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November 22, 2009


Terry Gain

Here’s the difference between Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, the Sunnis realized that coalition forces were a) the strong horse, and b) sticking around. In Afghanistan, brave civilians taking up arms against the Taliban have no such reassurances. In fact, one hopes they didn’t hear President Obama say he’s “not interested in . . . sending a message that America—is here [in Afghanistan] for— for the duration.” Let’s also hope they didn’t hear Hillary Clinton say that “we have no long-term stake” in Afghanistan. As Gen. Stanley McChrystal put it, “A perception that our resolve is uncertain makes Afghans reluctant to align with us against the insurgents.” If in reality our resolve proves to be uncertain then we will have squandered an invaluable gift.

What's needed now is an Awakening in the United States. When the approval rating for the narcissistic fool falls below 40% it will give me hope that the sinister listing of the American Ship of State can be righted.

Cecil Turner

What else can you call it?

Wishful thinking? I'm all for it, but see little evidence of a concerted uprising amongst the multitudinous Afghan tribes. There's always the hope that the excesses of our enemies will engender common opposition, but the integrated COIN strategy that would systematically nurture these efforts is faltering for lack of troops. It's also hard to imagine how any objective observer would view our recent stumbling as indicative of a "strong horse."

. . . the sinister listing of the American Ship of State can be righted.

Assuming you meant both meanings (esp. the Latin sinister=left), I have to applaud the double entendre metaphor (whilst deploring the tendency 'round here to gratuitous punnery . . . yeah, that means you, TM). Nicely done.

Free Radical

Any tribes in A-Stan that are thinking about 'awakening' had better STOP THAT RIGHT THIS MINUTE! They'll ruin the narrative...

1) Desired Narrative: Obama inherited an un-winnable quagmire from Booshitler that he extricated us from single-handed.

2) Undesired Narrative: Obama declared 'ownership' of the war and then flubbed a messy by winnable strategy.

I deplore the racism of ANYONE who deviates from option 1- even if they are Pashtuns who think that they would be better off with their heads attached.

Terry Gain


Of course I meant what I said. And I'll use your comment as an opportunity to suck up to TM by saying I find little to complain about, and much to laud, in his posts.

Terry Gain


Of course I meant what I said. And I'll use your comment as an opportunity to suck up to TM by saying I find little to complain about, and much to laud, in his posts.


can't recall ever reading anything by Abe Greenwald with which I disagreed.

Terry Gain

Would whoever is conspiring against me by putting my posts up twice when I click post only once please stop. Presumably, i can avoid this by not using Preview/Edit but the results will be predictable.


No, that's just the gremlins at typepad


One reason my typos remain uncorrected, is that I have so much extra trouble working with preview that I refuse to use it ny longer. Terry, we just have to live with eachother's typos. C


So the plan is we get our tribal warlords and their followers to kill the Taliban warlords and followers. Basically the Northern Alliance (alias Tajik) against the Taliban (alias Pushtun) again. Seems good to me. Arm the warlords and look the other way, just like we armed the Sunni "terrorists"/"insurgents" who'd been helping kill us and looked the other way as long as they weren't going after our other "allies." End up with de facto partition.

I hope everyone who's interested in this area read that Brit blog I linked to, about the historical background.


1. click "preview" to see how the post will look.

2. click "edit" whether or not you intend to make changes.

3. make changes or don't make changes as suits your fancy.

4. repeat the process as many times as you like.

5. click "post" when you want to post.


Ras -10 today. Eight days in a row of double-digit negatives, a new record.


Only click "post" when your choices are "post" "preview", not when your choices are "post" "edit". If the "edit" option is present, click it to return to the "post" "preview" options.

