1. مدافعان و توجیه گران «جنگ با تروریسم» مصمم هستند که بایدن را برای پایان دادن به فصلی خونبار از تاریخ مقصر بدانند.
2. بوش و چنی جنگ را تحمیل کردند؛ اوباما آن را عادی کرد؛ ترامپ آن را انکار کرد و بایدن جسارت این را داشت که آن را پایان دهد. ما در چهل سال اخیر تنها برای کسانی فرصت زندگی قائل بوده ایم، که راه زندگی آمریکا و غرب را در پیش بگیرند. ما تلاش کرده ایم سایر مردم جهان را از طریق هنر، سبک ، تجارت و اگر لازم شد، جنگ، به راه مطلوب خود وارد کند.
3. دیک چنی در سپتامبر 2001 از ضرورت کار کردن «در سویه تاریک» سخن گفت. او مشخص نبودن زمان پایان جنگی را که شروع شد، پیش بینی کرد. جورج بوش هم وعده داد تا پیروزی صلح و آزادی از پای ننشیند.
4. ابراز تأسف هایی که اکنون در میان نخبگان آتلانتیک شمالی می بینیم، نشان می دهد سرنوشت این جنگ نتوانسته است تغییر زیادی در تفکر آنها ایجاد کند. روبین رایت در مقاله ای در نیویورک از بازنشسته شدن آمریکا و شکست آن و از بین رفتن امید به آزادی ابراز تأسف کرده است. جنگی که ثمره آن کشته شدن 2 هزار و 500 آمریکایی و 66 هزار پلیس و نظامی و 47 هزار غیر نظامی افغان بوده، به دنبال چه آزادی بوده است.
5. حمایت رو به کاهش افغان ها از مأموریت آمریکا به علت مخالفت با آزادی نبود؛ بلکه آخرین تلاش برای ابراز تنفر از فسادی بود که این جنگ به وجود آورد و تقویت کرد.
6. انگلیس و فرانسه به شکلی قابل درک از دادن این سطح از اختیار به آمریکا برای رقم زدن چنین نتیجه ملالت باری پشمیان هستند. برنارد هنری لوی به تیره شدن غم انگیز چهره دمکراسی های لیبرال اشاره و فقط درباره خروج آمریکا ابراز تأسف کرده است. او درباره این که آنچه آمریکا در زمان اشغال افغانستان و عراق انجام داد، چهره دمکراسی لیبرال را مخدوش کرد، ابراز تأسف نمی کند. لئون پانتا نیز از این که می توان هر جنگی را رها کرد؛ غیر از جنگ با تروریسم، سخن می گوید. افغانستان فقط یک مبدان جنگ نبود؛ میدانی بود برای نظامی از رشوه، فساد و ترور.
7. هزینه جنگ در افغانستان و عراق نزدیک به 2 تریلیون دلار بوده است. هزینه های درمانی کهنه سربازان و هزینه های مشابه آن هم به 2 تریلیون دلار دیگر می رسد. کمیته مالی سنا در 20 سال گذشته فقط یک بار درباره این هزینه ها سوال پرسیده است.
8. آمریکا بی گناهان زیادی را به کشتن داد و همسران و برادران زیادی را شکنجه کرد. بسیاری از مردم آمریکا فکر می کنند آنها از دیگران برترند و در دادگاهی یک طرفه حق را به خود می دهند.
اداره کل رسانه های خارجی
ترجمه: مهتاب نورمحمدی
Our Foreign Policy Elite Has Learned Nothing From Afghanistan
The War on Terror’s promoters and apologists are determined to blame Biden for finally bringing one bloody chapter to an end.
By David Bromwich
TODAY 5:00 AM
Members of the Taliban patrol in the back of a pickup truck with a Taliban flag along a street in Kabul. (Bulent Kilic / AFP via Getty Images)
Bush and Cheney sold the war, Obama normalized it, Trump disowned it, and Biden had the courage to end it.
Cecil Rhodes once said he would annex the planets if he could, and the United States, over the past four decades, has nursed an ambition quite as otherworldly. Everyone (we believed) would choose our way of life if only they had the chance. It followed that we should try to get them there through arts and manners and commerce and, if necessary, through wars. The wars would, of course, be fought against the enemies of freedom, even if the enemies were their neighbors and compatriots.
