Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Rules of Chaos in Afghanistan Today

Stephen Vizinczey wrote “The Rules of Chaos”, a much quoted book, which considered the problems offered by the Vietnam War. So Vizinczey can claim some authority as an analyst of American political and military strategies. An article by him in the UK Daily Telegraph, a broadsheet not known for leaning leftwards, had the headline:

Afghanistan is an unwinnable war, and our leaders know it. The only consequence of long-term conflict in Afghanistan, and anywhere else, is to increase the number of our enemies

For Vizinczey, the war in Afghanistan was lost long ago. The reason is one that is so plain to see that it is surprising Americans have not worked it out for themselves, even the rednecks with the IQ of a passenger pigeon who often call themselves Republicans. It is what Vizinczey calls an iron law of human conflict—almost everyone hates it when foreigners occupy their country forcing them to do what they do not want to do. People like to rule themselves, and anyone in a democracy ought to be glad to let them get on with it. Not Americans, though. They suffer from a self centered blindness that allows them to see good only in their own acts, however barbarous they might be, and blinds them to the complaints of others that they are indeed acting barbarously.

The aim of some New York Moslems to demolish an old tenement and convert it into a Moslem center, including a mosque, has some other New Yorkers objecting on the grounds that it is an insult to 3000 dead Americans, killed in the 9/11 atrocity of 2001. The Moslems wanting to build the Islamic center are not the ones who killed the 3000 Americans—they are, in fact, mainly Americans themselves. The Americans who object think it is insensitive that Moslems want to build a mosque so close to “ground zero”. As ever, these Americans can only see the motes in the eyes of the Moslems they consider as their antagonists. They never see the beams in their own eyes.

An imam suggested that Americans had some responsibility for the original atrocity, but few of them could see that, and accused him of being a terrorist himself! Killing 3000 innocent people is an incomprehendable and unpardonable act, but the killing of 2,000,000 Vietnamese was a shocking failure of “the good guys’” will. It is not at all evil to kill 2,000,000 peasants in a foreign land—their own—but to have the temerity to mount an effective retaliation when the Americans had used Zionists for decades to kill and humiliate Moslems in Palestine labels all Moslems as terrorists and their sympathizers. Americans cannot see that what is good for the goose is good also for the gander.

Why then does Obama persist in protracting the agony? Ignorance, perpetuated by the baneful influence of the US megarich class via their ownership of the media, the op-ed influence of their gentlemen servants among the academies, and the open scheming of the Washington caste of professional politicos. That is the thinking of the otherwise thoughtless, conditioned Pavlovian style. The ignorant majority, taking all its cues from the megarich, then forces any progressive US presidents to go with its views. Needless to say, this majority is gung ho about foreign invasions, persuaded that they are angels and the rest of the world are devils.

Obama continues the Afghan war because too many Americans have been persuaded by the gaggle of oil barons and gunrunners that rule the country that just one more push will bring victory. More troops are sent, more money spent on armaments, and energy demanding manufacturing, keeping the gunrunners and oil moguls happy, and US unemployment lower than the depression levels it would otherwise reach. No one seems to think the whole country, not to mention the peasants of Afghanistan, and unfortunates elsewhere suffering US torture and oppression, would be better off if workers manufactured socially useful products by working in health and welfare.

Vizinczey pointed out that there has to be a shared purpose between a population and the invading armies for an invasion to triumph. When the Americans fought in Europe, they were not fighting the people, who were themselves thoroughly opposed to the Nazi occupation. The Americans fought for over a decade in Vietnam and lost because they were fighting practically the whole people, not—as the propaganda made out—an invading army from the north, the communists. The situation was the same in Iraq, even though there was at first a considerable body of people glad to be shut of Saddam. The long period of US sanctions that had not harmed Saddam or his own cronies but only ordinary Iraqi children, the old, and the poor, alienated many. Subsequent murderous attacks like that on Fallujah alienated the rest.

It is still the same in Afghanistan. The propaganda story is the usual manifest rubbish, so easily believed by the brain dead redneck, that outsiders called Al Qaida, were causing the trouble, and the people welcomed them being attacked by the allies. As there turned out to be no one from Al Qaida conveniently handy to shoot, soon the enemy had become the Taliban, but they too were outsiders, or at least were morally—most people, especially women and children, did not want them to resume their oppressive rule. But the US soldier has never been bothered to distinguish one gook or raghead from another.

Now there are few Afghans who do not support the Taliban, because everyone wants the US and its allies out, and it is the Taliban who are determined enough to try to effect their eviction. Even Afghan soldiers are not interested in serving the putridly corrupt Hamid Karzai government, favored by the Americans. Why should it come as a shock that Afghan soldiers turn around and shoot the occupiers? These are the impatient ones. The patient ones are simply waiting until they get some autonomy, then they will get rid of the corrupt Karzai, and use their weapons to revert to home rule!

It’s simple enough—every enemy killed in a foreign country increases the number of enemies exponentially. In Afghanistan, the parents, the in-laws, the relatives of the dead, turn against the West. They may not take up arms and they may not join the Taliban, but they will certainly not oppose anybody who wants to kill the men who killed their loved ones.
Stephen Vizinczey

The military documents revealed by Wikileaks show what is obvious to everyone except a Yankee—Nato has been promoting Islamism by the day. Vizinczey argues that Bush would never have started the Aghan war without a deep faith in US invincibility. Faith, for a lunatic Christian, like Bush, and many more uncritical Americans is the appropriate word. They entertain the belief that “the good guy always wins”. Like the neoconservative belief that the truth is what you decide it to be, this is utterly self destructive. It requires the facts to be ignored in favor of hope and prayers—it conditions them to disregard all contrary evidence, just as Bush did over Saddam’s WMD.

The idiotic excuse for the war is the supposed necessity of defeating terrorists at source. Yet the terrorists who have been found in the UK have all been British Moslems, mainly of Pakistani descent. At home, terrorists can be tailed, their phones tapped, they can be seen on surveyance cameras, their language is our own. Were they to succeed, their success does not get them allies but angers the mass of the people. The truth is that we can fight terrorists here at home because the people are predominently on the side of legality, even the Moslems, reluctant though some are to accept that the Quran can be read in shocking ways by extremists.

In the UK only lunatics support bombing innocent people as long as we have effective democratic methods of protest available. The similar but more serious threat from the northern Irish nationalists, who felt they were justified in bombing because the political system of northern Ireland had been heavily weighted against them, did not cause anything like the panic in government circles as the present Islamist threat, despite being more destructive. In fact, in the streets, neither threat bothered many people at all. London had been blitzed by Hitler and had not yielded. A few IRA bombs was unlikely to cause a panic. The same remains true of the Islamic threat.

The real danger has always been that governments will suppress democratic rights in the so called war against terrorism to such an extent that Parliament and the police lose popular backing. Then either the government falls, or it becomes utterly oppressive. That is now a much greater danger than any threats from terrorists.

No comments: