West Won’t Win Afghan War
By Eric Margolis
Sun" -- -- As Canadian, American and British
soldiers continue to die in Afghanistan, it is time the truth be
told about this ugly little war.
Much of what we’ve so far been told by our governments and media
has been untrue, wishful thinking, or crass jingoism.
The respected European think tank, Senlis Council, which focuses
on Afghanistan, just reported the Taliban is “taking back
Afghanistan” and now controls that nation’s southern half.
According to Senlis, southern Afghanistan is suffering “a
humanitarian crisis of starvation and poverty.
“U.S. policies in Afghanistan have re-created the safe haven for
terrorism that the 2001 invasion aimed to destroy,” Senlis
Claims that withdrawing Western garrisons from Afghanistan or
Iraq will leave a void certain to be filled by extremists are
nonsense. Half of Afghanistan and a third of Iraq are already
largely controlled by anti-Western resistance forces.
Were it not for omnipotent U.S. airpower, American and NATO
forces would be quickly driven from the area.
Last week, Canadian and British commanders boasted they were
about to annihilate Taliban forces “surrounded” around Panjwai
and Zahri. They crowed about already killing an “estimated 500
After a storm of bombing and shelling, British and Canadian
commanders admitted “we were surprised the enemy had fled.”
“Good Morning, Afghanistan!” Doesn’t anyone remember the Vietnam
War’s fruitless search-and-destroy missions and inflated body
counts? Don’t NATO commanders know their every move is
telegraphed in advance to Taliban forces?
Did Canadian officers making such fanciful claims really believe
the Taliban’s veteran guerillas would be stupid enough to sit
still and be destroyed by U.S. air power?
U.S., British and Canadian politicians say they are surprised by
intensifying Taliban resistance. They have only their own
ignorance to blame.
Attacking Pashtuns, renowned for xenophobia, warlike spirits,
and love of independence, is a fool’s mission. Pashtuns are
Afghanistan’s ethnic majority; long-term national stability is
impossible without their co-operation.
What the West calls “Taliban” is actually a growing coalition of
veteran Taliban fighters led by Mullah Dadullah, other clans of
Pashtun tribal warriors, and nationalist resistance forces under
Jalalladin Hakkani and former prime minister Gulbadin Hekmatyar.
Many are former mujahadeen once hailed as “freedom fighters” by
the West, and branded “terrorists” by the Soviets.
The UN’s anti-narcotic agency reports narco-state Afghanistan
now supplies 92% of the world’s heroin. Production surged 20%
last year alone. Who is responsible? The U.S. and NATO.
Washington, Ottawa and London can’t keep pretending this is
someone else’s problem. Drug money fuels the Afghan economy and
keeps local warlords loyal to the U.S.-installed Kabul regime.
Afghanistan’s north has become a sphere of influence of Russia
and its local allies, the Uzbek-Tajik Northern Alliance (led by
notorious war criminals and leaders of the old Afghan Communist
The U.S. and its allies are not going to win the Afghan war.
They will be lucky, the way things are going, not to lose it in
the same humiliating manner the Soviets did in 1989.
Ottawa’s deepening involvement in a conflict in which it lacks
any national interests — save pleasing Washington and selling
lumber — jeopardizes Canada’s security.
Western troops are not fighting “terrorism” in Afghanistan, as
Prime Minister Stephen Harper claims. They are fighting the
Afghan people. Every new civilian killed, and every village
bombed, breeds new enemies for the West.
© 2006 The Toronto Sun
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