POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY JOHANN HARI IN THE INDEPENDENT
Thank you, Johann Hari has told the truth succinctly and accurately.
Of course, the Taleban - never the same thing as al Qaeda, but constantly blurred together in American popular media and by dumb national politicians like John McCain - never attacked anyone.
9/11 was the work of Saudis, and the dead perpetrators were virtually all in the United States on valid visas, almost unquestionably part of a secret CIA training program which backfired. There was an American diplomat at the time who raised the issue of great pressure from the CIA for certain embassies abroad to issue visas expeditiously.
The Taleban never had to be an American enemy. They were even willing to extradite those guilty for 9/11, provided that the U.S. offered some evidence for its extradition request, a normal procedure everywhere in the world, but one with which the United States angrily refused to comply.
The United States invaded for vengeance and no other reason, and it got plenty of it with about 50,000 killed just in Kabul.
From the beginning, the United States used propaganda about things like women’s rights to justify its extreme violence, the best propaganda always being based on truth.
The United States only quickly succeeded in its “victory” by using the brutes of the Northern Alliance on the ground fronted by the same kind of carpet bombing it so loved in Vietnam.
It worked, at least dispersing the Taleban, if not producing a genuine victory.
And who were these fine allies in the Northern Alliance?
Brutes like Genreral Dostum, a torturer and mass murderer absolutely. It was likely his troops, under American auspices, who conducted the atrocity of killing 3,000 Taleban prisoners in the early days.
They were put into sealed vans, driven out onto the desert to be suffocated (a la early Nazi experiments with mass killings), then dumped in mass graves – all done while American soldiers watched.
Today, after all those years of occupation and brutal American tactics, outside Kabul virtually all women still wear the burka, and even in Kabul, an estimated half of women wear it.
America’s Potemkin village schools in the countryside for girls are often closed as soon as their photo-op opening is over. The government is unable to fund the schools and pay the teachers, and the local warlords do not want them anymore than the Taleban does.
Imagine going to seventeenth century Spain and trying to force Catholics to give up all their bizarre practices from self-flagellation to nuns’ cumbersome habits or The Inquisition? Ridiculous, of course, but that truly is a parallel for what the U.S. claims it’s doing in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is simply not a country as we are used to thinking of countries. It is collection of tribes living hard-scrabble lives in mountains and deserts, and it is demarcated by arbitrary and historically-meaningless boundaries vis-à-vis Pakistan.
Many people understood the invasion was a mistake before it happened, but the vicious idiots then running the United States ignored them.
The United States spent ten years in Vietnam, killing an estimated 3 million people with their barbaric tactics and throwing Cambodia into instability and “the killing fields” to achieve absolutely nothing.
And that precisely – albeit with a smaller pile of bodies – is America’s achievement to date in Afghanistan.
And note that it is well on its way to de-stabilizing Pakistan with its killer-drones and demands that Pakistan attack its own people, just as it once did Cambodia, and for the same sorry excuse that there occupation troops are affected by activities in the other county.
The real answer is, of course, to swallow its pride and get out.
Note that I only refer to America, and not to NATO or the UN. That is because in the early days after 9/11, the U.S. was able to brow-beat or cajole the appearance of international support for this violent folly. Its influence in these international bodies, heavily financed by the U.S., is great, and it often uses them to cover its unilateral desires.
The reality is that no NATO nation believes that Afghanistan is a genuine threat: we know this from their pitifully small commitments there. Only Captain Ahab America sees Afghanistan as the great white whale that must be killed.