This paragraph from a detailed story about an American soldier Bowe Bergdahl, who is now a prisoner of war, reminds me that based on the mainstream media, Americans know next to nothing about whether the United States is accomplishing anything worthwhile in Afghanistan. The author of this story is Michael Hastings, and he does excellent work for Rolling Stone:
Bowe wrote about his broader disgust with America’s approach to the war – an effort, on the ground, that seemed to represent the exact opposite of the kind of concerted campaign to win the “hearts and minds” of average Afghans envisioned by counterinsurgency strategists. “I am sorry for everything here,” Bowe told his parents. “These people need help, yet what they get is the most conceited country in the world telling them that they are nothing and that they are stupid, that they have no idea how to live.” He then referred to what his parents believe may have been a formative, possibly traumatic event: seeing an Afghan child run over by an MRAP. “We don’t even care when we hear each other talk about running their children down in the dirt streets with our armored trucks… We make fun of them in front of their faces, and laugh at them for not understanding we are insulting them.”
Hastings offers us an insider’s experience of a soldier’s life in Afghanistan, a deserter, and there’s nothing to like about any of it. This article gives us many perspectives of the insanity that prevails in Afghanistan. It starts with an account of the types of deception offered by the military to entice young adults to join.