Deeper in the Afghan Quagmire

The U.S. government has occupied Afghanistan for 11 years, through two administrations, Republican and Democrat.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has designated the Haqqani network a terrorist organization. What is the Haqqani network?

Wikipedia says that it

is an insurgent group using asymmetric warfare to fight against US-led NATO forces and the government of Afghanistan. Originating in Afghanistan during the mid-1970s, it was nurtured by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) during the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan.So it was a U.S. ally when the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan, and it is fighting U.S. and NATO forces now that they are occupying Afghanistan.See a pattern? The Haqqani network dislikes foreign occupation of their country and is willing to use violence to rid their country of the occupiers.

The designation as a terrorist group, “which will go into effect within 10 days,” the Associated Press reported, “completes an odyssey of sorts for the Haqqanis from the days they partnered with the CIA during the Cold War and were hailed as freedom fighters.”

It’s said that one person’s terrorist is another person’s freedom fighter. The U.S. government has been on both sides of that equation.

Eighteenth-century Americans saw the British as occupiers, and were willing to use violence to throw them out. If Secretary of State Clinton had been a British official in the 1770s, would she have designated the Sons of Liberty a “foreign terrorist organization”? Apparently so.

Do Americans who mind their own business have anything to fear from the Haqqani network?

“U.S. defense officials said the administration doesn't believe the Haqqanis have designs to attack the United States,” the AP reported.

The AP continued, “But they said the group shelters al-Qaida and other militant groups, allowing them to plan and train for possible operations targeting the U.S.”

Does that make the Haqqanis a threat? If so, it is a threat that could be easily ended. As former Republican presidential contender Ron Paul repeatedly points out, the original al-Qaeda threat to Americans at home was a direct result of U.S. intervention in the Middle East: specifically, the stationing of troops near Islamic holy places in Saudi Arabia, the 1990s killer embargo on Iraq, and the United States' enabling of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory. If the U.S. government dismantled its imperial foreign policy, which has brutalized Arabs and Muslims for decades, the small threat that exists today would subside. As Rep. Paul says, they don’t hate us because we’re free. They hate us because we’re over there.

The U.S. government has occupied Afghanistan for 11 years, through two administrations, Republican and Democrat. It has installed and supported a corrupt and authoritarian Islamic puppet government under Hamid Karzai. In enforcing the occupation, U.S. and NATO troops have killed thousands of innocent people, and the Obama administration has spread the war to Pakistan, where innocents are killed by remote-control drones—with Obama personally selecting the targets. The kills are always said to be of “suspected militants,” and the administration denies Pakistan’s claims that many civilians have been killed, though independent reports of such deaths abound. How can Obama be so sure? It’s all in the definition.

According to the New York Times,

Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties that did little to box him in. It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent. (emphasis added)

The mothers, fathers, wives, and children of these young men will be gratified, of course, to learn that the U.S. government exonerated their loved ones — posthumously.

Naturally, Americans are in the dark about this.

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  • ||

    Sugarfree would be proud of that giant, misquoted link.

    And they don't hate us because we're there. They hate us because of a youtube clip.

  • db||

    No, they hate use because Sheldon Richman has brutalized them for decades, according to the teaser para.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    American media outlets mostly pretend that Afghanistan doesn't exist.

  • John||

    Don't worry fatty they will rediscover it if Obama loses. And besides Muslims all over the world are attacking our embassies because they hate us for being in Afghanistan right?

  • Mike M.||

    "Blame America for everything" is the foreign policy version of Keynesian economics. The greatest benefit to the theory is that it's of course completely unfalsifiable.

  • John||

    It also feeds into our narcissism. If we are to blame for everything, that means we are really powerful and important.

  • ||

    nice

    how a propos...

    "[I]n a penetrating essay, Michael Ignatieff has catalogued various kinds of American exceptionalism, in the process separating out at least three different faces of American engagement with the world: first, what he calls America’s human-rights narcissism, particularly in its embrace of the First Amendment and its nonembrace of certain rights — such as economic, social, and cultural rights — that are widely accepted throughout the rest of the world..."

    apparently, "penetrating essay" means blame american liberal/progressive horseshit

    http://www.volokh.com/2012/09/.....qus_thread

  • Cytotoxic||

    Mike M. wins the thread.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It is depressing to think that this will go on no matter who wins in November.

