Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Leaked Phone Transcript Reveals That Contrary To What He Has Been Saying Publicly, President Biden Knew The Taliban Were Winning The Afghan War In July

President Joe Biden meets with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Chairman of Afghanistan's High Council for National Reconciliation Abdullah Abdullah at the White House in Washington, June 25, 2021. Reuters  

Daily Mail: As Biden repeats claim that ‘nobody could have known’ Afghan Army would collapse, bombshell transcript from July reveals he pressured Afghan President Ghani to create 'perception' Taliban wasn't winning ‘WHETHER IT'S TRUE OR NOT’ 

* Reuters on Tuesday released excerpts from last call between Biden and Ghani before the Afghan president fled 

* They talked for about 14 minutes on July 23 as the Taliban advanced rapidly 

* Biden told his counterpart of a perception that the fight against the Taliban was not going well

* 'There is a need, whether it is true or not ... to project a different picture,' he said 

* Comments are indication Biden knew it was matter of time before Taliban won 

* In months leading up to withdrawal, Biden predicted pullout would go smoothly 

* Neither appeared to realize just how badly things would go 

* Less than four weeks later the Taliban had captured Kabul 

President Joe Biden wanted the now-departed Afghan president to create the 'perception' that his government was capable of holding off the Taliban - an indication he knew it was only a matter of time before the US ally fell to the Islamic group even while reassuring Americans at home that it would not happen. 

In the last phone call between Biden and his Afghan then-counterpart Ashraf Ghani, the American president said they needed to change perceptions of the Taliban's rapid advance 'whether it is true or not,' according to excerpts published on Tuesday. 

Biden on Tuesday repeated his assertion that his team was caught flat-footed by the rapid Taliban takeover of the country.  

Read more .... 

Update: Exclusive: Before Afghan collapse, Biden pressed Ghani to 'change perception' (Reuters) 

WNU Editor: Someone just leaked a very damaging White house Presidential transcript to Reuters.

It reveals that contrary to President Biden's message that he was surprised by how quickly the Taliban defeated the Afghan Army, President Biden already knew in July that the fight against the Taliban was going very badly and that defeat was rapidly approaching. 

I will not be surprised if there will be more leaks in the coming days and weeks. 

The transcript is here .... Excerpts of call between Joe Biden and Ashraf Ghani July 23 (Reuters). 

You can take this to the bank. There is probably a massive internal investigation right now to find the person who made this leak.

Will The Taliban Restrict Internet Access In Afghanistan?

The World Bank estimates 13.5% of Afghans currently have access to the internet  

DW: Will the Taliban restrict internet access in Afghanistan? 

The Taliban say that they want to ensure internet access in Afghanistan, but they could face substantial technical and financial challenges to keep it running. 

Afghans say they fear more surveillance and censorship.  

"The Taliban have started to turn the internet on and off in some parts of Kabul," said Habib Khan Totakhil, an Afghan journalist and founder of the Afghan Peace Initiative. 

After the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, losing internet access has become a major worry for Afghans, especially among the middle class.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Fears loom over Afghanistan’s internet (Politico)  

Update #2: What Happens to Afghans' Right to Internet Under the Taliban? (The Wire)  

WNU Editor: Afghanistan's internet service will be regulated and controlled. It may also be shut down. The question is when.

Anti-Taliban Resistance Forces Train In The Afghan Mountains Vowing Never To Bend The Knee

PANJSHIR VALLEY: The valley lies around 100 miles north of Kabul, overlooked by the Hindu Kush mountains and with narrow approaches ideally suited for ambushes, the river valley stretches for miles, opening into broad meadows where its 170,000 people live  

Daily Mail: The Taliban's worst nightmare: Resistance forces train in the Afghan mountains as they vow never to bend the knee to the new rulers of Kabul 

* Resistance forces trained in Panjshir Valley, strategic fortress sitting north of Kabul in Hindu Kush mountains 

* Fighters waded through water with logs of wood over their back while others trained with their rifles 

* Anti-Taliban uprising forces have vowed to defend the 170,000 residents in the region, most of them Tajiks 

Resistance forces in Afghanistan have vowed to continue in their fight against the Taliban as they trained in the Panjshir Valley, a strategic fortress which sits north of Kabul. 

Hundreds of fighters, who have never surrendered to the new rulers of Kabul, were seen wading through water with logs of wood over their back while others trained with their rifles as they prepared for the possible arrival of Taliban forces. 

Elsewhere, others resistance members, dressed in military gear and carrying weapons, were spotted marching through the deserted streets of the mountain enclave.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: From the pictures that are posted in the above post .... they look pathetic. But the Taliban are concerned. They just cut-off their internet access .... Taliban Shuts Internet In Panjshir To Stop Northern Alliance From Galvanizing Support (Republic World).

China Pledges To Help Rebuild Afghanistan And Insists The U.S. Help Pay For Its Reconstruction


SCMP: China pledges to help rebuild Afghanistan and, while blaming US for chaos, insists it pays too  

China has pledged to help reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan after American troops have completely withdrawn, but demands that Washington also pay its share. 

In a sign that tensions between the two rivals will persist, the Chinese foreign ministry issued its criticism and demands for the United States on Tuesday, following Washington’s announcement that its mission in the Central Asian nation had ended. 

The development marked a new start in Afghanistan for peace and development, but the US must reflect on its failure, ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said in a press conference. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: Chinese state media is saying that China is best positioned to help Afghanistan's reconstruction .... Why China is best positioned to help Afghanistan reconstruction (Global Times). The Taliban are in agreement .... China, our ‘great neighbour’, will help Afghanistan forge peace: Taliban (SCMP). 

