Home     Writers     Op/Ed     Book Reviews     News     Bookstore     Photoshops     Submit     Search     Contact Us     Advertise  
  You are here: 





Annals of the Damned Human Race: Liberating Afghans, Body and Soul
Monday, 18 December 2006 08:41
by Chris Floyd

Let us turn once again to the other war, the "good war" in Afghanistan, where four years ago George W. Bush famously liberated the suffering Afghan people from the clutches of the militant Islamic e xtremists of the Taliban into the hands of the militant Islamic extremists of the Northern Alliance (and their U.S.-picked frontman, Hamid "Why, Yes, I Did Once Work for Oil Barons, Why Do You Ask?" Karzai).

In the Good War – long touted as a success not only by the compulsive liars of the Administration but also by the fat and sassy conventional wisdomists who gorge themselves on eager lappings of Bushist cud – the fighting is now far more brutal and intense than it was in the brief autumn campaign in 2001 that led to overwhelming "victory." In fact, more than 1,000 innocent civilians have been killed by US and NATO bombs in the last year alone, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

Afghanistan was largely abandoned to its fate after Bush launched his "war of choice" (that ringing Friedmanish phrase) in Iraq. As we now know, the Bush team didn't really want to bother with Afghanistan at all – Iraq was their target from Day One – but felt they had to go through the motions ther e because of the "hunt for Osama" thing. Of course, they didn't take that very seriously either, allowing bin Laden to escape in spectacular fashion, riding out of a supposedly iron-clad seige on horseback. Why, one would almost think that the Bush Administration was trying to make a world-shaking mythical figure out of the pretentious, third-rate crackpot. (Then again, that's what the Bush Team is good at: inflating pretentious third-rate crackpots into world figures. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice -- these goobers couldn't run a popsicle stand, much less an empire. Yet now their dull and murky mental heavings, like those of bin Laden, spew death across the globe. )

Known and very popular cialis coupon which gives all the chance to receive a discount for a preparation which has to be available and exactly cialis coupons has been found in the distant room of this big house about which wood-grouses in the houses tell.

Today, four years after the Crawford Crackpot let his doppelganger go free, the Taliban and its al Qaeda allies are stronger than ever, constantly refreshed by the training, supplies and good old-fashioned R-and-R available in their cozy enclaves in Pakistan, where Bush's staunch Terror War ally, dictator Pervez Musharraf, has signed peace treaties with the holy warriors. From these secure redoubts, they have escalated their attacks in Afghanistan, forcing the overwhelmed, undermanned Western forces there to respond in the time-honored fashion – by bombing the hell out of everybody. Well, why not? After all, collective punishment, constant bombardment and indiscriminate fire has worked so well at winning hearts and minds in Iraq, hasn't it?

Air war costs NATO Afghan supporters (Christian Science Monitor)
Excerpts: At a large gathering with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in this southern city last Tuesday, Abdul Ghafar sat among hundreds in the audience, clutching a piece of paper. On it were the names of 20 members of his family killed two months ago in a NATO airstrike.

"This was my uncle's family. Eleven children, six women, and three innocent men were killed. He lost everyone but one small girl," he said. Mr. Ghafar was hoping to receive compensation from the Afghan government. "We got nothing," he said.

Ghafar's extended family in the southern Panjwai district are among the nearly 4,000 people killed since the beginning of 2006 in a Taliban resurgence that is using civilians as human shields against escalating NATO air attacks.

"A Taliban resurgence that is using civilians as human shields." That is to say, Taliban fighters are not standing around in open fields waiting for NATO to kill them but are basing themselves in settled areas among the population. The Mafia does the same thing in, say, New York City, but the feds have not as yet bombed whole city blocks to root them out.

The US-based Human Rights Watch estimates that more than 1,000 of those killed were civilians. A recent spate of suicide bombings here has stoked public anger even further….

The increased reliance on air power has led to thousands of civilian deaths. The devastating air offenses are undermining support for the Afghan government, say human rights workers and Afghan officials, and are turning public opinion in the four southern provinces of Afghanistan against NATO forces, who took command of the south from the US in August.

The US Air Force dropped 987 bombs between June and November and fired some 146,000 cannon rounds as air support for NATO allies in the south. US aircraft fired more bombs in the first six months of this year than in the first three years of its campaign against the Taliban, according to figures released by the Pentagon.

President Karzai's meeting last Tuesday of NATO and US generals, ambassadors, and Afghan ministers in Kandahar - southern Afghanistan's largest city and a former Taliban stronghold - was an attempt to examine better methods for tackling the insurgency and curbing civilian deaths. But even as top military officials met, NATO troops posted at a checkpoint in Kandahar shot and killed a local tribal elder who was driving a motorbike. The man had failed to heed warning signals as he drove to the meeting with Karzai.

