Scott interviews Matthew Hoh about the recent claim that the Russian government has been paying bounties to Taliban militants to kill U.S. soldiers. The headlines have made it sound as though this is a confirmed and well-sourced story, when in reality, Hoh explains, it’s all coming from anonymous American intelligence sources without so much as an attempt at independent verification of, say, specific soldiers that this is supposed to have happened to. Moreover, says Hoh, Russia has very little to gain from such a policy, and a lot to lose. The people who would benefit from increased tensions with Russia are the war hawks in the U.S. government and the big players in the arms industry. Just like with the hundreds of other lies told by the U.S. government and sold by the media to benefit powerful military-industrial complex interests, we should be highly skeptical.
Discussed on the show:
- “Is Big Media Echoing Accusations to Demonize Russia and Continue Afghan War?” (Institute for Public Accuracy)
- “Russia Secretly Offered Afghan Militants Bounties to Kill U.S. Troops, Intelligence Says” (The New York Times)
- “Spies and Commandos Warned Months Ago of Russian Bounties on U.S. Troops” (The New York Times)
- “Russian Spy Unit Paid Taliban to Attack Americans, U.S. Intelligence Says” (The Wall Street Journal)
- “Russian operation targeted coalition troops in Afghanistan, intelligence finds” (The Washington Post)
- Afghanistan Papers
- “This Russia-Afghanistan Story Is Western Propaganda At Its Most Vile” (Caitlin Johnstone)
Matthew Hoh is a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and formerly worked for the U.S. State Department. Hoh received the Ridenhour Prize Recipient for Truth Telling in 2010. Hoh is a member of the Board of Directors for Council for a Livable World and is an Advisory Board Member for Expose Facts. He writes on issues of war, peace and post-traumatic stress disorder recovery at matthewhoh.com.
This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: NoDev NoOps NoIT, by Hussein Badakhchani; The War State, by Mike Swanson; WallStreetWindow.com; Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott; Listen and Think Audio; TheBumperSticker.com; and LibertyStickers.com.
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The following is an automatically generated transcript.
Scott Horton 0:10
All right, shall welcome and Scott Horton show. I am the director of the libertarian Institute editorial director of antiwar.com dot com, author of the book fool’s errand, time to end the war in Afghanistan. And I recorded more than 5000 interviews going back to 2003, all of which are available at scotthorton.org dot org. You can also sign up to the podcast feed full archive is also firstname.lastname@example.org slash Scott Horton show. All right, you guys introducing Matthew whoa, I’m sure you remember that back in 2009. He was a State Department official in Afghanistan, who publicly resigned and went to the media and told Barack Obama not to launch this search because it could not work. And of course he was vindicated after being ignored and We have a lot of important Afghanistan stuff to discuss. So welcome back to the show, Matt. How are you, sir? Good, Scott, how are you? I’m doing real good. appreciate you joining us on the show again here. And you know what, I’m happy to share a press release with you this morning. The Institute for Public accuracy is advertising interviews with you or me about the subject we’re about to discuss here, but I figured I’d better go ahead and interview you about it first and see if I got it right. I meant to mention you’re from the Center for International Policy there. Oh, and I also want to mention that you were in the Marine Corps Captain correct in the Marine Corps in Iraq War, too, before you were in Afghanistan, right? Yeah, that’s correct. Right. Yeah. Okay. Sorry. Anyway, so what it’s all about is it’s about the New York Times and The New York Times has a piece from two days ago, three days ago by Charlie savage Eric Schmidt and Michael Schwartz. Guess from the 26th. It’s called Russia secretly offered Afghan militants bounties to kill troops, US intelligence says and then they actually had a follow up a couple of days ago. Yesterday I guess early yesterday they had a follow up spies and commandos warned months ago of Russian bounties on US troops. And then also I should mention there is the Wall Street Journal version, which includes the byline of a warren p Strobel, sadly, Russian spy unit paid Taliban to attack Americans, US intelligence says and then the Washington Post, Russian operation targeted coalition troops in Afghanistan intelligence binds. And so what a big deal of course the democrats are seizing on this, the Trump’s refusal to do anything about it is proof of his allegiance to Russia again, and all of these kinds of things. And so I would like to know everything that you think about all of this, sir.
