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Pouring Gas on the Afghanistan Bonfire

Posted on Aug 25, 2008
AP photo / Rafiq Maqbool

An Afghan soldier stands near a destroyed vehicle after an explosion on the outskirts of Kabul.

By Chris Hedges

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan grind forward with their terrible human toll, even as the press and many Americans play who gets thrown off the island with Barack Obama. Coalition forces carried out an airstrike that killed up to 95 Afghan civilians in western Afghanistan on Friday, 50 of them children, President Hamid Karzai said. And the mounting bombing raids and widespread detentions of Afghans are rapidly turning Afghanistan into the mirror image of Iraq. But these very real events, which will have devastating consequences over the next few months and years, are largely ignored by us. We prefer to waste our time on the trivia and gossip that swallow up air time and do nothing to advance our understanding of either the campaign or the wars fought in our name.

As the conflict in Afghanistan has intensified, so has the indiscriminate use of airstrikes, including Friday’s, which took place in the Azizabad area of Shindand district in Herat province. The airstrike was carried out after Afghan and coalition soldiers were ambushed by insurgents while on a patrol targeting a known Taliban commander in Herat, the U.S. military said. Hundreds of Afghans, shouting anti-U.S. slogans, staged angry street protests on Saturday in Azizabad to protest the killings, and Karzai condemned the airstrike. 

The United Nations estimates that 255 of the almost 700 civilian deaths in fighting in Afghanistan this year have been caused by Afghan and international troops. The number of civilians killed in fighting between insurgents and security forces in Afghanistan has soared by two-thirds in the first half of this year.

Ghulam Azrat, the director of the middle school in Azizabad, said he collected 60 bodies after the bombing.

“We put the bodies in the main mosque,’’ he told the Associated Press by phone, sometimes pausing to collect himself as he wept. “Most of these dead bodies were children and women. It took all morning to collect them.”


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Azrat said villagers on Saturday threw stones at Afghan soldiers who arrived and tried to give out food and clothes. He said the soldiers fired into the crowd and wounded eight people, including one child.

“The people were very angry,” he said. “They told the soldiers, ‘We don’t need your food, we don’t need your clothes. We want our children. We want our relatives. Can you give [them] to us? You cannot, so go away.’ ”

We are in trouble in Afghanistan. Sending more soldiers and Marines to fight the Taliban is only dumping gasoline on the bonfire. The Taliban assaults, funded largely by the expanded opium trade, are increasingly sophisticated and well coordinated. And the Taliban is exacting a rising toll on coalition troops. Soldiers and Marines are now dying at a faster rate in Afghanistan than Iraq. In an Aug. 18 attack, only 30 miles from the capital, Kabul, the French army lost 10 and had 21 wounded. The next day, hundreds of militants, aided by six suicide bombers, attacked one of the largest U.S. bases in the country. A week before that, insurgents killed three foreign aid workers and their Afghan driver, prompting international aid missions to talk about withdrawing from a country where they already have very limited access. 

Barack Obama, like John McCain, speaks about Afghanistan in words that look as if they were penned by the Bush White House. Obama may call for withdrawing some U.S. troops from Iraq, but he does not want to send them all home. He wants to send them to Afghanistan, or to what he obliquely terms “the right battlefield.” Obama said he would deploy an additional 10,000 troops to Afghanistan once he took office.

The seven-year war in Afghanistan has not gone well. An additional 3,200 Marines were deployed there in January. Karzai’s puppet government in Kabul controls little territory outside the capital. And our attempt to buy off tribes with money and even weapons has collapsed, with most tribal groups slipping back into the arms of the Taliban insurgents. 

Do the cheerleaders for an expanded war in Afghanistan know any history? Have they studied what happened to the Soviets, who lost 15,000 Red Army soldiers between 1979 and 1988, or even the British in the 19th century? Do they remember why we went into Afghanistan? It was, we were told, to hunt down Osama bin Laden, who is now apparently in Pakistan. Has anyone asked what our end goal is in Afghanistan? Is it nation-building? Or is this simply the forever war on terror?

Al-Qaida, which we have also inadvertently resurrected, is alive and well. It still finds plenty of recruits. It still runs training facilities. It still caries out attacks in London, Madrid, Iraq and now Afghanistan, which did not experience suicide bombings until December 2005. Al-Qaida has moved on. But we remain stuck, confused and lashing about wildly like a wounded and lumbering beast.