The Tuesday visit came three days after Karzai wept openly on national television about his helplessness to protect the Afghan people from US, NATO, and Taliban violence…

"When we see a military convoy coming we stop our car and leave it where it is. We run and we hide," says Neamatullah, who fled his village in the nearby Panjwai suburb after NATO airstrikes in May killed dozens of civilians. "Both sides are fighting each other for power," he says. "But our lives and homes are ruined."

And here we come to the eternal crux of the matter: armed goons lusting for power and loot -- whether dressed in robes and turbans or thousand-dollar suits -- destroying innocent lives. And always, everywhere, forever, it is the poorest and most vulnerable who get it in the neck. Surely, Mark Twain nailed our condition to the wall in his blistering essay, The Damned Human Race:

...Man is the only animal that deals in that atrocity of atrocities, War.  He is the only one that gathers his brethren about him and goes forth in cold blood and with calm pulse to exterminate his kind.  He is the only animal that for sordid wages will march out, as the Hessians did in our Revolution, and as the boyish Prince Napoleon did in the Zulu war, and help to slaughter strangers of his own species who have done him no harm and with whom he has no quarrel.

Man is the only animal that robs his helpless fellow of his country, takes possession of it and drives him out of it or destroys him.  Man has done this in all the ages.  There is not an acre of ground on the globe that is in possession of its rightful owner, or that has not been taken away from owner after owner, cycle after cycle, by force and bloodshed.

Man is the only Slave.  And he is the only animal who en­slaves.  He has always been a slave in one form or another, and has always held other slaves in bondage under him in one way or another.  In our day he is always some man’s slave for wages and does that man’s work; and this slave has other slaves under him for minor wages, and they do his work...

Man is the only Patriot.  He sets himself apart in his own country, under his own flag, and sneers at the other nations, and keeps multitudinous uniformed assassins on hand at heavy ex­pense to grab slices of other people’s countries, and keep them from grabbing slices of his.  And in the intervals between cam­paigns, he washes the blood off his hands and works for the universal brotherhood of man, with his mouth.

Man is the Religious Animal.  He is the only Religious Ani­mal.  He is the only animal that has the True Religion, several of them.  He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself, and cuts his throat if his theology isn’t straight.  He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother’s path to happiness and heaven.  He was at it in the time of the Caesars, he was at it in Mahomet’s time, he was at it in the time of the Inquisition, he was at it in France a couple of cen­turies, he was at it in England in Mary’s day, he has been at it ever since he first saw the light...

And so I find that we have descended and degenerated, from some far ancestor (some microscopic atom wandering at its pleasure between the mighty horizons of a drop of water perchance) insect by insect, animal by animal, reptile by reptile, down the long highway of smirchless innocence, till we have reached the bottom stage of development (namable as the Human Being).  Below us, nothing.


More from this author:
Immaculate Conception: A Squirt in the White House (19516 Hits)
George W. Bush's innumerable sycopants like to potray him as a down-to-earth man of the people: a man's man, tough and fearless, a good-ole-boy...
Thunder on the Mountain: The Murderers of Democracy (17124 Hits)
“Shame on your greed, shame on your wicked schemes. I tell you this right now, I don’t give a damn about your dreams.” -- Bob Dylan,...
War in Heaven: Woodward's Book and the Establishment Insurgency (19080 Hits)
Bob Woodward has long been the voice of the American Establishment – or of certain quadrants of it, at any rate. When Richard Nixon's...
Swing Blades: Don Rumsfeld Bats Both Ways (17165 Hits)
In February 2003, I wrote a column for the Moscow Times detailing Don Rumsfeld's personal – and profitable – connection with North Korea's...
Coming to America: The Disappeared (9863 Hits)
Kissinger and The Mothers of the Disappeared in Argentina: America on the Brink of Horror. This blistering Buzzflash editorial deserves to be...
Related Articles:
Human Hell and the Demons of War (10678 Hits)
Branch Warfare and the Evolution of Aggression The pages of history, those monuments to humankind’s brief rule over the planet, are replete with...
From Liberating Spirituality to Oppressive Dogma: The Politics of Religion (23954 Hits)
By Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D. Spirituality is intrapersonal. It’s a liberating and uplifting awareness. It nurtures personal growth. It inspires...
Selling Satan: Iraqi War Dead and the Collateral Damage to America's Soul (11822 Hits)
by Phil Rockstroh Headline (Reuters): "United States numb to Iraq troop deaths: experts"   "O Nature, and O...
Unleashing the Christ Within:Last Hope for the Moribund Soul of a Nation? (8631 Hits)
by Jason Miller “What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?” -Jesus Christ Humanity’s...
The South Continues to "Make" Race: Will the Supreme Court Follow? (8901 Hits)
by Walter C. Uhler A Review of How Race is Made: Slavery, Segregation, and the Senses, by Mark M. Smith (University of North Carolina Press,...

Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
Comments (0)add comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger



Top 123