with Abby Martin
theAnalysis-news on Oct 1, 2021
In an episode of the Empire Files podcast, Abby interviews Paul about his investigation into the 9/11 attacks, his experiences in Afghanistan, and his interviews with climate scientists.
“Polarization” is the word most associated with the positions of the Republicans and Democrats in Congress. The mass media and the commentators never tire of this focus, in part because such clashes create the flashes conducive to daily coverage.
When you imagine ending a war, do you imagine the U.S. President lamenting the human cost of the war’s financial expense while simultaneously demanding that Congress increase military spending — and while mentioning new wars that could potentially be launched?
I wanted to share some thoughts with you on Afghanistan, as it sits atop the rubble of another indifferent imperial folly with the dread of once again living under a fundamentalist authoritarian regime on the horizon. And especially on the American public’s disconnect from its own government’s culpability in spreading misery there and throughout the Global South. I wanted to talk about reflection too.
In many ways, war is ever more and less visible. Of course in U.S. academia, the Pinkerist pretense that we are living through a period of great peace is accomplished by all sorts of statistical manipulation, but first and foremost by declaring civil wars to not be wars, and declaring U.S. wars to be civil wars — a tricky thing to do when the minute the U.S. leaves, Afghans, for example, decline to keep killing each other (damn them!).
It’s far from the longest U.S. war. There was no peace before or after it. There is no after it until they end it — and bombing has always been most of what it is. It has had nothing to do with opposing terrorism. It has been a one-sided slaughter, a mass killing over two decades by a single invading army and air force dragging along token mascots from dozens of vassal states. After 20 years Afghanistan was one of the worst places to be on Earth, and the Earth as a whole was a worse place to be — the rule of law, the state of nature, the refugee crises, the spread of terrorism, the militarization of governments all worsened. Then the Taliban took over.
Afghanistan is the most glaring proof of the American treachery. It’s a cautionary tale for others who incredibly still seem trusting in hitching their wagon to a U.S. alliance.
It’s an open secret among U.S. military experts, corporate elites, and DC insiders that in the coming decades, the country is going to be faced with a war which causes unprecedented destabilization for the American empire—both externally and internally. This is to say it’s quite likely that the military is going to have to fight a potential World War II-level series of conflicts abroad, and a class-based confrontation within U.S. borders which matches or surpasses the Civil War.
The similarities between the movement to abolish war and the movement to abolish police and prisons jump out at me anew when reading Mariame Kaba’s We Do This ‘Til We Free Us, which is about police and prison abolition. The book has a foreword by Naomi Murakawa that includes this: