Tuesday, August 28, 2007

No such thing as a good war or a bad peace

From Seamus Milne in the Guardian:

How can this bloody failure be regarded as a good war?

"For Afghans, six years after they were supposed to have been liberated, life is getting worse. As the International Committee of the Red Cross reported two months ago, the humanitarian situation is deteriorating and civilians are suffering "horribly" from growing insecurity and violence in an increasingly dirty war. The fighting in the south has driven 80,000 from their homes, and the civilian casualty rate has doubled over the past year: more than 200 were killed by US and other Nato troops in June alone - far more than are estimated to have been killed in Taliban attacks. The savagery of indiscriminate US aerial bombardments provoked violent demonstrations and is widely seen as having increased support for the Taliban's armed campaign.

Given the manifest failure of the occupation to bring either peace or development to Afghanistan, it's not immediately obvious why it's still considered by some to be a good war - though a majority of Britons, Canadians, Italians and Germans, it should be said, want their troops withdrawn."

...[O]f course there was a time, in the 1970s and 1980s, when girls were encouraged to go to school and university in Afghanistan, women accounted for almost half the country's teachers and civil servants and the government redistributed land to the rural poor. But the US spent billions of dollars to destroy it in a cold war coup de grace and laid the foundations for the jihadist Frankenstein of al-Qaida in the process. Gordon Brown now claims Afghanistan is "the frontline against terrorism". In reality, the key to the al-Qaida threat lies in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and the dictatorial regimes the west sponsors there, while its support is fuelled by the occupations of Iraq, Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories.

He points out that the majority of citizens in the U.K., Canada, Italy and Germany want their soldiers out of there - now. But why listen to the citizens, eh? After seizing the reins of power, they will have to be "pried out of their cold dead hands". Being able to strut about the world stage is more important than dead soldiers and Afghan civilians, shattered families, destroyed homes and livelihoods, ruined countries, and wasted resources.

No comments:

Post a Comment