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 Posted: July 27, 2009 11:31 AM

Invisible History, Afghanistan Untold Story is no conspiracy theory!

Kenneth J. Cooper’s Boston Globe review of our book, Invisible History, Afghanistan’s Untold Story, titled Conspiracy-laden look at messy Afghan history is a painful example of the magical thinking perpetrated by the media that has trapped the U.S. intelligentsia since the end of the Vietnam war. It is the kind of thinking that has maintained a fantasy land of bubble economics, Star Wars military budgets and cognitive suicide for over 30 years. It is the kind of thinking that left the U.S. unaware of and unable to deal effectively with the real threat represented by 9/11…

Irish Times Saturday, July 18, 2009

 Obama policy in Afghanistan on a knife edge

“In their recent book, Invisible History, Afghanistan’s Untold Story, Paul FitzGerald and Elizabeth Gould, two US journalists with a long involvement there, trace how it has re-emerged after being parked with a compliant Pakistani regime during the Iraq war.

As they write: “The Bush administration diverted the necessary resources and attention away from where al-Qaeda was, into Iraq where al-Qaeda wasn’t. The administration then continued for seven years to underfinance the Afghan war, perform a hurricane Katrina-like Afghan reconstruction charade while hiring Afghan warlords and Pakistani Gen Pervez Musharraf to do the job for it.”

Asked last year whether this complicated US entanglement with the region was worth it, the geopolitical theorist Zbigniew Brzezinski, who set it up in 1978-9 as Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, replied with a definite yes. The larger prize, the fall of the Soviet Union in 1989, was a direct consequence of its difficulties in Afghanistan, which gave Ronald Reagan the excuse to ratchet up military expenditure in the 1980s. Speaking at meetings throughout the US, FitzGerald and Gould report a bewilderment about why the extra troops are being sent there now. They believe the Obama administration is buying time to save face, redefine its commitment and reorganise its priorities. “Whether it realises it or not, Washington has placed itself in a fight for its life in Afghanistan, just the way the Soviets did. Both its political and its military credibility are on the line and neither can tolerate another failure.

“Obama’s 17,000 troopers will make little difference without a reorganisation of Washington’s priorities away from its unyielding support for a dysfunctional Pakistani military.” get the full article

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by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould

In the six months since the publication of our book, Invisible History: Afghanistan’s Untold Story, we’ve had the opportunity to address dozens of forums about Afghanistan. It has been a revealing exercise, not so much in terms of what Americans understand about Afghanistan (which unfortunately isn’t very much) but by the way it reveals how Americans are struggling to catch up with a world that seems to have left them behind.
One well informed brave soul who admitted to being involved in politics since Adlai Stevenson’s day, went so far as to admit last February at the Cambridge forum, “I realize tonight how totally ignorant I am of the Afghan history, of the role of our country there. Nothing you told me tonight surprised me except how ignorant I was of all of this…” 
The very next soul at the microphone, former cold war practitioner and region chief for South Asia and the Near East for the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, Charles Cogan took the opportunity to dispel some of that ignorance, “In the interest of full disclosure,” by admitting that our analysis of “the Soviet invasion and afterwards,” was “quite authentic.” full story  

Rachel Maddow is off on Afghanistan

An Open Letter Rachel Maddow about Afghanistan

By Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould

It was when Dan Rather told Rachel Maddow on her January 27th show, “We are not seeking to colonize Afghanistan. The Soviets made no bones about it. They were coming in to take over the country. They wanted to run the country. They wanted to be there 100 or 1,000 years from now. That is not the case with what we‘re trying to do,..” we held our breath. There has been a controversy over the authenticity of Rather’s coverage of Afghanistan going back to 1980. Now in 2009 Rather was building on the his own Cold War disinformation campaign from the 1980’s and taking it to an absurd new level. We had hoped that Maddow was up to the challenge. Unfortunately, she allowed Rather’s disinformation to go unchallenged. We assumed that Maddow must not have known that Rather’s views of Soviet motives in Afghanistan and the American role were propaganda from another era. We assumed that Maddow, along with most Americans, must not have known that Rather’s reports on Afghanistan were tainted and have been challenged by many journalists.

So in response we sent a letter to Rachel Maddow regarding her January 27th interview with Dan Rather on Afghanistan summarized here.

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