The expanding police state tops the annual list of stories underreported by the mainstream media
People who get their information exclusively from mainstream media sources may be surprised at the lack of enthusiasm on the left for President Barack Obama in this crucial election. But that’s probably because they weren’t exposed to the full online furor sparked by Obama’s continuation of his predecessor’s overreaching approach to national security, such as signing the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, which allows the indefinite detention of those accused of supporting terrorism, even U.S. citizens.
We’ll never know how this year’s election would be different if the corporate media adequately covered the NDAA’s indefinite detention clause and many other recent attacks on civil liberties. What we can do is spread the word and support independent media sources that do cover these stories. That’s where Project Censored comes in.
Project Censored has been documenting inadequate media coverage of crucial stories since it began in 1967 at Sonoma State University. Each year, the group considers hundreds of news stories submitted by readers, evaluating their merits. Students search Lexis Nexis and other databases to see if the stories were underreported, and if so, the stories are fact-checked by professors and experts in relevant fields.
A panel of academics and journalists chooses the Top 25 stories and rates their significance. The project maintains a vast online database of underreported news stories that it has “validated” and publishes them in an annual book. Censored 2013: Dispatches from the Media Revolution will be released Oct. 30.
For the second year in row, Project Censored has grouped the Top 25 list into topical “clusters.” This year, categories include “Human cost of war and violence” and “Environment and health.” Project Censored Director Mickey Huff told us the idea was to show how various undercovered stories fit together into an alternative narrative, not to say that one story was more censored than another.
In May, while Project Censored was working on the list, another 2012 list was issued: the Fortune 500 list of the biggest corporations, whose influence peppers the Project Censored list in a variety of ways.
Consider this year’s top Fortune 500 company: ExxonMobil. The oil company pollutes everywhere it goes, yet most stories about its environmental devastation go underreported. Weapons manufacturers Lockheed Martin (58 on the Fortune list), General Dynamics (92), and Raytheon (117) are tied into stories about U.S. prisoners in slavery conditions manufacturing parts for their weapons and the underreported war crimes in Afghanistan and Libya.
These powerful corporations work together more than most people think. In the chapter exploring the “global 1 percent,” writers Peter Philips and Kimberly Soeiro explain how a small number of well-connected people control the majority of the world’s wealth. In it, they use Censored story number 6, “Small network of corporations run the global economy,” to describe how a network of transnational corporations are deeply interconnected, with 147 of them controlling 40 percent of the global economy’s total wealth.
For example, Philips and Soeiro write that in one such company, BlackRock Inc., “The 18 members of the board of directors are connected to a significant part of the world’s core financial assets. Their decisions can change empires, destroy currencies and impoverish millions.”
Another cluster of stories, “Women and Gender, Race and Ethnicity,” notes a pattern of underreporting stories that affect a range of marginalized groups. This broad category includes only three articles, and none are listed in the top 10. The stories reveal mistreatment of Palestinian women in Israeli prisons, including being denied medical care and shackled during childbirth, and the rape and sexual assault of women soldiers in the U.S. military. The third story in the category concerns an Alabama anti-immigration bill, H.B. 56, that caused immigrants to flee Alabama in such numbers that farmers felt a dire need to “help farms fill the gap and find sufficient labor.” So the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries approached the state’s Department of Corrections about making a deal where prisoners would replace the fleeing farm workers.
But with revolutionary unrest around the world, and the rise of a mass movement that connects disparate issues together into a simple, powerful class analysis — the 99 percent versus the 1 percent paradigm popularized by Occupy Wall Street — this year’s Project Censored offers an element of hope.
It’s not easy to succeed at projects that resist corporate dominance, and when it does happen, the corporate media is sometimes reluctant to cover it. Number seven on the Top 25 list is the story of how the United Nations designated 2012 the International Year of the Cooperative, recognizing the rapid growth of co-op businesses, organizations that are part-owned by all members and whose revenue is shared equitably among members. One billion people worldwide now work in co-ops.
The first lady debate…funny but sad as these people vote.
We’re Still at War: Photo of the Day
Kaydence Hoversten, 22-month-old daughter of Gunnery Sgt. Jared Hoversten, sits in front of buses shortly before her dad and other Regimental Combat Team 7, 7th Marines leave for their deployment to Afghanistan Oct. 9 at 7th Marine Regimental Headquarters.
