Occupying Afghanistan for 20 years – what do we have to show for it?

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And so this horror occupation limps to an end…

Taliban welcomes NZDF withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years

The Taliban has welcomed yesterday’s announcement that New Zealand will withdraw its troops from Afghanistan within months.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed that the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) will end its 20-year involvement in the conflict, which has claimed 10 Kiwi lives, by May this year.

Now, extremist Islamic group the Taliban has reacted to the decision.

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“New Zealand’s move to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan under the Doha Accords is welcome,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed said in a statement posted on Twitter.

…when you join the armed forces, you make a solemn promise that you are prepared to lay down your life for the ‘national interest’ and it is the obligation of any Government to use that power with extreme due diligence.

So remind me what the hell we have been doing in Afghanistan for 20 years?

America invaded Afghanistan looking for Osama Bin Laden who was a Saudi for a terror attack carried out by Saudis all so that there was an excuse to invade Iraq.

Charming.

Afghanistan cost us 10 lives.

It cost America $822 Billion.

It cost the Afghans over 300 000 civilian lives.

It also had our troops handing over civilians to known torture units, it had our troops killing 21 civilians, it had our military lying to the public repeatedly and it had our military smear investigative journalist Jon Stephenson when he got too close to the truth.

We propped up corrupt regime after corrupt regime in Afghanistan to justify the West invading Iraq, at a cost of almost a trillion dollars while killing almost half a million people.

All we learned from our 20 years in Afghanistan was how far the NZDF were prepared to go to mislead us.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. A good summary. W Bush’s lasting legacy. The ingrate didn’t learn from the Soviets who experienced exactly the same thing in the 70s and 80s

    • The reasons for the American invasion of Afghanistan were entirely the opposite of those of the Soviets. The Soviets were there to support the socialist government: the Americans were there to ensure no socialist government could thrive, or even exist.

      As we all know, the policies of invasion and subjugation were carried out under the banner of ‘Freedom and Democracy’. In pure Orwellian doublespeak, GW Bush declared: “They hate us because they hate our freedoms.” Freedoms for banks, corporations and opportunists to do as they like, whatever the cost to society or the environment. Freedoms for politicians to acquire huge wealth at the public expense and to lie egregiously.

      • Supporting the mujahadeen to take out a regime simply because it was backed by Moscow, taking out the 1950’s Iranian regime and support for military governments in South America were warning signs that the defence of “freedom/democracy was in fact the work of the security regime of capitalism.

        And like any other imperialism, capitalism will fight its last battles for control of its own homelands. It will fight for them as the Kremlin would for control of Warsw Pact nations.

  2. America invaded Afghanistan looking for Osama Bin Laden, who was a Saudi, for a terror attack carried out by Dick Cheney and associates, at the behest of Larry Silverstein, who wanted the asbestos-laden buildings he was collecting rent from demolished in such as way that he could claim insurance.

    America invaded Afghanistan looking for Osama Bin Laden because the Taliban refused to allow the planned [US] Unical pipeline across their country.

    America invaded Afghanistan because the Taliban had decimated poppy-growing, a necessary first step in the drug trade the CIA had been running.

    America invaded Afghanistan because it saw occupation of Afghanistan as a back door to the invasion of Iran (which previously had thrown out the US puppet dictator and taken control of its own oil; independent control of oil is against the rules, as Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi discovered).

    American invaded Afghanistan because the are vast untapped mineral resources there, just waiting for American corporations to loot them.

    America invaded Afghanistan because it want to revive project ‘Turn-Afghanistan-into-a-mini-California, which it commenced in the 1940s but abandoned when everything they tried turned to shit.

    Never forget that the US sponsored Osama Bin Laden -weapons and money and training- as a terrorist in the war to destroy the socialist government that existed before the Taliban rose to power.

    ‘It cost America $822 Billion.’ And the rest, Martyn. The War Department (renamed Defense because it sounds so much better) has an ‘open cheque book’ with no accountability.

    What did NZ gain? Two more decades in the rectum of the US, immersed in shit, to be dumped at convenience.

    • 1. 9/11 truther alert.

      2. Explain then why there is under construction a pipeline to take gas from Turkmenistan to Punjab (Kabul expects $4000 pa in transit fees). The pipeline passes through Taliban held areas – they and Pakistan support it.

      Re the earlier oil proposal – most preferred a pipeline going via Black Sea routes to Europe. Oh and US oil companies have no share in the Iraqi oil. Baghdad awarded contracts to other bidders.

  3. My uneducated observations of capitalist democracies is that they have only one mandate. Exploit as many people as possible for as much as possible.
    It also appears to me that if those people being exploited resist, capitalist democracies fuck them up by any means necessary and if their particular God’s in His tacky heaven they’ll also make ‘good coin’ out of it in the process.
    Just look at us? We AO/NZ’ers? Just look at what roger douglas and his shit barge load of cronies have done to us? We’re a scant few lucky people on rich and beautiful lands and we’re a bit fucked because arse holes keep exploiting us for far, far more than their fair share.
    Foreign owned banksters sucking out billions annually! A few multi billionaires getting sticky on mountains of billions while we have fellow AO/NZ’ers living in the streets?
    The problem the greedy russians and yanks made was underestimating the cohesive determination of an ancient social order.

  4. A few years ago I watched the Black Caps play the Afghanistan cricket team and I thought this is cool. This is what our relationship with Afghanistan should be. I, too, never understood why we sent our troops there to kill the citizens of that country or why we made a national hero out of the man who was best at killing Afghans. Shame on us.

