Afghans Never Mattered, Nor was it a War on Terror: What Mattered was to Dominate Asia and the Resources
Initiating a war of aggression against Afghanistan, without any prior attack by the Asian country is already the first war crime that is not named. What were the reasons for the aggression against Afghanistan?
The US escape from Afghanistan, the collapse of its puppet government, and the anniversary of 9/11, plunge us into an ocean of propaganda and concealment. Especially the reason for the attack on the Asian country by the US and the UK, and their dragging in 51 crony armies, is hidden or lied about.
After the initial aggression, the US recruited a coalition of NATO and more countries to establish dominance on the country. This international occupying force, ISAF, was sweetened with the slogan "Aid and Cooperation"; a cooperation translated into massacring weddings, intentionally destroying hospitals, razing villages by night, or murdering Afghans for sport.
Leaving aside the bubbles of Kabul and other cities under US rule, in many areas of the mostly rural world, coalition armies and militias of local warlords installed by the US have left an average of ten dead in each family. In 2019 in Qatar, the US was already negotiating its defeat with the Taliban, and simultaneously that year was the bloodiest of its invasion, with more bombs dropped, more villages in rubble, and more civilians killed.
That majority of the rural Afghan population, forced to choose between only two options, has ended up preferring the Taliban's authoritarianism, security, and greater respect for people's lives, rather than the authoritarianism, kleptocracy, murder, and rape of the US regime. That is why the Afghan state and its armed forces were instantly disbanded. The army had no more than 5% Pashtuns so it was almost an army of occupation in many areas, with extreme brutality and the soldiers unpaid for months. The cherry on top was President Ghani fleeing with $169 million, although he has denied it.
This military occupation regime has ended in hasty disbandment as a result of US unilateralism and contempt for its European recruits, whose leaders are still in shock at the treatment received from Washington. After the stampede, the Taliban have found themselves the gift of an immense military arsenal with armored vehicles, planes, and helicopters. They also looked a little bewildered in an empty presidential office, but the image of the Taliban leaders standing next to a picture of a cleric blessing a warrior was shocking to the whole world, especially the Islamic world.
The US blunder included stealthily abandoning its gigantic Bagram base, which has a large military airport, to hijack Kabul's civilian airport preventing scheduled passenger flights. No media has questioned the US or asked for explanations. From the commandeered Kabul airport, the Marines shot at Afghans who until the day before were collaborators of their regime out of interest or necessity. Abandoned like the collaborators in South Vietnam in 1975 or the Harkis in Algeria in 1962. In the midst of its delirious airport management, the US authorized the take-off of planes empty of people, but with tons of beer or hundreds of stray dogs and cats, while desperate Afghans who had clung to the fuselage of the aircraft were thrown into the void. Their bodies were left scattered in the suburbs of Kabul.
This disregard for Afghan lives has been the script for these two decades of wanton massacres. The US said goodbye with a drone tearing apart an entire family in Kabul, including their young children between the ages of 2 and 10. The Ahmadi family, whose name no one ever told, paid the arbitrary and random US price in its macabre retaliation to a terrorist attack at the airport. The perpetrators of the attack were that shadowy global franchise called ISIS that paves the US agenda, and they seemed to be begging Biden not to leave, demanding his attention by killing hundreds of Afghans and Marines. There was an afterthought. In a final outburst of vandalism against the Afghans, before leaving the US trashed the technology and radars at Kabul airport in a wanton destruction.
Afghan lives do not matter to the West.
US propaganda in the following days showed us Marines hugging Afghan children so that we would forget the human beings thrown from planes thousands of feet in the air, or the thousands of Ahmadi families massacred over the years.
Despite these publicity stories, Afghan lives have never mattered to the US and the EU.
The US has sacrificed the Afghan people as many times as it has needed for 40 years: as disposable beings in the cold war against the USSR, then abandoned in the black hole of the Afghan civil war; then during the US military occupation and its regime of local warlords, mafias and opium landowners, and finally, again the Afghan people thrown into the Taliban vacuum.
On the EU side, until the very day before the fall of Kabul, Afghans were deported en masse by Turkey on the orders of their European contractor. Afghanistan was a "safe country" for the EU and half of the refugee applicants were sent back. On August 10, at the height of the chaos in the Asian country, Greece, Germany, Denmark, Austria and other countries demanded that the expulsions of Afghans be increased and accelerated.
This Western crushing of lives in Afghanistan, but also in Iraq, Syria, Palestine or Yemen, is inseparably linked to their dehumanization as brown and oriental people, not white, as 50 years ago with the yellows of Vietnam and Cambodia. Moreover, for the West they are all Muslims, and Afghans are especially dark and primitive.
Killing Afghans for their sake, avoiding the International Criminal Court.
Western exceptionalism and arrogance claims the authority to attack other peoples without having been previously attacked, without being held accountable and, with arrogance, refusing to apologize to them. The media fine-tunes it, molding Afghanistan and the Afghans with Eurocentric narratives full of false dogmas; for example that we are the civilized ones and not brutal colonialists.
The media's entanglement in concealing the reasons for the aggression against Afghanistan and the Western crimes committed in the country makes many chronicles combine confusion, emotionality and veiled blame the Afghans themselves for their suffering because of their primitivism and for not accepting what is offered to them. It boils down to: "we have militarily occupied Afghanistan to help them but we have no choice but to kill them because they attack us."
It is the "shoot and cry" narrative to make us feel a false compassion for those we have had to kill because we had no choice but to kill them. It is also used against Palestine, for example when the New York Times displays the photos of 67 slaughtered Gaza children, but at the same time the New York Times does not demand the Israeli apartheid regime to account and gives it unconditional media support.
During these weeks, it is almost impossible to find any media that reminds us that there is an International Criminal Court investigation for war crimes against the US and its puppet governments. It is a taboo subject that should not be raised. The vaporized Afghan regime was trying to block that investigation, and the US declared a national emergency against the ICC and has been trying to destroy that court ever since.
Western abuse of Afghan women
Some media have peddled fraudulent criticism, pontificating on how the occupation should have been planned and executed to better subdue the country, but without questioning the invasion, with the narrative distorted and again abusing Afghan women.
Twenty years ago news about Afghan women filled the media or disappeared from the media following orders from the US government, as WikiLeaks has revealed.
The repeated cynicism in recent weeks in the abuse of Afghan women and all Afghan people has been denounced by women activists around the world, accusing white feminism for its masking of the colonial war in Afghanistan and for sustaining Western supremacism and Islamophobia.
Despite the progress made in the cities, the long US domination did not improve the situation of women and even worsened it due to the impunity of the local warlords who worked for the regime. These opium landowners raped underage kids and the US military was ordered to silence them. 80% of women were still forcibly married, many of them were girls. Raped women were killed or ended up in prison for moral crime. Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan's first US president, passed a law in 2009 authorizing a husband to starve his wife to death if she sexually rejects him. Kabul airport still bears his name.
This has been the reality of the US regime for women. Based on the gap between rural and urban Afghan women, it is they who will fight for their rights, and for that, they will not need the West's colonial vision, propaganda, bullets, or bombs.
In short, after years of the news blackout, the revived media attention on Afghanistan, denigrating and using its people, has been the product of the spectacle of imperial defeat rather than a sudden hypocritical concern for Afghan lives.
The lies of the aggression against Afghanistan
Initiating a war of aggression against Afghanistan, without any prior attack by the Asian country is already the first war crime that is not named, is systematically dodged, and from which all the others have been perpetrated for 20 years. To avoid this uncomfortable reality a confusing narrative is woven by the West.
Of course, the argument that this country was invaded because of the humiliation of the US after the Al-Qaeda terrorist attack of 9/11 is false. The US could have executed many possible acts of revenge more cheaply, quickly, and both mediatically and bloodily satisfying. The Al-Qaeda terrorist group was not the reason. A few hundred members, recruited, trained and used by the US -for example in their transfer to the Yugoslavian war- occupied more headlines and political declarations than US energies to investigate them, despite the tips and certainties about a gigantic attack. Nor was the reason Bin Laden, whom the Taliban offered to hand over in 1998 and 2001, and both Clinton and Bush refused; nor was the reason to bring democracy, or freedom for Afghan women;and neither was the reason the Taliban, who vanished and self-dissolved a few months after the US invasion. Incredible as it may seem to us, in 2002 there was no longer an insurgency in Afghanistan.
The reasons for the aggression against Afghanistan
The first reason was to occupy the central Asian space after its balkanization by the disintegration of the USSR, blocking any future restoration of Russia's influence or China's growth.
The second reason was to obtain the region's resources, especially Turkmenistan's gas and Afghanistan's own mineral resources if it could sustain a stable and long-lasting puppet regime throughout the country for investment.
Brzezinski was a US national security advisor and ideologue of reference for the White House for several decades. He was the initiator of the decades of massacres for the Afghan people by ordering to arm and finance the monster of extremism in Afghanistan to sink the USSR into a Soviet Vietnam. His shadowy agents like Christina Rocca delivered the missiles to the mercenaries assembled in Afghanistan with the first $500 million earmarked by Carter to fund Islamist terrorism.
In August 1979, the US embassy in Kabul reported that US interests will benefit from the demise of the socialist government, "despite the setbacks this will mean for Afghanistan's society and economy."
