Scott interviews Bette Dam about her reporting on the war in Afghanistan. Dam explains how faulty intelligence about enemy “combatants” has led to many unjustified killings, notably the war crimes by Australian special forces in Oruzgan Province in recent years. In such cases, the “Taliban” label can be used to justify the killing of any fighting-age male, even when many of these are innocent civilians. But of course even calling them Taliban is begging the question of who our enemy is. It was al Qaeda, as Scott points out, who attacked the U.S. on 9/11, and America basically wiped them all out at the very beginning of the war—since then, we have been fighting a pointless and unjustified war with no path to anything resembling victory. America should simply make whatever peace it can with the Taliban and come home.
Discussed on the show:
- “How flawed information created a ‘Taliban’ threat” (The Australian)
- No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes
- “Tracking Mullah Omar: How the US failed to catch the former Taliban leader” (Perspective)
- An Intimate War: An Oral History of the Helmand Conflict, 1978-2012
Bette Dam is a journalist and the author of A Man and A Motorcycle: How Hamid Karzai Came to Power and Searching For An Enemy: The Secret Life Of Mullah Omar. Find her on Twitter @BetteDam.
This episode of the Scott Horton Show is sponsored by: The War State, by Mike Swanson; Tom Woods’ Liberty Classroom; ExpandDesigns.com/Scott; Photo IQ; Green Mill Supercritical; Zippix Toothpicks; and Listen and Think Audio.