July 6, 2010
by Dr. Ashraf Ezzat
I am neither bitter nor cynical but I do wish there was less immaturity in the White House political thinking
General Petraeus was last week appointed to lead foreign forces in Afghanistan. He replaces General Stanley McChrystal who was dismissed for insulting remarks about the US administration to a magazine.
One of the good things that came out of McChrystal`s dismissal is that the Afghanistan war – or rather the forgotten war -began to grab everybodys attention once again.
And the change of command comes when the insurgents are at their strongest since the Taliban-Islamist regime was ousted in late 2001
But as John Kampfner, writing in the Guardian, put it ‘How can a war that has taken the lives of more UK and US service personnel than any other in half a century be met with such ambivalence?… Why are we not responding to Afghanistan in the way we did to Iraq?”.
While the Iraq War was attacked and criticized widely both in America and Europe, the invasion of Afghanistan seemed almost beyond criticism. The attack was launched in the aftermath of 9/11 on the dubious pretext that Afghanistan, where Osama Bin Laden was based at the time, was complicit in the terror attacks.
To criticize the invasion was to criticize America; a nation at that point deemed to be in mourning.
The US was regarded as being within its rights to invade Afghanistan because it was the victim; a status that meant neither conservatives nor radicals felt comfortable questioning it.
But nine years later, could we still acknowledge America as the victim? Or rather, is she the aggressor? Could we see it as the once deemed to be in mourning nation or more like a nation now doomed to the futility and the tragedy of another Vietnam? Is this another ugly and grim probability that the White House fails again to see it coming?
Throughout the last nine years the American people grew weary of this meaningless war in Afghanistan. They began to lose track of the reason why America went to this war in the first place.
They were systematically engulfed and distracted by the mainstream media and its endless flow of news of Taliban fighters, Mujahideen insurgencies, opium fields, Karazai fragile government but hardly any mention of Al Qaeda or Osama Bin Laden.
Bin Laden, remember him? Yes but not so many are aware of his close and past history with America.
The alleged and notorious mastermind behind the 9/11 terrorists attacks, Saudi-born jihad leader Osama bin Laden, was recruited during the Soviet-Afghan war. Ironically, it was under the auspices of the CIA to fight Soviet invaders” (Hugh Davies, “`Informers’ point the finger at bin Laden.
“With the active encouragement of the CIA and Pakistan’s ISI who wanted to turn the Afghan Jihad into a global war waged by all Muslim states against the Soviet Union, some 35,000 Muslim radicals from 40 Islamic countries joined Afghanistan’s fight between 1982 and 1992.
Tens of thousands more came to study in Pakistani madrasahs. Eventually, more than 100,000 foreign Muslim radicals were directly influenced by the Afghan jihad.” (Ahmed Rashid, “The Taliban: Exporting Extremism”
The CIA’s role in laying the foundations of Al Qaeda is confirmed in an 1998 interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, who at the time was National Security Adviser to President Jimmy Carter:
Consistent with Brzezinski’s account, a “Militant Islamic Network” was created by the CIA.
U.S. foreign policy is not geared towards curbing the tide of Islamic fundamentalism. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The significant development of “radical Islam”, in the wake of the Cold War in the former Soviet Union and the Middle East is consistent with Washington’s hidden agenda, which is hardly serving America’s best interest but rather the interest and the preplanned targets of a hidden lobby.
So, if the “war on terrorism” narrative and imperatives Were primarily based upon hunting down Bin Laden and his group of militants, then why send the military to do it?
Why send the army forces to do the job of the CIA?
Since Osama bin Laden was the creation and the recruit of the American central intelligence, it should have been wiser to assign his extermination to the same agency that created a worldwide terrorist out of him.
The CIA people who cunningly schemed to turn the Afghan Jihad into a global war waged by all Muslim states against the Soviet Union back in 1980`s thought they had the perfect – can`t go wrong –plan, only they didn’t do their history homework, the same mistake they did in Vietnam.
It is hard to win the hearts and the minds of the local people if you look like a previous occupier. In Vietnam, the United States looked just like the French, and to the Vietnamese, they were the same.
In Afghanistan, the United States looks just like the British and the Russians; and they are all in Afghanistan for the same reason, there is little difference to the local people.
And so after the Afghanis have routed the Russians they shifted their jihad against the Americans who ironically provided them with the know how to technically and professionally win a modern war.
Cynicism is the unpleasant way to say the truth
Once again the American military finds itself obliged to do the dirty work of the white house and the CIA.
Once again the American military finds itself in a ridiculous situation, where ambiguous objectives and loss of clear vision prevail.
You put anybody in a ridiculous situation and he is bound to act ridiculously in return. That is exactly what General McChrystal did; he reacted cynically to a war of cynicism and absurdity.
He did not literally mean what he said in that Rolling Stone article, all he wanted to say was something like…” I am neither bitter nor cynical but I do wish there was less immaturity in the White House political thinking”
Yet his successor, General Petraeus declared in a meeting at the International Security Assistance Force headquarters that “We must demonstrate to the people and to the Taliban that American and ISAF forces are here to safeguard the Afghan people”
Petraeus promised that “unity, transparency and accountability” would be the keywords of his mission, according to a statement from the president’s office.
The way I see it, the military did more than his share of unity and loyalty. The white house is the party who should be more transparent and held accountable for this whole islamophobic hit and run wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the dreadful mess they left behind.
‘We are in this to win, that is our clear objective,’ the new commander of 150,000 US and NATO forces said.
But that may not be how most of the American soldiers and military officers see this war in Afghanistan, as Maj.General Bill Mayville, chief of operations put it “ it’s not going to look like a win, smell like a win or taste like a win “ rolling stone article.
Revealing the lies behind 911 would serve to undermine the legitimacy of the “war on terrorism”.
The American military is fed up with playing the silly game of “we are not here to jeopardize you, we are here to democratize you “…this naive slogan did more harm to America and its military than it did to the Islamic militants. It simply undermined the credibility of US and augmented the anti- American sentiment in the Islamic world.
A democratic Middle East is certainly a dream worth fighting for by the people of the Middle Eastern countries, not by the American invasion to their home lands. Achievable by empowering people through a socio-political dynamics in which the military has no substantial role.
The “war on terrorism” is bogus. The 911 narrative as conveyed by the 911 Commission report is fabricated. The American administration is involved in acts of cover-up and complicity at the highest levels of government that made a mockery of the whole American democracy.
The American military was dragged into this “war on terrorism “and ordered to clean up after the white house politicians.
The American military men started this blow back warfare looking good from afar.. now they’re far from looking good.