Russian S-400s relocated near Turkey. Hizballah shifts units, rockets into Syria
Hizballah has begun depleting line of rockets and fighting units it has facing Israel from the Litani River of South Lebanon and moving them to the Syrian front line at Homs to strengthen Assad’s forces, debkafile’s military sources reveal. Hizballah’s forward line against Israel is still in place among the southernmost Shiite villages, but a part of their artillery back-up is gone and, for the first time, Hizballah’s ground-to-ground rockets are moving in an eastward direction into Syria. This is a striking reversal of the usual direction taken by Hizballah hardware which, for years, headed from east to west to reach Lebanon from Iran and Syria.
This step attests to the scope, fury and determination of the Syrian army’s current land and air offensive against the rebels.
…and in case you want much more war news, CLICK HERE
German POWs being forced to watch reports of the concentration camps
Police: Florida Couple Had Sex Atop Restaurant Table While Parents, Kids Watched
A couple who decided to have sex atop an outdoor table at a Florida restaurant–in full view of families dining nearby–avoided criminal charges
because witnesses declined Monday night to provide statements to police.
The manager of Paddy Murphy’s, an Orlando eatery, summoned cops after he “was notified by several patrons that a couple was having sex on a table in view of minor children,”according to an Orlando Police Department report.
Tom Murphy told officers that he approached the couple early Monday evening and told them to stop. But the man, identified by cops as Jeremie Calo, responded, “She can’t get up at this time.” Calo, 32, was referring to his companion Tiffani Lynn Barganier.
November 5, the day before the US Presidential elections will be the third anniversary of the massacre of 13 US soldiers at Ft. Hood by Islamic terrorist, US Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan.
The Obama administration has refused to acknowledged that the attack was a terrorist attack. The Defense Department has insisted on covering up the nature of the attack. The reports it released following the attack failed to mention Hasan’s Islamic motivations. Still today the Defense Department insists on defining the massacre as a case of “workplace violence.”
To advance this fiction, the Defense Department has refused to award Purple Hearts to the families of the soldiers murdered by Hasan, or to those who were wounded in his attack. It has refused to compensate the families of those murdered or the survivors who were incapacitated at the level the US military compensates the families of soldiers killed in the line of duty and soldiers wounded by enemy fire.
This year Congress tried to rectify this obscenity by including Purple Heart citations for Ft. Hood casualties in the Defense Appropriations Act.
Obama said he would veto the bill, (and thus deny the military funding), if they didn’t remove the clause about the medals. That is how far Obama is willing to go to keep up this fiction, cover up the existence of enemy forces within the US military, deny the threat posed to the US by radical Islam, and in the process, punish and dishonor American soldiers who were killed in the line of duty in an act of war against the US by a self-proclaimed “Soldier of Allah.”
There is no precedent in US history for this sort of behavior by an American president. None.
Excellent stuff. You could tell Obama, despite smiling and the occasional laugh, did not like being in a room that was essentially laughing at him. Ridicule is a powerful weapon, here at Tammy Blog and Radio we implement it against Obama every day. It’s about time Obama faced it personally.
Romney was funny and *biting.* His timing was excellent, he was comfortable, and enjoyed being there. Another fabulous evening for the Romneys. Here’s the whole speech, it’s about 10 minutes long.
Obama’s back is against the wall–Mark Levin says the debates don’t matter anymore.
Mark Levin’s opening rant from Wednesday, the day after the second Presidential debate was great. Below is a partial transcription, and below that, a recording.
Obama did his very best last night and it wasn’t good enough. I’m going to tell you folks something, the debates don’t matter anymore. They do not matter anymore. There’s no way Obama can explain away his record. He’s the incumbent, these are his policies, his taxes, his regulations, his deficits, what can he say? Obama is now a known quantity. He’s cornered. Cornered with his own record, his own propaganda, his back is against the wall, so he lies. He lies about job creation, he lies about his role in oil and gas production, he lies about cutting taxes multiple times for small businesses and the middle class, he lies about cutting the debt, he lies about his concern for the middle class.
But Obama isn’t trusted anymore, see? You don’t trust him. More and more people understand that he’s lying. Because his statements don’t conform with your own reality, your own experiences now.
Long owning the default position, the pure, tolerant Democrats easily assume a morally superior attitude while labeling those who differ from their point of view as morally deficient, quickly dousing dissenters with the 2008-2012 election buzz word–racist.
Uh, uh; I know better and so do you and so does Charlie Martin of PJ Tatler, factually exposing the Democrats as the real racists. Long term, pervasive racists at that, but no surprise there.
