Janet's Conner

This Blog tell the Truth and will never not tell the Truth. Impeach Bush

Monday, September 11, 2006

Afghanastan: TRAPPED IN AFGHANASTAN---Part I



TRAPPED IN AFGHANASTAN

WHERE POPPIED BLOOM FASTER THAN DEMOCRACY

This article appears in the September 1, 2006 issue of EIR
By: Ramtanu Maitra

After years of misleading the American population, the Bush-Cheney Administration is now grudgingly admitting that the problems of Afghanastan not only are not going away, but growing by the day. While the anti-U.S. and anti-NATO Afghan rebels are training their guns more and more effectively at the occupying forces, Afghanastan's poppy fields are blooming as they never bloomed before.

Afghanastan is not in the minds of most Americns; it is too far away, and it is not perceived as a threat to the American population. This mindset is surely helping the Bush-Cheney Administation, but the questions is: How long can this mindset continue? News from Afganastan seldom appears on the front pages of the U.S. media. But the trickle of information that does get through, is enough to make it understood that the troops sent by Washington and London are trapped, and their very survival is becoming the key issue.

Gone are the fist-thumping days of 2002, when President Bush used to talk about "Marshall Plan" to develop Afghanastan and make it opium-free.

In 2006, what we hear about Afghanastan is its grinding poverty, widespread illiteracy, disease, and lack of drinking water and electricity for almost 80% of the country---and an increasingly powerful insurgency. According to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, government revenue in Afghanastan is equal to barely 5% of its gross domestic product (GDP), lower than the impoversihed governments of sub-Saharan Africa.

The U.S. occupying forces did little to alleviate Afghanastan's poverty. Opium production, which was diminishing during the Taliban regime's uneasy tenure of five years (1996-2000), has picked up greatly. The Taliban militia, which was ousted by the Anglo-Americans in the winter of 2001, had enforced an effective ban of poppy growing by threatening to jail farmers, which resulted in a sharp reduction in opium production in 2001. But neither Washington nor London could conceive of threatening opium producers with jail terms. Moreover, a few of the drug warloads are now helping the U.S.-backed puppet democracy to stay in place in Kabul.

***I thought the Bush administration didn't deal with terrorists under any circumstances?

Even this nominal Afghan democracy, however, which resembles a slab of Swiss cheese, is now seemingly unworkable. In recent months, media restrictions have been introduced in Kabul. Shaken by the reports of the numbers of dead and injured coming in Afghanastan's south, the country's intelligence agency delivered a message to the majority of broadcasters and publishers that could have been taken from a Soviet-era handbook of press manipulation. The agency warned that the Taliban commanders' interviews and nightly scenes of violence---bombs and bodies---on the news is affecting "the national morale." Washington's showcase democrat in Kabul, President Karzai did not reject the press restrictions, but instead noted that national security was the most important factor for the media to consider, while supporting a free press.

A MILLION POPPIES BLOOM

All these little deviations are embarrassing to some Americans. They find it difficult to acknowdedge that since the successful ouster of the fundamentalist Taliban militia and the introduction of "democracy," opium production in Afghanastan has jumped up sharply. A Western anti-narcotics official in Kabul told the Christian Science Monitor on Aug 16 that preliminary crop projections showed about 370,650 acres of opium poppy cultivated this season---up from 257,000 acres in 2005, and up from the previous record of 323, 700 acres in 2004, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime. At the same time, hundreds of millions of dollars were spent this year in counter-narcotics campaigns.

The final figures of the yield of opium resin from the poppies will be confirmed only when the UN agency completes its assessment of the crop in September, based on satellite imagery and ground surveys. However, The United Nations said that because there was no report of any sharp drop in opium productivity this year, it is safe to assume that at least 6,200 tons of opium resin will be harvested---enough to produce 620 tons of heroin. Thus, it is almost a certainty that the U.S.-and NATO-occupied Afghanastan, under the "democratic rule" of President Hamid Karzai, will succeed in producing almost 95% of the world's heroin.

The "failure" to control the growing annual opium production has developed in the West in recent months a coterie of people who now openly undermine the assertion of a linkage between opium-generated cash and the insurgency. On the other hand, the military on the ground does not subscribe to that. Speaking before the Pentagon reporters on Aug 17, U.S. Gen. James Jones, who heads the NATO forces, said the opium production "certainly cries out for more international focus. The international community understands that we have to have more success in the narcotics field, and we have to do that in the fairly near future."

From the reports coming from Afghanastan, it is evident that the American and NATO troop presence there is hardly helping the Afghans. The foreign troops, who moved around in armored cars with heads popping out of gun turrets, are increasingly identified as enemies, and not friends or saviors, as Washington and London would like gullible Americans to believe.

A DEATHTRAP

The situation in Afghanastan is becoming like that in Iraq, where the occupying forces, and their collaborators, are left with 2 choices: kill or be killed. On Aug 17, the U.S. military had reported that it had "mistakenly" dropped a bomb on a two-vehicle border-police patrol in southeastern Paktika province, killing 10 Afghan police officers. The same day, a suicide bomber blew himself up near an Afghan police post, killing himself and wounding 7 police in the volatile southern province of Uruzgan, the provincial police chief said. Soon afterwards, a foreign soldier with U.S.-led coalition troops was wounded when a roadside bomb hit his convoy in the neighboring southern province of Kandahar. The list goes on and on.

The attacks are the latest in a rising cycle of violence, especially in the south, where the opium landlords and the Pushtun opposition to the foreign troops and the opium landlords rule supreme. More than 1,600 people have died nationwide in violent incidents since the beginning of May, mostly in the south, according to a tally compiled by the Associated Press based on reports from Afghan officials, the U.S. military, and NATO.

In the south and southeast, the insurgents have fully asserted themselves, and the NATO-led security forces are either evading the enemy or moving around in armored cars in less-congested urban areas. In the northeast, too, the U.S.-led troops have run into serious resistance. Coming in from the Pakistan side of the border, insurgents have now begun to threaten the American troops.

It is becoming increasingly evident that the only way either the U.S. troops, or the NATO-led security forces, can survive in Afghanastan is by killing the Afghans. Any Afghan civilian who gets killed by NATO or U.S. troops nowadays is immediately identified as a "Taliban militant."

End of Part I.....

1 Comments:

  • At 2:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Let my Son, Ken come HOME safely and SOON!! He has been stationed in Afghanastan since March 13th of 2006.. Bring him home to safety! He has a 13 year old son and a wife here at home...Mother of a Brave Army Soldier....

     

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