The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection$
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewEric Margolis Archive
America's Shameful War
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information


Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • B
Show CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

An ancient Hindu prayer says, ‘Lord Shiva, save us from the claw of the tiger, the fang of the cobra, and the vengeance of the Afghan.’

The United States, champion of freedom and self-determination, is now in its 18th year of colonial war in Afghanistan. This miserable, stalemated conflict is America’s longest and most shameful war. So far it has cost over $1 trillion and killed no one knows how many Afghans.

This conflict began in 2001 on a lie: namely that Afghanistan was somehow responsible for the 9/11 attacks on the US. These attacks were planned in Europe and the US, not Afghanistan, and apparently conducted (official version) by anti-American Saudi extremists. This writer remains unconvinced by the official versions.

We still don’t know if Osama bin Laden instigated the attacks. He was murdered rather than brought to trial. Dead men tell no tales. However, Mullah Omar, leader of Afghanistan’s Taliban movement, told my late friend journalist Arnaud de Borchgrave that bin Laden was not involved in 9/11. Who benefited? Certainly not the Afghans. They have been at war for the past 40 years.

As I wrote in my first book, ‘War at the Top of the World,’ Afghanistan’s Pashtun tribal majority were fierce fighters and were incredibly brave. Their Taliban movement was a tribal-nationalist-Islamist force devoted to fighting communism, drug dealing and foreign influence. Taliban stamped out the Afghan opium trade and had just about crushed the drug-dealing Russian-backed Tajik northern alliance – until the US invaded in 2001. The Afghan drug lords quickly became US allies and remain so today.

Taliban was not a ‘terrorist movement,’ as western war propaganda falsely claimed. Twenty years earlier their fathers were hailed ‘freedom fighters’ by President Ronald Reagan when they were fighting Soviet occupation. Taliban’s Pashtun warriors wanted all foreigners out of their nation and the right to run their own affairs according to Islamic principles.

The US has savaged Afghanistan, one of the world’s poorest countries. US B-52 and B-1 heavy bombers are razing tribal villages, predator killer drones attack most road movement, US-paid Afghan puppet forces, many former Communists, routinely torture and murder. All this while the US-installed yes-man regime in Kabul does nothing to halt massive drug dealing and human rights abuses.

In fact, dealing in opium and morphine is the primary business of Afghanistan. This cash crop could not be exported to Pakistan, India, Iran and Russia without the connivance of the Kabul regime and its US military protectors. When the full truth about the war is finally written, the US will be in the deepest shame over involvement in the drug trade.


Washington, which has done as much as the former Soviet invaders to ravage Afghanistan, has no clear idea what to do next. President Trump announced withdrawal of some of the 14,000 US troops (and large numbers of mercenaries) from Afghanistan. But then the pro-war neocons at State and the Pentagon sought to veto the president’s statement. Meanwhile, desultory talks are droning on in Doha, Qatar, between the US and Taliban, led by the US ‘special envoy’ (read proconsul) Zalmay Khalilzad, a neocon who played an important role in promoting the invasion of Iraq.

Why is the US still at war in Afghanistan after 18 years? First, because the politicians and generals involved won’t accept responsibility for a defeat and its huge cost. There is nothing more wasteful than a lost war. Second, because imperial-minded circles want to keep bases in Afghanistan to menace China, Iran and Pakistan. There are huge profits to be made from this endless war with its $400 per gallon gasoline trucked in from Karachi and 24-hour on call air support. Plus the bases and fleet that support the war and promotion for the senior officers involved.

To keep this useless war against lightly armed Pashtun tribesmen going, the US must massively bribe Pakistan to maintain the military’s supply routes into that isolated nation. The absurd waste of US money in Afghanistan and Pakistan has been fully documented by the US government’s audit agencies.

President Trump is right to talk about ending this ignoble conflict. But the neocon fifth column he has foolishly helped install keeps thwarting his aspirations.

Trump should order the fighting ended and all US troops out of Afghanistan within 90 days. End US involvement in the drug trade. Tell India to butt out of Afghanistan. That would be statesmanship. Afghanistan must be allowed to return to its former obscurity.

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Afghanistan, American Military 
Hide 28 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. anon[405] • Disclaimer says:

    According to Arnaud de Borchgrave, the editor-at-large of the Washington Times, he learns in April 2002 from neoconservatives that the planned war against Iraq is not about WMD, but about reshaping the Middle East. In a February 2004 op-ed, he writes: “WMDs were not the principal reason for going to war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq; they were the pretext.… When this writer first heard from prominent neoconservatives in April 2002 that war was no longer a question of ‘if’ but ‘when,’ the casus belli had little to do with WMDs. The Bush administration, they explained, starkly and simply, had decided to redraw the geopolitical map of the Middle East. The Bush Doctrine of preemption had become the vehicle for driving axis-of-evil practitioners out of power.
    Washington Times 2/10/2004
    without 911 without an Afghan war, this wouldn’t have been possible.

  2. Alistair says:

    “ When War itself is the objective then there is no end to it “
    America’s war in Afghanistan has already achieved its true objective which was generating one trillion dollars business for the Military Industrial Complex, that has been accomplished tenfold.

    • Agree: Rabbitnexus
  3. “Admitting that the organization had erroneously rushed to judgment in response to an unimaginable tragedy, CIA director Gina Haspel issued a posthumous apology Wednesday to the family of Osama bin Laden in light of new evidence which conclusively clears the former Al Qaeda leader of any involvement whatsoever in the 9/11 attacks.”
    25 January 2019.

  4. Biff says:

    These attacks were planned in Europe and the US, not Afghanistan, and apparently conducted (official version) by anti-American Saudi extremists. This writer remains unconvinced by the official versions.

    The first sentence is missing Tel Aviv.

    • Agree: gsjackson, Moi
  5. alexander says:

    Is this for real ?

    I read the quote from the news source you cited…so I ought to believe it is authentic.

    But the magnitude of such a “revelation” should be front page news across the country, shouldn’t it ?

    ” TURNS OUT BIN LADEN DIDN’T DO IT ” should be the lead story on CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, and FOX.

    Why Isn’t it ?

  6. some dude says:

    We should include the hundreds of thousands of overdose deaths as casualties of war.

  7. anon[405] • Disclaimer says:

    This sort of claims without links to Gina Haspel’s utterances ,location,offices and contexts where this was said and how leave people to be called untrustworthy ,credulous , inexperienced and emotional . That article could have put Osama’s family members and wouldn’t have made any difference . Unless this is somewhere else , it is best not to grasp it and run with it . Citation of this kind of evidence is used by the war mongers to justify what they do and laugh at those who wants to know what and who caused 911 .

    Having said that it is known osama ‘s guilt has been proved by some fake videos and by admission under torture . It is also well known that his first reaction to 911 was just like that of Netanyahu- it was good – but he said he had nothing to do it.

  8. @alexander

    A friend I copied it to tells me that it is a hoax, so please accept my apologies. I ought to know better. The US never admits to its crimes even when they are blatantly obvious.
    Then there’s the Holohoax.

    • Replies: @alexander
  9. @alexander

    Maybe because this story was broke by the ” Most Influential Blogger In Ghana”.

    Who wouldn’t believe a serious report with a byline by “Kubidyza is a Global Celebrity Blogger, Music Promoter and a Social Media Influencer” .

  10. anonymous[325] • Disclaimer says:

    The US has total air control over Afghanistan and can photograph all the poppy fields. Since it’s known where they’re at their continued existence is obviously something that’s been allowed to go on. Who knows how many groups receive a portion of the drug money including the CIA for some off-budget cash? This even as there’s an addiction problem in the US. Note that when the US was involved in Central and South America during the 70’s and 80’s cocaine exploded upon the scene, a product of that area. Coincidence, no? Journalist Gary Webb looked into it and was later suicided.
    The author credits the Taliban with having been the main resistance to the Russians in the 80’s. However, if I remember correctly the Taliban really came into it’s own in the aftermath of the Russian withdrawal in response to the factional fighting and lawlessness that ensued. They weren’t much of a factor during the Russian presence but were just one of a number of groups that were involved.
    That war is a racket is amply demonstrated here where billions have been spent with no benefit to the American people and yet it’s impossible to cut off this gravy-train.

    • Replies: @alexander
  11. alexander says:

    “That war is a racket is amply demonstrated here where billions have been spent with no benefit to the American people and yet its impossible to cut off the gravy train.”

    Yes, good point, but I would have to say it is far worse than this….. by a factor of ten.

    Our perpetual war making, since 9-11, is actually exterminating the solvency of the United States.

    It has become the greatest national security threat our nation has ever faced.

    Consider that …..from the birth of the nation in 1776 , up to the year 2000… the ENTIRE accumulated National Debt was 5.6 trillion dollars.*

    From 2001 to 2019 our National Debt exploded to an astonishing 21.9 trillion dollars.*

    Nearly quadrupling in a mere 18 years.

    Not one penny of this overspending has gone to the American people…It has all been pocketed by our “war profiteers” and the” too big to fail” banksters.

    Consider also, that in the year 2000 our National Debt was almost half our GDP.
    Under neocon stewardship, our National Debt has grown so massive it has actually ECLIPSED our GDP…. by over a trillion dollars.*

    This, alone, is a national catastrophe.

    By defrauding us into perpetual war, our establishment elites have robbed us blind, failed the nation, and brought us all to the brink of bankruptcy.

