‘Destruction Born Of U.S. Conceit’ — The Real Outrage Of The Afghan War Papers No One Wants To Address

They didn’t count the Afghans because the Afghans didn’t count.

By Sophia A. McClennen
Salon (12/14/19)

On Monday, December 9, The Washington Post released a confidential trove of 2,000 pages of government documents that revealed that senior U.S. officials repeatedly failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan. They document in detail a practice of lying, deception and whitewashing that covered up unmistakable evidence that the war had no grand plan, no end in sight and no consistent leadership.

The series of articles published by Craig Whitlock in the Post, along with the original documents themselves, detail a horrifying pattern of deception and dysfunction in what is now the longest war in U.S. history.  “U.S. officials,” Whitlock notes, “constantly said they were making progress. They were not, and they knew it.”

The project was always more about American exceptionalism and imperialism than it was about building a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan.

What makes these lies so disturbing, according to Whitlock, is the fact that they supported a war that cost the U.S. $1 trillion and led to the loss of 2,300 troops and 20,589 wounded in action. Whitlock reports that since 2001, 775,000 U.S. troops have deployed to Afghanistan, many repeatedly.

He also reports the toll on Afghan lives. He explains that, all told, over 157,000 lives have been lost in Afghanistan as a consequence of the U.S. invasion and of these 149,898 are Afghans. That number includes 43,074 civilians and 64,124 members of the Afghan security forces.  That number, though, does not include Afghans wounded, displaced and/or traumatized by the war.

But, perhaps most importantly, the numbers of Afghan causalities are estimates. …

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(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2019. Open source and free for non-derivative use wit link toe www.thecommonercall.org )