Friday, August 10, 2007

Afghanistan is post-imperialism for slow learners

Simon Jenkins, in the Guardian, says that "It takes inane optimism to see victory in Afghanistan".

Well, Canada has plenty of both inane optimism and slow learners, with an unfortunately high percentage of them being in upper level government positions.

"...[I]raq is post-imperialism for fast learners, Afghanistan for slow ones.

"...[I]n the provinces, the Americans are running a guerrilla army out of Bagram, trying to kill as many "Taliban" or "al-Qaida" as possible, while the British heroically re-enact the Zulu wars down in Helmand. Neither takes any notice of President Hamid Karzai, whose deals with warlords, druglords, Iranians and Taliban collaborators are probably the best hope of stabilising Afghanistan when the foreign occupation is over. But since that is claimed by Britain to be virtually never, the only certainty is a rising tempo of insurgency.

We don't know what we're doing, so we'll just blow them up instead.

"...[T]hen there is the bombing of Pashtun villages for sheltering the Taliban. Thousands of civilians have died as a result, inducing hostility to occupying forces and a desire for revenge that recruits thousands to the cause of killing western troops. But soldiers sent to fight the Taliban have been ill-equipped and outgunned and needed air support, while air forces have craved a "battlefield role". Again, the policy is known to be counterproductive yet continues because it delivers a cheap [solution].

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