Lee chats with Iraq war veteran Mike Prysner on the situation in Afghanistan, the likelihood of an actual American withdrawal, and other US imperialist involvements around the globe.
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PEPE ESCOBAR—It’s always crucial to remember that the Bamiyan Buddhas blow up is a crucial case of deliberate destruction of world cultural heritage – alongside appalling instances in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Libya and Mali. They all connect, directly and indirectly, to the causes and consequences of imperial Forever Wars and their spin-offs (never forget that the Taliban initially were fully courted by the Clinton administration).
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Jimmy shows how it is basically the Democrats who have kept wars going for more than 20 years now, and who prevent Trump from even starting a process of disengagement from Afghanistan.
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PEPE ESCOBAR-Since 1996, and up to 9/11, the Taliban incarnated the legitimate return of Pashtuns as the dominant element in Afghanistan. That’s why they instituted an emirate and not a republic, more appropriate for a Muslim community ruled only by religious legislation. The diffidence towards cities, particularly Kabul, also expresses the sentiment of Pashtun superiority over other Afghan ethnic groups. The Taliban do represent a process of overcoming tribal identity and the affirmation of Pashtunistan. The Beltway never understood this powerful dynamic – and that’s one of the key reasons for the American debacle.
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MoA—Trump wants a murky peace deal with the Taliban in Afghanistan to better his chance for a reelection. A seven day long ‘reduction in violence’ phase was supposed to begin this week after which the Taliban and the U.S. would sign a longer term agreement. Only after that would talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban begin. But a conflict over the presidential election in Afghanistan now threatens to blow up the whole process.