Mariam Veiszadeh: As an Afghan Australian, I watch in despair as the west cuts and runs / Afghanistan – “We Tried to Tell You” / Polly Toynbee: The Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan has laid bare the magnitude of western hubris

The anger and hurt many of us feel is palpable as the reality is that the Taliban would have not risen to have such power and influence, had they not had initial backing from western forces. Combined with a complex multitude of ethnic factions, a power vacuum, an already largely corrupt government weakened further by every attempted invasion/takeover and the international onslaught that follows – Afghanistan has become a country ripe for exploitation from all angles.

To witness what feels very much like a western abandonment of Afghanistan on mass scale is infuriating. No matter the alleged well intentions of many, we cannot plant the seeds of war, water them, witness the deterioration, strip the country of its dignity, and then withdraw without a well-thought-out exit strategy.

The countless atrocities in Afghanistan did not occur in a vacuum. Several countries (you know who you are) played a vital role in militarising Afghanistan over the 1980s and fueling the political instability that has plagued the country. The costs in terms of lives lost is catastrophic – a painful harsh reality many of our Iraqi, Syrian, Palestinian and many other sisters and brothers are very familiar with, especially when you consider the disturbing fact that US has been at war 225 out of 243 years since 1776, that’s 92 % of the time since its birth….

Afghanistan – “We Tried to Tell You”

FLAYOSC, France — Here we go again. Americans clamor for the exits, leaving behind innocent blood and sophisticated weapons for jubilant irregulars who humiliated them with antiquated guns and makeshift bombs.  I’ve seen this, over and over, from Vietnam in the 1970s to Iraq not long ago. Players differ, but not the plot. Societies react badly to uninvited foreign saviors. However noble your intentions, you can’t deliver democracy at gunpoint.

Imperial déjà vu dates back millennia. A raging flood not long ago in this Provence backwater exposed paving stones on the route from Brittania to Rome, where all roads once led. Every empire eventually fades by military overreach or internal rot — or both.

By Roman ruins east of here in Frejús, a memorial cemetery recalls France’s centuries-long mission civilisatrice. A mission to civilize. JFK brushed off Charles de Gaulle’s warnings about trying to reshape an ancient culture. The United States, he said, had nobler intentions.

Most Americans, not imperialists, want to do the right thing and come home. But few know what the right thing is. Generals loath to admit defeat by a ragtag rabble see lights at the end of tunnels. One president passes stalemate on to the next. And people keep dying.

Reporters who get close enough to see and smell the story are shouted down by a different sort of journalist who speculates about what is happening from a safe distance. When reality bites, they can only grumble with an unhelpful refrain: We tried to tell you…

The Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan has laid bare the magnitude of western hubris

Here ends the west’s grotesque delusion that it could use its military might to turn Afghanistan into a stable democracy, a shining path of moderate Islam. In the shadow of New York’s burning twin towers, I was one swept along on that “something must be done” tide, that drumbeat for a war to stop terror and liberate oppressed people. We have learned a bitter lesson. How deceptively easy was the 2001 victory, as Taliban fighters fled to melt back into their own population famously murmuring, “You have watches, we have time.” They have just turned back the clock on 20 wasted years….

Chris Hedges: The Collective Suicide Machine

Guantanamo Bay – President Obama’s shame: The forgotten prisoners of America’s own Gulag


The CIA’s Intervention in Afghanistan: Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, Paris, 15-21 January 1998

Conversation with Lawrence Lifschultz: The American reporter who investigated the assassination of Mujibur Rahman

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face, forever” – George Orwell’s Final Warning

George Monbiot – Asymmetric force: Pegasus spyware is the latest tool autocrats are using to stay in power

Chauncey DeVega: Trump is mentally ill but our real sickness runs much deeper

America isn’t breaking. It was already broken. By Andrew Gawthorpe // Why This Time Is Different. By Dahlia Lithwick

TOM ENGELHARDT: A World at the Edge

Alfred McCoy: The crumbling delusion of Washington’s endless world dominion

William Astore: The U.S. Military’s Lost Wars // Chris Hedges: The American Empire Will Collapse Within a Decade, Two at Most

Andrew Bacevich: High Crimes and Misdemeanors of the Fading American Century