Empire Files: The Forgotten Wars, Part I

| Resistance Report

The US war on Afghanistan will soon enter its 20th year. Two decades we’ve seen an endless loop of news stories: progress then setbacks, lies then revelations, a new end, then a new beginning. But, for the most part, it has simply vanished from media and politics–no longer discussed at all.

However, it has not vanished for those impacted–not for the people of Afghanistan, nor the young men and women sent to fight them.

In part one of the Empire Files series on the US empire’s forever war, Marine Corps infantryman turned anti-war activist John Motter tells Abby Martin the hidden reality of the Afghanistan War.

From units committing war crimes to protecting opium crops, John’s experience is a harrowing and sobering reminder of why the US urgently needs to leave.

  • John Parulis

    20 Years. This is insane. This is insane. This is insane.

  • Jeff

    This is what happens when you don’t have a draft: nobody gives a shit. Opposing the draft during the Vietnam war was the biggest political mistake of my life. We need to reinstate the draft with no exceptions, especially for the kids of the rich & powerful. If the owners of this country and the people in Congress had to send their own kids to war, there would be no wars.

  • John R.

    20-years – for what ? Wasting our bounty on more suffering and dying of our own and the destruction of someone elses country ? How could this possibly still be happening ? Who are YOU / WE going to vote for that will make any difference and stop this / change direction / wake up ? There is no one – there has been no one. No D or R candidate is capable of doing the obvious right things, yet we are expected to make a choice – we call it our duty and are often criticized for not voting.

    Here in Blue Santa Fe (New Mexico) we claim to want a peaceful world yet we elect those candidates cycle after cycle that support the mission of LANL -Los Alamos National Laboratory that is presently working on expanding pit production to upgrade our nuclear arsenal began by the darling Nobel Peace prize winner Obama (one we are not allowed to criticize-ever).

    Stop lying to yourself – if you desire a peaceful world there are no choices. The only choice I see is non-participation for major party support.

  • John R.

    Strongly agree – INSANE.

    But – watch those around you (fellow citizens) when you speak out against the madness and blind support for our terrorist government imposing its murderous ways around the planet. You will be met with scorn and ridicule for not supporting the troops or the candidates that put them there in the first place.

  • John Kelly

    Bullsh#t. Legal slavery is what a draft is. Forcing people to join a bunch of war criminals as they do the bidding of the war criminal in chief is immoral. The idea that rich people and chicken-hawks would not figure out a way to game the system just like they did during the Vietnam war is preposterous. I am proud to have protested at an induction center during the war. “no exceptions” Right. Laughable gullibility on display. The prescription for no more wars is anti war activism… revolution, not inviting enslavement by authoritarians and fascists in the idiotic attempt to get public opinion on your side.

  • Jeff

    As is quite obvious to anyone who’s not a dogmatic ideologue, without a draft no one cares, as I already said but as obviously went over your head. Where do you think you’d get the people to support anti-war activism and a revolution when people don’t care? Make them subject to the draft and they’ll care just like they did during the Vietnam war, when college campuses were in open rebellion. Without the draft, college students don’t even pay attention to these immoral empire wars. Get a clue and learn to evolve and admit your mistakes instead of holding onto failed ideologies.

  • chetdude

    There’s so much there to unpack.

    1) Almost none of the children of the Owner Class ever got drafted unless they wanted to be, were brainwashed or ‘volunteered” so they could look good later in their careers. And any of the children of the rich who wished to could easily escape into safe champagne outfits – viz. G.W.Bush…

    2) The opposition to the Vietnam was was much broader and deeper than merely “college kids” in danger of being drafted. It included returning military and millions of values-based non-draft-able persons, etc. But…

    3) At no time was majority USAmerican opinion against the war…even by ’74/’75 when it “ended”. The prevailing opinion then is reflected in the poorly aimed Ken Burns series – that good intentions were sabotaged by unintended consequences…in other words, total bullsh*t.

    4) After Tet (early ’68), there was a much less effective and monolithic propaganda machine in operation than there is now. The media was much more fragmented, owned by more diverse influences and more nuanced. Anti-war has been turned into “anti-troop” and “anti-American” and a form of Treason and every level of USAmerican life and its propaganda is perverted by mindless jingoistic militarism.

    I prefer the idea of slashing the military and replacing the socioeconomic system that requires and demands wars to feed resources into the consumption machine with one that provides for everyone’s basic needs.