We do not have the power or the knowledge, nor do we have the right under international law, to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan. We are vainly trying to transplant to these countries a modern system of politics invented in Europe. This system is characterized by, among other things, the division of the Earth into independent secular states based on national citizenship. The belief in a secular civil government is to most Afghans and Iraqis an alien creed. It will never work. 

We have blundered into nations we know little about. We are caught between bitter rivalries among competing ethnic and religious groups. We have embarked on an occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan that is as damaging to our souls as it is to our prestige and power and security. And we believe, falsely, that because we have the capacity to wage war we have the right to wage war.

We divert ourselves in our dotage and decline with images and slogans that perpetuate fantasies about our own invulnerability, our own might, our own goodness. We are preoccupied by national trivia games that pass for news, even as the wolf pants at our door. These illusions blind us. We cannot see ourselves as others see us. We do not know who we are.

“We had fed the heart on fantasies,” William Butler Yeats wrote, “the heart’s grown brutal from the fare.”

We are propelled forward not by logic or compassion or understanding but by fear. We have created and live in a world where violence is the primary form of communication. We have become the company we keep. Much of the world—certainly the Muslim world, one-fifth of the world’s population, most of whom are not Arab—sees us through the prism of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. We are igniting the dispossessed, the majority of humanity who live on less than two dollars a day. And whoever takes the White House next January seems hellbent on fueling our self-immolation.

Chris Hedges’ column, now weekly, appears Mondays on Truthdig.

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By yellowbird2525, August 25, 2008 at 2:43 pm Link to this comment

our Gov deliberately deceived, mislead, & continues to do so on almost ever issue there is; the media is run by wealthy, Corps, who work hand in hand with Gov to LIE continually to the public; misleading us into THINKING Saddam Hussain was behind the twin tower attacks (who was???)well, our Gov had decided under Clinton 1996 to remove Hussain; they had gone to him, bribed him, flattered him, loaded him up with weapons & helped him to overthrow the Gov of Iran to set up a dictatorship which is the NORMAL way our Gov does; Look at Chile; the dictatorship they set up with all the “disappearing” folks by the dictatorship Gov; ooops thats whats going on here in the USA isn’t it?????? oh, the housing crisis & banking crisis; that’s right; funniest thing: there were all safe guards & laws to PROTECT the people and the COUNTRY after the great depression; but when millions of folks “just” walk away”; where did they all go folks? then: KNOWING the Taliban whom we attacked supposedly cuz the “women” were being abused: were processing the opium, getting weapons, getting prepared to route out the invaders the USA; why, get rid of a lot more American’s by sending them into the fray; KNOWING they will die; THIS is the great American way;****remember Laura Bush going & how wonderful it was in Afghanistan & how the women were so no longer oppressed just what less than a month ago? FALSE PICTURES, FALSE INFORMATION, LIES, DECEIT, DELIBERATE premeditated killing & harming of Americans: by the American Gov;

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By No Fool!, August 25, 2008 at 2:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Come again,why we are in Afhgasitan? This baloney that US is after Bin Laden , he is alive and in Pakistan is from watching Fox Ooz too much. have you heard that America had plans to invade this country 6 months prior Sept 11 2001 attacks.
The guy is dead you morons and he could not have planted explosives in the 3 WTC!

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By cyrena, August 25, 2008 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment

By oregoncharles, August 25 at 11:38 am #

It’s a relief to see a voice of reality among the Obamamania.


Oh I wouldn’t be so hasty with the Obamamania tags oregoncharles. It might also be a bit delusional to assume that all of those supporting Obama are unaware of realities.

Apparently, Cynthia McKinney and her supporters are among those living under delusions. Of COURSE one cannot run a campaign with no money! Is she just figuring that out?

The bottom line is that Cynthia McKinney, in all her passion and all of the rest of it, (for which I admire her) is just not SMART. She cannot control herself, because it requires an incredible amount of discipline, that she doesn’t have. Just like Obama has said that he had to ‘bite his tongue’ multiple times under the attacks from his own party, (The Clinton attack was so beyond the pale as to be totally embarrassing) Cynthia would just whack ‘em with her cell phone!!

Yes, I would be tempted to do the same, which is why I’m not running for office of any kind. It was hard enough to keep my mouth shut when my livelihood depended on it.

No, Cynthia is just not smart. If she was, she would have made it a point to remain inside, where she might have actually been able to accomplish something. But her lack of discipline forced her out of even that seat, considering the fickle nature of the constituency that she represented. So now, just like so many others, she’s changed colors from blue to green. Makes one question any ability to do any deep thinking. Seems far more like just a ‘reaction’ and it never works.