Terry Gain


That's exactly what I do.

i thing i;ll go withh clarico's ideea of notteditting my psots anc ser howe thay works

Terry Gain

*i* I
*thing * think

*i;ll* I'll

go ( whew)

* withh* with

*clarico's* Clarice (my heartfelt apology

*ideea * idea

of (whew again)

*notteditting* not editing

my (okay)

*psots* posts

*anc* and

*ser* see

*howe* how

* thay * that

works (not for me)

I've missed three plays. Thig I:ll go cvack to editting and doublee psoting


I understood every word, Terry. Every damn word.

Terry Gain

Clarice, darling, your ability to comprehend is never in doubt. I hope made you didn't find me out of line.


Pshaw...Terry,It's all good natured fun.


LOL! Terry and Clarice. Quite the comedy team. (I understood every damned word, too, Clarice! And can no longer tease you about typos, since lately I have been making several per post! And I don't have a danged cat to blame either!)


I understood the words, too. Seems to be a requisite to sticking around!

CCal, if you have a PC deficit (pussy cat, that is) I would be happy to share from our bounty.


I blogged on the whole screwed up mess Friday night. The press is comfortably in the tank for Dear Leader now and is propagating the antiwar theme he wants us to believe.

In the meantime, we are making some real progress militarily on both sides of the border. The smaller the pool of Taliban and the more dangerous it becomes to be one, the fewer people they will recruit.

And all I gotta says is the Pushtun Man be keeping the Tadjik brothas down....


Pshaw...Terry,It's all good natured fun.

Translated: Pshaw...Terry,It's all good natured fun, you SOB!

Frau Jungfrau

"...(whilst deploring the tendency 'round here to gratuitous punnery"

Weren't some of us told "Get thee to a punnery" and we ended up here?

Happy Birthday, TM. I had to leave the house in the midst of the celebrating on another thread. I'd like to point out that my trusty Secret Book of Birthdays, which I don't really believe --except when it's accurate-- sez about those born today:
November Twenty-Second - The Day of the Liberator: ...Men born on this day also display a freedom of spirit, but upon securing an elevated position must beware of turning into the very oppressors that they formerly opposed. November 22 people not only take an interest in their own freedom but also that of others.
Health: ...Nov. 22 people must be careful about arousing powerful opposition and making enemies. ... Only mild to moderate exercise is recommended for those born on this day,...
Strengths: Freedom-loving, Exciting, Tireless
Weaknesses: Repressive, Troubled, overly Provocative
Born on this day: Tom Maguire, Charles de Gaulle, George Eliot, Billie Jean King, Boris Becker, Andre Gide, Hoagy Carmichael, Geraldine Paige, Rodney Dangerfield, Terry Gilliam, Jamie Lee Curtis, Wiley Post, Benjamin Britten, Gunther Schuller, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, Sripat, Chandrasekhar.
Don't know about the first part, but Tom's in good company.


Very important article in Foreign Affairs: The Tajik Solution. Or, could be called the Rolling Stones solution. Shoulda been the model for Bush all these last 8 years. Here are the 4 steps to the author's plan:

How can the Tajik playbook be adapted to Afghanistan? First, policymakers in Washington, Brussels, and Kabul should develop a coordinated backroom strategy to ensure that the opposition is included in key government decisions and positions even after incumbents such as Karzai steal elections.

Second, the International Security Assistance Force should redeploy troops away from the interior to key positions along Afghanistan's international boundaries in order to police the borders against incoming insurgents and arms smugglers.

Third, the international community should give warlords much freer rein so long as they do not take up arms against the government or international forces. However repugnant the warlords may be, the central government simply does not have the ability to displace them, and trying to do so can lead to unpleasant consequences. Until recently, for example, Ismail Khan was a powerful warlord in the Afghan west. He declined a political appointment in Kabul under President Hamid Karzai, refused to disarm his foot soldiers, and withheld millions of dollars in customs revenue from the central treasury. Yet he ran his region with an iron fist, dispersed sorely needed public services, and served as a bulwark against the Taliban and rival warlords. His forced departure in 2004, together with his replacement by inept central government officials, enabled a resurgence of Taliban activities and an expansion of the drug trade in the area.

