Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Dear Mr. President: We've Heard You. Shall We Reciprocate?

From the text of Barack Obama's speech: "America will join initiatives that reconcile the Afghan people, including the Taliban. Our position on these talks is clear: They must be led by the Afghan government, and those who want to be a part of a peaceful Afghanistan must break from al-Qaida, abandon violence and abide by the Afghan Constitution."

Absolutely nothing has changed in the American position except that Donald Rumsffeld's dream has come true and President Obama has demonstrated once and for all that he has absolutely no interest in or commitment to the Afghan people or their struggle for democracy. The word democracy doesn't even appear in Obama's remarks about Afghanistan.

About the Arab Spring, his claim that America will support the revolutions with fidelity to American ideals rings deafeningly hollow. That is to put it charitably. Obama referred to the power of American example and America's "unwavering belief that all human beings deserve to live with freedom and dignity." All human beings except Arabs and Afghans? Here's Obama's America leading by example: The White House calls Syria's mass-murdering dictator a "reformer." Example: Obama's administration was dragged whining and mewling into the Libyan intervention. Example: In Bahrain, the Shia are mercilessly persecuted and democratic dissidents are thrown in jail while the U.S. Fifth Fleet is anchored peacefully in the harbour. And on and on.

To be even-handed, it is more than fair to say that Americans are deeply divided and "war-weary" about all this. As Obama mentioned, it's been ten long and difficult years. So how about: "Afghanistan will join initiatives that reconcile the American people, including al Qaida." I mean, really. September 11 was a decade ago. Isn't it time to just get over it, America? If al-Qaida agrees to break with the Taliban and promises to be good, then Americans should just let bygones be bygones, no? The talks should be led by the American government, of course.

As good as any way of understanding what's happening here: Barack Obama is the most reactionary president since Richard Nixon.


Blogger sandy_mac_donald said...

"Most of the rebel gangs, which are squabbling here for ones of influence, cover their banditry with a lot of talk about fighting shuravi... It's all just a smoke screen that lets American politicians pour dollars into the furnace of the Afghan war with a clear conscience. When the Soviet troops leave, internecine war will break out all over the country. The rebel leaders, however, will no longer be able to disguise their terrorism with talk of 'holy war'. Many Afghans believe that the shuravi shouldn't leave until all the bands have agreed among themselves to change a feudal ideology into a national ideology. The rebels, you see, are afraid of the Soviets, which is the only thing that's keeping them from unleashing their terrorism everywhere." - Colonel Abdullah Fakirad as quoted by Artyom Borovik in "The Hidden War", 1990

12:06 PM  

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