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07 July 2012


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The level of stupidity makes me sick. I guess George Santayana was right. Ignore history, rinse, repeat.

I knew both of those AF generals, one from when he was a Captain. I can believe the allegations, but I hate the implication and I hate the idea that we still think we can "fix" Afghanistan.

I even take issue with "(unless you want to rule the place for a hundred years)" the data just doesn't support this conclusion. No occupying power has ever lasted a hundred years as far as I can see. I could be wrong, and if I am someone will surely point it out, but I don't think what we call Afghanistan can be "fixed" from the outside, They are what they are, and it's a fool who tries to hustle the East, as Kipling opined.



Both Caldwell and Paton are Army officers. Britain occupied the Indian sub-continent for two hundred years. They had a profound effect. we occupied the Phillippines for 50 odd years. We also had a profound effect. The Spanish before us were there for 300 years. did they not have an effect? pl

Babak Makkinejad

Afghanistan was a unitary state in the person of the Monarch.

She is no longer a state, unitary or otherwise.

Babak Makkinejad

Safavid ruled much of Afghanistan for more than 200 years.


"I ask what "Cump" Sherman would do?" March on DC?


The U.S. government, and the political world in general, has become an open spool of Monty Python and Saturday Night Live shows. But with profound moral and practical implications. Some of these antics we can laugh at, e.g.Hillary officially bestows the honor of being one of Uncle Sam's best friends on Afghanistan. Yet, the examples of serious malfeasance or non-feasance proliferate at growing frequency. By now it is apparent to anyone with a measure of discernment that each is symptomatic of a systemic illness - even though it has specific, identifiable causes and characteristics. Hence the implicit question of what can be done.

At the personal level, we feel the moral imperative to say, write, petition however we are able to do so. In effect, to witness - for today and for history. At the political level, it is harder to see what effective action might look like. There are no anarchist bomb-throwers among us. Disengagement is not in our nature. So Stoicism looks to be the inevitable course to follow.


""I ask what "Cump" Sherman would do?" March on DC?"

More than likely asked the British if they would be interested in trying to burn it down again.....



I disagree. The Afghan government is not ill. It is merely Afghan. It is we who are ill with the sickness born of our belief in the sameness of hunanity. pl



"If nominated I will not run. If elected I will not serve." WT Sherman. That says it all. pl

Mike Martin, Yorktown, VA

Really, Sherman's memoirs remain one of my favorite books in all of American literature. Quite a guy, quite a straightforward world view. I expect he would make quite a few people, organizations and states today "howl" louder than he did Georgia.

The Twisted Genius

Is this political absurdity just a legal way to ensure that a close defense commitment (or money pit)is maintained after the withdrawal of most of our troops? Sounds like a political/legal loophole to me. BTW, is Israel a declared major non-NATO ally?

Bill H

Well put. Who are we to define humanity?

Hank Foresman

We are ignorant of all cultures but our own, we view all cultures but our own as ones to convert to our way. "When will we ever learn."


Hank F!

Come on! You know the Yankees don't understand the South, and we don't want to know them at all. pl


I was wondering too if being our "major non-NATO ally" had a specific meaning or meant that we had obligated ourselves to do particular things.

God knows the obligation would only flow one way, kind of the same as us and Israel.

I suppose Secretary Clinton's announcement gave many people around the world a big laugh, so we can't say it didn't do anything positive. It is a laughable idea but if the Pakistanis can be our allies, why not the Afghanis?


common enough names, I guess, there are USAF generals with the same names--though the AF GENERAL IS Peyton. My bad.



I was referring to the United States. We know we are ill because we were (relatively) healthy within living memory. Sadly, as the pattern continues and deepens, there will be fewer and fewer who jave experienced public life at a higher standard.

The Twisted Genius

Answered my own question:

"Also on the list of allies, according to the State Department: Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand and Republic of Korea."

Babak Makkinejad

10 years agp this fellow, with his own money, hired a couple of physicians and nurses and went into Afghanistan to provide medical care for some people in a refugee camp.

The physicians wanted to start examining the sickest patients first and work their way to the healthiest.

That nearly caused a riot.

The issue was settled by Afghans according to a schedule that allocated the days of the week to different tribes, based on some sort of deal among the chieftains of those tribes.

There is no Afghan nation, it seems.

Babak Makkinejad

Is it because South was defeated and had to "chew on bitterness" for several generations while North went on its merry way to American Exceptionalism and other such forms of triumphalism?



The Northern and Southern parts of the US were settled from different regions and traditions in Britain. The difference in culture that still exists was imported and developed further here, with additions of African, French, Spanish and German elements. See "Albion's Seed," and "Cracker Culture." pl

Charles I

Surely this is the payoff for re-opening the truck routes. Aside from the lovely title, its my understanding that our new bf qualifies for advanced weaponry. Weaponry which can be given to the Afghans, whoever they are, who will do with them what they have done with all the rest of the arms and lolly forked over - maintain the unparalleled security of the last decade.


This is a long read Babak, but if anyone were interested, I believe it puts the dispute between the two sections of the US in some historical context.



Agree with you Prof.....but your take is hard to hear over the shouts that we're exceptional and the greatest nation on earth, and the best hope of mankind, and all that crap that we blow up our collective asses.


LOOK! If these people do not know how to run their country with some amount of ability beyond graft and corruption then why are we going to stick with them to throw our money down the drain while the American people are also suffering at this point due to TOTAL INCOMPETENCE in our own system dating to the sub-prime loans/ bail out of worthless companies/and disgusting "bonuses" plus the thousands killed and maimed and trillions spent to continue the nonsense in the Middle East? Let's do some thinking! Let's cut the crap and let's take care of our own, not some meaningless losers in a world that can no longer put up with their total lack of ability to get it together!!!!

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