As Special Forces commit more atrocities
U.S. occupation of Afghanistan disintegrates
Published Apr 7, 2010 2:39 PM
On the eve of what is supposed to be a major U.S.-NATO offensive against the
resistance stronghold of Kandahar, the more than eight-year-old occupation is
Afghan puppet President Hamid Karzai promised local elders in Kandahar he would
call the operation off if they were too worried about its results. He also
stunned one Parliament member when he said, “If you and the international
community pressure me more, I swear that I am going to join the Taliban.”
(New York Times, April 4)
Also, U.S. Special Forces troops have been forced to admit to more war crimes
in Afghanistan. The admission followed a familiar pattern. Afghan survivors
accused U.S. troops of shooting three women to death in an operation in
February. These three included a pregnant mother of 10 and another pregnant
mother of six children.
The military command first denied it and tried to blame it on an earlier
stabbing. Finally, the officers had to admit that these trained killers had
slaughtered the women. In addition, the guilty troops pried their bullets out
of the women’s bodies in an attempt to cover up their war crime.
The standard procedure is that the NATO military command denies its forces
killed civilians. It apparently hopes the story will vanish. Only when Afghans
or the reporters manage to dig out the facts are the U.S. or NATO officers
compelled to reveal the truth.
For example, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who for political reasons is publicly
committed to reducing civilian casualties, had to apologize for the killing of
civilians during the well-covered Marjah offensive in February.
The latest exposure created more problems for the occupation. The New York
Times summarized the situation in an April 5 article: “The disclosure
could not come at a worse moment for the [U.S.] American military: NATO
officials are struggling to contain fallout from a series of tirades against
the foreign military presence by the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, who has
also railed against the killing of civilians by Western forces.”
On March 28, President Barack Obama landed in the infamous Bagram air base and
gave a pep talk to U.S. troops in Afghanistan while wearing a bomber jacket. He
also met with Karzai in Kabul and chided the Afghan leader for his failure to
eliminate corruption — or at least that was the public explanation of
Obama’s comments. Both presidents refused to speak with reporters after
Puppet and puppet master
Karzai’s record as the Afghan president under occupation, just like
McChrystal’s history of organizing search-and-destroy missions in Iraq,
belies his claim that humanitarian concerns compel his complaints about
civilian deaths. Chicago’s long history of scandals makes it unlikely
that Obama is shocked to discover corruption.
In a March 30 article in Asia Times, Indian career diplomat M. K. Bhadrakumar
gave one explanation for what was really behind the words. Karzai was flirting
with improving his relations with Beijing and Tehran, Bhadrakumar wrote, and
Obama was warning him to stay in line. This idea was picked up in the New York
Times in an April 4 article. This possibility and Karzai’s statement
regarding joining the Taliban raise questions about the relationship between
the puppet Afghan government and its U.S. imperialist puppet masters.
The U.S. occupation created the Karzai presidency. Even with the full backing
of U.S.-NATO troops, Karzai was scornfully known as “the mayor of
Kabul.” His power was and is limited to the capital, and he undoubtedly
would be pushed aside — most likely by the Taliban — should the
U.S.-NATO forces suddenly withdraw. Nevertheless, he had made enough deals and
exerted enough power to fix the national elections last year.
It appears Washington would prefer to replace Karzai as its agent in
Afghanistan. Like the British Empire, U.S. imperialism has shown it has no
permanent allies. In the 1960s Washington arranged the assassination of its
favored Rafael Trujillo, dictator of the Dominican Republic, and also overthrew
the Diem regime in Vietnam — both when these ruling groups had grown too
unpopular to be useful. In the 1990s, for similar if less urgent reasons,
Washington expedited the removal of its client dictators Mobuto Sese Seku from
Zaire (now Congo) and Suharto from Indonesia.
But in Afghanistan, who can the U.S. find to replace Karzai?
From his side, Karzai knows he is already out of favor in Washington, and that
his presidency and perhaps his life will be over when the U.S. rulers find an
alternative. Thus he has opened discussions with Iran and China to try to find
more outside support.
With 100,000 troops and a like number of “contractors/mercenaries,”
the U.S. still has the upper hand. And the Pentagon can still do much damage in
the region. But that is far from being in firm control of its own puppet, let
alone of Afghanistan.
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