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This is not a blog which expresses instant opinions on current events. It rather uses incidents, books (old and new), links and papers as jumping-off points for some reflections about our social endeavours.
So old posts are as good as new! And lots of useful links!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Living in truth - part II

A current example of someone living in truth - a committed American soldier sick of the lies the American public are being told about the "progress" in the Afghan War -
Lieutenant-Colonel Daniel, 48, drew up two reports containing research and observations garnered from his last tour. As part of his job he had criss-crossed the country, travelling 9,000 miles and talking to more than 250 people. He had built up a picture of a hopeless cause; a country where Afghan soldiers were incapable of holding on to American gains. US soldiers would fight and die for territory and then see Afghan troops let it fall to the Taliban. Often the Afghans actively worked with the Taliban or simply refused to fight. One Afghan police officer laughed in Davis's face when asked if he ever tried to fight the enemy. "That would be dangerous!" the man said. Yet at the same time Davis saw America's military chiefs, such as General David Petraeus, constantly speak about America's successes, especially when working with local troops. So Davis compiled two reports: one classified and one unclassified. He sent both to politicians in Washington and lobbied them on his concerns. Then in February he went public by giving an interview to the New York Times and writing a damning editorial in a military newspaper. Then – and only then – did he tell his own army bosses what he had done.
Davis pulled no punches. His report's opening statement read: "Senior ranking US military leaders have so distorted the truth when communicating with the US Congress and American people in regards to conditions on the ground in Afghanistan that the truth has become unrecognisable."

The report detailed an alarming picture of Taliban advances and spiralling violence. Afghan security forces were unwilling or unable to fight, or actively aiding the enemy. That picture was contrasted with repeated rosy statements from US military leaders. His classified version was far more damning, but it remains a secret. "I am no WikiLeaks guy part two," Davis said.
He foresees a simple and logical end point for Afghanistan – civil war and societal collapse, probably long before the last US combat soldier is scheduled to leave. He says the Afghan army and police simply cannot cope and the US forces training and working with them know that, despite official pronouncements to the contrary. "What I saw first hand in virtually every circumstance was a barely functioning organisation often co-operating with the insurgent enemy," Davis's report said.
The document was also damning about the role of the US media in reporting the war - slavishly repeating the military handouts.

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