WRONG REGION, WRONG ENEMY, WRONG TACTICS, BAD ADVICE
AMERICA RECRUITING 10,000 TERRORISTS A DAY IN AFGHANISTAN
Last year a number of contractors were thrown out of Afghanistan over the infamous “but-crack” video showing nude imbeciles involved in an unsanitary ceremony. Little did we know that these must have been the people who planned the American “Surge” meant to stabilize Afghanistan, supplied the intelligence for General McChrystal, may actually have written his report. Top leaders of the Afghan people weighed in on our operation in Helmand province with American Marines and British troops. They call it “imbecilic” and “tragic,” faulting nearly every aspect as uninformed, misinformed or simply wrong.
Tribal “Jirgas” (councils) of the real government of Afghanistan, the actual rulers of that fractured state are behind one thing now, getting America out of Afghanistan and getting rid of Karzai, who they see is, not only an American puppet but one of the most useless human beings ever born. Why mince words. Actually, I am, their real words are much worse than anything that could be printed, their rage, their words and their tears.
A MASSIVE BLUNDER
Word has been pouring out of Afghanistan. Every move America makes is hitting blogs around the world through a network of Afghani ex-patriots who are in continual communication. The word is out: Our “invasion” that combined Afghani forces with American and British has not gone after Taliban strongholds at all but rather attacked areas controlled by Karzai opponents who were ready to negotiate a legitimate government.
To the people of Afghanistan, the Karzai government was put in place out of utter idiocy in the first place, a failure of the Bush administration to understand that Afghanistan was not going to be ruled by brutal warlords from the “Northern Alliance” who are the ethnic enemies of the majority of the population of Afghanistan. Placing weakling Mohammed Karzai in as president and supporting him thru a rigged election has only made things worse.
USING “COUNTER-INSURGENCY” TO RECRUIT TERRORSTS
American, Britain and the “Afghani Army” simply aren’t very good at many things, Afghanistan has proven this. We don’t seem to be able to tell a poppy plant from wheat, we can’t find Osama bin Laden, dead or alive, and we don’t know the Taliban from our own “butt-crack.” Reports on operations are clear. We are managing to frighten, brutalize and anger hundreds of thousands of people who have nothing to do with the Taliban, not before anyway.
Now, “they” are rethinking this. This is the message being received around the world.
Tribal leaders are saying:
We have millions of young men coming of age, America doesn’t realize this. Each one will become a fighter with one purpose in life, to free their country and drive out foreign invaders. Each child you see will be a trained soldier with a Kalashnikov. We will fight for a century if we have to. Ask Britain, ask Russia, they know.
Why did America have to come here, join with criminal elements, brutal drug lords, mass murderers, people whose only history is brutality toward their own, why was America so stupid as to think we would respect them when they and their stooges rain bombs down on our children?
THE FAILED SURGE IN IRAQ, THE REAL TRUTH
America calls it “the surge” or the “Sunni awakening.” Either way, it was all a con. General Petraeus paid millions in bribes to war lords, mostly Sunni and put the militia members who were fighting the United States on the payroll. The fighting died down, most American troops withdrew to safe areas and we claimed a victory. What did we really accomplish?
Well, years later, we are still there and Iraq is becoming less stable every day. The “leaders” we paid rebuilt the old Baathist party, now, without Saddam to lead it, it is simply a massive crime organization involved in daily murders, kidnappings and racketeering. We created a country plagued by a Mafia we built, now nobody is asking us to leave anymore, everyone is scared to death.
Thank you General Petraeus. As with General Westmoreland in Vietnam, we “managed the news” and “stayed on message” but our strategy was a sham, it was simply a way to admit failure and lie about it. We are planning the exact same thing in Afghanistan but it simply didn’t need to be that way.
WHAT A COMPETENT AND WELL INFORMED MILITARY LEADER MIGHT HAVE DONE
Sitting in Kabul or Washington, surrounded by drug dealers and thieves, even worse people in Kabul, it is hard to get good information and make good decisions. Everyone you talk to has an agenda, everyone is lying. Who are our advisors? Well, first of all, the entire world knows that Karzai’s family is helping run the largest drug cartel in the world. In fact, the biggest civil project America has done in Afghanistan was to repair a dam producing electricity for Kandahar, a dam that also provides irrigation for most of Afghanistan’s opium crop, one Americans are dying to keep secure today.
“Don’t worry, no poppy plants will be injured in the making of this picture.”
America had the chance to sit down with Pakistan and other regional powers, some that we don’t talk to and come up with an economic solution that could provide lasting stability for the tribal regions which are primarily inside Pakistan. We failed to realize that 25 million Pashtuns live just the other side of the border in Pakistan. With the right help for Pakistan, the right economic programs and leadership, both countries could be helped and lives, perhaps millions, could be saved without pouring billions of useless dollars into the pockets of defense contractors infesting the halls of Congress, some with the arrogance and blatant insensibility of our actual elected leaders.
IMRAN KHAN OF PAKISTAN, THE REGION’S ONLY RESPECTED LEADER
Combine Michael Jordan, Antonio Banderas and John F. Kennedy and you have Imran Khan, or that is how many in Afghanistan and Pakistan see him. Cricket is “the” sport in Pakistan and he is the most famous player in the historyof that game. He is also a political leader, outspoken, charismatic and in a country where most other leaders are Punjabi or Sindhi, Khan is a Pashtun.
