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Posts Tagged ‘Afghanistan Papers’

Nancy Pelosi and Liz Cheney Unite Against Putting America First | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on July 29, 2020

This episode captures why the Washington establishment loathes President Trump. Hint: it has nothing to do with the smears accusing him of racism or Russian sympathies.

Trump is the only president to challenge the internationalist interventionist orthodoxy that’s ruled Washington unquestioned for the last 70 years.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/nancy-pelosi-and-liz-cheney-unite-against-america-first-foreign-policy/

Ending wars is the one truly heretical act in Washington.

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 21: U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) speaks during a news conference with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and other Republican members of the House of Representatives at the Capitol on July 21, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

After President Trump stated his desire to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, Germany and South Korea, the bipartisan war party sprang into action.

Veto-proof majorities in both houses of Congress approved a defense appropriations bill that authorizes $740 billion in military spending. Along with all the other dubious and downright awful provisions, the House’s version of the bill has included a measure designed to thwart the president from bringing troops home. House Democrats worked with Liz Cheney (R-WY) on an amendment putting several conditions on the administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, requiring the White House to certify at several stages that further reductions wouldn’t jeopardize counterterrorism or national security.

This episode captures why the Washington establishment loathes President Trump. Hint: it has nothing to do with the smears accusing him of racism or Russian sympathies.

Trump is the only president to challenge the internationalist interventionist orthodoxy that’s ruled Washington unquestioned for the last 70 years.

Let’s go back to 1949, to the creation of NATO and the initial deployment of troops to Europe.

Joe Stalin and world communism was on the march, we were told. Russia controlled half of Europe and would take the rest—along with Korea—unless we acted. President Truman demanded American boys be ready to fight Russia in Germany, Japan, Greece, Turkey, Korea, wherever.

But even in that climate of crisis, support for permanent war was not unanimous.

Senator William “Wild Bill” Langer (R-North Dakota), one of the eleven Republicans in opposition (along with just two Democrats) called NATO “a barren military alliance directed to plunge us deeply into the economic, military and political affairs of the other nations of Europe.”

We’re still plunging new depths, ever seeking new frontiers and new missions for the barren alliance.

When President Trump declared before the immobile faces of Mt. Rushmore, “A nation must care for its own citizens first. We must take care of America first,” he was channeling that original America Firster, Joe Kennedy.

The man who would father three senators and a president offered this advice in 1950 (none of his children took it): America needs “to get out of Korea” and “apply the same principle to Europe.” We must “conserve American lives for American ends, not waste them in the freezing hills of Korea or the battle-scarred plains of Western Germany.”

Or in the mountains of Afghanistan or the deserts of the Middle East.

When you hear President Trump ask NATO countries to up their defense spending, compare that to the words of Joe Kennedy: “We cannot sacrifice ourselves to save those who do not wish to save themselves.”

Nancy Pelosi and her ilk call Trump a Russian asset for daring to put the interests of this country before empire.  Nothing new there.  Today’s Russia-baiters are cut from the same cloth as an earlier generation of liberals.

In 1951, The Nation magazine accused “Herbert Hoover and a good portion of the Republican Party” of being captured by Moscow—that portion opposed to NATO, because Hoover doubted the effectiveness of deploying ground troops against the communist nations.

The New Republic seconded the motion: refusing to commit American troops to NATO “may lead Stalin to attack Western Europe” and keep advancing until his minions “would bring out in triumph the first Communist edition of the Chicago Tribune.” Mitt Romney and his fellow impeachment travelers remain convinced we must fight the Russians over there so we don’t have to fight them over here!

Back then, the bipartisan war party insisted the president could send troops abroad without asking Congress. Now when President Trump wants to bring them home, Congress claims it has the authority to stop him. Whatever it takes to keep the war machine properly greased.

Until Trump, George McGovern was the only candidate of a major party to call for drawing down troops in Europe and Korea. The sentiment in McGovern’s 1972 acceptance speech is pure America First: “This is also the time to turn away from excessive preoccupation overseas to rebuilding our own nation.”

The establishment has hated McGovern ever since for the same reason they hate President Trump.

The America First program would dismantle the imperial project that brought us NATO and has kept us on permanent war footing until today.

The foreign policy sachems built a “post-war rules based international order” on the premise the United States can and must remake the world. They stationed our troops abroad and launched wars with no end. They merged the American economy with that of the rest of the world, destroying America’s industries, high wage scales and standard of living in the process. They constructed a permanent national security state with unchecked powers to pursue anyone including the president.

The precious “rules based international order” is empire by another name. To those who support it—Democrat, Republican, liberal, conservative, neoconservative, academics, lobbyists and pundits—it is the One True Faith.

Anyone who opposes it is anathema. Even the elected President of the United States.

about the author

Curtis Ellis is Policy Director with America First Policies. He was a senior policy advisor on the 2016 Trump campaign and Presidential Transition Team and served as special advisor to the Secretary of Labor in  the Trump administration.

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Why No Deal is Needed with the Taliban | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on July 21, 2020

Advocates of continuing the war in Afghanistan want to make the issue about whether the Taliban can be trusted. But no trust is necessary; all one needs to see the way forward is a clear understanding of American national security interests and the incentives and goals of the militant organization. From that perspective, the best choice for the United States is a clear commitment to withdrawal, regardless of whether or not we are able to achieve a comprehensive deal before doing so.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/why-no-deal-is-needed-with-the-taliban/

The U.S. should withdraw from Afghanistan and tend to its own interests. Let local powers worry about theirs.

As President Trump moves forward with his plan to withdraw the United States from Afghanistan, a new talking point has emerged among those who would like the United States to stay.

According to current and former government officials, the Taliban cannot be trusted. The argument is that the militant group has proven over the years that it will break any agreement it has reached if doing so accords with its ideological or political interests. According to one scholar, “what we judge the Taliban on is whether they honor the deal.”

Unfortunately, this argument avoids clear thinking about what the vital American national security interests are in Afghanistan, and how to best achieve them. Nearly two decades ago, the United States invaded that country in response to the 9/11 attacks. There was no evidence that Mullah Omar and his government approved of Bin Laden’s plans, or were even aware of them. It is likely they were not, as it was clear to the entire world that a terrorist strike against the United States would end the regime.

In the aftermath of 9/11, the Taliban expressed a willingness to hand over Bin Laden, but demanded evidence and wanted to negotiate the terms. The Bush administration was in no mood for discussions, and military operations to remove the Taliban began about two weeks later.

The Taliban showed no inclination to attack American territory before 9/11, and it has not done so since. Its goal has always simply been to rule over Afghanistan, a country that means little to American interests. Given that the United States went into the country for the purposes of responding to and fighting terrorism, in principle a deal should have been easy to work out.

As the Afghanistan Papers reveal, however, what began as a counter-terrorism war morphed into nation building. Particularly after the failure to find WMDs in Iraq, the Bush administration began to justify its seemingly pointless wars by framing them as struggles for democracy. President Obama came into office skeptical of an open-ended commitment, but was pressured into adopting the kind of counter-insurgency (COIN) mission favored by top military officials. The increase in funding and American troop commitment to Afghanistan coincided with more violence and the Kabul government losing more territory, discrediting the theory of nation-building underlying COIN.

Just as in fall 2001, today the U.S. has no interest in a long-term occupation of Afghanistan, and the Taliban has no interest in attacking the United States. No deal between the two sides is necessary. President Trump can simply withdraw American troops from Afghanistan, as he has been promising to do for years, and the Taliban’s sense of self-preservation should be enough to prevent it from allowing its country to be used as a base for terrorist attacks. In seeking to come back into political power and while facing rival insurgents, the Taliban will have its plate full at home without picking another fight with the United States.

A more serious concern is that the United States leaving Afghanistan would lead to the Taliban eventually replacing the Kabul government. Indeed, the movement has lasted twenty years under pressure from the most powerful military in the world, taking large swaths of territory from a central government receiving overwhelming military and financial support from abroad. Given the extent to which the Taliban has proved itself as a fighting force over two decades, it looks possible it would be able to take power once the United States withdrew.

Even if this is true, few Americans believe that which government rules Kabul is a vital national security interest of the United States. If, after twenty years, the government we have supported is no closer to complete control over its territory than it has been before, it is time to acknowledge that our experiment in nation building has failed. The current government of Afghanistan rests on the agreement and consent of warlords, the likes of which cut deals with the Taliban before and could do so again.

Many citizens prefer the courts and criminal justice system of the Taliban over the central government, seeing the former as less corrupt, better able to provide security, and more consistent with the people’s conservative religious values. Even by the measure of humanitarian concerns, while the central government is in many ways less brutal than the Taliban was, the U.S. occupation has done little to improve the well-being of the Afghan people.

The U.S. should waste no time in withdrawing all American forces from Afghanistan, acknowledging the Taliban as a legitimate player in the future of that country and establishing open dialogue with the group.

Deluding ourselves into believing the Afghan government can stand on its own simply avoids the much-needed honest assessment of the balance of power on the ground.

Advocates of continuing the war in Afghanistan want to make the issue about whether the Taliban can be trusted. But no trust is necessary; all one needs to see the way forward is a clear understanding of American national security interests and the incentives and goals of the militant organization. From that perspective, the best choice for the United States is a clear commitment to withdrawal, regardless of whether or not we are able to achieve a comprehensive deal before doing so.

 

Richard Hanania is a Research Fellow at Defense Priorities and the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University.

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Tomgram: Erik Edstrom, The Betrayal of the American Soldier | TomDispatch

Posted by M. C. on May 13, 2020

It worked like this: we, the infantry, secured a road in Kandahar
Province, allowing logistics convoys to resupply the infantry, so that
we could secure the road, so that the logistics convoys could resupply
us, ad nauseam and in perpetuity. Such a system was mockingly derided by my troops as a “self-licking ice cream cone.”

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176700/tomgram%3A_erik_edstrom%2C_the_betrayal_of_the_american_soldier/#more

By Erik Edstrom

“Every day is a copy of a copy of a copy.” That meme, from the moment when Edward Norton’s character in Fight Club offers a 1,000-yard stare at an office copy machine, captures this moment perfectly — at least for those of us removed from the front lines of the Covid-19 crisis. Isolated inside a Boston apartment, I typically sought new ways to shake the snow globe, to see the same bubble — the same stuff — differently.

