Remember Afghanistan?


This morning, during Donald Rumsfeld’s news conference, a reporter asked him to comment on the Pentagon’s reopening of the investigation into Pat Tillman’s death in Afghanistan. He knew nothing about it–he didn’t even know the investigation had been reopened.

Because Afghanistan is so 2001. While women and girls struggle once more to stay out of the way of the resurgent Taliban, American troops have mobilized to keep the Taliban from wreaking havoc during the upcoming elections. Though there are reports that the Taliban has agreed not to interfere with the September 18 elections, there are also conflicting reports indicating that they might.

In the meantime, Taliban militants have bombed the house of a cleric who is known to be friendly toward the U.S., and jsut two days ago, four U.S. soldiers were killed and three wounded by a bomb blast in Zabul province.

Members of the Taliban are now emptying Islamic boarding schools and recruiting teenage boys in preparation for the disruption of the elections which perhaps are not going to be disrupted. It’s very confusing, and one way to avoid getting confused over the issue is to not talk about it at all. That option is brought to us generously by the American news media, who appear to see the people at Camp Casey as the real enemy.

Over 230 American soldiers have been killed in Afghanistan this year, and about 700 have been seriously injured. There have also been many deaths and injuries of other coalition troops. There is no accurate count of how many Afghan civilians have died this year. The soldiers who die or are injured in Afghanistan are conveniently forgotten by the White House, the Pentagon, the news media, and the American people. Dying in Afghanistan is just not sexy anymore. Neither is dying in Iraq, unless you are George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice, or one of the able-bodied who prefers to stay home and “fight the culture wars.”

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