The US is adept at creating monsters, supporting them, and then fighting them, or not, depending on the advantage of doing so. From Suharto in Indonesia, the dictatorships and paramilitaries of America, Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge, or Islamic terrorism, with ISIS as the latest franchise.
Brzezinski also pointed out that the US should conquer balkanized Asia as it had succeeded in the European balkanization of the USSR and Yugoslavia. He asserted that US hegemony depended on how long, and how effectively, it managed to maintain its dominance in Central Asia. To achieve this, it was essential to set no limits to US militarization and foreign policy, as well as to fabricate an internal consensus in society through control of the media.
That is the picture of the US today, led since 2001 by something akin to a military junta.
The continental masses of Eurasia and Africa turn the Americas and Oceania into peripheries, with the difficulty that this implies for the US in maintaining its hegemony. 75% of the world's population lives in this space, it possesses 75% of the world's energy resources and represents 60% of the world's GDP. And its geographical center is the scar that runs from the Suez Canal to Lebanon and Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and the former Soviet republics of Asia.
Afghanistan is one of the central squares on the chessboard, and the strip from the Mediterranean to Iran permanently under attack by the West is the new Middle East that Condoleezza Rice wanted to design in 2006 while personally overseeing "Israel's" invasion of Lebanon.
Having to flee one of the central positions in Eurasia without being able to leave a puppet government means that the US has only the recourse of attempting a future of chaos in Afghanistan so that it does not fall under the influence of geopolitical rivals either. This is not 1980 and this US objective of its "constructive chaos" is slowly failing in West Asia.
The projected New American Century dominating the center of Asia, the Middle East, and the world has failed in less than 20 years, as Brzezinski acknowledged in 2016.
Arguably, it was the two powers, not just the USSR, who lost the Cold War in the heart of Asia with a few years of temporary mismatch.
Looking back to the past can be seen in a different light. If the US is the heir and continuator of the colonial policy of the British Empire, then what the Afghans have suffered in these decades has been the continuation of the confrontation in Asia between the Russian Empire and the British/Anglo-Saxon Empire, with defeat for both.
The victory of the Great Game will be for Pakistan, China, and other Asian countries.
The reasons for the long occupation of Afghanistan
In 2002 the Taliban disappeared, all tribal leaders accepted in assembly the US domination and for the first time in decades, there was no insurgency or armed clashes. Bush could have proclaimed an end to the war but he did not.
If he had ended the "War on Terror" after finishing off the Taliban and left Afghanistan after a short relief period, he wouldn’t be able to guarantee himself a stable puppet regime, nor would it be able to initiate the second phase of this so-called war on terror: the invasion and occupation of Iraq.
Afghanistan brings together the geopolitical value of its location in the center of Asia and for Turkmenistan to Pakistan gas pipeline, TAP, and also for the trillions of dollars in Afghan rare earths, minerals, and hydrocarbons. Those deposits were desired by Bush and also by Democrats, such as candidate Pete Buttigieg who has a large map in his living room of Afghan resources. But Afghan resources and TAP were only a possibility, as they depended on a stable and durable puppet regime for the large investments needed.
However, in Iraq, the looting of trillions of dollars was easy and immediate with the infrastructure built and in place.
Bush, therefore, needed to maintain war operations in an Afghanistan that was paradoxically calm and expectant, as he needed to buy time to build a fraudulent nexus with Saddam Hussein.
In January 2002, Bush frightened his citizens: in a remote Afghan cave, Marines had discovered plans and maps of US water purification plants and nuclear power plants, as well as chemical weapons manuals. It was the first of many set-ups to link to Iraq's alleged chemical weapons. A few years later, with Iraq already invaded, the discovery announced by Bush was shown to be another lie, but it was useful for his strategy of making Afghanistan the gateway to Iraq. This geopolitical expansionist warmongering was later applied by Obama to Syria and North Africa.
With respect to the Turkmenistan pipeline, the Western media were more honest in 2001 than they are today in recognizing its importance in the invasion of Afghanistan.
Caspian Sea oil and gas were necessary to slow the development of Russia and China, and to marginalize Iran's gas. It was also necessary so that the US would not have to depend on the Middle East. The Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey pipeline also serves that function.
Years before 9/11 and the aggression against Afghanistan, the US was negotiating with the Taliban about the construction of the TAP. A delegation of the Taliban movement traveled to the US, invited to Texas by the Unocal oil company and to Washington by the Secretary of State.
This oil company, which obtained its oil concessions in Asia by irregularly sidelining other companies, set US policy on Afghanistan. Its objective was to create an American Silk Road before the Chinese one. People in Unocal's pay have occupied US political positions related to Afghanistan as pipeline brokers: among them Robert Oakley, ambassador to Pakistan, the aforementioned missile trafficker Christina Rocca, or Zalmay Khalilzad, who has passed through all the US armchairs, until he became the current negotiator of the US defeat against the Taliban. Afghan President Hamid Karzai was also in Unocal's pay.
