US security experts want to avoid ‘triggering’ news & images from Afghanistan – a mess THEY made and refuse to learn from
is a Serbian-American journalist, blogger and translator, who wrote a regular column for Antiwar.com from 2000 to 2015, and is now senior writer at RT. Follow him on Telegram @TheNebulator and on Twitter @NebojsaMalic
“It is a very dark day in Afghanistan. Take care of yourself. It might require avoiding the news,” Jennifer Cafarella wrote to her colleagues on Thursday. “We can & should bear witness. But it does not require self harm. Triggering PTSD symptoms or new trauma does not help Afghans.”
Cafarella follows that with a list of helpful suggestions, such as not sharing “images or links to images that are likely to cause trauma” such as the fall of Kabul, Taliban executions of Afghan officials, or anything “Saigon-like” – a reference to the 1975 collapse of the US-backed regime in South Vietnam.
I’d like to share the same advice I sent our incredible ISW team. We’re all likely to ignore the symptoms and charge ahead. We shouldn’t. These recommendations are a start. They build on policies that limit the sharing of graphic imagery, which I recommend you do as well. pic.twitter.com/X3UKonmq9s— Jennifer Cafarella (@JennyCafarella) August 12, 2021
Why should anyone care what “Jenny” thinks? After all, she just happens to be a national security fellow at the Institute for Study of War – a major US think tank – as well as a fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR), based at the Department of War Studies at King’s College London; and a visiting fellow at the National Security Institute at the George Mason University in Virginia. In other words, one doesn’t get much more emblematic of the transatlantic “national” security establishment, short of being an actual Pentagon employee.
One might argue that she’s an exception rather than the rule, but look around. Do you see any self-examination, much less contrition, from anyone involved in the 20-year fiasco that has been Afghanistan? No? Precisely. As the whole house of cards comes down, everyone’s looking away.Also on rt.com After 20 years & billions of dollars, the American defeat in Afghanistan is worse than the Soviet failure...how has this happened?
Thing is, they shouldn’t. “Jenny” and her colleagues – the entire “security” establishment that came up with the notion of “humanitarian” wars, nation-building and perpetual war for the “end of history” that only resulted in a re-run of Vietnam – they shouldn’t get the luxury of looking away.
For one thing, because that was not an option for the countless people that their clever plans and brilliant ideas got killed, maimed, displaced or driven insane. For another, because if they don’t watch in horror at what they wrought, they might – no, scratch that, they will – do it all over again, somewhere else.
After all, they learned absolutely nothing from Vietnam and repeated every single mistake 25 years later in Afghanistan, for another two decades to boot. Largely ignorant of how wars look up close – because they get the poor to fight them – and safely ensconced in their academic sinecures, they think of the world as a grand chessboard and themselves as moving the pawns.Also on rt.com Denmark & Norway shutter Kabul embassies, Germany cuts staffing to bare minimum as West’s exodus continues
Perhaps the only way for them to learn would be to strap them into chairs, ‘Clockwork Orange’ style, and make them watch the images coming out of Afghanistan, however “triggering” they might be. And they should thank their lucky stars the American empire doesn’t believe in the practice of its British predecessor of shooting admirals pour encourager les autres.
You did this. Now watch. Learn. Don’t do it again. Atone.
The US invaded Afghanistan to get vengeance for 9/11 – turning on the very mujahideen it helped create in order to “give the Soviets their Vietnam,” in the words of Zbigniew Brzezinski, an object lesson in letting vindictive immigrants craft US foreign policy.
That mission should have ended in 2011, when Osama Bin Laden was tracked down in Pakistan and killed. Because of the greedy generals and “defense contractors” and “national security experts” like Jenny here, the pointless war dragged on for another decade instead.
First 3,000 U.S. troops en route to Kabul. Taliban now 30 miles from Afghan capital and could seize it as soon as tomorrow...or next month. U.S. military planning for full evacuation and closure of U.S. embassy, if necessary: U.S. officials— Lucas Tomlinson (@LucasFoxNews) August 13, 2021
The Taliban are now within 30 miles of Kabul, and could take it tomorrow – or wait until September 11, just to twist the knife some more. The choice is theirs, and nothing the US military does is poised to make the slightest bit of difference.
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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.