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Friday, September 17, 2021


Silverfiddle Rant!

I stumbled across an archived interview with Carter National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, first published in a French newspaper in 1998.

Below is an interesting excerpt...

Q : When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against secret US involvement in Afghanistan , nobody believed them. However, there was an element of truth in this. You don’t regret any of this today?

B: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter, essentially: “We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war." Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war that was unsustainable for the regime , a conflict that bought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

Q: And neither do you regret having supported Islamic fundamentalism, which has given arms and advice to future terrorists?

B : What is more important in world history? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some agitated Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?


  1. It's amazing to look back at this long tragedy and wonder why, when we had ObL's own words.....we marched dutifully to his strategy. His plan likely exceeded his wildest dreams.

  2. Durham proves the entire Trump-Russia collusion story a FABRICATED DNC OP in his indictment of DNC lawyer Michael Sussman.

    1. Durham captured another small fish for the heinous crime of lying to the FBI. The media is dangling this trivia in front of to keep alive our hope that justice may someday prevail. And pigs may fly, but not in this nation and not in my lifetime.

    2. You should read the indictment. It proves unequivocally that the Democrats were behind the whole Russia-collusion thing... that they knew it was fake THE WHOLE TIME.

    3. New York Times:
      Mr. Durham has also apparently weighed bringing some sort of action against Perkins Coie as an organization. Outside lawyers for the firm recently met with the special counsel’s team and went over the evidence...

      Eric Holder's law firm Perkins Coie and indicting a partner is one I will take for now. If the indictment was fully reported it would be a big story.
      I'll give Durham a bit more time. Why not?

  3. I'll take ad hoc ergo propter hoc fallacies for $500, Alex

  4. *post hoc ergo propter hoc

    - The Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979
    - The Taliban was founded in 1994
    - Zbigniew Brzezinski is well-known for being full of shit.

    1. The mujahideen who fought the Soviets were NOT the Taliban.

      The Soviets invaded in 1979. Women and children fled to Pakistan, where the kids got trained in Wahabi extremism in Saudi-funded Madrassas. After the Soviets left, the kids returned to Afghanistan.

      The Taliban are a movement of religious students (talib) from the Pashtun areas of eastern and southern Afghanistan who were educated in traditional Islamic schools in Pakistan.[77] There were also Tajik and Uzbek students, demarking them from the more ethnic-centric mujahideen groups "which played a key role in the Taliban’s rapid growth and success."[127]

      Education and motivation
      Mullah Mohammad Omar in September 1994 in his hometown of Kandahar with 50 students founded the group.[11][128][129] Omar had since 1992 been studying in the Sang-i-Hisar madrassa in Maiwand (northern Kandahar Province). He was unhappy that Islamic law had not been installed in Afghanistan after the ousting of communist rule, and now with his group pledged to rid Afghanistan of warlords and criminals.[11]

      Within months, 15,000 students, often Afghan refugees, from religious schools or madrasas – one source calls them Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-run madrasas[128] – in Pakistan joined the group.

    2. Thanks Farmer. TC is apparently arguing against a point this post was not making.

    3. Actually I was arguing against Zbigniew Brzezinski trying to sell the idea that he comforted Jimmy Carter with predictions of giving "Russia their Vietnam War" - the same Jimmy Carter that was befuddled by the revolution and hostage crisis in Iran at the time and wasn't doing jack shit in Afghanistan. Post hoc ergo propter hoc. Brzezinski had zero, as in nothing to do with Reagan's support for the anti-communist mujahideen after the Carter shit show was permanently cancelled due to lack of interest. Literally shovelling manure in that interview.

    4. I remember reading about this question years ago. The Achmed Rashid citation sparked my recall. This 'controversy' appears to be an ideological slap fight over who is responsible for the 'Blowback:' Reagan or Carter.

      Me? I don't care. Our foreign policy sins and blunders roll on, regardless of party.

    5. Believe me when I say I'm no fan of Jimmy Carter's foreign policy. It would be easy for me to go along with the okie-doke and blame Carter for 9/11, the "Blowback" and whatever. But historical reality doesn't work that way, and I have packets of oatmeal with more strategic consistency than Zbigniew Brzezinski ever mustered in his life. He grew up hating Nazis and Commies, and lost to both. The definition of the phrase "delusions of grandeur" should have his picture included. In the grand scheme of American foreign policy, he was an also-ran. A nobody adviser to a nobody president. Even if I believed in the "Blowback" theory (I don't), I wouldn't give that dipshit the confidence in his abilities required to blame him for it. If Central and South America during the Carter years are a testament to Zbig's anti-communist foreign policy chess playing, um no. Just no. Miss me with that BS. Dude was a hack.

      Who was running American foreign policy when the Taliban swept into the vacuum of the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan? Wasn't that the dumbasses Warren Christopher and Madelaine Albright?

      If we must be bipartisan in looking for culprits in the foreign policy failures of America, we also mustn't forget the worst President America will ever have, Donald Trump, and his sabotage of the Afghan government to put the Taliban back in power. Let's save discussion of his Make America Irrelevant agenda re: China for another thread.