    Ouch for GaJo.

  • db||

    Can you imagine the howling from established elites if Johnson were to win and actually enact some of his policies? It would be a nonstop screechfest.

  • Beezard||

    More like he gets assassinated in the first few months of his presidency.

  • Mike M.||

    Blame America first and foremost for everything. It's easy, and it keeps you from having to think too much, or from having to do the hard work of studying history in an evenhanded manner.

  • db||

    What do you blame?

  • John||

    That some people are assholes and have their own reasons for hating us.

  • wareagle||

    the Islamic culture that uses violence as its default response to damn near anything. These people insist on living in the 14th century and a host of US and global do-gooders want to drag them forward.

    Let them wallow in being the backward civilization they are but do it with this clear caveat: what you do among yourselves is your business but you impact our citizens, our interests, and our property, we will respond in wholly disproportionate ways.

    Unfortunately, the "blame America" disease is not confined to radical Muslims. Quite a few Americans, almost all of them on the political left, are similarly infected.

  • db||

    This is an interesting point: there are evidently tons of radicalized Muslims who hate the West enough to carry out heinous acts of terror against us. There are Americans who detest and scorn the intolerance, primitivism, and religious totalitarianism of radical Islam, but you don't see them going on killing sprees about it. Unless you count state actions, and those are supposed to be legitimized by their institutional nature and the fact that they are, at least in theory, based on retaliation for actual violent acts.

  • wareagle||

    they are who they are. Sunni and Shia are worse than Crips/Bloods; there's not even profit as a motive. But our diplomatic corps keeps pretending we can sit and reason with these folks. No, we can't. We can leave them to their own devices and warn them that fucking with us will have nasty consequences.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    No. The host of US and global do-gooders do NOT want to drag them forward, or they would demand that the nations under ISlamic rule adhere to some basic standards of civilized behavior, and out some teeth in such a demand.

    You know, like the 19th century British did.

    It takes very little of the 20th and 21st century's bootless 'we have to understand their cultures' bushwa to make 19th century colonialism look awfully goddamned good. Pit there isn't anyone capable of pulling off a return to it.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    The collective GOP war boner for Iran will make Afghanistan look sane if Romney gets elected. Luckily he keeps falling in the polls and does even worse in the swing states. Intrade has the race at 67 to 33 now. I feel like taking the 33 for a short term trade.

  • John||

    You tell them shreeek. You retarded little fuck.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUaAAOsg9Zg

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    John, you were telling us a Romney win was in the bag in July.

    You can load up at 2-1 odds now legally. Do it!

  • John||

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUaAAOsg9Zg

    Do you promise to kill yourself when Obama loses? Please Shreek?

  • ||

    hey, there's nothing like jacking off my war boner. the spooge smells just like hoppe's #9 with little 40 cal pellets in it.

    and man, that shit will lubricate anything and it smells like victory

  • ||

  • ||

    fuckin-A, bubba.

    cool

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Palin's Buttwipe,

    The collective GOP war boner for Iran will make Afghanistan look sane if Romney gets elected.


    Good thing Obama is such a healer, isn't it?

  • Mike M.||

    I can't wait to see what Jimmy Carter Junior's poll numbers look like in a few days now that he is reaping the "rewards" of his desire to have Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood take over the entire Middle East.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Did Fat Rush tell you that lie?

    You wingnuts like to make shit up, don't you?

  • Mike M.||

    Furthermore, come Friday or so when the murdered Americans are reflected in his poll numbers, I bet you'll probably disappear from H and R for like a week or two.

  • Blueman||

    Does anyone here listen to Limbaugh?? That's news to me.

  • ||

    jimmy carter at least legalized homebrewing.

    obama would send BATFE thugs in to raid our hops if he could

  • ||

    Yes, Carter is starting to look like Solomon compared to our President Downgrade. His incompetence really is breathtaking.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    Hey, Osama's Dead and GM is sucking up other people's tax dollars, so what the fuck!

