When it comes to escalating the brutal occupation of Afghanistan, Obama is no different than his predecessor and his warmongering neocon advisers. Last month Obama said he had not made an“immediate decision” on pouring troops into the country. And then word came down from the Pentagon indicating General McChrystal wants to escalate the conflict in a big way.
McChrystal’s heavily redacted assessment of the war, submitted to Def. Sec. Gates weeks ago, warned that if he didn’t get a significant number of additional boots on the ground within the next 12 months the war would be lost. Last Friday McChrystal’s numbers were tweaked and revised upward to more than 60,000, according to theWall Street Journal.
If the Pentagon gets its way the number of troops in Afghanistan will have tripled over the nine month period since Obama assumed office.
Obama’s other option was put forward by Joe Biden. Under Biden’s plan, the troop presence in Afghanistan will be rolled back and the U.S. will concentrate on going after the now perennial boogeyman, al-Qaeda. “Rather than trying to protect the Afghan population from the Taliban, American forces would concentrate on strikes against Qaeda cells, primarily in Pakistan, using special forces, Predator missile attacks and other surgical tactics,” The New York Times reported on September 22.
In fact, the Afghan population is not primarily concerned with attacks by the Taliban. Most are worried about attacks by the United States and NATO. Thousands of Afghan civilians have died as a result of U.S. and NATO bombing campaigns. For the first half of 2009, therecorded 1,013 Afghan civilian deaths for the six months from January 1st to June 30. This represents an increase of 24% over the same period in 2008, when 818 civilians were killed. In 2007, 684 civilians were killed in the same period. In September 2009, the U.N. reported that August had been the deadliest month of 2009 to date for Afghan civilians. put the number of civilians killed at between 12 and 32 thousand. Obviously, these numbers will increase exponentially if McChrystal adds more troops.
According to the Pentagon and the cheer-leading corporate media, mass murder is the only way to achieve “victory” in Afghanistan. Even the so-called liberal media is calling for an escalation and an increase in dead babies. “But here is the thing folks, the President has no real choice but to accede to McChrystal’s request and soon,” writes Sophia A. Nelson for The Huffington Post, “because if he does not the Taliban and Al Qaeda have proven that they are willing to out maneuver, outlast, and outfight our troops on the ground and do so by engaging in bloody battles that leave our soldiers either dead or wounded…. So what is the bottom line? The bottom line is that The President of the United States made painstakingly clear during the 2008 Campaign and subsequently that the real war on Terror needed to be waged in Afghanistan.”
Democrats and liberals deluded themselves into thinking if they voted for Obama he would bring the troops home, even as he promised to increase the conflict in Afghanistan, as Nelson notes.
Even Ray McGovern, the former CIA analyst that can hardly be categorized as a liberal, bought into the prospect of peace after Obama was elected. “I was wrong,” wrote McGovern. “I kept thinking to myself that when he got briefed on the history of Afghanistan and the oft-proven ability of Afghan ‘militants’ to drive out foreign invaders — from Alexander the Great, to the Persians, the Mongolians, Indians, British, Russians — he would be sure to understand why they call mountainous Afghanistan the ‘graveyard of empires.’”
McChrystal and the Pentagon, however, are not driving the policy in Afghanistan. Obama takes orders from Richard Holbrooke, the U.S. Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan. “If you abandon the struggle in Afghanistan, you will suffer against al-Qaeda as well,” Holbrooke said during a talk last August at the Center for American Progress, a public policy research and advocacy organization run by the former Clintonite John Podesta. As for “success” in Afghanistan, Holbrooke told the gathered “we’ll know it when we see it,” a take on Justice Potter Stewart’s comment on pornography. Indeed, it was an appropriate choice of words.
Richard Holbrooke is a consummate insider and global elite operative. He is on the board of directors of the Council on Foreign Relations. Along with Henry Kissinger, David Rockefeller, and Paul Allaire, Holbrooke directs the American Friends of Bilderberg, an organization that takes money from Exxon, Arco, IBM, and other transnational corporations and has its meetings funded by the globalist Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and the Carnegie Endowment fund.
In other words, anything Obama does in Afghanistan and Pakistan is at the behest of the global elite. As ambassador to the United Nations, Holbrooke brokered the Dayton Peace Accords, the “peace agreement” that partitioned and reduced Bosnia to a NATO and IMF client state, a model of bankster privatization. Holbrooke’s “peace plan” was only realized after massive NATO bombardment of Bosnian Serb territory. He will likely attempt a similar course of action in Af-Pak.
This is where McGovern’s comments come into play. The global elite will not realize “victory” — that is to say the submission of Afghanistan’s tribal population — but will instead impose a bloody stalemate. No outside force has ever managed to conquer and subdue Afghanistan — not the British or the Russians, and not even Genghis Khan and the Mongols.
The global elite, however, are not merely interested in occupying Afghanistan and ultimately Pakistan. They are determined to realize order out of chaos, as they did in Iraq. In their pathological hubris, they believe Afghanistan can be brought to heel like Bosnia. This will translate into not only a lot more dead Afghans, but a considerable number of dead U.S. soldiers as well.