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JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

We are only there to please the Pentagon.

Ottawa, having turned the US down on Missile Defense and on Iraq, felt obliged to join the circus in Afghanistan. The exact words were: “We owe one to the Pentagon.”

Of course, when the Liberals agreed, they likely had in mind a more traditional peacekeeping role, much like the other members of NATO who have put restrictions on their troops.

The U.S. went there for vengeance. There is no other explanation. All the stuff about the plight of women – something which never bothered the U.S. before, and which still does not in many parts of the world as in India – is propaganda, the best kind, of course, based on truth, but propaganda nevertheless because it was not the reason for American efforts.

Once there, having used the thugs of the Northern Alliance – many no better than the Taleban towards women or anything else – for a cheap quick “victory,” it clearly did not know what to do. A new cast of thugs became provincial governors and the U.S. bombed anything that moved, killing thousands of innocents. It set up a central government which governs to this day almost nothing.

America dragged in NATO, as it has done before, to give a plausible international character to things. As well, it hoped others to assume some cost for its crusade.

What so many do not understand is that Afghanistan is not even a country as we normally understand it. It is a collection of tribes, hard-scrabble people living in mountains or deserts. Its culture is lost in the 14th century, and it is incredibly poor.

Nothing has been achieved in Afghanistan of lasting value.

Of course, some of the people there like having us, and why not with all that money and goodies being spread around by troops?

No one with any knowledge believes you can change the workings of an ancient society in a few years or even decades.

Talk about country re-building is just foolish nonsense from the mouths of well-paid Washington consultants.

Yes, Germany and Japan were “re-built” after WWII, but what people miss was that these had been advanced societies already. They had human capital – lots of educated people with advanced qualifications and entrepreneurs and scientists – upon which to build. The need was largely for bricks and mortar and some spur to effort.

This human capital simply does not exist in Afghanistan. Nor will it until there are many generations of economic growth and development.

You can’t even change an advanced society’s customs in a few years. Look at our consumer habits vis-a-vis global warming.

Saying you can remodel Afghanistan is the literal equivalent of saying you could step into 15th century Spain and turn around a society of nunneries, cloisters, burning heretics, and deporting Arabs and Jews.

Absolutely ridiculous.

You can never do enough for America’s insane paranoia. Just look at the police state measures underway down there.

Again, Britain and others only went in because they literally feared America’s launching atomic weapons on Afghanistan at the time. We have leaks that tell us members of the British government believed that use of atomic weapons was imminent.

It was insane from the beginning. Observant witnesses realized America didn’t know what to do once it got there – other than kill lots of people – and they still don’t.

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