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None Dare Call It A Defeat
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“Lord of our far-flung battle-line,
Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine—
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!

Far-called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget—lest we forget!”

Rudyard Kipling “Recessional”

The last British soldiers were airlifted out of Afghanistan last week, marking the sorry end of Britain’s fourth failed invasion of Afghanistan. With them went the last detachment of US Marines in Helmand.

Well has Afghanistan earned its title, “Graveyard of Empires.”

To be more precise, this honor belongs to Afghanistan’s Pashtun (or Pathan) mountain tribes, who bend their knees for no man and take pride in war.

In my book, “War at the Top of the World,” I called Pashtun “the bravest men on earth.” Later, I would add the fierce Chechen to that illustrious fraternity.

The old imperialists are gone, but the occupation of Afghanistan continues. The new regime in Kabul just installed by Washington to replace uncooperative former ally Hamid Karzai, rushed to sign an “agreement” allowing the United States to keep some 10,000 soldiers in Afghanistan for years. This garrison will be exempt from all Afghan laws.

However, there’s much more to this arrangement. The US combat troops, tactfully labeled “trainers” or “counter-terrorist forces,” are too few in number to dominate all Afghanistan. Their task is to defend Kabul’s sock puppet government from its own people and to defend the all-important US Bagram airbase.

Washington clearly plans to continue ruling Afghanistan and Iraq the same way that the British Empire did. Small numbers of British troops garrisoned the capital; white officers led the native mercenary army. But Britain’s real power was exercised by RAF units based in Iraq and Northwest Frontier Province.

Any native “disturbance” would be bombed and strafed by the RAF. In the 1920’s, Winston Churchill authorized RAF to use poison gas bombs against restive Pashtun and Kurdish tribesmen. Ironically, seven decades later I discovered British scientists who had been sent by HM government to Iraq to build germ weapons for Saddam Hussein to use against Iran.

Similarly, the “Pax Americana” will be enforced by US airpower based at Bagram. US warplanes flying from Bagram, Qatar, and aircraft carriers on 24 hour call have been the only force keeping the Pashtun movement Taliban at bay. Without intense employment of US air power, western occupation forces, like the Imperial British armies before them, would have been driven
from Afghanistan.

Without US air power, garrison troops and large numbers of “civilian contractors” and old-fashioned mercenaries the Kabul puppet regime would soon be swept away. Afghanistan’s government army is likely to collapse as quickly as Iraq’s did before ISIS. Most of southern Afghanistan would declare for Taliban which, however harsh, is the nation’s only authentic political movement apart from the Tajik and Uzbek Communists in the north.

The US garrison in Kabul will continue to make Afghanistan safe for opium, which is the base for heroin. Americans have simply turned a blind eye to their ownership if the world’s top producer of heroin.

As Washington orates about the so-called War on Drugs, Afghan opium production rose in 2013 from $2 billion to $3 billion. The UN says over 500,000 acres of land in Afghanistan are now devoted to the opium poppy – right under the eyes of the US garrison.

While US-installed rulers in Kabul pay lip service to opium eradication, the rural warlords who support them, and receive stipends from CIA, continue to grow rich on the opium trade. Trying to blame Taliban for the scourge of opium is dishonest: when Taliban was in power it eradicated almost all of the nation’s opium production, reported he UN Drug Agency, except in the region controlled by the Communist Northern Alliance – which today shares power in Kabul.

When the full history of the Afghan war is finally written, CIA’s involvement in that nation’s drug trade will become a notorious episode. French intelligence became deeply involved in the Laotian opium trade to pay its Lao mercenaries. The US was up to its ears with its Contra allies in the Central American cocaine trade.

Now, US intelligence has besmirched its name once again aiding and abetting Afghan drug lords so as to supposedly wage war on “terrorists.” In dirt-poor Afghanistan, there are only two sources of income: money from Washington, and from narcotics. The collusion of senior members of government, military and police is necessary to export tons of opium to either Pakistan, Central Asia or Russia – where morphine addiction is now a major epidemic.

