Category Archives: Democrats

With Friends Like Gen. Mark Benedict Milley, America Doesn’t Need Enemies

Britain, China, Democrats, Foreign Policy, Military, Republicans

NEW ON HARD TRUTH: In “With Friends Like Gen. Mark Benedict Milley, America Doesn’t Need Enemies,” David Vance and myself marvel at the institutional tolerance in the United States—among spineless Republicans, especially—for Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff:

In the dying days of the Trump presidency, Milley is alleged to have contacted the Chinese to promise them he’d give them plenty notice if the United States were to attack them. Azimuths and all, presumably.

Finally, pundits are using the “T” word; pundits, but not Republicans on Capitol Hill.

WATCH:

OR, LISTEN AND SUBSCRIBE TO THE HARD TRUTH PODCAST:

Sure enough—and this is so very curious—Fox News has shelved the Milley breaking-news story, on its website and in live reporting. As David and I were had predicted, the GOP and its TV appendage would back-down.

Who Are The ‘Trapped’ ‘Americans Living In Afghanistan’? Nobody Has Asked

America, Conservatism, Democrats, Foreign Policy, Islam, Journalism, Media, Terrorism

Who the hell are these “Americans living in Afghanistan”? What are they doing in such inhospitable climes, in a country most of whose people hated the American presence?

I can’t find a thing on their nationalities, origins, whereabouts, and occupations, although my guess is that U.S. citizens in Afghanistan lived within army erected green zones, paid for by American taxpayers.

And what is their business in Afghanistan? The incurious moron media never ask (although watch conservatives who monitor dissident content miraculously come up with these questions following publication of this material).

Growing up in Israel, I recall many Israelis, in those days, went to Africa to help a few friendly nations learn how to … farm in the desert, something Israel had perfected. What are our citizens doing in Afghanistan? Is nobody curious?

The blowhards on Fox News have been whooping it up with partisan battle cries such as, “Hostages, Americans behind enemy lines. Teach the Taliban a lesson, Corn Pop.”

Dare I ask if these Americans are making money off military contracts, the spoils of the military-industrial-complex?

My colleague, David Vance, did some digging. He sends a likely breakdown of “Americans in Afghanistan,” via “Danger Zone Jobs, which tracks more than 300 companies with overseas contracting jobs in Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries.” It reeks:

“US troops remain in Afghanistan and as many analysts pointed out, the military numbers, whatever they end up being, have typically been supported by even more private contractors. As long as troops are on the ground in Afghanistan, civilian contractors will be there with them. …The two primary sources of jobs in Afghanistan are with private contractors supporting the military and companies who subcontract to various international relief and development efforts.”

“Approximately 29,389 DoD contractors supported operations in Afghanistan during 1st quarter FY19, an increase of 16.4% from 4th quarter FY18. Local Nationals comprise 21.5% of total contractor force; 23,078 US/TCN remain to redeploy.”

The distribution of contractors in Afghanistan by mission category are:

Base Support 4,140 (14.1%)
Construction 2,113 (7.2%)
IT/Communications Support 951 (3.2%)
Logistics/Maintenance 9,271 (31.5%)
Management/Administrative 1,881 (6.4%)
Medical/Dental/Social Services 88 (0.2%)
Other 690 (2.4%)
Security 4,842 (16.5%)
Training 1,372 (4.7%)
Translator/Interpreter 2,138 (7.3%)
Transportation 1,903 (6.5%)
Total: 29,389

MORE.

*Image care of WSJ.

Afghanistan And The Sunk-Cost Fallacy

Argument, Democrats, Economy, Foreign Policy, Homeland Security, Military, Neoconservatism, Republicans, War

Joe Biden is right in his “Remarks on Afghanistan“: “… if Afghanistan is unable to mount any real resistance to the Taliban now, there is no chance that 1 year — 1 more year, 5 more years, or 20 more years of U.S. military boots on the ground would’ve made any difference.”

Tempting as it may be for right-thinking conservatives and paleolibertarians, in particular, to use the inevitable collapse of the charade in Afghanistan against Biden—honesty demand we avoid it.

TV Republicans, no doubt, will join the shrill CNN females and their houseboys, who love nothing more than to export the nanny state, in bashing Biden for his decisive withdrawal. The president said, “I stand squarely behind my decision. After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw U.S. forces.”

Falling into the Republican line of partisan, tit-for-tat retorts is wrong. The man made the right choice—as opposed to Barack Obama’s. Afghanistan was a war Obama had adopted.

Beware especially the military men, who will flood Fox New with the sunk-cost fallacy. As I explained in “GOP Should Grow A Brain, Join The Peace Train“:

Military movers and shakers are heavily vested in the sunk-cost fallacy—the irrational notion that more resources must be committed forthwith … so as to ‘redeem’ the original misguided commitment of men, money and materiel to the mission.

“To that end, repeated ad nauseam is the refrain about our ‘brave men and women of the military,’ whose sacrifice for [Afghani] ‘freedoms’ will be squandered unless more such sacrifices are made.

The Skeptic’s Dictionary dispels this illogic: ‘To continue to invest in a hopeless project is irrational. Such behavior may be a pathetic attempt to delay having to face the consequences of one’s poor judgment. The irrationality is a way to save face, to appear to be knowledgeable, when in fact one is acting like an idiot.’

Besides, it’s time the military heed its paymasters, The American People, a majority of whom don’t want to send U.S. soldiers back into Afghanistan.”

 

 

 

 

The Woke Conservatism Of Ben Domenech And Fox News

Conservatism, Democrats, History, Populism, Propaganda, Pseudo-history, Race, Racism, Republicans, The State

Ben Domenech continues to sell soothing, snake-oil conservatism on FOX News Primetime.

In fact, Woke conservatism is a good moniker for Domenech’s conservatism .

Fox News, sometimes mistaken for the real deal, has signed this John McCain clan member on as a contributor. It’s how Beltway conservatives keep the wealth and the consensus in the political family.

When TV admits outsiders in, it’s only ever if, like J.D. Vance type elites, they’ve slivered up through the Ivy League, or the military-industrial-complex; have gotten elected, preferably in moderate districts. There isn’t an independent thinker in the District of Columbia radius.

This time, On August 2, in dulcet tones, Domenech—who has a great speaking voice—was selling some court historian’s idea that Lincoln and his supporters were the quintessential populists.

That is quite funny. Lincoln was “a wealthy railroad lawyer”; “a card-carrying member of the Northern corporate elite“:

Via Tom DiLorenzo:

Lincoln proudly boasted that he had made more speeches promoting protectionism or legal plunder than on any other subject. He stumped for Whig party protectionist candidates for decades, and established himself as the most rabid mercantilist in American politics, the political son of Alexander Hamilton. As the general counsel of the Illinois Central Railroad who had represented all the major railroad corporations in the Mid-West, he was a card-carrying member of the Northern corporate elite who traveled on the legal circuit in a private train car courtesy of the Illinois Central, accompanied by an entourage of Illinois Central executives (See John Starr, Lincoln and the Railroads). As such, the Illinois plutocracy sponsored and financed his candidacy. A key part of their strategy was to use Lincoln’s protectionist credentials to win over the steel-manufacturing state of Pennsylvania which had the second-largest number of electoral votes at the time. Joseph Medill, the influential editor of the Chicago Press and Tribune, sold the Lincoln candidacy to the Pennsylvania Republican party by pointing out what a slick politician he was, “an old [Henry] Clay Whig, right on the tariff and . . . exactly right on all other issues.”

DiLorenzo and His Critics on the Lincoln Myth” is pretty neat, especially as Jim Ostrowski mentions the upheaval caused by the publication, in 2002, in WND of my review of Tom’s The Real Lincoln.

With two of the leading political websites in the world heralding his tome, Mises.org and LewRockwell.com, and his book selling like statist intellectuals’ souls, the Church of Lincoln could not ignore DiLorenzo. When Ilana Mercer fired her starter’s pistol, the congregation raced to attack the book before it was even published.