Re-enter the U.S.

Another surge, more deaths, more senselessness in the Global War on Terror – now renamed under “contingencies” (contingency: dependence on chance or on the fulfillment of a condition; uncertainty; fortuitousness) as in USARCENT – U.S. Army Central Command, responsible for the Middle East and Eastern Africa. Now that is a scary concept – with no plan other than global full spectrum dominance, now the remaining but unspoken attitude within the Obama government, the U.S. forces are to rely on contingencies, chance opportunities to destabilize and disrupt anyone who gets in their way.

The first step was into Pakistan. The second step is the ‘surge’ in Afghanistan after the purported success of the Iraqi surge. Part of that step is reinforcement of the Canadian forces in the southern Kandahar region. As reported in the Canadian news, there are “Several new wrinkles in the military situation in Kandahar.” These new wrinkles involve “forward operation bases are now guarded by private security contractors, a U.S. infantry battalion is now working alongside the Van Doos [a well known Canadian regiment].[6]” Canada is looking more and more “American” every day (with apologies to all those who are Americans but do not live in the U.S.).

Afghanis must “step up”

Another fallacy that is generated by invaders/occupiers is the necessity of the occupied peoples to step to the plate (for those not understanding this metaphor, it refers to the U.S. traditional game of baseball) and take responsibility for their country and its violence and lack of democracy, the typical ‘victim is responsible for the crime’ scenario.

Canada’s Minister of National Defence, Peter MacKay, reiterates this line: “He said that [political reconciliation] will only be successful if it is led by strong leadership through the Afghan people themselves, who are not afraid to reach out to those who are considered part of the “moderate Taliban.” Well and good, but Canada and the other countries should then get out and let them get on with it. The results might be very bloody for a short while, but the resolution will be theirs, genuinely theirs, and at first it may appear much worse than even the real and imagined problems of Taliban rule, but it would be theirs.

There is no way to have “strong leadership through the Afghan people themselves” when there are so many foreign interests in the country. As long as the U.S. and its mercenaries remain, any occupying force will be viewed as an unnecessary agent, and any local government working with them will be looked upon by some part of the population as lackeys, sycophants, and quislings with no strong leadership arising other than some powerful drug or war lord, the very people the invading forces argue they are trying to get rid of.

Canada is not alone in this. It is a line supported by most of the U.S. allies in the country, a line of propaganda that is fully irrational, as the victim of the invaders is deemed responsible for cleaning up the mess. With an election underway, and the majority of the citizens not wanting the military to be in Afghanistan, Chancellor Merkel of Germany argued that, “the international community needed to “apply pressure [on Kabul] in order to find a way to get the Afghans to appreciate that they have to take responsibility step by step … so that the international engagement can be reduced.”[9]

Great words Peter and Angela, but not very logical.

Grand finale – “Give me a rocket launcher….”

I must admit the title is more of a teaser, a buy in line that anything truly worthy of any lengthy discussion. But I will end on it as it highlights the non-rational thinking required to maintain wars.

Canadian singer/song writer Bruce Cockburn visited Guatemala during which the indigenous people of the area he was visiting were attacked by army helicopters (probably U.S. made and supplied). From that he wrote a song that described the emotions and atrocities of the attack:

Here come the helicopter — second time today
Everybody scatters and hopes it goes away
How many kids they’ve murdered only God can say
If I had a rocket launcher…I’d make somebody pay.
I don’t believe in guarded borders and I don’t believe in hate
I don’t believe in generals or their stinking torture states
And when I talk with the survivors of things too sickening to relate
If I had a rocket launcher…I would retaliate
On the Rio Lacantun one hundred thousand wait
To fall down from starvation — or some less humane fate.
Cry for Guatemala, with a corpse in every gate
If I had a rocket launcher…I would not hesitate
I want to raise every voice — at least I’ve got to try.
Every time I think about it water rises to my eyes.
Situation desperate echoes of the victims cry
If I had a rocket launcher…some sonofabitch would die. [10]

From that several warrior inconsistencies arise. It is obvious he was affected by a military attack on indigenous people. Yet at the same time there is a strong cry for retribution, for revenge, very similar to the U.S. impulse to go into Afghanistan militarily, when their political negotiators might have succeeded in extricating bin Laden had they been given the time, or the much vaunted skills of various special forces groups combined with international police work should have been able to do the same thing – but it makes more money and gives more regional control to actually invade and occupy the place. War, seemingly, begets more war (and war profits).

The second inconsistency is black becoming white. It appears okay for the Guatemalan villagers to be seeking revenge for a military attack on their homes, but when it comes to Afghanistan, the revenge mode somehow shifts or disappears and the indigenous people now have the rocket launcher aimed at them. Mr. Cockburn’s brother is a medic within the Canadian forces, the probable explanation for this double standard, but I would doubt that either truly knows the context of the full situation in Afghanistan.

Let’s get out

As I have written several times in the last couple years, Canada (and others) should get out of Afghanistan. After a period of turmoil, perhaps under different auspices and without external harassment and the false cries engendered by the cultural ignorance of the western elites, we might be able to go back in and truly help the people of Afghanistan. It won’t be easy and it won’t be quick, but the first stage, getting out, needs to be done as quickly as possible.

____________________

[1] see http://www.angus-reid.com/issue/C57/P30/

[2] “Seven killed, one Canadian wounded in Afghan pre-election attack.” Matthew Fisher, Canwest News Service.

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Seven+killed+Canadian+wounded+Afghan+election+attack/1897642/story.html

[3]Paul Wells, “It just keeps getting harder to believe in Afghanistan.” MacLean’s, September 14, 2009.

[4] “GG says war in Afghanistan far from ‘lost cause’ ” Canada Press,

Wednesday, September 9 2009. http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090909/jean_afghanistan_0909

[5] “Canadian governor general visits troops in Afghanistan.” Yahoo News, Wednesday, September 09, 2009.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/090909/canada/afghanistan_unrest_canada

[6] “Canadian troops living among Afghans to pressure Taliban.” Matthew Fisher, Canwest News Service.

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Canadian+troops+living+among+Afghans+pressure+Taliban/1882154/story.html

[7] “Surge of U.S. troops will make ‘positive difference’ in Afghanistan: MacKay.” Linda Nguyen, Canwest News Service, July 28, 2009

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Surge+troops+will+make+positive+difference+Afghanistan+MacKay/1837879/story.html

[8] “Afghan war reaches a tipping point.” M K Bhadrakumar. Asia Times, September 09, 2009. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/KI09Df03.html

[9] I deleted my actual source reference to this quote, but entering “Angela Merkel Afghanistan” onto Google will provide enough hits (1, 660,000) to see what she is doing.

[10] Chiapas, Mexico and Toronto, February and April 1983

http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/b/bruce_cockburn/if_i_had_a_rocket_launcher.html

Played for Canadian troop September 10, 2009. forward operating base in the Panjwaii district of Afghanistan.