• Robert Taylor
  • 03
  • Jan
  • 10

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about how the outlets of the mainstream press in the US are rapidly losing readers and relevancy. These rags of wasted ink and paper, these “news” programs with screaming talk heads, are not “liberal” or “conservative.” They are nothing more than mouthpieces for the centralized whims of the DC war machine.

This theme was echoing through my mind as I witnessed the coverage of the latest events unfolding in the US military’s ongoing occupation of Afghanistan.

Last week, the Taliban launched a suicide attack on a US base that is directing deadly drone strikes over the skies of Afghanistan and Pakistan, killing a handful of CIA agents in the process.

The mainstream press jumped all over the story, warning Americans about the “dangerous instability” in those Central Asian mountains. They noted that the female station chief at the US base who was killed was “a mother of three children.” The prescription of course, is more killing.

This story is definitely news worth reporting, but contrast the coverage of this Taliban bombing with the attention given to another significant story, and the media’s bias is revealed.

In a horrific incident, US troops dragged innocent children out of their bed during a raid, handcuffed them, and shot them, execution style (including an 11-year old girl!). Here is an eyewitness testimony from The London Times (a non-American news outlet, of course):

In a telephone interview last night, the headmaster [of the local school] said that the victims were asleep in three rooms when the troops arrived. “Seven students were in one room,” said Rahman Jan Ehsas. “A student and one guest were in another room, a guest room, and a farmer was asleep with his wife in a third building.

“First the foreign troops entered the guest room and shot two of them. Then they entered another room and handcuffed the seven students. Then they killed them. Abdul Khaliq [the farmer] heard shooting and came outside. When they saw him they shot him as well. He was outside. That’s why his wife wasn’t killed.”

A local elder, Jan Mohammed, said that three boys were killed in one room and five were handcuffed before they were shot. “I saw their school books covered in blood,” he said.

The investigation found that eight of the victims were aged from 11 to 17. The guest was a shepherd boy, 12, called Samar Gul, the headmaster said. He said that six of the students were at high school and two were at primary school. He said that all the students were his nephews.

For some reason, Afghans don't like being occupied (Ahmad Masood/Reuters).

As dlindorff notes in his excellent blog, there was only one report about this war crime in the US. The New York Times mentioned it once, and only about how those pesky civilian killings are getting in the way of the war effort.

The report of this massacre has sparked outrage all over Afghanistan, and more and more Afghans are protesting the US occupation (with its daily dose of bombings and raids) and demanding that Obama stop the bloodshed.

If only Obama were listening. Unfortunately, our chickenhawk-emperor just deployed an extra 30,000+ American troops and is telling us that the US will continue to be killing Afghans indefinitely because of the supposed “threat” the Taliban poses to the US.

Yes, the Taliban are basically Nazis with turbans, but they have no desire to harm the continental US. As attacks like the recent bombings show, they want nothing more than US and NATO troops out of their country. The Taliban are simply responding as most people tend to do when foreign soldiers build bases all over their country, kick in doors pointing machine-guns, and rain down bombs.

The US media could end this trillion dollar war in a heartbeat if it truly valued honest journalism and reporting. They could simply show the countless pictures of maimed Afghans and Marines, or report cowardly bombings from 10,000 feet and the CIA’s soulless drone strikes (Obama’s favorite imperial tool).

Thankfully, information-starved Americans are starting to flock to the free and mostly unregulated Internet for their news as CNN, FOX, NBC and mainstream “news”papers are on life support.

Good riddance.

_

For more of Robert’s work, please visit his Libertarian Examiner blog.

  • Robert Taylor
  • 23
  • Jul
  • 09

When the last US Marines finally left Southeast Asia, the American Empire was at a crossroads. The Vietnam War nearly tore the country apart, and Americans started to contemplate the dangers of military intervention abroad. That war, which lasted for nearly 20 years, saw nearly 60,000 Americans come home in flag-draped caskets, a million Vietnamese incinerated, Laos left in ashes, and allowed a bloodthirsty Pol Pot to slaughter one fourth of his fellow Cambodians.

The Pentagon, addicted to imperial adventures, was left with the task of damage control. It appeared that the peaceniks had finally ended the pointless slaughter, and other Americans might begin to question why it is in our national interest to bomb and occupy third-world countries. The military establishment soon became slick and clever: “The lessons of Vietnam” were learned, and Americans were lectured that mistakes like this would never happen again. Conscription had to go too, and eventually the US war machine was filled with an all-volunteer force, severing wars from the public, who began to lose interest. Controlling the press also became key, and from Walter Cronkite to The New York Times, the media have been unpaid employees of the Department of Defense.

Throughout the Reagan, Bush I, and Clinton years, the Pentagon began to test the waters again; a coup or two to spice things up, million-dollar cruise missile strikes, the occasional air raid. What they learned was not how to win wars, but how to prolong them. When wars are perpetual, the promotions and contracts continue, the budget increases, and more and more power is centralized into the District of Corruption.

Nearly four decades after we learned the lessons of Vietnam, the Pentagon is at it again, fighting exactly the kind of war that they crave in Afghanistan: no foreseeable end, no tangible enemy, and thousands of young cannon fodder to do the dirty work. Once again, Air Force jets howl over an impoverished and defenseless country, raining the Afghan countryside with “liberating” bombs.

July has been the deadliest month for US forces since the 2001 invasion, a US soldier remains captive in the Taliban’s hands, and the US is spending $200 million a day occupying the country that Alexander the Great, the Mongols, the British, and the Russians couldn’t tame. President Obama may have inherited this unnecessary war from his predecessor, but the Bomber-in-Chief is hailing this war as “the good war” (the ultimate oxymoron; there has never been a “good war”). Obama asks for 20,000 more Marines, he gets it. He wants more money to increase the raids, he gets it. The “peace” candidate is leaving Central Asia in pieces.

During the presidential “debates” last year, we were told that pulling our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan would harm our “honor.” What honor has to do with imperial occupation is lost on me. If the Luftwaffe had started landing in New York, then it would be honorable to defend our country. But where is the honor in dropping bombs on lightly armed peasants? America’s war on the people of Afghanistan is cowardly and obscene, and there is nothing honorable about murder just because government employees are doing the killing.

Afghanistan is this generation’s Vietnam. Vietnam started with a few thousand GIs assisting the corrupt South, then in a heartbeat, half a million American men were dragged out of their homes to lose their souls in the jungles. George McGovern, a man who should’ve been president, has repeatedly said that all American forces should be home by Thanksgiving. He knows the horrors of war, having flown thirty five B-24 missions over heavily-defended Germany in WW2, better than the armchair warriors that are currently pulling the war levers.

As the costs of staying in Afghanistan, in both blood and treasure, continue to rise, history is already carving the American tombstone in the land known as the “graveyard of empires.”