[Marxism] Anand Gopal: How to lose a war that wasn’t there

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Wed Apr 30 08:05:14 MDT 2014

(Last night I went to hear my old friend John Halle and his colleagues 
performing new compositions out in Brooklyn that I will be blogging 
about later. If I hadn't been committed to that, I would have gone to a 
book party for Anand Gopal who has a new book out on Afghanistan. Anand 
wrote a terrific article on the Syrian revolution in Harper's about two 
years ago, one that I frequently refer to. I expect his new book to be 

How the U.S. created the Afghan war — and then lost it
The unreported story of how the Haqqani network became America’s 
greatest enemy
By Anand Gopal

It was a typical Kabul morning. Malik Ashgar Square was already 
bumper-to-bumper with Corolla taxis, green police jeeps, honking 
minivans, and angry motorcyclists. There were boys selling phone cards 
and men waving wads of cash for exchange, all weaving their way around 
the vehicles amid exhaust fumes. At the gate of the Lycée Esteqial, one 
of the country’s most prestigious schools, students were kicking around 
a soccer ball. At the Ministry of Education, a weathered old 
Soviet-style building opposite the school, a line of employees spilled 
out onto the street. I was crossing the square, heading for the 
ministry, when I saw the suicide attacker.

He had Scandinavian features. Dressed in blue jeans and a white t-shirt, 
and carrying a large backpack, he began firing indiscriminately at the 
ministry. From my vantage point, about 50 meters away, I couldn’t quite 
see his expression, but he did not seem hurried or panicked. I took 
cover behind a parked taxi. It wasn’t long before the traffic police had 
fled and the square had emptied of vehicles.


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