Sad but true: Americans know little about the war in Afghanistan


Image by The U.S. Army via Flickr

June was another brutal month in Afghanistan. More than 100 soldiers lost their lives. Scores of Afghan civilians were killed. A country that has seen war and bloodshed for almost 10 years is still no closer to peace, despite billions of U.S. and international dollars that have poured in to rebuild Afghanistan. To add “insult to injury,” as it were, millions of Americans still have little idea of the war’s history, complexities, and even why U.S. troops are there. Think about it: For a majority of Americans, Afghanistan is an abstract mess – a geographical footnote to their lives; a place that comes alive when a U.S. general is sacked but otherwise is muddled, confusing and (here’s the worst part) uninteresting.

Here’s how I know this: A poll taken by the Angus Reid survey firm asked Americans, “Do you feel that you have a clear idea of what the war in Afghanistan is all about?” Fifty-one percent of those surveyed said, “No, I do not.” Fifty-one percent. The same survey found that (no surprise) a third of all Americans aren’t sure how the war will end up. These survey results, released two weeks ago, say as much about U.S. involvement in Afghanistan as the sacking of General Stanley McChrystal, the elevation of General David Petraeus, and the continued debate in Washington about how to defeat the Taliban. The ongoing tragedy of Afghanistan includes how uninformed people are of the tragedy there.

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3 Responses to Sad but true: Americans know little about the war in Afghanistan

  1. questioneveryone2 says:

    Of course we don’t have any idea of what’s going on in Afgan or why we are there. While everyone was asleep the right made it illegal to show war far footage, have pictures or videos of dead soldiers coming home, while at the same time allowing for our military to be become a for profit private corporate business. At the same time we continue to have an educational system that is a joke and massive unemployment. The perfect world in the right’s view of things, were kids only option is to sign up for the military and have all the cover of no one reporting on wars that only benefit their wealthy elite.
    We are, as a country being held hostage by a party that thinks this is the way to go and the democrats that have little chance to change it’s course. The information age is a wonderful thing, except for the fact that 97% of what you read or hear is all about self interest.

  2. Pingback: The Afghanistan War Remix: Operation Enduring Freedom - Nathan Rothstein - Asking Y - True/Slant

  3. andylevinson says:

    We are there to protect the free flow of opium/heroin out of the country…and keep the flow of drug money running into the world banks for laundering

    Now that they have found huge deposits of lithium there…our new assignment is to protect international corporation who will go into afghanistan to steal it all…and pay the poor afghans a pittance to dig it up

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