Royally Kranked

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Afghanistan Slides Towards The Taliban Abyss

Every day the news gets worse regarding the Administration's response to the 9-11 attacks

The Iraq horror show claims more victims each successive month than the one previous

The Administration's strategy of battling supposed "Islamic Fascists" has done nothing but embolden and increase the political power of those derided by W's inflammatory and false label

In combating the theological extremism W finds problematic across the middle east, the President replaced a formerly US-backed secular tyrant, shifting the political power structure to favor those Iraqi Mullahs seeking deeper ties with their Iranian clerical brethren

And then, W pushes Israel into over-reacting to Hezbollah's deliberate provocation of capturing two soldiers in a military raid that left one other dead

It was yet another glaring military & political failure by an Administration that has achieved none of it's stated objectives regarding the projection of US military power in an increasingly intense part of an already unsettled globe: By Israel's inability to do publicly noticeable damage to Hezbollah's ability to rain down an ever-growing bloom of rockets deeper into Israel than had happened before, Hezbollah has been the first group of armed hostiles that Israel didn't clearly dominate overwhelmingly

Hezbollah's ability to survive, and efficiently combat, Israel's obvious military superiority has given it something this Administration's hawkish & bellicose foreign policies have lacked since dropping the first US bomb on Iraq in 2003


A legitimacy that won't easily be given up by, or wrenched away from, Hezbollah

Clearly, the most disastrous aspect of the US-backed campaign was Israel's belief that by hitting Lebanese civilians and infrastructure hard enough, the Lebanese public would turn on Hezbollah with major denunciations resulting in an immediate loss of political & military power for Hezbollah, to the point that the Katyushas would stop raining down on Israel

Why anyone thinks "collective punishment" would work the same with an entire country as it does during basic military training is a mystery, a conundrum unsolved by the fact that, instead of turning on Hezbollah, even those civilians in Lebanon who had been outspoken against Hezbollah ended up backing the group instead of attacking it

When our President huffily declared Hezbollah "defeated" in this round of armed conflict, some of his mental organizations inadvertently displayed themselves

President Bush Jr shows a clear inability to deal, logically, with hard, unpleasant realities, someone who can never, ever let anyone else be correct, hence his insistence on seeing his illogical and completely counterproductive policies and strategies as obvious successes when in fact they're the most glaring, blinding, overwhelming of failures

That W-someone who, in order to reassure himself about the rightness of his decisions, refuses to, or even more worrisome, CAN'T, ever concede unpleasant realities which make his leadership look other than all-powerful AND benign-is in charge of our military is a dangerous reality that others can, do and have easily manipulate for political gain, most notably the incredibly sweet deal India got from the W Adminstration regarding a nuclear-based military program completely off-limits to any inspection or oversight

A Commander In Chief increasingly susceptible to easy and overt manipulation from those he states we're at war with, from those he states we must oppose at every possible opportunity if we are to survive as a nation, while simultaneously avoiding another large-scale terrorist attack on US soil, that's who has the final say in the US

And now, perhaps the most-infuriating aspect of W's publicly stated 9-11 response, the deposing of the Taliban in Afghanistan-Why that's infuraiting is that they're quickly re-establishing themselves throughout growing areas of the country, and even more rapidly returning to their bloodthirsty ways

Mea Culpa here: I completely agreed with the military strikes on Afghanistan in retaliation for the 9-11 attacks, clearly it was stupid for any country that housed al-Qaeda to think the US wouldn't strike back, hard, for the carnage of that date

To not hit back was NOT an option, politically, realistically, militarily or logically

That said, the civilian command structure of the US military has the same cavalier outlook on Afghanistan civilians wrongly killed by US forces, and there's no way to spin the Afghanistan dead, maimed & traumatized wrongly by that same US civilian command structure as somehow less undeserving of their fate as the 9-11 victims were of theirs

Since I absolutely despise fanatics, I always thought we owed it to the Afghanistan people to take out the Taliban monster our anti-Soviet polices in that region helped create after the Soviet military left Afghanistan in disgrace and ruin

