Craig Whitlock: The Afghanistan Papers | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

Craig Whitlock: The Afghanistan Papers | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

this is a big question right you know why did we go to afghanistan what was the mission well the mission was to stop them from planning which was a stupid idea they planned it in hamburg germany you can plan it anywhere you don’t need to be in afghanistan and then they’d show the film on the news of the terrorists on the monkey bars that’s absolutely right and americans spent all the money in the troops but we got we got fixed in that that rental vision that mindset that bin laden was in afghanistan we’ve got to go there and we’ve got to stay there until we can say it will never happen again which of course means we’ll be there forever right and your book really is sort of the modern pentagon papers i mean it is astounding and sad how similar this played out to vietnam it’s like we just did this and then we did it again we forget one generation just completely forget which don’t get me we should teach history in school maybe maybe that would help but what your new pentacon papers book really has the same theme which is that they lied to us they presented a rosy picture in public for all these years and behind the scenes they knew it was unwinnable and they just weren’t telling us liars and this went from the beginning really uh there are memos we obtained from donald rumsfeld who was bush’s defense secretary and in public people are asking him is this going to be another vietnam or are we going to get stuck in a quagmire and rumso would make fun of journalists who would ask this then in private just six months in the war he sends a memo to his his military chief saying if we don’t get a plan to stabilize afghanistan our troops are going to get stuck there forever and he ends the memo with one word it says help exclamation point right and you see this go on year after year after year in public they say things are getting better we’re making progress we’re turning the corner and yet in private in diplomatic cables memos conferences internally they’re saying things are a mess and they know that slowly this war is slipping from their grasp and it’s gradually becoming unwinnable the one that mystifies me though is obama obama ran and i loved it when he said i’m not against all wars i’m against dumb wars i was like that’s my guy you know because i feel the same way can’t be against all wars there’s evil in the world sometimes you got to be a badass and america has more than not stepped up but but this was a dumb war and he kind of doubled down on it i mean how could a guy that bright think you could do what we were trying to do surge take over the country flood it with money and that would change things around when really it was just doing the opposite what’s your take on that well obama you have to remember when he ran for office the first time he was saying iraq was the dumb war right and we’re going to get out of iraq no question and he did eventually pull troops out of iraq but he said afghanistan and afghanistan well no when he first ran he said afghanistan was the just war this was the just cause that americans this was a war of self-defense originally because of september 11th but that war was already over for many years by the time he got there i mean if it was a just war certainly after he got bin laden what was left to do i mean it morphed into nation building it morphed into this ridiculous idea as in vietnam that we could change hearts and minds when by the things we were doing there you only lose hearts and minds well and that’s right and each president said both bush obama and trump all promise the american people in public we’re not nation-building in afghanistan we’re not doing it even though at that very moment that’s exactly what we were doing the united states spent more than 100 billion dollars nation building in afghanistan that’s more than we spent in europe on the marshall plan after world war ii and now it’s all gone up in smoke you
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Craig Whitlock: The Afghanistan Papers | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

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