Matthew Hoh 3:21
Well, you know, first off if we, if any of those news outlets and it goes beyond them, I mean, it’s basically all major American media seemingly talking about it NPR, you know, CNN, etc. If they in their headlines put, you know, unverified Colin, Russia, paid for bounty on American troops or whatever, then like, we wouldn’t really need to be having this conversation. Because the the issue right off the top of this right is this idea of The media putting forth unsubstantiated evidence free reports from anonymous officials that have not been verified in any way. But the way the media puts it forward, his they put it in. They headline it and then at least the first several paragraphs of their stories use affirmative language, you know, Russian intelligence paid, right. They don’t say it’s been it’s suggested that Russian intelligence paid or it has been spoken about that maybe they paid, you know, so just off the bat, it’s just a journalistic malpractice. And this is clickbait. This is this is nothing new. You know, most of the folks listening will surely understand that this is this goes back past the The modern era This is the whole remember the main in the Spanish American War, the, you know the, the lies that led to the Mexican American War all the lies that existed for centuries that allowed for the genocide of Native Americans. You know, this is this is the way American warfare is prefaced it’s the way it comes about and it’s what sustains American warfare or these lies and of course, everyone is familiar with with lies for Iraq War Two, not so much familiar maybe so with the lies from the first Iraq war, you know, with the lies about babies being ripped out of incinerators or not ripped out of incubators, I’m sorry, by Saddam’s troops in Kuwait, you know, those kinds of lies. But then of course the lies about Libya the lies about Syria, the lies about Yemen, the lies that have allowed the wars to escalate All throughout Africa, you know, and you know, most egregious or absurd about all this is the fact that six months ago The Washington Post, and all these other outlets reported on it as well wrote this story about what’s called the Afghan papers where, you know, 400 or so American officials in writing, basically, you know, summarize it, those 400 officials in what’s called after action reports or lessons learned reports, basically admitted to, you know, a systematic lying by the US government for the last 20 years or so about Afghanistan. So, you know, here we are, with all this historical record of journalistic malpractice, all this evidence about US government lying about war. And then you know, we can get into it as well about how a report like this reaches washington dc about, you know, the Russians are paying for, you know, bounties on American soldiers. But you know, it’s just, it’s upsetting and it’s infuriating that here we are talking about this again, but it certainly is something that’s always can be the case because this is how it’s always been these lies have always been used to start wars, they’ve always been used to keep wars going. They’ve always been used to keep tensions going. They’ve always been used to make sure that, you know, budgets are kept high. Right, you know, so and you know, the next part about this as well. Is that all those who are commenting in, you know, on CNN, or who are NPR talking about it, or who are you know, cited in the Wall Street Journal report, etc. They’re either retired generals who are on the the board Defense companies, you know, some making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for being on these boards as well as having the interest of those defense companies to promote, or they are Think Tank experts from think tanks that are funded by the US government, whether it be the State Department or the Pentagon or the CIA, or they’re those think tanks are funded by the defense industry. So the whole the whole absurdity of it that this is taken as a factual story is just belied by you know, any basic understanding of past history in Afghanistan, American history when it comes to war or journalist, the journalistic lack of integrity when it comes to speaking about American military involvement overseas by you know, the major American corporate media.
