EXITING AFGHANISTAN June 1, 2012Posted by wmmbb in CENTRAL ASIA, Peace.
The endeavour to control Afghanistan by the United States and its acolytes will soon ingloriously end and at extraordinary cost. Such is the destiny of imperial ambition. What then for the people of Afghanistan?
It is not clear what the occupation of Afghanistan has been about. As usual there is no clear distinction between the dehumanization of occupiers and the enemies, or between the military and the actions of the individual soldiers, as illustrated by subsequent revelations of the Staff Sergeant Robert Bales
(Apology for the error)
The British, before the Soviets, staged “The Retreat from Kabul” in 1842. Elizabeth Butler captured the occasion:
Eric Margolis, whose article includes the painting, gives the reasons for the US presence:
The objective of war is to achieve political goals, not kill people. The US goal was to turn Afghanistan into a protectorate providing bases close to Caspian Basin oil, and to block China. After an eleven-year war costing $1 trillion, this effort failed – meaning a military and political defeat.
By Eric Margolis’ account the American strategic planners cannot take a trick. It is one thing to feed the military-industrial complex, but surely the exercise of violence ought to producing some results, other than cowed, supplicant allies. He says, “the defeat in Afghanistan will undermine US domination of Western Europe”, which I doubt given the effectiveness of the financial crisis besetting the EU.
He writes, accurately I think:
Air power is the key to US control of Afghanistan. Warplanes and helicopter gunships circle constantly overhead to defend western bases and supply routes. Reduce this air power, as will likely happen after 2014, and remaining US troops will be in peril. Pakistan’s temporary closure of NATO land supply routes to Kabul and Kandahar provides a foretoken of what may occur. Currently, the US must rely on Russia for much of its heavy supplies.
The Uberpower is relying on Russia as a corridor to supply its operation in Afghanistan meaning it is dependent on its good will, and thus limited in actions it might wish to exercise elsewhere.
Since the Pakistani closed off the Karachi-Khyber Pass transit. Eric Margolis notes:
To wage and sustain the Afghan War, the US has been forced to virtually occupy Pakistan, bribe its high officials, and force Islamabad to follow policies hated by 95% of its people, generating virulent anti-Americanism. The Afghan War must be ended before it tears apart Pakistan and plunges South Asia into crisis into which nuclear-armed India is likely to become involved.
So what happens to the people of Afghanistan? One suggestion never made is simply to abandon the Imperial boundaries that the British left behind. Perhaps like the soldier shown in the painting that proposal is forlorn.
Still people will find, as they must, creative solutions to the problems, often imposed by others. While fearful of the future, in accordance with a cultural tradition, Afghan women meet, read and discuss poetry:
- James Dad, Charges Amended for Soldier accused in Civilian Deaths. (New York Times) The suggestion that Bales was acting under the influence of drugs – alcohol and steroids – are now part of the charges.
- Call Afghanistan (phonetheworld.wordpress.com)
- U.S. military will continue surveillance in Afghanistan far beyond the supposed 2014 exit date (EndtheLie.com)
- REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: Oasis of optimism at Afghan college graduation (foxnews.com)
- Journalist Eric Margolis named in captured Al-Qaida documents just released by the US military (sacbee.com)
- 579 civilians killed in four months in Afghanistan: UNAMA (nation.com.pk)
- Bin Laden’s Letter to Me (txwclp.org)
- The Mighty US and Its Dragooned Western Allies (lewrockwell.com)
- Afghanistan Urges Pakistan To Release Textbooks (rferl.org)
- Suicide Car Bomber Kills 5 Police in Afghanistan (nytimes.com)
- Afghanistan: exit with no strategy (guardian.co.uk)