Fourth, the United States should seriously engage on Afghanistan with Russia and Iran. Given Russia's stinging history in the country, it cannot offer to send troops. But Russian political advisers can transfer valuable insights on the conduct of border-control missions and lessons learned about the corrupting effects of trafficking on soldiers. Iran's role is perhaps even more sensitive, yet Washington and Tehran share interests in defeating the insurgency, suppressing trafficking, and fostering political stability in the Afghan west. And Iranian experience in mediating the Tajik conflict might usefully inform similar initiatives in Afghanistan. Applying the Tajik model to Afghanistan will not give the United States and its partners the outcome that they want. But if they try it, they just might find they get what they need.

Thomas Collins

See LUN (via Instapundit) for a possible reason on why Obama is dithering on the Afghan plan. If the US really is involved in surrender talks with respect to several Afghan provinces, it would make sense to hold off on announcing the overall plan until the surrender talks have been completed.



I think you are right. Here is a link from that article:

Obama Surrenders To The Taliban

And Cheney spoke out this morning again:



Ann, somehow you got the title of that linked article wrong. Here's the correct title:

Taliban's Afghan allies tell Barack Obama: 'Cut us a deal and we'll ditch al-Qaeda':

President Barack Obama's review of strategy in Afghanistan means America will end up making a deal with the Taliban, and tolerating warlords, to end the fighting.

It's a very interesting article and deserves to be read closely, along with the Foreign Affairs article that I linked, above.

Those of you who read the series of articles on Afghan history at the British blog, which I linked to about a week ago, will not have missed the significance of the list of provinces that the Taliban would assume formal control of--those provinces are the homeland of one of the two major Pushtun tribal groupings described at Defence Of The Realm.

Thomas Collins

No, anduril, Ann didn't get anything wrong. Ann's link title was clearly an interpretation of what no doubt will be marketed as a great deal for the US. Some of us have been suspecting such a deal and have been arguing that the Taliban will not keep its end of the deal, and that Obama will do nothing about it. If you want to argue with that interpretation, fine. But, given the track record of this Administration, calling that interpretation "wrong" is a little premature.


calling that interpretation "wrong" is a little premature.

I didn't call the interpretation wrong--I called Ann's substituted "title" wrong. Ann's retitling of the article was clearly interpretation only to those who bothered to follow the link and read the entire article. My view is that posters here should give the original title of articles that they link and clearly flag their own views. That way, the readers can decide, based on the original title, whether or not to read the article--since the original title normally gives a better idea of the article's contents.

In point of fact, the linked article is highly worthwhile, but doesn't even hint at the interpretation that Ann gives it. Instead, the article is very straight reporting, highly informative and is to be commended for that. Unfortunately, anyone would expect from the "title" that Ann chose to substitute that the article would be a highly politicized opinion piece. That is a disservice to the author but in particular to readers here--some readers might have been tempted to skip the piece as repetitive opinion, and would thereby have missed out on the rich and informative detail.

It goes without saying that I have no problem with interpretation or editorializing, but I like to see it backed up a bit or at a minimum flagged as interpretation.


Opinion pieces criticizing Obama's Afghan strategy--or lack thereof--are a dime a dozen. I certainly can't take the time to read them all, and I doubt that most other readers here have that kind of time, either. Straight reporting of what's actually happening on the ground (identifying significant players, etc.) isn't nearly as common, especially in such a densely factual yet concise form. I would, therefore, have been sorry to miss out on the valuable information that the article offered--as I would have if I had taken Ann's "title" to be an accurate representation of the article's content.

Thomas Collins

Anduril, Ann certainly doesn't need any defense from me. However, I can't help noting that Ann's link, if anything, attracted more attention to the article than it otherwise would have received. In addition, as to whether a "title" is accurate representation, I often find that a "title" represents a take on a link, not a summation. As far as what you were calling wrong, anduril, I was giving you the benefit of the doubt in thinking that you were referring to interpretation. When there is highlighted language indicating a link, that language, in the blogs I read, often is not the title of the article. I really wouldn't have thought that someone familiar with the blogosphere would be quibbling about whether a link accurately reflected a title.


Well, thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt, anyway.

I was merely pointing out what I think is best practice on internet forums, and I continue to hold to that opinion. My opinion--clearly marked when I wrote: In my view...


we just have to live with eachother's typos. C

Posted by: clarice | November 22, 2009

"I never had any large respect for good spelling. That is my feeling yet. Before the spelling-book came with its arbitrary forms, men unconsciously revealed shades of their characters and also added enlightening shades of expression to what they wrote by their spelling, and so it is possible that the spelling-book has been a doubtful benevolence to us."
- Mark Twain's Autobiography


More from Mark Twain on not minding our P's and Q's:


I don't see any use in having a uniform and arbitrary way of spelling words. We might as well make all clothes alike and cook all dishes alike. Sameness is tiresome; variety is pleasing. I have a correspondent whose letters are always a refreshment to me, there is such a breezy unfettered originality about his orthography. He always spells Kow with a large K. Now that is just as good as to spell it with a small one. It is better. It gives the imagination a broader field, a wider scope. It suggests to the mind a grand, vague, impressive new kind of a cow.
- speech at a spelling match, Hartford, Connecticut, May 12, 1875. Reported in the Hartford Courant, May 13, 1875

Why, there isn't a man who doesn't have to throw out about fifteen hundred words a day when he writes his letters because he can't spell them! It's like trying to do a St. Vitus dance with wooden legs.
- The Alphabet and Simplified Spelling speech, December 9, 1907

...simplified spelling is all right, but, like chastity, you can carry it too far.
- The Alphabet and Simplified Spelling speech, December 9, 1907


Thanks, T.C.

You understand it perfectly!


The only problem I have with Ann's link headline is she spelled every word correctly:)


From the article:

The new American thinking is that what they deem the "nationalist" Afghan Taliban may be divided from its more extreme elements - and also from al-Qaeda, whose cohorts of foreign fighters are interested almost exclusively in jihad against the West.

Mr Obama is expected to announce up to 45,000 more US troops and an accompanying surge in spending on development projects, as part of the battle to win "hearts and minds".

But after eight painful years American officials have come to recognise that military and financial might are not enough to prevail in a land of baffling ethnic and tribal complexity. Some form of political reconciliation is needed as well.

"If you don't have both a military and a political strategy, you can't have either," a Western official said, describing the new thinking.

With that in mind, President Obama has recently spoken of al-Qaeda and "extremist elements" as America's main problem - not the Taliban. Such careful language seems aimed at opening a door to talks.

When Mullah Mutawakkil was a member of the Taliban government, he was respected by many ordinary Afghans and regarded by Western diplomats as a "moderate" who wanted to open the fundamentalist regime to the outside world.

As one of the few senior Taliban figures to be reconciled to the new Afghan way of government, he is in touch by telephone with old comrades who are still fighting. His contacts with officials from the US Embassy in Kabul and from the office of US special envoy Richard Holbrooke have increased in recent weeks.

"They come and listen carefully, but at the moment they don't say much," he said with a wry grin. "Until the US wants peace, there will be no peace."

I submit that this is not the same thing as surrender--that is far too loose a use of the word. I further submit that this war will not be won militarily and that if we are ever "successful" it will be because we will have redefined "success" and adopted something similar to the "Tajik Solution." Clausewitz famously wrote that war is politics pursued by "other means." Too often we've approached the GWOT as if it could be won by military means alone. We're in a fundamentally ideological war--which most conservatives fail to recognize--and even the US doesn't have the resources to pursue a global military war indefinitely. We need to conserve our resources and pick our spots.


Looks like we have a new blog cop on the beat.


Ignatz, the only reason I spent time on this was because the article is actually very interesting and informative and deserved a better launch than Ann gave it. Have you read it? What do you make of it, as compared to the Tajik Solution article?


