War propaganda from Afghanistan

Glenn Greenwald

Salon.com, April 28, 2010

The New York Times yesterday excitedly declared that the imminent Battle of Kandahar "has become the make-or-break offensive of the eight-and-half-year [Afghanistan] war" and is "the pivotal test of President Obama’s Afghanistan strategy."  As Atrios suggests,
there never is any such thing as "make-or-break" because we never leave
no matter how completely our war and occupation efforts fail.  That’s
what led to the countless Friedman Units of the Iraq War:  the endless proclamations that The Next Six Months will be Decisive, only to be repeated at the end of the six-month period of failure as though the prior one never happened.

Just consider what’s being said
now about how the Kandahar offensive is the "make-or-break" battle of
the war and the "pivotal test" for Obama’s war strategy by comparing it
to what was said a mere two months ago about the now clearly failing assault on Marjah:

Times of London, February 13, 2010:

Allied troops launched a major
offensive into Afghanistan’s most violent province last night, in a key
part of President Obama’s push to seize control of the Taleban’s last
big stronghold. . . . If it fails, many analysts believe that the war will be lost.

The Independent declared
on February 9, 2010, that General McChrystal wants the Marjah offensive
to "be one of the most significant in the country since the fall of the
Taliban in 2001" and, of Obama’s war strategy, said that "Marjah looks
like being its first major — and possibly decisive — test."  The BBC quoted a NATO official who proclaimed that Marjah "was ‘probably the definitive operation’
of the counter-insurgency strategy" and "this operation could
potentially define the tipping point, the crucial momentum aspect in
the counter-insurgency."  Time helpfully informed us that "U.S. officials believe it will mark a turning point in the war."

Now that that
"make-or-break decisive test" has failed (or, at best, has produced
very muddled outcomes), did the Government and media follow through and
declare the war effort broken and the strategy a failure?  No; they
just pretend it never happened and declare the next, latest, glorious
Battle the real "make-or-break decisive test" — until that one fails
and the next one is portrayed that way, in an endless tidal wave of war
propaganda intended to justify our staying for as long as we want, no
matter how pointless and counter-productive it is.

* * * * *

Speaking of war propaganda, today is a very proud day for the U.S.:  the military commission ordered by Eric Holder begins for Omar Khadr, a Canadian-born, Afghanistan-residing detainee encaged at Guantanamo for seven years — since he was 15 years old
— on "war crimes" and "terrorism" charges that he was involved in a
firefight with American military forces who, revealingly enough, were using a former Soviet military base as their outpost
Khadr was wounded in the battle, imprisoned at Bagram, then at
Guantanamo, claims he was severely tortured into falsely confessing,
and made worldwide news when a video of him weeping, begging for medical help, and crying for his mother
during an interrogation was released.  Apparently, if the U.S. Army
invades a foreign country, anyone who fights against that invading
force — including a 15-year-old boy — is a "war criminal" and a
"Terrorist," even the Worst of The Worst, which is, of course, all that
we’re currently holding at Guantanamo.  Now that’s some robust

:: Article nr. 65503 sent on 29-apr-2010 05:45 ECT


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