Tony Blair put the case memorably, just three weeks after September 11, 2001: “The kaleidoscope has been shaken, the pieces are in flux, soon they will settle again. Before they do, let us reorder this world around us.” What poetry! To look on the world as a toy! That, for me, was the initial impression of Blair’s words. More peculiar, as one looks back, was the emphasis on dispatch. The reordering would be done soon and speedily, with a brave unconcern for prudential caution.
A few days earlier, Dick Cheney had spoken about the necessity of working “the dark side.” The larger context of the vice president’s September 16 appearance on Meet the Press showed the consonance of his thinking with Blair’s. “Things have changed since last Tuesday,” Cheney said. “The world shifted in some respects.” But he spoke with a dour realism about the likely duration of the conflict: “There’s not going to be an end date that we say, ‘There, it’s all over with.’” George W. Bush, for his part, issued a promise of both lasting resolve and a lucky ending: “We will not waver, we will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail. Peace and freedom will prevail.”
The regrets now emanating from the North Atlantic policy elite suggest how little the fate of that project has changed their thinking. In an August 31 New Yorker piece deploring the US evacuation from Afghanistan, Robin Wright commented with punitive scorn: “America did tire. It did falter. And it did fail. Bold promises, over time, turned into mission abandonment. The hope of personal freedom has evaporated.” But whose hope and whose mission was she speaking for? Ellen Knickmeyer, in an August 17 Associated Press story, made a tally more matter-of-fact than Wright’s. Besides the 2,500 American dead, there were 66,000 killed among Afghan military and police, 51,000 among Taliban and other opposition fighters, 47,000 among Afghan civilians.
No metaphor of “evaporation” is needed to conclude that a large fraction of those 164,000 dead would not have died if the US had never occupied Afghanistan. For a proportionate sense of the numbers, imagine a civil war on American soil—fomented, funded, and protracted over 20 years by a foreign power—which ends up taking one and a half million American lives.
The dwindling Afghan support for the US mission was not a rejection of freedom but a last heave of disgust at the staggering burden of corruption this war spawned and nourished. As for the European criticism of our departure, it has been reported without the slightest irony regarding the relationship between defunct 19th-century empires and their successor. Britain and France showed an understandable embarrassment at having ceded to America so much authority for such a dismal result. Blair weighed in again, with a magnificent ferocity of reproach, and Bernard-Henri Lévy was grandiloquent: “The image of the liberal democracies, epitomized by the greatest among them, is tragically tarnished.” Lévy denounces only our exit. He does not say the liberal image was tarnished by anything the US did while it occupied Afghanistan and Iraq. Regrets in a lower key were uttered by Leon Panetta: “We can leave a battlefield, but we can’t leave the war on terrorism.” But Afghanistan was not only a battlefield but a proving ground for a system of bribery, bounty-hunting, and assassinations, as Cheney acknowledged early on:
A lot of what needs to be done here will have to be done quietly, without any discussion…. You need to have on the payroll some very unsavory characters if, in fact, you’re going to be able to learn all that needs to be learned in order to forestall these kinds of activities. It is a mean, nasty, dangerous, dirty business out there, and we have to operate in that arena.
Our interest in the dark side increased the supply of dark operators.
The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were debt-financed at a cost of $2 trillion. The final bill of health care for veterans of the wars, encompassing disability, burial, and related expenses, will probably come to another $2 trillion, Knickmeyer reports. The Senate Finance Committee questioned these costs just once over the past 20 years; the Senate Appropriations Committee queried them five times. Should that level of oversight be taken to exemplify the freedom we were bringing to people 7,000 miles away?
We think more easily of the saved than the drowned: “We saved the women. What will the Taliban do to them now?” American intervention improved the lives of some Afghan women, and many of those who hoped to leave will not be able to. It is harder to say—harder, even, to remember—that we also killed many of the innocent and tortured brothers and husbands; or that the wedding parties we slaughtered in misjudged drone strikes also contained somebody’s children.
Some years ago a friend, a Cold War liberal, surprised me by saying out of nowhere, “Americans are better than other people—don’t you think?” It was clear from the context that this was not a chauvinist remark. The sense was rather that Americans, from a combination of national temperament and luck, were more generous than other people; and if on occasion we did real harm, it came from a reckless exuberance of goodwill. I didn’t agree at the time, and don’t agree now, but I believe this is the way a good many Americans think about us. We are generous judges in our own cause.
DAVID BROMWICHDavid Bromwich teaches literature at Yale University. His latest books are American Breakdown: The Trump Years and How They Befell Us (Verso Books), and How Words Make Things Happen (Oxford), both published in 2019.