|When God wants to punish someone arrogant, God sends him to
There is a very old saying among the Muslims in Afghanistan that if God wishes to punish an arrogant nation, God sends them to Afghanistan. In the recent past the British and the Russians learnt this lesson. The Muslims of Afghanistan are confident that the United States too will soon come to know the veracity of this old saying and learn a bitter lesson.
Despite the Western media hype of success in the U.S. operations, latest reports from other independent news agencies confirm that the U.S. and the British forces in Afghanistan are not faring so well and that only around Kabul there is some sort of order, and in the rest of the country, chaos. All reports that many Al-Qaida fighters have been killed are totally false. More innocent civilians, women and children have been killed than the Taliban and Al-Qaida fighters.
The war is far from over as U.S. takes losses. As the fighting on March 2, in the Arma Mountains showed, on March 4, the Pentagon admitted that 8 American soldiers had been killed and 50 injured in the latest offensive.
Notwithstanding the media hype, the U.S. has not achieved any of its objectives in Afghanistan. Washington had set four goals: to capture Osama bin Laden dead or alive, get Mullah Omar the Taliban leader dead or alive, overthrow the Taliban regime: and build a pipeline through Afghanistan for the Caspian Sea oil and gas. The last requires a degree of stability in Afghanistan, and it is the main reason that the U.S. launched its war.
The U.S. has achieved only one objective, and that only partial removal of the Taliban. Their power base has not yet been completely destroyed and the U.S. stooge Hamid Karzai the Interim Leader has not been able to extend his writ beyond Kabul. Even in Kabul his hold on power is tenuous.
There are other problems too, internal rivalries are already resurfacing within the loose coalition. Karzais position is also being undermined by the manner in which the U.S. are going about buying the loyalty of some War Lords. Much of the money promised for Afghanistans reconstruction is not forthcoming; what little has trickled in, Karzai and his family friends have begun to enjoy. This is a sure recipe for disaster, especially when five million are about to starve.
As the law and order situation deteriorates, resistance to the U.S. occupation is likely to intensify. Traditionally, the Afghans lie low in winter. Once spring comes they resume fighting.
There may well be support for Al-Qaida and Taliban fighters from the tribal areas of Pakistan, virtually a no-mans land, where tribal customs, not Pakistan law, rules. Taj Muhammed Wardak, the Governor of Paktia Province, where the recent fighting is alleged on March 5th, said that the Al-Qaida forces were receiving fresh supplies of arms of men and equipment from supporters in the tribal areas of Pakistan.
Earlier on December 20th, 65 tribal elders from Paktia were accidentally mistaken as Al-Qaida fighters and killed by the U.S. fighter planes in an air strike on their way to Karzais Investiture. Similarly, on January 24th, Karzai loyalists were attacked in Hadar Qadain as they slept in an abandoned school, 25 of them were killed and 27 arrested. The 27 arrested were beaten and tortured for 3 weeks before being released.
Further, deep divisions in the interim Afghan government papered over and ignored under U.S. pressure, erupted in February when Abdul Rahman the Minister of Aviation and Tourism was beaten to death on the tarmac of Kabul Airport. The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was unable to save Abdul Rahman who was reportedly dragged out of a plane leaving for India, stripped naked and then beaten to death.
At first, it was alleged that pilgrims enraged by 2 days delay in their journey to Mecca were responsible for the killing. An interim ministry spokesman even tried to put the blame on al-Qaida sympathisers among the pilgrims. However, on February 16th, Hamid Karzai the interim leader announced that Abdul Rahman had been murdered by members of the security intelligence services and that 3 people had been arrested for the killing.
The U. S. and Britain are clearly worried that the interim government they gathered together may unravel even sooner than they have feared. A classified C.I.A. report has warned that Afghanistan could fall into violent chaos if measures are not taken to restrain the power struggle among rival war lords and to control tensions between tribes and clans. While discounting the imminent outbreak of civil war, the C.I.A. warned that the seeds of civil conflict are still present. It also admits the existence of the central and regional authorities and competition for power within the regions.
If the U.S. attack on Afghanistan only restores the pre-Taliban scenario, it will not be long before the guns are turned on the foreigners especially on the Americans who are now being regarded increasingly as the new ugly warlords.
A fate worse than Vietnam is likely to happen to the U.S. confirming the traditional
Afghan saying, "when God wants to punish an arrogant nation, God sends them to
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