FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Seeking Opposition to the War

by Grover Furr

I. The elephant in the living room

How do you hide an elephant in your living room? You can’t hide it. So, you pretend it’s not there. If you’re the American news media.

Where’s the elephant?

In 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, a country right on its border. The USSR claimed that the American Central Intelligence Agency was behind a fundamentalist Islamic revolt against the pro-Soviet government. Both the Carter and Reagan Administrations denied this.

President Reagan was outraged. “The Evil Empire,” he stated. The US withdrew from the Olympic Games, and began an open campaign to build up the Islamic fundamentalist “freedom fighters” revolt. But the Soviets were correct, as Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter’s former National Security Advisor admitted in Le Nouvel Observateur in January1998.

Twenty-two years later, the US has invaded Afghanistan. If it was wrong for the Soviet Union to invade, isn’t it just as wrong for the US to do so? If the Soviet invasion were evidence for Soviet imperialism, isn’t the US invasion evidence of US imperialism?

It would be one thing if the US media–to say nothing of the Bush regime–were to actually face this question, and say something like: “Well, the Soviets weren’t going after terrorists, like we are. So their invasion was ‘imperialism’, while our ‘war’ is only to fight terrorism.” Except that the Soviets were going after terrorists– US-sponsored terrorists — as Brzezinski admitted. According to the US government and mass media, what the US does is never “terrorism.” That word is only used for what others do.

That would be at least to acknowledge that there is an elephant in the living room–that the US is now doing exactly the same thing that successive US regimes denounced the Soviet Union for doing.

But they don’t want us to see what is, so obviously, going on. They think that, if they ignore it, we won’t see it either. They think we are idiots.

II. Oil and Imperialism

However, it is clearer than ever that the war in Afghanistan is over control of oil. It is not even about catching OBL. This is an imperialist war.

On September 18 the BBC revealed that the US had plans to invade Afghanistan before Sept. 11. And the Bush Administration states the US plans to stay in Afghanistan a long time, set up a “friendly” regime, and establish a military presence there, while admitting it may be years, if ever, before it finds OBL.

Unocal, a US oil company had been negotiating with the Taliban regime for pipeline routes until this past Spring, when the Taliban demanded too much money. These negotiations explain the US government’s “humanitarian” and “anti-drug” aid to the Taliban regime during 2000 and the first part of 2001.

A military presence in Afghanistan will give US rulers a strong military base near the Caspian region of emerging oil nations, and athwart some of the best routes for oil and gas pipelines.

“Fighting terrorism” is simply the pretext, necessary to win the approval of the American public–to counteract the “Vietnam Syndrome”, the healthy distrust of the American people of their imperialist government that works against their interest at every turn.

And it is not a war for “cheaper” oil–as though our own dear US rulers were sending us off to fight, kill and die so that we can drive gas-guzzling SUVs to our heart’s content. As in the Gulf War, one aim is more expensive oil–higher profits for big US oil companies. The deeper motive, though, is control–political leverage over other industrial, imperialist countries like Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Holland–that, unlike the US, have few or no oil reserves of their own.

III. A Terrorist War

In this criminal war, the US is already killing civilians. Remember the term “collateral damage”? Now the US killers don’t know what to call the civilian casualties. Yes, US killers; if the suicide terrorists of 9/11 were killers, then the US government are killers too. Civilian deaths are the inevitable result of any bombing campaign against populated areas.

What we are seeing in Afghanistan is typical imperialist slaughter of people in a non-industrialized country for profit. It’s murder on a grand scale, as only the largest and most technologically sophisticated military in the world –the US military–can do it. And it has just begun.

There’s been some talk of “pathological cultures.” Well, there is plenty of pathology in the Middle East! For example, Islamic Fundamentalism and Jewish Fundamentalism (see Israel Shahak and Norton Mezvinsky, Jewish Fundamentalism in Israel, Pluto Press, 1999). Neither “fundamentalisms” are any good at all.

But there is nothing so “pathological”, so hideous, as a society that declares itself “civilized” and then bombs and kills the people of a tormented country like Afghanistan.

