Germans' support for Afghan war collapses … Germany's defence minister visited the 4,500-strong Bundeswehr contingent in Afghanistan as a new poll indicated that almost two out of three Germans want its military brought home. Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg toured German military headquarters in Mazar-i-Sharif before heading to Kunduz, where German troops mistakenly shot dead six Afghan soldiers on April 2 following a guerilla ambush in which three Bundeswehr personnel were killed. Berlin's military intervention in the impoverished country is deeply unpopular among German voters. Stern magazine has published a Forsa poll which found that 62 per cent of the 1,004 people surveyed want the troops withdrawn. That is a considerable jump from September 2005, when only 34 per cent of those polled by Forsa said the Bundeswehr soldiers should pull out. Washington is increasingly concerned over declining support in Europe for the war. Last month a memorandum apparently drafted by CIA spooks was posted to the Wikileaks Web site. The document, marked "confidential/not for foreign eyes," noted that "the fall of the Dutch government over its troop commitment to Afghanistan demonstrates the fragility of European support for the Nato-led ISAF mission." – UK Morning Star
Dominant Social Theme: The heck with 'em – and the Dutch, too!
Free-Market Analysis: The Afghanistan war continues to stumble from bad to worse from the West's point of view – as this excerpt from an established trade-union (UK) newspaper points out. It's hard to tell exactly what's going on because while success has many fathers, failure has only conflicting justifications. What's clear is that increasingly Europe is sick of it. First the Dutch fell out of bed, and then the Germans. The Brits are tired as well, though the British "special relationship" means that Britain is joined to America at the hip and likely will stay the course, reluctantly.
In fact, the serial wars in the Middle East for the past decade have actually been sustained not just by America but by Britain too. The special relationship is actually an expression of empire. We call this the "Anglo-American axis" and it is certainly the most powerful sociopolitical alliance in the world, though it is beginning to fade.
Throughout the 20th century, this alliance reigned supreme, we think, creating wars, building wealth and consolidating power. But the 21st century has not been kind to the alliance, nor to the power elite that runs it. We blame the decline of the alliance mostly on the Internet, which has thoroughly exposed the machinations and manipulations of the Anglo-American power elite – a group of supernally wealthy and powerful families and individuals.
Many within the alternative media community believe that the Internet has not had any real impact on the power elite and that it cannot in the future. We beg to differ. Our position is that the Internet has fully exposed the system and in doing so has begun to draw its poison.
A ruling elite that relied on secrecy and propagandistic/thematic promotions to work its will, now stands revealed on ten thousand blog-rolls and alternative news-sites. Its secret meetings are broadcast before they begin. Its plans are scrutinized before they are even put in place. Its agenda is available for anyone to read who is willing to be labeled a conspiracy nut – and millions are these days.
The power elite relies on fiat-money, regulatory control and military mayhem to lord over many of the world's six billion citizens. But increasingly the Internet has educated viewers as to the reality of these manipulations. Central banking is discredited as the price-fixing scam that it is, the system of intensive regulation and taxation is bleeding credibility and the wars that the Anglo-American elite might wish to pursue are running into intensive pushback – in Europe especially, but also in America.
This is why the Afghanistan war seems increasingly troubled and futile. From our point of view, the Afghan war is the culmination of an Anglo-America invasion that started at least a century ago. Between the British and the Americans, the poor, tortured Middle East (and environs) has hardly been left alone for more than a few years at a time. Once Israel was inserted into the picture, the recipe for mayhem was complete. And the chaos continues to this day.
But beyond chaos, the reasons for the serial wars of the Anglo-American axis have to do with the imposition of a kind of massive and physically expressed Hegelian dialectic. The way we see it – and admittedly we have no itemized proof (no smoking gun) – the West has been penetrating select Middle Eastern countries by purchasing oil, etc. for decades. This is the business side of the dialectic. Then there is the military side. The West has either fomented wars in the Middle East or directly or indirectly participated in them since the end of World War II (and actually long before).
