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Afghanistan War: The Soviet Lesson Not Learned

Posted by robertgreenwald on December 23rd, 2009

Below is a message from Congressman Eric Massa, a strong ally on ending the war in Afghanistan:

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, an occasion to gather with friends and family to celebrate the good things in life. This year however, Christmas Eve is a day of great irony and conflict as our nation prepares to escalate the war in Afghanistan.

This year, Christmas Eve falls on the 3,000th day that U.S. forces have been in Afghanistan, as well as the 30th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of the very same nation.

As a retired military officer as well as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I know that we cannot turn a blind eye to the lessons of the past. The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was a disaster and they proved that you cannot win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people through troop surges, and continued occupation. It is critical to note that while we do not view this as an occupation of Afghanistan, it is clear that the people of Afghanistan view our presence as just that.

If you have a few moments, I ask you to watch this extraordinary video, and then read my blog post on Huffington Post and In these blog posts, I explain further how you can help pressure Congress to end this war of occupation.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year – and please keep our service members and their families in your thoughts, and prayers now and always.

-Congressman Eric Massa

P.S. If you agree that we should be taking measures to add real security for our country and our allies, please forward this email to your friends and family.

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to “Afghanistan War: The Soviet Lesson Not Learned”

  1. Gallenius says:

    It can be argued, and in fact has been argued, that the Soviet Union's occupation of Afghanistan was a decisive factor that led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the end of it's global military influence, and our “victory” in the Cold War. These were indeed the objectives that led many in the U.S. leadership at the time, including Zbigniew Brzezhinsky, to covertly supply the Mujahiddeen with weapons, supplies and training in their war against the Soviets. Now, it is the United States that occupies Afghanistan in yet another unwinnable Afghan war, and, I submit, that war will be a decisive factor if not in our own dissolution, though that is a distinct possibility, then certainly in the end of our global military dominance, and the end of our empire.

    The dangers inherent in our current policy in Afghanistan are there for all to see, and yet the Bush administration, and now the Obama administration, seem bent on this same self-destructive course. Why? Is it because we are determined to remain the world's sole “superpower” by dominating the region and the Caspian Sea oil pipeline routes through Afghanistan and Pakistan? Is it because we want to deny Russia and China access to these same routes, and their resulting dominance in the region? Is it because we wish to help Israel secure a lebensraum in the region where she will be unchallengeable, free to extend her borders to conform to those of the largest extent of ancient Israel, encompassing half of Iraq, nearly all of Lebanon, Jordan and the eastern bank of the Nile? Or is it to protect the current major source of heroin for the global illegal drug trade, in which the U.S. and several other major Western governments are covertly involved, and have been for decades? Though I think all of these objectives, and more, have played a role in keeping us on the road to disaster in Afghanistan, there is something else at work here.

    In order to see what that is, it is necessary to take a global view of current events. First of all, over nearly the last forty years, the Western governments have been engaged in progressively abolishing the political, social and economic liberty and prosperity of their people. “Free trade” agreements, the outsourcing of industry, unfettered immigration, decreasing reliance on gold in international finance and capitalization, the burgeoning importance of thin-air finance capitalism, increasing international control, decreasing national sovereignty, and many other factors have combined to make the lives of Western populations increasingly insecure and precarious. Since the attacks of 9-11, these trends have intensified exponentially, combined with a worldwide push for more government surveillance and control of populations, increasing governmental use of fear and intimidation against the people, intensifying police power and brutality, the practical disappearance of human rights standards and constitutional restraint, and many other factors. If one adds to this witches brew the still very real danger of an American and worldwide economic collapse and a confrontation between Russia, China and the United States over the fate of Iran, the clear picture emerges of a world about to either self-destruct or change to a world totalitarian state with absolute power, or possibly a Third World War followed by a world tyranny. Indeed, the mutual destruction of the three powerful incipient superpowers could be conceived of as a CONDITION for such a world dictatorship!

    When seen in this light, the self-destruction of the United States in Afghanistan, or at the very least its self-induced strategic vulnerability to attack from Russia and China resulting from its' military overstretch and exhaustion, makes perfect sense. The complete formation of a world tyranny is probably impossible without the destruction of the United States as a world power, and probably of Russia and China as well.

  2. Dan Williams says:

    Did not the invasion of Afghanistan accelerate the financial ruin of the Soviet Union? I see that happening to the United States.

  3. [...] of the Soviet invasion of the very same nation. In response, Robert Greenwald has posted the latest Rethink Afghanistan video, “Afghanistan War: The Soviet Lesson Not Learned.” As with all the Rethink [...]

  4. abdullahiedward says:

    The following is taken from the Pentagon papers and is an excerpt from Memorandum “South Vietnam” from Secretary of Defense McNamara to President Johnson, March 16, 1964:

    III. B. The U.S. policy of reducing existing personnel where Afghanistanies (South Vietnamese) are in a position to assume the functions is still sound. Its application will not lead to any major reductions in the near future, but adherence to this policy as such has a sound effect in portraying to the U.S. and the world that we continue to regard the war as a conflict the South Vietnamese must win and take ultimate responsibility for. Substantial reductions in the numbers of U.S. military personnel should be possible before the end on 2011 (1965). However, the U.S. should continue to reiterate that it would provide all the asisstasnce and advice required to do the job regardless of how long it will take.

  5. Savemyhopes says:

    Both pakistan and afghanistan are suffering from last 30years because of this russian an american invasion.

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