The Corner

Some Perspective

Here’s how Nicholas Von Hoffman summarized the war in Afghanistan literally moments before we won. Because the New York Observer is a weekly, Von Hoffman’s diagnosis appeared days after the Taliban was in full retreat. From the November 14, 2001 New York Observer:

“The war in Afghanistan, the one (Bush) should never have declared, has run into trouble. Just a few weeks into it and it’s obvious that the United States is fighting blind. The enemy is unknown, and the enemy’s country is terra incognita. We have virtually no one we can trust who can speak the languages of the people involved. With all our firepower and our technical assets and our spy satellites, it looks like we don’t know if we’re coming or going. …

“We are mapless, we are lost, and we are distracted by gusts of wishful thinking. That our high command could believe the Afghani peasantry or even the Taliban would change sides after a few weeks of bombing! This is fantasizing in high places. …

“Moreover, as hellish as the Taliban are, it appears that the ordinary people of Afghanistan prefer them to the brigands and bandits with whom we’ve been trying to make common cause … .”

Recommended

The Latest