Friday, September 10, 2021

Afghanistan: Five Success Stories; an excerpt


By David Swanson, World BEYOND War, August 27, 2021, reprinted with permission

Presented Friday, August 27, 2021, to the Northern Colorado Alliance for a Livable Future;  To see the full powerpoint presentation:

1.        The Peace Movement.

The people who spent 20 years largely excluded from the corporate media, lobbying Congress Members well paid not to listen to them, marching and protesting and holding teach-ins, making art, traveling across the globe or staying put on the same street corner for decades

to build alliances and awareness, writing books and teaching courses, interrupting events, divesting from profiteers, wearing t-shirts, persuading uncles, exposing lies, defending whistleblowers, mocking war mongers, celebrating peace makers, and darn well screaming the most obvious truths until we could hardly stay on our feet had an impact. Public opinion moved to our side and stayed there. Politicians pretended more and more to be our side until they practically were, at least for one particular war that they call a mishandled flawed effort and we call, more succinctly, a war. I’m not praising myself. There have always been millions who said “don’t do it,” and then said “end it,” and we have not been some sort of geniuses. We’ve just disapproved of mass-murder no matter how you dressed it up.


2.       The Afghan Army.


These guys were armed to the teeth by U.S. taxpayers and told to kill and die to slow the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. They were encouraged to launch a new civil war, these poor people who have never known peace. They were revved up and pepped up and informed of the need to honor Uncle Sam, Freedom, and Lockheed Martin, and they chose instead to refuse to fight. Afghanistan had a transition of power roughly as peaceful and orderly as that of the United States this past January. What horrors are to come from the Taliban rule, we have yet to see. Which war lords launch new wars remains to be revealed. Which people resort to the more effective strategies of nonviolent action we are seeing in the news. But there’s not something worse than war that more war could have been justified in preventing. Most people in polls in Europe say they would never fight in a war. That we should be angry that Afghans won’t fight Afghans at direction from NATO seems odd. Given their horrible choices, too many Afghans had come to view the Taliban as the lesser of two evils. U.S. voters are huge fans of lessers of two evils. We know all about those. But war is always the greater of two evils, and we should applaud President Joe Biden for withdrawing any troops he withdraws from anywhere, but not join with him in blaming Afghans for ending their so-called civil war the instant the foreign occupiers cleared out.


3.       The Weapons Dealers.


The war on Afghanistan was a major success in transferring wealth from ordinary people to war profiteers. Big military weapons stocks outperformed the stock market by 58 percent. The biggest weapons dealers get five times now each year from the U.S. government what they got prior to the war. And there’s no glimmer of a hint of a consideration that ending the war might change that. It’s been normalized. In their legislation, including the big new progressive reconciliation bill, Congressional so-called leaders lay out a plan for steady increases in military spending for each of the next 10 years. Just because they can. And with no notion that the next 9 years of it might accomplish anything that could possibly alter the supposed need for even more military spending in the 10th year.


4.       The Authoritarians.


During the course of this war and the wars it spawned, governments — national and local — have been militarized, the world has been heavily armed, government secrecy and surveillance have been accepted, civil liberties have been eroded, and the word “democracy” has come to mean oligarchic but reliable weapons customers that put up a little pretense of caring.


5.       Safety, Democracy, and Enlightenment.


The war on terrorism has reduced terrorism, spread democracy, and enlightened those poor benighted foreigners who had been living in darkness. OK, this one I haven’t verified but I did hear it on my television, so you can take it for what it’s worth, and in any case four out of five success stories is not bad.

In fact, check out the latest from Peace Science Digest: The more a country has contributed to U.S. war on terror, the more terrorism has come to that country. Ssshhh. Don’t tell any governments this!




David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of and campaign coordinator for Swanson's books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at and He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee. Swanson was awarded the 2018 Peace Prize by the U.S. Peace Memorial Foundation. Longer bio and photos and videos here. Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook, and sign up for: Activist alerts. Articles. David Swanson news. World Beyond War news. Charlottesville news.

No comments:

Post a Comment