Obama has lost the opportunity
Obama’s much awaited speech took almost three months before being aired. It sounded as if Obama was trying to mug it up and rehearse with punctuations during all these months. A war that was expected to end has suddenly taken a new turn. The troops that were exhausted and homesick in Iraq would now be pushed into a much more fierce battle, fighting a war that’s only a shadow chase. General McChrystal got his way and the President lost his control.
Right from the day one, McChrystal has been demanding the additional troops only to escalate the war, to keep the lobbies of different industries happy, to watch the Indo-Israeli interest as more important and above all that of America and its people. But here General McChrystal should also be credited for his warning the US administration that Indian presence in Afghanistan is proving counter productive.
Manmohan Singh, during his recent visit at the White House press briefing emphasised an escalation in Afghan war and asked America to extend its stay there since it is helping her, in many ways. Who doesn’t know that India is causing distress to Pakistan through America, an ally to this inopportune front line partner? Obama has finally found out his worth and he clearly knows now that he cannot change anything even if he exercises his authority to the extreme limits. After all how can one forget that Obama ordered the closure of the Guantanamo prison and kidnapping, rendition and torture was to be halted, but unfortunately his orders were bluntly ignored?
Obama should have understood clearly by the message of his commander in Afghanistan that India is not a solution but a part of the problem. If Obama failed to understand that then there are some serious doubts that could give rise to many questions.
Two countries that welcomed the speech are Israel and India, for both have axes to grind. Both see Pakistan as a stumbling block in their expansionist designs. Therefore to them extended stay of the US is a welcome development.
The thirty thousand surge in the American troops is being viewed with some apprehensions when read in context with some of the policy statements of Obama at West Point. He has stated that Al-Qaida runs from Karachi to Islamabad and America would increase the Drone attacks, is seen as a warning that America would attack Pakistan; it is likely that allegedly where CIA has erected another Ghost like Al-Qaida namely Jandullah would be taken as the basis to attack Baluchistan where India is heavily involved. Otherwise, when talking of withdrawals, the increase in the number of troops do not appeal to mind.
Obama in his speech has adopted same strategy on both sides of the Durand Line. He wants increase in troops, intensify the war and bring a military solution to it. He has completely neglected the political dialogue between the warring factions of Afghanistan.
Pakistan is one country that can help defuse the situation, for that it must project itself as an independent power and not as an extension of the Bush-Bama doctrine. Pakistan shares the same religious and cultural values. Has a large Pashtun population that’s greater than the Afghan Pashtun population, who frequents each other freely across the Durand Line, have inter-marriages, conduct trade and other commercial activities collectively.
Richard North puts it in his paper, The Nomad War, “In an attempt to unravel the mind-numbing complexity of the Afghan conflict, at the heart of the "war" is actually a relatively simple – although completely misunderstood – tribal issue, compounded by the tensions between modernity and conservatism.”
Forcing a culture change would be resented by all Afghan factions, Islam is deeply embedded in the socio-cultural values therefore this must never be touched or forced down the throat. Talking on the women, civil or human rights, Obamans may study “The Woman” chapter iv of the Holy Quran and the last sermon of the last of the prophets, Prophet Muhammad (May Peace Be Upon Him), there is no better charter of human rights ever produced after that. If anything on human rights has to be ensured then they must press for these two documents.
Bob Krause, the Democrat Candidate for US Senate from the State of Iowa, while commenting on Obama’s Speech, took up more logic and more humane approach. He has asked for an International Peace Conference on Afghanistan to bring an amicable end to this gruesome war that has taken tens of thousands of people over the last decade supposedly for the crime of few.
The cause or the moving factor behind this ‘Afghan Crusade’ was quoted to be 9/11. This in itself has turned out to be a sham; it has many questions that still need to be answered. All the fingers are pointing at some inwards involvement.
Bob Krause, also states that incumbent Senator Charles Grassley has misfired on his support for escalating the war in Afghanistan. "Yesterday, Senator Grassley expressed support for the escalation in Afghanistan, but then cited as examples, two terrorist incidents, Najibullah Zazi and Fort Hood, neither of which involved actors trained in Afghanistan, rather one of them at least was trained by the US Army and the other was trained in Pakistan. This kind of mind-set allows us to continue to miss-fire in our international relations and in the war on terrorism, "said Krause.
The perturbed Democratic candidate strongly criticised and said, "The terrorism that we are dealing with is in part a state of mind that has very little to do with taming a piece of territory. Training camps are mobile and move from place to place, country to country. Geography is part of it, and Pakistan is more at the centre of it today, simply because there are more people in that country. But when we attack countries without a good strategy, as we seem to be doing, we actually wind up attacking for no good purpose that will benefit our cause. We need to be more sensitive to the origins of these terrorist thoughts in developing our war strategies," concluded Krause.
Gordon Duff, a Viet Nam veteran and the senior editor of Veterans Today writes in his paper ‘The Speech We Did Not Hear’, “Eight years ago we invaded Afghanistan and a short time later, Iraq, to punish a small group of murderers that killed 3000 Americans. As time has gone on, we now know that much of what we believed about those attacks is false. Evidence now points, not only to terror groups, but to countries we thought to be friends and there is even evidence of complicity here at home”.
After years of phony intelligence, propaganda campaigns and torturing false confessions out of detainees, nothing can be trusted.
Donald Rumsfeld tells it best. While appearing before the 9/11 Commission he stated that there was never any indication that terror attacks of the kind seen on 9/11 was not possible nor did he receive any warning. We now know that nearly every word he and so many others told that commission were lies, unquestionable, proven and done with remorseless cynicism.
Although Bob Krause, candidate for the United States Senate from Iowa stood mum on the issue of Zionism, of course. Gordon Duff opined: “Eight years, the invasion of Iraq, the engineering of an economic collapse in America, the corruption of our laws, of our national honor and our moral standing make it impossible for me to continue the war in Afghanistan. No more Americans will die because of the criminality of a few. Are the few foreign terrorists or Americans, politicians, lobbyists, industrialist, bankers and their good friends overseas in Saudi Arabia or maybe Israel? How can we order the deaths of thousands of Americans when the real "evil doers" at home run free? We know their names, we know their crimes. How can we bring justice and democracy to others when we, ourselves, have none? Nearly 10,000 Americans are dead, tens of thousands wounded and trillions of dollars are missing. There is much more proof that these deaths and this massive theft were caused by a domestic conspiracy than any foreign intrigue. First, we clean our own home, and then we carry democracy to others."
Today in this age of hypocrisy and stark lies we need people like Bob Krause who dare to speak their conscience. The war must end, only way forward is dialogue, maybe in the shape of a peace conference comprising USA, China, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other countries that have contiguous borders with Afghanistan. The fact to remember is that Afghan representation without Taliban would be inconsequential. It’s the people of America alone who can force an end to war and human suffering so they are the one who need to come forward and support people like Krause. If all sane voices unite, many more Krauses would come forward that would force America to hold the conference and save the American children from the gruesome and the mothers and wives the sufferings of their near and dear ones.