A few examples:
It was Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Democrat, who founded the Ku Klux Klan.
Woodrow Wilson segregated Federal Buildings and jobs after 50 years of integration under largely Republican administrations.
It was the Democrat Party in the South that instituted Jim Crow Laws.
It was the Democrat Party in the South that instituted “separate but equal”.
It was the Democrat Party in the South that supported the Ku Klux Klan.
It was George Wallace and the Democrat Party in the South that said “Segregation Forever”.
It was Orval Faubus and the Democrat Party that wanted the Arkansas National Guard to enforce segregation, and Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican President, that sent the 101st Airborne to integrate the schools.
It was Bull Connor, a member of the Democrat National Committee, who turned the hoses on the marchers in Birmingham, and it was the Republicans who made up the majority that passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, over the filibuster of such Democrat paragons as William Fulbright and Al Gore Sr. – and Grand Kleagle Byrd.
It was the Democrats who kept Grand Kleagle Byrd in the party.
It was Democrats who called General Colin Powell a “house nigger”.
It was Democrats who called Condi Rice – who grew up with and knew the little girls in Birmingham who were blown up, by Democrats – an “Aunt Jemima” and ran cartoons of her with fat lips doing Hattie McDaniel riffs.
It was Democrats, or at least Obama supporters, who called Stacy Dash a hundred different racist names for daring to leave the Democrat plantaion. (sic) It’s the Democrats who hold annual dinners honoring Andrew Jackson, who owned slaves and who orchestrated the Removal, the Trail of Tears, the near genocide of several of the Indian Nations.
Add your own examples; there are many. To get you started: the Democratic racism of low expectations known as affirmative action along with its diversity and pluralism relatives encompassing only certain so called minorities, contempt for those clinging to their guns and/or religion, suburban dwellers, NASCAR aficionados.
What spurred Martin’s tirade was the certain Democratic plant appearing at a Romney rally prominently clad in a black t shirt plastered with a small Romney/Ryan logo over glaring white print proclaiming PUT THE WHITE BACK IN THE WHITE HOUSE.
Tonight’s debate to be moderated by a obama loving idiot who will not follow the rules!
Candy Crowley to defy debate contract
In an interview with CNN this afternoon, Candy Crowley reiterated that, like past town-hall debate moderators, she intends to do more than just hold the microphone at tonight’s debate in Hempstead, N.Y. — an intention that has caused concern for both campaigns.
“They will call on ‘Alice,’ and ‘Alice’ will stand up and ask a question. Both candidates will answer. Then there’s time for a follow-up question, facilitating a discussion, whatever you want to call it,” Crowley said. “So if Alice asks oranges, and someone answers apples, there’s the time to go, ‘But Alice asked oranges? What’s the answer to that?” Or, ‘Well, you say this, but what about that?’”
Crowley’s vision of her role at tonight’s debate is in keeping with past town hall debates, but it would defy the expectations agreed to by both campaigns in the co-signed memorandum of understanding, obtained and released yesterday by Time’s Mark Halperin. From section 7, part (c), sub-part (iv) (italics mine):
7. Additional Rules Apllicable to the October 16 Debate…
(c) With respect to all questions…
(iv) The moderator will not ask follow-up questions or comment on either the questions asked by the audience or the answers of the candidates during the debate or otherwise intervene in the debate except to acknowledge the questioners from the audience or enforce the time limits, and invite candidate comments during the 2 minute response period.
There is hardly any gray area here. Crowley is expected to do nothing exceptto acknowledge questioners, enforce the time limits, and invite candidate comments. Many people — especially journalists — would and have objected to that, but that’s the agreement.
Of course, Crowley could choose to go rogue and (gasp!) press a candidate on specifics. She might be criticized (or, just as likely, commended) after the fact, but no one’s going to run in from the wings and take the mic from her hands. But if you’re wondering what Crowley is technically expected to do tonight, beyond holding the microphone, taking questions, and keeping time… the answer is: nothing.
So when Crowley goes on CNN and says:
Once the table is kind of set by the town hall questioner, there is then time for me to say, ‘Hey, wait a second, what about x, y, z?’
The nice thing will be, if the town hall person asks about apples, and they answer oranges, I get to say, ‘Wait a second, the question was about apples — let’s talk about that.’
……you can see why it concerns the campaigns. As when she told POLITICO, “I’m not a fly on the wall… I’m going to react organically to what’s happening.”
