Battleground Baltimore: We Told You So
by Jaisal Noor and Lisa Snowden-McCray
Published August 20 in The Real News Network
Excerpt: The lessons from the Taliban’s retaking of Kabul on Aug. 16, nearly two decades after the US invasion of Afghanistan, were not lost on local anti-war activists who have opposed the war since its outset.
“This war was a complete failure, it made things for the people of Afghanistan worse, and, potentially, the Taliban is more popular now than they were in 2001,” Ryan Harvey, a local activist and musician who organized against the war, told Battleground Baltimore.
The Taliban’s rapid ascent came despite over $2 trillion spent on the US war effort, and an enormous loss of human life. The press has focused on the American toll—2,448 US soldiers and 3,846 contractors—but Afghans paid a far higher price: 47,245 civilians, 66,000 Afghan military and police, and 51,191 opposition fighters have been killed to date, according to the AP.
The nation was gripped in a nationalist fervor after the attacks of September 11, 2021. 90% of Americans supported the war, and it wasn’t uncommon for those percieved as Muslim or “anti-American” to face assaults, harassment, or worse.
“We wanted to get ahead of any effort on the part of the US military to try and seek vengeance for the Sept. 11 attacks,” Mike McGuire, who organized against the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, told Battleground Baltimore.