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Juan Cole: Kandahar: The Latest Casualty of an Invisible War – Juan Cole’s Columns – Truthdig

The midterm campaign circus took the focus off of foreign affairs in favor of witches in Newark and eyes of Newt in Georgia. Distant Kandahar was reduced to an invisible battle in an unseen war, largely unreported in America’s mass media, as though it were irrelevant to the big campaign issues—of deficits and spending, of taxes and public welfare. Since it was President Obama’s offensive, Democrats could not run against it. Since it is billed as key to U.S. security, Republicans were not interested in running against it. Kandahar, city of pomegranates and car bombs, of poppies and government cartels, lacked a partisan implication, and so no one spoke of it.

In fact, the war is costing on the order of $7 billion a month, a sum that is still being borrowed and adding nearly $100 billion a year to the already-burgeoning national debt. Yet in all the talk in all the campaigns in the hustings about the dangers of the federal budget deficit, hardly any candidates fingered the war as economically unsustainable.

The American public cannot have a debate on the war if it is not even mentioned in public. The extreme invisibility of the Afghanistan war is apparent from a Lexis Nexis search I did for “Kandahar” (again, the site of a major military campaign) for the period from Oct. 15 to Nov. 15. I got only a few dozen hits, from all American news sources (National Public Radio was among the few media outlets that devoted substantial airtime to the campaign).

via Juan Cole: Kandahar: The Latest Casualty of an Invisible War – Juan Cole’s Columns – Truthdig.

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