We're in a fundamentally ideological war--which most conservatives fail to recognize...

When I wrote "fail to recognize" I probably should have written "refuse to recognize." Who was that great conservative thinker who called Islam a "religion of peace" again?

Terry Gain

TC and Ann,

Thank you for your links. This thread has now moved from the fanciful to the boy are we fooked . Obama will be hailed by the MSM as a genius. Until the Taliban break the agreement. Which they will. This is about getting out. Nothing less. Nothing more.

Terry Gain

We're in a fundamentally ideological war--which most conservatives fail to recognize..


It's not so much a case of not recognizing the kind of war we are in as it being hard to know how best to fight it. It's hard to promote a complicated idea (and usually counter-productive to criticize religious beliefs) when you don't control the means of communication and those who do vociferously disagree with you and are quite willing castigate and malign you.

Even though he called Islam a religion of peace Bush was still accused of trying to start a holy war.


The owner of the website usually uses his own phrases to link as did Ann. It's a tradition ere if not elsewhere. If you want to take issue with her view, anduril, no one minds, but this ridiculous pettfloggery is ...well.. ridiculous.
I don't care for original spelling myself, daddy. Unfortunately I'm reading and writing most of the day oten with many interruptions and distractions and as I tire, it becomes harder to proofread. Following JMH's sensible suggestion sometime ago, I don't correct the errors in subsequent posts unless it is essential to meaning.

Terry Gain

A noun
1 bicker, bickering, spat, tiff, squabble, pettifoggery, fuss
a quarrel about petty points

Well said (and typed) Clarice. Anduril has the ability to enlighten and inform. His quibble was not his best moment, IMHO.


Actually there are two typos
"ere" for Here
And oten for "often"


And I understood both.


It's not so much a case of not recognizing the kind of war we are in as it being hard to know how best to fight it.

The reason we didn't know how to fight this war for the past 8 years is precisely because it was misconceived, i.e., we really didn't know what kind of war we were in. If we had known what kind of war we were in the massacre at Fort Hood wouldn't have occurred.

On a very mundane level, the whole thing fundamentally went to shit when Osama walked from Afghanistan to Pakistan because--for reasons best know to the CinC--we elected to cordon off Tora Bora with Afghan militia. Talk about a failure to understand the basics! If we had gone about the tactical chore of capturing or killing Osama at Tora Bora in a militarily serious way we would have had far more freedom to maneuver, in a political sense.

And I'm disappointed that you have nothing good to say about either the Tajik Solution article or the excellent material at the Defence of the Realm blog.

The owner of the website usually uses his own phrases to link as did Ann.

The owner of the website does so in a different manner, as do I on occasion. When TM or I do so we do so without fundamentally misrepresenting the nature of the article, or if the linking phrase is interpretive then its interpretive nature is made clear by the overall context of the post in which the link is inserted. Here's what I mean. Ann wrote:

Here is a link from that article:

Obama Surrenders To The Taliban

That's a bald assertion which is incorrect: there is no such link in the article that Tom Collins linked. Furthermore, because the post contains no explanation whatsoever, it fundamentally misrepresents the nature of the actual article. It was only because I had previously read the article that Tom Collins linked that I realized that there might be something more interesting behind the Obama Surrenders To The Taliban link than the usual criticism of Obama's non-policy policy. It was and is "my view" that the article deserved better than that.


DrJ, I'm loving the Denon. So far it recognizes everything and the sound is a big step up for me. I can only imagine what a really first class system would sound like.


I doubt anyone who posts regularly here took that link as literally true.



Simplee trying to amuse and lift speerits in these dayz of so much whoendous un-amuzing stuff. Hope it comes across as that and nothing more.


I can only imagine what a really first class system would sound like.

With respect, anduril, you really can't imagine it.

If you are interested, see if there are owners of Linkwitz speakers in your area (see linkwitzlab.com). These are of the build-it-yourself variety, and their owners usually are happy to show them off.