    Still, the warmongering Peace Laureate may yet take it again to spread death for peace for four more years.

  • OldMexican||

    Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties that did little to box him in. It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials[...]


    No wonder. Politicians have a knack of shielding themselves from reality through ingenious obfuscation.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    If you are trying to prove Obama is needlessly hawkish compared to Ron Paul you don't need to. I admit it.

    Bush/Cheney were first rate chickenhawks and Obama is merely midling in comparison.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Palin's Buttplug,

    Bush/Cheney were first rate chickenhawks and Obama is merely midling in comparison.


    George and Dick at least had the balls to detain, torture and confine the so-called "terrorists" they were finding, with all the political thorns that such brought. Obama just blows them up, cuts the red tape. Let me know which you think is less the coward.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    I blame Bush™

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    . If the U.S. government dismantled its imperial foreign policy, which has brutalized Arabs and Muslims for decades, the small threat that exists today would subside.

    Sheldon, Sheldon, Sheldon...

    I realize that you're a Judeophobe with a fetish for swarthy, bearded thugs in keffiyeh, but how disconnected from reality do you have to be for you to believe that? What part of American foreign policy has "brutalized Arabs and Muslims for decades"? Is it the massive amounts of foreign aid? Is it our military partnerships protecting the region from Iranian hegemony? Is it our diplomatic pressure to force Israel to enter into disadvantageous and basically fictional "land for peace" deals again and again? Help me out here.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Heroic Mulatto,

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Heroic Mulatto,

    What part of American foreign policy has "brutalized Arabs and Muslims for decades"?


    The foreign aid that kept a few brutal dictators in power for decades - Mubarak in Egypt, Saddam Hussein when he was "our boy," the Saudi kings, the Shah of Iran - counts as for decades in my book.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Obviously, I don't support foreign aid to anyone, excepting humanitarian needs after a natural disaster or such.

    However, those "brutal dictators" were Arabs and/or Muslims themselves, yes?

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Heroic Mulatto,

    However, those "brutal dictators" were Arabs and/or Muslims themselves, yes?


    Yes, and the assholes that enabled them with MY FUCKING MONEY are not. Now that we have that clear, just how exactly does pointing out the nationality of those brutal dictators that the US protected and enabled frees up from all responsibility the foreign policy of the US when it comes to the brutalizing of thousands of Muslims and Arabs for decades? How does that work?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    just how exactly does pointing out the nationality of those brutal dictators that the US protected and enabled frees up from all responsibility the foreign policy of the US when it comes to the brutalizing of thousands of Muslims and Arabs for decades?

    With the exception of Iraq and Afghanistan, the brutalizers are their own countrymen and coreligionists. When foreign aid was delivered, do you think a cabal of JOOZ!!! neo-conservatives actually gave these dictators the money and said "Remember to use it to buy palaces and weapons for your death squads and not to feed your people!" Do you think that the U.S. is explicitly waging a "War on Islam"?

    Or, as Occam's Razor tells us, is it more likely that our foreign policy is formulated by sinecures who have very little education on the regions they are dealing with and the effects of which are due to ignorance and incompetence.

    C'mon, son. You know this.

  • Calidissident||

    It doesn't matter that they are directly oppressed by people of their own country and religion, if the US government is supporting them. And it doesn't matter if the US govt isn't motivated by a war on Islam. The fact is many people will believe it and sometimes perception matters just as much as reality

  • ||

    The fact that this "blowback" phenomena is exclusive to the middle east should give us a clue as well. We've intervened at one point or another in just about every corner of the globe, in some instances for a lot longer than we have in the middle east, and the only people who seem to be willing to blow themselves to bits to take just one American life are religious primitive fuckheads in the middle east. Hmmmmmmmm

