Peter Oborne, the Daily Telegraph's chief political commentator, has written an article entitled, "In fleeing Afghanistan, the West relinquishes its grip on the world." What is striking, to me anyway, is how closely it parallels analyses we've provided in the recent past.
Before I present Oborne's insightful perspective, along with some of our recent related articles, let me provide some background. An animating thesis of ours has been that the Internet itself is something like the long-ago Gutenberg Press and is increasingly igniting a similar radical reconfiguration of world power – even empowering the individual in ways previously unimaginable.
This is a simple statement, of course, and the world is complex. However, a simple explanation has resonance if events themselves conform to the analysis. And this, perhaps, seems to be the case.
Our article, Bin Laden Episode End of Empire? – Top US Official Says 9/11 Was an Inside Job, speculated that the seemingly phony death of bin Laden (as he probably died of Marfan's Syndrome and failing kidneys some ten years ago) might serve a pretext for a withdrawal from Afghanistan. But unlike much of the rest of the mainstream and alternative news media, we saw what seems to have been a staged death as far more significant than a mere draw down of troops. It seemed to us, potentially anyway, to mark the end of the current phase of Money Power aggression.
As the Internet era creeps forward, it is increasingly obvious that Western powers-that-be have sought global domination – and an official structure of world dominance – for up to 300 years now (in the latest incarnation of a larger power elite Conspiracy). The documentation, along with speculation, is online. A final mad rush toward this dominance was ignited after 9/11 and the war in Afghanistan was a critical element of it.
The British have tried to pacify Afghanistan perhaps three times in the past 300 years. It is truly the Navel of the World, a place that needs subduing if one is to rule the globe. But the Pashtuns, and to a lesser extent their Punjabi neighbors in Pakistan, have proven intractable. And now once more it is seemingly crashing down. You can read more about this here: Turning Points of Empire's End?.
The US is leaving Afghanistan – formally anyway. It is true; other forms of warfare may now be aimed at Afghanistan, including private mercenary warfare. Pakistan may become a bigger target of Anglo-American aggression. But the formal attempt, a third attempt, to Westernize the stiff-necked Pashtuns, to dominate the tribes generally of Southern Eurasia has failed once again.
It was not about oil, or minerals or pipelines after all. It was, as all modern colonial wars are, a struggle of naked aggression, designed to shatter ancient ways of living in order to impose a Western state for purposes of global control.
This was a colonial war. The leftist notion that it was a corporatist struggle for raw materials is questionable at best. The first thing the Anglosphere elites did in Afghanistan was set up a central bank – and then a full-fledged private banking system along with a parliament, a president (Hamid Karzai), a taxing facility and a public school network. The banking system today is all but dead, tax collection is dysfunctional (to put it mildly) and the political system is entirely corrupt. These are the notions the US approved of and intended to defend and expand. They were no accident.
That Western elites were successful in getting young American men and women to die and maim themselves to impose this sort of civic slavery on the Afghans is neither admirable nor patriotic. America's Founding Fathers waged war so that the US would NOT come under the yoke of Money Power and its appurtenances.
Not only has this come to pass, unfortunately, but the best and most vital of America's youth have been misled by propaganda and promotions into enlisting to spread its poison while their parents slap Support Our Troops stickers on the bumpers of their cars. This goes for other countries too where young men and women have fought in Afghanistan (and other places) under the umbrella of NATO.
This system of Money Power – in which a Few control All – was rampant in the 20th century. The tool the elite used was the dominant social theme, the fear-based promotion that pushed Western middle classes to give up wealth and power in return for the faux-safety to be provided by global institutions such as the UN, IMF, World Bank, BIS, etc.
The Internet has allowed us to delve more deeply into these themes and see their genesis and intent. Major memes include global warming, peak oil and of course the war on terror itself. Core themes include central banking, regulatory democracy and the necessity of global governance and the expansion of state monopoly justice.
All of these are fear-based. They are apparently developed at Tavistock and rolled out in stages. Gradually, the public is made aware of crises waiting to happen through an astonishing network of think tanks, universities, mainstream media, and civil and political spokespeople. It is an enormous controlled network built up over centuries and the Internet – fairly uncontrolled as of yet – has done us the favor of piercing the veil. It is evidenced by the actions of elites and their apparent growing concerns: Queen Worried About Empire's Meltdown.
We can understand the manipulation in retrospect. Whether it is global warming, overpopulation or a scarcity of food and water, every danger is to be met by a broad and valiant bureaucratic solution that demands, of course, more taxes, more regulation, more inflation and less freedom. These are the building blocks, in fact, of totalitarianism.
Each dose of terror is to be accompanied by an appropriate implementation of good government and effective leadership. It is leadership, after all, that is lacking. What is needed are Big Men at the top that know what is good for the world and are not afraid to take action to implement their aggressive designs, as brutally as necessary according to Cecil Rhodes.
It is this sort of genocidal (as such thinking gives rise to genocide) rigmarole that the average Pashtun and Punjabi doubtless found unconvincing. These uncultivated and perhaps illiterate herdsmen feel an instinctive repugnance for modern Western civilizing influences. What Western middle classes have been trained to see as facets of civil society, the tribesmen at the Navel of the World see as a collective authoritarian yoke.
Islam, in fact, is still something of a tribal religion that emphasizes individual and local relationships rather than the West's overwhelming federalism. Justice is often local (as opposed to the West's monopoly justice) and finance and economics are not the weapons of middle-class destruction that Western elites have honed over centuries.
The Pashtun/Taliban in particular were, finally, to have been fully civilized by the latest 9/11 push from Rome's Londinium. But yet again, the City of London, along with its allies in Washington and Israel, finds itself frustrated. What has happened, or appears to be happening, is significant.
