Washington Post Publishes “The Afghanistan Papers,” Showing that Government Lied about “Progress” in the War

For the United States: Korea, Vietnam, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan were all wars fought for profits and not to win. When a war ends, the profits for the weapons industry dry up.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Some of us are old enough to remember the New York Times publication of “The Pentagon Papers,” the secret history of the war in Vietnam compiled by the Department of Defense; they were purloined by Daniel Ellsberg, who opposed the war and shared with the Times. The revelations in those papers helped to end that conflict.

Now the Washington Post is publishing government papers about the long-lasting war in Afghanistan that it obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. Its revelations are familiar and depressing. Our government lied to us. There were no realistic plans in place for success. Thousands of lives and about a trillion dollars were spent without a strategy.

The article was written by Craig Whitlock. If you want to read the story in full, subscribe to the Washington Post.

KONAR PROVINCE, 2010 (Moises Saman/Magnum Photos)

THE PENTAGON, 2003 (David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)

A confidential trove of…

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4 thoughts on “Washington Post Publishes “The Afghanistan Papers,” Showing that Government Lied about “Progress” in the War

  1. Back in 2006 I met a contractor on R&R in Pattaya, Thailand and after getting to know each other asked how the war was going. He replied that we had lost that war long ago. That the US didn’t have a clue as to what they were getting into, the government knew nothing about the country, the people, their culture, their morays and morals.

    Same old story over and over and over again.

    • As long as there is a profit to be made from war, that same old story will keep repeating like a broken record that is never turned off.

      That is why free-market capitalism U.S.style is toxic and dangerous. From everything I’ve read in recent years, the best type of capitalism is what is practiced in the semi-socialist democracies like Norway and Finland.

  2. Cixi was hardly the last concubine. And Anchee’s is also one perspective. Try Jung Chang’s as well. Allies also play games. Is in any surprise that Wendi Murdoch of media empire social climbing would host Tony Blair in Carmel, the home of Vinegar Joe Stilwell? Empires are not just limited to government states and their heads and behind the scenes power players.
    Now the main question may be, what is it about white guys and Asian women?

    • Yes, everyone has their own opinions. That doesn’t make any of them 100% right. Just look at the millions of fools that support Trump, even willing to start a revolution to kill off the current elected government so Trump can move his golden statue into the White House and sit on a throne as the first emperor-dictator for life. Trump said he wanted to start a Trump dynasty. He hasn’t given up yet, either.

      As for, “what is it about white guys and Asian women?”

      Robert Hart was a white guy but there is nothing about “white guys and Asian women,” just because he bought a Chinese concuibne. He was one of the few white guys in China with few if any caucasian women around, but there were hundreds of millions of Chinese women, and it was easy to buy one. In his journals covering his first months in China (published by Harvard University Press), he mentioned an older white woman that interested him (he was 19 at the time, and I recall that she was a widow and maybe a decade older than him). This English woman lived across the river from Ningpo in the Christian missionary enclave. It didn’t matter to him that one of her legs was shorter than the other one. She was English and Hart was horny. Nothing came of that and eventually, he changed his mind about buying a Chinese woman as his concubine. It is amazing how powerful the libido is when you have one.

      Robert Hart bought a concubine and her name was Ayaou. That is a fact. No one knows the details about how he bought her, but they did have three children together over a period of about 10 years. After she was gone, he took the children back to Ireland, found family friends to be their foster parents, and before he returned to China, he arranged marriage and married a young 18-year-old (white no Asian) Irish woman. Hart was in his 30s by then. The young white Irish wife returned to China with him and they had a couple of children, too. It wasn’t like Hart couldn’t have married a Chinese princess or bought as many concubines as he wanted. The Dowager and the Emperor wanted to arrange a marriage so he’d be part of the ruling family. One of the reasons he married the younger Irish lass after Ayaou was out of his life was because he didn’t want to do that.

      In another of Hart’s letters to his manager in the UK, he mentioned Ayaou long after she was gone. He didn’t say much about her, but he did say she was the most sensible person he’d ever known. It was obvious he missed her for that quality.

      As for “white” guys attracted to Asian women, the answer may be simple, one most white women will not like to hear, probably want to chew my head off, too.

      White guys that are attracted to Asian women may not like fat women and most English and American women are fat just like most of the men, too. And, most Asian women are NOT fat and don’t look like they are aging as fast as most white women do. To set the record straight, I’ve been married three times. My first wife was white, my second Latino, and my third Chinese. Before marriage, between marriages, and after marriages, I had girlfriends and most of them were black or white. I was physically attracted to all of the ones I married and dated. It didn’t matter what race they were. All that mattered was I that I liked them and was attracted to them, too.

      I have nothing against fat women. I’m just not attracted to fat women. Back when I was still teaching, I tried to be friends with a couple of fat women that taught at the same school I worked at. I liked them for their personalities and character but wasn’t physically attracted to them.

      Then once we went out a few times, me thinking we could be platonic friends, they talked about romance and sex so I decided I wasn’t interested in being friends with them. I was only interested in a platonic friendship, not a physical one. They both made it clear they had other ideas.

      Robert Hart mentioned the dowager empress in a letter that is now part of the Robert Hart collection at the Queens College of Belfast and in that letter he said she was a capable leader and not many of the male power brokers in the Qing Court were. Corruption was rampant and the dowager was struggling to hold China together. That’s not the exact language in Hart’s letter. If you want to read it for yourself, Harvard University Press published all of his letters in one or more volumes. Buy a copy and read what Hart wrote about Tibet and the Dowager.

      That scene at the end of my book where the Dowager Empress cries as Hart is meeting with her before he leaves China for good was based on witnesses that saw her crying after she failed to convince Hart to stay. She trusted Hart but didn’t trust hardly any of the Manchu ministers in her court. Most of them were corrupt, greedy, and incompetent.

      I think what Hart wrote had stronger language in it praising the Dowager than my explanation here.

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