Adding to this shameful record, the US Congressional auditor for Special Reconstruction of Afghanistan just reported that much of the $104 billion appropriated for Afghan “reconstruction” has to no surprise been wasted or stolen. Some of it has been used to irrigate opium poppy fields. Spare parts are unavailable for Russian helicopters bought by the US for use in battling Taliban and supposed opium fighting. Why? Because the US-imposed trade sanctions on Russia bars the US from buying the spare part. Catch-22.

By now, the longest war in US history has cost some $1 trillion, maybe more. No one can properly account for the billions and billions of US dollars flown into Afghanistan and Iraq and dished out to the natives – or the numbers of Afghans killed.

For Washington’s allies, like Canada and Britain, the war has been a total waste of lives and treasure. For Canada, 158 dead for nothing; for Britain 453. Forget all the phony claims about “mission” and “nation building.” This has been yet another dirty little colonial war that is better forgotten – and never repeated.

So this war will simmer on, at least until Washington finds some face-saving way out of the mess in the Hindu Kush.

If the US was wise, it would simply quit Afghanistan. But power, like opium, is highly addictive. So America’s longest war will drag on and on.

(Republished from EricMargolis.com by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Afghanistan 
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  1. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I love how Mr. Margolis is always able to work an anti-British angle into everything he writes.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Anonymous
  2. Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website
    @Anonymous

    Britain, fighting bravely to the last drop of American blood. Thanks for the Middle East, guys.

    • Replies: @22pp22
    , @Boganboy
  3. 22pp22 says: • Website
    @Anonymous

    453 dead one sixth the population. WHAT A WASTE. They died so that worthless pig Tony Blair could make a splash in Washington. Americans weren’t dying for Britain in Afghanistan. What a dumb comment.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  4. Sean c says:

    Let us not kid ourselves. Conquering Afghanistan would be easy to do with little loss. The only reason it hasn’t been is because of our own restraint.

    • Replies: @ka
    , @Eileen Kuch
  5. “Let us not kid ourselves. Conquering Afghanistan would be easy”

    Now there’s a non-sequiter. And just who is “we?” Not the ordinary half-billion citizens of the Five Eyes continuation of the old British Empire, run by shadow state elites among the cousins.

  6. ka says:
    @Sean c

    Restraint? There was no restraint .Nature and extent of the violence were worse than what was exacted during ww2. Only restraint was our inability to allow enough boots on the grounds to secure the area . We have been conditioned to think and expect that no American should die in the war .But war is dirty and war is not won from the sky .Death is part of the war . We broke the fundamental rule and lost the war. That is one of the reasons. The other two were the false narrative (or aim ) in this war and the corruption brought in by US then maintained and nurtured by US.

    • Replies: @Sean c
  7. ka says:

    Opium has a long history in US politics and in HSBC banking.
    Roosevelt’s father -in -law made tons of money in opium business in China .

  8. Sean c says:
    @ka

    What I am alluding to is if the modern US or British military was run by Genghis Khan, there would be no Pashtuns or Afghans left within a month of the campaign starting.

    • Replies: @a.z
    , @Steve
  9. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @22pp22

    Even worse that pig Tony Blair let millions of muslims move to Britain while having British soldiers fight in muslim countries.

  10. @Sean c

    No empire, whether Greek, Mongol, British, or any other, has ever truly conquered Afghanistan. The terrain is mostly mountainous and hostile, with thousands of caves wherein warring tribesmen often hid from their enemies and launched surprise ambushes.
    Both Alexander the Great’s armies and those of the British Empire suffered severe losses and were driven out; so was that of the USSR. The only Empire that avoided Afghanistan was the Mongol Empire. The Mongols took a good look at the harsh, rocky, mountainous terrain and decided that it was not worth the effort of conquering. They were very smart not to tangle with the fierce tribes that inhabited the region and still do today. Too bad the Russians, the Brits, and NATO were too drunk with the lust for power to pay attention to Afghan history and emulate the Mongols in avoiding that nation to begin with, instead of wasting lives and treasure for nothing.

  11. redwood says:

    People protested the war in Iraq when George Warmonger Bush was president. They should have also protested the war in Afghanistan under “W” and Ehud Barack Obama, the war in Libya and the third war in Iraq under Obama and the first war in Syria under Obama. Just because Obama is a Democrat doesn’t mean his wars are more justified than “W”‘s wars. Obama, Bush, Tony Blair Witch Project and many other world leaders should be locked up at the ICC or Guantanamo Bay.