    It is an immense tragedy for the country.


    * Source: National Debt Clock

    • Replies: @anon
  12. MBlanc46 says:

    Shameful? Maybe. Stupid certainly. Bordering on lunacy.

  13. @Stevelancs

    This was satire from the Onion. Interestingly though, the FBI never listed 9/11 as one of his alleged crimes on his Wanted poster. They had no evidence.

  14. anon[405] • Disclaimer says:

    Rest of the world pays for the adventures American military calls as expression of duties honors and scaffold of the protective shields of the civilizations . Citizen of Nepal to Argentina from papa New Guinea to Hondurus are taxed to support the occupants of these chariots of deaths.

  15. Anonymous[175] • Disclaimer says:

    I’ve never heard of this prayer. No one is scared of these bum bandits and America is too scared, and also too smart to hand the Hindus the world on a platter by destroying Pakistan.

  16. rosemerry says:

    Have you ever heard of Kubi before? It seems to be an African Onion!!! Fun, though!

  17. Realist says:

    For the past 74 years all of Americas wars have been shameful.

  18. Roy says:

    Actually, I just read the other day how the Bush’s were deeply involved with J.F.Kennedy’s assissination, so obviously, none of these so-called people can be accepted on face value as humans. As far as shame is concerned, the shame is on the American people for allowing these animals to exist. That Americans do for the most part allow these things to not only exist, but thrive, pretty much is all the proof we need that no American deserves to live, and that they, for the most part should be wiped off the face of the Earth, along with all of its closest allies.

  19. Anonymous [AKA "Bigtop66"] says:

    Please – the CIA “apology” is an Onion story. Satire, nothing more, nothing less.

  20. alexander says:

    Speaking of “blatantly obvious”,

    I recall watching a special on the science channel in 2006 . It was an hour long documentary on the intricate art of “building demolition”. The building scheduled for collapse was only 27 stories, but it took months for a crew of highly trained specialists to set the charges in a way to ensure the building, upon detonation, would collapse neatly into its own footprint.

    One got a clear sense from interviews with the top demo expert (during the preparation phase) that it is immensely difficult to instruct a building, through timed explosives, to fall straight down, and in, upon itself.

    Even with the best laid sequence of charges, and decades of experience to back their placement , there is always a chance the building could topple in the wrong direction and create a mess.

    Everyone was very nervous prior to the detonation.

    The explosion went well and the building succeeded in collapsing neatly into its own footprint.

    When I think back to 9-11, on the collapses of twin towers….. as well as building #7….and how ALL THREE collapsed so perfectly within themselves. I recall the experts testimony on just how difficult it is to make a building fall “exactly so”.

    What are the odds that all three WTC building would collapse neatly into their own footprint by three extraordinary “strokes of luck” ?

    One would think this “blatantly obvious” question would have been posed to a demolitions expert on “60 Minutes” by now.

    Right ?

    Yet not one single interview on the matter…in all of 18 years.


    • Replies: @druid55
  21. Anonymous [AKA "soames"] says:

    That story came from The Onion !

    • Replies: @stevelancs
  22. “America’s Shameful War”

    Which one?

  23. @Anonymous

    Look at comment 8 above. I apologised already.

  24. “US will be in the deepest shame over involvement in the drug trade.”

    LMAO. There is no shame for the shameless

  25. druid55 says:

    Media controlled by collaborators of the perps. A message was sent to the Jewish people who worked in the World trade center to avoid said that day. No American jews were killed there, even though over 2000 worked there. Al Franken, senator from MA, admitted that he got that memo! He was visiting his parents in MA. Has an office in the World Trade Centre.
    The whole thing was an inside job, with Mossad the main players!

    • Replies: @alexander
  26. alexander says:

    Is it really true that Al Franken admitted he “got the memo”…or did someone just make that up ?

  27. Taliban’s Pashtun warriors wanted all foreigners out of their nation and the right to run their own affairs according to Islamic principles.

    Don’t believe their propaganda. In fact, the Taliban is financed and assisted by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Agency.

    To keep this useless war against lightly armed Pashtun tribesmen going, the US must massively bribe Pakistan to maintain the military’s supply routes into that isolated nation.

    An unusually perverse feature of the war is that the US also bribes the Taliban itself not to attack American convoys.

Current Commenter

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone

 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Commenting Disabled While in Translation Mode
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Eric Margolis Comments via RSS
Personal Classics
“America’s strategic and economic interests in the Mideast and Muslim world are being threatened by the agony in...
Bin Laden is dead, but his strategy still bleeds the United States.
Egyptians revolted against American rule as well as Mubarak’s.
A menace grows from Bush’s Korean blind spot.
Far from being a model for a “liberated” Iraq, Afghanistan shows how the U.S. can get bogged down Soviet-style.