McC-hrystal’s much-vaunted new strategy in Afghanistan is running into the throes of a crisis

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By I. M. Mohsin:

The payback for the atrocious policies pursued by the neocons appears to be on. General Stanley McC-hrystal’s much-vaunted new strategy in Afghanistan is running into the throes of a crisis. Starting with a massive attack on Marjah in Helmand, which put up traditional resistance, the tactical retreat of the ‘enemy’ occasioned rather optimistic reactions from the US high command. Perhaps playing to the gallery, the general announced that the whole of the southern part would be taken over by the US forces to “hold and build.”

Furthermore, Marjah itself is reported to be having an uneasy calm which is manipulated by the ‘cash flow’ being made to the local people to ingratiate them. No wonder all has been quiet on this front for about a fortnight, while some attacks against the foreign troops including the Bagram Bastion have taken place in other provinces. In the meantime, either as propaganda or strategy, it was indicated that the next push would be against Kandahar. Accordingly, several reports projected a massive mobilisation of the forces.

Consequently, last Saturday the Taliban launched awful attacks in Kandahar. As per the BBC, quoting AP, one local Muhammad Anwar termed it “like Doomsday for all of Kandahar people.” It killed atleast 35 people including some policemen, besides injuring double that number. Referring to McChrystal’s statement pledging to “trample the Taliban” in the area, AFP quoted Yousuf Ahmadi, a spokesman for the ‘enemy’, as emphasising: “This was an answer to General McChrystal…this was to sabotage the operation and to show we can strike anywhere, any time we want.” Nevertheless, the situation in Kandahar is pretty grim and well reflects the ground realities. Although such statements from the general maybe meant to boost the morale of their forces deployed in the operation, as well as the American electorate, but apparently these are counterproductive.

The American policy in Afghanistan appears as an anomaly. On the one hand, it is pursuing – through their acolyte Karzai – to negotiate with the Taliban that would be mediated by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia’s. No wonder President Karzai has been running around to comply with the agenda set in Washington DC. On the other hand, military operations are being undertaken in the south to ‘wipe out the Taliban’. Unfortunately, the killings of civilians, as a result of such moves, get billed against the US.

It should be remembered that America’s massive military presence in the area is supposed to provide security to the local people. However, when that gets breached due to its actions or the enemy’s reaction, the Afghans are resentful. As a corollary, the recent spate of bombing in Pakistan has killed about 100 people with many injured. The people here have little faith in governance but they believe such depredations to be the outcome of our support for the US war; so while Lahore saw a deadly spectacle like Kandahar last week, the point-scoring among politicians was an affront to the nation.

As such the US is losing considerable goodwill also in Pakistan. Some Pakistanis see the current set-up as being a proxy of the US which fans the extremism further. Still others, while appreciating the grit of our army and police are upset by US failure to provide the Pakistani forces with the latest equipments necessary for waging a successful campaign.

As if Afghanistan was not enough of a teaser, the trauma caused by the Israeli land grabbing in East Jerusalem and the rebuff given by Benjamin Netan-yahu to Joe Biden on the subject lately is the “most unkindess cut of all.” Biden, like Hillary Clinton, has been an effusive supporter of the Jewish lobby. Since the Obama Administration took-over, it has been trying to act goody-goody about all the violations of human rights committed by Israel against occupied Palestine. Despite the diplomatic overtures by Oba-ma’s special representative for Middle East, George Mitchell, the Israeli government has found it convenient to insult the US president by their defiance.

Unfortunately, since the occupation of Palestine by the Jews, land grabbing, especially by the rightwing extremists under the garb of faith, has remained a highly paying enterprise. As US administrations have tended to look the other way or outrightly support such fraud, like the neo-cons did, Israelis assume that they can dictate their ‘friend’. No wonder, Netan insulted Biden by pandering to the rightwing to sustain his ‘humpty dumpty’ government.

OIC and the Muslim countries may be too depraved to jointly react to such an atrocity against an ‘occupied’ people but the US is being seen as the ultimate source of misery of the Palestinians. This feeling of Muslims being victimised due to US ‘interests’ is spreading. What’s more, it gets aggravated by the prevailing suspicion among Muslims, and many Americans, about the 9/11 Commission Report as a cover-up for an ‘inside job’.

Similarly, the Taliban emerged in Afghanistan, inter alia, due to resentment against the USA’s desertion of their country after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Now, of course they appear more confident. Even Osama Bin Laden before he was killed by the US, as per Gordon Duff of the US Veterans website, believed that the Muslims were being ‘victimised’. This was considered by him due to the power of the US to patronise lackeys in various Muslim countries post 9/11. Therefore, his ideology appears to be gaining ground which raises new hazards for the ‘middle of the road’ Muslims all over.

In this backdrop, the way the neocons exploited 9/11 to launch the wars, allegedly for oil, is a serious sore. It gets strangely energised by the Israeli atrocities and USA’s faux pas. Too often it is being projected by the US media as ‘why do they hate us’; perhaps to mislead the public at home who are kept in the dark about the realities regarding the policies dictated by ‘special interests’ in the US. If Israel can insult the US despite being the senior-most beneficiary of its AID, where is the superpower headed. The wild goose chase for Taliban, while banking on Israeli aggressiveness, a la Dubai murder etc, may prove to be a mare’s nest. The US has to side with justice to save its credibility and power, per se. One and half billion people cannot be conquered or wiped out; much less prompted to join the ‘extremists’ for the ‘apocalypse’ that is coming soon.

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