Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (1 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Article Stats   5 comments

General News

The big Lie in Afghanistan

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 2/23/12

Everyone knows a bit about the failed U.S. efforts in Afghanistan to win the hearts and minds of the people and to install a stable government, but in historian/journalist Doug Wissing's upcoming book, "Funding the Enemy: How U.S, Taxpayers Fund the Taliban" the stark details are laid bare. Wissing spent months in country with U.S. soldiers, conducted hundreds of interviews, and his conclusions are revelatory and scandalous.

While waste and corruption are part and parcel of most aid programs that take place in a war zone, the scale of these problems in Afghanistan is off the charts. One telling example: the Bush administration encouraged the return of opium poppy cultivation and production in order to entice allies, then (ineffectually) changed course 180 degrees and outlawed poppy production, only to lose their allies while the opium trade stayed in place.

Afghan warlords play the U.S. officials for all they are worth, using U.S. money to further their own interests, while accepting Taliban money to further the Taliban's interests. And, in a bizarre turn of events, the U.S. eventually has found itself paying protection money to the Taliban in order to protect material that is needed to sustain American troops.

While the Bush administration and U.S. officials were overseeing this fiasco, they were full of empty rhetoric about how well the war effort was going, but the troops on the ground understood the truth, which contradicted almost everything that was being claimed by their "leader" in the Pentagon and the White House.

"Funding the Enemy" illustrates how deception and hubris endangers and demoralizes American troops in Afghanistan, who understand just how great the disconnect is between official pronouncements and the facts on the ground. When Wissing raised questions about the efficacy of the U.S. involvement, it was like he entered Alice's wonderland. "What we have is a cognitive dissonance" Wissing told me, "Officers will parrot the party line, then branch off with specifics that directly contradict the party line." The administration and the Pentagon force these officers to lie about the big picture, but those officers have enough integrity to make sure that they describe the actual facts on the ground that expose the party line for the pack of lies that it is. Wissing witnessed a regional Afghan leader known to be a Taliban leader demand U.S. aid money which was almost certainly to be used to buy fertilizer to construct bombs targeting U.S. troops. And this is not a rare exception, it is the new normal.

Doug Seymour, an intelligence officer from Las Vegas, notes the parallel between Vegas casinos and Afghan insurgents. "Afghans know just the right amount of fighting to keep us here" he said, explaining that if they killed too many Americans, we would pull out, but by just going up to that line without crossing, the insurgents keep the U.S. in the game, which means that the money will keep flowing into their hands, thus funding their war against the U.S. One soldier noted how "the military industrial complex is all making money." Wissing remembers seeing a "piece of sh.. plywood shack that the government paid 28 thousand dollars to KBR [a Halliburton subsidiary that is making billions off of this war]to build."

Why does this still matter? George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are bad memories, Obama promised change, so why should we care? According to Wissing, "Obama put the Bush plan on steroids." The Obama administration is counting on the big lie to convince the American people that Afghanistan will soon be another notch in our victory column, and it can ill afford the truth to be known. Americans will not be pleased to know that the only reason this war continues is because so many are making money off of it. As Wissing said, "The revolving door between USAID and for profit development companies keep the funds flowing, even though 90% of it is wasted."

Our soldiers have long lost faith in winning the hearts and minds of Afghanistan's population. As Wissing quoted front line soldiers who told him repeatedly, "F... this. The juice ain't worth the squeeze."

 

Dan Dewalt is a musician/woodworker/teacher who authored the Newfane impeachment resolution passed at March 2006 town meetings.

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Vermonters Refuse to be Bullied by Corporate Power OR by the Federal Government

Obama Care, Thanks But No Thanks

Help Vermonters Combat Federal Overreach

Why Can't They Accept Our Benevolent Tutelage?

Why the Tea Party Should Stop Worrying and Learn to Love Vermont

Glass Houses

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
4 people are discussing this page, with 5 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

It is not only the Taliban who know how to sustain... by Richard Pietrasz on Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 1:58:44 PM
There is a difference between the brass and the in... by Dan DeWalt on Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 3:55:18 PM
War crimes are not based on degree of awareness or... by Not Chomsky on Thursday, Feb 23, 2012 at 4:19:45 PM
I agree that as a general rule, the lower the seni... by Richard Pietrasz on Friday, Feb 24, 2012 at 2:11:28 AM
THERE IS NO RIGHT WAY TO DO THE WRONG THING. ... by molly cruz on Saturday, Feb 25, 2012 at 9:48:09 AM