If you’re in an abusive romantic relationship and your boyfriend comes home late smelling of cheap perfume, if you start asking questions he’ll call you crazy. If you’re in an abusive relationship with the government and you start asking questions, they’ll call you a conspiracy theorist.
Here’s something that will undoubtedly be called a conspiracy theory, but I’m just trying to make sense of something that does not make sense. How does a group of fighters without an airplane take over a country against the wishes of the most powerful military power the world has ever seen? The answer, or conspiracy theory, if you will, is: they don’t.
Keep in mind that a conspiracy theory is exactly what the words imply, a working hypothesis that two or more people or groups have reached a secret agreement. This is literally what “conspiracy theory” means. Forget the negative connotations that have been attached to the term and understand that people conspire all of the time. Or did you think that those who are willing to steal, cheat, lie, kill, coup, and exploit are above a little behind-the-scenes agreement? To construct a theory that includes a possible conspiracy is merely to create a model in order to see if the facts stick to it. In the absence of any clear understanding of what the hell happened in Afghanistan, it is only natural to construct some theories to see if any of them provide some clarity.
The theory I propose is this: the United States government, whatever forces that might be, have reached an agreement with the Taliban to allow them to take control of Afghanistan in order that they no longer have to fight them. In return, the Taliban will live within certain frameworks dictated by the United States. And should they not provide what they have agreed to provide, the United States will simply bomb them or drone them until they remember their agreement. By the way, the conditions the United States set will have nothing to do with women’s rights or gay rights or anything the typical Democratic voter would expect of a Democratic President and congress. No, the rights the United States will stick up for are mineral rights. And, of course, the Taliban will need to not cooperate with Iran or China. Afghanistan is right between Iran and China, which would create a bit of a road block for the Belt And Road Initiative China has proposed.
Absurd, shocking, unthinkable, right? Except that there is nothing shocking about it. Consider the amount of stink the United States has put up about Saudi Arabia’s treatment of women and the LGBTQ community, regardless of which party is in power. Absolutely none. And consider the amount of support the United States has provided to fundamentalist Islamic terrorists in the last few decades. It started in the ‘70’s in Afghanistan. And even after 9/11, the United States has worked with and supplied arms to terrorist groups in order to fulfill their geo-strategic aims in Libya, Syria, and elsewhere. When it comes to power, it seems the United States has no limits to the kind of people they’re willing to work with.
Here’s the truth, and it should be obvious to anyone paying even a little bit of attention: when it comes to foreign policy, neither the Democrats nor the Republicans care a whit about women’s rights, human rights, gay rights, or starving children. They care about the rights of Afghani women as much as they do about the freedom of Estonians or the souls of indigenous children, which is to say not at all. Such things are merely the excuses provided to make our actions seem noble and necessary. Adolph Hitler used the same pretexts when invading Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland.
Why go through a twenty-year occupation when the United States was willing to cut a deal with the Taliban to begin with? Perhaps the twenty years of bombing and occupation was necessary to reach a compromise the United States could trust. Perhaps dropping the Mother Of All Bombs on the Taliban, a bomb comparable in blast to a nuclear bomb, made them more amenable to seeing things our way. More likely it was the excuse required to establish the United States as a military force that had the right to impose itself anywhere the “war on terror” demanded. Which, as it turns out, is most of the planet.
Now is where I remind you this is just a theory. There’s nothing wrong with constructing a theory, so long as one is honest about seeing if the facts match it rather than trying to make the facts fit the theory. Let’s see how this plays out in the coming days and months. I’m going to guess the establishment narrative about Afghanistan will prove quite unsatisfactory. I’m guessing it will have to be quite vague in order that the facts will be hard to pin to the narrative. I’m guessing my conspiracy theory will gibe quite well with the facts, much better than what the establishment media puts forth. That’s kind of a bold prediction for someone such as myself, but I’ve come to discover I have a much better track record than the establishment media and politicians. Both seem to be able to say one thing one day and the complete opposite the next without taking any heat for it. There is no accountability for them, there will be for me, and yet I feel confident enough to share this for posterity’s sake.
P.S. As is so often the case, Caitlin Johnstone has been an inspiration for what I have written. In this case, it was this article: https://caityjohnstone.medium.com/