I don’t expect even Trump is stupid enough to trumpet this particular endorsement – but he’s got an international fan-base!
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told CBS News in a phone interview, “We believe that Trump is going to win the upcoming election because he has proved himself a politician who accomplished all the major promises he had made to American people, although he might have missed some small things, but did accomplish the bigger promises, so it is possible that the U.S. people who experienced deceptions in the past will once again trust Trump for his decisive actions.”
It’s topsy-turvy land, out there. Zabihullah Mujahid was probably doing the phone interview so that he wouldn’t get targeted and blown up by a US/CIA predator drone while he was delivering those lukewarm praises.
Mujahid added, “We think the majority of the American population is tired of instability, economic failures and politicians’ lies and will trust again on Trump because Trump is decisive, could control the situation inside the country. Other politicians, including Biden, chant unrealistic slogans. Some other groups, which are smaller in size but are involved in the military business including weapons manufacturing companies’ owners and others who somehow get the benefit of war extension, they might be against Trump and support Biden, but their numbers among voters is low.”
Another senior Taliban leader told CBS News, “We hope he will win the election and wind up U.S. military presence in Afghanistan.”
I can’t even read between the blurred lines to form a picture of what’s going on with the various US military adventures around the world. It appears that periodically Trump’s nanosecond attention-span flicks to Syria, or Iraq, or Afghanistan, and he says something stupid that the military/industrial/congressional/state department apparatus cheerfully ignores. He appears to have tried to cause US withdrawal from several theaters (remember all that weird rigamarole around Idlib, when Turkish strongman Erdogan asked him to throw the Kurds under yet another bus, one more time?) but it just doesn’t happen. It appears that the commander-in-chief is just … ignored. The pentagon has taken to ignoring Trump on a regular basis including “oh no you don’t” foot-dragging regarding the money Trump tried to redirect from pentagon budgets for building his stupid border wall.
This is not a heartening situation. In a sense, I suppose it could be, because we finally have a president who is trying to withdraw troops from all over the place, but it’s not happening. I suppose it could be, because we have a defense apparatus that might ignore the deranged shitgibbon if he gives an order to launch nuclear missiles. Scary hypothesis: what if the reason we didn’t go to war with North Korea is because the commander-in-chief was quietly overruled by slightly more level heads in the pentagon? My dad used to say that the history of a time can’t be written until all the bodies are buried, but the Trump era has become the period of “government by ‘tell all'” and I would not be in the slightest bit surprised if Bob Woodward doesn’t reveal that Trump told him he ordered a strike on North Korea but it didn’t happen and, instead, they started injecting him with some kind of drug every morning. Naturally, Woodward would defend sitting on that information because he “didn’t want to interfere with the election” so he’d only mention it after Trump was starting his third term (Mich McConnell being dead, Don Jr would be senate majority leader).
I had a similar divided reality during the 2016 election, where Hillary Clinton, Israel-hawk, war-hawk, and fake progressive was up against Trump who, at that time, didn’t have any blood on his hands. I made the right decision and voted for Hillary – i.e.: I was one of the 3 million popular votes she won by – but none of that mattered. As Mario Savio said:
There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part! You can’t even passively take part! And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels … upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop! And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!
What if you put your bodies upon the gears and levers, and they just keep grinding?
Prior to the US invasion of Afghanistan, the Taliban was the “duly constituted” (in Mao’s sense that power comes from the barrel of a gun) government of the country. We can all see how much sovereignty means to the US when the chips come down – but here we have a sovereign government-in-exile endorsing Trump, and the republican marketing machine is ignoring the opportunity to highlight it.
I wonder if the Biden campaign will seek ISIS’ endorsement?
Over at Mano Singham’s, he did a posting which referenced Halberstam’s brilliant book The Best and The Brightest and I immediately thought that someone needs to write a similar book about the Trump presidency, entitled The Worst and the Dumbest. The genius of books like Halberstam’s is that retro-analysis can make situations seem crystal clear that weren’t, at the time. Things were not so obvious, because the people involved still had hope that there might be a different outcome. Mano also references the fact that Kennedy was not really a brilliant negotiator who defused the Cuban Missile Crisis – he secretly traded the PGM-19 Jupiter medium-range missiles stationed in Turkey, which had been secretly installed by the Eisenhower administration [secret not from the Russians, but from the US civilian population who were placed at increased risk of nuclear war] for Soviet promises that they would remove the Cuban missiles and make it look like Kennedy was a great statesman for the next election. I wrote about the Jupiter missiles [stderr] back in 2017; you can still see the launch-pads by satellite. Eisenhower, you may recall, was the president who warned about the “military industrial complex” he had a large hand in building, as he slipped out the door to a golf-playing retirement.
CBS cites the Taliban spokesman as if “Mujahid” is his family name, when it’s actually more like a job title. A “Mujahid” is someone who is engaged in jihad/holy war. “Mujahideen” is the plural form.