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Ramsey Barner

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Member since: Sun Jan 21, 2018, 02:38 PM
Number of posts: 348

Journal Archives

Sarah Chayes on Afghanistan

Americans like to think of ourselves as having valiantly tried to bring democracy to Afghanistan. Afghans, so the narrative goes, just weren’t ready for it, or didn’t care enough about democracy to bother defending it. Or we’ll repeat the cliche that Afghans have always rejected foreign intervention; we’re just the latest in a long line.

I was there. Afghans did not reject us. They looked to us as exemplars of democracy and the rule of law. They thought that’s what we stood for.

And what did we stand for? What flourished on our watch? Cronyism, rampant corruption, a Ponzi scheme disguised as a banking system, designed by U.S. finance specialists during the very years that other U.S. finance specialists were incubating the crash of 2008. A government system where billionaires get to write the rules.

Is that American democracy?

Posted by Ramsey Barner | Wed Aug 18, 2021, 09:48 AM (4 replies)

Taliban in power may find themselves fighting their own insurgents

Analysis: new regime may face enemy composed not of fighters loyal to former US-backed government but those who see new rulers as sellouts


Most concerning is probably the complex mix of Pakistani factions based in eastern Afghanistan. These are almost entirely focused on fighting local battles, but the TTP, or Pakistani Taliban, have a long history of brutal violence. So too have other extremist groups that have migrated from Pakistan across the border.

All these groups follow the extremist ideology known to analysts as “jihadi Salafism”, a fusion of ultra-conservative strands of Sunni Islam practised in the Gulf with a newer and radical belief that it is the duty of every Muslim to fight individually as well as collectively against “tyranny”, wherever it is found. This kind of thinking contrasts dramatically with the old folk traditions of Islamic observance in Afghanistan and even with the reactionary schools followed by the Taliban. Observers say the success of Isis in Syria and Iraq, even if the caliphate ended in blood and failure, have inspired some younger Afghans, spreading jihadi Salafism further.

If so, the Taliban in power may find themselves fighting their own insurgents, composed not of those loyal to the former US-backed government but those who see their new rulers as sellouts.

Posted by Ramsey Barner | Wed Aug 18, 2021, 08:53 AM (7 replies)

Why is Afghanistan falling to the Taliban so fast?

Far from representing a reason for Joe Biden to halt the withdrawal, however, this rapid deterioration in Afghan security has exposed the bankruptcy of US policies for at least the past 15 years – and the stark unwillingness to tell the truth by a generation of senior US leaders.


Behind the scenes America’s senior leaders have known, almost from the beginning, that the war was unwinnable, that the Afghan government was fatally corrupt, and that the Afghan security forces would never be up to the task. Instead of acknowledging reality, instead of coming clean to the American people, they hid the truth or outright lied about it.


As awful as the security situation in Afghanistan is today, it was a disaster almost two decades in the making. The US should have admitted the truth long ago and ended the war even before the conclusion of the Bush administration. Above all, America must permanently cease waging “nation-building” wars, restricting deployments abroad only to fights directly related to US national security.

Posted by Ramsey Barner | Sat Aug 14, 2021, 08:40 AM (5 replies)

The Guardian view on investigating 6 January: the truth about the storming of the Capitol

Fri 30 Jul 2021 13.30 EDT

Last modified on Fri 30 Jul 2021 13.31 EDT

The investigation into the deadly insurrection of 6 January is not one but two processes. The first is an attempt to discover the truth about those events: not only what happened, but who, beyond the members of the mob, was responsible and in what ways. The second is the task of getting people to accept that truth – knowing that many will not.


Though Mr Trump initiated these beliefs, other politicians continue to cynically stoke them: “Nobody actually believes the election was stolen from Donald Trump. But a lot of them are happy to go out and say it was,” Mr Kinzinger observed of his colleagues.

Their behaviour is extraordinary as well as reprehensible: for the sake of their political careers, they seem as reckless about their own safety as they are about democracy’s. They presumably count on staying on the right side of any future mob. Far from deterring the committee from pursuing this investigation fully, their actions and rhetoric should provide a spur. Those who have connived in the attack on democracy need to be held accountable. Whatever the verdict of Republican voters, the truth must be written in the historical record.

Posted by Ramsey Barner | Sat Jul 31, 2021, 09:47 AM (2 replies)

Pelosi puts anti-Trump Republican Kinzinger on US Capitol attack panel

The speaker of the US House, Nancy Pelosi, has appointed a second anti-Trump Republican to the select committee which will investigate the deadly 6 January assault on the US Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump.
Can Pelosi’s power play on Capitol attack panel thwart wrecking tactics?
Read more

Asked if she would ask Adam Kinzinger of Illinois to join fellow Trump critic Liz Cheney of Wyoming on the panel, Pelosi told ABC’s This Week: “That would be my plan.”

Kinzinger said he “humbly accepted” the appointment.

The committee will meet this week to hear testimony from police officers who battled rioters on 6 January. The hearing will take place amid high political drama.


(See my letter to the Guardian below)
Posted by Ramsey Barner | Mon Jul 26, 2021, 10:12 AM (5 replies)

Monday public hearing on whether Kraken lawyers should be disciplined


You can register for the videoconference here:

For Date/Time of Hearing, select: Motion Hearing, King et al. v. Whitmer et al. on Monday 07/12/21 at 8:30 AM

Accountability, at long last?!

Posted by Ramsey Barner | Thu Jul 8, 2021, 07:11 PM (0 replies)

Transcription of Amanda Gorman's inauguration poem, "The Hill We Climb"

[Needs editing and formatting, but here are most of the words in the right order!]


we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one
Posted by Ramsey Barner | Wed Jan 20, 2021, 02:56 PM (5 replies)

James Comey: Donald Trump should not be prosecuted after leaving office

Donald Trump should not be prosecuted once he leaves the White House no matter how much evidence has been amassed against him, the former FBI director James Comey writes in a new book.

The next US attorney general, under Joe Biden, should not “pursue a criminal investigation of Donald Trump”, Comey writes, “no matter how compelling the roadmap left” by the special counsel Robert Mueller, or “how powerful the evidence strewn across his history of porn stars and financial fraud”.

“Although those cases might be righteous in a vacuum,” Comey writes, “the mission of the next attorney general must be fostering the trust of the American people.”


Because we did so well after Ford pardoned Nixon and Barr and Bush pardoned the Iran-Contra crowd?

The damage Trump did to the federal system must be addressed by the federal system to give the federal system legitimacy. Leaving it to the states is a cop-out.
Posted by Ramsey Barner | Wed Jan 6, 2021, 09:08 AM (36 replies)

Investigators have confirmed that the human remains found at the scene of the Nashville bombing matc

Source: CBS tweet

BREAKING: Investigators have confirmed that the human remains found at the scene of the Nashville bombing match the DNA of the ‘person of interest’ Anthony “Tony” Quinn Warner. He’s believed to have ‘perished’ in the bombing.
(H/t: @jeffpeguescbs)
5:20 PM · Dec 27, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

Read more: https://twitter.com/DavidBegnaud/status/1343320766272696328
Posted by Ramsey Barner | Sun Dec 27, 2020, 06:40 PM (8 replies)

When You Have A Dog Of A Client And Work For A Complicit Party You End Up Sounding Like Steve Castor

Steve Castor is being mocked, but he's just a defense attorney with nothing to work with.
By Elie Mystal

"I don’t feel sorry for him, because being a Republican is a choice, not an immutable characteristic. But Castor only sounds as bad as he does because his client is even worse."

Posted by Ramsey Barner | Wed Nov 20, 2019, 07:05 PM (4 replies)
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