Friday, December 4, 2009

Why We Are In Afghanistan & Why We Will Stay (Is This the New Improved American Way?)

“U.S.-allied drug dealers are put in charge of the police and border patrol, while their rivals are placed on American hit lists.”
Is the U.S. government's involvement in the Afghan drug trade a hidden reason behind the military's insistence through that hyped-up McChrystal report that Obama order a 30,000-troop increase and thereby ensuring Obama's ownership of the war? It's obvious that 30,000 or even another 100,000 troops will not "win" the Afghanistan War, so what could the reason be for this further subornation of the President of the United States of America to the will of the Military-Industrial Complex? (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)

The U.S. set the stage for the Afghan (and Pakistan) war eight years ago, when it handed out drug dealing franchises to warlords on Washington's payroll. Now the Americans, acting as Boss of All Bosses, have drawn up hit lists of rival, “Taliban” drug lords. “It is a gangster occupation, in which U.S.-allied drug dealers are put in charge of the police and border patrol.” . . . If you’re looking for the chief kingpin in the Afghanistan heroin trade, it’s the United States. The American mission has devolved to a Mafiosi-style arrangement that poisons every military and political alliance entered into by the U.S. and its puppet government in Kabul. It is a gangster occupation, in which U.S.-allied drug dealers are put in charge of the police and border patrol, while their rivals are placed on American hit lists, marked for death or capture. As a result, Afghanistan has been transformed into an opium plantation that supplies 90 percent of the world’s heroin. An article in the current issue of Harper’s magazine explores the inner workings of the drug-infested U.S. occupation, it’s near-total dependence on alliances forged with players in the heroin trade. The story centers on the town of Spin Boldak, on the southeastern border with Pakistan, gateway to the opium fields of Kandahar and Helmand provinces. The chief Afghan drug lord is also the head of the border patrol and the local militia. The author is an undercover U.S.-based journalist who was befriended by the drug lord’s top operatives and met with the U.S. and Canadian officers that collaborate with the drug dealer on a daily basis.

The alliance was forged by American forces during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, and has endured and grown ever since. The drug lord, and others like him throughout the country, is not only immune to serious American interference, he has been empowered through U.S. money and arms to consolidate his drug business at the expense of drug-dealing rivals in other tribes, forcing some of them into alliance with the Taliban. On the ground in Pashtun-speaking Afghanistan, the war is largely between armies run by heroin merchants, some aligned with the Americans, others with the Taliban. The Taliban appear to be gaining the upper hand in this Mafiosa gang war, the origins of which are directly rooted in U.S. policy.

“It is a war whose order of battle is largely defined by the drug trade.”

Is it any wonder, then, that the United States so often launches air strikes against civilian wedding parties, wiping out the greater part of bride and groom's extended families? America’s drug-dealing allies have been dropping dimes on rival clans and tribes, using the Americans as high-tech muscle in their deadly feuds. Now the Americans and their European occupation partners have institutionalized the rules of gangster warfare with official hit lists of drug dealers to be killed or captured on sight – lists drawn up by other drug lords affiliated with the occupation forces.

This is the “war of necessity” that President Barack Obama has embraced as his own . . . . Obama's generals call for tens of thousands of new U.S. troops in hopes of lessening their dependency on the militias and police forces currently controlled by American-allied drug dealers. But of course, that will only push America's Afghan partners in the drug trade into the arms of the Taliban, who will cut a better deal. Then the generals w(ill) argue that they need even more U.S. troops.

So, what happened to the anti-war candidate? (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)

The hope that Obama’s election would drastically change U.S. foreign policy has been destroyed. The effects of his troop surge will change the minds of millions of Americans, who, until this point, were giving Obama the benefit of the doubt.

Such moments in history are capable of instantly removing piles of dust from the collective eyeball — just as the bank bailouts did.

The announcement will also send tremors throughout the military: many soldiers and their families remained silent about fighting with hopes that Obama would bring them home. They see little point in dying in a pointless war. Thus, morale is likely to continue deteriorating, while more brazen acts of defiance will surely increase.

The reasons behind the surge — Al Qaeda, “rooting out terrorism,” etc. — are unlikely to fool many people, with the exception of the media. This “war on terror” propaganda is based on the same illogical catch-phrases that Bush’s limited intelligence tripped over. Coming from Obama, such stupid reasoning sounds especially bizarre, akin to an evolutionary biologist forced to argue in favor of creationism.

Obama is compelled to tell the really big lie because the truth is too damning. If he remotely approached the real motives behind the war, the public would be pushed into total defiance Obama’s new $660 billion military budget for 2010 would have caused mass demonstrations.

In reality, the war in Afghanistan was a convenient way for U.S. corporations — who dominate U.S. politics — to get a firmer hold in the resource-rich Middle East. For example, soon after Afghanistan was invaded, we were told that Iraq was a “ticking time bomb,” while now Obama assures us that Pakistan is the real threat — and don’t forget Iran! When considering the above military budget, these countries are threats to the U.S in the same way that a flea is a threat to an elephant.

Who really benefits from war in the Middle East? So far, U.S. weapons manufacturers have (Boeing, etc.), U.S. oil companies (Exxon, etc.), and the big banks that help move the spoils around (Citigroup, etc.) who also dominate the finances of the conquered country. Corporations that deal with “reconstruction” contracts love war (Halliburton, etc.), while also the multitude of “private contractors” that specialize in everything from cooking (Halliburton again) to mercenary fighting (Blackwater, etc.).

The many U.S. corporations that export abroad also benefit from the war, since a dominated country offers them a monopoly market to sell their goods in, or the ability to set up shop where none existed before. It is these collective interests that are driving Obama’s foreign policy; they would rather see the U.S. and Afghani people bled dry than allow a foreign competitor — China, Russia, etc. — to dominate Afghanistan’s resources and markets.

The U.S. is certainly not fighting terrorists in Afghanistan — the Al Qaeda bogey men and the “evil genius” Osama Bin Laden are not directing military operations from a cave. The vast majority of people fighting U.S. troops are not “Islamic extremists” (another catchphrase), but average citizens enraged by foreign troops rummaging around in their homes, patting them down at check points, indiscriminately detaining them at torture centers (U.S. Bagram Air base), and killing their family members.

. . . Islam is not inherently violent, but a military occupation unquestionably is.

Robert Scheer says "Here We Go Again," and as one who lectured to all her business classes about the fallacy inherent in being one of the Vietnam War's "Best and Brightest," I concur. (Emphasis marks added - Ed.)
Obama stated Tuesday in a speech announcing a major escalation of the war, “It’s important to recall why America and our allies were compelled to fight a war in Afghanistan in the first place.” But he then cut off any serious consideration of that question with the bald assertion that “we did not ask for this fight.” Of course we did. The Islamic fanatics who seized power in Afghanistan were previously backed by the U.S. as “freedom fighters” in what was once marketed as a bold adventure in Cold War one-upmanship against the Soviets. It was President Jimmy Carter, aided by a young liberal hawk named Richard Holbrooke, now Obama’s civilian point man on Afghanistan, who decided to support Muslim fanatics there. Holbrooke began his government service as one of the “Best and the Brightest” in Vietnam and was involved with the rural pacification and Phoenix assassination program in that country, and he is now a big advocate of the counterinsurgency program proposed by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal to once again win the hearts and minds of locals who want none of it. The current president’s military point man, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, served in Carter’s National Security Council and knows that Obama is speaking falsely when he asserts it was the Soviet occupation that gave rise to the Muslim insurgency that we abetted. . . . Matthew Hoh, the former Marine captain who was credited with being as successful as anyone in implementing the counterinsurgency strategy now in vogue . . . In his letter of resignation as a foreign service officer in charge of one of the most hotly contested areas . . . wrote: “In the course of my five months of service in Afghanistan … I have lost understanding and confidence in the strategic purpose of the United States’ presence in Afghanistan. … I have observed that the bulk of the insurgency fights not for the white banner of the Taliban, but rather against the presence of foreign soldiers and taxes imposed by an unrepresentative government in Kabul.”
And exactly where do we go from here? The effervescent Jim Hightower, who "broadcasts daily radio commentaries aired by more than 150 commercial and public stations, on Armed Forces Radio and Radio for Peace International, and also produces a weekly video blog that is carried on many popular websites," has some singular
insights.