Quarantine has entered a new season. The month of May has brought daffodils and barbeque grills. Memorial Day is just around the corner. And every Friday at 7:00 PM, residents in my neighborhood hang out of their windows to bang pots and cheer until they get tired (usually, about two minutes later). It’s a nice gesture to healthcare workers, a contemporary doff of the cap, but does it change anything? Perhaps it’s just another permutation of that old American truism: if you’re getting thanked for your service, you’re in a job where you’re getting shafted.

The war against President Trump’s “invisible enemy” spasms on and we’re regularly reminded that healthcare workers, dangerously ill-equipped, must beg for personal protective equipment. But this Memorial Day, the 18th during America’s War on Terror, our national focus is likely to shift, even if only momentarily, to the soldiers who are still fighting and dying in a self-perpetuating war, now under pandemic conditions.

Reflecting on my own time as a soldier deployed to combat in Afghanistan, I hope that Covid-19 causes us to redefine what “patriotism” and “national security” really should mean. My suggestion: If you want to honor soldiers this Memorial Day, start by questioning the U.S. military.

With this on my mind, and all alone in that apartment, I knew exactly where to look for inspiration.

The Journal

Just before deploying to Kandahar, Afghanistan, in May, 2009, I bought a journal. It was brown, faux-leather, and fit in the hip pocket of Army combat trousers. It wasn’t particularly nice — just something you might pick up at Office Max.

Nonetheless, my soldiers ribbed me for it. “Dear diary,” they snickered.

“No, no, this is a war journal,” I would reply, imagining such a distinction as sufficiently manly to overcome whatever stigma they had when it came to this self-appointed diarist.

At first, journaling was a distraction. I captured images of my platoon, a lovable assemblage of misfits and Marlboro men. But soon, that journal acquired a more macabre tone, its lines filling with stories of roadside bombs, shootouts, amputated limbs, and funerals playing out in a page-by-page street fight of scribbles and scratch-outs.

On a humdrum route-clearance patrol on our fourth day in-country, before the unit of soldiers we were replacing even had a chance to depart, my squad leader’s vehicle was catastrophically destroyed by a roadside bomb. We loaded four broken, bloody, ketamine’d soldiers onto an Air MEDEVAC helicopter en route to urgent care at Kandahar Airfield. (At this rate, I realized, my platoon of 28 would be wiped out within a month.)

I reassured the soldier who was most coherent that he was “going to be okay.” Truth was: I didn’t know. And what did “okay” in battlefield injury-speak even mean? A quadruple amputee with a pulse? Years of horrific facial reconstruction surgeries? Or maybe, with luck, merely a traumatic brain injury or a single leg amputation below the knee, which my wounded friends from Walter Reed Hospital called “a paper cut.”

For this soldier, okay turned out to mean broken bones and lacerations bad enough to send him home, but not bad enough to keep him there. He was stitched-up and sent back to war five months later. When he finally returned to America, in Oregon, he murdered and dismembered someone he didn’t even know in a bathtub. Then he stole the dead man’s car to rob a bank. He’s currently serving life in prison.

But such stories, however raw and urgent they felt, were small. We were, after all, just one platoon in a big, ugly mess of a war, committing acts of political violence against people we didn’t know for reasons we didn’t fully understand.

Although I was told that I’d be “fighting terrorism” in Afghanistan, most of the people our unit was killing turned out to be teenagers or angry farmers with legitimate grievances, people tired of America’s never-ending occupation of their land, tired of our country’s contemptuous devaluation of Afghan lives. And frankly, when I searched my own soul, I couldn’t blame them for fighting back. Had I been in their shoes, I would have done the same.

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that the U.S. military did not encourage me to think too much or too deeply about the morality of the war I was fighting. A popular military aphorism was: “stay in your lane.” And so I jotted down my real thoughts in private and continued with the “mission,” whatever that was, since there appeared to be no coherent plan or strategy, something fully substantiated when, late last year, the Washington Post released “the Afghanistan Papers,” secret and frank interviews by the office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan with top U.S. commanders and officials.

“Operation Highway Babysitter”

That brown journal of mine lived through a lot and, at the end of my deployment, it earned a just retirement at the bottom of a cardboard box — until recently, when, in the midst of self-isolation in the Covid-19 moment, I excavated it from its resting place and brought it into the light of day as if it were so many dinosaur bones.

The cover was a wreck, the pages, earth-stained and dog-eared. Nonetheless, my chicken-scratched entries were enough to reconstruct old, long-buried memories. Those pages cast into relief how far I’ve come. Physically, I’m 6,632 miles away. Temporally, I’m a decade older. But morally, I’m a completely different person.

The first two — distance and time — don’t add up to much. I’ve returned home. I’ve gotten older. But what about the third? Why do I look back on my role in that still never-ending war not as a hero or as a well-intentioned participant, but as a perpetrator? And why, now, do I feel like I was a genuine sucker?

