homophobia misogyny racism woke

The Week in Woke, Belatedly: Out of Afghanistan Edition

We’re back for Week in Woke, a couple of days late, but the right-wingers haven’t exactly stopped calling everything they don’t like “woke.”

Here are the latest catches:

The American military in Afghanistan

It was always going to be a debacle when the US finally pulled out of this forever war. But right-wingers seem devoted to learning nothing from the experience, instead turning their attention to a new favorite scapegoat: military “wokeness.”

No, Afghanistan didn’t fall because the Generals were so “woke” that they forgot to do their jobs. It’s because we never should have been there in the first place. As Jacob Silverman notes in The New Republic,

nation-building at gunpoint is a moral and administrative disaster; and practically everything we did made the country worse and the Taliban, who now sport an impressive array of U.S. armaments, more powerful. 

In short, our loss in that impossible war had nothing to do with anyone’s pronouns.

Megan Rapinoe makes a sandwich woke

The anti-woke chuds still can’t get over the American women’s soccer team kneeling for the national anthem at the Olympics. Now they’re directing their ire at Subway — the cheapo sandwich chain — for featuring the alleged “anti-American traitor” and team captain Rapinoe in a commercial.

“Far left American soccer player Megan Rapinoe … won’t stand up for the American national anthem,” complains Mike LaChance in the reliably batty Gateway Pundit,

but apparently she can be paid to stand up for fast food products. …

People are tired of the woke garbage. And why is Rapinoe profiting from an American business if she won’t even stand for the anthem?

Hey, LaChance, which one of you brought home a medal for America in the Olympics? Pretty sure it was Rapinoe, not you.

The Alternate Woke Royal Family

Ok, so Meghan Markle, widely hated by racist royal family buffs, put out a birthday statement on behalf of her and her hubby Prince Harry addressing COVID, the chaos in Afghanistan (where Harry served for two tours) and urging readers to send money to help with the current humanitarian catastrophe in Haiti.

Somehow this caused the haters to hate the two even more. In the Express Chloe Davies writes:

[T]he statement has been referred to as a “vague publicity-seeking word salad” on social media, with criticism facing the Duke and Duchess as there is no reference to how the couple will be personally helping the crisis. …

The statement which addresses the intention to “alleviate the suffering” of others has come under scrutiny by a royal expert which has branded the scheme as a “phoney” attempt to be “woke” and relevant.

Prince Harry’s biographer Angela Levin told The Daily Mail’s FEMAIL column: “I think Harry and Meghan’s grandiose, comfy and caring comments about [these issues] is another example of them trying to set up some sort of alternate woke royal family”.

Hey, I’ll take it over the original royal family any day.

PS: Still working on that second Plymouth shooter piece.

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10 months ago

@WWTH From Wikipedia that would be Unocal Corporation, which got bought out by Chevron in 2005. And thanks, I had never heard of this. 😐

Every time I think my disgust with Bush and his cronies can’t grow any further… I know all US Presidencies are colonial and ultimately evil, but Bush lowered the bar and paved the way for Trump on so many levels.

Last edited 10 months ago by Cyborgette
Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
10 months ago

Bush the Younger is a classic example of what you get when somebody has managed to live a reasonably long life while only ever being allowed to fail upward thanks to family connections. He’s a living demonstration that the concept of ‘Upper Class Twit’ is not uniquely English. None of his business failures ever really affected him negatively, after all.

(Unlike Trump, who just simply responded to the failures that did affect him negatively by being negative right back until he got his way through sheer bullying and the desire of others to be rid of him.)

10 months ago

WWTH : many thanks. Knowing that do color my understanding of that war, since it do show there were more private interest in it than I initially thought.

Surplus to Requirements
Surplus to Requirements
10 months ago


Agree with every word.


The book/pamphlet Dreaming War by Gore Vidal lays out in really good detail the ways there was a profit motive for occupying Afghanistan.

It seems to me that war is pretty much always instigated for capital acquisition. Just note what is typically done by the victors, in each era:

Bronze age to medieval — full wars (as opposed to e.g. Viking raids) between feudal kingdoms led to territorial conquest. The focus was on capturing arable land. Arable land was the primary means of production in these times. Empires like Rome expanded to obtain a flow of tribute. Typically this was then used by senators to purchase land in the conquered provinces. A bit more indirect, but the end result is the same: wealthy aristocrats increasing their land holdings.

After the industrial revolution — for a while, wars to annex arable land continue, but by the early 20th century war begins to shift its pattern. Capturing factories intact, and trashing them to deny them to arriving conquerors, becomes a big thing: 20th-century earth-salting. Part of World War II escalated out of an oil embargo against Japan, which was starving Japanese capital of needed inputs to productivity. In a way, Japanese involvement in the war was about regaining the use of their own pre-existing capital.