More News On China - Taliban/Afghanistan Relations  

Chinese foreign minister tells top U.S. diplomat world must 'positively guide' Taliban -- Reuters  

China Likely to Recognize Taliban as Government of Afghanistan -- Foreign Policy  

Taliban in Kabul maintaining discipline, Chinese businesspeople say -- SCMP  

China’s special Afghan envoy upbeat about relations with ‘friendly’ Taliban -- SCMP  

Watch How China Handles Afghanistan -- The Atlantic  

Why China Wants To Get In On Afghanistan’s Reconstruction -- Forbes

Here's What A Taliban-Controlled Afghanistan May Mean For China -- NPR 

Pakistan-China Relations and the Fall of Afghanistan -- The Diplomat

1,250 Canadians Are Still Stranded In Afghanistan


Global Times: U.S. helps bring refugees to Canada, but 1,250 Canadians remain in Afghanistan 

Canada is accepting 5,000 Afghan refugees evacuated by the United States, federal officials said Tuesday as they work to rescue 1,250 Canadians stuck in the Taliban-ruled country. 

The deal comes as part of a new agreement reached with the U.S. in order to secure safe passage for Afghans fleeing the Islamist militant group, said Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino. 

They will be accepted as part of the government’s expanded 20,000 Afghan refugee program.  

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: As bad as the U.S. and other countries have handled the evacuation of their citizens and allies in Afghanistan, Canada's efforts have been a complete and dismal failure. 

More News On 1,250 Canadians Being Stranded In Afghanistan  

Canada says it knows of hundreds of citizens and permanent residents left in Afghanistan -- CBC  

Ottawa pins hopes on Kabul airport reopening as hundreds with links to Canada stuck -- CTV News/Canadian Press 

1,250 Canadians are stuck in Afghanistan. Ottawa has no good plan to rescue them -- Michael Higgins, National Post  

We still have people trapped in Kabul -- Toronto Sun editorial

Retired U.S. Three-Star General Says America's Return To Afghanistan Is 'Inevitable' As Terrorist Groups Will Flourish Under Taliban Rule

A retired US general says America's return to Afghanistan is 'inevitable' now that terrorist groups will flourish under Taliban rule. Pictured: US troops help passengers board an evacuation flight on August 24  

Daily Mail: EXCLUSIVE: Retired three-star general says America's return to Afghanistan is 'inevitable' as terrorist groups flourish under Taliban rule - as he slams Biden's 'immature, unsophisticated' plan that turned the US into a 'laughing stock' 

* A retired three-star US general has warned of America's 'inevitable' return to Afghanistan now that Taliban forces have taken control of the country 

* The former military leader, who previously briefed multiple presidents, spoke anonymously to DailyMail.com in an exclusive interview 

* The general says terrorist organizations will only flourish under Taliban rule now that US and NATO have no on-the-ground bases in the region 

* 'The next time we go there, if we need to go there, the 82nd Airborne will probably be the guys that need to take it by force,' he said 

* The withdrawal of troops means the US no longer has 'eyes and ears' in the area - which is bordered by Iran, Pakistan, and China and Russia 

* The senior military leader also slammed Biden and top brass for an 'immature, unsophisticated, ad-hoc' plan and the deaths of 13 US troops last week 

* He said past US presidents have made adjustments to the political plans, based on the best military advice from their joint chiefs or secretary of defense 

* 'In this case there were no adjustments made. That doesn't mean no dissent happened. That's telling,' he added 

The United States will 'inevitably' have to return to Afghanistan as terrorist groups flourish under a Taliban-ruled narco-state, a retired three-star general has told DailyMail.com in an exclusive interview. 

The former senior military leader, who briefed multiple presidents in his role and spoke anonymously to DailyMail.com, said the Taliban regime will create a new threat to America that will eventually require us to invade - again. 

The general slammed President Joe Biden and top brass for an 'immature, unsophisticated, ad-hoc' plan and said the 'insane debacle', including the deaths of 13 officers from a suicide bomb on Thursday, was 'preventable and totally avoidable'.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: A sobering assessment from this retired three-star.

One Casualty Of The Military Defeat In Afghanistan Will Be NATO

President Biden joins G7 summit leaders in a group photo in June 2021. In a G7 meeting last week, European leaders pushed the US to extend the August 31 deadline for troop departure. Photo: Reuters  

Jen Kirby, VOX: NATO allies are preparing for a future without America’s “forever wars” 

How the US’s Afghanistan withdrawal echoed overseas. 

Afghanistan wasn’t just America’s 20-year war. It also belonged to US allies. 

“This has been above all a catastrophe for the Afghan people. It’s a failure of the Western world and it’s a game changer for international relations,” the European Union’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell told an Italian newspaper Monday, according to the Washington Post. 

“Certainly,” he continued, “we Europeans share our part of responsibility. We cannot consider that this was just an American war.”  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Former President Trump put pressure on fellow NATO members to keep their promises on defense spending .... and for that was branded as someone who wanted to destroy NATO. But what President Biden has done is on a completely different level, and it has now put into question on how solid can NATO be if its main partner conducts itself without consulting its allies. 

Bottom line. 

While Afghanistan has opened up new fault lines in NATO, it is not the thing that will fracture it. But the botched military withdrawal has added to a growing skepticism in Europe of the United States, and its larger commitment to collaborating with its allies.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan Says The US Could Send Economic Aid To The Taliban


Daily Mail: Biden administration now considers giving Taliban AID if they 'uphold their international obligations': Marauding jihadis taunt West with mock FUNERALS for Allied troops as they flaunt billions of dollars of US hardware left behind 

* National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Tuesday that the US could send economic aid to the Taliban 

* Taliban 'victory' parades took place in Afghanistan today after the last US troops left the country overnight 

* Coffins draped in the US, UK, French and NATO flags were paraded through the streets by the Islamists 

* Thousands of people waving Taliban flags turned out to watch, after fireworks were let off in Kabul overnight 

* Meanwhile Taliban leaders paraded at Kabul airport alongside troops decked out head to toe in western gear 

* Taliban commander boasted the airfield will now be 'a base for jihad for all Muslims' 

* Up to 200 American citizens who want to leave were left behind along with thousands of Afghans 

* US national security advisor says evacuation 'has shifted from a military mission to a diplomatic mission' 

The Biden administration is considering sending economic aid to the Taliban, even as the militants hold mock funerals for American troops and NATO allies to celebrate the end of the 20-year US military intervention in Afghanistan. 

