150,000 US/NATO Troops in Afghanistan, 50 Al-Qaeda, But Oodles of Caspian Basin Oil & Gas
Eric Margolis writes on what he calls "the over-militarization of US foreign policy" and the political opportunism of generals and political leaders shamelessly and callously continuing to risk countless lives and the quality of countless lives to justify another wrong-headed war. Margolis:
"... a political whitewash issued by the Obama White House claiming the war was going well and some US troops might be withdrawn next year. This 'don't worry be happy' summary was trumpeted by the pro-war New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other members of the government-friendly US media..."
"Frustrated American generals and politicians, facing a failing war and the prospect of ruined careers, are blaming Pakistan for the war they cannot win."
"There is not an iota of concern in Washington for Pakistan's national interests, well being, sovereignty, or the explosive problems in its Pashtun and Baluchi tribal regions. Washington wants Pakistan to follow orders, pure and simple. That's why the US is paying Islamabad $2 billion per annum. Sepoys of the Raj are supposed to obey."
"The Pentagon is gripped by the misconception that "safe havens" in Pakistan are fueling resistance to western occupation. During the Vietnam War, the Pentagon was similarly convinced that eradicating communist safe havens in Cambodia and Laos were the key to victory. They were not. Invading them spreads the war while weakening the US military position."
"The so-called Pakistani safe havens are really all part of Pashtun tribal homelands that were sundered by the British imperialists in the 19th Century. Pashtun don't recognize today's Afghan-Pakistan artificial border. Taliban is not an invading army; it is mostly composed of local farmers and herdsmen who straddle the border."
Margolis asks, "How can a bunch of lightly-armed mountain tribesmen in turbans fighting only part-time battle the world's most powerful armed forces to a standstill?"
CIA director Leon Panetta recently said there were no more than 50 al-Qaeda members in Afghanistan. There are now 150,000 US and NATO troops in Afghanistan. What is our real interest there? Margolis: "The oil and gas of the nearby Caspian Basin and a desire to exclude China from the resource-rich region...."
There has been 9 years of US traumatizing occupation of Afghanistan. 700 Americans are dead. Mind numbing numbers of Afghans and Pakistanis killed or maimed. $100 billion in taxpayer money the Afghan War has cost so far. It costs American taxpayers $13 billion a month.
"US forces conducted a brutal campaign around Kandahar to crush resistance to the occupation and punish communities that supported Taliban sympathizers and using mass reprisals against the civilian population."
"Death squads are hard at work murdering those suspected of backing Taliban and opposing western occupation. Similar "pacification" tactics were used to break the resistance of the Iraqi city of Fallujah, a third of which was razed by US Marines. The Soviets employed similar tactics during their ten-year occupation of Afghanistan."
"The same tactics were developed by Israel during its occupation of the West Bank, including giant security walls chopping up the landscape, blowing up houses, and night raids against suspects."
Obama and the status quo Washington/Pentagon leadership, the corporate media continue to enable and/or escalate profound brutality to humanity. Margolis:
"The government and media have colluded to paint the picture of a noble, heroic, flag-waving American enterprise in Afghanistan that is, alas, very far from reality. Last week came news that US air, land, and mercenary forces would penetrate ever deeper into Pakistan. WikiLeaks show that Pakistan's feeble, US-sustained government is quietly backing deeper US military involvement and targeted killings of Pakistanis."
The media blackout last week on the arrests of 135 anti-war activists in front of the White House shows how insidious the media/government collusion is. The progressive media outlets, lost to gamesmanship and political elite access, are particularly shameless in betraying liberal principles one more time.
There is a horrifying amoral compartmentalization of conscience about these wars among the citizenry. When will the tipping point of outrage and the call for justice and sanity be reached? Ever? Obama's razzle dazzle continues to con. The merciless momentum of the US killing machine continues on.
Blood for oil. Easy choice for the heartless. Heartless leadership, heartless majority of the citizenry.