  5. The answer to your question is in your article – ‘It cost America $822 Billion.’ If you replace the word ‘cost’ with the word ‘spent’ and then ask yourself where the $822 billion was spent. Most of it was spent in America – the salaries of half a million US soldiers for one, the private contracting firms, the private logistic companies like Haliburton and the massive pool of US weapons and military equipment manufacturers and suppliers like Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Boeing , etc – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_defense_contractors.
    The US uses it’s military spending as a form of Keynesian economics but instead of building infrastructure like roads, hospitals, schools and other public services it is spent on perpetual war and continuous preparation for more war. The economic outcome is high levels of productive output, employment and huge profits across the military sector.
    On a smaller scale there will be companies in NZ (Rocket Lab, Air NZ) that also benefit from the continuous and hungry US war machine and the annual $700 billion a year it has to find a way to spend.

    • ‘The economic outcome is high levels of productive output, employment and huge profits across the military sector.’

      Interesting use of words there, Peter.

      Does the conversion of raw materials into devices designed to explode on impact (or slightly before impact) and the conversion of raw materials into devices that don’t actually function very well and will need to be replaced in short order rate as ‘productive’?

      I prefer to consider the manufacture of ANYTHING as consumptive; consuming natural resources; consuming energy; consuming time. (And generating waste, of course.)

      However, we endure an economic system that rewards and celebrates consumption. In general terms, the more you consume, the ‘better citizen’ you are.

      I know its preposterous, but so are most of the things governments promote.

      “Now be a good chap and get in the car and go somewhere to buy something you don’t need. It’s good for the economy.”

      As Antonio Guterres, Head of the UN pointed out recently, the economic indicators used by mainstream economists are phony, and the policies are counterproductive. it’s not that I’m a fan of the UN, but they are right on this one: humanity is on a suicidal path.

  6. Agree with most of the above comments, but in a parochial mood today. So what really ticks me off about Afghanistan is it being the catalyst for losing the Alliance Party in Govt.–remember Paid Parental Leave and Kiwi Bank? Helen Clark would never have signed off on those without Laila Harre, Jim Anderton, and other Alliance MPs efforts.

    The chain of events is well known, Afghanistan was the trigger, it could have been any issue I guess. It exposed Jim Anderton’s anti communism yet again, and the marxist left’s inability to properly balance internationalism with the main local strategic requirements.

    NZDF being exposed as utter Colonel Blimps, twats and liars on the taxpayer dollar was positive of course. Jon Stevenson should be revered for his efforts.

    Terrible cost for the Afghan people yet again. 5 Eyes “help” is always worse than the “problem”.

  7. As I recall Auntie Helen secretly sent the New Zealand SAS.
    She did so to show solidarity with the USA for the chimera of a Trade Deal with the USA( Ah! how often have those words been spoken in vain!)
    The presence of the Kiwis was revealed by foreign journalists. It was confirmed by Dick Cheney – which left our esteemed, ex war protester PM no option but to admit the SAS was fighting the Taliban. The reason given for secrecy was to protect the families of SAS members.
    I believe this is the first time our forces were deployed overseas without it being announced in parliament and at least some debate taking place( of course if other secret deployments have successfully taken place I do not know about them – does anyone?).
    Incidentally the Taliban was described as broken, shedding support, a spent force but after twenty years they are still around.
    So what was it all about?

    • I am an admirer of Auntie.
      She was a lecturer of mine at university.
      She opposed me at the barricades of Vietnam and Springbok Tour
      She was objective to deal with in parliament – never nasty.
      She said NO to Bush Iraq invasion under false flag WMD
      She stumbled over Afghanistan.
      But
      Holyoak did a deal : troops for Vietnam meat exports to USA.

      Meanwhile. NZ troops trained troops in Afghanistan? They’d do better to train their own at MIQ virus detention centres in NZ

    • I am an admirer of Auntie.
      She was a lecturer of mine at university.
      She opposed me at the barricades of Vietnam and Springbok Tour
      She was objective to deal with in parliament – never nasty.
      She said NO to Bush Iraq invasion under false flag WMD
      She stumbled over Afghanistan.
      But
      Holyoak did a deal : troops for Vietnam meat exports to USA.

      Meanwhile. NZ troops trained troops in Afghanistan? They’d do better to train their own at MIQ virus detention centres in NZ

  8. Was the Doha agreement the catalyst for NZ to end our involvement in Afghanistan? The same agreement the Biden administration is currently reviewing. Seems the current level of violence is concerning them.

    Hope we get the NZDF out before our “good friend” Biden asks us to reconsider.

  9. 1. 9/11 truther alert.

    2. Explain then why there is under construction a pipeline to take gas from Turkmenistan to Punjab (Kabul expects $400M pa in transit fees). The pipeline passes through Taliban held areas – they and Pakistan support it.

    Re the earlier oil proposal – most preferred a pipeline going via Black Sea routes to Europe. Oh and US oil companies have no share in the Iraqi oil. Baghdad awarded contracts to other bidders.

  10. The infrastructure in Afghanistan is better. Some women have been educated and most are still alive – though there is the risk they will only make use of this if they leave as refugees should the Taleban resume control.

    The reason for being there, the presence of Al Qaeda – the foreign part of the mujahadeen that won power with American backing, remains. Islamlic state (originally al Qaeda in Iraq) exiles now operate there.

    So the purpose reason for being there has not been met. The agreement made is a nonsense – it’s just the Taleban humouring Trump who wanted to take the US forces out.

    While its right for our involvement to end, NATO and Biden will probably operate a force sufficient to keep the Taleban out of Kabul a while longer – and say its deeds not words that will convince them to fully withdraw.

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