In a sense, I already knew the answers to those questions, but I wanted to revisit the journey I’d taken by flipping those pages past coffee-ring stains and even dried blood. And here’s what I found: I crossed my moral threshold on a dusty road, a glum bit of terrain I watched over for 15 hours straight. The mission’s apt nickname, scrawled in that journal, was “Operation Highway Babysitter.”

It worked like this: we, the infantry, secured a road in Kandahar Province, allowing logistics convoys to resupply the infantry, so that we could secure the road, so that the logistics convoys could resupply us, ad nauseam and in perpetuity. Such a system was mockingly derided by my troops as a “self-licking ice cream cone.”

Despite the effort we put into stopping IED — that is, roadside bomb — emplacement, we neither stopped them, nor created anything that might have passed for “progress.” The problem with IEDs was simple enough: we could watch some of the roads all of the time or all of the roads some of the time, but never all of the roads all of the time. Wherever we couldn’t patrol was precisely where the next one would be emplaced.

Quickly enough, we saw the futility of it all, yet what alternative did we have? We belonged to the Army and so were destined to spend our Afghan tour of duty playing human minesweepers.

Ox, my platoon sergeant, internalized his frustration. During Operation Highway Babysitter, he cut a striking image of Oscar the Grouch, with a fat dip of chewing tobacco puckering his cheek. Just above that egg-sized wad was a small scar from a bullet fragment that had skipped off an Iraqi pavement during the 2003 invasion of that country. One could say that Ox carried the war with him in the most literal sense.

And if we weren’t getting blown up by insurgents, we were getting shot by the Afghan National Police. No kidding. One hot afternoon, an Afghan policeman, visibly high, shot my team leader, Brody, from six feet away with a machine gun. The 7.62 mm bullet hit him in the torso, a spot not covered by body armor. It was a negligent discharge and Brody lived, but my whole platoon wanted to murder that policeman. We didn’t, which seemed rather commendable.

Even as we became increasingly disillusioned, we remained soldiers, trained to execute, however ludicrous the task. If we had to stay in our lane, though, at least we wanted the satisfaction of fighting our enemy face-to-face. It’s hard to explain if you haven’t been there, but the desire to fight hadn’t left us and, as it turned out, we got our chance on Halloween 2009 — a day caught vividly in that brown journal of mine.

The Sound of Revenge

A couple of hours into highway babysitting that day, our stakeout was interrupted by the sound of gunfire. We buttoned up the trucks and set out for danger. When we arrived, the shooting had stopped. All we saw were a few men — maybe farmers, maybe insurgents — in a large grape field. It was hard to make out what they were doing, but there were no weapons to be seen.

Armed only with speculation, there were no grounds (under the rules of engagement we lived by) to shoot them, so our G.I. Joe energy began to melt away and we were distinctly disappointed.

I concede that it’s a strange emotion to actually want to kill someone, knowing there will be no repercussions for doing so — except possibly praise and maybe even medals if you’re successful…

The rest here

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The War in Afghanistan Is a Fraud (and Now We Have Proof)

Posted by M. C. on January 13, 2020

If there’s one thing we should learn from the Afghanistan Papers, which the mainstream corporate media have already ceased talking about, it’s that ending these immoral, illegal, repulsive wars cannot be left to our breathtakingly incompetent and corrupt ruling elite, who have provably been lying to us about them for decades. So it’s up to you and me to stop them.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-war-in-afghanistan-is-a-fraud-and-now-we-have-proof/

Lee Camp

Bombs have numbers. Humans have names. Our American military boasts a skill and passion for using numbers to turn names into yet more numbers. But these numbers have grown so gargantuan and out of control that one struggles to comprehend them.

In just 10 months in 2018—the latest numbers made available—our military dropped 5,982 munitions on Afghanistan, turning many thinking, living and loving names into cold, lifeless numbers. Over the span of the war, 43,000 Afghan civilians have been numberized. We, as Americans, essentially never even notice when it happens. Statistically speaking, it will happen again many times today, and no one in America will really care. (At least not while the game is on.)

Our government has known for years that the war in Afghanistan is a jaw-dropping disaster on the level of “Cats”: the movie. How do we know they knew? The Washington Post actually just published some impressive reporting, taking a step back from its lust for pro-war propaganda. (The last time it achieved such a feat was during the O.J. Simpson trial. The first one. The one with the glove.) The Post unearthed a trove of thousands of internal government documents that expose the catastrophic war. And it turns out there are Tinder dates between a young neo-Nazi and an old Jewish lady that have gone better than this war.

[The document trove] reveals that senior US officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable,” the paper reported.

Let me translate The Washington Post’s fancy-pants language: U.S. officials didn’t “fail to tell the truth”; they fucking lied. The phrase “failed to tell the truth” oozes around the brain’s neural pathways, strategically dodging the anger receptors. “Failed to tell the truth” sounds like veracity is a slippery fish U.S. officials just couldn’t catch.

424 humanitarian aid workers have been numberized.

Let’s take a moment to consider the motivations and goals of the war in Afghanistan. The U.S. ostensibly invaded the country to stop al-Qaida from attacking us in any way, namely by flying large planes into our buildings. We achieved this goal within the first couple months. With al-Qaida essentially decimated, it seems logical that we should have left the country, reserving the right to return if any other big passenger airplanes came after us.