These were the last truly large-scale wars for direct territorial expansion, as it became apparent that factories were too fragile compared to arable land, and the capital one often conquered was a bombed-out ruin by the time you got to it. War aims shifted then to obtaining money, which could be used to buy plant; obtaining oil, especially, and other resources needed as inputs; and access to cheap labor to work in those factories. Vietnam was largely about whose factories the Vietnamese working class would toil in, NATO’s or the Warsaw Pact’s. Iraq I was about oil — good oilfields are still worth the cost of a territorial war and long-lived occupation, unlike arable land these days. So Iraq invaded Kuwait and the US pried it back out of their hands. Not only Kuwaiti oil, but the petro-dollar system that funnels tribute to the American empire, was at stake in that one. Shrub’s wars were about a pipeline route: potential future capital, if they could magically stabilize the region. (Bond film The World is Not Enough is sort of a fictionalized version of this. Control over pipeline routes through Afghanistan turns out to be what’s motivating the players.)

The overall amount of direct, army-to-army combat has been decreasing for a century, for a combination of reasons.

One, war is getting more and more expensive, due to the growing power of war technologies, both offensive and defensive. So it takes a bigger potential windfall to motivate it … though the defense industry always makes out like bandits, and thus always lobbies for war.

Two, the aims of war (nation-state capital acquisition by seizing foreign assets) are increasingly easily doable without firing a single shot. With the modern interconnected economy, all you really need to do is steal a large enough amount of money from a foreign country, launder it, and then buy capital assets with it: factory equipment, or just stocks, bonds, and real estate. So war is being gradually replaced by international heists, in effect. Physically stealing these is difficult, dangerous, and expensive, so it doesn’t actually take the form of plots like that of Die Hard with a Vengeance. Instead it’s pretty much all done online.

If you want to see the news stories about truly 21st century warfare, drop those army rags full of NRA-sponsored advertisements and browse on over to Krebs on Security. You’ll see story after story about big institutions hit by ransomware hacks; credit card fraud on a massive scale; cryptocurrency heists carried out by impersonating the owner to a phone company or bitcoin exchange; and assorted money laundering tactics. These are all warfare, or almost all, and most of it is Russia warring against the United States. (There’ll also be some comparatively penny-ante intranational organized crime, such as ATM heists, if there’s a tech angle.)

Check this out:

Turns out configuring a dual keyboard layout with English and Russian on your Windows box will make a lot of ransomware and other malware abort without doing anything evil. Why? Because the criminals responsible for a large proportion of this stuff are not pirates, they’re privateers. They have a letter of marque from the Kremlin, conditional on their not stealing from their own countrypeople. Why is that, in turn? Because if Russians steal (cryptocurrency heists, credit card fraud) or extort (ransomware) large sums of money from the US and other non-Russian states, and then buy things with that money, which purchases then get taxed, the Russian state enriches itself in money and, ultimately, capital at the expense of other nation-states. The goals of war, achieved without firing a single shot! Some of the hackers work directly for the Russian government, too, and thus generate revenue for it more directly.

Cyberwar. You hear about it like it’s some future thing, but Russia, Iran, and a few other nation-states have been waging it for a while now. As, no doubt, has America.

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
10 months ago

@rabid rabbit: That was months ago, so Tucker’s forgotten all about it. As ordered to.

I think the US (and others who were there, proportionately) should take in all the Afghan women who can make it here.

@Seth S: You could stay with me if I lived near you, as long as you and the kid aren’t allergic to cats. There’s a bed, a sofa, a small bathroom, and great Wi-Fi. I’m in California. But do check with your university for help. Good luck!

@Soma: I knew a teen back in the late 80s whose mom had sent him here — alone — so he wouldn’t have to join the Taliban and fight the Russians. Nearly 35 years ago. Gosh, he’s middle-aged now. That’s how long it’s been.

Maybe I’ll have me a Subway sammich for dinner.

I bet if Her Royal Boringness Kate had asked for donations for Haiti and sorrow about Afghanistan, they’d be praising her to the skies. I’m sure Meghan and Harry are donating something, but they seem to have that quaint old belief in not publicly bragging exactly how much and how/where. And I’m sure Harry is particularly affected about the news from Afghanistan — he literally had skin in the game.

Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
10 months ago

@Seth S.

[E]ven though I have a credible threat to my and my daughter’s life, I have nowhere to go.