About nine years ago I tried to help an ultra high-end speaker manufacturer reestablish itself. Their products sold for $40K for a stereo pair; we parted ways when they refused to consider making anything in the $10K to $15K range, which I thought they had to do.


Smooches, daddy and XOXOXO to you all. Heading out tomorrow for Thanksgiving with my family. I don't know if I'll have time to check in often ut I'll try. Have a great time and keep an eye out for Kim.


Have a great trip, Clarice! You are welcomed to visit if you want to travel to Northern CA! (I assume you are going to LA...)


To show you how naive I am, I really thought that for $1,000 you could get a very good system. I suppose it would be good for most of us, but until I started looking I had no clue what the top end is like these days. I guess I thought that since other electronic stuff has gotten cheap, audio stuff had also. Surprise!


Ann, I believe your heading was an excellent summation of what is going on between the Obama Administration and the Taliban. There are simply no other words to describe what is going on, IMO.


I thought that since other electronic stuff has gotten cheap, audio stuff had also.

Remember that the really good stuff is sold in small volumes. The R&D (and advertising!) expenses have to be written off over a small product volume. That makes the high end very expensive.

Is it worth it? Depends on one's income, I suppose. These days I'd think that $5K is an entry point to a hint of the high end. It might be more, since I've been out of the game for a while.


For the love of God, anduril:

I don't believe you are happy unless you are arguing with someone at JOM.

Interestingly, we both liked the article I linked but came away with two different perspectives.

It is not a bald assertion to say or think that Obama will surrender when he is seen making deals with the enemy, IMHO.

I'll bet you, ya read everything I link to from now on though, regardless of the title. :)

Thanks All!


Thanks Dr J..But I am going to L.A. and staying there . My DIL is making her fabulous turkey and sides. My grand daughter and I are making the bread and the decorations and my sister is bringing the desserts. My 90 y.o. mom is flying cross country all by herself again and I am very proud of her .(My cat knows I am leaving and has been on top of me every minute for the last 36 hours. How she knows i cannot say.)

Terry Gain

Actually there are two typos

Actually 3, Clarice, my dear, but only if you count pettifoggery.

Am I being a nidnik?


On a very mundane level, the whole thing fundamentally went to shit when Osama walked from Afghanistan to Pakistan because--for reasons best know to the CinC--we elected to cordon off Tora Bora with Afghan militia. Talk about a failure to understand the basics! If we had gone about the tactical chore of capturing or killing Osama at Tora Bora in a militarily serious way we would have had far more freedom to maneuver, in a political sense.

Haven't read Tommy Franks either, I see.


Sounds lovely, Clarice -- have a great trip! Your mother sounds amazing.

Apropos absolutely nothing, those who love cats should visit this blog. It is written by an English artists who loves her (many!) ginger cats. Enjoy her pictures and prose (and give it a while) but ignore the comments.

Melinda Romanoff


You ain't kidding.


I have a 20 yr. old Denon mini-system and it far out-stripped the 10 yr. old, mid-level, component system I had. (note to self: kick yourself for tossing the turntable). Now I have the mini, plus a Denon 2-zone, and a Sony mini(garage), and a new turntable. And a vinyl addiction.

You will need to have the unit cleaned regularly, because you'll lose some of the reading in the CD player (if it has one) FYI. And it will be worth it.

Melinda Romanoff


anduril hasn't argued with me or Jane yet.



I'm not arguing--I'm simply expressing "my view" on how people should handle links to articles so that people can more easily decide what links to follow and what links to ignore. Anyway, if you read the Tajik Solution article as well as the historical material at Defence of the Realm you may see 1) why I liked the article from the Telegraph and 2) why I think most JOMers are caught in a web of woefully simplistic presuppositions.

Just for example, you write:

It is not a bald assertion to say or think that Obama will surrender when he is seen making deals with the enemy, IMHO.