    And again we come around to the crux of the "blowback" problem: history didn't start when you woke up today. We had no "imperial" presence in Afghanistan before 2002. We haven't had any presence to speak of at all in Afghanistan since the 1980's when we actually SUPPORTED insurgent groups against the occupying Russians. If 9/11 never happened, and if the institutions of Afghanistan's "government" (such as they were/are) hadn't sheltered and aided the people who planned the attack, does anyone in their right mind think we would have just showed up in Afghanistan one day with a hundred thousand troops and been like "Well shit, this looks like a cool place to drop a trillion bucks!" The theory only works if you ignore vast portions of history that are inconvenient to its premise.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Don't pay any attention to the effect of Arab tyrannies feeding propaganda to their citizens! IGNORE IGNORE

  • Calidissident||

    Al Qaeda was based in Afghanistan, but most of its members weren't Afghans. So I'm not sure what your point is. And while for the US, blowback may have only come from the Middle East, that doesn't discredit it. It's not a scientific theory that has to explain everything. I don't think anyone here would argue that it's the sole factor in terrorism. I could just as easily point out that for most of our history, Islamic terrorism hasn't been an issue at all. Again, the US maybe hasn't experienced blowback from non-Islamic groups, but other countries certainly have. The IRA in the UK? The ETA and Terra Lluire in Spain? The Tamils in Sri Lanka? Not to mention, Muslims in Russia and China have carried out terrorist attacks, and I'm sure that has nothing to do with Chechnya or oppression of the Uyghurs. Kinda puts a dent in the "DEY HATE UZ CUZ WER FREE!" argument. And now that I think about it, one of the first examples of Middle Eastern attacks on the US was the RFK assassination by a Palestinian over the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. And guess what? Sirhan Sirhan was a Palestinian Christian, not a Muslim.

    The situation in Iran, which Cyto wants to be resolved by invasion, is a textbook example of blowback. Had we not overthrown their government in 1953 and supported the Shah, we would not be in that mess. The broader situation is complex, and there are other factors at play, but to pretend like everything would the same if we weren't over there meddling is delusional.

  • Calidissident||

    You know HM, not everyone who disagrees with US or Israeli foreign policy, or who thinks Muslims aren't totally evil isn't a Judeophobe. It's just as annoying when people play the anti-Semite card as when leftists play the race card

  • Cytotoxic||

    Sheldon is Tulp-esque in his hate-on for Israel. The term is justified.

  • Calidissident||

    Hating Israel doesn't make you anti-Semitic either, unless you hate it because it's a Jewish state

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    The Haqqani network is the one that any child that is killed by an Obama Predator drone belongs to.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    What needs to happen is several decades in which every outbreak of Islamic violence that touches westerners is responded to with dispassionate severity. Targeting the actually violent Islamic nutballs would be nice, but not strictly necessary. Just drive it home that any time that Islamic fanaticism breaks out of the fringes of the third world the consequences are unpleasant for both the islamic rank and file and the local authorities. This is what used to be called Gunboat Diplomacy. It was messy, amoral, and very very effective.

    What probably IS going to happen is a continuance of the current pattern; Islamic outrages followed by ineffectual responses. Until, that is, the American People decide that the have Had. Enough. Of. This. Sh*t.

    I don't know exactly what form our losing our tempers will take. But it won't be good for anybody involved. I consider it highly likely that I will live out the latter end of my life under an Imperial America that is a return to some of the worse aspects of the 19th Century colonialism. In a way it will be very comfortable for me; the really bad aspects are unlikely to kick in much before I'm gone. But it will be the beginning of the end for the American Republic. And the Middle East won't like it one tiny bit either.

    Pity that they are too stupid to see it coming.

  • Cytotoxic||

    That gunboat diplomacy was NOT amoral. Protecting citizen's rights is the highest and ONLY moral imperative of the state.

    People here bitch about colonialism but the British Empire was arguably the greatest force for freedom ever. Could do worse.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    By amoral I meant that it worked just as well whether it was shutting down the West African slave trade or forcing China to accept the opium trade.

  • Calidissident||

    "Protecting citizen's rights is the highest and ONLY moral imperative of the state."

    Yeah, and fuck everyone else's rights along the way

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Would you care to spell out the rights involved in rioting and murdering? Just to satisfy my curiosity?

