• $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • other
  • use Paypal

CALLING ALL COUNTERPUNCHERS! CounterPunch’s website is one of the last common spaces on the Internet. We are supported almost entirely by the subscribers to the print edition of our magazine and by one-out-of-every-1000 readers of the site. We aren’t on the receiving end of six-figure grants from big foundations. George Soros doesn’t have us on retainer. We don’t sell tickets on cruise liners to the “new” Cuba. We don’t clog our site with deceptive corporate ads or click bait. Unlike many other indy media sites, we don’t shake you down for money every month … or even every quarter. We ask only once a year. But when we ask, we mean it. So over the next few weeks we are requesting your financial support. Keep CounterPunch free, fierce and independent by donating today by credit card through our secure online server, via PayPal or by calling 1(800) 840-3683. Note: This annoying box will disappear once we reach our fund drive goal. Thank you for your support!


Afghanistan and Zaire

by Dr. A. Tajudeen

Human beings can get used to anything: pain or pleasure. And in this day and age of globalized media culture fed by saturation coverage and repetitive drudgery our attention span has become even shorter. It is not just interest that dwindles but even our understanding of the ‘big’ events may not be wiser. It is like the magicians’ abracadabra: the more you see the less you understand.

And so it is with ‘the war against terrorism’ that began , if my memory is still serving me well, as a search for the perpetrators of the attacks on Washington and New York on September 11. To the best of my knowledge, the actual culprits died in the attacks along with their victims. Since they had died attention shifted to those suspected (individuals and countries) of instigating, facilitating or inspiring such ‘terrorist’ attacks. Osama bin Laden became the main ‘suspect’ being sought for the atrocities. As a ‘guest’ of the Taliban in Afghanistan it was to be expected that pressures would be brought to bear on them to hand over their guest. Like them or loathe them, the Taliban did have initial ‘reasonable’ demands. Like many they demanded for ‘proof’ especially when those accusing him were also those judging him and most likely be the executors of their own verdict. They had another point, which because of their pariah status, most people did not take continence of. They said bin Laden was their guest and both culturally and spiritually they could not, without incontrovertible evidence, hand over their guest, to his accusers. Who cares for fine details of cultural restraint and sensitivity in the face of the atrocities?

The search for bin Laden slowly became a deadline for the Taliban to hand him over or be crushed and pushed out of power. Now they have been pushed out of power but the Americans and their allies are nowhere near catching the Caveman.

The UN is now desperately trying to install a government of National Unity among the disparate Afghani groups after weeks of dog fights in Germany. The language of nation-building reminiscent of the 1950s and 1960s has regained a new currency that would make the dying specie of former colonial officials wallow in nostalgia.

Has the Al-Qaeda network been destroyed or at least cowed? Would the Northern Alliance and their new allies put in charge by external forces be able to do better than before and bring the suffering of their peoples to an end?

Somehow I cannot help drawing parallels with the exit of Mobutu in former Zaire by an essentially regional military alliance in which the Zaireois played second fiddle or were onlookers, in their own liberation. We are living with the tragic consequences of that with no immediate respite in sight. As they rode to power on US military might, the Northern Alliance forces in their fresh-from-factory army uniforms reminded me of Kabila’s so-called troops and their crisp uniforms soon after the capture of Kinshasa became a distinct possibility as one major city or the other began to fall under the onslaught of Rwandese and Ugandan armies in 1997.

As with Kabila the new groupings in Kabul will have to show and be seen to be Afghani government rather than a government beholden to its foreign sponsors. On the other hand the US and her allies will only tolerate a government that does not ask why when it wants it to jump. If it asks any question at all they are prepared for only: how high?

The alliance of convenience that has made Russia, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and all the other ‘stans’ in the region to collude with the US in Afghanistan may soon unravel as their individual regional, economic and other strategic interests are brought to bear on the unwieldy alliance. Like the Congo, Afghanistan has many neighbours and all of them would like to have a say in how the country is governed. A government based disproportionately on regional strategic considerations may not be able to hold the country together. It could be very weak and successively weakened by these interests as is the case with DRC today.