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told ABC's Good Morning America that the US intends to continue sending health, food and other forms of humanitarian aid to the Afghan people. 

He also said that other forms of cash aid, including economic and developmental assistance, would depend on whether the Taliban 'follow through on their commitments' including to allow safe passage for Americans still in Afghanistan.  

Read more .... 

Update: U.S. wants aid to Afghanistan to continue despite sanctions on Taliban (Reuters).  

WNU Editor: Unbelievable. And so much for all that talk only two weeks ago of imposing comprehensive sanctions on Afghanistan. And all of this talk of aid is happening while US allies are being hunted down and executed .... Taliban are on the trail of revenge: Jihadis start hunt for translators as soon as Western troops exit Afghanistan (Daily Mail). 

And did anyone notice this line from the above Daily Mail post .... 

.... Taliban commander boasted the airfield will now be 'a base for jihad for all Muslims'.

How Can The West Stop Terror Bases In Afghanistan?

BBC: Afghanistan: How can the West stop terror bases? 

"The UK will fight Islamic State by all means available," says Dominic Raab. The foreign secretary added that the UK would "draw on all elements of national power" to pursue the group's leaders. 

So what does that mean in practice? What exactly are the tools at Britain's disposal? Or is this, as some critics would maintain, just an empty boast? 

First off, let's review what's been lost. 

The Taliban takeover of nearly the whole of Afghanistan means that the West - and specifically the CIA, MI6 and other intelligence agencies - no longer has a trusted, in-country security service or Afghan special forces to work with. 

For the nearly 20 years that NATO and other multinational forces have been in Afghanistan, the intelligence provided by the country's National Directorate of Security has been vital in disclosing the covert activities of al-Qaeda, ISIS-K (the Afghan affiliate of Islamic State group) and other jihadist militant groups. 

Afghan, US, British and other special forces were then able to swoop in, often by helicopter in the dead of night, and close down those bases before they could successfully launch any international attacks. 

Hence the claim that for 20 years there has not been a single transnational attack launched from Afghanistan while Western forces were there.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: President Biden talks about "over the horizon" capabilities, and in today's White House briefing Jen Psaki said the U.S. will be able to stop any terror attack or terror plots even though they are no longer in Afghanistan. But as the above BBC analysis clearly points out. U.S. and U.K. counter-terrorism capabilities have been significantly degraded with the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, and it will take years to establish new intelligence networks.

U.S. Navy Has Plans To Deploy Up To Eight LCS In The Western Pacific By The End Of 2022

The littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords, front, exercises with the Republic of Singapore Navy Formidable-class multi-role stealth frigate RSS Steadfast in the South China Sea, on May 25, 2020.  

CNN: In the turbulent South China Sea, the US Navy bets on a troubled warship 

Hong Kong (CNN)When US Vice President Kamala Harris stepped aboard the littoral combat ship USS Tulsa in Singapore on Monday, it put a fresh spotlight on arguably one of the most divisive vessels in the US Navy's fleet. 

Depending on who you talk to, littoral combat ships (LCS) are either a naval threat capable of "blowing up every Chinese operation in the South China Sea," or a floating symbol of all the US Navy's most pernicious problems. 

And while US naval leaders tout the LCS' speed and agility in shallower coastal areas, critics point to its limited armaments and history of mechanical breakdowns. 

 "The reason we are here is important," Harris told the crew of the Tulsa on Monday night. 

"Our presence in the Indo-Pacific has a long, long history, including now, of helping to guarantee peace and security, freedom of trade and commerce, freedom of navigation ... and open waterways, and the rules-based international order that has brought so much safety and prosperity to so many."  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The US Navy's LCS fleet has had performance and maintenance problems since its inception. They are no much for the Chinese Navy. This deployment is more for show, and to show the American flag.

Switzerland Warns Of Potential Terror Attacks On Covid-19 Vaccination Centres, Transport And Manufacturing Facilities

Healthcare workers at a vaccination centre in Lausanne. Switzerland's vaccine deliveries are conducted by the Swiss army.PHOTO: AFP

Straits Times/Bloomberg: Switzerland warns of terror attacks on Covid-19 vaccine sites 

ZURICH (BLOOMBERG) - Switzerland's Federal Intelligence Service is warning of potential terrorist attacks on coronavirus vaccine infrastructure including vaccination centres, transport and manufacturing facilities, newspaper NZZ am Sonntag reported on Sunday (Aug 29). 

"Attacks on such targets would both hit large crowds and generate intensive media coverage," the agency's spokesman Isabelle Graber said in a written response to questions from NZZ. 

The agency is concerned about attacks from militant groups, the newspaper reported. 

So far, there are no tangible indications of planned attacks, according to the agency. 

Switzerland's vaccine deliveries are coordinated and conducted by the Swiss army. Doses are stored in secret locations.  

Read more ....  

Update: Switzerland Warns Of Terror Attacks At Public Vaccination Centers (Zero Hedge)  

WNU Editor: This blog speculated last year that I hope these sites are protected from terror attacks. Not surprising. The Swiss are on top of the situation.

More Details Emerge On How Bad President Biden's Meeting With The Families Was At Dover This Sunday

Rylee McCollum's family (L-R: sister Cheyenne, sister Roice and father Jim) said they felt Biden was 'fake' in his sympathy on Sunday. Roice and Jim refused to meet with he president at Dover 

 Daily Mail: 'I hope you burn in hell! That was my brother!' What sister of Marine killed in Afghanistan screamed at Biden during Dover casket ceremony where he 'wouldn't even look' relatives in the eye 

* Families of the fallen U.S. service members were left disappointed by President Joe Biden's actions at the dignified transfer on Sunday 

* One sister of a fallen Marine yelled at the president: 'I hope you burn in hell! That was my brother!' 

