War on Terror: False Victory

There is no victory in Afghanistan’s tribal war,
only the exchange of one group of killers for
another. The difference is that President Bush
calls the latest occupiers of Kabul "our
friends".

There is no victory in Afghanistan’s tribal war,
only the exchange of one group of killers for
another. The difference is that President Bush
calls the latest occupiers of Kabul "our
friends".

However welcome the scenes of people
playing music and shaving off their beards, this
so-called Northern Alliance are no bringers of
freedom.

They are the same people welcomed by
similar scenes of jubilation in 1992, who then
killed an estimated 50,000 in four years of
internecine feuding.


The new heroes so far have tortured and executed
at least 100 prisoners of war, and countless others,
as well as looted food supplies and re-established
their monopoly on the heroin trade.


The truth is that the latest crop of criminals to " liberate" Kabul have been given a second chance by the most powerful country on earth pounding into dust one of the poorest, where people’s life expectancy is just over 40.


And for what?


Not a single terrorist implicated in the attacks on
America has yet to be caught or killed. Osama bin Laden and his network have almost certainly slipped into the tribal areas of the North-West Frontier of Pakistan.

Will Pakistan now be bombed? And Saudi
Arabia, and Egypt, where Islamic extremism and its
military network took root? Of course not.


The Saudi sheikhs, many of them as extreme as the Taliban, control America’s greatest source of oil.


The Egyptian regime, bribed with billions of US
dollars, is an important American proxy. No daisy
cutters for them.


There was, and still is, no "war on
terrorism". Instead, we have watched a variation of the great imperial game of swapping "bad" terrorists for "good" terrorists, while untold numbers of innocent people have paid with their lives: most of one village, whole families, a hospital, as well as teenage conscripts suitably dehumanised by the word "Taliban".


How appropriate that the last American missile to hit Kabul before the "liberators" arrived should destroy the satellite transmitter of the Al-Jazeera television station, virtually the only reliable source of news in the region.


For weeks, American officials have been pressuring the government of Qatar, the Gulf state where Al-Jazeera is based, to silence its broadcasters, who have given a view of the "war against terrorism" other than that based on the false premises of the Bush and Blair "crusade".


The guilty secret is that the attack on Afghanistan was unnecessary. The "smoking gun" of this entire episode is evidence of the British Government’s lies about the basis for the war. According to Tony Blair, it was impossible to secure Osama bin Laden’s extradition from Afghanistan by means other than bombing.


Yet in late September and early October, leaders of Pakistan’s two Islamic parties negotiated bin Laden’s extradition to Pakistan to stand trial for the September 11 attacks.

And yet the US and British governments insisted there was no alternative to bombing Afghanistan because the Taliban had "refused" to hand over Osama bin Laden.


When Tony Blair said this war was not an attack on
Islam as such, he was correct.


Its aim, in the short term, was to satisfy a domestic audience then to accelerate American influence in a vital region where there has been a power vacuum since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of China, whose oil needs are expected eventually to surpass even those of the US. That is why control of Central Asia and the Caspian basin oilfields is important as exploration gets under way.


Above all, what this false victory has demonstrated is that, to those in power in Washington and London and those who speak for them, certain human lives have greater worth than others and that the killing of only one set of civilians is a crime.


If we accept that, we beckon the repetition of
atrocities on all sides, again and again.

[ also see related items:


U.S. Bombs Al-Jazeera and the BBC Off the Air
http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1562


Al-Jazeera TV Leads the New Arab Free Press –
http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1555


Civilian Casualties We’re Not Hearing About in the U.S. –
http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1554


The War in Afghanistan 101: 47 Questions and Answers –
http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1539


U.S. is Dropping World’s Biggest Non-Nuclear bomb in Afghanistan
http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1553


Taliban Agreed to Bin Laden Handover in 1998
http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1545


Channel 4 News Special Reports: Oil Rush
http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1537


Are You A Terrorist? Read the FBI’s Definition!
http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1531


US ‘Planned Attack on Taleban’
http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1528


The Oil Behind Bush and Son’s Campaigns
http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1513


Bush’s [May 2001] Faustian Deal With the Taliban
http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1491


Remembering the Last U.S. Retaliation Against Terror
http://www.theexperiment.org/articles.php?news_id=1482
]

Author: John Pilger

News Service: Mirror.co.uk

URL: http://mirror.icnetwork.co.uk/news/allnews/page.cfm?objectid=11427607&method=full