Scott Horton 8:58
Yeah, it is funny how After everything, we’re just supposed to pretend that whatever they say goes without saying you have to believe it. That’s the narrative of the day. And we all agree, and just okay. And it’s not it, you know, there’s varying degrees of dissension on any given day, but it seems like essentially the narrative of the day wins, however they pronounce it. Certainly when it comes to demonizing Russia, my goodness. But you know, I had to point out too, and you mentioned this at the beginning. But these three articles, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, are uniquely weak articles. They’re not just based on anonymous sources. They have no description whatsoever of what the intelligence is, just somebody told us that they won’t name the agency where their anonymous sources work. It’s just intelligence officials and or just people familiar people familiar, which means that’s Yeah, pretty broad. And yeah, they they admit that, you know, they don’t pretend to say we think that these boys killed in these green berets out in Nangarhar province fighting Islamic State guys so called Islamic corizon Province guys then yeah, we think it was that or it was these Marines got sniped down in the helmet or anything like that they don’t even pretend to have a causal anything here. But they all just went with it anyway and then as Caitlyn Johnstone pointed out on her website that they all the the reporters here two of whom I somewhat respect because you know it’s slim pickins and you do what you got to do, but Warren Strobel and Charlie savage both have done really important work in the past. Yeah, these other guys I could do without but
Matthew Hoh 10:59
yeah Man, yeah, get him man. Yeah. But
Scott Horton 11:03
to have these are all citing each other. Yeah, they’re all citing each other on Twitter saying My story is confirmed by the other guy. Now my story is confirmed by him. We’re all confirming each other’s story, but what are they confirming? All they’re confirming is that somebody said something. They’re not confirming that it’s true. They’re confirming that this is what an intelligence report says. They’re not going to cramming anything in the intelligence report at all they’re not pretending to. And they apparently can’t seem to even differentiate between that, you know, geez, I know, me and another reporter both got told by Douglas fight that Saddam Hussein was going to shoot me in my jammies in the middle of the night. It’s confirmed.
Matthew Hoh 11:44
That’s right. Yeah. And it’s just not those three. I mean, I saw NBC News, which was, you know, a capital letters confirmed. You know, we confirm this story, you know, and same thing to there’s confirming that anonymous officials said this. I had a conversation earlier today with john Kiriakou. And if folks aren’t familiar with john Kiriakou, please, you know, when you’re done, listen to Scott and I go through Scott’s archives and listen to some of Scott’s conversations with john. And john, of course, was CIA officer, the only person to have gone to jail for us torture program. Of course, john went to jail because of the torture program because he spoke about it and confirmed it, as opposed to actually taking part in it. But john, you know, john was, you know, saying how much he was struck by once again, the language that is used, you know, words like suggest, you know, in the US intelligence community, there’s very specific language to denote degrees of certainty. So, you know, and there is almost in there is basically a glossary that you follow. When you are writing an intelligence report or that you learn when you’re an intelligence school or whatever, to make sure that you are using the correct terminology, to let your audience know the people who are consuming that intelligence to let them know the degree to which they can trust the intelligence Look, do we have, you know, there are certain words if you’ve got somebody on camera on video, you know, that then there are certain words to say yes, if all you have is like so you heard some someone overheard something in a restaurant, you know, then there are other words describe how, you know, it’s probably not credible. And so john was, you know, we were talking about this, but the language of it, but one of the things I wanted to, you know, speak speak about was just letting people understand how a report like this and give it given the benefit of doubt that they are poor actually exists. And I do believe that there was probably some report made that suggested this note no confirmation of it. Whether not credible or not. But what happens is that all throughout both the military and the intelligence community, there’s what’s called commanders critical information requirements. And it could be from your direct boss all the way up to senior levels in Washington, DC and everyone in between, of what basically their critical information requirements are, right. So this is what your boss or your boss’s boss or your boss’s boss’s boss wants information about deems is the most important and adversaries Russia or Iran, China, etc, particularly when you get to the political sides of this stuff are very heavily weighted in these information requirements. So now getting back to Afghanistan, because supposedly these the time story said that this came about because of interrogation. Well, the Afghan security forces universally torture, and we all know that torture produces either two things it produces your basically produces the intelligence that you want from the torture victim, whether or not that person actually believes what he’s saying that he’ll say whatever he you want him to to stop the torture, that’s the reality of torture. And so what you get is you probably had somebody who was detained some prisoner of war or maybe even a criminal as it’s been suggested in the news stories. And this person