Lessons from the Bogus Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan
By Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD
“….Human nature is at least in part wicked and in part foolish, how can human beings be prevented from suffering from the results of their wickedness and folly? ….Men simply do not see that war is foolish and useless and wicked. They think on occasion that it is necessary and wise and honourable, for war is not the work of bad men knowing themselves to be wrong, but of good men passionately convinced that they are right.”
(C.E, M. Joad. Guide to Modern Wickedness).
By NATURE, all human beings are born on One Nature as humans but race, cultures and politics divide them into divergent entities, absurd nationalism and warrior creeds as were the Europeans until recently. If Obama is to reclaim his originality of the Nature, who he is and where he comes from, would he be a Leader of Change trying to invest in peace and goodness for the humanity rather than vengeful wars and killings of the poor, destitute and innocents across the globe?
Strange on his inaugural for the 2nd term, President Obama did not utter a word about his original ideals “YES WE CAN” of stopping the bogus War on Terror going-on for over a decade in Iraq, Afghanistan and extended to Pakistan – the most catastrophic ordeal for the American people to know when the woes and wounds will end. When would the 18-25 war veterans stop committing daily suicides? Who is responsible for driving the mankind to this animalistic madness and cruelty? Most Americans do not favor economy of wars over humanity and do think that wars and killings are sinful and crimes against humanity. Politicians are no different than stage actors, always pretending to be dong good to the people. Whereas, in reality, nothing good comes out of the self-centered and naïve hearts and minds of these creatures always passionate to promote self- enhanced interests and agendas – how soon they could get re-elected. Obama’s profile is no different.
- Is Obama a man of peace or a man of war?
The unraveling impacts and tragic consequences of wars do not end with paper declarations or political statements as to when the invading armies are to be withdrawn. Wars leave scars for generations to be victimized emotionally, politically, intellectually and anything else that can be imagined in human terms of unknown disasters. Long after sixty years of the 2nd World War, the Europeans and others have not recovered its dehumanized consequences of their own perpetuated insanity and barbarity for no obvious purpose of rationality except borders, flags and a primitive sense of ethnic pride and nationalism. In the 21st century politics, America is leading in all of these stone-aged qualities to be the lost Empire without being an Empire.
Rob Kall (“Thoughts on Killed Humanitarian Mission Members.” OpenEdNews: 8/8/2010) points out that:
“Obama and his generals are failing to understand that hard power is not what it used to be. Soft power– the connection created by kindness and positive values– that’s what will win the battle for freedom and justice, for democracy and a peaceful future.”
Wars are planned and orchestrated by the few, the privileged ruling elite; the humanity becomes the targeted victims of the few for global hegemonic governance. Throughout the ages, the conscientious mankind searched for ways to undo the war and strive for peace, the real aim for the establishments of international institutions. But now the global institutional capacity to deal with peace and conflict management appears in ruin with the continued onslaught of the American led so called War on Terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Under the military authoritarian ruler General Musharaf, Pakistan was a willing partner in the so called fight against terror. George Bush claimed to have paid $10. billion to the Musharf regime to support the American policies and practices in that region. Consequently, while General Musharf was ousted but the bogus War on Terrorism has crippled the Pakistani nation. Its economy, social, political, intellectual, public institutions, and capacity for trade and commerce with the world- all have been fractured. The foreign Masters have pursued a policy of divide and rule to entrap the ignorant politicians into sectarianism and killings – a business as usual. Pakistanis must find a way to disconnect their engagement in warmongering and adapt a new policy to be free of the influence of the paid foreign agents of influence. Many Pakistanis argue for a legal trial of General Musharaf and his military complacent Generals in the cruelty of the war.
Realizing the eminent defeats by the handful forces of Talaban, the allies are gathered to make their presence known for propaganda purposes to the beleaguered people of Afghanistan and global audience. Talaban fighting the intruders are not the foreigners but people of the land. The US, British and others paid agents are foreigner mercenaries fighting in a foreign land, culturally unknown and unconquerable by their armed forces. Piety and peacemaking vis-à-vis aggression and wickedness cannot be combined as credible attributes in ones mindset and one human character. Now, the issue is, how conveniently, the aggressors want to redefine their strategic role and ambitions in Afghanistan as peacemakers as if they have achieved the goals of their aggression. Imagine, Adolph Hitler while occupying France and continuing bombing of London, wanted to organize a peace conference. Would it have been a logical discourse for the French and British people to talk peacemaking with the aggressor? Bush and Hitler had lot in common as both claimed to have the divine support for their mission. Both tried to destroy the living humanity but fell in disgrace and met ultimate defeats.
Recently, a Talaban spokesman while talking to the BBC reporter in the Arab world, made it clear that they believe in peacemaking but all the foreign forces must leave Afghanistan. The same logic that French and British politicians would have implied to Hitler. Could the facts of human life be changed, be it Iraq, Afghanistan or the occurrences of the 2nd World War?
The people of Iraq and Afghanistan need change for peace and normalcy. The change can only happen if the US led occupying forces after the withdrawal would compensate the victim nations and rebuild their essential social-economic and humanitarian infrastructures destroyed by the ferocious wars. The same formula used at the end of the WW2. The same legal principle is needed that the aggressors be brought to legal and political accountability in an international war tribunal such as Nuremberg tribunal after the end of the WW2. E. H Carr, the famous historian, had emphasized that history has learning role for the future. Those who defy the logic of learning were lost without a trace.
