk out the Americans leave and Lakam. The door’s behind them. You guys solve it. We’re going back to North America where we’re from absolutely Russia has way Maur to be concerned about in Central Asia and the Greater Middle East. Way more because guess what? It borders Central Asia. It borders the former Russian republics and Ind borders the Russian Federation, southern republics that are still within the federation, that our majority Muslim and, oh, by the way, the Caucasian or the or the you know, the white population of Russia, the white Russians, they’re actually decreasing because of suicide, alcoholism and bad birth rates. And the Muslim population of Russia is skyrocketing. They are facing a Democrat, a demographic disaster and crisis in their future. Russia is, and should be way more worried about terror in the Middle East. Then we should be across are pretty oceans. Yeah, and we should also recognize that Henry Kissinger doesn’t understand economics, and he knows what’s good for Rockefeller interests. Ah, but this whole oil standard for the dollar and all of this, or American security and dominance in the Gulf necessary to make sure that oil resource is Cannes, continue to get tow our markets and or our allies Markets especially, for example, are Asian allies Huu import oil in great quantities from the regional that that that’s all wrong that Mark Anata Lizza, Ms Stupid and wrong and was debunked in 17 76. We don’t need that at all. We could stay home in North America and we could rely on the fact that no matter who is in power in the Middle East, they have nothing but the incentive to put that oil to market. And if it came Thio, I don’t know what the Russians Huu absolutely don’t have the budget for this. But let’s say they decided they were gonna come and try to dominate the Middle East the way America has tried to all this time. We have nothing to lose whatsoever. I mean, I’d feel bad for the people of the Middle East, but, hey, they wouldn’t be any worse off than under American rule. And but it wouldn’t cost the American people or our economy anything. It might cost Exxon a few jobs and a couple of dividend checks for their stockholders, but that’s not the national interest. That’s a special interest Nots, no reason to stay and have a policy of dominance in someone else’s region. And then, of course, there’s Israel. As you mentioned, we can never even say anything that recognizes the reality that the Iranians are on the opposite side of the terror war, from Al Qaeda and on the same side of it as us. And because if you listen to not just the Israelis, but just read the national Review that the Iranians are jihadists. What are you talking about, Danny? Shoah, Ersin. Same difference. And by the way, didn’t we tell you that Iran has been in league with Al Qaeda all along? Yeah, Yeah, why not? Right, And that’s all. Of course, all the evidence points in the opposite direction, right about Iran and Al Qaeda and that you know that that alliances is is as fake as the Saddam Al Qaeda alliance. And you know, it’s interesting about Israel in Syria and e I wrote this in my latest article on Syria. Israel, like major pundits and former like generals and defense secretaries of defense ministers in Israel, have gone on the record during the Syrian civil war and said, If the choice is between Iran and the Islamic state, I choose the Islamic state. That was Wone quote and the other quote, which was like to me, even um even more shocking was like an op ed. That was Rove was actually more like a policy analyst. But it was public. And the headline was, um, the destruction of the Islamic state is strategic mistake. And Israeli former government minister, allied with the Netanyahu government, wrote that I mean Israel would rather back jihadism in Syria so that they could fracture cereal right and weaken it. Ah, then have Iran have any influence there, which is already has. I mean, it’s incredible. Just Israel. If it was all about ideology, it was all about Hey, Islamists are barbarians and they’re coming for Israel and they’re gonna bomb our people on buses. If it was all about that, then there’s no greater ideological and physical threat to Israel than Isis or Al Qaeda. And yet they’re more concerned about Iran, and it’s it’s staggering. It is staggeringly, it’s absurd, and it’s it makes no logical sense unless you realize what Israel is really about is none of the above. And they are really about dominance and major, you know, regional, sort of geopolitics and realpolitik. They’re not really they’re not really worried about the things they say. They’re worried about? Hang on just one second. Hey, guys, ever tell you about liberty stickers dot com? It’s just nothing but anti government propaganda for the back of your truck. I invented most of them the good ones, anyway. Anti war stuff. Anti cops making fun of all the candidates in the upcoming election. Liberty stickers dot com Hey, guys, check out the great lineup of podcasts we’ve got going on over at the Libertarian Institute. There’s me foreign policy and focused with Call Anzalone Freeman Beyond the wall with Peak, Winona’s a k a. Mansoor Aidar, the Liberty Weekly podcast with Patrick Macfarlane and Keith Night and our newest addition Gender Libertarian with Jen Monroe. Check them all out at Libertarian Institute Dot or Ge. Hey, guys, don’t think it be cool if you could go to college, but Tom Woods was the dean of the thing. Yeah, well, something like that. Check out liberty classroom dot com where Tom Woods went and had his pick of all the best professors to teach their courses in, uh, the real history and economics that you didn’t learn when you went to college the first time around her maybe didn’t learn because you skipped your higher education altogether. But, ah, here’s Cem Riel, American history and Cem. Real economics, the kind of stuff that you’ve been missing. Its Awal liberty classroom dot com and make sure to click through the link in the right hand margin of my website Gheit scott horton dot Aurdic. Hey, man, listen. Ah, as long as we’re on it, let me go ahead and play this clip. It’s Michael Oren. Just a couple of months after he had left his position as Israeli ambassador to the United States but used half a year later something. But it’s the end of June 2014. In other words, just two weeks after the Islamic state invaded western Iraq from eastern Syria, sacked Mosul and just I guess it would be one week then, since Abu Baqer Awal Baghdad E stood up on the balcony and declared himself the Caliph Ibrahim, leader of the Islamic caliphate there. And ah, there was the Aspen Ideas Festival, and Michael Oren set up on a stage with, of course, Com Ishtar Goldberg of the editor in chief of the Atlantic and Israel’s enforcer in the American media here. And Oren explains why he prefers the Sunni side to the Shia and you’ll see that he makes explicit references not to some mythical moderate groups as deniability but to the Islamic state. Check it out. And what I’m gonna say is harsh, perhaps a little edgy. But if we have to choose the lesser of evils here, the lesser evil is the Sunnis over the shit for the reason Ons before may. Okay, it’s a lesser evil. It’s an evil, believe me is terribly again. They’ve just taken out 1700 former Iraqi soldiers and shot them in the field. But who are they? Who are they fighting against? The fighting? Must the people against the A proxy with Iran? That’s complicity in the murder of 160,000 people in Syria. You just do the math. And again one side is armed with suicide bombers and rocks. The other side has access to military nuclear capabilities. So from Israel’s perspective, um, you know, if someone’s gotta, if there’s gonna be an evil that’s gonna prevail, you know, let let the Sony Evil prevail again. I’m speaking entirely for myself, as if he just said from Israel’s perspective, meaning the perspective of the Netanyahu government. And again he makes an explicit reference toe Isis massacring 1700 Iraqi Shia Air Force cadets at Camp Speicher. Jer. So we know he’s talking about Baghdad E. And the worst of the worst of the worst than Al Qaeda guys. The Al Qaeda in Iraq. Sharqawi successors who had then at that point seized all of Western Syria and west eastern Syria and western Iraq and created their own Islamofascist caliphate straight out of Zionist propaganda from just a few years before that could have never existed in the world if not for America’s policies for Israel in Iraq and Syria. And then here he’s just. And then what’s his excuse, Danny? That Asaad is responsible for every single death in the Syrian war when he’s fighting against a bunch of Foer Ind back mercenaries in the first place. But then, secondly, that Iran has military nuclear technology that they could transfer what to Asaad and Hezbollah, which is just completely ridiculous. Azeis think Danny Shia person has secret military nuclear technology. It’s just not true. The whole thing is not saying, you know, it leaves you. It really leads one to Cem conspiratorial thinking because Israel’s goals and interests as he just laid them out are totally at odds with American Ind supposed goals and interests. Like we do not have people always like Oh, they’re the only democracy in the Middle East. Like we would be shared cultural values. They just mean white skin. But the thing is, and the Natta Awal white skin. But the thing is that our biggest threat purportedly right. What we say ostensibly is the biggest threat to America is transnational jihadism, right, transnational terror. Okay, well, which side is Maur? Uh, you know, has more proclivity to international terrorism. The Sunni jihadist under the banner of Al Qaeda and Isis. When was the last time on an Iranian? Shia Huu Oorah, Shia. Anybody hopped on a plane, came to the United States and blow up a building. You name the time. You can’t. You can’t. Iran has presented no transnational threat to the United States for decades. It never did. There are no shit Shias, suicide bombers in America. I’m not saying they didn’t exist in Lebanon. I’m not saying they didn’t fight the Israelis with those tactics. I’m not saying it didn’t Goa Awene. Obviously they killed our Marines in Lebanon. Of course, Armey Areen shouldn’t have been there in the first place. But this ludicrous Israel and United States are literally at complete odds strategically and yet we’re like dragged along by the three B’s. You know, I called the three bees that are dragging US policy law. Vanja Minh Netanyahu B B, M B s over in Saudi Arabia, Naem vz over in United. I remember. It’s even though he’s a junior partner. The three bees are like pulling American policy, and it makes no strategic sense. But you know what? The United States are pausing. The Middle East has never That’s the dirty secret. It has never actually been driven bye rationality or strategic sense or concerns about our homeland. It’s never been about that, which is why I get into this sort of conspiratorial thinking because there’s no way around it. Well, look, you know what the best advice a guy in my cab ever gave me was, You know what, kid? Everything you say is right. It set. It Ain conspiracy. It’s just politics. That’s what it is. Politics is just the fight over who controls who controls the resource is That’s all it is, man. And so you know, in other words, there is no national interest. There’s just the individual interests of the people with power. And you know what’s good for them