The financial news this week is overshadowed by the disgraceful fall of Kabul.
On 8 July, President Biden said a Taliban takeover was ‘highly unlikely’, adding that there would be ‘no circumstance [where] you see people being lifted off the roof of an embassy.’
And even if the Taliban did eventually take over, said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in June, it won’t ‘be something that happens from a Friday to a Monday.’
But that’s exactly what did happen. The Afghan troops that the US trained, bribed, and supported for 20 years didn’t fight to the last man…they simply dropped their guns and joined the other side.
Incompetent and unreliable
In all of military history, we can’t think of any defeat so quick…so complete…or so ignominious.
Biden and Blinken were advised and informed by 17 different ‘intelligence’ agencies — the CIA, the NSA, etc — with billion-dollar budgets, thousands of big-head analysts, and all the latest spy technology.
How could they all be so incompetent?
Journalist Glenn Greenwald reports that the Pentagon had long reported that the Afghan army, which outnumbered the Taliban four to one, was both incompetent and unreliable.
They didn’t make a ‘mistake’ said Greenwald, interviewed on Fox News by Tucker Carlson this morning, ‘they lied.’
So add Biden, Blinken, and a few spook chiefs to the gallows list. Hang ‘em high as a warning to the others.
Corruption and conflict
But today, we wonder: What else are they lying about?
COVID-19 vaccines? Inflation? The economy? The green agenda?
Yes, dear reader, it’s amazing what you can’t see when you’re paid to be blind. And for a long time — 20 years, in the case of Afghanistan — you can keep the fantasy intact.
Then, in just a few days, it collapses like a punctured balloon.
Anyone could have foreseen the whole 20-year fiasco…all they had to do was read about Afghanistan on Wikipedia.
The country was invented by Europeans. But it is inhabited by dozens of different tribes — Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Aimaq, Turkmen, Baloch, Pashai, Nuristani, Gujjar, Arab, Brahui, Qizilbash, Pamiri, Kyrgyz, Sadat — each with its own language, religion, culture…and deep grudges against the others.
Building a US-style democracy was preposterous from the get-go. But who wanted to see that…when there was US$2 trillion to be made by pretending not to see it?
The generals got their stars…their post-retirement sinecures at Raytheon…and their shares in WestExec, a private equity firm specialising in Pentagon boondoggles.
Of course, it wasn’t just the generals who were paid not to notice. The private sector collaborated with the military — and profited handsomely.
A portfolio of ‘defence’ stocks — bought at the beginning of the 21st century and held until today — rose 10 times, while US GDP only doubled. How’s that for a payoff?
Trillions of dollars were changing hands. The corruption, the conflicts of interest, the temptation to lie, cheat, and steal were obvious.
Turning a blind eye
Here was some high-quality muck, in other words…but where were the muckrakers? Where was the press? Where were the guardians of truth…candor…and justice?
As we saw yesterday, some leading reporters were on the military-industrial payroll. But the blindness was far more widespread than just a few newshounds who were paid to shill for the Pentagon.
Instead, practically the entire press corps…so eager was it to not see the corruption…poked its own eyes out.
Yes, it could get worked up by the killing of George Floyd. That was someone else’s fault — the low-bred white supremacists. They were ‘racists’, and everyone knew it.
All a reporter had to do was rant and rave about it; he might get a better job at The New York Times…invitations to Georgetown parties…and his name in the hat for a Pulitzer.
But Afghanistan? 47,245 times more innocent civilians were killed by US soldiers in the Hindu Kush than by Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis. But heck…Afghan Lives Don’t Matter!
Elite con job
Besides, the Afghanistan debacle was supported by Democrats and Republicans.
It was a con job by the entire elite establishment, not the Trumpista yahoos or the make-believe ‘insurgents’ who invaded the Capitol on 6 January.
The Afghanistan disaster was concocted in elite think tanks. It was directed by elite PhD experts…coming from elite universities. It was supplied by elite corporations…and boosted by elite lobbyists…
And Hillary Clinton (then US Secretary of State) and Antony Blinken (now Secretary of State) were in the White House Situation Room watching the action on TV when Navy seals murdered Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and members of his family.
Now, the truth about Afghanistan is out in the open. But what is still hidden?
The truth about vaccines? About masks? About electric vehicles? About diversity and anti-racism training? About budget deficits? About the US$2 trillion infrastructure bill…or the US$3.5 trillion ‘human infrastructure’ budget? About the Federal Reserve’s money printing?
Or about inflation?
Tune in tomorrow…
For The Rum Rebellion
PS: The Rum Rebellion is a fantastic place to start your investment journey. We talk about the big trends driving the Australian Economy. Learn all about it here.