In fact, what I see happening now within the democratic party is exactly what became of the Civil Rights Movement. All of these ‘self-interests’ took over, and broke down the unity of the movement.

Nope, Cynthia is not smart. Passionate and committed maybe, but not smart, and not disciplined.

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By Virginia777, August 25, 2008 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment

no, you ARE in trouble when your country is carrying out unethical wars.

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By bilejones, August 25, 2008 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

Hedges says “We are in trouble in Afghanistan.”
This of course is nonsense. I’m “not in trouble in Afghanistan” because I’m not in Afghanistan, nor, I suspect is Hedges. This is the central delusion of the left: the eternal self-identification with the State.
Those in trouble in Afghanistan are the criminal politicians in Washington and a few tens of thousands of their Helots.

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By oregoncharles, August 25, 2008 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

It’s a relief to see a voice of reality among the Obamamania.

By way of drawing the lesson, I’ll remind everyone that there is a real Peace Party, the Greens, and a real peace candidate, Cynthia McKinney.  Support for her helps build a real alternative to the duopoly of corporate parties.

She’s struggling now to make her voice heard; it’s all but impossible to carry on an effective campaign without money.  If you’d like to have a real alternative in politics, try her website at  Or the Greens,

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By BugsBBunny III, August 25, 2008 at 12:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris has it right. We fear to see ourselves and the world differently than what we are used to expecting. The curse of a military is the sense of wasting it. Why have a military if you aren’t going to use it?

Meanwhile… other people have a different point of view. Chris reminds us… that it is not just us in the world. It is not just us and our point of view.
It’s not just us and what we want.

Who knew?

Meanwhile extremists rule. To all our peril they see no solution but their own.

Extremists rule and worse… when they fail they insist that continuing is the only course… because they know they are right even when wrong… and don’t admit when they are wrong anyway.

Extremists rule… to all our peril.

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By writeon, August 25, 2008 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In Iraq there’s a lull, a US election lull, everybody’s waiting and sizing-up the opposition. Afghanistan is going to hell in a bucket and the plan to subdue it is an abject failure. The Afghans can never be defeated not without resorting to Roman tactics, but surely Afghanistan isn’t worth ‘genocide’. But the next step, expanding the war into Pakistan, destabilizing Pakistan, how wise is that?

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By cyrena, August 25, 2008 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

By TAO Walker, August 25 at 9:35 am

“Because Life Herownself helps those who help one another,” she’d say, adding, “and god help them as only helps their self!”


Thanks for this TAO…my grandmother used to say something very, very similar, though it was generally relayed in a dialect that very few people use any longer. (a bastardized French/English).

Still, we knew what she was talking about, and I for one, have never forgotten it.

Sadly, most twoleggers would rather whine about what’s been perpetrated against them, (off to war) and be submissive to ‘the powers’ while they whine away.

Guess it takes too much guts to stand up and say..NO! or HELL NO! I WON’T GO! That’s what was happening back in my day, with people burning draft cards and making themselves known. There was an organization to that movement that is lacking now, and I doubt we’ll ever see it again. Too submissive for too long, and then when we do get up in arms, it’s either too late, or directed at the wrong source of the disease.

That is of course unless the draft was to be initiated again. Had that been in effect, we wouldn’t even be in Iraq or anywhere else. The ‘elite’ or even the *then* middle class would never have put up with it….“Not MY child”...

But, as long as it’s been somebody else’s blood, they’ve gone along. These years later, they aren’t even ‘middle class’ anymore. That’s what happens when people don’t ‘get it’ about helping each other.

Meantime KP in SEA

By KPinSEA, August 25 at 10:08 am

•  “I’m not sure I agree with this statement: …“The belief in a secular civil government is to most Afghans and Iraqis an alien creed.”

I don’t agree with this either, though maybe not only for the reasons you’ve suggested. The truth is that prior to the US invasion of Iraq, that sovereign state was the closest to a secular civil government than any in the region.

Surely one could argue how Saddam oppressed the Shia and prevented them from practicing their religion. But the reality is that dictatorship or not, Iraq had a basically secular arrangement, before the US invasion and occupation destabilized it, and issued an open invitation for the extremists to come right in. They could never have managed that under Saddam, and wouldn’t have tried.

