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.

Weekend Edition
February 12-14, 2016
Andrew Levine
What Next in the War on Clintonism?
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Comedy of Terrors
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh – Anthony A. Gabb
Financial Oligarchy vs. Feudal Aristocracy
Paul Street
When Plan A Meets Plan B: Talking Politics and Revolution with the Green Party’s Jill Stein
Rob Urie
The (Political) Season of Our Discontent
Pepe Escobar
It Takes a Greek to Save Europa
Gerald Sussman
Why Hillary Clinton Spells Democratic Party Defeat
Carol Norris
What Do Hillary’s Women Want? A Psychologist on the Clinton Campaign’s Women’s Club Strategy
Robert Fantina
The U.S. Election: Any Good News for Palestine?
Linda Pentz Gunter
Radioactive Handouts: the Nuclear Subsidies Buried Inside Obama’s “Clean” Energy Budget
Michael Welton
Lenin, Putin and Me
Manuel García, Jr.
Fire in the Hole: Bernie and the Cracks in the Neo-Liberal Lid
Thomas Stephens
The Flint River Lead Poisoning Catastrophe in Historical Perspective
David Rosen
When Trump Confronted a Transgender Beauty
Will Parrish
Cap and Clear-Cut
Victor Grossman
Coming Cutthroats and Parting Pirates
Ben Terrall
Raw Deals: Challenging the Sharing Economy
David Yearsley
Beyoncé’s Super Bowl Formation: Form-Fitting Uniforms of Revolution and Commerce
David Mattson
Divvying Up the Dead: Grizzly Bears in a Post-ESA World
Matthew Stevenson
Confessions of a Primary Insider
Jeff Mackler
Friedrichs v. U.S. Public Employee Unions
Franklin Lamb
Notes From Tehran: Trump, the Iranian Elections and the End of Sanctions
Pete Dolack
More Unemployment and Less Security
Christopher Brauchli
The Cruzifiction of Michael Wayne Haley
Bill Quigley
Law on the Margins: a Profile of Social Justice Lawyer Chaumtoli Huq
Uri Avnery
A Lady With a Smile
Katja Kipping
The Opposite of Transparency: What I Didn’t Read in the TIPP Reading Room
B. R. Gowani
Hellish Woman: ISIS’s Granny Endorses Hillary
Kent Paterson
The Futures of Whales and Humans in Mexico
Michael Howard
Hollywood’s Grotesque Animal Abuse
James Heddle
Why the Current Nuclear Showdown in California Should Matter to You
Steven Gorelick
Branding Tradition: a Bittersweet Tale of Capitalism at Work
Nozomi Hayase
Assange’s UN Victory and Redemption of the West
Patrick Bond
World Bank Punches South Africa’s Poor, by Ignoring the Rich
Mel Gurtov
Is US-Russia Engagement Still Possible?
Dan Bacher
Governor Jerry Brown Receives Cold, Dead Fish Award Four Years In A Row
Wolfgang Lieberknecht
Fighting and Protecting Refugees
Jennifer Matsui
Doglegs, An Unforgettable Film
Soud Sharabani
Israeli Myths: An Interview with Ramzy Baroud
Terry Simons
Bernie? Why Not?
Missy Comley Beattie
When Thoughtful People Think Illogically
Christy Rodgers
Everywhere is War: Luke Mogelson’s These Heroic, Happy Dead: Stories
Ron Jacobs
Springsteen: Rockin’ the House in Albany, NY
Barbara Nimri Aziz
“The Martian”: This Heroism is for Chinese Viewers Too
Charles R. Larson
No Brainers: When Hitler Took Cocaine and Lenin Lost His Brain
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail