Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

We Failed Afghanistan, Not the Other Way Around

By Matt Taibbi

MSNBC rails against the “fantastically corrupt elite” on the ground that ruined the Afghan mission, but the real corruption was our own.

On MSNBC the other night, Rachel Maddow told a story about visiting Afghanistan a decade ago. She described being taken on a tour of a new neighborhood in Kabul of “narco-palaces,” what she called, “big garish, gigantic, rococo, strange-looking places” that hadn’t existed before the Americans arrived. This was said to be symbolic of the “fantastically corrupt elites” among the Afghan political class who put themselves into position to siphon off big chunks of the “billions of dollars per month” we sent into the country.

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