Afghanistan is a whole different conversation in these terms, and they always have been. That’s another problem for the Western mindset. Just lump all of ‘em together, just because they happen to be in relatively close proximity to each other, and they’ve all got that ‘Islam thing’. Kind of like the standard mentality here that has always claimed (out loud or to themselves), that we people of color, ‘all look alike’. How ironic is that, considering there’s only one ‘shade’ of white?

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By Big B, August 25, 2008 at 11:28 am Link to this comment

TAO Walker

Your grandma was a wise woman, wiser than all of us, I fear.

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By KPinSEA, August 25, 2008 at 11:08 am Link to this comment

I’m not sure I agree with this statement:

“The belief in a secular civil government is to most Afghans and Iraqis an alien creed.”

It’s not as if America or NATO invented the idea of a foreign power imposing a government in Afghanistan.  The Afghans have been familiar with this concept since Alexander and Tamerlane ... you can’t take yourself seriously as an imperial power if you haven’t occupied at least part of Afghanistan!

The problem for America is that the Afghans have heard it all before, the manifesto of foreigners who have arrived to ‘civilize’ their remote tribal homelands ... and the Afghans know that in the end, they’ll still be there and we’ll leave.  We’re going to succeed in imposing our culture where Alexander, the Parthians, the Persians, the Mongols, the British, the Russians, and many more failed before us?

That is the short, short, ridiculously optimistic view.  Oh yeah, it’s an election year, prepare for more of the same.

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By TAO Walker, August 25, 2008 at 10:35 am Link to this comment

Chris Hedges here is talking good sense this time.  This old Wolf has watched the domesticated peoples half-living under the rule-of-fear for a long time now….with today’s outright reign-of-terror only the latest in a long series of such things.  Natural Human Beings won’t tolerate, and refuse to submit to such degrading and degenerative conditions.  Over time even “livestock,” two-legged and otherwise, must either break free or perish when subjected to them.

The tormentors see that their “civilization” has about run its inevitably self-destructive course here, and are pulling out all the stops to milk everything they can from this contraption before it collapses into ruin and decay….and “the devil take the hindmost,” as people used to say.  Soon the domesticated peoples, so long so self-satisfied in their self-delusions of “superiority,” will get to finally find out just how far short of their self-serving PR they actually fall. 

This old Indian’s Great-grandmother used to like reminding us that the judeo/christian belief that “God helps those who help themselves,” must’ve got mixed-up in-translation and badly garbled in-transmission.  “Because Life Herownself helps those who help one another,” she’d say, adding, “and god help them as only helps their self!”

So it’s no wonder so many self-helpers here in “america” and all around the world are now desperately seeking their gods’ “help” in the throes of their largely self-inflicted predicament….not a very rosy prospect for those who actually worship only “money” and “power.”  Having mostly bought and shot their way into this mess, theamericanpeople seem incapable of even conceiving of any other approach to getting out of it.  Here in Indian Country even us surviving primitive Savages know the only way out of a mess is to get together and clean it up.

Much sooner than later now all the domesticated peoples, too, are going to come-face-to-face with that fact.  Meantime, though, it looks like they’ll stay on the road to perdition clear to its bitter end.  After all, when it comes to “glamour,” rakes and shovels and brooms can’t hold a candle to tanks, bombers, and depleted-uranium bullets.  As an old friend used to say, “Of all the kinds of cancer afflicting people, fear is the worst.  It eats-away the very heart and spirit of an individual or a whole nation of ‘em.”

Better break its chains, tame Two-legged Sisters and Brothers.


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By Virginia777, August 25, 2008 at 10:04 am Link to this comment

We are being burned by our own stupidity and arrogance.

Perhaps this is a Darwinian inescapability, but horrible to watch, none-the-less.

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By Folktruther, August 25, 2008 at 9:54 am Link to this comment

The Pustans, by far the largest group in Afghanistan, amounting to 40% of the population, extend acrsss the South past an arbitrary and ignored border into Pakistan.  There is no way to win that war without the US fighting in Pakistan, a nuclear power on the border of China.  The Pustan Taliban are being supported by elements of the Pak military and ISI intelligence agency.

In short, there is no way the US can win that war.  But Obama doesn’t want to lose it on his watch.  Instead of opposing the neocon poliices of Bush, he is SUPPORTING them, now by enlisting Biden.  Both the Dem and Gop neocons are supporting war aborad and a police state in the US.

It is necessary to opppose the neocons in BOTH parties.  This can be best done, in my opinion, by supporting McKinney to help mobilize the population against the Zionism and gangsterism that is driving the US population into the ground.

