Truth, Lies, and Afghanistan

Truth, Lies, and Afghanistan

One of the most telling bits (boldface mine):

A January 2011 report by the Afghan NGO Security Office noted that public statements made by U.S. and ISAF leaders at the end of 2010 were “sharply divergent from IMF, [international military forces, NGO-speak for ISAF] ‘strategic communication’ messages suggesting improvements. We encourage [nongovernment organization personnel] to recognize that no matter how authoritative the source of any such claim, messages of the nature are solely intended to influence American and European public opinion ahead of the withdrawal, and are not intended to offer an accurate portrayal of the situation for those who live and work here.”

In other words... if you actually work here in Afghanistan, don't pay attention to the Western media or politicians, because it's full of deliberate lies to manipulate public opinion.

A more recent piece from the Lt. Col. One thing to note is that it's a bit weird him saying we are not being told this, when the news if full of failed missions due to Afghan force problems, green on blue killings, increased Taliban attacks on civilians and the like. I think his focus is on getting the Army brass to admit what's failing, but it seems to me that the media is well able to report what's actually happening. So in that regard, I think the fact that we are still there, rather than having pulled out completely last year, puts the lie to any official assertion that "things are better".

Reminds me a bit of Viet Nam, but with the media already understanding that they can't trust the "5 O'Clock Follies" and getting info on their own. The Fourth Estate still works.

I`ve worked for the NATO HQ in Brunssum, and ISAF is their main operation. Working at the office that organizes meetings, visits and conferences, you get to see, hear and read lots. My personal opinion is that NATO is a huge waste of money as it is, same as the EU in Brussels. Their mere existence is a money waster from the ground up.
That aside, the whole operation in Afghanistan should have ended right after the taliban had been ousted. Sure, train some people and then get the hell out of there.

We stayed and paid a huge price. Here is what we got from it: We are helping a government that just takes the money and is allowed (by us) to pick and choose what to implement and what not. We are supporting a country (and culture) that can kill people, just like that. Women are worthless in their eyes, a property.
Drugs export was next to nil before the war, now Afghanistan is the biggest exporter in the world, besides maybe Colombia.
Warlords have `upgraded` their mansions into bastions, with private guards and all, making bucket loads of money. How did that happen?
NATO is paying off groups for just not attacking ISAF troups (remember the French got killed in big numbers once? The force that left, forgot to tell to pay off the local forces. So the French didn't know about it and got attacked). Police trained by NATO, kill their own and ours, as they were undercover taliban jerks.
Besides all the death soldiers and civilians, don't underestimate the huge number of people dismembered, scarred and just f*cked up mentally for the rest of their life.

People really work hard and are doing their best at NATO (the work force, not the political jerks). So I am not negating that at all. I have a huge respect for my fellow soldiers I've worked with and generals I served under.

So why are we still there? Well, for me it is pretty clear. There is trade in drugs, weapons and minerals. It's all there. Interests by big corporations. That is what keeps it going. And of course the 'security' in our own countries has become big business.
It's no secret, it's all out there in the open. You just have to be willing to see it for what it is.

I am sure that these stories don't get told all that much. But it is the truth. At least as much as I can see it.

What a thoroughly depressing story. The comparisons to Vietnam cannot be made often enough. Fighting an extended war against a determined opponent that will never give up, trying to support troops who frankly don't give a crap. The stories in that article about how the Afghan policemen and troops don't want to risk anything is depressingly familiar.

Sparhawk wrote:

Warlords have `upgraded` their mansions into bastions, with private guards and all, making bucket loads of money. How did that happen?

Funny anecdote: When I was in Afghanistan I once saw a billion dollars. In cash. It was guarded of course but the word on the street was that it was bribes for the local warlords so they wouldn't attack the base.