  • chetdude

    Yer both right…

  • John Kelly

    During the Vietnam war, the propaganda of the media was less ubiquitous making the people of the day less sheep-like. Today, what is keeping people in line is partisanship and wall to wall propaganda, and info-tainment. It is not being an ideologue to be anti-war and anti-slavery, it is simple human decency and having a fully developed conscience.

    It is preposterous to think that the draft would ever be reinstated unless the moronic idea of those who believe as you do happens to mesh with the chicken-hawk’s desire to send others to war resulting in a pro-draft movement. However, It is already the case that war crimes are routinely committed by remote control with only a joy stick in the hands of a teenager who has been trained since childhood. This kind of warfare is not American young people fighting and dying in the jungle while committing war crimes. It is remote control atrocity which does not even require a draft.

    You think a draft would fix any of this, you are mistaken as well as pro authoritarian. Our wars and their attendant crimes don’t require a draft and a draft will not stop them. There is already a poverty draft in place, and anything short of a revolution or an epic catastrophe of some sort will stop them. No rich people are ever going to die in our wars. Get over it.

  • Jeff

    Well, we agree that thilitary budget should be cut, I’d say start with 75%. Close all the foreign military bases too, totally immoral and no excuse for them. But I think that anyone who can’t see how the draft created major resistance to the Vietnam war is either delusional or experiencing major cognitive dissonance due to extreme dogmatic ideology.

    Look, we’re all anti-war, but you have to give most people some skin in the game in order for them to care about it. I can’t speak for other countries, but the U.S. left has a major problem with personal responsibility, and my guess is that problem is the reason for resistance by anti-war people to reinstating the draft.

  • herbdavis

    That has been my experience as I am surrounded with Trump supporting “good christians” that support the troops like toy soldiers.

  • Calgacus

    3) At no time was majority USAmerican opinion against the war…even by ’74/’75 when it “ended”. The prevailing opinion then is reflected in the poorly aimed Ken Burns series – that good intentions were sabotaged by unintended consequences…in other words, total bullsh*t.

    I do not think that is correct. As I remember, at that time polling showed that substantial majorities opposed the war. There was a period of the “Vietnam Syndrome” – that is “Hey, maybe being a bloodthirsty psycho is NOT the way to go.” The “good intentions” narrative was a conscious propaganda effort to re-indoctrinate people and it took some time, it only started succeeding under Reagan.

    2) The opposition to the Vietnam was was much broader and deeper than merely “college kids” in danger of being drafted

    Right, but college kids weren’t in danger of being drafted as long as they stayed in school. They had deferments. So the common revisionism that ascribes the opposition on campuses to immediate self-interest makes no sense, it’s a fabrication tailored to influencing the ignorant and those with no memories of that era.

  • John R.

    So far – tRUMP hasn’t started any wars. I am no tRUMP fan nor can I pretend the Democrats are any peace-loving party – they both suck as they are both war parties. Will not vote for either.

  • SCM

    He’s been trying his damnedest though to get one started. With Iran poking trying to get a strong reaction he can then pounce on. With Venezuela – declaring the leader a drug criminal wanted for arrest ala noriega.

    The idea that Trump is anti war is a myth like his caring for the working man/woman. He’s just got other problems right now so can’t gin up support.

  • SCM

    Draft won’t work these days. Soldiers are way high tech/professionals compared to cannon foughter in the past. I read a report that 83% of young men eligible to enlist are unfit for service. Whether low IQ, criminality, disabilities, etc. It just wont work if only 17% of kids are exposed.

  • Jeff

    I agree that it wouldn’t work to create anti-war resistance if only 17% were subject to it, but I question your basic premise. Show me a citation to the claim that only 17% would be eligible.

  • didactic1

    Taliban victory doon. Islamic and family traditionalism will begin its global march.

  • didactic1

    Romans fought in Parthia for decades. You are ignorant.

  • didactic1

    I hope Taliban win. In a century America or its devastated desiccated remains will restore by force traditions of our species. No more wacko genders. Islam, thank you. Jews and Christians turned Nature upside down Righteousness will prevail. The Prophet did not hold elections but a sword.

  • didactic1

    Climate and famine will trigger major wars of extinction and displacement. Strict religious controls, Islam, needed to save the scattered beings left. The earth does not belong to Man.

  • didactic1

    No Saul Taurus, we shouldnt.

  • V4V

    Thank you Democrats and Republicans… I hope your pockets have been nicely lined by now.

  • Southern

    Surely the US assassinating Soleimani on Trumps watch qualifies as a war crime?