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  • Writer's pictureFred Guerin

The Afghanistan Papers

Updated: May 31, 2020

After three years of legal battles, The Washington Post finally forced the release of what is now being called 'The Afghanistan Files'--essentially a great bundle of documents that reveal the truth about this long, tragic and absolutely needless war. Just as the Pentagon Papers revealed the truth about the Vietnam war the Afghanistan Files tell a story about 18 years of official lies, suppressed information, and distorted statistics about an unwinnable war.

Here is what a three-star Army General said in one of the documents: “We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan — we didn’t know what we were doing. What are we trying to do here? We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking. If the American people knew the magnitude of this dysfunction . . . 2,400 lives lost 20,589 wounded".

What it doesn't talk about are the 147,000 Afghan soldiers killed--nor the 38,000 Afghan civilians who lost their lives because three American presidents, Bush, Obama, and Trump, believe that article 2(4) of the UN Charter which prohibits the “threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state”, does not really apply to them--after all they are the good guys spreading truth and democracy the world over.

Both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were wholly unjustified from a legal (and moral) perspective. To say they were linked to 9-11 is simply propaganda. The attacks in NY and Washington were tragic but they were criminal attacks, not armed attacks by another state. There simply was no imminent threat of any sort of armed attack on America by Iraq, Iran or Afghanistan. But, again, all those UN conventions and rules intended to protect sovereign states from foreign aggression just don't apply to the US.

In the end, the only 'winners' were the military-industrial complex which netted a trillion dollars over the last 18 years.

When will they ever learn?

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