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By thebeerdoctor, August 25, 2008 at 9:21 am Link to this comment

Barack Obama’s policy on Afghanistan shows that he is simply not a candidate for peace. Why do all these political bastards think they have a God-given right to ship our fellow citizens into wars and occupations for some abstract power struggle that they can’t even define? Doesn’t anybody care about the men and women being used for this shit? There are our brothers and sisters who are needlessly being sacrificed so the manipulative leaders can exhibit their macho policy manhood.
Whether it is John McCain or Barack Obama, with his nuanced “right battlefield”, the result will be the same. Our fellow citizens will be needlessly killed and maimed, and for what?

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By msgmi, August 25, 2008 at 8:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The coalition in Afghanistan is employing the ‘shock & awe’ tactics of ex-SecDef donald rumsfeld once described by VP cheney as the greatest of all SecDefs. The counter-insurgency will not be won by similar tactics employed by the Taliban. Whoever mapped out this misconstrued strategic charge must be consulting rummy or his fellow neoCON gurus.

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By RAE, August 25, 2008 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

... are, of course, doomed to repeat it.

The “West” (you know who you are) has absolutely NO BUSINESS being anywhere but IN THE WEST. The “west” hasn’t a clue how others on this planet organize or disorganize their societies and when you don’t have a clue what you’re doing you simply shouldn’t be there.

Whatever losses the “west” suffers outside their own territories is ENTIRELY THEIR OWN FAULT. Further than that, IMHO, they DESERVE the pain.

The only sympathy I have is for the families of all those members whose lives are being completely WASTED messing around in other people’s business. The notion that these soldiers are sacrificing for their countries is complete bullshit nonsense. The only reason they’re over there losing their lives is because the greedy, “oily” overlords in the “west” are too gutless to fight their own battles. They’d much prefer to send ignorant young men and women to get slaughtered while they stay safe at home and get rich. Too damned bad there are so many poor fools willing to sacrifice themselves this way. Conditioning is alive and well “in the west.”

The ONLY people who should be tackling the problems in Iraq and Afghanistan are the IRAQUIS and the AFGHANS. The fact that the “leadership” of both these countries are, at this time, dysfunctional and shot through with corruption, greed and violence has no bearing on the issue. THE PROBLEMS ARE STILL THEIRS TO SOLVE. No one else’s.

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By lodipete, August 25, 2008 at 8:19 am Link to this comment

When the Soviets were in Afghanistan, Reagan handed out stingers to the Mujahadeen via Pakistan. Now that we’ve rekindled the Cold War, I wonder what surprises Putin might have in store for the “Coalition” probably via Pakistan or maybe even Pakistan’s ally, China. So much for the “peace dividend”.

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By G.Anderson, August 25, 2008 at 8:17 am Link to this comment

After all the bombs have been dropped, and all the bullets have been fired.

What will be left is just people. People whose lives have been torn to pieces, by loss and death, and horors perpetrated on them, in the name of ideologies, that they can read about in political pamphlets fluttering in the blood stained dirt…

Those words can never replace the loss of their loved ones, or their homes.

But in all of this, no one has ever addressed, the most important of all issues, does the West have any answer to fundamentalist Islam?

Until we do, we can never hope to win, no matter how many people we kill.

In the west we’ve replaced out Gods with materialism, maybe that’s why we can’t understand the power of a mans soul. Against which bombs and bullets are of no consequence.

It is as if death has been turned against us, we have much to live for, they have much to die for.

This is why ulitmately why we will lose. For we see death as a tragic end to consumption, they see it as the entrance to paradise.

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By Big B, August 25, 2008 at 8:16 am Link to this comment

I also wanted to point out that the people of the Americas eventually rose up and elected their own anti US, socialist regimes (somewhere in the middle of my second paragragh, sorry, it’s Monday)

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By Big B, August 25, 2008 at 8:11 am Link to this comment

