Friday, December 28, 2007

Faith in Violence

The cost of the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan is climbing towards one trillion dollars, with some estimates suggesting that the total cost will climb into the multiple trillions by the middle of the next decade, assuming that these two seemingly endless quagmires were to continue for that long. Iraq was once one of the most prosperous countries in the Middle East, with modern infrastructure such as power utilities and water and sanitation being built over the course of decades using the proceeds from a state owned oil industry. Now the country is destroyed and poverty is endemic, while child starvation is a persistent fact of life in Afghanistan. All the hundreds of billions and even trillions of dollars are not being spent on human needs but rather are being poured into violent bloodshed, with the human and social toll of the conflicts feeding back into a growing insurgency that gains more support as the months and years go by, resulting in even more money being poured into the open cesspool of violence and oppression in response to the constantly swelling support for the insurgency in those two countries. The Taliban have made a comeback in Afghanistan and the great majority of Iraqis want the Americans out of their country, while millions of Iraqis have become homeless refugees because of the conflict in their country. In order to fend off starvation the farmers in Afghanistan have turned to the heroin trade such that 90 percent of the world's heroin is now being produced. When attempts were made by the NATO forces to spray the poppy plants, the population turned to the Taliban for protection so that the poppy fields could be protected, and as a result the Taliban now once again control the southern part of the country.

When you consider the trillions of dollars being flushed down a sewer and when you consider just how much easier it would have been to win people over with a little help, or even a lot of help, since a trillion is a lot of money to be spending, then you can realize just how fucking brainless political leadership on this planet has become and just brutish and barbaric the minds of the entire political establishment must be to think that they can 'win a victory' simply buy using more brutality and spending ever greater amounts on violence as the violence they unleashed previously inspires more insurgency, thus requiring more spending on brainless violence. It is exactly this process which occurred in Vietnam and as the soldiers in that country used to say, there were no civilians in that place, since everyone was a supporter of the Viet Cong, this rising militancy occurring over the period of years as a response to brutality and violence. The same process is underway in both Iraq and Afghanistan and the brutish policy of the political establishment is the same as it was in Vietnam, more money and more violence, and while the idiotic twaddle about 'victory at any cost' continues, it is easy to predict how things will turn out at the end of it all. Some people apparently learn nothing from history.

The following interesting article appeared in the Observer, written by Jason Burke and entitled “No Hope of Victory Soon in Afghanistan.”

He wrote, “In late 2003 I interviewed starving peasants in a ward of Kandahar hospital. That there was still famine two years after Afghanistan had been invaded by the world’s richest superpower was not just a disgrace, but plain dumb. When I spoke to inhabitants of the village outside Kandahar where the Taliban had been founded a decade previously, they told me how they were planting opium to survive, how they did not want the religious hardliners back, but wanted security, justice and protection from rapacious government officials and warlords, and how they would like a well.

“Last week, fierce battles raged around that village as NATO troops tried to wrest it back from the insurgents. The international coalition fought one easy war to win Afghanistan in 2001, then lost a third of the country through negligence and is now fighting a hard second war to get it back.

“This puts recent tactical victories in perspective. Musa Qala, the town retaken from the Taliban last week, is a small district centre in one of the remote parts of the country. If Afghanistan were the United Kingdom, it would be a market town in mid-Wales. If [Conservative Opposition leader] David Cameron seriously thinks the fight for it is the equal of D-Day, then he should look at an atlas.”