Marc Cooper on the Afghanistan Wikileaks

Thanks to the six year archive of secret documents on the war in Afghanistan released by Wikileaks and amalgamated by three newspapers, we now know what a hopeless mess we are mired in (if we didn’t know that before). NO question this is the modern equivalent to The Pentagon Papers.

The key element, I think, is the debunking of the fantastic notion that our allies in the Pakistani government are really our allies. We pour blood and treasure into fighting the Taliban while we give billions to a Pakistani establishment that backs the same folks.

It’s all quite insane until you realize, maybe the economy of the US is substantially based on endless war. It has to have wars to keep the economy afloat. I’m open to ideas, but what else explains the increasingly lunatic wars the US is determined to fight regardless of outcome?

The Washington Note

The question is whether President Obama has the backbone and temerity to reframe this engagement and stop the hemorrhaging of American lives and those of allies as well as the gross expenditure of funds for a war that shows a diminished America that is killing hundreds of innocent people and lying about it, of an enemy that is animated and funded in part by our supposed allies in Pakistan, and US tolerance for a staggering level of abuse, incompetence and corruption in our Afghan allies in the Karzai government.

It would be naive to assume the corruption is only among our supposed allies. How about we get some fraud examiners to review the funding to see exactly where all the money went.

These revelations confirm what the Afghan War skeptics have been arguing for some time — and completely invalidate those who have been promulgating a rosier view of outcomes inside Afghanistan and trying to sell the false illusion that American partnership with Afghanistan is working.

And it’s 1, 2, 3
What are we fighting for
Don’t ask me I don’t give damn
Next stop is Afghanistan


  1. I would take most of it with the proverbial grain of salt. Not that we are perfect and it is all false – but … NPR was talking to the Guardian’s journalist who specializes in that part of the world and was granted early access to the info and he pretty much said that there is a lot of chaff in with the grain. Also – look at the source and the claim – such as the Afghanistan security force documents regarding the Pakistani ISI. There is a long animosity there and not everything on either side is to be believed.

  2. The state never bothers about haemorrhaging young lives, it is only when the public start to notice and complain strong enough that something is done. In what war has both sides not broken the “rules of war”. War is not a rational thing, it may be started in what is believed to be a rational fashion but it always descends into the usual brutal savage kill or be killed with better to kill than take a chance. All wars are a mess of human confusion, it is individuals that are on the ground not ideas and plans. I have no doubt that the wikileaks are only a small part of the total confusion and lies, what has clarity, transparency and truth to do with war? We will never know all the facts, we are prisoners to the state propaganda. One small point that I feel that could explain the blood bath in Afghanistan, a recent report put the mineral wealth in that country to be in the region of $3 trillion. What better reason to sort out a serville compliant government that will allow our corporate bosses to plunder that mineral wealth.

    • except that recent report about mineral wealth is not new. They’ve known about the mineral wealth since at least as far back as when the Russians were in charge there.

  3. “stop the hemorrhaging of American lives”

    Hemorrhaging? We have become so spoiled we have completely lost perspective.

    In deaths per day our nation experienced the Civil War (599), WWII (416), and WWI (279). Vietnam was much lower (26). The War on Terror has produced an average of 2 deaths per day in all its theaters combined.

    I agree that we shouldn’t be in Afghanistan, but lets not disrespect our forebears who made far greater sacrifices.

    • King Philips War (named after an Indian leader) in what is now Connecticut and Massachusetts, was the bloodiest war per capita of any war ever on what is now US soil. Atrocities abounded on both the colonist and Indian sides.

      But any loss of life during a pointless war is too many.

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