JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: UTTERLY UNTHINKING EDITORIAL FROM BRITAIN’S GUARDIAN ON AFGHANISTAN – CORPORATE PRESS ALMOST AS BAD IN BRITAIN AS IN AMERICA – FACTS ABOUT THE AFGHAN WAR   Leave a comment

John Chuckman

COMMENT POSTED TO AN OBSERVER EDITORIAL

“If we do not have a reasonably competent, friendly government in Kabul, nothing the west achieves will last. Ignoring the Afghan nation’s needs is not an option”

Truly, an incomprehensible statement.

The statement begs so many questions, it is hard to know where to begin.

“Nothing the West achieves”? But in fact, “the West,” as you put it, has achieved nothing, nothing but a lot of misery and deaths of innocent people.

When anyone uses the term, “the West” in this context, it is very telling.

It is a term trying to suggest another era – much like calling today’s American army of well-paid professional killers “GIs” with all its glow of association with amateur soldiers recruited to go off to fight bad guys, something indeed the New York Times tried doing for a while until they were laughed out of it. It is a term that provides, or should provide, a kind of warning signal to readers in the contemporary world.

Afghanistan was an American project entirely from the beginning, and the rest of “the West” was dragged along for the ride.

How do I know that? Not one Western country put a rally serious contingent of troops there, and many kept their small number of troops back from all the ugliness, doing duties varying from supplies to traffic work.

When a war is as truly important as the hyperbole claimed, and still claims here, major countries do not commit numbers like 500 or 1,500 or 2,000 soldiers. That is on the face of it, a dark joke. NATO countries each put in as few as they could possibly get away with, keeping “the boss” (America) happy.

Hardly, the character of a desperately important war.

NATO countries were dragged along by the United States for the now-usual reason of giving the somewhat plausible appearance of an international campaign to what in fact was one country’s determined effort at revenge and control, just one more instance of Captain Ahab desperately seeking to kill the White Whale.

The Taliban are unpleasant but are not terrorists, at least not any more than the United States is when it is at war. You don’t invade a country because a part of its population is unpleasant. Otherwise, you would be invading countries all over the planet for there are some really nasty groups and movements in all the far corners of the world.

The Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11.

The United States has given us an ugly 15-year long performance in pointless brutality there, trying to control a basic social-religious division in the population of this ancient, hardscrabble society. It would have made immensely more progress dropping dollar bills than bombs, but the Pentagon is incapable of thinking that way.

No, the Pentagon destroys the “bad guys” and “remodels countries,” goals, which if looked at critically are absurd, almost literally the stuff of comic books. But killing tens of thousands of real people is not funny like a comic book.

It is exactly as mindless and vicious as the effort to eliminate “the communists” in Vietnam was, a place where being “a communist” was just another way of saying “a nationalist” against further imperial manipulations from abroad once the French had departed.

Posted August 31, 2017 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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