Statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception. — Mark Twain, “Chronicle of Young Satan”
The current president of the USA is no less skilled at being the Liar-in-Chief than the last one—after all, to be fair, that is the job description of the CEO of the Empire. Near the end of 2010, the president, (whom, in instances pertaining to the eternal war in Afghanistan, I call: “Barackistan O’Bomber”), had this to say:
“Today, al-Qaeda’s senior leadership in the border region is under more pressure than at any point since they fled Afghanistan nine years ago. Senior leaders have been killed. It’s harder for them to recruit … It’s harder for them to plot and launch attacks. In short, al-Qaeda is hunkered down.”
So, “in short,” the U.S. occupying forces are making progress, but the progress is slow, and more troops and hardware will be needed to ferret out this few very few people that are “hunkered down,” plotting more attacks on defenseless Americans. At a cost of one million dollars per year, per soldier, someone is benefiting from this violent occupation, but it’s not the people of Afghanistan as the people of that war-torn country (that “coincidentally is rich in minerals, oil and natural gas), struggle to survive.
Another “ace in the hole” of supporting violent Imperial aims is the USA’s top “diplomat,” Hillary Clinton who, being skilled at fear-based rhetoric, warned us that if we “abandon” Afghanistan now, like we did after the U.S.S.R. failed to subdue the country (being closer and using all of its advanced weaponry), it would be a “grave mistake.” The graves that the US/NATO forces are digging with their Hellfire missiles in the border regions of Af/Pak mean little to the hellions of the Empire as human life means so little compared to the rich natural resources of that region.
There is very little left to be said if you buy into the scam that the invasion and subsequent occupation of Afghanistan was justified because the U.S. was “attacked” on 9/11—however, here is brief review of facts, not scam:
Afghanistan didn’t attack us on 9/11. Even if one believes the lies of the Empire about the “official story,” the nationality of the hijackers were overwhelmingly Saudi Arabians—and the US didn’t go half-cocked into Saudi Arabia to invade its buddies there. No, in fact, in 2010, the U.S. sold 60 billion dollars worth of arms to Saudi Arabia—making it the largest such sale in history. Which makes the next fact a little more interesting:
Al Qaeda was a construct of the CIA and the CIA armed Osama bin Laden and Saudi Arabia funded him to wage jihad against the Soviet Union. Al Qaeda was originally a CIA database of thousands of mujahadeen who were recruited and trained by the CIA. Our troops are being killed by first and second generation CIA operatives in Afghanistan and Pakistan and, knowing what I know now, I have very little illusion that the CIA didn’t know what it was doing or that the mujahadeen would eventually use those weapons against the U.S. Being the biggest dope dealer in the world, the CIA had big stakes in Afghanistan’s poppy fields.
Two of the biggest lies the Empire tells about U.S. crimes in Afghanistan are we are there to: A) Redevelop the country (like Haiti) and B) Protect the women. “Protecting the women” of Afghanistan is one thing the liberals here in the U.S. and Laura Bush have in common as a justification for the occupation.
On Sunday, January 23, 2011, my guest on Cindy Sheehan’s Soapbox was Spogmai (Spaj-My) Akseer, who is a bright young woman on the steering committee of the international organization, Afghans for Peace (AFP). Spogmai was born in Afghanistan and now lives in Canada. She travels to Afghanistan frequently and she clearly dispelled the above two myths.
Spogmai and AFP believe that the occupation of Afghanistan is for the financial benefit of global war profiteers, some NGO’s, and the elite of Afghanistan. Spogmai has seen very little progress in the way of development for the average citizen of Afghanistan. If I believed in Hell, it would be a comfort to know that there was a special level for War Profiteers who must spend eternity paying for their inhumanity by living in a constant state of deprivation and war. But as Spogmai has personally witnessed in her many trips to Afghanistan, unusable schools have been built, roads to nowhere have been constructed and there is zero accountability for the contractor who builds useless infrastructure than leaves the country with a tidy bundle of U.S. taxpayer dollars in his bank account. In a country rife with corruption and scandal, there is enough blame and fraud to go around
I told Spogmai a story about a time, last July, when I was vigiling in front of the White House (in Lafayette Park, because I had a ‘stay-away’ order from the WH at that time) and a phalanx of very elegantly and expensively dressed Afghans emerged from a meeting. The women of the party, who knew who I was, came up to me and through a translator, explained to me how they had been in the White House to meet with the president (something which I have always been denied) so they could tell him how desperate the situation is in Afghanistan and how our troops needed to stay there, even though they “regret” the deaths of our young people. Occupations always benefit the elitists of every country through similar Carpetbagging corruption as the Karzais and their cronies—it even happened in our own South during the Reconstruction period. There is nothing new here—and what else is an age-old story is how the non-elites of the world lap this crap up believing in the myth of the “accidental war/tragedy profiteer.” Isn’t this part of the “American Dream,” to be in the “right place” at the “right time?” How fortuitous! There is no way to “get rich quicker” than through the war and its profitable aftermath.
Afghanistan is just one tragedy in the long list of scams every Empire has perpetrated in the name of profit and population control.
The destruction of the way of life of we non-elites will only stop when we stop participating in our own demise.
Spogmai and Afghans for Peace work for peace, development and Afghan sovereignty. It’s very dangerous for the people in Afghanistan to speak out against the occupiers and the elite in their own country, so we must, whether Afghan, or not, struggle in solidarity FOR these noble goals against the violence and with the people who are paying the most for the disease of Empire.