One obstacle in 1997 was that the Taliban regime was sanctioned by the UN, and therefore the US could not invest in Afghanistan. The Taliban had to show good behavior by handing over Bin Laden in order to gain international recognition and be able to build the pipeline. But the Taliban rejected the offer of $100 million per year for the planned transit of Turkmenistan's hydrocarbons, about 30 cents per barrel, and also wanted proof of Bin Laden's terrorist links before handing him over to the US.
By 2021, the auction has increased tenfold. The collapsed regime of Turkmenistan is now offering $1 billion a year to Afghanistan if it builds the pipeline.
In the end, the U.S. assessed that the Taliban were not going to be useful as a necessary puppet government to control the heart of Asia, regardless of whether there could be an agreement on the TAP pipeline.
In August 1998, the negotiations broke down. Al-Qaeda attacked the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and Clinton bombed Afghanistan and Sudan with cruise missiles. The US abandoned its first option of exploring the Taliban movement to dominate Afghanistan and moved on to the second option: to conquer the country and impose a lasting puppet regime.
Months before 9/11, in June 2001, just as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization was founded, the US war machine was already poised against Afghanistan. The gigantic attack on the twin towers by a terrorist group served to silence criticism of invading a country that was already planned to be invaded beforehand.
And so the US created the Afghan war and then lost it.
The transfer of wealth to the elites of the West and the Persian Gulf
There is another element that has energized the endless wars of these first decades of the 21st century and Julian Assange expressed it in 2011 in an interview: the transfer of wealth from European and US citizens to the elites of the arms companies, within the ultra-liberal process of wealth concentration of the last decades.
The US has admitted having spent more than $2 trillion on the war. Washington's propaganda media wanted to convince us that the US was implementing a gigantic Marshall Plan for the development of Afghanistan. The reality is that it was a circular machine, with 90% of the spending going to military corporate elites outsourced by the war. The $2 trillion went to five major arms companies, which have increased the value of their stock tenfold over the past 20 years, twice as much profit as the rest of Wall Street's most profitable companies.
Only 10% of the money ended up being spent in Afghanistan, a huge sum, but not in the form of investment or infrastructure. That money greased the puppet regime of warlords and mafias.
For example, Afghanistan had as many as 700 military bases. To ensure the security of supply convoys against attacks by unknown armed groups (of the local Mafiosi themselves), the US paid those warlords $2,000 for the security of each truck. That regional warlord would, if necessary, pay a toll on the Taliban.
The US military bases commissioned public works in their area by paying cash to the Afghans who then lined up in front of the military base. No productive infrastructure was created except roads and tunnels of military interest. Not even related to the needs of the occupation, as food and clothing traveled from military bases in the Persian Gulf.
Western NGOs financed by governments or corporations have also been another factor of corruption in Afghanistan, as other peoples of the region suffer, under the false altruism of the aggressors themselves.
The Afghan regime had no income from its own taxation and could not pay its own civil servants, police, or army. The money was transferred by the US and most of these gigantic funds were stolen by the leaders Washington relied on while the civil servants were not paid for months.
The Afghan GDP in 2011 was $18 billion. That same year 2011, $11 billion in cash, almost the value of the GDP, left Kabul airport towards Emirates and Qatar because there was no limit to the amount of money a passenger could take out of the country. When the limit was put in place, senior Afghan officials of the U.S. regime were still excluded from declaring at the airport.
On the other side of the planet, the effects of the looting and heroin bombing of US citizens can be seen in the streets of Philadelphia and other US cities.
After the black hole it has left in the country, the US may try to explore the Taliban again. A few days after the conquest of the country by the Taliban group, the CIA Director arrived in Kabul to meet with one of its most important leaders, a former US prisoner. After this meeting, the Taliban agreed that US mercenaries and contractors hiding in Afghanistan could leave the country. We will see if there have been more agreements, for example on gas pipelines, although it will be even more difficult than in 2001.
Twenty years after its founding, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization represents half the world's population, half the known hydrocarbon reserves, and four nuclear powers. Iran will become a full member at the next meeting in Tajikistan. Asian development continues, and SCO diplomacy will be the one to manage and absorb the vacuum in Afghanistan. The Afghan country will surely end up becoming a dictatorial theocracy like those in the Arabian Peninsula rather than a regime of out-of-control savagery.
The birth of an era of Eurasian hegemony is the nightmare of the US, and also the bad dream of that appendage of Asia called Europe, which almost accidentally became dominant 500 years ago with its colonialism.