Arabian lessons for Afghanistan

Over the last three months or so, we heard the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton repeatedly saying that “violence is not the right way to resolve issues” and “we urge all parties involved to practice maximum restraint” and “ … is so out of touch with his people”, and all of those ‘vacation responses’ from the American foreign policy ‘messaging system’. The funny thing is, well you guessed it, they don’t do these things themselves.

Few weeks ago we witnessed the latest in a very long series of accidents where civilian Afghan people are bombarded by the coalition forces in Afghanistan.

The war there is potentially the biggest failing military operation in the history. That and the Soviet invasion of the same country of course. There’s something messing here, and the NATO countries need to put their fingers on the wound and start the healing process immediately, otherwise the 2014 withdrawal deadline could end up being a disaster for everyone, if it will not be postponed to 2041 of course.

There seems to be a whole world of gaps between the policy makers in NATO states, and in particular in the USA, and the situation on the ground in Afghanistan. The coalition forces there are so out of touch with the people of Afghanistan, that on several occasions wedding ceremonies are assumed to be Taliban gatherings, and therefore, attacked. Such accidents increase the gap between Afghani people and NATO forces.

For some reason, the US is viewing everything in Afghanistan from the perspective of force and security. For them, this is a ‘war’ that needs to be won. For Afghani people, this is their life, their land, their families and their bread. It’s much more than just a ‘war’ for them, and unless the US includes all of these aspects into their policy regarding Afghanistan, they will always be out of touch.

Of course they can build schools, and allow TV channels to open, and appoint women in high government position, but again, that’s a progress from the western democratic point of view, not from the point of view of Afghani people. I would bet that this in itself is giving the forces of Taliban an additional card to play with the Afghani people, while galvanizing them against the NATO forces accusing them of ‘westernizing’ Afghanistan!

The United States efforts in Afghanistan look more like a doctor who wants to cure a patient, but he thinks the patient is too dirty, that he is afraid to touch him! The US started this war in Afghanistan to prevent attacks on America, but while fighting this war, and after hundreds of thousands of lives have been killed, the US army is too timid to engage in ‘curing’ that country, that it is becoming more concerned with the immediate security of its soldiers, which can in some occasions work against the long term goal. Just like that doctor who doesn’t want to touch his patient. And that’s why the patient doesn’t trust the doctor, and believes that he wants to kill him, not cure him.

There was this old joke. It says that there was a man who wanted to learn how to fly a plane. He bought a book called “How to fly a plane” and rent a plane and followed the instructions step by step, until he was in the air. That’s when he discovered that the last page of the book says “In our next book we will explain to you how to land the plane!”.

I have this impression that the US always behave like this man in all of its wars. They are very skilled in attacking and killing and acquiring territories, but their problem is always how to get out of these conflicts.

The way to get out of Afghanistan is to follow the advices they have been giving to Arab leaders, and to engage in a meaningful dialogue with all the Afghani people, including, and I would even say specifically, with Taliban. Both parties should be ready to make concessions . The notion that the US doesn’t talk to enemy is merely a ridiculous Bush propaganda, to justify his unnecessary wars that could’ve been avoided with talks. Taliban is a very important player in the field, and in the minds of Afghani people, and any peace in Afghanistan can only be achieved through consensus and dialogue, not violence.

Lastly, the American people need to remember that Taliban never attacked the US, until the US attacked Afghanistan. They only protected Bin Laden who’s organization took refuge in Afghanistan, and I believe that a peaceful resolution could’ve been reached in this regard had Bush sincerely pursued it. 10 years of bombardment didn’t achieve much, and throwing more bombs on Afghani people will only strengthen the Taliban, just like Gaddafi’s bombs strengthen the determination of the revolutionaries to uproot his regime.

Let’s hope Obama can be wiser than Gaddafi.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply