Australia Next Afghan Domino?
By Staff News & Analysis - August 30, 2010

It's time to talk on Afghanistan … When Australia eventually and inevitably pulls out of Afghanistan, the country will still be a brutal, bloody mess – the rule of the gun will trump law, women will suffer, and extremism will remain. By all means, let's have a parliamentary debate on the conflict, as the Greens now demand. But in almost nine years of fighting, neither Labor nor the Coalition has been able to explain what victory in Afghanistan would amount to. Don't expect they can start now. Julia Gillard confessed as much. Asked repeatedly yesterday if the war was ''winnable'', she refused to even utter the word. ''I'm not going to adopt your terminology,'' she told reporters. No, Australia has very narrow and defined aims. Train the Afghan army to fight for themselves and get out. Gone is the once brave talk of building a democracy, enshrining the rights of women and eradicating the drugs trade. That's for the Afghans to sort out. How much longer might training the local army take? The government is really only guessing. – The Age/Australian-Daniel Flitton, Diplomatic Editor

Dominant Social Theme: What must be done now or fairly soon …

Free-Market Analysis: One of the issues that we've focused on fairly intensely is the rationale that the West (specifically the Anglo-American axis) has in fighting in Afghanistan. We believe the Anglo-American axis is trying to defeat the Pashtuns, a 2000-plus-year-old Afghan tribe and the Punjabis – the leading tribe of Pakistan.

We also believe the war is not going well, and have been presenting this analysis in regular articles. While there is discontent about the war in America, strangely enough there is more disturbance with its length and bloodiness overseas in Europe (Germany especially), Britain and now Australia. We would have to believe that the discomfort is partially a moral one, stemming from the lack of clear cut objectives and the idea that the West has once again become embroiled in "nation-building" as regards tribal cultures.

The Punjabis and Pashtuns could not be farther apart. They are ancient tribes but the Punjabis (about 120 million) have a more modern configuration and are led by a few wealthy and fairly merciless mercantile families that apparently run Pakistan as a virtual private fiefdom. The Pashtun (about 40 million in Afghanistan and Pakistan) are a true tribal community and it is this group that the war is aimed at most specifically in our view.

The Western Left, especially in America, hardly writes about the Pashtun or Punjabis at all. For those who compose the Left's fashionable and somewhat patronizing articles about this war, the people doing the fighting in Afghanistan are merely colorful stage props with brown faces and white garments. They are merely acted upon by the instruments of corporate America – the CIA and Pentagon – that trained the Afghan fighters initially and created today's "blowback."

The argument against tribal warfare is that the Afghan war is merely a CIA action intended to gather for itself heroin and significant operational experience. The Pentagon is said to want the war because it wishes to try out new weapons. Both the Pentagon and the CIA at the upper echelons are trying their best to spread the war into surrounding countries so as to create a long war with no peace. The idea is that by doing so, they will gain a tactical and strategic advantage against Russia and China.

Yes, we have trouble with this analysis. We don't believe that in the modern day and age, it is necessary to have one's armies in close proximity to threaten an enemy. The idea that the CIA or Pentagon would seek a trillion-dollar war against Afghanistan to harvest drugs or try out weapons is questionable in our view. Finally, we are supposed to believe that without the CIA's organizational help, the Afghans would never have fought back against the USSR when it invaded. We are also supposed to believe that the Pashtuns would not have fought against the Americans had the Punjabis not funded and organized the Taliban.

Is this a misreading of history? The Pashtuns are a warrior tribe and fought the British for 50 years – to a standoff – when the British first went to war against the Pashtun in the latter part of the 18th century. We wrote about the Pashtun and its warrior tendencies (when attacked). We quoted the great Pashtun poet Ghani Khan and his description of a young Pashtun warrior at the time:

Let us go to his valley in Dir. There he is – walking towards us, of medium height and sensitive build. He has long locks, neatly oiled and combed, wrapped in a red silk, kerchief, which is twisted round the head like the crown of I Caesar. He wears a flower in his hair and collyrium in his eye. His lips are dyed red with walnut bark. He carries his sitar in his hand and his rifle at his shoulder. You would think he is very effeminate until you looked at his eyes. They are clear, manly and bold. They do not know fear, and won't live long enough to know death … He will soon die fighting, a man as brave and strong and hand some as he, for he knows only how to love and laugh and fight and nothing else. He is taught nothing else.

