News item: “Death Deals Taliban a Blow” (Sacramento Bee, 14 May 2007). The Taliban? A blow? Oh yeah -- Afghanistan. I remember now. The other Neo-Con war, the war that was “won” five and a half years ago with the ignominious ouster of this self-same Taliban from the rickety, makeshift levers of power in Kabul. You remember: mercenary warlord armies with dramatic names like “Northern Alliance,” US special force troopers riding donkeys, people being broiled alive in locked boxcars, former Unocal executives being installed as figurehead “presidents,” Operation Anaconda, massacres at Mazar-i-Sharif, torture chambers at Bagram, Afghani wedding parties and Canadian infantrymen being “mistakenly” blown to bits by US Air Force pilots on speed, “al-Qaeda,” Pat Tillman ... Osama ...
Do you remember now?
It was a war that began dramatically enough, conveniently legitimized by the so-called “terrorist” attacks of September 11th but gathering dust on Neo-Con drawing boards long before then. Remember the 40 million bucks (or was it 45?) Bush handed to the Taliban government in the spring of 2001, ostensibly as a “reward” for the Taliban’s program to (supposedly) eradicate opium poppies? A “reward” that was, in reality, a cheapskate’s attempt to bribe a group of ridiculous religious fanatics into allowing the construction of oil and gas pipelines across Afghanistan, from the Caspian Sea to Pakistan and the Indian Ocean. Remember? Mullah Omar and his chuckleheads pocketed the money and proceeded to give the middle finger to the Bushniks and the pipeline consortium, demanding a bigger slice of the oily Caspian pie; there being no honor among thieves, the Neo-Con apparatus then strung-out the self-designed impasse as long as they could, until the PNAC-inspired events of that September allowed a radical alteration of the game all these fucksticks were playing. The rest, as they say, is history.
Or is it? Apparently not, if newspaper headlines such as the one above are any indication.
Obviously, we’re not supposed to think about Afghanistan. Or much of anything, really. Thinking runs the risk of uncovering the truth, or at least a version of something that may or may not approximate the truth. We can’t have that. Hierarchies and power structures don’t normally function properly if they’re too heavily encumbered with the truth; that’s always been the case with the government of the United States, but particularly since the Rove-Cheney engineered Supreme Court putsch of 2000.
So what’s the truth about Afghanistan? The truth is, it doesn’t matter what the truth is. It doesn’t matter that it’s a militarily untenable medieval rubble heap, or that the puppet “central government” has no effective authority beyond the confines of Kabul (and hardly any in Kabul itself), or that the Taliban is still stirring things up more than five years after supposedly being overthrown, or that the sad destroyed country has become a mere backwater sideshow to the premier Neo-Con monument to imperial hubris -- Iraq. None of this matters because nobody really gives the tiniest little fuck about it. An establishment dishrag like the Sacramento Bee can report, somewhat obliquely, that there’s still combat raging in the great Neo-Con/PNAC success story otherwise known as Afghanistan, that the Taliban are back and stronger than ever, and that the relatively small NATO contingents there are little more than sitting ducks waiting to be turned into tattered shreds of raw hamburger ... The public responds with a collective yawn; the “opposition party” in Congress yaps and yelps and scampers about like a pack of toothless Pomeranians, barking about “benchmarks” and “accountability” but tacitly enabling the whole Neo-Con project; and the Bee follows up their piece on Afghanistan with stories about Governor Schickelgruber’s proposal to privatize the state lottery, the price of gasoline, and Barry Bonds ...
Oh well, never mind -- sinister piece of human waste Jerry Falwell bit the big one yesterday, so we can safely stuff the other disastrously failed Bush war into the mental incinerator where it belongs.