… il n’est rien creu si fermement que ce qu’on sçait le moins, …

Nothing is so firmly believed as that which we least know.

Michel de Montaigne

When Afghanistan was first invaded by US forces in 2001 and beyond, most voices in the west sided with this aggression. Using the national trauma caused by the 9/11 attacks to justify the invasion, the then Bush Jr. administration wanted to satisfy the popular cry for revenge.

It is a sad fact today that the victims of the now NATO-led War in Afghanistan were neither al-Qaeda terrorists nor the Taliban, who are still strong, but the ordinary people of Afghanistan. Hindsight is a brilliant thing. Only with hindsight can we become aware of the folly of invading a country and terrorizing and intruding on several others such as Pakistan, merely to find and kill one man. And it took around ten years to accomplish only that, at a cost of only tens of thousands of civilians in the process. In hindsight, what NATO did in Afghanistan looks crueler and more absurd than even Israel’s vindictive attacks on Gaza. It was based on similar logic.

The military mastermind Mohammed Omar, leader of the Taliban, was one of the main targets of the “world’s only superpower” for more than ten years. Eventually, he died. Of natural causes. There are some who even claim that Osama bin Laden also died of natural causes years before 2011, and that the raid on bin Laden’s compound (which there is essentially no evidence even happened) was a work of badly constructed fiction from the Pentagon and CNN. It is already a fact that all the conspicuously poor-quality videos of bin Laden (the multi-millionaire’s camera supposedly deteriorated to the resolution of a potato from 2001 onward) were fabricated by the Pentagon. It is not outrageous to conclude that America’s greatest victory in the “War on Terror” never happened.

The United States and its NATO allies have no strategy in Afghanistan. As Sun Tzu said, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. No matter how marvelously the SAS and the US’s own SEAL teams performed in combat missions in Afghanistan (and they deserve a lot of credit as military men), the War in Afghanistan wasn’t aligned with any tenable political goals. Even the goal of defending the incumbent regime in Afghanistan is likely to be something that NATO will regret, once its forces leave and Kabul falls under the influence of savvy regional powers like Iran and Pakistan.

Iraq offers a fascinating preview of what is almost certain to happen with NATO withdraws from Afghanistan. In Iraq, the US was bogged down fighting an insurgency. Only by eventually allying with its enemies the Kurds and the Shiites, did the US manage to “win” in Afghanistan. Or, as American statesmen do all too often, they decided that the only way to “win” the conflict was to lose and make it look like a victory by lying to the media.

NATO is doing the same thing in Afghanistan today. While using slogans like “Return to Hope”, NATO is lying to the world and to the media to portray its defeat as a victory. When NATO has departed Afghanistan, the only message from the Afghan government will be, “good riddance”. Any administration that wants to preserve itself against the Taliban onslaught will only do so by washing its hands of any connection to the US-led military occupation that terrorized and destroyed so many lives. This was the case in Iraq, where Nouri al-Maliki, once seen as an American puppet ruler, ultimately made public his alliance with the Iranians and gave the Americans a good kick as they departed the country in shame.

Media go from supporting a regime to condemning it, and disgracing all the US troops who died for it

The US media and politicians may have justified the sacrifice of thousands of soldiers to prop up the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan, but sacrifice actually means very little to such national parasites. They are just as likely to begin justifying the sacrifice of even more soldiers in order to undermine the regimes they just spent decades propping up, if their ill-conceived political schemes require them to do so.

Idiotic strategy with no tenable political goal produces this madness. On the media front, CNN is a prime example of it. For years, CNN portrayed the US mission in Iraq as a success and justified the military actions taken in the country. In little more than a few years after the US soldiers left, CNN began criticizing the administration of Nouri al-Maliki and even eventually produced propaganda for ISIS, by posing with maps of a divided Iraq and portraying Iraq as a country that should be ethnically divided to include a so-called “Sunni” landlocked region. I doubt that it would be governed by any moderate forces or have any desire to coexist with adjacent Kurdish and Shiite enclaves, some of which would be completely encircled.

The types of anchors on US television shows, such as Christiane Amanpour, are as idiotic and irresponsible as the rulers they adore. Almost everything they predict turns out to be wrong, such as the division of Iraq or the so-called imminent fall of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, who has somehow still not been ousted by an apparent “Arab Spring” revolution against him, despite it going on for years upon years with no end in sight.

What we have at the Pentagon and in NATO, as with all their propaganda networks, is a Goliath that has no order and no purpose, stomping around the world on a crusade and against god-knows-what. These generals and propaganda ministers are blown around by public opinion about the danger posed by terrorists one minute, paranoid delusions about Vladimir Putin the next, and they will just as easily ignore the polls as soon as they disagree with them.

The US and NATO can offer no possible incentive to the Taliban that will convince them to negotiate an end to violence. The US and NATO waged a war of violence and they lost a war of violence. No negotiations will save them now or soften the impact of the castration of their misguided armed forces in Afghanistan.

Wars cannot be waged in the interest of democracy or civil rights as NATO propaganda claims, because democratic processes cannot determine whether a war is a just war. Furthermore, once a war has started, it has its own ways of ignoring or outright stomping on democracy in order to resolve itself. All politics, democratic or not, go out the window once tension turns into war. The world does not need to be lectured by generals about “democracy”.

By Harry J. Bentham

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