in their short term, you know, just like the public choice theory. Kind of a deal. Special interests is what Ross Perot Yushie Hib Wone. What does that mean? That means Yahia squeaky wheel gets the grease. And so, if the other 300 million Americans have to suffer at the result as a result of whatever policy favours Cem tiny number of them Oh, well, that’s, you know, the name of the game. That’s how it was splayed. So of course you know people who put Israel first. They’re gonna do everything they can to support Israel’s interests. And if you don’t like it, you’re supposed to play the game harder and better, That’s all. And if Trump is truly the man of the people, I mean again, we’re going back to this. Go to the people. Trump could easily be like, Hey, white ethnics fromthe rust belt who have been struggling economically and feel like you’re culturally being taken over like I don’t buy that theory. But that’s their theory, right? Hey, could say, Hey, rust belt, you know, lower middle class working folks. Guess what? The wars in the Middle East. They don’t help you. They hurt you. The only people who are helps are the people who already have money. Money begets money. So it’s the Israel lobby and it’s the arms industry. Goa to the people and say, Listen, rust belt, Listen, you know Detroit, you know, White Flight society, like these wars do not help you. They help your bosses. They help the people who put you in this predicament in the first place. When that you know, e Gn that’s That’s the Ansar like whether you agree with Trump and those sort of like white Rust Belt narrative, which I think is flawed, use it right, use it because those people are with him there with him. They’re like, Yeah, this is Bullsh. What are we doing? No one’s making any money off this except Exxon and Honeywell. And you know Ayt Paddar because that’s you right? It’s special interest. It’s not that it’s not the America. There is no such thing. You’re right. There is no such thing as the American interest. You know, everyone talks about even I get sold into, You know, I get. I find myself using the phrase and it’s silly. I shouldn’t have to be more careful with my language, right with my vernacular. But the reality is, there is no, you know, there. There is no such thing as the American interest that just doesn’t exist. One could argue. It really never have. Well, the thing of it is, if you’re powerless, a person like you were me, then you can imagine what it would be like to try to do what’s best for the country as a whole. It’s just that the economics of politics, as Obi Wan Kenobi calls him, preclude that kind of thinking. Essentially, all the incentives are built in separate in different ways, where most of everything has to do with keeping your lip buttoned up so you can try to move up so that maybe someday, when you’re 63 you know, someone close to the president will listen to you say one thing one time, or where this is crazy incentives in the way that powers divvy it up in the way that people play into that system. I’m sure you’ve read Daniel Ellsberg’s book Secrets. And I know you know from your own experience in the Army all this time is Officer and everything over There. But Ind Ellsberg Ds Book Secrets He goes, Look, the Gulf of Tonkin was a crazy conspiracy theory that wasn’t taken seriously and very few people believed. And the secret was kept by approximately 40,000 people until I Leat the Pentagon papers in 1971. After it was way too late. Seven years later, you know, and, ah, 40,000 people were willing to go along with that because what was the opposite of that going to prison? Um, discrediting their boss and all their co workers who are all gonna have to suffer for the scandal of them telling the truth and all of these things. And so the national interest. What’s good for the people of Kansas in the war in Vietnam? It just doesn’t play into it certainly couldn’t override the individual interests of the end of the people in power that we would be counting on to provide that check and balance all of their business requires that they go along rather than stand up. You’re absolutely right. I mean, Ellsberg is the closest thing we had to the American Injun Arest. I mean, if if if special interests were keeping the warfare state going, you know, Ellsberg was the closest thing people like him. Two blowing the whole, you know, blowing the whistle on the whole thing and saying Well below, I’m here to speak for the American people as their proxy because I’ve got Cem insider knowledge. And the reality is this is good for Cannes. This is not good for Detroit. It’s not good for Southeast Wisconsin, right? You know, and and even according to him, he was 10 years late. Oh, of course he waas And I think, and I think he sort of I mean, I think I’ve heard him express regret that he didn’t turn sooner. You know, publicly. In fact, I’m afraid to say that the way he’s talked about on the show, he still does not forgive himself for waiting as long as he did. Yeah, and I don’t either. I mean, I’m not as an important figure, but like the great regret, the great shame in my life is the amount of times that I re upped, You know that I decided to stay on longer because I either convinced myself that, Yeah, I’m one of the good ones, and I’m gonna fix the system from the inside. Or when I was really being honest with myself. I really like socialized health care that I have, and I really like that I keep getting promoted and, like, I make about $100,000 a year serving the empire. And I can’t do that in the outside world is easily I mean, that’s my great shame and regret, and I’ve expressed it in articles, you know, that’s like you throw the Mea Khaled out there. I’m not as important as Ellsberg, but