mentions Russia, the word Russia goes into the report, and because that is a critical information requirement, and plus the political aspect of it with everything, being you know, Russia, Russia, Russia for the last good, gosh, six or seven years and the American military and intelligence communities You know, this, this Russia, hysteria came into the American military and intelligence Communities well before Trump took office, you know, so that this unsubstantiated unverified report probably brought about by torture makes its way up because Russia is important. And there are people, you know, a good guy to have on to talk about this besides john. Scott would be like Ray McGovern, you know, to talk about how politicized you know, intelligence is how people are looking to please the boss. So they’re going to push forward things, whether or not they’re substantiated or not, because that’s going to please the boss. And so that’s how you can understand how something like this could reach Washington DC. Now, whether or not it also could be totally fabricated, for all I know, you know, but just giving an idea to people of where this all comes from how stuff like this gets, I mean, as well then to the manipulation of your reports or myth manipulation of things sent for I could give you a story, you know, It’s long story, but I’ll give you the very brief brief as bit I can about a report I wrote about this program in Afghanistan, we had to set up these radio towers, right. And they all throughout rural Afghanistan. And then the radio towers were in this was like a, I don’t know, 15,000,020 million dollar program that some company in the United States got to do sweetheart deal, typical corrupt reconstruction project kind of thing. And they’re supposed to go around and put these radio towers all throughout rural Afghanistan. And my report on it after they’re done was that was a colossal failure. I mean, there wasn’t diesel fuel to run the radio antennas. We didn’t have program to put on the radio antennas. Rural Afghans don’t own radios, you like all kinds of stuff. The thing was a failure. And what was the final thing, my report that actually got sent to Washington DC, the only thing that got sent out of it was at the radio tower program. installation was successful. All the other parts about it about how it As a failure, right all the way up and down, we’re left out. But the fact that the radio antenna has actually gotten stalled, that made it to DC. So as far as people in DC know, oh, hey, this. And that’s just one story out of millions of stories that are out there about how reporting works in the American military, in the intelligence community in a diplomatic community about how good news is shared or politicized. News is shared. So it really is, you know, it this is not as surprised as something like this is coming out. You know, I mean, a few years ago, as many people recall, there was these reports about Russia providing weapons to the Taliban. Now, first of all, the only confirmed weapons transfer between Russia and Afghanistan was in 2016, when Russia gave 10,000 weapons to the Afghan military,
Scott Horton 18:58
right, right. And when America got the Indians to buy Russian helicopters for the Kabul government because America has sanctions on Russia and can’t buy him directly.
Matthew Hoh 19:07
Yeah, right. I mean all kinds of stuff about but but you know, CNN and others take this story about Russian, they show a clip of like a Taliban fighter holding an ak 47. Nevermind that about 15 or 20 countries at least manufacturer AK ak 40 sevens in the world, you know, the United States military and CIA, purchase those weapons and give them to insurgent groups and government groups all around the world. Nevermind all that we’re going to show. One Taliban fighter holding a Russian, a Russian style Kalashnikov style rifle. And that’s gonna be proof that the Russians, I mean, like that’s Meanwhile, you know, top us defense officials, intelligence officials, the Secretary General of NATO, the Afghan government itself all said you know, these we don’t have any information to corroborate. We have no evidence about Russia giving us weapons. It’s just rumors, but you know, that’s stuff, even with all that, you go back to this wall street journal story from the other day about and Strobel and I forget who the other person on the the the the byline was. But you know, at the end, they bring up how Russia gave weapons to the Taliban, you know, and it’s not true. They didn’t give weapons but there’s no evidence of that. And we have, you know, you have a list of American NATO and Afghan officials as long as my arm saying we have no evidence of this, but the journal still goes in other places still go and repeat this false story from 2017. You know, I mean, so they’re there, you know, not only do they continue to put forward new rumors, new speculation, new anonymous reports, you know, with no substantiation behind them, they keep recycling older ones. Yeah, you know, and again, and you know, I mean, one of the things I just found Curious today as I was going through some of the stuff I review, you know, daily or weekly in terms of military related stuff was, you know, you look at the investments the US military is making in, you know, hypersonic missiles and all that nonsense all that stuff will never work right. You know if and if people don’t haven’t heard Scott’s interview with Andrew Coburn about hypersonic missiles, go and listen to that one after you listen to the ones about john Kiriakou and everything. But you know, I mean, you know, so it is there is this this he there are multiple constituencies that benefit benefit from increasing tensions with Russia. One, of course, its clickbait for the media, to the media is, you know, any
Scott Horton 21:46
source the Afghan government has quite an interest in figuring out a way to get America to stay.
Matthew Hoh 21:53
That’s exactly right. As well as to you know, the defense industry wants to sell next gen aeration tanks in next generation helicopters and next generation missile systems and next generation, hey, our next generation of aircraft carriers are going to be $15 billion apiece, right? I mean, we know I, right. You know, I think our next generation submarines are $10 billion apiece or something like that. Right. So I mean, you don’t use those, you know, you use those again.
Scott Horton 22:22
What about Russia? What about Russia’s interest? Is there any credible reason at all that you could think of why the Russians would want to hire hotties or whatever descripton description? Jesus Christ, I can’t talk any reason that you could think of why the Russians would want to pay whoever to kill Americans in Afghanistan as we’re seemingly on our way out which by the way, Trump is ordered another withdrawal of 4000 men bringing us down to 4000 which is 4000 lower than when he took office after he escalates Up to 15,000, of course, but that he has signed a deal with the Taliban, to have us out of there one year from now, by the end of May. It’s the end of June now by the end of May next year. And so maybe the Russians are just kicking us in the ass on the way out for fun little bit of revenge, something anything. Nancy Pelosi said, you know, they’re still not over our humiliation of them and Afghanistan back in the 80s.
Matthew Hoh 23:30
You know, it makes you could understand how there might be some old timers within the Russian military intelligence community that will want to get revenge. But there’s no way that type of thinking would percolate up to the level where decision like this will be made. And it’s interesting and one of the news stories it said how Vladimir The decision was made without Vladimir Putin Putin being in involved, I forget which story that was, which I found really, really discredits the whole story. Because there’s I can’t imagine any intelligence or military organization in the world will conduct such an operation as this putting the bounties of on you know, the the the putting the bet putting bounties on your app Azeris heads like this, you know, how could anyone make a decision like that without the top man, you know, saying do this,
Scott Horton 24:26
– it also goes to show that –
Matthew Hoh 24:28
I don’t know how, you know, a clan dishonor Atlanta Stein operation authority works in Russia, but I can’t imagine that Putin would allow things like this to occur without his and so what benefit is it for the Russians? I don’t, I don’t see that benefit one. Why? It just makes no sense to me. They are not the Russians are not as there’s no benefit to the Russians aligning themselves with the You know, extremists a lot, as long as Taliban, right because of Russia’s issues with Islamic extremism and Islamic terrorism and the problems they’ve had, in, you know, whether being former Soviet republics or in Russia itself over the last 2030 years, you know, that there’s just, it just doesn’t, you know, you can say, well, the Taliban are the enemy of my enemy. So therefore, my friend, but still nothing, none of this really makes sense. When you really stop and think about it, and kind of play out all the second and third order effects of it, you know, and then Russia has so many problems itself, its economy has been doing, you know, various issues within Russia. Don’t lead me to believe that the Russian government, Vladimir Putin wants to escalate tensions to a level where these type of action would lead Now certainly you could you could claim the Russians are doing other things they’re flying their jets to close to our jets like etc etc yeah that that that’s you know step but putting bounties on another forces a soldiers brings it if it was exposed would bring it to attention to such a level that you can understand the risks would completely mitigate doing such an operation. Now there’s people out there who will say well hey you know the United States Air Force the United States Navy killed a lot of Russian mercenaries in Syria This is their way of getting getting back you know, I just don’t again, the risks for the Russians to do something like this far outweigh far outweigh any benefits that I believe could come from from it. And then all the other evidence about well, you know, American commandos found money in Afghanistan is so awash with money, most of it coming from Our CIA or our military, but also to from all that, you know, 120 billion dollars we’ve spent on reconstruction work over there, which didn’t build anything, you know, as well as to most of the funding for the Taliban comes from the Saudis and the other Gulf monarchies and force from the Pakistanis. And from he US.