But we didn’t leave. We never leave. Rule No. 1 of the American empire is “Never Truly Leave a Country After Invading.” In order to explain our continued presence, we had to move the goal post. To what? We weren’t sure. We’re still not sure. Nearly 20 years later, if you ask a U.S. general or president (any of them) what the goal is in Afghanistan, they’ll feed you a word salad so large it’ll keep you regular for months. In fact, we now know that even during some of the earliest years of the war, the Pentagon and the Bush administration didn’t know who the bad guys were. (Right now you’re thinking it’s rather juvenile and uninformed of me to refer to enemy forces as “bad guys,” but, as you’ll see in a moment, our government literally spoke about them in those terms. Side note: This is because murderous rampages by war criminals are always juvenile. Murder, by definition, is unevolved.)

According to the Post’s Afghanistan Papers, an unnamed former adviser to an Army Special Forces team said, “They thought I was going to come to them with a map to show them where the good guys and bad guys live. It took several conversations—[a]t first, they just kept asking: ‘But who are the bad guys, where are they?’ 

Yet we Americans were instructed in the early years that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had everything under control. To imply otherwise was to make a mockery of tens of millions of yellow ribbons. But in reality, Rumsfeld, too, had a sizable bad-guy problem.

I have no visibility into who the bad guys are,” he said behind closed, locked, soundproof doors. Meanwhile, Rumsfeld publicly and boldly led the nation in a well-defined and decisive victory in the land of the Afghans.

In 2003, he said, during a press conference alongside Afghan President Hamid Karzai, “General Franks and I … have concluded that we’re at a point where we clearly have moved from major combat activity to a period of stability and stabilization and reconstruction and activities.”

Yep, no more major combat—just 17 years of reconstruction (and activities). Apparently, most U.S.-backed “reconstruction” is done from the air, via bombs. Let that be a lesson to you, rest of the world: You better not screw with us or we’ll reconstruct you and your whole family!

67 journalists have been reconstructed during the war in Afghanistan. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Afghanistan Papers Propaganda at the WashPo Fooled Many – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on January 4, 2020

The Post it seems just did the job it was tasked to do by publishing this story in order to place just enough blame on the system at large so that the rest of society would feel better, and then go right back to sleep.

There is no mention of war crimes, no mention of the senseless murder of hundreds of thousands, and nothing said of the millions of innocent lives destroyed by this purposeful slaughter for the sake of power and control.

The stage is now set for a major continuation of this war on humanity. Iran will be the next and most important victim in this game of death and empire.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/01/gary-d-barnett/the-afghanistan-papers-propaganda-at-the-washington-post-fooled-many-now-on-to-iran/

By

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country”. ~ Edward Bernays, Propaganda (1928), p. 10

All of a sudden, and out of the blue, the “truth-telling” Washington Post informed us that Afghanistan was a failure. They claimed that they were able to gain this valuable and previously unknown information by gaining access to “secret documents,” that were actually not secrets or documents at all, but so-called hidden interviews with those who were actually responsible for prosecuting this heinous war against an innocent people. As stated by the Post “We’re basically fighting the wrong way,” and “This was an original way to tell the story of all the failures in Afghanistan.” Propaganda at this level deserves respect for its blatant and open dishonesty, because the pathetic American populace, including many of those in the alternative press and many of those falsely claiming to be champions of liberty, will easily swallow these outright lies.

In the quote above by Edward Bernays, the “conscious and intelligent manipulation” of the masses is somewhat misleading in that the manipulation may be intelligent, but only because the collective masses are consumed by blind ignorance…

Afghanistan was never a failure; it was a resounding success for the ruling elite puppet masters, their pawns in government, and the entirety of the military industrial complex. The war against Afghanistan and the Middle East was planned far in advance of the staged events of September 11, 2001. A war was certainly desired, but times had changed, and some of the people were tiring of war. What was needed was a solidifying event, one that would corral the emotions of the masses so they would once again accept carnage for false safety, but this time it was to be forever. A simple war was not enough, so a never-ending war was sought, and the era of the bogus war on terror was conceived. Afghanistan was only the beginning.

What the Post story has attempted to accomplish, and apparently achieved, is to bring some sort of mental closure to a situation that was always meant to be the linchpin in a much more aggressive universal war that could lead to a one-world dominate economic system. While the CIA probably did not actually write this Post article, it certainly planted the information, and put all the pieces together in order to set the narrative going forward. The Post it seems just did the job it was tasked to do by publishing this story in order to place just enough blame on the system at large so that the rest of society would feel better, and then go right back to sleep…

The stage is now set for a major continuation of this war on humanity. Iran will be the next and most important victim in this game of death and empire. It has already begun, but this time the consequences could be far more dangerous, and fatal for the future of freedom.

My position is to believe nothing and question everything. It is the only way to achieve sanity, to find the truth, and to see the evil that exists in this world. That evil is far more prevalent than can be readily imagined, and only truth can expose the risks we face. Beware of false flags. Beware of state and media lies. Beware of false prophets wearing the robes of kings, and beware of those that continue to paint a picture of terror in order to advance more war. We are in a time of great danger, and that danger is already upon us today.

