Deja Vu: Afghan war plan is more of the same

This morning, I was listening to NPR. The expert commentator that was being interviewed about the Obama Administration’s plans for deploying more troops to Afghanistan sounded like he was reading from a Bush era script.

He said that the US is fighting an insurgency mounted by the Taliban in Afghanistan, noting that we could expect the US military to be there for “many more years. ” First we have to train the Afghan police and military and ensure they can take responsibility before US troops can withdraw.

More of the same! Instead of ending this war we are planning an endless war. Why is President Obama supporting this policy when many are finally questioning why we are fighting in Afghanistan at all? Even Gen. Petraeus confirms that Al Qaeda is not in Afghanistan.

This is an outrage! First, the US covertly funded, trained and armed the Taliban in the 1990s during their 10-year insurgency against the Soviet Union’s occupation. Yes, this was Charlie Wilson’s illegally funded US proxy war with the USSR. After the Soviets withdrew in defeat, the US support for the Taliban came out of the shadows.

For example, in May of 2001 Colin Powell announced that the Bush Administration had given $43 million in aid to the Taliban government in Afghanistan, ignoring their well-documented human rights abuses.  The Taliban are monsters that America created!

Now in May of 2009, we’re still pouring money and blood into the devastated Afghan population’s living nightmare. But this time it’s to fight the Taliban.  Why is the US at war with the Taliban? As reprehensible as they are, they didn’t attack this country.

We are living in an Orwellian world! Didn’t President Obama campaign on the promise of ending the carnage of military agression? Didn’t he say he wanted to change the mindset that got us into this? President Karzai has demanded that the US stop their aerial bombardment of his country. But, our president has affiirmed that the bombing will continue.

Now there is a humanitarian crisis exploding in Pakistan. As Chris Hedges wrote on Truthdig, we are “becoming what we seek to destroy.”

~Nancy Logsdon Mandelkorn

2 responses to “Deja Vu: Afghan war plan is more of the same

  1. There are so many similar “more of the same” news items of late – it’s a bit daunting. There seems to be a need for more constructive and practical voices from noteworthy public figures – people who could offer alternative courses of action that might gain media traction.

    • Opinion leaders and everyone else need to speak up. It’s no time to lose our voice or to go to sleep.

      If you’ve read Naomi Klein’s “Shock Doctrine,” you’ve probably noticed some examples of her thesis playing out in the media. Keep the populace stressed and afraid, and powerful interests can push through major policies or execute bloodless coups or whatever they want with little resistance.

      Might explain why the mass media is allowing Dick Cheney’s ubiquitous talking head to hijack the news cycle, praising the virtues of torture—unchallenged!

      Reminds me of the monstrous, talking, severed head kept alive by technology in C.S. Lewis’ novel, “That Hideous Strength.”

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