Janet Brown, the executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates, declined to comment on the controversy surrounding Crowley’s role, but Commission co-chairman Mike Curry yesterday cautioned against “reinterpretation from the moderator.”
Asked on CNN today how she was responding to the controversy surrounding her role tonight, Crowley said: ”We are so close to an election, and there are people around these two men that push every button they can to try to get an advantage. I understand the stakes are enormous. This is what campaigns do, they push and shove and pull, and moderators become a part of that evermore in society over the past election cycles. It’s just a part of it. But in the end, you’ll look at these debates as a continuum, and people can judge all the debates the way they want in the end.”
When the anchor made a joke about the pressure Crowley must be feeling, she responded, “No pressure here.”
Seems like obama and joe biden lied once again to the American public!
State Department official: Negotiations to extend U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan starting soon
Despite statements by Vice President Joe Biden, the State Department is about to begin formal negotiations over the extension of U.S. troops past 2014, a top State Department official said Tuesday.
Last week, U.S. and Afghan negotiators met in Kabul to talk about the Bilateral Security Agreement that will govern the extension of U.S. troops past 2014, when President Barack Obama said the combat mission in Afghanistan will end and the U.S. will complete the transition of the entire country to Afghan government control.
Also last week, Biden told Americans during his Oct. 11 debate with Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan that U.S. troops were leaving Afghanistan by 2014.
“We are leaving in 2014, period, and in the process, we’re going to be saving over the next 10 years another $800 billion,” Biden said. “We’ve been in this war for over a decade. The primary objective is almost completed. Now all we’re doing is putting the Kabul government in a position to be able to maintain their own security. It’s their responsibility, not America’s.”
President Obama is campaigning as a champion of the oil and gas boom he’s had nothing to do with, and even as his regulators try to stifle it. The latest example is the Interior Department’s little-noticed August decision to close off from drilling nearly half of the 23.5 million acre National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.
The area is called the National Petroleum Reserve because in 1976 Congress designated it as a strategic oil and natural gas stockpile to meet the “energy needs of the nation.” Alaska favors exploration in nearly the entire reserve. The feds had been reviewing four potential development plans, and the state of Alaska had strongly objected to the most restrictive of the four. Sure enough, that was the plan Interior chose.
Why? Because Ken Salazar in his infinite wisdom, knows more about all of this that you proles, especially the proles in Alaska. The excuse?
Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says his plan “will help the industry bring energy safely to market from this remote location, while also protecting wildlife and subsistence rights of Alaska Natives.” He added that the proposal will expand “safe and responsible oil and gas development, and builds on our efforts to help companies develop the infrastructure that’s needed to bring supplies online.”
Got that? Restricting use of a area designated by Congress for a specific purpose, a purpose backed by the state in which the area is located, will “help industry” and expand “safe and responsible oil development”.
George Orwell, call your publisher. Time to update Newspeak. Up is now down, and restrictions now “help industry” and “expand” development.
Two coal companies in Pennsylvania blamed President Obama and his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the layoffs announced last week.
“[T]he escalating costs and uncertainty generated by recently advanced EPA regulations and interpretations have created a challenging business climate for the entire coal industry,” said PBS Coals Inc. President and CEO D. Lynn Shanks in a statement on Friday, as noted by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The company also cited weaker-than-normal demand for coal.
Shanks’ comment on the EPA came as he announced a 28 percent work force reduction. “PBS Coals Inc. and its affiliate company, RoxCoal Inc., laid off about 225 workers as part of an immediate idling of some deep and surface mines in Somerset County,” Post-Gazette added. “The company now employs 795 workers.”
Yes, the Obama promise to essentially put coal out of business is indeed making progress.
So wait, we have the administration restricting the oil industry in Alaska and the EPA causing layoffs in coal country, and my guess is Obama will attempt to brag about how many jobs he’s created tomorrow night. Any takers?
That said, guess who is getting “fast tracked”?
The Interior Department set aside about 285,000 acres for commercial-scale solar in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah. The federal government will offer incentives for development, help facilitate access to existing or planned electric infrastructure and ease the permitting process in the 17 zones.
“Energy from sources like wind and solar have doubled since the president took office, and with today’s milestone, we are laying a sustainable foundation to keep expanding our nation’s domestic energy resources,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said. …
The development program approved Friday cuts some up-front costs for developers, as the federal government already has performed National Environmental Policy Act assessments for the sites.