To read more, click here: Myth of a CIA War

Because we reprinted this description, we were criticized by at least one feedbacker for "romanticizing" the Pashtun. But recently a documentary made by a Norwegian journalist embedded with Taliban fighters includes this description in a UK Daily Mail review, "The raw footage – captured by Paul Refsdal – shows the Afghan militants attacking U.S. convoys on a road below their mountainous hide-out and celebrating hits with a high-five. The men also show their softer side to the Norwegian journalist by singing, reciting verses from the Koran and even brushing their long hair …"

Next, a bizarre sequence in which one Taliban fighter, clad in eye make-up, brushes his long hair which has been died with henna as a comrade sings.

So here we have confirmation of Khan's description of the Pashtun (Taliban) fighter some 100 years later! The Daily Mail reviewer thought it was "bizarre" – but we don't. We've done our homework. Of course, it is hard to fathom this sort of scene, nor the continuity in this tribal society, which retains customs from 100 years ago. People in Western societies, where Money Power has relentlessly scoured traditions from society in hopes of accustoming people to pitiless "change" from year-to-year probably cannot fathom it. But tribal societies are much different than Western ones.

Mainstream analyses of the Afghan war are continually flawed by such misunderstandings as the Daily Mail evinces. In fact, the Iraq "settlement" is already falling to pieces because of the essentially tribal nature of that Shia-Sunni riven society. The Afghan war's fate was once again emphatically sealed this week when it became clear that the great Pakistani Punjabi families continue to regard India (with good reason) as the state's primary, existential threat. This means that the Punjabis will continue to give shelter and support to the Pashtun Taliban, which acts as a proxy for the Punjabis in Afghanistan.

The Bush Administration went to war in Afghanistan because the regime's brain-trust claimed that Osama bin Laden was the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks. But the Taliban asked for proof and when none was forthcoming declined to give him up. Even today, the FBI does not accuse bin Laden of masterminding 9/11. But nonetheless, the US went to war, though not, of course, in so many words. The US never declares a war anymore. It just sends troops. Another dominant social theme: "If we don't fight them over there, we'll fight them over here."

The West apparently hoped to crush the Pashtun once and for all. The Anglo-American axis is trying to put the finishing touches on a stiff-necked people. They must be brought into the modern day. But here is the reality: The Western alliance can fight all the "decisive" battles it wants to, yet that will not change the fundamental equation of Afghanistan. Unlike those of the Left, with their fashionably cynical analysis of the war, we have stated forthrightly that this is the most important war the Western power elite has fought since World War II. And the West is losing.

We are proponents not of the Great Game theory of history or even the Great Man theory. We think history is a conspiratorial continuum in which small elite groups (usually intergenerational families and Royal families) struggle to maintain control of the larger, sluggish masses of humanity. We think this is an evident and obvious interpretation of history and one that continues today.

We have previously identified the modern, power elite conspiracy as stretching back perhaps 300 years. The modern conspiracy from our point of view is aimed at global consolidation – world government in other words. Looked at this way, the modern European sweep of history seems fairly logical. First, the West entered the "colonial" period in which tribal entities around the world were gathered into nation states. Now the nation states are to be converted into one grand regulatory democracy.

After Thoughts

There are only a few tribes left to gather into a nation-state – chief among them the Pashtuns. Tribal cultures cannot be allowed to stand if the West is to enter the brave new world of elite choosing. This is why the Afghan war, waged on arid, mountainous soil, is so important. It is evidently part of a longer war that the Anglo-American elite seeks with Islam. But THIS war was supposed to be won.

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