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Nov-20-2009 01:01printcomments

Graft, Corruption and Cheap Politics in America are Winning the War for the Taliban

The old Taliban is gone. This is a reality we haven't even considered. The realities of power in Afghanistan have shifted, changed permanently. They can go back but only so far back.

Faces of men recorded all over Afghanistan in 2006 and 2007. They represent different cultures and tribes and represent the diversity of this ancient land. Salem-News.com photos by Tim King

(CINCINNATI, Ohio) - Even if analysts existed who understood Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and the other countries of this region, their history, their people and why war and threat of war is a way of life, even if America's "decision makers" knew how ill conceived our policies are, how self defeating and how hopeless, we would make the same mistakes. We have willed ourselves this fate.

Everyone is advising the US, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Great Britain, Israel and our European "allies." Who is Congress, the Pentagon and the American people listening to? They hear fiction driven by party politics, hate groups, defense contractors and the great lobbies, big oil and Israel that buy and sell Generals and members of Congress like spoiled food from a vending machine.

This powerful voice of ignorance and greed has only one purpose, to stifle rational decision making, honest debate and intelligent policy formulation based on real national interest. Its goal? Pouring billions into the pockets of the few, billions onto the nation's overburdened debt and thousands of our children into graves.

Look at General McChrystal's request for a "surge." Dr. Richard North equates this with the British policy in the region of a century ago called "Butcher and Bolt." The British, when confronted with one of the endless tribal rebellions started by religious extremists in Afghanistan, rebellions identical to the one we have now, would send in a military force, kill everything in sight in a specific area and leave, "bolt" as it were. Then they would return with bribe money which would be gladly accepted. Is this policy brutal? Yes, of course. Did it work? Yes, of course it worked. Will our policies that ignore these lessons work? Of course not, we will be kind, we will build democracy and we will kill tens of thousands in the process in the name of Political Correctness and civilization.

We are too weak, too civilized and too self hating to be able to play in Afghanistan. We simply don't know the rules.

Afghanistan isn't going to be democratic, not ever. Afghanistan will change, modernize and have to move toward the 20th century. Even the Taliban of a few years ago has begun to learn that their extreme policies, extreme but less extreme than some other American allies, will have to change.

The old Taliban is gone. This is a reality we haven't even considered. The realities of power in Afghanistan have shifted, changed permanently. They can go back but only so far back.

Let's examine the military buildup that opponents of the President demand he accept without question. General McChrystal would send in 40 thousand, 50 thousand even a hundred thousand new troops into land-locked Afghanistan. His reasons for this? He says he needs them to support his current failed effort and bring about some sort of victory. This is insane. What would actually happen is different, as we have already learned from our last smaller surge.

* Our military presence is seen as foreign support for an unpopular Durrani government in Kabul, a government closely aligned with India against Pakistan, our military ally against the Taliban, turning a minor tribal rebellion into outright war simply because America is involved.

* Increased activity in and around Helmand Province by Marines has only served to recruit more and more Taliban and

* Create a new and much larger Taliban presence in Baluchostan, creating a new war front, a new Taliban where there was no Taliban

* McChrystal's huge new Afghan army will never fight in the south. This army has one purpose, to stand against Pakistan in support of India. It will never fight the Taliban.

* Instead, Pakistan will be prevented from securing their own border region because of increased threat from, not only India but Afghanistan and

* Thousands of fighters in Southern Wazeristan sent from Kashmir and supplied and financed by India.

* America is unable to logistically support this new larger force in a land locked country, not without giving up key military programs much more vital to our national security.

* Our technolgical weapons have not worked in Afghanistan as we had hoped. We can punish but we can't control.

The real conflict in Afghanistan is a war of surrogacy between India and Pakistan, not a war on terror, a war against the Taliban or an attempt to unite a country that can only settle its own problems if the United States immediately leaves.

How many thousands of trucks do you think will have to come into Afghanistan at $500 apiece in "toll" to supply the new troops McChrystal is requesting? Did you know we are paying this money, millions each month, directly to the Taliban?

This could actually be the primary financing for their war, money paid by America to secure the safe transit of our supplies to fight the war we are financing against ourselves.

Are we that stupid? Of course we are.

Are there solutions? Yes, there are solutions and everyone knows but not everyone is ready to accept them.

* India and Pakistan have to learn to live together, settle their differences and move past 60 years of cold and hot war. They have no choice but neither country admits this.

* We have to leave Afghanistan. Karzai must go because he is weak. Afghanistan is a country with warlike tribes who fight because it is what they do.