* Roice McCollum, the sister of fallen Marine Rylee McCollum, said: 'You cannot kneel on our flag and pretend you care about our troops' 

* 'You can't f**k up as bad as he did and say you're sorry,' she added. 'This did not need to happen, and every life is on his hands' 

* Mark Schmitz, father of fallen Marine Lance Corporal Jared Schmitz, said his meeting with the president on Sunday 'didn't go well' 

* Darin Hoover, father of fallen Marine Staff Sergeant Taylor Hoover, said their family decided 'absolutely not' to meet the president 

* Both fathers said Biden was seen repeatedly checking his watch after each casket was transferred onto U.S. soil from the plane 

The sister of one of the 11 Marines killed in the Kabul suicide bombing told President Joe Biden to 'burn in hell' as she left the dignified transfer of remains ceremony on Sunday, according to a Tuesday report. 

Some parents and families further detailed their observations and interactions with Biden during the dignified transfer of service members's remains arriving back on U.S. soil from Afghanistan. 

Read more ....  

Update: "Don't You Ever Forget": Biden Enrages Gold Star Parents Of Slain Marines (Zero Hedge)  

WNU Editor: I think this meeting with the families rattled the President. From refusing to answer questions on Afghanistan from reporters on Sunday to his angry address this afternoon. He is definitely in a foul mood.

After Losing The War In Afghanistan, President Biden Will Shift To His Domestic Agenda

US President Joe Biden will hope to pivot from the Afghan disaster to his domestic agenda SAUL LOEB AFP  

France 24: After Afghanistan, Biden stakes presidency on domestic battles 

This has been a miserable summer for Joe Biden but with the last troops out of Afghanistan the Democrat will now hope to relaunch his struggling presidency back home. 

From the initial chaos in which Afghans tried clinging to departing US planes, to last Thursday's deaths of 13 US service members in a suicide bombing, the evacuation from Taliban-controlled Kabul has been ugly and traumatic. 

How much it has hurt Biden politically is the question ricocheting around the White House, Congress and a divided nation. 

A longtime former senator and two-term vice president, Biden long boasted of his foreign policy expertise. 

With close allies like Britain upset over the abrupt Afghan pullout and China mocking US policy from the sidelines, those claims are now tarnished. Some Republicans have demanded impeachment and government resignations.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: It is telling that many Democrats have been silent in the past few weeks while Afghanistan fell apart. Even Democrat leaders like Schumer and Pelosi, aside a few public appearances praising President Biden when the evacuations began, have gone silent this past week. 

They are politicians. 

They know that this has cost them politically, and that President Biden is toxic right now. 

I also suspect that their internal polls must be terrible right now.

President Biden Addresses The Nation On The End Of The Afghanistan War (I Have Included My Commentary At The End Of His Address)

Update 14:48 EST: He is late

Update 15:00 EST: This is an address that should not be delayed. President Biden is already an hour and a half late.

Update 15:30 EST: He has started his address.

He has just finished his address. (15:52 EST)

No questions permitted. 

What did I see.

I saw an old and confused man yelling and repeating himself while reading a teleprompter.

The disconnect between what he is saying and what is happening on the ground in Afghanistan right now is night and day.

President Biden is saying that the war is over. 

How does he know?

As I said yesterday. You may not be interested in war,  but war is interested in you. And today's radical jihadists are definitely on a war path.

A prediction.

The media is going to praise the speech, but this does not change the reality on what is happening in the world today.

Losing a war has consequences, and the U.S. has just lost a war. 

This is also a massive geopolitical defeat, that will have implications on American interests worldwide.

I wonder if President Biden appreciates what that means. 

He talks about diplomacy and working with allies. To change U.S. strategy and policies that are more in line with today's world.

Fine words but it does not address what has just happened. 

The U.S. and its allies have lost a war against some of the very same people who were in power in Afghanistan 20 years ago when Al Qaeda launched their attack on 9/11.

You cannot ignore that. You cannot close your briefing book and say it is time to move on.

There are many reasons why America is a super power. Some of it is real, and some of it is based on perceptions.

Right now global perceptions of the U.S. are changing, and this political and military defeat in Afghanistan is forcing many to do a rethink sooner rather than later.

The Taliban conquering Afghanistan have not made the world a safer place. And if history is any guide, it is going to take years for the U.S. to recover from this defeat.

China Demands Foreign Vessels To Now Report To Its Maritime Safety Administration Before Entering Waters That It Claims In The South China Sea

The reporting system for foreign vessels entering and leaving China’s territorial water was added to the Maritime Traffic Safety Law which was revised in April. From Wednesday foreign ships must report ship ID and cargo information to China’s maritime administrations. Photo: Weibo  

SCMP: South China Sea: China demands foreign vessels report before entering ‘its territorial waters’  

Foreign vessels entering what Beijing deems its "territorial waters" must report to China under maritime regulations meant to strengthen its claims over disputed waters, including the South China Sea.

China's Maritime Safety Administration said that under regulations taking effect on Wednesday, vessels of foreign nationality entering China's territorial seas must report ship and cargo information to China's maritime administrations. 

The reporting requirements applied to submersibles, nuclear vessels, ships carrying radioactive materials, ships carrying bulk oil, chemicals, liquefied gas and other toxic and harmful substances and other vessels that were considered a threat to the country's maritime traffic safety, the administration said in a notice on Friday.  

Read more ....

Update #1: China to require foreign vessels to report in ‘territorial waters’ (The Hindu)  

Update #2: Starting Sept 1 China Will Require Foreign Vessels To Report In Its "Territorial Waters" (Zero Hedge)  

WNU Editor: This is one of many steps that China is implementing to assert control of the South China sea. This is a shrewd move by China. They know America's attention is elsewhere.

What Is Next for Afghanistan's Economy?


Newsweek: Taliban Limits Afghans to $200 Weekly Bank Withdrawals Amid Economic Uncertainty 

The Taliban has limited Afghans to bank withdrawals of just $200 weekly amid economic uncertainty after the group returned to power in Afghanistan, the Associated Press reported. 

With the limited weekly withdrawals, thousands of people were lined up waiting to take out funds outside of the Afghan National Bank in Kabul. 