Scott Horton 27:20
Yeah, I mean, we sell them protection money, you know,
Matthew Hoh 27:22
still, this is the whole it’s, it’s just that Russia is Russia is the enemy in the best interests of the American military industrial complex. And it comes simply to that, you know, I mean, and that’s how this should be viewed in terms of understanding the genesis of it, why and why American media hops onto it, you know, and it’s another thing we could we could talk about some other day, but basically understanding that the same banks that own the majority shares and all the American media companies, right, Scott, you know, this and most of your most delicious listenership knows this. right that the same banks and money management firms that own all the all these shares that are majority shareholders in the in the the six corporations that own 90% of American media, they’re also the majority shareholders in the defense industry. Right? I mean, like so it all comes back to who owns these corporations and and it should not be a surprise then that the establishment media is is in favor of the establishment wars. And then we see as you said Nancy Pelosi but also Liz Cheney and Lindsey Graham on the other side, jumping on this and demanding action, we have to take action. Yes, so you can understand who benefits from a report like this and there are more in the United States who benefit from these tensions, then I believe benefit in Russia from these tensions. It just doesn’t make sense to me why the Russians would do something like this because the risk for our world To great for the benefits of what killing a handful of good. We’ve had four guys killed 20 2020 guys killed in 2019 and Afghanistan, and that was the most in six or seven years. Right? I mean, so you know they’re gonna do the Russians are going to do an operation like this to kill 1234 American soldiers. It just makes no sense to me. In what meanwhile though, as we said, the beneficiaries of this in the United States are legion, so to speak.
Scott Horton 29:30
It seems like if it was a fact that they were doing it, then obvious, to me the most obvious or simplest explanation would be they’re trying to give us an excuse to stay it trying to undermine Trump’s because they know Trump is all alone and trying to get us out of there. And the status quo otherwise would reign there. And so if that’s true, then what does that say about our war there that the Russians would like to see it continue one because I had they’ve supported our war therefore the Tajik side all along anyway, because we’re the ones who Switch side in the war, not them. Right. But then also see the the same. You know, William Casey been last night plan to bleed Russia to bankruptcy is the same kind of thing that they must be enjoying. You mentioned how the Americans have been, you know, the the conflicts in Syria where Russians have been killed, where the Americans have stated openly, James Jeffries just said some pointed out to me that just in April, he talked about Yeah, we’re giving the Russians a quagmire in Syria. And they’re that blatant about it. So it just seems to me like, even if it’s true, then it just proves that we should go and what do these people think of the logic of this? say there’s some flying Russian sniper going around killing our guys. That’s why we have to keep sending guys to get sniped by this guy. We already lost the war 10 years ago, this whole thing is crazy. We’re leaving anyway. How do you ask the man to be the last one to die for that?
Matthew Hoh 31:11
That, as john kerry famously said, right, no. Yeah, again, that’s accept
Scott Horton 31:17
ng the hypothetical of the argument, you know.
Yeah. The the narrative behind this a story behid this is that this is meant to make the United States leave. But the reality is, is that if you believe it, I you know, Donald Trump canceled the whole summit with the Taliban and the Afghan government Camp David last September, because an American troops, American soldier was killed by the Taliban that pushed back the signing of the peace deal between the US and the Taliban by six or seven months. So if that is the case, that they did this, the Russians did this to to Get the Americans to leave? Well, you know, the evidence is that Americans are going to stay. But then the other side of it, are they doing it to keep the Americans in, you know, to bleed them? We’re not spending that much money on Afghanistan relative to other things. Right. I mean, in a sense of that, the the trillion dollrs 10s of billions a year still, at least, yo
know, it’s still 10s of billions.
Matthew Hoh 32:24
Exactly. Probably, you know, you know, yeah, exactly. 20 to $30 billion a year, probably maybe $40 billion a year probably. But when you put that debt next to the 1.2 or $1.3 trillion spent overall on the American War Machine every year, that’s relatively chump change. It’s much better to get the Americans to invest in these hypersonic missiles that won’t work. It’s been, you know, the new generation of Star Wars or whatever they want to spend.