* The artificial border between Afghanistan and Pakistan that splits families not unlike the Berlin Wall, needs to be reassessed. Currently this region is being used by India to destabilize Pakistan on one side of the border and the other side is in open warfare against the government in Kabul. It may take a war to make peace, but not a war involving America.

* Balulchostan, region divided up by Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan should be allowed a national identity. This is a vital area for economic development but has been engulfed in the regional war in all three countries.

As long as America is kept from recognizing the reality of the regional conflicts and geopolitical histories of the region, relationships that have long involved Russia and China as well, we will never understand why we are fighting, why we shouldn't be fighting and why we should leave, not win, not lose, simply go.

Supporting our troops isn't sending them to do the impossible. It isn't failure to win, its worse, fighting a war we were suckered into, suckered by Washington lobbyists, suckered by ignorant politicians with no understanding of history, suckered by allies who may be allies but not friends, suckered by a national addiction to playing tough, wanting to win wars, an addiction to tough talk and sacrifice, talk by people lining their pockets and sacrifice by troops given impossible tasks then thrown away with the trash when they no longer are of use.

Driving this is hundreds of millions of dollars spent by profiteers who buy our military leaders, mislead our decision makers, flood our media with disinformation and have made the words patriotism and whoredom mean the same thing. This constitutes the definition of "force multiplier."

When everything you are doing is wrong, self defeating and you are fighting where there is not only no exit strategy but every "winning" scenario is as bad or worse than the losing ones, no enemy could ask for a better ally than the continual political backstabbing that goes on in American Politics 101 and the "Politicians for Sale, Buy Two, Get One Free" system that has entrenched itself at the heart of our government.

When we created a system where each department of government, Defense, State, CIA, Homeland Security and Congress accepted the idea that whoever told the biggest lie or hid the most bad news would win, we could be assured we, as a people, would lose. We are seeing that now.


Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran and a regular contributor to Veterans Today. He specializes in political and social issues. You can see a large collection of Gordon's published articles at this link: VeteransToday.com.

He is an outspoken advocate for veterans and his powerful words have brought about change. Gordon is a lifelong PTSD sufferer from his war experiences and he is empathetic to the plight of today's veterans also suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We greatly appreciate the opportunity to feature Gordon's timely and critical reports on Salem-News.com, a news organization staffed by a number of veterans, particularly former U.S. Marines.

You can send Gordon Duff an email at this address: Gpduf@aol.com

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Marty November 22, 2009 6:36 am (Pacific time)

 "I know very little about Afghanistan, so some information on it is interesting. What I can observe is that it is very strange for a us to be over there telling tribes that have been around far longer than are own nation how to conduct their business"

Whacked!  At least children in North America can go to McDonald's and school without getting acid thrown in their faces.  Your kind of passive thinking is just what terrorists love.  They would love to get their hands around your slender neck too!

Editor: Marty, you are thinking about India, not Afghanistan.  Not to say that the acid throwing thing hasn't ever happened there, maybe it has, but this is a problem of the Punjab people in India.  For the record, children in Afghanistan used to live differently also.  I take offense to your last line toward our writer, no doubt plenty of people would like to wring your neck too. 

Henry Ruark November 21, 2009 10:01 am (Pacific time)

Seeing the forest becomes all that much harder when one can recognize, name, and historicize each tree... Yours here helps many to see not only those trees but what the forest really covers, too. For our causative attitudes for such overwhelming non-wisdom despite 250 learning years (which should surely beat "moments !), we might well start with that myth re "Government IS the problem !" --and what then followed close behind with tax slashes and no offsetting wise action.

Winder November 20, 2009 4:36 pm (Pacific time)

Zinger! Love that vending machine analogy. Someone needs to forward this story to Obama before he makes the biggest mistake of his first year in office.

Ersun Warncke November 20, 2009 11:06 am (Pacific time)

Thank you for this perspective. I know very little about Afghanistan, so some information on it is interesting. What I can observe is that it is very strange for a us to be over there telling tribes that have been around far longer than are own nation how to conduct their business. What exactly do we offer them: build some banks, and a mcdonalds? our stupid, corrupt, and deceitful form of government? That seems absurd to me. The impression I get is that they are happy to take bribes, sell us their poppy, and buy our guns, but that is the extent of their desire to engage with our culture. I recall reading a story about the insurrection in Pakistan, which stated that the first thing the rioting people did was burn all of the banks. I was impressed that these supposedly ignorant people are functioning on a much higher level than the average westerner.

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