The salaries of many Afghans have gone unpaid. Mustafa, a waiter in the capital of Kabul, said he is responsible for supporting his family of 11 and his salary was cut 75 percent. 

He now earns less than $50 a month since the Taliban's takeover.  

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: The problem with the Taliban limiting withdrawals to $200 per week is that there is no money in the banks to withdraw. 

More News On Afghanistan's Economy  

Afghanistan confronts economic meltdown after Taliban takeover -- Financial Times  

Afghanistan's healthcare system near collapse, aid agencies warn -- Reuters  

Aid agencies warn Afghanistan's health care system is near collapse -- The Hill  

Watchdog warns UK banks of Afghanistan financial crime risks -- The Guardian  

The Taliban Are About to Preside Over Economic Collapse -- Abdul Qadeer Fitrat, Barrons

90 Retired U.S. Generals And Admirals Call On Joint Chiefs of Staff Milley And Secretary of Defense Austin To Resign

Daily Mail: 90 retired generals and admirals call for Austin and Milley to resign immediately over the disastrous Afghanistan withdrawal 

* Ninety retired military generals and admirals are demanding Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley resign 

* Calls for resignation 'based on negligence in performing their duties primarily involving events surrounding the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan' 

* Also said if Milley and Austin advised against withdrawal, they should have resigned if Biden didn't take their direction in protest of his leadership 

* Letter's signatories include Admiral John Poindexter, who served as President Ronald Reagan's national security adviser 

* House Rep. Ronny Jackson, the former top White House physician to Presidents Obama and Trump, is also a signatory to the letter 

* Jackson has previously called into question Biden's cognitive fitness for the job and demanded that he take a test similar to the one given to Trump 

* Comes after a Marine Lieutenant Colonel resigned after speaking out against his leadership for not pushing back against Biden's decisions in Afghanistan 

* The Pentagon announced Monday the last U.S. troops left Kabul 

Dozens of retired generals and admirals are demanding that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley resign over the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan. 

'The retired Flag Officers signing this letter are calling for the resignation and retirement of the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) based on negligence in performing their duties primarily involving events surrounding the disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan,' 90 retired top-ranking military officials wrote in an open letter released Monday. 

They all proposed what they, as former U.S. military decision makers, felt should have happened in the withdrawal, including not rushing the withdrawal and not abandoning the Bagram Air Base.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Ex-military officers call for Austin, Milley to resign over Afghanistan debacle (NYPost)  

Update #2: Ret. gens. call on Lloyd Austin, Mark Milley to resign over Afghanistan (Business Insider) 

WNU Editor: Only 90 Generals and Admirals?!?!?!? I expected more.

In A Secret Arrangement With The U.S., Taliban Members Escorted Americans To A Secret Gate At Kabul Airport

People who have been evacuated from Afghanistan arrive at Pristina International Airport in Pristina, Kosovo August 29, 2021. REUTERS/Laura Hasani  

CNN: Taliban members escorted Americans to gates at Kabul airport in secret arrangement with US  

(CNN)The US military negotiated a secret arrangement with the Taliban that resulted in Taliban members escorting groups of Americans to the gates of the Kabul airport as they sought to escape Afghanistan, according to two defense officials. 

One of the officials also revealed that US special operations forces set up a "secret gate" at the airport and established "call centers" to guide Americans through the evacuation process. 

The officials said Americans were notified to gather at pre-set "muster points" close to the airport where the Taliban would gather the Americans, check their credentials and take them a short distance to a gate manned by American forces who were standing by to let them inside amid huge crowds of Afghans seeking to flee. 

The US troops were able to see the Americans approach with their Taliban escorts in most cases in an attempt to ensure their safety.  

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: Not surprised. This blog speculated last week ago that the U.S. was probably bribing the Taliban to let Americans through the crowds and into the airport. I just want to know how much was paid to these Taliban fighters and commanders to let this happen. My gut tells me it was a lot of money.

Pentagon Uses The Term 'Stranded Americans' That White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki Had Earlier Said Was 'Irresponsible' To Use

FOX News: Pentagon acknowledges Americans 'stranded' in Afghanistan despite Jen Psaki claiming term was 'irresponsible' 

'We have Americans that get stranded in countries all the time,' Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said 

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby acknowledged Tuesday that Americans were "stranded" in Afghanistan, despite the earlier stance by White House press secretary Jen Psaki that use of the term to describe those unable to escape the Taliban-controlled country was "irresponsible." 

In an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Kirby admitted to not knowing the exact number of Americans still in Afghanistan, but that efforts to extract them from the war-torn country would be through diplomatic and economic means, not with the military. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The different messages that have been coming from the U.S. government on the collapse of Afghanistan has been quite a sight to see for the past two weeks.

President Biden's Address To The Nation On Afghanistan Has Been Postponedd To 14:45 EST

WNU Editor: It was originally scheduled for 13:30 EST. My gut tells me that they are telling President Biden some bad news right now. Is it because of the aftermath of Hurricane Ida? Afghanistan? Your guess is as good as mine.

Widespread Reports Coming In That The Taliban Are Now Conducting 'House-to-House' Executions In Kabul

FOX News: Taliban commit 'house-to-house executions' in Kabul after US exit as chilling audio demonstrates Afghans' fear  

Afghan man who helped the US on the ground: 'I have no idea how to leave'. 

Horrifying audio of distant gunshots appears to confirm reports of "house-to-house executions" as the Taliban asserts control of Kabul and Afghanistan after the U.S. military's departure on Monday evening. 

An Afghan man who worked with Americans on the ground provided Fox News with the chilling audio featuring distant gunshots.

"I think there's a conflict between the Taliban, I have no idea where I'm located. 

From everywhere I hear the sounds of shooting, gunfire. I have no idea how to leave," the Afghan man said in the audio clip, recorded around the time the final U.S. plane left Kabul.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Do not know if the above video is accurate. But the Taliban have made it very clear in the past few months that Afghans who worked for the government will be executed for treason. After seeing a video yesterday of a helicopter flying over Kandahar with someone hanging from it (video here) is enough to convince me that the Taliban will be keeping their word.