  • ||

    The US was always at war with the Haqqani network.

  • ||

    Luckily he keeps falling in the polls and does even worse in the swing states. Intrade has the race at 67 to 33 now. I feel like taking the 33 for a short term trade.

    Too close to call. The most likely scenario: to get to 270, Romney has to win Ohio, Florida, and Virginia, plus either Nevada or Colorado. None of these swing states is a done deal for either candidate.

  • Emperor Wears No Clothes||

    Coupla dead foreign embassy employees and the base is fired up fer killin'.
    It's funny how the veneer of libertarianism (for the gun-luvvin liber-fakers like Suthenboy, Dunphy, et al) gets shredded when the prospect of burning some brown people arises.
    If it's an EEE-VUHL IZ-LAM vs. Righteous Judeo-Christian battle, why aren't the ragheads burning down the British, Canadian, Australian (et al) embassies?
    Because they hate you, U.S. America.
    It's unfortunate that Y'ALL live in houses with no mirrors.

  • ||

    That certainly explains the 2010 Chechen parliament attack, the 2006 "Toronto 18" Ontario terrorism plot, the London tunnel bombings in '05, the Madrid train bombings in '04, Pan Am 103, Munich...

    had done them no injury, and observed that we considered all mankind as our friends who had done us no wrong, nor had given us any provocation. The Ambassador [of Tripoli] answered us that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman (muslims) who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise."

    -- Thomas Jefferson John Adams, 1786

    Yep, clearly your logic is irrefutable.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Blowback! It's all blowback!

  • Calidissident||

    Yeah, obviously terrorism in Chechnya has nothing to do with Russian oppression? Spain and the UK weren't fighting wars in the middle east at the time of their attacks? And Gaddafi wasn't really an Islamic radical (except to the extent he personally benefited) as much as a power-hungry autocrat. He supported plenty of non-Islamic terror groups over the years

  • Cytotoxic||

    If the U.S. government dismantled its imperial foreign policy, which has brutalized Arabs and Muslims for decades, the small threat that exists today would subside. As Rep. Paul says, they don’t hate us because we’re free. They hate us because we’re over there.

    LIES. Ron Paul can derp all he wants AQ and other players of the Islamic Totalitarian movement have made quite clear that their motivation is Islam.

  • Calidissident||

    False dichotomy FTW

  • Drake||

    If only the medieval Spaniards and North Africans had minded their own business, there wouldn't have been any trouble.

  • ||

    It should be noted that the US and its allies, along with the elected Afghan government, have been offering to negotiate peace with the Taliban for years. The only requirements for peace are:

    1: Cease and desist any aid, support, or other ties with terrorist groups
    2: Stop trying to overthrow the Afghan government through armed struggle
    3: Accept the Afghan Constitution (including human rights protections)

    http://www.foreignpolicy.com/a.....?page=full

    The Taliban and its allies are not fighting for anything that they have a right to demand. If all they wanted was for the US and other western forces to withdraw, they could agree to these terms in exchange for a withdrawal timetable and reintegration into Afghan society.

    It is also worth noting that the Taliban, and its allies, cause most civilian deaths in Afghanistan.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03......html?_r=0

    So when you hear about the suffering of civilians due to the Afghan/Pakistan conflict, remember that it is the Taliban and its allies that deserve blame, not the US.

  • Alien Invader||

    Ahhh. I see you are not a real libertarian. All real libertarians know that America is to blame come what may.

    All real libertarians know that if we just smile at everybody around the globe, and try to hug them, nothing bad will ever happen to Americans, because there's no reason to do bad things to people who just smile at you and try to hug you.

  • jason||

    The game is still the same but the enemy changes for the Talibanis this time its their old friend America and nato forces.

  • iyeubnsns||

    More characteristics, novel style,varieties,and good quality low price

    http://l2y.eu/dddqh

    http://l2y.eu/dddqh

  • Francisco||

    The peaceniks are worse because they are going to turn right around and find a fierce moral urgency as soon as the other team is in office.

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