The Afghan Files


A history of torture: how We never do it, but They always do (meanwhile the movie The Report, which probably does more to publicise the CIA’s horrific torture program than any amount of political journalism over the last two decades, is dismissed as just another White Saviour story).

Stop romanticising the military — it offers no more meaning or sense than the lives young men want to escape from. Foreign Affairs has a long read on how the war in Afghanistan — now in sight of 20 years old — turned into a debacle. Plus, the Chinese tyranny’s overwhelming surveillance was exactly what blinded it to the spread of coronavirus.

And in a nice demonstration of how the right is losing ideological coherence, anti-immigration British Tories say they want Australia’s immigration system. Except they haven’t realised it led to high immigration here (haven’t they visited Sydney and tried to drive there lately?).