The Cycle of Violence in Afghanistan
Last week the National Bureau of Economic Research published a report on the effect of civilian casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq that confirmed what critics of our foreign policy have been saying for years: the killing of civilians, although unintentional, angers other civilians and prompts them to seek revenge. This should be self-evident.
The Central Intelligence Agency has long acknowledged and analyzed the concept of blowback in our foreign policy. It still amazes me that so many think that attacks against our soldiers occupying hostile foreign lands are motivated by hatred toward our system of government at home or by the religion of the attackers. In fact, most of the anger towards us is rooted in reactions towards seeing their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and other loved ones being killed by a foreign army. No matter our intentions, the violence of our militarism in foreign lands causes those residents to seek revenge if innocents are killed. One does not have to be Muslim to react this way, just human.
Our battle in Afghanistan resembles the battle against the many-headed Hydra monster in Greek mythology. According to Former General Stanley McChrystal's so-called insurgent math, for every insurgent killed, 10 more insurgents are created by the collateral damage to civilians. Every coalition attack leads to 6 retaliatory attacks against our troops within the following six weeks, according to the NBER report. These retaliatory attacks must then be acted on by our troops, leading to still more attacks, and so it goes. Violence begets more violence. Eventually more and more Afghanis will view American troops with hostility and seek revenge for the death of a loved one. Meanwhile, we are bleeding ourselves dry, militarily and economically.
Some say if we leave, the Taliban will be strengthened. However, those who make that claim ignore the numerous ways our interventionist foreign policy has strengthened groups like the Taliban over the years. I've already pointed out how we serve as excellent recruiters for them by killing civilians. Last week I pointed out how our foreign aid, to Pakistan specifically, makes it into Taliban coffers. And of course we provided the Taliban with aid and resources in the 1980s, when they were our strategic allies against the Soviet Union. For example – our CIA supplied them with Stinger missiles to use against the Soviets, which are strikingly similar to the ones now allegedly used against us on the same battlefield, according to those Wikileaks documents. As usual, our friends have a funny way of turning against us. Manuel Noriega and Saddam Hussein are also prime examples. Yet Congress never seems to acknowledge the blowback that results from our interventionism of the past.
Our war against the Taliban is going about as well as our war on drugs, or our war on poverty, or any of our government's wars – they all tend to create more of the thing they purport to eradicate, thereby dodging any excuse to draw down and come to an end. It is hard to imagine ever "winning" anything this way.
We have done enough damage in Afghanistan, both to the Afghan people, and to ourselves. It's time to re-evaluate the situation. It's time to come home.
Posted by Linda Maddox on 08/17/10 10:12 AM
This would be world wide. Here in the United States if our government started killing our family members, 10 would be standing up killing them. This is human nature! That is why our government wants to take our guns. They then could do what ever they want to us!
Posted by Peacenik on 08/15/10 12:08 AM
God Bless You Ron Paul !! Finally somebody makes sense . Interestingly enough , Gerald Celente has predicted that terrorist attacks upon the U.S. would come from the Afghanistan or Pakistan direction . The motivation ? Revenge for family members inadvertently killed by American troops . To the people running these wars , it is collateral damage . But , put yourself in the position of losing your loved ones . Wouldn't you be enraged ? It is time to come home from this latest misadventure .
Posted by JOHN ROSSI on 08/14/10 11:53 PM
BREWER POSTING, EXCELLENT, [KOREA QUESTION], MAY WE ADD, "THEIR" FIGURES STATE SOUTH KOREA'S COST HAS EXCEED ONE TRILLION TO E. O. Y. 2009, SO SIMPLE, SO COLD TO WRITE, 55,000 DIED FOR ????, THE SOUTH KOREAN STUDENTS SAY, "WE ARE ONE PEOPLE, THREE GOVERNMENTS KEEP US APART", THE EARS OF THIS WRITER HEARING THE MESSAGE DIRECTLY FROM STUDENTS HERE IN TEXAS. CONGRESSMAN PAUL, ONE AMONG SO FEW PEERS, BEING IN THE SEAT OF CORRUPTION, HOW DIFFICULT, HOW FRUSTRATING, BE WELL AND SAFE CONGRESSMAN PAUL.
Reply from The Daily Bell
caps off please.
Posted by Leonardo Pisano on 08/12/10 04:53 PM
"It still amazes me that so many think that attacks against our soldiers occupying hostile foreign lands are motivated by hatred toward our system of government at home or by the religion of the attackers. In fact, most of the anger towards us is rooted in reactions towards seeing their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and other loved ones being killed by a foreign army. No matter our intentions, the violence of our militarism in foreign lands causes those residents to seek revenge if innocents are killed. One does not have to be Muslim to react this way, just human."
I don't deny that violent actions by US troops invoke revenge, but does this explain the scale of counter attacks, terrorist actions? Imho, it's the arrogance of the US as "rescuer of the free world" to impose on others their way of world order, whilst in fact using their military might with their own clear interest in mind. It's a dominant social theme: "a free world for everyone requires now and then regrettable, but necessary and unavoidable military action." Certain events (like 9-11) provide the perfect excuse (justification) to act militarily, smothering resistance from the people, if any. Ms Rajiva is right: unraveling the lies around 9-11 is key to invalidate the reasons for the wars in Iraq/Afghanistan, thus bringing about the call for retreat beyond doubt and ending this madness.
