'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Monday, July 26, 2010

Afghanistan: The War Logs 

UPDATE: It is all a matter of priorities: The Pentagon said it was conducting an investigation into whether information in the logs placed coalition forces or their informants in danger.

INITIAL POST: Click on the link for a useful interactive feature that the Guardian has provided to enable readers to found some of the more interesting reports, such as, for example, this one. Others can be found in an article summarizing civilian casualties inflicted by CIA forces that the US refuses to acknowledge to this day. Some of these incidents, such as the one contained in this article, were already known to many, including readers of this blog, but the release of the sanitized report itself illustrates how many casualties have been concealed. The primary benefit of the release of these reports by wikileaks is that it will tend to confirm what many critics have said about the war in Afghanistan.

Curiously, the release of bureaucratic reports seems to instill a credibililty in terms of the description of past events that didn't previously exist. It is also very damaging to the Obama administration, as it proceeded to order the escalation of the war with full knowledge of what was contained in them. One suspects that the most immediate consequence of the release will be increased pressure within Germany to remove troops from Afghanistan, as the deployment has been very contentious there.

Not surprisingly, the Guardian has covered the extent of civilian casualties extensively, while another recipient of the reports, the New York Times, has emphasized national security concerns, such as the possible association of the Inter-Services Intelligence with Taliban resistance, an article highlighted at the top of its webpage dedicated to the logs. Afghan civilians don't count for much in relation to the Times perspective on the conflict, only becoming a problem when they undermine support for the occupation.

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