SPEAKING FREELY US warriors in search of Afghan peace
By Mahboob A Khawaja
Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest writers to have their say. Please click hereif you are interested in contributing.
War is not accessible through the understanding, rationally, intellectually, by watching a film or by reading a book. To "know" war, you have to experience it, live it, feel it in your gut the anxiety, fear, frustration, boredom, hopelessness, despair, anger, rage, etcetera. In truth, warriors exist in a world totally incomprehensible to those who have never had the misfortune of experiencing the horrors of the battlefield. - Professor Camillo "Mac" Bica, School of Visual Arts, New York City and an activist of Peace and Justice
Wars are planned and executed by sadistic and cruel minds - characters which cultivate fear and hatred, and certainly not by
the rational people exercising human intellect, foresight, dignity and accountability in global affairs. Most could best be described as human beings equipped with monstrous egos pursuing favorite perversions.
If you were to ask why America invaded Afghanistan some 12 years ago, moral and intellectual bankruptcy would rank highly as the reasons. George W Bush posted a 48-hour ultimatum to the then Taliban-led government of Afghanistan to hand-over Osama bin Laden, the accused master mind of the 9/11 attacks on America. The Taliban-led Afghan Government asked for proof of the accusations. America had none except theories and frustrated words. Hurriedly, American troops supported by Britain and other hired nations landed there to occupy the land of the Afghan people. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization was instantly transformed to take up a new role but ill-defined war against Afghanistan.
As a result of this the single act by Bush, some 40,000 Afghans have been killed, with women and innocent children buried in mass graves. Last week, America announced it would hold peace talks with the Taliban, the group or political entity they have fought for 12 years.
The facts on the ground are damning. America and its allies killed thousands but could achieve nothing else. They agreed to end the military occupation in 2014. They desperately need a strategically convenient and safe passage out of Afghanistan.
American leaders and Europeans are not telling the truth when they say that the end-game will be pursued in collaboration with the Taliban, not with Hamad Karzai, the Western-installed president of Afghanistan. American leaders are hiding the vital facts of the plan - that they urgently needed the physical routes and help of Pakistan and Iran to manage this withdrawal.
How can the leaders of these two nations come out to embrace American military interests and priorities whereby, when the US has continued to undermine their existence with warmongering and drone attacks and moral and intellectual insults to their existence? Are global relations a one way street?
While individualism is a political trait, individualistic absolutism is a political sickness and contrary to the principles of liberty and justice.
"These are the times that try men's soul", wrote Thomas Paine in Common Sense (1776), the political vision and reference for the independence of America from Britain as a nation. Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and so many others contributed to the making of a democratic America. But what was built during the historical struggle for freedom has been destroyed by George W Bush, Dick Cheney and Barack Obama in coercing and demeaning it.
They disturbed the soul of Paine and Jefferson and of countless fine politicians when they waged the bogus war on terror. In the process, the US lost its moral and political capacity to possess any weight and value in global affairs.
For over two decades, America has been run by paranoid and vengeful politicians striving to restore individualistic political credibility through the logic of power. There is no trust, no mutual sense of respect to figure out how to deal with the future. America and its paid allies went there to kill people and they did the job. Now, they want to come out in peace and want peace talks.
Diplomacy is meant to explore all rational thinkable and unthinkable horizons to enhance peace, not wars. But the warmongers never allowed diplomacy to play its role. If diplomacy was the supreme value, there was no challenge for America to invade and occupy Afghanistan. The real aim was to exploit the abundance of Afghan's natural resources and destroy all those who will oppose the grand American design.
This week's revelations by Edward Snowden are a clear reflection of this perpetuated ignorance and obvious arrogance. The US's ruling elite assumes that the masses are ill-informed and that the public can be duped into another 9/11 myth and its supposedly spill-over impacts.
The security illusions and violations of the American liberties are fast falling apart as Snowden showed courage and determination to expose the secret impulses of overriding the rights and freedom of the American people.
In the 21st century, the 200-year-old propaganda - that the American people control their government - has been completely shattered. Both the Bush and Obama regimes have made it clear that the American people don't even influence, much less control, their government.
As far as Washington is concerned, the people are nothing but chaff in the wind. Washington's double-speak is now obvious to the world. Not only Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but also the Russians, Chinese, Iranians, and every US puppet state, which includes all of NATO and Japan, are fully aware that Washington is again lying through its teeth.
America and its belligerent allies have caused social, economic and political havoc in Afghanistan. The war and its consequences will not end in 2014 but will leave imprints for generations to come - the innocent men, women and children massacred and human habitats destroyed.
Should America and its allies not be held accountable by the Afghan people for all the war damages? Are the current peace talks a time-killing exercise aimed at face saving or gaining more time and ground to finish the job in Afghanistan and onward to Pakistan?
Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest writers to have their say.Please click hereif you are interested in contributing. Articles submitted for this section allow our readers to express their opinions and do not necessarily meet the same editorial standards of Asia Times Online's regular contributors.
Dr Mahboob A Khawaja specializes in global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest, Global Peace and Conflict Management: Man and Humanity in Search of New Thinking, Lambert Publishing Germany, May 2012.