No Worse Enemy pt.1 > The Christian LibertarianSubmitted by benjithompson on Thu, 11/01/2012 - 20:44
The following is a review and commentary of No Worse Enemy: The Inside Story of the Chaotic Struggle for Afghanistan by independent journalist, Ben Anderson.
It is necessary to point out early in this review, that Anderson himself is not a pacifist or non-interventionist. He has claimed in this interview that he believes intervention was necessary in Afghanistan, and as he believes intervention to have been necessary in Libya and in the current Syrian conflict. Due to this light, we can be assured that Ben Anderson’s testimony is quite credible and not biased in any exploitive sense. Venturing on, I believe it is necessary to examine some of the things we are told about the war and compare it to the reality of such events on the ground. And the general theme of this book seems to be exactly that—that the mainstream portrayal of the war is bluntly inaccurate and that counter to the narrative that we are given of “meeting our goals” and having “kicked the Taliban out,” that we are nowhere close to achieving a successful resolution. Ben Anderson writes:
"With each trip, the war became less recognizable as the one being described from podiums in Kabul, Washington and London. A positive spin could be expected but there was often such a gulf between what we were told was happening and what I was seeing with my own eyes that I sometimes [would] question my recollections. Only when I watched the hundreds of hours of footage I’d gathered did I realize the situation was even more calamitous and our ambitions more fantastic than I had at first thought. And my shock only increased when I got accurate translations of what the Afghans I’d filmed were actually saying," (p. xvi).
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