Poll: Only 8 percent of young Afghan men know of 9/11 attacks

Afghan youth protest attack by U.S. forces

The pretext for the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, now the longest war in U.S. history, was the Sept. 11 attacks.

But the vast majority of Afghans being carpet bombed, eviscerated by Predator drones and shot to death in night raids don’t even know what the 9/11 attacks were. They have never heard of them.

A public opinion poll in Kandahar and Helmand provinces—the focus of the troop surge and the scene of the great majority of bloodshed in the country—found that only a miniscule 8 percent of young men know about the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States.

To illustrate how well the United States  is succeeding at “winning the hearts and minds,” the majority of those polled believe it is in Afghanistan simply for “violence and destruction.”

Following the 9/11 attacks, U.S. politicians and pundits from the entire establishment shook their fists, vowing “revenge” and to “make them pay,” and started killing people who not only had no role in the attacks, but didn’t even know  they had occurred. Tens of thousands of those people are now dead, “punished” for an incident they will never know about.

Washington’s real objectives in the war have nothing to do with retaliating for the 9/11 attacks or preventing future attacks. Sept. 11 was manipulatively used to pull at the heartstrings and fears of the U.S. population for political cover to conquer another portion of the globe not yet swallowed up by Wall Street.

The people of Afghanistan know first-hand that the war is not to make their lives better or to eliminate any threat to the United States, but for the domination of their  country by an outside empire. 

This is why resistance to the U.S./NATO occupation is so popular and widespread. The generals and politicians may repeat lie after lie about “national defense” here in the United States, but that fallacy does not translate to the real-life experience of the Afghan people. They see the reality of the war without the veils of lies and distortions we are fed from the Pentagon and its media mouthpieces.

Washington would like us to believe that those fighting the U.S./NATO forces are driven by some ideological backwardness, by fundamentalism, by religious zeal; Washington would like us to believe that they are the “terrorists” who will launch attacks on the United States if they are not destroyed.

But this poll eradicates that myth. It reveals the “most important reason young men are joining the Taliban.” Most—45 percent—join because of the brutal foreign occupation imposed on them. Another 33 percent join because there are no jobs. “Ideology” or “religion”are not factors in any response.

The poll also reveals that 81 percent of the Afghan police and 69 percent of the Afghan army are either already working with the Taliban, or will end up joining the Taliban.

The 9/11 attacks are still used by Washington to diminish the political fallout of the debacle in Afghanistan. But 9/11 means nothing within Afghanistan’s borders. What means something to the Afghan people is the 10-year foreign occupation, complete with showers of bombs and missiles, the over 100,000 foreign troops raiding their homes and the darkness of absolute poverty and displacement. That is why they are fighting, and that is why we have no reason to fight them.


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