You clearly equate "surrender" with "making deals with the enemy." This is grossly simplistic thinking. All you JOMers were/still are true believers in the Surge--what was that if not "making deals with the enemy?" Those Anbar guys were our enemies and were EVIL, still are for my money, and we armed and trained them after making a deal with them. So if that kind of deal with the enemy is OK, then why is this kind not OK? Guess what, when we'd made our deal with the Sunnis in Iraq we pretty much turned their areas over to them, or looked the other way and let them run things. Not much difference.

Do you really think that if we could only bring Dubya and Cheney back and give them a free hand we would "win" in Afghanistan? Without making a deal? I guess, by killing every last Pushtun on the face of the earth or terrorizing them into submission--which hasn't happened since Alexander the Great? That's just delusional thinking.


and a new turntable...

My old SOTA 'table is still going strong. It is getting hard to find the cartridges I like, though. I've used a Denon 103D for decades.

Terry Gain

Have a happy Thanksgiving Clarice.


Heh, our family is run by a sable Burmese and a ruddy Aby. They're a stitch. The Aby carries his teaser around in his teeth and lays it across people's feet when he wants them to play with them. The Burmese delights in riding around on our shoulders.

anduril hasn't argued with me or Jane yet.

Which just shows how really mellow I am, because Jane is constantly trying to pick fights with ME. It takes all my reserves of self restraint to just let her invective blow past me.

I have one of those cleaner CD thingies--is that what you're referring to?

Melinda Romanoff


I had a three speed, two head, ex-radio staion aluminum platter that the spouse said I had to toss.

It was a dumpster find and now they're hoarded like golden fleeces, with higher price tags.

Now I'm going to drool about your system again, but I have to sign off, wish clarice happy and safe travels, and say G'night.


our family is run by a sable Burmese and a ruddy Aby.

Only two? Damn. We have five or seven, depending on how you count. Plus a few who spend a lot of time here.


Cats can become an addiction.


Thanks, Terry-well if you want better spelling tell Charlie not to email me every 2 minutes with hot breaking news.


Cats can become an addiction.

I suppose, but they just show up here and want a home. We can't refuse. I think there is a sign hanging over our yard that tells PCs (pussy cats!) that "suckers live here."

It has worked for them.

Terry Gain


I'll take hugs and kisses over good spelling any day.


The diplomatic facts of Afghanistan are pretty usual as per the thinking of the Afghan people.I think US-allied troops have learned lessons from this war and they will never do same mistakes again.


Two links. First, from Steve Sailer: Afghanistan: The Future Is Feudal!.

Or is it futile (hah, hah!)--you be the judge. In the blog Sailer quotes extensively from neocon hero Fred Kaplan writing in Slate, who discusses

a 45-page paper [link included] by Army Maj. Jim Gant, the former team leader of a special-ops detachment stationed in Konar province. The paper, called "One Tribe at a Time: A Strategy for Success in Afghanistan," recounts his experiences with organizing "tribal engagement teams" to help local fighters beat back the Taliban—and it spells out a plan to replicate these teams across the country. ...

The premise of his paper is that Afghanistan "has never had a strong central government and never will." Rather, its society and power structure are, and always will be, built around tribes—and any U.S. or NATO effort to defeat the Taliban must be built around tribes, as well. The United States' approach of the last seven years—focusing on Kabul and the buildup of Afghanistan's national army and police force—is wrongheaded and doomed. ...

Re the Tajik Solution we have this related news:

Tajik rebels join al Qaeda


Anduril we covered Gant months agom, Kaplan is not a neoCon, he's a former Pentagon factotum under Perry, so a Soviet style police state, garners support
for AQ, good to know


Ah, thanks, narciso. I shoulda checked Wikipedia:

[Robert D.] Kaplan is not related to journalist Fred Kaplan, with whom he is occasionally confused. He is also sometimes confused with neoconservative scholar Robert Kagan.


Happy Thanksgiving, Clarice. Have a safe trip and enjoy your amazing granddaughter.

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