Corrigendum: Imperial assault on Afghanistan’


Zaheer Bhatti

FACEBOOK and other Social Media are rife with planted stories distorting the course of history. This piece is a humble attempt to put the record straight over an account about the Imperial assault on Afghanistan. Making the Manhattan twin-tower strike an excuse, sixteen years down the line, Pentagon, the State Department or the 9/11 Commission Report have yet to address a number of elementary questions, such as what security lapses allowed penetration of the impregnable US Air Defence System by a bunch of novices (all Muslims but None of them Afghans) and yet the US chose to assault Afghanistan over which it had helped vacate Soviet aggression two decades earlier.
The referred Facebook account makes a trivial allegation that hijackers of the planes which struck the towers were trained in Afghanistan, because the medieval-looking Afghan land been war-ravaged for decades in the aftermath of the Russian invasion, and neither had the capacity nor infrastructure to be able to train persons for a sophisticated mission. The account attributes attack on Afghanistan to Mulla Omar’s refusal to hand over Osama alleged to have masterminded the 9/11 attack to the US. The fact is that firstly Osama had categorically denied any role in the occurrence but expressed his endorsement of striking at the United States which had become the symbol of universal tyranny. Secondly, Mulla Omar while refusing to hand over Osama to the US as he was his guest in Afghanistan had agreed upon Pakistani mediation to send him to another Muslim country. But the imperial allied junta saw the game slipping and pre-emptively assaulted Afghanistan.
The US claim to have defeated the Taliban the very first year in 2001 was falsified subsequently as the ill-provided yet resolute Afghans pulled a tactical retreat into the rugged terrain of the country and neighbouring Iran and Pakistan in the face of carpet bombing by the Allied military might, only to re-surface in 2005 and challenge the conglomerate of Allied Nations purely on the score of their will and determination without any sophisticated armoury at their disposal.
The US claim of NATO success in Afghanistan is belied by replacement of Gen. Mckiernan with Gen. Mc Chrystal engineering a 30,000 additional troop Surge strategy in the summer of 2010, only to find US combat troop casualties doubling compared to the corresponding period in 2009 forcing Obama to replace Mc Chrystal with David Petraeus after the former’s remarks about Obama and his Administrative team of Joe Biden, James Jones and Richard Halbrooke, which underscored festering tension between the US military commanders and its civilian leadership.
The troop surge accompanied by escalation in drone attacks had cost the US 7 of its CIA operatives in one retaliatory Bagram Air Base Taliban suicide attack by the Afghan Taliban. Pumping more troops had backfired but the US conjured a face saving success, and announced withdrawal with an insignificant number of troops left behind, which had been precipitated by several Allies pulling out of the faceless war.
Realizing soon after its carpet bombing that instant success in Afghanistan was going to be a pipe dream, the US had at first desperately tried to entice desertions among Taliban ranks in order to fashion an ostensibly representative Government, but failing to do so had to fall back on puppets from the minority Northern Alliance and a fake Constitution. Contrary to the report recording the first Afghan elections to have been held on 9 October 2004 with an 80% turn out, had the election turnout been anywhere near and Karzai wielding a strong centre, he would not have remained confined to Kabul despite a repeat term of office followed by another puppet twins of Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah whose jurisdiction is anything but worse; so much for the Constitution tailored against the will and traditional requirements of the Islamic Polity.
Ever since, the US has tried to engage the Afghan Taliban into a dialogue but failed because they would settle for nothing short of complete US withdrawal to enable an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process. While Pakistan having captured the Deputy Taliban Commander Mulla Barader offered to mediate with the warring Afghans through him, the effort fell foul with the US Establishment scuttling the offer indicating lack of trust in Pakistani sincerity relying on Wiki-leaks conjuring its nexus with the Afghan Taliban.
The tailored face-book account nevertheless makes some inadvertent admissions including the fact that the Taliban resurgence corresponded to rise in anti-West and anti-American outrage among Afghans caused by a series of incidents in 2012 including US marines urinating over dead Afghan bodies, burning copies of the Holy Quran by US soldiers at a military base and breaking into several homes killing 17 Afghans mostly women and children, which only confirms universal disapproval of NATO assault over Afghanistan.
But as contended, if indeed the US had withdrawn because it had largely achieved its objective of disrupting Alqaeda killing many of its leaders including Osama Bin Laden way back in 2011, it ought to have vacated Afghanistan and left it to the Afghans to find a home solution to their differences without outside meddling. But it is gravely doubtful if the US wants peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region, as it has pre-emptively killed any prospects by not only scuttling any such efforts but pre-emptively killing Mulla Omar’s successor Mulla Mansoor and also the peace-seeking Afghan leader Burhanuddin Rabbani.
That the Allied Forces shifted focus mid-stream to tracking the non-existent WMDs in Iraq apparently seeking diversion from the quagmire in Afghanistan it had plunged itself, it was later indicated by a series of frustrating US steps and postures how bitterly confused and tangled the Afghan war had become for them. With Trump planning another troop surge in Afghanistan and India reportedly contemplating sending in a Division of its men, the bloody Indo-American nexus is surfacing yet again. The war in Afghanistan has delivered nothing except misery to its people and a hapless coterie of installed imperial puppets unable to operate beyond Kabul despite pumping in billions of dollars of American taxpayers money in aid of now their Indian-tutored proxies.
—The writer is a media professional, member of Pioneering team of PTV and a veteran ex Director Programmes.

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