Any group that so joyfully executes civilians as a warning to others is an abomination that should be crushed just as ruthlessly, same goes for any group that joyfully destroys it's own amazing cultural heritage as the Taliban did when it destroyed the Bamiyan Buddhas about 6 months before the US invasion

There's another aspect of W's mentality that must be brought into the issue

He despises his father, make no doubt of that, he didn't want revenge against Saddam Hussein because of Hussein's assassination plot against Bush Sr. No, Bush Jr wanted to do what his father couldn't, depose Saddam Hussein

What W stayed willfully ignorant about, but what his father knew, was that the problem was NOT deposing Saddam Hussein from power, although that was as deep as W allowed himself to see actual military objective

The problem was that Bush Jr didn't care, or think about, what happened to Iraq AFTER Saddam was removed from power

And in not planning for anything that occured after Saddam's deposal, the Administration has taken it's focus off Afghanistan, which is now resulting an ever stregthening resurgence of the Taliban in areas they'd been pushed from in just the recent past

And here's what that Administrative policy is bringing about in Afghanistan

Taliban's terror tactics reconquer Afghanistan

If we die, we are martyrs - if we live, we are victors," say the Taliban in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province. They have taken control of the area in less than two weeks. For, with ever accelerating speed, the Taliban are reconquering south-west Afghanistan from the government, American and Nato forces sent to fight them.


Besmillah - many Afghans only have one name - says that the Taliban search everyone on the road. "I went through three Taliban checkpoints and one government checkpoint by the time I made it to Kandahar. The Taliban were in control right up to Solahan, about 25 km west of Kandahar. They look for papers and check the mobile phones. If a number stored in the phone seems suspicious, they call it. And if the voice answers in English, they immediately kill the owner of the mobile. They don't let anyone from outside the villages go into the area."

Because of the Administration's numerous and overwhelming failures in Iraq, we miss the ever-grimmer picture developing in Afghanistan, including a resurgent Taliban we had-prematurely as it turned out-hoped crushed

That unsightly visual is a formerly vanquished group of joyously hateful theological thugs, happiest when dealing misery, pain, anguish and death to those lacking fervent enough faith in a God dispensing the most righteous & harshest of sanctions for the most minute of supposed heresies

In Helmand province, where the Taliban also control most of the area - except for the municipality - despite the presence of 4,000 British troops, a 70-year-old woman and her son were hanged by the Taliban on charges of spying for the government.

The complete and utter failure of every Administrative foreign policy is most shameful regarding Afghanistan, the inability to see the US long-term interests-when we funded & armed the mujahedin, then just broke off all relations after the Soviet army withdrew-is what led to the evntual creation of the Taliban, a group at first welcomed by the Afghanistan citizens themselves, as the Taliban proved to be the only ones capable of stopping the nonstop violence dealt out by the numerous warlords & militias battling amongst each other after collapse of the Soviet's puppet Govt

Unfortunately, the Taliban came to be far worse than those they deposed, and a group so extreme that even the Mullahs in Iran refused to recognize it as the legitimate Afghan Govt

This is a group that undoubtedly enjoyed the terror they inflicted on their victims immediately before their public murders/executions

Make no mistake, if the resources devoted to Iraq had instead been appropriated for the Afghanistan campaign-while recognizing how much harder those same Iraq efforts are due to the Administration's deliberate sanctioning of rampant corporate corruption with no-bid, no-oversight contracts for the Iraq occupation-the chances the Taliban successfully claw their way ever quicker to political power again are far less likely

Perhaps the best way to try and achieve even the slightest modicum of success, or reduce the mass hatred of the US across the world by even a smidgen, would be to target those resources and troops withdrawn from Iraq through Afghanistan where logically possible and real-world applicable

To allow the Taliban to come back to life after we had them scattered and running seems the very height of an ultimately wasteful, squandered mission, a military and political collapse all the worse because it wouldn't have happened but for the radical neocons expansionist agenda that neatly dovetailed with a massive campaign of corporate corruption in Iraq

"Mission Accomplished" Indeed


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