Nothing so “pathological” as that same society which, as Brzezinski boasted, started the Afghan war, leading to over one million Afghani deaths with another two million maimed and wounded, simply as a move in a great “chess game” against its chief imperialist rival at the time, the USSR.

Nothing so “pathological” as that same society that supports Israeli murder and brutality against Palestinians–acts so horrendous that, were they being committed against Jews anywhere in the world, the world would rise up in protest, and rightly so.

And then some “leaders” in that same society have the gall to declare themselves “civilized”, and other cultures–the cultures of their victims–as “pathological.”

It is this imperialist culture that is truly sick.

Let us reject the US government’s lies, and raise our voices to oppose this criminal war. Tens of thousands of US college students, workers, and others have already done so. To find out more, email struggleforpeace@hotmail.com. And see http://chss.montclair.edu/english/furr/pol/wtcanalysis.html for the articles mentioned here, and many others.

Grover Furr is an associate professor of English at Montclair State University.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

January 16, 2017
Paul Street
How Pure is Your Hate?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
Did the Elites Have Martin Luther King Jr. Killed?
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Clobbers Ocean Life
Patrick Cockburn
The Terrifying Parallels Between Trump and Erdogan
Kenneth Surin
The Neoliberal Stranglehold on the American Public University
Lawrence Davidson
Is There a Future for the Democratic Party?
Douglas Valentine
Who Killed MLK Jr?
Robert Fisk
The Foreign Correspondent in the Age of Twitter and Trump
Dale Bryan
“Where Do We Go from Here?”
David Swanson
The Deep State Wants to Deep Six Us
Dan Bacher
Obama Administration Orders Speedy Completion of Delta Tunnels Plan
Mark Weisbrot
Obama Should Make Sure that Haitian Victims of UN-Caused Cholera are Compensated
Winslow Myers
The Light of the World
Bruce Mastron
My Latest Reason to Boycott the NFL: Guns
Weekend Edition
January 13, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Gregory Elich
Did the Russians Really Hack the DNC?
Jeffrey St. Clair
The President Who Wasn’t There: Barack Obama’s Legacy of Impotence
Anthony DiMaggio
Ethics Fiasco: Trump, Divestment and the Perversion of Executive Politics
Joshua Frank
Farewell Obummer, Hello Golden Showers
Paul Street
Hit the Road, Barack: Some Farewell Reflections
Vijay Prashad
After Aleppo: the State of Syria
John Wight
Russia Must be Destroyed: John McCain and the Case of the Dodgy Dossier
Rob Urie
Meet the Deplorables
Patrick Cockburn
The Russian Dossier Reminds Me of the Row Over Saddam’s WMDs
Eric Sommer
U.S.-China War: a Danger Hidden from the American People
Andrew Levine
Are Democrats Still the Lesser Evil?
Linda Pentz Gunter
What’s Really Behind the Indian Point Nuclear Deal?
Robert Fantina
Trucks, ‘Terror’ and Israel
Richard Moser
Universal Values are Revolutionary Values
Russell Mokhiber
Build the Bagdikian Wall: “Sponsored News” at the Washington Post
Yoav Litvin
Establishment Narcissism – The Democrats’ Game of Thrones
David Rosen
Return of the Repressed: Trump & the Revival of the Culture Wars
Robert Koehler
War Consciousness and the F-35
Rev. William Alberts
The New Smell of McCarthyism Demands Faith Leaders Speak Truth to Power
John Laforge
Federal Regulator Halts Move to Toughen Radiation Exposure Limits
Norman Pollack
Farewell Address: Nazification of Hope
David Swanson
Imagine the Confirmation Hearing for Secretary of Peace
CJ Hopkins
Why Ridiculous Official Propaganda Still Works
Ron Jacobs
Striking in Reagan Time
Missy Comley Beattie
The Streep
Graham Peebles
Climate Change: The Potential Impacts of Collective Inaction
Uri Avnery
Confessions of a Megalomaniac
Kenneth Worles
Black Without a Home: King’s Dream Still Deferred
Geoff Dutton
The Russian Patsy
Jill Richardson
The Coming War on Regulations
Jeremy Brecher
Resisting the Trump Agenda is Social Self-Defense
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail