Archive for the ‘WHAT THE TALEBAN ARE’ Tag

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: THERE IS NO WAY TO JUSTIFY WAR IN AFGHANISTAN – THE MEANING OF THE SO-CALLED MISSION – SOLVING PALESTINE/ISRAEL THE SOURCE OF MOST MUSLIM DISCONTENT   Leave a comment


 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

RESPONSES TO AN EDITORIAL IN THE TELEGRAPH

Sorry, but this editorial begs an essential question.

What mission?

The “mission” has never been defined.

And why is that? Because the “mission” cannot be defined.

It is truly preposterous to talk of remaking an ancient society of about 30 million people who mostly live hardscrabble lives in the mountains and deserts.

Afghanistan is only barely a country with traditionally no real central government, no roads, and few of any other modernity.

It is a collection of tribes, many of them living as people lived centuries ago. Even its borders are not fixed, the arbitrary Durand Line serving as an imposed border with Pakistan.

Just consider how long it takes for serious economic development to occur, economic development being the only path to modern democratic society.

Even China – the economic miracle of our age – which had much infrastructure, a cohesive society, and great human capital has taken more than thirty years of growth to arrive where it is.

And great parts of China are still poor and backward, especially in the West.

Or consider how long it takes to change one important human habit, say smoking. Only after decades of effort are we changing this once everyday-accepted habit.

Yet the newspaper editorial rooms, following the well-paid flaks at the Pentagon, speak blithely of immense changes in what is a gigantic country.

The United States never went into Afghanistan to advance its people. If it had wanted that, it could have dropped dollar bills instead of bombs.

What the United States wanted was vengeance, and also, I believe, that football-atmosphere feeling of, “Well, after all we are the greatest, and these poor turban-heads can’t stop us from doing as we please.”

The U.S. garnered UN support in the wake of 9/11 by exploiting sympathy, calling in debts, threats, and promises to get the votes to make the “mission” look international.

Just consider the NATO commitment, apart from Tony Blair’s abused Britain loyally carrying America’s gear. If it were such an important mission, of world significance, then you would not see 750 troops here and 2000 there, many of them under heavy restrictions about fighting. No, you would see the response of WWII. NATO counries cannot say it in public, but they do not believe in America’s “mission.” The size and very nature of their efforts speak eloquently for anyone listening.

It has been a fool’s mission from the beginning, and it remains a fool’s mission.

In the end, the Taleban, who are best described as a large segment of the country and not the phony term “insurgents’ must be part of any government. Karzai recognizes that. So what are you wasting lives and treasure over?

The great irony, of course, is that the Taleban need not have been our enemies. They are not pleasant or modern people, but their views are often no different to those of the Northern Alliance America has effectively put in their place, and the truth is their views are no more backward than those in many third-world countries, including India where savageries like bride-burning continue.

The Taleban did not cause 9/11. Saudis and some others, working abroad, quite possibly in a CIA black operation which backfired, did. They were not even the original ones to grant Osama bin Laden refuge, America’s Northern Alliance did.

And the Taleban still agreed after 9/11 to extradite bin Laden if only a bit of evidence were provided, the normal working procedure for extraditions all over the world. But the United States refused, and, to this day, it is interesting that bin Laden has never been included on the FBI’s Most Wanted List.

For some reason unbelievable resources have been put into defeating what cannot be defeated. The fight against the Taleban has been subsumed under that great and hazy thing called the War on Terror, which really is an absurd extension of Israel’s views of how you live in the Middle East. Insanity, pure and simple.
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So, even accepting your doubtful assumptions, the solution is to attack all of these places?

The war on terror is derived from Israel’s view of living in the Middle East. Israel sits, armed to teeth, with an armed forces and security establishment monstrously out of proportion to its size, and it has attacked every neighbor that it has, some more than once. It threatens every country within a thousand miles that demonstrates any independence of view, and it has used every dirty trick in the book to assault its perceived foes.

Nothing has been a more complete failure than Israel’s way of living with its neighbors.

It is a garrison state, constantly suffering from paranoia, reminding me much of the way people in Virginia in 1700s reacted to the circumstances of slavery, sleeping with guns and knives under their pillows and regularly being driven to excesses by fears of slave revolts.

It is not a model or an ideology to serve as anything of an example.

Indeed, a great deal of the discontent felt in Muslim countries relates to the great suppurating wound of Palestine/Israel, a natural human reaction to the great injustices and to the one-sidedness and injustice of American policy.

Solving a fundamental problem like that would go a great way towards reestablishing healthy relations with the world’s billion Muslims, but still, after decades of talk, we see no honest effort to do so. Instead we spend countless billions fighting phantoms.

JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ON THE FAMILIES OF SOME DEAD SOLDIERS PLEADING WITH HARPER TO STAY IN AFGHANISTAN   Leave a comment

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

“…stay course…”?

More stupid American war speech infecting Canada like a contagious disease.

Some Canadians now say “the boys” and we have the brainless McGuinty offering of “the Highway of Heroes.”

And, of course, the pathetic, stick-on plastic yellow ribbons.

Our CBC Radio in its decline produced and broadcast an idiotic series called Afghanada. Every word and sound of that propaganda could have passed for something from America, save only the actor with the phony Newfoundland speech.

These are all signs of how destructive this business has been to Canadian values.

The Pentagon is like the fabled tar-baby. You can’t touch it without pitch stuck to your hands.

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“… I disrespected parents of dead soldiers?”

Sorry, but there’s another example of trash American speech.

There is no such word as “disrespected.” You “show disrespect,” unless you come from Arkansas or the streets of Detroit.

Further, if parents have the sheer arrogance to beg the government to stay in the killing business just to make the loss of their children somehow more meaningful, they themselves are opening the door to justified attacks on their judgment.

Having lost someone doesn’t give you a special right to advocate like that. It is shameful and abusive.

It is exactly the kind of non-think we see in America’s professional-victim society.

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“Sorry, old bean. Disrespect may also be used as a transitive verb”

Only by those who also use barbarities like “flied out.”

War is, if you will, the secret life of chimpanzees. It is when humans drop all the rules and decencies we have patiently built up over time and set out to murder, rape, and destroy.

That’s why, for example, soldiers in Afghanistan are warned by the Canadian authorities to ignore the bloody rapes of boys that take place regularly in this place we’re supposed to be saving.

Many have witnessed our own allies and workers like interpreters literally leaving children bleeding on the ground from gang rapes.

I point out that I believe the corruption of language reflects this corruption of values.

America has been a society dedicated to war for decades. It has killed millions needlessly, three million just in Vietnam.

Propagandists now are working overtime to alter our culture in the same direction.

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“Most of us have the power to use logic and factual information. Use it.”

Thus says someone whose entire comment shows little of either.

The Taliban were the government of the country, and they attacked no one. The U.S. invasion drove them out.

The very word “insurgents” is a weasel-word. The Taliban are not invaders. They are not foreigners. They are a large portion of the population of the place.

The governors America has put in their place belonged to the Northern Alliance, people every bit as backward as the Taliban, their former opponents. Indeed, it was the Northern Alliance who permitted bin Laden to reside in Afghanistan.

After the Russians withdrew, the Northern Alliance took power, and ran the country the way a bloodthirsty mafia would. There was chaos in the streets. Fighting everywhere. Injustice everywhere. Corruption everywhere.

The Taliban actually were formed as a “clean government” party, and they did clean things up on taking power, as for instance by totally stopping opium production.

They are not to our tastes, but, believe me, none of the parties in Afghanistan are. They all have 14th century views because the country lives in the 14th century.

Indeed, the drugs are pouring out of Afghanistan, completely ignored by the U.S. because it is some of their people profiting.

You want modernity? You help the economy develop. You do not bomb people.

America went there to kill, it went for vengeance. Everything else is window-dressing. And Canadian soldiers are part of the decorations.