DRAGGING OUT AFGHANISTAN January 12, 2012Posted by wmmbb in CENTRAL ASIA, Human Rights, Terrorism Issues.
At some point the US, and its satraps, will be asked to leave Afghanistan, and the question then will be whether it can be managed better than Iraq.
The consequences when the troops and the drones finally, following the pattern of imperial domination, will be the same as in Iraq – some combination of a dictatorship and a bloodbath. Just as well the people of Afghanistan are “unpeople”, otherwise their suffering would be unbearable for the rest of us. It seems that the Pentagon is neither for the indignity of leaving or accountability. As the costs of occupation escalate, there is a question as to whether President Karzai has the leverage to hasten its end before the planned pseudo-exit in 2014.
So as the end approaches, it is interesting that Karzai has chosen to request that the notorious Bagram Prison be handed over now that talks with the Taliban have been have been facilitated by their opening an office in Qatar.
Eltaf Najafizada reported in Bloomsberg:
Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered the transfer of the U.S.-run Bagram prison to his government’s control within a month, citing human rights violations.
Karzai decided the transfer should be made after hearing a report on the prison from the Constitutional Oversight Commission that “details many cases of violations of the Afghan Constitution and other applicable laws of the country, the relevant international conventions and human rights,” the president’s office said yesterday in a statement.
The detention center is located in the Bagram Air Base, 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of the capital of Kabul. While the number of high-value prisoners isn’t known, human rights groups allege that detainees are kept in solitary confinement in windowless cells, and have been menaced and forced to strip naked, the Associated Press reported without naming the groups.
The U.S. plans to withdraw most of its 98,000 combat soldiers from Afghanistan by 2014 as it hands over operational control of the war against the Taliban and al-Qaeda to Afghan forces. Karzai has clashed with American officials over issues such as corruption and civilian casualties during the conflict.
There have been allegations with regard to President Karzai’s emotional stability, but even though his election was bogus – and nobody cared – he presumably is responding to some measure of public opinion with respect to night raids, drone attacks and now the violation of internationally recognized human rights. At least he has to foresee the post-American phase of Afghan history.
At Truthdig, William Pfaff comments:
Departure from Afghanistan on less than triumphal terms would stir an uproar at home among Republican Party patriots. Yet everyone, presumably excepting those patriots, knows what will happen sooner or later. The U.S. will be forced out, directly or indirectly, and Afghan politicians or military leaders will assume control of their country, with or without sponsorship or assistance from the Pakistan—or the Indian—intelligence services. All that is taking place now is futile. Why not take Karzai at his word, and leave?
Well, the Pentagon would not like that, since it prefers a triumphal exit to the rather embarrassing departure that has just taken place in Iraq. There—not to put too fine a point on it—the country is being abandoned in the hands of Shiite politicians and their Iranian allies. The U.S. was willing to stay on, but only on terms of an extra-territorial legal status, exempting Americans from all Iraqi control, to which the Iraqi parliament would not agree.
Second, Republican politicians in the United States do not want proud Americans being ordered out of what they consider petty client countries, whose role is to take orders, not issue them.
There is a strong aversion to irony here, but one wonders who President Karzai imagines himself to be.
Despite the dehumanized prisoners, as far as disclosed by the official video the Parwan Detention Facility seems to be a well appointed amenity:
Ken Dilanian and David S. Cloud reporting for The LA Times on the latest National Intelligence Estimate report that the war in Afghanistan is at a stalemate despite the surge of foreign military forces. The obvious thing is to negotiate a peace agreement to hopefully avoid the worst consequences of withdrawal and then leave as soon as possible.