    • Replies: @George Archers
    , @Anonymous
  12. a.z says:
    @Sean c

    and you think the pasthun would have left america unmolested. the amount of change your state had to go through for protecting itself from countless truly devastating attacks would have changed your country forever and forget about the corruption that would have resulted from these action. look at the level of corruption bush unleashed within you country and their aftermath by using 9/11 as an excuse. you may have won the battle(there is doubt as afghanistan is a mountain territory and nuclear strikes would have scattered them all around the world and no one cannot conqure the entire world at the same time) but without a shadow of a doubt lost the war. the style of genghis khan is not a sound strategy long term look at the mongals now.

  13. Boganboy says:
    @Anonymous

    If America hadn’t betrayed its allies during the Suez incident, the Brits might have had the guts to blockade Yemen when the Egyptians were supplying its guerrilla war against the Aden Protectorate. The French instead of Eisenhower could have sent troops to Lebanon. This would at least have delayed US involvement in the Middle East, until the power of Britain and France decayed to the extent that such commitments were no longer sustainable. Still, the UK and France did gain. Peeved, they refused to involve themselves in the Vietnam War.

  14. @redwood

    Forget about blaming mentioned doofus leaders. Full blame should go towards the Zionist closet controllers. Take away their power in banking media, only then decent politicians would be elected not appointed :^(

  15. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @redwood

    Redwood has said it all in one paragraph. Nothing more need be said.

    • Replies: @redwood
  16. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    Oh, right, let’s work in the pro British angle into this report. Caused death and destruction, check. Caused misery, check. Destroyed infrastructure, check. Wasted precious money more better used at home, check. Murdered own military for no reason, check. Maimed own military personnel, which will now have to be helped by public purse until they pass away, check.

    Does that cover everything pro British? Satisfied?

    Asshat.

  17. Steve says:
    @Sean c

    The “defeat” is the fact that you cannot CONTROL Afganistan. The local resistance can always make it far more expensive to try to control it than you will ever see in any conceivable benefit to the Empire.

    Yes, you can murder the rebellious Pashtuns, or anyone else on the planet for that matter, and you don’t need an army of “heros” to do it either, because you have plenty of nuclear weapons. It may keep other peoples in line through fear, or maybe not. It will certainly show the planet that the US propaganda about being “good guys” is a hollow lie.

    So let your good-guy mask come off and go kill them all, even the little babies. The whole world will finally see you Imperialists for what you really are (and its ugly). And yes you can go kill all those precious Pashtun “unborn fetuses” those ridiculous “Conservative Christians” (what a contradiction) love so much.

  18. IBC says:

    Afganistan has been conquered many times before. The problem is holding on to it and controlling it now that the Silk Road can no longer pay the bills. Can the Taliban even do that in the long run? What happens to them if their funding dries up? And what about the mineral wealth that’s been discovered in Afganistan since the US invasion? Ultimately that may be more important than poppies. I agree that the US-led invasion of Afganistan was no victory. But defeat implies that the Taliban won. Are they stronger than before or have any seeds been planted that could cause trouble for them down the road? I don’t know.

  19. redwood says:
    @Anonymous

    Thank you tired and disillusioned for complimenting me. Those Israel ass-kissers and Islamophobic idiots are entitled to their opinions but not their facts, which are not really facts but true lies.

  20. 10 000 troops. But how many private contractors? Iraq still has a couple of legions based at the embassy complex in Baghdad – ‘training’ hired guns from Iraq and points south in the fine art of wet jobs and tribal uprisings. I can’t imaging Kabul without it’s contingent of latter-day ‘frontier scouts’ and ‘Larries’ of the night raid. You can’t leave security to the natives. Which means the booze and the ladies will be flown in on a weekly basis to keep morale up.

    But can you see 10 000 troops and the ‘dockers brigade’ keeping the lifeline between Bagram and Kabul open without some heavy support?

  21. Adar. says:

    Everything was fine in 2001, wasn’t it! Troops as part of the NATO mission did their job. And the alternative to leaving Al Qaeda and Bin Laden in place and allowed to do what they wanted to do was what exactly? Eric has a response?

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