Stephen Lendman, Contributor
America came to stay. Accelerated withdrawal claims reflect subterfuge. Washington officials and media scoundrels don’t explain. Misinformation and illusion substitute for reality.
Reuters headlined “Obama, Karzai accelerate end of US combat role in Afghanistan.”
“Obama’s determin(ed) to wind down a long, unpopular war.”
The New York Times headlined “Obama Accelerates Transition of Security to Afghans.”
Obama is “eager to turn a page after more than a decade of war.”
“(B)eginning this spring American forces (will) play only a supporting role in Afghanistan.”
The Washington Post headlined “Obama announces reduced US role in Afghanistan starting this spring.” Plans are “for a small troop presence in the country after the American mission formally ends there in 2014.”
On January 11, Obama and Karzai’s joint press conference was more surreal than honest. Duplicitous doublespeak substituted for truth. “(T)ransition is well underway,” said Obama. Plans are for Afghan forces to replace Americans. By yearend 2014, they’ll “have full responsibility for their security, and this war will come to a responsible end.” At the same time, US forces will “continue to fight alongside (Afghans) when necessary.” Obama didn’t say what troop strength will remain.
By spring 2013, “our troops will have a different mission – training, advising, assisting Afghan forces. It will be a historic moment and another step toward full Afghan sovereignty.”
“Afghanistan (has) a long-term partner in the United States of America.”
It’s Washington’s longest war. Iraq and Afghanistan are its most costly ones.
Iraq boils out of sight and mind. Afghanistan rages. Experts agree. The war was lost years ago. It continues. Why US officials don’t explain.
A previous article discussed Lt. Colonel Daniel Davis. He assessed conditions accurately. His 84-page unclassified report called them disastrous.
“How many more men must die in support of a mission that is not succeeding,” he asked? His report’s opening comments said:
Senior ranking U.S. military leaders have so distorted the truth when communicating with the US Congress and American people in regards to conditions on the ground in Afghanistan that the truth has become unrecognizable.
This deception has damaged America’s credibility among both our allies and enemies, severely limiting our ability to reach a political solution to the war in Afghanistan.
His classified report was more explicit.
“If the public had access to these classified reports,” he explained, “they would see the dramatic gulf between what is often said in public by our senior leaders and what is actually true behind the scenes.”
“It would be illegal for me to discuss, use, or cite classified material in an open venue, and thus I will not do so.”
He traveled thousands of miles throughout the country. He spoke to US commanders, subordinates, and low-ranking soldiers. He talked at length with Afghan security officials, civilians and village elders.
What he learned bore no resemblance to rosy scenario official accounts. Insurgent forces control “virtually every piece of land beyond eyeshot of a US or International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) base.”
Everywhere he visited, “the tactical situation was bad to abysmal.”
Afghanistan’s government can’t “provide for the basic needs of the people.” At times, local security forces collude with insurgents.
Davis hoped to learn something positive. He “witnessed the absence of success on virtually every level.” One senior enlisted leader spoke for others. He hoped to get out alive in one piece.
Why war continues remains for Obama to explain. He dissembles instead.
Afghanistan is strategically important. It straddles the Middle East, South and Central Asia. It’s in the heart of Eurasia.
Occupation projects America’s military might. It targets Russia, China, Iran, and other oil-rich Middle East States. It furthers Washington’s imperium. It prioritizes unchallenged global dominance.
China and Russia matter most. Allied they rival US superpower strength. Beijing is economically robust. Russia’s nuclear capability and military pose the only threat to America’s formidable might.
Russia is also resource rich. Its oil reserves are vast. Its natural gas supply is the world’s largest. Expect neither country to roll over for Washington. They’re a vital last line of defense.
More on Washington’s plans below. A previous article discussed Afghanistan’s troubled history.
In his book titled, Freedom Next Time: Resisting the Empire, John Pilger addressed it, saying:
Through all the humanitarian crises in living memory, no country has been abused and suffered more, and none has been helped less than Afghanistan.
For centuries, Afghans endured what few can imagine. Marauding armies besieged cities, slaughtered thousands, and caused vast destruction.
