FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Blood, Snow and NATO

by CHRIS SANDS

in Kabul.

As the powers that be met in Latvia for a NATO summit, the first snowflakes of winter were falling lightly on Kabul city.

The suits thousands of miles away talked about the progress being made here. The Afghan people huddled around pathetic little fires and muttered dark warnings about the future.

Terrorists will not prevail, said the officials. Just wait until the fighting rages again next spring, said the men and women as they shivered in the cold.

The gulf between NATO members and the Afghans they are meant to protect is widening. And it will continue to grow until blood mixes with the rubbish on these streets and Kabul becomes another Baghdad.

Boosting troop levels will not help defeat the insurgency, it will only lead to soldiers, civilians and militants dying in even greater numbers. Every day a new “terrorist” is created by the actions of the foreigners here.

There have already been too many doors kicked in, bombs dropped and innocent people interrogated. The more NATO vehicles that speed through Kandahar or Helmand, the more suicide attackers there will be to hit them.

Support for the insurgency no longer just comes from those Pashtuns who traditionally favour the Taliban, it now exists among a broad section of society. Many Afghans want to fight the occupation forces and Mullah Omar’s band of fundamentalists.

The limited progress that has been made is steadily eaten away by bitter memories and sad new experiences. Last week a van travelling near a NATO convoy on the outskirts of Kabul was shot at and subsequently crashed. One civilian died and four were injured.

Hamid Karzai has lamented the increasing number of innocent people killed as a result of NATO actions, but his fragile grip on power grows weaker with each passing day. The feeling here is that the president will be forced from office, with the Americans ushering in a new figurehead to take his place.

Trying to impose Western-style democracy upon a country where strict Islamic values dominate was always going to be a miserable failure. But its demise is being hastened by the increasingly violent nature of the occupation.

A new chapter in this country’s tragic recent history has now started. The Taliban cannot be defeated or marginalised , no matter how many times they are called terrorists by NATO officials. Many people support them and a lot of those that don’t will end up backing other militias. A civil war is inevitable if foreign troops stay or leave.

When the snow melts next spring any remaining optimism will be carried away with it. Blood will be all that’s left.

CHRIS SANDS is a British freelance journalist who has been living in Afghanistan since August 2005.

 

 

Weekend Edition
May 06, 2016
Friday - Sunday
Dave Wagner
When Liberals Run Out of Patience: the Impolite Exile of Seymour Hersh
John Stauber
Strange Bedfellows: the Bizarre Coalition of Kochs, Neocons and Democrats Allied Against Trump and His #FUvoters
Rob Urie
Hillary Clinton and the End of the Democratic Party
Joshua Frank
Afghanistan: Bombing the Land of the Snow Leopard
Bill Martin
Fear of Trump: Annals of Parliamentary Cretinism
Doug Johnson Hatlem
NYC Board of Elections Suspends 2nd Official, Delays Hillary Clinton v. Bernie Sanders Results Certification
Carol Miller
Pretending the Democratic Party Platform Matters
Paul Street
Hey, Bernie, Leave Them Kids Alone
Tamara Pearson
Mexico Already Has a Giant Wall, and a Mining Company Helped to Build It
Dave Lindorff
Bringing the Sanders ‘Revolution’ to Philly’s Streets
Margaret Kimberley
Obama’s Last Gasp Imperialism
Carmelo Ruiz
The New Wave of Repression in Puerto Rico
Jack Denton
Prison Labor Strike in Alabama: “We Will No Longer Contribute to Our Own Oppression”
Jeffrey St. Clair
David Bowie’s 100 Favorite Books, the CounterPunch Connection
David Rosen
Poverty in America: the Deepening Crisis
Pepe Escobar
NATO on Trade, in Europe and Asia, is Doomed
Pete Dolack
Another Goodbye to Democracy if Transatlantic Partnership is Passed
Carla Blank
Prince: Pain and Dance
Josh Hoxie
American Tax Havens: Elites Don’t Have to go to Panama to Hide Their Money–They’ve Got Delaware
Gabriel Rockhill
Media Blackout on Nuit Debout
Barry Lando
Welcome to the Machine World: the Perfect Technological Storm
Hilary Goodfriend
The Wall Street Journal is Playing Dirty in El Salvador, Again
Frank Stricker
Ready for the Coming Assault on Social Security? Five Things Paul Ryan and Friends Don’t Want You to Think About
Robert Gordon
Beyond the Wall: an In-Depth Look at U.S. Immigration Policy
Roger Annis
City at the Heart of the Alberta Tar Sands Burning to the Ground
Simon Jones
RISE: New Politics for a Tired Scotland
Rob Hager
After Indiana: Sanders Wins another Purple State, But Remains Lost in a Haze of Bad Strategy and Rigged Delegate Math
Howard Lisnoff
Father Daniel Berrigan, Anti-war Hero With a Huge Blindspot
Adam Bartley
Australia-China Relations and the Politics of Canberra’s Submarine Deal
Nyla Ali Khan
The Complexity of the Kashmir Issue: “Conflict Can and Should be Handled Constructively
Ramzy Baroud
The Spirit of Nelson Mandela in Palestine: Is His Real Legacy Being Upheld?
Alli McCracken - Raed Jarrar
#IsraelSaudi: A Match Made in Hell
George Wuerthner
Working Wilderness and Other Code Words
Robert Koehler
Cowardice and Exoneration in Kunduz
Ron Jacobs
Psychedelic Rangers Extraordinaire
Missy Comley Beattie
It’s a Shit Show!
Kevin Martin
President Obama Should Meet A-Bomb Survivors
David Macaray
Our Best Weapon Is Being Systematically Eliminated
Colin Todhunter
Future Options: From Militarism and Monsanto to Gandhi and Bhaskar Save
Binoy Kampmark
The Trump Train Chugs Along
Thomas Knapp
The End of the Bill of Rights is at Our Fingertips
Cesar Chelala
A Lesson of Auschwitz
John Laforge
Dan Berrigan, 1921 – 2016: “We Haven’t Lost, Because We Haven’t Given Up.”
Norman Trabulsy Jr
John Denver and My 40th High School Reunion
Charles R. Larson
Being Gay in China, Circa 1987
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail