EsinIslam Portal Media Network
26 November 2015
By Jacob G.
A couple of days ago, the New York Times reported that American personnel in
the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, must fly in helicopters to get to and
from the airport. That's because the road from the embassy to the airport is
not safe. The length of the road is 1 1/2 miles.
Imagine that: After 14 years of continuous warfare, which has killed and
maimed countless people and destroyed the entire country, Americans can't
even drive to and from the airport without the risk of getting shot or
One of the more interesting aspects of the Afghanistan adventure was the name
the Pentagon placed on it: ''Operation Enduring Freedom.'' Even more
interesting is that they really believe that their 14 years of brutal
military occupation actually brought ''enduring freedom'' to the Afghan
people. In fact, when they declared a formal end to the war last year, U.S.
officials named their follow-up enterprise ''Operation Freedom's Sentinel''
to reflect their determination to preserve the ''enduring freedom'' they had
achieved for the Afghan people.
Needless to say, the national-security's state's concept of freedom is
markedly different from that of libertarians.
All you have to do is look at the type of government that the U.S. government
established in Afghanistan after it ousted the Taliban government from power
to understand how these people view the concept of a free society.
They established — proudly so — a government with a massive military,
intelligence, and police force. In other words, a giant national-security
state, just like in totalitarian regimes. The Afghan government wields the
omnipotent power to round people up, incarcerate them without trial, bash
down their doors and search their homes without warrants, torture them, and
assassinate them, i.e., the same powers that totalitarian dictatorships
There are no concepts of constitutional restraints on power. There are no
such things as right to due process of law, right to counsel, right to trial
by jury, right to be free from cruel and unusual punishments, and other
rights and guarantees in the U.S. Bill of Rights. That's because that's not
the type of government that the Pentagon and the CIA wanted to establish in
Afghanistan. In its nation-building adventure, the Pentagon also declined to
establish an independent judiciary to enforce these types of procedural
rights and guarantees.
The powers of the government that the Pentagon and the CIA established in
Afghanistan are omnipotent. Another way to put that is: The Afghan government
wields dictatorial powers. It is, in fact, a dictatorship.
Nonetheless, in the eyes of the Pentagon and the CIA, this is a model
government — a pro-U.S. government — one that has brought ''enduring
freedom'' to the Afghan people.
In fact, the structure of the Afghan government is no different in principle
from that of the Egyptian government, another government that the U.S.
government ardently embraces and supports. One big difference is that the
Egyptian regime is run by the military while the Afghan government is run by
civilians. But the fact is that they are both dictatorships, and brutal ones
Thus, how can it surprise anyone that many U.S.-trained Afghan troops are
reluctant to risk their lives in battles against the Taliban and will often
cut and run in the midst of battle? Who wants to die for dictatorship? Oh
sure, another Taliban regime wouldn't be any better but who wants to die so
that one dictatorship prevails over another dictatorship?
When the George W. Bush administration was gearing up to invade Afghanistan,
The Future of Freedom Foundation was one of the very few organizations who
opposed the invasion. No, not because we're peaceniks but because we knew
that most of the people who U.S. forces would end up killing would have had
nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks. It would have been much better, we
argued, to refrain from invading and killing all those innocent people and
simply waiting until the malefactors surfaced somewhere in the world and then
take them into custody and prosecute them.
That's, in fact, what was done after the 1993 attack on the World Trade
Center, which was no different in principle from the 9/11 attacks. When they
finally apprehended one of the 1993 terrorists, Ramzi Yousef, in Pakistan,
they brought him to the United States for trial. Today, he is residing in a
Think about all those innocent people who have been killed in Afghanistan,
including all those wedding parties. All those deaths could have been
avoided. All those dead people are not here to enjoy ''enduring freedom.''
They died in order to install a dictatorial regime in Afghanistan, one that
cannot even keep the road safe from the U.S. embassy to the airport in the
nation's capital city.
The same, of course, holds true for U.S. troops who have died or been maimed
in Afghanistan. What did they die for or get maimed for? The same thing — to
establish and preserve a brutal U.S.-installed dictatorship, in the name of
''enduring freedom.'' In other words, despite all the highfalutin words about
honor and sacrifice, the reality is that U.S. troops died for nothing and
they got maimed for nothing, just like all those U.S. soldiers in the Iraq
War, and just like all those in the Vietnam War.
Right after 9/11, we pointed out the reason that the terrorists had struck —
U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. After the U.S. national-security
state lost its official Cold War enemy in 1989, it went abroad in search of
hornets' nests to poke. Before the 9/11 attacks, we were saying that if the
U.S. government didn't cease killing people in the Middle East, as it was
doing with the brutal sanctions against Iraq, Americans would see terrorist
retaliation on American soil.
We weren't the only one. The noted analyst Chalmers Johnson said the same
thing in his pre-9/11 book Blowback. In fact, when Yousef was being
sentenced, he angrily told the federal judge that he had struck the World
Trade Center in 1993 out of retaliation for what the U.S. ''butchers,'' as he
called them, had been doing in the Middle East.
Not only did the U.S. policy of death, destruction, and humiliation continue
after the 1993 attack, once the big blowback came in the form of the 9/11
attacks, the Pentagon and the CIA doubled down with their invasions of
Afghanistan and Iraq. The Iraq adventure was called ''Operation Iraqi
Freedom,'' and, not surprisingly, ended up installing the same type of
dictatorial governmental structure as the one in Afghanistan.
One of the most amusing aspects to all this mayhem has been the reaction of
supporters of empire and interventionism. They say that all this death and
destruction is necessary to combat the threat of Islam. When you confront
them with the fact that the U.S. national-security state succeeded in
installing official Islamic regimes in both Afghanistan and Iraq, they are
dumbfounded. They never know what to say when they learn that U.S. troops
have been killing and dying for more than a decade with the aim of defending
and preserving two official Islamic regimes.
By doubling down with their invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and
Iraq, the U.S. national-security state brought into existence the biggest
terrorist-producing machine in history. With every single person they killed
at a wedding party, in a hospital, or wherever in Afghanistan and Iraq, they
produced ten new people who hate the United States.
With the disasters in Afghanistan and Iraq, Americans need to be engaged in
some serious soul-searching. Should the United States continue traveling down
the road to empire and intervention (and out of control spending and debt),
as it has been doing for decades? Or is it high time to return to the
founding principles of this country, which reject empire, interventionism,
standing armies, the CIA, and the NSA in favor of a limited-government,
constitutional republic? The answer sure seems clear to me.
Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom
Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in
economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the
University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He
also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught
law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become
director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has
advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the
country as well as on Fox News' Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and
he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano's show
Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full