“It happened that a fire broke out backstage in a theater. The clown came out to inform the public. They thought it was a jest and applauded. He repeated his warning. They shouted even louder. So I think the world will come to an end amid the general applause from all the wits who believe that it is a joke.”

~ Søren Kierkegaard

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A Timeline of CIA Atrocities - Veterans Today | News ...

 

 

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This American Died for Our Lies in Afghanistan | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on January 1, 2020

The school where Anne was killed was “built” by the U.S. in October 2009, only to enjoy a $135,000 “renovation” a few months later that included “foundation work, installation of new windows and doors, interior and exterior paint, electricity and a garden.” The original contractor did miserable work but got away with it in the we’ll-check-later Potemkin world of the Afghanistan Papers.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/this-american-died-for-our-lies-in-afghanistan/

Foreign Service officer Anne Smedinghoff was sent to the country to show how we were “winning.” She never came home.

An April 8, 2013 memorial service for Anne Smedinghoff at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. Anne was killed in an insurgent attack on Saturday April, 6. 2013 while traveling to donate books to a school in Qalat, Zabul province. (Photo by Musadeq Sadeq/U.S. State Department)

It’s common this time of year to write summary articles trying to make sense of the last 12 months; you’ll soon see them popping up everywhere. But all of them will omit one of the most important stories of the year. For the first time in some two decades, America hasn’t started a new war.

A total of 6,857 American service members have died in war since the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan. George W. Bush began that war, then invaded Iraq in 2003. Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, then immediately expanded the war in Afghanistan. He went on to restart America’s war in Iraq after it was over the first time, launch a new war that turned Libya into a failed state and triggered refugee flows still disrupting European politics, engage the U.S. in Yemen, and abet a humanitarian crisis in Syria. So three full years without a new war is news indeed.

 

This year also brought mainstream confirmation of the truth behind the Afghan war. The Washington Post, long an advocate for all the wars everywhere, took a tiny step of penance in publishing the Afghanistan Papers, which show that the American public has been lied to every step of the way over the past 18 years about progress in Afghanistan and the possibility of some sort of success. Government officials from the president(s) to the grunt(s) issued positive statements they knew to be false while hiding evidence that the war was unwinnable. The so-called Afghanistan Papers are actually thousands of pages of notes created by the Special Inspector for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR), a watchdog federal agency created to oversee the spending of close to $1 trillion in reconstruction money.

The SIGAR documents (all quotes are from the Post‘s Afghanistan Papers reporting) are blunt. “We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan—we didn’t know what we were doing,” said Douglas Lute, a three-star Army general who served as the White House’s Afghan war czar during the Bush and Obama administrations. He added: “What are we trying to do here? We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking. …If the American people knew the magnitude of this dysfunction, 2,400 lives lost. Who will say this was in vain?” There are plenty of similar sentiments going back a decade, with hints of the same almost to the first months of the conflict. Dead men tell no tales, they say, but the record of lies is as stark, final, and unambiguous as the death toll itself.

But Afghanistan was always supposed to be more than a “kinetic” war. The real battles were for the hearts and minds of the Afghan people, with money as the weapon. One of the core lies told to the public, and on the ground in Afghanistan, was that a large portion of the reconstruction money would be spent on education. “We were building schools next to empty schools, and it just didn’t make sense,” a Special Forces officer explained. “The local Afghans said they wanted their kids out herding goats.” Sure, people have to eat, but America would create an Afghan democracy from the primeval mud, with cluster bombs as its Adam, and schools for boys and girls as its Eve.

And it is on that bruised prayer of a lie that Anne Smedinghoff, the only State Department Foreign Service Officer to lose a life in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, died one April morning in 2013 long after the Afghanistan Papers show her bosses in Washington knew the war was unwinnable. Read the rest of this entry »

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The US Has Been Fighting “Forever Wars” Against Muslims for 120 Years

Posted by M. C. on December 30, 2019

“I want no prisoners,” ordered General Jacob Smith on Samar Island during the war in 1902. “I wish you to kill and burn, the more you kill and burn the better you will please me.”

Fast forward over 100 years later and it is difficult to see how U.S. military doctrine has changed for the better. A video came to light in 2010 of then-General James Mattis saying that it was “a hell of a lot of fun to shoot” people in Afghanistan. Mattis was later rewarded for his heroism and bravery by being crowned Donald Trump’s secretary of defense for a short while.

https://themindunleashed.com/2019/12/us-forever-wars-muslims.html

(TMU Op-Ed) — U.S.-led wars in the Middle East have killed some four million Muslims since 1990. The recently published Afghanistan papers, provided an insight into the longest war in U.S. history and revealed how U.S. officials continuously lied about the progress being made in Afghanistan, lacked a basic understanding of the country, were hiding evidence that the war was unwinnable, and had wasted as much as $1 trillion in the process.

Unfortunately, this phenomenon is nothing new. While most people accept that the United States has been interfering with Muslim populations quite heavily since World War II, the truth is that the U.S. has been fighting “forever wars” against Muslim populations for well over 100 years. (If you want to really go back into history, Thomas Jefferson was also fighting Muslims in the oft-forgotten Barbary Wars in the early 1800s).