I understand the center because I feel it myself. Yeah, well, yeah. I mean, Ellsberg, Nas, Ellsberg. But you’re pretty damn important. Um, you know, your voice really resonates because, as I said in the introduction, you know, who are you to judge? You were there. You lost your guys in these fights and could see you know, your your previous article before the Syria Wone here is stop pretending. Washington and Kabul never really controlled rural Afghanistan. And you’re a team leader out there in the Kandahar province, right? Yeah. And I and I threw a personal vignette in there because I think the readers kind of responded that sometimes better than my more like esoteric, you know, evidence based analysis. I mean, look, I tried my artist in charge of 120 you know, conventional US scouts, working together with the Special Forces a team. And I raised the goddamn militia. I was the first conventional unit to do what the special forces were doing. I was literally the first Wone Ind Khair Jowhar problems ever. I mean, like generals. I mean, I can’t tell you how many generals came to visit like Cannes Three star to start every week of general come down because they want to see what I was doing. They all like this is the laboratory for victory. Like what you’re doing down here is the model Danny, like, I’ve got so much accolades for it. And the reason I told the story about how it was ultimately a failure because I think it’s important. And I knew, and that’s what I said in the article. Eissa, listen, I knew at the time that raising this militia while it might in the short term, help protect my soldiers by putting like someone in front of the enemy that keeps them further from my base because we were under siege up till then. So, yeah, it worked for a year. It got my guys out of Dodge. Most of them right, most of them and most of their limbs. Not all of them and not all of their limbs. But I knew I wasn’t stupid. I said, unlike my peers, I didn’t buy it. I knew what I was doing. I knew that it wasn’t gonna work. But I didn’t care because I was trying to get the hell out of Dodge with his many of my guys and their legs as I could. Yeah, well, And from the general’s point of view, we’ll talk about that. What is what it’s like to be a general with a base out there to be a general with the major like you out there in the politics and the incentives from their point of view, because you want to talk about no one better. These are the guys who know better. Yeah, were they should, but you know, the problem is with the military promotion system, like the thing that is most valued Okay, Ind promotion. The thing that is most positively reinforced in promotion and success is not, um, measurable outcomes. It’s PR. What I mean is a can do attitude, positive thinking and and shining up a turd and showing it to a general is how you get accolades. You might if you were to read my evaluation, my officer evaluation report my report card for Afghanistan. It’s glowing. It’s glowing. You would think I won the war in Kandahar province. I mean, if you read it, you’d be like, Wow, this guy’s a big deal. I was nothing. I failed. All I did was was briefly, briefly lower violence against my troops. All I did was put a you know, a Gn Afghanize in front of my problem. I didn’t solve the problems of Cannes Dahr province. I solved the problems of B Troop, Fourth Squadron, fourth Calvary, first Brigade, Firster Aamer, Ge Division. That’s the only problems I saw was my own. I didn’t fix anything. I didn’t win the war. But these generals, they come down. The thing is, I was able to present it to them. Is this great success, right? Because I had the Statistics that we keep that show like well, see, look. Attacks on my base or down. And so they come visit because A They love to glad hand with soldiers. It makes them feel like fighting generals like George Patton. I mean, Id Wone General used to keep up. This is true. He became a four star in Iraq, and he used to come visit troops and used to keep a baseball bat tucked into the back of his, uh, his body armor. Like like Leonardo from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. You know, You know, Patton had his pearl handled pistol. General Thurman. That was his name used forthe Amadou Division Commander Time. He used to roll around with his baseball bat like I’m a bad ass General Hama Seoul Jer Hsien or I’m gonna come see what the boys were doing. I’m gonna shake hands with them, and I’m gonna talk shop. And I made him a cigarette with them, you know? And it’s like they come down and when they’re real job should be. Wait, let’s think of this like can this be done. Is this long term? Is there any real solutions? Instead of that, they, like, just come down and they like Logar. You and they shake hands with your troops. They pin a few medals on Cem kids and they fly away in their helicopter. These generals who were lauding me who were saying that my province and my troupe was the the laboratory for Victory. And we had to expand this Maale P militia program all over the country. They would spend about 30 minutes with May. They never went on a dangerous patrol. Every once in a while we take him on these like staged foot patrols because the general’s aide would call me the night before right and say, Oh, General Seoul Ons. So General Higgins from the 82nd Airborne is coming down, right? That’s a real guy. And he wants to go on a patrol. He’s gonna have a photographer with him. There’s a picture of me in him actually online in the few Googled Mea Nai Goa images. And, um, but like the Aideed also says like, but he doesn’t want to die like they don’t like, take him on a patrol where you might get shot. Um, so I would literally, like stage a patrol route