The Top Five Lies About this War

Produced by the Anti-War Committee of Students in Solidarity at the University of Pittsburgh


Lie #5: “We’re not at war with the Afghan people – look, we’re bringing them food!”
Reality: Afghanistan is in the midst of a severe drought which threatens literally millions of people with starvation. Even before the threat of US bombing, the World Food Program (WFP) said that nearly 6 million people were in need of immediate food assistance. When the threat of war caused massive movements of refugees and internally displaced people, the WFP raised that number to 7.5 million. UN agencies were keeping huge numbers of people alive, but the war danger – as well as the US demand that Pakistan seal its border with Afghanistan – caused the WFP to suspend deliveries of wheat flour to the country. We have no idea how many people have already died as a result. Meanwhile, the US dropped 37,000 individually wrapped packages of food from the sky. You do the math. That’s enough to feed about 37,000 people for one day, in a country where seven and a half million are in danger of starvation. Additionally, the spokesman for an international charity active in Afghanistan told the London Independent that “Random food drops are the worst possible way of delivering food aid. They cause more problems than they solve.” Not the least of which is the fact that Afghanistan has the highest number of unexploded land mines in the world. There are already 10 or 15 mine incidents every day, and with people scrambling into mine-ridden areas to pick up random packages of food dropped from US planes, that number is only going to go up.

Lie #4: “Oil? Who said anything about oil?”
Reality: The Caspian Sea region has potentially the world’s largest oil reserves, likely making Central Asia the next Middle East. The problem is piping it out. Afghanistan occupies a strategic position between the Caspian and the markets of the Indian subcontinent and east Asia. It’s prime territory for building pipelines, which is why the oil company Unocal – as well as the US government – welcomed the Taliban’s rise to power in 1996 as a promising source of “stability.” That turned out to be a pipe dream (so to speak), but people like our Commander-in-Chief and the oil men around him have never given up on the tremendous profit possibilities that Central Asia offers. And if you don’t think such considerations are crossing their minds at this time of crisis, may we suggest a refresher course in The Facts of Life?

Lie #3: “The US is trying to liberate the people of Afghanistan from Taliban tyranny.”
Reality: The US, Russia, and Iran have been aiding a rough coalition of armed groups called the Northern Alliance. The Northern Alliance’s fighters are drawn mainly from ethnic minority groups in Afghanistan who have been persecuted by the Taliban. But their record is also a bloody one. Groups like the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), which have been fighting against fundamentalism and for democracy in Afghanistan for years, have publicly stated that the fundamentalist gangsters of the Northern Alliance are not an acceptable alternative to the fundamentalist gangsters of the Taliban. No wonder: Human Rights Watch implicates the Northern Alliance in “indiscriminate aerial bombardment and shelling, direct attacks on civilians, summary executions, rape, persecution on the basis of religion or ethnicity, the recruitment and use of children as soldiers, and the use of antipersonnel landmines.” By now everyone knows that Osama bin Laden was among the mujihadin recruited by the CIA to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. Meet the next generation.

Lie #2: “America is coming together.”
Reality: Tens of thousands of people have been laid off in the airline industry alone. The government quickly responded to the airline industry crisis with a multi- billion-dollar bailout package for the companies in order to keep afloat the profits of shareholders and the salaries of CEOs, but when it came to aiding the thousands of workers laid off, Congressman Dick Armey said that that would be contrary to “the American spirit.” Maybe it is. Maybe it’s the “American spirit” to make common working people pay for a crisis and to bear the burdens of an expensive war. But it certainly doesn’t have anything to do with “togetherness.”

And the biggest lie of them all . . .

Lie #1: “It’s possible to win a ‘war against terrorism.’”
Reality: Terrorism is a tactic, not a political or social force in and of itself. Anyone can use it, and the idea that you can wage a “war” against it is as dishonest as the idea behind the “War on Drugs.” The use of food as a political weapon, indiscriminate aerial bombardment, and the arming of gangsterish groups of religious fanatics all count as “terrorism” by any reasonable definition of the word, and the United States has long employed all of them – and more. This war is really about sordid material interests and power (see especially Lies numbers 2 and 4, above), and in defense of these interests the US is prepared to shift the label “terrorist” as it sees fit, to apply to all manner of dissident political movements and not just marginal bands of fanatics like bin Laden’s al-Qa’ida. Conversely, it’s willing to call its own terrorists “freedom fighters” (see Lie number 3 above). Maybe some of them will get transformed into “terrorists” again in a few years. It’s a sick game and a charade, and the government is manipulating the very real grief and anger of the people of the United States after the September 11 atrocities to get us all to fall for it again. Don’t believe them for a second.

Well said friend!

Wow, nice. I’m waiting for someone to come in here and start bitching you out. But in the mean time… Groovy!

Does this mean that we don’t have to worry about oil dissapearing in the next 10 years?

BTW, in GD its better to start a thread that discusses something and include a link to other peoples work.

The Five Biggest Lies doesn’t address the destruction of the World Trade Center.

Was that an illusion, a la David Copperfield and the Statue of Liberty?

Or was it real and just a set-up engineered by Evil Man #1 Bush and his rabid pack of Oil Sucking Capitalist Dogs so they’d have a convenient excuse to drop millions of dollars in munitions on the starving children of Afghanistan?

Just wondering.


And they’re gonna write something fair and unbiased and 100% factually correct…

If those people are starving so bad in Afganistan, why don’t they overthrow the crappy existing govt instead of letting them harbor an idiot like Bin Laden?

There are some points there. For instance, it’s true that you can’t win a “War on Terrorism” any more than you can win a “War on Murder”. (On the other hand, we can wage war against specific groups which have attacked us and the nations that harbor them.)

I do have to strongly object to point #4–I really don’t think this has anything to do with oil. This fixation on oil by some anti-war activists is just as obsessive and wrong-headed as the alleged fixation on oil by the foreign policy establishment. The reason we are waging this war is because we were attacked and thousands of people were killed on American soil. We’re waging war in Afghanistan because that’s where we think the people who are responsible for that attack are. I don’t think anyone in the Pentagon or the State Department or the White House is particularly thrilled to be waging war in a place as hard to get to, intractable, and notorious for embarrasing Great Powers and Superpowers as Afghanistan. If this is just a cynical ploy to use the atrocity as an excuse to gain control over oil reserves, why didn’t the administration just say “Screw Afghanistan”, claim the evidence pointed to Saddam, and go after Iraq again? Iraq has major oil reserves; Afghanistan’s connection to oil is peripheral at best.

Pretty much says it all. This isn’t a debate, it’s a rant.

Hey now! Be fair! Theres not actually any facts in it.

Straw man. We have stated long before dropping food that we were not at war with the Afghani people. Lack of effectiveness of a food aid program does not mean “we are at war with the people of Afghanistan”.

Huh. I thought that the U.S. was attempting to bring justice to the group Islamic extremists (and the governments who supported them) who killed 6-7000 Americans…unless what–this was a planned setup to protect our oil interests?

Straw man. the U.S is striking back at the Taliban for supporting bin-Laden. If there had been no bin-Laden, its doubtful that the U.S. would have militarily intervened in Afghanistan. Since we ARE there…it makes sense to avail ourselves of potential allies. Even then, the U.S. has been very careful to only extend limited help to the Northern Alliance…and certainly NOT involve them in any military planning.

Selective interpretation of the phrase “coming together” to mean economic relief for all workers. Other meanings of the phrase could include support of governmental response (currently over 90%)…symbolic gestures of patriotism and community efforts across the country aimed at helping everybody from FDNY widows to Afghan orphans,

lies.lies, lies.

• The bombing is NOT indiscriminate (look up the definition). The nature of bombing often involves hard decisions that ARE subject to debate and criticism. Calling the bombing "indiscriminate’ is a flat out lie.

• would you rather the U.S NOT supply food to Afghan people?

• Past and present sins of the U.S. and other countries do not exclude them from defending itself against attacks (unless you think that a homeowner who is an adulterer does not have the right to defend himself/herself against an intruder)

• No mention is made of ANY alternatives to the course of action. What would the author do to insure, or even significantly reduce the odds, that thousands more Americans are not killed by future terrorist attacks?

Left wing, right wing, it makes not difference. All these wing-nuts start with an intractable premise, and then they’ll ram as many square pegs into round holes as necessary to support that premise.

I forgot the Pentagon and the plane that went down in Pennsylvania. I suppose George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic did the CG work on those…

On the other hand, if it’s all real, perhaps George W. is also responsible for the Anthrax envelopes that are so en vogue these days. Oppressive swine!

We should check his tongue for suspicious amounts of glue.

“If those people are starving so bad in Afganistan, why don’t they overthrow the crappy existing govt instead of letting them harbor an idiot like Bin Laden?” (wildest bill)

Reminds me of a quote on Mash last night.

Hawkeye says to Frank, “(the people of Korea) are poor, they don’t have any money!”

Frank Burnes’ response was “If they’re so poor why don’t they get a job!”