To be a Democrat means to be a liar. Here we have a group of average, everyday Democrat voters who tell this videographer that they hate Republicans because those wascally Republicans are obstructionists and have tried to block everything Emperor Obama has tried to do in office. But when asked if they think Democrats should cross the aisle to work with Romney should he win in November… well, just watch the hypocrisy unfold…
French business erupts in fury against “disastrous” François Hollande
France is sliding into a grave economic crisis and risks a full-blown “hurricane” as investors flee rocketing tax rates, the country’s business federation has warned.
“The situation is very serious. Some business leaders are in a state of quasi-panic,” said Laurence Parisot, head of employers’ group MEDEF.
“The pace of bankruptcies has accelerated over the summer. We are seeing a general loss of confidence by investors. Large foreign investors are shunning France altogether. It’s becoming really dramatic.”
MEDEF, France’s equivalent of the CBI, said the threat has risen from “a storm warning to a hurricane warning”, adding that the Socialist government of François Hollande has yet to understand the “extreme gravity” of the crisis.
The immediate bone of contention is Article 6 of the new tax law, which raises the top rate of capital gains tax from 34.5pc to 62.2pc. This compares with 21pc in Spain, 26.4pc in Germany and 28pc in Britain.
“Let’s be clear, Article 6 is not acceptable, even if modified. We will not be complicit in a disastrous economic mistake,” Mrs Parisot told Le Figaro.
Joe Biden’s career of intellectual dishonesty is one step short of the Aristotelian ideal: It has a beginning (his law-school plagiarism) and a middle (his later campaign-trail plagiarism), but his performance in the recent debate suggests that it is without end. From misrepresenting Paul Ryan’s legislative record to telling bald-faced lies about his own, the vice president offered a master class in the art of deception.
The Iraq War and the expenses associated with it have become politically unpopular; the same is true to a lesser extent of the war in Afghanistan. Biden blasted Ryan for “voting to put two wars on a credit card, to at the same time put a prescription-drug benefit on the credit card, a trillion-dollar tax cut for [the] very wealthy. I was there. I voted against him.” No, he did no such thing. Biden, as the congressional record shows, voted for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as did the majority of his Democratic colleagues in the Senate. To extend the vice president’s MasterCard metaphor, his signature is right there on the receipt. He did vote against the Medicare prescription-drug benefit, only to support a much more costly entitlement expansion in the form of the Affordable Care Act.
As for the Bush tax cuts, it is true that Biden opposed them in the Senate — right before supporting them as a member of the Obama administration. The Bush tax cuts for those whom Democrats insist on calling “the rich” — families and small businesses with income in excess of $250,000 a year — entailed about $800 billion in forgone revenue, according to government estimates. But the expensive part of the equation is the middle-class tax cuts, which added up to some $2.2 trillion in forgone revenue. The Obama-Biden ticket has consistently supported retaining those tax cuts — i.e., the large majority of the Bush tax cuts Biden says he opposes. Which is to say, Biden opposes the billions in tax cuts but supports the trillions in tax cuts, and therefore judges himself to be frugal.
He also misstated by a factor of five the income threshold at which the Obama administration proposes to increase taxes: “The middle class will pay less and people making a million dollars or more will begin to contribute slightly more.” In fact, the administration proposes to raise taxes on individuals making $200,000 a year or more, not $1 million or more.
It is not uncommon for Joe Biden to be off by a factor of five or more. In the same debate he said that Syria “is five times as large geographically” as Libya, when in fact the opposite is closer to the truth: Libya is nearly ten times as large as Syria geographically. That is a simple misstatement, evidence of nothing more than the fact that Biden’s alleged command of foreign-policy details is not quite so impressive as his admirers imagine. But positively untrue statements about his voting record on the wars and his mendacity regarding taxes are evidence of something else: intentional dishonesty. If we bought into the cartoon version of Biden as a middling buffoon, we might come to a different conclusion, but it is difficult to believe that Biden does not know how he voted on the wars or what his administration’s tax policy is. The man is not senescent — he is a skillful demagogue.
On the terrorist attacks in Benghazi on the anniversary of 9/11, Biden defended the administration’s failure to protect U.S. diplomatic personnel by pleading ignorance: “We weren’t told they wanted more security again. We did not know they wanted more security again.” In fact, the U.S. security chief in Libya repeatedly asked for additional protection, a fact to which he has testified before Congress. The office of Ambassador Chris Stevens, who was murdered in the attacks, sent a cable specifically detailing concerns about the deteriorating security situation in Benghazi. The embassy put together a memo requesting that its security support team not be withdrawn; both the ambassador and the head of that team argued that its absence would make the functioning of the mission impossible. But the team was nonetheless withdrawn. The administration was told, and told again.
