The Afghan columnist's take on the brand

Posted: 08/16/2021 15:24:25 PM I very much enjoyed, as I have many of his previous columns, Joe Gannon’s August 12 column, “Like we...



Posted: 08/16/2021 15:24:25 PM

I very much enjoyed, as I have many of his previous columns, Joe Gannon’s August 12 column, “Like we did in Vietnam, we now rehearse in Afghanistan. I would like to add a few more points to those he made convincingly and tragically.

The first is the fact that from the war in Mexico to the war in Afghanistan, our country sought to be an empire, and in almost all cases where it involved a conquest (i.e. Hawaii, the Philippines , Vietnam, etc.), the reasons for entering the war were based on deceiving the American people. Whether it’s obscuring threats posed by Mexico, the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion, blaming the Vietnamese in the fabricated Gulf of Tonkin resolution or the big gun threat lie. of mass destruction, lies were used to manipulate those who were susceptible to them.

Fortunately, many did not fall for the trap, but not enough to prevent what happened. Gannon was on the spot when it came to demonizing the enemy, which was most certainly true with the Vietnam War, and sadly the horrific human rights violations by the Taliban made it easy in Afghanistan.

I could not agree more with his analysis of why the project was dumped in favor of an all-volunteer army. In my book “Called to Serve: Stories of Men and Women Confronted by the Vietnam War Draft”, as well as in Peter Snoad’s play, “The Draft”, based on the book, the impact of the draft on the people whom I interviewed and on the nation, was such that in order to continue the wars of empire, the military had to be able to count on those who needed to serve (that is to say “the conscription of the poor”) to carry volunteers. This enabled endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as Gannon proposes.

Gannon’s most important point, comparing Vietnam and Afghanistan as America emerges from another debacle of its own creation, is most devastating, as is Marilyn Young and Lloyd Gardner’s essay series ” Iraq and the Lessons of Vietnam: Or How Not to Learn from the Passé. “

Finally, there is Jared Yates Sexton’s 2020 book, “American Rule: How a Nation Conquered the World but Failed Its People,” which brilliantly describes the many examples of our nation asserting its power and influence in a way that undermines our democracy.

Thomas weiner

Northampton



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Newsrust - US Top News: The Afghan columnist's take on the brand
The Afghan columnist's take on the brand
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