- A May 30 Delaware County Times editorial headlined, "Is
US fighting unwinnable war in Afghanistan" asking:
- "Why should America (believe) it can (accomplish
what the) Soviet Union (and) Britain couldn't....? Public sentiment against
it is growing, and "Many pundits say the war....can never be won militarily...."
How many more "US service member" deaths are tolerable?
- On January 21, 2010, Britain's New Stateman sounded the
same theme calling the Afghan war "unwinnable," recent events
showing intensified fighting, rising casualties, and a popular resistance
determined to prevail. "Britain should be making plans to withdraw,"
the publication concluded. So should America with no right to be there
ethically, morally or legally, the war clearly in violation of US and international
law like all others US forces waged since WW II.
- On June 26, the UK Spectator, published since July 1828,
was just as unequivocal, calling US and Kabul leadership "fractious,
confused and contradictory, a sure sign that the war is being lost....Yes,
the war in unwinnable. History and time are on the Afghans side."
- Other publications voice the same sentiment, but not
American ones, misreporting and backing lawless, losing bet despite souring
public sentiment. A new Rasmussen poll shows nearly 60% of US voters believe
American forces can't win or they're not sure, and 53% said the war isn't
worth the cost. In Britain, nearly two-thirds of the public call the war
unwinnable, saying UK forces shouldn't be there.
- A recent Canadian poll showed about two-thirds of the
population feel the war can't be won, 59% of them opposing their country's
involvement. Nearly two-thirds of Australians want their nation's forces
out, and a June 2009 Pew Global Attitudes survey showed public sentiment
in three-fourths of the 25 countries surveyed against the war, wanting
US and NATO troops withdrawn.
- Only in America do major media pundits and editorial
writers still back an illegal, unwinnable war, (and the Iraq one), The
New York Times, in the lead, calling it "central to American security,"
hoping a Petraeus strategy will "genuinely blood(y)" the Taliban,
after nearly nine futile years of trying under a dozen Iraq and Afghanistan
- On June 27, Washington Post writer Greg Jaffe headlined
the frustration saying, "Military disturbed by rapid turnover at top
in Afghan, Iraq wars," commanders falling like tenpins, including
Tommy Franks, William Fallon, Ricardo Sanchez, George Casey, David McKiernan,
and Stanley McChrystal, sacked not for deriding his superiors, but for
losing an unwinnable war, and, in fact, suggesting it like other generals
and lower-ranking officers. So do professionals outside the military not
reported in the mainstream. More on them below.
- UK's Liberation Party - LP (Hizb ut-Tahir) Report
- Founded in 1953, the Liberation Party "works to
project a positive image of Islam to Western societies and engages in dialogue
with Western thinkers, policymakers and academics."
- Its January 2010 report titled, "Afghanistan &
Pakistan: The Unwinnable War" reviewed the war's futility, recommending
"an alternative path for the region," what's very much needed
but not considered.
- Instead, Afghans have suffered brutally under war and
occupation - empty promises delivering death, destruction, impoverishment
and depravation to a country John Pilger called more of a moonscape than
a functioning nation, the result of sustained conflicts, violence and instability.
- Today "the West has lost any form of moral authority,"
the puppet Karzai regime a farcical caricature of a government - corrupted,
inept, and disdainful of its people in collusion with Washington, NATO,
war profiteers, drug barons, and brutal warlords, a combination destroying
the fabric of life in the country.
- Clearly, "The neo-colonial mission has failed,"
yet Washington, Britain, and NATO "decided to double down" their
bet and devote more resources under a new commander to "finish the
job," an impossible mission short of mass extermination and laying
waste to the entire country, turning it all and surrounding areas into
moonscapes, perhaps the strategy under the next commander after this one
fails and the war drags on, spreads, and inflames the entire Muslim world
to a greater degree than already.
- No wonder a popular resistance flourishes, supported
by growing numbers seeing it as their best chance for liberation no matter
what's next. Priority one is route the occupier and restore national sovereignty,
perhaps inspiring Iraqis, Pakistanis, and other Muslim nations to achieve
theirs by expunging America's presence and influence in the region, a malignancy
- The LP concludes the following:
- -- like in Vietnam, the war is unwinnable, occupation
producing a never-ending cycle of violence, resentment, hatred and retaliation
having a devastating effect on the people;
- -- under Washington and NATO, puppet governance is atrocious,
corrupt, inept and unacceptable;
- -- troop strength at any level can't prevail; waging
war on the Taliban means fighting 50 million Pashtuns supporting them
and growing numbers of others;
- -- an exit strategy based on Afghan security forces doing
NATO's bidding won't work; evidence shows no trust and increasing instances
of belligerence against occupying troops;
- -- calling Al-Qaeda and the Taliban America's threat
is bogus to distract from its real aim - permanent occupation, exploiting
Afghanistan's resources, and using the country as a land-based aircraft
carrier against its major rivals, Russia militarily and China economically;
- -- "growing and influential voices are now questioning
the cost to Pakistan of supporting America's war;" it's counterproductive,
destabilizing, and destructive to an already troubled nation, weakened
further by allying with Washington's regional wars;
- -- America and NATO have no legitimacy in Afghanistan
or Iraq; both wars are illegal; the occupations breed resentment, hatred,
and a never-ending cycle of violence; both countries deserve their sovereignty,
stable economies, "a system consistent with peoples' values,"
freedom from foreign dominance, and new priorities must place popular "needs
over the gains of a few or of private enterprise," exploiters for
their own interests.
- The LP concludes saying millions share its discontent,
suggesting a "politics of hope" over Western war, occupation,
corruption and despair. It recommends "a genuine end to the occupation"
so Afghans can restore what worked well for 1,300 years before Western
invaders showed up. "Unless the scourge of foreign occupation ends,
the region will continue" to suffer and be dysfunctional. Once expunged,
it can "independently tackle (its) innumerable....challenges (including)
unbridled poverty....education (and) rampant corruption, most of all in
Afghanistan, Iraq, and Israeli-controlled Palestine."
- Healthcare NOT Warfare Campaign Report
- Titled "War in Afghanistan: Untenable and Unwinnable,"
journalist Norman Solomon prepared it in autumn 2009 after visiting the
country with others on a fact-finding trip, his itinerary including:
- "discussions with top officials to encounters with
malnourished refugees, and from briefings at multibillion dollar agencies
to small grassroots NGO offices."
- Eight key findings followed:
- (1) American priorities won't "win the hearts and
minds" of Afghans with war, occupation, and corruption in one of the
world's most impoverished nations, the amount of aid offered thin to nil,
little of it meant for what's most needed;
- (2) USAID helps business, not people, and "has earned
a wide-ranging reputation for waste and fraud in Afghanistan" and
other US dominated countries globally;
- (3) imperial war and occupation priorities take precedence
over development and humanitarian aid;
- (4) the little aid forthcoming is ill-directed and won't
"alleviate Afghanistan's crushing poverty;" credible institutions
and communities with urgent needs aren't getting it;
- (5) the appalling neglect of internally displaced refugees
"should be the subject of vigorous investigation" and correction;
living in squalid conditions, many say they've gotten no help from America,
the puppet government or UN; nor from most NGOs there to exploit for their
own bottom-line interests, much how they operate globally;
- (6) US free trade hypocrisy harms "Afghanistan's
agriculture sector," except for its thriving heroin trade, mainly
profiting drug lords, the CIA, and major Western financial interests, not
- (7) contrary to Western propaganda, "the Taliban
are far from being the main culprits in the Afghan drug trade," controlling
"no more than 3% of the value of heroin exported....;" and
- (8) Kabul's deteriorated security is the result of a
failed war, occupation, and America's entire strategy and presence, no
change of command can fix.
- The report concludes saying Washington is "pursuing
an increasingly untenable war effort," showing up in growing Taliban
strength and support, as well as the "plung(ing) Karzai government('s)
credibility. As a result, the Obama administration "will accomplish
little by redoubling military efforts to (counter) deteriorating political
and social conditions" on the ground. In fact, greater military aggression
will "magnify the most negative dynamics now underway," including
eroding support in the Democrat party base.
- At its Executive Board meeting last November, California
Democrats approved a resolution calling for an "End to US Occupation
and Air War in Afghanistan," following an appeal by marine veteran
Rick Reyes, who served there and in Iraq, saying:
- "There is no military solution in Afghanistan. (Their)
problems are social," not ones militarism can fix. "We dishonor
the patriotism and the sense of justice of our brave men and women by sending
them to fight, proclaiming that they sacrifice for democracy and national
security when really they struggle and die in support of nothing more than
a proven criminal regime" in league with imperial homeland and war
profiteering interests - at the expense of Americans, Afghans, and the
- The Afghan and Iraq wars and occupations are immoral,
illegal, untenable, unwinnable, and unsustainable, their continuation decaying
America morally, and heading the country for isolation, despotism and insolvency,
a path perhaps too far along to reverse given decades of militarism, corporate
control, and pervasive high-level public and private corruption, a frightening
bottom line conclusion.
- A Final Comment
- As in earlier conflicts, America's Iraq and Afghanistan
rules of engagement (ROEs) include targeted assassinations and death squad
terror, mostly against civilians, counterinsurgency lawlessness to cow
people into submission - suppressed or misreported by the media, including
predator drone attacks in recent years launching missiles or bombs in air
attacks killing up to 50 civilians for each militant in violation of established
principles of distinction, necessity, proportionality, and humanity.
- Under McChrystal, they escalated dramatically, reigning
indiscriminate death and destruction in Afghanistan and Pakistan, cold-blooded
murder - in vain, based on the results, but they'll continue, maybe increase
under Petraeus, showing America is both lawless and merciless, even knowing
it can't prevail.
- The likelihood is suggested by Stephen Biddle, Fotini
Christia, and J Alexander Thier in their Foreign Affairs article headlined,
"Defining Success in Afghanistan," saying:
- "The original plan for a post-Taliban Afghanistan....no
longer appears feasible, if it ever was," in a nation governed the
way America wishes. As a result, Washington and NATO countries are more
willing to reach accommodation with middle and lower level Taliban members.
In other words, if defeating them fails, buy them off not to fight, what
worked in Iraq short term, growing violence, however, showing expediency
failed, its same fate in Afghanistan if tried.
- Biddle, Christia and Thier believe "tolerable stability"
is now acceptable, a major climb down from earlier more ambitious, unrealistic
aims - America's, not Afghan's wanting their country back, and an end to
Washington's presence, an 82nd Airborne Division soldier speaking for many
others saying: "We get a lot of dirty looks. I get the feeling they
don't like us very much around here," why they'll keep fighting until
you're gone, knowing they'll win. You'll lose, a lesson front line troops
know, not their commanders or officials back home.
- A final note. On June 30, the Senate unanimously confirmed
David Petraeus as US Afghanistan commander, showing the entire body supports
the illegal, unwinnable war, not a profile in courage in sight.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
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