Why Debate the War? The Real Reason We Are in Afghanistan by Rory Stewart

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demandside's picture

"Ultimately, the president succumbed to the dominant assumptions of the last two decades. Just as 8th century Mahayana Buddhists invented world after world, filling them with their distinctive demons and bodhisattvas, our think tanks and governments have also developed their own metaphysical structures, labeling them "failed states," or "counter-insurgency."

These theories can be made to seem absurd and indeed future generations may wonder, as we do about 8th century mysticism, why the beliefs of so many powerful and intelligent people were shaped by such eccentric systems. But seen from within our own historical context, or from behind a desk in the Oval Office, these theories are emotionally appealing, intellectually intimidating and often profitable. On their own terms feel almost impossible to refute.

Take, for example, the master-concept behind Obama's surge, namely that in order to prevent Afghanistan posing a terrorist threat it was necessary to launch full-spectrum counter-insurgency operations. It is possible, of course, to expose the curious premises, analogies and chains of inductive logic which imply our activities in 2010 are an efficient way of preventing another terrorist attack. And 20 years from now, we may struggle to explain why we once felt Afghanistan required the deployment of 100,000 troops or the spending $100 billion each year -- why it required far more resources and attention than its more powerful and populous neighbors Iran or Pakistan...


That is not how it feels. European countries feel trapped by their relationship with NATO and the United States. Holbrooke and Obama feel trapped by the position of American generals. And everyone -- politicians, generals, diplomats and journalist -- feels trapped by our grand theories and beset by the guilt of having already lost over a thousand NATO lives, spent a hundred billion dollars and made a number of promises to Afghans and the West which we are unlikely to be able to keep.

So powerful are these cultural assumptions, these historical and economic forces and these psychological tendencies, that even if every world leader privately concluded the operation was unlikely to succeed, it is almost impossible to imagine the US or its allies halting the counter-insurgency in Afghanistan in the years to come. Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa may have been in a similar position during the Third Crusade. Former US President Lyndon B. Johnson certainly was in 1963. Europe is simply in Afghanistan because America is there. America is there just because it is. And all our policy debates are scholastic dialectics to justify this singular but not entirely comprehensible fact."

to read the article published in: Spiegel July 1, 2010, click on






Blah blah blah blah blah blah

Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

Quit trying to blame President Obama. This whole mess is the Bush/sick Dick Cheney mess. The treasonous right-wing noise-machine is up and running.



Rodger97321's picture
At least Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld

At least Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld proved their belief in equality by sending women into combat positions in Afghanistan & Iraq.

We can see from the WikiDocs how even pregnant military women were in the field as evidenced by the MEDEVAC reports requesting emergency flights for those with complications of ectopic pregnancy.

Not sure how the "right to life" component of their party reconciled this with their other positions, however.

Another curious increasing medical condition, which we only learn about thru the WikiDocs, is the increase in appendicitis.

This has been on the decline in the western world since WWII and, in part, attributed to the decrease in helminths (parasitic worms).

Apparently, the contractors being paid to supply our troops with food and water were either not aware of the proper sanitation methods or were never asked by the DoD to provide noninfested food and water for the troops - or were paid to provide it and didn't.

Wonder if any of those no-bid contracts had penalty clauses for non-performance or mis-performance?

Perhaps they used up their budget for supplying clean water on magnetic car ribbons with the letters: "s u p p o r t   o u r   t r o o p s"


Choco's picture
Where does Israel get its

Where does Israel get its oil, why Iran, of course.


Israel produces virtually no oil, not literally, but needs to import well over 90 percent. It gets it in a lot of places, but few suspected any came from Iran. Isn't our media wonderful?

Choco's picture
Enough bullshit, enough lies,

Enough bullshit, enough lies, enough violence and death. Here is why we are in Afghanistan and Pakistan:


Three other names that have not received nearly enough attention: James Baker, fixed the election for Bush, defended the Saudies against 9-11 victims families, heads Azerbijan Chamber of Commerce, headed the Iraq study group and made recomendations for privitization of Iraq oil.

John J. Maresca VP Unocal, pleaded with Congress to remove the Taliban from power

Zalamy Khalizad, Unocal one of main players in pipelines, Iraq, Bush administration

Hamid Karzai Unocal Afghanistan US puppet leader


Choco's picture
I didn't mean to imply that

I didn't mean to imply that the posters above me were full of BS. I was referring to the "official story."

This is good stuff in this link. What are you waiting for? Weigh this evidence and motives for having a military presence in Afghanistan against the motive provided by the Bush Cheney oil executive administration. And then let's have discussion about that, whadda say?

The entries are in chronological order and are sourced from media reports. Read these and the picture starts to form. Make up your own mind. We need to quit letting so called authorities tell us what things mean. A preacher reads from the same bible you can read from and then proceeds to tell you what it means. Huh?, sir, hey mister, hey mister preacher, I thought that's why God gave me my own brain, so I could think things through on my own?

The trouble is, the church is a perfect propoganda delivery system, they talk, everybody listens, nobody gets to ask questions, nobody gets to challenge the preacher's interpretations.

The church has set us up for obedience, the media is the corporate church. They deliver the message and handle the interpretations for us. We just need to be good citizens and trust the media-generated consensus.


Choco's picture
Once again, its nearly all

Once again, its nearly all here: http://www.historycommons.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=complete_911_timeline&before_9/11=pipelinePolitics

Are you guys serious? No comments on this easy to follow lead up to the Afghanistan invasion and occupation of the oil and gas pipeline routes?

And this is the companion list of those who's agenda we are following.


Remember James Baker III's role in throwing the election for the Bush/Cheney/Rice oil administration. The US Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce is an innocous-sounding front for the biggest power players in the world who represent Oil and Gas interests in the Caspian region. They all represent global think tanks, CFR, Trilaterals, and all are reaping the financial rewards from our intervention in the Middle East. Look to these guys first, the politicians we deal with are THEIR front men. Maybe TH world should spend a little less time on debating economic theory and a little more time exposing the people and activities of these King Makers. As long as they remain out of the light of public scrutiny, they remain powerful and influential.  As long as this is so, we will be dealing with the symptoms and not the underlying disease.


Here are a few more driving American policy and deciding how we use our military. Liars, all.



Rodger97321's picture
Choco:  I haven't commented

Choco:  I haven't commented on the VERY WELL DONE 9-11 timeline because I thought everyone had already agreed how impeccable it was since it is exactly what it claims to be with all the links to the source information.

I thought it had already moved into the realm of a given fact, to be referenced in the course of other dialogue, such as "...and anyone unfamiliar with this premise need only refer to Thompson's 9-11 Timeline..."

Link.TV used it (or interviews of the maker, Thompson, I think) during their last fund raiser, but I didn't watch much of it since I had already seen it a couple of times when it first came out.