Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Obama’s Afghanistan Review: A Whitewash of a Disastrous Occupation

According to the Obama administration, nothing can happen in the U.S. war in Afghanistan that doesn’t mean good news. 

By Phyllis Bennis and Kevin Martin, Alter Net, December 24, 2010

Apparently nothing can happen in the U.S. war in Afghanistan that doesn’t mean good news. If violence rises, it’s because “we’re taking the fight to the enemy.”  The Pentagon must be taking a lot of fighting to whoever they’re calling the enemy – this year alone the war has killed over 2500 Afghan civilians, and almost 500 U.S. troops and more than 200 other NATO forces have died too.  Of course in those isolated areas where violence may have dropped, it’s because “our strategy is winning.”

President Obama’s most recent Afghanistan review process resulted – surprise! – in the announcement that the U.S./NATO occupation will continue at least until 2014.  Another four years of war, death, and devastation for the people of Afghanistan, as well as for the young U.S. soldiers drafted by poverty and lack of opportunity and sent to kill and die there in escalating numbers.

That earlier promise of July 2011 as the pull-out date?  That one was always at least partially a sham – designed to pacify Obama’s powerfully anti-war base.  The language even when first announced was a carefully ambiguous version that sounded like “July 2011 will start a process to determine whether conditions might allow preparation for beginning consideration of when the partial transfer of some control to Afghan forces might allow for a partial withdrawal of a few U.S. troops…”

As is recognized by the 60% of people in the U.S. who understand that the war in Afghanistan is “not worth fighting,” this is a war we cannot win and cannot afford. There is no military solution – we’ve heard that for years now, from the very leaders orchestrating the war, in the Pentagon, in Congress, in the White House.  And yet, the military battle goes on, despite its inevitable failure.

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