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View Diary: Pakistanis: We want the U.S. out. New York Times: No, you don't. (30 comments)

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  •  Totally agree - there was a similarly surreal air (13+ / 0-)

    about the way the US occupation of Iraq was covered, as different American talking heads went back and forth over strategy and timelines while you NEVER saw a single consequential Iraqi being interviewed.

    I recent caught a BBC report where the journalist recently returned to Basra, and talked to some of the Iraqis trying to keep basic infrastructure like power generators running. He had interviewed these same people in the early stages of the occupation and they pointed out then and now how much things might have played out differently had the Americans and British focussed on infrastructure - like electricity.

    Instead, as we know, the Iraqi occupation was run as a very bad imitation of British colonialism, except instead of sending out the best of Oxford and Cambridge, America sent out the worst know-nothing Republican apparatchiks to run a grotesque experiment in privatization during a civil meltdown. You could certainly read about it in the UK sources, but you saw nothing of it here.

    When we finally did pull out you still had McCain and co bellowing that we should stay or leave substantial forces behind as though the elected Iraqi government simply did not count.

    This is why I think you calling out the New York Times on this story is vitally important - this absurd hubris (the essential nation mantra) is causing immense damage to real US interests worldwide. We do not get special dispensations to run concentration camps and attack areas of sovereign countries - and one of the key checks on this behavior is supposed to be our media.

    One final point - our media is fully available in these countries, and the obvious conclusion any Afghan of Pakistani would come to is that 100 of their lives is not worth one American life. We're finding out what that means as we withdraw from Afghanistan with our tail between our legs. I don't think it had to turn out this way.


    •  What a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      great post. Thanks.

    •  When did our tail get between our legs? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      We're finding out what that means as we withdraw from Afghanistan with our tail between our legs.
      This comment does not seem supported by facts in the field.

      Mission #1 is done. Bin Laden is dead.

      Mission #2 is "close enough for government work". Violence is down in Afghanistan compared to past years. Which leaves...

      Mission #3 on schedule or ahead of it. The USA is on track to withdraw by the end date set by the USA.

      Which combines to an age-old custom. Shut down a war, go home and declare victory. This is far from a tail/legs ending. For an example of that, I suggest

      •  Your question is better directed to the Afghan (5+ / 0-)

        women whose rights are about to be rolled back to the 14th century. I'm frankly disgusted at the outcome - Afghanistan was in better shape in the 70's before the Soviet invasion and our attempt to give them their "Vietnam" using Pakistan-based jihadis - including Osama bin Laden.

        So as far as I can see - its mission not accomplished on any level - for the British its their fourth failed occupation in 200 years.

        •  You are absolutely right about Afghanistan (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lepanto, Quicklund

          in the 70s.  I spent upwards of six months there in 1971 when Nadir Shah was still king.  There were Afghan women working in banks, ministries, the post office, and running shops in all the main cities I was in --Heat, Qandahar, Kabul, and Mazar-i-Sharif.  Sure, there were women in burqas, but those were all lower-class, illiterate peasant women.  Among the educated, a head scarf, usually draped around the shoulders and never completely covering the hair was the norm.  The involvement of women in the country's life increased during the Russian occupation.  This liberalization was one of the motives behind the horrors of the Taliban once the Russians had left.  So far as I"m able to determine, women have yet to regain much of what they lost -- not even in Kabul.  This is so profoundly sad.  

          -7.13 / -6.97 "The people never give up their liberties but under some delusion." -- Edmund Burke

          by GulfExpat on Mon May 27, 2013 at 12:16:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Seems your gripe here is with the USSR (0+ / 0-)

          Fact is, the vast majority of the world population is not going to conclude the US tail is tween the legs because the Soviets invaded in 1979. This is such a minority viewpoint it doesn't even blip on the political radar. And even smaller contingent will equate the contemporary actions in Afghanistan with The Great Game in the 1800s. But this does qualify as a well-informed rant.

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