August 24, 2011
	By Sherard Cowper-Coles
	British Ambassador and Special Representative, 2007-2010 

	The choice of the title registers the urgency that
	the Ambassador attaches to his message that
	everything is amiss in Afghanistan with little hope
	for improvement. He subscribes to the conclusion
	reached by the Rand Corporation that uses the study
	of 90 insurgencies since 1945 as a context to
	determine the variables that determine success or
	failure, and points to their absence in
	Afghanistan: the indigenous security force is
	inept, the local government is immersed in
	corruption, and the external support for insurgents
	is unabated. He also acquiesces to the view of
	Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith: "a military victory
	over the Taliban was 'neither feasible nor
	supportable'." He quotes from the Atlantic (April
	1968) a list of fourteen indicators where
	Afghanistan parallels Vietnam in failure down to
	the last detail (page 286).

	His list of why "the grand strategy" is a total
	wreck is also long: getting in with no thought of
	getting out; lack of consistency and continuous
	mission creep; disunity of military and political
	commands; governing an unruly Western military by a
	civilian ineptness that did not know "the
	difference between a tornado and a torpedo";
	diverting resources to Iraq; unwillingness to
	co-opt the neighbors;  poor choice of local allies
	who became more of a problem than a solution;
	relying on self-centered military in a vacuum of
	indigenous institutions for development; and what
	can be stated as "hubris hovering above misery",
	not his words, to create a corruption-prone
	environment: the $125 billion annual expenditures
	by the Empire, dwarfed but not uplifted the $800
	million self-generated revenue of the Afghan state
	while the American Generals were free to dole out
	$750 million annually—that total lopsidedness in
	cash-disbursement nourished the "narco-mafias whom
	the Taliban originally targeted when they took
	power in the mid-1990s."  "Most tragically of all,"
	he adds, was the hasty intervention and not waiting
	for the outcome of the jirga, summoned by the
	Taliban in October 2001, "to decide how to respond
	to American demands that Osama bin Laden and those
	responsible for the 9/11 be handed over."

	But in their resounding urgency, these messages are
	not a substitute for an objective examination of
	the facts and reasons that made Afghanistan the
	trampling ground for the biggest military coalition
	in modern history. The facts and reasons for this
	longest of "false flag" wars in American history,
	are willfully mutilated or falsified.  Being aware
	of the falsification of facts, in my meeting with
	the Ambassador, right before filling the post, I
	offered him my cooperation on the condition that
	America pursues peace and stability in my country.
	I knew that my cooperation was of no consequence,
	but what about America's intentions?

	It would be an insult to human probity to neglect
	the historic context that brought the
	irreconcilable Western camps, the Capitalist and
	the Marxist, to agree over the necessity of
	invading Afghanistan; and for both to bring to bear
	the full force of their technological prowess to
	combat, decisively, in the earlier manner of The
	British Empire, what amounted to "chaos" in a
	Muslim land; and to unleash the full force of their
	co-opted medias to demonize the native culture in
	order to justify such acts.

	The Afghan Empire was established in 1747 when the
	three "Gunpowder Empires" in the Islamic world [the
	Ottoman, the Safavi, and the Mughal or Timuri in
	India] had peaked, and the industrial revolution
	was transforming the West into "The Unbound
	Promethean" that it is today. It was in an age when
	the West was in full swing rushing toward
	organization and harmony and the Islamic world was
	meandering toward chaos and despair. In such
	crossing of paths, of purposeful transformation
	versus precipitous degradation, Afghanistan was
	born and destined to bear the brunt of the hubris
	that developed from the Western drive toward
	progress. Afghanistan was destined to confront
	three attempts at its destruction: by an Empire
	that defied the setting of the sun, the USSR that
	prided in its military as the bastion of its
	protection against NATO, and the US/NATO amalgam
	that is driven by The Military Industrial Complex.

	By its insolence, and enormous human sacrifice,
	Afghanistan is rendering the Western hubris
	dysfunctional, while highlighting its ugliness, and
	the consequences are the liberation of Eastern
	Europe, the Asian Republics, and a more humanized
	world as it stems the tide of American colonialism.
	But this rag tag situation does not qualify it for
	recognition in a world that still clings to the
	vestiges of arrogance and remains a willing
	prisoner because the gravitational pull of the
	"Black Hole" has damaged its perception.

	This is not the first emanation of probity from
	Afghanistan; it played a similar role under the
	name Khurasan, when the hubris-driven ambitions of
	the Umayyad Caliphate transgressed the bounds of
	decency. Their arrogance prompted a force from the
	North of the Hindu Kush, just as today's is from
	the south, to intervene in 746 AD and change the
	course of Islamic history by transferring the
	Caliphate to the Abbasid. The establishment of
	modern Afghanistan is a millennial celebration of
	that intervention for the annihilation of ambitions
	driven by sheer hubris. A famous one-line ballad,
	in Pashto, captures the spirit of integrity in the
	plains south of the Hindu Kush in a bloody
	encounter with the British Empire: My beloved! If
	you are not martyred in Maiwand; Destiny must be
	saving you for nothing but utter shame.