One man’s “disproportionate force” is another man’s “blitzkrieg”, or “shock and awe”. (except when the Germans did it, they did it right, they didn’t worry about those pesky civilians-ah war, it is indeed hell)Collateral damage aside, does this policy toward the Pakistan-Afghanistan region look familier to anyone. It should, for it is the same policy that the CIA and pentagon used in Central and South America from the 1950’s thru the 80’s. I’ll spare everyone the history lesson and just jump to conclusion. Our policy has led to left wing, socialist goverments being elected in all over the americas in the last 10 years. The people, having delt with brutal juntas and CIA backed puppet regimes, were held in abject poverty for decades by pro US-corps only interested in profiting from the rape of the rich lands of the americas. First, this caused a mass exodus of peoples to north america to look for work and escape the hell on earth that we had created with our short sighted policy. By exploiting the people and lands of Central and South America we have become the beggars to our demise. Our already overpopulated and underemployed nation now has to deal with a constant influx of new laborers at the worst possible time, during an economic downturn.
We may not see direct effects of the constant state of war we have imposed on the middle east, but the refugee crisis created by those wars will and have effected the economys of our allies already. And thus effects us, eventually.
What’s that old Bradbury story about “the Butterfly Effect?” I guess it’s true, except that butterflies are now being played by B-2’s.

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By Fahrenheit 451, August 25, 2008 at 5:27 am Link to this comment

Obama needs to have one of his betters give him a history of “European” imperialism in Afghanistan.  The Brits know this first hand; they lost 12 - 16,000 dead in retreat at the Gandamak pass, in January of 1842.  The Russians, with more than 120,000 troops also lost; in many respects (soldiers killed, politic, and prestige).  Yeah, yeah, we handed out Stingers, so what?  We have 30,000 troops there now plus NATO and all our glorious technology and we’re still losing.  Technology?  It’s not enough.  Now factor in our killing at least 70 civilians (mostly children) on Friday, plus possibly 10 French troops in a “friendly” (oxymoron?) fire incident and on and on and on…it’s a flipping disaster by all measure made by intelligent humans.  We need to get off of our democracy proselytizing addiction and get real.  Who cares what form of governance Afghanistan’s people practice, as long as they keep it in their country and don’t export their violent form of philosophy/religion.  This selling of our ideological crap to the world is, well, crap.  If Obama believes his own bullshit regarding Afghanistan; then it’s just more of the same.  Personally, I don’t think we will survive this intact.  We’ve forgotten how to apply intelligence to everyday life.  Well, that’s my two cents worth.

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By skulz fontaine, August 25, 2008 at 4:54 am Link to this comment

That “Afghanistan” will break your heart. We ought to ask the Soviets. Golly, does anyone even remember the Soviets? They got their hats handed back to them by Afghans and well, that pretty much did things in for the Soviets. Hmmm, sort of like how Georgians got their hats handed back to them by Russians. The U.S./NATO blunder will be eerily similar to the Soviet blunder in Afghanistan and eventually, the U.S./NATO axis of insanity will get their hats handed back to them by Afghans and criminy, the song remains brutally the same. Hamid Karzai, the U.S. puppet and Chevron flunky, will get his hat handed back to him and quite possibly Karzai’s head will still be in the hat. Seems kind of sad for old Hamid but, it’s Afghanistan and criminy, Afghanistan can be horrifically brutal. The ‘brutality’ motif brings up Iraq and if the diplomatic shuffle being played out in Baghdad doesn’t quite work out as Dr. Condo planned, well, won’t it just be back to the old drawing board for an “understanding” that somehow ‘MUST’ work or U.N. mandates will expire and won’t the Bush/Cheney/Rice charade have failed by then. Iraq AND Afghanistan are already in “failure” and nobody seems sane enough to admit the obvious. Amerika has grown so “accepting” of political failure, that failure is merely dressed up all fancy and ‘on the town’ sort of trendy and ‘we the people’ eat that crap up like Iranian caviar. Which by the by, won’t Iranian caviar become inordinately cost prohibitive really darn soon.

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By jackpine savage, August 25, 2008 at 4:50 am Link to this comment

So i take it that we are using “disproportionate force” in Afghanistan…and i thought that such behavior was unacceptable.

Never mind, we will terrorize the Afghan population into recognizing that it’s our way or death to your women and children.

The new Pakistani government may soon fall, leaving either a vacuum or the opportunity for the Army/ISI to take the reigns…again.  In the case of the former, we’ll need to invade that country too…to “stabilize” it.  In the case of the later we’ll make a lot of excuses about being for democracy in countries that aren’t democratic.

The “right” battlefield is one that you can win on.

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By Paul_GA, August 25, 2008 at 4:11 am Link to this comment

I suppose that, in the end, about all we can do as voters is vote for “None of the Above”; i.e., don’t vote either Repub or Demo, because such a vote is for “business as usual”—-war, national decline, more coercive, domineering government, etc.

I’m torn between Bob Barr and Cynthia McKinney, but I expect my mind will be made up by November.

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