Wherever US forces show up, mass killings, destruction and incalculable human misery follows. After over 11 years of war and occupation, Afghans perhaps suffer most of all.
Living conditions are deplorable. Millions remain displaced. Makeshift dwellings substitute for real ones. Little protection from harsh Afghan weather is afforded. People freeze to death in winter.
Dozens of children die daily. Millions have little or no access to clean water. Life expectancy is one of the world’s lowest. Infant mortality is one of the highest. So is pre-age five mortality. Electricity is scarce.
Extreme poverty, unemployment, human misery, and constant fear reflect daily life. Afghans worry about surviving. Many don’t get enough food. Forced evictions affect them. They lack healthcare, education, and other vital services.
Occupation related violence harms innocent men, women, children and infants. Civilians always suffer most. Washington prioritizes conquest, colonization, plunder and dominance. War without end rages. Human needs go begging.
Displaced Afghans lack virtually everything necessary to survive. Included are proper housing, clean water, sanitation, healthcare, education, employment, enough income, and sufficient food to avoid starvation.
America and Afghanistan’s puppet government don’t help. Karzai is a pathetic stooge. He’s a caricature of a leader. He wasn’t elected. He was installed. He’s a former CIA asset/UNOCAL Oil consultant.
He’s little more than Kabul’s mayor. He’s despised. He wouldn’t last five minutes unprotected anywhere.
Afghanistan is the world’s leading opium producer. During the 1990s, Taliban officials largely eradicated it. Washington reintroduced it.
Crime bosses and CIA profit hugely. So do major banks. Money laundering is a major profit center. An estimated $1.5 trillion is laundered annually. Around $500 billion reflects elicit drug money.
Obama lied about ending combat operations by 2014. America came to stay. Permanent occupation is planned. Washington’s empire of bases reflect it.
During WW II, Brits complained that Americans were “overpaid, overfed, oversexed, and over here.” They’re virtually everywhere now. Planet earth is Washington occupied territory. Bases vary in size.
National sovereignty rights are violated. America’s malevolent agenda is hostile. Public land is expropriated.
Toxic pollution, environmental damage, intolerable noise, violence, occupation related criminality, and unaccountability reflect Washington’s presence.
It’s hugely destructive. Afghanistan’s dystopian hell reflects it. Status of Forces Agreements (SOFA) establish a framework under which US forces operate abroad.
They provide an illusion of legitimacy. Nations are pressured and bullied to accept what harms their national interest.
In his book, The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic, Chalmers Johnson explained SOFAs as follows:
America’s foreign military enclaves, though structurally, legally, and conceptually different from colonies, are themselves something like microcolonies in that they are completely beyond the jurisdiction of the occupied nation.
The US virtually always negotiates a ‘status of forces agreement’ (SOFA) with the ostensibly independent ‘host’ nation.
They’re a modern-day version of 19th-century China’s extraterritoriality agreements. They granted foreigners charged with crimes the right to be tried by his (or her) own government under his (or her) own national law.
SOFAs prevent local courts from exercising legal jurisdiction over American personnel. Murder and rape go unpunished unless US officials yield to local authorities. Offenders are usually whisked out of countries before they ask.
America’s total number of SOFAs is unknown. Most are secret. Some are too embarrassing to reveal. America has hundreds of known, shared, and secret bases in over 150 countries.
Johnson said they “usurp, distort, or subvert whatever institutions of democratic (or other form of) government may exist with the host society.”
Their presence is troubling. Locals lose control of their lives. They have no say. There’s virtually no chance for redress. Permanent occupations harm most.
America built city-sized Iraq and Afghanistan super bases. They weren’t established to be abandoned. Washington came to stay. Both countries are US occupied territory.
Tens of thousands of private military contractors supplement military forces. Their skills range from technical to hired guns.
Obama suppressed Washington’s agenda. Permanent occupation is planned. America came to stay. Abandoning what’s strategically important won’t happen. How much longer Americans will tolerate war without end, they’ll have to explain.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at [email protected] His new book is titled How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/