	Once again, the British are in Helmand, adjacent to
	Maiwand, as part of the largest coalition since the
	Crusades. But this time Afghanistan is slowly but
	surely joined by the whole world in defiance of
	imperial ambitions, which Eisenhower saw in the
	Military Industrial Complex, and was aghast at its
	ugliness. The US faces unrest from within in a
	search for the truth about a war that, unlike WWII,
	is not pulling it out of a depression, but into it.
	In the wake of imminent social and political
	discontent, and worsening economic downturns, the
	West will find its "exclusivity", the bastion of
	its arrogance, in the dust bin of history; it will
	eventually see its deliberate policies against the
	"Islamic World" as its greatest folly, ranking in
	shame along with the Opium Wars. In order for the
	West to be denied an arena for its imperial
	ambitions the restoration of Dignity in the Islamic
	World is a must. Any policy that fosters the
	destruction of national dignity as evidenced by
	governments, patronized by Western powers that do
	not serve the people is doomed to failure. The days
	of reckoning with the West are drawing eerily close
	to the time when diffidence will give way to
	defiance. Afghanistan cannot be credited for
	arousing the reckoning, but for providing the
	archetype for its feasibility. Given its imperial
	past and contemporary military ambitions, the West
	will not take kindly to such a change and it is
	likely to resort to its nuclear arsenal as it has
	done in the past.

	The Afghan conundrum is far more deeply woven into
	global issues than the author is willing to admit. 
	As a consequence he has marshaled facts to change
	tactics, but has shied away from describing the
	Nero-like forces that are aiming at the destruction
	of Afghanistan but which may destroy the West
	itself.  One is inclined to conclude that the
	Ambassador's heart is in the right place, but to
	his chagrin the Fabian Socialists are not there to
	welcome the heavy burden he carries in his heart.
	Bowing to the collusion of Imperial USA, the
	Ambassador offers an apologia for a determined
	brutality that aims at the annihilation of Afghan
	culture. The book is replete with examples of
	dastardly acts, sheer incompetence, endless
	corruption, cruelty in prisons, and the total lack
	of concern for correction on any front, which are
	all in keeping with the behavior of a hired
	government; but he would not admit that the
	government was installed and sustained by the CIA
	and MI6 in total disregard of the wishes and
	welfare of the people. A "recalcitrant client" is a
	contradiction in terms, and for an installed
	government to dare to defy the wishes and desires
	of its patrons time and time again, better reasons
	are needed than "because the Americans don't
	believe they are imperialists anyway." The puppet,
	in its make-up, is a plutocracy launched by the
	Neocons on behalf of the Military Industrial
	Complex, for nefarious goals, using 911 as an
	alibi.  What keeps the plutocracy functioning is a
	mafia-mentality which tolerates abominations by the
	puppet and the Caesar. Is not Karzai's callous
	disregard of the prevailing poverty and the
	dystopia in which live more than a million drug
	addicts in the midst of an unprecedented flood of
	billions of dollars, treason of the highest order?
	Does it not parallel the callous disregard of the
	large prison population inside Imperial America
	whose detention is outsourced to profiteers and is
	enslaved to render free services to the States
	bankrupted by the Plutocracy?

	Perhaps Holbrooke's plea for revitalizing
	agriculture in Afghanistan, which the Ambassador
	dismisses as untimely, was a last cry for some
	vestige of humanity?  It borders on cruelty for the
	Ambassador to attribute the spread of narcotics to
	Afghan culture while ignoring the valid documents
	that claim that drugs finance the war to the tune
	of $50 billion a year.

	Nevertheless, the book is valuable in providing a
	glimpse of what went on during 2007-2010 when the
	Ambassador was a close observer on the scene. His
	final recommendation is valuable but the existence
	of a capable and concerned government to implement
	it is left to deus ex machina:

	Without realizing it, we have become involved in a
	multi-player, multi-dimensional, multi-decade civil
	conflict, the origins of which go back many years.
	It is an unresolved struggle, over the nature of
	the Afghan polity, between Islam and secularism,
	tradition and modernism, town and country, Sunni
	and Shia, farmer and nomad, Pashtun and Tajik,
	Uzbek and Hazara. Unless and until those problems,
	and Afghanistan's relations with its neighbors and
	near neighbors, are addressed through an ambitious
	and continuing jirga-like process, internal and
	external, sponsored by the US and the UN, supported
	by the Permanent Five Members of the UN Security
	Council, NATO and EU and engaging all regional
	players, conflict will continue.[…] America will
	need itself to talk to all internal and external
	parties to the conflict, including the Taliban.

	For the proposal to succeed, it has to be
	Afghanized in the following way : 1) The
	dysfunctional government be supplemented by calling
	upon notable and untarnished Afghans to play the
	role of arbiters, without any claim to positions,
	and to bring the Northern Alliance and the Taliban
	to a working coalition. 2) The disarray in
	Afghanistan is due to the increase in poverty where
	the poor have sacrificed the most and are succored
	the least. Bridging the yawning imbalance should be
	the prime objective of any government. 3) The
	ruptured Afghan society is in dire need of the
	restoration of human dignity, as dictated by The
	Holy Quran (17:70), which is inclusive of total
	freedom for the pursuit of living by all:
	children/adult, male/female, sects and races.  This
	Quranic provision is the irrefutable formula for
	bringing the Taliban and the Northern Alliance to a
	commitment to serve all the people. The Bonn
	Constitution, however, is notoriously neglectful of
	the plight of the people in Afghanistan; it obliges
	the State (Article 10) to "encourage, protect, as
	well as ensure the safety of capital investment and
	private enterprise," and so, gives higher
	importance to monetary resources than to the
	people, which is in total defiance of the core
	values of Islam, with which the Ambassador wants
	America to have "a fresh start."

	In the unlikely event that the West musters the
	courage to launch an inquiry about the truth of
	911, as demand intensifies in the US, the audacious
	leap will not only take Islam out of the Cage of
	Inquisition, which is carried by Peter King in the
	"Dome of Democracy", but will also usher in a new
	dawn of peace and harmony.

	Abderrahman Ulfat
	Fulbright Scholar, Princeton University, 2005/06
	Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Harvard University, 1995/96

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