Sunday, July 25, 2010

Much Ado About Nothing: Afghanistan Edition

If you go to the Guardian website you'll see a sensational front page piece called, "Afghanistan: The War Logs." According to the paper a "massive leak of secret files exposes the real war in Afghanistan." The Guardian is all excited and happy about leaks of classified information that they think undermines the war effort. 

A huge cache of secret US military files today provides a devastating portrait of the failing war in Afghanistan
Really? Let's look at some of the things they cite.

coalition forces have killed hundreds of civilians in unreported incidents So what? It's well known that the accidental killing of civilians causes ongoing problems with the Afghan government. It's not at all surprising that the coalition would try to keep some incidents quiet. It's just a smart thing to do.

Taliban attacks have soared and Nato commanders fear neighbouring Pakistan and Iran are fuelling the insurgency. This is supposed to be startling classified information? Anyone paying the slightest bit of attention knows that Taliban attacks are on the rise, Pakistan is playing both sides, and Iran is meddling.

a secret "black" unit of special forces hunts down Taliban leaders for "kill or capture" without trial. That's a good thing. The only bad thing is that the existence of such information has been revealed to the press by various useful idiots for our enemies.

the US covered up evidence that the Taliban has acquired deadly surface-to-air missiles. Ridiculous use of the term "covered up." There could be all sorts of reasons why the U.S. would rather not publicize such information.

the coalition is increasingly using deadly Reaper drones to hunt and kill Taliban targets by remote control from a base in Nevada. Another big, so what? Everyone has long been aware of the U.S. drone assassination program. 

the Taliban has caused growing carnage with a massive escalation of its roadside bombing campaign, which has killed more than 2,000 civilians to date. Again, is this something that's supposed to be surprising or shocking?

The Guardian makes a big deal of various civilian casualty incidents. As with most anti-war types, they ignore the forest for the trees. Civilian casualties happen in all wars, and they are unavoidable in wars against an enemy that wears no uniforms, hides amongst the civilian population, and deliberately attempts to maximize civilian casualties. If anything the US and other coalition forces should be praised for their extreme efforts to minimize the loss of life among civilians -- to the point that they imperil the safety of their own forces. But as usual, the U.S. and its allies get no credit. No matter what steps we take, no matter how far we bend over backward to limit civilian casualties, it will never be enough to satisfy those that would rather put out propaganda benefiting our enemies.


  1. I guess I'll rot in Hell, but if every single Afghan was killed tomorrow I wouldn't lose a second's sleep over it. I just really don't give a s&%t about that country or its people anymore.

  2. I don't pretend to care about the Afghan people either, although I don't want to see any of them needlessly killed. But our objectives in Afghanistan should serve U.S. interests first, not Afghan interests.