through, like, the safe part of, like, my area, like, right outside the base. And it was literally a photo op. I mean, this is and I know he would come for 30 minutes. He’d spend you know, you come 45 minutes, spent 15 minutes putting Awene medals, saying nice things to me and shaking hands. My soldiers and you spend 30 minutes walking on a patrol with a rifle like he’s a real soldier, you know? And then you get his helicopter and fly back to Kabul or to Kandahar airfield. Yes. See, this is again. Why is so important? Nobody else can really attack these guys. Accept an officer like you who’s been there in that kind of way. Otherwise, anybody else would just be ignored or shamed right out of talking. But I remember back in the 19 nineties listening to Colonel David Hackworth on the radio, and he hated every other officer. You know, his job essentially. And he was a colonel in Vietnam, of course, but the most decorated officer in the Vietnam War, and but essentially his job was to fight for the enlisted men against the government, meaning the Pentagon, the officers, the real military, as opposed to the American people. The Infantry, You know, the the enlisted men. And and he hated them. I remember he used to just ridicule Wesley Clark and call him the Perfumed Prince, which, you know, if he had lived to ah which he died of Agent Blue bladder cancer, By the way, um, but if he had lived what he would have had to say about David Petraeus and the rest of these Kukes up there like you’re talking about this guy strutting around and and essentially pretend acting a part like they’re in some movie when what they’re really doing is getting their men, as they put it there, men killed over nothing there Boyz killed over a bunch of garbage. And even when they know better and everybody knows that, they know better could. And this is where I wanted to bring up Karl Eikenberry here who was, you know, the ambassador for time. But previously he had been the general in charge of the war, and he finally said, This is crazy. We should leave. We should not do the surge. We should get out instead. And that goes to show and really prove what you’re talking about with the rest of these generals that day. At least should know better if Eikenberry Kabbi as good as he was, which he was pretty late in terms of when he came forward. But still, um Lif Eikenberry Condolezza Gn Any of these guys could have done it. Any of these guys could do it right now. And Oo and I wanted to mention to this guy it was in the Washington Post. It was a member of Obama’s National Security Council. I’m pretty sure who said we have to take this deal because I think the way he put it was if we had taken the deal five years ago, it would have been better 10 years ago would have been even better in that five years before that. It would have been even better than that. If we do it five years from now, it’s gonna be even worse. Whatever we can get now is as good as we’re ever gonna get. Guys. Now that is Cem. Pretty damn pessimistic words in The Washington Post from a guy from the previous administration whose team helped tow lose this war, saying, hey, fessed up, face up to it. There’s no point in keeping going because we just can’t pull it off. And so, man, what a horrible truth for the rest of these people to be so obstinate against and refused to concede. I mean, I want to hear Is that to the Infantry? Get out there and be the last man to die for. Natta Ms. Take something that everybody knows is a fraud. And and that’s the That’s the thing about Trump. Like he could do that too. He could say Not only is it not good for you in the rush, but hey, I love the soldiers. I love the veterans. Hey, you! Hey, Infantry men with a bunch of tattoos, you know who has a high school education and very few prospects Minh gets out of the military. Hey, Infantry Menagh Gnehm Areen. This war is not good for you. I’m gonna get you out of it. I’m gonna get you out of this nonsense. Because these wars the generals make careers on him. But you just you’re in the mud and you lose your Badi, you know, And look at Ikenberry. Look what happened. This is instructive. When Eikenberry turned late as it was, but it’s never too late. When Eikenberry turns he was Hillah read by his former comrades. He was persona non grata. He was blackballed. I know this because I know generals. They currently generals. I can’t use their names on active duty. Huu have told me that he was blackballed socially by Awal his former professional mates. When he said no to the surge, the war is all the other generals turned on him. That’s instructive to me. And I tell one other story actually going. But I’m kind of going back. But, like, I think that you and the listeners will find this a little interesting. So I told you that the generals would come down and they would do these like Markoe trolls. Well, one time I told you, we had to make sure they don’t get shot at one time. It didn’t work. Sony just briefly tell you this story. I think it’s also instructive about how fake this is and about how these generals are frauds. Um, the con man. Really? We had built this little market. Actually, I had paid Cem Afghan contractors to build this little market, but in this really dangerous spot. And I told the ball and Oh, by the way, when you pay the contractors, they kicked back to the Taliban. So I’m actually funding the Taliban by doing this. And I knew that I told my boss. So I told my boss this colonel who wanted to be a general, which means he doesn’t care about US troops. I said, Hey, this is not a good place to put a mark. It was like no one’s ever gonna actually go there because it’s so dangerous. And like, this is a step too far like we’re a step too far away from the base