Is there light at the end of the tunnel?

US mercenaries are also reportedly being used to assassinate militants and enemies of Pakistan’s US-installed government, and to target Pakistan’s nuclear installations for future US action. This, and increasing attacks by US killer drones, have sparked outrage across Pakistan and brought warnings of creeping US occupation.
US and NATO forces in Afghanistan are like a man trying to fix a chimney on the roof of a burning house.



by Eric Margolis


Is it finally light at the end of the Afghan tunnel, or an oncoming express train? Total confusion erupted last week as the US, NATO, the UN and the Kabul government all issued differing views on new plans to end the nine year Afghan war by bombarding Taliban with tens of millions in cash instead of precision bombs.

One thing is clear: the US and its NATO allies are losing the war in Afghanistan in spite of their fearsome arsenal of high tech weapons and war chests of billions of dollars.

Lightly-armed Pashtun tribesmen are living up to their legendary reputation of making Afghanistan the graveyard of empires.

So Washington and London, both in dire financial straits, say they are now ready for a possible peace deal with the Pashtun Taliban and its nationalist allies.  But, in spite of a $1.4 trillion deficit, President Barack Obama is asking Congress for an additional $33 billion more for the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan.

If you can’t bomb them into submission, then try buying them off.

A conference was held in London last Thursday to raise tens of millions of dollars to try to bribe lower level Taliban to cooperate with the western occupation and/or lay down its arms.

Bribery is a time-honored tool of war.   But it’s not the answer in Afghanistan. The bloody Afghan conflict can only be ended by genuine peace negotiations and withdrawal of all foreign troops.

US commanders in Afghanistan admit they have lost the military initiative. The resistance is steadily gaining ground.   Obama’s increasing US and allied troops to 150,000 won’t be enough to defeat Taliban.  By year end, US and NATO forces will only equal the number of Soviet forces committed to Afghanistan in the 1980’s.

Meanwhile, Pakistan, without whose cooperation the US cannot wage war in Afghanistan, is in turmoil. The US is infiltrating Xe (formerly Blackwater) and DynCorp mercenaries into Pakistan to protect US military supply routes north from Karachi to Afghanistan, and to operate or defend US air bases in Pakistan.

US mercenaries are also reportedly being used to assassinate militants and enemies of Pakistan’s US-installed government, and to target Pakistan’s nuclear installations for future US action. This, and increasing attacks by US killer drones, have sparked outrage across Pakistan and brought warnings of creeping US occupation.

US and NATO forces in Afghanistan are like a man trying to fix a chimney on the roof of a burning house.

As Pakistan burns, so will Afghanistan.  Seventy-five percent of all US and NATO supplies for Afghanistan pass through Pakistan. This past weekend, the first time, NATO supply convoys were attacked by militants in the port of Karachi.

Washington lacks the men, money, and understanding to deal with chaotic Pakistan – never mind chaotic Afghanistan.

Washington, London, Ottawa, Berlin and Paris share the same problem: their war propaganda has so demonized Taliban as terrorists and woman abusers that western politicians are petrified to deal with the tribal movement, and risk being accused of sending soldiers to their deaths in a futile war.   The far right will howl “appeasement,” “giving in to terrorism,” and “betraying our boys.”

These advocates of permanent war and torture should be ignored. Afghans have suffered over 3 million deaths in 30 years of wars. They desperately need peace, political stability, and rebuilding, not the current western-installed puppet regime of thieving war lords, drug mafias, and thugs of the old Afghan Communist Party.

The best thing we can do for our western soldiers is to get them out of the Afghan morass before they die in this pointless war, or get stuck there for decades.

The west can’t “win” in Afghanistan. In fact, Washington cannot even define what victory means. The intelligent, straight-talking American ambassador to Kabul, former general Karl Eikenberry, as well a as VP Joe Biden, insist it’s time to start peace talks. We should heed their sensible advice.

The US and its allies need a face-saving way out of Afghanistan. Real peace talks are the answer. Not the ruse long proposed by US Gen. Stanley McChrystal to try to bribe away low-ranking Taliban and so split the Afghan resistance.

This stratagem worked to a degree with Sunni tribesmen in Iraq, but is unlikely to succeed with the proud Pashtun tribes who value honor more than money. Theirs is an antique concept most westerners cannot understand.

Taliban, an anti-Communist religious movement, knew nothing about al-Qaida’s plans to attack the United States. That plot was hatched in Europe, not Afghanistan. Many members of the anti-Communist Taliban and its allies Hisbi Islami and the Haqqani group were former allies of the west and were hailed by President Ronald Reagan as `freedom fighters.’

After 9/11, Taliban refused to hand over Osama Bin Laden to the enraged United States without proper evidence of his guilt because he was an honored guest and hero of the anti-Soviet jihad.

Taliban chose war with the US before betraying a guest. Such men are not to be easily bought.

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2010

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12 replies to “Is there light at the end of the tunnel?

  1. One thing needs to be clearly understood that the failure of US lead force in Afghanistan will be justifiably attributed to the Pakistanis playing the spoilers.

    And this failure of the US will come at a huge cost to Pakistan.

    The US-Pakistan relations will never be the same again !

  2. Yes there is light only at the end of the tunnel .Thus the peace in the middle world can only be expected after the end of radical Islam in the region .Drones will have to remain active for many more years in the area for the perpose .

