Archive for the ‘AFGHANISTAN FACTS’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: WILL OBAMA’S SURGE WORK?   Leave a comment

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

Mr. Simpson, you are right on these details.

People who criticize you on this simply do not know what they are talking about because they are part of America’s obsession with great white whales, an obsession closely shared by Israelis and Israel’s apologists.

The most fundamental realities are the following.

The Taleban is not an invading guerilla force. The word “insurgents” nicely hides the fact that they are natives of the land we have invaded.

Moreover, they are a substantial portion of the population, not a small group.

And they attacked no one.

The 9/11 bunch were mainly Saudis, almost certainly on a secret CIA training program in the U.S. that went very sour (they had valid American visas, and they were being followed closely by Mossad).

Osama bin Laden has been dead since the horrific bombing of Tora Bora. The extent of that bombing has been kept secret, but it was earth-shattering by first-hand accounts.

Al Qaeda, as a former British Foreign Secretary admitted a few years ago, does not exist. It is a Pentagon nickname to cover a group of disparate fundamentalist Muslims who hate American policy. The word means toilet.

America has worked to keep alive the idea of both bin Laden and Al Qaeda because they serve as focuses for the lunatic “war on terror.”

You cannot have a war on a technique or a set of attitudes: it’s a pure nonsense, rather like Israel’s mantra about there being no such thing as a Palestinian people.

America went to Afghanistan, dragging others along, for vengeance, which it got in spades. Now, it does not know what to do.

In a sense, it is the victim of its own propaganda. As well, there are now huge entrenched interests in the Afghanistan effort, everything from Blackwater Corporation to the manufacturers of Hellfire missiles. America’s Israel apologists, too, never saw a war against Muslims they didn’t like: put them in their place, so to speak.

A very great assembly of forces for a newcomer like Obama to oppose, and, truth be told, he has already buckled.

But he cannot win his war. Absolutely, he cannot hold down a huge country of 30 million people, a land of mountains and deserts and sweltering heat and hardscrabble poverty; moreover, a place where millions deeply resent America’s arrogance and brutality.

One hopes that Obama intends only to make a show and to reach a compromise with the Taleban from a position of increased strength and then get out with a shred of dignity. It is starting a system of payoffs – successful short-term in Iraq – hundreds of millions for opponents to lay down their arms temporarily.

But I am not optimistic. The Afghans are some of the toughest, hardest people on earth, largely because they live in an extreme part of the world with almost no wealth.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: WHAT IS AT STAKE IN AFGHANISTAN?   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN
 
POSTED RESPONSE TO A COLUMN BY CLIVE CROOK IN THE FINANCIAL TIMES

Nothing is at stake in Afghanistan.

That is, except for American pride in once more having invaded a country, killed a great many people and achieved nothing.

America didn’t know what it was doing from the beginning, and it still does not know.

But it sure knows how to kill people, and the American establishment is always ready to do more killing and bombing rather than be embarrassed at its own foolishness.

It chewed up human beings in Vietnam for ten years to no purpose whatsoever beyond regard for its own violent and stupid pride.

No one else regards Afghanistan as a serious threat, else why are NATO countries constantly browbeaten by American officials into making larger commitments?

The facts of Afghanistan are rather simple if you open your mind to them.

It is not a democracy – never was and still is not – and you can never create a democracy at the barrel of a gun. Moreover, America’s own problematic claim to genuine democratic government makes it among the least suitable of instructors.

Afghanistan is one of the poorest regions on earth, affording only a hard-scrabble existence to most of its people – it always has been poor and it remains so. America has done almost nothing to turn around its economy for a brighter future, but it sure has killed a lot of people and created a lot of damage.

Like all poor, backward countries, Afghanistan remains prisoner of ancient customs not understood by modern societies, and nothing, except long-term serious economic growth, America can do will change that.

Consider even a healthily growing third-world country like India. It still has bride burning, forced marriage, and horrid treatment of widows, plus many other ghastly ancient customs it will not shake until after generations of growth.

Imagine going to 17th century Spain and telling the people they must give up the Holy Inquisition, Jews and Arabs must be tolerated as full members of society, and nuns must stop wearing hideous gigantic habits? To pose the question is to know the answer.

How much more so Afghanistan?

The warlords that now are deemed the government of Afghanistan are, most of them, no better than the Taleban in terms of modern values. Horrible acts continue all over the country, and the burka is still worn in most of the country. Some, like General Dostum, are nothing but mass murders.

Rape of boys is common everywhere, often done by translators and other helpers of Americans right in front of the eyes of troops. The Americans and others tolerate these hideous acts, for the sake of keeping allies and helpers, acts which would earn their perpetrators long prison sentences and public hatred anywhere in the West.

Alliance with those warlords is the only thing that allowed America its cheap “victory.” Cheap in American blood, that is, not Afghan blood.

The Taleban never was America’s enemy, the perpetrators of 9/11 were mostly Saudis, and they were mostly in America on legitimate visas, being part of a secret CIA training scheme that backfired badly.

Most of the terrorist incidents since the invasions – like the London underground bombing – are just the work of homegrown men angry and frustrated at the injustice of what has happened, at the tens of thousands of their fellow Muslims killed with no thought or care.

The CIA never took any responsibility for 9/11. America never took any responsibility. But Afghanistan was invaded – according to experts, just the deaths in Kabul from bombing were at least 50,000 – and the Taleban was dispersed. Some achievement.

Now America bombs and kills regularly in Pakistan, claiming, just as it claimed about Cambodia during its bloodbath in Vietnam. People under no charges are regularly assassinated along with any family members and bystanders, a la Israel’s regular extra-judicial killings, activity indistinguishable from that of former South America juntas who regularly made people “disappear.”

America is only making enemies and de-stabilizing still another land.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: RICHARD COLVIN A CANADIAN HERO & PATHETIC PETER MACKAY’S EFFORTS TO QUESTION HIS TESTIMONY ON THE TURNING OVER PRISONERS TO TORTURE IN AFGHANISTAN   Leave a comment

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

Richard Colvin is a genuine Canadian hero.

How rare it is to find an honest man in government, and rarer still to find one who puts his career at risk for hard truth.

What Colvin’s words say for the characters of the people who surround Harper is very unpleasant.

But what else would you expect?

Harper always supported America’s ghastly war crime of invading Iraq, and we know from countless examples in recent years that Harper’s idea of ethics almost define the banality of evil.

And Harper has no qualms about Israel’s several mass murders in Lebanon and Gaza. He’s gung ho for a state openly practicing ethnic-cleansing and apartheid.

Following America into the mire of Afghanistan has been terrible for Canada, squandering our nation’s reputation as well as lives and money while achieving nothing of worth.

As to Mr Peter “My word ain’t worth much” and “I call my ex a dog” Mackay’s attempts to throw dirt, well consider the source.

Apart from all his other accomplishments, MacKay has demonstrated his intellectual weakness in several poorly-handled jobs.

His word carries no weight weight in any balance of arguments.

Particularly when he is aiming to undermine a man of distinguished achievements, substantial intellect, and genuine honor.

Good God, Mackay, is just plain pathetic.

Harper’s crowd has brought us a stinking copy of right-wing Republican shabby politics.

The stuff about the letters to certain constituents deemed Jewish and containing suggestions about opposition of anti-Semitism is right from the gutter. So too any attack on Colvin.