Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wikileaks and the Afghan War

I agree with Matt Yglesias and Amy Davidson: these leaked documents don't provide any big news items about Presidential lies or the like. What they do is underscore the messiness of war. They speak about deaths from friendly fire, deaths from mistakes in bombing, deaths from fighting between the Afghan Army and the Afghan Police. They speak about bribes and fraud and an orphanage without orphans. They speak about the ambivalence of power in a land where everybody seems to be hedging his bets and some are flagrantly playing both sides to get whatever they can. We want wars to be neat clashes of one army against another, with the good guys winning, and these documents remind us that wars are never like that.

I am not a pacifist, and I supported our initial invasion of Afghanistan. But in every war the good that might be done has to be weighed against the very high price of war in chaos, death, and corruption.


Thomas said...

Umm, I think you mean "flagrantly." :)

John said...

Blogging without glasses.

Thomas said...

Too much time out among the flowers, I'm guessing.

Letterman's top ten list last night was the top surprises in the leaked documents.

Number 1: Turns out the 9-year no-end-in-sight war in Afghanistan isn't going very well.