      Sorry to shotgun blast, but laser beam focus back on ZB, no no no he didn't "trick" the Soviets into invading Afghanistan to bring about the collapse of communism and the end of the Cold War. He was a nobody, in the last years of his life trying to claim a legacy with a patchwork of events he had no hand in whatsoever. F that charlatan.

    6. Even if I believed in the "Blowback" theory (I don't).....

      I find this perspective interesting. I view the notion of blowback as being on somewhat of a sliding scale: indirectly responsible <-> directly responsible.

      Clearly, blowback as a catalyst is a thing...we've seen it throughout history, ranging from the tactical to the strategic. Typically, as it pertains to this nation and it's society, a outright refutation of blowback has been trafficked by those who don't believe that we can do/have done anything wrong. You know, we're always super exceptional and all that. I wouldn't count you as in that camp, based on my interpretation of your posts here.

      Since regions and cultures beyond our own often have a longer institutional and cultural 'memory'...it stands to reason that at least some of our past actions have been the catalyst for current issues that we face....not to mention, that these past actions are specifically cited in many cases, as the impetus for action against us.

      Are you somewhere on my sliding scale with regard to blowback, or do you discount the notion altogether? I'm genuinely curious.

    7. Partisan politics drags everything--including foreign policy-- down into the mudpit of lies, smears and propaganda, preventing a clear-eyed analysis of what does and does not work.

    8. And then there is bureaucratic infighting. Leakers broke the law and reported to CNN...

      CIA warned children were possibly present seconds before US missile killed 10

      I doubt we had the assets in place for a solid kill chain. We'll never know the truth

    9. CI,

      To me, "Blowback theory" is too facile to be useful as an analysis tool. Too often it is used to construct post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacies or worse, to transpose or misidentify initiator and reactor forces into grotesqueries; miniskirts cause rape as opposed to actual rapists and so on. Sure, in physics "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction" and "causes lead to effects" but science (in most areas) is no longer blaming witches for warts and birthmarks. Blowback theory is a witch-hunter's tool. We are, after all, a society that sells t-shirts that read "There are more than two sexes" in only men's and women's sizes.

      I think it's more thorough to analyze what we didn't do, but should have. "Idle hands are the Devil's tools." "Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” (John Stuart Mill, riffing Edmund Burke). We watched the Bay of Pigs massacre that cemented Castro in power in Cuba. We turned our backs on the Northern Alliance during the post-Soviet withdrawal and Taliban-led civil war in Afghanistan. We aborted an assassination or capture of Osama bin Laden in 1996 when our snipers had the center of his greasy eyebrows in the crosshairs. We left the Kurds to the "mercy" of Bashir Assad. And so on.

      It's not so much what America does so much as what America quits doing when someone rolls an ankle doing it. Spines of jelly. We wear our ABORT buttons front and center, and train the world how to push them.

    10. Ask yourself, why is it only America suffers "Blowback theory" criticisms? Does China occupy Tibet with ~250k troops because they can, or because they have to?

      Does the Islamic world have to suffer six governments toppled, millions dead or maimed, and the overarching threat that we're just getting started because they knocked down two buildings and four airliners on our soil? Let's reeeeally play Blowback Theory, the willpower game.

    11. Donald Rumsfield once said the "War on Terrorism" would take 75 years. I think he was right.

    12. To me, "Blowback theory" is too facile to be useful as an analysis tool.

      I get that rationale...but in order to analyze an issue [from an intel perspective at least], you have to neck down to the likely causes. In other words, with 'blowback theory', you have [to borrow from Rumsfeld] known knowns and known unknowns. If you begin with 'what we didn't do', all you have to work with is unknown unknowns.

      We have the stated causes from the enemy in our case; what you've referenced above are recent events, whereas the enemy reaches back far longer. While actions we didn't take certainly come into play, they represent a more infinite number of variables that aren't weighted the same as the actions that we did take.

      Game theory is useful, but not always applicable to actually determine cause and effect.

    13. And I agree, Rumsfeld was correct....and we'll still end up losing in the end.

    14. As Winston Churchill once said (ironically, he didn't actually say this) "A lie will travel halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get it's pants on."

      We do need to teach the Persians how to play chess. It probably wouldn't hurt to make the Arabs aware of algebra. One day we'll be bold enough to introduce Western Civilization to Europe.

      We need not accept the bad faith of liars and charlatans on the "other side." Mossadegh in Iran was a Soviet stooge whose removal was welcomed and championed by the Ayatollahs of Qom when the Ayatollah Khomeini in his early 50s was still writing Zoroastian-ish poetry and still ambivalent on eschewing toilet paper in favor of rocks. Nobody but nobody in Iran was upset over the coup against Mossadegh much less using it as a flail against the US until after the 1979 revolution 26 years later. One thing very scarce in Iran today is a person 26 years old and older. Institutional memory, much less cultural memory is virtually non-existent in these countries. Most of the "long-standing grudges" against the United States in the Islamic world aren't old enough to shave, much less point accurately at real history. It's a feature of ignorant savages.

