I wish the world could recognize today the sound of all our voices - crying for peace.Thank you, Mimi. Contributing my small part was an honor.
I applaud your entry for BlogBlast For Peace on November 5, 2009. I learned and was reminded of a great deal in this post. I am just now getting around to all the entries....reading them carefully.
One thing is certain: Bloggers and journalists in 50 countries have spoken in record numbers and continue to speak.
When will they listen?
You are #1640 in the official peace globe gallery found here. http://blogblastforpeace.com/
It will post February 19, 2010 and will be linked back to this post.
Welcome to the peace globe movement. I am reminded to keep going and let the people speak.
You spoke eloquently.
I appreciate your time and effort, Tomcat.
Before I begin, I wish to give credit to a rather remarkable woman on Facebook named Mimi Lenox. She started a Facebook “cause” which has become quite successful, Blog Blast for Peace. It is an annual event every November 5, and this article is my contribution to that cause.
Before long, President Barack Obama will have to commit himself on a way to proceed in the Afghanistan War. It struck me that most Americans know little or nothing about that nation, because that’s not how the MSM covers news. Most major networks cover only the sensational. The one that does try to do a small amount of education does so only because they are the propaganda arm of the Republican party. Education based on lies is not helpful. So to assist you, here’s my take on the subject.
Afghanistan occupies an area between the middle east and the Indian sub continent. It is peopled by at least a dozen separate ethnic groups including Baluch, Chahar Aimak, Turkmen, Hazara, Pashtun, Tajik, Uzbek, Nuristani, Arab, Kirghiz, Pashai and Persian. The Pashtun are the largest and represent about half the population. The Tajik represent about one fourth of the population. While there are small religious communities from other faiths, Islam is the country’s principle religion, brought there by Arabs in the eighth and ninth centuries. Before that, Afghanistan was often occupied but seldom ruled by the Persians, Greeks, and Sassanians. The Mongols ruled there from the twelfth through the fifteenth centuries. Next Afghanistan was caught between two warring empires, the Mughal of India and the Safavid of Iran. Both concentrated on destroying the region’s population and resources to deny it to each other.
In 1747, Ahmad Shah, a Pashtun, unified and expanded the country well beyond it’s present borders. After his death Afghanistan entered a period of civil war. In the nineteenth century, Afghanistan became a bone of contention between the British Empire and Czarist Russia. It became a British protectorate until 1919. Following the Russian Revolution, Afghanistan revolted with Soviet help. Britain agreed to Afghanistan's independence, but secretly organized a coup by King Zahir Shaw. He ruled as a complete dictator until ke was overthrown in 1973 by family members who declared a Republic. Dahoud became President, supported by the Peoples Democratic Party of Afghanistan, a pro Moscow party. The PDPA overthrew Dahoud in 1978. Moscow, not pleased with the progress of “reforms”. They invaded in 1979 and turned the government over to Karmal.
Following the Soviet invasion, the USA provided aid and weapons to the Mujahedeen. The CIA, under Reagan and the GOP, paid $30 million to Osama bin Laden to organize a network of terrorists and unleash them against the USSR. In 1989 the Soviets withdrew. The US had a perfect opportunity to help build the nation and use the goodwill we had developed. But with the Soviets gone, GHW Bush and the GOP had no interest. The country remained in a state of chaos until the ISI, Pakistani Intelligence, aided a new religious group, the Taliban, who stabilized the country over the next ten years. In the meantime, Osama bin Laden had turned against the US, because he objected to US forces being stationed in his Saudi homeland during and after the First Gulf War.
To the north, a vast reserve of natural gas was discovered in Turkmenistan. Allowed to develop without interference, it would become part of the Russian Gazprom network. But Big Energy in the US had other ideas. Unocal planned a pipeline between the Caspian Sea in Turkmenistan and Karachi in Pakistan on the Gulf of Oman, cutting Russia out of the loop. The route ran across Afghanistan, right through the enclave being used by bin Laden for his training camps. So Unocal, backed by the Carlisle Group, a hedge fund whose most active participants are the Saudi Royal family and the Bush family, for the Taliban to agree to an election, to give the Taliban an aura of legitimacy, and a deal to build the pipeline. The Taliban would not agree to an election. Women’s rights groups got wind of the negotiations and objected in support of Afghan women and Clinton refused to invade as Unocal requested, so Unocal backed off and began negotiations with the Northern Alliance. In 2,000 the pipeline was back on the table, because a stolen election in the US put the GOP back in power under GW Bush. He threatened the Taliban to either turn over bin Laden or face military consequences. Bin Laden launched his own preemptive strike to hit the US before we could get him. That strike was the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon on 9/11/2001. The rest is history. The US invaded Afghanistan and installed a Unocal employee, Hamid Karzai to head our puppet government there.
Had we started nation building at that time, we still had an opportunity to stabilize Afghanistan, but GW “Chicken Hawk” Bush, Dick “5 deferment” Cheney, and Donald “I got Saddam his first chemical weapons” Rumsfeld were focused on attacking Iraq, in a failed attempt to control their oil and establish permanent military bases there.
In the meantime, Afghanistan has divided into two camps: a small, thoroughly corrupt, urban elite that controls the large cities and a much more populous, decentralized rural majority that hates the elite minority and the foreign powers whose backing keeps that minority in power.
So this is the mess Obama inherited. The Afghan people have good cause to distrust foreigners, developed over centuries, and thanks to GOP duplicity from three different administrations, they have ample cause to hate Americans. As much as I would love to see Afghanistan brought into the 21st Century, and Afghan women given the human rights they deserve, our troops are the wrong nationality in the wrong place at the wrong time to accomplish that goal.
Unfortunately, we have commitments with several allies to be there, so we cannot arbitrarily withdraw and leave them holding the bag, but the time has come to negotiate a withdrawal with those allies and work with the UN to alter the mandate backing our presence there. Our men and women in uniform are far too precious to spend their blood on a war that we will not win.