Vt Commons Blog
By Chris Hedges
Pulitzer-winning journalist Chris Hedges was one of roughly 135 activists who participated in an act of civil disobedience that resulted in their arrests outside the White House yesterday, even as Obama was unveiling a new report on progress of the war in Afghanistan.
“We’re losing [the war in Afghanistan] in the same way the Red Army lost it,” he said. “It’s exactly the same configuration where we sort of control the urban centers where 20 percent of the population lives. The rest of the country where 80 percent of the Afghans live is either in the hands of the Taliban or disputed.” One day after this interview was conducted, reports hit the global media noting the CIA’s warning to President Obama, that the Pakistan-supported Taliban could still regain control of the country. Hedges predicted that President Obama’s war report released Thursday would “contradict not only [US] intelligence reports but everything else that is coming out of Afghanistan.” His prediction came startlingly true: the CIA’s own assessment was said to stand in striking contrast with President Obama’s report. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, however, insisted that the US controlled more territory in Afghanistan than it did a year ago. “Foreigners will not walk the streets of Kabul because of kidnapping, and journalists regularly meet Taliban officials in Kabul because the whole apparatus is so porous and corrupt,” he said.