The average American school curriculum likely doesn’t feature the fact that the U.S. waged a war from 1899 to 1913 in the southernmost island of the Philippines. Known as the Moro War, it was the longest sustained military campaign in American history until the war in Afghanistan surpassed it a few years ago. As a result, the U.S. and the Philippine governments are still embroiled in a battle with Islamist insurgents in the southern Philippines, which takes the meaning of “forever war” to a whole new level.

Despite over a century passing since the U.S. led a counterinsurgency war against the Islamic Moros, its similarities with the Afghanistan war are incredibly noteworthy, to say the least.

Even reading accounts of the terrain in which both conflicts were fought suggest they were equally as treacherous. As detailed in the memoir of Captain John Pershing, fighting the Moro Wars “entailed guerrilla warfare in a country unknown to us, with its swamps and rivers and its hills and mountains, every foot of which was familiar to the inhabitants and their insurrecto troops.”

While the U.S. often boasts about fighting for freedom, many Americans may be wondering how it is that their freedom came to be located in the Philippines in the first place. Was it worth sending 75,000 American troops in just 1900 alone to the Philippines to fight and die? And was the operation even remotely successful?

More importantly seems to be the indication that the U.S. military was not welcome in the Philippines, much as it is not welcomed by Afghanistan or any other Muslim-majority nation which has to duel with the U.S. Empire. After the U.S. defeated the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay and annexed the Philippines under the 1898 Treaty of Paris, the Moro population were not even consulted. The U.S. then sought to “pacify” them using brute force.

“I want no prisoners,” ordered General Jacob Smith on Samar Island during the war in 1902. “I wish you to kill and burn, the more you kill and burn the better you will please me.”

Fast forward over 100 years later and it is difficult to see how U.S. military doctrine has changed for the better. A video came to light in 2010 of then-General James Mattis saying that it was “a hell of a lot of fun to shoot” people in Afghanistan. Mattis was later rewarded for his heroism and bravery by being crowned Donald Trump’s secretary of defense for a short while.

As you can imagine, General Smith received his wish just as Mattis after him, with perhaps half a million locals dying as a result of the U.S. invasion. At Bud Dajo, some 1,000 Moro separatists, including their families had fled to the crest of a volcano to escape the American invasion. Allegedly, American troops reached the top of the volcano and fired down into the crater until they killed 99 percent of the inhabitants. The colonizers then took the time and effort to pose for a photograph with the hundreds of dead bodies (no, seriously).

It is also worth noting that some 4,000 U.S. soldiers lost their lives during this particular war. This closely mirrors the number of coalition deaths since 2001 in Afghanistan—and for good reason. To minimize U.S. personnel deaths in the Philippines’ war, the U.S. military deployed Filipinos led by U.S. officers into battle. (Sound familiar?)

At one stage, Filipinos ended up doing almost all of the dying as U.S. soldiers slowly left the battle theatre. In fact, the final year of conflict was the bloodiest year of the Moro war. This seems to be the trend in a number of U.S. wars. This is certainly true with respect to Afghanistan, with the U.S. military and its Afghan lackeys on the ground killing more civilians than the Taliban in recent times.

But what is all this senseless violence for? To put it simply, whether in the Philippines, Iraq, Afghanistan, or elsewhere, this rampage is all borne out of the belief that America’s subordinates are not capable of ruling themselves and will ultimately profit from American occupation. This was actually the firm thinking of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, who saw it as the duty of the United States to maintain the Philippines as a protectorate. This idea was famously (or infamously) termed the “White Man’s Burden” in a poem written by Rudyard Kipling, who sent the poem to Teddy prior to his decision to engage in the Philippine-American war.  A 1902 Life Magazine cover even depicted an apparent waterboarding of a Filipino POW by U.S. personnel (the supporters in the background seem to be watching with glee).

When not much has changed, it seems it never will. We can also expect this type of activity to continue for the foreseeable future, given the geopolitical stakes at hand. In the case of the Philippines, it was recently reported that Chinese and Philippine foreign ministers have sealed an agreement for the two nations to pursue joint oil and gas exploration in the hotly contested South China Sea.

As it turns out, the South China Sea could contain anywhere between 125 billion barrels of crude oil and 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The idea that a foreign adversary, especially one rising to prowess on the world stage such as China, could control the majority of these resources unchecked is a major blow to the U.S. Empire.

Whether it is lithium, opium, and geostrategic chess moves in Afghanistan; or natural gas and oil in the South China Sea, Muslim populations will continue to suffer in a colonial terror campaign which has been unfolding for over 100 years.

Think of it this way: if another century passes and your great grandchildren had never heard of the “forever war” that took place in Afghanistan in the early 2000s, all the while watching a new war unfold in the Indo-Pacific region for similar reasons, you would rightfully be fuming in your grave.

By Darius Shahtahmasebi | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Secretary of Defense? Donald Trump Meeting With General ...

