Why is the United States (still) in Afghanistan?

Seems this is one of the great mysteries of our time! As far as my little goosy brain can recall, the war in Afghanistan was originally in retaliation for the suicide bombings in New York, 2001-09-11. Seems the US president at the time had great difficulty in grasping the concept of a “suicide bombing” and felt the need to blame and bomb someone.

Then it was to capture or kill alleged 9/11 architect Osama Bin Laden – though that idea soon dropped off the proverbial radar for reasons that have never been adequately explained. Nor was the true nature of Al-Qaeda explained, though the bearded, dark-skinned Bin Laden made a fantastic bogeyman and was even used to justify the illegal war in Iraq.

Some of the lies that the US Authorities told regarding AlQaeda are detailed in this BBC documentary entitled “The Power of Nightmares“:- http://www.archive.org/details/ThePowerOfNightmares

Then the purpose of the Afghan war was to defeat the Taliban – which of course has failed miserably. Ironically, the Taliban were formerly part of the Mujahideen, a group of fierce rebels that formed during the war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the late 1970’s and 1980’s. Only in those days, they were “holy warriors and freedom fighters, defending democracy and the American way, etc., etc.” Consequently, under the Reagan administration, they were the proud recipients of truck-loads of American weapons and wads of hard currency, delivered with the compliments of the CIA.

Then, one day, the US generals realised they didn’t have enough manpower to defeat the Taliban. So suddenly the mission became to “liberate women“. After all, the womenfolk were having a pretty grim time under Taliban rule. So what better way to extract more money out of Congress and put more troops on the ground.

This was followed by claims that the true purpose was to prop up the “democratically” elected government of President Hamid Karzai. The proverbial wheels fell off when it was revealed that around 1/3 of Karzai’s votes were, in fact, rigged and two of his senior election officials were forced to resign.

I understand the latest “objectives” involve weeding out the corruption in the US puppet Afghan Government, followed by an orderly but face-saving withdrawal of US and other NATO troops. However, NATO chiefs are somewhat backward in coming forward regarding how these latest “objectives” can be achieved. The situation is made more complex by Karzai’s claims that the vote fiddling was actually the work of the US and its allies.

Karzai also blames the United States for empowering the Taliban in the first place – conveniently forgetting of course that he also supported the Mujahideen back in the 1980’s. With a minimum of publicity, “secret” negotiations with the Taliban began in May 2010. This is particularly distasteful to Karzai because the Taliban gunned down his father in 1999-07-14.

Today it seems that Afghan women’s rights have quietly been dropped from NATO’s agenda, just like “capturing Osama bin Laden” was several years earlier. Moreover, the talk in the circles of power seems more of “doing a deal with” the Taliban, rather than “defeating” them.

Throughout this sad and sorry saga, we were also told that the United States had a secondary purpose in Afghanistan, namely to stamp out the production of opium – the raw ingredient for heroin. Needless to say, opium production has actually seen a steady year-on-year growth throughout the US occupation and today Afghanistan supplies over 93% of the global opiates market.


Meantime the poor old taxpayer is starting to ask him/herself who is the least credible:- the Terrible Taliban, the Crooked Karzai, the Prevaricating Pentagon, or a US administration that seems to change its story as often as some people change their underpants? Fact is, they have all lied and they all have much blood on their hands. And I use the words “poor taxpayer” advisedly. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have already cost the United States in excess of one trillion dollars!

Which leads me neatly to the ultimate irony. When the United States fought (and eventually lost) the Vietnam war, the world was told it was to stop the spread of Communism – the so-called “domino theory“. Today, a significant proportion of the money the United States has squandered on its latest round of pointless wars was borrowed from the “top domino” – the People’s Republic of China.

Some interesting further reading, from a rather surprising source:-