The combination of immense sums of money penetrating Middle Eastern oil-rich countries combined with savage military campaigns have both destabilized the Middle East and remolded it bit by bit into the West's image. This was the plan, we believe. The Middle East and in fact the whole Muslim culture has been fairly antithetical to Western regulatory democracy and elite wealth extraction. But as the Sunni and Shia Middle East goes, so goes the rest of the Muslim world.
The Afghan war in our estimation was to be the crowning glory of this inter-generational campaign to pacify and realign the Middle East and hence the global Muslim community. It was Afghanistan, especially, that would likely prove the most grievous stumbling block to an "interconnected world" thanks to the independent and insular tendencies of the Afghan Pashtuns who have occupied the same deserts and mountains for thousands of years.
Without subduing the Pashtuns, Western regulatory democracy cannot fully take root in the Middle East and its environs (Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc.) This is the reason for the war – to eradicate the last remaining impediment to global governance. But the Pashtuns, as usual, are not cooperating.
The war is purportedly being waged against the Taliban, but you have to read Anglo-American war propaganda carefully to understand the most basic precept of the war – that the Taliban is drawn almost exclusively from the Pashtuns. And while Pashtuns may not like the fundamentalist severity of the Taliban, they are not necessarily enamored of Western invaders either.
It is one thing to win hearts and minds of citizens you are freeing from an enemy. But the enemy in Afghanistan is composed of the fathers and brothers of the citizens that are supposedly being liberated. Additionally, the American military, especially, is continuing its brutal and intimidating night raids – much hated by the Pashtuns – even as the American military attempts its nation-building during the day.
It is likely impossible to stop the violence. Almost every day, American soldiers (in some cases understandably panicked) open fire on Pashtun civilians. And Hamid Karzai, the purported leader of Afghanistan (and supposed puppet of American interests) grows more and more agitated as these incidents escalate. This is an area of concern for the Anglo-American axis. Karzai is well aware that the Americans are going to leave at some point. He is the head of the state, but he is also scared for his life. He wants to negotiate with Taliban now, not later, and he is likely doing so no matter how the Americans feel about it.
Then there is Pakistan. The Americans have been putting pressure on Pakistan to drive the Taliban out of its territories. But Pakistan – a dysfunctional state if there ever was one – perceives the Taliban as an ally in its eternal confrontation with India. Pakistan intelligence has apparently arrested various higher-ups in the Taliban chain of command but there is a question as to whether Pakistan intel is cherry-picking the Taliban leaders it arrests for its own purposes.
We wonder how this war will end. Hamid Karzai is an unstable puppet; Pakistan is not a dependable ally; European civilian populations are increasingly disenchanted; the Taliban – who may re-inherit the country some day – can blend into the Pashtun populace at a moment's notice; and American soldiers will continue to shoot Afghan civilians because there is no way to tell the combatants from the non-combatants.
It was the intention of the Anglo-American axis, we believe, to turn Afghanistan into a kind of poor man's Iraq – complete with a liberated female population, a "democratic" government and an agrarian population willing to grow peas instead of poppies. To this end, much of the familial animal husbandry has been destroyed (we read a figure of 80 percent), Karzai has been elected twice, and an Afghan army and police force has been trained and expanded.
There may be no return from the annihilation of Afghan agrarian culture, but that is a far cry from annihilating the Taliban. Increasingly, as Europe drifts away from the war effort, the task will fall more fully to the Americans – and they have done little to show that new tactics will be more successful than the old ones. Lack of credible NATO allies will make the war even harder to fight and adversely affect sentiment at home, which is souring as well. Like the Vietnamese, the Taliban may now believe they simply have to wait out the last spasms of American aggression.
Unlike the Iraq surge (which so far as we can tell was accomplished by bribing certain factions of the Iraqi populace) there is no one to pay off in Afghanistan. The Pashtuns will take the money, but they are also the enemy and there are 40 million of them. Without Europe, America's task becomes even harder. Perhaps we are missing something and the US will find a way to pacify and control this "graveyard of empires." But perhaps not.