Afghan War Diary – Don’t Ignore It

To reveal new truths and new realities about the war, … you take a risk as an American when you do that. At most you’re informing your fellow Americans. It’s up to them to make a choice – to pay attention, to do something about it. … And the risk that you take when you do that, is that you’ll learn something ultimately about your fellow citizens that you won’t like to hear. And that is, that they hear it, they learn from it, they understand it, and they proceed to ignore it.
Daniel Ellsberg, from an interview with Studs Terkel, 1972
The release of over 90,000 documents related to the Afghan War puts us back here again. What will we do?

The pundits tell us that there’s nothing new here. Really?
  • Our money that is going to Pakistan is being funnelled to the Taliban in Afghanistan. That’s old news?
  • The Taliban have weapons that can down US helicopters with deadly accuracy. That’s old news?
  • We have killed or wounded far more civilians – women and children – than previously reported. That’s old news?
  • The military has special forces units that specialize in “neutralizing” our enemies (and sometimes our allies). That’s old news?
I guess so, because our Congress just authorized more money for this quagmire.

I listen to Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! – not always the most uplifting hour of news, but because of listening to her show I do know that a lot of what is in these documents is not new news. But for the majority of Americans who have been spoonfed the sanitized version of what is happening in Afghanistan, this is their wake up call.

My congressman – Peter Welch (D-VT, we only have one for the whole state) voted no on the recent authorization. Did yours?

Please find out. If they did vote for the authorization, call their office and find out why. Make them accountable for the fact that we are sending our treasure – money, materials, men and women (with over 1200 casualties) – half way around the world – for what?

To all the pundits out there who see nothing new here, a question. These documents paint a bleak picture of what’s going on over there and “winning” (whatever that means – see a discussion about this by James Fallows here) seems an impossible task. So, why do the pundits and our elected leadership keep pretending that winning is possible?

Jon Taplin on his blog writes:

I hope President Obama spends a good bit of his vacation reading the reports in detail. When he finishes, the realization that “victory in Afghanistan” is a mirage that has been chased by many an empire, but secured by none.

Let’s not ignore the 200,000 page elephant in the room this time around. Pay attention, do something about it.

I write about nutrition, health, food-related issues and spirituality at Whole Food-Whole Life.

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One comment on “Afghan War Diary – Don’t Ignore It
  1. Sandra says:

    On a related but slightly different note, I was disturbed to learn that James Mattis, the man that Obama has appointed to head CentCom, said in 2005: “You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years, because they didn’t wear a veil,” Mattis said. “You know guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway. So it’s a h— of a lot of fun to shoot ’em.”

    I expected better than this from Obama.

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