Why We Fight was a 2006 documentary on the logic of America's endless parade of pointless wars

Originally published at: Why We Fight was a 2006 documentary on the logic of America's endless parade of pointless wars | Boing Boing

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I recall at the time having a discussion with a colleague and made the comment that the US invasion of Iraq will go down in history as one of the top blunders in American history. Time will tell but it looks to be on track as accurate.

Thanks GW!

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It would, but there is so much competition for that position. I think the Afghanistan invasion was even more of a blunder. We utterly lost, achieving nothing, not even holding on to an embassy. We left behind gigantic piles of weapons. We still have to send billions of dollars so they don’t starve to death. We allowed almost 100,000 Afghan unknown non-refugees to push their way onto Air Force planes and then fly here. It’s all for a place that seems to have no strategic or other interests for us, where we tried to impose democracy and Western values on a very uneducated, tribal, deeply religious society that doesn’t want any of that.

At least we didn’t give them nuclear weapons and root access to the Federal Reserve computer systems. And all this at a cost to taxpayers calculated at over $2 trillion.

I think a major cause is Americans not understanding, not everyone is like us, not everyone wants to live the same way we do, not everyone aspires to a secular liberal democracy, etc, which makes us blind to reality and susceptible to these terrible ideas.

We should have spent our $2 trillion+ solving problems here, not on hopeless adventures over there.


I think Afghanistan was a blunder because of Iraq.

That is, instead of focusing on putting down Taliban, rooting out Al-Qaida and OBL, and actually putting in the effort (and the money) to fix, build up and support Afghanistan’s government, economy and society, Bush and his neocon advisers/puppeteers turned their attention to conquering Iraq, and in the process not just wrecked that country and poured untold amounts of blood and money down the drain, but also left Afghanistan twisting in the wind.


That’s certainly possible. Winning one of those nearly unwinnable situations at a time would have been a real challenge, but running TWO of them at the same time… I don’t even know what to say, “blunder” isn’t enough of a word. “Blunder” is when I bump into a chair that I know is there, so I need some other word for this.


The women of Afghanistan want a liberal democracy


But Dick Cheneny and Halliburton made lots of money from both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars! THAT’s the important bit

/s if it’s not obvious


I think there are such elements that could be called American taliban that want to bring these things into American society, like some predefined family formations, belonging to a tribe, connection to an allah and a related holy book, masculine courage and tribal autonomy. Some Americans, not seeing the similarities, are all for it. Others, as you say, say No Thanks.

You bet they did, and I’m sure continue to do so, now with the Ukraine war. And daughter Lizzie’s living high off that too, I’m convinced. Sorta but not related, the guy that got shot in the face by Lizzie’s dad died recently, IIRC, he was in his 90s.

Yeah… women love to get smacked and honor killed for showing ankle… /s

There are plenty of other options out there that are not “they want to be just like us, and they want to be in a full on oppressive theocracy”. I doubt any woman wants to be treated like chattel, even if there are probably plenty of women who opposed the occupation by the US (and by the Soviets before that). Assuming that ALL woman in Afghanistan want the same thing (or even large numbers of them) is a pointless exercise in putting words in their mouths.

We can stop blaming our problems on brown people any day now and start accepting that our right wing is entirely homegrown and predate the Taliban by literally decades, if not centuries.


What makes them “non-refugees”?


I gonna guess that some people don’t believe they deserved to be saved, and that instead they deserved to suffer, because “this is what they wanted”… :roll_eyes:


You don’t believe “the vast majority” of Afghan women want to be treated like human beings and citizens? What do you base this assumption on? And why do you think, even if that assumption were true, that it would therefore be appropriate to continue treating them as if they aren’t human beings and citizens?


One of the ways that “we” messed up Afghanistan and Iraq was by overestimating the importance of tribal identities, treating tribal leaders as politically influential and thereby giving them greater political power.

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Even if they supported a government based on Islamic jurisprudence, I’d suggest that they probably STILL would like to be treated as human beings and full citizens, which is not the case under the Taliban. Even in places like Saudi Arabia and Iran, women retain some rights under these regimes (as oppressive as they are).

I also absolutely reject the dichotomy between “liberal democracy” as we practice it here and full on theocratic horror show. There is a vast gradient of political options between those two.


This is ten different kinds of bullshit. As an “unknown non-refugee” of the US myself, this group of people were either fleeing imminent oppression (you know… refugees?) or immigrants. And believe it or not “humanitarianism” is an interest the US has had for quite some time now.

You might has well have said “they didn’t send their best people here, and now we have 100,000 people from a shithole country living amongst us.”


I worked a bit on that as the Philly Airport was the major arrival point. Everyone thought this wasn’t just a good thing - it was a debt we owed.


That strikes me as another issue with the above comment, that it places the blame for being “ungrateful” for breaking their country and not bringing any real measurable value to the occupation. As if they should be grateful that we invaded their already fucked up country to catch one guy (who ended up not even being there) and then letting things get back to the same fucking stasis it was under the Soviets… As if they would not have been other alternatives to an invasion that could have actually helped the people there rather than further immiserate them.

Yeah… letting them flee the Taliban was literally the least we could do… We could have done so much more, including NOT invading their country and figuring out a way to help them.


I think we all know that the Bushies weren’t interested in getting bin Laden.


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