like this isn’t gonna work. He was like, No, no, no. We’re gonna build a school here. We’ll build this market. It’s gonna be thriving with your new LP militia program. Yul Beito protected. I was like, Not not really So we built the structure of the superstructure of this market, right? And and we, like, literally paid and cajoled a few Afghanize bring some stuff in there, make it look a little bit like a market and then the assistant division commander of the 82nd Airborne St Clair Huu. Eventually, by the way, leaves the military under, uh, uh, nefarious circumstances because he likes sleeps with his aide or something. Right. But anyway, St Clair comes to visit me, right? And he’s a big deal. He’s of Wone stories a climb Aires in the 82nd Airborne. And I’m told by my colonel like, Oh, like you need to take the general. He’s coming tomorrow. We need to take him on a walk through the market, you know, and like, we’ll take him on a stage patrol. And I said, sir, to my colonel, who is a sociopath, Andrei still hate to the stake not gonna use his name, but I kind of want to. Anyway, he, um I said, sir, this is bad. We’re gonna like there’s a good chance we’ll get attacked like there’s a good chance Cem will die tomorrow. Like this is not good. This is not the typical patrol that we do Like I’m telling you, I know the ground. You visit it every once in a while. I lived there. Some bad is gonna happen. He’s like, No, no, No, no. It’s going to be safe. It’s your job to make sure it’s safe. I said Okay. The enemy gets a vote. Sir, I literally said that hung up the phone the next morning. Wone this little patrol, we come under RPG and machine gun fire. And I have never seen a general hit the deck and jump into a canal and get himself wet and dirty so fast. And thank God none of my soldiers were hit. It was a brief firefight, but it was dicey and it could’ve went the other way. General goes home in this helicopter De still Logar me still says nice things. You could see that he was shaken. Hey, we were all shaken. I mean, for me, it was every day for him was like once a year. But when I got home okay. When I got back to my base that night my colonel calls me Guess what happened? I got Lif I got lit up. I got yelled at because I left the Taliban attack. I got yelled at for what the Taliban did. I said this is a fraud. You don’t want to win this war. If you wanted to win this war. You will see what I told you. And I got in trouble because it didn’t look good that the enemy got a vote. I’m like, Should I have called the Taliban up ahead of time? I should have. I should have made deals with Taliban. I swear to God, I should I should have been in such a relation to the Taliban that I should have paid them a few $100,000 Id sacks full of money. Literally. I should have taken it home. And you’re paying taxes anyway. Like you said Sidon, I should I should have met with the local Taleb Itta Bin like Hey, what’s up, dude? Tomorrow I’m taking this journal around like we want with you for like, the next month. Just like don’t shoot us tomorrow. I should have done that because I got yelled at for not giving it. Essentially Nots would have done that. They would have fired me if they found out right and all that. But the reality is that’s what they wanted. They wanted to save patrol. Well, I can’t make a patrol, Safed unless I bring the Taliban in on the deal. Duaa Ayuz. It was insane, But it’s true. Yep. Well, you know, I only found out after I published my book that there’s an entire book that was written by a guy who was in charge of this stuff over there, where that’s exactly what they did was pay protection money to the Taliban and and the Taliban would even provide the security, driving the truck in front and back of the convoys of of gasoline and other materials that American soldiers needed in the surge and paying the millions and millions and millions of dollars in taxes for their protection in order to fight the war against them. And they just spend all that money buying guns that we gave the Afghan National Army on the black market and use them against our guys and just goes on and on. In fact, the best story here was Ehren Rostam, the guy that wrote the book on Chalabi had a piece in The Huffington Post about how there was a guy who had his own little Afghan Blackwater mercenary group, and he would contract with the Taliban to provide protection. Service is for the convoys, and he was the son off the Afghan defense minister at the time and even opened up a lobbying firm on K Street in Washington to help lobby for the surgeon the extension of the war. There’s so many stories like that. I mean, I was just thinking as I was telling you, that story like, Why have I never written these stories down like I need to? I need to write Nizza right Like a short book. That’s just a series of vignettes that are instructive. Awene How absurd. The wars. I mean, did the word Observateur Beehner title somewhere? You know, we’re Cem. It could be like your American history Fleischers diggers, Siri’s. You could do a Siri’s where it’s just goofy. That happened meter the war, you know? You know, I’ll talk to Eric, you know, maybe I’ll start publishing those, like, maybe I’ll do like an extra article. Amman, Kfir, Eni war. Where I do exactly as I know that you guys would totally support that. No. Absolutely. Yeah. You know, I’m glad we had this conversation, but I’m gonna do it, You know? I haven’t told you. I mean, the only time I’ve ever told these stories is like, over like too many beers with, like my buddies who were there with me. Like I think the people need to know. I bet you could write a great ah, Catch 22 type novel there, you know? Absolutely. I lived Catch 22. You know what I’m describing is very touched. 