Previously I shared some thoughts about Mullah Baradar’s arrest and how there seem to be a lot more implications than meet the eye. See Thoughts on Mullah Baradar’s Arrest for Part 1.
As Operation Moshtarak continues and civilian casualties mount, US General Petraeus said that this was the first in a series of operations that would last for 12-18 months. This troop surge strategy seems to be taken from the Iraq war. The problem with this strategy is that it doesn’t work. Fallujah and Marjah, Iraq surge and Afghanistan surge, there are parallels between the two. Now, the Americans claim that the troop surge in Iraq has worked and Obama/Biden and Republicans are fighting over who should take credit
This claim of success is a lie. A sham for the consumption of american public opinion. Iraq was a success? What a cruel joke! Unless, the mass murder or Iraqi men, women and children was the goal of the war; in which case, yes, Iraq war was a smashing success. Mission accomplished. If however the above is not the definition of success, then Iraq invasion was nothing short of an abject failure leaving countless innocents dead and wounded in its wake. Mass murder does not qualify as success. Put as much spin on this human tragedy, the spin will go down well with the american public (wave flags and kiss the troops). For the rest of the world, people call it as it is – murder, death, destruction.
Now, the Americans are doing it all over again in Afghanistan. The humanitarian crisis in Marjah (as reports filter trhough) is drastic and dire. Civilians flee Marjah fighting
Also, just today NATO airstrike kills at least 27 civilians
So, as per Petraeus, get ready for 12-18 months of more bloodshed of innocents and move suffering for the Afghans. After 12-18 months more of this — US will spin Afghanistan war as a success, just like they are doing with Iraq. The fact of the matter is that the 12-18 months series of operations will not radically change the Afghan Govt. & Taliban power balance. All it will accomplish is a genocide of innocents as happened in Iraq & Fallujah, and the human tragedy will be reduced to deaths which will be treated as a statistic. This series of
assaults is not an effective peace strategy. Instead of engaging in a meaningful negotiation, US is pursuing a flawed strategy.
US helping former foe take control of Afghan district
US is hiring warlords to battle Taliban. Selling out the Afghan people to warlords is not going to bring peace and justice for the Afghans; just a different subjugator. This is not a strategy; it is a face saving exercise, so that when US withdraws, it will have an easier job of selling its success spin. So why shed so much innocent blood over the next months/years for a sham? Engage in a negotiation based on ground realities and leave Afghanistan in the hands of the Afghans.
Previously, I referred to an article by Lyse Doucet of the BBC (see Part 1 regarding Baradar’s arrest) which gave a possible reason into why Baradar had been arrested. That line of thinking seems to be further strengthened by this article.
Read the article here,
Jailed Taliban Leader Still a Pakistani Asset
Some quotes from above
Wednesday’s story quoted a senior Pakistani intelligence official as saying in an interview three weeks earlier that the United States had tried to prevent Pakistan from negotiating directly with the Taliban, even as the U.S. and Afghan government were approaching the insurgent leadership about peace talks.
“You cannot say that we are important allies and then you are negotiating with people whom we are hunting and you don’t include us,” said the official.
The story quoted the official as saying, “We are after Mullah Baradar. We strongly believe that the Americans are in touch with him, or people who are close to him.”
That was a clear hint that Pakistan viewed the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s interest in capturing Baradar as being related to U.S. influence on peace negotiations.
He said Pakistan wanted “some sort of process should start as soon as possible and shape up into reality before the planned U.S. withdrawal by the middle of next year.”
That was a clear indication that Pakistan does not expect the U.S. troop surge in Afghanistan to be effective in altering the power balance between the Taliban and the Afghan government.
The official U.S. position, repeated Wednesday by Special Representative Richard Holbrooke, is that the Taliban leadership has shown no interest thus far in negotiations.
But Rashid said Baradar not only had met with Afghan and Saudi officials in early 2009 but had authorised subordinates to conduct negotiations with Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s half-brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, in southern Afghanistan.
The Pakistani move to take control of Baradar appears to be the second major instance of Pakistani defiance of U.S. policy in Afghanistan in the past two months.
Last December, the Obama administration put strong pressure on Pakistani leaders to crack down on Siraj Haqqani, the top insurgent leader in eastern Afghanistan who operates out of a sanctuary in Pakistan’s Northern Waziristan and is known to be a long-time ISI asset.
The Pakistani leaders reacted to the pressure with “public silence and private anger,” according to a New York Times report Dec. 14.
After bringing terror and bloodshed to Pakistan in the name of War on Terror, US and Karzai are trying to leave Pakistan out in the cold. Any genuine negotiations with the Taliban should also include Pakistan, because the events in Afghanistan spill over directly into Pakistan. If through sham negotiations, US runs away with face saving agreements, but Pakistan is left out in the cold, what will happen? US can withdraw and wage war remotely in the form of drones, while Pakistan will be left alone to deal with the consequences of the AMERICAN invasion. Any negotiation must ensure that peace is also struck with Pakistan. Any peace that allows US to withdraw and allows Karzai and his cronies their own fiefs, while leaving Pakistanis to burn in a never ending fire stoked by US is not a peace that Pakistan can abide to in silence.
Obama forbade Pakistan to contact Taliban for negotiations directly. While, at the same time, Obama and Karzai are secretly conducting negotiations with the Taliban. Mullah Baradar’s arrest is a direct consequence of Pakistan’s outrage at this double game which will leave Pakistan encircled by enemies local, foreign, proxies and Indian miscreants on both eastern and western borders of the country.
Publicly, Holbrooke and US are praising Pakistan for Baradar’s arrest. But, in private, they are angry that Pakistan is resisting their duplicitous gameplan. When Baradar’s arrest was made public, US vented its anger by targetting Haqqani through a drone attack.
Jalaluddin Haqqani’s son killed in drone attack
But, interestingly this statement was given by Haqqani’s network,
“It is a big loss for the family and for the Taliban. We will take revenge for his death on US and Nato forces in Afghanistan,” said a Taliban activist who gave his name as Nek Daraz in Miranshah, the capital of North Waziristan.
Instead of turning their anger and teror on Pakistan as Pakistan Taliban factions do, Haqqani knows who carried out the attack. Haqqani’s son’s death seems like a punitive strike by US to punish ISI for attempting to derail US double crossing. Ironically, as Holbrooke etc. publicly praise Pakistan intelligence for their cooperation and make public efforts to lavishly praise Pakistan; it seems that in reality, the tensions and battle between ISI and US has been exacerbated, not bridged. The Great Game continues except it is no game. The stakes are the lives of countless innocents, both Afghan and Pakistani.