As a lone voice in the wilderness on some of these issues, we did not expect to find an approving chorus so soon. But now Mr. Oborne of the UK Telegraph has begun, astonishingly, to make similar points. Oborne writes every day for the paper of royal record. The UK Telegraph, in fact, is seen as a royal mouthpiece. This, too, is significant.
He begins by comparing the withdrawal in Afghanistan to a similar one that took place in Vietnam some 40 years ago; the same soothing rhetoric about "hand overs" and managed troop reductions, so common today, were present in the final stages of the Vietnam War. "But neither the Saigon government nor its US-trained army could cope as America scuttled for the exit in the spring of 1975."
What will be the result of the current retreat? "This much is certain: the Taliban will return to power, conceivably with Mullah Omar (still topping the FBI's most wanted terrorist list) coming down from the mountains to resume his old position, so rudely interrupted, as Head of the Supreme Council and effective head of state."
His best-case scenario is that Kabul will eventually resemble a provincial Saudi Arabian city – and this only because the fragmented Taliban will not entirely dominate Afghanistan. American strategists are hoping for a negotiated solution, he writes, an arrangement embracing both the Taliban and elements of the old Northern Alliance.
Will it work? Not really – Oborne predicts, in fact, civil war. This is just what we've predicted many times. NATO is deliberately pitting the Northern tribes against the Southern Pashtun. It is the old strategy of divide and conquer, only in this recreation the bloodied conquerors are pulling back in order to let a large Afghan-based police and military force handle the additional military engagements.
He has a vision of the result as well. "Stalemate is the likely outcome: eventually, large parts of the country will be dominated by warlords, each appropriating a chunk of the Afghan National Army. In any case, it is unlikely that Obama's sketchy three-year plan will work. There is no serious incentive – apart from cash – for any Afghan to stay loyal to the departing Americans and British. They must look to secure their future."
What of President Karzai? Best case, he and his brother may creep away with stolen millions (billions?). Oh, you didn't know that one of his brothers, sitting in Dubai, was busily acting as a gatekeeper of Afhan natural resources and collecting the family "toll?" Well that's another issue. Even within Afghanistan he seems to have few natural allies. The Northern Alliance may be growing restless with his rule.
What of the British and Americans? Having stayed behind in a limited capacity, they will continue to be harassed militarily and politically. This will put increased pressure on the Anglosphere's military-industrial complex to fully disengage. Keeping "bases" in Afghanistan, certainly outside the North, may prove most questionable.
Oborne makes another, very important point. He writes that, "the sorry lesson of Iraq and Afghanistan is that this prodigious military muscle is practically useless for 21st-century warfare. Incoming defence secretary Leon Panetta's solution, expounded at his Senate confirmation hearing earlier this month – to place US military personnel under CIA direction, so their operations can be made secret and unaccountable – is sinister and unconstitutional."
We agree. If the US intends to pay forward with a viscous, secret guerilla war it likely will prove both futile and costly. It will probably only further incite the Pashtuns and continue to drive Pakistan into the arms of the Chinese and perhaps, eventually, the Russians. In his final paragraph, Oborne makes a damning and incisive statement:
More serious than America's military defeat in Afghanistan has been its moral defeat. Again and again, it has behaved as hideously, and with the same barbaric contempt for human rights, as the worst of its enemies. Obama needs to reunite the United States with civilised values and redefine his country's role in the world. The rest of the familiar post-war architecture has gone. America is no longer capable of being the policeman of the world, and may retreat to its historic isolation. Across the Channel, the debt crisis is wrecking the European dream. History is moving faster than ever, and taking us into a new and formless world.
This surely illuminates the issue. The US in two failed wars (for the Iraq war is by no means over) has virtually bankrupted itself domestically while displacing millions abroad. Its military policies have irradiated two countries with depleted uranium, causing endless birth defects and cancer, killed countless women and children in a decade-long, futile hunt for terrorists and left behind a legacy of hatred and bitterness that will likely last for generations.
If the US was indeed a shining city on the hill after World War II, the Anglosphere elites themselves – steeped in illusions of grandeur and basted in bitter greed – have now thoroughly destroyed that image.
Oborne concludes his remarks by writing that "History is moving faster than ever, and taking us into a new and formless world." This is one of the only places I would have a quibble. We are not racing into a formless world.
Take time to look at what happened after the advent of the Gutenberg Press, and the social ferment becomes apparent. The Renaissance, Protestant Reformation, Cromwell's Revolution, the Glorious Revolution, the French Revolution, the American Revolution and the Age of Enlightenment all flowed from the mechanized dissemination of information.
Some of what took place was influenced by the elites; some was manipulated; some was good and some less so. But the ferment is easily visible; it is undeniable. The elites lost power; they lost control and a New World was born, literally. It seems to have taken the elites centuries to regain control that the Gutenberg Press had undermined. They only fully regained control, perhaps, in the 20th century, a halcyon era for mind control. And now, in 21st century, dominance has been undermined again.
If so, one could make the argument that we have discarded a century-long Dark Ages and are experiencing the beginnings of a kind of Internet Reformation. What seems to Oborne an inexplicable formlessness is actually a predictable and perhaps inspiring New Age.
The resurgence of Austrian economics, the rise of resistance to the powers-that-be around the world, the expanding knowledge of the Anglosphere elite's anti-free-market promotional manipulations, all of these seem to have a kind of historical precedent. It is perhaps an unstoppable tide, an awakening that will need to run its course. All the spy agencies, domestic and foreign murder and general military might of the West will not avail against an idea whose time has come.
We have been arguing this sort of thing for at least a decade, but to see similar arguments made bluntly in significant mainstream media such as the UK Telegraph is a notable occurrence. Now when people accuse us of various kinds of conspiratorial lunacy, we shall be able to send them an electronic clipping of Oborne's article. They can write to him!