To Mr/Mrs.Curious-George

Get some sleep.
Do some reading.
Go back to class.
Take a weekend trip east and catch the smell at WTC.
Grab a shovel and bagy and help out at Staten Island.
Work on your rhetoric.
Support your fellow patriots on the front lines here and abroad.
Look up someone, anyone who lost a son, daughter, husband, wife, friend. and explain to that person FACE TO FACE what YOUR position is. Ask them why they felt their loved ones needed to die. And ask them if we should be looking for that idiot in Afghanistan.

Then come back to this forum and debate.

I’m a latter-day hippie (at heart, anyway), but this is pretty useless. The only thing in the OP I would agree with is the futility of a “War on Terrorism,” but even the arguments used to support said point are fallacious. beagledave did a very good job of ripping this thing apart – the only thing remaining is to wait for someone to defend the OP and, subsequently, to pounce.

Note: This smells of a hoax, but I’ll address these un-American commie pinko points anyway, as moronic as they really are:

Look we’re doing the best we can under the circumstances. Besides, it’s PR. We don’t want over 1 billion Muslims engaging us in a World War. It’s the message, not the means. If these punks have a better way to distribute this food in a hostile war zone, let’s hear the suggestion. Sorry we can’t find detailed mine maps to know PRECISELY where to drop the food. Why don’t these people get behind the controls of a plane and figure it out if it’s so damn easy? 37,000 ration packs are still better than none.


There’s no question that the Taliban offered the most stable government in over 20 years in Afghanistan. Kind of interesting that we are now bombing the goverment that offered us the best prospect of a Central Asia to Persian Gulf pipeline. Maybe the fact that they are harboring TERRORISTS is the reason we are setting that economic objective aside for now???


I suppose there is ZERO chance that as a condition of participating in a new Afghanistan government, we could demand that all parties show a greater respect for human rights? And what angelic liberal faction in Afghanistan do they recommend take over when the Taliban is gone? The Soviet Union???


Every other car I see on the highway is flying an American flag, and Bush has a 75% + approval rating. Yeah, were not together. I see rioting in the streets everywhere I go.


Perhaps this point infuriates me the most. Its pablum puking namby pamby college kids who have ZERO grasp of reality who think the world can be saved by being nice to everyone. What these hippies need to understand, and they will once they get JOBS, is that the world is an ugly place and is not always fair.

There’s only one thing animals like Osama bin-laden understand: terror and force. Scare the shit out of these bastards with some nukers and some napalm, and they will knock it off real quick.

Give in to their demands and try to win them over with “love”, like Chamberlain did with Hitler, you’re asking for trouble because these are cowards that pray on the very same weak people that wrote this drivel.

They use several facts to support their positions, especially in #3, #4, & #5… Anyway, this is politics. If you don’t think their facts are accurate, then debate that.
Otherwise, debate their positions and conclusions.

Who do you think produces great debates, moderates in the middle of the road? There are five debates for the price of one here. It’s a package deal.

I’m not quite sure what they are tryign to say. If it’s simply “stop the bombing” I can relate to that (even if I still disagree with it). But they seem to be saying that everything we do is wrong.

I’m not sure why they leave out the fact that trying to get at the terrorist training camps is only one part of the total effort, and that we are also going after their financial assets (which we considerable) and their ability to communicate and move about freely, none of which involves the Afghan people.

If the bin Ladens are such heroes, why not put all those resources to work to feed the hungry and get an economy going? Why spend all that money to down buildings, kill innocent civilians here, (or don’t they matter?) and bring the wrath of the U.S. down on the country hosting him? Why not be a man and give yourself up instead of bringing all that military action onto those who took you in?

Where is the truth about that? Anyone of the lefties+ care to explain where Al Queida fits in to all this?

89% actually. Which is down a whole point now–he had been at 90% back in September–and all of which is pretty much unprecedented in the history of modern polling.

Of point #1 (“It’s possible to win a ‘war against terrorism.’”) you say:

I think that’s actually their strongest point (such as it is). “Terrorism” isn’t a single organization or a single force or a single enemy. It’s a tactic (or set of tactics) which can be and has been employed by many different groups with many different causes.

Of course, we aren’t really fighting a war on terrorism in the abstact, because such a thing isn’t possible. I think we threw in a couple of guys from the Shi’ite group Hezbollah on our list of 22 most wanted terrorists, but basically this is a war on Al-Qa’eda and its supporters and allies and affiliates. Winning a war against Al-Qa’eda–and the Taliban–won’t be easy, but we can damn well try.