This Is What The U.S. Military Left Behind At Kabul Airport


Warzone/The Drive: Here's What The U.S. Military Left Behind At Kabul Airport 

Aircraft, vehicles, and at least two defense systems able to shoot down rockets and artillery shells are just some of what was not airlifted out. 

The U.S. military has now withdrawn entirely from Afghanistan after nearly 20 years of operations in the country. 

As expected, at the very end, the U.S. military ensured that a variety of weapons and equipment, both American and that had belonged to the Afghan government, were destroyed or otherwise disabled. 

You can get up to speed on what is otherwise known about the final departure of U.S. forces in our report linked here. 

At a press conference today, U.S. Marine Corps General Frank McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), said the following items had been "demilitarized" at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul: 

* At least two Counter-Rockets, Artillery, and Mortars (C-RAM) defense systems 

* A total of 73 aircraft, including U.S. and Afghan airframes 

* 70 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) armored trucks 

 * 27 Humvees  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: No word on how this equipment was disabled .... US military disabled scores of aircraft before leaving Kabul airport (AFP).More here .... The US military says it permanently disabled over 150 vehicles and aircraft before leaving Kabul so they can 'never be used again' (Business Insider).

Mother Of U.S. Marine Kareem Nikoui Killed In Kabul Has Had Her Facebook And Instagram Accounts Suspended For Posts Blaming President Biden

Shana Chappell, the mother of Kareem Nikoui, said that President Joe Biden is to blame for her son's death. Facebook

Daily Mail: Mother of Marine killed in ISIS bomb attack has her Instagram account disabled after she blamed Biden for her son's death and claimed President 'rolled his eyes' and 'turned his back on her' when she confronted him 

* Shana Chapell's son Kareem Nikoui, 20, was killed in Kabul on Thursday 

* Thousands flooded her page - where she has complained about Biden in the past - afterwards 

* On Thursday, her Instagram account was suddenly disabled 

* She had posted on Facebook, blaming Biden for her son's death in Afghanistan 

* Instagram says it was a mistake, has restored the account and apologized 

* They won't explain how Ms. Chapell's account was flagged to them 

* It is another example of Silicon Valley censoring conservative voices 

* Trump has been banned from Facebook and Instagram since January and a host of his supporters have been censored 

* Chapell had also described meeting Biden on Sunday at Dover Air Base 

* She said he 'rolled his eyes' at her and 'turned his back' as she confronted him 

* White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki refused to comment on Biden's meeting with the Marines' families on Monday 

Facebook temporarily deleted the Instagram account of the mother of one of the Marines killed in Afghanistan by an ISIS bomb last week after she publicly blamed President Biden his death and the deaths of the other servicemembers killed. 

Shana Chapell is the mother of Kareem Nikoui, 20, who was killed in the ISIS bomb attack at Kabul airport on August 26. 

She has been vocal in her criticism of President Biden and says she blamed him for her son's death, along with the deaths of the 12 other troops who were killed.  

Read more ....  

Update: Mom of slain Marine protests as Facebook temporarily removes her Instagram (NYPost)  

WNU Editor: The negative reaction to this suspension has been massive. No surprise. Facebook just reversed the suspension .... Instagram restores account of fallen troop's mother, acknowledges mistakenly deleting her (Washington Times).

British Media Is Saying President Biden ‘Holds Grudges’ And Will Punish Britain For Afghanistan Criticism

`President Joe Biden bowed his head as he listened to a question from Steve Doocy of Fox News as he took questions after giving an update on the situation in Afghanistan and the deaths of 13 service members

  The Telegraph: Joe Biden ‘holds grudges’ and will punish Britain for Afghanistan criticism, allies say  

Joe Biden "will remember" comments about his mental acuity emanating from senior figures in the UK, and will "bear a grudge" against Britain, sources told the Telegraph.

It came after Cabinet insiders were quoted as suggesting the US president "looked gaga" and described him as “doolally” in the wake of the fall of Kabul. 

"The Brits have their view. But they should be careful. 

What's been said is offensive and he will remember it. He actually has a long memory," a US source told the Telegraph. 

"It's always been his way that if somebody says something really bad to him, or about him, he doesn't speak to them again. He does bear grudges. Boris Johnson should know that." 

The source added: "The president is not 'gaga'. He's actually picked up his game quite a bit since the campaign."  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I suspect that if the White House does have a list of people who are criticizing the US President, it is becoming a very long list right now.

Taliban Hold Mock Funerals For American, British And NATO Forces As They Celebrate 'Victory'


Daily Mail: Jubilant Taliban hold mock FUNERALS for American, British and NATO forces as thousands take to streets to celebrate 'victory' after last US soldier left Afghanistan 

* Taliban 'victory' parades took place in Afghanistan today after the last US troops left the country overnight 

* Coffins draped in the UK, US, French and NATO flags were paraded through the streets by the Islamists 

* Thousands of people waving Taliban flags turned out to watch, after fireworks were let off in Kabul overnight 

* Meanwhile Taliban leaders paraded at Kabul airport alongside troops decked out head to toe in western gear 

* Hundreds of American and British citizens were left behind during the evacuation along with thousands of Afghans who had been promised sanctuary for helping western forces, who now fear for their lives 

The Taliban held mock funerals for American, British, French and NATO forces today as thousands turned out on the streets of major cities to celebrate the end of the west's 20-year war. 

Coffins draped with the US, UK and French flags as well as NATO's insignia were paraded through the streets of Khost by crowds flying the Taliban's emblem - just two weeks after anti-Taliban protests in the same city. 

In Kandahar - a traditional stronghold of the Islamists - thousands also turned out waving white Taliban flags to celebrate what the group is referring to as its 'independence day', hours after the final American troops boarded an evacuation flight out of the country. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: You can take this to the bank. Radical Islamists worldwide are reveling in this.

