History Repeats

May 24, 2012

In the wake of last weekend’s big NATO Afghan pow-wow, the war in Afghanistan has to be considered finished, kaput, wiping-hands-clean, get-the-shit-out-of-Dodge over with and a debacle for history scholars.
Except for the Afghan people:

Aleema, a sad-eyed girl in ragged clothes, is one of the 447,547 “internally displaced persons” who have fled their homes, mainly in the war-torn south.
Explaining why her life is “the worst”, she says simply: “We don’t have proper food and we don’t have a proper house.”

I’m tired of this — anyone for pizza?

(Illustration found here).

And what’s more:

But civilians have borne the brunt of the war. More died in 2011 alone than the total number of NATO troops killed in 10 years.
Last year’s 3,021 civilian deaths marked the fifth straight year that the toll has risen, UN figures show, while 3,007 NATO soldiers have died since the 2001 US-led invasion, according to icasualties.org.
Meanwhile the number of internal refugees last year hit nearly half a million, the highest for about a decade, part of what Amnesty International has called “a largely hidden but horrific humanitarian and human rights crisis.”

In context of Marine General John Allen’s blubbering yesterday, there’s a need for “significant firepower” in Afghanistan the next two years to keep the US/NATO retreat out of the country in good order is even more horrible and tragic.
WTF!

And what in reality will happen as the ‘official’ war winds down?
Dave Lindorff at Counterpunch has the most-likely answer — another Vietnam (h/t Chris Floyd):

The American forces in Afghanistan know they have already lost the war there.
And they also know that as the drawdown of troops begins from that war-torn country, they will be hit harder and harder by the Taliban and other forces trying to take back the country from the US and from the compradore leaders who have been serving as the lackeys to the US.
They know too that as soon as the last of them has boarded the last plane out, or perhaps even earlier, the current corrupt Afghan leadership will be hopping a commercial flight out too, to join their money in Switzerland or Abu Dhabi or some other safe haven, and the Taliban will come marching into Kabul to take over from them.
How much worse must those soldiers feel than the US soldiers in Vietnam, who at least didn’t have an end-point held out in front of them to taunt them.
Today’s American soldiers and Marines in Afghanistan fight staring at a surrender date at which point all their fighting and killing and dying and being will be acknowledged as having been in vain.
The American soldiers in Vietnam in 1971 or 1972 could at least pretend that after they left, the South Vietnamese government might at least try to fight on and establish itself.

I predict that the next two and a half years of pointless war in Afghanistan will be a terrible scene of drug abuse (there’s no shortage of opium and heroin in the country, perhaps the leading producer of the drug in the world), of terrible carnage of civilians as increasingly automated remote killing methods are employed to make up for the lack of motivation among the troops, and of US casualties, as the Taliban resistance grows increasingly confident of its power and its impending victory.
The “government” of Afghanistan, meanwhile, knowing its days are numbered, will be preparing its exit, with money spirited out of the country, while the police and army, knowing that they will ultimately pay a deadly price for serving the US master, and too poor to buy their way out of the country, will increasingly turn on American forces, or simply switch to what they know will be the ultimate winning side.
This is all totally predictable.

And to make matters worse, more US blood and treasure going to the grave while children cry.
Yes, this Monday celebrate war.

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