Reply from The Daily Bell
9/11 is the key, she is correct.
Posted by Bionic Mosquito on 08/12/10 05:58 AM
@Bill on 8/11/2010 12:46:55 PM
After getting past the yelling, I don't understand your post. Dr. Paul has been speaking out loud and long on these issues.
Ron Paul Afghanistan = 900,000 hits
Ron Paul Vietnam = 576,000 hits
and so on.
Posted by Philip Mccormack on 08/12/10 12:50 AM
Get the man elected as President, he's sane, sensible and smart. Why isn't he a shoe-in. Happy days.Philip. Wish he was in Canada.
Posted by Dude on 08/11/10 10:38 PM
Amen, Mr. Danforth. Go 2012
Posted by Bluebird on 08/11/10 09:12 PM
I fear we have gone too far to come back home. We will never again be that "shining beacon on a hill." War is our new skin and we cannot peel it off.
I feel any president who would come into power and order all our soldiers home from their various fields would be short lived. In fact, our battles will increase and at the same time, our homeland more opened up for invaders.
Our government is more concerned with policing its citizens who resist the global community than the "terrorists" it welcomes in. They make just enough show of capturing the terrorists as is necessary to keep us clamoring for protection from the "intruders". Meanwhile, as we spread parts of ourselves to various battlefields, one day we will realize that we are part of them and they of us. One little global village under a gargantuan thumb.
Is there still hope? We can only wonder and watch. Men like Ron Paul can make a difference, but are there too many "sheeple" to allow it? Are there enough of US to fight this monstrosity?
Posted by Bryan on 08/11/10 02:43 PM
Re: Dr. Ron Paul 2012. The world can only hope! You are so correct from my point of view Dr. Paul
Posted by Bill on 08/11/10 12:46 PM
RON IS ABSOLUTELY CORRECT. BUT THIS IS OLD NEWS SO AS THE SAYING GOES HE IS A DIME SHORT AND A DOLLAR LATE. WHY DID RON NOT CHECK OUT THE EARLIER REPORTS? HE CERTAINLY LIVED DURING VIETNAM, PANAMA, NICARAGUA,AND GRENADA. COULD HE HAVE BEEN THIS BLIND?
Reply from The Daily Bell
Caps off, please.
Posted by Raymond Simons on 08/11/10 12:43 PM
What the Afghan people do or do not do is up to the Afghan people and not up to us. Yes, I feel sorry for women that are repressed. In fact I feel sorry for all people that are repressed but we cannot change things by attempting nation-building. We are not responsible for the rest of the world.
We are only responsible for what we ourselves do. So; bring all the troops home and do it now. And I mean all the troops including those in Germany, Korea and all other places.
We have become the belligerents on a world wide scale. Let America once again be "The Shinning Beacon on a Hill" for all the world to see. Then let those who wish to imulate us do so and too those who say they can't overcome the regimes suppressing them I would offer that a handful of ragged men overcame the most powerful (England) to establish the United States of America.
Posted by Edward Ulysses Cate on 08/11/10 11:26 AM
From this commentary by Ron Paul, it's obvious that he's not one of the majority of sociopaths in Congress. We need to act; not only to support Ron Paul, but to fill our local Congressional seats with other non-sociopaths. Only when Congress has a majority of non-sociopaths, can things become better for us and the rest of the world. Folks like Ron Paul must be in the majority, so that Congress reflects the real world. Sociopaths only make up 1% of the population, so why are they in the majority in D.C.? Rhetorical question, as I know why.
Posted by Bewer on 08/11/10 11:00 AM
Clearly, you are right on, Mr. Paul. In the same breath, why do we still have military in Korea? 57 years later----
Posted by Lila Rajiva on 08/11/10 10:59 AM
Ron Paul's analysis doesn't need Wiki-leaked information to make sense. It stands best by itself.
Common sense alone tells us that strength comes from peace and prosperity. Any war that isn't STRICTLY defensive is only racketeering by another name.
And that's why unraveling 9-11 is the first order of business, since that's what provides the rationale for the "global war on terror."
Posted by Saintee on 08/11/10 10:56 AM
As usual Dr. Paul is right on the money with his assessment of the continuing madness being pursued by "our" elected "representatives." But is it really stupidity on the part of those representatives, or is it that the merchants who supply the materials of war, and who also contribute generously to the campaign re-election funds of those same representatives, are making too much money from America's military misadventures and wish to see them continue indefinitely. I'd vote for the latter.
Reply from The Daily Bell
How about warrantless, universal wiretapping? Does that, perhaps, concentrate the minds of the political class?
Posted by John Danforth on 08/11/10 09:13 AM
Ron Paul 2012.
Posted by DRUNK AND DISORDERLY on 08/11/10 06:51 AM
You are so very, precisely correct that your report(s)! The logic of your position should demand the President and all other politicians end the funding of these foreign wars. I cannot believe they are so stupid to not see the deadly futility of allowing these military adventures. To me, this reeks of kickbacks and corruption...
Perhaps the pols should take their family on a nice vacation to Vietnam, Iraq or Afghanistan?