Compounding his mendacity, Biden claimed that Ryan had proposed cuts to embassy security budgets. The proposal in question does not even mention embassy security, only a 19 percent total reduction in nondefense discretionary spending. Nobody ever suggested applying that 19 percent evenly across everything from Sesame Street to diplomatic missions in the Middle East, and Biden knows that. Continuing his fictional tour through Middle East issues, Biden attempted to bolster the Obama administration’s shaky reputation regarding our strategic relationship with Israel and its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu
Regardless of who wins this election in a few years the final planes carrying the last soldiers will shake off Afghanistan’s dust and take to the sky. They will leave behind a limited number of advisers, ex-military civilian contractors and a whole bunch of diplomats running out the clock in Kabul. A few years later when Islamist mobs are roaming the streets and rocket attacks on the US embassy have become routine, the helicopters on the roof will be back and the surviving diplomats will be on their way to new assignments in more peaceful parts of the world like Baghdad and Cairo.
The war in Afghanistan is lost and that loss is mostly unspoken. Had Obama never been elected then the left, in coordination with their Democratic big brothers, might have elevated the defeat to the level of another Vietnam. But that dream, nurtured in the early years of the Bush Administration, is a done deal after the Son of Jimmy Carter who ran on a platform of beating the Taliban. Instead of another Vietnam, the long war will be an unremarked defeat.
Neither side wants to talk about it and the American people just want to leave. The ending is written the cemeteries are full and all that’s left is to shake off the dust and go home.
Defeats however have to be learned from and no one intends to learn the lessons of Afghanistan. The people responsible for 1,500 deaths in implementing a directive to beat the Taliban without breaking a single fingernail on an Afghan civilian, even if he’s a Taliban gunman hiding behind a Burqa, will not pay the price for this. They will go on to lucrative gigs as lobbyists or leadership trainers, herding corporate executives around golf courses and trading on anecdotes about the time they almost came under fire.
They will not be held accountable, because when they sacrificed 1,500 American soldiers they were just following orders and the orders came from generals and the generals were following orders from Valerie Jarrett and Susan Rice and Hillary Clinton and the entire diploarchy on a desperate quest to win the war and end the occupation by getting the Taliban to the negotiating table and getting Obama to the Mission Accomplished jet in time for the election.
There’s no General Westmoreland to hang here. The closest thing to him is General McChrystal, a man who badly wanted to be the hip cool general, the Obama of Afghanistan, and cost far more lives than General Custer did in the process. McChrystal was just following the new trend that said that wars aren’t won by violence, but by winning hearts and minds changing social conditions. The new warrior was no longer a soldier, but a social worker, a diplomat and a comparative religions scholar. And if 1,500 social workers had to die so that the Afghans would come to love us… then so be it.
The war in Afghanistan was lost because it became a kindergarten with guns, a social welfare agency with heavy artillery that couldn’t be used in the proximity of civilians. And it was run by the same type of people who turned domestic urban centers into hellholes by pandering to criminals while making it impossible for law enforcement to do their job.
Don’t think of Afghanistan as a distant country. Think of it as New York in the 80s. Think of it as Detroit or Chicago. Think of all the social workers constantly shouting about justice and demanding an end to police brutality. Think of the lawyers helping grinning thugs out of prison. Think of the slimy pols pressing the flesh with neighborhood gang leaders and paying homage to them. That’s what happened in Afghanistan.
But that’s not why we lost the war. It’s why we lost so many good men losing it.
We didn’t lose the war in Afghanistan. When we went in the Taliban were crushed, driven out and broken down. It took them years to recover, but they were always bound to recover so long as there were neighboring Muslim countries like Pakistan and Iran who were invested in their recovery. The futility of fighting a proxy war against an insurgency in a country with a high population and a low income was known before Vietnam. It was certainly known before we tried to secure Afghanistan.
Ten years ago we didn’t beat the Taliban by patrolling roads and having tea with the local elders. We did it by finding people who wanted to beat the Taliban and providing them with supply lines and air support. We didn’t do it by winning hearts and minds, we did it by dropping bombs and more bombs. We won by winning.
The idea of winning by winning has become antiquated. The post-everything sensibility is to win by losing. To win by making so many concessions and bending over so far backward that the enemy either comes to love us or is completely discredited. This never works, but it’s the properly liberal war to approach any conflict with people who aren’t rich white men.