Wait, wait, wait — hold it right there. Cut the music, slow the rush, and let's all ponder what Barack Obama, Roberts Gates, Stanley McChrystal and Co. are getting us into ... and whether we really want to go there. After all, just because the White House and the Pentagon brass are waving the flag and insisting that a major escalation of America's military mission in Afghanistan is a "necessity" doesn't mean it is ... or that We the People must accept it. . . . How many more dead and mangled American soldiers does the government's "new" Afghan policy deserve? How many more tens of billions of dollars should we let them siphon from our public treasury to fuel their war policy? How much more of our country's good name will they squander on what is essentially a civil war? We've been lied to for nearly a decade about "success" in Iraq and Afghanistan — why do the hawks deserve our trust that this time will be different? Their rationales for escalation are hardly confidence boosters. The goal, we're told, is to defeat the al-Qaida terrorist network that threatens our national security. Yes, but al-Qaida is not in Afghanistan! Nor is it one network. It has metastasized, with strongholds now in Pakistan, Indonesia, Morocco, Yemen and Somalia, plus even having enclaves in England and France. Well, claims Obama himself, we must protect the democratic process in Afghanistan. Does he think we have suckerwrappers around our heads? America's chosen leader over there is President Hamid Karzai — a preening incompetent who was "elected" this year only through flagrant fraud and whose government is controlled by warlords, rife with corruption and opposed by the great majority of Afghans. Washington's war establishment asserts that adding some 30,000 more troops will let us greatly expand and train the Afghan army and police force during the next couple of years so they can secure their own country and we can leave.

Mission accomplished! Nearly every independent military analyst, however, says this assertion is not just fantasy, it's delusional — it'll take at least 10 years to raise Afghanistan's largely illiterate and corrupt security forces to a level of barely adequate, costing us taxpayers more than $4 billion a year to train and support them. Obama has been taken over by the military industrial hawks and national security theorists who play war games with other people's lives and money. I had hoped Obama might be a more forceful leader who would reject the same old interventionist mindset of those who profit from permanent war. But his newly announced Afghan policy shows he is not that leader. So, we must look elsewhere, starting with ourselves. The first job of a citizen is to keep your mouth open. Obama is wrong on his policy — deadly wrong — and those of you who see this have both a moral and patriotic duty to reach out to others to inform, organize and mobilize our grassroots objections, taking common sense to high places. . . . look to leaders in Congress who are standing up against Obama's war and finally beginning to reassert the legislative branch's constitutional responsibility to oversee and direct military policy. For example, Rep. Jim McGovern is pushing for a specific, congressionally mandated exit strategy; Rep. Barbara Lee wants to use Congress' control of the public purse strings to stop Obama's escalation; and Rep. David Obey is calling for a war tax on the richest Americans to put any escalation on-budget, rather than on a credit card for China to finance and future generations to pay. This is no time to be deferential to executive authority. Stand up. Speak out. It's our country, not theirs. We are America — ultimately, we have the power and the responsibility.

So. How much more encouragement do we need? Suzan _______________________

4 comments:

BuelahMan said...

Great post.

I wonder why it is that Jim Hightower (and others) didn't see how corporately/militarily aimed Obama was in the first place?

It tells me that these folks are still immersed in that farce of a "two-party" system.

Obama was plain and verbose about his intentions in the campaign about Afghanistan.

Feigning surprise now suggests ignorance or complicity.

In other words, I do not think that Obama has ever meant to be anything other than what he is... a war monger.

Suzan said...

We agree. 100%.

My problem is that whenever I heard him play up to the neocon owners (for the past 30 years anyway), I actually thought he was only saying what he had to in order to get that much-publicized moderate vote.

My bad.

But after the appointment of Geithner, Summers, and all the rest of the Goldman Sachs predators, I'm cured!

(Let alone that carnage in Afghanistan/Iraq.)

Thanks for the comments!

S

Lisa G. said...

Disgusting - this new 'corporate' Obama I'm liking less and less.

Suzan said...

And yet we keep hoping he's playing the mug's game.

Don't we?

S