Who should you believe on Afghanistan?

Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan The other day the beeb made a big noise about how the British mission in Afghanistan had been a success. Complete with radio interviews and all sorts of aplomb. In the video on the link (which to me looks more like a promotion of Cameron than a summary report of the war) the Prime Minister of the UK claimed among other things that British forces had achieved the aim of making ‘..sure that this country is no longer a haven for terror and terrorists…’ Shortly after I saw this, on STOP THE WAR COALITION titled ‘How the BBC whitewashed Britain’s disastrous 13 years of war in Afghanistan‘ Yesterday, the New York times published this piece with the title ‘Hour’s Drive Outside Kabul, Taliban Reign’. It all begs the question: who do you believe about Afghanistan, because surely both claims couldn’t possibly be truthful. Or could they? That on one hand the British mission in Afghanistan was a success, yet on the other the Taliban are still in control of signficant areas, barely 35 to 40 miles outside Kabul? And that makes sense. Does that make sense? tagab-kapisaI wonder if the truth even exists here, because with Afghanistan, it seems everything is a mirage (See Tariq Ali’s detailed and quite informative piece on New Left Review here). While everyone sensible will hope that Afghanistan is better today for Afghans than it was prior to the 2001 invasion that was supposed to oust the Taliban,  it’s striking that when pretty much everybody agrees over ISIS; that ISIS are devils, horrible to the core and deserving only of their own wickedness-if not worse, while pretty much everybody agrees that ISIS are not only well-resourced, but well organised, and are in fact controlling sizeable parts of Northern Syria and significant parts of Northern Iraq, yet strangely and despite all the evidence, nobody seems to agree what the real security situation in Afghanistan really is??? Or whether order has in fact been established. It’s scandalous! Surely, journalistic theatre doesn’t surpass such polarised reports. So, it leaves one with only one option as is often the case with these things. That  unless you are on the ground – observing the going-ons with your own eyes, ‘the truth’ about Afghanistan largely depends on who you ask? And that in itself speaks volumes about the real purpose of the whole incursion.

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