Then there is the added problem of US’s overbearing presence. Can you imagine the US allowing a new ‘broad based’ government in Kabul to have jurisdiction (let alone Sovereign powers) over the course of the continuing war against Osama? For how long would this war continue with US veto especially now that the Hawks in the US establishment seem to be winning the push for escalation of the war beyond Afghanistan? The new Kabul leaders may have the benefit of President Bush remembering their names. In this alone, they will be luckier than his new ‘great ally’ in the region, General Musharaf of Pakistan whose name he could not even recall on life television during his presidential campaign last year. Somehow one cannot shake off the foreboding that it is not yet Uhuru for the ordinary Afghanis in spite of all appearances and promises to the contrary.

October 13, 2015
Dave Lindorff
US Dispatched a Murderous AC-130 Airborne Gunship to Attack a Hospital
Steve Martinot
The Politics of Prisons and Prisoners
Heidi Morrison
A Portrait of an Immigrant Named Millie, Drawn From Her Funeral
Andre Vltchek
Horrid Carcass of Indonesia – 50 Years After the Coup
Jeremy Malcolm
All Rights Reserved: Now We Know the Final TTP is Everything We Feared
Omar Kassem
Do You Want to See Turkey Falling Apart as Well?
Paul Craig Roberts
Recognizing Neocon Failure: Has Obama Finally Come to His Senses?
Theodoros Papadopoulos
The EU Has Lost the Plot in Ukraine
Roger Annis
Ukraine Threatened by Government Negligence Over Polio
Matthew Stanton
The Vapid Vote
Mel Gurtov
Manipulating Reality: Facebook is Listening to You
Louisa Willcox
Tracking the Grizzly’s Number One Killer
Binoy Kampmark
Assange and the Village Gossipers
Robert Koehler
Why Bombing a Hospital Is a War Crime
Jon Flanders
Railroad Workers Fight Proposed Job Consolidation
Mark Hand
Passion and Pain: Photographer Trains Human Trafficking Survivors
October 12, 2015
Ralph Nader
Imperial Failure: Lessons From Afghanistan and Iraq
Ishmael Reed
Want a Renewal? Rid Your City of Blacks
Thomas S. Harrington
US Caught Faking It in Syria
Victor Grossman
Scenes From a Wonderful Parade Against the TPP
Luciana Bohne
Where Are You When We Need You, Jean-Paul Sartre?
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
The US Way of War: From Columbus to Kunduz
Paul Craig Roberts
A Decisive Shift in the Balance of Power
Justus Links
Turkey’s Tiananmen in Context
Ray McGovern
Faux Neutrality: How CNN Shapes Political Debate
William Manson
Things R Us: How Venture Capitalists Feed the Fetishism of Technology
Norman Pollack
The “Apologies”: A Note On Usage
Steve Horn
Cops Called on Reporter Who Asked About Climate at Oil & Gas Convention
Javan Briggs
The Browning of California: the Water is Ours!
Dave Randle
The BBC and the Licence Fee
Andrew Stewart
Elvis Has Left the Building: a Reply to Slavoj Žižek
Nicolás Cabrera
Resisting Columbus: the Movement to Change October 12th Holiday is Rooted in History
Weekend Edition
October 9-11, 2015
David Price – Roberto J. González
The Use and Abuse of Culture (and Children): The Human Terrain System’s Rationalization of Pedophilia in Afghanistan
Mike Whitney
Putin’s “Endgame” in Syria
Jason Hribal
The Tilikum Effect and the Downfall of SeaWorld
Gary Leupp
The Six Most Disastrous Interventions of the 21st Century
Andrew Levine
In Syria, Obama is Playing a Losing Game
Louis Proyect
The End of Academic Freedom in America: the Case of Steven Salaita
Rob Urie
Democrats, Neoliberalism and the TPP
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
The Bully Recalibrates: U.S. Signals Policy Shift in Syria
Brian Cloughley
Hospital Slaughter and the US/NATO Propaganda Machine
Paul Street
Hope in Abandonment: Cuba, Detroit, and Earth-Scientific Socialism
John Walsh
For Vietnam: Artemisinin From China, Agent Orange From America
Hadi Kobaysi
How The US Uses (Takfiri) Extremists
John Wight
No Moral High Ground for the West on Syria