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Afghanistan Papers Prove US Gov Blew $3 Trillion, Lied About It

Posted by M. C. on December 26, 2019

A mere 22 hours after the release of this document, the new National Defense Authorization Act that breezed through the House and Senate was signed by the President. That bill authorized $738 billion in military spending for 2020, actually increasing the budget by $22 billion over previous years.

https://www.theorganicprepper.com/afghanistan-papers-3-trillion-congress-ndaa/

by Daisy Luther

It’s rare that I read something on the Washington Post that I don’t find highly biased, even repugnant. But with their recent article on the Afghanistan Papers, they truly knocked the ball out of the park.

The facts they shared should have every American protesting in the streets. Trillions of dollars have been spent on a war that the Pentagon knew was unwinnable all along. More than 2300 American soldiers died there and more than 20,000 have been injured. More than 150,000 Afghanis were killed, many of them civilians, including women and children.

And they lied to us constantly.

Congress just proved that the truth doesn’t matter, though. A mere 22 hours after the release of this document, the new National Defense Authorization Act that breezed through the House and Senate was signed by the President. That bill authorized $738 billion in military spending for 2020, actually increasing the budget by $22 billion over previous years.

So, how is your representation in Washington, DC working out for you?

What are the Afghanistan Papers?

Read the rest of this entry »

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Top US General Denies That US Troops Died in Vain in Afghanistan – News From Antiwar.com

Posted by M. C. on December 21, 2019

The M-I-C lips are moving therefore…

https://news.antiwar.com/2019/12/20/top-us-general-denies-that-us-troops-died-in-vain-in-afghanistan/

‘I don’t think anybody has died in vain, per se’

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley sought to defend the Afghan War on Friday, despite the Afghanistan Papers showing systematic official lies about the failed conflict, insisting that the documents were a “mischaracterization” of the war, and that there was no unified decision to deceive the public.

Rather, the position here seems to be that hundreds of Pentagon officials took it upon themselves and each individually decided to deceive the public a little bit, culminating in a colossal lie which couldn’t be explicitly blamed on anyone.

Gen. Milley insisted the war had been a success in that there hadn’t been any specific terror attacks out of Afghanistan for the war’s duration, and particularly objected to the idea that anyone had died “in vain” in the conflict.

I don’t think anybody has died in vain, per se,” Milley said, saying if anyone’s death was in vain, he “could not look at myself in the mirror.” Since he can still do that, he’s concluded no one died in vain.

The entire idea that troops died in vain is largely a military creation at any rate, built to try to shame politicians into keeping the war going on the notion that if the war is lost all the deaths were in vain.

Yet now, the war is plainly lost, and officials are still looking to give those deaths some specific merit. Broadly, assigning meaning to the deaths is something that was largely just an exercise military brass sought in the first place, and should have little impact on either US policy in Afghanistan going forward, or culpability on the years of deception from the Afghanistan Papers.

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Why The Afghanistan Papers Are An Eerie Reminder Of Vietnam | PopularResistance.Org

 

 

 

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Selling the war: I helped craft the official lies in Afghanistan – StarTribune.com

Posted by M. C. on December 20, 2019

Whether the interactions they depicted had been frustrating, troublesome or downright hostile, my messages as an information officer were always rosy.

Corruption littered our daily interactions, and a few months into our deployment, my PRT launched an investigation that ultimately uncovered a scheme that wound its way through upper-level government officials, including Paktia’s then-governor and chief of police

http://www.startribune.com/selling-the-war-i-helped-craft-the-official-lies-in-afghanistan/566323522/

By Lauren Kay Johnson

Recently, Washington Post reporting showed that the conflict in Afghanistan has been an operation of deception, as the war’s architects knowingly misled the public about its objectives and progress. The “Afghanistan Papers” were not a revelation to me. I was one of the deceivers.

From July 2009 to March 2010, I served as one of the U.S. Air Force’s designees for a nation-building mission, and I witnessed the disconnect between what happened on the ground and the messages the public heard about it. As my team’s information operations officer, I played a direct role in crafting those messages. I employed “strategic communication” during events like the 2009 Afghan presidential election and directed embedded reporters to only the sunniest stories, keeping them away from disgruntled troops who might not stick to tidy talking points. But my job wasn’t only to mislead the American public: Our information campaign extended to the Afghan people and to higher-ups within the American military itself.

I arrived in Paktia province in July 2009, as part of a provincial reconstruction team (PRT). At 25, I embodied the kind of idealistic fervor that the military depends on. I wanted to make a difference by building support for the government, eroding support for the insurgency, increasing access to basic services and enhancing the rule of law. These initiatives seemed worthy, noble even, and each required local buy-in. If we were to win the war, we would do so with hearts and minds. And we would win hearts and minds with information.

With low literacy rates and minimal access to electricity, information in Afghanistan flows largely over the airwaves. We relied on hand-crank radios disseminated to Afghans by coalition forces, tuned to stations owned and operated by coalition forces. I wrote broadcast news copy for the team’s interpreters to translate and thought of it as a persuasive tool, rather than strictly fact-sharing. Local listeners were, in military lingo, the subjects of “nonlethal targeting.” As one of my military supervisors constantly repeated, “We control the message!” Read the rest of this entry »

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