Khan is known for his outspoken commentaries warning the west of Islamic extremism and advocating economic development over military solutions that Khan says only fuel terrorism. Khan says:
My Generation grew up at a time when colonial hang up was at its peak. Our older generation had been slaves and had a huge inferiority complex of the British. The school I went to was a similar to all elite schools in Pakistan, despite becoming independent, they were, and still are, producing replicas of public school boys rather than Pakistanis. I read Shakespeare which was fine, but no Alama Iqbal.
The Islamic class was not considered to be serious, and when I left the school I was considered amongst the elite of the country because I could speak English and wore western clothes. Despite periodically shouting Pakistan Zindabad at school functions, I considered my own culture backward and Islam an outdated religion.
Amongst our group if any one talked about religion, prayed or kept a beard he was immediately branded a Mullah. Because of the power of the Western Media, all our heroes were western movie or pop stars.
In University not just Islam but all religions were considered anachronism. Science had replaced religion and if something couldn’t be logically proved it did not exist. All supernatural stuff was confined to the movies…Moreover, the European history had an awful experience with religion, The horrors committed by the Christian clergy in the name of God during the Inquisition had left a powerful impact on the western mind.
To understand why the west is so keen on secularism, one should go to places like Cordoba in Spain and see torture apparatus used during Spanish Inquisition. Also the persecution of scientists as heretics by the clergy and convinced the Europeans that all religions are regressive.
However, the biggest factor that drove people like me away from religion was the selective Islam practised by most of its preachers. In other words, there was a huge difference between what they practised and what they preached. Also, rather than explaining the philosophy behind the religion, there was an over emphasis on rituals.
I feel that humans are different; to animals whereas the latter can be drilled, humans need to be intellectually convinced. That is why the Quran constantly appeals to reason. The worst of course, was the exploitation of Islam for political gains by various individuals or groups.
Hence, it was a miracle I did not become an atheist. The only reason why I did not was the powerful religious influence wielded by my mother on me since my childhood. It was not so much out of conviction but love for her that I stayed a Muslim.
Firstly, the inferiority complex that my generation had inherited, gradually went as I developed into a world class athlete. Secondly, I had the unique position of living between two cultures. I began to see the advantages and the disadvantages of both the societies.
In western societies, institutions were strong while they were collapsing in our country. However, there was an area where we were and still are superior, and that is our family life. I used to notice the loneliness of the old-age pensioners at Hove Cricket ground (during my Sussex years). Imagine sending your parents to Old Peoples’ Homes!
Even the children there never had the sort of love and warmth that we grew up with here. They completely miss out on the security blanket that a joint family system provides. However, I began to realise that the biggest loss to the western society and that in trying to free itself from the oppression of the clergy, they had removed both God and religion from their lives.
With civil government in Pakistan collapsed under scandal and the Afghani government in Kabul ruling little of the country and mistrusted by the vast majority of its citizens, and NATO, led by the United States fearful of terrorism and Islamic extremism, Khan is the only well known individual with the trust and respect of Islam and the United States yet known for his outspoken independence. Khan has not been a friend to the United States, quite the opposite. He has been one of America’s greatest critics at a time known for America’s greatest failures.
His tough role of standing up to the west and to corrupt forces in his own country and his strong ties to Afghanistan make him the vital key to ending the cycle of terrorism and extremism in the region, a region whose potentials for conflict can be far more threatening than the current war in Afghanistan.
Tensions between India and Pakistan have been increasing daily with each accusing the other sponsoring terrorist group. Terror attacks, shootings, bombings, occur daily in Pakistan and India and are on the increase. The two regional nucear powers, both allies of the United States, are on a continual “war readiness” footing.
FINDING THE RIGHT ENEMY
Currently, no respected leader in Afghanistan will talk to any American, military leader or diplomat under any circumstances. America believes it is negotiating with the Taliban and is moving forward with a “plan” but is operating under a series of misconceptions. No non-Islamic forces will ever be allowed to operate in Afghanistan. They will only cause tribal uprisings, creating terrorism, not ending it. Why leaders like General McChrystal who knows this very well would purposefully ignore this fact is strange indeed.
The border regions between Afghanistan and Pakistan are areas of lawlessness that can provide safe harbor foreign terrorists and have, in limited numbers, how limited, we will never know. The same region is also home to millions of people who can be armed insurgents and radicalized “Jihadists” or live in relative peace, largely depending on factors now controlled by the United States.
LIVING WITH THE MISTAKES OF THE PAST
In the 80s, when the pro-Soviet government in Kabul called for Russian help against tribal opposition, America weighed in, arming Mujahideen insurgents, the exact same people we are fighting today, same people, same leaders, same beliefs, only a generation later. When we had the chance to come into Afghanistan as a friend after the withdrawal of Russian forces and build a new economy there for pennies, we didn’t care. The Soviet Union had collapsed and we lost interest. We are now paying for those mistakes.
Gordon Duff is a Marine Vietnam veteran, grunt and 100% disabled vet. He has been a UN Diplomat, defense contractor and is a widely published expert on military and defense issues. He is active in the financial industry and is a specialist on global trade. Gordon Duff acts as political and economic advisor to a number of governments in Africa and the Middle East.
He writes regularly for Veterans Today and Opinion Maker.