Qasem Soleimani had a “bad guy” nickname; he was “The Shadow Commander.”
It looks to me like the Trump administration thinks it’s going to announce a big peace deal and exit with honor from Afghanistan, just in time for the 2020 election campaign.
One of the basic skills of philosophy is to try to combat your own cognitive biases by flipping situations around, i.e.: “putting yourself in the other guys’ shoes” or whatever you want to call it. It’s a skill Americans don’t seem to learn in school, which is why (I believe) we have a population that is ripe for turning into imperialists and believers in various forms of exceptionalism.
Anyone who heard about the night raids in Afghanistan should have been worried: it marks a shift from trying to engage an enemy on clear ground to hitting them where they live. As someone who grew up during the war in Vietnam, it’s hard not to think of “Search and Destroy” missions and the Phoenix Program.
If you use the same trick over and over, it becomes routine and eventually the people you’re trying to trick begin to play against your game, instead of falling for it.
My policy toward drug use is pretty open: do what you want, carefully, and accept the consequences if you screw up.
If there are no civilians, there can be no “civilian casualties” in the assassination war the US is waging worldwide.
I believe in “the deep state” but it’s not quite what people think it is: the deep state is the combined momentum of several out-of-control government agencies; their political inertia and self-interest make their actions appear to be a behind the scenes government, but it’s mostly a desire to protect their importance and budget.
The CIA is not supposed to do domestic propaganda, because we’re the good guys. That’s how we can tell ourselves from the Russians: they use propaganda.