MSNBC rails against the "fantastically corrupt elite" on the ground that ruined the Afghan mission, but the real corruption was our own
Afghanistan was a 20 year money laundering project.
This same thing will happen domestically with the "infrastructure" package (if passed), just as it did with all the Covid bail-outs, the 2008 bail-outs, etc, etc. If we actually tracked government spending we could lower taxes AND do more for our country. In reality, the federal government can't even account for all it's spending. Pathetic.
I wouldn’t listen to a single thing this government or its media have to say. Why people still believe and put faith in these sectors is beyond me.
Rachel Maddow labeling anyone corrupt is really rich. She gets paid 7 million a year to shill for empire. There’s no difference between overpaid pundits like her and a corporate funded politician that justifies boondoggle after boondoggle to keep the gravy train flowing.
I remember reading an article a while back (hell, maybe Matt wrote it for Rolling Stone) about a phenomenon where even the cheapest purchases like a cup of coffee cost exactly $100 in Afghanistan. Why? Because the US occupiers were handing out money like candy, and the only denomination we brought over there to bribe everyone with was hundreds.
America complaining about the corruption of the Afghan people and government is like the proprietor of a crack house wondering why all his clients are addicts. Creating a strong, independent state that wouldn't collapse the second we left was antithetical to our mission. Our commitment to actual nation building and spreading democracy was about as sincere as Walter White's interest in running a carwash.
Anyone who has anything to say about our withdrawal from Afghanistan other than "thank god we're finally out" has something to sell, and it's time to stop buying.
I was attending college in Wilkes-Barre, PA when Hurricane Agnes hit in 1972. That was an election year. Virtually the entire city was flooded by the Susquehanna River. The damage was biblical. I went to work during that summer, working on cleanup crews. You were paid cash daily. I saw guys signing up for multiple crews, working one, and collecting on 3 or 4. These crooks tried to make me feel like a chump for not doing it. That was small potatoes. I saw waste everywhere. Nixon, along w/ burglarizing the Dem Headquarters, send a flood of dollars for mobile homes, repairs, cleanup, etc. I saw people get 2 or 3 mobile homes for free. They would live in one and rent out the other 2. I was raised as a libertarian. This experience galvanized that libertarianism. Waste and fraud exists systemically in all governments. That's why we need MUCH less government.
This is the first piece I've read anywhere that actually tells the story. The plethora of pundits puking out their upset with wails of "we left without honor", or "you don't abandon an ally" is total bullshit.
Post WWII, the defense industry found the transition to peacetime activities less profitable; they needed Vietnam. In Iraq, no one seems interested in the fact that Halliburton, who was at the time being outed for overcharging hundreds of millions in multiple departments for totals in the dozens of billlions, moved their corporate HQ to Dubai beyond the reach of auditors. Forget that for just a moment, and question why a major defense contractor is based in Dubai...(?).
In the current tragedy, the receipt trail runs in so many directions I can't even begin to think I know where it goes. Matt outlined the fundamentals, but I know it's gotta be way worse than this. Why isn't this the story? Why is MT the only guy pointing fingers in the right locations?
These are business deals gone bad. Or maybe good, depending on which side you're on. And the story I'm seeing throughout media is complete obfuscatory bullshit.
This failure was so complete, the corruption so widespread, the mission so confused it is no wonder it is ending this way. If we ever needed a clearer picture of how *experts* continually screw things up, just look at twenty years of American experts in charge of the War in Afghanistan. Experts responsible for the war, but responsive only to each other made this mess.
Getting in before the obligatory comments about how much all that wasted money could have been spent at home on “Medicare for all”, “climate change”, or any of the 82+ means tested welfare programs, etc etc.
How about we keep our own earnings and not give it to corrupt politicians to steal to begin with? The only way this changes is if large amounts of us stop paying taxes until the corruption ends.
In the opening paragraph, quoting Ms. Maddow, "This was said to be symbolic of the 'fantastically corrupt elites'" We know where the fantastically corrupt elites are. In the ancient words of Pogo, "We have met the enemy, and he is Us."
The spending was the mission. YES. And it was that from the start. One big performative war.
In other words, Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich were right.
Ron Paul was right, and he's been right for decades. The Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11. Al Qaeda had nothing to do with 9/11, other than being a convenient patsy. Taking out bin Laden was a matter of clearing up loose ends so he couldn't puncture the narrative. The Taliban could give two shits about how we live our lives here in the U.S.A. Anybody that doesn't have their head up their ass knows that the only reason we had ANY "Islamic" terrorism here in the "homelanduberalles" was because the regime needed scared citizens to buy into the "Muslim boogeyman behind every door BS." The only people who care that the Taliban has their country back are the asshole Neocons (ex-Communists, for those who don't know how to research) who are going to lose billions of blood money for their contractor buddies. We should have never gone there in the first place.
Card carrying Democrat here. I stopped watching Maddow years ago. She's no better than Hannity when it comes to being devisive. Cable TV, all of it, is the worst thing to hit this country in a very long time. And who can sit through all the big Pharma commercials every 5 minutes? Not me!
Two thoughts. The first is that anyone who has lived overseas in a "developing" country knows that payoffs and kickbacks are endemic, and they are literally the only way things get done. Without a developed system of laws and civil institutions, informal arrangements arise in their place so people can conduct their lives with some level of assurance around things like personal security, access to food, jobs, etc. Well-intentioned westerners trying to "help" always struggle with this. You can't expect Swedish rules in a place like Afghanistan. It's not an excuse, it's just a reality that one deals with in a number of places.
But that leads to my second point. As Matt points out, the lack of transparency around government spending - particularly military spending - makes it rife for corruption among and between purely American parties, and there is NO excuse for that. My father was asked to chair a committee to report to Congress about how to improve military procurement. While the recommendations are technical, the gyst of the Committee's recommendations revolved around increasing transparency at all levels. That was in 1961. Seems like not much has changed.
While I understand the gist of this article I'm wondering who came up with the title "We Failed Afghanistan, Not the Other Way Around" as if the aim was ever to do something FOR Afghanistan rather than TO it. Since the U.S. had no business sticking it's hobnail boots there in the first place the title is rather presumptuous at best.
I often wonder how it all would have gone down if Bush had have taken the offer the Taliban gave him ("We'll hand over Bin Laden if you show us the proof") seriously.