The aggressors have succumbed to public opposition and will withdraw most of their combat forces by 2014. In other words, the invading armies have been defeated by the mujahideens and are unable to carry out any further brutality in those regions. Would the aggressors tell the humanity, when would they end the continued wars? So that the victims could think openly and plan for change and peaceful transfer to making of their own future. This is the issue that the current gathering of the sixty or so nations at Chicago avoided to discuss. The assembly was not for peacemaking but for prolonging the failing war efforts. The leaders wanted to discuss aftermath of the 2014 withdrawals and strategic arrangements with the Afghan government for training and rebuilding, a typical western materialistic scenario to help the impoverished nations. Recall that Karazi shall end his presidency in 2014, so what is the legitimacy of talking beyond that time span? The aid gimmick is an attractive illusion to entrap the needy nations and exploit their resources for the good of the occupying forces. The US and Britain survive on borrowed money from the future generations as their own financial institutions have collapsed and so are the political powerhouses and working agencies. But the aid’s long term purpose is to create more beggars and poverty and dependent nations asking for external aid and to survive on borrowed future and resources.
Future must be anew, not the repetition of the past. Future making does not lie with the aggressors nor with the failed international institutions, it is with the will and resolve of the people of Iraq and Afghanistan to oust the aggressors and recover their homes and habitats for rebuilding their lives and human dignity. Taken at their face value what Commander Bush claimed at the time that the US led forces went to Iraq and Afghanistan in pursuit of freedom, liberty and justice for the people. Instead they planned and developed the institutions of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and Belgraham prison in Afghanistan. Facts speak for themselves. All you need to do is to see the outcomes, the triumphs of the American version of liberty, human rights and justice, the horrifying photos of the prisoners are easily available through the internet, speaking their own language of the American-British civilized achievements in the Arab-Islamic world. Mr. Karzai, the self-made president of Afghanistan does not have any vision or sense of reality that he will not be the president after 2014. So what nonsense he is talking about to have strategic alliance with the US forces beyond the 2014?
Afghan landscape tells its own story with millions uprooted from their ancestral homes, tortured, killed by the aggressors and some made refugees in their homeland, others taking permanent asylum in secluded graveyards and some forced to go to foreign countries in search of protection and mere human survival. The aggressors do not wish to acknowledge the problem, that they are the real problem, not otherwise. How soon the aggressors would leave Afghanistan, nobody can tell. The ancient and civilized people of Iraq and Afghanistan know it well who are the peacemakers and who are the aggressors. The aggressors appear desperate to quit but the pre-election Chicago conference seems to indicate that urgent necessity but intellectually confused, morally corrupt and with high rates of self-suicidal deaths US-British militarily apparatus exhausted, and not sure how best to get out of the terrible mess they have created for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan and the whole of the humanity. At the pre-election Chicago gathering, Obama stated “a responsible end to the war”, but failed to define what he meant after being in office for four years and failing to honor all of his previous election promises and now killings of several thousands of innocents in Pakistan by drone attacks and displacing millions in Afghanistan’s continued warfare. Does President Obama enjoy the credibility to be taken seriously for any statements or promises for the future? Recently, a Malaysian international legal tribunal has indicted George Bush and Tony Blair for war crimes as responsible for crimes against the humanity in Iraq and Afghanistan. Would the Western world’s responsible legal authorities take the necessary action to implement the verdict of the international tribunal? Do Law and Justice have any place in America and Europe? How is it that deliberate killings of Iraqis, Afghan women and children and Pakistani civilian victims of the drone attacks are different than the causalities and crimes of the 2nd WW committed against mankind across Europe? Would those who are universally feared and hated continue to determine the future of peace loving mankind?
With the changing fortunes of time and history, war is no longer something won with tanks and aircraft. Wars are now fought with ideas, blocks, you tube clips, news-making stories and they are about winning hearts and minds. Many weary and exhausted American Generals entrapped in Afghanistan do read Greg Mortenson’s Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace….One School at a Time,…. a book about building schools for girls, about “peace through education.”
“I’ve learned that terror doesn’t happen because some group of people somewhere like Pakistan or Afghanistan simply decide to hate us. It happens because children aren’t being offered a bright enough future that they have a reason to choose life over death……. You have to attack the source of your enemy’s strength. In America’s case, that’s not Osama or Saddam or anyone else. The enemy is ignorance. The only way to defeat it is to build relationships with those people, to draw them into the modern world with education and business. Otherwise the fight will go on forever.”
The highly sensitive emerging global community is anxious to see an end to perpetuated ignorance, belligerency and sadistic acts of cruelty against the mankind. Wars kill people, do not grow peace and harmony. Would the American led bogus War on Terror end today, tomorrow or day after tomorrow? What honor is there in-waiting for Obama not to leave Afghanistan-Pakistan until 2014? Thomas Paine (Common Sense, 1776) must have profound sense of reality to echo the moving forces of time and history:
“Everything that is right or reasonable pleads for separation. The blood of the slain, the weeping voice of nature cries, ‘TIS TIME TO PART.”