  3. Afghanistan – The grave yard of the empires putting an open challenge to entire humanity therefore a very turbulent situation is going to emerge in the region . Since it can not become the grave-yard for entire humanity thus history is not going to repeat there. Whatever is being done there as a peace initiative amidst war is just to reduce the possible loss of life of both side . The war against Terrorism or radical Islam is an irreversible process and will only end after realizing its goal at any cost .

  4. @ Dr. A.K. Tewari,

    Graveyard of empires is no challenge to humanity. On the other hand it is a test of humanity how it can salvage a poor, highly under developed, war torn nation out of the morass created by a super power on its threshold, which unfortunately has out- manoeuvered Pakistan’s governing elite into its ally in this so called War on terror.

    History does repeat itself when men in power do not learn a lesson from what already occurred to the mightiest nations on earth. US empire is going to be no exception to this historical fact and will have a fate not much different from empires of the past eras. Simply because Obama has equally been myopic to read what those empires already faced in Afghanistan.

    Muhammad Wasi of Kundian

  5. @ Neel123,

    US is already trying to find faults with Pakistan when it faces a failure in Afghanistan while she puts as it causes to be in Pakistan’s Fata area. Position is though the other way round i.e. It is not Pakistan the spolier but the US itself which attacked Afghanistan on flimsiest charges as it did in Iraq.

    Nothing is going to happen to Pakistan Insha Allah. Your wishes which are evident from your words are never going to take practical shape and will remain hollow words of your wishful thinking. History will take its own course. Afghanistan is a land which is unlike any other nation on earth. The Afghans are ready to pay any price for their independence.They will pay the price but the opposing forces will eqaully have to bear the full cost of illegally occupying their country.

  6. @ Wasi , If the terrorists continued to recieve intellectual’s support in any forms then the proposed peace process is not going to end the conflict and it is bound to prolong that means more loss of life in the days ahead therefore all peace loving people should suggest possible ways and means through which solution to the current crisis can be achieved .Otherwise the situation may pull us towards the possible use of weapon of mass distruction in the region .

  7. Dr. A. K. Tewari, Neel 123,

    Gentlemen! I didn’t feel like writing something over your highly prejudiced comments against Islam & Pakistan frequently offered on this blog, as to me these have been nothing but just the venomous outbursts of two evil Hindutva minds, who like their other extremist Hindu brothers, always want to eliminate altogether the Indian Muslims as well as of Pakistan’s or push them out of the subcontinent and afterwards declare the great Hindutva Bharat because once there is no Pakistan, there will be no Nepal, no Bhutan, no Bangladesh etc. as all of them will easily be assimilted by the Indian might as India already did in early part of post independence years [by assimilating states like Hyderabad, Junagarh, Manvdar, Mangrol and above all Jammu & Kashmir who were autonomus yet militarily weak states].

    Then you continously write against Islamic militants but while deriding the Islamic radicals you close your eyes from Hindu radicals like those who burnt thousands of Muslims in an Indian village and putting fire to Samjhota Express train, thus burning a lot number of Pakistanis to mere ashe. All these barbaric acts have now been proved to be handiwork of Shiv Sena, RSS, Bajrang Dal and so many other extremist Hindu outfits in India with the active support and connivance of Col. Prohit of the Indian army. Late Hemant Kerkre had mticulously digged out the hand of these individuals / organisations behind these barbarities. Poor Mr. Kerkre because of his truthful findings had to pay the price of his independent investigations with his life.

    Your cruelties in Jummu and Kashmitr continue unabated. Am sending herewith a YouTube video to editor of this blog with a request to pleeeease show up this video here. This video is a documentary proof of how the army of world’s largest democracy shoots up the people of Jammu and Kashmir, and in so doing, they don’t even spare the innocent Kashmiri children [who like flowers are yet to blossom with their vibrant colours, fresh youth and energy, the real wealth of a nation]. But your brutal army murders even the children of Kashmir [You can see how your army didn’t spare this Kahmiri child 13 yars of age [who while playing cricket was murdered by your peace loving, valiant jawans of the Indian army].

    Muhammad Wasi of Kundian

  8. I appriciate your open aligations against the RSS. Bajrang Dal. Siv Sena etc etc .We are living in a democratic country .There are so many drabacks still present in our democratic set up which will certainky get eradicated in due course of time . Our state policy is not based on any religion but it has imbibed all good features of the constitutions different countries in the world . In contrast to it most of the muslim contries in the world are locked within the periphery of out dated thinking being progagated by different interpretations of religious book by different Mullas within the closed boudaries of Masajid and Madarsas resulting the bumper crops of radical Islamists and terrorists . It is due to above reason there exists troble in most of the muslim countries in the world.They are now creating problems in different parts of the world .

  9. Afghan war – A war of miscalculation . Since so far it is not clear where error lies therefore the war is going to prolong . The defeat is certain of one of the warring party .The defeated party will also require a honourable exit so don’t dillute the power of the pen by confronting with each other , wait and see …..AAGE AAGE HOTA HAI KIYA .

  10. Afghan ,…..war – A war of miscalculation . Since so far it is not clear where error lies therefore the war is going to prolong . The defeat is certain of one of the warring party .The defeated party will also require an honourable exit so don’t dillute the power of the pen by confronting with each other , Wait Mr.Wasi and see …..AAGE AAGE HOTA HAI KIYA .

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