Eric Margolis, The Huffington Post, Dec 20, 2010
After nine years of war in Afghanistan, costing over $100 billion in taxpayer money and 700 American lives, the full truth about this murky conflict remains elusive.
The government and media have colluded to paint the picture of a noble, heroic, flag-waving American enterprise in Afghanistan that is, alas, very far from reality. As the cynic Ambrose Bierce pointedly observed of patriots — “the dupe of statesmen; the tool of conquerors.”
Three interesting reports about Afghanistan emerged in Washington last week.
First, a political whitewash issued by the Obama White House claiming the war was going well and some US troops might be withdrawn next year. This ‘don’t worry be happy’ summary was trumpeted by the pro-war New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other members of the government-friendly US media.
US generals spoke of “progress” in Afghanistan, whatever that means, as US forces conducted a brutal campaign around Kandahar to crush resistance to the occupation and punish communities that supported Taliban.
Second, the Red Cross issued a grim report showing that Afghans were suffering widespread malnutrition and serious health problems after nearly a decade of Western occupation. So much for US-led nation-building.
Third, there were leaks about a new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), the combined findings of all 16 US intelligence agencies. This key intelligence report is explosive and may not be fully revealed.