Foreign Policy

One of the More Depressing Year End Top 10 Lists


In this time of amusing year-end top 10 lists, a decidely unamusing, but perhaps more important, one: "Top 10 Myths About Afghanistan," pulling together the bad news for the U.S. war effort, about local support, the probity of the government we are fighting and killing to support, and the cause for which we are allegedly fighting at this point. (It isn't to stop al Qaeda or as a front in our next war on Iran.) Not sure that all these "myths" are that widely believed, but it's a good one-stop shop to contemplate the pointlessness of the ongoing, and ongoing, and ongoing, U.S. war over there.

NEXT: What's in the Manning/Lamo WikiLeaks Chat Logs?

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  1. “7. The US presence in Afghanistan is justified by the September 11 attacks.

    * Fact: In Helmand and Qandahar Provinces, a poll found that 92% of male residents had never heard of 9/11.”

    What the hell kind of logic is that?

    I mean I’m generally on the guys side, but that doesn’t make any sense. The “fact” speaks to a completely different question than the “myth.”

    1. I was wondering about that one, too. The way I look at it, the case against the continuing occupation could be made in that way, but, since the then-government of Afghanistan clearly did support al Qaeda and refused to take any action against them, it’s hard not to say that the initial attack wasn’t justified.

  2. They are protecting us from RPG armed goat herders!

    You ever get the feeling the US administrations walked into a trap.

    1. And oddly enough, traps are normally set to crush insurgencies.

  3. Let me guess:

    “We’re WINNING”


    “They want our HELP”

    are both in there somewhere.

  4. Why can’t we just say “Mission Accomplished”, then meet with the current government and the Taliban and make it clear that we’ll come back like a ton of bricks if we get hit by anyone operating out of Afghanistan again, and go our merry way?

    While we’re at it, let Europe deal with the Middle East.

    1. Because we have fields of poppies to burn, ProL. Can’t let sanity get in the way of the drug war.

      1. Oh, right, I keep forgetting about that.

        I’m one of the few only non-drug-using libertarians in the Orion Arm of the galaxy, but if I ever became a drug addict, I’d like to be addicted to opium. Hanging out in opium dens, wasting away. Somewhere in Asia, with a few expats to add some cultural diversity.

        1. No you don’t. Opiate withdrawal is absolutely fucking brutal. Cocaine is a better choice.

          1. Withdrawal? Why quit?

            1. That’s a fair point.

              1. I knew you’d appreciate that angle.

                Sounds like, if I decide to do this, that Kabul would be a good place to relocate to, once the DEA leaves the country.

                1. Supply and demand curves can sometimes FORCE withdrawal…

                  1. If I choose the opium den lifestyle, I’ll set up an opium den trust fund.

                2. Wouldn’t Portugal be more appropriate, from a less-likely-to-get-your-head-cut-off point of view?

                  1. Nah, I’ll blend in like those British expats always do so adroitly.

  5. Are we fighting a war in Afghanistan?

    Since when? Why didn’t someone tell me?

    (I assume that our cause is just, and that we’re winning….)

    1. We won in righteous righteousness. The problem is, the party ended eight years ago, and we didn’t take the hint that it was time to go home, even when they made the beds and got into them.

  6. Direct link, which should have been used instead of the networkedblogs foofah.…..istan.html

  7. Seems to me that although everyone can see through the cover stories, no one can explain the real agenda.

    I have to conclude that our reason for being there is still a state secret.

  8. Decent list, although #7 is wack. Also, using a single wikileak to support the contention that Iran isn’t arming hostiles in the face of all other evidence is bullshit. And I haven’t heard of too many troops being killed by these networks that America is supposedly really fighting.

    A better myth to add: that tying our soldiers hands behind their back to limit civilian casualties will win over Afghans. The US did that, and it limited civilian casualties at the hand of the US, and it has merely increased their contempt for US troops. The way to win them over is to devastate and humiliate them.

  9. If only we would stop threatening North Korea, we could finally make peace with a wonderful country which has achieved marvelous things in the face of horribly unjust sanctions. Shelling South Korean islands is just a plea for the respect that NK so richly deserves. Jimmy says says so.

  10. Juan Cole? Y’all can do better than that.

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