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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 4/17/21

Afghanistan: "White Man's Burden" Lifted?

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From Antiwar

Original publication of The White Man's Burden.
Original publication of The White Man's Burden.
(Image by Wikipedia (commons.wikimedia.org), Author: Rudyard Kipling)
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"When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, and the women come out to cut up what remains, jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains and go to your gawd like a soldier." ~ Kipling

English poet Rudyard Kipling's spirit may breathe a sigh of relief now that President Joe Biden has decided to end the latest March of Folly into Afghanistan. Kipling immortalized the phrase "White Man's Burden" used as an excuse for European-American imperialism. (And Barbara Tuchman's, March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam, published in 1984, is a well worth reading again.)

There can be many a slip between cup and lip but, for the nonce, it does seem as though the Western White (U.S. and NATO troops) will be out of Afghanistan by Sept. 11 - leaving widespread rubble for which the countries who sent them there will be responsible, yet miserly in helping repair.

Artificial "Light At the End of the Tunnel"

In Afghanistan, as was the case with the war in Vietnam, US generals and courtier pundits lied through their teeth. They continually lied about the progress they were making, as Craig Whitlock makes clear in excruciating detail in his Dec. 2019 Washington Post report The Afghanistan Papers A secret history of the war: At war with the truth.

You did not have to go through the crucible of Vietnam -- or wait for honest reporting from the very few like Whitlock -- to discern how Americans, including some presidents, were being misled on Afghanistan. The experience of Vietnam, though, did throw rather clear deja-vu light on this latest folly and its spurious justifications. With a modicum of experience in media analysis, it was not difficult to penetrate the deceit and piece together what was really going on.

You Can Do It Without Spies?

I am almost amused thinking back on how President Reagan's CIA Director, Bill Casey, was astonished to learn that over 80 percent of intelligence analysis was based on open sources. When today's journalists ask the agency's PR unit about me, the standard answer is that, since I no longer have access to classified reporting, I cannot possibly know what is going on.

But at a time when Gen. David Petraeus prevented my former analyst colleagues from having input into decisions on the relative merits of "surging" tens of thousands more troops into Afghanistan, I did not need intelligence from sleuths, surveillance, spies, or satellites to warn President Obama 12 years ago that:

"Gallons of blood are likely to be poured unnecessarily in the mountains and valleys of Afghanistan -- probably over the next decade or longer."

(See: Welcome to Vietnam, Mr. President, March 28, 2009)

Back to Kipling

Kipling himself came to recognize the dangers -- and ultimate folly -- of imperialism. He wrote:

It is not wise for the Christian white
To hustle the Asian brown;
For the Christian riles
And the Asian smiles
And weareth the Christian down.

At the end of the fight
Lies a tombstone white
With the name of the late deceased;

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Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, the publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army infantry/intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for 27 years, and is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). His (more...)
 
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8 people are discussing this page, with 8 comments


David William Pear

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Before popping Champaign corks; the U.S. is leaving behind 15 to 20 thousand Special Forces, contractors and CIA paramilitary. It is just going back to a "secret" war like from 1979 to 2001.

Submitted on Saturday, Apr 17, 2021 at 8:27:13 PM

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John Rachel

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Absolutely correct, David. You know the drill too well. Special forces and contractors. They never mention them and the other real troops on the ground in the MSM or in the hypocritical pronouncements by government robo-blatherers.

This is the con that keeps on giving. Our resources, our money, our time all going into an imperial project to protect the interests and future profits of our ruling elite. Will people ever wake up to the fraud? When is it our turn, the turn of we the people, to benefit from our national treasures and the wealth of talent and basic goodness which is the real story of the United States of America. 'USA' isn't the acronym that pops into my head now when I think of my country of birth. It's 'RIP'.

Submitted on Saturday, Apr 17, 2021 at 9:32:49 PM

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Cas

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Afghanistan...the place where Empires go to die.

Greek Empire..Alexander the Great

Maurya Empire

The Mongols ..Ghengis Khan

The Mughal Empire

The Persian Empire

The British Empire

Why would we think the US Empire would have a different fate?

Submitted on Saturday, Apr 17, 2021 at 9:37:16 PM

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John Hawkins

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"All, all except Phineas, constructed at infinite cost to themselves this Maginot Line against this enemy they thought they saw across the frontier, this enemy that never attacked that way--if he ever attacked at all. If indeed he was the enemy."
       -- John Knowles

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Oil and Lithium, just like years ago. TAPI. Iran. Connect some dots. Contract soldiers have no public accountability. Like Snowden said, Homo contractus is where it's at. Probably commissioned soldiers "retiring" to earn big cash as mercenary killers. BTW, does anyone know what Cofer Black's up to these days?

Submitted on Monday, Apr 19, 2021 at 1:19:41 AM

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Maxwell

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Good to see McGovern back on the right side.

Submitted on Monday, Apr 19, 2021 at 10:02:49 AM

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Ripping back the cover on how we could have justified staying in Afghanistan for each of the last 20 years is admirable work. There are generals, analysts, and Presidents who are guilty of looking the other way or failing to look at all at the reality of the situation. History 100 years from now will not treat them kindly.

Unfortunately, it really isn't sufficient to just deal with "Why did we stay?" for the sake of some future historian. The deeper, darker, and much more immediate question that should be drawn into the light is, "Why did we go?" The answer is not because of 9/11, but because we wanted to. That is ever the reason for imperial wars and the false flags that imperialists use to take us there. Small numbers of powerful sociopaths (and their rich enablers) who have climbed the ranks of government are a much greater threat to the world than all the nuclear weapons put together.

Submitted on Monday, Apr 19, 2021 at 1:02:51 PM

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After 9/11 Bush quickly blames Bin Forgotten hiding 'in a cave' somewhere in Afghanistan, he explains, so he attacks Afghanistan in October 2001 and then Bush attacks Iraq in March 2003. Congress approves his AUMF2001, AUMF2002, and AUMF2003 - these 3 AUMFs never authorized "all the big lies he told about Iraq" - 'authorizing' his 'preemptive regime change wars' in the Middle East, starting with Iraq, on 'his say so alone', except of course, that there never were any 'nineteen hijackers', nor were there any 'hijacked airliners', coming from anywhere in the world, that came to New York City at exactly 5:20 PM on 9/11 to 'pull down' Building 7 in 6.5 seconds. 9/11 had to be someone who had access to all 3 Towers and 'knew how to do it' - II. "al-Qaeda operatives could not have obtained the needed access to the buildings to plant the explosives and would not have ensured that the buildings come straight down"..

Submitted on Monday, Apr 19, 2021 at 1:14:35 PM

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Once empire occupies a country, it never leaves voluntarily. The US is just switching gears to a more covert form of occupation.

Submitted on Tuesday, Apr 20, 2021 at 10:20:31 AM

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