Scott Horton 32:55
The next attack will be a false flag. They try to make it look like China was behind So we Well, you know, battleships
Matthew Hoh 33:01
interesting is say that about China because I remember a friend of mine about 10 years ago. So in about 2010 or so, said to me, I just had a conversation in China with a Chinese diplomat or Chinese official. And he said something about, like, what is the what, you know, off the record, you know, what is kind of like, China’s ultimate plan for US foreign policy, you know, and China said, do everything we can to keep the Americans stuck in places like Afghanistan, you know, because they, you know, they saw the folly of it, right. I mean, that do you’re spending at that point in 2010. US Congress is appropriating like 120 billion dollars a year for Afghanistan, we were losing, you know, several hundred young men and women every year, let alone casualties, let alone just the drain on attention and resources and everything else. Yeah, as well as the pure folly of it. You know, you want to see your adversary stuck in quicksand. You know, that that’s something that If you’re the Russia or China or whoever, just look at the US and all these wars,
Scott Horton 34:04
all right, well, that means that if you and I are ever successful at getting people to listen to us about why to get out of the Middle East, then we’ll be helping to free up resources to pivot to Asia. don’t mean to say the Taliban are a worthy sacrifice. But man, if if this war has kept us out of that one all this time, I don’t know.
Matthew Hoh 34:28
Well, I mean, if I was if I was a consultant working for the Pentagon and CIA or the defense industry or whatever, yeah, I think this is a brilliant thing to do. Like, okay, let’s do this, this story about Russia putting bounties on our soldiers head in Afghanistan, because if I’m part of like the big Pentagon, if I’m part of like the the Pentagon that buys tanks and ships and fighter planes, I don’t want anything to do with Afghanistan. There’s very few elements within the US military intelligence apparatus. That really want to be in Afghanistan you’ve got the Special Operations guys. You know you’ve got the CIA paramilitary guys you’ve got some leftover counterinsurgency types but for the most part like they want to be fighting the you know they want to be fighting the Russians and the fulda gap right where they want to be fighting the Chinese in fighter plane tools over the South China Sea. So yeah, let’s put together this story about the Russians paying for bounties on our soldiers heads in Afghanistan that makes the Russian seem worse, which means we need to buy more tanks, you know, next generation tanks we need to buy more aircraft carriers we need to buy more f 30 fives you know we need to buy that next generation bomber plane which is going to cost $2 billion a plane or whatever, you know, I mean, you know, something I read the day that the zone will class destroyer which there are supposed to been like 40 produced, of which were only Gotta make three, you know, but we’re bound to make three, they’re still gonna make three. That thing has like this advanced gun on it right? Each of the shells for that gun cost a half a million dollars for each shell, right? I mean like, so that’s what you want to do you want to sell that stuff. And so let’s get out of Afghanistan. If you’re if you’re logical, you’re reasoned and say this story is true, right? It’s got to say this is true. Say the Russians did put boundaries I get anyone who’s logical OR reasonable just be like, well, hell, this is another reason to get out of Afghanistan. Right? I mean, like, really, like there’s any more. You need another suggestion. Here’s one more another nation is putting bounties on our troops head, let’s get out of that place. It’s not doing anything for any of us, you know, so but then that makes Russia look like a villain which of course gives you all the reason right to spend all this money on all the next generation weapons that are you know, each of those programs are 10s and 10s of billions of dollars each and that’s really the gravy train that you know the defense industry wants and you know they these are the neck new tanks and the new the new planes, new ships that you know, Navy captains and Army and Air Force colonels want, yeah, that kind of stuff. So, but now this whole thing is very insidious. It’s it’s, you know, it makes me sick to my stomach. I’m sure it does you. I’m sure it makes everyone else who’s listening sick to their stomachs as well. But it’s the reality. It’s part of the playbook that we’re up against. And so we have to keep speaking agaist it.
Scott Horton 37:35
Absolutely. All right. Well, thanks for coming on todo so.
Matthew Hoh 37:38
Appreciate that. All right. Thanks, man. And you’d be well and stay healthy and safe and sane. With everyone else there. Please stay healthy and safe ev
Scott Horton 37:45
ryone. Right on. Hey, thanks very much again, Matt. Appreciate it. Okay, you bet. Thanks, you guys. That is the great Matthew. Whoa. He tried to stop the Afghan search. All he had to do was listen to him is everything you needed right there to say, Yeah, no, don’t. The Scott Horton show him Our radio can be heard on kpfk 90.7 FM in LA, APSradio.com antiwar.com. ScottHorton, org and libertarianinstitute.org