      So, no. Just because the enemies profess and fall for mythology doesn't mean we have to. When the Nazis hilariously ranked themselves higher than cockroaches on the civilizational hierarchy, we proved we could laugh and obliterate them at the same time.

      Porque no mas?

    15. An additional note on Mossedegh. The Ayatollahs hate him. They were mortal enemies. We did the Ayatollahs' bidding when we took him out.

      It's a tangled web, but that is no excuse.

    16. Right. Eisenhower's decision to assist Britain with the removal of Mossadegh was a reversal of Truman's policy of supporting him. The Usulis in Iran were all for the removal of Mossadegh. Whatever mild secularization that came under Shah Pahlavi to piss off the Usalis isn't America's fault. Mossadegh's anti-Usuli policy was stacking bodies. When the revolution in Iran came in 1979, the Usulis took Russian embassy workers hostage too. The difference is, the hostage takers started receiving pieces of their relatives' body parts in the mail from the KGB until the Russian hostages were released. In America, we had the feckless Jimmy Carter and Zbiggest Bullshitski.

      The Iranians spun our help in overthrowing a murderous dictator into a narrative where the Shah they had all along was going to force them to use toilet paper or whatever. The grass on their lawns provides oxygen to terrorists. Nuke every goddamned one of them.

    17. Echoes of how the Iranians and Achmed Chalabi duped Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld into invading Iraq and taking out the great firewall Saddam.

      Its not crime to be the most powerful nation in the world, but when you are also one of the stupidest, bad things can happen.

    18. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. Iraq was ordered, by the UN Security Council, to fully account for all weaponizable / dual use chemical stockpiles.

      Where's the manifest of how much bleach and ammonia was under his kitchen sink?

    19. His = Saddms Huweein'e, the guy with a penchant for gassing people.

  5. In an odd twisted way, you could argue Zbig was working this from an America First angle, much like Biden did this week on the submarine deal with the UK and Australia.

    1. I support Biden strengthening the US-UK-Aus alliance.

      I've been pondering how much US-sponsored evil was done in the name of winning the cold war. It is so easy to destroy, but building requires intelligence, creativity and hard work.

      The US was the beacon of freedom after WW II. All the dirty stuff we did to other nations belies and underlying lack of confidence in ourselves. I have a more in-depth followup planned for next week.

      We are at the beginning of another "cold war" era, and we have an opportunity to do it better this time.

    2. I've been pondering how much US-sponsored evil was done in the name of winning the cold war.

      Hoooo boy, you and me both Brother. Often, that evil comes home to roost....

    3. CI, Indeed. I have been critical in the past of people criticizing out government in hindsight, buying the excuse that "We had to win the cold war against the Soviets!"

      But having traveled the world, spoken to many people, read and see stuff with my own eyes, I have flipped. The US after WWII was a great and good nation. The rest of the world looked to us, and our cultural beacon attracted people across the globe.

      But our actions--from the mild side beggaring our WW II allies (Britain was living in austerity through the 60's) to dirty tricks, throwing elections, crushing dissent and outright murder and support of bloody regimes around the world--made us not much better than the Soviets were were in ideological battle with.

      I may have a naïve hindsight, but we could have been a friend, let our goodness show, and no nation on earth would have preferred the Soviets to us. As I say, I could be naive on this one...

    4. No. Their posited counterfactuals were naive and reflexively anti-American.

      Still, it is a productive exercise to look at the cold war era and game out alternatives where we didn't support murderous tyrants.

      I spent a lot of time in Latin America, and I learned a lot.

    5. For me, it depends on who is being "murdered." We still don't know how many sharks were harmed by Pinochet dumping live Chilean communists into the Pacific Ocean via helicopter. We shouldn't take for granted that no shark developed an ulcer trying to digest stupid human.

  6. Off topic...

    Just popping in to say that Warren and I are in our lovely house in Indiana.

    Tons of "little fixes" to do (Warren is an wonderful handyman) -- and establishing a reliable Internet connection took longer than we planned because the first router delivered was faulty and had to be exchanged for another router.

    The unpacking is a terrible problem because the packers mislabeled boxes: these packers mixed up the bedrooms and also apparently could not discern between a garage and a porch. Way too many boxes say (MBR)! WHAT A JUMBLED CLUSTER!

    And I haven't yet begun to tackle my home office. Ugh!

    It will be a while before I'm back to blogging at my usual pace.

    Around midnight, my kitties Amber and Minxy arrive late tonight/early tomorrow morning. My cousins are delivering them. I've had them boarded since the Saturday before Labor Day. Poor babies!

    1. Glad to hear that your settling in. No move goes off w/o hitches. Not even when you're getting hitched! ;)

    2. Great to hear all is well. Except for the moving!

    3. Happy to hear you are safe, sound and kitties have joined you. (So hard on them. One day they had a yard with favorite nooks ... and suddenly they are the new cats on the block.)

      "the packers mislabeled boxes" - oy!! Isn't this part of what you pay for? Oy.

      Blessings, peace, restoration, joy.


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