US Military Abandons Dozens Of K-9 Dogs In Cages While Scrambling To Leave Kabul

Dozens of contracted working dogs have been abandoned by the US in Afghanistan after the troop withdrawal  

Daily Mail: 'Not a great day for America's service dogs': US military abandoned dozens of K-9s alongside planes, Chinooks and Humvees worth BILLIONS in scramble to leave Kabul 

* American Humane said working dogs will likely face 'torture' by the Taliban, condemned the 'death sentence' 

* The organization called on Congress to load the dogs onto available cargo space for evacuation from Kabul 

* US has also left up to 200 civilians and 'demilitarised' equipment in city, with Taliban pictured with hardware 

Dozens of contracted working dogs have been abandoned by the US in Afghanistan, along with up to 200 civilians and military equipment, according to an animal charity. 

The animal welfare group condemned the 'death sentence' for the animals who now face 'torture' at the hands of the Taliban, who took control of the city earlier this month. 

American Humane has called on Congress to rescue the purpose-trained dogs who perform a wide range of duties and work alongside military dogs.  

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: These dogs being left behind is so symbolic on how much of a disaster the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan has been. 

More News On The US Military Abandoning Dozens Of K-9 Dogs At Kabul Airport  

American Humane group says US left military dogs behind in Afghanistan -- NYPost  

Animals rights group says US handed ‘death sentence’ to working dogs left behind by troops in Afghanistan -- The Independent 

'Death Sentence': Animal Rights Group Blasts Biden For Allegedly Leaving Contract Dogs Behind In Afghanistan -- Daily Wire  

Non-profit aiming to rescue dozens of military dogs from Afghanistan: report -- FOX News  

Update: These dogs may be saved (see tweet below).

Update #2: Apparently not (see tweet below).

US President Biden Will Address The Nation On Losing The War In Afghanistan At 1:30PM EST Today

President Joe Biden address the nation on the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan at 1.30pm on Tuesday  

Daily Mail: Biden will address the nation on Afghanistan at 1.30PM today: President says the early withdrawal was the best way 'to protect the lives of our troops and secure prospects of civilian departures' 

* President Joe Biden will address the nation on the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan on Tuesday at 1.30pm 

* Pentagon announced Monday the last American troops had left Kabul airport 

* The announcement from the Pentagon came after Biden's last scheduled public appearance on Monday 

* Also after the clock in Kabul clicked past midnight, making it August 31st there 

* Biden addressed the matter in a 500 word statement, saying he would speak to the nation on Tuesday 

* 'Our 20-year military presence in Afghanistan has ended. Tomorrow afternoon, I will address the American people on my decision,' he said 

President Joe Biden address the nation on the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan at 1.30pm on Tuesday, the White House announced in a statement late on Monday evening. 

The Pentagon announced Monday the last American troops had left Kabul airport almost 24 hours ahead of schedule, ending the U.S. war in Afghanistan after 20 years and the deaths of almost 2,500 troops. 

Witnesses in Kabul said the Taliban let off celebratory gunfire as news circulated that the final U.S. flight had left.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: President Biden's statement on the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan was issued last night .... Statement by President Joe Biden (White House).

Tweets Of The Day

Afghanistan: Timeline Of Key Events Since 1979 And U.S. Deployments And Deaths Since 2001

Leaving Our Credibility Behind

Tweets On Afghanistan

Wikipedia Just Marked The War In Afghanistan As A Taliban Victory

WNU Editor: The Wikipedia page is here .... War in Afghanistan (2001–2021) (Wikipedia).

Picture Of The Day

(L) The end of the withdrawal of the Soviet troops from Afghanistan, February 15, 1989 (R) The last US service member to leave Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 30, 2021 © V. Kiselev via Sputnik / XVIII Airborne Corps handout via Reuters

Hurricane Ida Causes Widespread Destruction In The U.S. State Of Louisiana


Daily Mail: New Orleans faces THREE WEEKS without electricity after Hurricane Ida downed 2,000 miles of power lines across Louisiana, as looting begins and sewage companies warn outage has stopped pumps from working 

* At least one person is dead - a 60 year-old man who died when a tree fell on his home - but Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards warned Monday that he expects the total dead to 'go up considerably' 

* President Joe Biden agreed during a conference call with governors from affected states Monday, and told Bel Edwards to 'holler' for assistance 

* More than 1 million homes were without power through Louisiana and Mississippi on Monday, with 144,000 in the Big Easy alone reporting power failures. The outage could last for three weeks 

* Among buildings destroyed was the Karofsky Tailor Shop, which jazz legend Louis Armstrong once lived above 

* Energy officials said they were working to restore power in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida but warned 'it will likely take days to determine the extent of damage to our power grid' 

* AT&T reported that 40 per cent of its network was down across Louisiana, sparking further misery for people trying to work from home 

* Some locals in the town of Lafitte - which has been destroyed by floodwaters - are currently trapped in their attics, with local mayor Cynthia Lee Sheng warning: 'There's alligators out there' 

* The Category Four hurricane flooded much of Jefferson Parish, overpowering levee flood defenses which were strengthened after Hurricane Katrina hit the area on the same date 16 years ago 

* The only power coming into many homes was from generators, sparking fears people could poison themselves with carbon monoxide 

* Meanwhile the storm was weakened to a tropical storm as it passed over Mississippi on Monday. Flood warnings are in place for Mississippi, with Tennessee, and Kentucky 

* Ida will make its way north east through the week, and will weaken further by the time it reaches New England on Thursday 

* But locals are worried about the prospect of another three inches of rain just a week after soils were saturated by Tropical Storm Henri 

New Orleans faces three weeks with no electricity in the wake of Hurricane Ida, after the extreme weather event downed more than 2,000 miles of energy lines across Louisiana. 

Entergy Louisiana officials said on Monday it may take days for utility crews to determine the extent of the damage to New Orleans' power grid and even longer to restore power to the area, with Bloomberg reporting that repairs could take until late September to complete. 

'We have a lot of rebuilding ahead of us,' the company wrote on Twitter. 'We'll be better prepared to give restoration estimates once assessments are done.'  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Hurricane Ida traps Louisianans, shatters the power grid​ (AP)  

Update #2: New Orleans Officials Are Fighting Looters as the City Reels in Hurricane Aftermath (FN)   

WNU Editor: Three weeks with no power!!!! This is why everyone should be a prepper.

The War May Be Over For The U.S., But President Biden Has Laid The Foundation For Future Wars And Conflict That Will Draw The U.S. Back Into Afghanistan

Evacuees from Afghanistan walk at the U.S. airbase in Ramstein, Germany, August 28, 2021. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach  

Tara Copp, Defense One: The Last U.S. Military Plane Has Left Kabul. What’s Next for Americans, Afghans Left Behind? 

"Do not count on Americans to save you," one volunteer rescue group warns Afghans now at risk. 

The last U.S. military plane has left Afghanistan, U.S. officials announced, ending 20 years of war but also closing down the main route home for stranded Americans and Afghans who are now running for their lives. 

"I'm here to announce the completion of our withdrawal from Afghanistan,” Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., commander of U.S. Central Command, told reporters via videoconference. 

“The last C-17 lifted off from Hamad Karzai International Airport on August 30, this afternoon, at 3:29 p.m., East Coast time. And the last manned aircraft is now clear of the airspace above Afghanistan.” 

Pentagon and White House officials had earlier acknowledged that operations would end with some American citizens and others left behind. 

For “Americans and other individuals that want to be able to leave Afghanistan after our withdrawal is complete, the State Department is going to continue to work across many different levers to facilitate that,” said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby. “We do not anticipate a military role in that.” 

The lightning-fast collapse of Kabul just two weeks ago exposed just how ill-prepared the State Department and supporting U.S. government agencies were to get their employees out. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: So what is next? 

For the Afghans who fought against the Taliban, their lives are at great risk. Now is the time to look for an avenue to escape the country ASAP. 

And for the Afghans who had nothing to do with the war, their lives are going to take a turn for the worse. 

The country is already facing severe food shortages, but the current chaos in Afghanistan is only going to guarantee starvation and the real possibility of famine. 

I expect critical infrastructure like communications, power, and water will break down in the coming weeks and months. The people who manage these vital services have fled and/or are in hiding. And even if some do want to go back to work, there is no money to pay them. 

Ditto for government services. Anyone who worked for the Afghan government is now a marked person. 

Afghanistan's financial and banking system is finished. Something new will need to replace it. How long that will take is anyone's guess.

The Taliban will try to put together a government, but it is not going to be easy. The Taliban is made up of different groups, and many of them have different agendas. If they cannot present something to the world in the coming days, that will tell me that they do not have a consensus on how to govern. 

The countries that surround Afghanistan are positioning themselves to take advantage of the situation. But they are going to take their time and wait until the Taliban get their act together. That may take some time. 

The U.S. and its allies are now facing a different crisis. Millions of Afghans are going to flee Afghanistan in the coming year. They are all going to go to Europe. 

The terror threat will rise to levels that we have not seen in years. Jihadists around the world are now rushing to Afghanistan with the belief that everything will return to pre-9/11. That means training camps, a friendly Islamist government, and the resources of an entire country with a massive captured American arsenal to help them grow and plot their dreams of a caliphate. 

President Biden said that the reason why he wanted the US out of Afghanistan was to not burden future Presidents with Afghanistan. The contrary is going to happen. 

Future Presidents are going to face a growing and dangerous threat of Islamic radicalism from Afghanistan, and it will be a foreign policy headache that will exist for years. 

This is why I disagree with supporters of President Biden who think that by unilaterally leaving Afghanistan it will mean the war has ended. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

Radical Islamists belief in a global Caliphate is not going to change because President Biden and Washington DC has made the decision to leave and abandon Afghanistan. They will be striking again. Or to quote Trotsky. You (the U.S.) may not be interested in war, but war (radical Islam) is certainly interested in you.

US Secretary of State Blinken Admits Up To 200 Americans Are Still Stranded In Afghanistan After Last US Flights Left


Daily Mail: Blinken admits up to 200 Americans are still stranded in Afghanistan after last US flights left 24 hours before deadline but vows to keep working to get US citizens and Afghan allies out by ROAD 

* Blinken said the US would hold the Taliban to commitments to allow free movement 

* 'We believe there are still a small number of Americans, under 200 and likely closer to 100, who remain in Afghanistan and want to leave,' he said 

 * Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie said the last flight left Kabul shortly after midnight on Tuesday morning local time 

* 'There's a lot of heartbreak associated with this departure,' he said by videolink at a Pentagon briefing 

* It brings an end to America's war in Afghanistan after 20 years and the deaths of almost 2500 U.S. troops 

* It means President Biden met his August 31 deadline and that U.S. service members are out of harm's way 

* He said the world would hold the Taliban to their promise to allow free passage for those wanting to leave * Republicans condemned a hurried departure that left Americans stranded in an enemy land 

* A former CIA paramilitary officer said: 'Nothing feels good or right about this ignominious retreat' 

* Secretary of State Antony Blinken said work continued to help 100-200 Americans who remain 

* Witnesses said Taliban fighters fired celebratory shots into the air as word spread that the last flight had left 

* A Taliban spokesman declared victory and said the country 'gained complete independence' 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced a new era of 'diplomacy' in Afghanistan after the pullout of the last U.S. troops Monday – but said a 'small number' of Americans remain who want to leave the war-torn country. 

 'We believe there are still a small number of Americans, under 200 and likely closer to 100, who remain in Afghanistan and want to leave,' he said in a speech at the State Department Monday night – with remarks delayed for more than two hours. 

The number was somewhat lower than estimates in the final hours as the Biden administration's troop withdrawal deadline approached.  

Read more .... 

Update #1: Blinken: Taliban must earn 'international legitimacy and support' -- The Hill  

Update #2: Blinken pledges support to Americans left in Afghanistan after withdrawal: 'We will help them leave' -- FOX News  

WNU Editor: No accountability from the US Secretary of State on the disaster that has just occurred in Afghanistan. None. Zero. Nada.