In the first half, journalist David Loyn discussed the political and military strategies ―and failures― that prolonged America's longest war-- Afghanistan, which he's been covering since 1996. The quick takeover of the Taliban after America left the country was a surprise, as most thought the Afghan army would hold the cities. On paper, Loyn said, there were 300,000 trained Afghan soldiers and police, but in reality, there were only around 50,000. There was a large amount of attrition, as well as corruption in the ranks, in which senior officers set up "ghost units" in order to take the salaries of soldiers who didn't exist, he detailed. During the collapse, the remaining army became swiftly hollowed out as they saw provinces falling around them. He added that there were also strategic errors made by the Afghan President and his security advisor, as they tried to get control of the country.
The Taliban has changed over the years, and the younger members have a more internationalist agenda, Loyn continued, with far closer links to al Qaeda. He did differentiate the Taliban from ISIS-K, which has diverging views of Islam and opposes the Taliban. While the Taliban has claimed they've turned over a new leaf, Loyn labeled them as a tyrannical regime, and if anything, they're worse than they were before. There are reports that they're going house-to-house shooting ex-soldiers and taking young women as sex slaves. The UK and Europe were dismayed with the way America suddenly pulled out of Afghanistan and didn't consult with them ahead of time, Loyn added.
Author Lynne McTaggart is one of the central authorities on the new science of consciousness. In the latter half, she talked about her latest intention experiments focusing on using intention to heal the past. Science shows us that our thoughts are not locked inside our head, and that what we think can be transmitted out into the world and affect people and things, she remarked. Our brain, she continued, may be more like an antenna/receiver that beams out rather than a repository for our thoughts. The problem is we're not very conscious of what we're sending out, "so my work is all about helping people harness...consistent and positive thinking and effects," she said. In her intention experiments, she has demonstrated that groups are more effective than individuals, though a group could be as small as eight people (for more on this, see her Power of Eight Facebook page).
Another discovery she has made in the intention experiments is that not only are the targets positively impacted (such as a person's health improving), but the experiment participants themselves feel more compassionate. For the 20th anniversary of 9-11, McTaggart has set up a new live group experiment for Healing Afghanistan (10 years ago, she did a similar intention experiment that she said helped lower violence in the region). She has also been experimenting with what she calls 'time travel' or retro intention, helping people in her workshops to heal past events or traumas. The person doesn't change the past event, she explained, but changes their intention around it. This act can alter the energy that lives within a person, and in that sense, change their past.
News segment guests: Mish Shedlock, Jeff Nelken