Even the crisis in Afghanistan can’t break the spell of Britain’s delusional foreign policy: Owen Jones, The Guardian, 190821

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/aug/19/afghanistan-crisis...

If historians of the future wish to understand the ignorance and hubris that accompanied the decline of the west’s power, this week’s emergency parliamentary debate on Afghanistan will provide an insightful case study. The delusions that have long characterised British foreign policy remained intact when Iraq was destroyed for the sake of nonexistent weapons of mass destruction; when British soldiers were forced into a humiliating retreat from Iraq’s southern city of Basra at the hands of Iranian-backed Shia militias; and when Libya was left as a failed state. It seemed unlikely that the Taliban casually waltzing into Kabul would finally break the spell.

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While Taliban atrocities are widely understood, those committed by western forces and their allies have been wilfully ignored. As the author and Afghanistan expert Anand Gopal told me, the Taliban all but evaporated in 2001. But Afghan politicians in the new government exploited a US desire to eliminate “bad guys” by falsely claiming their opponents were Taliban supporters. Massacres, mass arrests, house raids and torture followed. Pro-government forces recruited children as soldiers, while the Afghan Local Police – a 30,000-strong pro-government militia mobilised by the US – murdered civilians, committed fraud and engaged in theft, rape, kidnapping, drug trafficking and extortion.