22 isn’t it? Like channels coming down, going on fake patrols. One day it goes bad. I get yelled at because the Taliban decided to be the Taliban. Like, you know, it’s insane. I mean, the whole thing is insane and what you’re talking about with, like, the money and the corruption. Like look at Ahmed Wali Karzai, right? The half brother of Hamid Karzai. He runs Kandahari like a narco state. I mean, the guy is the most corrupt dude. He’s got ties to the Taliban. He’s got ties to the drug dealers. Right? And this is this is the government we’re backing, He said, half brother of the president Holo. Yeah, The president puts his brother who was a known criminal before the war. He’s long been like a criminal with nefarious ties to drugs in the Taliban. And, like we throw that guy down there and He runs Cannes hard like a private fife Khadom and just uses American troops to prop himself up. We were in charge. He was in charge. Well, when the Taliban killed him, they were placed him with Abdul Razek, who was also a heroin dealer and became the most powerful Ayn Hardin Cannes Dahr Huu. I have met, talk to walked on patrols with and he’s the guy. He’s the guy who finally got shot and killed when the Taliban assassin tried to kill the American General there. That time there was that fire fight in that closed room. That’s just the year Lior, whenever, like Rozic was, was it was a known war criminal. He got put in charge of the Taliban. Peled. I mean, the might as well be he got put in charge of the Afghan National Police in Cannes are in charge of the whole thing. While I was there and I met him, I was at the ceremony where you got promoted, whatever, and I walked out a few patrols. Then he’s a He’s a scary dude like he is a real He’s a badass like Dombey. Wrong. He’s a monster, but he’s a bad ass like when you talk to him. He is not scared of Yukos. Yaron American. He talks down to you because he’s older than you. And it wasn’t even old. But he’s older than me. He talks down to American lieutenants and captains and majors like he thinks he’s the because he is. And the thing is, he was a known war criminal already. Okay, I showed my Colonel an article in Harper’s from like 2009. Okay, an expose on Rajoy. You can look it up by Matthew Ayt Kims, right? Right. About how we executed all those, um not only Taliban, but also civilians, like in a ditch like years before. Well, two years later, I find out Rajoy Ds coming in to be in charge and everyone’s all excited cause he had a reputation as a Taliban ass kicker. Right? Which was somewhat true, and I showed my boss, who didn’t give a shit, could barely read and couldn’t spell Afghanistan’s look at this article from Harper’s. Like we got a war criminal coming in using what else concerns And I was literally told like Copt Danny, why you such a troublemaker? I mean, that literally I was like, This is a public notice. This isn’t Harper’s. And we knew we had a war criminal coming in. And guess what he did when it came to Kandahar, committed more war crimes and also worked with the Taliban. So, yeah, he’s a Taliban ass kicker who also runs drugs which fuels the Taliban. It’s really a beautiful system. I mean the absurdity of it. It’s almost like trying to fight against the system like I was in my limited way. It becomes Kafka. Ask. Yeah, there’s no other term Foer. Well, I think that’s too Int. You know, we’re talking about how there’s no national interest when it comes to these policies in the macro sense. I mean, here you are in Kandahar province saying, Listen, here’s what’s good for the war effort. Sorry, It contradicts what’s good for your career at this moment, however, and dare Ansar is Shut up, Shearson, you’re getting in the way of what we’re doing, which is their eye is not on the ball, their eyes on their own. And so there’s the economics of politics, even at the micro level. You know, the major gives sound advice to the Colonel The colonel says, get the hell away from me. I don’t want it on the record that you told me that you knew better. Something I gotta I gotta run here in a bit, you know? But this has been a great conversation. I want I want, if that’s okay, but I want to tell them or story about how this is really more about promotion for these guys than it is about the war effort. Same guy, Same Colonel thing was Lieutenant Colonel Katonah. He was a monster. Um, I hope he’s listening. He’s not. He doesn’t. He doesn’t read. So anyway, Ah, he says he wants to go on a patrol. This really Justin outpost that I had established that got attacked every day. It was literally like a sandbag. Alem Oo And I was like, I didn’t even want to establish the place. I wanted to give it up because it was all it was was a death trap for my guys didn’t actually providing security. But whatever I had to keep because he said, Keep it. He’s like, I wanna walk there. I was like, Sir, we gotta take a helicopter like that’s the most dangerous walking Cannes, Nawar Province. Like I’ve never done that patrol with helping attack 3 to 5 times. He was like, No, we’re doing it. We’re doing it tomorrow. I want to go see the soldiers out there, and it’s like, Oh, you’re such a hero. Okay, well, here’s the deal, sir. If you insist, we must leave before dawn because the Taliban doesn’t like to fight at night. They don’t like to get up early there. The laziest fighters ever. Um, we have to leave it like 4:50 a.m. We might get there without a fire fight. On the way back, we are gonna be attacked. So I recommend the helicopter. But if you insist, we have to leave before dawn. He says, Danny, you know my battle rhythm. I go to the gym in the morning. I go to the gym every morning at seven. The soldiers expect to see me in the gym on my little big Safed base. And if I’m not there in the gym, they’re gonna think that their boss doesn’t work out with them. So we have to leave it. Nai Gn. That’s the earliest I can get here. I said, sir, we leave it? Nai Gn Cem was gonna die, Andrei. Luckily, no one did, But it was close thing, and a lot of people got hurt on he goes, uh, Danny, let me give you some advice, and I said, Oh, great. Sage advice from the socio Katha goes Quote Danny, in this business, Kice Lower caters to hire. We’re leaving at 9 a.m. tomorrow. Massive firefight. Massive firefight Within sight of my base, we couldn’t get 600 meters away from my base before we came under massive RPG and machine gun fire. I was hiding behind a rock pile with him, which was the only cover we could find. And I remember looking in his eyes and he was so Shia Paso he wasn’t even scared. He’s one of these guys that you just know about. It’s never gonna touch him. And he knows the Boalt never gonna touch him. He was brave in a sociopathic, psychotic sort of way. He’s not scared, but I look in his eyes and I just lock eyes with him and the hatred I felt for what he had just put my guys through for the fear I felt hiding on a pile of God damn rocks again unnecessarily this time, right? The point I’m trying to make is the point of making with all these vignettes, and I’m going to write them down from now on once a month or once every couple of weeks is that the war was never about what they said. It was about Foer, even for the military guys. Even if the Minni the mid level management of Like Kernels it was never about winning. It was about putting on a show. It was about PR. It was about career advancement, and I’ll never, ever forgive him or them for those decisions that they made. Because again, it was my silly scouts. Huu graduated high school 18 months before who were who were bearing the brunt of that. It was, you know, it was a radio operator who had graduated high school not even a year before. Huu once told me that he was scared to die because his friends had died and he had never had sex with a girl before. Okay, he was 18. Those guys were the ones who lost out. Not that Colonel’s not the generals, you know, and it’s been like this old time and so back to the beginning again about the narrative orgies. You know, General Jack Keane says we can’t leave now because a bad thing will happen in all of this. And these individual young men that you’re talking about here really, Boyz, as you’re saying, um, you know what Lower caters to hire. You know, Lindsey Graham and his people, they have beliefs that need reinforcing or something. So and you know what? It’s the numbers are down, but still young men are not stopping. Joining the Infantry, they’ve got the supply and their dads and their uncles and their teachers and their ministers and their coaches. And everybody tells them that this is the right thing to do, and nobody knows this the era of the phony wars. This is the era of lies and wars. But it doesn’t matter if you’re wearing you know, that desert brown or that Awal of Green, then that’s good enough. That means you’re absolved of all sins. That means you can do whatever they tell you to do, and that it’s still honorable to do it. It’s still the right thing to do it because the whole question of where you’re going and what exactly you’re doing into Huu is not part of it. It’s not even part of it. The only question is, Are you serving your country and love in your flag and being responsible and learning how to shoot a rifle and a bunch of garbage that has, Well, it’s not all completely garbage, but it’s mostly garbage in the sense that it’s, you know, Red Herring rights. Awal It’s all the wrong questions being asked and answered, Instead of who are you sending me to kill him? What the hell threat do they pose to my family back home? If Eni So you completely keep on going like this and then I guess they’ll find out after the factor late in the game that are. Jeez, I guess my coach doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about, does he? Nope. And that’s the thing. You know. Everyone in their life system tells him that they’re doing an admirable thing. No one actually questions what they’re being sent to. Dio and they’ll still be on the Jumbotron and they’ll still get to board first on an airplane. And they’re still going to get someone to pick up a check and t g i. Friday’s in the airport on their way to another with losing war, and they’re going to come home and they’re gonna be a mess. And you know what’s gonna happen. They’re gonna be like It’s gonna be like, major short stint on his way out of the military after 18 years carrying war for the Aymara. Where does Danny find himself in his last official duty as a soldier in patient rehab in Arizona for PTSD? That’s the thanks you get. And I was a major, which means I didn’t even have it as bad as the squad leader or the machine gunner. But that’s the story. That’s the end state. And I think it’s absolutely ridiculous. And I’m personally insulted, and I will never forgive Ons way shouldn’t Dahr guys. That’s Danny Shearson, former major in the US Army. Ah, author of Ghost Riders of Baghdad and ah, regular columnist at Truthdig dot com and anti war dot com. Again, his last two articles are We’re listening to the wrong voices on Syria and stop pretending Washington and Kabul never really controlled rural Afghanistan. Thank you again to Eni appreciate it. Thanks, Scott. Great conversation is always but all right, y’all Thanks. Find me at Libertarian Institute dot or Ge at scott Kortan dot or Ge antiwar dot com and reddit dot com slash scott Horton Show. Oh yeah, and read my book Fool’s Errand Timed and the War in Afghanistan at Fool’s errand dot us.