Posted by: N.S. Palmer | July 5, 2010

What Would Be Victory in Afghanistan?

By N.S. Palmer

What would victory in Afghanistan look like?

That’s a question nobody wants to discuss. We hear vague talk about timetables, the Taliban, and the need to “accomplish our mission,” but people carefully avoid talking about what the mission is.

Of course, to understand the mission, you need to understand why the United States invaded Afghanistan in the first place.

The Bush-Cheney regime launched the invasion on October 7, 2001. It did so under the pretext of hunting for Osama bin Laden, who it said was the mastermind of the 9/11 false-flag attacks.

But months before the 9/11 attacks, the Bush-Cheney regime had already started planning to invade Afghanistan on behalf of the oil industry, which wanted to build an oil pipeline through the country and considered the country’s Taliban government too unreliable as a partner.

Osama bin Laden and the 9/11 attacks were only an excuse to invade Afghanistan, just as they were only an excuse to invade Iraq. American troops were never there to catch Osama bin Laden or to avenge the 9/11 attacks.

Afghanistan’s Taliban government and its people played no role at all in the attacks, and Osama bin Laden played only the minor supporting role of a scary-looking Arab boogeyman. Everyone else in the world knows it. Only in the United States, where the population is addled by infotainment and starved for real information, does a large minority of people still believe the official story.

So if the real reason for invading and occupying Afghanistan is to secure the country for exploitation by multinational oil companies, what would “victory” look like? It would have to include an Afghan government that:

  • Represents multinational oil companies against the Afghan people.
  • Does what the US government tells it to do, at least most of the time.
  • Is powerful, organized, and ruthless enough to crush any resistance.
  • Allows the US and other Western powers to use Afghanistan as a staging area for attacks on other Middle Eastern countries.

In other words, Afghan president Hamid Karzai would have to look a lot like the Shah of Iran, which the US and UK put into power after overthrowing the democratically-elected government of Iran in 1953.

It’s pretty obvious why people want to talk vaguely about “accomplishing the mission” but want to avoid defining what the mission is.

To define the mission is to condemn it.

Copyright 2010 by N.S. Palmer. May be reproduced as long as byline, copyright notice, and URL ( are included.


  1. “To define the mission is to condemn it.”

    Well put!

    I remember when the war began, so close on the heels of 9/11. I personally opposed the invasion; I thought it was a 19th Century reaction to a 21st Century problem and beneath our (collective) dignity and in defiance of the highest ideals we claimed to stand for. But I also recognized that the US was reeling from an almost unimaginable attack and that if the perpetrator of that attack was identified and somewhere in Afghanistan, it was, for all practical purposes, going to be well nigh impossible for Canada to stand on principle and say no. So in we went, and we’re still there. We weren’t in WWII this long, and we were in that from the start.

    The stated goal of “getting” bin Ladin is the only one with any honour at all, but as you pointed out, that’s probably just the pry bar used to get the real goodies. I think much of the world (including much of the United States) had come around to that by March, 2003, which made Iraq a much more exclusive Anglo-American operation (eternal shame on Tony Blair and “New” Labour).

    I honestly can’t see how it will end. I think Afghanistan, and Iraq, are simply going to end up the sort of festering colonies that France and Portugal refused to unburden themselves of for much of the 20th Century.

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