Now is the time to get intensely creative. I suggest that you call a domestic violence hotline and discuss this issue with them. They will help you put together a safety plan. Nothing, nothing, nothing is more important than your life, not to mention your daughter’s life. All the best to you. I hope you keep us informed.

10 months ago


What Kat says. Seconding all of that.

If a local shelter/helpline can’t help you, try calling a national one. They might be able to identify whether or not a town within reach has a place that can help.

I’m crossing my fingers for you and your kiddo. Keep us updated when you can.

I’m sorry I don’t have any better advice, and I’m sorry finding resources that can help is so difficult for you.

Seth S
Seth S
10 months ago

unfortunately, my venting to one of my kid’s therapists wound up getting us reported to child protective services and I was told I should take my daughter and leave him immediately. I’ve had to move to my parents’ house after all (the badgering to go to church has already begun because I Really Need Jeebus now), and my loan application for legal help has been denied. I’ve applied for a lower amount, but even if I get it, it’ll leave me with no savings at all for living expenses and only some hope that he will go to therapy, to buy me some time to figure out what to do next.

Basically, he threatened suicide over the possibility of paying child support and said it in a way that implied he might take her too, and/or me. He is legit under a lot of stress but has never done well at choosing healthy stress coping mechanisms, usually resorting to alcohol, and he struggles with empathy, especially if it’s for someone he feels a lot of contempt for, which has historically been a big problem between us. I REALLY don’t want him to kill himself for a huge variety of reasons, having been suicidal myself, I know how sucky that is, and a part of me is flat baffled why he’d want to literally die on this particular hill. At the end of the day, it’s just MONEY, whereas I’m scared for our PHYSICAL SAFETY because he is so irrational and impulsive when drinking. Studies have even shown that most men come out ahead when it comes to money a year after divorce, so all I can think is he’s been reading and bought into the MRA lies about how women can force a man into bankruptcy and take em to the cleaners on child support. State law here literally forbids that, the split of assets is 50-50, and there’s an income based calculation for child support where the custody holder cannot ask for more without reason. Either he didn’t look it up, or he sees that as “bankruptcy”, somehow (it’s really not… we made enough together that 50% wouldn’t be a poverty-line existence).

I decided I’m relatively okay not pushing anybody about transitioning for the time being. I spent a little over 42 years being mistaken for a woman. A few more months of that probably won’t kill me, but he might. Battle chosen. If he does kill himself… that’s a whole separate pack of problems, because I’ve never had access to his bank account or anything else I’d need to pay the mortgage/utilities/other expenses, but I guess at least we won’t be in physical danger anymore.

10 months ago


That entire situation sounds like it sucks. I’m glad you and the kid are physically safe, at the moment.

Internet hugs and well wishes if you want them, for the pair of you.

Last edited 10 months ago by contrapangloss
Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
10 months ago

@Seth S
I’m so sorry you’re in this awful situation. I’m glad you’ve taken steps to extricate yourself and your daughter from the worst of it. I suggest you call a domestic violence hotline and see what information and advice they have. Several different hotlines were a big help to me when I was in a tough spot. All best wishes in this extremely trying time.

Last edited 10 months ago by Kat, ambassador, feminist revolution (in exile)
10 months ago

Nothing in that thread changes the fact that many empires have invaded Afghanistan, sunk vast amounts of blood and treasure there, and pulled back out. This isn’t because of the Pashtun people, who aren’t any more violent and bloodthirsty than any other highlanders*, it’s because their highlands lie athwart an extremely lucrative trade route, and are also very rugged mountains. Many empires want to control the trade route and are run by people who don’t realize how impossible invading high mountain country effectively is. This is unfortunate for thr residents.

Alan Robertshaw
10 months ago

@ dali & cyborgette

This video gives a succinct summary of why the geography of Afghanistan makes it such difficult terrain militarily.

GSS ex-noob
GSS ex-noob
10 months ago

@Seth: glad you and the kid are safe, even … well, with your parents.

Think of this this way: it’s woman-you who’s “needing”/having to go to church and all that crap. Not real you. You are currently playing a part, undercover in a hostile environment. Temporarily.

Keep trying to find another refuge, though. Presenting as a woman with a kid running from a threatening husband works in your favor for getting help at this point, at least.

Big hugs.

9 months ago

incels made themselves a country in Afghanistan. and defeated the best army in the world, which was the progressive army. with nothing but waiting in caves for 20 years, as incels do. you cannot deny it was impressive. truly, finally, incels have their own country.

it was a good day for incels around the world, perhaps the best day. they can finally move to a country of their own. you can truly create a country, where women have no power at all.

I am surprised David didn´t show that angle.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
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